Thursday, February 28, 2008


My brother-in-law and my sister has gone to the Olympic Stadium to watch Santana live and I'm home alone. I missed Santana as the tickets were sold out and the only seats left were the ones behind pillars. Nevermind.

The weather is cold today and last night was horrible, I could not sleep. Probably because I had burger for dinner and it took time for my stomach to digest it, my stomach made so much noise all night long and it was terribly cold, my toes were like ice cubes.

Since I could not sleep, I dreamt, dreamt of my own food outlet. My homemade burger was a success and I started to dream about having my own burger outlet. It's location, it's setting and the menu. Well, the dream seems to be very possible, but will it sell? That's the question.
Introducing, burger patties made by Jenn's fingers (top left), to be eaten with onions and tomatoes (right pic) and this is the final outcome. How much will you pay for it? hehhehehe
Shall I dream on?

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Just for you.....

A man feared his wife wasn't hearing as well as she used to and he thought she might need a hearing aid. Not quite sure how to approach her, he called the family Doctor to discuss the problem.The Doctor told him there is a simple, informal test the husband could perform to give the Doctor a better idea about her hearing loss."Here's what you do," said the Doctor, "stand about 40 feet away from her, and in a normal conversational speaking tone see if she hears you.
If not, go to 30 feet, then 20 feet, and so on until you get a response."

That evening, the wife is in the kitchen cooking dinner, and he was in the den. He says to himself, "I'm about 40 feet away, let's see what happens." Then in a normal tone he asks, 'Honey, what's fordinner?"No response.So the husband moves closer to the kitchen, about 30 feet from his wife and repeats, "Honey, what's for dinner?"Still no response.Next he moves into the dining room where he is about 20 feet from his wife and asks, "Honey, what's for dinner?"Again he gets no response.So, he walks up to the kitchen door, about 10 feet away. "Honey, what's for dinner?" Again there is no response.So he walks right up behind her. "Honey, what's for dinner?"(I just love this).....

"Alan , for the FIFTH #$#%@ time, CHICKEN!"

Sometimes we know there is a problem but we don't know that we ARE the problem. We tend to assume (ass-u-me) that the other party IS the problem!

I am Malaysian......

Here's an example of job advert in an Austrialian newspaper:

Macquarie University
Department of Chemistry and Biomolecular Sciences
Research Assistant (Full Time- Fixed Term)

This position is available on a full time period of three years and may subject to probationary conditions. Selection criteria must be addressed in the application

Package: From $57 199 p.a including base salary, 17 % employer's superannuation and annual leave loading.

(Pardon me but I think an Research Asistant here is paid the most RM 24 000 p.a?)

I browsed through the papers and realized that ghee.....we are not well paid at all in Malaysia. So much about our economy being good, how true is it i really wonder. Before I left for Austrialia, the exchange rate was Aus$1 - RM 2.98. Yes, I'm superbly poor over here, my RM 2000 is only worth like Aus$ 650, equivilent to 2 weeks of salary here for toilet cleaners. Yes, even toilet cleaners here are well paid and everyone takes pride for what they do. It's not a shameful thing to sweep the streets or collect garbage here, people are respected for what they do and their salary tells it well.

Family time is very much of importance here, take a walk down to the park in the evenings and you will see parents walking or cycling with their kids at 5.30pm, everyone goes home after 5pm. It is somehow a sin to be a workaholic. Quality time are meant to be spent with loved ones, doing the things that you love and not to be a slave to your job.

I watched Hilary and Obama campaigning for themselves on TV and they are surely working very hard. People have high expectations on the leaders they choose, people don't buy empty promises, they want results and that's what these politicians have to do. Get their team to work on the promises. Voters expect to be served by their politicians and they make sure that they being served all the time, and not only during the elections. Can our society do that?

It's very ironic actually that Malaysia is known to be a developed nation and yet when we go to other developed nations like Singapore, we are not on par with them......something to ponder upon.....actually it frustrates me.

8th March

It's a very exciting time in Malaysia, the elections are happening soon. Of late, alot of comical statements have been made by supposedly prominent individuals. I could not help but to laugh at it. Sometimes, I wonder if people actually think before they speak especially when the whole nation is listening to them.

Of late, the marginalized are enjoying lots of attention from certain parties, all of a sudden, all the dreams are becoming a reality, will these dreams last? Or will they expire after the elections?

8th of March is when our elections will be held, it is also the time when University students are busy with their exams and assignments. Having been a student myself, and having journeyed with them for the past three years, I believe a great majority of them will not be bothered to go back to vote in the elections especially for those from East Malaysia (I don't really blame them actually). Some are not even aware of how important is it for them to vote while some do not believe that they can make any difference with just one vote. Perhaps that is why our election results are so predictable.

I am here in Australia, frustrated that I'm not going to be around to vote, if I could vote from here, i definitely would. Even if the person i voted for does not win, at least i could narrow the gap. Very often, we complain, but when opportunities come for us the make changes, we just let it go, we find all the reasons in the world to justify our "tidak apa" attitude and allow things to happen the way we don't want it to be. Very often we complain that we do not have the freedom to voice out our opinions whilst students fear the AUKU and choose to suck in all their frustrations and not utter a single word. The election is the time for us to express ourselves, to let it all out by casting our votes either to support leaders who have helped us a great deal or to teach lousy politicians a good lesson and to humble them.

So if you don't have an exam, and you live in Peninsular Malaysia, and money is not a problem to you, do yourself a favour, travel home and cast your vote. If you are from Borneo and have a little extra to spend, try to book a cheap flight back, you still have at least 7 days at hand. It'll also be a good time to meet up with neighbour and friends and of course to spend some precious moments with your family.

Alone in Sydney

26th Feb Tues

Today was the first day I explored Sydney on my own. I started my journey at 8.30am. My sister dropped me off somewhere near Paddington and I walked through Oxford Street into Hyde Park where St. Mary’s Cathedral was located. The Cathedral was awesome, unfortunately, it was under restoration (probably to prepare for the World Youth Day) and a pretty big portion of the Cathedral was not accessible. Nevertheless, I spent half an hour there, telling myself that I shall return to attend a daily mass there the next time I dropped by in town.

After I left the Cathedral, I decided to be more adventurous, I kept my guidebook in my bag and let my legs carry me according to my instincts. Surprise, surprise, I ended up in the Art Gallery of New South Wales, one of the least likely place I would have gone to. I know nothing about arts and it’s value but I walked in anyway since it was right in front of me.
It was indeed an educational exposure for me. To be honest, I doubted myself when I went in. I thought I would not have stayed long inside. I guess I underestimated the gallery, I stayed there for 3hours covering only the ground floor. Yes I was naïve of artworks, I am not a person who knew how good an art piece is worth. I am not an art critic but today, the pictures spoke to me, it spoke to me like literary works, like poems and stories. Every artwork had a story to tell and most of the time, it spoke a lot about the artist. It was an expression of themselves through their works with great enthusiasm and effort with patience and most of all, passion.

Some of the works at the gallery were more than five hundred years old, I was fortunate enough to participate in a guided tour that helped me to reason out those works. I learned about history and the different era’s and civilizations. It was indeed a study session for me. I left after three hours because my brains could not concentrate anymore.

Our tour guide was wonderful, she was just a volunteer at the gallery and she explained things in great detail, one thing I was sure was that she was passionate about art, she knew about the artists and their works, it was obvious that she loved the works dearly. Somehow, I wondered if our national art gallery was like this and if it’s staff would be as passionate as the volunteer guide was. I guess art is something the Australians see as important. The gallery was crowded, there were school children from various schools there too. Every child had a notebook in their hand with assignments to complete. I was impressed.

I was exhausted. I left the gallery and walked along the road, ended up outside the botanical gardens. I walked through the gardens and ended up outside the Sydney Opera House, I walked along the Sydney Harbor to find myself some lunch. It had been such a long time since I walked that much. The distance I walked was overwhelming, it was like walking from the University Malaya KL gate to St. John’s Cathedral at Bukit Nanas.

It was indeed an interesting day for me. I discovered a lot but I was not fully contented. I felt alone, I am a foreigner in a foreign land full of foreign faces. Nobody knows me, nobody recognizes me. I have no friends here, no one to share my excitement with. Will I survive? I guess I could, it will take some time though. Thank God I have my sister and bro-in-law to go home to, I am not that alone after all.

Monday, February 25, 2008

Lust, caution

24 Feb 08 (Sun)

I watched Ang Lee’s “Lust, Caution” today in the cinema. It was uncensored and for the first time in my 27 years of life, I saw erotic scenes. In many instances, I was left speechless and shocked.

I thought the movie was good. It was a movie that left me to think. Chia Chi thought she was doing the right thing, she thought she and her friends were fighting for the right cause, she thought it was heroic to sacrifice her virginity, did she do the right thing? Those passionate love making scenes, was love even present during those moments, did lust lead to love?

The cinema outing was indeed an interesting experience. None of the movies shown in the cinema was screened in the Malaysian theaters. To be honest, I’ve not been too excited with most movies shown in the Malaysian cinemas, but over here, I seem to want to watch every movie. My next movie here would probably be “The Kite Runner”. My bro-in-law is keen to watch it and so am I.

Other than the selection of movies, the difference between the cinemas are that they use the free seating concept, who comes first, gets the best seat and you know, wine in glass is included in the drinks menu here. Of course I did not drink it lah.

The great Cunard Ships

24 Feb 08

Since I arrived at Sydney, people have been talking about it. The news, has been constantly reporting about it, there have been documentaries about it. Today is a historical day for the people of Sydney. Thousands of people gathered at the Sydney Harbor to bid farewell to “QE2” the ship. Having served the wealthy cruise travelers for 40 years, “QE2” docked at the Sydney Harbor for the very last time before leaving to stay permanently in Dubai as a luxurious hotel.

Queen Victoria Upclose

To make it even more significant, its sister ship, “Queen Victoria” was also present at the Harbor. At 6pm today, the two Cunard Queens met in Sydney Harbour both ships crossed each other right in front of the Sydney Opera House. “Queen Victoria” is a much newer ship. At 90,000 tonnes, Queen Victoria is equivalent in tonnage to 80 Manly ferries, 160 fully laden Airbus A-380 super jumbos, or 825 blue whales. Queen Victoria is almost 20,000 tonnes heavier than the QE2. Again, it’s the first time I came so close to a ship this big. (I know, I’m like very “sam pat”) Queen Victoria can accommodate 2000 passengers and 1018 crew. QE2 has room for 1778 passengers and 1016 crew. Cunard is the shipmaker for Titanice by the way. Amazing hor?

Why Sydney Harbor some may ask, well, the ocean is deep enough for a ship this big to dock. Though what happened today was a historical event, I am not overly excited that I was there. I am glad that I was there, but I would not cry if I had missed it hahaha. Yet, I am grateful to be at the right place, at the right time.

At Pancakes on the Rocks

Whats so great about Pancakes on The Rocks? I really don't know, people que to get in there. It's been the Golden Award Winner for the best informal dining restaurant 2003 - 2006 and it's open 24hours aday. I tried it's savoury pancakes, hmmm....i was not impressed but I shall not judge it yet until i try their dessert pancakes for i believe pancakes goes best with syrup or honey or jam.

As we had our lunch today, next to our table sat five people. Of the five, there were two young girls probably in their late teens, with three down syndrome kids. The down syndrome teenagers were a handful to handle. Two of them were throwing tantrums while the other was becoming agitated. The two girls were trying their best to calm the other down whilst trying to discipline the other two. I was certain that I did not want to be in the shoes of the two girls for I would definitely not have the patience that they had.

Though the noise made by the down syndrome teenagers were not very pleasing, I admired the two girls. They were not relatives of the down syndrome teenagers, they were volunteers who took them for an outing. Though they were stern, they did love the kids. They had something in them which I did not have. Patience, love, compassion and courage. They were only teenagers but they were capable. Where did they learn to be like that? I’m impressed.

Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sydney 22nd Feb 08

I had a wonderful dinner tonight. Sushi rice with sashimi, fresh oysters and unagi (eel) served with pickled ginger and wasabi complimented with white wine. It was superbly delicious and satisfying. I wish Leslie was around to experience it since oysters are one of his favorites. The 3 of us started to eat at 7pm but only completed our meal after 10pm. Why? Because we shared and talked and took our own sweet time to eat and drink. It was Bob’s treat to celebrate my arrival at Sydney. Yes, I’m being loved and I appreciate it.

(my sister preparing dinner)

(Our Dinner)

Having landed in a Western nation for the first time was a pretty much interesting. It was new for me to see Caucasians working as cleaners. Having lived in Malaysia all these while, I’ve been used to seeing either foreign Asian laborers or locals working as such while the “Mat Salleh’s held white collar jobs. It actually took me a few minutes to process that I was actually on a foreign land.

The architecture of the old houses in Sydney are actually pretty much similar to the colonial buildings that we have in Malaysia, the only difference is that, their buildings have been well maintained whilst many of our old buildings have been very much neglected or modified. Of course there were other kind of buildings too which I loved and felt as beautiful. I am actually impressed that many of the old buildings here have been retained and well maintained and are still being used as what it used to be.

We went to the Sydney Fish Market. This fish market is the second largest in the world, a great variety of fresh seafood can be found here at a simply irresistible prices. Lobsters, super big crabs, oysters, prawns, sashimis… name it…..I could not help but drool over the variety of seafood. There are many cafes that serve sumptuous seafood meals in this market and they are very much affordable. Guess who runs most of the business here? Yes, I was amused to discover that most of the stalls were run by Chinese and they did it professionally.

(Lobsters at 25 dollars each) (Bob buying some fish) (Guess what, Malaysian Octopus)

(Happy Chinese New Year) (Fresh Seafood)

After the market, we dropped by at New South Wales University to collect some documents and we drove past the most beautiful seaside I ever saw in my whole entire life (as for now). At 2pm, the breeze was superb and the view was captivating. I’ll make sure that I’ll spend some time at these beaches.

(Beautiful Hor?)

It’s summer here in Sydney and the temperature today is 28 degree Celsius. Though it is sunny but the breeze is cool, causing me to forget that the sun is actually shining very brightly up there in the sky. The air is very dry and yes people here have been actually advised to use sun blocks and hats as preventive measures for skin illnesses especially here in Australia.

It’s late now, and I should call it a day, need to catch up with the sleep I lost last night.

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Friday, February 22, 2008

Greetings from Sydney

I touched down at Sydney this morning at 9.30am (6.30am Malaysian time). The journey was unpleasent as I was squeezed between two ladies who took up alot of space as they slept. I did not manage to catch any sleep. I was dissapointed not to get a seat by the window and the lady who sat next to me chose to keep our window shut. Nevertheless, I did manage to peep through other windows and managed to get a glimpst or two of South East Austrialia which is of course so much more bigger compared to Malaysia. Yes it was facinating though I was very frustrated on the plane.

I'm very groggy at the moment due to my lack of sleep but i have to say that I love Sydney already. Kensington is where I live and it is surrounded by a very beautiful park. Today, i understood why people here shoot ducks, they are like crows, they mess up swimming pools and leave their droppings everywhere.

Shall update more soon when i'm more settled, shall be having dinner now, Sushi rice with sashimi's and fresh oysters, yummy.

Thursday, February 21, 2008

Today is 21st Feb 08, so many things have happened for the past few days. Highlights includes loosing my wisdom tooth and babysitting Shawn for 1 full day.

I never expected my last four day to pass by so quickly but it was a good 4 days. I'm now waiting at the Airport for my flight, I'm abit anxious, it's my first flight out of South East Asia and I don't know what to expect.

Shall update more on my trip to Sydney. Adios as for now, apologies to all of whom I could not or forgot to meet up with, see you all again after April 21st 08.

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Monday, February 18, 2008

11 Feb 08

When you do something that you don’t really like and yet you force yourself to do it because you know you should do it, you struggle through. Sometimes you don’t enjoy what you do because you are not capable enough, you don’t have the right wisdom to handle situations so much so that you become discouraged easily because you don’t see the fruits of your efforts.

What hurts the most is when people who do not see what you are going through simply walks into your life and criticizes with comments that reminds you that you have failed. Discouraging and judgmental stares are already bad enough, what makes it worst is when they make remarks that pierce you through. They say things which they know that are hurtful and negative. They don’t even care about your feelings, what is important to them is that they have sent their message across that they don’t think highly of you.

Such people are the worst ever mentor anyone could ask for. Of course fairytale stories tell us that it is through such remarks that people become motivated to be successful and is what they are today because they wanted so much to prove those negative people wrong. No doubt, some people’s success were driven by such remarks but very often, these unhelpful remarks actually left negative impact in the lives of many. They leave scars and pulls down people’s self –esteem, reminding them that they are useless and good for nothing.

We are gifted beings but negative comments cause us to forget that we are capable of making changes. Comments help us to improve and be better, but when comments are too strong and is overly negative, it discourages.

I don’t mind comments or criticisms, though it hurts but it helps and I recover easily and become motivated to do something about it if it was like this…..
“ Erm….I think it is…….why don’t you consider…….”
“….it is not bad, but…………”
“I disagree with you, I believe……..”

But when people use words like these, I rebel. I become hurt and I wish I would never ever have to meet the person ever again……
“You are just like……useless and good for nothing”
“Such simple things also don’t know how to do, hopeless”
“…….are you stupid or what….”

Someone criticized me with today with the most unhelpful words. I disliked it terribly. Actually I’ve been used to such comments from this particular person, perhaps it also explains why my relationship with this person has never improved all this while. Many times I have tried to change my mindset towards this person, to learn to love and accept this person, but each time I’m bombarded with such remarks, I go back to square one, loosing all the good feelings I had of the person.

Juat another day

10 Feb 08

Today, I attended my class reunion. It was the first time I gathered for Lunar New Year with my Form 6 mates. Thanks to Chee Keong our monitor, this gathering was possible.
When Chee Keong invited me to his house, I had no idea that this was our class gathering, I thought it was just a normal open house where his other friends would also be there, much to my surprise, there was no one at his place when we arrived.

We had steamboat together with some other dishes prepared by Chee Keong himself. Since we graduated, I have met up a few times with this group of friends but I guess today was most enjoyable. Perhaps the main reason is because we were not gathering in a restaurant. We had the freedom of space and we could joke and laugh freely like how we used to at school.

After our simple steamboat, our pious brother Chee Seong surprised us with 4 bottles of beer, we shared the beer among the 12 of us followed by 2 hours of Jim Rummy. Yes we gambled but of course in small scale, just for the fun of it. All of us went home as winners except for our banker brothers, our host himself and Choon Ming the lawyer. Nothing great happened today, but I enjoyed myself, I was glad to be in the company of some good friends.

All we did was to spend time together and that was what bonded us. Yes, simple things makes me happy!


5th Feb 08

Sensing that I have added on some weight, I decided to do some exercise at Bukit Dumbar. It was around 5.30pm, so there were not many young people at the park as most young people were still at work. Other than myself, there was another Malay chap who was around my age. I ran round the tracks and I noticed that he was observing me though not in a lustful manner. Like me, his stamina was not very good though he was not fat like me. Perhaps he used me as a benchmark on how many rounds he should run. Of course I felt awkward to have someone observing me do my exercise, I was shy but to be honest, I used him as a benchmark too.

I could not take the awkwardness and I left the track to elsewhere for my exercise. 5 minutes later, I bumped into him again, I was shocked to see him, and he was shocked too. He stared at me out of shock and suddenly laughed. I felt so awkward that I just left straight for home; I did not want to bump into him again. It felt so weird.

Saturday, February 09, 2008