Tuesday, April 29, 2008

The Interview

I guess some of you will be wondering how the interview went. It was smooth and easy, no bullets attacking me BUT I Don't think I want the Job. When I was sitting through the interview, everything seemed ok to me. I told the manager I had no problem with everything.

Things changed when I went back home. I sat down and thought over the job. It was a job, not my passion. I was to work 6 days a week for a salary lower than my previous salary and the working hours can sometimes be more than 10 hours. I thought to myself, if I take the job....
  1. Sunday masses, how to go ah? If i work until 12pm on Sat nights, I think attending early morning sunday masses are going to be challenging for me and I don't want to drag my feet for masses, I want to go for mass happily.
  2. It's going to make my long distance relationship even more challenging. With only 1 day off, it's impossible for me to visit him in KL and if he comes to Penang, I will be working because I have to work on weekends and his off days are on weekends.
  3. Will I actually have a life? The odd working hours? HMmmmm.....
  4. Worst of all, is it worth it for me to sacrifice all these important things in my life for such a LOW salary? I gather not. I'd rather my sisters pay me what they plan to pay the nurse and look after my parents, if I am to be paid that much only. I think I deserve much more for what I am willing to offer.

I hope not all F& B industries are like the company I went to. Hopefully, I will find better companies, if not, don't be suprised to see me running a little stall in the market.

Monday, April 28, 2008


I'm feeling anxious. I have never been to a job interview before. I have been to those minor part-time job interviews but never something serious. I got my previous job without having to go for any interview. I was offered the job and I took it.

I plan to go for a job interview tomorrow, I'm abit lost. I'm scared actually for I don't know what to expect. It's not a dream job but I'll be happy if I get the job. Maybe I'm abit desperate but I just want to start working again and feel useful. But it's not a really chin chai job lah. The position is management trainee, my sister said the company is not established enough but I thought perhaps that's where I can learn and gain experience. It's a popular food chain company, anyway I hope everything goes well tomorrow.

27 April 08

I went to church this morning. Dad and mom can be insensitive, they sometimes block the road, a car was reversing into the parking lot when my dad walked into the lot and stood still watching me help my mom out of the car. The driver stopped and waited for me to move him away. He did not honk, he just waited. When we walked into the church, I bumped into the driver, he just smiled at me in the most friendly manner. I felt so happy, happy to know that people can be so kind.
During mass, a warden walks to my mom and tells her and dad to not queue during communion as the Communion will be brought to them. We don’t know these people but they seem to understand the difficulties my parents have and they always try their best to make things easy for them. Dad with his dementia often makes surprising remarks and comments but people tend to be understanding and respond to him in the most comforting manner instead of walking off ignoring him.
I am grateful to meet such kind people, they help me to be positive and not be discouraged by my dad’s condition. We are strangers yet, they bring a little bit of sunshine into our lives.
It’s now my turn to see what can I do for others. I have aging parents who are sick but I guess it’s no excuse for me not to do my part in society. Not now maybe but once I get myself adapted to Penang and a job, I ought to do my part.
Fr. Fabian said in his homily today that whenever there’s challenging moments, we have two choices. The first one would be to just shake your hands and head and say “aiyoh or haiyor or alamak” and continue shaking. The other option we have is to roll up your sleeves and start cleaning the mess. I find the shaking of hands and head very tiring and it creates misery. So the rolling of sleeves suit me better. At least I don’t have the mess clinging on to me for the rest of my life (hopefully lah)

26 April 08

Beep, beep, beep….Jennifer, Jennifer, Jennifer….I rushed out to find Uncle Lim on his bike. “ So, tomorrow, you are going to take your parents to Church hor?”
While I had been away, Uncle Lim has been bringing my parents to Church every Sunday without fail at least for the past two years. Many people call him “Kay Poh Chee” (means busybody) but many old folks in our neighborhood would have been left miserable if not for him. He knows who is lonely and helpless and constantly needs help. In his “Kay Poh Chee” manner, he brings cheer into the hearts of many. Even when someone passes on, Uncle Lim is there to help unfaithful children with their lonely parent’s funeral arrangement without passing any judgmental remarks. He brings comfort and security to many.
Before he rode off on his old bike, Uncle Lim said “if you need any help ah, don’t feel shy to ask you know, just call me, even if it’s 1am, 2am, don’t worry. Call my house phone first but if no one answer then call my hand phone, you have my number hor? I know it is not easy for you so don’t be afraid to ask for anything. Me and Aunty Ivy is around to help, we always keep you in prayer you know, cough, cough. Cough…” and he rode his bike away.
I really felt like crying when he said those words. Somehow he makes me have those self pity feelings because his words are always so comforting. He is not rich, with no proper car (my Proton is in a better condition than his own car), he smokes like a chimney but he is what a Catholic ought to be, forever faithful to the one above. Mind you, he is a convert and his wife is not yet a Catholic.

25 April 08

I am home. I wished I could say it’s home sweet home but I can’t. I see my dad deteriorating. He is less able to help himself these days and he needs more attention. My mum is not too well either but she is less attention seeking as my dad is. Mum is happy with her naps and the T.V series. Dad is always anxious and uncertain (perhaps I do acquire some of his triads). He is always insecure and always worries about things that don’t exist. As some of you already know, he suffers from dementia and his condition has led him to depression. The anxiety that he has leads to other minor health problems. It is challenging to feed him, what more to make sure that he drinks enough water. Dad’s condition is serious, he cannot be left alone unattended, he needs to depend on others.
When I decided that I wanted to come home and live with my parents, I was not prepared for this. I thought I could manage. I realized that things were not that simple when I lived with them for 1 month in January. This time around, I realized that it was almost impossible for me to care for them alone. I need help. Many people come to offer help, I know their intentions are good but sometimes I find it challenging to entertain them for I feel as if I’m expected to care for my parents according to what they think it’s best. Whether these kind people help or not, I still don’t think I can cope with my parents alone if I wish to have a career of my own.
I have spoken to my sisters and they agreed to employ a somebody to help in caring for my parents. We are searching but I don’t know how to get one. Private nurses are not cheap. The thought of employing a foreign worker is there but then again, why should we employ a foreign worker when many locals need a job? I am tempted to offer this job to the locals but then again, I do not know how to open my mouth and ask. Society has made a house assistant’s job to be so degrading that many would rather work as factory operators or sales girls even though the salary may be lesser with longer working hours.
And so, my worries continue but then again, I’m not depressed over it. Somehow, this morning, when I helped my dad, the usual frustrations just was not there, it took me sometime to realize that I was not so angry, in fact I was so into attending to him that I just forgot how inconvenient it was to be doing what I was doing. Perhaps God is doing His job in the most subtle manner. Nevertheless, I thank him for guiding me through all these.

Saturday, April 26, 2008

Some of you may be wondering what am I up to now that I'm back home. So here are some updates.......

  1. I miss KL for many, many, many reasons that I can't find time to list down and I don't think it's that important for me to announce.
  2. Yet, I'm glad to be home in the Island of Penang, to the place where people are helpful and friendly and less culculative, of course the motorcyclist drives me nuts at times but I can tolerate that. Penang is where the opposition party rulez...I'm rather keen to see what the new government has to offer.
  3. I'm busy doing housework, a neverending task in Penang...
  4. I'm job hunting, and is currently very loyal to the newspapers, hoping to find good job opportunities.

So, please pray for me. I really need lots of guidance at the moment

24 April 08

I leave for Penang today after spending three days in KL. For the past three days, I had mixed feelings. Part of me was glad to be home whilst another part of me felt hopeless and useless. While others were busy with life, I seemed to be too free. I was restless to be honest, I wanted to have something to do. I wanted to be employed and to be useful.

Yet I am scared. I know what lies ahead and I don’t want to face it. I loved the freedom I had in KL. I loved living alone, away from certain attachments and responsibilities. I treasured the personal space and time that I had to do the many things I desired. I enjoyed being rebellious, to not have someone to report to at the end of the day.

All these has ended, I am going home. Perhaps it’s time for me to grow up and to take responsibility of certain things that I have always avoided. I don’t like what lies ahead but I know I won’t be at peace if I continue to run. I must face it but I’m not ready yet to be responsible. I don’t look forward to meeting the over caring people who tells me that “I should” and “I must” do this and that, I want to avoid people who ask “how come”, “why” I don’t do this and that.

I fear my emotions too, I fear my temper, I fear depression and I fear guilt. Yes, my future seems scary.

Meanwhile, my heart aches for two people who has a special place in my heart. One of them has lost her father Mr. Anthony Toh while the other one lost her most beloved grandpa Mr. John Tan. I don’t know how to console in moments like this but I do pray that their father, grandpa will rest in peace. For the many good deeds that had done while they were alive, I’m sure they will never be forgotten.

22 April 08

According to somebody and somebody else, the dentist who treated me this morning was the most eligible bachelor dentist. He has the cutest butt in faculty even though he had put on some weight since last semester. He is the kindest and the most caring dentist in the faculty and somebody would want to have him as her future husband if she had a choice.

Yes that was how the students at Xavier Hall described my dentist and guess what, I missed it all. I was not aware of all these, therefore I did not realize that he had a cute butt and that he was that charming. Nevertheless, I think I was lucky to have him as my doctor because he managed to remove my problematic wisdom tooth without having to cut my gum. Though his four attempts to dig my teeth out did scare the hell out of me, I am glad that I did not have to pay a single cent for the treatment, thanks to Ai Ling for setting up a date for me with this cute doctor.

Thanks to the numbness from the treatment, the students at Xavier Hall enjoyed a good lunch with best compliments from me. I was high on ecstasy after the treatment. I just wanted to celebrate. I drove to PJ Old Town market, bought 1 whole chicken, 2 bitter gourds, 3 tofu’s and 1 salted fish, 10 eggs, 1 kilo of rice and whipped up a surprisingly delicious lunch for the residents in the house. I fed around 15 hungry girls that afternoon. It was indeed satisfying but shocking. I never expected myself to do something as crazy as that.

After lunch was over and everyone had gone for their exams, the numbness left and hell broke loose. The pain was unbearable. As I sat in KFC watching Isaac eat his fried chicken, I wanted to just swallow painkillers…..the pain is still unbearable but I guess it would have been worst if it was a surgery.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Remembering Sydney

The Farm and Nambucca

My most expensive breakfast ever $ 13.90 and sydney city

Sydney Opera House and The Harbor Bridge
Bluemountains and Hunter valley

My favourite Hyde Park and the most popular Australian Native Plant

Talented Stree Performers

Beautiful Waters

In the city


Saturday, April 19, 2008

I am watching Fox New as I write this post. The Pope is celebrating mass in St. Patrick’s Cathedral in the U.S. The cathedral is crowded, everyone is seated, ready and waiting for the mass to begin. 28,000 people are said to be at the mass but what is seen inside the Cathedral is that only priest, religious and dignitaries fit into the Cathedral where else common lay people are no where to be seen. Perhaps the crowd is outside.
It seemed to be such a pity that the chances of an ordinary Catholic meeting his holiness is almost nil. I was told that even during the World Youth Day this year, one needs to buy tickets to ensure that they get to enter the venue where the mass is to be celebrated. Interesting is it not? I shan’t elaborate anymore on this matter.
Tonight is my last night in Sydney, coincidently, it is also the Jewish Passover. Many Jews were seen dressed in their traditional attire walking on the streets to spend time with their family. I spent my evening with my family too. Tonight, I met my cousins for dinner. It was nice. We were strangers initially but now we are family. I no more wonder who are they or how do they look like. I know now, who they are and I can proudly declare that these are my cousins and I know them. It was a beautiful ending to my stay here.
Tomorrow is going to be a long day, it might be the longest night for me. My flight is 10hours. I just realized that it’s not a direct flight, I’m actually flying to Brisbane first before Kuala Lumpur. Pray that I have a safe and pleasant flight. I look forward to being in Malaysia again.

Oh Malaysia

I am going home tomorrow to the place I belong.
To see the familiar faces of those I love and miss,

to lead a normal life once again.

The days spent here I shall miss,
the precious memories I cherish
The lessons learned, never be forgotten.

Scared? I am not,
Anxiousness is what I have.
With hope and dreams to achieve,

Malaysia here I come.

Friday, April 18, 2008

Until we meet again....

Goodbyes are always difficult to say, especially to the people you love. Often, we take people’s presence for granted and when it’s time to say goodbye, we wish we had spent more time together. Leaving Xavier Hall was in fact difficult for me. I had become accustomed to the place I called my second home. It was a comfortable dwelling place with many other residents to have as companions. I have left the place for four months already but my heart still very much remains in Xavier Hall and I do miss the days spent there.
Today, Gilda will be leaving KL and Xavier Hall after three years. When I moved into XH last year around this time, it was Gilda and Jo who welcomed me into the place and helped me get adjusted. I hope she has a memorable farewell. Xavier Hall is definitely going to miss her. Her very permanent smiley face and loud cheerful laughter has through the years brightened XH. It’s such a pity that I could not be present to say goodbye. Nevertheless, I wish her happiness in life and may she continue to be a sunshine in everyone’s heart bringing much joy and laugher in the lives of those she meets.

Goodbye Gilda Jan, and until we meet again, God bless. I’m waiting for you to come to Penang.
I watched the movie “Hotel Rwanda” last night, the similar feeling of sadness and shock when I watched the movie “Shooting Dogs” overwhelmed me. Both of these movies showed how violent people can be, to cold bloodedly murder another living being without having any sense of guilt or compassion.
It is indeed shocking to realize that human beings have the ability to be cruel towards another being. To me, it is unacceptable when a majority of people choose to wipe out innocent people mercilessly for no solid reason. How can people actually choose to join in the crowd to do things that they know is not right. It makes me wonder sometimes if those people actually use their brains to think, for if they do, obviously they must be suffering from some mental breakdown so much so that they are unable to control their emotions and conduct such inhuman acts without having any sense of guilt.
What has happened in Rwanda has toned down but in many parts of the world such violence still exist. People are still being murdered for not specific reason. The UN and other peacekeepers can work efficiently and do their job but violence will never end if we continue to allow crazy leaders to poison the minds of the innocents and convert them to be heartless beings.
I am not a perfect human being, often, I have evil thoughts too. However, there is also compassion and charity within me and these little voices always prevent me from going overboard with my actions. I believe everyone has those little voices too, perhaps they were too scared to listen to it and opted instead to follow the crowd because it was more convenient? I seriously do not believe that human beings were born to be evil, God would never have made us this way.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

I went to Nambucca with an anxious heart. It's difficult to put my experience into words, so there are the pictures to tell the story......

At Nambucca, I stayed at Marcus and Neil's house. They live in a simple town house. You can see the coast from their house, the scenery is really beautiful. It was my first time meeting Neil. He is a nice man, a graphic artist from Gold Coast. I felt awkward initially, to be staying with two men in a house, but they really made me feel at home.

This is the Nambucca River, the town is named after this River which means "Crooked River" in Aborigine language. Most places in Australia are named in Aborigine language, that's why they sound a little odd and can be hard to pronounce

The river is rich with Oysters, many of these oysters are sold in Sydney. Though they are found all year round, locals encourage to only consume these oysters during certain months as they may be polluted due to the change of weather conditions.

Besides, the Oysters, Nambucca is also unique because of it's beach, the beach is full of these black rocks which are said to be a result of Volcano eruptions many years ago. The Volcano is no more active but it has left the area very furtile. During certain months, the whales pass through Nambucca and if you are lucky, you may be able to see them and their blowholes. Another common visitor to this coastal area are the dolphins.

My cousin and Neil owns a farm on the mountains near Nambucca. By profession, Marcus is a nurse but he has taken up farming as a part time. We bought some seafood up the mountains to enjoy. I had a dozen of Oysters for breakfast. It was delicious to eat it with the lime grown in the farm

These are the limes we picked. It's very large, almost the size of oranges. It's very juicy and taste something between lemon and orange, a lovely combination to have with the Oysters. It was no easy to pluck these fruits off the tree initially because they are thorny and we did not bring the right instruments to pluck, we ended up giving the tree a good shake.

Here's a view of the valley from the farm and that good old truck belongs to Marcus and Neil, very old but tahan lasak. It can drive through plants and small trees. I thought it was scary initially but got used to it after a while

These are macadamia nuts. It is also grown in the farm. These nuts are one of my favourites but they are very expensive. Macadamia nuts are one of the most difficult nuts to crack, forget using a hammer to open it, it does not work.

Ah, this is Oscar, their pet dog. He is well loved by them. Oscar has killed around 8 snakes. He eats two eggs per day in addition to his dog food. Oscar responds like a human being. I like him but because he is not that young anymore, he can be pretty lazy at times, needs to be carried off the truck.

These are Oscar's best friends, actually Oscar is afraid of them. These steak cows belongs to Marcus and Neil,there are eight of them all together. Very tame and they look really healthy. Here's Marcus trying to have a good conversation with them and of course, Oscar feels more secure to be with his daddy.

So I guess it's very much obvious that I had a good time. We also went to a pub called "No Beer Pub". They brew their own beer and we were not sure which one to buy, so we asked if we could try. They let us taste the different products and by the time we decided on the beer we liked, we were half drunk. I really felt bad. oh yeah, I finally tasted Crocodile meat. I had it in a pie. It's white meat, taste like something between chicken and fish.
I'm done with Australia, am looking forward to seeing Malaysia again.

Monday, April 14, 2008

I can't see what lies ahead.....

I'm the yougest child in my family and in my family tree, I'm also the last born in my generation. I have no siblings or cousins who are younger than me. And so, the age gap between me and my cousins are pretty wide. My eldest cousin is seventy two years old while my sister who is the second youngest in my generation is eight years older than I am.

I was never seen as a peer among my cousins, I was always considered as "the small one" or some would call me "Kechik" because that was what my Aunt's servant used to call me. Today, I'm no more that "Kechik" and my cousins cannot treat me as a kid anymore. As our age gap is so wide, I know so little about my cousins, I have little memories of them, all I can remember is that they pampered me and nothing more.

Tomorow, I am going on an interesting trip. I will be travelling to Nambucca Heads with my fourty-four year old cousin whom I hardly know. I am anxious, I don't know what to expect, it's going to be just me and him and probably his partner. I hardly know him but at the same time, I want to know him better. Besides, Nambucca Heads is such an interesting place to check out. It is a small town and probably very authentic. My cousin is a male nurse but he has a farm there thus making my trip even more exciting. I think it's going to be a sleepless night tonight......

The Dark Room

Since leaving KL, I began to read again. It was a challenge initially, with so many distractions around me especially the 'idiot box'. I started off by finishing two books in a month and when I came to Sydney, Bob encouraged me to read more. Thanks to the library here, it was not difficult to get hold of good books to read. And so, I've been on a R.K Narayan marathon. It is not very addictive though (for not all his works are ultimately fascinating) but it's a good past time, it had my brains thinking.

After finishing "The Memoir" I went on to read "The Dark Room" a story with no ending. I was left frustrated but I really liked the first half of the book. It was written from a woman's perspective and I thought it was good because R.K himself is actually a man. I wonder how would an Indian man respond to "The Dark Room". The book is about the relationship between an Indian couple whereby the wife is dutiful to the husband and the children while the husband on the other hand is a successful business man who believes that as the head of the family, he is never wrong. The book also touched on the Indian culture and how sometimes culture contradicts with human rights.

Now that I'm done with the "Dark Room", I'm hoping to complete "The World of Nagaraj" before I leave Sydney.

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Where are you?

I am sad, I am annoyed, I lost my sunglasses, yes my very hebat punya sunglasses. I don't know where is it and I've searched high and low. I am heart broken. It was not cheap I got it during sale for RM 100 ++ and I need it, not to show off but to protect my eyes especially when I'm driving. It's bad enough to be without the sunglasses here as the sun is very glaring, what more to not have it when I go back and begin to drive. Sigh....

Friday, April 11, 2008

The way home

I went to the Gleebe just now via Broadway. It was pleasant and interesting to walk around the town that surrounds University of Sydney which is by the way the oldest university in Australia. I thought the campus was beautiful and I couldn't imagine myself as a student there. As usual, I saw more Asians than Ang Moh's around the campus. Oriental students to be specific. I also learned that one can easily identify a Malaysian student the moment he/she opens their mouth. Manglish sounds really funny in Australia and to be honest many of us are not very soft spoken. So in other words, it can be very mempersiasuikan.Sigh...but that's what we are isn't it?

Since I've been over eating of late, i decided to walk all the way back to my sister's apartment in Kensington, it was a one hour walk. I took the Surry Hills route and I had a fright of my life there. There were a few drunks on the street, drunks who picked on passer-bys for attention. I know that such encounters are a norm here but i did not expect it to happen at daylight. What saddened me was a young lady, probably my age or younger who was so drunk that she was out of her mind. She danced on the walkway and spoke loudly to nobody. I felt sorry for her. I had difficulty accepting the fact that she is so young and yet her life seems to be in such a mess. I found it to be terribly disturbing.

I have become immune to seeing beggars and homeless people on the street but whenever I see young people amongst these people, my heart really aches. I cannot imagine myself in their shoes.

Thursday, April 10, 2008

A Memoir

I am an English Literature graduate but I hate declaring it to people who ask reason being I threw my three years in campus not focusing on my studies. So much so that I probably missed out in acquiring the kind of knowledge a person with a literature degree ought to have. I studied literature because it was the only way I could get into a local university since I did badly in my STPM and my results proved that I was not good enough to study any other course. I could have done better for my degree but I did not, thus making myself unworthy to be called a literature graduate.

Though I studied literature, I never understood why Shakespeare deserved to be rated above the other literary writers. I found his works to be over flowery so much so that sometimes I wish he had just gotten straight to the point but of course that would mean that his works would be extremely short. I found delight in Asian literature, perhaps it was because I could relate better, to be able to feel with the author. The very first book that left an impact in me was “The Untouchable” by the very unpopular Mulk Raj Anand whose books cannot be found anywhere in Malaysia. I fell in love with the book immediately after reading it and craved to read of his other works but unfortunately, that was probably the only book he ever wrote. I diverted my interest to R.K Narayan after that. He is a little bit more popular than Mr. Anand but not popular enough to be a superstar author like Mr. V.S Naipul.

I had the outmost respect for R.K Narayan, I thought he wrote his works with great wisdom. Today, I read his memoir, a personal narration of his life, I was left speechless. Our friend was a son of a school headmaster with a bright future ahead of him but he took the road less traveled. He struggled through his school years, not that he could not cope with it, he was just not interested, eventually he abandoned school. For a few years, he was jobless. He had many job offers but he walked out of those jobs because they were not exciting enough. He fed on his parents money as an adult with no proper income to sustain himself what more to help his family who was struggling financially. Yes, he was easily seen as the ‘good for nothing’ son. He remained stubborn, and selfish. He was conscious that he was living like a parasite but he did not care much, he spent his days writing even thought no publisher accepted his works and he continued living that way for many years even after he got married. He became a free lance writer who wrote for newspapers and magazines with no stable income. After many years of perseverance, he eventually managed to write something which the publishers thought was worthy enough to be published the book was called ‘Swami and Friends’ and there was no turning back after that.

As I read his memoir, I related my current life with R.K’s life. I see myself at the present as a parasite, jobless and living off my sister’s expenses. I don’t want to be like R.K, I want to pursue my dreams in a more noble manner, I want to be of use to society even as I begin my journey to pursue my dreams. R.K has given me hope that success is a possibility as long as we don’t loose sight of our dreams.

My passion is cooking, my dream is to bring joy to people through their stomach yet part of me remains dissatisfied that I actually wasted three years of my university days not achieving what I should have. I am very tempted to…….I shan’t continue, just in case critics begin to throw their knifes at me for being so fickle minded.

And i'll be missing this soon...

The idea of me coming to Sydney is so that I may see the world, and so Bob made a list of "jenn has never done before" and he is sure making a point to help me tick off the list before I leave, and so my exposure continued yesterday with me going into a pub, it was actually my third pub in Sydney, nevertheless, I Had a fantastic time!

No, no, I'm not turning into an alcoholic, I can't drink much and that's the truth, my limit with alcohol is two mugs of beer or two glasses of wine and that's it. If I take more than that, my day will be ruined and I'll start regretting that I took any of those drinks.

And so, back to my pub experience, we went to this Heritage Belgian Beer Cafe at Harrington Street (if you ever visit Sydney, you must not miss this experience). It was really nice and crowded, there were so many kinds of beer at the bar and I was left confused, Bob chose a Leffe Abbey beer which tasted so good with the mussels and chips. I had never enjoyed chips that much before. These bars are unique because they are proud of their heritage and they stick to traditions when it comes to serving their drink, therefore the authentic feel is there. To me, hanging out in these pubs are not just about drinking, it's about enjoying the company you are with and also the ambience of the place in the company of other customers as well.

This pub thingy is definitely something I'll be missing when I go back home for very clear reasons, most of my friends don't drink, there is a stereotype mentality towards drinking, pubs in M'sia charge so much, the idea of having a good drink with friends is defeated back home because people tend to try too hard enjoying themselves that it becomes so unnatural......blah...blah...blah
(the very crowded beer cafe and the traditional leffe abbey beer glass which they still use till today)

Wednesday, April 09, 2008

I am antisocial

I suffer from low self esteem, I think very little of myself and I tend to belittle myself very often. I feel inferior when I’m with people. I knew I had this problem, and I accepted it as normal. I lived with it until I came here. I realized that it was not normal and that I was slowly killing my own spirit if I continue living like that, leaving myself at the risk of falling into depression.
Whenever I meet new people, I expect them not to think highly of me. I always feel that these people have friends who are way better than me and that they are just being kind to me. I hardly express myself and is extremely careful with my actions and words so much so that there is no avenue for people to know me better.
I started to behave like this when I lived with my sister many years ago. She is thirteen years older than I am and I used to tag along in their social outings. I saw myself as a nobody in the midst of those adults. In no position to give any opinion because, to me, those adults were professionals and there was nothing I could offer them. The feeling of being small eventually sipped into my blood and became a habit which I carried with me till today.
I see myself inferior even when I’m with kids. Kids here are very friendly, they talk to you as if they’ve known you for years. I had difficulty responding to their friendliness and I see this as a major problem. How am I to communicate with the world when I can’t even handle a little kid. Gheez…I really don’t like this behavior of mine. I think I have a communication crisis here, I’m scared to open my mouth, most of the time I mumble and my head is blank most of the time because I don’t know how to respond to the friendliness of the people around me. I feel like an antisocial!

( I have no problems with him though)

Tuesday, April 08, 2008


I'm back from Hunter Valley, it was a fantastic weekend spent with some great people who made the trip a total "Syiokalimgam".

We stayed over at the Indian Ridge, a wooded cottage filled with red Indian elements. There the eight of us cooked and played games as we sipped on a great variety of fine wines. The whole idea of going to Hunter Valley was to hunt for good wines and we completed this assignment pretty well by filling the car booths with boxes of wine.

There are more than two hundred wineries in hunter valley, none of it produces the same product, every winery has a character of it's own and tasting these wines itself is an adventure of it's own. What I liked about this trip was that we got to taste different types of wine for free and we were not obligated to buy from any wineries despite the great hospitality. It was also enjoyable to meet the person behind the counter, each of them had a story to tell, some of them were so down to earth that all of us left the place smiling from ear to ear.

I'm not an avid wine drinker, neither do I know much about wine but that did not stop me from enjoying myself. So, if you are visiting Australia, do include winery tours in your activity lists. Of course, it'll be more enjoyable to visit it with friends so that you can discuss your experience with.

(the syiokalingam group playing with puppies and having a good time at Briar Ridge winery. It was the best, I loved all their wine)

Sunday, April 06, 2008

What's interesting about writing is that it's so easy to write about everything that is under the sun but when it comes to writing about something that is very personal, you just can't seem to find the right words.

Anyway, here's a birthday wish to someone who has a special place in my life, someone of whom I've known for seven years, someone who has been a good friend and companion, someone whom my parents enjoy spending time with, someone who has supported me in the many things that I do, someone whose actions show that I'm being loved and cared for very much.

Happy Birthday Leslie. Hoping to celebrate many more of your birthdays with you.

Thursday, April 03, 2008

Carry Me!

He had just woken up,
blur as he usually is.
He scratches his back,
gives a big yawn.
He looks around him,
still not wide awake,
he puts his head down again,
considering to continue his sleep.

The wind gushes,
the leaves rustle,
his eyes are open again.
He looks around
Suddenly, he is wide awake.
He stretches out
But he can't reach
He moves his position,
hoping to get what he wants.

He fails

Anxious and desperate he becomes.
He moves again,
still he cannot reach.
Hands stretched upwards,
he looks up,
with his pleading eyes
he looks at me as if to say,

To be honest, I never thought much of koalas. To me, they are just another animal, no big deal and over commercialized. My main intention of going to the park was to see the kangaroos, in fact, the animal that eventually caught my attention was the wombat, so fat and cute. The koalas were always sleeping, always in their own world, couldn't be bothered with anything else.
And so, I was at a park, I had gone round the park, had a good time with all the animals, before we left, I told Bob that I wanted to have another look at the wombat and as I was walking towards the wombat, I saw this koala, it was awake. It saw me and tried to reach me, so many times. It tried to reach me so that I could carry it. I fell in love with it immediately. You know, I made no effort to catch it's attention but it just came to me. Such a wonderful feeling it was to have someone / animal reaching out to me, desiring to be cuddled, to be loved. It was so cute. To be honest, I wish I could bring it home.

(Jenn's going hunting at hunter valley this weekend, simply jenn takes a break over the weekend)

Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Somebody please explain....

What's with the "F" word, someone please explain it to me. It's so commonly used nowadays. Is it because it sound's cool? It sounds nice? I just don't understand. Most of the time, the use is grammatically incorrect plus if you match it with the meaning, it does not make any sense, for example:

" 'F***', he won't answer the call"
" That stupid shop is closed, 'WTF'"
" Your 'F*****' car...."

And the interesting part is that some people are so proud to use it that they say the word loud and clear, making sure that no one misses his statement, gheezzzzz........

Tuesday, April 01, 2008

This gulab jamun, smelled and tasted like the gulab jamun I fell in love with twenty five years ago. For twenty years, I have searched for this familiar taste and had found no contentment in any of the gulab jamuns found in the market no matter how much I paid. Today, in Cleveland Street, in the midst of Surry Hills, I finally found my Gulab Jamun. It had the Punjabi touch. It tasted similar to the one our Punjabi neighbor used to give us during Deepavali until she passed on. Oh my, I savored every bit of it, carefully rationing every bite of it, leaving some for tomorrow and the day after tomorrow.
How does it taste? Indescribable! Sensationally wonderful to the tongue!
It took me twenty years to find a shop that sold such lovely and authentic gulab jamun, no shop in Malaysia had satisfied me this much, therefore if you don’t like the taste of gulab jamun, blame it on the shops, I had to throw away many gulab jamuns before this because it was filled with syrup and flour and was no where near to it’s original taste.

I Close My Eyes, A Final Dedication

Isn't time amazing? How the years slip away. Suddenly and sadly, you are only a memory now and finally I have found the time to sit down and write this dedication to you. I admit I have procrastinated perhaps because this is a tangible affirmation that you are gone, something that has taken me a long long time to accept.

Where are you now? We all thought you were immortal. People still approach me and say " I'm so sorry about your father, he was a great man", and I think-my God, you're never coming back are you?

You know, I play that day-4th July 1991- back to myself in my mind all the time. I ask myself why? Why did you resist and put up a fight dad? Why did you not let those man get what they want and walk away? Were you in pain when they took your life away? I pray that you died peacefully, without pain; this is something that will taunt me for the rest of my life, I know you are peaceful now.

In the evenings when I hear the turn of the keys in the front door, I close my eyes and expect you to walk through the door and feel the pat of your hand on my head. I close my eyes and hear your voice at the kitchen, is dad talking in there. I close my eyes and smell hospital corridors on your shirt that now belong to your sons. I still see scraps of your handwriting on cards and notes that are buried in my drawer and I remember the skin of your surgeon's hands made soft through the years of careful washing. I sometimes look in the mirror and see traces of your face staring back at me- a smile, a frown- the image of a Father. I still believe that one day you'll call me to say that it was all a big mistake and that you're coming home.

Not one day has passed without me thinking of you, I expect I always will. Sometimes I burn a candle for you in St. Mary's Cathedral and I cry. I realized we only loved you as any family would love their Father whilst your patients saw you as their saviour, a miracle worker.

From your death, I've learned that greed distorts and destroys. That each life is precious and often fragile thing, taste it, smell it, touch it, laugh at it, embrace it. Appreciate little moments, make most of what you have; savor each memory, tell People you love that you love them-all the time-not just when something goes wrong. Have compassion for others, make your time worthwhile.

Life must be celebrated, death will be mourned; besides I have my memories
and when I miss you, I just close my eyes.

This was written on the wall in the park opposite St. Vincent's Hospital in memory of Dr. Victor Chang, a famous heart surgeon who was murdered in 1991 by robbers, 1 of whom was a Malaysian. I was deeply touched by what I read.