Friday, February 20, 2009

It was a fruitful trip. I am surprised myself by how much I gained from the trip. I achieved almost everything I wanted from the trip and even got myself a bonus or two from it.
Firstly, I managed to meet up with many people within the five days starting from people in the chapel, my ex-boss, XH friends, XH housemates, ex-colleagues, ex-roommate, boyfriend, sister and family etc. I even got to stay over at Dora’s and my sister’s house. Minus the people at the chapel, I met up with at least 20 people and I do consider that as an achievement. Of course, there were many other people whom I wanted to meet but did not have the opportunity to do so due to many reasons.
Besides meeting people, I also got some chores done, I had everything I planned to do done except for closing a bank account which I later opted to keep. Firstly, I was lucky enough to celebrate Iris’s birthday with her. Then I managed to finally open a bank account which took me five years to open (the administration staff tried again to delay the process but since I did my homework, I managed to persuade them to finally open the account for me). I also managed to get my teeth scaled on the final day of my trip. Besides that, I also got to get rid of the cracks on my heels. My feet now looks so different from how it has been for the past many years, it looks lovely in my eyes.
Nothing that I gained from the trip can be shown to people in Penang for all that was gained were matters that are only meaningful to me. Friends in Penang may not be able to understand the goodness of this trip and I have nothing to show off to them, yet I am so happy that I took my leave and made the trip possible. Thank you everyone who contributed in making this trip meaningful.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Thursday, February 12, 2009

How I spent February week 1

I’ve been missing in action for some time. What have I been up to? Well…..I think I’ve done lots.
1. Friends from KL visited me. It was delightful to have Lee Fah and Siew Leng visiting me. I must admit that I was not the perfect host this time around but I’m glad that they came and I’m glad that I managed to make the best out of the things and spend some precious moments catching up with them. It is nice to know that despite not meeting them for almost a year, there is still much to talk about.
2. I went to Thaipusam 3 times! I bumped into the celebration while the chariot was making it’s way to the temple. The 2nd time, I purposely took Siew Leng and Lee Fah there at midnight just to watch the Kavadis and the piercing ceremony. The 3rd time, I followed Karamjit and that was the most memorable experience as I helped out at the drinks stall. I helped to serve drinks and food to the devotees, I helped to arrange and decorate their stall, I mingled with the aunties and their children and I enjoyed myself. Of course curiosity came crawling in to my mind from time to time. Sometimes I found the answer, sometimes I did not. Nevertheless, I admire the Hindus for their devotion towards God. Religion indeed is such a beautiful thing.
3. Someone in campus organized a hiking trip to Pantai Kerachut and I joined 20 of my colleagues for the trip. We walked through the National Park and it was like a dream come through experience for I had always wanted to do the walk and I finally did it. It was a very fruitful trip as I got to mingle and know some of my colleagues better for we are usually so busy with our work that we hardly have time to talk and chat.
4. I have a colleague who likes photography, a fellow colleague loaned her an SLR camera and she asked if I could do some shots for her. I did it and the photos turned out surprisingly well. The camera owner encouraged me to pursue on photography and yesterday, we did some photo shooting at three different places. It was interesting to follow a professional photographer around as he did his job. I admit that I have fallen in love with the SLR camera but of course, there’s still much for me to learn. Not everyone of my shots were good.
5. Ok, I might be pursuing my studies. I’ve been meeting a potential supervisor and we have somehow narrowed down to a topic. I have not been working much on my proposal, somehow I neglected it during the holiday season and yes, I am trying to get back to work and get myself registered as a masters student. Why do I want to do my masters? Well, I see it as a necessity, I’m not moving forward at work, I lack in some skills as well as knowledge. I hope that the research will help me to be more focused on what I’m doing.
So…..all the above have made me not spend much time online, thus the reason why this blog has not been updated.

(Some of my shots- click on the pictures to see in detail)

Sunday, February 08, 2009

I'm waiting for someone, so I decided to kill time by going to the cyber cafe. It is a big cafe, with more than 100 computers. Business is good. The place is filled with teenagers who are engrossed with their game of Dota. It cost RM 2 for an hour to use the computers and I believe these people have been here long before I came in. The boy next to me can't keep his mouth shut. It is as if he is speaking to the computer. I hear foul languages everywhere.....gosh, I wanna get out of here.
I knew the waterfall road would be congested but I purposely drove into it. My reason? I wanted to see. I like festivals, I am fascinated by cultures. I'm always curious to know why humans believe in certain things. I walked into the Thaipusam celebration yesterday and I was glad to be able to watch how the Penang Indians practiced their faith. I saw how families did their holy walk up to the temple. I was touched by the family unity in those families. It was nice to see siblings holding each other's hands while fathers carried their child in their hands. Barefooted Indians were everywhere. Everyone had their own personal reasons why they were there. I saw the kavadi bearers, I saw those pierced skin and I still continue to wonder how these people are able to put those metal pieces through their skin without getting injured. I'm glad to be in Penang, to be exposed to this unique culture.

Saturday, February 07, 2009

The pest

I've found a nice place near my college to have my breakfast. It's a makeshift coffee shop with a lady selling homemade Indian food. I enjoy her roti's with nescafe. Every morning, some men will occupy a table in that shop to have their coffee. They gossip alot and talk about everything that is under the sun. Little did I know that they actually observe me.
One day, after I left, one of them asked the Indian lady what she knew about me. One of his question was if I whether I was married. He asked her if she could dig some of my information for him and she responded by asking him to look at the mirror.
I was not aware about all these things until one day, I went to the shop again with an Indian friend and the lady told my friend what happened and they had a good laugh out of it. I on the other hand did not feel very comfortable with the idea that I was being observed.
This morning, I went to the coffee shop again for my breakfast and upon my arrival, that man found his guts and tried to capture my attention by announcing my arrival to the Indian lady ' nah, you punya customer sudah datang oh, dia selalu datang you kasi dia lebih sikit lah, jangan kedukut lo.'
Girls like compliments but it has to come from the right persons. Or else, it becomes a ................I'll end it here.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

Another student was caught cheating again, this time not by me. It was Ms. W, who caught the girl. Ms W is well known for her ability to catch Miss and Mister Sneaky Eyes and Sneaky Hands during exams. What will happen to this girl? She will be expelled from college if the disciplinary board finds her guilty.

I caught a student cheating once. I felt bad when I caught him for I knew he might be expelled from the school. Although I felt bad, I had to be fair. What he did was not right and I could not close my eyes and pretended that it never happened. I'm just grateful that I never taught him or else I would have really felt terrible for sending my own student for expulsion. To be more precise, heartbroken.

There was an empty table in the examination hall this morning, a table that was suppose to belong to a boy who was killed in a car accident a few days ago. He was not a high profile student. He was inactive in class but was not a problematic student. He was killed while travelling back to Penang from his hometown, his friend was driving and he was the passenger. His friend survived but the student's head was nearly severed off and he died instantly. No witness could really describe the whole accident as his friend is still in a state of shock.

Everyday at school is a new day, sometimes the happenings can be shocking. Welcome to reality Jennifer!

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

There are some things in life that we need to let go of if we want to move on with life. But then again, what are the things we should let go of and what are the things we should never let go of? I’m often confused when I need to decide on this matter. Sometimes I wonder if letting go of things that are of value to us for the sake of another person is an act of love or pure stupidity.
I wonder what religious people went through when they decided to serve God and His people. How did they feel about leaving their career and families when they chose to live a consecrated life? Did they not care for their parents? Did they not worry about their aging parents? If I ever decide to put my priorities over other people’s needs, am I being selfish?
Another disturbing thought in Jenn’s head.
I’ll be 30 soon. Not this year but soon enough. Yet, I am not able to see a stable future coming my way yet. I have a vision of what it may be like but I’m not sure if it is the ideal choice. It is easy to dream and to have ideals but it is definitely tough when it’s time to make decisions that will create impacts in our lives. There are many decisions for me to make this year and I am so afraid that I’ll make the wrong moves. I’m afraid of making decisions that I might regret.
Perhaps I am so afraid because I have little faith in myself. I fear that I am not going to be able to stand on my own if promises and assurances that have been made to me fail to be like how it is suppose to be. Someone asked me why did I have so little faith in my own capability and that question struck me to realize that I was not confident of myself. Maybe I have not tried hard and worked hard enough so much so that I see myself lacking in the many things that others have. At the moment, I feel stranded. I have so much to work on and I do not know where to start.
Maybe my problem is that I focus too much of the ’I’ and have forgotten to put ’Him’ into the picture from time to time. It is definitely way easier to be a motivator to others.

Tuesday, February 03, 2009

It is a culture among the Chinese to burn fire crackers as they usher in the Lunar New Year. They burn the fire crackers to remind them of their ancestor’s victory over the ‘nian’, a creature that brought much fear and disrupted the peace of the Chinese once upon a time. Another reason why the Chinese burned the fire crackers is to cast away evil spirits and bad luck from entering their lives for the coming year.
Despite the fact that the burning of the fire crackers is illegal in our country, many still practice this culture. Some practice it for cultural and superstitious reasons while others practice it just for fun. As in merely to join in the crowd and to make the festival merrier.
I’ve grown up listening to the sound of the fire crackers and to be honest, the atmosphere of Chinese New Year would definitely be different without the fire crackers. I have gotten used to it so much so that I’m immune to the sound. Tonight the sound of fire crackers filled the air again as the Hokkeins ushered in their version of the new year. The dogs in every house are nowhere to be seen. Most of them like Brandy are hiding somewhere in the house, under some furniture or vehicle, seeking refuge from the frightening sound let off by the fire works. As I continued to watch the TV, Sokha wakes up from her sleep. She looked worried, confused and scared. Initially I was amused and thought she was being silly. Then, I remembered where Sokha came from - a country where solders and firearms were aplenty.
Some thoughts related to culture came into my head after that but I shall reserve my thoughts for now.