Oct 31, 2010

What would you do?

Simply put, would you beg for love?

A few weeks ago, I received an interesting translation job. I was first told that it was a translation job from Japanese to Malay, a simple "love letter" written by a Japanese to a Malaysian. Not someone to judge nor reject good money, I accepted the job, although my sis did warn me against it.. "what if those two were NOT meant to be together?" "Long-distance relationships are hard, and if he (both of us assumed that it was a "he" writing to a "she") doesn't even bother to learn the language so that they could communicate better, what chance do you think they have?" You can see how "pragmatic" runs in my family.. ;) I was actually more worried about whether I could convey the mushy-ness of the letter properly and sufficiently, especially whether I should tone-up the schmaltzy-ness if I find it lacking or tone-down the lovey-dovey-ness if it was overbearing..

Then I got the actual letter..  Boy, we were so wrong.. first of all, it was written by a Japanese lady to a Malay guy.. secondly, it was more like a letter of desperation than affection.. To summarize it, she is asking him for his phone number so that she could call him after not hearing from him for 2.5 months.. she even promised to only call him during "agreed times" so that she "won't be a nuisance to him"..

When I read the letter, my feelings are mixed. Should I convey the same level of anguish and despair as the writer, or should I toned it down? Was it a one-sided affair? Was he the one assh*** who lead her on and then dumped her? Was she the one unwilling to let go? Was it all just a misappropriation of emotions due to language/culture barrier?? Not knowing anything about either of these protagonists, I can only do my best to put across her feelings without making her looked pitiful.

I know that we need to fight for love, but what is the line between fighting and begging? When it is clear that the "feeling" isn't mutual? When it is obvious that he/she is avoiding us by disappearing? When it is clear that we want more than what he/she is willing to give? When it is apparent that he/she just wanna be friends? When do we know that it is but a lost cause? I for one won't beg.. I will put my case forward and ask the person to choose/make a decision. And I will walk away, if that is the decision, no matter how in love I am with that person.. cos I don't believe in pity nor charity when it comes to the matter of the heart.. Again, that's just me..

With this age of the Social Networking where people say anything and everything over FB, twitter and what-have-yous that they don't mean, where people can friend and then ban you overnight, will this type of speedy make-n-break "relationships" be the norm of the future?

Oct 30, 2010


Nothing beats succumbing to an illness without warning to remind yourself of your own mortality..

I was bedridden for more than 2 days.. I couldn't get out of bed because every time I lift my head up even for an inch, the world spins dizzily around.. the bedroom ceiling, the walls, the cupboards started to turn round and round and round and round.. I had to close my eyes and concentrate on not vomiting as the sense of vertigo and nausea was overwhelming.. It was worst than the most awesome roller coaster ride I ever had.. And of course, sitting up straight was totally out of the question!!

The first thing that came to my mind when this happened was, "Do I have a tumor inside my head now?" Yeah, I know that you must have thought that I had watched way too many dramas/movies to come to that conclusion but hey, when you are scared stiff by the sudden onset of this "head-spinning", you would assume the worst case scenario, won't you?? Add to the fact that I had 2 paternal uncles who died from cancer while in their late thirties/early forties and a cousin, who is just ONE year older than me, who died from another form of cancer just last year, you can forgive me for being spooked..

My worry was that the benign-little-lump that I checked a year ago has somehow infected/affected my inner ear, causing this vertigo.. That lump has "grown" since into three small lumps which isn't visible but I can feel them..  Best case scenario, those are harmless growths.. Worst case scenario is that it had turned malignant.. thus taking my sister's advice, I plan to have it remove early next year (she wants it out NOW, if she has it her way), because the longer it stays in my body , the higher the chances it will go "rogue"..

Anyway, back to my head-spinning illness.. Was in bed almost 24 hours the first day.. My sister couldn't think of anything that was wrong with me, except lack of proper sleep and sufficient eye rests.. my temperature and blood pressure were all normal.. So I went to see the doctor the 2nd day when the vertigo didn't seem to even lessen a bit. He did the same tests, asked the same questions that my sister asked and came to the same conclusion.. I just needed more rest! This sudden vertigo (due to my inner ear being affected/infected) was triggered by my runny nose, lack of sleep, hormonal change (just finished my menses) and overexertion of my eyes.. He gave me some medicine for the vertigo and the nausea, and told me to rest..

And here I am.. on the 5th day.. feeling better though my head is still heavy.. took myself off the medication on the 4th day.. head still spins when I turn it suddenly and when I lay down on my bed, but nothing I can't handle.. slept more than 90% of the past few days.. yet, I still feel sleepy and my body feels weak.. I need to rest my eyes after every 2 hours, else I will get headache, which means I can't read any books/magazines or watch any dramas/movies for long.. Up till today, I only monitored what I eat, but I forget to give my body sufficient time to rest, detox and rejuvenate.. Need to take better care of my body.. gonna sleep early.. no more late night readings.. no more drama/movie marathons through the nights..

Hopefully, my body will forgive me for the abuse that I had subjected it the past 1 year and we'll be great pals again.. I can never do it alone.. unless they find a way to "download" my consciousness from my body and put it online, like Major Kusanagi in Ghost in the Shell.. :)

Oct 26, 2010

Another round of..

The National Budget was unveiled a few weeks ago.. and there are a lot of good commentaries out in the blogsphere on it.. since neither economy nor finance is my forte, I shall not add anymore to the already well-researched articles..

However, I would like to say the following that this is just...

..another round of robbing the people to pay "their" cronies..
..another round of initiating mega projects to siphon public funds into private pockets..
..another round of doing things that "they" want instead of what the country needs
..another round of ignoring the poor while enriching "themselves"...
..another round of spending national funds for "their" political gains...
..another round of exposing the incompetence of our so-called ministers and "top brains"..
..another round of flaunting and "shiok-sendiri" that the country can ill-afford..
..another round of spending irresponsibly and wanton wastage..
..another round of trying to leave a "legacy" using the people's money..

..another round of confirmation why foreign capital are staying away..
..another round of testament why the country is going to the dogs..

And I must say that I am happy that I didn't pay a single cent in tax to this government. I am still officially unemployed so I have no income for them to levy any tax on. I've paid taxes in Singapore for more than 8 years, and I am both willing and happy to pay my taxes to a government that takes good care of its people (comparatively if some wanna start saying that SG gov is authoritative, etc, etc,)..

Over there, I can see where my tax money goes to and I am assured that all those money are well-spent. The public transport is good, no worries about rampant crime, and the poor are taken care of (although some said not good enough, but at least the government gives out subsidies and incentives fairly to ANYONE who needs it), which I cannot say the same over here.. The government asks its people to bite the bullet when the time is tough and not sugar-coat any bad news in order to stay popular. It under-promises, but over-delivers most of the time.. and they have ministers who KNOW what they are doing and can hold INTELLIGENT discussions.. they DEBATE, and not BICKER.. I can go on and on about the differences between these two governments, but it changes nothing of the fact that one is FOR the country while the other is FOR their party and themselves..

Praying and hoping very hard that I won't be around in this country the next time a budget is read.. I can only take so much baloney and shenigans before my blood pressure remains elevated forever..  

Oct 24, 2010

My best days are ahead of me

Performed by Danny Gokey

Blowing out the candles
on another birthday cake
Old enough to look back and laugh at my mistakes
Young enough to look at the future and like what I see
My best days are ahead of me

Life hasn't always been a party
but mostly it's been good
There's only one or two things that I'd change if I could
I dont get lost in the past or get stuck in some sad memory yah
My best days are ahead of me

Age ain't nothing but a number
Sometimes I have to wonder
What does it really mean
But heeeey i'm still putting it together
I keep getting better
if I keep getting better
I can be whatever I want to be
My best days are ahead of me

Age ain't nothing but a number
Sometimes I have to wonder
What does it really mean
But heeeey i'm still putting it together
I keep getting better
if I keep getting better
I can be whatever I want to be
My best days are ahead of me

I've got sunsets to witness
dreams to dance with
beaches to walk on
and lovers to kiss
there's a whole lot of world out there
that I can't wait to see
My best days are ahead of me
My best days are ahead of me

A song by one of the American Idol finalists of the only season I've ever watched.. the other two being Adam Lambert and Kris Allen..

In another two more months, I will be adding the 36th candle onto my cake.. This time round, I won't be jumping off any airplane or attempting any extreme sports, although I really do want to skydive again.. or try paragliding.... :p For the first time in more than 16 years, I will be spending my birthday in the country that I was born..

There is still too many things that I wanna do and experience.. sunrises and sunsets to witness, beaches to walk on, mountains to climb, places to visit, things to learn, lovers to kiss, etc... And above all, I want to believe that my best days are ahead of me! :)

Oct 20, 2010

A hole in my soul

There is a hole in my soul
something dark that casts a shadow
all that is grim seem to follow
time to take myself out on a stroll..

There is a hole in my soul
loneliness become my daily show
like a nightmare it starts to unfold
casting me in the role of desperado..

There is a hole in my soul
nothingness has engulfed me whole
can't see the sunshine nor the rainbow
will I ever be free of this inferno?

There is a hole in my soul
slowly but surely it's taking its toll
when will my confidence be back from parole
as everything rings eerily hollow..

There is a hole in my soul
insecurity magnified a thousandfold
a void of emptiness has seems to grow
give me something even if it's just placebo..

There is a hole in my soul
not a pretty sight to behold
yet in pity I shall not wallow
being alone is never my goal..

Oct 17, 2010


好歌就是好歌。。 不畏时间的考验。。


我的心裡有一片湖 沒有月亮 沒有太陽
沒有風 沒有時間 沒有彩虹 沒有夢
我的心裡有一種痛 沒有希望 沒有春風
沒有藥 沒有歡笑 沒有觸動 沒有感動
我的心裡有一塊石 沒有方法 沒有男人
沒有力 沒有怨恨 沒有吶喊 好不沉重

好想好好 去愛一些人 好想好好 舒暢我的靈魂
好想好好 去恨一些人 好想好好 燃燒我的冰冷
好想好好 去愛一些人 好想好好 舒暢我的靈魂
好想好好 去恨一些人 好想好好 燃燒我的冰冷
好想好好 好想好好 好想好好 去挑撥壓抑已久的人生

Oct 15, 2010

Busy with...

Recently took up a freelance translation job with an online hotel booking website.. need to translate at least 10,000 words per week.. from English to Chinese.. sorta trying to make up lost time by earning as much as possible.. ;) and together with my existing (English to Malay) freelance translation arrangement with a Japanese company, so my life pretty much "revolves" around translations nowadays.. 

My hours are still fairly irregular.. sleeping around 2am, waking up at 5:45am, sleep again around 7am, and finally waking up around 12pm.. My time is very fragmented.. Other than those translation jobs, I have to find time to read academic journals and papers to prepare my research proposal too.. plus I have tons of TV dramas to catch up, especially with the recent start of the fall season in US.. :p  My sister subscribed to 2 magazines recently too, and they are mostly for my reading pleasure, since she don't like reading.. Thus I have a weekly edition of Newsweek and a bi-weekly edition of Fortune to read.. :) So I am definitely cutting my time on FB... and I might not be blogging as much too.. cos some things have to give, right?

So from the looks of things, I should be tied up till early next year.. and hopefully, new exciting things will start happening then.. :p :p :p

Oct 14, 2010

Business as uaual..

The recent express bus tragedy had me thinking.. Why is it that things never change in this country?? Similar types of tragedy happen ever so often.. tragedies that could have been prevented, loss of lives that could be prevented, if only the authority put their hearts to fix whatever that are ailing the country.. but again, "heart" is one of the many things, on top of integrity, responsibility and accountability, that have been missing from the government, the authority and the system in general..

Here is how things will normally play out:

SO far, nothing is being done, yet everyone is very "busy".. Our PM is busy trying to tell other countries how to run their government and how "modarate" (aka how "fair") he is to the minorities here while this country is slowly going to the dogs.. the so-called "First Lady" is busy showing off our "excellent" education system to (mostly) 3rd World countries while the country's brightest are leaving the country in droves... our ex-PM is busy trying to stoke racial discord and playing the boogey-man card, again, ignoring the fact he made lots of non-deserving millionaires/billionaires while so many still remain in poverty.. our ministers are either busy trying to secure multi-billion projects for their cronies before they are out of favor, or busy going around throwing millions at their supporters hoping to retain their standings.. while at the same time coming out with half-bake policies, like the minimum wages, abolishing national examinations and making abandoning babies a criminal crime, without considering the underlying reasons for them.. without examining the issues thoroughly.. killing the ducks to save the chickens, instead of thinking how to save both the chicken and the ducks, and at the same time save the cows, goats, pigs and horses too..

Alas, that is way too much to ask from this government.. We can no longer rely on the police, the civil service and the government as a whole to do what they are supposed to be doing - Serving the People.. We have to rely on ourselves.. and the 1 vote that we have in hand to force the necessary changes.. but I am not optimistic at all.. cos I seriously believe that it is nothing but a lost cause.. the society in general has lost its will to change.. the people here are fragmented.. there is a "we", "them" and "them".. I feel the sense of camaraderie so much more strongly among overseas Malaysians than among local Malaysians..  Sad but true..

So welcome to the "APA PUN BOLEH"-LAND... where anything ridiculously bad/negative can, will and shall continue to happen.. just make sure none of you or your loved ones get involved in any of it..

Oct 12, 2010

Iron Lion Zion

Yes, this is another of my godson, Rio and his elder brother Cody's favorite Bob Marley songs.. :) The way they try to sing the words "Iron like a Lion in Zion" was just adorable beyond words..


I am on the rock and then I check a stock
I have to run like a fugitive to save the life I live
I'm gonna be Iron like a Lion in Zion (repeat)
Iron Lion Zion
I'm on the run but I ain't got no gun
See they want to be the star
So they fighting tribal war
And they saying Iron like a Lion in Zion
Iron like a Lion in Zion,
Iron Lion Zion

I'm on the rock, (running and you running)
I take a stock, (running like a fugitive)
I had to run like a fugitive just to save the life I live
I'm gonna be Iron like a Lion in Zion (repeat)
Iron Lion Zion, Iron Lion Zion, Iron Lion Zion
Iron like a Lion in Zion, Iron like a Lion in Zion
Iron like a Lion in Zion

Oct 11, 2010

Ability vs Pangkat

This is an observation which I have found to be true in most situations in this country: the inverse relationship between ability and pangkat (which means position or rank at work, in Malay).

Good hardworking people do not get promoted, only egomaniacs, assh***s and idiots do.. especially among the country's civil servants.. If you are a good worker, you stay right where you are cos the office/department needs you to make sure it is functioning as the rest of your so-called colleagues can't work or obscenely lazy.. You won't get promoted, because any promotion means your current job will be below your pay grade and your boss would need to find someone (as hardworking and efficient as you) to replace you.. that will be too much work for him/her.. So in the end, in order not to be the ant when everyone else is happily being the grasshopper, you can either quit or join the merry-makers.. and in doing so, you might just get a promotion and (still) not have to work..

So what about those deadwood, nutcases and troublemakers?? Well, the preferred way to get rid of them, is not to fire them, but to promote them and send them away to another office/department/district/state/ministry/whatever and let them be the problem of others.. It is the "Taichi"-way of solving inefficiency and problems, which this government has mastered to perfection.. In the end, those idiots, crackpots and loose cannons become the pengarah (directors) and ketua (head) of departments/district/state/ministry... They became "somebody", which will then "motivate" others to follow their footsteps (by being a third wheel, screwball, nuisance or all three!)..  Now you know why heads of departments and (all level of) directors love to have mesyuarat after mesyuarat (meetings).. And why most of these HOD (head of departments), high-ranking senior officers and ministers tend to come out with half-baked moronic ideas/programs, put their feet in their mouth whenever they speak or just plain good-for-nothing..

And it is also no wonder that our government employs such a huge disproportionate number of civil servants compared to other countries.. anyone who can't get a job in the private sector can easily apply and get one with the government.. while you need to contribute one-hundred-and-ten-percent in private companies (or most probably even more), you only have to work one-hundred-divide-by-ten-percent in the government.. in private firms, one person has to cover the workload of two or more person, while it is the opposite in the government departments, where two or more person is doing the work of a single person.. which definitely explains all the long waits and unsatisfactory works by civil servants..

No one wants to be the "bad" guy and fire staff who cannot perform.. No one ever got fired from their government jobs in this country, heck, even when those big-shots are caught doing things that they shouldn't be doing they will be let off with nothing but a "symbolic" surat amaran (warning letter).. Heck, if your pay grade is higher than a certain number (like when you are a principal), even the DPM is unable to take any action against you!! Cos everyone is just "cari makan" (means earning a living), so no need to be so strict/demanding.. just make-do lar.. And also the office/department is not your father's nor your grandfather's, so no need to get so worked up and be so hardworking.. Everyone is just earning their wages.. That is, unfortunately, the general thinking in this country.. which is causing the government to bleed unnecessarily.. imagine the money the government can save by booting half of those useless civil servants.. but again, this government is incapable of doing something logical as such.. This government does not wish to rock the boat, does not wish to ask the people to bite the bullet and go through REAL reform, and it certainly does not want to be clean and fair..

And they wonder why GOOD people are leaving the country and those who are out don't want to come back...

Oct 10, 2010






Oct 9, 2010

Visitors of another kind..

Because of the abundance of plants and fruits (mostly papaya for now, actually) in my dad's garden, lots of small animals like to "hang-out" there.. Other than the bird nests made by burung merbab (Hook-billed Bulbul), there are a few more other types of birds..

This one...

and these...

Not too sure what these birds are called.. but those red eyes do kinda freak me a little.. don't they looked like some mutant birds from those horror shows??

Ya.. even had a sighting of horn bill near by my house.. :)

And even snake!! My dad found this fella curled up nicely among the papayas on one of the papaya trees.. and duely took its head off.. :p

Another "notable visitor" to my dad's garden and even into our house was a musang (or civet cat)! Even our neighbors know that there are 3 civet cats in the neighborhood, most probably "escapees" from the nearby Taiping Zoo.. One of them came into the house a few weeks ago, trying to, and successfully, ate some Del Monte bananas that my mum bought from the local hypermarket..
 Didn't manage to get a picture of the cat as my dad and I was totally surprised by it..

Here was what happened..
We heard some noise in the kitchen in the middle of the night (around 3am) and went to check.. Much to our surprise, we saw this civet cat perched on top of the kitchen cupboard.. instead of running away, it sat there looking at both my dad and I.. It tried to climb down to get to the bananas, but my dad shoo-ed it away with a long stick.. it then reluctantly went out the way it came in.. which was a small gap between the tiled-roof and the bathroom wall.. so my dad and I went back to sleep, thinking that that was it..

Yet less than 20 minutes later, I heard some noise again in the kitchen.. and to my surprise, the civet cat came back! It had climbed down the cupboards and was sitting, very comfortably I must say, on the dinner table, happily eating the bananas!! It barely gave me a glance when I switch the kitchen lights on.. It just sat there, enjoying the banana like it was entitled to.. It even peeled away the skin before eating!! Only when my dad tried to hit it (not really to hit it, more like scaring it) that the civet cat went out, reluctantly (how I know it was reluctant? it jumped to another table and sat there for a while, looking at us and then back to the half-eaten banana, several times).. We decided to throw the bananas out to the backyard to prevent further "food raid" by that greedy civet cat that night..

And the next day, my dad nailed some wooden planks to prevent the civet cat from having another banana plundering.. At times, we can still hear it on the roof, pacing around trying to find a way in... Luckily for the civet cat, we don't really subscribe to the notion of "wild meat".. else it would have long ended in some Chinese herbal soup.. :p

Oct 7, 2010

Garden of abundance

As said in my previous entry, my pre-WW II house boasts a huge compound that my dad put into good use.. In fact, he kinda outdo himself sometimes, which you shall see later when I list out the vegetables and fruit trees that he had planted.. With the abundance of rain in my town, the growth rate of weeds and grass are crazily fast! My dad had to cut them almost every other week!! By using his trusted little "old-fashion" grass cutter, which I shall highlight in my future post..

In this entry, I wanna share some pictures of the produce that my (father's) garden produced.. all thanks to my dad's green thumb.. Unfortunately, that is one of the few things that I didn't inherit from him.. Almost everything that I plant/touch dies.. :x :x :x although I love the feel and smell of earth, and I have all the strength needed to "cangkul" (Malay word meaning work the land with a hoe) and I don't mind getting all sweaty working the land under the hot sun, but I am just hopeless when it comes to agriculture.. I suck big time at identifying plants.. I don't know my durian trees from my rambutan trees.. :x :x

Anyway, here they are.. 

Chilis.. Lots of them.. my dad would harvest them and let my auntie sell them in the market..

Close-up of the chilis..

Papayas.. we have more than 15 papaya trees in the garden.. we never run out of papayas to ear, but too bad I am not a fan of papaya.. :p

Bitter gourds.. one of my favorite vegetables.. the kiwi is there to show how "big" those bitter gourds are..

Pineapples.. this variety of pineapple is more for ornamental purposes.. to be used during prayers..

Pumpkin.. not so successful cos it didn't grow as big as my dad had want it to be.. might just try my hand at carving a "Jack-O-lantern"with this mini pumpkin since Halloween is just end of this month.. :)

Other vegetables that my dad has in his garden includes: sweet corn, sweet potato, banana, aloe vera, guava,  kacang botol (winged bean, which is another one of my favorite vege), eggplants, lemongrass, peanuts, pandan leaves, green beans, red beans, dragon fruit, ginger, okra (or otherwise known as lady's fingers, also my favorite) and a couple of those green leafy vegetables that I have no idea what they are called in English.. Some of them have yet to bear fruits/vegetables, while some are already in their n-th cycle of production..  .

So there you have it! My dad's garden of abundance!! :) :)

Oct 5, 2010


I am good..
but would be better if I could
find a place to settle down,
or simply a place to call my own,
that I can be free from all expectations..

I am good..
but would be better if I could
meet up with friends and chat,
about nothing and everything in life,
that seemed to have passed me by..

I am good..
but would be better if I could
have someone to love and share,
my hopes, my dreams, not just my despair,
that is becoming too heavy alone to bear..

I am good..
but would be better if I could
vanquish completely and utterly,
those misgiving, self-doubt and anxiety,
that still haunt me sometimes at night..

I am good..
but would be better if I could
come out with a good challenge,
that would reignite my competitiveness,
which has since been lost and yet to be found..

I am good..
but would be better if I could
just know what I am here on Earth for,
that I could spend my time and energy on achieving it,
rather than wasting them thinking and contemplating on the "what-ifs"..

Oct 4, 2010


曲:Lee Kynug Seob/Kang Eun Kyung
如果从来不曾遇见你 如果从来不曾爱上你 
发生在我身上的事情 不会如此美丽 
狠狠爱过一回 却换来一句 傻哪 

不问你会在哪里 身边什幺伴侣 
拥有它 这代价有几个人付得起 
你的名 你的身影 有天会忘记 
回忆 无形却挥不去 

拥有它 这代价用一辈子还不清 
怪我太痴心 恨你太绝情 这不堪的感情 
虽然 我已不再爱你 
因为爱上你 因为失去你 这伤痛如此刻骨铭心 
爱情 多残酷的美丽