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Looking back at 2014…

Compliments of the season to one and all! Tis the season to be merry and of coz’ to look back at everything that has happened throughout the year.

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Now, if I had to use two words to describe 2014, it would be “interesting” and “confusing”. I know these are rather common words, but they are the best words I can think of to sum up the year.

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The year was filled with ups and downs, a real roller coaster ride. I went through two deaths in the family: my paternal grandma and my maternal grand uncle.

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I’m still dealing with some unresolved issues which I hope will be cleared up in 2015. I really hate dragging things on. I think it’s high time I made some decisions.

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Well, work was same ol’, same ol’ for the first half and then it went crazy gruelling busy for the second half. This year saw me taking on new challenges and responsibilities. Them white hairs are popping up faster now! 😛

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Anyhoo, I seem to be constantly learning new things this year, especially as I sojourn into uncharted territories at work and in my personal space. This new knowledge has kinda changed my perspective on life and on how things are in reality. People can change and not everyone plays by the same rules.

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We are taught to follow the rules of society and so like little good children we do, thinking that everything will fall into place if we do. For some, yes and for some, no. Perhaps that might create some frustrations in us. I know how that feels. We strive to follow the rules, but at times we might bend them now and then in our quest to fulfil our desires. Hence, I really do understand the saying that “some rules are meant to be broken”. 😉

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Not only that, I’ve also learned some new stuff about myself, call it self-discovery if you want, and I am not done making sense of them yet. This “new” me has me in a conundrum as it really requires loads of patience, control and a helluva restrain on my part. At times, acting nonchalant is a real challenge especially when I get more and more involve. Some of these stuff I’m going through are things I wouldn’t imagine myself ever experiencing or venturing into. It’s exciting and it’s like a dormant part of me has been woken up. I seem to be a different person. Wow, I didn’t see that coming! I keep asking myself: “Is that really me? Why is it happening to me? Who knew I had it in me?? Not in a million years!”

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As I said this is a super confusing year as well. My beliefs have been shaken. I seem to have more questions and self-doubts. I do wonder whether it’s a test from God or is the Devil playing his tricks on me, taunting me. Things used to be compartmentalised into black and white. Now out pops a grey area. It’s so difficult to handle this grey area. The rules are different there. In fact, I think I’ve kinda thrown the rule book out and am just creating my own rules. Let’s see where this grey area leads us to.

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In addition to that, I’m also confused with the infamous four letter word: LOVE. You would think that a 30 something would know what love is by now. Well, I used to. I think I used to, anyway. What is love? I really don’t know what it is anymore. What does it mean to be in love? What do you equate love with? How do you know when you are in love? Can two persons be together without love? Can you love more than one person? I guess I’ve been watching too many dramas. Sigh… The stubborn bull in me is having a tough time accepting changes. The things that are happening around me are just making it more mind boggling. Perhaps it’s time to fall head over heels in love with someone to understand it better? 😛

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Anyhoo, I’ve kept my promised to myself to at least embark on a solo travel once a year. This year I went to Taiwan and it was an awesome experience. It was a bleisure trip: business + leisure. I took the opportunity to travel to a few cities in Taiwan since I was heading there to present a paper at a conference in Taipei. Taiwan is indeed a lovely country. It’s safe, the public transport is so convenient and the people are pretty friendly as well. Hmm… I will never tire travelling on my own.

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So I can say all in all I have had a colourful horsey year. I have no idea what plans 2015 has for me. There are bound to be great challenges and battles ahead, but I’m definitely gonna try to embrace them the best I can or rather grab them by the horns as the saying goes! 😉

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Let’s all attack 2015 with full of gusto!!

Happy 2015 in advance, everyone!! 🙂

 
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Posted by on December 25, 2014 in Entertainment, Leisure, Life in Transition, Love, Work

 

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It’s been AGES…

It’s been a helluva long time since I last posted, over a year plus, if I’m not mistaken. But I’m back now! I’ve been on a roller coaster ride and the journey has not ended. I’m not gonna go into all the itsy bitsy details here.

Let’s just say I had an eventful 2011. Besides just slaving away at the desk, I decided to liven up my mundane life with trips here and there. It all started with my first solo trip overseas to South Korea in July. I was given the opportunity to present a paper at an international conference in Seoul. Bless my university for sponsoring my trip there.

Anyhoo, I decided to turn this working trip into a vacation. After all, all work and no play makes Jake, ahem, in this case Jane a dull girl, right? I spend a fantabulous 2 weeks exploring Seoul as well as Jeju Island. Words just can’t describe how beautiful Korea is to me and how much I enjoyed my time there. So, I’ll just let the photos do the talking, k.

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

        

Korea is so captivating. The culture, the people… I miss it so terribly already. 😦
Well, I went holidaying to a few more places after that. You know, once you had a taste of what’s out there, you’ll just want more of it. I was thirsty for more adventures! So I headed to Bangkok in August, Singapore in October and Hat Yai in December. These places all left me with precious memories.

          

          

          

          

          

So, that was 2011. Hmm, as for 2012, it seems to be passing by too quickly. It’s already almost the middle of the year. So far it’s been nothing but wok, work and more work. So boring!! L I’m really looking forward to the second half of the year coz’ I’ve planned some trips abroad for a little R & R. Can’t wait for July to come! 🙂

I’m sure everyone is familiar with the expression with age comes wisdom. Well, with age comes problems is apt as well, health problems to be more specific. I just celebrated my 30 something birthday this month. Now, I can really feel age catching up with me. I was having this shoulder problem which comes off and on. It’s really difficult for me to get recover from it since the cause of it is spending too much time in front of the computer as well as putting too much strain on my left shoulder. The doctor diagnosed it as a mild case of tennis elbow.  Sigh. I’m a lefty and I tend to use my left arm/ shoulder more than my right. What do you want me to do now? Change my whole regime? I’ve been trying to carry my bag on my right shoulder but it feels damn weird to me. I keep having that imbalanced feeling when I walk. Now, how am I gonna spend less time in front of the screen when most of my work has to be done via the computer?? It’s just so frustrating and ironic! Guess I’ll just have to live with it!

Hmm, since this is my first post in like forever, I better take things easy and not strain my arm/ shoulder too much.

Till my next post, annyeong everyone!

 
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Posted by on May 23, 2012 in Leisure, Life in Transition

 

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Have Food will Travel

Food, glorious food! It’s everywhere! On the street corner, at a ramshackle stall, in a quaint little coffee shop, at a classy hotel, the list is never ending.

Don’t you agree that we Malaysians love our food? We sometime will go through all sort of length just to eat what we desire.

Now, let me share a few of my food experiences with you.

My first real encounter with Japanese food was with a group of Japanese engineers a few years back (while I was still studying). They were here to learn English and part of their learning experience involved social skills.

Anyway, on the last day of class, they decided to treat my colleague and I to a meal of their choice. When Japanese food was mentioned, I was like, “Yew! Raw fish! I’m not sure I can stomach that. It’s going to be yucky!” That was what I had in mind, anyway. What was I to do? Well, I could only grimace in silent, plaster a smile on my face and go along with their plans. And so, we began our journey. My colleague and I first drove them to Plaza Pantai. I was driving an 82’model Honda Civic then. I guess they were worried that my car might not survive the trip into KL. No lah, it was cheaper to take the LRTJ.

Anyway, we arrived at Nikko and my colleague & I left them to do the ordering. The first few dishes that came were fine. You know, the usual tempura, rice and miso soup. Then came what I was not looking forward to, raw fish. It was cut in small little cubes. We had the honour of tasting it first as the Jasps looked on. They were all eagerly awaiting our reaction. You see, neither my colleague & I had eaten shashimi before. Anyway, I expected to have to perhaps falsify my reaction after biting into the fish. However, to my surprise, it wasn’t yucky at all. It was quite good actually. And so, that was the start of me eating Japanese food.

I’m still not very adventurous where Japanese food is concerned. However, I’m slowing broadening my horizon. It’s not easy when my family members (with the exception of my sister) are not into it. They are fine with Teppanyaki but sushi is out of the question.

So, what am I to do? Well, thank goodness I have a friend who enjoys Japanese cuisine. We usually meet up every few months to satisfy our palates. Hmm…that reminds me, I think we are due for another round of Sushi King soon.

Let’s move on to something else now…seafood. Almost everyone loves a bit of prawns, crabs or even squids now and then, right? I’ve had my share as well…Telok Gong, Klang, Kuala Selangor and even Buntal in Kuching.

My ex-boss actually brought her American friends to Kuala Selangor for this. Imagine we travelled from Section 17, PJ to Kuala Selangor. That was my first experience with Kuala Selangor. I never thought that I’ll be back there again. Now, it’s just a 30 minute drive away for me. My verdict on seafood in Kuala Selangor? Well, it’s good. But I don’t think you need to drive all the way from KL for it. There are quite a number of decent seafood restaurants in Kl/PJ too.

As for Buntal in Kuching, well, my colleagues and I actually took the trouble of renting a car when we were in Kuching a couple of years back just to have some seafood before we left. The journey took us about 30 minutes, I think. But it was worth the drive. The food was fresh, delicious and cheap.

Talking about Kuching, I do miss a few dishes there. You know, the Sarawak laksa, kwon low mee and surprisingly the tom yam meehoon as well. I used to wake early on Sunday morning, take the bus just to have the heavenly kwon low mee served at Carpenter Street. If I don’t get there early, I’ll end up waiting for over an hour. The wait can be quite agonizing as the place is really hot and cramped. Besides, you aren’t allowed to simply place an order. They will come to you when it’s your turn. So, you can only wait patiently till your turn is up.

Satok was another favourite hound of mine then. I’ll normally spend my Saturday afternoons there. You see, there’s a Pasar Minggu there that runs from Saturday right up till Sunday. It normally ends at 12 something on Sunday.

Erm…one of the stalls there sells a type of kuih that I enjoy very much. I can never remember the name. Anyway, I actually get to kill two birds with one stone there. The shop that sells the laksa & tom yam meehoon is just around the corner. The tom yam meehoon doesn’t come in your usual bowl instead it is served in a clay pot. It’s just so irresistible! The aroma, the succulent prawns…slurp, slurp…thinking of it is making me hungry.

Ok, moving on to something more recent. Let me tell you a few dishes that I enjoyed very much on my brief stint in KK. On my first trip to KK in January, my meals were mostly seen to by my students. However, I had been eying the Italian restaurant just around the corner of the hotel and I took the chance to try it on my last night there. You see, I have this huge craze for pasta. You should ask my mum how much pasta I’ve devoured in these last couple of months.

Anyway, the pasta served then was simply superb. The texture combined with its’ perfectly cooked sauce made it irresistible. There wasn’t anything left on my plate at the end of the meal. If I could have licked the plate clean, I would haveJ. With that experience, I told myself that when I got back in March again, I’ll definitely need to consume another lot. Indeed I did. As I stayed at a different hotel this time, I didn’t mind the 25 minute walk it took me to reach the restaurant coz’ it was worth the energy. I left the restaurant with a broad smile and a feeling of contentment in my tummy.

On my last night this time, I thought I’ll be stuck having hotel food as it started raining cats and dogs in the afternoon. But thank goodness it stopped. As such, I ventured out to the next block for some Korean food. It was my first time having authentic Korean food and so under the advice of the waiter, I ordered a typical Korean meal. There were about 8 dishes in front of me, all served in small portions, thank God. I enjoyed almost everything except for the kimchi. I just couldn’t accustom myself to the taste. I guess I still need to eat it for a few more times. After all, practice makes perfect, right? Hmm…maybe I can head over to the Korean Restaurant in SS2. Korean food, anyone?

Well, I think that’s enough about food for the moment. Just writing about it is making me hungry. Since I’m in Batang Berjuntai (BB), I can’t run out to the nearest mall for some sushi or pasta. So, it’s best I stop here before I start chewing on the furnitureJ.

 
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Posted by on March 19, 2007 in Food, Leisure, Life in Transition

 

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Crazy Days!!

“Oh, damn! It’s Monday morning!! No, I mean, oh, it’s Monday morning! What a glorious day!” That’s the same thing I tell myself every Monday morning. (That’s my Monday morning chant)

Positive thinking, that the key to everything. I keep telling myself no matter how much I detest Mondays especially the waking up part, I’ve just got to condition myself to look forward to this eventful day. After all, being a grouch might affect my other days. So, it’s better to have a good start.

Monday mornings are the most challenging mornings for most people. It’s not only the morning of a day but it’s also the mark of a brand new week.

What makes waking up more bearable? Well, waking up to music instead of that horrendous blaring of the alarm clock does indeed make a difference.

Carpe diem, my friends!

You will notice that my entry today is a bit kelam kabut. That’s because I’ve not written for a few weeks and my thoughts are everywhere. I don’t know where to start.

Ok, let’s start with work. Work is busy as ever. I’m nearing the end of the semester. So many things to cover, so little time left. What’s more, I’ve be given additional responsibilities for an up-coming project. It’s really a big challenge for me.

Why is that so? Well, I’m in the final stages of completing my masters and an additional position is not what I need right now. But, what to do? Boss give work, got to do lah!

I guess God is trying to see how well I can multi-task and juggle among the positions I’m currently holding. Test, test, test!

It’s the month of Lent. If Jesus managed to survive 40 days in the desert, so can I!! I told myself, through hell over high water, I’m gonna finish my project paper this month. I can’t keep putting it off because of work.

So, here I am trying my best to stay focus. It hasn’t been easy. Last week, I woke up a couple of times at 3 something in the morning thinking that it was time to get ready for work. Another time, I suddenly had a thought in the middle of the night (while I was sleeping of coz’lah) about something that I should include in the project I’m handling and I almost got up to switch on the computer to work on it. It was then that I realised that I was going nuts!

Things have not slowed down yet. It’s still busy, busy, busy. Half of my week was spent in KK. I just got back yesterday. This sem I’m handling a group of adults undergoing a PJJ programme with our medical sciences faculty. It’s been an interesting experience.

Anyway, as I was in church yesterday evening, I was just thinking to myself that time is just passing me by way too fast. It was just in the morning that I was having my last breakfast (that’s what my student said J) in KK and now I was attending mass in PJ.

Oh, I can’t wait for April to arrive! I hope things will slow down a bit then.

Anyway, in all my craziness, I still find the time to write now and then. In fact, I’ve started to make it a point to pen down my thoughts. It really feels good to tab furiously at the keys J. It’s rather therapeutic at times.

To my colleagues out there, you should try it too. I know what you are going through!

Ok, one last thing for today’s entry. A friend of mine has been experiencing some turbulence in her life. Dee, just remember that I’m here for you, k. Here’s a little something for you. Hang in there, buddy!!

The Waiting

the arduous wait

for precious little shared moments

the insecurity

born of uncertainty

all these…

no more can I take

the mind doth know

but the heart’s in denial

in ignorance, in oblivion

of a love not meant to be

the physical being

drifts into sleep

while the mind of the mistress

wonders aimlessly and restlessly

the constant long-suffering wait

the pressure that emanates

questions the existence

of this so called association

between two contrasting beings

drawn together by God knows what attraction

if ol’ Frost’s words be true

what cruel Design has God in mind

to tease, to torture and torment

this poor, foolish and misguided soul

sigh…

what can a humble servant of God do

but send up a prayer of intercession

a plea, a wishful hope that

for what the One above has designed

this pitiful soul would emerge triumphantly

P.S.: For those unfamiliar with Robert Frost’s Design, I’ve included it here as well.

Design by Robert Frost

I found a dimpled spider, fat and white,
On a white heal-all, holding up a moth
Like a white piece of rigid satin cloth–
Assorted characters of death and blight
Mixed ready to begin the morning right,
Like the ingredients of a witches’ broth–
A snow-drop spider, a flower like a froth,
And dead wings carried like a paper kite.

What had that flower to do with being white,
The wayside blue and innocent heal-all?
What brought the kindred spider to that height,
Then steered the white moth thither in the night?
What but design of darkness to appall?–
If design govern in a thing so small.

 
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Posted by on March 18, 2007 in Creative Juices, Life in Transition, Work

 

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