Tuesday, February 28, 2006


Another Day In Paradise
She calls out to the man on the street
"Sir, can you help me?It's cold and I've nowhere to sleep,
Is there somewhere you can tell me?"
He walks on, doesn't look backHe pretends he can't hear her
Starts to whistle as he crosses the street
Seems embarrassed to be there
Oh think twice, it's another day forYou and me in paradise
She calls out to the man on the street
He can see she's been cryingShe's got blisters on the soles of her feet
Can't walk but she's trying
Oh lord, is there nothing more anybody can do
Oh lord, there must be something you can say
You can tell from the lines on her face
You can see that she's been thereProbably been moved on from every place'
Cos she didn't fit in there
Oh think twice...

Written by babyface, stevie wonder (1997)
There was a girl I used to know
She was oh so beautiful.But she’s not here anymore
She had a college degree.Smart as anyone could be
She had so much to live forBut she fell in love
With the wrong kinda man.He abused her love and treated her so bad
There was not enough education in her world
That could save the life of this little girl
How come, how longIt’s not right, it’s so wrong
Do we let it just go onTurn our backs and carry on
Wake up, for it’s too late.Right now, we can’t wait
She won’t have a second try.Open up your hearts.As well as your eyes
She tried to give a cry for help.She even blamed things on herself
But no one came to her aid.Nothing was wrong as far as we could tell
That’s what we’d like to tell ourselves.But no, it wasn’t that way
So she fell in loveWith the wrong kinda man.And she paid with her life
For loving that man.So we cannot ignore
We must look for the signs.And maybe next time
We might save somebody’s life.I on occasion met that guy
He stirred up bad feelings deep inside.Something about him wasn’t right
The way he proves himself a man.By beatin’ his woman with his hands
Oh I wish she’d seen the light.How can someone like that
Call himself a man.In reality he’s far more less than that
And we cannot ignore.Whenever we see the signs’cause any kinda of abuse
God knows isn’t right
# @ # @ #
I was told many times that I have a 'good' heart. Too emotional. Too 'busybody'.
I was kind to 3 strangers for the past one week.
I did what I did only because I was alone and nobody would judge me.
No. I didn't do it to feel good or to fulfill some kind of charity gestures 'quota' I had imposed to myself.
I did what I did out of FEAR.
Fearful that my loved ones may be in their shoes one day.
Fearful that God would one day asked me WHY.

Monday, February 27, 2006

Not so NICE day

Today is one of those ‘not so good days’.

Day begun with me walking around the neighbourhood early in the morning at 7 am to seek for a potential newspaper vendor.

My previous vendor’s working hours apparently were according to Moscow’s time zone.
Also, he loves to test my mind to calculate all the probability of the delivered-newspaper’s location around my house.

It could be on top of the postbox, in between the gates of OTHER neighbours, in the garden, the other garden OUTSIDE, under the car or precariously balancing beside the longkang.

I was graciously patient until I had to sidai my newspaper twice due to the vendor’s incapability to calculate profound physics equation to toss the newspaper further into the house on raining days.

Back to my story, I walked around the neighbourhood. Chirpily greeting my fellow neighbours in various dialects and languages. Caught a few houses which HAD newspaper on their porch. So I very courageously rang their bell or shouted for attention. Very disheartened that some of them were very rude. Must have thought that I’m some kind of VERY early riser and hardworking but poorly dressed door-to-door salesgirl who starts her sales pitch by,
“Morning, I live behind you. I’m looking for a newspaper vendor. Can you recommend yours to me?”
**Rolling eyes. Mumble mumble**.
# # # #

Was in the government hospital again to finish up some paper work. My heart broke when I saw an elderly woman who had obviously lost her mind. She was talking to herself but I was comforted to know that her love ones were there to take care of her.

As I was waiting for my turn, I approached a little 3-year-old Malay boy who didn’t mind me joining him in the children’s play area. He had the brightest eyes. My handy Ricola’s sugar free sweets and my McDonald’s stamper gained his trust immediately.
When we parted, he had eaten at least (counting with fingers) 12 of my sweets and his arms were covered with the stamper’s green ink.

# # # #
Today’s tutorial sucked big time. My UM-masters-degree-holder-in-Political Science tutor didn’t show up, again. According to replacement tutor, he has requested us to do the hand-in-by-end-of-tutorial work again. He ain’t happy with our first attempt.

I asked the replacer the following;
@What are the specific deficits and dissatisfaction areas of the previous work?
@where are our previous presumably marked work
@Why isn’t the UM-masters-degree-holder-in-Political Science Holiness tutor around?

The poor lady couldn’t give me a satisfactory answer. Hell, she couldn’t even give me a properly constructed, grammatically-error-free sentence.

I was pizzled. (learned from Time – combination of pissed and puzzled)

"If Mr C feels I’m not worthy of his time, then I feel THIS assignment is NOT worthy of MY time. "

Wahl au, then I oh-so-very-gaya’ly walked out of the door. Only then, I started to rethink.

Oh shit, Hun. What have you done?

Wednesday, February 22, 2006

5 cents a Word

I finally have the book, Good Will Hunting - A Screenplay.

There is no rationale behind this purchase. It's purely emotional.

I roughly calculated the average number of words on one page and multiply the total number of pages.

Results? = almost 5 cents A WORD

Yes. No doubt it's bloody expensive. But the satisfaction of reading this over and again is simply priceless.. yeah,, I know. Sucker for ad taglines

**Please read this slowly, very slowly. If not, please don't bother at all**

If I asked you about art, you could give me the skinny on every art book ever written. Michelangelo - Life's work, criticisms, political aspirations.
But you couldn't tell me what it smells like in the Sistine Chapel. You've never stood there and looked up at that beautiful ceiling.
And if I asked you about women, I'm sure you could give me a syllabus of your personal favourites, and maybe you've been laid a few times, too.
But you couldn't tell me how it feels to wake up next to a woman and be truly happy.
If I asked you about war, you could refer me to a bevy of fictional and nonfictional material, but you've never been in one. You've never held your best friend's head in your lap and watched him draw his last breath, looking to you for help.
And if I asked you about love, I'd get a snoonet,
but you've never looked at a woman and been truly vulnerable. Known that someone could kill you with a look. That someone could rescue you from your grief. That God had put an angel on earth just for you.
And you wouldn't know how it felt to be her angel.
To have the love to be there for her forever.
Throught anything, through cancer.
You wouldn't know about sleeping sitting up in a hospital room for two months holding her hand and not leaving because the doctors could see in your eyes that the term visiting hours didn't apply to you.
And you wouldn't know about real loss, because that only occurs when you lose something you love more than youself, and you've never dared to love anything that much.
I look at you and I don't see an intelligent, confident man.
.... There's nothing you can tell me that I can't read somewhere else. Unless we talk about your life.
-excerpts from Good Will Hunting - A Screenplay (pg 71) - Damon;Affleck.
God Damn It!! I have midterms tomorrow and all I can think about right now is Matt Damon. Argh!!!!!!!!
PS: For those who know me personally, don't bother asking me to loan you the book. I need to get it insured first. =P


I really feel good.

Spent less than an hour at the annual MPH warehouse sale, bought various titles of books, vcds and stationaries; all for less than Rm150. I joked to the cashier that I'm forced to eat bread for the rest of the week.

I don't think she heard me coz she answered,

"Please come again."

Spending above Rm 50 entitles me to a Rm5 MPH voucher. Guess who handed it to me?
Ms Renee Koh - The editor of MRC quaterly magazine. She looked so much thinner in real life.
I told her so. Was that a mistake? =P

OH, back to my fulfilled moment.
Last night, I went to PuayChai badminton hall to play with complete strangers.
A nice guy name Jason posted in a forum that his team is looking for players.
He generously allowed me to try out last night.

Whoa... I am so...WAY out of their league. I can't count the number of times I missed the shuttle and wanted so much to just bury my face on the court itself.

Nonetheless, these veterans were very graciously polite and STILL allow me to play 3 sets of game with them. I think I just increased my partner's blood pressure.

My online friends say that I'm crazy to play with a bunch of male strangers ALONE. They say that I could have been drugged and packed into their car.

I was thinking, and just HOW are they going to execute that? I mean, to use some high-tech substance and skilfully place it unto the shuttlecock and once again, very VERY professionally aim for my head when playing?

HUN= "Awww.... am I worth all that trouble?"

That's the nicest thing an online friend has said to me. ^_^

Anyway, I'm still hopeful for the invitation next week.

Monday, February 20, 2006

Ammunitions of Anger

I called a good friend to vent out my frustrations that were destructively built up during my tutorial. This patient guy listened intently.

I was walking pass an Indian sundry shop when I noticed calendars on the floor. I chirpily asked if they were for sale or I can take them for free. (it's mid Feb, afterall). He shook his head and mumbled.

I was wondering,
  • 'No, it's not for sale, I can take them.' OR
  • 'No, I can't take them'?

I repeated my question. He mumbled and gestured the same.

I repeated. He roared.

"Tak Boleh lah!"

I was shocked by his rudeness and that the irony that he would refuse to part with loads of calendars which he obviously doesn't value. I wasn't going to let him get away with it.


Both he and I were surprised at my outburst. He looked down at his account book and pretended to resume his calculations and cursed silently in Tamil.

I walked away to join my oblivious sis who was far ahead of me.

I felt guilty. Why such anger?

Just yesterday I was clearing the medical bills for my mom in a government hospital. It's Sunday and all payment transactions were redirected to the emergency department.

The queue was long and only ONE counter was open. The rest of the staff on the other side of the counter appears to be busy with other formal tasks.

During the entire time, my vision was pierced at selected few, trying to make sense what on earth they were doing. Finally, the volcano erupted.

"Pelik kan? Ini Jabatan KECEMASAN. Tak nampak pun orang yang CEMAS!" - Loud enough to entertain the crowd.

One counter quickly opened. Again, I teased.

"ALHAM-DULLILAH". Many in queue smiled.

A similar scenario just happened the day BEFORE. I had to reapply my ATM card because I hurriedly canceled my previous one when I had lost my wallet (before the student affairs department called me to inform me that they have it).

The process was damn long. I was irritated to notice that the customer service officer seem to segment his customers according to their appearance. I was in my way-too-comfortable-not-to-be-seen-in-public-home-clothes. But I was patient. I opened my papers and read.

Half an hour has passed. I'm done with my papers. The big-shot-officer-seated-behind-tellers was talking. My sane nerve snapped.

"Excuse me, ma'am. Can you so kindly authorize my ATM card? I'm in great hurry. I've even finished my paper." -In clear intonation and British accented -which suprised myself. I didn't plan that accent thingy. =P

I was able to happily leave the bank in 20 seconds with my brand new ATM card.

Am I a BA-aa-ad person? Let's check the scoreboard.

  • I printed out small posters to paste in Uni to thank the anonymous girl who returned my wallet.
  • I greet my neighbours everyday.
  • I always smile at children.
  • I always give way to vehicles when I'm driving.
  • I always give my seat to elders/physically-challenged passengers.

No. I'm not bad.

I'm just not NICE. Hiss!!

Shareem Amry

I particularly enjoyed an ex-NST feature writer’s work; Shareem Amry's. The two most vivid articles of hers that is in mind are her ‘Letters from Appa’ which explains the complexity of current controversial and misunderstood issues into simple yet impact full explanations.

Her statements will always be in my memory each time social issues like how the public majority is apathetic towards the people living on streets and how most of us are willing to fight ferociously for our religion but always ever tolerant about the practice of the teachings itself.

This is the best part. Before my stint in NST, I thought she was a HE. I had imagined her to be some Indian man in his late forties with a bulging stomach. Can you imagine the flabbergasted shock I experienced when I found out who she was?

This is one rare writer who truly exudes her writings in real life. A very pretty, fair lady who possess absolutely flawless skin and angelic pair of eyes. She looks like she’s in her late 20s but with the maturity of a veteran and speaks with a familiar tinted American accent.

When I reported myself to her, she asked me to write a simple article of myself in 15 mins (the amount of words is up to me). Upon submission, I was relieved that she approved of my standard. She gave me an assignment immediately. I was impressed at how she could be so femininely gentle and yet firm in her instructions. She was always clear and precise.

What I appreciate most was when she pulled a chair next to her and asked me to sit while she edits my work. Her typing speed and multi-tasking skill is astonishing.

To me, she’s the pride of Malaysian feature writers. How unfortunate that I no longer have access to her works.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Economic Utility of Time

How do you measure time?

No, I mean, in self-gratifying terms.
How do most of us prioritize our daily tasks and duties to be fulfilled?

On Friday night, I was dead-due behind schedule to study for my Mid-term the next morning. But damn, my favourite sitcom, Arrested Development is on. Not to mention the modern adaptation of Great Expectations by Gwyneth Paltrow and Ethan Hawke.
I watched about 45 minutes of tv and tried to study till I fall asleep (which didn’t take long).

Woke up the next morning to do some last minute studying only to find myself paying attention to Babyface’s Best Hits’ lyrics more than the words from my notes that were supposed to be making sense to me.

Accidentally fell back to sleep. Fortunately, good old’ alarm clock woke me up. Panicked.

Me = JIE !!! Are we still on for the Sun’s ‘Know Your Loved Ones Contest’ or not?
Jie = *rubbing eyes. Still in transit from Dreamland* Err… Yeah.

Both sis and I rushed to get ready and got into the car in 15mins.

*In car*
Hun = You know, I spent more time remembering facts about you for the contest than I spent on my Midterm.
Jie = Oh, that’s bad.
Hun = Nah, it ain’t important. *explained the fraction of the marks it carries for my overall grade*
Jie = Oh, ok. *not convinced*
Hun = *feeling bad*
Jie = So, what time you coming to join me?
Hun = Exam finishes at 12noon but I’ll leave at 11+. I doubt I have anything to write.

Dropped sis off at 1 Utama and headed off to uni. Just as expected. I DID leave early. Joined sis in shopping complex. Browsed Tower Records. Listened to Stephanie Soong and MI2’s Daniel. Not bad. Had nice Italian Pasta. Bought UCB pants from Reject Shop for only RM15. Browsed MPH, ordered a book. Participated in the main agenda of the day – The Sun ‘s community contest; Know Your Loved Ones.

Sis forgot my favourite singer and the year I was born. We ended up at 5th place. Won nice pendant (sis’s), Adidas watch (only appropriate for dad), a bouquet of flowers (made mum really happy). And what I got? The priceless satisfaction of knowing I had used my time well.

Will keep you posted on my Midterm results. =p

Friday, February 17, 2006

Loyalty Points

Proprietors often reward their loyal customers. Membership benefits. Points accumulation. Good rapport with the staff.

But what rewards do we gain for being loyal to friends? It takes great disciplinary ethics to uphold the unwritten rules of the ‘good friend’ pledge.

  • Never never say anything behind her back what you wouldn’t say to her at her face.
  • Be genuinely upset or provoked, when your friend’s interest is at stake.

It ain’t easy. I don’t claim that I can adhere to these rules. TWO basic GOLDEN rules.

I remember watching a scene from a Korean movie. A youth (B) was beating up a schmuck because the schmuck had used the girl (B) liked, to get his way. (B)’s friends came and pulled (B) away. Schmuck was injured and threatens to report him to headmaster. Schmuck is the headmaster’s golden boy. The leader of the (B)’s group of friends smacked Schmuck at the face.

"Yeah, remember to include my name too."

The other friends from behind nodded in unity.
Schmuck knows he’s now dealing with some serious shit.

**Walking out of the uni with a friend, H. **

Me = U know, V was very rude to Z just now.
H = What do u mean?
Me = I mean, he has the right not to like her. But still as the course representative, he should maintain his image and have the decency to be reasonably ‘not so rude’.
H = U know Z. It’s hard to bear with her.
Me = Yeah… But I guess as her friend, I feel that I'm somewhat offended. Coz I know she’s too angelically oblivious to such rudeness. She doesn’t even realize when she is being short changed. U know, it’s not the first time I’ve seen V being so rude to her.
H = Wah, tak sangka u so ‘kong yi hei’ – righteous.

As we continued to walk in silence, I was wondering why am I being so aggressively sensitive about it.

I should really watch lesser tv.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

What I can't afford to lose

Last week, a good online friend of mine sent a 'happy whistling' Brit song to me, with the message; "Listen to this whenever you feel unhappy".

That song was sang by some ol' Brit uncle with thick annoying accent. I replied, "Thanks, but really...IF I am depressed, this'd be the LAST song I'd listen to."
"Why? Because it's very uplifting?"
"No. Because if I'd want to jump down from a building, this song will definitely prompt me to jump sooner."

Funny. I lost my wallet this morning and this bloody (read with heavy Brit accent) was playing in my head the whole time.

I truly believe that a person's character is best judged based on
  1. how they react in adversity.
  2. how they treat their inferiors.
  3. what they do at their leisure.

So, with the first challenge in mind, I tried very hard to remain as sane and composed as possible.

I kept chanting, "Be positive, be positive. There's something good out of this."

We just finished mid-term and I suggested to a close classmate of mine that we go for a movie to chill out. It was only at the car park of the shopping complex that I realised I lost my wallet.

I went frantic. "When was the last time I saw it? Damn..." My thoughts retraced back to when I took it out to borrow library books, or was it when I left it on the table and feel asleep supposedly from studying in the library?

I rushed back to the university. Asked the staff in the office, library and computer lab. None.

Close classmate accompanied me to the police station. Made report. Got annoyed that the policewoman was more interested in my braces and what I had for lunch rather than HOW I lost my wallet. But still, I remained 'cool'. Still chanting that 'Be positive' mantra.

Good close classmate bought me lunch and tried to cheer me up. She paid for the parking, police report fee, and joked the wise chinese saying, ''Sacrifice the money to block disaster". I genuinely smiled.

During the long solemn journey home, my mind kept playing the 'positive' lessons I could learn from this. Maybe God wants me to realise that I shouldn't put too much emphasis on economic possessions.

I mean, the first thing that came into my mind was the amount of cash I've lost and my beautiful branded wallet which I had purchased at a warehouse-sale price. And of course, the horror of going through the government bureaucracy to regain back my legal identification.

Suddenly, I came to realised that the ONE thing that I can't possibly replace was the wallet-size photo I have of myself, sis and my two favourite babies (my mom used to babysit. The sight of them smiling thaws me.)

I regret that it didn't occur to me earlier. I am ashamed that I had felt sad over those petty things that I could so easily replace.

But that photo. I can't.

The boys are all grown up now and their parents no longer need my mom's service. I can never find a photo to rekindle my fond memories of us together.

He is no fool who gives what he can't keep, to gain what he can't afford to lose.

Gotcha!! Yeah, I DID lose my wallet. But the main reason I can afford to type this down in my blog is because the student affairs department just called me to inform me they found my wallet! My branded wallet is saved!!! Come back to momma!!

Ok, ok... I'll be good. I'll give some to charity.

The Local Economy Boosting Foundation. aka SHOPPING!

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Realism Vs Idealism

In David Ogilvy’s An Autobiography, there was one part where he advised his readers NEVER to personally meet their favorite writers or musicians. I can relate to this advice very well.

I used to be a big fan of a Star’s columnist. I anticipated her weekly columns, filed some of her work and bought her first book without hesitation.

So, it’s understandable why I was excited to ‘Meet the Author’ in the local bookstore in mid-year 2001.
I was waitress-ing in the Japanese restaurant above the bookstore in that particular shopping complex.

The scheduled time was 2.30pm. Needless to say, that was the peak hour of any eatery place on weekends.
But due to my delirious loyalty to her, I lied to the supervisor that I had something urgent to take from the car, and ran two floors down with my Japanese uniform.

I know I can’t possibly have a decent conversation with her, but all I wanted was just to see her. That’s all, just a peek and off I’ll go – I thought. (At that time, Star doesn’t publish their columnists’ face)

How disappointed that there wasn’t anybody. The ‘Meet the Author’ table looked deserted. It was 2.50pm. I went to the information counter and asked about it.
“Over, so soon?”
“Oh no, she’s a bit late”
I was disappointed and resumed my work at the restaurant.

3.30pm – I ran down again. The counter in the bookshop still looked deserted. The shop assistant said it was canceled. ‘What a pity that my excitement was so short lived’ – I thought.

On my break, 5.00pm I habitually strolled to that bookshop. She was there. Since I already have her book, I didn’t want to buy another one just to own the privilege of shaking hands with her. I stood by the side and passively observed her. It was fulfilling.

At dinner time, I was very joyously surprised to see her again patronizing the restaurant. I told her that I’m her fan and we briefly exchanged some opinions. She even politely obliged to entertain my idea of her coming to my school to give a talk. I gave her my contact number and was hopeful for the idea to conceptualize.

She DID call me. But it wasn’t about the talk. She wanted to know if I’m interested to give tuition to her daughter. I thought, ‘Wow….she wants ME to tutor her kid?’. Unfortunately, her schedule can’t meet mine so instead I promised I’ll keep her posted on the availability of my friends. I asked about the fee.
“Rm 5”
“An hour?”

Oh God. This will be hard. Where on earth can I find such person who’s willing to travel to her house bi-weekly, to teach a 7 year-old girl one to one, for RM 5 an hour?

God loves her. I DID manage to find one. A financially-desperate UM student Jiejie was willing to take the offer.

Months later, I was given a piece of homework of interviewing someone we admire. I immediately thought of her. I called her. She didn’t sound friendly this time. But I persisted. She reluctantly agreed.

I went to her house. I was very shocked to find out that she lives so near the shopping complex itself (where I had first met her).

I pressed the door bell. Her maid came to the door.
I was left seated alone at the living room for 2 mins before she came down. I was very surprised once again, seeing her clad in clothes I had presumed to be her sleeping clothes. It was 2.30pm.

No customary polite greeting. No offer of refreshment.
Just repetition on WHY I shouldn’t interview her.

I brushed her comments aside and immediately asked her relevant questions to fulfill my homework requirement. I assure you, they are NOT personal questions.
She was visibly very annoyed.

She :What you are asking me are silly questions! All you want to know are all clearly written in my book.
Me : I’m just asking you the questions my teacher has set in her guidelines.
She : Well, teachers aren’t always right, are they?
Me : I…….
She : Let me teach you.

She went on with her ramblings. I was close to tears. She left me with the excuse that she needs to prepare to go out soon. Her maid saw me to the door.

I left that place trying hard to correlate her with her stance in chosen issues she had written about and her tone of expression in her columns.

I was very green, very naïve back then.

Today, I still pay attention to her columns. But just with a different outlook.

Saturday, February 11, 2006


Common sense can’t be taught. We all know that.

*In car*.
Hun : You know, the SPP bookstore offers discount privileges for its members. 20% for novels, 10% for stationeries and the best part? 5% for mags! I mean, do u know any place that gives discount for mags? They only charge Rm15 for a lifetime-membership fee.

Jie : Aiyo, 5% only! How many mags will you buy in order to enjoy the discounts that can reimburse the membership fee? And, if you truly are a mag ardent reader, might as well subscribe straight from the mag itself. Not only do u get more discount, you also enjoy other privileges like gifts and special invites. Moreover, SPP only have 3 outlets! And they’ve just started. I doubt they’d outlive you.

Hun : ……………………..

Jie : You joined, didn’t you?

Hun : *stupid grin*

Jie : *Roll eyes, switch on radio*

My sister is indeed *what I always call her* a God-damn genius. She has taught me so many facts in life. She has started educating me since I had brain. The following are the indispensable knowledge she has imparted to me.

1 - Eating nose-boogie is good for health. (Wonder why this tops the list?)
2 - Plasticine is edible. The smelly-oily ones especially. The pungent smell is due to the highly concentrated nutrient contents.
3 - Pregnancy is the result of accumulated indigested watermelon seeds.
(But I came to this world differently. Ma found me in the dumpster and generously took me home).
4 - Mothers have magical instincts to locate their children’s whereabouts. So, it’s absolutely alright to wander off in shopping complexes.
5 - It is NOT illegal to take anything that has no price tag out of the shop.
6 - Phone numbers with the digit [0] cost more.
7 - Jumping is the best exercise to accelerate the development of breast during puberty.

Another conversation with Jie. Jie was patiently and tirelessly trying to explain something to me. (You know, like how Bart Simpson was trying to explain how fire works to his father, Homer)

Hun : Jie, I’m so blessed to have a patient kindergarten teacher like you to be my Jie Jie. I mean, you’ve been trained to communicate with 5-year-olds. Your explanation skill suits my mentally. *smiling in manja way*
Jie : I teach 4 -year-olds.

Friday, February 10, 2006

Han Han Belacan

I grew up in SS2.

That's what I would call, my kampung.

Or in the more urbanised term, my turf.

A few weeks ago, I met up with a friend somewhere closeby SS2.

I passed by my old house.

Needless to say, memories came gushingly choking to my mind and emotion.

I will detour to an old writing of mine to illustrate my point.

Written on March 6, 2004.
I was stunned this morning by a piece of obituary advertisement. I was browsing through the Star newspaper and suddenly this piece of ad caught my attention because the person in the photo looked so young.
The first thing that came into mind was,
"Poor thing, so young, just three years my senior."
As my eyes browsed the name, my heart missed a beat.

The name, which I read again and again, confirmed that he was indeed my neighbour back in SS2.
I just couldn't believe it. My sister told me not long ago that she met him in a cineplex in 1 Utama.

My thoughts then recounted the history of our childhood together.

Yes, I do remember him being ill.
As children, we never ask him what caused him to frequent the hospital.
Until today, I am ashame to say that I don't know what is his actual illness.
We simply grew apart as we grew up.

When we were children, the neighbours will all come out to play in the evening. It's as if all of us have some highly-complex-in-built sensory in each of us because no invitation was ever needed.
Our favourite game? 'Catching' - what the ang mohs call, Tag.

I remember him being one of the fastest runner. He, knew this, but never used it to his advantage. He had always given us (the younger girls) allowance of time to run ahead of him when he is nearing us and we just panicked and kneel down. (sign of surrender, if u recall the rules)

Perhaps, he didn't want the game to end so soon.
"Ok, ok, I give you 10 seconds ah... 1...2...3.."
Sometimes, if the competition stiffens, the counting tempo varies, of course.

He was a good boy and I know for a fact that he grew up a gentleman. I remember he had a very domineering and obnoxious younger sister who always hit and shout at him. But never once have I witnessed him returning any of those physical nor verbal blows. That sister of his was always screaming and crying to have her way, and he always tirelessly pacify her so that the parents need not interfere.

Having said this, I also remember being jealous of the sister for having him as kor kor.

He had bestowed a nickname for me.
"Han, Han -Belacan" ^_^ (This must be chanted in a melodious tune.)

I have read and heard many times that good men die young.
Today, I'm certain of such claims.

Goodbye Marcus Kor Kor.
Till we meet again, maybe we can play 'catching' again. And this time, I'll give you the allowance of 10 seconds

In the loving memory of Marcus Chong (21.5.1978 - 5.3.2004)

Thursday, February 09, 2006

Nice day

Yesterday (wed) was such a happy day for me.

  • I DID wake up on time. Even had sufficient time to bathe, wash hair and joke with sis.
  • The flow of traffic was miraculously bearable. All the music played on radio was more than agreeable.
  • I found parking!
  • I was NOT late for tutorial.
  • There was an abandoned The Sun newspaper for me to devour.
  • I teased F about her huge file she has chosen to hand in for her assignment.

*The following had taken place in Mandarin.
Me : Wah Lau! Why do u always need to ‘stand out’ wan? Ms A said use ‘any’ type of cheap file and u are using this? *Holding her ring holder file to her face.*
F: *Blushing as usual* No…. I don’t have any other files at home.
Me : *Holding my poor ‘twice-hand me down’ file, rubbing the stained cover, talking to my file* - “it’s ok… don’t feel bad.”

The tutorial was painlessly boring and it ended quickly.

Had just enough time to go to canteen and had my favourite chicken and potato in sweet sauce economical rice with mmmmm.. my lovely Justea.
after class, F asked me

“Are u finished with that?”pointing at the can of Justea I had deliberately left under my chair in class.
*embarrassed* "Yes and I’m about to put it into the bin."
“Can u give it to me?”
In my musty head, “wah, is she trying to give me another one of those ‘Hun, u are a bad girl’ message?”
Hun:“I’m really going to throw it away, properly”
F:“I recycle cans”
in musty head, “so do I, Im the ‘standing upright in beauty queen poised’ world peace girl.”
H:“You want to take this home?”

F is indeed the pragmatic version of ‘standing upright in beauty queen poised’ world peace girl. Isn’t she simply sweet?
Oh! I just heard the most fabulous news! She’s currently (in the second month phase) dating a TV3 producer! Eeeeeee!!! My Gwyneth Paltrow is ‘pak toh-ing’!
I’ve never been so delighted since.. since.. since.. (looking up in ceiling reminiscing) I discovered Konyaku jelly on the buffet table last week!
That explains the sudden change into the more feminine clothes.*ahem* (according to the modern day fashion)
No wonder she giggles in the most boring lectures…. *snicker*

After class, I visited my (strictly forbidden by therapist) bookstores. Bought Angels and Demons; Never Let Me Go; A Fine Balance
Was greeted by a very cheerful cashier.
Eyes peering at the bookshelf behind her.
“Is that Calvin and Hobbes collection series?”
“Yes. Would u like to have a look?”
*as eager as puppy*, “Yes, please.”
As I carefully turn the pages, “How much is this?”
"Rm600.95 "
I extra extra carefully handed back the book to her.

Next stop, McDonald’s! (yes. I support modern day imperialism)
I purchased my Hello Kitty chop chop! Er.. what is the right name? Stamper?

Went into another (strictly forbidden by therapist) bookstore.
Ah! Ha Jin has a new book! And it’s in the 3 for 2 section. But why oh why the rest of the books in the compartment are chic books which have identical words like dates, men, diaries, shoes, shopping, women, kisses, romance .. etc..?
I circled the display table TWICE. Nope, I can’t do this to myself. I left my Ha Jin behind.

AH!!! Terry McMillan has a new book! And the cover design suck big time! Oh well, will rather wait for the second publication.
Walked over to the “Value Buys” compartment. Left the bookstore with
Hannibal; Sherlock Holmes collection; Margaret Atwood.

I was very tempted to purchase all three of the Hornby books; - About a Boy, High Fidelity and Fever Pitch, all wrapped up in plastic for the price at Rm14.90. But I already have the first one, read two/out of three of them....erm...this is why my therapist forbids me to come here.

As I was searching for my car in the parking lot, wow! A black Nissan sportscar! I 'kaypo -ed' around the car. Along came the security guard.

*nervously* ''Tengok saja''

Security guard with baton was approaching even faster.


Came home and watched my 5 o’clock Singaporean drama.

Sis came back and we went to 1 Utama for dinner and “Keeping Mum”
The Nasi Pattaya I had was fabulous! Laughed like a hyena throughout the movie.

It was a great day.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

I hear ya, sista!

Just finished watching the Hong Kong movie, Initial D. Yeah, I know, I should be sleeping now, it’s way past my bedtime and I have to wake up real early tomorrow. But I must do this. Heck I won’t even stay up a minute late past my bedtime for finals, but this is different. I’m doing this for myself. No one else. Just me.

At the end of the movie, as Jay Chou so suavely drove away his car, his gf’s advice is still lingering in my head.

Find your own world, then you will find yourself” For Jay Chou, his world was of course, car racing.

Like the rest of the world, I have my own battles to fight everyday. The normal routine battles, the periodical battles and the worst of all, the battle that is within me.

I’m now asking myself, “Where is MY world?”

Another movie comes to mind – Beautiful Boxer (funny, most of the movies I like have the word ‘beautiful’)
The main character was asked, “Is it harder to be a man or to be a woman?”
The ex-boxer answered, “The hardest part was to remember what I want to be.”

The saint who had witnessed the core meaning of inadequacy, Mother Theresa said, “The greatest poverty of all, is to feel unwanted

Many people asked me why I have pledged my undying allegiance to Adeline YenMah’s book, Falling Leaves. Because it was the first book which had affirmed with me, that there is nothing wrong with me. What happened to me wasn’t my fault. Not only that I’m ok, but that it can even get better. Sometimes, even the smartest people search the entire universe for this answer.

In Good Will Hunting, Matt Damon's wilful character was finally touched by Robbin William's psychologist character when he said, " It wasn't your fault." Again, RWilliams looked deep into MDamon's eyes and said, "It wasn't your fault."
I had / have nobody to tell me this. Luckily I read / watched it.

Oprah Winfrey was asked why she started a book club of her own. She answered that books had dramatically changed her life completely.
In my darkest moment, I knew there was a way out. I knew there was another kind of life because I had read about it. Reading gave me a sense of value, and it was the only time I felt loved.”

I hear ya, sista!!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Blur Blur Burger

BLUR -courtesy of urbandictionary.com

1) Malaysian slang for ignorance/being ignorant of something.
"You're so blur." - by
wayfarer Aug 24, 2003
2) This word is used on internet to express feelings over something of disliking or a mistake inadvertantly done. Could be further expressed harder by using additional 'r' like blurr or blurrr.
blurrr! (what have i done OR what the hell was that?) - by
Ink_Pot Apr 15, 2005
3) Hun ; author of cendolais.blogspot.com

I have solid past experience and testimonials to back up my title.

  • a good friend told me that when she first met me in orientation, she thought I was Japanese because I was very quiet and had looked so BLUR, as if I had no idea what was going on.
  • I was working in a Japanese restaurant and taking down orders from a group of English-speaking Chinese customers. As I was waiting for them to decide if there is anything more to add, the customer looked at me with a concerned expression. ''Do you understand English?"
  • I was heading towards the canteen with friends when a friendly girl who was walking the opposite direction waved and smiled at us. I smiled back, and commented to my friend, "Very friendly hor, that lenglui. Don't know us also smile." My friend looked at me . "She's our classmate lar, Doink!!" Erm, that happened on the last semester of the course.
  • as we are sipping our overpriced coffee, my friend commented how good looking those guys who just walked passed us looked. She= "check out his hair, his baju, aiyo.. when he smile got dimple some more". Me = "ha? Got people walked passed us just now ah?"
  • F asked me about the assignment that is about to due and her train of articulated words was just "a?b?c?d?e?f?g?h?" to my understanding. She must have thought I was listening intently but all that was going through my head was, - "We have an assignment?"
  • A lecturer asked me, "How are you today?" I nonchalantly answered, "Yes." - with a bright smile.

Miraculously, there are STILL some people who think I'm 'smart'. Like in yesterday's tutorial, we were given a 'hand-in-by-end-of-class' assignment to do. My classmates were impressed that I had voraciously written down a page long of 'critical' comment and was the first to hand in. What they didn't know was that I didn't give a hoot about the marks allocated for it. I was merely motivated by the , "You can leave as soon as you hand in" quote. Yeah, I can beat the jam and watch that 5 o'clock Singaporean drama!

A friend asked me if I'd be interested to be a political journalist. Oh, this friend was dead serious.

I was like, "what? why would you think I'd be?"

She= Well, you seemed well-versed in current issues and have a flair for words.

Me= Izit? ( *floating on air* / head also quite swollen ) No lar. I'm just a slut for information. I'll read anything that is available.

She= You know, it's not always good to be SO well-informed. Sometimes, the phrase, 'Ignorance is bliss' is quite applicable in life.

Me= *shocked* but.... Isn't life about pursuing what we have the potential to possess?

## Awkward silence ##

Me= Oh , look.. there's [name] ! Let's join her.

## Subject ended abruptly ##

Monday, February 06, 2006

World Peace

The following conversation had taken place in Hakka.

Ma: What happened to the leftover drinks we served to the guests just now?
Me: I drank it
Ma: *speechless due to utter shock and disgust* .....
Me: What? Don't waste mah...
Ma: Next time hor, DON'T DO THAT ever again. Grandma says that 'moi chai' (girls) who drink leftovers will never get married.
Me: Ah... that explains it.

I can see it already. 10 years ahead, when relatives ask why I'm unattached or unmarried, I can relate this noble act of mine of not wanting to waste food. I'd rather live in a stigmatic life of spinsterhood than to let good edible food to waste.

I'm such a saint.

*standing upright, with the poise of a beauty queen*
FOR WORLD PEACE *the crowd breaks into applause*

You're The Man!!

The quote that should have made headlines.

As I navigated through the British Broadcasting Corporation's website, I came across an interview with Flemming Rose, editor of the Jyllands-Posten, the Danish newspaper at the heart of the controversy.The editor says that he stands by the publication of the twelve cartoons, and was asked by the BBC if, knowing what he knows now, would he still publish the cartoons*?

"That is a hypothetical question," he says. "I would say that I do not regret having commissioned those cartoons and I think asking me that question is like asking a rape victim if she regrets wearing a short skirt Friday night at the discotheque."

It is journalism warriors like him who make me look forward to my daily newspapers.

Another quote comes to mind.

"Nothing is worse than the pollution caused by the fear of intimidation. Such fear poisons people's minds and wisdom."
-Dr Puey Ungpakhorn (Bank of Thailand governor 1959 to 1971)

HUN Boleh!!!

Wookie.. for those who think that I'm all talk and no action, this entry is for you.

I did the most unthinkable.

I called the mechanic 'sifu'!!

**Toot...toot...toot...toot** seconds later which seemed like eternity. He picked up. Following conversation had taken place in Cantonese.

Him: Hello?
Dumb Fool (Me): .............. Err...........
Him: Yes? Who do you want to speak to?
Dumb Fool:........................................
Him: Who is this?
Dumb Fool:...............Er.............
Him: Oh, you looking for Kelly?
Dumb Fool: ...............Er..........
**passed phone to Kelly.
Kelly: Yes, who's this?
Dumb Fool: Sorry! Wrong number!

**Dumb Fool bangs head with both hands..Took deep breath. ok.. I can do this. I can do this.. Dumb Fool calls again.

This time, Kelly picks up.
DF: Was that your boyfriend?
Kel: Who's this?
DF: I'm doing a guy friend of mine a favor. He needs to know if you're attached. Was that your boyfriend. (crossing fingers real hard)
Kel: No.(giggling) That's my husband.
- -**The entire world turned dark.**
DF: Ok, Thanks.. bye..

oh! that explains the ring on his finger (recalling his hand on the car door) *rubbing finger on chin.

Oh well, that went well, didn't it? sigh...

To be honest, I'm not at all disappointed. No. Really.

Matter of fact, I'm So proud that I made that phone call. It'd be easier for me the second time , right? yeah... Malaysia Boleh!!

Sunday, February 05, 2006


Lately, I have been very nostalgic about the papers I keep in my 'file'.

"Excellent" - this was marked on my paper written back when I was forced to write a short essay in class on an allocated time. This is part of the essay.

"I have a dream." was the essence of Martin Luther King's impactful and historical speech. He was a great believer in dreams and with that speech delivered, many believed in him too. It is indeed true that as a civilized human being, it's absolutely necessary for us to have dreams, ambitions, a path to take us to where we believe we are destined to be.

My dream is to be able to keep an optimistic mind. Optimism is important because with that state of mind, I am ready to face any obstacles in life.With that, I'm sure to succeed. I do not define success by the acquisition of property, career nor education. But by the condition of my heart. As long as I know that I've tried my best to do things right, I have succeeded.

My dream is to be able to feel safe at home, to work enthusiastically in a meaningful cause, to readily embrace challenges, to laugh as often as I can, to cry only when I'm touched, and to remain fearfully faithful the the One Creator. I hope to continue keeping my dreams through the condition of my heart and mind because what is unseen is eternal.

BUT >>> that's NOT why I had kept this essay..
come on lar.. you think I really believe or practise what I wrote ah? I'm way too materialistically shallow man... I just wanted to quickly finish this damn work and read my book (back in that class). Fortunately, my BS was well received by the teacher...BUT she made me stand in class and read it out loud. DAMN!

ahem, back to WHY I had kept this piece of work. BECAUSE.... a dear friend of mine passed a little note to me with these scribblings just minutes after I sat down. Unfortunately I don't have a scanner to illustrate her beautiful handwritting and the cute flowery piece of paper she used.

**Han, that piece was really good. So good, I wished it was written by me.[ cute smiley face] . It was spontaneous and straight right from the heart and that's what makes the reader and listener feel the same zeal as you. So, here's an encouragement, always smile from your heart coz it reflects you. Love, [signed name]

Damn, now I feel really guilty. But hey! This blog entry (hopefully she reads it coz I've given her the add SO many times) will find a way to her heart and forgive me. ^_^

Saturday, February 04, 2006

From Vince

**When the tears dry
and when the screams become a quiet cry
When the world is hard and cold
The darkness seeps into your soul
Hold up your eyes
Coz I see you.

When the world is twisted and unkind
And you feel thorn scar your mind
Hold up your eyes
Coz I see you.

I'll be the reflection to remind you
who you are
So dream your dreams
Look past the world
And keep reaching for the stars.**
~~Vince (he passed this handwritten note to me just minutes after he saw me crying. The best part? We just got acquainted) How unfortunate that the paper had no date on it. I forgot when it was given or even how the author looked like.

Dear Vince, thank you for this note. No words can express how much this note means to me. It's definitely the piece of paper I would want to keep to show my grandchildren.


This blog entry sequence is so.....inappropriate considering my previous entry. But what the heck, I'm so swooningly in love!

Ahem, you see... this is what had happened. The car's side view mirror was broken, so I had to take it for repair. Boom! I encountered the most good looking mechanic 'sifu' in town! Oh, and eligibly young too.

He was so soft spoken and had the most 'macho' set of arms!
EEeee!! Sukanya aku!!
As he was fixing the problem, I was fascinated that his heng tai-'brothers in automobile' kept consulting him on various car ''ch'ng-ing'' methods requested by other customers.

Man, I was in love....
When he was done with me, ok ok...with my car (damn it) ahem, he so courteously asked if **sigh** there is anything else he can help me with...
I thought, if ONLY....

Ahem, anyway... I thanked him and he gave me his card and asked me out for a date tomorrow night.

Ok, that last bit was made up in my fantasy. **mumble mumble**

But I got his cellphone number and his first name!

Maybe I should ''ch'ng'' some part of the car.. Bit by bit...

Friday, February 03, 2006

Written on Train

I regret not keeping all my writings from my past. Upon clearing my old files, I found a little piece of spiral notebook paper with my illegible scribblings on it.

Sitting on this train, the view reminds me
The good times I had with you aplenty
But I have to put them far from my heart
For reliving them, tears me apart
The promise I made and broke
Together with my dreams it took
How my heart aches you'll never know
For you have gone, I heard so

I congratulate you, you earn it, you worked hard,
I knew you had what it takes, I knew from the start
Oh no! Here's the KL train station
The same place where I was filled with exhilaration
You and I are like the interchange at KL Central
You went to university and I'm left to dawdle

Would you believe that I had cried uncontrollably
When I found out that to see you, there's no possibility
I write this down to put away
But along with the memories it will stay

This was written back in year 2002, May. I was on the commuter train.
Affections have changed of course, but the nostalgic feeling remains.

Thursday, February 02, 2006

Success Dfc

Many public figures and great scholars have attempted to define the word success. I find this particular one best suit my understanding.

To laugh often and much,
To win respect of intelligent people and the affection of children,
To earn appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends,
To appreciate beauty, to find the best in others,
To have the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch or a redeemed social condition,
To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived
This is to have succeeded.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

That's Me! That's Me! Part2

This letter was published in NST on Feb 17, 2004. Got color some more wor.... ^-^ Hehehe

No Help For Crime Victim In The Bus
I read a book that says, "True evil is when good people let bad things happen". I never quite truly understood what the author meant until a recent incident on a bus to Mid Valley Megamall. Minutes after the bus left Bangsar station, I heard shouts from the back of the bus.

''Tolong! Please help! He took my mobile phone! He has a pair of scissors in his hand!" I turned around to see a teenage boy pleading to get his mobile phone back from a person he said had stolen it. Seeing that nobody made any move to help him, he tried to get it back himself.

The physically larger man, of course, pretended that he didn't know what the boy was talking about. He violently pushed the youth back into his seat. The youth refused to give up and this seemed to ignite the anger of the assailant who elbowed him in the face several times.

All eyes were on them and yet not a single person bothered to say anything, let alone help. In the end, due to the attention, the man gave up.
As the bus driver puuled over at the megamall and the frightened boy quickly fled with his mobile phone into the complex.

There were at least 25 people in the bus. All of us watched this without interfering. I write this out of guilt because, though being physically weaker, I could have done something although I am not sure what. All I said was "Mencuri ke?" out loud. I was the only one who bothered to say something.

I truly wonder who that boy was more frightened of, the robber or US; the kind of people who encourage crime.
Y.H (Sg Buloh)

That's Me! That's Me!

Have you heard of the phrase, "People never grow up, they just learn how to behave in public"?

I posted my review on my favourite book, the one I'm nobly waiting to purchase at a ridiculously cheap price.

The following is my contribution to Mixfm's book forum. Yup, that's me, that's me!

[cendolabc ] says of "Bound Feet & Western Dress " i have read it 4 times and wouldn't be surprised if i'd pick it up again! written by her brother's granddaughter, it'the testimony of Chang Yu-I, the first woman to be divorced the western way in China, albeit it her unwilling choice to be separated by her famous scholar husband, Hsu Chih Mo. It's a true story of how a Chinese lady had struggled to maintain the propriety values in the midst of modernization at the turn of the century. you will find many interesting quotes in this book. a must read for those who wish to understand the Confucius -Chinese way of thinking.Posted on: : 9/17/2004