English: There, here and over there. Basically, in a sense, to mean restless. A collection of thoughts, musings and ramblings...

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

My wandering spirit

I miss exploring. During my days off and with nothing to do, I like to wander off onto some unfamiliar territories just out of curiosity. I used to do it all the time, especially when I was in Australia. And if there is something I haven't tried / experienced, I would do it. Err... maybe not bungee jumping though ;p






In Labuan, I used to spend every weekend driving on all the different routes around the island. My good old friend and former colleague, Peny, used to be amazed that someone who hasn't been on the island all her life would know the different roads. Ahh well, nothing much else to do in Labuan ;) and there's no way of really getting lost on an island. My favourite drive route would be to pass by the Japanese Peace park through to Pancur Hitam, then further to Batu Manikar. Always some good opportunities for some nice makan-makan too ;) At the Japanese Peace Park there would be some nice satay + barbecued chicken wings, at Batu Manikar - some really really good ABC. Yum! :p Haha! Now that reminds me of how every weekend we used to spend time on looking for good places to eat. And try new ones if we haven't. The best nasi lemak, best satay, best chicken wings, best chicken rice, best tomyam, best chicken chop.... we knew where to get them :) (and gosh, I am getting hungry from the memories. Haha!)




Ahh ok, back to talking about my wandering spirit. What I liked best about being in Australia was the endless possibilities of exploring. You don't have to go out of state to find interesting places to visit. I love the little suburbs, any little town, doesn't matter. They always have something interesting. I just really enjoy coming to a new place, breathe in the atmosphere and think about how life would be there. When I visit a place, it is more like I would like the blend in with the locals.


While I was staying in Queensland, Australia, I lived in Robertson, which is just down the hill from the campus. Some mornings I don't bother taking the bus up the hill and instead just take a nice uphill walk up, passing by the childcare centre, gym and residences. Funny thing, on the bus is where I met lots of people come to think of it. Just thinking about it makes me miss uni life. Sometimes I ask myself if I love Australia because it is what it is, or is it because it is the place that I felt the safest in years and most at home? Free to be me.




Anyway, I used to spend almost every weekend on different bus routes just to see where it would take me. The public transportation there is so convenient and accessible, which makes it a joy to use. What I would usually do is take out the bus schedule (or look it up on the internet), look at it and go 'hmmmm... never been there, it sounds interesting!' and then plan on how I would go there and then just go. I enjoyed going for job interviews (had quite a few) because a lot of them would take me to places I have never been before. Some afternoons I would take long strolls around the neighbourhood and surrounding areas. When I started hanging out with a lot of other foreign students (especially from Germany), they were as crazy about exploring as I was, which made it fun. We rented cars to go travelling, camping and other outdoorsy stuff. The best was the 10 day trip from Darwin to Alice Springs to Adelaide. That was when the travelling and exploring bug hit me really hard then.





The opportunity to mix with people and go travelling was the best part of my whole student experience. I went sea-kayaking, tried surfboarding, handfed dolphins, camped out in the wild, driven in the middle of the desert, had some crazy student parties, learnt to scuba dive, explored many places..... at first there was some culture shock, but in the end it was some of the best times of my life. Maybe that is what makes me miss Australia so much. While being in Malaysia, there are still travelling opportunities (visiting some tourist attractions, small towns, or flying to other cities such as Kuching, Penang, Miri, Ipoh), it is not quite the same. Well, I do my best. There are still places left to explore in Sabah, for example, Pulau Tiga, Selingan island, Layang-Layang island, Maliau Basin, the Sabah Tea gardens and so on. Oooh... that reminds me! I want to go on the Death March trail one day and learn about some Sabahan history.

I would give so much for the opportunity to travel more. Doesn't have to be out of the country, but if it is possible, that is pretty much awesome. My former company gave me the opportunity to visit Vietnam and Singapore, which was great. And since that I know lots of people abroad, especially in Europe, it gives me reason to visit them :) Locally, I have visited Mabul / Sipadan all by myself for a dive trip. The great thing about travelling by oneself is the people you meet along the way. I had plans to go to Maliau Basin early this year, but it didn't happen :(

The thing is, I actually don't mind being a solo traveler, which I have done in the past (to Germany and Denmark). But I guess it would be really nice to have a travelling buddy to share experiences with :)

Countries I have visited thus far:-
1. Australia - have visited almost all states except Tasmania
2. New Zealand - Been to most of the South Island. Would like to return for a more in-depth visit. A bit difficult with the parents.
3. Vietnam - been to Hanoi and Halong Bay
4. Singapore
5. Thailand - a long long time ago when I was 15. Went to Bangkok and Pattaya
6. Brunei - visited in 2008 with my sister and kids
7. Denmark - Aarhus and Sonderborg in 2007
8. Germany - Hamburg and Stuttgart in 2007
9. London, Birmingham, Scotland, Paris, Amsterdam - all when I was 5 and can't remember much of, so should I put it on this list??

Countries on my wishlist:-
1. Norway (coming soon, in January 2011)
2. Japan
3. Hong Kong
4. Indonesia
5. Philippines (maybe for JCI ASPAC 2011 in Manila?)
6. Greece (just something about it calls to me ;-))
7. Italy. I have just always wanted to visit, especially Venice and Rome
8. Chile - because I have a uni friend who lives there, and the place looks really interesting
9. New Zealand - I would like to return to see NZ from a different perspective than what I get from travelling with parents. I want to travel with younger people ;) Go explore Queenstown in more depth and see where they shot the scenes for LOTR. Explore the Maori culture.
10. Anywhere else not on my list


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Wednesday, December 8, 2010

2011 resolutions

2011 is almost here! At last work is slowing down enough for me to take a breather after months and months of non-stop teaching and projects. Actually, I have no idea what I am doing at work, not like there is anything to do except sit around. So why not update my blog while I can? They should give me my course structures soon so I know what I will be handling for the first semester of the year.

Last year, I didn't celebrate New Year's eve at all. Was at home, cleaning up while waiting for the clock to strike at midnight. I guess the reason was that I had just transferred to KK and basically left all my friends in Labuan. We would usually have all kinds of parties, for all occasions. So I stayed home. That was kind of pathetic, so this year I think I need to really celebrate, with someone, somewhere.... We are afterall live in this life once, so make the most of it. I am still thinking about how to make this New Year celebration a memorable one.

I have always had a thing for making plans and lists. Like I used to have a list of things to do before I am 30. Now that I am past that, what about a 40s list? :p My favourite was the 101 things to do in 100 days before my 30th birthday. That was so funny. While at times it is like I am building castles in the air, you'll be surprised at how many things on the list I have actually accomplished. Like owning a car and house, or travelling to Europe, or taking up scuba diving before I am 30. For me, it is fun knowing what I want and when I want it. But of course, if I stuck to my plan, I would have had another baby when I was 28. Unfortunately that was the castle in the air :p

As I recall at the beginning of 2010, I had set 5 goals for myself:-

1. Find meaning and purpose in my work / job
2. Find L.O.V.E.
3. Keep fit
4. Travel
5. Save money


The result? You win some, you lose some. As I look back this December in what I have achieved over the last 11 months I realised how much I have actually done and experienced. Some even exceeded all expectations and any plans I have ever made.

First of all, I was keen on finding purpose and meaning in my job. It kills me that I don't have passion in my work, so this year I have ventured into a new career path. I have decided on this after feeling completely unmotivated in my last job. I was in my comfort zone with my old company, I got along with almost everyone there, but then I started asking myself - where am I going to be in 5 years time? Is this getting me anywhere? So I decided to move out of my comfort zone and try something new. Still accounting related, but instead of doing, I am teaching instead :) Teaching is also the best way of utilising my Masters qualification. So, have I achieved meaning and purpose in my job? In some ways, yes. Eventhough at times, teaching is actually quite a stressful and time-consuming job (contrary to popular belief) I can see now the direct results of my work. Which of course, comes hand in hand with meaningfulness.

For my second new year's resolution, I guess you could say I am obsessed with love and being in love. I still believe that happiness and true love is out there for me despite having crashed and burnt by love many times. Maybe it is because I feel deprived of the things that I had dreamt of since like, forever. I see other people so happy in love and I get envious. I want a man who loves and accepts me the way I am, someone who I can count on to protect me and someone who is a great dad. In short - a REAL man. So the quest began this year after I realised that I have to stop moping over the loss of what I thought was the love of my life, and start moving on.

The thing is, I kind of prefer dating men from other places than where I am, so I tried online dating for real out of curiosity. I found a good, reputable online dating site, found 2 interesting dates - a certain PhD-holding science teacher at a posh private school; and a concert pianist turned psychology student (and my very own Love Doctor when I need advice). And recently, just when I thought I have given up on online dating, I scored another date. This time through Facebook. In addition to the online dating scene, I also had an 'almost' marriage proposal, and I also formed a deep crush on someone who is the epitome of the guy of my dreams. It has indeed been an interesting year. However, I am still inconclusive about what I really want, so no big decisions for me yet. Still exploring my options and making sure it is what I really want. I owe myself that much after the pain that I have been through in the past.

My third resolution for 2010 was keeping fit. The first thing I did was to sign up at a fitness centre that was just on my route back from work. Not only was it convenient for me to come by, I actually enjoyed some of the programs, which is a great motivator for me to come week after week after week. I also found that I eat less as well now, not because I deliberately do so, but somehow I don't have the appetite that I used to have. Probably due to the busy schedules. However, I think I have to define exactly what is being fit? How fit is fit? I guess I better start thinking of a goal to achieve at so I know when I have reached it ;) All I know is, that I enjoy the compliments and positive feedbacks I have received so far!

4th resolution - travel. Not much travelling this year, with the exception of Miri and Penang, but those weren't leisure trips. However, I have a ticket to Norway next year, to join JCI Orsta-Volda (Norway) in their Troll Weekend. That will be interesting. I have been to Denmark and Germany, so it will be nice to compare countries. And have a taste of freezing temperatures, since it will be in January. Haha!


And the last resolution - save money. Not good at all. Not sure what happened ;-) I was just thinking as I was Christmas shopping today that I would love to have one of those 'Mad Money' jars as a present. Or that they have some of those here I could give away as gifts. Basically, it is a coin / money bank made with ceramic, but with no way of opening it and getting the money out without breaking it. And they have such cute designs, the ones I have seen. Anyway, it looks like I will have to ask for a fuel allowance during my work appraisal, seeing that prices of fuel has been going up and up. And I drive from Likas to Putatan and back every day, which really isn't cheap at all.


My other favourite achievements in 2010 (the ones exceeding expectations):-

1. Organised 3 trainings through JCI - the new members' orientation, 'Speak Your Mind' Speech & Debate clinic, 'Have It Your Way' motivation seminar. Plus the many other projects that I helped out with.

2. Joined 2 speech contests, emceed a couple of events, and made an impromptu speech in a crowded mall. For a person who used to be scared to death of the idea of speaking to a crowd, this is a great achievement!

3. Led a White Ribbon campaign. It wasn't the destination, but the journey that felt so good. It made me realise anything is possible if we put our hearts and souls into what we believe in. I got to know so many wonderful people through this campaign, and I would definitely do it again!

4. Obtained yet another qualification. A 2-year teaching course compacted into 2 months!

5. Wrote a number of press releases and seeing them published. So satisfying ;-P even more so when you get to be in the front page for your campaign!

6. Involvement with a number of awareness/charity causes. I like feeling like I am doing good deeds, however small, that could one day make a big impact - like removing debris from the reefs, learning about the blind and deaf, donating blood...

Whoa... ! Seems like a whole lot has been happening for 2010. So what about the coming year? Been thinking about it, and here is a list of things I would like to achieve for 2011:-

1. Getting a bikini-fit body ;) one that I am not ashamed of showing off. LOL! (hey, I can always dream, right?)

2. Having my own place to live in again. While staying at the B&B is 'economical' (or it is assumed), I just feel like I've lost my individuality. I miss having a proper kitchen, a room only for sleeping in, a proper bathroom, arggh.. everything! It is just not the same when you are put into a room in a section of a house that you have to share with everyone else. My main worry here though, is the cost of properties in KK.

3. Finding a suitable business venture. I have some ideas, but nothing is for sure just yet. If not, some way of making extra cash (and by doing something I enjoy) would be awesome!

Actually, I can't think of anything more that I want for 2011. Either it is too early in the morning for thinking, or it is because I can't really be more satisfied than I am now with what I have achieved so far. Some things just cannot be planned, they just happen when the time is right. That is just about being me. At times I plan, but lots of things happen because I have a sudden spurt of inspiration which becomes my driving force. I do have a wish that I hope to be fulfilled soon, but I am just going to keep it to myself for now.

Come to think of it, maybe we don't need resolutions, or more importantly, a specific time to start. If you are serious about wanting something, you don't need a new year to start you off. It can be symbolic, but it doesn't really matter. In any case, you either have the motivation, or you don't. And for me, it all starts NOW! ;-)


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Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Campaign To End Violence Against Children on FB

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/technology/2010/12/facebook-cartoon-profile-picture.html

I don't believe in rumors. Plus, did you know that you can only create a Facebook profile if you are aged 14 and above? I know that because I helped to set up the FB profile for my daughter. I got her the account because all the kids in her class and her cousins have one. Far be it for me to be the 'uncool' mum.

Therefore, for kids to be on FB they have to lie about their age. Kids over 14 years of age are not really interested in cartoon characters anymore.

Parents, it is your duty to check your kids' FB profiles regularly. Or link it so that any new friends that your child accepts will be reflected in your email updates.

The real campaign on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Campaign-To-End-Violence-Against-Children-Childhood-Cartoon-Faces/165381953497707


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Friday, November 26, 2010

My JCI Life



My JCI life. Only a year's worth of pics and activities, but it feels like we have gone so far since the beginning of the year :) Most productive year ever in my JCI history


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Tuesday, November 23, 2010

The White Ribbon Day Campaign


When I first found out about the White Ribbon Day campaign in 2007, it never crossed my mind that one day I too will be leading such a campaign in my own hometown. I bought my first white ribbon and a wristband while I was on holiday in Queensland, Australia with the ladies of the family (my mum, sister, my daughter, niece and nephew). At that time, I was still in denial over the abusiveness evident in my relationship, I was still confused about what actually constitutes abuse. It was only later that I realised (after much soul searching) that abuse and violence does not just cover physical abuse, but also emotional and verbal. I have also come to know that many people are still disillusioned of this fact.


The White Ribbon is a symbol of hope for a world where women and girls can live free from the fear of violence. Wearing the ribbon is about challenging the acceptability of violence by getting men involved, helping women to break the silence, and encouraging everyone to come together to build a better world for all.


The history of White Ribbon Day:-

1991

The first White Ribbon Campaign was launched by a group of men in Canada after the brutal mass shooting of 14 female students at the University of Montreal.


1996

In South Africa the National Network on Violence Against Women launched their own White Ribbon Campaign and many South African womens groups quickly adopted the White Ribbon symbol.


1998

WOMANKIND launched the first White Ribbon Day in the UK.

1999

The UN officially recognised 25th November as International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women.


According to WAO's (Malaysian Women's Aid Organisation) website, almost 40% of Malaysian women are estimated to have experienced domestic abuse, a very high percentage which means that approximately one in every two women will experience domestic violence in her lifetime.


The idea about doing something significant on White Ribbon Day started last year, but the problem is finding people who were committed enough to work towards pulling off this campaign. At that time I was living on the tiny island of Labuan, where the opportunities were not that big enough to launch anything significant. Then I moved to Kota Kinabalu, where I found like-minded people in JCI Intan who are about as committed as I am about the cause. The time seemed right at last.

So why the White Ribbon Day campaign?
Easy, personal experience. Having encountered personally some painful obstacles in the process of breaking free from the imprisonment of my previous life, I decided it was time to do something. It is only too easy to just sit back, and complain about the things that are wrong with the world. But will complaining passively do anything good? Not that I know of. There is only so much governments can do for it's citizens. The rest, we do what we can. That is the power of being an NGO, finding problems that are not being addressed by the government and helping bridge the gap. The JCI Creed states: That service to humanity is the best work of life, while the JCI Mission is To provide development opportunities that empower young people to create positive change. Key word here - positive change. The message is clear: We can be the change we want to see in the world. So why not start now? Combine like-minded and committed people into an organisation and ta-dah, you got yourself a working committee and anything is possible :) That is probably the opportunity they are referring to.


To me, the important part of this campaign is about raising awareness. The problem is figuring out how. Is it enough to hand out flyers and sell white ribbons? So I seeked the advice of Sabah Women Action Resources Group (SAWO) president, Winnie Yee. She had a great deal of advice to give me, which I am so grateful for. However, when the first ideas started forming my head, I actually felt a stab of fear. It seems like so much work. What do I know about running a campaign? About leading the way to create positive change? Nothing much. What I do know however, is that it takes personal experience to fuel passion for a cause. At first I wanted to have a screening of a movie with a domestic violence theme, but unfortunately there was not enough time to source for a good one, and get the necessary paperwork done such as screening rights. But in the end, it was all good as we still managed to run two contests - jingle-writing and t-shirt designing, hold a flea market and an open forum.

I somehow feel like my campaign this year barely made a dent in the scheme of things, and still a lot of work needs to be done before this campaign truly makes an impact. But this is only the beginning, and already there is some form of basis for follow-up action. Could be another campaign, say for next year. At the moment, one of the steps I am considering taking is to to form a whole new White Ribbon Organisation, just like Kinabalu Pink Ribbon, rather than having the activities run by another NGO that focuses on leadership. That way, we can recruit people who truly believe in and are committed to the cause. For one thing, the White Ribbon campaign requires men to be at the forefront and JCI Intan is a ladies-only chapter of Junior Chamber International. Another thing is the age limit of JCI members.

One of the issues I wanted to raise from the campaign is the definition of abuse. Is it violence where I had a disagreement with my spouse over something, I argued and he slapped me or hit me that my nose hurt? Or when he held me down for no reason and tries to choke me with his bare hands? It just seems so trivial compared to women who have been hit, punched and kicked to the point of having broken bones and are bleeding. Is it abuse to be pushed and shoved, and have your personal belongings destroyed?

Is it abuse when a man loudly picks a fight with his significant other in public to embarass her? Victims choose to ignore this with excuses like, 'No, I made him angry', 'It was just a little push'. Some statements that make me angry are the ones who are observers, who come up with little gems like 'He's your husband, what can you do? Work harder for it' or 'Don't do ...... anymore, stop provoking him'. I was happy to have SAWO on event day with an exhibition that explains on these points.

And of course, the issue I wanted to raise awareness on was the help available to victims of violence. However, the open forum was intended not just for victims, but the public as a whole. The idea is to expand the number of knowledgeable individuals who can be a point of reference for people who are experiencing abuse. Afterall, violence could happen to anyone. It could be your sister, your mother, your friend. It could also happen to you. I have been in the shoes of someone who was lost and didn't know her options. Government websites are practically useless in letting you know what you need to know. So, how does the general public even know? Do a lot of people know what happens once you lodge a police report on domestic violence? It was by a stroke of luck that I got to know of Mama Anne Keyworth's (of Bukit Harapan) work from a colleague who was interested in the campaign. Until then, I had not even realised that Bukit Harapan was more than just a home for special children. Her input on the psychological effects was something that I had wanted to know for sometime. Her ability to adjust to the level of audience was amazing, as one of the problems we had was getting mostly teenagers for the forum due to some reason or another. We also had the benefit of having 2 notable speakers for the forum - ASP Erny Yusnida and George Ng. ASP Erny being the head of the department of Bahagian Siasatan Jenayah Seksual Wanita & Kanak-kanak Sabah, Polis Di Raja Malaysia was very knowledgable of her subject and was able to present in such an amusing way that really captures the attention of the audience. George Ng is a lawyer who is also very much active in NGOs, being a Rotarian and legal adviser for several societies. It was also by luck that I was able to at last find a moderator in Professor Victor Lee, after many many heartwrenching days of finding one.

I have read some people commenting that women are making too much noise about abuse to women when abuse happens to men as well. Yes, I agree that it is true. Especially cases where children are involved. But bear in mind that there are some abuses that are typically female-oriented, for example rape and human trafficking. There are also the double standards on successful women, and the age-old perception that women belong at home and to their husbands. Sounds very 1920s and something like that, but it is still prevalent in today's society.

While there were some hard times in running this campaign, there were the upsides as well. I truly feel blessed for my growing network of people, whom I would not have known if not for the existence of this campaign. I feel so thankful for the response of many, especially the generous sponsors such as Megalong mall, Glory Studio and Cili Padi Events who helped turned this campaign from a dull and blah event to a spectacular one. I am also so grateful for the White Ribbon Ambassadors, who helped in many ways, from their enthusiasm, contributing their great looks and quotes, to finding me further contacts. White Ribbon Ambassadors are men and boys who have pledged to never commit, excuse or be silent about violence against women. The key to this pledge is not being silent. White Ribbon Ambassadors take an active stand against violence against women in many unique ways - some big, some small.
Last but not least, I will never forget the dedication and commitment of my organising committee whoworked hard to ensure the success of this campaign. Without them I would have been so lost.

From running this campaign, I feel like I have gained so much, and the experience has been invaluable. So, am I ready to continue to work hard to spread the message? Oh yeah. Bring it on!!!




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Thursday, October 21, 2010

My Teaching life


I am so relieved that it is finally the end of my first teaching year. When I first accepted the job, I hadn't actual considered the workload that comes with a teaching job. Especially the administrative work, the time taken to prepare exam questions (and the solutions!), the time to mark the answers to the exam, invigilating duties and the sudden requirement to achieve a teaching qualification from Australia. It almost has felt like I haven't had a proper break for the last 11 months, what with the overlapping semesters and multiple programmes.

So why go into teaching? For one thing, I have a masters degree, and working in a typical day-to-day office job is not going to be enough to fully utilise the knowledge and skills I have gained from that qualification. I know that too well, after working as an accounting executive and my boss basically expected me to do a lot of bookkeeping, which frankly could have been done by any diploma student. Depressing! Secondly, I actually do love accounting, the theories and ideas involved, the concepts from the very first day I had my first class at university (I never studied accounting throughout my school years). It made a lot of sense for me. These are the sort of things that are not fully explored in a typical desk-bound job. Who cares about the definition of an asset? Why do we even need to know? Just key in the numbers into the right columns!

I also found out after many years of working that my personality does not match those of a typical accountant. I love to socialise, sitting down quietly for too long depresses me. It was after my first few tries at organising events and projects that I realised, 'Yes! I am meant to do much more than what I am doing now. I am good at inspiring people. I have also proved that leading people is no big deal' And it helps that I am a geek too anyway - loving libraries, books, papers and writing essays. Just being in the academic world thrills me.

Since joining the academics, I would say that one thing should be made available: a real 'how-to' or guide for new lecturers. For a complete newbie like myself, I was lost in a completely new world of classrooms, timetables, exam drafts,tests, attendance lists and certain expectations. There were lots of unspoken and unwritten rules and procedures. We focus so much on the students that we forget the people who makes a great contribution to the learning process - the lecturers/teachers. And yes, we do get lost and confused as much as everybody else. A week of learning methods training did not really prepare us for what was ahead.


I remember the very first few days I stepped into a classroom. After an entire month of doing nothing much (I started work in December), January rolled by and thus began the teaching year. For my first class, I got lost. Luckily, no one was in the class, and it was about half an hour later that 2 students came to my classroom. I later found out it is a 'normal' routine for a new year. 'No one teaches on the first week' they said, despite what we were taught during the training session - that we always start on the first day to break the cycle. Well, that is just fine with me, I need time to get settled in, get to know my students, overcome my fear of being the centre of attention. We started by introducing ourselves, talking about course structures and writing short essays so I could evaluate their level of English communication.

The first few times that I stood in front of a class and taught, I started sweating profusely. I keep worrying that I was going to slip up and students are going to look at me and say 'Doh! She doesn't know anything at all!!' I didn't even know how to prepare enough teaching materials to last for the 2 hours I was supposed to have! And the thing about being a lecturer is that you yourself are constantly learning and studying yourselves. The management just hands you your course structure and expects you to prepare everything from scratch from the books that you can get from the library. There is no set course materials. And you don't always get to teach the subjects you know the most. The management decides. I always thought that a lecturer specialises in two or three subjects the most and builds on this knowledge so that they can improve their teaching for the following semesters better. Boy, was I so wrong! Every semester lecturers are expect to teach one new subject. Or in my case, 4 new subjects. This year alone I have taught at least 9 different subjects. Is this to keep me on my toes? Or maybe this is some 'kiasu' mentality.

I also had a problem with adjusting to the students expectations of a lecturer here. Where in my uni years, we were expected to buy books and do a lot of studying ourselves. Lecturers were a last resort, if we really couldn't cope. Here it is different. Students study only what they have been given in notes and exercises. And there is always the expectation that lecturers are always ready there, nothing to do, but service at their beck and call. When students don't study, or fail, it is the lecturer's fault. We are the bad people here. I am just trying to imagine what happens to these students in the real working world. I am not saying all students are bad, just that some of them are a little spoilt at an age where they are already supposed to be adults. Adult enough to know their responsibilities and be independent. I am trying to think back, were we so different then? I could continue judging them, but I decided to step into their shoes and see the world at their level. Maybe it is because of the private college setting. It is just like any other business where the customer is always right. The emphasis is no longer on gaining knowledge and skills. You pay this much and expect results (a diploma or degree at the end).

Well, almost an entire year has passed since I first stepped into a classroom. I can feel the difference. Where once I had high expectations and got stressed about what learning standards are to me, I have now decided to adjust and face reality instead. They are, and never will be me and the student I once was. Everyone has a different way of learning. And the students here learn best from someone who they can relate and talk to. So I show them that teachers are humans too, with a wide range of interests beyond the books. What I try now is to be a facilitator of learning and most important, a friend, rather than a figure that spouts knowledge at the whiteboard. . Now that I have adjusted my expectations, I realised that it's not that hard to connect with students afterall. Less stressful too :)


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Tuesday, October 19, 2010

My most frugal buy ever!


Very happy with the dress... there was a crazy sale at the department store in the very same building as the hotel I was staying at in Miri. The original tag said RM 119, but they must be joking right?? From that much to just RM10? Well, a good excuse to whip out my purse :-p Wish I had more money to spend on more RM10 clothes, but alas... It does look good right? A wrap dress, fits perfectly, and I got compliments all day about it at work :) RM10 well spent!

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Sunday, October 17, 2010

My speech for the contest at ANC: Let Us Be The Change


I like to scuba dive. But did you know that nearly 80 percent of all marine debris is plastic? In some parts of the ocean plastic outweighs plankton 6:1. Now that's a lot of plastic!

When I was 16 or 17, all I wanted to do was to ‘Save the World’. My greatest ambition was to go off to study Environmental Science in university and then go off to work in environmental groups such as WWF, or Greenpeace. Back then, the issues most hotly debated were about deforestation, the hole in the ozone layer, animal extinction, recycling waste and reducing the use of plastic bags. Well, my dream career never happened, I did a 180 degree turn and studied accountancy instead. Don’t know if it is a good thing or a bad thing, but it sure was a big difference. From wanting to be an activist venturing through jungles to becoming a desk-bound accountant!

I mean, come on, have you heard the joke about the accountant? An accountant visited the Natural History museum. While standing near the dinosaur he said to his neighbor: “This dinosaur is two billion years and ten months old”. “Where did you get this exact information?” “I was here ten months ago, and the guide told me that the dinosaur is two billion years old.”
Anyway, many years have passed since I left my greenie dream behind. Now, 15 years later, the issues most hotly debated were about deforestation, the hole in the ozone layer, animal extinction, recycling waste and reducing the use of plastic bags….. Hey, hang on a second! Has 15 years really passed? How is it that we still remain stagnant?

Some parts of the ‘Save the World’ sentiment still remains with me. I join environmental causes, like PADI Project AWARE where we dive for a cause - to pick up rubbish & marine debris on the reefs. I just participated in my 3rd project about 3 weeks ago, and wow, is 3rd time always “lucky”? Even though underwater visibility was poor on that day, along with 2 other divers, we managed to fill up 3 large mesh bags within an hour. Mostly I collected loads of plastic wrappings & bottles. Strangest thing collected - a pair of white & blue shorts. Most disgusting? Used sanitary napkins!! Eww! Another diver even found a helmet. At the end of 2 dives we had the rubbish weighed… and ta-daaah! We have managed to collect a total of 129kg despite this being the second clean up dive in 2 weeks! Plastic bags and wrappings, like those you get from keropok and nescafe 3-in-1s weighed a whopping 60kg. Plastic bottles, 16kg. And those numbers will just keep piling up if people are not educated to recycle. And Malaysia is not exactly technologically advanced or particularly concerned about recycling and waste management compared to the likes of say, Australia or even our neighbour, Singapore. So what are we going to do? Just keep quiet about it and hope that the government will soon come to their senses and do something about it? Right… and that would be… another 15 years? Why don’t we start the recycling revolution now? Educate and create awareness.

A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step ~ Lao Tzu. Too often, we sit back and just complain because it is the easiest thing to do. Why can’t we be the change makers? We don’t have to be loud, but we do need to be committed. We are all here in JCI to be leaders. So why not lead by example and be the first to move? The first step is always the hardest, but once you start you gain momentum. As Rosanne Cash, country singer-songwriter said, “The key to change….. is to let go of fear”.

We should all take personal responsibility in initiating the change we want to see in the world. Never think "it's not my job”, "What can I do, I'm only one person", you will just be one of the millions of the other people on planet Earth. So when will change ever start? Be different, say YES, I can lead the change for a start! Do it and the rest will follow. You don't need everyone's cooperation or anyone's permission to make changes. Just say "If it's to be, it's up to me”.
I would now like to leave you with a quote from one of my favourite artists, Jack Johnson. “An individual action, multiplied by millions, creates global change.

I have taken the first steps in making change. Have you?


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Monday, September 20, 2010

Not Pretty Enough

I had a nice surprise when my guitar teacher Rene, suddenly brought up the idea of teaching me to play a song I said I wanted to learn to play - Not Pretty Enough by Kasey Chambers. Actually, I think it is very sweet that he remembers something that I mentioned on Facebook sometime ago, but let's not change the subject, haha ;-)

I just find that the song is very meaningful to me . It's not really about me wondering if I am pretty enough, I am confident that I am somewhat sufficiently attractive, but it is more related to the thoughts I can link to it. Disappointments, heart break and tragedies I encountered in my life. For example, whenever my abusive ex used to hurt me, or put me down, the little voice in my head starts asking "Why do you hurt me so? Don't I deserve happiness? Is there something lacking in me that I don't deserve to be loved?' And yes, 'Am I not pretty enough?' And again the same questions arose in my head when my next boyfriend, the man I thought was my soulmate, decided that I wasn't worth sacrificing for.

And of course, the song is also for the men I want or desire but could never have. My excuse for them is that because they cannot see beyond my extra large size (beyond the gaggle of 'perfect' women) and see the perfect woman inside that is me. If only they bothered to look!;)http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2TOAjoLw0aQ


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Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Deputy Chief Minister clears the air on date of country’s nationhood

Finally! It has become a source of irritation for me everytime I hear it announced that we (Malaysia) is celebrating 53 years of nationhood. No, it wasn't a nation yet 53 years ago! People should stop jumping the gun and accept the facts, not glorify something that isn't. Deputy Chief Minister clears the air on date of country’s nationhood


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I have a dream...

A nice house, with a big kitchen, and a loving family. That is usually the theme of one of my biggest and most cherished dreams. Why a big kitchen? I don't know actually, but I do know that a small kitchen is a pain in the neck (literally, when you are trying to chop pieces of food on limited available surfaces). I love visiting showrooms of mock kitchens. And second, the bedrooms. I have a wonderful picture in my head of how my ideal kitchen would look like. Definitely well organised with ample storage space. And wide, with a breakfast table / island in the middle. Best of all is the large windows with sunshine pouring through (maybe a little crazy, since it is a hot country here :-p)

All I know is that dream of a happy home has come and gone several times. And maybe one too many times. In my first relationship, I always had the vision that one day, it will all be good. That we would finally make some money and build our dream home. And maybe, just maybe 'he' will grow up and change for the better. But I know now that it was an impossible dream. Yes, maybe if I worked hard enough, I would probably have that dream home, but it would be my hard work alone, and without the dream man to share it with. Just like with everything else that we supposedly 'shared' between us. Like parenthood, for example. I sure don't see his share from day 1. Everything is a woman's job, even if we worked just as hard, or even harder than the so-called man. I believe in sharing and teamwork, I wanted to be respected and acknowledged that I deserved more than being a housewife, but he didn't share my sentiment.

The future seemed so much brighter for my dream when the next guy came along one fine day while I was not looking. We were from 2 different continents altogether, 2 different timezones and thousands of miles apart, yet we connected so well (all thanks to the power of the internet). We spent hours and hours envisioning our future together. I thought I found my soulmate. When I look back now, we had so many unfulfilled plans. We kept thinking, 'next year / in 2 years time we will move and build our dream lives together in Oz'. That was our shared belief and we were working towards that. I remember what an almost sure possibility it was for me, that I did not foresee living in my own country for the next few years. Any possible plans locally were always answered with 'I won't be here / I will be moving soon'. When we realised that the dream was never going to be a reality, it was like my whole world had crumbled. I had to rebuild my thoughts around 'yes, I am going to be here for awhile'. And so, for a while, my thoughts of a dream house faded away into the background while my broken heart mended.

And now it seems like the same sort of scenario has emerged once again. Great promises of love and happiness, but all this in a distant land. It would involve a huge sacrifice on my part, leaving my family, friends and a life that I know, and into the great Unknown. To me, the future prospects seem a little too bleak, all I see in my head is of darkness and loneliness. Maybe I am remembering how my whole world fell apart with my last relationship where everything seemed so good, yet.......... Maybe it is the whole sacrifice thing. In my last relationship, at least we were going to live in a place we mutually fell in love with. And that we could be open about our relationship with everybody else.

So, the dream of the beautiful house with the beautiful kitchen and loving family still remains a little shaky. It hasn't quite yet dawned on me about what I should do.


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Wednesday, July 28, 2010

My Birthday Wishlist








I once read in a book about organising your finances, that you should think about the birthday gifts you want to receive. Everyone loves birthday gifts, but ask them what they would like to receive and most would hesitate. Maybe it is strange that a book on financial organisation should touch on such a subject, but the logic behind it is that the topic is, afterall, about 'organising'. Therefore, you shouldn't waste gifts and possible money savings by receiving things that you already have. So have a wishlist ready. Now, isn't that smart?

I haven't thought much about that particular section of the book until yesterday, when a particular 'someone' wanted to get me something for my birthday. And yes, I hesitated. I would be turning 31 this year, on no other day but one that falls during the month of Ramadhan, thus limiting my party options. Also, I seem to have lost track of time that I didn't even remember that I have a birthday coming up. So anyway, here is my birthday list, organised into Big, Medium and small options ;-) (in case there are others who would want to give me something, hehehehe!)





BIG Birthday Gifts
1. A new digital camera. My last camera didn't survive falling into a dish of soy sauce early this year :-(
2. A new mobile phone. My Nokia 5800's screen has started to distort very often. Very annoying that sometimes I can't see who is calling!!
3. Like any other lady.... who doesn't wish for some extra shopping money? ;-)

Medium Birthday Gifts
1. A digital photoframe. Just because, new thing and everything :-D
2. New lingerie
3. Lonely Planet on .......... ;-) for my upcoming trip
4. Some 'bling bling'!
5. A full makeover - hair salon, make-up, mani & pedi, the works....

Small Birthday Gifts
1. Music CDs ( I am thinking - Katy Perry, Glee #2, Michael Buble....)
2. Chocolates. Always good ;-)
3. A Bodyshop voucher. If not... anything in the ranges of Aqua Lily or White Musk is welcome
4. Times bookstore voucher. There is never enough books for me!
5. Coffee Bean voucher :-p
6. A whole hi-fibre health cake from Secret Recipe :-p but I reckon I will buy this myself as a treat ;-)
7. Movie tickets

So there, you have it! :-D


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Tuesday, June 15, 2010

In the never ending search for L.O.V.E.

"What you want is a real relationship. Finding love is akin to buying a car, and what you want - the 'One', is the Mercedes-Benz. Your looks are like cash in your pocket. And at the moment, you haven't accumulated enough cash to get the Mercedes-Benz."

Those were the words of my good friend Herbert a.k.a. Pooya while giving me advice on one of the most important things my heart longs for. A relationship. Unconditional love. Someone to watch movies with, hold hands with, share my innermost thoughts with, laugh hard with, etc etc. I can't help but envy the happy couples that seem to be everywhere around me. When is it my turn to be happy? Will the day every come? Don't get me wrong. I don't NEED a guy. Look at me, I have everything I need - a house, a car, a job, a great life, family and friends. But it is something I want, and as someone pointed out, a little too much :-p

What Herbert did say was that I have all the basics - the height, the face, the poise, the brains..... but what I was losing out on was the physical attractiveness part. In other words, I am just too fat. Wow! I am too unattractive for love because I am a 'big' girl? Well, actually... not really a newsflash since the only guys I have been able to attract enough to have a date with lately (apart from the really brave, flirty ones) are the ones on online dating sites who are unable to see me from waist down (or even neck down) :-p

People who know my story would know what a carwreck my lovelife has been. My first ever boyfriend got me pregnant at the age of 19, and turned out to be a selfish bastard who abuses mentally and physically when he didn't get his way. My next boyfriend was a long distance one. Even though we were 'together' for over 2 years, sharing long emails about everything under the sun, it isn't as satisfying as having someone close by to share things with. In the end, he never came to visit me and chose his job, his personal assets (like his T.V.!) over visiting me. I guess I was never good enough for him. Since then, dated some through online dating sites, had some good ones, but the problem is always and always distance. So I quit the online dating site in the hopes of scoring a better chance with locals. Except that they are always shorter than me. Hey, I have a problem with being a giant next to a guy, ok?? But back to the topic, it almost feels like I have never been in a 'real' relationship. What I had was:- 1. a prison warden and 2. a beautiful dream.

And so... armed with advice from the Love Doctor, I have been working hard at tweaking my image to be more attractive, even though frankly, I am comfortable with myself! He even suggested me to read a copy of The Art of Seduction by Robert Greene. I have read some pages of it, found it very interesting, though I can't ever view myself as Cleopatra. Anyway, Cleopatra wasn't a 30 year old. At that time, being that age was probably already the point of no return.

Back to my image restructuring. Wish me luck!


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Wednesday, May 12, 2010

25 things about me

1. My mum sent me to ballet classes from a young age because my mum didn't want me to have spinal surgery to correct scoliosis like my poor sister did, but I think my mum mostly did it because she wanted me to do the things that she didn't get to do and couldn't get my sister to do it.
2. At 16 I dashed my mum's hopes of me ever becoming a prima ballerina ;-) because I decided to quit and take up taekwondo instead. Which she thought would turn me into a stomping hulk of a girl.
3. I am interested in so many things at once, that I believe that I am never focused enough on one interest to be really good at it.
4. I spent a lot of time on stage when I was younger. I remember my first performance was a tap dancing routine for a high school event when I was 8?? or 9? When I was barely in my teens I started earning some pocket money by dancing on stage for events.
5. I was well on my target to study Environmental Science at university in NZ when I got pregnant and had to put my dreams back on the shelf.
6. I never felt more at peace with the whole world than right after I gave birth to Ashley. Because I didn't give her up and accepted God's great gift bestowed on me.
7. Because of my pregnancy, I was forced to marry the father of my child, which I didn't want to and people kept trying to make me believe it was for the best. I tried to make the best of it for many years, but in the end you can't stop me from growing up and being the person I was meant to be.
8. I am angry that some people criticize me for following my heart and leaving a relationship that I believe doesn't benefit me or gives me the comfort or space to grow that I believe should come out of it. They didn't have to marry the first boyfriend/girlfriend they ever had. If they had, would they have been content?
9. I am a very sentimental person. I keep a lot of things because I can't bear to throw them away and I cry at movies or any scenes on tv that touches my heart.
10. The craziest thing I ever did for a guy was to quit my job and travel halfway around the world just so I could spend time with him for 2 weeks.
11. I believe the best time of my life so far was the year when I turned 26, because it was then that I finally discovered myself. Not surpressed into another person's ideals.
12. My dream is to explore the world and experience as much as I can.
13. I tore a ligament in my left knee while I was fooling around with a punching bag on my 2nd week of university in Australia. Great introduction ;-)
14. I feel uncomfortable when people ask about my love life and marital status, because unlike a lot of people I don't have rosy pictures to paint or things to boast about.
15. Eventhough I still have yet to find my 'happily ever after', I am optimistic that one day I will. I am a hopeless romantic after all.
16. I love listening to all kinds of music, but my favourites usually fall within country, acoustic rock and jazz categories.
17. My dream guy would be someone who is a whiz in the kitchen. Like Curtis Stone or Jamie Oliver ;-) and especially one who makes me laugh and in turn, laughs at my jokes.
18. Both the men that I have loved in my life I met at sporting activities. One at a taekwondo class, the other at a golf course.
19. My dream house would be furnished entirely by IKEA ;-)
20. I love watching or reading ghost stories, but not when I am alone.
21. When I was much much much younger, I aspired to be a writer. My favourite author back then was Enid Blyton, especially her stories about boarding schools and the faraway tree.
22. I have a big collection of books, which I read over and over and over again and still enjoy it everytime.
23. I still enjoy watching the Disney channel :-P
24. A lot of times I still dream that I live at my old house, where I grew up in KK.
25. When I first worked in Labuan, the initial plan was that I stay only for a year then migrate to Australia. 3 years gone by and I am still here, not because I don't want to move, but because there is never enough funds.


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Revisiting my favourite emails

This was forwarded to me by email some time ago. No idea who wrote it, but it is so true and funny :-) I love being Sabahan :-D

You are a true Sabahan when...
1) You drive at right lane of the road, with a speed of only 50 KM/H. If people horn behind you, you still don't know what's wrong.
2) You have the luxury of working from 8 AM to 5 PM (get off work punctually).
3) You don't believe that there is any 'clean' politician in Sabah.
4) You feel 'obligated' to reach the top of Mount Kinabalu at least once in a lifetime.
5) You prefer a big car than a big house (probably you can't drive a big house around to show off).
6) You wear slipper and short wherever you go, even in city.
7) You still think that Labuan belongs to Sabah.
8) You will not go to any FREE seminar / function that has no food or refreshment.
9) You don't care about service. You just want things cheap, cheap, cheap.
10) You know where to get your candles and torch light quickly in the total darkness (due to training by frequent blackout).
11) You know what 'aramaitiee' means...
12) You shout 'referee bodoh' and at the same time throw mineral water bottles on the pitch during a football match at Likas Stadium..
13) Your Timorese maid ran away with her lover, taking your money or jewellery along..
14) You doubt someone's mykad wether it is real or fake..
15) Your favourite assemblyman whom you vote and supported all this while...gambled away and lost a whopping 60 million ringgit in a London casino..
16) You go inside a karaoke at 12 pm and realise that the place is still open at 5 am...
17) You come across a supposedly local person but with a very foreign accent..
18) You cannot vote in an election because someone has voted on behalf of you...
19) You own a bakakuk Tambahan

.... you are Sabahan if u say and understand these words....
1. tuuuna/ saaaana - points with the lips - (there-- at a distance)(the longer the 'tuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuna / saaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaana' the further the place is.)
2. limpas (to pass/walk by - Maaf, saya > limpas dulu? Excuse me, can I passby?
3. palui (stupid, duh! )
4. tapuk (to hide )
5. bida (ugly)
6. bubut (as in proper malay- 'kejar', to chase)
7. sakai (ignorant, uncivilized, 'hoosier')
8. andang-andang (that's how it is)
9. sapak (kasi campur/gaul --utk masakan-to mix as in cooking)
10. inda/tia (short form of 'tidak' - not, no)
11. wicin (another brand of msg as in 'aji-no- moto' - a seasoning or food enhancer)
12. talampau (proper malay - 'terlampau'- too much)
13. takajut (proper malay - 'terkejut' - shocked, startled)
14. siorang (proper malay -'kami'/ 'saya-orang' - us, we)
15. ngam-ngam (proper malay 'kebetulan' - exact, at that time)
16. mangkali (proper malay 'barangkali' - maybe, perhaps)
17. kamarin (proper malay 'kelmarin' - yesterday)
18. kanapa (proper malay 'kenapa' - why)
19. gia (__expression - 'is it?')
20. bah (__expression - 'ok!')
21. ah? (question, 'Apa?' What?)
22. kici/kicil (proper malay 'kecil' - small)
23. basar (proper malay 'besar' - big, huge)
24. siok (__expression/description, proper malay 'seronok' - enjoyable, great, etc-)
25. urang ('orang' - people; sometimes used 'diurang' - them, they)
26. karing ('kering' - dry)
27. umban ('humban, lempar' - throw)
28. kana ('kena'- got ie--'kena umban' --got thrown)
29. padih ('pedih' - as in 'Mata saya padih/pedih!' - My eyes stings, painful)
30. numbur ('nombor' - number)
31. gali ('geli' as in squeemish about something, or 'gali'--gali lubang - as in Dig a hole.)
32. dorang ('dia orang/diurang' - them, they - Dorang pigi tamu. They went to the market.)
33. panat ('penat' - tired)
34. katawa ('ketawa' - laugh, laughing)
35. lanjang (a.k.a. 'periuk /belanga ' - pots/pans)
36. putung ('potong' - cut, slice)
37. Buduh ('bodoh' - stupid)
38. tongo/bongo ('stupido' - same as above )
39. kabaru-baruan ('kebaru-baruan'- new to something)
40. giuk (proper malay 'ulat'- worm)
41. Sikui (Tembikai - watermelon)
42. Santut (Underwear)
43. celana/salana (Seluar)
44. gipit (to grip...)
45. kanapatan/kadapatan (caught red handed.. or as the malays in kl say..'kantoi')
46. kebangkalan (choked while eating..proper malay = 'tersedak')
47. ketulahan (bad karma)
48. bahai (plastic bag)
49. uinnaaa! (used to express various feelings, mostly when surprised..)
50. ging (derived from the word gang.. means kawan/member)
51. Tontolou = Uncle Johnny
52. Pantat = Butt<---tp di semenanjung,lain tuh kan? eee... ya ba pula.. Di sabah .. belakang ..tapi di semenanjung di Depan pulak .. silap .. LOL
53. Cula = Coke or Coca-cola...lol
54 Torrrrrbaik = The Best...lol
55. Bikin panas = feeling angry...HHAH - HOt kununlah..True to my roots.. I have one to contribute
56. Tambirang = Don't lie.. (eg. Jangan kau tembirang)
57. Sabak ---- means baru ko tau... in english = I TOLD U...
58. Kotoh ---- Means as same like Sabak...
59. Lakas = Lekas/Cepat (Faster)
60. Bobot = Vagina
61. Balabak = Scrotum
62. Kalatiak = Ketiak (Armpit)
63. Duiiii dogo! = My goodness!! / Oh my!!
64. Seluar Katak - underwear
65. siring siring - side / on the side
66. taapun - a phrase used when unable to get the things desired
67. palis palis - touch wood
68 tachut - our version of touch wood
69. gostan - reverse
70. gohed - forward
71. ayuk - swinging movement of the arm in the marble game. can also mean to masturbate
72. taiih - shit / feaces / or just a curse word
73. kogutan - hangover
74. Sepuluh Tiga (10-3) - RM10 for three cans of beer (well in those days lah)
75. muhau - crazy
76. takana - hit (BM is terkena)
77. tekuis - same like like takana
78. kapayas / tapayas - papaya
79. api api - kota kinabalu
80. (sia) bilang - said
81. skijap - soon / in a short while / later
82. tinguk - (tengok) to look
83. hari satu - monday
84. hari dua - tuesday
85. hari tiga - wednesday
86. hari ampat - thursday
87. hari lima - friday
88. hari anam - saturday
89. SOT - crazy (like me)
90. thai lingong - worse than buduh
91. karan - electricity
92. butul - in BM 'betul'


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Monday, April 5, 2010

Low

I feel so sad, so dejected. Being passed over again not because of my own personal attributes, but worse, simply because I am not in the right place. She may not be as gorgeous, or as smart or as great as I am (hey, I am trying to make myself feel better here!), but yet she has the upper hand, simply because she is there!! How sucky is my life?? Have I reached rock bottom yet? Why is it I can't find an interesting guy where I live??

These are the woes of the cyber-era. Where once upon a time, your options for a date was limited to people you actually met in real-life, you can now make dates with complete strangers based on their pics and living in completely different places. And whatever interesting conversations you have managed online. While this opens up many choices, so is the potential for yet another heartbreak. Time is of essence whenever you meet someone interesting. Anything can happen between this week and the next, sadly.

I am a lovefool. I still hang on to the hope that one day someone will see past the distance and see that I am in fact someone to take a chance with. I just hope!


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Tuesday, February 2, 2010

My view on online dating

I like online dating, meeting new friends that I have never met face-to-face. In fact, I prefer it over meeting a guy in person. Why? Because I think I get way more chances online. In real life, I probably scare guys away with my 'towering' 170cm and 'massive' 80kg frame. Anyway, I get passed by, a lot. There is always way more fish in the sea. Prettier, skinnier fish. With perfect hair and make-up.

Previously, I had met a few online strangers by way of Facebook. Applications like 'Compare Hotness' and 'Are You Interested' has been instrumental in finding me mutually interested guys. Some I remained FB friends with and one actually became a very good friend and confidant, in spite of the distance. But then, I am very good with long distance relationships, my history says so. However, there was one guy who so disappointed me, by making arrangements to meet when I was in KL last December and then bailing at the last minute with all kinds of excuses :-( something about having loads of problems, and not wanting to start a relationship with someone so far away and blah blah). Hello? All I wanted was coffee and a chance to talk face to face to clear up some mystery... not a marriage proposal?

I guess I find more success with online dating because first, I get judged by my pictures which say 'I am a sweet lady' and no one can see me waist down ;-) Plus, I like the fact that I am able to portray myself as the way I am, through my thoughts and feelings which I can show very well through writing and not being judged solely based on my looks.

It was only sometime before Christmas last year that I suddenly got the urge to sign up with an actual online dating website, after seeing an advertisement for iDate on FB that kept asking "Want a romantic Mat Salleh to sweep you off your feet?", with a picture of an irresistably cute but geeky bespectacled man on it. So, out of curiousity, I clicked on the advertisement, because YES, I do want to be romanced by Mat Salleh men :-p Why Mat Salleh men? Because from past experiences, I find them way better at being gentlemen, or maybe it is just that I can relate better with them. And oh, I found that the bespectacled geeky guy was actually a real guy, also one of the iDaters. He is sweet and nice, but so in a Love Guru way, dispensing love advice in a way you know he can't be interested in you.

But the good news is, I finally got a chance to meet a guy I met online in the flesh :) And lucky me, a really nice and decent guy, not a psycho like in all those horror stories your mum feeds to you. I am so glad my first experience turned out great, but I don't know, will I ever really find the 'One' through these means? Only time will tell, and I am keeping my fingers crossed!


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Sunday, January 31, 2010

I blinked, and already it is the end of January 2010 and my last post was.....??? Been too busy to write, which maybe, is a very good sign :-)

The new year celebrations came and went without much of an impact on me. In fact, it was just like any day for me - I stayed home with the kids and did some cleaning up while waiting for the clock to strike midnight. At the moment, the boxes are just littering the room that I am staying in. I do wonder if I should really unpack everything, just in case I decide I can't stand anymore of interfering parents and decide to move :-p but it doesn't look like I will be finding my own place yet anytime soon. Basically I am only home a few hours a day, I work 8-5, but I have to leave the house by 7 am and I come home after 6pm, or later if I decide to hit the gym first. Yes, I made a new year resolution to keep fit (but not stick thin), but seems like climbing the steps of the college all day and standing in front of the class has done some part of the trimming for me. I noticed the other day that I have lost at least 3 kg. Hooray for me! Now where is that chocolate sundae ;-)

So, why no big new year celebration for me? After what I have been through the past year, I don't really think I can sum it all up in just one day. Or... since it is a new decade, the past 10 years. Well, I am striving for big changes in my life, but I don't need to wait for the new year to start. Anyway, I don't have my usual flock of good friends here to hang out with :-( another reason for not celebrating.

No celebration, but I have some hopes for this year. 1 - That I finally find meaning and purpose in the work I do. At my last job, I have completely lost the reason for what I do, after going through numbers mindlessly. A job which could have been done by someone with half my qualification. 2 - Find L.O.V.E. and not let it slip through my fingers again this time. I know I am a hopeless romantic despite the heartbreaks and disappointments of the past. I still believe, being the lovefool that I am. I even recently joined an online dating site for my far and wide search of the 'One' :-p 3 - Was mentioned earlier, want to keep fit! Just that my knee still bothers me, which is a bummer. 4 - Travel! I cannot emphasize again how much I dream of travelling the world, and no, not on those fixed tour schedules. I am not interested in taking pictures just to show the world that I have been there, but I would like to immerse myself in the culture, feel the atmosphere, breathe in the air and really explore the place. I miss those days in Brissie when I would look at the bus routes on my free time and go 'hmmm... haven't been to that place before, sounds interesting' and just get on the bus to see where it takes me :-) 5 - Save money. So that I can travel, what else?? :-p

11 months left to fulfil my hopes and dreams, what am I waiting for?? Cheers!


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