Growing Mature

April 9, 2014

I went back to Penang and Taiping for Ching Ming over the last weekend. My mom’s side is in Taiping whereas my dad’s in Penang.
When I was younger, I used to loathe Ching Ming. It didn’t make sense to me the significance. I was just grumpy because of the long journey from KL and then, having to bask in the sun to clear graves and cemetery. Why can’t everybody just get cremated and get over with it?? Haha! Yes.. I was that moronically obnoxious! So, most of the time, I would just avoid going to Ching Ming. Afterall, if I were to go, there won’t be enough space in the car either. So, I stayed out of Ching Ming most of my initial working years.

As I grew older, I learned the significance of Ching Ming. It’s just once a year event for us to cultivate filial piety to our ancestors. I think, as a Chinese custom, this is considered one of the most significant events to foster filial piety. I know, I always argue that, it’s even more important for us to be filial to our parents and elderly when they are still alive and not wait till they are dead – to put up a show that we are filial.

Ching Ming is also a time for other living members of the family to gather together, after Chinese New Year event. Since we no more going back to Penang for Chinese New Year as both of our grandparents are gone, and the only uncle has passed away a few years back, we spent CNY within our own families in KL and Taiping. So Ching Ming is the only time we get to meet other relatives in Penang.

This time, we didn’t see one of our nieces as she has to work. Also, my cousin in law (her mom) lamented that she’s now 21 and she would spend most of her time with her friends. She would always go traveling with her friends and not her parents. Ah Ching is a quiet girl and she rarely speaks to her parents. But would be very animated with her friends. Well, I told my cousin in law that, this is her rebellious young adult years. Soon, when she starts a family of her own, she would remember how important her mother was to her before and she would miss her mom… and she would be crawling back for attention!

This is from my own personal experience. I used to be this young lady who refused to sit at home and preferred to spend more time hanging out with friends or simply going out. Now, as I grew much older and hopefully mature too, I rather spend more time at home.

Since the past 8 years, I could see my mom growing older faster by the day. She seems to repeat more times of what she say and would forget easily what we told her. She would fall asleep easily while watching tv and remained wide awake at night. She would nag and nag and nag with even more gusto! I am growing impatient but then, I keep on reminding myself that, I would someday grow old too and probably Ern Ern would be fed up with me. Haha.

Well, kids, appreciate your parents when they are still alive and well. It’s too late to say anything once they are gone.

Bomoh

April 2, 2014

A few months ago, I remember a friend asked me if I know of any bomohs or dukuns or pawangs. Apparently, his friend, a girl suspects that, she is a victim of “santau” or witchcraft, a spell which made her feeling unwell after she rejected a man’s love. Honestly, as resourceful as I could be, I don’t know any bomohs.

I think I know one but I don’t like the person as I know of his terrible and dubious character. So, I didn’t recommend him to her.

Now, unfortunately, things have been happening in my sister’s company. One of the cleaners has been afflicted with witchcraft/santau.

She’s been feeling unwell, having breathing difficulties and went to see numerous doctors but couldn’t be helped. So she suspected that, she was being “santau” so her husband took her to see one orang asli bomoh at Batang Berjuntai.

The moment the orang asli placed his hand on her head, he told her that she kena santau from a colleague who is working the same dept as her – as a cleaner. The orang asli even describe the woman’s looks to her. A slightly plump and pretty woman.

The cleaner never ate anything given by this woman. But she remembers she put her milk in the fridge. So maybe the woman go and put santau in her bottled milk.

After the session with the bomoh, she went back to work. The woman came with a bottle of Korean aloe vera drink and told the cleaner to drink it because she has been feeling “unwell”. The cleaner of coz didn’t want to drink so she lied that she just had a big breakfast and she’s full already. The cleaner told the woman to leave the bottle in the fridge so that, she can drink it later.

Then, she asked my sister and another staff to come to take a look at the bottled drink. The staff’s grand dad is also a bomoh but he’s a good one. He helps people to get rid of bad spirits. The staff knew a few tricks up her sleeves. She placed her finger into the water of the bottle and said a prayer. The water felt hot and sipping through her skin. The moment she took out her finger, her hand was trembling profusely.

Apparently, she could feel that the drink has been spiked with a really harsh santau and it’s too dangerous to drink it.

Actually, the whole department has been really careful. They don’t eat or drink things given by this wicked woman. So now, I told my sis to lock her room door, and lock all her drinks inside the drawer to avoid people from putting things in them when she’s not around. Also, not to trust anybody at all!

After the cleaner went to see the bomoh, she mandi air bunga and now, she’s feeling much better.

If you ask me, I would leave everything to God. I profess for the blood of Jesus Christ to protect us from any harm. I told my sister to say the same prayer and since she has a Bible in office with her, she flipped through the pages and the first thing that she was “directed” to read was this:-

” Don’t you know that you yourself are God’s temple and God’s spirit lives in you? If anyone destroy God’s temple, God will destroy him for God’s temple is sacred and you are that temple.” 1 Corinthians 3:16 -17

Yes, we shall not be afraid for Jesus is with us.

I also believe in karma actually. Yeah.. am that screwed up spiritually. Haha. Anyway, I am pretty sure one day, the wicked woman would have to stand before God to be accounted for all the misdeeds she has committed.. and karma will get her really bad for having committed such ill intention and malice towards a fellow human being!

Langkawi Island

March 19, 2014

We decided to go on an impromptu trip to Langkawi after we had yearly dim sum session at Mandarin Oriental in December. We went there 11 years ago! In fact, this was the first time I flew from Langkawi to KL! Thanks to AirAsia! We took the 8-hours back breaking bus rides to Kuala Muda, Kedah to catch a ferry to the island. This was where I slapped a man’s head really hard as I mistaken him for the girls. They were sitting in front of me in the ferry before I dozed off and decided to change their seats after the air conditioner above them was leaking. Yes! It was a hilarious moment and till today, the girls are laughing at me!

These bunch of girls were my main hang when I first started working. I was poor because I just started working and didn’t have much money to spend, so we usually would go on local weekend getaways. I am blessed to have known these girls. They are truly good friends I met from work.

I actually wrote a long post earlier in my gmail but couldn’t seem to locate it! So, this shall be a short post.

Just a few pointers on what to do in Langkawi.

1. We stayed in Resorts World Langkawi at Tanjung Malai. It doesn’t have its own beach but close enough to the waters to have nice view of the sea and a small jetty, for island hopping purposes.

DSC_8804aResorts World Langkawi

2. Resorts World Langkawi has a special package – Chillax package at RM296nett per person for 3D2N stay (Garden view), and comes with 3 options of freebies – RM100 dining voucher at Yellow Cafe/Sagar restaurant/The Cliff or island drop at Beras Basah Island with packed lunch (towel provided as well) or free flow drinks throughout your stay at the hotel (alcoholic and non alcoholic). We decided to choose the dining voucher at the Cliff, which the reception graciously assist us to make a booking for us for dinner and the island drop the next day! Value for money! This package is valid till end of this year.

DSC_8872aBeras Basah Island

3. Since we have been to most places in Langkawi during our first trip 11 years ago, we decided to skip Mahsuri’s tomb and Burnt Rice area (which to me are nothing much to see). This time round we wanted to go to the expansion bridge and cable car but unfortunately, I heard it has been closed for 22 months! A quick check on the internet though – it seemed somebody went there 2 weeks before us. Ah well.. forget it! Places of interests normally closed by 6 pm so be early if you want to visit places of interests.

4. Since it was off peak season this time, we managed to rent a Suzuki SX4 at Rm150 for 3 days. MyVi was priced at Rm140 for 3 days. You can get your cars at the arrival hall before going out of the airport.

DSC_8922aBlack Sand Beach/Pantai Pasir Hitam

DSC_8932aPantai Pasir Hitam

5. I really like the Black Sand Beach. I wish I had more time to lurk around snap photos here. It seems, when it rains, you will get to see the black sand. Otherwise, Langkawi was in a hot spell like KL the past one month and there wasn’t much black sand. We were lucky because it rained the two days when we were there.. so we managed to have a closer look at the black sand beach! The old jetty at the end of the shore has character and good for photo-op. This is where you buy fresh ikan bilis (anchovies) from the sea. Apparently, the fishermen would get a bulk of ikan bilis from the sea, placed them in a hot steamer in their fishing boats to cook them. When they arrived at the shore, the ikan bilis would be placed in oven to dry them up. You can either purchase ungutted ikan bilis without cleaning or if you have no time – you can purchase a pack of gutted ikan bilis  at higher price.

6. Langkawi Saga Shopping centre sells the cheapest chocolates!

7. We were introduced to myriads of beer brands from all over the world and spoil for choice! We ended buying Pelican vodka, Corona, Hoegaarden and Chang beer. Also, we bought some Taiwanese fruity beers which are rather good as well – lychee and grape flavor!

DSC_8864aGrilled seafood platter

8. Most restaurants we went didn’t serve really good food. Probably we have too high anticipation. The only place that did not disappoint us is the Cliff. The grilled seafood platter is really delicious! Also, our hotel serves really good spread of breakfast as well! And I simply love the packed lunch of turkey ham sandwich and grilled drummets for our island escapade! Not to mention the first lunch we had when we landed. We had some nasi goreng ayam paprik, mee goreng, mee bandung and nasi goreng kampong at Bella Restaurant along Cenang road.

9. Langkawi has changed so much since. It was a rather dead place with basically nothing much to eat but now, there’s plenty of shops along the busy Pantai Cenang road. It looked like Phuket really – with less crowd, cars and of course, dingy massage parlour!

DSC_8846aView from the Cliff restaurant

10. I wish I could spend more time on the beach! Other than Beras Basah Island, there’s actually a small stretch of beach right at the junction from Resorts World Langkawi before turning into Pantai Cenang road. We managed to take a look at it on the last day of our stay. Unfortunately, it was too hot to even get out from the car, so we simply stare at the beach in our air conditioned car! Haha!

11. There’s a new hang out place named Harbour Port, near Pantai Kok. The place is rather dead too… but there’s the famous bakery there – The Loaf where they also served food like pastas and sandwiches.

DSC_8993Idyllic life at Kuala Cenang

12. We chanced upon Tubotel hotel along Kuala Cenang during our aimless driving before going to the airport. I think it was a rather unique hotel, despite the rather secluded place! The water there is crystal clear! I don’t think I would stay here as I couldn’t stand the heat! I think it’s a place for young people to mingle.. and am too old for this!

Random Notes

March 11, 2014

MH370

I think everyone in the nation and the world is mourning for the disappeared plane MH370. It’s befuddling right? To have a huge steel bird disappeared into thin air, just like that. More than 60 hours have passed and not even a sign of the whereabout of the plane. My friends and I had a discussion on some conspiracy theory.. anyway, we surely hope that the plane landed somewhere safe.. and everyone on board is alive and kicking… we are all praying for miracles.

Personal Tax

Was pleasantly surprised to see that for those earning below Rm96,000 would be entitled to additional RM2,000 rebate! I didn’t know till a friend told me yesterday she submitted her personal tax online. Haha! Not a good thing to be happy about though.. wish I could earn more than 96k per year.

Obsessed

A friend of mine is rather obsessed with her religion that she and husband connect almost anything of daily happenings with God. I know, it’s good to have someone to look up to (God – according to Matthew McConaughey in his Oscar acceptance speech!) but.. don’t you think if you mention God far too many times.. it seems that you would appear somewhat deranged. With all due respect, I think it’s good that you are excited over your God but I think it’s just a matter of courtesy to keep things to yourself.

True Detectives

I watched the finale of True Detectives last night. I guess now I understand why Matthew McConaughey and Woody Harrelson will not be in the series next season. I guess it’s a really good closure for both cop buddies – to retire peacefully! Unlike some series – Supernatural… which I stopped watching after Season 5 – I think it’s sometimes good to keep the suspense at its height and retiring at the top.. rather than having things going on and on till we get lost and don’t even understand the point of dragging the show. Like Breaking Bad too.. it went out with a bang with Walter White’s glorious death in the end – keep his spirits alive and his expectations real!

True Detectives and Breaking Bad – must watch!

Life

March 7, 2014

When I was little, I was already a worry wart. I worried about school, exams and what is going to happen to me and siblings if my parents were gone, especially my mom. I worry that my mom would stop breathing in the middle of the night and would not wake up the next day. Sometimes at night, I would put my index finger in front of her nostrils to check if she’s still breathing. Or just glanced over to the chest and stomach to see if they were moving up and down.

When my cousin sisters and brother were born, I would check their baby cots every 5 minutes to see if they are alive. I would do the same thing, putting my finger across their noses to check or watched their small chests moving up and down. Yes.. I was that obsessive!

When I was in college, I loathed studying. I totally hate exams and I especially hated it when I had to turn friends down from going on trips or partying because I had to study. I was that serious. Have to get exams or things over with, then only I could go partying. By the time I passed my professional exams, most of my college friends had gone their own ways.

When I started working, I enjoy it so much that I wish I started working earlier. No more exams.. no more text books… no more worries.. so I think. I have to say, I think I am quite suited for working because by the time I finished work and used up my brain juice, I would be just too tired to even think of anything at night. My days of insomnia were over. Thank God!

Then real life happened. Oh boy. Nothing would prepare anyone for this thing called life. I would like to think my life is generally fine, it could be better? Nevertheless, I am very grateful that I have been blessed with a solid family and friends’ support, a roof over my head, a generally healthy social life – even though I think I am slowly moving towards becoming a reclusive hermit.

We’ve been through family tragedies – death, sickness, imprisonment, birth defects, surgeries and some other things that I couldn’t even mention here but, we somehow managed to come out from all these shit triumphant.. earning life battle scars and added another feather to our caps!

I would like to urge my friends who are suffering from life turbulence to hang on, gear up! Get your guns and grenades ready for life battle. We must do our best to fight for the things we believe in, to fight for the life we wanted, and fight till our very last breath.

If things are getting too unbearable or getting out of hand, we must always remember that we have choices. It’s never easy to make a call but, no matter what our decisions maybe – whether or not we may or may not regret it later, at least we do something about it.. rather than just sitting there, with both arms folded and just watch things falling apart. It’s better to cut losses earlier than to lose everything in the end.

Every life is worth fighting for. Don’t just give up. And comrades, I got your back.


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