Na Tuk Kong Rocks!

Ann shared good news with me today. She passed her tax exams! Not merely pass! Pass with a merit!

I was glad that she finally got over this hurdle that haunted her for years.

I was too, stuck with a paper back then. I couldn’t seem to pass the corporate finance paper, no matter how hard I studied. I took classes, intensive courses, making small little notes there and then, and yet, I couldn’t pass. I was at wits end and almost gave up graduating from ICSA.

One day, a friend advised me to go to this temple in Jalan Ipoh. I was a bit apprehensive but after so many years, I didn’t really have a choice. After attending churches every time I felt like I needed a divine intervention, it didn’t really work. I know, I am a conditional church goer – God-if-You-grant-me-this-I-would-do-this-and-that. My bad! So? Sue me!

Out of desperation, I did what she told me to do. I bought some betel nut, betel nut leaves, tobacco and rokok daun and went to the temple in Jalan Ipoh which is situated right in front of Dynasty Hotel. It was fated, because I happened to work near that area that time. Other than that – I went to a crystal shop on the pretext of buying a present for a friend, but ended up buying blood crystals for myself to boost my luck in exams. Not only that – other than buying the Na Tuk Kong the offerings and crystals, I ended up burning joss sticks and joss papers to other deities there almost every day for a month! Talk about desperate measures!

That sitting, I passed with a merit too!

I decided to help Ann since I couldn’t tolerate her incessant whining about her lack of luck (Actually there were other reasons that caused her losing her concentration on her studies for 2 sittings, known only to both of us. Heh!) and, so, I went with her to the temple and did the same (Only the Na Tuk Kong part – no crystals or placing joss sticks for one whole month!) I am glad things worked her way.

Congratulations, Ann!

Hmmph.. I wonder does this work for other requests? Heh!

Unexpected Events

When you were in Port Weld, Taiping for a week; and the moment you opened your eyes one morning, suddenly “Long Live Chairman Mao!!” came screaming throughout your brains – you really need to get a grip. Oh boy!! Am I glad to be back in KL!

I was reduced into a vegetative state in my late grandma’s place in Port Weld, Taiping for a week. Heck. Come to think of it, I am also in a vegetative state when I am in KL. Most of the time would be idly spent on the lap top, going online and blogging. Well, at least, I make use of some brains left in the latter case.

After a mug of kopi O and popping pills of sorts, my daily routine was reduced to plunking my ass on the couch, getting hold of the remote control and flipping channels. Rerun of old VCDs – Hong Kong based movies, which I hardly watch when I am in KL, I watched them. And boy, I watched them all. Singapore based Hokkien movies – yes, Jack Neo’s movies are so damn funny, Thailand based series on tv, Venezuelan’s soap operas, Japanese international movies – that was all I did while I was in Taiping.

I watched “What Women Want” on 8tv last night. Yes. I can’t believe that I am watching that useless show. I am actually very surprised that Hafiz could carry such decent conversation despite limited English. In fact, I was impressed that he gave massage to the girl. Well, I guess all girls are suckers for guys who are nice to them, irregardless of looks, races or status. Really. It pays to be nice.

Surprisingly, I didn’t pig out as much as I thought I would. The spread this year was rather mediocre and way too much meat. I am glad that I actually could buckle my jeans when I slipped into it this morning.

A series of unexpected events happened while I was in Port Weld, Taiping.

Firstly, I helped to bake cakes. Yes. This bitch can bake. LOL. Whipping the butter manually is no joke. I couldn’t feel my hands after whipping it for 45 minutes.

Ta daa… butter cake with cherry on top

Then, my cousin brother’s grandmother died in KL last Friday. Since most of us were already in Taiping, our relatives in KL told us not to come back. They would see to the ceremony accordingly. It was a good thing that my first aunt – daughter in law of the deceased decided to stay back in KL after complaining of the unfinished painting job.

During my one week stay, I had witnessed 2 funeral processions – one of an elderly lady and the other one was a 10 year old mentally challenged boy. He fell and drowned; while playing on the fishing boat, by the sea. He was found after a few days of frantic search by worried parents. They combed the entire mangrove area, only to find the body stuck under one of their boats, near the dock.

My uncle came home and told us not to venture out into town late at night. Apparently, there were 3 cases of robberies on Tuesday night itself. The perpetrators pretended to ask for help with their default vehicles and robbed people who were kind enough to slow down to help them. Well, I take back what I’ve said earlier in paragraph 4. It doesn’t pay to be good sometimes. So, exercise discretion.

I couldn’t read much while taking a break here. I brought along some books with me, only to have them lying idle on the table with packets of angpows in them. The mind was not even in the right frame. I was exhausted most of the time – from sitting too much.

Out of boredom, I took some pics of my late grandma’s old house. This house was bought for only RM8,000 and now it’s worth more than RM100,000, some 40 years later.

Old house with old furnitures

Despite many face lifts given to this house – some renovation and painting, I still miss the old the green colored cement floor. Seriously, it was quite cooling compared to the new ceramic tiles that we have now. We used to have an open area by the house where goats and chicken roamed freely – yes, I was once being chased by a goat for throwing a rock at its horn. Now, they were all taken up to build more shop houses. The upstairs is basically still left untouched. It’s actually quite creepy as you could smell old furniture, antiques and wood. It would be a cool set to shoot local ghost movie!

Here, we witnessed many things happening in our family. It was here that we paid our last respects to our beloved uncle, who died of kidney failure in 1989 and not long ago, in 2003, the passing of my late grandmother. This house survived a flood, thankfully not as devastating as the one in Johor recently.

Not all events were bad.

My brother was born in this house. We held a birthday party for our cousin brother here when he was 6 – the first birthday party in Port Weld, and everyone follow suit later on. My aunts opened their first hair salon here and they are still in business till today. My late uncle opened his first electrical shop in this house. I have my free dentist service here for the past 25 years of my life. Yes. And my dentist is still renting the small room for a mere RM100 per month in front of the house for his practice for two days – Fridays and Saturdays, which sometimes turn into a guest room whenever we returned for a short break.

Well, all is not that bad. Despite a rather unproductive week, I am glad that the family gets to congregate in the living room, talk rubbish and stuff ourselves silly with mandarin oranges and cookies. If this is what Chinese New Year is all about, so be it.

Warm and Fuzzy

Stole My Heart

12 February 2007, Monday

A planned last minute shopping at KLCC was ended before it started when JK and AJ turned up unexpectedly to join Chubby and Amy to treat me dinner. I was speechless. It was indeed a pleasant surprise.

California Pizza Kitchen offered a few new dishes and we decided to try it. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my camera as I wasn’t expecting this. I was thinking of merely going to shop for some new clothes and maybe, try the new McDonald’s beef foldover with extra large curly fries!!!

We had a coffee break after walking about with AJ looking around almost everywhere for free angpow packets. Well, AJ was being nice. He took the angpow packets not for himself but to give to anyone who needs them. We told him, we preferred angpow packets with money inside anytime. Haha.

They bought a piece of cake for me, called Stole My Heart. It’s purely chocolate.

13 February 2007, Tuesday

Was at One U to catch a free movie with WY. Since there were some extra tickets, I roped in a few friends.

Dinner at Just Thai was good too. There would be more meals there in the near future.

Norbit is one helluva hilarious movie. It got us into fits of laughter. Thanks, WY for this special treat.

Mango Peach from Strudels

14 February 2007, Wednesday

Ed decided to throw me a party at his house as soon as he returned from New York. He bought me two lipsticks and a nautica shirt. I particularly like the mango peach cake from Strudels. Simply awesome.

After dinner, the night was spent laughing our asses off, chit chatting and whining about our singleton lives and consulted the tarot cards from one of Ed’s close chum, Ian. It was accurate, seriously speaking. Well, I never really listen to anyone but, I guess I would have to give the cards some benefit of the doubts. It’s better to take things slowly and just go with the flow.


My family decided to throw me a small birthday party, with the usual – KFC, Pizza and an orange cake. Sasha had left to celebrate Chinese New Year with her family in Teluk Intan. This year, we have a new addition to the family portrait, Little Jumbo (Lok Lok’s little brother).

Well, I am sure I wouldn’t want to leave for Taiping tomorrow morning (for one week break) without wishing all of you, Gong Xi Fa Cai, Wan Shi Ru Yi.

Gong Xi, Gong Xi

I Feel Good

10 February 2007

The journey to the planned party place was horrendous. I was stuck in a traffic jam for almost an hour. Knowing that I didn’t have much patience, WY called to check on me and told me to calm down. I struggled to maintain the “thermometer” within. Cheras is famous for its perpetual jams – but yesterday’s was the mother of all jams! To fuel the already over the top notch heat (boiling blood), it was such a darn hot day.

Dinner at Unique Fisherman was such a let down. I do not blame the organizers for choosing this place. Everyone seemed to rave about it in their blogs, even the Star newspapers. The food is overpriced. You should look at the sea creatures displayed. They looked so mutated (and some even look like genitals!! – Ok. I have a perverted mind), sort of made you lose all your appetite. Well, a conclusion – I told my fellow friends to only believe food reviews in MY blog if they really want good shit food. LOL. Si ai bin! (Hokkien: Want face). So, no pics of food coz they are quite crappy.

After braving another jam back to Seri Cempaka Suite, I took bath immediately because I was almost drown in my own sweat. It was darn uncomfortable to be wearing something non cotton for the weather. So, I dressed like Ah Soh – in my comfy pants and old t shirt – the same t shirt that I wore for my birthday, 2 years ago!

The Sweet Concoction

All guests were looking their best, and the birthday girl looked like the maid-in-waiting. I swear… even the Indonesian maids you met at the shopping mall, look far better off than me. The air conditioner here was so frustrating. I let it pass. No sweat would come in between me and Absolut Vodka! First thing I did was, to mix a cocktail with mixed fruit juice, water, 7Up and Absolut Peach. It was good, even if it’s diabetic inducing.

The ArtWork to unGlorify me

We played a few games – including smashing an egg on one’s forehead to see who got the raw one, they made a lovely poster to describe my characteristics as remembrance (yeah, they understand me very well indeed – and they even loved me for being such a bitch and harped on the gift of the gab – yeah, I know it’s kinda childish, but it’s quite fun). Then a friend decided to pop by to add drama to the party.

I simply couldn’t understand what was her purpose to blurt out such distasteful remark to someone whom she didn’t even bother to keep in touch with, in attempt to make the latter look bad. “Oh! It’s you! So slim now since you broken off with Calvin!”

Omigod! Drama! Drama! Jeng Jeng Jeng.

Instead, I guess she got a slap back on her face, as all of us felt it was not necessary to even mention such things, and worse, in front of my friends, some of whom, do not even know her. To add further insult to her tainted image, she complained that the games that we were playing were too childish that even her children would be bored. (When I told my mom about this as soon as I got home, my mom retorted by saying – so, her kids are playing adult games? What type of adult games? LOL!)

It was a lucky thing she decided to leave early, that everyone heaved a sigh of relief. Girls being girls, we bitched about her the moment the door shut behind her!! Haha! What a drama! I guess this is a nice twist to this already fun booze-birthday-get-together. (Of course at someone’s expense! But being such a good soul, she felt it’s no biggie. Yes, she needed not to stoop that low like the other woman). Guess someone just blew her chance of getting invitations again to future parties.

I swear.. it was purely accidental

The cake cutting session was the funniest. I forgot to blow out the candles before cutting it as YY was rushing me. She couldn’t wait to eat the nicely done chocolate mocha cake by WY. Everyone couldn’t control their laughter and they almost fell on the floor, rolling and laughing. It was such a comical moment.

We ended up the night, playing some silly games to finish off the vodka concoction, albeit unsuccessfully, and taboo games. I am getting a little addicted to taboo. It was really refreshing that someone gave a clue for Bosnia – sounds like a Malaysian made handbags but selling at a high price overseas (Bonia). Between Goldfish and I, it was he who guessed it correctly. Hahhaha!

Well, here’s my token of appreciation to friends who attended my small, yet warm (literally!) party:-

WY, since 1997

God blessed her soul – she baked me the heavenly chocolate mocha cake and purposely took half day leave the day before to do this (She baked me a strawberry cake in 2005). I was so touched. Seriously. Our friendship lasted 10 years since 1997, despite all the dramas and occasionally…. errr.. well, constant bitching about each other. I guess nobody is perfect.

Someone commented that our friendship is like a marriage – you always see both of us together in almost every occasion (except when she gets adventurous with her friends – no, not wild sex parties but, caving, camping and hiking – which, for the life of me, I don’t have the freaking stamina or proper physique for all these activities), acting suspiciously, we argue most of the time and behave like children. It was me, being overly sensitive, who usually cari pasal first. Sigh.

She has been there through thick and thin – even if at times, she tends to be quite aloof of my needs (yeah yeah! I am a bloody egoistic bitch), I wish that I would be a better friend to her today and forever more. I appreciate her patience, tolerance for my eruptive moods and her generosity. I sincerely apologize if I had deliberately cause hurt. (I tend to hurt people that I care about most, because, I think I took them for granted.)

Thank you for planning this party! Despite some hiccups, I am glad that I enjoyed it pretty much! (Sorry! I am so like TDM!)

Jane, since 1989

Thank you for blowing my cover as a very easy-going person. I was not a very easy going person when I was in school. I was more of a conformist. I would like to apologize if I had caused your primary school a hellish time. Hahahahhaha!!! We have known each other for more than 18 years, and I am glad that our friendship stayed strong. I admire her courage and determination in times of adversity. She is someone that I could look up to if I have some doubts.

LN, since 1989

A fellow Taiping kia. A friend of 18 years. I admire her drive for her career and wish her the very best in her pursuit for happiness. She is the role model for a strong and independent woman today. I appreciate her time, and for traveling all the way from Penang just for this occasion!

YY, since 1995

Such a beautiful soul. A subtle person who knows how to take care of people’s feelings, despite appearing to be quite oblivious at times. Ignorance is indeed bliss. Our friendship started when she… err.. no… her brother, Joe, came to our house, seeking for a place to stay for his sister. We gave the room to her because her brother is so gorgeous!!! Hahaha! Even if it was such a brief period she stayed with me in TAR College, we kept in touch till today.

May, since October 2006

I get to know her last year around October or November but she has been an avid follower of my blog even before I knew her. I like her quirkiness, frankness and ability to make me laugh out loud. Thank you for planning this wonderful party. Appreciate it.

P/S Thanks for the book and the porn! LOL!

Goldfish, since December 2006

Being the only “alpha male” in the group, he seemed to enjoy himself very much with all the attention he was getting from the girls. In fact, some of the girls said he looked so handsome in his white shirt. He looked like some Philippino actor. LOL.

Well, even in such a short period of time we get to know each other, I am glad that there is someone who is as equally gossipy as me, able to take my sick jokes, give in to most of my whims and fancy (well, most of the time) and thank you for amusing me for appearing to be oblivious to my overactive sweat glands!

Picture Perfect

My dad and his sister (my aunt, that is) are quite gifted when it comes to photography. I don’t know where they picked up their talents from since gramps died way before my dad barely reaches puberty. For a poor kampong boy, cameras would probably be the last thing that he could own. In fact, I guess he got his camera when he first got his paycheck as an army with the local military. As years went by, he got another camera, a much faster model.

From the top, clockwise: Cameras I kept till today – I hope they are still in tip top condition, Fuji Camera, me @ 6 years old, old Yaschica, flower my brother took in his KK trip and another antique Yashica.

His sister, my aunt, went to England to study nursing. She too, picked up photography while studying in England. In fact, the picture synonymous to my old blog was taken by her. There were many photographs of my cousins and my younger self back then, mostly taken by her or by my dad.

I guess I had followed their foot steps, albeit having to go through trial and error like everyone else.

I got the chance to fiddle with my dad’s cameras when I was back in school due to school activities. I was the Interact Club president and since I was the one with camera, I would be the one taking pictures in any school functions, but not without accidents. Since I didn’t really know how to operate a manual camera, I always desire to get an automatic camera. I didn’t have to worry about blurry pictures. I loathed using the old cameras! Not surprisingly, if I were lucky enough, the pictures would turn out to be better than other automatic cameras in the market. I was glad that I managed to capture “my life” when I was a teenager.

When I got my salary as a waitress in Sixth Happiness right after A levels, I saved enough to buy a Fuji Camera which served me well for almost eight years. Fuji had seen me through a lot of memories – graduations, birthdays, weddings, parties, trips, colleagues and family outings. There is one shop (still exists till today) which would be truly happy to have me at their shop, every week to purchase new rolls of films.

I finally decided to migrate to the expensive digital cameras, Canon Ixus II 3.2 when I saw pics taken by my brother with his Canon Ixus 2.0. They were awesome. I wanted a camera on my own so I could further develop my interest. I got the camera almost the same time as I gotten my first blog from James. This camera has brought a lot of food pics, which catapult the old blog to the foodie category. Most people who read my blog told me, it was the makan pics that intrigued them. Haha. Malaysians are quite easily contented when it comes to food.

Luck was on my side when the CCD problem occurred. Instead of getting it fixed like everyone else, I got a brand new camera Canon Ixus 50 as a replacement. I could never be so happy.

Secret for better pics? Enjoy yourself in any occasion. Be trigger happy. Snap whatever that cross your path. Out of the 700 pics (that is my average whenever I am on a trip), you are bound to get 50 good ones. LOL.

* This post is inspired by Yuin. He told me he is gonna blog about his old cameras before he left for Japan. I beat him to it since he’s away. Actually, I am way, WAY older than him – so, I guess his camera won’t be as antique as mine! Hehe.