Thursday, December 29, 2011

Depression, Suicides and Schizophrenics

I attended a health talk this afternoon about why people commit suicide or have suicidal thoughts. The speaker was the HSE (health, safety and environment) manager from the company I'm working with.

He said that the top reason that people commit suicide is because of depression. And that in terms of religion, the Muslims have the lowest suicide rate as oppose to Buddhists, being at the top of the chart.

People who actually have the courage to commit suicide must have somehow (either consciously or unconsciously) believed in God, and therefore the afterlife. I don't think anyone would (or could) kill themselves knowing there will be nothingness after death.

I couldn't help noticing that the Buddhists believe in karma - the relationship between cause and effect - and reincarnation. Whereas from Christianity and Islamic point of view, suicide is considered one of the greatest or serious sin.

I believe everyone is depressed (or mentally-ill) in their own way. But to gather enough courage to take your own life, that would take more than that. This somehow reminded me of a book I once read quite some time ago. (I was very young then and couldn't quite grasp the essence of it. I always think re-reading old books would give an entirely new experience.) There was an excerpt from the book that I really liked, extracted as below:

A powerful wizard, who wanted to destroy an entire kingdom, placed a magic potion in the well from which all the inhabitants drank. Whoever drank that water would go mad. The following morning, the whole population drank from the well and they all went mad, apart from the king and his family, who had a well set aside for them alone, and which the magician had not managed to poison. The king was worried and tried to control the population by issuing a series of edicts governing security and public health. The policemen and the inspectors, however, had also drunk the poisoned water and they thought the king's decisions were absurd and resolved to take no notice of them. When the inhabitants of the kingdom heard these decrees, they became convinced that the king had gone mad and was now giving nonsensical orders. They marched on the castle and called for his abdication. In despair, the king prepared to step down from the throne but the queen stopped him, saying: "Let us go and drink from the communal well. Then, we will be the same as them." And that was what they did: the king and the queen drank the water of madness and immediately began talking nonsense. Their subjects repented at once; now that the king was displaying such wisdom, why not allow him to continue ruling the country? The country continued to live in peace, although its inhabitants behaved very differently from those of its neighbors. And the king was able to govern until the end of his days.

P.S. There was free lunch after the talk. I wonder how many people attended for the lunch and how many for the understanding on suicidal thoughts.

Sunday, December 25, 2011

那些年,我们一起追的女孩。You Are The Apple of My Eye

(The most cruel thing about growing up, is that the girls usually mature earlier than the boys.)

It was not the type of movie that melt your heart, nor the type that feed on your tears. But it somehow managed to leave a profound impression to the audience. After the movie ended and the credits rolled, you remained at your seat, reminiscing about your first love, your young stupidity, your cowardice, things you should've done that just might change something.

My male friends told me they can very much relate themselves to the movie - the love that slipped (那些年错过的爱情).

Ke Jing-Teng (柯景騰) was a prankster and a mischievous student. He was caught masturbating during class and therefore was punished to be seated in front of Shen Jia-Yi (沈佳宜), a pretty girl famous of her outstanding academic achievement. They despise each other at the beginning but eventually developed mutual feelings for each other.

Monday, November 21, 2011

My First Pair of Contact Lens

It felt like it was only yesterday when ShinTien persuaded me to try on contact lens.

It's the greatest invention ever, she used to tell me. But the mere thought of touching my eye balls totally freaked me out. Until one day I was unable to resist the temptation any longer, I bought my first pair of contact lense.

The shop assistant could immediately tell I was new to this - a pair of spectacles and the hesitation must had given me away. He offered to help me put them on. I tried for less than 5 minutes then I gave up, couldn't bring my fingers anywhere near my eyes.

That time I was studying in UPM and Tien and I were housemates. I brought my first pair of contact lens home and told her I couldn't do it. I could never do it.

It was easy and all I need was a little getting used to, she said.

After spending more than 1 hour standing beside the sink, parting my eye lids with my fingertips, trying hard not to blink, forcing myself to put the contact in, hypnotizing myself that there was nothing to be afraid of - I finally did it.

It was the strangest feeling. When you're short-sighted and wearing glasses, you can only see clearly through the glasses. If you look up or down or sideways outside the frame, you feel as if you're looking at a smeared painting. But in contacts, you see everything clearly even through the corner of your eyes. And most importantly, I touched my nose and there was nothing on it. You see, I started wearing glasses since I was 10 and I had already forgotten what it was like to have perfect eye-sight.

Now I take less than 5 minutes to clean and put on my contacts every morning. In fact, I couldn't live without them.

Once I had to travel as early as 4 in the morning to Kelantan. Mr. Chin said that I should just wear glasses. I told him walking on the streets without my contacts was like going shopping without panties - it was more comfortable but it just felt wrong.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

My Best Friend's Wedding

Not the movie by Julia Roberts. Indeed, my best friend (whom I know for 13 years) just got married last week.

 Audrey and Teck Guan on the lunch reception.

When Audrey made the announcement the first thing that crossed my mind was, so Audrey's the first one among us. It didn't occurred to me as a surprise or anything shocking. That was when I realized how grown up we are.

This was not the first time I attended a wedding of someone my age or younger. But attending as the bridesmaid and her best friend was totally a different feeling. Driving down the roads in Seremban was another nostalgic experience. And meeting Mr. Foo, our Form 6 class teacher was another bonus.

 If growing up means not having the rights to do anything childish, we did it anyway.
 At the lunch reception.

 From left: ShinYin, Xiang, ST, me, Boonlee, Ze, Snowfly.

I wondered who would be the next among us. And how old will we be by then. I don't know about the others but the very thought of getting married (and having kids) seem like a strange idea to me.

 Most of us brought boyfriends.

 The Georgians in the everlasting Murali pose.

 Mr. Foo and the Georgians.

 The bridesmaid at the church wedding.


Walking down the aisle in a church was my idea of a romantic wedding which I had always dreamed of. But when I did attended one, I thought it was more spiritual than romantic. I'm not a christian so I will never have a chance of having a church wedding of my own. I guess walking the aisle as a bridesmaid, in a way, fulfilled my childhood dream. Well, another strike-through on my list of things-to-do-before-I-die. ;)

 No, I wasn't sad.

 The bride and us.

We spent a night at ShinYin's after the church wedding ceremony on Saturday (the lunch reception was on Sunday). There were 4 of us staying over - Wee Tze Yee and Kin Chew (her boyfriend), SukTeng and me. During our stay, ShinYin's mom apologized that she didn't have time to take us out to lunch and all. I told her, it's alright, we'll make ourselves at home. And I realized that I meant it. It didn't feel like I was staying at a friend's house - it felt like I was staying at home. We felt comfortable even when ShinYin's brother came to our room to take his stuff when we were lazing in bed. That is how close ShinYin and I are. :)

Preparing the door gifts for lunch reception on the next day.

The door gifts, ready and packed in boxes.

I must admit the door gifts were really creative. And oh, I tied the ribbons on all the wedding dresses.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

The White Tiger by Aravind Adiga

"The dreams of the rich, and the dreams of the poor- they never overlap, do they? See, the poor dream all their lives of getting enough to eat and looking like the rich. And what do the rich dream of? Losing weight and looking like the poor." ~From Aravind Adiga's The White Tiger~

I had been procrastinating about reading this book for a very long time. It was actually an easy book to finish, considering the time I took while having a nine-to-five-job.

The story revealed the "darkness" of India, told from a first person's point of view. Balram Halwai, who was born in the "darkness", told his success story as an entrepreneur in the form of letters to Wen Jiabao, the Premier of China. Adiga was sarcastic, funny and dark at the same time. He addressed some issues (political, corruption, caste system etc) in an exaggerated (or maybe not) manner, which made me wonder if these are still happening at this moment (at some part I simply gasped in disbelief).

I've always enjoyed books about other nation's culture like Amy Tan's where she tells stories of American born Chinese, Arthur Golden's Memoirs of a Geisha, Adeline Yen Mah's Falling Leaves: Return to their Roots. The White Tiger was not an exception - it was definitely an enjoyable read.

Saturday, June 4, 2011


We walked side by side, his hand around my waist. I couldn't stop thinking about the other important man in my life - my boyfriend.

We walked into a building and stopped by the elevator. His hand still around my waist. The elevator arrived and we walked in.

For some reason - I didn't know why - I stood on tiptoe and gave him a light kiss on his lips. He quickly held me refusing to let me go. I looked down, refusing to meet his eyes. I couldn't, I thought, I simply couldn't. I could feel his gaze burning on me, as if wanting to see right through me. I knew he wanted to kiss me, not a peck like just now but a real kiss - a long, tender kiss. I wouldn't allow him. I couldn't. I had only one thought in my mind, I won't betray my boyfriend.

And that was when I woke up.

A dream of an affair. I wonder why. Is that because I long for it? Some kind of secret fantasy of mine?

Team Building - The Aftermath

When I was a high school kid I used to join these school camping trips. When separating us in groups, they usually put students of the same class in different groups so as to encourage us to mix around. I didn't like it at all. I was quite anti-social (still am) and I wasn't good at talking to strangers (still am not).

I recently joined a graduate team building organized by the company that I'm working with. No matter how I detested the idea of re-living my high school life in this form in particular - I felt that I was too old for it - it was compulsory to join.

I'm not saying that I didn't enjoy it at all - in fact, at some time in some way, I actually did. Though I was often mocked of my childish behavior by my colleagues throughout the whole journey. I admit that I may have gotten a little excited sometimes but I'm actually a very matured being especially when it comes to work.

From previous experiences, I knew that my colleagues (of the same department) and I would most probably be in different groups when playing games or other team building activities. But I didn't mind it - I've grown out of it of course. I mean, I have to say that it was a good opportunity to be able to get to know my colleagues from other departments. I know that I'm the reserved type and it'd definitely take some time for me to open up to the others; and others to me. What I didn't expect was that there were still some people with the "high-school-behavior". The team builders would randomize us by asking us to form a circle and call out numbers (for example from 1 to 5) thus all the ones are in a group; twos in a group; threes in a group and so on and so forth. Two girls, I observed, they purposely stand in the positions so that there would be 4 persons in between them, thus they would be in the same group. I was amazed.

I think that since that you're already there, whether you like it or not, you should just play by the rules. Otherwise, what is the point of being there? I'm not saying that I'm doing the socializing thing really well, but at least I'm trying. I don't think that I've bonded with my colleagues and immediately become close friends with them. But at least I know their faces, I've talked to them before, I've did something with them before and hopefully I remember their names.

Monday, May 30, 2011

Krabi Trip Part III - Accommodation

We stayed in J Hotel in Ao Nang beach for a good deal - 900 baht per night. We booked online via Due to our budget, it was the cheapest decent accommodation that we could find. It had both good and bad reviews but I decided to give it a try.

My first impression was that the actual room conditions show exactly as its website promised - clean, neat and the furniture looked new too.


 Lying on the bed.

 We discovered a LOT of mosquitoes hiding in the closet on the day before we leave. It was lucky they didn't come out to hunt.

 I was extremely satisfied with the bathroom - really clean and well-maintained.

 Not much of a view from the balcony but it was okay.

After settling down, time to plan for the activities. :D

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Dandelion

This is a story that I've wrote a while back. I entered a contest and submitted it and didn't keep a copy for myself.. So I figured I'd just post it here to keep it as a remembrance.

Once upon a time, there was a dandelion. She was the happiest dandelion of all because she was very contented with what she had. She lived in the middle of a meadow which extended as far as the horizon went. That was her whole world. She had never been out of the meadow thus she had no idea what was out there. But it didn't matter. She didn't have the slight bit of interest to know anyway.

Every morning she woke up refreshed by the morning dew hanging on her florets. By day she watched the clouds passing by and observed how they transformed into all kinds of shapes. She counted the sheep that came feasting on the grass and be amused as the Australian Shepherd rushed the sheep to go home. By night she gazed at the stars and wondered if the stars were gazing at her as well. And before she went to sleep she smiled to herself and said, "This is how life should be."

One day, there came a little boy. The moment the dandelion set her eyes upon him, she knew immediately she had fallen in love. He was the most beautiful thing she had ever seen. When he laughed she felt that she could listen to this sweet sound for the rest of her life. When he smiled she wished that the time would freeze and she could look at this face forever. The little boy came to the meadow every day. And every day, the dandelion hoped to catch his attention. But there was no way that little boy could notice a four-inch high dandelion. She watched him teased one of the sheep and played with the Australian Shepherd. She watched him ran around the meadow all day without any particular purpose then laughed as he gasped for breath. When night fell, she looked forward to seeing him the next day. And she thought, "This is how life should be."

Then one day, the little boy finally saw the dandelion. He bent over and examined her curiously. The dandelion thought her dream was, after all, becoming true. She felt a sharp pain and before she knew it, she was very far from the ground, held gently in the boy's hands. Her realization crept in - he plucked her from her stem! The little boy was smiling at her. A gush of wind brushed past her and suddenly, her seed parachutes went flying away. The little boy threw what was left of her on the ground and ran excitedly around the seed parachutes. The dandelion landed with a soft thud inaudible to the little boy's ears. She watched helplessly as he ran further and further away. She knew her life was coming to an end. She said to herself, "This is how life should be." She never regret loving that boy. That moment, that brief moment when he held her in his hands - that was the moment she would always remember.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

The Chinese-Educated Me

Disclaimer: This post is entirely Tien-inspired, thus all credit (if any) shall go to her and her amazing blog.

If I were to have kids (not that I'm expecting any I assure you, neither am I getting married), I wouldn't know which type of school to send them to - national school (sekolah kebangsaan) or Chinese type national school (sekolah jenis kebangsaan). Mr. Chin said he would like his kids to learn to read and write Chinese. I'd think otherwise - Chinese is not an important language, English is. I told him that those who go to Chinese school like us struggle to learn to speak English fluently. He didn't agree, with an argument that he turned out fine, and that he managed to learn along the way.

But I remember how difficult it was for me to adapt when I moved to an English-speaking medium in secondary school. My big sister was concern about my English speaking ability thus insisted that I go to King George V Secondary School. She went through a lot to get me in, as it was considered as a good school which only the best students deserved. Lacking one A in my UPSR examination, I wasn't one of the best.

I finally got in though, after a few trips to the Education Ministry and getting a recommendation letter from the Minister of Education (my sister somehow knew him briefly). All of my classmates either speak Malay or English, both languages I was uncomfortable of. I was often mocked for my in-proficiency in English. There were a few incidents that I remember vividly - annoyingly vividly.

There was a conversation when my friend had asked me to tell her something (which I forgot), but I must had refused because I said "I don't tell you". She corrected me by saying it should be "I won't tell you". I didn't know that time that "won't" is a contraction of "will not".

There was another conversation when my friend had asked me how did I know of something (which I forgot), I said, "the teacher talked to us" but I actually meant "the teach told us". I forgot to use the word "told". These were only a few of many other embarrassing moments.

You'd probably think at the rate that I was going it could take a miracle for me to have a blog of my own with over 140 posts, in English. I would say three things helped me the most - movies, books and music. And of course a lot of practice with my friends.

I'm not saying that I never benefit from learning Chinese - there are certainly its advantages. I don't regret learning it. I appreciate the Chinese literature and some novels and Japanese manga translated in Chinese. But English is after all, an international language, which I use everyday especially in my job.

I suppose that language is easier to learn at younger age. It's ashamed that we Malaysians are exposed to multiple languages but we can never truly master any one of them.

Krabi Trip Part II - The Food


Yes this is the infamous pancake in Krabi town. It tasted somewhat like Malaysia's roti canai, only sweeter (with the condensed milk) and more crispy.

 Yummy! Wished I had more.

 We only ordered one pancake, but they provided us free tea some more. :)

 The shop was located near the caveman traffic light.

It was a regret that we ordered only one piece. So we had another one the next morning near the place we stayed in Ao Nang Beach. But it wasn't the same.

It looked less mouth-watering than the one in Krabi town - it tasted exactly as it looked.

This one was with sardine.

Krabi Town Night Market

The night market that we went to was a smaller one. Seemed that there was a bigger one during weekends. But this one, was sufficient for our hunt for food.

The night market, very much similar to the pasar malam in Malaysia.

Corn - Mr. Chin's favourite.

Mango with glutinous rice - the infamous Thai food.

Our dinner from the night market - pork knuckle, curry chicken with rice.

Aree Ba Ba Thai Restaurant

I read a review on this restaurant from a blog so we decided to try it out. Nothing to shout about really - just a place to eat when you have no better choices.

The menu.

A bamboo environment - very tourist.

How is a Thai meal complete without the coconut? Not my favourite though.

How is a Thai meal complete without the tomyam? Beef tomyam, in this case.

My favourite egg, with chicken - my choice of course. Weird combination I know, and this was not related to Thai food in any way.

All kinds of mushrooms.

Our dinner.

McDonald's in Ao Nang 

A meal in McD was necessary, to fulfill my ambition of trying out all McDs all over the world. The McD in Ao Nang was like a landmark for the tourists because it was easily-spotted and well-known.

Fries with cheese - something we don't have here. Reminded me of fries with chili flakes we once had, and which I prefer.

The Samurai Pork burger - how rare for us Malaysians.

Fish fillet burger - it was our intention to order those that we couldn't find in Malaysia McD. And that was all.

The breakfast sets were exactly the same.

A picture with Ronald in "sawatika" was definitely a must.

The Last Breakfast

We stayed in J Hotel in Ao Nang which was more like a guest house actually. We had our breakfast in the hotel on our last day as it was raining and we couldn't really get out.

Breakfasts came with fruits.

Mr. Chin's croissant was hot and yummy.

This was mine. My first bacon in my life, believe it or not.


I didn't know what was the normal price for Heineken in Malaysia but I supposed in Thailand it should be cheaper. Thus Mr. Chin bought this.

The mineral water bottle that my hotel provided looked like those of car battery water. Really, at first we didn't dare drink it, but we didn't want to buy new ones either, so in the end we did. Well, we survived.