Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Why Oh Why

It's our human nature that we love to ask 'Why?' It's such an easy word to say. What more, for most of us, it is just in our innate being that we want or need to know the sheer reasoning behind something, to solve that puzzle, to understand the logic, to satisfy and rest away the dozens of other queries that might arise.  Tidak puas hati bah  kalau tidak tau kenapa!  Myself not excluded.  I ask my hubby 'why??' all the time, probably at least once every day - which surely drives him nuts and a lot of the times I would just get the silent treatment for this itsy bitsy supposed simple question.  Why, you ask? Hehe...

When we ask why, the answer we are looking for is some sort of reason.  Duhh! Well, here's the thing.. reasons can be or are very personal.  They go to the core of the person's being, they are based on the person's values and belief systems, which others might not necessarily get. And every person has and is entitled to their own personal beliefs.  And these beliefs need not have to be explained to others.  There is just a mutual understanding that you have your beliefs and I have mine.  I do not ask you to accept my beliefs and neither should you of me.  So when asking why, you are essentially asking the person to explain all this. Haha.. so complicated for such a short question, you may say.

Here's what I have experienced.  In various occasions now, I have run into people (whom I know but are not particularly close with), who have not known about my career change.  So the usual conversations run by - Hey, how are you? Where to? Alone? And after these pleasantries are done with, comes : Still at UMS, right?  And once I answer this, I know.... I've let the cats run loose. (I'm a bad liar, by the way. I can't lie to save my live.  If I'm ever caught and interrogated, I'll be the first one to go down!)  So I think to myself, OK here we go. Wait for it...wait for it.. And sure enough, comes the next question : Why??? (or for dramatic effect, there's an added 'But') : But why???

Most frequently, these are people I bump into on the streets, as I'm off running errands.  I'm not about to go into lengths and confide in them my reasons there and then with all the people passing by as I constantly look at my watch to check if I'm on schedule.  And they look at me with unbelieving eyes as though I've committed the crime of the century, baitedly awaiting my reply.  Perhaps some scandal of some sort, or worse maybe she was fired, they might think. Heh!! I think I have just about mastered the reply, 'Ada lah tu sebab-sebabnya tu' (I have my reasons!)

When it comes to reasons, there is no right or wrong answer.  But because it stems from a person's personal beliefs, sometimes, most of the time, other people might not get it.  This means, the discussion can go on and on forever really. You can agree to disagree but some might even go a step further and try to impose their reasons onto you. It goes without saying that many an arguments started from this.

When I was learning NLP, one of the things we learnt about was called meta-modelling.  The purpose of meta-modelling is to gain more information in order to create rapport.  In meta-modelling you ask all the questions - who, where, when, what, how - all those except for why.  Because the purpose is to gain more information, it doesn't really matter (yet) what the reasons are.  

So friends, I know it's so easy and tempting to ask why.  If you can, refrain and ask something else instead.  If you are in close terms with the person, then they will probably not mind giving you their answers.  Otherwise, be prepared to either: 1. not get an answer or 2. get an answer that will totally blow your mind but you need to accept and respect it!

PS..Can not main buyuk and ask 'what's the reason?'...sama jua tuh!

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Puan Somphon

I found this little card whilst I was browsing through the old school mag.  And it got to me.. somewhere in between my throat and my gut, a warm feeling started to radiate and my eyes begin to well up.

For my dearest friends, my peers, my seniors and juniors, who had the fortune to be taught by Cikgu Somphon, they would know what I mean.  Puan Somphon taught me Accounts - yeah, I took Accounts for SPM. I got A1 some more.  I think I only got a C something for Physics! And I went on to do engineering? Something that still baffles me til this day. Heee.... Would things have been different had I went on to do Accounting instead?  Perhaps.  Most probably.  But who knows.  OK, I've sidetracked.

Puan Somphon.  Yes.  She was as dedicated a teacher as they can come.  She was a great teacher.  I remember, I could always easily follow what she taught in class.  But she always went above and beyond that.    We had numerous additional classes (which I didn't mind at all! We got to skip some long winding assemblies because of this).  On top of that, we had tests almost every week. - her way of making sure we were on top on each topic we learnt.  She also introduced this award called Akauntan Muda, complete with a little badge which was awarded each time someone scored above a certain marks in the exams - 85% maybe (which ehemmm.. yours truly did manage to win a couple of times!)

But above all that, she was kind and considerate and patient and caring.  I remember our last class with her was rather poignant, where she gave out that little card above, to all her students.  She wrote a card for each and every one of us.  She gave out some little gifts as well.  Who would do that?  I mean, which other teacher did that?  None.  Dia saja.  I don't remember if we got her any gift.  I really hope we did.

Where is she now?  She's still there! Still dedicatedly teaching at the same school.  We still see her occasionally.  She still remembers my name!*  The next time I bump into her, I'll have this card in mind.  She's one of those teachers that you would remember forever - for the right reasons.

God bless you, Puan Somphon. xoxo

*At the school reunion earlier this year, NONE of the teachers remembered me! So un-memorable lah me huh? A tad dissapointed that Cikgu Bob n Pn Normah didn't remember. Even notorious Cikgu R didn't remember :O And I chose not to give him any reminders..Hehe Only Puan Somphon and Puan Aniza saja yang kenal, itu pun cos we do see them quite often.  Well, what should I expect huh...these teachers have seen probably thousands of students the past years..mana la dia mau ingat a (not so) little quiet freckley geeky girl. Sigh.

Sunday, April 11, 2010

Let's Squeak

This is a Sponsored Post written by me on behalf of Alvin and the Chipmunks. All opinions are 100% mine.

One of the cartoons that I grew up watching was Alvin and the Chipmunks.  I remember waking up on the weekends and watching it.  I even had their figurines! Singing chipmunks, whoever came up with that idea, huh?  Well, it's actually this bloke named Ross Bagdasarian, Sr., just so you know.  And in the wacky world of cartoons, the idea worked! So you have Alvin, the leader of the pack and larger than life - which always manages to get the him into trouble.  There's Simon, the brainy one.  And then there's Theodore, the cute, bubbly, cuddly one.  And of course, there's Dave.  Dave who takes care of the boys. It was one of the cartoon shows of the 80s and 90s and who would have thought it would make it pass Y2K.  I never did.

So, when I first heard that Alvin and the Chipmunks was going to be made into a movie, I was mildly delighted but I had my doubts - whether or not they would be able to translate those lovable characters onto the big screen.  But one look at the opening credits of them singing Daniel Powter's Bad Day and I was hooked. Haha. It's one of those movies you can watch to relax and laze around and not have to think!  The CGI transformation of the characters worked.  And so Alvin and the Chipmunks was revived and will live on for a new generation of kids and families to enjoy.

They even have a sequel now, squeakily entitled Alvin and the Chipmunks: The Squeakquel. Heeee.  The movie is now available on DVD, Blu-ray and Digital Download.  The Double DVD Pack includes The Squeak Along Bonus DVD which features more music, more mayhem and all new singalongs!  Should be fun for the whole family - buy it now!  And whilst you're at it, check out this site for More Munk Mayhem

Let's sing all together now...'Doot doot doodoodooodooot...'

Visit my sponsor: Alvin and the Chipmunks:

Sunday, April 04, 2010

Tuning in Penang

So as you know, I was in Penang about two weeks ago.  It was a short trip - just 2 days, 1 night. And it was planned in a bit of a hurry that my flight ticket price was much higher than I anticipated and I did not have much time to plan meeting up with some old students (as I had told them I would) and to shop around for the best place to stay in and places to jalan-jalan to.  I just wanted to keep it simple.  And so this is how it went. I flew there on MAS and came back on AirAsia - on accounts that AirAsia only had evening flights left outbound to Penang.  The MAS flight was the very early 6am flight to KL then connecting flight to Penang about 4 hours later.

I decided to stay at Tune Hotel. For one, it's cheap.  It can be booked online. It seemed to be at the centre of town.  Oh, I've been to Penang some years back - but that was for a course and it was in Balik Pulau - so I wasn't familiar with the place at all. Luckily, one of my new friends had offered to pick me up at the airport.

I liked the hotel.  I opted for the room with the queen sized bed (cheaper than single bed room) and added on 24 hrs of internet access.  Tune Hotel like it's airline counterpart - the basic rate is only for the room and you have to add on other facilities you want. For example, air conditioning, internet access even toiletries are add ons! The room has an attached bathroom (toilet paper was provided!) and a ceiling fan. I read online reviews that the ceiling fan was cooling enough so I opted not to add on air conditioning. And true to those reviews, the ceiling fan was good enough.  There was even a time I switched it off because I felt cold!

queen bed but solo for the night

artsy earthy wallpaper, adverts on the walls and there's the flip-open table with my lappy

power shower

There's no tv in the room (surprise surprise) and so, it was oh so quiet during the night time.  Luckily my laptop and the internet kept me entertained.  The room with its basic amenities and the narrow hotel corridors really reminded me of halls of residence in the UK!  I would say, if you are travelling alone, if you are not fussy and if you are not spending too much time at the hotel, staying at Tune Hotel would be good enough.

internet access + oldtown's chicken chop rice = a happy linachu

The only thing is, they have a ridiculously early check out time - 10am.  I opted to book the room for two nights, since my flight was in the evening, so at least I didn't need to check out in the morning and I could still shower and rest before going to the airport.  The price for two nights was about RM120. Not bad ya?? I think you could get a cheaper rate the earlier you make a booking. I think I only used up about 6 hours of the internet access - it was RM12 for 24 hours access.

I like Penang.  The sort of like in which I think I could possibly enjoy living there.  It has a nice, relaxed pace to it just like KK.  It has ocean views just like KK.  I love the gorgeous combination of classic, old buildings and shophouses with the modern sleek office towers and apartments.  Cantik! But I didn't take any pictures... :(

As for the food, everyone knows that Penang is a food haven of international proportions.  Penang Kuey Teow, Nasik Kandar, Biskut Tambun, etc, etc.  My friend actually smsed me that night telling me where to go for great food, siap dengan nama tuan punya gerai lagi!  But but... in the end, I just end up eating at OldTown White Coffee! Haha..The outlet was right next to the hotel, along with a Starbucks.  There's actually a food court next to the hotel called New World Food Court.  Had a look around but couldn't identify which were the halal stalls and so Oldtown it was..

The trip was actually my very first trip away from Yasmin ever since she was born. I was a little worried of how she would be without me that night.  Hubby said she was OK but she woke up sad the next morning, looking for me. It was a nice change being away and not having to worry about the messy room with toys all over the place, not worrying about getting Yasmin to take her bath and do her homework. Felt a bit selfish but at the same time, felt good to be having a break from all that.

On my flight back to KK, I sat next to this rather chatty aunty.  Started out with a few questions, she was asking what I was doing in Penang, etc, etc.  I gave her short answers. I was rather poofed and wanted to just plug in my ipod and have a quiet flight back home. Little did I know, the aunty wanted more.  She started telling me about why she was travelling to KK, about her lawyer daughter (I guess all moms do this!), asking where did I stay in Penang, what food I ate, what souvenirs I bought.  Awwwhh!  When she asked what I was doing in Penang, I said attending a training.  She asked what I did, I said I work in a business.  How long have you been with your company, she asked. Three years, I said.  And then, she said this...and I probably will remember this forever...she said, 'You just be patient and work hard, you will get your promotion some day.'  I just smiled and said, 'Yes Aunty.  Thank you, Aunty.'  Plugged in my ipod, closed my eyes and smiled.

Arrived in KK circa 11pm, hubby picked me up with a sleepy Yasmin in tow.  Was a good trip.  Was even better to be home.

Thursday, April 01, 2010

The Flea

The flea market on Sat was fun, fun, fun! I enjoyed hanging out with the girls and playing shop for the day.  And also looking around at all the other stuffs on offer.  And there were a lot of good stuffs - clothes for RM5 per piece (pre-loved of course), shoes, jewellery - gorgeous necklaces & bangles, CUPCAKES!!, tudungs, books, did I mention cupcakes? Heheee... And the stall beside ours had a chocolate fountain and were selling fruit sticks and marshmellows dipped in chocolate!

Some people were just piling their clothes on a mat on the floor and still there were people rumaging through it!  It also kind of helped that there was a wedding at the SESB hall that afternoon so many of the wedding attendees stopped by the flea market as well. Heee. Speaking of, one of the stalls also had wedding gowns for sale! They were RM120 per piece.  Who woulda known you bought it at a flea market, right?

Yasmin finds it hilarious that it is called a FLEA market.  Why mommy?  She asks... There's no fleas there!  Or are there??? Heeeeee!

Our selection of books, cds, handbag, nail polish, brooches, etc
The books were a best seller but apparently not many people are into cds... Someone did buy that Lord of the Rings cd though (Rina's)!

More handbags, tudungs, shoes
All the shoes are still available! That's an original and never used Crocs!

The happy flea-ers minus one Josie Rosie who was busy buying...oops, busy taking pictures of stuffs! hehehe

For an investment of RM12.50 (since we split the rent by four), I managed to sell 12 books, 9 tudungs and 2 handbags that day! Not bad huh.... We're hoping to take part again if they have another one next month. Siok bah!  There's actually another flea market going on this Saturday at Jesselton Point but it's outdoors and surely hot there. Check it out.  And watch this space - will let you know if we take part in another one next month :)