Friday, July 29, 2005

of flower pants and magic corners

I had no idea of their existence. If you'd mentioned to me flower pants, I'd have thought, "flowers wear pants?". Magic Corner to me would make me think of the guys at their Magic card game, in a corner somewhere.

Again, I'm proven to be quite ignorant when it comes to rhetorical/whimsical terms coined on the spot. I have not much imagination, forgive me. So what are flower pants and magic corners?

Flower pants, as June so succinctly put it is when the guy (coz normally it's the men who are the untidy ones) shucks off his pants onto the floor, leaves them where they are and walks off. The pants sort of fall in a pattern like flower, with the two legholes forming the 'middle' of the flower. Wow! How come I didn't think of them? And Magic Corner, as patiently explained to me by Chin Lai, is what happens when said Flower pants disappears of its own accord, nicely folded and put aside onto the bed or in the closet.

My guess couldn't have been further from the truth. Or more imaginative.

I wonder what else there is? Like I said, moir, no imagination.

function over form

I sold out.

I chose function over form, replaced the aesthetic with features.

Instead of the O, i went for the E and substituted the 2 for a TEN.

In short, i bought the ETEN instead of the O2.

It didn't take me long to decide. I pondered and fussed over the aesthetics for a while. But 80MB of stroage, together with a WiFi card thrown in pulls its weight against a 7Mb storage capacity with no WiFi. Plus, the ETEN package was cheaper coming in at an overall RM2488 as compared to O2 Mini's RM2688 sans WiFi.

The look and feel of the ETEN bothered me somewhat in the beginning. Taiwanese, unrefined and rough as compared to the sleek, sexy look and feel of the continental O2. The ETEN doesn't even come remotely close to the O2 Mini in terms of aesthetics. It's like comparing Urkel with Elijah Wood (I'm not sure if that's a fair comparison, but...). After weighing the pros and cons and taking in the probability of accidents (like me dropping the O2 because of its too-smooth shell vs. the firm rough hold i had on the ETEN because of its rougher and rawer finish), and also taking Merv's views into consideration (I hold his opinion in high esteem when it comes to all matters IT and technical, and in this instance, he was saying, go for the ETEN because of its features if I could live with the lack of aesthetics, and also it was not worth getting the O2 now because there would be a revision on specs pretty soon), the bulkier Taiwanese gadget won me over. Besides, I figured, if I dropped it or anything happened to it, I wouldn't feel so bad, I think. But let's not even go there. We are trying to avoid any mishaps or accidents that could result in me dropping the ETEN.

So, Merv took the opportunity to regale the store people about my past experience with buying my T41 while I pondered my choice. My prowess with kitchen utensils is so good that on the day I bought my T41, I christened it with a scratch on the casing when I dropped a heavy as steel fork at Starbucks trying to juggle a cheesecake onto the table where my T41 was comfortably residing. I put my mark on it alright. On the very day I bought it. Not even an hour into it's journey into life with me.

The decision made, the credit card swiped, and not for the last time, I wondered if I'd made the right decision. For every technical gadget that I've bought, I've always felt a tinge of regret. I don't know why but there is so much variety out there that I find myself thinking, "maybe I should have gotten the other one..." or "I wonder if I really needed this".

After the splurge, we headed to Sg. Wang so I could collect my altered clothes from Lester (they'd been there since after my wedding, sometime early last year). On the way there, I got confused about the floor Lester was on. So we were on the escalator up to what I thought was the right floor, but Merv decided at the last second we could be on the wrong floor and scampered down the up escalator. I went, "Oi!" and hopped the last 6 or so steps down to follow him. Better than taking the escalator all the way up and then coming all the way down again. I think I've never gone down in the up escalator in my entire adult life. Well, now I have. Thanks to Merv.

It's a good thing the ETEN box was on his side of the table during dinner. I almost dropped my Korean chopsticks onto the floor right where I would have placed the ETEN if I'd had it with me, managed to redeem myself by catching the chopsticks on time. And again, looked like a clumsy buffoon trying to grab hold of said chopstick. "Never a dull moment," mutters Merv amidst his guffaws of laughter.

Up at Cycom, our friend spotted a gaming mouse (what is a gaming mouse??) for RM195. I'd decided to boost the storage on the ETEN with a 1Gb SD memory card for RM220 (it was RM280 at the store I bought the ETEN). He was already caressing and hugging the packaging the mouse came in.

He turned to me and asked, "Should I get it? RM195 orrr..."

"OK what, RM195."

He gives me a look.

"Oh yeah orrr. It's just a mouse."

Then it hits me.

Damn!! 200 ringgit for a MOUSE???

"200 ringgit for a mouse??!! You sure?"

I look at him.

"Aaaarrrggghhh, OKlah, I'll get it!"

So much for refraining himself from splurging. It was supposed to be my shopping spree, not his. Well, we both made our journey into KL worthwhile, despite the traffic jam (in my case anyway). I think that about takes care of my shopping for the rest of much for heading out to the Mega Sale.

Starbucks, here I come!! Watch out for me and my ETEN!!

Thursday, July 28, 2005


this is one of those pictures that make me crack up. and wonder why i don't try sending it in to the pet column of malay mail or something of the sort. this is prize-winning material. imagine the blurbs that could go with this:

"aaaarrrgghhh!! oh no, oh no! my flab got caught under the door. ooowwww!!"

"hey, look at me. the world's first feline version of a beached whale."

"this is the way to do it: streeeeeeeeetch!"

"ack! caught on camera with my flab showing!"

such a corny, happy cat. in this photo anyway.


if you ever wanted to know what a cat salami looked like, i'd imagine this would be it. patchy doing a pretty good job at trying to pass off for a salami.

tag team

one of my favourite photos of nessa and misty. on their beloved cat tree when they were in buffalo living with my sis. that was about 2-3 years ago. nessa's much fatter now.

used to be strays...

short tail (my dad's name for her): she coos like a pigeon and luckily for her and persimmon, were up in our apartment, recovering from being fixed when the condo management went about their stray cat round up. she now lives together with persimmon.

persimmon: son of cimmanon. used to wander around my parents' condo but now is fat and cuddly, living with mei ling.


I picked Trixie up last night and nuzzled her forehead.

And then i saw it. A grey dot on the corner of her ear.

A grey dot that looked suspiciously like the grey dots i used to find stuck to my pet dogs. The grey dots that we had to pick off and chuck into the flame of a burning candle. The small ones with six legs. The same ones that stick to your pet and won't let go.


She's got a TICK!!!

And it looks suspiciously like a dog tick!!

I shove Trixie into Rizal's line of sight and he immediately pulls the offending grey dot off and crushes it on a tissue on the table with his fingernail. A spurt of greyish ooze sprays out of it.



Oh gawd, my three cats are probably all infested with them. I need to rethink the plan about letting them out into the back garden.

I've never seen dog ticks on cats before. Fleas I've encountered, but ticks??!!

Oh nooooooo!!!

Looks like I'll be shopping for flea collars this weekend. I wonder if they work on dog ticks?

Wednesday, July 27, 2005

fate and four feet

it's a funny thing, fate.

when rizal and i were dating some time ago, i gave him a mugshot of myself when i was young. i'd say it was a picture of me when i was about 5 years old or younger, possibly. it was in black and white.

when people would ask him what his girlfriend looked like, he would whip out that little black and white print and show it to them.

not too long after i had given him the photo, he started questioning me on my favourite haunts when i was a young kid. he, like me and others of our generation, used to frequent ampang park (the shopping complex) with his parents. i remember with alarming clarity the Angel Department Store that we used to go to once a week; the cinema where my dad brought me to watch Travolta gyrate his hips in Saturday Night Fever; and any kid's ultimate fantasy: the toyland/theme park that was situated at the top floor of Ampang Park where all manner of games and gadgets could be found. my particular favourite was the huge air-filled "house of air" where kids can bounce and jump and play to their hearts' content in a gigantic air-gilled playland. i used to continue my jumping sessions at home on my parent's queen-sized bed but was always disappointed that the bed never held as much bounce as that air-filled platform.

so, my favourite was that "house" (so called because it resembled a house and i remember parts of it were painted red). i found out that that was also his favourite. and so i told him there was one time when i was the only kid in there bouncing away and was joined in my mischief by a boy. so we were bouncing and bouncing and bouncing and having the time of our lives (it is not often that we can get the whole "house" to ourselves because it also seemed to be a favourite with other kids and was full to the brim with bouncing kids most of the time) till our parents came to take us away when they'd done their shopping.

"hey! i remember i was jumping around in that thing with this chinese girl!"

it can't be such a coincidence, could it?

"come to think of it, when i saw your photo, i thought you looked familiar."

is this guy for real? maybe he's a bit barmy.

"i think it was you lah, in there!"

"you sure ah?"

"yalah! i'm pretty sure it was you! in fact 100% sure!"

yeah, and he would remember because that was almost 20 years ago from the time he was bouncing around in that thing to the time we met at college.

yeah, right.

"that chinese girl was definitely you. i couldn't mistake those chinese eyes. see! we're fated to be together."


until this day, he still insists that i was the girl who shared the house with him.

it's a funny thing, fate.

new neighbours

i came home from salsa class last night and bumped into my neighbours. it was past midnight and i thought i was the only night owl around, but obviously i was not. adriana, jonathan and i are on friendly talking terms. they are such a nice couple and the bond that binds us together is...our cats.

they'd already seen my fat lump, the girl and the auntie. last night i was introduced to cocoa and milo. they are both long haired felines and live indoors. milo is grey and tends to bite strangers or people she loves while cocoa is somewhat brown mixed with gold spatters (think nessa). cocoa is, according to adriana, the stupid one (milo is female, no wonder!). if he ever gets out of the house and wander, he would freeze up and try to run away from her if she tries to go after him. he escaped through a gap in their wall sometime this week. adriana and jonathan had to execute a search mission at 5am that day. he eventually returned on his own after adriana made noises in the kitchen to let him know which home to go back to. after the little episode, they cemented that little gap in the wall.

so cocoa got a nice pat on the head from me by way of introduction. he seemed quite non-perplexed although maybe slightly uncomfortable at having been carried and introduced to the nosy neighbour next door (or below, i should say, as we're living in the lower unit of the townhouse). after cocoa's introduction, milo was unceremoniously lugged out to meet me as well. both were beautiful long-haired specimens, persian mix, i presume and friendly enough, as far as strangers go. you would not catch my kitties staying as still as them in my arms if i held them for strangers to pat.

*warning* another HP spoiler coming up. read at your own risk...

so we compared notes, adriana and i. she'd just finished harry potter. we both didn't like how the book ended. "she called me up in the office just to tell me, 'they killed dumbledore! they killed dumbledore!'" said jonathan. we both think it can't be that simple that dumbledore is killed of or that snape is that visibly and obviously the bad guy. "what is she up to now?", adrian wondered of rowling. i told her the last book may be quite different from its predecessors. we'll just have to wait and see.

all this while that the conversation is taking place on our respective car porches, rizal is in the front room (whose window looks out onto the car porches, but our blinds are, of course, down) killing some renegade jedis. i wonder if adriana and jonathan are gonna wonder if my husband is just a figment of my imagination. they have, correction, jonathan has seen rizal, oh...once, i think. my husband is a social outcast and a self-proclaimed anti-social hermit. it wouldn't hurt if he at least came out to greet the neighbours and get to know them better. after all, we are neighbours. sigh...

Monday, July 25, 2005

the wall

berlin, west side 2003. a section of the wall. it looks as if i'm zooming in on the wall; the bleed on the bottom of the picture focuses attention to the wall. i only wish the writing was clearer.

berlin, west side, 2003. although i think it can pass for a few decades earlier. i love the bleed in the bottom left corner. this picture makes me feel desolate. and empty.

forgotten reels

i finally sent in my long forgotten reels of black & white film to the lab the other day. these two rolls date back to 2003 or 2002, i forget which year exactly. they'd been sitting in my closet for the past two, three years because i took these pix with a cheapo agfa instant camera.

it came to be because i went off to hannover for cebit and the one and only time i decided not to bring my camera along (previously when i brought my pentax slr, i didn't use it for lack of time), it was more deadweight than anything. so, the year i decide not to bring my camera along, big mistake! i find i have time to drop by berlin with a fellow malaysian (a very obliging and well-mannered ceo of a malaysian firm).

right. so in a panic i rushed into the only photo lab at hannover station and bought meself a plastic agfa for cheap and a few rolls of film, a couple of them black and white. back then i didn't know the difference, so of course i ended up getting the expensive-to-develop ilfords. an ilford in a cheapo plastic agfa??

my gawd! i was lucky the pictures turned out. the following is the result of great film used in a cheap camera lthen eft out too long before the trip to the lab. i kinda like the effects. the pictures are grainy, the sides bleed and there's a somewhat nostalgic feel to them.


one of the monuments in berlin. there is a main road (i can't remember what it's called seeing as it's been more than 2 years) where monuments and museums sit to the left and right. going along this road will bring visitors to a square with (surprise!) more monuments.

i really do not know what this is. my best guess? a sculpture of some sort.

my recollection fails me. but this was sitting at a corner of the garden/square.

a shop display window made of coins.

trudging along, trying to find a path

chicago happened slowly, like a migraine ... from american gods, neil gaiman

that is the mark of a great writer. how the hell do you think of chicago happening slowly like a migraine? how? i'm quite sure that is why gaiman's name is on a plethora of graphic and written novels, attending book signings while i am slogging away here at my job and stealing whatever time i have to write whatever measly meanderings of mine away at this blog.

i used to have a goal: i wanted to write a children's book. i wrote one. for my children's literature class at western. it was a bout a toy stuffed cat and it had something to do with it losing it's voice or something of the sort. i wanted eve to illustrate it. i got as far as getting it read out in the next semester's class. actually, i had no idea my then lecturer had the intention of reading it out to her class. i was conned into going into class to see her, then the next thing i knew, she was reading it out to her class. and i got a critique of the piece from her and her students right there and then. i was quite mortified but i remember receiving positive feedback and pointers on where to improve. i have no idea where i stashed that copy now.

no, i'm more on solid ground now. i know i could never hope to get as good or even half as good as my favourite writers out there: spinelli, e.l. konigsburg, gory, and many more. i know it requires hard work, blood and tears. but the fact of the matter is, i am lazy. i can just imagine myself trying to sit down and write something worthwhile. and getting distracted while i'm at it. or deliberately distracting myself. the scenario would look like this:

me: right, it's about time to get down to business. let's see...think.
twenty minutes later...
me: ok, i've got one sentence. hmm...somehow this doens't look wuite right. i don't think i want it to start this way.
another twenty, thrity minutes later...
me: shit! this is so difficult. how do i make it sound better? crap! urgh...i think i'll just go read spinelli first. get some ideas and come back to it later.
an hour later...
me: oh shit, CSI's coming on, gotta catch this episode. i'll continue with the writing after.

right. like i really will. i've got the attention span of a goldfish and discipline like melting butter. the mind is willing but the body is weak. i could throw in two whole handfuls of other similar phrases, but that's the general idea.

one day, one day i will get my book written. soon, i hope. and i can assure my friends and family that it is gonna be no harry potter.

Saturday, July 23, 2005

silent throb

ooooo...i feel a headache coming on.

throb, throb, throb...

time to get my sugar and carb levels up.

the end of the sixth

*warning* HP&HPB spoilers ahead!!

dumbledore's dead.

harry's alone. snape's back to the dark side (or so the book makes you think).

honestly though, the book didn't get interesting till it was slightly more than halfway through. i totally skipped the quidditch matches (boring) and tried to skip the bits where harry was being a brat. i still don't get why the book is about snape and what role his potions book plays, other than being a tool harry uses throughout the book. there doesnt't seem to be a major role for the potions book other than provide for some interesting happenings here and there. and so what if the book did belong to snape? it doesn't resolve issues for me.

and dumbledore can't be wrong about snape. he must have had some reason to explicitly believe and trust snape. i don't buy the whole back to the dark lord spiel.

ron basically doesn't do much but get tangled in tongue tangos. hermione also doesn't seem to figure as much.

overall a better read still than OTP. so it's back to Gaiman's American Gods.

Thursday, July 21, 2005

beijing, day 5: oops! (lomosite, 16 sept '04)

i want to dig a hole and crawl all the way into it.

the toilet i thought has no flush, HAS a flush. it's a matter of pushing the right button (where it looks as if the handle has been yanked off). sigh...i'm pathetic.

on the other hand...i really did have encounters of the close kind with a flushless toilet. but then again, when you're up gawd knows how many thousand feet at the great wall, water's gotta be a hard commodity to channel up.

the building housing the toilet is innocent enough. it's when you get in there...ooooeeerrrr...i don't want to even talk about it, brrrr...

beijing, day 5: motley crew (lomosite, 16 sept '04)



"chia you!"



our motley group of two chinese, two kiwis and me conquered the great wall at juyong guan today.

i am so glad i gave jinshanling/simatai a miss for the easier climb. goin up was hard, coming back down was harder. legs like jelly, thighs throbbing, calves leaden and toes sore.

"thump, thump"

"shuffle, shuffle"

i made a reputation for myself for always being the last to arrive at our group meeting spot. The brothers Feng were the first to ascend the highest fort and decsend (theyr'e in their 50s). Julie and Liam went halfway.

hey, half the time i was clicking away on my LCA...go figure! at least i went all the way to the top...

beijing, day 5: more discoveries (lomosite, 16 sept '04)

1. kids' pants are not sewn at the crotch; they part easily. i'm imagining that this allows for easy access to vital parts when kids need to pee or poo on the roadside.

2. i CANNOT eat local food from a stall. everything is too salty!

3. never buy souvenirs and gifts from friendship stores or factories or stores. buy them from the sidewalk vendors or markets. (like i didn't know already!!). being too lazy will make you pay, literally!

4. be nice and try a little charm when bargaining, especially when the proprietor is a young male.

5. beijingers/chinese love their tiananmen square, anytime of the day. they crowd the place day and night!

6. traffic is never ending in beijing, even as late as 10pm.

beijing, day 5: girls just wanna haf fun! (lomosite, 16 sept '04)

my idea of fun? retail therapy!!

beijing is a haven! i don't need souvenirs. so i shop for family. i try to keep it to just family. can't buy gifts for some friends and not for others...sigh.

shopping the streets is FUN!! bargaining is FUN! especially when bargaining with a young male who can pass off for my younger brother, hahah!

"shall i get that bag?"


"oh, that pouch looks cute!"

"what colour should i get?"

"i wonder if sis would like this in this colour?"

"hey, i should get this for sasha or sara too!!"

"who else could i buy for?"

"oh shit! can't forget eve and genie!!"

"should i get some for the office?"


"ah, bugger it!"

beijing, day 4, forbidden city (lomosite, 15 sept '04)

tiananmen square is just that: a square. mao's mausoleum attracted hordes. i wasn't bothered.

the forbidden city is HUUUUUUUGE!!!other than that, it wasn't very impressive. why?

1. not in very good condition, not well maintained.
2. the buildings all looked pretty much the same.
3. too many tourists, local and foreign. but mostly local

japan's temples, shrines, gardens and castles are by far, better maintained and more interesting. ok, the castles all look about the same. but i lurv the temples and shrines in kyoto. they are THE BEST!!

true, the japanese borrowed their architecture from the chinese. but the japanese do it so well: take from one culture, copy it and improve on it. they excel at it!

ok, the cedar trees were the saving grace of the forbidden city. also at tai miao. contorted barks in all manner of shapes, they are very impressive. i'd go just to see the cedars.

i am no history buff, therefore the historical implications these buildings hold don't really move me. Artifacts bore me (unless they are displayed or arranged in a manner never done before, like the idols at the tokyo national museum), and architecture...well, what can i say? they all looked the same! hall to hall, building to building.

give me japan anyday! yes, i'm a turncoat and proud of it!

shocking discovery: starbucks has infiltrated the forbidden city!!! where next? the great wall??

beijing, day 4, walking...walking... (lomosite, 15 sept '04)

geeesh! i forget i'm not as young as i used to be.

walking the roads and hutongs of beijing, my left knee started throbbing, then aching (old injury from kung fu). Then my lower back started to go...OOOUUUUCCCHHHH!!!

Still, was determined to get to the Far East Youth Hostel to check out the trip to Simatai Great Wall. I paid, but on walking back to the He Ping Men subway station (or so i thought), my knee only hurt even more. My fears were confirmed when the roads started looking suspiciously unlike the guidebook's and a local confirmed i was going in the wrong direction.

i had gone FURTHER than the He Ping Men station. crap!

when i got off at Xi Zhi Men, it was raining! I bought a Y10 umbrella from a street vendor. It opened the wrong way.

Only 7pm. I'm ordering room service...

beijing, day 4, ettiquette (lomosite, 15 sept '04)

look away and try not to gag when you see/hear:

1. people clear their throat and then spit on the ground.

2. little children doing their "business" on the sidewalk or roadside or hutong, big and small.

3. mommies holding the kids who are doing their "business".

4. mommies wiping their kids' butts when they do their "business".

beijing, day 3: shit! (14 sept '04, lomosite)

horror of horrors!!

the washroom at the east end of the exhibition centre has toilets with no flush. swear to gawd! i thot i'd stepped into a malfunctioning toilet but took a peek into the rest of the stalls and they were all the same!!

no handle, no button. maybe i missed a foot pedal?

beijing, day 3: full meal (14 sept '04, lomosite)

lunch was huuuuuge!!

some tofu, szechuan soup (beijing style), some beef in a heated wok thing, and ...riiiiibs!!! all that between the three of us: nakajima-san, david and me.

again, ordering involved hand gestures and finger pointing but was less of a drawn out affair than last night. david is worse than me. part chinese, part indonesian, knows less mandarin and almost no cantonese. you have to wonder how he manages his offices and factories in the various parts of china...

beijing, day 3: wet wet wet (14 sept '04, lomosite)

it rained
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and rained
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and is still raining...

beijing, day 3: what would make a grown man groan? (14 sept '04, lomosite)

i bought a bottle of shower foam today.

it's called "mengroan"

go figure...

beijing exhibition centre, day 2 (lomosite, 13 sept '04)

more frustration...

one of those times when i think to myself i really should have listened to rizal.

i am as hapless as nakajima-san. he's japanese and speaks a wee bit of mandarin. i'm malaysian and speak a wee bit of mandarin.

almost all chinese exhibitors here speak no english.

live and learn...

short round today. the chinese government sent out a last minute cicrcular stating that all guests must leave the hall by 3pm. Some Chinese VIP will be visiting the fair.

only in china.

tomorrow will be a full day. walk, talk (if i can find someone who speaks english).

that leaves me with...TWO FULL DAYS of sightseeing!!!

Day 1: Great wall
Day 2: Tiananmen Square and The Forbidden City

beijing chinese food. our motley group of 6 (two thais, two indonesians, me, and nakajima-san) were unceremoniously ushered from the 2nd floor to the 1st floor due to the arrival of a large group of tourists.

ordering was, let's see, a pretty drawn out affair. Nakajima-san held the menu (he can read the characters), i put in my two cents when he asked for opinions, and mr. vanchai did most of the talking. too many cooks... it took us close to 40 mins to order.

i stick by malaysian chinese food. we make THE BEST!!

here's where beijing is also different from malaysia: m;sians start walking in to a restaurant between 8-9pm. Beijingers start leaving the restaurant by 8-9pm. We were one of two tables left at the restaurant by 9pm.

Bumped into the rest of the Japs at the lobby of my hotel on my way back. Poor them, they'd just got done with the VIP (who arrived at 8pm) and were just going out for dinner.

I like them better in t-shirt and jeans.

beijing, day 2: tv (lomosite, 13 sept '04)

i have cnn!!!

finally! another english channel other than star movies.

i'm depraved and deprived.

that's what happens when you don't have a tv at home for the better part of the year. and when you do, it's not hooked's just background noise, but it's reassuring...

and i have not laid hands (or eyes) on an english language daily yet...

during dinner, nakajima-san wanted to ask our waitress what she'd recommend.

"o-susume," i thought.

shit! am in china thinking in japanese.

beijin, day 2: chix (lomosite, 13 sept '04)

a friend back home said that there'd be lots of hot chicks in china.

they must not reside in beijing.

they must also not ride the subway.

beijing, day 1 (lomosite, 12 sept '04)

i was wrong.

in reality, it went like this:(while having b'fast in McD's at KLIA)

07.35, on phone:
me: hello, debao hotel? do you speak english?
debao: yes, a little.
me: my check in reference number is...can you arrange for an airport pick up?
debao: errr...can you repeat? what is your name?
me: Ng Poh Ling, can I spell that for you?
debao: yes please.
me: N ... G ... P... etc.
debao: errr...can you repeat slowly?
me: N ... G ... etc.
debao: I am sorry, we don't have your reservation.
me: what? i have a reference number!!
debao: can you spell your name again...?

needless to say, after 20 mins of fruitless ding-donging around on the phone, i gave up.

Rizal gave me a look, blurted out, "I told you!!"

He had warned me to take someone along who knew mandarin. Me being the intrepid and adventurous traveler that I am, had decided I could wing it on my own. It's a trade fair anyway, they have to know english on the fair grounds!!!

So wing it I did...albeit with my balance a bit thrown off by that phone encounter.

15.15, upon landing...
holy shit!! the smog blanketing beijing is thicker than the haze from the open burning in KL!! (The authorities in KL are in denial about the shrouds making their way across the sea from open burning in Sumatra.)

luckily the people at the travel agency noted the hotel name and address in chinese characters so i had no problems getting the cab driver to take me right to my destination.

No incidents. arrive at debao with all limbs intact and luggage accounted for. bargain for 2 more nights' extension at a discount!!

18.30pm, xhichimen:
there's a supermarket right across from the hotel, sweet. peddlars on the sidewalk.

take the subway with no incidence. if i'd know it would have been this hot (i knew it'd be hot, but didn't realize how hot), i'd have brought my tevas.

Full Link Plaza:
main target is watsons for supplies. can't find what i'm looking for, settle for second best. spot a starbucks, too hungry to traipse around for a food court or other eating establishments.wolf down a sandwich, cheese cake and top it all off with hot chocolate. it is so pathetic. i promise myself tomorrow and the following days i will taste local fare.

heading back out, i realize there's a yoshinoya right across the main road next to the overhead bridge. damn! take a peek, realize i wouldn't have known what to order: everything's in blurdy chinese!! and not enough pitcures to point at!!group of oldies practising a dance with fans, traditional instruments. cool. snap, snap!

at subway station:
man nearly gets his arm squeezed off his body trying to get on train. platform guard shrieks, curses and berates him. a woman, no less.

walking back to debao:
a woman asks a pedicab driver how much for a destination, finds the price disagreeable and walks away. The driver calls out to her and she turns back, fully aware he'll drive her at her price.

tomorrow to work! groan..

pre-beijing (excerpt, lomosite, 10/09/04)


Can't say it often enough.

Everytime Friday rolls around, am in either 1 of these 2 states:
a) deliriously happy that it's the weekend
b) incredibly exhausted by events unfolding over the week and dreading tomorrow if it is a working day

today, i feel b).

but then again...i'm heading to beijing on sunday for work, and i've never been there in my sad sorry life, yay!!

oh dear, work work work woooooooorrrrrrkkkk...

damn i hope those chinese don't slaughter me for my "powderful" mandarin. being a classic banana, yellow on the outside, terribly white on the inside, my apparent lakc of grasp of the mandarin language will be my downfall.

I can just imagine:

Chinese: siao che, ni chao sem me?
Me: eerrrrr...Chinese: Chi ge ne?Me: err, wo...
Chinese: Chen yang ne?
Me: errr...wo pu huay chiang hua yu.
Chinese: You no want?
Me: errr...gommen, watashi wa chuugoku go wakarimasen.
Chinese: Nihonjin desu ka?
Me: errrr...

(What a fraud! Me, that is. with that spattering of Japanese, hahah!)

And that's just browsing or shopping, not even talks or negotiations for work. Hahah, am so dead!

Well, at least I will have 1.5 days to walk around beijing. Am planning to head to Tiananmen Square and look around the Forbidden City.

Yaaaaaayyyy!! lomo ops!!!!

When am I ever gonna find time to upload the 3 albums I've collected from the photo labs?? arrrgghhh!!

beijing nostalgia

i thought i'd recap bits and pieces of my experiences prior to my beijing trip last september, during and after as well. Those who'd like to read about how a chinese whoe doesn't speak as much as several licks of mandarin survive there, not to mention make a fool of herself as she goes along, enjoy!

Wednesday, July 20, 2005


alien #1: that looks like a delicious bite of a morsel.
alien #2: um, it looks kinda bald and old, you think?
alien #1: well-seasoned, more like.

that's my uncle in the background. no, that's not one of 'em aliens from war of the worlds. he's in brisbane on the bridge from the sheraton mirage resort & spa to the shopping area across the road.

seeing a ghost

does not this picture remind one of those zombies hopping around in chinese movies? that's sam, waiting his turn to go on during the aikido gala dinner about a month back. if the photo were clearer, it would've been even more hilarious or quirky. however, me and my lca decided to give him a break and make it blur enough that he can deny it's even him, although the hairline gives it all away...

what a day...

i shouldn't have slept late last night. especially after salsa class.

as a result:

1. i didn't wake up sleepy. my dream, or rather, the end of it (can't remember what it was) woke me up. so i was waiting for my phone to go off.

2. i was sleepy AFTER i'd had my morning drink, so i crawled back into bed a bit. big mistake.

3. i go into work with heavy eyes and heavy head.

4. i drive around the whole day sleepy, doing a survey on the buildings in kl together with selina and mum.

5. oh before that, i almost drive into a ditch at a curve in the road on the way to work due to my sleepiness.

6. one cup of local coffee during lunch and a cup of latte later for tea still doesn't dispel my heavy eyes and heavy head.

7. feel brainless.

8. fumbled when leading workshop with sales team. oops, gave wrong info and tried to cover, but damage done.

9. workshop starte late as one of the team got back to office late, so everyone was not into it.

10. discipline falling to bits with new sales team. need to crack out the whip. need to bring out the tiger in me.

11. underpaid, somewhat overworked, needlessly stressed.

looking good

my plants look right at home in my car porch. of varying heights, they seem to give the bland wall character. plus they cover up the autogate control. i was so happy to see them in my porch last night, i gave them a generous spattering of water when i arrived home at around 7pm last night. and another generous spatter of liquids when i came home from class past 11pm later.

so green, so green!!

Tuesday, July 19, 2005

green fingers

" hey poh ling, get that bougainvillea. it's beautiful"

poh ern points to the quaint bougy that's got it's thick branches all curved and twined around each other. so i ask the guy in charge of the nursery, "berapa harga?" and point to the plant in question.

"itu seribu lebih."

"HAH??!! fuyo!! mahal sangat!" i almost choke.

and so we went around pointing at pots and plants. rizal had set his sights on bougys and i kinda like them, so first priority was finding one. in the end, i found a reasonably sized bougy for RM50. not as elaborate as the first one we saw but it would do.

also spotted a fern of some sort which looked nice and green going for rm25, so we took that too. and then i spotted a pleasant looking 'tree' that looked like it had a central trunk with branches spreading out to the sides in different planes, as if you could step up the branches like steps. i thought it was a bougy but was corrected when the guy said it was a bonsai. some bonsai, it had to be at least 3' tall. but it looked like it had character, so i took that too. and when he was tallying the total damage, i spotted another green beauty. this one looked almost like a flat spruce or one of those fir/pine trees. except that instead of growing straight up, the branches sprawled out.

i just can't resist green. so i got that too. final damage came up to rm260, heavily bargained for and discounted.

a fruitful day, i would say?

Friday, July 15, 2005

the blessings in life...

everyday i have to remind myself how lucky i am. and most days i forget. there are many who aremore fortunate than me but then again there are many who are not.

  • i am thankful for my parents (even though i am so bad at showing it, to them especially)
  • i am thankful for my loving hubby (who tolerates loads of my crap)
  • i am grateful i don't have to want for much (materially anyway)
  • my job is stressful and not much fun, but it's a challenge and well, i'm obligated and it brings in the dough
  • i am not a babe but am not butt ugly

there's more and i need to add them on...but later...

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

feeling the heat

i love these things. they are so in now. salt crystal lamps. they give a place a warm red/amber glow. they're great as a night light too! there is just something about a warm glow of red light that makes for the comfort of home.

cold fish

striking the stuck-up pose while on the cable car up to the summit of ...damn! what's the name of that hill? in langkawi. company trip. short. quite tiring. but the view up the summit was awesome. cooler and more refreshing than genting.

Monday, July 04, 2005

never take for granted...

i received an sms from sensei today. mr. robert choong, a great benefactor of yoshinkan aikido, and a gentle man, passed away this morning. we'd just been with him a week ago during the aikido festival.

i was stunned. shocked immobile. terribly, terribly sad. not only because i know sensei thought very highly and very much of mr choong, but also because i felt he was a very kind, gentle soul. and i'd just spent time with him last week, for god's sake!!!

i'm bad at receiving news about death and even worse when at consoling people. what to say? what to do? how to say? what to feel? especially when the news comes unexpected.

here's to a great man, and to all who knew him, i'm so sorry.

Sunday, July 03, 2005


we finally found a table we think is perfect for our space. we made a compromise: a cross between my desired round kopitiam table and a rectangle one best suited to the space and preferred by rizal. we went for an oval teak table with a marble top. plus kopitiam chairs.


now we'll just have to wait for a sample of the chairs before we confirm on them. but the deposit's been paid on the table and we also got an antique looking lamp to replace the common looking porch lamp we have.

i also have my eye on a 50's style dressing table in the shape of a kidney bean. it would look so weird in my bedroom (everything's square) but i think i gotta have it. it is just too cool!!

who knew we could find such gems in taman tun? almost right by applied imaging too. thanks to ivan, of course. damn! now i have to see him about the introducer's fee. such a spud.

close encounters

i should have had my guard dog with me when i went dancing on friday...

it was my first night out in yonks. and i ended up being plastered to a pint sized peruvian. no need to wonder why, the phrase pint-sized is enough for anyone to harbour a guess: i was one of the few who wasn't towering over him.

all i know is i was trying to look over everyone's heads to catch a glimpse of anita leading the men (it was her b'day) and when i tried to go up to her to wish her a good one, this...person grabs my hand and asks me to dance. how did he even pick me out? of course i go onto the dance floor, i'm a polite person and always willing to dance with anyone. little did i know what was in store for me...

let's just say i couldn't escape the following few salsa tunes nor the merengue nor the bachata. and it only ended after i'd made desperate faces to c.lai when he passed me dancing nearby about coming over to rescue me. which he did, thank gawd, bless his soul!

i got honed in on by this pint-sized guy for a few more times that night. even june was contemplating coming over to do a quick rescue but by the look of my animated conversation, she thought i was having fun. talking was better than getting plastered. to this person. i must remember make desperate faces to my friends even when i'm talking.

it got to the point i made sure i was dancing with someone, anyone for most of the night and not just sitting down. and when i did sit down, i made sure to be either a) animatedly talking to someone or b) looking totally bored out of my wits or c) looking at the on-two's dancing away.

i need higher heels...

Friday, July 01, 2005


my plans for a nice and pleasant dinner has been foiled. by my very own father. the details are too tedious and irritating to get into so i'll skip it. i'm wondering...should i go eat on my own or grit my teeth and have dinner with them as planned. dunno. but am hungry...

at least i'll be heading down to salsa havana for some skirt swirling tonite :)

found film

i dropped off my roll of film at the lab yesterday. and found the four that i misplaced during the move. yaaaaaayyy!!!
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