Friday, February 29, 2008

I Should Have Known Better

On Tuesday I took the two brown cows to the Jabatan Perkhidmatan Haiwan in Shah Alam to get their blood sampled and have them microchipped. Since we're heading over to Singapore at month's end and we need to have their blood tested at least 14 days prior to shipping (scheduled date: 24th March), it was timely. And since the JPH only did the Nipah test in Ipoh on Tuesdays, I was told explicitly to come only on Tuesday.

Silly me. It never occurred to me to ask how or who will send the blood sample to Ipoh from Shah Alam. When you go to a clinic to get your blood tested, the doctor doesn't ask you to send your own blood sample to the lab. Well, apparently, at the JPH, the onus is on the pet's owner to take their pets' blood samples and drive all the way up to Ipoh, hand in the blood to them for testing after which they will deliver the results directly back to Shah Alam. And only 7 days prior to shipping can you apply for the export permit (even though the JPH guy insists 48 hours prior, Singapore AVA and Maskargo say 7 days), during which you must also have your pet's health certificate and they must also be deflea-ed and deticked.

Well, I almost had a coronary when he told me I was supposed to drive up to Ipoh with the blood samples. No one told me. But then again, I hadn't asked. No wonder he'd stressed again and again that the test is only done on Tuesdays because the lab only tests for that particular test on Tuesday. Don't they understand the concept of despatch? Aren't there enough people testing their pet's bloods so that they can consolidate all the samples and send them all at once? Even a once a week run would be sufficient; they could draw the samples any day of the week, freeze them, collect them all and then send them together. And cost the charges into the pet owners.
I don't understand the way the government works, or thinks, for that matter.

So lucky for me, there was a vet there who'd also sent in a client's pet for blood sampling. Apparently he also does shipping for his clients. And coincidentally his client needed to send his cat to Singapore as well. I ended up paying him RM150 to drive the brown cows ' blood samples up to Ipoh for me. And found a potential agent to take on the job of preparing my brown cows to ship. From here on, he can take over from me, all the way till shipping point at Maskatgo, for a fee, of course.

It will cost me at most, around RM500 to send the cats myself to Maskargo. But I will need to pay for the customs forms in the government customs building next to Maskargo in Sepang/KLIA. Now, why can't they make it easier and allow us to pay for all the forms there at Maskargo? I dunno, that's why we need a new government. Engaging the agent will cost me about double the amount but at least I won't have to find a babysitter fir the girl while I drive around from one building to another at Sepang and Shah Alam. I also won't have to sit around and wait for hours while the kitties are being processed or deflea-ed or deticked. Since the agent is also a vet, he can issue the health cert and do the necessary to prepare the brown cows for the crossover.

Having sufficient dough really can help move things along. Inefficient government processes also perpetuate the cumbersome system of engaging third parties when it should be a simple process of DIY.

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

To Vote Or Not To Vote?

a thought before you cast your vote on March 8th.

Friday, February 22, 2008

Short But Sweet?

I had a very much needed trim two days ago. I LOVE my hair short. If only it loved my face back.

Scrap That

Right. Unless I want to look like a total Ah Beng (I've got the hair and face to match), I'd better hold off on the N82. It's just a bit too shiny for my tastes. Proves that things really do look better in photos than in real life.

Back to the drawing board and most likely the Sony Ericcson K850 will be the winner then. Sigh...too bad the iPhone has no 3G capabilities.

Why do I feel this need to buy a new phone when my current K750 works just fine?


Thursday, February 21, 2008

Week 28 : Practicing for Mount Everest

Our girl must think she is the world's most intrepid explorer. All she wants to do is stand or find objects (people included) to help her in her quest to stand on her two tiny chubby feet. It takes her less time to get up and stand supported than for me to say, "Such a good girl!". She's learned to manouvre around in her walker; she gets around in the living room, sashays her way into the kitchen to pull at the notices stuck on the fridge and of course, makes small play of chasing after the kitties.

I've discovered that cooking for her really is quite fun. I haven't cooked so much and so consistently in my life. I spend the weekend preparing batches of food for her. Usually what gets dumped into the cooking pot are pumpkins, carrots, leeks, sweet potato, spinach, lentils or some form or combination of one or the other. Sometimes there'll be a little too much left over after pureeing and we'll have that for ourselves. Soup never tasted this good at the shops!

She caused a little stir over the Chinese New Year: her bright countenance and affinity with people made her easy to get along with and the adults had a field day playing with her or taking it in turns carrying her. I didn't have the heart to put a dress or skirt on her so she ended up looking the little boy.

She's started to want to chew her food. Must have picked up on my own chewing action; to save time in the mornings, I have my breakfast while I'm feeding her and make a big show of chewing. She's a fast learner. I've also started showing and teaching her the sign for 'drink'. Like I said, she learns fast; she understands when I make the sign and readily opens her mouth wide to take a gulp from the bottle but hasn't learned how to sign herself yet.

The little imp is growing up fast. Sigh...too fast. Feels like she's attempting and accomplishing so much and before I know it, she'll be an adult already. Argh! I get the blues when I see young adults these days and envision her as one of them. Why can't they stay this age forever?

She does love to eat though. No matter what I cook for her, she downs with gusto. She loves papaya too. So far, the only thing about feeding her is that she gets distracted really easily, especially if the kitties streak across her field of vision. Then she'd rather watch them and munch the high chair than her food. Or maybe it's just her way of telling me she's had enough and that I'd better get that bowl out of her sight.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Thoughts Before Midnight

Where was I before Sophia? In a daze.

Where am I now? Still in a daze, but in a good way.

What do I think of now? How to make the world a better, safer place for her. How she's growing, changing so fast. Too fast.

What I am thankful for: that she is the anchor that yanks me back from my otherwise sometimes turbulent and dark thoughts; my rainbow in a gray, colourless sky; the present that forces the past away; a part of me that is, for now, all good.

She is the eye of my storm.

Thursday, February 14, 2008

A Rose By Any Other Name...

I applied for a savings account for Sophia Meiyin some weeks back. In the box for 'race' I left blank. If Malaysia is to be truly a melting pot, that little box should be gotten rid of. I'm not going to label my child Malay for she is only half Malay. What about her other half which is Chinese? What about other kids who are born of mixed parentage too? The Chindians or Eurasions? What if they are a quarter Malay, a bit of German, a bit of Chinese and Portuguese? Are they still labeled as Malay? That would be disregarding their other inherited bits. They are as much Chinese as they are German or Portuguese or Malay.

If we still need to fill in the 'race' box in this day and age, we are by far regressing as a multi-racial country rather than progressing.

On second thoughts, I should have just put Malaysian in the box.

And Life Just Whizzes By...

I am up to my ears with work. Swamped, really. Never had to do so much with Excel in my life! Add to that my misplaced ambition to incorporate writing into my schedule. Aiyo...

The one shining light? The little monster, of course. She turns 7 months this Saturday and I suppose I'll be celebrating a quiet Valentine's Day with her at home tonight. Oh damn! I have a business dinner tonight...sigh. Maybe I'll leave the office earlier today and see her first. Oh damn! I have a meeting with said business associate after lunch. Seeing as he's here all the way from Germany, sigh...there's no help for it then.

I miss the little angel/monster. She's extra clingy now and all she wants to do is stand and climb. Still the smiley happy baby that she is. Sigh, such a dear.

Am thinking of getting a new mobile phone. The Nokia N82 comes to mind. It's between that and the Sony Ericsson 850i. I've been using Sony for so many dog's years now that I'm not sure I'd know how to use a Nokia. But the N82 looks very tempting: video capabilities, 5 megapixel camera with Carl Zeiss lens and all.

In the news too: parliament has been dissolved. Luckily I registered early last year. I'll be eligible to exercise my right this year. Yay!!! It probably won't make much of a difference but I know who I'm NOT voting for.

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