Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Happiness in a trip

Happiness is not going for a tour of Europe ... its being able to walk around and enjoy the scenes in your own backyard.

Happiness is not being surrounded by a party of friends who shower you with gifts .... its doing something and spending time with the people you care for. 

Happiness is not dining at the best 5-star restaurant ... its being to enjoy the taste and passion used to prepare a dish.

And a short getaway to Bukit Tinggi last weekend really gave me the picture of what happiness is. 

Saturday, October 25, 2008

The wonderful dark and silent world

Went back to YMCA for an event that my deaf friend organized. Though I am a super long expired member of the 'Friends of the Deaf' group, it is so sweet that they keep inviting me back for events. And so last night I finally went, for a movie : Hellen Keller.

Though I watched it before, its always inspiring to know how people with limitations are able to survive and even shine ever so brightly in life. Hellen was stuck with a disease and became both deaf and blind. All she could do before she met her teacher was to throw tantrums and have everyone around her taking pity of her. But her teacher, Annie Sullivan taught her how to be independant and gave her the will to succeed in life. And its amazing how Hellen acquired an honors degree. Truly respectable!

I really can't imagine living in a silent world. You can't hear people talking to you or can't enjoy music. You can't experience expressions or sounds of raindrops. You have to live a life where people will perpetually look down on you. I have heard for myself how people judge the deaf, thinking that I couldn't hear when I was with a group of deaf. If only the deaf friends knew, how would they feel? Or perhaps they already knew ... and got to learn how to live with it.

It is extremely difficult to find a job or to go around getting chores done. But yet, the deaf have managed to do so well in life, yet they mange to stay so optimistic. And sometimes even having a more optimistic approach than us. They tell us that being deaf is worse than being blind. I believe that that might be true. You can see people around, but you are actually alone. You can see things happening, but nothing can be heard. Its like watching a movie alone in a cinema, with no one around you.

Yet I treat my eyes as my most precious sense of all. Thankfully I am blessed. With them I get to see friendly faces and get to look at wonderful scenaries. I get to see where I am going or what I am eating. No doubt, sometimes feeling something would be greater than seeing something, but being able to do both is just a miracle.

Being blind makes you very vulnarable. You need to trust people and believe that they wont harm you. Anyone, can lead a blind to walk straight into the ditch. But I guess, humans would not take advantage of the less fortunate.

But being both blind and deaf at the same time, that takes great courage. Seeing how Hellen put in effort to learn, how difficult it was for her to understand, really makes you wonder just how strong a person's will can be. It shows you how much love has to be around that person in order for things to happen .

I've tried it before. Pretending to be both blind and deaf at the same time. And communicating was not easy. It took me forever just to realize that my friend was trying to tell me 'the box on the table'. You really have to feel the signs your friend is showing. And you'll realize how beautiful is the art of the deaf and the blind. You'll then realize how important it is for you to appreciate whatever senses you are blessed with. You'll then be amazed at how strong the human heart and mind can be. And definitely, you'll salute how the less fortunate become what they are today!

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Reunion of 2, or was it 3

Its a weird way how Micheal, Michelle and Nicole met. A weird weird way ... Or maybe it was how Michael and Nicole met, only to have Michelle come in the picture. Or maybe Michelle was there all along, only Michael thought he 'WAS' present. I guess we'll never know ... we've got to ask the creators themselves .... Michael, Michelle and Nicole. Confusing eh? I am too .... but damn glad of this whole picture.

It may have been 2 years since this complicated picture was drawn up, a result of our abnormal psych project. And I so so so love the video that we made. haha, Michael might kill me if I reveal the whole truth (but then again, Michael has vanished from the earth).

So the 3 people behind the characters met up for a reunion last night .... was eating and laughing non stop. Oh! our channels could not click as always and we just stared at each other and burst out laughing .... that summarizes the whole picture ... lame jokes and just laughter.

But Michael was so sweet and decided to enlighten us about dining ettiquette in UK. First you have your appetizer, then your main course. But then you have to have something in between to 'neutralize' your taste buds ...... so take a wild guess on what this is called????

Monday, October 20, 2008

Tourist in your own home

Its fun to be a tour guide once in a while. Bringing people
around to places you call home and showing them what locals eat.

In fact the best way to actually experience the culture of a foreign land is the do what the locals do. Go to places where they hang out and try the everyday things that they do/ eat/ talk about.

And that is exactly what we experienced the last weekend. A few of us brought our guest lecturer from the UK and a few Singaporeans out for a haunt of KL city. Well, not the tourist destinations but regular lepak places.

Because that is what I want to experience when I am in a foreign land my self. No doubt I would want to go to those famous spots for photo taking and for a memory of my trip. But what I really want is to hang out at road side stalls to try the good food, go shopping at alleys or markets to find bargains or walk along the streets to see locals in their everyday environment. Only then, can you see it from their eyes, the culture of the people. Only then, can you say you have BEEN to someone else's country.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Twin happiness

Its always a good thing to start your day off with an unhealthy breakfast! And its a rare privilege too! Nasi Lemak!! So fattening and artery clogging but yet ... truly Malaysian! ooh, I love the taste of the egg yolk mashed in the sambal to be eaten together with the rice! Not that its difficult to find Nasi Lemak around here, but its just that I always wake up late and don't have the appetite for spicy food!

But this time, I got more than I bargained for. With my usual cup of Neslo and the pack of calories in front of my Mac, I opened the box and was welcomed by the smell of hot steaming santan rice. Its always a ritual to eat nasi lemak. And as I always do, I seperate the ikan bilis from the peanuts. Oh and throw away the ikan bilis with heads too .... can't imagine the thought of chewing on their heads. Then I scoop my sambal to the top of the box and is prepared to cut the boiled egg into half, take out the yolk and mash it into the sambal .... but


I was sort of disgusted. Wanted to throw the whole box away. There were 2 yolks in that 1 egg. No doubt it wasn't fertalized and no chick will come out. But still ..... eww, it could have been twins!! Or it might be a mutated egg. You might eat it and grow another head. Or one yolk might be chickless and 1 might be chick-ed. You'll never know ..... gross.

But after lots of encouragement that it's fine to eat, I did! And if you see it carefully, it might actually bring lots of optimism. 

You have two yolks instead of one. Nicer sambal paste! And how often do you get to see these kinds of phenomenas? And you were given this privilege.  An optimistic person will see it as double happiness. It might be that good things are happening to you. It might be that there is actually someone beside you all the way. It might also be that its a sign of prosperity. Once again ... you get to choose how you want to see it. 

I believe that what ever you do, there are signs showing you or guiding you. You will never be alone in whatever issue that you are facing. It might be a friend, the media or even some stranger on the road. Say for example I cannot decide between going for a social outing or to attend a workshop. Then I so happen meet a long lost friend who mentioned about another friend who I was supposedly to meet for the social outing. See .... the decision was guided for me. And the outcome ...... heheh I collected a long forgotten debt! 

Back to the egg yolk issue. I chose to see it as I would receive two pieces of good news. Although I have only received 1, but the law of the twin yolk says the other will be coming. Though I receive many many through out the day ...... the twin yolk has been a blessing!

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Great optimism

One day a wealthy gentleman took his son to the country to show him how the poor lived.

Upon returning to his luxurious mansion the father asked the son if he learned anything.

"Well," the son began, "I saw we have one dog and they have four. We have a pool that reaches to the garden, and they have a creek that has no end. Our patio reaches to the front yard, and they have an endless horizon. We have lanterns in the garden and they have the stars at night. We have servants who care for our needs, and they serve others. We buy our food, they grow theirs. We have walls to protect our property, and they have friends to protect them."

By this time the rich man was speechless.

"Thank you, father," the boy said, "for showing me how poor we are."

Weird feelings

Fear is normal in all human beings. I remember being afraid when I did something wrong for mummy might smack me. Or later, I had a feeling of fear when I was to take exams or the first public speaking on stage or of going for the first job interview. Its kind of like little butterflies in your stomach. And its kind of nice as it spurs you on to do better. Sometimes it can be a motivation for you to even work harder to get rid of those butterflies. 

I kind of like those positive stress but sometimes those feelings get mixed up with other feelings and those butterflies might turn into some type of nerve wrecking moths that eat up your stomach linings. I just had this weird and unexplainable feeling in me the whole weekend. It was like fear, anxiety, uncertainty or nervousness. It might be six sense (which I don't have), my feelings of guilt for abandoning Zeus for 3 nights or heart burn from the tom yum I had previously. I really don't know. 

Sunday, October 5, 2008

It's your own life

And since your life belongs to you, its really up to you to arrange what goes on in it. You have a choice as to whether you want to live a productive life, a happy life or one that its filled with misery. Well, I definitely have drawn up how I want to live my life ... my happy life, and nothing can stop me from doing that. hehe .... only a few would have seen how I sacrificed and what I did to whatever that stood in my way to leading a happy life.

I guess I have the authority to say this .. 'Be firm in your principles'. When you set your heart to do something, don't give up so easily. There will bound to be road blocks along the way but you just have to be courageous enough to overcome it. I know, it may be tempting to go with the flow of the blocks, but where will it lead you to eventually. Are you willing to stray so far away from your original goal, not knowing how you will be able to bounce back on track?

True, there are times when we are just dragged by the collar to the road of uncertainties. But if you look hard enough, there are alarm clocks all around you. Things or people that can wake you up or slap the sense out of you. So when faced with life's blockages ... just remember ... FOCUS!

Thursday, October 2, 2008

9 Emperor Gods Festival

Have you wondered why it rains everyday? Every year around this time, I know its not a good time to plan for BBQs ... it always gets thwarted by the rain .... or my mum's rheumatism will kick it. But we know it will only last for 9 days. 

hehe, I decided to be a good girl and went for prayers instead of the regular shopping malls and coffee chats. Went to the 9 Emperor Gods Festival in Ampang. Its really great to absorb the sights, sounds, colors, environment and culture. And it brings back good memories ... I know I am weird but I love smoky temples and the smell of incense. I am used to the burning of joss sticks and 'money'. And the sound of the 'chim' or fortune sticks just makes me feel so at home. hehe ..... long story.    

Anyway, I went for this festival,it is to celebrate the return from
 heaven to earth of the 9 Emperor Spirits and the Taoist goddess of the sea and queen of heaven (no wonder its th
e wet season). And its a beautiful celebration.

I went once for a procession at night.

People were carrying chariots and devotees were chanting while walking along the roads. People were walking on coal barefoot and climbing up really steep poles. This year round, I went in the day time. Saw so many things! Many devoted people, arts, fortune telling and even Chinese Opera! Though it was hot and I was melting (of all days I wore a long sleeved black shirt), it was really an eye opener for me. Its like being a tourist, or a Chinese for the first time, o
r my first encounter with a temple. Its just magnificent. Culture never ceases to amaze me.