Thursday, January 24, 2008

Montserrat experience

No.. this is not szelin.. it's one of the other 2 ducks who have not written in yonks. endroog asked of my experience in Barcelona, so here goes...

I'm sure all of you are sick to death of listening to touristy information, of how beautiful the structures are, how Gaudi is so great, how paella is so delicious, etc. So.. I'm gonna write about the people. I've read in books describing the Spanish as fiery and hot-blooded people. And they are! But, fiery in a passionate way and hot-blooded in a sense for justice. I'm taking Environmental Studies, so you can imagine the kind of discussions we have. And things get really interesting sometimes. They are so helpful, really. In my first week, I had to lug my damaged baggage back to my room. On the way, a man helped me lug it up the stairs, and when I got to the top of the stairs, a woman came with those supermarket trolley so that I could wheel it home. When I finally reached home, I couldn't lift up the bag from the trolley and 2 guys came to my rescue. If this had happened in Malaysia, I wonder how many people I would have had to ask before help was rendered. And here, I didn't even have to ask. And luckily I didn't have to coz I didn't speak a word of Spanish then. There are so many more examples but this striked me the most.

People are so warm and though I feel abit strange, I'm getting used to the kisses on the cheeks when they say hi! Anyhow, I could go on and on.. and I can't coz I have an exam coming up! So, if any of you are coming here, don't worry, the Spanish will take care of ya..

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


I wonder if anyone's in the same dilemma as me. Me being away from home with a tight schedule, kinda having a hard time 'structuring' my schedule for Chinese New Year. First of all, my family's like split between KL and Singapore and after a lot of discussion, my family decided that we're gonna do CNY in Singapore this year.

Which is great, except that I have to arrange so that i can fly straight to Singapore from Jakarta on my company's expenses (they pay for flights back but only to Malaysia). Straightened that out and got the ticket back to Singapore on the 5th Feb. Mind you, this was settled in the beginning of Jan'08.

And then it's the reunions and meetups. Not forgetting that i'm spending first CNY with Andrew, so it means I've got to synchronize mine with his. Visits to his family and his visit to mine. Reunions with friends are a big big problem too since some of them are back from overseas and they are also on a tight schedule. It used to be that the Ipoh reunion is done in Ipoh but this year i'm splitting it to KL, Ipoh and Singapore....hah...!

It's not easy anymore to get people together now. Aside from friends and family who are overseas, friends and family with kids or married are also on a tight and somewhat unflexible schedule too. Simple things like kids having to sleep after 7pm, or visits to the other half's family all have to be considered.

So, now the best way i find is just to send a mass mail, to get an agreed date, time and venue. Fix it and try not to be late. Make provisions for unexpected things like traffic jam or choose and easy place to find. The objective is to GET TOGETHER, that's what that matters.


Heard there's a new fad going on the internet about Webisodes- series episodes on the web! I've only seen my sister doing that, watching on the web some chinese HK TVB series....

The one i caught on the E! Channel was called ROOM MATES? Anyone has any scoop on that?

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Muka Parah

Was having a plate of Gado-Gado nearby my Jakarta office and my Indon colleagues were discussing animatedly about facials and what nots. They've had like treatment, laser, UV rays, peeling etc. One of my fren went for a facial treatment and was labelled as Muka Parah Level 2. And her face didn't even look really that bad.

I'm probably one of those few people who actually go for regular facial. Shocking but me and my sisters and mom dont have that kinda routine. You know how u've never been exposed and u just don't think that it is a norm that you should do it? I can't remember the last time i had one, except for that free facial by new york solution that was only so-so and overrated. Except for my daily facial wash with just about any product, i dont really buy any other products.

DO you think we actually need it? No doubt that we need some facial cream to keep the face soft and smooth but how can we actually validate that all those facials are actually good ? And how often and how long and what products to use is a big question....Dermatologist or Beauty COnsultant?

Friday, January 18, 2008

Buang Sial

A friend of mine ran into some bad luck yesterday and so after work we were discussing about it and she decided to 'buang sial'. Asked me for some ideas and i distinctly remember about 2 years ago when I had a terrible fever spell for about 2 weeks and a good friend of mine gave me some flowers (chrysanthemum) and asked me to 'mandi bunga'. We then went on a frenzy search for flowers on the way home and finally found some near Tanjung Duren (Jakarta Barat).

I suggested to add some 'daun limau bali', pomelo leaves into the 'mandi bunga' thing. Also the stepping-over-a-bucket-on-fire. hahaha.

It is really absurd or don't we all need to do this once in a while- just to set our mind at peace. I just thought that to ease my friend's mind maybe these ideas can temporarily pacify her. Ridiculous at it may seem, but no harm trying right?

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

I was fortunate enough to arrive in Jakarta only to have my boss to send me to Bali the very next day to “work”. It was a most relaxing 4 days 3 nights trip almost all expenses paid except for food. What more can I ask, right? First night was spent in Sanur Beach and the other 2 nights in Kuta Beach.

I’m not really a beach person, nevertheless the ambience and environment is good enough to make you feel all at once breezy and happy. The best moment for me there is probably just lounging after breakfast at the wooden chairs just by the poolside. Had a 2-hour massage at the hotel that is well deserved! I know I’m not really the hardworking type but hauling the luggage in and out of the airport can be tiring..

But I don’t really think I’ll pay on my own to go to Bali. It is much hyped for its beaches etc, I went all the way to Dreamland to see what the rave is all about, but very disappointing as there was construction going on and the sunset was spoiled by the clouds. If you’re into SURFING, now this is a place to be.

Saturday, January 05, 2008

The Other Half's Family...

Just recently i've had a friend whose seriously in deep shit after she realized that she's having problems with the MIL (mother-in-law) just few months after she and the husband registered for marriage. But then again, who doesnt have problems with the MIL? it's always the MIL, isn't it?

Which brings the question, does it matter what your other half's family is like? You can say well marriage is between 2 people etc etc but the truth is that once u marry that guy, you're marrying his family whether you like it or not. You can have your own place with your hubby but you're gonna still have to make an appearance for whatever 'important' occasion. There is no running away there.

Nagginess we can take, but what about kiamsiapness? or the MIL who won't let go of the son? The dad who is always drunk? And broke? The beat-up brother who's jobless and expects handouts even from you?

Are you sure you're not bothered by these things? I know of a friend who....
*broke off with the boyfriend because she found out he has a brother with Down's
*broke off an engagement because the MIL was controlling the son and turning the son against the wife
*broke off with the boyfriend who is constantly paying off the dad's debts...

Wrong you say? Or just being realistic? Cruel perhaps, but what would you do if you know you're bound to have a marriage laden with chaos and problems?

Wednesday, January 02, 2008

2007 flashback

Had a long time to ponder on my last 29 years this 2008, and yes i'm turning 30 this year...but not without a fight, am not ready to battle it out in this life. But really 2007 has been a blessed year. Found someone to share my life with and also a new start to my career as well. But i guess we can't have everything and it's all about balance i guess, with a good sense of priority.

Biggest impact in my life I would say is Andrew. Perhaps i dont mention him enough here but some things are just better left unshared. He's helped me grow up this year a lot more than he thinks. People who know me would know how much i've mellowed. Best thing is that he's good to my family. I've never realized how wonderful that is until I spoke to BeeF today. BeeF also taught me that I probably would never find another guy who can take my whims and sometimes eccentric ways. Do you know of any other guy who would spend their afternoons and evenings doing household chores & listening to my banter? Like many would say, he's one in a million, without the showy and egocentric ways of many men.

Work is work i guess. But i've finally moved on to another job. U dont know how much it took for me to leave my previous job, how much crying , pondering, double-guessing myself. Being away is just part of the sacrifice i have to make not only for myself but also my other half. But good things come with sacrifice, no? What I sacrifice now, i'll reap in years to come. That's good enough reason for me.

There's probably no bad moments in 2007, even if there were, i always try to see the good side of it all. I guess 2007 made me an optimist. Sure, Andrew had a terrible accident, but i did enjoy chauffering him around and finding taufoofah and 'designing' his liquid diet. We spent so much time smurfing it was funny at times, and heartwarming.

Just way nearing 2008, I also got a new nephew...lil' Aaron! hope there's more to come. :)
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