Archive for August, 2007

Little Words to Live By
If you want to feel rich, just count all the things you have that money can’t buy


It was one of those rare days, my father sat outside at the living area and I was home early after work. Dad usually sits in his own room and listens to his radio. I missed those time during my younger days where I would sit on my father’s lap and snuggle in his warm arms. He came out, dressed in his old, comfortable looking ragged T-shirt and short pants. He walked towards the sofa and I stood up holding his hands, guiding him to sit down. Mom was seated next to me on the right, contently watching her Chinese drama series.

I sat next to dad and asked, trying to initiate small talk, “Daddy, how was it like before Merdeka?” And he started telling the story as I moved closer to him, leaning my body on his chest. It was so natural for my hands to hug dad. “I remember when I have to run and hide in the man hole every time we hear a loud bang. It’s a small underground dug by the men in the neighborhood to keep us, children safe. This was our protection just in case the Japanese soldiers came. From within the hole, we can hear shootings and bombings from the sky.” dad continued. By then, I was in my most comfortable state. For that 10 minutes, I was my daddy’s eight year old little girl. It wasn’t much of the story he told back then, I probably didn’t understand half the things he told me. But the warmth, the comfort he emanated when I hugged him, is so fulfilling. I felt safe in his arms.

I knew my father remember those times as he hugged me, he clutched me close to his big belly as he continued talking. When he’s done with the story, I would probe him further with another question so he wouldn’t stop talking. I grew up asking alot of questions as my father never fails to feed my curiosity. He would patiently answer all my doubts and always ends his point with either a joke or a teaspoon of sarcasm. “When anyone farts in the man hole, everyone will be laughing and guessing what was consumed by the farting person. ” my father said jokingly ending his man hole story. My next question came, “How was the education system like before Independence Day ?”I was genuinely interested to find out. “Malaysian education system was much better then. We were all studying in English. Our English standard had higher grade.” I heard my father said. I nodded in agreement and my father felt the head movement and so he continued. Once he was done, I asked again, “What else was different ?” “Everyone was equal. We had equal rights among races” he answered sternly. I kept quiet. This was a very sensitive topic. I knew where my father’s grounds were on this subject matter. I dared not ask anymore. Nevertheless, I know it by heart, he enjoyed sharing his thoughts with me and I, on the other hand love my share of moments with him.

True enough, my father has his views on days before Independence Day while many will say Malaysia has gone a long way till now. I wasn’t there to make the comparison. Nevertheless I am proud to be a Malaysian. 50 years of Independence.What does that mean to you?
I was ambitious, I wanted to list down 50 reasons why I am proud to be a Malaysian. Unfortunately, I only came out with 25. If you have anything to add, please do so, leave a comment. In random order the list as follow:

1. Nasi lemak for breakfast, lunch, tea, dinner and supper
2. Roti canai in a mamak stall at 3am in the morning
3. P. Ramlee
4. Sudirman
5. KLCC Tower – love the view at night
6. Mt. Kinabalu – standing tall and making Malaysia ever so proud
7. Pasar Malam (Night Market)
8. Pirated VCD/DVD/CD
9. Abundance of green, tropical rain forest
10. Pulau Redang and other beautiful islands
11. Proudly made in Malaysia, Milo tin cars
12. KL Tower
13. Penang Rojak
14. Tapir, Orang Utan
15. Genting Highlands casino
16. Bata shoes
17. Ais kacang
18. Traditional costumes, cheong sam, saree, kebaya
19. Malaysia Boleh spirit
20. Durian and mangosteen
21. Our languages and dialects
22. Pan Mee (Flour noodle)
23. Wang Kuang Liang
24. Malacca
25. Most of my good friends are Malaysians

Little Words to Live By
I would, if I could. But we need to follow some rules

By: M.L. Lai
If only I could change the world
to a better place, where trees and flowers are made
Human will live in an environment so bold
Where birds fly free and butterfly roam in glade

And I shall have some peace, for peace comes dropping slow
I would wake up in the veils of the morning to where the crickets sing
I will gaze into the moonlight glimmer with its purple glow
and sip my favorite drink, pineapple malibu complete with a sling

If only all the fortune and wealth is not gained through work night and day
Then we would just lay by the shore
And our life wouldn’t be so grey
I hear it, that you say “If only” deep in your heart’s core

Little Words to Live By
Be careful of what you wish for, God listens.

By:M. L. Lai

I arrived late night with my friends at the campsite. It was approximately near to 10pm. Pitch dark, we held our touch and found a cozy spot to set up the tent. The rest of the group was getting ready for the campers performance. I was excited. Even though it wasn’t my first time experience, camping in the wild. Introduction Weekend with my group of friends from Raleigh International Kuala Lumpur.

The next morning, the staffs woke up at 3am. All eagerly with tasks at hand. I joined the regime and played my part facilitating what was required of me. I came back to the camp site, sweaty and dirty. The sun was shinning bright, birds were chirping. However, I saw Mother Nature’s tear in the pile below, near the campsite.

“Are you going to do anything about this?” I asked with a stern face to my fellow camp mate. He gulped with hesitation. “errmmm…not really” he responded. My heart sank. I was disappointed. My facial expression gradually changed and it was noticeable. His facial expression were in distressed, and he smiled at me with his innocent dark brown eyes, startlingly eager to affirm his perspective as I continued “Why not, well I am going to do something about this”. He added, “Even if we clean this up, people will still dump rubbish here. It’s their nature.” I reacted angrily but no doubt deep inside I agreed. “I don’t care what people think or do, I will do something about this. This is not right, just not right. Will you help me? ” I questioned commandingly. He nodded.

I found myself a big orange plastic bag and started to brace myself bravely into the “long drop”. For those unfamiliar with the phrase, a “long drop” is a hole used for campers to pee and dump their feces. Basically, its a shit hole. I amazed myself with my own act but I was determined.

Soon, I realized that it wasn’t really hygienic for me to pick up empty plastic bottles using my bare hands. So, I used a small plastic bag to wrap my hands with as protection. My act caught attention. I wasn’t doing this alone. Imagine me, picking and running back and forth the campsite trying to get help. The rest of the campers were very busy. I caught hold of two strong, young male campers. I solemnly pleaded for their mercy hands. My battering eyelashes, they couldn’t refuse and I wasn’t prepared to take “No” for an answer. Standing in disbelief, the earlier camp mate was taking photos of me. I didn’t have time to pose. Soon, I had 3 pairs of strong hands helping me. My 3 knights in shining armor. Well, in this case in point, my 3 knights in shining black garbage bags.

Soon, my tall, charming camp mate woke up. He emerged out from the tent. I greeted him from afar, “Good Morning! Care to join us?” I smiled ecstatically. For some strange reasons, with the lack of sleep, actually with no sleep from the previous night, I was full of energy and was enjoying myself doing this. It was fun, cleaning waste ! Hardly with any breakfast, the tall hunk walked next to me, somehow inspired with my act. He must have wanted to share a piece of my joy, derived from sheer pleasure, full filled, pursuing something I stand strongly for. Without a question, he blinked with his round eyes and cute dimples, smiled back in return and offered his hands to me. With thee hand, you shall pick garbage. I giggled.

Unfortunately, nature has it course. Our acts were put on hold. The dumpster emitted a foul smell, so bad that all the helpers ran away. We could no longer pick any more. We could no longer save the world, save the greens. I wasn’t satisfied. I saw a log and stare blankly at the hole. “We shall dig and bury” I said. 6 pairs of eyes, tired looked back at me. I stood still, very still waiting for a response. I didn’t even dare to blink. Their undying courageous act beckons me to gain confidence to speak again. “After burying, we would move that log and place it on top of it.” I continued. They stare at me, speechless. Then, walked away. Not to ignore my call. They just needed a rest. Bouncing, leaping out of the bushes, I walked to the laying log. Pushed it with my short, little legs. It hardly move an inch. I placed my hands against it and prayed silently. If this is right with what I’m doing, so help me God. I pushed it with my naked hands, the log moved abit and I scrapped my fingers. It bleed. A little blood won’t kill me, I thought to myself.

While I was busy pushing the log, trying with all my might. My prince charming came with a spade. The 4 hunks dug, hard and deep. They managed to cover the hole. We succeeded. I was jumping for joy ! We then placed the log on top of the burial ground. “This will do it” I heard a voice in my heart. Then, holding his camera with his sweaty face, my camp mate uttered, “The ground will fertilize itself and hopefully bushes will grow tall and no one will ever see this “long drop” again.” I was nodding in content.

The next day I came home, thinking of the incident. Thinking of our society today. How ungrateful act of some ignorant people to litter like that in the woods. Again, I was disturbed. Looking for insight and some cheer, I found a call in the bloggers forum. My little act will it make a difference? Surely not much. I was dishearten. Blog Action Day. Global awareness. That was it, we need to shout louder. I was in doubt, but I wrote the post anyway.

Two days later, I went for a movie with an old friend. Evan Almighty. “One Random Act of Kindness at a Time”, that was my message received from the Almighty. My doubts were cleared.

I want to take this opportunity to deeply send my gratitude, my appreciation to the 4 handsome, witty, courageous young men, who answered my call. Why you did it, I may not know. But you did it anyway, without complain. I solemnly thank you.

Little Words to Live By
Your silence says it all

By: M.L. Lai

Last week, I received a very pleasant email from an old friend from Perth, Australia. My friend was planning to visit Kuala Lumpur. I was very excited to hear that, as I have not seen him for 6 years ! This is a very special friend. Why so special ? This friendship was formed out of nothing and became something very significant in my life.

I remember clearly it was year 2001, February. I was with my first company, in my first job, I was sent to Australia for training for a month. I flew to Perth, all by myself. My first trip away from home. I was only 21 years old then. I arrived in a service apartment in Perth. One of the hotels in Perth, I reckon. I could have picked other training locations in Australia; Sydney or Melbourne. I could have stayed in luxurious places in Adelaide or lived in lavish hotels in Melbourne. I picked Perth.

I arrived at the training centre at 8:30am on a Monday morning. Nervous like a cracked nut, I walked in, counting my blessings that I didn’t get lost on my way from the apartment to the training centre. Sat at the reception, was this lady with the most gentle, most humble smile ever. Her smile calmed me soothingly. I felt welcomed. My nervousness was shattered, I was left with no fear, except a reflecting smile on my face. We exchanged name, Linda was hers.

On the second day of my training, I met Linda again at her desk. We talked more. That day, my view changed on the life lesson my mother taught me. “Be weary of friends you meet in overseas. Never tell them where you stay” was mother’s words before I depart Malaysia. I was obviously not a very good daughter, not only I told Linda where I lived, I even told her I was living alone ! Having said that, Linda offered to show me around Perth. I was shocked beyond words. I hesitated as I looked at this over-friendly new friend. Can I trust her ? Trusted her I did, and I had the most wonderful weekend in my life in Perth. I didn’t go to the Perth International Arts Festival. All my friends were telling me about the festival, that I HAD to go and experience the art, the music, the dance. Timing wasn’t right that year. I don’t think I would have enjoyed the festival as much being a non-musical person myself.

My ride came at approximately 8am on that Saturday morning. I was picked up. I stepped into the car with 1 new friend and 2 strangers. Linda brought her best friend along, Annette and husband, Geoff. We arrived at Tumbulgum Farm.

I’ve learnt how to milk a cow. My perspective on nipples changed entirely !

I’ve learnt how to feed a sheep.

I witnessed hair cut the Aussie style

I found out Kangaroo meat is very popular and dogs eat Kangaroo meat! Feeding them and having them for dinner later wasn’t really my idea of getting close with my food.

Emu is really a big bird.

My weekend was ended at the beach, watching the sunset.

At the end of my one month training in Perth, Linda cooked me a feast. I left with a very heavy heart.

Annette and family

Linda and her two sons. I came to Perth to learn and I found friendship for life.

Little Words to Live By
Flattery is like chewing gum.
Enjoy it, but don’t swallow it

By:Hank Ketchan

My poll for the Women in the 21st Century seem to be dying miserably. Just to put the poll in highlight again. Poll ends 15th September 2007.

Is there any truth in what my friend claimed, that women these days are bold ?

Is there any truth in my belief, that men these days like to be asked out?

Create polls and vote for free.