I think about you constantly, whether it's with my mind or my heart. ~ Albany Bach Reid

Thursday, November 27, 2008

CPR. Now.

One fine beautiful morning about 3 days ago, as I was juggling a file and my overstuffed attaché case at the entrance, I heard a frantic voice calling after me, “Panjang umur haa. Tunggu! Tunggu! Ada surat!”

I stopped dead in my track, smiling simply waiting for the sweet girl skipping towards me. Right after exchanging few hellos and 'have-you-heard's and also some juicy yakkin' on the side (she's our CNN over here..lol), I carried all the stuffs back to my office.

My eyes nearly popped out as I read the letter;

Pelantikan Sebagai Juruacara Seminar Antarabangsa Bahasa Melayu Dalam Komunikasi Era Globalisasi

Dengan segala hormatnya Dewan Bahasa dan Pustaka Wilayah Timur dengan kerjasama Universiti Malaysia Terengganu akan menganjurkan seminar tersebut di atas pada 1-3 Disember 2008.....

Da hell? Braincheck... Ookay let see, Datuk Seri Utama Dr. Rais Yatim's going to be there on the 2nd, right. Alright. Take it easy, Suria. Breathe in, breathe out.

This has got to be a joke. Err.. right?

Then I just lost it.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

A memento: Of staring at the wall

So much is going on in my life right now that, it’s kind of difficult to choose what to write about. For some, they might know that I've just started a new phase in life. Another chapter in my own memoir.

Another journey.

Once in awhile (like right now, where it's so outlandishly quiet outside my hide-out), I would sit down and start wondering about what life is all about, and what happiness and success mean to different people. Different people, different views. My mom used to say 'Manusia mane kan sama citarasanya. Kalau tak, takkan la ada banyak design kat kedai kain'. Exactly.

The pursuit of happiness. Of course I always come out of such moments of pondering just as clueless as before.

Mind you I do know I am someone who doesn't want to postpone happiness. Maybe I have never uttered that expression out loud but da hell, it's all up here (pointing to the head) and also here (now pointing to the left side of the chest).

You know how some people always say things like 'I'll be happy when I can retire at 45', or 'I'll be happy when I make my first million', or .. or 'I'll be so so happy when I have a grandson'. In my case, 'I'll be so happy if my parents are beyond happy'.

But why wait? If you can just tweak your point of view a little, you can usually see abit more fun and humour in things. Be more alive. If you can just let loose a little, you can usually laugh at yourself. My mom sort of finds it abit bizarre to see me laughing all by myself whenever I watch some funny sitcoms/movies alone. This trait I inherit from my father. You should see him cackling like there's no tomorrow all alone in front of the TV. lol. What's wrong with the whole picture anyway? If it's funny, then it's funny. Then do the laughing. That simple.

If you find it difficult sometimes in life, just deal with it. Brace up, tilt your chin higher up and face the impediments and remember, The Almighty is always right there with 'ya.

If you can just be that bit more understanding, patient and tolerant, you can be happy now. Of course, there will always be things that we want, or events that we look forward to, and those can make us very very happy. But surely that doesn't mean we can't be happy NOW, right?

All I'm saying is, I'm thankful. For everything.

'Ya know what. This is a harmless reminder for myself really.

Be happy, folks!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Ain't too heavy

A quick pitstop. Been running amok for the last couple of days. A pretty smooth case of procrastination of completing my 'by all accounts have done it-all last week' major crisis. Ha ha.


One of the qualities that I want in my dream guy. Look at the picture. Can you guess???


He, by all means, my significant other can carry me (omg yes ME!, my dears) on his back. I could have prolonged this whole post on something deeper and hopefully more consequential and wait.. romantic too, but sadly, I can't at the moment. On a tight schedule over here.


How's that for the thought of 'Seriously. Am not kidding. You really need to lose some weight' ?


Sunday, November 16, 2008

Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions. 'Ya think so?

So I came across this online article on the overused of certain words. I'm not fairly sure though the findings are based on 70 percents of the world's English-talking general population or whatnot 'cos it's very brief but this is what some Oxford so-called brains had their minds on.

Researchers at the University of Oxford compiled a list of the Top 10 Most Irritating Expressions in the English language.

Here are the ten awful phrases:

1 - At the end of the day
2 - Fairly unique
3 - I personally
4 - At this moment in time
5 - With all due respect
6 - Absolutely
7 - It's a nightmare
8 - Shouldn't of
9 - 24/7
10 - It's not rocket science

It's stated that Oxford scholars maintain a big database of overused words and phrases called the Oxford University Corpus. The list of irritating expressions is from Jeremy Butterfield's book, Damp Squid: The English Language Laid Bare


Having said that, at this moment in time, I personally think that it's a nightmare that people are sometimes judged from the way they talk or write for that matter. It's not a rocket science when it comes to language and communication and with all due respect to the Oxford researchers, I do find it's fairly unique when a large number of people are using the same overused words or phrases in their daily sentences.

I mean, come on. At the end of the day, we are simply just human beings trying to express our thoughts and feelings 24/7, regardless of using way too many times the same words. Absolutely forgivable.

This shouldn't of got highlighted.

Get it??!

Glad it wasn't me

I was just meddling my own business, still very early in the morning to find that many rustling populace as it was raining quite heavily outside; when I heard a sharp loud shriek.

My antenna worked like magic and quickly in no time at all found out that the sound came from the restroom. So this is what happened then.

A guy whose office just a couple of doors next to mine, had the misfortune of walking in on someone in the toilet. That someone in the toilet happened to be a student, a girl.

Wasn’t sure of the whole picture but the guy, Prof. X (he’s already in the hot seat so spare him) was in a hurry for the cleaners were working in the men’s toilet, so he risked it all in the women’s.

Big mistake.

Thing is, I'm just glad it wasn't me; on either side of the equation.

It's my worst fear being the one on the prone end of things. But it's not much better if you're the one walking into it, right. Geez, I can't really imagine how she felt at the moment when he pushed the freakin' door! And imagine Prof. X's face?


So remember, if you aren't careful about locking the door behind you, you’re bound to be found; in a way you least expect it to be a pretty sight.

Like I said, I'm glad it wasn't me.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Wise Man : Part 5 'Theory on Snooping'

Me : Someone has done some nasty-talk bout me behind my back.

WM : How did you know about this fella bitchin' about you?

Me : Yem told me. 'Cos she happened to walk past the pantry when she overheard a conversation between these two morons, buzzing.

WM : What's the scoop?

Me : Apparently they said that they heard from someone telling some wicked rumors about me.

WM : Ookay. Thing is, is it true? You and these rumors?

Me : Of course not.

WM : Da hell. See, I've been there.

(inhaling deeply before he continues..)

Once I fell down and cut my hand. Nasty one, believe me.

So, I went to a doctor. He went on with the normal procedure. He washed the wound and applied antiseptic on it. Then he put a big tape on top.

The doctor’s wife was in other room cooking lunch. She went on with her daily errand. She had a pot to fill and few clothes to wash.

She reached the well.

“Do you know that guy from that big white house?” She spoke. “He has a nasty cut.”
All the woman folks were intently listening to her.

Postman’s wife came back with a bucket of water. The postman was on the bed.

“There has been an accident in the village.” She spoke, “The guy of that white house broke his hand.”

The postman was listening to her.

The postman went to distribute daily mails. He reached my neighbor’s house. Mrs. Verma was in the front lawn.

“Any letters?” She asked. He went through the packets letters and said, “No, none, but there is a news.”
She looked up.

“The guy from that white house had a fight. He broke his hand badly.”

Mrs. Verma had finished cooking when Mr. Verma entered the house.

“The guy from that big white house had a fight. He has a big broken hand. He was rushed to the ICU of the city hospital.”

Mr. Verma went for the evening walk. He walked with my uncle.

“Your guy had a fight. His hand was shattered. He is in the critical stage in the ICU of the city hospital.” He informed him.

My uncle rushed to our home.

“Our boy is in trouble, he is breathing his last breaths.”

He informed my aunt.
By the time I reached home, people were mourning.

They were preparing for my funeral.

Me : Whaaa..?

WM : (shrugs) Yeah. Mortals tend to do that. They can't help it. Welcome to the real world, babe.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

There you have it. A 'change'!

It's very very disturbing to see that another 'Israel-first' dual-citizen has found his way into the White House. I don't feel good about this. Of all the tough-talkin' guys there, dear Obama chose Rahm Emanuel. Read his bio here.

Haven't heard from my buddy from KS on this one. Can't wait to softly whisper (with much elaborated sigh of course) into the phone for him to listen to; "See? Your trusted, just elected monarch has shown his stripes. At least one for now."


Some notes caught my eyes from time.com:

Obama may speak beautifully and inspirationally about hope and change, about bipartisan cooperation and a better America.

But he clearly understands that you just can't sit around talking about all the good things you want to do when you get to the White House and then expect them to happen all by themselves. Which means you can't hire a staff that's going to gather at work every day, hold hands and sing Kumbaya.

Instead, you bring in a guy like Emanuel, the most hard-headed, no-nonsense, foul-mouthed, smart-as-hell, get-it-done-or-get-out-of-my-way Washington insider of his generation. And you put him in charge of a White House staff whose task it is — and this is putting it conservatively — to conceive, propose, promote and somehow push through Congress the most ambitious agenda any President has carried forth at least since Ronald Reagan rode into town with a lopsided grin in January 1981.

"Rahm does not sing Kumbaya," laughs an old friend and colleague. "He barks orders." His hometown paper, the Chicago Tribune, calls Emanuel "a brutally effective taskmaster."

Wish I could scream my 'Tidaaaaaaaaak!!' so loud even the late opera tenor, Pavarotti could die (second time then I guess) of pure envy and admiration.

And mind you, I've read that the concern was due to the fact that Emanuel guy is seen as so pro-Israel that he would not even consider the Palestinian position. Scary.

So Obama, a Jew uh? For your Chief of Staff. In The Oval Office.


'Well done'.


The Rain

I hear leaves drinking rain;
I hear rich leaves on top
Giving the poor beneath
Drop after drop;
'Tis a sweet noise to hear
These green leaves drinking near.

And when the Sun comes out,
After this Rain shall stop,
A wondrous Light will fill
Each dark, round drop;
I hope the Sun shines bright;
'Twill be a lovely sight.

-by William Henry Davies

I was taken aback by the strong wind blowing outside, dancing in sync with the burly drops of precipitation.


It's official. Monsoon season is here, babe!

And here I am, a lost psyche, peeking through the window in the dark, only minutes before midnight, watching the frogs happily jumping up and down; worshipping.

They’re happy. Big time.




And.. yeah, trapped.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

We need to talk

I used to think that usually men hate it when it comes to 'We need to talk' enigma. 'Cos women especially the thoughtful ones are prone to discussion, to you-talk-I-listen-and-I talk-you-listen thingy. 'Cos relationships are based on trust and understanding.

And talk.

I'd prepare a long list of precedents of what comes into mind when someone says that. Some think it means a long stagnant period of time of simply just staring into thin air, pretending to listen; a 'I talk, you listen'.

So basically, most of the time they believe women would do all the talking. I used to think so too.

Now I doubt it.

And get this. From a distant memory I remember this one movie where one of the actors said that talking (discussion/conversation etc) is just like dancing. Your significant other needs to know how to balance things and pick up speed where you have left.

It takes two to tango. Or so they said.

'We need to talk' carries a profound level of mutual perceptive. From both parties.


In conclusion, it means two things:

1) The preamble to a serious conversation.

2) The preamble to the discussion that is generally followed by the ending of a relationship.

As simple as that. So I guess, being in a 'natter chamber' is a piece of cake.


Hmm. Then how come I don't feel like 'talking' anymore?

'Husbands.Special Price! Mari.. Mari'

A store that sells husbands has just opened in New York City, where a woman may go to choose a husband. Among the instructions at the entrance is a description of how the store operates;

You may visit the store ONLY ONCE !

There are six floors and the attributes of the men
increase as the shopper ascends the flights.

There is, however, a catch . . ..
you may choose any man from a particular floor, or you may choose to go up a
floor, but you cannot go back down except to exit the building!

So, a woman goes to the Husband Store to find a husband .On the first floor the sign on the door reads:

Floor 1 - These men have jobs and love the Lord.

The second floor! sign reads:

Floor 2 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, and love kids.

The third floor sign reads:

Floor 3 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, and are extremely good looking.

"Wow," she thinks, but feels compelled to keep going.

She goes to the fourth floor and sign reads:

Floor 4 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead good looking and help with the housework.

"Oh, mercy me!" she exclaims, "I can hardly stand it!"

Still, she goes to the fifth floor and sign reads:

Floor 5 - These men have jobs, love the Lord, love kids, are drop- dead gorgeous, help with the housework, and have a strong romantic streak.

She is so tempted to stay, but she goes to the sixth floor and the sign

Floor 6 - You are visitor 4,363,012th to this floor. There are no men on this floor. This floor exists solely as proof that women are impossible to please.

Thank you for shopping at the Husband Store. Watch your step as you exit the building, and have a nice day!


p/s: Moral of the story? *sighs.. Oh well, What can I say? Women always.. I mean always look for the best! ha ha ha.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

A mull over.

I was talking recently, with a buddy from yester years, about regret and happiness. It's kinda wacky that lately I happen to be talking about life in general alot with my friends; guess we all have matured in a way, or seen alot for that matter to really think more, having out of the box's standpoints.

She'd asked me, after learning that I'd gone through some intricate rides in my life, if I was happy; if I had any regrets. (If you've noticed, I'ved asked Mr. Wise Man on this one)

Big word there. Regret. And I thought about it.

Truth is, there are certainly things that happened to me that I wished hadn't happened - things that fundamentally altered the course of my life; but I had no control over those things. I mean come on. Bet you have gone through shits too.

Plus, there are also ways of being I wish I could have embodied: less self-conscious and overly solicitious throughout school and college, for example. (don't make me start on matrix's episode)

If I really silently sit by myself surrounded by people all around, giving a careful thoughts about things I've done, or have not, rest assured that I'd cry. Or laugh. Or both.

Boo hoo.

But there, again, I'm not sure there was a choice there. You're trapped inside yourself of the moment, and it's only in looking back that you recognize it.

Back then, I didn't know much. Well you can even say I was naive. (yea right..lol. Shut up, Cash)

However, it's kind of pointless at feeling regret over being who you were. Who you were is part of who you've become.

Hold up!

Did I just muse about things/feelings from the past?

*moans... Not agaaaain!

Ha ha.


Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Kilauan FEI-WEC

Did you watch the official opening of the FEI-WEC on TV2 last night? It was super duper cool!
Especially the fireworks and The Lorenzo Horses.( Just imagine, that hot guy had to control 8 horses!)

Was thinking to myself, 'Hell, I should have gone out, maybe at least park somewhere nearby the stadium, enjoying the spectacular displays of larger-than-life fireworks'. (even the TV's commentator said that Olympic Beijing hosts could just eat their heart out watching the sky all flowery and glitteringly painted).

*sighs.. It would only take 10mins drive from my current hide-out, 'ya knoe. Damn.

While watching, all of a sudden, I felt so proud. Of how it turns out to be so.. so..'horsey'... ha ha.
Read the whole report on the opening ceremony taken from Bernama.com:

November 06, 2008 01:03 AM

Yang Di-Pertuan Agong Officially Opens FEI WEC

By Hilary Sebastian

KUALA TERENGGANU, Nov 6 (Bernama) -- The 12th FEI World
Endurance Championship (FEI WEC) was officially declared open by the Yang
di-Pertuan AgongTuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin in a colourful and glittering
ceremony at the SultanMizan Zainal Abidin Stadium, Gong Badak Sports Complex
here Wednesday night.

The ceremony's main theme highlighted Terengganu's uniqueness -- its
friendly people and gentle way of life.

Prior to the arrival of VIPs, the local and foreign spectators who
throngedthe stadium as early as 7.30pm were entertained by well-known Malaysian

Among the VIPs who attended the opening ceremony were Deputy Prime
Minister, Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak, Terengganu Menteri Besar Datuk Ahmad
Said,Information Minister Information Minister Datuk Ahmad Shabery Cheek, Youth and Sports Minister Datuk Ismail Sabri Yaakob, Chief Operating Officer of the
12thFEI WEC and Vice Chairman of Sultan Mizan Royal Foundation (the
championshiporganiser) Datuk Seri Dr. Salleh Mohd Nor, and FEI Non-Olympics
Sports Director,Lan Williams.

This was followed by the arrival of the Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku
Mizan Zainal and Raja Permaisuri Tuanku Nur Zahirah.

The official ceremony then started off with the singing of the national
athem.Following this, the Yang di-Pertuan Agong, Raja Permaisuri,
dignitaries,and spectators were treated to a colorful and spectacular dance
performancefeaturing the culture and traditions that are unique to the East
Coast state as well as their rich marine life and tourism attractions.

This was followed by the march past by the 133 riders from 32
countriescompeting in the championship in the 50,000-capacity stadium, in which
thebiggest cheers from the crowd were reserved for hosts Malaysia.

The highlight of the ceremony was the official opening ceremony performedby
Tuanku Mizan who beat a gong three times accompanied by a performance fromthe
Malaysian Drum Symphony on various drums found in Malaysia.A magical lightand
sound performance then followed to the delight of the the spectators.

Another eye-catching performance was a stunning performance of horsemanhsipby Lorenzo and the Flying Frenchman.

The opening ceremony ended in a dazzlingfireworks displays. Held for first
time in Malaysia and the second time in Asia, the 12th FEIWEC involves endurance
horseback riding over a 160km trail, which must becompleted within 13 hours and
20 minutes.

Apart from Malaysia as the host nation, the other countries contesting
areSouth Africa, Argentina, Australia, Bahrain, Belgium, Canada, Chile, Costa
Rica,Colombia, Guatemala, Germany, Holland, Italy, Japan, New Zealand, Norway,
Oman, France, Portugal, Qatar, Sweden, Spain, Switzerland, United Arab
Emirates,United States and Britain.

Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Mizan Zainal Abidin will led the
12-memberMalaysia team.The 12th FEI WEC will be divided into two categories,
individualand team.

The flagging off ceremony will be performed this Friday at 5.30pm and
therace is expected to be completed on Saturday morning at the
TerengganuInternational Endurance Park in Lembah Bidong, Setiu.


Think I should go and catch glimpses of the hot riders...err I mean the horses. I've been told that the ones from Qatar are pretty smooth. (and smokin' hot.. ha ha)
More updates here.

Kuda Sokmo!

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

44th President. A change?

A good friend, calling in from KS about 4 hours ago, only to tell me one thing.

'Obama wins!'

So I was like; 'Yeah I knoe. There's internet, remember? And TV too. Everything. Malaysia is not that left behind, ya knoe?'

He went on, 'It's so cool. I've known all along that he would win. I was 100% certain that we gonna have the first black President!'

Listening to him excitedly yakking while chewing on my mango bubblegum, 'You mentioned 'we'. You mean the Americans, right?'

Silence. For 4 seconds.

'Well yeah. Whatever. By the way, I'm coming home next Christmas,' he said.

'For good?'

He managed a chuckle, 'Naah. Just for the holiday.'


So yeah. I am not sure whether Obama's winning is a good thing or not. If you've following the riots and all, frankly I've never fully understood the hatred. Of the Americans.

He sent me emails on Obama and McCain, expressing his thoughts and opinions on the election. Maybe that's his personal approach of one way or another relating it all to the current political turmoil in our own country.


He believes that people of reasonable intelligence who somehow claim that Obama is only winning because he's black. Yet it's obvious to me that he's one of the most intelligent, promising and capable candidates they've had since Clinton (Bush? Hell no! Me together with other millions been counting the days til his last breath); and he promises to be much more disciplined and savvy than the latter.


All of this can only lead all of us to conclude that the hatred is inspired by good old-fashioned racism, whether unconscious or overt.

Issues on racism are everyway, but then again, I won't go through on that one. Enough of this mumbo jumbo.

Long distance call sometimes a pain in the **s, 'cos this time we heard continuous clickings at the back. Then he said, 'It's nearly midnight. Gotta go. If you happen to call Zam, tell him I want my shoes back.'

I nodded, stupidly forgetting that he couldn't see, 'Sure. He'd know which shoes you're talking about?'

'Oh yeah. He knoes alright. He's dead if he even tries to forget about it. Hey, take care okay. If you're lucky, we'll get to meet next month.'

Smiling, I replied, 'Sure, sure. By the way, you forgot my birthday.'

*smirks.. Long live Obama.

Let's do this together..'Auuwww'

I was driving, and then suddenly my heart kinda did it's atypical leap.

Judge it for yourself for I am officially in love with the song. Sorta one of the best duets after Peter Cetera and Amy Grant's Next Time I Fall in Love, and another with Crystal Bernard's Forever Tonight.


Do you hear me, talkin to you
Across the water across the deep blue ocean
Under the open sky oh my, baby I'm trying

Boy I hear you in my dreams
I feel your whisper across the sea
I keep you with me in my heart
You make it easier when life gets hard

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again

They don't know how long it takes
Waiting for a love like this
Every time we say goodbye
I wish we had one more kiss
I wait for you I promise you, I will

I'm lucky I'm in love with my best friend
Lucky to have been where I have been
Lucky to be coming home again
I'm lucky we're in love in every way
Lucky to have stayed where we have stayed
Lucky to be coming home someday

And so I'm sailing through the sea
To an island where we'll meet
You'll hear the music, feel the air
I put a flower in your hair

And though the breeze is through trees
Move so pretty you're all I see
Let the world keep spinning round
You hold me right here right now

p/s: It's been a tempest sentiment deep within. Been there for a couple of weeks. Go figure.


A maxim.

There's that well-known maxim that a good writer has to write from the heart.

I’ve read several really-‘oh-this-is-cool’-appealing blog entries and I am bloody sure those words came from the heart. So far I think I’ve managed if not nearly half, well quater of it. Talking about things that I know. Things within reach. Things that matter; to me.

Well maybe one day I’d write on the universe. I read somewhere that X-rays are produced by a variety of processes in the universe. And do you know that some X-ray sources are relatively nearby like the Sun, but most are distant like black holes, pulsars, and neutron stars. Plus, X-ray sun is clearly more dynamic than the nearly uniform orange Sun that we are used to seeing. Super cool stuff, ey?


Like I said, ‘one day’. (gimme a break here. gees)

Mind you, some entries were way too hearty for my liking. Oh well, I guess that’s the whole point of blogging. If you don’t have the gut to talk or really spill the beans to someone, then maybe, just maybe blogophere is a place for you; even more so for the anonymous (obviously).

But writing a blog makes that quite problematic for me because there are two difficult possibilities to face;

1) that my friends and family will read something I'd be embarrassed they knew about (let see… have I said anything improper and somewhat offensive so far other than revealing for the first time that I trespassed the boy’s hostel? hmm! hey.. I was only 13 at the time and.. and I told 'ya, I was with the warden. Don’t judge me!! Don’t!);

and 2) that I'd write something about a friend or family-member that they'd be upset about my revealing.


Maybe I should even write about that one atrocious day when I was caught..oopss.. yeah. Maybe not.

Have to write from the heart.


Monday, November 3, 2008

I teach. Therefore I am.

Teaching was never in my agenda. I never dreamed about becoming an educator. ‘Cos educating people is a very noble job and I didn’t think I was capable of giving something good to others.

I had a long list of rascal things committed back in schools where if you go and ask some of my primary/secondary teachers about me, geez, they would fill in about many things but having dignified, good qualities for teaching. (By the way, you should ask Madam Rozita; we went to the boy’s hostel while they went out for Friday’s prayer, did some scrutiny here and there.. shhh.. tell no one!)

Never. Like I said, it was never in my list of things.

By the way, I can’t even name one of my extended family members who is a teacher. U uh. Not even one. Guess teaching is definitely not in our blood. We are never a bunch of Kirby’s or Brinsford Lodge’s products.

Far from it.

Then, for some people/relatives who once upon a time bothered enough to hassle me with this ‘how dare you ask me that’ question; ‘You’ve spent half your damn lifetime sucking up Science, an ex MRSM student, then why suddenly TESL?’

Back then I just shrugged it off and answered, ‘Being a doctor is a no-no. Way too much factual craps.’

Let me be honest. Thing is, I couldn’t take it. Reading is my passion but meds books? God. Thought I could pull it off though. My journey back in matrix was hell. Except for the outings. Yeah. Going out, makan-makan and movie slots at Terminal One Seremban.

Loitering at Pasar Pagi Kuala Pilah, which was a delight for me ‘cos there were many pakciks and makciks who more than eager to talk and tell stories. (Some of my friends know how much I love chit chatting with the eldest and they still wonder why. Yeap. So much better than playing hide and seek with a 5 yo brat. Don’t ask me why.)

Other than those, u uh. Total rubbish.

So back to the journey of future youngsters’ Success!! (sure sure)

I was partly inspired by my primary school’s English teacher, Madam Rokayah. I mean, all throughout my life, of course I’ve been taught by many English teachers, even more
so when I took up TESL as my route to career undertakings.

However, she stands out from the rest. Simply.

She taught us the simplest way of understanding and learning English language. Up to this very minute, I am still trying to dig up memories on her method in teaching; on how out of the ordinary she made us listen to her or simply reacted vigorously to her.

One thing for sure, you can never be a strict, dreary teacher when it comes to teaching language ‘cos language is fun! You can never, never be dry. A big no-no. 'Cos there are so many ways in showing our students the beauty of it all.

It’s so not like Math or Physics where each subject has its definite formula and you can’t possibly make up a different solution in order to master it. But of course if would be a different case all together if you’re a Math or Physic prodigy for that matter.

Okay, maybe I shouldn’t just talk about her. It would abit unfair to my other lovely, motivating English teachers.

I also had the opportunity to be under Madam Siti Hajar’s wing when I was in MRSM YT Dungun for three lovely years. Her method in teaching English was abit different for Madam Rokayah’s cos she was more into talking.

Talk, talk, talk.

Expressing one’s opinion was always her thang..I mean thing. I can still remember the day she asked us to sit in circles in front of the class and tell about our favourite TV programme during our previous school holiday.

I remember that particular episode because I talked about ‘Green Green Grass By The River’ . It was a Taiwanese telenovela back in the mid 90’s so it was kinda funny ‘cos it was a bit different from the others. I mean most of my friends were talking bout this cool hip movies/TV programmes (can’t remember what tho’)

So you see, talking is always good because it builds up the confidence in us. Talk and you’d get noticed. Talk and you’d be heard.

She was also the backbone for our debate team. Go figure. She likes to talk, so she was kinda spread her virus to us. lol.

Then, we had this teacher (I won’t reveal the name) who maybe without her consciously knowing it, rather put in ‘OK’ way more than she should in her each uttered sentences. For example, ‘So class, ok.. complete the whole essay, ok.. in your book ok, the blue one? yeah ok and submit it to me by the end of this week, ok..’. lol.

Rather annoying for us at the time merely because we were lazy bums and the thought of composing another essay was beyond coping. Ha ha.

She was a super nice woman and with that, I spare her from saying much more. I mean, we’d never know what others might say about the way we talk/teach in class. Right?

Ok. Enough about her, ok. Am telling ya’, she’s good ok. Maybe a bit annoying in her own way, but she’s super sweet, ok?
(omg. See???)

Then one day, I made up my mind to really, really teach. As simple as that.

I mean come on. Teaching is so cool. They even devote one special day for teachers.

One day. Out of 365. Wow.

I mean come on, have you heard a ‘Engineer’s Day’ (sorry Cash.. haha) or a ‘Doctor’s Day’ (regardless how hard you guys studied, burning the midnight oil most nights and all) or …wait, wait one more.. or even a ‘Lawyer’s Day’ ( I know you like ‘outta town’ assigments Faa, so no case there) , anywhere?

Not in this life. Better luck next time, punk. He he.

Wise Man : Part 4 'Theory on Love'

Me : I’m giving up love.

WM : Phuff.. da hell?

Me : You heard me.

WM : What’s wrong?

Me : It’s tiring. And mind you, love is overrated.

WM : (His eyes suddenly twinkle in the dark and…wow, I couldn’t believe it, he’s grinning!) People never give up on love. No matter what the consequences. Love is a deep, ineffable feeling of tenderly caring for someone, a sense of strong affection, babe. And you are not doing it right if you think love ….

Me : (cuts in, sighing) So you’re in love uh?

WM : (smirks) Who? Me? No thanks. I’m not that stupid. By the way, haven’t you heard? I was officially named The Narcissist by the mob, only last week.


Go on. Shoot me for asking.

Over kopi ais kaw and keropok goreng

Okay, bear with me this time. It's not usually my thing to muse about. But da hell? There's always a first to everything, right?

So, here goes nothing. I was having my favourite coffee ice and keropok goreng with a girlfriend of mine about few weeks ago after a few hours of strolling looking for a wedding gift at my favourite kopitiam, when the conversation turned to our usual topic: men. Ha ha. (Yikes)

She asked me about my relationship/love life, to which I quickly answered; 'aah? Po kobondo eh?' (like always) Then in less than 5 seconds, I turned things 360 degree. Fast. I mean, I rather shy talking 'bout myself. (not for long anymore I guess)

Immediately I asked her about hers.

In no time at all she started rambling on her previous boyfriend who was a total jackass; the type who wants you to solve his problems, be there whenever he needs you; pronto. The type who thinks he’s the most handsome guy, after George Clooney that is (come on, no one can beat Georgie), and who always thinks his girl can’t move on if he dumps her.

Made me soar to the sky when she told me one day that ‘It’s over. I can’t take it anymore. He’s history.’

About time. I could have jumped into my ‘Told ya’ smirk speech at the time, but thought better of it.

After about 10 mins (hey, am a human being after all. telling ya', 10 mins were waay to long at the time.. ha ha), I couldn’t listen to her moaning about her ex flame anymore so I jumped in, asking, ‘Who’s the new flavour?’. She has no trouble looking for an alternate, even back then in school.

To my bewilderment (so she’s faced this kind of dilemma too. .yay), she said she really fancies this guy at her workplace, and they went out a couple of times; together with the other colleagues, and he seems like he likes her but she’s not sure.

'Why don’t you just ask him?' I said while munching on some keropok goreng. (Keropok; one object out of all in the whole universe that my mum still has an issue on..but again that's another story)

A mouthful of 'teh peng' almost spluttered out of her mouth at that. Then, with her big eyes (even bigger than the woman in Guiness, trust me, at least at the time), she went, 'What???? No way!'

I shrugged. Well, at least it would eliminate the guesswork. A shortcut. If the answer’s in the affirmative, you would cut all that time wasted endlessly dreaming about it.

For me, there are only three things that could happen:

Scenario 1: 'So you're not interested, uh.' So what. Move on. Your lost. Kumbang bukan sekor laa. Go to hell.

Scenario 2: 'Omg. I just knew it. We belong to each other. Why didn't you tell me sooner that you like me all along?!'. Pat there. Hug here. Smooch there. And we live happily ever after.

Scenario 3: 'Oh, you're gay.' Interpretation: Fine, so it's not that I'm not pretty and not a sexy mama. Ass guy. Hell no. Yuck.

So yeah, I told her, there's no harm in asking the question. Just ask him whether he fancies you, or not.

Alright. Stop right there. I know what's on your mind. Perhaps you're saying, 'Easy for you to say aa? Try do it yourself'.' Well, I won't argue on this one. I mean I was giving her a thought. That's all. He he.

Back to the kopitiam. Then she dropped the bomb, 'If you like a guy, would you tell him how you feel straight away?'. Smart punk. lol

'Well....' I prolonged that one word much to her annoyance.

And trying to be such a smart ass by putting up smart thoughts, more or less invisibly equipped with the mental notes from articles published by those chick mags, I replied, ‘Me? Geez. I dunno. Thing is, you’re not me. So, maybe what you should do is, get to really know about this guy, like test the water or something. Gauge his reaction to certain suggestions. His interests. His likes and dislikes. Well 'ya knoe, read the signs.'

I nearly laughed hearing myself saying those words. Big time. Read the signs konon. Ha ha.

But there she was, my dear friend, who just got out from a messy, tangled relationship, still sore from the outcome of it, looking all naive and all, blinking at me, trying to gobble my words.

Serious stuff, bro. So, I tried hard to tone down my facial expression as well, relaxed my jaw and sighed. Sipping my kopi ice.'You'll know when the time comes. Bet he likes you too. No worries. Don't put so much thoughts to it'

Then another few encounters on men, and we went home.

I bet another few months 'til another meeting like this. Yakking about relationships. And bitching about things. And men.


Sunday, November 2, 2008

There I go, sighing..

Sometimes you thought you knew someone really well. You thought you're at liberty to have the privilege of committing to someone without much hesitation; pronto. You thought someone could really dig you, spiritually speaking.

You thought everything is cool. Thinking it can never be utterly mundane. Dry. Never.

You are so wrong.

Ask me. I know.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

English must stay

Here's an article published in Sunday Star, spoken by Datin Frieda Pilus, Chairman of Cempaka Schools, as to the importance of being proficient in the English language here in our country.

For you out there; especially the future-to-be prominent figures in the world of English learning/teaching aka my friends. (yu hoo.. yeap you..and you there..yeap.. listen up!)


Sunday October 26, 2008
English must stay

With 25 years of experience in teaching and its administration, I am naturally concerned about the teaching of Science and Mathematics in English.This is an important issue deserving the maximum of thought and the minimum of emotion. After only a few years, we are now engaged in a vigorous controversy questioning whether that policy should continue.

The current controversy is mired in certain concerns, namely:·The policy of teaching Science and Mathematics in English has “failed” because the pupils, after a few years of its implementation, are still lacking in English proficiency; and·The policy has “failed” because many rural children are not doing well in English, Mathematics, or the Sciences.

Accordingly, as the current discourse goes, we should abandon the existing policy and revert to the teaching of Science and Mathematics in Bahasa Malaysia (BM).There is yet another argument that touches on “unity” proffered by Tan Sri Dr Ismail Hussein, who said recently that “we need BM to unite (Malaysians) …”
Dr Ismail Hussein, a retired academic, taught me at Universiti Malaya nearly 40 years ago.

Over the last four decades, the world has undergone the digital and Internet revolutions, and other changes beyond recognition.This country, too, has developed and changed enormously.My views have responded to these changes and evolved accordingly.But apparently, Dr Ismail’s views haven’t.I shall, first of all, answer the trite argument that making everyone conversant in a common language “promotes unity”.

This is a misconception.

The argument has been found to be simplistic and baseless, as demonstrated in every country with a diverse population.Countries such as the United States, France, Ireland, Iraq, South Africa - which all have a common, predominant language - have all experienced serious communal strife.

National unity has remained elusive.There are therefore other, even stronger, determinants of national unity.Reliance on a common language alone to achieve national unity has been found to be naïve and inadequate.

We must realise that national unity is a far more complex matter, requiring the interplay of a constellation of factors and forces, including deep communal understanding, genuine respect, sensitivity and a sincere acceptance of one another’s culture.

It is argued, in the current discourse, that if English were used in the teaching of Science and Mathematics, rural children would be left behind and lose out.I disagree. This argument has got the facts in reverse.

The rural children would gain if the subjects were taught, and taught properly, in English.To reverse the policy would permanently relegate the rural children to the backwaters of education, and to be left behind in a world that is economically global, urbanised, and moving ahead at the speed of light.

I wish to offer real life examples.

My late father was born in a village in Negri Sembilan.His father, even at that time, saw the value of English as a language through which one could acquire knowledge and seek opportunities.He sent my father to an English school in Kuala Pilah and, later, to KGV (now SMK King George V) in Seremban.

My father had to cycle three to four hours a day to attend school.After obtaining his Cambridge school leaving certificate, one of the earliest Malays to do so, he joined the Police Force.As a police officer, he learnt Hokkien, so that he could communicate with the Chinese community and gain their trust.He fought heroically during the Emergency and later wrote a book on his life. He passed away recently at the age of 91, a patriot, ceaselessly reading, thinking and writing.

Nobody questioned our family’s patriotism and love for this country.We were ordinary kampung folk, undeterred by the difficulties of learning a new language.We just bit the bullet and worked hard. We realise that was the only way to succeed in life.

Knowledge in another language is always an advantage, never a fault.

Even countries like Japan and China are moving very fast in the teaching of English to benefit from the global technological advance.China is targeting 200 million children to be proficient in English in one generation.

Leading German and French universities are now offering a broader range of courses in English.It is self-evident that science and mathematics are critical to economic progress and growth, especially in the new century.

Language is an instrument to access such information and knowledge.This is particularly crucial now when economies are increasingly knowledge-based.

Today, the creation of wealth is based more on brains than on brawn, and the flow of information is vital to the development and growth of an economy.

English is the language of the Internet, of Google, as well as of many other search engines.We need, urgently, to leapfrog to the fast changing world of technology, with the language of technology.That is the purpose of the policy.It is practical and utilitarian: to understand technical subjects and access technical knowledge.

It is not meant to appreciate Shakespeare’s sonnets or to explore T.S. Elliot’s complex poems.The idea, clearly, was not to make the students generally proficient in English: only to hone their ability to access technical knowledge, especially in the sciences and mathematics.However, along the way, it is highly probable that the general proficiency level will rise.

We must also understand that the policy is not designed to diminish the position of BM.

On the contrary, BM must remain our national language.

The policy is aimed solely at equipping our students with a working knowledge of English to succeed in the competitive technological world of tomorrow.This objective, this vital nuance, appears to be lost in the fog of the current politicised controversy.

I agree that this policy will not be easy to implement. It will be difficult, and will take time. But that does not mean we should give up.

In the process, if some children are found to be lagging behind, is not the most logical thing to do to analyse the problem and remedy the fault, which is to improve the teaching of English and to provide better training for teachers? Surely it is neither sensible nor logical to abandon the policy, and throw the baby out with the bath water.

The Government needs to plan ahead.We are going to face a highly competitive world 15 years from now, when our oil and mineral resources have run out.We will then face the harsh realities of international economic competition.When our natural resources are depleted, we will be left only with our human capital.

It is here that the Education Ministry plays a vital role.A few options have been suggested, such as to run two streams of teaching (in English and in BM) in parallel. Running two systems will be more expensive and may even lead to a “credibility” issue. Instead we should be focused and single-minded in implementing the policy.We are left with only one serious option: to teach the sciences and mathematics in English.

With due respect to my old professor, we need to save the next generation of Malaysians and equip them with the skills to survive in a highly competitive world tomorrow.

Malaysia will survive, or perish, by the skills of its human capital. The signs are there for all to see.

Chairman, Cempaka Schools.

p/s: It would be alot better if more people read this article. 'Cos it matters. To all. Me. You. Future generation. Your kids.