Thursday, August 31, 2006

6 Random Facts Tag

This 'swee swee' Angel tag me one more time - she wants a list of 6 Random Facts About Myself and then I am to tag another 6 people.

Here goes:-

Fact #1 - Last been into a cinema more than 10 years ago.

Fact #2 - Hate having my photos taken - never once turn out nice.

Fact #3 - Lurve ice-cream

Fact #4 - Come from an island, but cannot swim. :(

Fact #5 - Find all creepy crawlies a big turn-off. **yucks**

Fact #6 - Sense of direction is totally hopeless.

Now, lemme see - I wish to tag the following six :-

las montanas
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:30 AM, | 15 comments
Wednesday, August 30, 2006

To Touch Base

Thank you for all your comments on my previous post. I took heed and without further excuses, went straight to book the bus ticket for a morning ride to Penang on Saturday. No need any meticulous plans - just grab an old bag, throw in a few pieces of t-shirts and shorts and I'm on my way.

Got one of my nephews to pick me up from the bus terminal at Sg Nibong and then back to my old house first before proceeding for curry mee with Ah Teik, my SIL's brother. Oooops, didn't know that this particular shop opens up till about 2.00pm only; when we reached there, the workers were already cleaning up for the day. One of the workers then directed us to another coffee shop opposite the Anson Road market where there is another stall of the famous Lorong Seratus Tahun curry mee. Verdict: OK only. Still not quite satiated, the next stop - New Lane for my 'chee cheong chook' (pig intestines porridge) fix. Mmmmm.... the aroma from the chunks of deep-fried crispy and curly big intestines with a dash of extra-fragrant sesame oil is enough to make me do a joget. I'm a very simple nyonya - one slurpilicious bowl of the thick and smooth congee and burrrp.... ya, I'm happy already.
** Sorry lah, no pictures. Too excited, and left the camera at home.**

Later, I got my nephew to drop me at Uncle's place at Rifle Range Flats. I normally do not drive there because this place is real congested and the parking is horrendous - the vehicles are double-parked without the handbrakes being engaged, so that if it is blocking a car that needs to go out, they will then just push it aside to allow the other car to come out. To prevent accidental slips, bricks and small blocks of wood are wedged on the wheels. Some of the car owners leave their handphone numbers on the car dashboard. So, if you are a resident, you would play by the rules.

When I reached Uncle's unit, I just slipped my hand through the grill to unlatch the door and I found Aunt sitting in front of the tiny TV enjoying a Thai movie despite the very poor, grainy picture quality. I surprised her and the broad smile said it all. I just sat beside her while she finished watching the last 5 minutes or so of that particular episode and she even attempted to fill me in on the storyline. Aunt used to enjoy an occasional game of mahjong with her old friends downtown but of late has been housebound because of pain in her knees and also her friends' numbers had been called one by one. Sad, huh?

Uncle, who was out having his Saturday afternoon tea with his buddies in the neighbourhood came home about an hour later. He was so surprised to see I was there that he practically hollered from outside the grill-door, "Nyonya, is that you? Why didn't you tell me that you are coming? I can go and pick you up." That's Uncle for you - he always offer to pick me up or to send me on his trusty kapchai. Hahahaha......... Uncle holds a valid driving and motorcycle licence and is still thinking of buying an old car so that he can ferry Aunt around.

Spent a few hours there and as dusk approached, Uncle and Aunt fearing for my safety, repeatedly chased me home. Gave Aunt a bearhug and promised to visit again soon. Uncle insisted on walking me to the bus-stop and stood there with me for about 25 minutes or so until the bus finally arrived, saw that I boarded safely and gave me a wave. I felt a lump in my throat.

The loving couple
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:35 AM, | 21 comments
Friday, August 25, 2006

I'm ONLY 60% Malaysian Wor!

Congratulations nyonyapenang, you are 40% not Malaysian.

That means you're as Malaysian as...

Michelle Yeoh!

How Un-Malaysian Are You?

What is the other 40% then???????
posted by nyonyapenang at 2:08 PM, | 20 comments

No Excuses

The last trip back to Penang was during Wesak Day break a few months ago and I have been telling myself that it's time to make another visit. The dates have been playing in my mind for the past week or so and I thought I'd just hop on a bus tomorrow. As usual, something came up that I have to attend to tomorrow itself, put paid to my plans. Sigh... Nevermind, perhaps I shall visit over the next weekend then.

Then as if on cue or something, I got a call from my dear aunt from Penang. It's always a joy to receive calls from her and my uncle, this pair of old lovebirds - Aunt is 90 and Uncle is 91. This nanogenarian set will call once every couple of weeks or so, not so much on anything urgent or important but just for a casual chat. It's so sweet of them. In fact, after speaking for a short while to Aunt just now, she then passed the call to Uncle. A man of few words, Uncle's usual opening line will be "How are you and the kids? Everything OK. Nothing lah, we were just thinking about you and wanted to hear your voice."

I almost cried. Told Uncle they have been on my mind too and that I actually bought him another pair of bermuda pants and T-shirt this afternoon. As usual, Uncle protested and made some noise that I should not be wasting so much money and that he has more than enough pants and shirts. Told him that the pleasure is mine and I shall bring them back soon.

Uncle and Aunt are my two oldest living relatives in Penang. I love them dearly. No excuses. I should make every effort to visit more frequently and enjoy their company.
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:09 AM, | 21 comments
Thursday, August 24, 2006

Puisi Hari Merdeka

Ah pek ah pek gua sudah achi
Buat meme yang diberi pagi tadi
Mau marah, mau gelak,gua tak peduli
Cepat cepat mesti publishkan blog ini

"Apa itu Hari Merdeka?"
Teringat pulak gua punya Cikgu sejarah
Cikgu kata, Malaya dulu dicontrol penjajah
Rakyat semua hidup susah belaka

31hb Ogos 1957, rakyat bangga pada hari ini
Akhirnya, kita akan berdikari
Penjajah semua kita minta pergi
Lahirnya, Malaysia, negara yang dicintai

Hari Merdeka yang ke-empat puluh sembilan
Jatuh pada hari Khamis minggu depan
Kawan tanya mana mau pergi jalan-jalan
Poket kosong, duduk rumah berangan-angan


I wish to tag these 3:
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:08 AM, | 21 comments
Wednesday, August 23, 2006

No Money, Use Plastic Lor

Have been postponing to do it for the past few months. Somehow, something more urgent always pops up and thus this particular task gets pushed further down the 'to do' list, until two days ago. I reached home, came down to open the gate and a sharp glint from the front left tyre caught my eye. Bent closer and there it was, the offending screw stuck to the tyre. No wonder lah, it's been like I have to inflate this tyre every week or so. As it was already late evening, I wasted no time and headed for the nearest tyre shop to get it patched up.

Told the mechanic what I needed done and he went on to give me a sales pitch, "Aiyooh, Your tyres all no 'flower' liao. Cannot drive like that, very dangerous and you will easily skid and bla, bla, bla......Change all lah and I give you very special price."

"What tyre you recommend ah?" I asked.

"Michellin, Bridgestone, Falken, Yokohama, all also good one. Imported wan lah" he answered.

"Very expensive ah?" I asked.

"My boss is there. He give you good price wan lah." the mechanic said

Walked over to consult the boss and was told that he does not carry the size I wanted. But nevermind, the boss said, can change size.

"Huh? Can wan meh?" I asked again.

The boss assured that it will be alright but I told him that I will check it out first. So, yesterday afternoon, I was like going around tyre shopping lah. Did not get any wiser but ended up with a throbbing headache instead.

So this morning, I went straight to the car showroom to confirm the recommended tyre size and they then directed me to a shop in SS3 which they said the owner is an honest-Joe type. No need to think further. No money, use plastic lor. Made a turn, found the shop, got all the tyres fixed and graciously signed the credit card charge slip.

Now, I just wait for the credit card statement lah. Booohooo.....
posted by nyonyapenang at 2:27 PM, | 9 comments
Tuesday, August 22, 2006

A Kiasi Glutton

*Sighhhhh...* Never thought I'd come to this. I am feeling so guilty now. I just had bak kut teh for lunch.

I used to be one lucky woman. Coming from Penang, the land of yummy food, I never had any problems with my weight. (Until recently, that is!) Bring on the glorious food and I'll be happy wiping the platters clean. In fact, I was a very skinny pre-teen in spite of all the multiple meals I had per day. My papa got very worried and consulted one of his doctor friends who duly certified me healthy as a horse. Still not very convinced, he then brought me to a Chinese sinseh to have my pulse read. The sinseh confirmed nothing serious and that a couple of bowls of extra strength bodybuilding tonics should do the trick. Papa gladly paid for the packets of strange looking herbs, told mom to slaughter one of our free-range chickens and to prepare the special sinseh-brew. Despite it being sinister-looking, I remembered clearly that the sinseh-brew actually tasted good - soup, chicken and all. Oh my, when mom tried to wake me up for school the next morning, she was shocked to find me huddled under the thick blanket running a high temperature. Quickly, mom took me to the clinic and after a couple of days of medication, I was back on my feet. Mom suspected that it was the hyper-rich sinseh-brew that did me in.

Anyways, back to my story today lah. Now, no more so lucky already. Getting older and engine also slow down. Eat, eat and eat = round, plump, fat and God forbid, OBESE! Aiyooh, skirt cannot buckle, jeans cannot zip, dress cannot pull beyond the hips, tried to wear kebaya and might just turned out looking like papaya. Ya, a bit round, then can still console myself by saying 'you've got more of me to love'. But I'm not sure if hugging a life-size papaya sounds appealing to anyone. Jialat or not?

As if that's not enough, each time I want to open my mouth for the bak kut teh, pork/seafood noodles, porkcrips-laden black-sauce hokkien mee, nasi kandar, bananaleaf rice, cheese cakes, butter and kaya toast, etc..... and I will think of the loads of cholesterol that will choke me to death.

Sei moh? A glutton who loves food but a kiasi glutton at that.

**(OK, OK, chew on more greens, more greens, more greens, more greeennns....)**
posted by nyonyapenang at 2:29 PM, | 18 comments
Monday, August 21, 2006

Sing-Song Hokkien

I was waiting for the lady to pack my order of noodle soup when a call came in from my cousin. Exchanged a few words with her and quickly ended the call when my order was ready. The stall owner then remarked in Hokkien, "Eh, you're from Penang ah? I'm from Penang too. Air Itam, to be exact. Funny, how we have been speaking to each other in Cantonese."

This was one of the many instances whereby I came across folks from my hometown when we overheard each other speaking the distinct Penang Hokkien dialect. It's nothing unusual really, but whenever we bump into someone who speaks the sing-song type of Penang Hokkien, we kinda feel some kinship and we find ourselves rattling off like long lost friends. For many of us, eventhough we have been in KL for quite a while and have learnt to speak the predominant Cantonese dialect, somehow we do not truly feel at home. Hear someone speak our lingua, and that someone deserves a second glance.

I grew up in a colourful neighbourhood in Penang - a big community of Malay families, a few Indian Muslim households; a sprinkling of Indian Hindu families and quite a sizeable group of Chinese families. It was a non-gated (means no gates one lah) of mostly wooden houses with attap roofs and a few units with zinc-sheet roofs. Most of the Chinese families were of the 'Sin-Ning' dialect which sounds to me somewhat like a cross between Hakka and Cantonese. My family and a couple more were the only Baba/Nyonya households there. Nevertheless, in Penang, the peculiar Hokkien twang rules - quite a few of the Malays and Indians in the our neighbourhood could it speak fluently too.

When I first started working in Penang, I had a few colleagues from KL who could neither speak nor understand a word of Hokkien. So whenever we went out for our meals at the various coffeeshops, it would more often than not turn into an impromptu penanghokkien 101 lesson for dummies. Like, when Francis went to order 'wantan mee chit tiao'. Francis thought he got it right when he switched from Cantonese 'wantan meen yat tip' - to him, 'tiao' is the equivalent of 'tip'. And another time when he tried to order 'see koe tng' (now we call it 'lin chi kang' in KL) and he pointed to one ingredient which he does not want. The stall operator asked in rapidfire hokkien, "Mai phorng tai hai ah?". Francis was horrified that the stall operator cussed at him so loudly. Actually, Francis was asked if he does not want the 'phorng tai hai' which is the name of the black mossy-looking ingredient. But it sounded so awfully vulgar to Francis. After suffering through so many embarassing episodes and endless teasing from his newfound friends, Francis finally managed to pick up the dialect, albeit only a passable version.

In my many years here in KL, I have met people who speak a different type of Hokkien and frankly, often times I just can't quite make out what was being said. And sometimes, I have been told too that they can't understand me as well because I speak like a bullet.

No lah, where got? I speak simple and sweet sing-song Hokkien only mah.
posted by nyonyapenang at 8:54 AM, | 16 comments
Friday, August 18, 2006

Do You Do Greens?

The coffeeshop was full with lunch-time crowd and all the tables were taken. As I was alone, I asked permission to share the table occupied by 3 young ladies.

While waiting for my order to arrive, I decided to be nosey a bit and observed my tablemates tablemanners lah. Two of them were heartily tucking into their chicken, char siew and roast pork rice. Hmmm.. quite untidy eaters, I should say. Apparently, these two don't do skins - the crispy roast pork skin and chicken skin were carelessly scattered on the table together with a few pieces of bones and chicken feet from the free soup. The 3rd was not any better. She was busy stirring up her bowl of noodles and picking out every stick of taugeh and every tiny piece of spring onions and leaving them on the table too. No. 3 suddenly noticed that I had been observing her and she gave me a smile and said, "Hehehe... I don't take vegetables wan." I just smiled back and gave a knowing nod.

This reminded me of my grand-nephew (is this correct, this boy is my brother's daughter's son?). This chubby 9 year-old absolutely loves pak-cham kai(white steamed-chicken) skins, pork skins and everything else meaty but abhors all kinds vegetables except for taugeh. Despite all the soft approaches as well as the use of cane by the mother, this boy just won't touch greens. So now each time whenever somebody commented on the boy's eating habits, the mother will just shrug and say, "He pantang anything green colour wan lah."

Luckily, my children have no problems with most types of vegetables. Both of them don't do leeks, brinjals and raw garlic (no problems with raw onions, though). The elder boy does not like lady's finger while the younger one will just not have enough of it steamed, fried or in curries. As for me, raw, cooked or juiced, all also can sapu. A friend once jokingly called me a cow as I enjoy eating raw greens. I am a true-blue nyonya lah.
posted by nyonyapenang at 1:46 PM, | 25 comments
Thursday, August 17, 2006

That Was Rude!

A couple of times a month, I will pop by one of the branch office of the tigerbank to check on my current account transactions. It is quite simple and fast actually - the staff at the customer service counter will just punch a few buttons, I give a quick glance and I'm on my way.

And this morning after my appointment in PJ, I thought I'd just walk over to the tigerbank at the next building. I greeted the staff standing at the customer service counter and put through my request. "Tunggu ya, Puan" she said. A short while later, she directed me to another officer who was sitting further inside.

I then walked towards the officer who was in the midst of shuffling and filing some papers. Greeted her, but she did not reciprocate; maybe she doesn't know any better. I repeated my request and without looking up, she said, "Pakai internet banking lah". I told her that I do not use the facility and just wanted to see my transactions only but that bozo continued, "Register sekarang juga." Exasperated, I patiently repeated myself for the third time and that woman, still shuffling the papers, just said, "Duduk sana tunggu dulu." Oh my, that was rude! For a second, I thought I was at one of those gahmen departments.

Expletives was already at the tip of my tongue but civility on my part prevailed. Took a deep breath, just leaned towards her a little and told her in the most polite way I could muster, "Maaf lah. Nampaknya kerja Cik punching holes urgent sangat. I jumpa officer lain saja, ya?" I walked away and approached another lady officer who was just plain polite and helped me with my request without any fuss.

I would say that nowadays most banks are quite customer-friendly unlike years ago whereby you would find sullen-faced tellers manning the counters whose idea of a good workday is perhaps to frightened away as many customers as possible. Currently, competition is real stiff and thus the banks now invest heavily to improve and to be a cut above others in all aspects of customer care and customer service. But I guess a couple or so of the bozo-types somehow managed to escape the overhauling process.
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:27 AM, | 13 comments
Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Cheaper Mah!

This phone conversation took place many, many years ago when my son was about 6 years old. The caller spoke in Cantonese, which my son barely understands and the boy answered in English.

The caller : Hallo, can I speak to Nyonya ah?

My son : Sorry, she is not at home.

The caller : Where did she go?

My son : She's at work. Who's that calling?

The caller : I'm Auntie XX. What time will she be back?

My son : Dunno. You call her handphone lah.

The caller : Dowan lah. Call handphone very expensive you know?
Will she be coming back for lunch?

My son : Dunno.

The caller : Your mama not coming to fetch you to school ah?

My son : Dunno.

The caller : What time she usually come back wan?

My son : Dunno.

The caller : I'm staying in Puchong wan. Will she be in this area today?

My son : Dunno.

The caller : Hey, how old are you ah? Everything also dunno, dunno?

My son : Dunno.

**toot, toot, toot, toot** the caller hung up.

I then had a missed call on my handphone and I called back.

Me : Hello, nyonya here. Who was that looking for me?

Auntie XX : Hallo, Auntie XX lah.

Me : Oooh! Yau meh yeh si?
(hello, what is the matter?)

Auntie XX : I need you to check this and this and also do this and this for me.
I called your house just now lah and your son said you are out

Me : Of course lah. What time already now? Call my handphone lah.

Auntie XX : Call handphone very expensive lah.
Your son ah, not very smart I think. I asked him so many questions
and everything also dunno, dunno.

Me : Nooooo ....! He is a very clever boy lah. I gave him specific
instructions never to give info over the phone. He was quite
polite that he did not hang up on you immediately.

I do not give my housephone number to my clients but there are these few clients whom I got to know through some relatives. They got my housephone number from my relatives and despite I telling them to contact me only through my mobile, they continue to dial my house number. Cheaper mah.
posted by nyonyapenang at 8:14 AM, | 16 comments
Tuesday, August 15, 2006

Cat Satay

Woke up this morning bleary-eyed, walked straight into the kitchen, pushed open the windows and waaaa....., a familiar shitty smell wafted through. I almost puked - an instant wake-up smell, you may call it! Must be those dammed cats and kittens doing their business in my backyard again.

Quickly opened the backdoor and tried to search for the offending lump of poo. Can't seem to find it. Went back into the house to continue with my morning chores but as soon as I stepped near the kitchen window, there was that horrible stench again.

Haiiaah, went out to the backyard again and this time literally looking high and low. Then I found it - hidden underneath the old washing machine was that big lump of cat poo. Immediately got down to work. Plenty of detergent thrown on it and followed with countless pails of water to wash that gooey mass away and for good measure, I almost emptied the bottle of Chlorox. Hopefully, the strong smell of the bleaching liquid will keep those cats away.

Only about 30 minutes or so of manual labour and I was already drenched in sweat. Niamah, early in the morning and there I was, cursing all the inconsiderate neighbours who keep those pesky cats. It is really very irresponsible of them to allow their pets to run loose and make a mess in other peoples' homes. Have they ever thought what it would be like if I should let my doggie treat their garden and backyard as an open pooing and peeing ground? Wait till I get my new doggie.

Meanwhile, I shall probably ask around if there are any orders for cat satay, cat jerky, cat floss and cat whatever.
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:10 AM, | 24 comments
Monday, August 14, 2006

A Happy Customer Makes A Loyal Customer

I like toasted brown bread with kaya and butter, mmmmmm... it's yummy..... smooth, fragrant kaya with sliced cold butter on top. Nevermind the expanding waistline (if, there is any semblance of a waist in the first place, LOL). This is one of my comfort foods besides nyonya kueh la. And down it with a steaming cup of Ipoh white coffee. Satisfaction guaranteed!

So whenever I get a case of 'toast attack', which is about a couple of times a week, I will head to my favourite kopitiam, sometimes with company but more often than not, single pax. It's OK really, because when I want to 'sin' I guess, it's better to 'sin' alone; no need to call up somebody and be accused of piling the pounds on her too.

Each time I step into the kopitiam, I'll be greeted by a few young and cheerful crew, "Good morning/afternoon/evening, Ma'am. How are you today? Like to have your regular or something else?" Just a simple greeting and they made me feel good already. Sometimes, when the place is not too crowded, a couple of them will pop by my table to do some small talk with me. And when it's time to pay the bill, they will automatically give me 10% discount (not that I ask for it) because they see that I am a regular patron. As the food is often not more than RM10, the discount amounts to RM1 or less but it's their kind gesture that makes my day.

A simple kopitiam serving simple fare can train their crew on appropriate level of customer service. That a happy customer makes a loyal customer. This makes you wonder how is it that at some other bigger and posh establishments where they charge you an arm or a leg, you encounter crew with sour-faces and 'kalah mahjong' (sek char woo, in Cantonese) attitudes.
posted by nyonyapenang at 12:30 AM, | 18 comments
Friday, August 11, 2006

A Successful Woman

Whenever you hear someone being praised as a successful woman, what image do you have of her in your mind's eyes? Perhaps someone like:-

A) A superwoman in power suit and all, who holds multiple degrees from Ivy League universities, has a cushy job high up in the corporate stratosphere earning mega bucks, travels first-class all over the world, a mover and shaker in her particular industry and perennially on the headhunters' list.

B) An eagle-eyed chief/matriach of the family conglomerate who runs and controls the entire profit-churning business empire with such precision that it actually make the men in the family looked bad.

C) A highly regarded social worker who works tirelessly with the less fortunate bringing hope where despair usually reigns, who is never motivated by monetary rewards but just by a heartwarming smile from her charges.

D) A homemaker with her young brood of 5 staying together with all the possibly anal-retentive in-laws in the same house and running a seemingly happy home like clockwork with nary a complain.

E) A woman who has found her match made-in-heaven, resigned from her mundane job and then got married.

All of them are successful women to me.

Then does it mean that those on the other side of the coin are less successful or worse, are failures?

To my simple mind, every one is a success in her own right. Not having a string of qualifications does not mean you are a failure. Not making millions does not make you a failure. Not holding a full-time paid employment is not failure. And neither is chosing to remain single considered a failure.

Why am I ranting? It is because I cannot stand the oft-heard remarks, something to the tune of, "I think this so-and-so is a very successful woman and we must be like her."

What nonsense is this? Why must we be like her? Is this suppose to tell us that we are failures just because we are not like her? Awwww.....!
posted by nyonyapenang at 9:27 PM, | 16 comments
Thursday, August 10, 2006

Broke To Their Underpants

A few days ago, I visited a friend BB who has just delivered her first born. I told BB that I did not know what to buy for her baby girl and so I'd just do the usual and give an angpow. Boy! Was she glad I gave the angpow instead of buying the baby another cot-mobile or something.

When BB got married last year, there were two grands receptions, one at BB's hometown and one at hubby's place in KL. Despite the angpow collections, after deducting the costs of the two receptions, they found themselves in deficit position. Add on the money spent to do up their cosy pad and a throw in a romantic honeymoon package, they found themselves seriously BROKE to their underpants.

As luck would have it, BB got pregnant the following month - they call it 'jeep mooi hee' in Hokkien ('bunting pelamin' in BM, dunno what they call it in English). Add on some more O&G bills and additonal items to buy for the baby and the newly weds found their finances stretched to the limit every month. Ta daaa ta daaa...time for the baby to make her entrance and she had to come through a C-section. Baby had mild jaundice and had to undergo phototherapy. The hospital bill just got longer and bigger - all in , it came close to RM8,500!

That's not all. BB engaged a confinement lady for the month and the charges, including an angpow at the end of 30 days was about RM2,800 or so. And the food bill for the extra nutritious confinement menu - BB was not even sure of the figure, she had lost count. Listening to her, I could only gape.

Nowadays, it costs so many thousands of $$$ to have a baby. For me, I think this is enough reason to support family-planning; how to afford a basketball team? Don't even say football team any more. And we are not talking about future costs of bringing up a child - art class, ballet lessons, piano and violin lessons, singing/vocal training class, tuition, class private school fees, college fees, etc, etc.....

So, my friend BB is very grateful to all her relatives and friends who gave angpows.
posted by nyonyapenang at 11:10 PM, | 16 comments
Wednesday, August 09, 2006

A 'Heavy' Lunch

Was having lunch with a few old friends and somehow the subject of writing a will cropped up. Sue mentioned she is in the process of drawing up her will and asked the 3 of us if we had done ours. Ann answered in the affirmative while I told her it's in my plans to do it soon. Jo's reply sort of blew us off a little, "Choi, Choi, Tai Kat Lai See! Eat shiok, shiok, suddenly talk about will pulak. Today 15th day of 7th Moon la. I pantang you know." Hmmmm...

Anyway, Sue was quite persistent and she continued to talk about her plans and told us in confidence that she wants to name her two adult daughters as beneficiaries. Sue does not plan to leave anything for her husband as she believes he is financially independent and can continue to earn his own keep. She believes too that should she leave too much for the husband, he might just turn complacent and worse, take the money and get himself a 'piao mei'. Hmmmm... That's her logic. We thought it was funny and laughed anyway.

Sue then asked Ann whether she named her husband as beneficiary and Ann answered, "Lion's share goes to my 3 children, a little to my Mom and RM1 for hubby. Teach you something la. You must name your husband in the will and then give him a nominal RM1. This is to prevent him from contesting la; like saying I was of unsound mind or sot sot tei at the time of doing up the will. This one my lawyer friend teach me. You don't believe ah? Go and ask you lawyer lor."

Ann thought that the 3 of us appeared unconvinced and therefore went on and on with her other real life stories of her many unfortunate friends who were not farsighted enough to do their wills properly and of as many others who were left with peanuts after their husbands' demise. Blah, Blah, Blah....

One simple topic and she went on like a broken record. Aiyoh, suddenly had a bad headache and I blamed it on the terrible afternoon heat. Rushed them through the lunch and then split. Arrr...burrrp! Like cannot digest the lunch lah.
posted by nyonyapenang at 11:37 PM, | 16 comments
Monday, August 07, 2006

Blur All The Time

I was reading Helen's blog the other day and it struck me that her dream was so vivid. It set me thinking and I tried to recall the dreams that I have had but I can't seem to have much recollection.

I remember reading somewhere that all of us dream in our sleep. But my personal experience tells otherwise. I wake up most mornings with totally no iota that I had any dream in my sleep. Ocassionally, I would be aware that there was some sort of dream, but try as I might, I just cannot make out what the dream was all about. There would be no head and no tail, broken in bits and pieces and totally out of sequence. I just could not draw any meaning out of it. Sometimes, it can be quite bizarre that I am able to put a name to a character (as in, I've heard that particular name before somewhere else) in my dream but in reality, it would be someone that I have never met. It's strange, huh?

I used to hear my friends telling about the dreams they had and it never fails to amaze me each time that their dreams were so concise and so clear and in colour too. They were able to interpret and explain the dream. As for those who are into the number-betting games, they take their dreams, no matter good, bad or ugly, very seriously. They would be busy flipping through the 'Nombor-Ekor Pictorial Dictionary' to look for the magic number corresponding to their dream and bet all they have got, praying and hoping for an ultimate windfall. A recent much talkabout case would be of the old man from Pulau Pinang who had some kind of dream about a diety giving him instructions to hang 'angpows' containing written wishes on a particular bungah tanjung tree somewhere in the Rifle Range Flats area. According to that old man, crowds came from far and near and many of them placed their lucky numbers into the red packets and hung them up the tree and apparently quite a few have struck it rich.

I also know of one particular relative who, without fail, will take afternoon naps on Saturdays and Sundays and will automatically wake up (no alarm clock allowed as it may disturb the dream), quickly run through the different publications of pictorial dictionaries and rushing off just in time to go to the nearest betting outlets to place his bets for the day. Talk about the latest, and happening dreams fresh from dreamland. LOL. So far, have not heard of him receiving any windfall from the God of Prosperity though.

Do some people dream more than others? Are these dreamers more alert and aware of their surroundings and happenings that cause them to dream more vividly? Why is it that I cannot make out what my dream was about? Is it because that I am blur most of the time and sleep like a log all the time? Another friend suggested that I should eat more 'tai tau choy' (I think it's preserved big-head cabbage). HAHAHAHA!

By the way, any idea how much per serving should I take?
posted by nyonyapenang at 11:21 AM, | 20 comments
Saturday, August 05, 2006

Ms Blabbermouth

Yay, the MEGA SALE is on and this afternoon I was at one of the malls for a 'look-see, look-see' but with nothing particular in mind to buy. Oh my, the crowds, ya, the crowds - everybody is buying something and everything. Can eat one, must buy; cannot eat one, also must buy; can use now one, must buy; not using now one, also buy and keep for future use. Those loads of shopping bags that were lugged around bear testimony to this buying philosophy.

I suppose I was not tuned into the buying mode this afternoon because after a while I lost interest in searching out for bargains. I was more attracted to people watching and was looking out for something to amuse me.

As I walked along, there were a few sales promoters handing out brochures and inviting the people to try out their product. Then I overheard one of the promoter calling out in dialect, "Hello, Auntie ah. Come and try out our latest product lah. Good and effective for your pot-belly." Holy Cow! Instantly I turned around to find out to whom that sweet voice belonged to and there she was, a quite a sweet-looking girl with a slim and trim figure accosting a midde-aged lady. Ms Blabbermouth had a potential customer within her grasp and she turned on to full 'attack mode' jabbering away in a mix of dialect and Mandarin. That poor Madame Potbelly. She appeared too dumbstrucked to react appropriately, like say, stuff that little towel she had in her hand into Ms Blabbermouth's throat.

Sheesh! That was tactless, crude and outright rude. I have had my share of encounters with Ms Blabbermouths too, from "Hello Madam, Come and try our super effective hair tonic. This one not only strengthen your hair but guarantee to grow more hair also." to "Hi Auntie, we got solution for your freckles. Apply already your face will be very fair one."

Niamah fu lat! I find their approach offensive. Wonder whether these sales promoters have ever been sent for training or not.
posted by nyonyapenang at 9:56 PM, | 15 comments
Thursday, August 03, 2006

You Have More of Me To Love

Read an article in the newspaper today about a 31 year-old man who wanted to lose some weight and he decided to get it done through surgical means. He underwent gastric lap-band surgery and unfortunately he succumbed to complications - excessive bleeding and organ failure. How tragic!

The Slimming Business is BIG business. There are so many slimming salons/santuaries and also many companies (MLM and non-MLM) offering a multitude of slimming programmes and solutions - pills to swallow, herbal teas to drink, creams to apply, all kinds of wraps, inner garments to wear, equipment using electric current to massage and zap away all the unsightly blubber...etc. etc. All these and more do not come cheap, it cost a fortune.

Talking about the slimming suit (not sure if it is that the correct name) reminds me about an incident years ago at an office 3 shoplots away from my old workplace. As I was walking back to the office after lunch, I saw a crowd gathered along the five-foot way and nearby was parked an ambulance with the strobelights blinking away. Then I saw a stretcher with a lady on it being brought down the stairs, pushed into the waiting ambulance and whisked away. Heard from the crowd that the lady suffered breathing difficulties, chest discomfort and fainted. Later heard from my office tea-lady that the cause of the breathlessnes was not a heart attack but she wore an extremely tight slimming suit.

Despite numerous reports of unfortunate misadventures, the industry is never short of willing customers. Well, for whatever reasons, it is the customers' choice.

As for meself, I am very the 'kiasi' and also very 'the boh duit' to spend on this. And I can't resist good food. So if I am big, I will chose to see it as 'you have more of me to love'.
posted by nyonyapenang at 6:53 PM, | 22 comments
Wednesday, August 02, 2006

My Comfy Best

Aahhh! Just had a nice warm scrub in the shower and now good and ready to do the tag by this 'swee swee' punya Angel.

First, I visited some of the the blogs of the friends she tagged and I saw that they are good sports, posting up their pics on an 'as is, where is' basis and I suppose, I shall do the same.

This is what I am wearing now.

Ya, my most comfortable baju tidur worn 'berkemban' style. Not good at tying it up properly though.

By the way, this is the first time I ever put up a pic on my blog. Why? Because I don't have a camera, don't bother to learn how to use a camera, don't know how to put up pics on my blog, don't know this, don't have that...... blah, blah, blah. I think I am one of the last dinosaurs around.

My pillow is calling me already. Good night and sweet dreams.
posted by nyonyapenang at 10:17 PM, | 17 comments
Tuesday, August 01, 2006

I Did Not Know What To Say

Ms M called in late for the meeting this morning which was scheduled for 9.30am. According to the message she left with the secretary, something very urgent came up and she had to attend to it straight away.

As the manager was wrapping up the meeting at about 11.00am, in walked Ms M into the conference room looking all red and flustered. She apologised, took her seat and tried to follow the agenda and a short while later, the meeting was over. The assistant manager Mr A then walked over to Ms M to brief her about the meeting. As he was running through his notes, he noticed that Ms M appeared confused and disturbed and was not really taking in what he was saying. On simple question, "What's wrong, Ms M" and the dam broke. This caught Mr A unawares and not knowing what to do, he quickly walked to my office to seek help.

When I went in to the conference room, Ms M had her head on the table still sobbing away softly. I approached her and asked if there is anything I could do and she broke into loud, heavy sobs again. After a minute or so, she calmed down a bit and related what had happened earlier in the morning.

As Ms M was leaving for the office this morning, she received a call from her son's school and she was told to go there immediately. Fearing that her son might have an accident or something, she rushed through the morning traffic to the school. Thank God, it was not. But what waited her was not any good either.

During routine checks in the school that morning, the son was found with 4 pirated copies of porn VCD hidden between the pages of his text books. The boy quickly denied any knowledge and according to the HM and discipline master, he accused some other boys of framing him. He made a ruckus swearing his innocence and God forbid, cursed the HM and the discipline master. He was then told that they will get his mother and that rascal actually challenged the HM to it. "Phone lah, phone lah. You phone who also I not scared. Phone the police ah, you think I scared meh?"

According to the HM, this is not the first time the boy was caught with VCDs in school. There was once a couple of months back when they found 1 pirated VCD(18+) in his bag and he was let off with only a stern warning. He must have gotten bolder this time around.

Ms M was really broken. When M had the boy, her husband decided to leave the boy under the grandma's care in their small home town. As much as Ms M was unhappy about the arrangement at that time, she had not much choice since both she and her husband worked long hours and travelled out of town frequently. By the time, they were able to bring the boy to KL, he was already 13 years old. Ms M and her husband had hard times trying to bond and discipline this boy who is really defiant. He lies and he steals from the parents. Two years into it, both husband and wife have not achieved much headway and they are really at their wits' end what to do next. And now this!

I was shell-shocked and did not know what to say.
posted by nyonyapenang at 10:09 PM, | 34 comments