Friday, August 31, 2007

Not So Golden 50th Merdeka

So it's the nation's Golden Jubilee. Why is it then that I don't feel there's much to treasure about this monumental occasion? Maybe it is just how things had panned out through the years, especially the past few months leading to this day that made me feel this way. Maybe it's just me. I don't know, you tell me.

Google Doodle for Malaysia Merdeka 2007

I was in the nation's capital earlier this month. As I stepped down from the bus, I was expecting to see practically every nook and corner of the town decorated nicely for the nation's 50th year of independence. Instead, I hardly saw a Jalur Gemilang that was specifically put up for this very purpose.

Here I was standing in the nation's capital, in the month of Merdeka, on its 50th year of independence and it felt no different than say the month of October of 2000. Needless to say, I was utterly disappointed. In contrast, when I was in Singapore a few years ago when they were only celebrating their 40th year of independence, every lamp post reminded you that Singapore was reaching its 40th year of nationhood. Buildings and every part of town were filled with notices and banners declaring proudly their achievements for the last 40 years. Mind you, this is only for their 40th anniversary celebrations. Kinda makes you wonder what it would be like for their Golden Jubilee.

Don't get me wrong, I've always scorned wasteful public expenditures but if given only one chance to allow the Government to lavishly spend on one major event, I'm sure Malaysians wouldn't mind it to be this one. It is by the way also Visit Malaysia 2007 and let's not forget how Government officials kept harping at us to fly the Jalur Gemilang at home, on our cars and every place imaginably possible (and impossible) but when it came to the nation's capital, they don't seem to be doing enough themselves.

So I don't fly the Malaysian flag at my house or on my car. I didn't run around the neighbourhood or Upper Penang Road in my Jalur Gemilang undies shouting Merdeka at the top of my lungs while waving a huge Malaysian flag (that would have functioned better as a parachute) when the clock struck 12 last night. I just sat quietly at Segafredo sipping my lemon tea and reflected on the years I've spent in this country for the past twenty odd years.

Does that make me any less patriotic than those who dangerously cover every area of their vehicles (including their windscreens) with flags? Does the increased resistance and drag caused by the insane amount of tiny flags on their cars and increased fuel consumption (meaning higher subsidy borne by the Government) make them more Malaysian than I am? Maybe these guys here deserve to be more Malaysian than me. I just love their chicken-shit, cover-my-whole-face, I-have-a-small-prick way of intimidating others, don't you?

Am I not grateful for anything for this 50th Merdeka? Sure I have things to be "thankful" for. Thank you for always making me feel like a second-class citizen although I'm a true blue Malaysian. Thank you for threatening to strip off my citizenship at every opportunity possible as if it is nothing more than toilet paper. Thank you for asking me to go back to my "motherland" China when in fact my motherland is Malaysia, the place I was born and raised all my life and so were my parents.

Do you not speak out only if you truly care about something? Why is it then that whenever we speak out about the things we are unhappy about our nation, we are intimidated to the world's end? Are we less worthy that we can't even speak out our grievances regarding our beloved country?

So this year, there will be no Negaraku played on my blog like previously. Instead, I choose Namewee's Negarakuku. To me, the national anthem belongs to all Malaysians and to me, Negarakuku only exemplifies that. It may be rough around the edges and a little in-your-face but it truly speaks what Malaysians try so hard to say without having a plethora of intimidating laws thrown at them.

This Golden Jubilee could have been worth so much more. Let's hope the following jubilees will have more meaning than this one. Happy 50th Merdeka Malaysians. To me, it's just another holiday and why shouldn't I feel that way? I've always been made to feel like I'm not a citizen of Malaysia, no?

Thursday, August 30, 2007

The Interview

As indicated earlier, the reason I went down to KL earlier this month was to attend an interview and I've yet to write about the interview yet. Well, I guess it's time I do just that.

I was kinda surprised to receive a call just a week before the scheduled interview that I was shortlisted to attend the interview since I've not heard a word from them ever since I submitted my application, thinking my application was probably turned down or maybe stolen by some trolls along the way looking to add fibre to their diet.

When I reached the venue for the interview, I was soaking wet. You see, I was walking a few kilometres under the hot sun in a formal attire, carrying a backpack. Fortunately, I arrived much earlier than my designated interview slot and had time to fix myself in the bathroom.

When I got back to the waiting room, I realised that all of them looked so young. They looked as if they've just graduated from university and after glancing through the list of candidates, turns out I was right. I was the oldest bloke in the room, apart from the coordinator/facilitator from the organisation who was there to help answer any of our questions.

They seem a more confident and competent lot compared to the group of candidates in a previous interview I attended a few years ago. That means I'm up against a more competitive group of candidates this time around. In a way, it's good. At least I know that I'm grouped with people who are really good and qualified, and they're not just there to make up the numbers.

I was scheduled to be interviewed last. When it came to my turn, I found out that apparently they misunderstood my application. Just something technical really. I really don't understand how they could have misunderstood something as simple as that but it wasn't anything serious. Somehow though, I did have the feeling they were reconsidering since what they were ready to offer was a bit too little for what I needed.

The interview being on Tuesday, I thought there were a lot of candidates shortlisted and the interview was spread out between a few days. Turns out, there were only the ten of us shortlisted and they are looking for only ONE recipient. Needless to say, it's very challenging but I'm still hoping for the best.

Anyway, I received the results yesterday and I'm not the chosen one. I'm not overly disappointed though and the trip to KL was great albeit the bitter part at the end. At least I can look back and consider myself one of only ten among all those who applied from all over Malaysia to be shortlisted for the interview. Now that has to count for something, no? ;)

Thursday, August 23, 2007

For One More Day

This is the last of Mitch Albom's novels I read recently and I think I like this one best. "For One More Day" is not very different from "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" but somehow I find this a little more interesting, entertainment-wise.

Like always, Mitch Albom loves to explore matters regarding life and death. The way this book was written had a little more kick in it that somehow appealed to me whereas "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" was more nostalgic. True, it was nostalgic being able to spend another day with your dead mother and all but the whole journey was more lively compared to "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" which was a little mundane and melancholic.

With "For One More Day", Mitch Albom has come a long way from the days of "Tuesdays with Morrie" but still managed to dish out a book that is articulate, captivating yet easy to read. The book is not more than 200 pages, the magic number Mitch Albom seem to target when it comes to his books which is a nice number. The words are not too small and the spacing just nice for such books. With each chapters segmented into small portions for you to digest more easily and the "intermission chapters" I talked about in previous reviews of Mitch Albom's books, you get a very good easy reading book.

While "Tuesdays with Morrie" concentrated more about the celebration of life with death just around the corner and "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" touched mainly on the topic of death and the reflection of the life you had, it seems that "For One More Day" is somewhere in between. This book is not exactly about death but more about a near-death experience, a wake-up call of sorts, to cherish the life you have and to turn it around if needed. In this aspect, I find this book to be as powerful as "Tuesdays with Morrie" but yet as entertaining as "The Five People You Meet In Heaven". Maybe that's why I like this book best since it's an amalgamation of both bestsellers.

It seems that the fathers in Mitch Albom's books sort of have dark backgrounds whereas the mothers seem to project the source of love, tender and care. Chick Benetto's dad in "For One More Day" loved baseball more than him while Eddie in "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" lacked any fatherly love and constantly yearned for his dad's approval. In "Tuesdays with Morrie", I don't remember him mentioning about his dad and Morrie seems to be more of a father figure than his own dad. Is it safe to say that Mitch may have a problem with his dad and his source of inspiration is his mom? It's just a thought since I just couldn't shake that feeling off when reading the books.

I would definitely recommend this book along with the other two of his works I reviewed earlier. It is really hard to choose between the three and I would be hard-pressed if forced to choose one, so I won't. You can read the excerpt first to get a feeling of the book or you can always drop by an MPH, Borders or Kinokuniya outlet. "Tuesdays with Morrie" and "The Five People You Meet In Heaven" have already been made into a play and a movie, respectively and the movie adaptation of "For One More Day" will be premiering December 2007. I'm not sure it will be the same as reading the book but I may watch them just for fun.

If you had one more day with someone you'd lost, who will that person be and what would you do with that person?

Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Five People You Meet In Heaven

Another well written book by Mitch Albom but took me forever to finish. I received this as a Christmas gift from someone (thanks again!) but only managed to finish reading it recently. For a book that is just over 200 pages, that's pretty long for my standard. Half a day should more than suffice but it was not to be.

"The Five People You Meet In Heaven" like "Tuesdays with Morrie" explores the topic of life and death. Have you ever wondered what happens when you pass on from this life? Have you given any thought to who you will meet or what you will see or where you will be when you expire from this world? What if when you die, you meet five people - five of those who may have an impact on how your life turned out to be and/or five of the people you may have influenced in your lifetime. This is what the book is about.

It's amazing how many life-changing events happened on Eddie's (the main character in the book) birthday. It's not logical but not downright impossible. Eddie's past birthdays happen to be the "intermission chapters" I talked about in my review of "Tuesdays with Morrie". The proper term may actually be intermediary chapters but I prefer to use "intermission" instead because it doesn't just act as a chapter in between chapters, it gives your mind a break from the story yet remains relevant to the overall plot. He died on his birthday and his wife met with an accident on one of his birthdays too. Tell me this is not just horrible luck.

I do not find the book as engaging as some other novels where the plot will keep you from putting the book down (ie. The Da Vinci Code). Don't get me wrong, there are instances of that in this book but like I said, I classify this book like Mitch Albom's other books as easy reading. You can put the book down and pick it up again later without a problem.

You may wonder who's the next person Eddie will meet in heaven or how that person fit into Eddie's life but it will not bug you the whole day and distract you from your work, if you do not know. That was probably why I took forever to finish it. I didn't feel the urge to pick the book up, not because it was boring but I just considered it easy reading and I prefer to read those books when I'm relaxed, not when I'm tired. If it weren't for the hours I had to wait at the MPH outlet at Midvalley during my KL trip recently, I probably would have taken much longer to finish the book. :P

I've come around some people who find the book a little tough to understand but I still classify it as easy reading and anyone should be able to pick one up and read it without much problems. I find Mitch Albom's books to be very simple and direct yet articulate and enjoyable. Keeping the chapters short really helps keep things fresh.

Like "Tuesdays with Morrie", I will recommend this book to everyone. This is more a work of fiction, so it's a little different from "Tuesdays with Morrie" but the soul of the books are about the same, soul-searching books I call them. This book will be a good addition to your book collection but even if you're not an ardent reader or book collector, that shouldn't stop you from picking this book up to read. Just borrow one from your local library or find an MPH, Borders or Kinokuniya outlet to "preview" the book. ;) Read the first chapter and you'll be hooked. Believe me, you will be thoroughly satisfied.

So, who do you think will be the five people you meet in heaven? I wonder who mine will be.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Tuesdays With "Tuesdays With Morrie"

As I write this on a Tuesday, I would like to announce that I've finally finished reading the novel "Tuesdays with Morrie" after my own weekly Tuesday appointments with the professor. It started out that way, me reading Mitch Albom's bestseller on Tuesdays but as the weeks passed, Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays came into the picture as well.

It may sound like a difficult book to read since I took so long but in actual fact, this masterpiece by Mitch Albom isn't that hard to read at all. I would consider it easy reading and anyone would be able to grab the book off the shelf and enjoy reading it. I would have simply finished reading it in just a few hours if I had the time to do so. Unfortunately, I took months to finish this wonderful book which is no more than 200 pages, only because someone was kind enough to loan me the book. Thanks!

Mitch Albom seems to like exploring topics related to life and death. This you would also see in his two other bestsellers which I will write in upcoming posts. His books are well written and not daunting at all. Unlike some books, you don't get that feeling that you're dumb or have to go search for a word in the dictionary or stop reading to try and figure out what you have just read, even for some well read folks.

I like how he breaks everything down into small little chapters and how he keeps things fresh by teleporting you to different time zones or different events and yet keeping it all relevant at the same time. I especially love what I call "intermission chapters" that makes you reflect on stuff and set you in some soul-searching sessions. I guess that's why "Tuesdays with Morrie" is still a bestseller even now, ten years after it was first published.

What makes this book so interesting, although it is classified as general fiction when in truth I don't see anything fictional about the contents of the book, is how you can so clearly associate yourself with it. It is not exactly an inspirational book but more of what I like to refer as a soul-searching book or a book with a soul. These books are excellent as gifts and would definitely help lift anyone's spirits after reading such a book.

I'm sure all of us constantly search for someone to guide us through life - to answer life's mysteries, to hold a hand out when you're down, to hold you steady when you're way up high, to praise you when you've done right, to remind you when you've done wrong - to be our teachers, our life coaches. Some are fortunate to have found ours and some of us may have more than one but some may still be searching for someone to be their sifu. To them, I say be patient for it will all be worth waiting for.

I find it strange that quite a number have somehow considered me to be their life coach. Strange because I definitely do not have answers to all of life's mysteries, strange because I'm still raw and rough around the edges myself, strange because I myself am a student seeking for the guidance of my sifu. But what I realise is you don't really have to be as old as Morrie to be a life coach. You don't have to have experience that could fill the Library of Congress. All you have to be is yourself and share whatever that you've learned so far with others in hope that something good will come out from that exchange.

I'm fortunate to have had a few of my own life coaches along the way and honoured that others consider me to be one myself. If you've not found your life coach, reading this book may actually help. Who knows? You may have already found your life coach but just do not realise it yet.

I would definitely recommend this book to everyone. You don't really have to buy the book if you don't feel like it. You can always check with you local library or borrow it from a friend or relative. Of course, you can also find an MPH, Borders or Kinokuniya outlet and "preview" the book week after week. ;) There's no reason why you shouldn't read this book. If you're not convinced, you can always read an excerpt from the book.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Big Girls Don't Cry

by Fergie

"Big Girls Don't Cry" music video by Fergie
La, da, da, da
The smell of your skin lingers on me now
You're probably on your flight back to your hometown
I need some shelter of my own protection baby
To be with myself in center, clarity, peace, serenity

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We got some straightening out to do
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've gotta get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry

The path that I'm walking, I must go alone
I must take the baby steps till I'm full grown, full grown
Fairy tales don't always have a happy ending do they
And I forsee the dark ahead if I stay

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We got some straightening out to do
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've gotta get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry

Like a little school mate in the school yard
We'll play jacks and Uno cards
I'll be your best friend and you'll be my Valentine
Yes you can hold my hand if you want to
Cos I wanna hold yours too
We'll be playmates and lovers and share our secret worlds
But it's time for me to go home
It's getting late and dark outside
I need to be with myself in center, clarity, peace, serenity

I hope you know, I hope you know
That this has nothing to do with you
It's personal, myself and I
We got some straightening out to do
And I'm gonna miss you like a child misses their blanket
But I've gotta get a move on with my life
It's time to be a big girl now
And big girls don't cry
Don't cry, don't cry, don't cry

La, da, da, da, da, da
Simply beautiful, this song. I'm not such a fan of Fergie's previous songs such as London Bridge and Fergalicious but this one I simply find it hard to get out of my head. She has definitely come full circle from her Wild Orchid and Black Eyed Peas days with this song. Based on her previous releases from her Duchess album, who would have thought she was capable of this? I was really amazed that she sang this song so flawlessly considering it is quite different from the hip-hop genre that she has become accustomed to lately.

This video also serves as a good fix for all Heroes (particularly Peter Petrelli) fans until the next season starts in about a month or so. The actor playing Peter Petrelli, Milo Ventimiglia is featured in this video. I really know what girls see in this guy. Masi Oka (Hiro Nakamura) or Adrian Pasdar (Nathan Petrelli) I understand but Milo?!? I don't see no charisma in him. Would someone please enlighten me on this? :P

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Rapid Penang To Get Even Better

The commendable new bus service Rapid Penang is set to get even better when another 100 buses is added to the current fleet of 150 buses.
100 new buses for fleet

A HUNDRED new Rapid Penang buses will be added by end of the year to increase frequency of services.

State Local Government, Traffic Management, Information and Community Relations Committee chairman Datuk Dr Teng Hock Nan said with the new buses, the intervals of 20 minute to 60 minutes might be shortened.

"Syarikat Prasarana Negara Bhd (SPNB) will be bringing in the new buses as promised and we will allocate them to the routes depending on the need," he said.

He said there were many suggestions on extending and including new routes in housing estates and the Penang International Airport.

"We welcome the suggestions and will discuss them with Rapid Penang," he told a press conference yesterday.
With the addition of the new buses, Penangites can look forward to shorter intervals, more routes, increased coverage and better rides with the recently launched Rapid Penang, as if all these weren't good enough at this very moment. I admit it's not perfect but it's definitely way much better than the shitty service we had to rely on for ten years or so.

In the near future, hopefully we should see less vehicles on the roads with school going children opting to ride the reliable bus service instead of relying on their parents to get them to school and back home. This is really what's causing the traffic jams at major roads in the morning and evening compared to yesteryears when public and school buses were the usual mode of transport for students apart from bicycles and their own two legs. It's still wishful thinking at this moment in time but it's definitely something to look forward to.

When you see motorcyclists riding on buses rather than their motorcycles, that's when you know the tide has turned. If they see it safer and more financially viable to take the bus rather than their two-wheelers, public transport has achieved its goal. With the Penang Monorail to come in a few years time, public transportation will become the major people movers on the island, very much like Singapore and Hong Kong.

If that's the future we're heading to, I'm willing to bide my time and wait it out. Things are looking up for Penang, after years of neglect. It's time for the Pearl of the Orient to shine once more.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

GiftWisdom - Collaborative Universal Gift Registry

I'm sure you've been in a position whereby you and a group of people planned to buy a gift for someone, be it a colleague, friend or relative, and found the task to be a little tedious. You can't agree on what to give. You find it hard to pool together the money. You wished there was a better way. Now there is.

GiftWisdom is a collaborative universal gift registry that does not just stop at putting wishes in one place but enables friends and family to come together by cash pooling to make meaningful gifting possible. It solves all those problems you previously had such as not having enough money, hard to collect money from others and unable to decide on the perfect gift. GiftWisdom has made the process that much easier.

You can create separate gift registries you think will be appropriate for different occasions so others will not purchase unsuitable gifts for you that you already have, you won't have any use for or have to exchange it at the store. Friends and relatives will be able to either purchase the products in your registry outright from the merchant, contribute fully for the purchase of the product or they can contribute to the pool if the price may be a little steep for you to contribute alone.

Featured merchants include Amazon, Macy's, Circuit City, Office Depot, Walmart, Target and Dell. The interface can be a little confusing and intimidating at first and I have no qualms mentioning it in this paid review. The registration is very straightforward however and after familiarising with the interface, you are well on your way. Non-tech savvy users may find it a little hard to use though. All in all, it's a novel concept and given time, it should garner enough support.

Friday, August 10, 2007

Two Thumbs Up For Rapid Penang

I managed to ride on the Rapid Penang buses before I went down to Kuala Lumpur and I must say I'm very impressed with the service. If I wasn't convinced enough that Rapid Penang's future seems bright enough based on my observations during the first two days of its service, travelling on the buses on the final day of free rides all but confirmed it.

I had to purchase an express bus ticket at the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal for my trip down to KL. Since Rapid Penang introduced a new route from Air Itam straight to Sungai Nibong, it being the final day of free rides and I wanted to evaluate the service myself, I decided to leave the car at home and take the bus instead.

I walked to the Air Itam market to board the T306 bus. I reached the bus terminal at about 12.20pm. I asked a Rapid Penang employee if T306 was the right bus to Sungai Nibong and when will the next one be arriving. Turns out, the bus just left at 12.15pm and the next one will be in about 30 minutes or so. At 12:46pm, a T306 bus arrived and a swarm of people ran to board the bus. Wow, is this route that well sought after?

Turns out, the old ladies were only there to have a free ride. They didn't bother where the bus was headed to. All that mattered to them was the ride was free and the bus will make a return trip right back to this very bus terminal. They've decided not to get down from the bus until the bus made a round-trip back here. Apparently, they've tried out many routes in the past few days including one all the way to Bukit Mertajam! When asked if they will continue to take the bus the following day when fares will be implemented, the answer was a flat no.

The bus only departed at 12.58pm but it wasn't too long a wait. The route was a very long one with Air Itam, Paya Terubong, Relau, Sungai Ara, Bayan Baru and Bukit Jambul among the areas served by the T306 bus. It took all of one hour for the bus to reach the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal. I went straight to the Konsortium counter to purchase my ticket and was able to hop on the same bus back to Air Itam but decided to try out a different bus instead.

I decided to try the T304 bus which runs all the way to Gurney Drive to get to my grandparents' place at Green Garden. Although it states in the booklet that the bus will pass through the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal, the truth is it will only pass by the terminal. I had to walk to a bus stop 10 minutes away to board the bus. They should have a bus stop right opposite the Sungai Nibong Bus Terminal to improve connectivity instead of having to walk a few hundred metres to get to a connecting bus stop.

I didn't have to wait long for the T304 bus to come along - five minutes to be exact. The bus was less packed this time around and most of the passengers were genuine ones instead of old ladies looking for free rides. It took just twenty minutes for me to get to my destination which was the bus stop opposite Convent Green Lane. I had wanted to board another bus, T205 to get back to Air Itam after spending time at my grandparents' house but decided to take up my mom's offer to pick me up after work instead. :P

All in all, I find the service to be very good. Of course the buses were comfortable as they are new, so I will discount that from my evaluation. Although the seats were the plastic ones instead of the cushion ones, they were still comfortable to sit on and made more sense since they were less prone to damage and vandalism. They have surveillance cameras on board but don't think for once you will be able to catch a pickpocket through that camera. It is only meant for the driver to see if it is safe to shut the door.

The routes are very comprehensive with many areas covered but they seem a little odd. You'll get what I mean when you see the routes yourself. You can get to almost anywhere in Penang with their network but the problem is, everytime you hop on their bus, you have to pay a minimum of RM1. If a day or monthly pass is introduced like the one for RapidKL, you will be able to change as many buses as you like for a fixed price thus getting you wherever you want conveniently.

What Penangites are really looking for in public transport is the timely arrival and departure of the buses which is what Rapid Penang is providing at the moment. There must be consistency and reliability, something the old bus companies couldn't offer. The Rapid Penang drivers are not only courteous and helpful, they do not drive like Bus Rempits. It's a stark difference from the rowdy drivers from hell of the other bus companies. Some bus companies are not running a bus transportation service. Instead, they are running a bus rental service. These companies should have their licences revoked for causing great disservice to the Penang population.

These companies were given ample time and opportunities to perform and succeed. It is ironic that now they are complaining when another bus company is introduced and doing those things that they said were impossible before this. To this, I say go fuck yourself. I shouldn't be surprised by their latest outburst considering their constant flip-flops before this.

I'm looking forward to the day when a fixed fare is implemented similar to that of RapidKL. Also, a daily and monthly pass should be introduced as soon as possible. When that comes into play, we will definitely see a great increase in passengers. At the moment, there aren't as many passengers compared to the three days of free rides but the response is still encouraging. They should also introduce student rates even for university students. By encouraging students to take the public transport at a young age, this will instil in them the importance of taking public transport rather than splashing crazy money on a car.

Of course it is still to be seen if the buses will still be clean and well maintained after a few months of operation but I have every confidence they will be. I call upon Penangites to enforce their consumer rights in shunning the old bus companies (especially a certain "Italian Banana" bus company and its minibus sister company "Morning Glory", considered to be the worst of the lot) and choose to ride on Rapid Penang instead. Enough is enough. We have a choice now. It's time to choose.

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Did You Miss Me?

So, did any of you get JSYK withdrawal symptoms while I was gone? I guess this short one week hiatus is nothing compared to the recent one month "break". I had my reasons then but no point elaborating them now. I know it's too late and I'm sorry. :P

Anyway, it was an enjoyable trip - my three days in Kuala Lumpur. Did many things in just those few days. Met up with many people I've not seen for a long, long time. I was practically hopping from one place to another the past few days.

Like what my friends commented, I didn't look like someone about to attend an interview. I was more like someone having a holiday trip although it was much more hectic than my usual "routine" days. Aren't holidays suppose to be slow, enjoyable and pleasurable? :P

My friends and relatives think my visit is too short and persuaded me to stay a little longer. As much as I would like to have a longer break, I just couldn't. I've cancelled many classes just for those three days in KL and there's already a backlog of replacement classes. If I were to have additional days off, I would be overwhelmed when I got back. I will have to work more hours a week to clear the backlog and that wouldn't do any good to the extra days of holiday now would it?

I understand my relatives' intentions and I admit I didn't see them much in those three days although I lived with them all three days in KL and I feel bad about that but I feel some friends may just be a little selfish and too demanding.

Maybe to some, what I do is more flexible and they think it would be easy for me to just take an extra day or two off. In a way, that's true but I am responsible to my students too and they are no less important than your clients. I can't just simply move their classes around as I like, similarly you just can't reschedule your clients' appointments for no apparent reasons. In fact, you can take leave and just forget about that day whereas I have to replace any leave I take. You don't need to work on a Sunday or any of your rest days just to replace the work day you took leave but I have to.

This is exactly why I usually don't tell anyone I'm visiting. Some will feel obliged to play host and go all the way out to entertain you which is not what I'm looking for. I try my best not to trouble anyone if possible. I appreciate those who are able to find time from their tight schedules to meet me although it may just be their lunchtime but those who aren't able to, I don't feel any animosity towards them and I won't hold anything against them.

I understand everyone's time is precious but just don't put the blame on me for failing to meet up or make me feel as if my time is less precious compared to yours. That's just not cool. In fact, I had initially planned to just be in KL on Tuesday itself so I've actually added two more days to my trip just so I could meet-up with friends and relatives. Maybe I should have done what I usually do - don't inform anyone I will be in town.

Apart from this little episode, it was a pleasant trip although I had my usual falling-sick-in-KL episode. I always fall sick everytime I visit KL, I don't know why. It must be the air. :P The reason that episode left such a bad taste in the mouth is because it happened right at the end of my trip. Way to go for putting the icing on my KL trip. It's like pouring faeces all over your chendol instead of coconut milk.

Anyway, it's good to be back. There will probably be a few posts regarding my trip but please be patient as I put them into words. No pictures though. :P Thank you very much to everyone for making my trip to KL a memorable one. Thank you for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Thank you for providing transport. Thank you for providing lodging. Most importantly, thank you for your time.

Saturday, August 04, 2007

Wish Me Luck!

This may probably be the last time I will be online for the next few days. I have a full schedule later today before I take a bus down to Kuala Lumpur at midnight and will only be back either Tuesday night or Wednesday morning. Most likely I won't be able to reply to any of your emails promptly (as if I do :P) during this next few days. That would only mean I'm still unable to find time to login to the internet, not that I'm ignoring your emails or trying to avoid you. ;)

Why I'm going down to KL? I will be attending an interview on Tuesday. It's all still very preliminary at the moment, so now is not the best time to disclose more details but I will if there are more developments.

So wish me luck! :)