Posts filed under Personal

This may be true

Filed in Personal, The Working Life

A cousin likes to forward emails which most of the time turn out to be recycled stuff from many years ago and which along the way, the names of places, etc., have been changed.

But from something the cousin sent today, another cousin responded, and this other cousin then added me to her mailing list and I received a PowerPoint presentation which had this on one of the slides:

“The only reason that anyone would ever hate you, is because they want to be just like you.”

Wow …

Can that be true?

I think back to those years I spent at my last place of employment. So that was why she put me down? Cuz she wanted to be like me? No, actually it was cuz she saw me as a threat. Unfortunately, she was in a position to neutralise that perceived threat. By putting me down.

The darn thing was I let her. I finally woke up one day and stopped letting her. I said “I resign”. Or rather, I submitted my resignation letter. And then, months later, realised the only reason I didn’t resign, the reason I put up with the “putting down” was cuz it was paying my medical bills but then it was also making me ill.

In fact, I had a lupus flare about six weeks before I put in my resignation letter, which showed on my skin.

A year or so later, I realised I’ve not had a flare since I left the corporate world.

So I did the right thing to resign. So what if I have to pay my own medical bills now? I’m enjoying far better health than when I was working cuz my medical bills were being paid by someone else. And I stopped allowing myself to be “put down”.

But the fact that it came to mind when I read that PPT slide shows that it still bugs me that I wasted about 10 years of my life …


My “corner shop”

Filed in Personal

A favourite Malaysian pastime – driving to visit the shopping mall furthest from where you live. This is particularly evident on Sundays – cars queuing to enter the parking lot of a popular shopping mall, followed by driving round and round inside to look for an empty spot, or stalking someone with lots of shopping bags who look like they may be walking to their car to leave. And when a new shopping mall opens … yes, similar scene as a Sunday at the malls.

Me, I like to shop at a mall near where I live. And I live near quite a few. Within a 10-minute drive, I have four to choose from, all connected by pedestrian walkways whether above (covered) or below ground, so shoppers are protected from the sun and rain as they meander from one mall to another. More than 10 minutes away, there is another, with a choice of two separate, but connected, buildings called Old and New Wings.

But none of these malls are of any use in times of emergency. And yesterday I experienced just such an emergency. I’d spilled water over a small section of my computer table, a small but important section that held the life of the desktop computer system – the electrical extension strip. I’d quickly powered down the computer and unplugged all the different connections from the extension. I then wiped dry what I could see – the table surface, a bit of the wall, the floor, the wires and the plugs. Then in a CSI moment, I took a torch and shone it on the extension, and saw water inside the plug holes. If I could see water there, the inside must be swimming in it.

I wavered between going to get a new extension strip and giving the desktop the night off. But get from where? It was Sunday and it would be difficult to get into any of the nearby malls and find parking. Eventually, I decided to give the desktop the night off. But later, while driving home after dinner, I saw a familiar road leading into a familiar neighbourhood. And inside this familiar neighbourhood was an oft-forgotten shopping centre where I used to hang out when I lived there.

Centrepoint Bandar Utama. Yes, this place deserves to be named.

Compared to the other malls nearby, Centrepoint does not have the usual trendy stores, and as a result, does not attract a big crowd, not even on weekends. I would be able to find parking. Best of all, parking is free. Even on weekdays, it’s only 50 sen from the second hour onwards (the first hour is free). Weekdays, the place is crowded because the upper floors house offices and offices have staff that require parking. In fact, almost half the parking lot is reserved for tenant parking. Never mind, it was Sunday yesterday, and as expected, the parking lot had quite a few empty spots. Good for me. I got what I went to get (the extension strip), and something more (a bar of chocolate).

When I was studying in Norwich, England, and living off-campus during my third year, I would stop for stuff at a little corner shop on the way back to the flat I shared with three other students. There were times when I would reach the flat to find zero food in the fridge, and walk back to the corner shop to get something.

Centrepoint Bandar Utama is now my “corner shop” that I can stop at for a loaf of bread and some fruits from the supermarket, a paper notebook from the stationery shop, dinner sometimes, and even get my haircut (Hair At Work’s where I’ve been going for more than 10 years). All without having to drive too far or pay too much for parking.

Remembering May 13

Filed in Memories, Personal

I was there. My grandfather’s Chinese herbal shop was on the street where it all started. I still remember all the other shops were already closed, but ours wasn’t. My dad and his older brother refused to close the shop, instead waiting at the entrance and it was only when they saw a group approaching from the opposite side of the roundabout that they decided to pull the metal shutters and lock up. Till today, I still shudder at what would’ve happened if one of them had stumbled and they were a moment too late.

I remember sitting at the round marble table upstairs doing my Malay homework, and thinking “No school tomorrow!”

I remember we took turns peeping out from the middle window in my parents’ bedroom to see the burning on the street below. It wasn’t easy – the windows were the old-fashioned wooden-slat type and we had to physically open the window for a slit wide enough to peep through.

I remember seeing the photo shop burning across the road. It had a huge glass display window, some framed photos inside surrounded by yards of decorative fabric. The window got smashed and the wooden photo frames and fabric used for burning.

For many years, there were different versions of what happened, why it happened and who was involved. For many years, these different versions of May 13 conflicted with mine, but the recent publication of May 13 by Dr Kua Kia Soong has verified that what I remember of that night is true.


Filed in Health, Personal

After three months of occasional walks, I have completed a total of 54.4km which, according to the site, qualified me to move forward one level, from yellow to orange. Of course, I’ve walked more than that, but the usual stuff such as from car to lobby lift, or from car to front door of sister’s house, or even my frequent mall meanderings do not count. The 54.4 kilometres were on set walking routes mapped at the aforementioned site.

This morning’s 5.39km walk was 36.8% further than my very first walk of 3.94km back in late January. That first walk was also the shortest I’ve done these past three months. The longest walk I ever did was 5.98km. Walking pace has always been below 10 minutes, which both pleased and surprised me the first time I saw the number.

Seeing the orange on my NikeRunning profile page has given me a renewed purpose to keep going for my morning walks. Previously, it was “I don’t feel like walking this morning, my joints hurt … ” but from now on, I want to meet my 3-walks-a-week commitment. Unless it rains. Heavily.

Here’s the plan – to walk at least 3 times a week, to maintain a minimum of 5km per walk, to keep my walking pace below 10 minutes, and to move to the next level, green, within three months.

The above plan will be achieved with the help of my Nike+ Sportband and the site. The Sportband has proved to be a good investment. Some of my motivation has come from seeing my walks visually represented. Here’s the one from this morning.

Having walking buddies and seeing their achievements also help to motivate me further. Thanks, Nazley.

Related Post

50 + 1

Filed in Personal

I sent off another year of my life about half an hour ago.

Amazed to be this age. Once upon a time, even a girl in the last year of primary school (she would’ve been 12) was old to my 7-year-old eyes. Where I am right now would’ve been ancient!

When I was 12, I received a letter – a purple envelope with my name and address written in pencil, and proper stamps, postmarked US of A, on the top right hand corner. It was a real letter, and it was written by my first penpal, Debbie. We’d been introduced by my friend and her friend who were penpals, too.

I’m talking about Debbie in this birthday post because Debbie and I are the same age, she older by about 6 months. We lost touch in recent years, but thanks to this wonder called the Internet, found each other again a few years back.

Debbie and I are the same age but she’s already a grandma while I’m committed to being single. Can’t get more different than that.

Love you, Debbie. Haven’t seen you online recently. I know you had a rough year last year and hope you’re not having a repeat of it. See you online sometime soon.