Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Murphy's Law?

I really do not know why.  I sometimes wonder if it is Murphy's Law working to the extreme.

I seem to be having problem with products and services that I purchased.  They all have defects and I will have to get it exchanged, repaired or replaced almost all the time.

Today.  My new three seater sofa needs to be repaired.  There are gaps between the three back rest cushions.  The seat is not aligned and the back leg is shorter than the front ones.  So they will cart it back on Monday.

Last Monday.  I had to return my glasses because the multi coat cracked.  I decided to ask another optician to refit my glasses because I was feeling giddy.  My whole world seemed to be moving incongruently.  One look and the optician told me that the multicoating on the lens has cracked. So I sent it back to my optician for it to be replaced.

At my own expense, I recently resprayed my car bonnet again because the insurance panel workshop did a lousy job.  I sent it to a supposedly reputable spray paint shop.  One week later, I noticed that the paintwork was substandard.  Now the car is back at the spray paint shop.

A month ago.  I sent my iPhone back to Maxis because the shut off button stopped working.  I am still waiting for the replacement set.

Recently.  I have sent two pairs of my pants back to the shop because the threads were not stitched properly.  It was coming off and the pants were tearing apart!  They are not cheap by the way!

The list go on and on.

I realized that  this always happen to me, again and again.  

I am perplexed as to why I am at the receiving end always.


Due to the trip to Bangkok, I already missed two of my Mandarin class sessions.  I was suppose to go on last Thursday but I did not.  So all in I have missed three lessons not counting the one I missed when I had my teeth extracted.  Lets just say that I was lazy.  There was some homework to be finished.  I know that I have to get it done.  Otherwise I would be missing another session again.

So on Sunday, I texted Mr. J.  I needed his help because I probably would take a long long time to finish the homework unaided.  We had dinner.  We adjourned to  a drinking joint and I started doing my homework with his help. 

He is a good teacher.  Mr. J did not give me the answer directly.  I was made to think.  Just the way it should be.  We spent more than two hours on probably four pages of homework. 

Mr. J was very patient.  I can see his frustration with my inability to get the intonation right.  My biggest problem.  That is why my score in dictation is so poor.  I think Mr. J was really very nice.  I would have exploded if I was him.

Like a doctor,  Mr. J diagnosed  my problem.  He told me to practice my intonation and pronounciation of the vowels and consonants right.  He is so right.  If I do not get the basics right I would not be able to progress as well as I would like to.

Thank you for your time Mr. J

Thanks for the help on that evening Sir.


It has been happening for a while now.

I used to be able to remember just about anything without having to jot it down.  Wait.  Let me qualify my statement.  I am not good with school books though.   I used to be very good with direction.  Lets just say that I am like a GPS.  I used to have a very sharp eye for things.  I used to remember where exactly I parked without having the need to note down the parking bay no.  I used to be able to reach my destination without having to plan my destination prior to starting the journey.

Today I have misplaced my glasses.  I hope it is in the car at the workshop.  I really hope so because it is a very expensive pair.  The last time I actually misplaced a Protrek Watch that cost almost a thousand ringgit.  I still cannot remember where I misplaced my watch.

I have been misplacing my stuff.  I realized that I have been very forgetful. Let's just say that I am not as sharp as before.  My brain just cannot compute the way it used to. 

Is this dementia in the making?

The Camp

The Airport
The army took position at the airport.  Batons were distributed in full public view.  Stations were set up.  As we drove off the airport, armored vehicles were stationed at certain strategic locations.  There was a road block and vehicles and passengers were thoroughly screened.

The Weather
The heat was unbearable.  The humidity was unreal.  The air was still.  Luckily there was drinking water everywhere.

The Camp
It was very well organized and coordinated.  Every minute detail was thought and taken care off.  What started off as a ice breaker during the first day slowly built up towards the second day.  While the first day was more on dealing with the business aspects, the second day was more on teamwork.  By the third day, they worked your mind and spirit.  They shake you to the core but in a good and positive way.   I do not believe that it can be done.  It just is impossible.  Not by  human anyway.  They do it.  I still do not believe it.  Then they make you do it.  Yes.  I now believe it.  It can be done.

The Camaraderie
We were put in different groups.  They made sure that the International participants, thirteen of us, were all spread out so that we would not be together.  We did not know each other when we first met.  The Thais made me feel very comfortable and at home.  It was Thai hospitality at its best.  Language though was a barrier was quickly broken down.  By the end of the third day, we were like brothers and sisters

The Mentors
There were about fifty plus of them taking care of  seven hundred plus of us.  As we retire to bed at midnight, the mentors were still on the grounds.  They were preparing for the next day till the wee hours of the morning.  When the going got tough, they were there to shore us up.  At the end of the evening, they put up a show for us.   Other than personal satisfaction, there is nothing for them to gain from mentoring us.  We are actually in competition in them.  I am touched. I take my hat off for them.

The Players
They come from all walks of life.  Quite a few actually borrowed money to attend.  From professors to successful business owners to grandmothers and secondary school students, they all come with a common goal in sight.  To seek and make life better.  In physic and spirit.

The Food
Surprisingly the food was good.  I must say that we were well fed.  It was Thai food at its best.  It tasted better than some of the local food I have eaten thus far.

I was pleasantly surprised that I survived.  I was quite skeptical with all this camp stuff.  I initially went because I had too.  So I just wanted to get it over with.  I went to look see look see what so big a deal this camp was.

This is not a camp like any others.  They were not selling anything to us.  There was no enforcement.  We were free to drop out at any point in time if we so choose to.

As the day wore on I realized that the organizers really put their heart and soul into making this camp a success.   They were all volunteers and they need not go to such extend.   My skepticism dissipated a little.  I slowly realized that every minute I spent was well worth its weight in gold.  They made every minute count.  They respected the time I took off for the camp.  So I have the highest regard for the organizers.

I am back

Yes. I am back from camp.  I have actually been back for more than a week already.

There was just so much work waiting for me back here.  So I put off blogging for a while.  Blogging was getting kind of addictive.  The writing flair of many bloggers certainly tickled my mind and turned my brain on.

Many chores have been left unattended.  I was procrastinating.  Every time I turned on the laptop, blogging was my first priority, everything else was last.

So when I came back, I made sure I put my house in order first.  I tried but could not resist.  I read some of your blogs along the way.  I did manage to get my other chores done and I managed to get my work started.  So I give myself a little treat.  I allowed myself to write a new post.

Thursday, April 8, 2010


In less than 10 hours I will be out of the country.  I will again be somewhere in Thailand.  Two hours from the airport by coach to be exact.  Where is the location?  I don't know actually.  We will be there for some training.  I am suspecting that it will be like a boot camp.  They will probably try to wash our brains and turn us over.  Probably something like what do to those detained without trial under ISA.

I actually don't want to go.  I never liked this kind of stuff.  I am never the person who show or speak openly what and who I am.  I am more of the reserved type and I do not like hanging out in crowds.  Because of that sometimes people take offense and feel that I am insincere.   My close friends tell me that unless people make an effort to know me, they will never know my better side.  I will take that as a compliment. 

This type of camp normally require you to open up, pour it out and then start all over new.  They probably will help you discard all the negativity within yourself and indoctrinate in you some new values.  You are suppose to come out of the camp a new person.  Somehow I have never warmed up to these type of activities.

I am going because my lieutenants have all gone the last round.  They came back and have asked me to go.  So the General 's kinda have no choice.  It is the Team that plays.  So unless the General makes this trip with some of his other lieutenants, the General will probably be in an awkward position moving forward.

So guys, wish me lots of luck because I'll need it to go through three days of grueling fifteen hour sessions each day.  Hopefully I shall be back in one piece on Monday.  So adieus for now.

Mr. A

Somewhere in January I met a person.  Let's call him Mr. A.  He is a nice person.  We first met at a fast food joint.  We had a good chat.  From our conversation I can tell that Mr. A is intelligent.  From the words and phrases he uses, I gather that he is humble and with good train of thoughts  I have met him altogether four times now.  Each time I never immediately realize that he is Mr. A.   

The first time he came in cotton shorts and T-shirt.  He was more than very casual.  Just the type of clothes you would wear at home.  Simple but presentable.

The second time he was in casuals.  But this time it was the type of casual clothing you would wear for an outing.  I did not recognize him.  I actually greeted him, shook his hand and told myself he looked familiar.  I only realized he was Mr. A when I asked a friend later while driving off.

On our third encounter, he came dressed up in office wear.  So I can forgive myself because I have never seen him in office attire. I knew it was Mr. A only because we were expecting him to arrive.  When he arrived, I took a good minute before my brain registered that it was him.  He looked different in office attire.

Over the weekend we met again.  This time I again cannot recognize him immediately.  His hairdresser has given him a new image.  Mr. A now now spots short and thick jet black hair.  Attire?  Long sleeves and small checkered pants like what the chefs normally would wear.  But this one I am sure is branded and still is in vogue.  The pants was slim and tight.  I thought he looked dashing.  Obviously he was the most well dressed person for the outing.

I have met Mr. A on four different occasions.  He spotted four different image.   It took me a while before I realized that he was Mr. A.

I thought I was just bad with names.  Now I realize I am just as bad with faces.  I am sure I would fail miserably if I was required to pick the thief out from the suspect identification parade.

Wednesday, April 7, 2010


During the start of our Level 2 Mandarin Class, we were given a test which later was converted to a homework.  There were all together four pages.  I managed to complete three and a half pages which were multiple choice in nature.  Some how I never managed to get the other half a page completed.  This half a page was an English essay .  We were required to translate it to Han Yu.

A fellow blogger offered to help me do my homework.  I was so tempted.  I am sure if I still was a kid I would have taken up the offer.  But I know myself too well.  If I allowed him to, that would be the beginning of the end of my studying the language.  It was an easy way out which I will take again and again.  But I really wanted to be competent in the language, at least up to a certain level.  So I declined him.

I know the teacher has been asking subtly  for my homework.  I kind of sense that he will come right to me and ask for it on Monday.  After all I have been procrastinating for almost a month now!  So on Monday, I sat down in office at about 4pm and started translating the passage.  Some of my fellow colleagues came over and was laughing themselves off.  They were asking if there is an exam coming up.  One even went further and inquired if I was scolded by the teacher. No. No. No.  Nothing like that.  I just want to get my Mandarin on track.  So that is the reason why I put in the effort.

It sure took a lot of effort to translate that half a page.  It took me approximately two hours plus.  I am so glad when it was finally over.  At least I can stand up and say that I did it on my own.

My intuition was right.  The teacher walked right up to me during the class and I was more than prepared to hand him my homework.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Bodoh Perkasa

Where is your pride and dignity?  How can you continue to live on handouts?  Are you not ashamed of always trying to twist facts to serve your needs and ends?  All you do is fan the fire.  Even if this is your land, are you not ashamed for plundering what is already yours?

 If you really care for them, teach them how to fish.  Ingrain and inculcate in them the habits and culture required for them to be successful.  If you really are a leader they look up to, tell them to stop living on crutches.  Let it go.  Start with a small baby step.  Slowly but surely they will be up and running in no time.  If they do not follow your advice, then you are not a good enough leader. 

When you were young you used the race card as a means to serve your ends.  When you became the leader, you brought unprecedented development to the country. You portrayed yourself as a leader for all.  Many including your detractors salute you.  Now you seem very eager to always be in the limelight, almost always for the wrong reason. When all tricks fail, you now again resort to the tactics you used during your youth. You have come one full circle.  When once you were adored, now you are a real disgrace!

You can never fool everyone all the time.  Even your own who are more educated are embarrassed for the actions you both have taken and the words you both have uttered.

To all of you : Grow up.  Stop whining.  Nobody owes it more to you than you yourselves.  Stop being shortchanged by your so called leaders.  They are only here to serve their own needs and agenda.

Backpost - The Dream

I had a weird dream the day after my teeth was extracted.  I was having a mild fever.  My body felt hot and I am not sweating like I normally should for the temperature my body was having.  I felt like my eyes was going to pop out.  It was dry and I could feel the pressure.  I am allergic to Paracetamol, Aspirin and Ponstan.  Since I have never taken Voltran, I decided not to take it too.   I decided to scrub myself down to lower my temperature.  I then dug in early that night.

I took delivery of my car from the workshop after the repair. Drove it at night and suddenly the car in front of me made an emergency stop.  I smashed into his vehicle.  The car behind me could not stop on time and smashed into mine.  It all happened on the night just after the repair to an earlier accident.

The driver got out of the car.  He walked away.  Leggie who was the passenger in the car I smashed into alighted.  The driver came back with Savante.  Both Savante and Leggie then took out a mattress from the driver's car and carried it away.   Apparently Savante needed the mattress for the night over at Leggie's.

I was flabbergasted.  I just got the car back and now it needs to be repaired again! What kind of luck is this.  I tried to tell myself that it was just a dream.  But it was not.  The car is by the side of the road, smashed up.  I saw with my own eyes, both Savante and Leggie carting away the mattress.  So it cannot be a dream.  The accident is causing a traffic crawl.

After a struggle, I finally managed to wake up.  I was drenched in sweat.  I still have not got my car back yet.  It is still in the workshop.  I was glad that it was just a dream.  I think the temperature and stress from teeth extraction must have caused this.

I drove with extra care when I got my car back.  Better still if either of them was in the car.  Only that way will I be assured that the accident would not happen.

Saturday, April 3, 2010

Welcome home my beau

Finally, the homecoming.  One week short of two months.  That is exactly how long it took for me to get you back.  I had to make a police report in the middle of the night when it happened to you.  I then had to accompany you to Batu Caves in the wee hours of the morning.  Then the next day I took you home.

Your face was disfigured.  I was helpless.  There was nothing I could do to help.

They could only attend to you after CNY. One week after CNY, I sent you in for a diagnosis.  I called day after day.  Initially so that you would be attended to.  Later, to ensure that you would receive the required treatment. I wanted to make sure that your sharp facial features is restored properly.

They never bothered calling me.  I was the one who was worried for you.  I thought that it took far too long for them to treat you.  That is when they told me that they could not source the replacement part required to restore your right eye.

I was again on the run.  Luckily through some contacts I managed to find the parts.  One thing after another.  More parts needed to be replaced.  I could not wait for them.  They just took far too long.  I sourced them myself.

Finally last Saturday, they discharged you.  I thought you looked all right.  However on a closer look, it was not to be.  More calls and more checks with my contacts.  Finally I admitted you again.  This time to a Specialist specializing in the required sub specialty.  This time I had to pay from my own pocket.  The insurance would not cover.  Never mind.  What is more important is that you get treated and your face is restored.

This afternoon, you were discharged.  Now you look great.  You certainly look very much better than before.  Finally I will get to drive you again after an absence of nearly two months.  Welcome home my beau!