Monday, September 27, 2010

Maafkan Aku

Aku duduk bersandar malas di dalam kamarku.  Mataku yang lesu memandang keluar jendela.  Langit yang pada suatu masa cerah dengan terikan matahari kini sudah bertukar warna.  Dari kuning ke jingga.  Sekarang kemerah-merahan. Kini langit kelihatan keungguan berserap cahaya dari tiang lampu jalanraya yang sudah menyala.  Kenderaan mula sesak di persimpangan menuju ke taman-taman kediaman.

Pagi bertukar malam, hari berganti minggu, bulan bersilih tahun.  Bertahan juga aku sampai hari ini.

Fikiran aku berkecamuk bagaikan gelora ombak menghentam pantai.  Dengupan jantungku kuat dan cepat.  Hatiku berlumba-lumba kesana-kemari tanpa arah hala.  Benar ke?  Haruskah aku terima dengan hati yang terbuka dan bukan terluka?  

Aku luahkan apa yang terserat di dalam lubuk hatiku bukan kerana ragu, sangsi dan tidak pasti.  Aku tanya kerana emosiku tidak menentu.  Jahat bukan niatku.   Aku lurus.  Aku jujur.  Hanya mulut aku yang terlanjur. 

Maafkanlah aku sijantung hatiku.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Facing the Firing Squad

Tomorrow is the day.  The condominium Annual General Meeting will be held in the morning.  I am a little stressed.  I have been involved for more than two years now.  Many projects have been implemented.  Some systems have been put in place.  The condominium is now in a better shape then when we took over from the developer.  Prices of the units have also appreciated more than 30%.

So why the stressed?  After all the owners should be grateful, shouldn't they?

People are never satisfied.  They do not want to contribute.  All they do is complaint and complaint.  Human beings are selfish by nature.  That is the basic survival instinct.  The extent of their selfishness depends on their mental and psychological set up.  Their mental state of mind and the environment they have been brought up and the environment they are in now shapes their thoughts.

A big majority if not all those who will attend the meeting tomorrow would have a bone to pick.  In our culture, we seldom see people coming to support a good cause.  Almost all who are satisfied will not be around tomorrow.  After all they have nothing to quarrel about.  That leaves the handful of us to defend what has been implemented.  That leaves our lonely voice to justify why we do what we have to do.  What is good for the majority must prevail over what is good for a few.   This somehow is very abstract to some people.

Before this a handful of the owners and residents were very unhappy with what we were implementing.  Our cars were scratched over and over again.  Yes.  Not once. Many many times on the same car.  Rotten food debris were strewn on the cars.  There were commotions.  Accusations after accusations were leveled at us.   They took offense when even their friendly politician cautioned them that what we were doing was right and for the benefit of all.

Short of having chairs and papers flying around in the hall, last year's Meeting was rowdy.  It reminded me of events akin to some meetings of some political party we read from the newspapers.

Whatever we do we do for free.  We actually spend our money.  Forget about the time and effort expended.  The cost for stationery, telephone calls, petrol and miscellaneous items  would have been a sum to start with.  What I cannot stomach is how these people can come and tell us how they want it done.  How they question our integrity in the most bizarre and unthinkable and illogical manner.  Their way.  And they have the cheek to tell us that those who are not in the meeting have by default abrogated their rights.  The mob wants it done their way. 

Unlike last year, this time around the owners have been pretty docile and have remained quiet so far.  Silence does not mean contentment.  Still waters run deep.  I shall not be surprised if we see some fireworks.  I will be surprised if there is none.  We shall wait and see what happens tomorrow.

Many things have happened over the week.  It has been a very stressful one.  I am completely exhausted and drained.  What you see on the surface is not what is in the heart and mind.  The heart is bleeding and the  mind is still trying to decipher.  The show is pretty mine.  I hope I will pull it through tomorrow morning without losing my temper and cool.

Wish me luck..Yes.  Lots of it.

Friday, September 24, 2010


For some of us who are in a relationship, we yearn for one.  Ask some who are in them and they have so much to grumble.

It all starts with simple chats be it over the cyberspace, through gatherings or at clubs.  Sometimes friends introduce friends.  First impression counts a lot for some of us.  For others the feeling grows only after a few meetings or conversations.

We size the person up.  Physical contact may have already taken place by this point in time.  All in the name of love when it actually is lust. Platonic at best.  Love at first sight it seems.  Some of us would try to get to know the other party better.  The character and personality of the person.  Family background. Their likes and dislikes.  We screen our men out.

Many fall in and out of relationships like changing clothes.  That is not to say that there are none in long term ones.  Some are in a monogamous relationship while others are in an open relationship.  Then there are those in a relationship where there is a third party involved, the third party being either gender.

All said loud and clear to each other, sometimes attested in front of an audience, a union is formed. "I promise to be with you in good times and bad, in health and sickness.  I will love you and honor you all days of my life, for better, for worse, for richer,  for poorer, in health and in sickness till death do us apart." Something like that but maybe in many more words and gestures.  We promise each other everything including giving our grandmother away. The truth is some of us keep it but many others do not. Some never intended to keep it from the beginning.

Why are we attracted to each other?  We have the physical criteria.  Age, looks, height, ethnicity, etc. etc. The list goes on.  Then there is the emotional state of mind which we are looking for. A mature thinking person, one who is lesser or about the same.  Next are we looking for a fatherly figure, a brotherly figure, a sugar daddy etc.  The list continues long and it gets so complicated that even a computer with the biggest memory cannot decipher what the mind and heart thinks and wants.

For a relationship to work, there must be some common grounds where both parties can stand.  Even two twin brothers who share the same living environment from the day they were born do not have the same personality.  What more two beings coming together and agreeing to share their lives together.

There must be respect and mutual understanding.  Only if I give you the due respect can I expect the same in return. Respect means accepting the person for what he is.  Respect the person by giving him time and space to grow.  Respect his views and opinions accepting that they may differ from yours.

Honesty and trust.  Being open and transparent.  We bring along with us a whole load of baggage.  We may or may not divulge.  It does not matter what the past is.  For it is from this day onwards that matters.  From this day onwards, we must be honest with ourselves and with the one who are now part of us.  To be open and be truthful.   There must be trust.  There is nothing you can do if your partner decides to cheat on you.  He would have already schemed the whole thing up.  So both party must be honest about what they want.  Be open and transparent.

Expectations.  Both parties come into being with expectations.  It is important to manage our expectations.  What we cannot change we must learn to accept.  What we can tolerate we must.  What we can change we should.

Communications and listening skills.  We need to tell each other whatever is bothering us.  No one can read another person's mind and we do not want the other to speculate do we?  If you love the person, verbalize it.  If you do not like what and how things are going, voice it out.  When one party yells his mind off, the other must listen.  Ponder over it and ask whether there could be any truth in what was said.

Over time when two minds and two souls decide to work it out with sincerity, a new set of principles and living rules are established on mutually acceptable terms.

A healthy relationship is one where two people encourage each other to reach their respective goals while sharing each others' hopes and dreams.  It should be a source of inspiration, invigoration and hope.  The key to a successful relationship is learning to love the person you have found, not finding the right person.  Sustaining a relationship is not a passive or spontaneous action.  It never happens.  It needs to be nurtured and tendered.  We have to make it happen day in, day out.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Blessing in Disguise

Many times I do not know why certain things happen the way it does.  I used to and still does wonder why sometimes my life does not flow as smooth as I would like it to.  Events will just flare up.  One issue after another pops up.  It is like you trying to plug a hole on a water bottle and suddenly you find more and more holes and they just overwhelm you.  I wonder what kind of shit luck I always get into.  I have experienced situations like this countless times.  So much so that I no longer fight the flow. Apparently my life path is such that I will have to work for everything I want in my life and that it never would come easy.

So recently I got another dose of it.  I missed my flight to Shanghai.  I was pretty dazed.  As much as I was anxious and dragging myself, I really wanted to go.  After all I don't print money and I certainly should not have wasted it like this.  Imagine if I had donated it to a charity!   I was also thinking of a whole wasted public holiday spent packing, going to the airport and then back again.  Almost a whole day lost.

The afternoon got better.  I went for my jog and did a new best.  Longer distance with shorter time.  It still is a far cry from what an experienced runner would do.  But it is a small baby step in the right direction.

Dinner was with some blogger friends.  That was when a text came in asking where I was and whether I was free.  I texted back that I was having dinner and what is up?  You replied that it was alright and that I should have my dinner first.  I did not feel too good about this reply.  I know you are a person who does not want to trouble people.  But something is not right.  I had this funny feeling.  I certainly did not expect to hear from you, not at least till the end of this week.  So I called. The ringing tone changed to busy.  Another text message came in.  You were not feeling well and you asked if I could get you some food.  I could but I can only excuse myself after the dinner.  I did not want their tongues to go wagging!  You told me you were not hungry and I should continue with my meal first.  Past nine in the evening I texted you again if you wanted soupy noodles or porridge.  You asked for porridge. You apologized for the trouble you were causing and thanked me profusely for my effort.  Not an issue really.

Porridge was finally delivered to you at about ten forty five in the night.  Yes it was really late.  Any soul would be so hungry by now.  I hope you did not get gastritis.  I told you how sorry I was and you say you were not hungry anyway.  You were just being courteous and diplomatic.  I later found out that you finished two packets of porridge in one sitting!  So you were not hungry!

I texted you the next day to find out how you were doing?  You replied with a question.  You asked if you could come over to study because your place was hot.  No problem really.  Except that I am already out.  I shall be back in the later part of the day.  You were alright with coming over later.  By the time I could pick you up, you were already studying at a public joint with your housemate.  You did not want to trouble me but I pointed out to you that it is noisy studying there is it not?  You say maybe later.

I went and bought some groceries and food stuff to cook.  I have never cooked for maybe over a year now.  So there is nothing in the larder or fridge which I could use for cooking.  That includes the condiments.  I wanted you to eat something nutritious and home cooked minus the MSG.  However I was not sure if you would come over.

I arrived back home and texted you that you could choose.  Either you come over for dinner or I pack dinner for you and your housemate.  I am certainly cooking and I would like you to eat something healthy.  It will keep your spirits high in times like this.  Something home cooked.  As I was sending the message out to you, you were also texting me.  You asked if I could come and pick you up.  I did.  In the car, I told you that you could stay over at my place.  Nothing is going to happen.  You can sleep in my room and I can use the couch.  Not a problem at all.  I just wanted you to be as comfortable as possible.  Your finals were just lurking around the corner in less than seventy two hours.

You studied while I cooked.  We had dinner together.  I think the food was palatable.  We finished almost all of it.  I told you to go study while I cleaned up.  I made you more herbal drinks.  I let you indulge in some Haagan- Dazs, which you should not be eating because you were not well.  I could not resist perking your spirits up.

Late in the night you asked if you could stay over.  Of course you are welcomed to.  I fetched you back to take your clothes and study notes.  You slept in my room.  I kept my bargain.  I slept outside at the couch.  It was not really a problem for me because I had to couch custom made so I could sleep on it!  More importantly I wanted you to know that I always shall try to keep my end of the bargain.

You spent the next day studying.  I could hear you trying to memorize in the room.  Your study place moved from my study on the first night to the bedroom in the morning of the second then back again to my study.  By nightfall you were studying at the living area.  The next morning you were studying while having breakfast. I can see and feel the stress and tension in you.  Your notes were so thick and the writings were so small.  It reminded me of the sweat, blood and toil during my varsity days.  I now also remember why I never would have studied your discipline.  I am never good at memory work what more trying to memorize the Greek, Latin and chemical names.

I had you around till Sunday late morning when you told me that your housemates were a bit worried and wanted you back.  After a trip to the clinic and quick lunch, I sent you back.

Everything that happens, happens for a reason.  I know that too well.  At the airport I told myself quietly that it could be a blessing in disguise.  Maybe something untoward would have happened to me if I was in Shanghai.  The thought of something happening to the plane also crossed my mind.

Indeed it was a blessing in disguise.  When I asked you for dinner on Monday and Tuesday, you texted me that you need to have dinner with your mates last whole week.  Never in my wildest imagination that I would have you over my place for two nights.  That we would be having breakfast, lunch and dinner together.

I am not into anything physical.  Not at least you and I are sure what we want from each other.  I am happy that you chose to come over my place instead of your blood relations'. I thank you for your trust in me.  That really meant a lot to me.  I hope that you got a better insight of me as I have of you and GST

I like your character and personality.  I like your maturity.   I like to get to know you better.  I hope you could let me have a little space in your heart so that you can get to know me better too.  Since nothing comes easy for me, I shall work on it.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Hey That's My Money U know?

After some thoughts I decided to go to a Bank and withdraw my FD.  There's nothing much really but the bank charges are usurping whatever pittance they are paying for the interest.  So let's just say that I continue to be poorer as time passes.  That's not even counting the depreciation due to inflation.

I decided to use it to reduce my mortgage.  It is like putting the money in another account which will draw an interest equivalent to the loan interest charged.

After filling up the necessary forms and signing them, the counter staff started to process the transaction. I was then told that I have to come again the next day because I used the internet banking to place the FD.   Come on.  Let's get real.  By using technology I am now being penalized?  You have got to be kidding me!

I told the staff that no way I was coming back the next day.  It really took an effort to go to Puchong, let alone find a parking spot.   Am I entitled to charge an interest penalty to the Bank since they are late in paying me back what is due to me?  After all they are always quick to slap me the  interest charges for delays which sometimes are not due to my fault but the system's.

The staff told me they cannot do nothing much about it because the system is set that way.  I asked to see her superior.  I told the superior firmly but politely that I would like my money today and that they were to address their backroom issues which were not my problem.

Yes.  I am pretty clear of my rights.  Especially when dealing with these legal loan sharks banks.  They are pretty unforgiving and why should I be at the receiving end of their shortcomings.

The superior told me that I would have to wait and they would need to liaise with HQ.  This they did for like more than forty five minutes.  They had to do something to bypass the system.

Even then I still have to buy a banker's cheque or use my cheque to encash the money from my account.  I did not have my cheque book with me. I was not going to pay the RM2 for a banker's cheque.  Besides it is already past four in the afternoon and the cheque will now take two working days to clear.

We finally settled for cash for those transactions which they were able to bypass the system.  The one that cannot, I shall draw a cheque and bank it into my account while they shall close the account after the money has been withdrawn.

In parting I told the superior and the staff to look into this matter seriously.  I am sure I am not the first and will not be the last unhappy customer who is and will encounter this.  How can a customer be denied his right to withdraw his money anytime he wants to?  How can a withdrawal be posted in the journal today but physical cash given out the next day?  The systems analyst, the tester and the whole jing-bang gang ought to be shot! If you are keen on personal loan and money matters !

Thursday, September 16, 2010

Shanghai Bunkered

The boarding pass had my family name right but the rest of the name sounded very China.  One of the given name sounded like a trunkated sylable of Pudong.  Maybe they did not allign the printing properly. Since this is a flight I am taking and for security reasons, I thought it would be better to verify with the counter staff. 

I waited for them to sort my name out which took quite a while.  Since I could do nothing, I took out my iPhone and wrote on my wall "At the airport...."  Just before I could continue any further, the service counter stafff then told me, Sir, your flight is tonight. No actually this morning. You missed your flight"

I was really taken aback.  How could I read the time wrong?  The printed time on the e-ticket was 01:40.  I thought it was 1.40pm.  Normally it would be 0140 hours without the colon.  But in the airline industry, this is the format used.  All the while I had the impression that I shall arrive in the evening in time for my friend to greet me at the airport.

I went to the ticketing counter.  I was trying my luck to see what they would charge for a ticket tomorrow early morning.  The price...a little over the return ticket I had purchased.    For that one way ticket price I could go anytime.  Since it was a leisure trip, I decided to cut my loss.

I have been a bit apprehensive of this trip.  I have free accomodation but my friend is only free during weekends.  So I am pretty much on my own.  My first worry is the language. I do not really speak the language.  A splatter here and there would give me a away and I am sure I would be fleeced.  Secondly I always think that this place is polluted, dirty and the people are not so friendly.  Then the toilets are dirty.  Something I have a problem with. I was anxious and a bit stressed when this day came.

A friend who normally would not ask so much about myself had been asking a few times when and what time I was departing.  Last night he asked again what time was my flight.  Out of curiosity I asked why he was asking.  He said, "nothing la..just asking".  So I told him I woud text him before I board.   Little did I know that I was suppose to fly off two hours later last night.

Surprisingly I did not feel any loss. I felt relieved.   Maybe my heart and mind was at home. 

ps.  Thanks to Leggy for his many rides to and fro KLIA. 

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Club Med Kani Maldives

Breakfast in bed followed by coffee house breakfast.  Then late breakfast for the late risers. Small bites at the pool side and bar.  Lunch followed by late lunch.  Again bites and drinks at the bar. Then evening cocktails and champagne followed by dinner.  Free flow of drinks all day long.

Sheer glutony if I did not control yourself.

We arrived late in the evening.  The speed boat took about half an hour to arrive at Club Med Kani Maldives.  After a welcome drink and quick briefing we were taken to our chalets.  Perched on the Indian Ocean, it was breathtaking.  I am sure the morning view would be better.  The water chalet opens out to a deck area where you can literally step down and swim in the Indian Ocean.  The bathroom and vanity area was equivalent to another deluxe room. It came with a bath tub which looks out to the ocean. The whole area was glassed.  So unless you are an exhibitionist, the curtain needs to be drawn. There was a walk in robe and separate lounge area.

There was a bottle of champagne, welcome fruits, cup noodles, cookies and gourmet coffee with the usual fizzy drinks.  All inclusive. I thought that was cool.  But after that night, save for the drinking water, almost all the other food and drinks were untouched.  There was food and drinks everywhere all the time.

The morning was breathtaking. I can hear the waves beating the wave barrier breaks.  The sky was clear and blue with cumulus.  The early morning was serene.  Birds were chirping everywhere.  Some fresh flowers were falling onto my path as I walk by.  Everywhere the staff wished you a good morning.

The views were stunning.  I walked the clean pristine beach.  Soft powdery with pearlish hue.  It certainly gave me another perspective of what life should be.

There were two sessions of snorkeling each day.  I decided to try the water sports first.  Went on the catamaran for half an hour.  I think it would be quite easy to steer one.  The waves were a little choppy as the tide was coming in.  So I decided not to canoe.  The rest of the afternoon was spent lazing around.  A water plane landed at the jetty to fetch some guests to island hop.

The sunset was stunning.  Over an hour, the yellow rays turned orangy and then red, silhouetting the water chalets.  The reflection from the ocean lit the chalet stilts before the sun disappears completely in the far horizon.  Just sitting down and viewing the dusk was so exhilarating.  You let go all that baggage in the head you brought from the city and watch nature color for you minute by minute then second by second as the day draw to a night.

The beach is now filled with people listening to live music.  Cocktails and finger food is served.  We had the privilege of using the facility of a lounge specially for guests from the water chalets.  For these guests, food was served to you at your coffee table with unlimited helpings.  Dinner was at the coffee house.

As the night grew, there were stage shows, live band and a disco at different parts of the resort.  I decided to just sit at the lounge, drink and look out to the sea.  Yeah, I know I am boring.  But that is life to me.  Sitting down doing nothing and let the world go by.

Breakfast is always my favourite.  So I ordered breakfast in bed the night before.  I got up early, explored the island.  I was really tempted to go for a jog but could not because the breakky was suppose to be served at 7.30am the time I asked for it to be served.  The servers came and set the coffee table.  Laid down the food and it was one of the best breakfast I have had.

Snorkeling was next.  We had to pass  a water confidence test. They then brought us out.  I was a little surprised because they stopped in the middle of the sea.  The water was choppy and we were going to snorkel there.  It was a little daunting.   I jumped in first then the rest from the boat followed.  The soft corals were not that great at this site.  There were fishes, all kinds including the clown.

I decided to swim at the chalet after we arrived back from the snorkel.  A little shock and taken aback.  The waves were pretty strong and it was carrying me away from my chalet.  After one final try I stood up and were glad that the tide had not come in completely yet.  I managed to walk back to the deck on my chalet.

Lounged and surfed the net after that and ate a late lunch.  Dinner was at a fine dining outlet.  There was then a costume party after that - Pirates of the Carribean!

On the last day, we walked the beach again.  I must come back here with the person I so longed for....whoever that person may be, I vowed to myself.  This trip is so missing that person.  As the departure was in the evening, we checked out in the morning and I sat at the beach under the shade.  Slept, woke up and dozed off again.  Woke up, looked out into the ocean, thought of what life is, should be and must be.  I promise myself someday down the road, everyday should and must be like this day.

I shall come back again one day soon with you!!!

ps.  I later found out that the water chalet cost RM2500 a night!