Saturday, December 26, 2009


Here comes 2010. It is also the year of a Tiger in Chinese Zodiac, a year of courage. I like the number. It looks so symmetrical, in balance and peaceful. Whatever it will be, just bring it on.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

On the road again

I have not written for a while. I have been on the road. Not only literally but also in all aspects of my life - mentally, physically, emotionally and spiritually. I am trying to put everything into perspective. I have yet to allocate a quiet time for reflections, to digest and rationalise it all. I have a date with a wise, beautiful, funny and witty middle-aged woman called "Me" on Thursday night. Despite the changes, I am utterly and totally calm and positive. In fact, I am feeling on top of the world.

I have always been intriqued with life's mystery. I have always been amazed with what life managed to throw at me. Sometimes, I want time to run faster than the speed of light. I am impatient. I want to know what is there for me around the corner. I have to remind myself to smell the roses. This is exactly what I intend to do for the next few months.
Painting - "Poet on a Mountain" by Chen Zhou [Shen Chou] 1427-1509 Ming Dynasty - a handscroll.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Under the Parasol

I had a long afternoon of reflections with girlfriends last Sunday. We started under the parasol at 1 Twentysix at 11am and ended under the parasol of 09-03 Signature Park at 10pm when we said our goodbye. My girlfriends have helped me in finding my balance, keeping my feet on the ground, keeping my sanity and reminding me of who I am and where I came from. The session reminded me of this part of the book I am currently reading.

There is a truth that is deeper than experience. It's beyond what we see, or even what we feel. It's an order of truth that separates the profound from the merely clever, and the reality from the perception. We're helpless, usually in the face of it. The cost of knowing it, like the cost of knowing love, is sometimes greater than any heart would willing to pay. It doesn't always help us to love the world, but it does prevent us from hating the world. The only way to know that truth is to share it, from heart to heart.
Always looking forward to many more sessions like this, anywhere, anytime.

Painting by Joaquin Sorolla y Bastida - under the Parasol Zarauz 1910

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Age of Innocence

She was the Barbie in pink princess outfit. Tiara on her head and glittering pink stiletto. I was worried she would start wearing make up at Grade 2. Now, she refused to wear a skirt, anything pink or purple, anything with glitters or ribbons or flowers. Anything that associates her with being girlish.

This morning, she lost her headband. The only one she likes after 2 hours of shopping. It was blue and no ribbons, no glitters, just plain blue. I decided to tie her hair with the simplest purple hairband I could find, one step better than the rubber elastic you found from fish market. As I was walking her to school, I saw the hairband was no longer on her hair. She said it fell. Yeah right! Well, at least she likes to wear undies to school now. I just have to focus on the positives.

The photo was taken 6 years ago when she insisted on wearing a fairy outfit to a mall. The boy was her 1st boyfriend, an Iranian-Pakistani descent. She collects boys now like she collected Barbie outfits 6 years ago. This semester, her collection is blonde long-haired boy named Griffin. She likes him because he has long hair and his name reminds her of a griffin in her fantasy book.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Unbearable Lightness of Being

Irrespective of how many times I have sent my two kids to school, I still feel melancholic on my way back to a quiet home. I should feel relieved but not. It is funny and sad at the same time. It is funny because I longed for a quiet time to myself but I don’t really enjoy it when I have it. It is sad because I am worried that I have set my life to be dependent on my children. A new friend I met yesterday told me that we should feel grateful of the noise the children make at home. It shows that they are healthy, living their childhood and are using their brain creatively to annoy each other. I love positive energy with a dash of wisdom.

Any schoolboy can do experiments in the physic laboratory to test various scientific hypotheses. But man, because he has only one life to live, cannot conduct experiments to test whether to follow his passion or not.

“The Unbearable Lightness of Being”

Milan Kundera

Monday, August 31, 2009

Love is....

This is our wedding vows. The phrases meant much deeper than they were 10 years ago. I sworn that this is the best relationship advice I have ever received from anyone.

Kahlil Gibran on "Marriage" and his painting "Love".

You were born together, and together you shall be forevermore.
You shall be together when white wings of death scatter your days.
Aye, you shall be together even in the silent memory of God.
But let there be spaces in your togetherness,
And let the winds of the heavens dance between you.

Love one another but make not a bond of love:
Let it rather be a moving sea between the shores of your souls.
Fill each other's cup but drink not from one cup.
Give one another of your bread but eat not from the same loaf.

Sing and dance together and be joyous, but let each one of you be alone,
Even as the strings of a lute are alone though they quiver with the same music.
Give your hearts, but not into each other's keeping.
For only the hand of Life can contain your hearts.

And stand together, yet not too near together:
For the pillars of the temple stand apart,
And the oak tree and the cypress grow not in each other's shadow

Friday, August 21, 2009

I’m being taken over by The Fear

My kids are driving me crazy. I can stand the high decibels they make when they are happy but I just can't stand it when they fight. I don't remember fighting with my siblings when I was small. Even now when we have our own children, we still don't fight. No confrontation. We would go back and cry and forgive and forget and things will get back to normal. When we were young, my parents would not take side. I didn't like it. Now, I understood and I like what they did and I am doing just that to my children.

So when they are fighting, I am listening to Lily Allen on my Ipod to drown out the noise. My children can't listen to her songs yet, just too explicit. They can continue to like U2.

I want to be rich and I want lots of money
I don’t care about clever I don’t care about funny
I want loads of clothes and i want loads of diamonds
I heard people die while they are trying to find them

And i’ll take my clothes off and it will be shameless
Cuz everyone knows that’s how you get famous
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah I’m on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Life’s about film stars and less about mothers
It’s all about fast cars concussing each other
But it doesn’t matter cause I’m packing plastic
and that’s what makes my life so xxxxing fantastic

And I am a weapon of massive consumption
And its not my fault it’s how I’m programmed to function
I’ll look at the sun and I’ll look in the mirror
I’m on the right track yeah we're on to a winner

I don’t know what’s right and what’s real anymore
I don’t know how I’m meant to feel anymore
When do you think it will all become clear?
‘Cuz I’m being taken over by The Fear

Forget about guns and forget ammunition
Cause I’m killing them all on my own little mission
Now I’m not a saint but I’m not a sinner
Now everything's cool as long as I’m gettin thinner

Thursday, August 20, 2009

I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight

She's a rainbow and she loves the peaceful life
Knows I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight
There's a part of me in the chaos that's quiet
And there's a part of you that wants me to riot

Everybody needs to cry or needs to spit
Every sweet tooth needs just a little hit
Every beauty needs to go out with an idiot
How can you stand next to the truth and not see it?

A change of heart comes slow

It's not a hill, it's a mountain
As you start out the climb
Do you believe me, or are you doubting
We're gonna make it all the way to the light
But I know I'll go crazy if I don't go crazy tonight

Every generation gets a chance to change the world
Pity the nation that won't listen to your boys and girls
Cos the sweetest melody is the one we haven't heard
Is it true that perfect love drives out all fear?
The right to appear ridiculous is something I hold dear
Oh, but a change of heart comes slow

Friday, August 14, 2009


Beautiful is the exact word that can describe the holiday I had in Australia and Malaysia. What can be more beautiful than spending good, quality time with your family and good old friends.

Now I am back to reality. Do I have a choice to make reality a fiction?

Now I understand when my father-in-law said that he is busy this year doing his tax returns. I have now joined the retirees underworld. I need to get out before I find it to be enjoyable.

I am still in my prime, prime, prime!!!!

Friday, July 3, 2009


What is a Gegenschein?

What good is knowledge
When it only makes your ignorance more precise
Isn't knowldedge is knowing what you know?

Wisdom, my friend, is knowing what you don't know
That is the true value of wisdom

Wisdom can be scary sometimes
It wakes you up from slumber, stirs your contentment
For the things you can obtain but is forbidden
Wisdom requires discipline and willpower

Tough birds are only good for soup

Monday, June 29, 2009

My Daddy - The Champ

I had spent 2 solid long weeks with my dad last week. I am glad that I did it. We had good chats in the car, talking about cars, about us, about the family and the good old days. Topics that we used to talked about when he was driving long distance and I would stay awake to keep him company while the rest were asleep. This time around I was driving him.

When I was growing up, I always thought of him as the rock, the ultimate decision maker. When he said no, nobody in the family can dispute that. He rarely lost his cool. We were always his priorities and maybe still are. I remember him as the father who made sure that no mosquitoes will bite us when we were asleep. He didn't read to us or tuck us in before we go to sleep like western father does, but alas he would made sure that we had our blanket on and mosquito coil was lighted to ward off mosquitoes.

He was a teacher, a great one too because his ex-students would came up to him and gave him a hug or introduced themselves, shake his hands and would tell him what they have became. His salary was RM1,200 when he retired in 1980's. There were 7 of us but we have never felt that we didn't have enough money. There were really good food on the table everyday, we had crabs and lobsters by the buckets. Life with my dad was really, really good. I had a great childhood with him.

This September, my dad will be 75 years old. He was no longer the rock. He has Parkinson. A mild one. He has lost many of his good friends. He is no longer the jovial person I used to know. I have to help him make decisions for him and the family. I have to take him to see the doctors. It is my turn now to take care of him. I pray, that I could take care of him just the way he took care of me.

When we were away in Malaysia for 2 weeks, my daughter wrote a poem and a letter to her dad:

My Dad the Champ

My dad spreads love everywhere
My dad is strong, he can lift both of us
He is not afraid of anything
He is always here for me
But most of all, he loves me

He works hard for money
Money becomes things
Things becomes feelings
Feelings become love

I miss you so much when we are in Malaysia. I hope next time we go to Malaysia, you could come too. We had so much fun and there are lots of fun things and parks there. I want to show you right here, right now. We might come home earlier. I hope you love the poem and mostly ME.
I hope that she would have the same relationship with her dad as I have with my dad.

Monday, June 15, 2009


We had a quiet birthday party yesterday for the two monkeys. One turned 5 and the other turned 8. I can still remember my childhood when I was 8. I also remember my childhood memories when I was 5 going to the shop in my undies only. Nothing else on and the weather was hot and humid. I was told to put on more clothes if I want to go to the shop when I turned 8.

Today, school holiday starts and it will resume in mid August. What do I do with two monkeys for that long? This is the first time that I will be staying at home while they have their school holidays. Who came up with this idea of a 2 months school holidays? I know its a beautiful summer in Canada but what do I do in this humid, hot 40 degree C country?

I (not "we" , yes have ditched democracy), have decided that these are what we will be doing (with some consultation, of course for Chairman's approval):
15th June - 28th June: Malaysia between Pagoh, Melaka and Kuala Lumpur
29th June - 8th July: Singapore and entertain a friend who is coming from Japan and attend our 1st Chinese wedding at the Raffles
9th July - 13th July: Kuching, Rainforest Music Festival and a friend 40th birthday
14th July - 25th July: Perth, Australia
26th July - 30th July: Kuala Lumpur
1st Aug - 8th Aug: Mantaray Bungalow, Kuala Terengganu
9th Aug - 16th Aug: Singapore museums and Bintan

Can anyone (including moi) complaint that they are bored to death? Unfortunately, P can only join in some of the activities as someone has to make the money for someone to spend. We are doing it only to boost the global economy. The world needs us.

The photo is an image of a "supernova".
A supernova (pl. supernovae) is a stellar explosion. Supernovae are extremely luminous and cause a burst of radiation that often briefly outshines an entire galaxy, before fading from view over several weeks or months. During this short interval, a supernova can radiate as much energy as the Sun could emit over its life span.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


One day James said “ I’m bored, I want to go somewhere exciting, somewhere off this planet. I want to go to the moon. Centipede, can you go with me to the moon? ” “Sure kid, except I don’t know how to ride a rocket ship and I don’t even have one ” said Centipede.

“Don’t worry, we can get a ticket to ride on a rocket ship at the space shop ” said James. “But how are we going to get to the space shop?” said Centipede. “By cab” said James and Centipede cried “Oohhh”.


”Hooray, we are at the space station” cried James. Centipede asked Mr. Moon “Can we get a rocket ship to the moon?” “Sure, just take number 11” said Mr. Moon. “Come on, Centipede and bye Mr. Moon” said James. “Bye James and have a nice time” said Mr. Moon. “Sure thing” said James and they blasted off to space.


Soon they got hungry and they ate a sandwich and a soda. James didn’t drink the soda. He put it on his jetpack controls. Soon they got sleepy. They lied down and started snoring. Just then the soda fell. “Oh no, the soda fell on the controls, we are going to crash on that planet. According to the guidebook, it says that we are on Pokeplanet” said James.

They crashed. James and Centipede walked on and on until they reached a jungle. They saw this creature. It was like goo. It said, “ Hi, my name is Ditto. I am a pokemon and I can turn into anything you want. I want to go for an adventure with you guys”. “Sure, you can come with us” said James. “Hooray, I finally have an owner” said Ditto.

Suddenly an Indian popped out of nowhere. “Please help us, Treecko’s leafball is lost. The legend says once Treecko has lost his leafball, he will destroy everything in its path. So, please help” said the Indian. “Don’t worry, will help you, right James?” said Centipede. “OK” said James.

So off the four of them went searching for the Treecko’s leafball. They saw this pyramid, the shape of Treecko” “Look, let us search in here” said Ditto. When they went in, they past boulders, pit traps. Ditto had to battled with all kinds of weird creatures that James has never seen on earth.

“Look, that must be the leafball. Let’s get it” said Centipede. But then a Machamp popped out and said “I’m using Treecko to destroy the whole planet”. Ditto turned into an electric type Pokemon. Ditto nearly lost all his health but the final hit killed the Machamp. James returned the leafball to Treecko. That planet lived happily.

The End.

Original work of my 8-in-3-weeks SGT. Charaters are from James and the Giant Peach and the Pokemon world. She has always been a good storyteller since she knew how to write. She has been awarded "The Greatest Storyteller and Story Animator" for Grade 2 at school yesterday. This is one of her many stories that she has written. I love the suspense!!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

I am more than I appear to be, all the world's strength and power rests in me

We walked for nearly 9 km last Sunday. I can't believe that those little pair of legs could withstand the distance. I can't believe that we were in Singapore either. We were lost in time and distance. It was longer and further than we intended but alas, it was a very good walk and glad that we did it. 

It was a good quiet time for reflection for me. Just what I needed after a busy week. What are my priorities? What do I want in life? What do I consider a fulfilling life? How do I get there? Does it matter if it hurts people I love in order to get there? 

Life is a journey. God never intends to let you go on the journey alone. He sent angels to be with you. Is it possible that too many angels only make you confused? God give me strength to complete this lifes' journey.

Monday, May 18, 2009

Surge of Love

It comes unexpectedly and rarely. It is hard to express the feeling in words but my chest gets all warm and fuzzy. My toes get all tingly. It lasts only for a few fleeting seconds. But it brings immense joy, contentment and peace that could last for hours. Almost spiritual. It happens when I look at someone I deeply love. Then it comes. The surge of love. I wouldn't swap that feeling for anything.

Thursday, May 14, 2009

Enlightened Living

She is neither a Mother Theresa nor is she Lady Diana nor is she Angelina Jolie. She is like you and me. She is Geraldine Cox. I heard her speak. I read her words. I felt her emotions. I am truly inspired by her generous spirit. Maybe one day in future. For now, I will help her. On with my quest for inner peace and enlightened living. 

You can visit her website at and her orphanage in Cambodia at

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Sand, Sea, Surf and Snorkel

We snorkeled at Redang Island Marine Park for nearly 2 hours. It was the first time for the kids but they were really good. I was particularly impressed with J who only learnt to swim 2 months ago. He was very confident swimming with his mask and snorkel without a life jacket. S was definitely in her element, diving and touching the corals. They absolutely loved it. I love watching them loving it.

They surfed at the beach every single day. The waves were fantastic, big enough but gentle. They caught lots of waves. We had some great shots of J on his bodyboard. S was just happy body surfing. They are naturally water babies. Definitely, not from my side of the family.

I felt contented to watch the kids enjoying outdoors, my husband out-of-work mode, myself catching up with G for the time we lost. I also had the best Nasi Goreng ever, its called "Nasi Goreng Merang". I would recommend that to anyone who visit Merang, Terengganu.

We had so much fun. We came back feeling so refreshed, rejuvenated and relaxed. We will do that again before the monsoon comes. Definitely.

Thursday, April 30, 2009

Off to the East Coast

We are heading off to the beach house in Terengganu. Hopefully the weather will be good for us to hop on to Redang Island. We have not been back to the house for a long time and all of us are so excited. We will have G&T and little cutie D with us. We definitely will have lots of fun.
Time to pack up all the gear. This time, it will be different as we are not flying from Australia. We will be driving from Singapore. I am sure there will be plenty of things to bring with us and the car boot will be filled to the brim. It will be a 9 hour drive north. With some stop-over for the kids and adults, it will be a good opportunity to see the east coast of Malaysia. I have dreamed for so long to do Cuti-Cuti Malaysia and now we are close to home, it is all possible.
Here we go "Cuti-Cuti Malaysia".

Monday, April 27, 2009

A Love Letter From My Daughter

Dear Mummy and Daddy-who-always-at-work,

Why is there so many work for me to do? Why is the weekend so short. Why are we always busy doing things? There is not much time left for me to do what I want to do. There are so many jobs. Going to school, sticker chart, piano lesson, making my bed, cleaning up my room, eat my dinner, eat my vegetables and swimming with my brother.

You always ask us to get ready quickly when we are going out but you are always the last one to get ready. I am tired. I don't want to do anything. All I want to do is arts and crafts, play with my DS and watch TV and stay at home.

At school, is it is hard for me. The girls are bossy. They scream in my ears. There are too many people wanting to talk to me, all at the same time. I miss my friends in Australia. I have lots of friends there. I only want to play with my imaginary friend. His name is Freeze. He came from the clouds with other puffles. He makes me happy.
My brother is annoying too. He always get all the attention. He always get what he wanted. I don't like playing with him. He always want to play by his rules. He makes this cute faces when he wants something. His face is ugly when he is naughty with me.

I love you Mummy and Daddy-who-always-at-work.
She is turning eight. I am enjoying this age immensely. I know this too shall pass before my eyes quicker than I wanted. I am giving her what she wanted. More time to herself. To do nothing. Without her brother. I truly can understand that.
Painting by Julia Trops - "The Letter"

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Kalau Masih Ada Cinta

As I was reaching for "Brida", I saw a card that was left for me on my bedside table. The card says;

He never intended for us to walk alone through life, that is why he created friends. He places people in our path to walk with us. Together, we've tried our wings, we've soared high, crashed, celebrated and cried. We've dried each other's tears and picked up the pieces of broken dreams. Together, we've made things better than they were before. Its not even so much the help we've given each other; its the absolute confidence that we're always there - wanting, willing and ready to help. Above all, friendship is a gift of oneself to another.
At the end of page, a beautiful word is written: "You are never THERE for me. You are always HERE in my heart"

I lied when I said "we have said many goodbyes and this is no different from the one before". The truth is this goodbye is the hardest. I need you to be with me NOW and I am sure YOU need ME the most NOW too.

Let us be brave and always remember "kalau masih ada cinta", everything is possible. Yes, I admit that I am a "jiwang keparat".

Kalau masih ada cinta (bahasa melayu), when translated translated to english it means if love still remains. Somehow, "cinta" sounds so beautiful and pure.

Painting is "The Calmady Children" by Sir Thomas Lawrencce 1823 and he described the painting as "my best picture . . . one of the few I should wish hereafter to be known by."

Friday, April 10, 2009


I was reminded of one of those days when I had to juggle with a fulfilling career, two beautiful and smart kids, a husband who always reminded me that no matter how hard I work he will make more money than me, two houses, friends and lovers (?). Yes, the good old days when I think I had it all and more - in control.

That day was not a typical day. I supposed to have a meeting with the client in the city (patience of a Dalai Lama is required at all times), followed by finance review meeting (need to be a Greenspan and have all the answers) and followed by appointments to meet colleagues who needed some of my time (ears and heart to listen). I also had to run to the bank to open a bank account for the social club as I had a generous amount of their cash in my handbag. On top of that, I was having a bad stomach cramp and bleeding profusely that I could die (monthly period but my 4 year-old said this when he had a mosquito bite).

6.00am - 7.30am
It was a usual chaotic morning, with preparing the kids for breakfast and then we head off to Carrington Daycare. A bit of a background - Daycare will then send them off to school in a van at 8.30am as school only starts at 8.50am. Then, they will pick them up after school at 3.30pm and they would stay at daycare until I/husband pick them up at 6.00pm. Yes, it was a long day at daycare and yes I pleaded guilty of mental torture.

1st meeting with client
I was feeling uncomfortable. Something wasn't right. I felt so wet down there. No I was not thinking of any sexual thoughts at all. All the men in the meeting has mostly gone through their mid-life crisis. Shit! I forgot to wear my sanitary pad. Excused myself, went to see some female staff for emergency stash. Choose wisely grasshopper! Pick the right women. Got it, dashed back to toilet. Always filled your wardrobe with black and grey, unfortunate moment like this helped.

Finance review meeting
Greenspan I am not. Buffet I am not. Honesty was all I had. Truth hurts. So far so good until my phone beeped and was a call from school. I had always picked up the calls irrespective of what I was doing, no matter how important. I was a supermom after all. A call from school could be a life and death matter.

School staff: Mrs.X, we had a serious issue today with S. She came to the office crying. She said she forgot to wear her undies and the kids were laughing at her when she was on the monkey bar.
Me: What do you suggest I should do? (can't say my meeting is really important that missing knickers). Do you have spare knickers at school (or in somebodys' pocket)? Appreciate if you could do something until 3pm when Z (Daycare staff) pick her up from school.

This is a typical S (7 year-old) who is oblivious to the requirements of being a female. I am not setting a high standard here but she could go to school without brushing her hair, have different coloured socks and forget to bring her school bag to school. She floats around in the world of Pokemon. Who does she takes after? Of course not from my side of the family!

That was about 6 months ago. Now I have became a full time mum. I no longer have a demanding full-time, paid job. I have not been reading Economist and Financial Times, have not been watching Bloomberg and Business News. I am reading You Don't Need to Smack and is watching Discovery - Lifestyle and Entertainment. A demanding full-time, unpaid job - AT HOME.

Now, I am only a:
  • CFO - debt-equity management, working capital management, share portfolios, property investments
  • Taxi driver
  • Teacher - Math tuition, Phonics, Arts, Cooking class
  • Chefs - array of Western and Asian and sometimes no origin - "third culture" dish which my mom would say "pemalas" (lazy in Bahasa Melayu)
  • Psychiatrist - evenings and weekends in a geriatric ward for a 43 year old male
  • Social worker - ensure that friends and families stay connected and in good welfare
  • Mum - attend all Parent-Teacher meetings, reading assistant, friends stay over after school, birthday parties, undies well supplied, labels on uniforms, bags, pencils and everything they take to school, stack of medicines (homeopathy grandma!
  • Wife - looks good size 6, keep fit, smile and laughter fill up the house, spending within budget and will make sure keep hair long next time when in Greenland

Superwoman, I am not. Supermom I am not but I am SUPERME! (supreme). I am excused to be a Taitai, once in a while.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

A Day in the Life of a Tàitai

Yesterday as I woke up in the morning, I was surrounded by positive energies. The birds were singing. The kids were happy despite it being Monday and another round of school week. "Oh what a beautiful morning, oh what a beautiful day, I have a wonderful feeling that everything is going my way".

There were many chores to do around the house after the weekend. Two bucket loads of washing, a basket of clothes for ironing, the floor was sticky and needs mopping, the window needs cleaning. Did my priority list and started with cleaning the toilet and floor.One toilet down, two to go.
Suddenly, the universe interrupted my thoughts and concentration. "You are taking a break from full time, paid work to do this filthy, boring full time unpaid house work. Get out of here and do something for yourself" (somehow in the voice of my mother-in-law). My brain was doing the priority list again. First, hairdresser, lunch, massage and by then in time to pick up the kids.

Me: It's very hot and I want to cut my hair short.
Hairdresser: Yes, would look young mah..You can have concave bob, octave bob or straight bob.
Me: Whatever..all i want is short, easy to style and with body
Hairdresser: Ok, would look good if you put highlights on your hair.
Me: much is that?
Hairdresser: Cheap one..only XX more. But money no problem mah..important to look good what?
Me: Alright......lets do it
Hairdresser: You can do hair treatment too. Will make hair shiny one...
Me: Thank you but I don't think I could sit on this chair longer than two hours. I have never sat like this long ever in my life.

Reality hits when I got home when my 7 year old daughter said " cut your hair. Don't you think that after you have a new haircut you feel like you have a different personality. You look boyish". My husband came home and said "I always like your hair long. It looks good anyway". Always the diplomat.

TODAY, I woke up feeling all positive. A good sign that I am in harmony with the universe. I need to finish off what I have started yesterday. Priority list top down:- (1) washing (2) ironing (3) piano lesson at 10am (4) book for massage. Delete (1) and (2).
Me: I have no knowledge of any music theory whatsoever and I have never played any musical instruments
Teacher: Don't worry, I also have old student like you. He is 65 years old.
Me: Do I look that old?
Teacher: No look young mah...(thank God for the haircut)

I really had a good time and am practising the fingers - CDEFG right and left hand on my way back when suddenly I saw a shop in front of me - " JAVANESE TRADITIONAL MASSAGE". This is karma.

Me: I think I want to go for tummy herbal treatment today
Masseuse: We have a package which you will pay cheaper if you take the 10 sessions package.
Me: No thanks (after piano lesson and haircut yesterday I should go easy on the wallet (my husband's)
Masseuse: You can take your clothes off now and let me take your weight and measurement. (a few seconds after measurement) You have problem everywhere mah not just on your tummy, but thighs, hands. You need full body treatment lah...

2 hours later I came out with a lifetime membership card, 10 sessions of full body treatment and unlimited usage of spa bath and jacuzzi and a REVITALISED body.

Lesson #1: Stay away from salesman/woman. They always have something special just for you.
Lesson #2: Singaporeans are very friendly and amazingly honest. Truth hurts.
Lesson #3: Don't ask your husband's opinion about your haircut. He would prefer you don't have a haircut at all.
Lesson #4: Stick to your original plan. LIVE LIFE. (the original plan when we were born)
Lesson #5: Be brave when your the credit card bill arrives definition of TAI TAI (noun) 1. A term used in Chinese circles for supreme wife (implying situation where a man is wealthy enough to have several "wives') but no longer strictly interpreted. Term now applies to citizens of the world with an Asian viewpoint who have bounds of time and money. A Tai Tai is a privileged lady of means. 2. Supreme of the Supreme is its literal translation. The term implies respect. >> moreTo qualify as a Tai Tai, one has to have lots of leisure time, lots of money to spend and lots of gossip to exchange. A Tai Tai would win if Shopping were an Olympic event.

Saturday, April 4, 2009

Raising Nomads

I am becoming a better mum/plain mum/reborn mum. I am going to pat myself on the back. After Ignatia, a few good parenting books and one seminar, I was all inspired. So far, I think I am not doing too bad.

There was one line that I really like which was being used by the speaker in that parenting talk is we as parents should help our kids "unloading the bricks in the wheelbarrow". What a metaphor, simple but yet so descriptive. It is about (the talk not the wheelbarrow) how child's physical movements relate to their behaviour - detection and improvements. Also like how she ended the talk with - "don't expect your child to be perfect". How true. (I have accepted that my children are not gifted when they found talking about poos, bums and boobies are much more interesting than space-shuttles and genetic engineering).

The book which I have just finished reading - "Totto-chan - The Little Girl at the Window" has also inspired me. Its about Kobayashi's method of early childhood education in Japan before WWII. Imagine a school where there is no fixed timetable and you can choose which subject you want to do first thing in the morning and what you want to finish the day off with. Kobayashi (the principal) would sit with the kids at lunch and talk about their food. Very, very nurturing for the soul and awaken the interest in learning. Thank you Tetsuko Kuroyanagi for sharing that with us.

Well, I was feeling all positive after that and started a new regime at home. I have created a timetable for the time between after-school and before bedtime adopting those two ideas. So far, it has worked very well. Most importantly, we are all happy chappy especially me, moi, the grand dame.

Who says children are cute? What did I do in my previous life to deserve this? Such hard work, patience and perseverance of a Dalai Lama and Mahatma Gandhi put together. What did he say - patience is a virtue?

I shall strive for the restoration of peace and human rights of the people that live under my roof.

Monday, March 30, 2009

I have nothing to offer but blood, toil, tears and sweat and more.....

I have never had a more challenging job than this. Being a full time housewife and mom is hard. I am physically, mentally, horizontally and vertically challenged. I take my hat off to all mom who has been doing this all their lives. This includes my mother who has seven children. No wonder she was weird when I was young. Now I understand.

I have only two children but some days I feel like I have a battalion. How do you get them to listen to you without repeating the same sentence 10 times in a span of 5 minutes? Yes, it is only a simple instructions like "let's go", "switch it off", "shoes on please". Give me $100m project anytime, I will make sure that its profitable. I will make it work. Kids, how do I deal with them? And why am I still complaining that I need "challenge"? For god sake, I have ample. All I need to do is to LIVE it and EAT it.
BUT there is nothing more satisfying than seeing them on the bike, pedalling on 2 wheels, soaking wet in the tropical rain, laughing. There is nothing more satisfying than when they say "Thank you mummy, I really had a great day today".

Love is such a simple word but even the most eloquent writer is not able to describe it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Soul Mates

When one mentioned "soul mate", many associates it with a lover/partner/husband/wife. That's what I thought too. I have changed my perspective sometime ago.

I have defined soul mate (s) as someone:-
  • who love each other unconditionally
  • when one is being erratic/emotional/mad/silly/stupid, the other will only listen and won't argue at the time. He/she will come to you when you are calm and give you a hug and a kiss and say that its alright to "feel"
  • listens to each others' worries even how small they may seem
  • always there for each other in happiness and in sorrows
  • is never judgemental of each other and accepts one another for what you are
  • laugh and cry together and at each other
  • point out to each other weaknesses without feeling intimidated
  • talk about anything under the sun and each can have a different point of view without enforcing the other to accept his
  • complement each others' inadequacy
  • when in solace, their faces fill up your eyes, their hearts warm up yours

I am honoured to have not met one but many soul mates and consists of both sexes. They are my pillars of strength. My lifeline. The people I would like to have at my dinner table every night. If only we could all live in one house and sleep together in one bed. If only they are each others soul mates, then maybe that could happen?

Excerpt from Elizabeth Gilbert - "Eat Pray Love" about Soul Mate

"People think a soul mate is your perfect fit but a true soul mate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that's holding you back, the person who brings you to your attention so you can change your life. A true soul mate is probably the most important person you'll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soul mate forever? Nah. Too painful. Soul mates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you and then they leave AND thank God for it".

I agree with some of her words but not all. I believe you can live with your soul mate forever and your soul mate will never leave you.

Restless Heart

A childish rebellion
Surely, but slowly in a shallow form
Seeking an expression
And direction, like a rushing stream

The bubbling restless force
At times formed by circumstances
A stream by its banks
Refusing to be contained by them

The spirit of a wild horse
Not knowing its boundaries or distances
Never to be held by any hand
Unwilling to stop at any realm
Restless forms ducking under obstacles
Splashing and passing over them
Testing life very oracles
Moving and changing forms

To some a sense of rhythm
An imagination of the restless
Burn the candle at both ends
Whilst it burns, you want it to last, no less

Keep still oh fluttering heart
Surely after a storm there is a lull
For the calmness is in your heart
It is never, never too hard

Regu gave me this poem in January 1997. I lost his business card and can't remember his long family name. He is someone I met during a International Fast Ferry exhibition more than 10 years ago. He gave me many words of wisdom when he sensed that I was somewhat "lost". He guided me without him knowing. I know he lives in Penang with his family. Our last contact was in Perth in 1998 and he was not well. I wish I could see him again.
Painting by Elizabeth Clausen

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Inconsolable Grief

Grieving for the faces I cannot remember, the smiles that I cannot see, the hands I cannot hold, the laughter I cannot hear. Time to let go and move on but why is it so difficult?

Grieving for my firstborn who insisted that she doesn't need me to send her to school. Her first time to school by herself. She went on her scooter. I was behind her all the time trying to keep up but she was too fast and she didn't even look back. Where does the time go?

Grieving for my youngest who is down with mononucleosis. Rashes all over his body and is feeling itchy, sore throat and lethargic. He has not been sick since as long as I can remember. Maybe its the way his body is telling me that he is affected by this move. If only I could transfer the pain to me.

Grieving for the sadness that I am feeling but can't make myself to cry.
Painting by Ivan Kramskoi - a Russian painter

Thursday, March 12, 2009

We are moving into a new home

Our belongings have been delivered to our house in Singapore today and we will be moving in tomorrow.

The kids are happy to have their toys, books and bed back. I am happy just to have my bed back. Having familiar things around make it feel like home.

Albeit being small which we need to adjust to, the house has a homely feeling about it and I love it at first sight.

The kids will be in separate bedrooms for the first time and I wonder how this arrangement will work. Let's see.

Every house has a story and I am excited to experience what this house will bring us.

Thursday, March 5, 2009


I am looking for an answer as to why I am so restless.

I was restless when I was in Perth. I was eager to move to new land and experience new adventures. Now I am in the new land, I am eager to feel settled. For what? Back to routine. Now I understand why people I love said I am difficult.
Someone I love said that I have no sense of time. The same person has also said that I have ADHD. I am trying to connect these two together to understand myself. Am I trying to do too many things in such a short time or am I trying to not to think about time so I could achieved what I wanted irrespective of how long it took.
Someone has given me a poem 15 years ago titled "Restless Heart". Its somewhere in the Indian Ocean now. Once I found it in the next two weeks, I will post it in this blog. I thank that friend for being there for me at the time. I wish I could meet him again and have another deep and meaningful conversation to help me get my compass right again.

Thursday, February 26, 2009

A Piece of Mind about Malaysian Politics

Being in Singapore allows me to have a closer look at Malaysian politics. I have always been interested in politic as I grew up among politicians. I remember that my house was once:
(a) a place for members to register their names to join the party
(b) a meeting place for the party and discuss strategies to win the
next local election
(c) storeroom for the flags, posters, bags, umbrellas with logo
I was once a strong supporter of this political party and still am a supporter to this day but that faith and trust is fading quicker than Singapore's MRT.
I have lived overseas for over 10 years now and that's when I started comparing the politics of the countries I have lived in with Malaysia's - my country. Then I worked with a Malaysian company with a a subsidiary overseas. A company that has been awarded with multi billion ringgit of a major government contract. (it turned sour, of course and government had to inject a few millions to save it). That was when I experienced first hand how government contract was actually awarded. I was reminded by the CEOs that "technical-know-who" is more important than "technical-know-how". It was embarrassing to face my foreign colleagues and having to explain that's how they do business in Malaysia. I thought that was maybe a one-off case. As time passed by and I grew older, I saw more cases like that happening in Malaysia and some of them are my friends who took advantage of the system.
When all government in civilised countries are discussing about what they need to do to face the global economic recession, how to protect employment, what they need to do to the local banking industry - I was amazed at what the big hype in Malaysia? The distribution of naked photo of a politician. Is this necessary, what is our priority?.
It seems that only the highly educated knows what is going on with the Malaysian economy, government policies etc. The public only gets stories that they would like to hear. A senior minister commented on TV that Malaysia will only be "slightly" affected by the global recession. Is that the truth? The government will spent about $8b, but does public/taxpayers know what will they be spending on? Isn't the public ready to hear the truth?
Australian government made this publicly available and public will know how these plans will affect them. They are heavily criticised for bad spending too. Singaporean government is much faster than Australia (being PAP the only power party) has announced their plan, has launched several programmes for the public particularly retraining schemes to ensure that public gets ready when it hits them bad. Malaysians will loose out - but only the public at large, not the politicians. They know what they are protecting.
The current chaos is probably needed to shake off all of the useless people that has been governing the country for a long time. Maybe we need to make a sacrifice now for the future generations.
Learn, learn, learn from everyone around you.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009


We have found a house in Bukit Timah. The challenge is now to make that house a home. We will move in next week when our furniture arrives here. House is walking distance to both Sophia's and Johan's schools which is good. They will start school next week. Sophia is excited but Johan is the complete opposite. That would be my challenge. Kids teach you patience. I am adjusting to being at home. I was an absentee mother for the last two years. I am trying my very best to make up for the lost time. Tell you what - children are very forgiving.

I feel liberated not having to think (responsible/obligated) of work but at the same time I feel like I am loosing myself. I feel like I am loosing my identity as "Zana". This will be worse when the kids start school as I will be known as Sophia's mum and Johan's mum.

Nearly eight years now and I am still adjusting to motherhood.

Monday, February 23, 2009

New phase, new place

New chapter but memories remain. How could I forget the beautiful faces, places and most treasured friendships. Goodbye Perth and welcome Singapore.