Sunday, July 27, 2014

EID WISHES....



To All My Muslim relatives, friends and readers 
You are awarded a bouquet of good deeds,

a vase of blessing,
a parachute of glad greetings
for completing the Holy Ramadan.
Selamat Hari Raya

Of all the days to celebrate

this out shines the rest,
Here is hoping that
this EID is happiest and best

It's more than just an Eid wish,

more than a message too.
For it comes with warm and loving thoughts
because it’s meant for you.

Selamat Hari Raya, Mohon Maaf Zahir Dan Batin..
Stay safe during this holidays folks.
Cheers and God bless.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

FAREWELL MY DEAR FRIEND..


Woke up this morning to receive a text message from my ex-colleague... "Gie, sad news.. Jas passed away this morning."  I was stunned for a moment.. it didn't really hit me at first. I replied.. "Oh dear, I am sorry, thanks for the info." 

 I have heard he was sick, he has been sick on and off for quite a while and had been diagnosed as having that dreaded C.  I also heard that he was advised to go for operation and chemo but he declined preferring to take alternative medicine.  

I have known Jas for a long time, having worked with him for more than 25 years.  Not only a friendly guy, but really helpful and a great joker at that.   I did not only treat him like a friend, but also like a brother.  

I remember those working days with him, whenever he passed by my table, he would always be saying something funny, ridiculous funny that would leave all of us in stitches.  
Helpful and dependable, he would willingly do anything that I request even to the point of collecting or delivering my personal errands.  

 An affable guy, he can be quite 'fierce'  if pushed to the corner.  This I know,  he has done with other colleagues, but never to me.  There were times when he was a little hard up, (don't we all),  he would quietly come to me and I have no qualms about lending him some and telling him not to hurry in paying back  'cos I trust and know that he would always pay me back in his time.  After. I left the Bank, he kept in touch and  I was one of the few whom he invited to his daughter's wedding.   My regret - that I was not able to visit him while he was sick.   I never imagined he would go so soon and thought that he would get well eventually.  My deepest sympathy to his family and may they be strong during this difficult times.






Farewell from this earthly life my dear friend. You are now in a place where there is pain no more.  I am going to miss you, we all are .. so many happy memories, your jokes,  the laughter we shared, the assistance rendered to me. I am deeply indebted to you.  Thank you for being such a good friend, thank you for touching my life with your kindness.   God bless and may your soul be placed among those yang beriman.  Semoga kamu damai di sana Jas. 




Taken during Jas' daughter's wedding a year ago. 
His wife on my left and on his left,  an ex-colleague.




Wednesday, July 9, 2014

"MY WIFE, MY FRIEND..."




I heard this song at a wedding the other day...a Kadazan song which I have not heard for quite a while but now simply refused to leave my brain. I would suddenly find myself humming this song while cooking or washing or while taking a shower even driving. Gosh, please leave me already hahaha...ok let me exorcise it by sharing with you all.

This is a very popular song especially during Kadazan weddings 'cos of the meaning which is relevant. Whenever I hear this song, I think of all the happily married couples, so many challenges as in any marriages yet they thrive.

The cynic in me sometimes think that most stay married because they have to, because of the vows they made before God, because of the children or pride or just a sense of responsibility or finance, status even and so would just endure it and live with each other and do things for each other simply due to the need of fulfilling moral obligations even after the feeling of love had worn out a long time ago for some reasons or other. 

I remember the words my friend Agnes always say whenever attending a wedding, hear someone getting married or see a wedding procession.  She will say “for how long?”. First time I heard her saying, I glared at her.. hahaha.. but I know where she’s getting at.. Don't get me wrong. I believe in marriage and what it stands for.  







But then, there are people who stay married because they really want to and are still so in love even after so many years and could not imagine being with anybody else.  This must be what people call a match made in heaven.


I have a friend who has been married for almost 20 years now and she swore that she has not felt any different from when they just got married.  And I asked her what’s their secret and I expected her to say ‘love’, but she said simply,” mutual respect for one another and with lots of sense of humour!”  Mutual respect, she said encompass almost all things needed in a good relationship and so if you have respect for one another, everything else will follow. ‘Well it works for them and who am I to disagree. And a sense of humour? Ability to laugh and see the funny or even the positive side of situations even how grave it may be. Hmm...something to think about.

Ok,  this song is dedicated to such couples. May their love be forever and may their marriage be filled with sunshine and laughter and just enough challenges to make it exciting!!



Tuesday, July 1, 2014

TRAVELLING AGAIN?




taken at the airport during my recent trip to Vietnam

Hi All,
am baack...miss ya'all.  See I just couldn't resist it and so I just had to come back..teehee.  Now am a little free after all the 'hoo haa' in the preparations for the State Level  Harvest Festival Celebration and after tying up loose ends following that, am now not as occupied with deadlines and meetings and what nots..save for the Appreciation Dinner for our sponsors and supporters this coming Saturday.   Oh gosh, I am forgetting, we have yet to follow up on non-payments on our charity dinner tables from a couple of buyers and then there's that still outstanding from advertisers on the Charity Dinner handbook failing which, we could face a bit of problem in closing our accounts.  

Me travelling again? Nahhh.. not for the time being..  A couple of friends are enticing me a cheap direct flight from KK to Perth.  With  a luggage, the return fare is RM1,100.00.   Still thinking about it though I feel the duration there is too long from 14th to 21st September.. so maybe not. Even if the fare is reasonable, but to be there for that period could eat up them pockets even if we say,  stay at budget self-contained lodgings meaning we do our own cooking and stuff, we would still have to think about the fares for coaches, trains or even taxis, food and other miscellaneous.  My buddies are even talking about taking a coach and travel way down to Sydney, a rather attractive alternative, and I am even thinking that perhaps I could even bunk-in with my sis there.

Talking about self-contained lodging brings me down memory lane to my trip with these friends to New Zealand in 2012.  Planning our trip and hunting for cheap lodgings through the Net brought thrill, looking at all the lovely pictures and locations and of course the price, plus the freedom to pick and choose and the joy in arriving the place and seeing it for real is incomparable.   Ok, while some places brought us absolute delight, some experiences were rather daunting but I wouldn't trade the adventure it gave us for anything! 

There was this incident - we had rented a car and drove from Christchurch to Lake Tekapo where we planned to stay the night before proceeding to Queenstown with a stopover at Mt Cook.  Isn't GPS a genius invention?



 Christchurch


Our ride.  I was not the driver...:)


It was in dead of autumn and was brrrr freezing cold and windy, but the sceneries along the way were a sight to behold, simply exhilarating!  

We arrived Lake Tekapo, a popular tourist destination, a beautiful place by the Lake surrounded by snowy mountains (reminded me of Sounds of Music) around 9 pm.  We had not arranged any accommodation  beforehand as we read from brochures that there were several budget lodgings there. Upon arriving and inquiring several inns, we found one that was reasonable but charged guests per head. As we were on a budget, we reckoned that by cheating a little, we could save some dough...hahaha.. ok a cheat is a cheat no matter how small.  But back to my story, we gathered our wits and my 2 friends went to the counter and asked for a place for 2 while I and another friend crouched inside the car.   They managed to get a place and paid for two and we quietly checked-in. The lodge was a little way away from the reception area and also it was dark and so it was safe from anybody's sight.
  

 stop over at salmon farm..



we bought frozen ones too,  for our dinner..


 sceneries to die for




Lots of stop over, toilet breaks..




 the lodging, ours in the middle..

The room was big,  complete with a double bed and a double decker, a kitchen and dining table. It was gorgeous and to top it, it was fully furnished with complete kitchen utensils. Perfect! My buddy Teri squealed in delight when she saw a nice toaster. We were famished and so we thought before we had that dinner proper, we could have some toasted bread first. She plonked in the bread into the toaster and we went about unpacking and assessing what food to cook that night.  Then suddenly, we smelt smoke.. someone shouted "The house is on fire"!!      Then we realised, . it was the darned toaster.. it wouldn't pop the bread out automatically!  The bread was badly burnt and we again jumped up in shock when the fire alarm went off!  It was ringing so loud, I felt the that it echoed right through the mountains and the whole of Lake Tekapo!




 Most of the time we prepare or cook our own meals.  
Vegetables and meats are fresh and cheap.


that's us having our breakfast  


Mussels anyone? Can be found at any supermarket and quite cheap too..


meat is fresh and cheap.  More sheep than humans in New Zealand.


look at the view from our cabin..


 woke up early to catch the sunrise... it was frrreezing..

  

 wild flowers


taken from a moving car. That's Canterbury Plain.. 
on the way to Mt Cook. 
           
                         

... fire alarm went off!  It was ringing so loud, I felt the that it echoed right through the mountains and the whole of Lake Tekapo!






We nervously switched off everything and opened the windows to let the darned smoke out.. the whole house was filled with smoke. Then horrors, we suddenly remembered.. the people from the reception could come and check us out and if they see that there were more than 2 of us, we are dead for sure... hahaha.. That would be beyond embarrassment.  And so 2 of us ran helter-skelter to the car parked outside in the cold and windy autumn night and hid there for several minutes, cowering inside, giggling and peering through the car windows to see if anybody was coming to check us out...oh the guilt!! My friends managed to silenced the fire alarm and no one appeared..phew!  After several minutes, our friends whispered for us to come up and we had a good laugh that night. We were lucky, we had a narrow escape. God must have seen our plight .. but gave a good scare nonetheless, a good lesson learnt!  It never pays to cheat. To you guys who were manning the lodgings that night, please accept our sincere apologies.




So many more funny anecdotes during our travels and we were even spooked in one of the B & B in Wellington but that's another story. 

And so you wonder why I love travelling so much. I wish my pockets would let me do more...sigh..

Cheers and thanks for reading.




the rare times that we ate out at restaurants...very very expensive. 









NORTH BORNEO SUNSET CRUISES

Throwback pictures with friends, of a charming scenery for an unforgettable evening. The North Borneo Cruise was a 2-hour scenic c...