Monday, August 31, 2009

Dad, Its 10 Sen

What is 10 sen to us? Many people would not be bother to think about it. In the supermarket, in the mall, in the cinema, restaurant or maybe at home, we always thinks that it would be a waste of time to think about 10 sen.

Many would say, what could we get we that small nickel? We are not living in the 60s or 50s where 10 sen can make difference. I remember when I was in primary school that was my school allowance. Yes, I am not kidding. With that money I would buy myself fried noodle. Drink is free as mom always make sure I bring my own.

Dad says, "not everyone can afford that 10 sen. Spend it wisely as I want you to grow wiser."

My friends said, those were the days when there were no KFC or McD. Time has changed and evolved. Maybe, but not necessary true. Not everyone will go to the fast food restaurant even in a big city like KL.

I use public transportation to office and going back to my place. I remember when a journey with a fully air-conditioned bus cost me a mere RM1.20. If I do not mind to take those without air-con it will cost only half of the fare. Again, it was more than 10 years ago. The value of our money has went down badly. A small packet of nasi lemak will cost you more than RM2 which is almost double if I compared with the same item when I first landed here.

Now, the difference between air-conditioned bus and non-air conditioned bus is only 1o sen. That is the fare from my place to the city centre and vice versa. So, I thought many would agree with me if I said that passengers would not mind to pay that extra 10 sen to get a ride on the air-conditioned bus. Even if you got to stand the whole journey it would not be that bad as it is still more comfortable if compared with bus without air-condition. That is what I thought until one day.

Time has just passed 7.30 in the morning and there was a long queue of passengers at the bus station. Then, the huge air-conditioned bus arrived and I thought its going to be very cramp if I go now. At almost the same time another bus arrived, but without air-condition and I could see it was already full. Logically, the earlier bus would be a preference to most people. But, that was not the case. The number of passengers went to the later bus were so many that I am sure none of them would find a seat. When I went in to the first bus there were still seat available and I just took my seat and still thinking does the 10 sen could make much difference in the year 2009?

Maybe, it does to some people or to some degree. It is very small and could be considered negligible to many if not all of us.

I think it is not that really true to say that 10 sen is nothing if we look again from different point of view.

There are approximately 27 millions inhabitants in this country called human. It was reported in the press that there were at least 11 million in the labour force at the end of 2008. If each and every one of them contribute 10 sen. Yes only 10 sen and not more than that, how much would be the total?

It is the amazing RM1,100,00.00! In short it is RM1.1 million.

Well, dad is always the best financial controller I have ever known. And the 10 sen story proved that.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Smile, No Problem

I was waiting for the train when I saw the old man with broad smile singing happily. Almost everyone on the platform were smiling whenever the old man start singing.

He is one of many whom we called crazy or people with problem. These are the term that we usually use to call them. But I do not know whether we are using the right word to describe them. Are they really crazy? Do they have more problem than us, that we must call them such a name? After boarding into the train I still can see him smiling and maybe singing as I can hear the voice inside the train. But his smile really make me think deep. It look so sincere.

The world will be almost perfect if only everyone on this earth can smile like him. Was it very difficult to smile at someone whom we know? So who is the one with problem now? I doubt anyone would admit that he or she find it is very difficult to smile. Rather it is the heart which is not able to move the lip to smile. The intention is somehow there but the heart is the real boulder. I saw it in my office where people try to avoid eye to eye contact. Because to them that would be an excuse not to smile or at least to say simple hi.

It may me a small issue to many people when asked why is it so difficult to smile. But for me it is one of the basic thing in life which many have ignored...whether intentionally or unitentionally.

If only each and everyone in this world forget not to smile, there will be no problem, there will be no crazy people.

Everyone will be singing in their heart joyously and smile sincerely.

Mom said, it is not difficult to smile but it it not easy to smile with your heart smiling. Maybe she is right. People in the city do not have a smiling heart but a heart full of jealousy.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

She Loves Me... A Lot

People says that the youngest in any family will always be the one who will get most attention and cares. The mother especially will be more concern with their daily stuff. Whether their breakfast, lunch, dinner or to some extend their love life. We all know that when we want to talk something very personal mom is the better person to talk compare with our dad. But that is not always the case.

Last weekend was very busy and fully occupied. We were out for some serious shopping, not for a few hours but until the sun is gone. Meal, shopping, meal, rest, shopping and the list goes on with the word shopping continue to dominate the agenda of the day. After a short break in the house for a refreshing shower we were out again for dinner. It was a long and fine dinner. And for the first time after these years I was unable to finish my dinner. Not because the food is bad, but my stomach was totally full! No space for even a slice of watermelon. Maybe it has shrunk as a result of my two meal a day diet. Maybe..

The next day I received SMS from big brother - "why no call last night, mom was so worried".

Well, at that moment I didnt really think that it is necessary for me to call mom immediately. After all that was not the first time I didnt call her on Saturday night. Actually, that is one and only thing which I must do on every Saturday - call mom and dad either in the evening during their tea time or at 10 pm. Its a must. If I dont do then mom will feel very uncomfortable. True enough when I called her at night on Sunday she told me that she thought that I was sick and unable to call her. Mom...even if I sick I will still call you, but yesterday was very busy. Went home so late and I dont want to disturb you. And mom was more than satisfied with that. I am sorry mom.

Thinking of her always make me feel like the youngest in family, though I am the middle. But mom loves really make me feel that she never treated her children differently. All of us she treated equally, just like dad. Mom always says, "You all are my children, your dad and me are not rich. You must work for anything that you want. Be you are the eldest or the youngest." And that is how we all grew up. And we are very fortunate that mom is always there to listen our voice.

Sometimes, I just could not understand why many people are more concern of finding an old folk home for their parents instead of thinking how to make parents feeling comfortable staying with them. I remember one of my friend told me that it was not their plan to send their parent to the old folk home, but it was the elders choice. They want to be there because they want somebody to talk. They want to be there because the grandchildren making their life like in a 24 hours karaoke. Then I told my friend to find way how to make them feel better.

"Old people very difficult to talk lah. We got fed up already. Never mind lah, since they want to go there we will send them there."

I hope those who are reading this story will remember that mom never give up. Mom never fed-up. Mom never complain. Mom will do thing that she feels would make us smile and sleep soundly. And mom are just like us when its come to place to stay. To them it was, it is and will be - there is no better place like home. Home. Not An Old Folk Home. Because they want to be with us for a simple reason - mom loves us.

Love you mom..

Monday, July 20, 2009

We Are Special

This is going to be my first story with my MacBook. I didnt abandon my Asus actually. In fact I put it at a better place for a good purpose.

Initially, I thought of keeping both as MacOS is a new thing to me. I always feel that Windows is the best and easiest operating system on earth. Then Des told me that MacOS is more simple and user friendly. And it is a SPECIAL one. And that remind me to Mimi, my friend. She suggested to me to write something about being Special.

So, I browse my old Oxford Advance Learner's Dictionary looking for the definition of "Special". It is defined as with exceptional quality or different from others. I do not know how special is this machine but I know there are certain features which I cannot find in Windows based notebook or pc but I found it here in my Mac. It takes time to see the special value. Maybe I will be able to see it soon.

It is the same with us, human. There is one or maybe more than one in ourselves that make us Special. But we easterners, particularly Malaysians are very humble. Whenever the term Special referred to us, when our friend said," You have a special talent", or "You are special," we will always tell them this," No laa... I am no different from you. Nothing special about me." But deep in our heart we are very proud! So, why not just thanks them for calling us Special? After all we all are special and unique.

I have a female friend with a very low self esteem. She always feel that she is alone and lonely because she doesnt have anything special that may make her attractive. She does not have the feeling of being Special to the people around her. So, I told her that I am very choosy in friendship and only special person can call themselves my friend. She was a bit shocked and started to tell me all the negative things about herself. Then I ask her one simple question, "Dont you know that you are special because I choose you to be my friend? ". Sometimes, we do not know that we are Special until someone tell us that we are special, to him or her.

Many times we forgot that we are here in this world because we are Special. We are the chosen creatures. We are gifted.

But as I said earlier Malaysians are very humble. They love to put themselves as low as possible in the hierarchy of society. Why? Because that is how our parent raised us. That is how we grew up. The elderly will keep reminding us, proud is bad. Proud will bring you down one day. Nobody is special that we should feel proud.

Come on my friend. If we do not have the feeling of being special we are not going anywhere in our life. Not everyone can walk, run, sit, laugh or even cry.

Look at the food in your refrigerator or your wardrobe full of designers good which you cannot remember the last time you wore it because you got too many. Or your racks of shoes. Do you think that each and every one on this earth is as lucky as you are?

We are Special. Those who do not have what we ourselves have are also Special.

They are special because they know that they are special.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Reward yourselves

After getting my MacBook last Saturday I thought I could start using it today after leaving it idle for the whole week. But life is not always as we wanted or expected. The machine refuse to start. So, I decided to send it to the service centre at the Garden Mid Valley thinking that I would be able to use it tonight or maybe the latest is tomorrow. Well...Jacky the technician told me that I have to leave it with him for one week as they need to get the replacement hard disk from Singapore. According to the sheet of paper which he gave me there are bad sector in the hard disk that prevented the machine from functioning.

Okay. That mean I got to use my Asus again during the absence of the Mac. Its not bad actually. I have been using it for the past 4 or five months I think and it was problem free.

The decision to buy the Mac was an impulse decision. I was thinking what should I get myself for my 40th birthday. I want it to be something which can remind me that it is something BIG to be 40. Then Des show me the leaflet from Machines. My eyes stuck on the MacBook Aluminium. The offer is so irresistible with a discount more than 1K with upgrade of 2GB RAM to 4GB RAM.

I always tell myself that one day I will be the proud owner of the MacBook. MacBook is my dream machine. But the price make it affordable only for the chosen one (like Mimi). But now with this price I must make my dream come true. I worked so hard to earn my living. I deserve a reward. As such I must reward myself because I know nobody is going to buy this machine for me. Then in the evening of 4th of July 2009 which is the eve of my 40th birthday I joined the Mac's Club. I am now the proud owner of Apple MacBook Aluminium.

Maybe I have to wait another week to collect the Mac but it does not matter at all because I know I have rewarded myself.

Most of the time we are very concern of rewarding our friends, siblings, parents, colleague or our staff. But sometime we forgot that we must reward ourselves too. I know some of my friend who are willing to spend a lot buying gift or present for others. But very stingy when buying thing for themselves.

Well, each and every one of us has the right to reward or not to reward ourselves. No one can stop us except maybe those with spouse, because I know some are very good in satisfying their spouse but not themselves.

For me, I work I earned I reward and I enjoy... Our life is short and this world is just a transit before leaving to a permanent place.

We are unhappy not because we did not get what we wants, but because we do not want to give ourselves what we want..

Thursday, July 9, 2009

You are not alone, share it

Yesterday the 2Ks commented in my FB that maybe I am going to write about food in Ipoh or maybe the white coffee in Ipoh Old Town. The one which now has become normal sight almost everywhere. Well gals, I am not going to write and talk about food today.

The dialogue session we had in Penang yesterday was very interesting. When we throw questions for their discussion we saw lot of arguments. Or shall I call it act of defend. There was one participant who seems to me always curious with answers from others. I can see it from her eyes. Its like he is saying," Cannot be waaat". But she never speak up.

So, every time I see her curious eyes I will ask her to speak up. To tell the other why she believe that she is right. Or perhaps not totally wrong. In all session that we had my approach is to conduct it in a very relax and not too formal. So, that every one will feel more comfortable to air their suggestion or idea. Of course their grievances as well, sometimes.

If we ask ourself and free our mind to think more open we will notice that most of us are not much different with this lady.

We always complain and share our problem with people who has nothing to do with what is playing in our mind. When we were asked to forward it to the relevant person or party what usually we do? "Never mind la... Small matter la.. or Not nice lah." But after that we will continue to complain.

It happened everywhere in our life, office, restaurant, night market and even at home.

We are not happy or satisfied but we keep it to ourselves. Or most of the time we spoil our friend day with it. What is so difficult to ask? We wont die. Nobody going to chop our head, our limb or our nose. No one. Look at the foreign citizen. They will not stop asking until they are satisfied. People do not know what do we have in our mind.

Our parents and siblings do not know what is bothering us, what is playing in our mind unless we speak up. Do not hide yourself and cry because you feel that they ignored you or you are not more than an addition in your family. Its your decision. Share it or hide it.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Break It Or Built It

Today we left Alor Star early as it was half day dialogue session. I agreed to allot the second half of the day to another group who drove all the way from KL this morning. After a nice lunch of steam rice and ikan keli masak cili api, we left the state capital of Kedah just after 3.30 pm.

The journey to Pearl of the Orient brought us to one place in Butterworth called Taman Selat. Our friends took us to Pen Mutiara Restaurant. The place is a bit out from the main town. According to our friend the place is famous with curried fish head. I ordered Kopi Dangdut.

It looks and taste good. That was my first. And I would like to have it again next time when I come here. The eating did not take much time but the talking.

We left the mainland just after 8.30pm and reach Vistana Apartment around 9 I guess. The apartment is big with I master bedroom, one room with two bed, dedicated ironing room, spacious kitchen, living and of the big screen tv. But I was a bit disappointed cos no internet services. Luckily I have my wireless broadband.

After a warm shower we went out again as one of my team member wanted to buy toothpaste. So, we walk to the nearest convenience store but end up at the Pelita Nasi Kandar Restaurant. I like the teh halia here. Tick and not too sweet. Just nice. Then one of our friend ordered roti tisu. I tot it just a small roti tissue. But when the waiter came to bring the roti, it required 3 plates to place the roti. My goodness that was the longest roti tisu I have ever seen.

When I look at the people around us, I noticed that the customers are from various race; Indian, Chinese, Malay, Mat Salleh and a Kadazan. Myself lah. Different races but talking and eating happily inside the restaurant. I look at the workers. They are foreigners. But they are earning their living in our country happily.

We have various type of food to savior prepared by various races. We are living harmoniously without any problem. We are blessed!

Are we going to pass all these blessed gift to our next generation? Maybe, if everyone is thinking like the villagers or orang kampong. But there are too many educated citizen who are selling the harmony, peace and unity to satisfy their lust for money and self-satisfaction.

Mom said, “I want my children to be successful by doing right thing, and not by doing thing which they thought is right.” And I hope I am doing the right thing.