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Archive for the ‘Daily Ponderings’ Category

A week or so ago, a pretty little greyish pigeon appeared outside my doorway. Upon closer inspection, I found a tiny egg. Why, the dear bird is a mum. I noticed that she never flew as one wing drooped towards the ground. Soon I got used to her routine. By day, she will be on the right corner of my house amidst the broom and dustpan and by night, she will be nestling her egg beside my doorway oblivious to my comings and goings. Or perhaps she had to choice but to stay put for her egg’s sake.

I must say that I had gotten used to her presence so much so that I had taken to feeding her with rice every morning and even put a mug of water for her. Why, she even took to looking out for me and will come near me when I scatter the rice! Later I noticed a brown pigeon hovering nearby. Hmm, her better half I imagine.

Until that fateful day where I scrubbed the floor as I could not stand the bird droppings. She quickly hurried to her egg while I washed the floor. I did not washed the part where her egg was as I did not want to disturb that area. Unfortunately I must have frightened her as later in the night, she was no longer with her egg. She was nowhere to be found.

I could not believe how crushed and sad I felt upon the realization that she was gone. Yes, the next day I still put some rice in the hope she will appear but she did not come. Instead, the rice was eaten up by some sparrows. Darn, how could I have gotten so fond of some nameless winged feathered creature? Why did I have to washed the blasted floor and in the process frightened her off? The thought strike me that maybe she could have left for some other unknown reason. I just feel so bad when I see the solitary egg by my doorway.

I hope she will come back. Till then, I wish her well for she had to leave her egg behind.

Note to self : Stop being such a softie at heart.

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It’s been ages since I went on a holiday. Last week I took leave and the four of us including my two boys went to Melaka (known as Malacca in the olden days during colonial times). Melaka has been listed in the UNESCO World Heritage Cities.

First, the Portuguese conquered Malacca, then the Dutch and later the British Empire. That is why there are a lot of rich cultural remmants of the glorious past. It was our first trip to this part of Malaysia. Apart from getting lost during the drive and moving around in circles, it was a marvellous holiday. No one lost their temper which is an achievement itself. We had a grand time.

We checked into a hotel that was in the heart of historical sites and shopping malls. This saved us from driving. I could not wait to explore the famous Jonker’s Street and I was not disappointed. The buildings are beautifully restored and the elaborate carvings on the walls and pillars are a sight to behold. The streets are full of shops selling souveniers, antiques, clothes and food unique to this state. Such rich baba-nyonya heritage.

The Maritime Museum
We entered ‘Flora De La Mar’, the Portuguese ship that sank off the Coast of Malacca now in the form of Maritime Museum. There is choc full of histories of the Portuguese, Dutch and British era. However I was too busy taking photos of my sons to really appreciate the historical impact. I was not much of a history buff during my school days. I do love to read historical romance but that is besides the point here.

We search in vain in our car for the Portuguese settlement and finally had to concede defeat. We walked to the replica of the Melaka Sultanate Palace and to our dismay it was closed. Sigh! I had wanted to walk along the corridors and imagine myself as a Malay princess of the golden era.

I definitely had to visit St. Paul’s Church which had been turned into burial ground for the dead by the Dutch. The huge tombstones with incriptions were all around the walls. Superstition aside, I took photos again. I’m such a shutterbug. Do not ask me anything technical as I take just for the love of capturing the moments for memories sake. The Stadthuys was also on our walking trail.

We went on a Melaka River Cruise and bought tickets which enabled us to leave the boat anywhere and anytime. When we are satisfied with seeing the destination, we just wait at the jetty and hitch a ride to the next destination for free.


I had to explore on my own and found some lovely temples. Melaka is famous for their Satay Celup, Chicken Ball Rice, kuih-muih and Nyonya food. I bought back some for family back home to have a taste.

It was time to leave. Reality was waiting for me. With reluctance, we bid farewell to lovely and quaint Melaka.It was a marvellous holiday. I hope one day my boys will look back and remember the wonderful memories spent there. Cheers.

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I am more or less writing this to convince myself. I am feeling a bit shaky. Business not so good. Profit margin down. I am just an employee but I have been working here for years. So, time to move on? Nah, I just hang on until it became intolerable. Sentimental loyal fool, that’s me.

So, how’s life been treating you, my friend? Is it well or cruel? If well, I am happy for you. But this is life. Sometimes, we go through some phases that are difficult to fathom. Perhaps, a much looking forward to baby born with a defect. Your closest friend had an unexpected life-threatening accident. A loving spouse inflicted with a terminal disease. Or a hideous one who abuse you. Swamped with a mountain of debts. Loss of job. Marriage breakdown. The list can be endless. Life is such.

But I believe life is beautiful too. If only, we take the time to appreciate what we have. Happiness is within everyone’s grasp. If only we open our hearts. And let go of the past and do not sweat over the small stuff. I have gone through several personal tragedies but still take pleasure in living my life. I was full of hurt and anger once.  Now, I am on the road to recovery.

Why do terrible things happened in our lives? Is it something that we have done in our past lives? Perhaps, God planned this to make us stronger and let us suffer so that we may come out of it wiser, more courageous, more compassionate…What we have gone through perhaps can help someone else in their times of need.

 

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Finally the day came when we packed our bags into two cars and shoot off to the Pearl Of  The Orient (Penang). I was exceptionally nervous because this is the first time I am driving long distance and five lives depended on me ie my mom-in-law, dad-in-law, my two sons and of course my own life! I had to follow my bro-in-law’s car since I have no clue as to the directions. Some people are just born without radars!

Thanks to my Penang bro-in-law we had good reason to drive down. Meeting for the first time and dinner with his future in-laws. Oh yes, he’s ending his bachelor days in September soon. We can hardly wait for the church wedding to see the dashing groom and his blushing bride. I am such a romantic softie at heart.

The journey there went smoothly. We had our lunch and I very wisely ordered Fried Kuay Teow (after all, this is one of the dish Penang is famous for!). My dish was up to my expectations but the rest of them were let down by the Kuay Teow soup (tsk! tsk! this is what Ipoh is famous for, not Penang!). Our stomachs filled and off we went to Kek Lok Si Temple. It’s been years since I went. Previous I walked up but this time with the gang, we drove up. Knowing my driving limitations, luckily I asked my bro-in-law to drive as the ride up was steep and narrow.

Oh! The view was breathtaking. Even the slight drizzle did not dampen our enthusiasm. My camera had a life of its own. What a terrific time we had taking photos! There were so many tourists around. The scenery was lovely with its statues in the garden. We took photo at the pavillion. Upon reaching the bottom of the hill, we decided to take the famous Penang laksa and boy, did it lived up to its name! Even though it was by the roadside, the tables were full. We went across the road and the service was quick. Aah, I was satisfied after having my bowl of steaming hot laksa. What would the trip be without eating the laksa! Pointless at least for me..

We reached my bro-in-law’s condominum and unpacked. I brought along my boys’ pillows to make them feel at home. Before we knew it, time for dinner with his in-laws. I have never seen his girlfriend and I could hardly wait. It seem like such a long ride to the Chinese restaurant. Parking is horrendous in Penang. They were already there waiting for us. A slim, simple and beautiful girl was my first impression and brainy too from her profession. The dishes were generous in size. Luckily my dad-in-law’s talent for small talk came in handy. He can talked on any topic and to any stranger. The rest of us were slow to break the ice. My niece and nephew who came along, played with my boys while the adults chit-chat. An enjoyable meal all in all and ended with smiles everywhere. Whew! I was afraid the children misbehave but luckily my nightmare did not come true.

The next day searched for the island famous biscuits. I managed to buy for my mum who loves the biscuit. My mission accomplished. Breakfast was Prawn Hokkien noodles which was mouth-watering. The beach beckoned next. Travelling round the island took a lot of our time. My sons could hardly contained their excitement as our hometown do not have any beaches. The children had a grand splashing time. We worked up a good appetite for lunch and it was good old solid rice with dishes.  We decided to go back to the condomium so that the designated drivers (me and my bro-in-law) have a quick snooze. It was a pretty tiring but enjoyable day.

My boys were reluctant to leave but in the end, we bid farewells and the journey to home begun. The holiday rejuvenated my sagging spirits and I felt revitalised even though physically tired because I am the type who have trouble sleeping elsewhere. A five-star hotel room would have been wasted on me because I just need my own bed to sleep! Everyone should have a break now and then with their loved ones because only then we can have lovely memories and feelings to cherish!

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I learned that love is fickle, fictitious and an illusion between man and woman. Call me cynical if you want but love for God and love between parents and children are only the real and permanent love. Oh yes, almost forgotten about animal love. I have read inspiring and moving stories by pets.

This coming from a free thinker like me. I do go to church but have not been baptised yet. Yet I think spiritual love is more dependable and love by parents for children or love by children for their parents are more deep and satisfying than anything else. The bond is unbreakable. There are heartbreaking stories about dysfunctional families though.

It does not hurt to dream. We can always dream of finding true love and that our soulmate is somewhere out there.

Well, I have stopped dreaming along the line and hit reality with a sore bum.

Maybe in my next life, I will dream. Meanwhile, I faced life realistically.

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Lately I have been thinking of getting out of the rat race. Office work seemed so unappealing now with too much work, stressful, health suffering and worst, little time for my children. I do dreamed of working at home but there are too many scams out there. For the unitiated, it will be like a lamb sent to slaughter. We have to screen through carefully the various opportunities out there and of course, use our common sense.

I came across these Top 10 Work At Home Jobs at Yahoo. Let’s see what suits me…

1. Virtual Assistant

In a gist, this means you can own a virtual assistant business or work from home for a company that makes you available to other clients. Small businesses hire virtual assistant when they find it too expensive to hire permanent employees. This seemed interesting to me. I might explore further opportunites later.

2. Medical Transcriptionist

This means being a medical receptionist and involved listening and typing up dictation from doctors. I don’t think I can make it on this because my medical terms are pretty limited and it will proved challenging to hear doctors speak. Probably they have difficulty pronouncing the terms, medicine etc themselves! That’s why we layman find it even more confusing. Nope, that’s out for me. On the other hand, maybe can increase my medical knowledge and if built good rapport with the good doctor, can get some discounted advise!

3. Translator

This will be suitable for those with good fluency in more than one language. They will be required to translate audio files or documents. Unfortunately even though I understand 3 languages, I can only speak and write reasonably well in English. Got to count this out for me!

4. Web Developer/Designer

This job is in great demand and is where the most of the home-based hiring is being done. Services offered are custom Website design, template modifications and redesigns, code updates, hosting and usability reviews. Yup, this job is in great demand. Sad to say my knowledge of Information Technology is zilch. The fact that I am writing in this blog still amazed me. I can barely find my way around computers.

5. Call Centre Representative

When you order something from a catalogue, chances are the person on the line is sitting in a home office. Well, I might explore this a little further.

6. Tech Support Specialist

Call centers also hire technical support specialists to work remotely. I see the work ‘Tech’ I knew instinctively that’s not for me!

7. Travel Agent

Operating a home-based travel agency can be an excellent business. Did I mentioned I have a hopeless sense of direction? The stress of worrying I will lead a group of tourists hopelessly lost among goodness-knows-where puts me off from this job.

8. Teacher

Tutoring is lucrative business. A good tutor by word of mouth will be in great demand. Virtual learning is coming up too. This is definitely worth researching.

9. Writer/Editor

Nowadays there are more listings for writing, editing and proofreading. Those without experience (such as me) can join the blogosphere. Not only its fun but there’s money to be made by blogging for someone else’s site, getting paid to post on your own blog or through revenue-sharing arrangements. Another worthwhile opportunity to explore!

10. Franchise owner

Owning a business can be the road to at-home work. For an initial investment, franchises may offer a ready-made business with brand awareness, a system and a territor. Potential target would be the over-50 crowd or the self-employed, involve health and wellness, relate to the “green” movement, or involve electronic or online devices (i.e., accessories, applications). The word ‘initial investment’ reminded me why I was reading this article in the first place. If I can afford an ‘initial investment’ I wouldn’t be so hard up now.

Now, if only I can discipline myself to try out the various options.

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