<bgsound src="http://www.ijigg.com/songs/V2BFBCGCPAD" > My Big Big Adventure: April 2008

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Sheer Bad Luck?

I have recently being spell-bounded by bad luck.

First, it's my car was banged from behind that I need to wait for weeks for it to get repaired. Then, my PALM ran out battery for forgetting to charge the battery, and I lost all my contacts details of all the people I know and other activities and memories which I have recorded were all gone. Thanks to technology! Not long ago, cancellation of sales by one customer who is indecisive whether he wants to buy or not. Sure wasting my time. Just last week, I have developed sinus infection (it seems to bleed), and my ears blocked from my diving course, and I was down to minor fever that I need to stay home to rest for a day. And, today, I got a summon ticket from DBKL for parking by the roadside just to go into the bank to pay my income tax due. All these happened in the period of March-April.

Was it a bad luck month for me, for I sure hope that the clouds are cleared after these bad luck months I am enduring. I sure hope Lady Luck will swing by sooner. God bless~

Sunday, April 27, 2008

Miss travelling with my brother

When I touched down in LCCT in Sepang yesterday, I then realized how much I missed travelling with my brother, who has now residing in Busan, Korea at the moment.

The benefits of travelling with him:
  • Extra cash to use if mine runs out (he's a better fund management than I am)
  • Self-help guide (he reads all the materials before go travel with me)
  • Map reader (he can bring you around nooks and corners without getting lost, strong sense of direction)
  • Share fun stories, gossips and jokes along the way (he's good at it)
  • Multi-lingual (he can read local phrase book and pronounce it better than I do)
  • Economical and thrifty at times (he only spends on necessity and do things more economically. I spent on pleasure)

It was fun, though both of us have different taste of travelling interest. He's more on the historical side, and I am more on the food, culture and adventure side. Despite having differences, we still manage to strike our balance in our travelling plans.

So, my lovely brother, come home soon and we can go places, meet people and do things together, shall we?

Doing nothing but travel

The fun thing about going out on your own is that you will be more confident in handling things independently. That's what happened to me.

I enjoyed going places, meeting people and doing things together, only thing is that with new friends, and not someone from work, from school, nor your own family. It was thrilled and enjoyable to get to know people who had quit their job to embark on a year's journey to discover something they have never discovered before. I wonder was it because Caucasians are fond of doing so, as it appears to me that Asian seldom do so. I wonder why.

On this trip to Perhentian on my own, I have the pleasure to meet new friends - Kay and Mark (English), Kathy (Irish), Ryan (American), Ruffy (Swiss), Joanna and Piter (Polland). Listening to these wonderful people sharing experiences and tips along the way before Perhentian, has been by far exciting adventures. I feel like jumping onto the bandwagon of doing nothing but travel, if my finances allowed.

But then, I am too coward and scared. Scared to loose a steady stream of income to make a decent living, just to be like them. I wonder if other Asian thinks the same. Then again, I looked at my close friend, June, who had done the same on her own by doing nothing but travelling for a year and a half in Europe. I would want to do the same if I have the confidence and courage to do so. Any ideas how?

Learn to Dive in Pulau Perhentian: 23-26 April 2008

Scuba diving is an adventure activity is either love or hate relations. Though I must say, more love than hate.

I have embarked on my journey of completing my Open Water diving course after a year's lapsed in Perhentian, only this time is not in Long Beach, but in Coral Bay. I have to forgo my opportunity to complete the practise then because my ears failed to equalize properly.

This time, I went to the Chinese traditional remedy to have ear candling to clear all my ear wax just a night before, and I truly hope that it will help me equalize much easier than the struggle I have to endure during my diving course. It was a painful experience to know that I cannot dive due to ear problem (which can be dangerous of ear-drum burst, consult doctors before trying).

To be frank, I am almost scared to death knowing the possibility that (a) I might have forgotten some of basic skills needed to dive; (b) I might have a reoccurring problem with my ears though the ear wax was cleared; (c) I have never dived under anywhere more than 10m deep. But I tried. The knowledge review dive is very useful to me. In fact, after a year of non-diving, I truly needed that. And it was great to know that my ears did equalize. I was so elated, until I know it was only short-lived.

My first and second dive were fun dives, involve practise on my skills, and I get to see corals, turn behind the rocks looking for exotic fishes - black huge stingrays, parrot fish, porcupine fish hidden under the corals, and of course dear friend Nemo (clown fish). It was exciting to know that when I am relaxed, I can just do about anything. No complication there, except vomiting on the boat where the sea was rough that day, effect from typhoon in Vietnam.

After completing these, well, congratulations to myself, as I am now a certified Open Water diving license holder.

So, I began to embark on the journey of Advanced Open Water diving course. I understand that I needed to do at least 5 dives to qualify. And on short notice, without exerting too much exhaustion on myself, I have managed two dives learning in details on Peak Performance Buoyancy and Navigation skills. These two skills proved helpful as I understand how divers maintain peak performance with efficient swim and navigate themselves underwater without getting lost. After reviewing my skills, I realized that I have been okay with the pivoting and hovering, but I was facing some difficulty when I am undergoing the weight shifting exercise which require me to inflate/deflate my BCD to maintain my neutral buoyancy. Tricky though, but guess more practise could do the trick.

My fourth and most important learning dives of all is the navigation skills, which required to use a compass to navigate oneself to the direction intended. Sadly, I did not manage well because I have lacked of confidence in my compass, and yet the first rule of using a compass is "Trust your compass", which I failed miserably. How ironic! What's Kay told me was right, I need to work on my trust on my own compass by practising on land. Maybe practise makes perfect.

The other problem I have faced beside that was I have encountered again my equalization problem but this time had something to do with my sinus - Welli told me blood flowing from my nose. This is not a good sign. He advised me to get a checkup at specialist center. I have endured a time where I have dizzy head, running nose, and drumming heartbeat heard in my blocked ears. I am definitely going to see the doctor on Monday.

On my third dive, I did not know why I can maintain calm when I feel an urge to throw up underwater. I stayed calm and vomited and could manage to put on my regulator for air. Amazing!

Though facing a little shortcomings, I have enjoyed myself very much. I hope my ears could be more cooperative for me to explore the beautiful underwater world again in the future.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Lucky to be in good health

Yesterday I was watching "House". This episode story told about a teenage girl who easily get ill from simple allergen. The symptoms include breathing difficulty, stroke, heart attack, lung failure and other critical illnesses.

I know the story may be exaggerated because it's a show on TV. But think again, there may be such cases where somewhere around the world, this incident really takes place.

I am counting my blessings, and I think I am very fortunate to be born and live a normal and healthy life. And I do wish everyone in my family; and for you who are reading this:

May You Be Blessed with Good Health.

Sunday, April 20, 2008


在春節新年過後,我開始了我的健康運動 -- 游泳。











Friday, April 18, 2008

CCTV in office

Today, the site office which I am working in had 4 CCTVs installed.

Maybe that was to prevent thieves from sneaking in from behind, which had happened before this months ago. Or it's management decision to check on their employees on productivity. Perhaps, it's a measure for monitoring work by bosses who can't be at the site most of the time. Or, it's just a testing bed for online-streaming CCTVs. So many speculations, and no one knows the exact answer to this exercise.

Secretly, my colleagues are complaining, poured their hearts out about "not having privacy, tension has been created, no trust from management, who asked for installation?....." so many questions popped up in the head.

It's a sign of retaliation. But what can we do? Number 1, it has been installed. Number 2, it is cleared that no one can say no already. Number 3, maybe it's for our own safety, in case touchwood, something bad really happened and we have the recorded images for crime solving. Number 4, monitoring from the net is not such a bad idea afterall, as everyone will be on their toes. Number 5, since it's a temporary office, why bother to invest so much? So many reality check, but no specific answers to that.

Simple CCTV installation has created much tension and headache. Looks like Buck Up and no more games are the only words in my vocabulary from now on. Do I have a choice?

Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Perfume Pagoda

Beautiful Yen river with boatwoman rowing boat

I visited Perfume Pagoda, 69km south of Hanoi. In the brochure, it says it is the largest Buddhist temple in Vietnam. I understand that there are 85% of Buddhist population within Vietnam (approximately 74 million people). The Perfume Pagoda consists of a group of caves and is an impressive architectural ensemble of both human and natural endeavor.

The beauty of this temple is that you will need to hire a boatwoman to row you there to view the magnificent temple erected within a limestone cave. When it is the peak season of the buddhist celebration, your will see crowds of devotees there praying to Buddha for well-being and happiness.
The Yen river is clean, it is really hardwork for boatwoman to row non-stop one hour to the destination. During an hour boat ride, you will be able to witness the scenic of beautiful trees covered with red-coloured flowers and beautiful landscapes filled with wild birds and also people catching prawns and small fishes with their unique bamboos baskets.

Once you stepped out, you will need to climb a small slopes up to the temple located on top of the Huong Son Mountain in beautiful and mystical surroundings. You could opt to go there on short cut via cable car or you choose an hour walk up to the temple. According to the legend, Lord Trinh Sam, impressed by the great beauty of the Pagoda, had the stone entrance to the cave engraved with a large inscription: The Most Beautiful Cave under the Viet Nam Sky. The Perfume Pagoda's legend is about its miracle and good luck.

Once you are at the ticket counter, you will be able to witness the street peddlers and mini stalls similar to what you would find in Kek Lok Si Temple in Penang. With that, more business opportunity seems to mushroom in every nook and corner you will find with inflated price.

Frankly, I felt the same way when I was there in either Perfume Pagoda or Kek Lok Si. I wonder why tourists would want to go visit there, if it's not for the simple beauty of the mysterious yet scenic view of the journey of pilgrimage of Perfume Pagoda.

Tombstones within padi fields

When I was in Hanoi, I noticed there are many tombstones within padi fields. It was an eye-opener for me, for I have not seen this in Malaysia.

I was told by Mr Yong, an experienced passenger I met during my flight home, that Malaysia had similar practice until new regulations by government to have a common cemetery to house the deceased. That's a new info to know.

Vietnamese has similar culture with the Chinese. They observed Chinese New Year and other similar cultural festivals as the chinese, has similar concept of traditional costumes, Ao Dai vs Cheong Sam, of course observe closely policy changes in China to be adopted in Vietnam, as Vietnam too was a communist transitioned country.

The Chinese believed on Feng Shui. It is more so important for the deceased's burials, as this will affect the luck of the future generations. Therefore, the belief of born, live and die on the same land; and future generation would reap the luck from good ancestor burial ground.

That's explained tombstones within padi fields.

I wonder how the future generation comes to pay respect during All Souls' Day when the tomb is surrounded with water from the newly planted padi?






Sunday, April 06, 2008

The Horn in Vietnam

When I first touched down in Hanoi, I realized the significant similarity it has with China - honking at every opportunity!

If you have seen the worse of honking in China, think again. You will find high decibel horns here all day all night. It was quite amusing at first and yet irritating. What's wrong with these people? Are they on a rush or something? You will find everyone honks at every part of the city streets, alley ways or even highways.

It has been a part of the culture in former communist countries such as China and Vietnam. The people are conditioned to horn all their lives. I have read some comments on "Reckless honking riles expats in Vietnam" found in VietNam Net, which I found quite amusing to share with you. From the article, I understand that honking has the worst complaints by foreign tourists visiting Vietnam. I guess that would include me.

Some suggestions from the article include civil road usage education, stricter road laws, but the funniest one I have read from the above article on Quiet The Horn project is this:

" Joseph Shepler, American, HCM City
First, every person who buys a motorbike or car should have to pay VND5mil to 10mil to get a horn installed, depending on the level of aggravation caused by the sound of the horn. The driver will then have to pay VND10,000 for every beep. So, "beep beep, beep beep beep" equals VND50,000. It would work like a prepaid telephone charge card. The more they like to beep, the more they will have to pay to charge up their horn account. The horn would stop working when the account is empty of funds. The money collected for this Quiet The Horns project could be used to help pay for a much needed mass transit system".

I cannot really stop myself from laughing after reading this. It's hillarious and yet true.

Honk, honk, honk. Look every angle: left, right, back, front before making a move. This die hard culture is sure to live with Vietnamese people. What an eye-opener indeed.


最近和朋友去旅行,剛好她和她的先生與我同行。從他們的言行舉子中,我發現婚姻實在是需要很大的勇氣和責任。 特別是先上車后補票的,更加不用説了。



婚後的女性朋友通常會更加要求自己的另一半要更加積極做事、務必幫忙作家事,增添對方對她們和家庭負上應有的責任。相反的,婚後的男性朋友會沒有以往追求的積極,因爲獵物到手了,還忙什麽?有些我還看見變得沒這麽顧儀態,然後擺起一家之主的德性。有時候這種大男人的心態真的很難頂,有點透不過氣。當然好好先生的例子也不勝枚舉,但這也要看你的運氣。很多人告訴我婚姻是場賭注。就好像買車子一樣,雖然是名牌車也不一定擔保它是毫無損坏的時候,這要看你的運氣到哪裏。也因爲不美滿的例子不少,我才發現自己是多麽幸運-- 慶幸自己還是單身,所以更加珍惜自由。

不是我要逃避,而是我不願接受這麽沉重的責任。因爲我發現,我的責任心很重,一旦挂上了責任就沒有後路可選。我真的不想。我要的是自由,不是束搏。可能已經很久放下了的包袱,不想再往身上背。可能是實在習慣了自己單獨做事,可以不必靠別人的生活,所以有點不在乎到底有沒有人真得很想關心和照顧我。自己要做什麽,就做什麽,懶得和他人交待,算是“知識分子” -- 知道自己能搞定的社會一分子。要是真的有人想關心我,我也無從察覺,算是遲鈍的一個人。可能世界那麽大,想做的事又是那麽多,沒有什麽時間值得成為小鳥依人,也不知怎麽的,我是做不到。你應該說我是我行我素,沒有愛情滋潤的大女人。我承認我是一個這樣的人,那又怎麽樣?


其實,和我一起生活真的很難頂的哦。我也不想加劇這樣的無名負擔給予他人。要是真的要找尋自己的另一半,我選擇一位知己、交心的伴侶,而不是結婚伴侶。因爲這樣可以保持我的自由,還有無負擔的伴侶相隨,雙贏的好處。Any takers?