Monday, June 29, 2009

My XXXXXX Birthday!

I had better post something more joyful otherwise this blog will turn out to an 'obituary' blog (as my previous postings were all about deaths/funerals). Initially, I wanted to blog about Micheal Jackson's demise but on a second thought, I had better not. I had enough of it!

Well, yesterday was my grandnephew's 3rd birthday. YES, GRANDNEPHEW! Obviously, it has NEVER occurred to me in my wildest imagination to see myself becoming a granduncle merely in my mid-thirties. I still remember when little Clifford first came to me and called me 'gu ye' (means granduncle in Chinese), I was like.....WHAT, oh my God! I really had goose bumps! Anyway, I will be expecting my second grandnephew in a few weeks time.

Just imagine, my seven-year old son, Bryan became a 'gu-gu' (uncle) when he was barely five! And to top it all, my wife is expecting our second child (most likely a girl) somewhere in October this year. So, this implies that my soon-to-be baby is already an aunt (ah yi) now!

Well, back to the birthday celebration. All family members gathered at Mc Donald's in Dataran Pahlawan. It was just another get-together : the children with their antics were seen playing and running around, the teenagers were in their own world engrossed with their handphones, the aunties clicked together immersing themselves in their updates, gossips and occasional reprimands (most of which were to show authority), the in-laws (where I belong to) sat together engaging in their man talk and of course my father-in-law being the head of the family and a lone ranger singled himself out at one corner watching everybody, 'expressionlessly'. Only God knows what was in his mind!

Clifford with his uncle & aunties

Clifford with his great-grandfather & great-grandmother

Clifford with his mother

To sum it all, it was indeed a get-together well-spent that will be remembered fondly!

Friday, June 26, 2009

Another 'Goodbye'

It has been more that a week since I last updated my blog. Well, it certainly has not been a good, smooth-sailing weekend for me last week. It all started last Friday....

19 June, Friday
I was busy surfing the net early in the morning (about 8.00am) when my cousin, Ronny called me on my mobile. "Marcus, I think Jie Jie Eng passed away" was his opening sentence. "What do you mean - YOU THINK?" I asked. "I was informed that she collapsed and when family members found her she wasn't breathing anymore. Anyway, they have taken her to the hospital to confirm. I have yet to get their reply" he responded.

I waited hoping that the news was untrue but unfortunately, it was confirmed that I had lost a cousin, Jie Jie Eng (as she was affectionately called and in our Baba-Nyonya language, it means Sister Eng). Jie Jie Eng was Ronny's eldest sister and her passing (in KL) was a great shock to all of us. First, she wasn't suffering from any major illness. Secondly, she was inarguably known for her even-tempered, gentle, soft-spoken and likable personality and little did we expect that God would want to take such good soul. Thirdly, we just congratulated her for embracing her first newborn grandson barely four months back. And lastly, she was merely 47 with two still-schooling teenagers. Indeed, she's just too young to leave us. If you may be wondering, YES, she passed away due to heart failure. It was truly a very sudden death. Absolutely, no signal given whatsoever!

On that day itself, preparations were made to send her body back to Malacca. I only managed to view her body (through a small see-through glass window on the coffin) at about 8.30pm. I inched closer to the glass opening and.........Oh, my God........

May your soul rest in peace, cousy!  You will be greatly missed!

Sunday, June 14, 2009


This is perhaps one of my favourite video clips and undeniably one of the best I've ever seen. It is truly beautiful! I have watched it umpteen times and every time the words sipped into my ears, I would unfailingly be choked with emotions. It is just so touching and enlightening and certainly a good wake up call for all of us. I even shared this clip with my beloved wife and surprisingly, she got teary. Ha! Ha! So, please spend some time and enjoy.......

Entitled "Funeral", this clip is a new TV commerical launched by the Ministry of Community Development, Youth and Sports (MCYS) which looks at relationships in a different light, through a woman at her husband's funeral. This is fresh off MCYS latest Viewers' Choice 2008 win for last year's Family TVC which promotes the importance and value of family bonding.

Indeed, in life, we are so often drawn to expect 'perfection' in others (especially our spouse and children) when we ourselves are far from being perfect. Instead, why don't we learn to appreciate what the Chinese call 'the beauty of imperfection. (缺陷美)

Come to think of it, loving someone should actually be about loving that imperfect person, perfectly. Agree? So, please cherish the times you have, will have or even you have had together with your loved ones. Please stop scrutinizing, magnifying or criticizing their imperfections. Instead, learn to accept them for who they are. As the saying in the clip goes, "in the end it's this small things that we remember - their little imperfections, that make them PERFECT for us!" Aaah, just too beautiful!!

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Thank you, Uncle Lim!

"Tomorrow, you better get ready first.....then only wake your son up" my wife commanded.

As a devoted hubby, I submissively woke up early, at exactly 5.00am (I know it's a little too early!), did my morning routine and by 6.00am, I was on my son's bed, all dressed up.

"Boy, wake up, we are going to Genting. We need to reach Ah Kong's house by 7am" I whispered lovingly in his ear. "Boy, wake up, boy wake up" This was where my mood began to swing. His whining, his dawdling had all made my blood went 'glug'....'glug'....'glug' - boiling.

Fast forward, we reached my in-law's house at 7.30am (half an hour late). It took another half an hour just to get everybody into the car before setting off for Taman Asean, where we had planned to have our breakfast there.

Well, it was only at 8.45am (My God! Just imagine after nearly 4 hours from the time I woke up) that we managed to start our journey proper heading for the late Uncle Lim's 'kingdom'.

Frankly, I was in a rather pensive mood throughout the whole journey as that day was my ex-housemate, Ye Yoo's funeral. Her image, her laughter, her eccentricities were all lingering and dancing in my still-shocked mind. At about 11am, we stopped at Ampang to savour the well-known 'Ampang yong tau foo'. It was then that Li Kee (my another ex-housemate) called me (well, after almost 4 years of disappearance) and she confirmed that Ye Yoo had died of breast cancer. Pity her! Her mom died (also of breast cancer) when she was still schooling. Two years ago, her sister (who was a few years older than her) also passed away, and also due to the same illness. Pity her father too! What a loss!

Anyhow, we reached the peak of Genting Highlands at about 1.00pm........... And below is the summary of my short stay there, also some pictures I snapped.

Day 1 (at Genting)
1.30pm - Checked in Highland Hotel and took a nap
2.30pm - Brought Bryan and Celina (his cousin sister) for a swim (until 5.00pm)
6.00pm - Took a stroll outside the hotel to enjoy the fresh evening air (but to our dismay, the air
was not as crisp as before)
7.00pm - Had our dinner at the First World Theme Park. (Left with no choice, I reluctantly had to settle for the RM11-per-plate fried rice)
9.30pm - Watched DREAMZ, a 1.5-hour magic show at The Pavillion. Frankly, the show was rather boring because everything was so predictable. And the entrance ticket was about RM87 per person. But luckily, we got them for free.
11.00pm - zzzzzz

Bryan & Celina at the swimming pool

My family & mom-in-law

Day 2
10.00am - Had buffet breakfast at The Terrace Garden. Food was so-so only.
11.30am - 'Donated' some money to Indoor Theme Park. Bryan, Celina & myself had fun playing the games there.
2.00pm - Checked out from the hotel
2.30pm - Had lunch at Goh Tong Jaya. Dined at a Chinese restaurant. Surprisingly, all the dishes had our thumbs up!
5.30pm - Reached Malacca, safe and sound!

Everyone was so impressed with this stair lift!

3 rounds for RM8 per person! Cut-throat!

Generally, I wouldn't say the trip was a fun-filled one but it was just enough to unwind myself (and my wife too) and satisfy my longing (of going to Genting) plus, do my bit as a son-in-law (especially by taking my not-so-mobile, aging mother-in-law out to sip a little bit of fresh air) and as a doting father (by bringing sunshine to my son following his satisfying mid-term results).

All in all, thank you for everything, Genting, and Uncle Lim in particular!

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Goodbye, my friend!

At 4pm today, while I was all excited looking forward to tomorrow's holiday (well I am going to Genting), I received yet another surprise but sadly, this time round it was not a good one.

Lin Tai, my ex-housemate (during my university days back in 1993-1997) called me on my mobile to break the news that our housemate, Ye Yoo had succumbed to cancer (though not really confirmed). Anyway, she passed away yesterday morning in Kelantan. Upon hearing the heart-breaking news, I was of course shocked but at the same time still could not fully accept and 'digest' the fact that a person whom I had known and had once lived with under the same roof had gone leaving all of us eternally. Well, I just sat on my son's bed statue still staring blankly at the wall. "She is a little too young to go!" I thought. All kinds of questions came rushing into my mind - how did she die? what exactly happened to her? what was her state of mind when she passed on? how she looked like? was she married? how's her funeral going to be? how did her mom take it? etc. etc.

Ye Yoo and I at her graduation (1997)

Then, I began to reminisce our happy moments back then in a student house in Taman Bukit, Kajang (or we normally called it G34, taken after the house address). Altogether, there were 8 of us staying in that house, 2 guys and 6 girls. We were certainly a happy bunch of undergraduates who came from different states, different background. Nevertheless, we lived like a big happy family. When we came back from lecture at about 4.30pm, everyone would be seen moaning about things happened on that day - about the lectures, the assignments, the tutors, the presentation, the public buses, the food so on and so forth. Apparently, this (the complaining) had made the whole house so noisy but alive. At 5.45pm (after taking our bath), everyone would come out (from our respective rooms), gravitate ourselves to the 'sofa-less' living area, choose a place to sit (of course on the floor), waiting for the highlight of the day - the Chinese serial drama at 6pm. We would then eat our packed food (though we cooked occasionally) while enjoying the show. At 7pm, everyone would disperse, motion back to our rooms and get back to our books before coming out again at 10.30pm for our next tv session. This had been our routine day in and day out, well at least for the weekdays.

Me and my housemates at The Mines Resort (1996)

(front row, L-R : Siok Moi, Yee Yoo, Siew Lan;
middle row, L-R : Li Kee, Siew Lian, Lin Tai;
back row : myself & Teong Keong)

Ye Yoo, a psychology major who hailed from Kelantan had certainly spiced up our days in G34. A jovial and easy-going person who always gave in to any matters, Ye Yoo was just too good that you could not find any reasons to pick up a fight with. Out of the blue, you would hear somebody shouting at the computer corner. When you opened your room door, it would surely be Ye Yoo - there again, she had forgotten to save her work before shutting down the computer.

Indeed, I or rather we (the once G34 dwellers) have lost a great friend. Yee Yo, wherever you may be, may all your good merits you have accrued in this life, shower upon you at this very moment and may you be well and happy, be free from all forms of sufferings and may your soul rest in peace. Goodbye, friend!

Saturday, June 6, 2009

Can't Sleep! Why?

I am a little groggy now! Woke up at 4.00am and had been tossing and turning on the bed for about half an hour. Insomnia?.......Well I don't think so! Maybe it's over-excitement!

Yahoo! I finally got my fair share of holiday. Will be on leave for 4 days.

However, this week had been quite a hectic week for me especially the past 3 days - taught for 6 hours continuously on Wednesday; 7 hours non-stop on Thursday. Yesterday (Friday), I brought a few of my students to Yok Bin Badminton Hall, sweated out for 2 hours and thereafter continued teaching for another 4 hours. By 7pm,..........bang.........dead beat!

Well, come back to my holiday plans, I will be bringing my family to A Farmosa Water World today to join my brother, Eddie there. The intention was to let Bryan meet up and play with his cousin sister, Wen Ni. On Monday, bringing my family, together with my parents-in-law (lucky you, for having such a filial son-in-law!) and sister-in-law up to Genting Highlands, a place which I have been yearning to go for the past 3 years.

Indeed, it's been almost 6 months before I last went for my holiday. Apparently, I could feel my already drained-out mind and worn-out muscles desperately screaming and begging to be recharged!

Genting, I am coming! And now I know YOU are the reason for my excitement and grogginess!

Friday, June 5, 2009

Why Chinese Shouldn't Have Christian Names...

One bad habit that I possess is I am overly sensitive to names that sound awkward or dirty. I would self-indulgently giggle (most of the time uncontrollably) to my heart's content. Please stop shaking your head! I know I have been very mean! But I just can't help it especially when it really tickles!

So, to all current and future parents out there, please be serious enough and extra careful when you are naming your child. Give him/her name that is meaningful and that would make him/her walk tall. Never make him the laughing stock that would adversely affect his self-esteem.

Avoid these names, please if you can:

Anne Chang (Mandarin)-Dirty

Anne Chin (Mandarin) - Keep quiet

Faye Chen(Mandarin) - Dusty

Carl Cheng(Hokkien) - Buttock

Monica Cheng(Hokkien) - Touching your buttocks

Lucy Leow(Hokkien) - You are dead

Jane Tan(Mandarin) - Frying eggs

Suzie Leow(Hokkien) - Lost till death

Henry Mah(Mandarin) - Hate your mum

Corrine Tai (Hokkien) - Poor fellow

Paul Chan(Mandarin) - Bankrupt

Nelson Tan(Mandarin) - Bird laying eggs

Leslie Tong(Mandarin) - Rubbish bin

Carmen Teng (Hokkien) - Leg hair long

Connie Mah(Cantonese) - Call your mother

Danny See(Hokkien) - Squeeze you to death

Rosie Teng (Hokkien) - Screws and nails

Pete Tsai(Hokkien) - Nose droppings

Macy Koh(Cantonese) - Never die before

Harry Kok (English) - You know what I mean

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

Don't Mess With ME, Manager!!!

I was having breakfast with my wife yesterday (in a coffee shop) when suddenly she blurted out something which I find ridiculously amusing.

Her fond-of-taking-MC-and-EL branch manager (after his long weary journey from Kuala Terengganu to Malacca the day before and would expectedly take emergency leave the next day) sent a text message to my wife (who is his assistant) early in the morning. Here reads the message :

"I am not coming in today because I'm having diarrhoea and constipation."

Confused, I paused for a second (as I am always one step slower than most people) before bursting out chuckling. Hey! This doesn't make sense! I can't really imagine how anyone can have diarrhoea (cirit-birit) and constipation (sembelit) at the same time. What a super duper digestive system he/she may have!

See! When we are too engrossed in finding excuses, we may sometimes overlook the details including the basic principle of reasoning - the logic!

In a nutshell, the moral of the story is if you choose to deal in lies, for heaven sake - PLAN it well!! However, preferably, be truthful and do what you are 'ordained' to do. Indeed, GOD IS GREAT! So, never mess with Him!!!