Tuesday, August 16, 2005

"Baby...I want to grow old with you."

I love it when Vinz and I talk about our future. We've been talking and sharing our thoughts about our relationship. Coming Saturday will be celebrating our 6th month anniversary. Although we are thousands of miles apart, we have never spent a single day not talking to each other over the phone and sending SMS's. Since we both have decided (and I have got the nod from my parents) to stay together this coming September, we have been talking about sharing our lives.

I love it when he says...

"Baby...I want to grow old with you."


"Baby...I want to hold you tight and not let go."


"Baby...I'm happy if you're happy."


"Baby...It hurts me to see you cry."


"Baby...Don't be scared. I'm here...no bad dreams anymore ok?"

When he said that he wants us to grow old together and that he will love me forever, I said...

"That means you must marry me you know..."

And he said...

"Give me 5 years baby...5 years and I promise I'll marry you..."

Tell me, which girl's heart will not melt when she hears this from the one she loves and adores most?

I know that words are merely words if no action is done to turn them into reality. But I'm positive this time. This is one relationship that I don't have any doubts with. The past one I had, I had doubts whether I was willing to give up living in the UK just to go back to be with him. But this time I know that wherever I go or to make things fair, wherever he goes, we will be physically and emotionally together. We have made a pact that for the next 5 years, we will not be leaving the UK unless one of us is unable to sustain and/or obtain a job there.

Of course anything can happen in the next 5 years. But like I said...I am positive this time. Very positive. And the fact that my parents like him gives me the extra confidence to move on further in this relationship :)


Monday, August 15, 2005

British Supermarkets vs Malaysian Supermarkets

I was grocery shopping with my mum at Giant today. As usual, we bought some vegetables and fruits. And being loose items, we needed to have them weighed at the weighing station before proceeding to the check out counter where the items will be scanned. There were 4 electronic weighing scales at the station and 4 staff on duty. 3 machines were switched on and one machine was off (presumably down). However, only one counter was open for a long queue of frustrated and angry housewives carrying and cooing their crying babies and children.

As I was lining up right at the end of the dragon's tail, my mind started to wonder how much money Giant can save if they make the weighing station staff redundant. I use the word redundant because under Employment Law, if they are dismissed, the company has to pay an even bigger compensation to them. Their job can be done by the cashier at the check out counter. In the UK, all supermarkets operate this way. You bring your loose items to the check out and the cashier identifies the product's keycode by looking at the sticker on it, she will weigh it and a price comes out. Easy pizzy, jumping easy...

Even if the local supermarkets do not want to make their weighing station staff redundant, they can employ them as cashiers. What is the point of having 20 cash registers when only less than 10 are open during peak hours. This makes the whole supermarket congested with people and their shopping trollies. The whole shopping experience is diminshed greatly like this. Better still, local supermarkets should have self-checkout counters for customers with less than 10 items in their basket. This saves cost for the company and saves time for the customer. Afterall, it is just scanning the product into the machine, putting in your cash or swipping your card and off you go. If you can pay for the carpark fee yourself via the automated machine, why can't you pay for a tube of sweets, a pack of chocolates, a carton of milk or a few bags of vegetables by yourself?

I know I've been comparing too much between the UK and Malaysia. But the reason why I'm comparing and complaining at the same time is because I am very confident that Malaysia has a lot more to offer than what we have now. Malaysia has the potential to expand the quality of their service industry and make the consumers more satisfied than they are presently. Malaysia can do it but Malaysia is reluctant to for a reason that I cannot comprehend.

Is it so difficult for the cashier to smile and say hello? Is it so difficult for customers to bag their own groceries? Is it so difficult to handle the trollies with care?


Sunday, August 14, 2005

Vote Me. Vote Me Not.

I cannot deny the fact that I am a huge fan of Akademi Fantasia and Malaysian Idol. I have followed the AF series since its first season and I thoroughly enjoy the programme even though it is largely in Malay. I even AFUNDI'ed for my favourite contestant which includes Vince from AF1, Linda from AF2 and most recently Amylea from AF3. Although the winners are chosen by the audience themselves, I find it a very unfair system for those contestants who sing superbly well but lacked the winning look or style.

Mawi performed well during every concert. Felix made a few flawed performances. Amylea, on the other hand was very consistent and her voice was booming for a girl of her age and size. When she sang "Don't know why" by Norah Jones in one of the concerts, she sang it so beautifully. She did not bite on her words unlike the rest of the contestants. Mawi had a whole load of supporters. I would like to speculate it is because of his humble background, coupled with the fact that this is a Malay programme and he sang mostly Malay traditional songs during the concerts. He was given the edge too when M Nasir wrote "Aduhai Seroja" for him. These are the songs that suit his voice the best and it was well liked by the audience.

Mawi scooped a whooping 58% of the total votes casted by the audience via SMS. He got none from me.

Why vote only for someone that you think deserves to win the title? Why not vote for someone to be off the stage next week as well? Isn't that a fairer way and also isn't this going to be a more lucrative business for our telecommunications industry?

To illustrate this further, I watched few weeks worth of Malaysian Idol. I strongly believe that Ejay and Daniel should not be there week after week after week. If the programme adopts my suggestion, I would vote YES for Nita and NO for Ejay and Daniel. Each NO a contestant receives, a YES vote will be deducted from the pool. Sounds fair?

Its going to be more work for the organisers but it gives the contestants an idea of how bad or good they performed.



Friday, August 12, 2005

Stay At Home Mum? No way!!!

I've been in Singapore for the past 2 days and being here means staying at my sister's place, playing and taking care of my nephew. It was fun for the first few hours but I got tired and fed up of running around and speaking baby language. I needed to do something to stimulate that brain of mine. Running around and playing lego blocks as big as my hand aren't all that stimulating. I can't imagine myself being a good mother like my sister. She stays at home all day, cooks, feeds and plays with her son. I probably would die of boredom and/or frustration.

My sister has a PhD in Chemistry and now she is employed by her husband as the Home Minister. Sure she gets a hefty paycheck but I personally feel that it is a total waste of her talent by staying at home and taking care of the household. But, she thinks otherwise. She wants to have a very close bond with her son and her husband. She wants to be there for the boy when he says his first word, stands on his two feet unsupported for the first time, crawls all by himself and etc. She wants to be there for all his first's and second's and third's and all the moments in his little life. She doesn't want herself to be replaced by the Phillipino maid who takes her son to play school.

Frankly, I don't mind. I don't mind going out to work and leaving my kid with the maid. In fact, I want to work. I want to make use of my education. Yes, an education is not equivalent to a passport to the working world but I'd rather make it as one. I don't like to depend on a man for money. I want to have my own income, spend on whatever I like, save the rest and invest them in properties or mutual funds. I always tell my mum that my hands are to sign important documents and prepare reports. They are not to clean the toilet and scrub the floor. Yes, I don't mind scrubbing the floor right now i.e. while I'm still a student but when I leave student hood, I don't want to do that anymore. I am not saying that doing housework is an insult my education but it is simply a waste.

When I'm at work, I can meet so many other people from different walks of life. But, if I am a home maker, the circle of friends that I'll meet are the mum's from my kid's kindy who compare prices from one supermarket to another.

Maybe I'm not ready to have kids and not ready to build a family of my own. Or maybe I'm just still too young and immatured. But then again...I really can't see myself being as great as my sister. I cannnot sacrifice my job, my career just to experience the first in my kid's life. There are so many working mothers out there that I know and their children turned out just as fine. I trust I will be able to juggle working life with family time.

Vinz and I have talked about this before and he, unlike my brother-in-law encourages me to work. He said that a woman should work and should have her own independent income because who knows what will happen next time. Her husband may be an alchoholic, a womaniser or a gambler. At least with a job, she'll be able to take care of herself and her kids. I cannot agree more...


Tuesday, August 09, 2005

Malaysians - An inconsiderate lot?

I took the train back to JB from Tampin last week with my mum. We were on the First Class coach. The coach was empty besides the both of us. There was another First Class coach behind the one we took and it was full. The ride was fine and the coach was ok considering we had the whole coach to ourselves. Halfway through the journey, I had to use the train's toilet. So, I went out of the coach and used the toilet in between two coaches. After I was done, I tried to open the sliding door leading to the coach but it was stuck. Mind you, this was an automatic door. All I needed to do was to step on the mat and it will automatically open but this time it didn't. There was a button which opens the door manually but the cap was off and all was left of the button were just some green and red wires.

I was left stranded a few feet away from my mum's seat yet she couldn't hear me knock on the glass door. The train was moving fast and the noise of the train's wheels gliding over the tracks muffled my knocks. I looked back and I saw a bunch of people watching me from the other coach. They sat on their fat backsides and just stared at me trying to catch my mum's attention. I signaled to them for help but they ignored me. A man in his forties, wearing a suit and a tie became trigger happy as he took out his phone from his pocket and started snapping photos of me fighting to open the damn door. What an idiot!

Yes, I could have used my mobile to call my mum but unfortunately, that stretch of the journey had no reception. So too bad for me.

I think I must have been stranded outside there for nearly 10 minutes when I decided to take off my Vinci slippers and slam the glass door to make an even louder noise. I turned around and saw that trigger happy idiot laughing and the rest of the people smiling back at me.

The loud slapping sound alerted my mum and she opened the sliding door from the inside. Thankfully, she heard it or else I would have been stuck outside until the train made a stop at the next station which was about another 40 minutes away.

I really wanted to show those idiots my 3rd finger but I refrained from doing so. All I could do was shake my head and looked at them in total disgust.

First Class passengers; first class mentality? Think twice. No, think thrice. I think most Malaysians have this "I don't care if you die" attitude.

If I saw a person stuck like I was, I would definitely lend a helping hand. I probably wouldn't have been able to do anything but at least I can give him/her some moral support.

Sigh...Malaysians, oh Malaysians. What have you become to?


Friday, August 05, 2005

I finally got my graduation photos up. I don't think they are particularly nice. Somehow I feel like I lacked a very happy look. Hmmph. Nevermind. There is still another graduation in December 2006 to look forward to.

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Me with my parents

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Me and Vinz

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Me, Laura and Gary

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Me, Cindy and Jillian


I've been home 3 weeks and all I've been doing (other than going to KL for a week) is wake up at 11am, watch TV all day and night long and sleep at 11pm. Ohh...not to mention take silly photos such as this when my nephew and sister are around..hehe..

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Don't my sister and I look alike?


Thursday, August 04, 2005

Reverse Culture Shock?

I'm a bad blogger. I've been away from the blogsphere for far too long. I've been...err...busy for the past few weeks?

I was in KL to get my visa done and it cost me a hefty RM 621 exclusive of service charge which is another RM 40 more. Oh well. That is the price to pay for an education overseas I guess.

I walked the available shopping malls in JB and I was appalled. What's wrong with the sales staff was my first question to my sister when we were browsing a shoe shop. Why are they like blocks of wood? Where is the boasted Malaysian hospitality? Maybe I'm too used to life in the UK where the sales staff are usually friendly and come with your shoe or piece of clothing promptly with a smile.

I met a friend yesterday at a McD outlet. I complained and complained about how slow things are in this country. I know its a shopping mall. I know people walk the tiled floors of shopping malls to relax from a hard week at work. But is it necessary to pause in the middle of the walk way and pretend not to notice another shopper behind you trying to get through the thick crowd? Sigh...

McD is supposed to be a fast food restaurant. Fast food. I expect FAST FOOD. The guy taking my order behind the counter took his own sweet time to get the fries, the drink and the burger. Those working there were sluggish and had the "I don't give a damn if you have to wait" look on their face. I remember when I was Form 3, I told a McD staff in JB...

"Ehhh...lain kali you mahu kerja di fast food restaurant, tolong cepat sikit boleh tak?"

No McD staff is slow in the UK. There are no inconsiderate shoppers hogging the whole walkway as though it belonged to them. No one fights for a pair of Nine West shoes on the first day of the Boxing Day sales. No sales girl stares into the void and takes your word as passing wind.

Something must be very wrong with us and we have to do something to correct this "tidak apa" attitude.

I related this to my mother and she said...

"What to do? This is our culture..."

Help! Am I suffering from reverse culture shock?