Friday, December 15, 2006

Revenge of the Fats

This will be my last post before I return to Malaysia for a holiday.

For the slightly pudgy or heavy set guys or gals out there, had you ever felt jealous for those who seems to be able to eat a lot without gaining fat? Well, I did. It was like, damn, I eat lotz of veggies, less fatty foods, exercise everyday and is still slightly over, especially once I slacked off I little bit, and these uber-thin guys can eat all the junk food they can consume and still be thin.

But now I can be grateful: at least my body is able to send me warning signs so that I think twice before hitting the chips, not like those once-I-felt-jealous-for guys. Scientists found out that many people slim on the outside are actually storing up dangerous layer of internal fats, and their health are more at risk compared to those who looked fat. Whats more, those slim people carry the large fat deposits around their vital organ, meaning higher risks of stroke and aneurysm etc - a potential double whammy.

So slim people, before you laugh and scoff at those salad eating, threadmill puffing guys, think again. You might regret it. They may will be laughing beside your sickbed in a few years time.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Another Melbourne Wonder: Brighton

In contrast to Footscray which I had written in a previous post, Brighton is a totally different place.

It's famous for its beach, which is a marvellous sight, as well as a row of little colourful picturesque beach houses which dotted the beach (refer pic, the very small colourful row in the middle).

Obviously, it's also a place for the rich guys too, full of castle-like houses or mansion such as this:

One of the houses even have the audacity to name itself after the presidental dwelling of the mightest country in the world: USA

There are some rather funny street signs too, which I found one to be rather misplaced:

Instead I felt that the school should be located in this street:

The relocation in my opinion will greatly enhance the preformance of the students academically, since they will be getting rid of the 'distraction'..

Overall, Brighton is a nice, high classy type of place with a very European or British feel. It's close to the beach full of scantily clad girls too.. wouldn't mind relocating there after I had made lots of money..

And speaking of money, I just received my first ever salary: a cheque worth $1000. I'm feeling rich and rather generous right now.. (hint hint..)

To sign off, I would like to record a birthday dedication to four of my pals: Yang Yaw, Herng Yee, Ru Hui and Alvin. I don't know whether they read my blog or not, but Happy Birthday all the same! Best wishes for reaching the magical 21!

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Little wonders of Melbourne: Footscray

This post is supposed to be up by last weekend, but due to the stupid-ness and lame-ness of the Internet connection at my home, I had to postpone this and do it here right now in the uni.

I'm now currently working on a project on pharmacy advertisements. Basically, my job is simple: go and look at pharmacies around Melbourne. So in the last few days, been to places around Melbourne that I had never stepped foot on.

One of the suburb that I found unique was Footscray.

Footscray has the moniker of Little Vietnam in Melbourne, and the place is really teeming with Vietnamese and I suppose should feel like Vietnam. There's a shopping centre called Little Saigon and all the stores along the street have Vietnamese signage beside English. In fact, you will never know you are in Australia here until you saw the travel agencies: coz all they advertise is cheap flights and special discounts to Vietnam.

At first sight, the Veitnamese all look like Chinese. Their food looks like Chinese food, and even their shopping centres bear a remarkable resemblance to stores in Kuching, especially the stores in Batu Kawah New Township.

Cheap, all-in-one jack-of-all-trades shops

This is the first time I saw this in Melbourne and it caught me by surprise. In fact, I always thought that sugar cane juice is only available in Malaysia!

Melbourne is indeed a truly diverse city. Every suburb has its own uniqueness and taste that gives you the impression that you had travel to different parts of the world by just hopping on the train. Amazing.

Childhood love revisited

On Sunday the doctor wannabe OWL surprisingly brought a LEGO robot.

Not to be outdone, the pharmacist wannabe yours truly counter-act and brought a LEGO robot of his own on Monday.

And his robot has to be bigger and better to do this:

Hey little guy, take this! Wham!

Sounds lame..

I never thought I will buy another LEGO set. Even though I am LEGO mad during my childhood years, I am now too old for that. Even the boxes the LEGO came with stated that it is for 7-14 years old. But I justified my action by believing that there is a typo on the box. The "-" between the number should be "+". Then it reads 7+14 years old = 21 years old! Clever rite?

Well, OWL have plans to get more to counter my bigger-than-his robot. Guess the number of robots will perpetuate.. but my point is, whether you are a doctor wannabe or pharmacist wannabe or whatever wannabe, there is always a child in you... so why not let you child come out and play?

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

The product of boredom

It was a pretty boring day at the office today. After numerous sojourns to the cafe for water and coffee or the undergrad room to watch the ongoing Ashes series, I decided to abuse the ultra fast uni provided Internet connection to surf for some interesting stuffs.

Here's the most amazing information I had managed to glean in my spare time:

While sitting at your desk make clockwise circles with your right foot. While doing this, draw the number '6' in the air with your right hand.
Your foot will change direction.

It's incredibly true. Tried and tested by yours truly. Have fun!

Sourced from

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Exams and Marks: A Perspective

I had just received my exams results yesterday. Overall, it was a good result but there is always the nagging feeling that I could have done better.
Since God-knows when, I had always been obsessive about marks. I'm generally fascinated with numbers, and can still remember some of the marks I got in Primary school. I don't know why, perhaps it is the fact that I'm very competitive or a perfectionist in nature and marks are the only indication whether you did better then your friends or not. In fact, I was real annoyed that public exams only have grades, which means there's no indication whether your A is 100% or perhaps 70%. A lot fo people tend to argue that marks are just numbers of no real importance, as long as you pass, that's it; or as long as you get a HD, that's no reason to complain. For me that's a sign of mediocrity, a mentality of 'cukup makan'. How will someone progess with such a mentality? But of course you can beg to differ... that there more important thing out there then marks...
But I do agree that marks are no real measure of how well you know a particular subject, other factors such as time-management strategies and exam answering techniques play an important part too. It may seems unfair to some people that marks are lost due to a lack of time, but I think it is a good training to face the realities of life: time management is a must skill to survive.
Rote-learning is a well-known weakness of the education in Malaysia. As recent as yesterday,
Michael Backman, who recently made headlines due to his proclaimation of "Malaysia Bodoh" wrote in TheAge website:

How children are educated in Malaysia is a national disaster.Learning is
largely by rote. In an email to me last week, one Malaysian recalled her
schooling as being in a system “all about spoon-feeding, memory work and
regurgitation. Students are not encouraged to think for themselves and they
become adults who swallow everything they're told.”

Eventhough I quite agree with that, I also would like to say that rote learning is also prevalent in Australia. Even in Universities, most of the subjects need to be rote-learnt. As a veteran in rote-learning, the fact that I can survive here in Uni is a good enough indication that they practice the same 'system' or else I would had struggled like a fish out of water. So I will said to Mr. Backman: your views are first-rate and spot on, but please look at your backyard before criticising other country. Oops, I forgot.. you didn't like to live in your house, but spent most time in London..
While rote learning had been excessively harped and critisied in the education field, I would also like to highlight the lack of emphasis on learning from your mistakes. In my opinion, it is a fundamental error in the education system. I think a lot of people haven't grasp the importance of correcting your mistakes in exams. While having a critical and creative study method is important, equally so is getting feedbacks after the exams to know where you gone wrong. We make mistakes throughout our lives, more so in exams due to the 'pressure-cooker condition'. And as mistakes goes, the most important thing you can do about it is learn from them to avoid falling into the same trap twice.
Nonetheless, seems that universities examiners doesn't think that correcting your mistakes is important. Nobody bother to give you back your papers unless you asked for it. In fact they don't even tell you the score of the components of your exam. Why? I think for fear that you will ask for an additional mark here or there, or you questioning their methodologies, which means more hassle. Even the Deputy Education Minister of M'sia doesn't think that it is important. He felt that exams should go till the last day of the semester. I wouder which teacher will go through the exam paper for the students the following semester. Even if they did, the students will had already forgot nearly everything about it.
For me, learning from mistakes in an exams is more important than the actual meaning of the marks. A poor mark means that there are lots of mistakes being made and there is a need to do a post-mortem to rectify the problem immediately. There is nothing worse than making a mistake without knowing it. Making the process difficult is an indication of one-dimensional mentality and wrong emphasis. And to my friends who think I complained too much about my marks, try put things in my perspective. I hate to make mistakes. It equals imperfection. Harping about marks especially right after an exam in just a way for me to dissect my mistakes and remind myself not to repeat them during the next exam.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Aussie Reflections

You know you had been in Australia for a long time when a AUS$ 5.50 cup of coffee feels cheap and affordable to you.

Just felt like yesterday when it hurts to spend $3.50 for an ice-cream. Man is indeed a very easily adaptable fellow.
Come to think of it, I had been away from home for the longest time in my life - a total of 9 months. In this 9 months I had assimilate pretty well into the Australian culture, starting to appreciate their unique holidays, passions and obsessions. For example, where else in the world where there is a public holiday just for horse racing? The first Tuesday of November is exclusively horse-work only, where the whole city are glued to the TV for the 3pm Melbourne Cup race. In just around 3 minutes, fortunes are to be made and lost as the horses galloped away to the finishing line.
I had also widen my interests in sports in this city rated as the most 'Sports Mad' city in the world, gaining an appreciation for seemingly obscure sports from a Malaysian viewpoint such as Australian Rules Footy, Rugby and most recently Cricket. A few months ago it is hard to fathom me sitting in front of the tellie for succesive afternoons trying to figure out what the heck is runs and wickets about. But is fast entering into my repertoire of must watch sports.

Oh yeah..Australian Idol. At last it finished. Been faithful to the TV show since the first day and it is somewhat a relief to see it finish, coz it had been a long 16 Sundays. The results somewhat surprises me coz its an Irishman that won the coveted Idol instead of a local girl. I conced the Irish guy had slightly superior vocals, but the ability of normal Australians to differentiate between talent and nationality is amazing. Heck, he had been to Aussie roughly the same duration I had been here... wonder how will he fare in Malaysian Idol. I guess he wouldn't even pass selection.. cannot speak Malay language bah!
Well, sometimes studying outside your home country can really open your eyes and alter your perceptions about how you see your own country. As roughly translated from a Chinese saying, the view from outside is always clearer. Since being here, I had noticed some glaring deficiencies as well as some good points about Malaysia that I never realised before, even though the deficiencies somewhat outweigh the good points a little bit. It is tempting to adopt Melbourne as my home after I graduate, but in the end, it is more rewarding to go back to Malaysia to change it for the better. No matter how far or deviating the branches reach, the roots will always stay firm on the ground it germinates.

Monday, November 20, 2006

The bright side of things

Ahem, due to unforseen circumstances, I can only go back to Kuching and eat Kolo-Mee in another 4 long weeks. Hence still stuck here with the unpredictable Melbourne weather.
Been enjoying the previous two weeks doing nothing, so will start to work on my blog today. Enough laziness.
I was having fun checking out websites when stumbled upon this very enlightening post. Just another reminder that there are always two ways (or more) to view an incident.
Like me, cannot go back early as wanted but will get $1000 for my troubles. Oh well, the world doesn't look so bleak anymore. =)
Reasons we can be glad that we have Diabetes
1) In a group hostage situation you can be sure you'll be among the first to be released, faster than you can jingle your MedicAlert bracelet and say "hey, does anyone have a dink? I'm feeling thirsty ..."
2) You can speak with some authority on the subject of diabetes - unlike say, the subject of the current up-to-date situation in the Middle East - and wow friends and family with statistics and lots of complex, polysyllabic words like "hypoglycaemia"
3) You can demand regular sex from your partner and justify it on the grounds that it's part of your medically prescribed exerciser routine
4) Rort the system and use it to get out of tricky university exams
5) When friends are arguing about where to go out to eat, you can say "I have to eat NOW" loudly - which usually means that they will exchange worried looks and hurry to the restaurant of your choice, little knowing that really you were just hungry and didn't feel like Thai
6) Who wants a fully functional pancreas anyway? It's so common.
7) Even though you may have no letters from that secret admirer, you'll always have diabetes-related junk mail so you can know at least that you'll have something to pull out of the mailbox in case neighbours are watching
8)You get to finely hone your swearing abilities with all those times when your BSL isn't what you expected
9) Women with diabetes taste sweeter (I'll leave that to your imagination!)
10) Enjoy the giddy feeling of living dangerously ALL THE TIME: "Bungy-jumping? A walking tour in Zaire? PAH! I have DIABETES!"
11) Always good emotional blackmail in a family fight (I've heard other people do this ...)
12) When annoying men ask you "why do you always drink Diet Coke? You’re so image- conscious. Girls are always worried about their weight.." you can reply with "I have diabetes" and watch in delight as they turn bright red and mumble an apology.
13) Thanks to (occasional of course) hypos and very high blood sugars, you can experience unique body sensations and hallucinatory adventures without the use of illegal, expensive drugs: a cheaper night out!
14) Should you ever meet that special someone and s/he happens to have diabetes, you'll always have something to talk about during those Awkward Silences. You can also employ unique flirting techniques: "I'll show you my injection bruises if you show me yours ..."
15) Should you ever NOT meet that special someone on a blind date or otherwise, just pull out your handy drug kit and excuse yourself for a well needed "fix" in the toilet.
16) Getting a tattoo is a breeze - it just feels like a few more injections than normal (and yes I do have one!)
17) Amuse yourself by trying to predict exactly what your BSL will be after that piece of sugar-coated mud cake, with honey and ice cream on the side.

Tuesday, October 31, 2006

I'm still alive!

This is a post out of the blue.. Just like to take some time out from my monotonous study regimen to announce to the world: I'm still alive! Currently I'm halfway through my exams, and am already bored to death of studying. Here in Melbourne there is no late nite teh tarik or roti canai (those were the time in Shah Alam).. Now just being confined to my little apartment with nothing much to do except studying and feasting on unhealthy snacks like chocolates, ice-creams, jelly, tim-tams and chips...

Good news: I'm goin home in just 3 weeks! Couldn't wait..

I wanna see Zheng He again..

Or visit the China in Kuching..wonder how it would look after a year..

I wanna taste the food! Laksa, Kolo Mee, Kacang-ma, Lei Cha... couldn't wait..

(After thought) of course I miss my families and friends too... =P

A late birthday dedication to Casper too.. the guy who shared the same birthday as the great Wayne Rooney. Here's a picture of both of us way back when we are still young and innocent. Well, now we are still young, but more handsome. =) Casper is one of the nicest guy around, alwaz willing to help people. Good guy..happy birthday ghost!

Will restart my blogging after exams which is 6 Nov.. haha.. so lucky this year coz I finish the earliest. The rest will be still mired to their anxious thoughts and chained to their books then while I will be flying freey... Tata for now.

Friday, October 13, 2006

One year old! One year old!

Yeah. Without me realising it, my blog was officially one year old a few days back! It survived! Even though there are some near death experiences, the blog pulled through. Damn proud of myself. Happy birthday Thirteen! By the way, how am I supposed to celebrate my blog's very first birthday? I can't give it a cake or present..I dun wanna give it a facelift.. So I decided to do a competition: Post of the Year.

I was travelling down memory lane for the last couple of hours, shifting through all my posts in the blog. There are only around 50 of them. Most of them are ramblings and crazy midnight thoughts but I am proud of these few posts which I thought was pure inspiration. In fact I can't believe I wrote them. Haha. So I listed them as the finalist in Post of the Year. In case you never read them, the posts are:

1.The team that will win World Cup 2006
2.Life's a Pharm
3.Iron chef ala College Square
4.Snapshots of Melbourne

These are the posts that I really put in an effort to do. I felt that they are even better than KennySia's posts. So after you read them please vote-lah. Since I'm still computer-ly challenged, I can't figure out how to do a 'polling booth' so juz put it as comments. Thx.

Carry on my ramblings... Today was the unofficial last day of uni. It means my second year of study as a pharmacy student is at an end. It means that I am halfway through my undergrad degree. It means I am two years away from being a servant of Malaysia. Time really flies. I still need time to drink it all in. It seems so staggeringly unbelievable...

You know, everyday I walk for 20 mins to uni, and walk another long 20 mins back to my apartment. I once thought of counting the steps from my apartment to uni, and finally I managed to do it on Monday. The result: altogether, there are a total of 2512 steps. That means in a typical uni day, I would had taken a total of 5024 steps. In a week, that would be 25120 steps. I had 12 weeks per semester, so that is a total of 301440 steps. Till today, I had been through 4 semesters, so that equals to an astronomical 1205670 steps! 1.2 million steps taken to and from uni for the last two years! Thats quite a huge amount. Another unbelievable event.

How was my last day? Well, I was in quite a melancholic mood.. First, it is extremely hot. Second, the exam is 10 days away. Third, I got prac. Fourth, I am attending the last lecture of a professor who spent the last 44 years teaching in the uni. Wonder how he felt writing the last chapter in his thick book.. While clearing my locker, the thought struck me: how would I feel if I am in his shoes? A 44 year journey: that's easily more than half of a person's life. Will I be able to let go after all of this is over? Part of him must had died today.

To end today's post, here's the pic of the day.. just when I thought bad English is only prevalent in Malaysia... it seems that Australia is prone to the malady too. Talk about a global pandemic. Hope you can spot the mistake!

Friday, October 06, 2006

Mid-Autumn Festival

Last nite celebrated the Mid-Autumn festival in uni. I guess it's the first time ever in the college 125 year history that the festival is celebrated there.

Guess what we do there...

Eat mooncake...

Listen to stories about Chang Er...

Play games...

and of course play lantern!

Haha a typical mid-autumn festival celebration. Anyway, just like to wish everyone a Happy Mid-autumn Festival wherever you are..

Thursday, October 05, 2006

Pieces of Jigsaw

On the very last day of the hols last week, I decided to do something inspirational: create a risotto dish. Risotto is an Italian rice dish made from a starchy type of rice known as Arborio rice. This labor of love took me 3 hours to finish. Here's a pic of the final product:

Mussels and mushroom risotto served with honey lemon infused chicken salad

Well, you may think why in the world such an easy-looking rice dish need 3 hours of preparation. Here's the step by step process to justify my actions:
1) Make my own chicken stock. Ingredients: whole chicken, carrots, onions, celery sticks, peppercorns, basil and sea salt. Time needed: 1hour.
2) Prepare mussels stock by cooking mussels in Chadonnay. Time needed: 45 mins (include time needed to clean mussels)
3) Prepare the rice. This is an ardous process requiring constant supervision: the rice is cooked in the chicken broth and mussel stock for over 45 mins. When the rice is tender enough, fresh mushrooms, cheese and butter is added.
4) Prepare the chicken salad with honey-lemon infusion: 20 mins.
5) Arranging the food on plate for photo: 10 mins.

The result: a gourmet dinner for three. Why the fancy word gourmet? because it is nice looking, took a long time to prepare but cannot make you feel full. Haiz. But tastes great =).

Currently, the Australian Idol is being shown on the tele here. A stark difference to Malaysian Idol is that being in the final 12 here means that you are quite a star by your own rights. Just last week the final 9 came to Melbourne for a concert and the crowd was simply enormous. Damn shouldn't had gone as all I can see is the big screen above the stage. There are just too many tall heads in front of me... one of the disadvantages of living in an Ang-mo dominant country..

Idolmania: The hordes of people in front of me.

It's October and that means exams is just around the corner. To be precise, it is just three weeks ahead. Think its high time I started revising. So I will hopefully blog less.. but I got a feeling that I will blog more coz being human, there's always a tendency to do what you are not supposed to do.. I believe that's were the term forbidden fruit taste sweetest came from ...

Study study study...

Oh ya..the mid autumn festival is just around the corner.. so I would like to wish everyone "Happy Mid-autumn festival!" and a be-earlied "Happy Birthdays" for all the October babies out there.

P/s: Haiz can't think of anything interesting to write in my blog lately.. but I guess stories about my life is interesting rite?

Friday, September 29, 2006





哈哈,应该觉得我写得一章小学水准的文章吧。 坦白说,我在这两小时内已经废了不少功夫, 翻了字典上百次了。 真可悲!尽量笑吧!我自己都难相信我曾经在SPM华文考获A1。可能那是在梦中发生的吧。=P

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

English Tea

On the way home from the tulip festival last Saturday, we stopped by a quaint English teahouse to have authentic English afternoon tea in the small shire of Sassafras, Melbourne.

The teahouse is named after the famous grandmother-age sleuth made famous in Agatha Christie novels: Miss Marple.

Miss Marple Teahouse

Obviously, the teahouse is very famous, as we had to wait for nearly an hour for tea. By the time we were sitted, it is nearly dinner time.

The interior of the teahouse is distinctively old traditional English, just like in the classical English novels I used to read. Around the teahouse are shelves laced with tea-pots of different shapes and sizes, old English black and white photographs, timber ceiling, wooden panelled walls, and flowery tableclothes. The atmosphere feels like 18th or 19th century British too, with the afternoon sunlight bathing the place with cosy heat and radiance.

The cosy interior of Miss Marple teahouse

We had traditional English scones for tea. This is my first ever taste of 'hot scones just out of the oven' which can always be found in Enid Blyton's storybook. The real life scones however are not what I anticipated or expected it to be like. In my imagination, it should taste more waffle pancakes but instead, it taste like half-baked cakes with a grainy texture. Nonetheless, it is a pleasant experience and the homemade jam and cream accompanying the scones are simply delicious.

Hot scones with strawberry jam and fresh cream

Of course we have some traditional Devonshire tea to go with the scones.. and to top it all off, we ordered a sundae that is at least 30cm tall. Yummy! Definitely an experience to remember. (Not to mention the exorbitant prices too! A piece of scones cost like RM10)



Wish you were here! Haha.

Pic of the day: A really vain vanity carplate. Audacious! Who are you to call yourself Datin Victoria?

Sunday, September 24, 2006

Say it with flowers

Yesterday I went to the Netherlands - the country known for its windmills, clogs and of course tulips. Here's some marvellous photos of tulips taken by yours truly for your enjoyment. Details of the trip will be out soon. Enjoy!

Welcome to the Tulip Festival!

Tulips as far as the eyes can see..

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Lecturers' New Toy

Seems like lecturers now knew that their lectures are getting boring. At last they noticed all the blank stares and drooping heads in the lecture theatre...

So what do you think they do to spruce up their lectures? Like any TV stations wanting to increase their TV ratings, they turn the lecture theatre into an arena for Who Wants To Be a Millionaire. With some slight modifications though... Since they don't have the money, they changed the Millionaire to Pharmacist and the $ sign into mg. Like yeah, congrats, you won 1 million milligrams! (Of what? who long as it sounds Pharmacist) You are now a Pharmacist!

Welcome to Who wants to be a Pharmacist! Congrats to our contestant here for winning the Fastest Fingers challenge... Let the game begin!

And mind you, they are really serious about this idea of game show in lecture. They even invest some of our monies to buy some Keepads.

Kee-pad. Made in Korea.

What is the Keepads used for? To choose the fastest contestant of course! The question will go on the screen, and all the students will press the answers. Just to render an air of authencity to the game which is made fake by the fact that nobody will win any money. Impressive right?

Press quick! The fastest guy will stand a chance to win 1000000 mg!

Everyone say VCP is one of the best Pharmacy school in the world. Now I know why. They are even serious and provide the best when it comes to playing games. Did I see any of you turn green with envy?

P/s: Great news! JPA said I will receive a pay rise..yeah! My salary will raised by around 100% from RM1760 to RM3315 per month! Woo-hoo! Even higher than being a school teacher or even a pharmacist in Malaysia. Studying is really one of the best paid job... =) Next time the After Form 5 Careers RoadShow should have one new potential career path: "Professional Student".

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Lessons from a Lion

In Malaysia, the Lion seen in Chinese New Year Lion Dances is a beautiful, magnificient creature. However, I had never seen this creature before in Melbourne until Malaysia's National Day last week. One look at the animal and the truth hits me square in the face. No wonder I had never seen one here! After a few generations undergoing the entire gamut of evolution and genetic material changes, it seems that the Lion here had metamorposize into this hideous looking creature.

-Before migration to Melbourne-

-After migration-

Oh my! If not for the accompanying 'dong-dong chiang' music I might never had realised that this was indeed a Lion.

This caused me to wonder what conditions here had such an adverse effect that so severly stunted the Lion's growth and disfigured its appearance. The cold and dry weather? The 'eat red meat' and BBQ culture? The 'drink till you drop' mantra? Or the Lion had a footy game too many? Australia do have a footy team consisting entirely of lions.

Since I can't pinpoint the actual cause for the Lion's disfigurement, I will call it Melbourne Induced Ugliness Factor-X or (MIUF-X) for the time being.

Anyhow, the moral of the story is, parents, don't try to send your children to study here. Because if you do, it will set up a cascade of events that eventually ended up in you have great-great-great grandchildren that suffer the same fate as the once-magnificient looking Lion. What cascade of events? Okay, first they study here. Then they love the culture here so much. Third they wanna migrate here as PR. Fourth they meet a nice girl/guy here and wanna marry. Then they give birth to your grandchild. And another. And another. Soon the family too big and they wouldn't have money to return home to their country of origin. So Melbourne became their adopted home. The Melbourne culture will then assimilate into their lifestyle. They will be exposed to the Melbourne weather and of course one of these contain the MIUF-X. Then they will go forth and multiply when they grow up. In the process, their genes evolved. The MIUF-X will ugly-fy them generation by generation..

So Moms, if you wanna your great-great-great granddaughter to have the Michelle Yeoh or Amber Chia look that you preceived you have now, don't ever send them to Melbourne.. Likewise for Dads who think they are Brad Pitt lookalikes...

Wednesday, September 06, 2006


I love quotes.. coz if you put some quotes in your essays it gives the impression that you are indeed a well-read person. Hence I always start my essays with a quote.

While attending a seminar by the 2005 Nobel Prize winner for Physiology/Medicine Barry Marshall, he captivated my attention coz he started with a very good quote:

"The greatest obstacle to discovery is not ignorance - it is the illusion of knowledge."

How true. Perhaps it's this quote that inspire him to challenge the widely-accepted and deeply-rooted notion that peptic ulcers are stress related and not caused by bacteria. Perhaps it's this insight - on the illusion on knowledge - that spur him on to find out the truth behind the cause of peptic ulcer.

Quotes are powerful. They make you think. They make you reflect. The right quotes can inspire you to think outside the box and give you deep insights. The best quotes are usually the deviously simple ones, which alwaz gives you the illusion that 'hey, I can write a quote like that too!'. It's on things that we know in the deep recesses our of brain but which we aren't consciously aware of. The quoters are those who make the connection. And that had made the difference. They got remembered, attaining immortality in the process. Juz by a simple quote. A good example: Murphy's Law.

By the way, the quote quoted by Barry Marshall was by Daniel J Boorstein (1914-2004), who was one the librarian of the US congress. Out of curiousity, I googled this guy and found out that he had other inspiring quotes too. Three others quotes by him that I felt are powerful:

'There was a time when the reader of an unexciting newspaper would remark, 'How dull is the world today!' Nowadays he says, 'What a dull newspaper!' '

'Some are born great, some achieve greatness, and some hire public relations officers.'

'We suffer primarily not from our vices or our weaknesses, but from our illusions. We are haunted, not by reality, but by those images we have put in their place.'

This guy seems to have a sense of humour too:

'Reading is like the sex act-done privately, and often in bed.'

Utterly profound.

For more of his quotes visit the link here.

P/s: I didn't know that Steve Irwin aka the Crocodile Hunter was so popular. The newspapers was full of his news. Children cried for him. He was offered a state funeral. There's a special tribute show just for him. A guy who criticised him before got hundreds of hate mails. People put him on the same plane as Princess Di and Mother Teresa. Described as 'larger than life'. And yet he was just a simple, humble guy doing something he like whole-heartedly. Interesting. What make him popular?

Monday, September 04, 2006

Of Death and Friendship

A new dawn

September = Spring. Spring always have a positive connotation to it, bringing to mind a new beginning, a new dawn, of love, of joy and laughter, of fun and gaiety. Spring is of beautiful flowers, warm sunlight, singing birds and bumbling bees. In short, spring is the best season of all. For me the smell that encapsulate spring is the essence of newly cut grass. I think it is one of the nicest smell in the world. The aroma of grass is so refreshing and morale uplifting. It clears the mind and fills the brain with joy.

Death and dying

My mind seems detached from my body for the last few days. I can't think, I can't concentrate and I can just sit there with nothing on my mind. The creative juices start drying up and my brain lost the ability to think too. Suddenly became aware that my brain is getting lazy day by day. That day did an IQ test. The score: 126. Damn! Once upon a time its around 150. Help! is my brain atrophy-ing?!? How to repair a slowly malfunctioning brain? Or izzit that I been reflecting a lot about life lately?

Seems this week is filled with the death of prominent people. Today its Steve Irwin aka the Crocodile Hunter. Death by Stingray (suprisingly not Crocodile). Can't really relate to his death like Kim did coz didn't watch his show, only felt sorry for his children. They are still so young... However, one death that I felt real sadness about is the passing away of the Chief Monk of M'sia and Singapore, Reverend Dhammananda. He was indeed a person filled with humility and benovelence, kindness and wisdom. I will always remember his deep, resonant voice, and his kind smile. Last time I saw him was 2 years ago in Shah Alam. May he rest in peace.

Death seems to fill my mind for the last few days. Partly thanks to the book "Tuesdays with Morrie" by Mitch Albom. Was wondering which kind of death do I prefer (eventhough I know I couldn't choose) - slow death brought about by cancer or a rapid death like in a plane crash. In the end, I think I prefer a slow death, not because I want my family and friends to suffer watching me die, but I want some time to reflect my time spent of earth and maybe have some time to do what I always wanted to do but didn't do. I want to celebrate my life. Anyway, back to the book- it was a heart-warming book. Highly recommended by me. The part I like best is that it makes me aware how a simple human touch, such as a hug can means so much to someone.

The prefect Sunday

Always felt that the prefect weekend is one that is spent curled in bed reading a novel. Did that last Sunday. Read the book from the moment I woke up to late afternoon. The feeling is just so nice.

Back to life.. now knew time flies so quicky for me - it is because I always yearned for the weekends from Monday onwards. It was like Monday morning - five more days to Saturday... Tuesday, four more days to Saturday... didn't really cherish everyday. Now I have the ability to slow time down.


I was very touched by one of my friends on Saturday. He invited me to play badminton with him and even go all the way from his place to my place bring me there. It turned out that the badminton complex is only a stone throw away from his house.. and he spent 1 and a half hour going to my place and bring me back there. Wow.. I was left speechless. Juz like being touched by an angel. One of the little things in life...

And thanks to my friends in second year who always ask me to play basketball with them too..even though you know and I know that I'm not very good in the game.. and thanks for your support. Another one of the little things in life...

Left me wonder had I done anything for anyone lately? Had I brighten up the day of anyone out there? Had I make anyone feel good or feel better? Make me feel guilty, taking and not giving.. I am not a guy who express my feelings.. the typical chinese consevative breed with the stoic unfeeling outlook.. sometimes I envy those caucasians, who hug freely and kissed freely. I can't do that. It felt unnatural, not sincere. I want to change, but can't. Its too deeply rooted in me. However, I vowed to teach my children to be freely expressive. I can't change myself, but I sure can use my experience to teach someone to do it. But now, I need to learn to care more about others. I'm going to try to make someone out there happier this month.

Birthday dedication

Sept 5 is the 21th Birthday of my oldest friend, dear old Vincent Chong. Known him since Primary One (gosh thats 14 years ago? oh my..). Always the optimistic, vibrant and ambitious guy, hope being an adult drives you to more successes in whatever you do! Happy birthday!

Belated birthday dedication... yeah before I forgot, a happy belated birthday to my housemates in Cemara too... Chin Fei and Esjay. Will never forget you both hamka-chan(s)!! ^_^

Geez long post.. can't believe I started without any specific idea on what to write 2 hours ago..

Saturday, August 26, 2006

I am proudly a Malaysian

Congratulations Phiaw, you are 13% not Malaysian.

That means you're as Malaysian as...

Abdullah Badawi !

How Un-Malaysian Are You?

Geez...does it mean I'm Prime Minister material too? Come to think of it, I share many traits with Abdullah Badawi too... I'm humble, peace loving, conservative, family loving, soft spoken, has a charming smile, patriotic, hates bribery, Mr. Clean, Mr. Nice Guy and will also love my son-in-law to death too if I have one.. what's more seems like AB and I share the same favorite number too... Thirteen...

In 20 years time, people may be doing this kinda survey and the results come up as:

Congratulations Ah Kow! you are 13% not Malaysian.
That means you're as Malaysian as...

Prime Minister Datuk Phiaw!

He is 13% not Malaysian because: he once studied overseas, he loves to eat pizza and spagetti, he does not like to drive Proton and he does not take bribe. Way to go Ah Kow! =)