I think, therefore I write. (我思,所以我写。)

Cogito ergo scribo

Thursday, August 22, 2013

Away and back

I am now at Christchurch International Airport, waiting to board the 2:30pm flight back to Wellington.

Uh huh, an originally 3-week holiday back home was extended to almost 4 weeks instead because of an unexpected incident.

My 95-year-old grandma passed away on the day before my supposed return. I had to extended my leave for the funeral. The family was sad yet comforted because we knew that she is now reunited with my grandpa and our Heavenly Father; she is now at a better place where there is only joy.

Despite the passing of my beloved grandma, the holiday has been awesome. Our high-school centennial celebration had been fun; the meeting-ups with friends were great; the family felt closer than ever through the funeral; the food was fantastic (let's not talk about the extra pounds that i gained as a result of it). 

In fact, the past few weeks had been so memorable that i didn't really feel like coming back. I am sure i'm gonna miss my family and friends dearly when i gotta spend another year alone here in NZ.

Anyway, the lack of updates on this blog is a sign to something that has been going through my mind for quite a while. There is this ONE post that i wanna write but i gotta organise my thoughts properly. Hopefully i can get down to writing it before end of this week, since i will only be back to work on next Monday and i should have plenty of time to do so -- that is if i am not caught in my horrible habit of procrastinating again.

Yet, i do dread the house chores that are waiting for me at my rented flat. After being vacant for one month and also a couple of earthquakes while i away, i bet the flat will require quite some tidying and cleaning. Argh.


wah, long time no update already. aha, take the chores of tidying your home as a momentum building before work, warm up exercise. and the energy burning for the "extra pound" - don't be-lah that lazy and negative thinking, hehe. of course, don't stretch yourself too much and then use it as excuse to become degenerative at work few days ahead hor. hey, set back the ALARM CLOCK for MONDAY MORNING! glad to know the holiday was fun and great, and you really managed to join the centennial celebration of your school - deserve a pat pat. surely these nice memories are not gonna flushed away when they are already in the ipad and fb. look forward for the stories about them. cheers, and again, you are not alone :)

I'm all but certain you are still thinking, but there are some of us stuck out here in the ether wishing you were still writing!


~Chuck in Colorado

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Monday, July 22, 2013

Shaken by strong earthquake

This has been the longest time lapse between posts since i started my blog.

There are many reasons why i have been on a blogging hiatus (without giving any notice) and i've planned to write a different post when i do blog again... until this happened yesterday.

Uh huh, i guess the news should have been reported internationally by now. We were hit by a rather strong earthquake yesterday after a swarm of minor ones starting on Friday. Just Google for news on "earthquake NZ" and you will see lots of news articles and photos on the quake.

All i wanna say is that I am fine and there was no damage at my rented place, but that big one really scared the hell out of me. I was very shaken (no pun intended) and couldn't sleep well last night. In fact, there were and still are constant aftershocks going on and i was awaken by a few too last night, after which i could hardly go back to sleep anymore.

I just hope the 6.5 magnitude one was the only big one and there shall be no more, but then earthquake is really unpredictable and no one can say for sure. Well, isn't everything in life the same too?

Anyway, my 3-week holiday will start this weekend. I will be flying back on Wellington-Auckland-Singapore route on Friday night. Will touch down in Singapore on Saturday. Even though i don't particularly look forward to the hot weather back in Singapore and Malaysia, i do look forward to having a break from the stress of worrying about when the next earthquake may strike again. Oh, of course, not to forget about all the delicious food and my dear family and friends too.

Counting down eagerly.

Labels: ,

Welcome Home, my dear.

Welcome back! Hope you have recovered from the bites ^_^. Enjoy the holiday to the fullest, cheers.

Hi PinPin,

We tried to look for your email contact but it does not seem to be available on your blog. So we are contacting you via a comment.

On behalf of the National Library Board (NLB), we would like to invite you to pledge your blog to the Singapore Memory Project (SMP).

We find that your entries about your daily life would be a great addition to the Singapore Memory Project.

We think your blog would offer a different perspective. Whether your posts are an account of your daily life or an expression of your thoughts, our project hopes to find a home for these memories so that it can help build a ground-up understanding of Singapore.

If you believe memories are worth preserving, simply pledge your blog here: http://singaporememory.simulation.com.sg/Public/Pledge.

The SMP is a national initiative started in 2011 to collect, preserve and provide access to stories, moments and memories related to Singapore. For more information about this initiative, you may wish to contact Mr Patrick Cher at patrick_cher@nlb.gov.sg or read the FAQ.

Yours sincerely,

[Simulation Software & Technologies (S2T) Pte Ltd. is the officially appointed vendor for SMP for the period Nov 2012 to Dec 2013.]

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Sunday, June 30, 2013

My theme song 127

I've not been writing about it at all but it has actually never really left me completely. In times of sorrow, i just cried myself to sleep and the next day is another beginning. Everyday is. We keep falling down, and then we keep moving on.

Maybe because it's winter and it's especially cold and lonely. I don't know... it's difficult to be missing someone miserably when everything, good or bad, seems to be in such distant past and yet the memories just linger on.

I often ask myself, "how long more?", or if ever?

It is pointless, i know. That's what i realised - no matter which corner of the world i run to, there is no escape because it is not really about the places. It is about the heart that, though broken into million pieces, we still need to carry it with us, no matter where we go.

If only someone knows a sure way to mend a broken heart.




梦不到你 梦不到你
梦不到你 梦不到你



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Wednesday, June 19, 2013

I am a handy-woman

I know that i've not been blogging as regularly as i've hoped but i had wanted to keep it at least having one update per week. I wanted to do so yesterday but then was really exhausted. I've been having on average only about 4 hours of sleep everyday.

I've not completely settled down at the new flat yet. The cleaning, tidying and furnishing is still work-in-progress. Here's me, all suited up to perform the cleaning on the weekend before i moved in.

Being somewhat a cleanliness freak, i'm really cleaning every inch of the place, or at least whatever areas that i could see and reach. That explains why the progress is slow, especially when i'm doing it all by myself. It is time like this that i truely appreciate mom being around. The last time when i moved, she was with me and hence she did the cleaning and tidying up for me while i was at work. Now i could only do it after work and on weekends, and that certainly drain my energy out.

I am still sleeping on the air bed and haven't bought a bed yet. I went to quite a few furniture shops last weekend but realised that beds are really expensive here. If i wanna get something decent enough to warrant a good sleep, the price range for a mattress and bed frame is more than NZD1K. I've spent close to NZD1K already on weekend on a new heater, a few pieces of new furniture and household items. I am still thinking of getting a few more pieces of furniture for the living room and some appliances. Hence I don't think i'd wanna spend NZD1K on a bed, especially when i am really not sure at this stage if i'd stay more than 3 years here.

Anyway, the hunt for a cheaper bed is still on and in the meantime i'd still have to make-do with the air bed, placed on the carpeted floor in this winter time.

Now, talking about furniture, i'm totally becoming a handy-woman now. Last round when mom was around, I assembled a new desk with some help from her (like passing me the screws or holding on to some of the parts). This is the desk for which I installed the legs and drawer (pardon me for the messy boxes, as this is the area where i've yet to tidy up):

This time 'round, I bought a new dining set at a good promotional price (NZD150) and assemble it all by myself!

The dining set comes with 4 chairs and one round glass table. It was packed in flat panel. Here's when I had assembled one chair (see the new heater i bought behind the carton box) :

Here's the completely assembled dining set, which took me about 1.5 hours:

The glass table top is very heavy and lifting it up to place it on top of the stands was the most challenging part. My boss had helped me to deliver the cartons from the shops to my rented flat because my car is too small to fit it in, and he knew how heavy it was. He was very impressed when i showed him this picture of fully assembled set and wondered how i managed to lift the glass table top up. I jokingly told him that i popped a few steroid pills and then was able to lift it up without problem (this was actually quite amusing when i have the time to relate another incident that happened the week before).

Well, the truth is that i didn't turn into Popeye; i wasn't able to really lift it up and put it on top of the stands on one-go. I gotta lift it up half-way and placed one side of it on my luggage first, and then took a deep breath and lifted it all the way to place it on the stands.

Here's another piece that i assembled last night. This was easier and took me about 40 minutes.

I am sure there will be more handy work for me in the future, as everyone here seems to be able to fix their own things one way or another. My boss even built his own shed and greenhouse at his backyard. I will have to DIY for most things -- well, after all, i am here all alone and I have no one else to depend on most of the times.

To be honest, i'd be lying if all these sourcing for new furniture and fixing things on my own didn't bring back some nostalgic sorrows. The last time i needed to do all these was in a joyful situation when i was going to welcome a new chapter in my life together with the love of my life (or so i thought at that time). I did not have to do all the heavy lifting and fixing for he took care of all of these tasks. Now, i'd have to do it all by myself and gotta rough it through no matter how tough it is. The big contrast between then and now really is an irony that often overwhelms me with melancholy.

Oh well, i'd better stop thinking along this train of thoughts lest i get all depressed again. The gloomy and cold weather with lesser daylight time now certainly doesn't help in spirit-lifting. It is time for me to take my bath (which i dread nowadays because the bathroom is so cold!) and then continue with my house tidying chores.


gosh, your eyes are so so RED! and they seem to be quite some time already beyond the home hunting. pin, you gotta really avoid staying up late - it certainly won't do good to your health, makes you ugly and drain you physically and mentally too. but kudos in assembling the table, i can't imagine if you slip and the glass shatters (for sure it will be trauma then, sweat).... but here it is nice nice table, a great reward for the effort :). err, the spot is nice so don't bother for new location hor ...

and hey, STOP mentioning about the bad things. it's only forward and future happy days. Live happily.

sometimes when jobs is done by own self, there would be some pride in it and gratification, just like writing own code and cooking own dishes, aha. so keep it up girl, don't use this as excuse but more sense of DIY enjoyment (and also exersizing hor). uh, where's the new heater?? that should be topmost priority, #2 the bed and spare comforter.

hmm, wonder if the bites have gone away, sigh.. but it's still winter in NZ. and look forward for the detail steroid joke :) cheers.

Well done Seck Pin!

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Tuesday, June 11, 2013

New rented flat

The past week has been crazy and filled with ups and downs. The emotional roller coaster ride will have to be left for another day, as I can only do a quick update now.

This week will continue to be hectic, as I've just moved in to the new flat and tonight is the second night here. I've not bought any furniture yet and hence am still sleeping on the air bed. I've also not had time to clean and tidy the entire flat. The place is like a war zone now. Just look at how messy the living room is:

(In case you are wondering, I did not buy any of the stuff shown on the boxes. These are boxes I borrowed from my colleagues for moving stuff and will be returned to him after I'm done.)

I can only tidy up the place bit-by-bit every day after work, and the coming weekend is gonna be spent  on house chores and shopping. There are lots of stuff to buy, which I do enjoy shopping except that it's gonna burn a big hole in my pocket.

I had briefly cleaned the previous apartment today after work and will be retuning the keys to the building management tomorrow even though my lease officially ends on 12/6.

Oh, and I gotta mention that I totally enjoy the designated parking now. No more hunting for car park after work or rushing to wake up in the morning. The down side is that precisely because of not needing to rush for the morning parking time, I didn't have the motivation to wake up this morning and ended up taking half-day leave today (well, I meant Monday since it is past midnight already).

This flat is not well insulated and the windows aren't double glazed either. That makes the flat colder than the previous apartment and hence my first night here wasn't that good. I kept waking up due to the cold temperature. I gotta get myself a more powerful heater this weekend!

Congratulations! And don't burn too deep your pocket hor. Cheers ^_^

(Oh, hope the bite all subsided liao ...)

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Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Good and bad news

Ok, let's start with a good news first - I've finally found a new place. Well, it isn't really ideal but then after having viewed more than 10 places over almost three weeks and with time running out, I can't be that picky anymore.

The new place is a property with four flats in a town-house like unit. I'm going to stay in one of the lower flats and because the property is on a slope, the bedroom is somewhat lower than ground level even though the living room is on ground level. This made the bedroom quite humid, especially where the property is located in an area that is on higher ground and colder. The flat is not furnished but does come with whiteware and a dehumidifier. I'll have to buy quite a lot of stuff such as a bed, sofa, tables, kitchen utensils and other household stuff.

The good thing about the flat is that it comes with a designated parking space. It is also located near the city centre yet not within CBD area. The rent is about the same as what i am paying now - just NZD5/week cheaper than now. My lease starts this coming Saturday, and I intend to use the weekend to move even though my lease with the current apartment ends on next Tuesday.

Actually I can't wait to move out... as here comes the bad news - I am (still) suffering from the red itchy rashes. Despite moving to sleep at the living room and washed & sanitised my bed sheets, pillows and duvet, I am still seeing new spots every day. Now the worst part is that I am starting to get the spots on shoulders, neck, some parts of my body, arms and hands.

I am now starting to doubt the cause of these rashes. I do not think those are bed bugs bites anymore. It may probably be other insects such as fleas or carpet beetles, or perhaps may not be insect bites at all. As the apartment is getting quite damp (since I didn't open the windows much to air the apartment due to the weather turning cold and the condensations built up inside the unit), I may be getting some skin infections or allergies.

The odd thing about the rashes is that it will start with an itch at a certain spot without any visible bump or redness. Then after I scratched it, a tiny red bump or tiny puncture will be seen. After a day or two, there will be blister at that spot and red raised weld will form around the blister (probably result from the scratching). Then the spot will be extremely itchy for days or even weeks.

Here are pictures of the blisters on my hand and arm (to gross you out again):

As you can see from the pictures, there are a few spots with the blisters already punctured. These may be due to my scratching or after the hot shower. Uh huh, I noticed that the blisters will sometimes pop by themselves with hot water.

Since I can't be sure if these are caused by pests or not, I would rather be safe than sorry. I'm now sanitising all clothes before I wear, even if that means an exceptionally high power bill for month.

I am really suffering, both physically and mentally, from this condition of unexplainable rashes. I haven't been sleeping well at all. The over-the-counter medication that i bought from the pharmacy and have taken for more than four days didn't seem to have any effect at all. Same with all the cream or ointment that I've been applying - didn't help to stop the itch.

Anyway, I'm going to see a doctor tomorrow. I've hoped to be able to avoid that since the medical bill is gonna be super expensive for me here, but now I'm at my wit's end already. I'd have to spend the money to fix the problem. Now I just hope that the doctor can indeed diagnose the condition and put me out of this misery soon.


Gosh, could it be related with your diet, food you have eaten? Or chicken pox. Don't hesitate anymore to visit doctor for the antibiotics. Gotta recover soon becoming pretty again, and dont get stressed - everything will be ok hor :). Cheers.

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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Bitten badly

It hasn't been a good week for me. Nuh-uh, not a good week at all.

Besides continuing with my hunt for a new place and to no avail, i am also suffering physically and somewhat mentally too.

Let me show you why (sorry if this picture grosses you out):

Uh huh, i was badly bitten on both my legs and this is the more serious one. This happened since last Wednesday. I seriously can't tell for sure what insect it was though i highly suspect that it is bed bugs.

If it indeed is bed bugs, i really have no idea how they came about. I have kept the apartment clean and i've been sleeping on that bed for almost six months without any such problem. I'm not sure why suddenly these bugs would appear and feasted on my blood in the nights. Those bites are super duper itchy, and i was doing my best not to scratch it lest there would be scars, or worse, infection if i wound myself through scratching. I could still control myself in the day, but it would be quite a challenge to do the same while i am sleeping. Hence i haven't been sleeping well, as my mind could not be at complete rest, worrying that i would scratch myself too much.

In addition to suffering from the itchiness, i am also quite stressed because of this. I've always been a bit of a cleanliness freak and i am afraid of crawling insects. Now that i've been badly bitten in this apartment, it kinda made me feel very uncomfortable to be staying in the same space as those bugs, not knowing where they are and when they would attack me again.

I am also very worried about the possible scars as a result of all these bites. After all, i am not young anymore and it would take longer time for scars to fade off, if at all. I have been looking forward to wearing my shorts and miniskirts in another two months when i'm back in Malaysia for holiday. Now that this happens, i am really not sure if i'd be able to expose my legs anymore.

Even though i have fat legs, at least there weren't any excessive scars and i love wearing shorts in hot weather. I would be really sad if i gotta hide my legs from now on.

Here's a picture taken at Putrajaya a year or so ago. I would have no problem wearing short skirts to enjoy the breeze.

Now, they just look horrible! *sob sob*

I am doing all i can to treat these bites. Since the weather is cold now, i take hot bath every night but hot water will only stimulate the itchiness. To counter this, i'd wipe the legs with Dettol in cold water after the hot bath. Then i'm also applying antiseptic cream, ointment, aloe vera gel and tea tree oil. The itchiness is getting better now even though the rashes do not seem to be subsiding much. There were also blisters formed on the bitten spots, and i am hoping the tea tree oil would dry them up.

My colleague was also kind enough to lend me an air bed so that i do not have to sleep on that bed and continue to be feasted on every night. I will be sleeping in the living room until i move.

The problem is that we are going into winter season soon, and it is getting colder each day. In fact, today was the coldest days so far, and my boss told me that it hardly gets this cold even in winter time.

Notice that the temperature felt like 2C and the southerly wind was gusting at 80+ km/h. Uh huh, as i am typing this, i could hear the wuthering wind outside and the sound of windows shaking.

(In case you are not aware, it is extremely cold when we get the southerly. This is the wind blowing from the Antarctica, bring super cold air to the land.)

I only have a small heater that i bought for the small bedroom, and it isn't powerful enough to heat up the living room. I was awaken by the cold air in the middle of last night, and i think tonight isn't gonna be any better. In fact, my hands are icy cold now.

Anyway, i am just counting down the days now and looking forward to move out quickly - but first, i gotta find a new place to move to. Hopefully there will be good news soon.


it sure gonna look terrible for short skirt, huh, but now it's winter mah. so it'll be ok hor and dont sob sob there and distract you from the apartment hunt :). gee, this must be "winter bug" that only crawls out in the cold season, OR, your diet is overly nutritious already to attract the bug. (i dont want to put the bad thought like forgetting to change the bedsheet, oops). the bug foresees you wanna move out liao, so suck nice nice meal before lose the chance forever lor. ok ok, don't worry too much Pin, it'll be healed if you diligently apply ointment and mind power over it. and you can make it in 2 months time, so DONT EVER be stressed on this. If you feel uncomfortable, how about visiting doctor for consultation? Is it possible to move the bed out temporary and replace with the airbed instead? gosh, i think you have to wear a heavy thick sweater, glove and stocking for bed (dont tell you wear shorts and that's why the bugs got you). Don't know to be envious or not, kl is super hot, argh, it's real torture without air conditioning, even at night.

please don't really be stressed on the bites, Pin. Wish you the best for your hunt, and work too. nice photo of large perspective background, but you looked small, overshadowed, what's more, obscured by the size. oh well, you did that on purpose. cheers :)

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Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Parking woe

You would probably have guessed it - i am going to move soon. And here's why...

A few weeks back, on a Friday, i was fined NZD40 for parking without a receipt ticket.

What happened was that i didn't realise i switched off my alarm clock on my mobile phone and hence i overslept. When i woke up at almost 10am, i was in a daze, thinking that it was a Saturday. I sat on the bed for a few seconds and then almost jumped off the bed when i suddenly remembered that it was actually Friday. I immediately called my boss and apologised for being late, and then went down to my car, which i already expected a fine.

You see, parking is one of the main factors for my decision in not continuing the lease for the apartment i'm staying at now. It has been such a pain since i bought the car, as getting a parking space is a constant problem for me.

As mentioned in my previous post, i am staying right at the city centre and my rental for this apartment does not come with a parking space (even though this apartment does have an underground car park). There are on-street parking available but it is always difficult to get a parking space due to the central location. Normally there will only be empty parking space after 9pm or so, when people have finished their partying and gone home.

The on-street parking is free from 6pm to 8am, Monday to Thursday. For Friday it is free only from 8pm onwards, and Saturday and Sunday are free all day. The timing would be perfect for me since i'd leave for work at around 8am or so and be back from work after 6pm (my official working hour is 8:30am to 5:30pm), and I attend church cell group on Friday evening and will get back quite late.

There are also private car parks (such as Wilson parking) near the apartment, but the night rate is NZD6 for parking from 5pm to 7am. We cannot pay in advance for the parking fee beyond 7am on the night before, which means that if i were to park there, i will either have to leave at 7am or go down to the car park at 7am to pay for one more hour of parking fee.

Of course, the on-street parking isn't free during day time. It costs NZD4 per hour, and the maximum parking time is 2 hours, even for weekends. This means that even though we don't have to pay for the parking on Saturday and Sunday, we cannot park at the same lot for more than 2 hours. The same applies on weekdays even we pay for it. I didn't know about this rule when i first came here and was fined for parking exceeding the 2 hours when i was using my boss' wife's car.

(In case you have not figured out how the parking is paid here, the on-street parking and most private car parks adopt the pay-and-display method.)

There had been days when i was not feeling well and didn't go to work, but i still had to go and move my car. On Saturday, i must move my car by 10am (due to the 2 hours limitation) and hence i can't sleep all i want but gotta wake up earlier. Then every evening after work, one of the routines for me is to circle around the area hunting for a parking space. On average, i'd spend at least 20 minutes driving around the area and there had been days that i actually drove around for 45 minutes to finally get a space. Sometimes after circling the area for more than 5 times, i got so fed-up that i'd just park at the private car park for NZD6, and then went down in the night to move my car to the on-street parking lot when i saw empty parking space (as i do not want to go down at 7am the next day to pay for the additional one hour). Of course, with the area that I am staying, it isn't exactly safe to walk through the back ally in the night alone to the private car park, and i have had encounter with some Maori guys, who were apparently high from the drinking, teasing and shouting at me from the back when i walked in front of them towards the car park.

Actually I am fine staying in this apartment due to its compact size and being fully furnished. I do have some complaints about the noise on the streets and the neighbours (the one staying upstairs walks like an elephant, and the one next door always slams the door loudly), but overall it is still quite good and well-suited for a single person like me. I have been contemplating whether or not i continue my lease, and if so, perhaps i should pay for monthly parking at the private car park (monthly fee is not available for on-street parking in CBD zone). To be frank, moving is such a hassle, as i've bought quite a lot of stuff since i came here. I'd rather not to go through the trouble if possible.

But then, i weighed the pros and cons between moving and not moving, and it seems like it doesn't make much sense to still stay in city centre when i have a car. There is no solution to my parking problem unless i pay for a monthly parking, but I rejected the idea after having checked out the fees, which are at around NZD150 to NZD200+. My current rental is already quite expensive at NZD300 per week. Adding in the electricity and phone+broadband, the monthly expenses just for accommodation and facility would cost me at least NZD1,400. The fuel price is also very expensive here, as well as the food stuff too. Overall, it is a country with very high cost of living. Since i have a car, i should really move away from the city centre and pay for cheaper rental that comes with a parking space.

Just as i was hesitating and couldn't make up my mind, an incident prompted me to finally make the decision. It was about two or three weeks back when i was sooooooooo close of being fined again.

As mentioned above, the free parking ends at 8am on weekdays. I have the bad habit of only leaving the apartment at 5 or 10 minutes past 8 o'clock. As the parking wardens do not come around to this area so early, i have never been fined for being late for these few minutes. Then one day, i went down late as usual and by the time i got to my car, it was already about 8:15am. As i walked toward my car, i noticed a parking warden issuing parking fine to the car parked beside mine. I would have been fined if i had delayed for just one more minute, or the car beside mine had not been fined (as it kinda delayed the parking warden's time to get to my car next). When i got to office, i told my boss about this incident and he said to me, "well, this is a sign that Someone up there wants you to move!"

And there and then, i know what i should do - i confirmed with the property management of this apartment that I am not going to renew the lease.

So, over these few weeks, i have been busy with hunting for a new place, as my lease if ending on 12/6. I have seen close to 10 places but so far have not come across a place i like yet. Time is running out and i am under a bit of pressure. There aren't a lot of places for rental now as compared to the time when i just arrived. I was told that now is not the university graduation time; not a lot of students are moving out and hence not a lot of rental choices too.

Currently i still restrict my choices to the suburbs within the city area. I will have to widen the area if i still couldn't get a place i like by next week. Hopefully there will be good news soon.


ouch, why are you so reckless!! you should have placed the alarm clock far away so you need to be awake to turn it off. And set it to snooze every 5 minutes. can't you hold the weekend urge?? and you must be sleeping late again (caught you - 12.30am and you're still surfing, blogging) , cut that out, if only there's an alarm clock that screams the day for reminder. and gee, please don't say that you have stopped preparing your lunch box already, oh no ... Pin, eat more fruits, and take almonds and walnuts ...

i guess that's what first world facility, though not exactly first class, and comes at a premium ... at the same time demands attentions for the price being paid than malaysians dont care style. SAFETY ALWAYS AT #1 PRIORITY! whatever teasings, please ignore, walk away and avoid eye contact. And if it's already dark, never hesitate on paying higher fee for the safer parking place, and serve it as lesson and be discipline to stay punctual. gosh, please always be careful and stay alert on the surrounding, and NEVER let work to tire you completely - save some energy to be vigilant when travelling home, until you reach inside of the apartment!

please take care and don't overstress yourself when hunting for new place. "a bit" pressure only hor, don't apply yourself too much for it. stay strong and be positive - frustration will only serve further ruining your logic. wish you find a better and nicer place :). cheers, and all the best, Pin. again, please stay careful and vigilant.

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Monday, May 13, 2013

View from the living room

Here's a photo i took from my apartment when i got back from work today.

It was around 6:45pm. Now that we are in autumn, the sun starts to set at around 5pm+ and it would be dark already by 6pm.

This is the view i have when i look out of the window from the living room. If you look closely, you can see that the two buildings are actually office blocks.

Uh huh, that is how centre my place is. In fact, i am now staying within the CBD zone.

This is a prelude of what I will be writing about in my next post.

On an unrelated note, my iPad is working again, but of course I would have to reinstall all the apps and also i lost some of the stuff i have downloaded (such as comics).


it's may already! hmm, seems like you really decided to move to new place already ^_^. oh, on the ipad i just noticed the default search engine is no longer google liao. looks apple is really going to retaliate in full mode, no more youtube, maps and now search engine. cheers, look forward for good news from you, especially in new apartment (finger cross hor).

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Wednesday, May 08, 2013

Restore my iPad

Ok, so there was no champagne because there was no miracle.

There was no tears either. I guess that was because it was something i had expected and when something you have expected indeed happens, there really isn't much to cry about.

Well, if you are expecting a post ranting about the election result, then sorry to disappoint you, as the above two paragraphs are all that i am gonna write about the elections and nothing more. Much have already been written and spoken all over the Internet - in fact, a tad too much i think. I have also expressed my feeling and opinion on FB as well as to my friends. To be frank, i am a bit sick of it already, and so i am just not gonna jump on the bandwagon and start to rant about it too.

As i've mentioned before, i am not gonna write politics on this blog. This blog is for nonsensical, meaningless and pointless trivia of my boring life. It is all about me me me me me. If you wanna read anything about politics, just google for it.

Alright, now that we have that out of the way, let's move on to the... well, what else but the nonsensical, meaningless and pointless trivia of my boring life! (It is still not to late to stop reading, you know...)

Now, as i am typing this, i am restoring my iPad at the same time. It is rather upsetting, for i'd lose all the apps and downloads i had on my iPad.

Basically, i do not have a backup of my iPad in iTunes (yes, it was a grave mistake but there was a reason to it). I do have some portion of the backup in iCloud (dated 12/4) but i think the backup does not have all my apps and downloads because of the space limitation.

Since i upgraded the iOS on my iPad (i performed the upgrade without using iTunes), it has been responding slowly and sometimes even freezes. Yesterday, i was also prompted with a warning that my iPad is running out of space. So i decided that i must really sync my iPad to iTunes.

Then today, i installed iTunes on my laptop and attempted to sync and backup my iPad (doing it for the first time since i got my iPad), but it kept failing. Eventually the iPad just got stuck at the Apple logo screen and would not start anymore. I had no choice but to perform a restore via iTunes, but that essentially means that whatever i had on my iPad would be wiped out.

Now i just hope that the restore will go well so that i can still use the iPad without problem. I wouldn't mind downloading all the apps and comics and musics again, as long as it is still useable!


Check it out, there's massive rally in Kelana jaya, the crowd continues pouring in even after 9, waving flags and chanting .... Oops, enuf is enuf, life goes on ...

Hmm, I never know ipad is that bad. Since mr jobs passed away, the quality is just getting worse and worse. Sigh, apple = mr jobs and cannot do without the other. Well, good luck in the restoring. I don't think it will wipe out the data, maybe the apps (finger cross). Gee, I don't dare to experiment your situation on my ipad ler, I have stopped to upgrade any iOS, the last upgrade has removed my fav youtube app and vowed never do upgrade again. Don't get frus because of this hor, especially when pr already lost johor, oops ...

Cheers, and wish work has been all smooth sailing :)

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Sunday, May 05, 2013

May there be miracle

It has been a very exciting few weeks, to say the least. Finally, today was THE day that all Malaysians could make history.

Actually i think BN had already made history by resorting to all the deplorable electoral frauds. Whether they win or lose, this is going down in the Malaysia history as the dirtiest election ever.

I was glued to FB and the Web over the past weeks, and even more so today. I just hope that righteousness can prevail and put the dark era of Malaysia to an end.

It's almost mid-night here already and i am anxiously checking the live updates of the polling results. My hometown that has always been known as the stronghold of BN is crucially contested this time, and the results will determine whether I will be proud or ashamed of being a Johorian.

Not sure if i can fall asleep at all tonight, but i have to as i still gotta work tomorrow. Hopefully good news awaits when i wake up tomorrow morning, and i can go straight to buy a campaign and bring it to the office to celebrate with my colleagues.

I am darn sure that I am gonna cry tomorrow - may it be tears of joy and not disappointment and sadness.


gelang patah and kulai for the first time won over by DAP. the crowd of 50,000+ indeed translated to votes. but then, the aura did not spread to the whole state, it's still back to status quo, sigh, so much so of the change for the betterment ...

and the MB of pahang had a close shave to cut his ear. just sigh ..... ah lai's back, CSL's back, kedah lost (it's quite expected anyway), johor still blue .... please don't shed tear for such unfortunate outcome, it does not worth it ...

Did a computation using result from spr.gov.my, it's quite evident that ppl of johor did support the ruling gov, sigh ....


BEBAS = 3,065
BN = 737,990
DAP = 252,934
PAS = 292,588
PKR = 80,329


BEBAS = 1,033
BN = 750,458
DAP = 204,363
PAS = 125,983
PKR = 285,018

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Friday, May 03, 2013

Counting down to a miracle

I am just gonna do a quick update here before I go to bed.

I was blogging half way last night and decided to check out my FB. Then when I finished going through all the wall posts from my FB friends, it was almost mid night already. It was the same today.

Uh huh, nowadays I'd have to spend at least three hours every night to check my FB. Last time it would probably take me a hour or so. There are simply too many posts about the election and it really takes a long time to go through all of them.

Since I can't exercise my right as a citizen this time and I'm also far away from all the excitement at my home country, the only way that I can still be part of this reform movement is through the Web. Of course, I know some stuff on the Web may be untrue and we'd have to be careful in discerning the untruths and truths, and take most things we read with a pinch of salt.

Anyway, there are only two more days to go. I'd be anxiously waiting for a miracle at this far away land, for Malaysia seriously does need a miracle desperately. I have also pinned some of my future decisions on the outcome of the election. Lets just hope that I'd have the chance to pop the champagne here next week when the poll result is in.

I will be praying hard.



let's hope miracle indeed will happen, and your coming reunion gonna be one most memorable one! cheers.

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Thursday, April 25, 2013

Embarrassing politicians

It's public holiday today - ANZAC Day.

Public holidays are the days when i could sleep until i wake up on my own without an alarm clock. Even on Saturday, i gotta get up before 10am, for a reason that i will share in another post. So, today would have been a much looked forward day for me because i long for days when i could just sleep till noon time. Too bad that today i couldn't do that; i still gotta wake up early as i was helping a church sister to move; she and her family were moving from city centre to suburb, and a few of us from the church went to help out.

Anyway, i didn't go with them to her new place and actually came back earlier, for i have other appointments in the afternoon. Then i had actually planned to use the free time to catch up on my blogging, for i know that i've not been updating the blog as regularly as i've hoped.

However, procrastination got the better of me, yet again. After i got back from the appointment in the evening, i thought there were still plenty of time and decided to lie on bed and checked my FB on the iPad. But then, i couldn't stop once i started. Nowadays, my FB updates are flooded with news, video clips and articles about the coming election. It takes longer than usual to check my FB updates now.

Speaking of which - though i have said i'm not gonna write about politics, i still couldn't help but gotta write about this - i could not understand at all why any election candidates would wanna sing a stupid song and even recorded a MV for it, when the song has absolutely nothing to do with the election at all. I only watched the first 30 seconds of the MV and couldn't continue on anymore. It was simply too painful to see a bunch of people who are campaigning to govern our country making a fool of themselves and yet feeling nothing wrong with it. I felt embarrassed by and for them.

In case you have no idea what the heck i am talking about, check out the MV here (kudos to you if you can watch it from start to end): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qS8-ro2n6X4

(I am not gonna embed the YouTube video here to pollute my blog site.)

Seriously, what does having the ability to sing (and acting like a bunch of clowns) gotta do with governing the country at all? Are they gonna sing their way out of the woes that the country is facing now?

Picture this in your head - imagine that when the police is asking rasuah from you, then you start singing "Love is in the Air" to the police and then everything will be fine and the police just let you go; or when a robber is pointing a knife at you demanding for all the valuables from you, you start singing "Love is in the Air" to the robber and then he just turn over a new leaf there and then. Then flowers will blossom and rainbow will come out; our country's debt turned into reserves and racial discrimination vanishes into the thin air.

If all the singing can really do all these, i am willing to watch all the MVs over and over again for a million times even if it's gonna kill me.

Ok, enough of this bashing already. I am so not gonna join the crowd in writing about politics here.

Anyway, i must really really really do a few important updates... so i guess i have a plan for this weekend already!

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that's what the elitism had crept deep into them liao - sing song whilst the rakyat's suffering. or is it "nero fiddles while rome's burning"... cool down cool down, they might have accepted the political reality and so why not have some fun first before got thrashed in every contest ... srsly, what is wrong with their PR machinery, or it 's true they have nothing good to show after all. so shame ...

well, i purposely played devil advocate among my the colleagues, the challenger in my constituency is a social activist donated her liver to save stranger before came into politic, and the incumbent is a hardworking opposition well versed with economy. and there's another "winnable candidate" in another constituency contested as independent. all have resounded between individual and party, party will have to come first. time to get serious to change the nation for the better. enough is enough, 50+ years have been lost and it's time to right the err from further slump. and today in pacaba meeting, you might be even surprised instead of traditional cross, a circle or tick is acceptable as support vote. and there are other rules changed too - the new indelible ink.

oh, 五月五,换政府. but not selangor one, penang also ... cheers.

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Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Avocado smoothie

If you recall, i bought a blender about two months back. I have been having one cup of fruit juice everyday since then, even after my mom has returned to Malaysia.

Uh huh, you will be surprised to know that i do make juices every morning and this has become one of my routines.

Just to prove that i am indeed fully utilising the blender, i am gonna write about making avocado juice, which is one of my favourite juices. Well, to be exact, it is not really avocado juice but more like avocado smoothie. And it is really simple to make.

(There are different sources of information about whether or not avocado is fattening and will cause weight gain. Some say no since it is good fat, while some say it will still make you put on weight. Whatever it is, it tastes good and is very nutritious. And i love it!).

Here are the ingredients - avocado (only need half of it), milk and honey.

Cut the avocado lengthwise around the seed and twist to separate the halves. Then use a spoon to scoop out the flesh of the half without the seed.

Refrigerate the other half with the seed (do not remove the seed!) in a plastic bag (or what i do is placing it face-down on a small plate and then cover it with a bowl). As it will oxidise and the flesh will turn brown, it should be consumed the very next day.

Then measure the milk with a cup - use half-cup or 2/3 cup of milk for half avocado, depending on the size of the fruit and how thick you want the drinks to be.

Pour the milk into the blender.

Add honey to it. One teaspoon of honey is good enough if you are doing half, but it really depends on how sweet you want it.

Then blend it. It should only take about 15 seconds or so, depending on your type of blender.

After it is well-blended, pour it into a cup.

And here you are - a cup of healthy and yummy avocado smoothies to start off your day!


Haha! thanks for your sharing.
I just bought avocado and milk yesterday and thinking of making the drink too. ^-^

Ha, i see you have replaced coffee with fruit juice. Too much coffee is indeed bad for health. And thanks sharing the tip. Cheers :)

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Sunday, April 14, 2013

Not going back

Since the Malaysia election seems to be the hottest topic now among fellow Malaysians and lots of anti-government posts and campaigning have gone viral on the FB and the Web, i am gonna write something about the election as well today.

No, no, i am not gonna write anything about politics here, for i seriously do not know that much about it to warrant writing a post on it. I mean, yeah, i do read the things posted on the Web and read some of the political news on-and-off, but i am definitely not an avid follower of Malaysian political scene. In fact, i'd say i only follow the development halfheartedly.

Well, i've never said I am a patriot. I am not, and i'm not afraid to say that i am not. I am not proud of it but nor do i feel ashamed about it. Judge me all you can and I couldn't care less about what you think. Unless and until you have done truly patriotic act to prove yourself, whatever you say or think about me is only the proverbial pot and kettle. At least my action and words are consistent, as i don't pretend to love my country and willing to die for it, bla bla bla. Yet, if you judge me but you aren't doing the opposite, then it only makes you a hypocrite.

And if you have truly done patriotic acts to show your love for the country, then i can only say kudos to you. I do have friends who are walking the talk, and i'd say good for them. The country definitely needs people more like them and less like me... and i hope whatever they do is worthwhile and whatever they hope to achieve will indeed come true one day (even if it is not in our lifetime).

Now, what i really am going to write about is what i've mentioned in my previous post on not going back in May for the election. Unfortunately, i missed the deadline of registering as overseas voter too. Hence, this means that i will not be casting my vote this election.

About the overseas postal voting, i gotta admit that it was my fault for not following up on the news and didn't take the initiative to find out more about it. I have always known that overseas citizens were not able to cast votes and this has been one of the points that was consistently brought up to the EC for improvement. I have also heard or read that there had been talk about making postal votes possible for the coming election, but i did not really follow up on the progress on this.

Just a few days after i arrived in NZ, i already registered myself online with the High Commission of Malaysia here. I have thought that the High Comm would have a list of citizens residing here and we would be informed to register as overseas voters if postal voting had been made possible. As i've heard nothing from them, i assumed it was still not happening this election. So it turned out that i made a wrong assumption. It was supposed to be our duty to find out about it, and i didn't know that it was already announced in January - that citizens residing overseas are to download and fill out a form to register themselves with the EC (in fact, none of my friends knew about it too).

I only found out about it when a FB friend posted the form on FB, which was the day after the parliament had been dissolved. The form must reached EC prior to the parliament dissolved and hence i was too late already. No overseas postal voting for me. :(

Then, the next option would of course be to fly back to vote. Did it cross my mind? Yes, it did, but only for a few minutes and i quickly dismissed it. My answer on this was quite clear - it is a "no".

You see, if i am now working in Singapore or Thailand or Indonesia, my answer would be a definite yes.

If i am working in China or Hong Kong or Taiwan and have not planned for a holiday yet, my answer will still be a definite yes. But if i've already planned for a holiday like i mentioned, then it would be a high probable yes (not a DEFINITE one).

If i'm in Australia, NZ, Europe or USA and have not planned for a holiday yet, i'd arranged my holiday to coincide with this election, so it will be killing two birds with one stone - i get to go back to vote as well as to have my holidays.

But now, it is the last scenario, and the answer seems clear to me.

Now, let's just pretend that you are me.

You have already had a confirmed air ticket and will be taking three weeks leave for returning home in July/August. The air ticket can of course be changed at some extra charges, but you must go back during that time because you want to coincide your return with two major events that are very dear and personal to you: the annual return of one of your best friends from Japan, and the one-in-a-lifetime centennial celebration of your high school anniversary (yes, my high school is 100 years old this year!). For me, these two events weigh far more than casting my vote.

Next, you must scoop out about NZD1K or more for a return ticket. Well, this isn't really a major consideration for me, as i'd probably be willing to do so if i choose to go back, but that is still a sum of money that you gotta be willing to spend for your country anyway.

Then here's the killer. Imagine that this is what you gotta do: fly off from Wellington on 3-May (Fri) evening, arrive in SG on 4-May (Sat), go back to JB and cast your vote on 5-May (Sun), and then return to SG to catch an evening flight back to Wellington. You will arrive in Wellington on 6-May (Mon), probably late afternoon, and the next day (Tue) will have to return to work. In total, due to the in-transit time and all, the to-and-fro travelling time including land and air transport will be more than 24 hours, all happening within three-day period, and you still gotta go back to work on your projects right after that. I don't know about you, but i'll be half-dead by then.

As i'm using most of my leave for the three-weeks holiday in July/August, i can't take long leave in May for this return, which is just two months before the holiday when i'd be flying back again. I have not even worked here for a year yet and can't be taking long leave all the time. This means if i indeed were to go back in May, i could only do what i described above, i.e. to just go back solely to vote for a day and then fly back again and back to work on the next day.

Now, after having imagined you are in my situation like this, and you are still willing to either cancel the July trip and go back in May for voting and holiday as well (and "sacrifice" the two major events you deem very important to you), or keep the July trip but go back for a day just for voting (and return to work half-dead), then again i'd say kudos, you do care for your country. Good for you.

As i've mentioned earlier, i am not a patriot and i'm not gonna pretend that i am. There is no way that i'm gonna put myself through this flying-here-and-there stun just for casting the vote. You may say that whatever i've written so far are just all excuses for not going back purposely to vote; if i have the heart, then i'd do it. Then i'd say this to you - yes, i do NOT have the heart to do it, for other things (such as my friends, my school, my work, etc.) are more important to me and hence i admit that i am not that patriotic at all. Now, bite me.

And so far, none of the Malaysians i've met here are gonna do that either. I have not seen a lot of people from USA, Europe or the Pacific posting on the Web claiming that they are doing it either. I guess that pretty much explains why the overseas voter registration was so much lower than expected. Of course, a high percentage of overseas voters are in Singapore or other Asian countries and a lot of them are going back to vote. Then for the rest who willingly left the country on their own accord and already applied for residency at the foreign countries (and some even converted or waiting to convert to the citizenship of that foreign country), they wouldn't have left Malaysia in the first place if they love their home country so much. If they so love Malaysia, they would have stayed on and fight for a better future in that land.

Yes, call me judgemental or whatever, but to stay at overseas for many years and have made up the mind to settle down at that foreign country and not return to Malaysia, and then still claim to be patriotic, i only find it incongruous and hypocritical. Of course, you may say that's because they need to make a better living elsewhere, or the quality of life is better elsewhere, yadda yadda yadda. Well, then they are still putting their personal life above the country, isn't it?

True patriotism and truly loving your country is to put the country before oneself and above anything else. I don't have to mention names of those internationally renown historical figures to prove my point. Even in our own country, people like Lim Kiat Siang who went through all the hardships to fight for a better Malaysia would have exemplified my point. If you can't do like what he or those people had done for the country, then just shut up. Otherwise, you are just the pot and i'm the kettle.

(But frankly, if we were to ask ourselves this, "would you die for your country?" How many would really say "yes" and really mean it and indeed do it when time comes? Don't ask me. My answer is "no".)

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Ha, you gotta drop by RPk site to really read how fanatical and hypocritical of some commenters - so contradicting and inconsistent. But then, they could be making it up but they're sure funny (election is no funny hor). Going through to the comments, how many do believe the postal votes are genuine and not another ruling gov machinery to increase votes, you know, by other means. Of course this allegation is unfair to SPR that worked hard for the facility, but judging the action and the independence, I will have doubt. So, for foreign voters they really should fly back until the day commissioner is fully revamped and truly earn the trust from the public.

You know, i opine that people who says they are not patriotic, selfish, bla bla are actually the one who doing quite the opposite. Just look around at workplace when it comes to behavioral observation. What right it gives for one to judge other people when he should reflect to himself first. It's unfair to call people unpatriotic when one places his/her own interest first above all for life of a commoner. That's so darn hypocritical. The fact that some people have better position or motivation but to force the same action from under privileged people is just wrong. Even if it's same, I believe one should advise, educate but not to jest, taunt or force. And that's what democracy is all about, the right to make and even abstain. Yup, it crosses my mind to abstain my vote, to follow the majority cause I'm quite pretty ignorant to political affair. And my MP is talking about policies that on theory it is good and benefits all, but .... being in working industry for so long, I'm strongly believe in action speaks louder than words. Well, who knows on that day the election fever takes the different path. At least you went for the march, so no one should comment about your patriotism.

Speaking of publicity, I must say the current PM sure generates feel good factor. Minus the murder allegation, the sabotage, the vacation, the excess, the corruption, etc etc, he seems like a friendly man. I told my colleague I really want to vote him. But one's deed should not reflect to the other people. He's doing everything, albeit singlehandedly, but his Mp and dun might be maggots, rotten worms. So, I want to vote him, but not his representatives, and my constituency is not pekan ....

Oh lastly, maybe you are not intentional, you misspelled LKS name. Gotta respect for what he has done for the country! Hopefully this post would not invite some extremists from both sides. Cheers, have a good day :)

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Air miles redeemed

Last month, I mentioned about my expired air miles due to my oversight.

Then what i didn't mention was that i managed to get the expired miles restored!

Of course, it did not come free. Krisflyer deducted 6,000 air miles for this restoration, but i guess it is better than nothing.

I called Krisflyer customer service to ask for the restoration and also to redeem an air ticket. I redeemed 32,500 air miles for a ticket from Singapore to Christchurch and Christchurch to Wellington. I still had to pay SGD198.50 for the airport taxes.

Uh huh, I am going home for a three-week holiday at end July. When i booked my ticket to come here, i purchased a round-trip ticket (paid by the company as part of my relocation allowance). So i just needed to get another one-way ticket to fly back here.

I would be departing Wellington to Auckland on 26/7 evening and will be arriving in Singapore on 27/7 (Saturday) early morning. My returning flight is on 17/8 (Saturday) evening and will arrive in Wellington on 18/8 afternoon. As it is a Sunday, I am taking the following Monday off to rest, as i expect i'd sure experience jet lag.

Now, if you are wondering whether or not i am flying back in May for the election, the answer is "no". This will be elaborated in another post.

On an unrelated note, the system go-live went on smoothly. In fact, it was one of the simplest and smoothest system implementation i've ever had despite it being the latest release that is very new to everyone and i was learning and implementing as i go along.

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Wah, gotta make full use and enjoy the holiday hor, every single minute of it, girl. I'm sure it'll gonna be a great great reunion especially in conjunction with your hi school 100th birthday. I remember that you mentioned you might miss it, cross finger-eh. Don't forget to blog about it, looking forward to it :)

Oh, congrats to the go-live bring up, really glad to read it was the all smooth one. But don't get to be complacent hor. The success must be due to good planning and excellent execution, so keep it up, Pin. And, gosh, you slept so late like this, did you missing church the next day .... Cheers.

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Saturday, April 06, 2013


A couple of days ago, the DJ on radio said that this weekend is a "long weekend" - that is longer by an hour.

Uh huh, tonight will be the end of daylight saving and we will be adjusting our clock backward by an hour.

So in a way, we gain one hour extra, well, at least for now until September when we will lose that one hour again. This means that we will be just four hours ahead of Malaysia from now on.

I guess this really marks the end of summer and we are entering the cold seasons. The weather is getting colder as autumn is approaching. I am having cold feet and hands everyday. Now i gotta turn on the new small heater every night.

I think i have not mentioned about the heater before. Unlike most countries with four seasons (such as North America), majority of the buildings here do not come with built-in heating. We would need to buy or install heaters on our own. I had been looking for heaters since i came here because i knew that i'd definitely need it when the season changed, but heaters are normally not sold during summer time.

Then last month, i went shopping and saw that the heaters were all out on display already. There are many different types and sizes of heaters. I didn't know how cold it would be and hence i bought a small 5-fin oil heater, thinking that it would be enough for the small apartment that i am staying in. Oh boy, was i wrong or what. There was practically no effect at all when i had the heater on in the living room. I then moved the heater into the small bedroom and switched it on before i am going to bed. I think i'd need another stronger one in the living room.

It is also about time that i unpack the thick clothing from my luggage and put the summer ones into the luggage instead. If there is anything i look forward to about the cold seasons, it will definitely be the outfits. I do love autumn and winter fashion, especially the mufflers, winter coats/jackets and boots. Even back in Malaysia and Singapore, layering my outfits is the style i love the most, as it gives a chic and cool look. I also love wearing boots. However, the weather is a tad too hot there for such styles. Now i can wear it all i like!


Well it gets you a heater in the room so you will not gonna catch cold in the middle of the night. And, gee, i can see the multilayer jackets and coats nice and cool style, but the laundry ...

Take care Pin, don't get yourself down with cold hor, you gotta stay in top form for coming week. Ganbatte pin, all the best for your go live system. Cheers :).

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Tuesday, April 02, 2013

The past long weekend

Just like that, my long weekend has ended. Basically i haven't done much over this holiday and had kinda wasted it away.

I attended the cell group gathering on last Thursday evening. We had an interesting Passover dinner and time of worship. Then on Good Friday, I didn't attend church and stayed in the apartment for the entire day. I was having mild sore throat and headache, which were symptoms of the onset of a full-blown cold or flu. I decided to have a good rest at home to prevent it from getting worse.

Hibernating at home for a day did indeed help. On Saturday, I was all well and went out shopping for almost the whole day. My main focus on that day was to shop for the items for my survival kits. So far I am only about 50% done. Some of the items will have to be purchased online.

Then on Sunday, I went to church in the morning as usual and then went to a church brother's home for lunch with another sister. He brought us to a nice hill top where there was this huge wind turbine and magnificent view of Wellington. Unfortunately it was a rainy and windy day and hence I couldn't take photos and only stayed for a short while. I'd definitely go back there again to snap pictures of the beautiful landscape.

Monday is then another stay-at-home day. I spent the day watching Taiwanese variety shows on YouTube to entertain myself. The system for my new project will be going live on next Monday and this coming four days will sure be hectic for me in performing system preparation and data migration. So I guess staying at home and watching some funny tv programmes is also a good form of relaxation before I start another week of hard work.

On an unrelated note, I just realised that in NZ, there is this 3.5 days of business non-operating law - all businesses must not open on Good Friday, Easter Sunday, Christmas Day and ANZAC Day (half day). Unlike other gazetted holidays such as the New Year Day when the shops can choose to open if they pay overtime for the working staff, these 3.5 days are mandatory by law to be rest days and all shops much be closed except those with exemptions or in certain special areas (such as tourist places). Even for the shops that do open on that day, there are rules on what can be sold. Any shops in violation will be fined NZD1,000. Some businesses had actually intentional broken this law and opened on these days because they found that NZD1,000 is nothing compared to the earnings they could attain on these holidays. Frankly for a country that is legalising gay marriage and whose people are not particularly religious, I found this law to be really pointless.

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Not really pointless ler, gay marriage is another thing. This one allows city council to earn huge bucks indeed. Imagine many many shops choose to open - when there are demands, there'll be suppliers too. If only the gov takes action on the customers, wait, this gonna be tyranny. Pin, you gotta eat more fruits to supplement vitamins to build up your immune system, gosh you really are weak with the change of season (I wonder if you really keep the promise of having fruits in the diet).

Cheers, don't stress yourself too much :).

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Wednesday, March 27, 2013

First felt tremour

Last night at around 9:30pm, as i was sitting by my desk replying comments on FB, i suddenly felt a mild tremour; the feeling was as if i was sitting on a shaky boat. It lasted for a very short time only, something like 2 or 3 seconds. At first i thought i was feeling dizzy (since i am rather tired lately), but then when i looked at the water jar that was placed on the counter top at the kitchen, i saw the water wobbling. That was when i realised that there was an earthquake.

I then checked a website that keeps track of earthquake in NZ. Indeed, there was a mild earthquake at a place in south island (about 100+km from Wellington).

Actually after i came here since November, there had been two or three instances of earthquake that were felt in Wellington but most happened at odd hours and when i was fast asleep and didn't feel it. Hence this was the first time i actually felt the tremour.

Wellington is a city lies right on the fault lines and has the highest risk of a major earthquake in NZ. There are hundreds (if not more) of earthquakes every year around Wellington but most are not felt. I knew about this facts even before i came here, and i do wonder sometimes why i actually came to a place with such high risk of earthquake.

One of the important things that everyone and every household in Wellington (or rather, the entire NZ) must have is the disaster survival kit. There are civil defence websites and courses that provide guidance on what to prepare and what to do when disaster strikes. I have read the guides on the websites, but then for a person who grew up in a country that is relatively free of natural disasters, i think i'd switch to panic mode and all the theories will simply fly out the window when it really happens.

It is recommended that we have the survival kit at home, at workplace and also in the car. This means that i'd have to prepare three sets. There are a lot of stuff to be prepared for a complete survival kit, and it should last a person for three days or more. I have wanted to put together the kits but never got around doing it. Till now, i still have not assemble at least one for home. Of course, the quick way is to buy some ready-packed survival kit and save me the trouble from sourcing the items myself. Such ready-packed kit is of course more expensive than assembling one ourselves.

My friends have been bashing me for procrastinating this, as disaster may strike anytime when we are least expected (and least ready). Yes, i know, i seriously need a good smacking for not doing it.

Yesterday the small episode is kinda like a reminder to me, and i really MUST MUST MUST get one ready at home. I should at least get ready some of the essential stuff first (such as water, non-perishable food, torch light, radio, blanket/sleeping bag, first-aid kit, toilet paper and plastic bags), and then assemble a more complete one as i go along.

Alright, this coming long weekend is a good time to get this done.

(Yes, there will be four days of rest after tomorrow - Good Friday and Easter Monday. Am really looking forward to it!)

Updated: Just after i published this post, i read the news online and came to know that Taiwan just had a magnitude-6.1 earthquake today. Now that's another reminder for me!

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glad you are ok Pin. such emergency preparedness shouldn't be taken lightly. it can be only "hope" disasters do not strike, no, no, i'm not cursing overhere. it's like one need to be aware for the toilets around (and papers too) in case if a diarrhoea would strike surprisingly. hmm bad example, natural disaster is an unpredictable event .. you have been using procrastination word for quite number of times already but when it comes to this you SHOULD NOT dilly-dally about it. gotta make sure you do have big torchlight(s) and don't rely on smartphones lights. in fact, it's not wise to lump everything on smart devices like radio, camera, etc when the battery conservation is vital for communication purpose. and do have some spare dry batteries around too. not only that, tools are important too e.g srcewdrivers, pliers, cutters, hammers though you are not using them regularly. a small fire extinguisher would be good too, if you chance upon one. water and food needed to be replaced regularly so even if you stock them, you need to be diligently maintain them too hor. i remember come across photos of japanese kids trained to hide under the table when there's earthquake. but for staying in apartment, i would opt to dash for emergency staircase and run for the open air ground, hmm ... if the kit is too big, wouldn't it'll be heavy for you carry around then, or to be kept inside a bag??

enjoy the weekend Pin, happy holidays to you. gotta take the opportunity to explore more about NZ :). cheers.

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Sunday, March 24, 2013


Since i came to NZ, i haven't been blogging as regularly as i've hoped. There is no excuse of being busy at work, and frankly it was because i simply wasn't in the mood to do so.

I'd blame it on the weather this time - yes, autumn is here and the temperature is dropping. I've even switched on the heater for a few nights this week.

Besides that, i have been feeling lethargic over these two weeks. The new project was entering critical stage and I was conducting training at the client's site for four days over the two weeks. The system will be going live on 8-Apr. This project is a rather simple one and we do not expect much issues with it. I do not think work has anything to do with my fatigue.

I think there are three main reasons of why i am feeling tired all the time.

Firstly, it is the quantity and quality of sleep. I have been sleeping late and waking up early. I'm only getting on average about 5 hours of sleep each day. There is no particular reason why i do not sleep earlier; it is purely a bad habit. Then, i'm also not getting good sleep at night because of the soft mattress. I wake up every morning having back and neck aches, and feeling not having a well-rested night at all. The mattress does not have a good support and it kinda aggravates my spinal problem. I have had two instances of neck and shoulders ache induced migraine since i came here. As my rented apartment is fully furnished and this mattress came with it, i am not sure if i could ask the landlord to remove it and get my own mattress.

Next, i think my deteriorating eye sight also contributed to my exhaustion. Both my job and leisure activities involved staring at the computer or tablet screens for extended hours. With the age catching up and long hours of wearing contact lenses, my eyes are ageing like a 50 years old person. Recently i'm starting to get blurred vision, especially on my right eye. I think the myopia or astigmatism for that right eye has worsened. This problem strains my eyes and i'd feel more tired as usual after staring at the computer screen for the whole day.

Lastly, it is back to the same old issue of not exercising. Now that i have a car, i don't even have to walk much anymore. With my job nature of just sitting in front of the computer all day, i'd say more than 3/4 of my day is spent on inactive physical motion. My metabolism is slow and knowing that, i control my food intake to keep my weight at optimal level, but then that will also cause tiredness especially in cold weather.

Ok, i know, i know. None of the above could not be resolved by me taking positive actions to change it. Again, i have no excuse but simply bad habit, procrastination and laziness.

Well, i can start by going to bed now, as it is already late and i'm feeling hungry!


Er, you should get some light supper before going to bed if you feel hungry, it's really not good to go to bed with stomach growling like that. I think it is more because of dietary (more Vitamin A, Pin) and also lack of quality sleep that are causing you in current state. There is psychological reason too to add in, if you keep thinking yourself weak and unhealthy, you are actually encouraging it - mind over matter. I would suggest to cut coffee intake, but then this could be a bad idea - you might end up doze off and being subconscious in work, sigh. If you think you are right, I think you should go for it to get the right mattress (unless the bed and matress come in together) otherwise you are continue aggravating yourself , which is not a right thing to do. A good sleep replenishes physical and mental energy need for tomorrow day, a happy one too. As for lacking of exercise, gotta make habit to clean the apartment every week hor, not only you'll get physical motion but also reward of nice clean comfy healthy apartment to live in. No pain no gain, but it's not really pain after all. Stay healthy, Pin, don't stress yourself in work and making everyone worried. Cheers.

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Thursday, March 14, 2013

From the news

I would turn on the radio every morning and tune in to the morning show on radio while i am dressing up for work. Besides getting entertained and having some sound in the apartment, i'd also keep myself informed of some current affairs since there are new flashes every half-and-hour.

This morning, as one of the show hosts was talking, the other one suddenly shouted "white smoke, white smoke!" At first, i thought there was a fire in the studio. Then i realised he was referring to the white smoke that was coming out from the chimney of Sistine Chapel.

Uh huh, a new Pope had (finally) been elected.

Well, what amazed me was that when i read the news and took a look at the pictures on the Web, i saw thousands of people gathered outside the chapel, waiting for the smoke signal. They cheered and cried when the white smoke and the new Pope appeared. Ok, it must be very emotional and a historical moment for them, but let us not to forget that the one we worship is God and not the Pope.

My friends asked if he is handsome when i told them that i've checked out his picture on the Web. The thing is that looks is not one of the selection criteria for being a Pope. Apparently age isn't too. The new Pope is still very old. I told my friends that even if the newly elected is good looking, he would soon look old and frail too after a couple of years in this post.

There is a tough road ahead of the new Pope. The Roman Catholic church is beleaguered by series of scandals and problems such as child molestation, corruption and homosexual issues. To restore the reputation and faith of the religion will be a great and difficult task for him. May God's anointing be upon him to overcome all the troubles.

Then, there was another news that i heard in the morning which i took no joy in it at all, even though i know a lot of people are happy about it. The parliament here in NZ has voted for the second time on legalising gay marriage and it received a huge majority of supporting votes. This means that it is very likely that the bill will be passed and same sex marriage will be legalised here.

I guess you should be able to tell by now that i am against it. Much have already been said and written all around the world on this topic, from both the supporting and opposing sides. Of course I have my views and thoughts about it but i'm not gonna elaborate it here.

Just to make it clear though - i do NOT think homosexuals are any less human being than heterosexual, as no one in this world is worth any lesser than another. Everyone should be respected as a human being.

However, to me, marriage is another issue altogether and it is not about discrimination or what basic human rights. But then, i know that this is a trend that seems unstoppable and very soon all countries will be legalising it and the future generations will be taking this as a norm as well. Frankly, this does put me in doubt and confusion.

During one of my weekly cell group meetings, our group leader reminded us about the distinction between sins and sinners. God hates sins and sins will doom us; however, God welcomes sinners to His kingdom if we repent and transform. We are all sinners and he loves us all the same.

You probably do not understand why i brought this up and what has it got to do with same sex marriage. Well, never mind. That's all i wanna touch on for this topic. Let's move on to the last piece of news.

Wellington (in fact, i think it's the entire NZ) is having some sort of drought now. The last rainfall was back in early Feb and it wasn't enough to bring up the water level of the rivers, which are the main sources of water for the inhabitants here. A few days back, it was reported that the city now has less than 20 days of water supply, which is nearing crisis point. If there is still no rain anytime soon, we will be having serious water supply issue. The government will be imposing water restriction very soon if the water level continues to dwindle. I read that this is the longest dry spell since 1947!

I thought such situation will only happen in Malaysia, as we seem to experience it almost every year. As the weather is cold here, the water drying up may be less noticeable than in Malaysia when it is so hot. Let's just hope that the rain will come soon.

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hmm, i can't imagine your friends raised the question on the look; i would ask which nation he's from instead. both are not relevant anyway, aha... the homosexual issues are big headache for the new pope given the trend the world is heading. well, in future who knows gay marriage will be a norm and acceptable thing, just like what in the past generation people have apprehension views on subjects that are acceptable today, like women shouldn't wear jeans, aha (or it still applies today ..., darn how do i get this idea). time will change indeed. and who knows it is marriage that deemed obsolete and abolished ... i believe in whatever other people do it is their choice of life and business unless it affects us. somehow it kinda gonna affect indirectly like psychologically. isn't that with more peers around one will tend to join into the group too. gee, better stop thinking about that .. then again, why the marriage ?? better really stop thinking about that. gotta hold strong to the self principles when it comes to such confusion. never doubt or argue and have faith :).

in malaysia the water crisis is more due to human management than nature, you'd even have water disruption even there's rain. and there was flood just after few hours of raining. summer just passed, hope there will be raining before winter comes. sigh, the weather these days are becoming more unbecoming. and life still goes on. so how's the lunch for this week? hope you still keep to the habit. even if there's water rationing, don't drink less water and neglect your health. cheers, and have a nice weekend, with rain :).

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Sunday, March 10, 2013

A few firsts

Over the past two weeks, there were a few things that i did or happened for the first time:

On the previous Saturday, i went to the hospital here for the first time. A church sister has just given birth to a baby boy. I went to visit her with a church brother. This lady's husband is a Kiwi and the mixed-blood baby is so beautiful (looks totally like Westerner). I was told that the NZ government subsidised their people for all medical fees that have something to do with having babies. She basically did not have to pay for anything since her pregnancy. Even staying in a single ward in the hospital is free.

On Tuesday, i did my first census here. In fact, it was the first time ever i did a census. I had not done it before even when i was back in SG and Malaysia.

On Thursday, i got my first fine for the new car.

I was at the client's place and the meeting lasted longer than we expected. The meeting was in progress and i noticed the time. I told my boss privately that the parking time was up but he said it was the same for his car too and told me to just leave it. We just continued with the meeting; I guess it would appear to be unprofessional if we were to stop the meeting for going to the car park to top up the parking fee. Anyway, i will claim the fine from the company and the company will in turn bill the customer fir it.

On Friday during the weekly church Chinese cell group meeting, i prayed out loud for the first time (in English). The group leader has arranged a roster for different tasks, and everyone will have to take turn to prepare dinner, to pray and to share testimonies every week. As i work till 5pm on Friday, it would be too late to prepare dinner for everyone (more than 10 people), and hence they did not put me in-charge of cooking (phew!). It was my turn to pray on last Friday, and i had actually never prayed out loud in front of anyone before. This was the first time.

On Saturday morning, i drove out to somewhere and had a first minor damage to my new car.

I was doing side parking (which i am really bad at) and went too close to the curb. The wheel rim cover (original Mazda) was scratched and a small portion of the medal even chipped off. What a bummer! :'(

Then in the afternoon, i also did my first full-blown household chores since i moved in to this apartment. I cleaned the toilet and kitchen, vacuumed and mopped the floor, did my laundry, took out the garbage, and prepared food for next week. I even tried cooking a minced lamb dish for dinner (i wrongly bought the minced lamb when i actually wanted to buy minced pork). Now the apartment is clean, tidy and smelling great, but i sure am exhausted.

It's time for bed. I bet i'm gonna sleep soundly tonight after all the exercising from doing all the house chores.

gee, is it really okay to bill customer like that?? i wonder that if they will agree for the bill when the fine can be averted if they were notified about the holdup (i don't really think so if our supplier does this to my company, in fact i even ticked off my colleagues about making conference for hours to US number with one supplier and not claiming the bill from them somemore for company behalf..) . sigh, hopefully it was alright one and the customer doesn't mind about it with the work quality from you :) .
Oh no, what happened to the Demio when it hope you will take good care after it (sob sob). Poor Demio, that looks quite a "pain" . Luckily it's the metal wheel but not the tyre, or else you would be at hard work liao (and another "first" post to replace the tyre), phew.THe curb was too hard and if it's in MY it would be the curb gets chipped off instead. That shows you are really one perfectionist person, Pin, you don't have to park too close or start to being right at first time - i guess the the road is still wide enough (unlike SG) for other cars to drive thru even you park slightly apart from the curb. (and fortunately you didn't do this to your boss's car previously!!). Maybe you are too tired on that day, well, gotta always stay alert when you are on driving seat, even for parking.

"first" full blown household chores?? oh, misread on the word "since", hehe. it's not really bad to do own's chores and i think it should be everyone's own duty after all. hope you are feeling great after it besides being very very tired from it. but, 1am?? let's pray you don;t skip church or doze off in church hor .. hmm, i wonder if on friday you prayed "Thank God i was not in charge of the cooking" out loud subconsciously .. just kidding only, and have a nice Sunday. cheers.

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Monday, March 04, 2013

Expired air miles

I was upset (at myself) yesterday when i suddenly remembered something and then checked it out on SIA web site:

Uh huh, 24K miles expired in Feb and were deducted from my Krisflyer account. That's actually a lot of miles, and if i remember correctly, this should be accumulated from my business trips to USA about three years ago.

I have wanted to use my air miles to redeem an air ticket from Singapore to NZ. I bought a round-trip ticket when i flew here and am going back for holiday in August. I have yet to get the ticket for coming back to NZ. I still have enough air miles to redeem that ticket even after this deduction, but i could have used these 24K miles for one more ticket.

I totally only have myself to blame. Last month i did go online and check it out. I saw the air miles were expiring and told myself that i must remember to redeem the ticket before it expired. I couldn't do so online because SIA does not fly to Wellington directly; whether i transit from Auckland or Christchurch or Australia, the route is operated by other partner airlines of Star Alliance. To redeem non-SIA ticket, i would have to call customer service and cannot do it online. As such, i could only do so after work when i'm back at the apartment. But then, i totally forgot about it and only yesterday then i suddenly realised i had missed the deadline.

Sigh, what a price to pay for procrastination. Serve me right!

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Gee, you got ipad, Samsung note, Xperia mini and huawei and you still forgot !! Hope this not be the excuse to skip cooking own lunch hor (contrary, should enforcing it for the $$$$ lost).... Now you mentioned, hope your passport is ok too :) cheers.

Why not you give SIA a call to check if they let you make use of or extend the just-expired points? for my credit card points, if the points that has just expired, they'll still let me use it within a grace period.

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Thursday, February 28, 2013

Cooking my own lunch

Mom has returned to Malaysia for about 4 days already. Since then, I have been waking up 45 minutes earlier every morning to prepare lunch.

No kidding, i actually cook my own lunch now, something that i've not done for many years. Mom has written some recipes for me before she left, and i also called her a few times to get some pointers from her about cooking. I must say that the result wasn't too bad.

Just to prove that i am not lying, here are pictures of my lunches for the past three days:

Monday, salmon fish and stir-fry veggie

Tuesday, chicken soup and fried egg

Wednesday, fried rice and veggie

Today i had mashed potato and sweetcorn, which i didn't bother to take pictures of.

Well, these of course could not compare with mom's cooking for the past two months, but they were good enough to fill my stomach in a healthy and economical way.

I seriously do not know how long i could sustain and whether or not laziness will soon get the better of me. I gotta spend time in the evening preparing the ingredients and waking up early in the morning to cook. That's putting a few good hours weekly in just preparing food when i could have simply made something simple like sandwiches or salad, or eating out (but expensive).

Let's see if i will still be bringing my own lunch a month from now. If by then i'm still doing it, then i'll post up some more pictures of my masterpiece. After all, if i were able to continue on with it, my cooking skill should improve by then and i'd really ought to be bragging about it.

Oh, and by the way, i've decided that Friday will be lunch-out day from now on, and so no cooking for tomorrow morning. That means more sleep, yay!

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wah, don't know that in NZ also able to buy rice. NZ is angmo country right, known as western but then located at the east.... don't worry Pin, you got your blog reader here to pester you to keep up the habit, haha. simple food can turn out to be nice nice delicious food too, moreover you're cooking the food you like one :). and it's gotta taste different for own cooked food than by someone else, no, no, what i mean is it certainly taste better for the effort spent, don't get wrong hor. you might want to spend a little time to do some research on how to prepare simple happy food, goal after goal, week after week, and don't just always thinking of work and work only. isn't it there's saying don't be lazy when it comes to food . cheers, let's see what are you gonna have for monday, yummy, yummy, yummy :)

Wah! thumb up!

So, you had to warm up the dishes in the microwave?

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Saturday, February 23, 2013

All alone soon

In less than 8 hours, mom will be flying back to SG. Her flight is at 6:45am tomorrow.

Finally, after almost three months, i am really gonna be on my own. I will have to start cooking for myself, wash my own clothes, and clean the apartment myself. Not that i've not done all these before, but the last time i lived on my own like this was about 15 years ago when i was studying in Canada, and i had a bunch of friends staying together at that time. This time 'round, it's gonna be really "on my own".

I have mixed feeling about her departure; i must say that i do look forward to it more than feeling unwilling to let her go. As i have mentioned before, this apartment is too small for me to have a personal space that i need when she is around. Mothers will forever treat their children like kids, not realising that we are grown-ups who do not need all the nagging and excessive concerns or attention. Of course i know that such behaviours are out of love and i do appreciate and treasure that; i may even miss it when she is no longer around. Yet, at this stage of my life, i really want and need the freedom and space to think, to recuperate, and to move on.

And i wonder what mom feels about going back - probably the same mixed feeling as me? Back in JB, she has lots of friends and relatives. Her life is filled with activities and never bored even though i was in SG during weekdays. Over here, she spent all her days in the apartment cooking, cleaning and watching Korean dramas. The life here must have been quite boring for her. However, i believe she must be worried about me being here all alone and hope to have her children by her side. So i bet she must be torn between wanting to return and staying here.

Anyway, with such early flight tomorrow, we would have to leave the apartment by 4:30am. She is already in bed snoring away now. I ought to go to bed soon as well. Hopefully i'd be able to catch some sleep after sending her off and then wake up in time to attend the Sunday service.

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don't worry lah Pin, your mom can still talk and see each other via internet mah. but it will probably be tough for you who dependent on mom too much ler, oops... but then doing house chores and home cooking are not bad thing if to look at the positive side :). hope you have adapted well in NZ and your mom convinced about that. well, you did not go through Christmas, New Year and CNY alone in foreign land after all.

but, korean dramas? found korean dramas difficult to grasp and soapy, not to mention over emotional if to compare with taiwanese and hongkong dramas. and being filial, you really should advise her less on the korean dramas, oops, thinking too loud already .. cheers and stay tough, girl :).

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Carton received

The carton that mom helped me to send from Malaysia arrived yesterday.

These were all the clothes and shoes that I could not bring over with me on my flight here due to the luggage limit. I shipped it by sea and the shipping company told me that the estimated transit time was 71 days. The carton was shipped on 21/12/2012 and it actually arrived about 10 days earlier than expected. The carton was provided by the shipping company (sent to my home in JB) and the door-to-door delivery cost USD189 for shipping & handling + NZD99 for NZ goods examination fee (all claimed from my company as part of my relocation allowance). The service is quite good and reliable. I may consider using them again when i go back.

The carton was packed mostly with my winter clothing. Now i have enough thick clothes and jackets to keep me warm.

Talking about winter time, my boss made a casual remark this morning about the weather while looking out of the window, "Ah, autumn is here."

To that, i asked in shock, "Huh? What happened to summer? I am still waiting for summer to start!"

"C'mon, we have had our summer. Autumn normally starts around end of February."

"But it felt nothing like summer at all. There were hardly any sunshine and hot days."

"You must be dreaming. We had lots of hot days."

"No, there was only ONE hot day, which was on Christmas day and that was it. I thought it is gonna get warmer but now you tell me it is autumn already?!"

"Well, you can't be expecting hot days like in Malaysia. This is our summer!"

Now, this wasn't really a serious conversation. My boss and I were just jesting with each other.

Yet, i wasn't kidding when i said it felt nothing like summer. Just look at the weather records for the past 30 days. The temperature hovered around 22C on most days; on days that it went higher than 22C, there were gusty wind that made it feel cold.

I am really glad that my stuff arrived just in time for the change in season.

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Gee, 2 months to ship is quite long time. Probably get used to company shipping stuff with 3 days to 1 week lead time from US. 24- 27 degC is just nice, it would be like having outdoor with aircond mah, and nice nice walk enjoy the atmosphere ..MY summer can peak up to 40 degC, xiao one. But then, NZ is located at Southern Hemisphere, there's no way it'll be getting warmer when it's already feb liao and approaching equinox, either you tried to troll your boss and your readers :). And the wind at 90+ km/h, gosh, that's even faster than a car, I mean at moderate drive speed. Oops, gotta take back the enjoying outdoor walk part... look forward for your post on the first snowman and snowball you gonna build in NZ :). Oh wait, that's gonna be another season in June liao. I read when driving during snow do not switch on the windshield washer, it'll quickly turn into snow. Also the experience my colleague told me about pouring pail of water and immediately turned into ice ... Cheers.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

CNY Bearista 2013

Unlike the previous years whereby it would be dressed in a full costume of the animal, the CNY Bearista for the year of snake is dressed in a Chinese costume with a snake on its shoulders.

Uh huh, the special edition of Bearista for CNY 2013 could be found here in NZ as well. Besides the Bearistas, there are also lots of different mugs with CNY theme.

And before i posted this up, i just realised that i did not check out the Bearista for last CNY, which was dressed in a dragon costume - just google for it and you will see how cute it was.


haha, a snake without double forked tongue. but the dragon is really really cute woh ... cheers, and all the best tomorrow's work after 人日.

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Friday, February 15, 2013

The past week

Frankly, I am not in the mood to blog during this week. Have been rather tired from various activities on last weekends and from work as well.

A new small project has started and I am being put fully in charge again. This time we are implementing the latest version of the system that no one in the company has done it before. There's gonna be lots of reading and testing that I need to do for the project. At the same time, the project that had just gone live a few weeks back has more or less stabilised but there are still some ad hoc support that I need to attend to. It has been quite hectic at work.

As for personal life, besides attending another CNY celebration at church last Sunday, i also had a cyber gathering with my group of best friends back in Malaysia on Wednesday night (or their afternoon). This was our annual CNY gathering and we had wanted to use Skype video conferencing to hook up Siang in Japan, me in NZ and the rest in Malaysia. Unfortunately, our plan didn't work out smoothly because the Internet connection at PT's home was too slow. The images were too blurry and the voice kept breaking up when too many of us were connecting at the same time. In the end, they could only have Siang on their Skype video conference, me on LF's Line voice call, and Siang and I on Skype video conference. It sounds complicated and it was, but then we still managed to have lots of fun chit-chatting in this way. I also did a virtual tour of my apartment for the ladies over Skype.

On an unrelated note, I've yet to get an insurance for my car. In NZ, car insurance is not mandatory by law but of course it is always best to get it. I've joined AA and just received the membership today. I'm most likely gonna get the insurance from them, but before that I'll need to get the NCB document from my previous car insurance company first, which I seriously can't recall which it is already.


oh, what you mean actually is that you are exhausted. Glad you had nice time with your friends Pin, with internet around you are definitely not going to be alone even thousands miles away :). so there shouldn't be any reason to be unhappy in NZ hor.

Take the new project as a great opportunity to leap forward. And Pin, isn't that the reason why you have quitted the previous job to look for new challenge, and to unleash the potential within you? Believe in your strength, Pin, you do have the talent and skill in area of your expertise, and what you need is to stay focus, equip well yourself information on the system. Keep an open mind, be frank and don't neglect in time management too. Maybe my cheerleading is not helpful in practical, you gotta not just prove to your readers and close friends but yourself too. Picture the project for you as pioneer in the company, and proud from your bosses who treat you nice and loan the car. Charge forward, Pin, 加油啊!你能做到的.

Before signoff, please do drive safely and always stay conscious too! And don't sleep late ya! cheers.

Try to remember who your last car insurer is and contact them. All they have to do is email you stating that they confirm you were their customer with xx% NCB. AA will honour the email and give u the NCB. Anonymous in NZ

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Saturday, February 09, 2013

Happy Lunar New Year

I am very tired now. I thought i should just post a quick update and greetings here before going to bed.

Mom and I spent the day with the Chinese members from the church here. We went to the Botanic Garden in the afternoon, and then went back to the church for reunion dinner.

All of the people are from China and Taiwan; there were no Malaysians from this church. One of the traditions of Northern Chinese people is to make dumplings together during reunion dinner. That was what we did, and for the first time in my life and for my first CNY in NZ, I actually made a few dumplings on CNY eve.

Everyone gathered in the church kitchen and made dumplings together

The "work-in-progress"

The sumptuous meal on CNY eve

All the people were very friendly and nice. We had an enjoyable time.

There will be celebration again tomorrow with Chinese of different nationalities from another church. It feels good that even though we are in a Western country and there isn't any CNY atmosphere here, we do not really feel lonely at all.

Wishing everyone a Lunar New Year filled with joy and good health! 新年快乐,心想事成!


新年快乐! Glad you got a car :) Be safe.
Anonymous in NZ.

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Thursday, February 07, 2013

Car owner again

Finally, the car hunting came to an end today.

Say hi to my Mazda Demio.

Went to see the black car this morning and the condition was no good. There were scratches all over and the interior wasn't as well-maintained too. Right after i viewed that car, i called the car dealer i met yesterday and confirmed the purchase on the silver one.

Since the used car was imported from Japan, it is considered "NZ new" and i am the first NZ owner of this car. The car would have to get registered with the authority. The car license plate number is given during the registration process, and i got quite a nice number even though i did not specifically choose it. All these processing were done by the car dealer.

In the evening, the car dealer called me and told me that he had settled all the necessary processing. The car dealer came to pick us up from the city (my mom tagged along) and went to Lower Hutt to collect the car. And just like that, i now have a car to commute to work but am also NZD7,300 poorer. After paying for the car, I am left with little money in the bank here, which would not last me till month end. I will have to transfer some funds from my SG bank account and suffer some exchange rate losses.

Anyway, i am quite happy with this car except one thing; since the car was only 1300cc, there isn't really much horsepower when i step on the accelerator. Wellington is a city with hilly terrain and there are lots of places where i will need to drive uphill. When the car is moving slowly up the slope, my first impatient reaction would be to accelerate more to make it go faster. Doing this will actually consume lots of fuel necessarily (and the car may not really go faster). So, i will have to get used to driving patiently and not to step on the pedal too much, as the whole idea of getting a smaller car is for its fuel economy since petrol is darn expensive here.

That aside, i was very much convinced that i've made a right choice in buying this car after an incident this afternoon.

I was going to a client's site for meeting this afternoon and i gotta take the bus from my office back to the city. As i was waiting for the bus at the bus stop, an Indian guy came and waited for the bus too. At first he kept looking at me and then after a while he started chatting with me, asking where i am from, what my name is, where i am staying, bla bla bla. I politely replied him (of course, i did not tell him my full name or address) but i was actually feeling quite nervous since there wasn't really anyone else around there.

After talking for about 5 minutes or so, he asked me if i could be his friend and whether or not i wanna join him and his friends for lunch on Sunday. I told him no but that did not stop him from continuing his conversation with me. Throughout the entire time, i was thinking to myself that i will not have to go through such situation again after today since i do not have to take the bus at such remote places anymore. It was right for me to just go ahead and buy the car instead of continue hunting and waiting. It is really not safe for a single lady around here anywhere - in the city, there are too many drunk people; outside the city, most places are quite remote and there are hardly any other people around.

So, i would consider it as money well spent. I am now a happy car owner. :)


Hi demio, congratulations to have Pin as your new owner, she will really take good care of you, so no worries ya :). Most of the high end Toyota cars in MY are also recond type, and well furbished too. So Pin, you definitely made the right choice, you indeed bought a "new" car. and you should have bought it at once or it would have been snatched away from you, phew. I thought you chose the black one since you use to make last minute decision, aha, I was wrong, so wrong.

The incident was scary. Is it true the bus stop usually that vacant? Luckily the bus is not like MY that you have to wait sometimes for hours during non peak period. Gosh, hopefully you won't go through incident like this anymore! But were there cars passing the road at the bus stop? Please place safety as priority even it cost slightly more, like the case of taking train you should have stopped it immediately rather had the dead rat to wake you up. I know, I know, talk is easy but ... all I wanna say is you gotta live happy. Oh, gotta be discipline to be tight on budget too, and you should, but not until to compromise safety. Build up savings, like 30%, 40% must go to the bank, and also really control temptation not to indulge shopping spree, oops. Cheers, and be happy happy Pinpin. With car around, gotta enjoy yourself with your mom this coming weekend hor, don't hold yourself back :)

Silver is good lah! even 2 months din wash the car, also look ok, only a bit greyish! :p
and according to research, black car tend to use more fuel to operate air-cond.
So can this car consider the happy belated birthday gift for yourself?

新年又来了!happy happy Chinese New Year. 希望一切事事顺利,万事如意 :) Cheers. -HY-

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Wednesday, February 06, 2013

Car hunting day

It is a public holiday today here in NZ - Waitangi Day. If you are interested to find out what this day is about, just Google for it. I think there must be some celebrations somewhere but i wasn't really interested.

What i had done for this holiday was not resting at home but went car hunting.

Early morning, mom and i took the bus to another town (Lower Hutt) to view a Mitsubishi Colt (year 2004). The car was just imported from Japan and hence without registration. Car registration (i.e. getting a license plate) costs about NZD300 here, and after adding the fee, the total price for the car would be NZD6,290. Yes, it is over my budget of NZD6k, but then after looking around for so long, i have decided that i really must increase my budget a bit to get a more decent car.

The condition of the car was quite reasonable but not as good as i had expected. Then in the same warehouse, there was another car there, which cost NZD1K more but in a very good condition; it was almost like new, and it is one of the cars that i have always wanted to buy - a Mazda Demio (which is Mazda 2 in SG and Msia).

Uh huh, i like small cars. Other cars that i like are - Mini Cooper, Volkswagen Beetle, Nissan March and Suzuki Swift. My first car back in year 1996 was a Satria and i did like it even though it was a Proton. Surprisingly, it did not give me much problems except some issues with the power window.

My mom told me to just go ahead and get that Mazda. Besides comparing the conditions of the two cars, she also didn't like the Mitsubishi due to the odd design - the windscreen is very slanted and may feel different from the usual cars we drive. Since i had arranged for another car viewing in the evening, i told the dealer that i was interested in the car but would like to make a decision later today. Of course, if someone else is to make an offer directly while i was considering, then he would not hold the car for me unless i placed a deposit first.

The other car that i was to view was a Toyota Platz from year 2000. It was advertised by a direct seller and was selling for "NZD4,995 or near offer". When anyone puts up the words "near offer", it means there will be room for bargain. This car was within my budget and the condition of the car looked ok from the pictures. Hence i would still like to take a look first before making the decision.

Well, i did see the Toyota in the evening and all i could say is that we should never trust the pictures we see on the Web. The owner apparently did not maintain the car well at all. Both the interior and exterior were dirty and there were also several dents on the car. The bumper was loose on one side and looked like it was gonna fell off. It was definitely an outright NO for me.

Since i have decided to increase my budget, i searched the Web again and found another dealer who is also selling the same Mazda at cheaper price but of different colour and manufactured year. I have contacted the dealer and make arrangement to view it early tomorrow morning.

Just now i received the call from the dealer i met this morning and he informed me that he received another call enquiring about the car and he would like to give me priority since i viewed it first. I asked him to give me until 10am tomorrow to make the decision and he gracefully agreed. By that time, i would have already viewed the other Mazda and be able to make a decision on which one to buy.

So, now it is a tussle between two Mazda Demio. Assuming that the specs and conditions are all the same, i would have to make a decision based on comparison of colour, manufactured year, mileage and price:
(a) Silver car, year 2005, 94K+ km, NZD7,290
(b) Black car, year 2006, 109K+ km, NZD6,995

Which should I choose? We will know tomorrow.


ha, kinda dejavu, just like the motorola droid and then xperia mini, i guess you'd never stick to the plan and go for the last minute change lor. if i to go without analysis and choice theory thingy, you probably will go for the black one since it's introduced later, not because of it's cheaper... okay, if to analyze it, hmm, kinda like comparing silver and black myvi, silver is closer to white so it looks pure but easily gets dirty. black is cool for guys, but girls ... and if you dress black it's kinda looked odd to have everything black and dark. Plus the 15k km mileage and a year difference, meaning the usage rate is actually higher than the silver one, condition could be poorer. For superstitious reason, black kinda inviting suay :(. Opinion wise, the black one could be a last minute decision, might miss out details whilst the white you already viewed and in deep thought about it. gee, so much so of my opinion points towards the silver one, but, Pin, you know yourself. Oh, if you still doubt, perhaps a picture might help ^_^ http://img254.imageshack.us/img254/4734/carsh.png
Whatever the outcome is, you finally have a car :) Cheers!

I hope you'd finally chose the car that would fit your preference, PinPin. Both of them seem look good but if you were to ask me, I'd go with anonymous' choice. A black car really looks great and sophisticated. The downside is, it won't be safe to drive on a darker area, especially at night, because it would be hard to get your car noticed.


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Sunday, February 03, 2013

The past weekend

The past weekend was supposed to be my birthday weekend but it was actually just the same as any other normal weekends. In fact, my birthday this year was also just another working day for me, and i didn't feel particular happy nor sad on that day.

Last Friday, i went to work as usual. My ex-subordinate informed my two bosses about my birthday (he knew it because he is on my FB) and so we went out for lunch on that day. We didn't have anything fancy for lunch but just went to the food court at a mall near my office and my boss paid for my order. I still worked in the office until 6pm+ and then the evening ended as usual as well. There was no cake, no candles, no birthday presents... but there were quite a number of birthday greetings from my friends and family on FB, emails and sms. Mom did make a hard-boiled egg for me (without the red colouring) as part of our Chinese tradition.

Frankly, at this stage of my life, not having a significant half or a family of my own, and also without any close friends here, there really isn't a need to make a fuss out of my birthday anymore. In fact, it is the day i get older and getting nearer to the age of 40, with not much of achievements in life. I would be lying if i say i didn't feel melancholy about it at all, especially with the situation i am in now. I did my best not to think too much about it lest i fall into self-pity. That was also why there wasn't any introspective birthday post on that day.

It isn't really easy to blog nowadays too. Besides mom keeps using my laptop to watch dramas, the lack of privacy also makes writing difficult. This is a very small apartment and mom is around all the time. I can't do anything without her noticing and even probing sometimes. To be honest, i have mixed feelings about her being here. On one hand, it is nice to have my closest family member by my side so that I am not really all alone here. At least i have someone to talk to when i return to this apartment, and i have someone to cook and take care of the house chores for me. However, on the other hand, i miss the freedom of being able to do whatever i want, eat whatever i want and go wherever i want, without having mom nagging at me and tagging along. I also miss sleeping on the bed and having the blanket all to myself, and not having to be bothered by snoring or awakened by someone waking up in the middle of the night to go to the toilet. Anyway, there is less than a month to go and i will be really all alone by then.

Alright, about the weekend - well, we went car hunting at a few car dealers on Saturday. I have hoped to get a car as a birthday present for myself, but unfortunately that didn't turn out well. All the cars sold at car dealers were over my budget, mostly over NZD10K in price. I would still stick to my budget for another week, after which i really need to seriously consider increasing the budget by probably NZD2k.

After my failed attempt to get a car in the morning, we spent the afternoon shopping and i got myself three presents that cost me over NZD400. I bought a blender and two pairs of shoes. The blender is for making juices to keep myself healthy (and slim).

As for the shoes, I had been looking for shoes for quite a while already since i need to walk quite a fair bit here and i can't wear the high heels that i've brought here to go with my officer wear. After much shopping, i finally got myself a pair of low heels leather shoes and a pair of leather boots. Those should be quite comfy to walk in, and i'd be wearing one of them tomorrow!

That pretty much concluded my boring birthday weekend, except that it wasn't really as boring for other people in the city.

The past week, especially the weekend, felt as if the entire city was in a carnival and huge costume party. It was the week of Wellington Sevens, the annual rugby sevens tournament that is held here every February. The Kiwis are crazy about rugby, which i guess is pretty much considered their national sports. However, the thing about this event is that the people would dress themselves up in different costumes to go to the game. They would also go drinking before and after (and perhaps even during) the game. I seriously wondered if their enthusiasm and excitement about this event was for the game or the partying.

Nonetheless, it was quite fun to see different characters walking on the streets for the past few days. I would have been out taking photographs of these quirky people if not for my mom being around (as she will not let me go out alone at all except going to work). Of course, if i have done that, i would not do it in the night because it would be really unsafe for a single lady roaming the streets amidst all those people with adrenaline rush after the game and alcohol.

The streets below where i stay were closed off on Saturday from 5pm to Sunday morning. At around 11pm on Saturday night, there were batches of crowd walking back from the stadium and passing through these streets to get to Courtenay Place, the street famous for nightlife here.

It was a very noisy night, as we could hear them talking loudly, shouting, laughing, singing and chanting down the streets, and not to mention the siren from the police cars that were more frequent than any other usual weekends. This morning when we were walking to the church, we saw some people still in costumes and some with those pubs' wrist bands on their hands. Apparently, these people had been out partying whole night (or probably couldn't drive after drinking) and were only going home this morning.

Frankly, if there is anything i notice about Westerners in general, it would be the unhealthy drinking culture. This is something i observed from my previous employments and having to deal with Westerners from USA and Europe. I do no think i can ever immerse in such culture, for boozing is never my thing even though there were times in my younger days when i did drink beer and red wine but in good moderation.

On an unrelated note, saw new Bearista at the Starbucks here but not sure what costume that is and for what occasion.

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if only the ex-subordinate notified your bosses earlier and not the last minute .. it's ok Pin, it's just because you're still new in NZ (it's even < 100 days) and it will be surely better as time passes and more people get to know you :). And Pin, you did make a change in life when you switch career to NZ, and it's still in the initial stage. Plus, most of your friends, ex-colleagues station in MY, SG and internet space but not in Wellington only, it's not they did not remember your birthday and have forgotten you judging from FB, emails and sms. wait, sms ??? gee, that's doesn't sound good when it comes to bill ..... sigh, if only you manage to get a car or spot one within your target and budget that would be a great first birthday in NZ. don't give up Pin, and certainly don't get overstress for this. well, for the time being just treat taking bus as morning and evening exercise after long hours sitting in front of laptop and be discipline to get to bed on time, which is effective than the blender (what am i writing over here ler ...).

hmm, i know westerners "guys" are into boozing with beer be substituted as tea, but westerner gals ... i do hear some of my thai colleagues who are ladies are great drinker with lacquer, and lacquer is total new level away from beer and red wine, is like drinking ethanol like that. sometimes i wonder what's so nice with gulping down 65% alcohol content drink making the liver miserable. speaking of rugby, All Blacks is so famous, always synonym with kiwi NZ and their haka dance taunting the opponents in every match. so soon PinPin will be from basketball fan to badminton and later rugby fan :), ha. but rugby is so manly. Gee, the bearista dressed like british redcoat army, not cute. And Wellington did not beat Napoleon in February, he doesn't even wear a moustache. perhaps only locals would know the reason. Hopefully you'll find a car soon, and until then DON'T USE the TRAIN!!! Cheers :).

after google about it, the redcoat is from the fairy tale The Nutcracker and the Mouse King. it's a famous story, but how come i also donno, now i know ... cheers. -HY-

They say it take time to get use to Wellington,it can be a really boring place :) Give yourself sometime to like Welly. Young Kiwis just drink too much,it is a disgusting culture.I see you are living near Manners St, please be careful at night.
A belated Happy Birthday to you :)
Anonymous in NZ

Anonymous in NZ: Thanks for the birthday wish. :)

Yes, initially i thought staying here is very convenient (which it is), but never did i expect it can be quite dangerously too, especially with all those people drinking near Courtenay Place...

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