Tuesday, 27 October 2009

Anything that Can Go Wrong, Will Go Wrong

Last Saturday I had to work. It was a congress dinner at one of the hotels in KUL. I had to go since the Minister is a Guest of Honor at the function, and will be delivering a speech. Had to make sure everything runs smoothly, eventhough this is not our function. The Minister being a Minister, will turn to her officers and asks what's wrong, if anything happened to go wrong. So, we as the officers of the government must strive for perfection just for the sake of Minister's happiness.

Anyway, my job was to make sure that the promotional DVD runs smoothly before her speech. Its a perfect window of opportunity to show your video as you have a captive audience. Thus, it is very, very important not to have any technical glitch during the actual screening of the video. I'd handed my DVD to the technical person there, who happened to be a mass comm student from UiTM, as managing this event was to be included in their final project. He was supposed to play the congress video first after the first speech, and then play my video before my Minister gave her speech. We tested the video while everyone was milling about the ballroom and foyer. It worked beautifully.

Then, we'd to change my DVD back again to his DVD since there were no additional DVD player or laptop available. I was standing by at the technical area, waiting for the time to play my video. Together, we waited for the emcee extraordinaire aka stage manager, Dato' Dale to give the cue. He gave the cue. Then the guy played the video, but...silence. The video didn't work, it was stuck. He panciked and started to curse, "shit, shit". Dato' Dale came over and said, "tell me can the video work? tell me now, can you do it or not?". The guy panicked, the other commitees also panicked, a few seconds have relapsed. Then Dato' Dale said you guys should've tested the video and went back to the mike and said something to the effect, "if anything that can go wrong, will go wrong, that is Murphy's law" and smoothly covered the glitch. And on to the next speech, my minister's video and speech. Everything turns out smoothly.

In retrospect, I felt sorry for the student, I really do. Maybe it was my fault, coming to add the additional video an hour before programme starts. I'd re-examined this in my head, maybe justifying this to myself. I'd to have the vidoe played, if not the bosses will slay me alive. Maybe the student was inexperieneced enough to deal with ad hoc programme. But then again, I recalled during the panic time, one of the committee asked which video was supposed to be played, since they had two videos to play, additional to my video. Why are they still debating about which video to play at the eleventh hour? According to Dato' Dale they'd attended meetings to discuss about the videos. Well anyone can play the blame game, but on my part I am clear that I was supposed to ensure that the video played without any glitch. Whatever happens behind the scene, everyone was suppose to play their part. No matter what happens, be it a an ad hoc request or a technical glitch.

Let a lesson be learned, no matter how good or bad you are in your job. Anything that can go wrong, will go wrong. That's Murphy's Law.

Thursday, 22 October 2009

Propa aje!

Sick of people trying to run my life. Being so manipulative about it. Give it straight to me (but with tact to soften the blow). I can take it. But when you go behind other people's back just to get the message to me, I'm going to intrepret this as you don't have enough balls to tell me yourself. The message is lost in translation. Some people just take pleasure in twisting other people's knickers into knots, manipulating them. Maybe they don't have enough work in the office, that they start to mess with other people's head. It's just a game to them. Why can't people just let be with themselves, don't try to step on other people's toes on your way up. Get more things to do, have a life outside the office, take up a hobby, do whatever it is to keep your sanity. An idle mind goes to waste, if not used regularly. But it must be used in a correct way, not just for yakking and gossiping...

Tuesday, 20 October 2009

KL As I See It

I've lived a nomad life, the first 18 years of my life. My dad was a government man, and he was transferred every 4 years or so to different branches. I grew up around Malaysia since I could remember- 3 years in Kuantan, 5 years in Kelantan, 3 years in Kedah and 3 years in Kuching, all in that order.

It was time to leave the nest. I'd accepted to enter a local Uni based in KL. It was like a dream, both going into Uni and living in KL. I was giddy with excitement.The first thing that I noticed about KL, was the hustle and bustle of the city life. Cars honking, people walking, buses speeding in and out of the traffic, everything a mad rush. For me, those pink mini buses was the epitome of the first year of my life in KL. It gets me where I needed to go around KL, either to Sogo or Bukit Bintang to window shop or hang out. Sunway or Suria KLCC or even Midvalley weren't built yet in the mid '90s. The Mini buses were always full of people, with no air condition, the windows cranked down to allow in some air. People were crammed like sardines. Maybe I learned some survival skills to look out for myself being in one of those buses. A girl has to protect herself from perverts and pickpockets. Getting a seat in the mini bus was like winning a lottery ticket. If I do get a seat, I'd make sure to give it to those in need. Despite the conditions in the mini bus, I was almost sorry to see it abolished one year later.

The new line of Intrakota buses were introduced; bigger seats, with better service and was air conditioned. The drivers are more courteous and cautious on the road. By now, mini buses were a distant memory.

The Commonwealth Games was held in Stadium Putra Bukit Jalil. My sister was a volunteer for the games. So my mum and I decided to show our support to her by going to Bukit Jalil. The first time ever I took the Star LRT to Bukit Jalil. To me, the ride was a bit rickety but it was safe enough. I wasn't used to the movement of the train off the ground.

First time on the Putra LRT to Suria KLCC. This line runs straight from Gombak to Kelana Jaya. I like Putra LRT as the coach was smaller than Star LRT, and it was cool that the train was computer generated, means there wasn't any driver on board. It only took us about 15 minutes and about 7 stations or so to reach KLCC. It made more sense as we don't have to take a bus and go downtown to all the jam, and change to another bus just to reach KLCC.

2002-mid 2008
Spent the next 6 years of my life commuting from Putra LRT Terminal Putra to Masjid Jamek, then interchange at Masjid Jamek to take the Star LRT staright to PWTC station. Learnt that it was smarter to use the monthly pass as it was more economic. My daily ride for the two trains is RM7, to and fro. It will cost me about RM140 per month if I buy regular tickets. With the pass its only RM125, and beats queing up. Learnt to use underground tunnel at Masjid Jamek from Putra LRT to Star LRT, as one of my collegue was hit by a motorist crossing the street at Masjid Jamek. Much safer to use the tunnel.

Mid 2008
Finally decided that I'd enough of commuting. Everybody's on the train, it feels like I'm in a mini bus. So, with the new and affordable Proton Saga BLM, I'd decided to become a motorist and brave the KL traffic. My route begins from Danau Kota, Setapak and cut thru Jalan Genting Klang. Famed for its congestion, I'd to leave home at least 7.15am to be able to reach the office comfortably at 8.30am.

DUKE Highway opened. Jalan Genting Klang less congested and my driving time to the office was reduced to considerably. Now I can leave home at 7.45am and made it to the office at 8.15am. Better conditions especially after the public holidays, the roads are a breeze to go thru. Happy to say that the road of Jalan Genting Kelang is being upgraded now, from 2 lanes to three lanes. Driving is less a hassle now. I might actually like the city, jam and all.

Monday, 19 October 2009

Of being philantrophic and managing your finance

I was at the mall last Friday, just walking around doing some shopping. I felt a bit hungry and decided to buy one of those Auntie Anne's pretzels sour cream & onion. As I was sitting down beside the kiosk, I saw this chinese lady peeling some nuts with her employee (I guessed she was the employer). First they were quiet, then suddenly the aunty started to talk him and telling him how she was involved with her church charity groups, reaching out to the poor, giving donations and help to those in need.

It started me thinking that I haven't done much charity, that maybe I've been selfish with my quest to achieve the ultimate comfortable state of life. The only charity I'd done is giving away some old clothes and monthly donations to MAKNA, which I can say is quite meagre. Behind my apartment is an orphange, but I'm ashamed to say that I've never donated anything to them, be it in cash or kind. I don't know, maybe it's hard to make the first move to approach them and tell them that I want to donate something. My mum always say, if you want to donate to those kids, bring them food. She'd brought some food over for supper and she said that the kids were very delighted to see it.

I guess that's why I never have enough money in my hands. Maybe I make more than some, minus all the debts, some contribution to the family, I have enough left. Always just enough, never in abundance. Also I am quite the spendthirft, so that's the more reason. Maybe my money is not berkat, coz I don't give it away much. It is said that a portion of your money belongs to someone else, maybe a friend in need or giving to charity. I think the lesson for me is: I need to give more to charity. I should start somehwere, no matter how small. The first step is the most important.

Thursday, 8 October 2009

Poetry in Motion

Warning! A very indelicate entry about constipation, hemorrhoids and such.

A few days ago, I'd come across a colleague who looked sickly.I asked her if she was okay. And she said she's had hemorrhoid, that's why she's not feeling so well and was on mc for two days. This condition was something that I have close connection.

Since I was small, I've had severe case of constipation. I'd go for days without passing motion. I'd tried to force it out by staying in the loo for hours. This continued on till my school years whereby I'd experienced blood dripping when I was "processing" in the loo. I had a scare. I thought I had hemorrhoid or buasir. In my uni days, I'd to take teh orang kampung to ease my troubles. It worked for a while, then my tummy got immune to it, and it didn't work anymore. I went back to the days without passing motion, sometimes 3 days, sometimes 5, I think maybe one time I'd gone 1 week without doing my business. It was discomforting. I'd felt toxic. Back then I was quite active in sports, drank loads of water, ate less.

Alhamdullilah, things improved when I started work. Kerabu Jantung said I need to force myself to do my business early in the morning. I didn't believe her at first. Then I tried it. Over a period of a few months, while diligently sitting at my throne for hours, I'd discovered that I began to pass motion regularly. Then my hours in the loo decreased to half an hour of waiting, then some more. It came to a point where I'd get the morning call. You know, like when you are still asleep but suddenly u had to get up and run to the loo because feel something about to come out! Now, I'm happy to say that I don't have that problem anymore. In my case, it wasn't my diet, but it was something to do with disciplining my body to function properly.

But not everyone is lucky as I am. My colleague still have hemorrhoid, and so many other people out there. Kak Safinah, the owner of Malay Tea House had actually recommended my colleague to use virgin coconut oil. It is reported to have healing properties, and she said you can see immediate result within one week. Maybe you can also try to eat more veggies and fruits that are high in fibre, like bananas, prunes, etc. I would advise to use two prong approach, visit the doctor to get proper medication and then try some traditional cure. Whatever works for you since everyone is different.

Friday, 2 October 2009

Beijing Express Sightseeing: Forbidden City & Tian An Men

(...Continued from last post on Beijing Express Sightseeing in Great Wall of China.)
Right after our trip to the Great Wall, we set out to visit the Forbidden City. It was a about one and half hour journey back to the city. The sun now is truly hot, and I'm still fasting (Sayang dah nak berbuka sbb dah pukul 2.30pm bila sampai ker Forbidden City)
Our visit to Forbidden City was an express one as I was feeling very-very tired and very-very thirsty from the climb at the Great Wall and the scorching sun. We basically walked the length of the Forbidden City from the North Gate to the South Gate and straight to Tian An Men Square, which is situated just outside the South Gate of the Forbidden City. To truly explore the Forbidden City, one should at least take 2 days to finish exploring all the artifacts and buildings. It was helpful that we had a tour guide, so we managed to capture some of the history of China, and its emperors and dynasties.
Tian An Men - literally means "Heavenly Peace Gate". This is where the ruler of China gather for the National Day on Oct 1. He will address the public on the gate just on top of Chairman Mao's pic.

The statue of the guardians that we normally see in front of Chinese establishments. It is actually the statue of a lion and lioness. The lion is recognizable by the ball under his right paw, whereas the lioness has a baby lion under her left paw

The Emperor's palace and the place where he recieve guests
North gate entrance to the Forbidden City. Entrance fees is RMB60

The Forbidden City was built around a moat to discourage enemy to attack the city. It was told that when Qing Dynasty, the last Dynasty of China fell, the Eunuchs committed suicide into the moat because they couldn't bear to live without the emperor and the special privileges

The inner wall of the forbidden city is on the right of this pic with the red door. Right in front is a small hill with a resting place on top where the emperor and his concubines spend their time

One of the palace where the emperor and his concubines go to relax which is just in front of the North Gate