Playlist of the week.

My week has been pretty boring and monotonous. Work has been slow and a wee bit relaxing after 2 weeks of rushing for tender. That’s definitely a relief on my part.

However as someone who listens to music pretty much on a daily basis regardless of my mood (an activity I’m not entirely proud of doing), I guess I’m just going to share the songs/music I’ve been shoving into my ears for this particular week.

Playlist of The Week

Enjoy and hope you guys find some good new music from it (though I highly doubt that).

CR: The Trial by Franz Kafka, pg 53/182.

All grown up.

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As I’m writing this, my mind keeps on recalling the lyrics of Taylor Swift’s Never Grow Up, a song I used to constantly sing back when I was 17 years old. Back when I was literally living a hell of a lifeback when I pushed myself through different types of crap shuffling in between getting myself kicked out of school, being a failure, being in denial of being a failure and questioning myself daily and excessively on which definition of a human being I was supposed to be.

God bless that golden age.

Growing up is a matter of perspective. Same goes for being childish. Each and every grown up should have a little child in them.

No, allow me to re-phrase that.

Each and every grown up should have, if not much, at least one thing, that brings out the child in them.

Search for it within yourself and give it a name. Does not matter if it’s an ice-cream, a balloon, video games, fairy tales, cartoons, old cards, a cup of hot Milo in the morning, a glass of milk at night, an old sketching from an early childhood, a photograph from your first trip to the pool, that report card from school that used to give you nags or rewards, the first storybook, that shy gorgeous boyish smile that seemed to hold the secrets of the Universe from your first love back in Primary 3, your first pet, that first Kad Raya you used to exchange with friends from class and a teeny-tiny 10sen attached in between the folds.

All those good times, sweet memories, layback moments, shrilling shouts, girly giggles before commitments and responsibilities came crashing in.

So, when was the first time I felt like a grown up?

I cannot answer that, not definitely.

Maybe on September last year when I first had a go at this ‘seems bloody exciting at first but not so much after a while‘ thing called work. Maybe for the past 2 weeks I spent without any weekends, concentrating on a seemingly endless task at the office. Maybe when I no longer have that privilege called time to catch up on TV series and Korean dramas, video games and even books. Maybe I pulled the panic cord maybe you were happy I was bored maybe I wanted you to change maybe I’m the one to blame (see what I did there).

Maybe when I started thinking in silent and out loud, about the future.

THE FUTURE.

That endless, long winding list of the what ifs and the it would be great ifs.

Let’s just cut this morbid crap and admit that I am in denial of growing up and growing old. I think everyone is. At some points in your life, you just wished that time would stop and you would stay that way forever. Stay at the age where heartbreaks, sadness, stress and discrimination have not even existed yet in your dictionary of life.

But then again, one of the many things that always reminds to never forgetting being a child is Le Petit Prince by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. The book have taught me sooo much about the feelings I’ve forgotten as I grew up to be who I am today. That child-like curiosity about almost everything and how a child will never let anything stand in his way of achieving what he wants even if he understands nothing. And to put his heart in everything, because:

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tumblr_nyljnuQKQE1rjjxbmo1_540   

And for that, he’ll make a wonderful grown up.

CR: The Trial by Franz Kafka, pg 53/182.

Places.

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Concrete jungles, hands down.

Regardless of the nature of cities being bustling and hectic all the time, I’d still prefer living my life in them as compared to you know, by the sea-side or among the smell of greenery somewhere in the countryside.

If I were really, really ridiculously wealthy, I wouldnt buy a mansion, just tiny apartments in every city I love. – Mara Wilson

I cannot exactly explain how I could always somewhat find my peace and the surprising calmness amidst a surrounding that have always been known by most to offer none. All I know is being a part of something huge and the convenience of having almost everything easily accessible within my reach.

I remembered just sitting in the train or subway, and let it bring me from one end to another while I witness the growth of the city with my own eyes. I remembered joining in an educational visit to the rooftop of the Binjai tower with a couple of friends from class and getting the wrong building for an interview at the headquarters of JKR as a blessing in disguise as we were able to experience the magnificent view of Kuala Lumpur. I remembered the night view with the colors of lights from when I was at Double Tree by Hilton, that one time having sungkei with my family.

I’ve always imagined what the view would be like at the top floor of the Petronas Twin Towers. I’ve yet to reach the sky bridge connecting both towers even though I’ve been planning to do so for quite some time considering my frequent visits to KLCC.

So whenever I got questions asking me where I’d like to live my life, I’d certainly say the city. And being a realist and a very logically-thinking person, I’d choose the close vicinity of a city to most facilities rather than the sweet calmness offered by the beach or the fresh unpolluted air in the woods. I’m just not a nature-lover. I do love being among nature for once in a while but I dont think I can survive in it.

That being said, one of my biggest dreams that I have yet to achieve (or nearly impossible to achieve considering me being an 87% realist and 123% procrastinator) is to live in a loft. Somewhere in any city where I can witness the ever-magical view of dawn and sunset from my bed, somewhere I can just stare outside my window at the numbing sound of 3am when the city goes to sleep and ultimately, somewhere I can just easily get chicken nuggets in a couple of minutes so that I can Netflix and chill in content.

A rooftop with a greenhouse would be a massive plus.

I guess basically rooftops are one of my favorite places on Earth. And I have all the TV series and films to thank for putting these ideas and pretty views in me.

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Beastly (2011)

Like how Kyle built a greenhouse from scratch and filled it with roses and shit to win over Lindy’s heart. He even proceed to reading her some sort of a poem right there and it was cinematic-ally beautiful.

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Friends With Benefits (2011)

Remember when Jamie showed Dylan her favorite place on Earth after his interview and he ruined it later on when they had a fight at the same place about how Dylan told his mom about how Jamie is emotionally damaged when she indeed admitted being one? It was at the rooftop of 101 Park Avenue.

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How I Met Your Mother/The Robin

Or when Barney confesses his love to Robin in the probably one of the most geniusly- scripted screenplay in my history of watching a bunch of TV series. This was like the only episode in HIMYM that have managed to move me to tears. Oh wait, then there was the one when Robin talked to her imaginary kids after realizing that she could not conceive any.

And etc.

If only I can have access to each and every rooftop in the world. I’d very much love the view. I wonder in 2-5 years from now, am I going to share these views I had in mind with someone that I cherish or will I just enjoy them alone?

I guess it wont matter either way.

CR: The Trial by Franz Kafka, pg 35/182.

Far from normal.

Perceptions differ. Mine would not be the same as yours. My perception of myself have always been more on the negative side due to several reasons. But as someone who constantly reflects over every single act and every single word I utter, I try to be the better human being.

I used to think and proclaim myself as somewhat odd, maybe more towards the weird side. I was at that point in my life where I aspired to be different. To shine, to be at least the dime in a dozen (I failed terribly at this). But as I grow up, I figured that I’m just like you. That there are a whole lot of other people who think alike/have similar hobbies/are more talented. Basically, growing up taught me that the world does not revolve around me and only me. The world is vast and full of interesting, unique and inspiring people, most of whom I have not yet met.

That being said, 3-5 years ago, if I were to write on the qualities that I find odd/unique in me, I’d have wrote down mere typical ones that makes you go ‘Ahhh, me too’/’What’s so unique about that?’.

But then again, no matter how different I think I am from the rest of the world’s population, there are definitely something that I can relate to them. Like how we hate the same flavor of ice-cream or how we love the same smell of perfume. Like how we’re all imperfect, in our own way.

To view my life as an outsider , I’d say my ‘odd’ qualities being:

  1. Sombong

I kinda envy those who constantly looked cheerful and friendly even when they’re not smiling. Those who looked like their life are all rainbows and ice-creams and unicorns. My face on normal days, would looked like a resting bitch face, after going through 100 different types of crap. My face on bad days would be worse

I can go through weeks without talking to anybody (been there, done that). Basically, I have no problem surviving without any social interactions. I tend to be very quiet on first meetings due to my socially awkward nature. And I’m also not a conversation starter though I’m trying my best to be one lately. So, as an outsider who just knew me for a couple of minutes, I’ll easily get this particular label- sombong.

2. Wear the same clothes.

I have this habit of not giving a shit on what I wear. And I dont own a lot of clothes unlike other girls my age. Looking into my life as an outsider, I might be a cheapskate/broke when truthfully, I’m just comfortable with all the clothes I have and I’d rather wear comfortable ones as compared to new ones. I wore the same clothes to class for a span of 5 years during my Uni years. Pretty sure my classmates and those who knew me could easily recognize me based on the clothes I constantly wore. I wore similar ones to class and when I hung out with friends. Like my mom used to say (still is), ‘Kamu ni macam dah takde baju lain ke?’ LOL.

That being said, I rarely shop for clothes even now when I’m already working and are able to pay for the stuff I buy.

3. Scarred.

I have a bow tie-shaped keloid scar on my left hand. Got it since 15 years ago when it was barely visible.

Since I hide my scar under my hand-socks, an outsider wont be able to notice it, unless he/she look very closely. Even my classmates of 2 years did not know about it until I showed them.

I once joked about how if I went missing, one of the most obvious signs that people can search for to find me is my keloid scar. Because keloid usually grows on earlobes/chest areas (basically from the chest & upper levels of the body) but mine just decides to grow at the back of my injured left hand due to a small bicycle accident near my house.

4. Dreams

I’ve had vivid dreams. I dream even during 5-10 minutes nap. And at times, they come in series. Like once, I  dreamed and suddenly jolted awake and went back to sleep after a couple of minutes, the dream continued from when it stopped.

I’ve met people who could not remember their dreams. Some even claimed they never dreamt at all. I’d love to be the latter.

5. Memory

I can remember life moments from as early as when I was 5 years old. I dont forget people’s face and their names easily. So if we used to go to the same school, you might not remember me but I do remember you. I always do and I’m very thankful for that.

6. Hair

I stopped combing my hair somewhere around 10 years ago. I dont even own a hair comb.

Why? Because I can. And my hair turned out okay.

 

To conclude, am I far from normal? Nah, I dont think so. Maybe just a wee bit freaky here and there. Hey even if I’m not, let’s just pretend that I am, okay?

🙂

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“Everybody just pretend to be normal”- Little Miss Sunshine (2006)

 

CR: The Trial by Franz Kafka, pg 2/182.

Call me, maybe.

In a world of technology and never-ending evolution, having a smartphone is considered a must. The universe is literally just one click away. What a convenient era to live in.

Every time I’m riding on the train or waiting for the bus, sometimes even when I’m in the lift at work, people were just bending their heads down, staring at their smartphones, scrolling and scrolling without limits. Sometimes scowls on their faces, sometimes just slow shakes of their heads, most probably trying to fathom everything they’ve just read or witness from their soc-meds or emails.

I have an unhealthy amount of trust issues to be scrolling through my soc-meds in public, given that in a fully-packed train where a person can thoroughly inspect the contains of woman’s handbags with just one look, worst if the train suddenly decides to jolt you may (God forbid) end up kissing the person whose standing in front of you. I’d rather plug in my earphones and blast the music away (although in the subway music is kind of useless) (due to the shrilling, deafening sound of steel rubbing against each other). If you decide to scroll through your soc-meds in a fully-packed train, get ready to unintentionally share the view with the person beside/in front/behind you.

Regardless of all the conveniences and brilliance of smartphones, it is a sad reality to be in, knowing that we’re literally the slaves of technology. People are more concerned about looking at everything through pixels rather than learning to enjoy the moments that their in. I remembered going for a team building trip to Perhentian Island last year, the first step on the luminous sands with a scenic view of the crystal clear sea water by the beach, and almost everyone was taking out their smartphones and pulling their friends close for selfies. People are ‘checking in’ on their soc-meds accounts and posting up status updates.

There is absolutely nothing wrong with that, I admit. For a memory that consistently falters and forgets, it is always a great idea to keep everything in the form of photos and videos so that 5 years in the future, they will be the living proofs of the haves and the could haves. Photos to share with closed ones as a remembrance of happy joyful days. That is the motives of keeping photo albums back then when smartphones have not yet existed.

Personally, as a person who does not let social medias dictate and define who I am or what I feel, my smartphone is just a medium for communication with the people who matters in my life. I use my phone to call and text my family and friends, group discussions through Whatsapp (ranging from primary school friends to work colleagues), Youtube whenever I felt like watching ‘how to’ videos as well as K-pops, Tumblr ( which I dont use much since it consumes way too much mobile data), Sudoku (occasionally when I dont have a book with me) and Gmail for work purposes. Sounded like I’m living a boring life, huh?

That being said, I almost never uses a power bank  since my smartphone battery may last for a good full day if I dont have to communicate through any medium stated above. I’d say I lived my life pretty much, dully as compared to most people my age. I dont have an Instagram account where I could possibly share countless photos on who I met, the places I’ve been to, that fireworks I recorded from my window that seems to serve no purpose at all, or the good food I enjoy with my loved ones. I no longer feel the need to share my discontent or joy about life on Twitter.

Fret not, because I prefer to record each and every single details of moments I’ve been in with the people I’m with at particular places, descriptively, in my journal or right here in my blog. Writing things have been a habit for me to remember and it has proven to be an effective method. It’s entirely okay to not have or post pictures as proofs, who needs them anyways. As long as it happened, and I’ve jot them down in words in exchange to each and every feelings I’ve kept dear in my heart, it happened. I have no need for the conformity of others on the moments I personally cherish.

It is fairly difficult to master the art of ‘living in the moment’ when we’re constantly surrounded by technologies. I’m learning one step at the time to free myself from this cage where everything I do involves the use of technology. Heck, I’m even writing this post with the help of technology.  It must be great to be able to live off the grid as much as it is spectacular to have everything in the palms of our hands.

Imagine being able to talk to your parents face to face, while having dinner together at home. Imagine riding a train where everybody decides to stare out the window and enjoy the view and with a serene look on their faces. Imagine strolling down the beach, hand-in-hand with your significant other, without a damn care on what the world thinks. Imagine just laughing out loud and chatting away with friends while having tea and cookies in cafe somewhere in the city. Imagine just basking under the sunlight back in your own yard or garden and enjoying every sound of nature while the evening lasts.

Imagine the world without technology.

CR: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, pg 90/224.

CNY 2017

Yes, I celebrate CNY (Chinese New Year). Ever since I could remember.

I wont share pictures here because I did not really took any. And my phone camera quality sucks. And they’re pretty personal photos. And I dont have an Instagram account where I can share them photos. And also, I have decided to teach myself to enjoy the moments through my God-given eyes instead of pixels, while they lasts.

It was the same every year. Reunion dinner at a restaurant, berjarah to family’s houses the next day, BBQ at one of the houses at night. We had seafood for dinner on the 2nd day, which was costly (basically not that worthy) but considering we’re together, that counted as a blessing. And we’re super thankful for that.

I have 2 days of leave for CNY. 1 holiday due to Hari Wilayah. I’ll be returning to work on Thursday. More like I have to return to work on Thursday. Oh, le commitments.

Anyways, I had a meet up with a few friends from high school today. We had so much to talk about. Mostly things that are morbid. Like work, responsibilities, the future of mankind. Like how none of us rakyat marhaen are able to own a house. Like how we should not really give a shit about Donald Trump being POTUS, and instead focuses on making our country a better place to live in. Like how me and Sue apparently have similar views on marriage. Like how Azreen’s the next in line to the future of happily ever after, after Minah. Like how Wan have already found his significant other, and being real discreet about it too.

I knew these people from 2009. They’re those who accepted me when others did otherwise. They’re those who protected me when I was bullied. They’re those who consoled me and patted me in the back when I cried. They’re those who never judged me. They’re those who taught me that perfection does not exist, the only thing that does is how I choose to define myself.  They’re those who were (and hopefully will be) still willing to berjarah to my house for Eid annually. Meeting up with them made me realize that we might grow up and molded into who we are today. But our habits, at least for some of us, stayed.

After several meet ups, I’ve come to realized that I dont really have to wait for friends to initiate a meet up/gathering. I’m the one who should start the move. And each of them were all worth it in the end. I was not exactly the friendly and bubbly type, but I guess as I get older, I wanted to keep the friends that I have made in my younger days. Especially those who have taught me gazillions about life, that has made me who I am today.

I swear I’d be the better friend than I was 8 years ago. But we cannot possibly turn back time. So, I promise myself to be the best one today.

CR: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, pg 45/224.

Starting 2017.

It’s been 2 weeks since the new year started. Let’s just say that I’m quite contented with everything that’s happened so far.

A day before 2017, I managed to have dinner with an ex-schoolmate. It was a short meeting, with everything that comes to mind had to be compressed in one fast catching-up session, within an hour and a half. From ‘what is up’ to ‘questions about significant others’ to ‘how is work’ and without realizing it was 10pm and shops were closing. We were planning to celebrate 2017 by joining in the crowds at Dataran Merdeka but I was not permitted to. So, the plan had to be cancelled. Maybe next year.

My friend had to rush back to UM by bus and me back home by KTM. The trains were unusually packed and crowded with all sorts of people be it locals or foreigners. Understandable since it was on the verge of 2017. People are pouring out of their houses to spectate and join in the countdown towards a new year.

Here’s a short rant though. I knew it was almost 2017, it was around 10.30pm. But could people keep it all in and be CIVILISED by allowing the passengers to exit the trains FIRST before they stormed in like the stations on fire and they’re going to burn to hell? Honestly. I pray that this year we see less of these people who acts in such an uncivilized manner. The station’s not on fire so chill your asses out.

Anyways, I witnessed the fireworks from home. It was basically the same thing, regardless of where I’d have watched it from. Maybe the difference it probably made was who I was watching it with.

The first weekend of 2017 was spent productively, I suppose. Went to a book launch, my first experience at that too. The author was a 22 year old Malaysian guy, who ‘escaped the rat race and met Queen Elizabeth II’. I got notified about that particular book launch by Nation Building School, after registering as a member sometime around last year. Tired of feeling languid and to release the pressures from work, I decided to join in and see what it’s all about. Besides the book launch, a mini discussion on CREATING A POSITIVE IMPACT: WHAT YOUTHS CAN DO TODAY, by Calvin Woo the author himself, Paul Rennie the Deputy High Commisioner to Malaysia, Tricia Yeoh the COO of IDEAS and Danial Rahman the Press Secretary to Malaysia’s Minister of Higher Education was held.

It was a great experience and definitely an inspirational one, meeting quite a number of people who have achieved way more than I could ever imagined to. I made a new friend , A Bach. in Computer Science student from INTI College, who won 2nd Runner Up for the YSEALI Food Innovation Challenge. Listening to her speaking about what she has gone through to win the competition, the struggles and the hard works to innovate an app for fishing amazed me. She’s like pretty much the definition of ‘you can get whatever you want if you just put your heart on it’. Meanwhile, I was an inactively-morbid (is this even considered the right combination of words LOL) student who preferred caving in and ponder about life within the boundary of my comfort zone.

The discussion was an extremely beneficial one with all the good inputs on how youths nowadays can make a difference in their own life and also the future of our country, or the world even. The discussion also highlighted on finding one’s purpose in life and directing one’s energy and positivity towards achieving that particular purpose in one’s own way and methods, to not necessarily follow the norm in the process. Basically, ‘to achieve is to try and those who never tried had already failed’. And I could not have agreed more with that statement. Besides that, you do not necessarily have to wait for any medium or time to make a change. Instead, you should be the one who initiate the change.

After the book launch, I had the opportunity to have lunch with my best friend of 9 years. I gave him his belated birthday present and got mine at the same time. He wanted a keychain, so:

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The one he got me, a Dragon Claw Hook keychain (Google)
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The one I got him, a Talisman of Evasion keychain (Google)

Talking about Dotards. It was our first lunch together and we had a catch-up session mostly about our friends from high school and some other random topics.

The thing about meeting up with friends is that at the end of our meeting, I’ll always regret talking too much. I tend to make it all about me when I think I should have listened more on my friends’s part of the story. And the fact that I’m always so opinionated about almost everything and being vocal about them too. It made me seemed truculent and confrontational when I’m just trying to lay down the facts. Okay, now I just sounded like a smart-ass when I’m not.

Oh God, I’d make the worst date ever.

Anyways, I think that pretty much sums up the start of 2017. I’m not going to reveal my so-called resolutions and goals because apparently you tend to lose motivation to achieve when you say them out loud. Who knows.

Let’s all just strive to be better human beings this year.

CR: The Picture of Dorian Gray by Oscar Wilde, pg 11/224.

 

Depression: My Story.

A year ago, I suffered from depression.

It was not due to any impactful events in my life. I had not have any breakups nor did I lose someone during those period of time. It just happened. It attacked me when I least expected it.

I was still struggling to complete my Degree, half-way through. Being abnormally underweight (but not anorexic or bulimic), I did not care about eating at all. I remember just eating anything edible, anything I could scrap for nearby, for lunch and dinner (I skipped breakfast a lot), such as biscuits and junk food. Not because I was on a tight budget and most definitely not on a diet. I just didn’t felt like eating, no matter how hungry I was. I had some urges to eat, like all of a sudden I felt like eating spaghetti. But the saddest part of it was that, I could only take a small bite and I’d lose my appetite, just like that. I lose it all.

So, I ended up with an ‘epiphany’ that ‘People are gonna die anyways’. Even if I eat healthily and consistently, I am going to die, someday somehow. So, I stopped caring like it was the end of the world for me.

From the thoughts of not being able to enjoy eating, it attacked my will to study. I was constantly thinking ‘Fuck this shit, the world is temporary, nobody has the right to judge me based on my academic achievements, it all wont matter when I die’ etc. I had all these negative thoughts about life and I couldn’t be happy. I felt soul-less, like something/someone came out of nowhere, grabbed the living shit out of me and left me empty.

I attended my classes feeling unhappy and somewhat languorous. It somehow showed inadvertently with my moody face and my refusal to talk to anybody. I had a Law class where the lecturer was always saying the ‘happy’ word like, ‘That happened and everybody turned out happy’ or ‘It ended up to be nobody’s mistake, so it’s a happy ending’ etc. I was so depressed that every single ‘happy’ word she uttered was like a knife jabbing all over my body and I ended up posting a status on Facebook about how ‘the word happy loses its meaning when it’s excessively used’.

As a reserved and private person, I did not think that anyone would give a shit. It’s more like I hoped nobody cares.  I was strolling around KLCC, after a visit to Kinokuniya for a ‘mood relieving session’ which was usually effective but failed for that particular day, when a text came up on my phone from a classmate, asking if ‘everything is okay lately’ and that he and a bunch of our friends will be there if I needed anything.

I responded, typically, that I’m okay. just had not have enough sleep which explained my tired and somewhat swollen eyes. When in fact, I cried the day before, while texting one of my close friends about how ‘I could not do this anymore’. She thought I was talking about my studies and gave me some encouragements about it. I ended up not telling her the whole damn story about being depressed and stuff.

Tired of feeling miserable and pathetic, one day I decided to join a couple of friends for dinner (which I oftenly didn’t). We were just chatting away about bunk unimportant stuff when suddenly one of us made a joke and we laughed hard till our tears fell down.

And that’s the starting point for my road to healing.

I did not go for any counselling nor did I tell my parents and family about what I’ve been through. I was afraid of the judgement of my peers and the people around me, because being depressed is often related to poor spirituality/faith, which is NOT ENTIRELY true. Regardless, I kept everything to myself like I always do about most things even when I know the best way to deal with it is to tell someone I could trust, that could give me sound advice and support to carry on. But with my trust issues, there was no way I’d tell.

A year passed by like the blink of an eye, while I fight against being constantly pathetic and sad. Fighting alone was hard and challenging. What I did was force myself to think positively every single day and do things I knew would make myself at least happy, even if its for the littlest bit. I learned to watch movies by myself and treat myself to good meals once in a while. I learned to laugh by watching comedies. I learned to join my classmates for lunch and sometimes, dinner. I spent some quality time with my family. I learned to be strong when it seemed like the whole world was trying to bring me down. I learned to believe and love myself even when nobody else did. I learned to always be kind to everyone because they might be fighting a battle I know nothing about. And most importantly, I learned to put my strongest faith in the All-Mighty.

Whenever I read any depressed/suicidal post on Tumblr, I’ll try my best to give some advice in relation to my own limited experience battling with depression. It may not be much, but I make sure to make them feel better because I know what it’s like to be in their shoes. And I wish to be the person I never got to meet when I was suffering like they do.

I’m healed, maybe not completely. But I try to be by strengthening my faith and every part of my soul that are still weak. The road is indeed long and winding. I wont ever stop running to the end.

 

 

Mandarin: How I started.

I have just discovered another singer I actually fancy after rummaging through Youtube for songs that would probably suit my ears. And he’s 周興哲 Eric Chou.

That actually got me thinking that maybe, I should write a post about it. So here goes.

I am bilingual, fluent in Malay and English. I’d love to proudly proclaim myself as a trilingual, with the proficiency in Mandarin, but I guess I’m not at that level of fluency in the language yet to proclaim myself as such.

However, I can speak and understand Mandarin, moderately. Or maybe just the basics. I cannot read and write the Chinese characters though.

I remembered attending an interview for a job, where the interviewer actually conducted the interview session in Mandarin, considering the fact that I included Mandarin as my ‘possible’ medium of communication in my resume. Well, that was a great experience for me to be honest. Because truthfully, I dont speak the language on daily basis and I’m not a native speaker. I got that job though, but I chose to accept another offer. Not going to get in depth on it.

I did not study at a Chinese school or SJKC. I get this question every single time I showcase my ability in understanding the language. The only ‘legit’ Mandarin class I attended was for three consecutive semesters when I was taking my Degree, in our ‘Third Language’ class (which was not daily, more like once a week). And we studied how to write, read and speak in Mandarin, just the basics though (writing, listening and oral test). It did not help much as compared to those who study 6 years in a SJKC. But it did help, depending on the student’s willingness to learn.

Let’s just say I had it easier than most, because I was born in a mix-cultured family. I’ve been listening to people conversing in Mandarin and Hokkien ever since I was a kid. That definitely helped in my adaptability to the language and most probably was the major contributing factor to how I can easily understand and mimic the pronunciation of several basic Mandarin phrases. Besides that, in high school, I was placed in a class with the majority of students being Chinese and listening to their daily conversations help me catch up easily. Now that I’m working, I tried to listen to my colleagues conversations and they speak to me in Mandarin too, occasionally.

Oblivious to the fact that I can somehow use Mandarin to my advantage, I only started working on brushing up my communicative skill when I was 15, when I could have started way back when I was younger. I guess the starting point for all of it was listening to my high school seniors rendition of Jay Chou’s Cai Hong (Rainbow) in the school hall 8 years ago. I was literally smitten, to the point of no return as right there and then, I started listening to Mandarin pop songs daily till today. Some of my favorites are Jay Chou, Rainie Yang, JJ Lin, Wang Lee Hom, Fish Leong, Hu Xia, Hebe Tien and of course the all time favorite Wu Yue Tian (MAYDAY).

From listening to songs, I watch Taiwanese TV series and moved on to films such as You Are The Apple of My Eye and Our Times with the help of subtitles since I’m not an expert yet to understand the spoken words fully and clearly.

I’m still in the process of learning the language in depth. Taking things in my relaxed and inconsistent pace, songs are my biggest motivation so far. There is no other path to take except forward. And forward I shall go.

Here’s the song that has managed to capture my heart, just recently.

To those learning the language, I wish you all the best! Jia you to me and to all of us 🙂

CR: Another Country by Helene du Coudray, page 65/250.

Unfortunate.

So, yesterday I was at Larkin Sentral, JB. Had to buy a bus ticket to KL since I had to work today (obviously it’s Monday).

Anyways, while waiting for the bus, chilling inside Dunkin’ Donuts, a girl about my age, suddenly came in looking extremely panicked and started approaching me, asking if I could help her call her phone because apparently it was missing (or got stolent prolly). She was actually sitting at a table nearby and all that while, I did not notice her. Maybe I was too indulged (is it the right word though) chatting with my Mom (yep, my mom was present too).

So what happened was (according to her),

She was sitting there, and she went out for a little while to throw away some rubbishes (and accidentally left her phone on the table) and when she got back, her phone was nowhere to be seen. She lose her bus ticket as well as she placed it together with her phone. It was 3.00pm and her bus probably left. The only ticket that was available was around 7.00/9.00pm (could not remember) and she was to travel to Kuantan.

A small Chinese family who was sitting at the table in front of her did not notice her phone. But they did noticed a ‘Mak cik’ with a little boy who was at that table a little bit earlier. I actually noticed that too, the little boy was wearing a hat and the ‘mak cik’ was acting peculiarly by taking a plate of leftovers from the table and bringing it to a table much further for reasons I could not fathom. And a couple of minutes (maybe even seconds) later, she was seen with some bunch of ‘take-away’s and left with the little boy.

It was just then, that the girl who lose her phone came in looking and approached me. So I let her use my phone to call her phone (it was ringing every single time she called it and she did not put it on vibrate/silent) and notify her mom and she was really panicky, shaky and in tears in the process. And the Chinese couple sitting nearby advised her to find that ‘mak cik’ as she might still be lurking nearby or around the Larkin Sentral area (if she was the one taking/keeping her phone). And they left to search for the ‘mak cik’.

I saw her again a couple of minutes later with a lady, most probably helping her calling her mom or something. I was already in the bus at that moment.

I know she most probably wont read this, but I hope she is doing okay. I wish I could stay and help her further but I had to rush back to KL. That was unfortunate but ada hikmah behind all that has happened, pretty sure of it.

So, to Kamilia (that’s her name apparently), have patience and I pray that the Lord ease your journey to Kuantan. InshaaAllah.

CR: Another Country by Helene du Coudray, 64/250.