Saturday, August 20, 2016

"Hhhmmm.... How I loved this morning...."

Good morning! Make each day your masterpiece!!! :)

The sky was still dark when I came out from my house this morning. The clouds were still hovering above. I tightened my blue color sweater while walking through the glossy stones path towards the bus stop. It was raining just a while ago. Luckily, it’d stopped.

Cool gust brushed my both cheeks. Hhhmmm…… How I loved this morning breeze!!! I would love to walk over this path over million times if I could!! And as I approached nearer, a group of people from different walks of life was waiting surrounded the shelter.

Beautiful walk path towards the bus stop :)

A young boy with earpiece on his ears reminded me of my son who used to take MRT and bus to his primary school himself. A young mother was sitting down with her yawning daughter at one side and her younger son at the other side munching his bread for breakfast. Couple of office workers were sitting down holding the lunch box at one hand and personal bag at another. Many Indian (mostly construction workers) were mostly waiting at the back area, leaning their butt to the cemented walls made of bricks.  

Feel blessed!!!

Hhhmmm….. I loved this morning scene, really…. All had gotten themselves ready to start their brand new day - a life with purpose. And as the bus approached the shelter, they were all rushing towards the bus door, trying to get in as soon as possible as to secure seat along their journey.

The orangey salted egg yolk sunrise :)

I was not spared too! I was one of them when my bus was approaching. If reaching early, usually the double decker would appear. And I would go up to the upper deck, find the seat with big screen window beside me. Most of the time, the dew would appear at the outer layer of the window glass. Only on lucky day it would appear dry and clean.

Welcome a new day! A great adventure ahead!!! :)

As the bus turned towards the bridge, I could start spotting the orangey salted egg yolk sunrise at afar. Ooohhhh….. It was so so so beautiful!!!! It would go fast. Once you missed it, that’s it! You had to wait for a while to see it again. It played hide and seek behind the bushes and greenery. And by the time the bus reached the Seletar Airport, you could find them shining higher and brighter. Hhhmmm….. How I loved this morning sunrise!!! Something I wouldn’t have seen if I had to take MRT to work...

Mesmerising morning sky :)

Once I enjoyed this beautiful nature on my way to work, I would take the journal out from my bag and start writing my morning journal. It started with… “Thank you SB for another beautiful day and great health that we all have today…” My mind would automatically recall everything I was grateful and thankful with, express my feelings (be it good or bad), and pour it into words with a move of my hand towards the paper.

Shining bright like a sky!!!

I would smile occasionally as I recalled the beautiful moment and take the worse event positively and bravely, told myself to be stronger to overcome whatever things came along my life’s journey. Ooohhh…. How I loved this morning moment!!! When everything was done, I would get myself ready towards whatever come next in my life. And as the chant hummed along on my ears… I closed my eyes and prayed for every sentient beings’ happiness, wherever they are… Amituofo… Om Mani Padme Hum… Om Ahum Vajra Guru Padma Sidhi Hum… Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu

Tuesday, August 09, 2016

Si beh blurrrr.....

Bhutanese name usually consists of two words. E.g. Tashi Namgay, Karma Wangchuk, Nima Tshering, and so on. But none of it represents the family name like what Chinese or other nationalities named their descendants. And in the beginning, I didn't know that many people were having the same name as their names were gotten mostly from perhaps the same Lhakang (temple) when they were just born as babies. Mostly were having religious meaning, e.g. Gyeltshen means victory, Lhamo means queen or Goddess, etc. The name could also be given based on the day you were born. E.g. if you were born on Sunday, you'll be given a name - Dawa.  On Monday - Migmar. On Tuesday - Lhakpa. On Wednesday - Phurba, and so on.

Bhutanese names (Source: Wikipedia.org)

So when I knew someone, I thought their siblings would share at least the same name with them in the beginning or later word, but it wasn't the case at all. Sometimes you may not even know from the name whether it was man's or woman's name. So I was a little confused in the beginning and not accustomed with it. However, over time, my concept has changed and I began to understand.

Well, that's just the introduction. What I want to share here was not really confused about their names, but, let's just read on...

I have a female Bhutanese friend called Tashi Yangzom (name has been altered for personal reason). She has just graduated from New Delhi. While waiting for the civil servant exam, she helps her sister taking care of her few months old baby on the day to day basis. She posted the baby photos sometimes in her Facebook, also in We Chat. 

One day, I was surprised to see her posting more photos of her sister's baby on the Google+. Sometimes, it was comment. For example: "Parenting is about making your baby feel comfortable even it means your discomfort."

Comment screenshot

When I read that, I was like 'Woahhh.... so deep! She was really into parenthood although it wasn't her baby.' So I wrote a comment there,"You'll be a good Mom. Just like your Mom wished, find a good guy soon." (She mentioned to me once in the letter that her Mom couldn't wait for her to get married soon).

Then I saw her posting a photo of the baby with the mother, but the head was posted only half. So my hands were automatically posting another comment, "So cute, but why you cut the mom's head la? :) :) :)" This time she replied, "Thank you Rima. I cut the mom's head cos it's spoiling the beautiful pic :D" which then I replied again, "LOL!! Sad mom :P" - which I referred to her sister since she was the one took the photo.

Comment screenshot

There was another post of baby photo lying sleepy and looked like sucking the finger comfortably almost fell asleep. Oh, the baby was very cute and chubby there! My hands again typed a comment, "So chubby!!! Want to pinch him." There was no reply given. Well, I thought maybe she was busy and didn't look at my message.

Comment screenshot

Then the night before the Preliminary Exam, I saw her posting photo at around 2am Bhutan time and comment as per follow, "Staying up because my baby girl still not ready to go to sleep. I guess reality of being with her loving mother is better than her dreamland... lol." Wait! Baby girl? I thought Tashi's sister's baby was a boy? Ah, maybe typo error! Or did I remember wrongly?? Anyway, what the heck she did at that hour not sleeping but taking care of the baby? Weren't she worried with her upcoming exam?

So the next day after exam over, I managed to chat with her asking about her exam and what she had done after that. And recalling the late night post, I asked her why she posted the photo so late that night. She confused and asked, "Which photo?" I said, "Google Plus. You said baby couldn't sleep." She tried to recall and said, "Oh yeah but I posted that photo long time ago." I was wondering. "Ina?" which means "Really?" asked me. She said, "Yeah so fast, when did you see?" I said, "This morning. Hahaha.. Maybe didn't notice the timing." It became me confused now. How come she so fast forgot what she had just done a night before???

"I didn't post. Which photo? Can you send me?" asked her.

Final post

I browsed the photo back in Google Plus, screenshot the photo and sent it to her. "21h ago," I typed to ensure she took note on the timing she posted that photo.

After a while, Tashi replied me,"Hahaha.. It's not me. Mine is a baby boy. And this is baby girl, as it's written."

My expression (Picture source: Google.com)

Yalama!!!! No wonder!!! All this confusion!!! Especially when I remembered her was baby boy but the photo kept saying baby girl. Lol!!! I immediately browsed all the photos back with comments that I'd put in. Huahahaha.... ^^" I even laughed at my stupidity.

I felt an immediate sorry to the person I posted the comment to. She must have wondered who was this crazy woman, commented her photo with so much confusion! "Wanted to pinch my baby boy???" Mine was baby girl!! "Sad mom?" Did she referred me of being sad??? And "Find a good guy soon???" Who did she think she was to comment as such??? :P That's my imagination though!! No wonder she didn't reply more on such confusing comments!!!

Tashi was laughing so much too upon hearing this!! :D I immediately deleted the inappropriate comments from the photo and even wrote an apologize comment to her ^^" Hahaha... I couldn't stop myself from sharing this incident here with you guys! Si beh blurrrr lor!!! :P

Blur like sotong :P (Photo source: Google.com)

(In Singlish: Si beh blur - In English: extremely confused, clueless, ignorant) :P

Tuesday, August 02, 2016

It will never end, my feelings of love for you...

Bhutan

Time flies… It’s been a year since the last time I visited Bhutan. As I browsed the history posting from my Facebook page, I ended up rereading many of my blog posts that I wrote related to my trip there.

Last few days in Bhutan- July 2015

The five-day Bumthang trip, challenging journey to Samcholing Secondary School, pilgrimage trip to the eastern Bhutan, village stay at Uma - Wangdue, journey and my stay at Phuentsholing and across Indian border, hiking towards the sacred Tiger Nest across the mountain back in Paro, visit to the Madman Drukpa Kunley Buddhistmonastery Chimi Lhakhang in Punakha, up to the rest of my stay back in Thimphu meeting up with my various Bhutanese friends, soaking ourselves in wooden tub (Bhutanese style hot stone bath), visiting various holy Buddhist temples, and so on.

The memory was still vivid at the back of my mind. It’s as fresh as piping hot coffee that I had this morning. Reading the blog post reminded me of every detail event I went through before, the memories that I would never forget all through my life.

Last few days in Bhutan- July 2015

Their warmth welcome, their hospitality, their delicious home cooking food (ema datshi, Indian curry chicken, kewa datshi, various veg curries, etc.), their fresh boiled tea with milk (suja and ngaja), their fresh milk, curd, etc. (pressed from the cow), their welcome alcoholic drink (wines, whiskey, Druk 11, ara, etc.), their fresh handmade Puta and Khuley (Bumthang noodles and pancake) and Sel Roti (Nepali traditional sweet deep fried dough), their providing warmth shelter and comfortable bed, their accompanies, their precious time, and so on. I would never ever forget them.

Even after a year gone by, occasionally I still received many gifts from them. Fresh ema (chilli), datshi (local Bhutanese cheese), red rice, Happy chips – it made me smile upon seeing it! – bottles of wines (Zumzin, Vintria, etc.), local produced whiskey (1907, Misty Peak, etc.), ezzay, dried chillies, and so on.

Blessings from dear friends

I felt very thankful and grateful each time receiving their sincere love and heart to send me all those. It’s their remembrance and heartfelt thought towards me. I appreciated it very much la!!! Not forgetting everyone who had been so helpful transporting them all the way from Bhutan to where I live. Name same kadinche la all of you!!! I sincerely express my thank and gratitude towards everything all of you have done for me, especially for your love and friendships :)

Last few days in Bhutan- July 2015

Choe lu ta dhi dhey bi say, 
Nge Gi sem ya Jang dha yi 
(Staring at you, I lost my mind)
Choe lu gu dhi dhey bi say, 
Nge gi me tsay zo ya si 
(Waiting for you, didnt realise all my life’s years have gone by)

Bum choe no wai bu su dhi, 
Bu nga ghi choe lu bay jin gay 
(Your dream boy, your prince charming, let me be the one for you)
Nam so khai dha ma, ma bew lay, 
Che nge ghi in say lab na may 
(Before the autumn’s tree leaves fall,  Please say that you are mine.)

Choe lu ga wai sem dhi mo, nam yang zo ne mindu sa 
(It will never end, my feelings of love for you.)
Choe dha dhey bi rewa dhi, Nam yang zo ne mindu sa 
(The depth of my love for you, it looks like it will never end)

Choe ga gi mo, Nga ma shey 
(Can you belong to anyone? I never know)
Nam ya zo ne mey, choe lu ga wai sem 
(It will never end, my feelings of love for you.)

(Lyrics and meaning are from Misty Terrace blogKadinche la! It’s a beautiful song!!! :)) 

Sunday, July 31, 2016

I am determined to be happy!!! :)

I'm determined to be cheerful and happy quote :)

"Oh no! It's raining again!"

I flipped the book down and hurried myself to the balcony. It's where I hang my clothes dried. One by one I picked the hanger up from the rail into the point finger of my left hand.

"Hurry up!!!" speaking to myself.

Once all was taken, I moved them to where it's supposed to be hung up, on top of my washing machine, at the back of the kitchen.

"Phewwww...." I was released.

It'd been raining almost everyday and I had difficulty to get my clothes dried. The air was just too humid.

With white woven slippers taken from the hotel free of charge, I walked towards the kitchen. I took the empty kettle, filled it up with water, put it into its base, turned the electricity on, and pressed the button down. In a while, the heating sound filled up the whole kitchen area.

I took the coffee mug from the cupboard with a small spoon, tore a packet of Indonesia coffee - Kapal Api special mix - poured it into the empty mug, and placed them on top of the transparent tray.

"Takkk!!!" It's the sign that water had been boiled. Still with the smoke coming up from the edge of the kettle, I poured them into the mug until it was almost full. I stirred the coffee well to ensure the powder mixed equally. I brought the tray to the dining table and chose the bread that I wanted to eat. Only then, I took the book from my room and placed it next to the tray.

Book, coffee and bread - that's perfect! :P

Cool air pierced through the opened balcony door. The hiss rainy sound with some lightnings added the gloomy day. Nevertheless, it was a perfect time to read my favourite novel, drink the steamy hot black sweet coffee (the best one from my hometown), and bite the savory bread slowly. Hhmmmmm..... there was always a perfect day, if we created them to be... 

One of my favourite quotes :) (Pic source: Google.com)

And just like what the above quote was saying, "We can't control what happens on the outside, but we can control what happens on the inside. Don't lose your joy!" That exactly how our approach towards life had to be! Don't you agree?? ;)

Quote by Heather Stillufsen :)

When the weather was the other way around, such as the unbearable hot weather, the above quote would then fit perfectly into the place - "When life gives you pineapple, just add Rum!" Yeah, add on Malibu in it and it's puurrrrffeeccttttttt......!!! Cheers.... ;)

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

What to do in Penang??

I booked the flight tickets to Penang just a week ago after my mom bought theirs. Four of us met up at the rented residential home that provide a clean fully air-conditioned room with outdoor bathroom in a very convenient area within walking distance to Penang Times Square, New Lane hawker center, Komtar bus station, and so on. With RM50 per night, it was really great place to stay!

We reached quite late in the evening and we were welcomed with heavy rain on our arrival. According to the taxi driver - the Chinese uncle in his 60s who called his son to ask about our location instead of punching on GPS like what Singaporean taxi driver's doing - it'd been long time since it rained. Obviously, the rain season fell  right on the day we reached.

Four of us started our beautiful Sunday with hearty breakfast at De Happy Dim Sum. It's big and crowded. Round tables filled up the places. People walked towards a corner where the food were steamed and fried, while the other corner was a place to fill your tea pot with boiling hot water.

Breakfast at De Happy Dim Sum Restaurant - Penang, Malaysia 

My hubby was very exciting with varieties of food they offered. The taste was delicious too. Most importantly, the price was definitely much cheaper compared with what we paid back here in Singapore.

Penang Adventist Hospital 

After that we took a cab to Penang Adventist Hospital. My parents had their usual check up at this place. I often heard about it but this was my first time stepping into it.

Fyi, there were few things that made Penang a famous place to visit. This was purely based on my observation though. First, they had a good range of hospitals with many experienced doctors in house. The nurses and hospital staffs were helpful and friendly. They were able to speak many languages, such as: English, Malay, Chinese, dialects like Hokkian, some Thai, etc.

I tried their wellness screening package gold there. Check here for detailed information. It was quite complete and made you knowing your health and inner organs better. You should book in advance though as they limited the number of people screening the health each day. And when they knew my stay time was limited, they produced my check up result within the same day. Excellent service!!! :)

Delicious food in Penang

Famous Asam Laksa from Air Itam Market

Second, it's a food paradise!!! You could find any kind of food here from hawker center to restaurant. There were famous local dish like Asam Laksa, curry mee, char Kway Teow, fried oyster, prawn noodles, lo mie, etc. Among the famous hawker to go were New Lane, Gurney Drive, Chulia St night market, and so on.

Pastry from Ming Xiang Tai Confectionery- 26 Lebuh Victoria

There were many local pastry too that you could buy for friends and families back home. Many different brands were available. Instant coffee and teh tarik could be great gifts too.

Mao Shan Wang durian RM75 per kg (including shell)

They had many varieties of durian too! My father had eaten Mao Shan Wang almost everyday there. The seller was even providing vacuum packed bag if you wanted to take it away as the smell was so strong and many places had banned it, including public transport.

Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram (recliningBuddha statue) - Penang, Malaysia 

Dhammikarama (Burmese Buddhist Temple) - Penang, Malaysia 

Third, if you were Buddhist, you'd love to visit their varieties of temples available. From Wat Chaiya Mangkalaram (reclining Buddha statue), Dhammikarama - the Burmese Buddhist temple, the oldest temple in Penang - Kwan Yin temple - built in 1728, to the largest temple in Malaysia - Kek Lok Si Temple. 

Kwan Yin temple - the oldest temple in Penang, Malaysia 

Kek Lok Si Temple - the largest temple in Malaysia 

I first visited Penang back in October 2009 and managed to visit these 4 temples. And this time, I was very grateful for being able to visit four of them again. Thank Buddha for the good karma!

Hubby and I with its iconic street art murals - Little children on a bicycle

Fourth, it's famous for the street art murals. For complete information, click here.

Street art murals - George Town - Penang, Malaysia 

Apart from these four, there were other things too for Penang worth to visit. Just get yourself free maps before you exited from airport door where you could find valuable information there. The city was clean and arranged well. If you were not Buddhist, worry not, they also had variety of churches (one of the eldest Anglican church in southeast Asia - St George's Church), Hindus temples, and mosques. 

Nasi Kandar at Tajuddin Hussain- Penang, Malaysia 

Like Singapore, they also had Little India. We ate the famous Nasi Kandar  (rice with curry) at one of the restaurants there. As a fans of Mark Weins, my hubby went through one of his videos, which you could find in YouTube  (migrationology.com), and both of us tried the famous Nasi Kandar located at 51 Lebuh Queen, called Tajuddin Hussain. We ordered Ayam Ros (red chicken), fish curry, sotong or cuttlefish curry, Ayam Gulai (curry chicken), tomato rice, cabbage, roti canai (prata), complete with two cups of teh tarik. All that for only RM29.25 (after adding 6% GST) - if converted, less than SGD10 for two!!!

Free hop-on bus in Penang

Penang offered a good and affordable public transport, in this case, public bus. They even provided free hop-on bus for tourists (those Rapid Transit bus labelled CAT), which stopped at many places, mostly touristic areas. 

Taxi were everywhere too. They went by meter although many were not. Fare from Hotel Sunway area to Penang Adventist hotel was around RM18, while from the hospital to Kek Lok Si was RM30. From airport to Hotel Sunway was about RM46 - got the ticket fare at the counter and paid it in advance while returning back to airport was slightly cheaper at RM40.

Public bus fares were around RM1.40 to 2 per pax (you just had to tell your destination to the driver and he would tell you the fare. But prepare coins as they wouldn't provide change). You could just ask local who were waiting for the bus for which bus number you should take as there weren't clear bus numbers or routes available from each bus number. Anyway the people there were friendly and helpful so don't worry, you won't get lost!

Padang Kota Lama and Fort Cornwallis - Penang, Malaysia 

At our last day, it was again a heavy rain morning. After fulfilling dim sum breakfast both of us took the bus to pray at Kwan Yin temple and had a morning walk to St George's Church, sightseeing along Padang Kota Lama area to see the Penang city hall, Fort Cornwallis, walked along the seaside and inhaled the sea breeze. We took the free CAT bus back to Komtar and got ready to the PIA - Penang International Airport. 

Penang International Airport 

We reached there 3 hours earlier than departure timing as friend warned us about flooding at the airport the day earlier. Luckily no traffic jam and no sign of flooding or flight delay and cancellation due to the incident. The airport had changed since the last time I went and it had become much better now as there were lots of restaurants and cafés available. So three hours waiting were no sweat anymore! You could enjoy the last sip of good Penang coffee, enjoyed their noodles or western deli or junk food like McDonalds and KFC, opened and read your book, sat down on the massage chairs, and waited for your flight.

Overall it has been a wonderful short trip - 4 days 3 nights in Penang. We got our tickets at less than SGD160 per pax from Singapore using Airasia and you could move your butt in about one and half an hour time!!! If you never visit this place before, then there was no reason on why you shouldn't! With SGD1 equivalent to almost RM3, what else are you waiting for??

Monday, July 11, 2016

Life is but a dream

My motto in life :)

Hi hi.. It's been some time since my last post. Work has been one reason as it occupied lots of my time for the past two weeks. Although my role was to supervise her, it wasn't a relaxing job. I had to make sure that I guided her well and she could do the job by herself for months to come.

Btw, I decided to extend for another month as my Boss requested. She just wanted to make sure the back up was there if anything happened. My dear colleagues had also supported my continuation there, even for just a month. Better than nothing at all, isn't it? :P

Life is all about balance :)
(Photo source: Positive Vibes)

I can't extend further as I've already made some plans on what to do next. Well, since I've been working hard since the beginning of the year, I think I deserve to have time to relax and play hard. In this case, it goes not far from following my passion, which is to travel :) I may not visit new place, but it may be. But the long break is something that not everyone can do, as our view and priority in life may be different, and our choice in life is again, definitely different!

Our grandparent's generation is believed to have longer span of life mainly due to the food they ate, the lifestyle they had, and so on. Therefore, they could live as long as they could. But these days, in the life where uncertainty is obvious, I'd chosen to live my life fully. I couldn't believe that I'd be that kind of person who live one day at a time.

My college used to teach us otherwise. We were trained to make short and long term goals related to personal and professional life, which I didn't follow. "Let nature takes its flow" has instead, been my guide.

Life is but a dream (Photo courtesy: Che Dorji)

At the end, I feel that life is but a dream. Whatever we have is all temporary. Good thing will end, so will the bad one. What we need is a peace of mind. That we have no regret for there won't be tomorrow, to have done what we had dreamt of, to fulfill the wish that our heart was saying and whispering all through our life. And happiness is something that comes within, the feel of being content and grateful with every little thing we had, with every good and bad thing that we encounter in life, and the faith that everything happens only for good reasons. 

Contemplate (Photo source: Google.com)

So, have you contemplated enough about your inner self these days? Are you grateful and content enough with everything that happens to your life? Lets give it a thought and wish you a smooth journey in life with all your positive mindset in life. Have a wonderful week ahead and keep doing what you love doing!!! Take care and have fun! :)

Monday, July 04, 2016

Have you felt gratitude for nature today?

Sunset at Punggol :)

"Have you felt gratitude for nature today?

You would not be alive today or any day if it were not for nature giving to you unceasingly. Nature is giving you an unlimited source of air so you can breathe, it is producing enough water for an entire planet's needs to keep you alive, and without the life-producing forces that the sun gives, none of us could exist. 

Now that is pure giving! How could anyone believe that they are not loved?"

-- Rhonda Byrne day 327 --
Taken this evening at Punggol :)

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Books read for the first half of the year 2016

Sunrise 30 June 2016

Another half year passed by. It seemed just like yesterday when my brother told me about the job vacancy for me. I went back joining the workforce starting from the beginning of the year. It brought me to one of my difficult times of my life where I had to adapt to a new environment and new job scope, something I’d never worked on before. 

Despite being busy and stressful, it did not stop me to do things I loved doing, which included reading and writing. The number might have decreased, but the spirit would never die :) 

Below please find the list of books read for the first half of year 2016:

January 2016

January 2016:                
1. Landline - Rainbow Rowell
3. What I Know For Sure - Oprah Winfrey
               
February 2016

February 2016:             
1. Wind/Pinball - Haruki Murakami
2. To Kill A Mockingbird - Harper Lee
3. Go Set A Watchman - Harper Lee
               
March 2016

March 2016:  
1. The Sun Also Rises - Ernest Hemingway
2. The Old Man and The Sea - Ernest Hemingway
               
April 2016

April 2016:    
1. Games at Twilight - Anita Desai
2. Dance Dance Dance - Haruki Murakami
3. On the Road - Jack Kerouac
4. The Book of Hope - Cayden Chang
5. A Little Life - Hanya Yanagihara
               
May 2016

May 2016:      
3. Sputnik Sweetheart - Haruki Murakami
               
June 2016

June 2016:      
1. Unaccustomed Earth - Jhumpa Lahiri
2. Interpreter of Maladies - Jhumpa Lahiri
4. Breakfast at Tiffany's - Truman Capote

Reading quote (Picture source: Google.com)

Wish everyone a wonderful time ahead!!! Live your life to the fullest as always!!! :)
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