Saturday, June 29, 2013

What a lovely Saturday, alone...

I love having me alone time. Reminding me of years ago when I used to study abroad. I'd usually had myself walk to study room on every weekend to read and write (school books apparently), practicing and preparing materials for upcoming exam. I would have chit chat during break time with some mainland students who went there with very little basic knowledge of English, at the same time practicing my unpolished Chinese language, acquired for just a year before heading there.

At night time, I'd usually brought my laptop to computer room. Those days Wi-fi wasn't available yet. We had to plug the Internet cable into our laptop. But at least, at that point of time, in 1998, I had a fate to own my first laptop compulsory requested by the school that introduced me with people out there that I never knew or meet before. Chatting online had become one of my daily leisure encounter after a long day studying at school. When it was time the room had to be closed, that was the time I should return back to my dormitory room.  Oh, such a lovely memory.

However, after a while I had a very good friend of mine, who pitied me on my life style.  Hahaha... He was the one who introduced me to many real people, to be exactly schoolmates, by inviting me along to many short term school vacation. He was also the one who invited me to his home party and bar-hoping parties afterward across the mountain and we would return back to our dormitory using the only availabile limousine Taxi in the mountain. Hahaha... I miss it so much!!!

Alright, let's go back to present time. I'm home now, alone.  My son will only come back from his vacation to my hometown tonight.  My hubby and sis-in-law are working. My mother-in-law went to her usual daily marketing and gathering with her old friends.

I plan to go nowhere. Just cope myself at home accompanied by the two books that I just bought last week. One of them had just been published not long time ago. I'll make sure I'll have a quiet and enjoyable time with them.  Oh so loving it! 

Rain had just stopped and left a cool breeze air flowing into my bedroom. And I just had a pack of fried beehoon noodle bought by hubby after he had his coffee time this morning before he headed to work and a full glass of mixed carrot and orange juice.

Remember to love yourself more as one of the ingredients to a fulfilled and happy life :) Have a wonderful weekend everyone!!!

Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Chenrezig Empowerment by 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Chhoeda

Yesterday I happened seeing my Bhutanese friend’s posting on his Facebook that there would be Chenrezig Empowerment brought by 70th Je Khenpo Trulku Jigme Chhoeda at Ngee Ann Auditorium, Teochew Building, starting from 7.30pm. He came together with His Eminence Trizin Tsering Rinpoche and other monks from Bhutan.

Je Khenpo is the Chief Abbot of the Central Monastic Body of Bhutan. I read from that the 70th Je Khenpo, is believed to be the reincarnation of Maitreya, as well as the Mahasiddha Saraha, Hungchen Kara, Kheuchung Lotsawa, and Pema Tsering.

Since I had no plan to go anywhere after work, I called and asked my colleague if she was interested to attend it too. I told her, it would be my first time attending this. I also told her, to be honest, I had no idea who he was and why we should go there. But since he is a Chief Abbot from Bhutan, it must be not easy for us to meet him in this life unless we really had a good fate and good karma. Also, since he was going to bless us with Chenrezig (Avalokitesvara or Goddess of Compassion)’s empowerment, it must be a good thing in life too right? So, there was no reason on why we shouldn’t go. Well, maybe there was.. It was either haze or heavy rain. But we both were really fated to go there. The weather was good and the sunset was beautiful.  After worked, we had a quick dinner and we both strolled to the destination, which was not very far from our working place.

Again, good karma! We were very lucky being able to get seats inside the hall (mainly for invitation guests), although it was at the last row and most left side. But it was fine for us. Je Khenpo started it with prayers. Then we listened to the Dharma teaching about happiness, samsara, and how to get out of it. He also talked about the Chenrezig Empowerment. After that he said prayers on Chenrezig Empowerment and we started to line up to get the blessing from him.

In the same line, after getting the blessing from 70th Je Khenpo, we were offered water from bumpa into our hands (to drink and spread the rest on our head from front to the back), we were also given pills which they said good for our body, then they gave us yellow or red string and cards, books, relating to them.

It was such a great experience to both of us. We could feel the blessing already since both of us managed to get seats inside MRT side by side when we boarded. Hehe… Well, it was such a good fate for us able to attend and meet up with them. Thank you, thank you, and thank you for everything. May all sentient beings be happy. Sadhu Sadhu Sadhu.

Married to Bhutan by Linda Leaming

I saw this title in Passu’s blog many months back and once I read the blog, I found out that it was a title of the book written by American lady who got married with Bhutanese man.

I managed to find this book in Bishan’s library last week. I was so exciting, immediately took it out of the shelf, scanned the barcode, and brought it home. I couldn’t wait to read it and was wondering what it was all about.

I went to Bhutan once, in August last year but it feels like it has just happened last month. Wow! Time flies… We were staying in Thimphu for two nights at Hotel Druk, and only later on I found out that the Clock Tower Square was the one of the gathering places for Bhutanese.

During our tour there, we went to several places. As I watched the journey from the bus’s window, the bus took us to almost the same area over and over again, at different timing. I loved to capture the buildings, places and surrounding’s figures into my brain as much as I could since I love the country very much. Oh, how I wish I could go back there again anytime soon…

So, as I read through the book, I recalled back all the memories that I had from Bhutan, especially when she described Kawajangsa. I also tried to connect it with experiences I had during my Kolkata trip, while having dinner with a group Bhutanese students who were studying there when she described her experienced when she visited her prospective mother-in-law’s house for the first time.

“Our conversation was stilted; then he disappeared. He came back after a few minutes with another cup of tea and some biscuits and once again evaporated. To American this is very strange behavior, but any Bhutanese would do the same thing. Bhutanese must give the visitor the best, most comfortable place in the house to sit, and then they must feed the guest the best food they have. Conversation is optional – food is not.“

“After an hour or so, Namgay appeared again with an enormous bowl of red rice and some phak sha pha, or dried, aged pork fat, considered a delicacy in Bhutan. He sat the food in front of me on the floor, smiled, and then left the room again. I waited for several minutes to see if he would return with food for himself. It is typical for guests to eat alone in a traditional Bhutanese household.”

I experienced almost the same thing, especially the part where the Bhutanese must give the visitor the best, the most comfortable place in the house to visit, and feed the guest the best food they have. Wow, I was pampered!!! (That was how I managed to taste Raven vodka in Kolkata!!! :) Hehe…)

From the book I also found out that the word “curry” means anything you put on rice. When my Bhutanese friend told me that he loves to eat with curry, what appeared on my mind was ‘real curry’ like ‘Indian curry’. Hahahaha….. Now I understand that it is not always ‘curry’ like ‘Indian curry’, but any dishes that accompany the rice.  

I took out from the book the sentences above. I would like to learn some of the skills too such as how to cook tasty meal with only a radish, an onion, and a little rice; how to keep your shoes and kira clean when walking through mud; and especially this one: “How to wash your entire body with half a bucket of water.” There must be a special skill to do that! Anyone can teach me??? Hehehe…

And I also found the quote below to be something that fat woman like me would love to hear:

Hahaha… Yea, my Bhutanese friend once told me too that fat represents healthy and prosperous there. And how wonderful it is to tell someone fat and it still makes his/her day :)

Bhutanese believes that “the more distance and difficulty, the more karmic points you accrue.” It reminds me when Gyeltshen, our driver – now friend, told us to walk up to Taktsang Monastery instead of riding horse. Hehehe…. I never heard that before la…

Overall, I enjoyed reading the book. There were many other points I didn’t mention here, but it has definitely equipped me to become a better guest if next time I have a chance to visit Bhutan again. I have never visited Bhutanese house before, so I hope my curiosity and my chatter character will not startle the owner of the house. Hahaha…

Monday, June 24, 2013

Samsung S4 Training

Finally I changed my Blackberry 9900 into Samsung Galaxy S4 beginning of this month. My Blackberry still functioned well. But my handphone’s contract had almost reached the date and I was entitled to purchase the new phone at subsidized rate, at the same time extending a new contract.

It happened that there was PC Fair in Expo and my mobile provider offered free products (free casing, car charger, and charger dock – all original Samsung brand) if I bought S4. Without thinking twice, I bought the handphone that day with my hubby’s help.

After purchased, I transferred all the data (contact, photos, and songs) from Blackberry to S4. S4 is so user friendly that I could transfer the photos and songs through Bluetooth but I keyed in the contacts data one by one manually. I just loved doing that although it took so much time and made my eyes tired.

And last weekend, I went for Samsung Galaxy S4 training, provided by Samsung for all S4 users who were willing to learn more about the phone’s function. At first, I also didn’t know if there was such training. I knew it only when my good friend bought her Samsung Galaxy Note 2 last year. She told me she attended the training and showed us many functions that were available on her new phone. I was like… “Wow, that was good! If I bought Samsung phone, I would definitely attend such training.” Hehe… So I registered myself and went for the training.

The training provided was great! I learnt many things that I didn’t know before and it benefited me in many ways, especially that I could type faster now! Hohoho…. (One reason I used Blackberry was because it has QWERTY keypad that made me easier to type my email or message and that was also the reason on why I was reluctant to change to touch screen phone).  

Perhaps I was just too outdated, but the predictive text had made my life easier to type.  Other than that, the trainer also taught us to ‘tick’ the ‘Continuous input’ under the Samsung keyboard settings, where you could just swing your finger around from one alphabet to another to create words that you wanted to type. Wow!! It’s very useful function! And at first, I thought it would only applicable for English words, but I was wrong. I could type any words. Be it short cut or words in any other language. Huehehe… I was so happy and excited that I could type message or email faster without having to type the alphabet one by one which took so much time, especially when I typed the alphabet wrongly.

I could also set more than one language, in my case, English, Chinese, and Bahasa Indonesia as the input. There was a convenient button where I only needed to slide it to left or right when I wanted to change the language input.

The trainer taught us how to set the home screen and arrange icons in other pages; how to create folders; how to set many different email accounts, etc.

The phone had a group play function too where S4 users could share the file, photo, also to play music together (worked as speakers).

S Translator apps would make our life easier too when we went for travelling. For example: if I went to Korea and had no idea how to speak Korean. I could type the words in English, translated into Korean language and there was a speaker where you could let them hear and they could answer your question by talking into the microphone where it could translate the words back into English. Hehehe… I haven’t tried the function before, but it seemed so easy and interesting :)

We tried ‘Air View’ function where we could preview information by hovering finger over the screen, preview a scene in the video, magnify the content, etc.

Using ‘Air Gesture’ function, we could pick the phone up without touching it, view important info when the screen was off, scroll through webpage and email messages, moved between pictures, pages, or music tracks, etc.

NFC enables us to transfer the file, photo, music to the Samsung phone users who also has this function. I haven’t tried it yet hahaha… I will try it one day with other Samsung users.

The phone allowed us to browse multi window (max. 2 windows at the same time).

When using ‘Smart Pause’ function, video would be paused when the device detected your eyes faced away from the screen. It was another unique function by S4.

We tried the animated photo in the class. Quite cute!! It could freeze the picture you didn’t want to move and see those you wanted them to move. We took picture of our trainer who moved his hands.

And now, I don’t have any problem viewing any files from Facebook. Usually iPad/iPhone wouldn’t allow me to watch video that was using Acrobat to open. Oh.. I just love my new phone. There was only one thing not good, which was the battery very fast to drain if you turn your mobile data on all the time. So I have to bring the plug with me on weekend, in case I plan to go out for long day. Other than that, so far it works so good ;)

Thank you S4 for your wonderful functions. Hope we can work and live together for a long period of time. I will love you and take good care of you… Hehehe….

Friday, June 21, 2013

PSI 401 @Clarke Quay - 21 June 2013

Be positive towards haze :)

Punggol at 7.30am - 21 June 2013
This morning the haze was really bad across Singapore. We could see and feel the difference. The haze gets worse each and every day. At 9am this morning the PSI was read at 256, but everyone felt it was at 400. The haze was so thick. Most buildings were surrounded by white smoke.

When we thought PSI 290 was the worst, end up it wasn't. In few hours it jumped to 321. When we thought 321 was the worst, again, it wasn't. The next day it jumped to 371, and so on. So we are used to it now and our mentality now is that the worst has yet to come. Hehe.... 

Clarke Quay at 8 am - 21 June 2013
From the news yesterday, Indonesia government was chiding Singapore for "behaving like a child". In Facebook, some of my Indonesian friends were also adding the unhappy comments about Singapore. Haha.. I felt sad when reading it but there was no point getting angry to them because right now they were not in our shoes. They didn't feel what we are facing now. So to overcome it, better don't take it to heart, always be positive, and hope that it will end soon. Remember the law of attraction? Positive feeling will attract positive outcomes and negative feeling will only attract negative outcomes? How many of us can practice it in real life??? :)

Btw we are now having hourly PSI reading instead of average 3 hour reading. And as 10am, the PSI is now at 367.

The PSI is now at 400 as at 11am. Please drink more water and keep yourself in good health. Most importantly be positive!!! Take care everyone!!!

Thursday, June 20, 2013

Uniquely Singapore - Haze and Kitty :D

This morning my friend messaged me from Indonesia asking me to check if the Hello Kitty is available at the McDonald's nearest to my working place.  Right now there are Hello Kitty series sold in the outlets and they issue one model per week and the issue date is on every Thursday.

This morning I browsed my Facebook and saw many people posted long queue for Hello Kitty in various McDonald's accross Singapore.  Some even queued as early as 2.55am in the morning.  Hahaha.... Crazy no?

Source: unknown

While having lunch, the TV showed the PSI level at 1pm was 371! My Goodness!!! That was incredibly high!!! But it made me wonder how it felt like. So I decided to go out after lunch to the nearest McDonald's to witness the crazy haze and at the same time to check if Hello Kitty is available hehehe....

My colleagues were all making fun of me. They imagined me wearing mask and sunglasses (to avoid red eyes), bringing umbrella on one hand and bag on the other hand. Hahaha.... I was just laughing la... :D I felt as if I was going for a war! Lolx!

So after lunch, I really went out with 3M mask - supplied by company (for working purpose), and bag at one hand. No umbrella and no sunglasses.

It was hot outside and whitish smoke made the beautiful Singapore blurry.... Many people were wearing their masks. And also many shops and pharmacies were running out of stock of any kind of mask accross Singapore.  Also many companies were trying to protect their staffs who had to work outdoor. (So far no holiday was announced despite the haze level was hazardous. Only warning was given for us to stay indoor and less outdoor activities).

I took some photos how Clarke Quay looked like and I was so glad to witness all that hahaha... so that I can share it to all of you here :D

Well... I reached the mall. Hello Kitty was sold out. I informed my friend. She was sad to hear that and right now her sis was traveling all over Singapore to check the availability.... (This week's was the last collection, that was why you could see people queuing since so early in the morning - despite thick haze and before sun had risen).

So, here is Singapore. You can call us kiasi (scared to die) - buy mask until out of stock and kiasu (scared to lose) - queued so early to ensure you got that bloody Hello Kitty!!! But this shows how unique Singapore is. And only this way I can feel I'm home..... ;)

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Combo MRT breakdown plus high PSI level

After work, at first I planned to buy some food at Chinatown then go back home. I boarded to the opened MRT happily. But after some time, there wasn't any sign that the door would close and depart. Instead, we received announcement that the trains were unable to run from Hougang to Harbour Front, and it affected the whole North East Line MRT.

I went out and thought of going for shopping first until the train could run again. But I immediately changed my mind when I saw familiar bus number that could bring me to the nearest area from where I stay. Some more I just had my period this morning.... Dun think browsing around the mall is a good idea. I boarded into the bus without thinking twice and found myself a comfortable seat on 2nd storey of double-decker bus.

The bus went smoothly until it reached Little India. It started to crawl slowly. And even slower as it was peak after office hour. Everybody was rushing back home. The numbers of traffic lights made it worse.

Ah, luckily I had a book with me. 'Have a little faith' by Mitch Albom. I read it along the way and stopped once in a while to see my surrounding.

When passing by Woodleigh MRT, we saw a lot of people was waiting for the bus.  But too bad, the buses that passed the station were mostly full and packed. Suddenly I felt very lucky that I managed to get the bus much earlier than them. I felt very grateful for what my situation was. And when I looked outside the window, I felt I was in Genting Highland where what I saw was fog an not haze and weather was cold instead of hot and dry!!! I guessed I was dreaming.

Despite sitting down inside the bus, after some time I felt tired la. And one thing made it worst.... I wanted to pee..... OMG!!! I held the urge to pee all the way. Haiz.. The journey was still faraway... due to the slow traffic and congestion. I was thinking if I should stop at Kovan to pee and have my dinner there then go home. But I wasn't sure how long it'd take for MRT to start operating again, so I was just sitting there and endured.....

I even fell asleep... I was soooo... tired..... Hoaahheeemm... zzz.... 2 hours had passed and the bus har just reached Hougang area. It took 2 hours and 20 minutes for the bus to travel from Clarke Quay to Hougang bus interchange, the longest ride I ever take in Singapore. Fyi, from Clarke Quay to Hougang, usually it only needs 18 minutes by MRT...... ^^"

Once I saw the bus interchange, I was so glad. Once came out from the bus, the strong burning smell and foggy feeling had woken me up. Oh man, what a day!!! I faster walked to Hougang Mall and find the toilet.... kekeke.... Once done, I went to Kang Kar food court and had my late dinner there. It was 9.20pm already.  I bought a bowl of noodle to warm up my hungry stomach.

There was Pasar Malam (night market) there. I decided to browse around for a while to let my food digested before continuing my journey back home. I saw many people started wearing mask liao.  Even saw some people buying the cartoon mask in Pasar Malam there.  By 9pm the MRT was back to operate. I was very tired and decided to take MRT back to Punggol and walked back home. I reached home at 10pm. What a long journey!!!

After that I found out that at 9pm, the PSI level had jumped out to 290!!! The highest in Singapore history.

Source: NEA
By 10 pm the PSI level has reached 321!!! Now everybody was waiting for the government to declare not to let people to go to work tomorrow, which is very unlikely to happen lor.. Better go to sleep and have a real dream rather than waiting for something that will never happen. Hehe....

So, it's time for me to sleep now. It's really been a long day for me. It was my first time tasting the long train delay after working hour. It happened to me once before, on the way to work.  But I was almost reaching the office so the impact wasn't that bad.

Just hope that the delay won't happen that often. And if the case like this happens again, I'll choose go to shopping centre sitting in one corner having my dinner slowly and finish it with  cup of nice tea or coffee while reading my book. And if I get bored, I'll walk around and shop. Hahahahaha....... Have a good rest everyone!!! Good night!

Tuesday, June 18, 2013

Miss you Baobei....

Tonight my son will fly to my home town and enjoy his holiday there for a week.  Yesterday afternoon, just to think about separation, it made me sad and missed him badly.  'Cos on Sunday I did the housework for a whole afternoon and took a nap in the evening for few hours, didn't have time to entertain him when he was feeling lonely and needed someone to talk.

So I decided to call him yesterday afternoon. Like usual, the conversation would be how was he, has he had his lunch, what he was doing and so on.  After that before closing the conversation, I told him that I love him and passes a kiss to him and he replies me the same.

And yesterday night after reaching home, he was asking me why I called him. I replied, "I missed you mah, cannot meh?". He immediately replied me, "Can......."

This morning while working at the office, I received a missed call from home. As I was busy, I only called him back after few minutes later.

It's my turn to ask him, "Just now you called me yah?" "Eheh.. (means 'yes')" "Why?", I asked.  "Nothing. I miss you mah, cannot meh?", he said exactly what I told him yesterday.  Hahaha... and we continued our conversation...

"Waa... now then you miss me yah?", I teased him. "Nolah, I have already missed you since this morning..", he replied. Deep inside me, I was touched... hehe... Because usually he would call me just to ask me if he could play computer or Ipad, but not this time. He called me just to say he misses me :)

Perhaps there is a good thing in temporary separation. It made us realize how important him or her when he or she isn't around and how much we miss their existence in our life.  

Good that it is just temporary :)

Thank you Baobei for loving me. Although sometimes I am not a good mother to you (especially refused to play Minecraft with you - not even tried how to play that), I want you to know that no matter what happens in our lives, I will always love you, just the way you are. Remember that ok? Love you Baobei... Muach... Enjoy your holiday and take care!!!

With lots of love,

Your dear Mom :)

Monday, June 17, 2013

Hazy Singapore - 17 June 2013

Early this morning, once I opened the house main door, I could smell a strong burning smell. I had a thought of canceling my cycling session but sinceI had already prepared with the gear and the bike, I decided to continue my mission.

As expected,  I saw less people exercising this morning (especially the groups of people who were usually seen marching and exercising their breath every morning). Hmm.... They seemed so experienced and knew when they shouldn't come out for exercise, unlike me :(
However I still managed to finish one hour cycling and headed back home.

After that I went out to work. Once I came out from MRT, I could smell the burning smell again (even inside the MRT station). As I walked up to my office, the smell followed me all the way up to my office door. (Our office is located at Basement near loading bay where there was no barrier towards outside air). For the whole afternoon we could smell it. Poor receiving auntie and the two porters who had to work near loading bay :(
In Facebook I could see many of my friends taking photos of hazy Singapore from many different areas. North, central, east and west. All showed almost the same situation.

Below is the PSI reading measured by NEA (National Environment Agency).

PSI reading:
- 0 -50: Good
- 51-100: Moderate
- 101-200: Unhealthy
- 201-300: Very unhealthy
- 300 and above: Hazardous

And below was taken at 4pm from the area of where I stay. 

We always have this problems almost every year. It was due to forest burning in Sumatra island of Indonesia. But usually the rate was not as high as today. It would go around 70-90. So today's haze is considered as exceptionally high and it can harm our body if continues like this.

Taken at 1 pm this afternoon
So people is advised to stay indoor especially children and those who have breathing problems.  Hopefully the haze can end soon. And if tomorrow it's still like this, I won't go for my cycling as I have to love my lung more hehehe...

Taken at 7 pm outside Punggol MRT
Right now it is still hazy outside. However the sky above still shows a beautiful color as sunset is coming.....

Latest update at 7.15pm - PSI has now reached 117. By 10pm it has increased to 155.

Share with you Singapore's city view this morning 18 June 2013 courtesy of Mr. Yap

Below is the message brought to you by Singapore General Hospital.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Happy Sunday :)

Below were photos taken this morning at Punggol Waterway. I woke up at 5 am and did my cycling.  I didn't see the usual 'Willpower Human' that I normally met on weekdays. Perhaps they were resting on Sunday hehehe... like what I always did ;P But today I had an urge to see the sunrise la 'cos on weekdays I wouldn't be able to wait until it rose as I need to prepare myself for work.

I saw lots of cyclists who were purposely going there to watch the beautiful sunrise, just like me :)

This morning the sun rose a bit late. I even thought that it couldn't be seen today.  I almost gave up and wanted to return back home. But suddenly I saw a round orange egg yolk appearing from afar. Wow!!!

I ran towards the middle of the bridge to capture its beauty full of excitement and then realized that I almost left my bike alone... hahaha... The sunrise was so captivating my heart and soul. I felt blessed!!! :)

I love to see sunrise because it holds an important lesson for us that we're reminded again and again to always treasure each moment and opportunity that passes by and comes into our lives. Time passes by and things changed so fast all the time. Once it passed by or missed, it would go forever and might never come back. No same moments repeating twice ever!

Today is a lovely day! It's a Father's Day! Happy Father's Day to my dear Father!!! :) I have wished him this morning and yesterday I even managed to buy him a Father's Day present. Hehehe... Perhaps this will be my first Father's Day gift to him.

He loves reading but no time to read. When I went to the book shop, I saw the books written by Master Hsing Yin, the monk from Taiwan, that I attended his talk before with my two best friends. There were 3 series of the book but it contains short stories in each book so he can read the story one by one (light one) and it holds lots of wisdom that might be useful for him to change his view about things in life.

My dear Baobei will go back home this week for holiday and attend my cousin's wedding. I ask him to pass it to him :) Hope he likes it :) Have a great Sunday everyone!!!

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Tuesdays with Morrie - Mitch Albom

This afternoon while waiting for my son attending his Buddhist class, I went into Yakun Kaya Toast buying my favorite Kopi-Peng and sat down at one corner. I took Tuesdays with Morrie out from my bag, borrowed from my friend and continued reading.

The above quote was taken from there. In one of the chapters, when Morrie was no longer able to walk and wipe his own ass, he said, "There is nothing innately embarrassing or shaming about them. " He continued, "It's same for woman not being thin enough, or men not being rich enough. It's just what our culture would have you believe. Don't believe it."

Morrie was right. He said, "We live in the environment that believe that owning things is good. More money is good. More property is good. More commercialism is good. More is good. More is good. People were so hungry for love that they were accepting subtitutes. They were embracing material things and expecting a sort of hug back. But it never works. You can't subtitute material things for love or for gentleness or for tenderness or for sense of comradeship."

"There is a big confusion in this country over what we want versus what we need. And the truth is you don't get satisfaction from those things. You know what really gives you satisfaction? Offering others what you have to give. I don't mean money. I mean your time. Your concern. Your storytelling."

The culture. It can be everything. It's not necessary for us to follow always what other do or follow. If the culture doesn't suit us, create our own.

It's same with what we face here in our day-to-day life. People become more materialistic. They want to own more money, which they believe that more money can bring them happiness.

I didn't realize when and how, I have created my own culture too... hehehe.... One day, I wrote letter to my friend and it's written like this:

"In my life, I try to own less thing. The less I have, the better it is. Haha... 'Cos I was born with nothing and will die bring nothing too. But all the experiences in life that happen to me is so much worthed for me. All the people I have met, all the place and memory I've been, that was all priceless.

For me, work is just part of life, a mean to earn living and to pay for my travel expense. That's why I'm not ambitious enough when it came to work cos I know, once I went up to high career ladder, less time I'll have to enjoy and more responsibility I have to take. So even my salary not high, I just try to spend less and save more. Hehe... That is me!"

And I've learn from my friend too, on what culture he has created and built himself that only he thinks what he does and believes are true. Because normally we just follow what others are doing.

So now, I've spent more time reading and writing instead of shopping. I bought what I need and not what I want. I invested my money more in buying fruits and veggies rather than medicines for flu and cough. I travel more than I planned as it is my passion in my life, what I love most and enjoy doing. I spend more quality time with my dear loved family and friends. Woke up at 5 am so that I could go cycling and having time to think about anything.

You too... You can also learn to create your own culture, just as what Morrie had taught us from his life experience. Wish you find what you want from your life and stick to it!! Cheers and good luck!!! :)

Thursday, June 13, 2013

Dragon Boat Festival - Rice Dumplings

Every year on 5th month and 5th day  of lunar calendar we celebrate Duan Wu (端午节) or Dragon Boat Festival.

If you have Chinese friends on your Facebook, you would see them posting status or comment related to it yesterday, yes, it fell on yesterday :)

There was an origin of the festival which you can find in here.

This year I didn't have the opportunity to eat the rice dumpling filled with meat, mushroom, chestnut, (also called 'Bacang') as my hubby's grandma, who used to make and supply it to us, was hospitalized.  She fell down about a week ago and was operated and still required her to stay there for recovery.

And usually if you were about to buy it outside yesterday, the price would usually be marked up or very expensive. So I could only hear the conversation of my siblings and Mom on how they enjoyed the rice and hid my saliva inside my mouth... hehe...

My 2nd sis who stays in Hong Kong, went to watch the dragon boat competition with her hubby and sis-in-law. The photos of the dragon boats were taken by her. Usually the atmosphere could be felt strongly over there.

This morning my Chinese colleague came and brought their handmade Chinese style rice dumplings into our office.  The fillings are quite different. They made it filled with red bean and red dates (sweet ones). Most of us (Singaporean and Malaysian) are not used to with the taste, just like they are not used to the rice dumpling filled with meat, mushroom, and chestnut.

However, we really appreciate their effort to share the rice dumplings with us. Thank you guys!!! :) (See photo to see how their hand made dumplings looked like)

Tuesday, June 11, 2013

It is wonderful to have friends like you

After finished my yoga session today, I headed to Chinatown to meet up my two school friends. We arranged it only this afternoon and decided to meet up today as we have already planned for other things for the rest of the week.

I reached late as the yoga ended slightly late too. Both of them had already been sitting there when I arrived. I immediately ordered the food while S ordered her own food. After some time we finally sat down and had our dinner together.

The portion was huge and both A and I tried our best to finish it. Later on, the next door shop was closed so we moved to another coffee shop table and started our conversation. This time, we were discussing 'The Law of Attraction' as what 'The Secrets' has taught us.

Three of us have read the book and some have even watched the movie before. So we have an idea what was it all about. Wow!!! Imagine if this thing happened months ago, when I still didn't have a habit of reading... I would be the lost stranger among them hehehe.... I'm so glad that we could connect together although our reading interest was slightly different. At least, we were connected in this topic.

Each of us started to tell story on how the law of attraction has brought impacts to our lives. S started it by mentioning her sister who managed to get the parking lot in a very crowded and famous shopping mall in Jakarta during lunch time, some more it was 'ladies special' parking lot. Before entering the car park, her sister had visualized and said it many times that she was going to get it!!!

Then our dear friend, A, couldn't hold her excitement about what she encountered. She immediately shared what she felt when she won 1st Dinner & Dance's prize 3 years ago, which was an iPad. At that time, iPad was something that everyone wished to have. A said, when they announced the winner, she was saying it loud in her heart repeatedly, imagining that she would own it, and wished it very badly that the iPad would be hers.

And guessed what??? Her wish was really coming true!!! S who heard about it, immediately said, 'A, I think you weren't the only person who wished that at that point of time. I think everyone in the room was wishing that too and showed their 'mupeng' (in Indonesian), which means desperate face of wanting something badly!!!'

A then realized, 'Ya hor...!', and so did I! Huahahahaha.... Lolx!!! We then burst our laughter together.... A and I were laughing until our stomachs cramped!!

It reminded us the last time three of us met together. We also had a great laugh over what A said. Sometimes she would say something innocently but was so funny for us. We really had fun being together. I even still can feel the cramp now when thinking about what she said and how she expressed her excitement! :)

After that, S continued shared her experience from 'The Law of Attraction'. She finally managed getting Built-in-Order government's flat at a very very very good location, her dream house.... It didn't come easy but eventually many ways were opened up for her and her hubby. They managed to get the money to pay the 10% upfront deposit plus other cost (stamp duty and additional 10k charges for PR).

I then shared what I encountered and by this sharing session, it motivated us to keep thinking positively, to know what we want, ask for it, believe that we deserve to get it and once the time comes, we will open our hands and heart to receive it... Hehehe.. The law of attraction.... Amazing, isn't it???

We talked until it was time to go home. It's only Monday. We have to go to work tomorrow. Otherwise, we might talk non-stop until night becomes day... :) It was really wonderful hanging around with people who know and understand you. We can share our woes and happiness, even anger together. We even think that one day we might go somewhere together. I suggested to at least go to Ashram together one day... Hahaha.....

On our way back, S showed us the picture of another 'thing' that she wishes to attract to. I asked A to do the same... ;)

Thank you, thank you, thank you gals for making my day happy and my life beautiful :) Both of you have been part of my life and I'm very grateful for that :) Also, S has lent me 'Tuesdays with Morrie' and 'Have a little faith'. I almost bought it yesterday as my friend recommended me to read it. But I remembered that S once told me that she has it. So, thank you S for lending it to me. Now I really need plenty of time to read all those books!!! Hehe... Hope I can do it. Jia you!!!

Saturday, June 08, 2013

The Secret - The Law of Attraction

I've heard about this book in year 2009 from my ex-colleague.  He was asking me if I had read it before and he said this book is very good. Many people have read it and found the significant impacts in by applying The Secret into their lives.

That was 4 years ago. I was still ignorance about the importance of reading. And since months ago, I always saw it inside the book store  but the price had stopped me from buying hehehe... Somemore I didn't know yet what was the content of the book. Most book store would display the book sealed inside the transparent plastic bag so we couldn't browse the book around.

I borrowed 'The Magic' from the library around a month ago and the content was mostly all about gratitude. Those who have read the book before and practiced it into their daily lives could be easily recognised. My hubby's Uncle was one of them. I saw him expressing his gratitutes by posting it on his Facebook almost everyday until my hubby thought he had changed his religion hahaha....

And some people who read books written by the same author might read related topic of gratitude as well, so when they showed their gratitude, they would say 'Thank you' repeatedly for 3 times. So, are you one of them??? :P

So today, before heading to my facial appointment, I had few minutes and I headed to the library to return the books that I borrowed and at the same time I checked the availability of other books that I had in mind. I typed 'The Tibetan book of the living and dying'. They have only limited books and mostly were on loan. Then I thought of Rhonda Byrne book, ' The Secret'. I typed it in and I expected less, thought that the book must be unavailable just like the other book that I typed in previously.

They have only few books too.... and some books have even been reserved by many people. Wow... I thought 'no chance liao....' but I kept trying though... Sekali there was one in library that I went, and it was available!!!

Wow!!! I immediately ran to the rack and found the books... It was displayed calmly as if it had been waiting for my arrival since moment ago and next to it was 'The Power'. Without thinking much I grabbed both books and borrowed it right away :)

When I was on the way back home, I read it few pages and I was amazed with the content though. I quote here what John Assaraf said in the book 'Our job as humans is to hold on to the thoughts of what we want, make it absolutely clear in our minds what we want, and from that we start to invoke one of the greatest laws in the Universe, and that's the law of attraction. You become what you think about most, but you also attract what you think about most.'

So, the secret was the law of attraction. Hehe... It said "Like attracts like, and so as you think a thought, you are also attracting like thoughts to you." Hehe.. Actually I was just imagining that since I would like to borrow the book so much (attracted to it), the books were unexpectedly attracting me back and let me read it. This is what I usually call 'fate'.

I had other few examples that I had in my mind regarding the law of attraction that really has turned my thought into reality.  It began as merely a wish. Then slowly thing came one by one, and one thing led to another. engulfed me discovering into my new life. It works just like a magic. Things worked smoothly and it is now awaiting for the time to come.

Anyway, I will spend my weekend reading it. Hope the book can teach me many more important values in life that can benefit me and other beings :)

Have a great weekend everyone!!!

Tuesday, June 04, 2013

Why men want sex and women need love by Allan and Barbara Pease

Some time ago when I browsed around the book shop, I encountered this book on the shelf. I saw it, not once, but few times and only after some time, I daringly took it out and flip it around. Actually I was quite shy to take it out seeing the title like that, and that's why it required some time for me to finally have a look on what was inside. Hahahaha.... :D

My first thought that appeared when reading at the title, "That was what I had been curious about and wanted to find out 'why??'."

I read lots of posts written in people's facebook. Most women claimed that they need love despite they had been experiencing hurt and betrayal. But some people I know had given up love and lose their trust on men after few same betrayal happened to them again and again.

In the past, I had conversation with some of my guy friends, and I found similarity on what they usually look for in women. First and foremost, most of them told me that they would love to see and to have beautiful women with them. Their answers made me curious to hell. Why? Why they loved to have beautiful woman and not a woman with beautiful heart?

I was wondering you know... What if that beautiful woman had a cruel heart and they were only going after your money, status, and power, for example, if you are rich enough, and then they left you once all you had has gone? Would you still choose that beautiful woman? I didn't really ask them that question, but I bet, their answer would still be 'yes'. Hehe.... *my assumption though :P

But I asked them back by telling them that 'beauty is impermanence'. Eventually people will grow old. The beauty that you see now, it will change over time. Then, what would you do when the beautiful girl has turned ugly due to old age? They answered simply, 'Find another beautiful one...' ^^"

I didn't buy the book because I didn't know if it's good. So I decided to find it in library since who knows I might find one. And last weekend, I really found it on the book shelf inside library. Lucky me!!! Finally I read it and still reading it (halfway).

First chapter of the book explained how men and women rate the opposite sex attractiveness differently and how the hormones and brains react differently to both sexes. It really answered my curiosity.

- What is the difference between men and women?
"A woman wants one man to satisfy her every little need.
A man wants every woman to satisfy his one little need." -

In biology of love, the book mentioned, "that 'Love is about chemical reactions in the brain'. It's none other than dopamine and norepinephrine (which created effect of love at first sight), oxytocin (also known as 'cuddle hormone', hormone that made people falling in love, gives us the warm, fuzzy feeling we have for the person of our desire), testoterone and oestrogen (sex hormones that cause an urgent push for physical gratification or sex drives, creating lust and sexual attraction to occur)."

"Having higher levels of oxytocin than men is a major reason why women fall more deeply in love at the start of a new relationship than men. The more oxytocin they produce, the more nurturing they will be and the deeper they will bond with someone. Just hearing their lover's name, an odour associated with them, fantasizing about them or hearing a song associated with them raises oxytocin levels. If she feels loved and adored, her hormones push blood into her cheeks, making her 'glow', and she will radiate warmth. If she feels unloved and ignored, however, that's easy to see, too." Lol!! :P

And the study by David Buss below is very interesting to know: "When couples are in the falling-in-love phase, men's testosterone levels decrease, while their oxytocin level rise to make the bonding process quicker. This makes men softer, gentler and more easy-going. At the same time, women's testosterone levels rise with the new excitement and confidence they feel at the start of a new relationship. This increased testosterone makes women hornier, giving the couple the illusion that male and female sex drives must be the same. When this 'shagathon' period ends, about three to nine months into a new relationship, their sex drives return to the 'default position', leaving a man with the idea that she's gone off sex and giving her the impression that he's a sex maniac. Many relationships end at this point."

Interesting, isn't it? Have you experienced the above yourself before? I just didn't understand why man would behave and think like that. And it explained clearly and logically the cause of it and now, I really wanna say it loud, 'Blame it to the hormones!!!' (And not the weatherman :P) hahaha...

So, what do you think how men's brains rate attractiveness in women? Research said when men were shown images of attractive women, they found men showed higher activity in two regions in the brain: the visual stimuli (explain clearly why men loves to see beautiful women), and the other, penile erection (gee, who would have guessed!) They did that as the look at woman to size up their ability to produce healthy baby to keep the species going - also explain why men are more likely than women to fall in love at first sight. Wow! Logical ah?

How about women then? Studies said in women, the brain areas associated with memory recall became active when evaluating men for attractiveness. Means, it's an adaptive strategy to remember all the details of a man's behavior, which she construct a mental composite based on the men she knows --> Woman will evaluate man's behavior and see if he's honest and trustworthy, if he shares his resources with her, and so on.

And now you know why women never forget and man are always being caught ogling women. Lolx!!

Chapter two told us why being loved and being in love are so important and there is a relationship between being in loved and good health or longer life. It also mentioned seven basic types of love that human always encounter, which are: romantic love, pragmatic love, altruistic love, obsessive love, brotherly love, common love, and familial love.

There are total of 11 chapters in this book. It really added my knowledge in this matter and it has answered lots of my curiosity. As the author, Allan and Barbara Pease has put up their findings based on research, it made the content of the books more logical and can be trusted.

The second impression that I had when I saw this book, I thought the book was too westernized as perhaps Asian people didn't think much about it when it came to love. They will usually just follow their gut, intuition, and feeling to find out if this is the right person for them and as long as they are happy when they are being together with their loved one. Because too much theories might as well create confusion, and most importantly, in love, we need to experience, live, and feel it. Bad experience gave us lesson and good one gave us happiness.

Personally, I never thought the importance of knowing about it much before, although I've been married for quite some time as my mind was so simple when finding the person to grow old with me. Perhaps, most criteria chosen based on what my father has shown to my mom and us, as until now, he and my Mom has been married for more than 44 years.

Anyhow, the book is very interesting to read. I recommend you to read it, just to add your knowledge and maybe it will 'WOW' you, as what it has happened to me hehe... :) Hope you all have a great day!
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