November 23, 2012

Of happiness and dreams

Just a few minutes ago, I was chatting with him and he told me how sick and tired he is of his job and how he wants to just quit. When asked what would he be doing instead, he told me that he wanted to take pictures all around the world. 

Then my eyes started getting teary.

What a selfish jerk a person has to be, to rob someone of their livelong dream for his own desire that didn't even exist until recent years. 

Despite telling me several times that he made such a huge decision/sacrifice ONLY because he believed in me (and my track record), I still feel that I'm not worthy of it. There's probably a reason why I can't secure a scholarship. Maybe my uncle's right, maybe this isn't worth it.

I had no idea he could afford to send me overseas. I am still not quite sure how. (Though I am sure no bank loans are involved.)

So I told him to keep himself healthy until I could afford to send him on vacations. 

If I truly want to be fulfil that promise in the shortest amount of time possible, then the right thing to do is to get a job here in the UK and forget the idea of heading home after graduating. Of course, it depends on how good am I (or how good I will be), but that isn't the main issue here. 

He will always remind me to do whatever that makes me happy ... well, maybe putting aside my desire to go home in order to make him feel happy will make me feel happy.

November 9, 2012

Is honesty really the best policy?

I believe (almost) nothing is absolute. (See what I did there? Without the ''almost'', I would be believing in an absolute statement, heh.) Just because you're a mathematician, doesn't mean you can't be a novelist. *inserts relevant video*

I remember being taught in church that we are not meant to tell lies, not even white lies. Well, guess what, I don't believe in your lies. How is it possible for a grown adult to have never told a lie before? "Oh, this (shitty) spaghetti tastes great!" Either your ability to lie has evolved to a point where you could manipulate the interpretation of the nerve impulses from your taste buds (this may or may not be scientifically correct) or you lied, you bloody hypocrite.

There are many ways to bring across a message, and being blatantly honest isn't always the best way. Like mathematical analysis, there are different ways of approaching different cases. Sometimes, it's just better for people to not know the truth. Sometimes. 

I'm not talking about cheating-on-your-significant-other type of lies, because that (almost) automatically makes you a horrible person, but more along the lines of you-sing-like-a-dying-whale or did-you-seriously-get-that-hair-cut. Sure, you don't have to show approval, but don't go all out on a person. You don't have to be rude to offend or hurt someone. Wounds don't necessarily heal.

A relationship isn't build entirely on honesty, even the purest of gold isn't entirely pure. Sure, some confrontation and obstacles could lead to stronger bonds, but it could very well go the opposite direction. It's like a gamble. Heck, almost everything in life is a gamble. Maybe I could write about that some other time ...

Sure, there are traits of a person that you can't stand, but that doesn't necessarily mean you have to tell them! They don't have to know! Again, I'm not talking about traits that are disliked in general, but traits that you are personally irked by. Just because someone's laugh sounds like a hyena to you doesn't mean you have to point it out and rob them of one of the greatest pleasures of being human -- being able to laugh out loud.

I'm not really sure where am I going with all this, but all I can say is sometimes, if things are too valuable to put at stake, a lie is justifiable.

Funny, I remember posting something about honesty being the best policy some time ago, but I was in favour of it. I guess people change.

October 7, 2012

First cinema experience in the UK!

Okay, I know I'm suppose to be blogging about my transition from being a spoiled brat that never has to do any house chores to an independent individual that is now residing in the UK away from his sheltered lifestyle of 19 years. (*pants*) Oh, and also having to leave my friends and family for an extended period of time without much preparation. Surprisingly, I'm handling that quite well right now. Then again, it might be my in-built defensive mechanism preventing me from having a breakdown. I should also be blogging about how beautiful my campus is too, but I guess I really don't give a shit ...

My strong urge to blog can be seen from the title! Probably the happiest day in the UK so far because I had a very fulfilling buffet lunch with my university's Malaysian society AND the fact that I've finally went to the cinema here after having wanted to do so for at least a week! (I've only been here for 2 weeks ...)

First off, price. £6.50 for students on a weekend in Odeon (the cinema in UK) is pretty expensive when comparing to GSC's RM12+/-: that's like £2.40! But there is a significant difference in terms of watching experience. 

I personally think that the GSC back in Malaysia is really well built, even the one in IOI Mall feels much more classier than the Odeon in Coventry. However, even on a Saturday, the cinema here isn't fully packed. I could imagine a movie like Looper being full up to the front few rows back in Malaysia. 

 £6.50 isn't that bad considering that we just hopped into another movie right after that without paying extra money. 2 movies for the price of 1, YAY!

There is also significantly less censorship here in the UK compared to Malaysia (well, duh). I don't think I've ever seen a topless girl in the cinema back in Malaysia. Why cut out something that the director intended for everyone to see, especially when there is already an age limit. I'm pretty sure The Perks of Being a Wallflower will not be the same in Malaysia because there were some LGBT stuff in there. Even a family portrait of Cam and Mitch on Modern Family has to be blurred out on TV. That is just down right offensive. I would understand cutting out scenes of them having a make out session, being an Islamic country and all, but those are just FAMILY PORTRAITS.

So there you go, watching a movie in the UK would be more expensive, but less things are being removed. I don't understand why can't they just leave it in for the audience to make their own judgments. You wouldn't dumb down the entire education system in order for the less capable to be able to reach a certain standard, would you? Oh wait ...

May 27, 2012

Belated Mother's Day Dinner @ Umai-ya

This is a food review of the Umai-ya Japanese Restaurant @ IOI Boulevard Puchong. loljk

Was craving for some Japanese food for no reason -- other than Japanese food being AWESOME! My mom needed some motivation to bring me out to eat ... and it resulted in a hole in my pocket. Nevertheless, cravings were fulfilled and I hope it doesn't come back to haunt me any time soon.

I ordered the Set B of their special promotion in conjunction of parents' day.

Dish #1: Itako Kyuli. Just your usual seasoned baby octopus, one of my favourite dishes to order at Japanese restaurants. Nothing special though.

Dish #2: Salmon and Maguro Sashimi. Maguro is tuna, right? Not a big fan of sashimi ... no idea what the ideal taste would be like. (So much for having a craving for Japanese food, eh?) 

Dish #3: Chicken Katsu. I hate it when my friends and I go to a Japanese restaurant and they order chicken katsu rice. Dude, you're in a Japanese restaurant, and you order a dish that tastes like what you normally eat? Okay, maybe I have issues ... and I might sound condescending... but hey, that's just my opinion. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this dish. Chicken is good, sauce is good, even the flower is pretty.

Dish #4: Saba Shioyaki and Dish #5: Yasai Nabe. Saba Shioyaki is just the Japanese way of saying salt-grilled mackerel, maybe one day I'll be a professional food critic (I'll also settle with being a rich food connoisseur) and I can tell which dish is what without having to google it. It's not bad, nothing much to say about it. Didn't really enjoy the Yasai Nabe though. Either it's not that good or my mom and I do not like the taste of it. I would go with the latter.

Dish #6: Spider Maki. Love. It. Never knew soft-shell crab could be that awesome. I hope the next time I step into a Japanese restaurant and order any sushi with soft-shell crab in it (which I will definitely be doing from now onwards), it will not be disappointing. Or else I'd flip out. No idea why they call it spider though ...

Dish #7: Smoke Duck Kama Meshi. It's actually smoked duck meat and some fish, but the fish isn't mentioned, despite being worthy of it. We were quite full by the time this dish was served, but it's still good! Thank goodness the serving of this dish wasn't huge. You know that fried rice they serve during Chinese wedding dinners that almost no one touches because everyone is already super bloated by the time it's served and it usually isn't tasty at all? Yeah, THANK GOD this wasn't like that. People need to make more rice dishes like this and stop soaking it in oil. I generally hate fried rice. This was good.

Dish #8: Matcha Ice Cream. Er, nothing special here, just green tea flavoured ice cream. Wonder where they get their supply? I don't see this and other 'Asian' flavoured ice cream like black sesame in hypermarkets.

Verdict: Good, but waaaaaaay too much food for 2.Why didn't I bring my dad? He hates Japanese food ...
Price: Set was RM99, with 2 cups of ocha (what's the difference between matcha and ocha?) priced at RM1.50 each. It totalled up to RM118.50 with tax. 

(Oh gosh, it does look like a food review entry, except that there isn't much comments on the quality of the food due to my lack of experience in this field. My bad.)

The next time I go to Umai-ya, I'll just sit at the conveyor belt and maybe order à la carte(s)* (THE SPIDER MAKI!) 

*pluralising a French word. Yeah. Sue me. 


Did not post these pictures on my Facebook/Twitter because I do not want to be a hipster pretentious food-connoisseur-wannabe. Hey, at least there was no Instagram filters. Also, it's the only platform where I could document my expensive dinner with the least people knowing about it. Heh. 

Chill, people who always post pictures of their food on Facebook/Twitter. I'm not judging. I just think that there's too much sharing on social media these days. Maybe if I had less people-I-do-not-really-know on Facebook ...

On that note:


April 12, 2012

Qingming Festival

When was it again? Oh, right, last Saturday? Surprisingly felt like a long time ago.

It was drizzling that morning, which was EXTREMELY cliché.
A drizzling rain falls like tears on the Mourning Day;) source:wiki
Never really had an issue with this tradition, furthermore I wouldn't be around to pay my respects to my ancestors for the next few years, which makes it even more important to be there this time.

Standing in front of my grandmother's urn compartment (I have absolutely no idea what is it called. Googled and stumbled upon that term ... which I hope is accurate) has made me think about life. To think that my grandmother went through all that suffering to raise 5 kids by her own, then leaving them to go live their own lives ... and finally leave this earth in sickness ...

This reminds me of Petaling Street Warriors, not the funny bits, but the whole era of our ancestors coming all the way from China to find a living here. To think that the sole purpose of life at that point of time was survival, really baffles me. Compared with our current generation, where everyone strives to be rich to be able to live a luxurious life, I really find it hard to find the motivation to live on if I were placed back in that era. Most people now don't even want to have kids, as it is a huge burden and it hinders them from living life to their fullest. People of the past seem so selfless compared to those of now ... I never really felt that grateful for what our ancestors did until I watched that movie.

My dad will always tell me stories of how poor his family used to be, how tough life was for them ... I cannot imagine walking in his shoes, being the spoiled brat that I am (not that I'm particularly spoiled, but I like having meat every meal and not during huge celebrations only). This explains why people of previous generations have different mindsets than the current ones.

Back to the ceremony of food-offering and burnt offerings ...

While holding a few joss sticks, saying stuff that I would say to my grandmother, I remember how people at church forbid the usage of joss sticks. Thinking about it, I find it absurd. It wasn't as if I were praying to another God, I'm merely showing my respect for my grandmother. If God ain't happy about such a trivial matter, then so be it.

Prayers were the usual: for my parents' health, for my studies, yadda yadda yadda.

It occurred to me that there are 2 possibilities: 1. Somehow, somewhere, my grandma is watching. 2. Life ends. There's nothing after that. All these ceremonies are nothing but remembrances of the living for the dead. Even if the latter possibility is the reality, I really have no issues with it. Why not spend a day doing something together with your family to reflect and be grateful of what you already have?

To think that in a few more months, I'll be going to a foreign land, leaving my parents that I've been living with for the past 19 years ...

But I guess that's part of life. Everyone will eventually leave their parents, like a bird that has learned to fly ...

To think that it's part of daily life to see their faces ... and suddenly you can only see them through a computer screen for several years ...

All I could wish for is that my parents will stay healthy and safe till I come back.

March 20, 2012

Will it?

Ask yourself this question:
"Will this matter a year from now?"

— Richard Carlson - Don't Sweat the Small Stuff… and it's all Small Stuff (1997)

January 30, 2012

To sacrifice your passion, or sacrifice for passion?

"Yann Martel was born in 1963 and lives in the Canadian prairie province of Saskatchewan. After studying philosophy at university, he worked as a dishwasher, a tree planter, and a security guard. Then he began to write. Life of Pi, his second novel, was published to international acclaim in more than forty countries and won the 2002 Man Booker Prize."

Words can't express how I admire people who study courses that aren't guaranteed a 3 to 5 thousand pay for fresh graduates. If only I could be that person. Only thing is, I don't know what my passion is. Also, I'm not filthy rich.

It just isn't practical for people in countries such as mine to pursue such paths, since an overseas education would cost both my parents' life savings, or probably put myself in an endless amount of debt. Why spend few hundred thousand to be a dishwasher/tree planter/security guard? Then again, education in western countries isn't exactly free, but I assume that it's much more affordable.

That's why you don't see graduates from obscure courses over here, but a sea of business graduates and engineers. Maybe it's a culture, a norm. Maybe because we're a developing country, where obscure professions are not of a necessity. Then again it's probably also not a necessity in many other places ... I have to stop contradicting myself.

Though I doubt my true passion is to have a doctorate in philosophy, zoology, marine biology or English literature, I hope that whatever path that I'm about to venture in would eventually be fruitful and not a waste of time -- or probably given a second chance when I decide to leave everything behind to pursue something that makes all the difference. (*hint* famous poem reference)

Now, off to actually read Life of Pi.

January 10, 2012

The Sudden Urge

Currently lying on my bed, grabbed my phone to blog about this despite having exams on the next day (technically, on the same day).

So last night (once again, technically this morning), I dreamt about the recent grandmum that I just lost. For the past few days, I have been having all sorts of dreams that were disrupting my sleep, better no dreams than sweet dreams really (unless it involves 4D numbers ...). They didn't really made me felt anything ... But this was different.

I saw an image of my grandmum, a really strong and clear image of her, and I started to tear. Then, I woke up. She wasn't doing anything in my dream, just saw her standing there, looking like the years where sicknesses haven't gotten the better of her, gradually draining what was left of her old and fragile self.

Funny for this dream to suddenly appear to me. Chinese use to say one would dream of what normally crosses their minds during the day, but I haven't been thinking about her these days, not to say that I've forgotten about her or anything.

What if she appeared in my dream to bless me during my exams? Then again, how does blessing works? To think that parents will always teach their children to pray for their ancestors' blessings before the altar.

Makes me wonder about the after life. Is it really there? Will I eventually be in a place where all the people that I've lost are there waiting for me? It wouldn't be pretty if Christianity is true because chances are - if all the teachings are true - my grandmum will not be in heaven. Then again, what are the odds of me ending up there.

Wanted to tell my parents about this dream I had ... But I didn't. I didn't want it to just let it drift into my sea of thought, therefore decided to immortalise it in words despite having to sleep ...

Can never forget the day I cried so hard when she passed away ... Probably related to why I am always looking for movies that could make me cry ... Though I have yet to find one ... Then again, it's all fictional.

Whatever it is that my subconscious mind wants me to achieve through this random rambling post ... I hope it works.

ps. Blogging on my phone sucks.