Monday, 23 January 2006

The Story of the Pink Elephant...

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.. hand-delivered all the way from Thailand/KL.

A big thanks to the bunch for this. They got me a Jim Thompson silk elephant soft toy. JT is a reknowned American-Thai, and till today, the brandname under JT is well-known for the quality of their product - their thai silk shirts and clothes are lovely! Even their plain cotton shirts are wonderful too. Pink elephants remind me of my childhood. When I was young, I used to go for music lessons (YUCKS! I hate going for organ/piano classes) at Yamaha, and we have music books with pictures in it.. and I would used to colour the pictures. There is one page, it must be a song about some elephants.. (hehe), and I asked my mom what colour should i colour an elephant? She said, "Let's try pink!". From then till I was 16, I always thought there were elephants in pink. When i found out otherwise, i was crushed! -_-" My mom.. she hasn't been teaching me the right things. (Or maybe she was just trying to cultivate some creativity in me? Doesn't seem to work though)

So, anyway, pink elephants bring luck.


Friday, 20 January 2006

You know I am...

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.. a Malaysian when I heat up my cooked salmon (cold, from the fridge) for lunch.

("Ready to eat" Salmon slices from Marks & Spencer)

M bought this salmon from M&S because he thought i'd like it. I had it for lunch today. Just that, instead of taking the "Ready to eat" too literally, I had to make sure that my salmon is "cooked" (warmed up). I heat up the pan and pan-fried it. I'm so Malaysian, I tell you. Lucky I didn't have chilli around me or else I'd cut them up and pour soya sauce over it and dip my salmon into it.

I realised that I will never be able to enjoy cold Western food.. like how they are meant to be. Cold sandwiches? Pfffft!Not in M'sia. When I was in-charge of the food service of the company, all our sandwiches were served in chillers (4º- 6ºCelcius): Most customers come in, grab the sandwiches and stuck it into the microwave and press 10secs. We like our food hot/warm/piping hot. (My food service manager cringes whenever someone eats a warm meat-sandwich) Haha!

I am so Malaysian, I tell you.

Monday, 16 January 2006

Meanwhile, in “tidak apa”-land...

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(Photo taken from Jeffooi’s Screenshots.)

Two similar activities, but with one major difference. In Malaysia, this policeman seems to be nonchalant about his (and people around him) safety. A blatant disregard for safety in M’sia is not uncommon but it is (in my opinion) totally not acceptable.

Three years ago, we experienced a likely bomb-threat in the office. Because we were on the next building to the Twin Towers, the bomb-squad, fully equipped and clothed in proper masks and body suit came over to handle this crisis.

Our HR Manager received a suspicious looking package wrapped in brown paper. On it, was without a return address and was addressed to him - his name was not spelt correctly and in the wrong sequence. As we were given a safety briefing a few times, esp since 911 regarding handling of suspicious packages, he called the building safety manager and reported this to him. The safety manager then proceeded to do the suspicious package protocol –Call in the national bomb-disposal team. In about half an hour, the floor was evacuated, the packaged carefully transferred from the building to the park below. With a good open space, they did three controlled explosions.

Bang Bang Bang! The package blew up, and out flew a black piece of plastic-like material. When it was safe to do so, they removed the pieces of “evidence” and showed it to the HR manager who looked at it and recognized the piece to be part of a video-tape.

Something crossed his mind: Could it be the video-tape he has requested from the London HQ for HR-related training?

(Witnesses’ account –who happened to be my ex-colleagues, told me excitedly)

Umm.. it was! I missed out this drama that unfolded on that day, but I got to speak to the HR Manager, he told me that it was indeed a video tape that the London head-office sent over. And because the western naming-convention is different from the Asian’s, his name was spelt and organized all wrong. We laughed about it, but I thought he did the right thing, nonetheless.

So, how come the Butterworth bomb-disposal unit has no full attire to do the job, I do not know. But it is not a reason to risk one’s life going near to a suspected article.

Maybe it’s due to my four years of working under the company which preaches, practices and have a framework for HSSE (Health, Safety, Security and Environment) issues. But in my everyday life, I do obey strictly to some safety precautions: ie

  • No talking on the handphone while driving. No, driving and talking on the handphone is NOT cool, it does not make you look important and busy. You might feel important and busy but it is extremely dangerous. In my previous company, this is a sackable offence (especially if you’re driving a company car or on work assignments).

I also try to always put on my seatbelt if I am a back passenger.

Oh.. a personal story.

During one of my business trips coming back from KLIA, I actually reprimanded the driver of the limousine company that my company uses (yeah, the KLIA limos are not deemed “safe enough” for the staff to travel on) because he was driving above the permitted speed-limit, and was answering his handphone while driving. Not sure how the reporting goes, but a few days later, the GM while grinning, casually asked me “Are you really passionate about HSSE issues?”. Apparently, the driver informed someone in his company and my GM found out. I replied him honestly "Yes". Besides, the drivers have been sent for rigorous defensive driving lessons and given HSSE briefs.

So, yes, no “high risk” activities for Tsu Lin, thank you very much. That rules out sky diving, cliff jumping,even roller-coasters.. and .. etc.

The daredevils out there will probably exclaim : How… utterly… boring.. you are.

Heh, indeed. Haven't you heard about what they said about engineers? (even non-practising ones)

Wednesday, 11 January 2006

Year of the Dog!

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A Happy New Year 2006 Originally uploaded by yamaken.

Chinese New Year is around the corner! I love this time of year, no... not because of ang-pows (red packets filled with money), but I simply love the atmosphere.

Dog 2006
Originally uploaded by Dirk Rösler.

Relatives will converge together in our house. My close relatives live in HK, Taipei & KL. And as my dad is the eldest in the family, everyone comes together at our place . We would have reunion dinner on the night before the first day of CNY, just like most traditional Chinese families would do. Grandma would cook her specialty- Hainanese Chicken.. and we'd have a great time catching up.

year of the dog
Originally uploaded by dog's age.

When I was younger, (and before they outlaw the playing of fireworks in the M'sian households) my siblings, my cousins and I will be out infront of our yard to lit up fireworks. I love it!!

[year of the dog]
Originally uploaded by vinka*.

Around midnight, the whole neighbourhood would be roaring with the noise of the fireworks. I ABSOLUTELY love this.. !! Hahahahaha.. I know most people detest it and find it an intrusion. Not me. I find it gives a sense of "festivity". Ahh.. But of course, it should not last for too long, they should stop after 10mins after midnight, and for the first and last 2 days, hmm...

I'd be back to M'sia for CNY this year. Can't wait!

ps: Aren't those dog-decorations cute? Some of them do look a little like cats though..

Tuesday, 3 January 2006

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A New Year promises new beginnings!

My New Lens
Originally uploaded by konaboy.

The last day of 2005, M & I invited a couple of a couple of our close friends over for a small steamboat feast at our place. M's friends came over from the west side while my friends, the chip-pea couple, came all the way from Northampton.

We started heating up the steamboat pot at 7pm and the dinner lasted for almost 2 hours. Balls of all kinds, prawns, wanton pieces, vegetable and since we could not get Shabu-Shabu, we got some rather thinly-sliced meat to dip into the soup. Although almost full, we still had some leftovers.

After that, M enticed the rest with a Mahjong game. And some of them got hooked. Tssk tskk!

Before the clock strikes 12midnight , we stopped the game and watched various countdowns around the world. We counted down watching the London countdown at Thames where London Eye is. Such spectacular fireworks displays this time around!!
(Someone told me it is in preparation for the Olympics 2012).

I counted down with close friends around me and M beside me. What a lovely way to start off a brand new year. What matters most to me is spending a memorable day with people closest to me, enjoying each other's company..
This is one of my happiest and most memorable New Year's eve!

Most people reflect on life in 2005. I don't have much to reflect on although i did make one of the biggest jump in my life- Quitting my job and trying to start out in a new country thousands of miles off the equator with M! 2005 was filled with travels around Europe and that kept me happy, for i have always loved travelling. There is something missing for me in 2005, and if there is one wish for me in 2006, it is to get a job here in London.

I never make resolutions for the longest time. I believe if I set out to do something, I should be able to follow through with it, so no point making new year's resolutions just to break it a month into the new year. I make decisions along the way in different chapters of my life and go with the flow (so cliche!)...

Goodbye 2005, Hello 2006!
Wishing all (and myself) a year of happiness, health and prosperity!
May this be a new beginning to good things.


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