Thursday, October 12, 2017

Crunch time

It's Thursday before we leave for PD and no sign of the charger yet. So sad!!! I seriously can't afford to fork out money for another charger ok? WHY oh WHY did the bloody guy send it through surface mail??? Bodoh kan? He could have sent it through EMS, at least it would only take a couple of weeks. Ni dah SEBULAN tak sampai-sampai lagi. And he had the nerve to complain I didn't give him a tip. Oh I'm SO frustrated right now!

Work pun tersangkut lagi. Benda yang dah nak siap sangkut, and now I have to go mengorek data lagi. Draft hari tu pun tak settle lagi... So many things pending and they are all snowballing. Sat lagi aku yang mati dalam avalanche. Sigh. Benci ah.

I need to pack and wash/iron stuff for tomorrow's even/trip tonight... At least Kak Ayu helped mop the front entrance and discovered that our shoe rack can extend... LOL. Bila aku mintak duit, tiba2 jadi rajin eh? Cheh.

I really can't decide if I should insist she pays for stuff. My pocket money pun more than her salary kan. But then, I spend A LOT for the house. At least RM500-600 including cat food/meds, our food, electricity and internet. That's almost half of my pocket money, and I still have to pay for petrol and breakfast/lunch out of that allocation. A chunk of my credit card charges are for household goods, insurance, etc. She does pay for maintenance, but really, RM50 is not that much, right? She should have just cut the fucking ASTRO instead of continuing to subscribe. Hypp TV dah ada, and we shouldn't spend so much time watching TV either. Dari dia bayar ASTRO, baik dia bayar kat I...

What if I drop down dead, lose my job or migrate to another country? Right now she can't even be bothered to find a better job because she has enough for fast food and nonsense while I pay for everything else.

Do you think it's fair to me? Should I just accept it and be thankful that I earn more money? Shouldn't she make an effort to improve her finances? It would be good for her too, right? Sampai bila dia nak I tanggung dia? 

Friday, October 06, 2017

Setia menanti

I'm making all kinds of plans for the next few weeks, but my charger still tak sampai lagi :( I really don't want to spend more money on a new charger...

I'm feeling a bit sad because it's hard to learn Photoshop, and I can't rely on anyone to really teach me. Well, at least managed to book Ben for this weekend... I guess one problem I have is that I expect to be magically good at things. I forget that it takes time and much effort to hone one's skills. Maybe if I adjust my expectations a bit, I will be less hurt as I walk through life.

On the other hand, people have great expectations of me, but no one is willing to provide the feedback I need. Everyone accuses me of wanting to be handheld. Well, I guess I'm a little guilty of latching on to people, but hey, I see other people being guided and I want some too!

I still have miles to go with my photography, and I need to make time to learn up stuff instead of expecting my so-called sifus to help. They're busy, right? So I will need to learn stuff and only ask for help in the least intrusive way, I guess. I will HAVE to hide/delete all my silly games and spend more time learning up stuff. I need to find platforms to share and learn. I need to experiment. And I need to go shooting, damnit!!

Same goes with work. I need to pay more attention to work and keep track of things. I need to think and plan stuff instead of cruising aimlessly... Sigh. I have 3 major things that need to be finished today. How la????

Monday, October 02, 2017

Rindu

Tengok gambar-gambar perjalanan tempoh hari, rindu kat Pakcik.

Dengar lagu OST drama lama-lama, rindu kat LDW, Joo Won dan lain-lain artis yang sering ditonton satu ketika dulu.

Last weekend, back to playing Gardens Inc 4 sambil edit gambar. Tak kemas rumah, tak buat homework dan tak tengok movie atau drama apa pun. Kalau dulu tak sabar-sabar nak tengok drama, sekarang tak berani nak tengok, takut ketagihan tak sudah. Haha.

Masih berangan nak ke Busan pada musim sejuk untuk birding walaupun hakikatnya credit card balance dah terlalu tinggi dan simpanan masih terlalu rendah. Pakcik2 pun busy tahun ni, so maybe better pergi tahun depan la. Kan nak beli lens 400mm dulu...

Charger pun belum sampai lagi ni. Bogoshipsoyo!!! Huhu!!

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

Sunny Suncheon-si

On Day 3 we caught the S-train to Suncheon-si, a city by the bay. S-trains are older trains which have been decorated nicely and offer some touristy entertainment as they "slowly" wend their way past scenic mountains and the sea. KORAIL also offers a discount for tourists who buy their tickets online.

Having lacked sleep the previous night, I tried to sleep on the train but didn't get very much rest. It didn't help that we had to leave early, and for some reason G was extra irritating that day. Because I was in a bad mood :P We arrived close to noon and stashed our bags at the Turtle Inn.

 The plan was to visit a folk village and the Wetland reserve. We stopped by a coffee shop to get a drink and plan our journey. Again, we went back and forth trying to find the bus terminal. G had somehow lost his T-money and had to buy a new card.  After a while we found the bus terminal and waited for the bus listed on Google. It didn't help that we had a LOONG wait in the hot sun before we got one. Much later, we found ourselves at the bus depot, and that we had been going in the wrong direction!! Ugh.

We tried to get another bus but basically they said it was a long way off. Graham was going on and on with the Google Translate instant camera translation thingy and repeating what we already knew. No taxis came along and I was getting more and more irritated. I had been feeling like crap and all I wanted was to get back to the hotel. In the end, we took a bus to a more populated area and hailed a cab there.

It took about 20 minutes to reach the Naganeupsong Folk Village by car, and thankfully, the journey  was cheaper than what Graham had feared it would be, and that put HIM in a better mood. Yeah, right. Be so kedekut with transport, but spend so much on stupid cups of expensive coffee instead of real food. (You can see I was really HANGRY at this point). All I had since morning was a cup of latte and half a bagel, a cup of iced coffee and some leftover cherries while waiting for the bus. 

Thankfully, G has a brain and he figured I needed real food instead of caffeine and fruits. So we shared a small meal at a nearby cafe before going to into the folk village. It was pretty well managed and presented. They even had actors and actresses playing the part of local villagers doing the daily chores from long, long ago. Afterwards, we took a taxi back to the hotel because it was already too late to wait for the bus.

I had booked 2 ondol rooms, but lucky me, I got upgraded because they only had one left. So I got this huge family room because it was on the ground floor and I didn't fancy lugging my bag up the stairs. We bought our tickets to Seoul that night and went to the Wetlands Reserve the next morning. It was a pity that I had forgotten all about the discount coupons I got from KTO, because there was one that gives 30% off on KTX tickets. That's a fair bit of savings I missed out on.

... to be continued.

Dreaming on...

It's just over a month after my long holiday with G and I'm already plotting a return to Busan. Main target - the BIRDS! I was so looking forward to seeing cranes and such, it was so disappointing not to find any. I figured I could go for a few days on the cheap if I got low fares, stayed in a dorm and minimised eating out.

Just looked at AA Go and maybe I should wait for a real offer to come along. I have barely paid off the credit card charges from the last trip, so.... Suddenly feel like I need to "audit" the expenses list I prepared for G. Maybe there's a miscalculation somewhere. I couldn't have spent so much on food, right?? LOL. To be fair, he did pay quite a lot for meals and the rooms in Sokcho, so it probably balances up. I'm just being silly. Hmm... is that "free seats" thing still on? haha..

Anyway, the Kedah gang has another trip lined up for Xi'an and Roto is not responding. I seriously don't mind doing the trip solo, but as I pointed out to Lin, I really should upgrade my camera lens to a 400mm before going on another expensive birding trip. The birds in Nakdong are pretty far off, not like in Fraser's where a 300mm lens can yield pretty decent shots.

I also need to seriously shore up my emergency funds and savings. If and when things go sideways, I'd rather not fall flat on my face because I decided to play 'grasshopper' instead of being diligent like the 'ants'...

Right. Back to work now. Go on...

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Eulsukdo Island and Taejongdae

Spent Day 2 out in Eulsukdo for so-called birding and later to Taejongdae. We were supposed to fit in Heaundae and a seaside temple but it never happened.

We first headed out to Eulsukdo, using the tips given by the Tourism office and Mr Google. Managed to get ON Eulsukdo after some going back and forth; but failed to find a place to cross to the Wetland Reserve. Asked a man at an empty exhibition hall and after a rather difficult conversation on Google Translate, he put us in his car and drove us there!

At Nakdong Wetland Reserve, we didn't even get to the gate because we spent so much time photographing nonsense. Then we hopped into one of the informative tour vans with our friendly guide and another family. It was all right, I was VERY disappointed not to see any cranes. Apparently they are winter migrants, so no luck there. We did see many grey herons and black tailed gulls though. At some point there was a black kite, but our guide insisted there are no birds until winter. Sigh. She must not be a birder.

It was a nice place to visit. We went into the very interactive and well kept information centre, and spent hours photographing the golden orb spiders outside. After a long while, we walked out to the road and crossed the bridge on foot. Had a bit of a problem at one point because the walking path was closed for roadworks; so we had to make a rather long detour to (legally) cross to the nearby township and train station. Again, dawdled along taking photos along the way. It was quite late by the time we got into the train and on to Taejongdae.

The bus ride to Taejongdae was surprisingly long. And instead of going through forests, we went up and down hills through townships! Basically it's where many people working in Busan lived... It was already very late when we left Eulsukdo area, so we got to Taejongdae at 6 pm. It was almost dark and all the shuttle "trains" had parked for the night. There were a number of people still around though. I think some wanted to hang out until evening.


We were very hungry, so we had dinner at one of the roadside cafes before walking to the park. There wasn't much to photograph in the waning light, and we were actually very tired. So we half-heartedly took some photos of the famous cliffs and left soon after dusk. Needless to say, plans for Haeundae was scuppered.

We did stop near the river/ bridge on the way back to take photos. I got some nice ones of a busking trio and a fisherman near the bridge. Tried to be clever going into the subway via Lotte Mall but only found dead ends. We had to exit and re-enter in front of the building. Oh well.

Had dinner in our respective rooms and pottered around doing stuff. Unfortunately, I got so agitated about unfinished work that I could not sleep for more than a few hours. This led to a super cranky person the next day.... Poor Graham!

A bit on Busan

G & I arrived in Busan at 8.30 a.m., 14th August; having left KL at 1 a.m. that morning. We took the train to our hotel, with much help from the friendly locals.

We stayed at the Grand Motel, which ironically, is not grand AT ALL. We had a lot of trouble finding it, dragging our suitcases in the heavy drizzle that had started on our way to Nampo station. Something was wrong with the map, so we looked in the wrong direction as we came to a crossroad at the back lane. Headed up a hill (by escalator) and then had to pull our luggage down a flight of steps back to where we were 10 minutes earlier. The rain didn't help, and the steep incline forced me to control my luggage from zooming off while balancing on heels and holding an umbrella. We were lucky the owner of the place saw us looking around and asked if we were looking for Grand Motel.

We went in to a staircase and up a lift to the reception area on the 4th floor. If she hadn't been there, we would have spent much much longer looking for the place. I later realised they didn't even have a big sign that wrote the name in Roman letters!! I only made out the name written in Hangul on the second day. Lucky for us, the rooms were clean despite the shabby exterior. The bathroom fittings looked like the were from the 60s, but it's CLEAN. The towels were a bit of a joke, though.

I thought the Ojakgyo brothers had the small towels only for washing their face in the morning. However, we discovered that in most Korean hotels, they only supplied those small Good Morning towels for bathing too! We had like 6 per room, so there was enough. A bit weird not having a towel to wrap around you after showering.

Somehow the scale of the place was smaller than I had imagined from looking at maps because Jagalchi Market, which I imagined to be miles away, was actually right across the street from our hotel! A park which we initially didn't want to explore, was just up the street. Basically all the way up the escalators that we had taken that morning.

A quest to find local SIM cards took us to an underground marketplace connected to the subway station. Actually that was all we managed on day one, because after checking in to our rooms, taking a shower, resting (for all of 15 minutes), we just walked from one place to another to find a place that sold SIM cards. It was rather frustrating, really. Then the shopkeeper took forever to activate the SIMs, due to some complication with the systems. In the end, we had to take out our local SIMs and store them away because the Korean number wouldn't work properly otherwise. We were glad to have it, though, because it made communication so much easier. The data was ever so useful for looking up maps and getting directions to places.

Coming back, we walked down the shopping area trying to get to Jagalchi and find food. Somehow we walked all the way down to Jagalchi station, which was rather far down the road. Found food at the fish market and later walked around taking photos of people and the rather fascinating array of seafood sold.


Eventually we crossed the road to the shopping district and looked around the night market. We were already full, so we went for coffee to warm up and get out of the drizzle that had started again. Went up the hill to Busan Tower. We actually went UP the tower and took photos from there but I much preferred the park below. We went back just before midnight and rested for the next day.

Saturday, September 16, 2017

Travel tips

As mentioned before, we had a lovely trip to South Korea. But afterwards, splitting the costs proved to be a bit of a nightmare...

Flight and hotels were not too bad, because there were receipts. Food and transport were a lot messier. Well, long trips were ok, because there were tickets. But small details like who paid for top ups and taxi fare were quite difficult to keep track of.

Meals were the worst, I think. We couldn't remember how much we paid for meals, coffees and snacks. I did try to keep all the receipts, but G, being male, hardly did. And sometimes I kept receipts paid by G just so that we had proof, but then I would be wondering who paid for it!

In the end, after much going back and forth, G mentioned the simplest solution - we should have had a kitty! Each puts in the same amount and all shared costs come out of it. Duh!! We can keep aside an extra bit of money for personal spending like cosmetics and souvenirs. Meals, top ups and taxi fares come out of the kitty. Easy peasy!

Oh well, lesson learnt. That's what we do the next time we travel together. For some reason, it was never so complicated before. This time maybe because I paid for the flights and most of the hotels while G paid for most of the meals. So it became messy to figure out how much he had to pay me back and stuff. Plus it was in a foreign currency for both of us.

In Malaysia and UK, it was easy to draw more cash if necessary. In Korea, we found that they didn't have the international withdrawal facilities we were used to, like PLUS. Also, food was frightfully expensive, so we couldn't simply ignore the costs like we usually did.

G already flew home yesterday and I think he should be getting home about now. I would miss him being around, there are few people I can share with about my difficulties in working life. He is much like a big brother or uncle to me...

That said, I don't generally share a room with my uncle or big brother, so the holiday costed more than I would have liked. So the next time I do a long overseas trip, I would prefer to go with my husband. It would be easier, cheaper and safer to have a man accompanying me. Although at this point, I don't have any idea where to find this elusive husband of mine.

My dad seems to attract women with incredible ease though. Barely 3 months after the demise of my unpopular stepmother, he has already found a replacement and they should be marrying by the end of the year. Amazing, huh? I don't really mind as long as she takes good care of him, but hello... can you spare a thought for your own children tak? I told him my wallet hilang pun, no response. Teruk betul.

Hrmph... nasib la labu...

Monday, September 04, 2017

Break over!

It's already the last day of a super long weekend and I'm feeling a little despondent... it's already 4 pm and I have NOT booted up the office computer yet.

Didn't do much on Merdeka Day but did go out for dinner with G. Had a coffee on him and bought fruits for Abah.

Raya day - woke up too late to go to the masjid. Then pottered around the house doing this and that. Found out Mak Ngah had passed away early in the morning. Made up a fruit basket for good old dad and followed him to Alang's place. Malam pergi Kg Pandan and then dropped Abah off at Sg Buloh.

Saturday, whiled the day away feeling sorry for myself because no one had bothered to get me a proper cake or gifts.

Sunday - suddenly realised that my wallet was missing just before i left to see the girls in Avenue K. Took the money K Ayu gave me and made do with that for the day. Petang continued looking for my wallet and failed to find it. It probably fell out of the car when I opened the door because Abah was in the passenger seat and my handbag was at my foot. I DID worry about that happening and somehow it did. :( So I cancelled my AEON card and made a police report in Sungai Buloh. Not much point of going to find it since anyone would have taken the RM100 inside and chucked the rest. Sad times we live in, really. Luckily I had the other credit card, and other ATM cards in the spare wallet. The rest are just promo cards so that's ok. Driving license just expired so it's easy to replace.

It was great to see the girls, though. I was really embarrassed because they bought such expensive gifts and all I had were bookmarks and face masks from Korea! All these special edition this and that is getting to me, though. Mana la I mampu nak beli benda mahal2 sangat... Some more terlupa about Inas' birthday present pasal it was in July and we didn't meet up. Eh... hang on... Didn't I buy something for her hari tu? OMG. Did I? Erk... tak ingat.

Today, FINALLY got to sorting out the electronic waste and vacuum/sweep/mop my rooms. The house belum lagi... the study floor still feels strangely sticky though. And the floor mat feels icky too. Mopped the kitchen and then discovered that my indoor slippers were tracking ickiness all over the floors. Took it to rinse and discovered the sole was covered with dirt and cat fur. YUCKS!! I'm seeing bits of cat fur with little flea eggs all over the house, meaning that it's high time I gave the cats their flea treatment. Right now, I just need to give the house a once over sweep and mop. Repeat every two days until the place becomes suitable for human habitation. Honestly, how did the place become so disgusting in the 9 days I was away? It didn't help that my energy levels were so low that it took forever to get things sorted.

Hope I can collect my paycheck tomorrow. I'm down to my last bit of reserve money and I need to pay for the car, electricity etc. God! I need to sort things out at work too. It's not easy to find another job right now :( 

Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Room mates? Where's the boundary?

I was chatting with a friend I barely knew last night, and felt rather disturbed by the turn of the conversation. I'm not a prude and I don't mind travelling with males, but I do draw the line at sharing a room with them. It bothered me also when he asked if our hypothetical future trip to South Korea would be just the two of us or with others. I was literally lost for words.

How do I tell this guy I barely met where my boundaries lie without sounding like a righteous prude? I DO travel around with G, but we are both aware of our boundaries. He is a gentleman and I know he will not try anything funny with me. We have also known each other for a long time. We were going out for dinner and coffee for yonks before we ever travelled together.

Anyway, I suppose I would tell him about my expectations soon. Directly, which is my preferred way. I'm too old to be flirting with young bucks looking to get lucky. 

Post holiday blues

We came back from Korea a week ago and I'm still a little tired. It's not as bad as jet lag, thankfully. Just tired from lugging suitcases all over the country. I'm afraid I have become weak in my old age :P

The trip was fine, I got a whole bunch of photos, which i have not finished editing yet. I need to streamline my download/backup process, maybe make some changes. But not just yet. I'm still trying to understand Lightroom, although I have made some progress in the past months.

It was a very heartwarming experience to visit South Korea. People were nice, especially in Busan and Suncheon. I do wish I had spent more time learning Korean, but we got by with my K-drama Korean and a lot of help from Google Translate!

I loved Sokcho and I wish we had more time there. Wasted one day because it rained non-stop and we didn't proceed with Ulsanbawi. I enjoyed being lazy and napping though... Also took the opportunity to go through my photos on the "off day".

Unfortunately I also left behind my camera battery charger in the room. They found it, and I'm just waiting for the manager to post it back to me. He did say that he would be busy so I'm trying to be patient. Have been rather unwilling to buy a compatible charger since the bad experience with a "compatible" battery on the 1000D. Attempts to find a used charger failed and a new one from KLDSLR costs RM269. About Rm100 cheaper than retail price.  I might look it up in J-One, though. I feel a little more confident with their advice. Maybe they can help me charge up for a small fee instead of buying a new charger...

Will try to do some notes on the places we visited over the weekend. No promises though. I failed miserably with the UK trip :P haha.

Tuesday, August 08, 2017

Warming Up

Adjusted my schedule to hit the gym 3 times a week - Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays. I know I won't be able to do all most of the time, but it will be better than nothing.

This morning, alhamdulillah, managed to wake up a bit earlier, solat and mengaji before putting away clothes and leaving for the gym. Walked the treadmill at 5 kph for 20 minutes and "cycled" 5 km. It helped that CSI Cyber was showing, so I made myself stay on the "bike" until the episode ended. Haha... "multitasking" at its best :D

Sat for about 5 minutes in the steam room and had a nice shower. Bla 3x and left about 9.20. It took me about 25 minutes (via NKVE) to reach SS2. Not bad, eh? Managed to squeeze in a capati breakfast before getting to the office.

Am feeling a little more alive than previous weeks. I HOPE that this silly sinus infection will go away for good. It's so annoying to constantly feel like your head is full of cotton wool! I'm taking it really easy and just letting my body get a little more active again before I push it further.

Graham has arrived and we're almost set for our Korean adventure. We're meeting up tonight for durian and going to KTO on Saturday morning. I need to find info on the KTO at Nu Sentral because I couldn't find it last night.

I hope I can finish this silly article today because it has been dragging on for far too long. Got a nice flow yesterday, but my mojo died the moment I saw Chan's email about the website. Sigh. I don't want to be sensitive and delicate, but even I have to admit that at times, our spirit is so battered that even a small snag can threaten to throw everything off balance.

I'm praying for a happy and productive day today. Insya Allah :) 

Sunday, August 06, 2017

Pushing ahead

It's another slow weekend, but I did get SOME things done. Right now, I'm contemplating whether I should send the car for washing because it looks like it will rain this afternoon. On the other hand, the poor machine has not been cleaned for too long...

I was supposed to go to the gym yesterday, but again, I dithered and didn't go. Cannibalised the old laptop and took out the hard drive. Did I mention that my dear sister damaged the thing last year and neglected to inform me. So what the hell was she doing on it so often then? A portion of the screen dah rosak and the whole thing bergegar-gegar, meaning the connection is shot. I put it on the external monitor and it worked fine, but the whole machine is just outdated. No point upgrading so just let it die in peace la.

Kak Ayu's bike had a flat and she came home with me Friday night, so I had to send her to work in the morning. Then went to service the car. Had to fill up petrol on the way. Failed to turn into the Shell near KD entrance so went to the other one near Pusrawi. As I headed towards Taman Tun, saw another Shell at the McDonalds. Duh!! Even if I missed that, there's another one near Tropicana Medical Centre. Right. Lesson learned. Thank you.

Went to Chia tayar hoping for a quick and cheap service. Ended up paying almost RM350 for semi-synthetic oil and auto-transmission fluid. Ouch! But car is driving super smoothly now. Nice!! Had a chat with a nice lady whose Camry was on the blitz. I actually thought her car was an ancient Saga the guys were working on. Oops! Silly Oza.

Went to the Tesco Mutiara Money changer to send the Pendar Pagi money. They have Merchantrade but apparently it's only for personal transactions. Yet they want my company name and income level. A bit weird right? But the place offers good rates so I'm keeping my fingers crossed. Finally sent the money to Menny's account. Just praying that she will transfer the money to the organisation without delay. Had a lot of trouble trying to transfer it on Friday. Stress I sampai the bank teller almost got yelled at for asking why I tak ambik dekat machine. Dah la I kelam kabut nak transfer tak boleh, nak keluarkan from the original account tak boleh, nak transfer to savings kena 2 kali baru lepas. Tak sempat nak kejar Mul dah nak pergi airport... And I know kalau nak draw from ATM I have a RM1000 limit. I was literally seeing red when he asked that. I just told him to "just do it now". Jeez. I do speak English when I'm very irritated.

Sat for a drink dekat Old Town and got mad because the drink was probably about 30% of the whole glass. the rest of it was ICE. I barely got a few sips before the whole thing finished. Like seriously, you charged me RM3.40 for a few sips of coffee??? Old Town ni nak kena ban ni. Dah la i memang tak suka Old Town... Food is horrible and it keeps getting worse.

Anyway, once I got the money thing sorted, went upstairs to buy a couple of things and validate my parking. Lesson learnt earlier: don't park at TESCO if you don't spend there. MAHAL. Stopped by Mr DIY and found the exact pot I had ordered on 11 Street. Checked and saw it was SC approved etc. I hope it's legit!! Bought it there because I had received a message saying my order was cancelled the previous morning. Like WHY??? Tried the pot and it worked fine. It shuts off and restarts automatically according to the set temperature. Steamed eggs turned out well. Can't really cook with it, but it should be fine for soups and Maggi mee. Today checked my emails and it turned out the cancellation was for an incomplete transaction. Oops. Signed in to 11 Street and saw that they had not yet prepared the order, so I cancelled the purchase. Hope no complications there. I don't want to end up with 2 pots.

Stopped by the office to stick a tile in the "hole" under my chair and tape the mounting board over it. I hope it helps so that being in the office can be a little less annoying. Bosses are back from Sabah Sarawak, lucky didn't bump into my boss kecik. Quickly screwed in the bag hanger dalam surau, although I realised too late that I should have brought the longer screws. Vacuumed a bit and left.

Stopped by A-One to buy and external drive cover and went home. Had a late lunch at Arafah before going home for solat and a rest. Missed the gym again because I did a jigsaw puzzle and had to go rescue Kak Ayu since she didn't have enough cash to pay for her new tyre. And she won't go to 7-11 ATM because it jammed previously. Honestly. Can't you just TRY AGAIN???

Went to the pasar malam to buy a few things and went home. She JUST ARRIVED. Like, really??? How long does it take to cycle less than a kilometre home? I seriously wonder if she went to meet someone instead of going straight home. Fuck it la, I couldn't care less if she has a boyfriend. Just get married and get out of my house please. *silap2 aku yang kena pindah :P LOL

I did get worried looking at her shuffle up the stairs. Macam tak larat sangat. She knows her blood sugar is damn high but she keeps eating junk all the time. Penat la bela baby macam ni. I want to migrate. Seriously.

Had the leftover lodeh with sambal and nasi impit. Miraculously still edible although it might be on the suspicious side. Have not checked the other container. If it's spoilt, will have to dump the whole container. Sayang, but what to do? There's only so much I can eat.

I had scanned the hard drive and found lots of issues on it. Deleted extra files and moved my files to the net book. Scanned, cleaned and moved K Ayu's files and reformatted the 2 drives. So now I have a second clean external drive. I want to put my documents there and keep photos in the StoreJet.

Graham should have arrived by now but I'm guessing he's jet-lagged and fast asleep. I look forward to our durian date. Haha... kesian Pakcik dah 6 tahun x makan durian.

Have washed 2 loads of laundry and I need to hand wash a few items. Load no 2 is done and needs to go into the dryer. Load No 1 needs to be folded and put away. I need a shower and perform dzuhr prayers! I'm really tempted to go to the gym and hang out in the sauna now. It would be nice to have a warm shower with too much water instead of the low flow shower I have at home. I should exercise, of course, but right now, the sauna feels like the better option.

Of course I have not vacuumed, ironed or cleaned the kitchen, but hell, who the fuck cares? I'm tired too.

I put the netbook in the study so that I will have space for the work laptop, and subsequently, will do some work instead of fooling around all day and night. I have no idea if it will work, but hey, at least I switched the damn office laptop on already...

OK. Have to go now. There's a bunch of things I need to do, including getting insurance for my beloved  camera. Ciao!!



Sunday, July 30, 2017

Stay Home Weekend

It has been a pretty good weekend. I've stayed home for close to 48 hours, I think.

Had dinner and durian with Shamila on Friday night. Came home and fooled around on the computer for hours before going to bed late in the morning.

Saturday was spent lolling on the bed/ around the house. Well, not all the time. I did spend time making kimchi. Then I spent hours playing computer games. Instead of adding insurance to Graham's ticket, or looking up for accommodations in Busan... Made that egg spaghetti thingy for dinner, but again, I left the butter to heat up too long, so the eggs cooked as soon as I slid it into the pan. Sigh. Oh well, at least it's easy to make...

Today I woke up late again. Something is really wrong because despite eating/drinking less sugar and food in general, my blood sugar is still high and I still feel under the weather. Thankfully the sore throat and coughs have disappeared somehow, but sugar reading is still high :(

I have not gone to the gym this week, and my fat cells have balooned again. I am positively OBESE these days! Ugh.

Tomorrow is potluck day, and I feel like making some brownies. And coffee cookies. Have not made any for years! Butter is already out, so better start on it soon.

Made some "rendang" and cheat pulut kuning this morning, so meals were settled for the whole day. Sayur = kimchi. It's a new trend since K Ayu eats at the shop (she insists on calling it her "office". Heh). So I try to NOT buy so much food; because there's no one to eat them during weekdays. The other day I bought 3 ears of corn and I had to finish them over 5 days. No kidding. Sometimes I'm not around on weekends either. Right now I just need to get some more eggs, garlic and vegetables. And pick up my dry cleaning. IF the shop is open. I should take down the trash and walk a bit anyway... 

Friday, July 28, 2017

Finding direction

Have not posted in ages because a) I didn't want to disclose too much and b) posting takes time! Trying to do a mini post every now and then.
It's 2 weeks to our Korean holiday and we haven't even decided on a hotel for Busan. There seems to be countless options and mostly beyond my budget. Dorms are tricky because of safety and privacy issues. I will need to pray and others might find it uncomfortable.  I will feel uncomfortable too...
One option is sharing a twin room but....... it's not 'nice' and my dad would have kittens if he knew!
Will have to do it over the weekend.  Hope something good turns up!!!

Sunday, April 30, 2017

DOTS

I'm sorry, this was last year's in thing, but I only just watched it last week.

Hottest thing last year: Descendants of the Sun.

Conclusion: well worth watching.

Droolworthy. Our men really should do this too.
Despite reading the synopsis, I thought it has something to do with Sun Yat Sen. As usual, had to give it a test drive before committing to watch. Pilot episode went well. I tried to  pace myself because ahjumma had a lot of work going on, but by the fifth episode I was already a diehard junkie!! I was a little disappointed that there were actually only 16 full episodes, the other 3 on the list were actually song/scene compilations and TV interviews. Can't complain though, I really enjoyed the "behind the scenes" clips.

So... what's so good about it? 
Like Faith, it was between a military captain and a kick-ass doctor. But that's of course not the main reason. It was a fairly realistic take on what problems can arise when people of vastly different backgrounds and job scopes meet and try to get together. The captain being called off to a danger zone every other week was of course far-fetched, but hey, it's K-TV. You need things to happen.

What got me was again the occupational pride and honour like in Faith. The army guys try their best to do their jobs well, and so do the medical team. Plot was solid, there was humour and witty conversation. Not much cliche. Again, really bad, bad guys. Kickass captain- this time it's a dae-wi, not dae-jang.

There was romance, bromance, and a 'cinta terhalang' too. The captain Yoo Si Jin and Sergeant Seo Dae Young are thick as thieves, and get into the most ridiculous fights, even with their own guys. Real giggle-worthy. At the end of the day, it wasn't just a sappy love story about two people, it was about a lot of people who cared and took care of each other.

Romance: YSJ and Dr Kang Mo Yeon meet and fell in love, but it took a while to commit since their dates always got interrupted. It finally blossomed when they were working side by side in Urk.

Bromance: YSJ and SDY are best buddies, and their team loves them too. initially I thought Si Jin looked like a schoolboy and not tough enough to be captain, but he's a damn good actor. Respect. Dae Young (Jin Goo) is more of the strong & silent type, which I find irresistible. He's married with kids in real life so cannot have too many hot scenes with co-star, nanti bini marah seh.

Myong Ju's overprotective dad.
Painful love: SDY and Myong Ju are crazy in love with each other, but Myong Ju's commander daddy wants Si Jin as his son-in law. Jeez, these Korean parents always so busybody meh? MJ would do anything to have her guy, but Dae Young is an honorable, old-fashioned guy who would never take advantage of her without daddy's green light. Cue long sigh here.

Sisterhood: As you can imagine, the two girls ended up being friends despite being arch enemies due to a previous crush with the same sunbae.

Humour and jealousy: It gets REALLY funny when cool and sensible people get caught out by their partners and jealousy rears its ugly head.

Sidekick romance: The love-hate relationship between Dr Song and Nurse Ha is obviously just a sideshow, but a fun one. It's rather stupid though, how it dragged on for years and years without the doctor finding a way to take it to the next level.

Team spirit, fun and camaraderie: Med team and army dudes, of course. There was the long-suffering army boss, nurses, Chi Hoon and a whole bunch of people. Plus other UN peacekeepers and Dr Daniel + Yehwa. I loved the early morning marches of bare chested men, which the girls enjoyed every morning; riling up their respective love interests.

Yummy :)

Of course you need the bad guys too. The slightly annoying ones were Chi Hoon's mom, the Chairman, manager Jin and the bad cops. The really bad guys was ex-Captain Argus and his henchmen,

The north Korean guy was kind of a "friend from far away". Meaning that they were on opposite sides, but they held a similar code of honour. Pretty cool.

There was quite a bit of English spoken during the series, since they were dealing with international relief workers etc. Thankfully the pronunciation wasn't too bad. Sometimes it really annoys you to hear them speak!

I loved the intensity of happenings during the earthquake rescue period, how the teams put their best in helping the victims. I loved it when the medical team stepped up once they had to do real rescue work,

The only part I felt weird was Chi Hoon's overacted mummy's boy/ conflicted Schweitzer wannabe persona. Too emo lah. Some more when he was agonized over abandoning the survivor, I thought he must be gay or something. Despite him having a baby on the way...

At the end of the day, it was a heartwarming story about people - from immature idiots to loving fathers, the series had it all. And I enjoyed it very much.

Gamsahamida, Korea!! Saranghaeyo!

Ahjumma is a Busy Lady

Haven't used this expression since my TKC days, it seems. I HAVE been pretty busy lately; learning serious photography is pretty time consuming and challenging. I like it :)

Got on the Nature Thru The Lens exhibition on a Bumi ticket. I'm not proud of it, but thankful all the same. I have LOTS to learn about photography and editing.... My sunbaes are not letting me off easy either.

Work is another challenge. Despite my best intentions, it's really hard to get things done. I'm always doubtful and wrong footed it seems. In these dark days, sometimes an escape is what keeps you sane.

Last year I discovered Lee Min Ho in Faith. Have not watched anything else (thankfully) because nothing captured my interest. This year, everyone is all crazy about Goblin, starring Gong Yoo and Lee Dong Wook. I tried watching it and just fell asleep. I gave it up at episode six. If a K-drama can't keep me awake, it's not worth watching. Ahjumma has other things to worry about.

However, have since discovered other worthy dramas like Personal Taste and Secret Garden. PT is quite lighthearted once you get past the terribly clumsy and clueless heroine. It was necessary though; so that we can see how she blossoms from being an insecure, naive and inept girl to a wise woman with the help from hero Jeon Jin Ho. Jin Ho is of course too perfect, but we swallow it anyway. It's the perfect boost for an insecure woman in her darkest days.

Secret Garden was good for so many reasons. You can forget about Hyun Bin being handsome and all that crap. Ahjumma has no interest in these Ah Boys. I loved the kick-ass heroine and Phillip Lee as the action school director. And seriously respect their ability to act as the other person when their souls (supposedly) switch. It was QUITE hilarious. The family ties and camaraderie also made it so adorable to watch. i might watch it again. Maybe. The only thing I hate is the overbearing mum thing (again). Same woman some more. Auntie, enough la. Tak larat nak tengok.

The latest in my rather long bout of addiction was Descendants of the Sun. I just finished and hell, I might start watching it again. Song Joong Ki as the team captain was really, really adorable. He might look like a schoolboy, but he DID finish military duty and he's super smart in real life too. Heroine Song Hye Kyo is pretty (so what else is new?); but she totally rocks her role as doctor/surgeon. The kind of acting, expressions etc are really lacking in local dramas. OK, I'm guilty of NOT watching local dramas because most of them feature hysterical women and useless men. Waste of time betul. In any case, I really liked it, for various reasons. It needs its own space, because I've saved so many favourite scenes. Yes, it's THAT good. Just gushed about it to Shamila. Haha...

I'm also busy planning my Korean holiday with Graham. :) It would be nice to have my old man back for a bit...

Monday, April 10, 2017

Apples vs. Oranges

I remember the days when I could "live on" Rm200 a month. 20 years ago lah. These days, I need roughly RM200 a WEEK just for petrol, additional groceries and daily meals. Well, I can still eat on RM50 a week if I bring bekal to work... But I'll still have to pay for ingredients and fuel for the car. Dulu, minyak motor baru Rm2 a week. Makan kat dining hall, dorm room paid for. So the money goes to buying student supplies like slide film and processing, paper, pens, etc. "Makan luar" is neslo from Cafe 5 or kuetiaw kerang from the pasar malam. Sekarang... I need to pay for either breakfast, lunch or dinner outside. Usually dinner I eat at home. Breakfast and/or lunch I eat at nearby stalls kalau tak tapau. Sekali sekala makan kat kopitiam dah RM16!

When I first started work, I could supplement fresh food for the family - i.e. chicken, fish, prawns and veg for around RM50 a week. Seriously!! Sekarang... hahahahaha.... maybe dapat chicken, eggs and veg aje kot. Then again, it WAS a long time ago. Bengang jugak pasal harga barang naik mencanak canak lately. Especially seafood, which I prefer to chicken and beef. Itu tak kira dry goods like kicap, sos, minyak masak, beras etc.

So.. what's my point? That sometimes comparisons are out of context. You can't compare things that are fundamentally unequal to each other. Someone annoyed me earlier for mouthing off about DSLRs. Why? What's the point? To say that mobiles can take photos just as good? What's the point of your point?

Yes, some mobiles take great photos. Radzi's, for instance. I jeles gila that he can take such amazing shots with just a Huawei. My Samsung - tak payah ler. Selow gila. Can never capture the moment. Even Peter is now ambassador to some mobile camera. Leica lens la, of course.

I won't say dia dengki. Probably dia just tak faham kenapa orang sanggup bayar beribu-ribu lemon for a DSLR. To me, it's the functionality. I love nature, and I want to capture and showcase them in the best light possible. And after years of trying, I realise that it's quite difficult to get a great shot using a point and shoot camera.

As soon as I got a second-hand, entry level DSLR, I got it right away. You can DO STUFF with a DSLR. Or a mirrorless camera. Or a mobile with optional controls. Basically, each camera has their own pros and cons.  Mobiles are great for social media and basic shots. You don't need a fancy camera to record the dent in your car. Sure, mobile shots can be used for articles and photo-journalism. But there are limitations.

If you want your photo printed in a high-end coffee table book, you'll need RAW images. Not all cameras can take RAW images. Even some expensive mirrorless cams can't do it. No one, except for photographers, even care about RAW.

Oh well, what's the point of ranting and raving? I need to get back to work. Biar si Luncai terjun dengan labu-labunya.... Bye!!! :) 

Monday, January 23, 2017

A Birding Break


I swear I looked nicer in jungle togs and minimal makeup..

I had a lot of leave days left over last year and I wanted to do more birding and photography in Fraser's Hill. Asked around but as usual, no one wanted to follow me to a remote place with bad internet connection and hardly anything to do.. My daddy also dowan to follow. I wonder why.. haha.


So I took a whole week off  and in true Oza style; booked a room for 3 nights at Sri Berkat for me, myself and I. I was actually thinking of bringing Kopi up with me, but due to the chaos at home caused by the lovely Mr Bamboo, I had to take him instead. That morning he somehow managed to fall off our 3rd floor apartment to the empty space below. He got stuck at a window, so his foot hurts. And since any encounter with my lovely brats will escalate to a noisy yelling match, I took him away to recuperate.

Unfortunately, Bamboo is a typical orange cat, which means that he will loudly complain and create a lot of fuss if he is unhappy. He kicked up such a fuss when I stopped at Tesco to buy his kitty litter and some supplies, I had to hurry, worried that he might injure himself if I left him for too long. He yowled and growled all the way to KKB in his cage. I couldn't let him loose, even on a leash - too dangerous to the driver. He only piped down when we were going up the hill because I drove much slower then. Then I got worried if he was still alive because it was too quiet!

Arrived at the bungalow by 5 pm or so to check in. Set up his food and kitty litter bin, rested for a bit before going out to look for birds nearby. Came back by about seven to check on him and freshen up, then went out to eat at the food court.

That night I realised that Bamboo is refusing to use his litter bin, maybe because I had taken an old, smaller one instead of the one he was using at the house. Cracked my head thinking how he could do his business without soiling the room carpet if he wouldn't use the bin. In the end, used the tray underneath the cage which was large enough for Mr Picky's ass. I had to deal with clean litter scratched outside onto the surrounding papers, but at least I knew we wouldn't screw up the room and risk being thrown out.

He also didn't eat until i came back and sat with him while he ate. After that he cuddled close and slept. Poor thing must have been really traumatised by the fall.

I had called up Durai, an old bird-guide friend, and he told me he had 2 Japanese clients and no transport. So I volunteered my car and we went off birding together the next 2 days. It was REALLY nice to have a group. We saw lots of great birds, I got some pretty good photos, and we were in good company.

We were fortunate enough to see some siamang who overnighted in a tree near the entrance gate. Favourite lifer: red-bearded bee-eater. Soooo happy. I didn't even know we had them here. There were also a number of migrants like the grey wagtail and mugimaki flycatcher. Saw lots of sultan tits (after years of no luck) and red and crimson orioles (I only saw them once a long time ago). We also saw forktails, but didn't have a chance to take any photos.


With friends Durai, Mitsui-san, myself and Iino-san.

It was a nice, restful break. I spent a lot of time walking around birding and taking photographs. I could do some basic cooking at the bungalow and Bamboo could roam the halls when I'm around. I even let him go out into the garden sometimes. The bungalow even has a free-roaming rabbit! It was lovely :) 

On Friday morning I just hung around the bungalow. there are lots of birds there, so there is no real need to go far. Got some white-thighed surili too, but the photos are rather disappointing. Left just after noon and reached home by about four. Then I conked out. Haha.

-The End - 

Friday, January 20, 2017

Saying goodbye...

29th December 2016 - I picked up this little boy called Bamboo from his owner who was leaving Malaysia for good. 


As expected, it caused a major brouhaha at my little apartment, because true to form, Pikachu was hostile to strangers coming into his domain. Kopi also learnt from his Tai Kor, but he was a little more kind hearted. I think at some point he was trying to make friends with Bamboo. 

However, Bamboo is a headstrong teenager with no concept of respecting others' territory. From the beginning he was already uncomfortable in my apartment because it basically reeks of my 4 other cats. And this fella is really sensitive to smells. I also made the mistake of not taking something of his from the original owner. So this guy was in a new place, which smells of other cats, without anything familiar to comfort him. And his owner didn't notice my messages asking for his cat tree and litter tray... Soon my little flat turned into a war zone...

In the beginning I had kept Bamboo in my tiny little study. After a while he started to resent the confined space and demanded to be let out. By demand I mean rattling the door really loudly, OK. Once he was out, he would insist on strutting around like a samseng, claiming the flat as his own. Oi. Hello! He would then invariably bump into Kopi and Pikachu, who were actually minding their own business. Being hissed at did not go well with the two, so they yelled back at him. Being well-trained at standing up to themselves, Michelle and Trina also hissed at him if he ever came too close. 

After a while, Kopi and Pikachu got enough of yelling matches and the confrontations escalated to real, vicious fighting. The type where fur flew all over the place. And they actually sported scratches and minor wounds for it. Adoi.... Mummy cannot do anything at home without stopping every 5 minutes to break them up. In the end Bamboo was confined to my room plus the study which he could access via the windows. I had to put his kitty litter in my room, which I hate. Doors were shut to minimise confrontations. Which still happened when the little samseng escapes and strolls over to the eating area or balcony. 

And so it continued for close to 3 weeks. At some point I got quite fed up and felt tempted to throw him off the balcony. But... he has a way of working his way into your heart. Either that or mummy is just one big softie for cats. Haha..

You see, he's just an insecure little cat who missed his papa, and could not fathom the idea of sharing space with other cats. When he's away from other cats, he's a real sweetheart. He would cuddle up to you and purr like a motorboat. And he's a chicken-heart when it came to vacuum cleaners. Once I was vacuuming up the hall, and I saw him run towards the kitchen. I didn't check on him until I finished. And where did I find him? High up under the washing area awning! Guess who had to bring him down lah. Note: I live on the 3rd floor. Good thing I'm not TOO afraid of heights. 




It was a bit of a conundrum that I had agreed to foster him just before the new year, because I had already booked a room up in Fraser's Hill for the new year week. I was thinking of taking one of the boys up with me, most probably Kopi because he doesn't make as much of a fuss as Pikachu in the car. It would be rather unfair to expect my sister to deal with the daily cat drama at home while I chilled up the hill. In the end, my mind was made up for me. 

Bamboo fell 3 floors down to the void area below. I do not know how it happened because I was in the study trying to clear my work before leaving on holiday. I took him up the hill with me. Seriously, it wasn't much fun. Bamboo can be loud, and the volume increases as he gets more and more agitated. Especially if I was driving fast. And when he was quiet I feared that he had died. Haha. Very stressful.

Finally we arrived at Sri Berkat and settled in for the next 3.5 days. It was very nice. Bamboo was happy because I allowed him to roam and there were no other cats to fight with. Unfortunately I had to bring him back down. The brouhaha continued.

I had to start spamming everyone to find him a home, and FINALLY, a colleague came through. A friend of his agreed to take Bamboo in. So I shipped him off, worried that he might annoy them so much that he would be abandoned by the roadside. Thankfully that didn't happen.

So now he is the cat of Pn Ijat and her husband. I hope he will be very happy in their house in Port Dickson. As for me, I am extremely grateful to have my house back, sans cat drama. Pikachu and Kopi are very happy to have their mummy back, taking turns to manja2 with me, demanding extra attention until they are satisfied that I won't be so daft as to foster another cat ever again.

~ THE END ~