Was having lunch the other day (yes, yes, I seem to be having lunches ever so often….but then again, that’s me. I think food and me and conversation just flow) with my KL aunt. Let’s call her Auntie J (yeah, I have to protect some people’s identities here, especially if they’re not mine). Auntie J is the ultimate advertiser’s dream come true. She is. She is the Penangite who works in KL and has infused so much of KL culture that she says watching Penangites in action makes her squirm.
Untuk pertama kalinya saya rasa terharu apabila menonton iklan MAS yang tersiar di kaca TV. Entah mengapa… tiba-tiba pula rasa cukup berbangga menjadi rakyat Malaysia.
Mungkin sudah tiba masanya saya memahami apa itu erti kemerdekaan? Mungkin. Ataupun nostalgia zaman silam, yang sudah lama dilupai, tiba-tiba menjelma dan mengingatkan saya betapa bertuahnya saya dilahir di bumi ini? Mungkin juga.
This is something interesting I picked up from Eyeris.…seems that on Merdeka Day, some bloggers are going to try to blog in BM!
I can’t say my BM’s fantastic or anything. It’s been a long time since I wrote a proper BM sentence. But the language is useful as one friend told me sometime ago. When you are in foreign land and everyone there speaks English/Mandarin, and you want to bitch about something, BM truly comes in handy!
Quick! What’s the answer for “barbarian greeting”?
Yi told us the answer, and we were stupefied. Well, it did sound plausible and yes, there was that shop sign which fit her explanation.
The first thought which came to my mind this morning when I woke up was, “Is that Auntie burning joss paper again?! This early in the morning?”
You see, the Aunties in my apartment block love burning joss paper. Since we live in apartments and not bungalows, there’s no space for them to do it in their own houses so they’ll cart the metal container and the joss paper and go downstairs to burn ’em.
Only this time, it wasn’t the acrid smell of burning joss.
It was the haze.
Oh. For all the times I’ve happily gloated and thanked my lucky stars that I wasn’t in the Klang Valley. For all the times I’ve pitied the Klang Valley folks but felt quite invincible up here in Penang.
Darn. It’s over. The happy, haze-less days are over as of this morning.
The haze was around yesterday afternoon but I didn’t notice it much although Nic kept telling me it had arrived about 3pm. I didn’t see it nor smell it and that was fine by me.
But this morning was awful. Imagine waking up to no sun! None at all. And the air smells funny. And I am the least sensitive type of person. When Nic’s nose twitches, I’ll go, “What? I don’t smell a thing.”
Today, my nose is twitching and it is not the Bewitched kind of twitch. My throat isn’t doing fantastic either. I am given to bouts of coughing which is my body’s response to the polluted air around me.
I don’t even dare to put my pet lovebird, Sawadee, out on the balcony for fear he’ll keel over. In fact, the poor bird isn’t singing very loudly or much today (he usually wakes the whole apartment with his morning song and he’s often very noisy).
And the worst part? I have a treasure hunt to take part in tomorrow! How am I supposed to hunt when the air quality is so bad? And my KL friends are coming to Penang to escape the haze…what irony!
This photo was taken from my balcony at 9.42am today. On good days, I can see all the other buildings (apartments) and even the hill on Pulau Jerejak from my balcony. Today, nothing!
Another shot showing how thick the haze is!
I am sure my neighbours wonder about me and my other half all the time. I used to get out of the apartment at 8 plus in my formal business suit, ready to get my car started so I can get to work on the dot. Everyday for the past couple of years.
Suddenly, it all stopped.
Now I no longer do that because I work from home. Well, I don’t lounge around in pajamas (I think that’s just plain laziness if you don’t get out of your sleeping attire when you are not sleeping!) but I still sit in front of my computer. In fact, it’s now a laptop instead of the regular PC.
I am the type of person who shies away from watching tearjerkers at the cinema. I don’t like to walk out of the cinema feeling melancholy. I much prefer to laugh my cares away with some comedy, with a chuckle and a smile and a dozen good feelings in my head the minute I get out of the darkened cinema hall.
Because I am the type who feels deeply for others. Empathy is my strong point. It is also my Achilles’ heel. It drives me to involve myself in activities I usually won’t get into, but emotions, once they get you, never leave.
I know why I love Penang, despite its crazy traffic jams and rude motorists who jump into my lane when I am happily driving along.
Where else can you get, side by side to Chinese establishments, little enclaves of Indian shops which seem to have been forgotten by time? In Penang, Little India is vibrant and alive, in more ways than one. The colours are strong, and the air smells of curries and spices and incense sticks.
One of the best ways to sample the culture and its people is to break out of one’s comfort zone and go shopping in Little India. Be it Queen Street, King Street, Bishop Street or Penang Street, there’s always something happening – Indians going about their daily shopping, stopping by a shop for a quick bite and drink, or just strolling about, buying their colourful clothes.
The SMS came a week ago.
The gist of the message was: July 14th would be the day she would walk out a free woman.
She would be officially divorced from her ex-husband.
And yesterday, at about 10.20am, I got another SMS from her. Finally, after all the waiting, she did walk out of court a free woman. Unencumbered by her past.
The first thing I did was to send her a message of support. That I was truly happy for her. I truly was because I knew she had been waiting for this day for the longest time.
She’s a happier person this way, and she’s found much strength in herself, after walking out of a bad marriage.
You know, blogging is bigger than ever these days. Everyone knows what a blog is. It’s happening. It’s big and it’s set to grow even bigger.
But here’s even better news…people can get fired for blogging!
Shocked? Don’t be.
Usually it happens when you are working for some company (hence, you are an employee) and you start blogging, and writing how unhappy you are with certain co-workers, or why you didn’t get that raise when you were supposed to.
A stewardess in the US is appealing her case right now because she posted some photos of herself in uniform on her blog and she got sacked.
Another blogger got fired because he posted photos of the new Mac G5 on his blog.
So what’s the moral of the story?
Blogging is public, and blogging can get you in trouble if you are not careful, especially in the States.
And if you want to blog dangerously, make sure you are your own boss. That way, no one can fire you.