Wednesday, April 18, 2007


Been carpooling with a friend recently due to my wife's maternity leave. With nothing better to do while stuck in jams, we ended up griping about everything under the sun, from corruption to waste of public funds to lack of public transport to, well, just about everything that is wrong in this dear country of ours.

At the same time, we also shared about our travels for work over the last five years, and gradually, we came to the realization that, hey, we are quite blessed after all compared to a lot of other countries.

So, despite all the faults of Malaysia, here's a list of things I feel we should be grateful for:-

1. It is still dirt cheap to live here.
Despite the rising cost of stuff in the last few years, you'll be surprised how much you really need in order to live in this country, if you know where to look and you are willing to make certain lifestyle adjustments. I had been shopping with my mom-in-law every Sat at the neighbourhood pasar malam for the last one month, and believe it or not, a family of three can eat for a whole week with less than RM 100 worth of groceries (vegetables, fish and fruits). For comparison? A bunch of vegetables in Dubai costs roughly RM 7 at Carrefour, while I get it for RM 1 at the pasar malam :) Me and my wife were spending at least RM 800 per month eating out prior to her maternity leave.

2. It is still a relatively safe country.
True, snatch thefts are still rampant in some areas and car thefts, rape and robbery happen far too often than we would've liked. But at least you don't have to hire bodyguards to follow you wherever you go, which is what happened to my carpooling friend when he worked in the Philippines (his company was kind enough to arrange the guards). How often do we worry about our security when we go about our daily business, apart from taking the usual precautions? If you really reflect on it, its much less than you think.

3. Opportunities abound for those who are willing to work hard.
I hate to say this, but many of us are spoiled. We had hardworking parents who attended to our every need and a environment thats been relatively free of war, strife, natural disasters, etc. So, most of us get to go to school/college/uni, and after we graduate there are plenty of jobs and business opportunities waiting for us. Think about it. If you're willing to work hard and take some risks, who or what is stopping you in this country?

So, whilst we certainly can't claim to be the best country in the world to live in, I would say we still have plenty to be grateful for.

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

Sleep Like A Baby

Whoever coined the phrase "sleep like a baby" obviously never had a baby, because after 4 weeks plus with Cynthia, its obvious there is no such thing as a fixed sleeping pattern for babies.

One day she'll be well behaved and sleep, well, like a baby for 4 to 6 hours at a stretch, and the next, she'll wake up every 40 minutes. And then there's all other variations in between, e.g. sleep for 2 hours, 1 hour, etc.

I decided just before my wife gave birth that I'll sleep in the guest room for the first few months, so I was spared all the sleep interruptions, but my poor wife and mother-in-law bore the brunt of Cynthia's erratic sleep habits. One night I came back and found both exhausted and sleepy - they had barely slept more than 1 hour at a stretch for the last 24 hours.

There were also no end of tips and tricks from friends and colleagues on how to get our baby to settle into a longer and more predictable sleep routine.

Thank goodness some of the tips do seem to work, her sleep patterns has settled somewhat in the last few days, but occasionally we still get zombie nights.

I'll be moving back to the master bedroom in a few weeks time, hopefully Cynthia would have improved even more then :)

Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Where I Would Like To Go… (Rather Than Sitting Here at Home)

Been too busy to blog much (you all know why lah), but since my good friend Simon took the trouble to tag me to do this, I thought I'll indulge him on this one :)

Since most people already know of my penchant for Ireland & NZ, I'll go for .....Austria!

I think almost everyone above 30 must have been captivated by the fantastic mountain scenery of The Sound of Music when they were younger, and I was no exception. But what really did it for me was a movie and a tv series -- Before Sunrise and Band of Brothers.

In the former, Vienna looked absolutely gorgeous and romantic as the two main characters wandered through it in a day and a night. Watch it and you'll find yourself itching to take the next flight out there.

In the later, in the final episode the weary band of brothers finally got to take some well deserved R&R in the most amazing surroundings of the Austrian countryside. Watch out for the final scene of the soldiers playing baseball amidst the towering mountains of the Alps.


forestfyre - well travelled lady, wonder what's next for her :)
ashlight - armed with a DSLR and a healthy appetite, another lady who's been goin' places
jyon - hey, there's gotta be more than just Bangkok! :)
egg-e - you could use a break! :)
Loon - wonder what is our friend's dream destination...


**Start Copy**

Proposition : Where do you want to go Next, OUTSIDE OF YOUR COUNTRY, for tourism, work , study, whatever.

Requirements: Find some info about the place, itinerary etc, pics if possible so you get MORE Traffic coming in, and maybe some people can find somewhere to go to. Excludes your NEXT DOOR NEIGHBOUR, ie Singapore,Malaysia,Brunei, a country that borders yours.You must register for MyBloglog so we can blogwalk ah…..get it?

Quantity : FIVE PEOPLE.

Tag Mode : Chain Link. 15 of them.You leave 15 people and their DEEP LINK of their Blog Name and TAGGED POST and hit out for five more. So it will look like

Simon living it up in Hong Kong

Laundryamah having fun with Hyun Bin in Korea

Azrin going Down Under

MaRLinda in Disneyland Paris

Athira and her Balamory Antics

Msau to Japan

Shoppingmum to Europe

Angeleyes off to Bora-Bora

Giddy Tiger snorkelling in The Maldives

Jess to Europe

Mybabybay wants to go Round The World

Immomsdaughter visit World Heritage New Zealand

Just My Thoughts whale watching at Monterey Bay

Bubba Stuff lomancin, in Tuscany, Italy

**Add in the blog you got the tag from and tagged post.** (In this case, for example, you should add :Patrick dreaming of Austria”)

Extra Rules: you cannot Tag another person who has performed the Tagging Rights to Travel. Check yr commentators.

You MUST PASS this tag within 7 days of receiving it , or lose a day’s worth of Blog Revenue or $10 to charity. Can?Makes it interesting anyway.So no Lazy Tags running about, and yeah, eventually, there will be less than a 1:3 chance you can’t tag that someone. And pay those people in the list a visit, you never know if you can pinch / recycle some ideas for your next entry!

**End Copy**

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