Monday, May 04, 2009

Now Everyone Can Really Fly

When I found out that my opposite neighbour was going to UK for a 10 day holiday, I was genuinely surprised. Going to Europe used to be a big thing, and boasting that you just came back from a trip there never failed to solicit the "wah's" from friends and relatives alike.

Prior to that, I also found out that my babysitter is going to Melbourne at the end of the year.

And nowadays, whenever any friend mention that they just came back from Bali, Bangkok, Phuket or Hong Kong, no one bats an eyelid or even bothers to ask for the photos anymore. Instead, most of us starts to compare notes on what we did at those destinations.

Thanks to Airasia, the world has really become a much smaller place for us Malaysians. On a whim, I checked for flights to UK next year, and managed to find fares of around RM 1200 round trip.

Thanks, Tony, for giving us the chance to live out our dreams to travel the world.

Sunday, May 03, 2009

Naming Vanessa

A common question friends ask us is how we came up with Vanessa's name, and its meaning. A lot of them imagined a lot of thoughtful discussion and research happened in terms of names' meanings, etc.

Well, actually the truth is slightly more mundane, but it was still an interesting process for us.

One thing that got my dad upset when Cynthia came along was our decision not to follow the family's Chinese middle name. The Chinese word in question was εΎ·, pronounced De, and usually written as Teck. Its quite a masculine word, and the tough part was matching it to the right female name to balance it out.

I told my wife that since its possible that we may decide not to have another kid, I wanted to honour my father's wish this time around. Being Chinese educated, it fell to my wife to find the right word to go with the middle name, and she came up with 2 choices, both pronounced xuen.

Closer to the birth date, we both traded lists of English names, and got it down to between Theresa and Vanessa. Our choices were based entirely on how we perceived the names, and not on any meaning behind them (sorry to all you romantics out there). I had wanted an Irish name, and it has always been my dream to name one of my daughters Siobhan (pronounced "Shevon"), but since the name is so rare in Malaysia, I had to agree with my wife the headache this will cause teachers and friends alike in the future.

Shortly after delivery, I told my wife I was leaning towards Theresa (on account of Mother Theresa, Theresa Kok, better match with Teck, etc), when I was told that my younger brother's coming baby was going to be a BOY. This changed the whole situation, as unlike girls, it is compulsory for boys to take the family Chinese middle name. Hence I no longer feel obliged to use it.

Right there and then at the hospital bed, we brainstormed a new name, and flipped through the day's Sin Chew Jit Poh for ideas. We decided to use the same middle name as Cynthia, i.e. Xin, and agreed on Hui for the name. Theresa doesn't really go well with Hui, so it was settled there and then that the our second daughter will be named Vanessa Ling Xin Hui.

So there you have it, our non-systematic, non-romantic and non-scientific way of coming up with a name for our kid :)

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