Thinking of Johor For The Long Run

Read Sixthseal’s blogpost about Johor’s Iskandar, just one of the many things i have been reading about the development within the state and it prompted me to spill about my plans. I haven’t spilled here in a long time, I know. πŸ™‚

Blogging is SUCH a chore, you know?!

But it’s good to be back to share sometimes.

So for those who have wondered where I have disappeared off to, I’m currently in my second year of my compulsory service with the government. When my FYDOship ended, I was supposed to report for duty at Batu Pahat!! After many tearful phone calls to the headquarters and a very fortunate switch with a colleague in JB, I’m still in JB, living with Chee Kiang who is still working in Singapore. πŸ™‚

We’ve been doing this for over 7 months now and living together has been amazing. We cook almost every week night, sometimes I dump him here and drive home to Subang Shah Alam myself. Yeah, my family has moved away from Subang too. It still hurts when I think about my childhood house in SS18.  Going into Singapore whenever friends want to meet up, exploring JB together, watching downloaded movies together on our landlord’s flatscreen and sleeping in the living room every single night because the entire apartment is literally our bedroom.

Oh! I’ve started baking and cooking more too!

Butter cookies fresh from the oven! I wanted to decorate it with royal icing but the icing i made was way too sweet and runny, so I gave up. I’ll need to head out to buy lemons and meringue powder to try again. Don’t think I’ll use raw egg whites again as it is not hygienic. And I have no idea where I can get pasteurized egg whites.

Spinach pan mee with the necessary yums

Tried roasting a chicken. Tasted okay, couldn’t get it to be a dark crispy brown. 😐

Herbal chicken, not too bad!

And my favourite and my best dish (ahem), chicken+broccoli+carrots+french beans dimsum style. <3

I think I drifted off again.

Yes, so throughout university I knew that I had to, needed to, MUST end up in Johor in order to put an end to the nonsense that was a long distance relationship. I was sent to Kluang first when I first entered the workforce and after making it through 6 months, I am finally in JB. When my first year training ended, I managed to secure myself to be permanently based in JB.

It’s all going to plan, isn’t it?

But deep down in my heart, I wanted.. or thought that it was to be this way: That the both of us complete our respective three years with the government and move back home to finally start our lives somewhere permanent.

But it’s not fair to uproot him from Singapore when he has put in so much effort building up his career here. Not only that, if I go back, I will have to start networking all over again. It’s okay if we start off immediately after the end of our compulsory service because we are still relatively young then and can slug it out. But I’m afraid that won’t be the case and we’ll probably have more…well, changes in our lives if we wait it out a few years and head back in our very late 20s or early 30s.

I do want to open my clinic one day and I want to open it somewhere where I will grow old.

I am confused about plans to work in Johor, KL or Singapore.

The reason why I want to go home is so that my children can grow up around their grandparents and I can be there for my family. It’s just horrible to have to grow up and old without your parents around. But most people don’t have a choice because of their careers and I am afraid that we might just be one of those people.

For an AIMST graduate, it might be a little tricky because the degree is not listed in the list that the Singapore Dental Council has come up with. Most of the Malaysian public dental schools aren’t even on the list too. We have to sit for an exam which, IF you can qualify for it with the suitable requirements, has a waiting list of 2 years. I hear that it’s the final paper for the Year 5 NUS students. I will of course try for it if I have the chance to. I would need to study really really really hard for it and cross all possible fingers and toes.

Singapore would be nice. But I really need some guidance if Johor is just as good, if not better. Or even better than KL for that matter, which I hear is pretty saturated now.

It gives me hope that there is so much development going on in the city and there is a buzz of excitement about the endless possibilities. Healthcare facilities, residential areas, educational institutions (though I’ll probably still send my kids to a government school to let them see the real Malaysia and save the money for their overseas education) etc.

The whole Johor-Singapore thing works very well for us now. I know a big chunk of Johor roads now, made a horde of new friends from work and more contacts from helping out with the southern zone’s dental association….

I just hope that it is the right choice to be based here.

What I Saw In Manchester!

Last night I ended my first week of calls. Dental officers in most states (I’m a little hazy about how it’s being done in Selangor and KL because I heard they have active calls) are on-call passively which means we can lepak at home while waiting for a phone call from the accident and emergency unit. Most cases that we tend to would be traumatic injuries from road traffic accidents but other less scary stuff would be to come to the rescue of patients who are still bleeding after an extraction earlier on in the day, a facial swelling and etc.

To get us accustomed to the dos and don’ts of being on-call, we tag-call with a senior who will show us the ropes. I am very lucky because both my seniors were very patient and even let me have a go at doing some simple lacerated wounds. But I get tensed up easily and when we’re on-call, we’re expected to be doing these procedures at the bed side which means no comfy dental chair to work on and good posture just flies out the window. Just last night I was suturing a laceration wound and because the lighting was bad, the bed was so low I had to bend almost 90 degrees to finish up my work and each time I tried to stand up, it was almost impossible. You know like when you’ve done one too many sit-ups you just can’t do another one? Yeah imagine it in the reverse. I found it so hard to straighten back-up. There was a puddle of my sweat on the floor next to the patient’s bed. I’ll need those sweatbands for my next round of calls. Even in the clinics I can sweat a river during particularly difficult extractions. πŸ™

My first trip to the red zone was quite an eye opener. We were supposed to tend to some wounds on a trauma patient’s chin area but we had to stand aside as the medical team was trying to resuscitate her. That was particularly scary especially seeing how it is done. πŸ™ My senior said that would take awhile so we went home first. And for the whole evening my senior did not call me….which means that the patient didn’t make it. πŸ™

I’m babbling so much because what I am trying to say is that I have been busy hence the neglect here. πŸ˜›

SO ANYWAY. I was in Manchester back in July for Mervyn’s graduation! πŸ™‚ And I think this is the first time photos from my Olympus E-PL2 are posted here.

Just trying to be artsy-fartsy with this round of photos.

Even though it was summer, the weather was still too cold for me!

A starbucks cafe, like it’s not a big deal there.

Palace Hotel was just opposite our hotel!

Oxford Road was also just behind our hotel!

The road that we were staying on was Oxford Road which was just a straight road down to Mervyn’s uni.

In Manchester, everywhere is within walking distance.

A rustic old street sign on a brick wall. <3

Why not!! :((

Dad’s best impression of an old monkey.

Chinese visiting Chinatown.

Mervyn showed us the particularly dodgy establishments around the area. Somehow, Chinatown everywhere is associated with dodginess.

it looks as if this poor pigeon got shot. :((

We arrived very early on Sunday morning and were just in time to see the remnants of Saturday night’s mayhem. We went before the riots took place so this is just a normal weekend in the UK.

The shopping heaven that is Market Street!

Mother and Son oohing and aahing.

Overlooking some pub area.

That shop on the lower left right hand corner is Jigsaw which was the company that Kate Middleton used to work at!

The wheel of Manchester!

This looks like a mini Picadilly Circus right here!

Balloons bobbing along a river near Manchester’s gay district.

It’s like a party road!

With pretty pink doors. <3

Gay Sparkle!! πŸ˜€ The sparkle fonts are made from super glittery cardboards which totally had me staring at it for a good 10 minutes or so, with my mouth wide open in wonder.

Don’t know what it means..

More of the streets along Manchester.

There are random space invaders all over the city. Mervyn mentioned to me that it is done by a group of artists where they try to incorporate space invaders at the strangest of places. Here a link to see where else that one can find them space invaders.

Under an overhead bridge.

Some random graffiti..

That’s part of Mervyn’s uni and that’s dad crossing the road. Why did the father cross the road?

Another view of the old campus.

Cute surfaces at Costa Coffee!

Archie’s!! πŸ˜€ I didn’t get a good picture of the snack bar but it’s basically trying to be like Pop Tate’s Choc’lit Shoppe in Archie Comics and this is their delivery car.

Manchester at dusk.

The tram tracks at night – so beautifully illuminated.

I love walking around manchester at night because it’s just so damn cold! Something I don’t get to do often and always want to do more of whenever I’m in a cold country.

Mervyn brought us to a pub on our first night there.

Having a pint like the locals. πŸ˜›

A fruit stall down the road from our hotel.

Old architecture + bluest of skies = <3

this looks like an old theatre! It’s a building near my brother’s apartment.

Mervyn walking home.

Potholes, just like back home!

Love sticking my camera into the grass and going trigger happy. πŸ™‚

This is when I switched to my telelens! πŸ˜€

Mum and the superbokeh at the back.

Oh puffy dandelions, how I miss thee!

And lavenders! I can’t get enough of it!!

That’s Mervyn’s common kitchen which he share with his other flatmates.

Found this on the window of a laundromat that we wanted to go to. Thank god we came too late. πŸ˜€

Ya I know I’m one lousy tourist – this is obviously a historical monument but I don’t even know its name. πŸ˜€

Artsy shot of the historical monument.

Dad and his trademark eye roll.

There was a pub next to the historical monument that serves Monday lunch at 505 off! I think all four of us ate like £20 in total. For such a filling meal too!

I don’t know la hah I’m not that good at describing my meals. But I do have moments when I want to grow up to be a food blogger.

Mashy tomato on something green and something yellow. Cheese maybe? Who knows. It tasted goood!

Thin crusts pizza are ALWAYS THE BOMB.

Everywhere you go in England you’ll definitely have chips. πŸ™‚

A rustic pub somewhere in town.

Balls around town.

My fit brother! πŸ˜€

Dad’s my dad. πŸ™‚

Mervyn introduced an Indian restaurant to us called Zouk, which is off Oxford Road.

Cute decors!

basically it’s a little middle eastern mixed with indian cuisine. So here is something grilled.

And you have the sour salad!

Grainy rice!

Curry something πŸ˜€

Curry something else?

Another curry dish!

Piccadilly Gardens!

I love it how the streets are always bursting with colours and personalities doing all sorts of things!

For one of the dinners, Mervyn had a pint of pie. Sounds nauseating right? So much pie!

Dad and I had pork ribs!

Man eating pork.

MUm had…I think a fish dish.

The fish dish.

Aku tengah konpius nih!

Oh so good…….

Saw a sticker on the side of a bus stop.

More of the sights we took in during one of our long evening walks in the cold. πŸ™‚

Trainers are on because I’m still wary of the cold weather.

A river that my brother walks along almost every other day. πŸ™‚

So romantic right?

A bridge across the river.

Their judgemental stares..:P It was meant to hurry us along.

My brother holds his gaze.

Look what I found! πŸ˜€

This is Mervyn on his graduation day.

Been quite  awhile since I last camwhored. Still got it I see. πŸ˜›

My brother, the law graduate, who still has to slave for 1 year and 9 months before he is a full fledged lawyer!

Mervyn and some of his coursemates. πŸ™‚

Awww… mum doing something she always does.

Thought I’d help out by capturing Mervyn’s final moments with his friends.

The hall where the commencement ceremony took place.

Paparazzis with so much love in their hearts.

Hahahahha! I love this shot of my brother. πŸ™‚ He looks utterly ecstatic.

One of our few family photos. Thanks William!

And of all people that I bumped into in the UK.. Li-Lynn!! My kindergarten classmate!! πŸ˜€

Love love love this shot of the mortarboards in the air. πŸ™‚

I do think my skills are improving..hehe. πŸ˜€

One of our nicest family photos.

Mervyn and more of his buddies.

Mum insisted on getting him a graduation bear.

Love this shot of dad and mum!

To all my fellow dentists, you know what i mean. πŸ˜‰ “Ambil coupland.”

Mervyn says goodbye to his beloved uni.

And I happily camwhore away.

I feel this photo would make a good poster for the play “How To Succeed In Business Without Really Trying”.

For his graduation celebratory dinner, we had it at a fancy restaurant called San Carlo!

Apparently plenty of celebrities have been there before. πŸ™‚

So fancy.

But super cramped too.

Me amidst the clutter of glasses and plates.

Another beautiful walk back to our hotel in the cold summer night.

This bar is called Taps I think! Very amusing because the alcohol is literally served from the tap!

No idea what St. George’s House is but I know it looks quite nice. πŸ˜€

Another pub behind our hotel.

The next morning, we were lucky enough to spot the Red Bull entourage!

Over at Picadilly Gardens, a flock of pigeons wait for the next jet of water from the fountain for their bath time.

Always in awe of these street performers!

Saw this on a wall in a music store.

So big!!

This is one old building. I was taking this photo from a Subway sandwich shop. How times have changed eh?

On our last day, we went to Lake District! It is apparently the largest lake in the UK and it rains all the time there.

Why did the swan cross the road?

The swan is so cute!


No  I didn’t eat the swan.. I had something else. πŸ™‚ Fish and chips!

Dad and Mevyn enjoying their meals too.

Awww..he wants some! He really likes chips.

A seagull floats aimlessly.

Saw his friend kot.

We rented a boat which we could drive out on our own to the middle of nowhere.

Mervyn and I making the “Mmmm sweet lemonade” face. Can anyone guess where that face is from?

Mum at the wheels.

Spotted a fellow sailor in the distance. We waved.

Found a wall with a heart spray painted on! <3

My FB profile pic which has received so damn many likes! πŸ˜€

Mervyn has a go with the heart on the wall.

Heart balloon!

I like this one. πŸ™‚

I think this looks like something right out of a movie.

Some pretty pipes along the sides of a house.

So old fashioned! Would be even cooler if they had milk bottles!

Not quite the believer.

Pretty chalk written menu!


So cute right?!

I had to climb this little hill to get to the blue flowers.

The blue flowers!!

It’s like they reach right up to the heavens!

Me and the blue blue flowers.

My favourite shade of blue. πŸ™‚

More of the boats bobbing along Lake District.

A judgmental crow.

And I end this long overdue post with a pretty duck.

Should I Delete My Blog?

I’m no longer that self depreciating blogger girl from years back with stupid photos of myself and I have grown into everything my dad warned me about. I have grown into a relatively laid back person who goes with the flow and have lost the oomph that I had before. I just have more priorities in life now other than trying to gain a bigger following of readers, such was my childish tendencies those years ago.

I cried when I had to let go of an interview in The Star back in 2005, like it was the most important thing to do in my blogging career. ( that article did propel four bloggers who went on to enjoy phenomenal success with their blogs) but I really don’t feel anything about it now.

I was envious of peers who had higher readership and tried hard to get there but would fail and feel hurt when opportunities would come for them and not for me.

I was a lot of stupid things.

I really don’t care about all that now. I don’t even get advertorials anymore and continue to turn down the odd clueless company pr people who just don’t do their research on obviously retired bloggers. How can a blogger give you any publicity if she only posts once or twice a month?

Now all I think about is if I should further my studies, charting my career path, if I should open my own clinic, if so, how many can I have, where will the money come from, how do I manage my finance, what establishments can I join in the future, expanding the sticker monster, if I should buy an oven so I can finally cook in all possible ways and maybe pick up baking…so many things!

All I am saying is that there was a period of time where I let it all out because i thought that’s who i am and i enjoyed doing it and now I’m over it. In a way I have become less in tune with my blogger self so when shit happens I get more upset easily than I used to be.

While my father’s worries for me were of people trying to defame me by digging up dirt from my blog when I run for prime minister or something, my concerns are for the asshole public’s lack of tack and humanity to take things from my blog and dissect it in forums where anonymous bastards only has physical opinions to give about anything female being posted there.

My friend and junior from uni, Tee Luun, alerted me on facebook about a post in lowyat. While slightly hurtful, it was just a replica of what happened in the past.

Last time, there was a post on lowyat about the blogger girls used in an advertorial for maxis broadband. A few of us were invited on a girls’ day out and were loan a netbook each. So naturally we had to blog about it and there were photographs of us on our respective blogs, newspapers and magazines. No prizes for guessing who stuck out like a sore thumb among our crop of petite and slender popular girl bloggers. So yeah, flamed on the forums for being big sized and ugly, I was hurt. Before I opened the link to that forum, I was already expecting that i would get such treatment.

Then it became the past.

Sometime before I graduated, my post on creating double eyelids (which I have privatized ever since) was taken and the people on that forum were horrified by the ugliness of it all, cursing while they were at it. That post has been freaked-out-about on some foreign blogs and forums, usually about how Asian girls can’t deal with the fact that they have slitty eyes..but the treatment it received from that particular local forum (can’t remember the address..kopitiam something) pretty much took the cake. The comments were so mean and humiliating. I felt embarrassed because I was about to come out into the working world and I felt like I had no dignity when put in that kind of light so I asked the moderator to remove the post, explaining my situation and he was kind enough to do it. I privatized that particular post because I didn’t like the attention it received.

That too became the past.

It’s not easy to continue feeling neutral about myself when time and time again random douchebags keep reminding me about it. I know I am not ugly to the point where people recoil in horror when they see me out in the streets but perhaps compared to the usual hot chics they prefer to see fleeting across their computer screens, they are left with a bad taste in their mouth when someone like me, not a porn star, nor a typical doe eyed sexy beauty, suddenly appearing on their LCD screens, surely it’s a stark contrast! So…this always always happens. So sien.

What happened today was mild, just a post referring to my height and if I am tall (because I claim to be, standing at 169cm) but of course you got the trolls who will always always always always relate everything to my face. The photos they used were recent too, photos from Kluang and I’m not going to be one of those who privatize my whole blog.


It’s either I keep going or I just delete it.

If I keep going, who knows what else will be misconstrued, twisted into something unflattering on the forums?

If I delete it, I lose years of memories, years of interactions and a record of every single bit of emotion I have felt in my late teens to early adulthood.

But sometimes it is easier to just press delete and not have to worry about trolls anymore. Is it worth it to be brave about it?

Can anybody explain to me why trolls do what they do?

What do they derive from it?

Is there some satisfaction from humiliating people and all? I mean yea you might cringe when you see someone making a fool of themselves on YouTube, but why comment at all with hurtful words? (no I don’t have embarrassing YouTube videos, I’m just saying.)

Can my future employers understand that I’m just someone normal who enjoys a good laugh without showing her panties to the world or popping out a boob or doing drugs (complete with photos) or even murdering animals or defaming the name of my current workplace(with photos too!) who just so happen to be unfortunate enough to be the subject of a few trolls along the way who have no qualms about making a fool of me with what I was born with (or what I ate over the years)?

I just want to keep this space on the net without worrying too much and feeling so much, please?

That School Holidays in 2002

I finally managed to get a copy of How Starbucks Saved My Life by Michael Gates Gill on my iPad! I tried the free way but turned up with zilch and iBooks is crazy not to open their stores to malaysians while I’m here clutching my credit card, desperate to read the book that I read a little bit of in a tiny MPH bookstore back in uni about three years ago.

Thanks to an awesome app called Kobo, i managed to get my hands on a copy of the ebook. Seriously, if you have exhausted ‘all ways’ to get an eBook, give Kobo a try! (while I’m at it, an awesome android app I have on my samsung galaxy is Magic Hour!! It is prettier than Instagram and with more filters for your pictures than you can imagine! And super fast too with adorable graphics!)

So..anyway..I’m at the part where Michael is waiting in agony for a callback from the Starbucks store manager after his interview.

It reminded me of my agony filled afternoons at the end of the 2002 school year when almost the entire bunch of form four students at my school, SMK Subang Utama, went out in full force to apply for part time jobs at Sunway Pyramid.

While studying for our form four finals, most of us already had a list as to where we were interested in working at for the school holidays. I knew I would die of boredom if I worked at a clothes my list had things like shampoo girl at a cut above, pet store assistant, swensens waitress, baskin robbin ice cream girl, tgv ticket girl, Nail Artz manicurist (the job I eventually got), Starbucks or coffee bean Batista…but it had to be somewhere swanky with all my friends, like at a mall so we could all be together!

An office job was too boring but those paid the most, in the eyes of a rm30 per week pocket money collecting high school kid. But nah, still too boring.

Those days the average wage per hour was RM4 and if you were lucky, you’d get a RM5.50 per hour job! I was underpaid because I was below the legal age to work, was only 15 at that time slogging away for RM3.50…or was it RM3? I remember I couldn’t even bring myself to have McDonalds for lunch because that was a luxury in itself. (it still is a pricey snack now!)

I remember applying to all those places that I wanted and only a handful called back because places like Coffee Bean and Starbucks sent their Baristas for training and most of us could only afford to work with them for 6-7 weeks!

In the end, I was called for an interview with Kimberley (the now defunct accessories store on the highest floor) and Nail Artz, which is also long gone.

I accepted the job at Nail Artz because of my so called passion in nail arts. I was told that I had to do plenty of manual labour like scrubbing customers’ feet, pouring the water from the pedicure machine into a big tub, and wheeling that big tub of water filled with dead skin and grime to the toilet the next morning, sweep, mop, polish the glass cabinets, take out each nail polish bottle and wiping it down, bringing tea to the customers and on top of it all, greeting customers.

My dad was at first horrified about the prospect of me having to mop and sweep (he didn’t know about the scrubbing feet part) when I didn’t even have to do any of that in my own home. (mind you, come uni and working life, I have been sweeping and mopping my own floors, thank you very much!) but in the end I got my way and went on to earn a huge fortune of RM900 for my entire stint at Nail Artz. One of the first things I did with the money was to modify my phone lighting..haha. Instead of the conventional greenish yellow led lights in a Nokia 3310, I had purple and white lights installed! So cool man.

But the joy of being accepted to work was such an awesome feeling! I felt so adult!

By the middle of November most of us had secured our part time jobs.

Amanda worked at Miss Selfridge and I would be able to see her sweeping the floor at the entrance of the store from my booth at the floor above. We’d wave excitedly at each other whenever we could!

Nigel and Yijin were both working at a Nike store, having a good time buying cheaper branded sport shoes.

Chee Kiang was also working at Vikings, a hot dog stand at the entrance of Sunway Pyramid and I could almost see him if I strained my neck hard enough over my counter top. He got very good at frying sausages and layaning old uncles’ sausage jokes.

E Guy had a stable job at Sushi King with Kay Hong.

Thinking back about Kay Hong’s work experience during that time cracks me up. He would steal away from his job at Focus Point, the optical store, and then continue part of his shift at Sushi King, lol. On top of that, whenever he could, he’d work at Holiday Villa as a banquet waiter. He threw the towel down at Sushi King one day after getting into a spat with a superior. It was hilarious. And literally. towel. throw. floor. Hahaha!!

But those were good times, when we dabbled at jobs, jobs our parents slogged hard to put us through university for so we would never have to do.

Loved the thrill of getting a fun part time job, with some pocket money and being in a shopping mall everyday!  It’s very different from getting a job after graduation because with that job you are expected to progress in your career, pay taxes and ..well, take it seriously.

Okay, I’ll continue reading the ebook now. Hope my post wasn’t too nonsensical.