Saturday, November 22, 2008

Snippets of My Childhood (Birth - 11 Years)

These are video images I seem to have in my mind, replayed once in a blue moon, that I'm putting down to words now. Since last year, when these images comes to mind, I took note of them until I collected enough. They range from birth until Primary 6. The term VM means Video Memory.

1. When my sister had her ears pierced for the first time, it was in Jaya Jusco Taman Tun Dr Ismail with my mother. I remembered covering my fear and feelings of crying by saying I want dinner in KFC. My tears did come out when she had the piercing. We had dinner at KFC. :D

2. The rambutan tree that's growing well, was planted by my father on an evening when I was a lot younger (maybe about 7 years). After planting the seed (or small tree??), he watered it and placed small stones in a circle around the area. I was the only witness and 'helper'.

3. I remembered a vague memory of peeing in pain with bandages around my "privates" in a hospital, after I was circumcised. My mother stayed overnight with me. I was about 3-4 years old.

4. I suffered from bad asthma that led to blocked nose until I was hospitalized, at least twice. My VM is having to bend down over a pail of treated hot water to clear my nose. In 2007, after a visit to a specialist, I found out I had a nose-bone-movement surgery which , after a phone call, is confirmed by my father. It was due to that blocked nose problem. So, if I was to pour water in my nose, my right nostril can hold more water. Hahaha...

5. I was Linus of Charlie Brown in my early years, for at least 3 years. My blanket follows me everywhere.

6. In an anger fit between the ages of 5-8 years, I jumped on the bed while the maid was mending some clothes, and as fate would have it, the scissors and my feet met. Pierced into the sole of my foot. I was later told that all limbs was held down by hospital staffs while the doctor sewed my wound. My VM is when I was jumping on the bed and seeing the scissors 'jumping' as well.

7. I was asked for a four digit number by an uncle when I was in Terengganu, which later I knew it was to buy 4D. I forgot which uncle is was. My VM is at my uncle asking me numbers while he was outside the car and I was still sitting at the passenger seat with the door opened.

8. My father tried introducing me to a hobby, which later went costly, due to 'volunteers' that keep breaking the propeller of the remote control helicopter. This was when I was between 9 - 11 years. My VM is jumping across the huge 'parit' to get to the clear area where the helicopter is to be launched.

9. I chickened out of an Annual School Show, as one of the oar-men in an Ulit-Mayang rendition in my primary years. Lucky I wasn't one of the main characters. Watching the video and only see 3 people with oars made me sick in my stomach, till now. My VM is of watching the video.

10. My primary 4 teacher is the most beautiful teacher in school but the fiercest of all. A lot of Monday MCs due to my fear of seeing her in school, which led to voluntary forced cough in the mornings, that eventually led me to really being sick by vomiting and getting asthma. My VM is the mornings vomiting in the toilet with my father watching.

11. My first crush was with a Y--g E-L---e back in Primary 1. We're still friends now. My VM of that moment is her turning back to talk to her friends.

12. In Standard 3, I remembered buying 5 cents by paying 10 cents because I was a freak at collecting 5 cents. My VM is a friend giving me two 5 cents in exchange for my two 10 cents.

13. In Standard 3 also I cried in class, telling the teacher that an "Alex" (classmate) is going to kill me by black magic. Hehehe... hilarious. My VM is of that crying moment and pointing my finger to Alex who was dumbfounded.

14. In Standard 2, I tried to outdo someone's antic by doing something too embarrassing to write down here. My VM is doing that 'antic'.

15. In Standard 5, I found out that the father of the girl I had a crush on was my favorite Malaysian race driver. My VM is of a Ken Ming showing me his profile in The Star.

16. In Standard 1, I remembered being the "Wolf" at the game "What is the time, Mr Wolf?" and not catching anyone of them. My VM is of walking towards the fence while the others are following behind me.

17. In Standard 2, a good friend named Jonathan Lim was my speed partner in school sport races. I can't remember who was faster. My VM is about going to Taman Titiwangsa together. I don't know where he is now.

18. In Standard 2, a mother of a Victor Lim came to school, gave me a good scolding, and told me never to lend my mechanical pencil to her son again. I lost contact with him. My VM is of his mother at the door, half-shouting at the teacher and to me waving the mechanical pencil in her hands.

19. In Standard 1, when I was still unable to converse in English, a girl by the name of Aileen talked to me in Malay. My VM is of her talking to me, and I can still recall her 7 years old self. I have since lost contact with her.

20. One VM is sitting at a road side stall with my father drinking Teh Halia in Terengganu back when I was below 7 years.

21. Another VM is following my father to the kitchen in the very early mornings where he would cook 'ikan bawal' to eat.

22. My sister and I mimicking the actions and conversation of He-Man and She-Ra when they met.

23. My first bike is a blue BMX bought at Jaya Supermarket by my father. My VM is having to ride it from the shop to my father's car. In my early secondary years, again when I bought a bicycle about a KM away from my house, he asked me to ride it home while he followed behind.

24. One of my earlier found interest was spraying Ridsect at a lit match to make a flamethrower. I later learned that I was lucky the Ridsect can itself didn't get affected. My VM of it is when I was flame throwing in my parent's bedroom.

25. The bests of origami is creating Thundercat's Thunder-Tank, a wide-winged paper air-plane that has good glide time and a four-bladed shuriken. I can still make them now.

There are other VMs that I have before the age of 12, however, they are best not worded here. One thing that I have been proud of is that I have found most of my lost friends from my Primary Days. I'm still looking for those I mentioned above.

Destructive Power of Love

True story. One skeleton in my closet. Only two persons ever knew, one is a witness, and one being the victim of love. This shows how destructive 'love' is to a person. This shows the danger of 'being in love'. I have had always questioned myself if the fault is mine, even until today, but the conclusion has always been "it's fated to happen", but then I keep re-questioning it.

Back in 2004, when I was working in another state, I was partly a project manager, partly an IT trainer. My project and training of 40 village kids for them to be Village-IT-Trainers went extremely well at the end of the project, whereby after I left, the village IT Center was still run until late last year when the last 'teacher' left the village. My only mistake is I couldn't create another IT Trainer to teach trainers from these 40 kids.

Among the 40 kids, which in the end turned out to be only 22 strong ones, were the Top 5 students of the Top Form 6 Class in a nearby school, as well as another Top 3 students from the 2nd Top Form 6 Class. I also had some Form 5 top-of-the-class in my center. I didn't choose them, it was purely on a voluntary basis, so I was glad that these top students wanted to take up voluntary work to learn IT and thus teach IT to the village masses.

The best student of the best Form 6 class, let's call her "N". We'll put in another person, a normal Form 5 student of the top form 5 class from the same school,... we'll call her "A".

Ok, start of story. I'll try to totally shorten it to main areas only. I wish to first humbly apologize for not being humble at all during my story-telling. Ok, here goes. My work started in Jan 2004, within the first three weeks, I already noticed A started to show some signs of infatuation to me by giving a passport sized photo of herself. This I placed at the back of my Business Card Book which contains some another photo of my best friend and her girl best friend. I was prepared for this "chances of student liking teacher" scenario. So, I established a professional relationship with A straight away and as of today, we're like an acquaintance, just once in a while sms-ing each especially during Hari Raya, just wishing each other's family.

I never noticed N. Because by the time I did, N was already faltering in studies. By August, I found out from N's friend that N is having problem coping with studies coz she's been hiding her infatuation to me. In April's STPM trial exam set by the school, she was still top in school. By June, she was 3rd best. Damage control was not easy. I couldn't just ignore her because I am the trainer. I cannot talk too much with her because I don't want to provoke further heighten of emotions in her. Even establishing a professional relationship was not possible, as she viewed it as a cold treatment when I could be fun and funny to other trainees. So, I did the best I could, that is to continue treating her same as the others in the class, ignoring the fact that I knew she likes me, and that she knew that I already knew. We have never talked about her infatuation, only my attempt to bring it to a professional level which she felt and told her friend.

By the time I left in January 2005, I stopped all contact with her, and only respond or reply when she calls, and being the shy girl she is, she never asked any infatuation-type question. We have never had any conversation about it. By mid 2005, I found out she failed her STPM.

I looked back in time, was there anything I could have done? I looked back at myself also. There's none. Love will either make you stronger or destroy you. When I went deeply infatuated with a school-mate from 2002 to 2006, she actually made me stronger. I wanted to so-called prove myself to her. Because N never told me to my face of her affection, I never talked about it. So maybe that's a wrong decision?? But to even bring it up first, I believe is wrong. I don't know, this is totally my viewpoint.

I don't know already what happened to her. All I know is that, my presence in this world had created a negative impact on one person. And that's not easy to live by, because one part of your memory will keep it for life.

Istanbul #1

There's a famous joke in Istanbul. It goes...

Question: Istanbul?
Answer: I'm not sure, I think Tan is on Horse year, not Rat or Bull.

No,... no such stupid joke there. I intend to write about Istanbul in the next few blogs. It'll be more of a diary kinda entry, instead of a descriptive describation describingly described about Istanbul. But before that,... another post of the past.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

The Last Choice

What's interesting about life is the continuous development we faced physically, mentally and socially.

What's interesting is that we are faced with new knowledge daily, new skills adopted daily, new actions we take that leads to consequences minutes, or ever years later, new crossroads of decision-making that spans from easy-peasy to impossible (at least to our own ability).

Crossroads are an integral part of any living being. It is where few more doors open and few other doors close never to be opened again. Not many are able to stomach this, especially when it involves consequences of future impact that can only be realised many years to come. Animals make split second decision and live that future; humans, even after making a decision, the other decision haunts them until that 'realisation' comes to be, to confirm whether it was a right or wrong decision.

Due to higher intelligence, humans have always one more choice whenever they reach a crossroad. When choice A and B are heavily weighted, that leads to known consequences of dire conclusion, and they know they cannot stomach it, that it will never leave their memory, where the lost is too great no matter which decision is taken, they go for the last choice,....