Thursday, 30 October 2008

From Floor to Bed

I've been sleeping on the floor like this ever since I moved into my new apartment 1.5 years ago.

Don't know why, but I just didn't bring myself to buy a proper bed eventhough I had the time and money to do so. Maybe I was just plain lazy.

The good thing about sleeping on the floor is that I have nurtured a healthy ramrod straight spine :-)

Last week I pushed myself to buy a bed, and after sleeping on the floor for 1.5 years, I decided to reward myself. This is how my new bed looks like:

Entire set costs me RM2,000!

And I also got this free:

Now with my new bed, I have the Petronas Twin Towers to see before I sleep and whenever I wake up. Yup, I'm one of those who have that million dollar view :-)

Tuesday, 28 October 2008

Drunk Driving - Would You Get Into The Car ?

Would you get into a car with a drunk driver?

A couple of weeks back I was at the club with a few friends. One of them whom I'm closest with, had one drink too many. By the time we left she was already speaking funny and could not walk straight.

She insisted on driving me home like always, but I politely refused her offer. You see, previously she was not so intoxicated and could still pass a breathalyzer test. This time she had gone a wee bit overboard. In fact, this is the first time I'm seeing her like that.

So I advised her to leave her car in the parking lot and take the cab home. She could always collect her car the next day. But she insisted she was ok and insisted on driving me home.

I was torn in getting into the car, and torn in letting her drive home alone, but I knew too well the consequences of getting into a car with a drunk driver.

Another disappointment was her BF couldn't be bothered bout her. He just kissed her goodnight and scooted off to God knows where. Idiot!

So in the end she drove home alone and thank God eveything was ok. But I did not expect what would happen the next day.

Early next morning she posted a nasty comment on her Facebook status (but without mentioning my name). She told me to take a hike because I didn't trust her driving skills. She claimed she knew what she was doing despite being intoxicated.

I was angry and disappointed that my good intentions had backfired. I calmly sent her a message and asked why all the animosity. She said she was disappointed in me ... blah ... blah ... blah ...

She also said her boyfriend (yeah, the idiotic SOB) was also disappointed in me ... the nerve on that bugger!

To cut a long story short, I held my ground and calmly explained why I did what I had to do.

And if you're wondering if the friendship survived, yes it did. Cause I guess at the end of the day, she knows deep down inside that she took a huge risk on her own life and on the lives of innocent people.

Saturday, 25 October 2008

My Latest Endeavour - Freelance Writing

I've been doing some freelance writing for a local magazine.

I can't tell you which magazine or topics I'm working on, in case the Editor might not like me blogging about pre-published articles for the December issue. I got this job through networking and I hope my full-time job boss isn't reading this :-)

I've been assigned to do 4 company reviews, 500 words each. Apart from that I have to complete a 1,500 feature article.

Freelance writing is interesting cause I get to meet people and earn money at the same time. I hope this job will be the begining of many more freelance jobs to come cause I love writing.

I'll post an entry in this blog when my articles get published :-)

My Bad Sleeping Habit

I have a bad sleeping habit.

Everyday upon reaching home after work, I’ll do whatever I've got to do, e.g. clean the apartment, blog, check emails or surf the Net.

After all that I’ll plop myself in front of the television. While watching my fav series or movie (depending on what’s on), I’ll doze off in front of the television.

At about 2.30am I’ll suddenly wake up, cause my subconscious mind is telling me I’ve yet to bathe and brush my teeth, and I can't sleep at night without doing those two things.

By the time I’ve scrubbed my body and teeth good, I’m already wide awake. Then I’ll read or surf the Net to kill time.

By the time I get sleepy again it’s like 4am – 3 hours till time to get ready for work!

But somehow I manage with 3 hours of sleep and still able to concentrate at work :-)

So how many hours of sleep did I get?

Is it:

  • Total hours in front of the television + final 3 hours of sleep; or
  • Only 3 hours of sleep?
My mum says I shouldn't break my sleep cause it's not healthy, but like I said ... it's a bad sleeping habit.

MPH Warehouse Sale

Books are one of my weakness, and I succumbed to my weakness at the MPH Warehouse Sale in Petaling Jaya today.

In August I bought enough books at the Times Warehouse Books Clearance for the RM1,000 income tax rebate, and told myself that I won't buy books any more till next year.

But when I stepped into the MPH Warehouse Sale today and saw the marked down prices and offers, I went berserk!

This sale is even better than the Times Warehouse Books Clearance.

So I succumbed to my weakness and this is what I bought:

  • Collins Essential English Dictionary (I needed a dictionary in the office and it costs only RM10 for a hardcover)

  • Merde Happens by Stephen Clarke (Clarke's writing is witty and down to earth. I'm currently reading Talk to the Snail and it's hilarious!)

  • Morocco by Lonely Planet (Wanna go there some day, and the book costs only RM10. Imagine a Lonely Planet for RM10!)

  • Temples, Tombs & Hieroglyphs: A Popular History of Ancient Egypt by Barbara Mertz (Egyptology is one of my interests)

  • The Art of War by Sun Tzu (Always wanted to learn military strategy)

  • The New PR: An Insider’s Guide to Changing the Face of Public Relations by Phil Hall (Related to my profession)

  • The Origin of Species by Charles Darwin (Wanted to see what's the Darwin hype all about)

  • The Witch of Portobello by Paulo Coelho (Read The Alchemist and didn't see why it's such a big deal. So wanna give Coelho another chance)

Total damage: RM116

Friday, 17 October 2008

Internet Scam - Ask Yourself These Questions

My entry, Fraud in the Name of God, on the William/Rebecca Benson internet scam received a few hits from around the world (I know this through NuffNang).

I figured these people must have received a similar email and would like to know whether it’s a genuine case or not. So I’m writing this entry with the hope that those who think they have gotten lucky will see the rationale in things.

The internet lottery scam started a couple of years back and over time most people have come to know about it and are not fooled. As such, these fraudsters have changed their tactic by using charity as the new angle to trick people.

To those of you who have received a similar email – that you’ve won a lottery or you have been chosen to be recipient of a huge sum of money for charity; and you are jumping for joy thinking you are finally going to get rich, please ask yourself these questions:

  • You’ve never bought any foreign based lottery or entered any foreign based contest. So why out of the blue someone is informing you have won this huge amount of money? After playing the lottery in a few companies I can tell you no lottery company will ever do this.

  • Why would a complete stranger want to give you a huge sum of money? As far as I know, people usually donate to their favourite charities or known individuals, never to complete strangers.

  • What makes you different that the ‘donor’ chooses you above everybody else in this whole wide world to receive the money? Remember, you don’t even know this person.

I thought people were not so guilable to fall for a trick like this, until an ex-colleague amost fell into the trap. And he was a member of senior management in a well known public listed company.

I've learned that even the most experienced and smart people can be naive and guilble.

So don't be part of the statistics.

Saturday, 11 October 2008

Tips to Kick-Off Solo Travel

I received an email from Audrey Umbol of Kota Kinabalu, Sabah who wants to travel out of Malaysia, but is finding it difficult to look for a travel partner. So she wants to start travelling solo and asks if I could share some tips on how to kick it off. This is my reply to her:

Dear Audrey,

Thank you for dropping by my blog :-) I totally understand your urge to travel, yet you find it difficult to look for a travel partner.

My friends too were most of the time – couldn’t apply for leave, not interested, no money, didn’t agree with the destination, etc. Soon I decided that the best is to travel solo cause I didn’t want the lack of a travel partner impede my travel dreams. I want to travel and see the world!

And you not only have to look for a travel partner, you'll have to look for the right travel partner. That means someone who shares the same interests as you, preferably of the same age, etc. But I shall leave that for another blog entry.
So Audrey, here are the some tips to kick-start your solo travels:

a) Make a short weekend trip alone to somewhere within the country or nearby your house, just to see how you like it.

Travelling alone is a lot different from travelling with a partner. You are responsible for your own safety, your luggage, where you want to go, what you want to do, etc.

If you find that you can adapt to solo travel like a duck to water, start venturing to nearby countries. Very soon you’ll be travelling the world!

b) Make sure you read up a lot about the place you want to visit because like I said, you're solely responsible for your own safety. Remember to read up about safety precautions too when walking on the road, staying in hostels, etc. This is especially important being a lady.

c) If you find that travelling solo is not your cup of tea, then try joining a tour group. You can make friends there and get to see places as well.

Just put your mind and guts to it and you'll do fine. I hope your travel dreams will come true :-) Good luck!

Regards, Julie Lim

Please leave a comment if you have more tips to share with Audrey. She will be reading this entry closely :-)

Saturday, 4 October 2008

Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary – A Complete Waste of Time!

There’s only one phrase to describe the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary – utter disappointment!

After seeing publicity and photos of the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, I thought it would be a nice place to visit during the Raya holidays.

But how super disappointed we were, especially after all the trouble we took to reach the damn place. For your information, the place is located about 100km from Kuala Lumpur and toll charges were RM10.80 one way. So it was a complete waste of time, petrol and toll charges. But luckily we came on the second day of Raya, cause the place was closed on the first day.

The place looked deserted when we arrived. The carpark was full of stones because tar works were being carried out.

We registered at the office

and were disappointed that tickets for activities with the elephant were already finished. We could only visit the elephants.

We then started venturing into the sanctuary. There were only 6 elephants in the enclosure and 1 baby elephant in the other enclosure having a time of its life eating sugarcane. One of the baby elephant’s hind leg was shorter than the other legs. Must have been injured so they had to amputate it. Poor thing …

The only thing interesting was watching the antics of what we believed to be a male trying to mount a female.

And when he did not get what he wanted, he was smashing a rock using his trunk.

Men …

Apart from that, there was NOTHING else in the sanctuary. Feeding time was at 2.00pm, but we didn’t bother to wait 2 hours.
It would have been ok if there are other places to go and kill time, but the place has nothing to see and do apart from the office, worker’s quarters, ringside, elephant enclosure and mini man-made river where you can bathe the elephants and ride them. This is the river where the elephants will fall into the water and you’ll get wet too. Ang mohs love this …

Apparently we were not the only ones disappointed because we could hear many exclamations of disappointment around us.

So if you decide to visit the Kuala Gandah Elephant Sanctuary, please think 100 times before you go.

Wednesday, 1 October 2008

Getting Fat

Being fat is one of my biggest fears in life.

In my early 20s, I used to weigh 49kg. I could eat like a pig and still look like a stick. Even when donating blood they used to take less pints because of my weight.

As I grew older, I started putting on weight easily thanks to a low metabolism rate. But despite that, I still could eat whatever I wanted and still look slim.

In order to stay within my desired weight range, I put the threshold at 55kg. If I hit 55kg, I would start to diet and exercise more so that I won't reach the point of no return.

Just last week I weighted myself and to my horror, the scale hit 56kg!

That was it - drastic situations call for drastic measures.

I went on a diet that not many people could do. My daily meal intakes looked like this:

1 glass Nescafe
5 biscuits

1 bowl noodles (yee mee to be exact)


If my stomach growled too loudly at dinner, I would make myself a cup of tea and use mind over matter to quell the hunger pangs.

I must admit that this diet is not easy to keep, especially for a person like me who loves to eat. But I know that no pain, no gain.

So after 2 weeks of subjecting myself to stomach and mental torture, I weighed myself and the scales showed: 54kg!
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