Wednesday, 31 December 2008

Yesterday & The Future

Today is the last day of the year. This is the time when I reminisce about the year gone by and look towards the future.

These were the highlights of my life in 2008:

2008 Flashback

  1. I backpacked solo to Egypt in February 2008. What an enriching, memorable and eye-opening experience it was!

  2. Joined a Malaysian multinational in March 2008.

  3. Started French lessons in the same month.

  4. This blog was born in June 2008, thanks to Angie who encouraged me to blog. And this blog has not 'died' after 7 months in existence.

  5. My freelance writing kicked off in September 2008.

  6. I backpacked to Vientaine & Luang Prabang in December 2008. In fact as this entry enters cyberspace, I should be in Vientaine (thanks to Blogger for the scheduled posting feature). Can't wait to get back to KL to blog 'bout my adventures in Laos! Don't forget to come back and read all 'bout it ya!

Now here are my resolutions for the New Year:

My New Year Resolutions

  1. To create a blog about my freelance writing projects. This blog will document anything and everything about my freelance writing endeavour - my work that got published, my experiences dealing with Editors and clients, the freelance writing experience itself, etc.

  2. To loose 3kgs. I think I'd look like a skeleton by the time I achieve my desired weight. But it feels great to be thin!

  3. To take my French lessons more seriously. This means allocating another 2 hours per week (apart from official lessons) for revising and homework.

What's your New Year resolution?

Thursday, 25 December 2008


  • Attended Christmas Mass - Check
  • Christmas Eve dinner with family - Check
  • Pack bags - Check
  • Booked cab to LCCT - Check
As I embark on my one week trip to Laos, I would like to wish you and your family

Merry Christmas &
Happy New Year 2009!

Friday, 19 December 2008

My New Travel Gear

This is my new Deuter backpack.

Costs me RM375 after a 20% discount from URL Outdoor in Bangsar. I especially bought it for my Laos trip this coming Thursday.

I was initially hesitant to spend so much on a backpack, but what the heck, if I'm going to conquer all 7 continents, might as well do it comfortably, practically and in style.

Friday, 12 December 2008

Conquering the Continents

Last night I was reading this online article: 50 Things To Do Before You Die.

Number one on the list says: "Set foot on each of the seven continents. Antarctica might be a tough one, but once you’ve reached all seven you can truly call yourself a world traveler."

I thought that idea was cool and decided to make that one of my travel goals, although getting to Antarctica would be a great challenge.

The seven continents are Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Europe, North America and South America. Not counting Asia cause I'm living in it, I've only been to the continent of Africa. So that's 5 more continents to go ...

Thursday, 11 December 2008

Why Do Malaysians Discriminate Africans?

I was reading this newspaper article in The Star today: Hostile reception pushes Bostwanian students to the brink of suicide.

And this evening I saw with my own eyes discrimination against Africans.

I was queuing for a cab at the Ampang LRT station. There were two African guys who were also in queue a few places in front of me.

Many taxis came and picked up passengers. When it was the African guys' turn, the driver drove by slowly, took a look at them and drove off. Those poor guys could only look helplessly as the cab drove off. Luckily the next cab picked them up.

This was the first time I'm seeing discrimination happen in front of my eyes.

These blatant discriminations against Africans have gotten quite rampant these days, especially with the increasing number of African students in KL.

Now, Malaysia being a multiracial country has accepted many foreign workers like the folks from Indonesia, Bangladesh, Vietnam Myanmar, Nepal, etc. Apart from foreign workers, we've also gotten used to the rising number of folks from South Korea and the Middle East.

We have gotten so used to all these foreigners that we don’t bat an eyelid when we see them on the bus or at the mamak stall. We have accepted them as part of our society.

Of cause there have been cases of discrimination against these foreign workers, but these are isolated cases, and not so deliberate compared to discrimination against the Africans.

The question is why are Malaysians able to accept other foreigners but blatantly discriminate the Africans? Is it because of the way the Africans look? Or the way they talk?

As a frequent cab user, let me share with you two stories involving Africans told to me by the cab drivers:

  • One driver picked up a group of Africans. After dropping them off at their destination, his cellphone was missing.
  • Another driver told this African guy he picked up to get out of his cab because the guy was kurang ajar (misbehaved). After reaching the destination, the guy asked the driver to go to another destination instead. After the third change in destination, the driver lost his cool and told the guy to get out of the cab.

I’ve also encountered and heard other stories like these:

  • I was sitting in the bus when this African guy shouted "mother fu*ker" in a friendly gesture at his friend who got off the bus. His voice was deep and loud, almost shattered my eardrums.
  • A girl got molested by a group of African guys in my apartment lift. They gained access into the apartment compound by following their friends who were staying there.
  • A group of African guys observed the girls at the apartment and where they lived. After a report made by girls claiming that these guys were knocking at their doors to get to know them, the building management decided to ban all Africans from entering the compound unless they are staying there.

The stories I've shared are only a handful in the numerous negative cases about these Africans. There are numerous others like the black money and internet scandal. Maybe the culprits only come from certain African countries but for Malaysians, all Africans are the same cause they look the same.

After all these incidences, it's not a wonder why Malaysians are discriminating the Africans. It could be a case of cultural differences, but many Malaysians see the Africans as troublemakers out to do no good. And Malaysians are hostile towards them because of their intolerable behaviours.

I’m sure there’re many genuine and good Africans in KL, but the bad ones outnumber them. This is truly a case of one bad apple spoiling the whole bunch.

Saturday, 6 December 2008

My First French Storybook

I received my first French storybook - Le Petit Prince by Antoine De Saint-Exupery last week. (Note: Le Petit Prince means The Little Prince).

Why Le Petit Prince? Cause my French teacher recommended it. Apparently the French version is better than the English translation (for those who are bilingual in both languages). Moreover it's not difficult to read for beginners.

I had placed an order for this book with the Times Bookstore in Pavilion. A wait that was supposed to take bout 2 months took 5 months instead. After enquiring numerous times at the bookstore only to receive stupid excuses like there was a delay in shipment, wrong version was sent, etc. I finally received it.

The feeling of owning my first French storybook is unusual after owning English books all this while. Le Petit Prince would look odd sitting on my bookshelf with its other 'English speaking friends'. But I'm planning to buy more French storybooks soon. Then Le Petit Prince won't be so lonely anymore.
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