Wednesday, June 29, 2016

My brother's wedding


My brother got married last week and I was so tempted to give a speech during his wedding ceremony – the most monumental milestones in his life. My intention was called off knowing that it was probably not the right place and audiences to deal with and here I ended up with, a blog post dedicated to my brother Lung. Writing this post made me feel sentimental and nostalgic especially since when we were younger, those days we grew up together and at some point of time my brother was my sworn enemy in the early age.

Being the eldest son in the family, we have taken sibling rivalry to some sort of level, and our fights would once get violent. I can vividly remember bashing his head on the glass cabinet door in one occasion, simply because he has broken pieces of my Lego sets which were deemed to be precious to me at that time. Ironically, he is now with Lego group and I am ordering Lego sets from him from time to time. I still feel guilty about this until now and I would very much like to apologise on this matter. If I were to give a speech during his wedding, I doubt I would burst into tear coming to this segment of speech.

Given our bloody past, it amazes me how great we get along as adult in the later years. We have managed to keep bickering to a minimum in the last decade or so. And even though I am sure we still get on each other’s nerves occasionally, we have learned to deal with conflicts in a mature manner rather than engage in potentially hurtful and damaging confrontation, we breathe, take a step back and do the sensible thing.
My dad exclassmate reunion party in 1998
Family trip back in 2010
Gathering in Gardens, Kuala Lumpur 2011
Chinese New Year in Sekinchan 2012
Family trip in Genting Highlands, 2013
Youngest brother birthday in Midvalley, Kuala Lumpur 2014
A quick catch up in Publika, 2015

Over time, my brother has grown to be a confidant. No one can truly understand our family’s craziness better than the two of us or three of us including the youngest brother, so we have to stick together in such a big family tree.

Needless to say, I was very happy for him when he found his wife, Gacky. It is nice to see the right person who can share life with him and more importantly, it is nice to see him happy. I know he will make a loving husband and a fantastic father because he has always been a great brother, son and friend to all of us.

Thursday, January 01, 2015

My 2015 and beyond

Brand new year today and the way I decided to treat myself was to hide myself in my studio and have some snacks and give myself some time to WRITE, which I still love doing, and still haven't figured out how to structure my life in such a way that I can prioritize it. There is part of myself that wants to be frustrated that I don't write or meditate every day and that the house somehow manages to never be totally clean and organized the way I want it to be. And there is another part of myself that has to admit and accept that I make choices every day that impact my ability to do those things - I choose to spend time most evenings watching recurring series to pick up any minor plot that I have missed and I choose to stay connected to many of my friends/ flirty dude and exercise my social leanings frequently, if in different forms than in previous years, and all of these choices result in having to accept compromise and the reality that I cannot devote all of my time to any one thing, and therefore won't do everything and can't do everything. I'm working on it, and simultaneously fascinated as I discover my own internalized biases against agedness. At this point I am not sure. So mote it be.

I feel a little fixated on observing the passing of time and analyzing the unfolding of my life. I evaluated all of these aspects of my life, two concepts notably being my recognition and acceptance of my then single-ness and beginning to let go of my comfort zone in Sydney, which both stand in stark contrast to now. Now I am just months away from my returning day to Sydney, where I have lived in the past 10 years and place I gained most positive successes I have ever known, and looking forward a continuing journey to my enthrallingly delightful land.

Many years back, I felt fascinated by how rapidly and drastically the road ahead of me, at that time, was about to change terrain. That process has become the essence of how I see life being functional for myself. Till last year, I relocated to Abu Dhabi, a choice that certainly impacts my future outcomes, to work with the circumstances over which I have no control and present to me something different in every moment seems like the only way to achieve peace. This period in Abu Dhabi has trained me well to be patience and move forward all the while doing the things I can to influence my own life. Today I can say with a feeling of great gratification that I have done exactly that. I did not immediately do that, nor am I in the midst of a robust, busy work schedule providing ample income. I envision that being down the road and will keep working toward it. 

At this significant milestone, I do not enjoy being engaged in this work that feels deeply unsatisfying. Despite the enthusiastic positive feedback I have received, the soul-deep satisfaction is minimum. At the age of 30, the successes are insignificant. The aging... it's starting to get challenging. I wish it weren't true, but it is. It is another phase of life. I have been pondering for a while how am I possibly elevate this phase to a higher notch. I've done a lot in my 20s including attaining a number of degrees with the highest as Doctor of Philosophy and property-wise an Accord Euro which then replaced with Audi A5 and lastly the multi million Ringgit apartment in Sydney. Now I need to give my 30s a definition, get to the root of it and ameliorate it. I might be reaching the end of that belief. It is not coming with any great mourning, but more of that stoic acceptance. 

I am starting to have insight into my elders as I am more and more often experiencing a mindset that feels archetypically older. I seek more quiet than I ever have, choosing to listen to classical music over, much of the time. I quitted partying some while ago and go out much less often. I am reluctant to travel alone and I feel myself cringe a little as I admit it. I am experiencing a waning. Some of the activist fire in my belly is dwindling. Writing that sentence brought me to tears. A lot of tears. I think because it is admitting defeat. I think I need to be crystal clear here - I will never, ever accept that the way I am leading my 30s is reasonable or appropriate. I know there is a better way, beyond the shadow of a doubt. 




Friday, October 10, 2014

沙洲有你

这一片土地原本是沙漠地带,夜里的风沙吹得肆无忌惮,总会把我的思绪吹乱。

一个人在外头工作打拼的日子,走得太久太远,总会感到孤独。我只是一个亡名国外孤独的个体,经常思念泛滥,思绪混淆时就会提笔写文字,只想从文字的缝隙里撷取半点温暖。

有一些遇见是没有任何铺垫突如其来。在这凄凉之夜,我尝试用单反窥探清真寺的神秘面纱,鸣着歌挥洒残念。偶然触碰沙粒,指尖的沙漏,匆匆滑过,一点点掉落到地上。思绪的怅然,任凭记忆轻叩流年的苍桑。

在斑驳的岁月里,在这绚烂的年华,在这失落沙洲感激我能遇见你。如果可以,我真希望有你陪我度过更多个万家灯火的时光。 


Monday, July 28, 2014

Departure


Departure is about dreams dashed and passions rekindled. Well it has finally happened. My time in Australia comes to an end after 8.5 wonderful years.



Only 3 days before I leave Sydney and I am getting sentimental about the impending departure. I started to pack up my stuff today and I want to prepare myself with an uncluttered mind prior to my departure.

I decided to simplify everything by throwing away redundant and unnecessary items. Some of my unused gears were cracked and useless so I threw them away. Some documents were obsolete so they went straight to the trash pile. Some of my books (unread and read) were kept in the garage while some just had to go. It is not easy to let go of some of the things as I am always a sentimental creature. The cleaning up task is indeed a lost-memories recollection process.

Marathon of farewell parties in the past few days have enough eloquent moments to compensate for its sickly sweet sentimentality. Saying goodbye to my friends was quite sad and I admit to shedding a few tears. Those warm, giddy and comfortable feeling can only occur when reunited with old friends who understand everything about the jokes I made.

As an immigrant myself in Australia, I too know the longing one continues to feel for one’s homeland, culture, and familiar surroundings even decades after making a new home someplace else, the pain of relocation is still fresh. Coming to Australia has blown my own mind wide open and I am so privileged every single day to be able to work with people from every corner of the globe. It is indeed a multi-racial nation rather than just Malay, Chinese and Indian as what my home country claimed to be. What seems to matter is that we have found new friends in this strange new land. We are able to see past cultural and societal differences and just play together and learn from each other. Somehow, we allow differences in culture, wealth, power, and religion to obscure the fact that we are all human beings. All these contradict to the practice in my home country where being an aborigine (bumiputera) outweighs everything.


Relocation gives me the chance to experience the bigger world. I shall gain new perspective, I will learn that the world is different than what I expected. There is room to expand my horizon and these experiences shape me to a better self. I salute myself with the immense sacrifices that I have encountered in this relocation process and with the precocity that comes with life-altering decision to move across the globe with immense grace and strength. I should be commended on my ingenuity and resourcefulness.


Tuesday, July 22, 2014

再见悉尼

四季慢慢的流动,藏在岁月里的角落,蘊藏在自己的回忆。转眼间已过了近九年的时间。

2006217日抵达悉尼,圆了我出国留学的梦,却不知这一去最终换来了三张文凭,一个国籍,还有是最重要的一个归属。

抵达悉尼第二天就和我差不多同一时间来澳洲的表妹出去玩。那是一个青涩的年代。



租了一个小房间,偶然会和室友一同用餐,肤色黑的白的都有。一切的饮食起居都自己打点。当时的生活一切从俭,过着周日做饭周末买菜的简单生活。非常珍惜能出国留学的机会,首当任务就是把书念好。当时的朋友不多,记得出去吃饭总会找一个角落位子,独自用餐。


第一个Easter break 去了墨尔本和阿德莱德。那是一个好玩的年代。


暑假有幸拿到做研究的奖学金,第一个夏季呆在大学,研究的题目 Application of load paths to fibre steering and conceptual design of composite structures. 当时觉得很庆幸,因为大学人人平等,身为留学生的我,可以跟当地人竞争,大家都有机会,那是马来西亚不可能的事。记得那时一周有AUD420 的钱拿,真开心。



之后搬进去了大学里的男宿舍,曾有一段时间,来了一群韩国人。周末一般都有户外活动如BBQ,球类运动。



某一年冬天,去了塔斯马尼亚。塔斯马尼亚是个神秘的小地方,印象最深刻的是夜里的星空,感觉星星们很贴近。



小学之后,我几乎没曾参与任何运动比赛,在澳洲很高兴参加了全澳大学保龄球比赛。
绩还,拿了全国大学赛季军。


,去了布里斯班。除了伯斯以外,澳洲的几个大城市我都游走过了。


2008毕业了,爸和外婆有参与我的毕业典礼。毕业之后,我决定留在大学继续深造,成绩不错也拿到了澳洲奖学金。小时候妈妈阿姨都夸某某人的儿子念了什么大学,拿了什么硕士,我就来个海外大学博士好了。主要还是觉得研究这一方面会有自己的一席之地。这个决定对我往后的事业起了微妙的变化。研究领域-流体动力热能传送学。

2009
由我策划的难得的一次悉尼聚会,都是适耕庄育群中学的学弟学妹。


算是一分缘分,中学同学也到了我大学深造。


宿舍里一班DOTA好基友周末的不眠游之夜。还蛮怀念当时宿舍的生活。


2010年六月份妈妈和弟弟们来澳洲旅行。算得上是精心策划,若干年后,各有各的忙,估计此景不再。




不久,搬进了STUDIO,还蛮开心自己有个小地方,做做饭什么的。当时在网上订购了这维尼床单。

2009年期间,认识了同在大学念书的马来西亚朋友,很快也成为麻将友。第一次接触麻将还是在悉尼。如今上海牌,马来西亚牌,台湾牌,香港牌我样样都会。




本人以往对歌唱觉得还好,觉得自己没什么天赋。也是今年认识了唱歌朋友,成立了Pooh家族,维尼,跳跳虎,Piglet,Eeyore 成员如图。 



2011再次搬迁,远离了大学,有了更多的生活空间。在做研究生的期间兼职助教工作有了算是稳定的收入,随着有了人生第一部车。





寒窗三年,终于把博士学位弄到手,还真的不容易。做研究生这三年,一共搬了三次屋子,算是孟母三迁。毕业时候最开心的是收到朋友和家人的祝福。






2011年底,开始了大学里的正式工作,除了教书大半部分是研究。 很多人都以为大学工作只是纯教书,学生放假老师理所当然跟着放假。那是二流大学的制度,像我的工作一大半是研究成分,一年得发多少篇文章,拿到多少研究资金等等。一般工作都是常规的例行公事,而大学研究工作是看你的研究成果和贡献。总体来说就是一个非常用脑的任务,这样的一个工作性质让我有机会每年出国发表文章。




2013 年,加入了澳洲国籍,成为一等国家的公民。还没申请之前,曾犹豫了一阵子,毕竟还是有一个情愫在,放弃不了原本得国籍。深想一层,这一份情愫不能当饭吃,多少人千方百计掏钱移民不就是为了这个。我可是自己争取回来的,不能怪我不怀旧,只是我看不到希望。


2013年六月份家里多了一个小生命,名Winnie。



家里多了一个成员,生活变得更加充实,周末都带Winnie出去玩,Winnie总会跟着我脚步,在我周围奔跑。

2014年一月,从马来西亚休假回来,果断换了部车,视线高一些,坐得也舒服些。年幼时候曾羡慕家里富裕的公子,开名车无忧无虑。我这是血汗奋斗出来的,我的人生比他们圆满得多。


很快,Winnie一岁成犬了。在我悉心教导下,算是一只蛮听话的狗狗,智商也行。




2014年七月,我辞退了澳洲大学的工作。一些熟悉我的亲人,都质问为什么放弃这么好的一份工作。与其长篇大论的解说,不如祝福我,尊重我的决定。我的人生道路由我来主宰。


这八年半里算是我人生的一个大转折点,也是我成长的象征。回忆里它是幸福的,也将会点缀我的未来人生之路。我没有忘记家乡,但也没有特别想念家乡,对我而言,家乡只是一个留住童年的地方,记忆也会随着时间消退。在即将迁移至更远的国度,距离对我来说是小事一桩,离心坎最远的距离是知道世界那么大,却固步自封。我向往的是更好的未来,打造我美好的明天。再见了,悉尼。




Friday, March 21, 2014

MH370事故-给不了解马政府的人


马航MH370班机失踪了这么多天,现在算是有了新的进展,有澳洲军方的介入,TONY ABBOT虽然不是哪根葱,但也召开了新闻发布会说了几句领导人的人话。最起码,这短短的几句话要比过去十几天任何一则来自马来西亚官方的消息都靠谱 。反观马来西亚政府,客机向西飞走这么重要的信息,竟然在十国部队大搜南中国海域一个礼拜之后,才犹抱琵琶半遮面地缓缓揭露。他们到底在想什么?难怪全球媒体在继续关注那架飞机的去向之谜的同时把大马政府搬上尴尬舞台冷嘲热讽。

马来西亚各个部门放出来的消息混乱,前言不搭后语。在大家都质疑着马来西亚政府有所隐瞒的时刻,我说这一切都归根于马来人与生俱来的自由散漫和民族劣根性。在马国长大的我,非常了解马来人的作风。马来西亚一党独大,自独立以来一党统治了这么多年,其实只要稍为了解大马政局,就丝毫不会觉得当地政府连日来的表现有多奇怪了。这一回只是他们运气不好,往日习以为常的行政低效与官僚无能,一下子被放大到整个国际镜头之下。从前他们在国内无法无天肆意妄为,根本不必担心舆论监督,久而久之成了被惯坏的傻B,现在忽然遇上全世界的目光,难免手忙脚乱,丑态百出。从前他们不怕本地传媒,说什么就是什么,自家媒体报道的都是自卖自夸;现在碰到国外媒体的长枪短炮再也招架不住,自曝其短之余颜面扫地 。出生于马来西亚的我面对国际友人该情何以堪。


Monday, January 20, 2014

New car

Perhaps, there are certain sparkle appears in my eyes when asked about my first car. First car is probably a landmark in life, and often I associate it with exciting dates, day trips, or merely showcasing it on the street.

July 2011, the day came after half a year I moved out from the university campus. I realised my own transport has became a necessity and I want to stop relying on public transport for rides here and there. My visit to the Larke Hoskins in Homebush ended up with a brand new Honda Accord Euro 2.4 luxury. While taking the ride home, I remembered how many hours I have to work to save up for my car and how accomplished I felt when I bought it.

Everything was feeling great. I remember those moment, I was so certain that obtaining a first car is a very important milestone in one’s life. It not only gives you the independence to drive wherever you want, but it also gives you a sense of freedom. It felt even better that I was rushing out to the street and getting into my new car. Each time I started up the car and headed to work, I remember those waiting period, idling hours I spent and how I deserved this rite of passage. Also, I felt lucky that time based on the fact that I did not receive a single penny from my parent for my first car which granted me the feeling of being a truly independent teen.

Upgrading my first car recently was probably a big leap in life. I would treasure it for as long as I have it. This trip back to Malaysia, I witnessed a cousin brother of mine upgraded his Kia Forte to Peugeot 408. More importantly, there was this nice Audi A6 replacing the Honda Accord 2.0 on a very important person in my life. I told myself that I would like to keep the same pace with this person despite that we are leading the different path now. I did have some negative feelings, more like my incompetency towards this person. Negative feelings must be released directly by some kind of process based on a sophisticated way. It was then I decided to visit Audi Centre upon my arrival in Sydney.  

There I go, a brand new Audi Q5 TDI. 


Sunday, January 19, 2014

Home country food

I find myself becoming quite nostalgic about the hometown/country food that I used to take for granted now that I have been residing abroad. These are snapshots of food taken between periods 4 Dec - 14 Dec 2013, 19 Dec -25 Dec 2013, 1 Jan -13 Jan 2014. Sorry that my comments are mostly negative, but I did enjoy them during my stay in Malaysia. I have a bit of difficulty in remembering those restaurants in Chinese name, lol. 

A simple dinner in Sekinchan. 
My favorite crab, but taste really so so. 

Steamed fish head in 168 Restaurant, Lorong 6 Site B, taste really so so and I doubt I will ever go back

This steamed fish head was much better, consistent as it used to be- Ah kua restuarant

A horrible dried wonton noodle, diagonal to the post office in Sekinchan. I will never go back for sure. 

Mom's cooking, always the best! Wish I could have more. 

A 'drunken' prawn soup, somewhere half way to Genting, Batang Berjuntai I guess?

Bird nest in Genting Highland, nothing special other than dumping cash for this. 

Fish in Batang Kali restaurant, reasonably good!

Back to Sekinchan, these were taken in Dua Mui at Bagan, Sekinchan. The food quality dropped significant this trip, quite disappointed. 

Crab with fried Meehoon and Pomfret congee, not bad.  


Beef ball and Green curry noodle, nothing special other than with someone special. 

Another steam fish head in Sekinchan taken opposite red cross medical center. I would prefer the Ah Kua one shown above. 

Taken somewhere at Changlun, north of Peninsula Malaysia.

A family dinner at a restaurant opposite market in Sekinchan. 

Scampi and shrimp paste in Tony Roma, but where is the scampi? What a disappointment! 

Very poorly served fish. Taken at restaurant next to the temple in Sekinchan. 

Maggi goreng in Zam Zam. No comment on its taste, it was more like memory recollection after so long. 

Surprisingly good, opposite to the post office in Sekinchan. 



Taken in one of my favorite restaurant in Tengkurak, the fish head dish was good but the rest, so so. 

Another dried wonton noodle, taken next to market in Sekinchan. Its consistent taste, did recall my childhood memory. 

Sashimi in Niyjimaru, Permas Jaya Johor, quite good but priced at RM59. 

Charsiew and siewyok at Tun Aminah, nearby Sutera Mall in Johor Bahru. I have to say good because my lawyer fren paid for this.  

Nasi ulam something in Plan B, Bangsar village. Too dry!