Monday, March 31, 2014

stand by your country

The search for MH370 is still ongoing in high hopes.
I don't want to let myself have the liberty to just speculate and craft yet another unnecessary argument about the tragedy. Respect the families of the passengers and crews.

However one takeaway from all this, the catch from this unfortunate incident is that;
no one has the monopoly on grief. No one has the right to claim more weightage to be sad and feel victimized.

because that is the thing that shapes one's attitude and hence the reactions towards the dreaded hardship we are dealing with together right now.

No one has the monopoly on grief. Particularly when no one's wanting it to happen.
So, we have all the reason to be sad..just like the other party can be sad. We cannot just dissaprove and ridicule other's broken hearts, let alone pointing fingers with all the conspiracy theories and accusations as we are all at a rough patch. The benefit of doubt, does not apply here.

stand by your country.
stand by your home.

Thursday, March 20, 2014

Phrases for the Young

As i am nearing to my birthday (dont know whether i would lived up to it but nevermind) the old soul in me feels like writing down some insights, or rather, some self-learnt advices, in this blogsphere.

First of all, by addressing the title as above does not mean in any sense that i am old :-P
Secondly, no this is not a write-up about a 2010 musical masterpiece that goes by the same title by Julian Casablancas. I'll just leave the fact that Jules and all other The Strokes band members are my forever-favourites and I memorize all and yes dear by that i mean all their songs whether as a band or their individual projects.*pauses* *start singing*

Phrazes For The Young

Apart from the basic things like study well and become really good at what you are studying..

  1. If you're still in your varsity undergrad years:
  • Take-up any new language class offered. The fees are dead cheap compared to those in bussiness-centric language centres anywhere in town. As a matter of fact, take all the skill classes in university because they're all cheap compared to those outside. Be it swimming, playing music or anything. If you are smart you can learn them all for free.
  • Don't spend your scholarship/loan money so recklessly, force yourself to set aside a portion for saving every semester until you finish your study. You dont have to think what it's for. Just do it. You'll thank me later.
  • Enroll for student-exchange programme. Get sent off to new environments in any other part of world. Being an exchange student is a great way to travel without spending a fortune (of your own money).
  • If you're not enlisted as exchange student dont worry, university students are blessed with holidays anyway so use them to travel. Do it solo or with your buddies, just be in the travel mode anywhere and i really mean 'travel' not 'tourist'. Know the difference.And do it backpackers style, there's a lot of reference out there. you can go far or local.
  • Go join outdoor activities to spend your holidays. The great trips take few days to more that a week so you are in the right time to experience this. Things will be next to impossible when you are no longer a student trust me.
  • Find part time jobs to fill in the gaps during the semester. Get one that you can handle. Valuable experience to be gained, apart from extra money.
  • If there are any clubs/student movements that excites you in the university, join them and be an active member. If all were dull cliche and boring, look for any nearby out of the university. I'm talking about out-of-conventional,constructively positive activities like running, or poetry, or usrah, or liverpool supporters club. things like that.
  • befriend not only with your fellow peers, but with your seniors, juniors, random people you meet everyday, the management staffs at your residential college and faculties, your lecturer, the bus driver, the gardener, and not to forget people that runs the cafes where you eat.
  • I will add if anything comes to mind.
If your student days is a thing of the past, now you are in your early 20s, just started working and is still trying to figure out the things around you and get them into place. 
  • No sweat, there's still a lot of possibilities ahead.
  • Try to find time for some time-out. I mean real time out, go outdoors. Travel to new places.
  • Take up healthy lifestyle. It's good if you're already practicing it. If you're not, then start now. Running, cycling, swimming, anything will do as long as it is regular and really gets your heart pumping.
  • And by healthy lifestyle i mean healthy diet too. Drink milk and watch your food intake. Take necessary supplement.We need to groom our body starting now if we want to look strong and fresh  in our old days. If god is willing we might be able to live long enough with might to see our grandchildren.
  • Save money #1. for contingency expenses.
  • Save money #2 for no reason.
  • Save money #3 for no reason again because you've done it.
  • Get credit education to manage our credits (if any). Try to be credit-free as early as possible.
  • My Prof said that our brain cells will start to deteriorate when we reach 25. So apart from physical exercise, gauge your brain as well to make sure those neurons are alive and kicking. 
  • Take a good care of your parents, by leading them to healthy lifestyle because now it's health that matters the most.
  • I will add further if anything worth of sharing crosses in mind.

I've heard people say that life starts at 40. 
I think it's because by  this age we will reap the sow of all our investments we have made in our younger days.
By this time most likely we have managed to secure few basic assets like a house, or a car, and a piece of land. We have a secured, stable and career. And If we are married early by this age we might already have a growing family, maybe with two children,with our first child is in his/her first big examination in education. 
But when we are 40 too the brutal fact of life will begin to manifest itself  even more. When we are 40, what is the age of our parents? In that range of age our beloved parents might have fallen ill, and truth hurts but they may leave us to meet the Creator, and we will experience one of the dreaded fact of adult life..

And I've heard some say that life starts at 30.
And this is true physiologically. Our body will achieve it's best physical ability in the range of 30.
If you see all the top athletes in any field, they're in their late 20s (28-29) to early 30s. But this only applies only of you have been nurturing your body with the proper resources and have been doing enough training and conditioning to build strong physique. That's why you have to start taking care of your body early, so that you'll have you life ahead of you in better forms, and that serves as a good basis for a better old days.

For me, life starts whenever you realize that life is there for you to decorate it.
I refuse to be part of the system where your life expectations have been laid down in a template and everyine have to grow old in the same fashion and in the same manner. We take what's good and example them, but lead our own life, our own way. Experience life to the fullest. 
And that's is the moment, life really starts.

I have faith in my insights as above. I don't have many followers, and I am not in any real position to tell people what's better to do, but I am always amazed by how people around asks me sometimes about real heavy stuffs. Most often than get flattered,i t caught me off-guard and makes me wonder, what have i done to give them such an impression. I guess you never can tell how you appear in anyone's eye.

I just have some juniors, siblings and relatives, and as I'm teaching tuition class I have some teens that I am constantly get engaged with. Apart from all the lessons and knowledge, I share some personal insights like these too. And of course I have this blog where I can just pour my thoughts.

Thanks for stopping by! you're alright.

Monday, March 10, 2014

survival (hutan batu)

life has always been sneaky to say the least. ada saja plot twist yang bagi suasana lagi menarik.
While pressures from most life aspects (eg:emotions & workloads) were manageable, i found that financial challenges trickier thus fun to interplay with.

There was a time when the monthly allowance from my gradstudent dayjob got stuck for 7 months. While my living expenses are fairly low since I lead a simple single life and all my regular points is located not far from each other, it's still hard sustain normal living without your major source of income for >half of the year. Evenhough I have 2nd source of income as a tutor for a tuition centre, I primarily reserve that one to finance my hobbies and travel/backpacking plans.

So the 7-month period went quite well i think, with new survival strategies rediscovered & improvisation skills polished. I would like to share some things I did to make sure I didn't fell miserable through that time, the keywords are two; Cheapskate & Opportunist.

1) I've never been a fashions & trends person anyway so I do not succumb to the desire for shopping clothes & stuffs. In fact i can't remember the last time I bought myself new clothes. The running  & outdoor events that I regularly joined however, always come with the ever-attractive, sports-branded event tshirt so that's how I compensate in the obligation of renewing the wardrobe. In fact,got too many of them.

2) There are 3 priorities when the cash are low. The rent, the gas/petrol, and then food. Other than that will have to wait.

3)Though we may become technically (and hopefully temporarily) broke, but be a health-conscious kind of broke. Limited money to spend doesn't mean you have to compromize your body's right to be well-fed. I refrain eating instant noodle and other junk stuffs though there are the most economic, price-wise. Gotta love your body.

4) Identify the cheap food options that were available around you, and hold to those that have the value for money and still have reasonable nutritional value retained in it. A rm4/5 meal which allows you to have a lot of rice(carbs) and a huge piece of chicken (protein) plus some vegies is always better than a packet of rm 1.80 maggie. One mapley here gives a generous amount of white rice,huge fried chicken breast, with some vegies and mixed gravy for just rm4.50. I normally bought this as take-away and have them splitted for 2-3 servings. So the dispersed cost would be around rm1.50 for a still-reasonable serving of nasi campur, eaten 3x.

5) I've also identified several other target menus in the vicinity that offer best value for every penny spent,  portion,price & nutrinion-wise. A rm3 chicken kebab @ukm, a rm4 nasi kukus ayam berempah @seri putra, a rm3.50 nasi lemak ayam besar@sek1, rm4.50 nasi campur @azuralama and few others.

I also get my carbs & protein source quite largely on breads & eggs. have a nice breakfast of hard-boiled/half-cooked eggs with toasted bread. An array of eggs  for ~rm10,and loaf of bread for rm~3, can last for weeks.

6) This done right can enable you to eat good for ~5-6 times a day for merely rm10.

7) It's like what Kevin Zahri has said; eat frequently but keep the portion small each time, instead of melantak sebukit nasi sekali hadap and then feel extra-full and bloated macam ular sawa. That's not good for your body. Indulge yourself with the pleasant taste, but bear in mind of the portion you eat. Hydrate well and exercise regularly. "You are what you eat"

8) make  full-use of the facilities in the pantry at your workplace. They have microwave oven and toasters that are under-utilized I think. Plus there are many edible things that are left to expire because the individuals who initially brought them are very generous to buy large, with the intention to allow others enjoy as well, But most of the time people here were too busy with their work and hardly visit the pantry to prepare the foods. Not anything fancy, i'm talking about jumbo-sized breads and jars of peanut butter and jams. These are the most-left-to-expire items. In this dire-time of mine, it's me who become a somewhat timely scavenger, preparing a peanut butter toast topped with ice cream.

9) Yes, here we have weekly ice-cream session for us to unwind. And most of the time they weren't finished and the remaining ice-cream tabs are still stacking up in the fridge @pantry. Be experimental with all the available items, you can make quite a treat out of them.

10) It can be more economic if you can cook at home. But in my case, our kitchen isn't  really functional. Fortunately in this idealville neighborhood where I live in the neighbours are close-kit and friendly. So I do get invitations to luch/have a tea at my neighbours house. Every time there's such calling I'll be like.."alhamdulillaaah~ *bersyukurlahh face".

11) The make the food-hunt more interesting, I occasionally visit the 'canteen corner' at the nearby grocery stores eg Giants and Tesco. I'm not talking about any food court which is located inside the complex. Well i don't know if you'd notice it but in these supermarkets they have a section ran by the company itself, where they sell on-the-go meals, they have different items for breakfast, lunch and dinner. Everything is in packagings, meaning it's only for take-aways. I kinda enjoy the experience browsing the menu over the counter; the have burgers, half/quarter-roasted chickens, chicken chop, breaded fish fillet, nasi lemak, sushi, and even rice with packeted sayur campur,ikan asam pedas (and other familiar local dishes too). Though the food presentations (and taste) may not score full marks, it'll do more than enough at least for me. Plus we can ask the cashier to microwave re-heat our meal upon buying. And most importantly, it is very cheap. All of the said menus are ~rm4, and usually I will time my visit there to be late-evening around 6pm, where the section has started to clear its bussiness for the day and all the prices were reduced to half. Every time I did these I feel like Misae, the mother of Shin Chan :-P

12) About getting around places. Yes for sure we have places to go everyday. I will carefully plan my to-do things and try my best to get the most things to be done in a one-way/parallel manner. I'll try to time my visits to places so that I can get them done only in one clean-cut outing. No fuss and back-and-forth travelling. Reason, to save up the gas/petrol. Yes I can be THAT particular in dire times.

13) Opportunistic. This is a confession. Quite a number of times I ride the KTM Komuter rail service without spending a penny. Well, there's weaknesses and flaws in their system, most of the gate/barrier in the station is not functional since forever, so one can pass through even without ticket. I've identified these station where I commonly use, and take advantage of them. Gotta save as much as u can yaw.

14) If you really know me in real-life, you would notice my activities and whereabouts. In the 7-month broke period, I travelled to Thai, Singapore, and Indonesia as well as some other local places in Malaysia. How can I pull such a feat? The answer is meticulous timing, smart utilization of resources and well-planned trips. You don't have to be rich to experience the world. If you wait for the right time, it'll never come. Make it happen. You can do it backpackers style; and don't be a tourist, be a traveller ;-) Maybe I'll elaborate later about my wanderlust and travel life in another post.

15) Boys dont ask money from their parents when they're broke. Even on wit's end. Not anymore. So embrace the hardship of life with high-spirit. Feel the thrill and find a way. This can be a good experience that adds another chapter in your book of life. It's one of those kinda stories that you'll be smiling upon when you reminisce in your old days.

16) I guess it would all come down the attitude you have. Stay positive and calm.For me,I'm never a money-person. I don't really put money up there on top of anything, in fact i don't really worry about anything. I can tolerate the whole ordeals of getting my payment stuck for friggin 7 months. I didn't get worried and anxious that much when I only have few notes left in my wallet. Don't worry, there's always a way to get around all these.

17) Looking from the brightside, it's a way to forcibly save my money. Kind of like auto-saving. I didn't get to spend my salary for like half a year, and when I eventually get it it's in a whole accumulated bulk.

Thanks for stopping by! You are alright.
We are alright.


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Thanks for stopping by! you are alright.