Wednesday, February 24, 2010

On Anger

"When angry, count to four. When very angry, swear."         
- Mark Twain, American writer and humourist - 
Have a nice day, people! :)

Sunday, February 21, 2010


This was taken outside a Bedouin village. Can you see the man's face with his mouth open? They believe(d) that the sun set each day after that very hungry man ate up the sun, and each morning, it rose because it was so hot that he was forced to let it out again.

Just another folklore on sunsets, huh? I loved it though :)

I wish I had the picture of the desert night sky, but I didn't think of taking a picture then. Definitely one of the best experiences in a foreign land.

This is a castle in Alexandria. Those clouds overhead are storm clouds. It was eerily beautiful, especially with the bits of sunlight breaking through. But the best part of Alexandria was the ocean, pictures of which I hope to share sometime soon!

This was at Hurghada. The sunrise was very peaceful, and the lone camel grazing near the pokok kurma (I'm not too sure what you call it in English) was just asking to be photographed.

Night lights along the road, next to a running river. I have no idea why it makes me think of goals that one wishes to reach in life, the aspiration for a dream, the effort to make it reality. That little light on the top is the reflection against the windowpane :P

An eclipse that we saw right here on campus two years ago. The Mayans believed the eclipse foretold the ending of an era, Hindus have numerous superstitions concerning any eclipse, more so a lunar one. I thought it looked a bit like a human iris, with the little pupil in the centre letting in light.

I know this looks like a postcard, but one of us snapped this image when we were on the Nile, that time in Egypt. That is the Nile bank, upon which lies the history of ancient civilisations and laid the foundation for today's. The perfect form of the sun and the dark silhouetted palms and shrubs look even better in real life.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Not My Typical Monday

“There’s a daily withdrawal limit, so that means we get to pay only on Friday,” he told his
My mouth stuffed full of fries, I could just nod. We had just booked our flights home.
So, wads of notes crammed into my jeans, we had pizza together. That was at 1400 hours.
Got home, soaked my laundry, defrosted the shrimp, looked up the recipe for seafood pasta,
opened numerous webpages and began my earth-shaking (not! ) task of leaving comments on blogger and replying a thread on FB that keeps us together still.
            Then my phone rang. It was my ex-roomie, E. “Loshi, do you have antacids?” Her voice was strained.
            Me being me, I yelled down the phone , “E! When’d you get back?!”  It took me three whole minutes to realise that something was wrong. I’m like that at times.
            Grabbing my antacids and other meds I keep around for gastritis I ran up the 2 floors to her room.
            The first thing I saw was her red round butt. Not E’s butt. P’s butt. She looked like she was doing some weird yoga pose, but in fact she was doubled over in pain in the middle of the floor.
            It took 30 minutes, a cold compress to her abdomen  and another two rounds of retching and puking, plus some exchanged worried glances between E, Y (the third roommate..) and I before I ran down to the djurni mama’s post to ask her to get an ambulance, leaving the other two in charge of the Emotional Department. That was 1656. I know that because I got a call right then from my ex which I not unhappily cancelled.
            “Padajdite ni monoshka,” the mamachka told me and I went to sit down at the sofa in the lobby.        
            I waited. And waited. And waited some more. Each passing minute had me convinced that the gastritis had led to a peptic ulcer, which in turn had perforated, caused freaking sepsis and formed a bloody abcess in her brain, on a background of pain shock, of course. The paramedics here are called ‘skora pamoch’ which literally translates as ‘quick help’. The freakin’ irony.
            It was worse because I had to smile at people I knew who walked past and tell them that I was waiting for a friend. A little white lie to prevent mass hysteria. Sort of.
            It took them 40 minutes and I had exhausted the limits of my colourful vocabulary in my mind. The paramedics came in then, bloody laughing and I stood up and to my utmost surprise, I smiled!
            Yeah well, she got poked in the stomach, asked a couple of routine questions and after a hushed conversation between those two tall men, got administered platyphylline.
            The three of us hovered in the background, squishing the occasional baby roach or two.
            Using what little Russian linguistic capabilities we had harnessed over these years, we communicated with those two giants and they whisked P and Y away in the ambulance to the hospital, leaving E and I with puke-pail, used ampoules and the task of getting all of P’s documents and personal items for an overnight stay at the hospital.
            Oh, and I put the shrimp back into the freezer… :)
            Approximately 1800 hours: E and I are sardined in the marshutka (sort of a shuttle van?) to the hospital, stuck between beautiful blonde with fake eyelashes and smelly old drunk.
            1835: We arrive at the old building and after even more waiting, bloodtaking and a zillion stupid jokes that we seem to spout at moments like these, P got the greenlight for the slumber party at the hospital ward. Woo-hooo!
            Then we get up to the ward and the medsistra informs us that P would be needing her own plate and mug if she planned on getting fed while hospitalized. Now how the hell had E and I overlooked a plate  and mug while packing for an emergency hospitalisation? I mean, seriously, man, what the heck were we thinking??
            After hugging P, we three musketeers walked down to the groundfloor and went to a store nearby to get the mug and plate and some food for the poor woman since it was now past nine p.m., which meant dinner at the hospital was over (thankfully? Haha..)
We also grabbed some M&M’s for sustenance ;)
            The walk back was a shocker. The stars were out, so many and so bright that my earlier peevishness dissolved like the M&M’s in my mouth. It was fabulous.
Then the wind started blowing. Talk about the calm before a storm.
            The wind was just chilly initially, teasing, then it got stronger and by the time we exited the pharmacist (we have to buy our own meds here… which I kinda like. Funny, aint it?) we had a minityphoon roaring around us.
            Pushing against it and giggling uncontrollably we walked down that last dark lane, expecting a  mental gold-toothed man, frothing at the mouth and wielding a huge chainsaw behind every tree, we got back to P finally.
            We passed her everything under the hawk gaze of the nurse and took ourselves home.
            2200 hours or something like that: We completely spooked ourselves out when we were walking out to the marshutka stop because the cats were yowling and dogs werenbarking at the raging wind. Three idiots, the Malaysian version :P
            2245: I turned the key to my unit to find that I had laundry to wash. My nightmare. I walk into my room and look myself in the mirror. My hair was a mess. My mum’s worst nightmare (my hair’s lack of regard for conformity is notorious at home).
            2358: Happy with my hot shower, I began typing this
            0031 hours: With a steaming mug of Milo at hand and my hair half dried, the minityphoon
is a scale 1 typhoon now. I hope the trees don’t get uprooted and that the stray animals and homeless have found safe shelter somewhere. I realise that the medical service in this country is slow because they lack the manpower and funds - the image of the overworked resident at the priomnaye adjeleniye (reception) is in my mind’s eye right now. I hope I wake up in time for lectures tomorrow, but I can’t sleep yet. I need my hair to dry first. One of the woes of the fairer sex :)… and I hope P’s ok.

*it is not 6 am plus... that's Malaysian time :). I must be growing old coz it isn't even 1 am and my eyes are so heavy already. Terrible. Maybe I should consider investing in a hairdryer?

Monday, February 15, 2010

Helping the Heart-Attackee

It’s February, and that means it’s heart awareness month. The leading cause of death worldwide is heart disease and related conditions, but you probably already knew that, yeah? ;)

I thought I’d share some info on heart attack, the most notably famous heart disease and also due to an e-mail I received (will come to that later…)

I’ve faithfully copied excerpts from and and pasted them here because they limit the medical jargon. Read it, ok?

I'm having a heart attack? (
The pain of a heart attack can feel like bad heartburn. You may also be having a heart attack if you:
  • Feel a pressure or crushing pain in your chest, sometimes with sweating, dizziness, nausea or vomiting
  • Feel pain that extends from your chest into the jaw, left arm or left shoulder
  • Feel tightness in your chest
  • Have shortness of breath for more than a couple of seconds
  • Feel weak, lightheaded or faint
  • Have sudden overwhelming fatigue
Don't ignore the pain or discomfort. If you think you are having heart problems or a heart attack, get help immediately. The sooner you get treatment, the greater the chance that the doctors can prevent further damage to the heart muscle.

What should I do if I think I am having a heart attack?
Right away, call for an ambulance to take you to the hospital. Don’t try to drive yourself. While you wait for the ambulance to come, chew one regular tablet of aspirin. Don't take the aspirin if you're allergic to aspirin.

If you can, go to a hospital with advanced care facilities for people with heart attacks. In these medical centers, the latest heart attack technology is available 24 hours a day. How well you survive a heart attack depends on how quickly you get treatment, how much damage there is to the heart, and where that damage is

What should I do if my family member/ friend is having a heart attack?( – just slightly edited :D It was on how to help your spouse…)
1.       Have him stop all physical activity and sit and rest if he suddenly starts experiencing severe pain in their chest.
2.       Call 911 or call out for help if you are not near a telephone.
* In Malaysia, it’s 991 and not 911. Please try to remember, folks! It varies from country to country, I think.
3.       Push fast on his chest.
4.       If you can, give two rescue breaths after every 30 chest compressions.
5.       You don't have to stop to check for improvement.
6.       Don't stop until help arrives. This is because blood circulation increases with each chest compression. It is important to keep the blood flowing.

1.       Don't advise him to start coughing. That advice that has been circulating around the Internet can not be verified by medical literature. The American Heart Association does not endorse cough CPR.
2.       Aspirin is known to prevent blood platelets from sticking together and can prevent a clot from getting bigger. The next time you have an appointment with your doctor, ask about the pros and cons of either of you chewing and swallowing one 325 mg. aspirin in an emergency situation.

* The cough-can-save- your- life-during-a-heart-attack legend is not true. Stop circulating that e-mail, please. (Yep, that’s the e-mail I mentioned earlier) Coughing may help regulate the heart rhythm (hence used in arrhythmias, but by PROFESSIONALS only) but most heart attacks are caused by thromboembolisms and vessel spasms. The coughing may further propagate the emboli.  
Summary? Stick to pressing the heart area – way safer.

* Learning CPR is not a bad idea, you know. Even if you are fortunate enough not to use it, a little extra knowledge couldn’t hurt, could it? ;)

* Heart diseases are preventable. Go google it or my post will be waaaaayyyy too long :P And please, bug your parents/uncles/aunties into going for regular health checkups. It really does make a difference between life and death.

* If a person’s having a heart attack, he has approximately 10 seconds before he loses consciousness. React fast. If the guy does pass out, DO NOT panic. Keep doing the chest compressions and rescue breaths till help arrives, all right? It keeps his heart pumping and that is vital.

Hope the articles I celok-ed help somewhat! Have a nice day, people.
Oh, I used ‘him’ coz typing ‘him/her’ took too much time, plus I’m notoriously lazy ‘bout things like this and
‘celok-ed’ is the local term for ‘filched’, in case you were wondering. It’s in Manglish ;)

p/s : Click here - for individual risk assessment . That makes me sound like a hypochondriac, doesn't it? Oh, well! :P 

Saturday, February 06, 2010

The Thing About Books And Their Covers

Hey. I know that I’m not supposed to be writing till winter’s over, but something made me write this. Probably the cucur ikan bilis I made for breakfast! :P Here it is. Sorry ‘bout the length of it!


“Crap. Crap. Crap. Sh**. Foosa!!!” she muttered under her breath at the damned scanner. “Work, dammit!” Her uttered profanities were said so softly that even the other lady watching her from a few steps ahead could not hear the exact words.

Mrs. H was forty-two and at her age, she had seen it all. She knew that the new intern was going to lose her job. She had known it the minute she had laid eyes on that girl – black wavy hair tied into a pony tail, dressed neatly but not stylishly in a grey blouse and brown slacks, chewed fingernails and big, mouse-like eyes. That new intern didn’t have the gumption for this job. She didn’t have the individuality to survive.

Mrs. H jerked her eyes back to the sheet of data before her. She had to know absolutely everything about that new umbrella design in order to win the game in the board room later. She smirked to herself. She usually left the potential clients with a big fat proposal stuck under her hands. She was the best at the marketing game.

”YOU! Newbie!” It was the HR officer. The girl at the scanner froze and looked up. “Where did you graduate from again? Why do they keep sending me uneducated imbeciles?” His every word was drawled out in such a way as to make the back of the girl’s eyes smart with tears of humiliation. “Move, girl. Geyet-outtatheway!”

Mrs. H did not care for the HR officer. He was the office bully – work below average, but loud. Too loud. But that was not her problem. Mrs. H only saw the girl once after that, cleaning out the small cubicle she had been given only 3 days ago. Fired.

Needless to say that Mrs. H sealed the deal. She walked into the office to give the good news to her boss later in the day.

“I don’t care how much it costs. Get it for L or she’ll be breathing fire.”

Ah. The Mistress. Everyone at the workplace knew that L was the Boss’ lover. That he was a cold-hearted monster who cared not tuppence for his wife of 12 years and two adorable brats. No one who had an extramarital affair could love his family, right?

Mrs. H took one step backwards, waited for him to slam the phone receiver down, then knocked.

“Ah, H, come in.” The smile on his face never reached his eyes. His exultation when he heard of the deal was clear in the gleam in his eyes. Everyone at the office also knew that the numbers were all he cared about besides L. “Go home early, H. Celebrate. Your husband will be pleased.”

Mrs. H hesitated. “It’s not such a big achievement, Boss.”

“No, no, with his condition, he would love the company. It’s an order.”

Mrs. H had never disobeyed an order in her whole life, and was not about to change that now.

As she walked past the just-vacated cubicle of the intern on the way to the elevator, something pink caught her eye. She stopped and stared. It was a piece of paper on the ground next to the cubicle. On it were caricatures of almost everyone at the office, very life-like and animated. Curious, Mrs.H glanced into the wastepaper basket. More caricatures on little crumpled up balls of paper, all the paper of that same horrid pink colour.

One of the Boss, with the phone cello-taped to his ear, one hand holding a rose and the other a teddy bear. A teddy bear?? And he was smiling. The girl had to be delusional to imagine something like that, let alone sketch it out!

Another had that HR officer who had just bellowed at her hours before. With horns on his head and a pirate eye-patch. With a speech cloud that read ‘Which a*** h*** stole my bloody pitchfork??’ Next to him was a Grade 3 Math test with a big red ‘F’ scrawled across it.

Mrs. H smiled. The girl did have gumption and individuality.

Thirty minutes later Mrs. H was home. Mr. H was snoring on the couch in his underwear, an empty bottle of gin and two crushed cans of beer on the ground beside him. She sighed and put her things away, ready to clean up the mess. As always. She was the best at the game after all.

If she had searched the wastebin a bit more, she would have found another caricature – one of a smartly dressed woman with a mike, singing to a mesmerized crowd. But on her head would be a judge’s wig and on her bosom a heart, with a scar running across it. Why? Because once, the newbie had heard Mrs.H sing in the washroom. She had been singing ‘Save the Last Dance for Me’ like her heart would break, and the newbie had merged that image with the shrewd, judgmental picture Mrs.H portrayed to the world.

There was one more thing Mrs.H would never know. The Boss went home everyday to a loving home, a wife he adored and two children with whom he played Lego and dress up Barbie with. L, well, that was another part of him. The part that the world knew about.

“Yes, honey. H is wonderful. And with a crippled husband, at that,” the Boss told his wife, looking deep into her eyes while they cuddled on the sofa in front of the TV. Her beautiful curls framed her light brown eyes; her wrinkles weren’t visible to him. They were 15 again, when they had met for the first time, she the ‘it’ girl and he, the tuba-player in the school band.

“I love you, baby,” he said and she knew that she was the only woman he ever looked at like that. She was completely certain that he could never fake emotion like that, even with L.

Oh, yeah she knew. She had known for months now. She just never let it show. She snuggled a little closer to him, on the verge of sleep now.


Yeah, we never really KNOW a person do we? We just take them at face value, judge them and decide to either like/dislike/ignore them… Makes life a bit more interesting when we realize just how little we know the people we meet each day. Confusing though… eek!

No, this post has no real purpose except to highlight the fact that one should never judge a book by its cover :) coz I’ve been there, done that and lived to blog about it .. hehe!

*any similarities to persons alive or dead AREN’T purely coincidental. Deal with it! ;)

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

533 + 2 :)

We made a snowman!! A real took 8 of us n another 2 ;), lots of kneeling and wrestling in the snow, a couple of snow angels, a million stillshots, and maniacal yells of laughter, but we made it! And in 3 hours flat!

It was Bihah's birthday today, and true to our class' way, we celebrated it during class and after (God bless the lecturer.. he has a good heart)Anyway, that girl made a snow angel on the ground next to Mr.Round.. and we buried her in snow while she did it... lol!

The last time our class made a snow man was 2 years back and the flying snow balls smack in each others' faces has been long overdue. All of us got home redfaced, trench coats drenched, ice clinging to our hair and jeans and with lopsided grins on our faces today. Madness.. :)

We've seen each other at our best and worst these past 5 years and we've still got each other's backs. Others think we are a studious bunch, but i disagree. I think we just get each other and take the trouble to look out for each other and hence do OK with exams *knocking on wood* (dun wanna jinx it..)

yeah, i know. it's just a superstition.. but am not gonna break a glass mirror just to find out if i'll get 7 yrs of bad luck! *throwing salt over my shoulder*

just kidding..:P

Back to what i was saying...Today was a good day, one I'm gonna carry with me years down the road. I hope the memory of this cold frosty day keeps my heart warm when i need it the most :)

Oh, incidentally, Mr. Round had glasses, a siberian snow cap and a floral handbag...i suspect he has metrosexual tendencies..eeek!!

No, am pretty certain he's straight. No, i didnt ask him. *aghast*

If you've got the time, go check my FB account or Aida's. The pictures should be up soon :D

And yeah, i know my story tends to drift a bit, but the words are a reflection of the mind (no, my mind does not drift!!! well, not too much anyway :P)

Bye till winter's end, folks! But i promise to drop in n read ur blogs, so keep blogging, k?

p/s: If u havent figured it out, 533's the number of our group and the plus 2 is well, plus 2 more people :) n wow, i think this post has a record number of smiles in it.. ;)

Monday, February 01, 2010

The After Party

I wonder who coined that word coz the after party is the real party.. then there's the after-after party, where one needs to clean up whatever mess is left behind and wake up for a full day of work.. haha..but 'twas good and here we are plunging headlong into another week again! :P

exams r done for this sem. good. other stuff still pending and am hardly excellent company when i have uncertain things, tasks,bla bla bla hanging over my head. i get cranky. thank god for crankier friends, entertainment, good blogs, wonderful food and family, in no particular order. makes things seem a bit better.

but actually, i wanted to type about my fascination for ppl who are still so connecetd to their homelands even though they live elsewer. it's weird but i like it. but am in a grumbly mood, so will do that some other time, when i am all sunshine :)

too-dles ppl. i have no bloody idea what that means, but i've got more work to do. monday blues.. grrrr! ciao..