Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Rascally Taxi Men

I had to take a taxi to Subang airport and Melissa was so kind to drop me off at the "taxi stand" in front of her apartment. It's actually a place where taxi men congregate to have a rest.

The taxi man wanted to charge me RM40 for the trip because of traffic jam. I protested because the trip from the airport to the Sime Darby Medical Centre at Subang Jaya only cost me RM20 and I am boarding the taxi at Sunway Mentari which is only a short distance away.

After bargaining he lowered the price to RM35. I said I'll take another taxi. That's when he shouted out the price to his fellow taxi men and made mention of the jam.

That was such a blatant ruse to get everyone to gang up against me. The place was off the main road and I had not checked in yet so I had no choice but to take the taxi. I agreed to pay him RM35 ONLY if there is a jam.

The jam was just a convenient excuse to fleece me because we had a smooth drive to the airport. So I paid him RM30.

Lesson of this story: Never take a taxi from unauthorised taxi stands, especially when the place is off the main roads. You are at their mercy.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Birthday Celebrations 2012 - Part 4...Lunch at Suffolk House

Believe it or not, I've not finished celebrating my birthday. Or rather my birthday wishes are still being fulfilled.
I really wanted to celebrate my birthday at Suffolk House this year but due to unfavourable circumstances that idea was shelved. Since it is most satisfying when wishes do come true, I set about planning a small celebration at Suffolk House. The perfect opportunity presented itself when our precious Jewel of India came back and so we had a mini-joint-birthday celebration for the two of us on Saturday, 8 September 2012.

As usual when we celebrate we must celebrate in style. A theme for the party is mandatory and we decided that the theme for the day was green.

The 3 ladies in various shades of green.
Suffolk House is a really beautiful place but where the food is concern, there is nothing spectacular taste-wise and the portions were very tiny – so not worth the price we paid. To be honest, most people would leave the table half-full (I did) and anyone with a healthy appetite would still be hungry after the meal.

Super tiny serving of salad...a few leaves enough for 2 mouthfuls
A miniscule portion of Atlantic Salmon for my main dish
With such teeny-weeny portions, lunch was over all too soon and it was time for dessert.

Me and my dessert
Then after lunch Hubby and I had the most pleasant surprise. We received presents from India!

Our budding dentist gave us sweets!
First came the Tic Tacs in these mini bottles. Apparently the Indians like miniaturised items so it is common to find mini versions of things like Pond's Cold Cream etc there. 

Then came the personal presents. A notebook for me. Don't you just love the cute cartoons on the cover?

The Front Cover of the notebook
The Back Cover of the notebook
And that's not all. The best is yet to come.

Lovely pieces of material in the most gorgeous colours with a shawl to match!

Then it is Hubby's turn. Jewel bought this pair of shorts for her Khai Yeh to wear when he plays badminton. It is full of cute and colourful Vespas! So pretty that she bought one for herself too and they are going to wear them together one of these days.

Hubby is happy with his gift
To our shame we did not have any presents for our god-daughter. :( We just fed her.

Now I am planning for my last birthday wish to come true. Dinner at David Brown!

Sunday, September 2, 2012

Sacrificial Giving

There's charity and there's charity.

Take for example, our annual cell project to raise funds for the Eden Handicapped Centre. All the cell members would chip in some money to order food which some of us will sell at the food and fun fair. All proceeds from the sale are then donated to the centre.

The only sacrifice on our part was the small sum each of us invested which was used to generate funds for the home. Technically there is hardly any sacrifice at all. There are so many of us sharing that our individual investment becomes minimal. The ones who sacrificed anything at all are those who gave of their time to man the stall and sell the products.

There is also another kind of fund-raising where we would pay to attend a high-end gala dinner or watch the premiere of a block-buster or participate in some sporting event in aid of some charitable organisation. To be frank, I find it difficult to associate any altruistic motives with our participation in such events. Normally the glamour, prestige, enjoyment and fun we get out of such events more than make up for whatever sum we have to fork out to participate in them. In the case of sporting events, the many freebies – T-shirts, caps, etc – that participants get in their goodie bags nullify any claim of contributing to charity.

Having said all that, I thank God that there are pro-active and benevolent people who are willing to give time, effort and money to organise and participate in fund-raising events in order to raise public awareness of the needs in our society and to help the underprivileged. Please do continue to contribute in whichever way you can, regardless of whatever your motives may be, because every effort, no matter how small, can change lives.

However, in my most humble opinion, and without any intention of belittling anyone's endeavour, the most meaningful kind of fund-raising comes with a cost. This leads me to the objective of this post, which is to introduce you to one brave lady.

She is Suan Bee, the wedding planner for my 'bee's wedding. On 26th August 2012 she went bald for a worthy cause and raised RM16, 800 for the Adventist Hospital Cancer Fund. My respect for her does not stem from the money she raised but that she gave out of a great conviction and, as a woman, I believe it was done at great cost to herself. And the sacrifice is not just for a day but will be over a few months until her hair grows back.

I salute you Suan Bee!
Look at what she had to say about her decision to go bald. This is taken from her Facebook timeline dated 26th August 2012:
When i made the decision to go bald, a lot of my friends asked what made me decide to go bald. Everyone said that i am very courageous to go bald especially when i'm a lady. And i'm very grateful for all the support and contribution that flowed in from the time i posted on my FB.

However, i would like to say that this is not about me :-) It is about all the cancer patients and survivors out there who are fighting or have fight the battle. We would like to convey to them that there's always hope and miracles do happen...Do not be afraid of how you look as beauty is from within... The divine, guides and angels will always be there to protect and love you...:-) 
Simply awesome!

Saturday, September 1, 2012

Learning Is Beautiful

My eyes were finally opened to the difference between studying and learning when I came across this quote that so accurately expresses my sentiments.

I've confused studying with learning and that's why I end up signing up for course after course, year in and year out. But I usually end up regretting my decision after signing up for a course because I really, really hate studying. In fact I am ashamed to confess that I have never really studied throughout my school days.

But I enjoy learning. Give me an interesting topic and I can spend hours and days on end reading up and doing research on it.

So after this epiphany I'm going to quit studying and just concentrate on learning 'cos learning is beautiful. I couldn't agree more with the smart, intelligent and beautiful Ms Portman.