Of Kolo Mee, Wantan Mee & Missing Malaysia

It was one of those weekend mornings. For some reason I woke up really early to get my day started, anticipating tons of work to be done before the weekdays commence (yes, I have an odd habit to get most of my stuff sorted out over the weekends instead of doing them on weekdays). I found myself hungry, and headed to Bangsar early in the morning for some breakfast to kick start my day. It was a familiar territory, since I used to go there a lot, and I made my way to the corner coffee shop for a plate of good ol’ wantan mee. Eating in KL can be expensive, and for most parts, boring. I was just craving for something cheap and close to home.

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The Morning Express

She looks at me from the corner of her eyes, and a smile forms at the edge of her lips. We don’t speak, we don’t make direct eye contact yet – but she knows that I’m just as thrilled to see her. The aroma that permeates the air awakes my senses as I walk quietly behind her and turn on the tap, allowing the sound of water flowing fill the silence. It’s about time, I thought as I wait patiently for her to finish her morning routine. She knows what I need, and she was going to give it to me – hot and bittersweet.

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Review: Another Country

Scene 1:

Me: Nat, shall we catch a play on Sunday, 3pm? It’s directed by Jo Kukathas and features Sharifah Amani! And they’re working with Singaporeans on this too.

Nat: Okay!

Ten minutes later…

Me: I’ve bought the tickets!”

Nat: Alright, how much is it?

Me: RM80 per ticket!

Nat: Wow, gee thanks for the heads up, Vern!

Scene 2: 

Me: So, are you free this Sunday afternoon? There’s a really interesting play going on.

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You Can Be Your Own Boss

I don’t really know what an entrepreneur is anymore. People whom I regard as entrepreneurs are now saying things like “I’m not an entrepreneur” and those who don’t seem to fit the bill are flaunting the label around their necks.

Today, we find many articles written about the characteristics of successful entrepreneurs, inspiring young ones who are keen to build a name for themselves in the business world, but very few are targeted at those in the workforce. Recently, Timothy Tiah (co-founder of Netccentric) wrote a rather compelling piece from a successful entrepreneur’s point of view of why some people should consider working for others than to start a business. You can read this rather well-written article here.

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Rush Hour

Some would call tomorrow D-day. The project team is racing against time to prepare every single detail to be presented to our stakeholders tomorrow for a milestone review. In less than 24 hours, we will know if we’re moving forward, making a U-turn or stop once and for all. During tough times like these in the oil & gas industry, everyone’s desperate to keep their project alive. Every tonne, every cent and every second count even more than before.

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Pulau Redang, April 2015

“Vern, the email is out! Jom!”

My would-be dive buddy Bib, who’s also sitting next to me at work called out when she received the email from our company sports club. We’ve been planning to dive together for awhile now, and since places are limited, we signed up within the same minute the email was shot out. I was partly nervous, as I haven’t been diving since I first got my license about a year and a half ago – I wasn’t sure if I still remember the basic skills.

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Get Up, and Try Again.

They say you ought to live amongst the bright lights at least once in your life. You know, those that never go out, no matter night or day. I can testify to that. I see the same ones when I wake, and they accompany me until I go home.  It’s as if they’re trying to make me feel less lonely after a long day.

And I’ve been having tons of long, long days. Those that would only leave me when my head hits the pillow filled with dreamless nights, and greet me again when I bat my eyelids for the first time the next morning.

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Up in the Air

5C. I seldom get seats this upfront, especially when I checked in just hours before the flight. Maybe many are not too comfortable with flying anymore, given all that has just happened last year. I find it a little odd that my biggest worry until now is just missing my flight. Anything that happens up there, is beyond my control.

But I’m wrong. The flight is almost full. I look for my seat and find a tall man in his 50’s, with his grey hair neatly combed behind as my companion. He’s reading a book on leadership principles by Lao Zi, lost in his own little world. That’s what I like about flying. We’re all lost in another world for awhile. Sometimes you get chatty strangers who make your flight interesting, and sometimes you just appreciate the peace and quiet, even if it’s just as short as 45 minutes.

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Start at Home

Mom and I chilling on the couch, busy with our phones. Dad came home from his daily hike, passed us and walked into the kitchen. As she was busily swiping colored candies, she asked nonchalantly.

Mom: What do you think dad is doing in the kitchen?
Me: Mm… Sounds like he’s cutting up something.
Mom: What is it ah?
Me: Doesn’t sound like durian…
Mom: Doesn’t smell like durian… It’s not even in season!
Me: Cannot be coconut… we just had it…
Mom: Doesn’t sound like he’s chopping something big..
Me: Can’t be papaya…
Mom: We still have leftover papaya from yesterday lah..
Me: Oooo maybe mango?
Mom: Ya meh? But we haven’t gone for dinner yet, he’s cutting fruits already?
Me: Aiyah dunno lah!

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An Open Letter to Dato’ Lee Chong Wei & Dato’ Nicol David

Dear Chong Wei and Nicol,

I play a little bit of badminton, and I know nothing about squash, which I think that holds true for many Malaysians. We know in reality that badminton has always been the more popular sport, and sometimes a loss in badminton is sung louder than a win in squash.

But we also know, though we often forget, that both of you have the same burden on your shoulders. Each time you don your sponsored gears and make your way into the arena, the weight of our national flag rests on you. And that weight is far heavier than the grams you carry in your racquets, and the results are louder than the cries of your fans.

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