When the Mind Goes AWOL


I did not check but this probably one of the longest gap when it comes to blogging.

Working 7 days a week including working up to 10 at night on the weekdays sure pulls the energy from the mind. Somehow, I still force myself to take a late night shower (I have tried but I could not bring myself to bed without a shower…it simply feels too “sticky”) and sometimes put the clothes for washing. Then it is off to the bed and wake up again at about 6.30 am (without alarm) after the alarm goes off at 5.45 am, 5.50 am and 6.00 am (I am rarely aware of the time I switch off the alarm on 3 separate occasions).

I went back home for a couple of days just before Father’s Day. My kids were waiting for me at the front door as I got down from the taxi. First to hear was my youngest’s voice calling me loud and the next is my son rushing to open the front gate. They were indeed very excited to see me back (although it was for a few days). We slept very late that night with my son having tonnes of story to tell (as usual) with the youngest chipping in with her own baby language and jumping on my stomach as she often do. When I falling off to sleep, she even passed me her favorite blanket. My wife had a list of her own for me starting with the washing machine which have been giving some trouble (I almost smiled when I heard the washing machine mentioned).

Yes, I missed my car too. My wife had forgotten to get it washed before I came back but it did not matter much. Driving for that few days and despite being stuck in traffic jam did not deter me from having a great time driving. Ya, Malaysian drivers are still one of the worst kind out there and pesky motorcyclists remains the parasites of the road but some how it was different for that few days. Perhaps after almost a month of being driven around from the workplace and to the apartment and judging on how others drive the car made me miss my own driving. Perhaps.

I miss the good old Malaysian food as well (and yes, that includes my wife’s cooking). Somehow the limau panas tasted better than ever and it did not cost me a bomb for me to have a good healthy lunch with plenty of vegetables. A far cry now where a simple nasi campur have plenty of rice and chicken but almost non existing vegetables and it cost as much as dining in 5 star hotel. But I found the perfect place to dine (yes, it is still expensive) but somehow healthier than the other more premium looking place. This is one reason why home is still the best place to be.

It was a short break indeed and soon it was time to fly back for the overseas assignment.

FD

The night before I flew back overseas was great. We had a good dinner and a quick shopping for the essentials. My son had wanted to buy a rabbit (he knows the right time to ask me) but there was no time to go to the pet shop. I told him that we will revisit this once I am back. My son knew that I was flying out the next morning and I saw sadness in his face but my daughter was still too young to understand things (the same happened to my son when he was small to a point that he thought I worked at the airport). And that night, my son presented me with his “Father’s Day” wish card which was lovely and very touching indeed. He always have something to say that leaves me speechless and it was the same case this time around.

This morning, I had a good conversation with an elderly gentleman taxi driver (he was 72 years old but drives perfectly) who had served in the Air Force back in the 1960s and at once was attached to the Royal Malaysian Air Force. When he heard that I was from Malaysia, his first question was this – “What had happened to Malaysia? From a country that had a good chance to be one of the powerful country in the region, it had turned into a country that full of crime, corruption and going down the drain”. I kept my silence. Not that I am not angry with a foreigner speaking badly of my beloved country but because I saw in the old man’s eyes, he was very disappointed. He was sincere. He knows the nonsense that the so-called leaders are doing on a regular basis (in case you don’t realised by now, the country is running on auto pilot on a very regular basis and has come to a point, had become a heaven for terrorists from all around the world and religion extremists). There was some truth in what he said. Just like the old man who is a foreigner, we are asking the same question.

Oh, never mind. No point talking about it now. The only way we can clean the house proper is through the elections. I don’t see the logic of the corrupt, the extremists and the short-minded ones to be continued to be voted in to rule this country. There will come a day when the corrupt, the lazy and the selfish are caught, stripped naked and lashed by the millions on public grounds. We seems to have more bad things lining up compared to good things and this gets amplified when one is abroad where there is more unity among the people, extreme view of race & religion is non-existence, very strict control & enforcement at the borders to keep the foreign criminals & scammers away (we on the other hand are welcoming them with open arms) and there a general direction and accountability from the local politicians (I say “general” because politicians from matter from which country, era or background will never be angels).

That’s all for now, hopefully I can write something next week but for now, I am squeezing all available free time on catching up on sleep.

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Tour of Duty, Again


flying

(Caught this shot with my phone on the way for an overseas trip. Somehow I had the dread thoughts of MH370 but all ended well when nothing out of the ordinary happened and we landed safely)

Firstly sorry for missing out on the regular posts for past 2 weeks. You see, it is the time of the year when I clean up my drawers in the office, prepare the monthly budget for my wife, hunt for new clothes / shoes and prepare myself for a painful good-byes to my kids (my precious ones in an eerie Gollum voice).

It’s time for tour of duty where I pack up and go for onsite work in another country for couple of months. Hopefully, I will have time to work on the blog but it is a wishful thinking – 2 weeks into the tour and I am still struggling to do one post. It is almost 9.30 pm as I drafting this post and we have not taken our dinner (my stomach making loud noise protesting).

And I know the team work on the weekends, forgoing sleep, water and food to get the job done. Some of them are coughing and sneezing rather badly, so that put things in a different perspective as well. I know how bad it is to be working with tonnes of pressure and with a stuffy nose (or a bountiful of malaria parasite in the blood stream a few years ago).

It will be living hell – not because the clients like to play the role of the devil (some of them are). Most of them are humans too and they understand the constraints that we facing too. After all, we are all in the same boat, with the same destination, timeline and deadlines. It is living hell primarily because we put ourself into a situation where we want to give the best in what we are doing (a dose of “Malaysia Boleh” sprinkle into it) and try to out do what we have done the day before.

But all is not lost – there is always a silver lining in every clouds. One thing for sure is that we will always learn something new and it can be work related or not. Don’t laugh but this time, I might learn something that is related to washing. To be more precise, washing my clothes with the washing machine. You see, we are not staying in a hotel where we can just chuck our dirty laundry to one end, fill up the form and come back to see the clothes all washed up and ironed and stacked away neatly on the table.

We are staying in an apartment where it can accommodate a larger number of us and is more cost effective to the customer. There is a laundrette nearby but the owner, an old lady often closes the shop before we come back from work (which is usually very late). And it is expensive and slow as well – it takes a week for the clothes to be back, unless you give her extra $$$ and you will get a faster return. So, when I saw my colleague washing his clothes in the apartment washing machine, I asked him about it and he showed me how to get this done. Don’t get me wrong, there is washing machine back home too but I had never tried to wash clothes myself. It is uneconomical. Why waste time, water and electricity when this can be done once everyone had put in their dirty clothes. And this usually would be handled by my wife or my sister.

So, this was considered my first time “venturing” out on my own with the washing machine. And I have already one washing and it was not that bad (I loved when it started to spin on hyper-speed) and looking forward to do my own washing in the coming weeks. I can save up money and get my clothes the very next day.

Another thing I had learned (although this could be very old news to some of you out there) is to set my phone as a hotspot so that I can get internet connection for both my smartphone and my laptop at the same time.

Got to go now – please expect irregular blog posts in the coming months