Friday, September 28, 2007

Dignity at the Dinner Table

Dad is getting frail ever since the stroke a couple of years ago. The physical decline is very obvious. He is so weak now that his stride is reduced to a slow drag. Every movement is extremely slow and clumsy, even eating is such a chore for him. He used to eat with chopsticks. Well, he still does, but with the declining dexterity, it would be difficult for him to pick up the dishes or shoving rice into his mouth. There would be rice spilling everywhere on the dining able, on the floor and on himself. Therefore such a chore for everyone else to clean up after him, every meal.

"Dad, why don't you just use spoon instead?" I asked him once over dinner, more like shouting as his hearing is failing as well.

"Hmm..." It was sort of a deep grunt from dad. Then silence, somewhat an awkward silence. I was not certain if he heard me or understood me.

I remember hearing this somewhere that people want to die with dignity, but the fact is that there is no dignity in dying. People should live with dignity, not die with it.

Isn't that true?!

So, I think dad heard me and fully understood me over dinner that night. He is simply holding on to one of the few things that he still could do, which reminds him of the able man he used to be.

I was home for a week. This time around over dinner, I asked dad to sit closer to the dinning table, therefore any spillage was contained on the table. Then I wiped the table clean after dinner.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Gone Hiking

Again, waking up at some ungodly hours, like half past 4 in the morning. A quick breakfast and drove in the dark, alone for half an hour. It was quite a scary thing driving past cemeteries, jungles and plantations. Yeah I know, call me chicken.

Reached Sg Lembing around 6 in the morning. Kitted up and hiked up this little hill, hoping for a magnificent sunrise. It just took half an hour to get to the top and it wasn’t a tough climb too. In fact it was easy.

It was still dark when I got to the top. The town was lit with streetlights, about to coming to life with the morning hustle and bustle. Dogs were barking away, then there were the occasional motorcycles going by. On the other side of the hill, insects and birds were chirping ever so loud and crisp.

I set up my camera and patiently waiting for the sunrise and the rolling clouds. The plan was to capture some vivid splash of colors on the sky or the misty dreamy clouds.

An hour ticked away…


These are what I got.

Saturday, September 22, 2007

Gone Fishing

It's Saturday morning and I woke up at some ungodly hours, six in the morning, the sun was not even up yet! I got ready, by that I meant a quick shower, packing up my MacBook and grabbing breakfast, a banana. I then rushed out the door to pick up my sister, who was supposed to stay over last night, at the other side of town, then heading home, a 3 hour drive to the east of KL.

Oh did I mentioned that I slept at two in the morning? Tired and sleepy as I was, I was excited and thrilled, because I'm going home. I've got a week away from work, out of the city, with my folks (though this might back fire) and home cooked meals. I was totally psyched.

However, we reached home just to find the door was locked shut. Mom was on a weekend getaway trip and dad was at grandma's. It was scorching outside, too hot to do anything outdoor, not to mention I was too zonked to do anything anyway.

I slept. Zzz... Zzz... Zzz...

Well, I have a week ahead of me. I'm going to squeeze in some beach time and bush time. Take more pictures, write more, read more, get dad to exercise more.

Yahooooo... I'm on holiday!

Monday, September 17, 2007

After 50 Years of Independence...

The August air was not only saturated with humidity, it was also so thickened with the patriotic, joyous and festive mood of the people in celebration of the 50th independence day of Malaysia. In fact I can still feel the Merdeka frenzy. It is so intence, simply overwhelming. There are Malaysian flags everywhere, cars, lamp posts, buildings, trees etc. I mean, EVERYWHERE!

I drove past a secondary school decorated with hundreds of Malaysian flags, on the school gate, the fence and classrooms. The star of the this proud patriotic display was this massive flag hanging from one of the school buildings. Actually, the huge flag wrapped up the 4-storey school classroom building, from the roof to the ground. Massive! We are talking about an easily 64 ft by 32 ft massive, about 2050 sq ft massive, which is about double the built up area of my condominuim unit. Wow, how could anyone not be impressed with such effort the school went through in declaring their love and patriotism to the country. Well, I so seriously did.

Driving away, I started to think of the amount of work, more importantly the amount of money needed to accomplish such a feat. Wouldn't that money be spent in a more practical and more impactful, if not more meaningful ways? Don't get me wrong, I'm all about "I'm proud to be a Malaysian" and "Malaysia Boleh!" and all that nationalism spirit. But I'm sure that the school could have used the money for a couple more unit of microscopes or a few more computers. What about stuffing the library with more books, or the sport room with more sporting equipment? How about putting a fresh coat of paint for the school? Looking from outside some of the buildings can certainly use that. Perhaps the money can be used for funding some extra-curriculum activities for the student?

We had achieved independence and self-rule for 50 years. Why are we still hanging onto some insignificant mindless and senseless showbo-ish display over what is actually one of the fundamentals of nation building, education, for the next generation?

Happy 50th independence day my fellow countrymen.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Sinful Indulgence

Stacked up two slices of toasty warm carrot cakes on a plate.
Piled on two enormous scoops of vanila ice-cream.
Sprinkled down some chocolate chips.

Here you go, some sinfully tasty indulgence.

Wanted to make it even more sinful? Splash on generously some Irish cream, which I did not have. Damn!