Flashbacks, Human Nature, Movies, Books & TV Shows, Numbers

Airport Purchase

Someone was interested in the book ‘The No Asshole Rule’, which I placed on the second-hand website almost two years ago. The person wanted to buy it for half the price I asked. D rolled the ball back to the potential buyer, negotiating for 80% of the asking price, plus sending cost. It was a no go.

There was really no loss on neither side. Potential buyer did not want the book enough to pay for what I asked, and I did not need to part with the book that desperately…

I bought the book at SFO, after a business trip to China. Do not make a book worm wait at an airport for hours, for no good reasons.

Flashbacks, Human Nature, Jibber Jabber

All Souls

Today I think of my grandmothers, grandfathers, uncles, aunts, Catherine, Tony, Kris, Carlos, Shelly and so many more.

My true identity is not formed by how many diplomas I hold, how much money I have in my bank accounts, and definitely not by labelling myself with those boring conventional titles that modern society has conjured up.

I am my parents’ first born child. The granddaughter of a wonderful popo. Nothing can take that away. Nothing.

Flashbacks, Food & Drinks, Numbers, Simplify

Old Bread, Pumpkin & Remembering Grandma

This morning, I dealt with the old breads that I got from the in-laws. Some I freeze. Some I cut up and fried into croutons. The rest I cut up to be used for making strata.

I also found the time to cut up the one and only pumpkin (2Kg) I harvested from my vegetable patch. I will use the pumpkin chunks as ingredient in soups, strata, and a variety of dishes.

Seven years ago today, grandma passed away. I still miss her, but feel grateful that I have known her well in my life.

Flashbacks, Human Nature, Simplify

Postponed Walk

I got up this morning planning to do my almost-ritualistic walk to the ATM and the grocery store. It would be good to have some extra cash, take advantage of this week’s store promotions, get some light exercise, and to clear my head a bit.

A week ago, one of my uncles from my mother’s side passed away. He was the uncle I knew quite well during my childhood. I have lots of memories of him and his family, before they moved away from Lahad Datu in the late 70s. That move took away my favourite cousin Angela, and I was a devastated little girl for a long time.

Then there is the death of Kris. An ex-colleague that I admittedly do not know that well. The sysadmin. The person who always reminded me of my half-filipino cousins. He was not afraid to say what was on his mind. A friend to many. The most memorable moment I have of Kris is that he placed an electric collar on his somewhat naughty dog, with no intention whatsoever of using it.

These two deaths sadden me deeply. Kris’ death is especially difficult to accept. It messes me up when younger people died!

Lunch time came about, I took a portion of frozen bread out of the freezer, and decided not to do the walk after all. I have enough cash. I have enough food. In the end, I figure that a little less consumption will be more beneficial for all. As for that light exercise, I have enough garden work for that. Maybe Thursday Market tomorrow. Nothing is set in stone.

Rest in peace Uncle MC and Kris…

Belgium, Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Food & Drinks, Malaysia, Numbers

Wo Hup

Sliced bread may be frozen for up to six months. The four loaves of bread that I bought today may not last that long, but it is good to know that D and I have till December to consume them.

Today is the last day of business for Francky and Magy. The end of an era. Because the couple are those behind-the-scene people, this city and most of its occupants may not feel the pain of their quiet departure any time soon. By next week or so, people will start wondering what is the matter with their fresh bread…

When I was young, I know of only one bakery in Lahad Datu. My father and our Italian Austrian priest were amongst Wo Hup’s loyal customers. I did not know that there were other (lesser) bakeries in town until the fateful day when Wo Hup burned down. The baker tried to bake his bread in a different location using a different oven, but it was never the same any more. The end of an era.

I wished Magy and Francky a bright future and all the best. The end of an era can mean a beginning of a wonderful phase. You never know, these days.

It has been raining the entire day today. I remember Wo Hup, and the sadness that was linked to the loss of good bread. I tried to recall the taste and smell of those wonderful white bread I had when I was a child, but that was too long ago.

An end of an era, and the beginning of many explorations and experiments in my bread purchasing future.

Belgium, Flashbacks, Simplify

June Mowing

No Mow May (Maai Mei Niet) ends today for D and I. We were able to not mow the lawn for an entire month of May and then four days into June.

Last year, we let a patch or two go wild. But this time, we mowed everything! Well, at least I still have flowers along the fence and in my flower beds.

Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber, Simplify

Rain Shower Water Regulating Cartridge

Three days ago, I managed to pry the water regulating cartridge out. I inspected it, de-calcified it, and returned it to its spot, making sure that I tightened the fixtures well. And yet, it still dripped. 🙁

After doing some serious read up on this particular fixture, I attempted to disassemble the entire thing yet again two days later. Well, it was one time too many. A small piece of plastic broke off from the cartridge. Needless to say, the dripping became worse…

This morning, D called a shop to ask if they might have the replacement part we needed. As luck has it, they do. Pricey as it was, it was immediate gratification. It took me only a few minutes to insert the new cartridge. And damn, no more dripping, smooth turning, it was like a new shower!

Business & Creativity, Flashbacks, Simplify

Depend Less

When we need and want less, we spend less. And in this manner, we depend less on those who produce, provide and sell to us.

In the past two decades, I have mindfully set limits on my consumptions. I do not buy cheap ass Made-in-China trinkets. I have a food budget. I wear hand-me-down clothes without shame. In doing so, I limit my dependence on what are usually evil enterprises. I stop putting money into the pockets of those unethical bastards.

My wallet, my health and my conscience thank me for that.

Flashbacks, Malaysia, Numbers

The Quiet Years

From end-1995 to mid-2000, I was back home in Lahad Datu. Things I have done in this period do not go on a résumé. Yet, I feel the need to list them here:

  • Successfully launched my youngest brother off to college, and then later to university in the US. I did the research, the calculations, the preparations, the planning. I wrote his university application letter for goodness sake, and flew with him to the US!
  • Both my parents reached retirement age. I was there to assist them with their claims to their retirement funds. My father’s retirement fund was solely from his teaching career. My mother’s retirement was from her 20 years as a teacher and partly from her life insurance career, which she continued.
  • For my mother’s insurance business, I helped in renovating the Lahad Datu office, set up a new one in Kota Kinabalu, and have a home-office built beneath the living room.
  • I planned a solo US-trip for my father to meet up with my sister who was then in San Francisco and my brother who was still in university in Kalamazoo. He had the experience and time of his life!
  • Gifted properties were formally and legally transferred to the rightful owners. We then went into small-scaled oil palm planting and development. I recalled driving to a weighing station to collect a cheque for sales of oil palm seedlings?!
  • I had a wisdom tooth removed, by my childhood dentist. I survived LD style dental brutality!
  • Planted trees along a busy street.
  • Because I worked for my mother as an administrator, I had to help manage a secretary, a handful of death claims, a lot of accident claims, and tons of paperwork.
  • Spent some good and memorable time with church members and friends, some sadly no longer amongst the living. Cancer is a bitch!
  • Then there are plenty of things I no longer remember…
  • My last big act was planning my getaway from Lahad Datu, to begin the next chapter of my life.

Five and a half years of accomplishments that were quietly executed. Deeds that were easily forgotten due to their lack of glamour. When you lived in cities like San Francisco and Las Vegas, people do not bother to know what happened to you when you lived in hell holes.

I have no regrets spending half a decade back in Lahad Datu. No one forced me to stay. They were years well-spent and well-lived.

Belgium, Flashbacks

Six Years Ago

Six years ago today, religious terrorists attacked the airport at Zaventem and a metro line in Brussels. March 22nd, 2016 was a dark day, and the shadow of the attacks still hang upon us today. Once again, the senseless acts of terror and violence have forced us to impose all those annoying security measures. Why do human beings treat each other this way? What is there to gain, all the pain and sufferings?