Belgium, Health, Numbers

Two Tropical Days

This afternoon, I have reinserted the summer comforter back into the covers. If the weather forecast is to be believed, temperatures are suppose to drop to the mid-teens in the evening and early next morning.

Yet again, we have experienced two days of tropical heat! This cannot be good for our well-being.

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Jibber Jabber, Numbers

Eight Very Warm Days

Today is the first day of a possible eight-day heat wave. Argh!

The weather forecast said that the temperature in the coming days will be in the thirties. This afternoon peak temperature was at a bearable 25°C, hence D and I went grocery shopping.

While selecting carrots, I heard a woman let out a big sigh of relief when she walked into the cold storage. Understandable. At the checkout counter, I noticed that the person in front of me was wearing a cardigan. What?! In the parking lot, there was a woman waiting in her car, which she kept running for the air-condition. People are already acting out of the normal, and the temperature was just hovering about the mid-twenties. I wonder…

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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.

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Health, Jibber Jabber, Numbers

Hold The Test…

Two and a half years into the pandemic and I still have not been tested once. That itself might be an accomplishment on its own.

Anyway, I do not feel good now. I woke up at half past five with a killer sore throat, hacking cough, a runny nose and dizziness. Tuesdays; the day I go for bread, groceries and cash; I shall have to skip that for now. 🙁

My entire life, I never know how to deal with being sick. I will only admit and surrender when I have to lay down. Being sick means having to go horizontal. Sick means hours or even days wasted. Sick means I will have to navigate through a mind fog. Damn the virus, whichever one it is that is putting me out of commission!

I had to lay down for a restless nap yesterday afternoon. If this dizziness continues, I might have to do that again, today. That makes today – sick day number two. Bloody hell…

As for the antigen test, that is on hold for now. I only need to be tested the day that I have to be amongst people.

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Health, Numbers

Day Five

Today is D’s fifth day in quarantine. The worst has passed for him. The nose spray and cough syrup have helped ease his COVID-19 symptoms. Thank goodness!

As for me, I have been having a slight cough since yesterday. My other mild discomforts are itchy inner ears(?), a scratchy throat, slight chest pressure, frequent sneezing, and a mild pressure at the temples.

These symptoms might be stress reactions to D’s illness, the tropical heat, or my (very real) hay fever.

Meanwhile, I just continue on with my daily activities as usual, in quarantine. We shall see. Fingers crossed.

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Belgium, Jibber Jabber, Numbers

Three More Weeks

I went to buy bread yesterday morning, and only managed to get a small round loaf because most bread were pre-ordered. The baker woman and I both lamented that, in three weeks time, the business will be over. The couple are already actively selling their inventory and tools. They even have their bicycles for sale? Both will work at a forklift company, and Magy sounded a bit stressed out when telling me about it. Next week, I shall try to say something encouraging because I do not want the rest of my bread runs to be depressing. I have made a few drastic changes and moves in my five decades of existence, and most of these turned out to be lovely adventures. I will tell that to Magi next time I go for bread…

Because it was a Thursday, I proceeded to the weekly market to buy a couple of eierkoeken for D. I also bought a whole rotisserie chicken as intended. Irene will be eating chicken for the next four days! 😛

After dinner in the evening, D and I cycled to the cultural centre to attend a free talk by a well-known philosophy professor, Johan Braeckman. The talk was entitled Kritisch Denken (Critical Thinking), and the time just flew by. It was definitely a wonderful learning experience, and I shall have a lot to ponder about in the next days. And to think, I have crossed the Pacific for lesser profs

To conclude the day in a nice manner, D and I drank a beer each at the café on site. The café has been taken over by someone new and has been turned into something more modern. After our drinks, D and I cycled back home at ease, our bellies and our brains duly filled.

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Food & Drinks, Jibber Jabber, Numbers, Simplify

60 Cents Eierkoek

It took quite a bit of self-control on my part to be able to walk passed the chicken stall quickly, and ignoring the sign that said ‘Kippenboutjes 3+1 GRATIS!’.

I left the house at quarter to nine this morning, so that I may get a loaf of fresh bread before they get all sold out. Since it was a Thursday, I decided that it will be fun to go check out the weekly market. D will like an addition of eierkoeken in his lunch box tomorrow. While I was there, I also bought half a kilogram of garnalen and some tomatoes. I can make a fantastic non-traditional tomaat-garnaal.

All the time at the market, I made sure my eyes did not wander about too much. Nor did I linger in front of any interesting stalls for too long. 😛

As a result, I was able to walk home with a bag that weighed less that two kilograms! If I can keep up with this level of self-control every time, maybe I can make Thursday Market a semi-regular thing and add it to my walking exercise thinghy. Maybe…

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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.

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Business & Creativity, Malaysia, Numbers

Employee Provident Fund

In Malaysia, the EPF (also common known as KWSP or Kumpulan Wang Simpanan Pekerja) is a social security institution formed according to the Laws of Malaysia, Employees Provident Fund Act 1991 (Act 452) which provides retirement benefits for member through the mandatory contribution from two parties: a portion of an employee’s salary and employer’s contribution on behalf of their workers. ~3E Accounting

2021 EPF dividend has been declared at 6.10%. One of the highest percentage in the duration of five years. Not bad for a developing country, which has to endure a global pandemic.

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Business & Creativity, Events, Numbers

Invasion

An invasion of a sovereign nation started today.

Despite my outrage and sadness in this matter, I have cool-headedly moved some funds around as strategic precaution.

I cannot foresee how this conflict is going to affect and disrupt the global banking system. Better safe than sorry!

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