Belgium, Malaysia, Numbers

Strange Sums

About three weeks ago, I put in a request for an administrative service by a legal office. First, I was informally given a probable sum, which I found agreeable. Then, I received a quotation for the service, more than double the initially stated fee. What, why?! This prompted me to pause the process, put a hold on the request, while I explore other possibilities. A week later, today, I received an email of an amended quotation. The cost for the service has dropped back down to the sum quoted to me the first time. What the heck?!

Meanwhile, lesson of the day on the Belgian front: It is more costly to defame the wrong people, than to knowingly torture and accidentally kill another human being.

Numbers, Wealth & Creativity


Diversification is a key strategy in good investment. I need to learn more about bonds (obligaties in Dutch). I want to trade in bonds in the foreseeable future.

My nephew turns sixteen years old today. The baby boy grew up so quickly and became a teenager in the wink of an eye. I sent my birthday wishes from across the Atlantic and then made pancakes to celebrate his special day. 🙂

Flashbacks, Human Nature, Malaysia, Numbers


When I was in my mid-twenties working in my mother’s life insurance agencies, many people thought that I was a teenager. A friend of my aunt thought I was seventeen when I was a twenty-five year old university graduate. 😛

Going through your twenties and thirties with a face that was a decade younger has its pros and cons…

One of the disadvantages of looking way younger than one’s real age, was not being taken seriously by certain people. Although, with the right twists and strategies, my youthful looks was used to my advantage. Many did not see a ‘calculating strategist’ when they looked upon my damn innocent face. Ha!

Most people my age would love to be able to turn back time. They envy the youth and wish to be frozen in a certain younger period of their lives. Not me. I do not envy the youth, nor do I want to turn back time. I have travelled on interesting and unique paths in my teens, twenties, thirties, and forties; to reach my fifties. I am content to be at this point in my life. Life has been good to me.

All the best to those who still need to catch up. 😉

Flashbacks, Malaysia, Numbers, Wealth & Creativity

The Happiest Two!

The following photo shows a two-year-old me. A happy toddler and her humongous home-made birthday cake! My mom baked this creation without any measuring equipments, she literally hacked her way to this using empty tin cans.

Fifty one years ago today, I got a gigantic home-hacked butter cake with runny icing, and two large regular candles balanced precariously on top. I do not remember this day, but I am pretty sure I was the happiest girl at that moment. 😀

Wonder what happened to that cute birthday card? Looks familiar. Like I have it somewhere, tucked amongst my many possessions…

Flashbacks, Numbers, Travels


My youngest brother M, turns forty-four today. Damn, I still remember holding this baby in my arms more than four decades ago. I wish M a very healthy year, filled with joy and good fortune. And the obstacles in front of him are mild and avoidable.

Forty-four was not such a good age for me. I lost grandma that year…

So, that’s that. Now I buy two train tickets to Brussels tomorrow. Thank goodness there is a Winter Promo, train tickets are at half price.

This is me making the best in whatever life throws my way.

Flashbacks, Numbers, Wealth & Creativity

Not New Zealand…

Grandma would have been 100 this year. Tony would have been 50 today.

To commemorate this day and the people who had impacted my life significantly, I opened a certificate of deposit. Many would have preferred planting a tree or laying a bouquet at the grave, but this is my way.

Today, I recall and remember the decisions I have made thus far, the turning points I have faced, the course corrections I took, and the butterfly effects of life.

What if I have chosen New Zealand?!

Flashbacks, Jibber Jabber, Numbers


2023 has been a freaky year where quite a number of things went kaput (kapot)…

It started out with me fainting in a restaurant in March. Now, that was a health scare I do not wish on anyone.

Then the TV went kapot in early April – yep, the same TV that we brought to the recycling park a couple of days ago. In May, the washing machine stopped working. Fortunately, it was resurrected by D with parts we bought online. In June, I had a puncture in my front bike tire, while cycling to a dental appointment. Damn?!

In August, both D and I became victims of banking algorithms and have to end our relationship with a certain financial institution. Since there was not a single thread of wrong doing on our part, I took my time and closed my accounts ever so gradually. In September, I was able to sell off my mutual funds with a nice profit. Yeah for me.

When I renewed my library membership at the end of September, things got really messy. But with the help of a translation program, I was able to get the matter fixed via email. My love-hate relationship with AI… *sigh*

October, the condensation in our living room panel windows got worse and it was decided that we will have them replaced. Fortunately, insurance is going to help pay off a big part of that cost.

November, the freezer went berserk and had to be turned off completely. A few days later and by some sort of sorcery, I fixed it. What?

D an I are handy people. And if you care to look and do your research, you will most likely come across some good options and solutions. I discovered the Epley Maneuver and managed to fix the lingering vertigo six weeks after my fall. Not all is doom and gloom. 🙂

Oh yeah, my 16-year old Sony sound cancellation head phones also entered the ‘list of kaput things’ this month.

Belgium, Numbers, Simplify, Wealth & Creativity

In Search Of Money

I have been watching a new Flemish TV program called Geld Gezocht. The following are my takeaways from each episode so far:

  • Rethink and optimise one’s job. Cut out bad and unhealthy habits. Rethink conveniences that cost. Cook at home.
  • Be aware of what you still have in the pantry. Make a food budget. Do grocery with a shopping list. Plan your meals. Do not spoil your children too much.
  • Recognise and re-organise your large spendings. Reaccess your relationships with ‘trusted’ brands. Always read the fine lines!
  • Compare price and quality of items you need. White goods are usually worth it. Be timely and organised with paperwork. There are usually ‘cheaper’ options with regards to holiday trips and expensive hobbies.
Flashbacks, Numbers, Travels

Two Oceans

When grandma passed away in October 2015, I crossed two oceans to be at her funeral.

The first ocean I crossed was the Atlantic. I flew from Europe to the US to pick up my parents, so that we may travel together back to Malaysia.

The second ocean was the Pacific…

I did what I did. I am who I am because I have observed and learned from the people I met in life.

Be there. Be kind to others, especially your elders. When time comes, you will want others to have consideration and kindness towards you.

Belgium, Malaysia, Numbers, Wealth & Creativity


Yesterday, I emailed the city hall with enquiries. I will probably not hear back from them anytime soon and need to follow up on the matter next week. Administration stuck in quicksand. *sigh*

This morning, I received a forwarded email from my mother regarding one of the properties in Malaysia. *sigh*

But first thing first. I need to live the here and now…

At noon, D and I got on our bicycles and cycled to a restaurant nearby to celebrate his father’s belated birthday lunch. The four of us enjoyed our food and then continued the get-together at our home with coffee. That was my afternoon in short.

In the evening, I contacted my mother and we discussed what to do with the paperwork concerning the Malaysian property.

My brain is (and has been for decades) partitioned into different time-zones, continents, and administrative styles.