Wednesday, January 25, 2012

13. losses

Last weekend I lost my grandfather. In the first week of December we discovered he had cerebral tumor. There was nothing to be done; it was an aggressive form.

At the age of 89, my grandfather was a man I knew to be a picture of health and strength. He was rarely sick. Sure, he had been a chainsmoker for as long as I had remembered, but that was it. No bouts of fits, or signs of sickness.

He was administered into the hospital when he had a fit in the first week of December. I visited him then, he was physically fine. He told the doctor how well he felt, that even at the age of 89 all of the teeth he had in his mouth was all "original". I massaged his feet, I gave him milo (hot cocoa) to drink.

We laughed about the time when he came to my hostel back when I was doing my diploma in University, and how he asked around "where to find Junee?" (amazing, considering that there was more than a few thousand students in my uni). He waited for me to finish class, waiting for me with durian and rambutans (local tropical fruits).

He told me of his hopes and dreams, that he wished for me to continue my masters and Phd. It was the only request he ever made of me, in life.

After my visit to the hospital... his condition deteriorated very fast.

He stayed at my aunt's house afterwards, when the conditions got worst. The last time that I ever talked to him while he was still consciously aware of my presence, he kept telling me to pursue my studies. He told me to find a decent man to marry.
Me: Bawo, bawo okay tak? (grandpa, are you okay?)
Him: Nak air, haus. (please give me some water, I'm very thirsty)
*passes him the water*
Me: Bawo kenal tak ni sapo? (grandpa, do you recognize me?)
Him: Mestilah, takkanlah tak kenal cucu sendiri. (of course, do you think I would not recognize my own grandchildren?)
Then I massaged his feet. He was so cold.

The last thing I told him while he was still awake was to come back to us, that he had to be there at my wedding.

And then, the next thing I knew, he was comatose. The medication the doctor gave him left him in a forever drugged state. He got progressively worse. By this time, I had accepted that grandpa would never wake up again from his medicated torpor.

I visited him as often as I could after work. Whenever I saw him I would kiss his forehead and whispered, "bawo, Junee dah sampai" (grandpa, I'm here). He would not respond but I would tell him of how my day had been, that I wished for him to come back to me.

During my last visit, all of my aunties stood next to me, urging me to talk to my grandfather. I did not know what to say. I squeezed his fingers, touched his toe, kissed his cheeks. I thought I had said everything that needed to be said. I begged him that he had to be around when my sister-in-law gave birth. I told him he had to be around when I walked across the stage to receive my masters scroll. I whispered to him that he had to return to us, that he had to be standing there when I married, that he had to put his arms around my first child.

Yet he did not return to us. God loved him too much and took my grandfather to His arms.

My mom called me on early Saturday morning, 22nd January 2012, informing me that my grandfather had passed away around 5.30 am. I woke my brother up immediately, and set off to head to my aunty's place.

My grandfather was so frail, and pale, lying on the bed, covered in blankets and sheets. He had stopped breathing. He was not with us anymore. All of his loved ones, his children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren, lied around him. We all sat around him, offering prayers. Kissed him, looked at him for the last time.

He looked at peace.

I kissed his cheek one last time. Then it was time for his body to be washed clean by his sons. Time for his body to be brought to Melaka, where his body would finally be buried in his resting ground. Time for us all to say goodbye, and watch as they poured earth over his body.

It was then that I cried. That I found tears forming around my eyes. That it was with a realization that I would never hold his fingers in mine again, or gaze upon his face.

During the sermon afterwards, the tok imam said that "we came from earth, and so we must return to earth... whatever our sins and good deeds, all of them will be weighed by Him. No matter how small, He will judge them all... and God willing, the Almighty, the Fair and Just will forgive all us for all of our mistakes."

There's so many feelings that I wish I could convert into words, but my feelings of missing him are so raw, and it's a torrential storm of grief and loss. I wish I could just write it all out but in the end, I think my grandfather (he insisted we called him Bawo; it means abah tua, old grandfather in Malay, and would get mad at me if I did not call him that) knew what I wanted to say, whether I said it with my words or through the simple squeeze of his hands.

Rest in peace, Bawo. You will be sorely missed by all those you had in your life. I don't know if I will ever see you again, but I sure hope I do.

beyond the door there's peace I'm sure
and I know there'll be no more tears in heaven

Thursday, January 19, 2012

12. a little slice of heaven @ awan mulan

it was friday night; me and a group of friends had decided to visit a place in the middle of nowhere in seremban called awan mulan. following the directions of google maps, which took us everywhere through kampung roads, we finally ended up in said place. after 10 phone calls to friends who arrived there first, and 5 u-turns after realizing gps coordinates were a bit slow, we finally arrived to a quaint little bungalow on top a hill.

imagine a secluded little place to call your own, up in the hills. it's so perfect and cool. would you believe it, the above said picture was taken around 4 pm? (stolen from sha's camera). the featured star, the hammock, was later broken by big nas :(

the kitchen, living room and balcony/patio co-existed peacefully. we spent 70% of our time here. most of us even ended up bunking here.

the breathtaking scene because it really is that beautiful. the pictures don't do it enough justice. imagine this, just 180 degrees from left to right.

if you looked towards the right of the patio, you can see the top two floors of the bungalow. we occupied two rooms for fourteen people (eventually only 10 came).

amir, sarah and me. on our last day :( none of us wanted to go back. amir wanted to wake up at 7 to pick rambutans (succulent delicious fruits) but he ended up waking at 11 plus, fail.

with may and ikhsan, the awesome people that planned this trip. there was a lot of setbacks but thank you to these two for introducing us to this beautiful place

with hawa in one of the toilets. see how beautiful it is? you shower under the open skies! hawa likes to photobomb people's photos idgi.

this is pup, the guy that broke our lovely hammock :( i didn't even get to sit on it, booo.

this is judge. thank god for his carton of cigs. the weekend was filled with just chilling, smoking, eating, laughing, drinking, eating, smoking and more smoking.

the dog that underwent so many name changes. eventually, the group decided on dobby. she's so adorable and friendly. she doesn't bark and is trained to sit outside the house.

i suppose the house is built on an 'organic', environment friendly concept. the materials we used was "raw:" (ok honestly idk wtf raw is supposed to mean but cemented floors, cemented sinks); recycle bins; no air cons (we didn't even turn on the fan - it was that cooling); lots of recycled materials used for decorations (like bottles as wall dividers), yanoe, that sort of thing.

part of the girl's bedroom (i didn't take the picture of the double bed). on friday night, i crashed in this bed for four hours. on saturday night, i ended up sleeping "fifteen" minutes (which eventually turned into 5 hours WTF) on the couch in the living room.

one of the beds overlooking the scenery in the guy's bedroom downstairs. can you imagine waking up to this every morning? perfect.

BBQ on a lazy saturday afternoon. the bbq-ed chicken teriyaki was awesome. the owners of this place were awesome; they gave us fresh papayas (which was mouthwateringly delicious - that's saying something cos I HATE papayas) and salad dressing.

the perfect pool. we spent saturday night swimming after the BBQ staring and gazing into the night sky. it was brilliant, you could see all the stars, a satellite (according to Sarah wtf) and maybe a planet.

lovely picture destroyed by amir's finger.

the sunset. you can't really see a spectacular sunset, especially with the mosquitoes biting you. but it was still nice to see the gradients of pink, blue and white mingle and crash into black.

our rented bungalow was called "teratak bonda". for fourteen people, two nights, each of us paid around rm 200++ which was quite okaylah considering the amount of serenity, peace and calm you'll get during this trip.

if you're interested, visit:
official web-site:


1. try try try to travel by daytime. most of us travelled after work on friday night; the place is quite hard to find in daytime because of how deep it is located in the jungle, let alone nighttime. most of the roads are narrow, unlit and dangerous to travel by nighttime.

2. you can travel via GPS whatever, but the best route would be to just set your gps to kampung bharu pantai, ask where's the balai polis, go to the police station and ask them or the locals where is the chinese schools and malay schools. there's a road there that leads directly to awan mulan.

3. the couple, mr and mrs teng, recommended us to visit between april - june, as that's when autumn is, and all the trees will be yellow and beautiful. there's also durian season, i forgot when WTF. mr and mrs teng (and their son) are extremely lovely, gracious and patient people btw - thank you thank you for the sack of rambutans!

4. get all your bbq stuff/snacks/whatever before you enter this place. seriously. the nearest town for atm machines and stuff is like 30 minutes drive away. that's not counting the winding road all the way from awan mulan back to civilization.

5. please leave the place as you found it; spick and span. do consider others who will be staying there. there were other guests staying around us that night, but we put on soft music, so apologies if we did sound a bit crazy that night.

6. it's a place of serenity so yes. think book, cards, chilling, swimming. think of an escapade away from the city. i brought along one of george r.r. martin's books, a storm of swords, the 3rd book from a song of ice and fire collection but ended up reading only 3 pages -__-

7. there's an optional hiking expedition if you want to go. it's rm 70 per group and yes, you'll get bitten by leeches. a local will take you around the forest reserve and even the waterfalls. we opted for this option, but it was raining heavily so we decided to paddle around in a nearer and shallow pool/waterfall like a boss.

8. be aware of the fact that there are plenty of stray dogs around this area. i'm no dog expert but this trip was really perked up by the fact that the dogs were there. they're just so calming to pat and play with. i think these strays have already been trained not to attack you and not to enter the house. they're really friendly, and they don't bark or make noise.

i would not mind visiting this place again, simply for it's sheer simplicity, tranquility and serenity. god, i miss it already.

other blogger's take on awanmulan:
1. - nice instagrams and stories on the place.
2. - lots of pictures; you can see how the place is.
3. - pictures of pool and hammock T__T

Friday, January 13, 2012

11. the key to happiness

letting go of everything.

most of the times, people ask me, "how do you get over a 6 year relationship?"

i am not someone who can just automatically turn off my feelings. most of the friends who listen to me bitch and moan will be irritated after i repeated what happened between me and ex. so i kept the feelings to myself, kept it raging.

honestly, a month plus ago my heart was like a furnace set on fire. my rage was the fuel that kept it burning. i was so bitter, so full of hate, and blamed every guy for being so weak. every time i listened to love songs, i would cry. you know, that feeling that you have in your heart where it feels like someone's wringing it dry. adele's songs would hit me so hard.

i had to go through a lot of songs before i found a song that gave me such clarity. in a second of listening to this song, i felt that i was over him. that i finally wanted to let go of all these emotions inside.
I've been searching deep down in my soul
Words that I'm hearing are starting to get old
Looks like I'm starting all over again
The last three years were just pretend and I say goodbye to you
goodbye to everything I thought I knew
You were the one I love, the one thing that I tried to hold on to

that's right. michelle branch's "goodbye to you". it took me a while to get to where i am today. and i am so blessed, so lucky, to have the support of friends and family who have been there. who have counselling me, giving me words, like "chicken soup for the soul". they kept me busy.

there are things you can do just by yourself with a crowd:
i started to go to back to gym.
make friends with your local bartender.
go shisha. watch movies. read books in my spare time.
immerse myself in work.

there are things you can do with your friends:
i started to go out with other guys
i go out drinking and clubbing in the company of good people.
meet random people in the bar and clubs.
dance with random guys and talk to them.
let them buy you drinks and flowers and write their number on paper money LOL.
*some of them are dickheads but you can't blame one or two rotten apple on the whole orchard
promise guys that you'll meet them in a certain bar but don't show up.

basically, keep myself busy.

this week alone, well... on:
  • sunday night i went to the local bar (and the bartender is a good friend of mine).
  • monday night i met an old friend.
  • tuesday night i met a mutual friend.
  • wednesday night i went clubbing. i stumbled back home at 5 am.
  • thursday night (last night) i went to the local bar with a bunch of friends and then shisha-ed afterwards and ate burgers until 3 plus in the morning. tonight (friday) i'm heading down to seremban for a chilled-out holiday with a bunch of close friends.

part of work: attending a press conference filled to the brim with gorgeous malaysian celebs!


you cannot go home alone. because when you're at home, doing nothing, your brain/heart/mind/whatever will start to relive the past.

and the most awesome thing is, i don't have to ask for company.
most of the time i'll get a random call/text/whatsapp and it'll be like heyyyy, are you free? hell yes! let's meet up K OKOKOKOK LOLOLOLOL. the stupid silly convos you have.

and that's when i started listening to other songs. songs that will make you happy. seriously, hold on to the following list of songs because it will put a smile on your face. help you get back on your feet. to remind you that life is short and you need to just have a ball and roll with it.

playlist to listen to for you know just how amazing you are:
  • alicia keys - superwomen
  • bobby mcferrin - don't worry, be happy
  • florence & the machines - dog days are over
  • johnny nash - i can see clearly now
  • rihanna - take a bow
  • queen - don't stop me now
  • U2 - beautiful day
these are just some of the amazing songs available in the world written for you, to start living your life. and FOR FUCK'S SAKE please do not listen to sappy, bawl-your-eyes-out music. go out with your friends and have a fucking good time. go bowling. go dance.

i came back home 6.30 am one day and had to leave for work at 8.30 am the same day.

was it tiring?
but it's those kind of days you keep to yourself.
and laugh at how stupid you were to go when you're working the next day.
but then you smile at how fun it all was.

AND. it. just. feels. bloody. good. to let go of all the pain. all the hurt. i'll keep the good memories to remember him by, but eventually even those memories will fade, and be replaced by new ones made by maybe someone special.

and now, life has been really amazing to me.
i have never smiled this much.
i have never felt so happy.
i have never felt so content.

a dear friend told me, "i'm so glad that you're happy. you look so beautiful when you smile." so maybe i should smile all the time now, eh? i kid, i kid. but when you're happy, you'll just bubble up with a glow of happiness.

and yes, life is good. i'm feeling life. this is the way life was meant to be. hope anyone who reads this feels the same way about their own life too.

Friday, January 6, 2012

10. omelette du fromage?

i have always wanted to travel to paris. one of my wishes. many friends have sojourned to the romantic city of paris, only to return with the comment "yeah, it's beautiful, but it stinks!". like, literally stinks. i would not know.

i visited paris once when i was 10 years old. a kid. i remember visiting disneyland paris and the haunted house was really scary, with the eerily orange pumpkins grinning at you.

at least i get to visit a mini version of the eiffel tower. cardboard version. in malaysia, no less! i hope i'll see paris again. before i'm 30. need to start my own travel piggy bank!

p.s. if you want to visit this little homage to paris, the statue belongs to a quaint cafe called "allo paris!" in damansara perdana. opposite the street heading upwards to metropolitan square.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

9. twentytwelve

2012, i welcome you with open arms.

in 2011, i endured the agony of a broken heart. of someone who cheated on me. the worst thing was he cheated on me with a friend i knew. the pain was almost too much to bear. i was with this guy, i gave him my heart and soul, for almost 6 years.

at that time, i was transitioning into a new job. it was a lot to take in. thankfully, my new job kept my occupied without thoughts of him.

the heart is a fragile thing, almost paper thin. when i discovered the truth, yes i cried. for hours. wondering all the what-ifs. was it my fault? i blamed myself for so long. i destroyed my own self, drinking, smoking, going out with all the douchebags of the world.

then i realised only you can make yourself free. only you, only have the power to be the phoenix that rises free from the ashes. i will be happy. i will be free.

and so, for 2012, i have vowed to:-
  • be fitter and toned. bootcamps and futsal!
  • save up money and travel to at least 3 different countries
  • start learning how to invest my money
  • redecorate my room
  • will not be afraid in relationships
  • to try and blog at least once a week
all these goals are achievable so hopefully at the end of this year I will be crossing them all out. hopefully you guys made some resolutions that you will be sticking to throughout 2012!