Saturday, February 23, 2008

Sometime you may find a gem...

In my job, sometimes I do have to travel. Not the jet-set type, more of once in a while.

One thing about traveling is that we tend to compare hotels (at least I do). Well, it could make or break the trip. Just imagine spending a week in a dinky hotel and definitely, you can't wait to go back. A few days back however, the hotel I stayed in was a pleasant surprise.

It was an official visit to the south. We (me and my colleagues, Big, Ooi and Hani) took off from office a bit late in the afternoon, and had to make a detour along the way to send Hani to JB. It was a normal journey, except for quite a number of accident we saw along the way...

Due to the detour, we only managed to reach our destination at around a quarter past 10. I do not put my hopes that high, as Big commented the nearby hotel that he had stayed before was so-so. Hence, I was only looking forward to a bed to bunk in for the night.. but was I surprised at what's in store:)

The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort was a good family hotel (I think). The rooms are quite spacious, and had both bathtub and shower. As for facilities, a good swimming and wading pool, nursery/play room for the kids. Gymnasium and watersports station were there for the guests use (depending on the sea condition).

Upon checking the Net, the rate offered was not too bad, a night stay would cost about RM220.00++. We could also get to Singapore via ferry nearby. I was seriously contemplating that, really. Overall, it was a quiet and a good hotel for relaxing, having a stroll on the 22km long beach etc except for the fact that I find the food at the hotel a bit plain. It could be better, but then again, it could be just me.

Maybe I'll come again in the future. The Pulai Desaru Beach Resort would now rank as one of my favorite hotel down south.

Sunday, February 17, 2008

WANTED: A gardener for RM2,000.00

A gardener for RM2,000.00. Any takers?
This weekend, I was in Tampin. It was the reception for both my cousin at Pak Tih's house, but thats not what I want to share. It was actually the conversation that I overheard between Father with Leman Dawi (remember the cendol guy?)

Earlier today, as we are going back from my brothers place, Mother suggested to stop by at Leman Dawi for cendol. Thankfully, it was open. It was almost 11am, and at there are at least 7 cars there. As we are expecting youngest brother to join us, we sat at the 'pondok', rather than straight to the shop. While waiting for him and his fiance, Leman Dawi came over and proceeded to water the plant. Father starts a conversation with him, "Dah jumpa tukang kebun? Kata hari tu tengah cari sorang."

"Ado la orang datang tapi tak cukup kolayakan nak jadi tukang kobun", he answers, in his Negeri Sembilan accent with a smile. "Kenapa pula?" Father asks. "Kolayakannyo terlalu tinggi nak jadi tukang kobun," he answers, and proceeded to explain. 

"Dia tanyo ese, tukang kobun buleh dapek gaji duo ribu (RM2,000) tak? Ese jawab la, kalau gaji orang yang bukak gate, tutup gate pon ese buleh bayar soribu lapan ratuih (RM1,800), apo masalah eh nak bayar duo ribu duo ratuih kek tukang kobun?" sarcastically he told the applicant. "Kalau ekau nak kojo jadi tukang kobun, datang pagi esok", he told him.

And the applicant ACTUALLY came the next morning. He showed the applicant the direction to a room and said, "Itu bilik komputer. Orang poie bolajar universiti sampai nak pocah kopalo pun dapek gaji RM1,851.00 yo sobulan" he quipped. 

"Kalau ese nak amik ekau jadi tukang kobun, gaji duo ribu duo ratuih, ekau mesti la buleh duduk dalam bilik tu, tokan yo butang komputer, sobolah sano rumput clear, tokan butang lain, sobolah sinun pulak bungo dah bersiram", he said in jest. "Baru la sotaraf gaji duo ribu yo tak?"

"Resume ado ko?" he asked the applicant. "Resume tu apo?", replied the poor guy. "Macam mano nak mintak kojo kalau resume pon takdo?", said Leman Dawi, relating the story while continuing to water the plants around the 'pondok', talking to Father.

"Salah orang la, budak tu nak mintak kojo dongan ese", Leman Dawi concluded. "Ado ko, mintak gaji macam tu, ingat ese ni bodoh?". All of us, smiled hearing that, silently concurring with the eccentric Pak Leman Dawi.

How true, higher education does not automatically makes one smart. Life lesson could come from just about anybody, only if we are humble enough to learn from it.

Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Letter to my Senior Vice President

Senior Vice President
Company Name
Company Address

Dear Sir,


With reference to the above.

I would like to thank you for the opportunity in meeting you last week to further discuss my future in the company. I would also like to thank you for your 'generous offer' in response to my earlier resignation letter.

As much as I'm honored by the counter-offer, a statement during our meeting urges me to rethink my position. In my humble opinion, one person might be wrong, two person might make the same mistake, but its highly unlikely that 7 people could make a judgement error in believing in my potential.

To work under someone who does not believe in your ability, is non-conducive at best. To be able to give one's best, I do believe the whole system should be supportive rather than stifling. But then again, I realize that I'm just a small fry in a big ocean, and the system does not  necessarily bend to one small fry wishful thinking.

Last but not least, I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the company for giving me the chance to grow as a better person, personally and most important, professionally in this field.

Yours sincerely,

Soon to be ex-staff

Monday, February 04, 2008

What would you do on a hot Sunday afternoon?

Weekends are usually filled with attending weddings. Most events starts serving food at 11am to 4pm, with the bride and groom slated to come for the main event, the 'bersanding' at around 1.30 or 2pm, and its not uncommon to have to attend more than one wedding on any given Sunday. Yesterday was Pendek's bersanding ceremony, but we decided to attend another distant cousin wedding earlier in the morning, on the other side of town first.

Younger brother had gone out earlier to fetch his fiancee, and we were to rendezvous on the way. The weather is getting hot and the thought of a cold drink would be heavenly. Suddenly, Father quipped, "Nak singgah minum cendol?" as if reading my mind. Mother nods in agreement. "Yus won't be ready so soon, right?" I added. So its agreed, cendol it is. And where else are we to have our cold, refreshing bowl, if not "Cendol Leman Dawi'.

For all my existence, I have heard of this famous 'cendol'man, but I haven't had the chance to savor his special cendol. To the uninitiated, cendol is a popular Malaysian dessert in which strands of green cendol (starch noodles) are served in a cold, cold mixture of coconut milk, brown sugar syrup and shaved ice.

What's so special about Cendol Leman Dawi is that his servings are quite huge AND your next or extra helpings are free of charge. FREE? Not only that, he also serves barley drinks (also free of charge), and you can even 'tapau' for your friends, all of it on the house. Now, thats a powerful marketing tool. Who could say no to freebies?

Mother says the owner, En Leman Dawi can be a bit odd, and at time talk incessantly to his customers. He memorizes some geographical information on the states of Malaysia and some sort of an entertainer. That aside, his 'cendol' sells very fast and as at 12noon, there are at least 30 customers at his new location in Sg Gadut R&R, Seremban. He now occupies all 5 stalls there.

Not bad for someone who starts circa 2001, with just a small stall along the Rembau-Seremban road.

Sunday, February 03, 2008

Blood is always thicker than water

As I was walking with Mother, she asked me a question, a matter of factly.
"Masa pergi rumah Induk Kecik Hari Raya hari tu, anak-anak Induk buat tak tahu je kat awak ye?" She posed, "Mak Tih yang kata macam tu. Ye ke?"

I take a second to answer. "Ala Mak. Macam biasa je. Takde apa la" Choosing my word carefully, "masa Induk dan Pak Ali datang hari tu, hormat macam biasa. Maybe diaorang (my cousins) tak biasa kot, lagipun dah lama tak jumpa". Mother nods her head. " Tak menjadi kudis pun, kalau diaorang tak tegur saya", I added.

It reminds me that as much as things have gotten better between Mother and her in-laws, her relationship remained strained with Induk and her children. Mother was hurt when my cousins chose to ignore her at Rozi's wedding, and were not invited to any of my cousins wedding. Mother really adored them because she doesn't have a daughter of her own.

I was a bit disappointed that they treated Mother like that. I have never coldly ignore Induk or Pak Ali, because Mother had always instilled in us to respect our elders. When Mother had a tiff with Grandma and Pak Uda, she insists that its only her who have problems with them, not us. Grandma is still my Grandma, and Pak Uda is still Mother's brother.

Whatever happen, you can be rest assured Mother, that you have taught us well and we will always respect the elders, however bad they have wronged you. Why should we stoop to their level? Let them be a bit awkward to have kindness showered on them after all the hostility. Would that not be more ironic?

Wedding bells

Nowadays, wedding are no longer held exclusively during school holidays. 
It seems like every weekend we will stumble upon a wedding or two somewhere. Where weddings are concerned, anytime is a good time it seems :) The next three weekend, two of my cousin will be married.

Last night was Pendek's (this is his nickname, really) solemnization event in Seremban. we were told that it will be held after 'Maghrib' prayers at the 'surau' near the bride's house. I was stuck in KL and were only making my way back to SMKA around 550pm. Mother was furious as youngest brother had left earlier, and in anticipating heavy traffic to Seremban, planned to go at 600pm. Miscommunication it seems, as I thought Mother will be going with youngest brother to the event.

Driving in excess of the highway speed limit, i managed to reach SMKA at 635pm, and radioed Mother ahead so that I do not need to wait too long. At 645, we make our move and knowing that it'll take only another 20 mins to Seremban exit, I drive slightly below speed limits, as the roads were wet due to a downpour. We reached the bride's place, negotiate traffic jams (I don't know why its always jammed up in Seremban) and the fact that I have never been to the place, manage to reach there by 'Maghrib'.

After prayers, we were wondering where are the others? All of us are supposed to wait here. A few phone calls later, it seems that it is postponed until after 'Isyak'. What are we supposed to do? Just wait it seems. Nearing 'Isyak', our relatives starts trickling in. Almost all my uncles and aunties managed to find the place (well, they did came for the engagement earlier). I saw Pendek there. Fairus is there too. All must be well, or so I thought.

Suddenly, it is learned that Pak Tih has not arrived yet. A few frantic call were made as everyone is already there. It seems that the dowry and 'hantaran' is with Pak Tih, hence the solemnization could not go on without him, hehehe. Fairus were instructed by Pendek to look for them but unfortunately his car is blocked in. The clock is ticking, and the 'imam' is already there. Its a bit awkward as almost everyone's there, but it could not be started yet.

I offered to look for Pak Tih and instructed Fairus to get into my car. Mak Tih called to inform that they had stopped at one place, which i'm familiar with. We fetch Pak Tih's car, and without another delay, managed to get him to the 'surau' in one piece. Its almost 9.20pm and everybody's getting restless. The solemnization went well and at 945pm, Pendek is officially someone's husband.

The funny thing is, Pak Tih went to the loo, and misses the solemnization.

Congratulations Fadzli and Nurul on your wedding.

Friday, February 01, 2008

Projek Rampisari? What is that?

This is to announce that Projek Rampisari commences 1st February 2008. Keep coming back for updates.