Category Archives: Family


A month passed, and contrary to what’s in this song, the month of May had been far from being an uneventful one, with lots of good and bad things happening.

May has been a busy month, filled with the urgency to prepare myself for the university in September.

It began immediately after I wrote my decision post (on Facebook) informing my choosing of Waterloo to start my degree, and I realized that there was only four (now three) months to have everything done. In particular, this includes getting a student visa, checking for flight tickets, choosing a residence, and many more. It should worth noting that I devoted my month primarily for visa application due to the convoluted nature of Canadian Visa application: I needed to gather documents like the police certificate, medical checkup statement, financial proof, and other miscellaneous things.

I first applied for my police certificate, which in total took 24 days before it arrived my house (basically, 2 weeks for completion, and another 2 weeks to receive my payment and post to my home). This explained the protracted process of this application due to my “waiting for necessary documents”. But the good news came next once I submitted. I made a trip to the Klang Valley to submit my passport upon request, and they approved my visa a week from that. This marked a closure to the perils of ‘war’ against the timeline, and now I’m ready to do other pre-departure matters like booking an air ticket and packing my luggage. 🙂

May was a jovial month, tinged with three celebrations: Mother’s Day, and the birthdays of my father and me.

Mother’s day is a date to commemorate the contribution of my mum, who provided me the household warmth and the environment to grow both physiologically and mentally. My father’s birthday, meanwhile, marked his accomplishing of another age cycle while remaining young and healthy. The family had a celebration for them, and they celebrated my birthday by bringing me across the island for a movie outing.

Food during Mother's Day
Food during Mother’s Day


(Two similar celebrations on different days)

These were the times when I got to spend these moments with my family again, also the final time for me to do so before flying to Canada for my dreams. I could remember the disbelief as my mum said “let’s go for a movie tomorrow coz that’s your birthday,” yet feeling my heart skipping fast when I noticed that she meant it. Once again, thanks to my parents for making my day to the fullest, and I hope that they had a wonderful birthday/mother’s day. 🙂 Thanks to my high school classmates for celebrating my belated birthday in My Burger Lab, too! (near Sunway College)

With those high school mates again!
With those high school mates again!

As I wished this month to be a smooth one, it wasn’t. Flu and cough stayed away from me since last July/August, but they returned in second week of May for yet another time of uninvited visit. Fatigue defeated me for the entire week, but I seemingly got well by the weekends, until it launched its second wave of attack again (in Burger Lab, alas).

Meeting my friends after months-long of separation stimulated my muzzle, but as I tried to project my voice, it’s as if I was in the vacuum and the process just felt arduous. Deprived of this speaking ability, I felt this meetup tainted. I (with the help of my mum) turned to solutions like cough syrup, medicine and Difflam pills, only with a mild alleviation on my throat until I found my panacea: Vitamin C pill by Redoxon.

One month passed. The date of departure from Malaysia, from family and from friends had become closer. I shall spend more time with my loved ones in this three months, while hoping that things will be okay and smooth.

After CNY?

Lanterns at Kek Lok Si temple, a landmark for Penang tourism.


The 120 m statue :O


No. Every CNY program was too underwhelming for the past years–visit relatives, wish and greet the elders (hoping for some colossal amount of reward), and get yourself in the enclosed place crowded with relatives. But the connotation of “reunion” after physical separation this year is unique– I terribly wanted this holiday.

But I’m no longer interested to chronicle the 11 days that happened here; rather, some maverick thoughts (hope that it’s not a slap to my beloved family and relatives).

The “Ang Pao” (Red packet)

Photo given by my lecturer
Photo given by my lecturer

In case you don’t know, this is a gift from all elder (and married) people to us (in particular, our parents). Containing some money, it’s a token of love from our families and friends.

At this age, though, money inside the packet is no longer my centre of rapture, not like previously when I kept my heart boiling when I unwrapped each packet. When I asked myself “wasn’t it fun to receive money”? There’s no point to rapture over something you gain without your effort–interning somewhere captivates me better.

That said, I appreciate all the money and gift from my senior members in my family, and my elder friends.

The stories behind give and take

The reason above rises an infatuated thought in me: how cool is it to distribute money in this way! I will then have command to say: children, line up and I have gifts for you! And you feel like being an autocrat for yourself to be complacent with.

After some ratiocination, it’s a fallacy. Financial load aside, you’ll have to rely on your memory to make sure that every child gets a share from you (especially when “confronting” with galore of kids). Missing any child makes you feel guilty. (And stop thinking about it before the wedlock).


Thanks to my housemate Brian, I gained an almost complete set of a debate series (in Chinese language) “U Can U Bibi”. I had never finished watching a complete series of drama, or reality show, for quite some time. But I did it during the holiday.

The reason was simple: it was so laughter-inducing that I could never encumber myself from laughing without taking care of my poise. While it’s as if I squandered my holiday just for this show, I learned a lot about the art of debate! Besides battering opponents t their logical flaws (or simply argue with different interpretation of question), debaters need emotions to persuade the audience (in the show, audience decides the winning party). This is totally in line with CC#9 of Toastmasters: Persuade with power.

Interestingly, the topic “should we continue tipping (or give “Ang Pao”) at festive” is one of the debate topics. From the writing above it seems that I oppose it for this CNY, but not. For younger children this is their annual windfall. Why should we deprive their annual jubilance? After all, nobody is going to break this tradition that survived for thousands of years (for CNY).

Post-festival activity

School. Exam. Nothing else.

It’s worth a note that holiday for us Sunway students is rather extended, with a period of 1.5 weeks (till 1st of March). Lecturers, parents, and even students complained this system as preposterous (they suggest that we had holiday two days earlier and return on 22nd Feb). Well, extra holidays means more sloth and shirk.

At Penang International Airport, which catered my return to Subang, however, I felt the reminiscence of IMO and family travel, again! The redolent  American coffee wafted from McDonalds to the custom area when I was about to surrender my baggage for check. It’s like Amsterdam and Bogota airport, where these cafes proliferated along the way we walked by. When can I ever enjoy the transient fantasy, again? After months?

The holiday

Homesick has never become real until I studied afield in Sunway College. Not having even vicarious wistful feel when my seniors complained how they missed home in 2013, I’ve already yearning for return in November 2014, when the semester break was one week away.

As I kept saying to myself, “Come on! It is just a month away”, I was separated from that day, ruthlessly, by semester exam–excruciation before extrication? This was exasperated when my high school mates who enroll in Malaysian Matriculation kept posting the photos at home, showing how free they were to enjoy the sensations, ranging from gastronomical to shopping, in Butterworth, a place where we lived for 18 years. We? Drudging hard for our exam. Complaining hard to our books. Lol.

No worries. These fellows would return to their semester 2 when we return home. They would then seethe on our “Sunway A-Levels Revenge”, on theater since 4 December, Thursday. After a quick computation on packing time and all possible convivial moments on Thursday, I swiftly grabbed an Aeroline ticket dated 5 Dec.

So comes the day of return, after being a bon vivant on the day before, packing and checking things in my room. Time to say goodbye to Sunway!

Thankfully, the traffic was smooth that it took almost 5 hours to reach Penang Queensbay mall, a station of dropping for Aeroline (a.k.a. Aeroport). To my delight, I was welcomed home, not only by my parents and sister, but also my cousin, my aunt, and two friends (Kin Aun and Ivan)–they were attending a workshop on Longevitology running from 2nd to 7th of the month (which I haplessly missed it). The effusion of family and friend love, concocted exquisitely in an event, turned out as a “welcome back” chant for me.


Holiday mood on! Or is it? I have SAT to prepare, and therefore gonna make this holiday month fecund one. Notwithstanding, who says I shouldn’t go nuts and indulge myself for a day or two with my family, and some of my friends here? Let’s go cranky, for we won’t have such chance in the following year.

With Family

In the 20 facts about me, which garnered supports from users of social media worldwide, I explicitly mentioned that I am “easily tempted by food”. What’s more–my family knows this well. Hence in the entire December I was cloyed and satiated with these gastronomical sensation, especially “Dim Sum” (which means “snack” in Cantonese language), a cuisine that offers motley of Cantonese food (each of small portion, as the appellation suggests) and hardly attainable in Sunway (at least not in walking distance). Others like Penang Fried “Kuey Teow”, or Penang prawn noodles are attainable here, but none of which offers better taste than those in Penang.

(Note: for things pertaining food, my mum’s cooking is enough for my sensation (I’m not an epicure as some may imagine). Although I know cooking (rice-cooker based, as usual) but hey, how can I possibly outplay my mum with N years antecedent in experience?)

How about loafing in shopping mall? Though Pyramid is near the College, but loafing is never mainstream for me. We’d yearn for this, but it requires a bountiful amount of time from us, which we students couldn’t afford. Furthermore, this is an adjunct to the gastronomical experience aforementioned–we are likely to be finding treaties nearby.

Hence, as a Penang “expatriate”, there’s no better way to spend time with family than by satiating ourselves with food and travels, even though it’s just within the islands. This is because after being in KL for half a year, I just couldn’t resist the temptation of savouring food and viewing beaches that are exclusively available in Penang, the heart of tourism in Malaysia.

Hanging around in Butterworth–even just within the vicinity of my home, is gratifying as well. I had always been enjoying looking at the sunset in front of my home before moving into Sunway, where the sun always perches himself perfectly above the automobile shop, forming a beautiful spectrum between orange and red. How could I miss it?

And most adventurously, I was on steering wheel again! Practice, practice, practice-I’m glad that my skills hasn’t waned significantly; after all, there’s no difference between inferior and inferior 😛

With friends

First is the Toastmasters friends in Bagan Ajam Toastmastrs Club (BATMC)–namely the BATmen. It worth noting to see some juniors from my high school joining due to the club’s organising of Youth Leadership Programme. The club has grown rosier!

Especially enjoying was the Christmas party: the frenzy members and guests donned themselves in Christmas costume, and sang Christmas song in remixed version.

Now it’s less serious–namely the football and countdown session.

Playing football is never my interest, but meeting friends is. Thus football became ancillary to my interest in meeting my ex classmates in Form 5–namely 5SA1/2013. Derided by friends for my gauche, losing control of ball for my ineptitude, etc, these were soon forgotten but supplanted by our outing session with brunch at “7 Village” store, savouring “Kuey Tiao” soup together.

The countdown, with fewer people, brought more condensed mirth of celebration. Succeeding the dinner was the elaborated chatty session, where guys and girls rhapsodizing on rumours, lives in colleges, and the most cryptic topic common to us (which I shall not disclose here). This voluble session soon turned into a baccahanal one: a bottle of apple cidar each when the 12am brink was near. “No no no we missed the new year point!” yelped one of us when we heard the repetitive thud of fireworks, and viewed their glistening sparks. We, did as if nothing happened, and mentally adjusted our time to 23:59:50 and chanted “Ten! Nine! Eight!…One!” and opened the lid of another cidar. Unfortunately, we failed to open one of the lid, so we were “compelled” to repeat the same procedure, enter the time tunnel, and reverse our watch to 11:59 pm again.

A special meeting, seemingly subordinate to many but significant to me, was with Kin Aun. With his return from IMO camp prior to my visit, we delved into mathematical discussions again, exultantly solving problems after my long stop in Olympiad.

Owh, back to school. While the government school students had one week extra holiday (to grapple the flood and post-flood rescue), Sunway college students had no luck but to return classes on 6th. Vicissitude, right? Nevertheless, I’d appreciate what I enjoyed in this month-long holiday, and make this as motivation to move forward in my studies (or looking forward to celebrate CNY?)

Mother’s Day Celebration

We did it one day earlier on 10/5/14 (Saturday), and chose Victoria Station:

That was among the oldest restaurant (in luxurious category) in Butterworth, and we used to pay a visit before some other restaurants of similar standard were established. When we “returned” after couple of years we found the acoustic didn’t change at all! Lights are still dim (as shown in the first two pictures), designs of trains are still the same, and some time-table of departure as decoration.

Onto the menu, then:

Mother’s Day Set: Lobster and cod, which serves with creamy chestnut, coffee and dessert. Comes with a mug 😀
Bombay steak (My order)
Chicken chop and prawn (Brighter quality by different camera 😛 )

Though expensive, even the most querulous customer in the world would give a thumb-up to the food and renounce in their debate of rebutting the food. Thus, there’s a warning: do not over-pamper your taste bud, otherwise you can’t resist the strong aroma whenever you pass by, and you will suffer from the heart-breaking loss of money!


That’s a reason I ordered the Bombay steak, since in the menu it stated “inspired by some books/movies” where I didn’t manage to take down the name. Though my family member, cynically, joked me as “ordering Indian food in Western restaurant”, my question is, should we restraint ourselves in having traditional black-pepper/mushroom sauce meal every time? Why not try a new one–steak flooded with chilli and ketchup in a not over-spicy manner? That taste of spice was just nice enough to blend with the juicy steak as you chew, and finally you finish with full of satisfaction and enjoyment. Nice, no? The only thing was, there’s no corn served like what the other two orders had! Perhaps replaced by tomato?

On the other hand, almost every table ordered a Mother’s Day Set. We don’t order set meals in this case usually, thanks to our skeptic view of it as “a chance for restaurant owner to make money of us”, but since we didn’t want to torture our stomachs by 4 ala carte orders, we made the 3rd grand and discard the 4th. Nothing distinctive about the side orders, except the coffee whose aroma was really rich and could unseat those in Starbucks/Coffee Beans. Interestingly, the Carrot cake has an unorthodox name: Old-fashioned carrot cake.

In conclusion, the quality of food, along with the special occasion of mothers explains why the was crowded, even on the eve of mother’s day. We were lucky enough to attend on the eve, where we were presented a mug (for the set meal) that stated “while stock lasts”.

Finally, if you want me to say one words or two to my mum, who effectively implemented her knowledge in Montessori (edit: I just learnt that the numerous effort was required, and this Montessori education was only a part of it) to bring me out from the gloomy world of Aspegers’ Syndrome, instead of the conventional “thank you” or “I love you”, she deserved a clap from me! (Note: photo removed to avoid complaints from my mother 😛 )