Thursday, September 30, 2010

Scrutinising thoughts

When I first started blogging, it was meant to be a place where I could voice out freely as I was not the type of person who could do so on personal matters. It was weird to see a side of me who was blunt and proactive at work or socially but not when it came to matters of the heart. I found it therapeutic each time I vented my steam like having a stress bubble pops, not that you could see one. I’m sure it would be a huge relief if we could see the stresses inside us come out in that form and burst into thin air.

Perhaps it was easier to express myself knowing no one was actually listening. Even when this blog was slowly gaining its voice, it was still a good place to reveal my thoughts as I remained anonymous to all.

Then somehow I made new friends through this channel and began to share with closest allies. I suppose if I was seeing a shrink, he or she would probably say that I was taking a step forward; could be a healing process based on Grey’s therapist.

Yet sharing this came with responsibilities. I began to scrutinise my thoughts and found myself in a crossroad of talking about subjects in general or touching personal stuff. Take today for example. I am torn whether I should write about her life at school or issues in parenting. I am sure my friends are dying to hear her fabulous life yet it may be perceived differently by others. Similarly, when things dont go my way, I am afraid my post might trigger concerns among my dear ones and the last thing I want is to worry them! (esp those high in hormones due to certain “condition”. *winks*)

I know I have come a long way in this journey of rediscovering myself. Either way, I am sure I will write about something instead of talking whether I should just like this crazy post. Bear in mind that I am still without tv, phone and decent broadband, hence it is no wonder that I am beginning to sound like a mental patient. I do not even bother to check how many tv series have I missed over the last four weeks as I am sure it will make it more depressing.

Let me see.... TVD, GA, NCIS, Bones, Castle, WC... and the list goes on. Sigh...

Have a good weekend people. We’re heading to a nearby city and I’m planning to grab more dvds to keep myself entertained (or sane).

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Cekodok and celebrity tales

Not wanting to waste the overly ripe bananas, I decided to mash them in a bowl and added flour, salt and sugar. I couldn’t remember the last time I made ‘cekodok’ but I reckoned the formula was about there.

Anyway, they turned out quite nice actually and the young lady was slowly depleting our brunch snack. I wasn’t sure how the partner would react as his first response upon seeing those bananas (before I mashed them) was to throw them away.

Imagine my surprise when he said he liked it; “hmmm, these are nice. It would be better if we serve them with jam and honey”.

Hmm, who would have thought that ‘cekodok’ is a Malay version of scones? *grins*

On another note, while enjoying our coffee at Marina Mall, we saw our picture in the City’s weekly magazine. The Eid gathering that we went was featured in their ‘People and Places’ section and perhaps the dress we wore caught the photographer’s attention. The young lady was beaming with joy and hasn’t stopped talking about being famous.

What the heck? Bukannya senang nak jadi celebrity, kan? *winks

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Look at me

A few days ago I received an email from a headhunter based in London who specialises in international placement and they have offices in most of the big cities. It was only yesterday that I decided to reply to her email and included my contact number as well as preferred time to chat.

An hour later (which was 9am UK time), I got a phone call from her.

Now, this reminded me of a question posed by someone which I intend to answer hopefully through this post. How to get yourself noticed in an ocean, assuming you are targeting a bigger market?

When you are a graduate and competing against thousands, you need to have something unique to set you apart. If you happen to come from a reputable university, you might have an edge. It will be nicer if you consistently achieve good pointers or awards such as dean’s list. It will be brilliant if you happen to do all that while doing volunteer work, working part-time or actively participating in clubs. Err, the sensible clubs of course and not any hidden (dark) societies. Maybe Twilight fans are exempted.

Never assume things are so trivial or unimportant that you leave them out from your resume. Those that you think sound simple or silly may actually get you noticed, although it is best if you discuss it with someone just to make sure you are on the right track.

For example, a few months ago I reviewed a CV of a young graduate. It was boring! I mean, she had all the academic excellence (awards, honours etc) but there was nothing catchy. I asked why she didn’t put her modelling experience as she did quite a fair bit while studying. She didn’t want to appear as if she wasn’t serious in her studies. Like DUH! Obviously she did really well in her exams.

So I asked her to include it but rephrase in a manner where the reader could see that she benefited from the experience. In addition, I told her to include a few other activities which she did while doing her undergrad.

Anyway, she landed herself a few interviews and from glancing across the desk, she saw all of them highlighted her modelling stint. They were more interested in her glamorous short-lived career and asked why she didn’t pursue that. It made her noticed in a room of hopeful candidates. Imagine if she left that out.

Of course it was equally important on the way she handled the question i.e. why not be a supermodel and earn lots of money. Suffice to say she got herself a few job offers and thanked me for insisting her to include ‘trivial’ points on her resume.

I can’t give you the right answer to get to where you want. One has to be creative to get noticed. Most companies have online CV submission and there are plenty of good jobseekers’ websites where you can register yourself and find something suitable in your field of interest.

And sometimes you just need a little bit of luck. After all, it is a big pool out there. *winks*

*Ms B is feeling excited as the the cable guys are coming today to fix (or install) tv reception and phone connection. She hopes they show up unlike the furniture guys who were supposed to deliver the young lady's study desk two days ago.*

Monday, September 20, 2010

Stairway to heaven

I was on my way to the road of Prozac (it’s an exaggeration, I know) when the partner decided to take me out of the house on Friday morning to have breakfast at the cafe which was 3 minutes away. Somehow we realised the plaza has two other diners, a decent size supermarket which stocks up lots of western goods, magazines included, as well as spas, among others. Anyway, while reading Time Out magazine, I found out there are a few salons within the area, supposedly hidden.

When we were done with our plateful of eggs, sausages and smoked salmon, the partner came up with the idea of enquiring the beauty spot in the plaza. We thought it was meant for the airline staff based on the name of the place, thus never bothered to ask. That day, he felt compelled to find out more about the spa and went to its reception.

Hmm, maybe I’ve added more wrinkles on my face and my hands were as rough as rocks that he thought it was best I got myself an overhaul.

Surprise surprise! It was open to public. Marvellous!

The partner decided to send me to boot camp and as the young lady wanted to tag along, I chose to have a massage which wouldn’t take too much time. I was practically telling the masseuse that I was in heaven, except from time to time when the lady popped into the room to ask question on her DSi puzzle game. *grins*

I thought my trip to the land of bliss ended when I left the spa. Imagine the look on my face when he said I should take the whole day off while he did all the housework.

Ah, he even made lunch; baked trout and grilled vegetables

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

Desperate Housewives in the making

(pic googled)

I always wonder how my SAHM friends handle home affairs without jeopardising their appearances. A step into their place, one cannot help but to feel impressed by its spotlessly clean and neat arrangement. At the same time, they always look great and leave behind a trail of sweet fragrance wherever they go. It seems cleaning and cooking have little effect on them, even if it involves preparing a dish which requires ‘belacan’ or chilli paste.

How on earth do they do that!?!?

I am beginning to miss the old abode where it only took me half a day in a week to maintain. The small and cosy space meant less area to clean while laundry was kept to minimal as there were only two of us. Cooking was bliss as mine were usually simple dishes and if I didn’t feel like it, there was always M&S pop-in-the-oven selection or nearby restaurants for take-away food.

The house is now a few times bigger and constant TLC is required. There are always things to be done or perhaps it is just me who couldn’t stand unkempt place, as if there is a decree in managing household. I wish I could just turn an eye blind but dishes won’t magically wash themselves nor the dust disappears on its own.

At the moment, I am currently located in the middle of nowhere, though the young lady is having a hard time understanding the term as she keeps saying that there is no such thing as nowhere-land. It’s a popular place for expat and within our villas of 12 (or 10), six are occupied by blondies while two could probably come from Mediterranean. There are at least three international schools and many private institutions within 5 minutes drive radius.

Yet, the nearest civilization has only ONE coffee place, a good one thankfully. At least if I feel like taking a break, we could head there for the full English breakfast or gourmet burger for dinner. The place is so brand new that they have yet to install connecting cables to the nearest station for tv reception! We found out yesterday that neighbours have been using ‘special’ satellite dish to get their tv up and running. I am seriously considering that option. As for internet is concerned, I have been relying on my mobile broadband but 3G is so low that the speed is as fast as tortoise race.

Don’t get me started on school stuff. No doubt it’s a prestigious school but the glitches could have been handled better. I am not paying peanuts here, thus I expect better from them. The lessons are longer by an hour compare to her previous school to cater for additional subjects i.e. languages and drama. The young lady looks ok so far but once after-school activities kick in, she’ll be finishing by 4pm. It is probably longer than the working hours of government officers.

In the mean time, let’s just pray that I can keep my sanity

Wednesday, September 08, 2010


We landed the Land of Emirates shortly before midnight local time on Sunday. It was quite refreshing to be greeted with smiles and warm gestures, an opposite to what I experienced in another city in this region. The feelings escalated when we saw a familiar face as we made our way out from the arrivals gate. She quickly jumped into his open arms and he swept her off her feet.

It was good to be back by his side.

As we reached our new residence, we couldn’t contain our excitement and felt a sense of serenity to this place that would be our new home. The young lady was checking one room to another and going up and down the staircase. It only lasted for a while as fatigue kicked in and we went to bed to catch the much needed sleep.

The next two days were spent making this place more homely and settling school matters. The young lady will commence next Monday as the school breaks for Eid starting today. We have also sorted her school bus and I believed she’s one of a few upper primary students in the coach to our route. Most are in foundation or FS1. I told her that if small children can take the bus, she definitely can cope. It’ll take her 20-30 minutes to reach home, not bad considering it takes less than 15 minutes drive door-to-door.

We came to realise that there was another school less than five minutes away. Although it’s Canadian stream, it would have been helpful to note it earlier due to its convenience. For now, we’ll settle with this British international school.

As for Eid preparation, I managed to bring five types of cookies. However, the partner said I forgot to bring his favourite snack. I was cracking my head thinking of its name when Momster told me its correct reference. So I mentioned to the partner I’ll try to remember taking scissors snack (aka kuih gunting) next time around.

Oh, remember I said that we didn’t have much planned to celebrate unlike our days in London? Apparently we’ll be attending a brunch gathering at a nice hotel with his fellow country-mates. I plan to come in our traditional baju kurung and we’ll probably be the colourful ones. I was told we’ll catch everyone’s attention as their ladies prefer western dress.

If only I got him a matching baju melayu. It would look great in picture. *grins

In case I dont get to write, Selamat hari raya and may you have a blessed eid!