Sunday, 29 March 2009

Thai Massage

For some months I had endured this nagging soreness in my left hip, which wasn't debilitating really and I only felt it when I'd been sitting at my desk for long periods. When Sha-sha recommended Thai massage, I cringed - because all I could think of was the notorious Golok. And to be in the raw, in an unfamiliar place, with only a sheet or sarong for decorum was simply not me, not sweet, innocent me hahaha! "No it's not like that at all", Sha-sha said, "just come and you'll see".

In the end, what made me agree to go with Zsa-zsa and Sha-sha was that for Thai massage, one does not have to undress at all. Though they do provide a set of t-shirt and loose pants for customers who are inappropriately dressed for massage. So they took me to this place at The Pyramid Shopping Mall, called something that sounded like Orangkaya. Apparently Sha-sha visits the place quite regularly and makes sure her masseuse is available for her beforehand.

Before the one-hour session, our feet were washed and lightly scrubbed with some bluish-coloured salts. Sha-sha had booked a private curtained-off area where the three of us could be together. Sha-sha was right. The place does not have a hint of sleaziness at all and I felt comfortable indeed.

My masseuse's name was On. I was soon to find out that Thai massage is not just about pressure points and muscles. It is also about joints and you letting go and trusting the masseuse to manipulate you into these yoga positions and stretching your body to it's limits, while pummeling your muscles into submission.

Firstly, lying on the back, On started off with my feet, toes and ankles flexing and rotating and massaging for 5 minutes, similarly for each leg including the glutes, for about 10 minutes each, followed by spinal twists to the left and right. Then arms and hands and fingers. Lying on the front, On gave an absolutely delicious back, neck and shoulder rub with a light fragrant oil, then she eased me into a fantastic cobra pose by pulling on my arms backwards. Finally, sitting cross-legged, some more neck work and a burpy but relaxing head massage, ending with On engaging me in something like a WWE wrestling hold and administering another set of spinal twists.

Wow now thaaat was one hour very well spent.

On brought some tea afterwards and I slipped her a tip, she deserved it after all. Because we came before noon, there was a RM10 discount, so it cost us RM50 for that one-hour. A spa with ambience would have set us back double that amount I guess, and you'll probably get a javanese massage only. I don't know. Never been to one.

Oh, and my hip is back to normal now, Alhamdulillah. I'm so happy.

Hmmm..... maybe I'll check out Vietnamese massage in Ho Chi Minh City where I'll be with Zsa-zsa and frenz over next 3 days.

And I must remember to ask for On next time. I'm hooked!

Thursday, 26 March 2009

Massage, anyone?

I never was one for regular massages like some of my friends. In fact the first full-body one I had was the traditional post-partum massage after I had my first baby. Mum had engaged the "tukang urut" for one full month to do the necessary so that I return to hubby after 45 days "like new".

The daily ritual then was first to bathe in warm water infused with aromatic lemon grass and some flower petals, then the massage with some funny-smelling oil concoction, and ending with a smearing of lime-paste on the tummy before the "tukang urut" binds it neatly and tightly with a 6-yard wrap. After that was the drink of a vile jamu, which was a mix of powdered herbs and spices prepared by the lady herself apparently from a recipe handed down the generations.

The lady was about 65 years old, and small in size. I never did enjoy her massages because being small, she was incapable of applying much pressure where it mattered. At the same time she would go on and on about keeping hubby happy, and spacing out the children, and that was why I really had to take her jamu.

Naive that I was at that time, I kept up with the jamu and hubby was really a very happy camper. I became pregnant again barely a month after the end of my confinement. Whatever it was, the jamu was certainly not for regular family planning.

But I digress. I had wanted to write about massages. During my "productive" period spanning nine years, my massage experience had all been post-maternity. In the ensuing years, except for the ocassional neck and shoulder rubs, I had felt no need for massages. Even the thought itself would leave a queasy feeling in my tummy, until Sha-sha and Zsa-zsa took me for a session of Thai Massage!

(to be continued)

Saturday, 21 March 2009

Why Your Wife Never Argue

There was once a man and woman who had been married for more than 60 years.
They had shared everything. They had talked about everything. Nothing was
held back. Well, almost nothing. They had kept no secrets from each other
except that the little old woman had a shoe box in the top of her closet
that she had cautioned her husband never to open or ask her about.

For all of these years, he had never thought about the box, but one day the little old woman got very sick and the doctor said she would not recover. In trying to sort out their affairs, the old man took down the shoebox and took it to his wife's bedside. She agreed that it was time that he should know what was in the box. When he opened it, he found two crocheted doilies and a stack of money totaling $250,000. Holy Moley! He asked her about the contents.

"When we were to be married," she started, "my grandmother told me the secret of a happy marriage was to never argue. She told me that if I ever got angry with you, I should just keep quiet and crochet a doily." The old man was so moved, he had to fight back tears. Only two precious doilies were inside the box! She had only been angry with him two times in all those years of living and loving. He almost burst with happiness. "Honey," he said, "that explains the doilies, but.... what about all this money? Where did it all come from?"

"Oh," she said, "that's the money I made from selling the doilies".

"Oh, it has been willed to the Women's Refuge".

Doilie from

Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Dengar Ini Cerita

From the timeless P.Ramlee

I remember one time my Mum and her sister giggling hilariously when this song played on the radio.

Here's a picture of my Mum, taken at about the time the above movie was made. They are contemporaries, she and P.Ramlee.

Gym Boredom, Blog Boredom ................

After Subuh prayers, as I while away some time on theprayer mat, I began to visualise the up-coming day.

OK, there are 4 or 5 bananas almost ripe for frittering for breakfast. Wow, pisang goreng breakfast! That's a whole lot of calories, lady. It's OK, I'll eat one or two and let the kids gobble up the rest. Intan's home for the school holidays, and Dean's a permanent fixture since finishing flying school. For now he gets to tag along on observation flights before starting stints on the simulator.

Yeah, calories, calories. Must get back to the gym. In the last month, I've been there maybe 3 or 4 times only as compared to at least 3 times a week previously. I had followed this 12 week program from Global Health and Fitness, managed 11 weeks, lost zero kilos, and one percent body fat. ONE PERCENT???!!! Aaaaargh............... Diet? No way, I like my food, too much. Zsa-zsa figured I'm OK as I am. "Any thinner and you'll look haggard", she said. Thin??? What??? The scale says I have 38.8% body fat. OK it doesn't say where but I know where! Right, I'll do the program again - 12 weeks this time. I'll go at 12 noon. The gym will be practically empty so I can try some other machines to my heart's content. The trainers will mostly be at their lunch break, so hopefully none will try to make me sign up for personal training. Hmmm, I'd sure would look sexy at 30% body fat, 6-pack .... maybe 4-pack abs will do nicely, tight triceps - my biceps ok,ok lah, buns more lifted, inner thighs toned ........ WOW!!!

What else before gym? Update this blog? Read other people's blogs? OK got time. Don't have to sweep and mop because the cleaner came and did a thorough job yesterday. Don't have to water the plants since it rained a little this morning.

What to write, what to write? Can't write, that's a fact. Can only read. Let's see, I'm way bored with the SoPo's. I had already read kata-kama yesterday. It was about abused celebrity Rihanna. Didn't offer a comment, just said a silent prayer of thankfulness to Allah for my hubby. Tea and Scones' was an interesting lesson in the use of commas. I like that bloke's writing - he's bloody talented, he can turn a mundane subject into a cannot-put-it-down must-read. Hope CaptainPirateKing goes over there for a lesson as well. Captain laces his writings liberally with commas as in:

",,,,,,,, new sentence"

",,,,,,, new sentence"

,,,,, yaaa that's his style and very refreshing too. Yooohooohooo!!!

Mamasita's on a blog break. Miss her upbeat blogging. Never mind, she'll be back after the UMNO pow-wow, I guess.

Oh, oh. Newly-datinned Zaida just called and wants to meet up at Alamanda. OK haven't seen her in a while. Gossip time!!!

Thus ends my update and my gym resolution.

Sunday, 15 March 2009

The Paradox of our Time in History

I got this piece of gem in an e-mail which had attributed it's authorship to a comedian of the 70's and 80's, one George Carlin. However 2 other persons have also been credited, by different sources, with it's writing. Comment by Al-Manar refers.


The paradox of our time in history is that we have taller buildings but shorter tempers, wider Freeways,but narrower viewpoints. We spend more, but have less, we buy more, but enjoy less. We have bigger houses and smaller families, more conveniences, but less time. We have more degrees but less sense, more knowledge, but less judgement, more experts, yet more problems, more medicine, but less wellness.

We drink too much, smoke too much, spend too recklessly, laugh too little, drive too fast, get too angry, stay up too late, get up too tired, read too little, watch TV too much, and pray too seldom.

We have multiplied our possessions, but reduced our values. We talk too much, love too seldom, and hate too often.

We've learned how to make a living, but not a life. We've added years to life not life to years. We've been all the way to the moon and back, but have trouble crossing the street to meet a new neighbour. We conquered outer space but not inner space.. We've done larger things, but not better things.

We've cleaned up the air, but polluted the soul. We've conquered the atom, but not our prejudice. We write more, but learn less. We plan more, but accomplish less. We've learned to rush, but not to wait. We build more computers to hold more information, to produce more copies than ever, but we communicate less and less.

These are the times of fast foods and slow digestion, big men and small character, steep profits and shallow relationships. These are the days of two incomes but more divorce, fancier houses, but broken homes. These are days of quick trips, disposable diapers, throwaway morality, one night stands, overweight bodies, and pills that do everything from cheer, to quiet, to kill. It is a time when there is much in the showroom window and nothing in the stockroom. A time when technology can bring this letter to you, and a time when you can choose either to share this insight, or to just hit delete...

Remember; spend some time with your loved ones, because they are not going to be around forever.

Remember, say a kind word to someone who looks up to you in awe, because that little person soon will grow up and leave your side.

Remember, to give a warm hug to the one next to you, because that is the only treasure you can give with your heart and it doesn't cost a cent.

Remember, to say, 'I love you' to your partner and your loved ones, but most of all mean it. A kiss and an embrace will mend hurt when it comes from deep inside of you.

Remember to hold hands and cherish the moment for someday that person will not be there again.

Give time to love, give time to speak! And give time to share the precious thoughts in your mind.


Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.

If you don't send this to other people...Who cares?

George Carlin

Thursday, 12 March 2009

When economies dive, MLMs thrive.

“Hi Z. I wud like to introduce U to health juice product called xxxxx introduced by my dentist dr xxxxxx. There will b a talk on de juice n MLM business at her house at 3pm 2moro. If u want to come pls meet at my hse at 245” – so goes the text message from my sister.

After due consideration, here’s my reply – “Thanks but now for now – hve plenty of health supplements oredy.”

3 days later, a cheery call from hubby’s normally reticent nephew.

“Assalamualaikum, How are you Pak Cik?”

“Alhamdulillah, Zali. And you?”

“I’m fine, thank you. Pak Cik, are you free later today? Just like to come by with the family – jalan-jalan”

“Sure….. do come. We’re free after zohor. 5 o'clock we have somewhere to go”

“OK. We’ll come about 3”

Hubby wonders why Zali, someone whom we see perhaps once every 2 or 3 Hari Raya’s, suddenly wants to pay us a visit, and it’s not even raya.

“In these uncertain times, it can be anything”, I said.

I remember circa 1997, 1998 (the previous economic crisis) the MLM introductory line was something like – “Hi, I’m xxx. I’m an associate of your friend, yyyyy, and we would like to invite you to come on board with us in an exciting business venture involving an international company which has been around for 50 years …………. “.

That was when hubby and I were roped into the xxway network marketing activities. We lasted about 3 months. Why? Firstly, we could see the children were beginning to suffer from parental neglect and secondly, the nocturnal activities were taking a toll on our day-time careers, which were paying the bills anyway. Thirdly, I wasn’t comfortable with the manner in which the group were glorifying the top-most leaders like they were demi-gods. I am against any form of hero-worship, actually.

Before that in about 1990 (still in the throes of the 88 crash), I dabbled in xxxxlee. I got recognised though I was left with some stock that I could / did not move, and zero support from the up-line who was busy building another leg (MLM speak for branch) in another state. So that year I did not renew my membership.

I’m not knocking MLM. I think it is an excellent way for anyone to learn sales and marketing, and at the same time be exposed to the ins and outs, and ethics of business. The motivation seminars and positive talk can change a person if he is teachable and receptive. One can build self-confidence, and be able to communicate quite effectively whether one-on-one or on stage in an audience-filled hall.

But for me, sad to say I’m not cut out for business. I usually end up selling products to my friends and relatives at cost, or I would just give them away out sympathy for the recipient's financial situation.

Anyway, Zali was marketing a water-purification system. Yeah, he and his wife went through all the sales tactics we were all too familiar with like checking out our kitchen water-filter with the hand-washing pretext, telling why we should be drinking this water and not that water, proving it with the electrolysis precipitate demo, some scare statistics, how a DOCTOR had recommended it to them because a DOCTOR SHOULD KNOW!

Well, these are uncertain times. Zali’s employer is facing lean prospects. Zali himself seems to have changed personality-wise and is working hard. We bought the system.

Not so much because of the water, mind. My octogenarian Mum is doing pretty well, Alhamdulillah, on boiled tap water all this time. And the house plumbing must be at least 40 years old, come to think of it.

My sister’s doing OK on her retirement fund but I’m not sure about her dentist. Perhaps she needs side income, too. The dentist’s good, though. In just one meeting, my sister is now direct distributor with a stock-pile.

All the best to you new network marketers out there!

(Psst …… Had you all started out earlier by a couple of years, you would be recruiting bands of newly out-of-work members now instead of YOU being recruited. But hang in there long enough and you shall be rewarded, God Willing)

Monday, 9 March 2009

What they teach teenagers these days!

Intan is in Form 5 in the Science Stream of a co-ed school. I mentioned to her about a memory aid which was used by commentator Laptop on Kama's blog, for memorising the Periodic Table. It goes:

Hj Herot Lihat Benda Busuk Celah Nenen Orang Famous Neon Nama Mgie Al Si Potong Seluar, Clear Arrrrrrrrgh!
Hj - Hydrogen
He - Helium
Li - Lithium
Be - Beryllium
B - Boron
C - Carbon
N - Nitrogen
O - oxygen
F - Fluorine
Ne - Neon
Na - Natrium (Sodium)
Mg - Magnesium
Al - Aluminium
Si - Silicon
P - Phosphorus
S - Sulfur
C - Chlorine
Ar - Argon

Intan says she was taught a different memory jogger that goes:

Happy Henry Likes B_easts But Can Not Often Find Nerve .....
Nak Maggie Allie Silly, Phone Susu Coklat Angin


Also, to remember the order of electropositivity of the elements which is the tendency of elements to discharge electrons, they use this:

Kalau Nak Kahwin Mesti Ada Z_KR BESAR
i.e kalium, natrium, kalsium, magnesium, aluminium, zinc, barium

I really laughed out loud at that one!!!!

It seems at the V.I. school years ago (Victoria Institution - now a Malaysian heritage), they were taught this to remember the colours of the rainbow:

V.I. Boys Get Yours On Ready
i.e. violet, indigo, blue, green, yellow, orange, red

Not that bad, by today's straight-in-your-face standard.

But this one from my 82 year old Mum is in a class of it's own. From the age of innocence, when Malays were transitioning from jawi to rumi and learning the order of the ABC.

Abu Bakar Curi Duit, Emak Fikir Gaji Hari, Ia Jalan Kuala Lumpur, Makan Nasi Orang Putih, Q! Rasa Sedap - Thank U, Very Well ...... XYZ

So Sweet.........

Saturday, 7 March 2009

Hell and Earthly Science

Someone sent me this in an e-mail.

The following is an actual question given on a chemistry mid-term test at University of Washington.
The answer by one
student was so 'profound' that the professor shared it with colleagues, via the Internet, which is, of course, why we now have the pleasure of enjoying it as well:

Bonus Question: Is Hell
exothermic (gives off heat) or endothermic (absorbs heat)?

Most of the students wrote proofs of their beliefs using Boyle's Law (gas cools when it expands and heats when it is compressed) or some variant.

One student, however, wrote the following:

First, we need to know how the mass of Hell is changing in time. So we need to know the rate at which souls are moving into Hell and the rate at which they are leaving. I think that we can safely assume that once a soul gets to Hell, it will not leave. Therefore, no souls are leaving. As for how many souls are entering Hell, let's look at the different religions that exist in the world today. Most of these religions state that if you are not a member of their religion, you will go to Hell. Since there is more than one of these religions and since people do not belong to more than one religion, we can project that all souls go to Hell. With birth and death rates as they are, we can expect the number of souls in Hell to increase exponentially. Now, we look at the rate of change of the volume in Hell because Boyle's Law states that in order for the temperature and pressure in Hell to stay the same, the volume of Hell has to expand proportionately as souls are added.

This gives two possibilities:

1. If Hell is expanding at a slower rate than the rate at which souls enter Hell,
and then the temperature and pressure in Hell will increase until all Hell breaks loose.

2. If Hell is expanding at a rate faster than the increase of souls in Hell, then the temperature and pressure will drop until Hell freezes over. So which is it? If we accept the postulate given to me by Teresa during my Freshman year that, 'It will be a cold day in Hell before I sleep with you,' and take into account the fact that I slept with her last night, then number two must be true, and thus I am sure that Hell is exothermic and has already frozen over.

The corollary of this theory is that since Hell has frozen over, it follows that it is not accepting any more souls and is therefore, extinct......leaving only Heaven, thereby proving the existence of a divine being which explains why, last night, Teresa kept shouting, 'Oh my God.'



Fascinating hypothesis, says the nerd in me.
Assuming Hell's on Earth lah.

Friday, 6 March 2009

A new take on Jimat Berjimat

I learnt another meaning of the malay word "Jimat" yesterday.

In its ordinary use it means "to be or being thrifty". It can also connote stinginess if someone says to you, "Kau ni jimat sangat".

However, I learnt yesterday that in under-cover operations and such-like, "Jimat" means to neutralise, to terminate, to exterminate, to wipe off the face of the earth!

Next time someone tells me to "berjimat", I may do a double-take and say "jimat yourself!"

Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Goodness Gracious Me

Fun song by Peter Sellers and Sophia Loren. The actors in this video are just miming it. I used to sing-along to the "boom-boody-boom-boody-boom" when I was a tiny-tot. I guess Dad had fancied himself as the doctor who was the object of Sophia Loren's fancy, because it was his favourite song at one time.


Monday, 2 March 2009

Why Do They Remember?

At a Chinese New Year do a few weeks ago, my older sister Zsa-zsa met a Mrs. Julia C. who, it turned out, had once taught at our school. After the introductions she asked Zsa-zsa , “You are Zendra’s sister, right?”. My sister was quite taken aback. “Yaa, you know her aar, Mrs. C?” “Sure-lah”, replied the teacher, “ Teachers are blessed with good memories, you know. Please send her my regards if you see her. What is she doing now, by the way?”. “Oh, she’s retired and doing nothing. ” said Zsa-zsa, surely reminding Mrs. C of the easy-going person I was, and still am.

You see, Mrs C. was my form teacher in probably….. Form 3. That was 40 years ago! I was nerdy, quiet, and uncharismatic though I was quite OK at sports. Anyway, she made me class monitor, of all things. Every morning I had to fetch the class register from the school office and mark the day’s attendance. Sometimes I had to help her collect the monthly school fees. I felt exploited, somewhat. She wasn’t fierce; in fact she was rather sweet and nice, and beautiful with the perfect complexion, (which according to Zsa-zsa she still maintains). But I don’t think we had really bonded, anyway.

As the cool, easy-going class monitor, I had not engaged everybody to make the class more presentable. The girls did their duties as per the roster and that was all. Mrs. C’s class never won any Oscars for the Cleanest Class of the Week. That was the domain of the Form 2 class led by a transferee from St. George’s, Penang. And neither did I have to maintain class discipline as well. Not only due to the fact that the class was the nerdiest one in the block, but I also had help from the alpha-female next door, Sylvia P.

Now Sylvia, well her father could have been a police sergeant or something like that, from whom she must have inherited THAT voice. Sometimes, when the teachers happened to be away from class, the girls in my class would be just murmuring away among themselves. The girls in Sylvia’s class tended to be a little boisterous, and the other two Form 3 classes much more so. Suddenly, seemingly like out of nowhere and like a clap of thunder,


followed by a sharp, ear-piercing rap of the black-board ruler on the teacher’s table. And the whole Form 3 block, from 3 Science, 3 Arts, 3 Commerce and 3 Domestic Science would be shocked and awed into a meek impenetrable silence. Ha,ha,ha….. thinking back, that was really funny.Thanks Sylvia.

I had good memories at school though I can only remember a few teachers. One is Miss KNN who failed me at art because I painted like Picasso. She had also failed a classmate at a test just because of her hand-writing that was too slanting. Bad, bad teacher. Another bad one was spinster Miss Y. who I heard screamed “bowdhobintibowdho!!!” as I was passing her class. Not a teacher I’d like for my children.

The excellent ones were Miss BMN whom I had occasion to meet a couple of times the last two years. Also Miss VH who now lives in the UK and had enquired of me, I came to know. And off course, the gracious Mrs. GR, the School Principal whom I had also met up last year.

And for the life of me, I cannot understand why they should ever remember me.....