Monday, March 30, 2009

Qing Ming 2009

It was super hard having to drag myself out of bed at half past five in the morning. I guess jet lag takes some time to be rid off when you're 'old'. KL is a breeze when there's no traffic in the wee hours of the morning.

The scenery that morning made me realise how much I miss driving down the Karak Highway at 6:00am. The lush greenery and the mysterious mist that garnished the rainforest made me imagine busloads of tourists stopping to get their perfect postcard angle. What they find extraordinary, we drive past without thinking twice.

The drive also made me realise that I've not experienced Qing Ming for quite some time. I've missed a total of 5 Qing Mings in a row!

Uncle Fatt, Samuel and Samantha were there waiting for us. As the maintenance of the cemetery had improved over the years (for a measly RM10 annually), we've stopped bringing our tools to hack tree branches and to cut grass. The place was clean and there were additional parking lots for vehicles.

When we arrived at Gong Tai (grandpa's dad)'s grave, we saw that Suk Po (Grandaunt) had been there before us. If we had been slightly earlier, we could have caught them for a chat. Suk Po left for Gong Tai a box of roast pork with rice! Haha! The same went for Po Tai (grandpa's mum)'s grave. Love the attention paid to ensuring they eat well even after death.

But what I loved more was what I observed: the people around me. Families of different generations, from all walks of life, observe this sacred day. Why is this day sacred? It does not hold any religious significance. Instead, the cultural importance of filial piety and respect shines through. It is the one day in the entire year whereby family members from far and near come together to say hi to those before them. It is to say thank you for all the hard work and perseverance and for bringing us into this world. It is to let them know that we have not forgotten them and neither shall we forget our place in this world.

The spirit of Qing Ming; the atmosphere of togetherness. The celebration of life. The respect for the past and the betterment of the future.

A reminder to appreciate what we have and to not lose our heads should we achieve success.

Friday, March 13, 2009

We're in the papers!

Well, it wasn't very obvious but our parents could tell that it's their children's school by looking at the uniform. The news wasn't about us. Our children were 'borrowed' to represent Persatuan Tadika Malaysia (PTM).

Free injections for poor kidney patients

SERDANG: Poor kidney patients receiving haemodialysis treatment at NGO centres can look forward to a better quality of life.

The Government will spend RM12.6mil a year to provide these 2,700 patients with free erythropoeitin (e-poeitin) injections beginning April 1.

“Haemodialysis patients generally have anaemia problems and need the injection to increase their haemoglobin level to help them enjoy a better quality of life,” said Health Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

“Currently, patients at the NGO centres have to pay between RM30 and RM60 per injection or be referred to a government hospital.”

Speaking after launching the World Kidney Day celebration at Serdang Hospital here yesterday, he said the free injection would be for all patients at NGO centres currently receiving the RM50 government subsidy per treatment.
Quality of life: Liow at the launch of the World Kidney Day celebration at Serdang Hospital yesterday.

Haemodialysis patients at government dialysis centres are given up to three e-poeitin injections a week.

Disturbed by the increasing number of patients every year, Liow called on Malaysians to practise a healthy lifestyle as well as go for regular check-ups.

“Every year, about 3,500 new patients require dialysis treatment,” he said. “Currently about 18,000 people are undergoing dialysis treatment.

“High blood pressure, diabetes and obesity can contribute to kidney disease. All three chronic problems are on the rise due to our unhealthy lifestyle and food habits.

“In 2007, 57% of new dialysis patients had diabetes while 7% had high blood pressure.”

Eight more dialysis centres will be set up at hospitals in Pahang, Terengganu, Malacca, Negri Sembilan and Sabah to meet the increasing demand, Liow said.

Monday, March 09, 2009

Life #1

This was taken from my front gate.

Sometimes, we just need to stop and pay attention...

Saturday, March 07, 2009

25 random things about moi

I did this in fb and I thought I'd be a nice addition to the blog, too!

1. Most of the friends I have today have gone through 18 years of trials and tribulations with me.

2. Some of the nicknames my friends gave me include Guinea Pig, 'Sai Jing' (as in Small Jing), Papan and CNN.

3. According to close friends, I have not changed one bit since the day they got to know me (especially my hairstyle).

4. Apparently, I sound like a 5-year-old over the phone.

5. I love chocolate, especially when put together with banana or strawberry!

6. I prefer cold over hot weather as I can put on more layers but can only take off so many...

7. I have a terrible temper, one my brother likened to a pot of water that will boil if put on my head when I'm angry.

8. I have been driving my Toyota since the day I received my Ps and I don't think I'd sell it.

9. Oh, and it's manual. Auto cars just don't give me the umph..

10. I'm 100% Hakka.

11. I need my sleep. The only time I don't need it is when there's a drama to watch on YouTube.

12. I'm into music but I'm not musically-inclined.

13. I love dancing but I totally suck at it.

14. I just adore children! Come to my workplace and I'll teach you to love them, too!

15. According to some sources, I have OCD. To me, I think I'm just a clean and tidy person.

16. I am careless with my choice of words and even less so with my facial expressions. I apologise to all whom I may have disheartened.

17. My sense of dressing is plain. Give me t-shirts and denim skirts with sandals anytime!

18. I do not know how to apply make-up. I save lots on cosmetics. HAHA!

19. I am proud of my good sense of direction and my memory - birthdays and landmarks, I'm very good at!

20. I've travelled to a few places on my own - Sydney, Melbourne, Hong Kong, Adelaide and Christchurch. Hoping to add Taipei to my list soon.

21. It is difficult being my friend because I'm a difficult person to be with. Therefore, I'm grateful that I have my handful of friends I can fall back on. Thanks, guys!

22. I love to talk! I don't blame people for asking me if I'm okay when I'm quiet.

23. My favourite colour is pink but I somehow end up buying mostly black, blue and white.

24. I've never studied at a Chinese school but ahem, my Chinese is not too bad! Hey, I can read and write also ok?

25. I've been falling sick constantly for the past 6 months. I think I need to go consult a Chinese medicine practitioner now...