Just telling it as it is

2015, no thanks, bye

The calendar year is going to end soon. For some peculiar reasons, I have a distaste for the number “5”. They always say, “6” is my lucky number, and so be it, I am very eager in looking forward to the following year.

The year has been rough and tough to say to the most extent. It was a direct dichotomy from what I had been through in the previous years. Working outstation in a tranquil transit town in Sabah (Beaufort) somewhat laid down a sense of seclusion in me. And the fact of being an introvert and lived alone for most of the time further withdrew myself from the community, which comprises largely of “uncles and aunties” golden age population. Life was a rote, it was, overall a tedious trade having to work there and what was more in the agriculture industry. A feat that I bet only myself in the world would take on. The journey was not all dreary, though, considering I had the privileges of going through an entirely different path than the others. And I humbly thank the opportunity as it enabled me to discover and understand more about myself. My characters, my strengths, my interests, among other things, my shortcomings and weaknesses.  After all, I guess I find my life correlates with Robert Frost’s infamous

Two roads diverged in a wood, and I—
I took the one less traveled by,
And that has made all the difference.


I should really be thankful for the entitlement which only a few stood to had. It was in Sabah and Sarawak that, I learned how to prepare a meal, going to the groceries, taking care of my ownself; that, I dealt with kinds of people I had never encounter like the cunning foxes in the business, the Chinese expatriates of the industry, the foreign labours from Myanmar and Thailand, and friendly indigenous peoples and the likes; that, I appreciated the mesmerizing sunsets of coastal towns, the ever-clear seawater of South China Sea, the majestic view of both Malaysia’s largest and second largest lands from the window of twin otters etc; that, among many other countless memories which I wish I have the honour to write them down. Now, I wished I could have stayed longer.

And so as one chapter ends, another shall unfold. I returned to KL at the beginning of the year after my 2 years stint in East Malaysia. Naturally, the next step for me was to look for a new job. While that was being handled, I realized, not a room for doubt, culture shock was taking its toll on me. I mean, what? I came home to my place and I got culture shock! It was true, as evidenced in the adjustments of my tucked-away lifestyle in countryside to the upright hectic, busy lifestyle in city. I became a tame tiny bunny among a wave of frantic frenzied coyotes on the road. Sigh. And during the course of adjustments, my health inevitably took another setback as I suffered from lips eczema. Missed the clean countryside air and healthy living so dearly. So I was struggling to cope with the shockwaves that I totally did not expect and it did not took me long to get a job as I eventually ventured into the real estate industry. Truthfully, I somewhat had my mind partially set to join the industry when I was still in Sabah after plans of purchasing property sprung up. It was from that point I started to took interest in real estate.

The journey in real estate is, as it turns out, NOT EASY! At the outset, things can look rosy and promising for a rookie. I only managed to close my first deal after 5 months in the business. In reality, real estate being a business as its true nature, it requires one to inject money to keep it up and running. This translates to being income-less in the first 5 months. Nevertheless, it was actually something I had expected, and I thought I could one day win it all back, which at one point I actually believed. As fate has its way, it turned out to be a bitter-sweet moment for me. I was one of the top sellers for an upcoming residential project and the developer out of the blue announced that the development will be postponed – Poof! Like a magic, everything disappears with no room for recovery. And that leaves me with only 2 concluded deals in my first year, and a bleeding bank account. I must say I find this industry not an easy ones, again.

If there is one thing I could find consolation from, it is that, I realized I became fascinated with the rules and regulations of the industry, especially after coming across with industry lawyers and to a certain extent, personal issues which also concern with laws, I took up my second degree in laws, for 2 main reasons – 1) to see things from a new perspective, specifically from the legal point of view, and 2) to complement my current job in the real estate industry. Juggling between work and study is not a walk in the park. A lot of discipline is required in order to cope with the study when one is working. Not to mention, the reason my bank account bleeds is because of the cost of study, which is increasingly expensive thanks to the weakening currency. I find that I still like real estate a lot, and I do not wish to forgo my current job for a job in the legal industry which I have been contemplating. At the same time, I am torn between the flexibility of my present job which offers more time to study compared to a fixed or rigid legal-related job I suppose? What could be in store for me in 2016? I do not know but I really hope to pass my intermediate examination which is in a few months time and then only perhaps to consider whether or not to switch the profession. May all be well in 2016.

Just telling it as it is

If you ask me

How’s it like to live all by yourself, literally just oneself, alone?

It’s not easy, it’s like trying to be a Superman. You are the hero, you can’t have friends, although that’s certainly not the option for me. But my introvert and paradoxical nature pretty much price in for me. This is a place where I have zero association with, I’m only here because of job (or, career?). You see, sometimes I question myself, on the decisions I made. Why didn’t I made the other one instead? If you remember a line in Inception – “Don’t you want to take a leap of faith? Or become an old man, filled with regrets, waiting to die alone!”. Regrets can eat me up slowly. On a more freed up moment, I can practically do nothing, the feeling was like one in imprisonment. On some other busier times, I tend to take things too seriously, barely a space for breathing. Paradox. I don’t know. Maybe I’ve been up with some serious matter that can’t be resolved easily for some period of time now and certain workloads, under pressure from my own self. I even lost touch of finding ways to wind down myself. And now, I think my health is taking the toll on me, need to see the doc tomorrow. I’m really yearning to go home as quick as possible at the moment, and I’m gonna kick the ball as hard as I could when I’m on that field again.
Wish that I could cry, and fall upon my knees.

Just telling it as it is

Bye, Microsoft

Today I shut down my last association with Microsoft, namely Hotmail. Hotmail was like the passport to the wonderful world of internet for me. Started having it as early as the age of 10 through my tech-enthusiast cousin, a simple email then led me to MSN Chat where I had the earliest exposure of Internet Relay Chat (IRC), managed to make some friends through common interest chat rooms and kept in contact until the advent of MSN Messenger. It was the time when most of my peers were starting to get their hold on internet and we added almost every one we know in real life into our own messenger. Sharing music and photos were arguable the best thing to do during that time! Then came MSN Spaces, which was the blogging platform for Microsoft. It was like the extended version of MSN Messenger status update in which instead of posting short and simple status updates, we can integrate photos and videos into it alongside a wall of journal and make every stories in our life heard and read. It was also my earliest exposure in blogging.

The idea of closing down the account never once surface in my mind until the discovery of all the blogs I registered under MSN Spaces were gone, very much vanished into the thin air! I didn’t know they were migrating the MSN Spaces to WordPress and I just missed the train. Mixed feelings struck upon me instantly. Memories aside, I felt like portion of my growing was missing and can never be recovered. Earlier in the year, the discontinuation of Microsoft’s ever-popular MSN Messenger was already harsh to take, and now with the disappearances of my MSN Spaces blogs, little meaning left for me to continue lingering with Microsoft. And not to mention Hotmail though very popular with first-time email users back in the early days, is very prone to security issues. Undeniably, they were really good back in the early days, providing services that were essentially linked to our lives but I guess time has change the game around and like every good things in the world, they all come to an end.

Just telling it as it is

LIFE, pondered after one zodiacal round

On Monday, my random suggestion to have a sip of coffee in one of the top coffee brewers in Klang Valley congregated my secondary school girl friends. Plainly intended to be a casual CNY hangout, I experienced the most extensive chatting session of my life. From a rainy 1530 afternoon, the chitchat lasted close to 2000 hour. I wondered how did I survived it. The magic of my Piccolo Latte maybe? While the girls as usual dominated the chat before LL and her boyfriend LS arrived later, my concentration was glued toward my “new” iPhone 4! The iPhone 4 impressed me a lot with its smooth UI compared to the Galaxy S which came out at about the same time last 2 years. My sluggish Galaxy S always prompted me to change a faster phone. My valentine gift to my sweetheart exchanged me in return just what I wanted. My part in the conversation finally gained a fair bit of portion after LS arrived. I tried very hard to trigger my conversation cells in the chat. I believe they were always inside there, I just need to live them up! In the end, the effort saw me exchanging questions quite frequently with LS about our job since we are in the different sectors. After the couple left, I tried to blend into the girls’ conversation. Life, was again being put onto the table, after a round of zodiacal turn. At 24, we are all left with the prime question of our life to ponder – what’s life? Is it to do whatever that makes one happy? Is it to live life without regretting at the end of it? Or is it just waking up to another day, eating and then waiting to shit, eat more, and sleep to the next morning? I agreed when G mentioned that the lost feeling became more obvious in the deep once we stepped into the year of Snake, which is our second zodiac year of our lives (disregarding our baby year). In fact, I had that feeling 6 months earlier before the start of 2013.

I completed my university in June last year. I decided to give the agriculture field a try because of close-ties provided by my family and relative. Coincidentally, a seminar was on the horizon for nursery operators on July. I attended it along with a friend since 2 places were reserved. The seminar gathered some of the nation’s top operators under one roof to agitate about the industry as rubber was identified as one of the high income generating commodities under the National Key Economic Area (NKEA). In fact, an award ceremony was held too to commemorate the nation’s top 3 nursery operators in which I witnessed my cousin A being one of the prize winners. It was a good exposure as I am considered a total amateur in the field. In the following months, I had on and off involvements with my mother’s nursery and followed my cousin A on several business trips to East Malaysia. Kuching, Sri Aman, Betong, Bintulu, Beaufort, Papar, Keningau, these names are increasingly familiar to me with each visits. Those visits had provided me a basic but good revelation to the field that I am about to venture in as I listened to what cousin A had to say and offer to me along the trips. He asked me to imagine the industry after some years, when most of the veterans will be retiring and there is little young forces to drive the industry forward. I thought this is a pretty good industry with future as long as the government are at it and profitable too! So why not? I like how the girls put it – at 20s, experiences come first, money will come later. True, money is important in many aspects. The reality is that we lack money. This is where the fear comes in. It makes you think fast forward to questions like what if I still unable to save up some money for future investments etc. Life is full of uncertainties, my stories may be good in the eyes of you, but you never know I myself too live in certain degrees of the “what ifs” fear as my life is left hanging on the thread at the moment. We need to learn the act of balancing. While in fear, we do not forget that we still have dreams as it will drive you out of the dread. Depending on how you think of your dreams, each people have different dreams. It might be to open a shop and be your own boss, fulfilling our desires of having the luxuries, or even doing charity with their fortunes like Bill Gates. It is normal to have fear, but let us not forget, that as long as we are capable, we must never stop dreaming. And always “stay ready”, so you do not have to “get ready”, as quoted by the WWE superstar, The Rock. Life is a cycle and I believe there will again be the day when we ponder about the same question. Until then, just ask your closed friends out for another round of coffee and extensive chat, every thing will be fine.

I wish all my friends a prosperous, plain-sailing, and healthy Chinese New Year ahead.

Just me

A thousand miles journey, starts with a single step, and that single step, TAKEN.

The last time I feeling home sick was back when I first entered the university. As a freshie, we were required to lodge in the hostel for at least two semesters. Today, the scenario changes a tad slightly. Taking the chance to learn about nursery basics at a village some 400KM away from home, the familiar feeling loomed inside me once again. It became the most palpable when I travelled alone back to my guest home after work. Cruising slowly on a 4WD along the winding road with trailing rubber woods, my heart inevitably sank deeper as I edged closer to my guest home provided by relatives. I felt such a reluctance to go back. I gradually decreased the speed of my vehicle, while feeling inside hoping not to reach home that soon. But for some reasons, the gloomy feeling did not last long. Perhaps a stop to purchase some groceries altered the feeling. Perhaps a decision I had already made, that is to come here to pick up whatever I could grasp hold of, faded the feeling. Perhaps, with a little dream I have inside of me cut out the feeling for me. It became easier. I went back in the end. Though I knew the battle with this feeling will not be over for at least some period of time. Never mind for this time, I won the battle. First victory is crucial. If I gave up instead, I would never win this game.

My first (and half) day here brought them the long-awaited downpour. Due to the torrential rain, my activity could only be restricted to the offices of the nursery. My helpful nursery overseer introduced me to the various personnel working here, all of whom are acquainted with my mother. The sales office is well organized with the sales and stock department combined into one office, while the administration office is a stand-alone entity. Rather unsurprisingly, workers here are mostly Siamese. My limited command of the Thai language prevents me from communicating with them. My first assignment came, when my overseer ferries one of the Burmese workers to fix a pump pipe at a nearby source bush nursery. After that, we went hopping one place after another, started off with seeing the project of him planting a source bush nursery, then we visited the hostels specially built to house the workers, and finally to be blocked at the entrance of seeing source bush growing under a replanting scheme by the government agency.

The thing about how the nursery businesses are run here is that, it is rather crowded with big and small operators, thus the competition is somewhat saturating; and finding a land here can be quite labourious as one may need to venture deep into the woods in order to acquire empty lands. To my surprise was the discovery of ‘another-world-feeling’ after venturing off-road into the woods – enormous paddy fields with mountainous backdrop to be behold – what a sight for a city boy like me. Along the way, we exchanged quite a bit of conversations on the agricultural issues in Malaysia and also Thailand, and I certainly gained much through it.

“The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago; The second best time is now.”

This is a Chinese proverb I found on the net, and I find it very meaningful and encouraging. In fact, it is this quote that inspires me to take up the courage and chance to come here and experience something new. Although the transition could still be a fear, I believe with my ambition to be successful in the things that I am bound to be involved in, things would eventually just get better.