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Friday, January 21, 2011

Being Overseas is so tiring...

Time started: 23:17
Place: My temporary room at my uncle's (Subang Jaya)
Listening to: The noise of the television downstairs.
Weather: Very warm.
Mood: Exhausted.

Being on vacation is meant to be a time for one to relax and recuperate but why do I feel so tired?
I think it's routine for people in Malaysia to wake up early, eat out, go shopping (or work all day and THEN go shopping), come home, go out to eat again, come home, go out to eat again, come home and watch movies until 2am then sleep for 3 hours and repeat. How do these people do it?! I'm exhausted! My migraines and signs of chronic fatigue are more evident here. I'm ready to drop dead. Don't get me wrong, I'm having a wonderful time with my family but I just don't have the energy to do this...and I've only been here for three days!

The food here is amazing though. So far since I arrived I've eaten Chinese Malay, Vietnamese, Cantonese, Szechuan, Indian and Japanese food. All of them are very authentic too and sublime to eat. I'm surprised with how bloated you'd actually feel with such small servings.

The family and I went out to this Japanese club at the city for dinner. The food and presentation was amazing...I had raw salmon and crab on top of sushi rice, chicken tempura sided with miso soup and some weird egg thing with random vegetables inside. It was soooo good. The restaurant was really cool. The walls were actual paper screens and there were bookshelves everywhere completely filled with manga. The waitresses were so friendly and had permanent smiles on their faces too (and no, they were Malay, not Japanese, but the chefs were all Japanese). We were the only ones (besides the waitresses) who weren't Japanese. It really felt like we were in Japan.

After dinner we went to visit distant relatives of mine and they have like a mansion worth twenty million. As soon as you step in through the gates you see eight cars parked outside (yes, I did say eight) and they were all brand new and were brands like Mercedes Benz, Audi, Alfa Romeo, Ben Lee, Volkswagen, BMW, Peugeot, and Porsche. My jaw dropped immediately...these cars would've cost at least a million or two each (in Malaysia the tax on cars is ridiculous, something like 300%). Then I step into the house and the living room is at least the size of a standard house and is about 20m tall! They had a giant Christmas tree in the middle (only it was decorated with giant peonies and they called it the Chinese New Year Tree) and the owner had his own portrait painting 4x the human size hanging on the wall as if he was the sultan or something. He had 2 miniature toy sized poodles, 3 labradors (gold, chocolate and black) and a German shepherd (all imported from Australia). He had two swimming pools at the back, marble floors, bullet proof glass windows that give you a complete view of his yard outside (which looks like some kind of Botanic Gardens) with automatic curtains (and the curtains were ridiculously fancy too), two grandfather clocks, about 5 massaging chairs and don't even ask me how many couches there were and I haven't even seen what the house looked like upstairs. There are probably 50 rooms up there...I couldn't believe it. I felt like I stepped into Buckingham palace...he had a ballroom and two function rooms and another separate living room downstairs with a cinema sized plasma tv...where did all his money come from?! I felt so awkward there...they acted like normal, every day people. Well of course they are normal people....just incredibly rich normal people... :/ I didn't know I had billionaire distant's amazing how one side of my family are humble, not very well off country folk, and the other side are filthy rich city folk...the world doesn't make any sense to me...

As lovely and amazing as that house was, I felt really uncomfortable so I was glad when it was time for us to get out of there...

Now that we're home, everyone's watching more movies. Isn't it time for bed?! It's almost midnight and they've started watching movies. The plan for tomorrow is waking up early, eating out, shopping, continue eating out, continue shopping, come home, eat out, come home and stay up late for more movies. How do these people do it?! I'm completely and utterly knackered!

Time finished: 00:39
Mood: Knackered!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

First Day in Kuala Lumpur!

Time started: 20:40
Place: My temporary room at my Uncle's place (Subang Jaya, Kuala Lumpur)
Listening to: The ceiling fan blowing above me.
Weather: Fine
Mood: Exhausted.

After many delayed flights we finally made it to Kuala Lumpur at around 1:30am. We got home just past 3am and I didn't go to sleep until 4am in this strange room where I've never been.

I was quite annoyed to be woken up by dad at 8:30am. He was very excited to go out shopping.
Waking up extremely sleep deprived and deflated, I detested my father this very morning as I hesitantly made myself a mug of bland milo (seriously, it just tasted like hot water with a hint of the milo essence despite putting 3 heaped tablespoons of it and "Australian made" milk).

My aunt took us out for breakfast and I had fried kwey teow and "ice tea". The Malaysian form of ice tea in that particular venue appeared to be Tetley tea with lots of milk and sweeteners and whole chunks of ice that fill 3/4 of the glass. Wow...I was expecting something along the lines of Lipton lemon ice tea or something which was what I was hinting at. Oh well...I will not deny that the ice tea was certainly interesting tasting. It wasn't bad, actually. Just something I'm not used to. Just think of it as an English breakfast with lots of ice! The fried kwey teow was really nice! Something like this in Australia would probably cost at least $9 and after the exchange rate I paid like $1.30 for the meal. It also tastes 10 times better since it's authentic!

After breakfast, we took a taxi (teksi in Malay) to KLCC shopping centre (you know...where the twin towers are made famous by that Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones movie "Entrapment"). My dad and the taxi driver were having a conversation in full flight the whole way. Too bad it was all in Malay...all I understood in the 20 minute conversation was "police station" (polis stesen...haha, figures!). We hopped off right outside the twin towers that towered over the both of us (no pun intended!). I couldn't help but giggle after picturing Sean Connery and Catherine Zeta Jones falling off at the link between the two towers, just like in the movie. As you step in you'll immediately feel out of place if you've always been a conservative spender like me! Tiffany & Co., Gucci, Prada, Georgio Armani...all these high class top notch brands that only the richest of the rich could afford...
Dad took me in to see all these watches with brands I've never heard of. There was one watch that costs RM84,500 (which is over $28k in Aussie dollars!)!!!! It just looked like an ugly and fat piece of metal with hands and numbers so pretentiously designed it would even shame the Avant-garde period! Ridiculous for a gadget to tell the time, if you ask me...ah well...Bill Gates would probably buy it...probably...
We soon left that shopping centre. I mean, it was out of our league anyway (you even have to pay to use the public toilets and to wipe your shoes on their door mats! Okay, I'm kidding about the door mat part but they might as well!). We then walked around two other shopping centres (one called The Pavillion and the other...uh...I can't remember, sorry!). Dad bought me a $50 watch. It was still a lot more than what I'd pay for a watch but I was grateful he wanted to buy me a nice gift :). I'm just glad it's not over $20k!
Soon we caught another taxi to go to Sunway Pyramid. This time we got a taxi driver that spoke Hakka so it was another 15 minutes of intense conversation between the driver and my dad. Thankfully I understood about 70% of the conversation since Hakka is one of the languages I speak. They were discussing the cost of living and my dad was just saying how expensive everything is in Darwin (he went on about overpriced Bok Choy for yonks which was a little amusing!) but how much he gets paid being a humble cleaner and how well he's looked after by the government. At the end of that topic I was a little confused as to whether he was for or against Australia's quality of life...
The Pyramid is strange because you'd that the building resembles a Pyramid (obvious reason why it's called Pyramid) with the Sphynx at the front...and then you'd see a bunch of red Chinese lanterns being hung everywhere outside because it's approaching Chinese New Year, and there's Starbucks and Bubba Gump Shrimp stores outside so.......the building just looks like it's having a severe identity crisis. Still, the building looks impressive as far as commercialism goes.

The shops here were more middle class citizen friendly. There were even some familiar stores that I'd see in Australia such as Diva, The Body Shop, Harvey Norman etc...
First we had lunch at a Vietnamese restaurant and the food was great! I had grilled lemongrass NZ beef with noodles (identity crisis again? Kiwi beef!). It tasted really good though and the service was fantastic.
Then we went browsing around a variety of shops and I bought myself two cook books (one was for microwaving food...I figured it'd help while I'm still studying at uni) and the other one was 200 low calorie recipes (I should probably watch my weight after all the weight I've gained!). Then after hours of walking around my feet were killing me (the shoes were a bit tight around my toes) and I could feel them forming blisters. We sat and had a drink then it was off to shop some more again! I managed to buy myself two dresses for Chinese New Year (it's tradition to wear new clothes to start the CNY). I found it miraculous that they fit me (I'm overweight) because although I'm not...I'm grotesquely obese in Malaysia!

Dad and I were worn out by the end of the day. I must say I'm impressed with the shopping environment here but so far with no patch of blue sky in sight all day and congested traffic it was a little worrying with how much of the toxicity of the air has entered into my blood stream from this one day alone. Ah well...worrying about it isn't going to make me any healthier.

I came home ready to sleep, but of course I had to get ready to go have dinner with the family. With only 4 hours of sleep and 8 hours of shopping I'd rather drop dead on the bed there and then.

We went to a local restaurant just around the corner. I tried frog for the first time. Frog as an Asian delicacy in a nutshell: It looks like chicken, and tastes like fish. The taste wasn't bad...but having grown up in Darwin with frogs everywhere you turn, I couldn't cut the image of a cute green tree frog hopping about with the smile-like appearance for the face...I couldn't eat another piece. I probably would've vomited...
The rest of the food was quite nice though, and I drank so much green tea! It is definitely nice to end the day with a good pot of green tea.
There was five of us eating with five dishes which complimentary peanuts and pickles for starters, water melon for dessert and a pot of green tea, it only cost RM77.70 in total! That's like $25 AUD! That would only be enough for one person in Australia dining in a fine cuisine Chinese restaurant with food that doesn't taste anywhere near as good!

I shouldn't be surprised. This is like my 19th time I've visited Malaysia and I'm aware of the high cost of eating out in Australia. Mind you, the average person here only earns like RM700 a MONTH! I earn $700 a week at SUBWAY so I guess it doesn't really matter. The difference is still remarkable though.

Anyway, I'm finally home so I'm ready to go to sleep. Dad wants another shopping marathon tomorrow so I got to rest up and be prepared! My poor feet...

Time finished: 21:38
Mood: Incredibly exhausted...

Friday, January 14, 2011


Time started: 22:28
Place: Living room (Darwin)
Listening to: The television
Weather: Okay, I guess...
Mood: You can read the title, right?

My own best friend didn't believe in me. It's all just empty words...the things that people say to be nice to you...

I try so hard and I'm never good enough in anyone's eyes...

Time finished: 22:29

I need to start running...

Time started: 23:29
Place: Living room (Darwin)
Listening to: Advertisements on the television.
Weather: Fine and warm
Mood: Sluggish

I have a horrible track record with health.
I still have chronic fatigue syndrome and I constantly get cluster migraines.
My heart rate is also high which suggests that I am very unfit and my cholesterol has also gone off the roof for the first time. I've also been feeling depressed lately...I'm worried I will be clinically depressed again and anti-depressants never helped me.
I've noticed I've gained a significant amount of weight and I'm a little worried about my health not only for the short term, but for the long term as well.

There are many things I want to see and do and I've got a full life ahead of me so I need to change certain lifestyle habits of mine.

I would like to run again. I don't just mean a kilometre or two...I would like to eventually gradually be able to run a marathon. It's easier said than done and the fact that I've sprained my left ankle 14 times certainly will not help...

I'm tired of never completing my goals so I'm going to write this in my blog and set this to stone. I don't care if it takes me several years to achieve this but I'm determined to be able to reach this goal of mine.

I think I generally eat well so I don't really need to change too much about my eating habits. I certainly need to drink more water though.

I will not use horrible weather as an excuse to stop me anymore. If the weather's bad, I'll do something indoors to keep myself fit.

Anyway, I will start this exercise regime after I return from Malaysia on the 13th of February. That will be the day I will change my life for the better. Hopefully this one little exercise program can change my life in all aspects around.

Time finished: 23:38
Mood: Determined

Monday, January 10, 2011

Living up to Expectations

Time started: 11:45
Place: My room (Darwin)
Listening to: Monsoonal rain outside
Weather: Monsoonal rain
Mood: Useless

I'm home in Darwin. Christmas was alright. New Year sucked. I worked.

Sometimes I wish my parents could read....I know that's a horrible thing to say...but I feel so pressured to help them out all the time and they don't even appreciate it.
Today I'm stressed because mum got her package of her central locking remote for her car which I helped her order. She screams at me after opening the package saying "YOU GOT THE WRONG ONE! IT'S NOT THE SAME!" Of course it's the same, it just doesn't have the side coverings because you're supposed to use the old existing one. I told her this and even showed her the model's exactly the same. And she calls me a "stupid, smelly cunt" in Chinese in the process as per usual. Pardon my language...
Later, she believes me for a while, but starts checking over it again with her half blindness. And screams at me again saying the numbers are not the same. I scream back to put her glasses on and stop assuming I'm stupid and useless.

Today she wanted me to help out my uncle to get him a washing machine because he's old and almost blind and deaf. The problem is, today is the last day I have to proof read Meiling's essay for college in the states. Mum's sister, my aunt, Meiling's mum, called her and cried about it worrying Meiling will fail so mum is also like "you have so much spare time! Teach Meiling English!" And so I told her I have to help Meiling today and she's like "You're so ungrateful, you just don't want to help your uncle!"
I'm thinking wtf....Meiling has to hand in her essay like a couple of hours from now! It's pissing outside! She expects me to drive my uncle around all of Darwin in this weather without her freaking out?!

And then my dad calls while I'm helping Meiling, and it's just to ask if I can help him buy model cars on ebay!

I spent 9 hours 2 days ago helping Meiling write her bloody essay and mum goes I'm not practicing piano....Then I practice piano and she's like I'm stopping her from watching tv....
And last night I go out with friends and I was home before midnight and she complains that I'm enjoying myself too much with my friends and I got home far too late and it was the first time I've even seen them all holidays! My lift home was Erin. She expects my friends to jeopardise their time for me to get home early for mum? If that was what she wanted she could've at least let me drive there! What does she expect?

Also, I can't do Honours at uni because mum can't wait for me that long....I really wanted to do Honours....but I have to come home and work and support her because she can't read and she's broke and needs me to look after's fair enough, she does need me, she is sick and stuff...but I'm just bloody sick of her stressing me out like it's the end of the world every 5 minutes and screaming at me calling me a stupid, smelly cunt in Chinese...

She blames her behaviour on menopause. Well I know plenty of other women out there going through menopause...and they don't scream at their daughter every five minutes over nothing and calling them horrible things...

One day dad called, and she picked up, and she immediately screamed at him "I'M SLEEPING, WHAT THE HELL DO YOU WANT! YOU'RE A NUISANCE!"
And she wonders why dad chucked a hissy fit at her....
And it was 2pm, it wasn't like an unreasonable time for him to call...

My dad's not much better. He only calls me when he wants me to help him purchase model cars on ebay or when he needs something...nice to see you too, dad...

He comes to our home, using up my time, my computer, my internet, my paypal account for me to help him order some vintage Matchbox model car that only ships to the US. What's worse is he is using Levon to get the model car shipped to his PO box before forwarding the parcel to my boyfriend...using him...
I get mad at dad and he accuses me of not wanting to help him...

I tell mum that I want to visit Levon some time this year and that his parents really want to meet me and I want to meet them and she goes "you enjoy life too much, you should focus on uni..."
And I'm like "Well if you want Levon in my future then you should let me visit him instead of making us see us once every two years!"

You would just be a lot better if my parents knew how to read...either that or I had a couple of other siblings to share the weight on my shoulders...there's only so much stress I can handle.

I'm not perfect but I'm most certainly not a "stupid smelly cunt" as my mother would always call me when I don't quite make it up to her standards. I know I'm wrong a lot of the time but that never gave her the right to put me down like this. I happen to have feelings in case she didn't notice...I would happily help her out with everything if she didn't complain so much. It's not that much to ask...

Time finished: 12:12
Listening to: the clicking of the fan
Mood: Teary