2017 just flew by…

Where did 2017 go? I remember it just like it was yesterday when we were braving snowstorms that grounded our flight in Istanbul for days. I remember the havoc that the airport was in after many days of flight cancellations and delays when we finally got into Istanbul. We were lucky to be diverted to another town, Elazig, and set up at a newly opened hotel (literally opened the day before we arrived) for 3 days before we got the clearance to finally fly into Istanbul and make further arrangements for our next flight home. Finally in Istanbul we waited a whole day for our flight that kept getting delayed till it was finally cancelled and I insisted that I do not want to be on the next flight out but in 2 days time as it was after midnight and they are finally flying people out and I know from my experience, that the airline will do its best to clear its backlog and we might still be bumped off the next flight we thought we were already booked on. With children, I rather we rest well and check out the city and finally get to really fly out instead of waiting around in the airport. By this time, the airport was already out of many things. A family was stranded so long that they ran out of diapers and couldn’t find any on the airport and they couldn’t get out of the either. Luckily I had enough to pass them some. Poor family. We finally got in on the 12th of January when we left on the 6th.

It felt like it was just yesterday! Now it is already the 19th of December!! 2017 has been a beautiful year and seeing that it just flew by it must have been a good year too. Because only when you are having fun, is when time flies. Little munchkin has grown so much and is a little tornado. The hashtag that I gave her on Instagram is #TornadoJ. I can actually say she is living up to it. Little bumblebee is not so little anymore. She is only 3 but taller than most 5 year olds. She has always had a strong character and I can also say that she is also living up to the hashtag that I gave her on Instagram, #HurricaneZ. My little forces of nature. I am so lucky to have them.

So, thank you God for a wonderful 2017 and for my family and all that I have been given and for keeping everyone safe and bring on 2018!!

A very Merry Christmas to all who celebrate and a Happy New Year to all!!

adding hashtags here #feelinggrateful #feelingloved #thankfulforeverything


Caught between a rock and a hard place…

Of course there are a few reasons for my lack of blogging. No time. Nothing much is up. No inspiration. So on and so forth. It applies to my Instagram and Twitter posts as well. I have to admit though, the main concern for me is the fear and respect for my children.

I chose to write, photograph and post about my life but my children didn’t. Or at least, have not decided for themselves yet whether they would like to or not. Then there is this online paedophile concern that lurks in the corners every time I think I want to post a picture. I don’t want anyone to be using my child’s photo for anything. Not even a meme. But once it is out in the world wide Web it remains there forever. Even with all the security measure we put in, it can still get out. After all, we are all only connected. Just 6 degrees of separation separates us all.

Which means the moment I share a photo in Facebook even with friends only setting, it can and will be shared with others if anyone of my friends liked the picture or commented on it. It pops up on their friends’ feed telling them that their friend has just liked a photo. All this ease has put a stone in my shoe, so to speak, making me uncomfortable. Makes me think twice before posting.

Then, comes the part that maybe my children won’t like their antics to be splayed out for all to see. Especially when they hit their teens. By then, it is too late to say sorry or to retract. What is done is done. It cannot be undone.

Now cones the crux of it all. Since becoming a mother my life revolves around them. Almost every picture and thought I have, have them in it. Scroll through my phone and all I see are my two angels looking back at me. Then when I am with them, I don’t have time for anything else. My hands are full. Even if I take a photo of something else, I have no time to organise my thoughts and make a blog post even if that what the intention when I took that photo.

Or maybe I am just lazy. I still work and am lucky that my time is flexible. Household chores are done to the minimum. I get a lady in to do the heavy duty cleaning. Maintenance is key. Whatever time I have to myself now is late at night, which usually doesn’t happen as by the time I put them to bed, I would have fallen asleep too. Or the time I have the babysitter who is an angel with Z and now I have to get J used to her for an hour or so, so that I can get some gym time in, is my only “me” time. J like Z before her is with me 24/7. There is always tons of laundry to get through. So many older clothes that don’t fit “growing like weeds kids” have to be routinely sorted and stored or given away. That in itself is a chore! Then I have a threenager now who will wear only what she wants regardless of the weather outside. I think she is made for warmer weather. We are living in the wrong country! 😓😝 Just the other day, to counter this I thought it was wise to start her early on her choice of clothing for the day. We took 5 hours to end up not looking like a hobo and be adequately dressed for cold rainy spring evening. Don’t forget loads of screaming and tantrums and threats of “if you don’t get dressed, we are leaving without you!”. I just don’t have the energy after everything. Then I just procrastinate. 

I would love to blog more. I just have to find my balance which I have yet to find. Maybe until then you will hear from me sparodically. Unless I have something else to write about that doesn’t involve my children. 

On another note, it is still surreal that I am now a mother of two! Surreal even after 3 years….

Good night! 

Hmm….is this an Asian thing?

So, a friend of mine shared a video from Buzzfeed on her fb page and it got me thinking. I always knew that some things are really Asian like sitting crossed legged on the floor. Or even like how the Japanese and Koreans do with their legs tucked in under them.

My funniest experience was when I took M to a typical Japanese hot springs hotel for a weekend when we were in Tokyo for work. I booked this particular hotel for its traditional Japanese tatami rooms with modern convenience and it’s traditional Japanese Kyo Seiki dining experience. We had our own lady “butler” who saw to our needs and also did a great turn down service. Anyway, as you can imagine dinner is served on our low Japanese table with cushions as seats. M struggled to stay seated with his legs outstretched so much so that he got a cramp. It was so funny to see him trying to get through dinner. Eventually he dined like a roman in ancient times. Even this he had to change his position from left to right and back again every 5 minutes or so. He was like a swinging pendulum. 😂

Then I asked other friends and found this to be true for most of them. I was told that for many, the last time they sat like that was in kindergarten! So, this I know is true for most. But squatting, I didn’t know.

Here is the video. I hope I managed to link it here. Squatting is pretty common for us. There is even a Cantonese saying that goes “mau kai” which literally means squatting on the road. Not to say that it means that specifically but more to mean like you have no where else to go so you are squatting in the roadside. Basically describing squatters. Hmm….maybe that is how the word squatter came about.

Oh…I forgot something. Even squat toilets are a sight for foreigners when they come to Asia. It is so common for us and strange to us to hear someone comment about it. Hehehehe!

So foreign friends of mine, do try it out an let me know if it is really something too difficult to do. I am now curious to see the responses to this request.

Hear from you soon! Good night!


Where in the world is it?

I have been searching high and low for my camera for the last 2 weeks and for the life of me, I can’t find it. I have opened every drawer that I have at home and even the shoe closet as my daughter loves to stuff whatever she has in her hand at that time, in there. I have also emptied every last handbag I was using. Even the ones that I have not used in ages. Still, zilch! I am going crazy wrecking my brain, trying to remember where I last saw it, used it or kept it. Argghhhh!!!!

Besides the fact that I should find my camera, why all this agony? Well, I got bitten my the blogging bug again and have been composing blogs in my head for the past few weeks. Then I thought, hmmm….I took some really nice photos of that time when we were XYZ, maybe I should blog about that too. Now, where did I leave my camera…? Thus began my agonising search. Now, 2 weeks on, I still haven’t found it. No trace of it anywhere. How sad…

My little one has just gotten up from her nap so I have to go. Hopefully I find the camera soon. Sigh…

Ciao for now. Toodeloos.

Are we guilty?

I was watching this crime drama series and after one of their episodes this thought sprung to mind. I had goosebumps and chills  throughout the entire hour of that particular episode. When it finished, it got me thinking, are we guilty? I think we might all be guilty of it in some point of time in our lives. What am I talking about?

Well, this episode was about a girl who was murdered right on a busy street in the city. A crazed knife-wielding man who she didn’t know decided that on that day, he was going to kill her. She was just a random person the man picked up from the crowd. They were surround by onlookers who did nothing, watched in horror, and some even just walked right on by. She grabbed a bank teller whom she was just talking to earlier on while she opened an account to help her. The teller earlier, realising that the girl left her bank book behind, went after the girl to give it back. The girl keep saying, “help me! I don’t know this man! Help me!” She even grabbed on to the teller. All the teller did was to push away her hand and say, “let go of me! go away!” while the man ,kicked the girl and grabbed her hair violently. Another man just walked right by her to his car and put his golf bag in the boot and stared while he pulled her along by her hair, throwing her to the ground and dragged her and eventually stabbed her to death. All this was recorded on a cellphone by a barista from a nearby cafe. No one helped. Never mind that, not even one of them was seen calling the police or for any kind of help. This  entire scene alone got a chill down my spine. IiImagined if it was me or someone I cared about. Totally a scary thought!! @_@

The story starts with bodies found to be shot through the chest with an arrow their hands tied in front of them. Their eardrums ruptured and their eyes covered by rope tied around their head. They all died of exsanguination. In the end, it was the father of the murdered girl taking revenge on those who stood around and did nothing to help his little girl. Do they deserve it? Now that is the debate here.

What would you do in that situation? Though I was shocked (I know it is only a show and it is not real) that no one even tried to do anything, I asked myself if I was ever in that situation, what would I have done? Would I have done any differently from all those in that scene? Would I really have done anything at all? I will never know what I would do until I am faced with that situation. But hopefully I would never have to face that decision, ever!

I can’t speak for others but in my opinion, I think though not to this extreme scenario we might all be guilty of looking away and doing nothing at some point in our lives. Hopefully nothing too grave happened from our inaction. I can only hope that I will have courage to do something if need be.

What do you think?

I am so wired!

photo taken in Saigon, Vietnam in 2009

This is how I feel like. All those wires criss-crossing at a junction. I receive notifications on my Blackberry from time to time on various sites that I am signed up to. Just today I decide to check up on another site that I have not visited for some time and realised that I am so wired. Imagine this, just a mere 6 years ago, the only time I am ever on the computer was to type up my homework (while in Uni) and to do research online. I was hardly ever online. Fast forward a few years, I started a blog on Multiply, joined a needlecraft group on Yahoo, NEEDLESnCRAFT, where I got back my love for crochet, signed up for ebay and amazon. Then I started blog surfing. Before you know it, I follow quite a long list of blogs that I can’t even finish reading in a day! Also because I get carried away. Then I added, Facebook, Twitter, WordPress, ChurpChurp, Linkedin and the list goes on…..oh! and the latest, Instagram! I am so wired it isn’t even funny!

So many! I can’t even keep track of it all anymore! Well, I can. I just need to dedicate more time to or be more vigilant with my time. Try not to wander off so much. Evidence of this “wandering” is right here. Just for this post, it took me close to 3 hours and I am only here. I have googled at least 8 actors and some movies as they are playing on tv. 😛 From there, I got carried away by the movies they were in. Some looked interesting enough for me to click on it and then the adventure starts again.

Anyway, in this age and time is anyone to wired anymore? I have a love-hate relationship with technology. More love than hate, especially since I have started to live so far from my family. I wasn’t to wired before, so some technology was too much for me. But since moving here, I have embrace it more. I like the fact that we can have face to face chats now with relative ease and not fuzzy bad connections. I like that I can search and watch movies, series and more on live streaming especially when I get tired of dubbed stuff. I still feel funny watching in Italian in the cinema here and when I see it playing on cable back in Malaysia in English, I just stare and stare at the pictures and it feels so strange. Of course I watch other dubbed movies or series but they don’t sound strange because I can’t understand the original anyway! It is like watching a Cantonese movie dubbed in English and Italian! It is happening right here, right now! I was channel surfing when I saw Drunken Master 2. I thought, “Oooo..Jackie Chan’s movie. Should be nice!” They sometimes do show the movie in the original language (there is an option to change) and I thought this would be the same. I have watched a Mandarin movie in the original language before.

But no! The original language option is in English. Though Jackie Chan’s voice over was done by him the rest just sounded so strange. So, so strange. @_@ It is even stranger because I have seen the original a number of times and all of Jackie’s movies has all these funny puns and lines. They are all lost in translation. 😦  I had to change the channel!

I am getting off tangent again. I should sign off soon before I get distracted again and it will take me another few hours just to finish this post. I already down 5 hours. Shit! Yeah, you can pretty much guess it that I got in at least 2 movies and a chapter or 2 of a crime series.

The conclusion, being so wired is both good and not so good. Is that even a conclusion? Anyone else feels like this sometimes?

Mousey is…..thinking if she should try..

Blogging in Italian? Now that would be torturous fun!

I live in Italy. I read and speak and understand Italian. Notice that I didn’t say that I write Italian? Well, it is something I….am not confident about. I feel I make a lot of grammatical mistakes as I didn’t officially learn the language. I learnt it  off the streets as they say. I didn’t know a single word before I met M. Really, not a single word. When I was flying, I didn’t fly to Rome either though my company flies to Rome. That was because I was trained for a different fleet and at that time another type of aircraft was flying to Rome which I wasn’t trained for.

Fast forward many years,, I am now living in Italy and have Italian friends. When I tell them I have a blog, they ask me whether it is in Italian. I always smile and say “purtroppo, no. Non scrivo in Italiano.” Which basically mean, no, I don’t write in Italian. Then  I think, why don’t I try it someday. Maybe that day is today! I read other people’s blogs, especially those whose native language is not English as is technically neither mine, and they do so well! Though I can’t claim that English is not my first language. I am from Malaysia and technically our first language is Malay or Bahasa Malaysia as we call it. We learn 11 years of it in school. Everything is in Bahasa except English class or if you take other language classes on those classes. Math, History, Science..everything! If we fail Bahasa at our national exams, we fail the entire exam even if we score straight A’s for all the other subjects IN Bahasa. How ironic!

But as I say, I can’t claim that English is not my first language because we, my family, speaks English at home with a mixture of Chinese dialects (Cantonese, Hokkien…) and outside with all our family and friends. My mother was an English graduate and an English teacher and my dad studied in England. We all took English Literature in high school AND Uni as part of our syllabus. I have aunts who were English teachers. English is in our blood!! If I or any of my siblings failed English in any way, we were dead! So, I can’t actually claim English is Not my first language. 😛

In the end it is THE ONLY language I am proficient in. Well, maybe not. Bahasa too. So sad! I studied French for years, I still suck at it.

While others have tried and did so well, maybe I should take the plunge someday. Maybe that day is today!

okay…lets not be too ambitious. I shall start small….part of a post and see how we go from there. So here goes…

Ciao a tutti! Non credo che ho ‘readers’ Italiani ma visto che  io vivo qui in Italia gia da molti anni e’ giusto che io scriva qualcosa in Italiano. 🙂 In futuro, mi impegnero’ a scrivere di piu in questa meravigliosa lingua.

(the above was written with great input from M, I suck at Italian… T_T)

Who in the world is Sandokan?

Sandokan – Pic taken from the net

As the title says, who in the world is Sandokan? I know Sandakan the city/town but Sandokan? It seems  that he is a famous pirate known as the “Tiger of Malaysia”. Excerpt from Wikipedia says “Sandokan is a fictional pirate of the late 19th century, who first appeared in publication in 1883, created by Italian author Emilio Salgari. He is the protagonist of eleven adventure novels and is known throughout the South China Sea as “The Tiger of Malaysia“.

What is interesting is that this author has never stepped foot in Malaysia nor ventured further than the Adriatic sea! Yet he managed to make Malaysia popular way back in the early 20th century. How cool is that?! Click on his name to know about him.

My point is, whenever someone asks me where I am from and I reply Malaysia, the immediate and standard response is “Sandokan! You know Sandokan? The Tiger of Malaysia?”. Always. Without fail.

The blank and puzzled look I gave them said it all. I didn’t know who he was when I first came here. If you check out the Wikipedia pages, you will notice that the TV series and films were made in the 60s! Wayyyyy…before my time. And the series was remade in the 90s and broadcasted in Europe. I don’t think they showed it in Malaysia. I could be wrong here, but I don’t remember watching ANY cartoons on Sandokan. Did you?

I have yet to read any of Salgari’s works on Sandokan or watch any of the series or films or even the cartoons. So I can’t really tell you much about this man but this much I can say. This fictional character is so popular, it does an even better job than our Malaysian government in introducing  and promoting Malaysia to the world. Nothing jumps to mind of any Italian when you say Malaysia more than Sandokan. And all this is thanks to an Italian who has never stepped foot in Malaysia, who wrote about a country he has never seen in an era that Malaysia has yet to exist.

I shall leave you with a tribute to Sandokan which M stumbled upon. To all Malaysians, something to ponder on?

Learning about techie stuff…

fluffy clouds

I am suddenly soooooooooo sleepy, I can’t keep my eyes open. I blame it on the pasta I had about 30 mins ago. I was just browsing the computer to get myself acquainted with “cloud” technology. If there is such a thing. Trying to keep myself abreast with the changes in the tech world. I have been a Mac user for quite a while now and I am an all round Apple user except for the Iphone or the Ipad. I can’t bring myself to use them. I had an Iphone for a while though not because I wanted one but because M was so taken in by it that he got one as a spare phone with only internet enabled  sim on it. In the end, I carried it around and used it to go on the net whenever we needed to. Other than that, it stayed in my bag. I even forget to charge it all the time. 😛 When I got the HTC, everything changed. I signed up for twitter, check my Facebook, use the GPS satellite… things I never did with the Iphone. I was adverse it. I refuse to use it for anything if I could help it. M got an Ipad too which now he uses at home to surf the net and not hogging my laptop anymore! But I don’t use his iPad at all. Though I have to teach him how to use it sometimes. Managed to convert him to using Mac too! He has a MacBook Air! *proud*

Just to show you how much of an Apple fan I am besides the tow items mentioned above, I have a iMac in the office, MacBook Pro at home and iPod Touch. I used to own a clam shell mac, the colourful desktop Mac, the swivelling screen Mac, iBook and MacBook. Only time I didn’t use a Mac was when I first came to Italy and the office server at that time didn’t support Macs. I was crushed! Got myself a Sony, in fact, I went through 2 Sonys and the last one was an Acer. My first Sony got the blue screen of death and I sold my other Sony to get my Macbook! The Acer remains in the office and is now passed on to another colleague. 🙂 I just traded in my old MacBook Pro and got the latest one last month! Happy! Happy! I want to get the MacBook Air but since I use My MacBook to edit photos and store all my music, I can’t get the Air. 😦

Anyway, I was trawling the net for more info on how to sync all of them. I know of iCloud but have read its not so stellar performance reviews on the net. Then I got directed to DropBox and Ubuntu One. Then there is also Google Cloud. All I want is to be able to access my photos on all my devices. Well, I actually want to know how to link my desktop to my MacBook Pro. Everything I have read so far is really disappointing. For someone who is so technically challenged like myself it is even more disheartening. 😦 I now use an external harddisk where I store my photos and bring it with me everywhere. I also back up this external hard disk with another which I keep at home. Paranoid that way…lost all my data once in another external hard disk that just decided to die on me suddenly. I find this a lot of work. And I am forever in fear that before I could back up my stuff, this one dies on me first! @_@

DropBox has 2GB free and Ubuntu One gives 5GB free. Has anyone ever used them? My brother uses both and he finds them ok. He says he has not fully tested out their full potential, so he can’t really comment on it.

Among all the clouds (hence the cloud photo which I took in Elba) out there, is there one that suits my needs? Any tips and suggestions? Anyone?

Not wanting to fork out a fortune for Aperture yet, is there any other programmes out there which I can use to put watermarks on my photos? I downloaded iWatermark but I find that I absolutely hate the quality of the processed photo. Destroys all my photos and leaves them grainy. Back on the prowl for another before I succumb to Aperture. I have been looking at Aperture for a reeeeeaaaallllllllllyyyyyyyy long time.

I have never really gotten a reply on any of my questions before..I guess I am on my own. 😦 T_T

wokay! Back to trawling the net and hopefully not get distracted along the way.