Choice of words

Jun 26, 2010

It has been raining cats and dogs here in Japan since yesterday. My hubby went to work since morning and would only be back at night today. Since there were only two of us, I was not in the mood to cook anything special. Besides, there was nothing but chinese cabbage and fruits in the fridge today. So, I decided to cook maggie noodles + the chinese cabbage for lunch.

I finished my noodles and went off to the sink to wash the utensils. Then I heard my son announced, 'Mama, gochisousamadeshita ( I have enjoyed the meals, thanks)'. I looked at his bowl and found that the chinese cabbage was left untouched. I asked him, 'Aikk...why did you not finish the vege?' He looked at me with his dreamy eyes, 'Mama, datte men ga sugoku oishikatta mon. Onaka ga ippai desu. (mummy, because the noodles were so delicious, I finished the noodles and now I am full)'. I looked at his tummy and I know he was telling the truth. But what I found most amusing was that he didn't use the words like,' I hate vege' or 'Vege not nice'. I am sure if he chose to say that, he would be getting lectures from me. Because he chose to praise the cooking, he escaped the lecture and instead received a big kiss from mummy for praising her cooking though it was just instant noodles!

Happy father's day!

Jun 22, 2010

We celebrated father's day at daddy's favorite parfait shop and wrapped up the day with a nice dinner at Fujiya seafood restaurant. We had a blast! Happy father's day and continue being the best father to our kid and kids to be...(wink)


My mum has just come back from Taiwan, her hometown.
Well, I had informed her of the offer to UK briefly when she was still in Taiwan and she requested me to hold the decision making until she goes back and discuss with my father. So last night I had a conversation with her.

Me: 'How was your trip mum? How are a-po and all our aunties and uncles?'
Mum: 'Ohh...they are fine. We had a great time. But I am a little tired. Too much traveling. People here invite me to stay, people there invite me to come to their house. Eat here, eat there. I am getting fat la...' But she sounded very happy.
Me:' About my offer, what do you think mum?'
Mum:' To tell you the truth, you should come back. Enough of oversea life la. Your pay here is so good already. What else do you want? Also I missed my grandson. How's his education? He has to learn Chinese too. I have made plans to give him intensive and extensive course in Chinese language. Just like all my kids. Now I know my education method is good. Look at you and your siblings. So just come back la.'I knew this was coming from the way she shoved me when she was still in Taiwan.
Me: 'OK OK.... I will ask my prof what the offer is like. If the pay is not good, I will not take it. I will make sure I benefit from this. Don't worry, I will come back and discuss with you. By the way, what does papa thinks?
Mum: 'Aiyoo, your papa ah. Huh he said good. Everything you say is good. Aiyaa. He said you will be learning more. You will be able to bring back good for the country. Harumkan nama Malaysia. Aiyaa you and your patriotic father are just same la...'
Me:' It's true ma... I will be trying to do good research and publish good paper. It's good promotion for the country...'
Mum:' Aiyaa...whatever you come back first la...'
Me: 'Ok, Ok...I will see what they can offer before we go through the same discussion. Will talk to you later ok mum...Bye'
Mum: ' Ok ok...send my love to your hubby and my grandson'

So...clearly my mum is against this. So, I have to make sure what they offer is worth every penny. At least, I have something positive for my mum to see and agree with my decision. I need mummy's blessing. I always have and are planning to do so...


Jun 19, 2010

I was busy doing my experiment this morning when our secretary came to my room and informed me that I was wanted by the big boss. Oh oh...I knew it. I sort of expected it. In my head I was trying to find the best answer to why I had not sent him his new request of data analysis which only reached my mail box last night at 10pm.

I knocked on his door and mumbled, 'shitsureishimasu~' which means something like excuse me in a very polite Japanese way. 'Come in', he said in a low voice. I went in and stood there with his back facing me. He was looking at his 30 inch Mac monitor. 'Did you receive my mail last night?' 'Yes, I did'. 'Did you understand my idea?'. 'Yes, I did. But I am doing an experiment now so I will send you the data analysis later this afternoon', as I was trying to defend myself. 'Fine, you can send me any time today, tonight or even tomorrow as long as you understood what I wanted.' I was relieved knowing that he was not angry with me.

'There is another thing that I want to talk with you. I just received an e-mail from Prof. A from Birmingham who actually has a new post in his lab. Would you be interested? Well, to be frank with you he actually requested for you.' I was speechless.

'I know you belong to your government and I know that you have to go back to your job. I know your situation well but as I had told you before, I want you to be a leader in Immunology one day in your country and I think this is a great opportunity for you. It is a good exposure for your career. The duration for that post is 3 years and it starts this December. It may be shorten but we can always discuss with him later if you are interested. So...what do you think? Oh, and do not worry too much about completing your degree, you'll be fine.', he smiled.

'Thank you sir. I am very much interested with the offer, but first, I will have to discuss with certain people regarding my situation.' I said.

'OK, good. Discuss with the people you need to discuss with and tell me your decision when you have decided. Thank you.'

I thanked him again and stepped out of his office with a heavy step.

So, let's analyze the conversation.

1. I was offered a fellowship in UK and the duration is 3 years.
2. I do not have to worry about my degree = I am guaranteed to graduate on time? Wow!
3. I did not look for the job and yet the job came rolling to me? Wow!
(My colleagues had to be interviewed several times for this kind of dream job!)
4. The prof in UK knew that I am attached to Malaysian government and yet he offered me this position? Unbelievable.

Anyone would have jumped at this chance. It's the chance of a lifetime. I have never dreamed of this. All this while, my ultimate goal was to earn a PhD degree, go back to my home country to serve as a government servant and start settling down with my family. Now, with this choice given in front of me, my entire life is about to change.

I broke the news to my hubby. He didn't take it too well too. Well...he's got his lecturer post in UM to consider as well. They want him to come back as soon as possible. No way he can delay it for another 3 years. He'll really have to let go of his position if he's coming with me. We agreed to discuss this later.

We have yet to decide. We are still slowly digesting and collecting information about UK life. I know it is a good place to live and the education system is really good too. I want to go to UK and at the same time keeping my position in the ministry of health. I want to go back and serve the government as a better and experienced professional. I want to...
They are so many things that I want to do and achieve now. I hope I am not being too greedy.

May Allah guide me in this....Amin.

Happy 13th Wedding Anniversary!

Jun 14, 2010

We are happy to celebrate our close friends, Kak M and Abang A's 13th wedding anniversary, together with their two beautiful children. I felt honored when Kak M actually requested for my chocolate brownies on their anniversary day. How could I resist the honor of baking a cake on an important occasion like that?

Happy anniversary Kak M and Abang A! May god bless you and your family!

FIFA 2010

The soccer fever is back! It's the world cup folks! It would be sleepless month for us, especially my soccer lover husband. We have made a list of matches we would like to watch...with miracle hopes that we will be able to stay awake and be functioning during the day. Tonight at 23:00, it will be the first Japanese match and they will be playing against Cameroon.

My Japanese colleagues excitedly asked me whether I would be cheering for the Japanese team during this world cup. I said, 'Yeah, I really hope they would do well!'. But in my heart, my hubby and I are secretly cheering for the Brazil this year. We are Brazil fans! We love their techniques, the art and the passion they have for soccer, though we know that they are not at their strongest this year.

Anyway, while the FIFA has just merely started, I am beginning to feel annoyed. So so annoyed with the crazy constant 127 decibels bumble bee like sound coming from that Vuvuzela horn. the FIFA authority, please ban that horn from the stadium! It's hazardous! It definitely brings more harm than good. I am quite sure the sound would cause deafness. I am beginning to think that it stresses our mind and heart too! Hopefully the authority would ban the horn and instead encourage the audience to sing or cheer with human voice. It definitely feels so much normal than that vuvuzela horn.

Day camp

Jun 8, 2010

Check out the place we went last Sunday.
It was a camping activity organized by the ECC Language School in Tokushima. There were about a hundred of us joining the activity including 30 foreigners from various countries and backgrounds.

The purpose of this activity was to help the Japanese increase their communicating skill with the foreigners. Japanese as you know, are famous for their shyness, especially when facing the foreigners. Even worse if they are not familiar with the English language. So the activity was organized in hope to also boost their self confidence in English communication.

I can't tell if they learned much English from this occasion, but one thing for sure, judging by the big smile on their faces, everyone seemed to enjoy it tremendously.

I am back again

Jun 7, 2010

Yeah...I am back home. This time from Kyoto.

Kyoto is a fascinating city. I have always loved the beautiful balance of the old and the new. It's the oldest city in Japan with nicely preserved shrines, buildings and temples. At the same time, the city also has lots of modern features and it reflects on the food too. Check out the food I had during the past 2 days in Kyoto.

My main purpose to Kyoto was to attend a conference. I had been busy preparing for this conference ever since I came back from Birmingham.
I was quite anxious for this conference for 2 obvious reasons.
1. The work I presented was mainly done by my Chinese friend, Lei who had graduated and gone back to her home country. So, since I was new in this, I had to do lots of studying in order to convince the audience of my findings.
2. My professor raised the hurdle by requesting me to present in Japanese. Gosh!

But I did it. All the hard work paid off. I felt quite good that I took the challenge and presented in Japanese though I was sure I could have done better with more practice. ^-^

My professor gave me 2 thumbs up and told me that I did well. Hopefully he really meant it.

Jet lag and dust mites

Jun 1, 2010

3 weeks has passed since I came back from Birmingham.
The first thing I needed to overcome was the jet lag.
I could get only 2-4 hours sleep a day and would be dizzy in the afternoon till the late evening on the first few days when I was back to Japan. That went on throughout the weekdays. So, when the weekend finally came, I decided to sleep whenever I felt sleepy to at least release the sleep deprivation I was having.

Let me rewind my story back to about 6 weeks back when my landlord decided to repaint the whole building. It was 3 weeks of hell! With the smell of paint which triggered my hubby's migraine every day and me with dizziness due to the strong smell. So, we decided to close the windows and doors to minimize the contact with that environmental hazardous paint. For the whole 3 weeks, our apartment was closed without much ventilation. Urrgghh....

Fast forward back to the weekend when I decided to sleep throughout the days....
So, while my son was happy that I let him play the computer game so that he wouldn't disturb me sleeping, I slept soundly from about 10am to 3 pm. When I woke up and greeted my son, he said, 'Mommy, what's that butsu butsu (raised red dots) on your face and neck?' I quickly looked on the mirror and noticed insect bites on my face and neck (more than 10 areas).
When I checked my body, both my arms, hands and legs were bitten as well. It was later estimated by my hubby to be about 50~60 raised red mosquito like bite on my body. I gasped at the look of myself. The first thing I thought was, Gosh...the marks would remain for at least months and it's summer soon! The diagnosis: Dust mite allergy! Any doctor could diagnose that! Plus the itchiness, it was terrible sight to see. Just imagine, more than 50 mosquito bites on your body... x 10 times the itchiness!!! So, there I was, scratching away while frantically looking for medication to release me from that disastrous itch!

After taking an anti-histamine, I spent the whole afternoon cleaning and ventilating the house. From washing the pillow cases, blankets, mattresses, bed covers to putting everything I could thought of in the sun. When my hubby came back from work, he looked at me in surprise though trying to keep his cool, 'Darling, whatever happened to you?'

I told him of the diagnosis. He laughed and ensured me that I still looked beautiful. Ok, so he is being sweet as usual, I thought. (But I recently suspected that he's secretly been reading Uncle Lee's blog and started to apply on me...hihihi)

The story continues. Though not as worse, I got a few new butsu butsu every morning. It was not until we applied commercialized products for dust mites that the new butsu butsu stopped to appear. But I was still phobic. Two nights ago, I woke up in the middle of the night scratching my hand and found a new butsu butsu and I was frantic. Luckily my hubby looked carefully and decided it was probably just a mosquito bite. True enough, the next morning, the mosquito bite did disappear.

The lesson here, ventilate the house. In my case, 3 weeks of no ventilation made me suffer! I still could not believe that I am the only one who got it. My son and hubby didn't seem to get any butsu butsu. Not even one! Another good tip, get a good vacuum cleaner which can filter dust mites. Myth: Some people thought that by putting blankets in the sun would kill the dust mites. NO...they survive! They would just move from the surface to the bottom where the sun cannot penetrate and sit there. So, what you can do is, after you hang up your blanket, take the blanket indoor and vacuum it. This is the best way to get rid of the dust mites. It seems.

All the best and may your life be dust mite free!