Let’s Try …

Well, there’s hope;

  • after some years, I made some homemade Christmas card.
  • after close to a decade, I searched my room for the long lost SIM card; possibly my 4th Indian one bought in Sikim.
  • after countless of procrastination, I finally sent the beads that would make a real difference … life standards difference … as Christmas gifts.
  • after years of messing around with my career I am back to where it has always meant to be!

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It all started a few weeks before Christmas. Needless to say it was hellish with work commitments and deadlines closing in while people geared up to either ‘window dress’ year end performance or get distracted by the upcoming long vacation.

But I couldn’t ignore the invitation to actually receive a snail mail after decades of only receiving bills in the post box! And besides, the invitation was from a very dear person who started off as a stranger whom I had to be in very close proximity for a month.

Fact #1: I am not a fan of people.

Fact #2: I need space; both physical and emotional.

Fact #3: I am not big on sharing – I never needed to.

But when you are well informed and have deliberately sought out to have ‘safety in numbers’, there are some trade-offs. And all in, personalities aside – oh yes, there sure were some BIG PERSONALITIES to deal with which is well expected when you throw an assortment of people from different age groups, nationality, ethnicity, religion, social economic background without a Hollywood production running in the background orchestrating it for viewers and ratings – it was an unforgettable experience with some wonderful memories and friendships nurtured. Her, being one of them.

She is amazing. And for someone who is hard to impressed, I’ll reiterate: SHE IS AMAZING!

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They have definitely left an impression on me. They have definitely shaped my outlook somewhat.

I had plucked the courage to walk up and speak to Sam – finally after stealing side way glances at him throughout lunch preparation and lunch. Being a Samburu warrior who has a trained keen sense of his surrounding, he was kind enough not to have embarrassed me with his knowledge, but rather took on the role of my guardian and ‘sponsor’ amongst his people. This open up great photo accessibility and rich stories – some of which I would eventually pen in my travel blog.

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Photos copyright pHaque

Being semi-nomadic pastoral people, I soon met at least 100 of them, from 3 neighbouring settlements some 2.5 km away from the nearest water source. My best memories was perhaps the laziest moments where I had spent the afternoons under the sparse tree playing a handmade backgammon-type game from a tree bark which I lost every single game!

My greatest regret then, was being too lazy to help tread beads which had not dawn on me its social importance and economics … until my last day.

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Photos copyright pHaque

And it was then as I boarded my truck with modern day gadgets and western food and medicinal supplies that I vow to first, ship the vast amounts of beads I have hoarded over the year, and to work towards returning.

The thought of returning has been reoccurring over the last few months.

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It’s been awhile since I’ve been flying regularly to Nairobi. Not since the last two social trips I had made on my own accord.

The thought of returning has been reoccurring over the last few months. H and I have been talking about it; numerous were intense and serious with timelines and economic realities discussed.

Who would have thought that we’ll revisit the prospects of returning to our adoptive land … one that was very brief (for me at least). H’s time was longer.

What ever may come, at the least, let’s try …

 

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on distraction …

i’m designing my home
OK. Mebbe the operative word should be “trying – as in I’m trying to design my home.
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Well, for one, I can draw floor plans with AutoCAD. 
This is a skill I had more or less self taught after being given a quick 10 minutes hands-on demo by a architect friend (or kindda colleague as I was kindda moonlighting as a visual merchandiser). 
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And NO. I do not have a self inflated ego or misplaced perceptions on my abilities to think that I can forgo an architect and design my own home. Contrary to it, really, on all aspects, though I am still rather upset at H’s statement earlier this week of: common’ your feat was not in the same league as beating Raphael Nadali.e. in reference to Australian wild card Nick Krygios‘ mom’s lack of support or rather faith in her son’s ability to knock out the likes of Raphael Nadal at the Wimbeldon 2014
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Well, my mom is much the same when it comes to me. And sure, I’ve nothing to shout about on the accomplishment front at the same league as that, but …yes, I was moaning about how under-appreciated I am vis-a-vis my sibling in the presence of both mom and H, rather playfully. It’s the truth though but I have long grown up and accepted it as is.
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Truthfully, i’m designing my home coz I have trust issues.
Coupled with my OCD inclinations, I have to have it all nailed down before I start soliciting real professional help. I’m visual too – so having a plan in front of me would take away a lot of pain and frustration of trying to explain my brief to the architect.
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So, how am I doing on the front of i’m designing my home?
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First and foremost, does anyone know where I can get a bootleg version of AutoCAD?!?! 
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The 3-year student FREE trial version from the official site does not permit downloads in my part of the world – not surprising given the rampant and what used to be lucrative bootleg business of software programmes, movies, music blah3 … not to mention we have one of the highest rate of credit card frauds as well.
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I am not propagating and/or supporting the above, but honestly, we aren’t talking about buying an original movie/ music DVD or CD that doesn’t cost an arm and a leg. An AutoCAD programme for someone who just wants to muck around and pre-design her home does cost an arm and a leg plus a couple of kidneys. What are we looking at here? A set-back of circa MYR12,000!!! Now, to put things into perspective, minimum wage is only MYR10,800 per annum – gottit?
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Secondly, I am so obsessed, I am totally sleep deprived.
I’ve found a 7 days trial version of a simplified “autoCAD” floor plan drawing that has been designed to work on Microsoft Office – Smartdraw – and have been at it for 7 days. The results are 2 plans … and I’ve got a buzzing idea on my head for Version 3.0, but am still too cheap to pay close to USD200 for the floor plan programme (MYR625).
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As for the 2 plans …
with everyone’s “wish list” included I ended up with Version 1.0 being at 16,000+ sq ft built up … only to quickly realised that neither the width nor the length of the house can be beyond 100 feet as that would be way beyond the parcel’s size.
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Though at the back of the mind, a 16,000+ sq ft house is ludicrous for a family of two (+ possibly 1) … and perhaps a little Chihuahua dog named “frog” that currently resides in two adults imagination* … I didn’t quite scale the house down due to its sheer largeness and impracticality but rather worked on Version 2.0 on the guided premise of bringing both the width and length to below 90 feet!
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And thus, emerged Version 2.0 at magically one quarter of its original size to a stunning 4,000+ sq ft! A much more realistic size.
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Malaysia-Chihuahua-Puppy-21105-copy

* “frog” the dog does exist in a pet shop in suburbia Kuala Lumpur … the thing is I do not own “frog” though the thought of it has been tempting and haunting … “frog”, unlike his other friend, game us the Charles Dickens Oliver Twist look with his big eyes!

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But more importantly i’m designing my home because I need a distraction.
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whoa! Let’s start over with you holding back your judgments on my “rich-spoilt-brat” proclamation of “I need a distraction”.
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I’m somehow going to say this as delicately as possible without offending anyone or any organisation, especially the one that I am currently attached to, which I have some grievances with regards to drawing a line between professional and private life and one’s visibility on the world wide web. My short and quick respond to that? I’ve blocked almost everyone at work from my sites post a conversation with HR!
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So, I digress – back to the need for distraction!
The past two years in consulting can be summarised quite easily as the least productive years of my career.
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I had left the bank in search of some peace and quiet. After 6 years, commencing with start-ups to cross-borders integrations, I was burned out and many had advised that I take some time off in a more relaxing environment. I did. I am.
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On one hand, I have enjoyed the complacency and treasure the flexibility and freedom in terms of time and hours. On the other hand, I miss the “dog-eat-dog” culture of large performance-rewards differentials.
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The “one happy family” superficial environment of everything and everyone is hunky dory irritates me to no end. The high tolerance level of varied performance and mostly mediocrity upsets me. Yet, I enjoy the time-off and lack of discipline that comes with it. The absence of corporate governance and enforcements. The lackadaisical attitude driven mostly by ignorance of HR.
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So, what do I do?
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Re-enter the “dog-eat-dog” world with way higher performance pay upside with commensurable stress?
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Stay and enjoy a relatively high wage-per-effort/ achievement? (while missing out to my cohorts in the longer run?)
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I am yet to decide. I do have a stressor that does make me consider leaving 3 out of 5 days. But this feeling goes away with the increasing absence at work.
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With that, I decided I needed a distraction that would keep me occupied, if not obsessed for a couple of years … and so, i’m designing my home
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He’s corny?!? … well, you’re all phoney

In strange ways, the people you least expect to get you, gets you.

The people whom you should not be associated with, for reasons best known to the normal man on the street, totally gets you.

I wouldn’t say I fall into the “eccentric” category. That’s too much of a compliment for me.

“Enigma” is a little too sophisticated.

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But the word commonly uttered about him – CORNY – I think it’s downright insulting.

I am sorry. But I do take their remarks about him personally.

For starters, that makes me corny too.

But what truly upsets me is why can’t anyone appreciates or acknowledge that at least he has the balls to say “to hell with the world! this is ME”.

He’s not ashamed to be him. To reveal himself. To clown aroud. To embrace his inner child. and to cheer us me up.

Frankly, anyone who calls him “corny” is seriously phoney with the make believe that “I am so prim and pro-pah”, and yet take photos with Kate Middleton and Will, Duke of Cambridge life-size cardboard cut-out.

And yet you email me damaging emails surmountable to evidence for constructive dismissal!

Here’s what you are:

……… phoney
……… ˈfəʊni/
 
……… adjective: phony – not genuine; fraudulent
……… noun: phony – a fraudulent person or thing