Note : This is not an entry about National Day. It is merely a post that so happened fell on Merdeka day. Now...

Are Malaysians generous with smiles?

This is a rather subjective question.
Honestly, I would say no.

I have been to many places where one meets people who they would most likely not be meeting again.
Or at least, won't remember how the other looked like.
People who sit behind the counter which I have always supposed to be giving service with a smile did just that. Not smile. As small a gesture it may be, it does go a long way.
In fact, if they were to be compared with me, I am the one giving more courtesy(smiles, greetings, genial words) than he/she is.
Talk of irony.

*Excuse the apparent overself-esteemness, but I'm just trying to prove a point that is true.

Call me bitter, but hey, I have seen far too many of these people to leave it unmentioned.
It's time for a revolution.
Smile till it hurts.

But it isn't just at service places that these such people are met.
Walking around my housing area is one good example.
Walking at the opposite direction of a person is the scenario.
Enough said.

I have a gut feeling that bursting a smile now must be a sign of contempt.
Or that most people have got this no-turning-the-corner-of-your-mouth-upward rule in the presence of others.
It gets intimidating.

: ) / : l

Your choice.

Happy Merdeka Day all Malaysian Citizens!!!

Don't not break a smile now.


To some many, I don't look like someone who runs for competitions or for the sake of keeping fit. In fact, they're not wrong at all.

I don't run.

I jog.

I don't run just so I stay healthy.

I run because I'm obliged to.

Honestly, I don't even look at myself like a runner since I don't have the nicely-toned legs, muscular arms, lean body and the straight, rigid poise that most others would possess. The list actually goes on but I have to cut myself short somewhere.
Clearly, I'm envious of them.

*******************
I've never really taken running seriously since I don't think I'd do well in it anyway, but just the other day, a last-minute call really got me.
I was forcedfully asked to join the relay team to run.
The event was two days from then. And it was a big thing alright.
I haven't done anything to prepare myself.
What on earth.....?
Then again, the teacher-in-charge did say, "Tak apa ke kalah atau menang, asalkan kamu lari sahaja."
Ah. Now THAT'S the spirit!

One thing I learned about the human body after the ever-so-daunting day is that insufficient warm ups can cause serious damage. Not a severe one but rather a damage that takes a considerably long time for recouperation. I did know about it before, but, well, being me and all..
Bad enough.

The atmosphere in the place of competition which was at Uniten's stadium was seriously pressurizing. It could almost kill.
I don't know why but even when we were told that it didn't matter whether we lost or won, we can't help but feel like we had to win this.
Kiasu-ness.

One good thing about relays is that no matter what position you come out as, it's NEVER entirely your fault. Unless you dropped the baton or fainted half way or something.

Being on the track makes you a nervous wreck.
Once the baton comes, you just have to let go and not let your mind be crammed with thoughts.
Free. Run. Now I sound like I'm brainstorming advertising ideas for Nike Free running shoes. (Man, do they look/feel good or what?I'd like one of those.)

Run, and run without a care in this world. Those spike shoes really are super light. And the track field is the nicest surface to run on. It HAS been a while.
It's weird you know, being on the track and then before you know it, you're back at the spectators' sitting area. It's like a blur. Serious.
But of course, it's WAY nicer to be seated than having to stand upright and then run on that red track.
Next time, I will never, NEVER EVER again not do proper warm-ups. The repercussions - bad muscle strains.
Hey, like I said - It's been a while.
*******************
Toi et moi?
Jamais.
Mais j'immobile me rappellerai vous.

Mais la vie passe.

Am I right?
Je vraiment ne sais pas.

C'est la vie.
**********************
Talk of influence.
Speak the (supposedly) language of love.
Uhuh.

Just so you know, this is French. The French are (in)famous for their romantic gestures and not to mention, language. (i.e. French kissing and the French language)

Having a sister living under the same roof again after coming back from France for the short period of the summer holidays does make you want to learn French. At least, it does for me.

Thus, this post which so happens to be my first one in a foreign language. Half of it, anyway.

It doesn't matter what it means, it's pretty much basic French that anyone would ask at first.
So, if you are desperately curious as to what it means (which by the way, is not a reflection of the way I feel), go to some translator sites.

Sheer fun. Fun for me, don't know about you people though.
Imagine what I wrote as a few lines from a French movie.
Now THAT's imagination..

Go to babelfish.altavista.com if you are ever so free. And curious.
40 students. 2 teachers. One bus.

Making their way to PJ nursing home, some with nervous hearts, some with enthusiastic spirits and others were just keeping their cool.
Not to mention those with MP3 players and redundant gadgets on a trip such as this.
Right.

8:30++a.m. - Boarded the bus. Ran to back seat. Won.

Before 9:00 - Bus departed from school. Students get restless, hungry and annoying.

Around 9:30 - Reached PJ Nursing Home. Didn't realise how close it was to Assumption Church.

Around 9:35 - Finished taking group picture. Entered house.

Now.

The nursing home is a bungalow that seem to be in a rather impoverished state, but nevertheless it still was in working condition. The exterior of the home was like a flourishing garden that looks like it is on its way to becoming a virgin forest. Or maybe I'm just exaggerating. But it did look welcoming.

I've never been to an old folks home before and I was really at a loss when it came to talking to them.
Besides, I'm the biggest, yellowest and most unembarrassed banana in school.
Till today, that is.

We had till 12.00 p.m. to do whatever it is we had to at the nursing home. This trip was actually organised by the Panitia Moral of my school. The aim was for us to gain expereince and learn something. (What I'm sure of is that most of them did not have to learn that being a banana is a setback.)

There were about 20 or so inmates in that home. All above the age of, what, 75?
It did take some time for us to get comfortable before we did some chit-chatting.

What I always thought of if I ever went to an old folks home was that they'd talk to you about everything under the sun relating to their personal lives(in English too) for as long as they'd want to.
But I was wrong. Eheh. About the language part, of course.

It was not easy to hear what some of them had to say(it's not any better if you need a friend to do some translating), but we all knew that they were happy to see us.
We were paired up and were assigned to the task of interviewing any one of the inmates, with questions like how old they were, why they are in this home, their children, their medical history and etc.
Again, my friend did most of the talking.

There were all sorts of people there. Some are very sporting, some are friendly while others were just plain sweet.

And then came lunch time. I was in this room with a lady who is bed-ridden and could barely talk. One of the helpers was feeding her, and she asked whether we'd like to feed her. We did.
After a few spoonfuls, the lady said that she was full, barely audible.
We were kind of hesitant to keep on feeding her because somehow, you'd feel guilty to do something against a person's will.
The helper came back and fed her. She just did it at a steady pace. To us, it seemed like a torture for the old lady to down her food.
She had to. If she didn't eat, she'd need hospitalization. And that's not what anyone wants.
Finally, after 20 minutes or so, it was done.
I don't know whether it's wrong for me to feel sorry all the time for these senior citizens.
Most of them were sent back to their rooms after lunch time. It was almost 12 so we had to go.

12:05 - Back on bus. Thinking about the whole trip.

Life is a continuous struggle.
Regardless of your age.
It was an eye-opener. Really, it was a great thing for us to go there. You can see it in their eyes that they were glad to see us. It's this sort of deed that makes people happy.
I never really knew that this was how it's like to be at an old folks home.

All I'm wondering now is - Is it wrong or not to send your old parent to a nursing home?
Because it seems like a first class ticket to the longest guilt trip, ever.

*No pictures included due to the fact that yours truly doesn't have a digital camera to call her own.
I read "Flowers for Algernon" yesterday night. (After much postponing. Sorta.)

SPOILER WARNING (continue only if you're not planning to read the book, not minding the fact that I might spoil it for you or you HAVE read it already)

Okay. Don't say I didn't warn you.

Now......

At first glance, I thought this wasn't a book worth reading. Come on, the first page itself had a lot of spelling errors(which I later found out was as the author intended.)
At first, I didn't plan to finish the story in half an hour but rather, read the first page and see what's it all about.
With THAT said, obviously, "Flowers for Algernon" was a page-turner.
Either that, or I was really bored and had to resort to reading something.
No, it's the former alright.

Although it's a science-fiction (or maybe not) story, it is as much down to earth as it can & should be.
It's not so much the fact that it had to do with intelligence-boosting operations and the possibility of increasing I.Q, etc. that kept me interested, but because Charlie, the main character, is an intriguing person in the story.

It tells of a 32 year old janitor who volunteers for a brain operation in which can increases his brain power.(No, it's not all that lame as it might sound now). He undergoes the surgery, and in a few months, he gets fired from his job and loses his friends due to what has happened. He doesn't understand why, eventhough he is really, REALLY smart. Soon, he finds himself deteriorating from the inside. He becomes a recluse, irritable and not the same as before. In the end, what he feared that had happened to Algernon happened to him.

Ok, ok. I won't go into detail and spoil it for the rest of you people.

Basically, it's a story that has a soaring climax and a depressing ending. (Whoops!...)
There's so much of moral lessons to it. And by the end of the story, I had a lot of questions to ask myself. I think you might too.

If I wasn't sleepy and tired yesterday, I might find myself shedding some tears.
It DOES get sad.
It's deep. It's profound. It's "Flowers for Algernon."

*If you are STILL planning to read it and do not know where to find it, you can ask yours truly to lend it to you. I wouldn't have to if I knew where to find it on the Web. Eheh.