Thursday, 3 January 2008

Time flies. It has been one and a half year since I become part of INTEC family. Enrolling in ALG has been fun and it offers me great opportunities to know new friends. Being in the longest programme in INTEC, I have to see all my friends here one by one leaving Malaysia and sending them away to overseas. From the bottom of my heart, that kind of feeling sucks, but what to do… I have no choice but to learn to accept and adapt myself to this kind of situation.

Some of my friends have left Malaysia to Michigan to further their studies in UMic. I would like to express my utmost gratitude to them for all the help they have offered me willingly. I owe them a great debt of gratitude.

Joshua Lim has been a great friend and also teacher of mine. He really deserves all my respect. During the first semester, I had difficulties adapting myself to the new study environment and following the fast teaching tempo. He was always there for me to help me to edit my essays and guide me to solve difficult math questions. Without Joshua, I would have been lost. I appreciate wholeheartedly your help and guidance.

Kai Boon aka Mr. Nice. He is one of the nicest people I have ever met. You are a great, diligent and friendly person to talk to and play with. A lot of people say we are alike, like twins. I think we are quite alike, not physical appearance but personality.

Kai Shuen. I still can remember vividly the time we spent together in Study Room, revising for exam and doing homework, walking to Petronas to have supper at midnight, cam-whoring in Study Room using your hand phone. I think he is a supportive friend. Because of him, I started blogging. Because of him (50%), I continue blogging. He has played an important role in my life.

Jin Ee. He is such a considerate friend. I was delighted and glad that he remembered my birthday and sent me a slice of cake personally at midnight, 12.00a.m. That slice of cake will be one of the greatest gifts I have ever received. For me that cake is something more than just a simple cake from Four Season.

I wish them all the best in their future undertakings. All the things we have been through together will always own a place in my heart and be reminiscence in my memory. I hope we could keep in touch and meet again.

Again, Aufwiedersehen, my friends!










Tuesday, 1 January 2008


December for me is a month of tradition. Ever since I was a kid, I always help my mother out during 冬至 (Dong Zhi- the arrival of winter) and Chinese New Year preparation. Every year my family always gets to eat home-made 汤圆 (Tang Yuan) during 冬至.
For the Chinese New Year preparation, I always lend a hand to my mother and aunt to make the 'Gui Ga Pek'. Making crispy, delicious 'Gui Ga Pek' is not easy as it seems to be. Making it isn't that physical challenging but it does require a lot of effort, time and most important, patience. You need to sit in front of the grill for hours, (that depends on how much you want to make) and withstand the heat from the burning charcoal and must be able to pick up the hot Gui Ga Pek using your bare hands. I have always been responsible to fold the round Gui Ga Pek to the shape of a fan. I started ever since I was 6 or 7 until few days ago. Early in the morning when the sun was still below the horizon, I used to follow my mother to go to the pasar by motorcycle to buy fresh coconut milk, eggs and flour.After that I sat beside my mother and aunt, watching them mixing and stirring all the ingredients thoroughly. After setting up the grill, my aunt and my mother sat on small stool and started "peng-ing"(sorry! Limited vocab. But I like that verb and more suitable. Hehe!) the kuih. All these have become a repetition. Every year, I am always responsible to fold the round Gui Ga Pek to the shape of a fan.

If I tell you oh I enjoy myself to the fullest when folding the Gui Ga Pek, that is obviously a lie. I never like doing that because at the end of the day my back and legs would be aching and it bores me to death. (When I was a kid, I missed a lot of cartoon shows because of Gui Ga Pek!), but when I put them into my mouth, all the boredom and sufferings would vanish immediately because my family make that ourselves. Here are some funny things to share. When my brother and I were small, my mother had no choice but to hide the Gui Ga Pek in the places which are not reachable by us because it would have been finish by New Year! Haha! But at the end I still found the hideout and curi-curi ate some Gui Ga Pek. No wonder I was so fat!

Nowadays a lot people seem to prefer buying Tang Yuan and Gui Ga Pek intead of making them by themselves. It is understandable because making them consumes time and tiring and they doesn't want to get their hands and kitchen dirty. It would be very easier if they buy it. But they have missed the most important part of these traditions, which is the process. Frankly I think what matters is the process of making. Buying instead of making counts nothing and is meaningless. Gui Ga Pek is just Gui Ga Pek, nothing more. For me Gui Ga Pek means more than just Gui Ga Pek because Gui Ga Pek is effort, sacrifice, family ties and fond memories. The reminiscence of preparing the kuih with family could never be exchangeable with money.