My mother is from Sarawak so my relatives from my mom’s side are all in Sarawak. I intended to visit my grandma when I was in Malaysia as it has been a really long time since I have spoken to her, and I heard from my mom and sister that she has been showing signs of dementia.

She was indeed quite different from what I remembered about her. I have put her on the pedestal ever since I got closer to her when I was 21, she was no-nonsense yet she was not harsh, and supportive. However, this time she was quite critical of, well, basically everyone. She found many faults with my mother, and would criticize her heavily in front of me. In my impression my mother is never really close and fuzzy-buzzy with her mother, but the extent of my grandmother’s criticism of my mother was surprising to say the least.

There were days where she was grouchy and would snap at me, or my cousins, or my aunt and uncle who are living with her. She would ask me the same questions several times. And then there were days she was back to the grandma that I remembered, and she would have impeccable memory.

In the beginning I was rather sad and defensive against her when she was in the aggressive mood. But then I realized how happy I was when she was back to herself. So I decided to treasure every moment that I get to spend with her, regardless whether she was grouchy or cheerful. She speaks much less now, because the perfectionist in her probably couldn’t stand making mistakes. And she knows that her memory is not as good as before.

I have to admit I wasn’t on my best behavior. I have snapped at her, been grumpy around her, ignored her. I didn’t know how to handle it. That is not an acceptable excuse, heck, it’s not even acceptable as an excuse. I hope she would forgive me. Just as she has always forgiven me for my shortcomings..

I am not sure with which mindset should I approach this situation. My uncle’s attitude towards this is, true to his nature, to accept this as part of the aging process. My mother, on the other hand, is true to her nature and wants to fight it. With medicine. With therapy. With everything that she has.



Maybe one doesn’t need to have so much money in one’s savings?

Maybe one doesn’t need savings at all?

Maybe one’s savings should go to ease just a little bit of someone’s hunger? So that some child won’t have to go to bed hungry that night.

One doesn’t need to have immense wealth to do that, right?

Last Saturday marks the two-year anniversary of me coming to Germany. This two years have been a long two years. And yet whenever one looks back at time passed, it always seem like no time has passed. I am still the same girl, yet I have all these memories with me. Yet I have these wrinkles, these trinkets. They prove to me that the past two years were real.

Two years ago, I said goodbye to my parents in Penang. I didn’t know when I will be coming back, or if I will be coming back. The only promise I can give is that I will be home in 6 months for 3 weeks. I have no idea what awaits me there, I have no permanent job.

Fast forward to now, I had been an assistant in the faculty of Physics in a University in Munich, took 4 months of intensive German course, did a 3-months Ausbildung as a Patent Lawyer (which didn’t work out because of Visa issues), worked in an engineering firm until now, got my heart broken, re-found friendships, found Flamenco, found love.

I am still lost. I may have even lost my confidence along the way. But I am slowly finding my way to it again. Having confidence and without knowing I have it, is very different from losing it and finding it again. Because I have to learn so much about myself.

Coming to Germany has shattered all my confidence. That is true.

I have felt what it is like to be invisible. That is humbling. It has also been very frustrating, especially when you don’t understand a word of the conversation and everyone is laughing at a joke which flew over your head. No one bothered translating. No one looks at you to see if you understand. No one cares.

And yet, when I slowly learn their language, I realize that they can be encouraging as well. No one ever laughs at your accent. They correct your sentence or words, not to laugh at you but because they earnestly wants you to know the correct version.

I have learned how frustrating it is to deal with administrations in a foreign language. In a nation where the people are fiercely proud of their national language, all documents are in German. Voice recognition answering machines are in German (I almost wanted to slam my head against a truck because of this, once). But I have met kindness from them as well.

Being thrown out of the apartment after a break up, I have found a temporary nest in the form of an old Professor, and a more permanent nest in the form of a kind friend and a kind stranger. And I am grateful for all the people whom I have met along this path, though I couldn’t see it in the beginning.

And though I am still lost, though I still don’t know where to go or what to do with my life in terms of a career, and though I sink into angry depression occasionally, I have been and still am more than blessed.

And there are so many of you that I have yet to meet. And I will meet you because I am blessed.


my mom and I two years ago in the airport


My dad and I two years ago at the airport


With the girl who introduced me to Flamenco

Look at yourself through heaven’s eyes

The thing about cartoons you watched as a child is, occasionally they will start replaying itself in your head, and you realize there are deeper meanings than you actually thought.

One of them is: Through heaven’s eyes from The Prince of Egypt.

Who has loved them as a child? Show of hands!

A single thread in a tapestry
though its color brightly shines
can never see its purpose
in the pattern of the grand design
and the stone that sits up on the very top
of the mountain’s mighty face
does it think that it’s more important
than the stones that forms the base

So how do you measure the worth of a man
in wealth or strength or size
in how much he gained or how much he gave

My interpretation of this song is that each of us form a single thread in the tapestry of the world. No one is more important than the other, we all play an equal role in God’s grand plan. So we must be humble, yet not forget our important role in the tapestry. For each and every thread come together and weave the intrinsic patterns of the tapestry.

And we must remember that the design of the tapestry are not predestined. There is no right or wrong design. The tapestry is still being woven. By each of us every passing day by our decisions, by our bravery and by our cowardice. Don’t you forget that grey and black also forms an important part in making a beautiful design.

We should all give our best into our lives in order to do our small part in weaving the tapestry of the world.

and though you never know all the steps
you must learn to join the dance

Regarding soulmate

I am the sort of romantic who likes to believe in soulmates, in destiny.

Isn’t it so romantic? That there is this one person whom you will meet and re-meet, cross and re-cross throughout eternity as long as the earth spins?

Isn’t it so romantic? To believe that in your life there is this one person whom you will meet and it will instantly “click” because the two of you have always known each other since the beginning of time.

But of late, i have found another kind of romantic.

The “I don’t know if we will be together in the future, and I don’t know if we have been together in the past, but this life- I want to spend it with you” kind of romantic. The kind of love that doesn’t care about the past or look into the future. The kind of choice that doesn’t look at destiny.

i am now a different kind of romantic.


I skin my knees. I bleed.

On turning ten by Billy Collins

The whole idea of it makes me feel
like I’m coming down with something,
something worse than any stomach ache
or the headaches I get from reading in bad light–
a kind of measles of the spirit,
a mumps of the psyche,
a disfiguring chicken pox of the soul.

You tell me it is too early to be looking back,
but that is because you have forgotten
the perfect simplicity of being one
and the beautiful complexity introduced by two.
But I can lie on my bed and remember every digit.
At four I was an Arabian wizard.
I could make myself invisible
by drinking a glass of milk a certain way.
At seven I was a soldier, at nine a prince.

But now I am mostly at the window
watching the late afternoon light.
Back then it never fell so solemnly
against the side of my tree house,
and my bicycle never leaned against the garage
as it does today,
all the dark blue speed drained out of it.

This is the beginning of sadness, I say to myself,
as I walk through the universe in my sneakers.
It is time to say good-bye to my imaginary friends,
time to turn the first big number.

It seems only yesterday I used to believe
there was nothing under my skin but light.
If you cut me I could shine.
But now when I fall upon the sidewalks of life,
I skin my knees. I bleed.


i am alone. in a room, all alone.

I wonder why loneliness and alone-ness hits the hardest during the festive seasons. Chinese New Year eve, Valentine’s, family members’ birthdays.

But I have chosen this. No one forced me to do it. My family told me time and time again, I am welcomed to come back anytime. Anytime at all. But I chose to come here, 14 hours by flight away, where I still know less than a handful of people.

I chose this, and I know that although I feel sad and lonely, especially now because we broke up, I know that I still have to be here. Although I don’t know exactly why I am here, but my heart is glad and it is not agitated. Because I followed it.

When I was in tears, because it was the start of Chinese New Year eve’s dinner, my heart spoke to me, and it says ” Count your blessings, and you will know you are blessed.”

I am grateful for my health, for the job, for a place over my roof, for the freedom to choose to snooze the alarm, for the freedom to choose to go swimming, to choose to learn German, to choose to learn Wing Chun, to choose to stop all of them and learn something new again. I am grateful I am loved, and I am grateful to love.

I am grateful my parents, my sister, my brother, my grandmas, my aunts and uncles and cousins, him, and his parents, have health and enough and freedom as well to choose to do what they want.

I am grateful that I see I don’t have to be others, but I do see that I have to choose to grow to be myself.

I am grateful for the friends who stayed by me through my sadness and my happiness, for the friends who are not afraid of my tears or laughter, sometimes both at the same time. I am grateful for long lost friends who return, because it means I am still in their hearts. I am grateful for friends who walked away from my pain, for now I know their pain and their vulnerability. And I am grateful that I could learn that just being there is enough, and one doesn’t have to come up with solutions.

I am grateful for the chance to experience loneliness, for I am grateful to be able to follow what my heart demands, to be here. I asked for magic, but i am already living in the magic. Every day is a magic happening, every day is a dream coming true.

Although there will be times I will sink back into sadness, selfishness, vanity, egoism, and childishness, I know now I will always remember and I will always come back. Until one day I no longer have to come back, because I will be here. In the meantime, I will love with all my heart, and hope that I will be forgiven for my mistakes and my weaknesses and my anger and my hurt, every step of the way.

Every day I love and every day I am loved, is a day of magic. Although I am alone. Although I have moments of loneliness.

I love you and we are one.