Saturday, 28 April 2007

Beautiful Cooking Here I Come!!!

Just the other day, PY and I were watching this TVB series on food "吃盡東西", and one of the episodes featured Penang and its culinary delights, and we watched as the host ate yummy kuih nyonya!!! If the screen could open up, we would have dived straight in and PY then asked me why we never made any kuih before, so I made up my mind, I want to make kuih lapis!!!

There's this blog by a certain Aunty Lily... it's called Lily's Wai Sek Hong... Aunty Lily has plenty of recipes on the blog, kuih lapis not being the exception ( The recipe looks deceptively easy to follow... so I hope to produce results that look something close to this:

(Picture taken off
Wait for updates on my endeavour!!!


Unemployment Euphoria

As of 24/04/2007, I've finished the 2000 hours of supervised practice at the pharmacy. I'm now in the in-between, getting my documents ready for registration and waiting to become registered. Oh, and of course, unemployed. :P
To work or not to work is not the question: All I know now is that I'm happy that I'm not working... I consider this period a well-earned holiday.
Ok, so it's not exactly a holiday. Just a short break in fact. I have been applying for jobs, but I guess so as long as I'm not registered, they can't really offer me a position. It would be like offering a runaway orang utan from Taronga Zoo a chance to juggle bananas in Luna Park. :P
So back to square one. I am happy for this break, and as you can see, I have been spending more time blogging, and doing things that I would otherwise find little time to do. :) However long it would take for me to find a job, come what may. I have the assurance that some of the pharmacists from the pharmacy I worked in would give me a call so that I can fill in for them. So worse comes to worst, I only need to pray that someone gets sick. :)


Thursday, 26 April 2007

News On: Lebanese found guilty of intimidating lover's maid

I don't read the newspaper often, but when I do, the things that people do these days never cease to amaze me.
KT was reading the Star (a Malaysian newspaper) online today (Thursday 26/04/2007), and one of the articles that caught his attention, "Lebanese found guilty of intimidating lover's maid" was so noteworthy that I had to mention this on my blog, lest people think that I only talk about fish and other trivial matters (trivial not to me, but to the readers of my blog, if there are any :P).
"What is so extraordinary about this article?", you might ask. There's certainly nothing unusual about love affairs. It's the details surrounding the love affair that are unusual.
So there is this Lebanese sweets seller in Malaysia who had an affair with a married Chinese woman. Naturally, the husband found out about the affair. If he didn't, then there wouldn't be anything for the newspaper to harp about, is there? Unnaturally, the husband was not furious about the affair, or at least his sentiments are not of importance. It turns out that the Lebanese sweets seller was furious, at the Filipino maid, because he THOUGHT that the maid was responsible for ratting on him to the husband.
So what is a healthy 26-year old Lebanese male who cuckolds on another man to do with the sneaky Filipino maid? He sends her threat sms and phone calls. So much so that the Filipino maid said " Ano bayan??? I didn't even tell Sir about Madam's affair. Sir already knew a long time ago!!! I can't stand it any longer. I want to sue this Lebanese dude."
So there is the court. Naturally the Lebanese man had a counsel. So the counsel tells the court:
"Aiyah, what? Your honour, it's not my client's fault lah, he cannot help himself. He was born in Lebanon, you know? Lebanon is a hotspot for not only Lebanese cucumbers but also war, you know? Palestine? Israel? They give the Lebanese no chance to plant their cucumbers in peace. So of course lah my client was brought up to be aggressive lah, in Lebanon he has to protect himself against war mah, so when he came to Malaysia, he has to protect himself against a sneaky Filipino maid lah. Very fair what. My client is already very sorry lah, so forgive him lah, don't rotan him."
Fair indeed. The court must have taken pity on this man. He was fined RM 2,800 or 6 months in prison by default. Of course he sold enough sweets to pay off the fine.
The conclusion is if you want to commit crime and get away with it, you must get your lawyer to tell your sad story and hire a solo violinist to boot. Even terrorists can get away in Malaysia.
"My client has been ingrained with terrorist doctrines ever since he was young. Therefore, for him to bomb up a great part of KL is only fair given that he has terrorist notions."
Circular reasoning does work, you know.


Monday, 23 April 2007

19/04/2007 - My Birthday

On my birthday, Little Strong One went away to play. He's now very happy in my garden, together with the rest of the fishies - Bluey and Radio. :)


Wednesday, 18 April 2007

Little Strong One

(In Loving Memory of Little Strong One 19/04/2007)

Here I introduce the new addition to my fish collection - his name is Little Strong One... that's what I call him, and you'll know why.

He's been sick for perhaps more than two months - his thoughtless owner decided to throw him into a tank containing a female fighter - needless to say that he was ripped to pieces - when I saw him back in his own tank, he was in shock and bleeding. I have never seen a fish bled before. He survived the aftermath, but he's never recovered. Up until a few days ago, he was still living in poor water conditions (green with algae), and he looked miserable. His owner said impassionately that he was a gone-case; he wasn't eating, and said that maybe I wanted to take care of him. I did.

The photo's a bit blurry, but you can see how emaciated he is; he's eaten very little, but he's hanging on.

What amazes me is his willpower to live. A creature so small who's undergone so much trauma is hanging on by a thread, and yet we humans do not appreciate life for what it is.
I've named him Little Strong One, for two reasons: the name fits him, and he would remind myself that however hard the road is in life, whatever difficulties I face, as long as there is life, then there is always hope.

This is for you and me, Little Strong One. :)


Monday, 16 April 2007

Loyalty for a Price

I've finally become a loyal member of my favourite bead shop (Maria George Pty Ltd; check out the website I must have made quite an impression on the shop assistant - she recognised me ("You come here quite a bit, don't you?") and she offered me a 10% loyalty card... woo hoo!!! I've only ever received a loyalty card from food and / or drink outlets (Easyway Tea, Fresh Juice... yes I am a glutton for food!!!)!!! So this is what it feels like to be loyal patron!!!

So yes, there I was at Maria George's today looking at a few types of beads I wanted to get... and I wanted to get so many of them... I had to resist from telling the lady, "Yes, I want the whole lot, a packet of each type of beads, please.", because I felt so important and appreciated as a loyal customer. Had I have done that, I would have most definitely not only earned myself a loyalty card there and then, I would have also lifted my status to be the number one patron of Maria George Pty Ltd. The next time I visit the shop, the lady might even serve me tea while I make my choices!!!

I was in such an artsy-crafty mood that I even got some fabric rosettes and some stuff to make my own earrings... I'm proud to say that I made a pair of earrings this evening!!! I'll borrow PY's digital camera to take a photo of my first-ever masterpiece and post it here, perhaps someone would have some suggestions on how I could improve on the design... :P
( No wonder the shop assistant recognised me)

I hope I continue to put my bead investments to good use, lest the fires of passion burn out more quickly that I would like. :P

Friday, 13 April 2007

Oh So Magic!!!

This is an ode to Miracle So Magic! fragrance by Lancome. I am SO INTOXICATED by Miracle So Magic! that I went to Myer's a little over two weeks ago to spray the perfume all over me and onto sample strips until the sales lady started eyeing me suspiciously, so much so that the next day I passed by the Lancome counter, she decided to serve me by spraying a stingy amount of So Magic! onto a sample strip when I asked her if I could try the fragrance on. She wasn't too happy either when I kept asking her about the prices, so I KNEW that I've been blacklisted. If I ever go back next time, she'd expect me to buy it. That's why up until now I have steered clear of Myer's Westfield Chatswood.

Who can ever believe that so much magic is packed in 30mL- / 50mL- / 100mL-bottles? A few years ago, National Geographic had a cover article on fragrances (Perfume, the Essence of Illusion; October 1998). I don't remember the exact details of the article, but the point was that a success or failure of a perfume depended on creating the perfect bouquet of fragrances, combining them to create THE ONE that piques the wearer's interest and maintains the magic long after the perfume has worn off. Think Dior Addict. You can't enough of it, and you don't want to.

So does this justify the prices of some of the best-selling perfumes? Perhaps not, but perhaps no justification is needed: if a bottle of perfume transcends beyond mere smell, it symbolises a person as a unique being, it lends confidence and enhances attitude, character, and personality, why would you care about the price? It's almost like buying heaps of self-motivation books you never read. Better to smell good while you're at it.

I feel good, and I smell good, too. Ooh la la, So Magic!!!


Thursday, 12 April 2007

Insane Reality

I got my first taste of working in a "real-life" pharmacy: LONG HOURS. I worked from 9:30am to 8:10pm today (half-hour lunch break, half-hour dinner break) to cover for a girl whose shift ends at 8pm. Up until now, I've been lucky. The pharmacy I work at only allows its staff to work a 38-hour week, over which is considered overtime (you'd have to have VERY GOOD AND APPROVED REASONS to work overtime). I think some graduates working at other pharmacies work 12-hour days... the maximum number of hours I usually work in a day are 8 hours.
Well, I have to get used to the fact that if I work anywhere else as a pharmacist I'd have to work at least 10 hours a day... oh please oh please take me back my beloved pharmacy!!! The reality is too harsh for me to bear!!!


Wednesday, 11 April 2007

One Step Closer

So it's official: I've passed my oral exam; one step closer to getting registered. I only need to finish my hours, post the documents and wait to get my registration number. AND get a job. I doubt that the place I currently work in have vacancy for me, but I'm hoping to get put into the list of pharmacists to contact at the "last minute". As much as I love to laze around and not go to work and also get paid for not going to work, the only way to achieve that would be go on the dole. And I'm not qualified even to be on it...


Thursday, 5 April 2007

Look Me No Up Is It???

My "prinsip-prinsip seorang ahli farmasi teladan" are simple enough:
  1. Every decision I make is with the customer's benefit and well-being as priority,
  2. I would not recommend the customer to do / get something that I would not do / use myself, and
  3. I would not sell the customer short or try to take advantage of the customer for the sake of profit.
So what made me so mad today??? This customer came in with a medication he was dispensed with earlier, which he had paid for, and he demanded to know why he paid a higher price than that stated on the sticker. The price stated on the sticker refers to the amount paid by the patient that would contribute towards the safety net amount, which is a limit to the amount of money a patient has to pay in a calendar year for government-subsidised medications. Once the safety net limit is reached, the patient pays a much lower price for each government-subsidised medication. Amounts contributable towards the safety net amount do not include "extras"; for instance, a brand price premium of a few dollars paid by the patient to the manufacturer of a market-leader brand (the brand that first come out into the market) as "royalty" for the research and development of manufacturing a market leader. 
It sounds confusing enough for me to explain it, what more for the customer to understand it. I have tried a few times to explain a brand price preimum to customers, and sometimes I get the customers so flustered I often wonder why I bothered in the first place. So when this particular customer told me he didn't understand what I was trying to tell him, I almost empathised with him. ALMOST I say. Why is that??? If the customer had one ounce of decency to tell me politely, even impatiently, that he didn't understand, I would have been more than willing to try to explain it a little better. NOOOOOOOOOOOO... he had to act as if he was starring in this HK TVB series, as if he's haggling prices of ikan masin at the pasar, complete with the confrontational hand gestures and imperious tone (I have money ah, I want to buy your salted fish for $3.23 dollar less, you REFUSE ah??? Then you don't sell salted fish lah... I DONATE the $3.23 to you to sell your stall and take up residence in some rumah atap in the kampung you came from). He even accused me "You mark-up the prices gah???" 
Seriously, my pay is so bad and I don't get extra from extorting the measly $3.23 from you, what makes you think that I would derive any sick pleasure from robbing you of your hard-earned "coffin money"??? I also thought to myself that why raise your already high blood pressure over something so trivial when we would have settled this calmly??? Seriously some people just don't know how to take better care of themselves. 
You've got your principles on how to settle a dispute like an ahli kongsi hitam, and I've got my principles to treat customers with respect, even when they can't seem to tell the difference between respect and something floating in the sewers. 
I then told him that he could get the cheaper brand of the same medication for $3.23 less, provided that the doctor had not indicated that brand substitution was not permitted. His eyeballs nearly fell out of their sockets when he asked me "You mean the doctor said that cannot change brands???"
I was on the edge of my patience. I checked his script, and told him the doctor has allowed for brands to be changed, and I asked him if wanted the cheaper brand. He asked if they were exactly the same. I said yes, and he said, "Well, what are you doing to do about it?" More hand gestures.
DEEP BREATH. "I am going to change the brand over. It will take a few minutes.". He even thought that I was going to just refund him the $3.23 but let him keep the branded medication. I really had to take ANOTHER DEEP BREATH before repeating that I had to swap the more expensive brand over to the cheaper brand before I could refund him his money. 
With him obviously satisfied, he sat down and good-naturedly chatted with his friend whilst waiting for me to fix things up. Oh ho... so we could be friendly and amiable to our friends, but when it comes to the pharmacy graduate, we need to show her who's the boss, do we? We need to display hand gestures as if we're ready to take the graduate down with a parang if she refuses to refund the money, do we? 
Well, I wish him all the best in his future undertakings with the victim he makes of the next pharmacy graduate he crosses paths with. It most definitely would not be me. 

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