Thursday, 2 April 2009

A perfect example for all !


A fine relative of mine had forwarded me an email with a very interesting article in it. I think this story is worth sharing with everyone on earth and who knows, it might bring enlightment to someone, somewhere. . .

Just two years after our marriage, hubby brought up the idea of askingMother to move from the rural hometown and spend her remaining yearswith us. Hubby's father passed away while he was still very young.Motherendured much hardship and struggled all on her own to provide for him, seehim through to a university degree. You could say that she suffered a greatdeal and did everything you could expect of a woman to bring hubby to wherehe is today. I immediately agreed and started packing the spare room, whichhas a balcony facing the South to let her enjoy the sunshine and plantgreenery. Hubby stood in the bright room, and suddenly just picked me up andstarted spinning round and round. As I begged him to put me down, he said:"Lets go fetch mother." Hubby is tall and big sized and I love to test onhis chest and enjoy the feeling that he could pick me up at any moment putthe tiny me into his pockets. Whenever we have an argument and both refusesto back down, he would pick me up and spin me over his head continuouslyuntil I surrender and beg for mercy. I became addicted to this kind ofpanic-joy feeling.
Mother brought along her countryside habits and lifestyle with her. Forexample; I am so used to buying flowers to decorate the living room, shecould not stand it and would comment: "I do not know how you young peoplespend your money, why do you buy flowers for? You also can't eat flowers!"I smiled and said: "Mum, with flowers in the house, our mood will alsobecome better." Mother continues to grumble away, and hubby smiled:"Mum, this is a city-people's habit; slowly you will get use to it."Mother stopped saying anything. But every time thereafter, whenever camehome with flowers, she would ask me how much it costs. I told her and shewould shake her head and express displeasure. Sometimes, when I come homewith lots of shopping bags, she would ask each and every item how much theycost, I would tell her honestly and she would get even more upset about it.Hubby playfully pinched my nose and said: "You little fool, just don't tellher the full price of everything would solve it."
There begins the friction to our otherwise happy lifestyle.
Mother hates it most when hubby wakes up early to prepare the breakfast.In your view, how could the man of the house cook for the wife? At thebreakfast table, mother facial expression is always like the dark cloudsbefore a thunderstorm and I would pretend not to notice. She would use herchopsticks and make a lot of noise with it as her silent protest.
As I am a dance teacher in the Children's Palace and am exhausted fromalong day of dancing around, I do not wish to give up the luxury of thatadditional few minutes in the comfort of my bed and hence I turned a deafear to all the protest mother makes. From time to time, mother would helpout with some housework, but soon her help created additional work for me.For example: she would keep all kinds of plastic bags accumulating them sothat she sell them later on, and resulted in our house being filled with allthe trash bags; she would scrimp on dish washing detergent when helping towash the dishes and so as not to hurt her feelings, I would quietly washthem again.
One day, late at night, mother saw me quietly washing the dishes, and "Bam"she slams her bedroom door and cried very loudly in her room. Hubby wasplaced in a difficult position, and after that, he did not speak to me forthat entire night. I pretended to be a spoilt child, tried acting cute, but he totally ignored me.... I got mad and asked him: "What did I do wrong?"Hubby stared at me and said: "Can't you just give in to her once? Wecouldn't possibly die eating from a bowl however unclean it is, right?"After that incident, for a long period of time, mother did not speak to me and you can feel that there is a very awkward feeling hanging in thehouse. During that period of cold war, hubby was caught in dilemma as towho to please.
In order to stop her son from having to prepare breakfast, mother took onthe "all important" task of preparing breakfast without any prompting. Atthe breakfast table, mother would look at hubby happily eating his breakfastand cast that reprimanding stare at me for having failed to perform my dutyas a wife. To avoid the embarrassing breakfast situation, I resorted tobuying my own breakfast on my way to work. That night, while in bed, hubbywas a little upset and asked me: "LD, is it because you think that mum'scooking is not clean that's why you chose not to eat at home?" He thenturned his back on me and left me alone in tears as feeling of unfairnessoverwhelmed me. After some time, hubby sighed: "LD, just for me, can youhave breakfast at home?" I am left with no choice but to return to thebreakfast table.
The next morning, I was having porridge prepared by mother and I felt asudden churn in my stomach and everything inside seem to be rushing up mythroat. I tried to suppress the urge to throw up but I could not. I threwdown the bowl, rushed into the washroom, and vomited everything out. Just asI was catching my breath, I saw mother crying and grumbling very loudly inher dialect, hubby was standing at the washroom doorway staring at me withfire burning in his eyes.. I opened my mouth but no words came out of it, Ireally did not mean it.
We had our very first big fight that day; mother took a look at us, thenstood up and slowly made her way out of the house. Hubby gave me a finalstare in the eye and followed mother down the stairs. For three days, hubbydid not return home, not even a phone call. I was so furious, since motherarrived; I had been trying my best and putting up with her, what else do youwant me to do? For no reason, I keep having the feeling to throw up and Isimply have not appetite for food, coupled with all the events happening athome, I was at then low point in my life.
Finally, a colleague said: "LD, you look terrible; you should go and seea doctor." The doctor confirmed that I am pregnant.
Now it became clear to me why I threw up that fateful morning, a sense ofsadness floated through that otherwise happy news. Why didn't hubby, andmother who had been through this before, thought of the possibility of thisbeing the reason that day? At the hospital entrance, I saw my hubby standingthere. It had only been three days, but he looked haggard. I had wanted toturn and leave, but one look at him and my heart soften, I couldn't resist and called out to him. He followed my voice and finally found me but hepretended that he doesn't know me; he has that disgusted look in his eyesthat cut right through my heart. I told myself not to look at him anymore,and hail a cab. At that moment, I have such a strong urge inside me to shoutto my hubby: "Darling, I am having your baby!" and have him lift me up andspin me around in circles of joy. What I wanted didn't happen and as I satin the cab, my tears started rolling down. Why? Why our love couldn't evenwithstand the test of one fight?
Back home, I lay on the bed thinking about my hubby, and the disgusted lookin his eyes. I cried and wet the corner of the blanket. That night, sound ofthe drawers opening woke me up. I switched on the lights and I saw hubbywith tears rolling down his face. He was removing the money. I stared at himin silence; he ignored me, took the bank deposit book andsome money and left the house. Maybe he really intends to leave me forgood. What a rational man, so clear-cut in love and money matters. Igave a few dried laugh and tears starting streaming down again. The nextday, I did not go to work. I wanted to clear this out and have a goodtalk with hubby. I reached his office and his secretary gave me a weirdlook and said: "Mr. Tan's mother had a traffic accident and is now in thehospital."
I stood there in shock. I rushed to the hospital and by the time I foundHubby, mother had already passed away. Hubby did not look at me, his facewas expressionless. I looked at mother's pale white and thin face and Icouldn't control the tears in my eyes. My god, how could this happen?
Throughout the funeral, hubby did not say a single word to me, with only theoccasional disgusted stare at me. I only managed to find out brief factsabout the accident from other people. That day, after mother left the house,she walked in dazed toward the bus stop, apparently intending to go backto her old house back in the countryside. As hubby ran after her, shetried to walk faster and as she tried to cross the street, a public bus cameand hit her...I finally understood how much hubby must hate me, if I had notthrown up that morning, if we had not quarreled, if....In his heart, I amindirectly the killer of his mother.
Hubby moved into mother's room and came home every night with a strongliquor smell on him. And me, I am buried under the guilt and self-pity andcould hardly breathe. I wanted to explain to him, tell him that we are goingto have our baby soon, but each time, I saw the dead look in his eyes, allthe words I have at the brink of my mouth just fell back in. I had rather hehit me real hard or give me a big and thorough scolding though none of theseevents happening had been my fault at all.
Many days of suffocating silence went by and as the days went by, hubby camehome later and later. The deadlock between us continues, we were livingtogether like strangers who don't know each other. I am like the dead knot in his heart.
One day, I passed by a western restaurant, looking into the glass window, Isaw hubby and a girl sitting facing each other and he very lightly brushedher hair for her, I understood what it meant. After recovering from thatmoment of shock, I entered the restaurant, stood in front of my hubby andstared hard at him, not a tear in my eyes. I have nothing to say to him, andthere is no need to say anything. The girl looked at me, looks at hubby,stands up and wanted to go, hubby stretched out his hand and stopped her. Hestared back at me, challenging me. I can only hear my slow heart beat, beating, one by one as if at thebrink of death. I eventually backed down, if I had stood that any longer, Iwill collapse together with the baby inside me. That night, he did not comehome; he had chosen to use that as a way to indicate to me: Followingmother's death so did our love for each other.
He did not come home anymore after that. Sometimes, when I returned homefrom work, I can tell that the cupboard had been touched - he had returnedto take some of his stuff. I no longer wish to call him; the initial desireto explain everything to him vanished. I lived alone; I go for my medicalcheckups alone, my heart breaks again and again every time I see a guycarefully helping his wife through the physical examination. My officecolleagues hinted to me to consider aborting the baby, I told them No, Iwill not.. I insisted on having to this baby, perhaps it is my way of repaying mother for causing her death.One day, I came home and I saw hubby sitting in the living room. The wholehouse was filled with cigarette smoke. On the coffee table, there was this piece of paper. I know what it is all about without even looking at it. In the two months plus of living alone, I have gradually learned to find peacewithin myself. I looked at him, removed my hat and said: "You wait a while,I will sign."
He looked at me, mixed feelings in his eyes, just like mine.As I hang up my coat, I keep repeating to myself"You cannot cry, you cannot cry..." my eyes hurt terribly,but I refused to let tears come out from there.After I hung up my coat, hubby's eyes stared fixed at my bulging tummy. Ismiled, walked over to the coffee table and pulled the paper towards me.Without even looking at what it says, I signed my name on it and pushed thepaper to him. "LD, are you pregnant?"
Since mother's accident, this is the first time he spoke to me. I could notcontrol my tears any further and they fell like raindrops. I said: "Yes, but its ok, you can leave now." He did not go, in the dark, we sat, facing eachother.Hubby slowly moved over me, his tears wet the blanket. In my heart,everything seems so far away, so far that even if I sprint, I could neverreach them. I cannot remember how many times he repeated "sorry" to me. I had originally thought that I would forgive him, but now I can't. In thewestern restaurant, in front of that girl, that cold look in his eyes, I will never forget, ever. We have drawn such deep scars in each other'sheart. For me, it's unintentional; for him, totally intentional. I had beenwaiting for this moment of reconciliation, but I realized now, what hadgone past is gone forever and could not repeated.
Other than the thought of the baby inside me that would bring somewarmth to my heart, I am totally cold towards him, I no longer eatanything he buys for me, I don't take any presents from him and I stopped talking to him. From the moment I signed on that piece of paper,marriage and love had vanished from my heart. Sometimes, hubby will tryto come into the bedroom, but when he walks in, I will walk out to theliving room. He had no choice but to sleep in mother's room. At night,from his room, I can hear light sounds of groaning, I kept quiet. Thisused to be his trick; last time, whenever I ignore him, he would fakeillness and I will surrender and find out what is wrong with him, hewould then grab me and laugh. He has forgotten that last time I caredfor him and am concerned because there was love, but now, what is therebetween us? Hubby's groaning came on and off continuing but Icontinuously ignored him.
Almost everyday, he would buy something for the baby, infant products,children products and books that kids like to read. Bags and bags of itstacked inside his room till it is full. I know he is trying to use thisto reach out to me, but I am no longer moved by his actions. He has nochoice but to lock himself in his room and I can hear his typing away onhis computer keyboard, maybe he is now addicted to web surfing but none ofthat matters to me anymore. It was sometime towards the end of spring inthe following year, one late night, I screamed because of a sudden stomach pain, hubby came rushing into the room, its like he did notchange and sleep, and had been waiting for this moment. He carried meand ran down the stairs, stopped a car, holding my hand very tightly andkept wiping the sweat off my brow, throughout the journey to the hospital.
Once we reached the hospital, he carried me and hurried intothe delivery suite. Lying on the back of his skinny but warmth body, athought crossed my mind: In my lifetime, who else would love me as muchas he did?He held the delivery suite door opened and watch me go in; his warm eyescaused me to manage a smile at him despite my contraction pain. Coming out of the delivery room, hubby looked at our son and me, eyes tear withjoy and he kept smiling. I reached out and touched his hand. Hubby looked at me, smiling and then he slowly collapsed onto the floor.I cried out for him in pain... He smiled, but without opening that tired eyes of his... I had thought that I would never shed any tear for him,but the truth is, I have never felt a deeper pain cutting through mybody at that moment.
Doctor said that by the time hubby discovered he had liver cancer, it was already in terminal stage and it was a miracle that he managed to last this long. I asked the doctor when he first discovered he had cancer. Doctor said about5 months ago and consoled me saying: "Prepare for his funeral."I disregarded the nurse's objection and rushed home, I went into hisroom and checked his computer, and a suffocating pain hits me. Hubby's cancer was discovered 5 months ago, his groaning was real, and I had thought that... the computer showed over 200 thousand words he wrote forour son:"Son, just for you, I have persisted, to be able to take a look at you before I fall, is my biggest wish now... I know that in your life, you will have many happiness and maybe some setbacks, if only I can accompany you throughout that journey, how nice would it be. But daddy now no longer has that chance.
Daddy has written inside here all the possible difficulties and problems you may encounter during your lifetime, when you meet with these problems, you can refer to daddy's suggestion....Son, after writing these 200 thousand words, I feel as if I have accompanied you through life journey. To be honest, daddy is very happy.Do love your mother, she has suffered, she is the one who loves you most and also the one who loves me most..." From play school to primary school, to secondary, university, to work and even in dealing with questions of love, everything big and small was written there.Hubby has also written a letter for me:"My dear, to marry you is my biggest happiness, forgive me for the pain I have caused you, forgive me for not telling you my illness, because Iwant to see you be in a joyful mood waiting for the arrival of our baby...
My dear, if you cried, it means that you have forgiven me and I would smile, thank you for loving me...These presents, I'm afraid I cannot give them to our son personally, could you help me to give some of them to him every year, the dates on what to give when are all written on the packaging... "Going back to the hospital, hubby is still in coma. I brought our son over and place him beside him. I said: "Open your eyes and smile, I want our son to remember being in the warmth of your arms..." He struggled to open his eyes and managed a weak smile. Our son still in his arms was happily waving his tiny hands in the air. I press the button on the camera and the sound of the shutter rang through the air as tears slowly rolled down my face....A fatal misunderstanding and the person who loves me the most in thisworld is gone forever...
"Cruel misunderstandings one after another disrupted the blissful footsteps to our family. Our originals intend of having Mother enjoy some quiet and peaceful moments in her remaining years with us went terribly wrong as destiny's secret is finally revealed at a very heavy price, every thing became too late.".........
It doesn't matter if this article was written based on a true life experience . . Lessons to learn here are our life is too short to be wasted. Live a meaningful life and try not to bear grudges on others. . Every problem has a or multiple solutions. . Afterall, they can't be that bad anyway . . . Think positive ! : )

Wednesday, 1 April 2009

Sweet, Sour & Bitter !

Sweet, Sour & Bitter! That's exactly what i have been through after all these years of staying in the UK. I still remember the first time when i landed at Heathrow airport. My goodness, it must be a good 7 years already and it still remains vivid at the back of my mind. I was so excited. . never been so thrilled before in my life. . Along with a few friends, we travelled to Plymouth, where we continued to pursue for our bachelor degree together. .

The nightmare begun almost immediately after we have arrived at Plymouth. The town was so bleak that i couldn't even believe my own eyes. . There were no shopping malls here. . .just a tiny few blocks of supermarket and that's it! Anyway, went through the Uni life as normal, got a job after graduation and then stucked here up to now. When i first started at work, i thought i was quite lucky to be able to continue staying in the UK, but now when i think back, am i really lucky to stay back? I never use to think that families are important. Back then, it was just about Margaret and I, the two of us living our lives just the way we had always wanted. However, since we have returned from our recent CNY trip back to Malaysia. . I actually feels the warm and joy from our families once again . . It actually struck me real hard this time, that leaving them on our journey back to the UK was pretty damn difficult. . for weeks i have been living in agony. . being homesick. . damn, that was the first time since 7 years ago. .
Aku mau balik !!!
balik ke bumi kenyalang!!!

Anyway wanna show u guys some fantastic structures build in London.

Saturday, 23 August 2008

My Sister Got A Job From Her 1st Interview!

I felt so happy and relieved yesterday when i learnt from margaret that my sister, alice was being offered her first job through her first interview. Alice, i'm so glad you've found your dream job and welcome to the working world. Nothing is different in working when compared to having your assignments done in Uni, apart from things are now starting to be real and involves real money! But do not freak out sis, once you've got the hang of it, you'll realise it's no big deal. Well done to you again!
Changing the subject slightly, i would like to open up a discussion about the Beijing's Olympic Bird Nest Stadium. I was watching Megastructures tv programme on channel 5 the other day and they did a documentary about the bird nest's construction. Very interesting programme indeed. For every chinese who was involved in the design and construction of the stadium, you guys have done very well. The whole nation is proud of your achievement. Thousands of workers were involved from the start to the end.

Fig 1: The Bird's Nest Stadium

The structure looks complicated and difficult to contruct from first glance, but when the programme tailored out the concept behind the structures, it was pretty clear to how it works (at least to me anyway). It's a "box within a box" type of structure. The inside arena is constructed as concrete bowl. Yea, concrete bowl to support the seating arena. The bowl is splitted into 6 pieces through movement joints and they acted as an independent structure, where, in the event of an earthquake and should the stadium are to collapse (fingers cross), it'll crack through the joints and collapse at the designated area (i.e. piece by piece).

Fig 2: The Outer Box (look at the size of the beast!)

The outer box as you can see, comprises strings of huge rectangular hollow sections, wrapping around the stadium in a complete mad angles. The beams are huge. super huge! and i've never seen anything this big before. They are prefabricated sections and are designed to accomodate seismic movements, therefore, in the event of an earthquake, it'll be flexible enough to not collapse(fingerscross!). It's an extremely high yield stress steel grade and high compressive stress concrete grade(RC80 if i'm not mistaken) to construct the stadium. You should seen the moment they cast the concrete onto the bowl. It just looks so dry . . .a lot of cement content!

Fig 3: Seating arena

Fig 4: Outer Box in construction

I think i would like to visit the stadium sometime to see the amazing structure with my own eyes. It's just unbelievable. To me, the bird's nest is the most complicated stadium to be constructed in our hystory (unless there is/are more stadiums which i'm not aware of?) which was on time and to budget. This is just so unique. Ppl tend to think about high rise for amazing buildings but nope. . .the architect working for the bird's nest stadium had proved that you don't have to be high to be famous . . a little bit of imaginations and lateral thinking will equally make you as famous as the burj dubai tower!

P.S. Pictures were stolen from google image. so if any of you can't get enough of it, google it. you'll find lots in there!


Saturday, 9 August 2008

A mixture of feelings . . .

2 weeks ago, i was up on the frontline, defending all site queries and managing resources internally at Hyder. Project manager was on leave. There were a few ocassions where i thought, dammit . . . in terms of management and IT, this is really shit compare to where i used to work. And i don't even know how this so-called project manager can become a project manager without sound technical background? Just because of you're more matured (older, effeectively), you can become a project manager? that's rubbish. . . he was on about going for IStructE review this year. . .well, good luck my friend. . i personally thinks you'll have to try hard . . .very very hard. . IStructE is not something you can do just 'by inspection'! It's all about concept design . . and to be honest, he ain't got a clue of what concept design is . . to be fair, he is a matured student. But, i still cannot accept a person to be a leader without sound technical background to what he's doing/intended to do.

Right back to the subject. . now, he went away for 2 weeks, spending all his time and monies on a sunny beach i guess, and there was me, running the job like mad in the office, trying to sort out the fucking mess he left behind. . fine. i rather to be the one in charged with managing resources internally than him. Bonded very well with the contractor until he sent dodgy emails to me just for laugh. . love the pr side of the job very much. . Anyway, handed over the job to the boss yesterday coz i'll be away for a week, starting monday (that's when he's back). As soon as the clock ticked 5pm yesterday, i walked out of the office thinking, god, i must be really glad to have completed the 2 weeks madness in work. I was very glad indeed, but then, i was sad to think that the time has become closer for us to say goodbye to my beloved sister. She'll be leaving uk next thursday. time really flies. . . it's almost 3 months already since she visited us . . We'll be leaving plymouth next monday to London.

Nvm...she'll be back . . . aj loves her company. . . my only worries is the time we will be spending in London. London has become a very dangerous place to stay, i must admit. Almost everyday, you'll see stabbing / shooting headlines in the news. damn. . the government is failing and hence the nation is going wild . .that's it .. wild wild west! i sure hope that the next ruling government will promise a safer living for citizens in the uk . .

Thursday, 7 August 2008

1st Blog

ke cibai . . . .Nowadays, everywhere i go, ppl always talk about blogging. So here am i, 26 years of age, sitting in front of my home pc, blogging! Frankly, i don't feel anything too special about blogging . . .at least not at the moment since i do not have the habit of writting diaries.

Be warned. The wacko is back once again to wreck havoc. . .

Watch this space! politics, public health, professional issues and most importantly my new life for being a young father will be discussed in the near future!