Monday, November 28, 2016

Jhen Ken And Ke Xin

On the weekend of 21 to 23 October 2016, we welcomed Ke Xin into the family. My cousin Jhen Ken exchanged vows with Ke Xin at Janda Baik and the entire Thoo extended family headed there for the celebrations. 

Having witnessed the wedding and tea ceremonies in the morning, the evening reception was where we let our hair down. Typically, the former required us to be at our best behaviour, respectful of the significance of this milestone in life for the newlyweds. The dinner in the evening on the other hand, provided an opportunity for us to be at ease and to celebrate the happy occasion with enthusiasm and free spirit. 

Be it dancing, participating in games or giving a toast, actually three toasts to be exact, we lived up to our reputation of being a happy, united and passionate family. I hear that there may have been some comments from some guests that we were a bit loud. Well, that is a Thoo family trademark that we hold dear to our hearts. After all, the purpose of a wedding celebration is indeed one where love, laughter and merriment bind us all together as one big, happy family.

The newlyweds, Jhen Ken and Ke Xin.

Sunday, October 9, 2016

PTSD Challenge

Recently my cousin San nominated me to do 22 push ups a day for 22 days consecutively, in support of the cause to spread awareness of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder among war veterans. I believe this originated from the USA but I suppose applies to veterans all over the world. 

I only swim and hardly do any gym work as part of my exercise routine, and as such, push ups are really not something that I would be able to accomplish with good form. I nevertheless decided to be a good sport and accepted San's nomination. 

I have completed 7 days todate and there is still much to improve on in terms of form and stamina. And that is the motivation, to get better over the remaining 15 days of the challenge. Come to think of it, I may just continue the push ups when the 22 days are over, taking a friend's advice to incorporate it into my exercise routine.

Cuz Shan, at Swensen's in Koh Samui, Thailand.

Saturday, October 1, 2016

Cousins In Town

It's always great to have my cousins who I grew up with in town for the weekend. They came up from Singapore recently to attend my aunt and uncle's 40th wedding anniversary celebrations and we had a great time catching up. 

With these cousins of mine, nothing is off limits when it comes to conversations. Having been close since our childhood, it is a level of comfort that is hard to replicate in other relationships. And this is what makes such reunions so enjoyable.

Banter over food is our preferred choice of activity during such short visits, where time constraints are often a hindrance to an otherwise even better experience. Not to worry though, the next extended family celebration is just round the corner!

Breakfast at Grandpa Bak Kut Teh in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia.

Monday, September 26, 2016


I had a conversation with a friend lately where I brought up the subject of contentment, how some of us never seem to be contented and instead, continuously go in search of something better. Whilst there are times when something better does come along, more often than not we are left disappointed. 

There are those in a good job who decide to quit and take on a new challenge, despite already being in a good position career-wise. And those who are seemingly happily coupled but who may stray. Or those who feel that they are in a rut at a particular point in life and just want to breakout out of the monotony they seem to languish in. 

At the end of the day, I guess we really ought to rely on our gut to tell us what route to take. Being rational may or may not be plausible, and for me, trusting my instincts will always take precedence. Certainly, one of the more intense topics to chat over tea. 

Artwork in Beijing, China.

Monday, September 12, 2016

Merdeka 2016

What a great way to celebrate Merdeka, with good friends over an indulgent lunch followed by chit-chat over coffee. The original plan was to go for a walk in the morning prior, but that of course did not come to fruition. 

Sharing a meal and banter with friends on Independence Day has much meaning, particularly so when these are friends whom I first got to know during early childhood, in primary school in fact. Those were the days when our outlook in life was shaped, where we did not pay too much attention to our ethnicities, a trait I would like to think many of us still carry with us.

As we embark on a another year in our nation's journey, here's to peace, harmony, equality and happiness to all Malaysia! 

Lunch at Jaipur Curry House in Taman Tun Dr Ismail, Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.

Tuesday, August 30, 2016

Champion In Our Hearts

Three times a silver medallist at the Olympics - Beijing, London and now Rio - one must feel for Lee Chong Wei, especially us Malaysians. To come so close to reaching the pinnacle of sport, it must be somewhat disheartening at times for the standard-bearer of Malaysian badminton. However, how many athletes can lay claim to winning three silver medals at three successive Olympic Games?

Sure, there will always be those who have done better, but there are many, many more who will never achieve the level of success that Chong Wei has achieved. He ought to be proud, and so do we. We certainly will him on during important matches, and go along for the emotional ride each time, as individuals and as a nation. 

A champion in our hearts, always.

Chong Wei at Rio 2016.

Monday, August 22, 2016

So Close In Rio

Two gold medal points, that was how close we were to getting our first ever Olympic gold medal. Not fancied to make the men's doubles badminton final, Goh V Shem and Tan Wee Kiong really played their hearts out throughout the tournament. 

The final was a pressure-filled affair which went to three games. Malaysians collectively held our breath when the boys took turns to serve during the two match points. It was not meant to be. Nevertheless, they did us proud by putting their best foot forward. The experience gained in Rio will certainly serve them well in time to come. 

A silver medal is an incredible achievement at the Olympic level. Well done V Shem and Wee Kiong! May the future hold much success. 

Tan Wee Kiong and Goh V Shem in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.