Monday, May 31, 2010

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining

I went to the temple on Wesak Day. I had a lot to pray for, which is the norm for me. I also make it a point to ask for guidance. This is what I received .................

Every Cloud Has A Silver Lining - Whatever adverse circumstances you are in, they will soon fade away. Be patient, bide your time for the advent of bright and promising days now gradually within sight.

This I shall believe and have faith in.

Photo shot in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Friday, May 28, 2010

Close Shave

My mum and two of my aunts were driving along Karak Highway yesterday afternoon when a 100-foot tree uprooted itself and crashed into their car. The entire bonnet was crushed. I hate to imagine what would have happened if they had driven just a split second faster. Fortunately all three of them were not injured, shaken perhaps but unharmed.

A close shave as such is a wake up call of sorts. It reminds us that anything can happen in life, good or bad. It reminds us to thank our lucky stars. It reminds us to live life to the fullest on a daily basis, appreciate our loved ones, and not take anything for granted. It reminds us not to let unhappy events of the past hold us back from embracing the happiness that is to come. It encourages us to pursue our aspirations now rather than later.

There is a lesson to be learnt.

Photo of Gulhane Parki in Istanbul, Turkey.

Tuesday, May 25, 2010


I've been in the wedding business for 10 years, well almost, and never have I been so insulted. A mother-of-the-bride today accused me of using remnant fabric from an old gown to create her daughter's evening gown. I did not hide my displeasure when I retorted 'we do not do such things'.

Now, if she had not been a client of a wedding planner who is a good friend of mine, I would have told her to 'terbang wau' and leave immediately. This is a case in point where I should have turned down the job when it was offered to me months ago. The vibes were already not great then but I took it on because of my relationship with the wedding planner.

Last week, I put this up on Facebook ...... Kris Wong is going to consciously and politely turn away potential clients whose attitudes he doesn't fancy or whose entourages he can't stomach, don't need the stress ....... today's encounter is a catalyst for me to put this into practice sooner rather than later!

Photo of Louisa and I with models in That Special Occasion creations.

Sunday, May 23, 2010

No Time To Waste, No Time For Nonsense

I've recently made it clear that I have no time to waste and no time for nonsense. Be it in work or relationships, it's just not worthwhile dealing with individuals who have a chip on their shoulder, who have baggage, who are generally rude and who have no knack for diplomacy.

I've come to realise, though I should have a long time ago, that I need to rid my life of these negative elements in order to be in a better disposition. A more positive outlook is in the works. Yes, I am a work-in-progress, not perfect but making improvements along the way.

As a start, surrounding myself with happy, positive people!

Photo shot while having lunch on my birthday on the terrace of Midpoint Restaurant on Istiklel Caddesi in Beyoglu, Istanbul, Turkey.

Thursday, May 20, 2010

No Regrets

I was listening to Caroline Oh interview Michelle Kwok on BFM earlier this evening and the latter remarked about living life without regrets. That's something that I believe one should aspire to achieve.

We all have our ups and downs. We come to crossroads every once in a while. We make rash decisions, rightly or wrongly. We sometimes hold on to the past, knowing full well that we should move forward instead. Optimistic. Overly cautious. We take the bull by the horns and assume control.

The decisions we make in life, the paths we take, shape our destiny. My late father told me 'it is your life to live, live it as you deem fit'. Positive outcomes are never a guarantee but what is life without taking some risks. For me personally, the key is to be accepting of the scenarios that unfold. Accept the good graciously. Acknowledge the not so good and work towards improving them. I seldom look back and ask 'what if'? Instead, I rely on family and friends to keep me grounded, to keep me optimistic, to assure me of the wonderful things life has to offer, to remind me that time is precious and is not to be wasted.

My sister Suk Harn, mum and I at Lantau Island in Hong Kong.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010


Having been travelling for the past couple of weeks, I find myself craving for local food since I have been home. I haven't gotten to the roti canai yet but the evening I got home, I just had to have the ayam goreng, fried egg and rice from Pak Lang, my favourite stall at the SS2 mamak, opposite the police station.

I have frequented Pak Lang for many years. I have their mobile number. They recognise my car. I order ahead when I need the food to go, they deliver to my car when I get there. It's an understanding that we have cultivated over the years.

However, nothing beats eating at the stall itself, particularly with family or friends. We can order more and indulge in the variety, alfresco.

Photo of roti canai, Milo tarik and a good travel mag.

Sunday, May 16, 2010


I met my friends Faizol, Sonya and Patricia at the latter's brother's wedding dinner last night. During the course of the dinner, we reminisced about the time that we have shared in the past.

The memories that stood out shared a common trait - meaningful moments in our lives. It could be something as simple as driving all the way to KLIA and having a meal before sending a friend off. Our less than stellar but enthusiastic renditions at karaoke. Weddings in Ipoh and Bali.

These images are etched in our minds, a tapestry of paintings that remain with us forever. Pleaseant reminders of the wonderful moments that life offers.

Photo of paintings at the old town Kaleici in Antalya, Turkey.

Thursday, May 13, 2010


Before I left for Hong Kong, my friend of two decades Elsie and I arranged to have dinner upon my arrival. She also gave notice and insisted that I should accept this relatively expensive birthday present that she got me. Of course I would, I replied. What's to complain about an expensive birthday present? The more expensive the better I thought. That's what one can do with good friends.

Anyways, I get into Hong Kong, two hours late I might add, and off we went for a late dinner at a Japanese restaurant near my hotel. Before we could start eating, out came my present. Lo and behold, a pair of diamond ear-rings! Apparently after having known me for more than twenty years, Elsie thought that I needed a 'new look'.

What is one to do with a pair of ear-rings? Diamond ones to boot! Well to cut a long story short, Elsie escorted me to 'Isabella - Professional Ear-Piercing, Unmatched Quality And Reliability' two nights later, stood by and promptly watched me get an ear pierced. It's a titanium stud for now. The diamond ear-ring will have to wait for a couple of months. And guess what, after coming home to KL, I received an sms from Elsie, saying that I should have gotten both pierced. Well, I think I need some time to get used to this one first. Nonetheless, thanks for the present Elsie! As for the other ear, let's see if you can convince me when we next meet.

Elsie and I having dinner at Irori in Causeway Bay, Hong Kong.

Making Life Sweet

I had lunch with my friend LC yesterday. It was his birthday. It's easy to remember since our birthdays are only 10 days apart. We were born in the same year, share the same zodiac, and have both reached a milestone in our lives.

We talked about my recent holidays in Turkey and Hong Kong and about his impending trip to China. How we should really take the time to enjoy what life has to offer. And he reminded me of how he suggested that I change my motto for the year from 'Life is short, go for it' to 'Life is short, make it sweet', something which I blogged about in January.

I had had a horrid morning prior to lunch, in fact, I threw a fit in the office, on my first day back at work after holidays no less. What LC said put things in perspective somewhat. Perhaps that's why I went back to work in a better frame of mind and much was accomplished the rest of the day.

Making life sweet by having tea in such a pretty location in Istanbul, Turkey on my birthday.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Relatives In Hong Kong Part 2

I concluded my trip to Hong Kong with a dinner hosted by my mum's cousin and 2 nieces who live there. Relatives from my mother's side of the family are extremely warm, be it those in Hong Kong or those in Nam Tong, mainland China.

I have my cousins' numbers on my mobile and it is always hilarious when we text each other, I in English and they in Chinese, with my uncle in Malaysia acting as translator. Back and forth we will go forwarding messages. The necessary effort to keep in touch which is well worth it.

And when the texting gets a bit tedious, I just dial their numbers and chat in person. Fortunately they speak Cantonese, which is of course a great relief.

Photo with relatives in Hong Kong from my mum's side of the family.

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Relatives In Hong Kong

I've been in Hong Kong for the past couple of days with my family. An extension of my birthday trip but primarily to meet relatives here from my dad's as well as my mum's sides of the family. I leave for home in a couple of hours and I'll say mission accomplished.

Meeting relatives for the first time can be awkward but all went smoothly. Warmth and camaraderie, catalysts for newly formed relationships with cousins and renewal of ties with aunts, uncles and a grandaunt.

I already have a pretty large extended family in Malaysia, Singapore, New Zealand, Australia, mainland China, the UK and the US. I can now add Hong Kong to the list. I am definitely one who values family ties.

Photo of relatives in Hong Kong from my dad's side of the family.

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Going With The Flow

Good things don't always come easy, much that we would like them to. Sometimes patience is necessary. Effort is required. Understanding is imperative. Knowing it and practising it is altogether a different proposition, for me anyway.

I am one who likes immediate results, instant gratification. Always have been, always will be. I create problems for myself sometimes because of this trait. Projects fizzle, friendships hit a snag, all because I may not have been sufficiently patient. I realise that at times, one just has to go with the flow and let the future unfold.

But I am also someone who knows when to say stop, when enough is enough. Contradicting it may be, this attribute has served me well too. I know when it is time to call it quits on a venture that is not showing results, when a friendship has reached a dead end. These decisions are not made lightly, however impatient I may be. Letting go of the no good allows much opportunity to explore greener pastures. But there are occasions where more time is needed for potential outcomes to flourish, that I know too. Perhaps this is one such moment. I just need to take on a more relaxed attitude, much like when on holiday.

Photo shot in Antalya, Turkey.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

Cold Turkey

I think I am going cold turkey from missing Turkey. 8 days is a relatively short period of time to visit a country but Turkey has left a lasting impression on me. The beauty bestowed on the country by Mother Nature speaks for itself, for any which way one turns in many a place, one is greeted by a postcard perfect setting.

I suppose the beautiful spring weather, particularly in Antalya and Istanbul, contributed to the positive experience. The strong sun and warm weather in the former was great for sunbathing and swimming in the Mediterranean whereas the cooler days in the latter albeit still with much sun, made walking to the various sights comfortable and having tea alfresco watching the world go by very enjoyable. I also made a few friends while in Cappadocia, fellow tourists whose company I was privileged to have enjoyed. We are keeping in touch and will surely share a tale or two from time to time.

On a similar note, I find myself re-tracing my footsteps whilst in Turkey every once in a while since I've been back home, and the flashbacks more often than not bring a smile to my face. I went solo on this trip and I found myself telling a friend that perhaps visiting Turkey with someone special would have made the experience even more profound. Well, who knows what the future may hold. But till then, I'd always welcome another trip there, solo or otherwise.

Photo shot from the deck of the hotel where I stayed in Cappadocia, Turkey.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Birthday 2010

This has been a very special birthday for me. It's 11.20pm Turkish time, on 2 May and as I reflect on my day, I can't help but feel how fortunate I am to have had this experience on holiday.

This trip is significant. It's my first solo trip in 2 decades, a birthday treat for myself, a rite of passage of sorts. Whilst a fairly seasoned traveller, travelling alone can have its pros and cons. One is free to decide on what to do and what not, what to see and what to give a miss, what to eat, you get what I mean. One also has to be more resilient and careful. More importantly, one has to be comfortable in one's own company.

I've come to realise that I am grateful and thankful for the many opportunities that have come my way. Be it in work, in relationships, life in general. I appreciate what I have experienced. But there's no harm in wanting to encounter even better experiences in future. So as this trip to Turkey comes to a close, I fly home to Malaysia with renewed hope, with fresh aspirations. With much faith that come next year, another trip beckons, one with a different circumstance, a better disposition, perhaps with some company and a more fulfilled presence, one that will certainly enrich.

Photo shot at the Aya Sofya in Istanbul, Turkey.

Turkish Riviera

The Turkish Riviera city of Antalya was warm with plenty of sunshine which was a nice change from the cold of Cappadocia. Situated on the Gulf of Antalya in the Mediterranean, it's perfect for a sunbathing aficionado like me.

I was fortunate enough to find a lovely spot. The photo does not fully do justice to the beauty of the location and its scenery. Never have I sunbathed and swum in such panoramic surrounds.

The consequence? A bit too much sun for my own good!

Photo shot in Antalya, Turkey.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


Sometimes you come across something that makes you gape in awe. This happened to me when I walked into the Roman theatre in Aspendos, Turkey.

They say a picture paints a thousand words. Here's proof of that. Need I say more? Restored, it still hosts concerts from time to time.

This is one occasion where one truly feels the need for conservation, preservation and restoration.

Photo of the Roman theatre in Aspendos, Turkey.

Saturday, May 1, 2010


'U havta do the balloooonnnnn', Alex kept telling me on Facebook. The balloon meant taking a flight on a hot air balloon over Cappadocia in Turkey, at sunrise. I had been toying with the idea and was undecided, partly due to a lack of time in my itinerary, partly due to the need to wake up at the ungodly hour of 4.50am and partly due to a fear of heights no less.

At the risk of missing out and the wrath of those who have done so before me, I decided to take the ride. Getting out of bed so early, in the cold weather was a chore, but what followed was an amazing experience. Photos can only tell so much of a story; it is the experience that stays with us.

The stunning landscapes viewed from above, the mutual exhilaration felt by my fellow passengers and I despite the language barrier, all add up to a wonderful memory and a tale that will be recounted many a time.

Photo shot from my balloon in Cappadocia, Turkey.