Society

Yesterday, the issue of Muslim women in Malaysia eating in public during Ramadhan went viral on social media. This woman was having lunch at a mall and she claimed that it angered the public who saw her eating in this holy month.

Personally, I don’t mind if anyone eats in public during Ramadhan for whatever reason. I don’t think anyone should scold others who did it either because it’s none of your business. That’s how I feel about it. Then again I personally wouldn’t do it. Even if I don’t fast, I wouldn’t eat in public especially not in Malaysia because I just don’t like being stared at.

When I was younger, I visited Singapore during Ramadhan. Muslims or Malays are a minority in Singapore. So as a Malay, you don’t feel ‘superior’ in Singapore as you do in Malaysia. I saw some Malays smoking and eating at McDonald’s and it did feel a bit odd because in Malaysia we won’t dare to do such things so openly. But in Singapore, nobody cares.

The same for Malays with tattoos. You can see plenty of Malays with tattoos on their bodies in Singapore. Be it women or men. There was one time I saw a young Malay couple with tattoos at a food court with their kids. It was strange for me to see that but my Singaporean friend told me that’s actually quite normal in Singapore. Malays here lead different lives than those in Malaysia. Again, Malays showing off their tattoos in Malaysia is not something that is normal.

If I stared at Malays with tattoos or Malays eating in public during Ramadhan in Singapore, I am the odd one. Not them. While in Malaysia, you are the silly one if you get angry at people who stare at you when you eat in public during Ramadhan.

The woman could avoid eating in public during Ramadhan but she chose not to and then she felt that people can’t get uncomfortable with it because it’s her rights. I don’t agree with those who went to the extend to scold someone who was eating but that could have been avoided.

I believe we must know how to behave in a society no matter what your beliefs are. You have to adapt and you can’t be surprised or shocked when people act a certain way towards something that’s out of the norm or just deemed unacceptable to the majority.

Yogi In Me


About two months ago, I decided to join Yoga. I have always wanted to for quite a while but I never got the chance. Since my previous job was quite flexible with the working hours, I signed up for Yoga to fill up my time.

I have never been a member for anything ‘fitness’ so this was my first time. I signed up for 10 classes of Yoga Basics.

Since it was all new to me, I remember worrying about what to wear, how do I do my hair, what should I bring…I just need to know what to expect, as always. So Google did help as well as reading from others’ experiences.

My first class was fine. But who knew breathing can make you sweat a lot? Who knew breathing can be a hard work? Yes, Yoga involves a lot of breathing. After all it’s the most important thing in your life.

When I’m at a Yoga class, I feel at peace. It may sound cliche the word peace in the same sentence as Yoga but that’s when I can focus on myself only. The stretches and poses can be difficult sometimes but you are supposed to get better in time. I still couldn’t get my feet on the ground during downward dog though. That’s how inflexible I am.

I haven’t gone to Yoga for so long now. It’s fasting month and my working hours just sucks and I’m quite disappointed about it. I wish I could go everyday so I can see the improvement I could make.

Well, I hope I can get back to it again soon…

Happy International Yoga Day!

“Be at least as interested in what goes on inside you as what happens outside. If you get the inside right, the outside will fall into place.” ~ Eckhart Tolle

Hopping

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I have lived in Singapore for five months now and it’s safe to say this second stint of living in Singapore has been unpredictable.

Two different jobs in a span of four months I’m here. I didn’t see it coming either. I moved here after I received an offer from Sunset+Vine Asia late in February and I started at the company in March. Just about a month into the job I was told that the company will cease operations in Singapore. Imagine how I felt when we were all called for a meeting as they announced that we will all be retrenched. Worse for me…after only one month! Do I have to move back to Malaysia? What’s going to happen to my place here? How am I going to get another job? All these were running through my mind.

My boss then felt really bad, of course because if he knew, he wouldn’t have offered me the job. It was just bad luck, or was it…?

I landed a new job probably a week or two after that while I was serving my one month notice and that’s where Hokkaido happened. I just needed a break before I started a new job, again!

Some people say I job-hop a lot. Can’t blame them. Just look at that list above. That is in a span of five years. In a way some may think it’s a bad thing. But honestly not for me. By now I have experienced a lot and there will come a time where I just stop ‘hopping’. I believe this. Not that I ever intended to not stay at one place for long anyway.

To be fair, I wouldn’t have left Fox Sports back in 2013. I started at ESPN which I truly enjoyed working at and then Fox Sports took over and a lot of us had to leave because they have different directions than ESPN. Most likely I would still be there now if they needed me. But they didn’t so I had to move back to Malaysia.

That’s when the ‘hopping’ happened, I guess? Joining FAM-FMLLP was my biggest mistake, I would say. In a way it may not be all that terrible since I have learned a lot from working with them but I think I was unhappiest when I was there. I was miserable. That’s just one of my bad decisions in my life. It’s almost traumatising.

Now I am already a month into my current job as a Social Media Manager with FourFourTwo. Basically I oversee the social media content for FourFourTwo Malaysia, Singapore, Thailand and Indonesia. Maybe being retrenched earlier was a blessing after all. And I’m grateful for it.

I have never written publicly about this matter actually so if maybe some people think I had it easy in my career, you are not exactly right. There were formidable hurdles and you just don’t know what’s coming. Anything can and will happen. You just have to embrace it because that’s just part and parcel of life. :)

Hokkaido Part 1

I have to blog about this trip in parts because it will be too long if I do it in one post. So bear with me.

My trip to Japan was not a planned trip at all. Considering the fact that I have never been to Japan, I wouldn’t say it was a properly planned one. I knew I wanted to go somewhere on the first week of May so my first choice was Hanoi, Vietnam but then via AirAsiaGO, I saw that the price to Sapporo, Hokkaido was almost the same.

Hokkaido immediately became my first choice because the hottest it could get was 16°C and I just wanted to get away from the scorching weather of Singapore and Malaysia!

Since I have never been to Hokkaido or Japan itself, I NEED to know what to expect. That’s just me, sometimes I can’t be spontaneous. So I read blogs to find out about transportation, food, places to visit etc. Most of them are just too vague and I wish they could be more specific so I am going to try and be detailed in case you are like me.

My trip was only for 4 days and 3 nights (too short!). AirAsia X had the cheapest deal obviously. In case you didn’t know (I didn’t), they have a direct flight to Sapporo. It’s about 8 hours journey there, it’s best you take the Flatbed but it’s very limited so you have to book early.

My flight from KUL was an overnight flight so I left at 2335hr on 3rd May and arrived at around 0815hr on 4th May.

DAY 1 (4 May 16, 11°C): Moerenuma Park, Sapporo

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It was raining slightly when we arrived at New Chitose Airport and I was not used to raining and windy in that temperature so I was struggling a bit.

When I was reading people’s blogs about their Hokkaido trip, I found out that renting a car is the most convenient was to get around Hokkaido. I am not sure if it’s cheaper than travelling by public transport but I agree it was easier to drive there mostly because you don’t have to walk so much in the cold weather. (hot cannot, cold also cannot just what do I want?)

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There are plenty of car-rental companies but the cheapest one with English website and GPS was OTS Rent-A-Car. I would highly recommend renting from them. They were easy to deal with and were very helpful. The car we rented was Toyota Aqua but in Malaysia it’s known as Toyota Prius and it was a Hybrid car so you really saved a lot!

There’s a free shuttle bus provided by OTS to pick you up from the airport to their office.

The total cost was ¥12,000 for 3 days but I rented it together with a portable wi-fi that costs an extra ¥2,000 so the total was ¥14,000. You may want to get the Expressway Pass too, it works like Smart-Tag in Malaysia but they have a 2-day price (at least) for tourists. If you pay cash at the toll it can be very expensive so it’s best you get the pass especially if you plan to travel outside Sapporo – which you should!

(Important: If you have a Malaysian driving license, you need to get the International Driving Permit at JPJ to be able to drive in Japan. It costs RM150 for a year)

We didn’t have a plan on our first day there, as I said, I didn’t properly plan for this trip. It didn’t help that it was raining.

Besides reading blogs, I also searched ‘Sapporo’, ‘Hokkaido’ tags or places on Instagram to see where people go to and discovered Moerenuma Park. Since we didn’t plan to go out of Sapporo on our first day, so we decided to just explore Sapporo – in the rain.

Sapporo has some beautiful parks but Moerenuma was my favourite.

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From the top of the hill, you can see tennis courts, baseball field, a river and mountains. It was not too high to climb so you’ll be fine.

It was also the day I discovered the best part of Japan. Their toilets!

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They are clean, dry and warm! The build-in bidets are the best. Maybe it’s weird that I’m excited about toilets but it’s the one thing I missed when I returned to Malaysia. The ‘music’ button is for making flush sound. I am not sure why but Azlani said it’s for when you make a lot of sound when you shit. LOL maybe.

That’s all for now. I will continue Part 2 of my trip next time! :)