Thursday, August 14, 2014


Out of boredom, I checked whether anyone was still reading this blog which I abandoned yet again for months. 

And holy crap..... I think there are people reading it. So maybe this useless crap is interesting to at least one person out there. 

Anyway, I used to be much more interesting when I was blogging during my naive 20's. Now I'm just like a hermit crab facing bipolar issues.... Peekaboo, now you see me, now you don't.

From my last blog post months ago, I was traveling to Austin. Come back and had a layover in London. It was the 3rd shift in time zone in that short trip and I was disastrously jet lagged. But visiting Westminster Abbey was worth it. It was the 3rd place I visited that gave me goosebumps. Beautiful!

By the time I reached home, I slept 16 hours straight. Business trips like these can shorten your life. But I absolutely enjoyed. And it was all paid for :) 

Fast forward a few months to today, and I'm now back to the gray company. Yup, it was like running back to an ex boyfriend whom you love and hate.

Main reason I left was there were too many night calls and I hated bringing work back home. The home and "me time" is sacred to us introverts  and I decided that it wasn't worth sacrificing it. 

Though I do miss working with the Hungarians and Austin. They are just such nice human beings. 

So one step forward and one step backwards... Anyhow I'm more interested in other plans now. 

Saturday, March 22, 2014

Boys and their toys

The hubby and I have always been side by side since 14 years ago. And now and then, I have to go off for a business trip and leave him home alone.

And what does he do when I'm away? It's the perfect opportunity for him to buy new toys for himself. Last round it was a fish pond which I would not have agreed to because he doesn't look after his fishes.

This time is a fishing rod. A very excited hubby was showing it to me over the webcam.

Other random thoughts of my trip so far

  1. Hungarians are so friendly. I said in my previous post and I'll say it again
  2. Hungarians have 3 years paid maternity leave!! Can you imagine? And if they get twins, they get 6 years. And if they have another kid, they will continue to get another 3 years. So basically, they may never come back to work.
  3. Hungarians shake hands with everyone and will say hello to anyone that passes. If not, it's considered rude. So when one of my Hungarian colleague came to Penang, he kept shaking hands with everybody in the meeting. 
  4. Hungarians are structured people. So I can imagine the challenges when working with the very unstructured free form Americans.
  5. It's seriously so hard to pronounce and remember Hungarian names. Like how would your pronounce Szabolcs? And all of them have the same names, making it even more confusing. @.@
  6. When I went to the warehouse, I saw a package from Altera. Suddenly made me miss Altera...
I have to say, I love working with different countries and learning about their culture. 

Next stop: Back to Budapest, then to Austin

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

Hello Europe

So I'm in Europe now. First time in Europe since I was a kid. And I've finally overcome my fear of travelling alone for leisure (something I can check out from my bucket list). I've done it for business trips before, but never for a holiday.

I have to admit I was in a state of panic when I reached Amsterdam to find that I couldn't use my credit card for the lockers and didn't have any phone service and didn't have much local currency. But after panicking for about one hour wondering around the airport, I manage to get myself out of the airport, onto the train and into Amsterdam.

And all I can say is, Amsterdam is BEAUTIFUL. And after exploring the city extremely jet lagged, and not dressed well enough for the cold weather (in my state panic, I smartly left my gloves and scarf in the locker), I arrived in Budapest after 33 hours of travelling.

And here are some random thoughts for the day

  1. I love how everybody cycles in Amsterdam. 
  2. Gathered all my courage to walk over to the Red Light District. Got shocked at what I saw, chickened out and ran off
  3. Towards the end of the day, my body was shutting down from the exhaustion and was too tired to think what to eat... so, I ate at the universal and reliable restaurant: McDonald's.
  4. Budapest is like a fairy tale. So fairy tales did exists a long time ago
  5. For some reason, I didn't go through any immigration when entering Hungary. I was feeling so paranoid about it until I checked and found others had the same experience
  6. Hungarians are so nice, friendly, and gentle. They open doors for me. No one open doors for me at home 
  7. In Hungary, the button to flush the toilet is humongous
  8. My nose is bleeding here since is so dry here. And Americans who are in Hungary are complaining that it's humid in Hungary. How dry is Austin then? I'm so going to dry out like a salted fish when I'm there.
  9. I still find it magical when cars stop for me when I'm on the zebra crossing
  10. The food in Hungary is so salty. I will not be eating bacon for a long time.
  11. I'm jet lag but I'm not even going to bother adjust because I'll be flying to a different time zone in a few days time so it's a hopeless cause
  12. The hotel room does not have a kettle. They provide everything else that you wouldn't even think of, from allergic free rooms to personal trainers. But no kettle! So much for all the milo and instant noodles I brought with me
  13. When you travel alone, you're suddenly very aware of the travellers around you
  14. The toilets in Europe are so clean. And people queue up here. So different compared to the Forbidden City in Beijing where you literally have to push your way to get a glimpse of the royal throne.
  15. European tourist seem friendlier than Asian tourist. I was taking a selfie (because travelling alone means you have to pathetically take your own photos), and somebody saw and offered to take a photo for me. So now when I see other people take selfies, I offer to take a photo for them
  16. I'm sleeppy. I woke up at 4am 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

The latest craze

So the hubby's latest craze is this.

The Tesco figurines. Spend RM50 in tesco and you'll get one sticker. And you don't get to choose when you redeem it which makes obsessive people like the hubby crazy over the challenge to get the complete set.

At first it was just these two. Someone commented that the 2 looked like the hubby and me.

Mindy - Iron Man because I'm always yelling at the hubby
Hubby - Captain America, always happy to annoy me equipped with the shield to protect himself when I burst

And now the hubby is suddenly very concern about my toiletries.

Mindy, you need more shampoo
Eh, you need more period pads right?
Mindy ah, we need more toilet roll.

Yes... we need more toilet roll... 
So much that they are all over the place right now...

As long as he finds an excuse to buy ONE thing, he will drag me to tesco, take out his calculator and start walking aimlessly around tesco finding things to buy until he reaches RM50. And then there's the panic at the cashier counter when the total comes out to be slightly less then RM50 and we just grab anything we can reach from the counter.

He keeps bugging everybody for stickers. So when the sister wanted to introduce her new boyfriend, she sent her boyfriend to get 2 stickers for the hubby to make a good impression. And I think it worked. ;)

So this is the hubby's collection so far. And after annoying me enough, I've reached out to the facebook universe to seek for help to exchange those extra ones we have for ones we don't have.

Please.. please... let us get the complete set soon before I really run out of space to put toilet rolls.

Thursday, December 12, 2013

The first project

We are starting to clean up around the home in preparation for our move next year (and I say we, I have to be honest and say it's the hubby).

And look what the hubby found under a pile of crap in the storeroom. 

My first project documentation! Written when I was 12 years old.  :)

Thursday, November 28, 2013

The tale of two Foo Dogs

So I've been asked to blog about my trip to Beijing. If you ask me what was my most memorable experience there, I'll probably tell you are story of two Foo Dogs.

Whenever the hubby travels, the hubby must do his shopping. Because his logic is that he'll probably never go back to that country which justifies his desire to buy what he sees and likes.

There's the Buddha he bought from Bali. Security at every airport stopped us to ask us what the big round head in the security X-Ray scan was.

There was the prayer house that we brought back from Phuket (with some occupants who recently moved in). It was so fragile, that when we walked down the staircase from the plane, the hubby immediately went to the compartment where they were offloading the baggage from the plane and insisted that they pass him his little house there and then.

Cambodia wasn't too bad. The hubby settled on a relatively small stone craving of the Bayan face (will upload the photo here tomorrow)

And then there were the two Foo Dogs from Beijing. 

The dear hubby decided that he had to get them after two days shopping at the antique flea market. He bargained hard with the friendly Chinese man who suddenly disappeared immediately after he received our money leaving us to figure how to carry the two Foo dogs back. 

I picked one up and the hubby picked the other and we shared an "Oh Shit!" moment. 

It was freaking HEAVY! Duh, they are made of stone but it only occurred to us after we tried to pick it up. 

To cut a long story short, with tremendous effort, sweat and a lot of arguing along the way, we carried it back to the hotel and from the hotel to the airport using the subway which we had to interchange several times. Hubby was annoyed with me because I refused to take the taxi (I have a thing against taxis), and I was annoyed with him for buying something so ridiculously heavy. 

Miss Pessimistic me wanted to give up and throw it away because I was absolutely convinced that it was too heavy to check into our luggage. But Mr. Optimistic hubby refused to give up and stubbornly carried on like a hero in battle. He carried one on his back and dragged the other in the luggage bag...

...and then... one wheel started to come off... 

Oh mother of all crap!

Somehow out of sheer determination, we managed to arrive at the airport, weigh the foo dogs and upgrade baggage allowance online. 

What really happened at the airport: 
8.40pm - arrived at the airport, flight was 1.05am. Air Asia airport will close online baggage top up 4 hours before the flight which meant we had only 25 minutes to figure out how much we had to top up
8.45pm - Transformed into a mad woman running around the airport in panic finding a weighing machine to weigh the foo dogs. Hijacked an empty check in counter to weigh the luggage, unloaded EVERYTHING onto the floor to even out the weight of each luggage to be within the max of 32kg.
8.55pm - Practically screamed at the lady behind the counter to get the wifi password required to go online. 
9.00pm - Panicking to death. Sat on the floor, emptied all the contents of my wallet onto the floor. Couldn't find my credit card. Panic... Panic... PANIC... then realized I my credit card was with my phone.
9.03pm - Frantically keyed in all the details online knowing that if I made one mistake, I would not make it in time. Managed to successfully top up the baggage allowance.
9.05pm - Suddenly very conscious that we were the only country bumpkins who were sitting on the floor with our belongings scattered on the floor.

When we reached Penang, we couldn't move. Muscles were punishing us after the Foo Dog incident. A few days later, the hubby could no longer move his neck. He had no choice but to go to the doctor and get an injection on his bum.

The hubby swore never to buy anything so heavy again. And now whenever I see the Foo Dogs who are happily guarding our door, I (who was so willing to throw them away along the way) will remember...

No matter how heavy things may seem, keep going until the end and never give up!
(Even if the cost comes with an injection on the bum)

Sunday, November 24, 2013

A test

Want to test how well your other half knows you? Try this...

Say you have something to want to buy, like a handbag. After shopping the whole day and finding the one you really like, ask your other half to go into a the store guess which one you chose.

I asked the hubby to go into Charles and Keith to find the handbag that I picked. And so entertaining it was to see him as the only man in a crowd of women going around the store and carefully evaluating every handbag he saw.

Needless to say, he found the bag I wanted to buy. After 13 years, he better know! :)

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Let's see.....

3 weeks of culture shock.
3 weeks of "oh shit, why the hell did I decide to move?"
3 weeks of waking up before then sun rises.
3 weeks of dreaming of the previous company and missing the people.

And let's not forget,
1 close meltdown, completely freaking out about the magnitude of new things to learn.

You know that situation where after you completely freak out and go into a weird trance with a million thoughts going through your head? Then suddenly.... A moment of clarity (I think because the brains goes numb after so much panic) and you realize it's just about organizing the chaos and making a plan.

Then moving forward, it's about gaining small wins everyday.

Today's small wins...

...I slept until the alarm rang
...I think I managed to earn a tiny bit of trust from a team member
...I realized that I no longer feel like I belong to my previous company

Good enough progress for one day :)

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

I miss you

I miss my previous grey company.

I miss the milo making machine that greeted me during those mornings of desperate need for a quick breakfast before rushing off to start the usual meeting marathons.
(Now milo making here is manual)

I miss the nice big cube which was my second home
(Cube is smaller with medium height walls, but the good thing is you don't feel so isolated from everybody else drowning in sea of grey cubicles)

I miss being a Miss Know-It-All
(I'm Miss-Know-Nothing-At-All now)

I miss being an annual leave hoarder
(But I think that's better because the only time I take a break is when the company forces me to do so which means I'll be taking more breaks now)

I miss working on the software
(Do you know how freaking complicated Manufacturing can be?)

And most of all, I miss the people, knowing everybody and having everybody know me.

But..... I don't regret leaving. Because it was just time to move on.

Monday, November 18, 2013

Back again

Someone sent me a story he wrote and a beautiful story it was. Suddenly made me miss writing so I dug out this old blog of mine and I'm determined to revive it.

Just turned 31. Hate birthdays now. Which is a good thing for the hubby since he no longer has to do his annual last minute oh-shit-I-forgot-to-buy-Mindy-a-birthday-card panic shopping (truthfully I stopped asking for a birthday card after going through a few oh-shit-I-forgot-to-buy-the-hubby-a-birthday-card which often results in an ugly card from Tesco).

I remember that I once said that if I could choose to be an age forever, I would choose being 26. I think I like 30 more now? That's when you are at the peak of your career, have some extra money to enjoy, still young but old enough to be respected. I shall miss being 30 ( despite the fact that I spent the whole year fighting battles)

I reread all the post in this blog. It started as a I'm-so-happy-and-in-love blog in my mid twenties which then turned depressing as I hit the realities of life towards my late 20's. Then it went dead and got resuscitated now and then. I guessed that when I reached my 30's, I made a conscious choice to try to fix the problems that I control, and accept the ones and can't.

So here's to you, 30's. I hope you don't give me as much crap as your predecessor. But if you do, I guess I just to to kick you in the butt, one lesson at the time.

And note self, remember to stay HUMBLE and KIND and never think you are better than anyone else because once you do, you'll stop learning and miss out on the free lessons that life has to offer.