Saturday, June 30, 2012

postcards from madaba p2

Kitty having a munch while waiting for immigration to clear us. Even though we're supposed to be able to get visa on arrival in Jordan, the Dubai folks was aware of that, and almost didn't let us through the airport.
It was at least a 5 hour wait from the time we arrived at Dubai in the wee hours of the morning, and there was no restaurant nor vending machine at the Sharjah International Airport. Thank God for energy bars.

Apparently this was where Moses saw the Promised Land. Trying to imagine what he saw given that most of surrounding were desert land.

A brief stop at the Bethany Beyond The Jordan, whereby Jordan borders Israel. There was a guard stationed there lest anyone attempts to jump into the river and swim across. The river might have been more "fertile" in the Biblical days. I think you can just walk across without fearing of being drowned.

Golden chandelier found in an early Byzantine church. Must be difficult to clean between the edges given the ornate design.

The Greek Orthodox St George church which houses the Madaba Mosaic Map. Considered the most famous of mosaics, it contains a map of the Holy Land and depicts some famous Old City structures such as the Damascus Gate, the gate leading to Mount Zion, the Citadel (Tower of David), and the Church of the Holy Sepulchre.

Thursday, June 28, 2012

postcards from madaba p1

It's funny how when opportunities come, they come all at once. When there's nothing, you feel like you're stuck at status quo for a long time.

This year might prove to be an interesting one, though it won't be short of a rollercoaster of sorts. 6 months would have gone by before you know it; I didn't realise until a colleague asked if I had plans for a holiday this year.

My standard answer would have been "I need to save $ for it", especially since I spent quite a bit on my Middle East tour. Speaking of which, here are some shots which I have not shared earlier.

All taken at Madaba, our first stop in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan. More pictures and captions in my Facebook >.<

Monday, June 25, 2012

food from the maid

After granma Lee passed away, her maid was left "idle". The Cambodian grrl was hired to take care of my granma after the Indonesian one was deemed a little rebellious and had to be sent back.

I remember when Han first came to the household, she looked soft spoken and very young. That time, the government was having some issues with Indonesian maids; the alternative was to get Cambodian maids, nevermind that they hardly speak the language.

Almost 2 years later, and seemingly more fluent in Cantonese than myself, Han has grown. I bet her family wouldn't be able to recognise her when she goes back next month.

Han eats rice and poultry for 2, and is probably bigger than me and my brother combined. She's learnt to cook Cantonese dishes the Lee family way, with sprinkles of sugar for flavouring.

Sometimes when she's back to clean our house for the weekend, I can't help but salivate at some of the dishes she's managed to cook.

She only cooks for my granma who stays with my youngest uncle and his wife. Other than taking care of granma Lee, she has a pretty relaxing job actually since my uncle's family has a house with very little furniture, and a simple lifestyle. Not surprising that she's grown bigger with ample of naps and plenty of food!

Now that she doesn't have to take care of anyone, we brought her back to our home to help with some household chores. It's a little luxury at least for my mum who works till quite late. The extra help in washing clothes and ironing really helps.

As for me, I even asked to taste some of the food she cooks. So much so that when she sees me in the kitchen grinning away, she automatically knows how to keep a small portion for me.

I told my mum about this, and we joked about how ironic it is that the lady of the house have to "beg" for food from the maid!

Friday, June 08, 2012

lost consciousness

Few months back recollection of a car accident came to mind. It must have been 10 years ago, I think.

I remember it was an afternoon when I was driving along Jalan Gasing, near where we lived before. I don't even remember why I was heading towards my bro's school as it was the junction where it occurred.

The only thing I remembered before the crash was trying to make a right turning into Jalan Chantek. Since it was a downward slope, cars from the other direction usually speed through the road. Having trees lining up the divider made it hard to see clearly.

I must have been tired that afternoon, I remember returning from my my part-time job earlier in the day. This was how I reasoned to myself after that, how could I have been so negligent as to make a turning with cars zooming by.

The next thing I knew, I was surrounded by people, lots of people surrounding my car, the cars that crashed into mine, and another which was affected as a result of the crash. I had no recollection of how the accident happened much less when I even made the turning.

My Proton Iswara was directly perpendicular to the 2 cars on the other side. The 4th car was on the road I was trying to turn into. Traffic on the downward slope stopped, cars on the other side slowed down.

My first thought was my dad. I really thought he would kill me because it was his car I was driving! I quickly gained consciousness and tried to find my phone. The people outside seemed to be relieved that I was alive.

While I tried to call my mum (because I didn't know how I'd explain to my dad that I'd just crashed my his car), I noticed that there were even some tow trucks waiting on the other side. At that point of time, I thought these people must have been really efficient, maybe they were already waiting nearby in case of any accidents. After all, that junction has claimed a life of a church member's kid before.

Since we lived closeby, my mum came in no time. She was very calm. She tried to get me out of the car, while talking to the people surrounding us. Found out that one of the drivers that had crashed into mine, was a pregnant lady. I was so horrified that she would have a miscarriage because of the accident.

I remember my mum helping to sort out things, and bringing me to the hospital and police station. I don't quite remember the sequence of activities that happened immediately after that.

All I remembered was being treated for whiplash, filing a police report, and having to send the car for a thorough repair. I was traumatised for awhile, I didn't make that turning for many years.

I remember crying to sleep because I felt like I had caused a lot of people inconveniences, especially the pregnant lady. And most of all, my dad, because it was his car. He had trusted me with that car, even loaned it to me while I was studying in uni. I think my mum must've spoken to him, because he didn't ask me anything after that. Looking back, I think my dad would have been more concerned about me than his car.

Someone told me it was a miracle that I survived. Having cars going downhill on a slope crashing into a turning car would have resulted in a worse accident. So happened each car crashed exactly into each axle of the tyres, which are apparently the strongest part of the car. If it was at any other point, my car could have been smashed, turned turtle, or I can't imagine what else.

Though the car looked intact after the accident, there were still multiple dents due to the various cars involved. They took a few weeks to repair the car, and we had to lose the NCD because of that.

Only recently did I realise that those people who came surrounding were not there immediately after the accident. Not the tow truck people especially. I actually lost consciousness for awhile. I don't know how long, but it must have been long enough to have them surround me, wondering if I was alive. Long enough for a few tow trucks to make their way over.

My friends used to tease me by calling me "Dangerous Woman", in reference to the number plate DW of the Iswara. Of course I was a lot more brazen back when I first got the car.

Now that I've gotten my own car, and more so after that accident, I'm a lot more cautious on the road. Actually, I'm still driving like normal when I'm alone, but more careful when I have passengers.

Don't know why this incident resurfaced so many years later, I guess it's a reminder that God allowed me to live, for He's not done with me yet. There are still things I'm meant to do.

Thursday, June 07, 2012


In memory of granma Lee.

I actually saw this video some time ago, and thought it would be nice to share it during this time. Don't want to regret and wish how I should have spent more time with her, because I think no matter how much you already do, there's always that wish that you could have done more.

I'm just glad I came back in time to see her for the last time, even if it was at the hospital bed. Perhaps, just perhaps, this was also the reason why God brought me back.