Wednesday, 14 March 2012

nothing like a bit of pain...

so i was feeling a lil under the weather yesterday... i was once again questioning my decision to be based in this desert country, far from my family, friends and all the things that i'm comfortable and familiar with. i missed all the good (and not to mention cheap) food back home, i missed driving, i missed my best friend's wedding...

and i was particularly bummed when i couldn't think of anyone to ask along to the oliver! musical that's making its way here next month! am i really friendless here? none of the people i know here share the same passions for the things i like.  i get weird looks when i tell some people that i do horse riding, and i'd have so many friends who would go to the oliver! musicals with me if i'm back home.

so with my mood being so cloudy, i had half a mind of not showing up for my riding lesson after work yesterday. but then i thought about all the money that i've paid for my lessons and if i don't show up, the lesson would be burnt coz we can only cancel a lesson one day earlier.

but my mood changed when i arrived at the riding school, with the horses and riders, and just being outdoors. the weather nowadays is at around 28-ish deg C, so it's really a perfect time to be out of doors. anyway, i got a brown mid-sized stallion named bahrain yesterday, and he was a dream! i think he's new at the school, coz i've not ridden him before and all the trainers were paying close attention to his performance yesterday. he seemed a bit naughty at first. when i was standing next to him stroking his cheeks and neck while the groom was tightening up his girth and getting him ready, he kept trying to get his mouth near my hands. i gave him my upturned palm to show that it's empty, but he still tried to bite my gloves. even when i stepped away from his head and closer to his body, he'll keep turning his head around and trying to bite me. so i thought he's gonna be a problem but when i asked my trainer (i got a lady trainer yesterday), she said, "he's ok, unlike sebastian" (i fell off sebastian AGAIN last week! - i'm blacklisting him now).

anyway, once i've mounted bahrain, he's just so responsive and did all the things i wanted him to do effortlessly. and he's so easy to ride! i love him! but then disaster struck... we were going through our exercises and after a  fast and long canter, my trainer gave the cue for us to trot. i was just starting to rein bahrain in when suddenly one of his front hooves tripped on the sand! his head fell forward and as i was having a tight hold on the reins, he pulled me forward as well. i lost my balance, leaned forward onto his neck but couldn't hold on tight enough and sort of rolled off his neck onto the ground! argh!!!

it was not a really bad fall, nothing serious... just made me a little sore in the rump. i got right up, remount and continued on with the lesson.

after the lesson, as i was walking towards the metro station with a slight muscle sore, i was quite surprised when i realized that my spirits have lifted. i'm not moody anymore, but was actually smiling and feeling quite happy! weird, huh?

hmm... maybe it's the adrenalin rush that came from exercising and sweating out buckets, but i have the suspicion that it's also due to the muscle aches and pains that made me feel alive again. maybe this sensation reminded my subconscious that however numb we've become, we're still capable of feelings, both physically and mentally. then dunno why, suddenly a saying cropped into my mind: "we're all spiritual beings going through a human experience". so we should appreciate and enjoy this experience, the whole sweet, sour, bitter and spicy of it, an experience which only a human can go through.

maybe a bit of pain is not so bad after all! :)

Thursday, 1 March 2012

riding on the efforts of others…

warning: ranting post ahead!

the manipulator

this morning, ms. blackberry* came over and asked me to tune into the internet radio. at first i thought it was an instruction by her boss (the gm), coz we're recently running a radio ad campaign. so i thought the boss wants me to monitor the ad, and asked her to pass on the message. then she added, "it's so boring here. we should have some form of entertainment and music. leave it on, and i'll speak to boss about it."

at first i didn't really catch on that this was her own idea but luckily, i have my earphones semi-permanently attached to my cpu and i was lazy to reach down to unplug it. so i told her it can't be done and asked her to do it from her side. she went back to her desk, but no music came from her pc.

then i realized, "damn, it wasn't the boss's instruction. she just wanted to use me!" damn damn damn!!! if my earphones weren't connected to my cpu, i'd have bodoh-bodoh (malay: stupidly) played the radio and when gm walks pass, he'll think, "wah, this girl so free. enjoying life here." what the hell lah!

*nicknamed as such due to the fact that she's on her blackberry the whole day in the office, facebooking, sms-ing, messaging etc. there's even talk that it's stuck to her hands permanently, like a mutated growth or something!


the rider

my company has this staff benefit whereby we are allowed to claim our taxi fare to selected destinations such as a mall or beach park etc. of course, there are conditions but yeah, we have such benefits.

anyway, there's this colleague, yakking yvette, who somehow always refuse to submit for the transportation claims, due to certain reasons that i'm not convenient to divulge here. ok fine, if that's your stand. but then, she'll still happily tag along and benefit from the free transportation whenever we go to those selected destination. so it's ok if other people makes the claim, which benefits you, but it's not ok for you to submit the claim? how hypocrite is that?!


the body huggers

in the recent green campaign that took place in m'sia (and even the "cleaning" campaign of last year), i've noticed a category of people among my facebook friends. while most of my friends shared information, videos and links about the issue, some expressing their own opinions and anger on their status updates, take part in impromptu discussions, or even just simply changed their profile photos to show their support to the movement, there were some who decided that they don't want to have anything whatsoever to do with it.

in this time and age, it's impossible that they don't know anything at all about the issue. even if the mainstream media tried to mute it as much as possible, it's all over the internet, on online independent media and facebook. aren't they at least a tiny bit curious as to why is it that most of their friends' profile photos have suddenly taken on a greenish theme? of course everyone would know the significance of it, unless they've been in a coma for the past one year. hence we can safely rule out "ignorance" as the reason.

so why aren't some of them showing any form of acknowledgement to the campaign? don't they care about what is happening to our country? i'm sure they care, coz i know my friends are not cold-blooded people. maybe they feel that it's not happening in their city, hence it has nothing to do with them? or maybe they feel that it's a futile exercise, all these protesting and gathering. after all, it's been approved by the gov. what can we do, right? nothing's gonna change. or maybe they're just afraid? all these anti-this anti-that, what if the authorities decided to take action on those who support the cause? at least they won't be incriminated.

or maybe they think that there are so many others in the bandwagon already. so it's ok for them to berpeluk tubuh (malay: hug their own body - meaning have their arms crossed and not doing anything), coz one more supporter or one less supporter won't really make any difference. after all, i'm not good at talking, i can't express my views so well, i'm this and i'm that, bla bla bla all the excuses in the world... let the others who are more outspoken do all the work and hopefully they'll succeed. then it'll benefit everyone, including ME!

well, i know i can't force anyone to support anything that i believe in or am passionate about but it's really disheartening to see people who don't give a damn about anything. especially if it's something that will and does affect them and their families too! it's not like we're asking them to lead or start something. all these campaigns need are a show of support, even in the smallest gesture, just to let them know that they have our backing and that they're not alone.


the planters

there are some people who are very good planters... not of plants, but ideas. they'll try to plant a certain idea into you, and then sorta passed the responsibilities on to you to act on it while they take a seat back and let you do all the work.

once, 2 of my colleagues wanted to go for steamboat at a restaurant and asked me, sweet sheila and yakking yvette if we would like to join. we agreed but sweet sheila wondered aloud if it’s at the same restaurant that she went before. according to her, that restaurant’s steamboat is not nice at all!

upon reaching the building where the restaurant is, sweet sheila confirmed that it was really the same restaurant. so the whole way going up to the restaurant, which was situated at the upstairs terrace of the building, sweet sheila kept telling me how bad the food at the restaurant is. my 2 other colleagues were walking some distance in front of us, so sweet sheila kept trying to convince me to change venue. “trust me, the food there is really bad! it’ll be better if we go to the steamboat at “little lamb”. this restaurant caters mostly to filipinas. not our taste at all! really, you wouldn’t like it!”

she kept right on at it, buzzing non-stop at my ears, that finally i can’t take it anymore. i turned coolly to her and said, “if you want to propose a change of venue, say it out to everybody. stop buzzing around at my ears coz i’ll never open my mouth for you. first of all, it wasn’t me who suggested this place. we are just tagging along. secondly, i’ve not eaten at this place before. so don’t expect me to tell everyone that the food is not nice.” that shut her up nicely for the rest of the night…

another time, yakking yvette was telling me about her roommate's departmental outing and how much fun her roommate had. then she proceeded to sorta complain that our department never does such things and how nice it would be if we could have something like this.

now, if i don't know yakking yvette that well, i'd have jumped right into her trap and say, "let's plan something!" but i saw right through her ploy! if i'd have said that, then the task would definitely be placed upon my shoulders and i'd be the official organizer for the departmental outing.

if it were someone else, maybe i'd have very happily want to plan something TOGETHER. but now i've come to recognize the few "planters" here (through the hard way, unfortunately!), so my answer to their manipulation would be, "good idea! why not you plan one?", making sure to emphasize on the word YOU.

well, in my previous life (meaning life back home lar), i'd probably be very gung-ho in wanting to organize an outing or trip etc. anything the spells FUN! but that also would need to depend on for whom i'm organizing it for. which brings me to my last category of "riders" as per the title of this post...


the wait-and-seers

i really hate it when we put so much time and energy and effort into organizing something, only to be met with lukewarm or even cold responses. when we throw ideas around, everyone would be very excited but when the e-mail is sent out, no one would want to be the first to reply. everyone wants to wait and see what other people say. in the end no one will reply, which then makes us feel like we're just syiok sendiri (malay: excited/happy about something only you yourself is excited/happy about).

so nowadays, i'll refrain from organizing anything that involves a big group, unless i know the group is as gung-ho as me. luckily my makan group is always very responsive to foodie-outing proposals, so i don't mind doing that. besides, other members of the group are also always organizing stuff, it's not always organized by me.

for other stuff like shopping, outing or just going for dinner, normally i'll just throw the idea with my artist. if both of us are game for it, then we'll ask anyone who would like to join. if no one else wants to go, we'll just go by ourselves. easy peasy...

and if there's something i'd like to do for say, a celebration or event, i'd do it by myself instead of plan it with someone else and making a big deal out of it. that way, i do it on my own free will, in my own time and capacity, instead of having to wait for others. one good example was what i prepared for a few of my colleagues during valentine's day.


phew, ok. that was a long rant... but just getting things off my chest! :)