Please Help

There comes a time in life, when you think you should have really listened to what the teachers were teaching at school. I wish I didn’t dream about the knight in shining armour coming to rescue me, while my science teacher Mrs B rattled on.

In fact she used to tell me, the only career i could ever hope to take was to become a politician… You don’t really have to have knowledge to become a politician.. right?

Here is my problem.. I encouraged the kids to think and now dug my own grave. I can’t answer the questions they are asking me now. I tried luck.

Here are the latest questions

Why don’t the budgie lay eggs everyday like the hens?

If black colour absorbs heat, then why do the umbrella manufacturers still make black umbrella to be used to protect us from the sun?

We have gold fish and mollies.. one lay eggs and the other is live bearer.. why some fish lay eggs and others give birth?

please please help me find the answers… Kids already think, mama is a quack!!!!…

Things I learned as a jobless immigrant in Canada

1… Learmed to walk.

When I started driving petrol was $1.10/litre. It was so cheap that even when i wanted to buy a packet of noodles i drove my car.
At the mall, I knew the parking bay closest to the mall entrance, so I didn’t have to walk much from the car park to the mall. And if that bay already has a car, i will ronda ronda to see if there is another one closest to that is available.

Now, no car and i rely on foot mode transporation. Ofcourse i curse and swear some time( especially when it is raining and the wind is acting like it has some vengeance against me)…But still, I am walking. 6km a day dropping and fetching the kids from school.

2…Learned to count money
When i worked as a locum Dr, i earned $25/hour. that is a cool $200/day tax free. By the time I reach home, after my work, there won’t be much money in the handbag. My clinic was close to the toys R us.. and each day after work I went there and bought toys for the kids..Toys were probably an exchange for the guilt i felt leaving the kids at home. money, no toys..I take the kids to library.. we can borrow 35 books/person. We borrow video tapes from the library.

3… Learned to use secondhand stuff
In Malaysia, when a friend of mine said she only bought clothes from the pasar malam, i thought, gee, she is so stingy. I wasn’t much in to branded clothes, but still the kids had clothes from Sogo or from Jaya Jusco. They had shoes that matched their outfits.

Now… We look for secondhand clothes. We can do with a pair of shoes.

4… Learned that Mc Donalds and KFC can do without us

Most evenings when i fetched the kids from school, if they they are hungry, we would go to the KFC/Mcdonalds and have kids meal. yeah I know how unhealthy it was.. But still mama had money and the kids had fun

Now.. Fortuntely there aren’t as much KFC/Mac here and mama can’t afford it. So we said good bye to the fast food and hello to mama’s food. And i am not clogging up their arteries..
Part 2 tomorrow

Gender (in) equality

Having a son and 2 daughters I was determined that there would be gender equality at home. My dad never entered our kitchen. he expected a hot cup of coffee as soon as he reached home from work. His only job was to work and earn an income and sign our report cards. Mom did everything at home.
Now my kids and I shared all the household chores( ie the boy didn’t get any preferential treatment, just for his ‘xy’ chromosome!!). I was certain I am doing a good job, till this morning
This morning my son was cycling outside and he fell down and grazed his knee. He came to me crying and me first word of consolation was ” Gee boys don’t cry”..
There goes all the ideas about gender equalities..
years of Asian culture won’t cure me of my own gendier bias..

It is snowing

After the 28 days of rain from Dec to Jan, there were 2 weeks of sunshine in beginning of february. The trees were all having the purplish hues of new buds forming.. Dandelions were all over the ground. Blue jays were everywhere.
I thought it is time to pack the winter clothes away.. I washed, dried, sorted the clothes and gave away those that didn’t fit any more.. I was all ready to welcome the spring and now 2 weeks is snowing again!!!!!!!! and now I have to take all the winter clothes out of the suitcase..
I don’t understand the weather any more..


I never had to read the papers to know what are the latest movies running in cinemas. In fact I often managed to watch the movies even before it reached the Malaysian cinemas.. Some of them even before it was released in Hollywood.. Long shot?? Nehhhh.. Malaysian VCD pirates were a class of their own. They had a pretty good network..
I had a favourite VCD peddler in Bangsar pasar malam.. Even during the govt crack down against the pirated VCD industry, he still managed to get copies of the latest movies for me.
I am sure many would scoff at me for encouraging pirated movie industry. Well it is the safest, cheapest way I could ever watch a movie. If I go to the cinema, i need to find a child minder and it would cost me $20 and countless phone calls asking me”is the movie over yet mama to Joey spilled the milk to can we watch another cartoon…etc.. The ticket for the movie would be about $10, parking another $8..popcorn and drink another $ cost $43… Cost of one pirated vcd..$4.. and the bonus point..I can watch the movies that escaped the merciless clipping by the Malaysian censorship board.
Now in Vancouver… No luck lah… not a single pirated movie..Rented an old movie at rogers(VCR!!!!!!!!) and the deal was 2 for $9 and with the gst and pst and blah blah came to abt $9.45.. and i had to retrun them in 2 days…
I miss my Malaysia.. the land of ironies

How low can you sink

One Singapore life destroyed = money making venture..
Her mistake, shooting the video of what she did in private with her boyfriend
(apparently her handphone was stollen and the images reached the world wide web).. The rest is on ebay and porn sites..
Not one thinks about the girl whose privacy is invaded.. We the champions of human morality can sink so low and destroy a woman’s life. Not enough that her pictures are all over the net, her college is suspending her too.. The question is why?
Why should she be suspended for her morality. Those who haven’t sinned should cast the first stone.
To the college administrator, I ask a single question.. Why should the girl be suspended from the college? Is premarital sex a crime? If yes, who decided that it should be.. Who decides that she shouldn’t gain education? Isn’t it the time that the girl be given the support she needs? Why should you punish her and not punish the thousands who have downloaded the video?
To the girl who is going through probably the worst nightmare…I tell you what my grandmother told me every time my life overwhelmed me…..”this too shall pass”.. and may you have the courage to walk through this.

if you talk to animals

Chief Dan George once said
“If you talk to animals, they will talk with you, and you will know each other,
If you do not talk to them, you will not know them, and what you don’t know, you will fear.
What one fears one destroys….
It is one of the truest saying i have ever known. I don’t particulary know about talking to animals.. But I do know how we try to destroy things because we fear them..
We create rules to prevent things that are against our norms, hoping that the rules would destroy what we fear.. ‘the abnormalities’..
Isn’t our homophobia created out of fear? When a man loves another man, we are afraid, because we don’t normally do the same. Then we create rules to destroy that. We bring religion to justify our action.
Countless homosexuals are forced to keep their feelings to themself, lest the society would judge them..
Native Indians had one simple rule. Live and let live.. But we the champions of civil rights and personal liberty can’t even accord that basic right to live the the life of their choice to homosexual people..all because they chose the same sex partners?
We fear them and we want to destroy them.. and we call ourselves civilized?

Is being homosexual abnormal?

My favourite blogger rojaks blogged about homosexuality. his contention is they are abnormal. Are they?
If someone is born with ambiguous genitalia, they are abnormal.. that is to compare to what is normal. But what is normal?
Every human being is conceived the same way.. male sperm meets female ovum and fertilization begins.. Many chemical reaction happens afterwards and the formation of “normal” human being.. Some are then born differently..And we call them abnormal in relation to those that are commonly born as normal.
However, there are zealots who claim that being born abnormal isn’t an issue, but practicing deviant sexual behaviour against the ‘normal’ way is wrong.
Aren’t we forcing our value system on group of people conceived the same way, born the same way, yet different, and insisting that they follow the rules of the majority and live their life according to the norms dictated by the society.
Most bring religion to the fore. If sodom and gomerah happend, then why did the creator continuing to create people with ambiguous genitalia?
Actually when i asked the same question at the rojacks blog, an anonymous blogger accused me that i am questioning god, that religion never gives answers, that we should find answers in ourself. I can’t find the answers. All I find is rules and rules. That homosexuality is a major crime.. Yet there is no explantion to people born with ambiguous genitalia.
Homosexuals are normal people. They have the same genetic makeup like the rest of the population. Just because they practise a different sexual behaviour they wouldn’t become abnormal. It is us who have a problem.. because we have tunnel vision and can’t really accept anything outside the perimeter… It is us who need to change. It is us who need to look beyond religion and see the answers. Would heaven be denied to someone who practice different sexual behaviour but otherwise lead a fruitful life? If yes, then is god merciful and kindful?

mother tongue

Today is the international day for celebrating mother tongue and in my case culmination of years of searching for the origin of a single word.
My grandmother used to call red onion( bawang merah)”sabolah”. I could never figure it out. How in the world she came to calling it sabolah… bolah is round in Malay, but not one person I knew called onion, sabolah.
I have been searching for that word for ages and few days ago I borrowed a latin recipe books from the library. Some where in the middle there is a small article about the names latin Americans have for their onions. Cebolla is the name for ordinary onions…and my grandmother, who has never been to any part of latin America called the onions sabolah..Amazing
Thinking about mother tongue.. What would my children choose as their mother tongue? I speak 11 languages..and we speak english at home, which is neither my mother tongue, nor theirs.
I was reading about the native Indians, who were taken from their homes and put in residential schools to enable them to be like the white man. White man thought by making people speak and act like them, they would be useful to the society.The choice of punishment for speaking native language at these residential schools were washing the mouth with soap.
In east Malaysia, they still don’t teach kadazan and dusun at school.( especially for Sabahans)
In Malaysia, malay is given more priority over mother tongue of the rest of the population. Some how there is a notion that by making people speak the same language, there is cohesion of cultures and uniformity. Was it also, because majority think they have the right to force their language on to the disadvantaged? like the white man did to the native indians?, like the malaysian government doing to the East Malaysians?
I am not sure why I chose English considering the fact that I only had 2 years of english education before going to medical school.. probably because it was easier, and there were lots more books in english to read.
On this day that we should celebrate our cultural identity, I am confused…What exactly would make a language mother tongue?? What cultural identity can i give my kids? They are Malaysians, but unwanted by the Malaysian government,( wanted very much if they become Abdullah). They are in Canada, because their mother chose to. Even if they change their passport one day, would they become More Canadian and less Malaysian? Would they ever enjoy Durian or walk away pinching their nose?
What is a Canadian? There is no answer to it. There is nothing that one can pin point that would make a Canadian. Not even a national dish..
We have crossed the oceans and left our cultural identity behind and now I don’t even have a mother tongue to teach my kids.. They have a world to conquer, yet no identity.. and i have failed miserably to keep the cultural flame alive..

fear and religion

Everyone has a right to live..right to follow the religion of their choice. However that right is sometimes becomes the right to oppress, and eventually it becomes the rule by fear.
In Malaysia, a muslim will never be able to leave islam, even if he/she wants to.
They must follow the fasting month religiously, we have enforcement officers who check on the people who eat during the fasting month. They can arrest and fine not only the person who is eating, they can also cancel the license of the eatery that sold the food to a muslim, during the fasting hours.
A newspaper that published the offending cartoon of Prophet Muhammed is banned for life.( never mind that it was published under the title that”not much effect in Malaysia” regarding the controversy, though it is an islamic country)
A muslim girl in Malaysia will never be able to attend a beauty pagent…This is even if she has no problem doing the swim suit part of the pagent, the idiots who makes the rule think otherwise.
The same girl can’t go out for a date with her boyfriend, unless she brings another female, or else she will be arrested for “close proximity”
Once she is married she may then live under the fear that any day her husband can take another wife.
We have religious leaders who encourage beautiful women to stay home, since they can always lure rich husbands anyway.
Same leaders also fine muslim women who don’t wear the tudong.
I am glad I wasn’t born in to a bumi family. I could choose to live my life the way I want. I could go to a buddhist temple or a hindu temple. I could choose to go to a church. I could enter MV Doulos the floating ship( muslims in Malaysia are forbidden to visit the ship, because doulos sell christian literature).I could study any religion i wanted to, read any religious books i wanted to, without being banned for life under blasphemy. I could go out on date without taking my pain in the butt sisters. I could marry knowing very well that another wife is goodbye at the courts.

Religion is meant to show the truth and the way.. was it ever meant to suppress and rule by fear? would heaven close the door on me for the way I dress, for my belief?.
Years ago while doing my rural posting in a village far away from civilization I met a christian missionary, who told me, Jesus is the only way to heaven. Then I asked her, what would happen to those who don’t beleive in Jesus, she said they wouldn’t go to heaven. She was pretty sure that heavenly gate only opened to those who followed Jesus. Yet she couldn’t answer, what happend to those who lived before Jesus was born, those who lead a ‘pure’ life,but don’t beleive in jesus? Do they not go to heaven? She couldn’t answer.
Then I asked her who Cain married, If Adam and Eve were the first people, and Cain their first born, when Cain was banished from the eden, who did Cain marry? Were there other people as well?
Would Dalai Lama go to heaven? If he doesn’t, then perhaps heaven is nothing but an illusion, created to bring fear to the people. Fear to suppress. We would be free, the day religion frees us.. The day we live because we want to and choose our options wisely. Until then we kill in the name of religion.. and then pray for redemption..