Sunday, December 14, 2014

Paint your gift of love this Christmas with Poesy Liang

It's the season to be jolly!

I can't say enough how much Christmas reminds me of love, friendship & family. December also reminds me of birthdays ( my mom & brother's ) & happy holidays..I used to joke with family and friends alike that it is always the month that I will end up spending the most, buying gifts & splurging on holidays for my loved ones.

This year, my girlfriend Poesy gave me a wonderful gift of love this Christmas. A private lesson & a little sneak peak into her world of arts. It was a joy seeing her in action and at the same time sitting next to her in the gallery, creating my very own interpretation of art. She has just started a new exhibition & came up with this brilliant idea recently on providing a one off mentorship program for anyone who is interested to learn something new as well as an opportunity to come up with a meaningful & unique gift from the heart. Here in lies another creative way to say thank you, I love you and that I think of you often. Spend a few hours with Poesy & let your imagination flow. Trust me, you won't regret this investment. In fact, you'll have a jolly good time!

You may contact her at the number below to book your own appointment for either a view of her many beautiful works of art or for the one off mentorship program. Poesy is aware that not everyone is able to afford her paintings hence that is why she has decided on this lovely idea of guiding us step by step, to create our very own little miracles. If you can spare 3 hours or so of your time for this, I assure you that you'll leave with not only the end product but also a higher dose of self confidence & awareness not to mention, a healthy appetite of wanting to be more inspired from within. If I may say so myself, it can really be addictive.

So please, do contact Poesy Liang at the number above or leave her a message if you'd like to see her in action as well as check out her creations. Plenty of stuff to admire. She'll give you a personal tour and explain the story behind each of her paintings. On the other hand, the one off mentorship program costs only RM 500. It comes with a set of utensils that you will be able to bring home with you for future creations.

I went off to visit her one evening with a vision of love in mind. I was in the mood to create something adorable for Christmas & so we agreed on the Gingerbread couple. It was a spur of the moment decision, one that I am always known for. A little bit anxious at the beginning but I got into the groove once my heart & mind took me away.

So, I first started with a sketch, then I chose my colour scheme & theme..Slowly but surely, it started to take shape. Along the way, like a dutiful student, I will walk up to my teacher & ask for pointers.

There are times when I'd freak out & she'd smile. My mistakes on the canvas were no big deal to her. In a second, she taught me how to rectify it. It was a combination of nerve's wrecking & moments of being enlightened! In short, amazingly fun!

While I was busy concentrating away, she continued with her work. Multi tasking in between whenever I needed a helping hand. She kept on reminding me to drink & have a bite at her chocolate cake but I was so engrossed at what I was doing that I didn't even feel hungry or thirsty. Now I understand how artists feel when they are in the zone. It is like getting your hands on an interesting book that you can't afford to put down, not until you have read all the way till the end. She is indeed blessed with many delightful talents!

That few hours together, working on our own piece, made me feel truly connected with her. It was very kind of her to have included me in her world. I really got to enjoy myself much. Time went by so fast that I was a little bit sad when we had to call it a night.

The painting below is my favourite of her Cupcake Cat Series. You might have a different favourite. Do come visit & see for yourselves.

Poesy's strength lies in her steady strokes & lines. You can see it especially on the Rooftop Cat Series. It took her years to be good at what she does. How lovely it is to have the know how & capabilities of creating beauty out of nothing at all.

I used a Sharpie instead of a brush for the outlines as I was afraid of messing it further. Even then it took some effort to have a steady hand. No wonder art does not come cheap! It really is a labor of love.

The RM 500 art mentorship comes with these useful items. She'll provide you with a 1 feet square canvas board, 24 colours, 15 brushes & a palette. Below is the colour wheel included for your future reference too.

I am glad I jumped at the idea of wanting to do this. My fingers are itching to paint something new now. It is amazing how theraupeutic I felt brushing the strokes onto the canvas. Best of all, it is the company and the people that I am surrounded by that makes me feel like I am on top of the world & that I am capable of far more than I give myself credit for.

Thank you Poesy for caring & sharing your passion with me. May you continue to shower us with your blessings ♥

Merry Christmas Everyone & A Happy New Year! It has indeed been a wonderful December for me so far. Looking forward to many more pleasant days ahead.

Oh! By the way, that's Harry Putter, her pet cat ( I adore that little fellow ) with Kelly Siew, one of Poesy's close friend. Kelly chose to paint her passion for music as a Christmas gift to herself this year. How apt! Love the colours..

Poesy's a natural born teacher. She has the skill, dedication and plenty of heart in ensuring that others are left enriched by her presence. Before I sign off, here's a lovely picture of Ryan sketching a giraffe while she gently encourages him on. I am a happy mummy. Praise the Lord for our very own Living Angels :)

Saturday, August 2, 2014

When you throw dirt, you lose ground.

It's been a long time since I have had the urge to write. My experience with MH 370 as a Caregiver has made me stop, look around and think, about what matters most in life. It has also made me so sad  for I did not know how to make things better. I could not understand how some was unwilling to bounce back or accept God's will, neither could I free myself from the self expectations that I had single-handedly taken on, to heal the wounded.

So heartbroken was I to the extend that at one stage, I lost my love for writing. During the worst of times, I held myself together for I knew that if I were to ever break down, I am as good as useless to the ones that depended on me for assistance. Some were mean but I knew I can be better. It is a natural survival reflects to either lash out or withdraw into one's own cave. I am good at being detached and this incident and the pain that came with it, was however, too strong for me to ignore. Too many lives lost, too little explanation to be of comfort or even to appease the fallen. The more I cared for the living, the harder it became to not feel powerless.

The only thing that kept me going was my purpose in life and that is to spread love, joy and laughter wherever I go. No amount of training or setbacks from my own experiences of life's failures, can actually prepare me enough, to accept or understand how someone else will deal with their own tragedies. It is only when I let go and trust God that He knows exactly what He's doing that I am able to feel consoled. I cannot speak for others but I have never been shy to share what I have observed in life.

Everyone experiences pain and heartaches. Some have to deal with it publicly, others don't. Either way, it is there for you to face it, whether you like it or not. You can't just push it under the rug. It will start to stink.You got to do the dirty work. Sweat a little bit or a lot depending on whether it is dust, grime, slime, soot or smut. Faeces, dung, manure or ordure. Name it whatever you want. Nobody is spared. No special treatment given. No fast track through it. Nothing money can buy. Plain old gut wrenching, knife piercing stab, that gives you non stop migraines, instantly takes away your appetite, happily robs you of your sleep, kills your joy for living as well as the living and questions your faith in all things good. The dis ease runs through your veins and screams tears of sadness throughout your entire soul. Depression is indeed a selfish bastard. A soul sucking friend that I'd rather choose to stay away from.

When MH17 hit us a couple of weeks ago, no words can truly describe how I felt. Of course as a Caregiver once again, I am back right smack in the heat of the moment. Not easy I say. Surprisingly, this time around I feel the need to write, to express and to explain how I feel about anything and everything. Too many lies, manipulations and one sided tales that has inspired me to share my true experiences all over again. My biggest worry of the moment is undeniably the fact that I might along the way, rub someone else's shoulders the wrong way and that, will be painfully disappointing for me. As it is, we have all yet to heal. Therefore, I shall thread with caution.

I did want to write the story of our Caregivers but I have come to realise that in the course of telling my stories, there will always be two sides to it. The big hearted MH staff across the board and the grieving next of kin's around the world. No matter how if I am to angle the stories, it will never be able to bring back any of the lost loved ones. I can't bring myself to feel like a hero when doing what I did is after all a natural instinct based on love and compassion, one that I can only wish others might extend towards my own loved ones someday. I am sure, a majority of us who are helping feels the exact same way. It is amazing to see how different people deal with pain or how they treat others when in pain and I am truly humbled by the lessons learnt.

I would also like to take this opportunity to let my fellow Caregivers and MH staff working everywhere at present know, whether you are from WELKINS or other organizations that I have failed to mention here, within the company or out of it, of how much I am extremely aware of all the good that you have done and thank you for being there when you are needed most. A wonderful shout out also to all the lovely Tzu Chi members that I have had the opportunity to work with, the hardworking staff of all the hotels that had welcomed us with open arms, during my stint with MH370 and MH17. May God repay you what no human can and may we continue to pray, for the lost souls on board as well as for the ones left behind, for life will never be the same again for them or any of us. Take heart and do know that there are many living angels walking by your side currently and that you too, are my very own special angels.

I have since started my flying duties and every day I am once again reminded of how strong the human spirit is and how gracious the human heart can be. For each smile that I have received and each word of comfort spoken or support given by all of you out there and inflight towards us and for us, it has given a greater meaning to my existence. Now more than ever, I am happy to have been of service.

When it is my turn to leave this world, I'd like my family to always remember what I have stood for all these years. Never ever argue over money or hurt anyone else, in the process of wanting to fight for my rights. I have never complained, so please don't start, on my behalf. Look at the bigger picture, trust in what the Universe has in store for you and know that we are all ONE. Walk away from the pain. Stop hating. Love and love alike. Oh ya! Please don't forget to plant a tree or two for me :)

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

I am MH, MH is me. My tribute to MH 0370 and the ones who love them.

" It has been nearly two weeks since the shocking news. I remember being in class, getting ready for my Power Point presentation when all of a sudden, I had a code RED. This particular code is only meant for an airline disaster. I was trained especially to handle such a scenario and that is why I got the call. My phone messages were coming in non stop and I knew that this was the real deal. There were also a few missed calls from friends as well.

What came next was unimaginable. Yes, I have been trained to be prepared for such a day, but I did not expect to ever experience it in my lifetime. The first message I received was, "EMERGENCY NOTIFICATION - CODE RED! Caregivers please report at FFRC Level 5 KLIA before 1230hrs today for deployment to Beijing on relief flight. " I froze in my tracks! From being worried about acing my presentation, I am now no longer even thinking about it. What? Whose? When? How? Why? I didn't know what to do. Do I ignore and carry on like as if nothing had happened or do I jump straight into action?

I obviously chose the latter and here I am today, sitting at a corner, by the sofa, trying to make sense out of nothing at all. It's been 10 whole days since I have had any sleep. I have only spent a total of God knows how little time with my family. Even when I was at home, my mind was on the search and the well being of the next of kins. I don't even know why I am doing what I am doing anymore. I have four assignments due and it is actually only my first semester. I was so excited at the start of Uni for I really wanted to score well. Everything has changed since. Nothing is more important than what these family members are currently going through and nothing is far worse than not knowing the fate of their loved ones. "

I wrote the above for an entry in my blog last month but after a while, I was lost for words. Where do I begin? How do I end it? The whole experience is just too overwhelming. No words could express how I was really feeling back then, neither can I do much justice to it now. It will be a long time before I can get any closure if there is any at all.

I love flying. By now, I am sure many knows that about me. I am a people person and I love to travel much. I look forward to eating local delicacies, experiencing new cultures and being one with the natives. My crew members are my family away from home. They keep me grounded. They remind me of my roots. Where ever I go or where ever I am, I have a place to come home to. A family that will always welcome me. Until and unless you have been a crew, you'll never be able to understand what it is like to belong in a dynamic group such as ours. We meet as strangers, we travel as families and we leave after each flight as friends. Do you know how wonderful it is to be able to eat Malaysian food prepared together in a country as far away as Argentina, that has never heard of dishes such as " Nasi Bario, Ikan terubuk masin, Ulam & Sambal Belacan " ? After nearly two weeks away from home, on a 21 days trip, that is heaven on earth!

When you are sick, there is always someone to keep an eye on you. When you need a shoulder to cry on, there are plenty around to offer their assistance. When I lost my first baby and when I had my first TPE/LAX/NRT trip after that, I received plenty of love and support from my fellow colleagues. When I was on my DXB/BEY trip and just had gone through my divorce years later, it was the same MH family who dragged me out each day to shop along Naif Road, eventhough I was a walking and talking zombie and fed me briyanis and mango juices each day and night, to keep me alive and to distract me from doing something stupid. On certain long haul trips, we ate together, shop and bargain together, travel together, experience new stuff together and even bunked in together. Hence, the word "Jom kita pergi ( ) together-gether" became one of our favourite phrases of all times. Airplanes are where we spend most of our days and nights on and walking in and out of airports, travelling in suitcases have been our way of life for donkey years, so much so, that whomever leaves the Airlines, will eventually miss the lifestyle someday.

Birthdays are celebrated mostly with each other and same goes with festivals and personal joys such as when your child excels in school, when knowing that one is pregnant or has now become a father. We are also the first person to console each other if we were to receive bad news while we are far away from home such as when a death in the family or loved ones occur.

Today, my son turned 7 and as I think about the rest of you who have lost your loved ones on board, I can't help but feel sad and frustrated. You will never know how hard it is for me to accept all this gracefully or with an opened mind or a detached heart. I too have survivor's guilt for it could have been me that was operating the flight that night. I have "family members" who are lost too now. I have flown with each and everyone of them over the years. I just can't remember to where. I have shared transport home with some of them. I even shared my joy of climbing mountains, diving and furthering my studies on the way home with Andrew Nari a few days before the incident. 

We all grew up together, through blood, sweat and tears in this company. The operating crew are all mostly mommies and daddies now. Breadwinners of their families. No one really enjoys leaving their loved ones behind. After a while, the only reason we do what we do, is because it puts food on the table, clothes on our backs and a roof under all our heads. Our biggest asset for our children is the gift of travel. A fast track to the world at large. The downside is, we are mostly not there when it really matters.

Rest assured, that no matter how far we are away from you, how much we miss you or how lonely it can get being away from you, YOU have always been the reason that we wake up each day, at crazy odd hours, in different time zones and various hotels around the world, to put on our make up and don our uniforms and it is also because of our love for YOU, that has given us the strength to live each day to the best of our abilities, the same reason that our eyes can twinkle when we greet others, that our smiles.. flows naturally from our warm hearts, for if it is not for you.. none of this would have been possible. On behalf of my fellow crew members and especially the ones of MH 370, thank you for loving us the way you do.

 I might not have known any of the passengers that boarded the ill fated flight that night, but I now know your loved ones and how much love they have for you. From the outside looking in, there is nothing much left to say or prove. YOU are indeed a beautiful soul.

As the days go by and as the world continues to pray, hope and move forward, I will forever remember the love and the pain that have been shared throughout these trying times. My only consolation is, the lessons that I have learnt thus far. If your Next Of Kins that I have had the honour of getting to know, love and provide assistance for, can put their faith in God and each other, so shall I.

p/s - I plan to share stories about the amazing MH Caregivers someday :)

Tuesday, March 4, 2014

A Tale As Old As Time

It has been quite some time now since I have last blogged. Going back to school has brought me out of my comfort zone and made me aware of my insecurities all over again. I feel like the lost kid in high school at the moment. The difference is, I am way older and my responsibilities are far greater than just wanting to score results. I am flying from one end of the world to another, earning a living, whilst in between, trying to be a mother to my son and at the same time, squeezing as much juice as I can get, out my brain cells! My mind's all over the place, my heart isn't where it should be and I haven't been able to reflect.

It was when I was waiting for my transport home last night, that a workmate of mine, stopped by to greet me and mentioned that she enjoys reading my blogs and was wondering whether I'll be writing the next one soon. When I asked her why does she like reading my blogs, her reply was that, I am every woman. I write from my heart and she can relate to that. It is also more comforting for she knows me, the woman behind the thoughts.

Today I'd like to talk about how hard it is being me. The daughter, the mother, the employee, the leader, the friend, the lover..The woman.

I am all that and more. What if I don't have to be afraid. Afraid of what others might think of me. Afraid of not being able to live up to your expectations. Afraid of being a failure. Afraid of hurting another. Afraid of being selfish. Afraid of wanting what is not mine. Afraid of losing myself in the process of being afraid of AFRAID.

I have been told on numerous occasions by frustrated suitors and friends alike, on how some stupid principles of mine, have gotten me to where I am today. ( I don't date married men or younger guys ). Married men flaunt their wealth at me. Younger men tempt me with everything youthful and fun. I turned each offer and every individual down. Instead I'd love freely for love and love alone..and that is something not many understands about me. That however, does not help pay my rent nor does it feed my child. Nevertheless, if you win my heart, whatever the circumstances, I'd love you with all I have got!

I remember how some of my own family members used to joke telling me when I was way younger and in demand that I should open my handbag before I decide to open my legs for others. Those days, I'd smile and dismiss it. Nowadays, I can understand the rationality behind it. Some colleagues at work even had the balls to tell me straight to my face to stop dreaming big. After all, I am considered used goods with excess baggage. It is about time I land my feet on the ground. Some sweet young girls even told me innocently, to not be competition. I can't help but feel for them.

Nothing is ever what it seems neither are people who they portray themselves to be. Just like you, I am searching for my one true love. Just like you, it is ever elusive. Just like you, I continue to bleed and just like you, I am trying to be true to who I am. In the process, there are days that I feel like a hypocrite.

Who am I anyway? I am Jasmin. A dynamic being that evolves with time and yet worries about whether I am worthy of me. What I believed yesterday might not be who I am today and that terrifies me. It makes me feel weak when I should be strong. As I grow older and see the world for what it really is, I am starting to lose my "innocence" day by day. Deep down, I know that I am fighting a losing battle.

The video below is a testament to one of the sweetest miracle I have ever experienced in my lifetime. No strings attached. No expectations demanded. Only love and generosity throughout. Two good friends, a guy named Ravi Karupiah whom together with his wife Irene Tham, sponsored my trip, last October to Annapurna Base Camp and Casey Ngo, a fellow mountain climber friend of ours, who loaned me all her equipment and climbing apparels, so that I'll be kept warm and prepared for any eventualities. Dreams do and can come true, thanks to my fellow brothers and sisters. All is not lost after all. Everything is taken away from you for a reason and all will be handed back to you eventually, when the time is right in whichever manner and when you need it most. No matter what you do, LIVE your life and love YOU :)

Monday, February 10, 2014

Are you " High Performance " or " High Potential " ?

                                                                  Trust the process ♥

I am prompt to write this, because of an incident that has just happened yesterday with regards to a dear subordinate of mine, whose contract has not been renewed due to medical reasons. It reminded me of my own frustrations once too many a time over the years, when it comes to not being recognized for the work that I am doing.

Where did I go wrong? I wonder. It took me years to finally learn how to accept personal responsibility and to understand the rhythm of my own company and how things work. It is a long process that starts with being accountable for your own actions or inactions and ends with a question. How much am I willing to lose to gain?

I would like to believe and deep down I know that I am a dedicated worker who treasures and appreciates her job much. However, I wasn't one who wanted more than I already have and that is when things went downhill. I became dispensable and was only part of a statistic. ( Lesson #1 )

My first blow was when I received my very own termination of contract letter on the 5th year. I was shocked beyond words to know that I am not needed. More than shocked, I was upset and equally angry. After all the hard work, tons of complimentary letters, near perfect performance reviews, the undying loyalty, the blood, sweat and tears, they wanted me out. All because of a 2 weeks long medical leave, due to an injury that I sustained in Japan a few months before contract was due to end. ( I was shopping in Narita, unaware and in my own dream world, when two little boys came scuttling down the escalator and sent me straight down to the depths of despair ). It didn't even matter that for the first 4 1/2 years, I had not taken a single sick leave. I had no one to blame but myself for not seeing it coming.

I decided to appeal, did what was necessary, put my ego aside and instead of lashing out, I sucked it all in and let the anger go. After all, it is a big organization with thousands of workers. Plenty of hiccups and losing oneself in translation. No one up there knows who I am or what I am good at. ( Lesson # 2 ) ~ It was my own fault to have not shown the right people my worth or how far that I am willing to grow with them.

Needless to say, after saying what I had to say when I was given the chance to say it, in front of the right people, my contract was ultimately renewed and I received my spot as a permanent crew. Instead of harbouring ill feelings or taking things lightly, I cherished my job more to the extend that it has now become a way of life. The rule of thumb is, you cannot expect others to invest in you, if you do not, first invest in yourself.

My ( Lesson #3 ) came at the worst timing. When I experienced a failed pregnancy, a week after the loss, I was required to start back online. After unsuccessfully trying to worm my way through it, ( short of manpower and the fact that if a pregnancy is less than 7 months, I wasn't entitle to receive the post delivery leave that would have been ideal for my recovery ), I operated a long trip to LAX and got myself into a bout of depression and a jelly of a womb. I didn't know my rights neither was I aware of my alternatives. It would have helped a great deal had I known people from other departments who might have been able to offer me a word of advise or expertise in handling situations that I am not good at or did not expect.

When I became a Supervisor 9 years ago, my biggest and most challenging task up to date, is to motivate others to give their best during the worst of times. Taking up the post and being in lower management currently, gave me the opportunity to play a few roles that I enjoy performing. As a figurehead on board, a leader, a spokesperson, a liaison officer, a negotiator and an initiator. Technical, conceptual and interpersonal skills came into the picture. It opened up a whole new world for me, to test my potential. I brought it onto myself that no matter what happens to or with the company, I shall do what's necessary to utilize the resources that I have while at the same time, ensuring that the objectives of the company is met without having to sacrifice any joy out of it. You got to love what you do and when you do something out of love, you'll do it whole heartedly.

The only way I can stay positive and current is to continue upgrading myself. Have a mentor or two. To increase your marketability, you got to specialise in something or be so ordinary that you can do what others would never dream of doing. At the same time, keep family members and friends close to you. Spend time with chickens, cluck like them. Fly with the eagles and you will soar like one! Do not expect others to give you a sense of fulfilment neither are you entitled to anything. You reap what you sow. It is as simple as that. There will always be more lessons to learn. The difference is, how you react to it.

The fear of losing my job is lesser now, for I know that I am able to adapt and learn new things if there is a need for it. It is my good health that I am more concerned in maintaining. Expanding one's network out of your own working environment is a great way of getting support, exchanging ideas and gaining knowledge. You got to find your passion and purpose. The only way to do that, is to know who you are and what you want. To be at the top takes great effort and lots of sacrifices. If you are not willing to do that, stay where you are. Where I am at, it is the survival of the fittest.

Monday, February 3, 2014

All I Want For Christmas, Is My Two Front Teeth ♥

Here is a story of one of the sweetest and kindest lady I know, Safia Atira Bakar. An adorable soul with a smile that lights up her entire face and settles automatically in that twinkle in her eyes.

You see a picture of a girl. I see true beauty from within. It is, in the caring that she lovingly gives. It is the passion that she knows. It is also the beginning of a never ending end. It is the woman that she has become :)

She joined the airlines a few years back and I have known her ever since. The eldest daughter of a pilot, with a number of siblings. It was love at first flight. She's definitely a fun individual to spend time with! We have had some very memorable trips together. A night in Maldives last year, was one of them. She volunteered to be our tour guide cum camera woman back then. At that moment in time, she was taking up photography as a hobby. Before that, she studied make up during her free time. Lucky are those that gets to spend time learning new tricks with her, for she is a generous person. She calls us her guinea pigs. I however think, that we were mostly, a pampered and chosen lot.

                                                                Safia, the big sista'

Speaking of Maldives, we had so much fun and the pictures taken of us, were indeed impressive. I felt beautiful posing through her lenses and I am sure, the effect was just as good for the rest of us who were with her that day.

                                                                      Male ~ 2013

I have always liked her for her vivacious personality. Having flown with her again a few days back, made my day. Since I have not been on Facebook for quite some time, there's plenty to share. My telling her about how excited I am to finally continue my studies was one of them, that out of the blue, Safia told me what a nightmare she had had to endure, during her schooling days.

                                                             High School High!

Amazingly, had she not shared one of her deepest and darkest moments with me, I would not have guessed it, in a million years. Such a vibrant lass like her could not have been a glum and unhappy child. Now that she is ready to open up, I thank her for putting her trust in me and in return, I shall be the vessel that tells you the the story of our very own little duckling, that has turned into a beautiful swan ♥

Safia and some of her family members. It took her many years to finally believe that black is beautiful too ♥

Safia's world turned upside down, at a tender little age of 9. It all happened on a beautiful sunny day, when her mom, aunty and siblings decided to go for a picnic at Sungai Congkak. Everyone was excited and as soon as they arrived at their destination, being the adventurous little girl that she is, Safia headed straight to a big protruding rock by the river and attempted to climb it. Before her mother could even lay out the picnic mat, there was a loud thud and the next thing you know, instead of having a fun outing, all of them were immediately transported into the car again and had an eventful day at the Doctor's instead.

                                                                 Safia in braces at 15 

On that fateful day, she broke her two permanent front teeth! There was no way that they could have saved it, neither was it plausible for them to immediately fix it back to normal as the rest of her teeth, were a mixture of some milk and some fully erupted permanent teeth, thus they had to wait. For nearly 6 years, she was a subject of ridicule. " Buruk tak akak? " was the first question she asked her mom, knowing that her teeth were now different from others and it took her a very long time to accept otherwise. Life was a misery for her. In primary school, it wasn't that bad as she had another guy friend with a similar problem. So, they had each other to console and empathize with. The difference is, boys are not that bothered about their looks.

                                                              Best friends forever :)

High school was a different story. Not only was she ostracized, but also bullied and shunned. Guys spat at her, called her names, hid her shoes whenever she visits the library and girls were horribly mean to her in more ways than one. She ended up being friends with the outcasts. Nerds, geeks and other lonely and wild souls became her confidant. She grew up an awkward child. One who seeks attention in the wrong way. She behaves like a boy, slapping and smacking them to fit in. ( It was only when she started flying as a stewardess that she experience an Ah Ha moment when one of her male batchmates told her off and asked her straight to her face, " Engkau lelaki atau perempuan? " ) That was when she decided to change. From mannerisms right up to the way she dresses, prefering skirts to her love of shorts and pants.

At school, she was angry and defensive all the time. She walked with a scowl and a hunch to cover her face and her body. Her mom used to buy her bright, shiny and lovely clothes to try and make her feel more secure about herself but it backfired. She would get more upset instead. When she refused to wear it and her mom finally gives it to her other sisters, she grew nasty and envious of their beauty. Being mean to her siblings was an attempt to lash out. They suffered the brunt of it. she would cut their hair without their consent, put shampoo onto their head in the middle of the night and say painful words to hurt their feelings. It went on for years and even her studies was affected by all of it. However, the good news is, school was also where she found out the real meaning of true friends ♥

                                                A friend in need is a friend indeed...

Underneath all that, was a little girl who wanted love and acceptance most of all, and when she didn't get what she wanted, she changed her ways by pleasing others instead. She started doing their home works for them, covered their mistakes and took the blame for them, bought stuff and waited hand and foot to buy friendships. It worked for a while. Others let her into their circle but it wasn't long before she realized that she was being used for all the wrong reasons. That made her more furious. She became bitter inside.

                                         A work in progress, a friend  for the long haul

Her family nevertheless, did not give up on her. Once all her other teeth had grown in place, they brought her to the dentist for a transformation. Fillings were done and braces were put in. That was when her confidence came back little by little and her smile opened up wider day by day. Her mom got her uncle who works at a modelling agency to get her into a modelling school to change her posture and gait. She learned how to groom herself better, the models were like big sisters to her and slowly but surely, her past became just her past. She did a few magazine shots, catwalked at some important VIP events and joined the airlines to see the world. Since then, she hasn't looked back. Best part of all, all those who used to laugh at her, are now wanting to be friends with her and the silly guys that were awful towards her are now trying their best to woo her!

Happy New Year, Happy New You!
Safia's latest look ~ 2014

Oh! Did I mention that she loves sports too? I had great fun watching her compete a couple of years back & I loved the fact that her siblings were all there as well, to be her #1 cheerleaders :)

    2012 MH Athletics Meet, Stadium Kelana Jaya. Safia, the contestant and medal winner :)

** How weird life is. I have learned a long time ago to never look down on people, ever.. for you'll never know, whose ass you might have to wipe, someday! And ain't that the painful truth :)

" No matter how plain a woman may be, if truth and honesty are written across her face, she will be beautiful. " Eleanor Roosevelt

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

You Jump, I Jump, Right?

I can't believe how fast time flies! This is my 19th year sitting for the Safety, First Aid & Evacuation Procedures yearly exam. It's a wonder that I have not been teaching at training school instead. Perhaps, the joy of flying has always been my first love. Having said that, I am still able to teach, guide & share my knowledge even whilst on board, therefore the need to stay put was never an issue. Maybe, someday..who knows..I shall retire my wings :)

Going back for training is fun. Nostalgic even..Staying current is a must, be it for Safety classes or otherwise. In fact, whenever I am at the Academy, I look forward each time to catching up with old & new buddies ( colleagues & instructors alike ), lovely time outs ( non stop toilet breaks for sleepy me & suicidal breaks for the ciggie lovers ~ plus breakfast, coffee, lunch & tea time in between), gossip corners via CCN a.k.a Cabin Crew News network, admiring the new batch of juniors that are undergoing lessons then, whom I am positively sure, will be working with me in the near future & most importantly, to upgrade my skills or knowledge for my own betterment as well as to benefit others.

Here are some shots & video clips shared by my friends and I, just incase you are interested to know what it is like to be one of us ~ We are not JUST Trolley Dolly's, mind you..There is more to us that meets the eye..Come & let's get acquainted. WE are ~ Ladies & Gentlemen Serving Ladies & Gentlemen :)

                               Aircraft Mock-Up Area ~ Taking A Break After The Door Drills :)

                                                  Cabin Evacuation Drills ~ Done!

                   Ritta & Maria, Swooshing Down In Style..The Co Pilots Buzzing After...

                                                          Keep Calm... and Jump!

                              If Your Dreams Don't Scare You, They Are Not Big Enough..

                                               Wet Drill Practice 2014 ~ Completed!

                                          Child CPR In Progress..Way To Go Siti Hawa!

          Hah! Becka..Becka..Bila Lagi Nak Buli Bos Kau Ye? Sabar Je Lah Izani...Cepatttt :)

                               Shila's Sugar Rush ~  MuAaHaHahHaHaaaah.. ArgHHHH!!!

             Time To Wake Up Babeh! A Kiss By Hot Mama Suerieyana Should Do The Trick ;)

                            Maria's Turn To Perform A Chest Compression On An Infant

                                           Infant Choking ~ Mcza To The Rescue, Yeay!

                                 The Young Ladies & I. They Are Already Leaders In The Making :)

                          Shila's reminding us, " Do It Once, Do It Right. Get It Over With! "

                    Flying Mamas ~ The Real Aircraft Models, Next To An Aircraft Model :)

Cold Feets..Butterflies In The Stomachs..What's Love Got To Do With It? Exam Jitters Lah :P

                                               I am done! Legaaa...Say Cheese...Hehe!

                  Congratulations Everyone :) Happy Flying & Safe Flights Always! Xoxo.....

Rose said, " It is not up to you to save me, Jack. " To which Jack replied, " You are right...Only you can do that. " Titanic

** This blog entry is dedicated to a lovely lady, who passed on earlier last week, leaving plenty still in shock.

                                      MH 20/CDG - B747 Upper deck galley..Feb 1998

In loving memory of Lss Naelah Bushra ~ Part time Safety Instructor, a fellow sister in Kebaya & friend to many. Gone too soon.. A loving daughter, wife & mother. Al Fatihah ♥  

Friday, January 24, 2014

The Whole Neem Yards & Some Chia For Your Thoughts :)

Mom told me that when I was a little girl, daddy used to feed me a spoonful of fresh young neem leaves blended with tumeric and a little bit of salt everyday. No wonder, till today I don't seem to have any aversions towards eating bitter stuff.

When I stayed in the kampung, I enjoyed the malay ulams very much. Unassuming plants that grew by the roadsides, in longkangs or even by the riverbeds, daun Pegaga being my favourite with sambal belacan. I also loved drinking its juice. When I started dating, my boyfriend whom eventually became my husband, would stop by his favourite stall to have some Chendol, while I would walk a few feet away to get my dose of the Pegaga's refreshing juice. You can find plenty of stalls in Penang that sells it. 

My mom, uncle & hubby on the other hand, introduced me to many lovely chinese herbal drinks & soups. From the time I went through puberty till the day I gave birth, I got the best of everything! Most of the times, I am required to stomach the bitter concoctions first thing in the morning on an empty stomach or before I sleep late at night. Some of the ingredients are quite expensive. I was taught from young that all things yummy are not always healthy & a little bit of bitterness can bring you a wholesome of goodness! At one stage, during my marriage days, we even grew our own wheatgrass & have it at the break of dawn.

Most of these, you can get for free if you know what it looks like and where to look for it. Better still if you are able to plant it in your own gardens. Coming back to Neem & its amazing properties, I can't help but be thankful that it is just growing freely right infront of our yard. My mother prefers to eat Buah Tunjuk Langit, ( please don't ask me the English name for it ), while I prefer to eat the young Neem leaves. To me, besides the bitterness, it tastes a whole lot of garlicky too, and I like that. Mom also blends the leaves for us to shower in at times. It seems to have a wonderful effect on my son, Ryan currently. His wounded area doesn't itch as much now therefore, we seldom have to give him his Piriton medication. Google Neem & you'll be amaze by its healing wonders. It is so bitter that even a mosquito will not be interested to suck your blood, hence I am sure chances of us, Malaysians, getting the silent Denggi fever will be next to nil!

                   Grandma & grandson getting the Neem leaves ready for usage.

Ryan's chest ~ 5 days after discharge & two weeks since his unfortunate incident with hot water.

There is something else that my son & I have been eating as well, on & off long before his hospital stay. Chia Seeds. I believe that it has aided in Ryan's cell growth tremendously. ( I want to believe that it has anyway ). On Ryan's first week in hospital, the Dr & nurses told me that Ryan might have to stay in the hospital for at least another 2 weeks. By the 3rd dressing, which was on the 9th day, we were given the greenlight to discharge & no dressings were required on him anymore. What a pleasant surprise for all of us. Only advise, keep the affected area off sunlight for at least another 6 months to avoid from scarring.

Yeay! Power to the Chia! Our favourite mode of consuming this yummy seeds? 2 tbsp for me & a tsp for Ryan, added into our water bottles everyday :) You can eat it on its own or sprinkle it on your food. Drink plenty of water after.

I get my stock from Organic Shops. Mila is the best. It is always cheaper in Australia.

Please Google yourselves or ask the experts for more information & remember to always read its benefits as well as side effects. All these organic stuff is supposed to be good for us. Every action has a reaction though, thus everything has to be taken in moderation. You are what you eat. That is true. Having said that, not everyone can afford some of the more exquisite ones, nor do they have the time or knowledge to prepare what's best. However, keep it simple. Anything that was good for our ancestors, is good for us! Like I have always said, the best things in life, we get for Oxygen :* a Smile :) & even our Mother's Love ♥ Eat right, sleep well & don't forget to exercise!

My grandpa used to say ~ Early to bed, early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy & wise ♥

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Cheer Up And The World Will Sing For You :)

                                          One of the walls at the Children's Ward :)

                                       Ryan's first night at the hospital..( 11/01/2014 )

While Ryan was watching Phineas & Ferb, Aunty Doreen came with Beef Noodles for mummy to eat, uncle Syapol bought ice cream for Ryan & Princess Elyssa brought her surprise birthday party pack especially for him a week early♥ He was the first friend of hers to receive it :)

Ryan's 2nd Visitor, Aunty Katrina. Ryan loves his mini sports car, thank you! Thanks for dropping by too aunty Celia :)

Our third visitor, Aunty Sukee :) Uncle Shawal, Kong Kong & Aunty Rania came the next day. The rest, that we call family dropped by on the following days onwards :)

 Thanks for visiting Aunty Carol..Loved your diving shots! We look forward to joining you again someday ♥

                          Ryan's room mate, 10 year old Nick. They became fast friends!

When Nick got discharged on Monday, Ryan received a new room mate, baby Zikri & his mom, Zalina.

Besides Ryan's Indian aunties ( Jegan, Suguna, Viji & Haema ~ plus all their children who visited Ryan last Sunday ), Ryan's Chinese side of the family came to visit him too! Here is a shot of him with one of his favourite uncles, Michael. 

That is abang Munzeer & his brother abang Munir. Thanks for the Starbucks drinks for all of us as well as sending my mom home, Mun :) Ryan's opening a LEGO airplane set presented by abang Seth. Thank you for teaching him the pee sign Seth ;) We also got plenty of McDonald's ice cream from abang Azali! My dive buddies are AWESOME!!!

 Abang Azali giving Ryan a pep talk..Something about feeling sorry for Ryan coz he'll never have any chest hair to show off ever..Hahaha! Ryan couldn't be bothered coz he knows that his dad never had any chest hair I don't think Ryan will have any either laaaaaa...hehe!

                                      The dreaded wound, two days after the incident.

Dead cells removed, scraping done, skin sanitized, ready for the new cells to grow...of course all this was done while Ryan was sedated.

Aunty Josephine & cousin Rachel came to see Ryan. He was asleep, so they left a message on a balloon for him & a present to keep him occupied during his stay.

 Ryan woke up that night & immediately started fixing one of the LEGO sets given by his Auntie! Ryan says thank you also for the dinosaur eggs :)

Uncle Anas dropped by to cheer Ryan up as well. Here are the two of them together.. A little froggy trick with the hands to keep the brave little boy intrigued :)

                            Aunty Amelia came bearing gifts by her & Aunty Daphne :)

                                                       Busy colouring away ~~~

                             Getting the IV line ready in case Ryan needs it for treatments.

With his chest all bundled up & his palm in a bandage..He believes he is ANG, the cartoon character from AVATAR, the series..with super powers of course!

 In the Treatment Room with Nurse Vicky & Wong assisted by kak Ita. Ryan's getting his dressing done.

On the 4th day, which was also Ryan's papa's birthday, he was transferred to a single bedded room, as soon as one was available ( he was on a waiting list ) to avoid from getting infections. Bored to death..No one to play with. That night, his mummy bought him a slice of cake from Starbucks that brought a smile to his face & we sang a Happy Birthday song for Papa's good health ♥

Amma brought a play mat to make Ryan feel more at home :) There's the balloon from baby Rachel & Aunty Rania at the end of his bed. Jenga Boom given by Aunty Ally :)  

 Time to bring some sunlight into his life again. Monkeying around at the Hospital Lobby :)

 The dedicated nurses of Ward 5B. We'll drop by & visit them during our follow up treatment :)

 Plenty of mummy's love, some flowers in her hair & a banana a day, keeps Ryan healthy & gay!

Aunty Grace dropped by in time to present Ryan with a remote controlled car, a day before he was discharged:)

                                                  Goofing around with Aunty Sharon ;)

                                            Ryan's room & our home for the last 9 days.

By the grace of GOD ♥  The miracle that is, 19/01/2014. Thank you to Dr GP Tan, who's incharge of Ryan's injury & Dr Khoo Boo Aik, his pediatrician, in ensuring that Ryan was free from infections during his hospital stay :)

Ryan's favourite nurse, kak Maswati. Good luck in furthering your studies & thank you for winning Ryan's trust! Discharge Day, a week earlier than expected. Woo Hoo!

** A heartfelt thank you as well to the ER staff of  both hospitals ( Columbia Asia & Sunway Medical, Nurse Manager Tham of Ward 5B for taking charge, plus Dr Surendranathan Viswanathan of  SJMC for their initial expert advise & treatments ♥