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Archive for February, 2010

Thoughts on Tiger.

The human variety that is, not the animal. 😛

I know that the entire blogosphere, the entire sports industry, every Tom Dick and Harry have been discussing this, each with their own point of view. Here’s my half cent’s worth.

When I first read about his infidelity when the news first surfaced, I could only shake my head in disgust. Another succesful guy who has just about EVERYTHING in his life decides to Ruin It Big Time. Tiger Woods, the richest/most succesful athlete of our time. Tiger Woods, the guy with the beautiful wife. Tiger Woods, the guy with two almost impossibly adorable children.

So, some people say he has done what everyone does at some point in their lives: make mistakes. Yes, to err is human, to forgive divine. But for crying out loud, it wasn’t a one-off episode that can be easily categorized as a “mistake”. There were numerous women involved, and his affairs had apparently lasted over a period of time. It is bad enough to have a spouse cheat on you with another woman. But multiply that with X number of women, and then factor in their slutty pictures splashed all over the web, and add that with the fact that a mistress is asking for a public apology. All you get is one HUGE web of mess no mortal man can come out of, unscathed.

I watched his apology speech broadcasted 2 days ago, and although he apologized many times, used the word “sorry” many times, I thought that the entire press conference reeked of “Crisis Management”. I felt that it was done to save whatever is left of his career. The only people who deserved the apology were not even there; his wife and children.

What do you think?

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So, not only am I celebrating Chinese New Year alone, it also happens to be Valentine’s Day. The Chinese have this belief that how you spend your new year will be how the rest of your year turns out to be. So, if you’re alone and miserable on Chinese New Year, you will be alone and miserable the rest of the year. Well, I may be alone, but thankfully I’m not miserable.

Last year, the hubs was home and I made us some (supposedly) auspicious noodles. This year, since I was alone, I just rummaged through my cabinets and used the next item which was expiring soon. And that was Rendang Adabi. 😀 While the folks in Malaysia have bak kwa and yee sang for Chinese New Year, I had rendang and rice. I’m not complaining, as the rendang was delicious! Much, MUCH better than the Brahim’s rendang that I grumbled about some time ago.

A few days before Chinese New Year, I was itching to make some cookies. I could have googled any recipe out there to make, but I had to bear in mind that I do not have a mixer (still saving for my Kitchen Aid) and choose a relatively easy recipe. I found a Cornflake Cookie recipe and proceeded to make that, not without incident though. I will write about it in my Cornflake Cookie recipe later on. It tasted really yums, and I gave some to my Italian lesson classmate as well as the teacher. I hope they liked it coz I sure did. I’ve finished my share already, and am contemplating making another batch coz they’re so easy to make and yummy too.

Apart from that, well, life goes on as usual. I think the hubs will be away for about two months from the day he left to Malaysia. I can’t say for sure as his work schedule isn’t exactly fixed. Somehow I think it will hit the two month mark. I can’t deny the fact that I get bored. But I try and keep myself occupied by cooking nice meals for myself. It takes up a lot of time, and is hardly worth the effort for one person, but it keeps me occupied and sane. I prepare material for teaching, I blog-hop a lot, I read, I watch tv – I watched the Italian news today and I could understand 80% of it *beams*. Wish it was easier to SPEAK it though. I stammer and stutter all the time when I speak it.

I was telling my student/friend the other day how unlucky I am that everything seems to be going wrong when I am alone at home. First it was the awful food poisoning episode. Then it was my modem. Yes, the damn modem died on me. Its about 8 years old now, the hubs has had it since he first arrived. What are the odds that out of 8 years, X months and X days, it just HAD to die on me when the hubs was away??? When I realized that the modem had died, I was FRANTIC. Gosh, the Internet really is my life these days, especially when I’m alone. It’s my key to the outside world, where I read Malaysian news, ENGLISH news – BBC, CNN, etc. Its the main mode in which I keep in touch with family back home. So I sms-ed the hubby to tell him that the modem had died, and he advised me to call the toll-free service center number. But of course they don’t speak English. But hey, what do you know? I actually spoke in Italian to convey the message that my modem was spoilt, and what should I do? They told me that I could change the modem (it’s a rented one by the local phone company) at a nearby service center. I asked him, which is the one closest to my house, and this was his answer: “Oh, you can find it online” *rolls eyes* Like, duuuuuuuude, I CAN’T GET online which is why I’m calling you!!  This blur as heck dude then gave me 5 addresses and told me I could go to any one of them to get an exchange.

So now, how do I go about finding where these 5 addresses are? Under normal circumstances, I would have, yea, you guessed it right, Googled it to find the location on Google Maps. Gosh, I felt so helpless without the Internet. So I told myself to calm down and THINK! Eureka! The hubs GPS! I switched in on and checked all the addresses only to find that one of the addresses was incomplete. So I called the service center again, and this time I got a different lady who spoke, oh, only at the speed of light. She said oooohh nooo, you can only exchange your modem at this ONE center. And of course, this place happened to be the farthest one from my house. I was ready to walk (the GPS said it would be an hour’s walk) in the -1 celcius weather as I didn’t know which bus would get me there. But the hubby called and said I should take a taxi instead. Now why didn’t I think of that??? So I called for a taxi (in Italian!) and in no time, I was at the shop. I changed the modem, and walked out of the shop thinking how would I get home. Saw a bus-stop nearby and woohooo, that particular bus has a stop that would enable me to switch lines to get onto a different bus that runs right in front of my house. On the bus, there was this young guy in dreadlocks who was shouting aloud about how foreigners are a pain to Italians, and how the government wastes so much money on foreigners. @55, if only he knew how much frickin’ money we pay in taxes to their government!!! I reached home, heart beating like a train, adrenaline pumping, so wounded up by the day’s incidents that I could not sit still.

Seriously, I believe that necessity is indeed the mother of all invention. I didn’t think I would be able to carry out a proper conversation in Italian until I just absolutely had to. I still think that I am luckless though. Here’s hoping that new year of the tiger will bring me some much needed luck!

P.S.: I’ve not been out of the house, so I’ve not been wearing any nice red outfits, but I am wearing red pajamas. That counts right??? 😀

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I could launch into a whole spiel about how things are like for me now. But I’ll keep it short and simple.

Holidaying in a foreign country and actually LIVING in one are two totally different things altogether.

The hubs is away in Malaysia for more than a month now for work, and I’m left to my own devices here. I lived alone in Malaysia before, but its just not the same. Back home, you have malls to window shop at, Starbucks to sit at and people watch, Astro if you’re a couch potato, mamak shops if you’re hungry, Mc’Donald’s Delivery at 4am if you’re hungry. But best of all, you have friends and family. Want to catch a movie? No problem, book a ticket online, call up your friend/cousin/sister, and off to the movies you go. Want a teh tarik? Just walk downstairs, and chances are, there’s a mamak around the corner.

I’ve been finding it difficult to adjust to life here. I’ll make no secrets about it. It’s just…well…different. The language doesn’t bother me much anymore, but the attitudes and way of life do. Wanna do grocery shopping? Oh wait, its Monday afternoon, the supermarket’s closed. Need some anti-diarrhoea medication urgently? Ooops, its lunch time, gotta wait another 2 hours before the damn pharmacy reopens. Want to buy something on a Thursday? Yikes, its Thursday afternoon, and oh, shops are usually closed on Thursday afternoons, well, JUST BECAUSE.

Want to go to church to say a prayer for your father? Well, HURRY UP coz they close at noon and only reopen in the evenings. Run out of bread on Saturday night? Well, sorry, gotta starve till Monday till the shops open coz every damn thing is closed on Sunday. E-V-E-R-Y-T-H-I-N-G!

Then, there’s the people to deal with. I’ve come across so many freaking RUDE people. From the usual shop assistants, to the crazy neighbour, they’re just EVERYWHERE! What on earth is wrong with these people? My next door crazy neighbour shouts so loud almost everyday, that I’ve taken to blasting Susan Boyle’s Amazing Grace and How Great Thou Art in the hopes that it will somehow calm that deranged mind of his.

And then there’s the lunatics/dirty-old-men/ham sap people. I’ve lost count of the number of times these (usually) older men come up to me, within inches of my face and go Ciao Bella/sei bellissima. And the worse ones were Ciao Piccolina (Hello little girl. Like EWWWWWW) and Come Una Bambina (Just like a little girl). How gross is that?? So if I *do* look like a little girl, what the hell is up with the pickup lines??? And lets not forget the time I was followed by a guy in his car who parked his car at the opposite side of the road when  I crossed the road to avoid him. OMG, scary + disgusting, can?

Sorry if I sound like I am whining, well, it’s my blog, and I am entitled to. I really don’t get what’s so great about living the supposedly glamourous “expat life”. Well, for starters, the hubs is not on expat pay. So, unfortunately, we don’t live the high life just because we live in effing Europe.

So folks, don’t think that living abroad means living it up and all that bullcrap. It isn’t. It really isn’t.

-End rant mode- *snarls*

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