Tuesday, 1 December 2015

Keeping up the Charade (When the wipers flew off)

In this episode

1. Losing wipers
2. replacing wipers

It was a dark and rainy night. I was driving to get to a taekwondo lesson in Uni. However no amount of martial arts could have prepared me for this. In the middle of the storm, my wiper blade (on the driver's side) decides to fly off! We cant stop, there's no side, the lights just turned green and my visibility is now reduced to 10%.

I drove as slowly as possible to our destination and parked nearby. Eventually the rain stopped and we drove home safely.

But what I should have done was
1. Replace the wipers on the passenger side to the one on the driver's side.
2. Remove the wipers on the back and fit it on the front. Unfortunately I didn't know how to do it at the time.
Subsequently, when I got a new pair, I asked the guy to teach me, and hey! It's surprisingly simple!
Most wipers I've seen use a simple clip to fasten them..
and you'll be done in 2 minutes. unless, your wipers are rusted (like mine were)

click here for a quick Youtube tutorial on changing your wipers. Super easy.
So next time your wipers fly off or malfunction, just remember, YOU'VE GOT OPTIONS!

Keeping up the Charade (Flat tyre)

I used to be quite content with pleading ignorance towards anything remotely automobile-related, preferring to leave every aspect of car maintenance to father. But, it was getting hard to do that, especially when I came to own a 24 year old car and lived 700 km away from home. I was on my own.

The model that I have is a Daihatsu Charade Aura CX (G100 model) and she's a real piece of work.

So this is the first in a long series of episodes that we've ridden out together.

In this episode
1. hearing a funny sound
2. flat tyre
3. Replacing a tyre

I decided to drive up 80 km to Tanjung Malim to collect my degree transcript. I decided to drive up to cut the travel time by half, compared to taking the train there. Travelled with my sister for company.

Before any long journey, it's good to check your car vitals (as I was reminded by someone). Air pressure in the tyres,

 water level in the radiator and reservoir,

as well as engine oil level and colour.

All were good to go, so we set off at 9am.

Did not notice anything amiss on the way but as we were leaving, there was a funny rut-tut-tut sound that got loud every time I slowed, but if I accelerated, it seemed to disappear.

So I not-so-wisely, sped up, hoping the sound would go away.
Soon someone on a motorbike rode up alongside, and honked repeatedly pointing at my tyre.
This was my (and my mother's) worst nightmare coming true.

I pulled up at a car park nearby and asked Marlene to look at which tyre was gone, and called my father to inform him
walked about 500meters to the train station, found a taxi driver, and told him to take me to a workshop. He told me he could help with a flat tyre, no problem, he even had a friend who was a foreman.

Thanking my lucky stars, I directed him to the car, and he helped me change my tyre. When I asked him how much for the ride here, he said inclusive of labour (his friends) he'd take RM50.

*jaw drop*

There are three lessons here.

1. Next time, this happens, before anything else, ask around for help from normal folk. Chances are there will be peope able to assist, as an act of kindness, rather than opportunity to make money
2. Learn how to change a tyre yourself.
3. Have all the equipment you need ready in the boot.

Here are the things that you need
1. Spare tyre

They are sometimes smaller in size compared to regular ones, but they'll be enough to get you to the nearest autoshop. There, if it's a single puncture, get it patched up, and use the patched tyre to drive home. Spare tyres, sometimes are old and not in terrific condition to drive long distances.

2. car  jack

There are different kinds, and mine looks like this. This is important to raise your car up, in order to remove the punctured tyre. If you don't jack it, the nuts are almost impossible to unscrew.

3. Lug wrench
This is used to unscrew the nuts holding your tyre in place.

As long as you've got these three things in working order, changing a tyre is possible.

click here for a clear video tutorial on how to change your tyre.

So, go experiment with your car, learn how to replace a flat tyre. It could easily save you fifty bucks. =.=

Friday, 9 October 2015

The Cavemen

2 Merpati. Funny this class should be named after a dove, it's anything but peace-loving.

Gripping my bag handles in my right hand, I purse my lips and breathe hard through my nose, not unlike a bull that's about to charge. In my left, I'm precariously balancing a pile of exercise books to be returned while my fingers just manage to grip the corner of the class register I have to fill in by 3pm.
I slowly make my way down the grimy corridor that already stinks of sweat and body odour yet to be introduced to deodorant. There are groups of students everywhere. The bell has just rung, and loungers always dash out to make full loafing use of the two minutes it takes for the next teacher to arrive. They just stand looking over the balconies into the distance as if they were prisoners given a two minute fresh air break before trooping back into their cells.

What is this life, if full of care, we have no time to stand and stare...' my thoughts drift to that breezy poem by William Henry Davies. Maybe he had a point.

I clear my throat loudly, announcing my presence with an "excuse me", to clear the path ahead, because just one nudge would send the pile of books tumbling across the corridor. They part like the Red Sea of course, lest I should ask for some help.

I step into the darkened cave the "doves" have somehow gotten accustomed to as a classroom and glimpse the sleepy, uninterested eyes that greet me. So much potential.

I find the switch, saying "let there be light", and flick on the bright florescent bulbs. Unfortunately, this "enlightenment" goes unappreciated, as I'm immediately greeted by groans and protests. They squint and scrunch up their faces, shielding their eyes. One girl goes so far as to swing her bag over her head to escape the "deadly glare"

"What are you... vampires?" I ask, my face showing mock concern, barely concealing a smirk.

 Silence..They don't get it. This too shall pass.

A muffled voice shouts "Teacher. No. light."
It is bag girl from beneath her sack.

Sunday, 20 September 2015


Gearing up for my first day at school, I was the most outstandingly miserable person in the academic building. You see, I was already battling homesickness from the previous night (something that inevitably happens if your parents, come along to drop you off in a foreign state). That, coupled with the mental torture of finding my way to school, was enough to fatigue my poor heart. (boo-hoo)

As I pulled up into the car park that morning, I spotted a few students shuffling along slowly in groups heading up the slope towards the assembly area. I was acutely aware of my shoulders tensing up and I quietly shuddered as goosebumps raced up my arms. My heartbeat quickened and I froze, my hands still gripping the steering wheel. 'The enemy' I thought. In a quick desperate motion, I made the sign of the cross, something that had always put a temporary blockade on the insecurities of any circumstance. 

I got out of the newly painted Charade (also freshly blessed with bird droppings), collected both my bags and tried to compose myself in two seconds, before slamming the door shut (it won't shut otherwise) and slowly made my way to the office, in what I thought resembled a confident stride. A teacher- stride. 

Friday, 18 September 2015

Good Afternoooon teacherrrr...can we try that again....GOOD AFTERNOON TEACHER!

Hello again, reader! Let's skip the how-you've-beens...because I'm positive that your life has been peachy. Right then, spot light back on me?
I'm a teacher now.
It seems like, every time I blog, I'm working a different job.
You must think I'm most uncommitted. HA HA
Sold jeans, ushered for a bit, call center agent and now.... teacher? Now before you think, "oh right, those who don't do, teach"....slap yourself.

To grant anonymity, and for the fact that nothing I say may be particularly positive, I shall not mention the name of the school at which I'm posted. However, one may always ask me privately, if you really mustttt know.

I'm still on the trial period.
I call it the Student Trial Period.
Must. Not. Break.
As they size me up.

I've never felt more in sync with the song "Teenagers" by My Chemical Romance. It is the current soundtrack of my life. If you haven't heard it, click on the link here

Anyhow, I'm not going to lie, the school I've been posted to, ain't no Convent. I guess the kids here grew up having different hobbies. So I'm going to try to put in some daily happenings about the them here. Give them the attention they are desperate for in class.

Wednesday, 20 May 2015

Give You Lah!


Mr. Teo: WHAT you mean I have to pay for the sim card. You all force me to buy one okay! If I know I won’t buy! Your stupid guy come and never tell me got charge.

Me: he didn’t? I’m sorry sir.Okay we’ll have to look into this. Which outlet did you visit sir?

Mr. Teo: ahh..oh Actually not your shop..I do online myself

Me: oh I see. You didn’t have a choice?

Mr.Teo: no! They simply add to my cart

Me: Actually they ask, sir, if you need one. There’s an option

Mr.Teo: okay whatever lah.. They still never tell got charges

Me: I understand Mr.Teo, but if you pick something online, it will be chargeable

Mr.Teo: my friend can get free how come I cannot get free. Double standard is it?

Me: what friend sir? Is he available? Can I speak to him?

Mr.Teo: aiya! Fed up la talk to you! Steal people’s money. Double standard shit service. Give you lah the 35 dollar.

Me: is there anything else I can assist you with Mr. Teo?

Friday, 8 May 2015

Call Center la Uncle

On trying to avoid saying the word CALL CENTER

Uncle: ah so finished studies? still waiting for posting ah?

Me: *clears throat*... uhmm yes, hasn't come yet. 

Uncle: so not doing anything now?

Me: temporarily working in ...ermm.. for ..a telecommunications company.

Uncle: Hah?

Me: It's like in the customer service line uncle...

Uncle: okay? so what do you do??

Me: well,  we try to provide solutions to all the customers product/ service issues

Uncle: Owh like some mass comm job is it? good la...

Me: err..no la uncle.. not quite (NOT AT ALL)...

Uncle: okay? then? 

Me: okay, customers will call in if they have problems using the service, and we will tell them the best way to approach it. 

Uncle: Ohhhhh CALL CENTRE LA??

Me: ........ya

-always feels like a bloody game of taboo-


call cen·ter
  1. an office set up to handle a large volume of telephone calls, especially for taking orders and providing customer service.

It's a horribly plain word that doesn't quite do the job justice. Call centre, implies we call people up and shove product down their throats, when in fact, we solve problems. It should be called Customer Resolutions Center. I understand that lengthening the name doesn't change what it is, but my goodness, "call center" describes so little! Who makes these calls and what do we do? 
-Find out in the next episode of the Call Center Girl- 

For now anyway, this is the latest with me. Whats happening with you these days? 

Tuesday, 7 April 2015


Boy yacht toy young gorilla apple egg

Okay this isn’t working, I just watched a TED talk video on how this simple game can be used to harness creativity. Think of word and then take the last letter of that word to think of a new word. The guy who gave the talk was really enthusiastic about how he got this fountain of ideas after coming up with a few words. Well, for the life of me, I cannot link gorilla, apple and egg. And I’ve gone on to twenty words. It’s getting harder to see the point of the exercise. But perhaps I wasn’t trying hard enough. Okay, here goes.

I once knew a boy who owned a yacht! Don’t get too excited. It was a 3 foot-tall toy yacht. I had always thought kids who played with over-sized toys while the rest of us struggled with our paper boats cum hats, were snotty and spoilt. Robert, to be metaphorically correct, was a young gorilla. Rude, raucous, rough and ridiculously rich. While the rest of us brought water and plain slices of bread summing up to a rather dry and tasteless meal time, Robert’s mother packed him a bright and shiny red apple and a tumbler of apple juice to go. At 4 I knew enough to appreciate that apples grew in England. Enid Blyton taught me that much. But this meant that every day a single apple was flown in from the UK to be fit into this detestable boy’s grimy little lunch box. This is how I know that Robert was rich.

Now although it looked spectacular in a way only a shiny red apple can, no one really fancied eating a single fruit for lunch. And I knew Robert secretly lusted after our thin margarine coated slices, as he bit into the hard mildly sweet fruit and hurt his little teeth. This thought gave me immense satisfaction. 

One day, Robert brought a hardboiled egg that was still in its shell! I love boiled eggs! After mummy peels them, they are soft hot and tasty enough without needing any salt and makes your tummy full after just one. As I opened my own lunch box and caught sight of the predictable oily sandwich that limply lay there, I looked up and eyeballed Robert who was getting ready to peel his egg. He lightly knocked it on the table top. I shut my eyes that very instant, and prayed hard that it was a raw egg that would crack open spilling stinky yolk all over his rich boy pants.