Saturday, October 29, 2011

Why do you always sleep in?

I love talking to my brother. Especially about his life as a doctor.

It makes everything I worry about seem SO PATHETIC compare to what he sees and experiences. Nothing like the eyes, the heart and the conscience of a doctor. I used to envy his intelligence, his courage to pick a road less traveled but now I just admire him.

Why do you always wake up early in the morning at 5AM? Even during the holidays?!
Why do you always sleep in? 
I have a very relaxed personality.
No. It's because your job doesn't equate to deaths. Well, what I do for living makes me a critical person. At times I'm wide awake throughout the night thinking about my patients. Our patients don't know that.  
Even during the holidays?
Most of the time if you make a mistake in your job no one literally dies. We lose lives as part of our mistakes. Our decisions, our conscience. I assisted a surgery for 10 hours before. I couldn't pee, I couldn't think of peeing, I couldn't even think of sighing, I couldn't imagine what it would be like to not dissect someone, I couldn't think of a holiday. For 10 hours straight. That's how long most of you work with breaks in between. And then, we move on with other patients. 
...... (and then I silenced in admiration)


Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Sunday, October 23, 2011

Diversity

Picture of an article written by a guy from Kajang about Sabah being the exemplary state for the "1Malaysia" idea circulating on Facebook inspired me to share this with you. Firstly, I have my own understanding of what 1Malaysia is. And this dude's letter comes close to mine.



I find it difficult to remove it from our system the feeling of pride when you're from a place where you were born and bred from, it's like you're institutionalized. Going out from the place means you'd have to compare it to the place you're from. Well we pride ourselves from wherever we are, Borneo, sames goes to Thailand, same goes to Penang, same goes to China. No matter where you are from, once a mention of your place, surely you felt that there is a need to address it, correct where wrong and attest where right.

I disagree with the idea "wrong" and "right" about a place, because a place should be about a person's (individual) experience, not her friends', not from other blogs not from television.

Diversity in Sabah is like no other. You can go to so many places, but you will almost never find a place that embraces individuality and ethnic-ism like Sabah.With it's 32 main ethnic groups, and at least four other sub-ethnic groups, including non-ethnic races like Chinese (different dialects), India and Malays, we are talking about a total of nearly a thousand mesh of cultures living and breathing on the same soil - we cannot afford any form of disrespect to anyone's culture and religion.

My immediate and second-link families consist of Christians, Muslims, Indian-muslims, Chinese-Kadazan, Chinese-Murut, Muslim Murut... there is no end to the list.

One of the reason why Sabahans are so proud of the idea that we are the true unity and diversity is the fact we "don't just have friends from other races", much like some Malaysians argue their way about embracing unity we grew up and live doing what the other race does, with them. Having friends of other races is an amazing attribute but come on, it doesn't actually translate to being respectful and diversified you know that.

Our friend from Kajang here spoke nothing but the actual about living in Sabah. Muslims and Chinese both work and sell in the same shop, using own's utensils, using own's ingredients catering to each's customers. Most of us sit on the same table as well. You could barely find anyone speaking their dialect around the mass, they only speak say, Chinese among their family members or themselves while most of the time we speak in our Sabah lingo. Which has tons of Bahs :)

So much that I'm trying to say is that the diversity here is admirable beyond words. I can't even describe the feeling I have when I'm surrounded by my family members who are literally of all kinds of background, race and religion. I forgot about it while I stayed both in KL and Australia. We speak the same ideology of peace, respect and appreciating oneself's religion. Major races and politicians in West Malaysia have been trying to argue with each other over which idea or who is "smarter", when we all know race is never the problem. Competitiveness, yes but in a commonly ruled environment we are supposed to be knowledgable thanks to ourselves. If we are curious, then great. If not, then it's our loss. For public demonstration of race A to put down race B subtlety or not, and the other way around - will never get votes from Sabahans or East Malaysians. It's spot a mile a way. It should always be about the Wakil Rakyat, not which party he or she's from.

Another reason why I figured why Sabahans are just golden as they are is that, while some first world countries experience "less racism", among it is because of Education. And through learning the idea of accepting different cultures and races from frequent travelling and basically loads of movies and reading. Quite the opposite for us because we have adapted this lifestyle since we were a kid, and no books nor theory visuals could be the actual or possible reason that educated us this way of life. Simply put while education is key, it wasn't the main point why we were living with other as such and in peace (God bless us for now).

Most places had only RTM 1 and RTM 2, some were not even accessible to books and television, so it must be the living. Must be the actual meet and greet, hellos and business that we actually enjoyed without being advised to.

Isn't it so cool? We should all get rid of TOO MUCH pride of our own race! :D

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Friday, October 14, 2011

Me and the old house

I realised I've been far off from being personal nowadays. The blog's been talking so much about my trips, my Facebook is hardly updated, and don't even start on Twitter. It's probably cobwebbed by now. I have never been good with sharing personal information in a compact form, I feel naked. The idea of summarizing something personal or as close as what you're doing at the moment is usually odd and untimely for me.

Today, I'm going to share with you about my home.

When I reached home last two weeks ago, I had tons of ambitions to make the house a better place. I wanted to fix the cracks, wanted to clean the house spotless clean, to arrange some of the furniture here and there, mind you, all these alone. I told myself, it shouldn't be a problem. It would probably just take me a week to get most of the things done with the free time in my hands.

Boy was I wrong.

Cleaning up my room alone took me two weeks. Up till today, I'm still arranging some of the stuff in my room. Patching some things up, making sure some stuff are neatly folded here and there. And the amount of stuff my house holds is insane.

In the midst of cleaning up and piling all these memories in a big black plastic bag, I had a pang of nostalgia. All memories, both good, and bad. Especially those that happened at home, growing up, the rivalry with the siblings that will never seem to end, the constant struggle to hide things from mum. This house, with rags and scratches has hold so much memory and quite frankly, after nearly 30 years it only has aged so gracefully if any.

So I stopped. Peeped through my window and look at the big pots, small pots, the main square right infront of my house where I learned how to bike by myself, the spot where my rusty ol' tank was at where my brother and I used to compete over who can hang upside down the longest and then panicked when I began to turn pale, the mango tree that's been cut down where I used to climb, the guava tree where I used to sneakily steal from and greedily eat to myself, the writings behind my door back when I wanted to cheat my test papers with.

Then I realised, even if my house was full of junk, with tons of cracks and repainted at least two dozen times with little termites biting some of the parquets, I would still love it, and maybe just maybe I wouldn't change most of it aesthetically. It has brought so many good memories as it is. I believe, every good thing must come to an end, and this house has only but aged gracefully. That includes the unpainted back door which I think has Pendidikan Moral writings on it (why I wanted to cheat on Pendidikan Moral last time I will never know now), and with just plain weird pictures stuck all over it.

A home is where your heart is. But a house, where you grew up or mostly grew up in most of your life is a prized memory (of course in a physical form) close to your heart, that no new Semi Ds, studio apartment nor bachelor's pad can ever replace. This you know for a fact.

So I embraced the minor cuts and bruises my beautiful house has. I wouldn't change any of it should it not affect us directly and be dangerous to us. I loved it as it was and no less do I love it now :)

Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Dragon Hostel 2011

LATEST UPDATE JANUARY 2014: 

For some strange reason, the photos no longer appear on this post. I am uncertain what has happened to them, but I reckon it's a Blogger issue. For photos of this beautiful island, please check out my photos on Facebook HERE 


***

Location

Room 707, 7/F Sincere House, 
83 Argyle St, Mong Kok, Kowloon, 
Hong Kong, China. 

Hong Kong is very notorious for its small compact places. Imagine, a normal studio apartment we are familiar with can be broken down to about 20 rooms. 20 rooms! They have the smallest, tiniest facilities to go along with this development. A sink as small as your 15 inch laptop is skilfully placed and engineered to fit everything else in the bathroom, like the toilet bowl and even the heater just right.

Before I went to Hong Kong I was worried that the place we will be staying would be TOO small, and dirty. I assumed it simply because of the very cheap rental we had to pay during our stay. It was, RM 1531.00 for 8 nights for 4 people, leaving about RM 382.00 per person for the 8 nights stay. Mind you this place was right smack in the middle of Mong Kok, about less than 2 minutes walk to the train station and a minute walk to the very famous Ladies Market, so location was seriously unbeatable.


Map guide:  

A - Mong Kok Train Station, Exit D2 
B - Dragon Hostel, Hong Kong
C - end of Ladies Market - The red line is the Ladies Market's stretch 


The place turned out to be adequately nice and clean! Of course as expected it was small, definitely smaller than any usual hostels or hotels, but it fit 4 of us ladies just nicely. I read some of the reviews online that their rooms had no windows, so I particularly was worried about that, but thankfully ours had. Probably because our room was among the biggest. Other than that, the single bed, and the queen size double decker was placed just nice, with more space underneath the bed for us to place our bags and shoes.

Audrey and I slept on the same bed, a double bed, while Kerry slept on the single and Swee slept on top of the bunk. Perfect!


Cleanliness
Audrey was particularly worried about the cleanliness of the place. Turned out, it was REALLY clean. We were surprised yet again! The bathroom was spotless clean. Eventhough the bathroom was really small, but it perfectly fitted the sink, the toilet bowl and the shower giving enough room for us to shower. I'm not quite sure whether it would fit the big Europeans, but for Asians like me, it was just fine in fact there was even more room for me to move around. 

Staff & Tickets Convenience 
I STRONGLY recommend Dragon hostel not just because I stayed there and well pretty much liked it, but also because the convenience the hostel offered is at its top notch. Not only does the Mong Kok train station is less than 2 minutes walk, the ladies market a minute walk and other shopping malls like the Langham Place is about 5 minutes walk, you can also buy almost all the tourist attractions spots’ tickets from there at discounted rates! Trust me, this will SAVE SO MUCH OF YOUR TIME! TRUST ME! Mr. Stanley and his son were always so helpful to us and the rest of the residents. There were a couple of times some of us were locked outside (because there was only one key provided for the room for the four of us) at 4AM in the morning *shy*, but Mr. Stanley and his son were always willing to help. 

Disneyland Tickets
-          Dragon hostel : HKD 350
-          Disneyland : HKD 399

The Peak Tram and Sky Terrace
-          Dragon hostel: HKD 58
-          Peak Tram: HKD 70 (and the line was insanely long!!! Thank God we bought it from Dragon Hostel first)

So yes, we managed to skip through the insanely long line just by buying our tickets at Dragon hostel so that was a HUGE relief. I can so much about this place, but for more testimonials about thisp place please feel free to look through Trip Advisor Dragon Hostel here – they’re of huge help! 

Should you take the cab to go to the airport, please liase with Mr. Stanley or his son because the price shared by Dragon Hostel is fixed as opposed to hailing your own cabs. Most Taxi drivers there are rip offs and they will (usually) try and cheat their way through. Not ALL Hongkies are rude bear in mind, I figured it's probably because the place (Mong Kok) is ALWAYS pack and full of people. IN GENERAL! Whatever it is, please becareful with your belongings :)

Other than that, hope you have fun in your next trip to Hong Kong! :)



Love,
Jacqueline Rowena @ Jacqkie.