Thursday, May 28, 2020


We skipped qigong practice one morning and went out for burgers and a movie!!

         I met Bubbly Boey at qigong about three years ago. It was a “Hello, how are you” kind of connection with a wave before and after class and not much said in-between. But one year later we were what teenagers call BFF (Best Friends Forever) or Besties 👩‍❤️‍👩 . I feel kinda weird using this phrase at my age but that’s how we have evolved. She shared her yoghurt muffins, Christmas fruit cakes (filled with nuts and raisins soaked in iced coffee and then infused with Bailey's Irish Cream, my sister-in-law "stole" half the cake)

  painted T-shirts for me

   and even on-line ordered my trekking shoes from China. Most importantly, her son Mel Han, books our air tickets and meals on board when we travel. If she leaves it to me to do the bookings, I assure you we would be flying on the wrong dates, starving on board and arriving at the wrong destinations. 

        Bubbly Boey (nothing gets her down, her motto in life is “don’t sweat the small stuff, just MOVE ON”) bought a load of colouring books just before our partial lock down started. She has been one Busy Boey and this is Boey's Bird Series 🦆🦅🦩🦚:

        Boey truly has the patience of a Saint. When situations rattle me, she can always make me see the light in dark tunnels. In life, Boey goes with the flow (thank goodness her flow has not ended in waterfalls). But, with her colouring and paintings, her attention to detail is incredible (check out the kingfisher sitting among the reeds below). How does she colour-in those tiny spaces? She must be continuously sharpening her pencils as she does not colour out of the lines. I told her she needs to buy shares in Faber Castell, Staedler or Stabilo to maintain this passion of hers. 

Julia is as happy as the birds 🦜 🐦 on her T-shirt 

And this psychedelic coloured OWL T-shirt is for me 
"I will collect after CMCO, Boey, don't give anyone else."

"WELL DONE," says Typhoon Thory 👍👍

Monday, May 25, 2020


          This is definitely not a job for an acrophobic or someone with apiphobia (fear of bees). I love heights, it has no effect on me. I was the lovely daughter after 2 rascals, so I grew up with 2 older brothers. I climbed trees and swung off branches like “mini Tarzan” in my shorts and over-sized T-shirts (hand-me-downs from the rascals). Every evening between 5 - 7, Mieeee.. (that's what we called our mummy) would “kick” us out of the house (I presumed she really had enough of us), we would then be dangling from tress and monkey bars with the other kids, like bats around the neighbourhood.

        That is Sassy JAM aged around seven years-old hanging around.

         These young fearless men are the honey pickers in Nepal. They scale hundreds of metres up the mountains hunting for beehives. 

    Beehives equate to honeycombs and these monstrosities jut out from the cliffs like bright yellow flying parachutes. 


    Forget about the safety of harnesses and the latest in rock climbing gears (helmets, carabiners, quickdraws), it is simply all the way up using ropes and bamboo poles. BE BRAVE. 
             With feet balancing precariously on bamboo rope ladders and both hands slicing the honeycombs and transferring them to dangling baskets, tis’ not the same as dangling like a bat from a sturdy tree.

          The pickings are thick, pure, sticky, wild honey just dripping away – but the bees are thick and plentiful too. The air is smokey from the smouldering grasses to keep the bees "dizzy" and not sting the hunters. 

With a few thousand bees swarming around, I am sure there were many bees who were not dizzy, but ready to give these gusty boys some painful stings for stealing their hives. 

Wish I could taste the honey from the mountain cliffs, they are either not  exported or I have not seen any on my supermarket shelves. So I use my favourite brand, Capilano.

           No dizzy bees and bamboo ropes for us “qigong puppies.” We did walk on the glass corridor in the Tianmen Mountains, Zhangjiajie in the Hunan Province of China. But this was a poor comparison to the bold honeycomb hunters of Nepal. 

Note: Acknowledge to "Be Young" video for some of the pictures.

Thursday, May 21, 2020


This is Sassy JAM drawn by Sassy JAM.
 I can’t understand why I drew myself as a male hiker!!!

        Qigong is not all about going towards completeness through practice, not for my group anyway. Our qigong shi fu Edwin lao shi, takes us on sojourns to China to revitalise and build our endurance. How? Well, stay on with me as I take you on our journey to the Dragon’s Backbone in Guilin.

        We didn’t start off at the Dragon’s Backbone, Longi Rice Terraces. Edwin lao shi does not believe in scaring us immediately. He allows us to scamper around like overgrown puppies, at first enjoying the cool air compared with what we had left behind in Malaysia, 33 degree Centigrade sweltering days. Then, he increases the degree of difficulty and lures us unsuspectingly to hours-long panting hikes.

        Our “puppy time” started with “shooting the rapids” on bamboo rafts along a small stretch of the Li River in Yangshuo. Strong boatmen and women skillfully manned these rafts. We clung for our lives like a barnacle on a rock (where's the safety belt?) while sitting on elevated chairs and my boat captain just steered the raft standing up, no fuss.

         The next day saw us on a misty meandering drift along the Li river in our “cruise ship” dwarfed by the scoring karst mountains. The Li River in north eastern Guangxi Zhuang Autonomous Region has been  immortalised on a 20 yuan bank note 
(RMB 20). 

        Edwin lao shi stepped up the degree of difficulty for the scampering puppies on day 4 – a hike up the Longji Rice Terraces. Also known as the Dragon’s Back Bone, the rice terraces built 650 years ago look like the scales of a dragon. From the summit, the terraces twirl and twist like a dragon’s backbone. Of course, our lao shi never mentioned that the hike was UPHILL for 2 ½ - 3 hours. I saw a cable car system going up and thought “what lazy tourists to take the easy way when one can just stroll up.” 


With some of the terraces still in gold, I imagined maybe this was what the  English rock band, LED ZEPPELIN, meant in the lyrics of their song, Stairway to Heaven.

        I started with warm clothes on a chilly morning – a thermal top, long T-shirt, sweater and over coat, stocking, socks and pants. As we arduously climbed step by step, stone by stone with the sun shinning mercilessly, I had to stop and reduce my attire piece by piece, until I was left with just T-shirt and pants. Every other item of clothing had been discarded into my haversack by then. But note in the pix, I was not the only one who had stripped down. If the "puppies" had to climb any further, I hate to imagine what we would have been wearing or .... NOT WEARING.

        Don’t expect a 5-star crown jewel Shangri-la, the hotels are family-run home stays,

 cozy with simple home-cooked meals and lots of hot Chinese tea. 

        Mornings were breathtakingly beautiful and we trekked even higher (at 6 am) to catch sunrise on the terraces. Brillant sun rays shimmering through the tussocks of pampas grasses spinning them into silver and gold.

        We had a faithful companion in ALL our treks, Xiao Bei (Little North), the home stay owner’s doggie. Xiao Bei was a fantastic guide leading us up and down the terraces, brought us back for our meals and on our final day, he personally accompanied us all the way down (2 ½ hr) to the bus terminal. We said our sad Good Byes to him, he turned and climbed back up all the way home for a good rest (I guess) before his next guests arrive. 


Monday, May 18, 2020



         Our Malaysian PM announced last week that our Conditional Movement Control Order (CMCO) will be extended till June 9th. OHHH… mercy me, I cannot “tahan” (endure) anymore of this. We have been on partial lock down since 18th March and this bird wants her life back. 

        So, after an hour of qigong and a hearty breakfast (with the CMCO, I even have time to arrange the cherry tomatoes), I drove out to do the essentials of life.

                                               Roads were still empty. 

    There was hardly anyone around, maybe it was still too early at 8.45 am to be pumping petrol.

          Covid-19 has definitely brought changes into our lives. Masks are compulsory, QR codes have to be scanned and personal particulars filled online before we can even enter any shopping mall. Temperatures taken, queue again for social distancing as the stores limit the number of customers inside. 

       PATIENCE MAKES A MAN, but I am a WO(man).  I know all this is absolutely compulsory for OUR own good, so that contact tracing can be done effectively. But will life EVER be the same again? 

        I went to my favourite hawker in Jalan Bukit, Section 12 to take away his "yummylicious" fried noodles for lunch, AHHH…. Social distancing again, I just want a packet of noodles, pleeassee..!! This Uncle is the grouchiest man alive and the CMCO has not made him any nicer. Just order, stand aside, wait and don't utter anything else, that means don't ask for more chilli or less chilli unless you want an earful from him. 

          Then I spent the entire afternoon on the phone with credit card centres and banks to activate forgotten PIN numbers and make online payments. It’s all my fault anyway, growing old and forgetting my PIN numbers. The girls at customer service should be given medals having to deal with an IT challenged woman with statements and questions like, “Where is the icon ah, top bottom, left or right? I don’t see any sign that says services, are you sure it is on this page? Stay with me please as I am logging  into my internet banking now OK. What code is coming through my phone now? Where do I type the code in the computer ah? Sorry Cik (Miss), it is not working lah, am I suppose to type it in once or twice?” Seriously, even I was getting mad at my own stupidity!! GOD BLESS THOSE DEAR GIRLS having to deal with a frantic woman. If it had been me at customer service dealing with such "idiots," I would have unplugged the phone. It would have meant loosing my job or my sanity and jumping out of the window!!

Then Typhoon Thory heard a Food Panda Delivery outside the gate and to my surprise, 

Savvy K had ordered a dozen glazed doughnuts. 

        She knows they are my favourite as I cannot “tahan” the fancy ones. “Mummy, just get your coffee and eat one, I also ordered mocha almond frapa.” "It is no point changing your PIN numbers cos' by tonight when we go out for dinner, you would have forgotten the new ones." Daughters are very critical of their mothers, that's all I will say!! It is a miracle if we do not argue for a day

         I felt some anxieties diffusing out of my little body as the first doughnut glided into my esophagus. I think more anxieties will be released as I bite into the second one, and by the fourth doughnut, I should be thoroughly relaxed.