Tuesday, September 29, 2020


       I had quite a surprise last Sunday when I was out grocery shopping in the mall. I kept hearing a continuous low whistling and I thought hmmm, someone’s not answering his/her phone. Lo and behold, it was a little Lutino cockatiel perched on a supermarket trolley.


         Here in Malaysia, pets are usually not allowed in public areas like shopping malls and parks. We can certainly take our dogs for walks (on a leash) or cats if one feels so incline, although I think cats are too dignified for this. I once spied my neighbour’s little boy taking his bunny Fluffy on a leash down the road.

      Yep, there was Luna free like a bird just watching the world go by, happy as a lark. Her owner Lili was enjoying breakfast in the corner. I walked over for a chat and pictures. 

         Ms Lili was well dressed and coiffured, so elegantly made up for a grocery run, unlike myself with hair like Tina Turner on a bad day. She got Luna to hop onto my finger. Luna was curious and hopped closer and closer to my face. 

       I was afraid she would peck me on the nose, but she just wanted to get a better look at my age spots! Then off they went, Luna and Lili into the supermarket. What a great pair of friends. 

     A noisy HELLO from COCO in Melbourne, Australia.

Friday, September 25, 2020



        Took my car  in this morning for its 40,000 km maintenance service. Servicing was due in March during the height of lock down. When the Movement Control Order was lifted, I was still not ready to face Covid-19 outside. But last week, when the brakes started to creak and Gizmo Man rumbled and grumbled louder than the brakes, I was forced to take action. Ha, of course nothing was the same as it was in the “Old World.” 

     All cars formed a queue outside. Personal details were recorded and my forehead zapped for temperature reading

        before I was allowed to enter the service centre.

       Each car was then directed into a specific Disinfection Zone.  A service advisor stood beside my door as I stepped out, took my key and handed me a form where my signature was required.

    This Honda service centre was BUSY.

  Cars were thoroughly drenched both outside 

and inside

 with high powered blasts of disinfectant, nothing like those piss-weak squirts. 

"Hey, wait up, my lunch is in the back seat!"

With social distancing practised at customer service counters,  

I spied the one table, and rushed to park my bum.


    All other tables were stacked away due to limited space, since the one metre "stay away from thy neighbour" rule is compulsory in Malaysia.

    Out came my sanitiser and wet wipes as I scrubbed the table top. No taking chances, Covid-19 you ain’t coming anywhere near me. SOPs followed, I settled for the 4 hour wait minus the unlimited coffee, latte, cappuccino ☕ or hot chocolate from the dispenser. WHAT? NO  MORE 🍩 pastries 🥐, curry puffs and “nasi lemak” with the current SOPs! But don’t mess with us scientists, we are always prepared for Murphy's Law.

     I had packed swiss roll, banana cake, lollies and hot coffee for breakfast. 

 Tsk, tsk, this "brilliant" scientist forgot she can’t eat with the mandatory mask wearing rule. Sigh of despair, NO breakfast.

I have to give a FIVE STAR ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐ rating to Honda Service Centre PJ 4S - Tenaga Setia Resources Sdn. Bhd. for their SOPs to safe guard their customers. The day before my appointment, I was politely instructed by phone as to the rules I was expected to follow when servicing my car. Servicing was highly professional and well organised in spite of the continuous flow of customers. 
As soon as I parked my car, service advisor Mr Tee Zhi Han, was already standing outside my door with clear instructions on what to do. It was like having a smiling 🧑 personal butler as he updated me frequently during the 4 hours. 
During this coronavirus pandemic period where many of us are still cautious in  carrying out "normal" activities, it is reassuring that Tenaga Setia Resources Sdn. Bhd. have implemented a safe and comfortable environment for car maintenance services. 

Monday, September 21, 2020



   Come on my friends, we are the young ones

   And young ones, shouldn’t be afraid.

   To live, love and HIKE

   While our stamina is strong

   Cause' we may not be the young ones very long. 


   Why wait till tomorrow,

   Cause' tomorrow, sometimes may not come


   And the best time to do it is

  TOOOO DAAYYY, when we are still YOUNG.

   Adapted from Cliff Richard & The Shadows, The Young Ones, 1961.

   There IS NO STOPPING THESE YOUNG’ UNs! AGE DOES NOT EXIST in their vocabulary. After all, isn't 60s the NEW 30s?

    It appears for these 10 gentlemen and 1 lady, 60s is their new 20s! They drove 228km

 from Kuala Lumpur to Lumut. Hiked a steep ascent  (331 metre, 1,087 ft) and descent
on the Bukit Engku Busu trial, 1hr 20 mins. "Trek Merentas Hutan" translates to the trek that cuts across the forest. The terrain was very steep and rocky. 
Going uphill required hanging on to ropes and being as sure-footed as a deer.
One careless slip and it's a sprained or worse, broken ankle.
Remember folks, with average daily temperatures of 32.2 C (90 F) 
   and humidity close to 100% in September here in Malaysia, it is
 a sizzling and sweaty step every inch of the trek. 
With T-shirts soaking wet and hydrating all the way, this sprightly group scaled to the top 
 for a view of the naval base in Lumut.

As if the first day was not excruciating enough, these young' uns covered another 2 1/2 hour trek up Bukit Pangkor the following day. Although this second arduous trek was more gradual, it was not so well maintained. Surprise, the trek was populated with leeches! 
YIKES, nothing more disgusting than these blood suckers latching on, cause' they look real revolting when they are FAT with your blood. 
On this trekOng had 12 leeches clinging onto his hands and legs. The others who did not see any of these blood suckers on their legs got a NICE surprise when they took off their shoes and socks. Oh Lord, forgive them, the leeches I mean. They were only trying to survive. After all, with the pandemic and a dearth of hikers, they must have been starving for at least six months.  

Well, the young' uns were starving too. 
Dinner was ordered and served. Six dishes were not enough as young' uns have healthy appetites. So another omlette and clay pot of pork and salted fish were ordered. They  "dumped" the rice directly into the pot, mixed it all up and shared.
 Typical Chinese "fan tongs," (rice buckets, refer to folks who love rice). 

Sunday, September 20, 2020



       A feeling of resentment has been rising within me for some time now, like heart burn and on some days an anguish BURP STRUGGLING to emerge. Is the coronavirus pandemic maybe …. a PURGE? Unbelievable? But, just humour me a little. Could this be a NATURAL or an ALMIGHTY purge? 

       If it is natural, whose fault is it? Us HUMANS for being careless with our environment? The BATSI can’t imagine how they can be blamed. Or the now INFAMOUS COVID-19? It started as a benign coronavirus, then genetically mutated into a powerful malignant killing machine. It is like a CANCER, metastasising worldwide. Are we at Stage 1,  2 or 3 now? When will it reach TERMINAL? Ah, ROBOCOP, you are piss-weak by comparison. 

If it was an Almighty purge, then I have little faith in the Almighty as it appears the POOR and DEFENCELESS are punished more.

       THE WORLD IS GOING TO RETURN BETTER THAN NORMAL. Such encouraging tag lines are ricocheting in the media. Do you think THE WORLD WILL REALLY RETURN BETTER THAN NORMAL? Or is this yet another feel good "mantra." You know, don’t rock the boat baby! We talk of post pandemic changes and the new norms. But I feel the WORLD LANDSCAPE has changed way too much! Are we just moseying along for now. Can we really adjust to this NEW WORLD? 

  The collapse in tourism with countries starved of international visitors 
       has lead the hospitality industry to create new directions to survive.  We have learnt to obey 
                            ONE WAY FOOT TRAFFIC, 
                      while in the past this rule would have been met with “Follow this? My foot!” I don't need to pay a doctor to tell me I have a fever,
                I am automatically informed of my temperature during grocery shopping trips. This IS MOST  CONVENIENT!

Even the dating game 💑 has changed immensely with increased movement in Tinder and Hinge. 
          Swipe to the LEFT ⬅ ⬅ 💘
          Swipe to the RIGHT ➡➡ 😍, 
          Can't GO OUT, STAY AT HOME, WE CAN DATE ♥ VIA ZOOM! 🥰.

         Oh, the optimists will say, “treat this like a learning curve.” But I feel like a pessimist with nothing to get excited about. 

    Today, I feel like laundry hung out to dry, all creased from an hour long tumble wash, rinsed and spun.

           But I will STAY CALM AND CARRY ON.