Friday, October 23, 2009

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Things do get old

Things do get old rather quickly or it is just with me. I remember I was excited the first year I moved here. I was surprised to say the least that there were dirt roads or unpaved roads all over the country, just outside the cities. I was so surprise to experience the first Fall, when the trees turn into beautiful colors, yellow, red, brown and dark wine. I went to pick native pecan and walnuts by the road side and at a neighbor's ranch. They were everywhere, littering the dirt roads, nobody cared nobody picked as every one's yard has a tree or two. I made my husband stop by the roadside to pick persimmons that were ripening on the trees. The fruits on the bare trees look so inviting and I picked a bunch of them.

After years of seeing that many fall seasons, these things that excited me only 10 years ago, had somehow diminishing. They are just there year after year, but I still look forward for the changing of colors on the trees, though not in the same degree of excitement.

It was fun to sit by the fire in winter playing scrabble and cracking pecan, but I find that they get old after years of doing the same activity. I no longer crack pecans, as I now send them to the place where they have machine to do it.

It was fun to see deer in the back yard and along the road, but they are now more of a nuisance than an awe. I learn to stop the car when I see one crossing the road, because there would be a few more following behind, just running as fast as they can.

It was awesome to see a flock of turkey hundred of them crossing the road, paying no attention to you in your car, but now they are not anymore. You have to stop your car and let them cross and if you are lucky, they would fly over your car and drop poops.

Well, maybe, it is just me that is getting old.

Monday, October 12, 2009

End of summer 2009



Hybrid banana plants (Musa)

Fennel (Jintan manis?)

Friday, October 02, 2009

What is it with Malaysian representatives overseas att

My heart was in pain when I read about a group of 300 Malaysian students stranded in Padang, Indonesia waiting for a Malaysian representative to show his/her face.

This kind of attitude has been around for a very long time. There is not any improvement since I first went overseas in the 1970's. I think it was the same before then.

A long time ago when I arrived in London, there was nobody to meet us at the airport even though we were told that the MSD would send a representative to meet us. Well that was some 40 odd years ago. Then in the course of my stay in London, I had some student's business to attend to or had to be present to deal with my study matters I was made to feel like I was more of a burden or a nuisance than a duty to the attending officer. I was made to wait for hours to meet a certain MSD officer. I waited outside the room and listened how busy she was talking for hours on the phone about a new film that was in town and when they plan to go, as well other things they were going to do. Then something interesting happened.

My friend who was with me happened to be a sister to a Datuk in Malaysia (then the datukships were not as numerous than now). This guy seemed to have worked under or with my friend's brother before. He walked past us and saw us and talked to us asking how the datuk was doing etc. The a miracle happened. The MSD officer was not busy anymore and was able to see us after more than an hour on the phone chatting. That kind of attitude is still around I can bet.

Ten years after I left London and on one of trips visiting friends, we made an appointment to meet at the lobby of the Malaysia hall. While waiting for my friend to arrive, I chatted with a few students there. I talked to one student who was there since the afternoon. (My appointment with my friend was for dinner). He came down from Norwich in the morning wanting to see an MSD officer about his scholarship that have not came in for a while and he only had a few pounds in hand. My friend and me invited him for dinner, he refused because he did not want to miss his appointment with this officer who seemed to have gone out and should be returning later. Guss what? we returned to the lobby after dinner and the student was still waiting. it was already late in the evening and for all I could think is that the officer never came back to office or was never in the office in the first place. My question is, Do these people who are paid to look after our welfare have any conscience at all???

Then in the course of work I had to attend a workshop in the Philippines. The place was Laguna. It was at SEARCA, a research centre full of foreign researchers. One day a group of us went on a bus to Manila and was robbed at knife point on a jeepny. It was in the newspaper as we made police report. The media people were there and as we were guests of the country and of international mixture, it caught the eyes of the then president of the Philippines ( I think it was Ramos).

The president sent a personal letter of apology and representatives from other victims countries came and visited us at the centre. Where was the Malaysian representative? None!!!.
So much for BCA (bersih cekap dan amanah) attitude of the time.

Living in the United States or surrounding geographical areas that has no direct representative, we have to deal with our embassy in Washington DC or various consulate in NYC and LA.
Unless you know an officer personally, you will not get your business taken care of easily.

I had numerously telephoned the embassy, it was either busy or the was nobody to answer the phone. Nobody would be knowledgeable enough to tell you what to do. It would be different if you happened to know their bosses, they would go out of their way to even give you the bosses personal cell phone number. I am writing this based on my personal experience.

However, after a very long suffering treatment from "our representatives" I came across a very nice helpful personnel at the Malaysian consulate. Before my chance meeting (phone call) or dealing with this nice young officer, I had called numerous time to the same consulate and talked to one officer who had an Indian accent and boy was he so uppity.

Still there is nothing much to shout about on the attitudes of Malaysian representatives abroad. Until the Foreign Ministry do something about this and not circulating the same group of people, the situation will remain the same even in the 22nd century.