The Lil Loyal Monkey

This is a story about a lil monkey who was so loyal to his master monkey. He climbed trees without the master monkey telling him to. He brought back coconuts without the master monkey telling him to. He did everything and more for the unappreciative master monkey.

One day, during a hectic tree climbing session, the lil monkey lost the key to the forest.

The master monkey was so furious. The lil monkey had not enough coconuts to change the forest locks and to buy new keys for the new forest locks. The master wanted to deduct the lil monkey’s wages for this.

The lil monkey continued to work and work harder for the master monkey. Then one day, again during a hectic tree climbing day, the lil monkey dropped the company’s communication coconut.

The master monkey was so furious. The lil monkey was not given a replacement communication coconut. The lil monkey has a friend, an ape-girl. The ape-girl’s parents bought the lil monkey a replacement communication coconut because their precious ape-girl could not call the lil monkey because he had no communication coconut.

The lil monkey was not paid enough to purchase a banana boat. The lil monkey took public banana boat to work. He had to catch two banana boats before he could reach his work forest. The ape-girl gave him a lift to work when and if she got up early enough. The master monkey told lil monkey that he would buy lil monkey a banana boat if lil monkey dumps ape-girl. Lil monkey is a hard worker and lil monkey is not that stupid! So ape-girl was not dumped.

The lil monkey continued to work hard. Tree after tree, coconut after coconut was brought back for the master monkey. One day, the master used all the coconuts to invest in another forest. The lil monkey was not given a share in the new forest. That forest was then sold for millions of coconuts. The lil monkey got nothing. The lil monkey claimed he did not want a share in the new forest. Lil monkey was either very loyal or very silly or both!

The lil monkey continued working. The master monkey hired a new chief monkey. A chief monkey that could bring in millions of coconuts to the forest. Even the largest ape agency will not be able to bring in this huge amount of coconuts. But this one chief monkey said he could. The ape-girl laughed so hard when lil monkey told her this. Ape-girl laughed till she almost fell off the tree she was on.

So through the master monkey, the new chief monkey got a new tree to climb. It was a huge tree. The new chief monkey could not deliver. So lil monkey had to step in to finish climbing and to deliver all the promised coconuts. Lil monkey did not sleep for more than 96 hours (4 days) because of this huge tree. The ape-girl is weeping as she writes this…remembering the pure mental and physical torture the lil monkey had to go through because of this.

The ape-girl had to make sure the lil monkey had rest. But lil monkey did not want to rest till all the coconuts were delivered. The lil monkey had no sleep and very little food. Whatever the ape-girl sent and placed under the big tree, the monkey ate a bit. The ape-girl could not help the monkey with this tree because the master monkey forbade it.

The new chief monkey left the company. So our lil monkey continued on. Day after day, night after night. More often than not, the ape-girl helps the lil monkey when the tree was too huge to manage alone. In return, the lil monkey helps the ape-girl when she has a huge tree to climb.

The ape-girl has no master. So whatever coconut she gets – all belongs to her. The ape girl’s parents are also super supportive. So lil monkey and ape-girl get extra coconuts from ape-girl’s parents when they need extras.

The master monkey accused the ape-girl of stealing his trees. That is not possible because the ape-girl climbs a different type of tree. Totally different from what the monkey had been climbing. It’s only recently that lil monkey started climbing the same type of tree as ape-girl. The ape-girl taught the lil monkey all the tips and tricks for this new type of tree.

The master monkey does not see all this. He only wants coconuts and more coconuts. It’s not possible for the lil monkey to deliver all the coconuts alone. Other monkeys were hired. But not skilled monkeys. So ape-girl helps the lil monkey most of the time with the big ideas on how to conquer another tree.

The master monkey does not see all this. So the lil monkey works hand in hand with the ape-girl and continue to deliver coconut after coconut. Ape-girl does not get paid in coconuts for helping lil monkey. Ape-girl sees it as helping lil monkey and not the master. Whatever makes live easier for lil monkey – ape-girl will do.

When ape-girl earns enough coconuts of her own – ape-girl starts buying expensive toys for lil monkey. Toys that he fear to wear and use because he dreads what his master monkey will say.

The master monkey fails to see the complete loyalty lil monkey has for him. So today, after a little over 20 years of loyalty, the lil monkey is ready to quit. More coconuts for the lil monkey will be lost because of this. But they are coconuts and material possession. The lil monkey will walk away no richer than when he started. The ape-girl weeps for now. But she knows lil monkey will be better off in the long run. Coconuts can be earned back. Material possessions can be bought back.

Lil monkey and ape-girl already have new trees lined up. So all will be ok.

c’est la vie!

Posted in Short Story | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Yi Action Camera – Reviewed by Cyclists

I have been obsessed with Xiaomi since they launched here in Malaysia. At one point – I was totally hooked on buying their phones and PowerBanks because it was so challenging to be able to secure products on that particular date and time the products would be made available. I would buy and sell the products to friends who were unable to make their purchases from the Xiaomi website. I sold everything to them at no mark-up. The only condition was for them to self collect the items as I was not making money from the sale of the items.

Fast forward to the present…we managed to secure a Yi Action Camera  (Travel Edition with Selfie Stick) + Yi Action Underwater Casing for our cycling team – Team Possum. Yay – to not staying glued to the PC in order to make a purchase. Xiaomi graciously sent us a unit to review.

All Xiaomi’s products have very compact packaging styles. Almost similar to Apple. So the Yi Action Camera’s packaging did not fall below expectations.

The unboxing pics below were shot by Team Possum’s Fisherman Ian Ho:

Unboxing was a breeze. We were all amazed with the weight, feel and compactness of the Yi Action Camera. The selfie stick felt very good and solid! It was very easy to figure out the on/off button. Much to our dismay the whole manual was in Mandarin. We are a bunch of bananas in Team Possum, unfortunately. But not to be deterred, we knew we could figure the camera out without a manual!

The unboxing video shot on Xiaomi Note by Team Possum’s Jeff Liew:

Next – we downloaded the app. And to our relief – an English user manual was in the app. All of us in Team Possum wants to offer free English copywriting services to Xiaomi in exchange for gadgets!

We had a bit of a challenge trying to connect to the camera at first. Did a hard reset as per the manual. Later on – we figure out that there were just simply too many of us around with our bluetooths on. Once we turned off a couple of our devices – we could connect easily with the Yi Action Camera.

Once connected, you can control the camera’s settings. And since the Yi Action Camera does not have a view finder – you can use your phone as a view finder. The app and the Yi Action Camera works beautifully on iOS devices.

The first action video:

Here’s how the camera mounts onto one of our bikes (Images provided by Team Possum’s Sam  Fuji/Colnago/Pina):

image1 IMG_1793

We have also tested out the camera during our night ride! And we were all pleasantly surprised the camera worked very well under low lights.

 

Without a doubt – the Yi Action Camera is a fantastic camera. I personally almost bought a GoPro – but now – I’ll forgo the GoPro and stick to the Yi Action Camera.

The only drawback thus far is the battery life. We shot our cycling videos continuously on 60fps and the battery only lasted for 45 minutes. So Xiaomi, can you please send more batteries to us?

We haven’t tested out the waterproof casing fully yet. However, the case is very crucial to us during rainy rides. So far, there has been a slight down pour during one of our rides. The waterproof casing worked!

Here’s a pictorial summary of the Yi Action Camera prepared by Sam Fuji/Colnago/Pina:

Summary

We definitely need more Yi Action Cameras (with extra batteries) so we can mount a camera on everyone’s bikes in Team Possum! Here’s to hoping Xiaomi will hear us and send us an early Christmas gift. Thank you again to Xiaomi for giving us a chance to test drive the awesome Yi Action Camera!

Special thanks to Sam Colnago/Fuji/Pina for all the videos.

Posted in Gadget, Test Drive | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why I don’t read food blogs!

A food blogger says there should be mint leaves in Penang Curry Mee! S/he said the mint leaves were missing from a bowl of Penang Curry Mee she recently reviewed! Another one writes that the first time she tasted Vietnamese Pho was when she went to Australia for holiday! …these are the many reasons I don’t read food blogs!

More often than not – the food blogger will be biased as they probably got the meal for free and as such – they are obligated to write a decent word or two about the or establishment.

Food is very personal. Some people may develop a more cultivated taste buds overtime. Some never develop their taste buds at all. Some bloggers hailed from smaller towns – where they grew up with say not one Japanese restaurant in town. So how can you expect to read the views of such bloggers on Japanese food? Some have never eaten decent steaks before because there never was a decent western restaurant where they grew up in!

Taking great pictures does not a good food blogger make. Do not be fooled by just great pics. The blogger’s background should be the focus. How often does s/he eat out? Is she or he well-travelled? You can expect a college kid to write great food blogs. The only exception is if this kid has great parents exposing him to fantastic food and travels!

Nothing pisses me off more than eating bad food! I love to eat! So I want to make sure the calories that go in are good calories. You will put in the same amount of calories whether you eat a great slice or cake or a bad slice of cake! So the calories better be worth it!

The best way to find new food/restaurants/cafe is by driving around. Fortunately for me, my job requires a fair bit of driving around to see my clients. The best times to discover new places are when I have to drive to a new place to see a new client. And very soon – if we secure that person as a new client – s/he will give suggestions as to where we can go for lunch or tea or dinner meetings nearby!

Another way for me to find new places to eat is through friends’ recommendations. I will always listen to the same friend maximum of two times. If s/he suggested a not so great food the first time – s/he will still get a second chance. After that – I will ask for food suggestions from them. For new places that I chance upon – I will try the place once. It’s either a hit or miss but it’s ok. At least one chance was given.

Friends who come up with great food places are the best kinds of friends. Value their feedback! And I will reciprocate by sharing my own great finds with them. These same circle of friends will also have great recommendations when you go overseas. And speaking of overseas – those are probably the only times I have to refer to “blogs” to get an idea of where to eat. However, so far, I have been lucky – I have well-travelled friends to rely on.

Once, one of my friends refused to eat at a new restaurant I just discovered! Her reason was that no one had written a blog about it yet! Friends who are willing to go on food advertures with you should also be valued!

Looks like it’s time to throw a party to celebrate these great friends or to send them a thank you note for their years of great food recommendations!

Recent satay recommendation by a friend

Recent satay recommendation by a friend

New place discovered as it was near one of the many car workshops BF likes to hang out it!

New place discovered as it was near one of the many car workshops BF likes to hang out it!

A cafe near a friend's house.

A cafe near a friend’s house.

Posted in F&B | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Chanel Paris-Salzburg in Malaysia

Chanel probably throws the most elaborate and detailed events here in Malaysia compared to all the other brands. Every collection, depending on how the Kaizer presents the show – Malaysia will follow in close pursuit. Every time, I have to hold my breath and wonder how Malaysia will pull it off. So far, Malaysia has never failed to put up a good show – from the decor, to the hors d’oeuvres and the drinks – everything is always spot on and put together with extreme care to the theme.

This brings us to Pre-Fall 2015. The Chanel Metiers D’Art 2015 Collection was presented in Salzburg, Austria in December, 2014. The location was in an 18th century rococo castle, Schloss Leopoldskron. Google the show and you’ll get to see how the whole set-up was done in Salzburg for the actual show.

Fast-forward to May 2015 in Kuala Lumpur…The Chanel Metiers D’Art 2015 Collection, Paris-Salzburg.

FOUR “rooms” were set-up to represent four of the rooms in the castle. The four rooms are  the Venetian Room, Chinese Room, Library and finally, White Room. Each room was cleverly set-up in a quadrant. It really felt as though you are walking into a real life set. It was an impressive set-up to showcase the collection here.

This was an open door event for the press. This is also one of the reasons why Chanel is still one of my favorite brands. The amount of attention and details paid to set-up this press event is flawless and amazing.

There are definitely some key pieces that I won’t mind hoarding and adding on to my small but growing Chanel bags and RTW collection. As this is a delayed post – and I know for certain the collection already hit our local boutique here. I’ve to find courage to step in to get the blue bag that already comes with all the pins! It’s like buy a Chanel bag and get all the pins for free!

A picture speaks a thousand words…have fun browsing through the eye-candies in the gallery!

 

Posted in Designer, Fashion, Shopping, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jonathan Adler X Tumi Collaboration

The hoarder in me hoards luggage bags as well. What’s the whole point of having nice handbags and no decent luggage bags to travel with? For years – my favorite luggage brand has been Mandarina Duck. The wheels on my Mandarina Duck bags outlast the ones on my Samsonite. Samsonite is my go to luggage for work – when I have to lug extra items around for my clients when we do nationwide events for them. And I have no qualms lending my Samsonites to my colleagues for work use as well.

BF and I always have this debate on picking Rimowa vs Tumi. Tumi will win because our choice will never be Rimowa as we are more inclined towards Zero Halliburton. And since we have other luggages that are still in good working condition – we never saw the need to buy any additional luggage until we saw the Jonathan Adler X Tumi Collaboration. It was love at first sight and there was no need to think twice about purchasing the luggage!

The moment I opened up the luggage and saw the tiny airplane zipper pulls – I was totally sold! No turning back. Just had to own it!

Airplane zipper pulls

Airplane zipper pulls

This bag is cabin size with the following dimensions:
22″ X 15.75″ X 9″
56cm X 40cm X 23cm
The weight comes in at a hefty 7.2lbs (3.30 kg) with a volume capacity of 34 liters. It’s 100% polycarbonate and the lining is 100% polyester. There are four wheels underneath the bag. And the phrase “Are we there yet?” is clearly printed on the front of the bag. The bag comes with the cutest luggage tag. A Jonathan Adler X Tumi luggage tag alone will cost a fraction of the entire luggage – so you might as well get the whole luggage!
I’ve yet to put anything into the bag as I’ve not travel plans anytime soon. I am a very poor packer…a packing demonstration or attempt by me will only stress you out! So it’s better to let everyone just enjoy the exterior and interior aesthetics of this Jonathan Adler X Tumi bag!
We’ll definitely get there with or without Donkey’s “Are we there yet?” running through our heads incessantly during our journeys! Keep calm and travel in style!
Posted in Test Drive | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A closetful of Chanel Bags Vs. Prescription Glasses

This morning was spent with a group of children in Desa Mentari flats. We tested 65 children for prescription glasses. 55 children needed glasses and eventually 10 adults – mostly single mothers and elderly had prescription glasses made.

This initiative was made possible by Doctor Magiswary Dorasamy and Sumitra Nair who initiated our chapter of 100 Women Who Care Community. This is based on Regina Brett’s “Empower your power by joining forces”. Every quarter we contribute Ringgit Malaysia 100 (approximately USD30) per person to a selected needy cause/organization. So with 100 women – we can raise RM10,000 (USD3k) per quarter. It’s no easy feat to manage 100 women but Doctor Magis and Sumitra manage us beautifully.

The amount we raised this round went to a group of under-privileged school children. A very kind optician, Mr. Bernard A/L David Joseph from Bernard Option in Jalan Ampang brought his equipment and a wide selection of frames on site to facilitate the eye tests.

Today’s eye-opener came from this family with six children. All six requires prescription glasses! They stay with their grand-father and he used to wonder why all his six grand-children had to sit so close to the television each time they watch something on telly. His eldest grand-daughter who is 13 got her eyes tested today and her power is 500+ for each eye! It makes me wonder how she can go through school practically “blind”! And how is it possible for her teachers to not notice that she cannot see the school boards? Her family may not have the funds to get her prescription glasses but the school or her teachers should have done something about this or even highlight this to her family and suggest some possible ways for her family to get her prescription glasses.

And what does all this have to do with Chanel bags? Silly me had to carry one of my Chanel bags to the event this morning. I was just too lazy to change bags this morning. I just plonked my bag on the table this morning and then immediately felt guilty after converting the money spent on the bag to the number of prescription glasses I could have supplied to under-privileged children!

To make matters worse (and my second eye-opener) – I then discovered one of our founding members for this charity initiative is married to a Professor at a local university. And her husband, the Professor, has been giving free tuition to the children at Desa Mentari for the past FIVE years! If I had not stock up on more Chanel bags – I could have funded tertiary education for some of these children!

I am now officially on a Chanel bag ban!

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment