Tuesday, March 24, 2020

MCO Lifestyle at Home

This Movement Control Order period has grounded me at home until I had mild depressions. Luckily my depression was just a few hours because I am someone who does marketing jobs and need to be outside. My lovely wife cooked and cooked until we ran out of gas! So I drove the car to the farthest into Section 17 to self collect my new gas tank from the supplier. Just a 30 minutes drive could discard all the blues in my head and I managed to do some self reflect. I pitied all the prisoners who are being locked up for years and those patients who are bed ridden for years too. My head started reeling at this Covid-19 pandemic which is a karmic matter, all created by humans for humans. Does it make sense?

Let me share a bit of the food we ate at home besides some takeaways. I am very free like a bird but my wife has got tons of work to be done for her office, the Ministry of Education and her social Toastmasters group. She still found time to cook hot and delicious food for me everyday.

I went to the nearby supermarket to buy some groceries twice. They have good control of the crowd of shoppers.

I would highly recommend you all to buy this Salt Fish Pickles which is made by the famous Rozells Family in Penang. It is selling for just RM15.10 and I have bought countless bottles for myself and relatives in Singapore and Hong Kong. They all loved the fragrance and spiciness that goes very well with just plain rice. I would scoop and eat directly sometimes besides adding into noodles or fried rice. Yummy to heavens! 

I also went to the wet market in my area which is touted to be the cleanest and most expensive in the country. I think it is an over exaggerated statement as we can always find both cheap and expensive apples in one hypermarket whereas this wet market chose to sell the expensive and organic range to cater for the popular demands.

We had spaghetti carbonara at home. All the meat and mushrooms were beneath. Oops!

My wife cooked Bak Kut Teh for one dinner. It was her first successful attempt.

She also made the Japanese Gyoza dumplings and I helped to fold them like a disaster. The fillings were tasty and good.

She also fried long beans with chicken meat and big tiger prawns.

She also made ABC soup which tasted very nice with rich flavours of anchovies and cut vegetables.

I enjoyed her Roast Chicken which was being well marinated for many hours. The meat was tender with crispy skin.

I also bought some costly egg tarts as my comfort snacks. Now selling at RM4.90 a piece at its shrunken size with the promotions of Buy 5 Free 1. 

Finally, I found time to read some books about the famous Bodhisattva DiZang Wang and his great vows. I thought he was a legendary deity in heavens but I was stunned to discover that he was a Prince from Korea who spent his years in meditation at the Mount Jiuhua in Anhui, China. He was buried inside a Stupa at the mountain's temple in China. You can read back my visits to the very beautiful Mount Jiuhua in Anhui, China - Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3 |

Millions of Chinese and Japanese pray to him diligently as this Bodhisattva takes care of the deceased souls and those inside the hell. One printer gave me hundred of copies of these 4 books with the hope that I would place them around all the temples in the country. I still have many copies in my hand as it will take me months to finish distributing to various temples. 

Stay At Home. Stay Safe. Read Blogs!


Friday, March 20, 2020

The Milestone of Computational Thinking in Malaysia

I am delighted to blow my trumpet and share what my wife has achieved recently after coming a long way since being awarded the Master Trainer's Gold Certificate for Computational Thinking. She received this prestigious and honorable certificate in 2014 after being the only Asian participant who passed the examinations at the Robotics Academy of the Carnegie Mellon University in Pennsylvania, USA. That famous university ranks the top university for Computer Science in the world today. Being the only qualified participant then, she embarked onto her busiest career journey to fly weekly to several countries namely Manila, Jakarta, Taipei and others to conduct the training of Computational Thinking syllabus to hundreds of lecturers, teachers and relevant educators in overseas. She graced all the invitations and her training was very well received and benefited all the appreciative participants abroad. 

While the subject Computational Thinking has been the curriculum in the whole United States and many western countries for many decades, it still remains a fresh word and unexplored topic to our lagging country. Our Ministry of Education had long expressed interest to embrace and upgrade our education system since Jibby's era but it is still taking shape & not happening fast enough.

My educator wife decided to open her own School of Computational Thinking in June 2019 with actual classrooms modeled to the typical American way. The Craft Guru's classes are currently running in Taman Tun Dr Ismail and Setia Alam.

Having taught in various colleges and university in Malaysia, she is optimistic and hopeful that her CT contributions will benefit all the learning students and teachers in the near future. It is like a call for Tomorrow's Generation and to make learning fun.

Today, many farsighted parents sent their children to the CT classes in TTDI and Setia Alam. I myself studied in United States and did not realize that the American curriculum was aligned to the Computational Thinking's method. Back then, I felt the American lecturers were just very different and made my studying very interesting with all the motivation & encouragement to explore further on my own. We hardly looked at our text books there.

The good news came recently. The top private university expressed their recognition and had decided to engage Craft Guru Sdn. Bhd. to provide the Computational Thinking syllabus. My wife was invited to attend the signing of Memorandum of Understanding with University Tunku Abdul Rahman.

My wife and her business associate Bruce Lee at the University Tunku Abdul Rahman (UTAR) in Kampar, Perak on 4th March 2020.

The VVIP speakers were invited to share their vision with all the invited distinguished guests.

My wife's photo is in the middle, together with all the other invited vendors of the industry who would contribute to bring up the ranking and quality of UTAR's education.

Besides this, my wife still continues to attend regular meetings as the Consultant for the Ministry of Education to plan the strategies and directions for the whole country's education. My God Daughter will be the new generation to enjoy the CT syllabus when our MOE rolls out the curriculum soon.

Future posts:

1. What is Computational Thinking?

2. My mission & goals to bring CT across to China with Aaron Choo.


Tuesday, March 17, 2020

Muay Thai Boxing Gym in Kuala Lumpur

This is not a paid post.
All the opinion is solely at my own discretion and for illustration purposes only.

This is my second month after signing up at the NAKRB Muay Thai Boxing Gym in Plaza Arkadia. The gym is conveniently located in the adjacent building to my office. It was like a lifetime dream came true as it allows me to indulge in this tough exercise hobby at my convenience. I have been watching boxing matches with my Thai cousins when I was a small child growing up in Thailand. Boxing is their National Sports of Thailand where people from all walks of life would gather at the make shift arena or boxing rings in the Moo-Ban villages to watch live boxing matches with shouts, heavy bettings and tempers flaring. Last year, I spent a week in Kelantan and hired a famous boxing trainer to teach me alone to test my overall strengths and interest. Owing to my age, I could still kick really hard to enjoy this ancient sports which was originated during the 18th century in the Kingdom of Ayutthaya.

This NAKRB Muay Thai Boxing Gym is located at the affluent address of Plaza Arkadia in Desa Park City which is an award winning suburbs in Kuala Lumpur.

Just to share a short progress of this boxing activity that brings me much satisfaction and increased my physical endurance & mindpower. Here I posed with the Boss Trainer Tommy and 2 famous Thai Boxing Trainers named Beruang Besar and Yodpadang who all wear Championship belts. Boxing is definitely a good sports for me to remove all my stress and release any anger which is holed up inside. Did you hear that I want to box my bosses in their faces many times?

I am just a beginner in less than 2 months compared with all the seasoned members here who are really strong with tough legs & arms. They could kick really hard with their muscular horse legs and threw punches that could send me flying into the thin air. Look at how this boxer Bruno pranced around the boxing ring using all his amazing fists, elbows, knees and leg kicks! The Thai trainer Yodpadang had a whale time fending him off. This certainly inspired me to work harder to develop steel legs like him.

The boxing gym members come from all walks of life and would all receive the same attention from the trainers. Young and old members including famous celebrities are here too! Each session would last one hour with 3 individual one to one session with the mighty trainers would give me a hellish time kicking and punching over 100 times with many push ups in between. No Pain No Gain.

Tonight it was just me and Bruno at the boxing sessions. I could see how the trainer Sham used the stand-up striking along with various clinching techniques to battle with the persistent Bruno. Someday I hope to see Bruno fighting a match at Lumpinee Boxing Stadium in Bangkok! Way to go!

My other gym buddy Yang is very young and strong! He is just a varsity student and inspired me that we should be alert at all times and knock down our opponents or enemies with a single blow. Each time I attended the boxing session, I would be gasping for breaths and sweated buckets & rivers of sweats from my face right to my underwear! I think I could easily burn 2000 calories in less than one hour. Who wants to join me?

They have various membership sessions which are flexible to suit your time and needs from month to month basis. A beginner could start with the easiest which is like once a week session and costs only RM220. Next option would be twice weekly for the fees of RM380 which is worthwhile. Lastly, some would pay RM480 for 12 sessions and RM630 for unlimited sessions per month. If you are interested, you can call Tommy Lim +6012-380 0284. See you there!

This is my recent photo which I could see that I looked slightly slimmer but definitely stronger now with increased metabolism! My boxing stint has certainly raised hundreds of eyebrows and many friends thought that I am crazy. They cautioned me that this tough & rigorous sports is only for the younger men! Am I not a young man? Ahem! They are just waiting to see me collapse and faint at the boxing ring. Muahahahaha!

Both my feet were still in good shape at the beginning. The tall Thai trainer Beruang Besar started to give me a harder time. I had to kick much higher at his boxing gears until my toes and feet started to turn blue black. It was fun swearing at him as he spoke his native Southern Thai Paktai dialect with me. I started to feel that my feet and toes were getting muscular each day with pain when I woke up from my bed. I had to slowly limp my way to have morning shower. I felt good definitely as I could achieve another feat from my long bucket list.

After a hard day's workout, I had to pamper myself with some comfort food. My wife and I had a good meal of Hong Kong Dim Sum.


Tuesday, March 3, 2020

Visit To Kelantan - Workation Again

My wife had to go over to Kelantan again, last weekend to conduct her training. I followed her again just like how it was like one year ago HERE. Last year, I wanted to follow just to complete my coverage of the 13 states in Malaysia where I hired a GRAB car to even bring me to Terengganu from Kota Bharu. It was quite costly to achieve that "13-States Visited" feat but the opportunity was priceless. I found the folks in Kelantan and Trengganu as very polite and extremely friendly to welcome me. I love them!

We took a 1 hour flight from KLIA to Kelantan and it was a breeze. Last year I took Malindo Air where the air cond malfunctioned until I sweated buckets! It was horrors and suffocating.

We stayed at the same hotel which was almost fully booked. So I had to get their suite room instead which was very big and nice with separate living area. Every night I would walk across the street to the biggest night market at Wakaf Che Yeh. They close at 3.00am every night! Many folks are burung hantus here to shop till past midnight daily. I bought 2 bottles of the most popular Tom Yum paste from Thailand. One for my wife and the other for my Thai boxing coach in KL.

This time I noticed many new and interesting stuffs were on sale. I was shocked to see the Avant Garde sandals of the world famous Japanese designer, Yohji Yamamoto were being displayed. It could be imitations and copied to perfection but the price was still very expensive! Faints!

I have signed up for boxing lessons in KL and I seriously want to box the face of my boss! So I had to choose a nice tee shirt for my boxing classes.

There were so many types of colourful and trendy tee shirts on sale. They looked so cool and made me feel like an old uncle to wear them. I bought nothing.

Last year, I visited all the Buddhist temples around Kelantan. This trip, I decided to visit one of the 3 Floating Markets and many old palaces.

I paid RM6.00 for a boat ride across the huge river to the Floating Market which is just 15 minutes away. The boats are so narrow and the fat makciks almost made our boat capsize for shaking too much. We have to sit perfectly still to be safe.

This Floating Market is very new and they have not been officially launched yet. I thought that it was kinda disappointing but I was wrong. The local food sold by the boat vendors were all delicious. So many families ate Seafood Platters which looked delicious and cheap. I simply chose their "Laksa Kampung" and the taste was heavenly nice. The broth was thick and creamy instead with fish which tasted unusual to me.

Next day, I went to town again to rent the bicycle from the same shop. This time I wanted to cycle to other areas like all the museums and old palaces around Kota Bharu. I ate their famous Roti Titab and thick coffee before I started my journey.

I cycled along the river banks in the town area. The water was so muddy brown and I named it Sungai Teh Tarek. 

This old palace is called Istana Jahar.

Whoever that visits Kelantan should rent their bikes from this SR OUTDOOR GEAR CENTER which is located at Lot 137, Jalan Tok Hakim in Kota Bharu (Tel: 09-7477048) You can cycle all day for just RM10 and the owner Encik Alan is very friendly & helpful. 

This shop is very well stocked. Their bikes are all very new and in tip top condition. Besides renting, you could buy top quality new bicycles, helmets and jerseys from there too. Encik Alan would give you the best prices and recommendations.

This trip, my wife's training participant loaned me her new car to use throughout my stay. I felt so blessed and it saved all my GRAB fares everywhere. I sent the car for a good washing and vacuuming before returning to her at the airport.

Good bye Kelantan. I will be back again soon.