Friday, October 30, 2020

Collecting Old Currency

I have something interesting to share about old currencies. When I was a little kid, my father bought my siblings and I, our own stamp albums. He taught us to collect stamps and First Day Covers which I had little interest until today. I must admit that I enjoyed looking at stamps that were colourful and odd shapes like round or triangles. I remember some countries like Madagascar, Mongolia and Congo had very colourful photos that still play in my mind. The good news is that I still keep some First Day Covers that dated back to 1950s and they are very valuable today. I might blog about it later when I have compiled them together with the estimated value.

Besides my strongest penchant for antiques and shopping bags, I don't have other hobbies or keepsakes to collect. Yes, you heard shopping bags correctly. I just nailed them all over the small wall inside my own private office. By the way, do you want to see my wallpaper of shopping bags?

Now let me share my accidental moment to dabble in old currencies. I think I was inside an antique shop 2 decades ago and saw them selling some old coins and notes. What struck my eyes was the old notes of Malaya under the Japanese Occupation. They call it Banana Money until today and it was so worthless even though they were printed during the World War 2 in 1941. The folks hated the money after the painful war and burnt them away when the new Malaya currencies came into force. Some kept them in the biscuit tins and later sold it to antique collectors at dirt cheap prices. I was curious and picked them up to admire the interesting drawings of Banana Trees on the various notes. I decided to buy some notes as keepsakes even when they posed no value as investment...... Today I discovered that these Banana Monies are in demand suddenly. Let me check the value and dig up my biscuit tins.

Then someone posted in his Facebook to sell some coins. It caught my attention as we still use 50 cents in our present era of currency. The seller's 50 cents were very old and decided to auction. I was not really interested in those coins but I was rather itchy and loved any form of gambling including auction. Can you identify the different 50 cent coins in the above photo?

Yes, the middle coins were dated in the 1960s. I saw them being sold at Amcorp Mall's Flea Markets for over RM50.00 per 50 cent coin. The FB seller wanted to auction off 3 coins at once.

I simply tried my luck and offered RM100 for the 3 coins. That night I won! Now the value is over RM180 for 3 coins in today's value by the collectors. Somehow the 1969 coins are slightly more worthy than those dated 1968 or 1967. I do not know the reasons but I am just happy to make this MCO investment. Someday I hope it will hit RM10,000 for the coins like how other old ringgit notes have soared.


Tuesday, October 27, 2020

The Shopping Malls Are Deserted

It has been over a week since 1-Utama Shopping Centre has re-opened its doors after some thorough sanitizing and cleansing. We were the first to arrive that morning to see an almost empty scenery inside out.

The huge carpark at the old wing still had plenty of bays at near noon. All the shoppers are still worried and went elsewhere(??)

At the lower ground level of the Food Street was still quite empty after a week. We have been eating with friends at several restaurants daily to support them. 

A friend treated us to eat vegetarian at the Yishenshu Restaurant which has been my favourite place.  The Assam Fish Curry is very tasty and delicious.

Their food is so delicious and tasty that I would not mind being a vegan for life if I could afford to eat them for all meals.

We are also eating at various restaurants inside The Starling Mall to support them. Last night was my first visit to dine at The Museum. The food and service is SUPERB. I will definitely come back often. I love their cozy and charming decors of the Old Shanghai era.

We had Fish Head Noodles and Char Siew Wan Tan Mee. Both are great orders and highly recommended.

 My wife treated me to this meal.

We love to eat steamboat buffets as it is healthy with their choice of soups. This Japanese styled Sukishi Japanese Hotpot at Startling Mall is my favourite place. Their sauces are plenty and you can mix your own atomic taste!

So much fresh vegetables, meat, seafood, mochi and even sushi rolls with raw fish. You can eat all you can within 2 hours.

Somewhere in TTDI, there is a nice cozy and beautiful bistro that opened behind my wife's educational centre. This Ficus Bistro is a place with very tasty and traditional Malay food besides some fusion menu and beverages. The menu is slightly pricy but the food is guaranteed top notch for orang atas.

Their set meals are very popular as it is priced at RM9.00 with a glass of cold drink. I ordered their Mango Yoghurt Lassi drink for RM18.00. It was worth the price and I have no complaints. I will always dine at that place for lunch as it is convenient with chic and cool ambience. My friend paid the bill, so I was happy lah.

My friend paid the bill, so I was happy lah.

36 Jalan Tun Mohd Fuad 1,
Taman Tun Dr Ismail, 60000 Kuala Lumpur.
Tel: 03-7733 4887


Tuesday, October 20, 2020

How To Teach A Child To Draw Tropical Birds


My first post for this topic on October 5th drew an overwhelming number of visits from worldwide from KL to Russia until USA and Saudi Arabia. I think many people are trying to find the simplest ways to guide young children to draw well. I am now discussing with my wife on doing this using Tik Tok apps so that it could reach out to a wider audience until China.

This is my 7 year old God Daughter Joia Lee who has been coming to my little office to learn some basic skills in drawing and colouring. I am still teaching her to use crayons (Oil Pastels) as the medium to colour as it is easier to correct her mistakes in toning besides getting her to be used to the hand movements holding the crayon sticks. Her fingers are still very tiny as a little girl, so it is not advisable to use fat brushes to paint watercolours or acrylic yet. She is too young and her patience is definitely limited where her mind wanders and distracted too easily. I would prefer to slowly build her patience and teach her to complete her colouring projects in smaller area canvas within the duration of 1 to 1.5 hours. Anything beyond that timeframe would see her throwing tantrums to get off the chair to roam outside the office.

I downloaded some simple pictures of Tropical Birds from the internet and printed out. I gave her a mini white board to practice sketching the birds using a white board's black marker pen. Earlier she had watched me sketching the different Tropical Birds on the white board before erasing them off. She took over the white board to start drawing after memorizing all the steps and strokes I had drawn. That will train her memory and copy cat skills. I would say she had observed me well and sketched out fine.

Nest step, I took out the sketching pad and drew out the birds in pencil. I started colouring the birds with crayons sticks and kept reminding her that she must colour the birds with different shades and tones. That way would make the birds look alive and more realistic. 

I gave her another sketching pad to start sketching the Tropical Birds in pencil lines. When she had drafted the position of the trees, bushes, river and different birds, I would correct her drawings which were often out of proportions or crooked. She had to erase and redraw them to my expectation before she could start using crayon colours on her own. She complained that her nimble fingers were tired as I was too fussy and would not back down for her to use short cuts in shading the colours.

VOILA! She happily finished her Tropical Birds picture within one hour. She proudly showed her parents and her daddy had to photograph her masterpiece as usual to post into his Facebook. 


Monday, October 12, 2020

How To Overcome One's Own Depressions

Do I look like a Happy Go Lucky person with no problems in my life? If you say yes, then I should correct you. I had my share of personal struggles in my earlier years even before I met my wife. Those days, I had no idea what depressions was all about except that I often felt very unfair, angry, sad, frustrated and crazy that all rolled up together into a ball that trapped inside my chest and head. I suffered mostly from my career days where I met the worst humans, bullies and back stabbers that existed in every company that I had worked in. It looked like no ending feat until I decided that enough was enough and slowly built up my courage not to fear of anyone and anything. 

What triggers some depressions?

1. Medications
2. Abuses
3. Fear
4. Death of someone
5. Threats
6. Terminal Sickness

I believe everyone had the encounter with their own depressions along the way in life. Be it small or big depressions, it would always be a painful torture to our mind and soul. Life on earth is just temporary yet it is like a no ending of struggles and survival obstacles that come to our mind in cycles. Sometimes the problems could drag for days, into weeks, months and even years until it becomes suicidal stage. As long as they are not physical pain, we should try to be strong always and keep our mind very positive. I always believe the saying there's light at the end of the darkest tunnel. The best help is having someone to motivate and lift up our spirits again. We need a pillar or friend to hold or a shoulder to cry on. What happens if we are alone and lonely with no one around? Hold on, there's always many ways we could still overcome and tide over the depressions without medications. Say a prayer and talk to God whether you believe it or not. He will listen and hopefully show you the paths to free yourself.

Depression is commonly known as a mood disorder that causes a persistent feeling of sadness and loss of interest in our daily lifestyle. I would get up and take a long walk inside the parks to breathe the fresh air and bathe in the positive energy under the sunlight. Take a long walk inside the biggest food supermarket and browse at all the food on the shelves along the aisle as the food would emit some strengths of energy. Smell the fruits and fresh vegetables as they would recharge and rejuvenate your souls. I would often take my wife to movies every week as we would be cut away from contacts with friends and distractions for 2-3 hours inside the dark. It would shift away our disturbed minds and hopefully restart our brains by not watching sad or horror movies.

I managed to become a stronger person after meeting my wife. Through her, my eyes started to open up to see how the homeless people lived on the streets at midnight. I started to accompany the terminal ill patients along their final journey. I stopped complaining that I had not enough in my life. These experiences have no words to describe but it made me realize that life is just an illusion on earth. Everyday we trade with each other using our merits and karma until our time is up to return to where we came from. Everything is just temporary and we should live in the Present. We should let go and not dwell into all the pasts or worry too much for the future. We should live to the fullest in a meaningful way, everyday. Remember, to live in the Present.

Please give your heart, time and happiness to others in need. Give your ear and shoulder to others in need. There are many friends and strangers who need our comforting words to lift them up again. This is important as long bouts of depressions would often lead to serious complications and suicidal at times.

I always enjoyed reading quotes of wisdom posted in the social media. I saved many interesting quotes in my smartphone to browse through whenever I was feeling down. That certainly could help my foulest mood to feel rejuvenated instantly. Just read them all and you would hopefully feel better.