28 September 2020

World versus Coronavirus.

This pandemic is really something. Being in a lockdown for the first time brings a whole new meaning to what life is all about. I mean - this kind of lockdown can make a lot of people feel very stressed and anxious - evidently seen in supermarkets when toilet rolls and baking supplies run out so fast. 

Of course, coming out of the 3-months lockdown has also taught all of us things and made us realize a few things too so there are some goods out of this pandemic. But still. 

Everyone in the world now fights against one common enemy and that is Miss Rona. Some are affected because they have lost their loved ones to this virus or lost their job because the company can no longer support them due to business not doing well et cetera. 

Working in a travel company at such a time is really not a good thing. 

When the borders remained closed (till Dec 2020), that means our clients (corporate mostly) are not able to travel for their business duties whatsoever, and since 80% of our business depends on corporate travels, this is really a bad thing. 

As expected, right after the MCO and our first Town Hall Meeting with our owner, Dato Loy - we all received our first wave of pay cuts. Boo. Then, they removed half of our allowances (for sales and runners), and not long after that, most of our benefits that require the company to spend money (claims on dental, etc) were also stripped off. 

Don't ask me if legally they can do that because I have zero ideas but I supposed the company has consulted their lawyers before making major decisions like that. 

Our HQ in KL started the first round of retrenchment where it was believed that many did not expect to receive a 24-hours notice to clean their tables, return all assets that belong to the company, and leave the family just like that. I believed tears were flowing in our gigantic office that day. 

It was Penang's turn the next day and same as KL, those who got the 24-hours notice did not see it coming at all - did not expect that they will be the one to be kicked out (sort of). Of course, people were crying. It was a sad day. 

It is one thing to tender your resignation and voluntarily leave the company and it is another thing to be asked to leave the company (in 24-hours!) - I can only imagine the emotions that were so mixed up. 

Imagine you are asked to go into the boss' room and in less than 10 minutes, your life changed - you no longer have a job and you have to say goodbye to your workplace (of which you spend most of your waking hours at) and colleagues - all on the same day. 

Sure, you can always grow the friendship outside of the office but it is a completely different feeling. I bet it leaves you clueless and lost in the moment. 

I was not particularly close to those who got retrenched but it was emotional enough for me to shed a few tears to see them clear their table and leave. 

This pandemic is really something. 

Despite the company's effort to keep the ship and all its people on-board and to continue sailing, sadly it is not possible. Now, our company is trying to make sure that the ship does not sink. So, we totally understand the pay cuts and removal of allowances and benefits and a few rounds of retrenchment. After all, we are about 300 staff strength. 

All our branches are still operating but if domestic travels do not pick up in sales, I doubt we can survive this year really. 

The news is another round of retrenchment is going to happen and who knows what is going to happen - if more people are going to get cut this time. 

We have been trying to push and get people to travel domestically because really, our Tourism Industry needs it - but people are afraid to travel because there are still cases reported in Malaysia and I totally get it. 

BUT IT IS JUST SO HARD TO SEE THIS SHIP SINKING LIL BY LIL in all honesty. Sakit hati definitely. 

My husband gets a lot of WhatsApp messages from me on this hotel got promo lah, this 3D2N package very worth going lah, etc. You cannot imagine how often I tell him about how badly I want to go for staycations and trips around Malaysia. Lucky for me - he is also a travel bug so yay. 

With all these pandemic dramas ongoing and who knows where this is heading, and with many other personal reasons and motivations, I have decided to say goodbye to this company - of which I went back to, early 2019 because it really is a great company. But I guess this is where my story ends with Holiday Tours. 

I have 2 months left with this company and really, I am thankful for all the opportunities that were given to me, and HTT will always have a special place in my heart. I mean - if you are looking to get a job in a tourism-related company, please have Holiday Tours & Travel as your first choice. It is the best in Malaysia. Top in the industry, please. No fight at all. 

I look forward to working on other things in my life and my top priority is, of course, my two kids. They are growing up too fast and I will not want to miss anymore milestones and I want to be their teacher in everything. Hah. 

I try lah okay. 

I cannot be a teacher, to be honest. And no, I am not homeschooling my children. Heh. I am not so disciplined and smart. Hah. 

Anyways, this pandemic sucks big time but I have also seen and experienced some goodness out of it. Better days ahead I believe. 

Oh - we also had to say goodbye to our 5D4N trip to Vietnam (all expenses paid for). Our kids (if they go) also no need to pay for anything. We just literally had to get our passports renewed, pack our bags, and go. Everything is planned and paid for. WHAT IS THIS. I guess it is just not meant to be.

Till next time, bye now. 

15 September 2020

I Did Brazilian Waxing at Strip Penang! What Now?

 Yep - you read it right. Nothing wrong with your eyes. 

Another thing on the list got ticked. 

If you did not already know, I have always been curious about many things, and going for a waxing session is one of them. Not just any waxing okay - like on the legs or underarms. 

One of the reasons why I never actually go for it is because they are expensive, and I mean I am not willing to pay so much money to remove hair on certain parts of my body, please. I can do that myself - or get my husband to do it for me. 

Of course, it is also because I am scared la okay. Scared of the pain and although everyone online says that it is painless la, and they had such a wonderful experience la - common sense still shouting loudly that it is going to hurt when they pull the wax strips from your skin. 

So, it was delayed. The curiosity on this one was not that strong - not until one day, Beverly came to our house with her mini wax machine and started waxing some of us. She started doing nose hair waxing on the guys because Andrew claimed that it is not painful at all. 

Of course, Adrian went for it. Okaylah - Adrian said actually not painful, but he and Josh both screamed like girls when Beverly was going to pull it out from there nose. So manly I know. Heh. 

Anyways, she tried on my legs, and surprisingly, it was not painful at all and I kinda enjoyed the whole process of it. So, that was how this whole curiosity came out again. 

Then what do you know! 9.9 came and Fave sent me an email and I clicked on it and the next thing I know, I also clicked "Buy Now!". 

I called Strip Gurney Paragon immediately and scheduled an appointment the very next day. I was not going to give myself a lot of time to run away from it. Later reality sets and I got freaked out so the faster I go through with it, the better. 

To be honest, I was very nervous to experience a waxing experience on my hoo-ha because in my head, of course, it is going to hurt like crazy. Not as much as labor pain (nothing is more painful than giving birth really) but I was super nervous. 

I was even more nervous when I stepped into the shop and was greeted by 3 ladies. Hopefully, they cannot tell I was sweating inside so hard it is crazy. 

I was then ushered into a room and given certain instructions and then I lie on the bed - covered with a clean plastic sheet and covered myself with the towel given. 

My wax therapist named Chom (who is a Siamese, married to a Technician working in Prai and she has a 3yo girl who she sends to a local nanny that she pays RM800/monthly). You will be surprised how easy it is to get to know someone when you go through such an "intimate" process. Heh. She was such a lovely person. 

Anyways, she started waxing my underarms because it's the easiest I supposed and painless for sure. It felt like a massage la, please. Hah. It was finished so fast I didn't even realize it. 

So when it was time for her to wax my hoo-ha, I became speechless for a while because I did not know what to expect. So I asked her questions and in my effort to try to distract me from freaking out, we talked about our personal life. Heh. We shared life stories and jokes. 

So, how did the whole Brazilian waxing went? 

Okay right - so if you go read reviews on Brazilian Waxing, and most (probably about 80%) will claim that it is painless and it's a very comfortable experience, etc. 

Let me tell you something. 


Let no one tells you otherwise. 

How can it be painless? The therapist will spread a layer of hot wax onto your hoo-ha and when the wax is dried up, they will then pull it off. Yes, pull it off. No slow motion all, please. Chom always gave me like a heads-up when the wax is ready to be peeled off and I would hold my breath. 

Brazilian waxing is a painful procedure because it is done all over your hoo-ha. But it is the kind of pain where it lasts for like 2-seconds and then gone no more pain - because now that pain shifts to the other side of the hoo-ha. Heh!

It was my first full-on Brazilian waxing experience and I have to say that I loved it! It was surely painful and all but it was also very satisfying to see the end product of it. I mean - it's really something la okay. 

The pain is very bearable, and yes - in that 2-seconds after they peel off the wax, your body will shake in response to the sudden pain, but after that, all is good again. 

So, was it worth the RM58?

Definitely yes! The original price is RM129 (I think), and actually, I am not sure if I will be willing to spend that money every 2 months or so to get waxed. We will see. 

So, if you have not tried before, I would highly recommend you try it because aren't you like curious about how it will feel and how it will make you feel after the whole thing?

I feel quite sexy la, to be honest! HAHA. Okay - TMI!

Till next time, bye now. 

01 September 2020

In Loving Memory of Pastor Lim Heok Cheow.

The impact is bigger than imagined. 

It is surreal that Pastor Heok Cheow is no longer reachable via his phone, FB, or home visits. Every time when I think of that, I become sad. It is one of the hardest goodbyes.

My only regret is not calling/visiting him earlier.

We have arranged for a dinner party at his house on the day he passed away. If only we did the dinner party a week earlier. So many 'if only' so I'm going to stop.

I mentioned this in my eulogy so here it is again.

When I first met Pastor HC who was the Youth Pastor back then in 2003 (I was 15yo), I was scared of him. He looked strict and serious, but later on, I found out that he is such a funny and relatable man. You would know because he is loved by so many people especially young people.

You would also know how he loves to exaggerate certain things in his stories (most of the time real-life stories okay) and he always managed to bring the life out of each story that he had ever told. It's as though we were there when we were really not. 

There was once when he (the only adult among us at that time) brought the youth leaders (a bunch of young people) to Langkawi for a "leaders getaway" where we would spend some time there praying and seeking God's direction in our lives and ministry. 

Once we were driving down Cenang Beach and he told us that there is this mall where they charge an entrance fee of RM2 per person. You will get a packet of tissue upon payment. Immediately, we were all like, "Who would pay RM2 to use a toilet?" 

He went on to praise this supposedly 5-stars toilet and convinced ALL of us to give it a try. Can I just say again that we were just a bunch of young people with very limited moolahs! But guess what. 

We did. 

We paid RM2 per person to go see this really-amazing-must-experience-toilet that Pastor Heok Cheow talked about.

IT WAS HORRIBLE PLEASE. My house toilet is so much better than this toilet. The floor was wet, the sink was wet and slightly dirty and the cubicles were meh. 

Of course, he was bombarded by our "complaints" when we got into the van again. I remembered he just burst into the biggest laughter as though he has successfully tricked us all. It was such a precious moment. One of the many precious moments we have had with this God-loving man. 

From then on, every time he tells us a story, we would jokingly ask him to tone it down and not kesi-kesi add elements to it. I loved that he was such a relatable and down to earth that we could be ourselves when with him. He was not judgemental and he was not critical. 

Surely, he had taught and corrected us in our ways but never once, I ever felt condemned or looked down even by Pastor Heok Cheow. 

Working alongside him (a few times as a staff) has been great and a blessing. 

I do not cry in front of people (other than family) but this man and Ps Cowan have seen me at one of my weakest times and I am forever thankful because these two are God-sent. Excuse me, Pastor Cowan - this is not a eulogy for you so you don't perasan. Surely you will live long, please. 

It sucks that I was not able to "send" him off by being there but I know in my heart, he will never be forgotten. I have finally un-sync his calendars on my phone. And I will never forget the sound of your super-exaggerated-laughter that will shake the room and your love for big prawns every time you have your nasi kandar and your quick snooze in front of your desktop and your mega-deep biblical materials. 

I miss you, Noonday Sun. 

Enjoy dancing with Jesus :) Till we see you again one day.