Monday, 5 November 2012

Game and Watch

To those of us who went to school in the '80s, it wasn't always about "five stones" or "catching" during playtime.  The electronics games industry was in its infancy and we wasted many hours glued to the screen playing games too.  In those days, Nintendo came up with a series of Game and Watch playthings that were all the rage.  Any girl who owned one of these gained instant celebrity status and became very popular especially before school and during recess. It's a wonder these weren't banned.


This version of Game and Watch called  "Octopus" turned me into a serious addict!

I posted this picture on Facebook and asked my friends for responses.  Here are some nostalgic (and hilarious) responses:

Vasanthi: I loved playing "Manhole" as well

Jin Hui:  I remember the one with the chef trying to catch food in a frying pan.  Was it called Chef?

Kar Hue:  Haha...I remember them all!  Twas one with Mickey Mouse collecting eggs

Patricia:  I remember playing, and playing in class too   (Joanna says: Hor..hor..Pat...I tell teacher then you know!)

Jenny:  I loved all these Nintendo games


Friday, 28 September 2012

Sexy Spaghetti Song

I made a trip back to KL on Friday 14th September for a very special event. Juwita Suwito was staging a concert at the Pavilion and dedicated the first night to BBGS. Under Mrs Abraham's guidance, Juwita and her amazing band conjured up magical music for the many BBGS girls and teachers who turned up to enjoy the evening. She even managed to surprise Mrs Abraham with a birthday dedication.

My favorite song of the night was the very sexy jazzed up version of "On Top of Spaghetti".


Monday, 3 September 2012

Sailing around Singapore

Last Saturday afternoon on 1 September 2012, sixteen BBGSians boarded a yacht at One Degree Fifteen Marina at Sentosa for a reunion with a difference.  Thanks to the brilliant organization of Patricia Chang (hip hip hooray!), the Class of 1987 had a wonderful 25th anniversary and were fortunate enough to have the company of other BBGSians living in Singapore.

There was no talk of diamonds, boob jobs or investment banker husbands.   Just plenty of genuine laughter and unfettered delight in each other's company on board a rented yacht.  This is exactly how 25th year school reunions should be celebrated.

Ladies, I salute you!

============================================

Quotes from the girls:

"It was a wonderful afternoon. Thank you all for reminding me how fortunate I was to be at this school and to have grown up with you." - Tomasina Oh

"Good fun.  My spirits lifted just being with you girls for one afternoon!  Energized to face the daily grind. We must meet more often." - Jeninder Kaur Gill

"Let's not wait another 25 years!  What a blast.  Could have yakked for another 4 hours." - Chen May Yee

"Had a really good yacht outing with BBGSians today. The experience was priceless and I will remember this event for the rest of my life."  - Patricia Chang

Xiao Ling - our very own yacht. For four hours only lah!

All aboard for a sun-soaked bubbly reunion

Lu Meng, Tomasina and Joanna chatting on the deck

Our very own HOT MAMAS - May Yee and Jeninder


From L-R:
1. Sweetest choral speaking conductor
2. Prefect.. Vice Captain.. School Captain
3. Superb portrait artist

4. Model rule-abiding BBGS student
5. Kongsi Gelap gang
6. Maths extraordinaire (kneeling)

Photo caption courtesy of Tan Lu Meng 

Spice Girls from Class of 1987
(Standing L-R) Joanna, Siok Chu
(Sitting L-R) Lu Meng, Patricia, Yee Git

Spicier Girls - Jessica, Melina & Moonlake

Cyndee & Joanne

School Captain passing out champagne.  Oh...how the mighty have fallen, or rather, have grown up.  CHEERS!

Beautiful cupcake presentation by Elis Chan (Class of 1995)

True to form, BBGSians cleaned up as the yacht was docking.  The crew rushed in saying "It's ok, we will clean!", to which I replied "It's alright, we are from BBGS."

Monday, 6 August 2012

Awesome Blossom

I must admit that when I think of BBGS girls in the 1950's, I see images of Stepford-wife wannabes, in floral skirts that twirl as they whisk themselves from the kitchen to the dining room.  Not for this BBGS girl from 1956.  Blossom Wong joined the Police Force before Merdeka and was a bona fide Special Branch police officer who kicked ***!  
Read her stories in this article which appeared in the New Straits Times on 5 August 2012.
Blossom Wong: Fighting crime in a cheongsam - General - New Straits Times http://www.nst.com.my/nation/general/i-caught-criminals-in-a-cheongsam-1.120548/blossom-wong-fighting-crime-in-a-cheongsam-1.120553?page=0#ixzz22jKlb2SN

INTERNET SENSATION: Sultry police officer Blossom Wong was a real-life version of a 1960s spy. An old photograph of her escorting American politician Robert F. Kennedy and his wife, Ethel, when they were in Malaysia, went viral on Facebook recently with many on the social networking site bedazzled by her glamorous looks. Arman Ahmad managed to track down Wong, now 74, to talk about her time in the force. Starting her career in the Special Branch, she retired as a superintendent of police after 36 years of service

YOU may wonder where I got the name Blossom from. My real name is Wong Kooi Fong.  I have always loved plants and gardening. When I was still a child living in Sungei Besi, Kuala Lumpur, I used to plant flowers. My father reared chickens, so I had a lot of chicken droppings for the plants. They grew very well.  There was a Caucasian district officer who lived near my house. His wife called me Blossom because I loved flowers and everything I planted grew well. That nickname stuck. In fact, in my police retirement card, the name is Blossom. It became almost like an official name.

When I finished my Senior Cambridge in the 1950s, I honestly didn't know what I wanted to do.In those days, there were only two options available for girls. I could become a teacher or a secretary. Both were not my cup of tea. I was a tomboy in school and played hockey and badminton, and was in the debating and geographical societies. To me, teaching is boring, and to become a secretary, well you have to please your boss, and you cannot go out of the office. I'm an outdoor person.

After school, I worked with my dad in his poultry farm in Sungai Buloh. One day, there was a recruitment advertisement for the police force. They wanted people who were active and played games, and I thought why not give it a try.  I applied quietly without telling my father, who wanted me to be a teacher. I'd rather not because I was quite naughty in school and was afraid of getting balasan (retribution) from my students for all my misdeeds in school.

One day, I was walking in town (near the current Pavilion shopping mall) and saw a police patrol car. In the front seat was a lady officer and she had a cap on. She looked so smart. She looked at me and smiled and from that moment, I was sold. I would be a policewoman.  In my heart, I knew I wasn't prepared to be a teacher. Besides, if I became a police officer, I would get to ronda around Kuala Lumpur in a police car every day.

As fate would have it, I got a letter asking me to report for training on Aug 1, 1957. I went for six months of basic training. I learned all sorts of interesting things, including marching, musketry and the law. I remember we had a good law instructor. His name was Barcharan Singh. Marching three times a week in boots under the hot sun was the hardest part. All the orders were given in Bahasa Malaysia and at that time, my Bahasa was not up to par.  We woke up before 6am every day. By 6.10am, we were already marching from the barracks to the administration block. There were 15 women and an equal number of men in my batch. 

After graduation, we became probationary inspectors. I was chosen to join the Special Branch and given a posting in Penang. In those days, Sungai Besi was one of the communist hot spots and I wanted to be as far from my family as possible lest someone learned that I was a police officer. I had never been to Penang. Unfortunately, when I joined the Special Branch, I didn't get to wear the uniform, which had been my intention all along. 

I would travel incognito all over Penang as a decoy or undercover. Working with the Special Branch took a toll on my social life. I was very unhappy socially. I was not supposed to mix with the other uniformed girls. When I met one of them on the street, I had to ignore them because it might give my position away. Despite this, I found it all very exciting. After four years, I requested for a transfer to Ipoh to become the assistant area inspector. I was the second in command, and there were five police stations to take care of.In 1962, I was transferred to Kuala Lumpur after I got married. I was posted to the courts there. I became a prosecuting officer in the magistrate's and juvenile courts. 

In January 1964, Robert F. Kennedy and his wife Ethel came to Malaysia. I was assigned to escort his wife and I was asked by my superior officer to guard Ethel with my life.  Wherever they went, I followed. I even followed them swimming in Selangor Club. I couldn't swim so I just sat and watched them. They stayed at a penthouse in Merlin. That was the only swanky hotel at the time.

When Ethel was in the penthouse, I stayed in the outer section. She was warm and friendly and I remember her inviting me to have tea with her. We had conversations about her children. At that time, she already had a big family. When she went back home, she wrote to me in jest: "The TV had more pictures of you than me. If you ever come over, we would need a contingent to protect you."

During my career in the police force, I escorted numerous public figures, including Madam Park, wife of South Korean president Park Chung-hee, and Japanese prime minister Eisaku Sato and his wife, as well as the governer-general of New Zealand, among others. The Japanese prime minister gave me a Seiko watch that I wear until today.


In 1966, Albert Mah, an OCPD at the time, told me that we were setting up an anti-vice unit and I would be in it. He said: "Your fellow officers will show you the black cats."  I wondered what he meant. Then we went to Jalan Ampang, near Federal Bakery. On top of a Chinese coffee shop were numerous rooms. One of the men and I went up undercover and peeked into the rooms. Some of the girls were sitting on beds. I used this visit to plan my operation. It was the first anti-vice operation and we caught a van full of girls. Some of them were underaged. One of them was pregnant. In those days, they were all local girls. There were no foreigners. After the first operation, it dawned on me how widespread it was. From Jalan Walter Grenier to Jalan Khoo Teik Ee to Jalan Hicks and Jalan Alor, there were many of them. The mama-sans became afraid of me.

Later in my career, I would be called up to head another unit. This time, inspector-general of police Tun Hanif Omar asked me to set up the rape investigation section. We received training and a kit from the Royal Canadian Mounted Police. We pioneered the use of DNA as evidence.

I retired in 1993. Now, besides spending time with my daughter and helping with her veterinary practice, I also do some gardening. I'm still quite good at planting flowers. I was with the police force for 361/2 years. I never regretted it. If I could do it all again, I would.

Tuesday, 12 June 2012

Candle 39: Yong Ai Lian (Irene)

I was delighted to hear from Yong Ai Lian (Class of 1963), a bubbly BBGSian from the 1960s who is sharing with us her precious memories and priceless stash of photos.  Ai Lian's enthusiasm is infectious as you will no doubt see when you read her story in her own words.

Hi Joanna

Allow me to introduce myself. I'm Yong Ai Lian ( surname is Young in Mandarin) It is an identity I myself hardly recognise as I have since marriage, subserviently taken on the patriarch namesake.

After discovering your blog and ploughing through all the archived posts,( for 2 days and nights) I realised that there's hardly any 60's BBGSians except for Mrs Yeoh posted. As you may guess, I only decide to google  BBGS after reading about my beloved Ms Cooke's demise.

I am not prepared for the great impact your back2bbgs blog has on my fading memory. Can you imagine this grandma yelling out to her 'old man' to listen as she croaks out the school song to the strains of the video choir.

Joanna, your fantastic blog is a wake up call. At my age, I've been told often to just live in the present and one day at a time, Suddenly this past is catching up with me and here I am sitting in front of my old cupboard, digging out my old BBGS album. I have precious photos of my classmates and I in the orignal BBGS uniforms..the alternate green and white trimmings on the pinafore. There's also photos of the three wonderful caucasian teachers doing the "twist" at our class party.

Hope to hear from you and perhaps through your blog, my old old friends may reconnect with me. Thanks for the trip back down memory lane....I have found Yong Ai Lian again!

===========================================
Name: Yong Ai Lian
BBGS Primary Years: 1954 -1958 ( double promotion from Std 1 to 3)
BBGS Secondary Years: 1958 - 1963
Temporary teaching jobs: BBGS Pri Sch 2 1964 / BBBS Primary(PJ) 1965
Tertiary:  Malayan Teachers' College: 1966 -1967 (more fun than study - those were the days)

Postings

1. Negri Sembilan (got married and lost touch with all childhood friends )

2. Melaka ( busy juggling between job and raising 3 kids.)

Note: 1st few years of teaching..still could maintain the BBGS spirit.. started the Girl Guides Brigade in a rural school, actively involved in teaching folk dancing and dramas, even coaching 'gymrama'.  As the school culture and educational policies change down the years, so did my BBGS spirit..it just died a natural death.

My Three Pride and Joy
  • all my three kids managed to graduate from NUS & NTU (Spore)
  • my eldest daughter is an endodontist and she set up the first endodontic clinic in Alexander Hospital in Spore. She has emigrated to New Zealand after marriage.
  • my second daughter graduated from NTU in computer engineering, worked briefly at SIA, then set up her own business, She thought it would be easier to be self employed when her kids arrived. She was proved wrong.  Both her mom(yours truly) and she had retired from the 24/7 time consuming business and she is now actively involved her primary daughter's school committee besides being a HDB 'tai tai'.
  • my youngest son had rejected an NUS offer to study Dentistry as he couldn't imagine himself looking down into people's mouths throughout his whole life. .(hats off to his 'jieh jieh'). So now he's attached to an MNC and travelling all over the world to places his poor mom has never been in her whole lifetime.
Current Position:  Recuperating in Melaka from the "die die must do" lifestyle in Singpaore and confined to just watching K-Wave dramas


Pic 1(Form 5 class pic)

Mrs Swarfield ( hope the spelling is correct) was actually a doctor but she'd rather we call her Mrs.  Her Health Science lessons always tickled us as she gestured a lot especially at the anatomy parts. We might have lost our innocence then.

This Arts Class is the one and only class . After my LCE, I got an A for Domestic Science ( compulsory for form 1 -3), and B for Science & Math  so I was put in Form 4 Arts class. I was quite blur at that time. Later when I wanted to apply for overseas nursing I found that my lack of Maths & Science in my certificate was a handicap and I regretted my choice.  However, this Arts Class had the most warm and loving members I've ever known and for that I have no regrets.

  Mrs Hooi

My Form 4 form teacher who graduated from Singapore and specialised in History. I always scored As for her History tests and exams as she usually asked me to type the past years questions for her and I became quite good at spotting questions, We had typewriting classes back then with one Mr Mah - a Chinese Muslim. Typing was conducted with music,,,one note for letters and another note for space, My friend who had higher grade piano skills showed off by typing faster than the music rhythm and was reprimanded for that.

Miss Catherine Angus

I practically hero-worshipped her.,.she was pretty , warm and caring. My love for Shakespearean plays probably grew after her emotionally charged interpretation of a soliloquy in French by Lady Macbeth ( I think). She entranced us completely with her smooth rendition of French words that we felt we understood every word . She became my 'guardian angel' after my father ( whom I was very close to )passed away suddenly when I just entered Form 5, She dragged me to the corner of the balcony (where prayers are conducted everyday before class) and soon I was attending the Gospel Hall in PJ where I had a brief spell with Christian teachings. I have long since strayed

 Miss Isobel Albert

Another icon of BBGS - She taught us Literature and her stern blue eyes never missed a single movement during her lessons, Once she asked me whether my well written assignment was my own work (there was no internet and hardly any books to plagiarise in those days) and I was so hurt that I did not look her in her face whenever she came to class, She noticed! One day she caught me alone and started chatting.,,,and I am not sure whether she did apologise for her mistake or not....but I was soon good friends with her again,

Pic 2 (Choral Speaking)

It was the first time Choral Speaking was introduced and my Form 5 class was the proud winner of this brand new shield ( if I am not mistaken, donated by Miss Glasgow who mooted the idea before she retired) I had the honour of attending her retirement ceremony just as soon as I entered secondary. She reminded me of the Queen Mother, graceful and dignified, Miss Angus trained us but Mrs Swarfield took the honour as she 's our form teacher. No, we didn't compose our own at that time. Miss Angus chose a very simple poem , rather more of a nursery rhyme.."The Owl and the Pussy Cat went to sea...in a beautiful..". but her rendition of it was not unlike her Shakesperean performance and we happened to be excellent copy cats.

 Pic 4 ( Bon Voyage)

Mrs Pamela Brampton! What a lady! I believe she was a professional actress from UK or was it US. Her brief stint at BBGS ( halfway my form 4 till mid Form 5) brought unique experiences to our lives. She introduced a sort of modern dance to her PE class and we were made to wear short sleeveless blue tunic to dance to the tune of Tchaikovsky's Swan Lake.. We were divided into several groups - one group is the wind, one the rain, one the thunder and lightning and only one girl is the Sun. I think my group members were flowers and there were some farmers too, So the music started out soft and my group -- flowers or what,,,I just remembered having to go low then stretch up up to the sky .." reach higher higher- the sun is up- reach outwards and upwards to feel the warmth of the sun,,..stretch....!" Then when the music went louder , the thunder and lightning group had to thrash their arms forcefully around. Well, although we rocked to the music of Elvis at that time, we were still inhibited when it came to flaring out our limbs in ballet like tunics. One Malay classmate of mine came in wearing long sleeved tunic because her strict father forbade her to wear sleeveless. Mrs Brampton pulled her aside but I think later on someone must have explained the religious situation to her as my friend continued to wear her long sleeved tunic.

She also instilled the love of theatre in me. My late uncle (an engineer) used to volunteer to do the lightings in the old Town Hall for the Philharmonic Society plays and I had the opportunity to see a lot of plays ,"Merry Widow" & so forth, mainly by expatriates during the 50's & 60's. However Mrs Brampton produced a play for British Council and she introduced a new style stage (forgot the term) where the stage was in the middle of the hall and the audience sat around the stage, almost within reach of the stage players. My classmates and I were not so interested in the new style theatre as in "Mrs Brampton ..got kissing scene or not...you got kiss the hero or not...yes? yes?" Obviously, we rushed to catch the play.

Pic 4 ( The Twisters)

See what I mean.."C'mon let's do the twist.." so the normally serious teachers took to the floor and twisted their butts off to the strains of Chubby Checker's screamings. Even the new art teacher who's very quiet and reserved, seemed to take the opportunity to release the real her. The taller Chinese teacher was Mrs Ngai ( Homescience teacher) whose bark was fiercer than her bite. All the Homescience or Domestic Science (as was called then) teachers were so fierce that we nicknamed them 'Bulldogs". I was hopeless at cooking as my granny still had her 'ah mah jie" until I got married and she went back to China. So I always volunteered to do the washing up while my partner did all the hands -on stuff, cooking , baking etc as she was very fast. However, during the finals I had to stand on my own. I was to serve oven scones for tea. Unfortunately for me, they bought a new gas oven and I was privileged to be the first to use it. My scones were badly burnt even though I had rehearsed the 10 minute baking time a week ago. So I took all the scones and hid them in my apron pockets and tried to scrap off the burnt parts when the invigilator was not looking then smeared them all over with jam. Later Mrs Ngai realised that the oven heat for gas and electric ovens are different and gas heat up faster. Too late!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

A Tribute to Miss Elena M Cooke



I can almost see her now, in her favourite turquoise-green silk dress, heels click-clacking as she marches through the pearly gates, heading straight for the throne room.  She beams as she sees Jesus, with that trademark sparkle in her eyes, as He says; "Well done Elena, thou good and faithful servant."

Our dear Miss Cooke has gone home to be with the Lord and is resting securely in His beloved arms.  We will miss her but her legacy of love and "seeking nothing but the best" lives on in the hearts of all BBGSians who have been touched by her.

I leave you with these inspiring words from Miss Cooke, which have been the guiding light for this blog since its inception. 

"Girls of BBGS - you have a rich heritage. I challenge you to live a wholesome, vibrant life totally committed to giving nothing less than your best while always remembering our school motto - Nisi Dominus Frustra. Without God all is in vain"


For information about the memorial and funeral services:
http://www.back2bbgs.blogspot.com/2012/05/bidding-farewell-to-miss-cooke.html


Read about Miss Cooke's achievements as Headmistress of BBGS:
http://www.back2bbgs.blogspot.com/2009/08/women-of-vision-1925-1993.html


Read about Miss Cooke's school days, in her own words:
http://www.back2bbgs.blogspot.com/2007/10/miss-cookes-story-part-1.html

http://www.back2bbgs.blogspot.com/2007/10/miss-cookes-story-part-2.html



Bidding Farewell to Miss Cooke


Dear BBGSians,

Miss Elena M. Cooke, our former headmistress (1958-1977) passed away peacefully at 11.55pm last night (2 May 2012).

Her sister (Auntie Maisie), niece (...Helena) and helper (Rose) were with her as she slipped away very peacefully after they had helped her to the bathroom.

MEMORIAL SERVICE

Date: 5 May 2012 (Saturday)

Time: 8pm

Venue: Jalan Imbi Chapel, Kuala Lumpur


FUNERAL SERVICE

Date: 6 May 2012 (Sunday)

Time: 2.30pm

Venue: Jalan Imbi Chapel, Kuala Lumpur, and then proceed to the Cheras Christian Cemetery.


The family requests that all donations to be channelled to the Elena Cooke Education Fund to honour her contributions to BBGS. Cheques are to be made in favour of BBGS Alumni Berhad that has been set up to handle the scholarship fund for needy children.

Monday, 23 April 2012

Is doodling an art form?

Remember those long dreary lessons on hot afternoons in school?  For some of us, that induced sleepy stupor while for others, that was an opportunity to doodle happily away!  My talented friend, Jaclyn Tan Lu Meng (Class of 1987) was recently inspired to re-draw some of her creations. 

Proudly presenting...KUNG FU PEARS!






Saturday, 24 March 2012

Ha Ha over Hor Fun


On Friday 23 March 2012, another boisterous group of BBGSians got together for a reunion in Chinatown.  Seventeen ladies, ranging from the Class of 1975 to 1988,  left behind the passage of years and reverted to their giddy, giggly teenage selves.  Thanks to Norma Sit and Moonlake Lee for organizing this reunion over steaming bowls of hor fun and crunchy wontons.

Restaurant Lee Ho Kee serves delicious Ipoh Hor Fun and is the most authentic version I've tasted in Singapore.  This excellent culinary standard comes as no surprise as the restaurant is owned by Jillian Li, an ex-BBGSian.  Jillian was a gracious hostess and one can sense her sweet, sweet soul in the note that she sent to all of us after the event.  She took over the running of the restaurant at the age of 18 when her father passed on, and turned it into the success it is today!

I'm sure I speak for all 17 of us when I say "Thanks Jillian, and we'll be back for more hor fun!"

=================================

Hi Ladies,…esp to Norma and Moonlake
 
I wish to express how honoured I am to be able to host all of you last nite at the BBGS reunion. A BIG Thank You to Norma for initiating it and not forgetting Moonlake for supporting the idea…..but most of all you ladies who made it happen.  =))

Wow I am proud  to say I can't believe you ladies have such good good fantastic memory with our school song lyrics …my heart really felt how blessed all of us are being educated in that school .Hey come to think of it the lyrics is indeed meaningful . O I cant believe  the gathering turn out so well and you still have so much respect for one another  and most of all to our school   I salute and admire,

I ever host protocol and other functions for good frenz. And now I cant believe  I hosted the BBGS Alumni spore It’s a happy occasions and proud to  say  how our school can groom us up !

Thank you again for coming………. I also wish to know all of you a little more! Hope to meet again. Cheers!!

God Bless and Take care………..Jillian

Saturday, 28 January 2012

Liew Wan Kean blogs from South Africa


Liew Wan Kean and daughter

One of my classmates, Chen May Yee, recently started One Brain Blog, to capture the stories of Malaysian returnees, thinking-of-returnees and i-will-never-returnees. She featured another one of our classmates, Liew Wan Kean, in a recent post and I'm sharing part of the story here.

Name: Liew Wan Kean but in Joburg, I had to simplify to Wan Liew (to make life less stressful for others and myself.)

Age: Let’s just say I’m in the same league (age wise!) as J Lo, Lucy Liu, Jenn Aniston, Demi Moore, Cameron Diaz…

Hometown: Born, raised, schooled and worked in Kuala Lumpur.

Current city: Some would refer to the place I live - Johannesburg, South Africa – as the crime capital of the world. But I think we lost that status when we successfully hosted the 2010 FIFA World Cup!!!

No of years abroad: 8

What do you do for a living?

Indirectly changing the African continent!! (emphasis on IN directly aah..) I am the Director of Conferencing and Events for African Leadership Academy (ahem, http://www.africanleadershipacademy.org). Yah, Africa needs good future leaders. No more Mugabe, Gaddhafi, Mubarak type of dictators.

You’ve heard of Oprah Winfrey’s leadership academy? She develops high school girls from SA to be leaders. Our academy’s mission is to develop the next generation of African leaders, both boys and girls. ALA supports them in universities (mainly in America) and beyond. I am continuously inspired by the work of our founders and the kids on campus.

What do you like about where you live?

In no particular order:

  1. Simple lifestyle. Less competition. No keeping up with the Joneses. Less pressure.
  2. Outdoor activities. Picnics at the park. Fresh air and sunshine.
  3. Society is more open minded. I can be who I am, think, say and do what I want, wear what I want… and no one really bats an eyelid (as long as it’s legal and I’m responsible for my actions!)
  4. 4 seasons
  5. People here think I am thin and young looking. Bwah bwah bwah..
  6. Unlike in KL, where I have to buy clothes with ‘L’ size, here, I can even buy at the petite section!
  7. Better traffic.
  8. Peoples’ love for animals, especially their dogs!! A walk in the park is never boring!
  9. Senior citizens’ zest for life, unlike the mindset of senior Msians, who dare not venture out. Here – old people still work in offices, old ladies colour their hair, wear make-up, get their nails done, old couples still hold hands when they walk in the park…
  10. I still can have a maid! Maids everywhere. They come looking for you. No need look for them.
  11. Not many toll roads here. In KL, as soon as I drive out of my ‘taman’ and through the smart tag lane, the diminishing value in my ‘touch n go’ is immediately flashed ‘in my face’…ouch..

What do you not like about where you live?

In no particular order and not all impact me personally:

  1. The crime rate and their horrors. This may sound downright rude but the robberies and murders in Msia are REALLY amateurish compared to the intensity here. Our daily news is filled with horrendous murders, rapes, hijacking, missing children etc. Sadly, many cases are not followed-up due to lack of resources. Too many criminals, too few police… Some policemen have criminal records!! Every other person I know here have either (or know someone close who) lost someone in a robbery or hijack or drunk driving accident or suicide. Every organisation or school has a trauma counsellor.
  2. Just like most politicians around the world, politicians here are corrupt, liars and stupid. It’s really embarrassing. How can you have a toothless educational minister? Our President Jacob Zuma (JZ) is known as the showerhead man because he once said taking a shower after unprotected sex can prevent you from contracting the HIV virus. BTW, he has 4 wives and the 4th one, he had to marry after she got pregnant with his love child. So, that meant he had unprotected sex! And he is the leader of SA – the country with the highest number of people infected by the HIV virus! Hoiii….what kind of example is he setting?
  3. The gap between the rich and poor is huge. Too many beggars. Too many child beggars. Too many mothers with babies begging by the streets. Too many townships (poor living in shacks), even right across the affluent suburbs.
  4. Medical care is very expensive.
  5. Society security and employee benefits pretty much non-existent. No compulsory EPF contribution from employer or employee. No such thing as 3 months paid maternity leave!!!
  6. Petrol/fuel is still very expensive and worse, they tend to increase every month..(me not smiling)
  7. Not many good public (state) schools and teachers left. I guess that’s similar to Malaysia. Private education is extremely expensive here.
  8. Society (particularly the older generation) is not as integrated as M’sians. I guess they only have about 17 years of independence/democracy since Apartheid ended. So, generally, the Whites (English) still stick with Whites. The Afrikaans still stick with Afrikaans. The Coloured still stick with Coloureds. The Blacks still stick with Blacks. The Indians still stick with Indians. We do start to see some varsity students cross races (cultures) hanging out together but still not like what I see at Starbucks or Dome at KLCC.