How I accidentally climbed a Mountain

Yes, you read that right.

How can one accidentally climb a mountain? Well, let me tell you!

I was in Kuching for the Sacerdotal (Priestly) Ordination of a friend, Rev. Fr. Galvin, over the weekend. We used to go to the same University, were of the same intake and was part of the same community, called Young Catholic Undergraduates (YCU), so of course, his Big Day (Ordination to the Priesthood) was bound to be a reunion of old friends.

IMG20170923090355But on the day after the Ordination, some friends suggested we head up to the Catholic Memorial Pilgrimage Centre (CMPC), located at the Slope of Mount Singai, Kampung Tajong Singai, Bau. It is a venue for the Catholic Community to organise retreats, training and religious related events. CMPC was an integral part of our group of friends as we would go up to CMPC at least once a year back in the day. Some of them still do even now, but the last time I went up was 10 years ago, so of course, I agreed to join them.

The Ordination was all I packed for this trip (read: ill-equipped),  but since it was plank-walks and staircases all the way up to CMPC, I wasn’t particularly concerned. Everyone insisted I not use my ladies’ sandals though so I took up Nico’s offer to wear his crocs sandals instead, sans socks. And up we went…

As I recall, going up to CMPC had always been quite a challenge – even back in the day – as some parts were pretty steep. For those who have not been to CMPC, there are Stations of the Cross along the way up that also double as rest-stops. I have gone up without any stops years ago and I have gone up by stopping and praying at each Station as well. But I have never had my knees feel like jelly, which was what happened this time (the difference 10 years make). Lest my knees fully give up on me, I had to stop at almost each Station after the first five, but I still made it up, Thank God.

But that’s where things started to get really interesting.

After a brief picnic (we brought some food with us) at CMPC, Nico suggested, “Hey, shall we go to the top (of Mount Singai)?”

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A jungle path leading to the top of Mount Singai is located just beside the Longhouse.

There were 6 of us in the group – 2 (Syl and Nick) have been to the top before whilst the rest of us (Nico, Ted, Edwin and myself) have not. Prior to this, I never knew it was even possible to go to the top. Needless to say, in excitement, it was a unanimous YES from all of us, although I was starting to feel concerned. I mean, having only brought dresses, dress shoes and a handbag for the weekend (and jeans, tshirts and ladies’ sandals for “casual wear”), I was in no way equipped for climbing a mountain!

“It’s not that high,” said Syl, who had been up a few times.

“How many minutes or hours is “not that high”?” I asked.

“Depends. Some parts are quite steep.”

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And so we started… There was also a group of foreign students from a local private university that coincidentally started their ascend the same time.

IMG-20170923-WA0011My knees were fine during the climb. I wish I could say the same for my feet. Wearing crocs (sans socks!), my feet was starting to blister. And my hands as well, from the rope we use to pull ourselves up along the steeper parts… My handbag – that was just an inconvenience. I was just thankful I could sling it across my shoulder.

 

After a considerable amount of time and climbing a steep part, I asked Syl, “This is the steep part you mentioned?”

“There’s more.”

Internal gasp.

“It’s still a long way up.”

Internal sigh.

We continued our ascend. The group of students earlier had started to split up as some were faster than the others. At one point, our group of 6 became 4 as Nick and Edwin were left behind. When Nick rejoined us, he reported that Edwin could not go up any farther and would just wait for us where he was. And so were 5…

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But one steep slope after another, it became 3 – 2 as Syl, Nico and Ted went up faster, leaving behind myself and Nick who was kind enough to keep me company. My feet was really uncomfortable but there was nowhere to go but up. Fellow climbers (a few from the student group and others) were also taking their own pace (some above us, some below) and Nick would be cheering us all to continue: “Almost there!” “You can do it!” “I can see the sun!” “5 more steps!” “5 more minutes!”

In reality, we were nowhere near the top yet.

Small talks with fellow climbers along the way was interesting though. It made the climb more bearable.

One of the students exclaimed (dramatically): “Someone should make a documentary of me, before I die!” as he huffed and puffed up a steep slope.

Another climber retorted to Nick’s “5 more minutes!” cheer with a “That’s what you said 5 minutes ago!!!” and to his “I can see the sun!”, “I can see the sun from my room, man!”

Funny exchanges happen when people are exhausted. Hahaha.

I passed a climber who was taking a break on the way up.

“As you can see, I am in no way prepared for this climb.” I said, as I motioned to what I was wearing.

“Neither am I”, he agreed. “Just got back from the club and my mate was like, ‘Hey let’s go for a climb!'”

“Doesn’t sound like a great idea now does it?” I quipped.

“No! And I’m tipsy to boot!” he exclaimed.

I chuckled as I considered the next slope…

There were also a few climbers who were on their way down as well and passed us by. I was tempted to ask them how much further we had to reach the top but decided not to, for fear they would say it was still a long way to go.

The most interesting thing that happened on the way up was when one of those on the way down locked eyes with mine as I climbed up a steep slope. It was a familiar face that I had not seen for almost 10 years.

“Fancy bumping into you here!” both Kevin and I agreed. We had a brief catch up as his group was catching up and Nick helped take a photo of us.

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Turned out Nick in turn, knew one of Kevin’s friends.

“I’m with him,” she said, pointing at Kevin.

“I’m with her,” Nick pointed at me.

“So is it still far up to the top?” Nick asked her.

“I turn back halfway,” she replied.

My heart stopped beating for a second. We’re not even HALFWAY up???

Fortunately, she laughed and continued, “I finished already lah. It’s not much further…”

My heart started beating again.

After what seemed like ages and after I don’t know how many “5 steps” and “5 minutes” later, we finally reached the top!!!

Was the view worth it?

Actually, I don’t know.

It was hazy and we couldn’t really see much.

But considering how ill-equipped I was and I reached the top anyways (and it was my first mountain!), I was really pleased.

And that my friend, was how I accidentally climbed a Mountain!

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At the top of Mount Singai, 562 metres above sea-level

For the record, it took me 1 hour and 20 minutes to reach the top – not bad for an ill-equipped first-timer hahaha!

 

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Fireworks

For the past few years I’ve had this love-hate relationship with fireworks

What’s to love about fireworks?

Everything! The lights and sounds just appeals to your whole senses! It just captivates you & time just seems to stand still. All your problems are forgotten, albeit for a brief moment, when you stare into the brightly lit night sky…

What’s to hate about fireworks?

When they’re exploding all around you to the proximity you feel your eardrums are gonna burst and in the ungodly hours of the wee morning when you’re sleeping, or trying to and again when you’re woken up from barely a few hours of sleep early the following morning and you wake up with your heartbeat racing!

Well, it’s a little past 1am on Chinese New Year in Brunei – and it’s quiet outside. Something I have not experienced for the past 2 years as I’ve been celebrating it in Sibu. This year was a welcome change and it brought about an interesting whatsapp-versation between me and a friend:

Me: Oh hey..there goes the fireworks

Friend: Darn..here I can hear em but cannot see em

Me: Here I can see a few hehe.. I think I can appreciate fireworks better when I am not smack in the middle of it.

Friend: Or you are the one lighting it. Hehe..it has been a while since I played fireworks.

Me: Yeah, I think I would appreciate it if I were the one lighting it hehehe..maybe I wanna do fireworks on the 4th of July in the States? Hehe

Friend: Ooo now that is exciting! =) Or CNY in Beijing? Hehe

Me: CNY in Beijing?! *lightbulb* Cannot imagine how that would be like! Imagine watching fireworks from the Great Wall =) I have always wanted to go China too

Friend: One of the places I wanna visit too. Lots of food & breathtaking countryside! =) and fireworks is cheap and legal. Hehe. 😉 Ding! ‘lightbulb’ moment too! =)

…and soon after another friend whatsapp me that she was in China…and she verified that China is indeed awesome during CNY, especially the atmosphere.

But yeah, regardless where you are in the world right now, HAPPY CHINESE NEW YEAR (CNY)!!! I hope you have a great start to the Year of the Water Dragon! =D

Tik Tok

Everyone is paid for the work they do…the difference is HOW?

Some are paid day wages – you come to work today, you get paid. If tomorrow you don’t then no pay.

Some are paid a fixed amount every month – irregardless if all you do that month is just sitting at your desk looking pretty.

Some are paid a percentage of their sales, aka commissions.

For people in my line of work, we get paid monthly yes, but not just to look pretty…we actually have to work ‘cos we have to document what we actually do in that month. How? By filling in Time Sheets

Every single second of every minute of every hour has to be recorded which is logically impossible…how do you record toilet time for example? Using a stopwatch? -.-” Which is why in some organizations (like in my previous firm) they have “Miscellaneous Unproductive Time” recorded in their Time Sheets every day.

That said, imagine receiving this MEMO from your Accounting Department :-

It has come to our attention recently that many of you have been turning in timesheets that specify large amounts of “Miscellaneous Unproductive Time” (Code 5309). However, we need to know exactly what you are doing during your unproductive time.

Attached below is a sheet specifying a tentative extended job code list based on our observations of employee activities.

The list will allow you to specify with a fair amount of precision what you are doing during your unproductive time. Please begin using this job-code list immediately and let us know about any difficulties you encounter.

Attached: Extended Job-Code List

Code Description
5316 Useless Meeting
5317 Obstructing Communications at Meeting
5318 Trying to Sound Knowledgeable While in Meeting
5319 Waiting for Break
5320 Waiting for Lunch
5321 Waiting for End of Day
5322 Vicious Verbal Attacks Directed at Coworker
5323 Vicious Verbal Attacks Directed at Coworker While Coworker is Not Present
5393 Covering for Incompetence of Coworker Friend
5400 Trying to Explain Concept to Coworker Who is Not Interested in Learning
5401 Trying to Explain Concept to Coworker Who is Stupid
5402 Trying to Explain Concept to Coworker Who Hates You
5481 Buying Snack
5482 Eating Snack
5500 Filling Out Timesheet
5501 Inventing Timesheet Entries
5502 Waiting for Something to Happen
5503 Scratching Yourself
5504 Sleeping
5510 Feeling Bored
5511 Feeling Horny
5600 Complaining About Lousy Job
5601 Complaining About Low Pay
5602 Complaining About Long Hours
5603 Complaining About Coworker (See Codes #5322 & #5323)
5604 Complaining About Boss
5605 Complaining About Personal Problems
5640 Miscellaneous Unproductive Complaining
5701 Not Actually Present At Job
5702 Suffering from Eight-Hour Flu
6102 Ordering Out
6103 Waiting for Food Delivery to Arrive
6104 Taking It Easy While Digesting Food
6200 Using Company Resources for Personal Profit
6201 Stealing Company Goods
6202 Making Excuses After Accidentally Destroying Company Goods
6203 Using Company Phone to Make Long-Distance Personal Calls
6204 Using Company Phone to Make Long-Distance Personal Calls to Sell Stolen Company Goods
6205 Hiding from Boss
6206 Gossip
6207 Planning a Social Event (e.g. vacation, wedding, etc.)
6210 Feeling Sorry For Yourself
6211 Updating Resume
6212 Faxing Resume to Another Employer/Headhunter
6213 Out of Office on Interview
6221 Pretending to Work While Boss Is Watching
6222 Pretending to Enjoy Your Job
6223 Pretending You Like Coworker
6224 Pretending You Like Important People When in Reality They are Jerks
6238 Miscellaneous Unproductive Fantasizing
6350 Playing Pranks on the New Guy/Girl
6601 Running your own Business on Company Time (See Code #6603)
6602 Complaining
6603 Writing a Book on Company Time
6611 Staring Into Space
6612 Staring At Computer Screen
6615 Transcendental Meditation
6969 Beating off in Broom Closet
7281 Extended Visit to the Bathroom (at least 10 minutes)
7400 Talking With Divorce Lawyer on Phone
7401 Talking With Plumber on Phone
7402 Talking With Dentist on Phone
7403 Talking With Doctor on Phone
7404 Talking With Masseuse on Phone
7405 Talking With House Painter on Phone
7406 Talking With Personal Therapist on Phone
7419 Talking With Miscellaneous Paid Professional on Phone
7425 Talking With Mistress/Boy-Toy on Phone
7931 Asking Coworker to Aid You in an Illicit Activity
8000 Recreational Drug Use
8001 Non-recreational Drug Use
8002 Liquid Lunch
8100 Reading e-mail
8102 Laughing while reading e-mail

Make sure you put the correct code when filling your timesheets from now on yea? 😀

Note: I got the above from a friend’s notes and is not an actual Memo. I think.

Ah Beng’s e-meow

A couple of friends and I had facial cramps (due to excessive laughing) after reading this.

Since laughter is the best medicine, thought I’d share it with you… 😀

~~~

Dear Ah Lian,

Thanks you for your letter. Wrong time no see you. How everything? For
me, I am quiet find.
You say in your letter your taukeh soh want you to chain your look?
Somemore you must wear kick kok soo, hope you can wok properly.
You know, Ah Kau Kia working in a soft where company now. Last week, he
take I, Muthu & few of his friend to May Nonut to eat barger. After that
he take we all go to kalah ok.
Muthu sing and sing no stop until the sky bright.

Next week, my father mother going to sellerbread 20 years annie wear
sari. My father mother going to give a fist
to all the kampong people. So you must come with your hole family.

I only hope one day we no need to write and send letter to you and to
me. Better I e-meow you, you e-meow me. I will
ketchup with you soon. And when you got time, please few free to call me.
Goo bye…..

Worm regard,
Ah Beng

Half a day has gone…

And what have I accomplished?

Well, considering it IS a workday where I should be doing work-related stuff, absolutely positively horrendously nothing! Zilch! Nada! Nil!

IT”S HORRIFIC I TELL YOU!

Bet you wanna know WHY I’ve been so “productive” huh?

Would you be satisfied if I told you that I hate my job, I hate my boss and I wish I didn’t have to go to work?

Would you be satisfied if I said I’m so swamped at work that I can’t breathe, can’t concentrate and the only thing keeping me sane is to whine about work on my blog?

Or would you rather me say that there actually is no reason for my unproductivity but that I’m just freaking lazy?

Honestly, I dont care what you think or prefer my reason to be! I am just not productive today and this is me venting cos I’m angry with myself for it!

No, I don’t HATE my job, or my boss. Nor do I LOVE it. Hate/Love are strong words. I’ve had good times, not-so-good times, great times and awful times – a well balanced relationship (I hope) – with regards to me and my job.

Yes, I am kinda swamped right now but not really with “work” work…more with “not-work” work that is taking up quite a lot of my time and efforts and energy…and as much as this “not-work” work is something that gives me joy and satisfaction, it can be really really draining sometimes…

Times like today in particular when I forsee I’ll be busy every weekend and even weekday (after office hours) from hereon till next year! Yes, I may sound like I’m complaining (and in a way I am) but again, I want to do these things! Just. That. I. Get. So. Tired. And. Frustrated. At. Times.

Doesn’t help also that my “monthly visitor” is here today…making my stomach feel like its been run-over by a bulldozer! Grrghhh!

So yes, all of the above is my crazy hormones talking…hopefully the second half of today can be productive! *cross fingers*

Are you sleeping?

Buenos tardes mis amigos! Good afternoon my friends!

Stumbled across an interesting article online and thought I’d share it with you…

(Click here to read the full article.)

But basically, did you know that how you sleep (as in your sleeping position) actually reveals your personality?

That’s kinda scary…but also very enlightening. LOL.

Check and see if its true… 😀

Here are the six common sleeping positions and correlated personality traits and health implications, according to this study.

[graphic via BBC.com]

  • Fetus position – A whopping 41% of participants sleep in this curled-up manner. Women are twice as likely to rest like this and it is listed as the most common position. These sleepers are said to have a tough exterior but are still sensitive and may appear to be shy but warm up quickly.
  • Log position – If you sleep on your side with both arms down, you are a social, easy-going person who is trusting, sometimes to the point of being gullible. The study showed 15% of people sleep like a log.
  • Yearner position – A close third is the side-lying position with both arms out in front of the body, with 13% of partipants sleeping like this. Yearners are noted to be open-minded and still cynical, suspicious, and stubborn about sticking to decisions once they are made.
  • Soldier position – These sleepers lie on their backs with arms down and kept close to the body. This 8% study is said to be reserved, quiet, without fuss, and hold themselves and others to a high standard. Soldier sleepers have a higher likelihood for snoring due to the flat-back position, which may not cause them to wake up often but may result in a less restful night’s sleep.
  • Freefall position – Those people who lie on their bellies with arms under or wrapped around a pillow with head turned to the side, make up 7% of the population studied. Freefallers are brash, outgoing, and are very uncomfortable with criticism.
  • Starfish position – Sleepers who lie on their backs with arms up near their head or the pillow account for 5% of participants. These people are good listeners, helpful, and are uncomfortable being the center of attention. People who sleep in starfish position are more likely to snore and to suffer from a poor night’s sleep more often.

If you think you are one of those people who move through all of these positions, that’s not likely to really be the case. Idzikowski said the research reveals most people stay in the same position all night and only 5% lay differently night by night. Also interesting is that the study showed only one in ten people cover their bodies entirely with a blanket, with most people exposing an arm, leg, or both feet.

[photo credit: Getty Images]

So, how do YOU sleep? And what do YOU think about the personality implied by it? 🙂