112-361-12345 : This would be a transaction reference back at my old job in the securities services – trade processing & settlement. I still remember one problematic trade where shares are transferred to the wrong buyer (Hong Kong trade ending 12691).. Gah, the days of followup and monitoring for any status changes – dare I say, were the best in my career thus far.
2012 has been good, and God has been merciful.
This is the first full calendar year I am working, the first half in HSBC, the 2nd, in Penang.
This is the year I felt I’ve calmed down a little. The bubbly enthusiasm died down and morphed into a somewhat calmer, zen being, a new state of mind. I felt this transformation comes at a cost – my memory is beyond terrible (no, I’m not exaggerating) and my focus is blurred at best. The ground I stood on shifted as I stood still.
The highlight was my trip to Japan with dad. Spent 5 days visiting Kobe, Kyoto and Osaka. We went for the famous Bullet Train, but my GPS showed it maxed at 240km/h for the short ride from Kyoto to Osaka. The maidens there are absolutely gorgeous. Yes, most of them are on heavy make up. But still, they’re so cute.
Mid-2012, I went to some nearby states surrounding Penang – Kedah, Kelantan and nearing the Thai border. Development is much slower in the northern states where basic trunk roads are in bad shape. However, one is rewarded with the natural beauty of the lakes, the countryside and small settlements (just like Catan). The smaller the community, the friendlier the people tend to be.
Being in Penang meant I get to explore my birthplace in greater detail. I filmed a plane landing at the end of the strip, went for seafood by the seaside, karaoke at a new mall, found out great Chinese food places here and there. I always wanted to join a gym, but without a buddy and having a tight schedule and far-away gyms, that meant my weight skyrocketed from 90kg to 100kg in a short period.
Church life has been luke-warm. We have our Sunday gatherings, but that’s about it. Lately I attended a cell group here in Penang. It is nice. I feel I have yet to develop a wide enough range of friendships to keep me alive, to make me feel great. For now, online friendships are all I have! Thanks to technology, I feel less alienated and less alone due to the inter-connectivity.
A quick rant about the internet I’ve been stuck with. I pay by the gigabyte, meaning 6GB of data transfers cost RM 100. Your typical broadband at home can download 6GB worth in about 7 hours. So if I do that 20 days a month, I would theoretically have to pay RM 2,000 for bandwidth. Gone are the days of “happy downloading”. During my stint in KL, I had Unifi allowing me to transfer a Blu-Ray quality movie in under 2 hours. If I do it now in my kampung internet, it’ll cost me RM 80, take probably 7 hours and won’t be as enjoyable due to costs.
Lastly, I am thankful for all I have: a roof above my head, decent clothes to wear, yummy food to eat, and caring people around me. For 2013, I hope to give back more. I want to be a bit more lively, joyful and sharper up there. Less daydreaming, More paying-attention to stuff.
Happy New Year 2013, dear friends.