Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Windfall.

As mentioned earlier, here I am again. The catalyst to my urge to write another post was a special remark made by my friend. We all love positive reinforcements, don't we? :)

Just a random thought. What would you do if you had a windfall of say, 1 million dollars? Well what is 1 millon dollars these days, so many people are millionaires. With inflation, rise of living costs, increase in life expectancy - circumstances changed. The value of a million has diminished since.

Well, let's step it up to $10,000,000. What would you do if you had a windfall of $10m?

The answer may constructed by many factors - way of life, status, vision and dream. For example - Ser Siang, I know he is passionate about combating hunger. If he had abundance of health to dispose (wait, he already has!), he would probably donate food to feed the needy or even set up a research institute that generates crops at faster rate? Another friend of mine, Ker Lee shared a similar point of view, she ultimately would use her wealth to fight against diseases and hunger, aiding those in need.


We've lead a comfortable life, sometimes it's good to realize the not-so-perfect side of life. It's terrific to help the less fortunate when you can afford to.

On the other hand, some would say, they dream to increase the literacy level in Malaysia, set up more libraries and affordable learning institutions.

Besides all these selfless thoughts, there are who are simpler and have other intentions. I've heard that one would stop working and live on with comfort because $10m is good to feed one person till he/she reaches their deathbed. How about dreams, legacy, the world is offspring is going to be born into?

I shall share my thoughts on what I would do if I had such a windfall. Because I came from a middle-class family, my aspirations may differ a little.

Firstly, I would delegate a portion of the wealth for investment - be it properties, stocks, land, start a F and B chain or anything that enables capital appreciation and generate returns (what to do, we humans have insatiable desire for wealth).

Next, I would like to share with you I have a dream, my dream is to nurture. I want to nurture, teach, guide and develop people. Be it helping a school kid achieve his gold medal in sports, helping an overweight person to be fit, or even simply inspire one to be a better member of the society.

Recently, the London Olympics was held. Even more recent was the Paralympics. Heck, when I saw a photo of the trainer leading blind sprinters in a 100m event, I had goosebumps. I thought to myself, the paralympic athletes are amazing beings, their determination is out of the world! But the patience and dedication of their trainers are not short of the description of amazing either. I've even seen a blind Kenyan marathon runner. Hats off to these people who give us more to ponder on humanity.

Respect.

Because of my enthusiasm in sports, I wish to set up an academy that would train, nurture young talents. There's so much that sports can offer besides shaping you to be fit, it cultivates discipline. My passion to nurture and develop someone may be related to my urge to start a family and have kids. Imagining the little ones develop into fine beings (no matter how tough it is), ah that would make me smile - a smile that I would proudly bring to my grave.

Next, I would pamper those who are dear to me - my family, extended family, wife (if I'm ever blessed with one), close friends. Seeing people around me happy makes me happy. Note the title of my blog; "It's you that matters". It has never changed since 2005 when I started this blog. When I said it's you that matters, it doesn't refer to a specific girl, mind you. It actually refers to everyone close to me, each and everyone of you matters to me, in whatever extend of proximity.

Lastly, I would love to travel everywhere else! I used to be a school boy Geography-nerd, I love looking at atlas, maps and identifying flags. Among the places that I would like to visit are New York, Vancouver, Rio de Janeiro, Paris, Venice, Capri, Rome, The Alps, Seoul, New Zealand, Maldives, Beijing, Yangtze River, Hong Kong, South Africa & so much more! So far I've only crossed Malaysian borders to Thailand, Singapore, London and Melbourne - but not forgetting my trip to Tokyo by end of this year! I would love to see every other part of the world :).

I may have came to the end of my thoughts for today. Need to keep some brain juice flowing for work tomorrow. Back to reality! But yeah - those are my thoughts and wish that I would like to realize them some day.

Wednesday, August 08, 2012

Morphed.

Greetings to all exisiting/non-existing readers of this forsaken blog.

I am guessing if you are reading this blog, it is either you care about me, missed me, wondering if I'm still alive, you're a stalker, or you're just really bored. I choose to think you care and missed me, thank you - for being here, means a lot to me.

I would to shed some light on why I've been missing from the blogging community and what I've been up to. Heck, as I log in to Blogspot it's like a completely different avenue.

Firstly, I've lost the enthusiasm - the drive to write long posts or update what I've been up to. I used to blog about what I eat, where I go, or even who I am out with - not anymore. Yes, the attention from readers is welcoming and warm but I guess I learned that we can't be contented in every sense.

Secondly, I've out-grown the past-Meng Leong. The relatively more carefree, younger me is a little less carefree now. Stepping into the corporate world and thinking in businesses point of view shape you that way. I work in a bank, and frankly speaking it is not as 'fun' and probably a little dry. What was I thinking, putting 'fun' and bank in the same sentence just doesn't intermingle, does it? But I'm very thankful of the lovely working environment I'm in, lovely colleagues and boss - never short of light hearted moments without compromising productivity. In addition, I love the work life balance at OCBC, it is superbly pleasant as I move up my learning curve. My brain juice has been sapped for as long as a sun rises till it sets 5 days a week, I just didn't have the mood to blog.

Next, the lack of things to talk about. I dare say Banker-Meng-Leong is a lot less happening than Student-Meng-Leong. Haha it doesn't mean life is as dull as shit now, my life's good - pardon me, probably just tad bit lazy and giving excuses.

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A little history session now, bear with me. It's been a long, long time since I first started this blog in 2005 - & much has changed. Secondary school, sports, games, falling head over heels for her, tertiary education, marathon, so much more & now. I've morphed - so have the people around me.

How different did ML morphed? Banker-Meng-Leong now ENJOYS reading newspaper from end to end (yes, 'enjoys' needs to be in capital letter because I find reading newspaper delightful!). I am very mindful of how to allocate and use my resources now, like every prudent, responsible adult should be. I've grown to force myself think for the long run, before you label me as Mr. Boring (or UNCLE BORING), I am just a little less of the in-the-moment-kinda-guy, you get the drift. Don't get me wrong I still enjoy the fine (and not so fine) things in life, just with a clearer conscience. On the other hand, I dare say I'm fitter now :). My stamina has improved tremendously from my consistency in training and all, and you must agree with me that being physically well is just bliss, isn't it?

No matter how we change, crucially we should have clear goals and move forward instead of regressing. I've shared with you a little of which part of me changed, now I tell you what remained the same.

My determination. If I've set my mind to get something done, nothing or very few things can stop me. Stubborn, maybe - but a good kind of stubbornness. It's sometimes a struggle to not over-do something that might implicate overwhelming consequences. In short, I sometimes need a reminder on when to stop, because I sometimes may run out of clue on whether I've crossed the line. I might not keep in touch with all my friends or even you - but you must know you are always held close to heart. 

If you've read from top to here, you would have a little insight on what have been going through my noodle :).

In case you forgotten how I looked like,

Here is a shameless reminder ;)
Writing here is refreshing. I absolutely hope the existence of this dear blog has not been completely forgotten. That's it for now!

Cheers, to a better tomorrow.

Friday, February 24, 2012

London, United Kingdom.

You might probably know I had a trip to London not too long ago. Primarily the reason to travel was I have completed my studies (up to degree at the moment). In addition there are cheap air tickets by AirAsia! I purchased tickets for both way flights for only RM2112 (inclusive of airport tax, fuel surcharge, check-in luggage, on-board meals). However, just recently AirAsia withdrew their flights to London, Paris, Mumbai and Delhi. Bummer. No more cheap tickets for budget-conscious travelers (to those places that is)! If you were wondering, I made the trip happen myself, expenses all bore by myself, no form of sponsorship were taken from FaMA (Father-Mother Alliance aka Parents).


To be exact the flight from Malaysia to London will take up 13.5 hours, which is really long for me considering the furthest I've been on flight was Langkawi. The rest were all by land. I was as nervous as I was excited.

Upon reaching London Gatwick Airport, it is cold. The drop from almost 30 degrees Celsius is awfully drastic, well for me at least. Supposed to get on the Easybus and meet Kit Weng at Euston station, but shit happens we almost didn't make it because tube lines close at 12.30am. It was around 12am by the time I reached Euston station. Close call.

Though the low temperature is not the most ideal temperature, but I love it. The temperature range from 4 - 11 degree Celsius. I am utterly intrigued by the fact I'm so far away from home, in Europe, United Kingdom, London. Just by meeting English people and seeing English architecture excites me.  Kit Weng welcomed me to his place, with Marcus and Edwyn greeting me there :).

First night sleep there was a torment, due to jet lag and the low temperature. Thankfully I was able to rest well the next few days.
Kings Cross St Pancras Station
Platform 9 3/4 to Hogwarts :)

Marcus and I outside the Malaysia Embassy 
Owh baby, sipping on a hot cup of teh tarik is pure bliss.
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The English phone booth.
 I don't think the phone booth is functional anymore, if it is I doubt anyone actually use it because it is filthy and had an awful stench. Probably someone puked or peed in it.
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Visited Hyde Park, Winter Wonderland





Runners a common sight, even during winter. Imagine during spring or autumn. Runners all over ze place! The English are fitness conscious people, aren't they? 
Edwyn posing with a swan

Standing amongst the crowd-friendly birds
A squirrel chasing a pigeon
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In a whole, London is an amazing tourist destination. However, coming from a gastronomical paradise such as Malaysia, I have to say food at London is below par, in exception of their awesome bacon!

Pro-claimed best roasted duck around London, always packed. Gold Mine, Bayswater.

Hugo, Edwyn and  Marcus at Queensway station
4pm shopping at Oxford street
Hot chocolate at Caffe Nero
NikeTown - 3 storey Nike store

Countdown to London Olympics 2012
Trafalgar Square

It was raining quite regularly during the period I visited


Edwyn with his new shoe - really cheap, was on sale!
I got myself a new pair of Nike Lunar Racer. Still prefer Nike Free though.
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Besides staying in London, I travelled up north to Manchester, together with Kit Weng. It was approximately 400km but the train took only 2.5hours. It was Seng Tuck who provided hospitality for us at Manchester. Things (such as food) is so much cheaper at Manchester as compared to those in London!


On my way..
OLD TRAFFORD!
Red Cafe
Entrance to the Museum Tour
The English midfield maestro
Giggsy
The replica 'big-ear' trophy - UEFA Champions League
The REAL Barclay Premier League Trophy and Community shield
The Big Dane! - Peter Schmeichel 
Kit Weng and Seng Tuck play foosball before we enter the stands
Oh yeah



Mimicking the United Trinity - Best, Law and Charlton
Megastore!
Carved from a penny
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Next day, we returned to Old Trafford to catch the Premier League game against Blackburn Rovers. So glad to have Seng Tuck and Kit Weng tagging along, considering they're Liverpool and Arsenal fans respectively :p.

Match ticket!
Kick off. Chicharito doing his pre-match prayers
The atmosphere during match day is phenomenal. It is hair-raising. Unfortunately for that game, I couldn't see Manchester United's talisman, Wayne Rooney in action, and we lost 3-2 at home. Good game though, great to see Berba scoring a brace!

Last shot before leaving the Theater of Dreams
Outside the stadium checking out players leaving and signing autographs - look it's Park Ji-sung!

After the match, we got on the train to return back to London, to countdown and catch the fireworks at London's Eye. The fireworks were spectacular.
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Since I was at London, I visited Arsenal's Emirates stadium, boy, it is a gorgeous stadium.




Kit with his idol's statue :)
Henry and I :)
We even visited Kit Weng's uni, LSE.

& amuse ourselves with jump shots there.



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Meet up with Chiaw Yee, told her I love spicy food so we had Sichuan.

The lovebirds - Chiaw Yee and Chun Shiun :)
SPICY CHICKEN NYAM NYAM NYAM :D
RM50 worth of white rice :p
Cengal buddies :) - too bad Wei Kit wasn't around, he was back at Malaysia
Lauduree's macaroons
Met up with Ernest and his girlfriend :)

Strawberry beer and Strongbow
Lamb stew
Trip to England would never be complete without an English breakfast! BACON DA YUMS.


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British Museum visit - no admission fee

Tourists visiting London should never miss visiting the museum, it's free anyway! Rich in artifacts, you can consume up to a day if you really pay attention to every detail.

Wei Guan and I at the entrance of British Museum
Zeus
Hercules





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Meet up with Ying Xian too :).




Ying Xian and I overlooking Tower Bridge
Ying Xian and I AT Tower Bridge

Big Ben

London's Eye
Wei Guan with the Belgian waffle Ying Xian recommended, yums!
Later that day, celebrated Hwee Ching's 22nd birthday with Grace and Kit Weng as well .


Dessert @ Tutti Frutti
Another shopping avenue - Picadally Circus
Another sweet dessert recommended by Ying Xian, Gelato ice-cream arranged as rose petals. Pretty isn't it?
In a nutshell, the trip was worth every single cent I paid. It was awesome. Would love to go back there some day.
Good bye, London :)