Sunday, August 31, 2008

The Independence Day Post

We celebrate 51 years of independence today. 50 years ago on this very day, our Father of Independence, Tunku Abdul Rahman proclaimed the words Merdeka! (Independence) and we have been celebrating the day each year with enthusiasm ever since. However, this post is not about the history of our independence (because it's too heavy and I need to do some studying to get the facts right) but instead it's about the things that make Malaysians, well Malaysians as observed from my point of view :)

1. The excessive usage of the suffix 'lah'
When you speak to Malaysians, be prepared to hear 'lah' at the end of every possible sentence. "it's far away, lah..."they will say. I'm not exactly sure how this suffix got into our sentences but it surely has made it's presence felt in spoken language be it Malay, English, Tamil or Mandarin.

2. Food
The most amazing thing about being in Malaysia is the wonderful array of food you have in front of you thanks to the diverse cultures that exist here, and the best part of all is food is available 24 hours. Hungry at 3 a.m? No worries... just head on down to the local 'mamak' (Indian muslim stall) Another thing is, if you visit a Malaysian home, they will definitely ask you if you have eaten, and even if you insist that you are filled to the brim thanks to the large helping of Western food you just had with your friends, they will insist that you have something... maybe some Milo or iced tea?

3. Terrible road users
All Malaysians know that almost every other Malaysian has the capability of being a monster on the road. They have no patience, and will purposely move faster on the main road so that you will be stuck at the side with your signal light blinking when you want to turn. Here is also where gargantuan lorries will bully small 850 cc cars into submission, and where the 850 cc cars will squeeze into 2 lane roads to make the illegal 3rd lane!

4. Fire crackers
It's funny how fire crackers are actually banned and yet at the stroke of midnight of any festival, you will hear people ushering in the festival with those noisy fire crackers... makes you think how they got hold of it in the first place.

5. The elders
Most children here will call any older person aunty or uncle even if the person is a complete stranger. (This is quite age dependent - if their age gap is not that wide, then the older person may be referred to as big bro/sis) Personally I think it's polite and quite sweet, but can get quite annoying.

6. Moronic censorship
Only in Malaysia you will find scenes brutally snipped off movies despite the fact that the movie has been labelled 18+. Even tv shows are not spared, but when people are shouting "Assxxxx" and you can see their lips form the word, even with the word bleeped, you know what they're saying!

Strange mannerisms aside, the recent situation seems to have taken a turn for the worst. One would think that after fighting alongside in the past, small differences do not matter. Nevertheless, the division among the people seems to be getting larger due to some some people being petty and incredibly stupid that it's beyond comprehension! I'm sure when they fought for independence over 50 years ago, none of our fore-fathers would have imagined the scenario as it today. I bet they're turning over in their graves as we speak.

Independence can also be transalated into freedom, but the most recent 'banning' of an alternative news website has saddened me immensely. What does it show us? Where will it lead us?

There is no gusto in the celebrations this time around. I have not heard any Merdeka songs on the tv or even on the radio (I know I don't watch much tv or listen to the radio that often either, but still!) Neither do I see flags being hung outside commercial buildings or houses.

I really do hope that there are better times ahead!

Note: I realised that the beginning and the ending part of this post seems to have moved across a hidden gap in terms of mood. Truthfully, it has. I actually drafted the beginning part of the post last year, but towards the day itself, something of this sort cropped up, and I made it into a draft. I imagined things would be better this year, but apparently it isn't so!

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Of protesting brains and kidneys

Wiki answers says that a human uses 10% of their brains in a lifetime. Now, I can't say for sure (because I can't really think, and I'm sleepy as well as in need of coffee), but I've heard in other places where people only use 3% or less and oh, whatever!

Anyway, today, I feel as though I might have used up all the 10% allocated in about 6 hours, and believe me, the way I'm feeling now is even worse than the time when I had 27 chapters to study in less than 24 hours! It was one of the most exhausting processes in the world (today, and not the day with 27 chapters) The worst part is that I will have to go through the whole process once again tomorrow and I'm dreading it.

And somewhere at the back, my left kidney is protesting against the local drought.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

DECISION MAKING IN PP

I bumped into PT around 11 this morning and she rattled on about how she plans to take half day off today as she fears being stuck in a massive traffic jam in case anything happens in the PP by elections today. Although PP is in a state that is a few hours away by car, and I can brush her off as being paranoid (she is, really ;p ), it can't be denied that this by-election in PP is going to be one hell of a memorable one regardless if ends on a positive note or a negative one. (However, we never will know if it's positive or negative until we look back on this day in a year's time or so)

Forget the GEs held in March, this one here in PP may be the deciding factor, the proof that people do really want some change, and the proof that people are willing to discard all allegations of buggery, swearing and past history from 10 years ago among other things.

For the EC and perhaps neighbouring countries, it may just be another by-election, the kind that is held to replace the old guy with a new one because the old one was no longer available or has decided to resign or something, but for the people in general, this one is the one to reckon with.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

HOW DOES YOUR GARDEN GROW?

Note: I originally wrote this to be posted at one of the blogs where I'm a guest blogger, and I thought that it would be nice to put it up here as well since it deals with opinions.

It may be a strange analogy, but I feel that blogging is similar to gardening in the sense that they both kind of grow when nurtured. And when it comes to gardening, if neglected weeds will grow, and for blogging, when neglected, spam will collect or someone might take over your url. I've seen it happen before.

Anyway, analogies aside, I've been spending some time thinking about the blog and how it has changed over time and how it has changed me.

When I first started on a blog back in April 2005 (it was on a different platform in a networking site) I only had a very vague idea about what a blog was. At that time, I had quite a lot of stories to tell but no one who would listen. So I used to sit down and write all the funny and tragic (in our eyes) incidents that happened to my friends and I in those years. At that point I had only one silent reader (a friend who wasn't in the circle) who would occasionally e-mail me about any of the posts.

Fast forward a few years later, I've stopped narrating stories from the past. Firstly, there's a limit to the misadventures that could occur to a bunch of young people, and secondly, it seems much harder to narrate things from the past, code name everyone with initials to protect their identities that even I forget who is who at times. But who knows, I may always go back in that direction, since there are no proper rules in blogging (and the fact that I will not attempt submitting my blog to ruthless reviewers who will tear apart every single thing - though I must admit, the one and only review I submitted to awhile back didn't have much to complain other than the lack of visuals to work with!) These days I stick to current stories and daily complaints. Ha! Ha!

I find blogging to be therapeutic. It sort of dissipates the feeling of displeasure I have over anything so I don't remain harbouring anger or annoyances (even if I don't blog about the issue at hand) for a long time like I used to in the past. Another thing I noticed (and this may be slightly negative) is that I have become awfully quiet recently, and I think it's because I have talked' so much on the blog. It's like when people ask you how you are, and you just don't want to discuss it because you've already written on your blog, and you can't tell your friends to go and read your blog, so you just say, "I'm good" without further elaboration

It's ridiculous, and when you're quiet, people think you're tired, or sad or something you're not.

So, I figured I'd make this slightly interactive for a change, and therefore ask those of you who read this: How has blogging changed you and your life?

PS: One thing I noticed about blogging is all the interesting people out there who share ideas and stuff and the friendships you make, and once again I can't stress how touched I am by all your kind words of encouragement when I was panicking last week. Thank you so much.

Friday, August 22, 2008

A Meme about Me

I just realised with horror that both my previous posts were exceptionally long. I must have been carried away by my new found enthusiasm.

Another thing I noticed is that I'm only 3 posts away from surpassing the number of posts on this blog last year, so as a way to keep up the momentum, and the small promise I made to myself earlier this year to blog more, as well as to reach more than 12 posts this month (my highest no of posts was in May with a staggering 12 posts and I don't see why I should not attempt to beat that), I have decided to do one of the memes that I was tagged with some time ago. This one's from Anita as well.

1) What is the most important thing in your life?
I think the freedom of making choices


2) What is the last thing that you bought with your own money?
A Yamaha C40 I think... and loads of TP in a moment of madness


3) Where do you wish to get married?
Somewhere quiet.


4) How old do you think you will be permanently owned by your love?
Permanently owned? What do you think I am? Property? Oh, and by the way, nothing is permanent!


5) Are you in love?
Nah... don't think so.


6) Where was the last restaurant you had dinner?
Shah Alam.


7) Name the latest book that you bought?
Rant

8) What is your full name?
Ahem... Terra Shield.


9) Do you prefer your mother or father?
You've got to be kidding me


10) Name a person that you really wish to meet in real life for the first time.
There actually are quite a few of them. We'll see if it materialises


11) Christina or Britney?
Hmmm... Christina I think


12) Do you do your own laundry?
I used to :D


13) The most exciting place you want to go?
The top of a volcano...


14) Hugs or kisses?
Hugs...


15) Point out 5 things about the person who tagged you.
a) Childhood friend
b) Interesting
c) Good natured
d) Sweet
e) Loves(d) to blog

16)8 things I am passionate about:
1) good music with lots of guitar riffs
2) books
3) blogging/writing (what a surprise!!hehehe)
4) coffee, tea
5) interesting conversations
6) good food (but not too much)
7)
8)


17) 8 things I say too often:
1) Huh?
2) Seriously?
3) Anyway...
4) So?
5) Oh shit!
6) Ask him/her to go stuff it up his/her...
7) Okay...
8) Yeah


18)8 books I've read recently:
1) Next - Michael Crichton
2) Selected Tales - Edgar Allan Poe (Reading)
3) Hogfather - TP
4) Pyramids - TP
5) Guards! Guards! TP
6) Small Gods - TP
7) Rant - Chuck Palahniuk (Reading)
8) May 13, Before and After - TAR


19) 8 songs I could listen to over and over again:
1) The World I Know - Collective soul
2) Baba O'riley - The Who
3) Fidelity - Regina Spektor
4) Found Out About You - Gin Blossoms
5) Straight Lines - Silverchair
6) Good - Better Than Ezra
7) Save Tonight - Eagle Eye Cherry
8) Girlfriend - The Darkness


20)8 things I learned last year:2007
1) My laptop is a bit crazy
2) A cool and dry climate keeps your skin looking clean and fresh the WHOLE day!!
3) I seek thrills (in small doses)
4) Disappointment is something you can learn to live with
5) If you are forced to hang out with people long enough you end up being their friend
6) I'm still quite scared of large bodies of water
7) Szechuan food rocks!
8) I'm always the last to know


-8 people to tag:-
I chose not to tag anyone, but feel free to use this whenever you like

Thursday, August 21, 2008

DAY 3 & 4: Where Adrenaline Rules the Day

You never know how much you're capable of doing until you're chucked in the middle of nowhere with nothing to depend on other than your gumption and your team mates.

Our journey into the jungle started easy enough with breakfast first and another journey by bus to a camp by the name Kem Bina Semangat (can't think of a proper translation right now) in a small town called Kuala Kubu Baru (KKB). There we lodged our other bags in an empty dormitory, took our respective heavy camping bags by the handles and trudged on to the assembly point with nervous anticipation.

Our first task started at about 11 am after a short briefing. Not much information was given (because the journey is supposedly a secret of some sort!) except for the target time we needed to achieve. Putting on brave faces, we marched along the path with the following thoughts - 23 in, 23 must come out. From dry land we were suddenly face to face with a ferocious river that reached chest level (for someone of 5'3"height) with a strong current which we had to cross by using a rope as our guide. So it all depended on how tight you managed to hold onto the ropes while the water tried its best to drag you away. Being naturally afraid of water, I was totally petrified at the prospect of doing so. Of course I ended up doing it pretty successfully in the end because it had to be done but I was left shaken (and shivering) for a few minutes after. Even the trekkers who guided us were worried about the river conditions as we had pretty good weather in KL, but apparently it was raining in KKB and no one had expected such a strong current. By the way, the river is also used by white water rafting thrill seekers.

As the day wore on, we completed assignment after assignment. After the second assignment, our trainer gave us a pep talk regarding our non-commitment and demoralised conditions. It apparently did wonders as we were suddenly back to being enthusiastic and sailed through the following assignments with flying colours. Now, most people would think that jungle trekking is merely moving through the jungle from point A to B safely. Our was the same, except that each part was treated like an assignment with valuable information that would enhance team spirit, instill values such as sincerity, trust, openness, respect and integrity. And above all, everything that matters is that all 23 people are there at the end of the assignment, and if anyone faces difficulties, you just grab them and help them up. My leg didn't hurt as much as I thought it would, but I couldn't put too much pressure on it either, as I could feel some pain with pressure and was afraid to hurt it even more. This is what you get when adrenaline rules your life (and dependant on painkillers!)

After about 4 to 5 tasks, we finally reached our campsite at about 7 pm. Light was fading fast, and we still had to negotiate for our camp supplies for that night. The tents and cooking were all finally done by 10 pm. Showering was a challenge as we had to use the river for all washing purposes, and some of us missed out on the chance for a shower as we had a rushed meal, and got ready for the night activities which was supposed to begin at 11pm.

It was a good thing the moon was bright that night, although you could see that the trainers were deeply disappointed. The jungle was not as creepy as it was meant to be. Nevertheless, our night activities (including one where you have to walk all alone in total darkness) lasted on until 3am, after which we were finally asked to go and get a rest for the next day's activities.

Bathing in the river is an experience of it's own class. No doubt the water was icy cold, especially at 6 am, but it didn't give you goose bumps, but the sandy river bank actually made me dirtier than I was earlier (we heard that one of the girls who went for this training in the previous batch suffered from severe skin problems and had to be on medical leave for a week because she did not wash up nor change her clothes, and we didn't want the same thing happening to us either, hence the forced baths)

Our 'bathroom'

And in that early hour, I managed to catch a bit of the eclipse of the moon as well. It just looked like the normal moon, maybe with a bit of it hidden, that's all.

Part of the jungle near our campsite in the morning

The campsite after we removed the tents and stuff


As everyone got up, we had some breakfast, packed our stuff and took out the tents and put everything aside to be taken away. After a long lecture and a session where we exchanged thoughts about the program and lunch with one of the trainers, we proceeded to the final assignment which was one of the most interesting ever. The key to this is to apply everything you have learnt so far, but as usual, you never realise that the answer is in front of you until it is too late. By the time the assignment was over it was about 5 something in the evening. We were then asked to head back to the camp where we were given a chance to have a proper shower. That was one of the best showers I had ever had in my entire life!

Anyway, we then had dinner, and another class session where we reviewed videos taken of us in action during our assignments, as well as a summary about the whole lesson. It was funny watching us with our scared faces as the incidents that occurred only slightly earlier was played back in front of us.

It only took about 3 and a half days and were already feeling how much we are going to miss each other even though we work together in the same building albeit in different sections. We then sang a song together (That's what friends are for) and took a few photos for posterity and said our farewells.

It has been a very interesting journey.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

DAY 1 & 2: Under pressure and an unexpected accident

I don't know how many muscles we exactly have, but I can safely say that every single muscle in my body aches as I'm typing this out. Anyway, pain aside (which I hope will disappear in a day or two), here's a rundown on my so-called torture camp.

I woke up Thursday morning with a deep sinking feeling. Due to the late hours spent working in the previous days, I hadn't had the time to pack nor prepare myself mentally for what I was about to face. Nevertheless, I took half day off that day, went back, got packed and drove back to work in the evening to board the bus that was to take us to our destination which was a golf club amidst green trees and fresh mountain air in a place known as Templer's Park.The pathway we used to get to the seminar hall from our apartments. I thought the arch made by the trees were cool




Top: The view outside the apartment balcony, Bottom: The hall in our apartment for the 2 days

The classroom session began at almost 9pm that night and continued way up till 2.30 am. So what they said was true, you will be deprived of sleep, but seeing that you're not exactly sitting down listening to a boring lecture (instead, you're moving around with Mahjong paper and coloured markers doing assignments, or having small group discussions) chances of you falling asleep is a million to one.
The dining area where we were given food (and coffee!!) which overlooks the place where people play golf

Anyway, after the class, and after we elected the leaders, we were shown the way back to our rooms via a shortcut. It was short, no doubt, but the small fence that we were supposed to use was locked, and we had to fold ourselves neatly to be able to creep through the fence to get on the other side. Personally, I thought it was hilarious.

Friday started early with breakfast. As a team, we had made arrangements to meet at the guard house of the apartments where we were housed. Despite being in a secluded area, we weren't really cut off from technology. Our bathrooms actually had hot water! However, we never had the chance to chill in the apartments due to our tight schedules.

And then, a small disaster happened. As I was putting my camera back into my sling bag, I missed a step and sprained my ankle. It hurt like crazy for a bit, but I ignored the pain and continued with the class, but as the day progressed, the pain continued. In the end, I was taken to the clinic, and one of the trainers had to miss his Friday prayers because of me. The doctor said that my tendon was sprained, and I'd need to rest my leg. I asked if it was possible to go hiking the next day, and the doctor gave me an injection (painkiller) and bandaged my ankle and asked me to judge for myself if I was up to it. To myself I thought, I'm going into that jungle by hook or by crook. As long as the pain is gone, and I can walk, I will do it. I'll deal with the real injuries once everything is over! What made it pathetic as well as funny is that most people end up getting hurt in the forest, and here you have me getting hurt even before I step in the forest.
My injured ankle all bandaged. :(

The classes were interesting, challenging and sometimes downright cruel. We were given "money" for each successfully completed assignment, but the 'customer' always managed to twist the story and you end up being unsuccessful despite all the hardwork. It was a nerve-wrecking, mind-numbing experience and somewhat frustrating as well.

Our team consists of people from the different departments and different levels (middle management aka slaves, as well as union level guys (except for department heads)), and despite our usual hi and bye attitude back at work, we managed to work together as a team in this environment. Nevertheless, after each assignment, the trainers conduct an overview of it and you tend to learn a lot of new things. Doing the job I do, I hardly meet customers, so seeing customer demands is something new for me and I now quite understand how our sales people must feel trying to meet ridiculous customer demands on a daily basis! Classes ended at about 2:30 am which was then followed by the distribution of our safety helmets, camping backpack and sleeping bag. After packing the stuff for the camping, my head finally touched the pillow at about 4 am.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Alive!!

Yes, I'm alive... and , no.... I did not have to resort to eating any of my teammates. On the contrary, it was fun!! Just got back early this morning (18/8/08), reached the workplace at 12.15 a.m or something, drove home and went to sleep for 14 hours straight. I just woke up around 3 p.m, had some food, and I'm now re-visiting all the technology I've left behind.

Thank you to all who left the kindest, sweetest comments in the previous post. I will be back with all the details soon.

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The List

So, I've been talking to a few people about the torture camp I will have to go through. It starts tomorrow, and me being idiotic as usual had to go and hurt myself at the back of my foot. The back of my safety boots rest directly on the wound) although I tried my best to protect it with thick socks and therefore refuses to heal like it should.

So, here's a short list of what they said:
1. There is NOTHING to worry about, except for the part where you have to walk alone in the dark (The good news is, there's a full moon that night)
2. Bring an extra pair of glasses (in case you lose yours - priceless information as I can be almost as blind as a bat!)
3. Bring rubberbands to tie your pants so the leeches don't get up into your clothes when you're in the water.
4. Bring salt (to kill the daredevil leeches)
5. Bring biscuits, chocolates and drinks if possible (biscuits and chocolates, done... all I need is some isotonic drinks and a few bottles of water)
6. Bring bandages, painkillers, etc
7. Bring an extra pair of sneakers if possible (in case yours decides to give you hell)
8. The trekkers who will guide us are our friends from our company itself, so you can ask them for any help (ha! it pays to be nice to coworkers)
9. Try to get a lot of sleep before you go (Alas! I've been waking up about an hour and a half earlier than usual the past few days)
10. Just have fun!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Back to Basics

In a few days time, about 30 of us will be headed as far away from civilisation as we know it for a few days only to be kept together doing assignments, deprived of sleep, given food which we don't necessarily want to eat and be forced to work in teams to see how everything turns out. All of these is under a training scheme known as Performance driven team. As if all of these are not enough, we will also be sent into the jungle where giant insects linger (and maybe a few ghosts as well) to walk on treacherous terrain as well as to wade in water, build a tent which we will sleep in for maybe an hour or so if permitted and to walk the dreaded night walk all alone without any guiding light.

The last time I went into the jungle (for real camping) was back in 1997, and even then, it was a camping site, and we had a proper bathroom so it wasn't that bad! Other than that I went to FRIM in 2006 for fun. Although FRIM is a reserved forest, it had a convenient track cut out for you so you wouldn't get lost. This one on the other hand is a true jungle, totally cut off from any civilisation. Now, they believe that training like this prepares us to be better people, especially in terms of working together. But will it really? Can 3 days of training change you for life?

Despite enjoying nature most of the time and trying my best to preserve nature (recycling paper, etc) I don't think I'm quite able to live in the forest suddenly like that (but seeing that it's only for one night, it should be alright, right?). Besides, members of previous teams that went said things about making your own bathrooms, and how terrible the night walk is (I heard a story of one girl who went and grabbed this guy's hand and started crying on him, and I can't help thinking about that story each time I see either one of them and laugh to myself. I know that's just plain evil, but I can't help it). And to think that you're not given enough of time to sleep (working under scary deadlines and stuff), and all this just as I've gotten over my own bouts of insomnia.

Other than that, people have said that it is a pretty good experience. You learn a lot of stuff, get to know your colleagues better, and can even overcome certain fears. Many women are excited because apparently you get thinner after the 3 days. I just went to the store this morning and got all the stuff I need for the camp from mosquito repellent to a few long sleeved t-shirts for the trek. I'm a bit nervous, but I think it should be alright. I'm not very fit (upper body strength is practically non-existent, and hopefully not needed), but I think I have enough stamina to walk for hours (I hope!!!)

(Crossing my fingers and hoping that everything's gonna be alright)

Note: the picture above was taken during a visit to FRIM (Forest Research Institute of Malaysia) in 2006.

Saturday, August 09, 2008

A general take on the Olympics

The olympics officially started yesterday in a bang, or so I heard as I did not make an attempt to watch the opening ceremony although I initially did mean to check it out.

A few weeks before the games started, they had these shows on tv which guided us through the journey of the games in the years gone by. I was amazed to see clips of the games from London 1948 (actually the amazement is due to the fact that video from that era still exists!), the records that were broken by relentless athletes, a story about how the villagers of a small town pooled money and bought a black and white tv just to watch their home girl run in the marathon and other such stories.

The first ever olympics that I was aware of was the one in 1988, held in Seoul, Korea. There was this theme song (we had a localised version, if I recall correctly) which our Moral studies teacher made us sing along to in school (I thought that was fun) I remember asking my parents when Malaysia would get a chance to host the olympics. I can't remember their answer though.

Talking about theme songs, the one I loved the most must have been the one from 1992 (Amigos para siempre) which I had mistakenly referred to as Amigo sampreti for a few years (because of my zero knowledge in Spanish at that time and the non-existence of information at our fingertips like how we have it these days)

Oh well, I guess I'll just end this with a good luck wish to all the olympic athletes out there

Friday, August 08, 2008

NUMBERS

I just thought that today being the 8th of August 2008, which when put in 'date' form will be 08/08/08, it would be interesting to note it down somewhere, and where else than the blog.
Alas, I missed the timing of 0808 hours because I was working (still supposed to, but decided to take a few minutes off)

And the Olympics start today as well!!

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

WHERE THE RELUCTANT WORKAHOLICS CELEBRATE

If I had a hat (which I don't because it is now lying in the bottom of the ocean) I would say "hat's off" to the organising team that did quite a great job.

Despite the posters that had been put up about a month earlier, and the excited conversations ranging from 'what are you gonna wear?" to "what on earth do you wear to a masquerade themed dinner?" I would say that our highly anticipated annual event came and left in rather a hurry.

Even on the eve of the day, people stayed back late to complete assignments that never seem to end. A few people whom I had casual conversations with during lunch break commented that they were not in the mood to celebrate, either, especially with the work continuously piling up till it encroached into our precious little weekends.

So, anyway, last Saturday saw these workaholics dressed in their best (well, sort of anyway if you compare them to our uniforms), and headed to a hotel, resort and spa in Sunway where the event was held. It consisted of dinner which was alright, although it could have been better (or it could have been also due to my not so great appetite that day), a spot of entertaintment which was truly entertaining because the MCs were good, pronounced people's names quite well and didn't unnecessarily embarrass people like what the MC did in the event two years back and a competition similar to American Idol (I was amazed to find out that we had very talented singers in the company) and a lucky draw among other things.

Overall, it was a good day. And just as my luck would have it, I won a mountain bike in the lucky draw. So now, I really really need to relearn how to ride a bike!

Sunday, August 03, 2008

You never forget?

Yeah, right!

I've heard people say that you never forget to ride a bicycle once you know how. I beg to differ.

I could ride a bike pretty well when I was younger (until 12 or so) when I lived in a place which was conducive for bicycles. Of course I've had my fair share of scrapes and bruises and falling into drains and such. However, I could still cycle where I wanted to go (usually somewhere in the neighbourhood) and used to do so in the evenings (because there were no playstations available)

Fast forward to 2001, and after 9 years of not touching a bicycle, my friends (they left their riding around the same time as well) and I decided to try cycling at this place near the beach after our semester finals. We went over, rented a few bikes, and started riding. Well, they did, whilist I struggled to ride, and almost rode off from the track to the grass. I couldn't seem to focus on the pedalling and the path at the same time! At one point, I managed to fall into a lily pond as I swerved dangerously off a bridge into the side of pond (thank goodness it wasn't very wet at that time) with the bicycle on top of me. It took me awhile to untangle my limbs and to get the bicycle away from me so that I could get up.

I returned the bike to the rental place and sat with the others who couldn't ride as well. As I mulled, I realised something. What people say about you not forgetting to ride a bike does not apply to everyone. Especially me. I'm one of those odd people who seems to have forgotten how to ride a bicycle. Or could it possibly be that my semi-circular canals have ceased functioning?