Monday, July 23, 2012

19th July 2012 the saddest day in my life.

He used to work long hours as lorry driver for a rubber factory. He earns few hundreds a month, supporting his 4 children to school. He had a very bad temper but he never once losses his temper on me. I remember waiting for him at the living room every evening. He would come back on his motorbike with strong odor from the rubber factory. I jumped in joy when I heard the creaking sound of the gate. Then he walked in with a small, red plastic bag with my ice cream in it. Sometimes he would buy kampung chicken eggs for me when his work took him out of town. On his day off, he would take me to kopitiam for breakfast. He would pour the coffee on the saucer for me. He said the hot coffee would cool off much faster that way. I lived with him for 17 years, until I left home for college.

He's my beloved grandfather and he passed away on 19th July at age 84. No words could describe the loss that I'm feeling.

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

To hire a Filipino maid in Malaysia

With all the issues and new regulations on Indonesian maids, more and more employers are hiring maids from other countries, especially Philippines. For those who are considering Filipino maids, here's something for you to ponder.

From my experience, Filipinos maids are smarter but sometimes they are too smart to be bossed around. Most of them knows how to read and write. Like the one I recently hired, she has a thick story book in her room which she reads before bed time. And she also knows her rights, i.e. telling off the construction workers at my condo building because it was past 6 p.m and the renovation works were still going on.

In addition, our immigration requires Filipino maids to have a valid visa before coming over to Malaysia for work. Many of them came in through social visit pass, then they will keep on extending the social visit pass to a maximum of 3 times (with one month for each extension) until they find an employer here who is willing to pay for their work permit. That's when employer risks getting agents who are not so honest.

To hire a Filipino who is already here on social visit pass, you need an agent. Employers are not allowed to apply for a Filipino maid's work visa on his own, unlike Indonesian. And not every agent is willing to do it because it is not legal. The legal way is for the maid to apply for her work visa in her home country before coming over and the waiting time is about 3 months. The agent in Malaysia who is willing to do it for you will charge RM6,500 nett, or at least that's what they will say to you. In most cases (like mine) the RM6,500 does not include immigration levy which cost RM516, the extension of special pass which is RM350 for the first time and RM550 for the second time, although immigration only charges RM100 for each extension. Also, please note that the not-so-honest agents will purposely delay submission of documents so to earn more money from you via the extension fees. 

In the end, if you calculate the total cost of applying for a maid via the not-so-legal way is about RM7,916 which is almost the same as the legal way. An application through the legal way is RM12,000 (RM8,000 for the agent's fee and RM4,000 as maid's salary for the first 4 months). If you're not urgently in need of a maid, it's better to go through the legal way with a waiting period of 3 months. At least you don't have to worry about the agent running away with your money or the maid's passport, or even not picking up your calls when you need to ask for application status. Moreover, since you are applying for a work permit through a so called not-so-legal way, the agent does not provide a good service, e.g. you may have to meet the agent at his convenience and not yours, especially after you have made the payments to him! Plus, you have to chase really hard for the receipts of your payments and most likely you'll get a shabby looking kedai runcit a.k.a mini mart type of receipts with some weird company name on it.

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Baking and babies don't go together

Babies are cute when they're not yours...
They melt your heart when they smile ...
And when they cry, you feel like pulling every strands of your hair out.
At some point of time, you can't wait for them to grow up...
But when they do, you wish they were little again.

How I miss baking. It has been more than a year since I last turned on the oven. Not that I'm a good baker but baking is more like an outlet for me. When I break the eggs into the sifted flour and beat them up, it feels so darn good! When I see the end result of my baked goodies, it feels like I've accomplish something for the day. But now with one screaming toddler and a cranky baby who constantly demand my time, everything I do is a race of time. I'm lucky if I have 10 minutes (like now) to do things that I want. 

If you're a parent yourself, you'll understand what I'm blabbering about. If you're not (like me previously!), you'll ask, "Huh?? How difficult can it be to care for a baby? All they do is eat, sleep and poops!" 
And I say..... your time will come, someday. *evil laugh*  and more.... *evil laugh*

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Our dance of love

Before I met you
Life was all about making more money
It was all about having fun
Money, parties, friends
Life starts just before midnight

When I met you
Life was all about us
We were living in our own small world
Vacations, parties and lots of love
Life starts when we get together after work

When I have you in my life
Life was all about both of them
They have your heart
And I have your empty self
"What have I done wrong?" I asked.

When we have our first child
She meant the world to me
But it wasn't the same for you
My life is shaped with 'M'
And yours with 'S'

When we're into our third year
Life is all about money and the kids
You slog hard in foreign lands
I'm hanging on tight to motherhood
Then I asked, "Is this the life I want?"

As we grow old together in future
Life shall be about us again, I hope
Till old shall we groove to the symphony of love
In our hands shall we hold crystal glasses filled with champagne
To celebrate the joy we shared
And reminisce the tears we shed

I love you, Dear Hubby. Happy Valentine's day!

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Revamp of blog design. I need one too for my life.

I managed to squeeze some time out of my rigid schedule (set by my 3 month old son, of course!) to revamp my blog design since I'm no longer staying in Jakarta and I'm no longer pregnant. However, it's such a pity I can't change my blog web address and it still has to remain as talesfromjakarta. Hmm... I should have thought about it before choosing that web address in the first place. But honestly, I was hoping to reside longer in Jakarta. Life was good. Driver, maid, nanny, polite people, spas, hair salons, champagne buffet brunch, high end condo, clubs and best of all, I was at least 700 miles away from his ex. That alone makes my day. In fact, every day. Thus, Dear Hubby, please get another job in Jakarta soon!

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Life just ain't the same

The top 10 things that I miss most:

# 10. Chocolates

# 9. Going to the movies

# 8. My work clothes!

# 7. Stilettos (I'm stuck with either flats or slippers for now since high heels and babies doesn't make a good combination)

# 6. Vacations

# 5. Facials

# 4. Spa

# 3. A good body rub

# 2. Private time (a mere 10 min will do!)


# 1. An undisturbed i-can-sleep-as-long-as-i-want kind of beauty sleep!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Gong Xi, Gong Hei & Khiong Hee

Sweet and savory Yee Sang

The world's climate is changing. It was pouring cats and dogs on the first day of chinese new year. I remember the weather used to be super hot during cny when I was young. Perhaps it's the year of Water Dragon?

Life was much simpler then and cny was much livelier with grandparents and their traditions around. I remember on the 6th day of cny, my mom would buy various types of fruits as offerings for the prayer that was going to take place at the stroke of midnight on the 8th day of cny. The best part was I'm always in charge of sticking red stickers with gold trimmings on the fruits as decorations. Now that we don't live with grandparents anymore, I missed doing all that!

As for this year, reunion dinner on the eve with in-laws and reunion dinner on the first night with my own family. Dear Hubby is working on cny (you poor baby... no gambling & icy cold beer for you. lol!) but I have my two kids as compensation. A quiet first day of the Water Dragon year but it was not bad at all.

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

What's going on in my life?

There's only one word, BABY.

Babies are only cute when they are not yours. When they're all grown up, I'm going to take a long (and I really mean looooooooong break) from my kids. Not that I don't love them, but I just need a break from babies. Two consecutive years of cranky babies (and that's not the end yet), I'm very much mentally exhausted. Apart from looking like si lai in my pyjamas the whole day, I don't even have time to go online. That explains why I haven't been blogging for some time.

I've just hired a Filipino maid. Her salary is enough to hire a fresh grad in accounting but thank God she's good with my baby. At least I'm having a short time off here and there when she's playing and talking in Tagalog with my son. Phew.

And not forgetting ..... Happy Chinese New Year to all of you out there! Gong Hei Fatt Choy!

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Maxis Broadband

It's still not too late to say...

Happy New Year, people!

No new year resolution for me this year. For the past 5 years, it has always been no more menthol lights as my first resolution but it's harder to do than say. Very depressing.

But I did something fruitful yesterday. You see, I'm a loyal Maxis customer who has been using their services since 1997 (in fact, my whole family is using Maxis) but yesterday I've signed up with other broadband provider for the first time after having to put up with Maxis lousy network for the past 1 month! Maxis should know that loyal customer doesn't mean stupid customer.