19 December, 2012

My Home Helper - Sophia

Sophia (not her real name) is my Cambodia house helper, aged 22 yrs old, she had gone through 3 months intensive English speaking course prior her trip to Malaysia, she has not more than 50 words of vocabulary, talking to her can be really exhausted and tiring, typical chicken and duck talks, beside talking, sign language and eventually getting help from on line translation.  

I sit with her every night to teach her English, she ‘graduated’ with a pass after 6 months of hardship.

In Cambodia, she stayed in stilt house minus electricity and water, generator was used for television which is the sole entertainment.  They washed clothes in the front river, get drinking water from the well. 

Bowl and bucket are used to create beautiful rhythm during raining days, 2 small rooms were built to cater for her family of 6, and countless animals were staying below the stilt house.  The animals will be mistaken rain when their owner is taking bath on top of them in the house. 

Breakfast is not a must, plain water is enough to run the day, lunch will have to depend if there is any left over rice from last dinner, plain rice with soya sauce is considered sumptuous for lunch. Dinner will be served with rice and ONE dish that consist of mix vegetable and meat.
Most of the neighborhoods are farmers, those owning a motorcycle is considered well to do. They don’t visit DIY shop, but instead they DIY most of their household things.      

Going to town needs 4 hours of rough drive in the dusty and muddy path, the visibility distance is less than 5 feet, thus, providing free natural face mask along the road.

In view of the above, it is of difference culture and background, yet we managed to live like a family.  

07 October, 2012

Mothers Gossip - Branded Vs Generic Products

I came across two mothers who spoke on difference views of selecting products for their children.

Mother Lucy
Financially above average, working parents with teenage kids, both she and her husband could choose to have some good and expensive products, whereas for her children necessity such as clothing, shoes, and others, she would go for generic brand, maybe once a while invest in branded product depends on situation.

Her reason given was not to let her kids indulged with all the luxury and top notch brand at young age, her worry was whether her kids can manage to keep up the luxuriate standard when they stand on their feet.  To be precised, can her kids make enough money to support those high end meets.  She explained that if her kids happened to be in mid income group, they will survive well with the moderate expenses in genetic brand.

Mother Grace
Mother Grace has her own perception, for herself she would rather go for generic brand product, but for kids, she provides branded and expensive product. She even gave a car for her college going kid to travel around. 

Mother Grace explained that branded items means good quality, by introducing branded items at young age could cultivate the kids to have good quality sense, where in life, her kids will strive and work harder to maintain the standard of good quality.  She further added that those parents provide generic brand will cause the kids to have fewer quests in quality, simultaneous put in less hardship and effort in career.  

Well, there is no right or wrong on the above opinions, perception defers, yet we need to evaluate and make a judgment on our own.

Just for sharing on some interesting infomation on Marketing Brand Vs Generic Products - http://www.essortment.com/marketing-brand-vs-generic-products-24139.html

Happy parenting.

13 August, 2012

Sudden Fortune, Sudden Headache

3 months back, we took 3 hours drive to lunch in Tanjong Tualang, enjoying and collecting the cholesterol count from fresh water prawns, it was worth to exchange such delicious and sumptuous meal with 30 days work out.   

While walking back to the car, my 11 yrs old niece Little Fuji Apple suddenly pointed on the road and shouted “Money!”, Money is a nice term to me, I think, I dream and I love Money.  With my 1st instinct and lightning speed, I rushed forward like a tiger hunting for its prey, grab hold of the whole stack of RM50 notes, just 8 inches away was another stack, where my Little L inherited my  DNA on speed, and I just behind him by half second.

Little L was shouting over the moon, I ruled out such kind of disgraceful act in public, cause I need to maintain my noble and elegant self. 

50 meters away from the scene, we finally put ourselves together after having a whale of time, I took out the money and count, it was exactly RM500, where Little L got RM208, a total of RM708.  This was a huge sum, a lot of suggestions pour in, wait for the owner to come back, ask around, keep it or spend it.

Then someone popped out the ‘what if’ questions, what if the owner was in need to feed the family of 8 including 28 ducks, 18 ants, and an aged ailing 108 years old mother, or worst in urgent need to pay for medical deposit.  Our happiness cut short to just last for less than 8 minutes.  We frowned and lost, guilt level increase to the maximum, stared at the money in hand and look back at the scene, how I hope that the scene could replay back and I will choose to ignore the money. 

We waited a little while and decided to leave the place as there was no claimer, those money was put in our family pool fund. 

The guilt feeling had since been haunted me for weeks, I had troubled in sleep for the first few days, it also stirred my feeling whenever our family use the pool fund. 

Lately, my Leng Lui mom (means pretty mom) called to tell me that she lost RM50 in the sundries shop, she was very upset, and I rendered my ears for her to nag, she nagged every day, long enough for a totaling of 7 x 7 = 49 days.

With this, my peaceful mind created a whirlpool…. big and bigger, I look up in the sky, I am deeply sorry and I don’t mean to cause that pain for others…..  

10 June, 2012

Price Price Price !!!

Since we moved into our very own house, I need to stand on my own feet and be independent, marketing is considered as one of my greatest challenge. 

I used to pick up my food grocery at the wet market, the place frequently visited by aunties and uncles, tongue fighting can be seen over few cents on price negotiation of poultry, vegetable, fish & others. 

Wet market can be the best place for Business Study Student to do their practical internship, where price negotiation skill can be practiced with win-win solution.

To promote friendliness and create closer relationship with customers, the sellers are storing away and keeping the price in their memory, as buyers, we are forced to ask the pricing, this is how to foster closer tie with them.  Sometimes, asking too many pricing may projected the wrong impression of being calculative and stingy, I would normally acted and behave like a rich ma ma, zip off my mouth and just pay generously whatever the price is.  

2 years back, Tesxx Stores Sdn Bhd (not the real name) mushroomed out their branch here, Tesxx had all the pricing clearly stated and labeled, from vegetable, poultry to all seafood items.  Since then, I come to know all the prices without asking, and the prices are fluctuated according to supply and demand.

After some comparison, I came to know that the wet market traders’ pricing are actually dearer by 30% to 50% (applicable to most of the items).  Sobbing in my heart, upon knowing that I am contributing towards their luxurious lifestyle.

Of lately, I made a trip to Cameron Highlands, fully enjoyed the free natural air conditioner weather.  Cameron Highlands is a primarily agricultural domain where we find an abundance of vegetables and fruits farms, one of the major tourist attractions is the vegetable markets, but to my horror that some of the vegetables are actually selling 15% more expensive than Tesxx, ironically, our supply of vegetables are actually trucked down from Cameron Highlands.

Buzzing… The more I know, the confuse I am. 

21 March, 2012

Wheels Power

Kembara was born in year 2000, those years she accompanied me day in and out, more lovable than my pillow partner. She is stylishly black fitted with kangaroo bar, she is tall and sporty.

For my petite size and height, at least I am made visible to other drivers. (Prior to this, my colleagues used to haunt by invisible driver at work.)

The time finally come that I have to part with her, my junior took over the steering….vroom vroom vroom… they speed off with my old faithful Kembara. From then onward, she was seen with additional ‘make up’ here and there, I was called to the scene numerous times to settle the problem, thanks god that almighty Kembara gave full protection to the driver.

One month ago, my son gave me a desperate call and I went to the scene, I saw my beloved Kembara lying lifeless with 4 tires pointing up to heaven. All the mirrors were broken,

petrol leaking like a river, to me I saw it like a real person lying with blood oozing out from the wound.

This round was less lucky, my son & 4 passengers sustained minor injury. Kembara was sent in for remedy after the stunt act of performing turn turtle & somersault , but the repairer sees no hope in her future, she was then put at peace.

Adios… Kembara, I will always remember you.