to be, rather than to seem

Keeping it on the down low

I turned 31 two months ago.

The other day I was scrolling down my Facebook feed, one by one just like travelling back to the past. Looking back, I can say that I was definitely more excited about birthday. Weeks before my birthday, I would make sure to post hints and double-check that my friends can see my birthday on Facebook. I’d get dozens of greetings and well wishes, and of course meals and cakes.

This year has been different. I did not mention to anyone. On my birthday, I learned how to celebrate my own life. I took the day off from work, sent my car for servicing, had my driving license and identity card renewed. I merely wanted to be happy on the day, dolce far niente, which I was. There was no anticipation or expectation of who I will be meeting on that day. Most of all not having to juggle between different groups of friends.

Evening came, my youngest sister asked me out for dinner and we had western food. That’s just all. As I grow older, I realise that I prefer the simple pleasures life brings. Throughout the day, only a few close friends sent their wishes which I took time to reply each one of them.

And I thank everyone who made my weekend a memorable one. A special hand crafted cake from a friend and a heart-warming steamboat session with the friends.

I’m glad that I made that choice of keeping it on the down low.

Cheers to 31!



Golden 30,000km with Toyota Vios

A year and a half later, here comes another update on the Vios (2013 edition).  Previously I’ve blogged about the car’s fuel efficiency and maintenance cost for the first 5,000km mark. A few readers lamented on the high fuel consumption of this model (in comparison to a Persona). There are a lot of reviews out there, internationally or locally, has praised or mocked this car. The purpose of this article is to lay down the day-to-day fuel usage.

Let’s look at what the stats are for an urban driver who only for a few occasion drove to places like Penang, Cameron Highlands and Johor. On normal days I drive to work with an average mileage of 55km a day, which is typical for a city dweller.

The golden 30,000km mileage! A friend of mine took this picture while I was driving.

In my previous post, I claimed that the car has an average fuel efficiency of 12.5 km/l (8.0 l/100km). After driving it for while, it seems that the fuel efficiency has increased a little to 13.31 km/l (7.51 l/100km).


On long journey drive (i.e. highway drive for outstation trip), the car is rather fuel-saving with a consumption of 16.16 km/l which translate to about 523 km of distance for a full tank. Where as for city drive,  worst case, the car only delivers a meager 323 km or roughly 11.00 km/l. From my observation, I can say that I expect to munch an average of 400km.


What gives? Since I am no automotive engineer or mechanic, I’d like to get some comments on the performance of the 1.5 litre VVT-i engine on long journey drive, normal drive and bad traffic drive. Feel free to leave your comment.

This is just a short post. Will update on the maintenance cost when I’m free.

Choral Polyphony

So, a slight update. Last month I joined an ad-hoc choir singing mainly latin hymns and chants for mass. Weirdly, I have some hymns stuck on my head. The construction of this ribbed vault church gives the singing a nice acoustic.


Here’s Ubi Caritas (Maurice Duruflé) and Ave Maris Stella (James MacMillan) in choral polyphony for your listening.

Two more days

In the blink of an eye we will be saying our good-bye. Dear friend, even though I will miss you but deep down I feel happy for you have set a clear goal to pursue. Our encounter, though short, is meaningful.

Thank you bro for journeying with me during last Lent, the constant reminders to live out our lives as catholic men and a life pleasing to God, the buzz to go for confession, introducing me to the podcast and lending me books.

I appreciate your ‘defying all odds’ moment driving two hours from your place just to attend Holy Chrism mass at St. John’s Cathedral. I value your companion throughout the retreat in Penang by Fr. Ignatius Huan. How we think that Choice is a cupid club and vowed to never attend unless someone reveals us the true content.

I will remember your simple gestures and your kindness towards the old folks at Little Sisters of the Poor. In your absence, I will visit them nuns and priests once a while.

Your dream of me singing the Exultet on Easter Vigil certainly did not turn out to be a reality, nonetheless I still managed to carry through the gospel acclamation for Easter Vigil and the psalm for the late French nun at LSP.

Despite the many rounds of hiking and swimming session, we seemed to put on weight, no thanks to your penchant for good food and wine.

Distance is not an obstacle, rather a great reminder of just how strong true friendship can be. I thank God that our paths crossed.

Farewell Mark! Till we meet again.

Minor accident involving a motorcyclist

Hi folks, just wanted to share my recent experience involving an accident with a motorcyclist. It was a fine Sunday evening when I drove out to the neighbourhood petrol station to fuel up my tank. Luck simply wasn’t on my side that day. A motorcyclist rammed right into my back, which was stationary with its right signal light on.

Bam! I heard a loud bang and saw an idiot young kid picking up his motorcycle. I got down from my car and my first reaction was “Hey kid, why did you ram into me! Can’t you see that my car is here with the signal light blinking?”

Minor Accident

I didn’t help him up as he was able to get up by himself. I told him to move a side to the road so that I can evaluate the damages on both vehicles. My car suffered from a dented bumper, bonnet and a broken rear lamp! Where as his Yamaha Legend suffered some minor scratches and broken front lamp. He is at wrong! An underage kid without a proper license riding his friend’s motorcycle.

Not really sure with the next course of action to take, I called up Toyota Assist, explained to the lady about what had happened. Since it’s an accident involving a motorcycle and car, she further explained that there’s no way I can claim insurance from the motorcyclist. Any claims will be from my own insurance coverage, gone is my NCD of 30% for next year.

I took down his name, phone number and address. He’s a muslim. He told me it’s Ramadhan (holy month) and would pay me by installment after I get my car repaired but I gave him the benefit of the doubt.

We parted. I went to lodge a police report, a necessary procedure in order to file a claim from my insurance provider. Met with Konstable Andy who happens to be a Sarawakian, he assisted me with the report and later on I proceeded to  be interviewed by Sergeant Zaini. I told him about the underage kid driving without license but he seem disinterested at all, he even suggested that it’s due to my negligence for stopping at the roadside. I reasoned with him that it wasn’t my fault, I was waiting for my right-of-way to make the right turn while this kiddo rammed into me. Hearing such jargon, he toned down a little.

Police report lodged. Yet to know the investigation result as it still depend if the other party is going to lodge a report within the 24 hour time frame, at the time of writing it is still a non-injury case. Whatever the finding is, it doesn’t matter since I’m going file the own damage claim under my own policy.

To Farhan who was driving a Yamaha Legend bearing plate number WUR9610, I have only this to say to you:

“Selamat petang Farhan. Semalam adik yang langgar kereta saya. Saya rasa adik tipu saya sebab alamat yang diberi Jalan PUJ 5/11 tidak wujud pun. Tak apa lah kalau u tak jujur, apa-apa pun itu antara u dengan tuhan selepas akhirat nanti. Saya amat kesal dengan sikap yang tak jujur lebih-lebih lagi saya percaya adik dalam bulan Ramadhan ini.”

Screenshot (10_24PM, Jul 14, 2015)

Until now he has not replied my Whatsapp message nor text. His Whatsapp status shows he was last seen on 29 June 2015. I forgive you for what you have done, your action it’s between you and your God on judgement day.

One word – SUEY! If I knew I would not drive out to fuel up my tank lar. The real inconvenience is when the car is sent to the workshop for parts replacement and painting. Big sigh.

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