Tuesday, April 05, 2016

Missing in action

I have been missing for 3 months now.  Busy with a newborn.  Life with a newborn is not the same anymore.  Seriously.

As a new mother, no words can describe the challenges in life.  Day by day, all I can do is just look at this huge poster that is hung on the wall near by bed.  It is written in huge words, "SURRENDER".  Because in the end, I really can't do much.  

While I love my new role, there are sure many difficult times.  Now I am facing some major breastfeeding challenges.  If anyone knows how to increase milk supply naturally, please feel free to comment.  I have tried fenugreek, cumin seeds, adjwain seeds, oats, semolina and pumping more.  Nothing seems to work.  Feeling rather dejected having to mix with some formula.

Anyway, am back to work already.  Missing the little one lots more.  Not sure how often I can spend on this blog as I spend more time on the other blog about motherhood.  When I find a balance, I will be back to share the experiences.  Till then.

Thursday, January 07, 2016

First post in 2016

I just realised that I haven't posted anything in 2016 yet.  So here's the first post.  Happy New Year everyone!  May this year 2016 brings forth lots of joy, love, happiness and spiritual growth.

As for me, I am waiting for delivery.  Lots of anxiety and all that since it's my very first time.  But I do believe she will come when she is ready and when God decide it's time.

Besides that, can't think of anything else.  Wanted to comment about the recent posts in FB about protocols, like questioning why water is there, why cutlery is there, why this, why that, etc.  I was a little annoyed by it and wanted so much to comment, but why add on to the confusion?  It's not like they will accept what I said freely.

I just want to say is although all these protocols were not written anywhere (or maybe there is but I don't know where).  If you have the utmost respect for Shri Mataji, then you do it from your heart.  Check vibrations if it is the right thing to do.  

I have gone to collectives where they don't know the protocols and didn't follow but yet the vibrations were so amazing.  God is all forgiving and compassionate.  

I have also seen collectives who knew the protocols but forgotten to follow or missed out a step and then disaster strikes, like sudden fire or no electricity, etc.  Even if God is forgiving, the other deities may not be so.

Throughout the 25 years in Sahaja Yoga, we learned protocols through word of mouth, through actions, through experience.

I remembered there were times where stainless steel was used instead of silverware because the yogis could not differentiate between them.  Or times when the decorations outdo the cleanliness of the photo and altar.  Or prasad was forgotten to be offered, etc.  Or attention was on other things instead  of on puja and Shri Mataji.  We survived.  We asked for forgiveness.  We learned from mistakes.  Whether right or wrong, I don't know.

I have also attended pujas where it has the most simple decorations and minimal prasad and yet the vibrations were tremendous.  And also pujas that were so grand and pompous but with minimal vibrations.

The last time Shri Mataji was in Malaysia was in the late 90s.  We didn't have international pujas or gatherings when She was here.  So, throughout the years, we only perform puja in Her Nirakar form.  We have never booked a hotel room to make it look like Shri Mataji's room.  We didn't prepare tea as if She was physically around.

But nowadays, especially since Her physical departure, yogis are doing things that I don't feel comfortable watching.  Example like, why do they have to bring another photo to replace the altar photo at the start of a puja?  Why is there a procession with Her charan and Her photo on a sedan chair before a puja?  It hurts especially when during the exchange of photos, the one that was already on the altar was brutally handled to place the new photo.  Is this really necessary?  Shri Mataji is already there.  No need to change photos to prove She is there.  Why can't people make sense of this?

I remembered my last puja with Her physical form, in Cabella 2010.  I was given the opportunity to offer a yuva shakti gift from Malaysia.  The moment She left, I cried buckets while kneeling near Her toilet.  All the surrounding yogis thought I was possessed or disturbed or what.  But in fact, I was so upset.  Not because She was leaving, but because the yogis have no respect for Her.

There were many, many yogis who were pushing each other just to have a glance of Shri Mataji.  There were a lot of yogis who took up their phones and start snapping with flashes on Shri Mataji.  The crowd have no respect for any yogis.  Some Indian so-called 'dignitaries' insisted on being near to Her and refused to move and let others have a chance, despite the amount of people crowding.

They stepped on you, they pushed you, they don't care if you are a girl.  All they want was to be on stage to be near to Shri Mataji.  It hurts me like crazy watching them treating Shri Mataji with so much of disrespect.  Even when She was leaving in Her wheelchair to the car.  The yogis who were guiding Her have to shout at other yogis to stop shoving, to stop pushing, to stand back, to stop taking photographs.  Now tell me, where are the protocols?

It hurts me even now, thinking back all that had happened.  And who would have known, 6 months later, She would have left Her physical form forever?  That was the last image of Shri Mataji's physical form for me.  And it wasn't pleasant.

If we love Her, then do things from our heart.  But our hearts have to be clean.  If you have a bad heart, you would think everything you do is right.  If you think pushing and shoving and all that is love, then I don't know what to say.  Always check vibrations.

The first post of 2016 should be a happy post.  Not a crying post.  Not a sad post.  So, please do things from the heart.  If you want to try something new, check vibrations.  I believe the kundalini, the divine energy, the vibrations, the surrounding deities will guide us as to what is right and wrong.  Like maryadas.  

Sunday, December 13, 2015

For a PRC - How to drive in Malaysia (Part 2)

As mentioned in Part 1, why I do not encourage to drive illegally in Malaysia, especially for a foreign spouse, is because your stay in Malaysia is dependent on your LTSVP.  You do not want to jeopardise your visa application and your stay in Malaysia and also the risk of being deported (worst case scenario).  Just follow the rules, no matter how difficult it is.

Continuation from Option 2

As per JPJ website, China is one of the countries that can automatically convert the license to Malaysian license due to a two-way agreement with Malaysia.  By automatic, I assumed that you don't need to sit for the theory and practical test again.

We found that we need at least valid visa of 3 months in order to apply for this license.  But because the LTSVP was expiring in 2 months time, we have to renew the LTSVP first, then to JPJ.

Step 5: First go to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia in Putrajaya to get an endorsement.  The process is very fast and cost RM15.

Step 6: Then head to Jabatan Pengangkutan Jalan (JPJ) Padang Jawa.  I repeat it's PADANG JAWA, not PJ.  We found this out after dropping by at JPJ PJ and was told to go to JPJ Padang Jawa instead.  Before you make the trip to JPJ, ensure the following documents are in order (both original and photocopy):

Required Documents
  1. MyKad or Passport.
  2. Visa –Valid for no less than 3 months.
  3. Valid foreign driving license.
  4. Translation letter for driving license (if the foreign driving license is not in English).
  5. Endorsement from embassy of country of origin or endorsement from the licensing authority. (Embassy means the embassy of the license' country of origin located in Malaysia, or other country nearest to Malaysia).
  6. Colour photo (25mm×35mm).
  7. Completed Form JPJ L1
  8. Additional documents if required.

Have a look at the translated document and all its endorsement.  The one from Malaysia Foreign Affairs doesn't make much sense to me though.

And you are done.  YUP!  Hubby finally got his Malaysian driving license after all the hoos-haas.

Here is our experience on what happened on the day of the application.

We took a day off and went to Ministry of Foreign Affairs Malaysia at Putrajaya first thing in the morning.  This place is easy to find on Waze and you get lots of parking space.  The only thing is you have to leave your IC or passport in order to get a visitor pass to enter.  They are pretty strict that way.

Once you go in and get a number, your turn is very fast.  After passing the document that needed to be endorse to the counter, we were told to sit back and wait.  The wait was like 30 minutes or even shorter and then we were out from there.  The whole process was very fast and efficient and I wish it was the same for the LTSVP.

We headed to JPJ PJ and after we parked and went in, we were told that we need to go to JPJ Padang Jawa to do this as JPJ PJ cannot do it.  Oh dear.  That's in Shah Alam.  The time was around 11.30am by the time we reached JPJ PJ and they close for lunch at 1pm.  So we thought we go to A&W to have a quick lunch before heading to our next destination.

After lunch, we found the timing is a bit off.  It's now 12pm and by the time we reach Padang Jawa, they probably close for lunch.  So, I thought to detour to Kota Damansara to collect a parcel that was undelivered.  By that time, it was close to 1pm and we thought it's really not a good time to go Padang Jawa now.  So, we headed to TTDI to Fabulous Mom to buy baby's stuff.

We overspent some time over here and by the time we left, it was already 2pm.  We reached Padang Jawa about 2.40pm and after making some rounds to find parking, we found it and parked and immediately headed to the respective department.

Here's our number:

I got a shock too when I saw it too.  218 people waiting.  We were like, what???!!!  I must say the department where we went was totally no air-cond.  I pity the staff working there as they were using only fan.  We were just sitting there, crowded and sweaty.  But we were really lucky to get our number despite going in the afternoon.  The last number was like 1850 or something.  Phew!

One thing good about this place is that the number move ever so fast.  We waited like 1.5 hours and then it was our turn.  After we submitted everything, we were told that we can get maximum 5 years license and that cost about RM197++ and we could get the license on the same day.  Imagine our delight when we heard it.

Even if his LTSVP is only 1 year, at least he gets 5 years license.  Phew!!!!  That means we don't have to repeat this process every single year.

We left about 5pm when it was raining heavily.  But really happy inside that he got 5 years license after all the trouble.

Our journey for that day, from Putrajaya to Petaling Jaya to Kota Damansara to Taman Tun Dr Ismail to Shah Alam was truly worth it.  In the end, we got the parcel, we got baby stuff that I have always been waiting to buy and 5 years license!!! Yay!

Friday, December 04, 2015

How I spend 8.5 hours at Immigration Malaysia

We just renewed our annual LTSVP and this is the 4th year of our renewal.  I will try to make this post as humorous as possible because if I was to write this yesterday,  this post probably would be filled with anger and frustrations.

We arrived at Putrajaya about 7.15am.  The number was only distributed at 7.30am.  This was our lucky number.  We were the third couple of the day.  

The first couple was African husband/Malaysian wife.  Second couple was like us, Chinese husband/Malaysian wife.

Immediately we got a seat because we were so darn early.  I was pretty glad to get a nice seat near the numbering info system so that we can see what's our number.  

Prior to this trip, I have million of what-ifs because I am now currently 8 months pregnant.  I was wondering if I could go through the day, having to pee few times a day and feeling hungry and thirsty all the time.  No worries, I survived!

At about 8am, our number was called.  It was pretty quick.  I noticed at every counter, there was this little online rating system that you see a lot in Singapore, where you were to rate the service if it is good or bad.  All the system was offline.  Hmm, maybe the rating for this department is not favourable.  Guess budget need to be spent somewhere.

The lady at the counter has no smile on her face.  Hmm.  I have just learned from our training recently, "Emotional Intelligence" that in order to pass the positive vibes around, we should start with a smile every morning.  Guess there's not going to be any positive vibes here.

We submitted all the necessary documents and were told that the employment contract may not be valid.  

You see, last year we got an employment contract from the employer so that husband can get his work endorsement.  In the contract, it was stated as 5 years contract.  The date of the contract was last year and the stamp duty was done last year as well.  I used back the same contract as it is still valid for another 4 years.

But no, lady at the counter said I should get a new stamp every single year.  Read this right.  Every.Single.Year.  I replied that the contract was made last year and valid for another 4 years.  But no, she said stamping must be new.  I guess she is new as well.

I work in a corporate environment and have done stamping prior to this to many type of agreements, from tenancy agreement to what-not.  Did you know that if your contract is pre-dated, you have to pay a penalty when you do stamping of current date at the Lembaga Hasil Dalam Negeri?  So, does this lady at the counter insist that I pay a penalty so that I can get the work endorsement done?   Or is she implying that I get a new employment contract every single year and despite stating valid for 5 years, I should tell the employer that I only need the contract for 1 year?  

Hmm...guess not everyone knows what they are doing.  And guess not everyone is educated enough to go and find out all the icky stuff.  But I want to say this.  Before you tell the customer what it is, GET YOUR FACTS RIGHT!

So I asked, so how now?  She said, let's see if the Tuan will approve.  Fine.

We continue to wait while I began to read the Bhagavad Gita, translated by Juan Mascaro.  Please get this beautiful book.  It's a very good read and there's so much of enlightenment in that little small book.

Sorry, I digressed.  The Immigration began to be filled with people.  This time I noticed, there were many Iranians and Middle Eastern people.  Lots and lots of them.  

Our number was called again about 10.40am.  This time we were told to pay.  So, in my heart I was thinking, wow, this is fast.  We should be getting the passport soon, probably before lunch.  Good.

It is getting crowded now.  We couldn't get back our nice seats.  Continue waiting and reading Bhagavad Gita.  In fact, we can't find any seats that we can sit together.  Some couple sit 3 seats.  No one bothered to offer a seat to a 8 month pregnant woman.  

At 1pm, some of the lights was off.  Hmm...what's happening now?  I went to the counter and asked.  I was told that it's lunch time now and they are closed from 1-2pm.  No sign?  Nope.  Does that mean the Kaunter Serahan (Collection Counter) also will be close for lunch?  Yes, unless your number was called before that and you were not around.  Fine.

We have an appointment at 2pm.  We decided to rush out and grab a quick lunch and then get on with our appointment at Puchong.  Luckily it's not that far from Putrajaya.

Done with our lunch and appointment and made a quick return back to Putrajaya.  We reached at 3.30pm.  I was so worried that we have missed our call number and went to the counter and asked.  "Belum lagi, puan."  Hmmm....

At the same time, we saw the first 2 couples.  Remember 2001 and 2002?  They were still there and filled with frustrations and anger.  Husband and wife were quarreling.  Children were getting impatient and crying.  Both of these couples have small children.  

So I told husband, looks like not our turn yet since these 2 couples were still here.  Waiting continue.  This time no more reading Bhagavad Gita.  I was desperate to get the passport and get out of there fast.  Bear in mind, I am 8 months pregnant.  And there's no such thing as priority counter.  They can't be bothered if you are disabled, pregnant or with small children.

Finally, at 4pm, our number was called.  Got our passport.  And I almost cried.  After waiting for 8.5 hours, the outcome was 1 year visa and 1 year work endorsement.  Worse part was the 1 year work endorsement starts from the date we applied to the same date next year while the visa is continuous.  That means we have 1 month difference between the dates.  I don't know how silly this can get.

As we walked to the lift, I was in the verge of bursting into tears but held it in.  8.5 hours.  1 year.  This was all running in my head.  Imagine we have to do this all over again, same time next year, with the little one in tow.  How will we survive?  I will tell you next year.  But dear God please help us.

I don't know why they like to torture Malaysian wives married to foreign husband.  I seriously do not know what they do behind the counter.  Do they do a company search?  Do they check his background?  Was it some intelligence investigation going on behind us while we were patiently or rather impatiently waiting?

We survived.  But left disappointed, tired and frustrated.  

Here's some tips for those get caught up at Immigration Putrajaya with no idea what's going on as no one there can advise you.

1. No need to go so early.  Since they have to complete their day's work before 4.30-5pm, you will get your passport on the same day.  Unless there's some major complications.  But rest assured, same day delivery.

2. They are closed for lunch from 1-2pm although there are no signs stating this anyway.  No point being there and waiting.  Go and have a nice lunch.  If your number hasn't be called before lunch, it won't be called until after lunch.

3. There's a cafeteria on the 2nd floor.  Go and grab some nice Malay food.  

4. Toilets are located on 1st and 2nd floor.  It's not the cleanest toilet on earth but also not the dirtiest but you will have to make do with it.  I went 4 times throughout the 8.5 hours.

5. Next time, after we pay, we will probably go to Alamanda and have a nice shopping time and walk around and then come back by 3pm.  

6. If you want to get your passport fast, don't get the work endorsement.  But if you are doing the work endorsement, the collection counter is not Counter 1.  It is Counter 17.  By the way, the Tuan accepted the employment contract.  

7. If you are the patient type of person, get a good book to read while opening your ears to check on the number.  The numbers jump so much that you might missed it.  But if you are not kiasu, you can wait for your number to be called again.  Many would bring iPads and play games but when you are too into the game, you might miss your number.  That's my take.  Reading still ok.

I heard if you want more than 1 year visa, you must have children together or you must be in Malaysia for at least 5 years.  So, next year, I will share with you whether this holds true.  Because he would be in Malaysia for 5 years with the little one in tow.

I am not sure how I would manage with breastfeeding and little one who will be about 11 months by then, that means she would probably wanting to crawl around and all that.  Don't want to think so far ahead though.  Just hoping that things will be better from now.

Tuesday, December 01, 2015

Help Mother Earth

When the haze was here, we asked for bandhan for the rain to come.

Then floods came because of rain and we asked for bandhan for the rain to stop.

Aren't we funny creatures?  We created all these disaster and we asked God to please fix it.  

Like haze.  It is preventable?  Of course.  Stop burning forest.  

Then someone said, "Look, if you stop burning forest, we won't buy your land.  Because that's the fastest way to clear a forest and we can't wait for you to clear it with excavators."  

Then the producers said, "If we don't have clear land, we can't produce toilet papers, kitchen towels and all the pulp products that you need for your everyday use."

Then we were like, "OK, burn the forest then."

For floods, if there were trees to stop the fast flowing water, if there were soil to absorb the water, if it is not a concrete jungle, maybe floods won't happen.  

All these are created by us and no one else.  Civilisation but not civilised.  Democracy but not democratic.  Realisation but not realised.

Now that we have fresh air, beautiful sun and amazing weather, we have forgotten what haze has done to us.  

We are leaving carbon footprints everywhere.  

So start something today.  Start small.

*Stop using disposable plastic or Styrofoam food wares.*
*Plant a tree or a bush or any vegetation.*
*Stop using disposable diapers.  They are not Mother Earth friendly.  Try cloth diapers.*
*Go for natural materials.  Stop buying polyester.*
*Reduce plastic.  Recycle.*
*Don't use toilet paper.  Use water.*
*Buy products which uses natural packaging and not plastic packaging.*

We may not be able to change the whole world.  Sometimes, we can't avoid but to use cars and that is creating more carbon monoxide and all that.  Sometimes, we really can't help it.  But where we can help, then let's do it.

Help Mother Earth.  Help Shri Bhumi Devi.

Monday, November 23, 2015

For a PRC - How to drive in Malaysia (Part 1)

Part 1

For those PRCs are interested to get a driving license to drive in Malaysia, please read on.  The process was amazingly so tedious and lots of red tape and sometimes I feel it is even more complicated than applying for the LTSVP.

There are 2 options for a PRC.  If there are more options, do let me know because I only know 2.  As per my research, China does not issue International License.  So, if you know a PRC who has an International License from China, it's probably a fake.  Again, I could be wrong but that's what I found from Google.

First option - Have good understand of English and go and take the road transport exam, like any Malaysian.  Book yourself at a Driving School.  First you need to pass the Undang-Undang, which is now offered in both BM and English and it's computerised objective questions.  Then once that is done and you passed, you will have to do a practical on-the-road lessons for 12 hours.  Then there's the slope test, parking and 3-point-turn that you will need to practise on.  On the day of the exam, you will have to drive with the JPJ test examiner chosen route and do the slope test, parking test and 3-point-turn test.  Once you have passed everything, then you will get your P license (like in a month of so) which permit you to drive on Malaysian road with a passenger next to you (or something like that).

Second option

Step 1: Go to China and get your legal driving license from there.  I am saying legal because there are many illegal license being sold in China (which is one reason why so much of red tape involved to get it converted).  Bear in mind, the road test in China is much more stringent and complicated than the one in Malaysia.  But if your command of English and BM is very poor, then this is probably the better option for you.

Step 2: Once you have obtained your China license, you can't drive in Malaysia yet (unless you intend to drive illegally, which I strongly do not encourage or recommend - will explain in Part 2).  You need to convert your China license to Malaysian license.  And here begins the complication.  As per JPJ website, we just need to get it translated and endorsement from embassy of country.  But it's not as simple as you think.

Step 3 - VERY IMPORTANT STEP: Before you leave China, please get your China driving license notarize by the following department in China:

a) Notary Public - Authentication
b) Foreign Office / Foreign Affair - Endorsement
c) Malaysia Embassy in China - Endorsement

This is where all the red tape starts.  When husband got his driving license in China, we thought we can just come to Malaysia, get it translated, get it endorsed at the China Embassy in Malaysia and go to JPJ and apply for the license.  Nope, that's not the case.

When we went to the China Embassy in Malaysia, we were given this little slip:

And we were told to go to China and do it as the China Embassy in Malaysia doesn't have do such notarization.  Oh well.  That means the RM150 that I paid for translation was for nothing and now have to buy an air ticket for him to go back to China.  Bummer.

Step 4: So husband went back to China and went to the 3 places mentioned in Step 3.  Each authentication and notarization takes about 10 working days.  Yes, that is almost like a month to get it done for all 3 places.  If you cannot stay so long in China, then you have to ask someone to help you to do it on your behalf.  First ask the offices if that is allowed (because it depends location to location, China is HUGE, remember).  The last office, which is the Malaysia Embassy in China agreed to courier the document back to husband's local house address when it's done.  Then a family member couriered the document to us in Malaysia (because the air ticket was already booked and husband have to return to Malaysia before that).  The end result is, they made a very nice A4 book with the translation done by them and all the respective offices endorsement at the back.  Very neat.

Step 5:  This will be continued in Part 2.  Looks like we need to make a trip to Malaysia Foreign Affair in Putrajaya to get their endorsement before heading to JPJ.

Note:  I have disabled comments as I do not wish to answer where are the offices located in China.  Ours were done in Foshan and Guangzhou.  Please check with your local China offices to confirm.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

How to tell what is natural material?

Before Sahaj, I was not able to tell what material is natural and what is not.  I used to wear clothes that are polyester and doesn't feel a thing.

After Sahaj, the artificial material have an effect on my skin.  If I wear polyester material, I tend to sweat more and it makes my skin itch.  

There are few types of natural cloth material.  They are cotton, wool, silk, leather, fur, bamboo, hemp and jute.  I don't propagate wearing fur or leather as they killed animals for that.  Let's just talk about the natural sources from trees and fibers. 

Then industrialization came and many people opted for synthetic material, saying it's easier, no need to iron, airy, easy to dry, etc.  Example like polyester, nylon and spandex.  

True enough, cotton materials get crumple after each wash and you need to iron.  And because it's ability to absorb sweat, it makes one feel that it's hot compared to polyester.  But polyester stinks.  And I literally mean it.  After you sweat, though it doesn't absorb your sweat and you don't feel hot, but you or the cloth emit a kind of body odour that really stink.  Also, some cotton materials colour runs after each wash and you need to wash by hand, especially those hand-dye type.  That's the only con I can think of.

One of the reason I love India is you can get many cotton materials and they are cheap.  I love chikankari suits as they are 100% cotton and although it started out hard because they starch it but after numerous wash, the cotton is soft and it's very comfortable.

Many punjabi suits are made of 100% cotton.  But those not chikankari type are made of softer cotton material.

I also love saris made of cotton although they can make you look very bulky.  But after many washes, it's softer and feels very cooling and comfortable on the skin.

I don't know why people like to make office wear and business suits from unnatural material.  Maybe no need to iron.  It's very hard to get clothing from natural material.  Seriously, if you look hard enough, you may find some exotic store selling cotton materials which are at exorbitant price.

Now, there are some people who claimed that the materials are natural, but it turns out not.  Example like tetra cotton.  It's mixed polyester with cotton material.  Then there are some saris that claimed to be mixed silk with cotton.  But it turns out to be polyester and cotton.

So how do you tell whether a material is 100% natural or not?  I didn't start out able to tell what is what until I got my vibrationary sensation.  It's when you hold a cloth in your hands and after few seconds, you can feel cool or heat coming out from your hands.  If it is heat, then it's not 100% natural.  Likewise, if it's cool, then it's most likely 100% natural.

Now cotton business is a big business in the material world.  I don't understand why instead of getting more natural materials in Malaysia, we have to import something called organic cotton, which is a very soft cotton material that is suitable for babies.

And I always have this motto, what's good for baby, is good for you too.  

Nowadays there are so many materials that claimed to be natural but not.  I believe even the seller doesn't know what is natural and what is not.  

So feel it yourself with your hands.  But first, you must have vibrationary sensation and that happens after self-realisation upon the opening of your 7th chakra and the awakening of your Kundalini.


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