Random Thoughts 1

I have an analytical mind.  Not sure if it is a good thing or not because it means I like to ponder and wonder about things that happened around me.  Some thoughts seem to pop up more often than others, maybe because they are more exciting (or annoying).  I thought writing them down here will keep these thoughts under controlled and not let them run wild in my head.  We’ll see about that….

Pedestrian Crossings

There are pedestrian crossings everywhere in our city.  Wherever there is a road, and I mean including a busy four-lane road, you can almost certain that there will be a pedestrian crossing somewhere.  The pedestrian crossings are particularly prominent at the school and park areas.  I think these are good ways of taking care of the pedestrians’ safety by mninimizing the chances of jaywalking.  In Canada, pedestrians have the right of way over cars.  That means drivers have to come to a complete stop when someone is crossing the road.  Unlike where I came from, majority of the people do put these crossings into good use and drivers are diligent in stopping for the pedestrians

Pedestrian crossings at the exit from a circle / roundabout.

As good as it may seem, what I don’t understand is the pedestrian crossings that are located right at the exits from a traffic circle a.k.a. roundabout. Cars in a traffic circle usually have to maintain certain speed and they exit from the appropriate lanes.  Having the pedestrian crossings located right at the exit from the circles, in my opinion, does not make sense because it is causing danger both to the pedestrians and drivers.   Firstly, as a driver, there are so many traffic one has to watch out in the circle.  On top of that the road ahead is not straight which means restricted visibility at times.  With a pedestrian crossing located right at the exit from the circle, it means pedestrians have the right to cross the road regardless of the traffic, and so they will.  That also means drivers have to come to a complete stop at the exit from the circle when there are people crossing the road, while other traffic in the circles are expected to maintain their speed…….doesn’t this sound dangerous to you?

This is just something I cannot comprehend.  Everytime I passby a circle and see those pedestrian crossings, I grind my teeth.  This is probably the most illogical traffic systems I have seen.

My Walk-In Closet

Walk-in-closet, not mine but similar except this one is tidier. 🙂

I lurv my walk-in closet!  Not because it is spacious but I can actually change my clothes in there.  It feels like a dressing room, only it is filled with all my lovely clothing.  Well, may be that’s what a walk-in closet is meant for but I was  not accustomed to that given I never had a closet that I could walk in to in the past, so this is definitely something new to me.

We have quite a huge window in our bedroom, from torso height and up.  The huge windows are fabulous for good airflow and natural lights.  However, they are facing the bedroom windows of our neighbours that’s about 50 meters away.  So if we are not careful, our neighbours will be treated with interesting “views”, and vice versa of course.  That also means there is no changing of my clothes in a corner of the room just in case I have forgotten to lower the blinds.  Yes, I did forget and I have to play duck and crawl several times.  Well, I did say I wasn’t accustomed to changing my clothes inside the walk-in closet. 

But!

Everything is about to change since I have discovered the wonderful fact of changing in my closet. 

Goooood bye to ducking. 🙂

Talking Over Someone

Let’s say you were having a conversation with someone and you were talking.  The person didn’t let you finish what you wanted to say and started talking.  You felt you need to finish what you were saying so you continue talking and talking louder.  Instead of stop and listen, this person said you were talking over her.  What do you do in instances like this?  I actually got tongue tight and sometimes I lost my trail of thoughts most times because I was surprised by the reactions.  I thought she was talking over me! 

English is not my first language and to make my case or to impress someone I need to be very conscious of what I said and how I said it, especially the corporate environment I am in where I deal with “Consultants” that seem to have the right thing to say everytime.  Unfortunately, people that speaks perfect English does not equate to people with an open mind.  There are some that do not have the patience in allowing me to speak and they act like it is a waste of time listening to me.   

This has happened a couple of times at work.  There were colleagues that do not hesitate to talk over me in a group call.  Some ignore me when I tried to participate. Some colleagues do not listen with an open heart .  When someone is not speaking perfect English like them, they automatically believe the individual has nothing better to say.   Not that they have anything better things to say too because most times they only raise their voice and speak faster, with the attempt to intimate others.  So lately I have came up with my respond.

“I understand what you are saying.  You have already said that from the beginning of the conversation so if you could let me finish what I have to say………and by the way understanding is not agreeing.”

Duh!

July

Canada Day Celebration. Thousands of people are on the street for events, parade and celebrating.

Edmontonian has this love hate relationship with the month of July.  There are alot of exciting festivals, events and celebration in July;  celebration such as the Canada Day and events relating to street performance, food, heritage, musical and etc.  Afterall, we are called the City of events.   And with 17 hours of daylight a day, there are tones of reasons to be outdoor. 

Funnel cloud please don't touch down.

However, as summer arrives it also means ocassional nasty storms.   Storms that will bring rain, thunder, strong wind, hail that are sometimes golf ball or bigger size and possibly tornados too.  Hence, while having outdoor fun the Edmontonians are faithfully watching the sky and clouds in summer.  The advise is when you see a funnel cloud, take shelter immediately!

Sometimes bad weather happens in the month of June and August too but not as often as the month of July.

I am sticking to Spring as my favourate season. 

Wii

We had a long and harsh winter last year, our first year in Canada.  There was literally no summer and definitely limited outdoor activities so I bought a Wii console, some games and a Will fit sometime around August thinking I could do yoga and play some games at home.  I later changed my mind about taking it out, to avoid any unpleasant comments from my in laws.  After 8 months in the box, my Wii is finally seeing lights!  I am so glad that I bought it because it is a wonderful way to have family fun while keeping ourselves active indoor on a rainy or wintery day.  My favourite game is “Just dance 2” and lately found a Karaoke game for Glee.  Kay’s favourite is Disney Sing-It and Nick’s favourite is the hockey game. 

Whenever I am playing “Just Dance” or “Sing-It”, I thought about my good friend Jo.  Jo is really good in dancing and singing and I am sure she will enjoy the games as much as I do.  What I like most is the idea of being able to sing and dance with Jo again one day.  I can imagine it will be a blast having fun together and being young again.

This is Kay’s favourite just dance song and dance, and mine too.  Make sure you turn on the speakers. 😉

 

The Same

Something never changed.  Something like my mother in law and her behaviour.  A lot of people asked if my mother in law has changed since we have moved out from her house.  After living with her for one year and seeing her true colors, I say “not a single bit”.  She is always very different the moment the house’s door swings open.  Outside the house she is this kind, humourous and caring person.  At least she pretends to be but behind closed door she is a wicked queen.  Honestly,  I have to give it to her (and her acting skills).  She is able to put up such a good show outside the house, I believe even I tell others about my experience living with her, many would take it with the pinch of salt.  Anyway,  that’s not my biggest concern.  I don’t think I need to justify my experience to anyone.

So what happened this time?  Since we have moved out, my mother in law started to bring food over once a week.  Not only that, she has brought them in big portion too.  Sometimes with fruits, raw meat or vegetable as well.  Wow! and I said she is not a good mother in law eh? 

Well, if you have a chance to look at the food closely they are usually cold with a layer of oil frozen on top, and if you tasted them you will know they are leftover.  Unfortunately for me, I work from home so I am usually the one that has the “honour” of receiving those food from her.  It’s hard to show excitment and enthusiasm  seeing her, with the amount of leftover I have to deal with at the back of my mind.  On very frustrating days, I have thought of not answering the door but the same time it is not my personality to be rude, so I have yet to do that.

That’s not the end of the story.  After staying with my monster in law for a year, I know she usually cooks fresh food to bring to her daughter in the morning, twice a week.  The first time she brought food over to us, it was around 12pm so the timing was within her schedule.  The food was warm.  The first thing she asked when I answered the door was “have you eaten?” to which I answered I haven’t.  She told me she didn’t know I haven’t taken lunch and the food she brought are meant for our dinner. 

So she assumed I have lunch before noon huh?  Nah….she can care less if I have taken my lunch or if I actually have anything to eat.  She meant she cooked those fresh food for her dearest son i.e. my hubby, and not meant for me to consume as lunch.   I don’t mean to be critical but I can’t think of a reason she would want to highlight those are “for dinner only”. 

Obviously, the subsequent weeks, she started bringing food later in the afternoon, an indication that she doesn’t want me to benefit by having them for lunch.  I never expected her to do anything for me but it is hurtful that she constantly showed me I don’t deserve the least from her.

On one of the Fridays afternoon, she rang the door bell and was shocked when Nick opened the door.  She immediately apologize for the cold food, dropped them and quickly left.  The subsequent Friday the same thing happened.  By the third week, she was probably worried that she will bump into Nick again so she moved the food delivery to the middle of the week, but still in the afternoon. 

Things started to change when we bought her an expansive termopot as mother’s day gift, to replace their worn out kettle.  We also bought a set of cordless phone, a meal paid by me, and the druken chicken that I cooked for my father in law on father’s day.  Suddenly she is bringing warm food before noon twice a week and she would highlight they are warm and there are enough portion for my lunch too. 

Yup, that is my monster in law alright.  Situation has changed, and I guarantee you it is just temporary until the excitment of those expansive items has worn out, but she definitely hasn’t change a bit.

Devastated Evening….

Here I go again….

Among all the annoying stuffs that my monster in law has done, I believe this one deserves to be mentioned.

It was the Chinese winter solstice festival yesterday.  Hubby and I only realised that the night before.  In Malaysia, we always have dinner with my family.  It has been my family tradition as long as I could remember it.  Now that I am so far away from home, my hubby understands it will mean a lot to me to have a mini celebration ourselves, especially now that we have Kay and we like to instill this valuable Chinese tradition in her….so hubby spent at least an hour on the road yesterday morning to a Chinese supermarket and bought some “tong yuen” i.e. dumpling to make the tong yuen soup. 

When hubby was getting ready to leave the house, monster in law was curious to find out where he is heading.  Hubby explained that it was the chinese winter solstice festival and we wanted to have some tong yuen.  Monster in law got very “excited” and started speaking in a loud and high pitch tone about how long she has not been celebrating the festival.  Then, she complained that we have been celebrating too many chinese festivals.  Honestly, the last one we did was the mid autumn festival and we did not do anything elaborate except let Kay played with the lanterns.  Nothing else.  This winter festival, we just want to have some tong yuen.  Just like dessert after a meal.  I don’t see if these are in anyway causing inconvenient to her.  Generally, she just doesn’t like the idea that we are happy celebrating something.

Anyway, hubby and I went out for a hair cut in the afternoon.  I was planning to make the tong yuen soup when we get home.  As we were walking out the door monster in law asked us to take our time and do not have to rush home.  When she acted that way, I knew something is not right because everytime she acts nice, there are something funny going behind.

……and sure enough when we got home, monster in law was waiting and immediately told us that she has cooked the “tong yuen” for us.  My hubby was the first one to react.

“Huh??  You cooked all 3 packets??”  That’s 38 pieces of tong yuen.

Monster in law ignored my hubby and went straight upstairs into her room.  When we open the lid to check the tong yuen, this is what we saw

You be the judge

Apparently, she did cooked all the 3 packets of the tong yuen.  A total of 38 pieces of them in a small pot.  All the tong yuen were sticking together and the ingredients with different flavours have spilled into the soup.  The soup is so muddy that we can’t even tell what she has used to make it.  I wanted to cry.  In fact, I cried a couple of times throughout the night.

My hubby was very troubled too. He is probably more torn than me.  This is his mother that is doing that.  The same time he was looking forward as much as I did to this little mini celebration.  Not to mention he was the one that has put in the efforts in getting the “tong yuen”.  Both of us were devastated.

To those of you who don’t know how a normal bowl of tong yuen should look like, here is a photo for your comparison.

This is a typical bowl of "tong yuen"

I feel so hurt.   For someone that is capable to do good but has choosen not to do so instead has gone to that extend to make sure my life is miserable here, she must hate me a lot.

I have repeatedly ask my hubby if I have kill her entire family in our past lives, why is she behaving and treating me that way??

A friend said maybe she has parkinson disease because the way she behaves showed some signs of that.  Well, this is a very ironic thought.  If I wish that is true, that would explain all her behaviours,  I would feel 100 times better but that means she and all her children will have to deal with her health issues.  If I wish that is not true, then the only explanation I can find for her behaviours would link to her personality and how bad she want me to fail.  Otherwise, I don’t know whatelse to think of such a childish and foolish acts.