TehTarikKaki on December 30th, 2010

This is the sec­ond part of the blog post “Funny Ching­lish that makes you laugh”.

Ching­lish exam­ple #6

Ching­lish: Have to hurry, was also chong chong to.

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: It is very dif­fi­cult to give an accu­rate trans­la­tion. How­ever the mean­ing is “You come here in a hurry, but make sure you flush it after you have done your busi­ness.” “Chong chong” here means flush it with water. This sig­nage appears in a pub­lic toilet.


Ching­lish exam­ple #7

Ching­lish: ROMM

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: ROOM or ACCOMMODATION


Ching­lish exam­ple #8

Ching­lish: Deformed men’s toi­let (there is another one for women: Deformed women’s toilet!)

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: Toi­let For Dis­abled Men


Ching­lish exam­ple #9

Ching­lish: To restraint AIDS – Pre­ven­tion is cru­cial (looks OK but not perfect)

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: Stop spread­ing of AIDS by prevention

Ching­lish: Route of infection

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: AIDS can be spread by

Ching­lish: spread by the sex­ual con­tact between male-female and man sex with man

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: spread by sex­ual con­tact between man and woman or between male homosexuals

Ching­lish: Using need­ing instru­ments blood with­out test or blood prod­ucts with­out test will infect

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: spread by shared nee­dles, untested/unscreened blood or blood products

Ching­lish: Woman who has been infected would infect baby through preg­nancy give birth or breast feed

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: infected mother could infect AIDS to baby through preg­nancy, child­birth or breast feeding

Ching­lish: It is safe to doily con­tact it won’t infect through hand­shak­ing, hug have din­ner with them take shower together bite by mosquito

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: AIDS can­not be spread by nor­mal hand shak­ing, hug­ging, eat­ing together, tak­ing shower together or by mos­quito bites


Ching­lish exam­ple #10

Dear teh tarik kakis, this is a very dif­fi­cult one to trans­late. Any­body can help?


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TehTarikKaki on December 24th, 2010

Hey Teh Tarik Kakis: it has been more than a month since I last posted here.

Recently I had the oppor­tu­nity to visit China on leisure and came across some very funny Eng­lish word­ings used by the local Chi­nese in their sig­nage and printed literature.

What is Chinglish?

From Wikipedia: Ching­lish refers to spo­ken or writ­ten Eng­lish lan­guage that is influ­enced by the Chi­nese lan­guage. The term “Ching­lish” is com­monly applied to ungram­mat­i­cal or non­sen­si­cal Eng­lish in Chi­nese con­texts, and may have pejo­ra­tive or dep­re­cat­ing con­no­ta­tions. Other terms used to described the phe­nom­e­non include “Chi­nese Eng­lish”, “China Eng­lish”, and “Sini­cized Eng­lish”. The degree to which a Chi­nese vari­ety of Eng­lish exists or can be con­sid­ered legit­i­mate is disputed.

Most of the Eng­lish word­ings used in the sig­nage or writ­ten lit­er­a­ture are either direct trans­la­tions and most of the time it is full of gram­mat­i­cal errors. To make things worse it will make your laugh until “tears also come out” [is this Chinglish?].

Ching­lish exam­ple #1

Ching­lish: To be on your safety, please don’t climb over the rails.

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: For you own safety, please do not climb over the rails.


Ching­lish exam­ple #2

Ching­lish: Floor have water, be care­ful of slip.

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: Floor is wet. Be careful!


Ching­lish exam­ple #3


Pre­vent AIDS I have a condom

To care for your healthy and safty please:

Per­sist to use con­dom while sex.

Sug­gested proper English:

Pre­vent AIDS — Use A Con­dom (this is sup­posed to be a slogan)

For your health and safety, insist on using a con­dom when mak­ing love.

[Or you have a bet­ter suggestions?]


Ching­lish exam­ple #4

Ching­lish: Couldn’t drink water!!! [This is pho­tographed near the water tap in the wash room]

Sug­gested proper Eng­lish: Water Is Not For Drinking!


Ching­lish exam­ple #5


Room to room: touch 6 + the room number

Local call: Touch 9 + the phone number

Sug­gested proper English:

Room to room: Press (or dial) 6 + room number

Local call: Press 9 (or dial) + local phone number

[There is no touch screen, so touch­ing the but­tons has no effect!]


My two cents

The rea­sons for such errors are basically

1. Eng­lish is not widely taught and spo­ken in schools and in their day to day deal­ings (and there­fore is not taught prop­erly as well)

2. Erro­neous dic­tio­nary listings

3. Wrong word order

4. Prob­lems of direct translation

Have you have enough laughs so far? In the next post, I shall put up more funny pho­tos and I guar­an­tee you would laugh until you drop!

Merry Christ­mas and Happy New Year 2011!!

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TehTarikKaki on November 15th, 2010

One week ago I blogged about “Life is like a cup of cof­fee”. Go and read it before you read further…..

Why this title?

So why this blog is titled “Life is a like a box of chocolates”?

Here is how the story goes. Last Mon­day, I posted the fol­low­ing in my Face­book wall:

TehTarikKaki (me):“Mentally very very tired. Mon­day blues…just half a day gone already so stress­ful. “Hope­fully less stress­ful” in next days and weeks.”

KY (one of my FB friend):”I thought life is like a box of chocolate?”

TehTarikKaki (me):“chocolate? yeah, sweet and sticky and got stuck in every lubangs (spaces) in between my teeth. I need a kopi o now kau kau one (black strong cof­fee). Teh tarik kurang manis also ok”

I did some research on the phrase “life is like a box of choco­lates” which I heard many times but the actual mean­ing was not fully under­stood. So what does “life is like a box of choco­lates” means?

For­rest Gump

This famous quote actu­ally came from a 1994 award win­ning movie “For­rest Gump” which was starred by Tom Hanks. The line as spo­ken by For­rest Gump, reads in the script as fol­lows:

“I could eat about a mil­lion and a half of these. My momma always said, ‘Life was like a box of choco­lates. You never know what you’re gonna get.’”

Life is like a box of chocolates

The most com­mon inter­pre­ta­tions of this phrase are:

  • A box of choco­lates con­tains many dif­fer­ent flavours that you nor­mally couldn’t iden­tify unless it is spec­i­fied in the label. If cho­sen ran­domly, you don’t know what flavour you are going to get. Thus, like life, your choice of choco­lates could bring sur­pris­ing results
  • You will never know what you are going to get in life
  • Life is like a box of choco­lates — full of nuts!
  • This means that there is always some­thing new and a lot of it

Do you agree with this inter­pre­ta­tion? Actu­ally I am quite agree­able with the above inter­pre­ta­tion. My notion is life is like a cup of cof­fee, you need to embrace it fully and it is also like a box of choco­lates, it is full of sur­prises or uncertainties.

What did my Face­book friends say?

Few days ago, I posted the fol­low­ing in my wall in Facebook:

TehTarikKaki (me): ”Life Is like a Box of Choco­lates… You Never Know What You’re Gonna Get! Agreed? Yes or No? LIKE?”

Many LIKEd the post and I received 5 com­ments as below:

WLL: ”u mean those with fill­ing inside? black magic types..cherry, almond, liquor, coconut? i pre­fer dark choc. so life is more like dark chocolate..its bit­ter sweet and u will grow to like it more and more..”

KWS: “Like, but not really agree .. Choco­late too sweet lah.. many things in life is bet­ter than choco­late lah.. why nota box of RM100 notes? can do many things..”

TCH: “Life is just like a ‘Present’ or a gift which wrap with beau­ti­ful wrap­ping paper. We won’t know it with­out open the ‘Present’ except we open it n see it by our self…BTW, I love white choco­late, choco­late with almond and date from mid­dle east, choco­late with hazelnut…yummy.….…: D”

DHK: “choco­lates come with dif­fer­ent size and shape and you will only know what is inside when you bite it and taste it,you may like it or dis­like it”

EY: “Have you tried putting a piece of choco­late into a cup of cof­fee? It melted n blended into it. That is life.”

TehTarikKaki (me): “EY, I have yet to try it. Will do it soon!”

My sur­prises in life

There are many sur­prises (at least some­thing you never expect or could never imag­ine that will hap­pen) in your life. And there are two things which are cer­tain in life i.e. death and taxes (unless you live in a tax-free coun­try like Brunei). All other are all uncer­tain­ties. My exam­ple “lit­tle” and “big” sur­prise are:

  • I do not prac­tice my pro­fes­sion for a liv­ing now (after the eco­nomic crisis)
  • I reg­u­larly “met” or “recon­nected” with long lost friends in Face­book, which I have not met for 20 or even 30 years
  • I asked a (never con­tacted before) Face­book friend for her album of choco­late pho­tos to be put in this blog. To my sur­prise per­mis­sion was granted with­out has­sle. And here are the pho­tos, don’t you find them cute? Here is the Sher­ena Chng’s photo album of choco­late in Facebook.
  • The biggest sur­prise of all today is I receive a box of choco­lates as a gift from a dear friend! I have yet to open the box and really do not know what are inside the box. Big sur­prise to me but warm at heart. Here is the album:

My two cents

To many life seems to be ran­dom­ness, lack of order or I would rather call it uncer­tain­ties. For exam­ple, on a Mon­day morn­ing before you go out of your house, there is no way for you to know before hand whether the Mon­day is going to be a blue Monday!

A dear friend told me: “Every­day is just a day, it is made blue or red or green or yel­low or white or black or purple…by your­self. Why not make it colour­ful like a rain­bow with your tal­ent for your­self and others?”

This should be the mind set we adopt every­day in fac­ing the world as life is like a box of choco­lates. When you open a box of choco­lates, there are rows of non-differentiated or some­times dif­fer­ent design of choco­lates. They might or might not look the same, and yet you know some are filled with cream, some with caramel and some with coconut. When you pick up one choco­late, you never know what will hap­pen! Once you picked up one choco­late, think: “Have you tried putting a piece of choco­late into a cup of cof­fee? It melted n blended into it. That is life.”

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TehTarikKaki on November 8th, 2010

Do you like to drink coffee?

Per­son­ally I have been drink­ing cof­fee for years. My morn­ing black cof­fee (with some sugar) is my morn­ing fix, with­out which I would feel very uncom­fort­able. I asked around and peo­ple said it is addic­tion. I agree totally.

Moti­va­tional video

I came across a moti­va­tional video with the same title of this blog in YouTube, which I “repro­duced” below.

One of the best moti­va­tion videos I have watched. It is uplifting.

If you care to think for a moment, do you like the cof­fee or the cup con­tain­ing the cof­fee?? I am going to tell you a real story:

Beau­ti­ful cups

My wife bought some cups the other day, so each fam­ily mem­ber can have one. There are many designs; true enough my chil­dren were rush­ing to choose the “bet­ter” look­ing ones. I too, chose the same one which my daugh­ter was also inter­ested. Being a kind father, I let go the one to her. And she is so happy.

I like cof­fee, black cof­fee, espresso, white cof­fee, cap­puc­cino, latte, mac­chi­ato, blue moun­tain, etc. (though I am not a cof­fee expert) But I also like the cups, beau­ti­ful cups, cute cups, small cups, big cups, strange look­ing cups. Let’s me show you my cups.

Do you know which is my favourite cup? Is the cup more impor­tant or the cof­fee more impor­tant? If there is no cup, there is “no cof­fee”. Does the cof­fee taste bet­ter when it is in a more “beau­ti­ful” cup or “bet­ter look­ing” cup?

In my opin­ion, the var­i­ous cups rep­re­sent not only the mun­dane things in life such as posi­tion in soci­ety, money you have, car that you drive, your house, your fame, etc.

Being worldly, almost every­one of us would want to pos­sess the best things in our life. But do the best phys­i­cal things in life con­sti­tute a major part of our life?

There is more to the cups. The essence is in the cof­fee itself. We know that dif­fer­ent processes and ingre­di­ents would pro­duce dif­fer­ent kinds of cof­fee. That’s where each and every­one of us is different!

Some like cof­fee with­out sugar or milk, some like lots of milk or sugar and some like a mix­ture of sugar and milk.

How­ever, life is full of hap­pi­ness and suf­fer­ings. We add dif­fer­ent amount of sugar or milk to make the bit­ter cof­fee more drinkable.

Life is like a cup of cof­fee as cof­fee itself is so addi­tive. I vow that a day with­out my morn­ing cof­fee is some­thing I can­not live with. So does it means that life is so addi­tive that nobody is will­ing to give up life?

Life is like a cup of cof­fee. Do you know how to enjoy your cup of cof­fee other than enjoy­ing the beauty of the cup con­tain­ing the cof­fee? To live life to the fullest, you ought to sip and smell the aroma of the cof­fee when savour­ing every sip of it. That means to say to enjoy life, you must enjoy every­day of your life and every part of your life.

Life is like a cup of cof­fee. Some say cof­fee tastes best when it is hot, freshly brewed. This is so true that when your career, job, fame or other parts of your life is “hot” you truly enjoy your life.

Life is like a cup of cof­fee. Some peo­ple like to drink cof­fee alone some like to drink it with a group of friends.

My two cents

My teh tarik kaki friends, isn’t it true that if your cup con­tain­ing the cof­fee is not even beau­ti­ful but if the cof­fee is brewed just hot with the cor­rect aroma, it will taste very very very nice? Go for your life and embrace it fully just like how you would sip your favourite cof­fee. If the cup is nice, why not? If the cup is not that beau­ti­ful, then do your best to brew the cof­fee to the best of your ability!


P/S The exact word­ings in the above video are as below, cour­tesy of http://www.spiritual-short-stories.com

Spir­i­tual Story by Unknown

A group of alumni, highly estab­lished in their careers, got together to visit their old uni­ver­sity pro­fes­sor. Con­ver­sa­tion soon turned into com­plaints about stress in work and life.

Offer­ing his guests cof­fee, the pro­fes­sor went to the kitchen and returned with a large pot of cof­fee and an assort­ment of cups — porce­lain, plas­tic, glass, crys­tal, some plain look­ing, some expen­sive, some exquis­ite — telling them to help them­selves to the cof­fee.
When all the stu­dents had a cup of cof­fee in hand, the pro­fes­sor said: “If you noticed, all the nice look­ing expen­sive cups have been taken up, leav­ing behind the plain and cheap ones. While it is nor­mal for you to want only the best for your­selves, that is the source of your prob­lems and stress.

Be assured that the cup itself adds no qual­ity to the cof­fee. In most cases it is just more expen­sive and in some cases even hides what we drink. What all of you really wanted was cof­fee, not the cup, but you con­sciously went for the best cups… And then you began eye­ing each other’s cups.

Now con­sider this: Life is the cof­fee; the jobs, money and posi­tion in soci­ety are the cups. They are just tools to hold and con­tain Life, and the type of cup we have does not define, nor change the qual­ity of life we live.

Some­times, by con­cen­trat­ing only on the cup, we fail to enjoy the cof­fee. Savor the cof­fee, not the cups! The hap­pi­est peo­ple don’t have the best of every­thing. They just make the best of every­thing. Live sim­ply. Love gen­er­ously. Care deeply. Speak kindly.”

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TehTarikKaki on October 23rd, 2010

In the first blog post of “How to rein­vent life after 40, 50, 60? Part 1”, I touched on why we should rein­vent our life after 40, 50 or 60.

In the sec­ond blog post of “How to rein­vent life after 40, 50, 60? Part 2”, phys­i­cal health and rela­tion­ship were dis­cussed.

In the third blog post of “How to rein­vent life after 40, 50, 60? Part 3”, mental/spiritual being aspect was dis­cussed.

In this blog, I shall go into the 4th account of our life accounts, i.e. actual money in the bank.

Is money every­thing or every­thing is money?

Unless you are a mil­lion­aire or bil­lion­aire by the time you are 40,50 or 60 you would most prob­a­bly would like to look seri­ously into your finances per­haps even before you reach 40.

I once asked a close of my dia­mond bach­e­lor friend how and who is going to take care of his life after retire­ment say when he turn 70 or 80.

Non­cha­lantly he replied, ”Let’s cross the bridge when the time comes.”

I pressed further,”How man brother?”

Then he said, ”My broth­ers or sis­ters will take care when I am old or you all [his close friends is what he means] would take care-lah.”

In my heart I was think­ing by the time you are over 60, your broth­ers and sis­ters or close friends would also be of the same age group. They would face the same set of prob­lems as you do. Will they able to help you?

That’s where you need to pre­pare how to go through your “old age”, plan well in advance, espe­cially with regards to your actual money in the bank.

You may soon real­ize every­thing needs money espe­cially when you get old and your earn­ing capac­ity or abil­ity has dimin­ished or expired.

Dif­fer­ent con­cerns for dif­fer­ent age groups

Gen­er­ally peo­ple enter­ing 40, 50 or 60s would need to take care of the fol­low­ing issues which would be of great concern:

1) Children’s edu­ca­tion – source of funds

2) Loans and mode of repayment

3) Health and med­ical care

4) Retire­ment funds

If you are mar­ried and have chil­dren, how are you going to finance your children’s edu­ca­tion espe­cially those who want to send them over­seas to rep­utable universities?Unless your chil­dren can get a part or full schol­ar­ship to study over­seas or locally, chances are you have to put aside some form of edu­ca­tion fund when the chil­dren are born. It is bet­ter to plan early. Or else you might have to work or slog through your 50s or 60s.

As cost of hous­ing or cost of home own­er­ship is going up and up every year, some would be forced to stretch their loans (hous­ing, car, per­sonal etc.) to longer peri­ods, thus delay­ing the retire­ment age and nat­u­rally delay­ing more grat­i­fi­ca­tion. Some might have to work out the loans repay­ment that is man­age­able. Refi­nance as one of the options, if nec­es­sary. How­ever, don’t take unnec­es­sary risk with rumours of high returns.

Another aspect whose cost is bal­loon­ing year after year is the health and med­ical care. The most log­i­cal solu­tion is to have a bas­ket of med­ical insur­ances from good and rep­utable insur­ance com­pa­nies at an early age, as early as your first job.

The other aspect is to keep your­self as healthy as pos­si­ble to avoid or delay high med­ical costs.

Sim­i­larly plan­ning a good retire­ment fund (be it sav­ings in your country’s com­pul­sory retire­ment fund or own sav­ings or other forms of invest­ments) should be done as early as pos­si­ble (best is start­ing form your first employment).

My per­sonal rec­om­men­da­tion is con­sult your per­sonal finan­cial con­sul­tant or those who are well verse in these areas.

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TehTarikKaki on October 10th, 2010

Have you ever received a SMS like

I’m on the way”,

OTW” or


while wait­ing for some­one to turn up for an appoint­ment or teh tarik session?

What are your reac­tions and what would you do in response to such SMSes?

Dif­fer­ent con­no­ta­tions for dif­fer­ent people

In Malaysia, “on the way” could mean dif­fer­ent things for dif­fer­ent peo­ples, depend­ing on sit­u­a­tions and the rela­tion­ship of the par­ties involved.

Let me give you a few examples.

Exam­ple One (man­age­ment meet­ing in a company)

I was work­ing for a big local cor­po­rate com­pany with many head­counts and man­agers. In one of the monthly man­age­ment meet­ings, the boss was ask­ing, “Where is Mr IOTW?”

The sec­re­tary said, “Mr IOTW is on the way. I called him just now. He said he is on the way.”

So mat­ters which needed Mr IOTW’s clar­i­fi­ca­tion were skipped and the meet­ing went on to dis­cuss other things.

By the time Mr IOTW came it was already 2 hours past.

Exam­ple Two (teh tarik/yum cha ses­sion with a teh tarik kaki)

One day I was wait­ing for a friend in Old­Town White­cof­fee kopi­tiam for a yum cha ses­sion. The appoint­ment was fixed a week ago and was reminded again by SMS one hour before the actual time.

Fif­teen min­utes had passed and my friend had yet to appear. Think­ing that he might have for­got­ten the appoint­ment, I sent an SMS, “Are you coming?”

I’m OTW” was the reply.

So I waited and waited. But again 15 min­utes had passed. This time I called his mobile­phone, “Brother, where are you now”?

He answered, ”In the car, on the way.”

Finally he came 15 min­utes later, which means he was late for 45 minutes!

He apol­o­gized pro­fusely the moment he arrived, “When you called me just now, I was at the car park about to start the jour­ney…” OMB!

Exam­ple Three (project management)

Two busi­ness asso­ciates were dis­cussing on ways to com­ple­ment each other’s busi­ness by explor­ing to have some kind of joint project, with each of them writ­ing his own pro­posal. The project was not urgent and no time frame was fixed.

After two months in one of the meet­ings, Busi­ness­man A asked Busi­ness­man B, “Friend, where is your pro­posal we are talk­ing about two months ago?”

Busi­ness­man B answered,”Argh, totally for­got­ten! OK, on the way, on the way.”

A cou­ple of months have passed nei­ther Busi­ness­man A nor Busi­ness­man B remem­ber that they have a project to embark on. And noth­ing happens!

My two cents

In Malaysia, Thai­land, Indone­sia, Philip­pines and some other South east Asian coun­tries, punc­tu­al­ity and time man­age­ment could be a chal­lenge to many.

In my opin­ion when some­body tell you he is OTW (on the way) or the project is on the way, it could means many things:

1. Not even started the jour­ney (any­how it is going to be on the way)
2. Really on the way BUT it could take min­utes, hours, days, weeks, months or years
3. Could mean he is still search­ing for park­ing place after arrival
4. Per­haps he will call min­utes later, he would not be able to make it after all
5. Bet­ter get pre­pared he might not turn up at all

To me when­ever I receive an OTW sms. It means: I’m gonna be late, expect that please!

So the next time you receive an OTW sms or you hear the words “I’m on the way”, the best bet is to dou­ble con­firm with the other party where is he exactly and ask him how much longer he needs in order to arrive. In this way, you could bet­ter man­age your time more effectively.

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TehTarikKaki on October 8th, 2010

In the first blog post of “How to rein­vent life after 40, 50, 60? Part 1”, I touched on why we should rein­vent our life after 40, 50 or 60.

In the sec­ond blog post of “How to rein­vent life after 40, 50, 60? Part 2”, phys­i­cal health and rela­tion­ship were dis­cussed.

In this blog, I shall go into the third account of our life accounts, i.e. mental/spiritual being.

Before we delve into how to cul­ti­vate good men­tal being, it should be proper to know that there are eight worldly con­di­tions which we expe­ri­ence on a day-to-day basis:

  1. Gain and loss
  2. Fame and ill-fame
  3. Praise and blame
  4. Hap­pi­ness and pain

We live in a world of dual­ity and before we reach 40, 50 or 60, we might have expe­ri­enced some kind of gain or loss. Do you remem­ber how do you feel when you get a fat bonus? But then how do you feel when you lose some­thing, for exam­ple some money in stock mar­ket? It is the same when one day you become famous and another when you become infamous?

We feel very happy when some­one praises us. What if when you are being blamed? We feel elated when praised but depressed when blamed.

Get­ting what you want is sure hap­pi­ness and what are the pains in life? Old age, sick­ness, sep­a­ra­tion form loved ones, death and not get­ting what you want are the pains of life.

The above four sets of worldly con­di­tions are like our shad­ows, fol­low­ing us every­where we go! We should con­stantly reflect on them to build up our men­tal strength and cope much bet­ter when they come again. Like the nat­ural 4 sea­sons: spring, sum­mer, autumn and win­ter, they will pass as well. Learn not to be over­whelmed and get sucked into whirl­wind of these conditions.

As you enter mid­dle age, you could have a fair share of the above con­di­tions in one way or another. But are you well pre­pared to face them again in life after 40, 50 or 60s?

Gen­er­ally there are two types of peo­ple: those with a reli­gion and those with­out a reli­gion. How­ever, how best you cope with life after 40, 50, or 60 MENTALLY is such an impor­tant aspect that many often overlook.

With or with­out reli­gion, how a per­son choose to react to the 8 con­di­tions will deter­mine your qual­ity of life in mid­dle age, at least mentally.

My opin­ion is in order to cul­ti­vate our spir­i­tual being we could do things that purify our mind (or calm our mind), do a lot of good deeds (like donat­ing to char­ity, help­ing those unfor­tu­nate ones) and avoid doing evil things (cheat­ing, steal­ing, bad-mouthing peo­ple, etc.)

I would like to end this blog with a quote from HH Dalai Lama:

Spir­i­tual prac­tice is dif­fi­cult in the begin­ning. You won­der how on earth you can ever do it. But as you get used to it, the prac­tice grad­u­ally becomes eas­ier. Do not be too stub­born or push your­self too hard. If you prac­tice in accord with your indi­vid­ual capac­ity, lit­tle by lit­tle you will find more plea­sure and joy in it. As you gain inner strength, your pos­i­tive actions will gain in pro­fun­dity and scope.“
~ His Holi­ness the Dalai Lama

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TehTarikKaki on October 4th, 2010

In the last blog post, I touched on why we should rein­vent our life after 40, 50 or 60. Today I would go into the nitty-gritty on var­i­ous ways to rein­vent life after 40, 50 or 60.

How to rein­vent life?

In my opin­ion, you have to divide your life into four accounts, i.e.

Account 1 – phys­i­cal health

Account 2 – relationship

Account 3 – mental/spiritual being

Account 4 – actual money in your bank

Each account is impor­tant. But before we go into the details I would like to start off with the right mindset.

Right mind­set

First we must acknowl­edge that aging is manda­tory irre­spec­tive of your race, sex, posi­tion in soci­ety. Aging is a bio­log­i­cal process where our body cells will one day die com­pletely as time goes by. Soon after birth, every human is get­ting older each day, get­ting sick occa­sion­ally and for most peo­ple sick­ness becomes syn­onyms with old age. And even­tu­ally we breathe our last breath and we call it death!

So aging is com­pul­sory but grow­ing old is really optional. Most impor­tant of all is to have a pos­i­tive and opti­mistic mind­set when you are enter­ing 40s, 50s or 60s. You age is just a num­ber attached to the bio­log­i­cal process of your body but your men­tal state is a totally dif­fer­ent entity where it can be pro­grammed to as lively and as young as possible.

If we want to rein­vent our life suc­cess­fully, we must first have a right mind­set that get­ting old phys­i­cally is just a phys­i­cal process while the mind could be young at what­ever age we want to posi­tion it. Have you ever won­der why some­times we could be so happy remem­ber­ing sweet mem­o­ries of events hap­pened some 20 or 30 years ago? It is because we choose be happy at that instant and we feel young at heart!

Our phys­i­cal bod­ies will lose agility as we age, but our minds don’t have to lose a step. Our steps could be fee­ble and slow but our minds could be happy as ever if only we know how.

Phys­i­cal health

In order to have a healthy body to wel­come your mid­dle age, the very sim­plest step to take is go for a com­plete med­ical check up. Our body is like a machine with mov­ing parts. It is said that any­thing that moves needs main­te­nance. Your car needs an oil change every 5,000 or 10,000 km (of course depend­ing on the make and spec­i­fi­ca­tions). Sim­i­larly we must love our body and it is essen­tial to find out what could have went wrong or what could be wrong in years to come. How­ever, this could only be revealed by a med­ical check up and con­sult­ing with your fam­ily doctor.

Of course it is beyond the scope for this blog to dwell into the details of phys­i­cal health here. Nev­er­the­less you have to take the nec­es­sary action or reme­dial actions with respect to your health sta­tus. Fol­low what your doc­tors say: live a healthy lifestyle by eat­ing prop­erly, exer­cise reg­u­larly, sleep suf­fi­ciently and cut­ting off com­pletely or reduce the 3 habits which would make you age faster:

  1. Smok­ing
  2. Drink­ing alcohol
  3. Seden­tary lifestyle [From Wikipedia: Seden­tary lifestyle is a med­ical term used to denote a type of lifestyle with no or irreg­u­lar phys­i­cal activ­ity. A per­son who lives a seden­tary lifestyle may col­lo­qui­ally be known as a couch potato. Seden­tary activ­i­ties include sit­ting, read­ing, watch­ing tele­vi­sion and com­puter use for much of the day with lit­tle or no vig­or­ous phys­i­cal exer­cise. A seden­tary lifestyle can con­tribute to many pre­ventable causes of death.]

All the above three habits are proven sci­en­tif­i­cally that will make you age faster and are causes of many pre­ventable diseases.

In addi­tion, the accom­pa­ny­ing signs and symp­toms of menopause (or andropause for men) for mid­dle age will have some changes to your body and mind in gen­eral. This nat­ural nor­mal hor­monal change can some­times be a source of anx­i­ety. It is best to seek med­ical advice or treat­ment if the need arises. Most impor­tant of all is to rec­og­nize that it is a nat­ural process in which every man or woman will undergo dur­ing mid­dle age, just like chil­dren enter­ing puberty — a nat­ural process.

An impor­tant aspect of health is how are you going to man­age your sex life. Unless you choose to lead a life of celibacy, chances are you will need to “rein­vent” your sex life in one way of another. Again, this is not a blog on this topic and read­ers are advised to get expert help from qual­i­fied personnel.


By rela­tion­ship here I mean your rela­tion­ship with your life part­ner, spouse, fam­ily mem­bers, friends and peo­ple around you gen­er­ally. One impor­tant fac­tor when you are enter­ing mid­dle age is to decide how are you going to spend your time (there will more free time as you grow older) on a daily basis.

I have a cou­ple of friends who are in their late 40s or early 50s who are still not mar­ried. I once asked them why don’t they get mar­ried. I never get a sat­is­fac­tory answer from them or rather they never tell the truth. They are “rich” (own at least a house and car; earn enough to lead a com­fort­able mar­ried life), with a good career or busi­ness and hand­some (or pretty) as well. They are the real “dia­mond bach­e­lors” — pre­cious but hard to own!

As we age into 40s, 50s or 60s, our love rela­tion­ship may have gone through some ups and downs in many dif­fer­ent ways.

If you are mar­ried, check whether you are as lov­ing as before. For exam­ple, love your hus­band or wife more even if he or she is not per­fect. Some­times com­pro­mise is word of the day when con­flicts (big or small) occur. Sac­ri­fice might be another virtue you might want to prac­tise more.

If you are dat­ing, check whether it is time to tie the knots. Choos­ing a wrong life part­ner at this time could be more ago­nis­ing. Sim­ple ques­tion to ask is: am I really happy with this guy or gal I am dating?

If you enjoy being sin­gle, embrace it totally and there should not be any­thing wrong to be sin­gle. How­ever do your plan­ning as regards to your later life on mat­ters like: who is going to take care of you in your end days or in the event of any unfore­seen even­tu­al­ity. You should be respon­si­ble for your actions in your own love life.

What about rela­tion­ship with fam­ily mem­bers, friends and other peo­ple around you? My opin­ion is treat them as what you want to be treated by them. Rela­tion­ship build­ing is like a cur­rent account in your bank. You must put in money in order to with­draw when you need it. That means you must put in efforts to cul­ti­vate good rela­tion­ship with all of them.

So far I have touched Account 1 and 2, the next blog will com­plete the accounts of men­tal and money aspects. Stay tuned……

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TehTarikKaki on September 28th, 2010


Why this topic? Let me begin with the fol­low­ing inci­dent. My daugh­ter was once teased by her classmates,”That man with white hair is your daddy or your grand­fa­ther?” Maybe her friends’ par­ents are much younger than I or do not have gray hair as I do.

Grand­fa­ther? OMB (Oh My Bud­dha; equiv­a­lent to OMG)! Am I that old? More than 50 or 60 that I qual­ify to be a grand­fa­ther? No, no, def­i­nitely not!

Much I wish to be younger but aging indeed is a bio­log­i­cal process. If you are 40 now, you would be 50 years old ten years later and 60 twenty years later.

I did a def­i­n­i­tion search in Google for “mid­dle age”. Here is the answer:


It means that mid­dle age is a time between youth and old age (e.g. between 40 to 60 years of age). Of course there are some other def­i­n­i­tions. For this blog let’s keep it to be from 40 to 60.

Why Rein­vent Life After 40, 50, 60?

For most peo­ple, 40 to 60 is the “mid­dle” age, assum­ing you are going to live up to 80 to 90 years old (based on the assump­tion you do not pass away ear­lier due to sick­ness or other causes). Life is like a big project where the first half is com­pleted when you reach 40 or 50 years old.

It is time to do a “stock take” on var­i­ous aspects of your life:

  • Phys­i­cal health
  • Rela­tion­ship health
  • Men­tal or spir­i­tual health
  • Finan­cial health

These four aspects would deter­mine you over­all well being of your sec­ond half of your life if you take some seri­ous efforts to plan and rein­vent your life after 40/50/60!

Most of the time peo­ple would NOT think of their sec­ond half of their life when they are below 40 years old. Only when they start enter­ing the 40s or 50s do they real­ize that it is a dif­fer­ent ball game alto­gether when com­pared to when they are younger.

Being a big project, as the owner of the project don’t you think you should do a com­plete stock take of your first half of your life, in order to live a bet­ter and more ful­fill­ing sec­ond half of your life?

How to rein­vent life?

In my opin­ion, you have to divide your life into four accounts, i.e.

Account 1 – phys­i­cal health

Account 2 – relationship

Account 3 – mental/spiritual being

Account 4 – actual money in your bank

Each account is impor­tant and I am going to dis­cuss that in the next blog post.

Stay tuned!

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TehTarikKaki on September 21st, 2010

Few days ago I posted a blog on my favourite top 5 hid­den Google search tricks at http://tehtarikkaki.com/all/my-favourite-top-5-hidden-google-search-tricks/.

I was told by many of my friends from Face­book and Twit­ter that they are use­ful tips to use Google search engine more effec­tively. Today I am to blog about another 5 obscure search tricks not com­monly used by ordi­nary web user. This will make it a total of 10 good search tips. What are they?

1. Google as flight announcer

This is par­tic­u­larly use­ful for fre­quent trav­ellers who want to know the flight time of depar­ture and arrival of any air­line. Just type air­line and flight num­ber in the Google search box. It is that simple.



2. Google as spe­cific doc­u­ment searcher

If you want to search cer­tain doc­u­ments on spe­cific for­mat (file type like pdf, doc, xps, xls, ppt etc.), use this method topic or key­word filetype:pdf for example.

blogging tips

If you want to search Pow­er­Point pre­sen­ta­tion on “blog­ging”. Then type in blog­ging filetype:pps


3. Google as a site search

A lot of times you are only inter­ested to search for cer­tain key­words or top­ics on a par­tic­u­lar web site and not oth­ers. Use this method: key­word site:www.yoursite.com. For exam­ple if you are search­ing for 7 habits in this web­site, the results returned are like this.

site search

4. Google as num­ber range search

This is a very cool search trick. And this is how it works: just add two num­bers, sep­a­rated by two peri­ods (with no spaces) into the search box with your search key­words. Num­ber range can be any­thing from year, unit of mea­sure­ment, cur­rency as you like.

If you type

Olympics 1980..1990

Google will return infor­ma­tion about Olympics from 1980 to 1990

numerical range

5. Google as research tool on a par­tic­u­lar website

For stu­dents or researchers who wish to find out more infor­ma­tion about a par­tic­u­lar web­site such as to col­lect data for a cita­tion or ver­ify your infor­ma­tion you may type info: fol­lowed by the domain, like this: info:tehtarikkaki.com


In the above exam­ple, Google can show you fol­low­ing infor­ma­tion for this website:

All you have to do is to click to the rel­e­vant pages as you do your research.

My two cents

With this I have given you my top 10 hid­den Google search tricks. There are a lot more com­pli­cated search tools, tips and com­mands from Google if you care to do some research. Do share these with your friends and rel­a­tives dur­ing your teh tarik or yum cha ses­sions. Send me your com­ments or do you have any fan­tas­tic search tricks to share with all of us?

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