School in Malaysia: Brainless, toxic marching as a mandatory extracurricular activity

Recently, I was woken up by my own voice in cold sweat at 5am. I was late for an extracurricular activity, specifically “(boy) scouts” and was ranting to my family as they drove me to school on how I was going to get punished for being late, guaranteed. Part of that rant spilled out of my dream and out of my mouth in real life; which woke me up. At age 30, I still get nightmares about school life in Malaysia at least once a year, and I’m here to tell you about one: the power-trippers and marching obsession (yes, the same kind you see in national day parades and such) in Malaysian schools.

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Fake friendliness: Work colleagues are not real friends

The average number of friends I’ve made per company I’ve worked for is two. I’m not a serial job hopper but I’ve worked at enough companies to have a reasonable sample size for that. I define “friends made at working at a company” as people who even bother to stay in touch after one of you has left the company. That’s a very low bar, yet somehow the takeaway number isn’t high. And so begins the short story and lesson on why coworkers are not your friends.

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Homecooked meals? Can’t relate as a child of a hoarder

The gas burners have not worked properly for years and we resort to an electric stove placed over the original stove top.

Every vacation back to Malaysia, one of the things so many my friends, both local and abroad, like to say is “must be nice seeing your family again and enjoying their homecooked meals” As a person who grew up in a house run by a hoarder (my physically and mentally abusive father frequently proclaims himself as “the king of the house”) with living conditions that are deteriorating rapidly with time (the house has never been renovated, at all, in the past 30 years), I cannot relate to this statement. I’m nice enough to reply with a smile but the truth is I have been unable to enjoy a true, fully homecooked meal for the past 5 years, if not more. Here’s why.

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A typical modern day living in the abusive hoarder house and narcissist parents

Shown in the middle is the table that’s too high for any chair in the house.

It is 1:30am and I am writing this from the discomforts of a table (the only one I can find without any clutter on it and isn’t buried in junk) that is far too high for any of the low quality, crap-grade chairs in the house. I would normally be in bed by this time, except I’ve just been woken up by light filling the room. In a sleepy and ranty murmur, I instinctively mumble “what the hell is going on”. At this point, it should’ve been a rhetorical question and there’s no point in asking: I’m spending another day living in the shithole hoarder house when I should have booked an Airbnb for my vacation.

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How it’s like to live with an abusive hoarder, Malaysian edition

I grew up in a hoarder household all my life. I could never put a finger on what was wrong living in this house, nor did I actually realize it was a problem until I started living on my own at 18 and experiencing how my friends lived. In fact, I only discovered the term “hoarder” and what it meant a decade ago while living in the US… and later, how prevalent the issue is in South East Asia (I can speak for Malaysia and Singapore) but how little it’s discussed, or even acknowledged as an issue. Let me tell you what it’s like living in a house with 1+2 hoarders and how hellish of an living situation it is.

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The defeatist yet selfish attitude of European gamers

Just to be clear 0-8 referred to a single player’s score, the overall score was 10-26 at 22 minutes

I’ve been playing video games for well over 2 decades, with more hours playing than I care to admit. There was once I picked up Payday 2 and put something like 400 hours into the game within a month. I’ve also lived in many countries, the ones I’ve spent a significant amount of time in being America, Germany and Malaysia. Having been in Europe for several years now, I can’t help but notice something unique about gamers here that I’ve never seen on the 2 other continents where I’ve lived.

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Why think about life in your 30’s when you’re not even 30? The Financial Sequel

“You’re still young! You should leave the worrying till when you’re older! Live life, travel, party, do something fun!” One of the most cringeworthy pieces of stupidity “advice” I hear parroted around by many young people (20-35 years old). Is it any surprise that you have to wonder out loud whether your employer will pay the month’s salary before Christmas, so that you can shop for the holidays, while “when will I get paid” is something I’ve never had to think about?

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How much do Steelcase chairs cost in Malaysia?

It’s Christmas and time for a more lighthearted topic. Today we’re going to talk about the pricing of Steelcase chairs, specifically in Malaysia. The summary is that Steelcase chairs are surprisingly affordable (AKA not a rip-off) in Malaysia, which unfortunately cannot be said about Herman Miller chairs as of time of writing.

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Fitness is a status symbol, not a lifestyle

My first fitness sheet for tracking workout days.

This Christmas marks 5 years of working out – a few weeks ago, I just went to the gym for the 700th time in that period. When I first started working out, I hated it and have been told so many times since then “oh you’ll learn to like it” As of present day, fitness doesn’t do it for me – I still hate working out (I find it to be a massive time sink and also extremely boring).

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The true imbalance in employee “work-life balance”

How much free time an employee working 40 hours a week really has

Alternative title: How much free time does a “40 hour work week” white collar employee actually have? The short answer is not nearly as much as you think. Companies often boast about “work-life balance”, commonly described as working 40 hours (+/- 5 hours) a week, which the media gladly slurps up and parrots to make everyone feel better, and many people blindly believe and celebrate (see: your LinkedIn news feed).

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