A Good Lesson to Remember

8 04 2011

Since coming back from my holiday in Hong Kong I have been a little slack in updating my blog. I admit being too caught up with work. I have taken loads of pictures, had lots of ideas but never got down to writing.

Then today a friend and colleague of mine emailed me a story which I thought was very appropriate not only for restarting my posts but for the times we live in.

The Money is yours but the resources belong to the Society

Germany is a highly industrialized country. It produces top brands like Benz, BMW, Siemens etc. The nuclear reactor pump is made in a small town in this country.
In such a country, many will think its people lead a luxurious life. At least that was my impression before my study trip.

When I arrived at Hamburg, my colleagues who work in Hamburg arranged a welcome party for me in a restaurant. As we walked into the restaurant, we noticed that a lot of tables were empty. There was a table where a young couple was having their meal. There were only two dishes and two cans of  beer on the table. I wondered if such simple meal could be romantic, and  whether the girl will leave this stingy guy.

There were a few old ladies on another table. When a dish is served, the waiter would distribute the food for them, and they would finish every bit of the food on their plates.

We did not pay much attention to them, as we were looking forward to the dishes we ordered. As we were hungry, our local colleague ordered more food for us.

As the restaurant was quiet, the food came quite fast. Since there were other activities arranged for us, we did not spend much time dining. When we left, there was still about one third of unconsumed food on the table.

When we were leaving the restaurant, we heard someone calling us. We noticed the old ladies in the restaurant were talking about us to the restaurant owner. When they spoke to us in English, we understood that they were unhappy about us wasting so much food. We immediately felt that  they were really being too busybody.

“We paid for our food, it is none of your business how much food we left behind,” my colleague Gui told the old ladies.

The old ladies were furious. One of them immediately took her hand phone out and made a call to someone. After a while, a man in uniform from the Social Security organization arrived. Upon knowing  what the dispute was, he issued us a 50 Mark fine.

We all kept quiet. The local colleague took out a 50 Mark note and repeatedly apologized to the officer.

The officer told us in a stern voice, “ORDER WHAT YOU CAN CONSUME, MONEY IS YOURS BUT RESOURCES BELONG TO THE SOCIETY. THERE ARE MANY OTHERS IN THE WORLD WHO ARE FACING SHORTAGE OF RESOURCES. YOU HAVE  NO REASON TO WASTE RESOURCES.´”

Our face turned red. We all agreed with him in our hearts. The mindset of people of this rich country put all of us to shame. WE REALLY NEED TO REFLECT ON THIS. We are from  country which is not very rich in resources. To save face, we order large quantity and also waste food when we give others a treat. THIS LESSON TAUGHT US A LESSON TO THINK SERIOUSLY ABOUT CHANGING OUR BAD HABITS.

My colleague Photostatted the fine ticket and gave a copy to each of us as a souvenir. All of us kept it and pasted on our wall to remind us that we shall never be wasteful.

-end-

I really do not know who wrote this story but it is so true of Malaysians nowadays. We indulge in expensive buffet dinners, hardly finishing the food on our plates before going for seconds and thirds. We leave our engines running while waiting for someone to arrive. We do not bother to report a leaking tap or broken toilets.

“Waste Not, Want Not”, goes the famous Engilsh Idiom. The meaning goes somewhat like this, “if you are not wasteful (of food, resources, money etc), you’ll probably not end up lacking the same”


Advertisements




A Rally to Restore Sanity

31 10 2010

A few days ago I saw Jon Stewart, a talk show host and a comedian himself, being interviewed on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. on television. It was quite interesting. Stewart was being interviewed because of his then efforts to hold a rally in Washington D.C called “A Rally to Restore Sanity” At first I wondered what it was all about and but after a little while I understood what he was getting at.

I keenly watched out for news of the rally on the internet and today I got to watch some parts of it on you tube. It’s worth the waiting. Although there are many videos of this rather long rally, I will show you the ending first because in his closing speech the Comedian gets serious and delivers the message behind the whole rally. Here is Jon Stewart giving the closing speech at the rally he organized.

I think he has a very pertinent message to deliver. I like the words he used when he said “If we amplify everything, we will not be able to hear anything”. How true. These days all we ever hear is noise. Here he makes that point with the help of two very famous entertainers.

There are more such video clips of the rally if you are interested to watch.





A good clean up

21 10 2010

Woon Hwan and I came back from flying (?) my Radio Controlled aircraft to find Tzy Wen busy cleaning up the front porch and garden of their rented house. Believe me, I never thought it would be possible to actually clean up that house except to burn it down to the ground! hahahaha!

After we stored my stricken (again) aircraft Woon Hwan and I pitched in to help. Tzy Wen had paid RM25 to someone to cut the grass in the garden before he started with the cleanup. We took about an hour to complete the job but it was really worth it. It was long overdue. Too bad I did not have the “before” pictures. But anyone familiar with the condition of N0 43 would be able to tell from the”after”  picture above that it is a major improvement. There’s even a chance that some of their friends might miss the house altogether the next time they some to visit!

Good job guys. Just nice for a good BBQ.





Texting Tragedy – A Welsh safety message

9 09 2009

So how many of you out there have been in situation as depicted in the video which I posted in my last article? Gives a new meaning to the word “close call” huh? hahaha! Just the other day I was driving home when a police patrol car was driving quite erratically in front of me. As I overtook  I looked at the driver hoping to get his attention, but hos attention was on another driver who was driving on the slow lane whislt talking on his mobile phone. Apparently that dirver had veered into the path of the police car which in turn veered into the overtaking lane which I was in. Needless to say the driver was pulled over as I pulled away.

While the video in my last posting depicted some very hairy situations we can get ourselves into, they were what we all tend to call, “close shaves”. Even the rear ender was probably not a fatal accident. But if you still think ” I am a safe driver and can handle this phone call” just watch this next video. I don’t think you would want to be in tis situation . . . . ever.

It was produced in Wales and is to date one of the goriest road safety video ever made for national television. But in a world of information overload, it’s probably the only way to get some messages across.





Drive . . . Just Drive.

3 09 2009

How many of us can actually say that we have not made or answered a  phone call whilst driving a vehicle? I am definitely guilty of doing so myself. In fact I am quite able to compose an sms from behind the wheel of a moving car. I thought  I was good until I saw a few motorcyclist sending messages from their phones whilst riding their machines! If you’ve been driving in Malaysia long enough then you would know what a hands-free motorcycle phone kit looks like.

So far I have been lucky not to have crashed my vehicle while doing so but time and luck is not always on my side.  Then a few weeks ago my friend sent me a few community message videos aimed at driving safety with an emphasis on driver distraction. I really opened my eye as I have been in one of these situation before.

Think back, have you been in a similiar situation before?





Fasten your seatbelts

5 08 2009

This evening I decided to go for another jog around Subang Ria Park. This is the second time in a week that I ran around this lake. Last Saturday I managed 7 slow circuits around the lake. By following first a lone jogger and later a small group I managed to run 4 laps and walk 2. This is surely a big improvement. I even got invited to run with the group that I followed.

On the way back form the park I passed by an accident along jalan Jengka in Subang Jaya. As usual there were many people milling about but doing nothing. I turned into the inner road and stopped my car not far from the accident. I happen to have a camera with me so I decided to take some pictures.

P8050049At first I thought the vehicle had smashed into the wall from jalan Jengka which is the lower road but apparently not. Look at the tree in the background. I then realised this MPV was first “introduced” to that tree before it ended up in this position. Here’s a close up of the two sides that met each other.

P8050045P8050047

The tree had just lost it’s bark but it had managed to bend the chassis of the MPV and leave an imprint of itself on the bonnet. But here is where I realised that the tree had probably saved the occupants of the vehicle! Since the vehicle had come from the elevated road, had it not hit the tree first, it would have continued over the embankment, pitch down and either hit another tree (where the boy with the bicycle is standing) head on or worse still end up on the busy Jalan Jengka onto oncoming traffic. Would you make the same assessment? That the tree actually saved them?

I then looked around for the driver of the vehicle. With luck the first person I approached happened to be the person behind the wheel. She said she tried to avoid someone, panicked and before she realised it she ended up here. I had noticed blood on the passenger door and asked if anyone was hurt and if i could send them to get medical attention. She said there was a child in the front passenger seat who suffered a cut on his forehead but he had already been sent to a nearby clinic. I asked if she needed any assistance but she said her neighbour and friends were already at the scene.

As a testimony to technological advancement in vehicular occupant safety, both the occupants of this car managed to walk away from this nasty accident with minor or no injury at all. All thanks to the three point seat harness (more popularly called the seat belt) and and newer invention called the airbag.

P8050050However I suspect the child who was on the front passenger seat did not have his seat belt fastened. Firstly there was blood on the airbag, which meant he had probably been thrown forward and hit something. Then there was the  seat belt. It was still in the stowed position. If he had been wearing it, the belt’s inertia reel would have activated and locked the belt. You can see that the driver’s side seat belt had not retracted from it’s last position (after the reel had locked) and as a result it was caught in the door as the driver exited the vehicle.

It really pays to fasten your seatbelt even if it is for a very short journey. We should not wear the seatbelt out of fear of the law but out of respect for the unknown.  This driver had just left her house which is less then 2 minutes drive away before she met with an accident. It is said that most accidents happen inthe first and last 10 percent of the journey. So wear your seatbelt, it may really save your life one day.





Declan Galbraith – Tell Me Why

13 05 2009

Declan Galbraith (born Declan John Galbraith, 19 December 1991, Hoo St Werburgh, Kent) is an English singer of Scottish and Irish origin. He and his family live in Hoo, a village near Rochester, Kent. His grandfather was in a band, played several instruments, and took Galbraith to Fleadhs (concerts) he was participating in, and the mix of Scottish and Irish musical traditions inspired Galbraith and became his early musical influence.

Although he is a British citizen and singer, Declan is more famous and well known abroad. Of course still being famous and increasingly loved in Britain, the extent of his fame is widest in Germany where most of his albums were promoted, his songs recorded and videos made. His first album in Germany had soon sold 200,000 copies within the year of release. As well as Germany, many other countries in Europe consider Declan as one of its well loved celebrities. This is also the case in China, where he is also famous and where his latest album was promoted.

Also in China, his songs were chosen as part of the Chinese education curriculum for learning English. Now in Chinese schools, Declan’s songs are used to help Chinese children learn the English language in English lessons because his songs are easy to remember and suitable for children.

The words at the starting of this posting are not mine. The following are. It is amazing and refreshing that a young boy like declan can sing about the need for us to help one another no matter who and where. The video really made me think about how greedy and insensitive we the human race have become. I see it happening more and more around me everyday. In truth, I have wanted to write about this topic for a long time but never got around to composing an article. I guess this posting will have to do for a start.