Month: August 2014

Unexpected inspiration!

I have an exciting blog post which I wanted to share today. But I know that the coming¬†Monday is a public holiday in Malaysia and most of my friends are probably somewhere having their long weekend vacation. So, I’ll save that story for next week as a way to chase my friends’ post-vacation blues away. Hahahaha!! ūüėÄ Happy holiday to my Malaysian friends. And happy weekend (in advanced) to the rest!! ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

To keep myself disciplined, I’m going to share about how I feel about blogging. I think this post is rather unexciting. So, it’s okay if you don’t want to continue reading. But if you do, thank you so much and I love you!! :* Alternatively, you can click on some old posts (check “archives” on the right if you’re on a computer OR all the way to the bottom if you’re using a mobile device!) If you’re interested, you can also check out¬†Bunny & Bee¬†for some stories I posted 2 or 3 years ago.

I¬†love sharing my stories. I’m always glad that my stories are able¬†to help or inspire other people in some ways. Click here to read why I started blogging, mostly to document significant things that happened to me and Mr. Hubby. Many people think I’m “public” person. In fact, I’m a very private person. From time to time, I’m actually “filtering” my friend list on Facebook because I only keep the ones whom I’m still in contact with. First of all, I don’t see the point of keeping “friends” that¬†I¬†don’t keep in touch with. It’s a waste of space. And it’s not like they take the initiatives to keep in touch with me in any way. Secondly, I don’t need thousands of friends on my friend list to boast my social circle. It’s totally unnecessary. I also don’t accept friend requests unless I personally know the person. I don’t subscribe to any channel to publicize my blog. I only share my blog on my Facebook. In short, I only share my blog to 600+ “chosen” friends on my Facebook.¬†¬†But of course, not all of them bothered to read my blog any way.

Today, I logged in to the blog I share with Mr. Hubby. I haven’t logged in for more than a year. The blog is currently not active. Haha. Don’t ask me why. I can list you 100 reasons and you will still think that I’m giving¬†excuses. So yeah, it is currently not active. But, I’ll try to make it active again soon. I was amazed that there were actually people (not from my friend list) who subscribed to it. I also received¬†a few comments from strangers¬†who told me that they came across my blog by chance and how did it help them in some ways. Few weeks before I left Malaysia to come to Bulgaria, I also received a message from a friend, asking me for advice about the marriage registration processes (with a foreigner) in Malaysia. She told me that she had read my blog about my experience. 2 days ago, another friend also mentioned that she had read about my R.O.M experience when we shared about relationship issues.

I mean, how amazing can that be? People getting inspired by my stories? This is like the “bestest” feeling (greatest satisfaction) I get from blogging. I was actually thinking nobody cares about my “nonsensical” stories. Apparently, it’s not so nonsensical after all. So, if you do have a story that you would like to share, don’t hesitate! Share it! You never know how much your personal experience can actually help or inspire others. Click here to find out how you can be a guest writer for my blog.

Let’s share our stories and be an unexpected inspiration to someone else!

A little “welcome back” note

I actually wrote this “welcome note” (3rd paragraph onwards in black) 2 weeks ago but decided not to publish it because I wasn’t sure if I’ll be diligent enough to keep my blog active or if I’ll have enough readership as motivation¬†to keep my blog going. Apparently, I have been diligent enough to write for the past 2 weeks, except for Saturdays and Sundays which I declared as non-writing days for myself. In addition, I’ve also been getting so much love from my friends who have told me that they enjoy reading my blog. They even gave me suggestions on things they’d love to read on¬†my blog! So much love! ‚̧ ‚̧ ‚̧ ¬†Thank you!¬†

Because of this blog, I’ve reconnected with many of my friends. I’ve also found out that many of my friends have really great stories that they would like to share. If you are one of these friends, click here to find out how you can be a guest writer on my blog.¬†

So, back to my little welcome back note.

Welcome back to my blog! After more than 2 months of hiatus, I hope I’m ready to write again. Sorry if you’ve been missing my nonsensical stories. It’s not because I’ve been lazy. It’s because I’ve been tremendously busy. Well, perhaps after that “tremendously busy” period, I did get a little lazy. But anyway, that’s not the point. The point is that, I’m back and the fact that you’re reading this means that you do care about me. Thank you so much for your <3.

In case you’re wondering about my whereabouts and what I’ve been up to, allow me to update you. As most of you probably know, I am currently back in Bulgaria with my husband.¬†Before we came to Bulgaria, we also had a lot of things to settle, mostly work-related things like going to the government administration offices and other things like the terminating the Internet and satellite TV services etc. ¬†Moving out from our rented place was really a nightmare. Arranging who to take care of which stuff was also a big headache. It wasn’t easy but I was glad that we managed to settle almost everything before we left.

Back in Bulgaria, my husband’s working hard as usual while I’m just having fun, doing nothing at home. I’ll just take it as a holiday reward for myself for being busy and hardworking before I came here. Well, I do have proofs. Remember my¬†Happy Spring Cleaning Part 1¬†and¬†Part 2¬†posts? ūüėõ

In fact, we’re¬†relocating to Canada soon. When will that be? I’m not sure. It depends how fast the applications get approved. How long will we be there? Hopefully for long, because it’s really not fun to “move in and out” a place, especially when you’re settled and used to the environment.

So, that’s pretty much all about me (or us). And I’ve got some really great stories on my writing list. Stay tuned!

Love,
Jenny Zhekova

P/s: If there’s any specific topic you would like to hear from me, let me know! ūüôā

Mr. Hubby is more Malaysianized than I thought!

Last week, I shared some phrases Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia. You can click here to read the post. Even though we’re in Bulgaria now, he still uses these phrases frequently. And, he is using more¬†Manglish¬†than I thought! Like, seriously?!

Today, I’m going to share with you 10 more phrases/words that Mr. Hubby loves using all the time, even when he’s in Bulgaria. I think the major reason why he likes using Manglish¬†phrases here in Bulgaria (as a weapon against his friends) is because his friends don’t know how to retaliate. By sharing this and the previous post, I hope Mr. Hubby’s friends can understand what is he talking about.¬†You can also have fun by attacking Mr. Hubby with these phrases/words. Haha, fun attack I mean. ūüėÄ

1. Ham sap
What it is: Ham sap (a Cantonese/Chinese dialect phrase that means perverted or dirty-minded)
What it means: Perverted or dirty-minded (we usually use it in a joking manner)
Where did he learn it: Definitely from me, especially when guys¬†checked on me when I’m wearing short pants or short skirt.
Sample sentence and what it means: Walao, that guy is super hamsap! (Yikes, that guy is very perverted!)

2. Bo jio
What it is: Bo (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for no) +  jio (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for ask)
What it means: You didn’t ask me to go with you. OR You didn’t invite me.
Where did he learn it: From my friends who constantly attack each other when one of them didn’t invite the others for some outings.
Sample sentence and what it means:¬†Walao, why you bo jio?¬†(Hey, why didn’t you invite me?)

3. Want to pengsan
What it is: Want + to + pengsan (a Malay word that means faint)
What it means: Literally, it means¬†I want to faint¬†but it doesn’t make sense because who chooses when to faint? It can be used as an indication of frustration or as an indication of being speechless or as an indication of the facepalm action. (Depending on different contexts)
Where did he learn it: From me, when someone annoys me (usually).
Sample sentence and what it means:¬†Seriously, I want to pengsan!¬†(Seriously, I’m speechless!)

4. Lao sai 
What it is: Lao sai (a Hokkien/Chinese dialect phrase for diarrhea)
What it means: Diarrhea
Where did he learn it: I have no idea! ūüėõ
Sample sentence and what it means:¬†Eeerr, don’t eat this, later you lao sai!¬†(Yikes, don’t eat this. Later you’ll get diarrhea!)

5. Pantang larang 
What it is: Pantang larang (a Malay phrase that means taboo/taboos)
What it means: Taboos
Where did he learn it: From me, as a metaphor when somebody does something I dislike, not necessarily a taboo.
Sample sentence and what it means: Eeerr, I very pantang larang to see people write like shit.¬†(Yikes, it is a taboo for me¬†when people don’t write properly.)

6.¬†Lai… (with draggy intonation)¬†
What it is: Lai (a Chinese word that means come)
What it means: Literally, it means come. It can also mean here you go or here it comes, especially when somebody is giving you something.
Where did he learn it: From a waitress in a cafe we frequently had our lunch at. Everytime when she was serving our food, the waitress would say “lai….”
Sample sentence and what it means: Lai… your coffee.¬†(Here comes your coffee. OR Here is your coffee.)

7. Sayang 
What it is: Sayang (In Malay, it can be used as a noun that means love or sweetheart. Alternatively, it can be used to describe love or affection.)
What it means: To show love, care, concern, affection etc. Sometimes, the word is used together with the action of a gentle pat.
Where did he learn it: From my friend who goes by the initials SS.
Sample sentence and what it means: You must always sayang Jenny, ok? (You must always show love/concern/affection to Jenny, okay?)

8.¬†Da bao (can be “da pao” or “ta pao”)
What it is: Da bao (a Chinese phrase that means takeaway)
What it means: To buy a takeaway meal. Occasionally, as a metaphor to give the meaning of “keeping all things and go away.”
Where did he learn it: From me, everytime I crave for my bubble tea.
Sample sentence and what it means: I’m lazy to eat out. Let’s da bao McD.¬†(I’m lazy to eat out. Let’s get a McDonald’s takeaway.)

9.¬†Don’t kacau me
What it¬†is:¬†Don’t + kacau¬†(a Malay word that means¬†disturb) + me
What it means:¬†Don’t disturb me. Sometimes it can mean “don’t make fun of me”.
Where did he learn it:¬†I have no idea. I don’t remember using this against him. Hmmmm…
Sample sentence and what it means:¬†I’m playing Warcraft, don’t kacau me please!¬†(I’m playing Warcraft. Please do not disturb me.)

10. Lao (+ the name of someone)
What it is: lao (a Chinese word that means old)
What it means: Old. However in this context, it doesn’t necessarily mean old. Usually the elders use this word together with the surname of their friends when they address each other. Nowadays, people from the¬†younger generation use this word together with their friend’s surname to show close friendship or solidarity. Chinese surnames are usually one syllable, so it goes like this¬†lao wang, lao chen, etc.¬†However, Mr. Hubby’s friends’ surnames are usually more than one syllable, he usually uses the word¬†lao¬†together with their first names instead.
Where did he learn it: From my BFF’s husband’s friend. My BFF’s initials are¬†CC. Hahaha…
Sample sentence and what it means:¬†Hello, lao migger!¬†(Hello, “old” Milen! – to show solidarity) ūüėÄ

I’m sure all these phrases or words are easily understood by my Malaysian friends but I’m sure my international friends will need some time to digest what is going on. Well, at least now you know what Mr. Hubby is talking about and you can use these phrases/words for future communication with him. Hahaha! ūüėÄ By the way, if you‚Äôre interested to know how exactly he learnt all these phrases/words, you might want to ask him directly! ūüėÄ ūüėÄ ūüėÄ

Note: Some of these phrases/words may have more than one meaning. This list of phrases/words is solely based on the communication between Mr. Hubby and the author. 

If you have missed the first part, you can click here to read it!

Differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia

1. ‚ÄúWhat do you miss the most about/in Malaysia?‚ÄĚ
2. ‚ÄúWhat do you like about Bulgaria?‚ÄĚ
3. ‚ÄúWhat do you think about Bulgaria?‚ÄĚ
4. ‚ÄúWhat are the differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia?‚ÄĚ

I’ve answered the first 3 questions in my previous posts. Click on the links above if you haven’t read them. In this post, I’m going to share about a few differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia.

There are 3 significant differences between these 2 countries:¬†the climate, the languages, and the food. There are definitely more than these but I’m going to share just these 3 points in this post.

1. Climate

  • The climate in Malaysia is equatorial. In short, it has¬†either sunny or rainy days. The humidity level is quite high. During sunny days, it can be hot and stuffy that you can hardly breathe. During heavy rainfalls, the thunder and lightning can strike so hard that you feel like they’re just next to you.
  • The climate in Bulgaria is continental. There are several regions in Bulgaria that have the Mediterranean climate. In short, it has¬†4 seasons – Spring, Summer, Autumn and Winter. Spring and Autumn can be chilly at times but I think the weather during these 2 seasons are the best (or I should say, more “humane”). Winter can be drastic and temperatures can drop down to -20¬į (or less). Summer can be so hot that you feel your skin burns under the¬†sun.
  • Side notes: 1.¬†No¬†weather¬†is perfect (haha!). 2. I’m not a climate expert. You can search for more information on the Internet if you are interested to know more.

2. Language

  • In Malaysia, we mostly use Bahasa Malaysia (BM) for government-related matters and both BM and English for official matters. However, Malaysians¬†use different languages/dialects at different times, in different contexts and to different people. We usually speak “properly” when we are at school or at work or when we are talking to the elders, but most of the time, we prefer to use¬†Manglish among friends to show solidarity.
  • In Bulgaria, the Bulgarian language is the main language. English is not necessarily a second language for Bulgarians and it is not widely used here. German, French and Russian languages are among the common choices for Bulgarians as a second language.

3. Food

  • I have problems describing this part. I’m not sure if they are called the “Malaysian cuisine” but we usually call it the “typical Malaysian food”. If you ask me what kind of Malaysian food I like, I’ll tell you that I like¬†char kway teow¬†(literal translation: stir-fried ricecake strips, from¬†Chinese cuisine), nasi lemak¬†¬†(literal translation: rice fat?? – fragrant rice cooked in coconut milk and pandan leaves, from Malay cuisine) and roti canai¬†(some kind of flat bread, from Indian cuisine). It’s really complicated. You should really search for more information on the Internet.
  • Pizza and pasta are common in Bulgaria, but most people stick with the typical Bulgarian cuisine. When you mention “Bulgarian food” (or beverage), you immediately think of¬†musaka,¬†kebache, sarmi, banitsa, tarator, gyuvech, ayran, boza…¬†
  • A side note:¬†I know better “to eat”, and not “to explain”. Haha! ūüėÄ

In addition to these,¬†I’m¬†also going to share about other differences in lifestyle I’ve experienced¬†in my daily routine.

4. Nodding vs. Shaking your head 

  • In Malaysia, nodding generally means “yes” and shaking your head generally means “no”.
  • In Bulgaria, it is the complete opposite.
  • I’ve mentioned this in one of my previous posts, click here to read about it.

5. Rice vs. Bread

  • In Malaysia, rice is essential in almost every meal. ¬†Bread is mostly eaten during breakfast or as a snack.
  • In Bulgaria, bread is essential in every meal. Even if your meal consists of rice, you still eat it with bread. Rice is like a side dish.

6. Fork vs. spoon

  • In Malaysia, except in the case of fine dining where more than one utensil is used, we generally use spoon when eating. I use both fork and spoon but most my family members use only spoon when eating. Some Malaysians prefer not using any utensils at all.
  • In Bulgaria, again with the exception of fine dining or when you are drinking soup, usually only the fork is used. Yes, I eat rice with fork here! ūüėÄ

7. Alcohol vs. Non-alcohol

  • In Malaysia,¬†alcoholic drinks are only allowed for non-Muslims. People usually consume alcoholic drinks (beer, wine or liquor) during night time or during special occasions.
  • In Bulgaria, people drink alcoholic drinks all the time, at any time of the day. In the restaurant menus, alcoholic drinks can take up¬†more than 5¬†pages. Non-alcoholic drinks usually take up only about half a page. Alcoholic drinks are considerably cheap here. And many people own a vineyard and they brew their own wine.¬†Every year, my father-in-law brewed his own wine, on average 200 litres per year.

8. (On a sunny day) Shopping malls vs. Beaches 

  • In Malaysia (except on long weekends or during school holidays), on weekends when you have nothing to do, most people go to the mall. After all, the malls are air-conditioned and you can find everything there. And you don’t have to suffer under the hot sun!
  • In Bulgaria, everyone goes to the beach. If you don’t go (or haven’t gone) to the beach, they think you’re weird. (Yeah, I’m weird). I know people who can go to the beach everyday for a month. Apparently, people here like to “suffer under hot sun” (a.k.a to get tanned)!

It’s so interesting to see the differences in the lifestyle of different people in different countries. I think the most interesting difference for me is eating rice with a fork. Which do you think is the most interesting?

What I like about living in Bulgaria

In my previous post, I mentioned that there are several questions I was frequently asked in Bulgaria.

1. ‚ÄúWhat do you miss the most about/in Malaysia?‚ÄĚ
2. ‚ÄúWhat do you like about Bulgaria?‚ÄĚ
3. ‚ÄúWhat do you think about Bulgaria?‚ÄĚ
4. ‚ÄúWhat are the differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia?‚ÄĚ

In this post, I’ll answer the second and the third questions.

Note:
The things I’ll share in this post may be similar to what other people have experienced in other European countries or countries that have similar characteristics. This post is mainly about my experience living in Bulgaria.
 I am making a comparison based the cities where I lived and am currently living: Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia and Varna, Bulgaria. This doesn’t apply to all Malaysia or all Bulgaria.

1. Safety

  • In JB, the crime rate is rather high. Many of my friends and family have been the¬†targets of snatch thefts and robberies. Last year, on the night before my wedding in Malaysia, I had a small family gathering at home. There were about 20 of us, mainly adults with 2 kids. My elder sister was robbed right¬†at the front porch of the house, just 2 steps away from the house entrance. In separate¬†incidents, my bro-in-law was robbed at knife point while on his way to work in broad daylight, my dad was chased by 2 motorcycles with masked robbers after withdrawing money from an ATM, and my mum’s bag was almost snatched when she went to the market in the morning. It doesn’t matter when or where. You just have to be extra cautious especially when you are alone. You can be the target of crime no matter if you are a woman or a man.
  • I’m not saying it’s crime-free in Bulgaria. I’m sure crime happens everywhere in the world. However in Varna, I feel relatively safe. I can walk on the street without having the constant fear that someone might come on a motorcycle to snatch my bag. I still practice caution whenever I go out. But I definitely feel much safer here than I was in Malaysia.

2. Everything is fresh and organic here!

  • In JB, organic fruits and vegetables cost a lot of money! I wouldn’t say Mr. Hubby is picky with his food, but he is very particular with the quality of his food. I think organic fruits and vegetables generally taste better than the “non-organic” ones. I usually spent about RM100 (approximately 50leva), buying just vegetables and fruits. Seriously, I can go bankrupt by just eating fruits and veggies back home.
  • In Varna, everything is fresh and organic. It’s cheap too! Well, during winter is another story. After buying the fruits and veggies from the market, you can simply rinse it with water and eat it. Unlike in JB, I had to wash and soak and use special drops to remove the “toxic” on the fruits and veggies. It can be a very tedious process. ūüė¶

3. The tap water is drinkable

  • In JB, the tap water is not drinkable. You can choose to drink it and end up having diarrhea later. Most households invest in water filters. Only with water filters, the water from the tap is safe to drink. However, I know some people are still boiling the water even when it is filtered, just to make sure it is 100% drinkable.
  • In Varna, the tap water is drinkable. When I first came here, I thought it was a joke when Mr. Hubby told me that I could drink from the tap. I was like, seriously!?! I still prefer not to drink from the tap¬†although everyone else at home does that. I sometimes buy bottled water from the grocery store. But if my bottle is empty, I don’t mind to just crawl to the kitchen, turn on the tap, and drink the water from there. ūüėÄ

4. Minimal air and noise pollution

  • In JB, air pollution is a serious problem. Every year, when one of our¬†neighbouring countries¬†decides to burn its forest, the whole Malaysia would suffer horrible air pollution. Even without that, the exhaust fumes from the vehicles are enough to suffocate you. And, I have black boogers all the time!!! As for noise pollution, with on-going construction works everywhere, it’s difficult not to have any noise. That’s understandable. But the worst “noise pollution” is when your neighbours fight. They scream and shout and throw things at each other in the middle of the night, especially near¬†your front door. That’s the worst kind. (Note: I lived in an apartment in JB.)
  • In Varna,¬†the air pollution is minimal.¬†Vehicles here rarely “fart” black fumes. Smokers are everywhere but there are designated smoking areas. As long as you don’t go near those areas, I guarantee your hair will still smell nice after 2 days and you will not have black boogers!! As for noise pollution, there are almost no constructions nearby the place I’m staying. My neighbours are friendly and civilised, as least I haven’t seen them shouting or throwing things at each others. I would say the “biggest noise polluters” are the kids playing in the playground in front of our apartment! ūüėÄ But, how can I blame the kids? They’re just too cute! ūüėÄ

5. No ants loitering around

  • In JB, if you don’t keep your snacks properly, ants attack in 5 minutes. If you don’t pack and throw your garbage daily, ants form an army around your garbage bin. If you don’t wipe your spilled drink in 2 minutes, ¬†ants swim in it. There are always ants attack, any time of the day. If they don’t attack the food, they attack you!
  • In Varna, I hardly see any ants. I can leave my food unpacked for hours, no ants will attack. I can leave my glass with fruit juice stains until the next morning, ants don’t bother to pay a visit. If I see any ants here, I most probably will attack them by throwing food at them!

Of course there are many other things I like about living here. But I’m just gonna share these 5 points today. So, what do I think about Bulgaria? I think it’s generally a nice country. What do I think about my¬†stay in Bulgaria? So far, I’ve been treated like a princess here. So, I would say that my stay has been great! Hahahahaha…

So which place do I prefer? JB or Varna? NONE of them. Every¬†place¬†has its nice and not-so-nice features. There are things I prefer in JB¬†and there are also things I prefer in Varna. There’s no perfect place in this world but you can always adapt and embrace the¬†local cultures¬†to make your stay perfect in different places. Do you agree? Share your thoughts with me! ūüôā

 

Things I miss doing the most back in Malaysia

In Bulgaria, I have been asked these questions rather frequently.

1. “What do you miss the most about/in Malaysia?”
2. “What do you like about Bulgaria?”
3. “What do you think about Bulgaria?”
4. “What are the differences between Bulgaria and Malaysia?”

In this post, I’ll answer the first question. Instead of sharing what specific things (i.e food, weather etc) I miss the most about/in Malaysia, I’ll share with you what are the things I miss doing the most back in Malaysia.

I generally adapt to different environment pretty fast. After all, I am the one who decides where I want to go and where I want to stay. I wouldn’t call it homesick, but I do miss doing certain things back home in Malaysia. Honestly, I survive well even without doing these things here but that doesn’t prevent me from missing them. In fact, I can do these things here too. However, my stay in Bulgaria is not permanent so it’s really unnecessary and it’ll be a hassle to “achieve” them.

Note: I am making a comparison based on the cities where I lived and am currently living: Johor Bahru (JB), Malaysia and Varna, Bulgaria. This doesn’t apply to all Malaysia or all Bulgaria.

1. Wearing whatever I want

  • In JB, I wear what I want based on my mood. Except when I’m going to work or when I’m attending to some official matters, I usually stick with my 3S – Shirt, shorts and slippers.
  • In Varna, I still wear what I want but it depends heavily on the weather. Now it’s summer, so I still get to choose. During the day, it can be really hot (like 35¬įC)¬†that I¬†feel my skin burns when I step out of home. I can wear my favourite 3S but I’ll get burned like crazy. Alternatively I can wear longer pants/skirts/dress and/or long-sleeved shirts but I’ll most probably get sweaty fast. Tough choice huh? In the evening, it can get quite chilly (like 20¬įC or below) despite it’s summer. ¬†Even if I just want to get a short walk in the park after dinner, I cannot wear my 3S because I’ll probably get sick after that.
  • Solution? There’s nothing I can do about it because I cannot change the weather. I’ll just have to choose from what I can wear instead of what I want to wear, that’s it! Well, it is a good excuse to buy more clothes, eh? ūüėÄ But then again, my drawers are already full. ūüė¶

2. Eating hot and spicy food

  • I wouldn’t call it my favourite kind of food, but I like the hot and spicy sensation that really tickles my taste bud. In JB, I can have the typical Malaysian food like asam laksa, curry mee or nasi lemak with a lot of sambal. Alternatively, I can opt for kimchi (Korean food), tom yam (Thai food) or sushi with a lot of wasabi (Japanese food).
  • In Varna, most restaurants serve the typical Bulgarian cuisine. I believe there are many different cuisines served out there but I’m just going to share about “hot and spicy” Asian cuisines. There are Chinese and Thai restaurants, but only very few of them. The menu usually states very typical/authentic Chinese or Thai cuisine but the taste is very much Bulgarianized. I mean, who eats beansprouts with olives and pickles? At least, I don’t.
  • Solution?¬†I can live without spicy food. The Bulgarian cuisine is really nice. And seriously, my mum-in-law cooks like the best dishes in the world. What more can I ask for? I’ll eat the olives and pickles, minus the beansprouts. ūüėÄ

3. Driving

  • In JB, I drive almost everywhere. Public transports are accessible between main roads and old neighbourhoods but not between the new neighbourhoods. The distance between the nearest shops and¬†home is relatively near (about 5 minutes drive), but not near to the extent that I would want to walk.
  • In Varna, I walk almost everywhere. Shops and malls are relatively near, also approximately 5 minutes drive. But unless people are going downtown or are carrying lots of things, they usually prefer to walk. So yes, I walk about 15-30 minutes (depending on my walking speed and weather) to the nearest shopping mall.
  • Solution?¬†You would agree with me that buying a car just to satisfy my desire to drive is totally not worth it. I’m sure my father-in-law would allow me to drive his car, but I don’t want to drive a manual car.
  • A side note:¬†People here don’t believe I have more than 10 years of driving experience. They think I’m 22 years old. So I must have started driving when I was 11. ūüėõ

4. Drinking bubble tea

  • In JB, I drink a lot of bubble tea. I really enjoy chewing those pearls (black, chewy tapioca balls). It just makes me feel happy! It doesn’t have to be tea, I can have chocolate milkshake with pearls too. Whatever beverage I want, with pearls.
  • In Varna, there’s no bubble tea shop (at least I haven’t seen one). Because I’m writing this post, I actually found out that there’s a shop selling bubble tea in Sofia (which is about 6-7 hours drive from Varna).
  • Solution?¬†I can “import” those pearls but I think they come in big packs. I definitely can’t eat them all by myself, nobody’s gonna help me because it’s not “their kind of thing” here, and storing them will be a problem. Alternatively, I can travel all the way to Sofia to get it. 6-7 hours drive just to get my bubble tea? Nah, I don’t think so.

5. Going for facial and massage

  • In JB, I enjoy going for facial, at least once a month. I have this beauty therapist whom I trust a lot when it comes to doing facial for me because I have sensitive skin. I also enjoy going for foot and body massage whenever I want.
  • In Varna, there are facial salons. But I’m not sure I can trust that person enough to touch my face. I have tried searching for massage and reflexology centers but all I found was “erotic massage”. Hmmm…I don’t think I need an erotic massage.
  • Solution?¬†I’ll try to survive without doing facial and massage, at least for now. I hope I can find suitable ones when I’m in Canada.

6. Doing offline and online shopping

  • Honestly, I don’t have many choices in JB either. Kuala Lumpur is definitely a¬†better place when it comes to shopping. But in JB, I did a lot of online shopping. There were times I got like really bad quality products but for the price that I was paying, I would say it was acceptable. Sometimes I got really good deals online.
  • In Varna, the choices are very limited. The largest shopping mall in Varna is smaller than an average shopping mall in JB. The prices here are more expensive for the quality of clothes that they are selling. I cannot do online shopping because most sites are in Bulgarian.
  • Solution? I’ll stick with international franchise brands like Zara, H&M, Bershka etc or¬†I’ll shop online from shopping sites that ship internationally.

7. Going to work

  • In JB, I had 2 jobs. I was teaching in a college on a full time basis. I was also managing Mr. Hubby’s company (NGS Internet Marketing) – doing recruitment, accounting and dealing with the official matters.¬†Haha, you’ll never believe how much I miss working! For me, it’s not just about doing my job but it’s also about developing myself professionally and socialising with others.
  • In Varna, I don’t work.¬†I eat, sleep, clean the room (not the house), travel (sometimes) and write blog posts! I call it the “long and deserved holiday”.
  • Solution?¬†Finding a job here is definitely a hassle because 1. I don’t speak Bulgarian, and 2. I am not staying here for long time. I’ll appoint myself as a blogger at the moment.

So, if you have been wondering what I miss the most, I hope I’ve answered your questions here. What do you think? Have you been abroad and missed doing/having something badly back home?

When my external hard disk got broken, I did the most ridiculous thing in my life!

When my external hard disk (EHD) got broken, my heart got broken too! I lost many important folders/files. It wasn’t the end of the world, but I still felt crushed. It was a horrible thing. A horrible, horrible feeling.

Several months ago, I had noticed that my EHD¬†started making weird noise when I plugged it in. I had wanted to purchase a new one to replace it but I just didn’t get¬†it. Why? I can list you 100 reasons but I’m not going to because you will anyway think that I’m just giving excuses. So, yes, I didn’t get a new one.

One fine day,¬†I decided that it was time to clear the rubbish in my laptop and to do some backup on my EHD. (Note: I used it¬†as my sole back up. I didn’t back it up my files in my D-drive (D:) because many years ago I had some problems with this laptop. But that’s another story.) When I open my EHD, I realized that the folders that I needed to do the back up was missing. I panicked. I plugged the EHD out and plugged it in again, again, and again. The folders were still not there.

I told Mr. Hubby what happened and we tried various ways to recover the folders. Initially, I thought I had accidentally deleted the folder by mistake. After all, I was merging the picture folders a few days before that. I might have deleted it. I was not sure. So, Mr. Hubby searched for information on the Internet and apparently, many people had the same problem too. He found a few types of software that might be able to help to recover the lost files. We scanned and scanned and scanned the EHD the whole day and managed to recover a lot of files which I previously deleted. But none of them was what I needed.

I didn’t give up and I continued to search for more information from the Internet. I realized that I didn’t delete the files. The folders/files went missing because the EHD itself was¬†already¬†faulty. The weird noise which I mentioned earlier was an indication of the problem. But I didn’t know and I didn’t take any action.

For about 3 days, I was just scanning my EHD over and over again, hoping that the files would miraculously return. I even prayed to God, telling Him that I would diligently back up my files in various places in future should they returned. Well, no. The files didn’t return. I knew they wouldn’t return anyway. After a few days of trying and feeling depressed, I bought¬†a new EHD for myself and backed up the remaining files in it, and also in Mr. Hubby’s laptop and my D-drive.

But, I still didn’t give up. (Ahem! Talking about persistence!) I continued to search for ways to recover the missing files. And guess what? I found a method, a very ridiculous one which was “recommended” in many sites. Actually, I doubted that method would help. Some commented that it helped for them but some commented that it was plain bullshit. I sought¬†Mr. Hubby’s advice. He said it was entirely up to me, whether or not to use that method.

Well, I had backed up the remaining files anyway and I didn’t have anything to lose anymore. Even if this method burned my EHD, I wouldn’t care because I had backed it up in so many places, right? Anyway, I was wrong because a few days later my laptop crashed too. Seriously? Talking about bad luck huh! (Again, that’s another story for another day.) But still, I gave a shot to this ridiculous method. So…..guess what I did?

I froze my EHD in the freezer! Woohoo!

I must have gone insane. Actually, this was the “recommended” method. If you don’t believe me, try to google it. I’m sure there would be at least 10 sites telling you the same! So yeah, I wrapped my EHD in cling film,¬†wrapped it again with 2 layers of sealed bag and dumped it in the freezer for 2 hours. Then, I plugged it in to my laptop, it wasn’t making any noise but I was still afraid it might kaboom. I used the software I had previously used to scan the EHD again.

So what happened in the end?

The files:

  • This method obviously didn’t work.
  • None of my files returned.
  • It was a waste of cling film, I should have used it to wrap some chicken drumsticks instead.

The EHD:

  • It didn’t get spoilt.
  • It is still functioning like normal (Yup, I just plugged in again to my laptop yesterday – 100% persistence!!).
  • I won’t use it anymore.
  • I’ll keep it as a “souvenir” or a “reminder”.

What I have learnt from this incident:

  • Back up all¬†files in as many places as possible, especially if they are extremely important files.
  • There’s no need to buy such¬†a super large capacity EHD because there are chances they will get spoilt in a few years’ time even if you are taking a great care of them, like I did.
  • Freezing it in won’t help to recover the lost files.
  • It’s better to save the cling film and sealed bag for food.

Seriously, I know it’s ridiculous. It sounds ridiculous too when I first read about the method. But I guess when people are desperate for something, they have the tendency to do the most ridiculous action, ever. Well, it was an experience for me. If I ever hear people talking about it, I can directly tell them “it doesn’t work”. Even if I don’t, I can always tell it as a joke! ūüėÄ

So, did my joke work for you? ūüėÄ Hahaha…

What was the most ridiculous thing you have done in your life? Share with me!

Note: The author is not a computer expert. This post is solely for sharing and/or entertainment purposes.

Phrases that Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia!

Languages are just so fascinating. If you know or speak more than one language, I’m sure at some point of the time, you are tempted to mix different languages in one sentence. I am a lecturer, teaching mainly English language and communication-related subjects. My job is to teach and ensure people use language (specifically English) the correct way¬†for effective communication. But I have to admit, when I’m off from work, my proper English usage knock off from work too!

English is the main language of communication for both of¬†Mr. Hubby and I. I remember when I first met Mr. Hubby, I was drooling over his sexy and exotic accent whenever he spoke. But if you have spoken with with Mr. Hubby in the past months, I bet you must be thinking that I’m lying about his sexy accent. When we went to Beijing the last year, none of the tourists in the bus realized there was an¬†angmoh (Caucasian) seated at the far end. When people saw Mr. Hubby, they were in shock and said,¬†“How come he speaks exactly like a Malaysian? We didn’t even realize there’s an angmoh in this bus!”¬†Well, now I drool when he speaks Bulgarian.

So yes! After about 3 years of staying in Malaysia, I can say that Mr. Hubby is almost Malaysianized! If you don’t look at his handsome face, you are most probably going to think that you’re speaking with a Malaysian! Don’t you agree, my Malaysian friends?

In Malaysia, we speak so many different languages and dialects. But in this post, I’m going to share mostly about¬†Manglish.¬†For my international friends,¬†Manglish¬†is not the standard Malaysian English that we use in the formal context. I call it “the Malaysianized English”. Seriously, I don’t even know if it should be call “English” because it’s a mixture of so many different languages and dialects. You can search about¬†Manglish¬†on the Internet if you are interested.

I blame it on Mr. Hubby’s learning enthusiasm. He picks things up very quickly. Everything that goes in his ears, stays in his brain. And he usually uses it against me later. I’ll share with you some phrases Mr. Hubby uses all the time in Malaysia.

  1. There…zhe ge ren lo.. (pointing at me)
    What is it: There + zhe ge ren (Chinese phrase for this person) + lo (a particle as a complement to a sentence used widely by Malaysians)
    What it means: This person here
    Where did he learn it: From me, especially when I’m talking bad things about him with my friends, right in front of his face. He heard it so many times that in the end he understood that¬†zhe ge ren¬†(or “this person”) is him.
  2. Mati signal (when driving)
    What is it: Mati (Malay word for die) + signal
    What it means: Switch off your turn signal
    Where did he learn it: When he was taking his driving lessons in Malaysia. There was only one instructor who could teach the lessons in English. And he came home asking me what is mati.
  3. Cannot tahan
    What is it: Cannot + tahan (Malay word that can mean resist, tolerate, take it etc in different contexts)
    What it means: Cannot resist, cannot tolerate, cannot take it etc depending on the context
    Where did he learn it: From my mum and my sister.
  4. You go chi da bian lah
    What is it: You + go + chi da bian (Chinese phrase for eat shit) + lah (a particle as a complement to a sentence)
    What it means: Go eat shit (in a joking manner)
    Where did he learn it: From my BFF who goes by the initials CYW. Hahahaha…. I’ll tag her on Facebook (maybe).
  5. Siao ah you ? / Shen jing bing ah you?
    What is it: Siao (Hokkien/Chinese dialect word for crazy) OR Shen jing bing (Chinese phrase for crazy) + ah (a particle as a complement to a question) + you
    What it means: Are you crazy?
    Where did he learn it: From me, when I’m asking my friends if they are crazy (in a joking manner).
  6. Sien loh
    What is it: Sien (Hokkien/Chinese dialect word that can mean bored, frustrated, annoyed etc in different contexts) + loh (a particle as a complement to a sentence)
    What it means: It’s boring. It’s frustrating. It’s annoying. All depending on the different contexts.
    Where did he learn it: From LINE chat, there’s a Moon sticker with this phrase! I think…
  7. Aiya, no need one
    What is it: Aiya (An interjection/expression word in Chinese for negativity) + no need + one (complement word)
    What it means: Well, there’s no need to…
    Where did he learn it: Erm….I have no idea. From me, I suppose?!
  8. Walao / Waliu
    What is it: Walao or waliu (An interjection/expression word in Chinese dialect?? to express either shock or surprise)
    What it means: Wow (to express surprise) or What the hell / WTF (to express shock in a very nice manner)
    Where did he learn it: From my BFF who goes by the initials AT. Hahahahahhaa……
  9. Me meh?
    What is it: Me + meh (complement word for question)
    What it means: Is it me? OR Does it have to be me? OR Do you think it’s me?
    Where did he learn it: I have no idea too. But he uses it a lot when I ask this question, “Did you just fart?!!?!?!?”
  10. Pi gu ren
    What is it: Pi gu (Chinese words that mean buttocks) + ren (Chinese word that means person)
    What it means: Butt person???
    Where did he learn it: I don’t know. But he calls me this all the time and he claims that it’s “cute” nickname. I believe he means it the nice way…hmmm…

This is how Mr. Hubby and I communicate, usually when there are no other people or when our friends speak¬†Manglish¬†too.¬†What do you think of Mr. Hubby’s¬†Manglish? Out of 100%, how many percent would you grade him? ūüėÄ

Update: There’s a second part! Click here¬†to read it.

Annoying questions of all time!

Some people ask questions because they are genuinely concerned about your welfare. Some people ask ¬†questions because they haven’t seen you for a long time. Some people ask ¬†questions because you have experience in that subject matter. I categorize these questions as “constructive questions” and honestly, I am more than happy to answer these questions.

The same questions asked by different people can have different effects as well. For example, if your parents ask when are you going to get married, it shows that they are concerned. But if your mum’s cousin’s friend’s neighbor asks your parents when are you going to get married, that is plain gossiping. These questions are just lame, senseless and simply a waste of time. I mean, really? These questions clearly do not benefit both the person who asks and the person who replies.¬†Why do people want to ask those questions anyway? Seriously, I have no idea.

I am sure everyone has experienced such situation. Me too! And I’m going to list down a few annoying questions I get all the time for the past 6 months before I came to Bulgaria. Perhaps you are thinking why am I so mean when people are just showing concern. Well, maybe they are just showing concern but I would probably empathize their concern better if they:

  • rephrase their question
  • omit any kinds of assumptions (usually the first part of the sentence before the “actual” question)
  • use a more suitable interjection (a.k.a expression word)

But don’t fret! I’m a nice person and I’ve been answering these questions in the most courteous way possible. However, I sometimes wish that I had been less courteous. Continue reading and then tell me again if you think that they are genuinely showing concern or not.

  1. About my car
    Question: “Ohhhh, but you just bought your car last year, didn’t you? What are you going to do with it?”
    What I answered:¬†“Well, I am just gonna leave it here¬†for my family to use it.”
    What I should have answered:¬†“I’m gonna give my car to you, you want it?” 
  2. Still about my car
    Question:¬†“What will you do with your car? Are you selling it? How much do you wanna sell it?” (Yes, all these came together at once.)
    What I answered:¬†“I’m not selling it at the moment. My family can use it.”
    What I should have answered:¬†“How much you wanna pay for it? etc and drag the the whole conversation for 30 minutes and then tell that person that I’m actually not selling it.” 
  3. About what I’m doing¬†after I left my job
    Question:¬†“Oh, you just left your job right. You must have a lot of free time. So, what do you do at home?”
    What I answered:¬†“Well, not exactly having a lot of free time. There are quite a lot of things to settle. (give examples).”
    What I should have answered:¬†“Oh ya, I am so freaking free now. You know, my house cleans by itself, my clothes wash by themselves and my toilet bowl cleans by itself too! Also, I breath in all the dust in my house so it’s dust-free! And my clothes pack themselves in the luggage too. You have no idea how free I am! Woohoo! 
  4. Still about what I am doing after I left my job
    Question:¬†“Oh, it’s so nice not having to work. You know, working is so tiring blablabla. So, you are sitting at home doing nothing right?”
    What I answered:¬†“Actually I’m not really entirely jobless. Remember the company I set up together with Mr. Hubby. Now that we are relocating to another country, there are many things I’ll need to settle before we leave (give examples going to SOCSO, SSM, KWSP, LDHN etc). It’s quite time-taking.”
    What I should have answered:¬†“Yeah, it’s such a nice feeling that you should just leave your job too and join me to sit home and do nothing!” 
  5. About my master degree dissertation
    Question:¬†“You haven’t completed it? I thought you submitted it in February? Why is it taking so long time?”
    What I answered:¬†“Well, they take 2 months for the examination. After the examination, I had some minor corrections to do. And I’m not in KL personally, so it was a little difficult to schedule an appointment with my supervisor because she’s travelling abroad frequently too.”
    What I should have answered:¬†“You obviously don’t have a master degree.” 
  6. About when I’m going to get pregnant (The most interesting one of all time!!!! Yay!!)
    Question:¬†“You are so free now. You should get pregnant! Then you can take care of the baby.”
    What I answered: (Mostly just to get rid of the question fast.)¬†“Not now. Perhaps when I’m more settled in a place. I really enjoy my freedom right now.”
    What I should have answered:¬†“So you expect me to travel halfway around the world, to search for a new house, to renovate my new house, to settle in a whole new environment while I’m pregnant?” 
  7. Still about getting pregnant
    Question:¬†“When are you getting pregnant? Your baby must be cute because your husband is angmoh (Caucasian)”¬†(I think that was supposed to be a compliment but I think it’s actually better not to mention it at all.)
    What I answered:¬†“All babies are cute!”
    What I should have answered:¬†“Yeah, you should get a Caucasian husband too!”

What do you think of these questions? What kind of annoying questions you have been asked? Share with me! ūüėÄ

Note: This post is meant for sharing and/or entertainment purposes only. It is not meant to offend anyone.

Bulgarian words that don’t mean as you see or hear them

Ever since I’m in Bulgaria, all my friends in Malaysia keep telling me to learn the Bulgarian language. I can assure you that learning a new language is not an easy task and it really depends on a lot of factors.

Nonetheless, I love the Bulgarian language. Bulgarian language uses the Cyrillic alphabets. Sometimes I wish I have already learnt them by heart. But, because I don’t understand them, it makes them twice as mysterious. Every word or sign that I’m seeing makes me feel like I’m deciphering some cryptic messages. And seriously, if everyone has a deep voice like Mr. Hubby, the Bulgarian speech can be so sexy. I can listen to Mr. Hubby blabbering in Bulgarian all day.

A few of the Cyrillic alphabets resemble the Latin alphabets but these alphabets are pronounced very differently. However, I must say that my brain sometimes cannot work properly to distinguish them.

These are some words I see them frequently. Eventhough I already know what they mean, I sometimes still have the urge to pronounce the words as how I see them and then define them based on my “personal pronunciation” (or perhaps¬†“opinion”).

  1. –Ě—Ź–≥–ĺ—Ā–Ľ–į–≤
    How I see it: Herocrab
    What I think it is: Hero + Crab?
    How is it pronounced: Nyagoslav
    What it actually is:¬†This is Mr. Hubby’s first name!
  2. –ź–Ņ—ā–Ķ–ļ–į
    How I see it: Anteka
    What I think it is: Antique?
    How is it pronounced: Apteka
    What it actually is: Pharmacy
  3. –í—Ö–ĺ–ī
    How I see it: Boxr?
    What I think it is: Boxer? Box? Boxing?
    How is it pronounced: Vkhod (Yes, V-kh-od). Seriously, how do you pronounce this?!?
    What it actually is: Entrance
  4. –ď–į—Ä–į–∂
    How I see it: Tapak? (A Malay word which means site or footprint. Please google it for more information.)
    What I think it is: I don’t know what to think of it.
    How is it pronounced: Garazh
    What it actually is: Garage
  5. –ú–ĺ–∂–Ķ
    How I see it: Move? Moxe?
    What I think it is: Move
    How is it pronounced: Mozhe
    What it actually is: May / Might
  6. –Ē–∂–Ķ–Ĺ–ł
    How I see it: Dxehn?
    What I think is it: I have no idea what is this.
    How is it pronounced: Dzheni
    What it actually is: Jenny (Yes, it is my name!)
    (I guess it was kinda sad to see¬†–Ē–∂–Ķ–Ĺ–ł written everywhere on documents, not knowing that it’s actually my name. But of course, I know it now.) ūüėÄ

When Mr. Hubby’s family talk, I sometimes mimic their speech. Well, that’s how I learn what is what. Here are some words which we often use it at home. Although I already know what they mean, I’m still guilty of defining them in their “alternate meanings”…sometimes…

  1. –°–ĺ–ļ (Seriously, don’t be¬†hamsap¬†(perverted), it is not what you think it is.)
    How is it pronounced: Sok
    What I think it is: Sock?
    What it actually is: Juice. (Yeah, as in fruit juice). Can you imagine how weird if you have like sok? As in sock juice?!? Hmmmm…
  2. –ú–Ķ–ī
    How is it pronounced: Med
    What I think it is: Med as in medicine?
    What it actually is: Honey. (Yes, honey from the honey bees.) ¬†Can you imagine when my father-in-law (a doctor) is like offering med to me and I was like “No, no, I don’t need med. I’m not sick.” Actually he is just offering me honey for my pancakes. I should dig a hole and hide. Hmmm…
  3. –•–ĺ—Ä–į
    How is it pronounced: Hora
    What I think it is: Horror? As in horror movie? :O
    What it actually is: People. (Yes, people as in human beings.) Well, sometimes people can be a horror too. Anyway…
  4. –Ė—ä–Ĺ–Ķ
    How is it pronounced: Zhune (pronounce “u” as in “cut”) like Zherne
    What I think it is: Jenny? Are they calling me? Well, it does sound a little like my name isn’t it?
    What it actually is: To harvest (a 3rd person singular)
  5. –Ě—Ź–ľ–į (This is the most fun word, ever. But please, I forbid you to use it in Malaysia.)
    How is it pronounced: Nyama (Okay, ni-a-ma, which sounds like a vulgar word people use in Malaysia?)
    What I think it is: I think I shouldn’t write it down here.
    What it actually is: There isn’t. Yes, it means¬†there isn’t.¬†If you wanna say¬†there isn’t any problem, you say in Bulgarian¬†nyama problem. Again, please don’t use it in Malaysia because if you use it, you are going to have a lot of problems.

I love languages. They are just so fascinating. What do you think of Bulgarian language? Do you think it’s easy or difficult? Share your thoughts with me.