Life with Mr. Hubby

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!

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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

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.

Sometimes it is better to say “yes” or “no” than to nod or shake your head

I must say that this is one of the weirdest things I’ve encountered in my whole life. Back in Malaysia, when someone asks me a question, I usually include some gestures in addition to my reply. I don’t know why I do that. I guess I just want to be a little more expressive in my reply.

Q: Do you want an ice-cream?
Me: Yes, please! (Nodding vigorously)

Q: Do you wanna go out after work?
Me: (Shaking head slowly). No, I feel a little tired today.

Q: Can I have this document by tomorrow?
Me: (Nod once). Of course, I’ll pass it to you tomorrow morning.

Is there anything wrong with my gestures? Absolutely no!

BUT… if you ever want¬†to visit Bulgaria in future, I highly recommend that you strictly stick to saying just “yes” or “no” instead of nodding or shaking your head. Why is this so? It is because nodding and shaking your head mean exactly the opposite! Huh? Yes, you are right. Back in Malaysia,¬†nodding usually means yes while shaking your head means no. However in Bulgaria, nodding means no and shaking your head means yes.

I am not joking!!

I remember very clearly on my first visit to Bulgaria, my mum-in-law (back then, she was “boyfriend’s mum”) prepared a feast for my arrival. I was very happy that someone whom I met for the very first time actually put in so much effort and prepared so much food to celebrate my arrival. Everyone was very nice to me eventhough I didn’t speak the same language. Mr. Hubby (then, “Mr. Boyfriend”) acted as the translator between me and his family members. The food wasn’t just delicious but they were also nicely decorated too.

Here comes the¬†scandalous part. Everybody was happily eating and chatting. Eventhough we didn’t understand each other, we were all smiles. As we were eating, my mum-in-law popped the questions, “Is the food okay for you? Do you like it?” Mr. Hubby translated. Well, I didn’t speak Bulgarian but I was thinking that even if I reply “yes” (in English), they should be able to understand me. So, I replied like I usually do, in addition with the head gesture.

Mum-in-law: Is the food okay for you? Do you like it?
Me: (Nodding vigorously), YES! YES!

Do you get the picture of what just went wrong? Yes, I just nodded vigorously. Nodding in Bulgaria means NO. So I supposed nodding vigorously means NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO NO!! When I was nodding, I actually didn’t look at them face to face. I was too shy, after all it was my first time meeting my boyfriend’s parents and I just wanted to be as proper as possible (ahem!). Then I realised something was wrong. How come everyone became quiet after I replied? So I looked up and I saw that everyone stared at me in shock.

Well, Mr. Hubby then explained to me that nodding means no and shaking head means yes. Seriously, at that time I just wanted to dig a hole somewhere and hide inside forever. Looks like my plan to be proper failed miserably. So, I was in shocked and I explained that what I really meant was “Yes, I love it” and NOT “No, I don’t like it”. Mr. Hubby translated. We had a good laugh. It was so nice that they were so understanding and didn’t blame me for that.

Honestly, until today I still can’t get used to the Bulgarian styles of nodding and shaking heads. I mean, for 20+ years, I’ve been nodding for agreement and shaking my head for disagreement. It’s very difficult for me to change it, no matter how I force myself to. Now, I avoid using any head gestures. I stick to just saying “Yes” or “No”.

Have you ever encountered any situation like this? Share your stories with me!

The story of Chrysanthemums

My husband and I like to joke with each other. I mean, really crude jokes. There was a joke, which I have been telling people since I don’t remember when. He didn’t tell me not to tell it to others. He didn’t tell me that this joke has somehow affected him a little bit negatively. It really didn’t hit me that I have become so insensitive. Until yesterday, I found out that this joke was not funny after all.

The joke (or story) went like this. It happened last year, sometime around March, April or May (I really can’t remember). One day, I was feeling really down. It was either about my work or my dissertation (again, I don’t remember). On this particular day, my hubby sent me to work. On the way to work, I guess I was in really foul mood and must have said a lot of shits. So, my hubby decided to cheer me up by giving me a little surprise. He came to pick me when I knocked off from work. As usual, I waited for him at the foyer of my workplace. I saw his car coming, he stopped at drop-off area and I opened the car door. I was stunned for 5 seconds, didn’t know how to react. Guess what?! There was a bouquet of Chrysanthemum on the passenger seat. I was obviously not in good mood that day, but I wasn’t angry. I took that bouquet of flowers and got into the car. I was silent for another 5 seconds and then I turned to my hubby and said, “Honey, do you remember that when we were in Bulgaria, I once told you that you shouldn’t buy Chrysanthemums as gifts for others when we are back in Malaysia?” He turned to me and asked why. I continued, “That’s because Chrysanthemums are usually used for prayers or for the deceased.” He was in total shock. Then we went to my mum’s place for dinner. And I told my mum the story and asked my mum to guess what flowers he bought. My mum said, “Please don’t tell me it’s Chrysanthemum.” And I replied, “Yes, you are right.” Then I turned to my hubby and said “Please do not buy clock for my family members and friends.” We had a laugh and continued our dinner as usual.

My family members and I are not superstitious people. However, we are after all Chinese and we try our best to keep some of the Chinese traditions or “pantang larang” (taboos) that had been passed down from our ancestors. Fortunately, my family members also understand that my hubby¬†shares a very different culture from them. So, there is a mutual understanding between my hubby and my family members, not to sweat over small things like this.

To me, I love flowers. I love all kinds of flowers. Although Chrysanthemum is not my¬†favorite¬†(my¬†favorites¬†are calla¬†lilies¬†and hydrangeas), I still think Chrysanthemums are very pretty flowers. Back in Bulgaria, I had also received Chrysanthemums from my hubby. So what made this time so different and shocking? I’m no flower expert but I think¬†there are different types (or species) of Chrysanthemums. Some of them look like Daisy (for me) and some of them look like Sunflower (for me again). So, if you want to know the kind of Chrysanthemum I received when I was in Bulgaria, look at the picture below. They look very nice and sweet right? (see below).

2014-05-20_192138

So why was this time so shocking? Because this time, the Chrysanthemum I received neither looked like Daisy or Sunflower, but it looked like this. (see below). So let me ask you, how would you feel if you see this flower bouquet on the passenger seat when you are not exactly in good mood?

2014-05-20_202018

When we went back home, my hubby explained to me what happened. He said that he went to the florist’s and he saw that the roses looked small and miserable. So, he didn’t want the roses. Then, the florist came and asked him who was he buying for and what was the¬†occasion. Read carefully from here. My hubby told the florist that he was buying flowers for his wife and it was just¬†for a casual occasion. After browsing, my hubby said that the only fresh and nicest looking flowers were the Chrysanthemums. So he pointed at those and taa-daa…the florist without saying anything, sold that to my hubby. In fact, after I heard this story, I got quite angry at the florist. Then, I told my hubby, “These flowers have to be fresh because¬†people are frequently using them for prayers”. What’s worse was that it was approximately the “Qing Ming Festival” (Tomb Sweeping Festival) for the Chinese. Seriously?! I personally think that the florist was very unethical to sell that bouquet to my hubby.

Later on, when I met my friends, sometimes I would mention this story as a joke. For more than a year, I’ve been telling this as a joke to many people. Until yesterday, one of my best friends mentioned this on Facebook. So without thinking much, I again joked about it with my hubby. Later when we going to sleep, we chit-chatted and I started bugging him about not giving me anymore surprise gifts. After non-stop bugging for about an hour (I think I’m a pest), he finally told me that the reason WHY he now prefers to bring me to choose my own gifts rather than buying them on his own. The reason is that he is constantly WORRIED he will make another mistake like the “Chrysanthemum incident”. Then, it struck me that this incident has affected him in such a negative manner until he is afraid to give me anymore surprise gifts.¬†There was a silence for 5 minutes. I realised that I have been such a horrible wife for making him feel horrible all these while.

Honestly, I blame that stupid florist. Her action has affected us (especially my hubby) quite negatively. She may have done it unintentionally but I believe she should have at least informed (if not warned) my husband when he pointed at the Chrysanthemums. She shouldn’t have assumed that the wife of my hubby is also an “ang moh” (Caucasian).¬†Unfortunately for her and everyone else, that wife (me) is a Chinese.

So here, I want to apologize to my hubby for insensitively joked about this for more than a year. I’m so sorry. Please don’t be angry and continue to buy me surprise gifts. If anything of such happens again, don’t worry, I’ll burn the shop of the seller. Okay, maybe not burn but I’ll go back to the shop and slap the seller. ūüėÄ

Every time I pass by this florist’s, I feel so disgusted. Such an unethical florist. To the florist: May your boyfriend or husband buy you only Chrysanthemums (NOT the nice colourful ones) for the rest of your life!

 

Journey back home starts now

As I am writing this, I am in fact in Henri Coanda Airport in Bucharest, Romania, waiting for my flight to Amsterdam. Then at Amsterdam, I’ll have my flight back to Singapore.

Yesterday marked my last day of my 90 days stay in Bulgaria. It felt like I just went there yesterday and with a blink of eye, I am already on the way back to Malaysia. How time flies!

My 3 months stay in Bulgaria was a pleasant and memorable one. I am glad that I was able to spend many special occasions with my honey bee dearest – his birthday, Christmas, New Year, Valentines’ Day and of course our special trip to Paris.

Although winter season was not a good time for travel, honey bee and I prove that nothing could break our spirits of doing things and spending time together.

The journey here and back home takes a lot of time. But it DEFINITELY¬†worth¬†my time. I’ll do it all over again and again and again and travel the farthest distance just to see my honey bee ūüôā

I have to go through check in now. Keep you updated in my next post in my next stop at Amsterdam.

And, I just want to shout out LOUD:

I LOVE YOU HONEY BEE!

Resolution #19 Achieved!

I was supposed to write this entry weeks ago but I was being lazy and was constantly putting it off to “tomorrow”. Well, the “tomorrow” finally came today.

Out of my “so many” things to be done this year, I have (yay!!) achieved one! And, I am very happy that I achieved it together with my dearest honey bee ūüôā Others are still in progress, and not all of them are productive but they are in the midst of being completed, and I’m working “determinedly” (if there’s such a word ūüėõ ) hard to make them happen!

Resolution No.19: Visit a spectacular place.

I achieved it by visiting the City of Love – Paris, with my L.O.V.E. We spent 5 beautiful days (21 – 26 Jan 2012) there and it was indeed a very pleasant experience to both of us. There were some little mishaps during the whole journey, mostly due to the journey travelling back home, but overall the trip in Paris itself was extremely memorable. Some little mishaps included:

  1. me forgetting my iPhone charger ¬†(I didn’t get to use my French translator app) and thus leading us to,
  2. not speaking French “so well” ¬†(Things were a little hard because the French does understand English but most of them just don’t speak it. Talking about being identity enthusiast eh? We don’t really mind or care, we survived pretty well ūüôā )
  3. and, also the traumatic snow experience on the journey back home in Romania. (But of course, we managed to just laugh it off after weeks of hibernation and hot tea at home ūüėõ )

I’m just gonna keep this entry short and sweet. If you are interested in details, the “long” elaborated story of how our journey went can be found in this link. And, of course the pictures can be found in my facebook photo albums: From Paris with Love, In the City of Love¬†and We (heart) Paris. Hope you enjoy our Parisian experience ūüôā

Most important of all, I wanna say thanks to Honey bee for realising my dream of visiting the City of Love! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH! Thank you for everything! :*