Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Personal Update

I haven't written a lot lately. It's mostly because I haven't got a lot to say that was important enough for me to spend time and write it out. I think that's probably a mistake. I should probably write more just to practice writing and to be more articulate. So I'm trying out a new schedule where I try to write something out at least once a week. I'm going to think of something to write every week and use the whole week to write bits and pieces of it until I can get round to putting it all together to be published on Wednesday. And since this is the first time I'm doing this and I haven't prepared anything for this week, I figure I'll just try something easy like sharing my own personal updates this year.

So it's almost the end of 2019. It has been quite a roller coaster ride for me. Just last year, the Pakatan Harapan formed a new government after the 14th General Election in 2018. Ever since then, well.. life has been pretty much the same. The best thing so far that has come out of the election results is finally all the big investigations into major corruption cases is finally getting trialed in court and we can see how bad the rot was. But apart from that, life goes on. Politicians are still being politicians. And Malaysians are still being Malaysians. And there hasn't been much difference for me, apart from My100.

Late last year my department was moved from the great Menara Bumiputra Commerce in front of Sogo to Menara CIMB at KL Sentral. In the beginning I wasn't very happy with that. There's a lot of things I miss about the office space at MBC, but the thing I'd say I miss the most is the food and the shops. Food was very close to the office at MBC, very close and very cheap. You just have to walk out across the road and you already have so many choices of things to eat and drink. Sure there was a lot of moments of no one knows where we should eat, resulting in almost 15 minutes of friendly arguing about "you choose lah","how about this one","I don't want to eat there","so where do you want to eat?","I don't know, you choose lah". But worse come to worse we can just eat across the street. And you can choose to have a 15 minute "teh tarik" session just before you head on home. Here at Menara CIMB, that 15 minutes is the walking time to and from the closest place to minum, so you can imagine lah the friction of choosing to have a break first before going home. Better to just head on home, minum dekat rumah. And the shops. With Sogo being right in front of the office at MBC, it's absolutely no problem to just quickly run over and buy some groceries to bring home, or pop over to the pharmacy for some medicine or vitamins. No such thing at Menara CIMB. And for Friday prayers, at MBC it was just a short walk to the Dang Wangi police station, barely 5 minutes walk. Here at Menara CIMB, we usually go to the surau at Menara Bank Rakyat, which was almost a 20 minutes power walk. It's no unusual to reach there panting and sweating especially on a hot day. But as the way things usually goes, you get used to it. So it's not so bad now, and maybe somehow a bit better? Let me explain.

This year, just like so many years before, I'm trying to slim down and live healthier. And just like all the years before this, many times I started something, a diet or an exercise, then stopped. But this year I started something which I hope to be able to continue for a long time to come. This June I started taking the LRT and MRT to the office. So I would ride my motorcycle to the Sg Besi LRT, take the LRT until Plaza Rakyat, then walk to the Merdeka MRT station and take the MRT to Muzium Negara. And that come out right beside my office. It takes around an hour to commute this way, with around 15 to 20 minutes of that walking, so I'm finally getting in some regular physical exercise. And because I'm taking the LRT and MRT almost everyday, that's why I feel so grateful for the My100 scheme. I just top up the Touch & Go on my IC and we're good to go for the whole month. And in fact, even at lunch time I can take the MRT and LRT anywhere to eat and not have to think about having to pay for the fares. Great. It's still a lot of walking though, but since walking is now my preferred form of physical exercise, I don't mind it that much. And not only that, now I look forward for Friday prayers to solat at Menara Bank Rakyat. That itself could easily clock in 2000 to 3000 extra step counts for the day. And since all the cheap eateries is quite far, like I mentioned before, there's a whole lot less "teh tarik" session and that is surely a good thing for a guy who's trying to slim down a little. So all in all I'd say I'm kinda grateful that we were moved to Menara CIMB, KL Sentral.

Another thing I started when I started walking was that I listened to audiobooks. When I planned on walking like this in the morning, I knew I had to find someway to distract my mind from feeling the physical exertion it had to endure, so one way to do it is to distract it with audiobooks. I must confess, I haven't been able to read proper books for long periods of time for quite a while now. I get so tired and sleepy so easily, it's a pain to endure while trying to finish unexciting parts of books. But with audiobooks, I just have to listen while I'm riding the LRT/MRT and walking from station to station. The walking itself is quite safe from any traffic or dogs or whatever so it doesn't matter that my ears and frankly my mind, not being 100% focused on where I'm going. And I love that an actual book is being read to me rather than just some unfiltered ramblings of a conversation like radio or podcast. A book is an idea already filtered, sorted and crystallized so that it makes sense and bring real value. And when I hear a real good audiobook, it makes me want to buy the real physical book so that I can randomly look up things and refer to it once in a while. And the great thing about books, whether physical or audio, is that it gives you so much ideas and knowledge. I've learned so many things on my commute that I look forward to it everyday now. Whenever I'm listening to a particularly interesting or funny book, I even cheat sometimes and listen to it even when I'm not commuting. Maybe one day I might even write blog post based on a book which I've listened to. Maybe.. one day..

Anyhow, that's what I wanted to share for now. I hope I'll be able to write more consistently every week and keep on getting better at it. I'll try to publish new content every Wednesday. Till next time, wassalam.

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