Tuesday, December 17, 2013

The beginning of Satay journey

It all began when my mother told our family, "Do you guys wanna sell Satay?"

No response was given until dad and I decided to give it a try. After all, it is not a bad idea to start a family business since I resigned my job.

14th Dec 2013, Saturday, 7pm.

We arrived the cafe where we met our Satay sifu (aka master) and his wife. Friendly couples who welcomed anyone to visit their stall.

There is a collective perception among the Chinese which sounds like this,

"Don't teach your apprentice EVERYTHING you know!"

Personally, I don't think my sifu did hide anything from us because he actually began his tutorial from A to Z: preparing furnace, starting fire, preparing satay, barbecue technique, managing fire...to storing charcoal.

No doubt, it is a challenge for me and my father who is not good at barbecue. However, after several trial (ops, sorry for those who ate my trial sticks...), sifu  remarked that I was 70% ready to begin our business.
Hmm, thank God that I was in scout before for those skills you learned back then prove to be very useful at some point in your life...

Throughout the 5 hours practice, I managed to experience some values which is pretty much not related physically to satay grilling,

Be humble. Standing before a satay expert who came up with Tomyam flavor, I felt fortunate to learn from him and how to lower myself before I comment my own points. This gave me an impact because it also reminded me why I was having hard time to communicate with previous board of committee of my previous workplace.

Be mindful. Different meats take different time to be able to serve for customers. On top of that, I have to manage the fire in furnace so that it is neither too strong or too weak for grilling. Blazing fire might scorch the satay while weak fire might keep your customer waiting which might trigger cancelled order. Keeping myself to stay focus and aware of the surrounding, is a good sensory processing in my brain.

Be thankful. I never know how many customer will I get in a day. I tried my best to maintain the quality of satay but that does not mean everyone will queue up for satay. Furthermore, I hardly see anyone ordered satay for main meal. I learned to surrender myself to God while I do my best. Do my best while God do the rest.

Interested to try our satay?

We shall begin on this coming Friday evening, 20th Dec 2013 at a kopitiam (cafe) Lebuh Presgrave, Penang island. Hope to see you soon!

Monday, November 11, 2013

I Am Special ~ Creative program in English at Riffle Rage Community Hall, Penang

I am special because I am a man whose name is Andrew....

Today is the first day since I left my job in Agape Counselling Centre Malaysia (Penang branch) officially. Despite the fact that some may worry about my income, I decide to give myself some time off the "doing" aka finding job after losing one, and follow my mentor and a play therapist, Priscilla Ho in some of her projects.

Here we were, Dewan Serba Guna Taman Padang Tembak.

Thanks to the invitation of miss Fatimah Hassan from Penang Education Council, Priscilla and her team will execute a creative program in English which lasts for 8 weeks starting 9th Nov 2013.

We began our first session, "I Am Special" at 0830 hours (GMT +8) by forming a big circle which was consisted of 27 children from this neighborhood and sang the "Big Circle, Small Circle" song (led by Lucy).

While they started to have fun with this physical movement activity, I believed this helped the group to stay focus by moving backward and forward, and build group cohesion among group members.

Next, we asked each group members to introduce themselves by associating their names with an action. At first the children were reluctant to do this, but after some encouragement (and I think some of them were ready), we all have an interesting way of knowing each other.

We tried a sensory activity by asking everyone to act an animal based on group leader (Andrew)'s instruction. Instead of standing still at original position, we moved around the hall with various animal movement while freezing ourselves whenever Priscilla shouted, "Stop!"

Tiger? Roooaaaarrrr........!

Before we set our group rules, we tried to grasp some breath after the sensory activity and we drew our mosaic art on a piece of mahjong paper which was folded into 64 squares. We had 4 teams so we will have 4 big pieces of mosaic art.

After 15 minutes, the children were coming back together and form group rules for themselves. No bodoh (stupid in Malay), stupid, respect others, listen while other member is talking....They wrote their own ground rules!

"I am special. Why are you so?", Priscilla never stop asking this question whenever she introduced her therapeutic book which bore the title, "I Am Special".

Identity is the key of developing confidence, which will ultimately leads to resiliency or the ability of an individual to recover from failure or challenge. Each one of us should know this clearly and be able to stand up and tell others how special we are, not to win others' compliment or any other reason but simply because we know who we are!

For the next 30 minutes, we scribbled!

Illustration, without interpretation, is an unique piece with its own beauty. Of course, with confidence, we can tell others how special we are, simply because we are who we are, our own identities. In the next round of identity exercise, the children were asked to come to the center of the group and show their portraits before laying it on the floor.

Coming together, being together.

One of the aims of this program, was to enable children to "listen, speak, read and write" English. For the reading part, each child was given a copy of Si Comel & her kittens and they read together in their respective groups. I was amazed by some of the children who could read very well.

After they finished the reading, each group was given a piece of mahjong paper which was triple-folded so that they could create and write their own story. Who knows we might have another story book in store for everyone?

Enough for the writing and drawing, we ended our first session which lasted for 5 hours with the infamous "Chiecken Dance" song and moves......"Blink blink blink blink, flap flap flap flap, shake shake shake shake....."

After this, we departed goodbye with the children and looking forward for our next session on 16th Nov 2013.

After went through this session, I had another lesson of mindfulness. Why I was unable to connect with my group members as a facilitator? Was I overconscientious about Priscilla demand? Hmm...

Anyway, if you found this kind of program is interesting and you would like to know more about us, kindly browse our Facebook page.

Cr8Tvt@Heart is a non-profit centre that acknowledges young people who often encounter emotional, psychological and social difficulties because of challenging situations they may find themselves in. The creative programs help to unleash the creativity within and empower young people to build their resilience (Ho & Ho, 2011)

Ho, S. B., & Ho, P. (2011). I am special. Penang: Creativity At Heart.

p/s: All photos in this blog were credited to Creativity at Heart.

Sunday, February 17, 2013

Dreadful dream

I am not a psychoanalysis practitioner.

However, as a psychology practitioner, I believed that my dream served certain purpose despite there are various theories were proposed to explain it.

If you have follow my blog, you will notice that this is the first time you read about my writing about my own dreams.

As I am writing this, I suddenly aware that most of my dream which was related to my family would most likely lead to death...

..and here is last night nightmare...

It was a nice afternoon.

Someone pushed the door bell before I approached main gate.

There is one old lady whom I didn't know who she was.

I ran back to my parents' room to ask them about who she was.


That woman suddenly appeared in their room and my parents were packing their stuff.

I was puzzled and wondered,

"What are you guys doing? Who is she?"

They never replied me but they kept informing what should I do when they left...

What a minute, you guys are leaving leaving?

I saw my sister was doing the same thing, too....

"What do you mean you are leaving?"

"Oh, don't you know? We have finished our life in this world and we are about to depart to another realm. She is the guide who will bring us to that place."

"Wait, how about grandma?"

"Oh, her time is yet to come so make sure you take good care about her, all right?"

"Wait! Don't go...."

I tried to grab them and to ask for more clarification but they just disappeared....

I woke up and my phone was showing


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