Friday, November 27, 2009

Top 10 Ways On How To Learn Correct English

English was, is and, I think, always known as an international language.  Wherever you go, you're gonna need it somehow.  So English is indispensable especially for those who wish to travel.  For me, English ain't a problem.  (If not I won't be able to type all the blog posts I have so far)  But for those out there who are trying hard to learn English, or those like me but still seek English reference once a while, I've written this post of 10 ways to learn correct English specially for them.  Okay! Let's start the count!

  1. Buy a bilingual dictionary that translates words in your language to English and vice-versa and start reading it.
  2. If you are a beginner (I actually mean noob kind of beginner but I just wanted to save the offense), start recognizing and trying to read simple English words wherever you go.  Start with 3-letter English words and slowly increase the length as you get more familiar with English words.  This helps builds basic English vocabulary.  If you come across a word that you don't know, refer to your bilingual dictionary or ask someone who knows to teach you about that word.
  3. Join English classes.  It helps a lot more when there's someone there to teach you and others to discuss with.  But you have to be careful because some English teachers are not qualified to teach English and may even make English mistakes and teach wrong things about English.
  4. Read, read, read.  Look for anything like books, magazine, ads and product labels written in English and read them.  Reading English can help you know more about the structure of the language and its grammar.  This can also give you a boost in English vocabulary.
  5. Listen to lots of English speeches.  You can watch English movies, play English video games or even catch English advertisements on TV. When you are listening to them, pay attention to pronunciation and intonation. Make sure you pick a media that has a level of English that suits you.  For starters, pick the easy ones first.  During your free time, test yourself by asking yourself how to say words and phrases in English.
  6. Practice your English often.  Try forming sentences in English and say them out.  If possible, converse with them.  Don't be shy about making mistakes or afraid of making a fool out of yourself.  Just do your best.  It's okay to make mistake because you can learn better through experience and mistakes.
  7. Do not do direct translation when learning how to form English speeches or phrases.  English grammar may differ from grammar of other languages.  Direct translating can cause English sentences to sound awkward, be grammatically wrong or give your listeners the wrong meaning of what you want to say.
  8. When you are already good at basic English, you can start going into advanced English by picking books written in more advanced English.  Although English poetry is a good English reading material, I don't really recommend it because some contain archaic English that may seem confusing to readers especially those who are not very familiar with English.
  9. Have English references like notes, reference books or online websites or blogs that provide explanations and examples about English grammar like this one.  Although you seem like you know a part of English grammar correctly, it is always better to seek reference to make sure what you know is really correct.  This can boost your confidence in English and capability of committing English grammar to memory.
  10. Teach others English.  This only applies to those who are very good at English.  When teaching others who are weaker than you in English, you might discover a thing or two about English that you can be unsure of that you missed when learning English.  This is twofold because this way, you can help others avoid making such mistakes and at the same time, learn something new for yourself.

There you have it!  Learning new languages is always difficult at first but once you get used to it, it's actually kinda fun.  Hope this helps those who want to learn English.

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

A Spider's Diet - To Eat Or Not To Eat

Things are so far so good since the day my family moved to the current house we are staying in.  But unlike living in apartments, there is one uncomfortable difference - BUGS.  Well unlike apartments, houses are ground-leveled.  And because of that, bugs from all around can enter our house.  Now we get more mosquitoes, 24-7, ants, flies and even spiders - big ones!

A few days ago, my mom spotted a spider in the living room clenching something.  I went to check it out and there it was with it's catch of the day.  It actually caught a fly about its size but it wasn't eating it.  I seldom see spiders with such a big achievement and was actually feeling lucky to see one so I decided to snap a picture of it.

Spider's catch of the day!

For people who get goosebumps at the sight of bugs, this might probably make their hairs stand on ends as well and probably think of this spider when they are having their meals.  Haha... don't sweat it.  I know it looks creepy at that size but actually it's really not that.  Sometimes things give different impressions when they are in different sizes.  That's what I thought so I decided to take a close up picture of it.

Spider looking at camera

If you see it as-is, it still seems small.  The origninal size of this picture is 848x558 pixels.  The white spot on top of it is the reflection of the living room light on the ceiling.  But anyway, just look at this furry little itsy-bitsy cutie.  It was having part of the fly between it's mandibles when it looked up at my camera for a snapshot.  You can actually see it's 2 front compound eyes looking innocently at you.  What a pose for a bug!

After I took its picture, it crawled away to the corner of the living room.  My mom and I thought, "The fly is almost as big as it is.  How's it gonna eat they fly?"  That actually gave me a funny imagination of what that spider would look like if it really DID swallow the whole fly.  But my mom and I really didn't know what was gonna happen next.  Probably that spider was also going through its worst predicament in its life.  To eat or not to eat.....  

The next day, when I was sweeping the floor, I found the fly on the floor of that corner of my living room.  The spider was nowhere to be found.  I guess it took the bitter better choice.

Friday, November 20, 2009

A Gingerbread Castle! Food Lovers' Fantasy Dream Come True?!

It's those trips out of town again.  Well, if you have read my previous posts about my spiritual supernatural 'Not Feng Shui' experience, you'll know that my family and I travel out of town once a while to seek a Taiwanese chiropractor.  During my last trip, we stayed at the same hotel we stayed during out last last trip.  This time something in the lobby caught my eye.  It's so big I practically caught everyone's eyes!  Well, here it is.

Gingerbread Castle

'Tis THE season again.  When the Christmas spirit is in the air and in everyone's heart including those of the people of the hotel management.  I guess that is why they came up with this brilliant idea.  According to the hotel newsletter, it's called the Gingerbread House.  Personally, I think they should call it The Bread Barracks.  It is made for a special event that is going to be held at the hotel at the end of this year in conjunction with Christmas.  There will be Carol singers and obviously, Christmas goodies and treats  (the gingerbread theme gave that away for me).  The goodies will be prepared by the hotel's top chefs.

They finished it a little too early for the event and as you can see they enclosed the gingerbread house within red and white no-entry lines and pasted 'Do not touch!" signs all over it.  Ask my why they did it early, I would say that they probably want to catch people's attention about what's going on in the hotel.  I actually wanted to take a video of it but I was too busy.  The gingerbread house has a window, like in the picture, a door on the opposite side of that view and 2 windows each on the other 2 sides.  It reminded my mom of the candy house in the "Hansel and Gretel" story.  (that got me thinking if the hotel management's gonna put a kid-eating witch in there. Haha...)  But anyway, I must say it's indeed one of the unique one-of-a kind landmarks I've seen throughout my entire life.  You'll know why when I tell you how its made.

Well, I didn't actually see it in the making but I did a really good close-up analysis on it (even with the no-entry lines and 'Do not touch' signs).  Of course, at first sight, I wouldn't believe that it really is made of bread even though the walls really look like bread.  The baker in charge even poked holes in it to not let the wall pieces rise when they are baked.  The holes seem like enough proof but did they really bake all those to build their gingerbread house?

Gingerbread wall

So I just have to have proof.  But...

Please do not touch

...says the sign!  You know what?....

Testing the gingerbread walls

...Touched it anyway.  The hell with the sign.  I took a pinch at one of the walls of the gingerbread house.  It really was bread-like.  The texture was soft and rather moist and compact and it kinda crumbles when you try to tear it.  The pinch I made there in the picture left a tiny piece halfway pried.  And as a result, I could see what was behind the bread.  Behind the bread was some hardened cream (the white ooze in the picture) and hard dark jelly.  This really could be bread!  The bread actually made up only a thin layer of the walls of that house.  It layered the real foundation of the building which I think was made of wood.

As far as I know, bread can't last that long unless it is made for special purposes to last.  Trust me, I know.  Bread was practically my trademark food when I was at school.  I ate bread everyday when I was at school and even had bread almost every recess.  Normal edible bread is spongy when fresh, hard when left for 2-3 days and emits an alcoholic smell, and gets moldy after a week or so.  So the bread of that house is different.  It doesn't smell and it's not moldy.  I bet it was already there before my family and I went there for our 5-day stay.

Okay.  Now I'm convinced.  It IS a bread house.  But something is still missing.  So when I got back home, I googled that hotel's name together with "gingerbread house" and hit something.  It turned out that someone else had already posted about this gingerbread house in a blog in December 2007.  That post was about the hotel's event of selling cookes for Christmas at a main attraction - The Gingerbread House.  Oh... so that hotel holds that special event every year with the same gingerbread house!  I wonder if they re-patch their gingerbread house walls with fresh bread every year...

Well, like what everyone says, festive seasons are special and full of surprises.  That makes everyone have the magical feeling when that time comes.  And I guess that's what makes people love festive season so much and can't wait for them all year!

There is still one more thing about that Gingerbread House.  Now that I know it's really bread-walled but is it really ginger-flavored?  Nobody knows except for the bakers who made it.  I didn't want to find out because after finding out about it, no way I'm taking a bite off that thing!

Sunday, November 8, 2009

Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4

Read Part 1 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 2 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 3 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

After trashing 400 buck overnight, my family and I thought that now that the source of our misery had been gotten rid off for good, things are gonna be good for real this time.  Well, things really did start to get better.  I was able to sleep peacefully and my brother became a more cheerful like his old self.  Mom's knee was still aching.  We thought that was nothing because she used to complain about knee aches years ago.  So we hoped that it can recover now that there are no more 'disturbances'.  But if nothing else happened after that, I wouldn't have typed a "Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4", right?

Throughout the few days after throwing away all the Feng Shui items, dad started acting up.  We frequently acted like a mean badass when actually he had the wrong points about things all the time.  My mom's knee ached.  Mom said there definitely was something wrong as her knee would recover after taking supplements for three days.  Then my brother complained about his ankle being swollen and feeling discomfort in his lower abdomen.  But this time, he had more conscience in him and did suspect that it was still some spirit at work.  As for me, although I slept better at night, I would wake up like a bear with a sore head and start getting a little moody at little things.  I could sense something but it just couldn't be.  All the haunted objects were gone but things just got a little better but didn't go back to normal.  Since day one of our haunting, we had somehow become experienced in this.  We knew there was still something wrong so mom suggested meeting with the psychic again.  I didn't go because I thought I was fine now that I could fall asleep properly.

It was a morning when my brother and parent went to meet the psychic once more.  During the meeting, the psychic revealed that all 4 of us were tainted.  For my brother and my parents, he said that it happened when dad opened the pagoda and let out all the dirt.  That sort of released whatever was occupying the pagoda.  That thing affected my brother and mom and the residue made a direct hit at my dad since he was the one that opened the pagoda. That caused him to have a black patch in front of his face, according to what the psychic saw.  I wasn't there when the pagoda was opened so my case was definitely something else.  According to the psychic, I was followed by an Iban girl and I had to do the regular drill and offer what she asked for.  The psychic sure is something.  He could even see what's wrong with me without even seeing me!  Anyway, the Iban girl asked for "Kolo Kueh Tiau" which is actually something similar to fried spaghetti.  My brother called me to tell me as soon as the psychic told him and my parents about it.  I'll get to my case later on.

For my brother and parents, they had to make some offerings.  The psychic also told us to bath floral water to cleanse ourselves.  Making the offerings took whole morning.  A tiny part of it was actually about dad being scolded for being such a troublemaker.  After making the offerings, mom's knee recovered like magic.  Brother's discomfort in his lower gut and ankles were gone.  Dad just had to take the floral bath to rid himself off the 'dark cloud'.  At the time my brother told me about the Iban girl, it made me remember 2 dreams I had about a week from then and they were about an Iban girl.  I wasn't sure if it was the same Iban girl but here's what it was all about.  In the first dream, I dreamed about an Iban girl came to me telling me that she was ill and wanted my help on how to eat to get healthy.  I then told her to eat more vegetables with rice and less meat.  In the second dream, it was like a second meet-up with her.  I asked her if she was fine and she told me that she smoked.

When my parents and brother came home that morning after making the offerings, I told my mom about the 2 dreams I had about an Iban girl.  Come to think of it, my case was like my brother's case about him dreaming about a guy telling him that he was being helped with gaining profits (that can be found in part 2).  My mom strongly suspected that it was the same Iban girl.  At that time, the dream was still quite clear to me and I could describe almost every single detail of that girl.  She was no doubt not an adult.  She looked like she was in her teens.   She had short, curly hair and, if I wasn't mistaken, also wearing glasses.  She looked a lot like a schoolmate of my back at high school but I was sure it wasn't really her.  Mom couldn't ask the psychic about my dream because the he had a busy schedule that afternoon.  So we decided to ask him the following day.  That evening, I just offered the Kolo Kueh Tiau like what the psychic told me to do.

Come to think of it, I got really puzzled by 3 things.  First, that girl couldn't have come from the pagoda. I had those dreams days before that pagoda got discarded.  Then if it really was something from the pagoda, the psychic would have spotted it without even looking at my palms the first time he saw me.  Second, I couldn't figure out when she started haunting me.  I was guessing it was quite recent at that time but I just couldn't be sure.  And third, why did she ask for my help?  Those really made me feel uneasy.  The next day, I actually thought of approaching the psychic to tell him my dream and ask him myself but mom said it wasn't necessary since he could detect the presence of the Iban girl without even seeing me.  So I just stayed while my mom went to see the psychic.  The psychic confirmed that it was the same girl in the dream that followed me.  He said she was really ill and she asked for a flu tonic and a bowl of rice with some cabbage.  So we went to a Chinese drug store to get the tonic and prepared the dish and offered it to her right at the spot where I offered her the Kolo Kueh Tiau.  I didn't know if that really sufficed but it seemed pretty clear that it would.

A few days after all that, my brother went to meditate again.  This time I went along because those three things about the Iban girl were still bugging me.  When I asked the psychic when she started haunting me and where it started, he said that she was too far to be traced and wasn't really worth knowing now that she's gone.  He had a point there so I just chucked that aside.  Then I asked him why she came to me for help.  The psychic said it was just a bad coincidence - like being picked by a snatch-thief to lose a handbag to.  So I came to a conclusion that it really wasn't anything big about it.  I just got unlucky.  And besides that, spirits like to take advantage of an uneasy heart.

From the first day all this started, I kept feeling worried about my family when I saw that they weren't like themselves.  I tried all I could to help them but I just end up failing or getting backfired.  All I could do was stand by hopelessly and watch them get more and more miserable day after day.  That made me develop an uneasy feeling in my heart that often affected my thoughts leaving me vulnerable to spirits.  I guess the Iban girl saw that part of me and worked on that.

So things are now really back to normal.  Oh and one evening my brother even brought his laptop with him to meditate to get it checked by the psychic because he always felt that his head was heavy when using it especially when looking at the screen.  The psychic said that there was a spirit of a Malay woman in that laptop.  He also said that that spirit nested in the laptop recently and it's form was only about the size of a thumb.  So he helped my brother get rid of it by chanting something while waving 3 joss-sticks over the laptop.  Then he told us that electronics, even CDs can get haunted.  And to keep them from coming, he advised us to stick some shiny red stickers on our belongings.  Besides, he also advised us to pray more often to sort of keep up our spirits so that the ghostly spirits don't get a chance at us.

So far, the house that I'm living in seems fine.  Life's got pretty normal already and we pray more often.  For those out there who read my story, I swear this is 100% true even though I don't reveal most of the names of the people involved, especially about the uneasy ground apartments and hauntings of stuff and of course the 400-buck trash too.  The reason why I'm typing this is because I just wanna wrap this whole thing up and dump it somewhere and get over with it as a thing of the past and never look back at it again.  Besides, this is also for you guys out there who are into Feng Shui objects.  BE CAREFUL.  You may not believe me but I'm speaking from experience here.  There ain't no such thing as Feng Shui objects that make Feng Shui better.  They are just for marketing purposes.  But if you really can't resist yourselves from buying those attractive stuff, make sure they are not mojo-ed through some ritual.

Well, that's about my tale.  - Fin - 

Read Part 1 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 2 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 3 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

Read Part 1 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 2 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 4 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4

We wiped the haunted apartment clean of our stuff.  Everything was transfered to our new home.  Everything including the all the Feng Shui ornaments we bought.  Those were compulsory because those things worthed quite a lot.  These ornaments were a gourd with carvings of the Legendary 8 Immortals around it, a golden fan which the guy at the shop we bought it from called a "Luck Transforming Fan", a golden hollow pagoda that was filled with special dirt (dirt as in soil dirt), palm-sized ornaments of a goat and a rabbit, a golden pendant, crystal stones, 2 sets of 5 ancient coins, 2 blue plush cats and a pendulum-like thingy that was all golden and had a ball, disc and ring at each end.  The last item is like an Astrojax just that instead of having 3 balls connected sequentially with 2 strings, 3 golden cables were connected to form a 'Y' and the ball, disc and the ring were connected to each end of the cables.  People can get really creative with these Feng Shui objects.  For those who really dig and believe this, no offense but I think this things and "how they work" are but an illusion like the milk jug part discussed in this video.  But, please bear in mind that I'm just stating my opinion and NOT at all mocking those who believe in this.  My mom believed in this.  That's why she bought all that in the first place.

All those items were bought from the same Feng Shui store except the rabbit and goat ornaments, crystal stones, pagoda and coins.  I never knew what made these things so special besides their physical appearance until I mom told me that the guys at the Feng Shui shops told her that the Feng Shui objects underwent a ritual that made them have some sort of power.  Some underwent the ritual before being put on sale and some underwent the ritual at the time of being bought.  Even the 2 blue plush cats I mentioned earlier went through that ritual.  Mom bought one for me and got another free.  I gave the other one to my brother.  I liked that cat not knowing that it had 'power' because it was the very first plush toy my mom ever bought for me.

In our new home, we knew how to place the furniture properly but we didn't really know how to put the Feng Shui objects.  At that time we thought that some 'had power' and some didn't because we never knew that such things can be empowered before placed to be sold yet.  We had some of those items empowered at the time of buying them.  So we placed those accordingly.  As for the rest, we just placed them as decorations.  My blue plush cat sat nicely at the headboard of my bed.  My mom also bought a new pair of ornaments that were recommended by the Feng Shui master to further Feng Shui my room.  It was a pair of Qi Lin - one male and one female.

After the first few weeks of living in this house, my family lived a normal live.  My brother, after going through all the supernatural experiences, meditated and prayed once a while at the meditation society owned by the psychic accompanied by my dad.  As a result, he had more chances of talking to the psychic.  After quite an acquaintance, my family found out that this psychic is like any other regular wise 70-year-old guy just that he has 'seen' and is still 'seeing' a lot of things in his life.  My brother asked him a lot of questions regarding spiritual stuff.  One thing my brother asked him brought back the terror of the haunted apartment that we lived in.  My brother asked about the rituals that some spiritual masters usually do to empower objects.  The psychic then explained that that ritual must be done exceptionally carefully or else those objects, though empowered, would start to reek and contain bad energy and thus being able to attract spirits to haunt and live in them.  My brother then told the psychic that our family had some empowered Feng Shui stuff and asked if it were ok to still keep them.  Then the psychic then said that he could be sure about that if he checked those items.

Wow... after what my brother heard from that psychic and told my mom about it, mom decided to let the psychic check all the Feng Shui objects including the ones that were not empowered at the time they were bought just in case.  One evening when my brother went to meditate at the psychic's meditation society, my parents went with him bringing with them a basket packed with all those objects.  I didn't know what happened there actually because I didn't follow them there that evening.  But this was what happened there according to my brother and mom.

The psychic checked everything.  When he checked the gourd with the carvings of the 8 immortals, he said that it was occupied with a spirit of an old man.  That old man was so feeble that he had to bend forward until his arms hung down with his hands almost touching the ground when he walked.  My brother then realized why he felt so weak sometimes and had to do the same when he walked.  He had that gourd in his room all the time.  Next, the psychic checked the golden fan.  He held it in his hand and placed it on his palm and even took a sniff at it.  He said that that fan had a spirit of a Nyonya old woman in it and could even smell the scent of the powder she was wearing.  My mom was surprised because the fan wasn't empowered at the time it was bought but the psychic said it was.  That was when she realized that things like that could receive empowerment before going into the market.  After that, he checked the 2 blue plush cats.  When he touched it, he flinched with disgust.  He said that the 'thing' in those 2 cats would make people feel discomfort and tightness in the lower abdomen and ankles.  He didn't say what form of spirits were occupying those 2 soft toys and my brother didn't ask him either but it made my brother realize why he always had and uneasy gut and swollen ankles.  I had one of those cats in my room but I didn't feel any similar discomfort.  But to be honest, I had difficulty falling asleep for many nights.  Then he proceeded with checking the 2 sets of ancient coins and Qi Lin.  One of the 2 sets of coins had was haunted whereas the other was fine.  As for the pair of Qi Lin, he said they were 'going bad' and if nothing was done to 'repair' it, it would start to attract spirits to inhibit it.  He then continued to check the rest of the items.

The psychic said that tainted items could be 'repaired' by exposing them to lots of sunlight for a while or soaking them in water for a long time.  He also recommended those items to be thrown away if they were not worth keeping.  The rest of the items were the small goat and rabbit ornaments, golden amulet, the 'Y' pendulum-like thingy and the golden pagoda filled with dirt.  All of these items were fine except for the pagoda.  I saved the pagoda as the last item because it caused the most trouble to my family.  The psychic checked the pagoda and said that it had a some sort of a genie living in it and reeked bad energy.  According to him, the entity in this particular item, and the rest of the tainted items, would linger amongst the people living around their respective items disturbing them physically and mentally.  As the pagoda usually sat at my brother's work desk he got the greatest impact from the spirit of that pagoda.  Mom also got affected quite a lot because she would sweep my brother's room everyday.  The entity in the pagoda made my brother mentally disturbed and often seemed lost, forgetful and can't think straight.  My mom on the other hand was affected in the knee.  Her knee was so painful that she couldn't climb the stairs.

Then that night after meditating and having those items checked, my brother and my parents decided to keep only the amulet and the 'Y' pendulum thingy and dump all the rest of the Feng Shui items, tainted or untainted, empowered or not.  They suspected that all the spirits that occupied those items came from the uneasy ground where the haunted apartment we lived in was.  The 2 plush cats were wrapped up in a plastic bag and trashed somewhere.  The rest of the items also went into a roadside dumpster but the pagoda had a special case.  Before it got dumped, my dad opened it and poured out all the dirt.  After that they drove home and told me everything.  I listened as usual until the dumping part.  Hearing it made me feel like a big hammer slammed me hard right in the chest.  Those things cost more than 400 bucks and they were all gone in one evening!  To me it was like throwing 400 buck into the dumpster.  Imagine how many USEFUL things I could have bought with that amount of money it weren't invested in some Feng Shui trinket mumbo jumbo.  Oh...

 - to be continued in part 4 - 

Read Part 1 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 2 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 4 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4

Sunday, November 1, 2009

Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 1 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 3 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

Read Part 4 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4

My whole family panicked.  After seeing specialists and Chinese physicians, and mom was still coughing out blood!  My brother decided to take my mom to the specialist again but this time, instead of an X-ray, my brother took a picture of the blood my mom coughed out with his cellphone to show to the specialist.  Before they went, I asked my brother to show me the the picture of mom's bloody cough since I never actually saw how much blood she usually coughed out.  When I saw that picture, I nearly coughed out blood myself.  The blood was bright-red (oxygenated blood), and the amount was as much as someone who got hit in the gut pretty badly would cough out!  Mom never got hit in the gut!  Mom never even complained about stomach pains or anything but she did complain about one thing - irritation in her lungs.  Then I thought, "Last time the specialist said that there wasn't anything wrong with her lungs besides some minor infection.  How can minor infection cause someone to cough out blood?!"  This doesn't make sense!  It's absurd!  There was definitely something very wrong.  I told my mom about this illogicality and she agreed with me.  Then she finally thought of a last resort - a psychic.

Talk about psychic, we did consult a psychic after my brother complained about his health for a few months.  The psychic said that my brother was haunted by a Malay old women.  He then told us that she wanted "nasi Lemak", a typical, traditional Malay cuisine which literary translates to "rice fat" in English.  To get rid of her, my brother had to offer her what she wanted.  My brother did as the psychic said and my brother did feel some weight off his shoulders.  We even asked to psychic to scan our apartment at that time to see if there were any other things to be cleansed and he said no.  After that, we actually thought that the Malay old lady was the culprit and now that she's gone, everything was gonna be fine.  Haha... That was what we thought.  If that was the sole culprit, what about mom's sickness?

We arranged for another meeting with a psychic.  This time we tried another more powerful and straightforward psychic as we thought that the psychic we previously consulted was not telling us everything.  My parents and my brother went to meet the psychic but I stayed at home to cook instead.  Hoho... when they came home, everything was revealed.

My mom was haunted by the spirit of an old woman who died on the operation bed, if I'm not mistaken, during a surgery.  It caused my mom to feel stretched in the lower abdomen and choked down the throat to the chest and lungs.  The blood that mom coughed out came from her lungs out of no other specific reason besides being haunted by that spirit!  On the other hand, my brother was haunted by the spirit of an Iban, (one of the ethinic groups of people in my country) middle-aged woman who also wanted Nasi Lemak.  We were all shocked!  My mom told the psychic that we previously consulted another psychic, whom he also knows, and was told that there was nothing else spiritually wrong then besides the Malay woman who asked for Nasi Lemak.  This psychic (the more straightforward one) then told us that not just out apartment was haunted, the whole block, in fact the whole big region that hosted our apartment's housing estate, the commercial center across the street and all the other housing estates within that area and thereon is an uneasy ground.  According to him he as scanned a lot of the houses there an all were haunted or at least had some spirits.  And anyone can get a haunting after another!  Like there is an otherworld community that cooperates with each other to haunt people in our world!  After the meeting with the psychic, my parents and my brother went home to do what was told to cleanse off the hauntings with disappointment about picking a very wrong place to move to.

The next day, my brother remembered a dream he had that was about a man, quite decently dressed but didn't look Chinese, who told him something like "All your profits as out of what I lent to you...".  This time we took into account that it could be a spiritual problem too.  So we went to see the psychic again.  This time, I went along.  When my brother told the psychic about his dream, he said that it was indeed the spirit that helped my brother get a boost in his profits when we moved to that new apartment.  He also said that that man had some connection with the Iban middle-aged woman who asked for Nasi Lemak.  My mom also asked about herself and the psychic said that her haunting has been gotten rid off and she would be fine.  After that, my mom asked the psychic to 'check' me and my dad.  To be honest, I was a little nervous.  He asked to see my palms and after a while, he said I was fine.  (Phew! Thank God!)  Then it was my dad's turn.  It turned out that my dad was haunted by the spirit of a little girl.  No wonder he craved for sweet food and acted childishly all the time!  After that meeting, we drove round town to get the things need to cleanse our "new found hauntings".  That was when we planned our second house hunt.

Throughout that whole week, we got busy hunting for a place to move to.  In the end we found a place to move to.  This time, it's a new terraced house for rent.  I'm currently living in this house (at the time of typing this story).  Mom asked me and my brother about the Feng Shui of the house because she knew that we have learned quite a lot about Feng Shui.  I don't know what my brother thought at that time but personally, I claimed that house has quite good Feng Shui.  And we had a good feeling when we entered it to view its interior, with the permission of the landlord of course.  This time, from the lesson we learned from moving into the apartment we were currently living in, we had the psychic check the house.  He viewed the house with us and after that, he whispered to my dad, "This house is really good!  You can buy it if you can."  So I thought that since even the psychic says its OK, then it's OK.  But just for an extra precaution, we decided get the Feng Shui of the house checked.  Although I admit that I'm still an amature in Feng Shui, I am sure that house had good Feng Shui but it's better to leave the real deal to real masters.  So we got the Feng Shui master that checked our haunted apartment to check this house.

He said there wasn't anything bad about this house besides the regular "unfavorable parts" that can be present in all building.  The unfavorable parts thing is a technical Feng Shui thing so I won't be explaining that here in my story.  The Feng Shui master also picked a good date for us to move into that house and told us the appropriate moving-in procedure that we kinda skipped when we moved into the haunted apartment.  Ok.  All were set!  On the day we moved in, my whole family did what the Feng Shui master told us to do.  We had a hearty breakfast at our new home.  Since this move-house occasion went smoothly, I thought everything should be alright if we live in this house.

 - to be continued in part 3 - 

Read Part 1 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 3 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

Read Part 4 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4

Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-1

Read Part 2 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 3 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

Read Part 4 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4

Recently I have been through a lot, and I mean A LOT.  "A lot of what?" you may ask.  Well, it's quite a story to tell and it has something to do with Feng Shui and something NOT Feng Shui.  Anyway, here's my story.

For the past 2 years, my family and I have been looking for a good home to live in.  We lived in a small apartment since I was small.  Now that me and my brother have grown up, and there was only one bedroom in that apartment, it got really squeezy and besides, that apartment is like decades old and I heard from the tenants living on the highest floor experiencing leaks and ceiling material falling on them.  What's worst, petty, busy-bodies and smoking punks all around the apartment just outside our doorstep.  Thus began our house hunt.

Ok, it's really gonna get long from here so let me summarize.  We did 2 house hunts.  The first one was when we still living in the squeezy apartment.  From that hunt, we found a bigger, quite new apartment for rent.  And the second one was a year, let me repeat, A YEAR after we moved into the bigger apartment we found.  That second hunt led us to the house I'm living in now.  I have never experienced such an abrupt change in my home in the history of my life! (or at least as much as I can recall)  I'm still not sure if there's gonna be a 3 house hunt.  Anyway, here's the real part of my story.

After our first hunt, we were happy to find a new housing estate with new blocks of apartments to move to.  We thought it was indeed a superb home for us.  That estate had a parameter barricade and a guard booth for security.  It even had a commercial center across the street from the estate and facilities that includes a swimming pool.  It was like the total opposite of our small, wrecked apartment with no security and facilities.  My brother believed in Feng Shui and had some knowledge about it.  So he even did some Feng Shui-ing for the apartment we were gonna rent and found that it wasn't bad at all.  So we moved in ASAP.

At first, it was paradise.  No punks.  No petty people, busy-bodies, no nothing bad at all.  It was peaceful.  My brother even experienced a boost in profits in his online business!  That caused him to think that that apartment's Feng Shui was so good.  In fact, too good to be true!  On the other hand, we had some difficulties at first too but we just took those as just normal thing that everyone would experience when moving to a new home.  As for me, I was struggling with college... those damned days...  I was glad I finally graduated... Anyway back to the story.

After 6 months or so, on the first day of Chinese New Year the following year, my brother lost his profit stream.  I was like "What?!".  And he was totally slumped and devastated.  I could never forget that look he had on his face at that moment.  All the hard work in about 2 years just gone overnight.  Luckily he had another small source of income that could support us.  My parents are retirees.  Then he thought maybe his knowledge of Feng Shui wasn't good enough and maybe he overlooked a crucial flaw in the apartment.  So we decided to consult a real Feng Shui master instead.

My brother and I were both skeptical about it at first because we know that that Feng Shui master does the regular place-special-item-for-good-feng-shui thing and according to what both of us learned from the internet and Joey Yap's books, Feng Shui doesn't involve placing trinkets and statues to better it.  Well, just as a word of credit, we got our Feng Shui knowledge mostly from Joey Yap's Feng Shui books and those books are just great for those who want to know about Feng Shui.  (Thanks for the great books, Joey!)  Back to the story.  When it comes to Feng Shui, at that time, we admitted that we were just a bunch of amateurs.  So we consulted the Feng Shui master anyway.  At the end of the consult, as we expected, we were advised to place things here and there.  We did, for the goodness sake.  Personally, I felt no difference at all but I still couldn't say.  My brother, did feel at ease for some time.  His small income stream got a little bigger but things were still not right.  My brother started complaining about his health and my mom got more agitative and built up quite a temper.  For mom, that was quite normal for me and I always tried to cool her down but end up adding more oil to the fire instead.  As for my brother, he had totally changed.

Throughout the whole or the other half of the year of living there, things got from bad to worse,  we even bought more of those so called Feng Shui ornaments to put in our home but it just keeps getting worse.  Honestly, I didn't feel anything beside the tension build-up between my family members.  Due to my brother's discomfort in his health, we even made trips out of town to see a chiropractor.  This one's for real because my brother had quite bad scoliosis.  Thanks to that chiropractor from Taiwan, he's a lot better now. (another word of credit here :D)

Then at the end of that 1 year of living there, my mom started complaining about her health.  It got me down right damn worried.  "Mom too?!  No!".  Here sickness got me sleepless nights because she complained that her lungs felt uneasy and she coughed out blood.  We consulted a specialist about mom's condition and results sounded like the doctor was even unsure himself.  I didn't know who to turn to so I surfed and combed the whole Internet for answers.  My brother did the same too and we often ended up on the same website.  All that searching gave me the knowledge about Traditional Chinese Medicine a.k.a TCM.  And out of all I found, mom's case matched those of severe heatstroke that caused a nerve to rupture and bleed, in short, epistaxis.  I didn't actually see the amount of blood she coughed out so I just advised her to get more rest and eat more cooling foods to dispel the heat in the body so that she won't have another rupture.

She did did what I told her and it stopped for a while.  But then it came back again.  The same thing all over.  Like the Feng Shui case, we decided to consult a Chinese physician.  But this time, I was right.  It was heat stroke.  "Hey, not bad.  I can do TCM.", I thought.  (I'm not crediting myself here, ok... Or maybe I should. :P)  So she took the herbs she got from the Chinese physician.  Then... she coughed blood again!  "No way!"

 - to be continued in part 2 - 

Read Part 2 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-2

Read Part 3 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-3

Read Part 4 here: Not Feng Shui - A True Blue Story, Seriously! Part-4