Thursday, November 19, 2009

Living with dyslexia

Dyslexia is often regarded as a developmental learning difficulty but I would like to think of it as learning difference.

If you’ve been reading my blog, I would never have come across as a dyslexic. The fact is I am. I’ve had to contend with learning difficulties in school because the traditional educational setting just do not recognize the possibility of children learning in a different way from their peers. It is especially so in the Malaysian educational setting where students learn by rote. It was exceptionally hard for me, thus I am almost always among the last in class during my school years. That’s not to say that I’m stupid. Far from it, actually. I won’t blow my own trumpet and say I’m exceptionally intelligent either. It is just that I do better at some subjects, languages and arts specifically, and just can’t understand other subjects. I was always the top scorer in school for English and Bahasa Malaysia so the teachers are always perplexed by the rest of my results. I have never had to sit down and study when it came to languages and arts. It all just came naturally. By the time I was in secondary school, I was helping some of my classmates with their homework. However, being good in languages is not enough to make it in life. My parents, worried for my future, sent me to tuition after tuition in the hope that my results would improve. That didn’t work, obviously, and I hated those after-school tuition sessions fervently. It was such a surprise to everyone that I even managed to scrape through my exams.

At that time, students were put into two categories, the smart ones and the not-so-smart ones. No one had any inkling about learning disabilities then. It’s a different world today, thank goodness because my daughter was recently diagnosed as a dyslexic too. I’m not too worried about her diagnostic because frankly, I don’t see dyslexia as a disability. I see it as more of a gift because dyslexics also happen to be very creative people. At a time when everyone wants to “think out of the box”, no one can do it better than dyslexics. Can you imagine what a boring world this would be without dyslexics? If dyslexic luminaries such as Albert Einstein, Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Lee Kuan Yew, Richard Branson and countless others can achieve such great heights of success, dyslexia can only be described as a gift.

When I am confronted by mothers who revel in discussing the number of As their children got in their last exam, I am comforted by what Sir Jackie Stewart said, “You be nice to people with dyslexia because one day you might be working for them”. That just about makes my day.

Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Reasons for divorce

Recently, it was reported in the local dailies that divorce rates were high in Terengganu. The reasons given for divorce borders on ridiculousness. How does boring sex, spouses in old pajamas and whose body odour smells like fish crackers even get into the equation for divorce these days? Boring sex life, maybe, but old pajamas and fish crackers? Call me old-fashioned, but whatever happened to simple old "irreconciliable differences" as reasons for divorce? If we're to believe such ludicruos reasons for divorce, then we'll all soon be expected to go to bed looking like Victoria's Secret models. Don't forget a spritz of a sexy perfume to raise the temperatures! Do we now have such unrealistic expectations for our spouses that a marriage can't work simply because the spouse concerned goes to bed donning old pajamas? The reasons are highly suspect, for it may seem like just an excuse to get rid of wife no. 1, to make way for wife no. 2, no. 3 and no. 4? What do you think?

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Weekend buffet lunch @ Oriental Banquet

We celebrated my mom's birthday recently at Oriental Banquet for a weekend lunch buffet. We had originally wanted to try the buffet at Noble House in KL but they are always fully booked, thus we were told to try our luck at Oriental Banquet.

We managed to book our table without fuss for lunch on Sunday. Our reservation was for 11:30am and when we arrived there were only a couple of tables of guests there. The buffet line was not completely set up yet so I managed to sneak in some photos while they set up. There's a decent amount of food there so I will just let the pictures speak for themselves.

Our menu for RM39.00++ per pax consists of a bowl of sharksfin soup with crabstick for each person. The soup was quite mediocre although for RM39.00++ it's decent with real sharksfin.
I liked the appetiser section where the food is served in dainty spoons and shooter glasses. My favourite is the pomelo salad with octopus. The tangy salad and the chewy octopus topped with crispy squid is quite addictive and I found myself going back for more. The crispy fish skin topped with salsa is also quite good.
For the hot mains, there were a wide selection of dishes to choose from such as spinach tofu with mushrooms, moneybags, steamed fish, braised chicken, glutinous rice, yong tau foo and noodles.

There's a section of hot soups too with bak-kut-teh, yellow wine chicken and carrot soup.The selection of dishes are rotated so there is actually a wide range if you stay for longer hours. There's peking duck which I had to queue up for and also suckling pig for which I had to wait for the 3rd round before I finally got a chance to get to it before it's all gone.

I managed to take some pictures of the process for the Peking duck.

There's just a small table for desserts like Chinese pancake, ice-cream, fruits and hot desserts such as gingko and soya.

Oriental Banquet is a part of the Oriental Restaurants Group and is located at 16 Jalan 19/1, Section 19, 46200 Petaling Jaya, Selangor. Tel : 03-7957 8488.