[NaoReviews] Made in Malaysia


Title: Made in Malaysia: Stories of Hometown Heroes and Hidden Gems
Author: Alexandra Wong
Price: Generally around RM32.90
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
TL;DR: Take a moment to breathe and smile.

Disclaimer: I know the author personally but she did not ask me to write this review.

The thing about picking up non-fiction Malaysian books is that I often have very little faith in their content. I am also uncomfortable with the vast majority of them, if only because they seem to be mainly feel good or deliberately inflammatory.

So I was a little jaded, perhaps, when Made in Malaysia reached my hands. And as it turned out, this was what I needed.

From tales of getting lost and finding friendly faces, to talks with a train driver to a magical Sarawak visit, Alex imbues her stories with curiosity and wonder. You’ll probably find yourself giggling and laughing as you read them.

What really struck me though, was the quiet dignity and respect she treats her interviewees with.

There’s Lipu, the Lady of the Longhouse who inspires. There’s impromptu interviews with bus ticket collectors and taxi drivers, who exhibit their own quiet pride in their occupation. Then there’s the one about the railway driver, Azmi who gives her one of the best pieces of advice to have in life.

And there’s the one called “She’s all heart.”

This is the story that touched me the most. That still moves me to tears even after all this while.

It is, in my opinion, the most important story in the book.

Not just because I believe in organ donation.

Not just because I think Dr Lela’s story should be told.

But because the way Alex tells Dr Lela’s story pays tribute to the grieving families who choose to donate their loved ones’ body so someone else could live. They are not nameless corpses who may have passed on in accidents, but human beings who were loved, adored, and cared while they were alive.

And thanks to their donations, other families can continue to enjoy the same.

You could, I suppose, read most of her stories online (a large majority of the stories in this book WAS taken from her Navel Gazer column).

I think though, that it would be better to buy the book. As a reminder of what being a human and perhaps secondarily, a Malaysian, is all about.

Who knows? You might discover your own Hometown Hero.

Quick #TILs

Have a longer blog post idea but that one requires more writing and thinking than the brainpower I have right now. Suffice to say it’s about celebrating the small victories and joys in life. Which leads me to yesterday’s TILs:

  • When you learn that Cold Storage in KLCC opens at 9am AND they sell your favourite coffee at RM2 (instead of having to depend on MyNew’s inflated prices)
  • And that Cold Storage has decent food at Obamanotbad.jpg prices
  • Helping a dear friend feel better and help herself
  • Broken reasoning encourages faux anger in me. I just like feeling outraged, which is a sign that I need to find another outlet for my frustrations
  • Apparently, CIMB might reject a housing loan request if the property has a Master Title after 10 years
  • They also want really updated accounts and salary slips
  • Public Bank on the other hand, made me sign a consent form for them to investigate me

There was quite a lot of adulting done. Which means it is appropriate to end this post with this:

Image of bunny snoozing. Caption reads: I do not want to adult today. I don't even want to human today. Today, I want to bunny. From RabbitRescue.Ca
Image from Rabbit Rescue Incorporated

[NaoReviewing] buddhify2

buddhify2 logo
buddhify2 logo

Platform: Android/iOS
Price: Android $2.99/ iOS $4.99
Rating: 4.5 out of 5
Who should use it: Meditation beginners and those who need a quick break between things

buddhify2 which is the app we’re talking about today, is actually the sequel to buddhify classic. Both have the same goal; bringing mindfulness to people in an easy way.

What I love about Buddhify is that it makes meditation easy. With buddhify 2, you can choose a meditation track to suit your current situation, rather than applying the same technique and time limit to every circumstance.

buddhify's situational meditations
buddhify’s situational meditations

Having a hard time at work? Open the “Feeling Stressed” and choose a meditation. Walking in the City? Choose from six options to fit your mood. Having pain or illness? They also have meditations to help work you through it.

The first time I used the “Going to Sleep > Cradle” mix, I ended up falling sleep in a matter of seconds. I woke up, feeling unusually refreshed and awake.

Buddhify also has a system in place that recognises time; switching the app open before midnight highlighted the “Going to Sleep” category, while the “Can’t Sleep” category is activated after that. When I was writing this entry at 4pm on Sunday, then I got Travelling. Opening this 2pm on a weekday highlighted the Being Online category.

buddhify's solo section, for those who can meditate on their own
buddhify’s solo section, for those who can meditate on their own

The voices used in Buddhify is a mix of male and female. Both are soothing and calming, though some speak a little too fast for me. The tracks are paced well too; they have just the right amount of silence and voice that you won’t be worried the app has crashed or the phone’s gone silent (which has happened with other meditation apps).

Buddhify, as I mentioned earlier, is especially useful for those dipping their feet into meditation and mindfulness. If you’ve been practicing regularly though, you may find the voices a little distracting and/or annoying, but they’re great for carving out pockets of sanity in an insane day.

This is one of those paid apps that I absolutely adore. I cannot recommend it enough. And really, is RM10.48 (by Google Play’s current exchange rates) really so high a price to pay for sanity pockets? ;)

A quick update

If everything goes well, I’ll be posting a [NaoReviewing] piece on Buddhify this Sunday. I love this meditation app, and it’s been helping me find quiet spots to meditate. Works wonders when I’m standing around in the LRT (current job posting’s in KLCC for the short term).

I’m also planning to upload a video or two about my Clash of Clan attacks. Mainly because I just love seeing my witches in action. There was also a fun GoHog attack I recently finished I had too, so that’s always good.

Things I’m learning this week: Screen recording for Android and how to add a voiceover to a Youtube video. Am also planning to do a quick ebook on a social media career in Malaysia, but haven’t had time to sit down and write yet (or rather, brain’s been on holiday).

With that, see you guys in a bit!

PS: If Zrytec and Cetrizine as antihistamines don’t work for you, consider going for TelfastD. Got a strip from Guardian KLCC today at RM14.70, and my nose stopped dripping within 40 minutes. With the haze going around I’ll take all the antihistamines that won’t kill me. ^^l

Fiverr: New Level Reached!

I just hit level 1 on Fiverr! That’s a good thing, because I can now offer extras and charge accordingly. Am thinking of making “will translate script from English to Malay” as an extra for my voiceover gig. Done so. If you need a voice over or want a quick translation, hire me!