You give me something (2)…

Some of you may recall that when I was in KL the middle of last month, my dear friend, Mandy, gave me a whole lot of goodies, including this box of Shat Kek Ma

Shat Kek Ma 1

When I dropped by the Kiew Brothers (Woe lai yea) – Jalan Alor branch on that trip, I saw it on the shelves…but since I had not had it before, I decided to just stick to the bak kua (BBQ sliced pork) and my usual Bisgood Company heong peah and did not buy any of that to try.

This was what it looked like inside…

Shat Kek Ma 2

…and when I opened the packet, it turned out to be something like those honey cornflakes mini-cups that people usually make to serve to visitors during festivals like Chinese New Year.

Shat Kek Ma 3

They’re pretty nice but sweet – so, I don’t think I would want to buy more.

And talking about Mandy, she and Zee sent me these birthday cards which arrived a day or two before the actual date…

From Mandy & Zee

My brother in Auckland also gave me a card for the occasion, which he sent through Melissa while she was on transit there, Wellington – KLIA. I did not open it right away and in fact, I had forgotten all about it. There it was – on the table…buried under all the bills and the cards and what not and two days after my birthday, I decided to clear the mess…and I saw it! I quickly unsealed it and lo and behold! There was an ang pao inside, minus the ang pao packet – I guess it is not as easy to get hold of those in NZ. Gee whiz! Thanks, bro…

On the actual day, other than the really nice birthday cake, I also got these from my missus and daughter…

From missus & daughter

My old wallet is falling apart at the seams – due to old age and definitely not because I have too much money to stuff in it, and I had to buy super glue to stick the edges back together again. Now, I have a brand new wallet – Obermain no less! Hehehehehe!!!

Well, I guess by now, everybody knows that I love Scottish shortbread and butter cookies, so to add to those that my missus and daughter had given me, I got these from my in-laws…

From in-laws

Gosh! All those would probably last me way till after Christmas has come and gone…

My sister got me this book among the bagful of personal effects…

From sis

I have not read it yet but my daughter had and she enjoyed it. That should make pretty good reading inflight material when we’re travelling to Penang and back this week and next.

I received this from my ex-student, Judy…

From Judy

Lee…XXXL and it fitted me like a glove. Very nice and comfortable – now I know that I can actually buy t-shirts my size around here and I do not need to go to KL to get them anymore.

Then, there were also the Secret Recipe cheesecakes and shepherd pie that I got from my good friend, also a teacher, whose wife just gave birth to their third child recently. I guess he does not read blogs, so he does not know that I’m not really crazy about those. Anyhow, there is an English proverb that goes like this: “Never look at a gift horse in its mouth!”

Last but not least, Jimmy, another very good friend of mine who’s also a teacher currently working in Bintulu, came some 3-4 days after my birthday, so unfortunately, he missed the birthday dinner. But anyway, he brought me, among a whole lot of edible stuff, this very nice pen…

From Jimmy 1

…but I do not think I deserve this though…

From Jimmy 2

I always give my best but I would never have the audacity to call myself anything like that, that’s for sure.

Thank you so very much to one and all for the presents…and also to everybody for their birthday greetings and good wishes via smses and on Facebook…as well as in their comments in my blog. One in particular that I would like to give special mention to came from an ex-student in Melbourne, Australia (who just came home the other day for the summer holidays)…and it goes like this:

Work hard, and yet be humble
Share all that you have
These may be the most important of many lessons
that I have learnt from you…
…Take a stand on things that matter
and always keep your head held high
Embrace things close to the heart
and yes, sometimes men do cry
These lessons in life cannot be taught;
they must be learned.
Happy birthday, sir – you have taught me a lot
and I respect you for what I have learnt.

Gestures of gratitude and appreciation such as this certainly make one feel that whatever one does in life, no matter how insignificant it may seem at that point in time, is indeed worthwhile. I was deeply touched by the beautiful message…