A Most Exasperating Day!

Posted by M ws On Sunday, March 18, 2012 12 comments
As some of you know, I learnt martial arts before - a little bit of MMA and Wing-tsun but quit the latter because I used to get battered and injured. For some time, I had been mulling over which martial arts I should learn next and it was a tough decision between Kendo, Fencing, Wing-Tsun and Aikido.

Initially, I wanted very much to learn Kendo because I did not have to buy the equipment i.e. the Kendo-Bogu which you can view AT THIS LINK. It would have been substantial savings except for one thing. I had told my friend's mom about the injuries my friend had suffered on the head from Kendo sparring and if I borrowed the equipment, I would be practising double standards so that was out.

As for fencing, I did not have any other friend who is currently attending the fencing classes so that was out as well. If I continued with my Wing-Tsun classes, it would mean being battered again :-( and injuries which I cannot afford to suffer. Hence the decision to take up Aikido was a plain and simple one.

I believe doing Aikido will be very good training to manage my anger seething deep within. I am not the gentle, docile woman that some think I am. Words in a blog do not portray the fierce woman that I am in reality. Ask my friends and students and they can tell you how looks can kill :-). Anyway, I am almost alright now (thanks to a blog reader who sent me some Chinese herbs) and hope to be well enough for my first lesson this coming Tuesday at another friend's dojo.

According to Wikipedia:

Aikido is a Japanese martial art developed by Morihei Ueshiba as a synthesis of his martial studies, philosophy, and religious beliefs. Aikido is often translated as "the Way of unifying (with) life energy" or as "the Way of harmonious spirit." Ueshiba's goal was to create an art that practitioners could use to defend themselves while also protecting their attacker from injury.

Aikido is performed by blending with the motion of the attacker and redirecting the force of the attack rather than opposing it head-on. This requires very little physical strength, as the aikidōka (aikido practitioner) "leads" the attacker's momentum using entering and turning movements. The techniques are completed with various throws or joint locks.

Aikido derives mainly from the martial art of Daitō-ryū Aiki-jūjutsu, but began to diverge from it in the late 1920s, partly due to Ueshiba's involvement with the Ōmoto-kyō religion. Ueshiba's early students' documents bear the term aiki-jūjutsu.

Ueshiba's senior students have different approaches to aikido, depending partly on when they studied with him. Today aikido is found all over the world in a number of styles, with broad ranges of interpretation and emphasis. However, they all share techniques learned from Ueshiba and most have concern for the well-being of the attacker.


Some might ask. Why am I angry? Over many things.

1. The horrible traffic jams in Penang which are enough to raise my blood pressure. My friends know how I HATE to go out unless it is absolutely necessary. How much effort has been put in to solve this worsening problem that has affected our quality of life?

2. The increasing cost of living

(a) Today, I wanted to buy durian kuih and to my horror, that strip which used to be RM7 and then 8RM but it is now 10RM . Despite the increase of 2RM, I did not mind paying RM10 because the size used be the same but today, that strip of durian kuih is now shorter and thinner. I told the lady I changed my mind.

(b) Then I walked to the coffee shop nearby to buy the famous laksa. I do not eat carbohydrates (part of my diet - loss of 25 pounds registered by this morning) i.e. rice, noodles, meehoon, spaghetti, buns, potates etc so naturally, whenever I order laksa/koay teow soup/hokkien mee, it must be WITHOUT noodles/koay teow and ONLY with vegetables and no meat. After the laksa towkeh packed everything (including 2 tiny spring rolls), I asked for the price and was horrified when he told me the total was RM5.30.

I do not mind paying for quality food. In fact I do not mind paying 18RM for a bowl of laksa e.g. at a lovely cafe in town IF quality ingredients are used and the taste is superb. Then the guy started complaining about the escalating costs of ingredients etc and I kept quiet for I would only make my judgement once I went home to start eating the laksa. I thought to myself, RM 3.30 for laksa and the stall beside it was selling Hokkien Mee at 2.80RM and the wan tan mee was going at RM3.00, Hmmm....

When I went home, I poured the soup into the bowl and I am not exaggerating when I say that I only saw a tiny morsel of fish meat!!! RM3.30 for soup, one morsel of ikan kembong/sardine and a handful of shredded lettuce, sliced cucumber and a few pieces of pineapple? The soup was diluted and NOTHING like what it USED to be - soup with lots of fish meat! For sure, I will NEVER buy from that stall again.

(c) For dinner, my family and I went to a nearby hawker complex and I ordered honeydew with milk. I told the lady that I wanted less ice. Well, when the drink came, it tasted more like honey dew juice WITHOUT milk but the lady insisted it was as I ordered. As I was very thirsty and did not feel like eating, I gave the lady the same order.

I was boiling mad when she brought that glass of juice because:

i) it was PACKED with ice

ii) the level was MUCH LESS than the first glass I ordered - approximately one inch from the rim whereas the first glass was almost full.

I really felt ripped off and told the lady that she should not have packed the glass with so much ice and that the actual volume of juice + milk was very little not forgetting the fact that it was NOT filled to the brim.

Well, she insisted that it was not packed with ice. So I used the spoon and lifted the packed ice and the amount of honeydew juice + supposed milk was about 1.5 inches of the glass!

I told her that I did not want it any more and she said - oh it is ok - she would fill it to the brim with WATER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Hmmm...it is really saddening that escalating costs have made some so unscrupulous in their endeavour to eke out a living.

Life is NOT getting better...not for older folks like me. I really worry for the younger generation who have to cope with stagnant salaries (unlike those in civil service) and who may not ever get to buy a decent place of their own.

Years ago when I was teaching Economics, I used to lecture about the change in the nature of goods and services during inflation e.g. how the price of a product may be the same - e.g. a bar of chocolate BUT the quality may be more inferior because:
  • different type of cocoa is used
  • transfats instead of full cream milk
  • less in quantity and quality e.g. 220g instead of 250g
  • etc..

So with all these examples that we see in everyday life, are we enjoying a better quality of life today?

I beg to differ. In the basket of goods and services, our ringgit is getting lighter and cannot keep pace with the rising costs of living. Sighs...

Do share your experiences/comments/observations. Thanks!

12 comments to A Most Exasperating Day!

  1. says:

    PJN Aikido is ok for ladies. The locks and throws are very powerful. I was active in this art a very long time ago.......like about 45 years. Have fun and learn the beauty of Aikido.

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Hi PJN

    Long time no hear!!! Thanks for your encouraging response.

    You must be very good in Aikido! Which dojo do you belong to?

    Hope you can share more of your experiences.

    Thanks! Do keep in touch!

    Best wishes

  1. says:

    Jimmy Liew You are lucky to get a bowl of mee for RM3.

    Where I live, it is minimum RM4 for any type of mee.

  1. says:

    UP41 Well well To add more items to your list of things that ppl should not do to make $$$ - heard from friends that plastic is added into boiling oil by some hawkers to make the fried stuff such as YauChaKui or bisang goreng , crispy !!!!!!! Hope this is not true but there are more than one person telling me and one guy has posted a picture of it in the FB sometime back.

    Are you sure you can take all the rolling and falling of Aikido practice ???

  1. says:

    PJN I was quite good in Aikido a long time ago. Now I just take walks in shopping mall, stop eating hawker food, and try to stay alive longer. Sometimes I apply aikido when I do gardening. Sounds funny? Learn, apply and cheat a little.

    Have fun.

  1. says:

    cin2tan after 10+ years of marriage ONLY then i discovered biniku has learned wongfeihung type of kungfu when she was in the primary chinese school ...SIGHS !

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear UP41

    Yes, I am actually quite worried about that cos of my back injury but have told my instructor about it. I just want to learn self-defense and not to be on the offensive. I really believe we have to arm ourselves with some martial arts knowledge for personal safety. I sent my boy for wushu lessons fr the time he was 5. Unfortunately, he has given up because he could not follow the more complicated instructions due to his weak grasp of Mandarin. Take care and have a good weekend!


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Jimmy Liew,

    In Penang, the 3rm worth of a bowl of noodles does not come with much garnishing or meat. I know portions are bigger in KL, even for franchised kopi tiams. That is the profit motive ...

    Take care and wishing you a great weekend.


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear PJN

    I am sure existing dojos in Penang would welcome you :-). One of my cousins teaches Aikido in Penang. You are very creative to incorporate Aikido into your daily life. Way to go! Take care and God bless you!


  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Dear Cin2tan

    No kidding? Ah maybe if you call her Sup Sam Cheh (13th Auntie), then you can be Wing Fei Hoong LOL!!!

    Take care and have a good day!


  1. says:

    cin2tan NO, bukan sup sam cheh BUT sup sam yi !
    I NO afraid of her one bcos she SURVIVES on my pencen le !!

  1. says:

    masterwordsmith Haha! I know..but I modified it to Sam Sum Cheh cos I thought it might incur her wrath if I suggested you call her Auntie instead of sister :-).

    Ah...the power of $$$


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