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The Comforting Smell(s) of Coffee

A glass of strong hot local coffee. Good drink to have when hanging out with friends or family, either at home or at the “Mamak” shop round the corner. (@ all rights reserved)

When I was younger, I was an avid coffee drinker. Brewed or instant, it does not matter. The word ‘tea’, then, was no more than just a word in my not so extensive vocabulary at my command then.

Today, of course, I am as much as into drinking tea as I am into drinking coffee. That as well as into other types of beverages.

But coffee is still my beverage of choice whenever I am dining out, especially when I just had my dream dessert of ice cream with brownies.

On the subject of coffee, I remember once coming across this headline which read “Today is International Coffee Day”. It was eye-catching enough to make me stop and read more of the article.

Apparently, International Coffee Day was on October 1st (well, fancy that!) and it had come and passed without much of a whimper.

Just two of the many choices of coffee available nowadays : instant and 3-in-1 coffee. (@ all rights reserved)

But having read that article, it did make me stop and look back at my coffee drinking ‘career’ and try to make sense of it all.

‘Sense of it all?’, you might ask.

Well, coffee was once upon a time looked upon as a pretty bad drink. The (negative) effects of coffee eg caffeine etc were deemed to be not at all conducive to good health.

To make matters worse, the poor beverage was even once touted as (possible) cause of cancer, much to the despair of us coffee drinkers, and was one of the reasons frequently highlighted as to why we should stop drinking coffee.

Local coffee in a tin. Just tell the stall helper your choice of coffee beans, and he’ll grind it for you the way you like it. Or you can just pick one out from the many pre-packed packets of grounded coffee available. (@ all rights reserved)

 

The fact that most of us coffee drinkers were also tobacco loving junkies, of the smoke kind that is, and not of the chewing kind, made the sense of despair even more acute, as smoking too was highlighted as a culprit to bad health and a more potent cause of cancer compared to coffee.

As for me, I put my hands up and admit that I am a coffee drinker. Designer or otherwise, sophisticated or just plain uncomplicated, instant or brewing required. Arabica, robusta, and whatever ‘ca’ or ‘ta’ there might exist in the world of coffee, it does not matter to me.

With all that many types and brands of coffee available, it must be good to be able to make a decision. (@ all rights reserved)

I find that, as I grow older, the coffee that I drink, most often than not, complements not only with the mood I am in, either down-to-earth or just plain ‘hip’ (LOL. Where’s an emoji when you need one!), but also with the surroundings I find myself in at that moment in time.

But as I grew older, I also noticed that my intake of tea has also increased, with me now being able to name a type of tea as my favourite kind, and not a brand.

As it is , my favourite tea at the moment is jasmine tea. Something of a balancing act in the latter stages of my life, I reckon.

Anyway, back to the article on the International Coffee Day. Apparently, efforts to promote and celebrate International Coffee Day were first initiated by the All Japan Coffee Association in 1983. Due to a lack of publicity, I guess the efforts are still ongoing.

Coffee beans ready for the grinder. (@ all rights reserved)

Upon reading the article, an interesting piece of trivia that emerged was that the first coffee beans were thought to have been discovered in Ethiopia, where it was cultivated.

Another piece of trivia is that during the 15th century, the Arabs in Yemen took a liking to the brew and from there, the aroma of freshly brewed coffee gained in popularity, first in Asia and later in Europe via Italy and onward to the Americas.

Personally, I can’t remember when I had my first taste of the brew. Over the years, I guess I have developed a liking for a cuppa of hot and strong coffee, earthy and not too sweet, of course. The kind of coffee that brings me back in time when my family would sit around the dining table, and just talk. That and the laughter.

The many forms of packaging to attract your interest. A far cry from the days of old when coffee just comes in a plain clear plastic bag. (@ all rights reserved)

Back then, the choice of coffee for us simple folks was mainly limited to the coffee beans sourced locally and roasted with margarine, the kind of coffee beans that you could find at the local market’s coffee traders.

It’s always easy to find your way to their stalls. Just follow your nose as the sweet smell of coffee beans being roasted wafts through the air.

Instant coffee were already available back then. But they were not cheap, comparatively, and thus assumed a sort of status symbol as only families with the extra budget can afford instant coffee.

Today, with the many types of coffee available, each packed in attractive and bright packaging, headlined with exclusive sounding brand names, makes buying coffee for the household a very tricky chore. Gone are the days when you can just go and buy coffee off the shelves, your coffee shopping all done within a few seconds.

Cappuccino anyone? (@ all rights reserved)

Nowadays, it would not be surprising seeing people spending a little bit more time at the coffee section, going through the many types of coffee available, and despite having gone through several packets, have yet to select one.

Some though make a fast and safe decision and bought not only one packet but instead, several packets, all of different brands.

Now, that would be a method to resolve your coffee shopping for the next few months.

Next time when you have your morning mug of coffee, take a look at your coffee before taking a sip and just imagine that the coffee you’re drinking, from humble beginnings, it’s now part of a global multi million dollar industry.

How time flies.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

VEP :A mountain out of RM20 per entry?

The Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, Johor Bahru (source : gerbangperdana.com.my)

The Customs, Immigration and Quarantine Complex at Bangunan Sultan Iskandar, Johor Bahru
(source : gerbangperdana.com.my)

After two years since it’s intended implementation was first announced (please also see meandpolitics.wordpress.com on related posts – ‘VEP : An Act of Sabotage?’ as well as ‘Malaysia, Singapore, Johor and the VEP’), the never-ending saga of the implementation of the VEP (or Vehicle Entry Permit) for all foreign-registered cars entering Malaysia is finally over.

Or is it?

To understand the implementation of the program a lot better, a look at the JPJ website at https://vep.jpj.gov.my states that :-

  • ALL foreign –registered vehicles are to register with Road Transport Department (RTD or more commonly known by its Bahasa Malaysia acronym, JPJ). When registering the vehicles the vehicle owners have to produce the necessary documents eg proof of car ownership, insurance etc etc,
  • once registered with the JPJ, these vehicles will be issued non-transferable RFID tags. These RFID tags contains pertinent information with respect to the registered vehicle, and
  • these RFID tags are valid for 5 YEARS

And all these for a processing fee of RM10 (circa RM2.50 or SGD3.30, take your pick).

Once these vehicles are registered and issued the RFID tags, these cars are then permitted to enter the country at any time during that five (5) years the VEP is valid for.

On entering the country, these VEP-registered vehicles are charged a fee called the ROAD CHARGE (RC).  The RC is ….wait for it, RM20 (Yes, its RM20 only) and is charged PER ENTRY (Yes, its PER ENTRY).

The proceeds from the RC is used to offset road maintenance costs, amongst other things.

JOHOR BAHRU 01 NOVEMBER 2016. ( BH JBH380G / METRO JB141J ) Kenderaan Singapura menggunakan sistem caj jalanraya (RC) dikenakan bayaran RM20 untuk masuk ke Malaysia pada hari pertama perlaksanaan di Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, Linkedua, Gelang Patah. NSTP/ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

Sourced from NST : JOHOR BAHRU 01 NOVEMBER 2016. ( BH JBH380G / METRO JB141J ) Kenderaan Singapura menggunakan sistem caj jalanraya (RC) dikenakan bayaran RM20 untuk masuk ke Malaysia pada hari pertama perlaksanaan di Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, Linkedua, Gelang Patah. NSTP/ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

After SO MANY DELAYS since its intended implementation was first announced in July 2014 by the Prime Minister himself, the system was finally and officially implemented on 1 November 2016, at the southern entry points of Johor Bahru (at the Causeway) and Gelang Patah (The Second Link).

And even that, it is not yet the finished article as there are exemptions, for one reason or another, currently in place for motor vehicles, government and diplomatic vehicles, as well as public transportation. It has been announced that some of the exemptions will be lifted while some of them will remain in place.

Now that it’s finally up and running, Malaysians have now to contend with the implied threat of retaliation from the Singapore government IF the system that Malaysia implemented is deemed to be discriminatory against Singapore, as reported by Singapore media.

Judging by the tone of the statement…… well, you know where its leading to. (Knowing which member of the Singapore media reported it will indicate to you that it is very very near and most likely to be an official stance of the government of Singapore.)

Come again? Does that mean that the sovereign government of Malaysia is being threatened with retaliation from Singapore for implementing a system designed to monitor and control traffic entering Malaysia? Like I said earlier, come again!?

It is public knowledge that ALL foreign-registered vehicles entering Singapore has to register with the Land Transport Authority of Singapore (LTA), with supporting documents (but of course).

Upon registering, a plastic card called the AUTOPASS is issued to the owners of these foreign-vehicles. One vehicle, one AUTOPASS.

The AUTOPASS basically controls the entry of your vehicle into Singapore and upon exit, tells you how much you have to fork out for driving on the roads of Singapore, what with the different gantries and charges and the likes.

Upon exiting, it is best to make sure your AUTOPASS has enough credit to pay for all these charges including the VEP (that is if you have used up your free quota of 10 days a year and that it’s not a weekend or a Singapore public holiday or not between the hours of 6pm to 6 am (I think)), otherwise you will be fined an additional sum of money for not having enough credit to begin with, all of which has to be paid PRIOR to exit.

But just how much is the Singapore VEP?

Last I checked, its SGD35 (RM105 or USD25 thereabouts) for private vehicles and SGD40 (RM120 or USD30 thereabouts) for commercial transport vehicles. That was when the then VEP rates were increased from SGD20 and SGD10 in August 2014.

Since then, I have not checked and it has been a long time since I checked.

Sourced from NST : JOHOR BAHRU 01 NOVEMBER 2016. Kenderaan Singapura menggunakan sistem caj jalanraya (RC) dikenakan bayaran RM20 pada hari pertama perlaksanaan di Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, Linkedua, Gelang Patah. NSTP/ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

Sourced from NST : JOHOR BAHRU 01 NOVEMBER 2016. Kenderaan Singapura menggunakan sistem caj jalanraya (RC) dikenakan bayaran RM20 pada hari pertama perlaksanaan di Kompleks Sultan Abu Bakar, Linkedua, Gelang Patah. NSTP/ZULKARNAIN AHMAD TAJUDDIN

Looking at them Singapore VEP rates, I guess that’s why my Malaysian friends who work in Singapore drive to work in Singapore-registered vehicles. Otherwise, they will be contributing more to Singapore that what they get paid by working in Singapore.

I mean, 10 VEP-free days can only go so far and people do work for more than 10 days in a year and yes, I do believe people work to get paid and not pay to work.

It works out for the betterment of the Singapore economy I guess. Auto traders have a business where people buy and sell cars, both new and second-hand. That plus the 10-year ruling, of course.

Workshops in Singapore too would be gainfully employed, with repair and servicing jobs. Otherwise, there might be one less economic activity in Singapore and lots more people with lots of idle time on their hands.

Now if the Singapore authorities want to ‘retaliate’ and ‘match’ Malaysia’s actions for daring to do what it just did, by all means, IF that ‘retaliation’ means that the Singapore VEP is reduced to the RM-equivalent of RM20 per entry.

But in all honesty, I seriously doubt that the Singapore authorities will ever reduce the VEP rates. Increase, yes. Reduce, hhmmmm. But miracles have been known to happen.

In the same tone, Malaysia can also claim that when Singapore implemented their VEP, it was discriminatory against Malaysia. I mean, is there any other country which has land links to the island? And was Malaysia ever consulted? What are the odds of that ever happening? Be consulted that is. And will it ever happen in the future? Your answer is as good as mine.

But seriously folks, is the Singapore government making a mountain out of RM20 per entry? IT IS PER ENTRY, you know. And the maximum a Singapore-registered vehicle or any foreign-registered vehicle for that matter, can stay in Malaysia is three (3) months. That’s theoretically RM0.22 (USD0.05, SGD0.07) per day for the maximum 90 days. Not even the price of a French fries at the neighbourhood McD, I would suggest.

And three months is definitely far longer than the period a FOREIGN national is permitted to come in and stay in Malaysia. Just have a look at your Singapore passports.

Being kiasu does have its limits you know. It may be the accepted norm in Singapore but when dealing with another country who is no less sovereign and independent than you are (as you would like to impress upon everybody), too much kiasu and it’ll border on being ridiculous, never mind offensive.

Thing is, no one’s laughing.

Hari Raya Aidil Fitri, ‘Animal Feed’ & the DAP

Nga Kor Ming of the DAP (image sourced from kualalumpurpost.net)

Nga Kor Ming of the DAP (image sourced from kualalumpurpost.net)

The political scene in Malaysia is really getting ridiculous and is fast becoming irrelevant.

What was once a platform to unite the rakyat is now a platform to divide the rakyat, what with the dissemination of misinformation and disinformation, as well as the dissemination of unfounded and mischievious allegations.

Almost everything is given a political twist and I guess, it would not be long before someone going to the loo to ‘do his personal business’ will also be politicized. How, I would not know but we’ll get there, I’m sure although I would love to be proven wrong.

The most recent ‘piece of work’ involves a politician from the Opposition (who else!) whose aim in life it seems, is to depict everything Malay, be it customs, culture, religion (quoting the Holy Quran to Muslims during political lectures when he himself is not a Muslim really takes the cake!), traditions, and leaders (political, community and royalty) in bad light. In short, everything that a Malay holds dear.

It is common knowledge that Muslims the world over had just observed the holy month of Ramadan, where Muslims fast from day break til sun down. As the holy month of Ramadan draws to an end, as it has always been the case, Muslims begin to make preparations to celebrate the coming of Syawal.

Homes are cleaned and spruced up to make even the most runned down of houses look brand new. As is the custom, the departed are not forgotten with the graves of loved ones cleaned and prayers offered.

These are just some of the preparations that Muslims undertake, to welcome the holy and joyous month of Syawal.

This first day of Syawal is quite commonly known the world over as Eid Mubarak or as we know it in Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri.

In fact, Muslims are commanded to celebrate Syawal, so as to signal the successful observation of the holy month of Ramadan, so much so we are forbidden to fast on the first day of Syawal.

Why forbidden, you might ask?

Well, Muslims are exhorted to fast for six days in the month of Syawal, where the fasting during these six days in Syawal together with the fasting in the holy month of Ramadan is said to be equivalent to fasting for a year. Whether these six days of fasting is done on a continuous basis or staggered over the month of Syawal, it does not matter.

thD8JHTCHJ (umno-online.net)

Giving out money packets to the little ‘uns, part of the Hari Raya Aidil Fitri tradition (image sourced from umno-online.my)

In Malaysia, Hari Raya Aidil Fitri or Eid Mubarak, as a religious festival, starts with morning Aidil Fitri prayers.

Once the prayers are over, the congregation returns to their respective homes where a long standing family tradition of seeking each other’s forgiveness for the past year’s transgressions is enacted : children seeking forgiveness from parents and of parents from their children, wives from their husbands and husbands from their wives.

Basically and essentially, everyone seeks each other’s forgiveness.

Once the soul cleansing is done and relations are renewed, comes the part where the little ‘uns look forward to very much every Hari Raya Aidil Fitri – the giving out of little packets of money called ‘Duit Hari Raya’, the amount of which depends on the one giving out these packets.

Fathers hand out these money packets to their children (for so long as they are not married and/or working yet), husbands to wives, children (matured and gainfully employed) to their parents (normally aged), grandparents to grandchildren and so on.

All this is enacted within the family structure and it gives Hari Raya Aidil Fitri a ‘feel good’ and joyous start to the day.

The scene is replayed over and over again when we pay a visit to friends, relatives and family members at their homes, spread good cheer and greetings between one another.

We drink (no alcohol of course), we eat and we make merry and we seek each other’s forgiveness and we give money packets to the little ‘uns, aged relatives, friends and the needy that we come across.

This theme is replayed in many different scenarios – old folks’ homes, orphanages, and what have you.

Nga Kor Ming - likes courting controversy? (image sourced from utusan.com.my)

Nga Kor Ming – likes courting controversy? (image sourced from utusan.com.my)

Hence, to suddenly read that a non-Muslim, non Malay opposition ‘leader’ and parliamentarian who claims to have grown up in multi racial Malaysia, calling the giving out and receiving of the money packets by Muslims especially our Muslim leaders as ‘bribes’ and ‘animal feed’, is not only TOTALLY uncalled for and TOTALLY out of line BUT it is also an INSULT to the Muslim and Malay communities whose festivity this is.

If he must be reminded, then let him be reminded that the giving out of money packets do not only happen during Hari Raya Aidil Fitri but also Chinese New Year, where the only difference is the colour of the packets but the intentions remains essentially the same.

There are also other celebrations that money packets are given out eg weddings, feasts or to use the local word for it, ‘kenduris’ etc where money packets are given by guests to the host, to lessen his financial ‘burden’ in holding the feast or kenduri in the first place.

Are these considered bribes? Are these considered ‘animal feeds’? If these are ‘animal feeds’, then is the ‘Honourable’ member of Parliament saying that the receiver is an ‘animal’?

Claiming to be misquoted or that your social media accounts were hacked or hijacked by cybertroopers do not hold water any more. Remember the boy who cried wolf?

Furthermore, if the ‘Honourable’ MP remembers correctly, whose interests did the cybertroopers of the Red Bean Army served before and during the last two elections? Well, for sure it ain’t the Government or the ruling Barisan Nasional coalition.

TheMp and his offending posting (image sourced from malaysiandigest.com)

The MP and his offending post (image sourced from malaysiandigest.com)

For the ‘Honourable’ MP and the DAP head of Perak state, as they say, please put your brain ‘into gear’ before letting your mouth ‘run off’.

Or is it already ‘in gear’ when your mouth ‘ran off’?

If so, as the popular saying goes, you will reap what you sow and from his track record thus far, it does not look nor smell good.

Images of Water : The Fresh Cool Streams of Ulu Bendul

Images of water, be it of waves rushing to meet the ocean shore or images of fresh cool water running down a stream has always had that calming and soothing effect on people viewing these images.

Ulu Bendul Water 6 - 31 Dec 2015

The cool streams of Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul (Ulu Bendul Recreational Park), Negeri Sembilan (@ all rights reserved)

Ulu Bendul Water 1 - 31 Dec 2015

Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul (Ulu Bendul Recreational Park), Negeri Sembilan (@ all rights reserved)

 

Ulu Bendul Water 2 - 31 Dec 2015

Hutan Lipur Ulu Bendul (Ulu Bendul Recreational Park), Negeri Sembilan (@ all rights reserved)

 

To do a Leicester : Dreams Do Come True.

LCFC

Leicester City Football Club (image sourced from wikipedia.org)

When the referee of the English Premier League (EPL) football (or soccer, depending on where you are from) game between Spurs and Chelsea blew his whistle to signal the end of the EPL game, the reaction amongst the millions of football fans all over the world, never mind those at Leicester, was a mix of joy, wonderment, amusement, amazement, and maybe, a small dose of pride as well.

All this emotions amidst the many shakes of the head. Why? Because, basically and essentially, for all of us, we have witnessed a fairy tale come true.

lcfc champions bbc

(image sourced from bbc.co.uk)

 

For nine months, twenty teams making up the English Premier League (EPL) battled it out, playing half the total number of 38 games played in a year at home and the other half away at the grounds of opposing teams.

For nine months, we witnessed teams assembled to the tune of a few hundred millions pounds sterling slugged it out with teams that were assembled, for whatever reason there’d be under the sun, for a fraction of the cost and yet, could not get the desired results against these ‘lesser’ teams. And this despite playing on their home turf, never mind playing at away grounds.

kasper scheimechel daily mail uk

Kasper Schmeichel – out from the shadow of his father, the legendary Danish goalkeeper, Peter Schmeichel and now a champion in his own right (image sourced from dailymail.co.uk)

For nine months, we witnessed star studded teams comprising of international players, some coming as far away as from South America, struggled to put up any sort of a decent run of games and/or performances of merit.

Yet, most of us expected that the Championship will finally end up at either the front doors of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United or Manchester City, the four clubs with the most in their financial and human ware arsenal.

And when the final whistle blew and it was unequivocally confirmed that Leicester City is the new EPL Champion, not Arsenal, not Chelsea, not any one of the Manchester clubs but Leicester City Football Club, all hell broke loose but in the nicest possible way.

claudio ranieri skysports

Claudio Raneiri – Tinkerman no more. (image sourced from skysports.com)

It re-affirms that belief that you don’t need bags of money to succeed. It also re-affirms that if you work hard and put in 100% effort, you have every chance at success.

It also re-affirms that if you believe in yourself and the people who are together with you in your quest, you can go a long, long way.

And it also re-affirms, if you have a dream and no matter how improbable it may seem, if you persevere and keep working at it with all the belief and faith that you can muster, it might just come true.

lcfc v lfc forbes

If Liverpool can’t win the League, Leicester winning it is OK. (image sourced from forbes.com)

For that, we must not only congratulate Leicester City Football Club for winning the English Premier League but thanked them, for putting words like ‘belief’, ‘faith’, ‘perseverance’ back into the picture.

Leicester City Football Club’s amazing feat is now immortalize in all languages of the world, with ‘to do a Leicester’ as an inspiration to many of us harbouring dreams of success. And long may it be so.

How to become a millionaire……..

The USD aka Greenback. World currency?  (sourced from theatlantic.com)

The USD aka Greenback. World currency? (image sourced from theatlantic.com)

Well, don’t look at me. I wish I was one myself. But then again, so do countless others. And if you ask them all, everyone has his or her way of how to become a millionaire.

Unfortunately, not many of us succeed in becoming one and to make it more ironic, not only are the majority of us still far away from being admitted to that elusive club, but we have tonnes of debt that prevent us from ever joining that club. (Here’s the part where you can look at me.)

In my non-stop effort to gain membership to that exclusive club, I have come up with a list of a 7-step ‘What to Do’ to help me on my way to being a millionaire, guided of course by that wise-old-man mantra of my generation – work smart, play hard and live well.

Step 1

Know why you want to be a millionaire, just in case you forget what is it that you working so damn hard for. Cos it can’t be for over an utterly and ridiculously mouth tasting serving of fish and chips that you’re killing yourself for. That’s for sure.

Step 2

Know what you need to become a millionaire Part 1. The first ingredient – money and loads of it. Lets get real here. If you say you need to work hard to be a millionaire, its time to get off that high horse and put your nose close to the ground.

Not that it’s not true. Nothing comes easy in life and you still have to put in your share of hard work. But in so saying, have you not heard of that other wise-man mantra, ‘Money makes money’?

If no, then time to get acquainted with all those wise-old-man mantras. Most often than not, it does make sense, hence the ‘wise old men’ adage.

The new up-to-date mantra is, ‘don’t work hard but work smart’. How that works is still something you need to ponder long and hard cos it may not sound that kosher to some. And in some cases, it is not kosher at all.

I prefer the ‘don’t just work hard BUT also work smart’. It’s more acceptable especially for those of us who places a high premium on ‘decent pursuits’.

Ways to make money from blogging. Hmmm, interesting.  (sourced from problogger.net)

Ways to make money from blogging. Hmmm, interesting. (image sourced from problogger.net)

Step 3

The second ingredient that you would need to make you a millionaire would be to have your own business, one that has a viable way to make a profit, and preferably lots of it.

That’s also a definite as you won’t get to be a millionaire by working for somebody else. Well some do but then not everybody has stock options, do they?

Or have a windfall of a contract, even though the company may go bankrupt under your watch, and the shareholders all lose their investments due to a ‘management oversight’.

Having you own business places you in the right track to get to that elusive status, for there’s no limit to what can be achieved by working hard AND working smart.

Step 4

Third ingredient – trust. Since you will need money to make money and its like a definite that you don’t have it in the first place (well, not in abundance anyway), you will need somebody to back you up in your quest with that very important of an ingredient – money.

Whether it’s a bank or a venture capitalist or an ‘angel’ or whatever-they-call-it-nowadays, they (they with money, of course) will need to be able to trust you and you will need to give them a reason to trust you enough to loan you the money. In other words, it can be put across as ‘No trust no dinero, no dinero no capital, no capital no business’.

Cold hard cash. Better than plastic any day. (sourced from picturesofmoney.org)

Cold hard cash. Better than plastic any day. (image sourced from picturesofmoney.org)

Step 5

The fourth ingredient that you would need to make you a millionaire is faith and lots of it. They say faith overcomes all obstacles and to get where you are going, you will need lots and lots of faith – in your planning, your execution and your ability to see your plans through.

The same goes for your financial backers, if you have any that is. They will need to have lots of faith and patience to go along with the funds they have backed you with.

For financial backers, having lots of faith would be apt, as faith always go hand in hand with prayers.

Step 6

The next all-important ingredient that you would need to make you a millionaire is patience. It’s a word frequently used but seldom put into practice. It is vastly underrated but its a priced commodity that you could never have enough of it especially when the going gets tough and nerves gets really stretched and jangling.

Know that saying that when going get tough the tough gets going? Whether its true or not, you still need patience to withstand all that comes at you. Including the kitchen sink.

After all, did they not say that patience is a virtue?

Step 7

Dedication – that’s another ingredient that you would need to make you into a millionaire. Dedication to the pursuit of the objective. And what is the objective?

Look back to Step 1, which should bring back to focus just what exactly are we working so hard for, sacrificing all that could make our lives a little bit easier and fun.

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world. 0.1 % of what you have my way Mr Gates? (sourced from twitter.com)

Bill Gates, the richest man in the world. Any chance 0.1% of what you have going my way Mr Gates? (image sourced from twitter.com)

Now, whether the above 7-step ‘What to Do’ can really do it for me to achieve that goal to be a millionaire is open to debate. Whether others would agree to my 7-Step list is also open to debate. After all, one man’s meat is another man’s poison. And who is to say that it is a 7-step process? Why not eight? Why not nine? Why have a list at all? And who is to say that you have to stop at a certain number?

Same thing as a bucket list. Not two bucket list are the same, but it can be said that the common denominator for all lists is that they are personal.

Whatever it may be, here’s to giving it a try. And may success come our way.

Saturday Night Fever – The Movie that defined a Generation.

A scene from the movie Saturday Night Fever. (image sourced from genius.com)

A scene from the movie Saturday Night Fever. (image sourced from genius.com)

Yes, I know, To say that Saturday Night Fever (or SNF as it is sometimes referred to) defined a generation is a bit of an overkill.

But you have got to admit, especially if you are now in 50s and 60s, Saturday Night Fever was one of the movies, if not THE movie, that we had look forward to watching when we were old enough, having a 18-rating back then.

The soundtrack that made the Bee Gees MEGASTARS. (image sourced from theguradian.com)

The soundtrack that made the Bee Gees MEGASTARS. (image sourced from theguardian.com)

Saturday Night Fever was released in 1977. Produced by Robert Stigwood, it will be forty years next year since the movie was released. He not only produced the movie but also got the original sound track released under his label.

It was stated that the movie cost US3.5 million to make but it made almost 100 times that at the box office, never mind the sales from the original sound tracks and royalties from whatever you can think of eg posters etc.

Line dancing, Saturday Night Fever-style. (image sourced from youtube.com)

Line dancing, Saturday Night Fever-style. (image sourced from youtube.com)

The movie was very notable for it was the movie that elevated that musical group, the Bee Gees, the brothers Gibb, from superstars to MEGASTAR status. Tunes from the movie was all over the air waves around the world.

So much so that whoever sang their songs would definitely have a hit on their hands, and whatever the brothers Gibb touched, they all turned into gold.

It was also the movie that introduced the STRUT. You can tell that someone had watched the movie the way every man who fancies himself having a slim waistline and a small butt (despite the opposite on both counts) was strutting up the high street, making peacocks envious of these new peacocks of the human kind. Mind you, the STRUT was a guy thing.

Everybody on the dance floor. (image sourced from youtube.com)

Everybody on the dance floor. (image sourced from youtube.com)

It was also the movie that catapulted John Travolta into superstar status, with his Saturday Night Fever sulky demeanour being aped all over the world, never mind the dance moves, the white suit with the wide lapels, the big collared shirts, the wide bottomed pants and…… wait for it……the platform shoes.

It made having burgers a fashion statement of how to be cool. It also made Marlboro being the cigarette brand of the year as smoking in movies then was OK. Unlike today when it is politically correct not to smoke in the movies even though that’s what some people actually do in real life.

Disco became the in-thing. Discos and dance studios, teaching the dance moves that were Saturday Night Fever’s, mushroomed almost everywhere, regardless of whatever age you may be.

And the fun of actually trying it out on the dance floor even though it may be just a disco organized by the Students’ Union at the college’s common room. The fun of it all.

It may sound corny to the young generation but you have got to admit, those were the times when it felt good to be alive and most importantly, and it felt SO fun.

Saturday night rituals. (image sourced from imdb.com)

Saturday night rituals. (image sourced from imdb.com)

Of course, there was Grease but that came later. Even then, Saturday Night Fever was THE MOVIE. It was fun and it was exciting. The dance moves, the strut, the songs, the food, the cigs, and never forget …….the Saturday night.

Saturday night has never been the same after that.