Once Upon A Mensa

This news article today caught my attention.

Malaysian Mensa Society. Till this day, I wondered how I even got in – much to my surprise – three decades ago! I also wondered if I had taken the IQ Test today, would I have qualified? Then again, the answer is obvious – DEFINITELY not – especially with my failing memory!

Thankfully for some records that I kept, I am reminded of how I ended up taking the Mensa test and being a member from 1989 till the year 1994 (at least that was my last membership payment!).

Letter dated 27 April 1987

Letter dated 12 April 1989; from the contents, I must have sat for the STAR-MAS Mind Competition for a second time in 1988, after the first attempt in 1987.

Letter dated 3 May 1989, bearing the good news, Congratulations…

Received my membership certificate dated 2 March 1990.

My little contribution to the society in 1992, in the form of the cover design for its Newsletter.

This appears the last membership fee that I paid.

Interestingly, two years ago, on 29 October 2017, I found my Mensa membership card in my Scrabble game box, while playing the game with LittleEm in Hungary. The card was mailed to me in 1991 to my university dorm, and it appeared to have travelled with me the past 26 years during my postings to the US, Russia, Hong Kong, Ghana and Hungary!

 

Air THAMAL

I WAS ONCE promised a “free ride” for a job well done… little did I know it would be in an army plane!

On this date 21 years ago (9th Feb 1993), I found myself on an army plane en-route to Haadyai for an assignment. I was the only girl among the 12 journalists and TV crew who went to cover the opening of the 12th Malaysia-Thailand air exercise in the southern Thai city. Also on board was the Army Chief.

thamal_1

thamal_2

Our mode of transportation to and fro KL-Haadyai, that brought us home within the day.

First Trip to the Beach

WE TOOK M on her first trip to the beach on this date in 2003, thanks to a contest we won.

Part of the letter bearing the good news, dated 11 October 2002.

Part of the letter bearing the good news, dated 11 October 2002.

M’s first time at the beach was indeed unforgettable – she refused to step on the beach, screaming “spiders” incessantly!!! – no thanks to the army of tiny mud crabs that emerged by the droves at low tide; she was happier in the pool! (11 Jan 2003)

M’s first time at the beach was indeed unforgettable – she refused to step on the beach, screaming “spiders” incessantly!!! – no thanks to the army of tiny mud crabs that emerged by the droves at low tide; she was happier in the pool! (11 Jan 2003)

The next day, it took some effort to cajole her to get off Papa and enjoy the sandy beach. (12 Jan 2003)

The next day, it took some effort to cajole her to get off Papa and enjoy the sandy beach. (12 Jan 2003)

She finally did, and even built a sand castle.

She finally did, and even built a sand castle.

Having a sibling certainly doubles the fun at the beach… sisters in Cherating (12 Feb 2012) and in Port Dickson (29 Sept 2012).

Having a sibling certainly doubles the fun at the beach… sisters in Cherating (12 Feb 2012) and in Port Dickson (29 Sept 2012).

Even better as a family (Batu Ferringhi, Penang, 2 Aug 2013)

Even better as a family (Batu Ferringhi, Penang, 2 Aug 2013)

Xmas Weekend in Malacca, 2012

LAST YEAR WE were in Malacca during the Christmas weekend. It was yet another memorable time for the kids (reminiscent of our previous time together in Hong Kong, December 2009).

Arriving late on Saturday afternoon, we went on the Melaka river cruise. After dinner of Peranakan cuisine, we walked to a church nearby where a mass was being held. St. Peter's Church (built 1710) is said to be the oldest operational Catholic church in the country. We then proceeded to the Portuguese Settlement to view its famous Christmas lightings. (24 Dec 2012)

Arriving late on Saturday afternoon, we went on the Melaka river cruise. After dinner of Peranakan cuisine, we walked to a church nearby where a mass was being held. St. Peter’s Church (built 1710) is said to be the oldest operational Catholic church in the country. We then proceeded to the Portuguese Settlement to view its famous Christmas lightings. (24 Dec 2012)

Christmas Day at the Stadthuys. (25 Dec 2012)

Christmas Day at the Stadthuys. (25 Dec 2012)

A little snack at the stalls opposite Stadthuys. (25 Dec 2012)

A little snack at the stalls opposite Stadthuys. (25 Dec 2012)

(Top, L-R) Statue of St. Francis Xavier atop St. Paul’s Hill; inside St. Paul’s Church ruins (built 1521); (Bottom, L-R) The famous A Famosa; hubby and his friend.

(Top, L-R) Statue of St. Francis Xavier atop St. Paul’s Hill; inside St. Paul’s Church ruins (built 1521); (Bottom, L-R) The famous A Famosa; hubby and his friend.

Lunch of chicken rice balls here. (25 Dec 2012)

Lunch of chicken rice balls here. (25 Dec 2012)

A meal of satay celup before heading back to KL by evening. (25 Dec 2012)

A meal of satay celup before heading back to KL by evening. (25 Dec 2012)

Little Em with some Xmas decos in a mall and at the hotel. (25 Dec 2012)

Little Em with some Xmas decos in a mall and at the hotel. (25 Dec 2012)

The Christmas before, we were also back in Malacca, and took the evening river cruise on 26 Dec 2011.

The Christmas before, we were also back in Malacca, and took the evening river cruise on 26 Dec 2011.

Malacca River (25 Dec 2012)

Malacca River (25 Dec 2012)

Tan Kim Seng Bridge across Malacca River, with Stadthuys on the one end and Jonker Street on the other. (25 Dec 2012)

Tan Kim Seng Bridge across Malacca River, with Stadthuys on the one end and Jonker Street on the other. (25 Dec 2012)

 

Little Children On A Bicycle

NOW WE KNOW the people behind the eye-catching wall mural in Lebuh Armenia, Penang, known as “Little Children On A Bicycle” (all thanks to a little controversy surrounding the artist’s other wall mural in Johor Baru recently).

The artist is Lithuanian-born Ernest Zacharevic and his subjects are siblings, six-year old Tan Yi and four-year old Tan Kern who were captured on Zacharevic’s lens in April 2012 and eventually found themselves on the wall.

Sunday Star (24th November 2013) reported that “the painting was recently picked by British daily The Guardian’s readers as one of the 15 favourite murals out of 378 submitted from around the world.”

During our last trip to Penang on 31st July to 4th August 2013 (link), our friend Ricky drove us by several wall art in Lebuh Armenia one night and we returned the next day to explore the creative works on foot.

M took this photo of the children from the back of Uncle Ricky’s car on the night of 31 July 2013.

M took this photo of the children from the back of Uncle Ricky’s car on the night of 31 July 2013.

Passed by these little children on the bike and couldn’t help not taking a photo with them. (1 August 2013)

Other wall art on Lebuh Armenia… Little Em was clearly not in the mood for photo-taking 😦 (1 August 2013)