Archive for July, 2006

Were you one?

Third Culture Kids (abbreviated TCKs) is a term for children who have lived a significant portion of their lives in a country that is not their passport country, usually because of parents’ work obligations. A synonym for this is global nomad. Examples include military brats, the children of diplomats, children of business expatriates (“business brats”), international school educators’ kids, and Missionary Kids.

TCKs share some common characteristics amongst the sub categories such as multilingualism, tolerance for other cultures, a never-ending feeling of homesickness for their adopted country (it is very true) and a desire to remain in close contact with friends from their adopted country as well as other TCKs that they have grown up with. (I do still keep in touch with some of them)

Many TCKs take years to readjust to their home countries and often suffer a reverse culture shock on their return to their homeland; and many choose to enter careers that allow them to travel frequently or live overseas. There is a growing number of online resources to help TCKs deal with issues as well as stay in contact with each other. Recently, blogs have become a helpful way for TCKs to interact.

The term third culture kid was coined by Ruth Hill Useem in the early 1960s. She and her husband studied children who grew up in two or more cultures, including their own children, and termed them simply “third culture kids”. Their idea was that children from one culture who live in another culture become part of a “third culture” that is more than simply a blend of home and host cultures.

Children and adults of the third culture share similar identities. Useem defined a third culture kid as

“[A] person who has spent a significant part of his or her developmental years outside the parents’ culture. The third culture kid builds relationships to all of the cultures, while not having full ownership in any. Although elements from each culture are assimilated into the third culture kid’s life experience, the sense of belonging is in relationship to others of the same background.” (Pollock & van Reken, 2001, p. 19)

Two circumstances are key to becoming a third culture kid: growing up in a truly cross-cultural world, and high mobility. By the former, Pollock and van Reken mean that instead of observing cultures, third culture kids actually live in different cultural worlds. By mobility, they mean mobility of both the third culture kid and others in their surrounding. The interplay between the two is what gives rise to common personal characteristics, benefits, and challenges. TCKs are distinguished from other immigrants by the fact that TCKs do not expect to settle down permanently in the places where they live.

Third culture kids grow up in a genuinely cross-cultural world. While expatriates watch and study cultures that they live in, third culture kids actually live in different cultural worlds. Third culture kids have incorporated different cultures on the deepest level, as to have several cultures incorporated into their thought processes. This means that third culture kids not only have deep cultural access to at least two cultures, this also means that thought processes are truly multicultural. That, in turn, influences how third culture kids relate to the world around them, and makes third culture kids’ thought processes different even from members of cultures they have deep-level access to. TCKs also have certain personal characteristics in common. Growing up in the third culture rewards certain behaviors and personality traits in different ways than growing up in a single culture does, which results in common characteristics. Third culture kids are often tolerant cultural chameleons who can choose to what degree they wish to display their background.

As a result, Pollock and van Reken argue, third culture kids develop a sense of belonging everywhere and nowhere. Their experiences among different cultures and various relationships makes it difficult for them to have in-depth communication with those who have not experienced similar conditions. While third culture kids usually grow up to be independent and cosmopolitan, they also often struggle with their identity and with the losses they have suffered in each move. Barbara Schaetti has proposed a developmental model for third culture kid identity development based on earlier identity literature, primarily on nigrescence, in which a number of different mechanisms are explained for the wide range of identity outcomes that third culture kids may have. Some may feel very nationalistic toward one country, while others call themselves global citizens.

source: Wikipedia

Would I consider myself a former TCK? I don’t know but I do admit that I share similar characteristics as mentioned by Useem.

I would consider myself very lucky as I had experienced different cultures since I was a toddler (I was only 2 when dad dragged mom & me to Washington DC to pursue his Master’s Degree. We lived in Arlington for a year and a half). I learnt my first English words there by watching Sesame Street every morning after having my breakfast of milk and cereal. I still have that pic of me sitting on a chair in the kitchen, my hand on the table. By three I could spell sweets etc!

When we returned home, my parents were criticised by my relatives (no, not my uncle and aunts but my distant relatives) for allowing me to call them Mama, Papa, Grandpa & Grandma. They have set in their heads that their children could only call them Ibu, Ayah, Atok, Nenek. My parents couldn’t care less, they ignored those harsh comments. At the mere age of 4 I was sent to Kindergarten as Mom feels that I shouldn’t waste my precious time staying at home playing. I didn’t spend my time there to play, we actually learn arithmetics! Yup, that’s true!

Fast Forward, mid 1985
Dad was posted to Tripoli. Where did you say? Tripoli, no, not Tripoli, Lebanon but Tripoli, Libya. Never heard of that place? Well, too bad for you. It’s a beautiful place to live.

We were there for 3 and a half years. Living by the sea, enjoying the view of ships sailing in and out of the harbour (port actually). That was all I did for a few months while waiting for the new school year to start, which was in early Sept. I tried to occupy my time as I was feeling home sick. I left my heart back home, physically I was there with my parents. This was the first time living with mom & dad (I was brought up by my grandparents, they lived under the same roof, I didn’t have a close relationship with my parents then).

We moved house to an area called Hai Andalus. The villa was spacious, big enough for a small family of three! We could climb the stairs which connects the main floor to the next level which is an open area, Mediterranean style. There is no such thing as tiled roof. I remember having picnics with family and friends during the summer and enjoy the view of the night sky. Stars twinkling bright. From time to time I would wish upon a star and wonder if my wish would come true!

Summer ends and autumn begins, school is open, kids rushing in and out of classrooms. One of them, a girl from a far away land enjoying her lunch with the rest of her friends; Claire that Brit girl, Elena who speaks fluent French, Hana N a Libyan, Christina from Bolivia and Aeysha a Pakistani Brit. That girl is me.

I was introduced to people from all corners of the world, places I have never heard before such as Eritria and Bolivia. I have never known such beautiful people and languages they speak. I was enthralled by them. I was no longer the shy and timid girl. I go to parties and dance with kids that I don’t even know. I played soccer and floor hockey after school and weekends. I enjoyed going to school, enjoyed learning Social Studies – this was when I was first introduced to the world of mythology – Zeus, Pandora’s Box, Thor etc. It also taught me about the Civilizations, about Alexander the Great.

Halloween, Valentine’s Day, St Patrick’s Day etc….would you have known about all these if you were living in your motherland? Nah, I doubt it! Have you taken part in an International Day parade?

3 and half years past quickly, dad was called back to fill a vacant post. I was reluctant to return home to continue my studies in a national school. I hated the syllabus. I now know what it is like to study in an international school, I dread going back home, wearing that blue dress and white blouse again. But I have got no choice, no one will listen to me! You wouldn’t believe how heartbroken I was once again. This time I had to leave Libya. I had to leave my friends. I lost contact with most of them. But I was able to reconnect with some through our Alumni. Thank God for the Internet.

Life wasn’t easy for me when I got home, I had difficulties speaking and understand my national language. Mom did take the initiative teaching me Malay while I was abroad, but we spoke English most of the time at home! Hence, the problem communicating. My new school friends couldn’t understand my simple Malay. Who cares? I hated my life, I hated that I had to return home. I couldn’t master the language even till now. My friends used to tease me for my accent (when I speak in my mother tongue). I can’t help it and I don’t want to change anything! I am what I am and I am happy to be me!

Worth the read: A 3rd Culture Kid’s Story

You’ve got mail

Posted: July 27, 2006 in mi vida loca

It’s 1842 and I’ve just got back from uni a half an hour ago. Class ended early today, 1730 but I was stuck in traffic after exiting the main gate of my uni. Well, everyone is rushing back home from work plus the never ending road construction which lead to the heavy traffic along Jalan University, well part of it atleast!

Once I reached home, had an early dinner even before taking off my make up (foundation and eyeliner, that’s it!) as my stomach is skilling me! Once that’s done, cleaned up & checked my mail … Once in a while I’d recieved a newsletter from TICKLE, asking me to do some quizes, which I love of course. One way of finding about yourself and relaxing!!

What’s Your Little Black Dress Personality?

Shireen, your little black dress is Asymmetrical

No matter where the day or night takes you, you seem to be one of those rare individuals who knows how to stand out in a crowd. Because you possess a personal style that’s all your own, it’s only right that your little black dress would be as unique and distinctive as you are.

For you, putting together clothes, accessories, and makeup can be just another way of showing off your creativity. After all, your look is a reflection of who you are. That’s why you’re sure to make a statement no matter what you’re wearing. Good job!

Where Does Your Inner Compass Point?
Shireen, your best adventures are Unexpected Endeavors

Checking out a new art exhibit, catching a baseball game, or just picnicking in the park — who knows where you’ll find yourself next? You are an adventurer in the truest sense — spontaneous and flexible with a passion for trying new places and things.

With your easygoing nature, you are the quintessential road tripper. No maps, no plan, no timelines. You’d rather let the road take you wherever it may lead. North, south, east, or west — your inner compass has no limits. So give it a spin and let it decide where your next adventure will be!

oh it’s qye’s b’day today, I got him a gift from Egypt, have been waiting for the right moment to give it to him, next week I guess since he is busy doing his internship. Mom’s birthday is this sunday, so I’ll be taking her out for lunch …. she’ll be 57 this year.

When are we going to HRC to celebrate Qye’s birthday? Next weekend or the week after?

My Travel List

Posted: July 23, 2006 in Globe Trekker

Travelling is in my blood, I was raised to enjoy & appreciate the places I’ve been to, visited or lived in no matter the location or condition. Therefore, I’ve set up my future travel plans beginning from next year. I can only afford to visit certain places once a year due to financial reasons or should I say burden! Lets see, I’ll start off with:

Spain & Morocco (maybe Portugal as well. I plan to go on my own however, mom wants to come along as she must be afraid some spaniard would sweep me off my feet ;P Oh well. The more the merrier)

This would be a difficult year as I want to visit these two places, Liverpool & Libya. This would be a family trip, mom, dad & yours truly, as we are itching to set foot on Libyan soil once again.

Liverpool on the other hand is a city I would love to visit as I am hardcore LFC follower, in more ways than one. Why ’08? Well, it’s been designated the European Capital of Culture 2008. I don’t want to miss it.

Moscow would be the next destination. I’ll have to visit St Petersburg too before he graduates. I think this year would be his final year of practicing medicine!

Future places I’d love to visit in no particular order:
Italy – love to visit Rome again, maybe in 2010
France – again
Stockholm, Sweden & other Scandinavian nations
Buenos Aires, Argentina
Czech & Slovakia (other Eastern European countries, they’ve maintained the beautiful architecture)

So, too many places too little time & money. Which means, I need to work & save money to do what I enjoy most sharing the culture, cuisine, heritage & appreciating the architecture & beautiful landscape God has created for us.

Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition

Please go to and sign the Save the Lebanese Civilians Petition and forward this invitation to your friends.

Lebanese civilians have been under the constant attack of the state of Israel for several days. The State of Israel, in disregard to international law and the Geneva Convention, is launching a maritime and air siege targeting the entire population of the country. Innocent civilians are being collectively punished in Lebanon by the state of Israel in deliberate acts of terrorism as described in Article 33 of the Geneva Convention.

Everything Burns

Posted: July 22, 2006 in music

(Ben Moody ft. Anastacia)

She sits in her corner
Singing herself to sleep
Wrapped in all of the promises
That no one seems to keep
She no longer cries to herself,
No tears left to wash away
Just diaries of empty pages,
Feelings gone astray
But she will sing

[CHORUS: Ben Moody / Anastacia]
‘Till everything burns
While everyone screams
Burning their lies
Burning my dreams
All of this hate
And all of this pain
I’ll burn it all down
As my anger reigns
‘Till everything burns

Ooh, oh

Walking through life unnoticed
Knowing that no one cares
Too consumed in their masquerade
No one sees her there
And still she sings

[CHORUS: Ben Moody / Anastacia]
‘Till everything burns
While everyone screams
Burning their lies
Burning my dreams
All of this hate
And all of this pain
Burn it all down
As my anger reigns

‘Till everything burns
Everything burns
(Everything burns)
Everything burns
Watching it all fade away
(All fade away)
Everyone screams
Everyone screams..
(Watching it all fade away)
Oooh, ooh..
(While everyone screams)
Burning their lies
Burning my dreams
(All of this hate)
And all of this pain
I’ll burn it all down
As my anger reigns
Til everything burns
(Everything burns)
Watching it all fade away
(Oooh, ooh)
(Everything burns)
Watching it all fade away…

currently listening & lovin’ these two songs

Steady, As She Goes

Posted: July 22, 2006 in music

Find yourself a girl, and settle down
Live a simple life in a quiet town

Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes

Your friends have shown a kink in the single life
You’ve had too much to think, now you need a wife

Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Well here we go again, you’ve found yourself a friend, that knows you well
But no matter what you do, you’ll always feel as though you tripped and fell

So steady as she goes

When you have completed what you thought you had to do
And your blood’s depleted to the point of stable glue

Then you’ll get along
Then you’ll get along

Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Well here we go again, you’ve found yourself a friend that knows you well
But no matter what you do, it always feels as though you tripped and fell
So steady as she goes
Steady as she goes

Settle for a girl and buckle down
Send it to the crowd that’s gathered round
Settle for a girl and buckle down
Send it to the crowd that’s gathered round

So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
Steady as she goes (steady as she goes)
So steady as she goes (steady as she goes)

Steady as she goes
Are you steady now?
Steady as she goes
Are you steady now?
Steady as she goes
Are you steady now?
Steady as she goes
Are you steady now?
Steady as she goes


Posted: July 21, 2006 in Uncategorized


The ancient science of numerology offers insight into the personality by assigning numeric values to names and birth dates, calculating numerological values and then interpreting the results.

To calculate the values used in numerology, all digits of a number are first added together. If the outcome is a number with more than one digit, the resulting digits are added together again until they are reduced to a single digit. For example, the number 27 is reduced by adding 2 + 7 to get 9. The number 1974 is reduced by adding 1 + 9 + 7 + 4 to get 21; then 21 is further reduced by adding 2 + 1 to get 3. All numbers are reduced to single digits between 1 and 9 except the special master number 11, which is not reduced in numerological calculations.

Letters are first converted into numbers, which are then added together until they become a single digit. The letter A = 1, B = 2, C = 3, etc.; M = 13, which becomes 1 + 3 = 4. For example, the name Amy is equal to 1 + 4 + 7 = 12. 12 is then further reduced by adding 1 + 2 to get 3.

Your Numerology Portrait applies the results of several calculations to provide insight into the most important aspects of your personality.

Your soul number reveals your inner, private self, the underlying motivations that influence your decisions and actions, your subconscious desires and your most deeply ingrained attitudes. (It is determined by adding the values for the vowels in your full birth name.)

Your Numerology Portrait is based on the following calculations:

Total for each letter:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9
A=2 B=0 C=0 D=0 E=2 F=0 G=0 H=1 I=2
J=0 K=0 L=1 M=1 N=2 O=0 P=0 Q=0 R=1
S=2 T=0 U=1 V=0 W=0 X=0 Y=0 Z=0

Consonant Total: 9 (36)
Vowel Total: 6 (33)
Grand Total: 6 (69)
Date Total: 9 (9)
Missing Number(s) are: 2 7
First letter is S
First vowel is I

Your Soul Number is SIX.

Devoted, loving, and sympathetic, your life centers around the well-being of your family and those you love. A happy, harmonious personal life is what you value above all else. You will also find satisfaction in serving those in the outside world, becoming involved in the helping professions, in community service and affairs, or by giving generously of your time and help to your friends. You are protective, responsible, and conscientious towards those who depend upon you, and you are the ideal mother or father in many ways, though you can be too involved in the lives of your loved ones. Learn to allow family members the freedom and room to make their own choices and mistakes.

You respond to beauty, and are gifted in the arts. Creating a beautiful garden or home is very satisfying to you.

For my other name

Consonant Total: 7 (43)
Vowel Total: 7 (25)
Grand Total: 5 (68)
Date Total: 9 (9)
Missing Number(s) are: 2 6
First letter is S
First vowel is A

Your Soul Number is SEVEN.

Deep, serious, introspective, and analytical, you accept nothing at face value, and you are always probing into the hidden side or deeper meaning of situations and people. You are fascinated by the mysterious and unknown. You enjoy periods of solitude in peaceful surroundings, and need time to study, reflect, or meditate. You may be given to much daydreaming and flights of the imagination as well. The ocean has a powerful attraction for you. The study of philosophy, psychology, scientific research, metaphysics, or religion appeals to you. You are scientific in your approach to Truth.

Private, reserved, and rather secretive, there are probably very few who truly know and understand your inner thoughts, feelings, hopes, and aspirations. Unless you learn to share your deeper self more freely, and to be less of an idealistic perfectionist, you may be rather lonely.


Posted: July 16, 2006 in passion

Ohhhh….have you ever seen better looking pirates than those on POTC – Nope, I don’t think so. Sue and I went to catch the sequel of POTC this morning. It was entertaining, hillarious and scary at times. But I love Capt Jack Sparrow, a good job by my all time fave actor Johnny Depp (of 21 Jump St fame …. was so in love with him, I was about 12 back then…sigh), so I can’t wait to catch POTC III next year. Orlando Bloom as will Turner well… who wouldn’t want to be married to such a hot guy, a faithful and loyal gentleman. Kiera Knightley was great as well, but I had hope she would be in more sword fights, but maybe next time. Humm …

I won’t be watching Superman Returns (hate men in tights)!

Shah, when is your birthday? Did I miss it? I hope not, I know it’s somewhere in this month! If I did miss it, I’m so sorry. It’s just that Mom, Qye & Izuan will be celebrating theirs this month … ohhh…when will we be having the surprise party for qye? Hopefully he won’t be busy doing his rounds at the hospital!

All Fours

Posted: July 15, 2006 in meme

4 Jobs I Would Stink At:

#A cook – I don’t know how!

#A Clerk – I hate filing and writing letters

#Computer programmer – momactually forced me to take up a course after my o-levels, hated it from the word GO!

#Landscape artist

4 Pretend Nicknames I’m Making Up For Myself:


#Arabian Princess ;P

#Girl Rebel

#Red Addiction aka Liverpool Mania

4 Movies I Could Watch Over & Over Again:

#Much Ado About Nothing

#16 candles – I’m a romantic

#That thing you do

#Les Miserables

4 Places I Want To Live In:

#Cordoba, Spain


#Stockholm, Sweden

#Buenos Aires (Good Air en espanyol), Argentina

4 Things I Love To Do During Weekends:



#Go window shopping


4 Things I Couldn’t Live Without:

#My Freedom (I know it’s abstract)

#My Privacy

#Plastic Money

#My Kembara – hear that Brana – I love my Kembara no matter how much I hate it at the same time – does that makes sense? ;P

4 Alcoholic Beverages I’ve Enjoyed:

I don’t drink

4 Favourite Foods & Whom I’d Like To Bon Appétit With:

cous cous with mom & dad

Turkish delights with Turks 😉

Bruschetta with Balqis

Spaghetti Olio with Shah

4 Places I Would Rather Be In Now:

Holy Land – at peace with myself

Spain – heaven on Earth

Rome – I love the Colliseum


4 People I’m Tagging:
malas nak tak sape2, korang pandai2 le…

U2 and Mary J Blige – One

Posted: July 15, 2006 in music

Is it getting better
Or do you feel the same?
Will it make it easier on you now?
You got someone to blameYou say one love, one life (one life)
It’s one need in the night
One love (one love), get to share it
Leaves you darling, if you don’t care for it

Did I disappoint you?
Or leave a bad taste in your mouth?
You act like you never had love
And you want me to go without

Well it’s too late, tonight
To drag the past out into the light
We’re one, but we’re not the same
We get to carry each other
Carry each other

Have you come here for forgiveness?
Have you come to raise the dead?
Have you come here to play J####?
To the lepers in your head

Well, did I ask too much, more than a lot?
You gave me nothing, now it’s all I got
We’re one, but we’re not the same
Well we, hurt each other
Then we do it again

You say
Love is a temple
Love is a higher law
Love is a temple
Love is the higher law
You ask me to enter
Well then you make me crawl
And I can’t be holding on
To what you got
When all you got is hurt

One love
One blood
One life
You got to do what you should
One life
With each other
Sisters and my
One life
But we’re not the same
We get to
Carry each other
Carry each other

One love