Skip to main content

Ivan Teoh

Something personal yet public

This morning, I was adventurous stepped into wet market near my home. I need to get the ingredients for tonight thai food. No, I am not the chef tonight. My thai friend is. I was just helping him to get all the ingredients since he was busy for something else. Most of the ingredients were new to me. I need to search about it, specially galangal. In Hokkien, we called it 'longkuai'. The main ingredients for this dish are chicken breast and abalone mushroom. This morning, there is not enough supply for abalone mushroom, the sale lady said that it can replaced with eryngii mushroom. So I got some of both. Next, I am going to get fresh coconut milk. I asked the sale lady, 'How much was that?' She said, 'RM1.' On my mind, I doubt whether it is enough for not. My mind told me to get more instead of less. I told the sale lady, 'Give me RM2.' In Malay, we called it 'Santan'. Next, I will get other spices for the Thai dish: lemon grass, coriander, chili, lime and lime leaves. The last thing that I am going to buy was chicken breast. I did not know there are two different places of selling chicken. One is Malay area and another one is Chinese area. I searched around the whole market. I only saw the Malay stall. I told the sale man that I need two chicken breast. He said that he only sell either half chicken or whole chicken. End up, I gave up and asked my sister. Later, I released that there are Chinese stalls at the other end of the market. It was an interesting adventure in Malaysia's wet market.

Today is my last day in the company. Everything is the same as previous days. The only different is I need to return all the company property to the HR and my manager. Before that, I also snapped some photo with other co workers. Too bad, my camera's battery is flat, can't take much photo though. Sorry if I didn't catch up with you guys just now. I will miss you guys. All the best and good luck to everyone including me. :)

Yesterday was my last birthday gathering with my co workers. It was fun and hot. In conjunction with my farewell lunch, we had a January till March birthday lunch at Sticks Fire Bistro. Due to it is located outside Queensbay Mall under the hot sun, the place was rather hot compare to any restaurant in Queensbay Mall. Beside that, everything is nice. The food is nice and unique. The decoration is also nice. Services are good. People are friendly. Since outside food is not allow there, they gift us free birthday cake with orange favour. I also took this golden opportunity to snap some memorable moment with all my co workers.


This evening will be a special meeting for me. I will be presenting my last speech in Vista Penang toastmasters club. We got one guest, Kwek, on today meeting. I was surprise to see Ea San was there too. Although the crowd was small and the air corn was not working, I really had great time during the meeting. After the meeting, they organized a small farewell at Old Town near by. You see, where can you find such club in your area. I share here with you my last speech of competent communication manual.

--- Start ---

Dear my fellow toastmasters,

Thank you for all your support and guidance through the journey of learning till today. Today is my last speech before I depart to Australia. It is also my last speech of my competent communication manual.

I am the only one that is separating between you and the tea break. So I will make the speech as short as possible. Today I love to share with you my toastmasters journey briefly.

Through public speaking trainer, I knew about toastmasters. I want to know more. Then I search about toastmasters on Internet. From toastmasters official website, I send an email saying that I am interested to join one of the toastmasters meeting near my area. Less then a week, I got a response from Clement. He intro me to this club, Vista toastmasters club. I remember I supposed to attend my first toastmasters meeting on 21 Oct 2008. I really want to go as that time it was Halloween theme meeting. Due to the extreme heavy rain, I could not make it. My first meeting was at Nov 4, 2008. Although the heavy rain stopped me on going on the first meeting, but not the subsequence one. Determination was what I had.

All the speakers were good and the meeting environment is so friendly. I signed up as the member on the next meeting. After this, they assigned me a mentor, Peng Yew. One of the most experience mentor in this Club. I remember on the first few speeches, he will call me asking me how am I doing? How was the preparation? Just yesterday, we was chatting in Facebook. He guided me how the inspired speech is. How to organize it? Beside that, Ea San, our ex madam president lend me her favorite book, Effective Presentation, to me in order preparing this speech. These are just few examples that I can think off now. In short. Encouragement was what I received from this friendiest club.

The friendship that I have it here is priceless. You will know one of the best people in Penang. After I join toastmaster, I knew Hock Chye and Usha. They are from the same company as mine. I never knew them before that. They are friendly and helpful. I also knew many from difference company but same field, such as Ea San and Peng Yew. My social network getting weirder. They are not limited to this club only. I also visited other clubs, such as Sungai Ara Toastmasters, Dell Toastmasters and also Farlim Toastmasters. From there, I knew Jessica, Muthu, Chia Harng and to name a few. Not just this country, this club also have people all the way from Vietnam. He is not other then Dang Huy. Who knows we might have some from UK on the next meeting. Network or friend was what I can find in this club.

Of course, we must not forgot the main purpose we are here. Learning public speaking. There are total of ten project on competent communication manual. Each project we learn new things. The first speech was just to introduce yourself in four to six minutes. Then we learn how to organize our speech. Later we learn what body gestures and also vocal variety. We also learn how to make our speech interesting by doing researching and using visual aids. On my previous speech, I learn how to use persuasive power to love ourselves. Beside learning, we are also helping each other. We also pinpoint each others mistake and learn others strength. There is no other club that have such privileges.

Lastly, my toastmasters journey does not end here with this speech. I would said it is the beginning of my next journey. I will continue it with more challenging advance manual in Toastmasters in the near future. I will never forget the last sentence mentioned by Peng Yew yesterday. Actually, it is not really last sentence. But a sentence before bye. He said, "Ivan, you can do it." If I can, then you all also can.

Yours sincerely,


--- End ---

Yesterday I had my dinner with friends at Hainanese Delights Restaurant. It was a farewell gathering. First of all, the foods there were delicious. I did not expect to see braised lamb, macaroni pie and chicken pie in Hainanese restaurant. Almost everyone like the braised lamb with ladies fingers. For this dish, we need to pre order at least a day before during the booking. After the dinner, we played Monopoly Deal Card Game. Since we have eight people in total, we played with two decks. It was fun game. After gathering, I know our friendship does not just end there. It will continue to where I go. I am very sure we will met again in the near future. May our friendship last forever.

I am touched by the farewell lunch organized by my team members on 25 Feb 2010. We had it in Korea Palace at Krystal Point. Right choice. The set lunch is worth and delicious. I am not good in expressing my feeling. I want to thank them for their support and courage. We had gone through very hard time and challenging moment on maintaining the legacy software. We able to survive through. It is a hard decision that I made. I really enjoy working in this project. Everyday I learn new things from the software and I am still learning now. I felt it is the time for me to start a new chapter in my life. I am ready to face even more challenging tasks not just my career and also my new life in Australia. Here I wish all my team members good success in the future. Believe ourselves that we can do it.


Yesterday, I was presently my second last speech on the Toastmasters Competent Communication manual. Since it was "Valentine's Day" theme meeting, I was preparing a speech related to "Love". The actual speech was very different from my preparing speech. On that day, I try to inject some spontaneous examples that were mentioned by other speeches, when I was talking about knowledge of attending Toastmasters meeting. I also used word of the day, promulgation, at the end of the speech.

I agreed with the speech evaluator, Ee San, that my speech was not impacting enough to the audience. She recommended me to follow the motivated sequence: attention, need, satisfaction, visualization and action, which was suggested in the manual. She also lend me her favourite presentation book, "Effective Presentation" by Sarah Dickinson. She want me to do my very best of the last speech on the Toastmasters Competent Communication manual. Anyway, below was my prepared speech with the title, "Love Ourselves".

–-- Start ---

Show some hands if anyone here love ourselves? Especially this Chinese new year. I did not love myself. Usually during this holiday I just eat, watch film, sleep, eat, watch film and sleep. This year even worst. Additional of the extremely hot weather. 38 degree. Hot weather and heaty food and lack of exercise will make us fall sick easily. That's why call of action. Love ourselves.

Good evening my fellow toastmasters and guests. This evening, I am here to convince you guys to love ourselves. I share the love into two parts: body and mind.

Love our body. We need our body to work, study, take care our family in our daily life. If we don't have proper diet, our body will either over stress when we eat too much, or dry when we eat too little. Drink water is one of key step to love our body. Especially during these hot weather season. We can be easily dehydrated if we don't drink enough water. According to food guide pyramid, Balance diet is eat everything a little bit and not too much. Whole grains will give us carbohydrate of energy. Healthy oils from olive oil will give us healthy fat. Vegetable and fruits will give us fibre. Nut and bean will give us protein and vitamins. Fish, and poultry will give us protein. Dairy will give us Calcium and Vitamin D. But reduce intake on red meat and refined grains such as white bread and white rice.

Beside food, we also need to exercise to have a healthy body. Healthy body does not mean to have very sexy body like supermodel. We just need to move our body daily. There are many ways of doing simple exercise in our daily life. Running up and down the staircase. I remembered my ex manager, instead of using lift, she will use staircase all the time. Even stretching is also one type of exercise. Whenever you are sitting at the office chair for long time, we can stand up and stretch our hands, neck and body. Walking is also one type of exercise. Instead of parking our car near our office block, we can park our park further a bit to get extra exercise while walking from car park to office. If we don't have healthy body, our muscles will become weak. Our join will be inflexible and can be easily injured.

Love our mind. Beside strong body, we also need strong mind. God makes human as the smartest creature in the world. We need to fully utilise it. Fill it up with knowledge. Knowledge can gain in many ways. Reading books. Watching discovery channel. Learning swimming. Or attending toastmaster. With all the knowledge, we will have a better and successful life. When we turn the knowledge into action. We will make a better decision, such as deciding on joining toastmaster. Our friend won't call us, nice body but no brain.

After I end my sharing, show some hands if anyone will start love ourselves starting now? Act now. Thank you.

–-- End –--

Yesterday is Tuesday. That is my regular Toastmaster meeting. Due to our club does not have projector. I had to think another way to present this speech. Last minute, I decided to use props on my speech. This speech, benefits of swimming accessories, was prepared.

–-- Start –--

Anyone here in this room knows how to swim? Please raise your hand. Anyone straight jump into swimming pool without wearing any swimming accessories? Please raise your hand.

Today I would like to share with all my loving toastmasters: some benefits of wearing swimming accessories. Head is the most important organ in human body. Now, we will only talk about swimming accessories that protect our head, which are ear plugs, cap, and goggles.

Swimming ear plugs are ear plugs that are designed to avoid water going into the ears. If water goes into our ears. It will create moisture. Constantly moisture in our ear will cause infections. This infections are commonly called 'swimmer's ear'. Swimmer's ear symptoms include pain, a sense of fullness, discharge and itching. If you often have this infections, it will contribute to hearing loss. Especially for frequent swimmer, ear plugs are must. Let me show you guys how to wear them. [Demo time].

Second things that I am going to talk about is swimming cap. In general, there are three type of swimming caps: Lycra, latex rubber and silicone. [Pointing to my swimming cap]. This one is Lycra type. Generally, swimming cap is worn to keep hair relatively dry and free of chlorinated water, although Lycra does not really designed for this purpose. If you swim for long period, it also can keep your hair warm. For me, the most important is hydrodynamic benefits, making you swim faster and smoother. Let me show you guys how to wear them. [Demo time].

Now, I have my ear plugs and swimming cap on, the last things that I am showing to you guys are swimming goggles. Three reasons you must wear goggles: performance, protection and functional. Doing the competition, swimming goggles are a must. It will improve your visibility while swimming. Avoiding disoriented and knowing where is the finishing point. That is performance. Protection: swimming goggles will keep you out of chlorine and other chemical that commonly found in the swimming pools. Some goggles also have harmful UV rays protection. Lastly functional, without glasses, I can't see anything. In the water, I can either wear contact lenses with normal swimming goggles or prescription swimming goggles. Let me show you guys how to wear them. [Demo time].

How am I look now? Handsome? No important. More important is your safety during swimming. Hoping you guys can bring home something new this evening. Thank you.

–-- End –--

Last weekend was my second attempt on Tiramisu. Due to the first Tiramisu was too watery. I decided to search the way to avoid too watery on the biscuits side. I found Megan's Tiramisu Recipe. The major different was she double boiled the mixture of egg yolks and sugar. I gave it a tried. But I failed. You can saw the result on the first picture. The root cause, I would say I went wrong by pouring the whole Mascarpone cheese including the water in the cheese container to the bowl to mix with the mixture of the egg yolks and sugar. I had to throw them away. :( Because of the time consuming, I decided to use back the original method from my first experience. But the recipe was modified slightly. Here is my second Tiramisu recipe.

  • 500g Mascarpone cheese
  • 4 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons caster sugar
  • 5 egg yolks
  • 500g UHT whipping cream
  • 1 pack of Savoiardi ladyfingers
  • 2 cups of water + 2 tablespoons + 2 teaspoons instance espresso coffee + 2 tablespoons + 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 4 tablespoons Amaretto liquor
  • 4 tablespoons Kahlua Coffee liquor
  • 4 tablespoons powdered unsweetened cocoa

The first thing that I need to prepare was the espresso coffee. I boiled 2 cups of water. After turned of the fire, I put 2 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons instance espresso coffee with 2 tablespoons and 1 teaspoon sugar. Then left it aside for cool down. The major different from the first one is the UHT whipping cream. Beat the whipping cream until stiff peaks form. Kept the whipped cream in refrigerator. Separated the egg yolk from the egg white. Mixed 5 egg yolks with 4 tablespoons and 2 teaspoons caster sugar and beat them till smooth and thick. Slowly adding 500g Mascarpone cheese on the egg yolk and sugar mixture at low speed. Remember do not pour the water from the Mascarpone cheese container on the mixture. Stopped when the mixture is well even and smooth. After that, slowly adding the chilled whipped cream on the mixture and stir well. Then the Tiramisu cream is ready.

Poured 4 tablespoons of Kahlua Coffee and Amaretto liquor each on the espresso and stir it well. Dipped the Savoiardi ladyfingers with the espresso mixture fast. Remember, it had to be fast to avoid too watery Tiramisu. Arranged the wet sponge biscuits as the bottom layer of the Tiramisu. Then added thin layer of Tiramisu cream. After that, continued with another layer of wet sponge biscuits and another layer of Tiramisu cream. Chilled the Tiramisu in the refrigerator over night. Before serving, sprinkled a thin layer of cocoa power at the top of the Tiramisu.

First time I was sending huge parcel out from Malaysia. How to do it? I need to send some winter clothes to Australia. First of all I need to find a huge box to fix all the stuff that I need to send over. Then I need to wrap it with brown paper and brown packing tape and packing string. I had to go to post office twice. As for the first time, my parcel was weighted 5.02kg. According to the table, they were going to charge me 10kg price. I felt it was not worth it. I had to go back home and remove some stuff and repack again. The second time, the parcel was 4.9kg.