Saturday, January 31, 2009

Cultural differences

I once wrote about the similarities between Malaysian (especially Malays) and Indonesian which are due to the same roots that both country have (the link can be found here - This is true as much as most Malaysian wouldn't be caught dead being said to be an Indonesian. As most Indonesians who work in Malaysia are maids and hard labourers, Malaysian treat them as such. As Malaysia and Indonesia as a country itself had their own conflict which nearly escalate to full-blown war, thankfully averted, the people seems to do the same.

However, as much as we are the same, I sometimes wonder how history can lead us to be so culturally different. The language, the meaning od the same word and the reference to the same brand but different usage for it. Of course the similarities are there but as we chart our own course, we tend to divert from the same path. Malaysia took the road less familiar by transforming itself from a small country to a country vocal on it's stand (regardless of the people's stands) and Indonesia just trying to survive everyday life as it encompass nearly the whole of South East Asia.

Taste of food, how you order certain food, education, politics and culture. Malaysia and Indonesia once even fight over the song's origin as Malaysia used the song 'Rasa Sayang Eh...' to promote Malaysia in Indonesia. In all actuality, all music history teachers knows that a cord or a tone being changed can turn a melody from being Chinese to Malay to Indian. Like the band Queen once asked in one of it's last song "What are fighting for?".

It's not that bad if you look at it on certain point's but Indonesia is to Malaysia is like Malaysia is to Singapore. One is considered poorer in term of economic reach but the other always hated the other's for it. It is the perfect example of  can't live with them, can't live without them. Truth be told, being neighbouring countries, we depend on each other.

Friday, January 30, 2009

What I miss most when I travel


That one word is enough to sum up the need to dig in into the familiar food that I miss when I travel. Malaysian are known for loving food up to the point of being ridiculous as we can enjoy whatever food which we consider as our ultimate delicacy anywhere from a Michelin's endorsed fine dining restaurant to a small stall under a tree. We are known to look for our favourite food in the wee hour of the morning up until late at night and sometimes at both time we would eat the same dish but at different place.

As much as we love to try new dish in far-off place which we have never tasted before such as that ox-tail soup in central Java or ox innards in southern China or that whole lamb including it's head in the middle east (all these I have tasted and love), I would give an arm and a leg to enjoy all these dishes with my favourite drink, something I never found to be made properly wherever in the world, even in the place of it's origin, a nice tall glass of 'teh tarik' or a glass of tea with milk which are put through a rigorious procedure which make it foaming at the top. It never taste the same except in Malaysia.

I tried it in London, Perth, Indonesia and a few other places but it was never the same as my neighbourhood's mamak. So, that was why I was there yesterday morning drinking the same concoction as if I was away far too long and not just in a neighbouring country with nearly the same food on offer. Go figure!

Thursday, January 29, 2009


I scoffed at the idea once when my wife suggested that I bring a handkerchief in my pocket. As nowadays most of my shirt don't have a pocket and no one in Malaysia wears a jacket under the hot sun (except so very few, most of my things are in my trouser's pockets and having a handkerchief will just make it more bulgy.

It all started when I have to use a classroom which only had fans to cool off the persons in it (there are still some classrooms using these primitive mode of cooling a room. Although it help the environment, it is never enough to cool the Malaysian weather). Being Malaysia, with it's hot weather and coupled with my easeness of sweating, I will be soaked by the time I came into class, especially the afternoon class. When I have to wipe the sweat of my brow and face and all over my body I actually used my hands. Gross right? One of my students had the mind of passing me some face tissue for me to wipe of my sweaty brows.

My wife bought me a hankerchief when I told her the story of my suffering. I refused to use it at first as it was just cramping my style. I relented after I keep on sweating and would have done so even in the morning. So, I swallowed my pride and now, I have succumbed to being a lot like my father, who always have a hanky in his pocket...

One hanky too many

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Recovering from trips

Each time I landed in KLIA or LCCT, the international airports which I used to access my own hometown, I will always struck by the feeling that I may need to have another holiday. Either the trip which I just back from was for leisure or business. Whether I slept the whole time I was in the plane or I was wide awake. Whether it was just a 45 minutes plane ride or a 14 hours flight (which is the most I have been on a plane).

It is not that I don't know how to take care of my jetlag. I have been to a few trips outside of Malaysia which require me to adjust back to the Malaysian time. What I usually do is to sleep like I am in Malaysia while I was on the plane and if I land during the day time, I actually goes straight to work and only sleep at night, albeit a bit earlier. Today I am coming back from Jakarta which include a trip to Bandung. The time different may not really play a factor but the mood maybe different.

Anyway, this is more of the feeling you just want to stay in the comfort zone of the holiday that you just had. This is about not really wanting to go back to reality. Especially of the trip is a good one. I rarely had bad trips as any bad thing which happened in a trip is just another setback which we don't dwell on. Missed connections, missing luggage, noisy passengers and all those things you have to travel during a trip. It is just like another day if you don't go anywhere. Why let it spoil your mood?

Until you really do have to go back home...

From this

To this

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Tiger vs. Dragon (Updated)

Today is the second day of Chinese New Year. Being a Malaysian, I am also sometimes influenced by Chinese belief like Chinese astrology. I am a Tiger in the Chinese Astrology. My wife is a Dragon. I think I am a Wood Tiger (Tiger Wood?) and my wife is a Fire Dragon. Not sure but maybe others who were born in 1974 and 1976 can confirm whether this is the right signs. If true, just imagine what the fire can do to the wood although the animals are nearly equivalent in it's ferocity and strength. According to legends we read about.

Those who really believe and understand these Chinese astrology signs taught me about the compability of Tiger and Dragon. The person who taught me this was the partner in the legal firm where I chambered. She was 8 years older than me making her the next generation of dragon. In that firm, she was the other partner who was not my master. I was so 'ngam' or compatible (no thesaurus to check another word for it) with her that we had a problem with my master (the lawyer who is responsible to ensure you learn about lawyering), who is also a lady, who said we were spending too much time together.

The other tiger in the house

When you are doing your chambering, you are supposed to stick to your master like glue on paper. Your lessons will be taught by observing him (or her in my case) do all the lawyerly stuff and do his bidding. In my case, as my master was always out of the office in contrast with her partner, I would always be left with her partner and we would be devising so many reasons to be together. I remembered that the year that I was chambering, it was the World Cup of 1998. We would take bets which team would win the game the night before. The one who wins had to pay for lunch the next day. I was betting on Brazil when they lost to France that year. I bought her lunch that day.

It is also the same with my wife. Our interest in books actually make us closer together. We sometimes just take a book, go read it in a coffee shop or if we are on holiday, one of our activity is reading a book by the beach or the pool. Up to a certain extent, maybe being compatible due to the year that you are born may ring true somehow or another but to build a lasting relationship is another matter. Compatability is just a small factor.

Are there any compatibility in any other Chinese astrology animals, I wonder?

Monday, January 26, 2009


Our nearest neighbouring country which I can connect to easily must be Indonesia. It may have to do most Malays came from that country one time of another. I did follow my mom in 1994 going back to the place where our ancestors came from in Sumatra. Being of Negeri Sembilan descendants, we can trace back our heritage to the exact kampung. When they came to Negeri Sembilan, these Indonesian have divided themselves according to the place that they came from. Being under a matrilineal descent system, the womenfolk of my kampung are said to be more dominant than the men that legend has it, there are a lot of men in other part of Malaysia who are afraid of marrying Negeri Sembilan's girls as they may lost their property to them.

As you, my readers, are reading this post, I will be in the middle of a Java town called Bandung. Legendary for it's beautiful women (so I heard), I am on holiday as the town of Kuala Lumpur shuts down for it's Chinese New Year celebration. I have bought a ticket to this town for a short excursion to sightsee at one of the big town of Indonesia. I have been to quite a few towns in Indonesia including Jakarta, Medan, Surabaya, Bali and Bukit Tinggi but I have never been to Bandung. In Malaysia, the word Bandung is used to describe certain food and drink which actually does not have any relevant association with the town of Bandung itself. The joke is to go to Bandung and ask for that particular drink or food and you will receive a scratching head. It shows that in Malaysia branding has been in existence long ago...

Another Malaysian eccentricity when it comes to us being in Indonesia, we always seem to switch to talking to Indonesian language. This also happens when we talk to an Indonesian who works in Malaysia. Although nearly most of our words are the same, they have different meaning for different words so much so that a few of our profanities are actually just an everyday words in Indonesia. These are source of in-joke for Malaysians when we are in Indonesia. I am hoping to have a relaxing time in Bandung. They say the town of Bandung is a bit higher than any other town in Indonesia. That maybe also the reasons their women are so fair. Don't worry, I am here with the wife and high on her to-do list is to shop until she drops which is another of Bandung's speciality.

Sunday, January 25, 2009

Pangkor Laut Resort

Last year, I had the chance of experiencing one of the luxurious holiday that Malaysia have to offer. It is on an island leased by one of Malaysian biggest company, YTL Corporation which is turned into a resort. Pangkor Laut resort can be considered as one of the dream vacation I had have since I saw it being frequented by a lot of famous people like the later Pavarotti and Joan Collins to name a few. Then when Sports Illustrated did a photo shoot for it's year end issue, I know that I just have to go there one day.

It became a reality last year when I was given a substitute room in Pangkor Laut as a year before I went to YTL's property in Bali but when I arrived, the property was not properly ready yet. This Pangkor Laut Resort trip was as way for YTL to say they are sorry and I should enjoy a complimentary stay there. I upgraded to a better room or should I say chalet, as I asked for the stilted water chalet which is more expensive than what was offered. I had to pay a little but it was worth every penny. Here are some pictures of the trip...

Saturday, January 24, 2009

My own fish spa

The pond

I am quiet a lazy person especially when it comes to things which I need to do around the house. However, when it comes to my small pond which can be considered like a small fish spa with guppies by the hundreds in it and with some as big as the size of a thumb, I love feeding them every morning even though the part involving any form of cleaning it usually are left to my wife. The only other part that I play other than feeding them is making such the water spouting device which it has is functional as there's a lot of weed stuck to it's sucker after some times.

The fish

It just when there are so many of them in the small pond, I am reminded of the fish spa that is sprouting all over Malaysia in which the fishes eat the dead skin of your feet and you will feel them as if they are massaging your feet. These fish spas are also offering franchise to those who wants to buy it and I was even offered to do so with an email. I am just wondering whether with these guppies that I have whether I can just make a bigger pond for my neighbours to come and put in their feet into it. My fishes seem hungry enough...

If I can just train them to make them eat dead skin cells...

Friday, January 23, 2009

This is how we partied....

The day : Saturday night

The time : 8pm - 1am

The place : Outside one of the house at the adjacent street of mine

The reason : It was in honour of some South Korean students who was staying in one of the neighbour's house

Participants : That particular street neighbours with us as the only outside guests

The theme : BBQ with one whole lamb being devoured up to the last bone.

The entertainment : A projector with a screen and some singing

The victim being roasted

The chef from a famous hotel in Petaling Jaya

Some chicken for those watching their diet

A would-be chef?

Hungry neighbours...

The utensils...

The big screen

The entertainment

Thursday, January 22, 2009

Where's my sex party?

I was reading the Star newspaper last week when I came across an article about sex parties which seem to be the trend nowadays in Malaysia. It is not just among adults but is also rampant among kids as young as 14. It seems it is all the rage now.

I don't actually think it is a new problem if you want to call it that (sex parties among adult I mean) as all those who participate must have been aware what they are getting into, regardless whether the issue is about religion, health or moral. Or whatever other problem you want to associate it with. It was just that during those years when I am still a young strapping young man I was never invited to such an event or let us just call it an orgy. It may have to do with my look which I would say to be below average in the 'look' department. Or it may be the company I kept.

Wait, does being in the apartment while two of your friends past you by, with each bringing a girl into their own room, while I am sitting outside in the living room, trying to ignore the noise coming from the rooms, considered being involved in a sex party? Or how about when you live with don't know how many housemates in an apartment and every night one of them will bring one of their girlfriend home, sometimes more than one, and they will be sleeping all around the house (some were really just sleeping) while you came in and go sleep in your own corner, considered being in one too. In the second scenario, I did wake up a few times with a girl beside me, who seemed always to be locked out of her apartment as she love partying till late and don't have anywhere to sleep. She was really sleeping then albeit there were time it seems we were in a compromising position.

Unless sex parties must be something well planned and there are rules and regualations before it can be considered as one, I must have been in a few too. Oh well, not I have answered my own question, why now does the authority realised this? Those experiences of mine were during the early part of 2000s...

Nowadays, mine just have two participants...

Wednesday, January 21, 2009


I saw my father's brother being laid to rest last week and I had a fleeting moment of mortality when I went to the grave as saw his children taking care of all the necessary arrangement for him to be buried. There was 3 boys and 3 girls. The guys were of various ages and two of them had the necessary religious education to understand all that is need to know on how to bury their father.

Looking back, I just wonder do I ever realise at my own mortality. Of course, it would be wasteful for us to wonder on something which we cannot really fathom except what is taught by our religion. Islam has outline so many information but still just imagining having to emdure what's coming alone can send shiver down anybody's spine. Never mine imagining what happen using the visual provided by horror movies.

I just can't imagine having to think about those who I left behind if anything happens to me. Being young does not mean that it can't never happen to me in a matter of second. With modern facilities, there are modern perils. Vehicles that we drive  or that is driven among us. Planes, trains and automobile. Diseases. War. Accidents either on the road or at home, where most accidents happen although we always feel safe at home.

I have this favourite character in all the Terry Pratchett's book, a British fantasy writer. He created this imaginary alternate world called Discworld which has a recurrent character named Death. He waits and is never late. In these books, he has a daughter. So, I found the rethinking of Death as a character is always funny.

Not so in real life it seems...

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Sexy back

Ever since that ex-N'Sync singer sang about the region more known by for what is down under than its upper part, I have always like to see that part being display by the fairer sex. Of course, the front is as beautiful too but for the two reasons I have already sang ode to in my post title Mammaries, which you can access here

There is a mystery each time you see someone from their back. Not the lower back which is beautiful for its cheeks but just the upper back which nowadays is always framed by off-shoulder blouses, shirts or even dresses. It seems to be the trend nowadays to have in your wardrobe at least one tube top so that you can show your back to the world. Even if the woman wears a tudung, she can still be a mystery as her demeanor can sometimes make you want to get to her front and see whether your idea of her from the back is what you expect to see at the front.

My idea of a sexy back...

That sense of mystery always made you want to caress the back every time you have access to it as the small gesture will sometime be an opening gambit to further exploration of the back. It also shows the intimate nature of your relationship with the person you put your hands on as putting your hands on someone's back show camaraderie if it's between men and possessiveness if its the other gender's back you put your hand on.

So, back is always sexy to me, and don't get me started on the lower back, which I adore even more...

Monday, January 19, 2009

Ipod maniac (Kanye's fault)

I don't know why each time I put down the Ipod down on the table, especially if there is a song being played, my cats will attack it. God knows how many of their plaything they have around the house to bite and play tug of war with each other. One morning, such things happened and they were running around the house with the earphone. Luckily, the Ipod was unattached to it and although it was lying on the ground, showing that it had fallen from the table to the floor, the hard casing I put around it managed to save it from being damage.

And you know what song that was playing that day?

Kanye West's Love Lockdown...

Here are some pictures of one of them trying to do her utmost damage... (I think Kanye's song have a lot to do with it)

Sunday, January 18, 2009

We are in the wrong company

No, its not a rant about work but on the people who we have to hang around with. Most of them have kids in school and bitching about tuition fees for their kids. Here we are worrying about whether our cats have enough food in their dishes or not.

I know it is not fair to bitch about something which we ourselves may have to face one day but when we are at a social gathering where the other participants are parents, we are kind of at a lost. We don't know how much the school bus fares are. We don't know how much you have to spend on tuition fee. We don't know which schools are the best as we were not born here and our schools are not that great to begin with. We never had to send anyone to clinic due to him or her swallowing a marble before.

Some couple can do it quite well mingling and talking to these parents. They have younger siblings and may have experience with kids which may be their nieces and nephews. Not so with us. I am the youngest and my wife is the eldest with all grown up sisters. Our relationship with our nieces and nephews are only evident when we go to my parent's house as my wife don't have any. Basically, our immediate world is child-free. Totally. So, imagine our bewilderment when we have to here all the things which parents like to talk about. Worse still, my wife told me one day after a gathering, the ladies in the group that we were just in were comparing notes and having a one-upmanship contest to see whose kids did what first.

Sheesh... as we are the exception, let us just stand there in the corner, in our own little world...

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Matrimonial home_Part 2

When we decided that we have had enough, especially my wife, of having to walk quite far, endure the guard's fussiness and having to carry heavy stuff after shopping, we looked for a new home. As my wife was from KL and I, from Seremban, I had to ask her whether she wanted to buy a house near her parent's. She didn't.

We decided to buy a house in Shah Alam, the capital of Selangor, a quiet city which has always been a dream for my wife and I. The only condition was that it's not a condominium complex as was evident from the stories that I told in Part 1 of Matrimonial Home post last week, which you can access here - We went to see a few housing estate which had basic requirements and are in line with what we have in mind.

We nearly bought a house in a housing estate which has a very well-known golf course complete with a club house where all houses there get a free membership in. When we went to see the houes, we were turned off by the layout of the house which is basically quite unattractive and the mature neighbourhood was still not served properly by commercial area although most houses have been in completed nearly 7 to 8 years ago. So, we kept on hunting.

We went to see the current house that I am currently living in although it was not completed then as I knew the owner of it's developer company. He was an unapologetic person who was very much in charge of everything in his company but when it come to selling his products, he was willing to bring me, a small time lawyer who was not even in his company's panel of solicitors (as I was still lobbying him then) to see the cheapest house in the very big development area. I went the first time with my business partner in his 4x4 Lexus and was impressed with what I saw.

I arranged for my wife to see with his people and when she saw that there were ready made cornices, Roman style pillars and high ceilings, she was hooked. We signed on the dotted line in 2004 and we chose the phase which finished the first. We moved in exactly on 1.1.2005 after asking a small time contractor to put in some fittings and lights fixtures. We only installed the kitchen cabinet a few months after we moved in and we basically kept the original look of the house.

As much as there were quite a few shoddy workmanship and problems such as leaks, we are very much in love with this house which can be considered as our first permanent home, which we own.

Who knows, maybe this is it...

Friday, January 16, 2009

Living among the natives

I live with the natives of Malaysia since 1.1.2005. It is not in the jungle but in a housing estate like any other in Malaysia. There are proper roads. Proper utilities and infrastructures. With all the needs and wants of a modern living fulfilled. Its just that right in front of my terrace house, the whole block of nearly 30 houses, most are occupied by the 'orang asal' or in short, the natives.

My housing estate was an uncharted territory in Shah Alam, a few years ago. I bought my house after my wife fell in love with the architecture of the unit that we came to look when the housing estate was still being build. As I know the owner of the developement company personally, he gave me and my wife a personal tour trying to sell us just one of the nearly supposedly thousands of houses, which include bungalow, semi-D and a few blocks of apartment. This developer was notorious for being close with the then Chief Minister and did not play by the rule. Heck, he didn't have to build low cost house in an area which is supposed to be too big for him not to get it waive.

Back to my lovely neighbourhood. I was told by the developer that I would be living in a house fronting houses built for the natives. Their houses are also terrace houses but of lesser quality. These houses were their transit houses before they are given bungalows according to the agreement between the developer and them. They also have other consideration which basically means they don't have to work for the rest of their life, if they choose to. For me, I know of these facts and I have no problem about it.

Imagine my surprise, when I got to know, this fact is not a general information known to all the other housebuyers when they were buying the houses. They got to know this fact after the houses were delivered to them. Some accepted it as it is and some took it quite badly. Some even refused to come and live at the house they bought as they just couldn't accept the fact that they have to live with these natives that they think would disrupt their way of life.

As nearly 80% of them are Muslims, I actually don't know what is the problem of living with the natives. Even if they are not, it is not as if that really matters. If religion was the only issue for these people. As for me I have been brought up in the jungle of Pahang as my parents were Felda officers who had to manage the natives there who still lives in huts and I have to go to school with them when I was only 10 years old. It is not them who must change as they actually came way before us to Malaysia. We are the one who must accept them as they are. We are the 'immigrant' however far back we can see our past.

Maybe that is just me...

p/s : But my wife lives in the middle of Kuala Lumpur which can be considered as an urban jungle and she is better at befriending these natives. Maybe it is just people, who sometimes have certain prejudices....

Thursday, January 15, 2009


Whoever invented it is a genius, in a way...

To a man, its a thing of genius and whatever that guy (whose name I forgot) sang about in the Thong Song, was true and make that a double.

Just imagine, the thong is used by women in this country of ours to make sure that there is no unsightly VPL or visible panty line for the uniniated and for the men to ogle at the twin globe at the back more pronounced by this magic piece of clothing.

One of the game I play with anybody I am with on Air Asia flights is does she or doesn't she? Wear a thong that is. If the VPL is there, then she gets a lower mark. Yes, girls, I am that sexist as you do too when you check the behind of man whom you fancy.

In Malaysia, thong is something which the gals buy as underwear and not as part of an ensemble to be worn to the beach. Heck, Malaysian still bath fully cloth, so wearing a thong to the beach are still a long way off. Bikini has made appearance once in a while but the cheeks are always hidden.

So, Malaysian men, for those in the know, will still have to be satisfied with seeing thongs under all that layer of clothing.

Why not?

A little bit of mystery will still take you a long way...

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

The idea is to jump...

I gave this advice to someone once and I was surprised when she took it. She is happily married partly due to this advice (this may only be a possibility as I have not talk to her since forever) and it may serve as a reminder to some of you.

I got this partly to that 1997 movie which is pukingly too cliche and too nauseous to be taken as advices for some. Its not a direct quote as there was no such words and if there is any, its something in reverse. Mine is my own doing. Its about you looking for the perfect love sifting after one person to the other person, looking for the perfect love. For the perfect guy or girl to save you from the doldrum of singlehood. For a prince charming to save you. For the Cinderella to waltz into your life.

In the real world, there is no such things. All men and women are flawed. The best that you can do is to go for it....

The idea is to jump...

Ready to jump...

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

D.I.Y. coming of age a.k.a 'baligh paksa'

Believe it or not, it happens to a lot of boys as they were learning the 'lessons' on anatomy. Especially when the lesson veers towards woman's. They will become curious on the difference between the gender and they will start to ask around. In this country, rarely will the asking around make parents their first choice, it will be their friends. That is when they will try to catch a glimpse of the forbidden fruit which in this day and age will involve the unrestrained, uncensored, internet. And that is when the do-it-yourself coming of age can happen.

To those who never heard of it, if you are married, you should have a more open relationship with your partner. If you are dating, make it into a joke and get the guy to tell you what I mean by do-it-yourself. It can happen only to men and I really think it can't happen to women. For men, it is as easy as A-B-C as we don't need any 'tool' to D.I.Y, unlike women. Yes, I know women can do it without tools too but that doesn't really count.

I can just imagine the horrified look on my wife's face when she read this but it is real and it does happen to a lot of boys. And its an in-joke for us when we see small kids trying to control the urge and the needs.

How's this for a post which beat around the bush but not hitting the nail on the head?

Monday, January 12, 2009

Award season (updated with result)

I am always a sucker for movies. Especially Hollywood movies. And Oscar is something that I crave every year, although I don't bet on its outcome or really watch it, even when its on TV. It seems that it is a norm in offices across USA to bet on the outcome of the Oscar which may not garner THAT much of a following in Malaysia. Heck, some may not even know what time is the Oscar being shown on TV.

Some may know that last year in 2008, there was no live telecast and I was left with the internet to see the Oscar and the Grammy being handed over. Thanks to Yahoo! for that. The Academy of Motion Pictures and Sciences Awards and the Grammy Awards are nowadays have been losing audiences and with another change in the lineup of hosts, with an untested Hugh Jackman, who may be there more to promote his 'Australia' the movie than really hosting the show, I wouldn't bet on a reversal of fortune of TV ratings.

This year, the Dark Knight may just be the dark horse in the Oscar as it is successful commercially. Commercial and Oscar just don't mix. They usually are mentioned in the same sentence but are never given the same weight. Heath departure from this world may just be his ticket to more fame and I want to bet my shorts that he will be a shoo-in for the Best Supporting Actor. That may also be why Jackman is there to host. Its a kind of a set-off for Australian actor to be given recognition, in a big way, finally.

It is early season still, we may see more of these Oscar thingy being discussed leading to the event and all the bridesmaid awards like Hollywood Foreign Press and the Golden Globe, I am watching now on TV on a Monday, at 9.00 in the morning, here in Malaysia, on 12.1.09, will just stoke the interest of Hollywood fans to the max before the Oscar will go on air...

Heath in all his Joker glory on the cover of Empire January 2008
(picture from Empire website -

Updated at 2pm Malaysia time -

Kate Winslet finally won a significant award after a few nomination heartache; Slumdog Millionaire shows people that what it meant to be underdog by winning four awards including Best Director for Danny Boyle and Best Drama; Tina Fey and Alec Baldwin are winners due to '30 Rocks'; The Wrestler won Mickey Rourke and Springsteen an award each; and a posthumous award for Heath Ledger...

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Men and butt slapping (groping?)

My wife called me one Friday and asked me to turn to one of the page in the Star newspaper. As it was in the special pullout for Friday which is dedicated to the English Premier League, I was puzzled as my wife is not a football fan.

When I turned to it, I was laughing so hard and was so loud that I made my staff upset. They were puzzled at the ferocity of my laugh as they rarely heard me doing such a thing.

My wife did asked me once what is it with men and slapping each others butt. Some even love grabbing the cheek or cheeks. As I am guilty of slapping and grabbing, my answer is that we may be heterosexual but we think its just a form of fun among men. Especially when after a sport event where we were involved together. But, this picture is very much more than what I have ever done. Couldn't find it on the internet so I took the picture using my camera :

This is the picture from the Star pullout on 2.1.09

Then just look at the headline, TRIED AND TESTED

Why must they use this picture of all pictures to explain who is going to be traded around Engligh Premier League. Then my wife ask, is that man's name is really Crouch...?

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Matrimonial home...Part 1

In the earlier years of our marriage, we lived in an apartment. It was not big, just 700 square feet of living room, a small kitchenette and 2 bedrooms. There was a small balcony which I hung a bamboo blind to block the sun and put a small chair in, making it into another small enclosure for us to enjoy the evening breeze. As small as it was, this was our first matrimonial home.

My wife was already familiar with my house then as I moved there after I have known her for sometimes. Before that, I was living in a condominium near my apartment, with the then boyfriend, now ex-boyfriend, of my business partner (long story, another posting) and when they were at the breaking-up point, I decided to move on somewhere 'safer'. It was quite bad of me but I knew that it would only create trouble for me to stay. It actually became quite ugly...

Anyway, when I moved, I did not buy any new furniture. I just bring along the sofa bed and the mattress that I was using as my bed, my television set and my washing machine. Only after our marriage did we buy new furnitures. We went shopping at a nearby mall in Puchong and we even tested the most important thing in any marriage at the shop before we bought it, which was the bed. It passed our rigorious testing and was later tested properly when we got it home.

We lasted only 2 years there as my wife was fed-up of a few things. Having to walk from outside the condominium compound lugging around groceries after shopping. Having to bear the noises from the unit above created due to someone moving some furniture or even drop a marble. Another bane for her is during the football season, she didn't have to contend with just me shouting at my football team at the wee hour of the morning but also the block across from us which seems to be filled with college students who seems to shout in unison at every missed chance and then celebrate like they were there in Milan when their team score a goal. There was even an episode of Romeo and Juliet one day at 2am where a girl living within our block had a running conversation with a boy living at the block beside us for nearly 2 hours straight.

So, we decided to move and a new adventure of looking for the right abode began...

Friday, January 9, 2009

If everyone else want to change, can I still stay the same?

Every year, most people will make a new year resolution in trying to change. Nowadays, it seems even the "I am not going to make a resolution, but..." also seems to be cliche and everyone is doing it. So, I am now going to take it to the next level. I want to everything in my life stay the same like it is.

I want to still be loving the same girl that I know since 2001, engaged to, married and still married after 5 years. To still keep the talking, listening, planning, loving, arguing and doing whatever we have been doing for the past 5 years as a married couple. To take the holidays that we have been planning or plan at the last minute either in KL or by flight, locally or in other countries. Still doing house projects like painting walls and arranging furnitures like we have been doing since the day we moved to the current house in January 2005. Raising the 4 cats that are still left with us, down one from last year, as Spot left us due to FIV (a kind of HIV for cats) and hope my dream of seeing Cookie weighting 10 kg comes true.

Just 2 of the 4

I will still be driving the same car which I had bought in 2007 as it is my dream car and for now it is enough. I will still be living in the same house but may change its financier when the lock-up period of the current back expires in July 2009.

I will still be jogging the length of my neighbourhood from one end to the other end which should cover more than 10 km, if I really wants to take it to the limit.

Maybe anoher trip to a colder climate?

I will still be indulging in my monthly intake of steak either cooked by wife or at the most expensive restaurant in town, according to the affordability, budget and occassion.

I will still be building my firm in stages and hoping in 5 to 10 years time I can leave it to someone to manage it for me and I will be like a shareholders or just a board of partners.

I will still be devoted to my religion in my own way which include regular prayers, occasional prayers at the surau and the weekly Friday prayers. I will still contribute monetarily through the government agencies entrusted to do such collections and the occasional out of the way contirbution. I will still plan to go for umrah and haji which I had planned since 2007 but still have not made it come true, yet.

I will still argue with my mom over various things like I have been doing since 1990s. And I still will regret it later then ask for her forgiveness. I will still try to convince her to quit totally from working as she will still ask me to stop asking. I will try to take her for holidays like she asked me to in 2008 but was hampered due to my dad's health and other unforeseen circumstances.

All these are my to do things, which is basically just the way it was in 2008. If I manage to do all this, I will be happy enough.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Killer stroller

I need to apologise first to all parent and give a fair warning that I don't have kids so I might not understand this phenomena. I believe this is also one of the reason why shopping malls nowadays have very wide corridors to accommodate this thing which I call a monstrosity. Okay, not a monster, but close...

What I am blabbing about is the big four wheels strollers that parents seem to be using in shopping malls nowadays in Malaysia. I have met this monstrosity for the first time when I went for a tour around Europe in 2005 and now it has followed me back to Malaysia after all this year.

I have seen some are not even filled with babies but little boys or girls who can already run around their parents in circle. Some was even filled to the brim with shopping bags while one of the parents hold the kid in his arm or the kid was running around somewhere. It seems that the bigger the stroller, the more contraptions can be attached to it. I saw a few double decker and when I thought that those which can fill  more than one baby was just something concocted by Hollywood film, loo and behold, I saw those which can carry more than one baby  trying to smash my foot.

As I said, I don't carry my pets around as they will never let me do that to them and I am still sane enough to not turn into some Paris Hilton crazy pet owner, but can some parents explain to me, what is wrong with the normal, easy to fold, run of the mill stroller that was used by the saner people before these killer strollers come into being?

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Holidays of 2008

 Here are some pictures from the holidays and breakaways that my wife and I had the whole of 2008.
All locally done in Malaysia except for one trip to a neighbouring country, although we did went 'over'sea within Malaysia in a few episodes : -

In Singapore on 4.4.08 to watch a theatre show.
Brought along dad to enjoy his favourite murtabak at Arab Street
(yep, I did use this pic before in my earlier posting)

An escapade in Sheraton Imperial, KL, during one weekend between 7th and 9th June '08

During Ramadhan I need my regular fix of various Kelantan food in Kota Bharu (13.9.08)

Went to Kuala Berang and then Kuala Terengganu due to a wedding of one of my staff in June
This is a picture of Tasik Kenyir, just off Kuala Berang
before we went to stay in Primula at Kuala Terengganu

 Off to Kota Kinabalu as my brother had a conference there and we had some spare time
between 2nd to 4th of May 08. And the seafood there were heavenly.

For our 5th wedding anniversary, although we planned to go to Europe, we settled for a simple weekend in Shang-ri la Putrajaya and Le Meridian KL

Fireworks from the boat we were on during Merdeka month of August as part of the 2008 international firework competition in Putrajaya

Living the high life in Pangkor Laut Resort in April

Another hotel escapade at Traders Hotel during my birthday weekend in October 
which overlook the KLCC

And finally a final escapade with my brother's family from JB during the Maal Hijrah long weekend.
The picture shows the traffic fronting Pavilion at 2am in the morning on a Saturday night

p/s - I can safely say we did contribute to domestic tourism the whole of the year 2008 quite a lot. We were on holiday every other month!!!