Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Tragedy


The photo above is from cnn.com website: "A woman holding a child sits amid ruins left the southern town of Kosgada Tuesday." Posted by Hello

I am sure all of us knew about the huge disaster that struck South East Asia the day after Christmas. Sri Lanka was the worst hit. Back in Year 2000, I worked with a couple of colleagues in Sri Lanka, particularly an IT Support guy named Ravi.

When the project ended, we still keep in touch once a while. I emailed him on Monday hoping that he and his family are not affected. He called me on Tuesday and we talked about it. He said the situation is bad. At that point in time, Sri Lanka has 10,000 deaths. There was a train which was wrecked with 1,000 people trapped and drowned. There was a high class 5 star hotel located in a wildlife park which was destroyed. So was the park and the animals in there. Everybody was in a state of shock. He said that he and his colleague have pooled some money to buy food and clothes and they put it in front of the Prime Minister office to help out the victims families and he said if we could help, it will be much appreciated.

Assistance can be provided in many ways. One of them is via amazon.com using credit card. Click here. amazon.com donation is given to American Red Cross. So far, 16,500 people have donated and the amount is US$820K.

Closer to home, Greedy, my friend had a beach wedding in Chennai just last week. She told me yesterday that the same beach she had her wedding on was completely destroyed. Think about it. A few days ago, you were there having the most romantic beach wedding with all the nice people and today, that same beach were destroyed, possibly along with the lives of many of the workers - waiters, chefs, etc.

Loochoomus was in Langkawi last week on a business trip. He told me he slept on the beach at night staring at the beautiful stars. A week later, Langkawi was badly hit.

This is just so scary!

On Numeronean

Numy came to my house the other night. He likes the new place. Then he asked a very simple question - is it like Miss Wong's house? Miss Wong is a mutual friend. I said I am not sure as I have not been to her house.

Later, it occurred to me that Numy has no idea how houses are designed and sold in KL, despite being here for almost 20 years of his life. He does not know what is 22 by 75 feet nor the typical built-up area of a terrace house. His ignorance is due to the fact that all his life, he has not lived in a terrace house before. His parents stay in a semi-D house in an opulent area. His wife grew up in a bangalow in Bangsar - she probably has no idea of a terrace house either. Both of them stays in Melbourne in their own house, a non-linked house.

When we grew up together, I used to hang out in Numy's place in the afternoon. As a kid, it never occur to me that his house is big. It's just Numy's house, you know. Now that I have a place of my own and that I have the experience of house hunting and stuff, I realize his parents' house is big, by today's standard. I wonder what it is like to grow up in a big house with a nice kitchen and huge living room.

***

For the past few months, I have been haunted by IRB (Income tax). I believe I am taxed at a 20 plus percentage bracket and yet I feel the pinch. The bloody government is bleeding us dry! 20% tax is not the highest bracket in Malaysia. I can't recall what is the highest. 30%?

Anyway, Numy said in Australia, he's taxed A$20K a year. The highest rate is 44% and is applicable to anyone who earn more than $60K yearly - that's almost like EVERY professionals. He said for people like us with 5 years of working experience, we can easily earn $60K a year. So everyone like us will fall into this 44% bracket. 44%!!! That's daylight robbery! It may be progressive like in Malaysia (ie not 44% on your $60K income) but it is still very high.

This is something to consider if I really want to move to AU. I guess if I am migrating (ie staying > 10 years there), there's some value as I get to enjoy a lot of things that I paid taxes for. But if I am just planning to work there for a couple of years.. is it worth it?

More headaches.

http://www.ato.gov.au

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Movie Kakis

Someone asked me how come I don't see movies with my other friends like Loochomus or ZipD? Why do I see it with kimmikanuyi and Kepong Pak Jam Kai?

The short answer is once you have established a gang of fanatic movie kakis, you stick with them. The answer everybody expects but is not true is single people stick together because the couple want to watch movies as a couple.

The real answer is my friends would rather watch it in a "very cheng one, rm5 DVD quality" VCD at home than to go movies.

And if they DO go movies, it is usually in the weekends and I hate going to the mall on weekends because of the crowd.

And if they do go movies on weekdays, these people MUST go home first to take a bath regardless of whether the movie is showing at 7.10 o'clock and "we still need to eat, so why the heck you want to go home and bathe?" So you see, the reason is not really due to the maritial status but because kimmikanuyi and KPK are flexible on the schedule and the day of the week for movies. They make good companion. No fuss. Thanks guys.

Hmmmm

Hmmmm

Monday, December 27, 2004

Conversation between 2 Top Executives

ringgit says:
now there hor.. almost like the beginning of sri hartamas.. so many pubs and makan places.. but but but... the people hang out there a bit beng!
Kimmikanuyi says:
errrrrrrr
anti-ringgit says:
yes lah they all look like U
anti-ringgitsays:
we can understand
Kimmikanuyi says:
pakai slipper one
ringgit says:
i was not born in kepong.. MAH LAU born in kepong
anti-ringgit says:
like a piaw
Kimmikanuyi says:
short ...
ringgit says:
u turn everywhere u see people look like mah lau
anti-ringgit says:
i high class kepong fam ok
ringgit says:
eh mah lau.. u study Sekolah Kebangsaan Kepong ah???
ringgit says:
high class still KEPONG!
anti-ringgit says:
pooi
ringgit says:
hahaha.. stay there 30 years.. got cap kepong liow!!!
ringgit says:
i baru stay in kepong 6 mths aje!
ringgit says:
hahahahahaaha
anti-ringgit says:
yr fam beer we drink heneessy
ringgit says:
KEPONG MAH LAU.. new name for u
anti-ringgit says:
yr fam smoke cap bintang we smoke cigar u know lasst time
ringgit says:
henessy also kepong... no matter what u say, u r kepong..
ringgit says:
got a malay saying one
anti-ringgit says:
pooi
anti-ringgit says:
high class.. u missed out the word
ringgit says:
i sentul for 20 years
anti-ringgit says:
key word
ringgit says:
then segambut for 10 years
anti-ringgit says:
itu keling mali
ringgit says:
u kepong through and through!
anti-ringgit says:
no wonder dark skin
anti-ringgit says:
cann0ot be scrubbed
ringgit says:
no wonder u dun like ah piaw!
ringgit says:
coz u look like one!
ringgit says:
HAHAHAHAHHAAAAAAAAAAA
anti-ringgit says:
keling
ringgit says:
kepong pak jam kai
anti-ringgit says:
keling “ringgit”
anti-ringgit says:
keling “ring ring”
ringgit says:
KPK = Kepok Pak jam Kai
ringgit says:
nice..
anti-ringgit says:
KRR
Kimmikanuyi says:
:P
ringgit says:
“kimmikanuyi”.. u see lar.. "LEVEL X EXECUTIVE!".. like kid only!

Assistance Required

Tonight I am going out for a drink with Loochoomus and Numeronean (and his wife). Numy came back for two weeks. He and his wife is currently staying in Melbourne, Australia. They just finished having their house built.

Anyway, what I required from my dear readers are standard replies to two commonly asked questions whenever I meet up old friends or relatives. Seeing that Chinese New Year is around the corner, I should really start thinking of these standard answers. If only there is one answer that will stop all these questionings.

The questions that I usually get:
1. Are you still going to go Australia?
2. When are you getting a girlfriend?

Any assistance is much appreciated. Thanks.

Saturday, December 25, 2004

Hand

Well, well, well, who would have thought of this?

Before I start, Merry Christmas to all of you!

This morning, the whole family went to Concorde Hotel. My younger sister's church is having a Christmas event in the hotel. She has, in recent months, accepted Christ into her life and was excited to invite the family to her first Christmas. She's affliated with Bethany Church, part of the Assembly of God of Malaysia, in the suburb I am staying.

So we went to Concorde Hotel. The event is held in the ballroom. The set up is different from most Christmas events I have been in the past. Instead of having rows and rows of chairs facing the stage, they have tables of ten instead, much like a wedding dinner. Lunch is provided, buffet style.

The event started with singing - some Christmas songs - Joy to the World, Hark the Angel Sing, O Holy Night and some other songs I am not familiar with. Then this guy called HT Long came up stage. He's supposedly a very well known performer - he's called the Elvis Presley of Malaysia. Anyway, he performed a few Elvis song - Wooden Heart, Crying In The Chapel, etc. Very good voice. He really sound like Elvis. Then he sang a few gospel songs after which he gave his testimony. In my opinion, he wasn't a good speaker as he get distracted a lot - but he gets his message across. He spoke about how he was against Christianity in all his adult years, despite all his family members persuasion and prayers. Finally he was touched by God when he was 38. This happened during one particular year where there was a visiting German missioner in Stadium Merdeka. He said that in that particular night he witnessed miracles of healing and he himself experienced the power of healing (he supposedly has some kind of body itch for the past 14 years, which baffled all the doctors). Since then he has been doing ministry work, by singing for churches and events like this and you know basically spreading the word of God through his music.

At the end of his speech, he asked the people to pray with him.. I decided to whisper my prayers too. Then he asked if there's anyone who wanted to accept Christ. To my surprise, of all the people, my father raised his hand! Some of the ushers came to him and gave him a card to write his name and contact down. My sister was really happy that father has decided to open his heart to God. I was stunned. I was totally void of feeling. I mean, here I was, thinking deep and hard about all these and all of a sudden, the man of my family has decided to accept Him. I looked at dad and he said that he's just putting his name down.. and that maybe he can get healing for his hand (my father's hand had a sprained). I told him, well, it is a very good start. I sat back and then I was happy for him.. for it is a good start. If he brings the Lord to this house, perhaps the rest of the family will feel His presence too.

As I think more, I become happier. It really is a very good news indeed. It will make it so much easier for me, mom and another sister to welcome Him into our lives. While my parents don't object if anyone of their child decide to accept Christianity, I am always very hesistant because I do not know what they will think if their eldest son decided to do so. Now that father has accepted Him, I do think that it will make it much easier for the rest of us.

God does work in mysterious ways! This is the very last thing that I imagined to happen!

** update:
After the afternoon nap, father said that he didn't know that when raising his hand, he's asking to accept Christ. He was just trying to catch Mr HT Long's attention by saying, yes, his hand hurts too and can he be healed. Hmm.. can someone pull out like that?

Friday, December 24, 2004

Wishing You A Merry Christmas

For my Christian readers, have a joyful and merry Christmas. May next year bring you happiness. For the non-Christian readers, happy holidays. Hopefully, happiness will find you next year too. For everyone, have faith. It *will* be a better year.

Blog in Baghdad

I happened to come across this interesting blog: A Family in Baghdad. It is written by a mother who is currently lives in Baghdad, Iraq. An eye opener and interesting read, considering it was just a year after the war.

Take a look if you are bored. Lots of stuff though.

Thursday, December 23, 2004

Life Changing

miloflamingo said that she "(have) never met anyone whose life was unchanged by Egypt, for better or worse. I'm sure she was refering to the expats who live and work in Egypt and was not refering to the week-long tourist. It does get the wheels in my brain turning though. Did I change after coming back from this week long trip?

Well, for one, I begin to think a lot more about seeking God and fulfilling my spiritual need. I have seen the great things that people, 5,000 years ago, do for their faith in God. I was at the land where civilization supposedly exist. This is the place where Christianity and Islamic influences abound, where God gave Moses the 10 Commandments, where just across the Red Sea, the son of God was born, where the Prophet Mohammad made his hejira which marks the start of the Muslim calendar. 5,000 years of civilization dedicated to God cannot go wrong. Humans need faith to thrive on. Why is that so difficult to accept? Then there was the Purpose Driven Life book that kimmikanuyi borrowed which I have been reading almost every night. There are some good stuff there that can be pondered and put into good use .

2nd, respect plays a very important role in human relationship. "You are listening, yes, but you are not respecting me". And of course, to earn respect, one must show respect. I am now changing my behaviour to emphasize this area more. It's a minor life changing thing but important nevertheles.

3rd, I begin to recognize the fact that I don't have any identity as discussed in the Banana-man posts. At any rate, this has taught me humility. No more laughing at the "tung che mern" (comrades). In a way, I am more inferior to the tung che mern because I do not have an identity - whether it is a race nor country. I am not Chinese as I don't come from China and I don't read and write Mandarin. Am I Malaysian? But I don't speak Malay and I have no love for this country. Then who am I?

4th, "em sai chin em kin hong" (it is not healthy not to spend money). This is one phrase I learned from one of the tour group, Chloe. Again, that reaffirms something that was age old: money is not the most important thing in the world. Don't let money be the medium that breaks relationship (with family or friends) or keep you from being happy. Don't be like Miser. I'm not asking myself to splurge but you know, don't have to calculate every cent!

4 things: Believe in God, give respect to another fellow human being, humility and be generous. Is it life changing? You bet!

Apple //e

My first exposure to computers were in 1986, back when I was still in Secondary One. Our school have around 10 Apple // computers. A computer club was formed and the school started giving out computer lessons. I joined one of the classes and fell in love with the computers. It changed my life. Since then, I have spent the next 4 years in school going to the club EVERY DAY just to learn and of course, to play the numerous wonderful games that the Apple // has to offer. When I was in Secondary Five, I finally owned an Apple //e.

I happened to come across this website today:
http://www.virtualapple.com

This website has a collection of 1,100 Apple games! Clicking on any of the games will allow you to play the old Apple games within Internet Explorer! They built the Apple // emulator as an IE application. How wonderful is that? No need to download ROMS, no need to download the emulator. No need configuration. WOW!

And they have Apple //gs games too! Wonderful Christmas news!

Tuesday, December 21, 2004

Pass The Point Of No Return

As you can probably read from the post below my peaceful working day was interrupted by Bonnie's instant message. You could probably tell that I can still joke about the whole incident, what with my nonsense about Arabic oil. Later, I decided to poke Bonnie and what transpired had my body shaking with anger. My hands were shaking while typing and I have to keep on telling myself to stay cool and take deep breathe. Am I ethical to paste our conversation for all to see? At this point, I don't fucking care. And if Bonnie happens to chance upon this blog either via google or something, I have this to say to her: "Fuck off, bitch!"

I am going to annotate the conversation below in red to tell you just exactly what I feel at that moment.

bonnie (15:06) - yello
ringgit (15:06) - ?
bonnie (15:06) - tomorrow me not changing shift with you
ringgit (15:06) - ok
ringgit (15:06) - np
bonnie (15:06) - when you mentioned it's a favor
bonnie (15:06) - i think i dowan to have owe u a favor lar
bonnie (15:06) - thanks anyway
ringgit (15:06) - everything is a favour
ringgit (15:07) - how not to owe favour?
bonnie (15:07) - i will remember that.
ringgit (15:08) - that sounds omninous..
ringgit (15:08) - are you going to take revenge?

You read all the above in my previous post. After 28 minutes of inactivity, I decided to poke her.

>> No activity for the past 28 min
ringgit (15:36) - Hi
ringgit (15:36) - You have not answer my q wor..
bonnie (15:37) - sorry?
bonnie (15:37) - what question?
ringgit (15:37) - I said you sounded omninous.. are you going to take revenge?
bonnie (15:37) - i think you need to learn something here.
bonnie (15:37) - i will put in "peer assestment"

>> HO HO HO.. Bonnie telling me I need to learn something. Bonnie, the most immature person in the whole team wanting to tell me to learn something!!! What an audacious statement!

Bonnie, the I-can't-control-my-fucking-emotion-I- need-to-cry-because-of-a-Christmas-tree-and-I- blame-it-all-on-my-pregnancy wanting to tell me to learn something!!! Bonnie wanting to put this in my peer assessment for my manager to see so I can learn a lesson!!! Please hold on. I need to tickle myself so I can laugh.

ringgit (15:37) - and what is it that I need to learn?
bonnie (15:38) - let me tell you something
bonnie (15:38) - i hate the word favor
bonnie (15:38) - cause my aunty used it against me when i am very young to take adv of me and my sisters.
bonnie (15:38) - i felt treaten
ringgit (15:38) - and how is your personal take on the word favour apply to business, in this case?
bonnie (15:39) - don't treaten me anymore

>> WAIT A MINUTE BONNIE. We are talking business here right? We are talking about changing shift right? What does your aunt has to do with this? Are we bringing mom here too? Do you need mother here so when you lost the fight and cry, you need someone to stand in? And I am sorry, you have a traumatic and pitiful childhood. I am sure you have been abused pyschologically by your aunt at one point or another. WHAT THE FUCK DOES THAT HAS TO DO WITH ME?

And excuse me, when the fuck did I threaten you? When the fuck did I say I am doing you a favour? You are the one that suddenly said "yello" and wanting to talk. Are you so deranged that your aunt's abuse haunt you every night that you have to take it out on me?

ringgit (15:39) - you started this whole conversation
bonnie (15:39) - when i give, u don't expect a return
bonnie (15:39) - i think you should learn that also

>> Personally, I don't fucking care what you think. Last I checked, my surname is ringgit. Not bonnie. I am NOT YOU Bonnie. And you have no rights to ask me to be like you. You like to do charity, by all means. Don't fucking expect people to do so.

bonnie (15:39) - everybody change shift becaose of personal thigs
bonnie (15:40) - did anyone here change shift because it's work related cuase you like a particular shift?
ringgit (15:40) - I think you sometimes need to look at things lightly. You are not always correct and always righteous.

>> TA DA! I said it. Bonnie.. you are not an angel yourself you see. Please look at the mirror before you try to change other people

bonnie (15:40) - don't EVER treaten me again
bonnie (15:40) - i observe you took company time to do pesonal tihngs also
bonnie (15:40) - that's because at that time, the situation needs it

>> There she go again. When have I ever threaten that bitch?

ringgit (15:40) - Wait.. how is this related to me agreeing to change shift with you?
ringgit (15:41) - Just because you hated the word favour, you turned the whole thing into some kind of threat
bonnie (15:41) - ringgit and how is your personal take on the word favour apply to business, in this case?
ringgit (15:41) - I am not your aunt. When I used the word favour, I may not mean like your aunt
bonnie (15:41) - yes i felt treaten
ringgit (15:41) - You are using your personal experience in business in this case
bonnie (15:41) - and my husband can wait
ringgit (15:41) - Like I said, I am NOT your aunt
ringgit (15:42) - Did I sound THREATENING when I said the word favour?
ringgit (15:42) - Ask yourself this!

>> please note that our bitch did not answer this question

bonnie (15:42) - i tihnk of the consequences.
bonnie (15:42) - ie: when you asked back to change shift, i cannot say no.
bonnie (15:42) - because i owe u one.. get it? and you will make sure i remember that
bonnie (15:42) - so i rather.. have the optoin to say no
ringgit (15:42) - Have I ever done that to you?
ringgit (15:43) - And I do take offense at your "don't EVER threaten me again" word.
ringgit (15:44) - You are impossible these days.

>> Ahhh.. as long as you use the word "favour", it equates threaten. You can slap her physically and she won't think it's a threat. Just one word, no matter the intonation, and it became a threat. Do we need to raise it to YELLOW status or RED status?

bonnie (15:44) - that's why i was managing my emotions by not answerin your question just now..
bonnie (15:44) - but you have to dig it up
bonnie (15:44) - sigh..
bonnie (15:44) - how you want me to manage??

>> Ohhhhhhhhhhh, you poor baby. So now you are the victim and I am the bad guy? And poor baby trying to manage her emotion???

Well, don't bother bitch. You can never manage that retarded emotion of yours.

ringgit (15:44) - I wanted to address it
bonnie (15:44) - ok. erase all that.
ringgit (15:44) - I don't want to leave it hanging. That's why I brought it up.
bonnie (15:45) - i dowan to change shift just so that , I can have the options to say NO when you asked to change shift.
ringgit (15:45) - Fine. Then we will never change shift.
ringgit (15:45) - If that is what you are thinking.
ringgit (15:55) - btw, can you tell me what other words are sensitive to you so I know when not to use it?

Man! I was so pissed! I am so pissed I don't even know what to do! I don't even remember when I said the word "favour". I do know that she asked me if I could change shift with her last Thursday. LAST FUCKING THURSDAY! She said it's her husband's birthday tomorrow and she wanted to celebrate with her. I am always flexible and I said ok. Somehow, I must have said the word favour. That word must have fucking haunt her for 5 days (Fri, Sat, Sun, Mon, Tues) and she just can't contain it anymore. 5 fucking days!!!! How can anyone harbour so much resentment except that she's really sick?

Bonnie, aside from the negative EBA you had with me, I now know you better and I pity you. I pity you. Now I know why you keep on telling me you have a happy married life. I know why you keep on telling people you chased after your husband and that he's a good catch. I also know why you keep on telling me that it is very sad to be alone like I am now. That's because you are so fucking insecure with yourself that you have to justify your current situation. I pity what your aunt must have done to your pysche.

You have so much of my pity that I decided not to hate you anymore.

However, we are still colleague. So I am going to employ my classic move I used against colleague that I dislike. I ignore people like that. You want to talk shop - no problem. I can entertain you with a smile. Anything OTHER THAN work and I don't see you. You are probably invisible to me already. No more of your heart2heart talk. You are gone, as far as I am concerned.

PHEW!

Now that I think back, today's incident is perhaps a test from God on how I dealt with relationship with people. I am afraid I have failed again. And I bet tonight's chapter is about forgiving people.

"What should I learn from this today?"

Egyptian Magic Oil

So, I was minding my own business, doing some work when all of a sudden, I must emphasis the "all of a sudden" again, I received the following instant message from Bonnie:

bonnie (15:06) - yello
ringgit (15:06) - ?
bonnie (15:06) - tomorrow me not changing shift with you
ringgit (15:06) - ok
ringgit (15:06) - np
bonnie (15:06) - when you mentioned it's a favor
bonnie (15:06) - i think i dowan to have owe u a favor lar
bonnie (15:06) - thanks anyway
ringgit (15:06) - everything is a favour
ringgit (15:07) - how not to owe favour?
bonnie (15:07) - i will remember that.
ringgit (15:08) - that sounds omninous..
ringgit (15:08) - are you going to take revenge?

Can someone please tell me why I get things like this? Is it because of what I said? Is it because I look too free at work?

I'd like to think of it as the new Arabic oil (Egyptian perfume) that I am using now. It must have driven all these girls crazy. That's why they like to catch my attention! No wonder these days so much attention lar. They cannot resist the smell and wanted to cause some commotion or something to make me notice them. Looks like a damn good purchase from Egypt, eh?

Aside from Bonnie, I have been getting lunch requests these days - from NLK to Emily. Why, just this afternoon, I went lunch with Monica. Later, she sent me a message and asked if I wanted to date her tomorrow. I told her my heart is with Emmy Russom. She's not talking to me now :) Ala. Nevermind, I'll put more essence oil tomorrow.

Anyhoo, what I said above is correct. We live in a world where favours are given and taken. How can one survive without doing and accepting favours? When people do good things to you, you remember them and they have more EBA (Emotional Back Account) with you. As someone's EBA with you grow, you tend to treat that person better.. or do more things for the person voluntarily. Unfortunately, recent events has depleted all EBA that Bonnie had with me. She has to start building up her EBA all over again and start earning back my respect. Otherwise, more incidents such as this will happen.

I have been a loner since day one. I do a lot of things on my own. I do try not to ask favours (if I can help it, though I do recognize the importance of favours). Time will tell which of us will yield. Bonnie, on the other hand, has a family. She will have a baby soon. With a family, husband and a baby to take care off, we will see who's asking favour from who next time.

Year 2005 is really bright and interesting indeed.

Why Me?

Yesterday night, I learned from "Purpose Driven Life" that we are meant to suffer. When we have problems, we will learn from it and be a better person. Problems build character. Instead of looking up at the sky and asking "WHY ME?", ask "What should I learn from this?". I really like the "What should I learn from this?" as it is a very positive way of putting things into perspective.

Monday, December 20, 2004

Being a Tour Guide

This weekend, I have guests from Singapore... two nice ladies with their husbands. I don't know the husbands very well but the ladies are my friends. It's not their first time here so I don't really need to bring them around - all I have to do is take them to nice places to eat and shop. Because I don't know the husbands very well, I do end up making small talks - you know, telling them about this place and that place.. some stuff about the economy, the people and even politics. I feel like a tour guide :)

However, typical with any interaction with Singaporeans, they tend to "criticize" their neighbour. Things like the cleanliness of the shops or the poor state of the road or the corrupted police/government officials. Or how inefficient and lazy Malays are (even though they are also refering to the Malays in their country). Or how bad the services is (though it has been improving quite a lot, they observed), how the taxi drivers are all crooks unlike the Singapore taxis, etc etc. Sometimes they talked about this among themselves and I wonder if they even realize that a fellow Malaysian is there listening to their conversation.

I mentioned before that I have no love for this country. While I don't agree nor disagree with their observation, I do not feel comfortable to hear a foreigner talking about the place I was born in. And suddenly, it just hit me. I wonder how people like Mido, our Egypt tour guide, feel when they hear tourists complaining about their country - every week! I mean, Egypt is not exactly heaven nor their politicians angels. Even I am guilty as I complained about the city/people when I was there. I am not patriotic, yet I feel it when people critisized Malaysia. What about those who are patrotic? How they must have resented the foreigners!

Lessons learned for the week: watch your tongue especially when visiting a foreign land!

Saturday, December 18, 2004

Noise

I'm sensitive to noise. The slightest sound would have waken me up from my slumber. Yet, I am cursed with living around people who makes lots of noise - whether it was in the old house or this new one.

Take this morning for example. Harry's continuous barking for no reason other than seeing the neighbour dogs walking buy will be followed by mother's screaming for him to stop. It would be quiet for a minute or two and then mother would start singing her Cina songs on top of her voice. This will be followed by my sister washing her underclothes in the toilet even though we have a perfectly nice washing machine downstairs. The wash seems to take ages (how many underclothers are there?????). Then there's the construction nearby with the trucks moving up and down. Another sister would switch on Wah Lai Toi and somehow or other, the Chinese channels would have people screaming non stop - why do Chinese have to talk on top of their voices? Why? Why?

I forced myself to get up, washed and hid in the quiet solitude of my study. At least there's one place in the house which is completely free from noise.

Mother would look in and ask, "wah... why wake up so early on a Saturday morning?"

"wo de tian ah!"... GRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRRR.

Friday, December 17, 2004

Gossips

So I was reading Purpose Driven Life yesterday and the chapter talks about unity of the Church and its fellowship. One of the things that were discussed is that gossips break a fellowship and that we should not participate in a gossip. And sure enough, today I had another test on this particular area. A team member wanted to air her dissatisfaction on Bonnie. I can sensed a gossip coming along and instead of stopping it, my weak mind allow the team member to continue. Worse, her frustrations mirrorred mine and I participated in the gossip. I have failed the test. Sigh.............

Must pray for more strength.

Emmy Rossum


Wow. Christine Daae, played by Emmy Rossum in The Phantom of the Opera is simply mesmerising! What a lovely pair of eyes... sigh... Posted by Hello

Ok.. The Phantom of The Opera was enjoyable. Anyone who likes musicals, or who likes Moulin Rouge, should not miss this show. It is long, almost 2.5 hours, so be prepare. But hearing all those familiar Phantom songs in a huge cinema (especially one with THX equipped) was an unforgettable experience. My favourite scene has to be the one where Christine visited her father's grave, singing "Wishing You Were Somehow Here Again". It is just a simple scene potraying a lost soul yearning for guidance from someone wiser.

I would go again just to see Miss Rossum one more time :)

Thursday, December 16, 2004

The Phantom of the Opera


Today I am going to see The Phantom of the Opera (the movie) in Mid Valley Megamall. I saw the musical, The Phantom of the Opera, 2 years ago (May 2002) in London. At that time, I did not have a digital camera and was using anti-ringgit's old 1 megapixel digital camera.

As such, I did not get to take a picture of Her Majesty's Theatre where they are still playing The Phantom of The Opera. This theatre and most other theatres are located in the heart of Leicester where the famous London West End is.

To commemorate today's movie-musical, here's a picture of the Tower Bridge, London, taken the day before I saw The Phantom of The Opera.

If you ask me, I thought Les Miserables was the better musical between the two :) Posted by Hello

London does look gloomy, doesn't she? I heard that's what the weather is like most of the time. Grey, moody and occasional rain. However, it is a really nice place. There's so much things to see and do. There's lots of musicals, museums, shops, historical sites, markets. A friend once said that while London may be dirty and old as compared to other cities in Europe, this is also her charm. That's the characteristic of London.. old... older than a lot of other cities. If you have not been to London, I'd recommend spending a week there to feel the atmosphere. It's an amazing place... (not as great as Egypt but still worth going :P ) There are few places in the world which is worth a second or third visits and I would not mind going to London again.

Wednesday, December 15, 2004

A Layer of Mist

When one consumes too much alchohol and is "high", one feels a layer of cloud in one's brains. Your mental alertness dropped tremendously. You feel as though there is difficulties penetrating the cloud to reach what your line of thoughts are going. People say you are stoned.

I feel like this for two days already. That's without any influence from alchohol. My memory is vague. I can't seem to do my work. What is happening to me? (I do have enough sleep!)

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

The Year That Was

kimmikanuyi said she wanted to hide in a cave to reflect on year 2004. mystic_grey said year 2004 was the worst year ever for her. I would normally flipped through my calendar to see what had happened in the past 12 months. These are some of the stuff that I wrote on the calendar: I bought a new PC, went to Mariah Carey Charmbracelet Tour in Stadium Merdeka, went to Cameron Highlands with the gang, move to Menjalara, saw Saturday Night Fever in Istana Budaya, went to Hong Kong to see Greedy, ending the year with an unforgetable trip to Egypt with anti-ringgit, kimmikanuyi and cy.

Is this a good year? Are those achievements? How does one brand a year as good or bad?

I used to measure the success of a year by how many places or things I have done. Today, upon reflection, those are not achivements - or are they? The trips and the concerts - those are really immaterial, aren't they?

Monday, December 13, 2004

Mysteries

How to "let go" when one sees Egypt everywhere! Today, kimmikanuyi and I went to watch Mysteries of Egypt at Berjaya Times Sq. It is now being shown in iMax theatre. We have not seen iMax and Mysteries of Egypt has the honour of being our first.

One word to describe the Mysteries of Egypt iMax experience - AWESOME.
Go see it today!

Sunday, December 12, 2004

Arabic Lessons

I was playing Counter Strike the other day. My handle was Habibi. Suddenly this guy started chatting in Arabic with me. His first message was "kaifa haluk habibi". I am like, um.. what? As the game progress, he would say "shu hatha?" or "assif" or "shukran". Curiosity got the better of me so I looked up these words. Here they are:

kaifa haluk habibi = how are you, habibi?
shu hatha = what is this?
assif = excuse me or sorry
shukran = thank you
ismak eih = what is your name

The Revenge of "Respect"

Ok. I have to put this in. A couple of months ago, I attended Joey's wedding. I was dressed in a nice V-neck t-shirt and pants. When I met Joey, he looked at me and said why I wear so casually? I was taken aback. When I talked to the rest of the Friends, they said I should not be so casual. I said it's not casual because I didn't come in jeans. They said I should respect the host. It's people's wedding, for goodness sake.. so please pay some respect.

Today, at Greedy's dinner, Mr and Mrs Joey were the last guest to arrive! Dinner was supposed to start at 7.30pm. At 8pm when I called him, he was still in the house. He only arrived at 9pm!

Yeah.. so, who's not showing respect? I may not dressed formally, but at least I came on time. I was at Joey's wedding at 7pm, as stated in the wedding card. When you can't practise what you preached, don't insult people especially ringgit because he has very good memory.

Geeeezzzzzzzzzz.

Miser

I was stuck at a traffic jam on my way to Greedy's dinner. It was raining. My first thought was the old Chinese saying - when it rained during someone's dinner, it meant that that person is a miser. Not to imply Greedy's a miser.. LOL.. but while I was thinking in the car, I realize I do know an actual miser. Someone so cheapskate that he redefines the meaning of "kiasu".

So, this guy works in my company. Let's call him Miser. Miser is a Malaysian who used to study and worked in Singapore. He returned to Malaysia and worked in my company. He's a ok guy. I just can't stand him when he shows his "kiasu-ness" if there is even such a word.

Let me give you an example: a few of us went to a cybercafe to play CS. Most cybercafe here charges around 2 ringgit for an hour. It's pretty cheap and affordable. So we played for like 2.5 hours and it was late and I decided to call it a day. As I was quitting, Miser called out and said let's play another 30 minutes. I said why? He said we still have 30 minutes to go. Why waste it? I just walked away. If he wanted to play he can go ahead. But Miser didn't drive, see, so he had to follow us. He was sulking until after paying the fare at the counter. That was when he found out that the cybercafe charges at every 15 minutes interval which means that he wasn't charged the full 3 hours that he thought he will be charged. He was beaming and kept on saying how good they are to charge every 15 minutes. Geez! Come on! It's only RM1!

Yesterday, during our party, our managers bought us Christmas gifts. The gifts are all identical, with red wrappings for the guys and pink wrappings for the girls. Gifts were put in a basket. Boss said that please get yourself one of the gifts. She bought extra. At the end of the day, while packing up to go, she spied that Miser has taken two gifts! One red and one pink. Boss casually asked, "wah, when you have become girl?". Our friend has the cheek to answer that he's keeping in touch with his feminine side and so he took another one. I bet it is for a girl but would any girl accept such a thing?

Other examples including making lots of noises when asked to chip in for lunches or dinners.

There are all type of people in the world, eh? Perhaps that's why it was so interesting :)

Saturday, December 11, 2004

Wedding, Party, Late Nights, Stuff

I thought I should just say that today is Greedy's wedding dinner. Tomorrow will be the wedding ceremony. I bet it will be a hectic weekend for her.

Speaking of hectic, I had a hectic week. I have been working more than 12 hours almost everyday. Meetings here, meetings there.. and preparation of the party (a team building party). I am so glad it was all over.

On Thursday, anti-ringgit, kimmikanuyi, cy and I went to see Chloe, one of the girls in our tour. She owned an Italian restaurant, her husband is the chef. We had a long talk and get to sample some of the most delicious Italian food in KL! Anyway, my memories are hazy.. I WAS very tired.. so I will write more about that evening once I have the time to think through it. It was an entertaining and educational evening :)

Thursday, December 09, 2004

People have BIGGER problem than me

Another blog which I used to frequent is Odissi's blog. This blog was recommended by mystic_grey. It's written by a Malaysian who is currently staying in London. What I like about this blog is her writing style. She's a journalist and naturally, her writing style is pretty interesting.

I had a good laugh reading today's entry. It was her words of wisom at the end that prompted me to write something today. There are a lot of people who have BIGGER problems than me and therefore I should be very thankful for what I am having today (or thankful for not having when problems, headaches, family matters, etc). Just an hour ago I was having my lunch and had to share a table with a couple of people. From their conversation, the lady was extremely pissed with someone in the company and is threatening to leave the company. The man was not pacifying her either and was adding salt to the wound. As the conversation progress, she became hysteric and her voice was getting louder and louder. It was an awkward situation for me.

At an adjacent table, a few young men were delivering expletives at, I am guessing, another co-worker at work.

Thinking back, I don't think I have much of a problem at work with all my co-workers. I don't remember being shouted at by colleagues or managers. I don't remember shouting at people. And I don't remember losing sleep over work too. Ok, perhaps once or twice.. but that's like a rarity than a norm. 8 years of blissful working life and here I was, thinking about quitting. Lesson learned: Be thankful.

When in doubt, always remember Odissi's story about other people having bigger problems. The problems I faced daily are insubstantial!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Banana-man Part Deux

I just got off the phone from a long teleconference with my peers based in USA. These days I find that I had a lot of difficulty expressing myself in words. Don't get me wrong, I can do it in writing but when it comes to speech, my sentence get all jumbled up. I don't speak with proper grammar nor do I start and end my sentence properly. I sound like a retard. ZipD used to say that I am dsylexic. I am beginning to see it. I could be totally lost for words in a teleconference.

This is unforgivable. I read a lot. English is almost my first language. My English vocabulary far exceeds my Cantonese + Malay vocabulary combined. Yet, my shortcomings these days are distressing. What can I do? Is this a sickness? Am I degrading into a speech-challenged person?

Tuesday, December 07, 2004

All your bad luck are belong to us

This is my second time I am typing this as I have lost my update a moment ago when blogger decided not to cooperate. This is another piece of bad luck that came my way today, hence the title.

So I was saying that this morning I was broke. I had enough money from all the spare change in the car to get breakfast. I went to my fav restaurant to eat wan tan mee and when I was there the wan tan mee stall was closed. Nvm, I decided to drop by the bank to withdraw money. Both ATMs were out of order. I knew that this is going to be a long day... Had my breakfast and came in to the office. I had so many calls and things to do that it totally overwhelmed me.

Then at lunch, I decided to go to the ATM again. Great. A long line. Waited for 5 minutes and it's my turn. Popped in the card, do a Fast Cash and voila.. the machine did not dispense any cash. Yup, money was deducted from my account. So, I had to put in a report at the counter.

So at 2pm, I am still cashless. What else could go wrong. In my original post I stated "Bring it on!". Sure enough.. Blogger has to fail at that point in time.

Still.. I have been taking this quite well. One must be positive. These are slight inconveniences. Continue to smile :D

Monday, December 06, 2004

I am so jealous

Today, in Starbucks Ikano, using kimmikanuyi's Thinkpad to access Internet wirelessly, with me and kimmikanuyi as witness, Mr anti-ringgit bought his 20GB iPod online! I am so jealous!

Just Do It

I know that you, my readers, will throw your hands up in exasperation after reading the previous post, and scream to my face: "realize your dreams.. just do it!" or "you are single and have nothing to lose", or "I just don't understand man, where's your balls?"

Well, balls or no balls, this is not an easy decision for me. Do I throw away a career and possible monetary-related opportunity costs for this dream? Do I just leave my family and friends and go to an unknown place? Sure it may be nice with fresh, cool air and possible safe neighbourhood.. but I bet I will feel twice as lonely. What about the expensive start up cost (with extremely high exchange rate) just to set up a new life there? So, as you can see, I do have something to lose.

Sure, I said that money < love, health, happiness, peace of mind but who is to say I can find any of these in AU? On the other hand, who's to say I can't.

Ai.. dilema!

I think I am too free today.

Day dreaming

All of us, at one point in time, dream about living in another country. I am no different. In my dreams, I dreamed about living in this nice house with lawns and backyards. I dreamed about drinking hot coffee outside my lawn and enjoying the cool morning air without having to wipe sweat off my face every other minute. I dreamed doing outdoor activities - be it cycling, walking the dog, or just walking around the neighbourhood, breathing fresh air without choking myself with dust and carbon monoxide.

I dream of peaceful and quiet moments. A calming lull in the suburbs where I stay where people are pleasant and nice.

I dreamed about weekends where I am not confined to just shopping malls or staying at home facing a PC. And not getting stuck in the traffic jam in this 34 degree Celsius weather whenever I wanted to go out and buy things. And not fighting for car parks for that matter.

I dreamed about an environment where you don't see huge water filter installed outside houses and that people feel safe to drink water straight from the tap.

I dreamed about driving my car without having to lock the door. And houses with no grills and zillions of padlocks. Or leaving the car unlock just for the 5 minutes I need to go into the house to grab my bag. I'd like to feel safe in my home without having to stay in a gated community and paying security guards to patrol around my houses. I dreamed of a place where the people are proud of the police and fire departments and in fact of the level of service from government agencies.

I dreamed of Melbourne.

Power Lunch

Today I had lunch with Ngor Lou Kong, Emily and her uncle, Mr S. The conversation is about where to eat expensive Japanese food, where to buy semi-detached and new houses. Basically, conversation that only the very rich or upper class engage in. Sometimes I really wonder how the heck people make so much money. Is it really "meng sui" (that is, luck, they-are-meant-to-be-rich, born with silver spoon, or just damn good at making money)?

But then, money is not everything. What is more important these days (and I have to constantly tell myself that because being human, we tend to get easily swayed by our quest for more $) is to have love, happiness, health and peace. Money can't buy health.. nor can it buy love, happiness and peace of mind.

I think I should strive to achieve these 4 important "non-things" and envy people who have all the good health, happiness, love and peace; not envying those who own the bungalows or big houses or nice cars.


Friday, December 03, 2004

Banana-man

While driving home just an hour ago, I popped in my favourite MD by Beyond. Beyond is a Hong Kong rock band and their lead singer had the most amazing and mesmerizing voice. It's one of a kind and if you like Hong Kong songs, be sure to grab their greatest hits CD. Unfortunately, the lead singer died of brain concussion a few years ago. What a big loss to the industry.

Anyway, I was listening to these songs and all of a sudden, I feel extremely inadequate. These guys sing in Cantonese. I speak Cantonese everyday and yet, I don't understand what they are singing! The reason is simple - I don't read/write Chinese. My understanding of the language is based on a very crude version of Cantonese. Something that was passed down from generation to generation. It's like the language used by the uneducated, peasant folks in China. An analogy would be the languages used by the rednecks in America versus one used in a by an author in his/her book.

That would imply that I am just an uneducated peasant, by Chinese standard.

And I feel really inadequate.

The Chinese has a term for people like me. Banana-man. We are yellow on the outside (our skin colour) but we are white inside (as in English educated). I used to be extremely proud of my status as a banana-man. Why not? I am superior because I could read, write and converse in English. I used to despise the so called Cina-men because they were crude, dirty, inconsiderate, loud and extremely rude.

But listening to Beyond, I feel extremely small. I don't think it was Beyond that caused this train of thought. Today I gave an interview to a Korean who is working in Singapore. He learned English when he was 20 and is now working in Singapore for a multi national company. Even though his command of English was not very good and he had to struggle to make a point across, at least he could read and write Korean, his national language - and can be proud to call himself a Korean. Our guide Mido speaks English albeit with grammatical and pronounciation errors but I am sure he retained his identity as an Egyptian as he could still read and write Arabic, his mother tongue/language.

If I were to mingle among the kwai los (the Westerners), they would probably had a hard time understanding my English. My accent is thick. I do not speak proper English but a localized version. To them, I probably sound crude like a peasant but I am sure they'll forgive my lack of command of their language, as I am, after all, from Malaysia and English is not my first language.

If I were to mingle among the Mandarin speaking Malaysian, I am probably an outcast as I don't speak the language and who wants to talk to a banana-man anyway. For goodness sake, he can't even understand the Hong Kong song that he's listening to, that barbarian.

If I were to mix with the Malays who speaks Bahasa Malaysia, they'd think I try to hard to imitate their slang and the way the speak.

So, where do I stand? Where is my identity? Dare I call myself a Chinese even though I don't read a word? Should I declare that I am an "English"? Am I a Malaysian?

Maybe I should just say that I am a citizen of Banana-republic who has no language except a mix of Cantonese, Malay and broken English. BTW, forgive any grammatical errors in this post.

With great power, comes great responsibilities

This morning, I met with a candidate for a position in my team. The interview went well. He's a pretty pleasant guy and he met most of the criterias we were looking for. He has good attitude, which is what really matters at the end of the day.

While I am not the hiring manager, there is no doubt the influence I had on the hiring decision. I had rejected a couple of candidates before and I have given my approval on a few occasions. If you remember what I said a few weeks earlier (here), the company has changed my life tremendously. It improves not only my life, but the life of my family too.

And now I have the ability to improve someone else's life (or not). This is a huge responsibility indeed. And I will definitely exercise it with care.

Somebody told me that Bonnie commented that we should not hire this guy because he's yong sui (not handsome). I am glad the decision to hire does not fall on her hand. She could have easily destroy so many people's hope without realizing it. I hope she's just kidding but with recent events, I am not so sure anymore.

Thursday, December 02, 2004

Ego

A conversation with ZipD this afternoon went something like this:
ZipD: How come you and DogBone don't response to any of my invitation for Deathmatch sessions (we were just talking about the new Half Life 2 Deathmatch, which is a multiplayer game where we kill each other to gain points - for boasting rights.)

ringgit: em, perhaps we are just too busy?

ZipD: koteh. There's no such thing as too busy for gaming, unless you are saying that you are not interested in games anymore which I don't get because 90% of the time, you are bored. If the interest is there, you'll always make time. Is it because I always win in the game? Is it because your ego cannot take defeat?

ringgit: maybe.

What ZipD failed to see, after all these years, is that my interest for computer games is dwindling. The times of "utility sut" (for the economics) are long gone. Sure, I do play games once a while but I am not obsessed about them anymore. I don't play them till wee hours in the morning. I don't tax myself just to finish one more level.

Why is that so hard to see?

Yes, I may be bored 90% of the time but I do have other things to keep me occupied: I read blogs, I read books, I watch my favourite Friends DVDs, an episode of Amazing Race and sometimes, it is just so relaxing to lie in the bed listening to my favourite CDs and dreaming about places I wanted to go and about life in AU. Ego has nothing to do with it. It's just that our interest has moved into different direction. That is all.

Why must all of our conversations be about games and the industry? Don't we have other things to talk about anymore? Oh.. wait a minute.. we do have other things to talk about.. I just didn't want to because what's the point? You don't remember them. Yea, I know, your memory sucks. It's not your fault you can't remember things. As a friend, I can accept that. But I can still get frustrated over it, can't I? I can still assume that your memory capability is proportionate to your interest in the subject, can't I?

So... yeah, I am not that enthusiastic about the next-big thing in gaming anymore. It still pique my interest, sure, but I am not dying to play them. I'd rather read blogs at this point in time, thank you very much. Perhaps, I may regain my passion for games at a later time. Then you'll get to eat my rockets! As of now, let me continue reading Living in Egypt.

And the very next day, you gave it away..

Instead of typing the whole sorry case, here's the conversation I had with Greedy in regards to this case:

ringgit
(15:09)
- ok.. very long story
ringgit (15:09) - basically it was an stupid non-work related argument
ringgit (15:10) - and she gets emotional
ringgit (15:10) - and burst into tears
greedy (15:16) - then how?
>> No activity for the past 54 min
ringgit (16:10) - hi
ringgit (16:10) - u free to hear story?
greedy (16:13) - ok
ringgit (16:13) - bonnie bought a christmas tree
ringgit (16:14) - decorate it nice nice
ringgit (16:14) - on monday i saw it. i was impressed. i tot she beli out of her pocket
ringgit (16:14) - see see, she claimed from boss.
ringgit (16:14) - so nvm..
greedy (16:15) - so ur boss pre approved it
ringgit (16:15) - today, a lady approached me and asked me if i can pinjam them for a few hours on dec 17 because their team, ABC, wanna do a deepa-raya-christmas function.
ringgit (16:15) - so i said i dunno. i will have to get back to u..
ringgit (16:15) - then i asked bonnie if can pinjam
ringgit (16:15) - she said NO
ringgit (16:16) - (very rudely, mind u)
ringgit (16:16) - so i said why not? team work mah. after all, we dun need to see the tree whole day
ringgit (16:16) - she said I DUNNO ABC. I DUNNO THEM. WHY SHLD I PINJAM?
ringgit (16:16) - then i said, well, it is 's property (i assume she made a claim and boss approved)
ringgit (16:16) - then she said it is not. it belongs to BOSS
ringgit (16:17) - so i said, ok, then i shld ask boss
ringgit (16:17) - she said NO.. I WILL PAY BOSS NOW. IT BELONG TO ME. ALL MY EFFORT NOT APPRECIATED. SIMPLY PINJAM PEOPLE..
ringgit (16:17) - then cry
ringgit (16:17) - cry
ringgit (16:17) - cry
ringgit (16:17) - siow
ringgit (16:17) - everybody ask me what's wrong
greedy (16:18) - hnn...
greedy (16:18) - as a woman...i cannot understand why she was upset
greedy (16:18) - according to research, i am very 'man'
ringgit (16:18) - (she preggie)
greedy (16:18) - oh.............
ringgit (16:19) - then she complained to boss
ringgit (16:19) - boss asked me got crisis
ringgit (16:19) - boss came down listen to my story
ringgit (16:19) - listen to witness story
ringgit (16:19) - listen to her story
ringgit (16:19) - then ask us both together
ringgit (16:19) - and ask us to be friends
ringgit (16:19) - she also admit she cannot control her emotion
ringgit (16:19) - but u know what? while i told boss i am ok, i have lost all my respect for her
ringgit (16:20) - coz she dun respect me in the first place.
ringgit (16:20) - (as a team lead)
greedy (16:21) - yeah...
greedy (16:21) - why so childish
greedy (16:21) - complained to boss
greedy (16:21) - i will never do that
ringgit (16:21) - i mean, i hear somewhere that if one wants respect, one has to show respect
ringgit (16:21) - obviously she's not showing respect and i think it is fair if i dun have to respect her
ringgit (16:21) - like u said, so childish
ringgit (16:22) - think this is her company ah?
ringgit (16:22) - kopidiam ah?
greedy (16:23) - hmm...
ringgit (16:24) - suka suka happy make noise
ringgit (16:24) - suka suka show temper when people have teleconf
ringgit (16:24) - suka suka cry
greedy (16:25) - women very mah farn hor...
greedy (16:25) - no wonder ppl want to work withguys
ringgit (16:25) - ha ha.. no.. only she
ringgit (16:25) - coz she really childish
ringgit (16:25) - worse than hello kitty
greedy (16:28) - firgive her
ringgit (16:28) - this is the last straw lor
ringgit (16:28) - i have forgiven her a lot of times liow
ringgit (16:28) - now u cry in office environment over christmas tree

Last Christmas I gave you my heart

Today, Bonnie cried in the office.. over a Christmas tree.. and Cold War has started again. Welcome to my workplace. When has it become so unprofessional?

Suspense?

Will tell you more. Let me take a deep breath now. I need it.

Tuesday, November 30, 2004

I am here, to serve

Last Saturyday, while having tea with Loochoomus, we talked about some of our old friends Some of these friends used to look me up on weekend for breakfast. I used to enjoy the company but soon it became work.. a job. My Saturdays schedule are set in stone. Breakfast with Freeman at 9am, Loochoomus at 11am, ZipD at noon. Sometimes (not all the time) with Guderain at 2pm. It's almost clock-like. I became bored and started to complain. I dropped hints. Please don't disturb me. Leave me in peace. At times I get nasty. I refused to talk during breakfast and just give a one/two word answer. As usual, my thick skinned friend ignore me. The situation get worse when most of them get married. The Saturday rituals involved wives! Then babies! You can't blame me for running away!

I told Loochoomus this and he made an observation. He said that I have this effect on people.. even during school days. People want to be my friends. They enjoy my company. They can come from all walks of life, with all sort of interest; they can be English Ed, Cina Ed or in Guderain's case, of different races and yet, we can still have lots of things to talk about. Loochoomus said that Guderain and him share a lot of similar interests and yet, he (used to be) closer to me than to Loochoomus.

This is also true in my adult/working life. If I really want to, I can be a lot of people's best friends :D

My mother use to say, how come I don't attract girls as much as I attract friends? I have no idea.

You know, now that I think about it, what Loochoomus said, it is quite true. I was really popular at school. And in truth, that was because I was fun to be with. I played a lot. I was basically the kid in school. I never grow up. I played and played and played...

Then I stopped playing... and I never recovered. Now I am just boring old ringgit. Even then, the aura is still there. Loochoomus said I should treasure all this friendship and not discard them for I may wake up one morning and find that I am totally alone.

Perhaps that is my purpose in life. To be there to whoever who needed it. To be a loyal companion. To be a friend. To continue playing. To be the fun guy. Perhaps I am supposed to go lunches with Ngor Lou Kong or be nicer to Monica. Perhaps I should start calling Guderain and Freeman (did I tell you that I don't call my friends?). Perhaps I should also start writing to Numeronean and his sister. Perhaps I should stop feeling sorry for myself and start being nice to people.

"I live to serve" .. eh?

Oh well.. we'll see how it goes.


Morning's here...

I used to ask a few friends what is the first thing that came to their mind when they wake up every morning. What's the first feeling they had when they regain consciousness. Some said that the first thought that they had was to drag their sorry ass to drive to work. Some said that they just don't want to wake up but to continue sleeping - to hell with work and bosses. Some really positive type of people (are they for real?) will jump out of their bed, smile at the mirror and scream "I'm well, I'm alive and I feel good".

Me? I feel empty every morning when I wake up and the feeling is so scary that I can't get back to sleep anymore. I finally understand the real feeling of loneliness. Brr..

Prank

I found out that the psycho-SMS is indeed a prank, played by ZipD's cousin sister. In fact, it was a group prank, if there is such a term, as everybody including DogBone and his wife were involved. Ha ha.. guys. Funny.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Christmas Tree

When I came to work this morning, I was surprised to see a really nice Christmas tree in the room. It was nicely decorated in silver and blue with accompanying blinking lights. I knew right away that it is Bonnie's job. I am really impressed. She has liven up this otherwise boring room.

I have always feel that if Bonnie weren't so immature and emotional, she can really be a good leader and motivator!

Bonnie, thanks. It's a great Christmas tree today and I am sure it takes a lot of work to decorate it.

Sunday, November 28, 2004

iPod Around the World

ipodlounge has a side bar that is titled "iPod around the world." It is a database for iPod users/fans to take pictures of places they have been. The main "character" of the picture is, of course, the iPod. Today's feature is this picture:

anti-ringgit, when are you getting your iPod?

Saturday, November 27, 2004

Living In Egypt: A Blog

I have stumbled upon this blog by pure chance. It was an extremely good read about life in Egypt. This lady write really well. She's a Canadian and have been staying in Egypt for the past 20+ years. She writes about life in Cairo, life as a Muslim, life in the country-side but did not go too much into politics and war (unlike most of the blogs I found). It's a delight to read this blog. I would venture so far as to say that her blog is as entertaining as the stories told by Mido, except she's telling story of current affairs in Egypt, not historical.

I have spent the whole Saturday afternoon (and Sunday) reading this and if you are bored and wanted to know more about life in Egypt, click on:

http://miloflamingo.blogspot.com/
"Egypt isn't what it appears to be in the media...but that's no real surprise, since not much is. I moved here in the late 80's from Toronto, Canada, with my Canadian/Egyptian husband, my son and my daughter. The children adapted quickly and we decided that this country was a good place to live. Now I wouldn't change my home for anything."

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Look ma! I have a Secret Admirer

These days, I have been getting pranks sms:
SMS: I miss you so much. it is hard not able to be true :-(

Who the heck was that? Must be some really pokai friend. I can think of a few. Nvm. Let's play along...

Me: I miss you too but you have to tell me which of my girlfriends are you.
SMS: How come you did not reply to my calls and messages? I thought what we had was special. you said it so...
Me: Well, that's because of the many deranged, psychotic girls that keeps on pestering me.
SMS: I hope you can give me a chance to talk things through. I miss you and dont want to loose you.

Obviously mentally sick. Can't even spell properly.

Me: Nah. No thanks. My heart is with someone else at the moment.
SMS: I dont believe you are so cruel . I have known you for a year and you definitely dont look like it . I was hoping we could start being friends?

Hmm.. sounds like someone who really knows me. ZK? He's capable of such games as he has played this a few times. Anyway, I am watching The Incredibles, so ignore.. ignore..

SMS: Why are you ignoring me?
Me: Watching movie.

Next morning.

SMS: Sorry to disturb you yesterrday .i am not ready to tell you who i am but i do see you most working days . I am not crazy but i do like you alot. How old are you?

BONNIE? Bonnie, is that you???

Me: Truthfully, I don't think I know you. Perhaps you have the wrong number? What's your name anyway?
SMS: Ops maybe i got the wrong number but i doubt it. Are you a girl or a guy? What is your name ?

AHA! GOTCHA. Just because I have a girly name does not mean I am your dream girl, prick! Go haunt someone else.

Me: I am a man and I asked you your name first.
SMS: My name is kat, you are [ringgit] right?

OMG! Kat! He/she knows me! Must be that ai jai in the office. I quickly message the ai jai.. Did you disturbed me? He said no - he's not so childish. He quickly dial the number. It rang but nobody picks up.

Me: You got my name right but I don't know any kat.
SMS: Well my real name is not kat but I assume you know who i am as you did call a while ago using youroffice number am i right? Ha ha

Very funny, Psycho.
But.. how did he/she knows that it is from my office? He/she's working in my company?

Me: Well, if I wanted to call you, I'd have use my handphone and not hide behind an anonymous number.

There you go! Eat this coward!

No messages. Then weekend came.

SMS: Hello again ! What are you doing? You know who i am yet?
Me: Nope. Are you going to tell me your name or are you still interested in playing this game?
SMS: The fun is in the chase not the catch... :) what did you do last weekend?

Here. I totally ignore and decided not to reply. What a freak!

Sigh, when you look this good.. you always get harrass. What to do.. what to do... :P

Tuesday, November 23, 2004

Pride

Today I am very proud of myself. My 2nd line manager told me that the company appreciates my leadership and that they have plans to retent me. Hearing such words made me feel extremely honoured.

This company has changed my life. It changed my perspective of life. If it wasn't for this company, I wouldn't be where I am today. I'd probably be working in some Cinaman company, have a narrow state of mind and are probably in a worse situation than where I currently am. I'd view life differently. I probably do not have much dreams. How could I? I came from a kampung. You can always tell the difference between someone who was from my company and someone from a local company.

I probably can't (or won't) go places and see the world. I probably don't know great people like kimmikanuyi, Greedy and anti-ringgit.

I have my first manager, tlg, to thank, for it was she who gave me the opportunity.

Today, I have my second manager in the company and my 2nd line manager, cky and cgk to thank.

And I have more headaches and dilemma now.

Luxor Today


Yahoo! has a feature called My Yahoo! which you can customize to include your favourite news items, your stocks price, your to-dos, reminders and your weather alert. I use My Yahoo! weather to keep track of all the cities I have visited.

I was browsing My Yahoo! when I saw what a wonderful day it is in Luxor, Egypt today! The weather's perfect in Aswan and Cairo too. Wouldn't it be great if I were there now, listening to all those wonderful stories in the cool temple air? Or cruising down the Nile with the cool breeze blowing on your face at any time of the day (instead of just in the evening)? Or walking along the beautiful Luxor Temple in the chilly night?

Sigh... I think I have never left Egypt. Posted by Hello

Monday, November 22, 2004

Eerie

Today, at the leadership symposium, someone asked our Asia Pacific GM on how we, as potential leaders, can be as successful as he is.

He said that he thinks that it is important to:
1. focus on the clients and customers
2. be optimistic as when you are optimistic, the attitude will follow
3. respect your fellow colleague as only with respect you can get things done.

As kimmikanuyi said... dashyatnya [the coincidence]

Saturday, November 20, 2004

What's in a name?

I get disturbed when people can't get my name right. I am especially disturbed when Asians can't get my name right. I feel like beating up people when MY FREAKING OWN TEAM MATE gets my name wrong! What's with these morons? How difficult it is to spell my name? ringgit.. 7 characters. There is no way in the world you can get my name wrong in an email correspondence. You see my name clearly in the "FROM:" field. How in the world can people get SO blind?

You see, I have the Business Partner whom I provide technical support via email. Read again: correspondence via email. That means whenever I write to him, my name, ringgit is spelt in each correspondence. If he looks at his Inbox, he sees this name. But yet.. he has consistently called me runggut.. runggut and ringgit.. it's an ocean of difference. Grr...

Then there is this kwai lo.. he called me ringgy.. I stare at my keyboard.. Y and T is as wide as the said ocean. How the heck can he get my name wrong? Are these people blind? If they are, they have no right to be in the IT industry!

And my team mate from Singapore whom I have met and had lunches a few times with.. he will email me and called me some bizarre name!!! WTF!??? In retaliation, I purposely spelt his name differently too. As expected, he hardly noticed. BLIND!

Edit: ringgit is obviously not my real name but I am using it as an example to show how moronic people can be.

Friday, November 19, 2004

More on Bonnie

Bonnie is freaking immature.

Our office is in this big room. Yesterday, my manager and I had to take a teleconference. Normally we would have taken it in a conference room. We could not do that yesterday because there was no one in the office and someone has to look after the shop. So we decided to have the conference call in the office.

When the conference started, Bonnie came it. She's went out to the toilet. Anyway, 10 minutes into the conference, she packed her notebook and walked out of the room. I knew what she's trying to say. She's implying that we were too noisy. Never mind that.

Later she sent me an instant message.

She asked me to let her know when we are done. I said ok, we are done. You can come back. Then she started saying that we were too noisy and we should take the call in a conference room. This was expected. Bonnie was outspoken as usual. This time however, she has crossed my line. I told her the reason we had the conference in the office instead of the room. Then I said that we don't do it often and that she should be more tolerance of the whole thing. I said sometimes you talked crap or sing in the office (loudly mind you). Those were very distracting also. She shot back saying that one hour of people in a conference is more distracting than her 5 minutes of chatting and singing. I said well, to you it may just be 5 minutes, but to me, that 5 minutes are already distracting. She challenged me to ask the team on our weekly meeting to see if it is distracting. I said I don't want to do that because I don't want to tell people what to do. Then don't tell me what to do, she said. I replied.. you started the whole thing by telling me what not to do and besides, we are talking about business stuff, not crap which you normally did. Quiet.

Cold war has started.

During lunch time today, Bonnie and another colleague started making sandwich in the office. They could have done it in a pantry but no sir.. office it is. While making toast, they laughed and talked. I looked at her and said please lower your voice. I told this is what I meant yesterday (ie she always point out people's fault but forgets her own). She started being offensive and whenever someone asked what she's making, she would say that ringgit don't allow her to talk.

Is she childish or what?

Bitch.

The Purpose Driven Life

kimmikanuyi lend me this book called The Purpose Driven Life. It has to be read over 40 days, one day a chapter. At the end of each chapter, there will be some points to ponder about.

I wanted to talk about the first chapter that I read but I can't think of anything to write today.

Mental block.

I'll write more next time.


Thursday, November 18, 2004

Post-Egypt blues...

"ringgit let go", anti-ringgit, my friend, said one day when I asked him a question about Egypt. That statement struck me because what he said was true - it's almost 4 weeks since our tour and I am still thinking about it. When I asked other people about post-tour blues, the common answers are sure, you do get one but it is unusual for it to last as long as this.

What anti-ringgit does not know is that the trip has caused those little wheels in my brains to start turning again.

Please let me explain. Constant reader of this blog would have known that I get bored easily. The term I use to express this is sien. I am extremely jaded. I have tried a lot of things to put some spice into my life - things that are in my circle of influence: learning to dance, playing a guitar, taking up courses (like, *cough* accounting) and seeing the world. I am constantly in search of something that intrigue me; something that I'd like to do; something that would make me laugh out loud, something that is fun; something that I look forward to everyday.

Unfortunately, I never found that thing.

My friend, Zip, used to ask "what makes ringgit tick?". I have no answer.

In fact, the whole point of thinking to move to AU is my thoughts on doing something different. Something different from the norm. It's not a permanent move. It will be for a couple of years but at least, if I looked back, these couple of years will be memorable. I could move from city to city (eg Melbourne to Sydney or maybe to Brisbane). What I need is the $ and the courage.. but I disgress.

So how does Egypt comes into this whole discussion? The Egyptians (ancient and otherwise) understand the purpose of life. 5,000 years ago, humans are already pondering on the purpose of life. They believe that the current life is only temporary and what's important is the 2nd life in heaven. They believe in God. And their beliefs were so strong that they lived to serve God - the whole civilization exist to serve God. Look at the temples they built. Look at all those reliefs or "ukiran" as worded by mystic_grey. Every single one of the Egyptians, from the farmers, to the workers, to the architects and the astronomers to the High Priests and to the Pharaohs live to serve God with the purpose of being given a 2nd life in heaven.

Fast forward to 2000 years ago. Christianity and later, Islam, came to Egypt. Instead of temples, the Egyptians built churches and mosques to worship God. There are so many churches and mosques in Cairo that it’s mind boggling! I mean, I come from a Muslim country and we see mosques but it pales in comparison to the sheer number of mosques in Cairo.

When I listened to Mido talking about Islam in Mohammad Ali Mosque, I was enthralled. To hear this man talking about his religion and proclaiming (loudly) his love for God with utmost pride, inside a mosque in a country like Egypt, is truly magical. Perhaps my mind was more vulnerable because of the "tourist-y" state of mind. Perhaps not.

Religion and patriotism (love of one's country) has been the staple of human's existence. People kills each other to uphold their belief in their religion and for the love of their country. Both of these factors drive and shape a person's life. Without either one of them, a person's soul is empty.

Like mine. Pointless. Empty.

Loving this country is something I could not bring myself to do. There's nothing to love about MY. If I had a chance, I'd sell out this country. There's definitely no lost love here. But seeking God and worshiping Him... that's highly probable.

5,000 years of human history with war and death to uphold a religion can't be wrong.

Right?

Um, I, um, don't remember

Have you had a friend who constantly can't remember what you told him yesterday? What do you do with friends like that? Stop talking and let them do all the talking? What if they accused you of not listening to them when it was you who can't remember what they talked about the day before? Let me know in the comments.

Leadership

There will be another leadership symposium this coming Monday. I will be attending. Sometimes I wonder if I am fit to be a leader. I lack all the traits of a leader - I lack proactiveness as I am reactive. I have no vision, I love procrastination. I hate public speaking, I type more than I speak these days. So, how in the world am I even identified as a potential leader?

Perhaps it is I have this boh chap attitude and therefore not prone to emotional trap. Perhaps I can think things logically. Perhaps I understand the broader scope of things and yet can grasps things that are few levels deeper. Perhaps the rest of the people are worse in comparison to me and I am just a we have no choice. Perhaps I am more mature. Perhaps I show respect to the management.

Or perhaps I could identify my own strengths and weaknesses. But I procrastinate i.e. I won't work on improving myself. It's a catch 22.

Is this what leaders think about everyday? I don't know. Life's a mystery.

Wednesday, November 17, 2004

Revenge of the bitch...


Due to popular demand, I present you, Mr Loverboy, Romeo! (real name Harry). For the past few days, he's driving our family nuts. The neighbour's bitch is, um, having "PMS" and it's driving him crazy. In fact, it's driving all the dogs crazy. All of a sudden, from no where, huge number of stray dogs are congregating in front of the neighbours house.. like some "open house". The neighbours are pissed. We are pissed. Romeo is depressed and not eating (again!). It's a crazy world! Posted by Hello

Actually, in my opinion, this particular neighbour is one irresponsible pet owners. They allow their pets (male + female dogs) to roam about the neighbourhood without leash and without supervision. Naturally, when the bitch is having "PMS" (darn, I don't know what is the term for it), she attracts all sort of dogs. What's worse, she has the ability to roam freely and attracts stray dogs from the nearby construction place. And they get pissed when other dogs come to their gates. They tried to shoo them away without knowing the real reason. Serves them right!

Anyway, I have given up on Romeo. No coaxing can get him to eat. Well, let him starve. I have my own depression to handle.. no need to add a dog's depression to my list :P

Amazing Race Season 6

Tonite is the 2 hour premier of Amazing Race.

That's right. My life's exciting moment is defined around games release dates and reality TV show.

i.need.help.

Half Life 2 & Counter Strike: Source

Just a short note that Half Life 2 was activated on Steam yesterday at 4pm Malaysia time. Fortunately for me, yesterday was a public holiday (Hari Raya) so I played the game for a few hours.

AWESOME. It's a beautiful game! I am glad I paid RM230 for it - to show support for a job well done.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

What is respect?

I have been hearing this word a few times in the past month. In the TV series, The Sopranos, Tony Soprano told his nephew "to earn respect, you have to give respect". Mido, my guide in Egypt, said "you are listening to me but you are not respecting me". The Bomba (fire brigade) chief who was giving a speech in the office the other day said that "To be successful, you only need to remember two things. One obey the laws of God and two respect the rights of another human being". And finally, a friend, commenting on me wearing a T-shirt to a wedding as "not showing respect to the host".

And so, what is respect? Is it something that all of us looked for? I know that I dislike Bonnie because Bonnie doesn't show me respect and yet expected it from me. And if respect is so important, why aren't we taught as a child to show and expect respect from people?

Case in point: we were on our tour. Mido was explaining a relief to us. All of us are listening to him but we are also looking elsewhere and taking picture. He said we are not showing respect. I agree with what he said but I wonder, why aren't we paying attention? Do we think it is ok to listen and take picture at the same time? How come we were never thought to pay attention first and take pictures later?

I observed the same thing in my work place. We may be attending a class or we may be attending a meeting. The presenter are presenting his slides and talking in front of us. YET, many of us are busy typing on our notebooks in the guise of doing work. Are we listening to the presenter? I am sure we are. Are we showing respect? NO. And if respect is so important, how come it was never built deep into us? How come we were never told that to look at the presenter and listen in rapt is respecting him as the presenter? All we were told is that we are not paying attention and not listening. The word respect was never in the vocabulary.

Take this scene many years back.. back to school days. The teacher is teaching in the class. What were we doing? Drawing sketches in the exercise book. Flipping our pencils. Looking dreamily at that girl across the room. What did the teacher said when she caught us? She'll say that we are not listening to her, that we are not paying attention. How come she didn't use the word respect "You are not showing me respect!"?

I am glad that recent events sited in my first paragraphs has provided me exposure to the word respect. It is strange that this word came into my life in a duration of a month. It may be a coincidence or it may be a sign. I don't know. At least, it opened my eyes and perhaps make me into a better person.

Now I will give and expect respect :)

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

streamyx: reloaded

I ought to mention this earlier, that after all the teething problems and growing pains, my streamyx is now stable. On top of that, I received a free upgrade from 384kbps to 512kbps. YAY! \o/

Bonnie Strikes Again

Like an evil Empire, Bonnie strikes out again. I began to build a wall between me and her. I must treat her like a colleague, never a friend. I must act like a team lead in front of her, not as a friend. Her mouth is really, um, in Cantonese it is called "jin". I wonder if she realize she has a "jin" mouth?

This type of people can never get far.. and she's wondering why boss promoted another girl and not her.

Go look at yourself in the mirror and start brushing the damn mouth, girl. That's why.

Thursday, November 04, 2004

Almost 2 weeks after Egypt...

... and I am still depressed. I thought I'd recovered but it seems I could not. This is perhaps one of the biggest impact a trip would have on me. I didn't feel as bad when I spent 3 weeks in Melbourne. 7 weeks in USA did not have a 2 week post-trip depression. What's happening here?


Friday, October 15, 2004

Saturday, October 02, 2004

Romeo the Dog

I have a dog. His name is Harry. He's a cute white little doggy. But he has an attitude. If you don't know better, you would think he's a cat. He's arrogant. He ignore his master and he only become friends when he wanted to eat or go for a walk.

Anyway, these few days, he's depressed. Harry is heart broken. In Cantonese, we called it "sat luen". Last two days, there was this horny bitch that came by our gate. She tried to seduce Harry. Probably time to corpulate or something. Harry went all mental. Wanted to get out house, tried to squeezed through the railings in the gate. Started whining for us to open the gate. Made lots of noise. Then it started to rain. The bitch ran away. He stood in the rain, nose between the rails of the gate.. and waited. Waited for the girl that would never returned. It's like those Canto serial.. those boy holding umbrella, drenched in the rain, waiting for the girl upstairs to come back to him.

Anyway, we have to force him inside the house. Rain is getting heavier. Inside, he whined non stop. Wanted to get out, refused to eat. Since that incident, he hadnot eaten for two days! Aiyo. Dog can also be depressed?

Anyway, everday I come back from work.. I don't call him Harry anymore.. I looked at him in the eye and said, "Romeo.. are you still depressed???" As usual, he ignores me.

A mech keyboard nerd's thoughts on 2017 MacBook Pro keyboard

My old Thinkpad has reached its end of life and so the company issued me a new notebook. By default, they issued a MacBook Air, but I tried ...