Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Bitching

What do people talk about during lunch and in water cooler today?
Petrol prices, of course. The “blardy govment” has increased petrol prices by 30sen. That’s a 18.5% increase for the year 2006. In the past year one year (from 2005), the price has increased more than 50%! This is RIDICULOUS.

But that’s not what I wanted to bitch today.

Flood, you asked? True, it is sad to see that a good area like Taman Tun Dr Ismail Jaya in Shah Alam being flooded because of heavy rain. I remember passing by that place when I went to ZipD’s aunt condo last year. I remember seeing billboard near that place promoting the place. It’s expensive. A house there cost RM400K and above. So an expensive residential area covered in flood. How embarrassing can that be? The Shah Alam Stadium car park is submerged!

But that’s not what I wanted to bitch today.

What was the hot topic during lunch was that our water drinking has urine smell or, as the newspaper and government called it, "a higher level of ammonia". Just a few days ago, I cleaned up the ground stairs toilet because it smells of urine. I thought perhaps someone in the family did not aim properly when they are relieving themselves. But no matter how much I flushed or hosed the place, the urine smell persisted. I thought nothing of it until the topic was brought up today. My colleague claimed that even when they bathe, the water running through their body smelled of urine. Or when washing their teeth. Omigosh! How low can we get? Syabas, the semi private company running the taps told us that it's chemistry. It amazes me how the people in power thinks that the citizens are some sort of cow or donkey. They must think we are stupid.

This is so ridiculous and embarrassing.

I mulled over this post for a while. On one hand I wanted to post it. On the other, I feel so humiliated to post such a thing. It has come to a point that I felt like airing my dirty laundry. Am I the only one being disgusted by this?

Monday, February 20, 2006

Toyota Camry

This morning I drove mom to work. Traffic is bad but this post is not about traffic. My mother works in the city in a run-down shop-lot. Her office, which sells car spare parts, is a uncondusive place to work. It has no a/c, it’s old and poorly managed, it’s dirty and dusty. But she has been working for this company all her life and while she’s just a clerk, she has a lot of freedom to run chores and gossips.

Normally, my father would send her to work. This morning, I have to go to work early and my sister took our other car so I volunteered to send mom to work.

I don’t know why but as I reached the curb of her office, I imagined my father dropping her off in our old Charade Aura. It is such a small car for two adults. My mind started to wander and I thought about how nice it would be if my father was able to send his wife to work in a nice, shiny Toyota Camry. I imagine how my mother’s colleagues would be envious of the new car and how she would brag about the car that her son bought for the family.

I am sure that my father would be very happy behind the wheel of a Camry. He’s from the old school (generation) where car is the only hobby. Guys from his generations take care of cars like a religion. I bet many other people at my father’s age are like that. They have a dream car that they have always wanted but it always remain a dream because they could not afford that dream car. It’s usually not a Mercedes or BMW as those were unattainable fantasy. It’s probably something more down to earth, yet within their lifetime, most of them would not be able to own the car. It will still remain a dream. These guys may be able to buy the cars of their dreams but they never did because of other, more important use of the money – better house, college/Uni fund for the kids, etc.

Some old men are lucky. Their son made it big and could buy them their own dream cars. Some just get to drive their son’s car as they could only afford one car. Some aren’t as lucky because while their son may own the nice car, the father will not get to drive it at all (for example, if the father lives in Penang and his son is living and staying in KL)

Technically, I could buy a Camry because it’s just a bank loan away. On the other hand, I could not afford to do so because I am also looking for a house. The Camry would cost half the price of the house I am looking for. It will depreciate exponentially. In just 10 years, the Camry would be worthless. Buying a house would be a more sane and logical thing to do.

Just like my father, I dreamed of driving a Toyota but I cannot own one because I have other “upcoming” commitments.

Perhaps, my children will buy me one.

Brokeback Vacation

You’d notice the lack of updates during the past few days. I went on a “Brokeback Vacation” ™ with a group of old friends. I called it a Brokeback vacation because I’d imagine what other people will think of this group of all males going on a yearly vacation, much like the characters in the movie Brokeback Mountain going on their yearly summer fishing fling. I don’t mean we are in love or something.. Eww..

We went on a “makan” trip to Penang. I ate so much food, I needed a cart to carry my stomach! The four (out of six) of us have known each other for almost 25 years. Can you imagine a group of friends holding on for so long? These people needed a yearly trip to get out of house and family/kids and just enjoying the company of friends. It was a good trip. Very relaxing. We are free to do things on our own – some wanted to rest, some went out and eat continuously, some just enjoying the lounge.

I have another Brokeback Vacation in March with ZipD and friends. This was a yearly PC gaming event until a major argument between Dogbone and DroolMan (how Brokeback is that?) disbanded the group. Let’s hope we will be more civil this time.

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

Gangsta's Paradise

My department recently employed 3 new kwai los. They are from a non-profit organization that specializes in providing students jobs in other countries. If you just graduated and you wanted to work in another country as a trainee or co-op, you could enroll yourself with this organization and they will find jobs for you overseas. The 3 of them are male, around 23-25 year olds. They are staying in a nice double storey house near my office.

For those of you who knows me, my office is located in one of the most affluent neighborhoods in Kuala Lumpur. People who stay here are very wealthy and educated. A typical house cost above RM700K. This neighborhood is also the nicest, cleanest, well maintained with beautiful landscape and park place in KL. Roads are paved almost twice yearly. DBKL (the council) cleaned up this place like a religion. There is a police station located not far from the place I work. It is considered a safe and pleasant neighborhood – a dream place to stay of many people.

Three nights ago, one of the kwai los was STABBED at the back while he was walking home from office. It was 11pm when it happened. It's quite late on a Sunday night and there was a pasar malam about a kilometer away. He was walking home and saw two guys on a motorbike, lepaking at KFC. He suspected something and crossed the road. Then he felt the motorbike coming towards him. He ran but they chased after him. He climbed onto the wall of the nearest bungalow but was stabbed at the back. His assailant used a K-Bar knife, the 15cm long Rambo-type knife with teeth.

What’s even more sad is the fact that as he was laying on the road, bleeding, he cried for help. There were drivers driving passed and no one stopped to help. Like I said, this is in a affluent neighborhood where people are more educated and more “Western” minded and yet, people are ignoring an injured Westerner. This guys is quite good looking and well dressed – not at all like a scammer or pretender.

My other colleagues said that even they would not stopped at 11pm to help someone who's lying on the ground because you never know if that guy is just pretending and you might be ambushed. True and valid point but the fact that we have this cold mentality implanted onto us demonstrated the sorry state of our society.

Can you just imagine what his family and the other two kwai los family will think of Malaysia?

Can you imagine what my other Korean colleagues will think of Malaysia?

I hope these guys don’t run away and leave in the cold.

I wouldn't blame them if they did.

Why they wanted to come to Malaysia in the first place is beyond me.

I can't help it (part 2)...

.. but to say that the traffic for the past two days have been horrendous. I left office at 6pm today and reached home at 7.15pm. Normally, it takes me 15 minutes to reach home. The reason? The closure of Middle Ring Road 2 due to incompetent and corrupt management (read: government officials).

I was stuck in a jam for 2.5 hours in KL yesterday due to heavy downpour. After 51 years of Independance and 51 years of experience in city planning or technology, we fall back to 1957 the moment it rained.

Pop quiz.. the picture below shows you the flash flood which happens in KL, near Pertama Complex (or Sogo).

Ladies and gentlemen, presenting the ultra modern city: Kuala Lumpur

I can't help it

... but to post a short post to note, YET AGAIN, that the water from the tap of the toilet in my workplace is darker than my Nescafe Ais... This is really insane!

Happy Valentine's Day

So, yesterday was Valentine’s Day. Anne and I celebrated our first V-Day together. I decided to make her a nice and personal gift. I bought this hand-made, small little box with lots of hearts. It’s almost like a jewelry box. It opened from the top and is big enough to store a pad of yellow Post-It Notes.

Of course, I have a yellow Post-It Notes in hand. The idea is to write one major event during our courtship into one piece of Post-It note, dated with Yahoo! Widget’s desk calendar graphic and my personal point of view of the event. Some are outright funny. Others are bound to make her blush. For example, the first time we met, the day we officially became a couple, the first time we held or our first kiss. Or our first fight or the boo boo we made... heh heh heh. I spent a lot of time printing and cutting little pieces of notes to be pasted into the Post-It pad. That would allow her to just peel of one piece at a time to read or to put in a scrap book – whatever... something akin to those daily calendar with comic in which you tear off each day to read the comic.

The picture in this post is a sample of how my work looks like. (My camera is not working anymore, so I am attempting to simulate it with MS Paint)

The last few pieces of the Post-It notes contain coupons, with no expiry date, which will enable her to claim some Ringgit's Love... LOL...

It was a fun project. I enjoyed myself tremendously.

Sunday, February 12, 2006

New Unopened Tomb Found in Valley of the Kings!

From /.
Hot on the heels of the recent news about the death of King Tut comes a new story about the discovery of an unlooted and previously unopened 18th Dynasty tomb in the Valley of the Kings. American archaeologists found five mummies resting in sarcophagi, funerary masks, and coptic storage jars. It is the first such discovery since Howard Carter's discovery of Tutankhamun's tomb in 1922.

Wednesday, February 08, 2006

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Gratitude

Sometimes, out of the blue, I do good things for people. I have no idea why I am so nice. Today, I was bitten. It just proves that being nice to certain people is just a waste of time.

The person I am talking about is, of course, Bonnie.

When I was in USA, she asked me to buy a toy by a company called Leapfrog for her 6 months old girl. I was reluctant because toy is big and heavy. I am already challenged in terms of packing things into my luggage. Later however, my big heart tells me to do it. I shopped in Toys R Us and bought her a nice learning soft toy. She also wanted an iPod nano dock and I bought her one also since I am getting a dock for myself.

Anyway, I sent her an email and told her the amount. It cost RM216.64, equivalent to US$56.27.

Instead of depositing RM216.64 into my maybank account she put in RM212.79. The reason is she used the daily exchange rate. I was pissed at that point because here I am, doing her a favour, and instead of paying me the equivalent amount, she's paying me less. I told her that she still owe me RM3.85 because the bank used a higher exchange rate. She jokingly said that she asked me to pay cash when I buy the toy and not credit card. I let it be. She said she will give me the difference when she sees me in office.

Today, I reminded her again that she owe me RM3.85. Guess what she did? The bitch gave me 3 pieces of RM1, 3x 20 sen coin, 4x 5 sen coin and 5 pieces of 1 sen coin. WHAT THE FUCK?

"Why did you give me 1 sen? Is this how you show your gratitude? I am buying things for you and you are short changing me. Where is the courtesy?", I cried loudly so everyone can hear.

"It's still money.."

"The least you could do is give me exact change. I did this favour for you and this is how you repay me. I know what not to do next time. You have no shame, really. At least, TheBoss rounded up the sen when I bought things for her daughters."

"She's the boss.. she can afford it."

"It's common manners.. You obviously don't have any. Please pay me properly."

"I don't have change."

"I do."

"Ok then, here's RM5."

"How would you feel if I give you all in 1 sen?"

"I don't mind at all."

She's lucky I didn't have enough 1 sen. I gave her 1 piece of RM1, a 10 sen coin and 5x 1 sen.

You see, RM3.85 is not a lot of money. It's just US$1. It's just a can of Diet Coke. But money is not the issue here. It's the principal behind it. When people buy you things and carry them 9,000 miles over the Pacific, you are grateful. You treat that person to a nice lunch or maybe a nice cup of teh tarik. You don't short change people and when people ask you for the money, you don't give them 1 sen. Seriously, for a mother of one, I pity her. She's really sick in the head. She hates people doing her favours and yet she behaves this way.

WHAT A BITCH! I won't be nice anymore. I swear!

Monday, February 06, 2006

Pores

I notice that my nose has less blackheads and the pores are closed after I returned from USA. When I touch my nose, it feels smooth, unlike the feeling of many blackheads before I go USA. I wonder why? Was it the cold weather? Was it the dry-ness? Was it the clean water? Does anybody know?

I wonder how I can maintain this? Advice please...

Don't WhatsApp /SMS when driving

This morning, we received news that one of Jane's classmate passed away after fighting for her life for 4 days. She was cycling in her A...