Month: December 2001 (page 1 of 2)

Bangkok So Far

Three days and four nights and it’s been good so far. Initially, I
thought food was gonna be a problem but it’s turned out to be
otherwise despite most of them being non-halal. The people here
are quite soft-spoken. Most of them speak some English but I found
that I have to speak rather slowly and use simple vocabulary. Oh yeah!
I now know what it’s like to be illiterate since about 90% of the signs
are written in Thai scripture.

I haven’t been able to experience much of Bangkok itself during the
past few days but last night, those guys whom I’m working with
brought me to a club called The Forte.
Since I don’t drink I was there for the experience. Dang! Them babes
are HOT! They have some good songs being DJ-ed and performers
belting out songs during the evening (quite good really) but come
11:00pm, all the bar-girls would start dancing and prancing on the bar
ala Coyote Ugly.
Whoa! I would have gotten some pictures if I could (I’ve been told
that they don’t allow pictures to be taken in there). Then again, I
didn’t bring my digital camera along with me for this trip since my Sis
wanted to use it for the week. So, for now, if you wanna know what and
how it was like in there, you gotta be content with the link I gave for
now and whatever you can recall from Coyote Ugly. Heh!

Little Red Riding Hood Revisited

by Russell Baker

Once upon a point in time — at coordinates as yet too sensitive to disclose — a small person named Little Red Riding Hood initiated an operation involving the preparation, transportation and delivery of foodstuffs to her grandmother, a senior citizen residing in a forest of indeterminate dimension.

The operation was given the go-ahead and following ingress into said forest she attained interface with an indigenous element of unknown threat. Extensive training led to recognition of indigenous element as a wolf. The wolf inquired as to Little Red Riding Hood’s intent and destination, making no attempt to conceal his curiosity regarding the contents of accompanying parcel — one basket.

“It would be inappropriate to lie to me,” the wolf said, displaying his huge jaw capability with incisors to match — his intent obviously to intimidate.

Sensing he was a mass of repressed hostility intertwined with acute alienation, she indicated her sole task was to rendezvous with grandmother at place of current residence, make food drop and exfiltrate forest via route of infiltration, all while posing no threat to forest and/or inhabitants. Seeing her papers were in order and operating within the parameters of her Visitor’s Visa, the wolf immediately moderated his rhetoric and Little Red was allowed to continue, forced to reevaluate her time to target given the delay.

Wolf, having access to rapid transit, proceeded to grandmother’s residence, subjecting the elderly woman to the trauma of breaking and entering, followed by total consumption. (Note: Grandmother’s forwarding address, at this point in time, had become wolf’s tummy.)

(Note: A popular argument of the less informed claims he was not a bad wolf, merely a victim of an oppressive society, a society that not only denied wolves’ rights, but actually boasted of its capacity for keeping the wolf from the door. A national malaise was claimed manifest inside the wolf … what a bunch of hooey!)

“Is that the national malaise I sense within my digestive tract?” wondered the wolf, already preparing a defense for his day in court. To add credence, he popped Pepto-Bismol tabs and climbed into bed, ssuming the abdominal-distress recovery posture upon Little Red’s arrival — he’d also donned granny’s flannels (rumor is wolfy’s AC/DC).

“Grandmother,” Little Red said upon entering, “your ocular implements appear to be of an extraordinary order of magnitude today.”

“Only in anticipation of your arrival and the dim light,” returned the wolf — in drag.

“In reference to your ears,” said Red, “may I note with the deepest respect that far from being petite, their elongation and enlargement appear to qualify you for unparalleled distinction.”

“And they work great for pulling in the ball game as I don’t have a radio,” said the wolf, adding: “And get a load of these new choppers?”

“If it is not inappropriate,” said Red, believing granny could go a few rounds with a grinder prior to flossing, “it might be observed that with your new miracle masticating dentures you may once again be able to chew taffy.”

Fearing Red was on to him the wolf adopted an aggressive posture, asserting it may also be possible to consume little persons, alluding to an overpowering curiosity bordering upon determination to do so at once … just for the hell of it.

Little Red decided a retrograde movement was in order and hung a left, resulting in a bay window where once there had been bare wall. Shedding granny’s flannels, the wolf gave chase and was closing when a heretofore unnoted third party came upon the scene.

Due to the firmness of the third party’s intervention, the wolf’s stomach underwent ax-assisted aperture, resulting in the forced liberation of Little Red’s grandmother, bringing the hostage scenario to a successful conclusion and allowing for mission closure.

Touchdown In Bangkok

I touched down in Bangkok like about an hour ago. This service
apartment I’m housed in has got Internet connectivity provided to
every room (and broadband too!) so it’s cool! But I have this sneaky
feeling that I’m gonna hafta work when I’m done with the day at the
site and back at my apartment in the evenings. :\ Gotta be getting
some shuteye now…

30 Minutes Till Takeoff

I’m writing this entry at KLIA’s departure gate from my laptop at this
very moment. Kinda cool that KLIA has got some wireless LAN thingy
going on! At least now I can waste my time in a more “productive”
manner now whilst waiting to get on the plane! Hehhehehe!

Yeah, I’m flying off to Bangkok on a work related assignment. I’m
gonna be there for about three weeks with the option of coming back
on weekends. Don’t worry. Hopefully, I’d be able to keep you people
posted on what I do there besides work. ;)

The 21st Century Aidilfitri Experience

It’s past midnight. We made it back to Kajang a couple of hours ago
after pushing off from JB at 9:00am. It took that long ‘cos we stopped
several places at our relatives’ places in Batu Pahat and Muar along
the way. It’s certainly nice being able to meet and catch up with them.

Since I’m still not in the shape to walk properly, let alone drive,
hroughout the journey, I was pondering upon how different our family
celebrates Aidilfitri then and now. I feel that Aidilfitri celebrations has
gotten too simplified. I mean, conviniences aside, it has made the
whole Aidilfitri experience and atmosphere a bit too “synthetic” in my
opinion. These days, it just feels like another public holiday with the
exception of the abundance of food available. I dunno. Perhaps it’s
because that I’m now all grown up no longer a kid hence the different
experience altogether. Perhaps I’m being nostalgic and hanging on to
the past but it sure felt more “authentic” and special back then.

Anyways, I’m looking forward to celebrate and enjoy it as much as I
can despite my condition since I’m gonna have to go back to work
this Wednesday. Raya’s real short for me this year.

Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri

I’m off to JB early tomorrow morning to celebrate Hari Raya at my
Uncle’s and Grandma’s place like we always do every year. So, I’d like
to take this opportunity to wish you a Selamat Hari Raya Aidilfitri,
Maaf Zahir dan Batin. I’ll be back in KL on Monday. Have a good and
safe one, y’all.

Seven Reasons Why Malaysians Are Not ‘World-Class’

Something plopped into my email today which actually summarizes and drives home the point about the typical Malaysian attitude. I thought I’d share it with y’all here. The email was posted into a newsgroup that I subscribe to. If there’s one thing that I hope will get forwarded in emails, it has gotta be this! Hopefully, it’ll reach enough Malaysians to make them think and see where we actually stand.

Continue reading Seven Reasons Why We Are Not ‘World Class’.

Seven Reasons Why We Are Not ‘World Class’

by Mohammed Shakur

KL 12:49pm, Wed: My brain was exhausted after answering one of the most difficult online polls (conducted by one of our local major newspaper publications) I have ever encountered for years. Despite most of the questions that were somewhat easy, one question was really mind-boggling, which goes something like, “Is KL world-class?” I had to pinch myself once just to make sure that I was not dreaming. Is KL world-class? This is just like asking if our M-league is on par with the Italian Serie A league.

As the answer space was limited there, I list here seven defective habits of some Malaysians that make KL and Malaysians far from ‘world-class’:

Habit No 1 – Inability to use public toilet

It seems that some Malaysians can’t even pee in the toilet bowl – let alone flush the  oilet after use. Take a look at our public toilet and you’ll know what I mean.

Habit No 2 – Reckless driving

If Proton and Perodua were to cut their production costs (especially with the upcoming Asean Free Trade Agreement), I would recommend one sole suggestion – take off the left and right signal lights off! I guess the give-left/right-signal procedure does not even exist in some Malaysians’ dictionary of life. Once, I nearly rammed upon an Isuzu Trooper (on the PLUS highway) after the pakcik driving it suddenly swerved into my lane when I was travelling at 110kph. The authorities also need to realise that a person who drives recklessly even at 60kph is more likely to face an accident compared with a person who drives cautiously at 250kph (this is proven by German researchers, by the way).

Habit No 3 – Sibuk (Noising Around)

Ever tried wearing or doing something different and get yourselves stared at like an alien? It happened to me a lot of times – the most memorable one that was at the Los Angeles International Airport, when I had to perform my Zuhur solat in the international departure hall. Guess what happened – while I was not even bothered by the WASPs (white Anglo-Saxon Protestants), African Americans, or any foreigners, I was stared at by a whole bunch of Malaysians who looked as if they had not seen a person performing solat before!

Habit No 4 – Practising double standards

Even though we are a so-called ‘merdeka’ country, there is still a colonised bunch of Malaysians walking proud in the land. Let me narrate one of the most recent incidents from a couple that I’ve been through. In my search to find a decent piece of neckwear, I decided to visit Starhill in the Bukit Bintang area in KL. Upon entering a famous fashion house boutique, I was not even greeted (let alone given a smile), even after smiling to the sales assistant. Five minutes later, a Mat Salleh gentleman went in, and immediately, the same sales assistant greeted the gentleman, “Good afternoon, Sir; how can I help you?”

Habit No 5 – Imitating/Replicating

Ever come across blonde-haired woman with black eyebrows? Look further just take a stroll on the famous and ‘chic’ Jalan Telawi 2 in Bangsar and you will come across a number of wannabe blondes. Plus, has anyone realised how innovative we are in replicating? A look at our streets will show an abundance of Mitsubishi Lancer (Wira) and Daihatsu Mira (Kancil) replicas on the street. By the way, for all you guys out there, don’t assume that installing a three-inch diameter tail pipe on your Lancer/Mira replicas permits you all to drive like Mika Hakkinen on the roads!

Habit No 6 – Cutting queues

Sometimes I wondered whether we have been taught to line up or take our turns in anything at all. The ‘queue-cutting’ disease not only infected those infamous bus stops or supermarkets, but also the classy five-star hotels. Just go to any buka puasa buffet in any hotel in town, and you would see how kiasu some bunch of Malaysians are even when they know the food is more than enough for everyone.

Habit No 7 – Disorganised and uncoordinated

Have you ever come across anywhere else in the world where a four-lane ‘highway’ would be reduced to a two-lane road in less than 100m without any warning signs? Or road conditions that would make even Tommi Makkinen (of the Mitsubishi World Rally Championship team) think twice about driving with his Mitsubishi Lancer Evolution VII? To experience this, please take the Jalan Damansara route from KL to Taman Tun Dr Ismail. Then you can appreciate how ‘skilled and experienced’ our engineers are in planning construction projects.

In short, we are far from world-class standards. We can be proud with some of the best and latest infrastructures, but it is our principles and mentality that matter the most. Just take a look at some cities at Europe. Although they don’t have the most sophisticated buildings (most of their buildings are hundreds of years old), they are still considered sophisticated and world-class, for the culture and mentality of their citizens.

I may be no better than any of you guys, but if we want to be world-class, think about all these small but significant habits that could be changed. It is the small changes that would eventually result to big changes – let alone any reform in our thinking and principles that we readers have been arguing about in our letters!

On Crutches

I had a very unfortunate and stupid accident in my bedroom early this
morning when Mom woke me up for sahur (pre-dawn meal). Ended up
with some torn ligaments around my right ankle. [email protected]#$% And now I
have to use crutches to go around. Since I’m on training at the
moment, I can’t really make use of the two day medical leave that
the doctor issued so I just went ahead with my day. I now realize that
most facilities (and people too for that matter) around here aren’t
really disabled people friendly. Sure you’ve got some special seats on
the train for use by disabled people but just how on earth can you
get across to the other platform when you’ve got to use a walk-over
bridge with very steep steps? Not only that, if and when you board
the train, those people (the very well abled) who are already seated
on those seats meant for disabled people will just continue sitting
there, with no regards whatsoever to those who are really in need of
those seats. This ordeal has somewhat opened my eyes a bit to the
plight of those disabled people. When I was studying abroad, I can’t
help but notice that almost everything everywhere was built with
disabled people in mind, not to mention, that the people are very
courteous too. So, it makes one wonder really, whether this society
that we live in and belong to is really a developed society when
simple things like courtesy and care for the disabled are often if not
always overlooked…

Ex-Boilermakers Buka Puasa Gathering Part Deux

We had another buka puasa gathering, this time at Shrooms & Stars,
KLCC. The crowd was much smaller this time around consisting of
Bart, Penang, Izaidy, Raida, Lah and Farid. The food was great (Hey!
They got Japanese and Italian dishes as well!) but so far, Holiday
Villa in Subang has been the best one offering a nice mix of western
and eastern dishes. Anyways, it all comes down to *BURPPP!* ;)

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