Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Moving In

I was on leave from Friday to Monday because I was moving into my new house. It's a condo actually, but a house nonetheless. Anyway, it was a physically and mentally tiring process. Waking up at 7am and straight at work until around 1am-2am. I was stressed out, I was tired beyond words. To everyone who tried calling me or sent me SMSes during those 4 days, I'm very sorry if I did not reply or answer your calls for I was very much engaged the whole time.

Anyway, I learnt several things. Firstly, don't do it alone. I was lucky that my mom and my brother was around to help out, and frankly even that is not enough. Get a crew of maybe 4 guys to help with the heavy stuff and maybe 2 ladies to help with the details. I'm serious. Next, it will cost you a bomb. My bank balance is almost zero, my card is maxed out. I've done a rough tally, and you'll need at least RM15k to make a house livable. Sure you can spend less if you want it to be sparse. I want to get it done in one go, so do anticipate that amount. The more the better, of course.

But at the end of the day, when I lay down on my bed, I know I can still smile through the daze of it all. I'm happy with how the house has turned out to be, and I'm happiest with my room. What's even sweeter is that I can lay awake and watch the lights of KL flicker, and I can stay awake to watch the skies change colour throughout the night. I sleep very well now, no doubt helped by the fatigue and the wonderful mattress. I woke up this morning greeted by a lovely shade of the sky. Life is great, non?

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


Nizam pointed out over lunch that today marked the twelfth year we've known each other. Yes sir, 12 years ago today, 108 boys from all walks of life enrolled at a certain old school at a certain sleepy town in Perak. Over the course of the next few days the number would swell to include the Sabah & Sarawak boys (6 of them), Shukor (who registered late due to a freak accident) and Feylong (measles was it?). Then a few more boys would join us to make it altogether 124.

After 5 years, only 104 of the original 124 made it all the way to the last day. 20 lost their way somewhere in between.

To all my brothers of Remnants aka MCKK9600, it's been an honour knowing you guys.

By the way, the lunch I mentioned earlier is a rather recent routine that Nizam, Mulder and me started. Every Wednesday we will try to have lunch together (and annoy the heck out of people who recognize the maroon striped tie). Today, Nageb has joined our folds. Time to get Dod to start walking a bit farther and join us too. Ahh, lunches with the boys - just like those days again!

"we came hoping to get out, we left crying to stay"


Yes folks, this is a multiple post dumped into one.

Numero un.
I can't access blogspot.com anymore, the people in IT blocked it now *groan*. Hence I can't respond to your comments directly as before. So lemme try and answer 'em here, especially the ones regarding the last post.

Memang aku dah dimanjakan oleh aircon dalam kete, lrt and office. Tak kira lagi kalau pegi malls plak lepas keje. It's not so much the heat that was getting to me actually, it's the staleness of air, poning kopalo den.

Numero deux.
"nobody said it was easy,
no one ever said it's gonna be this hard,
oh take me back to the start..."

I'm under unbelievable load of stress now. Work, of course. But I would've managed since my commercialization plans are going quite well. However, some people suka ati mak bapak changed deadlines from one week to the same day. It was the Plan for 2008, and I had to set the targets for the whole damn department. In case you're wondering, no it's not supposed to be my job. It's a Senior Manager's task, my direct boss. He's on leave and has tasked me to do it. I can do it, no problem, but I had to refer to his boss aka my big boss The Director. The Director just came back from his leave, so he's busy clearing things on his plate. I've been trying to get 5 minutes with him since the dawn of man (overstatement, exaggeration, humour me lah!). So, just in case she decided to tell the MD that I'm not reverting back to her with The Plan in time, I sent out whatever that I have with a note stating The Director is busy (with something for the MD nonetheless) and will give her the whole nine yards when I feel like it The Director is less busy to talk to me, the humble little fry.

Also there are other things.

Numero trois.
I went to my house on Saturday to send some of my things over since my brother is around to help out. After we got everything into the spare room (doubling as store room for now), we laid down on the floor cooling ourselves under the fan. That's when it struck me for the first time.

My house now feels like a home.

No, I have not moved in yet as the damn contractors have not finished repairing the defects I pointed out. They are now 8 days past their SLA, and I am incensed. But I've been dropping by ever so often to check out on the work progress, to install lights/fans/blinds, to go for a swim etc. It always felt like just an empty unit. But that day, something changed. I did not want to leave, I might have found the home I've been looking for so long.

Monday, December 3, 2007

I Am Hot

...and uncomfortable.

I came in this morning expecting the usual breeze of cool air coming out from the lobby as I entered the building. Woops, for the first time there was none. I went up to my floor, sat down at my cubicle and started to feel the warmth.

Anyway, I can't sit down and ponder about it as I had a meeting at 9am and was rushing to gather my things together for it. Then I walked up two flight of stairs (because I try to do at least some exercise, yeah laugh it off) to the meeting room, all the while trying to tie my tie in the growing warmth. I waited inside the meeting room for 10 minutes, and not a soul showed up. So I decided not to waste any more time and skipped down the stairs to check on the usual suspects. Lo and behold they were all at their places doing their work. I asked Liani, and she said the Big Boss sent a notice yesterday to all the bosses saying the meeting is cancelled. Since my boss is away on leave, I was the only one out of the loop. Great.

Now I'm sweating. It's a warm Monday morning, no air-conditioning, had just gone up and down two flights of stairs and my tie is starting to feel like a noose. Promptly I took the tie off in one bold tug (boys, if you tie it correctly you can do it too!) and rolled my sleeves up. Backroom mode, people.

Started my work, and within an hour the PC went out thrice. Turned out there's a power supply problem. So the lifts were partly disabled, the aircon down completely and there's the problem with sudden blackouts which caused lotsa people losing their work.

So now it's after lunch, and the office feels much much warmer. It feels like being in koleq's library all over again (sure we had aircon then but it's only effective if you happen to sit right in front of it). There must've been a conspiracy to make this Monday as unwork-friendly as possible. I wish I'm lounging in the pool right now...

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Kempen Mari Merotan

The Education Ministry is mulling over introducing canning for female students.


On the subject of capital punishment (canning in this case), I strongly support it. I believe students these days are starting to get ideas that they are immune from punishment, since every other teacher who did their job were sued/reported. Of course, some deserved to be sued/reported. Some exercised excessive punishment. IMHO as long as it doesn't draw blood, not breaking any bones, not amounting to any serious physical injury, then I think it's fine. My parents are both teachers, and I know their frustrations dealing with their students. My dad deals with secondary schoolboys, caning is an everyday occurence. My mom deals with primary schoolkids, lesser forms of punishment were dealt out accordingly (most of the time, just a hairdryer treament a la Sir Alex is suffice for she got a fearsome temper).

I cringe everytime I read news reports that parents complained that their kids got caned or were made to stand for some time for not doing their homework. What I think? If they have been doing the parenting at home, and made sure the kids did their work, then there wouldn't have been any punishment at all. If work or other engagements are more pressing than your children, then you should have a clear conscience when some stranger caned your child. Why should you care now, when you did not in the first place?

The ministry should fight more for the teachers, for they are doing it not for fun, and surely not for their own good. Don't let them lose heart and lose authority. Look at what is happening when naive kids and more naive parents think they have the authority.

Then on the subject of girls to be caned, I strongly agree. Of course, with the proper guidelines and control measures in place. Again, I believe unruliness comes when they know they are immune. Caning a girl won't make her pregnant, or barren, or suffer from cervical cancer, or menopause earlier. Refer to me mentioning about proper guidelines and control measures if you start thinking that girls are weaker and shouldn't be caned like boys. Of course not, they can't take the same punishment. Having a brain would help in determining such.

I' ve had more than my fair share of caning throughout my schoolyears, by my parents when I was younger and by wardens and headmaster in secondary school. Are you surprised that I'm not crippled today? By the way, the worst caning I ever got was from Ustaz Wan. Don't worry ustaz, I ain't gonna sue you!

Friday, November 16, 2007

Of Kekabu Trees & The Likes

I was doing my work when suddenly I remembered a certain Kak Ramlah. No idea who she is/was? She's a notorious banshee back in schooldays. The stories are aplenty and varies greatly (as is the norm when tales are passed through words of mouth), but it struck fear into our 13 year old hearts like no other hantu can. So scared were we, we dared not even speak out her name, we referred to her as KR only. To tell the truth, I only dared to say out the name only a few years back. Such was the effect it had.

Oh, in case you're anticipating Kak Ramlah's story, I'm sorry. We repressed it so much I think most of us can't even remember what was it about. Anyone?

But on a related case, I remembered talking with my auntie right after watching Jangan Pandang Belakang a while back. I was telling her about the movie, when she recollected a story from her childhood. This was in the 70s, and Kg Galang was much more of a kampung than it is today. If you check out my Flickr, there's a pic of the main road leading to the kampung. In the 80s & 90s it was quite busy because it was the main road connecting Kota Bharu and KL. Since then a bypass road has taken all the traffic away and today the road would look a lot like then.

The story goes that there was this very old midwife who lived not too far away from our old family home (my grandparents and kids moved to a bigger house just before I was born). She's a very good midwife, and as is the practice (or belief) in those days, she bela something. Later when I asked my mom about it (she lived there for a while too), she remembered that lady and told similar stories to me. The stories goes that her lawn were never overgrown with weeds as every morning it will be neatly cut and her kitchen was never piled up with dirty plates as every morning it will be spick and span again. She has been seen at two places at once, doing two different things, etc but I guess no one dared to ask her the obvious.

After a while she got ill with age. She was bedridden, but ate like a famished lion. The children tried to get her to hospital but she refused. As the children lived away, there were times when she would be left alone for periods of time. Yet her house remained clean and well swept, as though she got up in the wee hours to do her household chores before resuming to be ill. She became ate and ate and ate yet got thinner and thinner by the day. The climax came right before her death when she was seen climbing the walls of her house (in your face Peter Parker!), definitely unlike a frail and sick old lady.

There was (I think there still is) a kekabu tree in front of her house, purpotedly where her 'servant' lived. Don't knwo what happened after that, though I recalled when I was very young hearing the adults talking about some disturbances originating from the tree. When I asked about it, I was told that I don't need to know.

So kids, as an ending to today's story I'll leave you with a Javanese verse:
Lingsir wengi sliramu tumeking sirno
Ojo tangi nggonmu guling
Awas jo ngetoro
Aku lagi bang wingo wingo
Jin setan kang tak utusi
Dadyo sebarang
Wojo lelayu sebet

This verse is called Gending Kuntilanak. It's sung to call one forth, good luck trying ;)

Friday, November 9, 2007

Good Show, Bad Ending

Last Wednesday after work I went to pick my brother up from Uniten. We went to Sg Chua to have dinner first before heading back to KL. At the Sg Ramal toll plaza, we witnessed a major disappointment. There's a Wira and a V6 trying to do a drag race right from the toll plaza, and as they round a soft bend about 300m later the V6 skidded, swung around a coupla times and hit the wall by the side of the road. We passed by the car as we were taking the exit near where he skidded and crashed and that's where we got disappointed. The bastard was still alive.

The car's front end was smashed, the front bumper and the radiator was on the ground even. The engine was smoking, but the asshole was still in his seat looking dejected (could be shock, but I don't think he'll die from shock, bummer). So we did the next best thing that we could do, rub salt in the injury. We drove by slowly (it's a Malaysian pastime to look at accidents, but we weren't the trendsetter that time) and when we got near we both rolled down our windows and gave him the applause he desperately needed (and I think my brother gave him a thumbs up as well for the show). Bravo young man, you're alive to try and kill yourself another time.

Why I'm so pissed off? It's because he's endangering other people. I don't bloody care about him, but what if when the car wiped out there was another car taking the exit, or there was a motorcycle there? All these talk about Mat Rempits, maybe we should do something about these jellybrains as well. I propose Putera UMNO do a similar program with them like what they did with the 'reformed' Mat Rempits, just minus the parachutes. That would be fun innit?

And yeah, I'm including every effing one of you out there, friends and family included. Go kill yourself where you won't take someone else with you. Morons.

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Mi Casa!

As of yesterday, I am the proud owner of my own house!

view of the pergola downstairs

I went to inspect the house yesterday with Arin (he was a property valuer before taking up postgrad studies, he knows this stuff), and subsequently collect the keys and the CF. After inspection, the main defects we found were the faulty front door lockset and the sliding door not installed correctly. The rest are mostly uneven paintjob. So I've filled up the defect list and submitted it to the developer. It will get done in 2-3 weeks' time. After that I'll start sourcing for cash to pay for grille, lighting and air conditioning installation, phew.

Arin posing

Anyway, I love the house! The size is just nice for me, not too big that I can feel the emptiness (I'll be staying on my own, no I won't rent the rooms out to anyone) nor too small that I feel cramped. The location of my unit faces Pandan Indah/MRR2, and none of the windows (including the kitchen/yard) faces other unit directly - privacy is assured for me.

After finishing the inspection, we went down to the 3rd floor where the amenities are (G, 1st & 2nd are parking bays). The pool seems sizeable enough, the gym is a bit small but well equipped, the multi-purpose hall is big enough to hold a function for say 150 people and there's units of shops and a cafe too.

Suffice to say, I am satisfied so far with what I'm getting for my money. It's a good location, rental rates are higher than monthly loan repayment, the unit has got a very good airflow, the security is good (hopefully they can maintain it) and best of all, I am a homeowner before I turn 25!

Monday, October 29, 2007


'Twas the night before a Robotics examination back in uni days. Oh yes, I am an engineer by training. There was a bunch of us studying the living room of the house I rented with 4 other friends, trying to cram everything and determined not to sleep in order not to waste any time.

As the clock wound closer towards the exam, and the night gets later and later, we got very sick and tired of the engineering cocktail splayed in front of us. We started talking. The YB then proceeded to tell us about his new phone and new phone number. Somehow, The Red Yob got an idea - prank call. Since The YB's number is new, no one had it yet besides us in the living room then. So The Red Yob served as the prankster doing the calls , The YB provided the phone and The Gunner provided the numbers. Me, The Bohemian Rocker, The Captain and The Khanster was the audience.

The stage was set. We all sat in a circle around the phone with the loudspeaker on. The Red Yob dialled a number, it was Golden Goddess' (GG). It was almost 3am, and it rang a few times before GG answered it in a sleep-ladden voice. Here goes the approximate dialogue:

RY: Hello, can I speak toMs GG?
GG: Yes
RY: Ms GG, I'm calling from Era FM and you are on our radio show
GG: Hrmm?
RY: Yes Ms GG, we're on air now. Right now we have a song playing, but we would like you to do us a favour. Is that possible?
GG: Err, OK...
RY: When I give the cue, can you say (RY asked her to say out loud the Radio's popular tagline)
GG: Ermm..(obviously bewildered)
RY: OK Ms GG, my producer has just given the sign than we're about to go live. Are you ready?
GG: Ohh, OK
RY: (in his best radio presenter voice) Itulah tadi lagu You're Beautiful oleh James Blunt, permintaan Natasha dari Gombak. Bersama kita di talian ialah Cik GG, Cik GG adakah anda apa apa-apa yang ingin dikatakan kepada pendengar kita malam ini?

Believe me, we did not expect her to do it. Some people we called earlier just hung up on us. Prolly because she was asleep when we called, prolly because it's done so quickly she has no time to come to her senses. Whatever it was, it was sure as hell funny!

To GG, We're sorry for the prank. We had a tough time facing you in class after that because we're afraid that you'll found out. I'm sure you realized it was a prank there and then when The Bohemian Rocker just burst out laughing when you finished the tagline. We were just crazy boys bored out of our heads, blame it on Robotics. Peace.

P/S: To Era FM, sorry for using your radio's name in the prank. It says something about your marketing that everyone knows the tagline =)

Monday, October 22, 2007

I've Seen It All

Bjork, if you can't tell.

I've seen it all, I have seen the trees
I've seen the willow leaves dancing in the breeze
I've seen a friend killed by a friend
And lives that were over before they were spent
I've seen what I was - I know what I'll be
I've seen it all - there is no more to see

You haven't seen elephants, kings or Peru
I'm happy to say I had better to do
What about China? Have you seen the Great Wall?
All walls are great, if the roof doesn't fall!
And the man you will marry? The home you will share?
To be honest, I really don't care...

You've never been to Niagara Falls?
I have seen water, its water, that's all...
The Eiffel Tower, the Empire State?
My pulse was as high on my very first date
Your grandson's hand as he plays with your hair?
To be honest, I really don't care...

I've seen it all, I've seen the dark
I've seen the brightness in one little spark
I've seen what I chose and I've seen what I need
And that is enough, to want more would be greed
I've seen what I was and I know what I'll be
I've seen it all - there is no more to see

You've seen it all and all you have seen
You can always review on your own little screen
The light and the dark, the big and the small
Just keep in mind - you need no more at all
You've seen what you were and know what you'll be
You've seen it all - there is no more to see

footnote: I absolutely love this song, though that does not change the fact that I think Bjork is freaky. Old song, but not too late for you to listen to it.

Friday, October 19, 2007

Matter Of The Fact Is...

I yearn for anonymity and popularity at the same time.

I yearn for solitude for me to rue and reflect and repent yet also I yearn for company to revive and recharge and regenerate.

I treasure the slow lazy afternoons accompanied by a book and a cold drink, with some music turned down low enough to hear but not loud enough to listen to. Me in my old tshirt and khaki shorts, putting the book down every now and then to pick up the Epiphone and start strumming some notes together. When my fingers start to ache, I'll return to my duck down heaven and slide away into the pages of the book again.

I treasure the loud crazy nights with the blokes, we'll be cussing and eating and laughing and drinking. No dress code required, anything goes. No need for formalities, no need for niceties. Nothing said gets taken to the heart, ever. That's only possible when there's no malice involved, that's why I don't mind being cussed at for hours by these blokes. It's tough love, but it's love all the same. All for one and one for all, oh the cliché-ness of it.

Whoops, another pointless entry.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Open Sores

I get mouth ulcers all the time, but this time I bet it's stress induced.

My job is as an internal consultant of sorts (for now, later I will be required to engage clients as well with my thought process). That requires a whole lotta creative thinking and trouble-shooting skills. It's draining to be thinking all day long.

Lately however the workload has increased. It has been hectic since mid September. These days I'm feeling very fatigued and more often than not go to bed early, and keep waking up later than usual. With all the sleep that I'm getting it's a wonder that eyebags are still developing.

I can't stress (pun unintended) enough how much I'm looking forward to my leave next week.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Just Another Public Holiday

Raya is only 12 days away, everywhere I go I can hear Raya songs being played. The weekends' traffic jams are getting worse now that people are rushing to do their Raya shopping. New clothes, new furnitures, new curtains, new car. All the fun of the fare.

Me, I've done nothing. Did not even buy a single item of clothing. Actually am not even looking forward to it. For the first time in my life I don't give two hoots about Raya. It will be just another day for me.

I was excited about it before, was planning to enjoy myself. Took 7 days of leave so as not to worry about working so soon after Raya. Then the shit hits the fan. Kementerian decided to send my dad (along with 29 other colleagues) to London for a course. His flight leaves on first Raya. My mom lost her mood for Raya, and decided that we're just going to have our Raya in KL. Just me, mom, dad and my brother. My other siblings will be put up with my gran, so they won't have to miss Raya as well.

Theoretically, Raya is Raya no matter where right? Wrong. I wanna be back in my hometown, in my kampung, meeting and greeting relatives whom I don't even recall who they are, I want to be forced to eat and drink at every house I go to until I had to plead for mercy, I want to eat gran's superb Raya breakfast, I want my Raya. Raya in KL means what for me? Zilch, nada.

I wasted 7 days of my leave just to stay in this damn city for Raya.

Friday, September 28, 2007


Managing people is not easy. Managing idiots are near impossible. I pity a colleague of mine who had a grievance letter filed against her. The reason? Well, the problem stemmed from the choice of menu for a Raya makan-makan. Someone doesn't want chicken, and another doesn't want beef or mutton. When fish was proposed, everyone else objected as it's not Raya like to only have fish. So chicken is back into the picture. Then the original guy gets incensed and soon they start bickering among themselves. Note, these people involved are all Malay clericals and something about a Union directive was also involved. Soon the exec (my friend) and some officers intervened. That's when they all decided to file a grievance because my friend and the officers apparently insulted and threatened them by saying "gaduh macam budak sekolah" and "the bank pays for our salary". I would have said something far worse were I to be there. Imbeciles.

I don't what is it about these people that they follow the Union's directive blindly. Maybe there's a flock mentality and peer pressure, but most times I think they're just being dumb. Have you seen the badges they wear to work? "We Deserve 30% Raise" and "The Bank Is Stealing Our Bonus". I would love to give them a piece of my mind about it, but that would invite grievances against me and possibly disciplinary action too. Sigh. You deserve a raise? Prove that with your KPI then maybe we'll talk more. The bank steals your bonus? Feel free to leave and seek employment elsewhere. Of course, not in a bank as all banks will do the same thing. No one is making you stay with that kind of negative attitude. I wonder if these people realize that they are losing their bonus because of the salary demands? They have the Union to thank for it.

True it doesn't apply to all. Most of them are just regular hardworking folks, and yes a lot of them just ignore the directives to not do extra work and not to join non-work related activities. I respect these people for having a mind of their own, to charter their own course. I hope these people will make the step up soon. They are the ones who deserved it.

I don't tolerate idiocy.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Story Time 1: Autumn

The breeze was refreshing. It is a cool evening, not unusual at this time of the year. The leaves are starting to yellow on the many maple trees that line the avenue where he lived. Further down the street, the Sterling geese are starting to appear again on the small lake at the park. They have returned south to breed, he suspects.

He stood up to catch the small slipstream, and soon his dark wavy hair is swirling in the wind. Tousled and tangled, his hair flowed freely with the wind. He smiled softly, the cool breeze is lightening his mood.

As he stood there, hair flapping wildly about his face, he recollected his thoughts. He was there for a reason. He sighed a long sigh. There's still time to pause and retreat, but he feels no reprieve. This is a promise he made himself one time not too long ago, and he intends it to be the only promise he ever kept.

He put down the piece of paper that he took out from his jeans' back pocket and put it on the floor, weighed down by his wallet and cheap watch. He looked across the horizon, over the town limits and towards the limitless expanse of land. A tear trickled from his eyes, he wiped it away roughly with his left arm. No time for melodrama, he said to himself.

He took of his Jack Purcells and put them beside the note and watch and wallet, but he kept his socks on. It's getting a bit chilly. The lights are coming on by batches all over the town, in respond to the encroaching darkness that this September night brings.

With one last breath, he took a step into the darkness and fell tumbling towards the hard concrete below.

The rushing wind soothed him for the few seconds it took for gravity to take him down. He closed his eyes all the way down, he dared not look at Death straight in the eye. And without pomp, it ended. Limbs broken like dry twigs underfoot, a crimson tide flows warmly from his head on to the cold concrete pavement. His hair, matted now with blood and gore, no longer flails about in the September breeze. He lies motionless, all skewed and battered. Just like that, he ceases to be.


Yes, lotsa grammatical mistakes. No, I don't care at this moment in time.

Sunday, September 23, 2007


I've been in the office since 4am. It's now almost 8am, and I still have no idea what time I can go back. Oh in case you did not notice, it's a Sunday. I wish the system would stop mucking about and let me do my work. I want to go home and sleep and enjoy whatever is left of my Sunday!

Bloody hell.

Friday, September 21, 2007

There's A Blues For Friday Too

Fridays are like this. My mind has gone into the weekend mode. Dragging my feet at doing work, can't wait for the end of day. My God it's only 10.27am. What have I gotten myself into?

8.45-5.45 for 5 days a week. Of course, the working hours only serve as a general guide. Commuting takes 30 minutes in the morning and 45 minutes in the evening. That's 10 hours and 15 minutes less off my life to live. Having only 5 to 6 hours of personal time every weekday is depressing. No wonder I have 5 books yet to be read (yes, I bought another one - Haruki Murakami's Norwegian Woods). My electric reclines in solitude against the amp while the Epiphone acoustic rests against the far wall by the window, the camera has been left untouched for many days, some DVDs still to watch.

I need more time.

Weekends? I fill it in with as much sleep as I can muster to recover from the week(s) past. But that would also be subject to family engagements, trips to stores to buy needful (and needless, just because I can) things, all the miscellaneous stuff. Sometimes even sleep has to take a backseat.

I long for the long lazy days of yore, when time ticks by unimportantly. When sleeps rules above all else, and classes comes somewhere next to last in my priority list. I had a close knit group of friends, we do crazy stuff, we sleep at ungodly hours, we talked and ate and watched and read and heard and basically did anything we wanted to. Time means n-o-t-h-i-n-g.

Being a corporate whore has its' perks, but at what price?

Thursday, September 20, 2007


I have an unhealthy interest in morbid matters. That is the reason why I started listening to death metal during my early teens (and I still do by the way). I've read occult texts and books, and devour all and any article that comes my way regarding the dark arts and things beyond my perception.

I enjoy horror movies above all else. I try to watch them alone at night just to give me a more conducive atmosphere. Well, what could be more suited when the reality hits very close to home.

First let me give a bit of a background. My mother has 2 sets of parents, the birth parents and the adopted parents. Adopted might not be the correct term as her adopted father is actually her uncle. The couple took her in because they are childless, and that she is her uncle's favourite niece. They also adopted 3 more children, my aunties Che Zah & Auntie and an uncle Pakcik Maarof (my mom also has another 3 sisters who are her siblings).

So time went by and let's move on to the more present timeframe. Back in 1999, Cik (my mom's adopted mother) passed away. Then strange things started to happen. I might tell them at a later time, be patient. Then only did my mom told me what she saw and what she experienced during her childhood. All in all, it's suffice to say that Cik used to 'bela' something. But the stories I've heard from the neighbours where Cik used to live always sounded far removed from my life. Until recently.

Behind Cik's house lived a distant relative of ours. She has 2 little daughters of preschooling age. The girls always tend to disappear during the day and only return home as it's getting late. It's been happening for quite a while, and the mother became quite suspicious. So the mother asked them where have they been. They said they've been spending time at the area behind their house with on old lady called Cik Bidah. The mother was dumbstruck, as there's no other Cik Bidah nearby other than my deceased Cik. Then the girls went on to say that Cik Bidah told them that she misses her grandchildren because they no longer came to visit.

Yes, it's a true story related by the relative to my mom early this year. Yes I was scared shitless. FYI, when she was still alive me and my sister used to go over to her house everyday with my mom to send her lunch and dinner. When I went to boarding school, my mom alone continued that duty. My other cousins rarely came as they lived quite far. So who else can the supposed Cik Bidah be talking about? Trust me, no movie ever made me feel even close to what I felt then.

Oh, someday I'll garner enough courage to head over to the old house and snap some pictures of it. It looks like the classic image of haunted houses people usually have. More interestingly, according to mom, the lawns are still well trimmed although no one has been inside the gates for years. Funny that.

Friday, September 14, 2007

Amante Del Libro

I am terribly excited. They are making Love In The Time Of Cholera into a movie, starring John Leguizamo, Benjamin Bratt and Hector Elizondo amongst others. Although I'm only halfway through the book (I only read it on my daily commutes to work), I am already anticipating the movie. But of course, I have to expect to be disappointed. Not all books successfully made the transition onto the silver screen. It is due for release year end, but I don't think it will make it's way to our shores due to the R rating though. Nevermind, that's what DVDs are for.

Which reminds me, I am still looking for A Very Long Engagement and Amelie DVDs. Anyone?

I have successfully finished reading 2 books in the past weeks, John Grisham's A Painted House and Kam Raslan's Confessions Of An Old Boy.

The former, superb. As eloquent as he always is, and for the first time he wrote something deviating from legal issues (later he would write Skipping Christmas, another non-legal fiction). I love it to bits, it's like reading the Alabama version of S. Othman Kelantan's short stories about Kelantan. Life in the rural backwaters in the 1950s, the issues they encounter, the hardship, the naivety, the innocentness, mesmerizing. I almost missed my stop once because I was too engrossed in it.

The latter, earlier parts of it is very good. Witty, charming, ironic. It's a good surprise for me that the fictional (semi-fictional?) Dato' Hamid is a budak koleq as well. That was my initial suspicion upon chancing on the title anyway. It is no surprise that Kam did his research by going through old issues of The Malay College magazines. However, the latter chapters tend to be a bit draggy and borders on being boring. Still it's worth my penny, I'd say.

What else on my bookshelf waiting to be read? Gabriel Garcia Marquez's 100 Years Of Solitude, Rehman Rashid's A Malaysian Journey, Khaled Hosseini's A Thousand Splendid Suns and only last night I started Stephen King's Tales From A Buick 8 as a bedtime book. I'm thinking of getting Joshua Ferris' Then We Came To The End soon.

Ohh, if you are looking for a book to read, try Gabriel Garcia Marquez's Memories Of My Melancholy Whore and Paulo Coelho's Eleven Minutes. You won't regret it.

Wednesday, September 12, 2007


After sundown today, it will be Ramadhan again.

Forgive me for any slight I've caused over the course of time, truly this is a time to forgive (and possibly forget). For those who have wronged me, know that I forgive everything.

To those who never completed one whole month of fasting (without a valid reason), perhaps this is the time to actually do so. There might not be another Ramadhan to keep putting it off. Why not give it a try.

Selamat berpuasa to all Muslims.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Check Your Tyres

Last night I went to pick up my dad at KL Sentral and then drove straight to IAB in Genting. He was due to register for a course starting this morning. It rained the few hours before, and I was a bit apprehensive about driving to Genting in that condition.

Alhamdulillah, nothing went wrong on the first leg of the journey. Sent him to his accomodation safely and I turned back to head towards KL. Before that I drank some coffee to perk me up (which is a blatant lie to myself, caffeine doesn't work on me and I know it), and changed the CD to play some rocking numbers instead of sappy Indonesians ballads.

So I drove in the utter darkness (Genting Group, please install some street lights!), accompanied by a car or two every long while. Most of the time I can't really see that far ahead, thanks to the fog. I just followed the reflective cat's eyes on the road, and keeping myself vigilant by singing loudly (the plus point of driving alone, no one will complain about my singing voice).

At one corner, I made a wrong judgment. I thought it's one of those mild swerving corners that's abundant there, however it turned out to be probably a 150 degrees' turn instead. I braked hard and the tyres skidded.

I thought I'm gonna be dead.

Going into the deep ravines in the dead of night, with no other cars within my sight to witness me going off, I'll be dead by the time they found me even if I survived the fall.

Then the tyre threads gripped the road and the car straightened. All is well after a split second of scare. It took me a few seconds for me to regain my focus and composure. The rest of the journey home was uneventful and I arrived home safe and sound.

What went right for me was that :
1) The tyres are fairly new and the threads are still in good condition.
2) I wasn't going fast in the first place and was already pumping the brakes before I braked hard.
3) It's not raining there and then so the roads were dry.
4) I'm alone, no other cars to serve as extra hazard.

Take this as a precaution people, please drive carefully.

Friday, September 7, 2007

Sick Note

Dr Shantini offered me an MC but I declined.

"It's okay, I think I'll go back to work. Too many things to finish up"

Now I'm regretting that decision. I should've accepted the MC and just return to work. At least that's a free ticket for me to leave anytime.

I've a headache, I'm nauseous, I'm cold and my stomache is topsy turvy. My boss is leaving for KLIA at about 3pm, and I'm gonna leave afterwards. I'll just have to do my work tonight or over the weekend. Crap.

I'm in for a thrashing come Monday morning. Please be kind Mr Director, this is the best that we could do with such limited information and resources...

I think I might throw up.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Bitten By The Bug

Uncertainties - Amran (formerly of Hot Choc)

Don't know if I miss you
Don't know if I should
And with all the uncertainties
You will know the way I feel
You know I care about you
But will tomorrow see us through

Sweet words are often spoken
It's the same old confession
Maybe if we let ourselves go
Then perhaps we'll both know
You know I care about you
But will tomorrow see us through

The sun that shines in your hair will be gone
When the evening meets the lonely night
But the spark you left deep inside my heart
Keeps burning forever today


I was driving home after work when I saw a photo opportunity. I rushed home and quickly went to pick up my camera and headed for the top floor. It was about 7.15pm, and behold before me, literally, the evening meeting the night. Took several snaps, and one of them you can view here.

Photography is a new hobby. Something I've always wanted to do but never had the means to. I never even had a camera before this. It was a huge leap of faith when I decided to buy the 400D. Luckily for me I have friends who are willing to share with me some tips and tricks of the trade. The photographers at my sis' wedding also gave me some pointers. The rest, I learnt through forums and websites, and most of all through trial and error. Someday I want to emulate Shaliza, and take pictures of that calibre. That day might come, and then it might not. What matters is that I have faith.

Thursday, August 30, 2007

Old Cynical Me

As is the case usually, the juniors showed themselves to be able sportsmen worthy of a place in the national squad. The seniors can just go procreate in an anatomically impossible way.


On another note, it's 30th August today. Tonight Malaysians from all walks of life will start partying. And getting drunk. And prolly get lucky too. Cynical, aren't we? I've not gone to Merdeka's Eve or New Year's Eve celebratory parties for years because I'm growing sick of it. Sick of the traffic jams, sick of the suffocating crowd, sick of the inevitable fights between yobs, sick of the drunk Malays making a damn fool of themselves, sick of chicks displaying non-existant tits to the world (note girls, you need boobs first to have any cleavage). I'm just getting old too quickly I guess. At least I used to enjoy the last part.

Oh ignore the old man. Quick kids, run to your nearest 7-eleven and stock up on booze, condoms and fags. It's going to be an interesting night. Get crazy, forget your earlier inhibitions if any, taste freedom tonight. After all, it's Merdeka.


I'm fast turning into a Davan.

Monday, August 27, 2007

Rumahku Syurgaku

My apartment is almost ready for occupation. I called the developer and they told me that they're just waiting for the COF, they expect to hand out the keys by next month. Yesterday I drove around the area just to see if it is actually finished, and it is! The roads are all tarred and flat, unlike last month when it looked like a minefield.

I can't wait to move in. Well, actually I can but I want to move in as soon as possible. I just cherish the thought of having my own personal space (at what price, don't ask). It's so cool to be a homeowner at this age.

Well yeah, I'm still driving the (very) old car. But I'm getting something better in lieu. So guys, go get your Civics and Beemers, I don't envy you one bit =)

Monday, August 20, 2007

A Dish Best Served Cold

I have been meaning to blog about this for a while. For those drama buffs, you might just like this one.

I used to go out with this girl whom I shall name as Anne. Things were going fine when suddenly she told me that another guy was pursuing her as well. She told me she didn't even like the other guy, so I decided to take her word for it.

Then she stopped answering my calls and did not reply to my messages. Ohh, I should mention that she has a twin sister as well, whom I shall name Mary. Sometimes, my calls were answered and the voice would say "Anne tengah mandi lah" or something. The funny thing was, the voice were Anne's and not Mary's.

So the ignoring went on for a while until I had enough. So we met to sort things out, and turned out she chose to go with the other guy. Her reason? Because the other guy has done a lot of things for her (like buying her things from Paris et cetera). Yeah, I bet. She told me that the fella even promised to buy her a car! How can I, a student on the brink on starvation most of the time, even hope to come close when material things became the deciding factor? So I backed out, keeping my pride as intact as I can and we promised to stay friends and keep in touch. No, that did not happen.

So a year passed. I was already working. God knows what's been going on with her, probably enjoying her wealth of happiness (pun intended). So on this one inconspicuous day, I found myself at the PTPTN office in KL Sentral waiting for my turn at one of the counters. The place was packed and the only empty seats left were beside me. It was either fate, or people were avoiding those seats for other reasons (I don't have BO by the way). Nak dijadikan cerita, as I turned to look at the people entering the office, I saw them. They were looking for seats and I can see Mary spotting the empty seats next to me. But of course, they did not notice this guy in work clothes with a laptop just sitting there.

Mary sat next to me, with Anne grabbing a seat in front fo me. Then did Mary realized who was sitting next to her. She summoned Anne, and Anne's reaction was to immediately turn away for a second before turning back and smile. Shocked? She could've seen a ghost judging by her expression.

So I talked with Mary, with Anne staying out of the conversation. This is where things turn my way. She started to ask about my job so I gave her a brief rundown. She looked impressed, while Anne keep a polite smiling face. I gave them my business card just to act as evidence in case they thought I'm making it up.

Then Mary asked the inevitable, how much do I make. To the uninitiated, it's actually quite rude to ask unless if the person is very close to you. But on this occasion, I'm willing to oblige. So I told her (them actually, I directed my answer to Anne), and this time I saw the smile froze and her jaw slackened. Yes ladies and gentlemen, The Banker has fired the first salvo. Just to rub it in, I asked them when are they going to the UK (they were doing twinning programme I think). Mary said they might not go, and most probably just stay and finish their degree here in Malaysia. So I go "Ohh that's a pity. I'm going for a couple of months next year, thought we might hang out in London or something". Ohh I love the look of envy and frustration in the mornings.

I guess that was the crippling blow. They kept quiet for a while and they got up and left. They were waiting for their turns as well, but they just left. At least Mary had the grace to smile and say they wanted to check out the computers on the other end of the office. Anne just walked away. Me? Grinning like an idiot in the crowded office, thinking of what must go on in Anne's head.

Well Anne, you chose to take the easy way out and go for him. I guess his money then was too much of an attraction to you. You never saw my potential I guess. Too bad for you *grins*.

Ohh by the way, she's still sharing a car with her twin sister.

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Cloud Nine

11/08/2007 - Genting Highlands

...and beyond the trees, things fade into a shade of grey and white...
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A journey into the unknown?
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Whitewashed paradise.
Photo Sharing and Video Hosting at Photobucket


Monday, August 13, 2007

Cerita Bell

Aku terase sungguh bell arinih. Why? Sebab aku baru sedar seluar aku pakai hari nih hanging. Tak pnah2 selame aku dok koleq aku pakai seluar hanging, skali dah keje nih pulak aku pakai.

It's not a new pair, so that means I've worn this pants for a while without realizing it. I must've shifted position a bit while the salesgirl was measuring the length of the pants, hence it being a wee bit too short. I like this pair, gedamit.

Well there you go, must be my first ever blog entry in market malay (melayu pasar lah, ape lagi). All that just because the first thought that came to mind when I realized my pants' situation, was just that. A monologue in malay speckled with some old colloquials dating back from my school days.

On a related matter, I think I have a peculiar way of talking to myself. No, I'm not yet mad. When I think, it's usually in the form of a 3rd person asking myself questions or giving motivation et cetera. Okay, probably I am a little off the rockers. Also, I find it funny that my thought process are usually in english. Even when the situation at hand is a malay lingua setting. I would just translate back and forth. For the life of me I cannot fathom why am I so comfortable using english as my primary internal language. I wonder if Petet thinks in French, or Abg Zaki thinks in Japanese. I'm pretty sure I'm not the only one, whose brain speaks to him in the 3rd person, and in another language than his mother tongue. Are you one of us?

bell = outdated.
hanging = the situation where the pants is too short it hangs above the shoes or just barely touching it.

Wednesday, July 25, 2007

Through A Beginner's Eye

24.07.2007 - Demong, Besut

Ain't no sunshine when she's gone...

dark skies

Ohh my, starry eyed surprise!

twinkle twinkle

20.07.2007 - Little Sister, no more.

Congratulations Pija & Kue, I wish you all the happiness in the world!

Pija & Kue

Footnote: These pics are raw jpegs, unedited. I want to change the contrast of the 1st pic and do some cropping to tighten up the shot. I'll upload the full-sized pic somewhere later. All pictures are shot with Canon EOS 400D with the kit lens (18-55mm).

Wednesday, July 4, 2007

Consistently Inconsistent

I wrote four different posts (and erased them all again) before this one. I want to write something, there's an urge for it inside of me but it just does not translate.

I've been reading some people's blogs, and some of them blog with reckless abandon. No holds barred, emotions bared to the world. Some talk about their heartbreaks with almost pitiful self-pity, others talk about their sexcapades that borders on pornography. I respect both, for what they have is consistency and passion. Two things I lack...

I have not written about my love stories for a long long time. I have not written about my heartaches for a long long time too. There's a thick wall cordoning off that section of my life from public scrutiny. I reveal myself to those I can trust, but to do so on such an open arena like this? Don't think I can.

I am not a cold man, I have feelings and oft I find it bruised and broken. As eloquent as I am, I can not find the right words to express myself, not for the life of me. I tried several times, and it always sounded fake and guarded. I'd rather not write, if all I write will be lies (or half-lies, does it matter?)

I don't believe I have more than 5 returning visitors, I bet most people are just turned off by the bland white background and layout, and also the bland contents that I have. See, now I have a conflict. I started out with no intention to let anyone know about this blog, because I wanted to just blog senselessly without anyone saying "hey, he used to write better than this". Now I'm lamenting that this is a lonely blog. Ha, if there's such a thing that is.

I don't know really, I don't even have a counter. I don't really care, just that sometimes the narcist in me wanted to know if people are reading. Weird.

Ohh I'm rambling. For what it's worth, this worth nothing. Would I change my style, I don't know. I hate blogging at the office, because I feel stiff and restrained by the environment. Shit, even this paragraph is lacking in consistency now.

And to think that I have a dream to become a writer, heh.

Monday, June 25, 2007

Sephia-tinted Days

I am a kampung boy at heart, and will always be.

What do I miss when I'm in this urban jungle? I miss the slow flowing river that runs behind Ma's house, and the days when I would wade upstream to look for fishes and small shrimps. I miss my batang bemban fishing rods that Abah used to make for me, and the time when me and Che Na would spend hours sitting on the riverbanks waiting for a tug. I miss the kites made from bamboo, and the hot sun burning on my face as I flew it at the sawah. I miss the hard white marble balls called buoh guroh, and the sweet cracking sound of it smashing someone else's buoh guroh in our games. I miss the 50 cents bottled orange soda, and the toy packets that my great grandma Mok Lamoh would always bring when she came to visit. I miss going for rides in Abah's old red Fiat, and we'd go all the way to Bukit Ajil to see the fish pond and eat the jambu epal. I miss the tengkujuh season when it would flood, and us kids gleefully jumped into the brown water. I miss listening to Ayah Jie strum his guitar to the tunes of Gersang and Headwind, and I still remember how much he loved the song Suraya. I even miss the fear that I always had whenever I had to walk past pagar Leho (Leho's fence) and the Kekabu tree that was said to be haunted.

I'm glad I had these experiences, as it brought me closer to my dad. I would know what he's talking about whenever he starts reminiscing about his childhood games, or the scars he got from diving recklessly from the waterlock to the deep inviting water ( I have done so myself, albeit with no scars to show for it). I felt a deep connection whenever he talked about all those things, no one else in my family has any idea about it. Not my mom (she's a town girl), not my brother and sisters.

What I wish for, is for my own offsprings to have more fun when they're young. I would love for them to have a nice kampung experience in some way, and not be the spoiled brats who turn their noses at the thought of balik kampung.

Someday I will return. Someday I will live in those environs again, and not be bothered about toll hikes and flash floods and snatch thefts. Someday.

footnote: Ma and Abah are what I call my grandparents. Abah passed away in 1993, Allah bless his soul. Ma is still healthy, Alhamdulillah. Che Na (aunt) is an engineer with a GLC, Ayah Jie (uncle) is a succesful businessman in Shah Alam. Me? Slogging away as a banker in a major foreign bank, and loving it.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Wedding Bells

My younger sister is getting married soon. How does that make me feel? Happy for her of course, worried for her too. Hope she does not pop a baby so soon, or else it'll be quite hard to manage baby and studies. Yes, she's still studying to become a doctor. Stop asking me why did she get married so young, ask her instead.

I'm veering away from the question. How does that make ME feel? Well, at first I felt that it does not affect me in any way. However when your family is in the festive/marriage mood, that's all they seem to talk about. Obviously I get dragged in by the inevitable question "when are you going to get married?".

When? I wish I know for sure.

Bit by bit it does affect me to see friends and family getting married one by one (this year alone I have 2 cousins and a sister getting married, plus countless friends). There are times I desire the intimacy and the closeness that only marriage can bring, and there are times that I thank God I'm still single. But progressively it's leaning towards the former. What does it mean when I'm willing to forgo my 3-series in favour of my marriage fund?

Well, we all will get there some day. You can only put it off for so long. What use is wealth and complete freedom if you'll end up lonely at night. I did not mean alone, I mean lonely. It's two different things, do note.

Anyway sis, I hope this will make you happier than you have ever been. I guess a brother can't ask for much more for his beloved sister.

P/S: langkah bendul nih, don't I get anything???

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

For Remembrance

We offer our youth
to the world we built
with courage and truth
and love fulfilled

A city will rise
that is bright and fair
into peaceful skies
into cloudless air

Proudly we'll serve
and with faith we'll strain
muscle and nerve
and heart and brain

'Til wisdom descends
like a silver dove
'til evil ends
and the law is love

Note: googling these verses returned zero result. These beautiful lines were formerly the lyrics to The Malay College's song, before the malay and current version comes into use. I doubt any present living old boy still knows how this song goes. How I wish to hear these verses in their original composition. Perhaps MCOBA can do something about this? As for now, I'm contented just to let these verses live on...

Tuesday, May 29, 2007

Kg Ulu Geruntum

That's the name of the place where we started our whitewater rafting adventure on Saturday. It's somewhere in Kampar, Perak.

The 5 of us took the 7.30am bus from Puduraya to Ipoh, where Charis, Viv and Eric met us. Then we rendezvous with Nad, Pang and Kun at the Gopeng toll plaza. The convoy of 4 cars then headed towards Gua Tempurung where an Uhuru (the rafting guide company) rep was waiting.

We arrived there, and promptly climbed into the lorry (yes, the 4WD turned out to be a lorry!) that will take us to the starting point - Kg Ulu Geruntum.

Amy was our head guide, and he assigned us to Kado and Mickey the other 2 raft captains. We split into 2 groups, I got in a raft with Iz, Diana, Pang and Kun with Kado as the captain.

So we head into the river with only 2 out of 11 actually know anything about whitewater rafting before. We learned the correct floating technique, the manouvreing techniques etc, and before long off we go!

It goes on about 9km, with the rapids on a scale of between 1.5-3. That means it's okay for us beginners lor. For grade 4-5, better leave it to the more seasoned veterans.

And there we were, 7 bankers, 1 HR manager, 1 insurance agent, 1 fashion consultant and 1 something-or-the-other (sorry Pang) working our way down the river, getting ourselves wet and wild. Wait, that doesn't sound so kosher.

We stopped at the midway point to take a (voluntary) dip to cool off (rather than the involuntary ones, which tend to make some of us panicky). The final stretch of the journey is almost sightseeing, the rapids are very mild (Honeymoon Rapid, Kado said)and the sight was awesome. Arrived at the finishing point sometime after 2pm, and proceeded to mandi sungai some more before heading back to Gua Tempurung for lunch.

Lunch was the only part of the trip we regretted. All of us, besides Irene, got diarrhoea. We're blaming the chicken curry.

It was a fun trip, a pity I can't take any pictures (you try it, and see if you can). This trip was well worth it. Next, looking forward to Kuching and Rainforest World Music Fest in July!

Monday, May 14, 2007

Longing For Distant Skies

me and Marina Bay

I woke up this morning with sand between my toes.

I was in Miri for the weekend, flew all the way there with 3 other friends just to catch the Miri Jazz Festival. Truth be told, I left KL with some reservations. Now that I've been there and back again, I can say I'm in love.

Chilli crab for lunch, superb!

We had seafood for lunch and dinner for two days. The prawns are huge and fresh, the crabs are succulent with roes abound, the squids are sweet and fleshy. Rice and vegetables became garnishings to our seafood fest.

Havana Sax doing their thing

On Saturday, we didn't do much besides driving around and getting lost in the small town with many one-way-streets. Later in the evening we went to the Parkcity Everly Hotel for the Jazz Fest. We arrived quite early, and so managed to see the sunset over South China Sea. The performers were highly entertaining. One of the bands (which I shall not name) even sang suggestive lyrics! Great fun we had, we only left the garden party around 1am.

Yesterday, we went to the handicraft shops around the city centre, and went to see the outskirts of the town as well. Then just before heading for the airport, we decided to stop by the beach nearby Marina Bay/Luak Bay. It was the best 45 minutes of my trip. The beach was empty save for us, the wind had an almost gale-like quality to it, and the water was cool beneath my feet. The four of us took pictures and videos to try and capture that moment. I doubt we succeded, but at least it will remind us of that moment.

Well I'm back in the office clearing mails the whole morning, delegating this and escalating that, coordinating this and orchestrating that. Life resumes as normal for me.

Me, I'm going back to Miri just for the sand, surf and sun.

I think the sand is not just in between my toes, I guess it's in my heart as well.

Saturday, May 5, 2007


Is it any wonder that we allocate so much leeway to people we are close too? The closer they are, the more they can get away with. Say, if you were driving down MRR2 and some souped up Gen2 starts prodding you from behind, most times you'll yield and move aside (while uttering some curses, of course). But what if when you turn to look at the driver and it turned out to be your cousin, or your good friend? Of course, smiles are exchanged and you'll laugh the whole thing off. As if those cusses never escaped your mouth.

Friday, May 4, 2007

A Synopsis

I've been on a readfest lately. Bought several books, and read several more. I've gone through Levitt & Dubner's Freakonomics and Garcia Marquez's Memories of My Melancholy Whore, and am reading Garcia Marquez's Love in Time of Cholera. However, I decided to loan it out to Alicia first and borrowed Eugenides' Middlesex from her.

There's still Burgess' Malayan Trilogy and King's Tales From a Buick 8 yet unread. I really should stop buying books and finish reading them first.

I am going off to Miri next weekend for the Miri Jazz Festival along with a few colleagues. It will be a short trip only, didn't take any extra leave. Will leave for Miri on Saturday morning and return to KL on Sunday evening.

Last weekend I was in Kuala Kangsar for MCOBA Weekend, which I find very drab this time around. I have made plans to skip the next two events in anticipation of 2010's event. Make no mistake, the time spent there was priceless. Had loads of fun with the guys, just that the usual festival atmosphere of OBWs weren't evident. Probably this was due to the fact that it was held earlier than usual.

Can't really elaborate on anything much, mind is empty and stomache is full. The period after Friday prayers are only good for siestas. Work? What is that?

Thursday, April 19, 2007


I am a music nut, but I'm not particularly gifted in anything. I can play the guitar, but not well enough to warrant special mention. I can sing, but only to myself and when no one is listening. Though I've karaoke-d before, no one has complained. I think I'm more of a Jack of all trades (yet master of none). Prolly they are too nice. But one thing for sure is, I need to listen to music all the time. I listen to it on the train rides to and fro work everyday, I listen on the car radio, I listen on the WinAmp when I'm home. I listen to many varying genres, it's hard to pin my taste down. Generally, it's rock. But I do listen to dangdut even when the mood strikes me. Yeah, people who knows me as the banker wouldn't believe this. Cufflinks and matching ties does not really go well with dangdut, does it?

Anyway, these days I've been listening to a few bands I'm not familiar with before. Some friends recommended them to me, and I decided to take a plunge. Turned out, they're not half bad. So do take a listen to Acceptance and Boys Like Girls. I would recommend So Contagious by the former and Holiday by the latter. Then if you like it, listen to their other songs as well.

Back to my guitar, I own a 5-year old cheapo electric which I frequently refers to as my girlfriend. Well, I do touch and stroke her more than anyone or anything else. Anyway, it's a bloodred number, with 24-frets. Maple neck and headstock, rosewood fretboard, 3 single-coil pickups, and sounds decent enough for a starter guitar. Plus it was very cheap. Now that I've played for a bit, I can discern the flaws in the sound. So I am looking for a new one. I've been eyeing SX GG1 at Chambers Music in Sg Wang, have tried it as well. From all the reviews I've read, it's apparently better than Epiphone Les Paul (which cost more than twice of SX). I've tried it, and it plays well. But the colour is not what I wanted. If they can order one in black for me, then I'm sold. Still looking though, not ruching into any purchases. Am also getting the Marshall 15W amp to go with it as well.

Someone wanted me to write more about my love life. I'll give it a thought. I don't want this to be some soppy preteen diary that talks of getting heartbroken all the time. I guess I have a different view of the situation now. More rational? Perhaps. Not really looking for new ones now, but I'm not counting anything out. Just keeping my options open. Love is the melody of life, is it not?

Thursday, April 12, 2007

Overcoming Obstacles and Others: A Collection

Today I was invited to a luncheon talk by Sir Chris Bonington at The Westin. Yes, one of the perks of the job is getting invitations to the best places and the best events. It was organized by the British Malaysian Chamber of Commerce. The talk was called Overcoming Obstacles, where the mountaineer shares his experience when he climbed Mount Everest aged 50 back in 1985, and he drew parallels between his adventures and the challenges that we managers face at the workplace. I find the talk very inspiring. It made me want to find mountains for me to climb as well, on scale with my experience (read: naught) of course. But then, Sir Chris is the type of guy who says things like "I was lucky I only broke some ribs" and "Mount Everest is not the most challenging mountain for me". Let's see, I heard someone mention Gunung Jerai and Gunung Ayam just now after the talk. Are those climbable for office rats like me?

The food was good, for starters we had pastries and mushroom and chicken soup. The main course was baked fish in cream sauce and some greens. Okay, I'm not Anthony Bourdain, so I don't really know what fish or what greens. The desert was passion fruit sorbet with mango sauce and some pastry thing with cream. But of course, someone like me likes his food in sumptous volumes. Haute cuisine is nice, but nasi goreng ayam at the mamak nearby the office is the definitive feel-good food.

The nasi lemak stalls behind Pizza Hut nearby Menara Genesis in Bukit Bintang sells some of the best nasi lemak in town. I feel like dropping by everyday after work now that I've tasted it once last Thursday.

I watched Jangan Pandang Belakang last night at One Utama, with several colleagues. Honestly, the movie hasn't got much of a plot. However, the scenes are quite disturbing on their own. It should have been called Jangan Pandang Belakang: a collection of horror moments. Yes, I think it is worth watching. Pierre Andre is a good actor and Intan Ladyana needs to work harder to make herself appear more natural on screen. Jalaluddin Hassan, well, I think someone should just shoot him. He can't act, he can only do the Dato'/CEO role and a pitiful one at that too. Listen to him giving a financial analysis of his company in the movie. Kejap August in in 3Q, kejap in 4Q, I would quit my job if that's my boss talking incoherently like that.

I am going off tangent very quickly, which I tend to do quite a lot as well.

Anyway, have some more work to do and calls to make. Life goes on as usual in my little corner of the office. What life? This is life, my friend.

Thursday, April 5, 2007

A Note To You

Hey man,

How are you holding up? This is kinda awkward. Let me just give it to you straight, okay? I'm better at that.

Look, it is not the end of the world. I know how you feel, I felt that 7 years ago too. I felt it over and over again when I was slogging away in college, doing something I never wanted to. I felt like a failure all the time. But look at me now. I'm making more than what dad makes after so many years of working. I am looked upon with respect and for some with perhaps a touch of envy by my friends. I love what I'm doing, not so many people can say that.

And where did I start out? With a mediocre SPM result, with a halfbaked desire to do the degree, and with a heart burning with ambition to make up for all the disappointments. The end will justify the means, believe me. I know mom and dad was more than just a little bit disappointed that I did not get to go for a degree overseas, but they hid it well. In hindsight, it's a blessing. What if I was 10,000 miles away when dad was hospitalized, and not be able to come home to take care of the household while mom cared for him at the hospital? See, God moves in mysterious ways.

I'm glad Sis got the perfect score, got to do what she wanted and lived up to everyone's expectations. She made them proud, much more prouder than I ever did. I have a lot to thank her for. At least it eased their worries some more.

Now at 24 I have a good paying job, have bought a house of my own, planning to buy my dream SUV soon, and ultimately able to live on my own without burdening mom and dad anymore. God knows how much I've squandered away in college. To whom I attribute all these too? To their support. Mom might not know much about Calculus, but she knew enough that it's not peanuts and always have the right words to say whenever I felt like giving up. Look out for it, pretty soon you'll be treated more as a man than a boy like before. But earn that respect from her, no more fooling around so much. Or rather, don't show it to her. Been there, done that.

It's your time to shine. Me and Sis have been through the paces, gone to good boarding schools, took respectable degrees and have shined in our own way. The stage is set for you. There's no other way than up from now, trust me. Slog away if needed be, do away with sleep if you have to, but always remember that this is your time to prove the doubters wrong. For what it's worth, I'll be with you all the way.


P/S: Mom and Dad doesn't write any of us off when we strayed. Don't you worry about that, they are most supportive (why did you think mom nagged so hard for 2 years to get you to study?) and most of all, their love does not rise and fall like a tide. It's a constantly enveloping mist. Always around, but barely seen most of the time. After 24 years of them, I think I know a thing or two by now.

Tuesday, April 3, 2007

Episode One: 3x3

He's got a girl that he feels a lot for. She's hot, she's naughty and she is everything he ever hoped for. But she's a thousand miles away. Yet she's still a stranger after all.

He's got a girl that he feels a lot for. She's wild, she's unpredictable and she is everything he ever hoped for. But she's not one to be pinned down. Yet she's still a stranger after all.

He's got a girl that he feels a lot for. She's clean, she's different and she is everything he ever hoped for. But she's not sure. Yet she's still a stranger after all.

3 guys, 3 girls and 3 potential heartbreaks.

Who needs drama when we have this in our lives?

Thursday, March 29, 2007


Yesterday we had a dinner honouring the Chairman at KL Hilton. The lot of us went, and we managed to grab a table all to ourselves. Call us social retards, but we just want to eat and be merry after a hard day's work. Plus, we've socialized enough outside the ballroom. Freeflowing booze seemed to make everyone much friendlier.

The spread was good (the salmon in cream sauce was superb), but the acoustics of the hall sucks. The band playing was so-so, and the singer was good only on certain numbers. Don't Cry For Me Argentina was good though.

Irene had an allergic reaction that ruffled our feathers for a bit, but it's all good in the end.

Afterwards, headed down to Zeta Bar. I wasn't too keen, it's a working night. But then, the band was quite good. Better than the one performing during the dinner. Enjoyed the performance, and the crowd too. Nanu was there, I was glad to see her. As I told Alicia, I have a sort of affection for her. I guess the old (oops, elderly?) man besides her won't be so pleased were I to go and chat her up.

There's three girls 'looking for trouble', as Alicia put it too. Butt ugly, wouldn't even consider it. Rule of thumb: If a girl looks good in a club, be prepared for the truth outside the club. So if they collectively looked like a cross between Macy Gray lookalikes and the trannies who live at the condo nearby my place, I can't imagine what is it like to wake up next to them.

Who said bankers don't have a life?

Tuesday, March 27, 2007


Tuesday is coming to an end. My day starts and ends with the working hours on weekdays. I'm gonna go off a bit earlier today, not in the mood to work too hard today. Early is before 7pm. I swear I'll get home earlier when I have a family. Honest.

Tomorrow is Wednesday. I never failed yet to wear the maroon and stripes tie every Wednesday since I started work. Why? Because I'm damn proud of it. Because I'm easily recognizable to fellow oldboys who invariably have always came up to me and shook hands as though we've known each other for ages: even when we're complete strangers. It makes me feel good.

Mental note:
Buy Anthony Burgess' The Malayan Trilogy at the earliest instance. Been putting it off for years. Ohh, and look out for the final edition of Rehman Rashid's The Malaysian Journey as well.

Monday, March 26, 2007

Monday Blues

USD now stands at 3.45. If I have the money to speculate, I would've bought some and anticipate the reversal of the slide. I'm guessing it'll slide right until 3.30 before it stabilizes. But then, this is an untrained view. I am just an interested bystander.

USD is sliding, yet I don't see prices of goods coming down.

Went to the Wine Room on Saturday with a few friends, the usual suspects. Still the same band playing - Arab, Mimi, Purnama and co. I know I've heard their repertoire countless times, yet I still go there just to listen to Tiada Lagi and She's Gone. They're good, go and see them if you have the chance.

I spent almost the whole Saturday out. Waking up late (which is the ritual on weekends), went to Dome for lunch with the gang, then drove all the way to Damansara to pickup some stuff for Fara. At about 9 something, drove all the way to Putrajaya to pass her her things before heading back to Ampang. Arrived home just in time for a shower and a change of clothes before heading out to Asian Heritage Row.

Sunday was spent in bed almost exclusively. Time to recuperate before work starts again.

And now, it's Monday again. I hate Mondays. And Tuesdays. Wednesdays and Thursdays too. Fridays are a bit more bearable, but only just.

Friday, March 23, 2007

The Race for As

I pity kids these days. Gone were the days when 7As was enough to get you the pat on the back that you deserved. Although the kid who got 19A1 turned out to be a false alarm in the end, but it's alarming for me to see this race for As as if nothing else matters. For the record, I scored only 5As and 5Bs for my SPM, and I think I'm doing well enough now. What does all that As guarantee? Maybe a scholarship to prestigious universities all over the world. What's next? Bonded for 10 years at GLCs that don't really know what to do with its' graduates, and getting paid peanuts in the process. A friend famously stated "I got it in my mind that my pay is actually RM7k per month, just that they minus RM5.2k each month to payoff my scholarship."

Me, I'm happy. Not bonded, not bothered.

Wait, did you get the message I'm trying to say? It's supposed to convey that 'rezeki ada dimana-mana' (sorry, don't know how to translate that), and not 'takyah study pon gaji best gak'. Don't get that mixed up.

Thursday, March 22, 2007

A New Dawn

Maybe I should start with a little bit about me. You can just call me by my pseudonym, I respond to The Banker from now on. My real one? Maybe someday I'll let you know. Maybe not.

Why am I having a blog? No, I'm not gonna do reviews, or political satires, or serial dramas a la The Datin Diaries. I'm just gonna blurt whatever it is that comes to mind. It's a terrible weight to hold everything in my poor brain.

What am I like? Geez, I dunno. I'm still young, and younger at heart. I listen to music a lot and I read a lot too. I'm not always into what other people are into, I follow my own timephase.

I'll reveal more as we go along, too much info up front spoils the fun in discovery non?