Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Back in school, the food sucked. I am not exaggerating, it truly sucked. Often when I told people about it, they would tell me that 'it can't be that bad lah'. Well, I don't know if it can get any worse when you can expect maggots in your veggies and fly eggs (telur lalat la) on your chicken on an almost daily basis. The mee hoon would be springy like rubber bands and the fried mee is soaked in some funky reddish oil. The sambal sotong they serve for Friday lunches was always rancid and the sambal udang was completely inedible. Above all, I'm still unable to eat chicken korma without gagging to this day, in memory of the infamous ayam petrol (chicken dipped in gallons of oil and a smattering of spices and they call it korma). Heck even the dining hall cats refused to eat the fishes we threw down to them, one cat even ate the veggies instead.

It was so bad, we had to resort to other outlets for good food. The canteen was the best bet for better food. Even better if you dare to sneak out and 'fly' to town to get the delicious Nasi Lemak Karok (it's no longer there, we checked), or to the train station for a dose of good old NGA (Nasi goreng Ayam) at Cik Nah Cik Ni (also now defunct). Of course not everyone is willing to take the risk, or just too goodie-two-shoes to do so. There's always the third option - Order.

Order would consist of one Tokan who would be the boss of the night and one or several Runners, depending on how big an operation it would be. The business concept is simple, buy 5 you get 1 free. They can get orders of 30-40 sets* normally which equals to 6-8 free sets. They can either eat it themselves, or sell it off, or exchange it for other goodies**. The order will be taken discreetly on a very small piece of paper and noted down in codes, in case things go south. Macam drug traffickers la pulak,haha.

The food would arrive around 3am or so, and the Runners would go about distributing it to the customers. Then you can see folks waking up to eat and probably chat a bit before resuming their slumber.

Unfortunately, Order is deemed illegal by school rules. The wardens are aware about Orders and they tried their best to thwart it. Sometimes they would catch the Runners in the act of completing the transaction (done over the fence at a pre-agreed place), other times they swoop in while we the customers were eating. Once cries of 'Rampa' rang out, everyone would try to hide the evidence. Some simply put it in their lockers, or under the beds or straight to the trashcan. Me, I have a different way. I would wrap my right hand with the wrapping paper and secure it with the rubber band and put the hand-rice combination under the pillow. Of course, face need to be turned towards the wall so that they can't see the oily lips =P Solved the problem, hands need not be washed, and NGA does not go to waste!

Many years on, I still yearn for a good dose of NGA and Teh Ais. Although it doesn't taste quite like Cik Nah's anymore, you have to make do right?

Sets* : a normal set is a pack of NGA and Teh Ais. Then there's also set fakir and set mahligai (or sometimes called set maharaja). The name denotes the price while the actual content of the set may vary.

Goodies** : normally this would spell D or M. Dunhill or Marlboro that is.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

KL Peeves

It must be a Malaysian thing, makciks and aunties carrying a Harrods' bag as though it's a posh handbag. It's gonna open in KLCC, so there goes the 'boli kek London nih ha' tag. Rest in piece.

I don't mind braving the traffic jam, or the droves of people in Bukit Bintang on weekends. I am annoyed though at the flocks of schoolkids dressed similarly (guys in skinny jeans, funky t-shirts and a variety of caps, while the girls in whatever Sg Wang is having on sale last week) loitering around the Sultan Ismail/Bukit Bintang intersection. Shuffle my ass, go do your homework!

I pity butches, or pengkid as they call it here, I do. They do try so hard to look like a man, don't they?
- Polo tees with the collar turned up, checked.
- Hair done up in spikes or leaving an ekor at the back, checked.
- A multitude of supposedly male accessories (like bangles and silver necklaces, haha), checked.
- Smokes like a chimney, checked.
- Grabbing tight to the girlfriend at all times or at least hold hands, checked.
- Mannerism as kerek as possible, checked.
Basically they did all they can to look like a mat rempit, is that not reason enough to pity them?

Yeah, I've been doing this quite a bit now. It's therapeuthic.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I'll turn 26 in exactly 1 month. Wow.

I am tired of listening about the attitude of some of the recent landslide victims. Maybe someone should drill into their heads that shit happens, and it's partly your fault too for wanting to live on the hillslope. Now that it happened, no point in being an ass about it. The people there are trying to help you, jangan la macam bagus sangat expect orang buat itu ini. It's funny when natural disasters hit poorer people, they are very thankful for every bit of help they got. From what I'm seeing, these folks are getting more than usually given to poorer folks. Kau ingat kau kaya tuh kau bagus sangat ke? Makes me sick.

I hate it when people I don't know add me on Facebook and not leave a message so as to why are they adding me. They might be long lost friends or even relatives, or might even be readers of this blog (ha, wishful thinking) but tell me who you are! I don't approve strangers blindly, sorry.

I think the cleaning lady has a vendetta against me. Almost everytime nature calls she'll be cleaning the toilet thus barring it from use. I had to skip down the stairs to the next level, so ma fan.

I'm still thinking what to get myself for my birthday. Should I go and tint the car, or should I buy the battery grip instead?

I wonder if Muntazer al-Zaidi called Bush a 'dog' or the more correct term a 'bitch'.

I wanna go to The Wine Room and catch that band again. Anyone else?

Lapar lah, lambatnye lunch.

Monday, December 15, 2008


I went crazy last Friday at Kinokuniya and left with these 5 books:
Arvind Adiga - The White Tiger
David Mitchell - Cloud Atlas
Kazuo Ishiguro - The Remains Of The Day
Jonathan Safran Foer - Everything Is Illuminated
J.M. Coetzee - Slow Man

I am now reading the first book from the list, and so far it hasn't disappointed me. It's a controversial Man Booker Prize winner, so it should be a good read. Too bad I can't find Ian McEwan's Saturday.

On a related note, I have been quite disappointed with local writers so far. I've read highly acclaimed local books like Dina Zaman's I Am Muslim, Kam Raslan's Confessions Of An Old Boy and Andrew Leci's Once Removed, and truthfully none of them lived up to my expectations. Dina Zaman wrote well enough, but her books feels more like a blog than a book. I like only one anecdote from the whole book. Kam Raslan is a bit better, I thoroughly enjoyed most of it though the last third was a big letdown for me. Andrew leci, what can I say. He tried too hard to be funny, but it didn't work. He should just stick to writing columns on football instead.

But there are local writers that I truly love. Ever heard of Tamar Jalis? In case you were born after the 80s, you won't know about Variasari and the Siri Bercakap Dengan Jin written by the aforementioned. I have been looking for reprints for ages but haven't found it yet. The other day as I was snooping around for more info about it, I found my lifesaver. Someone apparently decided to scan and put up the soft copy version of the series online! If you are like me, a fan of the series, go ahead and pay this page a visit and get the details how to read those stories again.

Then there's also S. Othman Kelantan who wrote mostly about the Kelantanese rural life in books such as Juara (the basis for the movie Jogho by U-Wei, my favourite director)

I'm also looking for Hashim Yop's Korban Keretapi Maut, which basically tells the story of a young man forced to work on the Death Railway during the Japanese occupation of Malaya.

Tell me, which current local writer I should read next. There's too much hype flying around and seemingly any blogger can write a book these days. I want quality, a little help anyone?

Thursday, December 11, 2008

Commuting Peeves

1. People who decided to turn on to the main road from a junction eventhough another car is coming at a considerable speed towards them, and then decide to accelerate at a leisurely pace. This often causes the other car having to brake hard and this will be automatically followed by a bagful of cusses from the other driver, usually directed towards the slow car's driver's innocent mother.

Proposed Mitigant: Apart from gently nudging them off the road (if you are driving a big 4x4 that is), change lanes or reduce speed immediately once you see a potential one. Usually driving an old model Datsun or Kancil. Makciks in big cars too.

2. People who got into packed LRTs wearing a big backpack and tried to find a nice spot to stand without bothering to take the bag off first and hold it. The offending backpack often smacked people's head (pity the short 'uns), or other commuters' books/magazines/boobs while the dumbass makes his way. Cue repeat when he tries to get off from his spot in the middle of the carriage.

Proposed Mitigant: Hold on to his backpack while he's trying to find that spot. He'll think the back's many straps got caught somewhere and will take it off his back to take a look. Repeat for fun.

3. Chinese schoolkids on LRTs in the evenings. I'm not being racist, but this is from my years of observation and the fact that strangely I seldom see Malay or Indian schoolkids on the trains I am on. They would stank to high heavens, which is bearable since in the evenings quite a lot of people smell after a long day, I can live with that. They would also talk in the loudest voice they can muster, eventhough the other party is just next to him. After work, I'd like to get some nice quiet time and most other commuters are quiet maybe for the same reasons, but with them around it's plain impossible. I do feel like smacking their heads with a big backpack at times.

Proposed mitigant: Noseplugs and Earplugs, or earphones. Make sure the volume is up to max.

4. People with BO who have no qualms about hanging on to the bars and let the whole car smell their armpits. Last week I had the misfortune to stand close to this fella with very bad BO, and it was in the morning. I cringe at the thought of him entering the same car as mine in the evenings. But I pity this petite girl standing in front of me, her face was directly in the line of fire, so to speak. I can tell she was tortured the whole journey. Perhaps she's now driving to work after the trauma she went through.

Proposed mitigant: Bring an extra aerosol deodorant and spray it on him. Hopefully he'll get the message and buy his own. Or he would just look for you every day so he can skimp on the deodorant and still not smell bad.

Such is the life of a commuter.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Never Forget

Tribute time again.

5th December 1995-5th December 2008. 13 years as a matter of fact, that's how long I've known these folks I call brothers.

If you read through my old posts there would be quite a few referring to them either in the current timeframe or in those 5 years I spent in Kuala Kangsar. Yes I am closest to these bunch of people. It helps a lot that I have many of them living nearby and/or working nearby.

For this post I'm gonna tell a(nother) story, not witty, not funny and not even interesting. It's more to do with me, but those people are the pak pacaks in this story, so it is kinda related, kinda.

5th December 1995, I was woken very early in the morning. I think it was 3am or so. Mom woke me up and told me to resume sleep in the car. So i got up with sleep ladden eyes and got into the backseat and naturally dozed off again. I woke up again when we were somewhere near Grik, where my dad stopped at a mosque so that I can shower and change into the spanking new white shirt, white pants, black Bata shoes and black belt (not of the karate kind, mind you).

Before long we arrived in Kuala Kangsar, the sleepy town in the heartland of Perak. We passed by Prep School and turned left at the intersection to head towards Big School, the most recognizable landmark for my dad. My first concrete image of MCKK was Moque '96 standing by the Prep School gate ushering parents and my future brothers in the compound. Him in the maroon blazer reserved for prefects looked like the epitome of the school for me then.

At Big School only we realized that registration was at Prep School, so we head back. I remember a chaos of colours and many different dialects spoken. And of course, young boys in all white outfits looking as lost as I was. Registration was a blur for me (except for an episode concerning Rustam, but that's another story), as I was still taking in the new sights.

Then we were ushered to my new bed, the one that my mom won't be changing the sheets or sweeping under it. Mom helped me unpack and put my stuff in the old wooden locker, and dad helped me install the mosquito net (yes, we still used those then). Then it's time for lunch.

We went out to Lembah to have lunch, again I kept seeing boys in white everywhere. All fresh-faced and innocentlike (like only, after a while I know it's a misconception!). Then head to Fajar Supermarket to get some biscuits and fruits for me before heading back to Prep School.

It was 2pm by then, and as I stepped out of the car my dad said "this is it, we're leaving now". I remember my answer was "why, they say parents can stay until five". Dad told me they have to make the long drive back and since my brother and sister are at home and mom was preggers with Iffah at the time, they'd like to reach home before dark.

So I head up to Dorm D and sat on my top bunk of the double decker bed. I watched out the window since I know Dad will take the Jalan Taiping to head home. Then I saw it, that blue car going by. Reality hits, I felt abandoned and angry. Then the wave of loneliness hits. I looked around the dorm and see other kids still with their families. I was jealous.

After 5pm, Prep School has settled to a melancholic quietness. I was lying down in my bed, trying not to think about my loneliness. I looked to my right and saw A78 shining his shoes. To my left, A81 is sitting up on his bed and writing his name on the exercise books. Then I saw it, the glistening stream down his cheeks. I got up and went to the toilet and yes, I cried.

Happy 13th year anniversary to the Thoroughbreds of 9600. Never forget.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008


J: Panas ah bilik nih, aircond tak rasa pon.
A: Bukak la tingkap, masuk angin sket.
J: Tanak la, nanti manyuk.
A: Huh?
J: Eh, nanti nyamuk banyak masuk!

nyamuk banyak masuk = manyuk.
Inilah yang dinamakan ekonomikal.

P/S: supershort entry, busy!