Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Last week, on a whim I decided to cook for berbuka. I checked the pantry and saw that I have enough to cook up some spaghetti aglio olio, so I boiled some water for the spaghetti, chopped up garlic and some herbs, heated some olive oil in the pan, put the spaghetti in the boiling water with some olive oil and salt, then put the chopped up garlic and herbs in the pan, along with some chili flakes. For flavour, I threw in some coarse salt too. When the spaghetti's nicely al dente, I drained most of the water, put the spaghetti in the pan, added some of the spaghetti water, and after a while it's done!

Transferred the whole thing to a bowl, with a thong I nicely picked up the spaghetti and put it on the plates like I learned on Masterchef :D. Pretty soon, it's time to berbuka already so we tucked in heartily.

Then suddenly a silence and we looked at each other.

"I rasa kalau letak salt and pepper OK sikit kot?"

Susah betul masak time puasa nih when you can't tell sugar from salt.

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Thank You

Last week I was in Phnom Penh for work. The trip reminded me of the first time I was there in 2008. There were 6 of us, and we were having some drinks and snacks at a nice french-style cafe somewhere in the city. As we were about to leave, I decided to ask the waitress who was standing nearby:

"How do you say 'thank you' in Cambodia?"
"Thank you" she replied with a smile.

Confused silence, then slowly apprehension came over me.

"I mean, how do say 'thank you' in Khmer?"
"Aw khun" she replied with a bigger smile.

Siot, aku kena bahan dengan awek Cambodia!

Friday, August 5, 2011


Kat Kuala Kangsar dulu-dulu ada dua kedai gunting mamak yang kitorang selalu pergi. Satu nama Romeo, satu lagi Guna. Satu sama row dengan tailor Side Two dengan kedai Seri Menanti (cuba la makan sini, memang sumpah korang kena tunggu lama nak dapat food), lagi satu dekat lembah dekat-dekat Cyber Valley cybercafe port budak-budak fly lepak main game dan hisap rokok. Tak tahu la ada lagi ke tak semua kedai-kedai aku sebut, nih zaman 90s dulu punya cerita.

Anyway, Guna nih memang suka buat lawak ganas-ganas. Sikit-sikit cakap nak potong telinga lah apa lah, memang cuak. Tapi dia potong ok, tak macam Romeo yang potong semua pesen sama je. Pastuh taruk bedak Holiday On Ice plak tuh, baunya ya rabbi. Sideburn confirm pedih kena tarah dengan blade dia, aduhh...

Ok berbalik kepada Guna, one day aku pergi la nak potong rambut. Kalau tak potong karang kena pelempang dengan Cikgu Yop lagi lepas inspection, pekak jugak telinga kejap. Sambil Guna potong rambut aku, ade sorang lagi brader india dok sebelah. Brader tuh dok baca paper Tamil, tak sure la plak Tamil Nesan ke ape. Aku tengok cover depan, sama gambar macam cover Utusan yang aku baru baca tadi, gambar rompakan bank kot. Selamba la gua refer kat gambar tuh sambil buat small talk dengan Guna:

"Rompakan bank kat Kuantan, satu juta hilang kan?" sambil mata jeling ke paper tuh and angkat kening sikit.

Tiba-tiba Guna berhenti potong rambut aku and tengok muka aku ikut cermin tak berkelip.

"You reti baca Tamil ka?!!"

Menyumpah Guna bila aku explain hal sebenar. Nasib baik tak tobek rambut aku dia bantai.

Monday, August 1, 2011

Off The Pitch

I was there along with perhaps 85,000 more people (I can't say Malaysians since mat salleh pon ramai je tengok, siap pakai jersi Malaysia lagi) to watch our boys take on Singa Import. Gedebak gedebuk, we drew the match and lost 4-6 on aggregate. They even took the best acting award too, oh well.

Anyway, I'm pretty sure the game itself has been blogged to death already by now so you can Google your way to it. I'm gonna write about everything else instead.

After work, I rushed to the toilet and changed quickly into my blue Malaysian jersey, blue jeans and trusted Jack Purcells and took a train to Bukit Jalil. After a long cramped ride, I arrived to a festive atmosphere. A sea of blues and yellows and the odd Man Utd jersey here and there (tak reti bahasa bebudak MU nih, pakai jersi merah time Malaysia lawan Singa Import), I found Zad near the station and went looking for Vijay. After prolonged looking (the phone line was jammed up), and walking to find a less crowded gate, we finally entered Green Gate and walked all the way to the end of the terrace. We found a place on the third tier and sat and waited for the game to start.

The stadium filled up rather quickly and the noise was deafening. We can see the Ultras Malaya set who took up one section on the first tier already getting into the groove with their chants and drumming. I am guessing their most popular chant that day was "Loser, loser" directed at Shahril Ishak, which was quickly picked up by the rest of the stadium. Nice.

I've not sang Negaraku in about 11 years, and that was an excellent moment to do it again. The stadium sang in unison and the way the crowd erupted after the anthem was tremendous. Shame that a lot of fans booed Singapore's anthem, but then their players weren't sporting (or even Singaporeans in the first place, heh) during the game anyway, so lantak pi lah.

Of course there are still some idiots who lit and threw firecrackers (which blinded one poor chap, I read in today's paper) but generally it was a footballing crowd. I can still recall the elation when Safee scored the first goal, and the utter disappointment when Singa Import China scored the equalizer. It was an immediate hush around the stadium, and we can actually hear the 300 odd supporters in red cheering.

But Ultras Malaya soldiered on and soon the rest of the stadium joined in to lend our vocal support as the 12th player. But it soon dawned that it's not going anywhere and by the time the referee blew, sections of the stadium were already emptying.

It was a good atmosphere, and Zad said it best with "thanks for introducing me to the joys of a full 90,000 capacity stadium". You won't find that experience in front of the telly albeit much more comfortable and with the advantage of instant replay, trust me the real deal is worth the hassle. That said, I have a few comments to make:

1. Why can't we have numbered seats on the tickets? That will ensure everyone who bought it WILL get a seat. Twice before I've been to a football match and did not get a seat despite paying good money for it. People had to sit on the stairways and every nook and cranny they can find. Imagine if there's an emergency, what then?

2. They need to dedicate a section for families. I watched a game in White Hart Lane a while back, and I bought a Family section ticket. That section had more stewards and enforced a strict no swearing policy (a shirtless bloke was told firmly to "shut your trap, put your shirt on, or I'll kick you out!" when he swore a few times). Little kids need not be exposed to that side of the game really.

3. There was no control upon exiting (and entering too actually) the stadium, everyone just rushed to exit through the awfully small exit points. Some idiots kept pushing and that caused a little commotion. Pity the ladies and again small children who had to brave through that as well.

4. Same thing at the LRT station, people were crowded near the entrance because they won't let more people in the station. IMHO, let the people in but control entrance to the platforms instead. Small space, too many people - someone can easily faint or have difficulty breathing. Referring to my experience watching the game in London, the tube station was manned by policemen and they ensured that people line up orderly (even when the line was so long I can't see the start of it). Why can't we be doing this?

5. The management need to get a hold of the stalls, there were too many of them. The reason why people had to crowd the LRT entrance was because there was no other space to wait once you're near the station. Otherwise you have to walk back to the stairs, and turning around in that stampede was not an option really. Same goes for vendors inside and outside the stadium, people were rushing to get out and they stood right in front of the exit hawking their stuff. Good idea in normal circumstances, but terrible idea with this kind of crowd.

6. Indiscriminate parking, especially by motorcycles and vendors' vans. It blocks pedestrian traffic flow A LOT.

So, will we see any changes after this (after a barrage of criticisms, especially after the 3 EPL matches which saw many SNBJ virgins attend for the first time)? Let's hope someone does something before we see a Heysel in our own back yard.