Friday, 31 December 2010

random quickie

no, not that type. silly little internet pervs.

off to do some stuff, so here's some random thoughts i've been wanting to post about, but who knows if i'll have the opportunity.

1. meeting up with my friend last night, we were b*tching about the government talking about the politics and social structure of the country. still reluctant to be specific, let me direct you to the concept of 1[holy motherland] and his 2 cents on the topic:
i am a second rate citizen in my own country. f*kn boomies.

this is further made ironic by the fact that they're handing out citizenships to random immigrants. i mean, when illegal immigrants can have their kids become the president, and people who've been there for 5-odd generations, something must be very wrong. or very awesome. though i'm inclined to go with the 'wrong' thing.

2. somehow, we also managed to talk about hot chicks appreciation of women, and i brought up how white guys like asian girls, and asian guys like white girls (girls' preferences are complex, so let's not go into that. obviously being black has its perks in this matter because size is a big thing, if you know what i mean). anyway, according to him, this only makes sense because men do not know how to appreciate women of other races, which is why even though, for example, white guys dig asian chicks, the chicks that they end up going out with are not generally cute by an asian guy's standards. same goes with other races, male and female. i thought this was a pretty interesting thought at the time, and obviously writing a short paragraph on it has not done it any justice... oh well.

3. man, chocolate is so awesome.

4. nobel prizes! god, i've procrastinated on this one so much. they actually showed this on television (live and slightly delayed), so for the first time ever, you might have been able to watch the ceremonies! not that anyone actually watched, though. sadly i had to attend to stuff halfway through watching, so i only watched the peace and literature prizes, so i guess i'll go on about the sciency stuff another time.

5. holiday by the beach! lots of good food, but really nothing much besides that :/ ended up spending most of my time at the food stalls and in the hotel room because it rained...

this is pretty lacklustre, i don't think i really like these short update kind of posts. but never you mind that! off to do stuff!

Sunday, 26 December 2010

tonight we dine in hell. on chocolate. mmm.

i've been slacking since i've been on holiday. that means i haven't been jogging or playing football, and been eating everything i can imagine (that's yummy in my tummy mmm).

i reckon i've put on some weight, probably about 3 kilos. and who is to blame? leonidas.

wait, what? no, not that leonidas. the other one, that belgian chocolate brand.

every day i open those little chocolate-boxes and just pick the ones i like (all of them, obviously). my dad bought about 7 boxes or so? and now i think there's only 3 left. and nobody else in the house eats them besides me. how can you blame me, though! it's all full of chocolatey orgasm on a rainbow of yumminess.

btw these boxes make super awesome gifts (if you can bear to part with them) and i think they only cost 5 euros a pack or so? well that was on an extreme promotion or something, but still. i reckon they don't cost too much. anyway. can't type, gotta eat chocolates. damn you leonidas. damn you. this. is. FATTENINGGGGGG.

Wednesday, 22 December 2010

you're simply the best

i wanted to write about the public transport today, for various reasons. however, something caught my attention as i was watching the news (which is a very rare occasion, mind you, seeing that it makes me facepalm 80% of the time, and roll my eyes the remaining 20%). so, today's story is about government and private monopolies. usually i am very pedantic about keeping things general, especially when it comes to criticising commenting on the holy motherland because you can get in some deep sh*t for stepping on the wrong toes. however, today i make an exception because there are some blatant discrepancies between what's being touted and the wanting reality of it all:

the national kite, the wau. you are the best airline in the holy motherland. even though you charge prices ten times that of what your quality represents, you are the best airline.

the national animal, the tiger. you are the best bank in the holy motherland. even though you charge a nominal fee on every transaction (something that no other major bank in the world does, because it's just blatantly retarded), you are the best bank.

the swallow. you are the best postal service in the holy motherland. even though you throw away festive cards by the roadside because you can't be half-assed to deliver them (because nobody even notices, right?), you are the best postal service.

the positive-charged particle of an atom, you are the best car manufacturer in the holy motherland. even though you can only survive by undercutting foreign car manufacturers via the imposition of a ridiculous tax on them, you are the best car manufacturer.

telek*m, ten*ga nation*l berh*d, ind*h h2o, etc. etc. etc. you're all the best at what you do, even though you are full to the brim with corruption and inefficiency, with corner-cutting and absence of any form of ethics whatsoever. even though you suck proverbial ass are not up to the standards my high horse and i impose upon you, you're the best at what you do.

because you have no competition.

p/s: next time, we'll take a look at a user's view of a specific example - public transport.

Sunday, 19 December 2010

all i want for xmas

christmas in australia is during the summer. which doesn't really make that much of a difference, but just putting it out there. no snow? no big crowds? not really that much to do? that's pretty standard in perth. besides, i'm back home for the summer break, and even if i weren't, i'd normally be travelling (just seeing friends and the such, because travelling during the winter is awful. i'd rather just keep my cash and wait 'til spring break). but anyway, that's all fine and dandy. i wanted to post something christmasy but i am actually pressed for time (another wedding to attend! it really is that time of year).

so just as a preliminary, here's a wishlist of a few things i'd like for xmas. just a top 3. you know. nothing fancy. not like i'm hinting at something. just saying.

in no particular order:

1. an ipod.
i know it's not in fashion nowadays. i know i'm kinda behind the trend curve. but really, all i want is a classic ipod. not even the current ipod classic model, which has video and colour and everything. one of those first gen ipods. like so.

obviously they don't make them any more. but i just want something simple, and that being the point, i wouldn't say no to the current generation ipod classic. as for why? i spend a lot of time on the bus, or jogging, or just randomly walking from place to place, and for the most part, i find myself singing to myself or something along those lines. especially so when i can't afford to read or something like that (i have this motion sickness thing when i'm on busses sometimes. it's pretty random because sometimes i get it and other times i'm just fine and dandy. not the gay dandy).

why not settle for any mp3 music player (i'm not sure they use the .mp3 format anymore? who knows?)? i guess i could. i dunno, maybe i've just wanted an ipod since way back when. but now that i think of it, yeah any player will do fine. all it needs to do is play my music. and not suck.

2. kindle
it honestly breaks my heart how little i read nowadays. i mean, i'm not a bookworm kinda person - at least not as much as some people are - but i do enjoy a good read. i find it hard to keep at one book, though, and nowadays it just seems my attention span is a little kid on a sugar rush. also high on lsd or some 'upper' designer drug. with coffee on the side. and adhd. going off on a tangent now.

anyway. when i can spare a respite from lecture notes and articles, i find myself bringing 2 books (or more) on the bus. currently it's 2 smaller ones, re-reading dorian gray and starting catch-22. but, yeah, i've also got this book on wwii and i'm looking to re-read lotr at some point... so that's probably as heavy as another laptop in the bag. do not want.

a kindle seems like a pretty decent option. it's not particularly pricey (i think? gotta check the current prices) and i can probably store a guano-load of books in there. oh, and i hear the battery time is pretty amazing. and, no to an ipad. horribly overpriced and just way overqualified for my means. although it might come in handy in the future... i dunno. no. must not give in to temptation. yeah, kindle. please, santa? i've not been naughty all year (lies).

3. umm. idk?
well, i actually only had the idea for those two items above when i started writing. and i hoped a third would come to me as the words flowed. but, no, not really. i can think of a thousand practical thinks i need, but i guess that's subject to debate. a phd scholarship would be nice. maybe something civic like world peace (not really feasible :/) or at least an attainable solution to famine? to the energy crisis?

nah. too self-righteous (and pretentious? i guess). maybe something a bit selfish. but not too much. like undying love or passion for something. or lots of money, hell yeah. i think i'm going to ask santa for a rain check on this one.

oh, and let's not forget the original(albeit tacky clip),

Wednesday, 15 December 2010

time is running out

time is running out. it really is. it doesn't matter who you are, or what you're doing. you're probably just that bit too late. i think we need to be able to take a step back and just let the world pass us by, and not have to suffer the consequences for doing so. but that's all very idealistic.

more pragmatically, i think what we need is coffee. lots and lots of coffee. or maybe i should design a drug that enables humans to not sleep. which, now that i think of it, could be a horrid idea (because i am reminded of the x-files episode where there's this army guy who hasn't slept in decades and ends up with super powers, but when mulder tries this, he gets paranoid and ends up killing the guy).

Monday, 13 December 2010


membaca gurindam bernada sayu,
indah tulisan bagaikan permata,
adakah menjadi tidak melayu,
jika tidak berbicara bahasa?
datang si anak dari pedalaman,
datang tidak membawa buah tangan,
adakah sudah lupa daratan,
jika hendak mengubah pikiran?

tiada berwang, si anak teruna,
maka pulanglah ke kampung halaman,
adakah menjadi anak buangan,
jika bernikahkan gadis perantauan?
sudah dapati tiada berjaya,
maka kiaslah kais dan makan,
adakah betul si anak derhaka,
jika pada tuannya ia melawan?

sedangkan sudah segala dicuba,
sekarang cuma menanti balasan,
adakah betul pemimpin sentiasa,
jika rakyat sentiasa kelaparan?
tiada hasil, teruna berbalah,
dengan bapanya di kampung pinggiran,
adakah sesiapa patut disalah,
jika sekalian dalam kerugian?

ke muara sekali bersampan, sia-sia,
terlanjur sudah ke tengah lautan
adakah layak digelar manusia,
jika kan hidup dalam sendirian?
sesat bersama menampung berat,
sesat seorang di bulan purnama,
adakah bermaksud pantun empat kerat,
jika tiada sesiapa membaca?

going through my old stuff, i found this poem that i wrote who-knows-when. i found it flattering that i actually remember what it's about, and in context of when i wrote it, i was surprised to find that my thoughts have not changed that much.

the gist of the poem is questioning various issues; from the prejudice of gender, race, religion, skin colour and language; to the moral bankruptcy of positions of power (at the time and even moreso now, a government [which we shall not name], but also various other little napoleons). the poem ends with questioning the writer's intent (that's me!) of writing when such things cannot be changed with words, and whether we would be better off being fatalistic, or trying to change. i don't know which i believe in, now.

also, the first two lines of each stanza tell a metaphoric tale of person (son) venturing against tradition, only to fall from grace. he then has a fall out with his father, resulting in his leaving from home, only to be lost (out in sea) from which there is no turning back.

the last two lines read literally, and can be simple posed questions.

oh, and i believe that at this point in time, i was not in the fashion of using a couplet to end my (bad) poetry, unlike how i prefer to now. obviously i'd like to think that it's more complex than that, but yeah, that's pretty much all there is to it.

Friday, 10 December 2010

does not mean

just because she shares your taste in music, does not mean she's the one.
just because she laughs at the things you do, and finds interesting the things you do, does not mean she's the one.
just because you both can talk, for hours on end, and never bore, and only separate ways because of necessity - not choice - does not mean she's the one.
just because she pours her heart, her problems, her very soul upon your ears and conscience and choice, does not mean she's the one.
just because you thought, that by asking God, he would hand you the answer on a golden-laced platter of dreams; and tell you that this does not mean she's the one.
just because you've tried your very best, and close to come off as desperation embodied, does not mean what you would have taken for granted, is all that there was to beseech in the first place.

nay, just because you believed, does not mean anything at all.

so, one should be wary of what one believes; of fate, of destiny, of divine intervention. and just let life take its course.

condolences to kay, and epiphanies for all.

Thursday, 9 December 2010

death of the mamak roti (and other short stories)

two days ago, i was driving down the road, trying to load, i've got seven women on my mind. wait, no. two days ago, i was driving down the road and i saw a sight that i had not seen since i was 15 - the mamak roti. now, i don't want to hear anything about being derogatory and all that, i imply nothing with this phrase, just that that was what we used to call the guy. for those uninitiated, the mamak roti is a guy on a motorcycle, and on the back of the bike is mounted a pretty big metal container. and in and around the container (or pretty much anywhere the mamak can spare) are loaves of bread. the mamak used to ride around every evening and blew his air horn and you could hear it 3km away. my brother and i would normally be playing football (not soccer, mkay) on the street with some friends, and we'd stop him when he arrived so mom or grandma could come out with some cash and get bread for tomorrow. sometimes we'd get the chocolate-filled buns or kaya-filled buns to take to school the next day.

i found out that it's not legal for the mamak roti to come a-callin' around these parts nowadays. how are you faring now, mamak roti?

when we were young, brother and i used to go to morning school. public school timetables were such that you either attended morning (8am - 1pm) or evening (2 - 7pm) sessions. this was the preferable option, as we then had the chance to spend the afternoons and evenings however we liked. this usually meant getting a group of peers and playing football on the road in front of someone's house. needless to say, it was very make-shift: we didn't use shoes, most of us wore the basic selipar jepun. some wore school shoes (you can tell they're the noobs, because this destroys your shoes and mom would get all pissed when you need new ones every 3 weeks), and some played bare-foot. this wouldn't be an issue on a field, except that playing in front of the house equates that hardcore bitumen road. not even the smooth tarmac stuff, it was the pebbly, rough tar road. you'd be thankful to have fallen on sand and scraping your knee, because if you were in a full run and fell on the naked road... man i remember needing stitches above my right eye for that. crazy kids. the goalposts were usually someone's gate (which over time would start gettin all loose, especially when the bigger boys played and went all out kicking the ball) or two bricks propped up courtesy of someone's house being built nearby. and there would always be arguments about if the ball had indeed gone into the imaginary goal or had flown above the (non-existent) horizontal bar. even more so for the short kids (who were forced to play goalie, hah!). we played on a slope, which makes for some pretty fun running uphill, and there was no side-lines bar the ball falling into the drains (or god forbid, the huge storm drain across the main road). man, if the ball fell into that, and you had to pick it out (because you kicked it in there anyways), you'd smell like crap for a couple of days. not even exaggerating.

to be continued...

Sunday, 5 December 2010

my big fat malaysian wedding

it's been a while since i've seen family, and it's always a good place to get back in touch where everyone is celebrating. off the top of my head, i'd place eid celebrations as most auspicious, followed by maybe chinese new year. though half my family is indian, diwali / deepavali isn't such a big thing. i guess mainly because most of them are non-practicing hindus (well, they still do a bit of celebrating, but it's really not as all-out as it was when i was a child), agnostic, or christians now. which makes christmas a bit more joyous, but hey.

it's all about the money -
ang pau, duit raya, and just random bits of cash during diwali. i couldn't find diwali money sachets (which i don't think is part of the tradition anyway) so here's a picture of the next best thing - food. it's a savory desert known as murukku or chakkali. i didn't put one up of the sweet stuff because that gives me transient diabetes-induced comas.

most of my american friends say to me, 'what about new years? and christmas? and thanksgiving?'. yeah. we don't really do that. new years is pretty boring for me, because i won't even go out of the house. christmas is alright, i guess, and thanksgiving is not really something we get a holiday for, but once in a blue moon (maybe once in the past 4 years?) my aunt will get some turkey and we'll all sit down for dinner. but, never you mind all that.

anyway, one of those non-denominational events where it's always a blast is a wedding. chinese weddings, malay weddings, indian weddings, christian weddings, iban weddings - you name it. been there, done that, all awesome with a capital 'a'. which i should have spelled so. irrespective...

yesterday and today are my cousin's wedding ceremonies / receptions. unlike traditional christian weddings where there's one big church ceremony, and the bride and groom are off to who-knows-where, there's usually a small family event of 'akad nikah', and after a day or a week, there's the receptions where the bride and groom are 'displayed' on the 'pelamin'. most of my readers (all 2 out of 3 of them) are malay anyway, so i think you know what i'm talking about.

it's much less somber than the caucasian weddings i've been to. not as much drinking as the chinese ones i've seen. and the bride and groom are a lot more serious than in the wedding ones. but, as with all of them, it's the presence of family and friends in a social free-for-all that really makes the day. anyway, i'm off to the second reception today, and i can already tell it's going to be a blast. man, more of my cousins / siblings should get married while i'm around so i can meet the whole extended family (my father is the 10th child, and each of his brother and sisters have 3 - 6 kids each, some of who have kids of their own. that's just from my grandfather's 2nd wife... he had 3 throughout his lifetime, so the family reunions get pretty huge. and then, there's my mom's side...).

but yeah, one thing i noticed is that my brother and sister were supposed to be here, and i was not, due to some logistic issues. ironically, i'm the only one who's turned up and they're busy elsewhere doing their things. funny how that works out. but it's all good, i'll probably see them at some other point. oshi- gonna be late. etc out!

Friday, 3 December 2010

things that bug you

i've been meaning to comment on the different types of pests i've encountered on my journeys in south-east asia, europe and australia. then i realised that it makes up a pretty long post, even for my standards. but, worry not, i have no intention of boring you with arachnid anecdotes and rodent re-hashes. instead, here are some choice comments on my take of aussie insects compared to more home-grown ones:

1. size does matter

double entendres aside, you should see the size of these things. especially the black ones. ahem. but really, people, i kid you not. in fact, the inspiration for this post comes from me getting into the shower one morning and finding a huge-ass black spider on the window. by the way, the window is located in the showering area, just opposite the showerhead. that basically puts me cowering near the faucet and showerhead, trying to perform some semblance of washing while keeping both eyes on the spider happily basking in the warm water vapour, about an arm's length away from my head. and my potential death. needless to say, stepping out of the shower, i didn't feel much clean.

i think my options were either stepping outside without having used my soap (which sits on the windowsill) or dying a horrible poison-induced death related to some sort of haemolytic anaphylaxis. i think i made the right choice.

getting bitten by this spider will probably not give you spider-powers. you're free to hallucinate that you're a superhero while the toxins slowly digest your innards into a slushy pulp, perfect for the spider's dinner.

2. attitude

ok, you're probably thinking, 'wait, what?'. just bear with me a bit. though the insects down under probably won't be all 'what chu lookin' at?', they will still be up in your grill. the flies and mosquitoes, i've noticed, are a good example, and if you ever find yourself in australia during the summer, you'll know what i mean. the annoying sons of bitches guns know no fear (or sense of personal space). in fact, aussie flies are so notoriously annoying at buzzing in your face, the term 'australian salute' is given to that futile act of trying to keep them at bay. it's okay, though - after a while it becomes second nature and you don't even notice yourself doing it. the mozzies are just as annoying, which brings us to the next point...

3. diseases

well, i am supposed to be an infectious disease student, so it's only natural that i spread my propaganda here. it's pretty logical that the different insects back home spread different diseases, so i'll give you the lowdown:

- no real chance of you getting malaria in australia (yay)
- dengue is pretty much eveerywhere (oh well)
- there's a couple of viruses you may never even have heard of outside the locality. ross river virus, barmah forest virus, and some wacky bat lyssavirus (yeah, yeah, bats aren't insects. still). they're all out there to get you. oh, random fact: the lyssavirus is pretty much rabies, but the australian government won't acknowledge that because they need to define them differently so that they can claim australia as rabies-free. whatever floats your boat, i guess.

they're only cute until they give you bat rabies. again, don't count on becoming batman.
- ticks are nasty things. they give you everything from lyme disease to babesiosis to (possibly) q fever. you don't get that nasty sh*t back home. unless your home is america, then you might want to consider rocky mountain spotted fever etc. anyway...

yeah this is getting boring. i just realised how much you could write on this because you could just find some obscure disease and do a checklist about it... so let's keep moving.

4. random batsh*t crazy stuff

ok if all this hasn't scared you off from ever visiting australia, rest assured that there's a jungle of creepy crawlies just jonesing to sink their fangs/stingers/spines/you-don't-want-to-know into your sorry @$$.

ever heard of the funnel web spider? top ten deadliest things in the world. they're actually a group of 30+ different spiders, but i don't think you'd be arguing about taxonomy when your life is slowly ebbing away and you start seeing that bright white light leading you to heaven (i'm assuming you've been a good boy/girl).

it's big. it's black. and you don't want it anywhere near you. (more double entendres)
not all that glitters is gold, not all that is going to r*pe your @$$ is going to be a spider (or insect). snakes, scorpions, platypuses and octopuses are all standing at the ready to turn your holiday in to the trip to hell you so rightly deserve (i'm assuming you've been a bad boy/girl).

i particularly like how pretty this one is. it makes me think 'ooo, how pretty. i'm going to touch the cutesy little octoplwwwooooooo (sound of you becoming a spactic-paralysed blob of goo).

well, i think that's enough for now. i can think of a few other points, but i think we all get the big picture now. what awesome killer creepers exist in your locality? ninja-assassin frogs? zombie kittens? cyborg tarantula jesus?

Thursday, 2 December 2010

if home is where the heart is, then we're both just effed

10 points if you know where those lyrics are from.

incidentally, this entry is written as i am sitting at home, having nothing to do. it kinda sucks that i'm here on holiday (kinda) and everyone whom i normally hang out with is busy working, or isn't around here. i guess everyone's gone and grown up. living elsewhere, having families of their own, jobs, kids... wtf.

i have to say, i feel very much left behind in all this, but that doesn't mean i'm getting bummed down by it. with all change comes good and bad, and i honestly like the way things are going for me (kinda). there's probably 3 or 4 things i'd like to have changed, but who can say they don't, eh?

anyway, with the coming couple of months, providing i settle stuff efficiently, i'm hoping to properly blog again, as opposed to the though-the-motions stuff i've been putting up for the last couple of months. it's been a very stressful time, academically, financially, romantically, personally and physically; and to be honest, i really welcome some relax time.

unfortunately for me, relax time usually entails watching movies, lurking the web, playing basketball and reading books - and i have no reliable computer (this old-ass mac is so old, it won't play anything), no reliable interwebz for lurking or gaming, no peeps to shoot some hoops. so i guess it's a trip to the bookstore later today to check out some books. it sucks that i didn't do this back in perth, because i personally find the choice of books back home very wanting. especially when it comes to classics. oh well, maybe i'll brave up and venture to the city for a bit. who knows?

also, on a side note, i wish a certain someone would stop breaking my heart :( and it's not kiki dee.