Friday, August 31, 2007

An Enchanted Evening

One benefit of being on the High Commission's mailing list is that every time English royalty (both the blue bloods and the VIPs) comes to town, I get to be part of the mob of invited well wishers that usually welcomes the said dignitary.

The Duke of York is in KL as the Queen's representative for our nation's 50th Independence celebrations. I was invited to a reception on Wednesday at the Convention Centre. I worked too close by to give any plausible excuse not to attend. I do not relish going to these formal dos because I am always the among the youngest there while all the others are established professionals and industry players. And I carry as much fame and glory as a plastic wall fixture.

Anyway one thing has to be said about the European embassies. Their food may suck, but by Jove, the wine is always good. So it was to my utter disappointment that there was no alcohol at the reception. Of course old friends were there too, so the evening turned out lovely. It was a nice opportunity to network as well although I met so many other lawyers, it could pass as a Bar Council meeting.

In any case, Prince Andrew looked affable enough but there is a snootiness attached to the English aristocracy that can't quite be dismissed. No, let me retract that statement. Prince Edward, the Earl of Wessex had none of the airs. Well, I am biased anyway. He made time to talk to me once and boy I was chuffed. Of course I in turn blabbered like a bumbling idiot.

Well my friends were excited at the prospect of meeting the Duke of York. I didn't understand what the fuss was about until one of them explained that Andrew was to their generation what William is to mine. Then it all clicked into place. Of course the ladies that were with me that night were all well into their 40s and hence they could not fathom why I rather chew on breadsticks than to make an attempt to shake HRH's hand.

I am such a peasant. But in any case, it was lovely to get out and socialise again and be among long lost friends.

Monday, August 27, 2007


Weekends are too damned short. That speaks volumes of course about my time management skill. Or rather, my total lack of one.

The highlight of the week was of course Lin's wedding. On Monday I also attended her akad nikah (solemnisation ceremony) and she looked so prim, sweet and proper. We were like, what have you done with the real Lin, imposter? Can the monster really be tamed by brocade and lace?

Although totally rejecting our overtures to make her wedding one to remember, (our plans were to mess up her fiance's lafaz nikah (vows), they did make their night memorable because right as we were burping our last burp at the feast, the lights went out in the tent. After we deliberately made a big fuss, the lights went out at the wedded couple's dais too. Despite the fact that the lights flickered on within minutes, the pair have claimed the dubious honour of being called the Pasangan Pengantin yang Tak Bayar Bil Api. Apt I thought.

In any case, the wedding reception was gorgeous. Lilies and jasmine were strewn everywhere. There were royalty, politicians and of course us. VVIPs all. Very very Incorrigible Persons. It was held at the beautiful Dewan Perdana Felda.

When the Chinese have weddings at the Chinese restaurants, they will almost always have the silly do-da where for the first course, the banquet hall will go dark and the waiters will bring our the cold entree to the corny tune of Kitaro or Drunken Master. Very embarrassing.

For most Malay sit down dinners, all the lauk-pauk dishes will already be on the table as guests take their seats. But this has not stopped the inventive caterers from injecting the dramatic into the meal. As the lights dimmed and the familiar tune of Putri Gunung Ledang filled the air, my alarm bells went off. Oh oh. And true enough, from the corners of the hall, a procession of waiters carrying tea lights emerged. And in their hands, they carried.. the pots of nasi!

And of all the traditions the Malays have to adopt from the Chinese, my question is this.. Tim Kai??? Maybe this has been going on for ages, I don't know but if the Indians catch on to this, I know then that there truly is a bangsa Malaysia.

Saturday, August 18, 2007

Silly definitions

Poyo: Posmen yang kerja di kilang yoyo

Good will hunting

Wee Meng Chee could not have found a worse time to broadcast his rap videos. Right when nationalistic pride is at its pinnacle and politicians are playing musical chairs to the tune of "I am more patriotic than thou" it is no wonder that he is being brought to slaughter for just being a stupid kid.

After posting his infamous version of Negaraku on YouTube which of course caused Umno to go up in arms, I can't help but wonder how come our political centurions don't exhibit the same vigour and zealous persecution when it comes to blatant cases of corruption, poverty and keris-waving.

Ha, with such wishful thinking, you would think that I was born yesterday.

Added with the latest crackdown on political bloggers, it would seem that if one is not a ruling party sycophant, we are nothing but a bunch of lying, scheming and defaming rogues that are out to bring ruin to the country. (Damn, our secret is out.)

I hope someone will take the time to go beyond the prank and study the deeper motivations on why this young man is so audacious and disgruntled. He represents a generation who may not necessarily condone his actions but who won't totally disagree with him either. If his work was utter rubbish, I don't think his blog would record over 100000 hits. He must be making a killing with his Google ads.

Humble moi never fully understood the May13 tragedy mainly because nobody wanted to tell me about it. There was like zero literature. And like everything else, once the sacred 'sensitive issue' label is ribboned around any matter the government is squeamish to address, it is swept under the carpet with fervent hopes that it will disappear like magic. But as the hump starts to build at the corner of said floor mat, it is a no brainer that sooner or later, it will need to be aired.

While now we are seeing gradual acceptance of May13, I do not think our young generation, the masses of Wee Meng Chees will wait 20-30 years before they make their grouses and festering dissatisfaction's known, despite the efforts of our pihak-pihak tertentu to safeguard their vested interest and status quo.

If ever we relive May13 again it would have spawned out of ignorance, non-existent unity plans and the shameful failure to learn from history. As it is, most people already have cynical views of our merdeka clarion call for racial unity. To most of us, true merdeka means more than just sovereignty; it also involves being accepted as true citizens of Malaysia regardless of our bangsa, with no more or less privileges than the rest of our brethren.

With all the emotional statements to the press and fiery debates to rally the masses, suddenly I see a lucrative potential in marketing torches and pitchforks. If a witch hunt is what they want, why should capitalism stand in its way.

Yet despite all the sham and drudgery that is being painted in the newspapers, I want to have the hope that sanity will prevail. Across the races and throughout cyberspace, voices of good sense and good conscience can be heard. I just hope they won't be intimidated out of existence.

For the heck of it I will end this entry with this hilarious quip from the Federal Territory PAS Youth Exco member Kamaruzaman Mohamad on banning Gwen Stefani's concert:
“This concert does not bring any good to Malaysians except invite youngsters to enjoy themselves, mix around too freely, get drunk and commit sins,”

Shit, I never knew there was a bar at the stadium and what was I thinking by having fun and sacrificing my soul. I should be so ashamed of myself.

Saturday, August 11, 2007

Lust and Penance

I really miss my dSLR. If you didn't know already, the well-loved personal camera and all those beautiful lenses (my preciousss) had to be sold to furnish my rented apartment, which still looks like a Customs warehouse by the way, infested with rabbits instead of rats.

I actually persuaded my department buy a dSLR. Wrote a board paper for the funding and everything. But as any photographer will tell you, the camera body does not leave one lusting, its the exquisite lenses that people eat Maggi Mee to save up for.

My friend Jo was blogging about bokeh effects and that reminded me of my age old longing for the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8 L lens.. and since i am fantasising, lets make that with IS as well. Sigh. When my mom prophesied that I would have expensive taste, she wasn't kidding. Not a good thing when one is self funding. Where have all the sugar daddies gone? Why are they never around when you need them.

I took the above picture with a Canon 70-200 f4 lens.

Thursday, August 09, 2007


On the way home in my friend's car, I was complaining bitterly about not being paid enough until I saw an Indian man in faded clothes stop his motorcycle at the side of the road to pick up a discarded soda can and put it in his carrier basket before riding off again.

I felt so deeply ashamed of myself.


The rabbits send their love!
I will give you the honour of buying me dinner.

Sunday, August 05, 2007

No Burp Zone

At SS2 PJ, behind the police station, there is this large clearing which previously housed a nursery and a store selling every kind of plastic ware imaginable. The nursery and plastic emporium is gone now and in its place is this car wash and open-air shack selling durians.

It is no ordinary durian stall, mind you.
It comes with a menu (ooo), tables and chairs (waaa), and naturally racks and racks of durian. Even if you don't know your D24s from your D88s (durian varieties, not bra sizes) all you need to do is just tell your waiter aka durian connoisseur aka the man weilding the machete, of your gastronomic preference be it sweet, tart, bitter or tasting like wine.

Speaking of the taste-like-wine durians I have always wondered why the heck is it called so because it taste like no wine I know. You have heard of wine tasting of fruits but a durian tasting of wine is a role reversal gone wrong, no? But I digress.

You will easily spot the fellas running the shack by their signature red T-shirt with the shack's URL printed on the back. Yup, they are online! Their website comes with flash intro, music. picture gallery - the works. Only thing dubious is their logo of the pakcik eating what I suspect is a bowl of pulut durian, breathing out durian flames. Hmm

Anyway, the workers will select the durian for you, hack the fruit open and even pack it for you in a nice Styrofoam box so that you won't even need to chip a nail or puncture a blood vessel prying them open. But naturally it comes with a price.

A friend and I ordered three small durians, had it opened and packed to take away. We were charged RM64. For over RM20 per durian, when I opened my box at home, to my surprise and dismay, 4 seeds were all I had. Granted it was D24 and tasted like ambrosia but it was, to borrow a phrase from Mom, like eating gold!