Friday, September 30, 2011

Annoying People: Part I-Lost-Count

Okay I'm going to lavish you with 2 annoying people stories.

The "I'm Lightyears Cooler On Facebook" Guy

Do you have a friend who, during hangouts, would say nothing do nothing everything nothing? As in, s/he just sits there, holding his/her phone, looking at the others condescendingly or even not acknowledging their presence? Of course you have. Which is normal, I guess. In a group, there's always that guy. But it pisses me off when I get back home and guess what I see on my Facebook newsfeed? "That Guy just checked in at The Cool Hangout Place with (tagged all of us)."

Followed by a Twitter-synchronised status (Tweetdeck?) saying, "Hanging out w/ my old-time buddies."

Followed by "Laughing so hard, almost choked on my cappucino."

Followed by "Is having a blast."

Followed by "Coolest gathering EVER."

Followed by "(That Guy just posted a photo in the album Cool Gathering)" Photo details: Self-taken where friends are laughing in the background and he's in the foreground doing the Jagger tongue and the "Rock On!" hand sign.

Yep, we get it. You lead a pretty cool life. But only on Facebook. Want to know what kind of photos I would have put for the real you in the RealLifeBook? Here it goes: A photo of you looking down at your phone. Another photo of you glancing at the others for 2 seconds before looking back at your phone (this would be a GIF). Another photo of you just sipping the teh tarik you just called 'cappucino' while texting someone. Another photo of you joining the discussion but someone just hollered you on Twitter so you stopped talking and started getting finger busy again. Another photo of you laughing for no reason with your eyes fixed on your telephone screen. And a photo transcript of the 4 words you actually uttered that night. Dude, there are more words used in your photo caption than what you actually said the whole night. Cool beans!

So next time you see someone saying they're having a blast and flooding your newsfeed with their awesomeness, DON'T believe them. If they were actually having a burn-down-the-house marvellous time, would they actually have the time to flood your Facebook and Twitter newsfeed? I mean, when I'm busy having a great time, I would, you know, make the most of it and actually have a great time. Not stand there with my phone TRYING to make people believe I was having a good time.

Okay I forgot who the other annoying person is, so forget about it. One should do for this time, I guess.

Monday, September 26, 2011


If there's one thing I don't mind splurging for, it's food.

I'm a firm believer that you are what you eat, and that's why I don't buy junk food. I don't buy chips, I don't drink a lot of soda, I don't eat instant food, and I eat lots of veggies even those that I hate (like endives). I can see myself paying for exorbitantly priced seafood like lobster in a Michelin-starred restaurant, but I can never see myself owning things like an iPad or a luxury car. People say it's crazy to spend so much on food because it only lasts 30 seconds in your mouth, 8 hours in your intestines, and forever around your waistline. But I think it's crazier to spend so much on electronic gadgets because seriously, I don't see how an iPad is so different from a laptop that a person would need both. A friend of mine, an iPad owner, told me, "With a laptop, you have to flip the top open for it to function, but with an iPad you can just touch the screen to activate it, and it makes life so much simpler." Yeah, of course, I can see how your unwillingness to take 2 seconds to flip open your laptop justifies your purchase of the iPad.

So now, are we all agreeing that splurging on food is better than splurging on other stuff? Good.

Because I just purchased two different kinds of truffles and they cost me a lot and I refuse to feel guilty that I just used the taxpayers' money to buy them. I've never tried truffles before, and I've heard a lot about them. Today, I saw those fancy small truffle-filled jars so I just picked two of them, closed my eyes, and made the purchase.

I'll tell you how it tastes when I find the courage to actually pry those jars open.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

The Because To Your Whys

Recently I've been writing more on this blog than on the other one.

At the risk of sounding like an asshole, I must say that it takes me half as long to write something in English and given the fact that I don't have that much free time anymore, it's a lot easier for me to write here.

I love the Malay language to death which is why I rarely use short forms when writing, but I just can't afford to spend more than 15 minutes to write a blog post anymore.

Hope this clears things up.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

I Still Hate Crocs Though

A couple of years ago I was trekking somewhere and I saw this German guy wearing a pair of five-fingered shoes. It looked so ridiculous my friends and I had to pause for a bit, give each other the eye, and laugh for a good 15 seconds.

I mean, what the hell are those? Some kind of feet gloves? Feet condoms? He didn't care that we were looking at his shoes the whole time, because it was not just us. Everyone on the trip kept glancing at those peculiar shoes.

So the other day during my summer holidays in Malaysia I went jungle trekking. My friend told me it would be a picnic but bitch was probably delusional. It was actually jungle trekking and hiking on a barely visible steep trail. Sometimes we even had to hang on ropes and climb on huge rocks to go forward.

Don't get me wrong, I love hiking. The harder, the better. But if I knew it was going to be a hiking trip, I would have worn proper hiking attire. I wouldn't have been in my cotton Marks & Spencer shorts, green polo, and slippers. And I definitely wouldn't have brought that red picnic basket, 2 picnic mats, a laptop bag where I put all my clothes, and a freaking beach towel. It would have made the trip so much easier.

But I did.

So the whole time we were trekking I felt so out of place. I even went barefoot because slippers and hiking are uh.. just.. no. I mean, every time a person goes hiking in slippers, Sir Edmund Hilary would roll in his grave. Going barefoot makes it easier for you to move, too, because you feel the soil on your skin. If my primary school scout teacher saw me doing this he would have laughed his ass off. I mean, I was such a good scout in primary school. I remember camping at Templer Park and we had to look for bamboo and build furniture out of them. I built a kitchen plate rack like a boss, and won the competition beating 50 other schools. And I was always one of the better ones at hiking too, and this continued all the way to secondary school.

Anyways, I was with my picnic basket and towel and all, when our way was blocked by a huge rock. Bewildered, we looked at the map and yes, we actually had to fucking jump over the rock in order to continue. And to do that, we had to step on this smaller, sharp and pointy rock, swing one foot upward on the huge rock, and hold on to some tree roots and fallen branches for support. So imagine me doing that, barefoot.

During that moment I thought, "Wouldn't it be great if there were shoes that were shaped like real feet, with toes and all, so that you can feel the movement of the earth on your soles, have better grip by moving your toes, all the while having your feet protected? That'd be awesome."

And images of that German guy with the five-fingered shoes flooded my mind, there and then. So thaaat's why he was wearing those ridiculous shoes. Because it was just super practical. With looks like that, those better be comfortable. And I bet they are.

Now that I know how you can hike better barefoot, I'm dying to get my hands on those five-fingered shoes because then it would feel like wearing a condom on your feet. You feel it all, yet you're completely protected. Yep, I'm biting the bullet and eating my own words.

... And On Top Of That, He's Rich.

I want to be rich, of course I do.

But I don't want money to define who I am. I have a cousin (I have lots of cousins) who start getting noticed in the family because for the past couple of years he's been earning big bucks doing some oil and gas stuff. So every time his name is mentioned in the family, it's always followed by "You know, the one who's been going offshore and earning lots of money."

I'm happy for him. I am. But I hope I don't end up being like that. I don't want to live life just being a breadwinner, toiling for money and more money, and be known only as the rich guy. I don't want 'being rich' to become the only thing people remember me by.

I'm currently defined by my family as "the one who's studying in France." And I'm okay with that, because in a couple of years, it's going to be "the one who studied in France, and who's now _____."

But what I want the most in the future is for people to say "You know, the one who's a good friend, a good listener, funny, a good son, a good brother, a good boyfriend/husband, a cool person to hang out with, and a good Muslim. Oh, and he's rich too."

I want the 'rich' part to come last, because it's cool to be rich, but not if that's the only thing that makes you stand out.

Because if one day you get stripped off that wealth (and in today's world this happens very easily), you'll at least have a million other virtues to fall back on and to keep friends by your side.

Thursday, September 15, 2011

Put Yourself In A Rapist's Shoes

I read a joke on date-rape drugs on a website (not gonna tell you which one for fear of being called lame and stupid) which I found mildly funny. I was compelled to click on the comments because I sensed a debate was going on.

A lot of people said rape jokes aren't funny OR original, and we shouldn't be laughing at them. My pretentious self had to agree, but my true self actually laughed at the joke so I thought maybe I'm a sick person. Or maybe people are just hypocrite bastards who would secretly laugh at anything but in front of people they'd put on a straight face and say it's sick and wrong to find those things funny.

Someone (a pseudo-troll maybe) said something along the lines of "If a girl lets a stranger buy her drinks all night long and let him around the drinks alone, she deserves to be raped. At least she should have watched him take the drinks from the bartender and give them to her, because then he wouldn't be able to put in the drugs. Didn't her momma teach her better than that?"

And all the other people were like, "So now it's the girl's fault for getting raped? No one deserves getting raped under any circumstances. She should have been more cautious, yes, but she shouldn't have gotten raped."

I agree with both stances, but I agree with the pseudo-troll more (so he/she might not be a troll after all). I'm the only feminist guy I know, so sue me for saying this, but when it comes to sexual stuff, Islam got it right all along. A woman, like it or not, is an impetus. Everything about a woman is a hand grenade waiting to explode. Even smelling a woman's hair from afar can get a guy riled up.

How do I know this? Well, I'm a guy. I have amazing willpower and self-control, but I have a lot of friends who don't. They're not rapists, mind you. But some of them can get off by just looking at a fully-clothed girl's photos on Facebook. And these are normal-looking people you'd find in offices and on the street. How can you tell apart rapists from other men? It's simple. You can't.

My point is, women today can't be too cautious. Someone (ahem) even told me a story about a
16-year-old girl in Pahang who got pregnant by her 13 year-old brother. That's why women have more aurah to cover than men, because women can radiate sexual vibes from the most unsuggestive body parts. And that's why in Malaysia we need at least 3 bedrooms in a household so as to separate the parents, the boys and the girls.

It's still not their fault for getting raped, but it's their fault for not having enough common sense. If you see a landmine with a sign saying "This MIGHT be a landmine", would you still go and step on it? No. And if you did, is it your fault that you just lost a limb? No, it's the fault of the aforementioned landmine, because if it weren't there, you wouldn't have lost a limb. But is it your fault for being so stupid so as to step on it despite the sign saying it MIGHT be a landmine? Absofuckinglutely.

So if a girl dresses provocatively, goes to a club and lets an unknown guy buy her drinks without supervision, I totally see why she MIGHT get raped. It's not her fault that she's a woman, but it is her fault for being so stupid.

You can't just happily jaywalk in a war-zone, assuming the best in people and HOPING there wouldn't be landmines scattered everywhere, now can you?

That Would Be Cool

The most polite travellers I've met during my travels have been the Americans.

While everybody else keeps showering praises on their homelands, Americans seem almost apologetic when saying "I come from The United States." As if they knew how the world sees them so it is each citizen's duty to apologize for the stupidity of their government whenever they go abroad.

Come to think of it, no, they never say "I come from The United States." They'll directly tell you which state/city they come from as if people know where it is (and people do know). Like these girls I met in Galway, Ireland, when asked where they came from, they answered "California" because they assumed people knew they were Americans. Just last week I met a cute elderly couple who got lost in Paris, and they said they came from "San Fran."

Ah, the beauty of being the American traveller. You don't even have to say you come from America. Heck you don't even need to say San Francisco. San Fran would suffice. Sometimes people will even ask "Where exactly in San Fran?", because American cities are just too well-known like that.

I'm not complaining about Malaysia, though. I don't want to be American, otherwise I'd be fat and miserable ("But you already are fat and miserable?" Yeah, shut up and go play in traffic.) I don't want my country to be so well-known that people the world over know more about my country's politics than I do. I remember talking to this Kansas girl about the American economy and she was like, "Really? They do that?". It was cute but also disturbing at the same time.

However, it would actually be great if my saying "I'm from Malaysia" wasn't met with confused reaction, prompting people to ask the following questions, "Where exactly is it?" "Is it part of Indonesia?" "Oh, that country wedged between Singapore and Thailand?" (How can Malaysia be wedged by Singapore and Thailand when Singapore is not even a tenth of its size, not to mention both countries are separated by sea? That's like saying an elephant is wedged between a tree and a gravel stone across the river.)

But the best question I've gotten in the past is, "You're Malaysian? I'm sorry if this sounds racist but... you don't look African at all?" I guess she confused Malaysia with Mali or Malawi. A couple of years ago a French friend of mine asked me "So, how poor is Malaysia?". I told him in an obviously sarcastic manner, "Very poor. The most recent technology we got was the curtain." He actually believed it. It is disturbing to know that your country is so obscure that people would believe it if you say you still live in the jungle with the chimps and the gorillas.

I dream of the day when Malaysia is known all over the world and I don't have to tell people that we, too, have TV and the Internet, and no, we don't live on trees. Would it be great if I could just skip the whole "okay here's the map of the world and Malaysia is right over here" thing and just tell people I come from Cheras? No, not even Kuala Lumpur, not even KL, but Cheras, and everyone would recognize it.

And if I'm lucky enough, people will ask me "Where in Cheras, exactly?"

That would be really cool.

Sunday, September 04, 2011


Went to Old Town Coffee. Asked for an Iced Lemon Tea, and the waitress said "Do you want your iced lemon tea hot or cold?"

I was intrigued. Hot iced lemon tea sounds tempting. To find a barista that is able to defy the laws of science to keep an iced lemon tea at boiling point, now that's quite a pickle.

But I didn't want to be a smart-ass so I asked for a cold iced lemon tea.