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theZEBRA
just spent the weekend at the army barracks
Is Chewing On
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Creation
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Everything in Transit
Jack's Mannequin
Lick Those Stripes!
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Songs of the Plains
Family Court

One would be in less danger
From the wiles of a stranger
If one's own kin and kith
Were more fun to be with.

Ogden Nash
Home of the Retirees
Sunday. 11.13.05 7:57 pm
Apparently where I live, the mornings are beautiful. I'm out in the suburbs, where it's cooler out and no one's keeled over from choking on exhaust fumes (yet). On weekends, everyone laces up their sneakers for a morning walk with the dog. Old people gather for taichi, housewives catch up on the latest who's-shagging-who, and little tykes zoom around on their trikes, running over unsuspecting toes.

At the lake (just a saunter away), fish and terrapins chase bread bits, parents chase their children, children chase their dogs, and dogs chase panicked joggers. Sometimes when a lovely breeze comes along, an eagle might even be sighted wheeling in the air or being harrassed by a remote-controlled plane.

Since the sun's shining just right, you can toddle on down to the club for a swim and a game of tennis, or if you're a lazy bugger, a bit of golf. And to cap it all off, a pancake breakfast at a nearby café.

It's really too bad that I don't wake up till noon.

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Wee Man Eaters
Thursday. 8.25.05 8:21 pm
Going through this week's papers (too lazy to read them earlier), I came across this article:

"Datuk Dr S. H Foo received a “warm welcome” at the zoo here from Nicky, the tiger cub he saved from the cooking pot.

The 58-year-old Malaysian Trade Commissioner to Papua New Guinea said he was happy to meet the tiger cub, which “showered” him with gentle bites as he held it.

“This is not a bite, it’s a kiss from Nicky,” said Dr Foo as he wiped off some blood on his right palm."


Let me just repeat that last bit for you.

“This is not a bite, it’s a kiss from Nicky,” said Dr Foo as he wiped off some blood on his right palm.

WTF?!

A tiger bit the guy repeatedly, breaking the skin, and he calmly wiped the blood off with an "oh how sweet"?! HULLO! I'm really not sure how one goes about rearing a tiger cub, but I'm pretty sure it shouldn't involve letting the little man-eater taste human blood. I mean, come on! You really wanna teach something that's gonna grow up to be a 250-pound killing machine that we taste good?

*Facepalm*

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Half Baked
Tuesday. 6.27.06 5:12 pm
Oh why oh why did I laugh at JonnyB? His agony which seemed so funny a week ago, is now all too familiar as I lay sweating in my furnace of a room.

I am melting. MELTING. My bed is no longer a bed, but a giant, soggy sponge. How is it possible to sweat this much? I get up and walk. No, I leak around the house in search of a cooler room. My pyjamas, sodden with sweat, are fiendish things. Clinging to me, pulling at me uncomfortably with every movement, leaving butt-shaped sweat stains everywhere I sit. Urgh. I have an urge to tear them off and prance about the house naked. But I don't want to scare the maid. She is new and is yet unused to my naked prancing.

How I long for the cold. Lovely Perth and its lovely winter. Diving under the covers until the bed stops shaking from my uncontrollable shivering. Having to hold it in because going to the loo would mean letting my warm spot grow cold. Huddling into a miserable ball of cold flesh everytime the wind hits me.

Anything but this stifling Malaysian heat.

Yes, even frozen nipples.

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Say again?
Wednesday. 2.9.05 9:52 pm
Learning Chinese can be a bitch. The damn language's so complicated, you could be calling someone a whore instead of ordering fried chicken like you'd meant to. Honestly. I sweated less blood learning French. And I'm Chinese.

And the thing about us Chinese is that we never fail to feel smugly superior whenever the slightest opportunity arises. As long as we're 0.2% better or more talented than some sod, we're entitled to look condescendingly down upon the same poor jack. Such is the kiasu-must-win mentality of the Chinese.

Now how does this relate to my Chinese linguistic ability (or lack thereof)? A coupla days ago, the hitz.fm's Morning Crew tried to learn a few Chinese phrases. Apparently, one of them ¨C JJ ¨C had a dinner coming up with his new in-laws, and he wanted to impress them with his Cantospeak. Not surprisingly, they were both ¡°utterly and absolutely horrible", as Simon Cuntwell would say. And of course, I immediately felt better about myself. Never mind the times I'd ordered food in a Chinese restaurant only to be bitch-slapped by the waitress, never mind the scolding I'd once received from a cabbie for my inability to speak my mother tongue, never mind the pleas from my Chinese-speaking friends to "fer chrissakes, just stick to English, you're killing me here". Here were two guys demonstrating ON-AIR that they should be hunted down by a Chinese mob and strung up for mutilating the language. Points for being non-Chinese attempting a new language be damned.

Here are a few phrases the Morning Crew taught us listeners:

On asking for medical assistance
Rudy: Kui yee sang!
What he meant: Call a doctor!
What he said: Expensive raw fish!

On ordering lunch

Rudy: Ngo hai kai fan.
What he meant: I want chicken rice.
What he said: I am chicken rice.

On identifying something

JJ: Mat yeh lei ka?
What he meant: What is this?
What he said: Did your socks come late?

On starting dinner

JJ: Sek sek sek!
What he meant: Eat eat eat!
What he said: Kiss kiss kiss!

How could you not love them?

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KL Bloody KL
Wednesday. 5.4.05 10:10 pm
One thing never fails to get me. How tourists gush over the friendliness of the people here. I’m sorry…friendly? Us? Well, I don’t know about the other states, but “friendly” is definitely one of the last terms I’d use to describe the denizens of KL. I can’t even pronounce the term without a faint sneer. But I don’t think I’m the only KLite who thinks that.

The KL Driver

Maybe it’s the traffic jams. Maybe it’s the psycho motorcycles. Maybe it’s—whatever it is, even the most affable KLite will turn into a complete beast the moment he climbs into the driver’s seat. (For the sake of brevity, only masculine terms will be used. ‘Sides, it’s nice to pin everything on the males, haha.) To get from Point A to Point B in the least amount of time possible, the KL Driver will think nothing of mowing down an unfortunate cat fleeing from a dog, as well as the hapless mutt chasing after it. Any car signalling (a rare sight that, signalling) to turn into his lane would be immediately cut off. In fact once in a traffic jam, I was attempting to switch lanes to exit the highway, but the car there refused to give way, matching mine whether I sped up or slowed down. It got to the point where I was so exasperated, I put my window down and yelled across to ask the driver (his window was down too) what his bloody problem was. That got me to my exit alright, but I suppose I ought to count myself lucky that he didn’t ram me into the barrier and start whaling away at me with a golf club.

Even when there’s no rush at all, you can always count on the KL Driver to ignore a fellow motorist in trouble. A crashed motorcyclist could be bleeding by the side of the road for donkeys, yet no one would stop to pick him up. Yes, blood is hard to get off the seats, but what’s to stop the KL Driver from picking up his cell and dialling an emergency number? Just the convenient excuse that the half-dead motorcyclist is probably bait for some unsuspecting fool to stop and be relieved of his credit cards and car keys.

The KL Commuter

Ahh buses and trains. Crowley would be proud. It is quite impossible to travel in one and not step off hating everyone in sight. It is an unspoken rule that one’s eyes must never meet another’s for fear the delicate balance between barely unchecked hostility and physical aggression is upset. Woe betide anyone with a curious eye. Anyone holding a conversation in louder than whispers is immediately the target of drop-dead glares. Anyone daring to laugh or show the slightest mirth is in danger of being thrown off at the next stop. And children...god, they shouldn’t even be allowed on.

The KL Queue-Up-er

I’m sorry, this doesn’t exist.

The KL Racist

All KLites are racists, even if they claim otherwise. If they’re not against other nationals (kiasu Singaporeans especially), they’re against themselves. Between and even within races – Chinese against the Chinese (ah bengs and ah lians), Malays against the Malays (kampungfied), and Indians against Indians (estatefied). No one escapes criticism.

The list goes on and on. I haven’t even described the KL Snob, the KL Salesperson, the KL Parent and suchlike yet.

Friendly? Whatever, dude.

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Pass The Ciggies
Sunday. 8.14.05 5:27 pm
Every Malaysian and their mother seems to have blogged about the haze. Granted it was a bit bad. National state of emergency, seven people dead, hospitals mobbed with people suffering breathing difficulties, a dude strapped on a scuba oxygen tank to get around KL...



Orright. But let's not overreact. Sure the haze can screw up your lungs and kill you. Then again, so can ciggie smoke. And I don't see anyone strapping on scuba gear when the guy at the next table lights up.

But to postpone next weekend's rugby tournament to November? C'mon...

This isn't funny anymore.

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Babel Fish
Saturday. 2.4.06 1:44 pm
I took my dog out for a walk. We went down to the lake and chased a few birds, with me barely hanging on to the end of the leash as she dragged me skidding through the mud. A very dirty walk, but a nice walk all the same.

On the way home, we met a Security Guard out on his rounds. He was an Indian, uncle-ish looking sort of guy. Very friendly too, as he stopped when he saw us and flashed me a smile (but not Pukeyface because really, who would smile at a mud-splattered Fat Lump?).

"Hullo!" I called out, waving a muddy hand.

"Hullo!" he called back, waving a stick.

The exchange over, we stood there in awkward silence for a bit, racking our brains for the next thing to say. He turned out to be the better conversationalist.

"Gong Hei Fatt Choy!"

Well, that was sweet of him, wishing me a Happy Chinese New Year in my mother tongue. So I thanked him in the same. And that must have triggered something, because suddenly, he rattled off a longer stream of Cantonese.

I was lost - I couldn't understand a word of it. And sad to say, it was because his Cantonese was so much more advanced than mine. So I did the only stupid logical thing to do.

I nodded encouragingly.

And so it went on for a good ten minutes. He said something totally incomprehensible, I did my best to look like I understood and made sounds of agreement. Back and forth, back and forth. He was starting to make me feel small and this annoyed me.

"Feh!" I mentally snarled. "You're not the only multilingual one here!"

Then I suddenly noticed a lull in the (one-sided) conversation. I dragged my attention back to the Security Guard who was looking at me patiently. He was obviously awaiting some sort of reply.

Hah! This was my chance to impress him with my knowledge of Hindi! I quickly ran through my repertoire of Hindi phrases.

"Aloo Gobi!" I blurted out. And fled.

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