Saturday, 22 December 2007


Something interesting I read in The Star today:

"Doctors have always used a tribal vocabulary to communicate between themselves, but now their secret lingo is been enriched by the electronic media and urban slang.
Paul Keeley, a consultant in the department of palliative medicine at Glasgow Royal Infirmary in Scotland wrote to the weekly British Medical Journal a sample of new words that British doctors use among themselves.

They include:

# Disco biscuits: The clubbers' drug ecstasy. As in: "The man in cubicle three looks like he's taken one too many disco biscuits.''

# Hasselhoff: Term for any patient who shows up in the emergency room with an injury for which there is a bizarre explanation. Source: Baywatch actor David Hasselhoff, who hit his head on a chandelier while shaving. The broken glass severed four tendons and and an artery in his right arm.

# Agnostication: A substitute for prognostication. Term used to the describe the usually vain attempt to answer the question: "How long have I got, doc?''

# Blamestorming: Apportioning of blame after the wrong leg or kidney is removed or some other particularly egregious foul-up happens.

# 404 moment: The point in a doctor's ward round when medical records cannot be located. Comes from internet error message, "404 - document not found.''

# Testiculation: Description of a gesture typically used by hospital consultant "when holding forth on subject on which he or she has little knowledge". Gesture is of an upturned hand with outstretched fingers pointed upwards, clutching an invisible pair of testicles.

Other slang used by doctors, according to past letters to the BMJ, include UBI (for "Unexplained Beer Injury''), PAFO ("Pissed And Fell Over'') and Code Brown, or a faecal incontinence emergency.

CTD means "Circling The Drain'', GPO signifies "Good for Parts Only'' and "Rule of Five'' means that if more than five of the patient's orifices are obscured by tubing, he has no chance.

A patient who is "giving the O-sign'' is very sick, lying with his mouth open. This is followed by the "Q-sign'' - when the tongue hangs out of the mouth - when the patient becomes terminal.

As for genetic quirks or inbreeding, FLK means "Funny Looking Kid'' and NFN signifies "Normal For Norfolk,'' a rural English county.

General practitioners may use LOBNH ("Lights On But Nobody Home'') or the impressively bogus Oligoneuronal to mean someone who is thick.

But they also have a somewhat poetic option: "Pumpkin positive'' refers to the idea that a person's brain is so tiny that a penlight shone into their mouth will make their empty head gleam like a Halloween pumpkin."

I'm barely halfway through memorising real, academically-inclined medical acronyms and now they're imposing new ones on me? Just great.

Postscript: Stardust is brilliant. Not exactly up to the mark of the book, but impressive nevertheless. Plus, Claire Danes is simply superb as The Star (excuse me while I snort stupidly at this bad pun). You just have to love her every time she glows *smile*

Phew. Such big words from a small-time movie watcher.

Tuesday, 20 November 2007

Ever the ingenious creature, Man has always sought out creative solutions to the daily problems that his fellow humans face. For example, fire was discovered when the fish just didn't taste that good eaten raw anymore. Wheels were invented when walking started to get tiresome. And of course, the mother of all inventions - the television - was created to pass the time until the next big thing happens.

Out of all these charming ideas, one has always confused me - matchmaking sites.

"Why don't you go on and register an account to see for yourself what's it all about?" suggested an acquaintance on mine when I asked him the question. It was one of those rare days when I was still reeling over from last night's reading, and my head was not in it's accustomed place. So I said "Why not?"

This friend of mine suggested a site which he knows of (by what means I have no idea). "Quite popular with the singles of our own ASEAN neighbours. Who knows, you might snare yourself a lovely Filipino island girl!" he quipped with a mischievous look in his eyes.

"Err...Let's put away any far-fetched ideas for the time being, shall we?" was my pathetic reply.

I then proceeded to give my email account for the registration process. "Browse millions of singles and meet the love of your life!" the advert next to it joyously claimed. I was beginning to have doubts. Any printed material which claims to help you find the love of your life without having to lift your sorry bottom deserves to be looked upon with a raised eyebrow.

Anyway, the page refreshed soon enough and I was brought to the particulars page. I think it's called as such since the questions were so particular in nature. They ranged from "Describe yourself in your own words" to asking about my height, body type and whether or not I wanted to have children. "Goodness", I thought to myself. "Mum would most certainly disagree to inquisitions of this kind". But I trudged on ahead.

After that, I was asked to upload a photo. Not wanting to expose too much of myself, I kindly declined the offer and skipped on to the next step. "Tell your friends about (name censored due to professional reasons) and let them help you look for love!". Well, I most certainly did not want those friends to know about my involvement in this. I am being made fun of by them given as it is, and I certainly do not need them to laugh at me more than they already do. So I skipped that too.

And I was done! As expected, there was no real sense of accomplishment; just the kind of feeling one gets after having downed a half liter glass of water without taking a breath in between gulps, which is not that pleasant to begin with.

"So what now?" I asked my friend.

" wait".

"And then what?"

" wait some more. Wait until someone is interested enough in you to leave a message or something like that".

"Well, how's that going to help me find 'the love of my life'?"

"I don't know. I suppose it just needs to be taken as an article of faith".

Well, I am happy to report that it's been two weeks into this little psychosocial experiment of mine and I have received only one hit.

I deleted my account yesterday.

Tuesday, 6 November 2007

Playing The Love Doctor

In the past 24 hours, two people - a gentleman and a lady - have personally confided in me about their recent break-ups. For someone who doesn't interact a lot with other living beings, that is big news. Now, I don't know what the 'divorce rate' is actually like out there in the real world, but in my humble little universe, two cases in a day sounds like an awfully big number.

"She was two-timing...No, wait. Scratch that. She was three-timing me behind my back", said the broken-hearted gentleman when I inquired the reason for his break-up. "He asked me to do things which I am ashamed to tell you about", said the distraught lady. "Don't worry. There are lots of better people out there. You just have to wait for the right one", said clueless me.

Both of them seemed genuinely sad that their respective relationships were over and I suppose they had every right to feel that way. I mean who wouldn't feel glum after seeing what they have worked on for two or three years come crashing down to a rubble?

What makes it the more painful for them both is that they never saw it coming. "She was so decent in front of me - never wanted to go to the movies...never allowed me to hold her hand...never would let me send her back to college. And yet, she does all that with her 'gigolos'. What kind of a girl is that?" expressed angrily the gentlemen.

"I thought he was a nice guy who would lead me to the right path. But then one day, he said that he did not want me to wear the hijab after getting married" wept the lady.

Ah..people. Just when you think you know them, they go and do something totally unexpected.

To the mentioned friends: take heart in that at least you found out about their follies before being permanently tied to them. Take consolation in the fact that there are other, better people out there who are just waiting to be introduced to you.

One last departing word....why on earth did you both choose me to listen to your problems? I have no experience in this kind of thing whatsoever!

Thursday, 18 October 2007

Selamat Hari Raya!

Somehow, I get the feeling that this year's raya went absolutely wrong for me. Something like Michael Jackson's nose perhaps, or even like the time I decided to trust my friend to pick out a hairstyle for me. Both were terribly ghastly - especially my hairstyle - but they're nothing compared to the way I felt this raya.

What is so wrong about this year's celebration, you ask?

Well unlike the rayas in the past couple of years, I actually found myself having fun this time around. And that is upsetting. I mean, aren't kids the only ones meant to enjoy raya? Adults are supposed to only pretend having fun while sneakily trying to take another cookie from the jar whilst making it look oh-so-casual. Now I feel like I'm six years old again!

But really, I absolutely had fun this year. Maybe it was due to the recently announced exam results. Perhaps it was the congratulations I received from mum following that. Heck, it could even be due to Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor being the first ever Malaysian to blast off into space last week (does anyone else here knows that the bloke has a page to himself on Wikipedia?)

Then again, perhaps my happiness this year stemmed simply from the fact that I was surrounded by family.

Anyway, before I get too syrupry for anybody's nerves, I think I'll post up some raya pictures to rival those of drroza, mynn and sarah. Mind you, these shots were carefully set up to look as candid as possible. Do not be fooled into thinking that some of the pictures look as if the subjects were caught off guard - they were just simply acting to look as such.

One of the main themes for Raya pictures this year was the 'Yakuza look'. I think I fairly resemble Ken Takakura with this pose.

I told my cousin to tone down his degree of handsome-ness so that I wouldn't look half as bad. I don't think he listened.

What is Raya without family snapshots?

As you might have gathered by now, we adorned green threads on the first day of Raya.

How come my dad gets to take pictures with my celebrity-looking cousin and her husband?

This is the front door, but where's the rest of the house?

I just absolutely love my cousin's smile. It has "Yeah, right" written all over it.

This is my grandmother on a wheelchair. Sometimes, she let's us take it for a spin

My cousin's youngest child. That's right - saya dah jadi Pak Sedara!

There are lots more pictures but of course, they are all either 1) too personal 2) too hideous and 3) too embarrassing to be published here. Besides, blogger seems to be acting up these past few days, allowing me only to upload TWO pictures a time. What's the meaning of that?

I really had fun this Raya, and that's just all too well considering the fact that it's back to hitting the books this coming Monday *groan*

Sunday, 16 September 2007

Another Birthday

Everybody seems to be wanting a piece of birthday cake to call their own lately, and my sister is no exception. I have a sneaking suspicion that it has something to do with today being her birthday and all.

Happy Birthday sis! Shall we take a stroll down memory lane then? Back to the days when your baby fat was all the rage amongst the family members?

My sister used to get compliments for having rosy cheeks. She still does...when she's angry.
I don't suppose this makes her a clown, does it?

Are they posing as football hooligans?

Looks at the stubby limbs!

Of course my sister looks nothing like that now; though my brother swears that she still has folds of 'baby fat' around the tummy area. Nevertheless, she's still the one sister we all know and love and that is why I dedicate this entry - and the embarrassing pictures too - to her. Happy Birthday again!

Saturday, 8 September 2007

A Premature Ending

I think I might've broken the tension from the previous entry a bit too much - so much so that I can't find the words to continue the story! But here are some pictures of my brother playing the role of an juvenile charged with murder, and I must say he does look the part. Perhaps he even practised killing cockroaches just to really get into that murderous psyche. No, I'm just kidding. He's as sweet as a freshly baked apple pie, my brother he is.

Note: The quality of these photos would most probably make mynn scream out "Digital blasphemy!", hunt me down and hang me from a cherry tree. But hey, that's the kind of photo quality you get when your digital camera doesn't have the acronym EOS in its name. Or is it just my sad state of photographic flair? No, wait. I'm pretty sure it's because of how useless the camera is when the ISO goes above 200 and the digital zoom is maxed. Oh well!

I think this is the 'emo look' that's all the rage amongst youngsters nowadays.

Why's his face like that? Is it the spotlight? Or is it perhaps the limelight? *ehem*

My brother swearing (or pretending to) tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth. I'm sure most parents would like that to be implemented in the household.

This was the policeman who arrested my brother. Doesn't he look like a Tamil hero?

Remember me telling you about the pretty counsel?

Let me tell you; this lady is TALL.

The gentleman with the wispy moustache is of Javanese origin while the lady is French. My dad loved both of them. He must have a liking for foreigners.

This is not the kind of look you would want to see on the face of a family member

The above pictures were taken during the final scene of the mock trial. In this scene, the accused pleas for his release, cries out at the injustice he's been done, and finally - before hanging himself in his cell - laughs hysterically while sobbing "Emran...where are you...I'm coming to get you..."

No wonder a friend of my brother told him the next day that he (the friend) had 'disturbing dreams' that night.

p.s. What a letdown! The camera's battery went dead! *sigh* Guess I'll upload more pictures at the faculty on Monday then (I'm at a cybercafe, by the way)

Update: I've posted more pictures with captions to boot. I hope that'll suffice for those who had hoped for more elaboration on my brother's performance. Talk about taking the easy way out.

Sunday, 2 September 2007

Driven: What Must I Do?

Warning: Rather lengthy post ahead without pictures. Read at the risk of falling asleep.


There is a great sense of accomplishment when one has successfully managed to pull off an incredible feat, say, scaling Mount Everest with neither the aid of an oxygen tank nor a Nepalese shepard. However, the feeling that comes from watching one's kin accomplish that very feat is something totally different. It's overwhelming, not like the one in my previous entry, mind you. And that was the very feeling which overcame me seeing my brother a few nights ago.

Of course, he did not just come back from scaling Mount Everest with neither the aid of an oxygen tank nor a Nepalese shepard. But still, his spine-tingling performance in the annual AIKOL Mock Trial was something the whole family could be proud of.

Titled "Driven: What Would You Do?", the mock trial was about a secondary school student - played by my brother - charged with the murder of his schoolmate. I've never been to a mock trial before, so I wasn't aware that the whole affair was going to stretch close to three hours. But my, wasn't it an enjoyable three hours. It was like watching a live movie. I now understand why there were so many courtroom dramas during the 90's - the human drama ever-so-elegantly laced into the legal proceedings are just so engaging.

The show started off with a gimmick where my brother was pushed and kicked down the stairs leading to the stage by a group of boys who then proceeded to challenge the audience to 'come and save this loser'. And though it was merely acting, I did not dare go up to my brother and offer him a plaster, for fear of being pushed and kicked down the stairs like him.

After that, we were introduced to the setting for this year's trial. The story goes that the accused (my brother) was a long-term bully victim, with the aggresors being none other than three of his classmates, one of which was a girl. Ah, splendid. That brought back some personal memories. Anyway, one morning, the bullies had gone too far and the accused snapped there and then, driving a rusty army knife into the back of one of them and injuring the other two. And thus, the brother was tried in court, being represented by two pretty ladies. Hey, that's not fair, is it?

My parents had already told me that the crew had been practising for three months, and from my observations, all their hard work was reflected in every facial expression and gesture that they made. They were all really convincing, from the 40 plus, still single Judge right down to the non-stop smiling bailiff, who happened to be a VIP's daughter. (Note to self: I thought bailiffs were supposed to be gruffy men with hair slicked back using pomade and handlebar moustaches?)

There was a live band to add flavour to the night, and they did a spectacular job accompanying the witnesses as they made their way across the stage to, where else, but the witness stand. And the witnesses themselves were a plethora of identities with their individual eccentricities. Among the more memorable ones were: the two surviving victims of the assault, a Javanese doctor who's face reminded me of V, and a French doctor who's accent halfway through made her sound like a Middle Eastern professor instead. I think the production crew has a soft heart for doctors. Of course, both prosecution and counsel were convincing too. But the night definitely belonged to my brother, the accused.

The live action was, from time to time, interlaced with video footage, where little by little we get to know the victim and his nightmarish history. I don't mean to blow my own trumpet - or rather, my brother's trumpet - but the he definitely can act, that boy. In fact, I think he did a better job than some actors in a locally produced, 'supposedly medical' drama.
Oooh! That's satire for you. And though I can't prove it, I think my mum cried at the sight of my brother getting bullied. I know a few other girls in the audience did.

Because I'm in the mood for it, I think I'll break up the tension here and continue more of the story (and add pictures) later on. Right now, I've a birthday party to attend. That of the youngest sibling. Happy Birthday Ihsan!

Sunday, 26 August 2007

Social Suffocation

About a month ago, we received a new batch of First Year students, which almost certainly added colour to the once drab Faculty. Where there was only lonely corridors before, now there are students bustling about on almost every floor. Previously, we used to joke around with the staff; now we poke fun at the juniors. Before, we needn't tussle for favourite spots in the library. Now...we just find other seats.

As expected from any self-respecting senior, my friends embraced this scene as a distraction from the boring text books that we endure every other day. And who wouldn't? Even yours truly welcomed the new students, albeit with arms not so wide open.

And that is the very thing which has been bugging me ever since the First Years came in. You see, there is this one student who happens to be a wee bit too 'friendly'. I am by no means an irrational person (even though Mum will staunchly disagree to that statement) but this kid here is just...well, to put it nicely - overwhelming. The sensation that I get when the said person is in close vicinity is similar to what one might feel when drowning.

And though I am sorely tempted to point my finger at the person's existence as the sole cause of this uneasiness, it would be more honourable for me to put the blame on my unkeen-ness to open myself to others, especially if they're younger than me. I like to preserve some personal space about me, if you don't mind.

Come to think of it, I don't have that many friends outside of my age group. Those who are 'leap students' don't count.

Looking back at the things he does, they're not that bad at all. Sure, I feel nauceaous when he comes up to make small talk. Of course, I quickly look for any nearby hiding spots whenever he slides beside me while I'm reading the papers at the library. And hey, I feel as if all my facial muscles are going into a spasm every time he flashes that priceless smile of his. It's just that I would appreciate it if he wasn't too eager to be friends and space out the encounters over a longer period of time, say oh, another hundred years or so?

Of course, I can't tell him all this; he'd be crestfallen. Which is why I'm lamenting pathetically in my blog. At least here, people will read about it and thank me for the update.

Postscript: To whoever it may concern, I have never thought of myself as a 'blogging wizard'. Perhaps Professor Dumbledore might fit the label better. Thanks for the compliment anyway *smile*

Monday, 23 July 2007

Untying The Knot

Being stuck in a small and confined space such as in the family vehicle is a definite health hazard. Consider all the possible risks you face when sitting in the 'oh-so-luxurious' cabin of a saloon:

1) You may crash

2) You may get deep vein thrombosis (especially on long haul journeys)

3) You may die of carbon monoxide poisoning

But that is nothing compared to the one, scariest possibility of all which is, you may end up having a big discussion with your parents about a particular topic - marriage.

Note: I suppose you could call this post something of a 'continuation' to Sarah's latest entry here, where she tells about her experience sharing secrets - secrets that she would never have thought of spilling before - with her mother; and coming out of the experience feeling more mature.

Congratulations Sarah! It's good to know that at least some of us are growing up.

Of course, this wasn't the first time that I have talked about the matter. Indeed, I am no stranger when it comes to talking about marriage. But then again, past discussions with my parents have only touched on general features of the family institution such as why a mum's blood pressure automatically increases after her children grow up into their teenage years, or why parents are allowed to force their children to eat vegetables, and how parents have the power to override any logical and sane argument given by their offspring simply by saying 'Because I say so'.

However, this time around the discussion was more sober and serious. And that gave me goosebumps.

I cannot remember most of what was is that my parents were talking about; partly because of my current efforts in trying to eradicate the ghastly scene from any recollective memory, and partly due to my inattentiveness to what they had to say on the subject. But from what little I can gather, the gist of it was that they intended to , in the future, introduce me to several 'nice girls'.

'Nice girls'? What's that supposed to mean? Now, I am pretty sure of myself when I say that I meet nice girls all the time - and some nasty ones too, on really unlucky occasions. Given that situation, why would I need my parents to introduce me to some more nice girls? That is like having another slice of pie when you still have half a slice on your plate. That is being greedy.

Still, my parents were adamant about the idea. In fact, they wanted me to go and meet 'the family'. When I almost doubled over from choking on my own saliva, my mum asked me what was wrong with the idea. And then before I could retort with a useless answer, she further asked me was it because I already had someone else (without her knowing) that I didn't want to go and meet other 'nice girls'.

Well to be really honest, I am not all that adverse to the idea of meeting charming young ladies, or even their parents for that matter. I mean, if I find myself facing a question which I cannot answer (Jamil nak settle down mana lepas kahwin?), I can always feign rabies, or perhaps sudden death. But the thing which bothers me the most is, how would they look at me after that? How would they perceive my parents then? I am enough a source of embarrassment to myself, what more my parents. And the last thing that I need is for people to be throwing queer looks at them while I froth myself silly on the floor.

And then my mum said the unthinkable.

"Don't worry. We'll do all the talking"

Postscript: My parents will most surely be ticked off after reading this. So before I receive a harsh lecture and a good wallop to the rear, I'd like to take the opportunity to wish Happy Belated Birthday to Pycnogenol. The present'll have to wait until after that wallop arrives, I'm afraid.

Friday, 6 July 2007

Filling In The Blanks

You know things are at a standstill when you need someone to come along and slap a meme on your forehead before you can actually come up with a sorry excuse of an entry. Thanks dyanna!

Anyway, I'm supposed to fill in the blanks for a number of phrases. This exercise really brings back some (un)happy memories of my schoolboy days when we still had exam questions set in a similar manner.

Well, let's go shall we?

1. A person is only as good as the person next to him.

2. Friendship is always about having someone to lean on - especially during those sessions of afternoon lectures.

3. To love is to open yourself to cruel rejections from the object of desire.

4. Money makes me start to tremble with the thoughts of all the possible things I can buy.

5. I miss good conversations.

6. My way of saying I care is by putting my hand on the person's shoulder and quickly retracting it before both of us become uncomfortable.

7. I try to spread love and happiness by not saying anything more than needed.

8. Pick the flowers when you're sure nobody is in sight.

9. To love someone is to be prepared for a world of annoyance at that person's bad habits. And withstand it nevertheless.

10. Beauty is that one creation of God: women.

11. When I was thirteen, what I remember the most was that I didn't wear the usual green school pants - I wore muddy green khakis.

12. When I was twenty one, I remember still being 21 *sob*

13. I am most happy when I know I am in the company of wonderful people.

14. Nothing makes me happier than making a person smile or laugh.

15. If I can change one thing, I will change my bank account with Bill Gate's.

16. If smiles were currency then I'd smile my way to an iPhone.

17. Wouldn't it be nice if we could forgive and forget? Especially the forget bit.

18. If you want to look intelligent then you have to nod and smile solemnly at the correct moments.

19. Money is not everything but it sure as anything can buy you that iPhone.

20. The most touching moments I have experienced is during clinical skill lab sessions. Don't have much of a choice do I?

21. I smile when toddlers look at me. It's a natural reaction.

22. When I am happy, I do not irritate other people.

23. If only I don't have to study medicine, then I might have worked as a video game reviewer.

24. The best thing I did yesterday was finish my video presentation for the new First Years.

25. If I ever write a book, I will give it this title,"Cogito, Ergo Doleo"

26. One thing I must do before I die is live.

27. Doing this meme, I feel relieved as I have bid my time until the next entry.

Hopefully, the next entry will be a bit more serious. Sure *rolls eyes*

Friday, 15 June 2007


Don't really have the words to express myself at the moment.

Friday, 18 May 2007

Resounding Responses

I was casually browsing through my bulletin board in Friendster just now when a particular topic happened to grab my attention.

It was titled "Why guys don't pick up the phone or reply messages". A tatty little voice at the back of my head instantly told me that this was posted by some clueless girl who doesn't know that the boy she's chasing after is just not interested in her. Alas, the bulletin was posted by a boy whose face I did not care to give a second look. Still, I clicked the title and braced myself for the worst.

Imagine my mild amusement to find out that it was actually a survey, rather than a 1500 word long essay with a central theme of adoloscent heartache. In the survey, quite a number of respondents had already left their opinions on why guys don't answer the phone. A few example answers are - and I am not making these up:

1. Silent mode + off vibrate = Tak Perasan

2. sbb dia tengah bz with another gal

3. tgn pth sbb xcdent..due² tgn..kaki plak kene simen lagi parah

4. Kijer banyak...due date dah dekat

5. mati kut!

Actually, if boys were to be honest with themselves, they would tell you that half of the time all those excuses given - on why the phone was left ringing for half an hour, or those 29 messages left unanswered - are really lies. And that goes especially for number 5.

The real reason why girls are almost always left feeling disappointed when hoping for a reply from boys is that because boys - bless them - are just plain lazy to do so.

I myself have been guilty of neglecting my phone quite a number of times in the past. It is because of the simple reason that my phone is a clamshell, making it a tiresome chore to flip the darn thing open everytime a message comes in. In fact, during certain circumstances (such as sleep, or in the midst of an intense gaming session), the amount of effort needed to slide my thumb under the top cover and flip it is so great, that it is equatable to making crop circles or perhaps even conquering Mount Everest. So much so that I just give up on whoever it is that just sent me that text message.

So girls, I am telling you this: do not take heart if your calls go unanswered, or your messages unreplied. He may be in the middle of something important, such as receiving the Nobel Peace Prize or discovering a new species of Venus flytrap. But most of the time, it is because he's just a plain sloth.

Saturday, 12 May 2007

Concerning Housework

You may have noticed, while watching The Naked Chef playing fast and loose with egg flippers and colanders and the rules of English syntax during that series they filmed in his own home, how everything inside was clean and orderly. The kitchen counters polished, the cushions fluffed, the aluminium fairly trembled from a hard good brush. Not only was the place spick, but it would take a hard judge not to affirm that it was span as well. Looking at that house, the heart grows heavy. How pristine! What a joy to live there! What works I could achieve! Do not be deceived, dear readers. There is a reason for such cleanliness: the Naked Chef is evil.

Not only that, but he also makes a lot of money, that he can afford someone to come around every day with a canvas bag of steel wool brushes and soft cloths and other cleaning utensils, and make it all look shiny. In fact, that would be a good tip to achieving a clean home yourself: hire someone to do it for you.

Of course, this is only applicable if you're a male. Now, I don't want to sound sexist - I never want to sound sexist, especially when I am saying something sexist - but men and women have different relationships with housework. I'm not saying that women enjoy doing housework anymore than men enjoy driving around in circles when they're lost rather than stop for directions, but unlike men, women see a need for housework. Even left alone and to her own devices, a woman is more likely to rinse out the glass before having another drink. I have been told that women, whether living alone or together in a group, own such items as sugar bowls and saucers. What's more; they actually use them.

This is just not the way of your typical man. The typical man is one of nature's greatest pragmatists. Just take a look at the careers of the philosophers and rational skeptics, and I think you will find that they all learnt their trade during their bachelor years, asking "If a floor is mopped and nobody comes in to see it, has it really been mopped at all?".

Note: These arguments were used when my mum instructed me to clean out my room today. They however, found scant favour with her. Unfortunately, mums are made out of sterner stuff.

Sunday, 6 May 2007

The Discerning Bachelor

You might wonder what I've been up to so far during this holiday. The answer is quite simple actually - I've been watching television. In fact, a bit too much for my own good I suspect. Watching too much television is never a good thing for your mental health, especially more so when you have nothing to sober you up - an anatomy textbook, for example.

But even worse than watching the telly for hours at end is watching those absolutely horrible programmes so sneakingly labeled as 'reality shows'. I remember a couple of years back, I sat down through 50 of the most depressing minutes I ever hope to witness on television.

Was it the evening news? It was not. Was it the first half of a Bundesliga match? No it was not. And neither was it the second half.

It was a show so bad, it had me pinching myself just to make sure it was really happening and not just an awful manifestation brought about by my dreadful imagination combined with eating a cheese sandwich too close to bedtime.

It was a show unsurpassed in my memory for plumbing the terrible shallows which the human heart is capable of. It was The Bachelor.

The Bachelor is - or rather, was - another addition to the already large family of reality TV programmes. But unlike such flimflam and flummery such as Survivor and Big Brother and The Apprentice, the reality in this show is all too painfully evident.

The bachelor of the title is a good, wholesome American by the name of Alex who is allegedly quite a catch. And if you happen to believe the producers, he's more than just a catch - he's the whole sardine run. In a brief biographical sketch, we are told that Alex is handsome, that Alex is rich and that Alex used to swim a lot when he was in university. We are also told by his optimistic mum that Alex is unmarried because he 'hasn't found the right girl yet'. Aww. Poor Alex.

But no, lucky Alex! For he's about to meet the right girl! More than twenty women from all around the States have been mysteriously sourced by the producers - through classified advertisements and cards left in telephone booths, I would assume - and they are going to spend the next several weeks vying for the honour of marrying Alex.

Does this sound perverse to you yet? Does it sound like an inversion of all that marriage is supposed to represent?

We are then introduced one by one to the participants. Why, I wondered, are they doing it?

These women wanted to marry, the same way they once wanted Malibu Barbie for Christmas and that was that. They all spoke the language of love. "I believe in true romance," said one contestant. "I believe in love at first sight," said another. "I believe that there is a soul mate out there for everyone,". None of them demonstrated the ability to hear to what they were saying.

Needless to say, The Bachelor was appalling to watch. In the (supposedly) climax of the first episode, Alex speaks briefly to all 20 plus women, then evicts 10 of which he finds least appealing. They stand facing him in a semi circle of frozen grins, like waxed beauty queens.

I was frozen with pure fear of what might come next. I never did find out.

Fast forward to the present, and the producers have done it again with - no prizes for guessing - The Bacholerette, which is even more awful as it now rhymes with Laundromatte.

Oh, the humanity.

Sunday, 29 April 2007

Camera On The High Lands

What can I say about Cameron Highlands except for that it is indeed, a very cool place.

We had the best of luck this time around - there weren't as many people as we thought there'd be, giving us the leisure of strolling about and snapping pictures without a care. Which is exactly what we did during our two day stay.....

......which was actually supposed to be a three day stay, but since the beloved family vehicle took an awfully long time to complete the mandatory check up, we had to sacrifice a day of fun. But never mind! The fact that we got there is good enough.

We departed from home around 4 in the morning and arrived at Tanah Rata around four hours later. Thankfully, the journey up the spiralling road was uneventful and no plastic bags had to be deployed. Upon arrival, we stopped at one of the more famous eateries for a quick breakfast before checking in at The Heritage.

I wonder how come we never see houses designed like this in Kuala Lumpur

Honest, I didn't intend to show off my superhuman strength whilst pushing down the door knob of our unit.

The Highlanders have a quirky taste for lamps posing as double helix strands of DNA.

Since we had already lost a day, dad decided to make the most of our short stay and immediately brought us out for a spot of sight-seeing. Of course, the sights in Cameron Highlands hardly ever change - I mean, what type of changes can you expect to see in the Tudor styled resorts? But that didn't stop us from enjoying ourselves.

The first place that we went to was one of the many strawberry farms, it's name which I now forget. Strawberries are usually associated with Cameron Highlands because that is one of the only two places in Malaysia where you can find them, the other being Cold Storage. To be quite honest, I've always found Cameronian strawberries to be - how do I put this nicely? - unsweet.
Still, it's always a nice treat to be able to sample something not commonly found down here.

Fortunately, this bug was not on one of the strawberries that I sampled.

After having done in a packet of strawberries with cream and a medium sized cup of vanilla ice cream served with strawberry syrup, we moved on to our next destination - Ye Ole Smokehouse. The Smokehouse is actually a restaurant and a hotel, but we weren't there neither to dine nor to take a quick nap; we were there for pictures.

There it is, right there - the Smokehouse minus the smoke

They even have a London telephone booth!

Flowers were in bloom almost everywhere, and that was a good enough excuse to whip out the camera and go all trigger happy. Luckily, my parents brought along their camera too, if not there wouldn't have been any pictures with human subjects in them.

I was just in time to catch this bee doing..whatever it is that bees do.

One place where I would most certainly recommend going to would be MARDI. The place houses an impressive collection of flowers in all sorts of colours, and from the looks of it, I'd say that the people over there have done a pretty good job in maintaining them flowers. Well done! Oh, did I mention that they also have several types of fruit? One of them is the strawberry.

I'm guessing this is the...main building?

I caught this VW van outside of the MARDI compounds. I was half hoping for a glimpse of hippiness, or at least a glimpse of John Lennon.

All in all, it was a very fruitful (pardon the pun) day. The times I weren't taking pictures were the times I was eating. Yes, I did a lot of eating. So much so that by the time dinner came, I just had to pass. My only regret on this trip was that it lasted such a short while. Maybe I'll egg my parents to go back there for another visit in the short future.

After many botched attempts, I finally managed to capture a decent silhouette. The tree could've been more attractive.

Postscript: I know this is nothing spectacular, compared to the likes of Sofi, Mynn and even Puan Mama Sarah.