Monday, 23 November 2009

Dance Little Liar

I tend to avoid putting faith in the human race. Like I once said, any race which doesn't have the merry ring of a gun shot to start you off and a finishing line where you can wave your arms in the air once you've crossed it, deserves to be looked upon with eyes full of suspicion. And the more people I get to know, or the more I get to know people (whichever is relevant) the more my suspicions are confirmed.

A little bird (to be read in the British context of the meaning) told me a few days back of how one of her friends has been showing a more unpleasant side to herself these past couple of months. The supposedly soft-spoken, modest and shy girl was slowly revealing herself to be quite the caustic, ill-willed witch who would grab any available opportunity to snidely remark on the little bird's actions. This came as quite a shock since said person was highly regarded by her peers and pressures as being a good example of 'The Last Malay Woman' standing, whatever significance that may bear.

"What are the chances of you unknowingly hurting her feelings and this is a form of revenge?"

"I don't know. But she could always be straightforward and tell me if I did any wrong to her"

"Can her change in behaviour be attributed to the normal phenomenon of menstrual bleeding?"

"As a dignified, modern day female, I am highly offended by your simple thought process that crankiness in the female species is directly linked to their monthly shedding of endometrial tissue. If you'll excuse me, I have other more important issues to focus on such as the direction of the 1Malaysia policy".

Note: the bottom half of the conversation was fabricated to add extra appeal.


Obviously, this is a very one-sided story and I have yet to go and ask Queen Ursula about her version to the story. Then again, why would I want to? She might get angry with me or worse, turn my tail into legs and make me go above to meet Prince Eric if I poke my nose into her affairs. Plus, I have never been that close to her owing to her fondness for writhing polyps as decorations on the walls of her underwater cave.

But never mind whether I do decide to get involved or not; that is not the point. The point is, appearances are deceiving. Therefore, don't judge a book by its cover and don't judge a judge by his gavel.

p/s - I must be delirious. This post doesn't make any sense.

Tuesday, 17 November 2009

Speaking In Tongues

It is unbelievably amazing how much power the mysterious word holds. It really is true. The more your spoken or written thoughts are shrouded in mystery, the more people become mesmerised. You can even try it out for yourself - throw a rhetorical question at the most unimaginable moment possible and watch how others are intrigued by it like moths taking to a fluorescent light. I can now fully appreciate why some people prefer to take the indirect and sometimes incomprehensible approach to express themselves.

Still, it doesn't hurt to be transparent once in a while, yes?

Tuesday, 10 November 2009


I think it was Oscar Wilde who said 'Anybody can sympathise with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathise with a friend's success'.

I concur with you whole heartedly, Oscar.

Still trying to find the drive to write

Monday, 9 November 2009


And to start writing again.....

....where do I begin?

Sunday, 9 August 2009

Late Night Suppers - Your Gateway To Interesting Characters

The saying 'the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak' nicely sums up my position for the past two or three weeks. But then again, I suppose you could probably sum up my whole life in the same way. Anyway, whoever came up with that saying obviously was not sensitive to the condition of people with Duchenne muscle dystrophy. Absolutely no respect at all, I say.


Sometimes I get hunger pangs in the middle of the night. This is especially true if I didn't take dinner earlier. Or even lunch. Sometimes probably breakfast too. But let us not dwell on minor event build-ups. The important thing is that from time to time, as I am furiously typing out that case write up (which always gets done at the very last possible moment) way into the wee hours of the morning or furiously clicking away on Mafia Wars, my tummy will send out an audible noise signaling that it has gone without food for too long and if I don't do anything about it sharpish, it promises to be a pain in the arse. Now why would an empty stomach hurt my butt?

So the other night it happened again. I was just about to pull off a heist on this mafioso's mega casino when I was interrupted by a loud gurgling sound. Without so much of a thought, I shouted towards the bathroom 'Hey, since when did we keep Listerine in the bathroom?' without noticing that my room mate was sound asleep in his bed. Oh.

As someone who has done this many times, I can tell you that going out for a late night supper is akin to making a decision in what career path you choose to take. You go out into the world, all fresh faced - sometimes not, more so when you've been typing out that bloody case write up - ready to take on anything the world throws at you. But the first gust of cold wind that hits your face makes you realise that you haven't actually thought of what to do, or in this case, what to eat. And thus you are left standing by the dimly lit sidewalk, hand clutching wallet as motorists zoom by in search of the next mamak stall for another round of teh tarik.

However, on this particular night my head was crystal clear and I knew exactly what I wanted - spicy anchovy buns and a tin of Boh Teh O' Ais Passionfruit with real honey to wash it all down. Actually, that's a bit of a lie. I didn't know what to have for supper but that was what I ended up with after skimming the shelves in 7-11 for close to half an hour.

And as I slide up to the counter to pay for my purchases, a man in his late 40's walks in. I glance at him and he smiles back. A nice looking fellow, but as I was about to find out, appearances can be cruelly deceiving.

'Adik, bagi sekotak Dunhill 20. Hmm..bagi yang comel sikit la. Ha, yang gambar baby tu'

(Give me a packet of Dunhill 20's. Hmm...give me a cute one, will you? Ha, the one with the baby on it, that one)

I choked on my own spit, trying to suppress a laugh. But as I walked back to my hostel - buns and canned drink in hand - I realised that these are the very smokers who I'll be dealing with in a couple of years. So what can I expect from a chronic chain smoker who thinks that a picture of an aborted foetus is cute? Not much, me thinks.

Sly Look
This begs for a caption. Really, it does.

Friday, 24 July 2009

Say Hello To My Little Friend!!!

Upon logging onto the internet (or interwebs, as I like to call it) for the first time since last Thursday, I was mildly amused to see my bank account balance - $1,999,046.

And that was only for a week I left my three fruit marts.

The above - without a doubt - does not portray my real financial status. In real life, I am a poorly medical student with only RM15 in my tattered wallet to see me through to the end of the week and dinner tonight is going to cost me RM8 since I am desperate for my interwebs.

So where on earth did I earn close to two million in just a week? In Mafia Wars on Facebook, of course. You might recall that I am an advocate of Facebook and its sometimes nonsensical quizzes but that fandom has just been escalated to newer heights after I was introduced into a Mafia family by Pakcik Hassan. What is an elderly Malay pakcik doing in an Italian organised crime syndicate? The first rule of the Mafia is you do not talk about the Mafia. The second rule is you DO NOT talk about the Mafia.

To it's credit, Mafia Wars is not a fancy looking game. You will be sorely disappointed if you were expecting to see highly detailed character designs in the form of men dressed in suits carrying tommy guns going all trigger happy while on a bank job. There is no blood, no gory executions and most certainly no Hot Coffee mod. In fact, the most you'll be given is an animated revolver being loaded with bullets. Hardly entertaining unless you're in the munitions business.

But even though it is a simple click-click clicking game, the real attraction lies in the decision making process which makes up the whole gaming experience. The player is given health points, energy points and stamina points to spend on doing hit jobs and launching all out attacks on other mafioso. Going all gung-ho on other Mafia families will not only almost ensure you get your arse handed over to you, but you will also lose a lot of money and as any good gangster knows, no money means no tommy gun ammunition.

Plus you will get punched in the face and receive 3 damage

So yes. This is my new obsession at the moment. Anybody who wants to fight the good fight may join my Mafia family and together we shall show the rest who's boss. Capiche?

Tuesday, 14 July 2009

What's The Meaning Of This?

Aren't you going to ask me what's my first impression of you after the first time meeting all these years?

"Well, are you going to answer that?" asked my brother. There was an impatient emoticon at the end of the sentence.

"Oh, yes. What was it again?" I typed back, with keyboard markings on my face.


We had been talking about an incident which had happened earlier that day. He had gone out with a group of old friends from school and amongst them, was a girl whom he used to have a crush on. Have you ever been in that position? What did it feel like? Did you get butterflies in your stomach or was it more of like the sensation one might get had he unknowingly downed a plate of bad rice? Or were you all cool about it, not flinching a bit even when your eyes briefly met in a gaze which seemed to have lasted an eternity?

So they had lunch; a nice lunch at a nice chicken rice shop. Myself, I have some experience in attending these so-called 'small reunions' and I know that at the table, everybody will be talking at the same time and you get kind of lost trying to figure out who's listening to who, never mind what they're all talking about with their mouth full. Your best bet to indulge in some decent conversation would thus be to grab the partner of choice and make a getaway for it to another eatery, but since this is not practical at all, the second best option would be to sit next to the person of interest and make small talk then. Which is what my brother did.

They chatted a bit about what they've been up to the past few years when the girl suddenly popped the question above. "I mean, was she sincerely asking whether I wanted to know or was she merely stirring the bush, get what I mean?" my brother asked. "To be truthful, of course I am a teeny bit curious but shouldn't things like that be discussed in private without us being surrounded by onlookers? What gets me the most is when I texted her a bit later in the afternoon, asking about what she meant, I didn't get a reply. Strange." he continued.

Just because I was born two years earlier does not mean I am wiser in matters such as this. To me, girls are - and will always be - a puzzle wrapped in shrouds of mystery and locked up in a box of enigma.

Any girls out there care to give their two cents? Boys are welcomed too; I don't discriminate.

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

And The Answer Is....

Since many of you asked what I'd give in order to achieve happiness, the answer is...

The Whole Lot

....a quarter of my weekly allowance.

Thursday, 18 June 2009



What would you give to achieve it?

Thursday, 4 June 2009

A Book With A Face

These days, everyone is on Facebook. From my old classmates, to the ones I have now and even people who I have no idea who they are yet, want to add me as their friend. All this is flattering (Hey Jams! 3 Qudoos!!!) but frankly, the one thing I'm really waiting for is for Ex-President Bush to come along and invite me to join the cause 'STOP CALLING MUSLIMS TERRORISTS!'.

Note: if anyone reading this is personally acquainted with Ex-President Bush - and no, I don't necessarily mean you Ms Rice - would you kindly pass along the message? Thank you.

Apart from asking friends to join causes (some of them hilarious - Think: Save The World From Stupid People, anyone?) another craze on Facebook seems to be taking all these quizzes devised by other users, some of them whom I suspect may have too much free time on their hands. Name The Footballer and What Is Your Personality Type? are some examples of the more intelligent quizzes while What Date Will Your Wedding Day Be On? and What Type Of Shoe Are You? are rather the exact opposites. Yes, there is a quiz which will tell you what type of shoe you are if you are willing to waste ten minutes of your life answering some questions which have absolutely nothing to do with shoes.

(On that thought, how does one become a pair of shoes? Do you have to have a last name like Choo? Or die first to be later reincarnated as a pair of Manolo Blahnik boots lovingly handmade using the finest alligator leather? No, wait. Do not answer. My mind cannot take this anymore.)

To me, the purpose of a quiz is to dig out some useful information about the person taking it, not such flim flam and flummery made up in the same amount of time it takes me to take a swig out of a milk carton while scratching my belly. In fact, if I wasn't too much of a lazy bum, I would have devised a quiz of my own which would probably ask questions like 'What aspect of Jamil do you find most attractive?' or 'If you ever had Jamil as a friend, will you treat him to some ice cream?' or perhaps even 'Jamil demands some attention. What do you do now?'


I don't think it'd be a rather popular quiz, would it?

postscript: I just became a fan of 'DAMN YOU FACEBOOK, I AM TRYING TO DO HOMEWORK'. And damn you indeed.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

Hold My Hand


When we were small, parents would hold our hands wherever we went. To the shops, across the road and sometimes even to the loo. 

Wary Of The Cameraman

As we grew up into toddlers, young children, adolescents and young adults, the hand-holding disappeared bit by bit until one fine day, we suddenly realise that that special clasp of hands - the very one which we yearned for its protectiveness and warmth just not too long ago - is no more.

Marched Off

Isn't it about time that we started holding our parents' hands again?

Saturday, 23 May 2009

My Inner Child


Mum likes to tell me how difficult a child I was - if I can ever be called one. To the best of her memory, I was 'the boy who wanted to be an adult before his time' (in fact, she still repeats it now on several occasions). 

I was the boy who wanted his own room at an age when others still slept with their parents.

I was the boy who would rather learn to wash the dishes and do the laundry than hire a new maid when the last one got married.

I was the boy who would never smile and have a perpetual frown on his face.

I'm going to have to find a different inner child to get in touch with for my current paediatrics posting.

Wednesday, 20 May 2009

Who Told You That?

Mr Squirrel

A little bird squirrel told me that the scholarship is coming in tomorrow.

That squirrel had better be right. My pockets are about as dry as the wit of your average Brit.

Note to self: remember to squirrel away some money before splurging the rest on toys....errr..I meant books. Yes, that's it. Paediatrics text books!

Sunday, 17 May 2009

200 Quid For This Squid

To The High Seas!
Looking forward to good times

For those of us who have spent all their lives with their feet cemented firmly onto dry land, the offer of going out to sea may sound like an exciting - and dare I say romantic? - idea. And why shouldn't it give off such an impression? Did Captain Jack Sparrow not have the adventure of a lifetime battling some squid-faced chap who pursued him relentlessly across the seven seas? Was Russel Crowe not dashing as the captain of the HMS Surprise (I wonder what kind of surprise) relentlessly pursuing some French ship to 'the far side of the world'? And who hasn't heard of Blackbeard The Pirate? Granted, his head getting chopped off and hung from the Maynard's bowsprit isn't exactly what you'd call romantic, but it sure was exciting, wasn't it?

Actually, the truth could not be any farther than that, and I'm not just talking about some squid-faced dude going after your arse. The truth is, unless you are a merman/mermaid or were born with gills on the front of your chest, going out to sea is a very dizzying experience that will most likely leave you in a state of constant desire to toss your cookies overboard. Plus, you will need to pay a sum of money for all your troubles at the end of the trip.

Before Seasickness Kicked In
See the bunting with the string at the back? That's your toilet door for you.

So the next time you are inclined to say 'let's go and catch some squid', do yourself a favour and just catch some from a nearby wet market. Take it from someone who tossed some cookies (and a few slices of bread with kaya too) overboard during his recent trip to sea.

Wednesday, 13 May 2009

Tell Me That I'm Wrong

Raindrops and Hearts

For all of my cockiness and humbuggery, I humbly admit that I am not one of the best diplomats that you will come across during your lifetime. If you send me for negotiation talks to call for a ceasefire in say Sri Lanka, between the 'freedom fighters' and the government, I would probably succeed instead in getting more civilians being kidnapped as hostages or getting shot in the head. Yes, I am that bad.

Also, I am not the kind of person that you would want to meet on a first date. Chances are, I'd offend you at the drop of a hat - never mind the fact that I won't be wearing one to the date in the first place. In fact, I dare say that I have offended or at the very least got on the nerves of one person more than I would have liked it to be.

As a rebellious, angry, emotional teenager with a bone to pick with any form of authority teenager, I would have rather walked the plank into a sea full of sharks - or anchovies, preferably - rather than admit that I was in the wrong. 'What is bloody wrong with 'im? Tis not my fault he dinna git wot I meant! Nae shall I apologise!', I fancy myself barking in a thick Scottish brogue that would have definitely made Sir Sean Connery beam in pride.

Sidenote: do Scots talk like that? Any Scotsmen here to clarify the matter?

But it's true that with age comes wisdom - or at least to those who pray for it. I have slowly seen the folly of my ways and learned that no good comes out of thinking that you're always right. That would explain why I haven't become a politician yet.

So yes. These days I am very much open to asking others what have I done wrong and apologising. I find it settles the problem much quicker without any sticky residue. The only problem is - are people willing to be equally open in telling me what I did wrong?

Monday, 4 May 2009

That Competitive Edge

As I was driving the car to fetch my dad just now, I turned on the radio because I do not rather fancy driving in silence. Well, that is not particularly true since I actually do like driving in silence - especially when I am alone - because that way, I can give my full attention to what's ahead on the road. Until I doze off in the middle of driving, of course.

Anyway, I turned on the radio and there was this advertisement for a certain brand of junk food on air. Never mind how silly it sounded when the person talking suggested that putting that brand of snack in between two slices of white bread makes for a really good way to relax after a hard day's work. If you ask me, putting snacks in between two slices of white bread makes for a really good way to waste two perfectly eatable slices of white bread which could have instead been smothered with mayonnaise and eaten together with cheese and lettuce. But that's just me.

However, it wasn't the notion that snacks can be made healthier by eating them together with white bread that got me chuckling. It was instead the competition put up by the manufacturer that asked listeners to send in their wackiest shot while eating the said brand of snack.

In my books, this is - without doubt - a winner.

I find this very ticklish mainly for two reasons - (1) I started imagining what kind of facial expressions people would put on to win and (2) I imagined what kind of facial expression I'd put on to win, knowing the fact that I have absolutely no luck whatsoever in competitions.

I swear it's true - when it comes to competitions, my Lady Luck seems to have ditched me in favour of some other guy who's probably better looking, is financially better off and has the build of Hugh Jackman playing the role of Wolverine. Well, I hope that she gets torn apart by his adamantium claws by accident.

If ever I were to have my own competition, I'd make sure all the rules would give me a 101% chance of winning:

1. Only one participant per competition.
2. Said participant must be the owner of this blog.
3. To be eligible for the grand prize, the participant should have written at least one entry in the said blog anytime in between then and now.

And just to be doubly sure, participant must have had a really bad history of losing in previous competitions prior to this one.

Wednesday, 29 April 2009

What's The Cure For Paranoia? Parano-temol?

My brother came back yesterday from his day at the office claiming that people are out there to get him.

Like what any concerned brother person bored senseless would do, I decided to entertain him and asked 'What makes you say so?' to which he related the following anecdote:

I was sitting there at my desk, typing out the bloody stupid agreement which seems to be adding pages to itself at random intervals. Anyway, as I sat there typing away, comes this other girl who happens to be doing her attachment at the same place. So she slides up to me and before I could say hi, let out a small wail.

I was so startled that I accidentally deleted the whole document I was typing. 'Good riddance' I said to myself and started to make small talk with Wail Girl.

'Uh-huh' I nodded. 'And where did that conversation lead to?'

So yes, we talked about the usual stuff. Boredom at the office, Facebooking for two hours straight, going down to have lunch and come up only to go through the same thing again. And then, we started talking about families.

'That sounds perfectly normal. You should have talked about the weather too then it'd be a complete cliche'.

Well, she asks about mum and dad, the number of siblings, how many girls in the know the drill. So after she was done asking me questions, I casually asked her back 'So, what do your parents do?' My questioned was returned with a shuddering cold silence.

'My parents have both passed away' she said quietly.

Even more awkward silence. And then I blurted out 'Well, I should really get back to typing this. They need it by today. Yes. Today. I completely forgot how important this stupid document is. So uhh...I guess I'll talk to you later?'

'Bravo, good chap. That was real smooth' I said to my brother, unable to believe how he handled himself.

'Well, what was I supposed to say? Anyway, just goes on to show how people are out there to get me. It's a trap, I say!'

Now if that isn't paranoia, I don't know what is.

Which One Is Baby?
Probably this

Sunday, 19 April 2009

23 For The First Time

Birthday Boy

My sincere thanks to all well wishers, especially fellow bloggers who took the time and effort to post up an entry bearing my name/picture/depiction. 

It's nice to be remembered *smile*

Sunday, 12 April 2009

I Am No Gym Class Hero

I am no ardent fan of gyms, there is no hiding that. In fact, I will go so far as to say that I detest gyms. Please excuse me when I say this, but I just do not see the logic in paying good money just to get yourself intimidated by beefier looking men who are probably bench pressing several hundred pounds more than you will ever hope to while looking good at it. Of course muscled men aren't the only natural inhabitants of those dreary dungeons that reek of sweat, testosterone and cheap deodorants but who wants to talk to the fat boys?


So I passed a gym the other night. Now, I know how big they can get, but this one was obscenely huge. It stood like a monolith in the middle of other, more sensible buildings. The bright lights and loud, upbeat sounds coming out from that monstrosity of a construction only served as bait to curious visitors who, if carelessly enough wandered into the compounds, would instantly be transformed into mindless slaves to the treadmill.

No, even that is too much drama for my standards but judging from how religiously some people go to the gym to flatten their stomach or try to magically conjure up perfectly sculpted abs from a mound of fat, one (especially yours truly) can't help but wonder whether the returns are really all that worth the effort required of them?

Now, I can fully appreciate the mantra 'no pain, no gain' and I absolutely understand that you need to break a leg if you want to ace an exam, or dishonestly claim some insurance money from false claims that 'a car ran over me'. But doing 300 bench presses just to acquire the biceps of King Leonidas is pushing it a tad too far. There is a fine line dividing greatness and madness, and this happens to be one of those lines.

Still, I have no beef whatsoever with beefy macho men. By all means, if walking several hundred kilometers on the treadmill is your idea of fun, be my guest and walk several hundred more. Just do not intimidate me at the beach by ripping off your shirts and showing off those fabulously sculpted abs of yours.

Wednesday, 8 April 2009

Birthday Boy


I do not know about you, but for as long as I can remember, birthdays among the male species tend to be a rather drab affair. Unlike their counterparts, males will not go out of their way to find a suitable birthday present for his mate, nor will they lose a night's worth of sleep thinking about 'What if I forget to wish him?'. This is of course, an absurdly gross exaggeration which is founded upon some slivers of truth.

Having said that, why on earth am I writing a birthday dedication to a friend who obviously needs to lose his love handles since this is only his 23rd birthday and wedding plans are still far off. There's a reason they're called love handles, dammit.

Anyway. Birthday wishes to the above fellow. Grow up and get a life already.

Update: I was just informed that I happened to be the first guy to wish him by mouth earlier today. Goodness, that sounds so dodgy.

Friday, 3 April 2009

Kitty Kat

Kitty 4
Won't you hold my paw?

Because we all want that reassuring feeling of having someone to fall back on when things get rough.

Saturday, 28 March 2009

When It's Time To Box The Balls

Two mates recently almost got into a boxing match over a ball that decided to visit the face of one chap after leaving the foot of the other. It was yet another classic example of why testosterone and sports make for a very, very bad combination.

I myself was not present at the scene of the would-be-crime, though if I was, imagine the pictures I'd have been able to capture. Ooh...the action! The emotion! The bruised eyes and cracked, bleeding lips! I'd have snapped them all before receiving a bruised eye and a cracked, bleeding lip of my own.

It's difficult when things get to your head while playing these kinds of sports. Bloody hell, it's difficult enough keeping your emotions in check when playing something as timid and docile as chess or even draughts, what more a type of sport which requires you to kick a ball with low rebound characteristics into the goal while trying to avoid hitting the poor goalie in his face or cojones. Frankly speaking, judging from how hard some blokes shoot the ball, I'm surprised that there has yet to come out a ruling about how goalkeepers are obliged to wear helmets and/or chastity belts for the sake of their unborn children.

I absolutely understand that the chap who got his glasses knocked off of him must have been in quite a rage having been acquainted rather personally with the ball without him wishing for it. However, that does not mean I agree to him raising a fist and threatening to wipe out the last of the other fellow's descendants. Wouldn't it have been better and infinitely more graceful to just pick up the specs and leave the grounds? Most people would do that, knock on wood. 

But yes, it's always easier said than done and as somebody who did not play in the testosterone-charged game the other day, I suppose I have just about as much right to be commenting on the person's action as a damned Israel troop killing unarmed Palestinians. 

Wednesday, 25 March 2009


When we least expect it, that is when we are pushed - face first - into our darkest hour.


At times we feel as if we've been given a chance at redemption, only for that feeling to be swiftly dashed by a cruel and cold silence.

Golden Lining

But never mind. Hope arises once realisation sets in. And we begin a new day anew.


Saturday, 14 March 2009

Summer Is Here!

Little Flower

Knock On Wood

How Do I Enter?



Summer Model

Oh wait. I forgot it's always summer here.

On another note, I have always wanted to meet people with names such as Summer, April etc. If you happen to have such a name, do drop me a line.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Of Durians and Fishes

A friend made the very astute observation of how places in Melaka are often named after natural elements, and he even named a few examples, just to show how observant he was - Ayer Keroh, Durian Tunggal and Alor Gajah (more like Alur Gajah, am I right?)

Needless to say, I was very impressed. 

However, I would have been more impressed had he observed the law while sitting behind the wheel as we were on our way to Melaka a couple of days back. Feeling awfully bored by spending the weekend in Tampin doing nothing but think of ways how to cut names off of the list of diabetic patients we were supposed to interview for our study, my trusty brothers in arm - God bless the fools - decided to visit the historical town and end the day by having dinner at that oh-so-fishy open air eatery, Umbai.

Now, like all things that yield best results when done spontaneously e.g. the decision to profess one's love for a member of the opposite gender, the trip was possible only because we did not ponder too long on whether we needed to bring clothes for the night, or whether some of us would get travel sickness or even whether A' Famosa would still be standing when we got there. Alas, like all things that yield best results when done spontaneously, something is bound to go wrong somewhere along the way e.g. the person you just confessed your love to turns out to be a blood relative. In our case, that 'something' was the dinner in Umbai.

So here's a Top Gear© Top Tip: if you're planning to chow down on grilled fish in Umbai, make sure you get there early. Not when people are already heartily enjoying theirs, leaving you only the choice of species of fish which I have never heard of before and squid. Either you arrive early, or you bring your own fish for them to cook. No, I'm not kidding you on this one.

Enough talk. More pictures. Do they not speak a thousand words?








Friday, 6 March 2009

Fun In Gemas

Mention Gemas and the first thing that comes to mind is trains. Gemas and trains go hand in hand like Oya and Mukah, Pedas and Linggi, Tuaran and get the idea. 

I have always liked trains and as a boy, I'd be fascinated watching them pull into the station while blowing a lot of hot air and making a lot of noise - kind of like that brat we all know who likes to boast a lot about everything under the sun. The only thing which bugs me till this day is the idea of train spotting. What kind of a sport is train spotting? Who are the players? Who keeps track of the score? And how do you score points anyway? It is all very puzzling to me.

Anyway, when we got the chance to visit Gemas last week, it was a childhood dream come true. Unfortunately, that dream was shattered as soon as it was fulfilled. The reason being? I was told that Gemas was - contrary to the very dear belief I had held all this while - not in Johor but in fact, Negeri Sembilan.



Still, it was fun shooting photos with the 'old train town' as the backdrop.

What's New?
News of Today: Medical Students Visit Gemas

Polar(ised) Express
It's a beauty, isn't it?

I Rock..This Train!
Somebody was an eager beaver

Passer By
Najmi obviously boarded the wrong train...

...while this guy doesn't really care.

I wonder what these dials do...

The Lone Passenger
Gemas is part of Negeri Sembilan. Never forget that kids!

Tuesday, 3 March 2009

Which Way To Effective Communication, Sir?

I sometimes resent the fact that I am no good with people. I envy my other friends who have no problem going up to a total stranger and ask for directions. Some of them are even capable of going up to a total stranger and at the end of the conversation, exchange telephone numbers. It needs no special mention that these friends are guys and are obviously up to no good, but that is something else. The main point is, they are good at talking to people whereas I suck. Completely.

And that is troubling because for the next two weeks, I am required to talk to total strangers who I have never met before in my life and ask them about how many tablespoons of sugar do they take in a day and whether or not they believe that potatoes can make you fat. Not only that, in order to hunt down these strangers, I am required to ask for directions from other strangers. It's a catch-22 situation - there is no way out of it.

Of course the optimist will tell me that this would be a very good chance to overcome my inhibitions and learn how to talk in a civil manner to people who will one day become my patients. For once, I would have agreed with that thought were it not for the fact that some of my friends were greeted by barking, flea-infested dogs rather than scowling, sugar-infested patients. These anecdotes are very much a turn off for me to get in the chummy mood.

However, I guess that I really do not have a choice. Sooner or later, I will have to start opening my mouth and stutter some unintelligent sounds which were actually supposed to come out as 'Do you believe that preparing a diabetic meal is difficult?'. Unless my short term goal is to be the most hated person in the group for not pulling his weight, I'll have to start going through my Communication Skills for Dummies book. Pronto.

Friday, 20 February 2009

Finding And Losing

One of the reasons why we're so polite to strangers - I'm assuming we all are because we're civilised beings - is because we do not want to end up looking like we were the one raised up in a zoo without any proper training in social behaviour. Surprisingly (or should I say not?), when we've known someone for a substantial period of time, that feeling of having respect and showing some courtesy towards the said person disappears. It's true. Try doing a cohort study on it. Get to know somebody new in your life. Note how you treat the person during the first couple of days/weeks/months and continue this practice for a reasonable amount of time. The outcome of this can be anything from ending up as husband-and-wife to staying merely as acquaintances, but the important thing is to note how you behave towards that person. 

Do you still stop yourself short of saying 'Yes, your bum does look big in that outfit'

Are you starting to roll your eyes whenever it's their turn to talk?

Do you find yourself starting to act like a self righteous bastard with the person?

I'm not saying that I don't do it - I do. Especially the bastard bit, although I wouldn't really call myself self righteous. Ask my parents. They are sure to tell you of countless occasions where they took heart with what I said. Ask my friends. I'm sure there have been comments in the past which they have never really forgiven me for it. Ask anyone who knows me - you'll get the same kind of answer.

As cliched as it may sound - don't take people for granted. Unless you happen to be a baboon with inept social skills (which I am sure you are not), always remember that the people you meet in life may not necessarily always be there for you. And when that day comes, will they leave with fond memories or otherwise?

Note to self: why so serious?

Wednesday, 18 February 2009

Calling All Dinner Attendees!

An official photographer I am not, what more a professional photo editor. All apologies.

Having said that, support your local shooters with some smiles cash!

p.s. for more pictures of said dinner, please head over here. Modest Awe is always modest

Monday, 9 February 2009

My Friend The Shooter

Although I have mentioned Awe several times in my writings - and even invited him to be a guest writer once - I have yet to put up pictures worthy of embarrassing him. Call it polite manners or just sheer laziness on my part, the truth is that I am not giving him the due credit that he deserves.

So, in conjunction with 'Celebrate-Your-Buddy-Who-Persuaded-You-To-Take-Up-An-Expensive-Hobby' Day, here are pictures of the culprit, my very own friend Awe.

p.s. Considering the outstanding amount of *cough*manliness*cough* in the post this time around, it is well advised that readers head over to Yusoff's blog after this to rid themselves of any facial or bodily hair that they might have grown in the process of admiring Awe's manly physique. Thank you.



As you can see, the camera is permanently glued to his dominant eye

Sharing the spotlight with a...fuse box?

Awe is known to have the strength of 300 Persians SPARTANS

A photographer in captivity does not stop shooting

Awe is not amused by your lame composition

'Having a big camera adds colour to your personality' says Awe

Sunday, 8 February 2009

Sharing Is Caring. Or Is It?

Depending on what the item is, sharing can either be a good or bad thing. Examples of good sharing are sharing an ice-cream, sharing a funny anecdote and sharing an umbrella in the rain. Examples of good sharing that are less glamorous include sharing the responsibility of changing the baby's diaper or splitting the bill at dinner. And then there is bad sharing - sharing an email joke that is not funny and sharing a laugh together with a friend while everyone else in the cinema is crying their eyes out during the scene where the heroine dies in the arms of the hero, are both typical examples of bad things to share.

However, the two examples provided above are nothing compared to this other example of bad sharing - sharing with others the same problem over and over again till they've grown sick of it. 

Let's clear something up first: there's nothing wrong with sharing your problems with others. In fact, it's good because now you've got a friend (because you wouldn't share your problems with an enemy) to feel just as depressed as you are about another friend who called you all sorts of names and accused you of being a member of the extremist left wing party. However, when the same problem is re-told over and over again with no new details to it, isn't it time to move on to new things or at the very least, new problems?

Your former schoolmate now hates you. Get on with it.

Your former classmate doesn't remember you. Get on with it.

Your former love dumped you. Get on with it.

See what happens when you don't let go?

Even after two centuries, Grimm's fairy tales have withstood the test of time and people all over the world still enjoy them up to this day. I doubt your stories - or mine, for that matter - are able of achieving the same degree of success.

So get on with it.