Sunday, 24 October 2010

Hungry at Half Past One In The Morning Did This

When I was growing up in primary and secondary school, I didn't have that much of a chance to stay out of the house and explore the local geography. This would be in direct contrast to a boy of similar age living somewhere in say, Kampung Orang Asli Donglai Baru, Semenyih. However, it is understandable for my parents to be naturally worried that their firstborn son might be led astray by the bad influences of video game parlours or shopping malls should they let him go out too often. At least in the rural village, the biggest threat would only probably be the rabid, flea-infested neighbour's dog.

So when I reached the legal age to go outside and stay outside after 7 p.m. - if there's ever such a thing - you can imagine what it was like for me. Details are a bit hazy, but I think it did involve a lot a walking, perpetual sweating and a pair of dead tired legs by the end of the day. I really enjoyed not being at home at night partly because of the stuffy atmosphere in the house (still is) and partly because I was fascinated at how colourful the nightlife was. Simply put, I was like a moth hypnotized by the soft blue glow of a pendaflour light and I loved every moment of it.

But I'm older now and that excitement has worn off. A bit. Still, these days I do enjoy the occasional nocturnal escapade, especially if I have the spare dough for it since driving around the relatively quiet streets at night still uses fuel and fuel costs money; not to mention the late night supper of nasi lemak and iced milk tea. And it is usually during these late night suppers that I bump into young parents with their even younger children also enjoying the food on their plates.

Now, it strikes me as odd that such young children (I'm talking about as small as 3 months old) should be wide awake at such an ungodly hour, and eating while they're at it. Once, I came across such a family at 2 plus in the morning. Eyh, what's that about? Don't these kids need their sleep? I thought babies were supposed to be asleep more than half of the time and what's this I see?

I may not be in the best position to talk about the disciplining of bedtime habits of children since (a) I don't even have some of my own and (b) my own sleeping habits aren't exemplary - as you may be able to judge for yourself by now. But to me, it's still a bit weird and downright wrong that these parents should be bringing their children out at such an hour, especially if it's only to socialize with like-minded friends with children of their own. Even worse than that would be the parents that bring their children to the extra-late night markets that go on until the wee hours of the morning. Surely that can't be healthy, right?

Has the influence of nocturnal vampires (and to probably a lesser extent, the Twilight series) finally gotten to us? I don't know. I'm going out for a late night supper to clear my head now

Saturday, 9 October 2010

It's Crystal Clear, Isn't It?

I may or may not have mentioned this in the past, but I am blessed to have spent quite a good number of years growing up abroad, Edinburgh to be more precise. Though my memory is hazy when it comes to details, there are bits and pieces from that period of time which are very clear and vivid to me. Let's see...I remember going to Sciennes Primary School and running around the school grounds during recess. I remember having a red-haired boy as a best friend; Robert was his name. I also remember jumping up and down the apartment till the person downstairs (Mr McKenzie was his name, wasn't it?) came upstairs and blasted my parents for not taking care of their offspring.

Yes, good memories in all.

Another thing which I remember well is a game show that was on air at that time. It was called The Crystal Maze and it had me glued to the telly whenever it was on. And why wouldn't I be? A team testing their skills in a maze the size of two football pitches with a bald host named Richard O' Brien who talks nonchalantly makes for a fascinating watch, wouldn't you agree?

Intermission: I'm watching a clip of it on Youtube as I'm writing this

It was thrilling to watch the drama unfold as each member of the team took turns to play games testing them in terms of skill, strength or intelligence and if they failed to complete the challenge in the set amount of time, they'd be 'locked in'. On the other hand, if they successfully completed the game, they'd acquire a crystal which buys them more time for the final act - catching gold tokens flying in a flurry in a giant crystal dome.

According to Wikipedia - and the few comments I've read so far on Youtube - it was a massive hit among viewers; very fitting for a game show prepared on a massive scale. A healthy number of commenters have also cried out for a new season but I don't think the producers are in a hurry to build another giant maze after tearing the previous one down several years ago.

Is it too much to ask for to have The Crystal Maze replace some reality shows on Malaysian telly?