Wednesday, February 28, 2007

Last day of work

Today will be the last day of work for me in my present company as I've been well outplayed,outwitted, outlasted (err...wait thats from Survivor..LOL) or outsourced.So come tommorow it will be reporting to a new management.Sigh...the crossroads of life.At least I have my other half with me.She's amazing..

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Sunday, February 25, 2007

The New Year Post

Yep, i realize I am 7 days late, but hey, still not yet Chap Goh Mei technically its still CNY..... :D

This year somehow the whole buzz of Chinese New Year was not there.There is no feel , no lau juak . I came up with several conclusions as why this is such...

1)Somehow everyone is worried to openly use the word 'pig' in public due to increasing religious sensitivities these days.It has therefore been replaced with the more scientific, more politically correct term, Sus Scrofa Domesticus Day.It may also be called Year of the Uncooked Pork, or even Year of the Buta (Japanese for Pork).Oh yeah I was born in the year of the Pig as well :P

2)MENJ succeeded in converting everyone and declared lion dances to be unholy as it equates worshipping a cute adorable lion.

3)As it is the year of the Fire Pig, The fire consumed the pig and now we have roasted pork.New Year has been renamed Char Siew day.Everyone eats Char Siew Pau and stuff.The Japanese will then celebrate Chasu Ramen Day, a more noodley version of the celebrations.

4)We are all getting poorer, the economy is bad, people are broke and starving,prices have soared but should be eternally grateful to the almighty government as things could be worse, and they could decide to merajuk and let the hopeless opposition run things for once.Sure, the opposition have economists,politicians,lawyers,public administration experts and social scientists amongst their ranks but how could that possibly measure up to the infinite wisdom and countless successes of the government in promoting religious harmony, making us rich, lowering prices, building useful and beneficial projects,lowering tax, and all while keeping us from killing each other.And not to mention the effective use of public funds and law abiding, humble state executive councillors.

I digress.

Anyway, I would not complain for myself.God has been really kind to me this last one year , giving me all I needed and though humans are never satisfied with what they have, I am grateful for what He has given me la.

I guess for me, being a half breed Chinese myself, Chinese New Year means a time to ask for blessings in the coming year, but also ponder on the blessings already given.Often these are things we take for granted, our families, our homes, our partners, our friends, even our pets(Aibo does not count.They are mechanical :P)..things we do not cherish, or even think about until someday they are yanked from under us, and we moan and cry and wail and ask why we were not given more time to show our affection.Well, we had all the time in the world.We just forgot.

Also, we tend to eat into the finality of fate and how things will or will not work out for us based on hunches, telltale signs, horoscope and etc.Though I am fascinated by astrology, and spend a lot of my time reading on it sometimes, I believe we should not be shrouded in it to the point of paralysis.

Even in astrology, it is believed that even your very fate can be changed through deeds and actions.So why succumb to is not yet final?Wannabe sagely advice aside, New Year for me was moderate and pleasant.For one my sister was supposed to come home from the States to celebrate with us but cancelled,so it meant more angpow and food for me la, LoL.

Food consists of my mum's dinner for the Eve.Though there is only three of us, she still does it every year for tradition's sake.As fate would have it, I got a Chinese girlfriend, so I guess it means if all goes well I'd still be having Eve dinners :D. anyway my mum would make several dishes which is basically must have every year kind of thing. My favourites would include lobak (minced meat and vege and sometimes mashed yam in bean curd skin, rolled and fried) bang kuan char (dried squid,radish,carrots, chicken cooked together with a soy based sauce) ... this dish is eaten by Penangites, like my mum and dad with salad leaves and sambal belacan.To me sambal belacan is fine la, but salad leaves looks like rabbit food.Curry chicken or bak cham kai (steam chicken) and some prawn dishes top my charts. My mum will make some other stuff like trotters with sweet sauce la, intestines soup etc, but I basically don't touch organs la.

Chinese New Year day itself did pretty much nothing, visited some friends, and gambled a little bit.

On the 7th day went for an amazing date with my better half and it was really surreal.Its beautiful to share special holidays with special people.Its a hard to describe feeling, but a really beautiful one.I could go have cold water and plain bread with her and still feel dreamy and all :D
I guess sometimes its the company rather than location or activity.I had a lot more to type but most of it escaped me by the morning.Anyway Here's Wishing a Happy Chinese New Year to all my friends!! Keong Hi Fatt Chai...Nien Nien Khuai Le....Sam Siong Si Seng.. (Thats 3 different dialects ) :P

Thursday, February 15, 2007

A Wonderful Valentine

I remember in 2000, I spent Valentine's Day of Form 5, with a couple of my Secondary school buddies, who would later turn out to be my closest friends alive going out for a 'banana farm' outing to our local shopping center, followed by a yum cha session at a nearby bak kut teh shop.Back then, I remember laughing it all off as I knew somehow I would not spend it alone forever, or in the case of that day, with a bunch of guy friends.I even remember what we watched....Meet the Parents.

Fast forward 7 years later.....where I was spending most of Valentine's Day poring and perusing through my new employment contract and being in love with an amazing girl and thinking so much about her that its come to a point of annoying Nizam , Muslim activist and lawyer extraordinaire who stmubles across this humble blog of mine once in a while.

But God/St Valentine/Cupid/The Commercial Council of Valentine's Day has been kind to me this year.This year I am not wallowing in self pity as I have someone special to share this special day with.And a far cry from last week when I was sulking comparing my contract with I was getting in my current was a great improvement after much arguing with these guys I think to the point I am now officially labelled troublemaker (I kid...)

But its a good offer in the end, one that is really not such a bad one for my twenty three years of age to be getting la.So this Valentine's have got a bit to be thankful for.I joined my current post with two other guys who later became probably my closest friends here. (affectionately and sarcastically we are called the 'powderful' name of Three Stooges by our Teams' Execs/managers). And so the Three Stooges are no longer come next month.I guess Syer will be the only Stooge left la...continuing whatever legacy we have here :P

Spent the weekend at Satsuma at Cineleisure Damansara ... RM 18.90 for the Seafood Shabu Shabu , but I went for Beef Set at RM 23.90, was not bad, but Milkyboy had the set where you bakar the damn thing and I felt it was not worth only get the meat onli...nothing else...... plus the dashi (soup) was amazing la........pity last he had to add on to fill up LOL

Oh ya, the major hiatus was due to the fact I kena cough, cold, infection, muscular cramps and a badly sprained neck and was practically rendered incompetent, ineffective and unproductive for a grand total of 2 weeks , but I'm much better now....

Happy Valentine's People!! :)

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Kampung Wedding,Bhangra Clubbing and a Chinese Girlfriend

Last weekend I had the opportunity to attend a traditional Malay wedding in Kampung Perigi Nenas, Pulau Indah. It was by far the best Malay wedding I've attended by far.The togetherness and unity and brotherhood of the kampung folk really impressed me.I guess that would be the Islam expounded by Mahaguru58 and other pro Islam bloggers, save MENJ.

It was amazing to find out that the entire wedding cost was really very reasonable.And the cause of this was, according to Syer, the whole kampung would turun padang and provide their manpower to cook, in fact in Kedah where he hails from, the villagers would also donate rice and sugar, and only the cow, goats or chickens need to be provided by the family of the dude getting married.And here I am calculating the cost of my someday imminent wedding and my figure was somewhere around 70k onwards!I was aware of the concept of this kind of gotong royong in villages but not to this extent la.

And I was more amazed when Syer explained the concept of qariah....all along the only qariah/qari I knew was a title given to people who read the Al Quran (something I got from a textbook somewhere)

Apparently a qariah is a collection of faithful among a few villages where they organize weddings and other kenduri and stuff like that.Each qariah have their own tents, their own chairs, tables, cutlery and plates and glasses.CooL.....

So Group D Execs and Managers headed by my big boss dropped by and was served mihun, nasi lemak and a chicken dish I could not identify, plus a myriad of kuih.And that was only breakfast...apparently lunch and tea was to be served and it was to be heftier.Phew.

Come to think of it, only the Malays and Punjabis are the only two races I know in Malaysia that stil maintains this sense of culture.As I told Syer, the Chinese used to have this dish for weddings where it was many dishes cooked and placed in one layered pail-like dish and that was the traditional wedding feast.Look today and you have many new funky dishes like oatmeal prawn and marmite chicken served at Chinese weddings.Drag out any terracotta soldier from the Ming dynasty and put him in Tai Thong or Four Seasons and chances are he will be lost as to what and how to eat this dishes!

As for Punjabi weddings or Indian weddings held in temples, I usually don't go there as for one, its almost 99.9% Hindus or Sikhs only, respectively.Not only will I be one of the two or three people not wearing a turban or a dhoti there, but the food is vegetarian usually and I am not really used to that kind of vegetarian dishes as they are unusually hot or sour from my experience.I only usually go if I am really close to the bridegroom or bride.Or we are related.

Buddhist wedding ceremonies ( not the traditional Chinese ones with tea ceremony...the Buddhist ones with chanting monks) are kinda cool.I've been to my cousin's wedding in Penang at the Reclining Buddha temple by some Buddhist monks from Burma.Having grown up reading quite a dose of Buddhist teachings, I actually recognized some of the prayers being said, like the Panchasila (Vinaya) or the Three Refuge (Buddham Saranam Gachami) or the Buddha Vandana so it was kinda like I related more to what was being said.

My takes on Buddhism was heavily influenced by a book I read when I was in Standard Two (when I should have been reading Enid Blyton or Agatha Christie...or by Malaysian Standards Peter and Jane :P) called Two Masters- One message by Roy C. Amore realy hit me hard.In fact this book was the one that spilt my interest in religion, going on to read Lives of Saints and later on, towards the end of Primary school, Utopia by Thomas More,Summa Theologica by Thomas Aquainas, and In Defense of The Faith... by Alphonsus Ligouri (who are all by the way, canonized Catholic saints)

Though the other great religions, monotheistic or deistic in nature had their messages, I always saw Siddharta's and Jesus' message to be really identical- self sacrifice, peace and love.

OK....enough about religion.We then went over to sleep (the Group D kakis) and fast forward few hours later were at Absolute Chemistry Bangsar to celebrate 3 birthdays in January.It turned out to be Bhangra nite and no one was dancing or enjoying themselves ......only one old Chinese auntie and a fat Punjabi uncle.The rest of us were generally feeling like this.".................................................................................................!!!WTF!!................................." The final straw was when we , easily the highest spending group in the whole damn club, requested Guns and Roses and were declined and the Birthday song played was in Hindi!...The only closest to an English song was Usher's Yeah Yeah followed by Bhangra...Users Yeah Yeah followed by Bhangra....grrr...geramnya.

Then we finally moved on to Lockup next door where the music was definitely more English, waitresses were wearing this SM like costume with handcuffs and Mathan finally got a chick...

As for me, I am where I am happily attached with a Chinese girlfriend.(The reason I brought her up was I thought it would be a nice way to end the post...something Malay, something Indian and something Chinese la.... :P)

Oh ya, and I swear I thought I saw Jojo Struys outside La Bodega that night, but the rest of the gang either did not believe me, did not know who she was or did not really give a f*ck.Or in Mathan's case, was way too drunk to remember where he was.Happy birthday dude.