Friday, February 24, 2006


I don't give a...
Keep looking at my...
'Cause it don't mean a thing if you're looking at my...
I'm a do my thing while you're playing with your...
Ha, ha-ha, ha-ha, ha-ha

Those lines have been playing in mind a lot lately. This is because everyday, without fail, I hear the song at least once on Fly. And it doesn’t help that it’s catchy. It’s not like I could sing it out loud in a lift. I might as well be walking around in a skirt.

Ooh I found something interesting in my inbox today – an email from Afdlin Shauki! It’s probably a generic email but it did started off with a ‘Oits Faizad Swanky’ salutation so that made me happy enough. You see, I subscribed to his Projek Hilang Akal a few months back but was unlucky not to receive a free copy of his Fuyoo CD. Ah no worries. I always support him. At least I went to see Buli Balik and Cilok at the cinemas rather than downloading it or buy the pirated DVD version. Anyway he’s promoting his Projek Hilang Akal 2 in which he set up an online store, I think, selling stuff like t-shirts and, oh you just check it out at his blog page. There’s a link at the side.

Oh crap it’s still another day tomorrow. And I have been pleading to Jes almost everyday to menyibuk at her Ascott room but to no avail. She rejected me every time. Ah sangapnye.

PGL The Musical. I enquired about it last Monday and guess what? Sold out (duh!). I mean totally till the end of the run on Feb 26. Then they decided to extend it a further 2 days more. A glimmer of hope maybe? That too sold out in less than 3 hours. It makes me wonder, is the show that good or are we Malaysians desperate for a different form of entertainment these days? Oh well, I guess it’s still GSC and TGV for me at the moment.

Audit, audit, audit…

Monday, February 20, 2006

Jes' Ascott

Jes is from Penang. But Jes is working in Sarawak. However, right now, she is stationed at KLCC and her current residence for the next 5 months is at The Ascott. Oh yes, The Ascott. And her most frequent guest is me.

Last year Ity came to KL to help with an exhibition that her company was participating in that was held at the Convention Centre. And for the few days that she was here, she got to stay at The Ascott. As expected, I tried my luck to get her to let me visit her upstairs. But since she had a roommate, my efforts were futile. Inappropriate and everything. An opportunity missed. So I guessed I just had to wait for Ity’s next visit for my next shot. Which is why it made me so happy after finding out Jes’ situation.

I knew Jes is to stay at KL for the next 5 months but all the while I assumed she was staying with her sister at Kota Damansara. The delightful revelation came when Apau, Tomok, Nebu and I decided to go for a movie last Friday. While the rest decided to stop by at TAR College for dinner at nasi lemak d bomb, I came straight from my ACCA class, which ended about 9.30 pm, to KLCC. To ease my impending boredom upon their arrival, Tomok suggested I persuade Jes to join us.

“Jes? Where is she now?” still at the office?
“She’s at The Ascott,”
“The as… The Ascott!?”

A quick call to Jes and 10 minutes later I was lounging at her living room, 32 storeys up. It was awesome. Just simply awesome. And no, she has no roommates. Darby Park is probably slightly more lavish but I have no complains with Ascott. What can I say? It’s a luxurious fully-furnished apartment. It’s spacious, comfortable, the whole range of Astro channels, a Sony TV, a Sony DVD player, a Sony Stereo and it’s on the 32nd floor. Just 1 floor below the penthouse. The view was second to none. I could’ve stayed there all night just chillin’. It almost made me feel sorry to leave for the movie.

Later that night, the last thing I thought about before going to bed was The Ascott. The first thing that hit my mind the next morning when I woke up was The Ascott. The whole day at class I only thought about The Ascott. Aah~The Ascott. Surely enough, by the time it was 5, I just had to drop by again.

At first I though I was going to check out the pool area located on the 22nd floor (nak
tengok mat salleh chillin’ kat tepi pool). But the sofa was sooo nice, I even dozed off a while. Sorry ah, mok. Terpaksa beksteb sikit. Layan duh bilik Jes. But I couldn’t stay for the night (even though it was incredibly tempting) as I decided to join Tomok and the gang at OU. A little boys night out.

I though about visiting Jes again on Sunday but since she had to go out during the day and her bedtime is around 9, the trip wouldn’t be worth it. So I guess that’s it for the week. Next weekend she plans to go back to Penang. So I guess the next time I can come again is many, many days more-lah. But no worries. She is available until July. Haih, Jes is going to be so muak seeing my face.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

February 14th

There are supposed to be at least two prefects to monitor the school’s office hallway. To prevent other children from running around and make unnecessary noises around the area during recess time. It was at SRK Gombak 1 and I was one of those prefects. I was 9 years-old and my partner for the day was a brown-haired girl with blue eyes who went by the name of Lily. I suspect her to be of a Eurasian descent because I never did ask her because the term was unknown to me back then.

She was already lovely back then. But since we were both 9, the feeling of affection never came naturally to us. I merely viewed her as a colleague. Now, years later in 2006, how I wish to meet her once again. I’m still hoping for that dream to come true, now and again. I could only imagine the 24 year old version of Lily. She must be absolutely gorgeous, with her delicate smile and contagious laugh. She would’ve been every boy’s dream. Sadly, my memory only stretches as far back to standard 3 because by the time I reached 10, my whole family had to move to Kuantan. And there, I was enrolled to an all-boys school because it was one of the top schools in the district. Sure enough, I got 4As in my UPSR, which led me to SAS, one of the top schools in the country but also an all-boys school. During all the important development years of my life I have spent in at all-boys schools. Imagine if I had co-ed all this time. I would have been some Casanova. It’s true. Even during those Lily days, she and I were always on good terms. And I had very friendly relationships with all of her friends. Oh how much would I give to be still in touch with Lily. She might have been my first crush but it took me years to realize that. But do I actually regret about sacrificing a what-might-have-been to pursue a better education? No, I could not. No one can. How could anyone substitute good education for a childhood fling? It’s just unthinkable. In my case, it just has to be classified as being unfortunate. Life isn’t fair. As far as Lily is concerned, she is probably someone’s wife by now. Or even mother. There are other fishes in the sea. True. But you always had that revisiting memory of that one that got away.

My little story for today. Happy Valentine’s Day.

The Theater of Saloma

Last night I went to dine at Saloma Theater Restaurant. After years of pondering the possibility, the opportunity finally presented itself. My mother was to entertain dignitaries from WHO on behalf of the Health Ministry. As so, she decided to bring along her two sons to keep her company. So, there we were, my brother and me, along with Kak Cahaya, sitting a few tables away from where my mother and her entourage were.

Ambience wise, Saloma does look and feel nice. It does well combining 1950s design and modern day comfort. We booked dinner for the international buffet with the cultural show by the Saloma dancers.

The dinner was satisfactory to say the least. It is better than Seri Angkasa at Menara KL, if I may say so. It is coined ‘international’ but it was more of a Malaysian variety. Apart from the spaghetti and French pastries, you have your usual rendang, satay and 4 different types of kerabu. But the main attraction, of course, is the cultural show.

For me, as a Malaysian, it wasn’t really something to shout about but the foreigners were absolutely loving it. Video cameras, digital cameras, camera phones, you name it. They were all snapping and recording. The show is to go on while the patrons were enjoying the meal so since people normally are unlikely to spend more than a half hour having dinner, they have a tight schedule because they have to finish by the time the people are done eating. So it was a quick show. They were all sorts of dances. From Kuda Kepang to Zapin, from Indian dances to Portuguese. It was towards the end of the show, when most people had already finished their meal, that the performers invite participation from the crowd. I have to admit it was quite clever. Not new but certainly clever. All in the name of promoting Malaysia. So after a few rounds of sumpit-ing and quick lessons on the Buluh dance, the Saloma dancers topped it all off with the now customary Malaysia, Truly Asia song. The show ended at around 9.30 and with it the dinner and the event. Everybody started to leave and that was it. From my experience tonight, I can tell you two different views. One, if you’re Malaysian, Saloma would not offer anything new or different. It’s just another fancy restaurant. It could serve as a good family outing but for a date, it would spell disaster. Unless your partner really does enjoy cultural shows. That would mean she or he, is not Malaysian and that would be really impressive. Which brings me to my second view. If you have some foreigner friend coming from the States or Japan, then Saloma would be a very good choice. To them, it is something new and different rather than taking them to a fancy meal of truffles and foie gras which they could get them back home anyway. Just like what my mother did with those WHO people.

Now, I want to talk about When Harry Met Sally. It’s a classic and it’s been around for maybe more than ten years but I only managed to watch just right now. And they were right, it is a classic. It is probably the first movie that successfully tackled the romantic comedy genre and it did it by raising one of the most discerning issues between a man and a woman can have to this day – the platonic relationship. Billy Crystal quoted the final line from Casablanca as one of the best movie lines ever. But in the movie, he too said a memorable line too. “A man can never be friends with an attractive woman because sex always gets in the way”. It could not be said any better. Women would disagree with this and find it difficult to understand but ask any men and they would acknowledge some truth in that. And you just have the see the classic scene at the diner where Meg Ryan demonstrated to Billy Crystal how easy it is for a woman to fake an orgasm. By the time she finished moaning, a waiter was ready to take an order from the lady at the next table and she said, “I’ll have what she’s having,” Find the time and effort for it. It’s up there alongside Sleepless in Seattle. It’s one of those philosophical love stories. It’ll be worth it.

Now, Jessica Alba. 2.5 million people voted on and it’s a majority opinion that Jessica Alba is the most desirable girlfriend material out in the world there today. I couldn’t agree more. If money was no reason and in some cataclysmic way I could wish for anything in the world, I would love and be eternally grateful to even have a date with Ms. Alba, let alone have her as a girlfriend. And she beat some stiff competition. Anjelina Jolie, Sienna Miller and Eva Longoria to name a few. Even Anna Kournikova got bumped way down to number 99. One thing I do hope though for her, that she gets better movie roles because her debut film, Honey, was so terrible. It belongs there in the group along with You Got Served, Drumline and Bring It On. Pointless movies. The only movie that was worse is Yamakasi but that’s French so that doesn’t count. Thank goodness there’s Fantastic Four and Into The Blue. To Jessica Alba, the only thing that would go well with whipped cream apart from ice-cream.

Now, about Richard Quest. Quest is a CNN correspondent and is the only man working at the network that I like. He hosts the show Quest and Talking Movies. I managed to catch him on television on two occasions. One when he was interviewing Hugh Hefner, celebrating his 75th anniversary of his Playboy magazine, I think and he asked the most interesting of questions. My favorite was, “Do you have as much sex as people has perceived you do?”. Hefner gave out a small laugh. He didn’t actually answer the question but he did point out that he currently has 3 girlfriends, all Playmates, and they all live happily in the Playboy mansion. And that’s the toned down version of Hugh Hefner because he added that at one point he had 7 girlfriends and he admitted that it was a tough job. Towards the end Quest made it known that Mr. Hefner is probably the luckiest man alive and every man in the world is envy of his position. I’m one of them.

The second time I saw Quest was when he did a piece on the current state of theater. In that he met with Kevin Spacey. A brilliant actor and the reason you’re seeing less of him in Hollywood movies because he’s doing what he feels gives him more purpose and personal growth – become the artistic director of the Old Vic, one of the oldest theaters in London. He would still do movies here and there but between theater work and not the other way around, as the popular choice would normally be. Then Quest went on and interviewed theater critics from London and New York, talked to Andrew Lloyd Webber and his phenomenal Phantom, and the Blue Man group and Broadway legend Chita Rivera.

The tone of the ‘quest’ is that the theater scene is dying. Problem is, it’s always been like that. The theater is always dying but never did. People say that going to the theater is a fading trend. But the truth is things have been quite well. Broadway and places like the Old Vic and the Palladium have been receiving a good stream of crowds. And despite people believing otherwise, the theater scene is alive and well. Which brings me to our local theater scene.

People are concerned about the supposedly declining state of theater in places like New York and London, which have been the home of plays and musicals ever since theater began. Compare to the Malaysian scene, I have to admit, we are still in its infancy. Not until a few years ago, going to the theater is becoming a cool trend. Just a few days ago, a lecturer of mine asked his students for suggestions for his Valentine’s Day date. He thought about taking her to dinner but since she’s a vegetarian, the night could turn out to be a distasteful one. So I gave the suggestion of taking her to the theater and he said, “Why didn’t I though of that?”. He was pleased with the idea. I was particularly pleased with myself because in line with Chita Rivera’s motto, I have inspired another into the world of theater. Chita Rivera had said that one of her most powerful motivations to perform on stage for the past decades is that in every show, there is that one person who is a first-time visitor and if she could inspire that one person to enjoy the show that night and make him come back for another, her mission was accomplished. Which is what happened to me when watching But That’s Another Story. I know it’s a stand up comedy rather than a proper theater presentation but nevertheless the experience has inspired me to come for more. Although financial constraints has come into consideration in more times than one. Which made me having serious thoughts about PGL The Musical lately. I would like to ask my mother but she has this personal dislike towards Tiara Jacquelina ever since she stole laki orang. So, interesting developments awaits in the next few days. Watch this space.


Friday, February 10, 2006

My Big Red Chinese New Year

Gong Xi Fa Cai! I know it’s a bit late but I would’ve wished it sooner if it wasn’t for Streamyx (what a bunch of cocksters).

Anyway, my last 10 days or so has been very enthralling and indulging. I don’t think I’m up for writing everything in detail so I’ll just KISS (keep it short & simple).

It all began on Friday, January the 27th. Everything was fine for me but it was a different story for my youngest brother, Fawwaz. The long Chinese New Year holidays are coming up so Friday was the day everyone at boarding schools nationwide was to pack and leave for home. KUSESS was no exception. Like any 15 year old, he decided to have a slight detour first before heading home. A couple of friends and him decided for Mid Valley. That was fine. Then, about 6 pm, I was at home and my mother just got back from the office and we received a distressing call from my brother saying he was mugged. He was calling from the Pantai Police Station. Since it was my mother who answered the phone, everything suddenly went hysterical. Drama, drama, drama. I, on the other hand, had to postpone giving Valerie a carwash. I’m not sure why I was so calm upon hearing the news. Probably the fact that the phone call came from a police station rather than a hospital assured me that as of that moment, everything was fine.

Since it was rush hour, it took us about an hour to reach Pantai. As expected my brother was fine. But my mother, being a mother couldn’t help but be worried sick. Surprising story though, one of the muggers was caught. Yes, caught and yes, there was more than one. And he got away. The one caught could be seen squatting at the corner, handcuffed at the back. He had the standard kutu jalan face. Hardly deserve a place in society.

The story was my brother was originally attempted to be conned by those two men. Supposedly by officers of authority. The ayat pancing was that my brother was displaying elements of black metal influence in his clothing. He just happens to be wearing a Swatch watch that had the anarchy symbol printed all over the strap. It was understandably a valid reason at first but somewhere along the way my brother detected something was amiss. But this was only after his handphone was ‘seized’ by the first conman and had gone out of sight. The second conman, or I would prefer to call him ‘the dumb apprentice’ had the nerve to demand that my brother emptied his pockets, which includes his wallet, a Sony Digicam and a Creative MuVo. As the second man started to walk away, my brother followed behind. Sensing too that his cover has blown, he tried to dismiss my brother away. When that didn’t worked, he hit my brother, right in the face. And surprisingly my brother confronted him, presumably pissed off. A struggle ensues and now, the thief, tried to ran away. My brother gave chase, of course. And it was a long one. Almost as near to the Pantai Police Station. For those of you who don’t know, it’s near the Putra LRT Kerinchi stop. That is quite some way from Mid Valley, I can tell you. He finally stumbled upon a crowd and was apprehended with the help from the public. And this was near a bus stop somewhere far. The people at Mid Valley hardly gave any care. They were too busy cuddling with their bitches.

So, wallet, MP3 player and digicam retrieved but handphone lost. The dumb apprentice caught but sleazy mentor escaped. All that’s left was one upset 15 year old. This is one thing nobody needed to start off the long holidays. But he’s safe and that’s most important.

However, since a suspect was caught my brother had to make a statement to the Investigating Officer at the Brickfields District Police Headquarters. We had dinner first but even after then, we had to wait a long time for the IO because there are other cases he had to handle as well. So, while waiting, my mother, being a woman and all, just had to tell everybody what had happened. Sounding the alarm bells a little too hastily to be honest. Sure enough, my grandmother came. And so did some of my uncles and aunts. It was becoming a little family gathering at the IO’s office. I was quite amused seeing the bewilderment on the officer’s face at the sudden rush of people coming in.

The official business was over soon after but now everyone wanted to know all the details. So since the headquarters’ parking lot wasn’t the ideal place to have a chat, we all headed down to Devi’s Corner at Bangsar for an unplanned family get together while having a late night supper.

The clock ticked long into the night as I even had to delay my attendance to the mesyuarat tergempar (more on this later on) at Pelita KL. The family gathering ended about at 1 am. It had already been a long day so I was kind of glad when we finally reached home at about half an hour later. I took a refreshing shower and was already getting ready for bed when I remembered my mates at Pelita. So I gave a quick call, telling them I probably won’t make it. But they were having none of it. They were there since 11 and they still felt the night was still young. So I thought, what the hell. I grabbed my keys, wallet and phone, started the car and off to Jalan Ampang.

I arrived maybe a little half past 2 and 3 out of my 4 mates were still there. The other one had to call it a day. The purpose of the mesyuarat tergempar was to discuss the Genting plan. 7 young men on a would-be awesome trip to Genting. Leaving all the stress and girlfriends behind for awhile. It was bound to be a success. It had fun and joy written all over it. The meeting that night was to discuss the final details pertaining to the trip. What time do we move, whose car will we be using, who gets to ride with who and so on. But being guys we ended up discussing everything else but Genting. For starters, when I arrived I told the story about what happened with my brother and why I was at Brickfields when they called me. One topic led to another and we strayed time and again, but the topic that was the supposedly the purpose of the so called meeting. By around 3, the clubbing people started to arrive so now we couldn’t help ourselves but cuci mata on all the lovely amois. There’s even a group of women who sat at the table next to ours and boy did they smelt good.

Everyone finally admitted to being sleepy at about 4 something which was when we decided to head home for some shut eyes. The Genting plan was to be executed the next day, by the way but as far as the meeting was concerned, nothing was decided. We were as clueless as we were before. But those lean amoi legs was definitely worth something. As for me, well, I was still undecided since that terrible thing with my brother. I wasn’t sure it was proper for me to leave for a fun trip while the mood in the house wasn’t exactly the best. It was almost dawn when I got home. The world was waking up and I was calling it a night.

I woke up at about 11 and surprised to find the house empty. Then I found out the rest of the family, except for my father, went out for a movie. Guess the mood wasn’t so bad after all. Genting plan seemed good to go. So after a final few calls here and there, the bandwagon finally arrived to pick me up. The bandwagon came in the form of a 2005 CRV, courtesy of Macho@Muchas@Machiko, my former head boy. Cipoi was to join us later on his own. It was finally a settled party of 6. That’s Muchas, Watai, Bulu, Ridhu, Cipoi and yours truly Badoque. It was about 3 when we left my home which was the final pickup point. But we got onto the highway only at 5.30pm due to some pointless but necessary stops we had to make.

Among the 6, I was the most recent visitor to Genting. The rest haven’t been to Uncle Lim’s playground since they were in primary school. So it wasn’t surprising to see them become hysterically excited even at the mere sight of the resort, halfway up the hills. To saviour every moment, we even stopped at the pagoda you can find at the middle of the journey. There was nothing there but it’s amazing what a bunch of ‘kids’ can turn that into somewhat a fun experience.

We arrived, tremendously giggly, at the top at about 7. We checked in at First World, cheapest room available, of course. The target of the night was simple. To chill until 4 am, no matter what. So after a tasteless dinner, we came back to our room just to freshen up before we went out again and pledge ourselves not to return until bedtime i.e. 4 o’clock. For starters we just went around the indoor theme park. Luckily there was a little autoshow on and I get to have a close-up view of a royal blue 550 Barchetta and get behind the driver’s seat of an X5 (keys were not in the ignition, sadly). Aside from that, the indoor park was pretty docile. Only the lights were the only form of attraction. So we went chillin’ outside for awhile, near the Flying Coaster ride, or as we like to call it, the Spider-man ride. You see, we had this stupid game going on where for no logical reason, our outing that night had us wearing nothing but plain T-shirts. No sweaters, jackets or long-sleeves whatsoever. Nak tengok sape paling tahan sejuk konon. At one point we opted to walk out in the open air to Genting Hotel instead of using the warmer indoor route. What a bunch of stupid kids but none of us would admit it.

(front to back) Ridhu, Me, Cipoi, Bulu and Watai. Notice that all of us wore nothing but plain T-shirts (except for Cipoi, who cheated by wearing a jacket)

When we arrived at the center square i.e. in front of Genting Hotel, we noticed some of the staff were hanging those long red strips of firecrackers on each of the flag poles in front of the hotel lobby. Then we remembered it was Chinese New Year’s Eve and sure enough, those firecrackers will be lit at the stroke of midnight. Since it was still more than an hour away, we decided to head back for a drink at Starbucks (one of the sub-objectives of the night). I, for one, got the chance to relax as my feet are killing me. So we killed time like we normally do – talking and having a few laughs. When it was about time we get a move on back to central square and by the time we got there, it was already crowded. Talk about word of mouth. While waiting for the clock to strike twelve, we had the chance to view a lot of nice amoi legs. Most of them are going to have one hell of a good time tonight, that’s for sure. Just not with us. Then suddenly the first firecracker went off. It was a rapid series of loud explosions and the crowd loved it. They were about 12 poles, I think, but they only light one at a time. Two the most. At random pick. It was quite engaging. And it was loud. You can’t hear yourself talking.

When the last firecracker finally gave its last burst, the crowd gave a roaring applause but they were caught surprised when they found out the show was yet to be over when the sky suddenly came into life with an awesome fireworks display. It just like the ones you get at KLCC when it’s New Year’s Eve or Merdeka Day. But this was better. The air was cool, you’re not stuffed by a huge crowd and the displays are really just above your heads. So there we were, celebrating Chinese New Year with Uncle Lim.

After the show we went back inside and went loitering around once more. But this time we separated for awhile. Muchas and me decided to check out the sports bar and watch Bolton vs Arsenal. The rest went somewhere else. I was bored because the match was so dull and I nearly fell asleep. At half-time we decided to leave as the place was getting deserted. The group got back together and for a final fling, we decided to go for a snack. One thing good about Genting is that the fast food outlets never close so that’s where we went – a Burger King joint. We were not going to eat in, where’s the fun in that? It had to be somewhere outside – al fresco style. So we went scourging the area and finally settled near the bus terminal. Just because it had proper seats and near to our hotel. Since it was about 3 am, the place was relatively quiet. Armed with our warm junkfood, we once again went into chillin’ mode. But once in a while, a strong breeze came and everyone just locked up almost in unison. It was like a cruel joke from the Ice Queen. But the fog was a welcome sight. Another milestone was achieved when we finally able to gust out puffs of white air from our mouths. Ha macam orang putih. We were clearly delighted.

We finished our late snack at about close to 4. Walking down the corridor on our way to our room, we noticed a lot of the doors had a ‘Do Not Disturb’ sign hanging on the knobs. One can only guess what is going on behind those doors. A lot of huffing and puffing, not to mention moaning, I can tell you that.

Everybody went asleep right about before 4. So in a way, mission accomplished.

We woke up surprisingly early, about 9 in the morning. After a good morning bath, we all packed up as we want to check out straightaway. Less hassle that way.

As for breakfast, it was Egg McMuffin all around. Yeah, breakfast of champions. That day was the day of reckoning. It’s outdoor park day. So after a good morning walk we paid the RM36 for our one-day outdoor pass.

The first target – The Space Shot, or more commonly known as The Solero Shot. Seriously, I don’t know where the name came from. But since only Cipoi and myself were the only one that have ever to taste the Solero, we were considered compulsory candidates. The rest just told us of how harrowing their past experiences had been. But somehow Watai decided to join Cipoi and me for the ride. Sweet and kind? Or just maybe stupid and crazy. For me, I was already dreading the decision the moment I lined up.

The screams from the patrons before me didn’t help quease my fears. When our turn came I was almost in a nervous wreck. The moment I was strapped in my seat I regretted every single decision that had me led to this. As the platform was raised to the top slowly there was nothing much I could do except pray. Pray that I don’t die of a heart attack. Then the ‘clang’ sound came and I was dangling almost 100 feet in the air. The view was beautiful. You could see a huge portion of the hills below and how small those go-karts look. All this while, of course, my heart was pumping at three times its normal rate, waiting for the inevitable. Watai, on my left and being the idiot that he is, gave out a 3-2-1 countdown. Twice. But nothing happened. Just when he about to start another one, it was freefall. I just locked. The speed was too quick for me to even react or even scream. I could barely remember the strong air turbulence coming from below. It was when we reached down for the first jolt that I could collect my thoughts, and let out a loud swear that I think the whole park would have heard. As I went bopping up and down I let all my regret be known to world. Screaming and cursing all the way. By the time the ride was over I was a mess, physically and mentally. And I was panting. For the first time ever, I felt an insufficient amount of adrenaline running through my blood. It took me quite a while to calm down and refocus my thoughts. After that, right, to the Corkscrew.

The Corkscrew doesn’t scare me as much because of two things. One, I’ve been on the scariest ride in the park so this should be second scariest at best. And two, I’ve been on it before, years ago when I was a little boy and I enjoyed it. So I was the most optimistic of the lot. But at the initial climb I felt fear building up again. I don’t remember the first climb to be this high aaaaahhhhhh!!

The G-forces of the ride felt more violent than before and I wondered why. It was when the world turned upside down that I realized I used to weigh a lot less when I was little boy. Now, with the added weight, well, Physics 101. But by the end, it was still a fun ride. And yes, the Solero was scarier.

We went about searching for the next ride and we came upon the Sg Rejang Flume Ride. The line was short but it was moving terribly slow because the ride itself was slow. When we got our own flumes, we had to dayung the damn thing just to increase the fun factor. There were two climbs during this ride and at first, we thought, ah cacing. Then we came to the first one and it was a slow 45-degree climb and we thought, oh shit, this ain’t gonna be nice. And sure enough, the downward speed was surprisingly quick and we all got soaked by the water splash at the bottom. By the second climb we were better prepared but still screamed because the second climb was higher than the first one.

After getting off with our wet shoes and hair, we set off to our next ride which caught our attention before we went on the flume ride – The Rolling Thunder Mine Train. I’ve been on this one before and so I know that this one is the most harmless of all coaster rides at Genting. No loops or huge dives, just a succession of sharp corners – which can be very fun the very least. And we did have fun. Everyone agreed it was the most enjoyable ride of all. Layan, layan.

For a final touch, we all chipped in for Macho to have a go at a little archery gig. You see, he used to be in the MSN programme at school but it had been years since he picked up a bow. But the rest of us wanted to see him in action for some sentimental reasons. We got him 15 arrows and yeah, he was rusty but did manage a bullseye in one attempt.

After that we just went back to our CRV and starter our descent. The Genting holiday was over. But after stuffing ourselves with junk food since the day before, we were all yarning for some descent food. So, by the time we reached down, we stopped at the first R&R and went for nasi campur. And, damn, was it good.

After a very satisfying lunch we went our separate ways. And the hot day made me felt like a Gremlin. More so after coming down from Genting. I didn’t break even a single sweat you know all my time up there.

Normally after a good trip such as that, you would like to take the time to kick back at home, to rejuvenate yourself. But this time no. That very night I had a futsal session with the boys, as always. But this time it was on a Sunday. Normally we would do it on a Friday. So the crowd was different. A lot more children and parents. Not like the usual crowd of teenagers and young adults.

I was expecting my performance to drop due to the trip fatigue and all but it was not to be. My team went about 4 times king, I think. So that was good, compared to a few weeks back when we had none. That was a night to forget.

The next day was nothing much except for my birthday dinner with my family. Initially my brother wanted to take us to Fatty Crab at Pandan Indah but to our dismay the outlet has closed shop. So we went to its main branch at Mines. But, surprise surprise, it was closed for Chinese New Year. So in a daring move we headed to Putrajaya. At first we stopped at Taman Pertanian Warisan or Agricultural Heritage Park. What’s interesting, at the middle of the Visitor’s Complex they’ve set up small cafes and restaurants which people can dine out in the open air. But after checking it out I deemed it score low in the variety section so the answer was no. Our next target was the Putrajaya Lake Club and after some complication looking for the damn place we found it. Just so you know, the signboards were confusing. The view is lovely but the food is average at best. But since it’s already late and everyone was obviously starving, we just picked a table and ordered. And the price was steep, unless you are a member. And since we don’t own a boat, it didn’t even crossed our minds to even apply.

So, Taman Warisan Pertanian is interesting if you plan to visit there during the day time and The Lake Club is hardly worth mentioning unless you have your own boat or yacht and live in Putrajaya.

Tuesday was spent buying the foodstuff for the family trip to Port Dickson the next day. One of my uncles works for UDA Holdings and he has reserved the two UDA bungalows at Teluk Kemang. We were to spend one night there, from the 1st February to the 2nd with my mother’s parents, two of my uncle’s families and the family of our own. So yeah, it was a big party. One of the main activities was to have an open air barbeque with the whole family and the Tuesday the 31st was spent preparing all the chickens, meat and lamb chops.

Come February I woke up with a bit of discomfort at the back of my right knee. A muscle strain, I thought. I could probably walk it off. Everybody was up early and making the final preparations. You see, it’s different. A trip with your mates you only need 10 minutes to get ready but with the whole family, you need hours at least.

We finally got going at about 11 am. But since I went out the night before watching Buli Balik (and may I add that it was the most satisfying experience I ever had coming out of a cinema after watching a local movie since Fenomena) and chilled afterwards at Pelita Subang until about 2 am, I dozed off by the time we hit Jalan Tun Razak. My right leg was still killing me though. It was fine when I’m sitting down. It just hurts when I try to stand up straight. Oh well.

We arrived at Teluk Kemang at around 1 pm. But we had to wait until the previous occupants vacant the bungalows. Until then, we decide to refresh ourselves with a bit of minum-minum. It was when I stepped out of the car that I realized my pain has worsened. I cannot fully extend my right leg. I had to walk like a Dr. House but problem is I don’t have a cane so my movement was really slow and awkward. But the pain was still bearable.

At around 3 we finally managed to move into the bungalows and it was impressive. It wasn’t luxurious but it has loads of space. The rooms were huge and air-conditioned. It has got Astro and a DVD player. And the Astro unit is connected to another TV upstairs. That’s good or bad depends on how you look at it. Outside, the lawn is lovely, equipped with its very own barbeque place and those round cement tables and chairs with the umbrella sticking out in the middle of it.

Since it’s too early and too hot to venture out onto the beach, we all stayed in for the meantime. As for me, well, the car nap wasn’t good enough to satisfy my sleep craving. And what better way to relieve that with a good bed in an air-conditioned room. I had a good two hours.

By the time I wake up I was jolted by pain. The throbbing at the back of my right knee was truly getting worse. I even had trouble getting out of bed. As I made my way to the sofa outside one disturbing thought occurred to me – could it be gout all over again? Oh no. That will almost certainly ruin my PD holiday. It couldn’t be. Gout usually happens around the thumbs and toes, not the knees. Besides my pain wasn’t coming from the joint. It was coming from behind it. As I try to rest my leg and hoping it to become better, many things cross my mind. The most often one was how I want to go to the beach that evening. Coming to PD without dropping by the beach? You’ve got to be kidding me. As I sat there contemplating my choices, the pain wasn’t getting any better. Until I realized I could barely move anymore because the pain was just too overwhelming. I tried to stand by holding onto to something but that too proved to be torturing. So in the end I gave in and called for help. I needed my cousins’ help just to get downstairs but it was incredibly painful all the while. I was staring at a ruined holiday right in the face. By this time people are already barbeque-ing and boy was the smell good. I would love to help but in that state I was pretty much immobile. After the food was ready, people had to bring the food to me. Bring me water and seconds. It made me look like a king but it felt rather embarrassing. My parents were to take me to the hospital after dinner and so they did.

And since it was a Government hospital we had to wait a long time. Since I made it known that I was experiencing pain even when I’m doing nothing, the attendant gave me two pills of PONSTAN painkillers. It reduced the pain but it took a while to kick in. So while I’m waiting, begging for the painkillers to have more effect I came to a very peculiar theory.

The theory is about how PD seems to bring me bad luck. You see, the first time I came to PD was when I was a small child. It was so far back I couldn’t even remember the experience. The last experience I do remember coming to PD was during my 2nd year at UTP.

It was the start of a new semester and I was to travel back to Tronoh on a Sunday, as usual. On Saturday, I went out with the boys and chilled at Bangsar. They had an audacious plan to travel to PD the next day and they will depart at 5 am Sunday morning. By the time they arrive, it’ll be sunrise just in time. I said fine but I’m not joining because I had to go back to Tronoh on Sunday so I need a good rest beforehand.

Then the chilling went way into the night and it was 2 in the morning that we call it a night. For the PD gang, they were headed to South City, the official residence of the Uniten boys. This is because that will be their departing point. They’re going to pack a few stuff, hang for a while before getting a move on. For some reason I followed them. I couldn’t remember why. It seemed a good idea at the time. So I went and I think I dozed off there during the hanging out session. Then I woke up just when they were about to leave because it was a ruckus. I received some final hasutan from the boys and the idea seemed incredibly tempting. So in the end, I gave in. I joined the party. I know it was crazy and I was bound to regret my decision later on but what the hell. I hitched on someone else’ ride so I got the chance to sleep throughout the journey.

I didn’t know where we were when I woke up because PD was so unfamiliar to me. We got to some beach and there was no one around but bad news was, it’s raining. We decided to wait it out but it didn’t look like stopping. It was one of those marathon rains where the pouring seemed endless. Eventually some of the boys couldn’t take it anymore and went out into the water even when the rain was still coming down. For them it was fine but for me, I was wearing my only dry clothes. I’m not going back to KL in wet clothes. No to mention the drive back from South City to Gombak. So no, it wasn’t worth it. In the end, I was the one looking after the valuables. Just so you know, I did drive back to Tronoh that very same day. I slept upon arrival. So there, bad luck number 1.

Number 2 was during the internship programme. Zalina had booked the MARA apartment at PD and it was bound to be fun. We picked a good weekend, the apartment was spacious, comfortable. We all stayed in one apartment and so I get to watch the girls running around in their towels so it was good. We had our first taste of banana boating and we had a cozy barbeque by the beach. Everything was super until the last day.

The night before I went for a drive around PD with Valerie, surveying the area. During the drive the warning lights on the dashboard went up and it had me worried. I didn’t know what it meant but obviously something was wrong. But Val was still moving and they were no hiccups all the way back to the apartment. I went to bed praying that whatever’s wrong, I hope it would bear until I reach home. Little did I know that the warning lights indicated that the alternator had gone kaput. And it was draining the life of the battery throughout the night.

Come next morning, when we all had our bags packed and ready to return to the big city, Valerie wouldn’t start. Go figure when the battery is already flat. To make matters worse it was a Sunday. I couldn’t buy a new battery even if I wanted to. So I had no choice but to get a tow truck and take Valerie all the way back to Gombak. It was the ugliest ending to an otherwise perfect weekend. While the rest of the gang went back comfortably, I had to contend with a crampy truck and an obese Indian driver who tried to start a conversation. But since I couldn’t understand a word he was saying (and he was speaking in Malay) I just ignored him. So bad luck number 2.

Number 3, there I was, sitting in a wheelchair and had to wait a considerably longer time because the doctor wanted me to have an X-ray first before seeing me. And the X-ray attendant had to be called from home. I was bored to death.

When the time finally came to take my X-ray, I found out I had to straighten my leg for the imaging. Oh hell, that’s going to hurt. And the platform was death defyingly cold. I cried in pain as I had to stay still in pain for those few seconds when the X-ray machine went ‘karchunk karchunk’. I got off the platform shivering from the pain and cold.

But as I went in to see the doctor, she said there was nothing wrong from what she could see from the X-ray images, ruling out any bone fracture. Well duh. Then she still persisted whether I was involved in any kind of accident, fell over something or anything that had to do with impact. Well, the only impact I had was on how I couldn’t be able to enjoy my holiday trip in PD this time around. Then my mother suggested that maybe I had over exerted myself with those walking around Genting and immediately playing futsal that night. She put it that I had a “sedentary” lifestyle up to that moment and my sudden burst of activities caught my body by surprise. It took me sometime to realize this but in a way it’s a good kind of injury. Meaning that I have been moving about a lot lately. That’s good right? In the end, I got a jab in the butt of painkillers to help me sleep through the night and some more PONSTAN for the next day. As a souvenir I had my right knee bandaged, with the advice of putting some ice on it. The doctor concluded that it just may be as simple as a muscle strain. And do you know how much all the consultation and the X-ray imaging cost? Nothing. Absolutely nothing. The beauty of the Malaysian healthcare system. You want to know where the government is spending their money? Well, this is one of them. Don’t take them for granted.

I went back close to midnight and almost everybody had went to bed. I stayed for a while before I too retired into my bed. God, how I love those painkillers. But I still walk like a cripple.

Come morning and the families decided to go down to the beach once again but I had to pass. I would just slow everybody down and dampen the mood. So I just stayed at the bungalow watching Astro. But Astro can be so dull in the morning.

By the time everyone got back they threw another idea. A seafood themed barbeque for lunch before we set home. That sounded awesome so they went out again getting some fish. They returned with some cencarus and prawns. And since I felt much better this time, I get to help with the barbeque-ing. It was a good topping-off for the trip. Everybody enjoyed themselves but I really did want to go to the beach. Oh well. After a good lunch everyone had a nap I think. And we left the bungalow and ended our PD stint a little past 4. I had no excuse but I still dozed off all the way to Gombak. “Sedentary” lifestyle, you see.

Nothing much happened on Friday. On Saturday, however, I was having my haircut at Maju Junction around noon when I received a call from Ubi asking me where the hell I was. It turned he was at Aisha’s sister’s wedding at he wanted to know when I was going to be there. Well, problem was, I wasn’t going to. Because I totally forgot about it. I did receive the invitation but by e-mail and by that, with the instability of the Streamyx connection, I wasn’t able to remind myself of the event. And that was my lame excuse. I didn’t tell Ubi because it was so lame. But I did tell him to tell nothing to Aisha. If she ever found out, I will definitely go down a few notches down her book. Thankfully it was her sister that was getting married. If it was her, then whoa, she would have me hanged like a roast duck.

Later that evening I had to give back Nebu’s RAM which I had borrowed because his sister wanted to use the PC. Just bad luck for me. Nebu’s PC had been sitting idly for months and was collecting dust when I came across it and now, just about a week of enjoying faster loading time while playing FM2006, I had to give it back. Back to old slo’ mo’. Tomok was still on his way back from Johor but I managed to get a few rounds of Winning 11 for myself.

Into the night I was getting ready to watch weekend football when Mawar called me. Ayat pancing baik punya. “Boring tak? Nak nyanyi-nyanyi tak?” It has been ages since I went ‘nyanyi-nyanyi’ but who am I to refuse? I was out the door in 10 minutes.

The Sg Wang area can be quite scary at midnight because there are a lot of dark alleyways. Thank goodness I am a fat 24-year-old man rather than a pretty girl in a tight dress and stilettos.

It was Mawar, Gambit, Cipoi and me. And I learnt something important too that night. You can’t walk around barefooted in the karaoke room because you will get static electricity from the microphones from it. I learnt it the troublesome way. And as I said, it has been a long hiatus for me and it was evident that I was rusty. Even my choices of songs were horrible. There were a few times when I went, “Why did I picked this song?”

It got better soon when after the karaoke-ing when we went to Hartamas to chill. It was no other than Spicy. Damn, it’s a good spot. Watai and Ridhu were already there and we watched Man Utd vs Fulham. Then Gambit and Mawar had to leave. QC. Coming in their place were Menon and his Koleq friends. Waris was among them. So we chilled on and watched Real Madrid take on Espanyol. It wasn’t long after the game that we realized we were talking nonsense because most of us are getting sleepy. Myself included. So we called it a night. And damn it was long drive back to Gombak.

Sunday was staying at home day. Besides, there’s Chelsea vs Liverpool on. The match of the week. And I’m glad to say that Chelsea had won.

My father had to go to Malacca for a meeting on Monday so since my mother was bored, she dragged her two sons to accompany her to watch Memoirs of a Geisha. It wasn’t that bad because I have yet to see it also. The movie itself was quite impressive. Rob Marshall had done a tremendous job translating the book to the big screen. It even made me feel sorry for not reading the book before. The presentation was immaculate. But sadly, not good enough for an Oscar nomination. There was talk about it some time ago but I can’t say I support it anymore. It was good but not that good. To say the least, I’m proud that a Malaysian is gracing one of Hollywood’s major productions. Not withstanding the fact the she’s probably going to get married to one of the most influential people in motorsports and could just order an F430 by the snap of her fingers, I find it worth it to donate RM10 for her efforts in acting.

It’s Friday now, February the 10th, and it took me that long to write this post. Grueling work, I tell you. If am still up for it, I’ll try to talk about Jessica Alba, Richard Quest, Hugh Hefner, Kevin Spacey and the theater. Until then, cheers. I'll try to put some pictures up later on if I can.