Friday, December 07, 2007

I Am Writer

And with this, I have saved myself from having the unsavory record of least amount of posts in a year since 2004 (the debut year). This is number 30. And it seems that’s how far that’ll go this year since 2006 of 59 posts and 2005 of 74 posts are definitely out of reach.

Nevertheless, on this occasion let us welcome the final month of 2007 graciously. For another year has come full circle. For many of you, I’m sure, much was to be cherished for the past 12 months. But for me, it has been quite a difficult year. It was the year I got fired. The year that marked the Secret Recipe incident. On the receiving end of multiple threats and almost got myself beaten up by a man twice my size. The woman I have been secretly admiring for years has decided to share her love with another man. Chelsea lost the title to Man Utd and my phone is beginning to shed its skin. For what it’s worth, it has truly been a depressing and weird year for me.

However rather than moping around on why things has gone awkwardly wrong and prancing on stage in your underwear like Britney Spears as a stress release activity, I am determined to make the most of what is left of 2007. I want to end the year in a bang. The question of whether I may or may not succeed is immaterial as I’ll sure as hell give it a try.

Luckily such opportunity did arrive to me in The Star newspaper a few weeks ago. In the Reads Monthly section, MPH, the popular bookstore, has made an open invitation to all local writers out there to submit their short stories to them to be compiled in one of two anthologies to be published by them. One of it will be titled Chinese Stories, a theme about Chinese life in Malaysia, Singapore and elsewhere, which I guess falls a bit off my knowledge. But the second anthology, tentatively entitled KL Stories: Urban Odysseys, “will focus on life in the city, specifically in Kuala Lumpur, with works that show images of the new juxtaposed against the old, urban living with contrasting bright lights and shadowy realities and other short fiction or creative non-fiction that best encapsulate the spirit of the national capital.” And that one, has got me buzzing.

For weeks now I have been cramming myself with ideas about what to write for my so-called novel and so far nothing has materialized. I couldn’t even come up with a rough idea. And it’s beginning to get very annoying. But this MPH invitation has come at the most perfect time. All I need to do now is to write a story about 3000 to 5000 words in length and an express route to get published. Published, I say! It’s like asking a Sunday league player would he like to play in the Champions League. Well, fucking yes! It’ll be like American Idol but without the SMSs and Paula Abdul. I have never been so giddy about anything since a very long time. And now with a specified scope I could focus better in terms of researching for ideas. And in order to do this right, since the deadline is the end of January, I decided to look up at some similar works already available out there. Namely the Silverfish books.

Silverfish is an independent bookshop that focuses on such themes. “Malaysiana” as they call it. Their store is in Bangsar but you can get their books from Times bookstores as well. At Suria KLCC, for instance, opposite Tower Records.

Currently, they have a popular series in circulation called New Writing which has so far churned out 6 versions. These too are anthologies from new writers (hence the name, although some have already publication credits to their names (greedy bastards)) from Malaysia, Singapore and beyond. I’m guessing this is what MPH is trying to come up as well. So, where better else to look for inspiration other than this New Writing series? Fortunately, I have a friend who is a Silverfish fan so that saved me from spending on a whole new book just for reference purposes. So I went to see Cipoi the other day and he has New Writing 2 which has got me excited at the mere sight of it but he warned me that he has found it to be disappointing but more on that later. And sadly, that was the only Silverfish book he had at the time. He couldn’t locate the rest. Misplaced somewhere. To make it up, he lent me two Karim Raslan books. ‘Who’s Karim Raslan?’ I asked the moment Cerita-lah was dropped into my hands. And I got a look as if I just asked who is the Queen of England. Apparently this Karim guy is suppose to be very good. I haven’t started on any of his books yet but after a quick scan, I caught glimpses of his brilliant writing. But that review will have to wait for the time being. I do have, however, started on New Writing 2 and I’m afraid to say that Cipoi is right after all. Technically, it was well written. The words, the plot construction, character development, mood but, for fuck’s sake, why so depressing? I have read maybe 10 stories so far and probably 7 out of them involve death. A character just had to die. Most of the time the leading one. Why? Why the morbid theme? And when they say ‘stories from Malaysia, Singapore and beyond’, I naturally expected to read stories mostly from Malaysia, quite a few from Singapore and maybe one or two from ‘beyond’ or wherever the hell that is after starting reading this. Instead it is the other way around. A few bits and pieces from Malaysia. A few more from Singapore and mostly from Australians, Americans and English living here or hereabouts. Either that or from Malaysian born but currently living abroad. One story is about a high school boy who played a memorable basketball game one night and later went out on a date in his dad’s Thunderbird. Unless it’s a Nissan it definitely has no Malaysian flavor at all. It’s not even Asian! Disappointing will be the least of my worries. Heartbreaking is more like it. But, still, I have quite a way to go and hopefully they save some of the best for last. Maybe Karim Raslan’s work will cheer me up later but therein also lie the problem. His writing will consist of one theme one style. That’s why I was so looking forward to New Writing for the different styles and views it offers in its pages. And the disappointing outcome was the last thing I expected. However in hindsight, it does give me the impression that local writers (phbtt! local!) tend to focus on sad and depressing issues because, I’m guessing, it allows them to be more poetic and dramatic. And isn’t that ironically sad? And with that they are neglecting the more jovial and light-hearted writing which I now intend even more to portray in my submission. Isn’t it better to spread joy and happiness rather than death and suffering? What a weird lot these writers are.

Anyway, right now, this is what we have - ‘KL Stories’ preferably with a touch of humour. So far, that’s how much I’ve got. As much as I’d like to be as selfish as I can, I will not refuse voluntary assistance. You can never set boundaries on creativity. So, if you’d like to help me become famous and receive no monetary incentives whatsoever, lend in a few ideas of stories you would like to read about. And I’ll do what I can to tailor it the best way possible that I know. But, please, no mat rempit stories. And no drug addicts for that either. Such a common theme, everyone else will go for it, I’m sure of it. Unless, it’s a story about a successful yet ganja-smoking friend who happen to have a kinky taste in women. That could have some potential.

Anyway, it looks like it’s going to be a rough ride in the next coming months. Taking into consideration my MBAs is beginning to take strides with the projects and the mid-terms looming. And also, very importantly, the matter of a certain Ilyana. This is what you do when you have your heart broken. You move on and find something new to be obsessed with. Believe me, the transition can be quite exhilarating. It’s the in between that tends to get fucked up sometimes. But we’re not going to talk about Ilyana here. Someone like her deserves a post of her own.

This is me, a blogger aspiring to be a published writer. And with that, chee-yers!

Thursday, November 22, 2007

A Sense Of Humour

I have a new theory. If you are fat and lazy like me, with no sign of doing anything that even resembles physical activity as of late, and then forced to run for 2.4 km out of the blue (up and down a hill if I might add), here me this. It will take you approximately 4 to 5 days for your calves to stop hurting and allow you to start walking normally again. Believe me, this theory is supported by an unwillingly done experiment recently. We spared no expense (just to quote Sir Richard Attenborough).

The question is, why in the world was I being made to run 2.4 km up and down a hill a few days ago? Or why was I dressed in a shirt and tie on a Sunday morning? Preaching about fog lights to an audience of about 20 people, which I guess mostly have no idea what fog lights are in the first place? Knowing very well indeed that I was up until 4 am the previous night celebrating Italy’s qualification to Euro 08 (unlike England! HAHAHAHAHA!!) alongside a girl named Ilyana, who happens to have very nice calves by the way, and as such to have a public speaking session the very next morning was probably not in my best interest. Then again, at the same time, it’s a session that I could not afford not to do well. But, in the end, it was all irrelevant really because when it comes to public speaking, I am a god. I was a god back then during orientation week at UTP and I am still am a god today, even better, judging by my performance last Sunday. It was the running part that I’m worried about. I think it is one of those karma things. The balance of nature, as they say. I’m particularly gifted in standing in front of an audience and captivating them even when the topic at hand is largely nonsensical but I turn absolutely horrid when it comes to physical endurance. But looking on the bright side is that I can do something about it. Kind of like that car bumper sticker. ‘I’m fat and you’re ugly but at least I can diet!’ Yes, ‘diet’. To me that’s a four letter word. I’m much more comfortable with the ‘f’ word. ‘Food’.

But of course, we are not going to talk about dieting or on how to stay healthy. Hell no. You have channel 733 for that. I have no intention of becoming the next Richard Simmons. Nor are we going to talk about what the hell I was referring to about all that running and public speaking I had to do. That, as in the words of Mr. Black, ‘will be divulged in good time’. Truthfully, what went on and its significance of it, is part of an ongoing process. Upon a successful completion, all matter will be revealed. If the outcome, however, turn unsuccessful, well then, I’m afraid you have to ask me in person the next time you see me, to get clarification, if you’re still interested at the point, you busybodies.

What we are going to talk about today is women. Ah yes, the primary purpose this blog ever made to live in the first place. For the sake of variety, I have written on diverse topics ranging from music, movies and even politics in the past. But nothing gives me more pleasure than talking about women. Not even football. Because women are such mysterious creatures to us men. Which leads to many sorts of questions and assumptions that may never see the end of it. And I hope we don’t ever. The mystery of it all has what kept it interesting all this while. I hope we continue to be baffled by a woman’s antics and their impalpable explanations. Because should we ever understood women and cracked one of the wonders of the universe, what happens next? What fun left to pursued and pondered? Nothing. And that is a very unnerving thought. But that is highly unlikely to happen anyway because you know why? Women themselves don’t know they are a mystery. As we, I reckon, as much of a mystery to them. Thus the search will continue in an infinite loop.

It is with this theme of opposing sides of man and woman that I want to approach the topic of sense of humor.

Now, we all know there is a wide range when we talk about humor. Every person out there belongs to a group of funny people or not so funny people, subjectively. And we tend to talk less to the unfunny people, again, subjectively. Especially the unfunny people who think they are funny. Faking a laugh can be so demeaning.

Then we integrate the question of gender. Take me for example. I’m a bloke who enjoys a certain type of humor. Then I meet another bloke who enjoys another type of humor. A type that thinks the resemblance of my name to the AF4 winner is something he finds amusing. To me such a comment just bordering on plain insulting. Chances are I would never speak to him again, ever. Surely I do not need another AF fan in my life, thank you very much. I would move on, end of story, and the thought would never bother me again. That, however, will all change should the subject turns out to be an incredibly attractive woman. An incredibly attractive woman who you want to know better of. Now, the tables are turned.

To be fair, men and women never quite enjoy the same kind of humor to start off with. But when multiple surveys that been done identified a sense of humor as one of the leading traits women look for in a man, then, gentlemen, I think it’s time we learn to adapt. But it’s going to be quite tricky.

Basic rules are, men love dirty jokes and women don’t. Well, maybe except during pajama parties. Even then, they still talk about fashion and shopping. Humor stems from the conversations we have. How else do you think we can come up with so much sex jokes?

To encroach the realms of the women psyche when it comes to funny things, you have to adjust and in most cases lower down your expectations for amusement. In other words, you have to be less funny if you want to talk to them and be annoyingly charming. And laugh at lesser jokes. This is the price you have to pay in order to gain the prize at stake. Which is, to score! Haha! But seriously, that is one way to look at it. But in general, if you want to talk to women by being friendly and funny, you can’t share the same jokes you have with your mates. Do that and they’ll automatically brandish you as rude. And we all know how women tend to forgive but never forget.

This revelation first occurred to me when I entered university. Something I wished I had experienced earlier on so I can come across this adaptability theory much sooner. But you know how it was. All male boarding school sort of thing. Which is good in a lot of sense, just not when it comes to the art of approaching women. But anyway, I began to grasp the concept much more vividly as time went on at the university. Which also pretty much explain my loath towards AF jokes, but that’s a different story. Women just seem to define humor in a different way than men do. And some of the jokes I’ve heard during one of those group conversations where women dictate play were, well, boring. And distasteful. Which I later realized why some of the guys I’ve met insisted on continuously being unfunny. They have been unconsciously brainwashed by the women they had intentionally intended to pursue. And some of them never recover. Poor people. They have become a mockery and don’t even realize it.

But not all women are like that. Some do share the same sense of humor like us men. I know I have my share bit. And if you do find someone like that and you fancy her, better make those intentions clear early on. If you decide to become friends be aware that that is a one way road. You could bring up the idea of romance later on but that is just unwise. Because ,one, you are boring, and two, you have to make it work. Because if you don’t, it’s not you, but your mutual friends will suffer. Just look at Ross and Rachel. When they broke up, who do you think had the worst bit? It was Joey, Chandler, Monica and Phoebe. While those two were bad mouthing each other, the rest had to be nice to both of them no matter what or how awkward. That is why falling in love with your friends is generally a bad idea. Which is why I was quite relieved when Kabi and Regina eventually tied the knot.

Anyway, coming back to the topic of humor, point is if you expect to find Mrs Right who would agree with you that Jackass is one of the top 10 movies of all time, be prepared to be disappointed. And even you already have this different mindset, adjusting your level of humor is easier said than done. I tried this too, a few weeks back, during Menon’s little BBQ party at his house. He had a few chicks coming in and they were quite the eye candies. Bubbly personalities, smell absolutely wonderful, flowing hair, simply a treat. I was typically excited. Then I was invited for a game of Taboo with them and I thought, well, this is a wonderful opportunity to get to know them better. And so I sat with them and started playing the game, which slowly turn into a bout of torture.

The things that find to be funny were just so unfunny to me. I couldn’t exactly recall what they were but I can remember being pretentiously amused by their banter. I was caught off-guard and stuck right in the middle of it. Fortunately the arrival of my SASOB mates gave me enough reason to flee the scene. And just in time too because Waris had joined in and there is no way I was going to drop to his level. I rather spent time with the boys than with a group of lovely girls. How wrong could that ever sound? The problem was not the girls because, honestly, I have heard worse sense of humor, but the act of lowering my amusement level was just too much to bear. Comedy is pretty much my life. To tone it down is like asking Messi to dribble less. It’s unheard of. And that experience has left me scarred and worried because I thought, was this the situation? I nearly wrote about that but thankfully didn’t at that time because something told me there was more to this. And rightfully so.

Last week I was invited to Hani’s surprise birthday party for Watai and it was such a blessing. For reasons, one, I now know that Kme has the capabilities to make a decent Tiramisu and two, there are still interesting women out there who do share our sense of humor. Maybe less perfume and not so flowing hair but still, a joy to get acquainted nonetheless. And to have met such an astonishing creature such as Ilyana who shares the same passion as me for the Italian football team was certainly an added bonus. I just hope Hani doesn’t get a hold of this. She might get the right ideas.

To sum it all up, it’s basically this. Men are just funnier than women.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

The Sound of Empire

I went to Tower Records the other day just to check out what’s new on the shelf. There’s Spears’ Blackout, Lopez’s Brave but none really interests me to actually to pay money for any of those. Until, my eye caught on an Empire Records Soundtrack CD. Now, for those of you who haven’t heard of Empire Records, shame on you because it is one of best movies you could watch growing up as a teenager. It is Liv Tyler’s breakout movie and it has an awesome soundtrack. I bought one, years ago and it was, is, in cassette form. I still have it. Problem is, how to play it considering the digital age nowadays? So when I saw the CD version in front of my eyes that day, I just knew I had to have it. Who knows when will be the next time I find another one.

So, I placed the CD on the counter to be paid while delighting myself with the thought of reliving my teenage years when interjectedly,

“Dah last one ni,” the cashier dude behind the counter suddenly voiced his opinion to me.
“Hmm?” Say what, dude?
“Tak tau dah mane nak dapat lepas ni,” his eyes pointing at the CD
A Tower dude acknowledges my purchase. Obviously, he knows about Empire Records. And his reaction just made me feel so cool. I rule!!

Saturday, November 10, 2007

My Sister In Law

I think it’s time I deliver on my promise and due to some insistence from my advent readers (you know who you are), here’s my sister-in-law – in pictures:

This was right after the akad nikah.

As they made their way to the wedding hall.

This is her at work. Well, this was actually at Stockholm during one of her business trips. As if there is such a thing. She's the one sitting right in the middle.

And this, apparently, what flight attendants do on long-haul flights.

Well, Definitely Not This

By some freak of nature I somehow caught some of the highlights of today’s UMNO General Assembly earlier and there was this woman, a Wanita UMNO delegate who goes by the name of Zaleha Hussin vented her displeasure on Air Asia because the skirts of their stewardesses, in her opinion, is too short. Now, I don’t want to sound harsh but those comments are just plain stupid. Oh yes, there’s no two way about it. It was just stupid. You have the Prime Minister and his ministers in the hall with you, listening, plus extensive media coverage and all you can think about to say at an important assembly such as this is the uniform policy of a company? Are you missing a brain?

There it was a huge opportunity to address crucial issues to the people that matter (i.e. our leaders) and she decided to talk about skirts? How was this supposed to serve the betterment of UMNO? How does the length of an Air Asia stewardess’ skirt has any bearing on my life as a Malay? Okay, to be fair, let’s just say she gets her wishes and all the female flight attendants of Air Asia are required to wear long skirts. What then? Does achieving that lowers the crime rate? Does it help in curbing inflation? Does it enable more children to go to school? No, no and no. As like other private companies, Air Asia sells a product. And it’s not compulsory for you to buy it. So, if you don’t like the packaging, then here’s a tip, don’t buy it! Seriously, ride a bus, drive, something. It’s not as if Air Asia is being funded by UMNO anyway.

Can you see now the reason why young people couldn’t be bothered by politics nowadays? It’s because it baffles us why such ridiculous figures are given the chance to speak at such a momentous event when clearly the person lacks the competence. It’s an embarrassment, for crying out loud! And people like these won’t stop at that. After this I’m pretty damn sure she’ll find other petty and totally irrelevant issue pertaining to her job to complain about. Please, we are far more intelligent than this. And we deserve to hear better. This is the voice of the youth. Power to the people!

What's The Story?

Much time has passed, and yet I have absolutely no idea what my first book will be about. And the sad thing is, the only viable topic I’m pretty sure I’m good at is love. I don’t know much about courtroom dramas like John Grisham. I don’t have the advanced technical know-how of modern day science to be like Michael Crichton. And I don’t have extensive travelling knowledge to have my leading characters running through Europe to elude from a bunch of hired assassins like Sidney Sheldon. And not to mention heroines. Definite no no. It’s A GUY Thing, remember people?

On the other hand, have you visited the local bookshops these days? They actually have TWO sections for romance novels. One is Romance and the other is Chic Lit. They are both basically the same thing just the covers carry a different theme. The former is slight pornography and the latter decorated with a touch of humour. Women humour, that is. You know, things like ‘how my boyfriend dumped me and now I’m making apple pies’ those kinds of things. Or something along the lines to suggest utter hopelessness, a slightly pathetic life but sprinkled with a dash of wit to go along with it. And that what normally goes around my head as I went about exploring for ideas. Time and again a thought will occur and I’ll automatically go, ‘Oh, that would make one hell of a love story’ and then I’ll immediately go, ‘Damn it!’ because I know such thought are potentially fruitless. Every angle of a love story has been told one way or another. Or almost. Why do you think Titanic was a huge success? It offered a new setting for a love story. Against the backdrop of a sinking ship. A famous at that too, and it helps. And the hero dies in the end. Remember when I talked about tragic endings? See my point now? People haven’t seen anything like that before. And it showed through the box office. Then they made Pearl Harbour and it fell apart. Didn’t somebody tell these people the formula doesn’t necessarily work twice?

So, ladies and gentlemen, I am here to tell you that I have nothing! Absolutely nothing for my novel! If only I could emulate Jerry Seinfeld. He made 60 million dollars last year for his show about nothing. And the show has ended since 1998. (Yes, I too watch E!). Well, isn’t that nice? 60 million dollars for nothing.

Initial stages and already I’m facing a huge bump.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Hidup, Cinta & Inspirasi

Quick question: what is currently the hottest show in town? If you’ve guessed P. Ramlee The Musical then you’ve got it right. Its final show is scheduled tomorrow, November 3rd. If it’s unlikely for you to catch the show, then, I’m sorry. But it is with delight to say I am one of the few lucky ones who have managed to do so.

‘How was it?’ , you may ask as that is the first question I usually get every time I tell people I saw it last Saturday. And that , to me, is the quintessential question of all.

The truth is it all depends on your expectations. Not in terms of quality but in terms of content. The full title is P. Ramlee The Musical…The Life, The Loves and the Inspiration. And what it is about is it tells the story of the actual man. His trials and tribulations that he had to endure throughout his career set against a musical backdrop. In other words, most of the songs performed were written by the songwriters of the show to accommodate the life’s journey of P.Ramlee. If you had expected to see another virtuoso performance by Datuk Siti Nurhaliza then you will be disappointed, like my grandmother, because the songstress was only allotted one song. And if you expected a continuous flow of P. Ramlee’s classic ballads such as Getaran Jiwa, Tunggu Sekejap or Engkau Laksana Bulan, then you too will be disappointed, like my mother, because none of them were existent. Well, except for Engkau Laksana Bulan which did manage a small preview. If you are like me, then chances are you’ll enjoy it. Because, well, I’ll admit one of the main factors I went to see the show because I wanted to see Siti perform live as I never had the opportunity before. And in that sense, I wasn’t disappointed. We all hear lots of gossips and hearsays about her private life which may or may not be true but in the end, the sole reason why she is still considered Malaysia’s most popular celebrity is that when it matters, she delivers. And that matter is singing on stage - live. And it’s true when people say that she sounds exactly as she is on her CDs. That woman’s voice is phenomenal. And you can hear that quality by the slight tingle at the end of her every pitch. One song it was but I can fully understand why my grandmother was very displeased by that fact. The other reason on why I rather enjoyed myself that night was that in terms of content, I wasn’t really expecting anything apart from a good show. I just opened my heart and views to be mesmerized. And I tell you what, I should do that more often.

One thing I love about the show is that as part of the younger generation, I learnt a lot about P. Ramlee the man. We all know about the movies and the songs, and P. Ramlee the celebrity, you might say. But the only love life I knew he had, before this, was with Saloma. But as it turns out, Saloma was already his third wife. Through the show I got to know that Azizah was his first love and although they never got married, the song ‘Azizah’ he wrote became his breakthrough hit. And there’s his first wife, Junaidah. The second, Norizan, and finally his third Saloma. He had to endure three heartbreaks and two divorces on order to gain what he had achieved. It was a story of a man who sacrificed a lot in order to devote his life to the art he cherishes and loves. It was pretty sentimental. And along the way (although I’m not sure whether these are true or not) it showed when the inspiration behind some his most popular songs came from. ‘Engkau Laksana Bulan’ was written during his happier times with Norizan (this is what I meant by ‘small preview’ as a sketch was shown him writing the song at his piano) and ‘Di Mana Kan Ku Chari Ganti’ was after he and Norizan decided to call it quits. Actually lots of his success came during his time with Norizan. At the peak of his career, Penarik Becha, Nujum Pak Belalang, Sarjan Hassan were all made during that period. Sadly, it also spelt his demise when it comes to his personal life. It was the classic case of neglect and loneliness for Norizan. She had no choice but to leave.

As for the casting, well, Siti’s performance as Azizah was satisfactory, I guess. As I mentioned, her singing is her piece de resistance. And it was good to see Melissa Saila back in the limelight. And I couldn’t believe how absolutely gorgeous she looks despite being married with two kids. But somehow the bitchy Norizan character doesn’t really fit her well. As for both Liza Hanim and Sean Ghazi, well, for them I reserve my best compliments. Liza Hanim was absolutely spot on as Saloma. The baju kebaya with the big sunglasses pose was hauntingly accurate. As for Sean Ghazi, first of all I do feel sorry for him because P. Ramlee is a subject nearly all Malaysians are familiar with. The way he speaks, the way he moves, the way he sings, his voice, his jokes, everyone has his or her own view of it. For that, it is nearly impossible to ask someone to play him on stage. It’s a huge undertaking. But at the same time, I don’t think there’s anyone out there right now who could portray the man as well as Sean Ghazi. And that is that best compliment I could give the man. It was largely evident during the re-enactment of the dancing in the park scene taken from Seniman Bujang Lapuk where Ramlee and Saloma sang Gelora. The scene where Ramlee got beaten up by Sharif Dol in the end.

P.Ramlee : Ini Ramlee. Samseng kampung…kampung…kampung apa ni?
Saloma : Entah.
P.Ramlee : Ha Kampung Entah, tapi samseng macam kau jugak.

And Sudin and Aziz came to his rescue after he lay there unconscious afterwards and had dinner then and there with some bread and curry as a group of friends. Okay I’m straying here, point is Sean and Liza did brilliantly well in recreating that scene. It was like taken straight from the movie, only it was in real life. And the singing was an uncanny resemblance. Ooooo bahagia~ Ooooo kakanda~ Ooooo adinda~. It was a performance to behold.

Overall, I think, when considering the message the producers of the show are trying to deliver, the show is best intended for the younger audience. The older generation already lived through his era and know everything there is to know about P Ramlee, and just came to the show for some good entertainment. But as a young adult, I was quite inspired by the life of P. Ramlee. Not the singer, not the actor or the director, but the man. The struggling young artist from Penang, the husband and as the artist who would give everything to better the art of film-making in the country. In a way, his life story reminds me of Charlie Chaplin’s. Both are geniuses on the silver screen and yet so much hardship they had to overcome to become the icons they are today. I am not involved in the entertainment business but even I am inspired by the story of the man. And it should bode well for the current young and aspiring film-makers. Unfortunately though, when I first arrived at the lobby area of Istana Budaya that night, it was like scene from Datin Diaries (for this, I would like to thank Watai for introducing that sappy TV show to me for if not, I don’t know what to compare the scene to). All the mak datins were there. With their oversized jewelries, coloured hair and the occasional pretty boys. It was pity the ticket price is little on the expensive side and isn’t actually affordable for the people that would most benefit from. But, to be fair, the show was made on a grand scale. I imagine to get Datuk Siti on stage alone cost a significant amount of the budget. And it isn’t as if they could run the show concurrently on 4 other different venues like movies do. On a side note, I did share the floor that night with the Sultan of Perak, Sultan Azlan Shah, among the audience. Again, I reiterate my comment that this show wasn’t exactly meant for the masses although it is unfair to associate such a view with regards to his Royal Highness.

As a closing story, funny thing happened when I came to pick up the tickets for the show, which was right before I went to Cameron. Parking space were very limited as usual as I guess the cast and crew were still having practices during the day time. But somehow, I managed to get this nice recently vacated spot near the entrance. After getting the tickets and came back a few minutes later, I saw an E46 estate hovering around, like I was earlier, looking for a parking spot too. He saw me walking towards the car so I guess he figured out I was leaving and decided to wait me out. As I walked by his car, even though he was wearing a pair of aviator sunglasses, I could swore I recognized the face and in particular that jaw line. I maybe wrong but I was willing to bet that the man behind that wheel that day was none other than Sean Ghazi himself.

And with that bombshell, I bid you goodbye for now and join me again, next time. Cheers.

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

PD and Cameron

PD is just so depressing these days. I don’t know what’s the big fuss about that place anymore. It used to be about the beach. But now the water is like green slosh and the beach is filled with litter. Thank goodness I was only there for less than a day. And that was more than enough. My mother was just there to officiate a function (yes, she’s pretty high up there now) and meet few important people handling the training aspect of medical officers in Negeri Sembilan. We stayed at Tiara Beach Resort and I was pretty content since, judging by the name, we at least get to stay at the seaside. But to my absolute dismay, the word ‘Beach’ actually refers to the its man made beach pool. It’s even in their tagline – Biggest man made beach pool in Malaysia! Yippie-ka-yay, whatever. I mean, who gives the fuck? Especially when the actual thing is only a few hundred metres away? Besides, it’s not like their ‘man made beach pool’ is anything to be impressed by. It’s just a big pool with sand, instead of concrete, surrounding it. And there’s definitely no waves in sight. But still it doesn’t bother as much since I had no time to go to the beach anyway. We arrived at around 10 pm and scheduled to leave before noon the next day. But I was looking forward to a nice relaxation in a well-furbished air-conditioned room. Well, the room has air-conditioning but it wasn’t exactly well-furbished. The room has no carpeting for crying out loud! At all! What kind of hotel room doesn’t have any carpeting in it? I’ll tell you what kind – the dodgy ones. But the worst bit was the telly. Not only did it not have Astro, the only clear receptions are TV1 and TV2. It’s even worse than in Kelantan! And I was bitterly disappointed because for that reason I missed Football Focus, the season finale of Supernatural and the 1st day of Matchday 3 of Champions League football. I was so bored I went to bed not long after unpacking. As I said, thank goodness I was there for less than a day.

As for Cameron Highlands, well, that’s a different story.

The last time I went up there was probably more than a decade ago so you can imagine my excitement after such a long absence. And I was also eager to drive up the hills as I wanted to find out for myself whether the journey from Tapah is as treacherous as its reputation had acquired over the years. There’s a new alternate route to Cameron but you need to travel further up PLUS to Simpang Pulai and then turn back up the hill. But where’s the fun in that? To make things more challenging it was about 6.30 pm when we pushed off from Tapah and it was slightly raining. Since it’ll take more than an hour to drive to the top, the later part of the climb would be pretty scary. And it was.

The road leading up is an endless combination of sharp hairpins steep slopes. I could barely go above 40km/h for reasons, one, safety and two, trying to keep my mother from nagging me about dangerous driving. And for that, I have never been tailgated as much in my whole life. I was overtook by a 1.3 Iswara whereas I was driving a 2.4 Accord. It was kinda funny though ‘cause as if the Iswara was moving in slow motion as it fully revved its engine but resulting in very little acceleration as it moved up past by me.

As the journey went on, visibility became poorer and the light reflecting water puddles didn’t help. Even the usage of high beam offered little advantage because of the hairpins. If only I was driving an S-Class where the headlamps turns along with the steering wheel. That would really help in seeing the vegetable trucks running down in the opposite direction beforehand. Speeding like mad.

But when we finally reached Tanah Rata it was so worth it. On the dashboard the thermometer read that outside temperature was 17 degrees centigrade. I had set the car’s air-conditioning unit at 23 degrees. It felt comparatively warm once I parked the car Hotel Heritage’s parking lot and opened the door and stepped out. God, it was wonderful! It was like the whole world was being air-conditioned. And the sensation is quite different from Genting. Genting has a superficial feel to it. You step out in a multi-layered parking lot and the first thing you hear are the sound of vehicles moving and amusement park rides. At Cameron there’s just silence. And the trees. And the wind blowing in your face. It felt more civilized. More calmer. More discreet. Much more pleasurable. And the other thing about Cameron is that everything there tastes good. We had dinner right after arriving and yes, we were a bit starving, but even the vegetable soup was incredibly tasty. It was full of flavour. I usually reserve those kinds of comments for a good steak but look at me now. I had seconds if you believed it. My mother couldn’t have been so proud.

As we made our way to our room, first thing I did was to switch on the TV and I gave out a satisfying laugh as soon as I was able to locate ESPN. Champions League night is on! With that I also managed to catch a replay of Football Focus and Sportcenter, and life could never been better. And another thing I notice is that hotels there don’t need to put air-conditioning in their rooms. Or the lobby. Or the coffeehouse. They really save a lot of money. Even with all the windows shut, it still pleasantly cold. My mother would disagree about the pleasant part. But for once, there’s nothing much she can do about it. I was so happy.

With minimal sleep after staying up watching Chelsea beat Schalke, I still woke up pretty early the next day. We had a lovely breakfast and I stepped out of the hotel lobby afterwards to get some fresh air and I’ve never felt so alive. It was probably 18 or 19 degrees outside and how I wish every morning at Gombak could feel as good as that. Then it was time to explore Cameron. And by exploring, my parents meant by going to Kea Farm. It’s the traditional spot for buying fresh vegetables and flowers. My mother goes there every time she visits Cameron. It was exciting at first for me to see stacks of vegetables, assortment of flowers, sweet corns and strawberries, ready to be sold. It was like a factory sale but with vegetables.

Speaking of strawberries, here’s a tip that I got from my mother’s colleague the next time you want to buy them. There are actually two kinds of strawberries that are usually put on sale. The big ones the size of golf balls and the small ones. Normally, ill informed people, like myself, would get the big ones because that’s what we usually do when it comes to buying fruits. The bigger the better. Value for money, as they say. But, once you put one in your mouth, they taste sour. Sounds familiar? Actually, that is how it’s meant to be. The big ones are meant to taste sour because these are the ones that are meant to be consumed with whipped cream and chocolate dipping. The sourness is meant to compensate the sweetness of the latter condiments, you might say. If that’s how you plan to eat them, then fine, buy them away. But, if you want to eat them raw, get those little ones. Those are the sweet ones. You don’t put the small strawberries on sundaes and such. You put the big ones for presentational impact. And there you are. We just don’t lambast women here at It’s a Guy Thing, we even give out handy food tips.

Back to Kea Farm, after a few moments spending walking around the area I suddenly got bored. Actually, I had sensed it coming. My mother, meanwhile, was enjoying herself buying all those broccolis, cauliflowers and asparaguses. Sure enough, I’ll be the one that has to eat them once they are served on the dinner table back at Gombak. You see, apart from the cool weather, there is nothing much for a bloke like me to look forward to on Cameron. Earlier at the hotel lobby, I checked out about the other attractions that they offer and they include tours strawberry farms where you can pluck the strawberries yourself (big deal), honey farms and orchid farms. Alternatively, if agriculture is not your thing, then there’s adventure by jungle trekking up to Mount Brinchang, the highest point on Cameron. Or go through the trail where Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King, mysteriously disappeared. Oh, and there’s the tea plantation. Do you know that BOH stands for Best Of Highlands? I read that in an article somewhere. And Cameron Highlands got its name from an English map surveyor who discovered the place back in 1885 named William Cameron. He went down and told his friends about this awesome place he had found and they decided to go there and grow stuff. Here we are today. First, food tips, now, history lessons. This is such a useful blog.

Anyway, the tea plantation is about 10 km downhill and, although it doesn’t sound very far, but believe me, 10 km of twists and turns, it becomes perceptively far. And let’s not forget I was the driver.

We went back to KL by the third day and rightfully so. My excitement being on Cameron Highlands was getting thin very fast. I visited the towns and they are still small and everything closes shop by 8. They do have a Secret Recipe branch up here though, which really impresses me. Man, those cakes enjoy one heck of a ride coming all the way from down under.

I was glad to be finally headed home because the truth is I was missing Astro and the internet too much, and Cameron just doesn’t have enough to keep me distracted that long. But one drawback was to see the temperature reading outside beginning to rise as I made my way down to Tapah.

So, what have we learnt here? Don’t go to PD. PD – avoid. However, if you like fresh vegetables, flowers and strawberries, go to Cameron Highlands. And try to stay at the Cameron Highlands Resort. I hear they serve excellent English scones during tea time.
As my next journey takes me to another place, people! Cheers!


This what awaited us as we arrived home from our PD and Cameron Highlands trip. And that is quite a dent. It was Kak Chaya behind the wheel when this happened. Since my brother is away at Shanghai, she gets to use the Kia. And you might thought, well, here’s another female driver caught in a road incident. What’s new? That was my first thought too when I first heard the news, even tough it is my sister-in-law. Because, the matter of fact is, she’s probably one of the few people in KL who could claim that she spends more time in an airplane than in a car. Even before we went off to PD, I had to reverse the Kia out of the drive way for her. ‘Tak konfiden,’ was her reason.

Then, as the whole story unfolds, I was a bit embarrassed with myself. As it turned out, the other party, the one that hit her, were two teenage boys, most likely still in high school, on a motorcycle. Going against a one way street, obviously speeding and of course, with out wearing any safety helmets. Those bastards were lucky to escape uninjured even though the pillion rider ended up sprawling on the hood. Now, you tell me, if you had been at the scene, just in time to catch the outcome, which one would you think was clearly at fault? Can you see why I despise these mat rempits so much? Thankfully, the parents were decent enough to pay for the damages. But let’s do keep in mind that all this was entirely avoidable if those two kids, before going on that fateful ride, would have stop and think to themselves, ‘y’know, this might well be a stupid idea,’ and saves all of us from trouble. And by trouble, I mean, the Kia has to be sent to the workshop to be fixed and with the Honda’s malfunction indicator lamp has lit, I have to drive my mother to work for the past two days as she doesn’t feel comfortable driving the BMW, the Celica and definitely not the Pajero. So, as a result of the idiotic actions of two teenage boys from Greenwood, I had to wake up at 6 am for two consecutive days, take a cold bath in the wee hours of the morning and drive to KL and back!

For all this, I have one thing to say. I really do hope his father gives him a good beating.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007


Selamat Hari Raya! Yes, I know it’s already a bit late but things got in the way before I could do a proper posting about Raya (part of it is laziness and part of it my sister hogging the computer) but here I am at last! And how was your Raya? Good? Bad? Disastrous? As for me, well, I still get my share of duit raya. Say what? I know, conceptually, it’s wrong and quite embarrassing considering a man of my age but hey, when people voluntarily give you money, who am I to say no? It wasn’t much but, still, extra income is never bad.

Now, for the Raya stories. You know how people will always tell you pretty much the same story when telling about their Raya holidays? It’s sort of a template. The balik kampungs, the food and the distant relatives they haven’t seen since the last Raya, that sort of stuff. Well, I went to Rantau Panjang on the 2nd day of Raya. It’s not as vulgar as going clubbing on the first night of Raya but still something different ey? Some of you might be surprised by this but actually, there are quite some people doing the same thing. Years ago I made a vow to myself never to return there again as I had a terrible time. It was proven to me how far can a kid suffer from boredom, tiredness, thirst and of course, heat exhaustion. But, years later and I was rather curious for a revisit to see how the place has evolved and maybe, just maybe, get what all other people love about the place. Plus, I should have a physically higher tolerance level by now so a little heat could trouble me less now compared to years ago. And you know what discovered over there? It was the same ol’ shit hole. I still ended up bored, tired, hot and incredible thirsty. Seriously I don’t know what the appeal is anyway. Unless you want to go crazy on kitchenware and poor quality clothes and replica jerseys, I see no point of going there. It was hot, dusty, no parking spaces and not single garbage bin in sight. So, yes, trash was everywhere. How it could have been a shopping haven in the first place defies my logic.

On a different note, I want to talk about TV. I don’t remember what channel or on what day was it on but there was this show where they put Ramli Sarip, Zainal Abidin, Jay Jay and M Nasir together on a stage and they perform acoustically. And they’ll take turns to lead on their individual hits. I thought it was a brilliant show. What baffles me though is why there wasn’t any news on this? Maybe there was but clearly insufficient as I merely caught it by accident. We had no Astro, go figure. Even more so, I thought, should they ever release a DVD version of the show, I would sure as hell would have bought it. I didn’t catch the whole show but I did saw Jay Jay performed Belaian Jiwa and Zainal did Manis. It was a really captivating performance. It was like our version of MTV Unplugged Legends. These are the kind of shows they should be promoting. Why they didn’t is another thing that defied my logic. Instead they chose to accentuate those tacky AF Reunion concerts. Reunion? Has anybody actually missed them for them to have a reunion? How about you already made me sick the first time you showed up on TV? Is that news to you?

Speaking of my Astro-less time at Kelantan, you would not believe how I had spent my nights there. I couldn’t go out because Kota Bharu is practically a maze for me and it isn’t exactly where you can go out and watch a midnight movie or …

Geez, Kak Chaya just startled me just now. She just appeared from nowhere. I didn’t even realize she’s back. Just last Sunday she was flying to Narita. She had to answer a stand-by call. And since my brother was already on his way to Shanghai on a business trip, guess who as handed the privilege to drive a MAS flight attendant to KL Sentral at 8 am on a Sunday morning? Yes, my life can be quirky at times.

Where was I? Oh yes, my fun nights at PCB. Even PCB isn’t what it used to be. It’s suffering from erosion and the authorities have built a stone wall to stop its continuation. It looks more like Gurney Drive now rather than a decent beach. But without the Starbuckses and hotels. Anyway, basically I stayed at home and watch TV during those Raya nights. And, under the circumstances, I had little choice other than to watch the likes of Nana Tanjung, Bujang Senang and Remp-It. Please, I know, I myself could not bear the humiliation. It was either that or bed at 9 pm. It was torture, I tell you. But one thing I learnt from watching Nana Tanjung and Bujang Senang is there’s nothing wrong with the storyline. It’s the execution that made it all embarrassing. They could really use without the silly slapstick sound effects every time not even a half funny line comes out. And you could not help but feel that Saiful Apek was made to carry the whole movie on his shoulders. He was practically in every scene. Without him, those movies would have definitely collapsed. And the orang utara jokes are really getting tiresome. But you know what? Razak Mohaideen will continue making these kinds of movies and Saiful Apek will continue to headline them because they are a commercial success. Even his latest, Otai, as news would have it, already grossed RM3 million at the box office. Who could blame them? In the end, it’s all about making profits. And in that sense, they are doing just fine. And it should not surprise you that Nana Tanjung 2 is already in the pipeline. Personally it disgusts me as I find these movies utterly distasteful and downright degrading. Thank god there is something like 1957: Hati Malaya for me to look forward to. That I would happily pay good money for. And not to forget Afdlin’s Los & Faun. There is still hope for the local film industry.

As for Remp-It, well, let’s just say it was entirely pointless. All it did was glorifying illegal motorcycle races. The bane of society. And they just killed the lead actor at the end just to get the movie approved. They tried to make mat rempits look so cool for more than an hour and in the last 5 minutes they say, ‘oh, by the way, you could die doing this’. Well, it wasn’t enough. They could at least show him getting trampled under an 18 wheeler rather than mere knock on a concrete divider. A scratch and a bloody nose? Oh yeah, that’s deter the youths, sure. C’mon! I saw the looks on my cousins faces during all those stunt scenes and I just hope to God they don’t feel inspired by it and grow up to be decent human beings and actually having a life.

Talking about mat rempits, while I was at Kelantan one day, driving and I was at a crossroad. The light was red and I was in front of the line, and I was sensing something was out of place. It took me a while to realize but I looked around and saw a pack of motorcyclist in front of me and none of them was jumping the red light. It was a miracle! Even when the road was clear. It was such a nice feeling. I lived in KL for too long that I have gotten used to seeing motorcyclists treating traffic lights like decorative ornaments that is was so pleasing to come across such a scene. Of course, what they excel in obeying the red light rule, the lack the discipline to wear safety helmets. 7 out 10 riders I came across would have nothing on their head. Probably figuratively too. And they were speeding, naturally. Well, you can’t win them all.

The drive back to KL was hell. Single lane road suck so much. It gives power to the road hoggers. Unless you’re between Gua Musang and Kuala Lipis, you could go as fast as the car in front of you. If he or she decides to maintain 60 km\h for the next 40 km, there’s nothing much you can do because the opposing traffic is just as busy and the road are as twisted as Bush’s administrative policy. It is my dream to see a decent highway built to connect KL to Kelantan. But I do wish they could do something about the current Lebuhraya Pantai Timur. It’s bumpy as hell. I felt it firsthand when I went to Aritha’s wedding. And it’s bad considering the more you speed up, the bumpier it gets. If I’m not mistaken, I saw an ad on TV promoting the highway, and in the final scene, there was 4x4 in the background going up and down as it was travelling. It’s funny and sad at the same time. Will we ever learn?

I guess that’s enough ranting for one day. I won’t be here tomorrow as I’ll be following my mother on her business trip to PD and then Cameron Highlands. I know. It seems I have to break that promise of writing something every day again. Cheers then.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Lucky SOB

I’ve read somewhere that the hallmark of every great writer is that he or she would write something every single day, regardless whether it’s shite or not. So this is me writing something which I’m pretty sure is going to be shitty. But if my experience has anything to go by, you people would still read it and love it as long it is me who wrote it. Kind of like BMW and the 1 Series.

Believe or not I am going to talk about Justin Timberlake today. Yes, surprised, are we? Well let me just get one thing clear. It is not that enjoy doing this or I secretly sing Sexy Back in the shower like Ridhu does but because I have some beef with him. Translation: He just annoys the fuck out of me.

He was already annoying back then being a teeny bopper and all, jumping around with that curly hair of his, while girls screaming his name. Well, they still do, but, now, he somehow managed to take it up another level. I’m referring, of course, not about his music because this is not an MTV blog, but more to his conquests. Seriously, folks, here at It’s A Guy Thing, do we ever deviate far from the topic of women?

So, here it is. Justin Timberlake has become the ladies man that most of us guys wish we could be. I’m not kidding. And that what really bugs me. I want to be in Justin Timberlake’s shoes! How can I NOT be annoyed with myself in making that kind of statement!?

Before you laugh let’s just take a look at his resume, aight? He may went out with some other chicks in between, I don’t know, but I do know that when almost every teenage boys were drooling about her, guess who gets to bang Britney Spears? That’s right, it was Justin Timberlake. And it wasn’t much of a coincidence that by the time they broke up, Britney’s popularity began to wane down. It wasn’t obvious at first but believe me, it was starting to go downhill (the I’m a Slave 4U video, anyone?). With that he moved to the next IT girl of Hollywood – Cameron Diaz. She’s Princess Fiona and the hottest Angel among the three and guess what? Justin got to her too. And now they’ve broken up, one could not help to think that, oh, you know what? Cameron is no longer the one hot piece of ass she used to be. She’s not really away yet but would it surprise you that she’s already on her way? She’s #23 on FHM’s 100 Sexiest Women in the World 2006. I don’t think she’ll fare any better in 2007.

So, who’s Justin banging now? The beautifully sculpted Jessica Biel (if you’ve seen her underwear scene in I Now Pronounce Chuck and Larry, you’ll know what I mean). Y’know I’d never guessed someone like Biel would fall for someone like him. I mean, you have the pop princess. Then the Angel who likes to shake her “booty” in her underwear and you have Biel who plays a slick fighter pilot in Stealth and a vampire bounty hunter in Blade Trinity (albeit she looks incredibly amazing in both those roles) and you think, this is one tough chick. Seriously, a pop singer who does percussion with his mouth certainly doesn’t seem like a likely candidate that would able to lure such a creature in. And yet…

So, recap, how many guys you know who could say ‘I have scored Britney Spears, Cameron Diaz and Jessica Biel in one lifetime?’ Could you see now why I hate this guy so much? Oh, might I add, for his What Goes Around video, he also get to make out with Scarlett Johansson…in the pool! Fuck!

Man, like, forget about Leonardo Di Caprio, Johnny Depp or even Patrick Dempsey, as far as I know, Justin Timberlake is the luckiest sonofabitch in the entertainment industry. And for that, I really despise you, Justin.

At The Gardens

Some people call it a crying call for attention. I just call it disgruntled blog readers due to lack of dosage. Well, good news, you godless sodomites. My MBA finals just ended last week so I am now on a 3 week semester break. And with all this free time I have decided to focus on my writing. Updating this blog more regularly is half of that agenda but also, I think it’s about time I get started on that book that will lead me to fame and fortune. Problem is, I have absolutely no idea where to start. All I do know is I’ll have a girl as among the leading characters and it’s going to end with a tragedy. I will definitely not go for a happy ending. Where’s the fun in that? People don’t remember happy endings. But people will always remember a tragic ending. The one that makes you gasp and go, ‘Oh my God!’ Well, maybe not an absolute disastrous one but an ending that is maybe not an idyllic situation but the best way possible how everything could have turned out. You don’t want Kong to die but he can’t continue terrorizing New York City the way he did. And you feel bad for Naomi Watts but in the end, it really is the beauty that killed the beast. Or something like MatchPoint. Really? Scar Jo? Or a little Mighty Aphrodite. They have each other’s child but don’t realize it. Something tells me I’m gonna watch a lot of Woody Allen movies for this.

In other shitty news, Mourinho has left West London and although there is still bitterness on how things are at the moment, as a Chelsea fan, I suppose I need to get behind Avram, whether I like it or not. Let’s face it, one way or the other, results are needed on the pitch and bitching about lost cause isn’t going to help anybody. The club needs to go forward but that Shevchenko guy is really getting on my nerves.

Moving on.

Now, it’s no secret that for the past few weeks I have been busy with all the projects and presentations, not to mention the finals itself for my MBA, that I rarely go out to KL. I went to Ampang and Pantai Dalam occasionally (and that little Sunday trip to PJ) but that’s basically it. Imagine my surprise when I drove around Bukit Bintang and found out they changed the traffic directions, yet again. I wasted an extra15 minutes trying to get to Low Yatt because I took, which was before, not suppose to be a wrong turn. I’m sure it’ll improve traffic flow but fuck it’s annoying. And it wasn’t helped that before that, I went to Mid Valley and just when I thought I have finally conquered their parking layout, they changed it too. Now they have a P3 level and premier lots and 32 different exits. Honestly, the little ‘guide’ on the parking ticket which I’m guessing supposed to be helpful? Nope, sorry, didn’t do its part.

However, the Mid Valley trip was totally worthwhile. I mean, I went to Low Yatt to get a new CMOS battery but I went to Mid Valley to meet my honey. And that is always worth my time. Seriously, my hair was growing out of control. I have been putting off to see Abby for two weeks now ‘cause I couldn’t fit the time in between. Well, I do now. And as I arrived at the 3rd floor, the Jantzen receptionist told me that Abby was transferred to the outlet at The Gardens. It was a good thing too because if she hadn’t, I probably wouldn’t have taken the time to check out the place myself. All I can say is that it does look a bit more stylish. The Gardens, that is (funny how The Gardens sounds a lot better than Taman-taman). Then again, Coach and Hugo Boss are among their tenants. And the staff do dress like they work at a 5 star hotel. Intriguing, and yet fascinating.

As for Jantzen’s new baby outlet, well, it’s called Hair Studio, located at the corner of Isetan’s 2nd floor entrance. In terms of size, it ridicules in comparison to the loft they have at Mid Valley. That’s why I call it a baby outlet. It’s so cramped. It looks just like one of those 15 minutes express haircut joints. Except this one has Abby in it and better interior. And she screamed in delight at the mere sight of me as I made my way through. Well, not really screamed but just a nice smile and an enthusiastic wave. I was the one who screamed in delight. I didn’t do that out loud though. But that’s what I felt inside. Instead I just gave a slight ‘hey’ nod. Y’know, something Brad Pitt would do.

Any-hoo, one thing I like about the new place is that there’s no crowd. Yeah, I know it was a Monday and all but that didn’t stop people from filling up Mid Valley right across. I just don’t know where all this people could find the time to go there. I mean, not everybody is on an MBA semester break are they? But back to our main story, even without a crowd, I still had to wait as she was attending to another client. And the shampoo assistant assigned to me was a bit rough and that was kind of annoying. And the water she took to my head was a tad too warm. Standards dropping a bit, aren’t we? That would also explain the absence of the all black dress code for the staff. For once, I see Abby dressed other than black. She was in a brown top and jeans. It was certainly a refreshing look. And she smelt of Ralph by Ralph Lauren. I just love how intoxically seductive that feels.

It was such a relief to have all that excess hair out of the way in the end. It felt like a burden was lifted. And Abby’s delicate fingers helped smoothen the process. I mean, really. As I was settling my bill, Abby handed me her new card and told me to take her hand phone number down just in case I require ‘more’ of her services besides the haircut. And she did mention something about her Thursdays as being very lonely. Okay, I made that last bit up but I do have her phone number though. Or as James Roday would put it – digits!

Actually, what really happened was, the new place has yet to have a phone line set up, so even though there’s a fixed line number on her new card, she couldn’t be reached, so in case I want to set up an appointment, I could just call her on her cell. By ‘appointment’, I’d like to think ‘booty call’, but y’know, different people different meaning. But really, if I choose to call her right here, right now, I do have that option. Just for the fun of it. But I won’t because it’s already past 1am and I’m a pussy. Ah damnit. I can already see that all too familiar comment coming. But, y’know, maybe I will ask her out for drinks…some day. Because, seriously, even though her nenen isn’t much to shout about but, damn, the possibility to have sex with her is ultimately glorious. Of course, she has a nice personality to boot as well. Oh yeah, sure.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

The Departure of Mr Mourinho

Most of yesterday (Wednesday) was spent trying to figure out the case analysis that I was supposed to present today (Thursday) and a lengthy discussion with my managerial accounting lecturer. Then, it was business economics class. 3 hours of exchange rates, its determinants and the difference between flexible and fixed. By 10, I made my way to Ampang to attend Cipoi’s house warming BBQ party. Just a small crowd of less than 10. Enjoying grilled food. It started since 7 but they were nice enough to prolong the event just for my sake. Besides, it was me and Pidot who went to Carrefour Tuesday afternoon getting our hands on 20 pieces of lamb chops and 4 packets of hot dogs. Anyway, I had a quick bite of 2 chops and a burger. And they were surprisingly good. Just don’t tell Watai. But maybe also the fact that I got them right off the grill. Anyway, I was pretty much the last customer and we packed things up soon after. But since it was hardly 11 and BBQ does kind of leave you dehydrated, off to Pelita Ampang. But it was filled to the brim. It was even worse than the usual weekend crowd. We decided it just wasn’t worth the effort so we just hitched to Nasi Lemak Pandan by the corner of CIMB. Some space. A relief! So a round of teh ‘o’s and air suam, conversation were pretty much around the hot lady who just dropped by to bungkus some nasi lemak, Entourage and Chanel.

We called it a night just before 1. I got home and guess what? It’s Champions League night. Second round of Matchday 1. I watched the preview show but as expected, just about 10 minutes into the Sporting vs MU match, I slumped to dreamland. It was probably around 2 something. I woke up about 4.45 am, realizing ‘Damnit, I did it again!’ and managed to catch the post-match show of Richard Keys, Ruud Gullit, Jamie Redknapp and Graeme Souness. That was until my mother summoned me for sahur. Of course, I had mine on front of the TV.

Show ended about 6 and I have a group meeting at 10, and I still haven’t done my part yet. At this point my body is practically shouting for a rest, so what can I do? I surrendered myself to it. But for only up to 8.30 cause I need to take a bath and do a super quick presentation draft of my part. In an hour, I managed to produce 20 comprehensive slides. I was quite pleased with myself. Not bad for a drowsy, semi-conscious bloke.

With much laziness, I started up Jane and drove to UIA. Bemoaning that my day was just starting and I was not in an acceptable physical condition (as if I ever had one before), I switched on the radio to Hitz and then came the news snippet.

‘Chelsea has confirmed that Jose Mourinho has parted company with mutual consent’


I knew my judgment was incredibly suspect at the time but I know what I heard. And it was the most heart-wrenching football news since Italy lost to South Korea in the 2002 World Cup. And even now, while I’m writing this, it still hasn’t sunk in. Mourinho no more? Shit, like, I love the guy! He brought the first Premiership title to Chelsea in 50 years. And it got worse when they appointed Avram Grant to take over first team affairs. Who the hell is this guy? Get Cappello for crying out loud! Not to mention we’re going to Old Trafford this weekend. Yes, the future suddenly look very bleak for Chelsea fans. This was not the kind of news I'd like to get on the day of my presentation.

My presentation went kinda well, by the way. Considering I’ve been walking around with a half lifeless body. Occasionally without realizing, softly chanting ‘Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho, Jose Mourinho’ to myself.

I better get some sleep. I got a paper due noon tomorrow.

Tuesday, September 04, 2007

A Phone Call To Keira

To mark her 2Xth birthday, I decided to give Eiwa a call the other day. (I tried Aritha first but since I only got her voice mail, I thought maybe she turned her phone off to do some naughty stuff. I guess it’d be rude to intrude and left it at that. Well, wouldn’t you like to celebrate your birthday by doing naughty stuff? I know I would) And also since I have yet to talk to her in 2007 I think it’ll also serve as a nice gesture, don’t you think? Anyway, I was quite nervous since I don’t know how the conversation is going to be like. It has been THAT long, y’see. Maybe something weird or awkward would ensue but surprisingly no. It actually felt good. It felt like catching up with an old friend. And I also found out that she had lost her phone earlier this year and with it my phone number which would explain why I hadn’t heard anything from her all this while. Well, guess that’s poor marks for me for not giving HER a call once in a while. Twat.

And another thing, it still amazes me that I haven’t taken her out for that drink that I made her promised me ages ago. Even then and there. Well, not really then and there since she was at Genting at the time having fun with her girlfriends and all but if I had wanted to, I could have. Because during that brief conversation I did create value. I read from a dating expert somewhere (probably from and he said that in order to create interest from the female, you have to first create value for yourself. Best example would be from Hitch in that Grey Goose Martini scene. Just when you started to get sucked in by the conversation, Will Smith goes by saying, ‘Well, it was nice talking to you Sara Melas,’ and just left. And the martinis came and Eva Mendes was left giggling. And I think I managed that. She did sound giggly at the end of the call. Or it could’ve been the high altitude.

Anyway, by the end of the call, it reminds me of how good it felt to have nice talk with a decent girl. That hasn’t happened to me for a while. The only conversation I have with a female these days is with Deb, and she swears more than any other boys I know. She’s the kind of girl that when you question her sexuality, she would grab her boobs and shout ‘Then what the fuck do you call these?’ Well it wasn’t us who claims she wants to be ‘one of the boys’. It was entirely her call. Which would explain why it is weird to see her wear a baju kurung when she attends weddings. By the day, she gets more and more like her idol Catherine Tate (check out BBC Entertainment, Astro CH26). So, it was very refreshing to come across a Keira Knightly once in a while. And it even beats a Courtney Love (Tita) episode too. Nice and charming at first then rude and loud the next. There’s also a bit of Tara Reid inside there too. And not really in a good way.

I think I should work something out with Keira here. It wouldn’t hurt, I’d give you that. More so since Ms Anna Kournikova (Jes) has since gone back to Sarawak. Not that I regularly go out with her but knowing that she’d be at Westin gives me a comfortable feeling. Like if all else fails, then hey, at least we can drop by at Jes’. I wish she had stayed there forever. Well, no more of that now.

As for Ms. U, well, I think a congratulations is in order. For those of you who couldn’t guess who am I referring to, let’s just say that Ms U is name that we do not speak of here at It’s A Guy Thing. It’s a thin line between love and hate and I learnt that the hard way. So, no, I don’t a need a revision course. As for Ms W, since her name has the same phonetics, I’d rather not take the risk of writing her name either. But she does has an incredibly sexy voice. Slightly sultry and her English is as smooth as silk. And I do get turned on by smooth English talking girls. Why do you think I like Keira so much? The real one that is. But it’s no surprise since the current MBA programme she’s taking is her 2nd Masters degree. Yikes! As for Mirsya, well, I’d save that for another time. And if we’re lucky, I’ll include a photo as well, and you’ll see what I mean by the Sharifah Amani look-alike. ‘Til then, folks.

Donat yang Bulat

I’d say of one of the fringe benefits of having a sister-in-law who is working as a flight attendant is that once in a while she would smuggle something nice from her trips and bring them home for the enjoyment of her unemployed brother-in-law. Like this morning my breakfast consists of gourmet sandwiches. Those little buns with slices of roast chicken inside them that only looks dry but comes bursting with flavour? Yep, those kind. I’m such a lucky bastard. Last week she took some mixed nuts packets that were reserved for 1st class passengers. I didn’t fancy them too much but it did trigger an early gout warning in my father’s toe. Needless to say, that was the last time he touched them. A couple of weeks back she brought home a big box of Krispy Kreme doughnuts all the way from London. She said she’s addicted to them and all her stewardesses friends so she thought she brought home some. And also because she has a fun time every time she goes through customs and on the X-ray monitors ‘nanti nampak bulat bulat bulat,’ and the officers would have that ‘what the fuck…?’ look on their faces. To me they were nothing really special. They’re good but not really mind-blowing. No variety and they’re all heavily sugar frosted which makes you hardly like to taste more than one piece. But she said that Carrefour recently have beginning to sell them too so you are welcome to try them yourself and have your on opinion about them. But to me, Big Apple at the Curve is still serve the most seductive doughnuts in town.

And It Was a Green Day

One of my motivations for writing this post after an overdue absence is so that Ridhu would have one taunt less when we go head to head during Winning 11 11 at Machiko’s. He would start ranting on something and then suddenly. ‘Dahla tak update blog!’ Yes, he’s a confessed regular and yes, it was totally uncalled for and although not exactly hurting, the chance to eliminate such jibes in future situations just seems… preferable.

Anyway, here we are. Post wedding day. Post reunion day. Post Last Hurrah for Jes at Genting day. Post Baby Jane’s return day. And post having the kitchen renovated. Actually that’s not post. It’s still on going. At one time I had this gaping hole on the side of my house. Needless to say, my mother had some pretty worrying nights as she constantly felt that we were so incredibly prone to house robbery those nights that at any time burglars would easily enter and ransack our house, steal the TV, ruin her decorative ornaments and shave the cats bald. None of those happened, of course. I, for one, refuse to be fearful in my own neighbourhood let alone within the compound of our house. Besides, I stay up late pretty much every night and if some shit do takes place, I’d be the first to know. So far, as I came home at around 3 or 4 in the morning on certain occasions, things are cool. No worries there.

As for the kitchen, well, I don’t know how exactly it’s going to look like when it’s finished but I do know we’re gonna have yellow kitchen cabinets. And if I’m not further mistaken, my father is having a Koi pond built around the house somewhere. Well, that’ll amuse Hobbes. Hobbes is my cat, by the way. Classic tabby. Weighs almost 3 kgs. Extremely lazy and an obvious fat ass but something tells me bright colored fishes would attract any cat’s attention no matter how physically passive they are.

Should I talk about the wedding? I should, shouldn’t I? Man, this what happens when you don’t blog after a while. An accumulation of blog-worthy things that’s left unwritten. And to totally discard those stories would be…unethical. Damn these management courses! I’m beginning to use words like ‘unethical’ to communicate myself in an unprofessional context.

Anyway, my brother’s wedding…what can I say? It was beautiful. Everything was so green. It was their theme. And having it at FRIM does help, I think. I was the designated driver for the couple. I was the one who drove them from Kak Chaya’s house to FRIM. Of course, almost nobody knew about this as the best man takes all the credit while I had to park the car in an already packed area.

Sasa, Sarah and Izzu came which was nice. No one from SAS came so that pretty sums up how they can be such fuckholes at times but Machiko did made an effort to came so I guess that entitles him to an exception. And yet, he still finds joy in beating my 5-0 twice in 1 day. Twice! I mean, I’m a seasoned Win 11 player like he is but damnit! I tell ya, Rooney is evil.

Anyway, back to the wedding. I kicked ass for my speech. Oh yes, I probably didn’t mention this but a few days before W-Day (get it? Yes, I know it’s lame) my mother told me that I have to give a speech on behalf of the family in welcoming my new sister-in-law. She will prepare it for me, of course, but a speech? Y’all kiddin’ me? Oh thank you for the head’s up. What did I do to deserve such pressure? Same shit when I was designated to become the MC for the Scuds reunion dinner. But, as always, I pulled through. Unfortunately though, no one was to give the plaudits. Because, y’see, the kenduri is an open affair. Meaning anyone would come whenever they want within the stipulated time, have their meal, meet some relatives, take some pictures with the bride and groom and leave. So, it’s not exactly a formal function where everyone is seated at their tables and conversations are turned into whispers. No. This one was like a traditional kenduri. It was riuh, so to speak. So was the case when I went to the podium. Even my mother missed it. She was like, ‘You’re done with the speech?’ and I was like, ‘Yeah, about a half hour ago’. Only when the AV people compiled everything and made this edited DVD of the wedding day that people could finally embrace my awesomeness. I don’t know if they were patronizing me but credit is always welcome, how overdue it may be. And of course, Project Folklore received the same fate. Fully enjoyed only by the closest family members. My grandmother loved my speech. Aren’t they great? Even if you suck, they always say nice things to you.

That’s basically it actually. Truth is, that event took place more than a month ago so the buzz is pretty much gone. Which would explain my lack of enthusiasm. And we have yet to go into reunion day. Or that day at Genting. Or Mrs ‘U’, who is expecting. Or Mrs ‘W’, who isn’t but has one hell of a sexy voice. Or Mirsya, the Indonesian who looks like Sharifah Amani with a headscarf. One of my main motivations to come to class every Monday and Thursday. And Eiwa is somehow still my guilty pleasure. Other people has chocolates but mine has tits and if memory has anything to go by, a very delectable ass. How on earth does this feel guilty!?

If you see any wedding photos in this post, chances are they are added later. Cheers.

Oh yeah, Jane’s back. Took a while but she’s back. No more problems ever since. I so rock.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007


False alarm, ladies and gents. It’ is spelt with a ‘W’. I know it doesn’t make much of a difference but somehow it feels like it. And the other thing about the forgiveness? Yeah, I think that’s a load a bull too. There’s no way I’ll be getting off the hook that easily. I must be drunk when wrote that.

Anyway, Project Folklore has been completed. Well, at least from my part. All the raw materials has been submitted to the wedding planner. Now it is up to them to edit the snippets into what they see fit. As for my speech, I thought it was pretty good. But it could’ve been better. I only had an hour practice and during recording, the house cuckoo clock suddenly decided to make known of its existence. ‘Cuckoo! Cuckoo!’ it went without warning. During that brief moment, my composure got a little sidetracked. And I can’t do a second take because I was rushing to class. So, what you see is what you get. But overall I think it went well.

Baby Jane is still at the works. The search for the elusive ECU still drags on. Currently, I have to rely on Valerie on a day to day basis. No stereo and handling is rather lopsided at times but she manages. We might go to Mid Valley today for an appointment with Abby. Oh yes, Abby. Her touch can soften the hardest of souls. Got to be ready you see. Wedding day is only matter of days now. One thing I did realize though was that I have so few female friends. Fewer still who are single. I invited some of my closest buddies over the years to this wedding day – namely from SAS and UTP. And it dawned to me, I need more chicks around me. Funny ‘cause at one time I had enough of them going around. Oh wait, I know what happened – they got married! First they were single and fun. Then came the boyfriend and you get blown off more often then came the ‘M’ word and you realize, telling dirty jokes feels rather awkward now.

Somehow I feel I gonna get another ‘be a man!’ comment.

Anyway, cheers for now.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

True Story of the Day

I went to my first MBA class today and under normal circumstances, why would I even attempt to go through the trouble of writing my experience but something really peculiar happened and I think it’s worth my time and effort to share it with you.

There’s this lady in my class. Malay, late 20s I guess, probably married with kids, baju kurung, bertudung, just your typical office mate I presume and at the beginning of the class, each of the students was required to stand up and introduce themselves. So, came her turn, she stood up and with a calm manner she announced,

‘Assalamualaikum, name saye Najua…’

As her name vibrated through the whole room, I couldn’t remember what she said next as I was temporarily transfixed. People, I could not have possibly made this up. This is an honest to god truth story. Well, maybe her name is spelt with a ‘W’, I don’t know. What I do know is, throughout the night, this irony really gave me the creeps. I don’t know what twisted little game fate has been toying me with but, damn it, it sure as hell working. The lady herself doesn’t realize a thing what she had done to a fat bloke sitting at the last row simply by pronouncing her name. As for me, all the memories were coming back thick and fast, and honestly, it’s not a pleasant feeling. Here I am still trying to get though my latest tragedy and here comes a stark reminder of the previous one. How on earth do you expect me to move on? It’s already difficult as it is. Stop fucking with me!!

And you know what? I came home, turned to my computer, checking my emails as usual and while I was browsing through the ‘Who’s Viewed Me’ section of my Friendster account and guess whose name popped out? C’mon just give a wild guess. That’s right. I already said her name once, I’m not gonna do it twice. There were only 2 viewing since yesterday. one was Oni and the other was her. And this is the genuine article. I don’t know what ticked her to click my name because, by golly, I even disconnected her from my network of friends. A new slate, remember? Then this happens. I mean, what the fuck? Is this some kind of a joke? Is this god’s way of sharing his sense of humour? ‘I’ll put this girl with the THE name together with him in his MBA class and have the actual girl checking out his Friendster account. That should screw his mind out. Oh this should be fun,’


Why should she view my profile anyway? I don’t know what it means. Maybe it’s just a coincidence. Maybe she has softened enough to have forgiven me. I just don’t know. All this and I have yet to come up with a speech for Project Folklore. Oh, today’s operation went well, so to speak. I even went to Petronas Research, Bangi to video some of my brother’s work colleagues. And while I was over there, I caught a glimpse of a Decepticon freezer truck parked within the perimeters. It’s true then. They are already here.

Oh, by the way, about the Dayana story in the previous post, what I meant to say was that I should use the ‘I’m not working, still studying’ gig again more often when to comes to paying food since people tend to be more sympathetic to me that way. Hey, it’s not my fault when they ask, ‘kau buat ape skrg?’ Requesting an answer from me for that kind of question, you are asking yourself to be put in a guilty position…especially when you were under the assumption that we were supposed to split the bill.

Oh well. Got a long day tomorrow. Good night, folks. I’ll see you tomorrow, Najua.

Monday, July 02, 2007

Aritha's Wedding

Good evening, people. Chronologically I should start with my trip to Penang. But since I just arrived back from Mentakab, feeling fresh after a good warm bath and with the house all to myself, I think it’s befitting to start with Aritha’s wedding. Yes, people, she is now officially married. Finally, I can say that out loud. The first time she broke the news to me about two months ago, she made took a vow of silence on the subject. No telling anyone, albeit I was among the last to know. If I do, she would kill me. She literally said, ‘Faizad, kalau kau bitau sesape, aku bunuh kau,’ Something tells me she wasn’t kidding this time around. So much was I determined to keep my promise that once, on the way back from Low Yatt, Big Show somehow asked me on Aritha’s well being. I was stumped because I don’t exactly how to answer that. Then Tomok cut in by saying, ‘Aku dengar die nak kawin. Kau tanye badok,’

Oh fuck.

In an honestly fashion, I replied, ‘Aku takleh jawab soalan tu sebab aku takut aku kena bunuh,’ they both laughed at my statement but in that moment I could almost picture Aritha’s wide-eyed face should I utter the words along the lines of, ‘Oh kau tak tau ke? Die nak kawin dlm bulan depan camtu,’ And somehow Aritha would telepathically know what I did and yell, ‘FAIZAD!!’ Honest to god truth, I was scared shitless.

But everything’s okay now.

The akad nikah and majlis berinai was held yesterday, Saturday, June the 30th, 2007. The kenduri itself was held earlier this afternoon.

Personally, I am lost for words in describing the whole event. Basically, it was beautiful. And of course, it’s not enough simply describing it because it was a visual feast. One of those things that even the best writers couldn’t do justice in elaborating the words to give their readers an inkling what it meant to be there and living the moment. Or, it could just be another excuse for low-life writers like me in avoiding to come up with bombastic words to equal that of Shakespeare. My love is deep. The more I gave thee, the more I have. Anyone?

Anyway, I must say, Mentakab is just so hot. And I don’t mean it in the same context as I would describe Angelina Jolie. It was exactly scorching but you can feel the hest emanating from beneath you, rising up constantly. Though I truly dislike using these words onto myself, but by god was I sweating like pig. I know walking around with a bunch of Kleenexes in your hands isn’t exactly masculine but it came to the point that I just don’t give a damn. But in hindsight, it’s better to have that than to have a rainy affair now, wouldn’t it? That would seriously create some problems. But as it was, everything went well. And I just felt glad for the newlyweds. Especially for the dear friend of mine, Aritha. Never have I thought that among the four of Jes, Sasa, Zal and her, she would be the first to tie the knot. A few years ago, while still in UTP, I made a bold prediction and put my money on Zal to settle down first among the foursome. And ironically, I betted that Aritha would the last candidate. Well, how wrong I turned out to be. But in reviewing my initial prediction, now I couldn’t possibly guess who would be next in following Aritha’s footsteps. Kak Nieta says it’ll be Sasa. But I have no gut feelings to repute nor disrepute that. As far as I look at it, people seem to easily fall in and out of love nowadays and apparently the same could be said about getting married. But whoever it may be next, I’d be happy for them, no matter what.

Now, philosophical deliberations aside, as for the actual event themselves, well, for the akad nikah, it was held at the neighbourhood surau just across the field from Aritha’s parent’s house so we all just gladly walked. Who am I kidding? We’re from the city, for god’s sakes, of course we took a car ride for the 200 metres journey. Besides, air-conditioning never felt so good. The surau itself is not exactly generous in space so you can say it did got a little cramped. But what bothered the most apart from my Made-in-Switzerland Bally shoes had its right sole came off for no apparent reason (thank god I had my Hush Puppies sandals in Sasa’s car, if not, embarrassment could’ve been worse) was that the Tok Kadi’s refusal to use the microphone when the actual akad nikah was uttered. They didn’t mind using the PA system to recite the unfathomable pantuns and explaining the responsibilities of both the husband and wife. But I guess, it did somehow turned out for the better because before I knew it, it was over. If not, then I would have ended up crying. No, wait, that was Sasa. She was the one almost crying. Right.

Anyway, after the akad nikah was over, and Aritha was officially denounced as a single lady, we took a breather back to our hotel at Bukit Bendera Resort for an hour or so. Yes, people, there’s a resort in Mentakab. Don’t ask me how or when, it’s just there. Deal with it. I, for one, am glad that such a place even exists. It made the one night stay a more worthwhile affair. Zalina and Sasa had trouble with the bathroom though. They say it smells funny. I on the other hand, couldn’t be bothered. I don’t know if it’s because they have so gotten used to Jes’ place at Westin or that I’m a guy and have seen and been through worse.

Anyway, the majlis berinai is one peculiar event. This may sound foolish but before this I never even heard of such a thing. From what it sounds, it could only imagine that it involves inai on the bride’s hands and I couldn’t guess what goes on beyond that. But from what Sasa had told me, it is a picture-taking opportunity for the close families and friends of the wedding couple. They would put on nice dresses and if you fancy it, then go up there with the celebrated couple. I couldn’t quite grasp the concept yet at the time of explanation but as the night went on, then I finally get it. To me, it’s like a sneak peek of a movie. A midnight show before the big proper release. It was quite the same here. The dresses is purposely made for that night alone and they would sit on the pelamin to give a taste of what the actual bersanding would look and feel like. In essence, it’s just another reason to party. And I do mean party, for some of the guests. They plugged in a karaoke machine to the sound system and all AF wanna-be came out horns blazing that night. Suffice to say, my ears didn’t enjoy a great night. But, as for the bride and groom, they look magnificent. Dressed in a combination of white and lilac, honestly, I think they look better in them than what they would actually wear on Sunday. This one is more modern and chic. Sunday’s attire was more traditional but hey, I grew up watching Friends, so sue me.

But, one thing though, damn do they take an awfully long time to get ready. The newlyweds, I mean. Especially the bride. She must have gone though hours of make-up. We, the friends, already arrived fashionably late as always, about a quarter past 9. And they only came out about a little past 10. That’s almost an hour of karaoke torture. Please, would someone destroy that annoying machine?

But when they did come out, I think you could say it was worth the wait. I have never quite remembered Aritha looking as beautiful as she did that night. It was proof alone how Farris (the groom) could have fallen for her. What can I say? Lucky man.

Oh wait, before I move on, I just want to mention that how much I couldn’t believe that Aritha’s mother and eldest sister could recognize and know my name. For the past 5 years or so, I could say that I have personally met them only once or twice. Maybe thrice. But, man, to remember me the moment I stepped onto the courtyard earlier that afternoon? That was so unnerving. I know I couldn’t have made such an impression on those brief moments of acquaintances. It is kind of unsettling to hold out your hand and for them to say, ‘Faizad, kan?’ Throughout the two-day event I feel that at any given time moment I would burst out and unwittingly confess, ‘Ma’am, nothing happened at The Ascott. I didn’t touch your daughter/sister. I wanted to…but… no,’ Thankfully, such a scene didn’t take place. Hopefully never.

And the other thing, earlier during the akad nikah, while Sasa and Kak Nieta were drooling over one of Farris’ best men who I could swore I chilled with during my last trip to Langkawi on Chenang beach (though I have yet to confirm that with Cipoi, for whom was with me at the time), I had my eye on one of the ladies. Initially I had given up hope of finding a fun subject (i.e. a fancy lady) among the crowd after a brief glance around. More makcik-makcik than adik-adik manis around here. But there was this one girl who was such a looker. She virtually stood out from all of them. But one problem though. She always seems to be carrying this child around and even though there was no man in sight throughout the time that would suggest a boyfriend/fiancĂ©/husband, she does sport a golden band around her finger that looks pretty much like a wedding ring. Is she single? Coming alone while leaving her man behind? Divorced? Single mother? What? The thought confounded and tormented me endlessly. But that still didn’t stop us from having our glances crossed more than a couple of times. From that moment at the surau ‘til the kenduri ended this afternoon. It may not be flirtatious in nature but I can safely say we did notice each other. It was not on the drive back home that I learnt from Sasa that the lady in question is actually Farris’ younger sister (!!!!!!!!!!!) What the f**k!? Are You F*****g Me!!? No wonder I missed the exit to the Lebuhraya Pantai Timur from Lanchang. I was cajoling with Aritha’s sister-in-law. Man, this is getting embarrassing. But when I questioned her availability to Sasa, she said she doesn’t know either. I mean, no big surprise there. Who would know, in fact? Apart from Farris himself. But, now that I think about it, I mean, she is Aritha’s sister-in-law, right? It’s a no-brainer, right? I could just ask Aritha about her, right? That is, after she’s done with this small matter of her wedding, of course. She still has to go to Kelantan for another round at the groom’s place, y’know. I’ll take a rain check on that.

Now, where were we? Ah yes, the majlis berinai. It was wonderful. I was getting sleepy but still wonderful. And oh yes, there’s Farris’ sister looking at me again….with a child in her hands. That’s nice. The event ended a little over 12. Maybe even later, but that was the time when we left. The couple was in the bilik pengantin doing I don’t know what and Sasa was beginning to make a lot of noises about wanting to go to bed. Yeah, right. One phone call from ‘B’ and she was ready to chat the whole night. Oh the things I have to pay having to share a room with a woman intoxically in love. And how surprisingly, Kak Nieta turned out to be the more tolerable roommate. He was out like a lamp. That is, right after we went horsing around the concept of harassing room 120 (the room allegedly where Farris’ friends were staying in). For me, well, Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore posed a much better prospect. I was petting my walrus this morning and I couldn’t stop thinking about you. How can that not be funny?

Then came the morning of July 1st. The big day has dawned. And it started in not the best of ways. First I thought of getting a dip in the pool bright and early but then I found out it was closed due to renovation works. Plus the water reeks of green algae. Then the so-called buffet breakfast was horrible. Slightly better than the one I had during the trip to Melaka with Tomok, Nebu and Lantoi. Better, but still not even coming close to satisfactory. So I drove Dean along with Nieta and Sasa to Mentakab town and decided on an eatery named Saodah Dollah. For the simple reason of the establishment’s name. Both were so taken off with the name that they actually took pictures of the place with their cam phones. I was just looking forward to the food. For me, here was a perfect opportunity to try out some little town style breakfast. Where the preparation is more towards the flavor of the food rather than commercialization reasons. And when I took that first bite of their nasi lemak, I thought, well, that was dissapointing. It was as unspectacular as I hoped it wasn’t to be. In fact, I had better back at the city. At least the price here was delightfully enjoyable. RM3.50 for a teh tarik and a small plate of nasi lemak sotong. Try to get that in KL. You’re lucky to get nasi lemak at all.

By the time we got back to our hotel, Irwan just arrived with his entourage of Jes and Sarah. Irwan drove his mother to KL the night before and Zal tagged along because she couldn’t attend Sunday’s event due to work. Coming back here, to Mentakab, Irwan picked up Jes (who had to work on Saturday) and Sarah (who decided just to come on Sunday). So there we were. All of them looking all nice and dandy, while I was standing in my shorts next to Nieta who has yet to take a morning bath. Yes, we were the perfect choice for model citizens.

Jes being Jes, would let you know in no uncertain terms how displeased she is when the tardiness of other people (i.e Nieta) is affecting and/or delaying her personal schedule. And, oh you know how long girls take to get ready especially as big as something as the wedding of one of your closest friends. Everything has to be perfect. Fortunately, for guys, perfection only requires 10 minutes or so. Isn’t it funny how I always turn out to be the innocent bystander in every case?

We finally managed to check-out at exactly around noon, funny considering how punctual we turned out to be in the end. And Tomok was busy calling me every 5 minutes to know when I’d be coming to Aritha’s place since he was getting restless without decent mate to talk to.

Upon arrival, we went straight to the bilik pengantin to find the bride who had just completed her make-over sitting on the side of her very pink bed. As with every bride, and much so in this case, she was a sight to behold. Again, words fail me but I’ll try to include some pictures here when Irwan puts them up online. He was the one with the camera. But if I had to put into words of the ethereal figure that has presented itself before me is then it is this - the mere sight of her beauty will never age for me, nor fade, nor die. Come what sorrow can, it cannot countervail the exchange of joy, that one short minute gives me in her sight. But, well, that’s just me.

Pictures were taken inside the quarters and while most of the group went out to enjoy lunch, I opted to stay. One reason being the delectable air-conditioning the room has and the other, being the reason that I feel it is important for me just to be there with Aritha before the final moments of her unveiling to the waiting crowd gathered outside on this grandiose day of her wedding. Sure, she has Sasa as her pengapit but, damn it, I just want to be there. Ridhu may not believe this but my appetite can wait. This was a once in a lifetime event. In that instance, everything else was trivial.

Minutes before the actual unveiling, I went out for a head start. And being close friends of the bride, and the recognition of the bride’s eldest sister, we got the orders to ‘linger about’ when the groom’s rombongan arrives. Appearing more important than we actually are. But, of course, no harm can be done there. Besides, I could see Farris’ sister again. Oh there she’s returning my look. Yep, and there’s the child again. I couldn’t be sure if it’s the same one from the night before. Oh well, that story can wait.

As for the bride and groom, they went up to the pelamin, while I stayed back of the crowd with Acai and Tomok, as it was getting rather crammed up front. Everyone wanted to see the newly weds, y’see. While the proceedings went on from the silat to the zapin to the dining for the bride and groom, I made my around the compound. Staying here and there, dabbing sweats off my forehead. I think being close of friends of either one of the married couple can be the best jobs at a wedding. You don’t have to do any work because you are sort of guests of the family and you’re not obliged to mingle with everyone because you’re not exactly family either. So most of the time you just sit around, have unrestricted supply to drinks and only have to meet people that you want to meet. Like the groom’s sister. Which I didn’t. Sasob.

As time went by and the crowd faded away, again pictures were taken, glances exchanged between bride’s close friend and groom’s sister, cam phones secretly snapping away at the groom’s childhood buddies, it was nearly time to call it a day for the bride’s friends from the city. They have certainly watched the becoming of one of their closest members. Sure we shall be seeing her again soon but make no mistake, an important day this was and one should not be easily forgotten. I, for one, am truly honoured to be there on such a momentous occasion. Though I cannot say the same thing for Apau. However, in the end, there’s just one thing left to say:

To Farris and Aritha,
Selamat Pengantin Baru.

With that, a story about my trip to Penang now seems rather insignificant. I mean, seriously, there was nothing much worth mentioning. Maybe if I have the energy to write something about it, I will. But, oh wait, one more little story before we sign off.

On the way back from Mentakab, we all stopped by at Genting Sempah for refreshments at McDonalds. The lines at the counter were long and to save time, Dayana Rosti who was queuing in front of me suggested to place an order together. So we did and she paid first. Then we all sat down, talking, having a good laugh, buat macam rumah sendiri, when at the end of it, before we move to our separate cars and head our own ways, I offered to pay for the meal that Dayana had paid for earlier. Imagine my surprise when she said, ‘No, it’s okay. Kau still tgh study, kan?’ Yeah, I think I did mention about doing my MBA at UIA at the time being while chatting to her during the queue. But get this. Dayana Rosti just paid a McDonalds meal for me. The daughter of the former rector of UTP and current VP of Education at Petronas just paid for my McDonalds meal. Now I feel guilty for all the terrible names I called her during our university days. If I could’ve turn back time bearing this latest revelation that I have now to back then, I would have…….still call her those names because it was so much fun doing so those days! Man, what a horrible person I am. But, honestly, the paying for was indeed a nice gesture. I mean, it’s not that I have paid for any of her meals before. She has started rolling the wheel first. One day I might have to return the gesture. Shit, I am so getting the butt of jokes with that statement. Soon speculation will rise on whether I’d be hitting on her. This is how rumours start. And blogging about it doesn’t exactly help in diminishing those, does it?

Anyway, the Mentakab trip was fabulous and I wouldn’t forget it for the rest of my life – for a variety of reasons. But things are not over yet for me. My brother’s getting married this coming weekend and Project Folklore is yet to be completed. It’s a task my brother handed to me to record wishes and speeches from close families and friends commenting on the impending wedding. The deadline is Tuesday night because that’s when we’ll hand the collected recordings to the editor. Most is done so far. Just two more friends, our parents, my sister and myself. I’ve been thinking about this for the past two weeks and I still don’t know what to say. I’m the groom’s brother, for crying out loud. What I say will carry much weight. I’m the next in line. If he’s William, then I’m Harry. That was good, wasn’t it? Yeah, I’ve thought of putting that in. A little touch of humour, don’t you think? But whatever it is, I have to come up with something quickly. What’s worse, my MBA classes start tomorrow. Actually later today considering it’s already 1 am. And it’s going to be 6.30 – 10 pm every night from Monday to Thursday. Little tight on time? Tell me about it.

Anyway, time to sign off. Thank you for reading. I might as well hit the sack. It’s going to be a busy week, especially in the next 48 hours. Well, again, congratulations to Farris and Aritha. Good night to all. Wait a second, I wonder what Aritha’s doing right now….
*pictures courtesy of Irwan