Thursday, June 23, 2005

The one-thousandth seal

Congratulations Jimbo, you are...

Huai Bin of

You are all about recklessness, controversy and not living life by the rules. As a rebel against convention, you demeanor intimidates people who don't know you. Despite most people's negative first impression, you are just a simple person who enjoys doing what you do, and keeping it real all the time. You may have a lot of friends but you also have a lot of enemies. You can be very protective of your friends, standing up for them at the cost of putting yourself in the firing line. You are real. You say what you mean, and you mean what you say.

Which Malaysian Blogger Are You?

P.S: I also took the 'Which Singaporean blogger are you?' quiz, I turned out to be some chick call poi poi Apple Lim. wah liau!

Monday, June 20, 2005

Wet Weird dream

I had the weirdest f#@cking dream this morning.

And the most damn-iest thing is... I remember every single detail. I was still in bed at 8.30am because Agnes left for work with Anna today. Suddenly I had an urge to leave my bedroom and check the living room out. My blood frosted when the door opened, for what greeted me was one big vacant space. My TV set, HTS, sofa, cabinet... the whole's all gone! I instinctively opened my main door and saw the grills wide open. Hoping to catch a glance of the scoundrels, I looked down the hallway and saw a man in his 50s and a young girl walking in my direction. The man had a ponytail and sported a goatee whereas the girl looked rather timid and had her head down all the way. Our eyes met and their pace instantly quickened. Panic sank in, I hurriedly shut the main door behind me and before I had the chance to lock it, he has forced his way in.

Without saying anything, he went inside the washroom with the girl while I stood there dumbstruck. The thought of calling the police or running away did cross my mind but my legs just would not budge. After what seemed like an eternity, the man flushed and came out from the toilet. I begged for mercy and said something along the lines of 'I am still a student... don't kill me, take anything you wantlah...I will not make any police report...'

The man smiled and just said, 'OK, I'll let you go. He gave me a hard shove and I fell on the floor.' He and the girl then left via the main door and I woke up with a start. The first thing I did was jump out of bed and surveyed my living room. Seeing all my furniture and appliances intact calmed me down somewhat.

Bah must be my punishment for lazing on the bed way too much, LOL !

Wednesday, June 15, 2005

Singa-bore and Singa-波

I had a really interesting conversation with a taxi driver during my short trip to Singapore. He was a friendly Chinese chap in his 30s and below is an extract of our conversation:-

(T = Taxi driver and M = Me)

T: Vere are you from friend?
M: I am from Malaysia.
T: Ohhhh, are you in Singapore for business or leisure?
M: I am here for business actually.
T: I go Malaysia veli often, I like going there! (Ed note: yeah duh, things are much cheaper ward)
M: Oh... to look around or visit relatives?
T: I go for food la, Singaporean food courts so expensive and the food like shit-lah.
M: You go down to JB then?
T: No...not JB but KL.
M: Eh... why do you go to KL and not Malacca and JB when these 2 destinations are much nearer?
T: No la, JB nowadays so dangerous you know! They no more use knife for loberry, now all use gun! Don't say we from Singapore go there not safe, locals oso they rob ah. Mai siao siao oh.
M: Then go to Malacca if its the food you're after, we have good stuff there!
T: No la... Malacca so outdate no fun. (Ed note: duh again, from one big city to another ?! sheesh)
M: You stay with relatives in KL then?
T: Nola, I go down KL eveli 1-2 months and book a room in the Swiss Garden Inn. I am VIP there you know, they know me veli well. So evelitime I go there I got special discount. I like to walk to Petaling Street to buy stuff and eat, the food there are so nice and cheap.
M: (Laughs) OK, so do you go for any local 'delicacies' as well? *I winked at him*
T: Haiyoooo why would I need to go for the Malaysian 1? Singapore also got a lot mah. You tell me what you vant, China, Thailand, Australia, local all oso got ah. If seasoned 1 around S$50 and if you want virgin must pre-arrange la cost around S$150-250 depending on the quality lor. Wah I tell you recently got Spanish somemore leh, all chio bu! Some Malaysian girls they come here for 2 weeks, den return to JB or Genting for 1-2 days before coming beck to Singapore again. How long will you be here, I bling you around tomorrow!
M: Thank you for your kind offer but I am afraid I am going back tomorrow.
T: Aiyah so soon ah, nevermind la. This is my card (Reach into his pocket and passes me a card), call me when you come to Singapore again and I will show you around!
M: Alright thanks a lot man!

The conversation came to an end when I reached the hotel but it was nonetheless a very interesting conversation about a Singaporean's perspective of Malaysia and errr... the 'PR' scene in these 2 countries.

Friday, June 10, 2005

Rocking with the Titans Part 2

S and me returned to the hotel for a short break. My eyes were heavy and felt tired after the 3-hour drive down, but I was afraid that insufficient sleep might make things worse and therefore settled to TV instead. Apparently Singapore receives transmission from quite a few countries and as I was zapping around, I came across channels from Indonesia, Thailand and (duh!) Malaysia. There was this show on UTV very much like Extreme Makeover where they randomly pick guys from the street and transform them into total hunks. It was a boring show to be honest but it did kept me entertained. At a quarter to 6, I took a quick shower, changed into my suit and met up with M and S in the Executive Lounge. I was famished (thanks to Leon for finishing all the chicken) and started helping myself to some of the sandwiches and paninis while waiting for PL to arrive.

We took a taxi to the Raffles City Convention Centre and got lost! There were no electronic displays or signboards indicating functions and events and ushers were nowhere to be seen. Luckily, a staff passing by led us right to the end of a long corridor where we saw the trademark National Geograpic yellow frame and 2 tables for registration purposes. Right beside the tables was a pathetically small sign saying 'Asia Travel Awards' (finally!). I guess we were pretty early because the crowd was scarce and most of the people there seems to be bustling around (must be the organisors). We were ushered into a cocktail reception and the artwork was exhibited on the left, I quickly browsed through some of the work by other agencies and it must be said here that that LB's work for MAS were simply brilliant; witty and so cleverly directed. In between the boring cocktail reception,, I had 4 champagnes, 2 wine and went out for 3 sticks of smoke while waiting for the event to commence.

We were seated on Table J and I was introduced to the VIPs of the day, S Barlow and wife from HI. My seat was between PL and this Indian lady from H's PR agency. She works as a PR Director and looks fairly young. From the conversation however, she seem to have a wealth of experience and struck me as a fairly interesting person. We made some small talk about work, clubbing and interests in between meals and the presentation and she confided in me that she enjoys driving down to Malaysia alone and considers it to be a most enjoyable experience. Although we were treated to a free flow of wine, the food simply sucked! The first dish was 2 scallops, 2 prawns and a bundle of cabbages with sweet chiili, it was OKlah and I gobbled the prawns anyway because I was really hungry. The second dish was mutton soup with innards and a single dumpling, sheesh talk about insensitivity to people who don't fancy mutton. Luckily for me, the dumpling does not have the usual odor that comes with the meat so I took it as well. I abandoned the soup after a few sips and left the innards to rot on the saucers. Last but not least (Macamlah I dah kenyang sangat) was jeng jeng jeng, dessert! 1 blardy tiny cup of tau foo fah and a sweet dumpling with sugar powder, I finished it in 3 gulps. *sigh*

The event itself was a messy affair. But i guess its forgivable since it's the first year and complexities tend to be arise. S looks pale thoughout the event and you can see a mixed expression of horror and anticipation everytime winners for a category is announced. S is so frank, you can cleary see his elation (when we bagged something) and his dissapointment when we fail to win anything. I know he expected us to fare better, after all this will be out last outing since the client will be playing by the books from now on. All in all, we won 2 golds 1 silver and 2 bronzes and all were from the Studio campaign. LB also scooped 3 awards that night and I was truly happy for them. The big winners for the night however was TBWA and it's subsidiary Tequila. in between, they 'sapu' not less than 20 awards. One guy who went on stage everytime TBWA won something resembles Johan and honestly, that was a bit of a turn off.

N and SY were fairly happy with the achievements and Sh from the PR agency suggested a victory celebration at a club in the same building. There were 7 of us and we had to dig from our own pockets for the cover charge because N says that he doesn't have cash nor card with him. (talk about appreciative clients.) The cover was S$20 and we had to walk down a hallway and take a lift to the club on the top floor. The lift doors opened and we saw a flight of stairs and a neon logo that says 'News Asia' (what a friggin' weird name for a R&B club). The place boasts a spectacular view of the Singapore Harbour and city landscape but the interior was nothing to shout about. The crowd consists of people in their late 20s and there weren't exactly many chio bus. As a matter of fact, some of them were so poorly dressed that it looked more like a cafe than a posh club. We manage to find a bar seat and Silvio went off to retrieve our complimentary drinks. By now SY and myself have pretty given up hope of N opening a bottle after the scenario at the entrance, so I contented myself with my Dunhill Menthol Lights.

SY ordered her much-needed Marlboro Lights from the club and boy was it a mistake. The damn pack of cigarettes cost S$18 and it was weak, weaker than Virginia Slims and Cartier. I took a stick off SY and it felt like blowing air. SY, PL and myself were just chattering away while Sh pulled N, M and S into the dancefloor. The DJ featured a lot of evergreen mixes and occasionally spun some tracks from the 90s like Jump by House of Pain and Gettin' Jiggy With It by Will Smith. It was REALLY hillarious looking at M dance to the 'Jiggy' song and even funnier still when she ask me to show her my moves. I declined politely and decided to avoid embarassment by excusing myself to get a second drink. I got SY's order for a Kabrielska whereas PL didn't want anything. I was planning to pay from M's stash of S$100 but Silvio came along and wanted another Martini neat and a glass of red wine. I expected clubs in Singapore to be as efficient as its government agencies, polite, courteous and language proficient; I was wrong. There were 6 people in the bar and each of them seems to be in charge of a separate section. 1 takes orders, 1 mixes drinks, 1 churns the bills, 1 for washing and the other well he moves around looking busy. Everytime someone wants to take an order, the guy will repeat these lines, 'Bartender veli busy...peak hour please patient...' So everyone waited, and waited, and waited while the queue got longer and longer. Fucking slow notwithstanding, an ang moh beside me got really pissed because he waited for 40 minutes and they had the nerves to give him wrong drinks. He requested for gin tonic and the guy gave him gin soda instead, he was so pissed I could've swore that he would spat at the bartender if the brat attempted any rebuttal. The 'hao lian' prick did not even apologize and threw the cups into the basin (boh-song ah) and even muttered under his breath. (knn what sort of service is this). Finally some patrons got really pissed and complained to the manager. It was heart warming to see him giving his staff an earful as soon as he steps in and better late than none, we finally got our drinks after 1 hour.

We bid our farewells at 5 minutes to 2 and took the taxi back to the hotel. M was going on profusely about how we can charge higher rates now that we are regionally famous. I just a tad peeved but kept my mouth shut throughout the way and was actually glad when we arrive at our hotel. Just as I was thinking of a hot water bath, I felt really 'vulnerable' and realized that I accidentally left my BIG coat at the club. M urged me to go back and retrieve my coat and that I did. Got a taxi, returned to the club and went in a bee line to a nice Malay chap who was the Floor Manager. He was extremely helpful and went around checking with his staff but none of the them found anything. A Malay guy and his girlfriend saw me searching for something and gestured me to come over. He then told me that a lady saw my coat and had taken it with her. I thanked him and went back to the hotel. I received a message the next day saying that SY had left my coat with the Conscierge, thank God I did not have to pay Alex a new coat!

Thursday, June 09, 2005

Dirt-born, dirt-grown 土生土長

I love books! Thanks to my dad who introduced me to Enid Blyton and Ladybird books at the tender age of 5, I adopted a strong reading culture ever since and progressed to be an avid fan of the thriller and science fiction genre. At one stage when I was 13, I even read books by 3 Penyiasat and Nancy Drew, both of these are BM versions identical to their English counterparts with the exception of Malaysian-ized names and locations.

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Bookstores used to organize mini exhibitions in my school once every 6 months and I love going through the throve finding a good read. It was in one of these exhibitions that I chanced across this Malay lady and her 6 year old flipping through educational books about body anatomy. The kid was fascinated with the colorful and vivid images and wanted his mum to get one for him. Suddenly her expression turned into a twisted blend of disgust and contempt and she exclaimed. It was the exclaimation that will have such a profound effect on me and my perception towards other races that I still remembered it after 12 long years... 'Man, semua gambar nih tunjuk badan budak Cina, nanti mak carikan buku Melayu dan beli untuk Man ya?'

I was dumbstruck when I heard those words and felt deeply offended. It was but a simple educational book teaching about body parts and yet a mum can teach her young son of 6 to segregate by colors of the skin. It also cruelly reminded me that no matter how much textbooks and local leaders promote unity and harmony, there will always be those who perceive themselves to be superior. To them, we will forever be secondary citizens and can never be viewed in the same light with the so-called Bumiputras

Since then, I have heard endless tales of racism and bias around the country. Some of them generated sighs, some fits of anger and some dejected shakes of the head from my goodself. Reading Kenny and Jeff's blog only reopened a can of worms that that goes back a long way... past, present and sadly the future as well. I do not believe I will breathe my last witnessing sons of Malaysia living in equality and harmony without individual agendas...

nor do I believe in the Malay saying, 'Hujan emas di negara orang, hujan batu di negara sendiri. Lebih baik di negara sendiri'. What difference does it make even if we do migrate to Canada, Australia or the UK? We might still be secondary citizens but we earn more, lead a better lifestyle, enjoy a 'cleaner' environment and receive better education in these countries. Sure, we might walk down King Cross Avenue someday and have a drunk redneck labelling us 'chinks' but we can also jolly well be strolling in Pesiaran KLCC and hear mockeries referring us to babi. Ain't see no bloody you?

Tuesday, June 07, 2005

Rocking with the Titans Part 1

Singapore, a country I have not stepped foot on for at least one and a half decades. How have you been? My memories of you are vague and incoherent. Occassional flashes of a clean community and the Yishun market does surface, and there it sinks back in. Finally under the most abrupt of chances, our paths crossed again last Friday.

My agency submitted some work (a lot la actually) not too long ago for the Asia Travel Awards and quite a few made it as finalists. The bosses and client were elated and booked a table for the gala night. I've expected to stay back and look after the ongoing projects while they were away but M actually proposed to S for me to come along! She even called the client and requested them to book a room for me. (which I found out later makes driving easier because Silvio has a shift to rely on)

So I came to the office at 7.00 am to meet up with M and S as well as Georgie's son Tuck Meng who was hitching a ride to Singapore to visit his auntie. We moved the bags and bundles of magazine into Melisa's Mutipla and imagine to my suprise (horror almost) when I saw tiada lain tiada bukan our abang Leon sitting comfortably on the front seats of the Mutipla waving at us while shaking his head to the tune of Blue's "All Rise". My adrenaline rush was suddently halted by this repulsive sight and a sick feeling invaded my guts.

Tuck Meng and M were in the backseat whereas S and I sat in the front with Leon in between. 15 minutes down the road, he was already asking dumb and annoying questions and I evaded him by pretending to be busy on my phone. Seeing I won't play along, he directed his questions at S and from S's agitated tone, I can feel there he wasn't too pleased either. Laura Pausini came up upon Melisa's request after we passed Seremban and the little boy finally zipped his mouth and fell asleep.

S and myself traded places in Pedas after taking a leak and I continued the long drive down to JB. Everyone in the car dozed off and even Laura abandoned me after the CD finished its 10 tracks. I was starting to feel sleepy and had to occasionally pinch my thighs in a desperate attempt to keep myself from falling asleep. They woke up again when I reached the outskirts of JB and I wanted to use the 2nd Causeway (Tuas) to access Singapore, S stopped me and murmured something about me being in the wrong direction. So instead of taking the exit, I went straight on, which was a bad idea as I will elaborate later on. To add to disaster, Leon woke up.

Leon: Mami, I am hungry.
S: Be patient Leon, we are almost in JB. We will get food there.
Leon: No, mami I am really hungry. (getting annoyed)
M: You want some biscuits? I still have some crackers...
Leon: No mami you don't understand. I don't want to eat anymore biscuits... they will spoil my appetite. (close to tears)

So M instructed me to stop at the nearest petrol kiosk at the pretence of using the washroom. Kononlah... just say we need to buy some food for taikor Leon lah. We stopped the car and S took Leon with him into the petrol kiosk. We waited for a full 10 minutes and I was getting really impatient. Leon came out with a big grin on his face, with a Maggi Hot Cup Noodle in one hand and a Sprite on another. The moment he entered the car, the smell of curry filled the car and all of us not only had to bear with the spicy smell but his ineccessant slurping as well.

Lunch in the city wasn't much better. I managed to find a spot in busy Jalan Wong Ah Fook and we walked down the road in search of coffee shops. In the end we settled for chicken rice in a cafe that offers roti canai and naan as well. Throughout lunch, Leon walloped most of the chicken and the young whelp had absolutely no consideration whatsoever for the people around him. I ended up with only 1 chicken helping with measly shares of tofu and bean sprouts. To add insult to injury, M quipped, "Good meal huh?". Yeah rite!

After lunch, we went 3 rounds around Wong Ah Fook trying to find the turn off into Singapore amidst a really bad jam. There were no sign boards whatsoever and to make matters worse, roads were under construction and some streets have recently been converted into one-ways. The re-energised Leon was now wide awake and M encouraged him to share a few jokes with those in the car. I tell you... that has to be the fakest moment in my life, I had to pretend that the jokes were funny and laugh along with the crowd. Silvio has no problem committing (he should win an Oscar for so many years of acting) although I can see he wasn't much more genuine than I was. What with the repetitive roundings we were doing, it was a total nuisance to hear him drone on on on. I felt like giving him one tight slap on the face and order him to shut up.

It was Friday and understandably the Woodlands Causeway was in total chaos. Cars and motors can be seen in a straight line trailing all the way from Singapore right back to JB. Inconsiderate and daring drivers slipped into the motor lane (wonder if traffic police can issue summons on this stretch) and motorcyclists honk freely whenever that happens. Most of these motorists were from Singapore and 70% of them were on big bikes. Most of them look very casual with singlets, shorts and slippers whereas others were seen sporting full racing gear with their petite girlfriends in baby tees and hot pants hug them tightly at the back. It took us 2 hours to crawl across the Causeway and we had to stop at the checkpoint to purchase an Autopass card. Autopass is a system formulated by the Singaporean government for foreign cars and allows them to keep track of cars entering the island. All cars alien to Singapore have to register themselves and pay S$10 exclusive of toll fees. Entry into Lion City is free on Fri and Sat but you need to top up the card again at the nearest 7-11 before you leave. (you can't top them up at the checkpoints when you apply, now how dumb is that. Failure to do so will result in a S$10 fine, what a fine country!)

Anyway, we checked into Hilton Singapore and were placed in the Executive floors. We took 10 minutes to freshen up and hurriedly took a cab to meet up with a potential advertiser for the theH magazine in Raffles Tower. In the taxi, I had a good view of Singapore CBD and take it from me, other than the expected systematic and clean environment. The girls...I tell you are so 'chio'. Babes in their own rights not because they are born with pretty faces but rather how well they dress themselves, the right apparel-accessories combination and the perfect make-up to make them such a pleasure to look at. Even the client I met has got a cleavage to die for... and I never thought I would have any fantasies about my clients, I was dead wrong LOL!

Upcoming post: Award nights....

Monday, June 06, 2005

Life is like eating char-siew rice

"Life is like a box of chocolates, You never know what you gonna get..." --Forrest Gump

or at least until you try it! :o)

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Wednesday, June 01, 2005

Dog eyes see people low (pun intended)

I was having a conversation with Yee Ling the other day and I started bitching about work again. She told me there is a vacancy for AM in her company and encouraged me to give it a go. She even went to the extent of talking to the AD on the very next Monday and passed me the email. Even before looking at my resume, the AD came to the conclusion that my experience was bullshit just because I was from a small setup. WTF?! So anyway, I went ahead and send my resume according to the protocols and received a call today.

It was from a Malay lady and her tone and manner reminds me of some snobbish bitch you find climbing corporate ladders (Refer to Defining Corporate Bitches, cold and uninspired notwithstanding... Itold her I was in a discussion and she has the nerves to ask me to call back before 5.30pm because 'that's when office hours end and I am going home'! WTF?!

Below is an extract from the conversation that follows:-
Me: Hey A, thank you for calling.
A: (without waiting for me to finish) Hi Jimmy, we received your resume already and would like to invite you for an interview
as an AE.
Me: Errr...sorry but I don't think I am interested in that position. I thought...
A: (again interrupting) Oh hmm...(sniffs) then nevermind la, bye!

WTFFFF ?! I am so pissed, who the fuck they think they are? I am only giving it a go simply because my friend recommended me and this is the sort of bullshit I have to take from some dumb bitch? I have never had a good impression for P agency, when I send in my resume 2 years ago, they were the only ones dumb enough to ask for my PMR and SPM qualifications despite previous working experience in an agency. And anyway they are offering some dumb animal food account that I don't fancy and no I am not saying the grapes are sour 'coz I don't get to savour them.

The very least you can do is talk in a polite manner, you are in the advertising industry for God's sake and talking to a non-client does not mean you can be rude and arrogant. What goes around comes around, no wonder P agency never made it big in Malaysia; screw you!

他媽的, 狗眼看人低 無能万事斃。。。關門大吉在前夕