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    Tuesday, February 22, 2005

    The Asian's Guide To Black People

    I had an interesting international relationship encounter which made me realise something. Most Malaysians do not know how to address black people.

    We are almost afraid to come off as racist if we address black people as black. So we call them negro, coloured, or African-American even though the guy might not be American. Anything but black.

    Let me set it straight.

    It's largely acceptable (and safest) to say "black"; as in "black man" or "black woman" as you would say "white man". Evidently, "black" and "white" are the only two acceptable colours you may use to identify with race. No gray area there.

    Never call a black man a "nigger" unless you want to die. However, if you are black, you may call your homie "nigga" (note the spelling) or many homies as "niggaz". Very important to note that you may only address them as "nigga" if you guys are homeboys or you are Chris Rock. And just because the guy is black, he is NOT your homeboy.

    Under no cirmcusmtances do you address your boss at work, who is black, or Colin Powell as "nigga." There is also a limited number of times in a day that you are allowed to use the word "yo".

    In closing, I think the fault of this confusion is black people themselves. They have gone through so many different labels throughout the years of black pride. But like Prince, they change their names, but they get back to the roots. Also, I blame hip hop group "Arrested Development" for this. :-)

    And the day I will die laughing is the they day some Malaysian calls a black guy "ebony".

    Saturday, February 19, 2005

    I think I know what Finnish for "piece of shit" is. Nokia.

    If you go to Finland and someone yells out at you, "Hey apina! Te aari Nokia", it means "Hey monkeyboy, you're a piece of shit!"

    My first mobile phone back in 1997 was a Nokia. And I've been a loyal Nokia user since, with some six Nokia models following. The operating system was simple and so easy to use. However, the last Nokia I had, the 6610 drove me up the wall. After a month with it, as much as I tried to like it or get used to it, it finally broke me. It's official. I hate Nokia as a company and its products. Nokia phones suck ass. They had such a good thing going and they totally screwed themselves over. I do not have to tell you to not buy Nokia since Motorola and Samsung are already kicking their ass.

    Kuihtua Nokia! Kuihtua!*

    I hope this shows up in Google too!

    * Die Nokia! Die!

    Friday, February 18, 2005

    It recently came to my attention that if one clips his/her nails at night, the sound of the nails being clipped will attract spirits. This one single bit of information has changed my nail clipping schedule.

    But it's odd. I've been clipping my nails at night for the past 25 years and I've yet to see or feel the supernatural. And not that I am complaining.

    Therefore, we should only cut our nails during the day when it is safe. I am assuming that is because the spirits are either, 1. afraid of the light; 2. sleeping during the day because the stayed up all night responding to the clipping noises; 3. too much noise during the day to hear clipping noises; or 4. the spirits prefer to spook at night for greater effect.

    Got me thinking. Really, why only at night? What is wrong with the day? Why does anything spooky has to happen at night? So last night, I am thinking, screw it. I need to tend to my harden cuticles. When you gotta clip, you gotta clip.

    It's 3 am. I'm sitting in front of my PC. I reach out for the nailclipper-bottle-opener combo which Ferhad got me as a souvenir from the Maldives. I clip away with great skill and precision. Just after the second nail, the power suddenly fluctuates enough to make the circuit breaker trip cutting off power. The uninterrupted power supply (UPS) for my PC kicks in. Suddenly, I am sitting in the dark except for the light from my two LCD panels which are being powered by this UPS which is beeping like crazy.

    My first reaction is to quickly safe my work and turn off the PC. I do that and now I am in complete darkness. I quickly go out to the power circuir board and turn the main power back on.

    Everything looks OK now. I continue clipping my nails and then felt really sleepy. I washed up and then went to sleep with fresh-cut nails.

    Monday, February 14, 2005

    I am so stirred by what I just saw on channel 36 on Astro that I must blog about it at 6:04 am. It’s the CCTV English Speaking Competition. Yes, it’s a show promoting the use of the English language in China. Unfortunately, the organisers must have neglected on defining which accent the contestants should use. At my last count, there were at least three accents: Kinda-British, Kinda-American, and Kinda-Weird.

    Then, there’s the impressive yet unsettling sight of a seeing the Caucasian host speak flawless Mandarin.

    This English-language Mardi Gras has debate, language translation, guess-the-quote, propose-your-documentary, and oh yes, contestants get to play Taboo with the hosts. My favourite moment was the tie-breaker. After the two contestants made their rebuttals in the debate, the host asks the male contestant for some comments.

    Host: May we have some comments before we announce the winner of the tie-breaker?
    Guy: I think the winner should be her. She should win.
    Host: (Surprised!) Why?
    Guy: Because she is so beautiful.

    (Note: Apply your own accent for impact.)

    After these two hours, edited from what appears to be some kind of marathon language orgy panning days, they announce the winners.

    But the one that takes the cake is the winner of “The Audience’s Choice” award.

    Host: Congratulations! Please say a few words.
    Winner: Thank you. I did not expect to win because I am a girl. The boys were more entertaining. I did not entertain as I was just doing my job. Also, I am not feeling too well because of my upset stomach due to not eating rice which I should have during lunch just now. Thank you very much.

    I am not making this up. I am no where this creative to come up with stuff like this.

    Saturday, February 12, 2005

    It’s that time of that year where I plan to blog excessively, test my patience with dial-up Internet access, deal with headaches as a result of oversleeping, and of course, field that ever-refreshing question of when I am getting married. 28 August. So far, things have been quiet and fairly uneventful, except for that brief moment when I had some juice from a mandarin orange I was peeling, squirt into my eye.

    I had all these things planned for the break. I was going to clear up my paperwork, clean up my hard drive, organise my documents, balance my bank account, pay my bills, learn the words to “Drop It Like It’s Hot”, see how many cock jokes it takes before it gets old, and watch “Nip/Tuck” on DVD. However, as soon as I arrive in Melaka, time slowed down. And there is something in the water in Melaka that makes me sleepy all the time. And it usually happens after I eat.

    My grandmother is 87 years old. She does not see or hear well. She does not recognise me or most of the people around her. There are so many thing that I regret that I never did with her, like take her to China or ask her about her life. Language was an issue but I can’t help but think I should have done more to narrow that communication gap. After all, it can’t hurt to better my Chinese.

    However, my parents are healthy. The perceptive and poignant side of me tells me that I should not let the failing with my grandmother repeat with my own parents. But right now, I am not exactly rolling out a strategic master plan to hang out with my parents. Life is funny that way. Perhaps the grandparents are here for us to make our mistakes, learn from them, and not let them repeat with our parents. I am babbling.

    And while peeling an orange the other day, I started thinking about life and stuff. An orange will make you do that.

    I started off with the frequent thought of the cancer which is people of Salak South or Kuchai Lama or some equally backward hick community with people who have no concept of common sense and civic consciousness, let alone personal hygiene. I digress.

    Back to the orange. It made me think about the effects of climate on the human spirit and attitude. I think it is logically to assume that people who live in countries where seasons change are likely to be more productive than people who live in countries where the weather is the same all year round. Of course, as with most of my bullshit, I have no empirical data to back this up. I am just pulling all this out of my ass.

    It is logical to me and I speak with some personal experience on this matter. If it is the summer, you want to work on your house and get it done before the fall comes and it gets colder. If it is winter, you want to do whatever it is you need to do in the winter before spring comes along and then you have to do spring stuff.

    However, in a country where the weather is the same all year round, there is a higher probability that things will be put off to the next day because “it can always be done tomorrow.”

    But is it really the weather that makes the difference? I think it is symbolic and it represents renewal. As the season changes, it is renewal; from what the person wears to what the person does in each season. Whereas, one the flip side, take a country like Malaysia, where it is the same all year round. And it reflects in the spirit of the people.

    For me, that orange was telling me that it is that renewal we all seek. That’s why some people travel so much. We say we like to travel because we get to see and experience new cultures and people. But what we seek is a sense of renewal. Travel provides a temporary high in renewal and it usually wears out. Then we feel the need to travel again. It becomes an addiction because we say “I feel so rejuvenated and refreshed after I travel.”

    That’s what the travel agent wants you to believe.

    The problem with travel is that it is a retrospective form of renewal. The person is “refreshed” only when he or she is holding on to the travel experience. This is when the person goes on and on talking about the holiday and how great it was and how lucky he feels because he saw starving children in Cambodia. Or alternatively, he goes on superiority complex to say he has had better (“You know, this sort of nonsense never happens in Sydney while I was there.”) and then acts that way with a false sense of confidence. I usually want to whack someone like this in the face and laugh openly at him.

    On the other side of the spectrum, alcohol and drugs may give you that sense of renewal, but some people think it’s fleeting and destructive. However, it is very immediate and cheaper than traveling. With alcohol and drugs, you are thrust into a different physical and mental state; a crude form of renewal with the added bonus of a 35% chance that the person not being able to maintain an erection during intercourse. Also short-lived but more destructive and almost no chance of any retrospective value unless your buddy was videotaping you during your renewal process.

    We constantly seek renewal whenever we feel the need to rearrange our furniture, get a new wardrobe, repaint the wall, or switch to Mac. In some ways, we all know this but we end up with the same temporary solutions and then we come back to the same fundamental issue.

    The question remains. How do we get that effective form of renewal?

    From my brand new twelve-step self-improvement program available to you at a low introductory price of US$299.95!

    Honestly, I have no frickin’ idea. Although I have a clue that is has to be forward-looking. Forward-looking in the way that has people with children, or more specifically, people with babies, are happier than people without children. They look forward to each new development of their child. Of course, all this goes to hell when the child grows old enough to start handing out blowjobs. More troubling if the child is a boy. Suddenly, the parents develop the need to travel. Oh yeah…that goal-setting crap would be part of it too.

    That was some orange.

    Monday, February 07, 2005

    Technically, how can a person be fired when they were not even hired in the first place?

    This is, after all, a job interview.

    Can you imagine going to a job interview and after the interview the interviewer says "You're fired!"

    To which you might say, "I guess I won't be taking the fake elevator back to the suite."

    Wednesday, February 02, 2005

    Continuing my concert fix, I went to the Sting concert this evening. Sadly, no pictures!

    What does it say about the culture and society when only three or four thousand people go to a Sting concert in KL while possibly ten thousand people go to a Michael Learns To Rock concert in Genting Highlands.

    I am just glad that Sting did not substitute "New York" with "Kuala Lumpur" when he sang "An Englishman In New York."

    By the way, the police were there too.