Thursday, March 29, 2007

An Old Story

Another article I wrote about 2 years ago. Thought I would put it in as it's been a good 2 years since except for that bump along the way.

I HAVE TO GROW UP?

What do you do when the parties end? What do you go back to? I have used my work as an excuse to get away from the day to day living and the grown up responsibilities that come with it.

I was having such a blast that I forgot to grow up. I now realize that I am 36 years old, single but with a long suffering girl friend who is loosing patience with me. I am working on my own with a small operation and am pushing for the break that is supposed to justify a 36 year old Star Wars quoting, futsal scarred, Bob Marley fan embracing the entrepreneur spirit.

I’ve watched the sun rise over the mountains of Nepal, had tea on the beaches of Cannes with one of the most beautiful women in Asia, got gloriously drunk on Miller and ribs at the Houston Astro Dome watching WWE’s Wrestlemania 17, was enthralled at the beauty of Mysore Palace in India and watched the endless cinema of Malaysian sunsets over our many beaches. I have devoured the entire menu of a Portland micro brewery, have had to run for my life in the streets of Mongkok because we inadvertently bought drinks for a triad member’s girlfriend and have tutored a Japan GT Queen how to sing Negaraku in a tiny little bar in Roppongi, Japan.

Now I realize that I haven’t declared my income tax for the past couple of years, I am frequently late on paying my cukai pintu, phone, water and electricity bills. I’m normally galvanized into a frenzy of cash waving at various payment counters when I get those letters threatening all sorts of disconnection or legal action. Bills proliferate my mail box like locusts. I have loans to pay for my apartment and car. I have monthly insurance bills to pay. I also reluctantly had to accept that the Indah Water bill and my water bill were to different bills (dudes, Indah Sewage will be less confusing la).And here I am thinking all my bills will take cash out of my wallet, hail a cab downtown and help me pay themselves off.

It just seems so tedious doesn’t it? But someone’s got to do it and mom and dad are too busy breaking coconuts in the local temple hoping that their only son marries a homely girl with child bearing hips soon.

When you’re a kid, your parents are the one’s who have to check out the sounds of things that go bump in the night. They have to use the tweezers to pick out that dead decomposing rodent from behind the fridge and make sure every door is locked and window closed before the family calls it a night. Now it’s all you. There’s no one else, no back up. You’re navigating the asteroid field Solo because Chewbaca has to send his son for fur braiding classes.

Its not IF you have to grow up, its HOW SOON. The most important thing here is how much of that boy inside do we loose? As an adult and as a parent you are living as a provider to yourself and your loved ones. How many of us stop dreaming when this happens? How many of us want to want to jam our moist futsal jockstraps into the faces of the smug hosts of those Discovery Travel and Living shows wishing we could trade places but can’t now or ever?

As a guy we have 2 lives. We’re scuba diving, hard drinking, adventurous Casanovas with a glint of metrosexuality about us that pulls the women like an MNG sale. On the other hand we’re adults who need to keep grounded so we have the financial stability and mental strength and discipline to keep ourselves, family and especially our children safe from the ravages of modern living in this crazy wonderful world.

I’m not giving up on enjoying life to the fullest. I still need to try fresh brewed yak milk on the plains of Mongolia, play carom with a French Polynesian beauty in Guam and hopefully fulfill my dream of opening a ‘Chap Faan’ coffee shop in the Jamaica.

I have a meeting with my accountant friend to help me file of my tax returns, I’ve just finished my monthly payment schedules, car servicing schedule and even my visits back home to see the folks. I’ve just settled my last two years of cukai pintu and am sacrificing a chicken to the gods of electronic banking as thanks for the convenience. However I am now playing hide-and-seek with my credit card companies. If you guys are reading this I also have a payment schedule for these bills too and it starts next month. Please don’t send the well dressed gentlemen to my house just yet because my mom is coming over to make sure her little prince is eating well.


2nd August 2005

Saturday, March 24, 2007

Fight Club

Just got back from a club. No, I'm not a loser, just had a shower and can't sleep so I'm venting like a cow as usual. Anyway, I was soooooo lucky to witness 2 FIGHTS in a club in a space of 15 minutes that later when the sun comes up, I'm going to run out and buy some 4-ekor numbers.

It's so ironic that both happened when the club was closing at 2am. All I know is the first one was between a waiter and some fella who had his buddies continue the drama for him. The second I have no idea but some dude went after another as we were walking out.

I admit I'm not privy to the details but normally I would expect if you want to show that you're an ALPHA MALE BADASS MOTHER and go after someone you MUST EXPECT TO BE KILLED. This IS a fact for me. Do not do OR make TO DO to others what you you wouldn't want done to you. An act of violence will warrant an equal response. But in this current age of posturing it's who's chest is bigger, who's posse is larger, who knows the bouncers and who thinks he's so untouchable that he's going to make a night out with friends into a tragedy for himself or to another party. NO ONE GUY THINKS HE'S TAKING HIS EGO INTO THE FIGHT SOLO. Instead he's taking his pride and worst, in the Asian context, his FACE. Not his safety or the people he's with.

Fine, the booze does cloud judgement but why is it that some other guys know when to back off or handle it differently in the same situation? Does anyone think what a knee will look like if you kick it repeatedly, or a jaw, head or hip? Do they think its a Tom and Jerry scenario where little birds do a singing carousel around your head? No, it's surprisingly white bone peeking out of the broken knee, misshapen skulls and a long term scuffling walk that would put a peg-legged Orang Hutan to shame.

A quote from the movie to make sense of it all - "After fighting, everything else in your life got the volume turned down".

Friday, March 23, 2007

Too Legit to Quit

Malaysian VCD/DVD pirates are taking heart from the gut wrenching news that they are now relegated from No. 1 to the 3rd largest copyright infringing culprits in the world next to China and Russia by hoping that a kind hearted soul in the country will support their cause and assist them to bring in foreign revenue to the country by legitimising their business.
Well I think these boys have a great chance. No, make that a shoe in for being ok-ed and ratified as law abiding and generally a great bunch of guys to hang out with except they still can't seem to grasp the difference between describing "Master copy DVD9" and "Grainy, shoulder held cam action with Shadow Puppet On Toilet Run Action". We already have the Mat Rempits given bounty hunter duty to track down snatch thieves and now the Selangor state government is going out of their way to legitimise the illegal factories in the state.

How cool is that y'all? I think I'll hold off paying my last couple of parking tickets. Maybe I'll get to be a legitimised Serial Double Line Parker.

"So you're telling me that all I need to do to get a legit driving license is just to drive around WITHOUT ONE and someone will just come over and GIVE me one??? Man, I love your planet little dude!"



Thursday, March 22, 2007

Sportsmanship

SPORTSMANSHIP - Honour and Fair play in the field of sports. Also to be listed under endangered species. The Spurs and Chelski match finally showed me that that sportsmanship is almost gone in sports these days. When you're leading 2-0 with 10 minutes to go it's quite embarrassing to see grown men in the prime of physical form, falling to the ground like ten pins clutching some part of their anatomy just to gain a couple of seconds on the clock. At one point there were two clowns in blue rolling on the ground at the same time like a couple of drunk armadillos.

It was a shame that John Terry, the ENGLAND CAPTAIN nonchalantly wandered in front of Roy Keane when he was about to take the penalty to distract him. And the best show of cowardice was when the idiot Spurs supporter who rushed onto the pitch and missed a punch at Lampard was brought to the ground by stewards BUT was then ganged up by a couple of Chelski players who aimed kicks at him while he was on the ground.

But this is not about the match on Monday.

Its about the loss of honour in a profession, a craft and a talent that has always since the beginning has used fair play and discipline to advocate its battle cry. Now with sports more a business than anything else we get to see talented athletes play acting not just to get a free kick or penalty but TO GET THEIR OPPONENT SENT OFF. We see shameless time wasting and ferocious verbal and sometimes physical attacks on referees.
And you know these are all at the instructions from their coaches or trainers. At least in American sports you don't see the same disrespect for officialdom as in English Football. One cuss word at an umpire in an NBA game and you're off.

On top of that we have steroid abuse, ball tampering, bribery and the full spectrum of under-handed tactics developed to gain that extra second, inch, swerve or that million bucks in that off shore account.

So how la? Kids watching football will think its a norm to drop to the ground like a tranquilized camel as soon as someone breathes on their neck. Their going to shout at their PE teachers if he or she awards the other side a penalty and all the while they are thinking they must be doing Drogba proud.

Once authentic disciplinary enforcement is taken to control these rubbish and childish tactics we'll hopefully see a better level of game from our so-called heroes. In the meantime I'll get my dose of sportsmanship from my local pub's Darts Challenge.

Tuesday, March 20, 2007

Chaos Theory 2 - Chindiana 1

That's it then, my Chaos Theory confirmed. Whenever I watch a Spurs match they lose. So cool, all I have to do is plant my ass on my sofa and someone scores against them half a world away. Pity they lost to a bunch of wankers. Chelski did not behave like champions. I was surprised that Terry of all people behaved like such an arsehole when Keane was about to take the penalty. Cest la vie....

Monday, March 19, 2007

Gasing Hill

Finally found out what those Friends of Gasing Hill are fighting to preserve.

After finally giving up on futsal and Janda Baik and the rest of the other trails are just too far for an impulsive getaway, I tried out Gasing with Bart August.

Simply Fantastic! Hard to believe this extremely well taken care of reserve is here right in the heart of KL. I love the streams, the hills, the little side trails that seem to whisper to you about more adventures, the wind rustling above the canopy and among the foliage, the friendly aunties and uncles that wish a stranger a chirpy 'Good Morning!" I like the sense of camaraderie among the other folk on the trail and I like that i can imagine I'm far from KL.
Officially its a bit short for me to cover, about an hour if we hoof it. But throw in a few trail combos and we can hit 2 hours. I think starting at the temple is best and then join up to the main trails and then head back.

I'm not sure of the status of the preservation of the Hill. The KL side seems to be the problem with developers trying to get at it.

I hear they want to build 140 luxury condos on the hill. Ah, those rich folks, they just can't stand sharing something special with the rest of us riffraff.

I really hope this doesn't happen. I'm not an expert but I feel the whole ecosystem will go. Gasing is not all that large an area and any little bit that's eaten up by developers will just hasten the demise of this special place.

When we got lost once exploring some trails and ended up at near Pantai, one of the security guards on the other side of the fence told us that the land we were on belonged to YTL.

Hope Francis Yeoh and his new found Christianity will be able to help keep some part of Momma Nature alive in our city by preserving what's left of Gasing Hill.




* All pics taken by Chindiana with a borrowed camera

Sunday, March 18, 2007

Seremban Feller in Bangsar Restaurant

"Bloody nonsense no air suam! Not like sparkling or still water will make me more handsome or my skin fairer...grumblegrumble...stupid lime in the water...grumble... "

Friday, March 16, 2007

PRIDE

I remember sometime last year, a colleague and me went to Muthu's(closed since then) in Bangsar for lunch. We were hungry and ended up ordering too much food. There was a half eaten piece of fried fish left as we just sat there like 2 fully fed pythons wondering how we were going to haul ass back to the LCCT. The Supervisor Uncle came over and asked us why we hadn't finished the fish? Too full Uncle, can't finish it. How can? He asked. Its beautiful, especially today's fish, it's very fresh. Come, you wait.. He brings over 2 glasses of water. Take your time but you can't waste the fish. Its beautiful he repeated. Come let me warm it up for you. He took it away and brought it back. We finished it and yes it was beautiful.

No speeches about dying orphans in Africa, no drama. Just facts and his conviction at the food he was serving that was his source of pride.

This is very rare nowadays. Do we take pride in everything we do? When you walk into that Nike Shop or that MNG or that fast food joint, do you see someone looking at you with pride about their goods and services? Very rare and getting even more scarce now. When a premium is put on a volumed conveyor belt delivery of product and services to consumers it seems there's no sense in looking at the little things. And we accept it.

When we slack of just that little bit, we think who's going to notice anyway? Only our conscience will and if we let if slide it can only keep sliding.

A song for 4pm

One of my TOP 5 songs of all time. The video is cute but if you ever have the the chance, get Marley's Legend CD go on a holiday to a beach and play this on your ear phones. The background sounds of the surf, wind rustling through the palms and the calls of the sea gulls will make it the most perfect afternoon in your life.

Divas


What gives anyone, straight or gay to lord over their equals with excessive tantrums, bitching or self indulgence? I guess when you can make Kim Yun Jin from LOST look as fine as this WITHOUT airbrushing and Photoshop. In the mean time that means all you Malaysian stylist wannabes YOU'RE NOT IT! So chill, burn the feather boas and lacy frill Dracula collars and lets play on an international stage.

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

Sun City Pt.2

I'll never see an album like this again. Sun City by United Artists Against Apartheid was an album to protest the racism in South Africa. Not some pop album like We Are the World or Feed the World. Pity it was not a commercial success but you will never see a combination of artists as respected or as varied as this who got together to protest inequality. Nowadays we have Britney going chrome dome because she's stressed out. Poor thing...

Miles Davis, Bruce Springsteen, Bonnie Rait, Grandmaster Melle Mel, Afrika Bambatta, Hall and Oates, Joey Ramone (what the F...???), Ringo Starr,Bono, Peter Gabriel, Herbie Hancock, Run DMC, Bob Dylan ..i still get goosebumps going through the list of performers on this album. Pity about dated video though. Can't image SOME of us dressed like that in the '80s.

Sun City

Found it! Sun City by United Artists Against Apartheid.One of my fav songs of all time.

Top 5 scary/painful moments

We've all these moments. The root cause to all my scary and painful moments lie in an astounding sense of stupidity. I'm not counting all my sports injuries as it would then be the top 50. Here goes:

1. Was about 18. Was in Negri SUKMA athletics team. 2 weeks before we leave for the Games. We're just taking it easy. Its one of those gloomy days. We're doing hurdle drills. Simple enough. Done it a hundred times before. That day however ended with me landing on my ankle to the sound of a crack. One thing good about initial shock, you don't feel the pain because of the adrenaline and swelling. I actually walked home not realising i had a chipped bone in my ankle. My dad took me to a Chinese medicine dude(who owned a grocery shop) who insisted on rubbing out the "kat sui' or water in the bones(he thought it was a sprain). Of course the pain was like someone had shoved a barb wire wrapped baseball bat up my ass. The shock of the pain woke me up and the adrenaline kept me awake. I admit the only way i kept screaming was biting down on my lip and that pain distracted me from the ankle.Two hours later i was in tears at the back of his grocery store with his patrons shaking their head at the big baby who seemed to cry over a sprained ankle.

2. Continues from Pain 1. We leave Grocery Dude because the swelling had not gone down to get an X-ray. Yay, you have a chipped bone son. See you can see the little feller floating just above that hole in your ankle...Guess what? Mr Foo takes his zombified son BACK to the grocery medicine dude! This time its for that paste made up from herbs that supposed to reduce swelling by absorbing the bad moisture in my ankle. The guy tells me to leave it on for a bit and take it off after a couple of hours. I head home and was so exhausted i fell asleep straight away without taking off the mud/paste pack around my ankle. The next morning i wake up and with my first stirring almost pass out from the pain in my ankle. I was confused as i didn't move it that much and it was on the opposite side of my chipped bone! - imagine this, you take a wet ball of tissue and poke it with a pencil a few times. That was what my ankle looked like. no moisture in the skin. Any small movement and the skin broke and started bleeding. I recovered from the chipped bone in a month. The backlash from the herb treatment? 3 months.

3. I'm about 12. Swinging on a bar in my grandfather's house. Going higher and higher when unexpectedly my hands slipped and i flew about 6 feet and landed on my back. The scary moment was when i heard my breath literally rush out of my body and for a full minute i was gasping for air. There didn't seem to be anything in my lungs. I was literally drowning on land y'all! I had no idea what was wrong. All kinds of thoughts were in my mind, broken spine, damaged some part of body that stopped me breathing... It was weird, i can only recall the clear sky ahead and feeling the grass around me and thinking this would be a stupid way to kick the bucket. Eventually i started breathing again but for that long minute i felt like the loneliest person in the world.

4. Trip to dentist after 15 years. I've had a major phobia for the dentists. So bad i did not go to a guy for 15 years. Finally HAD to. Tooth was in a bad way. Bad news Mr Chindiana, its got to come off. Can you save it Mr Dentist. Sure, Root Canal. Ok fine. Scheduled for next day. When i walked in i was clear headed, but my body was reacting like a rabid monkey. My breathing was off, my body was cold and my fingers were twitching. When i lay on the chair, i could hear myself talking calmly to the nurse but the entire lower half of my body was having spasms. My legs were jerking around and my butt was doing some weird kampung chicken mating dance. The dentists then dead pans "Mr Chindiana you really were not joking when you said you had a phobia for dentists."

5. Nearly drowned when i was 8 or 9 in Port Dickson. I couldn't swim for anything. I was in a rubber dinghy. It was floating out to sea and nobody seemed to hear me call out to them. The beach was crowded. I didn't think the water was too deep. Thought it would be up to my chest. So, dumbass Seremban boy jumps into the sea. And sinks about 12 feet down. I have to say this I was lucky that surprise kept me from panicking. My stubborn brain didn't accept that i had gone so deep. I sank fast but was lucky not to swallow water. Something made me kick up. My mind goes "ah easy, surface, shout and someone will come..". Surfaced, opened mouth to shout, swallowed water and proceeded to sink again. This is first hand, I didn't think of drowning on the way down, i found myself taking in the quiet murky world underneath and the silhouette of kicking feet in the distance. I could feel how soft the sand was when i kicked off again. Life didn't flash in front of me because at 8 you don't have much flashing to do. But it WAS weird, on my third time down was what did go through my mind was this scene of me, my sister and cousins playing in our grandparent's large garden. Fourth time i started raising my hands and i heard someone from the beach shout out that there was a stupid Chindiana kid drowning, fifth time and i managed to see my uncle do his best David Hasselhoff and at 6th was when strong arms grabbed me and pulled me in to the beach.

I haven't gone back to the dentist since but i have learnt to swim. Like a pregnant camel..

ToyBits - Live Music

"Empty? Ya, not many people in KL appreciate 'live music'. Nightspots here are for picking up dates or Chinese 'students', Beautiful People watching, swinging glow sticks, and watching English football..."

Monday, March 12, 2007

Office Politics 101 Pt.2

Their Unsuspecting Ally
The biggest culprit. The fertiliser to their blooms, the wind beneath their wings - The Boss Man. The CEO/MD/GM/Dept Head/the manager.

How Does this Happen?
1. Its lonely at the top. Very, very lonely. No one seems to see the big picture except the Boss Man. All his minions keep holding back his great vision and plans for the company with words like "must adopt a cautious approach, not enough time to plan, will waste money, not enough manpower, not enough money, cannot do, may not do" and list goes on and on in negatives.

2. So the welcome attentions of a staff that seems to understand and support his vision is of course a welcome sight. Slowly he's holds the words of this Person over the others. Slowly his confidence in others is eroded slowly.

3.And then the Sniper Wars begin. Battles fought in boardrooms and office pantries, lies and righteous anger the weapons of choice. The Boss man? By now he's normally a zombie controlled by the Politician OR he quietly encourages the fragmentation in his office believing that it will contribute to some weird increase in working dynamics in his company. Or if they are too busy fighting each other they won't have time to worry about how shitty the company is or how low benefits are or they won't bug him with minor details, and the list goes on. I'm not in that position so cannot expand further with great authority what goes on in the mind of a company owner.

What Can We Do?
1. Adopt a hard core work ethic. Be the best at what you do, come to work do your stuff, be civil and polite to everyone and leave on the dot (because you're a good time manager also). Don't hang out much with anyone in the office. Just deliver and quietly let the bosses know that you just want to be rewarded for your hard work. In this way the bosses will love someone who can deliver and the politicians will not see you as a threat. Best excuses to make up for not fraternising with the colleagues - have to take care of kids/parents/pets, you're training for the Hawaii Ironman, you really SAYANG your spouse and want to spend time with him/her, you're doing work for an orphanage....

2. Spot the politicians early. Keep them close. Its working with the devil you know. You both develop an uneasy alliance. He knows where you stand and vice-versa. But ALWAYS watch your back.

3. Extermination - all out warfare. Recon, gather intel, build up your position within the company, weaken his position and department influence and then go for the kill. If he's a politician worth his salt he will definitely have a few offences committed in the company. It must be complete. If he's still around you're in for a bad time as these guys will of course hold a grudge.

The main 3 rules to have a chance of surviving are:
1. Work smart and deliver at work
2. No confrontation with the politician or their cronies
3. Don't Trust Anyone (keep all correspondence, all decisions on black and white, etc)

There. Should be enough. If I've left out anything let me know-lah.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Office Politics 101 Pt. 1

I saw this book at Borders the other day - "THE NO ASSHOLE RULE. BUILDING A CIVILIZED WORK PLACE AND SURVIVING ONE THAT ISN'T." I reached out instinctively, took it from the shelf (i think more as a reflex to see if it was real and than placed it back without looking at its contents). I didn't bother to even look at the author. Why should I? I've been working for 15 years and been through all the office wars, why do i need some guy to charge me how many bucks (yeah didn't bother to see the price as well) just to tell me something i already know. I figured screw that, let me see if i can put it all down in a page or two. Here goes:

The Culprit, The Politician, The Snake, The Rat, The Asshole, The Virus.
1. It always takes One. The Power of One. One Snake in Eden, One Hitler, One Ring, One bad Taufu in a Maggi goreng.

Identifying the Virus
1. Normally a sub par organism with great ambitions OR a sub par organism who UNDERSTANDS his limits and just wants to survive in a competitive environment. Just surviving as a law of nature means eliminating the competition.
or
2. Young, SMART and VERY AMBITIOUS. Very dangerous this species. But ego and impatience is their downfall.
or
3. Jealousy - say for example a finance feller. The pay is so so. You're in charge of all the money, saving the company huge amount of taxes, helping the CEO save on HIS taxes, you're also probably saddled (in some smaller companies) with the Admin, HR and Cleaner lady portfolios. You're handling millions of buckaroos. Your salary is ok, there is a scale. If you leave, they can get another without much trouble so you can't demand much. Then you see the stupid sales guys getting large commissions. Idiots who flounce in in the morning, go missing after 10am and are in a karaoke by 5pm. They don't care about the 5 year cash flow you have to do, worry about the next office expansion plan, you hate them, they're scum..........so you plan your ascension to power so you can get in the action and send these smug clowns away.

Jealously also includes the normal run of the mill love triangles, inter-department oneupmanship, fighting over company perks etc. Although the love triangles occasionally stray into psycho killer territory.

How do they start?
1. Recruitment. First target - new meat. Get to fresh recruits first. Be their bestest friend in the whole wide world. Show them around the office. Take them to/for lunch. The works. Start spreading some stories - That sales fella will grab your ass in the loo, this marketing lady will bitch about anything you do to the boss and the receptionists' second aunty on the mother's side is a transvestite......

2. Get to others like you - the sloths, the insecure and dumber motherlovers. Build your clique. A little whisper here and there. Make them trust you and make you the center of their work space. These are the best informants normally as they will not have the balls for one-on-one confrontation with the forces of Good.

3. The ambitious ones who are stuck for some reason in mid level are also potential targets for recruitment- some boss doesn't like them, cocky, screwed up on something and now cold storaged.

Their Weapons
1. There is a saying, not sure where, maybe some coffee shop in Seremban - AMBITIOUS MEDIOCRITY IS ENHANCED BY DEVIOUSNESS. This is where they excel. When your back is against the wall and you're a dumbass but you're a fighter nonetheless, your mind kicks into survival mode. And since its easier to survive without a conscience you start to go down the path of evil. And then you get snared by the darkside. SO THE MORE DEVIOUS THEY HAVE TO BE, THE SMARTER THEY BECOME.

2. Lies. This goes hand in hand with point 5. Sometimes they fudge the truth. Sometimes they lie and cover it up well or have their cronies back them up. They also notorious for stealing ideas and claiming it for their own AND defending themselves with their lives and the lives of their cronies when they're finally caught out.

3. Unabashed Ass Kissing - they will do this with no sense of pride or guilt. Telling the boss that he has a lovely jacket when it's actually a McGyver reject model, Agreeing with EVERYTHING and ANYTHING the boss does. Picking up the CEO's kids, laundry, wife, cat, mistresses' lingerie from anywhere in the city in peak hour traffic. You want a Yes. The Virus has a RESOUNDING YES SIR! for you.

4. Devoid of a conscience, honour, pride or any virtue that is good and sacred in this world.

5. Unnaturally good acting skills. They can lie without blinking an eyelid. They have mastered camouflaging the left eye/right eye test for creative and memory use.

6. Patience - Like a alligator on a river bank, a sniper in the woods, a frog on a lotus. Time is their ally.

will have to continue this....brain is on overload and can't sort out thoughts, feeling anger, anger leads to pain...pain leads to suffering....... plus the Spurs match is coming on soon and i haven't tapaued my chips and sparkling ribena......

Weddings

Went to a wedding yesterday. Not bad as it goes. Good food, good crowd but it got me thinking, this is one of the few weddings that didn't grate on my patience. Does anyone ever REALLY enjoy going to a wedding? You wait for the reception, you wait to get seated, you wait for the speeches, you wait for the inevitable tears from someone, you wait for the alchohol and food, you wait for the bride to change from Reception Gown to Dinner Gown to Greet the Guests Gown, you wait to pass the angpow discreetly to the right person and more waiting if your driver doesn't want to let go of the mike at the karoake machine.

This is Malaysia. No Wedding Crasher action. Everyone heads out the door once the food and booze runs out. Or the hotel cleaning staff descends on you like a Navy Seal night raid just when you're digging into the dumpling desert because they need to prepare the ballroom for tomorrow's Anthony Robbin's Motivational seminar for insecure corporate types.

Ok the wedding is first and foremost the bride's day and then her parents, or vice-versa but wouldn't it be cool if they just got on with it without too much self indulgence or drama? Or the hotel would just chill and not rush them out of the ball room?

Wouldn't it be cool to head to a wedding that actually started on time? Short Thank You speeches from Bride and Groom to guests, hit the grub, music and booze, dancing and partying for all because its a once it a lifetime moment and there shouldn't be the spectre of the motivational seminar that is booked for the next day bearing down on you when the band kicks into the opening riff for Sweet Home Alabama?

Suburban weddings in KL now have this video montage thing where we are to make appreciative sounds at their baby pictures and their journey through life, we're supposed to listen to how they met and lame "funny" recollections from the best man. Oh, and we have now the bride or groom normally performing a quick number on stage to cement his or her commitment to the everlasting love and romance that will rock their married life. Bet you that's the first and only time these songs will be sung to their better half, so there's really no reason to put us thru it just to hear the women sigh "aaahhhhhhh.....". If you look at the men especially when the Groom is singing, see their eyes roll back all the way to their ass or they start checking out that sedap hottie in the cute dress.

Seremban chinese weddings are literally metally exhausting and a strain on your liver. They normally start about 3 hours late and some of them actually start serving the booze as soon as you get it. Commendable, but hazardous because when it does start 3 hours later the room is probably swaying loudly to about 300 drunk Karoake Kings.

Indian weddings are straight forward - sit thru the wedding ceremony for about an hour and half, hurl the rice at the couple with some vigour (or else it get's into Aunty Shanti's freshly shampooed hair in front of you) and then bolt for the mutton curry at the buffet line. If you're the parents of the lucky couple I guess you already know which one brought 6 hungry mouths and gave you that RM20 red packet.

Malay Weddings are cool - it's open house for a couple of hours, folks come in, do their bit , leave and the next group comes in. No drama just some very excellent satay and roti jala. But tragically no booze. You can't win 'em all......

A Eurasian wedding is just another name for Mardi Gras - Hot women turning out in their best party outfits, lots of booze and curry devil, Serani bands from the Settlement, line dancing, good dancers all around, good singers also from all ages, normally short speeches (depending how drunk the father of the bride is) and a crowd that is chomping at the bit to hit the dance floor.

Some of the best entertainment comes form unlikely sources. Sources that are cloaked in geniality but can create moments of panic in the middle of a couple's special day. These are - Pastor, priest or religous dude in charge of the ceremony or sometimes the registrar who oversees the signing ceremony or a very emotional and drunk distant uncle. These normally kindly gents sometimes get caught up in the moment and they are possessed by the spirit of Elvis and start hogging the stage. They try some comedy on the crowd, they try to interrogate the couple on stage, they make their own speeches and impart their own 2-cents of advice for matrimonial bliss. etc. But it does make for a light moment for the folks in the crowd. Not for the couple though...

But props to the Lucky Couples. That's the first step to whichever path their going on. And their wedding day is SUPPOSED to set the standard for the rest of their lives so I guess it will do us well to respect their special moment. Just wish the baby pics slide wouldn't take soo long....

Friday, March 9, 2007

300 - What A RRRuuuuuuuush!!!

Just watched it. Adrenalin still pumping. Best Action Movie in the past 10 years! No bullshit, straight out kick ass, jaw dropping, breath catching action! Director Zack Snyder did a fantastic job on 300, Frank Miller's adaption of the battle of Thermopylae. It's filmed similarly as his other creation, Sin City, literally a live action comic book from scene to scene with subtle humour. What's not to love when the politician gets his just deserts? What's not to love with our slack censors who missed the body parts being hacked off all over the place, thick blood flying around like large flakes of dandruff and a headless body filmed lovingly falling to the ground in slo-mo? And ladies, what's not to love about 300 sweaty men with 8 packs jumping around in Speedos? The best moment (to me) that summed up the nonchalant approach to mayhem is when King Leonidas approaches a Spartan who just lost an eye and asks "How is that scratch?" The soldier replies as a matter-of-fact, "Its nothing my lord. Its a good thing that God deemed it fit to give me a spare."
This is the ultimate Jantan show for the year. Period.

Thursday, March 8, 2007

AlQaeda Suspected in Killing of America Icon!

The world woke up yesterday to the shocking news of the death of Captain America, one of the greatest, heroic and noblest superheroes in the world. He was shot yesterday by a sniper in Manhattan. This was a sad and cruel death for an icon of freedom and liberty who survived encounters with cosmic powered aliens, evil mutants and Nazi geniuses. It was suspected that this cruel murder was planned and implemented by Al Qaeda who are taking their evil fight against the West to the most important arena in the psyche of the American male - comic books. Having failed to make a major statement since 9-11 the suspected terrorists have planned to make a dent in the world of comics because comics are the only American literature that has any impact in the world. Already comics are the main source of inspiration for the powerful yet subtle American propaganda machine, the Hollywood Movie. Without Captain America, the ambassadors,moving forward to carry the message of good triumphing over evil falls on the scrawny yet powerful shoulders of Spiderman and the Fantastic Four. Ironman is a recovering alcoholic and the Hulk is still recovering from his art house big screen debut. The X-men have retired as a team although some solo projects have been rumoured to be taking off.

In a taped massage sent to Al Jazira news a supposed Al Qaeda spokesperson was heard saying that this was the first hit on American culture and more would follow and that even purple dinosaurs would not be exempt from their retribution.

Known Captain America nemesis the Red Skull commented "He is NOT DEAD! Of course he vill survive! I give it 3 months and he vill be back! AND dont belif those terrorists claims. If I, ze Red Skull cannot kill zis American menace who are zey to make such a claim? Zees Amerikaners simply kill off their own people when they vant to make some some drama! No Ceativity! Zen they rezurrects them when it zuits them best and then make a movie or do a book deal!" This was followed by what sounded like retro German profanity. The Red Skull however did add that he wouldn't mind seeing Al Qaeda bust a cap in Barney the Dinosaur's ass outside a 7-11 someday....

Indo Pt 2.

Well that was an interesting trip. We landed in Jakarta on the back of the earth quake and the Garuda plane going down. 80 + 20 or so lost. At least the news ran it professionally with regular updates especially on the radio. No melodrama as we might come to expect from our local TV.

Its scary but it almost seemed a matter of fact thing for the people I met. One guy told me simply - "The country is ok we now just seem to have problems with mother nature." And he proceeded to add seriously "actually we are running short of rice in the country. We have to import from Thailand and Vietnam." Air disasters, earth quakes, tsunamis waiting in the wings and now rice shortage? Yet life goes on over there. I wonder how we would deal with all that...

Anyway I think I know what a stewardess goes through when they only go out clubbing at unearthly hours like 1am. I just got home but I am fighting the urge to go to a club for anice cold beverage. Maybe its the altitude and the compressed air in the plane.....

Wednesday, March 7, 2007

Arrive. Raise Hell. Leave.

The Rattle Snake's back. Special Guest Referee for the Billionaire vs Billionaire Match at Wrestlemania 2007. Unbelievable pop from the capacity crowd!

MLM New Low

The cultish self serving arm of Multi-Level-Marketing reached out and touched the family again. All this while we managed to stave them off with polite disinterest. But this latest episode really can only show that they are now reaching new depths of desperation.

This was related to me by by Bro-in-Law. A supposedly good friend of my father dropped by the house to have a 'chat' with the family. He has just taken up MLM and my dad was one of his down line. The dude did his shpeel and since my dad was a bit quiet the family declined as it looked like my dad only signed up to get the guy off his back. Plus more importantly my mum already does some small MLM on her own, nothing much just buys stuff for the house and some of our neighbours just to keep busy. So why do we need another brand?

On the way out to his car he turns to my dad and says - "see your family doesn't care for you, or else they would help you by signing up."

All I can say is SCUM. We all know no matter what they say about sharing and making money together, work hard now and relax for the rest of your life later,they're only in it for themselves. But to sow dissension within a family? Ok, so we're not a very close knit bunch but still don't la be a complete ass hole to all and sundry just to make a sale!

I have seen many friends go down this path. Some make it and some are still soldiering on. What turns me off is the clandestine evasiveness that seems to permeate every sales effort especially the first pitch - "I can 't tell you everything now but we're having a big gathering where our gazillionaire founder will speak to us. You MUST come then you will know. Know what??? That Elvis is still alive? That 9-11 was planned by a giant mutant cauliflower? That Osama is actually hiding inside that purple Barney suit? Oh, you mean that you're selling shite and you need to get idiots into a herd mentality to get them to sign up ON THE FUKIN SPOT? Say la, I'll come right now! What? No beer??? Um...another day maybe.....

I've had people call me telling me its off-shore investments, asking me to come over to play a 'game', friends from a bygone era calling me up after probably finding my number inside their old Standard 5 pencil case and the really aggressive ones who go around organising 'reunions' just to get all the fish in one net.

I could go on but you now what, it's not worth it. Not worth talking about a person who's every waking moment is "who's my next victim/mark/sale?" Just like a leech. Hooked on heroin. From a used needle. From an ex-addict.

Tuesday, March 6, 2007

Top 5 "Miscommunications'

MISCOMMUNICATION. One word. One very innocent word when wrapped up around any massive screw-up, smothers it with innocence and thus extracts a weak splutter of defeat instead of a massive ass beating. I went through a small one the other day so I thougth I would put some of my top 5 miscommunication situations. Ok some of them were caused more by differences in language and culture but what the hell...:

1. "Yes, yes we have something very similar sir. Don't worry."
I sent my glasses to repair the lens that had broken. The shop broke the frame by accident. They called me to say they would replace it.
Chindiana - "No problem. Can you make sure its the same?"

Shop - "OOOh, very hard but we have ALMOST the same. If you want you can come to the shop and look first."

Chindiana - "No, no, the jam is bad. You sure its almost like my old frame?"

Shop - "Oh ya Mr. Chindiana."

Chindiana - " Fine call me when you're done."

I go over a week later to pick up my frame. When i get to the shop the guy first pulls out my old simple, dark brown frame which had been broken by mistake. Then he pulls out the replacement SILVER AND ELECTRIC BLUE FRAME that could only have been from Elton John's concert wardrobe! I could only mumble weakly - "but you said its almost the same..." And the shop guy says " Ya what, the SHAPE is almost same!"

2. "We have the perfect venue for you"
At my old company we were on recce in Delhi to find the best location for the World Wrestling Entertainment 'live' show. We had hired a local company there to shortlist locations. The brief was simple - ample space for about 10,000 people, the wrestling ring and ramp/entrance stage and the support vehicles.

It starts raining, we were driving on a long stretch of road that crosses a large swelling river. The river is framed on both sides by long thick brush. The rain is so heavy that we pull over. "Perfect.", my Indian contact goes." This is one of the locations..."

Chindiana - "Ummm....where????"

Recce Dude - "There sir, on the edge of the river."

My MD and me exchange confused looks.

Chindiana (sounding dazed) - "But it looks like a swamp....."

Recce Dude - "Oh, that's not an issue, enough space for your ring and ramp and we can fit 20,000 people if we want! We bring in some tractors, flatten it, build a small road, if you want we make some seats........etc...etc......." We chose another venue.

3. Cello tape v Yello paper
This continues the adventures from India. The event is up and running. I'm in Mumbai. We're an hour to the gates opening. The crowd has already been waiting outside for 2 hours. Its packed. Somebody had forgotten to stick the VIP signs onto the VIP chairs and surrounding area. I'm trying to find masking tape to stick it on. I pull aside our main liaison and tell him:

Chindiana - "Can you get me cellophane or masking tape? We need it fast!"

Liaison - "Huh?"

Chindiana - "Cello tape. CELL-O tape. Get some fast we have 200 seats to stick the signs!"

Liaison - "Ok, ok!" and runs off.

An hour later no sign. Somehow no one at the event had any bonding agent on hand. From far I see one of the drivers walking hurriedly back to me with YELLOW PAPER. Of course I lose it at the poor innocent.
" What the flying fuck is this!!"

Behind me i hear the gates open...

"Sir said you want Yellow Paper..."

The sounds of excited kids and loud parents fill the air....

"I said Cello tape...."

"No, No, Yellow paper...

Behind me some VIP asks loudly to the back of my neck what bloody nonsense is going on and where is his seat.....

4. "Only Old fellers playing"
Stuart calls up and invites me for futsal. I'm recovering from my latest injury and beg off. "Come la uncle! Just us oldies playing. Kick about only la....

So I turn up and am comforted to see dudes about my age and older warming up by the court. The warm up takes a bit too long.
"Oi Stuart what are we waiting for?"

"Oh, the other team hasn't arrived yet."

"What other team?"

Then I look at the entrance and see the first young, lean, mean Selayang All-Star lope onto the court.

"Uh Stuart, I thought you said ....."

"Ya lah! Old fellas la. On OUR SIDE!"

The day did not end well......

5. " ON the way"
This happens to ALL of us. AND its an INTENTIONAL miscommunication, if there is such a thing. When a Malaysian says he's ON THE WAY that means he's STILL IN HIS OFFICE CAR PARK.

Indonesia

Well I'm off tomorrow for a day trip to Indonesia. One whole day for one meeting. First flight out last one back. Haven't done this in a while.....Not since the last batch of meetings at Thai AA last year. Although I still miss the regular mad drunken rushes from Hooters in Singapore to catch the last 11.30pm flights back to KL with Alex.

Sunday, March 4, 2007

Seremban Feller in LCCT

"...grumble..grumble..bloody nonsense LOW COST Terminal! Where's the bloody LOW COST Mamak?.....grumblegrumble..bloody kids..grumblegrumblegrumble...."

Top 5 Star Wars Quotes

Here's my Top 5 Star Wars quotes in relation to
life in the office.

1. The clueless boss who thinks he's always right - "Good is a point of view." - Darth Sidious/Senator Palpatine/The Emperor

2. When that last minute crapper hits the fan - "Do or do not, there is no try." - Yoda

3. For that guy in the office that always seems to where to much perfume - "What an interesting smell you've discovered!" - Han Solo

4. The office politician has set you up, your back is against the wall - "Fear is the path to the dark side. Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to sufferring." - Yoda (in other words don't smash the SOB's face immediately. Think about it first.....)

5. For the 90% of us who don't want to waste time in the office - "I'm not brave enough for politics." - Obi Wan Kenobi

Friday, March 2, 2007

Seremban Feller in Starbucks

"grumble..grumblegrumble...bloody nonsense..grumblegrumble..10 ringgit for kopi late! In Seremban 1.50 for kopi susu tarik....grumblegrumble..grumble.... "

Loss of Chi?

When a friend Sue went on about people or environments draining a person of chi or energy a year back I thought yeah, sounds about right but it was a situation that thought I hardly found myself in. Lately it seems to be the ONLY situation I'm in. I'm getting sooo many people just wasting my time that it just confirms that the majority of KL-ites are just too self absorbed. You might know them - people who make you wait needlessly, those who make appointments a week in advance and forget about it, clients who insist you go to their office to meet and then you find out it could be resolved over the phone in 5 minutes, friends you help but they end up making you feel that they are doing you a favour, friends or colleagues who are just so negative that you actually come away feeling tired and mentally drained.

Places also do that to me. After having drinks in one of those bars with the hostesses Sue actually told me to stay away. It had bad vibes. I didn't understand at first as i rarely go there. But there was a phase over 2 weeks that me and some friends went there and i found myself uncomfortable there.. How la? Got women and friends and booze. Maybe it was the language problem, I speak as much Cantonese and Mandarin as a drunk Mexican so was sort of isolated on my bar stool. And then you see it, the girls are only there because they want you to buy as much drinks as possible for their commissions. And they're so lovely if you're a liquor drinker. Beer drinker? Sigh..so low the commission. The guys are there because they're stressed out at work and want to feel a little bit more single and free before they head home to the families. Its all not real but it does fill a void I guess in the scheme of things. But negative vibes all the same. Everyone using each other.

Is that what it's come to? All of us looking at the other as a mark? A vehicle to use and abuse while we get what we want? Subconsciously keeping friendships going just in case that other person can help and assist you in the future?

So to all the bros, babes and lain-lain if I decline to pick you up for lunch, dinner or breakfast or help you find a job, or help you get a project or buy you one two many dinners or drinks, jangan marah-marah y'all. It nothing personal. I'm just trying to get my Chi back.