Monday, May 28, 2007
A couple of years ago a 'friend' was down and asked some of us to lend some money. It was temporary. Short while only la. We suspected gambling debts. I coughed up some cash. It wasn't a large amount but it wasn't small either. I WAS supposed to get it back in a couple of days. On said day I mosey on over to the house for the pick-up and am told that my 'friend' had left the country for good!!! As those of us who've been in this situation before will know that mixed feeling of anger, confusion and quiet humiliation. Fuk! Gone with the wind... Checked around and stories were moving about, suspected this and that. I was just pissed that I was used.
Queue last week and I get a call that i have to go for a meeting as the boss can't make it. This person wants to pitch some business. I'm amazed at my luck! The bird was back in the country! What goes around came back around to land smack on the palm of my outstretched palms! There was Justice in this land! One piping hot serving of Karma Curry coming up y'all! Deep down in me my heart cackles the mean laugh of a vindictive old man.
I give credit to this person, there was no surprise and panic when we came face to face. Big smiles, 'how you doins', etc. but quietly for good measure a quick "oh yeah i owe you something and I'll pass you tomorrow." The proposal was so-so. Not as interesting and I told them they had to sort on it. Tomorrow came and went. I figured fuk it, I get to wipe the slate clean on one of the accounts I've been suckered. I just needed to be mean and hard assed about it. I at least know they have to come back to the country in the future so I called and politely and reminded my debtor that we were supposed to meet. Long story short - I got my money back though I was a little miffed that after almost 5 years there wasn't any interest added on.
There is a saying in my family that came from my grandfather - Never lend money to anyone who is not family. No. Matter. Who. They. Are. Family will pay you back one way or the other (if you really want to. This I know as many families have simply forgotten old debts for unity sake)
I just have 2 more long term debts to collect and hopefully I'll be able to withdraw my membership to the Sucker A Minute Club for Dumbasses. And if last week's serving of Justice Pie was an indication it should happen eventually. In the meantime I better start making up to all the people I've pissed of since I'm on this karmic trail!
Saturday, May 26, 2007
Thursday, May 24, 2007
I was there at the press con when Sampras called in at a every late US time of 11.15pm or so. Although he started sounding a bit hesitant at the start he warmed up quickly and was answering the one too many questions from the MC and some members of the press with polite and professional ease. He was even respectful to Malaysia's 50th anniversary of our Independence and ended up sounding like an eloquent personification of his on-court prowess. We don't get that here in Malaysia and even the world. Its tough to find professional athletes who can carry themselves with professional poise WITHOUT sounding scripted or like a starstruck school girl . A long while back I even turned away some members of the Malaysian national badminton team once at a dinner because they looked like a bunch of wayward kids who had lost their way in the hotel. Yes I'm embarrased to admit I didn't recognised them but it was a dinner for the best badminton teams in South East Asian and the dudes turned up looking like they were on their way to Zouk! Here's hoping we get to see more great sporting ambassadors here on our shores.
Wednesday, May 23, 2007
Just some photos of Singapore Street in Seremban. It used to be the main hub for wholesalers in Seremban town. They still have a few wholesale outlets for confectionery, toys, stationary and some shops selling Chinese medicines and other nick knacks. I didn't have much time to take more shots but have promised myself to go back for some more. I want to chronicle as much of old Seremban as I can.
The Chinese Uncle was making the old school stainless steel multi-coffee/hot water/tea container which had separate compartments with taps for that fresh brewed 'kow' morning coffee! The old Mamak dude on the right placed the order and was there to see the finishing touches. Normally these containers were heated up by coal now its with gas and were normally found on smaller outdoor mamak stalls that had not much electricity or water supply.
One of the shops at the entrance to Singapore Street, Seremban.
Sunday, May 20, 2007
These are separate 'stories' but i think they were part of the same contest -
"The last man on earth heard a knock on the door..." This almost sounds like a cliched line from one of those collection of sci-fi short stories.
" When he awoke, the dinosaur was still there."
Ok the last one is crap but i just had to get that "And God lay dying" line out of my head.
Thank God, Nieva and Chippy are gracious enough to lend me their other car when they can spare it. I've cabbing around since. And yes our Malaysian cab drivers are still pieces of shit ALTHOUGH some of them are forced to back off on the greedy and lazy actions that they are famous for. Here are some points from my cabbing around experience over the past month.
1. Dicking around with the meter - yes some of them do. One method is there is a 'clicker' on the right side of the driver. He traps you by saying "no flat fee, using meter". You're lulled into a false sense of security, get in his cab and find out later the meter is reading up a storm! One cab driver told me that this way the driver has to manually click it. There is another method that is supposedly programed into the meter so it automatically moves faster.
2. After midnight charge - your luck esp if you're taking a cab downtown in a clubbing area. All will charge a flat rate. They even show righteous anger when they say you are being unreasonable for insisting on them using the meter. My charge from KL to Subang Jaya was RM38 after bargaining from 45. I told him to fuck off, walked off down the street and was lucky to flag a cab who was driving by. Total bill RM24.70 by meter plus after midnight charge.
3. This is a fact - the guys overcharging or declining to take me because its too close or for no reason are Malays or Indians.
4. Don't get a cab in a hurry without confirming rates - I was in a rush, ran into that hotel at the Curve (i forget the name Royal something... Can someone correct me?), asked the concierge where i can get a cab, he says
"outside sir a lot, i' flag you one. I get out and there is a van waiting. I say
"No, I don't want a hotel limo, I want a normal cab."
" This is normal sir, only difference it's used for hotel guests."
" Normal rate?"
"Yes, sir normal rate.
I reach Uptown which is about 5 minutes drive - total bill RM18! Normal rate RM4.70. Yes I got a regular rate, not a regular hotel limo rate but the NORMAL LUXURY LIMO RATE (the luxury rate is reserved for those ugly yellow Perdanas driving around). So I got conned on a technicality and yes it was an Indian driver and and Indian fellow at the hotel.
5. There are actually MORE cabs on the roads nowadays. More than 30 companies. The cabs fellas cannot afford to NOT pick you up (esp for short distances, etc or if you insists on them using the meter). I am able to stop more cabs by the roadside AND there are more meter using cabbies now compared to the past.
6. Even if a cab company is supposed to call back to confirm the cab you're asked for, it's best if you call again to chase them as they won't call back fast or at all to save money especially if its to a mobile phone number.
7. Taxi Drivers Tales. Points of conversations with cab drivers:
- Women are easy prey for overcharging.
- Be wary of kereta sapu (private car owners who will drive you about) - they will quote a reasonable rate and then increase it while you're driving to your destination. If you refuse to pay they will drop you off in the middle of no where.
- They are reluctant to pick up groups of Indians and Africans as they are known to rob cab drivers. But another cabbie also told me he was robbed at knife point by a Malay couple. So I guess robbing a cab is an equal opportunity sport.
- One guy told me he's been 'disturbed' more driving near Malay cemetaries than any other. Also Ukay Heights area is well known for 'spiritual' activity.
- A lot of people stiff cab drivers on payment- Saying they have not enough money and going home to get the cash and never returning. This is a norm for folks living in apartments. And they've also been stiffed by Mat Salleh Expats so that goes to show that expats can be just as bad as the rest of us.
Points to consider when using our local taxis - caution, roughly knowing the rates around town, patience and some give and take if its concerning a ringgit or two on the price.
Saturday, May 19, 2007
1. To that MCIS agent who took my premiums 7 years ago but used it for his own bills- "I'm prepared to scour the Earth for that motherfucker. If Butch goes to Indochina, I want a nigger waiting in a bowl of rice waiting to pop a cap in his ass!"
2. What I'd love to hear in a bar in Singapore -
"What's your name?"
"What does it mean?"
"I'm American honey, our names don't mean shit."
3. Next time someone tackles me from behind at futsal -
"I'm a mushroom cloud laying motherfucker, motherfucker! Every time my fingers touch brain, I'm SUPERFLY TNT! I'm Guns of Navarone!"
4. Every time I resist calling the ex -
"The night of the fight, you may feel a slight sting. That's pride fucking with you. Fuck pride! Pride only hurts, it never helps."
5. The only thing to say to some recently returned Malaysian graduates from abroad who think they are pseudo-Australia or American - "English motherfucker, do you speak it???"
And finally only 3 people in the world can use the word "Motherfucker" and make it memorable - Samuel L Jackson, Snoop Dogg and Paula Abdul.
Friday, May 18, 2007
Thursday, May 17, 2007
We don't really know our rights and even if we do there is no real platform to make sure the culprits pay for bad or slow service or exploitation and just plain 'tidak apa' attitude. Since I attract assholes like a shithole here are my own personal experiences with the woeful state of our customer service industry.
England Optical (KL)
Went to get new glasses. Did a quick check which lasted bout 15 minutes and i had a new pair to go in about a week. When i put it on i realized something was wrong. The power was off. I didn't have a spare and i already had used up my last contacts supply. Thought i would change later but as time went by i kept putting it off. I finally couldn't stand in about 2 months later and went to a shop in Seremban. The kid who tested my eyes was taking too long almost 40 minutes and he still wasn't done. I started getting irritated and told him i just needed to get a new pair. But he kept saying he really wanted to do it properly. He even insisted on continuing even after i told him i probably be buying from him(pissed off already). When i was walking off he actually told me to get a proper check up at the Tun Hussesin Onn Eye hospital in PJ if i wanted to be sure. I was wondering what all the fuss was about. For once i took good advice and headed down there. The actual time they took to check my eyes was almost 1 hour! I really cant remember the processes but it was a lot more thorough than the England Optical stuff. I just realised the clowns in England Optical just rush through it as they are more concerned on selling glasses than actually getting the testing process 100% correct AND they may not have all the necessary equipment.
My lap top was out last year. Slow as drunken camel on 6 inch heels. I thought there was a virus or some part was busted. I took it to the HP service center. First off RM200 non-returnable fee for their guy's efforts to check it. They quoted me an additional RM600 to replace some part. I was broke so took it back home 200 bucks poorer. Gave it to a friend who works in an IT department and he sorted it out for FREE! No parts to replace! So what now HP, you wankers???
Please just check the fine print. Keep track of your investments. I haven't' been burnt yet but my unit trust agent keeps giving garbled french whenever i ask him in which fund my money is in. He's a friend and i went with him as it was a trust factor but this is a fact, the more clients they get the more you will be just a number to them and the service will stop. This is a fact with insurance and unit trust agents. They start off all bright eyed and bushy tailed and then just get greedy or indifferent later. This guy keeps trying to sell me more product than taking care of what i already have with him. I know where he lives though...
Bought from my friend's cousin. After 3 years he didn't submit one of my premiums. I assume he used the money for something. I told them i wanted to put a stop to it after I got a warning letter about non-payment from MCIS. No prob. I go to MCIS and they gave me some shit that I needed to pay up some balance, wait for a year and i can take the cash out. I went back a year later and they told me i could only take out RM1,200 of my RM6,000. I told them to screw themselves. It was too late to make a police report so have told my friend to sort it out with his fuckwit relative.
There was a period where the cheap shits were giving me missed calls so i could call them back for them to tell me how much I owed them. I really HAD to ask them why and the reply was the call center machine was set to call and move on to the next number on the list if the call went unanswered. Move on? After ONE RING?????
We really need competitive and professional alternatives for companies to take customer oriented service seriously. Monopolies don't help. Neither does our own ignorance.
One good example is Tan Chong Motor - most of you will find, especially the ones from out of KL, the Tan Chong after sales service is excellent. Its manned mainly by old timers who have been with the company for ages. I can testify to this. Nissan makes good cars but their shit marketing and sales strategies results in lousy second hand value for their cars but their service really is worth the effort. After my accident and i forgot where my insurance policy was, I called them and the aunty on the end of the other line was actually really worried that i had misplaced it and I didn't even buy the policy from them! They call up to remind me to pay my insurance and road tax among other things and the people are genuine(well in Seremban at least). It's supposedly the culture in Tan Chong as told to me by a veteran motoring journalist.
A sad state right? The best examples of the best we can be is going to be lost in our past.
Tuesday, May 15, 2007
Sunday, May 13, 2007
So when a friend asked me to play a game of field football I thought well technically it wasn't futsal. And football is mainly 80% running around and its sort of low impact compared to futsal. As usual it didn't turn out well for my back and groin and knee and my right shoulder.
My first mistake when asked which position I played was to say "right back!". It was always an easy job as Malaysian wingers are stupid. There's not much skill. They think they are fast and all they do is hope they outrun you run down the side and cross the ball. Back in the day I used to catch them easy as I was the 6th fastest male runner in Negri Sembilan, the 200th fastest in West Malaysia and the 500th fastest runner is Malaysia if you counted Sabah and Sarawak and a couple of the national female relay team. I'd just let them run, catch up with them and literally blow them off their feet with well times tackles. I didn't have skill, just speed and a willingness to take pain(which has come back to haunt me since). And the more I took them out with some vengeance, the more they lost confidence as the game wore on. And then it became easier for me as the minutes ticked by or they were substituted.
That was almost 15 years ago. Time hasn't made me wiser or else I would have said 'midfield'. I ended up not running the entire time but full on 110% full throttle chasing some skinny winger who was all over the place. The speed was gone. The muscle conditioning was none existent and the i had the stamina of Rosie O'Donnell. And worse, a feeling i haven't felt since my competition days. Funckin lactic acid build-up in the muscles! You coach potatoes feel it when you use one part of your body for an extended period. Its a by product of using your muscles. You then start feeling heavy and stiff. But in full on explosive athletic activity the lactic acid is realised much more quickly as expected. You find your mind still alert but the rest of the ENTIRE body stops responding. My mind was yelling 'EXPLODE AFTER THAT PUNK!" And my arms were saying 'sorry mate, does not compute.." My legs were entangling among themselves like strands of noodles. It got so bad that I had to pull up(something I've never done) just so i literally did not fall over without contact from anyone as my legs seemed to be stuck in mud. The pain ended with me being substituted. Well at least I didn't score an own goal...
Final injury tally - lower back left and right because of the pounding from the running. groin from sudden acceleration, sorry make that sudden use of long retired muscles, lower tendon below left knee and the right shoulder blade when i fell backwards after attempting to clear a ball. Well at least I touched the ball. Once.
Michael Jordan is a god as he adapted his game to his age. Me, I'm and idiot because I forget that a body cannot be as young as my mind. First step to metal maturity, next time some one asks me "what position?", I going to say "water boy."
Saturday, May 12, 2007
Thursday, May 10, 2007
Wednesday, May 9, 2007
Another sign with more proof that the economy and it's relevant machinery is not conducive to the survival of the average mom and pop store - Final Frontier the small store where i get some comics and action figures can't bring in many comics anymore because they are banned by KDN - Spawn is banned - fallen demon fighting for good, Y the last Man (whole male species on earth wiped out by a virus) and some others based on the skimpy superheroines outfits BUT you can get the same in Kinokuniya and some other larger comics stores. So most of their clients now have to buy their stuff from the big boys who are able to get away with bringing in the so called banned books. Is it the volume of their orders that KDN misses the offending books or do they have 'special' paperwork to get them through the relevant authorities? Final Frontier also brought is some Manga figures of skimpy outfitted Japanese babes and were retailing at about RM80. One of the larger chain stores were selling it at about RM160 -RM280 depending on their mood. Suddenly the Final Frontier stuff is stopped at Sepang because it's deemed to corrupt the minds of our young but the big player still is able to bring in even larger quantities of the stuff into the country.
There's still hope for smaller stores though - niche products aimed at customers who want service and not aimed at penny pinchers but it will depend on what their goods and services are. Pretty soon convenience will play a part as it seems that good/personal service is actually a luxury nowadays. Until then I think I'll give the Uncle one more chance to get some fresher Milo packs...
Sunday, May 6, 2007
We all suspect that these building tenders are dodgy deals, we know Malaysian developers and contractors do not care for maintaining or respecting the environment and are short cut maestros but to have so many fuck-ups literally falling down on their master's asses within a month MUST be more than coincidence. Heavenly sign? Anwar Ibrahim covertly drilling holes in the ceilings? Or worse and more worrying - the already low standards are getting worse and things are breaking down faster than you can say "Landslide!" Well at least one strand of an answer is that some goverment folks are just going their own way instead of going through the Public Works Ministry for construction jobs. Poor Uncle Samy, the dude gets the shaft for almost everything that screws up and it looks like not all his fault.
So now when I go to submit this form or pay that assessment I might have to park away from hills, wear a helmet and put on an inflatable life preserver before starting on my merry way to a government building.
Saturday, May 5, 2007
Wednesday, May 2, 2007
Lets see, this started (Exhibit A) when 2 female friends and I went for dinner. I was driving so I chose Rumah Ku, one of my fav comfy joints. It was a nice evening so I chose to sit outside. It started off well, and then.... AFTER looking at the prices at the menu and then looking around the place one of them remarks "no wonder you don't have a girlfriend if you bring them to places like this." And the other member of her species at the table agreed whole heartedly. I have pics of Rumah Ku further down this blog. I like it. I feel at home and it reminds me of Seremban. It's cosy, the food is good and reasonably priced. Its not some dodgy tom yam joint along some trunk road in Dungun. What made this somewhat smart woman, even think along those lines? They hadn't even tried the food! I bet if the prices were 5 times more and it had a wait list of 3 months I would have been declared "bachelor of the year' by my 2 friends at the table. Of course being the subtle gentleman that I am I told her that I wasn't planning on shagging her so she better just eat the food I ordered and not to forget we were going dutch. Suffice to say it went further downhill when I passed some remarks about both their boyfriends ( I really MUST learn to back off in the face of unintentional bimboism).
This hasn't been the only occasion - woman are openly declaring that only rich and successful men turn them on because get this - not because they want the dude's money but they have drive and passion and are intellectually on. Sooooo...that shiny Porche has nothing to do with it?
OK, let's just say for arguments sake that it's not the money they want but a witty refined companion, a caring fellow who will love her and provide her for everything she needs but no, she doesn't really want his money because he's a gem. So what you say? Here's what, Exhibit B - Another friend at a bar is going to introduce us to her new boy friend. He's loaded like a fat potato and he's running a little late. A phone call announces his impending arrival in 5 minutes, "OK you idiots don't say anything OK." says our pretty little friend. "Say wha...." Cant' fin question as our new guest arrives. He sits down, nice guy chats with us civilly. He moves off to say hello to a friend nearby and our friend goes "OK, OK, yeah yes bald OK. Just shutup." We didn't even think about it when he sat down but she WAS EMBARRASSED at him! So if it's LURVE what's up with that???
I could go on and on on this, including the various combos of married men and mistresses, KL girls now having 'back up' boy friends and even going out with more than one guy because the loot is more. But as I've shown I am sensitive to the mind of a woman so I will think along the lines that NO I say! 80% of KL women are NOT money grabbing wenches, NO! they are not calculative and patient for the good score and NO! I say, with sincere vehemence that they are NOT ONLY looking for rich men.
Instead let us consider the symbolism of money. Money = Security = Peace of Mind. So women are strong and independent. They are not ruled by money. They just want to know there is a backup in case they wish to give up that high paying job on the 30th floor and the company car or when they sell of their successful practice. A safety net in case they want to start popping out babies. A successful man shows that he is disciplined and won't end up a crack fiend scratching his naked balls behind the Klang Bus Station. A successful man will take care of her and will look good on her arm and charm her friends and keep her tingling with witty, smart and warm repartee. So YES they want a rich man but not for his money but the symbolism that his money brings. So I'm right correct? I must be because I'm a sensitive, OPTIMISTIC, kinda guy...