Sunday, August 30, 2009

Merdeka

Fuk me. Just as i'm trying to put up a post on our Independence Day tomorrow I get a call just 2 minutes ago saying that there's been an illegal transaction using my credit card in the United States. You never really think that you'll ever be one of those poor sods you read about in the papers who ended up with thousand dollar bill for porn subscriptions and a coupla pussy flashlights.

As far as I know the bill is small and for some female products. Damn, who has had access to my credit card? Peekz is my trusted assistant and she's so manly the only female products she would ever buy are tampons. (she's stressed so dont think she'll be reading this blog for the next few weeks :P)

Just msn-ed Peekz. She said I probably bought the girly stuff when I came home drunk one night. (-_-) That's what I get for having a casual/easy working style with my staff. They get to be sarcastic to me after 5 pm and on public holidays.

Anyway...

Tomorrow is hari Merdeka. Our Independence Day. It's dramatically quiet this year. H1N1, the crap economy, politicians being politicians and wasting every one's time and money.

I ask this every year. What does it mean? Just another vain remainder to those too young to care for freedom and independence. In a way the American patriotism machinery seems to be able to drum that into their national consciousness. Here it's the same old black and white footage and Sudirman's retro hits that seem to be the only ammo the government has to instill the spirit of Merdeka. Yasmin Ahmad was not government machinery. Her videos though should now be part of every Merdeka celebration from now and forever. It's more relevant to the kids of today. Yasmin Ahmad, Sudirman, P. Ramlee, and the Tunku. Sorta Malaysia's mystical Fantastic Four who every year fight the battle to educate disillusioned parents, E popping teens and dirty businessmen and their stooges that Merdeka should be our yearly call to action to get our act together.

Overheard in a conversation among government dignitaries - who would you say are South East Asia's power houses? Answer - Singapore, Vietnam AND Malaysia.

WTF????

Aren't we a bunch of screw ups?

No - we're actually not that bad even with dodgy politicians and environmental disaster waiting to pounce on every corner. Indonesia is too fragmented, Thailand always seems to have political upheavals and Filipino politics is also not stable. (this was an overheard conversation)

Is it true?

Maybe.

Indonesia needs another strong President. Thailand needs another Prime Minister who can bring all factions together. I'm not familiar with the Filipino political scene but for now it actually looks like we have that potential.

As long as we get our act together.

Can we? Will we?

I know I want to. My Chinese neighbor across the corridor will standby me. My Malay PA and friends who I will break fast with tonight will also be walking down any road with me. Of course my Indian 'thani' friends will be offerring me their legal services for a special rate...

SO who are these fukers throwing a cow's head at a Hindu temple? Who are these Hindraf clowns holed up in England stirring up shit from across many oceans. They are not us. They have their own plans and it has nothing to do with peace or harmony or sitting having teh tarik with Indians, Malays, Chinese, Bai fukers (Jaspal the Wise yo!), Serani flers and enjoying the gorgeous windy afternoons we've been getting lately.

One Malaysia? Why? We already know we're all Malaysian. It's just the clowns with the agendas that need to be reminded of it. Well, maybe have it shoved up their ass.

I am Malaysian. So are my friends, my enemies, my family, my colleagues, business partners and the fucker that cut in front of me this morning without warning. When he cut in front of me I did not think "Chinese fucker". I just thought "FUCKER". FULL STOP.

We're all Malaysian together. Whether as fuckers, assholes, friends, family, lovers, colleagues, whatever.

Peace y'all.

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Bloody hell, I'm vain!

A while back I spent a coupla minutes removing tags of myself in some photos on facebook. Photos that did not portray me in a good light. It's amazing how many pictures you find of yourself floating around the internet with tags like, "Chindy asking me for the number of my gay designer" or "Chindy enjoying the view of my boss's wife chest" or "Chindy with his Mountain Man pose hoping to attract biawaks in heat".

Pictures are a harsh reminder that no matter what we paint in our minds of ourselves, we're really nothing much more than the end result of our actions.

Drunk in a bar - eyes off kilter, staring in the distance, a lop sided grin on my face, beer in hand grinning like a mad leprechaun on St Patrick's Day.

Posing with pictures of hot girls who you hope will tag you so their other hot friends MIGHT pick up on your manliness - Eyes straight ahead, a slight pucker to your lips, a smile that was supposed to look like Johnny Depp but ends up a deranged Jack Sparrow.

In the jungle - constipated and irritated as no time to answer the call of Mama Nature and hiking with a hangover is never really advisable.

I also did not know i did a great impressions of constipated retarded camel whenever anyone told me to "Smile la for the camera!".

SO, yeah i took out the unflattering pics. Left some as I wanna show that even though I'm a boyish, sensitive, mature man, I'm still human and can still look like a constipated retarded camel.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Holy H1N1 Batman!

Demmit! This sudden explosion of infections in the country caught me off guard! Its now everywhere. What seemed to be a potential hazard only if you were sitting next to some infected clown on a plane has now turned out to be a menace lurking in every corner waiting to pounce faster than pervert at at lingerie model buffet.
m
H1N1 sounds a tad impersonal. If they want to strike fear in someone they've got come up with some term or name that will make your balls cringe with fright and scuttle up your ass.

You get typhoons called Mimi and Amy. No wonder everybody stays put and gets their house parking it's foundations on the family cat's head.

You gotta go out there and scream out "Typhoon Undertaker is coming! Get the fuck outta Dodge!!!!" Or "Flee you twats! Hurricane Hellspawn is descending upon us!!!!"

H1N1? pfft.... 

Just put up "The Plague of Apocalypse  Arrives!!! Mask UP PEOPLE!!!!" THEN you're going to get folks shitting their pants and covering up with all forms of linen. Of course it DOES leave us to this little thing called panic and chaos in society.

I was quite blase about using masks. The office has left one on my table. 

Will it work? 

Will i look like a retard? 

Would it bring out the color of my eyes?

I fly to Brunei tomorrow. Almost 4 hours with strangers, all potentially suffering from some form of ailment, from a transmutable disease to a pimple on their left butt cheek.

Next Monday I fly to the Philippines. Another almost 4 hour flight. Another chance to be attacked by the Plague of the Apocalypse.

The mask sorta looks greenish. So if I smile under it I may look like a Ninja Turtle (but who wrestles bears before breakfast). It should break the ice with the COO I'm meeting on Wednesday. Maybe we'll both be wearing one. We'll bond in our moment of fragility over our fear and distrust of the very air we breath. He will look at me, our eyes meet over the slightly heavy breathing through the cheap surgical masks from some dodgy pharmacy. Fuck... where the hell am I going with this.....

SO...

To mask or not to mask?

Now THAT is the question... 

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Ironic....

The promptness of police road blocks for drink driving on the even of Ramadhan.

Always.

Every year.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

AVATAR

James Cameron's upcoming December effort. Lush graphics BUT at a cost of USD 200 million? I thought CGI was supposed to cut costs.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Don't Agro, Chill Bodoh

Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: I mean you no harm

If you see me signaling and moving into your lane it is because I am changing lanes to pass:

a. A stationary vehicle parked on the side (normally an 18 wheeler whose illegal immigrant driver is passed out from pulling a 48 hour shift)

b. Overtaking a slower vehicle (a Datin driving the Harrier that her husband bought her to distract her from his excursions to the Pink Lady Lounge)

c. Planning to make a turn (not all roads lead to the Great Malaysian Mega Sale)

I AM NOT however:

a. Challenging your person/ego/self worth/

b. Disrespecting your family or ancestors

c. Trying to slow down your progress for your meeting with Fanny and Apple at the Pink Lady Lounge

d. Getting in between you and that cute little hottie in that metallic grey Vios that you were tailing for the past 5 minutes hoping she would be impressed by the mamak table sized spoiler on your Kelisa.

AND please don't worry (as I can see from your sudden manic action of bursting forward like a bat out of hell to cut me off), my car cutting in front of you will not result in the following :

a. You getting fired from work

b. Seri Kembang loan sharks mistakenly throwing red paint on your gate

c. Your husband cheating on you with Fanny or Apple (although I hear Apple has this thing she does with a vodka bottle... never mind...)

d. A purple Teletubby growing out of your ass

This act of kiasu-ness is normally reserved for Singaporeans. We are Malaysians.

Chill.

The Singaporeans think of us as slow and laid back. Lets at least give them that on the road.

Laid back I mean.

Go too slow and hog the road and then I'll get all agro on your ass too.

Monday, August 17, 2009

Monday Blues

Am paying the price for mixing beers, white and red wines last night. 

I've had no breakfast and am groggy and grumpy and hungry. Did I mention hungry?

Going into meeting to negotiate a 5 year TV deal.

Hope I don't end up giving away my soul for a Teletubby time slot with a gay Ewok program presenter. 

Friday, August 14, 2009

Gunung Nuang, Ulu Langat.



It doesn't matter if you're Chuck Norris, a life time member of Fitness First with an 18" boner and nipples of Kryptonite. Gunung Nuang will test one and all.

At almost 1,500 meters its a tough 6 hour climb to the top and another 6 down. No going down doesn't necessarily mean faster. Not some parts seem like their about 70 degree descents.

I always avoided Nuang as the reports were far from seductive - 12 hour hike with not that much of a view from the so called highest point in the state of Selangor. That and the at least twice yearly reports of campers getting lost or separated from groups only to be found by rangers a day later also gave the place the impression of - 'please the local spirits'. That and stories of hikers losing their way after getting disoriented from weariness or dehydration. Anyway that was what we heard 8 years ago when we recon-ed the district for an outdoor event.

However when i got invited by Joe and the Hiongster to follow them up one Saturday I thought it would be a great workout as I was behind on my training for Mount Agung. Agung takes 6 hours to climb.

It constantly surprises me that even in our thick tropical forests there are folks who truly enjoy the great outdoors. Nuang is a camping haven for many who pitch up their tents overnight to enjoy the sounds of the night from creatures great and small. Many pitch up near the burbling streams and little water falls while some make their way up to Camp Lolo and Camp Pacat (cue zombie attack soundtrack).







The Bottom Line - Nuang is great prep for anyone tackling Gunung Kinabalu or other trails. Forget lugging your little packs up Gasing Hill. Hit Nuang once a month with some gym work and you're good to go. If you love a tropical night in the jungle - i assume its not that bad given you have some good grub, a nice fire and Marvin Gaye playing over the Ipod.

Anyone attempting it should ration their water and food for all 12 hours. Budget to get back to the base by 6pm. There will always be delays - sore muscles, blistered feet, just plain energy running out. Once it's dark its going to be a bitch coming down especially if you're on the jungle paths where the trail is marked by ribbons.

I suggest screwing the rules OR waiting for the Ranger to turn up at 7.30am. Put a note and your phone numbers in the booth and start up at 6am. You navigate the broader dirt road for an hour by torch light where by the time you hit the jungle trail it will see the early rays of dawn. This gives you peaking at noon chilling for half hour and heading back by 6.30pm.

Keep mental markers - Two rest huts on the Endless Road, orang asli camp after on the left, start of jungle trail, water pipe, mini dam, camp sites, Camp Lolo, Camp Pacat, log one across path, log 2 across path, etc

Gear to bring along - torch (with fresh batteries), at least 2 litres of water, energy bars, raincoat, shoes with grip, some stuff with salt, a walking stick for those not used to long hikes or carrying injuries and lots of patience.

I'm actually tempted to head back just for my Agung training. Its not pretty but it should do the work.

*PICTURES COURTESY OF THE HIONGMEISTER

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Startled

Sitting in a Starbucks in Singapore. JUST almost spilt my latte on myself!

Memo to self - don't put handphone close to crotch when wearing tight jeans in the middle of drafting a marketing proposal.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Sweat Is Good

I've been pushing myself a bit over the last week. I'm behind on getting fit for Mount Agung. Have upped the ante - 3 hours of futsal on Monday (fuk i cramped up), 90 minutes of yoga on Wednesday, about a 10 hour hike up to Gunung Nuang on Saturday and ran about for about 2 hours playing paintball on Sunday (i accidentally shot a kid when i saw movement behind a tire and shot off a coupla rounds instinctively only to hear a whimper and some crying. Hope i'm not going to hell for this cos the little runt shot me in the ass in the return game)

I did not realise how much i miss this. The satisfying whisper of the remnants of adrenalin and the settling in of sore muscles after a shower (while i cuddle up with a hot water bottle - another reason to have a girl friend?). The mind's alert and I feel like I can take on anything. It's a good tired. A satisfying and honest feeling.

It had been a bad week and a worse weekend. Too much crap to mention. Suffice to say its a combo on work and personal crap fests that crept up and bit me on the ass.

I was even in a shit mood before today's futsal.

2 hours later. I feel better. Sweat. Honest sweat has washed off the pain and frustration. The fuker who was trying to con himself some under table money is going to be sorted out. No reason for an old bastard to be corrupt and be stupidly amateurish about it. I'm short of man power and yet I dont have the budget to hire. Not now anyway. But it was good to hear some friends are willing to step in and help (for the price of a jug of beer. Cheap labour is good yes?:) I need to put in at least 14 hour days until mid October. But I know now that i need this. To burn the shit weight off my shoulders by running, climbing, futsalling, whatever it takes. Everyday. Not 3 times a week. Every. Fucking. Day. This was me in the past. I was hoping to find a new life and career wearing a shirt and tie with fancy titles. But its not me. I know that now. Its made me dull. I've lost the edge. The open skies keep calling me out of the window every single day.

Great. Hope I'm not fucking menopausing.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Wall of Barrucudas


A Friend of Chindy, Ariel Spock getting close up to a wall of barracudas a few weeks ago at Kapalai-Mabul-Sipadan.

This is an fantastic shot. I'm trying to get my hands of the film that Ariel shot. It's simply surreal. No wonder Sipadan is still one of the best dive site in the world and it's in Malaysia! Hurrah! We're not total fuck-ups.


PICTURE COURTESY OF KEVIN TAN. He's got a Flikr page which i can't seem to find. Ariel! got link ah?

Friday, August 7, 2009

Minahasa Lagoon Resort








Breakfast.

The Minahasa Lagoon Resort is a cosy albeit expensive getaway in Manado. Very exclusive with only 15 chalets you are guaranteed fantastic service from the very attentive staff. The resort promarily caters to European tourists who also book their dive trips from the resort's PADI certified dive center.

The wooden chalets are simple yet elegant (no TV though!). You come here for utter peace and quite and to soak in the sun on the small private beach while enjoying beautiful sunsets from the infinity pool.

The service is excellent and personalized. You get staff that are patient and accommodating. All in all an exclusive private getaway for one to enjoy with the quiet company of someone special or a perfect highlight to finish off dive trips or mainland exploration of Northern Sulawesi.

The rates will set your local Asian ass back a coupla months where an average room for 2 people will cost about 400 Euros per night. But for groups of 4 the 3rd and 4th clowns are only charged 40 Euros each. These two get the bunk beds in the descreetly hidden room within a room. All meals however are included in the package.

I must admit the Minahasa Lagoon has some of the BEST local food EVER in a hotel that I've ever stayed at. I believe outsiders can come in and order the local dishes. Just ask for chef Max and tell him to cook you his favourites. Awesomess.


The little jacuzzi outside the spa/massage hut


Surrounding the resort are lovely trails through orchards and coconut plantations. You can spend up to 4 -5 hours just hiking these hills. A guide can run you up to about 30Euros.





One of the many coconut harvesting huts along the trail. Coconuts are used for almost everything - cooking oil, fuel for fires, shampoos, etc.


Dharma engaging one of the locals .


THe local dishes (sans bat and rat happy meal). Fantastic seafood and chicken and vegetable dishes


And of course... the view.

For more information and bookings go to www.minahasalagoon.com.

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

OH NO Joe!



You know there is a disturbance in the Force when you see the word HASBRO at the very begining of the movie.

And so it is as the 2 hour movie is nothing more than an ad for toys. Also not a great sign when you actually find scenes quite draggy.

The CGI effects are barely a notch up from Saturday morning cartoons. The over dependence on amateurish CGI results in the action scenes looking as fake as the pirate DVD that came out last week.

You watch if for Sienna Miller's Baroness, the bad ass and quite violent fight scenes between pre-pubescent Snake Eyes and Storm Shadow and maybe for sentimental reasons. You get to see Lost's Mr Echo barking out in a Brit accent. Director Stephen Sommers also recycles the cast from the Mummy with Vasloo and Fraser (blink and miss cameo). 

You can instead use that RM10 for:

1. Buy the pirated DVD and watch it with mates at home who will bring the chips and beers.

2. Eat twice at a Chinese coffee shop 'chap fan' stall.

3. Get your hair cut at a Seremban barber

4. Buy a pair of Calvin Klein boxers at The Reject Shop

5. Buy an 8 course dinner during the upcoming fasting month pasar malam.

Kids however should like it. Its loud. its got cartoony action. Lot of posturing and some more fight scenes.

Take the kids but keep them away from Toys 'R Us after. I recommend you have a few beers before to dull the senses. It might make you feel all 10 years old all over again.

Sunday, August 2, 2009

Random Travel Thoughts

Yesterday I staggered into the LCCT badly hungover from Friday night's drinks with the LCB, Angiechong, Farah, WaWa, Mr. Wong and Peekz. My fear of turning up at the meeting in Bangkok like a zombie hobo were unfounded. My Chindian Mutant Healing Factor kicked in during the flight and by the time I landed I was bright eyed and bushy tailed.

I've officially discovered the art of sleeping any where. I just need to sit on my seat, buckle up and the Dream King takes me to an Endless Toys 'R 'Us which has Hooter Girls serving Buffalo Wings and cold beers at the action figure aisle. Yesterday I actually slept (without reclining the seat) for almost the entire 2 hour flight to Bangkok. Hibernating bears would be impressed!

Some random thoughts:

1. Thailand has some surly immigration officers.

2. Lotsa men now going to Clark for their 'action' as an alternative to Bangkok

3. The Malaysian Ringgit is worth two leaves and a dried stick compared to some other currencies nevermind the Dollar, pound or Euro outside of the country. 

4. I love Thai nicknames - Chatwalithongsap Bjetwooonloo - "call me Pin"
- Woravi Santisukjabaratthensap - "my name is Bob"

5. Airline Captains who are paid above US8K per month should at least sound interested when addressing passengers during a flight. No reason to dis us by sounding like a bored, slurring Wookie pothead. Just because a pilot earns more than they can spend doesn't mean they have to mimic Rain Man when addressing lesser mortals.

6. Dont waste your time with AirAsia's new Sotong Sambal Nasi Lemak - tastely rubbery squid. get the original.

7. AirAsia stewardess starting to get better looking. Although many foundation creams and blushers are still sacrificed mercilessly. The service has improved much. Majority of male stewards still being recruited from 'teddy boy' camps. (sorry ladies)

8. Panic moment - On the way back to to the airport in Bangkok I realize the last 2,000 Bhat note in my wallet turns out to be a 2,000 RUPPIAH note!!!!!!!! which will probably just buy me a a used toothpick. (Luckily the cabbie accepts my last Malaysian Ringgits for the ride.) Note to self to remove ALL currency after each trip abroad except Singapore Dollars.