Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Busted Back

Back hurts.

Pain bad.

In Office. Somehow managed to get to work early.

How do I get home?

How to drive to see doc?

How did i even put on my pants this morning?

Updated: 1243pm - am sitting in Master Wong the popular Chinese sinsei in SS2. Its been an hour and half with another 90 minures before my turn. The pain makes the walk back to my car unappealing. Hve so far read The Star paper, a chinese paper and a 2009 edition of Women's Weekly (Sandra bullock looks hot with all that makeup). Had a business call from the prawn noodle joint next door. Took me 5 minutes to cover. 20 second walk. I need a beer...

Updated II, 7.46pm - sitting home. it was/is a partial slip disc. The sifu doc says he's put it back in and should be better in 24 hours. Longest walk ever back to my car - took me 15 minutes to cover less than 100meters.

If this pain is partial slip disc then i think having a REAL occurence must be like given birth to a Godzilla sized porcupine.

On a lighter note. THings you over hear in a waiting room:

1. "what to do. these things don't happen to good Christians" - Two old Chinese aunties talking to each other.

2. "Ya we are sorry, in Malaysia it's OK to cut cue." - another elderly aunty telling an old English man who was also seeking treatment.

3. "Why do all Chinese medicine smell like bak kut teh?" - old English dude asking a Chinese man sitting nearby.

Saturday, May 21, 2011

Adios Macho. RIP,

Macho Man Randy Savage passed on. When I read that i thought it was the start of 2011's annual death train for retired wrestlers who every year kick the bucket as their past of steroid abuse and other excesses catch up with them. (excluding Edge's retirement from injury)

Later reading reports it was clarified that he died as a result from injuries from a car accident BUT further reading hinted it was at least reported from one source he suffered a heart attack while driving. Not confirmed though. The heart attacks are the revenge bitch of all those pill popping stimulants these monsters consumed daily.

Anyway, Macho annoyed me as a character until the Lovely Miss Elizabeth started hanging around him as his manager. Later the whole drama with Hogan ran it's course and Macho started to grow on me as a flashy motherfucker who was also a tough SOB (not a baddass SOB like Austin).

I have an old Macho King action figure from the old Habro days hanging in my study - old toys from favourite characters - Macho, Superfly Jimmy Snuka, that idiot Warrior (hey i was young back in the day), even Brutus the Barber and the Undertaker. A child's playthings that keep the manufactured innocence of bulked up characters long after they've passed on because of those very substances that grew them to super hero proportions.

RIP Macho. Hope you and Miss Elizabeth find each other in that 'rasslin arena in the sky.

More from a news report HERE.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Spider Senses and Disturbances in the Force

Dear Sir,

I hope you are well since I thanked you for your last warning (well last warning i HEARD) to me. Allow me a short introduction in my note to you.


A gut feeling, hair standing on end, a gentle voice in the recesses of your mind all some unexplained fact that does act as our internal alarm systems which we hardly pay heed to. Maybe we're hard wired to the planet's quick heartbeat, maybe THERE IS a Force, that surrounds us, permeates us and allows us to to feel 6 years old anytime we hold a plastic light saber in our hands.

Every once in a while I am reminded by incidences that I MUST listen to internal warnings but its always something that we brush aside - it can be anything from taking a car to drive out on a rainy night to even accepting/not accepting a job offer at the Playboy Mansion.

Last December on my trip to Sarawak, there were two incidences that highlighted to me that i better pay more attention to my inner Jedi.

The picture above seems pleasant enough. That section is along the road that leads out of Miri town to the top of a hill that overlooks the countryside. Bored in the little town i had taken a walk up that hill. As the road was busy this welcome stretch of green,well cropped grass seemed to siren song me to move over to its safety and away from the impatient drivers on the little narrow road.

As i stepped on the grass, there seemed to me a buzzing in my head and i seemed to have one of those baaaaaad feelings hitting my train of thought. It was a lovely day, i took out my camera and took the photo that you see up there and continued walking. I really wasn't paying much attention when just a ahead about 20 feet in front of me i saw a long shadow slowly starting to glide towards the brush on my left. As the distinctive head came up briefly i realised that if that cobra had continued sunning itself, my path would have taken me directly across its position.

About 6 days later, when we were on the final leg of the Ba Kalalan to Bario trail, some where after Pa Lungan, just after a swampy crossing and i found myself ahead of the group, I was trying to navigate around some tangle of weeds, vines, branches and shrubs that had fallen near the path, the untidy carnage as a result of a broken branch from a tree. With my pack and weary from the long trek i clumsily tried to pick my way through the heap, my trailing leg got caught on a vine and as i stumbled I tried to kick my foot free. Suddenly warning signs went off in my head but it was too late, my foot trashed out but something made me stop, just at that moment the green snake slithered right in front of me into the jungle on my right. It was somewhere on the vine or near the ground where i had kicked up a fuss with my booted foot.

This did it, i waited for it to move into the jungle and waited till i was sure it was away. I checked around the brush around me to make sure there were no more surprises. In a distance I saw Stephen and Tina appear and I carried on walking. No point panicking the rest as the Greens are harmless and it would not be coming back to the path after my noisy presence.

But this did it, 2 incidences with snakes in less than a week. Twice i dint listen to the inner warning bells.

Can you imagine if we all were more in tune with our Jedi/Spider senses? Or even maybe those were the voices of our guardian angels which all little kids have but who leave us when we grow older and start pandering to our yearnings for porn and booze(what, is that the story that only my mum told me?). Maybe my guardian angel still hangs around as i AM mentally in a state of immaturity.


Dear Sir,...

To my guardian angel, to my inner conscience, to my spider and Jedi senses i would like to apologize for not listening to you. In good faith and good sense you've whispered to me, cajoled me, warned me and encouraged me but only to be greeted with the 'blur like sotong' demeanour of a moron.

I thank you for the unheeded warnings :

1. When I jumped out of that raft in Port Dickson fully knowing i could only swim as well as a pregnant camel (yes i heard you then but i was too young to know better)

2. When i drove out to the doctor in the pouring rain when i was 19 with a burning fever and did not wait just that extra 2 seconds at that corner. Yes, thank goodness that biker only grazed the car and he did not press charges (good to be a state athlete eh sir?)

3. Buying that transvestite at that bar a beer.

4. Attempting to drive home and Not staying over at that friend's place when the absinthe was taking effect

5. Following those morons into that triad owned bar in Mongkok, Hong Kong.

I won't promise that I will now be the epitome of sensitivity to your warnings but I will make an effort to take that extra second or two to pause for thought. Yes sir, I do now accept that a second can make a difference in life.

Yours sincerely,


Sunday, May 15, 2011

Ben, Paul and Chindy - A Match Made in Heaven

About sometime last year i got a call from Ben. Ben Sterling. He said he was calling from an equity fund based in Hong Kong and that they had something that I would be keen on. I was looking at checking out some off shore funds to invest in and asked him to send me some stuff for a friend to look at. He sent in on and my friend said it was nothing special. Ben of course followed up diligently and tried to get me to buy in. Ben was a persistent mother lover. He was also and very obviously a young Filipino from a call center possibly based in Manila.

After that he would call me every 3 weeks even after i bluntly told him i was not interested in his wares. Ben went radio silence for about a month and exactly one week after the Japan tsunami hit I get a call from Ben.

"This is Ben. Ben Sterling Mr Chindi and I'm calling from Japan".... he left the last part hanging waiting for the dramatic effect to sink in.

I lost it.

"Ben Sterling eh?" Are you really Ben Sterling, Ben Sterling? Are you really calling from Tokyo or a call center in Manila? Look, I told you before I am not interested so can you PLEASE BACK OFF!"

"I would like to inform you Mr Chindi that our calls are recorded and that you will be receiving a letter from our Lawyers."

"No problem Ben, but can you put your manager on?"

"And yes you will get a letter from our lawyers for your attitude to me"

"thats cool Ben, now i need to speak to your superior as my lawyers need a contact person to address our legal cease and desist letter to your company. How's the weather in Manila by the way?"


Mother fucker........

3 weeks ago, Ben Sterling called me again except this time...

"Hello Mr Chindi, my name is Peter Shielding from the UK calling....."

"WHAT? When did you change your name Ben?"


"DUDE the last time you called me you were Ben Sterling!" I AM NOT INTERESTED!"

"Yes and if you have some time sir, my name is Peter Shielding and ...."

"wait i'm driving, i'll pass you to my director..."

I shove the phone to Peekz (yes i was really driving).

the next thing I know, I hear Mango in the back seat say a hesitant "hello?" - Peekz had off loaded the phone like a hot potato.

"Um boss... as Mango hands me the phone..

"what happened?"

"um.. i'm not sure. he asked me who i am and then he told me to fuck off and he hung up."

Ben and Peter. Psychologically very English names but belonging to a very Filipino young man. My number is on their database and I think they will refuse to take me off. I do love these games and its just a sign of the times. Where the world is just a click away and even an annoying pest thousands of miles away can get in your face at the click of a mouse or the allocation of numbers from a random database.

The world's bull shit just got a lot closer to home...

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sunday Storm

So the storm hit Manila Sunday. The cloudy overcast sky caught me off guard especially with the searing heat from Friday and Saturday. Actually the winds only picked up towards the evening but as Pacquiao had Mosley on the run in Vegas, Filipinos were celebrating the eventual victory in lovely windy noon day weather.

Latest reports put the deaths from 9-11 people (report HERE) but from my hotel room it was one of those 'moments'.

This time around I was on the 20th floor of the New World Renaissance Hotel in Makati, my view overlooking the city and the ocean just peeping near the horizon. When i get a room this high up I almost almost work in the dark or just chill with a beer and watch TV with the blinds pulled all the way back. In the distance lights shone and twinkled. Headlights from cars raced each other across snaking expressways and flyovers. The trains ran past every once in a while. The huge digital billboard on the lone high rise building in front of me had pictures of a smiling woman which laughed and shone in the almost pitch dark spaces that tried to steal some inches from road lamps, blinking traffic lights, humming porch lights...

Somewhere outside music throbs and pounds. I hear the strong wind beat against my window. I walk to it and before me lays a carpet of lights, everyone with a story to tell.

Some thing's wrong. I try to put a finger to it and suddenly realize all the lights directly in front of me are blinking. They are dancing and twinkling for the 180 degrees directly in front of me. It's am amazing sight that every form of light - street, home, cars were dancing and blinking to the wild songs of a hidden silent musician. I am still staring and trying to figure out what is happening and suddenly realise that the trees, all hidden in the shadows of darkness are dancing wildly in the fierce gusts of wind. As i can't see the trees, the surging and violent shaking of the trees were covering and moving away from lights all across my view. I go back, quickly boil a cup of instant noodles, pull the sofa in front of my window and take a seat to enjoy the show. Behind me the high pitched chatter of some Japanese cartoon on Animax fills the room with the sounds of maniacal combat. Somehow it feels apt.

Its my first contact from the tropical storm. this was of course just the spillover from the actual impact on the northern part of Luzon island and mild compared to the impact that brought landslides and downed power lines. Yes lives were lost, but for that 30 minutes as i sipped hot soupy noodles in a cold hotel room, as a howling wind beat upon my window high up overlooking the city, i was lost in display of an unintentional light show orchestrated by the forces of nature and the creations of man.

Sunday, May 8, 2011

Sunday in Manila....

"Don't tell God you've got a problem. Tell your problem that you have a great God."

- wordings on the yellow Nike T-shirt worn by Manny Pacquiao in this morning's truimph over 'Sugar' Shane Mosley

I'm not that spritual but sometimes simple words can remind you the power of a little faith.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Day I Set A Priest On Fire.....

Trust the FON to remind me of my unfortunate exploits in my youth...

I will first state, IT WAS AN ACCIDENT.

The story starts here:

I think i was about 10 or 12, and the family was performing our yearly anniversary prayers at the Paul Street Indian temple in Seremban. This is when my grand father would pay for the full service and subsequent food for all attendees. It was his part to give back to the temple and it's devotees.

Somehow on that year the prayers were a little bit more elaborate. Two hours of clanging bells, loud trumpets and throbbing drums was already making a very young and restless Me more agitated and impatient to get home and and get wrapped in the embrace of some Hanna Barbara cartoon.

We're suddenly ushered outside, the entire clan with garlands of flowers, incense and the like. As the eldest (and only) male grandchild I am thrust into the front of the procession. Two priests step up in front of me with more incense and some flowers ( i THINK its flowers. memory is groggy for all things pre - Millineium).

Someone thursts a flaming torch into my hand. The fire is held in a heavy brass holder. I am told to just follow the priests. The torch is heavy in my spindly arms, the flames are too close for comfort and the smoke is getting in my eyes.

Then we're off! We are to circle the temple 3 times while the priests chant to the gods. Every one dressed in white dhottis (is that what its called? any Indian people reading this blog? that white cloth that the men folk use to wrap around their waist like a sarong during prayers).

Round One - I am getting used to it. It's kinda cool having officially being allowed to play with fire. Chest out I begin to get an ego trip, heading up a procession of the family with a flaming beacon of fire.

Round Two - my hands now start to ache. The torch is just too heavy. My eyes are watering and the droning of the priests is now starting to agitate little Me.

Round 3 - I am now gripping the torch hard. Sweat is dripping down my forehead profusely. I start getting bored and look behind me at my uncles, I look to left and right wandering when everything will stop.

It does stop at that point.

I dont see the priests stop as I am busy looking at the cars on the road outside the temple.


...walk flame first into the now stationary ass of the priest in front of me.

After that everything happend so fast. I hear a yelp, voices are shouting, my little head spins to the front and I see the priest leaping around in front of me, with his dhotti clad bum now engulfed in angry orange, yellow, red flames, I am shoved aside roughly, the torch is grabbed from my hand, bodies run to the front to save the priest and I am left there standing alone in the hot crowded temple yard.

I have embarrased my family and i remember my face feeling hot from embarrasement (yes i only used to read that statement in books but its real. trust me).

My mum who loves me as only mother can came up to me after the damage control was done. It was not to bad although I dont know if the priest had any permanent damage to his posterior. She gently told me that I did not need to come to temple anymore for at least a month or two. I am not sure on whose orders it was but it was cool by me. I never could hold my attention during prayers anyway.

Months turned to years. Years turned to decades and here I sit. A misfit at 40, with dodgy principles and a love for that cold beverage a little bit too often. I am sure among all the priests in this country non has ever been set on fire before. So there, you now have a dark secret from Seremban's past.....