Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Noodles, Nanas and Nabobs

So what is the first thing I did after I landed in the wilds of Borneo?

Headed straight for kolok mee. Seriously. After being subjected to endless encomiums in praise for the humble noodle, I knew I had to try it. So have I been converted into a devoted sycophant? Doubt it. I much prefer the thick, tangy kueh chap easily found around the coffeeshops in town.

Then it was off to meet the 'in-laws' so to speak. Does Madame Borgia know? Does Papa Borgia know?

Frankly I have no idea. After the traumatic coming out a few years ago, his disapproving parents already know about Charming Calvin and his deviant sexual predilections. If they know about me, they're definitely keeping it close to their chests. Certainly no homophobic parang throwings as I'd half expected.

Learned quite a lot about our lazy, placid fellow when I visited his rustic farmhouse. Hard to be rabidly hyperactive when you're slowly whiling away the hours in a pastoral Arcadia where time moves at a snail's pace. If it even moves that fast. Listen close enough and you can practically hear the grass grow.

Didn't see anyone like this though? Where are the hot white boys?

Slow drives around the town gave me an opportunity to people-watch. With the locals here mixing in a spicy, diverse melange, it's not as easy to distinguish the different races here. Say farewell to racial profiling! Wonderful for a Malaysia concept that's for sure.

Oddly enough the ethnic Chinese folks here have a darker cast to their skin. Whether a mixed heritage, a serious lack of serviceable sun block or a peculiar fetish for tanning booths, I have no idea. Perhaps the sunburnt scions of the hardworking farming community around the outskirts of town?

Not sure how Charming Calvin manages to remain lily-white.

But the folks here are spectacularly wealthy. Nabobs the lot of them. From the shockingly pretentious pseudo-French-inspired chateaus to the more modest homestays, fair-sized bungalows dot the hills and vales of the city. Land, they have aplenty. No doubt only those in desperately straitened circumstances live in cramped terraced apartments.

Small wonder everyone automatically assumes that the clannish Fuzhous from here are rich as nabobs. Starting to believe that myself :)

Monday, June 29, 2009

The Seahorse makes An Impression

Travelling eastwards hasn't been without its difficulties. Even the bureaucratic hassle of getting the plane ticket itself was frustrating enough. And I haven't even come to the complexity of transferring my belongings ( car, furniture etc. ) across the sea in a container.

But I figured I could rough it out for a month or two.

So I packed all I could the night before leaving. Two boxes. That's all I could come up with. In less than an hour, my mother and I had cleared up my room, tossed away the detritus of my old life away and packed everything else into two convenient boxes. Tagged as books and clothes. Amazing yeah?

Charming Calvin offered to tag along ( after much arm-twisting and verbal threats ) to show us around his lil town of Homosex-oil. Otherwise known as Miri. Or the Seahorse City. Though the mind boggles why anyone would randomly pick a mascot that boasts of nothing in particular. Seriously. Think of a seahorse. Any distinguishing characteristic come to you?

Apart from being particularly crispy after being barbecued on a stick in China.

Time to move!

My first impressions of the place?

Certainly not - as we die-hard urbanites fear - the uncivilized back of beyond. Though it's not very far from it :)

Quaint lil town ( and it's a town no matter how you put it ) spread generously across an expanse of sandy coastline with rolling hills and vales to break the monotony. Sparsely populated town centre with a few hulking SUVs ruling the wide empty roads - hence no traffic jams! Happily the annoyingly buzzing motorcycles aren't as common here. Quite evident that the younger locals have fled the area seeking greener pastures elsewhere. I don't blame them much. Unless you desperately crave the peace and quiet of the countryside, this dull, humdrum Pleasantville life here ain't for everyone.

But just like the infamous kolok mee, I believe the place grows on you.

Or at least that's what I'm hoping. Been out hunting for native decorative items in the endless rows of sundry shops but they are seriously hard to find. Seems the local gentry prefer the generic IKEA stuff instead. Fortunately I've been assigned a lovely semi-detached with a vegetable patch attached ( odd, I know! ) so I'll probably have my hands full! More than cosy with three bedrooms for lil ol me.

Maybe I need to rent out some rooms. Starting to wonder if any sexy hot-blooded Kelabit paramedics are in need of a spare bed.

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Mr Fix-It

Always hoped to get a man handy with his hands.

Really. A plumber. A mechanic. An electrician. Aside from the really wicked fantasies I've spun about the sexy-grimy handyman visiting, I think such mechanically-inclined Mr Fix-Its would be a dream to have around the house.

Always find myself shockingly ineffectual when it comes to such topics. Till now I find the mechanical workings of a car absolutely foreign. Doubt I'd be able to recognize half the bizarre connections in the car engine. Don't even get me going on the intricate complexities of the home piping system.

Anyone care to lend a hand?

A pity our supposedly comprehensive school education can be so deficient in places. What we're left with is a seriously diminishing number of people who know how to fix things and a growing number who call other people to fix things. Seriously. Back in school, all I made were flower pots, stools and blinking LED thingamajigs.

Really useful. Yeah, right.

Integrated Living Skills, my arse. I'm sure when my aging automobile breaks down on the road - or if the bloody sink bursts a leak - I'll find the time to make a stool to rest on while I potter about with my orchids in pots instead. Perhaps beautifully lit up by the annoying LED bulbs.

Rather than torture us with such worthless lil projects, I wonder why they didn't teach us something useful instead such as car mechanics or plumbing!

Or honestly, even housekeeping. Though I picked up the rudimentary skills of sewing along the way, it would have been good to have an early introduction to housekeeping during my schooldays. Rather than tutor us boys on the purported beauty of wood-sanding, maybe they should have taught us some proper living skills such as how to steam some rice and stir-fry some vegetables.

Rather than let us experiment later in life and toast the kitchen instead. :)

Forget about fucking moral education. I'd rather learn how to bake a cupcake.

Thursday, June 25, 2009

The Return of the Matchmaker

Perhaps my niece Chatty Carmen had gotten brainwashed during her brief sojourn in the embattled Middle East but lately she seems to have gotten onto the same marriage wagon as my mother has. Practically the first question she asked me as she got off the plane was in regards to my marriageable ( or not? ) status. Swear I thought she was a pint-sized mini matchmaking mama!

Has 'when are you getting married' become the new greeting? What happened to the usual welcome back and hellos?

Like all little girls, Chatty Carmen has her eyes set on the perfect wedding with dreamy sketches of the quintessential white gown full of bows, ruffles and lace. Ever resourceful, our aggressive lil champ even set her target on a couple of youthful grooms though her ambitious nuptial plans fell through when they didn't seem to understand what commitment was. Doubt they could even spell the word.

That happens when you're only four.

Did I just get a proposal?

Though I'm beginning to suspect some fellas don't even know the meaning at forty.

But since my ageist brother has set the rules that there'll be no talk of marriage till she's eighteen, Carmen has decided to crash someone else's wedding plans instead. Mine.

Carmen : I want to be a flower girl.
Paul : Good for you. Let's go buy flowers then.
Carmen : Not that kind of flower girl!
Paul : You have flowers. You're a girl. You're a flower girl.
Carmen : No! I want to be a flower girl in the wedding.
Paul : I bet there are weddings everywhere. I'll check the papers. We can just send you in with a floral basket.
Carmen : No! It has to be your wedding! So when are you getting married?
Paul : When you're eighteen?
Carmen : No!

I know! I'm so monstrous winding lil kids up. Good to know that Carmen's quite capable of saying no though.

Wonder whether my mother put her up to it. One of her Jedi mind-tricks no doubt. Probably hatching some matrimonial scheme online while they're on Skype.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

China Dolls IV : The Return of the Insecurities

I'm curious whether my maid Java Jane actually knows of the recent international furore regarding the abuse of domestic maids in certain unlettered households. Then again I would trust the local domestic help grapevine ( one Jane's an integral part of ) to entrust her with such current knowledge.

The papers seem to suggest a rising number of cases involving domestic maid abuse. Seriously doubt that's the case - just that the press have found the latest sensational bone to pick on. Wonder whether anyone has noticed that the abusers are usually professional females as well? Anyone wanna do a study on that?

But seriously. Folks who abuse maids? Eeew. Talk about tacky nouveau riche. Haven't they heard about noblesse oblige?

So déclassé.

With the Indonesian maids bearing the brunt of the lashings - physical or otherwise, certain groups in the government have called for the relaxation of rules to allow foreign maids from China to work here. And just like the last time, we have the usual paranoid hue and cry from the locals here who fear their supposedly devoted husbands will tumble into the perfumed arms of such temptresses.

Will work for food and lodging?

Just ashamed to say that its our Chinese political leaders who have proven to be the biggest obstacle in allowing the maids from China to enter. According to these paranoid ladies in government, the lil nubile maidens would wreck families because of their involvement with the local men.

So they have suggested placing a criteria allowing only hideously disfigured octogenarian ladies to totter through the customs. Really curious who's gonna set the bar. Would they hold a butt-fugly pageant instead as a recruitment drive?

Seriously. I really can't believe we are rehashing this issue again! So let's be frank with the ladies and their complaints.

Maids as Homewreckers

Get over this please. Obviously all the years of empowering the ladies isn't working. Have some self-respect! How insecure are you?

a) Really. Get a spine. If the unstable household can be wrecked because of one tempting lil Chinese dumpling, it is gonna be wrecked anyhow. Don't blame the poor maid.
b) Please have more faith in your men. If you can’t even trust them with the maids, don’t get married. Period. Why marry him if you can't trust him? If the weak-willed husbands wanted to stray, they could easily be boffing your best friend, their colleague or your neighbour. Hell, even a passing stranger. Why bother with the domestic help?

If my man wanted to diddle the maid belowstairs, he can take a fucking hike.

Maids taking over the Household

Sure I have heard the Miss Independents saying that they want to do it all. Prove that they can juggle all the balls in the air without dropping a single one. So they don't need a maid. But seriously, what is the point? Is there something to prove? Is there a prize out there for martyred multitasking? How many times have I heard the ladies complaining that the daily housework isn't done? That their lazy husbands aren't helping? So hire a freaking maid dammit.

As a single fella with simple needs, I have absolutely no need of a maid. But I don't see what I have to prove by not getting one! Why not ease my menial burdens? I certainly don't enjoy scrubbing toilets and washing clothes.

I have heard people citing the fact that ladies abroad can handle it all - husband, kids and home - while holding down a full-time job. Darlings, they HAVE to handle it all. It's not a choice. They simply can't afford domestic help over there. Just try hiring a maid in New York. Ever heard of minimum wages?

Maids as Agents of Vice

Seriously. I have only thing to say to this. Prejudice.

Have you guys all forgotten that we are all - regardless of race - pendatang of some sort? Our immigrant ancestors must have faced just the same sort of shameful discrimination.


Simple compromise would be to allow hunky Chinese boys in as domestic help. But I seriously doubt that's ever gonna happen.

Till then however let the maids come in.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Bovril and Me

Fellas around my age wouldn't find the word foreign at all. How many of us have actually gone through that childhood phase of actually dipping our fingers in the thick tangy beef sauce for a quick taste earning a reproof from our stern-eyed mothers? No doubt following the example of our colonial forefathers.

Usually mixed it with the broth I used to take for hasty lunches way back then. Far from being the adventurous sort then, it took me a while to even try it as a savoury drink. Haven't had the opportunity to down some Bovril in recent years though. Not only have I grown out of my finicky childhood eating habits, I've also gotten just a tad more sophisticated in my culinary tastes. Plain and simple Bovril broth just isn't gonna cut it.

And my maid sucks at boiling broth, usually succeeding in achieving either extreme. Either too thin or too thick. Goldilocks wouldn't have been pleased with her.

Waitaminute, this isn't Bovril, the beefstock of champions!

So when Dashing Dan off-handedly evinced a fetish for Bovril just today - and claimed that it was nigh impossible to find, I obviously scoffed at such a ludicrous notion. Turned out it was true. Seriously hard to find Bovril in the marketplaces of today. I half imagined it'd been involved in spreading mad cow disease and had been taken off our shelves.

Thankfully that wasn't the case. Took a while to find it and when we did, Dan almost broke down in joyful tears hugging the ( surprisingly pricey! ) treasure to his chest. Seriously. Kodak moment. We did yell while jumping around waving the bottle victoriously though - no doubt garnering the stares of the astonished shoppers.

Of course I didn't then know what Dan intended to do with it.

Paul : What are you gonna do with it?
Dan : Usually eat it mixed with instant noodles.
Paul : Eew. Was that during the World War II?
Dan : No, it's an old family recipe! My mom makes it all the time.
Paul : What's next? Mashed potatoes with chilli sauce? Chilled coleslaw with wasabi? Cocoa puffs with yoghurt?
Dan : Sounds good.

Bovril with noodles. That's a first. And I thought I've heard all the odd family hand-me-downs already.

Certainly beats my boring yu tiao and steaming black coffee.

Saturday, June 20, 2009

Geek Moment

The things you learn about your friends over dinner.

Seriously. I was appalled.

Remember when I wondered how it would be like if we were all back in high school together? Definitely a stretch of the imagination since our ages range from early 20s to the mid 30s. A couple would only be in their primary blues while I'm close to finishing my form six!

Sure, we're friends now - despite our fundamental differences - but thrust us back to school before we've learnt to tolerate such idiosyncrasies and I'm pretty sure we'll come to blows sometime :) Especially since we come from such varied school cliques.

What you did over there? Not cool, man!

For instance, my dear friend Lanky Lex. A sweet, unassuming fella from the stepford suburbs with a penchant for science and mathematics. Back then, he'd probably have driven me batty with his blasphemous anti-religious dogma :P

But in a freak geek moment during dinner - when Lanky Lex claimed that he'd adored mathematics, craved extra tuition and even did recreational sums during his spare time, I stared. Waitaminute. Flashback. Didn't I throw a chalk at this fellow once in class?

Before I tied his shoelaces to the chair?

Teacher : I think we're done for today.
Paul : Finally. Yawn.
Lex : But teacher, I'm done with my work. Can I have some more? More homework, teacher please.
Paul : Why you lil MUTHAFUCKA!

Whereupon I'd probably launch my additional math textbook at his innocent head the second the teacher's back is turned.

Seriously. More math sums?

Thursday, June 18, 2009

The Prodigal Cousin

Never did like the infamous biblical Parable of the Prodigal Son. Always thought it was a crock of shit seriously.

It's a familiar age-old tale actually. Irresponsible wastrel squanders his sizeable inheritance on wine, women and song only to return home a penniless swineherd. And when he finally repents ( possibly since he's gone bankrupt ) only to throw himself at his father's feet, the wastrel gets a wild celebration with a fatted calf slaughtered in his honour?

What a crock.

No surprise then that the righteous brother of that prodigal son wasn't too amused. I don't blame him. Forgiving the prodigal is one thing, to throw a raucuous shindig is quite another. Far from being a vaunted saint, hell I would have slapped the bloody wastrel a few times at the least.

Maybe smacked him around with the leg of said fatted calf.

Oh look. The prodigal son returns. And he's damned hot to boot!

Obviously some people don't agree with me. In fact certain elders in my family have seen fit to reward the prodigal black sheep in the family - in spite of the fact that Richie Runt hasn't actually repented at all. I doubt he even knows the error of his misguided ways. From all I know he has probably grown much worse.

Screw around in class. Flunk your exams. Get kicked out of school. Patronize adolescent gambling dens. Mouth off to your elders.

And for all that, you win an all-expenses paid trip to Australia, courtesy of the family.

A pity. Maybe Richie Runt would have gone further afield if he'd taken recreational drugs, participated in illegal motor racing or knocked up an underaged girl. Just a thought. Well maybe doing drugs would only score you a new car.

But seriously. Talk about preferential treatment for the prodigal cousin. Obviously the rest of my perfectionista cousins are not amused. WTF. If I'd known, I would have goofed off more in school if I'd known.

Wednesday, June 17, 2009

The Menace Within

Chink in the armour. Achilles' heel. Kryptonite. No matter how peculiar it is sometimes, even the strongest of us all have their own weaknesses.

For members of my family, it comes in a shade of yellow encased in thorns of green. Easy enough to avoid it since the warning signs given are plenty. Not only do the prickly thorns yell go away, the debilitating stench itself could kill at twenty paces. Always makes me wonder which brave, intrepid soul first dared to break open its shell to devour the contents within.

Away foul creature!

Charming Calvin calls it delicious delectable durian.

Me, I call it a stinking dead carcasse riddled with maggots - since it truly smells like one. And with my two week stint in forensics, I should know.

Somehow everyone in the clan from the oldest to the youngest - even to my baby nephew - eschews the stuff. No doubt we were tasked with the mission to destroy such biological warfare. Though we don't seem to have succeeded in all events since we seem to continually fall for those who bear a shocking fetish for the durian.

Just curious how Calvin can enjoy eating the yellow stuff. Much to my disgust, I've actually tried the stuff and all I can say is the sweetness doesn't compensate for the all-encompassing stench.

Maybe he stuffs his nose. Or the malodorous poison has leaked into his nose killing off the olfactory nerves. Evidently he has found a partner in his pursuits since my mother claims to be a devoted fan as well. No doubt the very stench after the carving of the durian knocked me unconscious as a kid since I can't recall her partaking in such reeking evil.

So you can imagine how I felt when my mom purchased a couple of boxes for Calvin and left it in my car. Seriously. The funk of forty thousand years.

Monday, June 15, 2009

Greatest Break-Up Story Never Told

As a kid, we had bedtime stories read to us - usually sweet nostalgic fairy tales that comes complete with a happy ending. After endless trials and tribulations, the heroine is reunited with her handsome prince as he gathers her into his carriage to return to his bright shining palace for their happily-ever-after.

At least that's what we've all been brought up to think.

No one knows exactly what happens to the heroine of the piece after she arrives at the palace. Does she have a wicked mother-in-law in place of a haggard villain? Does she have to hock her glass slipper to pay for the shocking palace bills? Does she have to sweep and mop the endless marble floors on her own since her helpful birds and bees have eschewed the urban life?

Or even worse, does she get a husband who no longer trusts her?

These days even the heroes come with horns!

Eager to set such doubts and fears at rest, the bedtime stories told to us as children are usually heavily censored at best. Hence even the much-loved tale of Rama and Sita from the famed Indian epic the Ramayana has been shortened to give us the happy ending we all expect.

Simply put... Boy gets girl. Boy and girl get banished by jealous stepmother. Boy then loses girl to demon. Boy goes to find girl with a posse of friends, monkey-gods and brothers alike. Boy finds girl.

Cue happy ending.

You'd expect all to be well after our heroic Rama finally rescues the innocent Sita from the clutches of villainous Ravana! But it seems as if a seed of doubt has been planted in Rama's mind regarding his wife's famed virtuousness. A lil niggling seed even a trial by fire ( poor Sita has to leap into a burning pyre to prove herself ) can't obliterate.

These days Sita probably would have plenty to say.

Rama : How can I trust you after you've lived with another man!
Sita : I didn't book myself into a hotel. I was abducted! Ravana didn't exactly ask for my permission.
Rama : Prove yourself with a trial by fire!
Sita : So you expect me to immolate myself in a burning pyre? Seriously! And ruin my hair?
Rama : But you have to prove your virtue!
Sita : I don't have to prove anything! Thank God I read law while I was held captive in Lanka. Get ready to lose half of everything, Rama, and by that I mean that jungle shack, the monkey and your lil bow too.

So we have Nina Paley - much to the horror of religious fundamentalists - to fill in the blanks with the beautifully animated Sita Sings The Blues as she tries to tell the tale from the perspective of the oft-abused Sita. Obviously the husband Rama isn't spared much in this post-feminist revision.

And best of all, Sita sings the heartbreaking songs of 1920s jazz chanteuse Annette Hanshaw. Sweet, vulnerable yet terribly wise beyond her ears - a voice just perfect for our heroine Sita.

Sunday, June 14, 2009


Like most doctors, I've had the opportunity to be present when someone bids their last farewell. Whether it's fortune - ill or not - I can't tell. A lucky few go gently into that good night while some rage against the dying of the light. The trite phrase 'I'm sorry for your loss' just doesn't cover it sometimes.

Apart from work, I've never seen death on its rounds before though I've had those I loved leave on that last sombre journey.

My late grandfather for one, though his remaining steps turned out to be far more a raucous celebration of his life with a large congregation of family and well-wishers sending their best on his final destination. Rather than the stereotypical send-off full of weepy sentiment, I think he would have appreciated this gesture far more. According to my grandmother, he always loved a good party.

The final send-off

Dutifully attended the funerals of two of my uncles as well - though I didn't know them as well.

In our culture, talk of death is usually taboo. And sometimes, the ones intimately involved with the ceremony themselves held as untouchable. Hence I had a friend who shamefully hid the fact that his family owned a funeral home for years before I stumbled on the enterprise. Why was I walking around funeral parlous then? Always been interested in the rites of funeral - and the ceremony associated with it - all to provide a balm to the mourning and grief of the ones who remain.

Is it any wonder that the contemplative Japanese have come up with a movie to celebrate just such a ceremony? A quiet, dignified film that marches slowly along aptly titled Departures おくりびと, Okuribito. Losing his job after the dissolution of his orchestra, a cellist returns to his village home to find work. Answering a classifieds ad looking for fellas to 'assisting departures', he goes for the interview thinking it is for a job at a travel agency. Only to find out later that it's an ad for a mortician.

Death certainly takes a pivotal role as our heroic protagonist finds himself reluctantly assisting the departures of those who've said their final goodbyes.

Oscar-winning? Frankly I'm not surprised since it even managed to wring a tear from me :)

Friday, June 12, 2009

That Cunning Linguist

For folks like us, there's nothing sexier than an erudite well-read man.

Words are sexier than we give them credit for. Just a simple turn of phrase can be far more effective than half a dozen pages of rapturous sonnets, a padded wallet or even a well-flexed bicep. Ever tried flirtatious banter with someone quick enough to offer a snappy riposte?

Not the way these guys do it but trust me, it's sexy as hell.

Hell I think I spent hours in the past sending wicked lil messages to my ISO - certainly a cunning linguist - when he was abroad as a struggling student. Those were the ancient days before instant messaging via cellphone and simple, uncomplicated and archaic ICQ was all the rage. :) Of course these days we communicate through all sorts of channels.

Paul : I'd love to get you behind the office cubicles.
My ISO : True, we never did try anything at my office yet. Still have the fake handcuffs btw. Remember your on-call room?
Paul : Uh-uh. No talking about that. Now that's strictly confidential.
My ISO : So you gotta punish me slowly for that? I'll tell my interns to take a break.
Paul : They can join in. Any sexy barely legal fellas amongst the team?
My ISO : Oh I hired a couple of beefy studs just for you. They're good at taking orders as well.

I know it's the stuff of bad porn but we can seriously go on for hours. At least it keeps the sex chat lively. Of course we try our best to keep it strictly PG-13 these days since Charming Calvin would probably offer a lazy token protest.

Ooh talk dirty to me!

Not that I've ever tried propositioning him online. Our stern moralist would probably complain about the shocking impropriety!

And I gotta say Calvin's just a lil slow on the uptake. Not cerebrally speaking since he's a genius otherwise. Let me rephrase. Since he basically comes from a socio-cultural and linguistic background far different from my own ( speechless Chinaman that I am ), he can't always appreciate the simple nuances of language. Especially when I'm always full of wicked innuendoes.

So of course with the plainer-speaking Calvin, I usually discard the option of offering sly hints and head straight for the jugular instead.

Paul : I'd love to get you behind the office cubicles.
Calvin : And type out a new blueprint for the platform?
Paul : And get you naked against the spreadsheets.
Calvin : We can't do that. It's against company policy. People will complain.

A bit disheartening to start a flirtatious conversation only to have it end with a frighteningly dull thud. Starting to think that the more literal-minded Chinese-educated fellas just don't do sexy repartee. Probably decry such shabby ( skanky? ) pointless chit-chats as the corrupting influences of the western capitalist bourgeouis that they should all join forces to stamp out!

Just saying.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

Horror Victim Rulebook

Seriously. I don't think I'm cut out to be the hero of a movie. Plenty of times I find myself cheering and clapping enthusiastically when a particularly irksome character falls into a deathly pit to be consumed by maniacal monsters. Doubt I'd have pulled them back from the precipice though I hope I would have refrained from doing the pushing myself.

Come on! Generic horror movie victims do so many stupid things - besides the usual seeking shelter in a dark, dank, creepy mansion! - that I can't help but feel zero sympathy when they're summarily sliced, diced and chopped up for so much cheap fodder. Most of the time, they almost seem to deserve it.

You have your guileless bimbo types who just can't help looking for trouble.

Girl : Sir? Could I ask you a question? I've been chased by fanged monsters all evening and I just wondered -
Murderous Thug : Get lost.
Girl : Waitaminute you look familiar. Didn't I see you kill a girl earlier? Are you a monster? Waitaminute, are you - Aaaackk!!! You just slashed me! Eeek!
Murderous Thug : I'm not the fanged monster but your questions are getting irritating.
Fanged Monster : Thanks. My thoughts exactly.

Really. Foolishly march into a sleazy bar full of dangerous men and start asking pointed personal questions. Do you blame the crazed thug for stabbing the girl just for the fun of it?

Enjoying the murderous mayhem just a lil too much!

Then you have the stereotypical screaming ninny. Certainly one of the types I'd drop off a high cliff if I could.

Girl : I can take care of myself! I must help you! I must save the world! I will be - EEEEEEKKKKK!
Hero : WTF.
Girl : It's a spider! Like scary and I can't stand - EEEEEEEEEKKKK!!!!
Hero : What now?
Girl : There's a severed finger! EEEEEEEKKKK!!!
Hero : I can see it for myself.
Girl : There's the villain of the piece! EEEEEKKK!!! OMG. You stabbed me instead!
Hero : Yeah, just shut up.
Villain : Thanks. It's about time.

Obviously I'm not a big fan of screeching. I seem to be the only one since producers seem to enjoy populating horror movies with such irritating stereotypes. Perhaps so the rest of us can all cheer madly when they suffer a horrible painful death.

So you can imagine what I felt when they combined all those annoying qualities in one bothersome female for the latest anime-turned-movie Blood. Honestly I felt like lending the villains a hand in putting a period to her short meaningless life.

Unfortunately the tedious bimbo in this particular movie didn't find her fitting end as a bountiful buffet for the voracious bloodsuckers - despite the fact that everyone was gunning for her blood ( hough I don't blame them for wanting her dead ). But she somehow survived all thanks to the wiles of the half-vampire protagonist named Saya who kept on saving her stupid ass for some obscure reason.

Damn. I was hoping for some disemboweling at the least.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


Looks like I'll have to get a gun.

Or maybe an impenetrable suit of armour. Maybe both. Not that I'm planning to face down a fearsome gang of bandits armed to the teeth anytime soon - but for my coming trip over to the wild, wild east, looks like I'd better be prepared for everything.

According to all ( hopefully highly exaggerated ) accounts from Charming Calvin, the raging hot-blooded natives over there can get mighty restless indeed, prone to more than a bit of highstrung revelry when the spirits are high, harkening back to their renowned headhunting ways.

Not as friendly as you'd imagine!

At least that's what he says. I'm half-convinced it's all wild prejudice! Or at least nervous jitters. Hoping it's all deviously calculated to scare me away from the transfer but Calvin couldn't have gotten everyone else involved, could he? Our daily news can't be lying, can they? Judging by the news reports of the past few days, I'm not exactly mollified. Stabbings. Bludgeonings. Killings. All in the space of a few days. Not exactly reassuring.

Hmm. The suit of armour sounds like a good idea at least.

Perhaps even a license to hold a pistol. Sounds like it's easy enough to get one over there if I claim to be aiming for the pesky birds. Hey, I can always do with a plate of fried pigeon wings with barbecue sauce. Maybe even some feathers for decoration.

And who knows, I might scare away a petty miscreant or two.

If I don't accidentally shoot myself in the foot. Or get hopelessly lost in the woods whilst hunting. Which seems quite common as well with troupes of adventuresome schoolboys and curious elderly folk regularly getting lost amongst the trees.

Ah, the wild, wild east.

Tuesday, June 09, 2009

Planes, Trains and Automobiles II

Today the oft-debated subject of a long-distance love affair crept up during our regular chats only to have our normally placid Charming Calvin flare up in an uncharacteristic outburst.

Friend : But he's so far away. How can we keep our love alive?
Calvin : Let's make this a rule. You can't whine about long distance relationships in front of Paul and me dammit!
Paul : Phwoar.

I know. Fieeerce. He hasn't been watching Tyra Banks for nothing.

Obviously Charming Calvin hasn't exactly endeared himself to the fact that I might be staying apart from him for a year at the least. Frankly he's bummed as hell.

Sorry dude but I don't think a bus is gonna do the trick!

Never realized it till today but it's actually true that we have been apart often during our less-than-tumultuous relationship. When we met, we were separated by the miles between Kuala Lumpur and Malacca. Then when I came up to the city for a while, he got transferred hundreds of lis away to Beijing.

And now that Calvin's finally back from the north, I'll be the one making the migratory move instead. Looks like I'll be heading east in a couple of weeks.

Of course, my fatalistic boyfriend keeps saying that fate is trying to keep us apart. With his oddly superstitious thinking, I wouldn't be surprised to find him blaming some mistake made in a past life that he has to atone for. Probably making his way to a temple to burn some incense even as we speak.

Which I think is plain bullshit. Seriously. It's just life. Shit happens sometimes and it's up to us to make it all work. And despite my own misgivings about long-distance affairs, I think I've proven time and again that distance shouldn't prove an impassable obstacle if we both commit wholeheartedly to the relationship.

And let's face it, it's only a hop and skip across the pond. Now thanks to Uncle Tony, everyone actually can fly. Weekly flights if need be.

A sweet inspirational video by Oleta Adams and clearly unlike me. But oddly enough it was one of the few songs featured on the only cassette we had way back when my father was warded in hospital. Can't imagine the number of times I've replayed this song in the car and yet I love it still.

Seems to me it's just about perfect for this particular situation.

Sunday, June 07, 2009

China Dolls III : Tasty Dishes

Forget about Fodors! Seems like I've been patronizing the wrong restaurants for fine dining all along! According to this news article, the place to dine is actually in Puchong where the tables are clean, the dishes are fresh - and the girls even fresher.

You could say they were not going there in droves to see food dressing but were more interested in undressing the dishes.

Turns out the delectable offerings off the regular menu had lecherous fellas around the valley flocking to Puchong in desperate droves for a midnight sampling. Rather than serving Peking Duck and Dong Po Pork, it seems other succulent Chinese dishes were on sale. Perhaps a lil Fan Tan Fanny? Maybe Hangzhou Honey? No doubt the other restaurant operators found business lacking afterward with all the boys flocking to that particular yard - and decided to tip off the cops instead.

Sadly, our boys in blue weren't all that interested in trying out the Sensual Shanghai Surprise off the menu. Packed up our lil Fuzhou Fillies for an immediate home delivery.

Do you like chicken or beef, sir?

Poor China Dolls. Even with the growing recession, it ain't easy participating in the oldest trade these days. Bartering a lil kiss and tumble for a quick buck is a sure way to garner the attention of our increasingly conservative police force.

Makes me wonder why the cops aren't quite as quick to catch the idiotic Mat Rempits. With illegal street racing, gangsterism and petty theft all under their belts, seems like they're causing much more harm than a couple of rouged streetwalkers plying their ancient trade.

You know my stance on legalizing prostitution. Seriously. Let the whores walk. Till now I'm still not sure how condoning legal brothels would contribute to the detriment of society. Someone enlighten me please. What are these painted strumpets going to do? Prey on the minds of married men? If the breeder boys are looking to stray, they will do so - with or without the alluring China Dolls to offer a cheap lure.

So don't place the blame on them. The whores are simply offering a service. You can just say no.

Now that their menus have been summarily confiscated, I wonder whether their enterprising pimps have come up with something new! Maybe some new dishes on their menu specifically catering for gay men? Maybe a lil Wanton Wang? Some Dong For Poke? China boys in tanktops and pants offering the chicken or beef special for the day?

Now that's a dish I can bite into.

Saturday, June 06, 2009

Freaks and Geeks

Where have all the heroes gone?

Perhaps it's a protracted backlash against the much-worshipped highschool elite of lettered scholars and athletic quarterbacks but since when did the lame-ass losers suddenly take over as our role models in life?

Don't you wanna grow up to be like him!

Seriously. Come on. Slackers. Dorks. Wieners. Wimps.

What is up with that? Just take a look at the latest slew of bromances courtesy of the likes of Rainn Wilson, Seth Rogen and Judd Apatow and you'll know what I'm talking about! While the girls are getting kick-ass Miss Independent role models, the male heroes we have on the screen are the potty-mouthed, pop-culture spouting freakgeeks who creep around dank basements subsisting on a diet of junk food, playstation modules and iPods.

And we expect dazzlingly beautiful blond cheerleaders to fall heedlessly in love with them.

Get real. Now that's a fantasy.

Slacker : Date me please.
Beauty : Get lost, creep. You're sucking up my oxygen.
Slacker : Pretty please. I might be lazing around on my couch playing games and sucking coke now but somehow I'll become rich one day.
Beauty : Call me then okay. Till then I'd rather be a celibate nun. Or a kick-ass karate exponent / beauty queen / business exec. So step away before I hurt you.
Slacker : How about you, gay boy?
Gay boy : Get lost, creep. I am dating the quarterback. So step away before I stuff you in your locker.

Before we expected the princess in the fairy tale to fall for the perfect prince charming - and now she's supposed to fall for the ass he rode in on?

Like eeew.

Even the stereotypically horny gay man would run screaming. In the opposite direction. Seriously.

If the new wave of male-centric comedies is what draws the crowd these days, what's up with the young male demographic? Do these gullible teenage boys actually look up to slacker high-school dropouts who live paycheck to paycheck at the local fast food eatery, hoping their moms don't kick them out for forgetting to take out the trash? What happened to ambition and drive? What happened to good-old fashioned ethics and hard work? What happened to living up to your potential?

Atticus Finch would probably be rolling in his grave.

Seriously. If that were my son lurking in the basement, I'd give him a good whupping.

Friday, June 05, 2009

17 Again?

Wouldn't that be a recurring nightmare for some?

Monstrous teachers? Endless exams? Crazy peer pressure? A looming future of uncertainty? Watching my post-pubescent classmates struggling with puppy love only to wonder whether I'd ever fall as hard? Fighting hard to tamp down my ever-growing hormonal lusts to keep from tumbling one of the increasingly delicious school athletes?

And the absolute worst! Adolescent acne? Again?!

No, I doubt I'd wish to revisit that particular time in my life. The very threat of sleepless nights staying up mugging for the entire battery of exams known as SPM is surely enough to keep me satisfied with my current lot in life!

Still the new Zac Efron star vehicle appropriately titled 17 Again rests on just such a recurring premise with Mr Efron playing a middle-aged cynic - in a failed marriage with two kids who barely understand him - who finds a way to return to his glory years back in high school. To be 17 again.

Zac Efron
It's good to be Zac in high school!

Took the opportunity this evening to catch the film at the cinemas only to find them packed with hordes of holidaying schoolkids. The horrors. Despite the fact I imagined most of them would be hooking up with the Terminator instead, quite a number of 17 year-olds seemed curious enough to revisit their past year.

Obviously one year in high school wasn't enough.

But it was an enjoyable hour or two watching Zac Efron stumble through the school corridors with the stereotypical cliques of neanderthal jocks, mean cheerleaders and bullied dorks. Still, Mr Efron manages to charm with his twinkling eyes, his aw-shucks smile and oh yes, that sculpted physique.

Someone remind me again that he's barely legal.

Of course it wouldn't be so bad being 17 again and looking like a hot, virile teenage heart-throb with a ripped abs! Ah, the things I could do.

1) Eat an entire carbotastic buffet of fried chicken, burgers and fries that just melts right off my tight six-pack. Without a single abdominal crunch. Ah, the benefits of a raging teenage metabolism.

2) Tumble the first gorgeous hunkatastic athlete I see. Sure I'd probably be beaten black, blue and bruised but it's worth risking a punch or two just to satisfy my curiosity dammit.

3) Skip certain classes - Moral Education, English, Mathematics - knowing in retrospect that I've never actually learnt anything huddling under my desk. Goof off a little. Seriously. Quadratic equations? What am I gonna do with that?

4) Join every club I can possibly ... waitaminute, I think I've already done that.

5) Mouth off more... wait, I think I've done that too. Can scratch that too.

Guess I really did enjoy my teenage years somewhat. Though a lot more sex would have made it a lil more worthwhile.

Wednesday, June 03, 2009

The Duke

What terrible weather we've been having.

After enduring three painful days of sultry heat with nary a hint of summer rain, I dared to set foot outside the house for a bit. Otherwise it's quite possible that the creeping ennui would drive me insane. A settling boredom only enlivened by matchmaking mamma's exhaustive pleas for me to finally settle down in the country to produce an heir. Obviously discounting the doting grandchildren she already has courtesy of my devoted brother.

For the sake of my sanity - and possibly hers, I escaped into the city despite the anxious cries of my aged retainer warning me of the sweltering heat.

In retrospect, I should have taken his advice. As soon as I alighted from the carriage, I was overcome by the devastating onslaught of infernal heat. Fell short of an embarassingly unmanly swoon though I staggered towards the steps. Surely I must have looked quite the sight - standing still at the fine shops with my coat soaked in perspiration. I could swear even my perfectly tied neckcloth had wilted under the sun.

Charles Grey
Good evening, my lord!

Still, a gentleman has to persist especially when one has heard of the latest drama involving my darling friend, Georgiana. Ever since our beloved G unashamedly flaunted her clandestine affaire with Charles Grey before the critical eyes of the haut ton - and her cuckolded husband, the ensuing scandal has become the talk of the town. According to the latest whispered on-dits, a troupe of budding thespians had gotten it into their heads to re-enact the tale in a stage play loosely based on G's shockingly eventful life.

Even the exacting Lady Fiona had braved the teeming crush of the great unwashed to catch the afternoon matinee, adeptly eluding the anxious clutches of her eagle-eyed duenna who would have been horrified that her innocent charge had elected to patronize such an unseemly locality. Had her nervous duenna only but seen the swarthy, mustachioed gentleman who followed in Lady Fiona's wake, no doubt she'd have soon succumbed to the vapours as she frequently threatened in our youth!

Still, dressed simply but charmingly in jonquil muslin topped with a decidedly modish hat, no one could have mistaken Fiona for anything but Quality. Full of news, Fiona was, telling me how G would be astonished at how closely they had copied every mundane occasion in her short life, no matter how shockingly trivial.

Fiona : Utterly scandalous, my love. But alas, there was not much our beloved G could do once the story had gotten out. The very detail right down to the very shade of her embroidered slippers!
Paul : Ingenious! No doubt those below stairs have been talking.
Fiona : Indeed! I fancy they've even gotten wind of her poor Eliza.
Paul : Good gracious.
Fiona : Dear me! I see my sweet foreigner over there waving desperately for me so I have to take my leave. Now tell me, you wretch, what is this I hear of a ball at Blackwater?
Paul : Merely a passing rumour, my dear delight.
Fiona : Fie on you, my lord. I have already placed my order of a lilac spider-gauze gown at this dreadfully expensive French dressmaker's. Clarimonde's. Simply ravishing. You simply dare not disappoint me!
Paul : Be warned! I shall serve insipid lemonade just to spite you.
Fiona : Wretch. I beg of you not to speak of such absurdities! Why, I daresay you cherish your reputation too much to spoil it with such poor entertainment!

Remind me to make a note with my man that I am to host a soiree soon.

Since my latest paramour would no doubt hold such a scandalous theatrical in the utmost abhorrence, I headed to the theatre on my lonesome. Quite a high stickler for the rigid rules of societal convention, my worthy country squire Sir Calvin. Much too painful to endure his disparaging criticisms of our beloved G and her dissipated high-born ways. Not to mention our moralistic Calvin just might follow his particular discourse on the infamous vagaries of the Upper Ten Thousand with a brief lecture on my own ramshackle manners.

Appropriately titled The Duchess - leaving no one in any doubt of who it was intended for - the staged play was not of long duration, but it lasted for quite long enough to enable me to see that the discerning writers had gotten Georgiana Cavendish true to form. Even down to the last downy ostrich feather on her charmingly bewigged head. Small wonder the talented ingenue who undertook G's pivotal role was swamped by swooning admirers brimming with flattering accolades backstage.

Miss Knightley is certainly deserving of her plaudits though I was far from joining the select circle worshipping at her dainty slippered feet. One besotted suitor, a fresh pup barely out of his shortcoats, even took to likening her feet to gentle rosebuds dipped in winter frost.


My gaze wandered away however as the other players made their expected appearances. Now there was one worthy of a flowery sonnet. Fancy I should pay a particular visit to the actor who played the role of Mr Grey. Certainly a fine specimen of British manhood. A Mr Dominic Cooper? Surely an enterprising young gentleman of his calibre is in need of a devoted patron?

Surely Sir Calvin wouldn't mind me having a little harmless dalliance with the working classes?

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

The New Mrs Robinson

Does age really matter in a relationship?

For me, it doesn't matter as much. I should know since Charming Calvin's at least four years younger. Well, apart from the slight ick factor about dating a fellow still in primary blues when you're already in secondary greens! But the age gap grows significantly narrower as we get older, and these days I can safely assure you that Calvin is all man so what does it matter!

Nothing wrong with dating someone younger ( or older ). Chronological age difference doesn't count as much as maturity of thought. After all what is age but a number? Date a crotchety, arthritic elder cursed with the immature mind of a flighty adolescent- and it comes up to the same after all. We love who we love, not matter what their age or what they look like.

Hell, might as well be dating a college boy - firm body, enquiring mind and all. And let's not forget the stamina of youth.

Allow me a moment to indulge in my randy college boy fantasies.

College boy anyone?

Of course my more prudent female friends think otherwise. Unfortunately for the Lushes - particularly Fabulous Fiona - heterosexual relationships are evidently held up to a different standard. Despite changing times and progressive mores, it's still not as easy for an older-woman / younger-man dynamic to be accepted here. Or at least that's what she thinks.

Fiona : You gay men have it easy! No one stares at an older fella with a younger one.
Paul : Chicken-hawks, you mean? Well, we don't stare. Much. But really, it's all in your mind.
Fiona : Come on, he's younger than me! He was in primary when I was already finishing form five!
Paul : So what? So was Calvin. The gap doesn't matter much at all.
Fiona : Seriously?
Paul : Nothing wrong with a bit of crazy cradle-snatching after all. I find it sexy.
Fiona : Bitch.
Paul : Cougar.

Kidding aside, I didn't think it really mattered much so I talked Fiona into letting me meet her new fella. Any doubts I had disappeared when I saw McMullah walking in. With his finely-trimmed beard, it definitely helped that he didn't resemble a smooth-cheeked teenager in the least.

And he's certainly no kid. :)

Certainly deserving of a Mc. Over sushi, our newly christened McMullah extolled the virtues of the Iranian countryside, gave away secrets about his secret shellfish allergy - and got roped into formulating a facebook game based on the Islamic clergy. Think of it as the Ayatollah School with points gained for suitable attire ( covering pertinent aurat ) and memorizing the Quranic verses.

Proving that the younger generation can be more tolerant, McMullah didn't even mind that I flirted shamelessly with the waiter. Of course he missed the earlier bit when I was talking about the waiter's thick, dripping sushi roll.

Fact is I'd date McMullah myself. If he had a gay brother. Even if he was younger by more than a decade. Just call me Mr Robinson.