Tuesday, January 29, 2008
Saturday, January 26, 2008
Monday, January 21, 2008
The Borrower: Always takes things from your desk, bite em, chewed em and claim that it is his/hers or if you are lucky return it back to you..yikes!.
The Loud Speaker: This type talks so loud on the phone that you, too, know what his grandmother is cooking for dinner.
The Slow Mo: Takes an hour to explain something that should take a minute. A fantastic candidate for soap drama...The bold and the beautiful?
The Noisemaker: Whistling, tapping, sneezing, slurping, chewing, humming or performing some awful impression at all times.
The Know It All: As the name suggests, a walking Encyclopedia. Puts in his 2 cents in all conversations, even if he’s not involved. And he’s always right, or else he’ll keep talking. So, just agree with him.
The Complainer: Usually a veteran sitting in the same job for a long time. Frustrated due to some office politics and decided to be the voice of doom for the company. Spends the entire shift complaining —about co-workers, about their coffee, workload, management, corporate policies. Yet he’s worked there for years and probably will never, ever leave.
The Gossip: This type usually move around from groups to groups and specialize in intercepting confidential memos or phone calls. Usually knows the latest scoop, —but if not, makes it up
The Breather: Has perpetual bad breath and needs a mint especially after 2 p.m.
The B.S.er: Is master of the universe, loudly announces huge plans —but gets nothing done.
The Echo: Also known as the Tape recorder. Thinks your idea sounds better coming out of her mouth. An excellent paraphraser.
The Snitch: Your boss eyes and ears. Constantly provide random feedback on who is not changing the toner, isn’t pulling his weight on projects, who left their prints on the printer or taking one too many personal calls.
The Sniffer: The girl (or guy) with too much perfume/cologne..dot dot dot.
The Auto Forwarder: No matter how funny the e-mail joke from your brother-in-law is, no one in the office really cares.
Thursday, January 17, 2008
To all my colleagues who is still doing the exams out there...just take that extra step and put an end in mind as the feeling of throwing all the books down the river is just ...euphoric!!
Monday, January 14, 2008
The recent articles on the possibility of an increase in the petrol pump prices for diesel and unleaded last week has been the centre of a lot of conversations in homes and offices around Brunei. It does beg the question - is it the start of a new beginning or the end of an era?
For those who have lived or spent some time overseas, they are more aware of the realities of how living in Brunei can be pretty comfortable. We don’t pay income tax. Education and Health care are free. Electricity, water, rice, sugar and yes oil are subsidized. This basically satisfies most of our basic needs which in some other countries, citizens would have to put aside up to more than 70% of their income to pay for.
Ironically, we are still also a nation living very much on credit. Curiously, what are we spending our money on? Are we chasing the appearance of glamorous lifestyles? The fancy car? Many cars? A big house? And all the trappings of luxury. In other places, cars are a luxury with more of a reliance on public transport. Here, we think of it as a necessity given our own public transport system is rather basic. This doesn’t excuse us though… most families are guilty of having one car per driving member of the family and the driver too.
With all these cars on the road, it is no surprise that Bruneians are one of the biggest consumers of diesel and petrol in the region. Price has not been an issue to hold us back, especially when drinking water is more expensive. Consider a 10 cent increase in the prices of petrol, this, for me and my 2.0 litre engine, would normally cost approximately $30 to fill from empty. For every 10 cents this would increase the cost of filling up by plus minus $5 (Not taking account of fuel efficiency etc etc). If we were to take the petrol prices to a similar level to that of Malaysia and Indonesia, around 80 cents per litre, then it would cost almost $18 more. Let say I fill up my car 8 times a month, this would cost me almost $80 more, or on an annual basis $960 more. Shyte! Don’t get me started on those who commute regularly on a big luxury 4.o litre turbo V8 engines… yikes!!!!
I guess what we are trying to say here is that we think that the article is a good wake up call for us Bruneians. We need to start thinking about our future, of life beyond oil and gas. For young Bruneians, the message has to be that the easy life is over and it could be a rude awakening as they are woken up to smell the coffee. The journey itself will be interesting and only time will tell. Let’s prepare for the worst and pray for the best.
Friday, January 11, 2008
This post will be the final chapter and an end to the Blast from the Past trilogy. So far I have written on As and Bs classification, their hobbies, their mission and objectives, strategies and plan of action. This post will feature a special edition on National day Celebration and existence of the “others”.
National Day is one of the highlights and most celebrated event among the A`s community. This enthusiasm was not brought about by the strong feeling of patriotism but more of empire domination and demonstration of fighting and flirting skills. Back during my days, it was compulsory for all form 1 and form 2 students to participate in the National day. This means that we will have no classes for months and will be out on the sun practicing dance routines. Although we hated it, we the Bs put our maximum effort into it and will constantly practice the routines on or off the field.
The A`s on the other hand had their own agenda. Their discussion will be more centered on which school had the hottest chicks, who should they form alliances with, who is hot and who is not, adding to their never ending list of who to beat up next. In summary, their activities can be simplified into 3 F`s Fighting, Flirting and err.. Feeling??. Once in a while, I followed my partner in crime (the lost soul) to skive the practices and hung out with the A`s see what they were up to. Flirting apparently ranked high on their to- do list and they have managed to secure a spot at one of the Stadium staircase to execute this operation. One thing I learned about the A`s are that they are not choosy people and they will try their luck with just anything with a skirt regardless of size, type, patterns and colors. The pick- up line would be something like..Phewitttt..”kirim salam kain coklat ahh”. “Kirim salam kain hijau petak ahh”, kain biru” and god knows what. During rainy days, this pick up line will change slightly such as “kirim salam bra kuning, bra biru”..yeah rude but its true! Since we are on this topic, one of the cheesiest and lamest pick up line for the A`s hitting on the girls will be “eh beb… ada borang kosong kah?” which effectively means that he is asking her if she wants to be his girlfriend…lame lame lame! I wonder what the success rate was…
For us B’s, we were left to try our luck with the Land of Geeks where most of the chicks wore thick glasses and thought their brains were as big as the world. Most of these girls didn’t give any of us, As and Bs the time of day. B’s pickup lines were normally more civilized but far more corny. “Eh beb, can I have your number? Because I’ve forgotten mine…” Yeah bebeh!
National day was also a time where we witnessed probably the most gruesome and violent fight scene among the A`s from my school with the other bad dogs in the country. Besides the As, there were the existence of the “others”…a different group who do not speak the A`s dialect but easily identifiable with a dialect of their own. They came from the Urban areas and were also quite well known for their notorious fighting techniques. There are of two types: the Xs and the Ys.
Xs were mainly made up of a big group of people who came from the Urban areas and easily identifiable with their own unique dialect. These people usually looked pretty mean with their black shirts with WWF print outs, Metallica or Iron Maiden logos or some rude words. These people herd in big groups and the ring leader is usually short, stocky with mean looking eyebrows.
The Ys are the opposite, these group of people do not have their own dialect and came mainly from a well off family in the city areas. Most of them are quite harmless but they are what we called “connected” to some bigger, badder, meaner dark organizations whose shall not be named. The long standing rivalry between these groups led to many fierce fights and in some cases led to some serious injuries. All in the quest of fame and glory..
I guessed what I am trying to say here is that my life as a student back then was not easy as we had to go through some rough and bumpy rides. The fact that I heard lots of similar experiences among my current circle of friends indicated that it was probably a big problem back then..or we the Bs just ended up in the same sort of place. Thank god I do not hear these kinds of stories that often anymore and guess it’s a good thing. Things probably have improved since then and I guess the environment that we lived in now do not tolerate such uncivilized behavior. I wish my future generation do not have to go through such things..and boy if you are old enough to read this..please let mom and dad know..so we can prep you up with some taekwondo and kick boxing skills!
Thursday, January 10, 2008
My relationship with cats was always on a love and hate basis. Back when i was a kid, cats were almost like a member of the family. I grew up with my grandparents who owned at least 40 to 50 cats. To cope with them, my grannies have a systematic process in naming their cats. Some goes by skin type and colours hence C-Kuning, C-Putih, C-Itam, C-Siam then it goes by patterns and identifiable defects such as C -Tompok, C juling, C-Kurap and C Kurus and the list goes on and it was repetitive.
Cats are clever creatures. During breakfast, lunch or dinner time, Nenek just have to knock a spoon and a plate together and you sill see cats coming out from all sort of places to feast. It was almost like a break time bell where kids will rush to the canteen to get their Ice-Cream panjang or Nasi Lemak. I used to annoy the hell out of my uncle as i played this symphoney in his room and locked the cats inside with him..It was hilarious hehe. I had a few favourite myself but most of them were short lived as they were hit by cars on the nearby road or eaten by the stupid dogs next door. Sigh! My mum however doesn't really like them as she knows the fur can trigger my asthma and irritate my eyes. My relationship with cats was officially ended when i was 8 when a stray cat attacked me leaving long stripes across my face for months.
20 years down the road, I am back with the same situation again except for now i am 20 years older and it is at my in-laws. Ms He man's family love their cats but unfortunately she herself is not a big fan as she is also allergic to cat fur. The naming convention in this house is more sophisticated as it is taken from Novels,movies and cartoon characters. To name a few, there are Tiger, Aragorn, Max, Pumpkin, Crazy Momy and Vegy ( Vegetta from Dragon Balls). Each of these cats have their own unique characters which constantly reminds me how intelligent and sometime silly these creatures can be. Tiger for example the so called head honcho of em all got these acrobatic flips going on whenever he sees any new strangers in the house. I lost count on how many times this cat has flipped on my feet but the annoying bit is that it is always followed by a bite and cat spit.. yikes!
The other head honcho is Tigger`s own brother Aragorn. This one never failed to amuse me. This cat understand Tagalog and talk back ( well meow back) whenever u talk to him. He is also a good friend and accompany you when you are alone and lonely. One time i was sleeping outside on the couch waiting for Ms He Man to come back from dinner with her friends, this cat came on the couch, stretch and made his own space and sleep on my arms. Sweet eh? Furthermore this cat can climb up trees and stairs but he is afraid of heights. I witnessed several rescue operations done in this house to save this silly boy from the attic or trees.
I was made to understand to never put these two (Aragorn & Tiger) together in one room as it is a recipe for a world war 3. These two keep on fighting their ass off in a never ending battle to prove who is the baddest meanest cat in the house.
Last but not least is Veggy, the oldest of em` all. This cat is like Yoda..calm and gentle. His favourite hang out spot is on the Parking lot driveway and nothing will make this guy move if he does not want to. It can be frustrating at times when you are late for golf early in the morning and you have to either push or reason with this cat before you can reverse your car out of the garage. Mybe he is deaf or meditating, he just wont move.
Enough about cats now..i think i drank too much coffee tonight. Its 1:00am and i am still wide awake. Just finished watching Game plan just now...a fantastic movie about a long lost relationship between a father and daughter..sad, sweet and funny. I`m off now..to all my muslim friends out there..Selamat tahun baru Hijrah and enjoy the holiday!
Tuesday, January 8, 2008
Back in X, there was a section of the school which was restricted and dominated by the As. We the Bs are not allowed to past though this restricted area. It was basically a back alley staircase which we the Bs always referred to as the three floors of evils or stairway to hell. This place was more like headquarter office for the A`s where their Board of directors set their strategic plan on who is the next in line to be beat up or bullied. This was also the place where most of my fellows Bs were brought to trial and injustice. Tears were shed, blood was spilled, and underpants were lost at the staircase. Some of the daring B`s took their revenge by peeing on the staircase whenever they have the chance to as this was the closest that they can ever get to revenge. As for me, most of the time I hung out with the other Bs talking about “Kastra Baja Hitam” or “Gaban” at the B``s sanctuary: A small area near the principal and head discipline office.
Another dreadful moment for the B`s was the P.E ( Physical Exercise), a weekly program in which students have to play all sort of games with each other. Back then I can only play football, unfortunately so does the As. For some reason we the B`s were always group together in one team playing against the big bullies. Striker was the most unpopular position for the B`s as this required you to pass through the big defenders who were eager to try the latest acrobatic kung fu tackle move to defend their goalie. One thing about the A`s were that, they might have sucked at Maths, History or Commerce but they were football geniuses. These people can dribble, twist and shoot like a pro. The only advantage we Bs had was our small petite size and thus we can run…really fast. This skill was useful not only on the football pitch but anywhere in the school compound.
I realized that the more I write on this topic, the more ideas and memories flashed back into me. I can`t write it all but decided to extend this post to the last episode..Blast from the Past ( Part 3)..Till then..
Sunday, January 6, 2008
The journey began with a free starter: Buns with the so called "Zartar" sauce. It looks pretty ordinary but the sweet smell of the sauce hinted that it will be different and exciting and it was. The bread itself was warm, smooth and soft and blended nicely with the Z sauce which has this tingling spicy sensation as it touches the tip of your tongue. It was truly an experience and warm us up for the ultimate pleasure, the real deal which was the main course. We both ordered a Rib Eye steak and upon its arrival i was stunned as it was all i expected but better. Froze this moment by taking a few snaps though there was a buzzing soft sound on the background reminding me to eat my food while its hot.."eat your food while its hot"...( Love you hun)
The beef was gorgeous but what makes it extra special was the chef speciality, the Chimi churri sauce which makes all the difference on that piece of flesh. The grand finale was what we called the Ecstasy: Sliced banana tucked into soft puffy crepes topped with vanilla ice cream smothered with hot dark gooey chocolate sauce. It was an earth shattering, mind blowing sensory overload...dot dot dot.
They say good things come in small packages, unfortunately dining in Savvy carries a hefty price tag. Great for occasional indulgence but might be too heavy for a regular visit. I hope i do get some commission or discount writing this post..
Thursday, January 3, 2008
This inspiration came from a chat with an old high school friend last week. We were reminiscing the crazy things that we did during high school and decided to share it in this blog for old times' sake. Basically the first three years of high school were a living hell for me which I always referred to as my dark side. For simplicity, let’s called the school X. 15 years ago X was opened and it was still brand new. My parents decided to send me to X as it was close to my grandparents place and near to the Ugama School.
This school is divided into two groups: The A`s and B`s. The A`s are the dominant ones as they are mainly made up of these tough,”karas”, rude, bad mannered school rejects and the B`s are the geeks, innocent boys and mainly those who can’t speak the A`s dialect. Fortunately/unfortunately I’m in the B category.
Every day the A`s will pick up any of the Bs to bully and in most cases the Bs got beat up for no reason. I remember a friend of mine got beat up almost every day because some of the A`s didn’t like his name because it sounds like a girl`s name. My other friend was also another favorite as his hair was “krebo” as his mom thins that he looks cute with a perm hair..obviously the A`s didn’t share the same views..yeah crazy..but its true!
Once a week the A`s will do their “management visit” to all the form 1 and form 2 classes to collect the so called taxes from all the B`s students. We the Bs hated this and always share tips on the best place to keep our pocket monies and yes you can imagine that it has gone to dark sweaty unimaginable places and you would be right. I felt pity on our canteen operators..but hey a boy’s got to pay for the food somehow..hehe.
I figured out that this is ridiculous and concluded I need to be at least a little bit of an A without jeopardizing my B status. What better way could I do it than mastering the A`s dialect itself and acting tough by picking on the smaller weaker Bs. Yeah I am a traitor to my B community but at least I survived. If any of you small B`s back then are reading this now..i apologize from the bottom of my heart haha.
So the saga continues..as I spoke my way through every conflict with the A`s. Funnily the accent though it’s a crappy one but was enough to camouflage me and confused the hell out of the A`s thinking that I was one of them and thus untouchable . I also managed to make an alliance with a lost soul i.e. a pure A but with a B mentality. This gives me even more credibility in my disguise.
To be continued...