Archive for December, 2016

December 30, 2016

2016 roll up

People have been saying 2016 is the year of the Death. Lots of people died. One of them was my father-in-law, he lost his battle to kidney failure after 1.5 years of battling it. But I wouldn’t blame it on the year. It wasn’t the year’s fault. If you would nominate a title for the year of the death, you people should read about the history of the World Wars, black death or even the era when Genghis Khan laid waste to half the world in his conquest for greatness.

Anyway, I’ve fulfilled one of my pledge this year to start travelling the world. It was a plan my wife and I hatched back when we were childless, only to get delayed by a conception of Regine (we had to cancel a trip back then, due to the pregnancy, I recall). So the plan was held up until my daughter is big enough to appreciate finer things in life, and it became a family thing. Our first trip was to South Korea a few years ago, and then again to Hong Kong as a second trial for my daughter. She passed with flying colors. This year, we decided to kickstart the whole thing at full speed – we went to Germany and hiked the Alps in June. Then we hiked somemore at Taiwan’s Taroko Gorge in December. We saw cities, people and cultures. We ate weird shit and we mingled with the locals. And we walked till we almost drop. And this is going to be a permanent thing. I hope I’m going to be around until I’m at least 60 years old, or too old to walk (which I hope by then, someone has invented an affordable exoskeleton suit for old people to hike/walk without tiring out).

My daughter Regine has turned 10 this year. She’s officially a teenager now. She started to get annoyed at shit, and before long (hopefully not soon), she’s going to have her period. Some of her friends have already started to bleed, and she’s currently worried about that. My wife has prepped her with sanitary pads in her school bag in preparation for a sudden doomsday since a few months ago. She’s also started to bitch about not having a cellphone, and demanded faster wifi access. Looks like my life has entered another stage with tougher boss-battles and more complex enemy A.I.

2017, going to need a better camera lens, and a better physique to walk the world. Still wanted a bike. I hope I don’t need a shrink (or a heart doctor) from having to deal too much with a teenage daughter with rampaging hormones.

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December 26, 2016

hairdressers 2

My perpetual search for a cheap haircut brought me to the neighborhood of Greenlane, a small seedy ‘salon’ (anything can be called a salon these days) near a marketplace which reminded me of the porcine housewife hairdresser at Batu Lanchang I liked many years back, who gave an awesome haircut. I shouldn’t have been this naive but, what the hell.

I should’ve guessed from the signs beforehand that it’s going to be bad. First of all, the patrons there comprised of only old hags – I should have made a u-turn to get the fuck out of there, but I didn’t. The salon owner was the sole worker there, and she specializes in setting up old people’s hair. But I had to go ask if she provides a haircut, which she ardently asked me to take a seat first while she gave one of the octogenarians there a ‘blow job’ (a blow dry with a hairdryer).

The second sign, was when she asked me to help her remove a stuck extension 3-pin-sockets – you know, one of those 1-plug-to-3-sockets that allows more devices to be plugged in to the same socket. The darn thing was stuck, and there hadn’t been any guy around to remove that for her. From what I reckoned, that place hadn’t seen a male DNA for months, and I was the chosen one. I was quick to notice that she was using a 2k watt hairdryer and the socket thing basically melted the fuck off in there because of that. This is a sign that the ‘salon’ wasn’t making enough money to add extra electrical sockets and she had to resort to buy some cheap ass extenders that just couldn’t take the kind of load. I should have made a beeline to the exit, but I didn’t. I stayed on to find out how deep does the rabbit hole goes.

The third sign, was when I saw her frantically searching for her hair clipper, and its extender, which was tightly wrapped in a plastic bag that hadn’t seen light for months. This was an ominous sign that no one ever goes there for a haircut. I should have fucking elbowed her in the pancreas and take a dash or dive through the exit door. But I didn’t. I sat on the hairdressing chair like a dolt, and let the fucking biddy rape my head with all her bullshit. The end result? Was this catastrophic haircut that made me look like a cross between Ringo Starr and some traditional Iban tribals. My IQ point immediate went down 10 points when I looked into the mirror and my daughter nearly disowned me. I wanted to yell at her but, I was too shocked to do anything, so I paid and immediately left to limit the damage.

I initially thought I could just wax up my hair, but it seemed obvious to me that I was definitely going to get my ass dished to me at work by anyone who sees me. So I decided to take another trip to my other regular hairdressing place at a hypermarket (which I regularly visit, read here) and requested for an emergency ‘fix’ from the tomboy hairdresser.

“So, where did you say you got this haircut again? An Indian barber shop?”
“Worse, it was a seedy salon at a marketplace ran by an old housewife…”
*snigger* “An old housewife… well, she didn’t cut you clean… it seems… You’re lucky this can still be fixed.”

And she recommended me to go G.I. with a ‘little bit of fringe to maintain some decent style’. It was the best she could do. And I had no choice but to go along with that. That’s why I fucking sport a G.I now and I fucking deserved it for being such a goddamn retard.

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December 23, 2016

BBQ pork bun

As I lean back on my seat, my ear angle gets into the wave path of BBQ Pork Bun’s rhetoric about his organization’s plan in Company T. His sharp voice stabs my drums, and I momentarily get jolted up from my zoned-out moment. I can see projectiles of his spit landing on the hot projector on the table, while the rest of the audience in the meeting room shift themselves uncomfortably in their seats in preparation for a long meeting ahead. It has been close to 25 minutes since he was given the 10 mins slot to talk, and from the look of his animated form, I reckon he won’t be stopping anytime soon.

BBQ Pork Bun has been one of the most-talked-about managers in Company T. He holds a very senior position and has a big group of people under his leadership. He is the next big star that is going to win the talent show. Unlike his prospects on paper, physically he isn’t very well endowed. He’s about as small/short as the size of a hemorrhoid in a midget’s ass, middle aged and is as ugly as fuck. Beady eyes, whisker-less square face and is afflicted with crop circle sized male pattern baldness. His forehead is so bald, that if there are sweat beads on his scalp and there’s a spotlight shining on them, it’s going to reflect glittering lights like a fucking disco ball. He looks as if God hates him.

But for what he lacks in looks and charm, he makes it all up with intelligence and sports. The fucker has a PhD in nuclear physics or something. There’s no opinion that he can’t retort. He volunteers to build robots for kids during his free time, and is as athletic as shit. On any normal office day, you wouldn’t have second guessed that this motherfucker could slam dunk or does a jumping smash in badminton. That’s why the management likes him heaps, because he can do everything. Like I said, he’s the next big star in Company T.

He is one of the very few people that I hate and respect at the same time. Hate him because he can’t stop being so damn annoying by being so good at everything and respect him for being so abled in spite of his disabilities. He should be a poster boy for all bully victims in the society. Motherfucking BBQ Pork Bun. There’s fucking 35 mins left to go, and I hope BBQ Pork Bun would stop talking already.

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December 15, 2016

Taiwan – Taipei & Hualien

What do I think of that Taiwan trip? It was pretty good, I must say. Some hits and misses. The places that I planned came out as what I’ve expected to be, some even surprisingly better – especially that Taroko National Park at Hualien. Boy is that place fucking beautiful. Anyway, there’s still a list of places which I think you guys should fucking stay away like a plaque, and here are the shitholes to avoid:

Places to skip
[Taipei] Bopiliao Historical block 剝皮寮歷史街區: It’s just a group of buildings with red bricks and overhyped name. It’s as if someone has abandoned the building halfway and decided that it should look special. And you can tell that someone desperately tried really hard to make this place to be as hip as possible, but failed utterly. Everything here is drab and uninteresting, and has little cultural value. The day I traveled, they even put on a free movie in a hall, in hope to attract some tourists… but none of the chairs was occupied.

[Taipei] Taipei Zoo 臺北市立動物園: One of the shittiest zoo I’ve ever seen (only place worse was that Melaka’s A-Famose or something zoo). Place was poorly maintained with lots of empty cages (animals must’ve killed themselves out of sheer depression) and run down facilities. The place reeks of animal wastes, and a lot of the attractions are closed down. I was there for only a couple of hours, and half of the time was spent on cussing and getting disappointed.

[Taipei] Maokong 貓空: A boring cable car ride up to a hill of nothingness, and you have to spend a long time commuting here. The only thing to do here, is food and tea. There are no sights for you to marvel at (most of the Taipei city view was partially blocked by a couple of stupid hills), nor stuff for you to engrossed with. It’s just another area for food/tea with jacked up prices. Some people say it’s a place to relax. Fuck that. You can go relax at better places in the city with much cheaper price. If you would like to compare, even Penang Hill (the shithole) is a better place. Stay away.

[Near Taipei] Houtong Cat Village 猴硐貓村: The fucking place is a shithole. It’s an ex-mining town (with an abandoned mine) and lots of cats. So, as expected, all you get to see here is a bunch of rusted ruins from the mine and a fuckload of fat cats. Dumbass tourists would take pictures of cats like they’re special or something (but they aren’t. they’re just common cats) and giggle and shit. I bet if it were to be known as a Dick Village, the attention would just switch our dicks instead. It’s just so fucking dumb of a place.

[Near Taipei] Jinguashi 金瓜石 / Golden Waterfall 黃金瀑布 / Yin Yang sea 陰陽海: Who in their right mind would turn an irreversible environmental damage place to a tourist attraction? The Taiwanese. Here in this region, the place used to be a gold mine or something, and the mining industry had caused one of the rivers to be discolored, toxic and smells rotten. Sure enough, the view is one of a kind, but the thought that men had done this to the environment really makes it a sad case, and is not my kind of shit (I don’t know about you).

[Hualien] Nanbin Park 太平洋公園: Hualien city itself has nothing, so naturally, people tend to flock to the sea side in their desperate bid to find something to do. Unlike Cixingtan 七星潭, Nanbin Park at Hualien is a shithole, and looks abandoned. There’s an incomplete (or was it abandoned?) walkway there that is a sore to the eyes. I was expecting the park to be teeming with recreational activities or at least a bike rental stall like what we have in Penang, but instead, I see emptiness. What a fucking waste of space and time.

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December 11, 2016

Taipei & Hualien, Taiwan – Itinerary and planning (5 days, 7 nights)

Found a really good flight deal for Taipei on the first week of December when I came back from Germany back in June, and I booked it immediately. And I finally did the trip last week. Here’s the itinerary. As usual, read the disclaimer before proceed…

Disclaimer:
– Taiwan is known to have very unpredictable weather (especially at Taroko Gorge). It is known to rain at least expected times, has earthquakes and shit. If you’re doing your own planning, please make it as dynamic and as flexible as possible. The length of 5 days and 7 nights was a risky gamble for me, but luckily for us, it paid off (we did not encounter a single rainy day despite the inclement weather forecast). I wouldn’t recommend to do it this short.
– In December, Taiwan has a relatively short daylight. It starts to get dark at about 5pm (fuck me). So, plan your itinerary well.
– This is an itinerary post, I’ll do a separate post for what I think about the places I’ve visited.
– This was planned based on 3 pax – my wife, my 10-yo daughter, and myself. If you’re planning for a group of more than 4, this probably won’t work for you.
– The main objective is to hunt food at Taipei, and to experience Taroko Gorge (Hualien) in its glory. Ergo, it has a lot of walking (Taipei) and hiking (Taroko). With the exception of one day excursion to the Taipei Zoo, there are no other kid themed visits. This won’t be for you if you have a small child in your group.
– If you have a fear of heights, doing Taroko Gorge is probably a fucking bad idea.
– If you have a fear of crowds, Taipei is probably not for you too. That place is just mad with people.

Read the rest of this entry »

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