Archive for the ‘flashbacks’ Category

June 4, 2013

4th floor

Take a good look at the image on the left. Can you imagine that this sad… sad… sad looking place in its heydays, was once the most happening spot in Penang? Well, it’s the infamous KOMTAR 4th floor arcade section, used to be the center of the universe for us kids about 20 odd years ago. I remember every moment of it, especially the excitement that precipitated when I was running up the stairs from the 3rd floor upon hearing the din of synthesized arcade noise. Coins in my hands, adrenaline pumping, the retch of musty and warm electric air… and then the memories of getting arrested by the police, the memories of me and my friends playing truant, there was even once I saw my friend getting mugged by a bunch of thugs there – arcade meant everything to me and was a big part of my childhood. I remember I once wished for a machine that has all my favorite arcade games in it, and guess what? I finally had that dream come true about a few years back, when I managed to install a MAME32 emulator into my PC with all my favorite ROMS in it (still have those games today). But sadly, it just isn’t the same as it was back then. The games, without the slot machine and the need to pay for it, just wouldn’t bring back the same feel… the magical feel…

You see, kids back in the 80’s and 90’s didn’t get to watch a lot of TVs. Console games were rare in this part of the world (that was the NES/SNES/Gameboy era), and piracy was basically non-existent. Games were sold in cartridges, and CDs hadn’t been made popular yet. Not everyone could afford a console gaming machine, so we kids turned to arcade and got mad about it. For a mere 20 cents a pop, we got to play for 1 credit, that usually gave us 2 replays. Back then, you could find an arcade center at almost every corner of a street. But everything converges at KOMTAR, the only mall (then) in Penang and the mother of all arcade centers (it was actually a section of the mall, with shit tonnes of arcade centers). The arcade section had virtually every popular game ever existed. My favorites? Double Dragon! Wonder Boy! Street Fighters! Twin Cobra! Raiden! Fuck yeah (exclamation, not a game title)!

But towards the end of 90’s, the arcade madness started to die down gradually with the advent of personal computers and gaming consoles. Before long, the next gen of kids moved on to other stuff like PC’s, playstations, sucking dicks – KOMTAR 4th floor began to lose its arcade tenants as the businesses started to fold from extreme unpopularity. Now, the arcade section is basically a deserted piece of wasted space and what used to be the most happening spot 20 years ago is now an empty corridor with roller shutters adorning its sides. If the 4th floor arcade is likened to be a character, it can be best represented by Lola in the lyrics of that Copacobana song:

Still in the dress she used to wear, faded feathers in her hair
She sits there so refined, and drinks herself half-blind
She lost her youth and she lost her Tony
Now she’s lost her mind!

I took this picture last weekend when my wife and I happened to be there after running some chores at a government department (that is still located at KOMTAR). When we were leaving the place, something drew me back to this corridor (in a non-creepy kind of way) and that had me rekindle the fondest moment of me growing up in my hometown Penang. And what has Penang turned into? A bustling metropolis full of assholes. It was so much better back then… with the arcades and shit.

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February 3, 2013

school nowadays

It was 1994 when I last seen my own school. Never been to a school after that, until my daughter started her primary one last month. It was only then, I realized that how much shit has changed!

One of the prominent changes would be, do you guys fucking know that they do not have blackboards and chalks anymore at schools (most of them)? *shocked* For some of you dipshits who were born to sissy whiteboards and markers, you won’t understand how much of a big deal this is. There used to be so many hundreds of cool things we could do with chalks and blackboards.

We can use the chalks to write/decorate on fellow students dark colored pants. Eg. draw an inverted Z or lewd image on an unsuspecting student’s chair, and when the sucker sits on it, the letter / image will be imprinted on his ass. We’ll have a few laughs after that and move on (because the chalk dust can be easily remove with a few kicks!)

Speaking of kicks, you also can apply the chalk dust on your shoes, and give someone a kick. It’ll have a cool dust mist effect when your shoes come in contact the victim’s ass.

The chalk can be ground into fine powder, and put into a folded paper bellow. You can use the self made paper bellow to puff a mist of chalk powder to any unsuspecting person, and see him startled.

The said grounded chalk powder can be mixed with water, and applied on the school shoes – in a last minute effort to conceal your sleazy pair of dirty shoes in the event of needing to impress some girls you’re about to meet.

Chalks also can be broken into smaller pieces, and flung towards a spinning ceiling fan for a game of random projectile roulette. It’s fun, until chalk hits the teacher of course.

If you’re the artsy kind, chalks also make a good material for carving practices. We’ve carved numerous lewd objects (dick, et al) and put them on display on someone’s desk. One can try the teacher, but that’s not recommended.

One can also do some graffiti with chalks too, and it’s never permanent.

And then there’s the duster. Everyone would volunteer to dust the duster at the corridor, to get a couple minutes’ worth of respite from a boring class, or using it as an opportunity to gawk at passing girls. There was once a classmate of mine took more than 10 mins to dust that goddamn duster and was duly punished by the teacher.

The duster was made of rags stapled together. That made it a perfect object for an impromptu soccer match, or safe object (otherwise embarrassing) to fling at a sleepy student.

Many more, I can’t remember them all. It’s sad to learn that my daughter will never experience the same fun I had when I was in school with chalks and blackboards. I can only hope at this time on, she’d find more fun with a whiteboard marker… which I doubt she will. Whiteboard markers and whiteboards are boring.

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December 25, 2012

2012 roll up

The year 2012 was all about adaptation for me and my family. At home, it was to adapt the life without my mom. My mom was never good at adequately providing for her children except for one thing – food. She’s one hell of a cook. I had been eating her Cantonese / Hokkien fusion food for all my life, and to not have her around anymore is like not having an engine oil for the car. Things get cranky, stuck up and gunk starts to deposit around. We have no choice but to adapt. With Emily’s new job (which requires her to work late), I had to take up cooking. What we’ve been doing has been somewhat of a synergy which we’ve not explored before (and should have) –
1) Emily preps the dinner ingredients in the morning and sends Regine to her nursery,
2) and I pick Regine up from the nursery in the evening, and cook the dinner.

It is a great arrangement and it has managed to bring us through everything until today.

Speaking of job, besides Emily, I have also changed my job. I have finally left that shithole ‘Company Y’ for good, and joined a bigger MNC which I would refer as ‘Company T’. It’s a semiconductor company and everything about the job is completely different from what I have been doing. So, it’s a major adaptation going on here. I’m six months in, and shit is getting tougher. The job comes with its fair share of cockblock. Instead of having to deal with assholes everyday, now I get to deal with lame ass whiny douchebags with multiple bleeding vaginas to spare (boo-fucking-yah). I guess what the old geezers have been saying is true – the grass always look greener on the other side, but it’s all the same shit. Well, I hope I can adapt well and get back to be an overachiever like I have always been.

Remember the moolah that I got from the VSS at Company X? Finally used the money to buy a second home. Not planning to move there but, it will serve as an investment to secure the funding for my daughter Regine’s tertiary education – which I reckon from the time warp we’ve been experiencing, is going to be very soon. She’s going to be in Primary 1 next year, it won’t be long before she asks for a phone and eventually then sneaks out to have a drink with her friends… That’s when shit gets complicated to another level, and I do not plan to be short of funds when I’m old and not capable of fighting for more (hence the investment). Anyway, on the positive side of our banal lives, we’ve changed our ride. Sold off the Chevrolet Optra (which I referred it as ‘Lorraine’) after 8 years of ownership. We have a Prius now. A piece of engineering marvel it is and no regret so far.

I guess that’s about all that is worth mentioning. 2013 is going to be challenging for both Emily and I. It will be the year my Regine start her primary school, and it means a great deal especially to people like us (both working parents). We’ll have to juggle with our tight schedules, and get our shit together through it all. We have a plan in place, but are not sure if it’s going to work. I guess we’ll have to find out then.

Merry Christmas and have a safe New Year.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 4 Comments
February 19, 2012

the muffin guy 2

I was looking around at a furniture fair the other day with Emily and Regine at a shopping mall, when I noticed someone staring at me from inside one of the jewelries shop nearby. It was a rotund young bloke behind a counter, with a diagonal comb over covering 30% of his face. He was standing amidst his group of female coworkers and was quick to look away when I started to notice him looking at me. He looked familiar, and I had to crank my aging brain hard where had I seen him before. It didn’t take long for me to remember, that he was the muffin guy – if you remember him. I blogged about this fuck stain four and a half years ago, when he was a teenager manning a muffin counter at a local hypermart. We had a little history of violence back when he was 10. Go read it here.

He must be in his early 20’s by now, and he has become a jewelry sales promoter. Still plump, overly fair in complexion, wearing an undersized long sleeved shirt embossing his muffin top (irony), and a perceived chic but revolting douchebaggy hairstyle. He first looked away and then pretended to be engrossed in a conversation with his female colleagues, probably exchanging tales about their dick sucking experience. I then pulled Emily’s sleeve and asked her to check out ‘the ah kua guy behind the counter’ – which she did and was kinda shocked when I told her ‘it’s the muffin guy’.

“Ohh, he’s so different now!” Emily exclaimed.

No shit sherlock. Used to be a fat kid with a waistline approximately 1 inch below the armpit. He used to look funny to me in a cute way. Now? He looked like he masturbates other guys’ dicks at night, and bluffs middle aged ladies to part with their money on overpriced jewelries during the day time. He sure looked different. And we relived the incident where I probably changed his life by teaching him the meaning of fear and pain with a ruler, which set his academic standards – albeit not very high – back on its inglorious path. His hairspray frenzy mom sure has me to thank for. I changed her son’s fate from being a hobo into an ah kua manning a jewelries counter. Not bad.

I was thinking, maybe I should have given that fucker a few more whacks, he’d probably be a lawyer by now… Oh well.

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December 28, 2011

2011 roll up

I said something about big changes in 2011, back in 2010. It was as if I had the ability to foretell something bad like some animals before a catastrophic event because, indeed, a lot of crazy shit have happened in 2011, which totally changed my life.

The shittiest of them all, was the passing of my mom. My mom died a tragic death. She had depression (for reasons unknown to us), and it culminated when she had a serious misunderstanding with her own siblings, and decided to end her own life. The day she died, I was questioned by relatives at home and policemen at the forensic department – what the fuck had I done? It was like, I had committed a crime against my own mother, despite being in shock and sad like shit. (they eventually found out the truth, and the matter was put to rest, along with my mother’s remains).

My mom’s actions nevertheless, seemed to have created a big impact in everyone’s life. She used to be the center of attention in her family, and now what she’s gone, it will never the same without her. The same goes for my daughter, Regine. Who used to have a grandma feeding her dinner and night talk before sleep, she could never understand why her grandmother had to suddenly leave like that. I tried to water down the bitter episode of the family by going for a vacation, hence the trip to Korea, to speed up the moving on. We’re coping up fine now.

All the personal issues aside, I had also been extremely busy with the job at Company Y – which came to be an all rounder, lack of budget, full of rustic people kind of job. I learned a lot through the process, but it also made me glad that I survived the day without being castigated for not doing something I wasn’t supposed to do. I have to start early (because of the traffic), and end late (because of the load). No backup, and no solid plan for a career growth. It’s like pulling weeds in the field. Weeds never stop growing and assholes never stop barking for not pulling enough weeds. I don’t think I could last long in this kind of environment.

I hope 2012 will be a better year.

michaelooi  | flashbacks  | 10 Comments