Archive for the ‘rantings’ Category

July 22, 2017

Goddess of Mercy temple, Penang

My wife is a Taoist devotee (but I am an Atheist, I don’t believe in God). No she doesn’t pray at home but, once a while, she’ll go to a temple to recharge her faith. Her usual request to the deities are usually for health, safety and happiness for the family. Maybe in between the requests, a blessing for our daughter to have a better life. Her favorite temple? Goddess of Mercy temple (GoMt) at Pitt Street, Penang.

I haven’t been to that place for ages. Must be close to 7 years. The last time I went there, was when my mom died. I was there to say some prayers out of filial obligations… until last week, when my wife wanted me to accompany her to the temple with our daughter, Regine. I obliged… because I missed the place. But that day turned out to be one of the saddest day of my life – to discover that the GoMt I knew is no longer there. It has changed into something different.

You see, GoMt is a very old temple. It was built in the 1700’s. My grandparents grew up praying in it, my mom grew up praying in it, and I grew up praying in it (that was before I decided to be a freethinker). There were pics of our family that stretched over a couple of generations taken inside that temple. That place had remained the same through the years. It was smoky, everything was dark in color from the years of incense burning. It was always crowded and the temple was a din of devotees going about their business. One would not come out of that temple without tears as it was smoky as the clouds in heaven (I can’t say ‘hell’). It was beautiful in its own way. As a kid, I used to gawk at its giant Taoist giant deity figures adorning the sticky walls, marveled at its intricate pillars, curious over the 3 little ‘white tigers’ at the end of the middle courtyard, and amazed by the ever effervescent figure of Guanyin herself. I was even there during the 60 year-once festival that contributed to the infamous Penang jetty tragedy in 1988. Brought back a lot of memories.

So what happened to the place? It was repainted with red and gold. Guanyin figure now has a tacky gold plated face. There’s no more smell of incense inside the temple because it’s prohibited now (HELLO!? It’s a temple!). Devotees are required to light their incense sticks at the al-fresco section of the temple, in an unflattering rectangular aluminum (or chrome plated) censer that resembled a giant kitty litter (instead of the original round brass type). Inside, it was all quiet like an abandoned place. There wasn’t anyone doing any prayers there that day (which was odd to me), and there were no people getting their fortunes checked. There were no kids requesting for divine blessing for their education. There were no housewives smacking miniature evil paper men with their platform shoes to turn their luck around. I went around to check the 3 little nasty ‘white tigers’ – there were no pork lard in their pet bowl. Even the stalls that sells the praying stuff were mostly abandoned (it used to be busy like a morning market). The place is now like one of those museums that has no life in it. I’ve never seen GoMt so quiet and sad before. Fucking hell. What the fuck happened to my beloved GoMt!?

I left the place feeling really sad. I knew it will not be long before some jackass decided to put up some LED deco and LCD animations in that temple – like some of those tacky Taiwanese Taoist temple. I wanted to savor the place that day to relive my old childhood moments – the time when I got lugged along by my late mother and late grandmother listening to Sam Hui in her junk car… but I was apparently, too late. GoMt is fucking gone now, along with my mom, grandma and childhood (my wife told me it has been like this for a few years already… I was a few years too late apparently…)

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May 29, 2017

Touch ‘n Go

Recently, there’s been a lot of heated discussions in the net about how unscrupulous Touch ‘n Go (Malaysia’s prominent electronic payment card) is, for imposing surcharge at mall parking lots. Yes, believe it, we Malaysians have to pay extra to use the electronic payment system. Makes my blood boil by just thinking about it. I don’t know who is the moron at Touch ‘n Go that came up with this retarded idea. They’ve got a good thing going, and they have to ruin it all by being stupid and greedy.

Now, every asshole refuses to use the electronic payment system, and none of the good advantage of an electronic payment system is reaped. That means, it’s good for nothing. Coupled with the advent of online shopping, the days for businesses at malls are already numbered, and this is definitely making it worse.

If these dimwitted cretins have an iota of sense in them, they’d have figured to make it CHEAPER instead… to pay with the electronic payment system. With the money saved from not needing to handle the paper/plastic-card tickets/cash for running a parking fees collection system, they’d have all the incentives and motivations to encourage everyone to use the electronic payment over the conventional ticket/machine. The benefits are supposed to be mutual – convenience for the mall patrons, and savings for the management. Touch ‘n Go as a company, would have benefited from the sales of cards, and cash flow from people loading their cards (they’d have rolled more money from banks if successful). They could have used a larger scale and extensive loyalty programs (points system, etc) as well, just like how Hong Kong / Japan / Taiwan do it.

But look where we are now. They can’t even get it right. Fucking Touch ‘n Go is a big joke (like Proton). Limited use, limited coverage. Some places still have the gall to charge extra to reload your credits, and then there’s this stupid parking thing. The cards are only sold at their own office (which mostly are hard to get to – being at the highway and shit), and you have to fill in forms to buy them. Pffft. Convenient my ass, it’s a good for nothing piece of shit. At Hong Kong / Taiwan, I could easily buy a card and reload at any convenient store, use their electronic payment system to buy beer, how about that? And I can link them to my credit card, and use them for all the public transports and not having to worry a thing about running out of credits.

I guess that’s what happens when you have a bunch of incompetent imbeciles running a company.

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May 24, 2017

disrespectful pricks

A week ago, I had the privilege to attend a technical sharing by an expert, who single-handedly designed and developed almost all the specialized machines/equipments we used in our line of work. Guy was a Mexican-American and has a big heart. Helpful and courteous. My kind of bro.

This time round, he came all the way from the US to share his new innovation, which is way more complex, but would eventually make our life in engineering and automation very much more bearable. It was a 2-days’ event with limited seats, and not many of us get the privilege to be in it. For those of us who got the opportunity to be in this event? We’re amongst the luckiest sons of bitches in Company T, but sadly, not many of those fucknuts know that.

You see, the sad thing about this was, I noticed a lot of the attendees were doing their own stuff during the technical sharing. Their laptops were on, and they were working on their keyboards all the time (the clacking sound was annoying enough). Some would fidget with their phones, chat with each other and came into the room late enough to ask dumbass questions. I don’t know what have we been feeding them fucking kids at Uni/College, but that is not an acceptable thing to me.

I was thinking – If you’re so busy with work that you have to goddamn stay glued to your fucking laptop all the time, then why bother attending that event in the first place? Being away from your workdesk and not able to concentrate in the technical sharing, you’d bound to lose both anyway… So, why bother? Just fucking decline the event and get real. Let others who want to learn be there instead. I could only imagine how would that Mexican guy feel, to see so many young but ignorant engineers putting their resources to waste and being such disrespectful pricks. All of them deserved to get punched in their kidneys until they need dialysis.

I was so fucking mad that I dragged 3 of my teammates after the event (2 of whom I caught doing Facebook and Whatsapp) and gave them a life changing lecture. The words ‘kurang ajar’ and ‘bangang’ were pitched into my tirade of anger.

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May 15, 2017

branded education

Do guys you know what’s the hottest dumb shit parents are into lately? Branded education. Branded as in, famous, glorified, good reputation, etc.

I don’t know if this is just happening in Penang but, there seems to be this common perception in the society that our government funded schools are for bottom feeders. i.e. They suck. That’s why we have a lot of these private schools popping up all over Penang to exploit insecure yuppie parents main gripe about their parenting obligation – that their children are not getting the best they can afford. That’s why, in Penang, most middle class and above families tend to want their kids to study in one of these ‘prestigious private schools’ that they can best afford.

And if you have such friends in Penang, you’ll hear them yapping about which of these institutions that they’re planning to send their kids to, and what kind of procedure they need to follow to get them accepted. Some of the schools, as I learned, requires some background check. Some even require the applicant (the damn kid) to go for a goddamn interview (can you believe it??), or worse, an entry exam. Of course, one is expected to fit a certain stringent requirements or pass a certain grade to be able to get accepted in that ‘prestigious’ school. It’s as if, they’re trying to make themselves discrete like they’re Harvard or Princeton, or something the like.

One may think this is preposterous but, believe me, people are flocking all over these damn schools to enroll their children! Prestigious school worr… why lose out such opportunity?? Most of them have good track records of high scores! Goddamn! Have these parents ever thought, to have all the smart kids studying in the same place – won’t that be the very reason it’s ‘a good school’ in the first place? Like, if a kid’s already smart enough to pass the strict entry exam to get enrolled, what else is there for the kid to improve or learn? It’s just going to increase the average performance of the entire institution (and you get charged for that). Shouldn’t a good school be doing something the total opposite instead? Like you dump in a kid who underperforms, and he comes out an overachiever? But alas, that’s not what’s happening.

One of the many things I don’t get about the society.

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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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