March 11, 2019

Regine’s happy song

I remembered one particular day in life, when my daughter Regine was about 5, she came home from her nursery in a jovial mood, sang to us a silly tune with the following gibberish:

“Chick ker Chick ker chong…. Chai ker chai ker chai ker…”

We could not figure out what was she singing about, but it was funny. She’d sing the tune repeatedly through the day, always with a smile. For some reason, the tune lifted up everyone’s mood in the house, and she just won’t stop singing.

Puzzled, my wife asked Regine, “What was that song you’re singing?”

With her high pitched voice (as always), she proudly said “It was from Miss Leong’s phone.” What she meant was, she heard it from her teacher’s ringtone at the nursery.

On the next day, my wife checked with the teacher – out of curiosity – on what was the ringtone that she had on her phone. When the teacher played the tune on her phone to my wife, it turned out to be some Japanese anime song from a cartoon show, but it was nothing like how my Regine sang it. Anyway, the silly “chick ker” song that Regine created herself, burned into our minds permanently like Intel’s semiconductor fuse bits, and it reminded us of the great times of bringing up this little human being we created. Whenever I am down, I’d think of that day she sang this song to us and it makes everything ok again.

At 13 years old now, my Regine spends most of her time buried in her homework and Youtube, if not texting with her friends. I’d occasionally hum the tune of this song to her, but she’d look at me like I am out of my mind. Oh, how I missed those days when she was just the size of a huggable soft toy. Now, she’s about the size of a river crocodile.

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March 7, 2019

“A Prayer Before Dawn” (2017)

I stumbled into this gem of a flick by chance. Normally, with a title like that (which is boring and corny as fuck), unimpressive rating (it hasn’t got a good rating in IMDB or tomatoes), and the list of unknown cast like that (although some of the Thai actors apparently are famous in their own right), I’d normally take a pass at such suspiciously B-grade low budget indie movie. But for some reason, something has drawn me to it. Maybe because it was because it has got the words ‘muay thai’ and ‘prison’ in its description.

It was a surprisingly good watch. Not for the faint hearted but, you’d know what I mean if you’ve watched it (irony). This is the kind of movie that will make you squirm and gasp and freak out. The environment makes you feel and smell things, and would continue to haunt you even way after it is over. Little of it has to do with brutal fighting or action though, unlike how I originally anticipated, but more on psychologically haunting – quite contrary from its description as ‘drama’.

Story’s about a British guy who got hauled to prison in Thailand for drug possession, and got caged in a small overcrowded communal prison space with a bunch of other Thai prisoners. Being a white guy, he attracted a lot of attention and the story details about his daily struggle in the prison. There’s this super fucked up disturbing scene where some of the dominant prison inmates dragged a skinny ass guy and gang raped him at night, much to the horror of the protagonist in this story. I fucking squirmed like a roly poly, and this prison rape scene haunted me for days. The even more fucked up thing was, the guy who got raped sounded a lot like a counterpart of mine at work, and whenever I am in the meeting hearing that counterpart’s voice, I’d think of this prison rape scene (FML). There’s also the romance between this British farang and a transgender guy in the prison, and they actually made out. Fucking disturbing to the max!

Anyway, I can’t help but admire the work of whoever that cinematographed the whole flick. It was gritty, real and very immersive. Plot’s a bit weak, but it was the projected environment that made the watch enjoyable. The director did a good job conveying the experience to the viewer through a masterful use of the camera and set. I read around that the movie is based on a true story, but the events in the movie were spiced up for ‘creativity and dramatic purposes’. *shudders* I’d rate it 8 out of 10.

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February 22, 2019

work rant #xxx

Been mentoring a new guy at work lately. Young guy in his 20’s, guy’s a total fucking wreck. I do not know if this is a young generation thing but, he possesses every trait that I hate about the young gen of engineers. Delinquent, lackadaisical, clumsy and fucking stupid.

When my boss first pitched him to me to be inducted into my team, he came with a caveat that he didn’t get good grades at school. But I did not mind that because, I believed that underdogs are the blackhorses of the society. According to me, they tend to have to work twice harder than those snobs with fancy grades/qualification, and are usually street smart. I am one of them blackhorses. For what I lack in professional qualification, I make it up with sheer dedication and commitment to work. I might sound ribald here, but I am a force to be reckoned with when I am wearing a badge at work. I get respects and I fucking solve problems like Winston Wolf.

Anyway, like what the internet nowadays like to say – “the risk that I took was calculated, but man… was I bad at math.” Couldn’t be more true. I thought he could be like me, but what was I thinking? Fuck me. That new guy is a flop. He talks to himself, and when I explain things that get a wee bit complex to him (but not something too complex that a newbie couldn’t handle), his eyes would roll around like he was being tasered in his nuts. Occasionally, he’d nod off halfway during a discussion. He’d watch Youtube at work, and play one of those China Diablo clones on his fucking cellphone most of the time. He’s disrespectful to the female colleagues and he talks very loudly like he ate too much mercury from a broken thermometer when he was a kid. He doesn’t take notes when being mentored, only to later ask back the same thing that I have explained before.

So what do these kind of sods hope to get out of life/career being such a handful like that? Escapes me. In the old days, I was respectful, street smart and hardworking. I was aggressive and had high aspirations. I am always thirsty for knowledge and I take on challenges after another head on. That’s how I ended up as a project lead in a prominent silicon development company. It wasn’t given to me because I have a masters in something. It’s because of my ability to handle shit. I came a long way from where I was in a household that has only one expectation – to stay out of jail.

Now I see people like this guy, I can’t help but wonder how is it like in his brain. Things must’ve been simpler, and full of fancy creatures that talks. I don’t know if this is an intelligence thing. Fuck you people for being so stupid.

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February 13, 2019

what have i learned – Company T

I have worked in Company T as a project lead for 7 years now.

I’m not saying this proudly but rather, out loud to myself in disbelief. It’s a fuck of a company, and I hate everything in it. Reason why I stayed so long in this place, is because I am rather well paid there (it was double of what I earned from my last employment when joined, now tripled). So, it’s all for the money here now. There’s no heart in it… like a prostitute.

“I just can’t stand Company T employees, they are such whores”, I used to tell everyone that. Now, I can’t believe I’m employed here (I still refuse to call myself a ‘Company T employee’…)

So what have I learned there over the years at Company T? Not all the good things, I’m afraid. I learned how to fake shit there. That’s right… faking shit up.

I learned how to fucking fake a smile. I used to give people the flip-bird hard face when I wasn’t happy about something, but over here, I have to give a fake smile to every asshole I encounter because everyone is backstabbing each other over the simplest of things (if you know where to find the horror stories I encountered in Company T in this blog, you’d know why).

I learned how to fucking fake a courtesy. Like when one of the delinquent engineers refuses to reply my urgent email for the fifth time with a deadline in tow, I have to sound like I’m all dandy with him/her and keep resending the request with sweet frosting on top like “Hi IgnorantFatFuck, sorry for bothering you but, I would appreciate if you could provide the XML file for the voltage limit setting that has been due since last century. Thank you”…

I learned how to fucking fake my mental state. Like when a rookie does something moronic, instead of castigating him/her with something direct and fun like “you’re such a fucking dumbass that I’m surprised you made it this far in life. Did your mom drop you on the head when you were a kid? Or did your stepdad feed you kerosene when you’re a baby?”. Instead, I have to pretend that I care, and part fake words of wisdom to the imbecilic comrade to lift his/her spirits up and guide him/her back to the righteous path.

I learned how to fake a respect. Like when a high ranking oxygen waster wanted to discuss about something that’s retarded, I have to feign interest and pretend that I care enough to listen to his/her brain filth which they uncharacteristically refer to as ‘thoughts/ideas’… when all I think about is which tool to choose if I were to be given the free pass to clobber his/her head.

I learned how to pretend that I enjoy the company of idiots. Like someone whom I remotely know spontaneously joins me at the cafe to talk about something of little interest to me at the cafeteria and I have to fake it like I’m totally glad to have his/her company like I can’t do without, while I actually just want to enjoy my meal alone.

Whores.

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January 20, 2019

Italy – Tuscany / Rome

Though my daughter immensely enjoyed the trip (she especially loved the narrow cobblestone ancient streets of Rome, and the emptiness of winter at Tuscany), I’d rate it less than the trip I did for Japan and even Bali. A few hits and misses,

Hits (like):
Civita di Bagnoregio : It is a small town and perched precariously on top of a hill. Seemed simple but the whole experience of walking across a cliff to an ancient town, is special and memorable. I don’t think this place is going to stand for long and we were glad that we have visited this before it is gone.

San Quirico d’Orcia / Pienza : Serene and quiet towns in the region of Tuscany. The time we visited was beginning of winter, and there were no crowds anywhere. Similarly, a lot of shops were closed and we got the whole place to ourselves. The hike to the countryside in between these towns were epic, and it was one of the happiest moments in the whole trip (we did the galloping along the route to emulate the scene from The Gladiator).

Siena : I didn’t expect myself to enjoy Siena. During the planning, I’d always had the impression that I’m going to like Florence more, because there seemed to be more places of interests there. But I couldn’t had been more wrong. Siena is fucking dope, my friends. It felt different. The streets, the buildings, the view, the people, everything. I had the best pizza in Siena too. I fucking love Siena. It’s my favorite city.

The driving across countryside to Tuscany: The countryside of Italy is like a postcard picture almost the entire journey. Driving at dark would be such a waste (which we did not do, except the early start to Florence, which was still dark when we started). My wife took fuckloads of pictures, and we had an amazing time savoring the unbelievable views from the car.

The churches/basilicas/temples/all the POIs at Rome : Fucking amazing and beautiful, just as expected in all Europe. Everyone will have their favorite, and I got mine. I liked the St Mary in Trastevere and the one at Campidoglio. We’d go into the churches, and sat there for 15 – 20 minutes admiring everything inside. For The Vatican City, one would need the whole day to cover the entire place. We enjoyed the visit to the Colosseum, Capitoline Hill, and the Foro Romano as well (Rome can be both such a great and a shithole at the same time).

Misses (dislike):
No hablo ingles : Italy, despite being one of the most visited country in the world, is not an English friendly nation. Some places are English friendly, but those are the ones that are all out to butcher your wallet because you’re not Italian. However, it’s not hard to figure out Italian, as they use the same Roman alphabets for their language, one can still read and guess what the meaning on the sign is. But still…

The people : Italians aren’t the friendliest people I know. Had to be said. Apart from the driver I’ve contacted and the AirBnB host, we got negative hospitality from basically everyone there. Examples: Got yelled at when I inquired about the Accademia tickets at Florence, got yelled at (in Italian) by a man in military fatigue uniform when I – you got to hear this – put my bag too early on the table for him to check! (bag check to enter a museum). If you’re dealing with people selling shit in a shop, expect them to serve you with a face that looked like they’re dying. We had encounters of a restaurant trying to con us as well. From the airport to the museums, you’d notice that these people aren’t good in the hospitality business and they do not make you feel that you’re welcomed. But anyway, fuck them. Just do enough research/planning prior a trip to Italy, that’s all I want to say. (Italian stray cats, however, are extremely friendly to us. There was a cat whole followed me in Tuscany for quite a while).

The street peddlers around Florence/Rome : Most of these street peddlers are African, and they can be seen all over the fucking place in big cities like Florence and Rome. These fuckers are eyesores to the beautiful streets around Florence/Rome. They’d harass people, they’re annoying as fuck and they could be pickpockets in disguise (we didn’t encounter that though). My wife encountered an incident where she stopped to look for something in her bag, and this nigger came to her to be friendly and shit, and gave her this colored trinket string ‘for free’ he said… as a token of ‘friendship’. When he saw me walked far enough to the front, he started to ask for money from my wife. Terrified, my wife gave him EUR 0.50, and he said it wasn’t enough… so my wife gave him another dollar… and he skedaddled out of there like a rat. Fucking niggers kinda ruined our experience in Florence. In short, you’d not feel safe walking around the streets of either Florence or Rome.

The filthy streets around the big cities : The big cities are fucking filthy, and full of shit. I do mean full of shit, especially in Rome in the morning. I saw turds all over the narrow alley, and I even stepped on one. I do not know if it’s human feces or was it a dog’s but, I’d like to think it’s a dog’s. In the morning, the streets can be dreadful. Garbage and bottles strewn all over the places, and smelled terrible. They said the ghetto was a thing in the past, but I’d say, it’s pretty much the same depending on how you looked at it.

Neutral (meh…) :
Florence : Florence is amazing, no doubt about that. A few of my friends boldly proclaimed that Florence is their favorite city of all Italy. I don’t know about that but for me, Florence is just another big city in Europe that is filthy and too crowded. I enjoyed visiting the landmarks there, but that’s all I can say. I secretly wished that those landmarks weren’t in a shithole like Florence but, that’s just wishful thinking…

The food : The expectation was strong on the food, I have to say, only to be disappointed with mediocrity. Prior the trip, I told a friend of mine who owns a pizzeria that I’m going to find out if his claim of being kosher is valid. I was secretly hoping that his pizza was not as authentic as what he claimed after I’ve sampled some from Italy. But then, I found out that his pizza was actually better than most restaurants in Italy itself. He was ecstatic of course (that bastard). Anyway, to my opinion, food is not a strong point in Italy’s portfolio, despite what people claimed.

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