September 16, 2003

it doesn’t sound right

I was busy doing heaps of reports when my phone rang. It was my colleague Asstee on the line.

Asstee : “Hey mike… where are you now?”

Me : “I’m at my …. hey, wait a minute… you are calling my desk and you are asking where am I? Are you high on drugs or something?”

Asstee : “Ish .. Ish … ok ok … I screwed up. I don’t know why I asked you that.”

Me : “…”

Well, crazy shit like this happens all the time – we like to ask something silly (or are we under utilizing most of our brain? whatever). This is especially common in Malaysia / Singapore. In Cantonese, it’s called “fai-wa” (talking through your lungs – means to jabber some nonsense) Here are some of the examples I have actually encountered before :

– Location: Restaurant. Met a friend there. He asked me “coming out for lunch ?”
– Location: My lab. A colleague called the lab phone & asked “are you in the lab right now?”
– Location: Beach. My ex-gf asked me “Do you love me?” (that’s a classic)
– Location: Mamak stall. Friend ordered something “Milo panas bagi ais”

Something like that. Ask ourselves, how many times in a day do we hear something that doesn’t sound right at all?

Actually, Rob made the same boner yesterday as well. My entire department was attending a short presentation by one of the dickhead VPs (let’s label him as Bryan) and at the end of the presentation, Bryan asked, “Any question?” ..

Then I saw Rob raise his hand and stood up. He said loudly “I have 2 questions!” and then paused, as if he’s waiting for some kind of respond from Bryan. Dumbfounded, Bryan replied to Rob “Well, ask your questions then!”. I could see plenty of sneers inside the room, because Rob’s a fucking dick.

I ashamed of him as my boss.

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September 14, 2003

knots getting tied

I am feeling very lucky for I don’t have to go through the complex process of getting married. Emily & I skipped the reception for a few reasons. I think a real good wedding should be a happy affair, simple and at the same time, memorable for the couple. But sadly, I don’t see that happening for most weddings nowadays.

People nowadays are having reception for their weddings for the sake of having it, be it as a tradition, or a requirement from their parents – rather than a true celebration of love… and these are often accompanied by heaps of exhausting chores of organizing the gaiety event, and the need for a huge expenditure. And all these, I think, causes more frustration than happiness… and I don’t think why we should do all that just to satisfy the people around us.

Getting married is a very private affair. And I think it is utterly unnecessary to get yourself into so much trouble just to appease someone else who has nothing to do with our marriage. That’s why, Emily and I decided to use the money to go for a honeymoon instead. And that is way happier for us, simpler and more memorable, than organizing a troublesome wedding ceremony. Nobody really gives a damn if you are tying a knot… and I am actually helping everyone to save an ang-pow or a wedding gift by not organizing a wedding reception. A win-win happy-happy situation.

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September 11, 2003

Singapore – day 3 & 4

Well, both day 3 and 4 were so short that I decided to blog them both at one go

On day 3 (Wednesday), I was assigned to dock with several agents. But then, I only selected one of them, in preference of the customers he was going to service that day. The guy’s name is Ben. He was so freaked out about the idea of me docking with him that he lied to me about his location – you know, just so to avoid meeting me. Well, luck was not on his side that day – I met him right on face to face at his office. I was about to yell at him for making my life so difficult, but then, I changed my mind, and decided to follow Nelson again instead.

So, I was reassigned to Nelson. Once we both hopped into the cab, we started talking. Nelson asked me if I have been to Geylang before. I was like surprised + choking + gasping for air… because I totally get what he was trying to find out. Geylang is actually a very well known red light district in Singapore, and I wasn’t so sure what to answer him.

But he didn’t wait for me to answer – he started to talk about his “adventures” there, how the professional livestocks (chickens) there eased his stress etc etc. He did not bother to censor anything at all, and described his whoring activities in vivid details… and this actually made me feel a bit uncomfortable, with the taxi guy hearing everything he said. But then, much to my bewilderment, the taxi guy happened to be a regular as well… and they started to exchange stories.
And at one point, they even talked about the general characteristics of Singaporean chicks, how materialistic they are, etc… They had everything covered like a pro-CNN journalist —- all in their aesthetic Singaporean Hokkien dialect.

Of course, being on a different frequency range of language, I could only comprehend 80% of what they said – hence, I did not participate much in their conversation. X-P

Day 3 ended very quickly, no funny customers. Those we met were high position executives, and they were all stodgy dumb fucks with ugly secretaries. So, nothing much to tell about them and my assignment ended by noon. As an appreciation of his hospitality, I treated Nelson a steak buffet lunch… Then, my day continued with plenty of shopping at Bugis and the city area.

Nightime, I met up with Johnny (one of the BODs) for a short meetup. Hung out at Singapore’s famous Esplanade. It was mid-autumn festival eve then and the atmosphere there was very relaxing & nice.


Image taken with a Nikon Coolpix SQ, the city scene from Esplanade

Day 4 — did not go for any assignment, I fucking overslept. Not being able to productively salvage the rest of the day, I decided to spent my time doing more window-shopping. I then took a cab to the airport. Had a scary ride – because the cab driver was dozing off and almost got me killed (alright, it was that bad, but you get the idea). The cab drifted over a few lanes, made a few scary emergency brakes, made sudden turns, you name it. The guy had to be the worst driver I have ever seen. He almost missed the airport when my colleague gave him a nudge (yeah, I came for my assignment with a colleague).

Damn scary man. My colleague is now lodging a complaint about that maggot infested driving freak through a complaint hotline and is now asking for a compensation for the fright ride or something.

I am blogging all these from the airport’s free internet PC. There is this korean guy standing beside me who is about to turn green soon — because he is so flustered about his free internet PC that keeps locking up. I better run for now, before that guy starts to get mad.

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September 9, 2003

Singapore – on assignment day 2

I boarded a cab today and found out that – the destination I’m heading was a place less than 2 streets away (walking distance). What a fucking sohai I was. But then it was still ok for me because it was all claimable.

Today, I was assigned to a guy called Nelson. The guy sounded a bit serious on the phone, but turned out to be quite a nice chap. It was easy chatting with him, as the guy’s on the same band of frequency with me.

Visited a few customers with him around the city area. Some were abusive, some were downright stupid, and some really freaked me out. Here are some of my encounters :

– One of them, complained of his notebook having performance issue. Asked him if he has ever done any defragmentation on his PC. Funny enough, he didn’t even know what I was talking about, and this guy was an IT guy. WTF.
– I’ve got another customer who taught me how to enjoy feasting on wild animals. I’m not making this up. The guy have his own theory on why SARs existed, and he was preaching us on his philosophy, all the while munching a chocolate fudge on top of his notebook. I was pretty shocked to see him working on the cake, because he was dropping a whole deal lot amount of crumbs into the crevices of his keyboard… which kinda made me figure out the reason for his complain – keyboard failure.

Geez…those guys in tie and coats, they are so “underground” inside.

I got all my assignments completed before lunch and had plenty of free time to kill. So I went to the mall for some windows shopping. Raffles City, Suntec City, Citylink, Marina Square and even to Orchard Rd.

One thing I noticed about Singapore shopping scenes, they’re a big decline compared to the pre-SARS days… most of them look deserted… while many ran out of business. Albeit the amount of shoppers there are still a lot more compared to Malaysia, but it was a shadow of its former state. The place used to be teeming with chicks and whatnots… It’s so different now.

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Singapore – on assignment day 1

Got to Singapore this morning in a dizzy condition. It has been raining cats & dogs today and there were plenty of thick clouds rocking the plane. I hate flying sometimes, makes me sick. Luckily, I’m not on an American flight – else, I would have really puked. I don’t think I want comment about old flight attendants anymore.

Actually, I wasn’t really comfortable with the idea of taking up this assignment in Singapore. The work is to engage behind enemy lines and spy hard about things we can make use to enhance our offense. Something like that. More often than not, you get fucked up in the ass without knowing the reason why. And here we are to make ourselves an easy target for these unscrupulous people. I would very much prefer to stick back in my lab doing my stuff. Why was I being sent out here…

At least the hotel is good. We get to lodge at Swissotel. The place is right above City Link Mall and all watering holes are walking distance away. It has a nice view too – I’m on the 62nd floor and Singapore city view is right outside the balcony. It kind of also reminds me on my last trip here with the BOD, when we lodged in a budget hotel. No windows and without proper ventilation, quite contrary from this hotel I’m in now, that place looked more like a rat hole. And on one of the nights, my buddy Luis saw a fucking ghost sitting on the bed staring back at him. Creepy.

Lesson learned from that trip – always get a hotel room with a window, if not a view.

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