Wednesday, June 30, 2010


Aku dan engkau mempunyai, atas permukaannya, sifat yang sama.
Tidak kira secara dalaman mahupun fizikal. Tapi aku dan engkau jauh berbeza.
Aku mungkin tidak banyak bercakap, tetapi itu tidak membuatkan aku bisu. Aku mungkin kurang pengetahuan tentang sesuatu, tetapi itu tidak bermakna aku kurang pengetahuan tentang sesuatu perkara yang lain.

Tidak pernah sehari pon aku merasakan kita berdua sehaluan. Engkau dan aku berbeza.
Gaduh itu bagaikan sudah menjadi santapan harian kita berdua. Tapi itu tidak bermakna aku mahu lari dari engkau.
Ini kerna, wahai kawan aku,
sudah pasti aku akan mati.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Part 5: Flash

One night of pure misadventures excitement led to a magnifying painful hangover the next day. Some of us were half nude from the night before. But that didn't bother us much because it was all in good fun. This type of hangover is not the ones you get after a bloody Thursday night at a bar watching a basketball game. This was more subtle somehow. Maybe its because we were by then half junkies.

On with the road trip. Next stop a metropolitan city with a park nearby. As each of us got out from the van, we were all ready with our digital cameras. The five of us had to split up around the park and tag each other with a picture. Running around with a camera trying to catch each others faces wasn't your typical hometown game but a futuristic-esque approach to a game we all knew too well.

The basic objective of the game was to capture everyone faces in the camera. So off we went. All to a particular part of the park trying to hide as well as have a good vantage view of the others. These were post "relaxed" people and running was not our main forte at the moment. Some stumbled into bushes, others zig-zagged their way behind trees. The game started by mutual consent of counting to 90, 50 or whatever other numerical that Liebniz fellow made up for the world.

With my slow digital camera in hand I tried to go for the spectacular. I rushed towards my first few targets, Greg and Basel. Yeah I know, Basel! Who wouldn't want to get his picture. Running at full speed, which was equivalent to a elementary schoolgirl walk, I headed for the two. Flipping and rolling along the way as to avoid getting my picture taken myself. Finally after a couple of minutes or so, I reached a close enough point to capture Basel. I ran towards him but in the midst of the adrenaline rush, I tripped on a radicle root of a tree and subsequently stumbled rolling to the ground. To be counter productive to the mishap I started clicking endlessly on my digital camera.

I had bumped my head on the ground. A bit woozy. Dazed. I tried to regain focus on my vision. I looked up and there was perhaps the most stunningly beautiful woman I had ever seen in my life. I tried to get my head together to mutter a witty remark on the untimely stupid situation she just witnessed but the best I could do was "ergh-archs-fioziasti". She smiled. I think. I still haven't got my mind in tack as of yet.

Friday, June 18, 2010

Bill Please!

Every so often I get a bill that has a percentage of service charge along with it. Now this maybe nothing new if at all recognized but do you feel that sometimes that percentage doesn't mirror the actual service given?

I have always asked the question of "do we have the right to not pay the charges?". Although these questions are asked to family and friend most of which have no real knowledge of actual consumer laws here in Malaysia. As I see it, and in the eyes of many I know, we are entitled to deny payment of such charges. Nonetheless I have never seen such a case where somebody has refuse to pay it in front of my eyes.

Why do they put up such charges anyway? My theory is our culture doesn't register a tipping system. Like it or not, if we were to rid the service chargers none (if not at least most) of the customer will not give tips to deserving (or in some cases undeserving) servers. We are not used to such a "foreign" concept. This is the same with not cleaning up after eating at a restaurant because the staff will do it for us (in cases of fast food joints and stalls). At a very early age, we are thought to leave behind our plates on the table for the cleaners to get them for us.

Now I'm not just pointing the finger at this country, I've seen such acts done in the UK and Europe where most of the cleaners, like here, are Asians of foreign origin. When I was a kid growing up in the States, we were made to clean up after our plates. Okay, the word "clean up" is mostly misunderstood because the fact is we just threw away any unusable stuff and leave the tray on necessary table, so it might not have come to the extent of "cleaning up" but the point I would want to make is the effort we put into helping out.

My theory is that with us helping out a bit, this results in better customer relations, hence better service. This also (might) result in a cleaner place unlike what you see in most fast foo joints outside a mall here in Malaysia. most notably the McD in Ayer Keroh. Ha ha! This will enhance our awareness of helping out and maybe (just maybe) improve our ethics in public situation (like that of a public transport where most pregnant ladies are still standing up).

My mom argues that this is due to a low minimum wage. Which to me is confusing because if people had a higher minimum wage, wouldn't they need to do more? But the logic is this, when the minimum wage is higher, less employees are hired. This lacks the man power to clean up. Where as with lower minimum wage, more employees are hired and assigned clean up jobs. In reality I don't see increment in employees in parallel to the work that needs to be done. That is a human right issue however (i think).

In regards to the tipping system, my logic is that if there was one, wouldn't the server increase their work performance (service and customer realtions) to get more tips? Restaurants are reluctant to gamble on the idea so they have placed a fix service charge (and a high fixed percentage at that!). So unless there are any major changes, look foward to that 15% chargers on your bill.

*This is only in theory (mine in particular) and no statistical evidence provided (because I'm that lazy). Ha ha! Observation of a guy with to many questions that are mostly useless.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Mind the Gap

For as long as there are human interaction, there is always the interaction and usage of emotions. As I am daily user of the national public transport system, I get to deal with a roller coaster of emotions each week, and in some cases each day!

As I'm sure all of you are aware, the public transportation system here in this country is not developing in line with the nation's image of a developing country. It is sad to say that the system just sucks. And sucks bad I might add.

Okay, perhaps it is a mild exaggeration (yes, mild!) but it doesn't have any signs of progress. After the disastrous decision to give private companies to run the LRT and Star system back in the 90's, the government is on a steep mission to rectify the problem and at the same time elevate the system into something of a well organized one.

Each day as I stand near the bus stop where a bus passes every 30 minutes (which was "supposedly" 15 minutes) at best, I stand on an imaginary hill of emotions as other vehicles pass by. Whether their too early or too late the buses integrated under the same company is in dire need of re-organization. It seems that there are not many buses that run in one route. The problem here is volume and not the traffic jams. Regardless of the traffic activity, there should be an increase in bus volume especially in peak hours to accommodate the need of the consumer. If there is a low man power to accommodate such demand, than it is in the company's' capability and responsibility to supply. Others also have to go to work what.

There has been an improvement in the rail department within the vicinity of town but it is nothing to woo about. There's still the need to packed ourselves in such little space (sardine style) as there is an inconsistency in the coaches provided. More often than not, you will see the 2-coach train roll out instead of the 4-coach during peak hours. It is reported that only 16% of the city inhabitants uses public transport compared (most, in my opinion, foreigners) to 50% in more developed countries. That is a stark difference especially since one of which is our own neighbour, Singapore. Maybe it's a cultre thing or a trend thing. Perhaps people think that using public transport are so passe.

Now there's a new plan to develop MRT into the city which is great news only if the current system is improved to accommodate delays in the implementation (the Malaysian way la!) of such a project. Improvements must be made, and fast, if the government wants to see an increase in the number of people using the public transportation system.

*serius sangat? take that you government-oriented newspaper!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Bola Itu Bulat

Three more days to go as advertise. Splattered all over the news, ads, tv and all other media platform. Its coming. Yes, three more days to go. Te-ri mor dez to go.

If you don't know by now, Im talking about FIFA's World Cup. With all the hype surrounding this one month long event, companies are producing products and services to cater the needs of the "football fanatics". But why is the count down so important that its on most main page of our local newspaper (or at least the back page since I usually read newspaper manga style, ha ha). The fact is, if your holding out the three days specified you'd be left dissapointed, unless your a particular fan of either the host nation south africa or mexico.

Yes, theres a "star studded" extravaganza before the kick-off for the opening ceremony but if you've been waiting to see the world cup, I'm betting that you don't even care about the opening ceremony let alone would want to watch it. No disrespect to south africa or mexico, but an opening match between the two is not a match I'd get excited about. The only thing that might get me watching is if future Man United player Javi Hernandez is playing. Other than that, I think I'll pass.

The "big matches" in the group stage will not start till the 15th with Cote d'Ivoire facing Portugal in what is regarded as the group of death. The kick-off hours in this part of the region is a bit difficult especially if you want to watch the big guns going at it (unless you think France under Domenech are big guns". Ha ha. I kid, I kid.) Although there are some favourable match times in the group stage, its going to get tougher to watch the games as the tournament sprint for the finish.

I'm one to first admit that I might be a little too addicted to football, but the opening match of this, and other world cup before it, has never managed to get me watching. On behalf of football fanatics everywhere, please give us the permission to go crazy for this whole month and let there be panadols for breakfast as we zombie back to work!

P/S: Selamat Pulang? Ha ha ha.