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Your LAST RM50

November 7, 2009 Leave a comment

The November issue of CLEO wrote an article… or more like published a “survey”, where the writer went around asking people what would they do with their last RM50.

The description included at the beginning of the articles says:

“The ATM says your account has RM50 left and for imagination’s sake, you don’t know when your next pay check will come in. What will you do? Elsa Samuel talks to 27 ladies and six guys on their hypothetical last RM50 days.” (emphasis added)

I wonder if the people whom she asked didn’t understand her question or just deluded or we Malaysians have became so dependent on our parents to bail us out that we don’t really care on saving our own money.

20 odd of them would actually splurge their last RM50 on nonsensical things instead of the essentials; food and petrol. There’s a guy who would use it for petrol so that he could get to his parents or girlfriend’s for food. Fair enough, you’re a guy, and it is quite practical but not too much, in my opinion. But, getting mood rings and binging on Krispy Kreme and having a posh dinner? You’re going to have a last good meal and not bother about food at all until you get your pay, which, could come only in 2 weeks time? After all, hypothetically, you don’t know when your pay would come in!

I wonder if they realize it is their last RM50, not that “you are given RM50; what would you do with it?” kinda thing. I strongly believe that the lady who plans to change it to 5 sen coins and go around donating it think so, but I might be wrong. Still, like I said, I believe strongly that she misheard the writer’s question.

I find it horrifying that only one person thought of investing it, and that less than 10 would think of survival, i.e. getting enough food to make sure you’re tied till your next pay.

Or maybe they think that, oh, after I spend this RM50, I would die, so I don’t have to deal with the mess of having to survive.

After all, it is your last RM50.

But, get real. Would you think people would ask you such thing?

This article made me think of two things; do we depend too much on our parents to bail us out and not start saving from the first day we start earning? And do we Malaysians have a big problem of listening things through and answering a question properly?

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November 5, 2009 Leave a comment

The ISP’s being a pain in the arse.

The extensive advertising done by P1 doesn’t correspond with what they promise in their advertisements; their service has gone down the drain.

If this is the best, I don’t want to know what is the worst.

However, I’ve tried their rival ISP, and, in my opinion, P1 is not the best.

So, if you’re around the Damansara area, please consider not “cutting”.

Seriously.

Blah.

Haven’t been able to check my email for over a month. Sigh.

Personal Hygiene

September 12, 2009 Leave a comment

I find that the article written by Tan Sri Lee Lan Thye in the New Straits Times on the 9th of September quite a typically Malaysian thing to do; depending on others to provide for them.

The Tan Sri tells you of how Malaysian public toilets have no soaps or have their soap-dispensers refilled, and says that it is difficult for the public to comply with the Health Ministry’s urges to wash their hands with soaps and handwash and maintaining their hygiene. He also urges “all those responsible for the upkeep and maintenance of public toilets, either in government or private sector buildings and those in all public facilities, to ensure that soap or hand wash are placed and frequently checked for public use,” as providing “soap and handwash does not cost much” and that it goes a long way in preventing the spread of swine flu.

Yes, I do believe that providing soaps and handwash would help preventing the spread of H1N1. However, why must it be the responsible of “those involved”?

Shouldn’t it be the responsibility of everyone to prevent the spread of this pandemic; not just the government or those providing toilet fascilities? Why is the urge for personal hygiene aimed to those people?

Shouldn’t it be for everyone? Why didn’t he, instead, ask people to bring around  anti-bacterial hand sanitizers, which could kill bacterias without water?

And why not we bring around soaps in our bags? I do that; I have a small bottle of liquid soap with me in my bag, because more often than not, like the Tan Sri has shown, that the public toilet fascilities doesn’t provide soap or handwash. Bring your own soaps, everyone; it is not heavy or too troublesome. Even those men who doesn’t bring around a bag should do so; put it in your pocket. If it is too big, cut it into half.

I wouldn’t recommend people putting soap bars in toilets though. There’s something utterly disgusting about sharing bar soaps. And letting it just stay there, and passing hands that has touched God-knows-what… Might help it spread faster instead.

Having your own personal small bottle of hand sanitisiers/ liquid soaps or bar of soaps should be what people should prize above all nowadays to prevent to spread of H1N1.

Don’t depend on other people to provide things for you.

Like the Tan Sri said, soaps don’t cost much. Buy a bar or a bottle and lug it with you at all times.

The bonus? You could actually pick one that has a scent that you like, or you could get one that is ultra-moisturizing and suit your hands better… We have different types of skin and needs and preferences; who would know better than yourself?

Translation of tweets

September 9, 2009 1 comment

I decided to tweet in Malay for two days.

Started because of something so stupid as wondering whether to shower/bath or go to sleep immediately. It was 10am (yeah, tell me about it; my clock is insane), but I just showered about 9 hours earlier. Still, somehow I felt that I should, but I was dead sleepy.

Wondered if I should… wanted to tweet Dee, since she’s the “expert” on showering before sleeping…

Then *someone* tweeted about going to swim.

It is very unlikely that this *someone* would ever follow me anyway… but I felt that I should make sure it wasn’t obvious that I was tweeting something because of his tweet.

I don’t know why… maybe because “his people” don’t really shower everyday??? *shrugs*

And then after that I decided to tweet in Malay. Hahaha.

Amongst the people that follow me… Like I care about those strangers anyway–why do they follow weird people anyway?–only the girl who is the expert of showering late at night will be the one that wouldn’t understand what I say; or the gist of it. And I won’t be giving a direct translation, because there are some words where I doubt they really have a definition. Hahaha. Like sengal. Could anyone translate it anyway? You just know the meaning, yeah? Oh well.

So, Dee, for you (and because I have absolutely no life whatsoever; be grateful you have a thesis to write!!), I am translating my tweets of the last 3 days…

Cis. Orang British utara mandi. Terasa busuk sangat pasal tak mandi ni. Sial. Ye, walaupun tadi mandi pukul 2 pagi. Sengal sungguh.9:54 AM Sep 5th from webTranslation: Damn!! A northern British (Scottish; no Malay word after all…)  guy bathed [ok; not strictly…]. Feel smelly suddenly since I haven’t bathed. Damn! Yes, even though just now showered at 2 in the morning.

Tak pe la. Dia separuh Yunani. Nak jugak tido. Saya sungguh sengal, saya tahu. Best jugak berbahasa ye.9:56 AM Sep 5th from webTranslation: It’s alright. He’s half Greek. Going to sleep regardless. I am being (shit, I’m not sure how to translate this…) bimbotic, I know. It is fun using Malay, eh.

Bangun petang, gosok gigi, jangan mandi, pegi masak, buka puasa, cuci pinggan, naik balik, main flash games…6:44 PM Sep 5th from webIt is basically  based on a poem/nursery rhyme we used to sing when we were in kindergarten or something… Goes like, “Bangun pagi, gosok gigi, cuci muka, terus mandi, pakai baju, minum susu, salam ayah dan ibu” which roughly translates to “wake up in the morning, brush your teeth, wash your face, straight away shower, wear clothes, drink milk, kiss your parents’ hands”. Mine is basically my day nowadays…
Translation: Wake up in the afternoon, brush teeth, don’t shower, go cook, break fast, wash the dishes, come back up (to my room), and play flash games.
I shower some time after playing the flash games; I can’t stand showering immediately after eating. Oh, and I wake up with barely enough time to cook before my mother arrives, which explains why I say don’t shower. Hahaha.

Bagus… bagus… Bertweet dalam bahasa, dan orang bangang2 tidak akan mahu ikut anda. Yess!!!6:57 PM Sep 5th from webTranslation: Good… Good… Tweet in Malay (direct translation for “bahasa” is actually “language”; of course one would be tweeting in a language, right? Oh well…), and idiots wouldn’t wanna follow you. Yesss!!!

Akan bertwitter dalam bahasa untuk beberapa hari. Tengok berapa lama boleh bertahan. Kamus dewan di sebelah saya ini. Hahaha.6:57 PM Sep 5th from webTranslation: Will be tweeting in Malay for a few days. Will see how long I would last. “Hall Dictionary” (direct translation; main dictionary in Malay) is next to me. Hahaha.

Sungaaaaiiiii!!!! Wahahaha9:29 PM Sep 5th from webSungai means river. I was getting excited over being able to add a river in my farm in Farm Town. Yes, I do not have a life; be grateful you’re writing your thesis.

Saya suka Tesco Value punya biskut Marie. Nipis; seperti makan biskut jejari teh kaya. Rindu akan biskut itu. Sayang Tesco tak mengimportnya11:59 PM Sep 5th from webTranslation: I like Tesco Value’s Marie biscuits (don’t ask me why we call them that). Thin (or at least thinner than the usual ones); like rich tea fingers. Miss those biscuits. Pity that Tesco are not importing them.

Begitu cemburu saya akan Yahya Lelakikereta-sorong, saya tertweet dalam bahasa Inggeris. Adoi. Tetapi kasutnya sungguh lawa. Aihh…1:47 AM Sep 6th from webTranslation: So jealous I was of John Barrowman (it was so ridiculously funny trying to translate his name. Wonder what would happen if it was some untranslateable name [it is what Malaysian textbooks love doing; translating people’s names. I don’t get why they do that; those are proper names!! Their parents thought long before they gave their sons/daughers those names!!) that I accidentally tweeted in English. Damn. But his shoes were gorgeous!! (He was wearing this OMG white stilettos. Sigh…)

Baru tersedar yang sepatutnya semasa di London patutnya cari kedai kek yang paling bagus. Hmmm…7:14 AM Sep 6th from web
Just realized that, supposedly, when I was in London, I was supposed to find the best bakery. Hmmm…

Tetapi sudah buat yang hangat2 tahi ayam masa di Edinburgh, dan sekadar melihat di Glasgow. Boleh la tu kot. Sayang; salah negara.7:15 AM Sep 6th from webBut I’ve done the half baked (it is a saying I used, just like half baked. Which basically translates to “heating up chicken’s shit. Haha) thing when I was in Edinburgh, and window shoped while in Glasgow. That’s not too bad. Pity; wrong country.

Tidak boleh berputus asa. Saya perlu lebih fasih berbahasa Melayu. Tidak termasuk loghat yg sungguh pelik itu yg bertukar mengikut geografi3:17 PM Sep 6th from webTranslation: Must not give up!! I must be more fluent in the Malay language. Not including the extremely weird accent/dialect that changes geographically (though it is somewhat partly true in English already; or was, at least).

Mengedit tatabahasa bahasa Inggeris dua prof yang kedua-duanya ada PhD. Bangga sungguh. Boleh letak di dalam CV ke?1:07 AM Sep 7th from webTranslation: Editing English grammar of two professors, both with PhD. So proud. Could I put it on my CV?

Langkah pertama: cari “track changes” di Microsoft Words 2007. Sungguh sial dan menyusahkan. Benci benci benci!!1:14 AM Sep 7th from webTranslation: First step: find “track changes” in Microsoft Words 2007. So ridiculous and troublesome. Hate hate hate!!

Kenapa ada bau wangi yang saya tidak kenal di bilik saya ini? Adakah ada pontianak di sini? Kenapa saya tidak nampak akan dia? Mahu halaunya7:01 AM Sep 7th from webTranslation: Why is there a fragrant smell that I can’t detect in my room? Is there a vampire here? Why can’t I see her? Want to shoo her.
Pontianak” are females… Well, if I’m not mistaken, all Malay vampires seem to be females. And to all you Twitards, no, I do not have an Edward Cullen in my room. Would be spooky if I did. How could anyone be flattered and fall in love with your crazy ass stalker who lusts for your blood???
Nonetheless, I have beings that seem to be lusting for my blood; mosquitos. Loads and loads of them. Since I stopped taking medication everyday, they seem to be attacking me so often. These past few days, it’s been so bad that I have to take anti-histamines!! Seriously!!!! Urgh!!

Hahaha. Perempuan gila background baru saya. Hahahahahahaha.7:11 AM Sep 7th from web
Translation: Hahaha. My new background is so feminine. Hahahahahahaha.
Though to translate it word for word but grammatically correct… “My background is crazy woman”. Okay, it can’t be grammatically correct… but what I used for “so feminine”… perempuan=woman/female/lady; gila=crazy. Hehehe.

Terjaga di siang hari dan tidak tahu apa mahu buat. Sedih gila hidup. Adoi…11:22 AM Sep 7th from web
Translation: Awake during the day and don’t know what to do. What a sad life. Sigh…

Walaupun baru dua hari bertwitter dalam BM, terasa macam dah sebulan. Mungkin kerana tiba2 rajin bertwitter kot12:48 PM Sep 7th from web
Translation: Even though only two days have I been twittering in Malay, it feels like it’s been a month. Maybe because I’ve been twittering a bit too much.

Saya suka kuiz makanan dipermainan kilatdimuka bukubertajukbandar restoran“. =D12:53 PM Sep 7th from web
Translation: I like the food quiz in the “flash game” on “facebook” titled “restaurant city”. =D
Hehehehe

Saya suka menterjemahkan benda, terutamanya nama. Sedarkah anda, bahawa “Yahya Lelakikereta-sorong” ialah John Barrowman? Hahaha.12:53 PM Sep 7th from webTranslation: I like translating things, especially names. Did you realize that “John Barrowman” is Yahya Lelakikereta-sorong”? Hahaha.
Okay, why John Barrowman is Yahya Lelakikereta-sorong:
John= Yahya; Barrow= kereta sorong; Man=lelaki. Could have used
jejaka, I suppose… And didn’t want it to be a direct translation… So I made it grammatically correct somewhat.

Dengan itu, saya ingin mengucapkan terima kasih kepada Iskandar Kapranos yang telah memberitahu pengikutnya di Twitter bahawa dia bermain air sampai keletihan semasa saya tengah memutuskan fikiran sama ada untuk mandi dan tidur untuk sedar bahawa Bahasa Melayu saya bukannya teruk sangat. Hahaha.

Funny how in the end I went to bed anyway, but came out more confident in my ability to speak Malay. Even though it was a struggle, it can be done.

And like my mother said, it is just as bad as when I was in school anyway. Surprising that I actually got an A2 for my SPM Malay.

And what an insincere thanks; not saying it in the language that the guy would understand. And I went and translate his first name (if I could translate the surname, believe me I would) regardless of my crusade in school of refusing to call Alexander the Great Iskandar Zulkarnain, which resulted to my teacher minusing my marks. Stupid education system. Hrmph!! Imagine if I wrote the name in Greek letters instead. Hah!! Of course, this is totally hypothetical since I had problems even figuring which formula is which for my maths and science subjects because I couldn’t differentiate certain letters. Confusing Ps and rhos… Ahh… And asking my physics teacher “why does their R (rho ρ) look like P, and their P(pi π) look like R? Such a pain in the arse student I was…

Why their Ds look like a triangle and their Gs look like upside down L?

Man, I miss being in school. Hahahahahahahaha.

No, I am not translating. Nina, you can do the honors. If you don’t know who I am talking about (WTH!! I gave such a big hint up there!!), you can check who I follow. Not difficult.

Following him feels like going to the exams, except without the consequence of failing because I choose not to study the topic I had a feeling will come out. Not gonna elaborate.

Ye, Amni, saya boleh baca fikiran “kawan baik” saya. Sungguh menakutkan.

August 30, 2009 Leave a comment

I would like to fancy myself as a patriotic person.

However, I’m going to bed before it strikes midnight because I hate the noise that accompany any celebration.

Doesn’t help where I stay there usually are so many firework displays.

Apparently someone said there wouldn’t be any.

I am sooooo not going to take my chances.

Off to bed and to dreamland.

Hypnos, take me.

And if anyone would give me a bottle of Lancome’s Hypnose, I’ll love you forever 😉

Oh, and the Merdeka babies, Amni and Victoria, HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!! =D

Hope you’ll have a wonderful day tomorrow.

Oh, and yes, to fellow Malaysians, Selamat Hari Merdeka.

August 22, 2009 Leave a comment

OMFG.

JPA doesn’t have my degree listed in their recognition of qualification list. My LLB from a top 10 uni.

WTF??

And if you did a feckin’ BIBLICAL STUDIES degree or a Celtic studies degree from bloody Aberdeen, they recognize your degree.

WHAT THE FAAAAAAAAAAAARRRKKKKK????

I should have gone to Aberdeen and did a stupid lousy degree.

Arrgggghhhhhhh!!!

And they fucking recognize an LLB from UNIVERSITY OF GLASGOW!!!!

I thought Scots Law not recognized!!!

And even better, they recognize LLB (Hons) in Scots Law with French Legal Studies!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

What the hell?

WHAT THE HELL???????

And they recognize Strathclyde’s as well!!

What the hell did Glasgow do to JPA that they recognize the LLBs from two Glaswegian universities???

I bloody hate Glasgow right now.

Hrmph!!

OMG they recognize Sheffield Hallamm!!

What the hell???

OMG.

Multiculturalism?

July 22, 2009 Leave a comment

A post that is somewhat related to my training!! How exciting!! Bless my not blabbing about how Scotland should gain independence, eh? I know; how can anyone bother about some other country’s independence over the political situation in their own country? Though I am leaning towards the latter more and more now. Still; yes. No, not about prisons, though every time I see people wearing leggings, I wish that Robert Napier didn’t win his case, so that we could dump those criminals into some Scottish prison and make them suffer with all the slopping out and such. See, the complicated crap of having different legal system. Ladida, I know it was the agreement when they joined the UK; similar to Sabah and Sarawak in Malaysia, eh? Okay fine; back to the actual topic.

I am currently reading Middlesex by Jeffrey Eugenides that is making me question my thinking that my EU tutor’s name would be the most complicated Greek name I would come across. Boy, was I wrong. Sigh.

Oh well.

That’s not the problem, though in a way it is, for me to understand the story. Sometimes I confuse the names. Gahh. Honestly, how did the 7 year old me read Oddyssey and Illiad. I know, what was my mother thinking???

No idea; not going to ask her now.

Thinking of the topics dealt there…

Maybe that’s why I’m a bit screwed up. Hmmm…

Oh well.

Anyway, yes. Middlesex. I am currently reading it, might I mention that again.

It is the winner of the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Fiction. No, I didn’t decide to buy it because it was the Pulitzer Price winner; I only own one other Pulitzer Prize winner, which is To Kill a Mockingbird by Harper Lee. Nonetheless, I would like to purchase The Color Purple by Alice Walker. And that’s about it, I think. Hmmm…

To quote wikipedia, “The Pulitzer Prize for Fiction has been awarded since 1948 for distinguished fiction by an American author, preferably dealing with American life” (emphasis added). [I feel like I am writing a paper. Haha.]

I am only on page 110, so I am doubting it quite a bit that the book is about American life since I happen to keep stumbling around with weird and unpronounceable Greek names (forget about spelling them; how the heck did the school manager manage to make me memorize my tutor’s name in 15 mins tops? Gosh… That woman is insane. Well, obvious from her choice of husband, I guess…) and talking about the war between Greece and Turkey… like the only thing American is the location; Detroit, Michigan.

However, a few pages back, I stumbled upon something extremely American, in my view.

When Barrack Obama won his the US presidential elections, there was quite a number of people who said that there might be hope for Malaysia to have a non-Malay Prime Minister one day because Obama’s Black; or should I say, African American.

I snorted and laughed at those articles.

It is such a different situation in America and in Malaysia. The seperation of races by the British pre-independence has made every race still have their own identity. Unlike in the US, where immigrants would need to absorb the American culture.

There are other pages that would show how they impose these on the protagonist/ narrator’s grandparents, who came from Smyrna (modern day Izmir), when they just arrived. They cut his grandmother’s hair and changed her clothing. The grandfather was told to clean his teeth the “American” way (using what I am thinking is a toothbrush and paste instead of baking soda. God; I can’t even eat anything baked with too much baking soda[I’m crazy; I can tell. No, I wasn’t trained to be some fancy chef, though I’m thinking of ditching law for it], much less put it in my mouth to clean my teeth with it!! Would have to take out my tongue first!!) and the fact that they consume too much garlic in their food counts against him getting a proper job at Ford. Yes, the car company.

Anyway, they were required to learn English, and had some sort of graduation ceremony when they have finished; a pageant, actually, was how Mr Eugenides describes it, with the grandfather of the protagonist joining in… I own a British paperback edition, and I’m quoting pages 104-105.

The curitain parts to gaps and scattered applause. A painted flat shows a steamship, two huge smokestacks, and a swath of deck and railing. A gangway extends into the stage’s other focal point: a giant gray cauldron emblazoned with the words FORD ENGLISH SCHOOL MELTING POT. A European folk melody begins to play. Suddenly a lone figure appears on the gangway. Dressed in a Balkan costume of vest, ballooning trousers, and high leather boots, the immigrant carries his possessions bundled on a stick. He looks around with apprehension and the descends into the melting pot.
“What propaganda,” Zismo murmurs in his seat. (Author’s note: I so have to agree with this)
Lina shushes him.
Now SYRIA descends into the pot. Then ITALY. POLAND. NORWAY. PALESTINE. And finally: GREECE.
“Look, it’s Lefty (the grandfather)!”
Wearing embroidered palikari vest, puffy-sleeved poukamiso, and pleated foustanella skirt, my grandfatehr bestrides the gangway. He pauses a moment to look out at the audience, but the bright lights blind him. He can’t see my grandmother looking back, bursting with her secret. GERMANY taps him on the back. “Macht schnell. Excuse me. Go fastly.”
In the front row, Henry Ford nhods with approval, enjoying the show. Mrs. Ford tries to whisper in his ear, but he waves her off. His blue seagull’s eyes dart from face to face as the English instructors appear onstage next. They carry long spoons, which they insert into the pot. The lights turn red and flicker as the instructors stir. Steams rises over the stage.
Inside the cauldron, men are packed together, throwing off immigrayion costumes, putting on suits. Limbs are tangling up, feet stepping on feet. Lefty says, “Pradon me, excuse me,” feeling thoroughly American as he pulls on his blue wool trousers and jacket. In his mouth: thirty-two teeth brushed in the American manner. His underarms: liberally sprinkled with American deodorant. And now spoons are descending from above, men are churning around and around…
… as two men, short and tall, stand in the wings, holding a piece of paper…
… and out in the audience my grandmother has a stunned look on her face…
… and the melting pot boils over. Red lights brighten. The orchestra launches into “Yankee Doodle.” One by one, the Ford English School graduates rise from the cauldron. Dressed in blue and gray suits, they climb out, waving American flags, to thunderous applause.

Makes me wonder what would have been worse for them… staying on at what is now called Izmir, to be part of secular Turkey… or to go to the US. Though since they had other secrets which I am not going to spill here… Maybe it would have been better to go to the US. Of course, taking into account the war and all… Yes yes.

Still… Do Malaysians want that? What happens in the US and in secular Turkey? That you would have to be assimilated into the majority’s culture? Since the minorities are assimilated into the majority, the clashes are much less. The result in both the US and Turkey is the same. However, the former, the minority would need to be like the majority whereas Turkey adopted something from the outside that their first president champions.

Either way, I think it strips off your right to identity… Which would be quite a number of human rights that’ll be stripped off; privacy, conscience and religion, association… maybe also even expression…

I see turning everyone into just one race violates more human rights than protect; it is something artificial that the government could impose. Might work “officially”, but unlikely would change the thinking and prejudice of the people.

And what the Americans have done to the immigrants… Especially since they didn’t have much choice; stay in your own country and die, or go find new hope in a new country.

Multiculturalism in America? Pretty much bullshit to me.

With a winner of the Pulitzer Prize doing it so well in describing it… Why doubt it?