29 January 2010

See-Through Holes: A Short Blogpost from Vietnam

Toilets(again) at the domestic flights terminal of Tan Son Nhat International Airport in Ho Chi Minh City had got me quite amused. 
For one thing, they don't have any water tab inside the toilet rooms.

24 January 2010

PARIS : My Silly Videos

I’ve been taking photos like crazy for the past few months if not years. There are just too many of them that my laptop is actually running out of space. Sooner or later, I’m gonna have to get rid of them. SO, just wanna post in some silly videos that I took while I was in Paris before I delete them entirely out of the system.

[Don’t mind the silly cam-whoring in the last few seconds of each the clips. And the Sabah-Malay narration. After all, these videos were supposedly meant to be shown to my mother only but she wasn’t even interested to watch them. All she ever said was “Putrajaya lagi lawa laaaaaa…”. Haha. Okey laa]

My silly video #1: Recorded when I was taking a boat ride along the Seine River. This was taken around 8.30pm and it was still bright. Good thing about coming to Europe in spring is the longer day. Sunset is around 9pm. So, you’ve got plenty of time to walk around.

23 January 2010

It's Amazing What Some WOMEN Can Do to Some MEN

I had a friend. He used to be a good friend of mine. If the term 'BEST FRIEND' does exist, than he was probably it to me. Fresh from graduation, we started out struggling. We were getting through just about everything together, good or bad times, highs and lows. In some of the worst times, we were obliged to divide a Maggie noodle into two so that we could both eat. Seriously, it happened. We could get THAT POOR at times. 


Quite ironically, we both weren’t doing quite well in our relationship with women. He wanted a girlfriend quite so badly and I was there to help him in any way I could. If he got rejected (many times somehow), I would always be there to keep his spirits high. I remember offering him a tissue when he cried in one of those times. It felt so GAY but I did it for a friend so I thought it was OK. :-D

But seriously, as far as I could remember, I was always there to listen to all his problems. He wasn’t the kind of guys that could cope well with problems without some consultation from somebody he could call friend. Just as I had been to anybody else, I tried to be a good listener to him. Well, I could say, I was more like a dustbin, ready to accept whatever trash that was put into me.

I could give this friend some credit for being such an easy-going person though. He really knew how to enjoy life. Life with him was hilarious. We never ran out of ideas when it comes to making our lives more interesting to live every week. A little bit of nighttime hangouts, karaoke sessions, weekend trips – just name it. But that was then.

Then somewhere along the way, came a woman in his life. He was on cloud 9. I was happy for him. After all, that was what he always wanted – a girlfriend.

When he later disappeared, I wasn’t surprised. He was probably too 'busy' for me, even too busy for anybody (other friends were complaining). I just let him have his happy moments and let me have mine. A good friend should understand – and that was what I did. To understand.

All the while I really thought he was happy until he suddenly showed up at the door of my house one evening. He was in a complete mess, his hair was left uncombed, and his work attire was in tatters. I almost didn’t recognize him.

Looking at him like that, I was both shocked and saddened. “Jipp, come. You gotta have a drink with me” he said, and I hastily followed him over to a restaurant. I knew it was time I had to turn myself into a dustbin again. Only to the full capacity this time.   

To my horror, he told me how messy and miserable his life has been. His girlfriend seemed to have turned his life upside down. Literally.

Firstly, his girlfriend had asked him to cut off all contact with all his friends. Needless to say, I was being one of them. Her reason was, his friends were inflicting bad influence on him (what??). He did as she asked him to. He unplugged himself from his friends. That explained his disappearance.

Secondly, he was asked to quit smoking, which was OK to me, considering it was a good thing to do health-wise. After all, I have quitted smoking myself now. :-P

Thirdly, he was asked to stay away from alcohol. Well, it probably was OK, even though I had some doubt if could ever do it. Two words. Sabah. DUSUN. It wouldn’t be easy. I am still struggling on this one. :-P

Fourthly, he was required to call her EVERY SINGLE HOUR. No skipping. No excuses. OK, I wouldn’t say anything on this one. I broke up with a girl over this (sorry if you’re reading nhf). :-)

Fifthly, she would be in a full SOLID authority in checking his cash flow including how much is coming in and out of his pocket. She would be in full access of all his bank accounts. She would be made aware of all his monthly bills. He told me how there was one time when he had to ransack all his belongings just to look for the latest payment slip of this car! He was so much in a rush for it because he was asked to present the payment proof to her in 15 MINUTES TIME! How ‘bout that? :-D

This girlfriend of his had seemed to take charge of just about every aspect of his life including how he should treat his family. Some of his brothers were still studying at some local colleges so it was just normal that they’d come to him for financial support once in a while. His girlfriend didn’t seem to be happy with it. “Why would your parents want to send their children to colleges when they know they are poor?”

Well, he really was required to prove his love to this girl by being strictly obedient and faithful to her. He told me how there was one time when he went to send his girlfriend home (they were not staying together at that time) and she sternly warned, upon gliding out of the car, “I want you to go home and go to sleep right away. No TV, no nothing. Right to bed”. When later he reached home, he HAD to walk across the living room to get to his room. He said there was no way he could avoid seeing the TV. Somehow, the show on TV was so interesting he couldn’t help from taking a seat and joining his other housemates to watch it. 15 minutes later, his phone rang. He instantly ran to his room but it was too late “Didn’t I tell you to go to bed right away???”, her voice sprang out from the other side of the line.

“My fault”, he said to me, looking so sorry as he continued, “I should have shut my eyes as I walked across the living room so that I could avoid looking at the TV”.

This friend of mine was completely out of touch. The girl had seen to that. There was one time when he joined a group of his colleagues to have lunch here. Take note, LUNCH. Not dinner. It was in the middle of the day when the sun was brightly shining. He was enjoying his lunch when his girlfriend called him. When he told her he was HAVING LUNCH here with his colleagues, she went berserk.”WHAT?????? You go to that place???? I know what people are up to when there go there!!! They go there for beer!! You really can’t help it can you?? “. Beep. It took three days before she would answer his phone call again.

Well, it you think I’ve told you the worst things, think again. The climax of it all happened on the day when he came to see me after being completely disconnected for 2 MONTHS. It was Sunday, and just like most other couples would do, they went to church together.

Just so happened, there was another couple sitting a few rows away from where they were sitting. “Seriously, I wasn’t looking at the girl”, this friend of mine assured me. “You know how we do at churches. We look around! There’s no way we can have our eyes fixated on the crucifix for the whole one and half hours’ kannnnn???” he asked me, being more defensive than necessary. I just nodded my YES.

That was the climax of it all. Out from the church, the girl wouldn’t say a word to him.

She asked to be sent home right away. She wouldn’t call, nor would she pick up the phone when he tried to call. Later that day, he received a text message from the girl. Seven words.

I WANT TO BREAK UP WITH YOU

The text message apparently crushed my friend’s heart to bits.

Still, he was positive he could still mend everything with her again. He only questioned himself if he was willing or rather, wanting to. He was in a dilemma whether or not he should pursue to get her back. And that was what he came to see me for. He needed my opinion.

I could hardly remember what exactly I told him. But I remember how I concluded it. I told him how it might be better to suffer now than to suffer MORE later and that, in the end, it’d be him who is going to decide anyway

I was pretty sure he got what I meant when he said “Yes. You’re right”. He was nodding as he said it. Little did I know it would be our very last conversation. He never showed up ever again, nor did he ever call or even texted me. I knew he unplugged himself. Again.

It would be 3 weeks before I happened to see him again but it was almost by accident. Needless to say, he was with the girl. In fact, they were walking hand in hand.

I was pretty much sure he saw me when I excitedly waved one hand at him, happy that I finally got to see him again. To my surprise, he hastily scurried away and pretended not to see me. He must have pulled the girl’s hand so hard in his desperation to get away because the girl appeared to have stumbled on her high heels. LOL!

For a few moments, I stood there in disbelief. I rubbed my face up with my hand palms just in case I had grown some beard and hence his inability to recognize me. But no, there was no beard.

Apparently, he has been (avoiding) me or anybody whom his girlfriend believed would give him BAD INFLUENCE (what?).  In fact, he seemed to be avoiding everybody (I asked around). I never heard from him ever again after that.

That was 3 years ago. Thanks to his SYMP, their relationship had miracoulously lasted up to the aisle. If there was any chance of saving the friendship, it would be by attending the wedding. Unfortunately, he didn’t seem to have invited anybody (again, I did ask around). At least among his friends that I knew. The news of his wedding had reached my ears through a distant relative of his.

Well, it really is amazing how a woman can change a man in such an unbelievingly BIG SCALE. I do have friends changing here and there to suit with their changes in status – from SINGLE to IN A RELATIONSHIP to MARRIED to SINGLE AGAIN to MARRIED AGAIN and so on- but those are quite understandable. Changing for better or worse is another story. I do believe in making certain sacrifices to make things work better for anyone.

Well, I am just so amazed at how he gave up so many things in life just to prove his big-L to a girl. Although I do respect all the choices he made, I have to question if they really were necessary.  

But for me, I just can’t imagine myself cutting myself entirely off from my whole bunch of friends with whom I had gone through so much in life together just to make things work between me and a girl – whoever she is/would be. Sorry, but it really is too big of a sacrifice to make.

Besides, God has created the world in a way that this word is known to exist.

That’s all for now. Peace. :-)

21 January 2010

PRUDENTIAL: I Am COVERED!

A large envelope was delivered to me a few days before New Year. Inside it was this 2010 calendar. 

Errrrr, they should have waited until I had children but it's OK. A free calendar always makes me happy. And there was this – a 2010 diary handbook!

Thanks Prudential, I got instantly reminded that I AM COVERED. It brought some kind of relief in me AGAIN. And of course, I want to be reminded of it all the time from now on.

Ohhh, and they also put this in as a souvenir! How kind....

Ok. That was a lie. My boss bought it for me when he went to Perth recently. :-P

My job requires me to travel a lot. Well, at least I know what to do and who to contact just in case something happens to me. *touch wood.

What about you? Are you 'covered'?

20 January 2010

Honey Sweet Cafe

Keningau (again..) now is not as it used to be. Changes have been coming in quite in a rapid pace for the past few years. Years ago, I don’t remember traffic can get this worse.
New restaurants and cafes have been springing up all over the town. But there is one place that seems to stand out among them all. Let’s me introduce to you – the Honey Sweet Café.
Well, the bistro-like façade of this café had caught my attention almost immediately when I was on my way to the Survey Hypermarket on a one lazy day. It has the looks of a modern comfy cafe that are commonly seen in Gaya Street or Lintas area in Kota Kinabalu. Blame it on my curiosity, I found myself hurtling in that very evening.
By Keningau standard, this place really is quite out of its category. I liked it almost instantly when I came in.
It has a bar at one side, ready to serve you with all kinds of drinks, both alcoholic and non-alcoholic alike.
If your preference is an open air space like mine, then this place is nothing short of it. Although it doesn’t have the best of view, it still serves you with a perfect environment to chat and swap stories with an old friend of yours. Ohh, and it is the best spot to watch the rhythmic airborne show by millions of chirping swallow birds, something you hardly get to see anywhere else in the state.
While there seems to be quite a list of eye-catching food on the menu, I went straight to the Salads. After all, healthy diet is part of my resolution for 2010, remember?
While Salads are supposedly raw sets, the salad that was served to me seemed quite too raw I was almost set to order something else. But when I later ventured putting a spoonful into my mouth, I jolted at how good the taste was. My little nephew had this for dinner. I took one, and it wasn’t bad.
For a place like this, the price is quite reasonable. I mean, a cup of cappuccino in Sandakan and most cafes in KK like this can cost you up to RM7.00. Here, it’s RM4.90. Cheaper. (And the cup is actually bigger). That comparison applies to most other drinks and foods on the menu. Slurrrrp!
Well, just like what they do in the Upper Star, they do bring in the relaxing atmosphere here by playing the latest songs in the market. It was here I heard Adam Lambert’s first album for the very first time. Talking about being up-to-date, this place is definitely in it.
And of course, the ultimate integral part of all those things mentioned above is that, this place is covered with FREE WI-FI! What else could you ask for?

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