The Bloated Cadaver That Travels

Yesterday, after work, I went home, showered, then, blew dry my hair, put on some make up to go take picture for passport.

I went to the first shop. Kodak in Selayang. The young salesgirl didn’t even bother to layan me and menggatal with a guy who came to photocopy some stuffs. I walked into the shop to find another salesgirl looking into the computer, clicking away slowly while playing with a stray kitten. There were three customers standing there and waiting for something, looking somewhat pissed. The two girls had the cheek to let the customers standing there like idiots and never layan us.

So I asked if they do take passport photo. The girl who tengah menggatal with the guy asked me to go into the studio. I walked to the studio but waited outside for her to go in first. Awhile later, much to my dismay, she came in with a small compact camera and took two shots of me. I could see from the way she held the camera in addition to the way she asked me to pose and the way my eyes were not parallel to the camera, I know I am going to get one weird picture, even without looking at the outcome.

It was a lucky thing that she let me see the photos first before printing. Both pictures were terrible! I looked as if I am leaning against the blue platform and staring down at something. So, I demanded to take another picture.

She asked me to go into the studio again.. so I waited and waited, contemplating if I could just walked out from the shop. The girl who took my photo was serving the customers who waited quite awhile, I could see from their tulan faces. The other girl who was playing with cat (still!) was in the world of her own. She was totally oblivious of what’s happening in the shop. She didn’t even look up at the counter as she was clicking away on the computer as if she were high on drugs with one hand and the other hand stroking a stray cat placed on her table. Jesus Christ!

Then I got fed up and said, “Sorry. I don’t think I want to take passport pics anymore” and walked off.

I drove to Selayang Capitol, where I used to develop photos. I went to this Fuji shop. The lady boss greeted me promptly. Then, she asked me to go to the back of the shop to take picture. I was thinking, good.. finally my passport photo would be in good hands. I walked towards the back of the shop to the “studio”.

Mana tau ah… aiyoh mah! The salesgirl slid out a door with blue background and placed a stool in front of the door. She then asked me to sit with my back facing the sliding door. I almost pengsan! No studio flash or whatsoever! I was sitting there like a bloody idiot, in view of a lot of people in the shop, the girl took picture of me using a small compact camera (again!!!).. even more chekai than my old ixus! Above all things, she used FLASH from the compact camera. Shit!! I have a bad feeling that this would turned out to be even worse than the first shop.

Needless to say when the pics came out… omifuckingod! Since I know I am not a good looking person and no matter how I pose also, I still would not look good, I gave up. I resigned to my fate that I look like some middle aged aunty, going to China to buy fake Louis Vuittons. Or worse, like a bloody bloated cadaver.

I was so upset. Then I went to ta pao some wan tan mee for dinner to cheer myself up (Actually, I don’t know what is wrong with me but I have been having cravings for wan tan mee for the past few weeks!)

In between bites of the noodles, char siew and wan tan, I suddenly remembered I took passport photographs of myself when I lost my IC and driving license two years ago. I said a silent prayer and hope I could find the soft copy!

After eating wan tan mee, I ran upstairs to search for the CD and hallelujah!!!! I found it! I took that to another shop to develop.

Then only I realized that I went to the wrong shops to take photograph. I was supposed to go to this Fotoland, which was two shoplots away from the Kodak (where the two moronic girls – one playing with cat and one menggatal at the photocopy machine work). And they don’t use a compact camera (what rubbish! please lah!!)! They used a proper digital SLR with proper studio lighting. So, you don’t end up having a mug shot as passport photograph.

The moral of the story is, please get passport photographs taken when you have the best hair day and wear some make up. Also ensure that your eye brows are tweezed. It sure makes a hell lot of difference! I wouldn’t want my 5 year passport picture looking like some bloated cadaver!

Kuala Lumpur's Finest

As I was driving to the hokkien char place behind Tawakal Hospital near Bulatan Pahang, I already thought of the title of the blog post – Kuala Lumpur’s Finest.

I don’t really try a lot of hokkien char around Kuala Lumpur but, this is my usual haunt if I want a good hokkien char. The one I had in Petaling Street eons ago did not come close to this one. And last night, it tasted just as good. So, I guess I could safely say that, this is the finest hokkien char I ever had in Kuala Lumpur.

File picture from 2005

A fine hokkien char by my definition is that the noodles are not too sticky, it has no chlorinated smell (yellow noodles usually smell chlorinated), not watery smell, generous amount of pork lard, slices of pork, vege and prawns. Eventhough the serving is super oily, the good taste supersedes the oiliness…it tricks the brains so that it could bypass our gag reflex of not wanting to eat something oily. Heh!

Over hokkien char, we spoke of many things and shared some jokes that sent us into horrendous laughing fits. Seriously, it’s good to be able to laugh out loud sometimes to release some stress. Haha!

Everyone in the group except me of course, tried to shape up by going to the gym (this is a group of gay men, so what do you expect??), hoping one day they would be as good looking as models. Well, Datin claimed that he had bypassed the phase. What’s more important now is that, we all should be taking care of our health. Take our bodies as a machine. If we want these machines to run longer and more efficiently, we gotta do maintenance all the time. Yeah right! Talk about maintaining health over a plate of fried hokkien char laden with pork lard, fried fish cake, deep fried calamari, lor mee, pork paste soup and stir fried lala with chili padi! Not so appropriate eh? Haha! Ok. We will exercise.. tomorrow.

Tong Kee’s finest egg tarts

After the sinfully delicious dinner, we went to the “mothership” (datin’s house) for some drinks. I bought along some Tong Kee’s egg tarts and char siew sou. Again, I could safely say, these are the finest egg tarts in Kuala Lumpur. I think since we don’t have Lord Stow’s egg tarts here, this would suffice to appease my cravings till I visit Macau again! So, there goes our so called “maintenance” for our bodies. We were also treated with some delicious Arnott’s cookies from Melbourne. Datin baked some really nice wheat bread with cream cheese and apricots. He’s one heck of talented person! And even made my mom some ready-to-cook sauce made from chillis, prawns, minced scallops and turkey ham!

Wheat bread in sesame seed with cream cheese and apricots

When I got home, I washed down all the goodies with a capful of Glögg. I know it’s a winter drink.. but what the heck! Another finest all the way from Norway, courtesy from Sailor boy.

I think I shall sleep the day away today and dream dreams. For me, this is definitely a damn fine weekend!

P/S We will miss you, Ryne!

Then and Now

1. Then, I used to be a worry wart (now also, just a bit lesser). That is why I was an insomniac when I was younger. I used to go through the whole night without sleeping, only to feel sleepy in the morning and slept in the afternoon. I was a vampire! Now, the moment my head touch the pillow, within 7-8 minutes, I am already in dream land.

2. Then, whenever my pants were getting too tight, I would be worrying already. I would start to eat lesser and perhaps, stop taking dinner and in two weeks, I could feel the pants are loose again. Now, whenever my pants feel tight, I just go out and buy new pairs. This is very bad.

3. Then, friends who knew me since college witnessed before my wandering eyes while having meals. I could be talking to you but I never looked at you because my eyes were too busy cuci mata. LOL! Now, I couldn’t be bothered who walked past till someone mentioned it to me, “Look at the leng chai!”

4. Then, I used to buy a lot of toiletries and supplements for my pimpled face. I think you could find the entire pharmacy in my house. Tea tree oil, oxy, zinc supplements, evening primrose oil, fish oil and any other products that promise to get rid of your pimples, you could find it in my house! I gave up after I failed to do anything to improve my skin conditions. Now, I only make do with one facial wash and moisturizer and the face is fine (Thanks to Jovy, my beautician).

5. Then, I had no restraint in expressing my anger. For the slightest reason, I just blew up. I don’t care how you feel. I couldn’t be bothered if I had wrong you and whatever damage I might have caused. Now, whenever someone pisses me off, I try my best to suppress my anger before I say anything. So, if my anger get better hold of me and I blast at you, you must have done something really, really grave to aggravate me.

6. Then, I am very sarcastic and never mince my words. I don’t care what you think. Now, I am still sarcastic but it depends on how much I really care about the person or the problem to voice out my opinion. Otherwise, I don’t give a shit.

7. Then, I always felt restless if I don’t get out from the house at least once a week. Now, I could stay home, not going anywhere for weeks. Somebody is getting homely!

8. Then, I could discipline myself going for morning walks or swimming sessions when I was in college without fail. Now, I keep procrastinating my exercise routine. Wait a minute, what exercise routine? (Maybe also because worry for safety. Who wants to go for morning walks when possibility of getting robbed by just getting out from your house is so high?)

9. Then, I have many drinking friends but not enough alcohol to go around. Now, I have many bottles of Absolut Vodkas and Jack Daniels at home but not many friends to drink with. Friends are either having liver problems, migrated, turned over a new leaf or get wasted in another way – they got married. LOL!

10. Then, I don’t believe in second chances. Now, I still don’t believe in second chances.

Before It's Too Late

A conversation yesterday…

Ann: and if i’m dead, please buy me sunflowers
Ann: cilakak Ann…die already also make sure ppl give her expensive flowers
Gina: choi
Gina: yes lah
Gina: as if you can see
Gina: LOL
Gina: itu mata sudah tutup lah
Ann: then u buy bunga tahi ayam
Ann: haha
Gina: no need to buy also
Gina: tanam also can
Gina: then you will smell of tahi ayam
Gina: all throughout the year
Gina: lol
Ann: ini nak kena penampar ni

This chat reminded me of a story my mom told me of her friend’s mother-in-law. Her friend complained about the MIL being one helluva “Empress Dowager”. By saying that, you know this woman wouldn’t want any other ways when she sets her mind onto something. Everyone has to listen to her and do according to her way.

So, this MIL proudly dictated that, all her daughters-in-laws must wail and cry during her funeral to show that, she (the MIL) was being loved and cherished when she was still alive and she would be sadly missed.

My mother couldn’t help but retorted, “When she dies, she cannot see also. You think she would get up and shout at you to cry when she is laid dead in the coffin?”

I laughed so hard till my stomach hurts.

Then, I was told of a story that this woman who washed the boyfriend’s clothings and cooked for the family even when she was not married to him. When she finally married the man, she refused to care for her ailing father-in-law and insisted that he be put in an old folks’ home. When the father-in-law passed away, the daughter-in-law wailed and cried as if the old man was her own father. Damn wayang! I damn kao tulan these type of people!! So fucking hypocrites!

I also knew of a family who mistreat their own grandmother. She was rationed on her food. Imagine, she could only take 2 crackers or a slice of bread with kopi O in the morning, then a small bowl of rice and dishes for lunch and dinner. Sometimes, she would go hungry at night. She was not allowed also to sit together to have a meal with the family as the daughter-in-law claimed that, she might carried some old person’s diseases that would spread to the granddaughters. Very bad chi. You lah! Very bad chi bai! Fuck you! This is your mother-in-law for Christ’s sake! The woman that gave birth to the husband whom you married and fucked! Tiu nia sing!

When the poor old woman died, they were bathing and clothing her. The terrible daughter-in-law tried to put on the shoes on the old lady’s feet but the shoes simply won’t fit. She kept on trying to no avail. Then, upon seeing this, my fourth aunt, who is also one of the daughters-in-laws, knew what to do and she volunteered to help.

She went close to the dead old woman and spoke softly and coaxed her. Telling her, instead of the bitchy daughter-in-law, she would be the one to put the shoes on her. Strange but true, the shoes fitted nicely without any fuss.

The mean daughter-in-law cooked all the old lady’s favorite dishes in abundance and also, put a generous spread as offering for the dead old lady (and also to wayang to us lah!). Well, when she’s alive, you don’t even want her to sit together with you for a meal, but why now? WHY? WHY?? CCB! I want to see how the future daughter-in-law will treat her when she is old!

Seriously, if you want people to love and cherish you, please stop being an asshole or a bitch. And also, if you sincerely want to let your friends or family members know that you love them very much, I guess the best times to do is when they are still alive and kicking because when they are dead, it would be too late.

Alternative Healing

I am cynical when it comes to health. I believe in science and always urge friends who have problems to go to the rightful doctors and get whatever-it-is fixed. Whenever people come telling me about “kuat sa” or cupping to suck bad blood out from the blood circulation, I remain apprehensive.

A colleague in office had been buying all sorts of “energy healing” pendants or drinking foul smell broth for her failing health. I would just roll my eyes whenever she mentioned to me about her latest purchases of energy pendants or stones or whatsoever. I think her problem is probably all in the mind. If she stops thinking about it, perhaps go for the right diet and exercise, get some fresh air, I think she would recover.

Recently, my third aunt is suffering a burning sensation on top of her right breast which made her very difficult to breathe. Thinking it might be a sign of an impending heart attack, she went to Ipoh specialist and spent about RM600 just to get the pain diagnosed. The doctor ended concluding that it was a false alarm and asked if she would like to do another check up but the cost would go up to thousands of ringgit and maybe, if need to do a by pass, it would cost RM10k just to clear up one artery in the heart. She decided to seek alternative medicine.

She found out that she actually has some sort of “psoriasis” which is a  type of skin disease. If not treated earlier, she would have died.

She went to seek help from this old lady in one old temple in Kuala Sepetang. The old lady used a red dye and applied all over her right breast to the arm pit while chanting some mantras. The red dye had to be applied under the sun for maximum results. So, it was really ridiculous to think about bearing your right breast in view of the gods in the temple and under the sun. You would also be apprehensive someone might even peep at you during the process.

Uncomfortable aside, she was advised not to wash the clothes she was wearing during the treatment and forbidden to take bath for the day. She may take bath the next few days but she was warned not to wash the clothes on her back for 3 days but to keep them aside.

Miraculously, she was healed. So much for the thousands of ringgit of diagnosis and RM10k onwards for a bypass, huh?

This inadvertently reminds me of a method I used whenever I have an eye infection. If my left eye has infection, I would tie a black thread with 7 knots on the middle finger on my right middle finger. You repeat the same to your left middle finger if you have infection on your right eye. Miraculously, the infection would be contained in a matter of hours, almost immediately! Till today, I don’t understand how it works but it sure help me to save money from going to the doctors.

I was told that, my late grandfather practiced some sort of magic. Whenever my aunts (my mom and her sisters) complained about having a headache, instead of rubbing with menthol oil or minyak angin, my late grandfather would rubbed his fingers gently on the temple of the affected head, chant some mantras on a nail and nail it on the wooden stand of the lamp post. And the pain would immediately go away miraculously.

Spooky huh? Or was it purely psychological?