Friday 30 March 2007

A quick threesome!

3 things that I would like to share today… very quickly:


Jules sent me this link today. A MUST READ!!! One will think it is a joke with just one page to make fun of you-know-which-country. But… but… but… it’s not just a one page wonder, it covers a whole lot of things… I actually looked up “World War II” and “Global Warming”, and they actually cover those too!! Have fun… this is truly a good breakaway from Wikipedia.

Recipe for Oyster Mushroom with “cili padi”

1. Heat up oil and put in chopped garlic, stir till it fragrances;
2. Add in ‘cili padi’ and fry till it stings your nose;
3. Put in some salt based on your requirement;
4. Put in oyster mushroom and fry;
5. Add in a little sugar to stimulate taste (tiu mei – not a vulgar word);
6. Fry and add a little water (just a little) and cover wok wait dish to boil.
7. Add soya sauce for taste based on your preference.

Tips: Must control water input because the fluid from the mushroom will surface during cooking to form your gravy. Do not cook too long, else they will get slimy.

Feedback on Zewt’s cooking from Julia

Can be seen as a comment by Jules here.

Jules said…

Yes yes yes Zewt can cook! A very attractive quality indeed! I have been fortunate enough to taste his signature siew yok! And yes cucumber can be cooked..someting new to me too, until zewt cooked it for me!I think everyone can cook. It doesn't take a genius, just some commonsense. With experience we can only get better. It is just a matter of whether we WANT to cook! Think many of us rather run to the nearest hawker/mamak!

Have a lovely weekend everybody!!!!!

P/S: Politikus, will blog about RPGT next.

Thursday 29 March 2007

Chef of the day

One of the first thing I told mom when I returned from UK after completing my studies was that I learnt how to make roast pork (siew yok). Naturally, mom asked me to cook for her. I said I will, when I’ve bought the family an oven, I will make one for her to try. Years have passed… it never happen. And now, it will never happen even if I want to.

Anyway, I was in charge of cooking today. Mom would have been very proud of me. Cooked 3 dishes. Here it is… the camwhoring of Zewt’s cooking:

Fried cucumber with vegetarian ham. One of Julia’s favourite (yes, I cooked for her before). Family’s remark… nice…

Fried ‘ghost’ sprout (kwai tao) with button mushroom and vegetarian ham. Family’s remark… salty, probably too much ham.

Fried oyster mushroom with ‘cili padi’. Family’s remark… nice.

Some of the readers here said they can't cook a meal even for themselves. Zewt will say… it’s not that difficult… you just have to try.

Have you promised you will cook something for your mom and you have yet to fulfil that promise?

Wednesday 28 March 2007

The week that’s been

It’s exactly a week ago, today, that we pulled the plug. Time passes so fast, I don’t really have the chance to fully grasp all that has happened. A week just passed by like a flash, and it has been a week since I last heard mom’s nagging. And for the first time in my life, I miss it very much.

It has been a week of many 1st, for instant, it was the first time I saw my dad cried. Temper is his trademark emotion during his younger days, I have never seen his sorrow, but I saw it that day at the ICU when the doctor informed us that mom is beyond any medical help.

Speaking of tears, it was the first time my whole family wept together… all of us by mom’s bedside. I really wonder if she can truly hear us, I have to believe that she does. Otherwise, mom would not have heard all that I told her in the hospital that day.

It was also the first time I spent a week away from office and wish that I have worked instead. I am willing to go through any level of stress or unreasonable deadlines in exchange for another 1 minute with mom.

It was the first time that I think that all I have achieved in my life is utterly futile. A man can gain the world but if he failed to express his love to the person he loved, it means absolutely nothing.

It was the first time I went hours after hours without sleep due to reason other than work. I guess you know I do spend a lot of time at work… in the past. It’s amazing where I managed to gather that amount of energy.

It was the first time my faith is put to the test, and I think I coped well. Yeah, I did performed certain Buddhist ritual, but in my heart, I am not worshipping any other god, the true God remains in me, and when I bowed down, I did it in honour and respect to my mom. Why constraint ourselves to the rigidity of ridiculous religious rules and forget our responsibility as a son towards our parents?

And it was indeed, the first time I realised my mom has always been there for me, loved me in a way that no one else could have done… and I am thankful for that. As cirnelle put it in her comments… mom has always helped me in my studies and other achievements by taking care of all the other things. So I can't really say mom never helped me in my studies.

There are many other 1st, but I think that’ll be all for now. Spoke to someone today and that someone said I should start writing about social stuff again. Well, perhaps I should. Of course, I will still write about my mom on and off. After all, I really enjoy writing about her.

So… making jokes of otherstrafficsocietysome morons... the G… anyone?

2nd chance with mom: Hard work vs success

I am a very proud person. I have always considered myself a self-made man, that what I have achieved today is due to my own hard work, that my parents never nurtured me along the way. The fact that I did performed well in certain fields despite not getting any support from home made me a really proud person. I also believe that I would have been able to achieve much more if my parents have nurtured me since young.

“hai la hai la, ho ba bai la! Yat ko yuet wan do gei chin man ho chi ho ba bai kam yeong”
(ya la ya la, damn big shot now. Think you earn a few thousands a month, as if you’re damn big shot now)

My mom always says that to me when I give remark about how incompetent this person or that person is. I will also get the same words from mom when I proudly belittle the achievements of others, claiming that I would have done a better job. And I will definitely get those comments from her when I belittle her work.
This afternoon, when I was trying to remove the laundry from the washing machine, I broke the handle of the machine door. I pulled too hard I think, and now, the load of laundry is still in the machine as I type. Repairman said they will come either tomorrow or Thursday, which means probably no laundry for the next 2 days.

I clean scrubbed the bathroom floor yesterday, because it was getting slimy due to the layer of soap accumulating on it. Just now, as I stepped into the bathroom, I realised I have to scrub it again. At that moment I realised, mom scrubbed the floor every single day…. 24/7. And I have not even mentioned toilet. Have you clean the toilet of your house before?

Today is the second day I have to clean the dishes after dinner as my sis was in charge of cooking. During the first day, I had no idea where to put which plate and where to put which scoop and where to put this pot. And clean dishes does not mean end of cleaning. There’s also the kitchen floor and stove and throw away the remnants and replenish certain stuff to prepare for the next day.
The floor is getting a bit sticky; my bro just mopped it yesterday. He is doing his prayer and I am hoping he will do the mopping since he didn’t do much today as he went to work. I wonder how often mom mops the floor. I never recall the floor being sticky. Ok, maybe once in a while… but I am sure you get what I mean.

As today is only the second day since we realistically commenced life without mom, I am sure there will be plenty of discoveries in the days ahead.

For all the promotions and increment and other accomplishments that I have in my life, and the proud thinking that I will be able to ‘survive’, I was made to think otherwise. Mom humbled me yesterday and today. And I am sure she will keep humbling me in the days to come. And I thought I was damn big shot.

“Ni you le ni je ji the jia. Ni ke yi jiao gu ni de jia ren, jiu shi yi ge sing gung de ren,” cousin told me that night. (When you have your own family. When you can look after your family, that’s when you’re successful)

Of course, many of us have our very own definition of success. But to mom, success means being able to look after one’s own family. And ‘look after’ here probably doesn’t mean only in monetary terms. This is probably due to the mom’s upbringing. Therefore, being there for the children, preparing everything for the children, or maybe even nagging the children makes one a successful person, a good person.

This is also probably why mom is always quite angry when I belittle other people’s achievements. And the fact that the house can be quite a mess in my hands means I am nothing without my mom, I am certainly not successful, not yet at least. Mom never considered all my grades, all my promotions, all my sports medal (a few la), all my appearance in the paper (a few times la), all the money I made as success.

I will only be successful in mom’s eyes when I have achieved what she has achieved… to be able to really “look after” your own family. And I am determined to do that. And I promise not to belittle other people’s achievements anymore.

On a relatively unrelated note, society pressures us to measure success by the number of digits in our bank account, the number of cc of our cars, the number of staff under us, the number of months of our bonus, etc. No matter how much we deny it, somewhere in our mind, this notion is quite true. However, if we were to ask ourselves honestly AND answer it honestly, we will probably realise that money is not the ultimate success. You can shower the children with PS2 or i-Pod or the latest handphone so that they can appear cooler in front of their friends and employ a maid to look after each child, but if you can't cook a simple meal the children, I believe that’s not quite success. Of course, you can disagree with me.

Monday 26 March 2007

Thank you

Just want to pause for a moment to offer my sincere gratitude to all who commented in the last few entries offering me much support, be it in the form of words of comfort, words of encouragement or prayers. Words cannot describe how touched I am to all of you. I am thoroughly amazed by all of you in the blogosphere. You are all great friends despite we have not met in person.

I wrote what I have written not to impress anyone, but rather to remind myself of what happened and I will read it again and again as a constant reminder to me on my mistakes and regrets. May we all minimise our mistakes and regrets in our lives.

I know I have not been replying to your comments but I have started doing so in my previous entry. Once again, thank you for all your support.

Sunday 25 March 2007

2nd chance with mom: Why it is enough

“You’re not wanted! I am going to give you away”

And he did, he gave his daughter to a poor village family. She was born into a decent family but her father didn’t want her, perhaps he wanted a son instead. Thus, she had to live a life of a poor kampung girl.

At a tender young age, house chores have already formed an integral part of her life. She was made to carry an axe to chop wood, firewood for cooking. By the time she was 14, she was asked to look after her elder sis’ daughters… all 4 of them. Her new mom will cane her if any of the sis’ daughters do not behave. She, in turn, caned those girls if they don’t listen to her.

All these responsibilities means she didn’t get to study, perhaps she only managed to complete her primary education before she was forced to grow up. She was asked to take up more responsibilities when her sis passed away due to cancer. Her bro-in-law had to work hard to bring home money. And when her mom also passed away, she had to take on the role of a ‘mother’ for her sis’ daughters… all these, before the age of 20.

Life got tougher as the days passed by, and she moved to KL, and worked as a maid. She was lucky enough to have a good master, and she was a very dedicated maid, always looking after her master’s children. I guess that’s why her master arranged for her to marry a guy in KL, so that she can settle down.

That’s how my mom married my dad.

Cousin told me I should know all that, and indeed, I should. Thinking about it made me realised why my mom is … my mom.

There are certain things that I never understand. My mother has never cared for my studies since young, since the very beginning. She never knew what time I go to school, what I was studying, when I need to take exams. I remember I came back with my UPSR results… straight As and my mom didn’t even look at it. The same thing happened with my PMR results. Some of my friends get hundreds for 2 or 3 As, but I just get a nod for my results. I was furious, and my hatred began to accumulate even further.

My parents also never plan my education. They wanted me to work immediately after Form 5, but I insist I will not. I had a very big fight with my mom regarding that, a story for another time perhaps.

Me being alone in my struggle to get educated has always been my main reason why I hate my parents, particularly my mom, since I don’t really care what my dad thinks. But knowing mom’s history changed all that.

Mom must have hated her birth parents too, why did they give her away. To mom, I guess being parents, the basic responsibility would be to at least look after the children. Well, at least parents should want their children and not give them away. And being so poor, mom must have thought… that putting food on the table for children is very important.

So that’s exactly what mom did, that was her priority in mom’s life.

She will always make sure she will be the one to cook. Whenever I make a passing comment about why she has not cooked this dish or that dish, rest assured, that dish will be on the table the next day or the day after. How does Zewt react to that?...

“Kam mat mo sik. Ngo chut pin sik,”
(Not eating today, I am going out to eat)

I can still remember that look on mom’s face every time that happened. Disappointment, but she never make any noise. Time and time again, she will make sure I have a motherly dinner at home, to which I so conveniently took for granted. And now, I will not even get to taste a single grain of rice that mom cook.

I think mom also wanted very much to be near her birth parents, she wanted her birth parents to be by her side. Hence, she wants me to be by her side all the time. She will nag me if I go out a lot, and she will complain that I am not homely.

“Ah tuck, ah ma jan hai em seh tuck lei,” mom hugged me and cried 2 days before I left for China for that short working stint. (Ah Tuck, mom will really miss you if you go)

In my mind, I thought… I only wanted to be away for 2 years, and will come back occasionally, nothing to be worried about, and I don't understand why can't she let me go. Of course, to my mom, 2 days away is already eternity, 2 years would be too much to bear. Mom wants to be the mother she didn’t have, the mother who is always near her child, and prepare her child.

Mom was very happy when I returned abruptly. But she didn’t tell me, she told me I should have stayed if it’s good for my career. But deep down, she was really happy to have me back… I know, because my cousin told me that night.

Ya’ know, I always said to people, that I am who I am because of the way I was treated when I was young. But I failed to apply that to my mother.

Mom was trying to be the mom that she never had. She must have wanted her mom to be near her, to hold her, to clean her clothes, to cook for her. As such, she became that mom to me.

Ya’ know, me and my siblings suggested that we employed a maid so that mom can rest. Mom said no, her reason excuse was that the maid will mess things up. But her real reason was that she wants to ensure that it was her hands that prepare everything for her children. She wants to be the one to cook the food that I eat, to do the laundry for the clothes I wear, to sweep the floor that I step on, to boil the water that I drink, to do everything for me, for us. Mom just worked hard… very hard. And I think she worked till hear death… for me, for us.

So many times we complain about our parents… Oh, why they didn’t do this. Why they didn’t send you overseas? How come they don’t buy you a Honda when they already got you a car. How come this and how come that.

Of course, there are parents out there who are not worthy of the title ‘parents’, but I think as a human… we all want to be the parents that we never had. And that may not be enough to you and me, but it’s the best that they could do. No matter what and how well they did, it will never be enough in our unappreciative eyes, but do try to understand life from our parents’ perspective.

My mom never understand the need for education or a car or that Gucci bag or an i-Pod, but she understood the need for love and care for her children, and she did just that.. right till the time of her passing. And that to me… is enough.

Love you mom.

Saturday 24 March 2007

Some of mom's wishes...

Mom was cremated today. As a Christian having such a strong Buddhist mom, the battle between faith and hope in my mind is quite overwhelming. But I believe mom is already at a higher place, beyond the clouds, amongst the holies, and safe in the hands of God.

Took a short nap when I reached home, after doing another round of laundry. I think I am beginning to like this laundry thing. Woke up and noticed my siblings were looking for treasures around the house. While cousin is still around, we want to let her see which of mom’s stuff is for her. Not that we are looking to distribute her stuff so soon but cousin will be leaving tonight and she is the only person who knows my mom’s unspoken will.

Mom is a fan of jade, typical Chinese. She has actually bought a lot of jade bracelet, one for all of our ‘partners’. She showed my sister all the jade bracelets a while back, and my sis said we all wouldn’t like it. I mean, who in the world likes old fashioned jade bracelet in this era.

“Lei mo lei ngo la, ngo jong yi mai bei hui dei. Jo gei lim” was mom’s reply to sis.
(Don’t care la. I like to buy for them, it’s for remembrance)

There’s actually one for sis, my soon-to-be-wife, my bro’s future wife, all my cousins and a few extras which we will give to her good temple friends. ... Mom wants to be remembered by everyone.

“Oh, these are for your children,” cousin pointed at 2 jade pendants, and handed them to me. My children? ... Mom wants her grandchildren to know her.

“This is for your wife,” cousin pointed at a very beautiful diamond pendant. “To be given to her during the tea ceremony”. ... Mom wants to be remembered during that moment.

“Oh, I think your mom wants to use this to make a baju kebaya, don’t know for who, can’t recall,” cousin pointed at some fabrics. I held it up, felt like silk. My sis never mentioned anything about wanting a baju kebaya. Then, it hit me. I vaguely recall Julia telling me that she would like to have a kebaya and I made a “passing comment” to my mom about it. Mom remembers every single word I said.

As cousin continued to identify which is for who, I realised mom really had it all planned out. Mom really does know she is going to leave us. And most importantly, I believe mom does not want to be forgotten, mom wants to be remembered. And mom did all she could to be stay in our memories. For those with deceased parents… do you remember their date of demise?

I think being forgotten was one of mom’s greatest fears. Cousin said mom disagreed with me going to China to work early last year. I think mom was really afraid that I will forget about her. Of course, that is not true. But mom, in her simple mind, she just want to be close to her children.

Cousin also said that night that mom actually called her at 12am the day I left for China, mom couldn’t sleep. She was worried, not knowing whether I will be able to find my way in China since I do not speak a word of Mandarin then. Also, she was afraid that I will not have enough to eat, no blanket… ya’ know, that kinda thing.

Mom is just so… mom.

Knowing all these really make my heart breaks into a million pieces which will take some time to recover. And knowing that I could have done something made it worse. I want to find out who is that Chinese sen-sei that diagnosed my mom, to which mom didn’t inform us. I want to find out what exactly was said to mom, and wonder mom did any follow up. I think I should do that to be in peace with myself. Otherwise, I will never be able to let this go.

Wish me luck.

P/S: About starting new blog for my mom, I think I will do away with that for now, already quite taxing with one blog. I will put it all in a “book - A 2nd chance with mom”, regardless of whether it will get published or not.

Friday 23 March 2007

A 2nd chance with mom

“It’s already late, why don’t you all go back and rest?” I said that and bid farewell to my mom’s temple friends for the day. They were the last to leave.

I was really tired, which is an understatement. It was my mom’s first day of the wake, and I have been running around doing all that is necessary (and occasional blogging) since 7 a.m. I walked up to my mom and sat beside her. With me was my cousin from Alor Setar, whose tears continue to flow, she was my mom’s best friend. I never know how close they were. But little do I know, I am going to find out, I am in for a very big surprise.

There was silence between me, cousin and mom. We could only hear the chanting from mom’s lil electrical gadget, quite a convenient piece of instrument that chants repeatedly at the click of a button.

It was me who garnered enough courage to ask, “Does mom talks about me?”

Cousin slowly turned around, looked at me, and as she struggled to put on a smile in the midst of her immense sorrow… she said… “Tuck… all the time”.

“Really? What did she say?”

And so it began, a conversation that lasted from 11.30pm to 5.30am. In that 6 hours, I got to know my mom’s entire life… her aspiration for me, her concerns over me, her joy of having me, her depression for not being able to communicate with me, her fear that she was not good enough for me, her sorrow that she was not up to my expectations… all just… about me.

“Your mother seldom talks about Ah Foo (lil bro) and Ah Mui (lil sis). Very seldom, it’s always about you. It’s because she loves you the most”.

You know when you have a crush for someone, or fall for someone, do you notice you will always talk about that person day and night? My mom loves me so much, that every time when she picked the phone and called my cousin hundreds of kilometres away, it was to talk about me.

It’s truly remarkable, that my cousin was able recite my entire life. How I threw tantrums at home, the exact timing. What words that came out of my mouth. All the time when I made my mom happy with my once-in-a-blue-moon friendly gesture, all the gifts that I have given her, all the dinners that I brought my mom out, that even I myself have totally forgotten, my cousin could name them one by one… the exact timing I’ve done it, when… and how I did it.

All the gifts and simple meals, I will only get a, “mmm… ok. Do jie” from my mom. That’s it. Nothing more was spoken. In my mind, I thought to myself, that my mom never appreciate the little things that I did. Thus… it became an once-in-a-dark-blue-moon event. But I was wrong… very wrong… incredibly wrong… extremely wrong.

“When everyone is asleep, your mom will call me in the middle of the night and tells me how happy she was to have received this gift and that gift from you. And she will tell me which day you brought her out for that nice dinner. She will call me that day itself. From her voice itself, I could feel her immense joy”, my cousin said to me.

Cousin told me of this bag that I bought for her. Frankly speaking, I couldn’t recall that I bought one. Incredibly, my cousin can actually describe the bag to me.

“Your mom treated it like a ‘poh’ (treasure), and she ‘em seh tuck yong’ (afraid to use it as it’s priceless), she was afraid she might lose it, or dirty it”.

I tried to laugh… but I was crying… I tried to cry… but I was laughing. I must have looked so stupid next to my mom’s body.

I cannot write the whole story here. It would have been too long. It would have been too boring for you. I could hear some of you say … “huh… stories of your mom again?” So I have to stop here. But I really have plenty to write, to which I will.

I really wish I can put all those into a book. How? Tunku Halim, Lydia, Xues, Eric Forbes… how? Is it possible? I am not trying to buy a ticket to instant author-ship, but am just wondering if it’s possible. Words could not describe how much I want to share my 2nd chance with mom, so that everyone else, will do all the needful in their 1st opportunity. But how?

Have to go now, need to choose a new home for mom. I will pay for it. I am sure she will be over-joy that I will be buying her a new home.

P/S: The entire conversation… 6 hours of it, took place in Mandarin… MANDARIN!!!! I am very sure my mom will be proud of her ang-moh son. 6 hours of Mandarin from Zewt… maybe someone would like to contact Malaysian Book of Records.

Thursday 22 March 2007

It was not meant to be a surprise

When I returned home on Tuesday night, as I had my last mom-cooked dinner, I noticed that everything was still set as though mom will be back. There were still unwashed dishes in the sink left by unappreciative children, food was still in the pot, and vegetables prepared for the next day kept in the fridge. Surely, mom never had it coming… I was wrong.

My cousin came today from Alor Setar, mom’s hometown. This cousin of mine is very close to my mom. Mom will call her to talk about her problems. Imagine that, she never talks to us. But I believe the real reason is because we don’t want to talk to her. Do you talk to your mother?

Cousin informed that approximately 6 months ago, mom found out that there was something in her brain. It was actually detected by the Chinese sen-sei, doctors that my mom trusts. She was asked to go for a scan. Cousin asked her to go, to which mom promised she would.

Last November, mom made a trip back to Alor Setar, her first trip back in a long time. Cousin said she visited all her old friends and told my cousin that she should not cry if she goes away. My cousin was suspicious, and asked about the brain scan. Mom didn’t go for the scan, she said she was busy. She said she will do it after CNY.

Indeed, mom is a busy woman. If you think working 8 or 10 hours a day is hectic. Try spending a day looking after a (singular) house. I swept the floor and did 2 round of laundry today. Trust me, it’s very extremely tiring. Then I washed all our cups. Removing mom’s cup from our usual cup tray made me tear enough to wash a cup by itself. It was painful.

Back to mom, she told cousin that if she was to have a stroke, she would rather die. She would rather leave us behind, than to stay behind and be a burden. I believe that is the reason why she never went for a scan. How many of us will scream for a MC as the slightest headache? How many of us cowards will jump straight to the specialist’s doorstep at the sight of bleeding? Plenty I suppose.

But for courageous people in this world, namely mothers, that might not be the case. Mom was one of those courageous souls. She knew she will be going soon. And she left these messages with my cousin:

1. She wants a cremation;
2. She wants an altar in the house and a joss stick a day;
3. She set aside some money to get a necklace for my sister, to be worn when she gets married;
4. She set aside some money to get a necklace for Julia;
5. Dad should do some housework so that his brain get some exercise; and
6. If she was to go away, her biggest concern would be my wedding and my sis wedding.

After knowing all these, I realised something…

Mom bought a new washing machine this year, a new stove too. Of course, no one will be able to cook better food with that stove in this house besides her. Mom also told me that washing detergent and groceries are bought on a need to buy basis, not on a routine. The signs were all there, we never saw it coming. No wonder she went back to Alor Setar to see all her old friends.

I think mom also did made a comment about her having severe headaches and asked me “what to do?”. My reply to her was simple and irresponsible … “go see a doctor”. It should been… “let me take you to a doctor”.

Mothers will forever think for the best of her family. She will sacrifice all that she has just to make her children happy. Most mothers are like that. Does your mother show any out-of-the-norm sign? I am not trying to scare you, that’s not my intention. My intention would be to have you talk to your mom more. No matter how much you hate her, you will love her for the rest of your life. I know it’s easier said that done. But you better do it when she is still alive.

It was not meant to be a surprise to all. Those times when mom said we took her for granted, and we never appreciate her, and that when the day comes when we want to take her out and make her happy, she might be gone… it was not a passing comment. It was a warning we failed to see. And now, we will have to live with it.

p/s: Perfect timing, the alarm rang, the 3rd round of laundry is done. Time to hang the clothes.

Farewell... magnificent woman, loving mom.

Thank you all for your well wishes. I am truly truly truly touched.

Mom passed away peacefully about 2 hours ago. Her brain was too swollen and there was nothing to be done. We managed to transport her body back to our home before we pull the plug. I am sure she would want it this way.

Just before the paramedics removed the air-tube, I managed to do something that she always wanted from me. I handed her a cup of tea, and Julia handed her a cup of tea too. I want to let mom know that in her eyes, Julia is now my wife. I am sure the mom would have enjoyed that cup of tea. She will surely bless us as she watches from heaven.

It was peaceful, after the tea ceremony, as I was still kneeling beside her, she went away almost immediately as soon as the tube was removed.

Life has indeed changed. As I walked around my house, I can finally see the gigantic effort of hers to put the whole house in order. From all the cleaning she has done… to the little decorations here and there. I realised my mom is a very artistic person.


I will do my very best to maintain this house the way it is, I will not disappoint you. I will look after father. I will look after my brother and sis. Bless me with the strength that I need. You’ve done a magnificent job raising 3 of us out of nothing. We are proud of you. You are the best mom we could ever ask for. Thank you for being there for the 29 years I’ve been alive. And I will live according to your teaching for the rest of it.

Farewell… magnificent woman, loving mom.

Wednesday 21 March 2007

Dear Mommy

One would wonder why I still have the energy to blog today. But I want to remember today.

While on my way home, my brother called.

“Mom fainted… come back now”

When I reached home, mom was already very much unconscious. While one of her eyes was still open, she was not responding to any of our calls. I knew I have to send her to the hospital immediately. My brother was with me, my father, as always, afraid to go to the hospital.

I drove like a man possessed, and after admitting my mom, I waited patiently for the doctor to come.

“She has a stroke”. That’s what the doctor told me after some initial diagnosis. Further examination and he sent my mom to do a CT scan. “Urgent” he said. That doesn’t sound good at all.

The doctor-on-call came about an hour later and he showed me the films. One of the blood vessels in my mom’s head has burst and she is having bleeding in her brain. The blot clot is pressing against right brain and thus, she is half paralysed. “It doesn’t look good”, he said.

After examining her, he transferred my mom to ICU and asked for the neuro surgeon to come. I was asked to wait outside the ICU. As I saw some nurses running into the ward, I walked past the entrance that said “staff only”.

I saw it in front of me, my mom, lifeless, and the doctors were trying to revive her. I shed my first tear of the night… and since then, my tears kept flowing. It has been a long time since I cried, but how I wish I don’t have to cry in this circumstance.

“The brain is bleeding out fast, she is now breathing with the help of a machine, she will last 2-3 days”. From that moment onwards, my life changed forever.

Ya’ know, so many times my mom said we took her for granted, and we never appreciate her, and that when the day comes when we want to take her out and make her happy, she might be gone. She was right. And it will be the biggest regret of my life.

I cried and slapped myself trying to recall what her last words to me were. I struggled and it was only till a few moments ago, I remembered. She called to ask whether the 3 loaves of bread I brought back from a charity event were edible. She went and bought us “long yuk” when I answered yes.

“Sik tuck keh” (can be eaten)…. Those were my last 3 words to her.

Mommy, I am sorry I fail to appreciate you.
I am sorry I shouted at you so many times, insisting that you don’t understand me.
I am sorry I didn’t take you to see the right doctor, as I only told u to do it yourself.
I am sorry that you’ve cooked and I never inform you if I am not back for dinner
I am sorry I never help you with housework. Now, I have to do it all myself.
I am sorry for all the things I should’ve done but didn’t.
I am sorry, I am so so so sorry.
How I wish you can hear me right now, but I know you would rather have me doing the right things in life than to be sorry with all the things I failed to do.

I want to remember today. I want to remember the last dinner that my mom cooked, to which I eat with tears.
Thank you mom for the dinner, it has always been the best meal though I never said so.

But most of all… mommy, sorry for not being a good son. But I know you still love me. And I will forever remember this day.

Mommy, I am sorry

Monday 19 March 2007

Of parking, toll and a kick ass video

Malaysia is a place with plenty of diversity… particularly when it comes to traffic related stuff. Besides the well known traffic jam, to which we so conveniently contribute, we must also salute the legion of Malaysian drivers. Like I said, they are truly an elite group of people, don’t you think so?

Of course, how can we forget the idiotic creative parking ability of us Malaysian drivers? Try hitting places like Hartamas or Bangsar at night, you will see how idiotic creative how we Malaysian drivers can be when it comes to fitting cars in the smallest vacuum possible. One may conclude that Malaysians are master in fitting their tools into tiny holes… a mastery every man should learn.

Right… we have seen plenty… yellow-line-parking, middle-of-the-road-parking, double-parking, triple parking and the moronic parking… but you have not seen anything yet. Ladies and gentlemen… may I present you…..

Opposite parking:

I-shall-park-it-my-way parking:

Well, what can I say? I think I am going to post it to TheStar, wonder if I will win 50 bucks.

Anyway, while we are at the traffic topic, I know many of us here (excluding me) are really upset with the toll increase, no? That RM0.60 increase at LDP, I see many pictures of people screaming and putting up all sorts of banner. Well, next time you are pissed at paying toll… you may wanna consider this…

And to end the day, wanna share this video with you guys and gals. Brilliantly done, just like this one which I introduced earlier. But now I have learnt to post the video here (cos now Zewt is getting better and better in blogging skills already mah... don’t pway pway)… have fun.

Warning: Type A Chinese may not be able to enjoy it.

Some highlight on comments

Now that I have gotten the tag thing out of the way, would like to share 2 comments in relation to my previous entry with you… I think we should all have a read.

From Kata Tak Nak, who is a former (or is it current?) teacher:

”During the trial exams, the average passes for science (taught in English) was 20 something percent. About 1 and a half month later these same students took their PMR and the average passes for the same subject is 60 plus percent. What does this tell you? You decide.”

Zewt: Well, do even need to decide?

From Dienasty, this one is really good:

Am of the generation you speak of.

I personally know Jabez. He's a good kid, a hard worker, he took music in St Mary's, and i've a feeling i should defend him.

This year's standard has actually rose. Believe it?

Think about it. The number of straight As this year is measly compared to the number of straight As last year. And i compared with a few other friends, they agreed. The standard has rose. (psst, take a look at the national average)

Perhaps because next year is the first batch in English, and they want to make is seem as if the English students (sci and math) are a success.

But this is pure speculation by the student population of Malaysia. Ignore it if you want.

Wat do i have to say for me and my generation? Firstly, we're not smarter than you guys. I've been thinking a lot of what i want to do with my life, and i realized that 'genius' isn't determined by your IQ, your ability to get girls, or even the number of As you get.

It's your accomplishments that count in life. Einstein and Edison would've scored straight Cs, and yet they're counted as geniuses because they created things that people use today. Einstein was so radical ("Imagine yourself travelling at the speed of light? Would i see waves, or beams?") no education system in existence could've have handled him.

So what i've got to say is this: As count very little. Our politicians lately have been making a lot of noise about the laser-like focus on academic performance alone. This is good news, but i've been worrying a lot about certain implications this 'jumping on the opinion bandwagon' has, since i'm still a student (going form 6) and whatever they implement affects me directly.

The issue we have to focus on is not the standards, or the egos of parents (though both are problems, important ones, in our country). The main issue we have is still the number of subjects we are taking. I foresee a culture where the government's insistence to 'break away' from academic acheivement alone will create a culture of students joining activities solely to get certificates. What is worse is that while they push for more involvement in activities, but our government does NOT cut down on the number of useless subjects like Moral, EST and even irrelevant Islamic History. They even added Siviks to the list! So we, the students, don't join clubs, or co-curricular activities for the skills they teach, or the things they can learn. I'm already seeing this in some of my schoolmates, and in my friends and younger siblings.

I admit, my cert collection may be lousy compared to the positions they have held (i go for skills and knowledge). But can they write and think and construct arguments like i'm doing now? Can they throw a person twice their weight? Can they participate in a theological debate and then conclude, summarize and make sure everyone walks away learning something?

I don't think so.

And this is the challenge we have: tell our kids not to worry about Moral or EST or even the islamic elements in our history that does not promote racial integration in our country. Tell them that they should join activities to learn, not to collect certs. And while we can't do much, we can love our school going kids (read: ppl like me ;P), we can tell them that academics isn't everything, and above all, we can give them the support they need as they transverse this faulty system we have under our kris weilding Education Minister.

End of my comment. (I think i can actually put this as a proper post in my blog ;D hehe)

Zewt: Well, you certainly can, and you did. And I hope others will find some light from your comment.

I hate it but I have to do it...

I’ve said it before that I will not do this tag thing ever again… sigh, I guess I will have to eat my word. Since my last tag, I’ve been tagged by muststopthis, vegemaster, tiuniasing and the one and only wingz. As always, gonna combine the tag.

Muststopthis… your type of tag has been completed earlier… check it out here. Hahahahaha! One done

As for tiuniasing and vegemaster… here it is:

Tell 5 jokes:
1. I am very handsome.
2. And I look like a hunk.
3. And I am very sexy too.
4. Becos of that, Jessica Alba is in love with me.
5. But I rejected her.
Are you laughing yet?

4 fellas that I adore:
1. The guy who died on the cross for you and me.
2. My gf.
Sorry… no more.

3 animals that resembles me:
1. Horse (born in such year)
2. Fox (cunning… hehe)
3. dolphin (smart!... haha… damn perasan)

Now, for wingz tag:

A is for “anything also boleh”, the theme of this country.
B is for “be yourself”, no one else you should be.
C is for “cum”, that’s how you and I exist today.
D is for “dumb people”, many of such people around nowadays.
E is for “everything also boleh”, an extension of A.
F is for . Need I say more?
G is for “GOD”, you would like it when He is angry, and I am not talking about Hulk.
H is for “How many As in SPM you got?”. 17 / 18?
I is for “Idiot”. Again, plenty of those around.
J is for “Just blog it”. Don’t hesitate.
K is for “Koo Kien Kiet”, Malaysia’s hope in Olympics!
L is for “lame”, that’s me… sometimes.
M is for “Malaysia”. The land of …. errr… cannot say, cos have to be responsible.
N is for “Night time”, when I am most energetic.
O is for “O”, my blood type.
P is for “penis”, the better name for dick/cock.
Q is for “queuing”, what we Malaysians never do.
R is for “responsible”, be a responsible blogger ler.
S is for “Stupidity”, check that link out!
T is for “time”, something we hope we have more.
U is for “Under control”, that’s what the boss said.
V is for “vacation”, I want endless of them.
W is for “whoever-tag-me-again-will-have-his-dick-cut-off”, it’s a curse.
X is for “xxx”. Xxxx xxx xxx xxxxx
Y is for “your-dick-will-fall-off-if-you-tag-me”, it’s also a curse.
Z is for zewt la…. What else!

This is the best part… 5 victims for the A-Z tag, and the oscar goes to:…

1. Maxforce
2. Kata Tak Nak
3. Dienasty
4. Politikus
5. June x 2

Trust me, they are randomly chosen.


Thursday 15 March 2007

Lifestyle of the smart and stupid not so smart

It has been 2 days since the media flood the nation with news of the next generation of geniuses. They face the future with high hope, of course, we all know most of them will have their hope crushed soon enough; after all, reality is cruel, but that's another point altogther. To be fair to them, besides being kiasu and wanted to prove a point, I do believe that all most of them believe that results guarantee a bright future. Again, most of us know that is not true.

Friends, allow me to share a few stories real life experience with you (all names have been changed to protect the relevant person’s identity):

Smart people story 1: The high flyer new staff

Mary joined Zewt’s firm and was assigned to Zewt’s unit. She came with great credentials, apparently, a top scorer in SPM (number of As “berbelas-belasan”) and a 1st class degree graduate from a local public university. Impressive, no?

1 week into her employment, Zewt gave an assignment to Mary, a very simple calculation that require her to extract figures from the profit and loss account (“P&L”) and transfer the extracted figures into another statement. Yeah, kinda like data entry job. By the way, for all those soon-to-be graduates, just because you hold a degree, don’t expect to do some high level work once you start working, you’ll probably be doing some donkey jobs first.

After explaining on what needed to be done to Mary, she went back to her place. Half an hour later, Mary came to Zewt and told Zewt that she can’t reconcile the P&L, that she can't locate certain figures. I asked her to pass me the source document and Zewt proceed to try to locate then numbers. It was not found on the 1st page of the documents and naturally, Zewt turned to 2nd page and voila… Zewt found the figure and pointed the figure to Mary.

Mary’s reply (in the most innocent manner ever) was… ……”oh… got page 2 wan ah?”

Mary carried the nick… “Miss Page 2” since that day.

Smart people story 2: The CEO wannabe

Jane was the top student that shared the same faculty as Zewt. She graduated with (again) a 1st class degree. Jane told Zewt…”I wanna be a CEO one day”.

After returning from London (yes, degree from an Ang Moh country, don’t pray-pray), Jane joined Zewt’s competitor firm. Approximately 1 year later, Zewt found out that Jane has joined Zewt in the same firm. Reason being… she couldn’t take the pressure in her previous firm, translate: Jane failed to perform in her previous firm and is now trying her luck in the same firm as Zewt.

A few months passed and she told Zewt… “Working life is so tough, I just wanna find a rich man and marry him and stay home and be a tai-tai”. (tai-tai = rich housewife) What happened to CEO? Oh… she didn’t deviate much, tai-tai… CEO of the house… same la.

Last Zewt heard, Jane set off to do what she does best… study… for her Masters.

Stupid Not so smart people story 1: 2nd class (lower division)

“Must go to a reputable university, otherwise find a job” Eric told Zewt. Eric went to the UK one year ahead of Zewt, and it was indeed, a very prestigious university.

As the results rolled out, Eric only managed to obtain a 2nd class (lower division) honours. Yeah la, from an and-moh high class uni, but 2nd class (LOWER division) woh… die, habis, mati, hancur… It was the end of the world for Eric.

Eric struggled to find a job and finally settled for an executive position in a chap-pa-lang (low class) company and was the lowest paid amongst his peers. Zewt started his working life with a slightly higher pay. Eric didn’t enjoy his work and resigned soon after. He went on to do sales.

Now, Eric drives a brand new Honda Accord (heard he bought it with cash?). Eric owns one two three properties and is looking and buying one in Australia in a few years time. Eric’s company… I repeat… Eric’s company, owns a shoplot, a warehouse, and a 3 story building in a prime location.

And the best part… while you and I wake up early in the morning, put on our tie, report to work, work overtime to get out puny salary… Eric sleeps till 10+, probably go to lunch first before going into office. He plays mah jong with his friends in the office, go for a tea and then drives around in his brand new Honda Accord looking for people to play mah jong.

Stupid Not so smart people story 2: The SPM failure

Sam was Zewt’s school mate, but not class mate. Why? Cos Zewt was in the top class (clap a bit la) while Sam was at the … not so top class. Sam is the those fellas… ya’ know… skip class, distribute porn in school, never study and sure enough… Sam flunk is SPM. Flunk his S…P…M ya’ know! Tell that to those kids who scored ‘only’ 18 As… they might faint as the sound of such statement.

Zewt seldom meet up with Sam, the only time they will see each other are those festive gatherings. When Zewt was still driving a proton, Sam was already driving a Nissan Cefiro. The last time Zewt heard, Sam was working managing running a wood factory.

Sam told Zewt…”I am just a lorry driver”… well, let’s just say Zewt don’t really wanna spoil your day anymore with Sam’s story

Indeed, the above are just a few stories… perhaps you may even call them the exceptional cases… or is it?

I am pretty sure many of us have heard the phrase “A degree is just a ticket to the working world”. We all know it and agree to it. However, how much do we understand that phrase? We probably fail to comprehend the true meaning of “a ticket”, or probably fail to grasp the true meaning of “the working world”.

The truth is, a 3rd class or general tickets doesn’t mean you will be not able to board the “plane of life”, while 1st class tickets doesn’t guarantee 1st class seats. You might miss out on your preferred “airlines” but never fret, how high your plane of life can fly and whether it will reach your destination, is often entirely up to you. What about those kids who scored 17As, 18As and 19As? Well… I dunno, you tell me.

So, is your “seat” right now reflective of the ticket you’re carrying?

Tuesday 13 March 2007

They clever... or I stupid?

I dunno about you, but I feel damn stupid today. No, not because I did something overly foolish, but I feel stupid by reading, reading the news to be exact. Reading can make someone stupid? Of course it’s possible! That’s when you read about super intelligent people.

During the time when I took my SPM, getting straight As means something in the region of 8, 9 or 10. I took 10 subjects, and I was struggling like hell… ok la, I didn’t really study much, just enjoy my final days of schooling life. But that’s not the point here. My point is, kids are taking 17,18 and 19 subjects in SPM and they are actually producing results… incredible results!

Check out the geniuses of today:
It’s incredible, that kid at the bottom left actually said getting 16As was not enough, as he missed out on 1. And that kid at the bottom right, “only” got 18As instead. Woooahhhh…. Only 18!!! Only 18!!! Like so damn little!

I am very curious to know, how the hell do you study for 19 subjects in school? I mean, school starts at 7.30am and ends at 1.15pm, hat was during my days, not sure if that’s the case now, do enlighten me if I am wrong. If the hours are more or less the same, how the hell do you squeeze 19 subjects into those 5 days week of approximately 6 hours a day? How many hours do they spend on a subject in school a day? Someone, please do enlighten me.

Ya’ know, if they really just spend 1 or 2 hours on a particular subject a week… wooaaah!!… then I feel even more stupid. People of my time used to spend 5 – 6 hours a week on a subject, and you throw in all the tuition, all the tips from con-man tuition centre, we were dying just to get perhaps… 6 – 7 As? Ok la… me and mates were busy playing computer games then… but still!

So, what’s the reason for the As galore?

1) SPM standard has dropped tremendously?
2) Kids in the last decade (you and I) are stupid not so brilliant?
3) Kids nowadays are really brilliant?
4) Con-man tuition centre finally giving accurate tips?

Take your pick.

Also, I am curious to know, why in the world would someone take so damn many subjects?

1) They are kiasu?
2) Their parents are kiasu?
3) Parents and kids both kiasu?
4) Trying to prove and you and I are stupid?
5) They are really trying to prove their brilliance?

Ok, let us all pause for a moment and give them the benefit of the doubt. Let’s just say that they are really brilliant… let’s just say our country’s education system is really producing geniuses… then….
1) How come the number of the unemployed graduates keeps increasing?
2) Why are employers nowadays keep complaining about the low quality of graduates?
3) Why do I have to work with stupid juniors in my first job?

Alright, perhaps I am being too judgemental, this is just SPM, shouldn’t relate them to graduates. But really, I have dealt with junior staff in my first job who was a top SPM student (with more As than me) and a top graduate… but that junior was just so stupid and totally incompetent.

So are kids nowadays the new breed of geniuses? Or are they just a bunch who only knows how to transfer words from text books to exam sheet. I dunno… you tell me.

Monday 12 March 2007

How to be famous amongst women... real quick...

Do you wanna be famous? More specifically… if you’re a man, do you wanna be famous amongst women? Things you should have or do in order to be hot amongst women:

1. Looks like Brad Pitt or Tom Cruise; and/or
2. Be as rich as Billl Gates; and/or
3. Be extremely intelligent; and/or
4. Have a long dick.

Basically, if you satisfy the above, chances are you will most probably be the talking point of women. But let’s say you’re ugly… you’re old… and so happen you have a pea size dick and/or brain, don’t worry, there’s hope for you! Just say all bloggers are liars AND claim that 80% of unemployed bloggers are women.

No kidding mate! Latest statistics show making such statement will make you an instant hit amongst women. Within 2 days, no less than 60+ women bloggers will put your name in their blog. Damn famous right? Even if Zewt looks like Brad Pitt, as rich as Bill Gate, is a damn smart ass and have a long dick, don’t think that many women will blog about Zewt in such a short period of time.

There you go… this is the latest “Skim Cepat Famous” in our beloved country.

Warning: As all bloggers are liar, this entry could be is a lie.

I was at the party

A little not so serious entry…

When I introduced myself the man a.k.a. wingz, he said “oh, you’re the one who can't make up his mind… and I f**k you kau kau to call you to come!”

Yeah, I was in caught in 2 minds on whether I should attend the just ended blogger gathering. You know, though official office hour ends at 5pm on a Friday, but we all know, as a modern slave, we can't just leave sharp at 5pm.

Anyway, I am glad I made a decision to go and me and my gf had an enjoyable time. Besides the food and the prices, I made the following discoveries…

Me and my gf thought we will be in the company of people in their early 20s, we were wrong… so wrong! There are many bloggers who are… well… let’s just say… more matured than you think they are. Matured is good… means they are wise people. Thus, we should read their blogs… those matured people with blogs are…. … on second thought… think it's not wise to name the ‘matured’ blogger.

There’s this guy who is my senior in secondary school, and he is actually the guy who owns arguably one of the nicely titled blog. He is zeroimpact. I remember him as a gangster in school… you know… those ‘hah hah bah bah’ type… zeroimpact, you’re not going to bash me up… are you? Anyway, seems like you’re doing very well now… good la. Don’t bash me up ok?

When I first read this blog… it has quite a heavy Malaysian flavour in it. Never crossed my mind that the blogger behind it is a ‘kwai lo’! Now that I know he is a white guy, I realised he did review his identity in his blog, just that I am oblivious about it. should have been more observant.

And of course, the organising chairman… wingz… didn’t really expect him to look like that. No no no…. that is not an insult ok… I meant never expect him to be so yau ying! And so … commanding!
Basically, one just can't put a face behind a blog for if you try to do that with your own imagination… you are definitely in for a surprise. One thing though… that fella behind does have a k*k*jiao… that’s for sure.

All in all, it was a nice party to get to know people and an eye opening experience… for me at least… hope the next one will be much more successful. Here are some pics courtesy of wingz and shaolintiger. And for the last time.... Zewt is NOT/bukan/"bu shi" a girl!

Can u spot my signature?

On a totally non related note… tiuniasing tagged me. But sorry bro, I’ve said I won't do another tag, so I can't honour your tag.

Thursday 8 March 2007

It's a boss thing

exThose who know me will know that my first job was a hell hole. There are 2 peak period in a year and minor peak here and there which means… the whole freaking year can be quite ‘peak’. I stayed there for more than 5 years and only a job opportunity overseas was able to tempt me away, do you know why?

If there’s one factor that keeps a person to a jog, it’s the boss. Trust me, when you have to slog out all the late nights, and if you have a crazy boss breathing down your neck, you won't last long, unless you’re desperate for the job.

Having worked for quite a number of bosses, let me share some pointers with you. Believe me, you will need this guidance when you switch job.

You seldom hear people call their bosses ‘bastards’, but you will usually hear people call bosses ‘bitches’… or sometimes… ‘crazy bitches’. Yeah… generally (and I mean generally), men bosses are easier to work with compared to the female species, as sexist as this may sound. Those agree say ‘oh yeah!’…. ah… I hear that.

Women bosses are petty and would generally fail to see the bigger picture. They usually carry the scared-to-die genes as compared to men who usually carry the dare-to-die genes. Of course, this would translate to higher risk in working for men. So it’s crucial to have a men boss who won't blame you if anything goes wrong. I had the privilege of having such in my first job.

If the female boss is not married… you’re most certainly in for deep shit. If you’re a guy, maybe… just maybe you may find favour. But if you’re a girl… you’re most certainly in for smelly deep deep deep shit. If the female boss is past 40 and not married… wah… I don’t even wanna begin to describe it. There is a Chinese term called ‘pin tai’. If you don’t understand, ask your friend what it means.

If the female boss is married, generally they are ‘normal’. But you must also be careful if she is married to a rich man. There are 2 possibilities here… one of which being she doesn’t really need this job and as such she is quite ‘relax’, which is good. On the other hand, she could be in that job because she is passionate about it.

“Passionate”… this is a very dangerous term, particular if the female boss is married to a rich man. This will usually means money is not that important to her and this is bad… very bad! She will just work, money is secondary… which means you will also be working (a lot) and money will also be secondary. Job satisfaction is orgasmic, so you will be doing assignment after assignment, more jobs, more late nights, stay back… money? It’s all about job satisfaction. Maybe they think your good appraisal letter can buy you a car.

It’s very important that your boss see money as an important element. If your boss thinks you’re highly paid despite you getting puny salary, tough luck, your boss won't be fighting for higher increment or bonus for you. You might hear them say…”how much more do you want? When I was your age, I was getting xxxx and I have to take bus and still can't afford a motorbike la.” They usually don’t understand what is the meaning of inflation and increase in cost of living. Makes you want to do this.

Last but not least, try to avoid a boss that has been in a company for umpteen years. Why? Somehow, when bosses have worked in a particular company for a long period of time, they tend to think they own part of the company. Trust me, this is very bad.

Why? Because if you claim your allowance, they will give you a lecture, saying things like “you’re already highly paid”… they think the company is giving you (and the boss) too much annual leave (trust me on this one, it’s possible)… if you print single page on A4 paper, they will lecture you to print double-page, as though they are paying for those papers… and one classic example where if you die, it’s ok, but business must be able to go on, as mentioned here. There are many more not-so-nice things if the bosses think they own the company, just too much to mention.
I am sure there are many factors to determine a good and a bad boss. In my zewtpinion, a good boss is the one who is able to see the big picture, the objective of a particular assignment, and not worry about whether a comma should be a comma and a full stop should be a full stop. A good boss is a boss who can put himself/herself in your position and understand your concern from job satisfaction to monetary orgasm. And finally, a good boss is one who realise that he/she is just like you… an employee.

Tuesday 6 March 2007

Breaking News: Earthquake!!?!!?!???... and lil update...

As I was staring at my computer screen, I felt a bit dizzy and I noticed my cursor started moving but I wasn’t moving my hands. The next thing I know, everyone started shouting:

“It’s shaking”…”The building is shaking”… “Eh eh, bergoyang lah!”

Apparently some offices in Malacca have been closed down since afternoon today whilst tremors were felt throughout the peninsular Malaysia. My office is contemplating evacuating the building.

For the very first time, I experienced a so called minor quake. Really... a mere 10 seconds of tremors made me wanna puke and felt dizzy. One thing though, when my cursor started to move and my hands were shaking without me moving it... I tot I was suffering from parkinson disease hahaha !!!

You know what is the best part? When we were talking about evacuating... one of the senior manager came up and said "what about our business continuation plan"?

At the possible point of death... all she is concern of is work...!I guess it's time to write modern slavery part II!!! ... but not today... I am having a severe headache from the lack of sleep due to blogging... I need some rest today. Goodnight everyone!

Monday 5 March 2007

Chinese Culture… what’s not… what’s lost…

“Where is your girlfriend?”

“She is in Phuket… holiday with her family”

“Why didn’t you go with her?”

“If I go, I won't be here for reunion dinner”

At that point, I could see a smile slowly but surely appearing in my aunt’s face, a clear sign of happiness. Of course, the above conversation occurred in Cantonese, as I am the only person who can speak English in the family besides my siblings.

CNY, a very significant festival in the Chinese calendar just ended yesterday. I always wonder, when the current senior generation of Chinese kick the bucket, will CNY continued to be ‘celebrated’? And I mean ‘celebrate’… not taking the whole week off or goes off somewhere for a holiday or gamble all your money away or giving ang pows. Of course, one would ask, how do you celebrate CNY. Well, why don’t you tell me?

One very interesting point of debate in the comments of my previous entry… how do you differentiate between cultural practices and religious practices? I did some thinking today and I realised that the line can be quite obvious.

To me, religious practices are those things that one does which involve an element of spirituality. At this juncture, I shall not brand anything as Chinese religious practices simply because Chinese in Malaysia may embrace Buddhism (mainly), Taoism (mainly), Christianity, Islam or other religion, thus I think we should no longer stereotype anything as “Chinese religious practices”. Besides, there many Chinese out there who may be practising certain religious orders, but yet, are utterly confuse about what they truly believe in. They suffer from the I-do-it-cos-my-parents-ask-me-to-do-it-and-I-have-no-freaking-idea-why-I-do-it syndrome.

What then is Chinese culture? If you do a Wikipedia-search for “Chinese culture”, you will probably get confused reading it. It talks about artifacts, history, evolution… all the heavyweight stuff. For simplicity sake, let’s just keep to ‘practices’.

I believe the following resembles Chinese culture Malaysia:

1) Reunion dinner during CNY eve;
2) Giving of ‘ang pows’;
3) Tea ceremony during wedding;
4) Giving of ‘lai kum’ during marriage;
5) Torture session during the ‘collect the bride’ mission;
6) “Yaaaaaaaaammmmmm Seng” session during wedding dinner;
7) Asking “sik pau mei?” (have you eaten?) when you meet an aunty or uncle by the street;
8) Can you think of others?

I’m of the zewtpinion that Chinese cultural practices are practices that will only be practised by Chinese (under normal circumstances), like those mentioned above. You may see people from other races going to a Chinese temple and put joss sticks, but only the Chinese guys are stupid enough to let a bunch of girls dictate terms at the door-step of their bride’s home and stupid enough to pay the girls for it despite knowing that the bride will marry the groom regardless. That’s what make a Chinese wedding… a Chinese wedding. Get the drift?
Those protocols that may be practiced by people of other races, due to them embracing the common Chinese religion (i.e. Buddhism / Taoism) are not Chinese cultural practices. These are the religious practices, one that may be abandoned by a Chinese when he or she embraces other religions. The threat to Chinese religious practices comes in the form ‘other’ religion’.

On the other hand, Chinese culture is facing the threat of extinction due to evolution. It is something that I believe, will not stand the test of time, particularly in Malaysia.

For example, how many of you didn’t make it for your reunion dinner? Or thought that reunion dinner is a hassle you wish you can avoid. How many of you want a romantic church wedding despite not being a Christian and is willing to do away with the ‘jam cha’ (tea) ceremony? How many of you think shouting ‘yam seng’ during your wedding dinner makes you feel ‘low class’ and it’s something that is “too chinese”?

Of course, I will agree with you if you say practising such practices does not make one a Chinese. But what I am trying to say here is that we, as Chinese, should preserve what is uniquely ours. Although I do believe it is a lost cause, let us try our best in this quest, for Chinese sake… for Malaysian Chinese sake.

[Here ends Zewt’s Chinese series]

Other related entries:

1) Chinese... A...B...C

2) More on Chinese...A...B...C

Sunday 4 March 2007

More on Chinese.. A...B...C

I must admit that I am very flattered to receive a multitude of comments from my previous entry, and I am very happy that many people enjoyed it very much. Many admitted to being Type A with a good portion of readers claiming to be a hybrid of Type A and C. One thing for sure, no one wanna admit that they are a pure breed Type B… wonder why.

For the record, I grew up as a Type C and over the years, I was heavily influenced by Type A thus causing me to evolved into a hybrid of Type A and C. I did receive some exposure to Type B but somehow, I just didn’t quite pick up its traits. I don’t speak English with an accent (errr…I think), but I do try to eliminate the use of ‘la’ in my formal conversation. I speak Cantonese, picked up a little bit of Mandarin during my short stint in China. I would like to believe my spoken and written English is “ok” but I am definitely not proud that I can't read nor write Mandarin (not much at least). As for diet, I eat almost everything. That’s me.

“I shall reserve my comment, I think it’s not fair”… someone told me that after reading my “Chinese… A… B… C”.

Although humour is an element I try to incorporate into my blog, I wasn’t really trying to offend nor make fun of anyone. (Oh… you won't find much humour in this post). The reason I wrote that entry is because I think something is not quite right with the Chinese race. And since I am a Chinese, I guess I can say a thing or two about us...

Type A Chinese:

To be fair to Type A, there is a small population of them who aren’t that proud to be Type A, like some of my friends. Mostly, it’s the way they are brought up, so I can't blame them. They do realise that they are Chinese and play their part in picking up some Chinese traits from their friends, like speaking Cantonese and eating rice. Trust me, there are Type A out there who try very hard to avoid eating Chinese food… and rice.

This try-not-to-speak-‘Chinese’-and-try-not-eat-‘Chinese’ is the most fucked-up type of Chinese. If I am not wrong, they are the only people in the world who will reject their own race, their own identity. One thing I really hate about them is that they are the ONLY people in the world who will say:

“Ewww… that is so Chinese!”… describing a certain type of food, decoration or behaviour, usually in a negative context.

You will never hear a Malay or an Indian referring to their own race in such a disrespectful manner. Aren’t we Chinese fucked-up?

They are not the OCBC (Orang Cina Bukan Cina) this type is still ‘ok’, they are the OCTMJC (Orang Cina Tak Mahu Jadi Cina). Referring them as Chinese or speaking Chinese to them is worse than saying “F**ck your mother smelly c**t” to them.

I may not have the right to tell them what to eat, I may not have the right to tell them what to speak, but they should never forget, that at the end of their glamorous and fanciful English name, there are 3 syllabus that make up their Chinese name, even if you can't write, read or pronounce them. That means you’re Chinese, no matter what.

One final thing to the Type A Chinese, even if you eat only pasta, or maybe you don’t even eat pork, speak only English, or even speak beautiful British/American/Australian English, and even if you have 101 English names in front of your Chinese name…. when you die… when your body returns to earth… and some archaeologist dig up your bones 100 years later… after he had done some DNA test and study your bone structure… you are going to be just… CHINESE.

Type B Chinese:

Honestly speaking, I don’t really have much thing to say about Type B Chinese. At least they didn’t lose the identity of the Chinese race. They may be the Ah Bengs and Ah Lians, but they speak, eat and live as a Chinese, which is good enough. As for the hair colour and heavily modified cars, I guess I am still ok with it… maybe I am just bias.

One thing though… Type B should make an effort to pick up the English language. I am not asking you to speak English with an accent, not asking you to totally remove the ‘la’ in your sentence… but please, no “is I cute?” or “how is you?” having the ability to speak Chinese with a decent command of the English language will make you much more cooler than just having rainbow hair.

Remember, just because you know how to say “T*u lia ma chau hai”… doesn’t mean you should not say “F**ck your mother smelly c**t”…. try it… you may just give someone a surprise.

Type C Chinese:

Growing as one, I guess I don’t really have much problem about being a Type C. After all, they are the true breed of the Chinese race, bearing the all the good traits, and the bad.

But if there is one thing that I am not proud of, that will be greed. Calculative is one thing, but greed, is a totally different issue altogether. They say everyone has a price… a Chinese is just more expensive. The greed for wealth and power can turn a Type C against their own kind.

A Chinese made a remark in relation to the recent Batu Talam election that threw me off my chair. He said something like….

“I hope the Chinese people in Batu Talam will not sympathise the Chinese candidate and vote him”.

That Chinese may be calling for a fair and just election, but the only thing I read from his remark is …. A Chinese telling the Chinese not to sympathise a Chinese. This made me think… will that Chinese sympathise us Chinese when we need sympathy?

There you have it my friends… we have Chinese to refuse to be Chinese, we have Chinese who are too rigid to learn other cultures, and we have Chinese will turn against each other… aren’t we fucked up?

I am proud to be a Chinese, and yet I am not proud to be a Chinese.

[The blog owner render his apology to anyone who feels offended by this entry]