Friday 30 January 2009

The Bau-Thai experience

I still have not been able to find out what is the accurate English term to refer such phenomena. If you do, please enlighten me…

Anyway, “bau-thai” refers to the situation where the back of your pants burst open mostly due to your pants having grown too old or your ass grown too big. Under these circumstances, the middle of your ass will be taking on great pressure when you engage a squatting position and suddenly… “piak!”… “bau-thai” can happen.

I remember it was within the 2nd year of my working life when I had one helluva bau-thai experience. Since it was only my 2nd year of working life, I guess the pants were not that old so I can only conclude that my ass has grown too big then. See what damage 1-year of work can do to you… sigh…

My desk was swamped with stuff and so I placed a really huge file on the floor and went on that dangerous squat position. That’s when it happened… “piaaaaaak!”. Oh yeah, it was a very big one. The damage was so big that I felt the chill of the air-condition on ass almost immediately.

In a flash, I ran to the toilet to assess the damage. It was bad… very bad… it was a full “bau-thai”. It stretched from just below the belt-line right to the bottom, where the sewing met the front piece. Like I said, it was a full “bau-thai”.

It was still very early in the morning. So I had no choice but to get home and change into a new pair of pants lest I want to parade my under-wear clad ass for my colleagues to see. But I had a big problem. My car was parked in the opposite building. This is the reason why I remember that this incident happened on my 2nd year of working life.

Anyway; like I said, I had no choice. But before I embark on the journey to my car, I managed to somewhat secured the pants by stapling them together. Thereafter, I subtly sneaked into the lift lobby, took the lift down, walk to the front of the building with my back against the wall. I needed to look for the right timing to dash across the road without having to stop in the middle.

Alas, the chance came and like a flash, I dashed across the road and immediately ran towards the staircase which led to my parking level. By the way, the path covered Starbucks and a mamak store so there was no chance for me to take a breather.

Finally, I reached my car and I let out a deep sigh of relief. A little drained from my brief sprint, I immediately dropped my ass to my seat as soon as I opened the door. That’s then the climax hit me…

Unknown to me, the staples which briefly secured my pants were loosen during my sprint and since I dropped my ass hard on my seat…………………let’s just not go there…

Have you had any bad bau-thai experience before?
Though such scenarios are common to guys, perhaps some girls have their own version of bau-thai too? Or boobs grown too big leading to bau-button situation…?

1 year ago…
The 4 here and the 4 thereChick on Chinese

2 years ago…
How was your weekend?Guess the tail of these tales

Tuesday 27 January 2009

One that has gone extinct

I am sure we all miss the fun of firecrackers. Without it, CNY seems to have lost part of its meaning. But it has been banned because of some morons who decided to play firecrackers at a different level. Because of them, we can no longer light our “bang bang bang”, not even those which are perfectly harmless.

Besides firecrackers, it just occurred to me that there is this particular fun tradition that has gone missing. This particular tradition is akin to those practised during Halloween, when kids dressing up in funny costumes and go around knocking on the door of their neighbours asking for “trick or treats”. They will usually be given candies.

Do you know that we have something similar for CNY…?

It’s usually done on the eve of CNY. When the clock strikes 12, you will get people knocking on your door and they will shout…. “Choy Sun Do!”. It simply means, the god of fortune has arrived. A piece of red paper will be pasted on your door with wonderful CNY greetings written on it. You are then to give these so called “Choy Sun” an ang-pow. Of course, these people do not dress up in funny costumes, just a plain red top will do.

I remember helping my Mom preparing ang-pows with RM1 or RM0,50 in preparation of these “Choy Suns” and I have always wanted to do that. I mean, who doesn’t want to go around asking for money by just shouting “Choy Sun Do!”. But my Mom reckoned it was not safe for me to run around the neighbourhood in the middle of the night.

I think this tradition went extinct when I hit my teens. I guess people don’t need that additional RM1 or RM0.50 anymore. Even if people are to do it now, I guess people will chase you away rather than giving you and-pow. But I think it would have been nice to keep this tradition going.

What do you think? Do you have any practises that have gone missing?

1 year ago…
Experiencing Hillsong in LondonThe weekend gemYou pee, I pee, he pees, she pees

2 years ago…
Beyond the smashesModern slavery – the beginningThe right motivation

Thursday 22 January 2009


I guess it's only appropriate that this 428th post of AZAIG (8!) is dedicated to wishing all Chinese a very Happy Chinese New Year. Gong Hey Fatt Choy... San Jong Lik Gin...

For those travelling back to their respective hometown, I wish you a very safe journey and may you have a wonderful time with your loved ones.

Tuesday 20 January 2009

CNY is up to us

Something out of topic before I began… one “letter to thyself” which I sent out came back with the sender telling me she has forgotten the password. For those who have sent their version to me this time round, please don’t forget your password ok? No one in this world can help you on that…

Blogger Kat left a very interesting comment in my previous post regarding the tradition and memories of Chinese New Year. I am sure all of us have our own version of memories of wonderful times spent with family and close friends. It is indeed very sad to hear that some of us no longer “enjoy” CNY and would rather spend the day in isolation.

If that is the case, I think we should honestly ask ourselves… what is it that causes us to think and act in such a manner. Is it because we no longer have a hometown to go back to? Is it because our parents are no longer around? Is it because we have indulged ourselves so deep into the ways of the west till we no longer how to value the beauty of the east… our east?

This CNY is a different one for me. It should have been different last year but I was sent to London for a few months thus I missed out on the full impact of CNY. This is the first CNY where I will have a reunion dinner with my family minus my Mom. I can still taste the signature dishes she used to cook. Looking bad… that part of CNY is truly irreplaceable.

Secondly, this will be the first time where I will be giving ang-pows instead of receiving them. I was spared from giving the double-dose as I was in London last year so… it was indeed a good trip…

Looking at the difference in my CNY this time round, I suddenly realised my role has changed. For so many years, we have been “given” CNY memories by our parents and grandparents. They are the ones who paint a picture of how CNY should be into our heart. As they move on, we suddenly realise that the wonderful picture of CNY is no longer there. Perhaps that is why we have all grown jaded.

Hence, as most of us are entering into the next phase of life, I believe it is now up to us to be the painter of CNY spirit in the heart and mind of the younger generation. It may not be strict traditions about clothing or superstitious practises… it may no longer be the thundering sound of fireworks and how we use to burn ourselves…

Whatever it is, as long as we are reminded of the wonderful bond of family and sincerely paint a wonderful CNY picture to those celebrating it for the first few times, then the spirit of CNY will certainly live on. Really, it’s up to us on whether we want to make CNY feels like a CNY…

Monday 19 January 2009

Do spare them...

It’s a week before Chinese New Year. It’s unfortunate that CNY is fast becoming just another public holiday. I believe most of our agendas during this festive season involve pretty much about our parents and grandparents. Hence, I wonder how people of my generation will celebrate CNY when our parents move on.

Nevertheless, I believe people my generation still have that tiny bit of CNY feeling within us, one that still manages to bring us back to the nostalgic time of playing fireworks and big family gatherings. It is when this tiny fragment of memory disappears; the true meaning of CNY will be lost forever.

While you and I may still have that bit of reminiscence, there are a generation of Chinese who doesn’t appreciate the meaning and tradition of CNY. I am referring to those
hardcore type A Chinese. They have totally lost the meaning of CNY. I have personally seen some of them dress in black during CNY before. Not that I am superstitious but I think it’s a matter of respect to the elders.

They tend to ignore the tradition of CNY branding things as … “very Chinese”. Well, to those people who have to deal with type A Chinese… I have a wonderful solution for you. I think they are right, we should spare these
type A Chinese the CNY tradition… we should not get them involve in things that are … “very Chinese”… by…

not giving them ang-pow…

1 year ago…
London Friday night out

Sunday 18 January 2009

Will you report?

The industry that I work in is pretty small. Whenever there is a vacancy somewhere, news will to spread rather quickly. As the news about a vacancy in the company where I work in, I started getting calls from friends and ex-colleagues alike starting 2 months ago.

“Zewt, you resign ah?”… that’s the most frequent assumption to start of further inquiry about the position. Of course, I told them I am staying put and that my unit is going through an expansion thus recruiting an additional person. Thereafter, they will usually inquire more about the role and how the of course, how the pay package is like. But all the inquiries came to an abrupt pause when I told them…

“I have to tell you something… this position reports to me.”

I have to disclose that part of the vacancy to them and I know for a fact that almost all of them will have problems accepting that fact. Some did say that the will still consider if the package is good but I never hear from them as soon as they hung up.

Apart from all those telephone inquiries, some did sent me e-mails asking the difference between working in their version of modern slavery (i.e. Big 4 Accounting Firm) vs. my version of modern slavery (i.e. commercial company). I am actually quite surprise that 3 submitted their CV and they are all more senior than me in terms of age.

At this juncture, let’s pause and evaluate. Will you ever take up a role that will require you to report to someone whom you know and this someone is actually your junior?

Thursday 15 January 2009

EPF à Pension fund?

I don’t know about you but this news is worrying. For those who are unaware, the cabinet (i.e. the govt) has agreed in principle to create a pension scheme for private sector employees via the EPF. Unless you are a govt servant, this will affect your money. Anyone?

If I interpret the news correctly, our contribution to EPF will be turned into a pension scheme and when we retire, we will be paid monthly pension based on our contribution. This means you and I can no longer withdraw all our EPF money when we retire at the age of 55.

What if a retiree dies at the age of say… 58? Who will pocket the EPF balances?

A colleague of mine said the beneficiary will take it. Fair enough. But will the beneficiary get a one lump sum or monthly payment?

Consider this scenario…

A married couple who are almost of the same age retires. Let’s say they are without children, like many Chinese couples out there… their respective beneficiaries would naturally be… each other. What if the husband passes away at 58 and then the wife follows suit at 60? Guess who is going to pocket the money?

Regardless of how well we manage our beneficiary list, there are bound to be difficulties in claiming what is rightfully ours.

When the ruling on voluntary reduction of EPF from 11% to 8% was introduced, there were a lot of debates. Decreasing contribution to 8% will not really help on expenditure… Decreasing will increase tax… Should have imposed the form-filing request only to those who opt for 8%... etc…

I opted for 8% without even thinking about it. I always believe that money in my pocket is always better than money in someone else’s pocket. What more, this is a situation between having money in my pocket vs money in a govt-linked agency’s pocket.

But if this proposal goes through, the additional 3% that I managed to salvage will be insignificant. All out money in the EPF will never be seen for a really long time.

There are many other worrying factors. But not having to get out money for a long time should be our main concern… for now.

P/S: What happened to hitscounter??????

A year ago…
They say it’s just a number
2 years ago… A quick pick so far
2 years 9 days ago… Trustology

Friday 9 January 2009

Just busy

Hello world! Just want to say to you all, particularly to those who mailed me asking me whether I am down with health problems again that I am doing mighty fine. Health wise has been good and I am due for my next check up in 2 months time.

Anyway, the silence is due to the fact that I am currently heavily engaged in the
annual corporate battle. At the same time, I am also facilitating the battles of others. Like I said, this year's battles are going to be more intense and interesting and they have lived up to the expectations.

Plenty to talk about particularly my experiences in my recent interviews. No, not as an interviewee but as an interviewer. Yeah, trying to recruit an additional guy into my team and this new experience has been interesting!

Tell you guys next week. Cheers!

Sunday 4 January 2009

The resurrection of “Letter to Thyself”

To the 15 people who entrusted me with “their letter”, I hope you have safely received the wonderful words you have written to yourself by now. I hope it was a good experience for you guys. And for those who did the exercise at their own privacy, I hope you all enjoy it too.

For those who are unaware, I wrote about an exercise of wonderful self-reflection. Basically, you write a letter to yourself. I am more than glad to be of service once again this year should anyone wants to do another round of such self reflection or perhaps, doing it for the first time.

Again, just write down your thoughts, aspirations, hatred, ambition… basically anything and put it in a password-protected word document and send it to me at zewtness(at) and I will send the letter back to you. By the time, I hope you would have forgotten about the letter already.

here for a detailed explanation.

For this time round though, I plan to do something different. You shall have a choice to decide on how long before I send the letter back to you. You may want me to keep your letter for 5 years. So long as I am alive, I will be more than glad to do it for you. And come next year, I will not be writing an entry like this to “remind” people.

Just don’t forget your password ok…!

On a related note… AZAIG turns 2 !!!!!!
And…. Happy Anniversary to Mr. and Mrs. Zewt… !

Start writing everyone!