Monday, August 01, 2005

On MBA hiatus

I really want to finish this more than anything else in my life right now.
This ain't your run of the mill business school MBA. It's a school that within the Financial Times' 2005 Top 50 MBA. And it ain't no twinning distance program whore-university MBA, so I want to do it justice.
I fear mediocrity more than I fear death....................

Saturday, June 11, 2005

Potato post

From The Magnum Cafe in Petersons Champagne House in the Hunter Valley wine country, an hour plus drive from Sydney.
Beer battered chips with sea salt.

Crunchy on the outside, soft in the inside.
The sea salt crystals formed a tasty crust on the outside.

Baaaaaad carbs. Baaaad.

Wednesday, June 08, 2005

Tangy lime and pepper

I think I'm in love with these. It tastes like Thai green papaya salad with peppery zing.
I love it. I'm stocking up on these next time I drop by Woolworths.

They go really really well with a Lowenbrau.

OK. End of epicurean odyssey.

Tuesday, May 31, 2005

Miss Universe

Watched the delayed telecast on Channel 7 with my husband just now.

As soon as the 15 semi finalists were announced, I named my favourites to my husband who went hmmmph at each one of my favourites.

1. Miss Norway. Half Thai. Not really what you would call beautiful but what can I say- it's asian pride. She was graceful, friendly and confident.

2. Miss Indonesia. So classically beautiful, what amazing bone structure! She had a very classy "you can't touch me" kind of look. She looks like she could be an international model (think Paris), not just those B-grade models who only manage to make it in their own country.

3. Miss Latvia. STUNNING. What a barbie doll. Unbelieveably Claudia Schiffer-esque.

And Miss Malaysia.......geeez I have no words.
WHY do we keep picking these types of girls?
The chick needs to get her pale ass outdoors and get herself a healthy tan.
She also needs to stop jumping onto the straightened-hair bandwagon.

OK, my gripe about Miss Malaysia isn't just purely skin deep.
I'm sure she's probably a very smart girl, but it didn't really shine through.
Very very ordinary.

And Miss China looked like she belonged in a karaoke bar as one of those "Guest Relations Officers".......

We've had much better looking girls as Miss Malaysia.
Andrea Veronica Fonseka (2004) was a hot babe. She really copped a lot of shit from Malaysians who claimed she was fat. OK, she was a bit bigger than your average Miss Malaysia, but damn, she is SEXY.
And 5'11.
And she was interesting, athletic and had a lot of personality.

Imagine if the insipid-looking girl to her RIGHT had won instead!

A few of our ex Miss Malaysia's in this pic below.

Elaine Daly, Wong Sze Zen, Jamie Gooi, Tan Su Wei & Lina Teoh.

Lina Teoh is smart, articulate AND beautiful. You can see her confidence and maturity.
Tan Su Wei is quite quirky and interesting... and you can SEE her personality.
Elaine Daly is also outgoing and smart. Lots of sass in this chick!
I have no idea who Jamie Gooi is but she looks alright, too.
Wong Sze Zen. Someone tell me WTF she is doing in the same frame as the rest of these women?

If the winners in 2005 and 2004 are anything to go by, I'd say tanned, athletic women with healthy bodies is the new beauty ideal. Real girls. An asian version?
Miss Singapore 2005, Cheryl Tay?

Miss Japan 2005, Yukari Kuzuya? All 6ft (with no heels!) of her?

She's got personality plus-plus too, I reckon.
Check out her outfit for the evening gown! Coolness.

Say NO procelain princesses or barbie dolls!!!!

OK. Better stop the pic posting frenzy. Beginning to look like a bloke's page.

Monday, May 23, 2005

post from work

I am a media tart.
Helloooo 7 o'clock news, hellooo politicians!
Can't reveal too much more. ;P

Friday, May 20, 2005

Fry day

Some bits and pieces throughout the week:

I was headhunted by an american firm. They are trying to rope me in as a project manager. Totally unrelated to architecture. I'll go for the interview next week and see how it goes.

Remember "H"? I blogged about this particular friend here and here.
Well, she finally spoke to me. It was cordial. I guess the frienship will never be the same again.
I don't like being around people who give out negative vibes for too long. Does that sound too hippie-ish? Well, kiss my flowerpower ass.

Revenge of The Sith rocked my world.
OK, yes I was there with my best friend, "Will", amidst the people who wore their Darth Vader masks throughout the movie.
I don't look anything like your average Science Fiction fan. Not even close.
But a sci-fi fan I am. (Yoda-speak)
I have ALL of Frank Herbert's Dune books and their offshoots.

My wanker banker husband is currently in the Hong Kong office of the first tier BigAssGlobalMerchantBank (definitely no names) he works in. We spoke on the phone earlier this week. He hates being there in that city, but since he was promoted, he feels the pressure to live up to those new expectations. We are SO alike when it comes to ambition.

Monday, May 16, 2005

Tempus Fugit

The title of this post is exactly how I feel right now. Not enough hours in the day to do what I want to do.

Where does all the time go?
What happened?

Sometimes time slaps you in the face to remind you that you made a promise to yourself now get your arse moving. Sometimes I don't know where I'm going but I have to get moving.

I don't feel that I have an easy life. I beg to differ. I think I have to live up to a lot.
Is it easy to to live your life relying on nepotism?
Is it easy to be in someone's shadow?

Got a new Isamu Noguchi light from Kezu.

I quit smoking a few months ago, but I really need a ciggie now.

Monday, May 09, 2005

Coffee vs. Tea

I know I've talked about my love of coffee in the past. And how Starbucks etc.... taste like toilet water etc. etc.
None of that skim decaf soy latte shit, please.
If you were in New York, would you drink coffee at Starbucks or would you go to Dean & Deluca?

A wog friend of mine says "Good coffee is only made by wogs." I tend to agree with this tabouleh brother.

The next time you see your friendly neighbourhood barrista, check out his eyebrows. Do they join in the middle? If they do, that is usually a good sign.
Bankstown in Sydney has a sizeable muslim community. Faroukh el Bahsa's is famous for their baklava, but they also have the best coffee.
It'll make your eyeballs bug out. Heh.

But when in Malaysia, do drink that fabulous teh tarik.
It's wonderful stuff. It's honest and unpretentious.

Anyone who says they love the coffee at those ice blended, frothed, whipped creamed , cocoa dusted concoction joints are posseurs who like just hanging out at there with your crew. It's good if you can admit to that. Nothing wrong with that.
Don't tell me anyone prefers to study at a noisy place where you have to be quasi trendy with one or two ice blendeds instead of a quiet environment where you can maximise your concentration? Ah. I MUST be getting old. Or very pragmatic. Or spaced out.

The theory on why people drink coffee (supposedly bad for you) instead of tea (supposedly good for you) is presumably the same theory why women go for bad, dangerous boys.

Hey Mom, why didn't you warn me?
'Cause about boys there's something I should have known,
They're like chocolate cake, like cigarettes,
I know they're bad for me but I just can't leave 'em alone.
Lyrics from Bachelor Girl's "Buses & Trains".

Thursday, May 05, 2005

Back at work and dinner/breakfast in Balmain/Cabramatta with friends

Here I am again. Back to the routine of putting thoughts into words/images.
Shuttling to and from the office, home and grad school in the last few days. Not in that order. Again, I feel that I've taken on too much but I'm determined to get through it. I haven't got to where I am by being easily fazed by obstacles.

Use it before you lose it.

Right then, down to business:
Comfort food differs in definition for everyone.
What gets you nostalgic and comfortable?

A combination of a good bottle of vino, some seafood and conversation with good friends at Balmain. Balmain is to Sydney what Notting Hill is to London. Know what I mean?

My meal. These are not giant prawns, they're actually called Balmain bugs. They're a combination between a lobster and a prawn. I could not finish this, but managed to finish the damn bugs. I love eating them bugs. I love it more than I love saying "I eat bugs".

Another meal was on a jaunt to Cabramatta with my two favourite gay white men (if looks could kill I'd be dead by now. Why? Read on....). Cabramatta is in the outskirts of Sydney and well known for its 80% Vietnamese population and also for its violent gang wars.
And when in Rome....... we had Pho of course.

No woman should leave her pho unattended. Shame on me.

No fighting over the chilli when I'm out with this lot.
More for me! Yay!

Tuesday, April 26, 2005

Phantom self

Isn't it funny how work piles up while you're away working?
It's as if your workload suddenly doubles. As long as your desk is there, you're there.
Curse all this this correspondence.

Tuesday, April 19, 2005

Real estate hunt

When I got back to Sydney, the first thing we did was a spot of house hunting.
Not for a new place to live, but for an investment property.
We parked the car and went around on foot and doing the real estate rounds in Mosman.
On the hunt for capital gains!

I feel a Duran Duran quote coming on.

"Burning the ground, I break from the crowd
I'm on the hunt, I'm after you
I smell like I sound, I'm lost and I'm found
And I'm hungry like the wolf"

Just like typical Sydneysiders, we're hydrophilic and we NEED to be near water and have views of water. The properties we're looking at are a few streets away from boutique giftshops, lifestyle shops and patisseries.

And I'm so happy to say there's very good coffee to be found here. None of that Starbucks cat's piss. But at AUD3.20 per pop (inclusive of the ever present Aussie GST), it better be good.

A decent Sydney property with at least 3 bedrooms in a suburb that's nowhere near water, hills, cafes/shopping or train line will still cost you around AUD 650-800K. It's craziness.
In Mosman, you're looking at a teeth-gnashing AUD 650K-800K for a ONE bedroom apartment. And for houses..... it's around 3 million for an old one storey brick home.
*Sigh. Welcome back to Sydney, Implosion*

Monday, April 18, 2005

Back in Sydney again

Last week was all about work, work, work and network, network, network.
It was dry and uninteresting. A bit like airline food, actually.
I didn't get to see my parents during this trip because they were out of the country.
Not really worth blogging about. I finished a book in 8 hours.

Yes. I read this. And found it absolutely riveting.
So call me a freak.

I did find the time to have the dinner I blogged about with my group of friends from the 50490 'hood. We talked about what I blogged about.
Some of us got emotional. And some of them/us share Orked's taste.

*Get yer sugar here, ladies*

And YES, it was exactly as I predicted. Takut bini- WaWa and Mr. UnitedNations left early. They obviously don't read blogs. Bwahahaha.

The Hurdler was having a soiree at her parents' home in Pantai Hills (damn that brings back memories. Back then, her "soirees" came complete with a DJ and strobe lights. Heh.) and the people there were what I would call Malaysian Eurotrash. Heavy emphasis on the "trash".

Now- what do I want to say about these people? They're OK actually. I judge people by their looks more often than I like to admit. I don't think I made any lifelong friends, but they were nice people.

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

DIY weekend

My husband and I went to Domayne, (To put it bluntly, it ain't no IKEA, mmmm-kay? IKEA it ain't. Best not be too nasty- I know some people in Malaysia think IKEA is bees-knees designer chic.) on the weekend for a full day of shopping.

We bought stuff. I mean lots of STUFF.

I saw the Genie Lamp loveseat I'd always wanted, but hubby talked me out of it. Phew! That was close!

We stopped only to eat and load up on those good little vitamins in those fruit smoothies.

We're satisfied little consumers now.

Wednesday, March 30, 2005

Name Your Illusion part 2

I blogged about my friend "H" a while back.
She's the woman who swans around in a fantasy that she's living the life of the rich and famous. The one who hasn't accepted that she hasn't got her daddy's money to spend anymore.

Both she and her boyfriend made me very cross and disappointed recently.

They've started badmouthing "S", a common friend who, despite having an average job, is still living in relative luxury because she is still supported by her tycoon daddy. "S" is a really nice girl. She works hard at her job, she has never been the type to show off, unlike "H".

What do they say?

  • "She'll never make it in her job because she's never had to go through any hardship in her life!"

Not true. She's slowly been given more and more responsibilities probably because she's a really hard worker, despite being paid an average salary.

  • "She's 30 and doesn't have a boyfriend because there isn't a man out there who isn't intimidated by her being such a high maintainence girl."

Not true. She's recently found herself a banker boyfriend (A first tier bank, not just any second or third tier bank.) of the same caliber as my husband. Well done, girl!!!

  • "She looks so plain she could pass for a lesbian."

ROFLMAO... well, yeah she does a bit.....but a cute short haired lipstick lesbian, not a butch dyke type. But she wears Prada type of plain clothes, mmmm-kay?

This isn't the only person whom "H" and her boyfriend spend their time criticising, but I think that this is the person who least deserves their vitriol, because this person has never said a mean thing in return.
My bitchy friend "H" sounds like someone who's gorgeous, tall and has a killer bod, huh?
Nup. She and her boyfriend are both what you and I would consider tubby rotund bodies.

They're unhappy with their own lives so they put other people down to make themselves feel better. He is still overworked and underpaid in his back-office job, hating it but not quitting because they have a lifestyle to upkeep. She still hasn't found a job yet, she still spends her days being Martha Stewart, having dinner parties and doing lunch.

Instead of putting that negative energy into bettering themselves, they do nothing and sit back, watch and wait for other people's failures so that they feel better.
I think I told them so, in not so many words.

I haven't heard from "H" since. I value her friendship.
I want to call her and explain why I said what I said... I think I'll let things cool off for a bit.

Monday, March 28, 2005

At last- finally

My bubbly big-haired mother took time out from her busy travel & social calendar to visit me over the holiday long weekend. We get friday and monday off for Easter holidays over here.
(I don't give a rats' ass the holidays are for, I'm just glad to have a holiday.)

My mum kindly brought a particular DVD over for me. Finally!
Sepet reminds me of every relationship I ever had with someone of another race.
Most of all, it reminds me of the days we spent in KL just before we left to further our studies overseas.

My friends in KL back then were/ are just like me, offspring of VIPs, they went to CBN, TKC, VI, SJI, MCKK, RMC, ISKL etc. (Having fun going nuts on the abbreviations here. It's one of those cheap thrills I live for.) They lived in the 50490 vicinity or in the neighbouring suburbs. Amongst the people in that group was/is a good friend of my ex, that friend is a fellow SJIer who was in a boy band in the late 80's and is now married to a successful local jazz songstress. Another person in that group is a socialite grand daughter of a previous agong, whose brother was........ OKlah, so it's a tangled web we weave.

Now that I've actually seen the movie, I can't say any of them are anything like the characters in Sepet.

Some of us ended the relationship with the person from a different race. Three of my friends claimed that the person was the one big love of their life with whom they had the most amazing sex. They lost their best friend and ended up marrying/ settling for someone of their own race.
And some stories do have a happy ending.
Some of us married that person from a different race.

I resolve to organise a get-together with my old friends (no spouses allowed) when I get time off on my upcoming trip next month and I want to ask the friends in question why they did that. My husband's friends in Malaysia are very different from mine. None of them have ever been with anyone outside their race.

My friends love a good long meaningful discussion session that lasts late into the night. Some guys in the group will usually leave early. (They know who they are.)
Methinks it's a toss up between takut intimacy and takut bini. Heh.

Thursday, March 17, 2005

It ain't the size of your axe, it's how you play your riff, baby.

Don't we all love a man with a guitar?

Look at how sexy this looks. How could you not?
OK, so it's John Taylor from Duran Duran.
Axe or no axe, I'll take him any day.

I used to errr.... date a guy (when I was in university) who was soooOOooo good with his fender stratocaster.

He played in a rock band at night and was an engineering student by day.
He was no white boy and he could goreng until the cows came home.
He could play any guitar riff that I asked just to get some. Heh.
"Sweet Child O' Mine" by Guns n Roses would work every single time.
(Hey, this was the early 90's. Gimmie a break, OK?)

There's nothing like the sight of a hot looking man and his hot looking guitar playing a er, hot guitar riff.

When I asked him to play any song on U2's Achtung Baby, he said "Pfffthppth... no challenge." Then he proceeded to show me the finger maneuver that The Edge created for U2's sound. Not the guitar god I thought he was.

Phew, damn- is it getting hot in here?
*Implosions fans herself*

Wednesday, March 16, 2005

Cityscapes part 1

"A city is a congregation of animals whose biological history is enclosed within its boundaries; and yet every conscious and rational act on the part of these creatures helps to shape the city’s eventual character." Claude Lévi-Strauss in Tristes Tropiques.
I like to think that I shape cities in my masterplans. They get built and become reality.
That's just the megalomaniac I am. Armistad Maupin wrote Tales of The City as if San Francisco could be embodied in the personalities of his whacked out characters.

There are pockets of urban spaces I call home within my city.

An apocalyptic sky over Darling Harbour.
Taken on the Western Distributor flyover heading towards the Harbour Bridge.

Clovelly Beach on a Sunday morning. People here are a mix of bohemians and the bourgeoisie. Everyone leaves their things on the concrete and forgets about it for an hour or so while they have a swim'n'bake. When they come back, it's always there. There's a good sense of community here.

Neil Gaiman spun a wonderful urban tale in his one of his Sandman graphic novels, World's End.

In it, a generic unamed city dweller finds himself lost in an unamed generic city.
He bumps into a generic old man on a generic street who says this:
"Each city is a collection of lives and buildings and it has its own personality.
So, if a city has a personality, maybe it also has a soul. Maybe it dreams."

End of intellectual wankery.
Back to the intellectual MBA books sans wankery. (i.e: not very much fun at all)

Friday, March 11, 2005

Australia, the highest taxing country in the world

As I was having my morning coffee this friday morning with my husband- we watched Sunrise on TV. The usual light morning banter of the hosts and the regular politicians Kevin Rudd and Joe Hockey is standard breakfast TV fare, but this morning the subject was taxes.

OooooooOOOOoooooo. We choked on our coffee and put down the paper and listened and yelled profanity at the politician who looks like a used car salesman, Joe Hockey for saying that "We have to collect taxes if you want free healthcare, education....."

"FREE????? Free??????? Don't tell me he said FREEEE??" Hubby had to restrain me.

FREE healthcare? Noooo. I don't think so. The amount of money you can claim back from an average doctor's visit is set at AUD$20. That will cover half of the bill. You're not allowed to claim for medicine unless ONE item exceeds AUD$25. And on top of that, if your income exceeds a certain threshold, you are slugged with a levy when tax time comes.

FREE education? Nooooo. I don't think so. These days, the average Australian university student has to shell out more and more to pay for their education. I have said my piece on this piece in my last blog entry.

Everyone I know votes Labor. I vote Labor.
Why the hell is that little snivelling lying rat John Howard and his Liberal cronies still in power?

My theory is that there is no Labor leader charismatic enough for the job.
Bob Hawke was the most popular PM of all time.
He held a record in his old university for drinking the most beer in the shortest amount of time. When Australia won the America's Cup, he was absolutely pissed off his face when he announced on national TV, "Anyone who sacks a bloke because he doesn't turn up for work today is a bum".
Interest rates went up as high as 17% while he was PM. Believe it!

These days, we're not so easily convinced.
We need an articulate, intelligent, rational man to lead this very naive country.
I think Kevin Rudd is one of the best men for the job. He is compelling, he rarely makes excuses, he does never patronises voters or Australia's Asian neighbours . He spent many years working as a diplomat in Beijing, where he learned to speak mandarin.
Bob Carr, the Premier of New South Wales, is an amazing leader. He is very Asian in his approach to business. And how I'd best describe him is that he is a man after my own heart- pure capitalist scum. He is married to a Malaysian chindian woman.

WHY am I going on and on about the Australian economy and its relations with Asia these past few weeks?
It's to do with an International Trade assignment. My husband did the same unit when he was doing his undergraduate degree. Pfffah. Should be a breeze, but I'm really getting my teeth into the topic, so excuse my ranting ass.

Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Tall Poppy Syndrome and Australian Malaysians.

*Implosion gets on soapbox*
Parochial. That word has been used many times to describe Australians.
Australian society is very egalitarian by nature- very working class, perhaps due to its convict roots.
There is the very common and popular notion of “having a fair go”. Italians, Greeks, Chinese, Japanese, Indian etc. immigrants come to this country in the hope that they would all get an opportunity to get a slice of the pie.
And here, The Tall Poppy Syndrome is everywhere..... there is a prevalent attitude that "the goverment will take care of us": your pension, your healthcare, your unemployment benefits. Enter the immigrants, who are used to working hard for their money, who are quite er, more business savvy and better at saving money. Of course they're gonna get ahead.
And lots of people are unhappy.
So we asians know to tread carefully amidst their insecurity.
But business goes on as usual, Asians are also literally buying over Australia.

Your average Australian finance guy in a 2nd or 3rd tier bank like Westpac would not know this. Not unless he was Macquarie Bank or Deustche Bank material.
And I'm only mentioning a FEW companies and ONLY Sydney properties.

AND I'm only mentioning Malaysian and Singaporean companies, too.

How do you think Australians would react to a company that was asian run and obviously asian owned? If I were an asian investor looking to make $$$ here in Australia, I would set up my company structure in such a way that it has a local CEO and a local board of directors. That is the business model that would work over here.
Do things the Australian way, and make all the damned $$$ I can.
(damn I'm capitalist scum)

So you see, accepting Asian money is not hard for the Australian government.
They'll take in Asian money when this tiny cinderella economy needs it.
Did you know Australia's foreign debt is now AUD$422 billion?

However, accepting Asian immigrants is really really hard for them.

The Migration laws in Australia have toughened up a whole lot since the 80’s. You have to be in a profession that the Australian government considers useful to the economy. You have also had to have graduated from an Australian tertiary institution. In as much as there has been a brain drain in Malaysia, there is a brain drain in Australia, too. Young Aussies leave for the UK and the USA all the bloody time.

They do it all the time in their whore universities who accept asian students without an acceptable command of english, who therefore write essays in gibberish, as long as they pay the full fee, which is much higher than what the Australian students have to pay. Although, in all fairness I have to say that the Howard government has been closing that gap between Australian students’ and International students’ university fees. The evidence is in the annual riots mostly by Australian students, of course, that ensue after EVERY year’s announcement that the universities are raising the fees. So, they vent. They burn their papier-mache John Howards. They get on the 7 o’clock news. They get arrested.
Ho-hum. Life goes on. The fees get higher.
They pay their fees. They owe money.
BUT they still spend big to upkeep their precious lifestyle. Gotta have that beer, gotta have that V8, gotta have that Australian dream that they all have a right to......

Although, overall, this country has been good to me in terms of friends, my career, etc.
But that's because I have to walk the walk and talk the talk, you know what I mean?
(I can drink beer like a fish. I have a lewd sense of humour.)
You have to if you want to get ahead over here.
Am I a sell out? Am I a loser? I don't think so.
I am zooming far, far ahead in the career stakes compared to those who don't want to drink with the directors, those who don't share the slang or get the same types of jokes.

So what has this got to do with Malaysia?
Malaysians are always complaining about the system.
All I'm saying is that the system is there. Make it work for you.
*Implosion steps down from soapbox*

Ahem. Thank you.

Wednesday, February 23, 2005

Malaysian movies, the Oscars & Top 10 lists

Sepet. Word is that this movie hyped up some issues in Malaysia that need hyping up. I read this Malaysian blogger, TV Smith's review of the movie.

Then I went to its director's blog.

And now I HAVE to find a way to see it. This is the first gem amongst the common local fare (mostly lightweight fluff that those singer/actress/model types love to star in) but the narrative behind it all is interesting. Its social commentary, its subject matter. It's skillful storytelling that's so powerful it doesn't need to be propped up with a huge budget. I think this is the kind of movie which will remind us of many intangible familiarities in the Malaysian experience.

BUT: I don't think Orked, the lead character in Sepet is the only malay girl around who lusts after Takeshi Kaneshiro, OK? That's just IMHO.

The only foreign asian movie in Sydney's cinemas right now is House of Flying Daggers. I love well designed epics, masterful framing and landscape eye candy but I fully blame that on my profession. And Takeshi is in this movie as well, ladies!

The Oscars is on TV tonight!

I don't know whether it's live or a delayed telecast by a few hours.
I love looking at the dresses. The best friend and I will be giving a running commentary (to each other) on what people are wearing.

We know who gives good frock and who doesn't!
Grace's pick:
Kate Beckinsale.

Will's pick:
Nicole Kidman.

We both wish we were Joan Rivers.

Have you ever felt like you wanted to be tansported away from where you are right now?

My little way of escaping, well, besides writing in this little corner of cyberspace, is inventing a list for the things I want. They eventually turn out to be mixture of things that I already own/travelled/experienced. Then I realise that my life isn't so bad after all. It's a way you remind yourself that the glass is half full.

I LOVE lists.

Top 10 holiday destinations (travelled and yet to travel) David Letterman, eat your heart out.

1. TASHKENT, UZBEK- I'm fascinated- what can I say? Doing that soon.
2. MIAMI, USA- I love this kitsch sun drenched city in shades of pastels. Been there. Done that.
3. BALI, INDO- It's an Aussie thing.
4. QUEENSTOWN, NZ- Of course. The skiing is to die for. Been there. Done that.
5. NEW YORK, USA- I want to do 2 sides of NYC- I want to be in Manhattan and go to the Hamptons. Then I want to be in New Jersey and go to Rockaway Beach. Doing that soon.
6. TOKYO, JAP- Need I say more? The pseudo-Jap in me leaps out of my skin. I love how the aesthetics of every single thing is geared towards harmony. Been there. Done that.
7. ISTANBUL, TUR- This is one city maze I want to spend hours exploring. Doing that soon.
8. LONDON, UK- I love how I feel like I've lived there all my life when I'm there. Been there. Done that.
9. PETRA, JORDAN- The sight of the ruins take my breath away whenever I see it. Doing that soon.
10. DUBLIN, IRELAND- Drink some guinness (bleeehhh) and listen to bands playing in pubs over there. Find out why so many amazing musicians come from this country. Doing that soon.

Too many things. Too little time in this lifetime.

Will & Grace

I'm "Grace". Only shorter, asian and just as boney-assed.
My best friend is "Will". Only blonde and 100x bitchier.

I'm serious.

But tonight is Will & Grace night, my wanker banker husband is out at a company function with other wanker bankers. So I'm here at home in my Bonds couture and an extra large strawberry dream smoothie from my neighbourhood Pulp juice bar.

I don't feel very MBA-ish tonight so I'll put the books aside until after Will & Grace.
Everyone has a sitcom that they relate to.
If I know anyone that says they relate to Friends, come here darling and please let me pull your fingernails out one by one.

Monday, February 21, 2005

Name your illusion

I know "H" really well. I would consider her one of my closest friends.
She went through a rough patch in her life when I got to know her. She's got a heart of gold but she's also got what you and I would consider expensive taste. She has a rich daddy, but is now on her own trying to sink or swim. Her Daddy has retired and sold off his business to pay off some debts. She lives with her longtime boyfriend, a chubby, nerdy, quiet, insecure guy. A techie type. He's all rough edges, which is fine, but he wants to be smooth and thinks he is smooth. There ain't nothing smooth about him.

I was at their expensive RENTED apartment recently BUT they have no couch, no car BUT they have a Sony flat screen TV BUT it sits on its cardboard box. She carries her LV and Prada bag everywhere and criticizes me when I prefer to carry my brandless (Esprit is not really branded is it) soft leather bag instead.

I know her man earns exactly half of what I earn, yet he wants to act like a big shot. He wants to pay for our dinners and our lunches together. Which is fine, but why not split the bill?
She just quit her customer service job recently. And it was a shitty job. The kind you have to wear a uniform for. And she's a lady of leisure these days, meeting us, her friends who work hard for what we have, in the city for lunch. She's still under the illusion that she's a Stepford Wife.

I want to open my mouth and tell her to wake up and smell the cafe latte but I don't think it makes a jot of difference to people like her.

Tuesday, February 15, 2005

Valentine's Day. Bah Humbug.

What did my husband and I do? Not much.
I came home from work early. Made dinner.
He came home from work. Went online.
We ate dinner.
He watched TV.
I studied.
Went to sleep.


Friday, February 11, 2005

The Great Debate

Yes. I've been back in Sydney for a few weeks now and have just been on auto pilot.
I'm pretty out-of-it, actually- walking around like a zombie.

I've been following an unfolding saga on the internet lately.
It's snowballed into something bigger than blogs. *Gasp* Is that possible? What could possibly be bigger than blogs?

What sparked it off was this post from The Malay Male.
Now I've generally found this guy to be a breath of fresh air amongst Malaysian bloggers.

Another respected Malaysian blogger, TVSmith, wrote a response here.
Suffice to say that many in the blogging community hold this guy in high regard.

That above post incensed a mild mannered bike riding blogger so much that he wrote this.
OoooooooOOOooooooOOOooo, I said to myself. People are getting emotional here!

That in turn, provoked another blogger to provide some perspective to the situation.

And so the Drama Minggu Ini continues.......
Call me a voyeur, a ke-poh-chee, a soap opera fan.....

This is the thing I've found about anything at all in Malaysia. Everything is so race-specific. Yes, I know this is the legacy of our colonial past. Malaysians keep it well hidden, but there is racial tension in the air. That's the first thing I notice everytime I land in KLIA, actually. Not the smog, not the humidity, but the racial tension. My Malaysian passport identifies my race. So does my birth certificate. So does any Malaysian application form. It is this that decides whether I am entitled to a scholarship, loan, job, shares, land, contracts etc etc.

Given all these seething underlying issues, how do Malaysians actually find a forum to discuss these issues?
There's the problem right there. Other than the internet, there isn't much of an outlet for these frustrations we all experience every now and then. On top of all that, such discussion of racial issues are frowned upon by the Malaysian government, ever fearful of another 13th May 1969 riot. ("Riot" is putting it mildly. According to this certain someone whom I know, who was in Universiti Malaya at the time of the riots, there were people killing each other on the streets. Heads lopped off with "parangs" i.e. very big knives. As I recall, thousands of Chinese Malaysians started migrating to Australia, in their highest numbers in the 70's and 80's.)

What happens when open communication and criticism is taboo? We end up not understanding each other very well. So we're all human. We form lots of stereotypes of each other.

And before anyone starts to get all defensive about these stereotypes, I believe these behaviour patterns that the abovementioned gentlemen were talking about DO exist. We all have a little bit or a lot of these qualities in us, whatever race we are. It's important to remember that the personification of each race is like a cartoon character in a political satire. (Datuk Lat has perfected the art of gentle criticism.)
I guess, according to the stereotype, I CAN'T possibly be malay, right?

Let's all be open minded and listen when people speak.

Monday, January 17, 2005

On holidays. Two weeks left.

A short post. Have been on holidays in Malaysia, Thailand and Singapore since Xmas. Thank God all family and friends were in KL when the Tsunami hit Penang. Nobody ever thought our part of the world could be afftected by a natural disaster of this magnitude. Two weeks more to go and I'll be back in Sydney.
Until then, watch out. Party animal on the loose.