Sunday, 27 July 2008

Nothing much to say except HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

No witty comments or stories to share from me this week. Work's been getting more interesting which in turn makes life in general more interesting. Interesting, yes?

Have a great week ahead, people. I may even post something, if something is worth posting, that is.

This is Chris, signing off.


Sunday, 20 July 2008

I’d rather be called a human. That’ll save a lot of time.

Back in the day when you saw someone with fair, slightly pasty skin, sloe-eyed and are more often than not wearing a pair of spectacles the size of small windshields, then you can safely bet that that this person is a Chinese.

Not anymore.

Of course, a fair, slightly pasty skinned, sloe-eyed, glasses-wearing person is normally associated with a Chinese here in Malaysia, now there are varieties within the Chinese people:

Whiter Chinese, Normal Chinese and Oh My’s.

Whiter Chinese are those brought up in a predominant English environment. The Whiter Chinese are the minority by virtue of them being, well, minor. They are characterised by:
  • English is their main medium of communication and swearing. Case in point: the person writing this.
  • Are slightly hoity, but it’s not really their fault. They just speak better English, that’s all. With strange inflictions to boot.
  • (Ab)Uses the Internet with the females being habitual (ab)users of LOL and xoxo.
  • Eschews ersatz: Only iPods, IKEA, J.Co Donuts and Nautica for them.
  • TV shows watched are normally the hits @ smarter than your average Chinese drama: CSI, House, Heroes, Gossip Girl, etc. Asian productions that are normally watched are that of the Jackie Chan or Jet Li variety. Basically if it has flying lovers and stunning cinematography, they’ll probably watch it.
  • Choice of music generally falls into three categories:
  1. Hip-hop or rap such as Rihanna, Chris Brown, Fergie, Nelly et al. If it has singing in the first minute, a little rap interlude in the middle and then singing again, chances are they’ll dig it.
  2. Contemporary pop in the form of Girls Playing Instruments (GiPi), i.e. Marie Digby and some other unpronounceable chick who keeps telling journalists that they’re just normal girls but with dorkier foibles.
  3. College rock like One Republic, Coldplay, etc or bands with little talent either than making girls swoon because their lyrics are indecipherable because they wrote it during a time of utter lugubriousness.
  • Inclination to make fun of the other two groups, especially when a chance encounter occurs, like, for instance, when ordering chicken rice.
The second group, Normal Chinese, make up more than half of the overall Chinese community. This group considers themselves as “mainstream” and “current”. They may think that wearing sweaters is cool in our Hot as Hell™ climate but they more than make up for their hideous stylings by being cutthroat in business and sales which ultimately results in the country’s development. You have an herbal drink that may reverse the effects of orange peel in old women? This group would marry you.

The Normal Chinese are as follows:
  • Are able to converse in Cantonese or Mandarin but aren’t able to read Chinese characters except for Expensive, Cheap, and Police. Their English is all right but are troubled by plurals. For example: I don’t wants garlics or onion in my fried rices. No’s the prawns alsos.
  • By and large are quiet (when it comes work, either than that, are actually pretty boisterous buggers), modest (yeah, right!), and eager (much like a hunter looking for an easy kill) but are actually Machiavellian, vindictive and conniving. And that’s just the children.
  • Worships Asian artistes that blend Eastern and Western sounds. Which sounds like shit. As long as there is a piano interlude, a few orchestral bits here and there and a soppy (often tuneless) vocal, it’ll be a hit with the girls. Music video or MTV (more info below) must be shot in the rain and feature tragic facial expressions.
  • Drives a Japanese car because they think it gives them more élan. Their great-grandparents would be proud.
  • Patrons food establishments with the word ‘café’ in it that is endorsed by a complete unknown but is oddly edified by a small group of Chinese girls.
  • Has Astro (the local cable TV provider) hardwired to the 8888 (lucky number, mah) Chinese channels.
  • Calls a music video an MTV. (Ed: I have no friggin' idea why.)
  • The females would have a food blog that has them eating at more places I never knew existed.
  • Probably has a dog the size of a cat for a pet.
Oh My’s or Cina (the word is derived from the Malay word Cina which means Chinese and is pronounced “chee-na”. It’s best pronounced if you have a friend from the first group) make up the last bunch. They usually come from the other states of Malaysia where access to fake fakes is rampant. Burberry? Look again, it’s Burpbelly.

One can spot an Oh My easily with these eccentricities:
  • Speaks most of the Chinese dialects, has trouble pronouncing most English words (har har, I’m one to talk since I'm completely rubbish at any dialect) and are absolutely abysmal when conversing in Malay. They are surprisingly more proficient in Tamil.
  • Will adopt an English or Christian name (WTF?) but is unable to pronounce it correctly. They’ll even bastardise the spelling to make it more sensational but it ends up sounding like a disease.
  • Their voice has the same decibels of a small lorry going fast. And that’s just the old women. With no teeth.
  • Is inclined to listen to fast and migraine-inducing dance music. Imagine techno, only 8888 times faster. Are also big fans of soppy, tragic ballads.
  • Has the propensity to dress like their idols and have their hair coloured in every shade of the rainbow except the original.
  • Drives a car that can fit their entire clan plus two maids or a heavily modified national car with an exhaust pipe the size of a storm drain.
  • Knows all the names of the pig parts just by smelling it.
  • Goes to school or work with a bottle of water. A bottle of water the size of a small water tank!
  • Probably has a dog the size of a bear for a pet. And that’s just the puppies.
This isn’t a diatribe nor is it a personal attack on the Chinese. In fact, it’s merely a cheeky look into a people long thought of as just computer nerds, kung fu exponents, noodle-loving, accountants. The Chinese folk shouldn't be worried with what I've said since most of it is the truth, albeit in a completely exaggerated prose. It is not my intention to step on toes or make people want to call their local gangsters to come after me with sticks and sharp knives. To those who feel offended, don’t be.

I’m not. Tee hee!

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Alas, I wish that I can claim full rights to this article, but the truth is that this is a reinterpretation of another’s work. I’ve paraphrased many of the words, naturally, in order to avoid accusation of plagiarism but the source is greatly acknowledged. To the author, I had a blast reading yours and I also had a bigger blast coming up with my own version.

That didn’t sound right…

Saturday, 12 July 2008

Nothing screams busy like being on Facebook

I have a love/hate (mostly love) relationship with Facebook. It’s the most time-wasting thing yet I can’t seem to stop myself from logging onto it. During weekdays especially, since work isn't as exciting as it used to be and pretending to do it isn't something I'd like to do on a regular basis.

It's a great place to keep in touch with your friends, family and foes. I know more about a certain colleague of mine by reading his Facebook profile than by actually having face-to-face conversations. Frankly, I'd rather have it that way since he's a rotten bastard. And a bloody unprofessional git.

Back in the day, I had Friendster, which was the rage in college and trying to figure out what the heck I'm going to do with my life. Me and my friends would "compete" with each other to see how many "friends" we could have. So that meant adding real friends, complete strangers, random girls with fake eyebrows, and other creatures with an account. I managed to accumulate a fair number of "friends," more than half of which I don't keep in touch with anymore but would like to.

As of now, my Facebook account only has people that I personally have either:
  1. Been related to and still (unfortunately) are;
  2. Met and have maintained a sort of 'Hey, don't I know you?' relationship;
  3. Met in college;
  4. Worked with;
  5. Stalked.
I'm glad that I can say that I got into Facebook way before its Big Bang. At that time I only had one friend; the friend who invited me to join it. And she was my only friend. For a year. Now I have close to 115 people in my list. A good majority of them are people I still say Hi to at least 3 times a week (except on weekends).

If you'll excuse me, I have to pretend I'm busy.


This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Thank you, id, for introducing Facebook to me.

Sunday, 6 July 2008

If you’re gonna strut, ya might as well strut with panache – REDUX!

With the non-success of the first in the series of Chris Goes to the Gym Makes a Fool of Himself Whilst on the Treadmill, here comes part deux with even more useless information you thought not possible for Asian eyes. Get ready to be mentally challenged by the literary workout that will leave you exasperated frightened to even step into a gym.

Horror stories from the locker room:

Regarding soft males in the gym

My Russian friend, who is about the height and build of a small giant (read: friggin’ tall!) has an uncanny and downright frightening ability to act like a guy acting like a girl. It is immensely hilarious and thoroughly disturbing because he is not the type that will burst into caricature or even put on a weird face, unlike yours truly. (Yours truly will now do impressions of Barney the Dinosaur if the commission is right and without any form of video recordings. I will sue!) His perfect imitation of soft males is something only the guys from Little Britain can do with more aplomb and it’s because they’re gay and he’s not. He is so not gay.

I hope.

Of grunts, stunts and ugly exercise trousers

I’m not one to knock on someone’s choice of attire but there comes a time when some choices should have been made by women and not men. Generalising is bad, I know, but the Middle Easterners are by far the worst once they step foot into the gym. I’ll be there, on a bench, trying to pump my two puny 30-pound dumbbells, and there they are moaning, groaning and exhaling louder than a killer whale breaching. Or farting underwater. Hmm. I kid you not. I know it’s good to practise mind over matter, but when the matter sounds like a bad porn movie involving actors the size of small elephant seals and are about half as attractive, I lose all sense of concentration completely and immediately. The biggest offender, Giant Grunter, has shoulders the width of a Humvee and wears the most comical exercise trousers I’ve ever seen. Would you like you it if I grunted into your face? I don’t think so, Mr. Funny Trousers. I’m not one to knock on someone’s choice of attire but there comes a time when some choices should be left to the women and not men. Tight pink tees don’t make you look cool; they make you look a sissy. Unless, of course, you wield a 50-pound dumbbell.

I’ve always maintained that people who go the gym are vain buggers, or at the very least, cognisant of their wellbeing. Why would someone want to jog on a treadmill for half an hour and not expect something in return, like, a nicer butt? Or why would someone want to lift heavy weights that will ultimately prove useless when it comes to intelligence quizzes?

I don’t know about you, but I like my cute butt the way it is. I wonder where I left my pink shorts…

This is Chris, signing off.

PS: Don’t you just hate it when politicians bicker and make us the victims?