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Friday, August 31, 2007

merdeka reflections

I guess by now, you people would have known me quite well. It isn't easy to put me down when it comes to things like that. In anticipation for the 50th year celebrations, I expected fireworks (metaphorically, not literally) and with a chest full of gusto, I headed down to Dataran Merdeka on Merdeka eve. I thought it would be fun because they were going to re-enact the whole thing of lowering the Union Jack and raising the Malaysian flag (little did I know it was going to be done by a certain nobody).

Words cannot describe my disappointment.

Unlike most people, I don't really care that there weren't any fireworks. In fact, I have blogged about this before - I am not a big fan of fireworks going off at midnight and waking up half the country. What I was really looking forward to was singing the Negaraku and raising some hairs on my back. I have been in some magical atmospheres, in football and hockey games where the whole crowd belts out the Negaraku in unison. I have been for scout Jamborees where tens of thousands of people sing the national anthem in unison and those were unforgettable moments which actually make you forget every other problem. Heck, I have even joined the Brits in singing God Save the Queen and it gave me goosebumps!

But when the moment came yesterday, the Negaraku was met by a muted response. The main reason was because out of the hundred thousand people at Dataran Merdeka, it would be a good guess to say that half of them were Indonesians, Burmese and whatever aliens that seem to be infesting our streets these days.

That is not to say that the moment was spoilt because of that. I was reasonably pleased when I stepped out of the Masjid Jamek LRT station because there was a carnival-like atmosphere on the streets. But that slowly changed as I noticed the crowd around us. The majority of the crowd were foreigners, Mat Rempits and kutus. That saddened me because even in such a joyous occasion, we were still blatantly segregated. I am in no doubt that the celebrations at Ikano and Putrajaya saw many more Chinese and 'richer' citizens of all races. And so I couldn't decide - in the choosing the location of our party last night, did we segregate ourselves according to race or economic standing? Or were the two coincidental?

At Dataran Merdeka, it angered me to see parents bringing their young children (some even babies) to such an event, and when the kids were tired, they just lay down on the road to sleep, not giving a care that they could be accidentally stepped on by the thousands of people there. And it sickened me to see kutus pushing their way through the crowd, pushing kids even, just to get to front of the crowd. A particular chap wanted to pick a fight with me because I accidentally stepped on his foot and after I had the audacity to apologise for my clumsiness.

Contrary to popular belief, I never liked politics and try to stay out of it. For some reason, people think I am into stuff like that - how can I when I obviously hate hypocrisy? And it annoyed me a great deal when the show last night was nothing more than an advertisement for the ruling party. That is not to say that the opposition wouldn't have done the same. Which is why politics should not mix in with celebrations like that. Wishful thinking, huh?

What was supposed to be a happy, patriotic night for me.....ended in a very sombre mood. It could have been worse, but at least we ended the night in a typically Malaysian way - Ramly burger in a mamak stall.




50 years, huh?

In 1957, poverty level was at 60%. Today, it is below 5% We have come so far, yet we still have a long way to go in our journey. 50 years is not a long time for a country. We have a lot to learn. Out of the 95% of us that are not living in poverty, how many are really educated? How many are 'privileged'? Judging from the number of kutus last night, not many.

Yes, this sounds extremely elitist and pompous, but anybody who could push through their way through a crowd regardless of whether there were kids in the way - those guys can't have passed their SPM. To the guy who wanted to pick a fight because someone in a massive crowd accidentally stepped on his toes - 10 bucks says he didn't have the chance to go to university.

We have a long way to go before we can call ourselves a developed country. We have the technology and the infrastructure. In the industry I work in, a lot of our local companies are performing better than foreign companies. And to think that most Malaysians have an inferiority complex and think the world of those huge MNCs. Of course we have our bad hats, but we are generally doing fine. Doing better than fine, in fact.

Next step for the next 50 years?

Judging from last night's experience, we need to lower our dependency on foreign workers and educate the underprivileged.

Oh wait a minute...

Did that sound like affirmative action? Hmmmmm......

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Thursday, August 30, 2007

random conversation between men

If you needed further evidence to my theory that all men are assholes, albeit funny ones:


"Wah, you heard her story or not? Cannot make up things like that man."

"Yalah, fucker.........highly experienced"

"That is why we like her...my dream girl you know"

"Don't you both have girlfriends?"

"So? This one different. Anyway, we need to get a cloning machine."

"Or we could just kill her boyfriend"

"Eh fucker, after kill her boyfriend she still got one hole only. I don't want to share with you okay."

"Bodoh. We kill her boyfriend, after that I kill you la. Doh"

"Oh."

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Sunday, August 26, 2007

the long overdue rants of the angry blogger

Wahey!

Howdy ho, loyal fans of Vincent the Great!

Yes, yes....I have been busy. Very busy. Travelling here and there too. But that isn't the whole story. I have also been very lazy. Actually, I have been lazy most of my life for as long as I can remember. Which is perfectly alright I reckon. Laziness is a perfectly good excuse for not getting things done - even though in theory those things would benefit me and theoretically make me happier. No, I am not talking about this blog if you were wondering. No sir, this blog doesn't benefit me - it benefits you people because I am giving you insight into the wonderful mind of a genius.

Anyway, have you people been around the Bukit Bintang area recently? I was in town last week for work and all the major hotels were fully booked. I had to stay in a reasonably okay-ish hotel, but I am not quite complaining because my colleague only managed to get a room in a crappy backalley-ish hotel which was so cheap it gave out The Sun newspapers to their guests in the morning. The reason for all this is that it is peak travel season for our lovely Arabian friends.

Take a stroll down Bintang Walk and you could swear you were in Dubai or Qatar. I walked into the lobby of Lot 10 and the only people I could see around me were Arabs, Arabs and more Arabs. I don't care what you people say about the NEP and all that mumbo jumbo, this is the ultimate way of feeling like a foreigner in your own country. A good number of the signboards are in Arabic. Purely Arabic! I had never before seen a signboard in my own country which I couldn't read!

I walked into a shop selling factory outlet sporting apparels, and when I was looking at stuff to buy from the bin, I asked this Malay-looking chap, "Ni berapa ni?" "Twenty nine ninety nine, sir!" Fuck me silly and call me chappy! Since when did Bahasa Malaysia become outdated in shops?!? On a sidenote, what is up with all the restaurant waiters who can't understand English, Malay and Mandarin?! I have this whacko theory that we need to stop educating a certain percentage of the population so that we can rely on them to do mundane tasks like that instead of bringing in foreigners. But because that would take too long to explain to you people, I shall save it for another day when I am not that that lazy (hah! fat chance!)

This reminds me of an idea some dunno-what minister pitched a couple of years ago to have this section of Bukit Bintang designated as sort of a Little Arab street. The logic was to make the Arabian tourists feel more at home. Alas, and as always the case, the Malaysian Online Community of Morons (MOCOM) or more commonly known by their pet name of 'bloggers' decided that this was a bad idea, a stupid idea. "Why would tourists want to feel at home?" they asked. "Why would Arabs come all the way from Arab to congregate in Little Arab?" they challenged, before they (as always) spread their personal political agenda.

Well, as is typical of Bloggers, most of them function only to sit in front of the computer and hope that Wikipedia and Google can show them the world. Unfortunately, Wikipedia doesn't tell you that Vincent has seen Chinese people travel all the way to Paris to eat Dim Sum and some Americans go to Cambodia for hamburgers. Just like how the Malaysian students in UK and Australia go all the way there to form their own Malaysian kampungs.

On a slightly happier note, one of those posh supermarkets has finally opened in Hicktown. In case you didn't already know, I cook most of my meals at home. And when I say 'cook' I don't mean Maggi Mee and fried eggs. Now I no longer have to buy good ham and sausages and imported food products from KL. I did my grocery shopping just now and spent more than RM150, mostly on spices and pretentious stuff that you probably have never heard of before. My only beef is that everything seems to come in huge big family packs. What? You fucking bachelors don't know how to cook issit? What is wrong with you people?! What the hell do expect me to do with 1 kilo of table salt?!?

A few more days to go before Merdeka, and it looks like there won't be any Merdeka projects from this blog this time around. After the success of the previous two years, it would have been sensible to keep the flag flying, but again, I am just too lazy to do anything. I will, in most probability write a long essay of sorts just to educate the MOCOM of certain things going on outside their comfort zone of the Klang Valley and do my usual bit of trying to change the country, albeit one moron at a time.

But till then, good night, au reviour and don't be stupid.

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Wednesday, August 15, 2007

indifference

Are you concerned?
You know how many people get raped everyday?
So it's common, therefore boring?
If we were to care about every person suffering on the planet, life would shut down.
How about just the ones we meet?!
They deserve our sympathy more than the other people?!?!?

House 312 - One Day, One Room

That particular episode of House is one of my favourite, though not entirely because of that quote. Still, I can relate a lot to Dr. House and his logic because I reckon I think along the same icy-cold hearted reasoning. See, because compassion is one thing and indifference is totally different fish in a totally different sea. Whether it is a good quality or not, I can't seem to decide, but that is how it is.

If something bad happens and it affects me, then sure, the selfish nature of all living creatures kicks in and I will feel aggrieved, angered, or even sympathy. Take for example, the current Korean hostage crisis with the Taliban.

Should I be concerned? Well, yes.
But am I concerned? Er, no.

I don't know any of the hostages personally. I am powerless to do anything about it. Thousands of people die everyday for reasons equally ludicrious and circumstances even more complicated than this, but because there is an extra publicity for this story, people seem to be more outraged at this situation. Some friends of mine actually admitted to crying at the hostages' predicament.

I am saying all this because just last week, I got a phone call from a friend who asked me if I remember a bloke I met one year ago at a party. I recall not liking him very much because he was loud and annoying (only I am allowed to be loud and annoying). I met the fella once and that was it. I didn't even remember his face. When my friend told me that the guy had hung himself in his room.......I laughed.

Call me sick, call me mad, call me an asshole. But I laughed. That was my initial reaction. Somebody took their life and I laughed. I have an unforgiving view on suicide, and whether or not you agree with it is not the issue at hand. All I am saying here is I am indifferent to things like this. When I told this story to one of my best friends, she said she reckoned it was my way of reacting to an uncomfortable situation. Which is weird, because I never likened myself to Chandler Bing anyway.

I would spare a thought if I actually knew the person. If the person was a friend, not a mere acquiantance. If the person was a family member of course. But for anybody else? Indifference can be a good thing sometimes.

I know I sleep well at night.

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Wednesday, August 08, 2007

flipping burgers


Well, yes, even though some people were born and destined to flip burgers their entire life, you would think that there was a certain pre-requisite to how dumb somebody is allowed to be when they grow up.

The other day I was at Pizza Hut and I ordered a set meal. One drink + one soup + one pizza. The drink and the soup came first. I was annoyed (I am told I get annoyed too easily) because the soup was only lukewarm, so I called the waitress over to change it.

She protested, saying that she just scooped it out of the central pot. (Pizza Hut usually has a centralised salad bar and soup pot where people should help themselves, but the self-service concept doesn't really work in Hicksville). I told her that it was lukewarm and I didn't like it that way.

So off she went, with my bowl of soup and dumped it behind the kitchen counter. And then to my amazement, she grabbed a new bowl from the counter, took it to the central soup pot and then scooped the same lukewarm soup into the new bowl. If that's not defined as 'stupid' I don't know what else is.

The story ended when I asked her to actually take the damn thing and chucking it in the microwave or whatever they have back there in their kitchen. And 5 minutes later, she came back with a proper bowl of pipping hot soup.

Seriously, if you work at a fast food joint flipping burgers or serving pizza and can't get your job right, you need to shoot yourself in the face because there isn't another job out there which you would be competent enough to perform..

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