Thursday, April 24, 2008

earth day

Tomorrow would be the 48th consecutive day of work. After that, a long deserved rest. I have never, ever worked harder in my life. If my school teachers were to see me today, they would eat their shoes. I still remember one of them telling my mum at report card day, "Your son is damn bloody lazy".

It was World Earth Day the other day, and while there had been many initiatives to save the planet, most of them were plainly not feasible or just purely misinformed.

Someone on the radio said that she pledged to reduce her electricity consumption. Instead of sleeping with the air-cond, she promised to sleep with the fan. My manager, in our weekly department prep talk, tried to encourage us to cut electricity consumption. I told him that it was futile.

Less you forget, this is Malaysia, where the IPPs own you. It doesn't matter if every single Malaysian stops using electricity for one day. The IPPs will burn hydrocarbons to generate electricity and force sell it to TNB anyway. So for those of you who can't sleep without the air-cond, take solace in the fact that your actions makes no difference to the environment. But hey, we are here to talk about the environment and not the IPPs.

However, you could stop driving and take the freaking public transport if you work in downtown KL. There isn't a place in the Golden Triangle that you can't get to using the public transport and less than 10 minutes walk, so there should really be no excuses.

But who am I to say, eh? I eat sharks, terrapins and pretty much anything that moves. And because of that, me talking about saving the environment is hypocritical as hell.

Oh wait a minute...there are loads of those hypocrites around aren't there?


Monday, April 07, 2008

the chronicles of hicksville - going boozing, part 2

Part 1: The Adventure

The Dodgiest Bar, Ever

After that little adventure of mine, I gave it some thought and figured that after about 2 years in this hicktown, it was time to go out and actually start looking for bars to go to. See the world, know what goes on in your neighbourhood. I think things like these are important in shaping your outlook of life.

So it was a Saturday night, and while Saturday nights usually means PARTEEEE for most people, my project was still going on and I had to work the next day. I had initially planned on watching a movie and then later going home to crash. But as I walked out of the cinema hall feeling unamused by way I had spent the last 2 hours (10,000 BC. Don't watch that crap), I decided to go out looking for nice bars to go to.

I knew of a particular club, but I also knew its reputation as a fengtau joint and I wasn't really in the mood for that kind of music. Come to think about it, I will never be in the mood for that kind of music. So, cruising around in my (mud stained) Proton, I finally found a bar in a back street somewhere.

It was 10.30pm, early by Malaysian standards. Too early in fact. When I walked in, there were two corner tables that were occupied, one of which was a table of very scantily clad girls. And I stress - girls, not women. I headed straight for the bar and ordered a Heineken. The fact that the bar did not have any bar stools annoyed me a little, so I was forced to pick a table and have a seat.

I was facing the pool table and the TV (I think House was on) and started drinking my beer, wondering when people would start coming in. At the pool table was a rather foxy girl, no older than 19, with a dress that her mother wouldn't approve off. Her playing partner looked like a schoolboy, but after 5 minutes, I realised it was one of the most boyish girls I have seen.

But the real story was when I got my drink. Immediately, two girls from the earlier mentioned table came over and sat next to me. One on either side. However, instead of being normal human beings trying to make social contact with an alien species, they sat next to me in a room full of empty tables and chairs, and just kept quiet, seemingly waiting for me to make the first move.

I have to admit that I am no party animal, at least not in this country, and certainly not in this town. But I knew of places in London before, strip joints, to be exact, where women would come up and talk to you and then later you would get a nice hefty bill for their services. When you consider the fact that Oprah makes as much as she does just by talking rubbish, I suppose paying women a 100 times more attractive than Oprah to talk to you doesn't sound that bad a deal if you need company.

Still, I would rather talk to myself than to pay some random girls, one of whom wasn't even hot. And what bothered me was that they sat at my table, next to me and didn't say a word. 5 minutes pass and I alternate between catching glimpses of Cuddy's ass on the TV and pool girl's ample cleavage. Oh, and the booze as well. Still the my two companions haven't uttered a word and have started playing with their phones.

Now, people who know me know that I don't smoke and in fact can't stand the smell of cigarettes, except when I drink because the taste of smoke mixed with alcohol forms the most pleasing sensation on your tongue. And of course, not forgetting that the combined sins of boozing and smoking increases your coolness factor ten-fold.

And since this was the first time I went drinking alone (I usually steal people's cigarettes), this was the day I bought my first pack of cigarettes. I got up all of a sudden, walked to the bar and asked for a pack of Mild Seven. It was the only brand they had. The barman didn't have a light, so I went back to my seat and asked the first of my companions who turned to watch me take my seat for a light. She said she didn't have one, but asked me for the fag anyway.

I gave her a stick, and watched as she took it in her mouth, walked over to a bunch of guys (who had just walked in 5 minutes before that and also had two female companions join them not too long after) and asked the guys for a light. She got it, took a puff, came back to my table where she took the stick out of her mouth and gave it to me.

You couldn't pay me enough to smoke that stick, especially since I can only guess the things that have been inside that mouth. And speaking of which, as I am writing this, remind me NEVER to share a straw with any of my female friends. Especially those who are sexually active. Thinking about it actually gives me shivers down my spine.

Anyway, I light another stick from the lighted stick she gave me, and gave her the cigarette for her troubles. She took it and continued the silent treatment. Another group of AhBengs walk in, and immediately another two girls from the infamous table go up to them and sit at their table. Whether the bar employs these girls, or whether they are self employed is beyond my knowledge of night life.

After being at the bar for a mere half an hour, I decide that I have seen enough, finish my beer and get out of there. The minute I pay my bill, the two girls get up from their seats and rejoin their colleagues at the infamous table.

The night was still young. I hadn't seen enough...

Next: The one night stand


Thursday, April 03, 2008

the chronicles of hicksville - going boozing, part 1

The Adventure

As of today, I have been working for 26 consecutive days, stuck on a major project that is expected to run for another 15 days. In my recent performance review, my boss called me 'hardworking' which is weird because I have never ever been called hardworking. My teachers in school would laugh if they ever heard someone describe me as hardworking.

I haven't been back home since the Elections, so I haven't been able to see if there are any changes. I doubt it, since the MP near my area is a moron of the highest order. But let's leave the silly politics aside and let me get back to my story.

Being where I am, the majority of my friends are Malays and mostly devout fellas. Since I moved to Hicksville, I have never been out for a booze, since I don't know anybody who boozes here, nor do I know the good pubs. But leading a project for 20 odd days straight can be stressful, so the other day, on a particularly long day at work, I decided to get some whisky.

I didn't know where to go, so I headed to the first logical place - the biggest hotel in the city. I heard from some contractors that the hotel had a pretty nifty bar since it was quite a popular tourist spot and since the expatriate community headed there a lot. It didn't matter that it was a Wednesday night and it didn't matter that it was only 9 pm.

By Malaysian standards, 9 pm is early, which never really made sense to me. In the UK, people used to go out boozing as early as after dinner (I have seen people stone drunk at 7.30pm) and then get home around 10 or 11pm just in time for bed so that they can wake up for work the next day. Over here, if you told people you were going clubbing at 9 pm, they would call you crazy. Maybe you clubbing folks can humour me why the need to start at 11 and finish at 3?

Anyway, the bar was pretty empty when I walked in so I headed for the bar-top, took a seat and ordered my drink.

Double shot of Jamesons on the rocks.

The bartender was pretty good. Not too much ice that diluted the whisky and not too little that it was still warm. There was a live band playing in the background. They were kids, not a day over 20, but they were pretty darn good. And so I sat there, enjoying my drink, thinking about this adventure of mine.

It's an adventure because I think it freeing to have the cojones to waltz into a bar alone, sitting there alone with your drink like a depressed alcoholic would and not giving a shit what all the insecure people think about you. I figured, when I found my hangout joint, I would waltz in one busy Friday night, order a bottle of what-ever, plonk it on my table and start drinking. The theory is, when you do that, people will come over just to talk to you.

But that was the plan for another day...

Next: The Dodgiest Bar, Ever