27 November 2008

is my food Hot? or Hot?

After eating almost for 25 years, 6 months and 29 days now… I had just realised that something was really truly missing from the English world of language. One special word that the English speaking human had never really bothers to add when they first encountered it. One special word that have been missing up until now. One special word the English speaking human never ever thought of because they had never came across those type of food before. One special word that makes a huge different when you talk about food, especially food from Asia regions…

In Malay, we use the word “pedas”, pronounce as puh duz, for food that consist of chilli and anything that work as well as chilli when you eat it. You know, the sensation of getting your tongue burning and make you sweaty when you eat it. That is pedas. In Chinese, the word is “la”.

If you ask any English speaking human, the closest they can get to those two words I mentioned will be hot and spicy. Not really correct and accurate. Like I said, they do not have chillies as one of their main ingredients so we have to forgive them for not able to come up with a word specially for “my tongue is burning from eating this stupid chillies and can somebody get water or fire extinguisher to put this invisible fire on my tongue out”.

So why hot is not the correct word? Well, hot can also mean the food is very high in temperature, please use that glove to hold it when you eat it. Spicy mean that the food has a high content of herbs and spices but it does not have to burn your tongue down. When you put chillies in the food and serve it hot, it will start one of the stupidest conversations.

Alpha: “The food is hot, time to eat!”
Beta: “Yes, I know. With all the chillies in that, it is hot for sure.”
Alpha: “I mean, the food is still hot from the stove, let us eat it hot.”
Beta: “It will always be hot, even if you let it cool down.”

That is just one simple example. In Malay’s community, if the food is full of chillies, whether it is hot or cold, the word pedas will give the warning without any confusion. No more questions ask, get your cups and glasses ready, and filled with water to the brim before eating.

I really hope the word pedas or any other word that specifically mean the same thing as pedas without confusing with another meaning will take it place in the English dictionary. If not, the confusion to tell the English speaking human between the hot and the other hot will still rage on…

19 November 2008

What is the time now...

Man can never tame an element called Time.

An element so quiet and moves ever so slowly.

Yet the element is so quick when it passes you.

The element never returns when it has gone.

Men rise and fall with it.

With it life walks in, with it death departs.

Heals pain and wound but makes suffering from pain and wound a torture.

Ever reminding you the past, never tells you the future.

Secrets are known and secrets are lost in time.

Brings man from weak to strength and took back the strength from man.

Time is both my friend and my foe…

12 November 2008

Same country, yet utterly different... How True!

Thanks to a friend of mine, I get to read this strange yet a true article. It is a strange but a comforting feeling to have someone acknowledging their feeling truthfully and not hiding it behind a stupid friendly smile. A smiling face but with thoughts of awkwardness and weirdness to relate to us, the Sarawakians…

The Star, Sunday September 14, 2008
Same country, yet utterly different

East is East, West is West and though they be as one together, each is not the other.
Each in his place, By right, not grace, Shall rule his heritage. –Rudyard Kipling

Thus began the introduction to a fashion spread contrasting past and present, modern and traditional, East and West.

Unexpectedly, Kuching emerged as the perfect location for this unique heritage narrative.
That season’s scorching summer clothes and accessories blended seamlessly into the exteriors of magnificent colonial edifices such as the Sarawak Museum, General Post Office, the Court House and the Charles Brooke Memorial.

The result? Spectacular, thought-provoking images.
Sarawak is in some ways an absorbing aberration of the British Empire and the Brooke family’s private realm.

Steeped in an incomparable history that still irrevocably binds the state’s people with their culture and land, it is an entity that others sometimes find unfathomable.
Which is why, whenever I’m there, I feel as if I’m in a foreign land.

I find it hard to relate to Sarawakians (and, by extension, Sabahans) as fellow Malaysians. Though just the other side of the South China Sea and less than two hours by air, the Land of the Hornbill seems a world away.

It is not just the resort-style, laid-back languor or the strident patriotic pride in their lands. Nor is this unfamiliar feeling due to their impossible-to-place accents or their often unusual names.
Even the people’s general behaviour can be quite different, if you know what I mean.

For instance, I found myself in a private club at the end of a rather pleasant late-night dinner. The club had been established so that friends could drink, talk and enjoy an evening together in the company of like-minded people and not complete strangers.

“Come on, have a drink,” someone entreated me shortly after I got there.

Before I could turn around to see who it was, there was a bottle of whisky in front of me. My colleague and I could only look on aghast; we were expected to drink straight out of the bottle. Just like everyone else around the bar that night, merrily swigging from the bottle, with not a mixer in sight.

No standard rules apply here, I thought, as we hastily beat a retreat before the fast-emptying bottle headed in our direction.

Strolling through the dusty streets, peeking into century-old traders’ shops, talking to people, you get an intriguing insight into the culture of this remarkable land.

I found it bizarre that I could not neatly categorise each one of them into the tidy little ticked boxes that we Peninsularites are so used to.

Their names don’t necessarily tally with religion, and their skin colour gives not many clues to their race.

And, with everyone celebrating every cultural and religious festival, it’s a real rojak. You can never tell who worships where by just looking at them or talking to them. This is very disconcerting to the Peninsularite.

Even more galling, their lives do not revolve around Kuala Lumpur and what goes on in West Malaysia. They don’t even attempt to disguise this dismissiveness with polite small-talk enquiries.

They prefer to shop in Hong Kong, visit family in Sydney or bank in Singapore, if I may relate a few tales I’ve heard.

I continuously marvel at these degrees of separation. We are tied together in a federation but that frequently seems to be the only link.

As regards behaviour, their riotous individuality stands out and an independent streak colours every strand of their multi-ethnic lives.

Surely these recalcitrant citizens must be taught to become true Malaysians? Or do they already inherently possess an unquenchable spirit woven into their heritage and patriotic pride, resembling an exquisite piece of ikat?

It can’t be a simple task when Malaysia’s largest state cradles 27 ethnic groups and 45 languages.

Yet they celebrate their diversity with as much equanimity as sheer unadulterated joy.
Heritage naturally draws on the past, but should also make the present meaningful and pave a path for the future. Could that be their secret?

Or could it be that, as Kipling meant, they know their place, their rights and their heritage and revel in them, rather than perpetuating the prejudices that still stultify us in the Peninsula?

People, places and perceptions inspire writer Jacqueline Pereira. In this column, she rummages through cultural differences and revels in discovering similarities.

Like I had mentioned before, it is weird for them to be that way after many years together. We really need to work on that happy peaceful multiracial country thingy if we want a peaceful Malaysia starting with respecting and understanding each other…

11 November 2008

Winter when it is getting warmer...

It was a cold cold day in my place and it stayed true even until I took the bus home… Thought I had say good bye to coldness after winter went back to sleep. Once in a while, like today, winter reminds me how cold it is.

It was also a day I wished I had with me a piece of warm clothing, not because I want it for myself but for this poor girl waiting for the bus with me. If I had it with me, at least it will be able to keep her warm enough until the bus arrive…

I do hope, this sort of day does not happen that often for I do not like to stand and watch, thinking of what I can do but instead I cannot do a single thing to help other people…

That is if I am willing to be separated with my warm clothing on this cold day…

06 November 2008

Shopping is the best therapy!

I had a visit from my mother youngest brother and his wife. The last of my blood relatives my room had kept under his roof. My uncle and his wife gave their thanks for your kindness and shelter…

Their visit to my place mainly revolves around shopping and doing more shopping… We, my best friend, a girl who is destined to be an English teacher and me even conduct a test to see their level of shoppingness and from that test; they came out with the best score ever. We took them to a seven eleven outlet and if they remain in it for more than 5 minutes, they really love shopping. They spent a total 17 minutes 49 seconds in the outlet, longer than what we had expected nevertheless told us what they really love to do without squeaking a word.

A really good year for me, for I learn to get to know my blood relatives better…

A really good year for me, for this is one of the years in my twenty five years, six months, eight days, eighteen hours and seventeen minutes (stand correct at time this was written) I have been living on this Earth, I bought lots of cloth for myself. That is all thanks to my mother’s youngest brother and his wife, who I found out to be a jeans expert. She knows which jeans are good for you and what sort of colour or style fits you. I know only of this fact about her after five years married to my youngest uncle.

I bought myself shirts and trousers back in Malaysia. A casual batik shirt… Shirts I will wear for working and shirts for casual. Somehow I dislike t-shirt nowadays…

During my shopping here with my youngest uncle and his wife, we bought full suit, vest, t-shirts (I know, I said that I do not like t-shirts but I like dragons, and the t-shirts had dragons on it), shirt and few more t-shirts (Levi’s t-shirts courtesy of my aunty) and jeans (Levi’s jeans also courtesy of my aunty and let us not forget my youngest uncle too)… The first time ever I bought heaps of jeans at one time in the same receipt…

Now my wardrobe door can hardly be closed… I do not know about the other guys but I like shopping…

03 November 2008

DARKRAI is mine!

A happy day indeed for me… I had caught or rather given one of the rare Pokemon! I have Darkrai in my game! DARKRAI! You heard me… DARKRAI!

I was happy that I returned here just in time for this special occasion. Now, I just have to catch another two more rare Pokemon, Arceus and Shaymin…

New Pokemon game is coming out soon. Another highlight for next year. Something for me to look forward to. I am lucky now that I do not have to wait for long to get a RARE Pokemon… When I was smaller, when there were only Red/ Blue, Gold/Silver and Ruby/ Sapphire time, I never get to see Mew, Celebi and Deoxys until I played Pearl/ Diamond… At that time, I was happy enough if I could get all the Pokemon starter. That was how sad it was…

Now, when I came here, how easy it was to get hold of those Pokemon with Pokemon events. With helps from all of my new friends… I consider myself lucky to be here. Probably not as good as US or Japan, but still better than nothing, like back where I come from…

My only wish now is for the game developer to make better plot for the game and some more depth in the game play too… Make it even better. Since Red/ Blue, there had not been many changes on the plots and game play… You can make it better Nintendo!

For now, I am content with my DARKRAI!

02 November 2008

Driving with Challenge!

The best place for a driver who loves challenge to go is Malaysia… Well, either that or most of the country in Asia.

Just recently I found out that most of the Malaysian drivers do not have a car license but they own at least one car…

Most of Malaysian drivers do not get their driving licence through the proper mean. Meaning, they somehow manage to persuade the driving instructor that they can drive…

These two facts alone shows why driving in Malaysia is such a challenge. On the road, you will have to use not the traffic regulations but your instinct. Most of the driver do not know how signal when they want to change lane or turn. Most of the driver will stop without any warning if there are stalls at the side of the road. Most of the driver does not let you change lane easily. Most of the driver does not know how to queue up, even at the traffic light, so most of the time, there will be cars jumping queue because they are in a great hurry.

I get my driving license in Malaysia and I survived it… The Asia country should be the driving test location for world driving license. There are lots of challenges and possibilities you can encounter there. The wild world of driving is there…

Do visit Malaysia and drive there if you do not believe me…

ps. The Singaporeans and the Bruneians also add more fun on the road…

The Powerful Water...

Take heed and bear this warning…

Of the four old elements of the world, Fire, Wind, Water and Earth, Water is the strongest. That you cannot argue and deny….

The Water crush the Earth, put out the Fire and little can the Wind do but make the Water stronger. Water is the most versatile, able to go many directions, paving its own way, fits and submerge many conditions and situations well. Little can stop it, many falls under its advances….

Beware of Water, for it is the largest element on Earth...

Water can calm you but enraged, the Water will be the most terrible, an element of fear that will engulf and crush you. Navigate your way carefully with Water, for it can be either friend or foe.

One cannot fathom Water, for without notice, it can kill you although it is also the life giver. Water changes and usually you will only notice it when it is all too late. Few and only few can read and notice the changes of Water. Even then, one cannot be too sure for Water can be so unpredictable…

The strongest of the four elements, beware the Water

01 November 2008

Bye bye...

Another point in my life where I will say good bye to one who had sheltered me, keeping me warm when I was cold,
giving me shade when the sun was merciless,
hid me when I need to be alone…

Many sweet and memorable things together, it is painful to let you go too. May my new relationship gives me the same warmth and love like you…