Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Watching Life Go By in Sungai Po

Sorry. I'm finding it hard to come up with a decent posting lately. Not that there's nothing to write about, there are plenty. Maybe it's just the re-adjustment to being married again after more than a decade of being er... celibate, and to being relocated out of laid-back rural Singkir Darat to a hectic Sungai Po city down south.

I have recently shifted my base to Jurong in Sungai Po, spending just a week in a month up north. It used to be the other way around the year before where I got to spend more time on-line. Now I spend more time in kopitiams observing the Sungai Po way of life, which is a lot fun really to understand your surroundings.

The kopitiam system is good: you pay for your coffee (and food) first and then find a seat to enjoy it. If you're lucky, you'll get one in one of those rarely vacant smokers' corner, so you get to enjoy a puff too. So, you only go to a coffee shop if you have money to spend and you only pay for what you eat or drink.

But, back in the old village you can order your food and drink and only pay when you're done. And usually, friends would join you at the table because it is polite to invite everyone and sundry to eat and drink with you. Of course it is equally polite for others to decline the invitation. But friends are an exception because you do want them for company to enjoy your teh tarik with.

However there is an unwritten rule that requires the first person to leave the table for any reason whatsoever to settle the whole bill. Sometimes, that of the next table too if the people there belong to the same circle of friends or participate in the conversation on the same topic, etc. So, if you don't carry enough with you, you just sit there until someone leaves. Or stay for a second round of drinks with the boys.

Back to the kopitiam observation. The tattoo and other body decoration is in fashion. Aparently every young person out of school is trying to out-tattoo each other. Some are tastefully done, quite a lot overly done and there are some that looked like they used one of those permanent ink marker pens. And most of the tattoo wearers are Malays.

The kiasu spirit is well and alive. Just the other day I spoke to a retired long-haired Bawean guy and he told me he had a room full of expensive fishing rods and tackles. The accessories alone filled a whole cupboard, but he regretted that none of his children are interested in fishing. I told him that it is such a waste and suggested that he open a shop selling all those angling stuff.

No. He's not selling or even lending the collection to anybody. Just like his bicycles. He has three of four of them; all branded, imported and expensive. At the end of the conversation, he tried to sell me a hand-made tobacco pouch for SGD10 a piece. I would've bought one but I found the stiching was quite poorly done.

At this moment I'm wondering why do some ladies have the tendency to grow bigger from the waist down? There are scores of them here in Sungai Po. It used to be an Indian problem but they have got over it and passed it on the Malays here. I reckon it must be due to the Nasi Ambeng that causes their booties to kembeng (bloat) all around, right?

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Friday, March 09, 2007

Just An Update

Great to be back again! Had some personal issues to deal with and most of them had been resolved, thank God. Visited some of my favourite blogs and I was glad to see many are still going strong. Keep it up, people!


Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Eid Mubarak

This will be my first post in Bahasa on this blog. I got it from Shokri who claimed that he was not the author. It is a series of pantuns, to be read in each state's respective dialect; here goes:

Make ikke cicoh budu
Jange lupo tamboh satar
Kelik rayo taksir laju
Nanti rayo dale sepita

Makang ubi jamang jepong
Makang kepok cicah cuke
Bulang pose mung bengong
Bulang raye mung gile

Sepadan Pahang ada kasino
Nasi dagang ikan patin
Jange mu masam muko
Raya makan rendang sadin

Cegitu cegini awak suke
Awak suke kite tak suke
Esok luse hari raye
Sama-sama bersuke rie

Hawau kau berak merate
Kaki bengkak ulau patok
Kalu balik naik kerete
Jangan pandu kalau ngantok

N. Sembilan...
Masak lomak cili api
Campo dongan daun turi
Hari rayo kolumpo sopi
Tinggal penyamun dongan pencuri
(org kolumpo jgn kocik ati!!)

Wa cakap lu wa tak tau
Tapi wa tipu sama lu
Raya jangan buat tak tau
Angpau ada bagi gua dulu

Gulei tempoyak ikan mayong
Deroyan busok tebok tupei
Pandu hemat ingat kampong
Ase(Asal) teman selamat sampei

Aloq Staq terketaq-ketaq
Lapaq perut makan pau
Macam mana tak ketaq
Kena paksa bagi angpau

Nasi kandaq kedai mamak
Anak mami juai pesemboq
Lepaih raya jgn dok triak
Kalu ceti mai kot dapoq

Padang besaq kecik aja
Tempat siam lalu lalang
Hari raya kita berbelanja
Jangan sampai menambah utang

That actually proves that I have nothing much to blog on these days -- maybe it is the fasting month; I'm lousy when it comes to fasting :-{

If you have an appropriate reply to any of the above pantuns, feel free to use the cooment board below.

SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI to all my blog readers, maaf zahir batin.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Coffee, Toast and English

Have you ever stopped at the Tapah R&R heading north along the PLUS Highway? I did last Wednesday and had coffee and some toast at one of the foodstalls. It's the first one at the southern end, operated by a couple of ladies who don't really fit in as hawkers. They actually looked more like school teachers or office workers. The 40-ish woman who served me coffee had a woolen sweater on to fend off the night chill. Her business partner manning the cash register was wearing a baju kurung that wouldn't look out of place in an office or a lecture room.

More pleasant surprises when I went to pay for the coffee -- they spoke English! To each other, to me, to the customers, even to my bus driver!

Monday, August 14, 2006

Streamyx Fix

I'm now a cyber-hermit, leaving a life without the Internet through my own miscalculations. Have been spending too much time and energy on useless pursuits, shifting my priorities around, lending a helping hand to friends so they can go on with their lives and out of my hair so I can go back to my useless pursuits and shifting priorities and so on and so on. Until Big Brother struck: No more Streamyx!

So for the past several weeks, I can only access the Internet through cyber-cafes. Or other people's computers -- this entry is being posted through Tiff's pc at home. The only problem with cyber-cafes and other people's computers is that you don't remember all your passwords as you got your own pc to memorise those; and you can't download anything because they're not your own hard drives.

Anyway, I need an excuse for not updating this blog. I hope I can still remember what my new pasword is for this blog when I get my Streamyx back so I can tell my old pc what to memorise.

You don't miss what you never had; so I went and deleted everything from my mailbox without even opening them today. What a feeling! It must be the same kind of feeling those mystics got when they shunned the world, no? Maybe not. But I hope I'll be somewhat enlightened at the end of this unconnected journey.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Ear Candies

I tried but I still couldn't get the songs mentioned below to play on this blog. Most of those sites promising free audio hosting aren't what they say they are. In the end I settled for these guys at Quicksharing but you'll need download the songs and listen to them on your own machines.

The files have been reduced to mono quality to aid upload time; the original aren't the final polished copies anyway. So, make yourself comfortable, turn down the lights, turn up your speakers and tell me what you think when you wake up.

1. Masih di Sini
2. Siang Tanpa Malam

Click any of the above links to go to the download page.

Sunday, June 04, 2006

Shameless Plug

This is a shameless plug for my son, Reza.

You know he has been singing with various bands at clubs and private functions -- the most recent one being as the lead vocalist for the rock band Headwind where they had just finished a 3 month gig at the Kuantan Hyatt Regency.

They are working on a new album (his first) featuring a few songs with Ramli Sarip and I nicked a couple of raw songs which I'm still figuring out how to put them on the 'Net for your listening pleasure. Any tips, Amir?

Anyway, you can watch him on TV1 at 9:00 pm this Tuesday, June 6th. The program is called Down Memory Lane and he'll probably be singing some oldies, judging by the program name, backed by his previous band, Skyhigh.

That's it. Enjoy.