27 February 2007

Top Ten Signs Your Doctor is Fake

Did you guys see one of the headlines on The Star today? Why doesn't it surprise me to find fake doctors around?

It's freaky, isn't it?

So you're feeling sick. Unwell. You have something in you that's making you feel terrible. You've tried panadols, you've had over the counter medication. You even tried the old wives recipe your mum told you. And still, you ain't feeling any better. So what do you do?

You dig up your company's group insurance card, if you work for a company that actually cares about your welfare. Or you withdraw the last of your savings. You'll need it ... because you're about to see a doctor !

But how in heaven would you be able to tell between a real and a fake doctor ? Here, hopefully, are some Top Ten Signs Your Doctor is Fake that you can use ...

  • When you look closely at the certs on his wall, it says: "World's Greatest Foot Masseur" and "Sijil Pemandu Bertauliah"
  • Checks for heartbeat by putting his stethoscope on your knees.
  • "Nurse Fatimah" looks suspiciously like the doctor himself in a wig !
  • He fainted when he saw the blood while collecting a blood sample from you.
  • When you told the doctor you had a bad case of diarhhea, he asks you to show him where you have the diarhhea.
  • To see if you really have a fever, he asks you to hold a thermometer inside your nose for 3 minutes.
  • When you went to collect your urine test results, he told you that your urine was too salty, and that it tasted a little funny to him.
  • For your cough, he's prescribing you two packs of Fisherman's Friend.
  • Checks your symptoms by referring to episodes of "House M.D" and "Grey's Anatomy"
  • You thought he was writing a prescription. He was really making this Top Ten List !!!

I hope with these signs, you can tell a real doctor from a fake one .... LOL ...

23 February 2007

Chinese New Year

Chinese New Year has come, and while officially, it's still on, in my mind, it's over. Next monday, the toil starts all over again.

What has it been like? Great.

As usual, 'sping' is when the flowers bloom en masse at home. It's good to be home this time of the year, if nothing, just to appreciate the beautiful blooms. Too bad I don't have a bungalow with acres and acres of space ... I'm sure I'll have a nice flower garden if I have the land !

The house underwent a minor sprucing up for the festivities. One of the best things to have happened was the unveiling of a very nice table runner I bought in Chatuchak, Bangkok. Look at the quality. It's about 1 meter long, and is supposedly hand made (I can't confirm that). Guess the price? (Hint: Cheaper than you think !)

This is also the time of the year to reaffirm family ties. My own reunion 'dinner' was a low key affair with my immediate family. But the following days, when relatives come a calling, that's when the banquet appears !

It's also good because it's one of the few times in the year when alcohol is permitted to appear in the household. This year, I'm rediscovering the magic of Cointreau in Coke. 1 - 2 shots of Cointreau in a glass of Coke is magic. *hick*

Also not forgetting the favorite past time during my childhood days on Chinese New Year - welcoming the God of Fortune !!! This year, we had a 'Wong Lou' situation - usually intepreted as God of Fortune actually COMING !!!! OMG OMG OMG OMG OMG !!!

And my favorite post CNY snack - the Nien Gao - the Malaysian version of which I discovered is quite unique to Southern China and South East Asians. The Northern Chinese version of Nien Gao has red beans paste fillings. I'd sure like to try that someday.

How was your Chinese New Year holiday ?

20 February 2007

Republish: Dummies Guide to CNY Open HOuse

I'm putting out this post I put last year for Chinese New Year, when I was feeling the festive mood more. This year is strangely subdued, but I realise a good post is to be shared ! =). Original post is here.


This year, I'm throwing an open house / house warming during Chinese New Year, sort of trying to save $$$ by killing two birds with one stone. So, for once, I get to be the busy bee running around the house getting everything in place so that my family and friends will be properly served.

Usually, I'm busy at the buffet spread and avoiding relatives trying to ask me silly, annoying questions. You know like "When you getting married", "How much you earn now?", "Why you still no girlfriend one?" .. you get the drift.

That's a sure-fire way of depleting your CNY angpow income, but there's something money can't buy.

I gotta admit that the one time I went to an open house (really, more like an open Dewan Masyarakat) hosted by some political party, I was shocked to see all the pushing, shoving and jostling. It really was a little like one of those Arsenal - Man U matches. Only thing missing was a referee giving out red cards. To top it, there are drunks, relatives and all those boring folks hoping to make friends with you ... and politicians pretending to be friendly with you, and understanding your grievances.

Therefore, I think I need to prep my guests and also the rest of the folks about the do's and don'ts of attending the CNY Open House ...

When attending CNY Open House, please do:

  • Dress appropriately. Wear loose fitting, breathable clothes with good sweat absorbing quality so that the amazing sweat you work up pushing, shoving and jostling won't drip all over the food. However, if you (a) have a great body (b) look really good and (c) are female, the opposite holds true. Wear something tight. Something with less cloth. Imagine there's a shortage of clothing material in the world, and you can save the situation by wearing less. You'll be amazed how the jostle ahead of you give way. You'll feel like Moses parting the Red Sea. Yes, (a) and (b) and (c), NOT (a) or (b) or (c). Must meet all qualifications, otherwise mass vomiting might happen.
  • Bring your own utensils. Why waste time looking for fork and spoon? Your competition might hide it from you to gain an unfair advantage. And do you really think all those flimsy plastic fork will really be able to cucuk that friend chicken? Bring your own fork and spoon - better still if you bring your own plate. Make that a big plate, the biggest plate you can find from home. Yes, even that Ming dynasty plate your grandpa handed down to you also can, but only if it's big enough to fit all the food you need in 1 go. That way, you don't have to worry if they tell you you can only take 1 plate.
  • Respect others. Be courteous. Look, it's only an open house. No need to be mean. Before you stick a fork into that asshole's butt in front of you who has been hogging the line, the least you can do is to ask him/her politely ... "Excuse me, can I stab your ass with my fork? I can't stand you hogging the food". Do the same just before you decide to 'spill' orange squash, 'accidentally' drop some curry gravy, or 'bumping' into the bastard who took all the chili crab. It's an Eastern value thing ... we shouldn't forget that just because we're all locked in intense competition for food. Hey, and be sincere. Smile.
  • Bring the family. If you have young children, introduce them early on to the spectacle of CNY open houses. It's a tradition worth keeping, and it's a way to expose them to the multicultural society we live in. And it's also a fun family outing - you spend quality time with the kids. But just who am I kidding? You bring your children and the elderly so that you have the moral high ground. "Yes, I know I took 15 plates of friend chicken, 22 plates of butter prawn and 11 bottles of Coke, but look, I have brought all my 42 family members here ... ". Even Scrooge McDuck can't argue with that.
  • Take only what you can eat. You really shouldn't take what you can't finish. It's a waste of good food. The rule of thumb here is to take enough food for yourself for 3 days only. Make sure that calculation is based on 3 meals a day only. Supper doesn't count. I mean CNY is the time of the year when practically all restaurants are closed, and the ones that are open wants you to deposit RM5,000 before they even let you in, so you're just doing the right thing by only taking 3 days worth of food. Weight concious friends might want to ensure they only take 2,000 calories per day.

  • Thank the hosts before you leave. You've plundered their food. You've messed up their furniture. You've even spilled F&N Orange on their six thousand ringgit Persian carpet. And they haven't killed you yet, in fact, they're smiling and thanking you at the gates for coming. That's Malaysian hospitality at work - they really want to kill you, but they're being nice hosts. So, please be a nice guest too. Bringing some door gifts - they don't have to be expensive - such as kuaci, Ngan Yin peanuts, some mandarin oranges and pringles will go a long way to redress the damage you've wrecked. What could be more soothing to your hosts that having enough mandarin oranges to last till next June? Or enough peanuts to coax pimples to form in places your hosts didn't realise pimples could grow out of? Or enough Cadbury chocolate to give the whole family diabetes?
Also, when attending CNY open houses, please, please don't:
  • Go around asking for ang pow. You're unmarried. You're poor. You look forward to CNY for some extra funding so that your Honda City VTEC won't be repossessed by the bank. The circumstances might make you wanna just go forth to every person you know (and don't know) and go *cough*cough* .. "I'm still single" ... WRONG MOVE buddy. Now you've opened up Pandora's box. For around RM2 - RM5 (typical angpow income), you'll have to divulge information about your marital status, the reason why you've not been getting any action, your lousy, low-paying job and your plans to get yourself hitched. That's if you're lucky. Unlucky ones have been known to have to endure talks about their over achieving cousin Paul, high flying niece Jessica, tips from 60 years olds on how to get the perfect partner and even introductions to their lovely, pimply daughter, Jane. Worst still, Uncle Howard might be gay ...
  • Brag about the good life you have. Buddy, CNY is a time for tall tales. If you think your job is great, shut up. Even when it's true that your life is great, and you're earning RM 200k annually. Else, every uncle and aunty in sight will give you a 15 minute talk about their own little Ella and Eddy's high flying ways. This even when Ella is still flipping Big Mac patties while looking for job 29 months after graduation and Eddy is selling coloring books at a traveling book fair. Everyone is really waiting for a chance to tell their bullshit stories ... so don't be the instigator. For the love of life, just eat, drink and be merry. Don't give those old folks a chance to spin their tales.
  • Go for 6th round. Despite your hosts' gentle persuasions, it's NOT ok to go for 6th round. Not even if you're still hungry. Not even if you're feeling like having another one of those fish fillets. No. The other guests will all cast dirty, mean looks at you. The guys feel like scratching your car, the girls no longer find you cute, their parents will start to gossip about your 800 bucks salary once you go for your 6th round. If you really followed my advice earlier to bring your own plate, you could have taken enough in 1 go. Going for 6th round also violates the earlier advise to only take what you can eat.
  • Eat too much peanut. The peanut is the normal snack at CNY open houses. It's relatively light, and it's a good companion when having a conversation with drones/bores/uncle Jim. However, the peanuts have gas-giving properties often overlooked by the general public. This is really one reason why evil open house hosts like me have their open house early, while the peanuts are still being digested in your body. The gases would take time to form. Now, we all know it's impossible to skip the peanuts, so please check with your hosts if its ok to fart, when the inevitable happens. Refer to CNY open houses do's (Respect Others. Be Courteous). Kuaci is an acceptable substitute.
  • Getting drunk. At around 5% alcohol, you probably don't realise how quickly you can get intoxicated drinking beer. Watch your portions and don't take more than you can handle. When you start to vomit, that's a sign you've had enough. If you are not sure about your drink-ability, then avoid beer altogether. Vodka will be a more reliable way of getting drunk. And I heard there are no hangovers when you get drunk on vodka. Now you really don't wanna get drunk at an open house because you really don't know what you might do once you cross the line. Mild problems arise when you start cussing, wondering aloud what cousin Mary is wearing under that tank top and throwing out. Bigger problems will occur when you actually respond truthfully to questions about your sex life, where you've hidden your college report card, and what you really want to do with uncle Howard.
There people, my little, condensed version of Dummies Guide to CNY Open House ... it's essential reading - don't attend an open house without it !!

17 February 2007

Happy Chinese New Year !!!

The Year of the Dog is going to pass by soon. As someone born in the Year of the Dragon, this past year had seen some turbulent times.

In little, almost unnoticable ways, quite a bit of bad luck has crept up on me. Yet, despite it all, I'm still happy. And why not !! There has been plenty of good as well - so it's a balance !!! Work has seen to it that blogging remains a second third priority - I've been so busy lately, it's incredible I still find time for my girl !

Year of the Boar promises lots for me, and I look forward to a sunny, fulfilling year ahead. Ups and downs, I'm sure I'll have, but I'll happily live my life with all that is thrown in my direction.

I have a bit more time on my hands now, for this week, so I'll try to make a few more postings. And procure some side income ...

*Thickens face*
*Prepares answers for marital status questions*

In the meantime, to all friends and bloggers out there:

Happy Chinese New Year !!!

13 February 2007

Streamyx Down Lagi ... Hope to be back by Christmas 2007

I endured a multi-week downtime with Streamyx last year.

The signs are extremely encouraging that the same level of outage will happen to me again. I got a case created yesterday, but today, we're still nowhere close to even working on the problem.

I'm very proud to say that if my Streamyx access is back by Christmas 2007, I shall blog about it proudly as a Malaysian, as in a Malaysian enjoying World Class Service. I seriously hope my Streamyx access will be back by then.

What's the problem? Well ... the DSL light on the Aztech modem provided by TM is not lighted. That means no DSL connection.

Tried all the splitter tricks (bypass, plug out plug in again, plug in with different cable, plug in at different phone jack, etc. etc. et al). See if any of you wiseguys have a REAL solution.

For all you other innocent bystanders, if you live anywhere in Bandar Kinrara, Streamyx sucks there. Don't consider signing up until it becomes more stable. For the rest of you, feel free to comment on how long you think it'll take TM to fix my simple problem. My personal expectation is for a solution by Christmas 2007.

08 February 2007

Jakarta not too bad now ...

While the news out there might be still pretty bad, just wanna sound out that Jakarta is pretty ok now - the floods have mostly subsided. It's no more in places we people would usually go to anyway ...

See? No floodwater to be seen .. actually, I saw some floodwater from the airport in, but it's now possible to travel from the airport to the city without passing any flood.

And JW Marriot in Jakarta rocks too ...

This is the complimentary tray of chocolate I get ...

Nice chocolates, and pretty nice bathroom.

See you folks back in KL ...

03 February 2007

Thanks for the game ...

They say that in golf, you truly have a game for the ages. I agree.

For the first time in a few months, I walked on to a golf course and played a game. The combination of work commmitment, excitement of a newfound love, need for real rest, and lack of golfing partners all worked to restrict my playing opportunities lately.

So, when an old golf-kaki who's now based in Australia came to town yesterday and asked for a game, I knew it was too good to resist. Me, DP and EL playing together is great fun. Too bad DQ couldn't join.

This morning, for the first time in as long as I can remember, I dragged myself out of bed before sun's up so that I don't miss my tee off time. It'll be only the first time I'm going to Kajang Hills on my own, and I was kinda worried I would get my directions wrong, so I had myself there with plenty of time to spare.


The game itself is nothing to shout about - I played exactly like how I should be played - very out of practice. The long game isn't very long, which is generally fine. Because my short game bails me out a lot. But the short game never showed up today - chips and putts were really missing. I think if I putted a bit better, and chipped anything like I can, I'd lower my score by about 10 strokes easy.

The company was great, though. It's as if we're all still working in the same company, and have always been playing regularly. But that's not the case ... we only get to play together once a year if we're lucky.

I miss my old golf-kakis a lot.
I miss how we all look for each other's balls when someone visits the jungle.
I miss how we help fish balls out of the water.
I miss how we tease each other when we miss easy putts.
I miss how we would psycho each other at the tee box, and how we'll all have a good laugh when someone actually got affected.
I miss how we would normally drive over to Kajang for satay after our games. And end up with a belly of beer.

I miss you chums lah ...

Thanks for the game.