Saturday, March 29, 2008

Day 3 (17/3/2008) - Monday blues

Just like the previous night, I had trouble sleeping. Remembering that it was a working day for the rest of the family, I tiptoed out of the room and headed to the bathroom downstairs. I didn't want anybody to be late for work just because there was an extra person queuing for the bathroom.

Monday in Malaysia would mean that I have to leave home extra early for work. Otherwise I would be caught in the massive Monday morning traffic jams. The same rules applied to my host family. By 5am, Kakak, KP, and Mutiara's mom were ready to leave for work. Unsure whether I should hug them, I settled for a universal business-like-handshake for goodbyes.

I returned to the guest room and continued with my packing. Thanks to MP’s excellent bargaining skill, I bought a few clothes from the “pasar kaget”. Since I only brought a small bag, I had to carefully pack and fold everything to fit into the small backpack. While I was busy packing, I heard MP leaving the house.

Once I fit everything into my small backpack, I looked around to see if I had accidentally left anything. Close friends would know that I have a tendency to leave things behind – which included myself at an international border during some point of our travels together. I checked and double-checked. Satisfied, I went upstairs to wait for Mutiara.

There she was, getting ready for work. I was kind of anxious for her. It was, after all, a working day for her. She had mentioned earlier that normally MP would send her to work on Mondays. However, since I was around, she and I would go to Jakarta together. I didn’t want her to be late because of me. She assured me that it would not be a problem. She took her time, said her morning prayer, and if I wasn’t mistaken, changed into three different blouses before finally settled for the one that she like.

It was around 6.30 am when we left the house. Before closing the door, Mutiara asked whether I had everything with me and left nothing behind. To this, my answer was, if I did left anything, it would be hers. We walked to the main road and hopped on an “angkutan”. Instead of heading toward the Cibinong Terminal, we headed the opposite direction. The “angkutan” picked up and dropped off passengers along the way. We chatted throughout the ride. My weird accent might have drawn the gazes from fellow passengers. Not to forget, my bulging-backpack. I must have looked like someone running away from somewhere.

Mutiara and I got down by a roadside. She had mentioned that we would be riding "kereta" (in Malaysia that would meant a 'car' but in Jakarta it means a 'train'). But I couldn’t see any railway station. With Mutiara leading the way, we walked through a small damp lane sandwiched by little shops on both sides. It wasn’t much of a lane. More like a walkway. The shops sell mostly groceries, and foodstuff (such as vegetables and onions). The shops’ roof shaded the walkway from direct sunlight, making it a little dark. I felt like walking through wet market.

At the end of the dark was light. Cliché. But that was how I felt. There it was, the railway station. It wasn’t a big station, more like a platform. Something like “Hentian Putra” of KTM commuter but at the same time nothing likes it. The scene I saw, resembles nothing of the usual scene in any KTM commuter station. I thought it was because of ‘Monday blues’. No. According to Mutiara it was a normal scene. And yes, I was “kaget” to see what I saw.

(p.s. This post was written earlier than the next post. But due to writer's block, it was not published earlier. Sorry for the delay, and stay tuned to know what I saw.)

Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Day 2 (16/3/2008) - Lesehan

"Lesehan" s the place they picked to eat breakfast. In the previous entry I mentioned that I was"kaget" with their choice of place to eat. Mainly because as similar as "pasar kaget" with "pasar minggu" in Malaysia, I've never seen similar concept as "lesehan" in any of Malaysian "pasar". Among the stalls at the "pasar kaget" were stalls selling cooked food. What so different about the foodstall when compared to the ones found in Malaysia?

The first thing that caught my attention was the size of the stall. It was very small. It was more of a pushcart. Most probably half the size of a standard "gerai burger" in Malaysia. I would say, even stalls selling drinks in Malaysia is bigger than the foodstall in the "pasar kaget". Each stall sell one type of dish.

Mutiara picked a stall selling "somai". Behind the stall was a young lady. She order three plates of "somai" for herself, MP and me. Kakak and KP were to join us later. I didn't see any table or chairs for us to sit. With Mutiara leading the way, we walked passed the pushcart. There, behind the pushcart, on the side walk, beneath a big shady tree, was a mat. On the mat were a few cups of mineral water, neatly arranged. We sat crossed leg, circling the mineral water.

While waiting for our food, I told Mutiara that there's foodstalls in Malaysian "pasar minggu" too. However, we don't eat on mats. Food stalls in Malaysia have at least plastic foldable tables and chairs for the customers. If there's not enough tables, patrons would have to shares table with stangers. Soon we were joined by Kakak and KP who bough two bowls of rice porridge from a stall nearby.

Thanks to Indonesian Sinetron airing in Malaysian television, I've heard the word "somai" a few times prior coming to Jakarta. I've always curious to know what it was. When a plate finally arrived, I looked at it curiously. It was totally covered with peanut sauce. I poked it to examine what underneath the sauce.

There were rice cakes (Indonesian called "ketupat" while I would call it "nasi impit"), white noodles, and bean sprout. As I was on non-spicy vegetarian diet, I think Mutiara's plate would have some meat and chili paste. The peanut was grinded till it was really smooth. Unlike Malaysian "kuah kacang" that still need some chewing, the peanut sauce in the "somai" was very smooth that you could just drink it. Accustomed to 'soft' noodle, I couldn't stomach the hard white noodle. I didn't eat much of the bean sprout either. Perhaps beacause both (white noodle and bean sprout) appeared to be a little uncooked to me. Normally at home, I would eat the bean sprout. But not wanting to get sick while travelling, I avoid eating dubious food. I finished off the "ketupat". And washed everything down with a cup of mineral water.

How much did three plates of "somai" and three cups of mineral water at a "lesehan" cost?: IDR 14 000.

While that might be a fair price to pay for locals but for someone who has been living in Malaysia, that was very cheap! IDR 14 000 is roughly less than MYR 5. The same amount of money would probably buy a breakfast for me, alone, at the office cafeteria.

After breakfast, we continued walking and window shopping at the market. The "pasar kaget" must have been the most happening place in the area. With families bringing their children. House wives shopping. Everyone was in their relax and casual attire. When some one smartly dressed passed by (we only saw two groups), they immediately stood out of the crowd. With my simple clothes, I blended in well - except when I started to talk. Try as hard as I did, I couldn't hide the fact that I was not a local.

Before we knew it, by the time we return 'home' we had spent more than 2 hours at the market. Mutiara's mom was already busy at the kitchen preparing lunch. I saw a wok of boiling coconut milk. In it was some peanuts. I enquired what she was cooking. She did mention the name, unfortunately what I can't pronounce, I can't remember. I also asked if she needed any help. She told me that she was okay and insisted that I hang out in the living room.

Initially Mutiara had wanted to take me out to somewhere after lunch before sending me back to the hotel. Unfortunately it rained. So we chilled out and unwind at 'home'. Actually it was more of MP and I who were chilling out and did nothing. Mutiara, on the other hand, sort out her laundry (ironing, folding) while at the same time chatting. Kakak and KP went out (on a date). And Mutiara's mom went for her evening Sunday mass.

The rest of the day was spent chatting and watching television. And of course Mutiara trying to entice me into eating some local dishes which included "pisang coklat" (spring roll filled with banana). I spent another night at Mutiara's house.

Monday, March 24, 2008

Rush Hour

Just a week ago I was caught in Jakarta's rush hour. This morning I was caught in Kuala Lumpur's rush hour.

The entry for Day 2 is still work-in-progress. I'll post it once it is completed.

Saturday, March 22, 2008

Day 2 (16/3/2008) - Kaget

"Kaget" is an Indonesian word. In Bahasa Malaysia it is "terkejut" (loosely translates into suprised / shocked). My day started at 4.30am. Not because I was suprised / shocked. Neither were there anything wrong with the mattress nor the room. It's just that I tend to have sleeping problem every now and then. I tossed and turned, trying to get some more sleep. Everyone else were sound asleep (Mutiara's mom didn't let me sleep alone in the guest room downstair). So there I was, tossing and turning, but at the same time trying hard not to wake the rest of the family.

I finally tiptoed out of the room when I heard the call of Subuh prayer from nearby mosque. In fact from the echoes, I think there were a few mosques nearby. I went down to the guest room. I took a bath. The water was cold. I was chilled to the bones. As I lay in bed to get myself warm, I heard the sisters leaving for their Sunday mass. It was probably fifteen minutes to 6am.

I must have dozed off. The next thing I heard was Mutiara's mom sweeping the house compound. Thinking of helping her, I went out. However, by the time I saw her, she had already finished sweeping. She offered me the drinks that she had prepared earlier before continuing with her laundry. Before I could drink, I started coughing and coughing. I retreated to the guest room. Lucky for me I brought Mr Puffer along. I lay down in bed while waiting for Mr Puffer to do its magic. Before I knew it, I fell asleep.

I was awaken by the sound of Mutiara's anklet. She came into the room to check me out. I think her mom told her about my coughs. She was smartly dressed - wearing a blaus and a skirt. She enquired if everything was okay. Naturally I would say yes because by then I had stopped coughing. We would go out for breakfast after she changes her clothes. And so we did. The five of us - Mutiara, her "pacar" (who from now on will be known as MP), Kakak, her "pacar" (KP) and me. Mutiara's mom didn't come along. According to Mutiara, her mom wanted to go to the market.

We walked out to the small main road. Then we proceed to walk along it. 'Along' is not exactly the right word. It was more like we hogged one whole lane. I was sceptical. I walked at the leftmost side of the road (closest to the sidewalk). I asked Mutiara if it was okay to walk in the middle of the road and why weren't we using the sidewalk. She said it was okay because it was a weekend. On weekdays, they use the side walk. No sooner than she finished her sentences, we were honked by a MPV-kind-of-van.

Mutiara was kind of angry with the van. She gave the driver a dagger-like-stare. She was saying some thing along the line that driver was the guilty one (of course the whole time it happened, the driver had the window closed so whoever in the van couldn't hear us). At the back of my head, I couldn't stop laughing the irony of the situation. It was us who hogged the lane. The van had every right to honk us!

After a few minutes walk, we reached our destination: "Pasar Kaget". According to Mutiara, this 'instant' market place only happened on weekends. Stalls were set up along some roads. Various things were sold. Clothes, accessories, cooking utensils, and even pets. But no raw ingredient (like meat, and vegetables). I told Mutiara that in Malaysia the markets that happen on weekends are called "Pasar Minggu". Then there are markets that happen at nights ("Pasar Malam"), and markets specially for farmers to sell their produce ("Pasar Tani"). The scene in "Pasar Kaget" greatly resembled the scene of "Pasar Minggu".

While walking through the crowd, they made sure that I walked in the middle of them and not got lost or left behind. I saw some familiar "kueh" (pastry). "Kueh ketayap" as it is widely known in Malaysia, is called "dadar unti" (I think I got the name right). There were a few unfamiliar things that I saw. But I was more "kaget" when they finally picked a place to eat!

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Day 1 (15/3/2008 evening) - Into the unknown

After our brief introduction, Mutiara immediately took me to the terminal next to the department store. It was not a bus terminal. But terminal for "angkutan". To my untrained eyes, all "angkutan" looks the same - blue low-cost-non-air-condition-MPV converted to ferry more people than the conventional MPV. I followed her into an "angkutan". Apparently each MPV has numbers that correspond to certain routes. Very much like the pink mini buses that used to ply various routes in Kuala Lumpur. So there I was, following a 'stranger' into an "angkutan", clueless as to where exactly we were heading.

I only told the hotel front desk that I was heading to Cibinong. I 'sms'ed my brother in Malaysia telling him I was heading to Bogor (Cibinong is least likely to appear in any tourist brochure). The thought of being kidnapped and never to return home did crossed my mind. But if I'm fated not to return home, it could even happen in Malaysia. So I let the Almighty decides. Besides, the young lady gave me no negative vibes (I tend to pick up vibes from people I met, good or bad, imagined or otherwise).

Mutiara is a petite young lady. No taller than I, she could pass as a high school student. Her friendliness helped in breaking the ice. I was really glad that she was talkative. Otherwise we would have fallen into awkward silences for I'm a quiet person. She did most of the talking in the "angkutan". Amidst the noise in the "angkutan", her fast paced Bahasa Indonesia was lost to me. I couldn't exactly understood all her sentences. I think she was telling me how worried she was for me. But what the ears couldn't hear, the eyes could see. I could see sincerity in her face.

A few minutes later she asked the "angkutan" to stop. I soon found out that the word to say is not "berhenti (stop)". To stop, the locals say "kiri (left)". We got down by the road side. It was small two-lane road. But motorcycles, cars and "angkutan" seemed to drive fairly fast. We sort of dashed across the road.

Mutiara opened a gate (about the height of my waist). We walked along a short driveway - enough to fit a car. Then we came upon another gate. This one is higher and I couldn't see what was behind it. She slided the gate to the right. Just enough to let her petite body in. Normally the such ajar opening could fit me too. But that day I was carrying a backpack. I had to push the gate open. It was heavy. And earlier Mutiara did it effortlessly!

The gate opened to two houses. The big white house on the right seemed to be the main house. Opposite it was a small one room wooden house. We stopped for a while to meet a man whose name sounded like mine, his wife and his toddler. I assumed that he either rent there or worked there. At the porch of the big house was a man, fiddling with his bike. Mutiara briefly introduced me as her friend from Malaysia when we walked pass the man. We walked along the pathway, around the big house and through a small gate.

The gate and pathway lead to a huge lawn full of various trees. In the middle of the lawn is another big white house. The lawn could easily fit two medium-cost-KL-terrace-houses. My house could probably be half the size of the house. Mutiara opened the wooden door to reveal a simple living room with teak furnitures. She showed me the guest room. Though the furniture was simple - a single bed on the left, a study at the middle, and two cupboards - the room was big. Perhaps equivalent to my living room at home.

Mutiara introduced me to her elder sister, who came down from the upper floor (and whom from now on will be referred to as Kakak). Mutiara continued with her chores (sweeping, dusting etc.) while her sister chatted with me. Quite frankly I was glad that they were the ones who did most of the talking and asking. Otherwise, I wouldn't know what to talk about. They asked me about music and local (Indonesia / Malaysian) band. I admitted that I don't follow the entertainment scenes. Among the few update that I could give them was that 'Amy Search' won a million ringgit suit against a label company.

Once Mutiara was done with her chores, they both got ready. On our way out, we stopped by the small one room house. A lady was frying what Malaysian called "rempeyek / tempeyek" (local 'chips' with ground nuts on it). I told the sisters that in Malaysia there's a few variation for the 'toppings' - small red beans or small green beans or lentils. I had a hard time describing lentil to them. It is widely known as 'dal' in Malaysia. We couldn't find the Indonesia word for it. Only on my flight home did I finally discover that it is called "kedelai".

We walked a few metres to the main road. Not even five minutes later, an "angkutan" arrived. The three of us got on to it. We chatted and chatted. It is lost to me what we talked about. But they were both warm and friendly. Before long, we got down. I thought we had reached our destination. But no. We hopped into yet another "angkutan". As in the earlier bus in Cibinong, busker got into both "angkutan". They sang a short song and got off before the "angkutan" continued its journey.

Soon we reached the small town of Bogor. We went into a 'mall'. We stopped at a booth near the entrance. The booth specialized in selling MP3s for cellphones and printing photos from cellphones. The counter doubled as computer table. There were four monitors under the clear glass top. Customers use a mouse to preview the songs. The holes at the side of the table allowed sound to escaped from a concealed speaker. I thought the sisters wanted to buy the MP3s for the phone. I was mistaken. Turned out they were actually printing some photos from their cellphones.

Kakak asked me if I want to buy anything. As I don't normally shop, I couldn't think of anything to buy. Mutiara explained to her sister, that I, similar to Mutiara, don't like to shop. And so we proceed to do the next item on the list - buy a VCD. I had earlier told Mutiara that I wanted to buy "Denias Senandung Di Atas Awan (Denias Singing in the Cloud)". Not wanting to be caught 'importing' pirated VCD, we went to a proper VCD shop. I bought the original. The cost? It was about RM10. Other originals CDs and VCDs were equally cheap (when compared to Malaysian market price). But me being me, it never occurred in my mind to buy them.

Once I got my VCD (by the way, it is in Bahasa Indonesia, without subtitle), we went to a small lane across the road. The girls were careful to walk with me. They ensured that I was in between them and not left behind all the time. The word "Petaling Street" crossed my mind the minute we were in the small lane. Except for the fact that it was only one lane, all the other ambiance mimic that street in Kuala Lumpur. Kakak stopped at a stall to buy "VCD bajakan (pirated VCD)". I shall not reveal the title, but according to Mutiara, it is a film currently being screened in local "bioskop (cinema)". Later I told the sisters that most of the time I buy original VCDs if they are from local artists / producers. If the VCDs from "bule (foreigners)", I don't mind buying pirated copies because the foreigners are already rich.

We returned 'home' the same way we came. By "angkutan". At the place we switched to another "angkutan", Mutiara stopped to buy some "kuih" (loosely translates as pastry). She bought donuts. At the shop, I saw the sign "murtabak". In Malaysia "murtabak" would be a mixture of egg and beef (of chicken) wrapped in thin dough. I didn't see any familiar looking cooking utensil. What I saw was only a hot pan and a bowl of flour mixture. Mutiara noticed my curios look. She inquired if I would like to buy it. No. But I asked her what it was. She described it. Once she was done, I told her, in Malaysia, we called it "apam balik". Then proceed to describe her how "murtabak" looks like. To that she replied, "Itu murtabak telur (that's murtabak telur)".

By the time we reached her house, it was time for dinner. We stopped by a "Padang" restaurant. I ordered white rice with squid (or what they called "cumi") and tapioca ("singkong") shoot. The sisters didn't eat. I didn't really know why. Perhaps it was still too early for them to have dinner. A funny thing happened when the waiter took the order for my drink:
waiter: Mau minum apa mbak? (what would you like to drink, miss?)
me: [on the way to the sink to wash my hands, looked at the waiter] Air kosong. (plain water)
waiter: [stared blankly back at me]
me: Air suam. (warm water) [continued to walked at the sink]

I didn't realized my blunder. Later, at home, that night, when we were joined by Mutiara's "pacar" (steady boyfriend), Kakak's "pacar", and Mutiara's mom, did it was revealed to me. Locals call 'plain water' as "air putih". When I said "air kosong" everyone thought I was asking for an empty glass! I explained to everyone the rationale behind the names:
1. Air Kosong - because it is colourless. At least that is what it should be anyway.
2. Air Suam - because of its temperature - warm.

I also told them that "air kosong" sometimes come with ice. We laughed.

That prompted the best topic for ice breaking throughout the night - translation of commonly used Indonesian phrases into Malaysian phrases. Good thing both Mutiara and Kakak know sufficient English to translate certain words that we failed to describe in Bahasa Indonesia / Malaysia. Perhaps Mutiara's most favourite phrase is "tikus baiki labu (mouse repairs a pumpkin)". The phrase refer to a person who likes to fix things only to make it worst. She said the term aptly describe her "pacar", thus began calling him "tikus". I apologetically told him that I was sorry to give a bad influence on Mutiara. They just laughed. No one was offended.

I have to admit, they seemed to have no problem in remembering and pronouncing the Malaysian phrases. I, on the other hand, could only pronounce and remember few. Quoting Mutiara: Bahasa Malaysia seems to use full, longer and more formal words when compared to its sister, Bahasa Indonesia. The night continued in similar manners - laughing, comparing things, translating etc. - before we retired to bed.

Wednesday, March 19, 2008

Day 1 (15/3/2008 evening) - 6 Degree

After a few futile attempts to nap (no, not because it was 6 Degree Celcius), I packed a few things into my smaller cheap-looking-backpack. Enough for a night stay. I went down to the lobby and handed my keys to the front desk. As if a sign from the Almighty, a Bluebird was already waiting at the hotel door.

Feeling a little like Asha Gill of Discovery Travel and Living Channel (minus the good looks and British accent), I hopped into the Taxi. As directed by Mutiara over the phone, I told the driver: Uki. The traffic was heavy. Very much like a working day in KL. In Jakarta, it is a chaos. Not to say that in KL it is not as chaotic, but in KL it is somewhat an organized chaos. While on the taxi, I chatted with the friendly driver. The driver asked, which part of Uki was I going, he mentioned something about university. I told him it was my first time in Jakarta and I need to catch a bus to Cibinong to meet my friend. As he drove the taxi, I trace our route on my Jakarta map. Some time later (note to self 1: need to buy and wear cheap watch) we arrived at busy bus stop. With the help of the taxi driver (who actually stop to ask a policeman where exactly the bus and then stop the taxi in front of the bus), I got on the right bus to Cibinong.

The bus has 5 seats in a row. The three-seater are the ones behind the driver and the two-seater are the ones on the left. I sat on one of the two-seater. In front of me was an old man. Across the isle was a man wearing a white skullcap. In front of him were a family of three - two women and a young girl. A man sat behind me, reading newspaper. There were other passengers, but I didn't take notes.

As confident as I could be, I asked the bus conductor (bc):
me: Cibinong Terminal berapa ya? (translation: How much to Cibinong Terminal?)
bc: Empat ribu (Four thousand)
me: [fumbling with money and managed to find IDR 20k]
bc: Ngak ada duit kecil? (no small change?)
me: Ngak (no)

Bc took the money and walked on. I was puzzled. Where's the ticket? Where's my change? Was I cheated? He went on collecting money from other passengers. Once he got enough small change, he returned my IDR 16k.

Then a man with a guitar stood up in the middle of the bus. He belted out 2 songs. I didn't catch all his words, but the two songs was somewhat about his pleas and frustrations towards the government. Then he took out a plastic bag and began collecting money. Seems that this method of busking is widely accepted in Jakarta. As much as I wanted to capture the whole scene in a photos, I refrained myself. My plain clothes had allowed my to blend in with the crowd. Taking out a camera might attract unnecessary attention. (note to self 2: need to learn sketching so that such scenes could be captured)

The bus took a highway heading towards Bogor. I had looked at the map earlier. Cibinong is halfway between Jakarta and Bogor. Though we were on a highway, the bus wasn't speeding. I didn't think it could. Other vehicles didn't seem to be speeding either. Then a few cars zoomed passed us via the emergency lane.

After awhile, the bus exited the highway. Unfortunately I couldn't remember the exit name. At a junction after the exit, the bus turn right. I spotted a signboard, yes, we were heading to Cibinong. One after another passengers began to alight from the bus. Passengers wishing to stop moved to the seats near the driver and asked the driver to stop. No bells or buzzer like those in Malaysian bus. When the family of three moved to the front, I moved to the seat near them.
me: Ibu, numpang nanya, Cibinong Terminal turun di mana? (Madam, excuse me, where do I get down to Cibinong Terminal?)
woman: Di depan sana nanti (Later, in front)
me: Makasih ya (thank you)

A few hundreds metre later, the woman told bus conductor:
woman: Mbak ini mahu turun di Terminal (This Miss wants to stop at Terminal)
woman: [turned to me] Mbak turun di sini
me: Makasih ya, bu.

The bus didn't exactly stopped. It was still at the main road. It was more like a halt. I wasn't sure if I was suppose to wait for the bus to actually stop, or just jump out.
me: Turun di sini? (Get off here?)
Bc & bus driver: Yes
me: Makasih ya (thank you) [looked for motorcycles and cars. Safe. Then jumped on to the tarmac]

I called Mutiara. She told me to wait at a department store - Ramayana. I looked around. All the other building were like small shops except for one. I headed to the biggest building. Yes, it was Ramayana. Next to it was what looked to me like a wet market. But the one thing that gave me a cultural shock was the river opposite the Ramayana entrance. Both sides of the river bank were filled by rubbish. So fulled that the rubbish practically covered the banks. There were three men scouring the rubbish for usable items. I thank the Almighty for sending a soft breeze. Otherwise the smell would be too much for me to bear.

Before long, I spotted a young lady wearing shorts, white shirt, and a denim jacket. She walked towards me and smiled. We identified ourselves and shook hands for the first time. I'd found my sole contact in Jakarta. And so began my 'six degree' of separation adventure.

p.s. Please bear with me as I collect my thoughts and put them into words.

I'm Back!

I've just reached home safely. Don't report me as a missing person just yet!

I've lost some. But I gained more than what I've lost. More of it later. Right now I should be sleeping.

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Day 1 (15/3/2008 morning)
Going Solo
No, I'm not becoming a singer. Nor am I going to Solo, Indonesia. But yes I'm traveling to Indonesia. Solo - as in alone.

It has begun
It was only 6.00am. The terminal is already bustling with activities. Got my ticket, grab a quick bite then made my way to the gate. I'm writing this portion of entry while queing at the gate. The queue is already considerably long.

It's 10am (local time). I've safely landed in Jakarta. Checked in the hotel. Now resting. Need a little nap before heading out to meet my local point of contact, Mutiara.

p.s. photo (if any) will be uploaded once I return to Malaysia.

Friday, March 14, 2008

Away, swimming for awhile

Yes, I'll be going away for awhile (that's another story). But not by swimming.

What did, was my T5, two days ago. Again. This time I did not try to resusitate it. I took it out of the water, let the water dripped from the T5. And let it be. I didn't even let it dry out in the sun. I didn't put high hopes that it will survive. But today it did, yet again! I haven't check the extend of damage (if any) to the T5. So far, the touch screen seem to be unresponsive. Perhaps because there's still water underneath it.

About me going away, if the touchscreen works, I'll try to blog from where ever I'm going.

Oh yeah, dear friend(s) who are reading this, if you don't hear from me after 5 days, please report me as a missing person.

Monday, March 10, 2008

Opposites Attract

That is how magnets, and atom charges behave. And guess what, judging from the result, that were also how Malaysians behaved in the recent general election.

I've always wonder, why the word "Pembangkang" (translation: 'Opposition'). If, one day, other political parties were elected to form new government, would the outgoing parties be call 'Opposition'? Seeing the result from recent general election, the possibility is there.

Another thing that I've always wonder it that why world maps have north at the top and south at the bottom. Someone would say, compass always points north. But isn't the opposite (compass always points south) is also true? Just so you know, not so long ago, world map have south at the top.

So who decided?

Friday, March 07, 2008

GE - 12

Not wanting to accidently promote any political party, I avoided commenting more about the local scene. Now that the voting period has ended, I can finally breathe.

I was beginning to feel suffocated by all the posters, tv and radio adverts. I wonder if the power to-be realize that too much of it could backfired and counter productive. Just the other day, while exiting to a main road , I almost ram into a car because posters from campaigning parties was blocking my view! On a different day, I almost ran a red traffic light because a flag block clear view of the traffic light from far.

Other than blocking views, some posters take away attention from the road. Naturally we would want to read the some of the things written. I found some of the promises are absurd. Some of the tag line are very lame. But I caught a glimpse of an independent candidate while speeding along a highway. His tag line was simple and at a certain degree reflected the state of local politics - political party has become somewhat a family affair.

Win or loose, I hope all parties will do their duty in bringing down all the posters and flags across the country. Malaysia already have high rate of road accident. We should reduce things that could contribute to road accidents.

To Malaysians who had to travel near and far to vote, drive safe!