Thursday, February 28, 2008

one and four weeks to go.

I am 4 weeks away from delivery day.

My boss absolutely forbade me from delivering the baby before I deliver a few things for her. I have 26 agreements to draft, RM47,000,000 to disburse out and at least 10 proposals to prepare. Agreements must be signed, cheques issued out all before I can go off. And the ten proposals I must present to the meeting on 25 March. My appointment with surgical knives is 27 March! I have a few pregnant colleagues here and how I envy them that they can take 2 weeks of sick-leave before their due dates. I am huge, heavy, uncomfortable, ugly, clumsy… I wanna go off early too! Booohoooohooo…

I am kept so busy at work now that I haven’t the time to do much else. I have so much to do that I have resorted to running when the need to go to the loo or pantry could no longer be curbed. I owe my friend Candice the Florist some poems, and I must make appointment with Tigress before my due date, and I have been wanting to email Bro Jo’s contacts in Australia too. Semuanya tak sempat lagi!

And the election is coming soon and I have loads of things to say about it too! I mean, come on, it is after all only once in five years! These two weeks are like the mega hari raya for the country, where all things are made legal and halal, and all sorts of scandals are aired for public viewing! Syoh! Who is sleeping with thisthat’s wife lah, who’s making money from duit rakyat lah… all sorts! Why watch Samarinda when you have real soap playing right before your eyes, starring big guns of the country too! Oooohhh… how I itch and yearn to be telepathised to the internet and have the laptop (more like tummytop now) permanently attached to me so I have access to the juicy dramas 247!

Maybe I can steal time a teenie bit more now (boss is outstation! Yey!). Cannot tahan lah.

You know PAS claims to have said that if it is given the mandate to rule, it’ll allow ‘peace demonstration’. And the mainstream media reported PAS as saying that it will allow ‘street demonstration’ instead? There is a huge difference between the two.

However, I don’t quite care exactly what was said, ‘peace’ or ‘street’. I kind of like the idea, really. There is eco-tourism, health-tourism, why cant we have ‘demo-tourism’? Think about it. We can advertise Malaysia as the place to do demonstration. Say people in Jamaica or America is unhappy with their government, for whatever reason, they can come here and stage their demonstration right here. At Dataran Merdeka? Infront the Parliament itself? KLCC? Can! We’ll offer them a few packages too, violent-demo, or peaceful-demo? Accomodation you want open air or you want tents? You can have the prison too. And do you need aid? We have professional instigators and riot-police. Guaranteed to make a huge impact, the world will pay attention!

Think how that can help put the country in the world map. Aren’t we always obsessed with superlatives? We can have the biggest demo ever, or the most bloodied or the most peaceful. Think how much it can help boost the economy, foreign money coming in, ‘tourists’ by the droves!

I love the circus! Hence, I love Malaysian politics! Politicians definitely know how to make me laugh! If only they would wear leotards!

Another week to go before we make little invisible-ink-ed crosses on the kertas undi! I am seling my vote to highest bidder. Any one? Pak Lah? Datin Azizah? Dato' Nik? Anyone? Mwehehe...
But now, must get back to work. Ladidadida dum dum!

Thursday, February 14, 2008

Partey Time

Right the next morning after Parliament was dissolved, we (as in my office) received an angry call from a fellow rakyat.

He called to tell us that he would go straight to the ex-PM (i.e Pak Lah), to complaint about my office. How we have approved a grant to a certain company to carry out PAS-related activities. This concerned-rakyat refused to even tell us his name. And which company are you complaining about really and exactly what PAS-activity? Joker refused to disclose any details. He said he would only talk to Pak Lah. But then, pray tell, why do you call here? Call lah Pak Lah directly lah, kan? Pak Lah never set foot at my office. Unless he was referring to Abdullah from IT whom we called Pak Lah too. But Pak Lah IT resigned many many moons ago.

What irks me the most is the fact how Pilihanraya seems to bring out the worst in people.

My company has been established since the 7th Malaysian Plan to assist Malaysian-owned companies. Just because someone votes for other than the ruling parties, they cease to become Malaysian meh? If choosing for the Opposition party is unpatriotic, let's just disband the party. Now, that would not be very democratic, would it?

We receive many applications in one day. We will evaluate each of them and grants will be given based on merit. We never ask the applicants, which political party do they belong to. The assistance is for Malaysian. Not Malays, not UMNO-supporters, not relatives or friends of this-that Minister. No. We do receive applications accompanied with support letters with red jawi letterhead or from certain Ministers, but it doesnt affect our evaluation processes. If politics interfere in the office, then it is the headache of our bosses. Operation-wise, we cant be bothered at all by who-you-know. I dont know if my colleagues are inclined to favor any applicant based on support letters, but i dont think so. When it comes to certain matters, i am like Inspektor Sahab of Hindi movies, own flesh and blood also can still put in jail, tum peletum drug trafficking nehi-nehi, jail you go and do not collect $200 (sorry, tengah kemaruk main monopoly).

Pilihanraya means the news on TV will talk about the successes of one party for half an hour, and then the failures of the other party for 15 minutes, maybe. Candidates will take the stage, promise this-that and make fun of the other candidates. Mengata-ngata, if you know what i mean, and these are the very people that we will vote to be our leaders. They will be who we put in Parliament to discuss many issues involving us, even plays a role in deciding on a new undang-undang that governs the country. Isnt it a scary thought?

The country has been independent for 50 years now. But the issues brandished on all the instant stages will still be same-old-same-old issues. Malay rights, equality, Islamic or Secular, Hadhari or Had Hari, etc. There will probably be name-calling, some obsceneties, finger pointing, and index-finger sign too, and a lot of pettiness in between.

I shouldnt generalise, i know. I am sure that there are many genuine politicians out there too, who really wants to make change and serve the people. But can they change the system? Or will they be absorbed into the system and be a joker too? It is so easy to conform. Making waves can be tiring. It is so easy to be drawn in. And remember the lounge for YBs at the Parliament, good food is served there. Why waste time in the Dewan when you can have scrumptious custard pastries at the lounge?

Pilihanraya is what, 2 weeks away?

I know a lot of people will be able to make quick money within this 2 weeks. Tampal poster, koyak poster, instigate groups, driving people around, open tables, etc.

It's partey time! And as usual, it's gonna be a wild wild party!

And people, jangan lupa kad pengenalan serta nombor daftar undi.

Monday, February 04, 2008

Beauty is Mask-Deep

The last time I had facial treatment was, errr… 15 years ago? I was still a student at UTM. But I gave tuition classes at Emkay Institute, and I gave home tuitions too. It just so happened that two of my students appeared on newspaper for acing their SPM. After that, many students from MINDEF all the way to Highland Towers wanted me to be their tuition teacher too. You see, the girls’ success were not due to me. They were bright to begin with and it so was easy-peasy tutoring them. But the parents were kind enough to help spread my business and so that was how I ended up as a student who could afford facial treatment. And an Electcoms pager too, no less! Those days, only contractors could afford ATUR handphones okay? A pager was gah enough.

But let me warn you, I could only afford facial treatments in Chow Kit. And only once every semester. It was cheap, at the most RM 35 per session. It was done at Mustika Ratu ka Ratu Ayu Solo ka, cant remember what center. But in Chow Kit lah.

One day, after my face was massaged, pimples squeezed (they shouldn’t have, but they did, and boy, I had loadssss of pimples back then, white heads, black heads segala heads), they spread some goo on my face. Masker, the girl said. Must wait for it to harden. Don’t move a muscle, don’t twitch, don’t smile, just try to nap, she said.

After the goo was applied, I heard a bit of commotion outside the shop. And then, in the shop too. Feet scurrying around and then silence. Absolute silence, perfect for naps. In my condition, eyes covered with gauze, and face to keep still or nanti-permanent-kedut, I stayed put and napped as advised.

I must have ‘napped’ for hours. It felt like hours and nobody came to check on me.

Restless, I called out for the girl. Nobody answered.

Worried, I sat up and peeled of the mask myself. All the lines i have today on my face, must be due to that action of cracking the mask off.

The shop was empty although the door was ajar. I looked at my watch, at least an hour had passed since they shut my eyes.

I walked outside and asked a passer-by.

‘kedai kena rush. Pekerja Indonesia tak ada permit, semua dah lari.’

Oh. Selamat RM35! Tapi nasib baik tak kena angkat sebagai bahan bukti.

And that was the last time i went there.

I am reminded of that episode from the facial treatment I had a few days back. My first after Chow Kit episode. Locally based international company. Very reputable. More than Rm35 per session. But I had my doubts just the same.

However, after the mask goo, the nap, THEY CAME BACK! Phew!

Starry Starry Lunch

I had lunch with a star yesterday.

She’s an actress. You see her face often on tv. Soft spoken, pretty, tall, hitam manis and everything sugar and spice. As a popular person, it is only right if I name her by one letter from the alphabet, so I will call her Miss N (not her real name).

Our fathers were in the TUDM and so by default, our families were friends. Miss N was a childhood friend of my sister. My sister is only a year older than me, but at 10, she was all ladylike and grown-up. The two ten-year olds never wanted to play with me. I must have spoiled their appearance. They both had long hair, tied with ribbons that match the colour of their dresses and they both liked the mirror. I had boy-like haircut. Was always in shorts and singlets. Hated to shower. Comot like heck. I was more rumble-roll buddies with Miss N’s brother. We would be playing war and being in Sarawak that time, there were many places perfect for such game. Ambush attacks were easy to plan and how many times he killed me and how many times I have killed him in return, I have lost count. Miss N and my sis were in an entirely different world from where I was. There was no violence in their world, hehe.. plenty in mine.

I read about her once in a while in the weekend newspaper inserts. She was married to a certain rich guy, had a divorce and now being gossiped with a certain Dato’ R (bukan nama sebenar) which she vehemently denies.

Apart from occasionally reading about her, I never kept in touch. We moved from Sarawak when I was 10. I heard my parents talked about her parents occasionally – divorces, promotions, health etc. And that was it.

My mother managed to track Miss N’s mom a few years ago. And from there, my sis and Miss N started sms-ing each other.

And so when Miss N sms-ed me saying, ‘let’s do lunch, dahling’ because she was in the neighbourhood, it was only proper for me to say okay. She should have warned me earlier and i would have gone to some hospital and have plastic surgery. Not enough time to look good!

We agreed to meet at a Vietnamese restaurant near my place. I was early. A star must come late and so she was late. And oh-my oh-my, when she did appear, what an appearance it was. Huge dark glasses, very groomed, perfect hair, perfect muah-muah left and right of my cheeks and perfect way of scoffing the heat and traffic! Beside her, I felt like that 9 year old baddie comot boy-wannabe lass of yesteryear. I felt fat (I am fat), ugly (that I am), clumsy (wanna bet?) and so-very-not-glamorous-at-all!

We ordered a few dishes with rice and she probably ate 5 grains of rice AT THE MOST! I easily finished my bowlful of rice and felt bad afterwards. Beside her, I felt like kerbau pendek!

And she received many phone calls throughout lunch. From Kavita Kaur lah (nama sebenar), from a drama director lah, reporter lah etc. And the subjects she talked about were, ‘what’s the name of your fashion designer?’, ‘I like what you wore that award night’, ‘I am busy, tengah shooting kan?’ and other starry starry subject. Common comot girl didn’t receive any calls at all. The few sms-es that I did receive, was on some dry boring stuff from prune-dried people, like me (no Dr Bubbles, DITH, you did not sms me during lunch. Would have made my day!)

Later that day, when I spoke to Yamtuan, I lamented to him that I don’t get calls from the likes of Kavita Kaur. Yamtuan told me not to believe what I heard. There are many Lawyer Lingams out there, he said. I should have called him and pretended like I was talking to the President of PAPITA himself or even Angelina Jolie (Hajah Esah Jolie ke…) if I could pull it off.

Ha-ah ek? I should have.

But this I must say. Despite her being up there on the sky, twinkling beautiful and bright, she was in actual very down-to-earth. And lunch was interesting if not fun. She was after all just Miss N – a childhood friend.

And a bit gossiping here, she came with Dato R! Mwahahahaha! Mereka hanya kawan biasa sahaja. Yamtuan and i are ‘kawan biasa’ too, by the way.