Friday, February 23, 2007

The QM II and QE II.

It was a historic event on Wednesday. The Queen Mary II and Queen Elizabeth II cruise liners pulled into Sydney Harbour.

Apparently, the Queen Mary II is one of the biggest, if not the biggest, cruise liner in the world. It was so big that it could not be moored in Cirqular Quay. This big mama costs around $1,000,000,000! That’s right. Nine zeros!

I went down on my lunch break with a few colleagues to catch a glimpse. There were so many people around trying to get to a good vantage point at Mrs. Macquarie's Chair that it created a buzz of excitement in the air.

Traffic jams went well into the evening as people from all around Sydney went down to the harbour to take in the sight. It was only there for a day which explained the frenzy.

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The Queen Elizabeth II came in the evening.

As the QM II left the harbour bound for Hong Kong, people could see both cruisers side by side around 6.30 pm. I missed it but judging from the pictures in the papers, it was magnificent.

I checked out the QE II the following day on my lunch break. It was moored in Cirqular Quay which is like 5 minutes on foot from work.

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I've never given it a second thought but the quay's really spectacular. On the left, there’s the bridge which I cross every working day…

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To my right, there’s the ‘Toaster’ which is an expensive piece of real estate where the rich resides…

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and of course, the Opera House further up…

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While I was there, I can’t help but realise how fortunate I am to have such beautiful landscapes just a few minutes walk away. I’ve got to admit that I’ve been taking these incredible architectures for granted too long. Having worked in the city my entire career, I think I've only been up to the quay during lunch times like twice.


People from all over the world would travel thousands of miles to see these structures in person and I used to be like, ‘Mehhh, boooooring’.

Maybe it's age related. Blast this growing old thing. It sucks! I think as I grow older, I get more sentimental about stuff. It's either that or my body's outta' whack and I'm pumping out estrogen instead of testosterone.

Hold me. I'm vulnerable.

Monday, February 19, 2007

Enter the Pig - Chinese New Year 2007

Hmmm...somehow the catchphrase is just not as cool as 'Enter the Dragon'.

So, it was Chinese New Year yesterday. I bummed around the house, balled a little and went to my in-laws for dinner. I know, riveting stuff this so, try and keep up.

Not having my parents here makes CNY just like any other day. For one, it’s not a public holiday. There’s no big feast, no festive music blaring in the shopping centres, no nothing. The 'feel' just ain't there. Sure there’re events like lion dances, dragon boat races and fire crackers going on in Chinatown but to me, the highlight of CNY is catching up with relatives to see how their year was like while we drink and feast like there is no tomorrow. It’s an excuse to come together at least once a year so the distant relatives that we don’t normally keep in touch with know that we still exist. It’s also good to see how much the little ones have grown, the budding forth generation on my mum’s side, while they remind me of the fossil that I am.

As a kid, I used to love the gatherings at my grandmother’s(God bless her soul) place. I still do. It was always full of laughter with some larger-than-life aunties and uncles creating the atmosphere. Come to think of it, the level of happiness is always directly proportional to the amount of alcohol consumed. I’d be playing with my cousins, eating all the usual delicacies, especially the superb festive dishes that my aunties and grandmother had prepared while people shower me with ang pows. Pure bliss.

The last time I celebrated CNY in K.L was probably 2 years ago. I think it’s about time I plan for another trip back to join the festivities. In the meantime, if I can just find a decent gambling den to remind me of home during CNY, I’d be happy. HOI TOI!!!

Happy Chinese New Year and take care on the roads.

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Melbourne - Australia Day long weekend

I was in Melbourne for the Australia Day long weekend which was also the Aussie Open Finals weekend.

This is my second time there and I still find the city a little boring compared to Sydney.

The good:

Caught up with my buddy, his lovely wife and some friends, Nike Melbourne, the food, Maggi Assam Laksa (which I can't find in Sydney), the cafe culture, Chapel Street, Sneakers exhibition at the National Gallery of Victoria, the fashionable people, won some money at the roulette table at Crown.

The bad:

The weather. Felt like friggin' winter on one of the days when we're in the middle of summer.

The ugly:

The weird sculpture that was at the National Gallery of Victoria.

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Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Valentine's Day 2007

I can't for the life of me remember the last time I celebrated Valentine's Day. It was probably in my teens. If my memory serves me well, I think it must have been at least 8 years ago that I bought some roses for my lady for Valentine's Day but I definitely know that I did not buy them on the day. Only idiots buy roses on Valentine's Day.

Generally, I don't like to buy flowers as gifts cos' I don't see the point of seeing my gift wilting away. It's too depressing. Well, not depressing but that uneasy feeling of wasting hard earned money on something that does nothing except die. I might as well tie some cash to some branches and burn it. I'd get more kick out of that and I guarantee you that it will be memorable. We'd always be like, 'remember that Valentine's Day when we torched some cash?'

What does the rose symbolise? Love and affection? So, my love and affection only lasts for about a couple of weeks? That sounds good to me if I was looking for a one night stand or maybe a fuck buddy. If I'm really serious about a relationship, I'd buy kitchenware. Nothing says, 'you're wife material' than a set of good pots and pans.

The only good thing that comes out of Valentine's Day is when one is still single. There's a lot of buzz leading up to this day. Will he/she ask me to be his/her Valentine? Y'know, all that mushy stuff. Valentine's Day is like receiving a progress report. If that girl that you've been pursuing for a few months agrees to dinner (which is basically prime time) with you then you know that you're in. You da' MAN! Lunch means that there's a chance next year that you'd be bumped to dinner so, it's basically a 'try harder' signal. If you score breakfast, you're more like the really close gay friend that she never had. So, you can pretty much forget about it. If you don't even get a slot on this day, then it's time to think of ways to get back all those expensive gifts that you've been showering her with without looking like a cheap ass.

So, to all those single people that are celebrating Valentine's Day, I wish y'all good luck and hope y'all get the dinner slot.

As you might have guessed, I'm not a romantic but Happy Valentine's Day...suckers.

Tuesday, February 06, 2007

Subtle racism.

We had a couple of groups of people come by last weekend to inspect our humble abode that is being put up for lease.

I got a call later in the day from the agents that both of them have put in applications for the place. The applications provide some information for the agents to do background checks (current salary, occupation, current residence, etc.). It give us a rough idea of what they're like and whether they can pay their rent.

A couple of days later, I received news that one of them was a suitable candidate and wanted to sign a long term lease. I was curious to know which one so I started describing members of the parties instead of their races. Y'know, being politically correct and all that. Then, out from left field, the agent said that it wasn't the "Indian" family but the "Australian" one. It caught me by surprise but after we finished the conversation, I sat there for a few minutes thinking to myself, "why are white people automatically Australians and people of colour branded as immigrants even if they're born here?"

I mean, it must be a common assumption amongst the white community of Australia to automatically assume that they are the race that owns the right to be called Australians. From the Prime Minister of Australia (read previous post dated 30.1.07) to my dear old agent. It just goes to show what some of them are really thinking. Assimilation? Integration? Yeah, fancy words that are being bandied around by the government and "Australians". Like it's entirely the immigrant's fault. How about ACCEPTANCE?

Oh well! At least the laws aren't as discriminatory as Malaysia...

Friday, February 02, 2007

I want to be black!!! – Vol. 1/1

“Once you go black, you don’t go back.”

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With the rise and rise of hip-hop and the perception amongst the young and also some of us who are not so young (the word ‘old’ is now officially banned from this blog) that black American rappers, athletes, dancers, gangsters, hobos, etc. are soooooo ultra cool, I’ve decided to enlighten those of you who endeavour to join this select group of sophisticated and cultured men and women but are too nerdy or too afraid to express yourselves. No, Mario eating a floating magic mushroom and turning into a giant is not cool. Neither is getting a tattoo of a Chinese word when you don’t even speak or read Chinese. For all you know, it might say, ‘this was where my asshole used to be’. Ok, maybe it IS cool to get a tattoo of a Chinese word cos’ all the brothas and sistas are doing it.

Let’s kick start this series with the language.

Ebonics. Can’t find it in the dictionary? Google it!

Since there are those of you who are new to this phenomenon I shall not get too hardcore but as we progress, you’ll be walking and jiving down the Bronx in no time…providing you don’t get killed in a drive-by first.

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Scenario: You’re supervising a bunch of early 20-somethings and they think you’re a geek or some sort of prehistoric scum that has evolved into a human being with superior knowledge along with powers that will suck the ‘coolness’ out of them if they come within a 5 metre radius of you.

Modus Operandi:
You want to get their respect and their acceptance.

Target has screwed up badly in a report and you want to confront him about it.

Don’t go – Errr, excuse me, can I talk to you about this report?
Go – Yo homie! This report is totally wack man! Get yo’ ass in here!

Don’t go - I think there is a mistake here. Can you please fix it and be more careful next time? The word is ‘canal’. You’ve left out the ‘c’. It’s, ‘going up the canal’ not the ‘anal’.
Go - Da’ fuck dawg?! Stop thinkin’ bout bitches and hos man. You do the same thang again, I’ma jam this stapler up yo’ canal and start staplin’! Ya’ dig?

Don’t go – I am here to guide and help you. If there is anything you don’t understand, please let me know. My door is always open.
Go – ‘Sup nigga’? You know you my nigga’ right? I mean, you and me. We like Crockett & Tubbs right? You know I got yo’ back right? I’m there fo’ you man. I’m there fo’ you.

There. You see how the same message can be conveyed in the cool mannerisms of an American black man? Pretty soon, you’ll be banging hos every Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, bitches on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays and both on Sundays. This will slowly but surely earn the respect of your peers, especially the younglings.

This community message was brought to you by the words, ‘ho’ and ‘bitch’ (also known as ‘biatch’, but you can only use it when you’ve mastered the cool speak, start levitating and have dexterity points of 9584238 and above). Now go practice it on the ladies...

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Heroes - Genesis

It was the premiere of 'Heroes' last night. After much anticipation thanks to the hype from an acquaintance in the US months before the series started, I thought it was nothing to shout about. They should have done a 2 hour movie-length premiere so the audience could at least relate to the characters more. I felt like they were rushing a lot of things through.

In terms of a series, it has that 'Lost' feel to it when the camera cuts to different characters to tell their stories. I'm so friggin' over 'Lost' now cos' they've been stringing me along for the past 2 seasons and I haven't seen shit yet. The directors or writers really have a knack of stretching the storyline to the max. It gets boring after a while.

Anyway, back to 'Heroes'. I am told that the series gets better after a slow start so I'm gonna' stick with it for a little while. At least there's one good reason to watch it. Her...

What can I say? I'm a sucker for blondes. Especially when they are s-s-s-smokin' hot!
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