A 10-minute revelation

8 Jan

It was a normal Saturday morning. I was watching “Life Unexpected” when I got a call from my mum.

“Hey, can you bring your sister to the shop later?”

“OK”

Nothing strange about that conversation right? Well, not on surface level. But if you consider the fact that my mum’s shop is just about a 10-minute walk away from my house, then the conversation reveals more than just a request to take my 13-year old sister to the shop. To me, it showed how unsafe our country is these days.

When I was 13, I used to stay back at school for basketball at least twice a week. After practice, I would take a 20-minute walk through Petaling Street (buy some CDs along the way), and take the LRT home from Pasar Seni station. I would get off at Wangsa Maju station, and walk another 20 minutes to reach home.

But today, if you had asked me to do the same thing, I would say NO. Because now, I don’t even trust society enough to let my sister walk alone for 10-minutes.

I wonder… what will it take for our streets to be safe again?

Greetings 2011

3 Jan
First of all, Happy New Year to all you smubbly people out there! Happy first day at work for 2011 (Don’t hate me…I’m not working today… :P)
Since this is my first post for the year, I’ll be writing about various topics.
The most common question people ask at the start of the New Year is “What’s your new year resolution?”. Well, I used to make resolutions, and most of the time I achieve 50% of it… so eventually I gave up making resolutions altogether. But for this year, I decided to make one: “Live healthier”. It’s broad and undefined so that I can make little changes as opposed to a concrete statement that would doom me to a 50% chance of failing.
As part of my resolution, I started the Dukan Diet on 1.1.11. I know it’s the most cliche thing to do – starting a diet on New Year’s Day, but I figured that if I was ever going to go on a diet, this would be the best time to do it. According to the calculator on the Dukan Diet’s website, I’m supposed to lose 4kg and achieve my target weight in March. That’s not too long a duration and I think I should be able to meet that target.
Another part of the “live healthier” resolution is my spiritual health. You know, connecting with myself and with God. So yea, I’ll try to make more “me” time, and “God” time in 2011. These little moments should keep me sane from the daily grind, and keep me relaxed while I plan for our big day on 5.11.11. (That’s 5 Nov 2011 for all you “Americanized” people.)
On another note, I bought 36 Agatha Christie novels simply because I was attracted to the book cover designs. (Yes, I’m guilty of judging a book by its cover.) It didn’t help that there was a discount… something like RM35 for 2 books… so I guess I’ll be reading a lot in my “me” time.
Some pics of the books…

The 36 titles

The Agatha Christie Collection

Lined up according to colour

The Agatha Christie Collection

On the table top

So gorgeous right? Well, looks like it’s time for me to end this blog post and start reading one of those 36 titles.

 

Happy New Year!

New Year, New Dreams

30 Dec

 

This is the time of the year when people compile the best of everything in 2010… the best ad campaigns of 2010… the best invention of 2010… the best photos of 2010…

So I suppose I should jump on the 2010 bandwagon, and compile my own list for the year.

2010 milestone 1: I finally left my first agency

In the advertising industry, it is quite a feat to stay in the same agency for more than 1 year. But yours truly stayed for almost 3 years before jumping ship. I felt like I was breaking up with my first love, but like all other relationships, I managed to find happiness in another agency.

2010 milestone 2: I finally bought a car

My days of relying on friends, family and utterly unreliable public transport came to an end. In September 2010, I paid my first installment for my first car. I wasn’t entirely happy because I still think owning a car is a stupid luxury. But since I live in Malaysia,  it has become a stupid necessity. Every month, my heart aches thinking about the fact that 1/5 of my salary goes to just transportation alone. Oh well, that’s just life I guess. My dream of going to Spain will take longer to come true.

2010 milestone 3: I finally set foot in Australia

Ever since some of my best secondary school friends ditched Malaysia to make Australia their home, I’ve been wanting to visit the Land Down Under. But I’ve never had enough money to fly there and the ridiculously strong AUD didn’t help either. So when AirAsia opened up a route to Melbourne, I saw a glimmer of hope.

At the same time, Ian and I stumbled upon the superbly talented Jenny Sun, and would do anything to have her shoot our engagement photos. So we checked her schedule and found out the dates when she would be in Australia, and planned our holiday according to those dates.

So in September 2010, we flew to Australia and made 2 dreams come true :

  • Visiting my friends (and his)
  • Having Jenny shoot our portraits

Other than those 3 big personal milestones, 2010 was also the year that we started planning our wedding seriously. We booked the date, booked the venue, attended a marriage course, bought stuff for our house, planned for our future and all that stuff…. stuff that I didn’t think we’d be doing in 2009.

So 2010 was a big year for me. And I believe 2011 will be just as amazing, if not better… because this time next year, I’ll be married to my best friend for life.

Cheers!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Photographer Shootout

23 Dec

As some of you might know, we’re getting married on 5 Nov 2011. Although that’s still quite a distance away, we’ve been working hard to check stuff off our to-do list as soon as possible.

So far, we’ve done the following:

  1. Completed the 8-week Catholic Marriage Preparation Course (CMPC).
  2. Booked the church and the dinner venue in KL.
  3. Booked the dinner venue in Ipoh.
  4. Shot our engagement photos in Melbourne. (Thanks Jenny Sun for the fab photos!)
  5. Made my nyonya kebaya, shoes, and his suit & shirt.
  6. Bought my wedding gown.
  7. Chose our colour scheme.

So far, it has been pretty easy to make all those decisions. The biggest challenge for us to date is finding the right photographer to shoot our wedding day. We’ve pretty much Googled more than 50 photographers before selecting Jenny Sun for our engagement portraits, so it goes without saying that we Googled even more to find our wedding day photographer. Somehow, it’s just so hard to find someone with the style we like. Of course, this could be because most photographers have no style. They just have the right gear. I know that sounds a little harsh, but what I need is someone who takes better pictures than me, someone who  knows how to compose a shot, make the best use of available lighting, and at least edit the photos for colour, saturation, contrast and brightness. I mean, if you’re going to charge more than RM5k, you should be able to shoot better than an art student right?

Thankfully we’ve manage to shortlist 2 local photographers and will be weighing our options before making our booking.

On another note… while searching for the right photographer, I’ve noticed that photographers with design background are better than those without. They have better composition, better understanding of lighting and editing, and just better pictures overall. And funnily enough, photographers with ‘Jen’ in their names seem to be absolutely brilliant.

Check out these Jen-photographers and tell me if it’s coincidental or plain freaky:

Jen HuangJennifer TaiJenn BartellJenny Sun * Jennifer Eileen *

Do you know any other Jen/Jen-like photographers?

Driving Story #1: It’s a game!

30 Nov

So I’ve been driving to work and back for all of 3  months. Throughout this time, I’ve encountered all sorts of drivers and pedestrians on the road. Sometimes these people make a simple task like driving as impossible as achieving world peace. The only way to keep myself sane is to pretend that I’m in a driving game, like Need For Speed/ GT5/ Daytona USA — but with no extra lives. And the goal of this game is to get to my destination without killing anyone. Easy right?

Now, all games have some sort of a cheat code/ level walk-through, so this post shall serve as some sort of a guide to all road users in Malaysia.

Character 1: The Butt-Head

The Butt-Head is a driver who has to smoke while driving, and with one hand dangling out of the window. And they have no qualms about tossing their ciggie butts out of the window.

Character’s Weakness: A truck of fireworks.

Defeat Strategy: Use a water gun.

Character 2: The Flip-Flopper

The Flip-Flopper can never stick to one lane. They’ll go to the left, and 5 seconds later, they’ll decide to go to the right, and 5 seconds later, they’ll be going to the left again. The best part of it all? They do not use indicators.

Character’s Weakness: Ambulance/ police escort.

Defeat Strategy: Curse the whole family.

Character 3: The Cheat

The Cheat pretends to exit a road, only to cut back into the queue wayyyyyyy up ahead. This character pisses me off to no end when I’m behind him/her, and even more so if he/she cuts in front of me when I’ve been stuck in a queue for ages.

Character’s Weakness: None.

Defeat Strategy: Too thick-skinned to be defeated.

Character 4: The Oblivious Pedestrian

Don’t get me wrong. I’m all for the rights of the pedestrian. But, if they walk as if they’re invincible, then it becomes a problem. Such characters tend to cross at blind spots and walk really slowly although they know you’re right behind them.

Character’s Weakness: Rain and puddles.

Defeat Strategy: Honk or drive at 5km/h.

Character 5: The Rich Cheapskate

These morons are very common. You’ll spot them near shopping malls and commercial areas that charge for parking. Instead of paying RM1 for 3 hours of parking/ RM3 for 1 hour of parking, or RM5 for a per entry parking, these cheapskates choose to obstruct traffic by parking their Altis, Civic, BMW, Mercedes, Alphard on the freaking road. Never mind that it turns 2 lanes into 1 lane. All they care about is saving a few Ringgit.

Character’s Weakness: They won’t know who has damaged their car.

Defeat Strategy: Scratch their cars with a sharp object or drop a pebble on their windscreen. (Of course, this is all an accident because anything can happen when you park illegally.)

Character 6: The Speed-phobic

These people are terrified of the accelerator pad. They won’t go beyond 40km/h, even if they’re on the ‘fast lane’.

Character’s Weakness: Mat Rempits.

Defeat Strategy: Honk, overtake, and STARE.

Character 7: The Parking Illiterate

They park on kerbs, on zebra crossings, next to fire hydrants, in front of your house, on the highway, at bus stops and taxi stands, in yellow boxes… anywhere that is NOT a parking lot.

Character’s Weakness: Tow trucks.

Defeat Strategy: Refer to ‘Character 5: The Rich Cheapskate’/ Call DBKL.

I’m sure there are more characters that are not listed here. Feel free to suggest some in the comments and I’ll add them into this post. In the meantime, I’m going to play this game until I level up to boss level – when I have a driver to drive me around.


Can I haz salad in peace?

17 Nov

Recently, I’ve started making my own lunch. And since my culinary skills are about as good as my sheep-shearing skills, all I can make is salad.

Thanks lowcostdieting.com for the picture

There’s a supermarket right below my office, so getting fresh vegetables isn’t a problem. The problem is the mindset of the people around me.

More often than not, people tend to assume that I’m on a diet when I’m caught with a bowl of salad. And the first thing that people say is not “Oh, trying to be healthy?” but “Oh. Are you on diet?”

So I would like to declare on my blog that: I’m not dieting

Thanks bigfatboyfriend.com for the picture

The reason why I’m eating a serving of salad every day is simple. I just want to get my daily required intake of fruits and vegetables. Me eating salad is in no way an indication that I will give up my char kuey teow, chili pan mee, bak kut teh, or laksa. In fact, I still munch on chocolates when I come home after a long day’s work.

Besides, my recent long working hours has effectively zapped away my energy to exercise. So if I want to stay healthy, all I can do is eat healthier. Right?

Eating more vegetables is also good for digestion. Ever since I started eating salad regularly, I’ve been able to poo better. TMI? Well, I just want to ensure that people stop judging me and let me have my salad in peace.

Disclaimer:

This post is in no way an outburst of rage against my lovely colleagues and friends who have innocently assumed that I’m dieting. I just couldn’t think of anything else to blog about. I still love you ok? XOXO.

Cab Story #9: The affable one

27 Aug

I’ve been driving for 2 weeks and I really miss sitting in the back seat. So I decided to take a cab to work today.

You didn’t really believe that did you? If you did, haha. If you didn’t, smart girl/boy.

I didn’t drive today because I have a dinner date today and I will be driven to my destination. Wheee.

So back to the cab story of the day.


I was lucky enough to get a Waja cab today. Very comfy and spacious, and the cabbie didn’t look like a creep. Perfect.

So he asked “Nak ikut jalan mana miss? Ikut Duke Highway?”

“Ikut jalan biasa lah. Sekarang dah pukul 9:30. Takde jam lagi kut.”

“Boleh. Tapi miss, jalan kat KL ni tak tentu la. Lagipun, hari ini Selangor cuti, sambut Nuzur Quran.”

“Oh ya lah. Hari ini Selangor cuti. Eh, you tak cuti ke?”

“Kita ni pandu teksi mana boleh cuti. Kereta ni sewa hari hari kena bayar. Tak boleh cuti oh.”

“Betul juga. Tapi hari Nuzur Quran ni sepatutnya menyambut apa?”

“Oh, hari ini kita orang Islam menyambut kitab suci turun ke bumi. Jadi nanti kat masjid, surau semua adalah benda benda special macam doa, ceramah, cerita pasal sejarah tu semua lah.”

“Oh macam tu…” “Eh miss, sekarang orang Cina pun ada sambut perayaan kan? I tengok ada banyak pentas-pentas semua, ada orang buat show, bakar benda benda… apa perayaan tu?”

Of all festivals, he had to ask me about the Hungry Ghost Festival. A festival that I don’t really pay much attention to. I tried my best to explain the whole thing to him though.

“Ah, bulan ni ‘Bulan Hantu Lapar’. (Yes, direct translation./facepalm) Jadi, adalah orang yang percaya pada bulan ni, pintu neraka buka dan hantu-hantu semua keluar kacau orang…main-main lah.”

“Alamak! Dahsyat ni! Jadi itu pentas semua buat apa?”

“Pentas-pentas tu untuk show lah. Kita ni buat show untuk hantu-hantu semua. Kalau you pergi tengok kan, jangan- jangan duduk kat depan tau!”

“Kenapa?”

“Sebab, kerusi kat depan depan tu semua reserve untuk hantu duduk punya. Orang tak boleh duduk. Nanti hantu itu marah, habislah you.”

“Eh, nasib baik you bagi tau saya! Dahsyat ni! I pun tak tau ada pula benda macam ni. Masa saya kecik dulu, saya duduk dekat flat kat Klang Lama, itu kawasan cina la. Dari rumah saya boleh nampak la, pentas pentas semua, ada tayang filem kat sana. Wah shiok! Saya suka tengok! Tak faham pun takpe.”

“Oh ya ke? Untung lah you. Tapi sekarang dah kurang dah. Tak banyak lagi orang yang buat pesta pesta ni.”

“Ya lah miss. Orang Melayu pun sama. Ada yang dah modern kan. Takde lah peduli apa Nuzur Quran itu lagi. Kalau kat kampung, hari ini memang hari besar! Tapi kat bandar, manalah ada masa nak buat majlis semua. Macam saya pun kena kerja bayar sewa teksi ni. Mana boleh cuti.”

“Betul juga.”

There was silence for awhile. And then he continues talking about the Hungry Ghost Festival.

“Tapi miss, bulan Ramadhan ni, kita percaya hantu dan syaitan kena ikat tau. Tak boleh keluar. Kalau ada hantu pun… mesti orang yang perangai macam hantu. Jadi hantu-hantu cina tu macam mana ah, boleh keluar lagi ke masa Ramadhan?”

I laughed. Because it is indeed ironic that the holy month of Ramadhan coincides with the notorious Hungry Ghost Festival. A total contrast.

“Tak tahu lah. Tapi you cakap memang betul. Orang yang perangai macam hantu memang lagi teruk dari hantu sebenar.”

“Jadi pesta ni you kena buat apa? I tengok orang bakar bakar itu…bakar apa?”

“Oh itu kertas suci. Orang bagi buah, bakar benda, supaya hantu tak kacau la. Bulan ni adalah banyak pantang. Macam, kalau pandu kereta malam- malam kena berhati-hatilah. Sebab kadang kadang, hantu akan duduk dalam kereta you. Kalau ada hantu buat macam tu, you tak boleh marah dia. You kena buat tak tahu, berdoa, lepas tu hantu itu akan pergi sendiri.”

“Alamak! Teruklah macam itu! Saya selalu bawa teksi malam-malam la.”

“Aiya, you tak payah takut. Sebab you percaya bulan ni tak ada hantu. Jadi hantu takkan kacau you.”

“Ya lah miss. Tapi I rasa I tak nak bawa lewat malam lagi lah macam ni. Takut lah saya. Sekarang budak budak tak takut hantu dah, dah tengok banyak hantu kat TV. Hanya orang tua macam saya baru takut hantu.”

We laughed and I asked him if he was doing anything special for the upcoming National Day.

“Merdeka minggu depan? Ya Allah… I dah lupa pulak!”

We laughed again.

“Kita ni pandu teksi takde cuti, tiap tiap hari sama saja. Takkan ingat pasal cuti ni semua. Merdeka pun I dah lupa.”

There were a lot of lorries on the road. So he commented on the mega projects we are builindg right now.

“Tengoklah, banyak lori kat jalan ni. Bazir wang saja lah buat project besar besar macam ini. Macam istana baru. Wah, bukan main tu…mahal. Kita kat Malaysia ni, suka buat benda baru. Tak nilai sejarah langsung. Pentingkan duit saja. Macam itu Pudu Jail. Buat apa dia orang robohkan… itu sejarah. Padan muka la sekarang, semua hantu dalam penjara itu dah keluar, sama sama dengan hantu lapar semua buat kecoh nanti.”

HAHAHAHAHAH! That’s the funniest opinion I’ve heard about the demolition of Pudu Jail!

We reached Mont Kiara and I wished him a safe drive for the day.

“Selamat Jalan ya…”

He replied, “Selamat tak jumpa hantu.”

I do miss talking to cabbies.

Cab story #8: The fire-fighting one

6 Aug

Much of this post will be written in Malay because it just feels more authentic. If you want a translation, send me a request and I’ll post an English version.

In my past 4 months of taking cabs, I’ve  met all sorts of cabbies – moonlighting DBKL officers, pasar tani traders, pasar malam traders, retirees etc. And last night I met a fire-fighter.

I asked if he’s tired… he said not really. He said he doesn’t mind working hard now that he is still young. According to him, his income as a cabbie is enough to cover all his expenses so he doesn’t even have to use his pay as a fire-fighter. He can save all of it for a rainy day. Impressive eh?

Anyway, I’ve always wondered how fire-fighters pass their time when there isn’t a fire, so I peppered him with questions throughout the ride.

“Kalau tak ada kebakaran, macam mana?”

“Oh, sekarang rumah setinggan dah kurang, api pun kurang. Biasanya buat benda lain la. Macam tangkap ular, tolong anak kucing…”

“Tolong anak kucing? Ada ke? Bukan dalam kartun saja?”

“Oh ada! Banyak! Lagipun, biasanya orang yang call bukan pemilik kucing tu! Dah banyak kali orang awam lalu, nampak kucing kat longkang, kat atas pokok…lepas tu dia rasa kesian kat kucing tu…walaupun benda-benda macam ni tak lah besar sangat, kita mesti pergi. Sebab orang awam dah call… dan orang awam yang bayar gaji kita ni…. kita mesti lah pergi tolong.”

“Betul juga…Jadi banyak tak kes tangkap ular?”

“Oh banyak! Kat KL memang banyak. Kelakar la orang kat KL ni. Nampak ular yang kecik macam cicak pun takut. Dulu I kat kampung, orang kampung nampak ular tak panggil bomba punya. Orang kampung ambik batu, terus hentam ular tu. Tak takut langsung. Tapi kat bandar macam KL, orang tak biasa la kan?”

“Ya la. Orang bandar memang macam ini. Tak biasa mah. Jadi susah tak tangkap ular? Selalu berapa orang pergi operasi?”

“Tengok la. Biasanya 5 orang macam tu… Nak tangkap ular pun ada teknik yang beza untuk ular yang beza. Macam ular tanduk yang berbisa tu…Wah, itu memang saya takut la. Sebab ular macam tu berbisa tau… dia spray satu kali kat you habis lah.

“Jadi macam mana nak tangkap ular tanduk?”

“Mula mula, kita guna itu Ridsect arau Shieldtox spray kat dia…lemahkan dia dulu.”

“Apa? Ridsect dengan Shieldtox boleh guna untuk ular juga?” (Immediately I imagined a new Ridsect/Shieldtox commercial with people spraying at snakes instead of little mozzies…Hahaha)

“Boleh! Lepas spray kat dia, dia dah lemah, baru boleh tangkap. Tak boleh tangkap terus… jangan main-main.”

“Jadi, apa you orang buat dengan ular yang kena tangkap tu? You hantar kat zoo ke?”

“Tak! Zoo pun tak mau! I bagi tau you la, tapi ini antara kita berdua ya… tak boleh cakap kat orang luar ok?”

And so he told me what they do with the snakes, which really surprised me but I won’t reveal the goss here. Haha.

“Oh, macam tu…”

“Yalah. Banyak orang tak tau. Sekarang you tau lah. Kat bomba ni kan,  ada banyak jenis orang. Orang yang pandai tangkap ular, orang yang tak takut tempat tinggi. Macam saya, saya memang tak takut kalau kena pergi tempat yang tinggi tinggi… 19 tingkat ke… semua boleh. I suka la… buat terjun payung tu semua. Tapi, kalau kena masuk air, memang I takut. I ada phobia la.”

I had more questions, but sadly, this very interesting conversation had to end because I’ve reached home. So I paid him and wished him all the best with the snakes and kittens.

I’m really going to miss meeting these interesting cabbies when I get my car.

Cab Story #7: The Pakistani One

22 Jul

I’ve been hitching a ride with my prince charming the past week, hence the lack of posts about KL cabbies. So to add some life to this blog, I’ve decided to write about the Pakistani cabbie I’ve encountered a few months ago.

It was about 7pm when I managed to flag down a cab. There were some car stickers on the windows so I couldn’t make out the driver’s face before I stepped into the cab. When I saw that the driver was wearing a turban and flowing robe, I realised he wasn’t local. By then it was a little too late, he had started driving. So I brushed aside my shallow prejudice and told him my destination.

“Setapak please”

“Setapak? Ok. Use the Duke Highway?”

“Yes”

The way to the highway was rather congested, so he started complaining about the traffic in KL.

“Miss, I don’t like Kuala Lumpur. Always jam everywhere. I prefer Penang. Penang it’s better. Less cars, got beach. I miss Penang.”

Wow. That’s some opening line. I was curious about his love for Penang. So I decided to probe further.

“If you like Penang so much, why did you come to Kuala Lumpur?”

“Because I stupid that’s why. Last time I was a hotel taxi driver in Penang. My boss is very nice. He is Chinese like you. I can drive nice car, nice one, not like this terrible one I’m driving now. (ouch Proton) Then if there are no customers, I just wait in the air-con room with other drivers. So good. And he pay me good money also. And then, I wanted to try my luck in Kuala Lumpur. All my friends say Penang better but I never listen to them. I told them I must try and see for myself. Then now I regret. I wish I stayed in Penang.”

Aww, poor dude. I felt rather sorry for him, so I asked him why didn’t he go back to Penang since he hated KL so much.

“I cannot go back miss. Like the Malays say “Jatuh Muka” you know? You know Malay? So I cannot go back. I have no face to show my boss and my friends there. They will laugh at me. Say I stupid. I know I made a mistake but I cannot go back.”

Immediately a Chinese idiom came to mind – “A good horse never goes back to graze on grass it has turn its back on” Ok, the English translation doesn’t sound nice, but it basically means that a person of quality and character will not turn back his/her judgement, but always move forward no matter how challenging it may be. I love this idiom. It’s such a long winded way of saying “no turning back”. Haha.

Since talking about Penang made him really sad, and sad cabbies are no fun, I decided to ask him about his hometown.

“So, where were you before you were in Penang?”

“Oh, I was in Sabah. I came to Malaysia from Pakistan many years ago. About 10 years already I’m in Malaysia. When I was in Sabah, the minister there was very good. Very easy to get PR. Now I have red IC. My brother also got red IC. But that was 10 years ago. Nowadays, I hear, very hard to get PR. No more like last time. I have another cousin who wants to come here, but it’s too hard for him already.”

Now this was news to me. I had no idea that our beloved Chief Minister in Sabah was giving out PRs like how credit card companies give out flyers. Damn. I wonder how many migrants got red ICs just like that. And imagine, there are Malaysians who have survived the Japanese invasion and are still not recognised as citizens. This is just outrageous! Why do we Malaysians put up with such terrible governance? Sigh. But since he benefited from the corrupted system, I kept my angry Malaysian views to myself and asked about his home country instead.

“Oh, so you’re from Pakistan. Do you miss Pakistan?”

“Of course. Malaysia is very nice. Very beautiful. But I miss my country. I think it is more beautiful than Malaysia. You should visit one day. I have brothers and sisters there. Family is important miss. You live with your family?”

“Yes.”

“That’s good miss. You’re very nice. Be careful when you take taxi ok? Now a lot of bad people. Sometimes I’m also scared to take passengers. Some passengers see I dress like this and they don’t want to take my taxi. In Kuala Lumpur it’s like that. I cannot do anything. In Penang everyone is nice. Food is good and cheap. I really miss Penang.

Great. The conversation went back to Penang. But at the same time, we’ve arrived at my house. So I paid him the fare and told him not too worry too much. If he can’t go to Penang, he can always try Malacca.

“Yes, I heard Malacca is beautiful too. Maybe I will go there. Thank you miss. It was nice talking to you.”

I never met him again. But I don’t think I’ll ever forget this conversation. It’s really eye-opening how an issue like lackadaisical immigration enforcement can seem like a bad thing for us but a blessing in disguise for migrants who want to earn a decent living. It was also interesting to meet a cabbie who had such strong principals, and wouldn’t flip-flop on his decisions (unlike certain bozos who are running our country).

I also realised that we humans can be too quick to judge at times. When I first stepped into the cab, the first thought that came to mind was “Shit, he’s a foreigner”. But when I stepped out of the cab, his nationality was the last thing on my mind.

Sometimes, it really doesn’t hurt to have faith in people.

Cab story #6: The amused & amusing one

6 Jul

Today’s cabbie was both amusing and amused. And the amusement began as soon as I stepped into the cab.

“Solaris Mont Kiara please.”

“Solaris Mont Kiara? Got such place ah? Never heard of it!”

“Er, yes. I go there every day.”

“Ha? Wah! Ok, I must see this place. You show me how to go.”

So I directed him to the highway and showed him the way.

“Ah moi, you take taxi every day ah?”

“Yes”

“Aiyo so expensive lah like that! You want receipt? I can print for you! Then you can claim from your office.”

“No no, it’s ok, I can’t claim anyway.”

“Aiyo! Cannot claim? How lah like that. Your salary all go to taxi. Why you have no car? Now take taxi very dangerous. All sorts of funny people.”

(After 3 months of taking cabs, I still haven’t figured out why these cabbies like to shoot themselves in the foot.)

“Oh, I bought my car already. I’m waiting for my car to arrive. I know got a lot of funny people, that’s why I call cab. Last time I just wait by the roadside  but after meeting some weird drivers, I decided to pay a bit more and call for cabs instead.”

“Oh ya lah. Nowadays, a lot of bad people. You know, my friend, he got robbed by a passenger. The passenger put a knife to his throat, rob him. Took all his money, jewellery and around RM2000 cash that was in the taxi! Some more, he took his clothes and left my friend in his underwear only! Then ah, he tied my friend’s hands and legs and left him near a kampung, and drove away in his taxi. He got bitten by mosquitoes all over! He cry you know… so bad lah these people. Now my friend phobia already. Poor thing.”

Before I could say anything, he continued with another story.

“And ah, I heard you know, that day got one ah pek, driving taxi also one. He also got robbed and the robber took a knife and sliced his throat and when the ah pek never die, he use the seat belt and strangle him! Aiyo miss ah, so dangerous lah now. You must be careful you know.”

So I told him I’m well aware of the dangers of taking cabs. But I don’t really have a choice for now. I then told him about all the cabbies I’ve encountered before… I told him about DBKL officers who moonlight, cab drivers who also operate pasar malam stalls, retirees who drive cabs to ward off boredom, and even my encounter with a Pakistani driver.

He was extremely interested to hear more about the Pakistani driver. He was surprised that a foreigner can have a license to drive a cab. So I told him the story of the Pakistani driver… (which I might write about in another post) After I was done with my story, he asked if I had the driver’s number because he wants to meet him… he has never seen a Pakistani cab driver so he wants to see one. Haha. Unfortunately, I didn’t have his number so I couldn’t fulfil his wish.

As we approached Solaris Mont Kiara, he realised that the place really does exist. (Abuthen…)

“Oh! Here ah! So near the Duta Court….the place where Anwar was accused of sodomy.”

“Er, yea. Very near.”

“Aiya, these politicians ah… always playing games. We must not bother. We must take care of ourselves….you know ah, now I call these politicians ‘politikus’! They all useless one! Ah moi, who you support? PR or BN?

As a rule of thumb, I try not to talk about religion or politics when I’m in a cab because I don’t want to offend the driver and die in a ditch somewhere. But since we’re really near my office by now I just said that I don’t mind giving PR a chance because BN is just too arrogant.

Thank God he agreed with me.

“Ya lah miss. I also think so! You know ah, last time my father is UMNO man. Then they play dirty, take money  here and there. Now my father join PAS! They better!”

We arrived and I paid him the fare. He then gave me his number so that I could call him directly if I needed a cab. He said, “Call me la. Then you  no need pay extra RM2. I’ll be around Hartamas usually. Bye miss!”

Bye amusing cabbie. Let’s hope you don’t get robbed by robbers who leave people in their underwear to be bitten by mosquitoes.