Sunday, November 22, 2015
[Pixs of model for illustration only]
Ah Pit-Poh turns her face away from Sifu Sabrina (pix above), covers her mouth and coughs. “Hack! Hack! Hack!.” A pause. “Excuse me." She harrumphs. "My grandchildren are suffering from common cold because of the rainy season. What can I do to improve their health?”
Sifu Sabrina runs her fingers through her hair. “Display a calabash or wulou beside the bed of your grandchildren. You can put another in the east sector of your living room. When placed in the living room, this feng shui symbol will enhance the longevity of the patriarch or matriarch of the family.”
“What should the calabash be made of?”
“Gold-coloured metal such as copper." Sifu Sabrina pulls out a drawer. "Metal reduces the earth power of the Black Flying Star Number 2, which is also known as the Sickness Star. This in turn will reduce the seriousness of the flu or cold.” She takes out a lollipop and starts to suck on it (pix below). “Another feng shui symbol of health is the cherry blossom. Hang a cheery blossom painting to help ward off diseases (bottom pix).”
Ah-Pit Poh starts to cough again. “Hack! Hack! Hack!”
“Why don’t you suck on a Fisherman’s Friend?”
Ah-Pit Poh stops coughing and scrunches up her face. “What? Oral sex to cure my cough? That's absurd feng shui!"
Nothing earth-shattering about Ashley’s by Living Food in Bangsar except its price, rants Ah Pit-Poh
Ah Pit-Poh (pix below) and I linger outside Ashley’s in Bangsar to wait for an empty table.
Soon, we're seated in the sidewalk beside a bookshelf. I turn at the waist to look at the books. They're pure junk. A sign says you can take any book as long as you replace it with a book of your own.
A waitress hands us a humongous menu and a smaller one, and we browse the listings.
“Sheesh! So expensive!” Ah Pit-Poh hisses. “I’ll just take a Borneo laksa." She flicks her gaze at me. "Look at the copywriting crap on the menu items! They’re just using flowery words to jazz up the description of the Borneo laksa in an attempt to justify the price of RM33.” Looking up, she points to a paper sign pasted on a glass door (pix below). “Don’t forget the 10% service charge and 6% GST.” Ah Pit-Poh leans back on her chair. “This so-called Borneo laksa is just Sarawak laksa which I can get for around RM5 in a kopitiam!”
“But this is organic food -- supposed to be healthy.”
“Don’t be a gong-kia, Ewe.” Ah Pit-Poh waves a finger. “You aren't going to live longer just because you eat a few meals of organic food, are you?”
A waitress arrives and I order Genmai Lui Cha; Ah Pit-Poh, Borneo laksa.
While waiting, a waitress brings us what she terms “complimentary salads.” Ah Pit-Poh takes a bite and sneers. “What’s the big deal about these complimentary salads (pix below)? This is what I feed my pet guinea pig every morning!”
Our food is served in white bowls that stand about six inches tall!
Ah Pit-Poh looks inside the bowls. “Bloody chibai kia! The bowls are big but the portions are small!" She slurps a spoonful of her Borneo laksa and shakes her head. "I don’t care how healthy organic food is -– it’s not worth it.”
My first chomp on the luicha fails to impress me. The rice and veggie are bland and the soup tastes like burnt rice, which differs from the greeny version I’ve tasted elsewhere. The firm tofu has a slight nutty flavour.
Ah Pit-Poh and I eat silently. I gaze into her eyes which tell me this will be our first and last time here.
Friday, November 20, 2015
In dating, get out of the friend zone fast, advises Angie Ang, Penang’s top romance and marriage consultant
[Pixs of models for illustration only]
“How can I help you?” Angie Ang (pix above) asks.
Billy, a twenty-something, puckers his brows. “The girl I’m interested in says she treats me as a friend. What shall I do?” His voice is chocked with emotion.
Angie Ang is Penang's top romance and marriage consultant, and Billy's in her office in Love Lane in Georgetown for advice.
Angie starts to twirl a ballpoint pen in her hand. “How long have you known her?”
“Almost eight months. One day, we were strolling along Gurney Drive, watching the sunset. She was lingering a step behind me. I moved closer to her and offered my hand but she giggled, said we’re only friends, so why should we be holding hands? Sheesh! That was two months ago. I was disappointed but continued to be nice to her. Ran errands for her, topped up her mobile, bought packet lunch for her, and took her to expensive restaurants. Then last week, I bought tickets for a couple's seat in a cinema but she sat close to the side of her seat -- creating a big gap between us. I’m confused. Is she testing me? Is she playing hard to get?”
“She’s your colleague?”
“Nope, we work in the same building, different office.”
“Stop giving yourself false hopes. You’ve to face reality. She’s using you. You can even offer to buy her a car, but you will still not win her. So, get out of the friend zone and move on with your social life. The friend zone is frustrating because the longer you remain there, the more you’ll be exposing yourself to manipulation. Some women are like that. They enjoy the power they have over the person who’s doing the chasing. They like the shopping sprees, birthday gifts and expensive dinners in posh restaurants, but nothing more. Perhaps, they’re still looking around in the hope of finding someone else better. Whatever the reason, the mistake of many men is to assume that she needs more time to decide her feelings." Angie gets up from her chair and starts to round her desk. "Such men continue to waste time, effort and money on girls whom they’ve no hope of winning." She stands in front of Billy and studies his face (pix below) "The friend zone is like being stuck in CAPS LOCK. When a man has made an emotional investment in a woman, I know it's difficult to get out. But somehow, he has to free himself fast! The same applies to a woman who's being treated as a friend by a man she's adores.”
“But where did I go wrong?”
“Perhaps, she does not see you as potential husband material. Possibly, you’re dating someone out of your league. Maybe there're money or compatibility issues. A third possibility is you made your move too slow. Next time, you meet a babe you’re interested in, by all means be nice to her. But don’t show that she means everything to you. Let her know you have your own life. If she’s half-hearted about being your girlfriend, let her know there’re others waiting. Either she wants you or doesn't want you -- don't let her push you to no-man's land. You get what I’m getting at? You must be in control of the situation. I suggest that you forget this girl in question. If she’s interested in you, she’ll try to contact you.”
Billy takes out a handkerchief and blows his nose. He fishes out his mobile from his pocket and jabs a few buttons. "That's her (pix below). I'm going to delete her photo and number now."
Monday, November 16, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration only]
“What’s your problem?” Paulina Phuar (pix above), a PR and management consultant, asks.
Maggie Ming (pix below) releases an exhale. “I face constant harrassment by my lady boss!”
Paulina removes her spectacles and chews on one temple end. “An attractive woman like you should not work for a female boss.”
Maggie knits her brows. “Why?” She rests her hands on the arms of her chair.
“Many women bosses suffer from the Queen Bee Syndrome.”
Paulina leans back in her swivel chair. “The term was coined by G.L. Staines, T.E. Jayaratne and C. Travis in their research study which was published in Psychology Today in 1974. It refers to a woman in a position of authority who’s more critical of her female subordinates vis-a-vis males." She steeples her hands. "As a result, a woman who works under such a female boss will be bullied, pressured and be a victim of nitpicking -– like you for instance. It seems that attractive women are the biggest victims.”
“Come on, today’s 2015. That study was conducted in 1974. The Queen Bee still exists?”
“Of course! In fact, the number of such bitches has grown!” Paulina’s lips upturn in a scowl. “In 2010, the Workplace Bullying Institute conducted a study which showed that female bullies directed their hostilities towards other women 80% of the time. And in 2011, the American Association of Management discovered in a survey of 1,000 women that 95% of them felt they had been undermined by another woman at some point in their career.”
“How to deal with such a bloody bitch –- er, I mean Queen-Bee lady boss?”
“First golden rule is never outdress her! Since you’re curvy, don’t wear clothes that accentuate your figure. Also, never embarrass her even though your intentions are good. For example, if she’s wearing pant suit and her fly in undone, just keep your big mouth shut!" Paulina flashes a grin. "Next, be alert and efficient at all times. Hide a recorder on your person when you’re on a one-on-one meeting with her. Later, when the bitch wants to deny having said this or that, play back the recording! Finally, cultivate a network of alliances. Your co-workers can back you up if the bitch wants to make you the fall guy or gal for anything that has screwed up. Last resort is to resign.”
“What’re the causes of the Queen Bee Syndrome?”
Paulina shrugs her shoulders. “Maybe personal insecurities, a desire for power, self-preservation if she’s middle management.” She flicks a gaze at her watch. “Excuse me a moment.” She jabs a button on her intercom. “Miss Su, have you forgotten my cookies and coffee? It’s already 4pm! Time for my tea! Also, where’re the minutes of my meeting with my clients yesterday? Just now, you came back one minute late from lunch. Never let me catch you doing that again! And tomorrow onward, stop wearing that sheath dress! It’s too sexy for an office. Also, have you made an appointment for my cat to see the vet? Poor Kitty’s not been eating for two days.” Her hands turn into fists and she thumps her desk. “By the way, I just read your draft presentation. It’s not good enough! I want six-star work from you, you hear! You imbecile! ” Paulina flicks the switch on the intercom off, casts her gaze at Maggie and smiles. “Where was I? Oh yes, Queen Bee Syndrome. In fact, some women bosses aren’t even aware they’re afflicted with the Queen Bee Syndrome."
A chuckle erupts from Maggie’s throat (pix below).
Sunday, November 15, 2015
Mes plus sincères condoléances aux parents et amis des victimes des attentats terroristes à Paris. Que les terroristes ISIS -- qui sont lâches sanglantes putain -- brûler en enfer! ISIS doit être détruit !
Saturday, November 7, 2015
Yesterday, I visited KL Food Truck Feast at Dataran Merdeka for the first time. As I strolled between the two rows of more than a dozen trucks, I could not feel any carnival atmosphere or excitement. Tables and chairs were also insufficient and some people were standing to wait for empty seats. Burgers, spaghettis and pastas were the most popular items sold. I ate a burger from Flaming Wheels and drank a coconut milk shake from Tropics K'lapa Station. Later, as I made my way to my car parked behind Coliseum Cafe amidst drizzle pattering down, I wondered, "Where is the nearest toilet for customers of the food trucks?" Held on the first and third Saturday of every month, this drab event needs buskers, music and gimmicks to hype it up.
Saturday, October 31, 2015
“How’s your vacation in Bangkok?” I ask Ang Mor Sai, sitting on a bar stool beside me.
I pop a handful of nuts into my mouth. “Christ! Tell me more!”
“The first was a tiger show scam.” He wipes his lips with a Kleenex tissue. “I was passing a club and a tout accosted me to see a tiger show, said it was only 150 Baht for a drink and to watch the show. I paid him the 150 Baht, entered the dim club and was ushered to a table. A waitress served me a soft drink. A while later, a few fat Thai aunties climbed onto the stage to do all kinds of weird things with their pussies. When the show ended, a waiter handed me a bill for 2,000 Baht! When I tried to protest, he said the 150 Baht was for the price of the drink only.” Mor Sai's lips curl in disgust. “The waiter said the tout don’t work for the club. A bouncer sidled up to the waiter and stared with me with glinting eyes. So, I’d to pay up.”
“Smart! Otherwise, you might not have gotten out in one piece.” I sit upright. “The second scam?”
“A taxi driver offered to take me to a spa where the masseuses are drop-dead gorgeous, and give happy ending. We whizzed in and out of a few dark alleys and we stopped in a house with high walls. I got out of the taxi and entered. I almost fainted. All the massage ladies there were old dinosaurs (pix below)!
"When I wanted a leave without a booking, a burly man appeared from the shadows and threatened me with an AIDS needle. He looked like a retired muay thai boxer. ‘Pay your massage fee or you will get AIDS!’ he grunted, holding the syringe in front of my face!”
“Yes, it was pure extortion!”
“Sheesh! Second time unlucky!” I pour more beer into my mug.
“Wait, there’s more!” Mor Sai shifts sideways to face me. “I was hit by a third scam when I was back in my hotel room. I was relaxing in bed and watching TV when I received a Wechat message which said, ‘Are you lonely?’ Hot blood skittered to my loins when I saw the sender’s profile photo (pix below)!
"We chatted a while and I popped the magic question. A price was agreed, and I gave her my room number. Ten minutes later, she knocked on my room door. When I opened the door and saw her, shock slapped me on the face! She was utterly different (first pix below) from the girl in her profile! She had also brought along two thugs! They had scary-looking tattoos on their bodies!” Mor Sai shakes his head. “I tried to slam the door shut but the thugs barged in. They could not speak English but used sign language to demand that I pay the agreed price (second pix below).”
“Yes, I've heard that Wechat with fake profile photos is also popular with ladyboys."
"After paying that ugly bitch, I asked her to leave. Phew! Never wander alone blindly in Patpong, and be alert at all times, that's my advice!"