Tuesday, May 26, 2015
My sister-in-law, Felicity, bought us lunch at Chuan Kee recently. The stir-fried snake beans impressed me as they were bigger than normal and of the right crispiness but not hard. The flavours of stir-fried shrimps and what-not bounced about in my mouth with vigour. The braised pork belly with yam saw both ingredients cooked with care. The pork was marinated well and the layer of fat was not too thick. The texture of the yam was porous, not heavy and lumpy. The steamed tilapia was fresh and young ginger was used; hence, the tender fish meat did not turn out spicy but sweetish-piquant. But it could have been better if the dish were served on a burner tray. Overall rating: 4/5.
14, Jalan Pudu Ulu,
3rd Mile, Off Jalan Cheras
Tel: 03-9284 4530
Business hours: 11.30am-3.00pm, 6.00pm-9.30pm
Closes on 3rd Friday and Saturday of every month
Monday, May 25, 2015
Rohingya 1 says to Rohingya 2: "Will we be arrested if we cross the border illegally to Malaysia?"
Rohingya 2 says to Rohingya 1: "Phooey! So what? We’ll get free accommodation, free hand-me-down clothes, free food and human-rights protection from nothing-better-to-do NGOs!"
Rohingya 2 says to Rohingya 3: "Listen, later we’ll apply for refugee status from the UN Refugee Agency, then go for Malaysian PR status!"
Rohingya 3 says to Rohingya 4: "Whooopee! Once we’ve settled in, we’ll court the local Malay girls, marry them and take roots in the country! We're as handsome as the Bangladeshis, aren't we? Many of them've done it."
Rohingya 4 says to Rohingya 5: "A certain quarter of KL’s already known as 'Little Indonesia' because of many Indons living there. Let’s show them 'Rohingya Boleh'! We can set up a Little Rohingya too!"
Rohingya 5 says to Rohingya 6: "Jeepers creepers! I didn’t know that Malaysia’s the land of milk, honey, opportunities and sambal belacan. Now that I do, I’ll going to tell my friends, my relatives and my neighbours to go there."
Rohingya 6 says to Rohingya 7, 8, 9, 10...ad infinitum: "Let's go! Let's go to Malaysia!"
Saturday, May 23, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration purpose only]
Master Mah, a Chinese sinseh, looks up from his desk. “Next!”
Paulina Phuar (pix above) goes from the waiting area to settle down at the chair beside Master Mah’s desk. His medical hall is tucked on the ground floor of Pak Peng Building at Petaling Street.
Master Mah (pix below) glides his gaze from Paulina’s face, cleavage and to her waist. “What’s your problem?”
“I’ve frequent dizzy spells.” Paulina massages her temples with the pads of her thumb and forefinger.
“Let me check your blood pressure.” Master Mah slips the cuff of a digital spyhgmomanometer over the upper arm of Paulina, jabs a button and reads the LED display. “Systolic pressure’s slightly high but dystolic pressure’s normal.” He places two fingers on Paulina’s wrist. “That can be due to work-related stress.” He closes his eyes for a moment. “Nothing wrong physiologically as indicated by your pulse.” He flicks his gaze at Paulina’s face. “You feel the environment’s spinning around you?”
“Are you a public relations consultant aka spin-doctor?”
A reedy breath floats from Paulina's lips in surprise. “Gee, how do you know?”
“Your dizzy spell is psychosomatic. The mind and body function as one unit. Because your mind's always spinning the truth, going round the mulberry bush, so to speak, your sense of balance has been affected.”
The whites of Paulina’s eyes expand. “Sweet thunderation! I can tweak what you’ve said into an important medical discovery! You know, create a duck out of a feather.” She adjusts her spectacles. “Appoint me as your public relations agent and I can guarantee you interviews in the Medical Journal of Malaysia and the British Medical Journal.”
“Holy blazes! That’s interesting.” Master Mah’s lips quirk as he arches an eye brow. “I never knew that PR’s like your fake boobs! What you see is not what you get.” He takes a pen and starts to write out a prescription on a pad. “I’ll give your proposal a thought.” He tears out the first sheet and hands it over to Paulina. “Boil this medicine, drink before sleeping.”
Paulina opens her handbag and takes out her name card. “Call me when you’ve decided.” She goes to the big wooden counter, and hands over the prescription sheet to the store assistant. While waiting, she notices a man -– his green necktie hanging like a stinky bean from his neck -– sidle up to the sinseh’s desk.
She overhears Master Mah ask, “What’s wrong with you?”
“My throat’s sore and my gums have boils.”
“Say aaaah.” Master Mah shines a slender torchlight at the man’s throat. “Throat is inflamed.” A pause. “Jeepers creepers! Your incisors are as sharp as fangs!” He asks in jest, “Are you a blood-sucking vampire by night?”
“Nay, I can do better than that. I’m a lawyer by day and night.”
“Your body is heaty.” He starts to scribble on his pad. “Boil this herbal prescription and drink it.”
The man's shifty eyes assess Master Mah. “By the way, if anyone wants to sue you for malpractice, gimme a call.” He fumbles for his wallet in his trouser pocket and slips out a name card. “If you can introduce a fellow sinseh as a client, I’ll be happy to give you a ten percent commission.” He jags a brow and grins. "If your fellow sinseh gets another client for me, you’ll get an over-riding commission of three percent. You know, like multi-level marketing.”
Master Mah shifts in his seat to face the man. “The other day, I saw a dead snake and a dead lawyer lying on the DUKE Highway.” He skews him with a look. “I slowed my car as I passed the mangled bodies. There were tyre skid marks around the dead snake but none around the lawyer’s corpse.”
Saturday, May 16, 2015
[Pixs of model for illustration purpose only]
“My PR campaign can get your company a two-page write-up in the Holy Bible,” Paulina Phuar (pix above) says to her client Tan Sri Danny Ding. “Not to mention a one-page feature in the Tripikata -– the holy book of Buddhism.” A grin eases its way across her face. “So can we discuss my retainer fees?”
“Oh? How?” Ding sips his Long Black, eyes sparkling with interest.
They are sitting at a café in Desa Parkcity fronting the lawn where dog-walkers are strolling with their mutes on leashes. Children’s laughter and the gurgle of a meandering brook float in the air.
Paulina covers her mouth as she giggles (pix below). “My strategy contains nothing, just empty zilch," she holds up her left hand and forms an 'O' with her forefinger and thumb, "but it can elevate your corporate image to the stratosphere. That's the magic of PR. It’s just a hot air balloon."
Ding’s eyes bulge. “Holy thunderation!” He points to the paved walkway ten yards away. “A pit bull’s attacking a little girl!”
Without hesitating, Paulina springs from her chair, dashes to the walkway and wrestles the brute to the ground. Ding strides to the scene. In a ferocious fight, Paulina chokes the animal to death with her pantyhose stocking.
A group of on-lookers gather around the dead dog and the little girl, still crying. A man steps forward from the crowd. “I’m a journalist from Kuala Lumpur Times." He flips out a note pad from his shirt pocket. “What happened here?”
Rising to her feet, Paulina points to her client. “This brave gentleman Tan Sri Danny Ding killed the dog and saved the child’s life.”
“Wow! What a sensational story!”
Paulina dusts herself. “Tan Sri Danny is CEO of a public-listed company. Just as his company is noted for its corporate social responsibility programmes, Tan Sri himself is a civic-minded and courageous citizen.” She winks at Ding, who shows her a thumb-up.
The next morning, Paulina scans the front-page of the Kuala Lumpur Times. Her jaw sags a full inch when she reads the headline: "Public-listed company CEO viciously strangles family pet to death!"
Friday, May 15, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration purpose only]
“I need more money, Sifu Sabrina,” Sakura says. “I’ve installed wealth symbols in my home, but money’s still not coming in.” Her lips tip in a sad curve. “My part-time insurance sales are bad and I haven't had any salary increment for two years.”
Sabrina (right pix) arches her perfectly-sculpted brows. “Are those auspicious symbols in the wealth direction of your kua number?”
Sakura casts a side glance at me and bites her lower lip.
“Yes,” I reply, shifting in my seat beside her. “I visited Miss Siew last week. From what I know, the orientation of the dragon turtle, Laughing Buddha and goldfish painting looked alright.”
Sabrina shifts her eyes from me to Sakura. “If you don’t mind, can you show me your purse?”
Leaning sideways, Sakura (right pix below) picks her handbag from the floor and places it on her lap. She dips her hand inside and yanks out a blue purse. “Is the colour okay?”
“Before I come to that, did you buy the purse new or was it a hand-me-down?”
“I bought it new.”
“Wonderful. Don’t use a second-hand wallet as the previous owner’s chi may be bad.” She rests both hands on the desk and intertwines her fingers. “Regarding colour, it depends on your birth element. Blue is compatible with Wood or Water birth-element people. Blue symbolizes water; when water flows out, it signifies a draining of wealth. So it’s unsuitable for Fire and Metal people. Black suits Water and Wood; brown’s excellent for Earth and Metal; and Green, for Wood and Fire birth elements.”
“Shucks, sounds complicated. What about red?”
“Red is excellent for Fire and Earth people. For others, its powerful energy will burn their money away!” Her red lips curve into a grin. “What’s inside your purse?”
Sakura snaps the purse open. “Here, you can have a look.” She tilts the purse to shows its contents to Sifu Sabrina. “My ID, cash, loose change, credit card, driving licence, nail-clipper, hair pins, safety pin, credit card receipts, parking receipts, peppermint spray, ear-digger, two Panadol tablets, small comb, compact and lipstick.”
Sabrina’s hazel eyes assess the articles with a crimp of brows. “Too many things inside. Get a purse with separate compartments. Keep receipts elsewhere as they signify outflow of money. Sort your money notes out. Things like nail-clipper, ear-digger and old photos of ex-boyfriends, for instance, don’t represent good feng shui. Keep such non-essentials out.” A sigh floats from her lips. “I noticed that just now you put your handbag containing your purse on the floor. In fact, some women put their handbags on the washroom floor when they’re sitting on the toilet. That’s not respecting your money.” A smile tips the corners of her mouth. “Only when you respect money, will it come to you. So, don’t toss your purse anywhere convenient when you come home from work. Allot a special place for it. Perhaps a drawer in your dresser or nightstand.”
I ask, “What about size of a purse? Important?”
“Yes. Always have extra space for more cash. Also, prefer the rectangular to the odd-shaped purse.” Sabrina flicks a glance at her watch. “I'm sorry, you’ve to excuse me -– I’ve gotta go.” She pulls out her right-hand drawer, takes out her black handbag and shifts her gaze to me. “One final tip I’d like to highlight is that you can bump up the wealth mojo by keeping three ancient coins tied with a red string in the purse.” She rises to her feet (pix above) and rounds her desk. Sakura and I get up from our chairs and follow her to the door.
My eyes follow the sway of Sabrina's hips. "Thanks for the advice."
Saturday, May 9, 2015
[Pixs of models for illustration purpose only]
“Are spinsters made or born?” Jessica (pix above) asks, cracking a water-melon seed between her teeth.
“Made!” Wati (pix below) snaps. “Many highly-educated women live in a fairy-tale world of being swept off their feet by a tall, handsome, kind, caring, devoted, confident, courageous, God-fearing and chivalrous five-figure-per-month income-earner, but that day will never come coz’ their expectations are too high.”
A gust of cool air from the air-conditioner tickles Jessica’s hair, fluttering it against the curve of her neck. “Yup! Like some Singapore women, for instance.” She brushes stray strands away. “That’s why Singaporean men marry foreign women who're less demanding and need only low-maintenance.”
A grin inches across Chow Kah’s face. “Born! Most of them are ugly and fat and fierce! Or something is sticking out of their character. Since they’ve missed the train, sour-grapes attitude compel to claim they want to be single by choice.”
I shift in my seat to face Chow Kah. “Some spinsters are born, others are made. There’re several types of spinsters. Not all are ferocious like tigers.” I grab a few water-melon seeds from the platter on the coffee table.
“Can you pigeon-hole them?”
“First, there’s the timid type though not necessarily ugly. Possibly frigid in bed, shy to talk to men, sees every man as wanting-to- sleep-with-her-and-dump-her. The second type is the harmless eccentric. Quirky taste in clothes, hobbies or manner of speaking. She’s the type a man will be ashamed to have her as a GF. Then we have the ‘domesticated mother hen.’ She has low education, and ends up as the stay-at-home daughter. She eats, breathes, sleeps and shits household chores like cooking, ironing and cleaning. No chance to socialize, possibly has overly strict parents. As a result, no social skills.” I pause and squint in thought. “The fourth group is the high-pedestal snob. She’s God’s personal creation, possibly holds an advanced degree, and no man is good enough for her. Often a male-basher, she can be vicious. The fifth category is the I-don’t-give-a-hoot cat lady. She knows she’s ugly, and accepts her destiny as a spinster as it were. Therefore, she doesn’t care to improve herself. Displays armpit hair, wears frumpy clothes and utters vulgarities to compensate for her emotional shortcomings.” I crack a water-melon seed between my premolars.
Jessica’s eyes sparkle. “Spinsterhood has a pro health-wise.”
Chow Kah scrunches his brows. “What pro?”
“A researcher has found that nuns have few incidents of cervical cancer.”
I spit out a water-melon shell to my palm. “Name the scientist.” I toss the water-melon shell into the ashtray.
“Dr. J.O. Drife reported in the British Medical Journal in 1984 that the disease was rare in nuns and common in prostitutes, suggesting a connection between sexual intercourse and cervical cancer.”
One corner of Wati’s mouth (right pix) edges up. “Hold on, Jess.” Her brown eyes glint with a challenge. “Dr. L. Kinlen of Oxford hypothesized that nuns have lower rates of cervical cancer possibly not because of absence of sex but because of their vegetarian diet.”
Chow Kah tunnels a hand through his hair. “Anita Mui was single when she died of cervical cancer, isn’t it?”
Hussein takes a long draw of his Bintang beer and exhales a deep breath. “Don’t equate a spinster with a virgin.” He puts his mug down. “A spinster may have had one-night stands or multiple sexual relationships over a period of years."
I crack another water-melon seed between my teeth. “Anita Mui had a Japanese boyfriend –- this was hush-hush, of course.”
Jessica hooks an arm around Chow Kah’s waist and his eyes turn dreamy and shimmery. “Some women end up as cat ladies because they suffer from Hypoactive Sexual Desire Disorder. HSDD in short. In fact, twenty percent of women in Europe suffer from this disorder.”
Hussein slings an arm to Wati’s shoulder. “Jessica, you read that in the Journal of Sexual Medicine, right?”
“Yup. Volume 12, 2015 edition. Here’s what Dr. Camille Ferdenzi and her team found out. A group of women afflicted by HSDD and a control group of normal women were shown a series of photos of handsome men.” Jessica gesticulates with both her hands. “They were also asked to listen to recordings of male voices. Then, they had to rate how attracted they were to such men. The HSDD group had low scores, indicating they were not even attracted to handsome men with nice voices. Their sexual desires were in the negative zone."
“I know a cure for that ailment!” Chow Kah enthuses. “A vibrating tampon!”
MY LATEST NOVEL
ISBN (Paperback): 978-981-4423-84-4
ISBN (ebook): 978-981-4423-85-4
Length: 272 pages
Publisher: Monsoon Books, Singapore
Available in Malaysia and Singapore from Popular Bookstore, Kinokuniya, MPH (both store and online) and Select Books Singapore (selectbooks.com.sg).
The book is sold in Europe and Australia at the following e-retailers:
--bol.com (The Netherlands)