Thursday, 12 January 2017

The Internet is like the fisherman's net

Like the fisherman's net, the internet is woven and twisted. When you are surfing the internet, you are just a fish swimming in a net.

How to be the fish that got away? When you come across a product online that promises miracle, money back guarantee, etc, take your time, be curious, surf and seek more information online. Delay your buying decision even if the offer will end in 10 minutes... they are desperate, not you.

, a product called 'ArthroNeo' has popped up in many ad space. It promises to cure/get rid of arthritis and osteochondrosis in a month. A testimonial from a fella named Axel Finch from London who used to work in Krompachy telling his story of how ArthroNeo has cured him. In the story, there are other 'supporting characters', from Igor to Rodrigo. Then, there are the positive comments and feedback at the bottom of the page.

So, what is so fishy about this advert or this product?

Probing further with the keyword 'ArthroNeo', a few other sites appeared. The storyline and photos/images are the same, but the characters' names are different.

Spot the Difference and judge yourself:


Umar must be Axel's clone living in different country.


Or, Umar from Malaysia must be the evil twin of Axel Finch, from London. Both are 62 years old... one worked in Krompachy, a town in Slovakia, the other worked in Miri, a city in Sarawak, Malaysia.

Axel seems to be the stronger of the clones/twins. He can ride a bike for 23 hours nonstop. Umar can only manage 2 to 3 hours.

Even the wife and the grandson had been cloned... swimming in the same water...

Then, there are the positive comments and feedback at the bottom of the page. Dolly the sheep was the first clone in 1996. 21 years later, we are seeing human clones having same joint pain as their Origs.....their original....

Many people love to upload their selfies and photos online. Once uploaded on the net, their faces are officially reusable material by all earthlings, sane or insane, good or bad. Are these people aware that their photos are being stolen and abused?

Be a smart fish, don't be caught in the scammers' net!

Tuesday, 6 December 2011

Why On Earth Should You Feel You Are Alone

You may have some cousins out there, no, I don't mean in China, India, Indonesia, Russia or Japan.

But you will not have the chance to meet your long distance cousins in this lifetime, as the latest Earth-like planet discovered is 600 light-years away. And just One light-year is equal to: exactly 9,460,730,472,580.8 km (about 9.5 Petametre) or about 5,878,625,373,183.608 miles (about 6 trillion miles).

The Kepler (Mission to search for habitable planets) mission's science team announced its latest finding at a press conference on Monday, Dec. 5, 2011, The team announced the confirmation of Kepler-22b, its first planet found in the "The Goldilocks Zone," the region where liquid water could exist on a planet's surface.

The Goldilocks Zone

No, they didn't find Goldilocks or any Bears. The "Goldilocks Zone" is based on the story "Goldilocks and The Three Bears", in which a little girl chooses from sets of three items, ignoring the ones that are too extreme (large or small, hot or cold, etc.), and settling on the one in the middle, which is "just right". Likewise, a planet following this Goldilocks Principle is one that is neither too close nor too far from a star to rule out liquid water on its surface.

As the scientists continue their hunt & missions, we have to continue living, ....down-to-earth.

All About Kepler:

The press conference:

Tuesday, 13 September 2011

Hidden Signs, Crouching Heart Attack

Who said you have to wait till you are sick to learn TaiChi?
Why do you have to be old to learn TaiChi?

Case 1 – A very busy, young and successful journalist, he travelled often around the world. He worked hard and late. Slightly overweight, doctor advised him to lose weight. He went to the gym daily and soon lost some weight and looked as fit as an athlete. A few months later, while walking to his car after dinner, he collapsed. His young family, colleagues and friends could not understand why, he was only 35.

Case 2 – He’s full of life. A businessman, his wife’s in her early 30s, they have 2 very young children. Hobbies - playing badminton with his friends after work or on the weekend. He had worked very hard. His business was doing well. That Saturday, the family had invited relatives and friends to a house warming party at their new bungalow. The day was still young, he went to play few hours of badminton with some friends. It was early evening, he arrived home and as he alighted from his car. he could see many people were already in the house. Before he could reach the main door, he collapsed. The house warming party had turned into a funeral instead. He was only 35.

Case 3 – His wife and his very young kids were living in Malaysia. A very busy project manager, he was based in a middle eastern country most of the time. Entertainment was part and parcel of the job. He’s a heavy smoker, alcohol was cheaper than water and a daily drink. To keep up with his mistress from China who’s in her 20s, blue tablets became another add-ons in his life. In this desert where it was hot most time of the year, playing badminton indoor with his buddies regularly seemed to be a good choice. That evening, he’d played badminton as usual, after dinner, he went to sleep. He never woke up. He was only in his early 40s. He complained of some discomfort around his chest and stomach area to his buddies one month before and was advised to see a doctor. Nobody knew whether he’d visited any doctor.

Case 4 – A close buddy of the busy project manager (Case 3), they had the same lifestyle. Cigarette, alcohol, karaoke, the blue tablets were the norm. Mistresses were their dark secrets. Regular badminton provided a sense of health safety net. One and a half year after the demise of his buddy, he collapsed while taking a shower in the bathroom. He was only 45.

All of them had had heart attack. They were real people, these are true stories.

Heart health
Some people over 35 may already have the early stages of cardiovascular disease without even realizing it. When it comes to symptoms, most people think of chest pain in the left shoulder or arm. Unfortunately, 25 percent of all heart attacks happen “silently,” without clear or obvious signs. Common symptoms may be so mild or vague as to seem unrelated to the heart.

Some adults, especially those approaching middle age, are basically sitting ducks when it comes to heart disease and attacks. With the proper knowledge of warning signs and potential symptoms, regular check up and lifestyle change, it can be prevented, reversed, or even cured.

For Case 3 & 4, I’d not comment further on the additional lifestyle which obviously had contributed to the health problem, but I could not help but to point out that 3 of them had played badminton regularly or prior to the heart attack. For the young journalist, he signed up for gym & weight training prior to his passing.

Badminton or gym is good, but considered as vigorous sports/exercise. Perhaps vigorous exercise is not meant for everyone. How much is too much? When we do not know the existing condition of our health, or we do not know our fitness level, or when we are not in the best of our health, or when we are not getting any younger, perhaps we should seek alternative sports, which is less strenuous, and non-vigorous.

It is not a shame to be seen walking instead of jogging. It’s not a shame to be doing TaiChi instead of KungFu. 99% of people would usually say, “TaiChi? Not for me, it’s for old people!”…”Wait till I’m 65 years old, I’ll do TaiChi!".....Well, 1% of the younger people who did not think so are the early birds, and early bird catches worms.

A TaiChi Master said,
"I'll not teach you TaiChi if you've become too old to start as you cannot remember anything..."

Monday, 12 September 2011

Angry Birds

Why do kids and even adults love Angry Birds so much? Is it funny? Is it cool? Why is it so much fun to be seen with anything that has Angry Birds motif? You have no idea...

Angry birds first started off as a puzzle video game application for Apple in 2009. They are so addictive and popular, they are everywhere and have probably pecked Hello Kitty off the shelves…they follow you everywhere on key chains, they look mean and as expected, angry, as soft toys, they are on the hand fans to cool you down, they celebrate birthdays as motif on birthday cakes, they bring you around on your slippers, they hide in or is that on?..your short, they are your underwears…no wonder most people are angrier nowadays.

This 9 year-old kid has been pestering her parents to buy her Angry Bird merchandise but without any success. One day, she’s pulling long face, again. Her mum said, “What’s so special about an angry bird?”

The kid said, “You don’t understand because you are an adult!” With that kind of answer, the kid got an Angry Bird soft toy.

Tuesday, 28 June 2011

Virtual Guru

Teaching maths to a 9 year old who is only interested in fairy tales, is like teaching Mr Grumpy (one of the seven dwarfs in 'Snow White') how to dance ballet.

I pledge to be patient and very patient, but would usually ended up not myself, with blood boiling that can cook a dozen duck eggs.

I do not want to end up as a heart attack patient, tuition sometimes means more homework, perhaps this home-based learning site is one of the solution: (old site Conceived somewhere Down Under more than 2 decades ago (Kinetic Education Pty Ltd, localised by BrainBytes Msia.

If guru at school is not enough, this virtual guru will be a good reinforcement. If your child returns a blank look, just hit Replay, no extra charges, no blood boiling. And the computer will never judge the kids, unlike parents/teachers.

Friday, 31 December 2010

Clear the Clutters

Saw this news on 30-12-10.

"Petaling Jaya. Workers & customers of a goldsmith's shop had a harrowing experience when a car crashed through the shop's front door. The vehicle only came to a halt after hitting a jewellery display cabinet in the shop.

The accident occurred at 10.35am when the driver of the Proton Iswara, a woman in her 60s, was trying to park the vehicle in front of the shop in Sungai Way.

Apparently, she could not apply the brake as a mineral water bottle was stuck under it...."

Different clutters, same consequences.
Drivers, the only thing that should hang around the driver seat area is yourself...

If you are the passenger, nag the driver.
Women are good at that (the nagging...), ironically they don't nag at themselves, so, nag your mum, sister, girlfriend, wife... As for those from Mars, I mean father, brother, boyfriend, husband, I hope the Venus Nag Force will do the job.

Clear the clutters to usher in 2011! Happeeee New Year!

My wishes to all, Stay Happy without any worry, stay Healthy without roti chapati!

Wednesday, 6 October 2010

Take me to your leader

A plaque at an airport in Ares, France for little green men reads: "Reserved for voyagers of the universe." The special visitors are exempted from paying local tax if they ever landed there. Will the little green men choose to land there? The chance of landing near your house is probably the same.

And recently, a Malaysian Astrophysicist had been named by UNOOSA (United Nations Office for Outer Space Affairs) as UFO ambassador. If the Aliens managed to communicate with you, "Take me to your leader..." contact the UFO ambassador (, but make sure you negotiate for a ride on the Aliens' spaceship and bring me along please.

Or perhaps Aliens are already here, it's just that they are a bit shy or transparent or they decided to camouflage, otherwise they would have introduced themselves long long time ago.

Have you ever experienced at times when you can't find things in the house which you were sure it was there minutes or seconds ago, maybe the Aliens took it...or could that be a sign of's time to play memory card games to polish that part of your brain......

Mirror Mirror on the floor, who is the ugliest of all? Me, my cousin or Voldemort?

This could be your very long-distance cousin...

Thursday, 30 September 2010

It's Nothing but A Hole

I have been told again and again that doughnut is junk food...why are people still queueing up to buy?

Ask (the late) Jack LaLanne, the godfather of fitness (1914-2011): what is the best part of a doughnut? He'd said, “The hole.”

Jack had lived up to a ripe old age of 96, he often joked, "I can't die, it would ruin my image." He died of respiratory failure due to pneumonia. RIP.

Tuesday, 28 September 2010

You are not on facebook yet?

Me: Sorry, I don't have facebook account, it is not my cup of tea.
Some people: You are so outdated. Facebook is so happening.
Me signed up, were lost in this other virtual land for a while, and forgot about my blog.

It is a place for people to catch up and let everybody else know they catch up, and it is also a place offering some clues to spouse to 'catch' their cheating other half, and for employers to 'catch' their employees playing games during working hours.

It is a place for people to show off their many pictures which are actually the same pictures but were taken from different angles.
It is a place for people to let the world know where they had been and where they are planning to be at.....I just hope they have not added on a would-be-burglar as friend...

Saturday, 19 September 2009

What if you lose the brake?

When you know how to move a car, soon speed becomes a norm. But have you ever thought of one day you need to stop your car while you are driving at 80, 90...100kph or even more and you suddenly realise that your brake fails (brake fluid leaking & ran out, worn out/faded brake pad, or unknown reason)?

You are on the ground, theoretically, you are safer than a pilot who loses all the engines in mid air.

Most people will panic, well, do panic, but not too long. You will have to switch to survival mode.

Calling the police? No use. They are not Superman or Spiderman.

Jump out of your car? Switch off the engine? What if there are other vehicles on your left or right & behind?

Hit a tree, or another car? Survival rate is not 100%. Injury? Sure.

Steer your car sharply from left to right in a zig zag way hoping the friction can slow the car down? It will only work in Tom & Jerry cartoon show. You will most probably crash into another vehicle or the other way round, or roll over.

What’s the best thing to do then?

“Too many moons ago, I was driving a manual car at around 90kph in the middle lane on a busy 3 lane freeway. Soon I realised my brake was totally gone. My heartbeat was racing for the first many seconds, survival instinct set in, trying to stay calm & thinking of my options, I recalled a friend once mentioned about using gear to slow down a car (aka engine braking). Being a young driver I didn’t understand fully then but at that moment I didn’t have a choice, do or, I quickly down-shifted the gear from 5th to 4th, 3rd, lastly to 2nd, it worked! I slowly inched my way out to the side shoulder off the main road and turned into the first side road I could find, the small road was unpaved, uneven & it helped slowed down the car, and eventually came to a total halt after I applied the emergency hand brake, strangely, right in front of a car workshop, although a rundown workshop, it’s the best sight I could ever dream of. The mechanic told me the brake fluid had been leaking & very little was left. It was a narrow escape.” This was my true story......

Manual cars are not as common as automatic transmission cars nowadays, but to slow down & stop without brake is based on the same engine braking method ie down-shifting gear by gear.

Drivers who are used to manual cars will sub-consciously know how to down-shift the gear without looking as they subconsciously up or down-shifting every time they drive.

Auto car drivers may become is automatic what...just use brake to stop, gas pedal to move, P to park, and D to drive.....the other lower gears exist but long forgotten.

The same apply to drivers who frequently drive manual but sometimes drive auto cars.

In a panicky or split seconds situation, you will not have time to look at the gear, especially at night.

It’s never too early or too late to look closely at your gear now. The lower gears are all there for you to discover, after all, practice makes perfect. You will never know when you are going to need them.

Stylish, Sexy, but deadly?

And too often, an otherwise safe driver can lose control...different causes, same consequences:

- Shoes under the driver seats. Bottles, books, tissue boxes, etc. These can roll over and get trapped easily under any of the pedals.

- High heel shoes/Stilettos, sling backs, strappy sandals, even flip flop are driving hazards, the soles can get trapped easily under any of the pedals. Jimmy Choo’s will have to take the back seat.

- Even floor mats are suspected to cause accident. See this recent news on how a passenger managed to call 911 but all in that car did not survive:

Reference – How to stop a car without brake? Watch Videos
Automatic Transmission car:
Manual Transmission car:

Reading – manual or auto

To reach your destination, you must have a safe journey...

Friday, 28 August 2009

They put on their best shirts and pants

They stacked up bricks after bricks with bare hands, they helped to build low and high rise buildings, shaping the Dubai city skylines. They returned to their cramped labour camps at the end of the day.

Friday was off day. They put on their best shirts & pants. They went to the beach. After walking & enjoying the sea breeze for a while, somebody called out to them, ”Ooi! OOi! Bangla...BANGLA, come here!!” They were summoned to the police guard watch tower on the beach. Loud voices were heard and I could sense they were being ‘lectured’ and scolded, there were loud banging sound on the table.

The 3 men left the tower after quite some time, heads down.

In the past, some beachgoers especially ladies in swim suits complained of being ogled or stared at, sometimes photographed on the beaches, by unknown fully clothed strangers, usually it was claimed, were foreign labourers. So, the authority tried to keep the beaches free from such people.

On that Friday, there’re not many people on the beach and there’re no ladies in swimming suits on the beach, the three men were just walking on the beach. Unfortunately, nowadays, any men who look like hard labourers are being observed and sometimes shooed away from the beaches.

Too free not to imagine, so I imagined, if these three men (who are also expatriate workers, theoretically) took off their shirts & jogged or walked on the beach, like those super duper muscular men on the movie ‘Baywatch’, they would probably get to stay on the beach, as they will then blend in easily with the rest of the expatriates. But they could not, because they usually earned very little, and ate not enough or just enough daily, so they usually appeared skinny. If they do that, they would probably be suspected as illegal immigrants instead, coming in from the sea...

They were not welcomed in some other places too, some were told not to go to some of the well known malls at all, even if they managed to put on their best shirts, pants & shoes, and combed their hair shiny.

Their best shirts & pants usually gave them away easily...because their best shirts & pants are usually bought at places like hypermarket or discounted stores. They tried to look their best, but most of the time not enough. Sometimes, a mall they can frequent will suddenly ban them if someone complained, they're simple people, they felt happy when the mall lifted the ban later.

Expatriates here in the desert, are not created equal after all.

It’s said that beaches are for beachgoers. And they said you have to look like one, otherwise you have no reason to be there...

Thursday, 27 August 2009

Scientists are indeed mad

After years hunting for fossils of prehistoric animals and studying bird evolution, a Canadian palaeontologist who thinks that birds are direct descendants of dinosaurs, now wants to manipulate chicken embryos to show he can create a dinosaur!

Though it’s only a research at its infancy, one thing could lead to another,...hatching of live prehistoric animals...Whatever we see in the scary film ‘Jurassic Park’ may one day become true.

Can you imagine being chased by Chickensaurus Mutants?

Dear Mad Scientist: if you really want to recreate a dino, please, make it a toothless one, or a herbivore dino that eats only plant, or one that can eat up all the rubbish in the world, or maybe one that tastes like chicken,...

or one that we can all cuddle & can sing like Barney & friends.

Sunday, 23 August 2009

Fast Forward

Each generation has its own common experience, attitude, etc., influencing & defining common characteristics among its members as well as shaping future generations. The past & present generations, with different length of years (which may overlap), and may not be relevant to some countries:

- G.I. Generation (1904-1922). G.I. means Government Issue. This generation went thru Great Depression & World War 2.

- Silent Generation (1923-1944). Generally comfortable with a hierarchical structure and prefer rules. Like stability. Grew up in traditional families.

- Baby boomers (1945-64). Optimistic, hardworking, involved. Often question authority. Many baby boomers are involved in activist movement for causes they believe in. Traditional family structure began to change as a result of growing rate of divorce.

- Gen X (1965-1979). Tend to be sceptical, lacking faith in authority, acting independently. The first generation to become adept with technology, prefer multi-task, like to communicate informally (like via email). Value diversity & try to balance between work & family.

- Gen Y (1980-1999), also known as Millennial Generation or Digital Generation. Seek diversity, multi-task, don’t wear watches because cellphones tell them the time & watch can only do one thing. Entwined in virtual & real worlds. They are in constant communication with friends, through e-mail, text-messaging. Facebook & MySpace appeal to them much like discotheque appealed to the generations before.

- Thereafter for 21st century, tentatively known as Gen Z for those born in the year 2000-unknown, probably 2009, when the global financial crisis is expected to end. Also known as New Silent Generation or Internet Generation. Share almost the same traits as Gen Y.

I am a Gen X. I wonder what our future generation will face. Fast forward to the immediate horizon, the Year 2030, 21 years later. There is this possible scenario:

A young male adult finds that there are many other adults who look like him. He wonders whether they are his step siblings or extended family from surrogate, or sperm donors. He cannot simply fall in love with any opposite gender without having to check their DNA, unless he does not intend to ‘repopulate’, otherwise he risks having genetic disorder for his next generation.

Rewind back to the present.

'Extended family' due to remarriage, children born out of wedlock & given away, are already common and on the increasing since a few generations ago. Today, due to the recession, it is reported that cash-strapped women turn to surrogacy to ease their financial burden. College students, cash-strapped young adults, male and female earn extra money by selling their ‘seeds’ to couples who pay, in the extreme case, in order to pay off their credit card bills. It used to be donor driven for medical experiment but it has become so common it is now a thriving industry.

Desperate times, as the saying goes, call for desperate measures. But desperate measures of today, makes the future generations more desperate.

Desperate move feels like seeds blowing in the wind...

...and shaping the population of future generation

Sunday, 16 August 2009

Why Isn't the chicken cooked yet?

Husband: Why isn’t the chicken cooked yet?
Wife: Before we talk about the chicken, may I know why are you looking somewhere else when you are talking to me nowadays? You always look at me in the eyes sweetly when we were dating.

Husband: Don’t worry, I love you as always, in the office, I look at your picture on my desk.
Wife: But I am still alive at home. You can look at my picture all the time when I am dead.

Marriage is like a graveyard...
before we are dead,
sometimes we feel like we are already 6 feet under.

Husband: Ok honey, points taken. What about the chicken?
Wife: Oh, because it has not crossed the road yet.

In order not to be buried alive, we need to have sense of humour all the time to keep ourselves entertained and sane, otherwise we will be as dead as a roast chicken.

Wednesday, 5 August 2009


"Taikong-ren" means spaceman in Chinese. When the media started to use the word 'Taikonaut' for China’s astronaut, it sounds more like “Big Brother” as Taiko means big brother, in Cantonese. So, I wonder, to coin the same for female taikong-ren, will it be “Taisonaut”...which then have 2 different meaning...

There are many hurdles for candidates wanting to become China’s astronauts. Among the 100 criteria to pass the qualifying test:

- No bad breath
- No bad body odour (will affect other astronaut in the narrow confines of a space shuttle)
I guess those who frequently pass gas, burp & whatnot will fail too...
- No scars (the scars may burst open in the extreme conditions in space)
- Must show they have no family history of serious illnesses going back 3 generations...

After passing the qualifying criterias, if the candidate is married and wifey or hubby says “No”...

....Taikonaut or Taisonaut hopeful remains on planet earth.

Saturday, 25 July 2009

You know...

That your spouse will miss your nagging...
...when you want to travel overseas and he asks for a job brief for daily chores...

It’s time to leave your friends’ or relatives’ place...
...when they switch off the light..., after they have been yawning and you are still there (a relative did that...she'd pretend to accidentally switch off the light, pause & switch it back on...hahahaha)

It’s time to upgrade..., when you try to ‘teach old dog new tricks’, and it crashed... i mean, the computer.

It’s time to go to the gym, watch what you stuff into your mouth...
...when you think you can dance and when the music stops, not everything stops...

Thursday, 9 July 2009

The Taxis’ True Tales

Illustration by a 7 year old who can’t wait to grow up...

You have to be mentally strong to ride in a cab here in Dubai or other emirates in UAE.

These are extracts of comments made by some taxi passengers recently:

“...I almost died of the smell really bad! it's like dead rats...”
“...2 year old son bitten by bugs in the taxi....”
“...I actually have a fear of getting in a taxi in Dubai. I have had to stop the taxi on numerous occasions to vomit by the roadside from the stench of the drivers...”

I experienced many similar smelly situation before. Once, I asked a taxi driver to stop & let me off 0.5km before my apartment, I would rather walk... I had stopped breathing for up to 40 seconds a few times during the ride...and finally I could no longer bear the stench & almost vomited. The seat was wet, the smell was like 1 thousand years old rotten eggs mixed with 1 thousand days old unwashed socks...ok, I exaggerated...maybe 100 years old. The poor driver probably did not realise & was immune to the smell, like a person who has BBO but does not know unless someone else tell him/her. That reminded me of the day my 7 year old child returning from school & said, “ Mommy, I don’t want to go to music class anymore as the teacher smell really bad...can you buy a perfume for her?”

That was only about the 5th sense, the smell. The ride itself sometimes felt like ‘Nightmare On The Elm Street’, as some drivers will speed and accelerate even more after being told not to... that’s another scary story.

Many moons ago, there were many stories or complaints from frustrated passengers on the difficulty of getting taxis here in Dubai.

Who will get a cab? From a scale of 1 to 10, 1 being ‘I do not need a cab, the cab will horn & stop for me when I am standing outside a building or by the roadside.’ And 10 being ‘I waited for many hours no cabs will stop for me, until I fainted in the heat and the ambulance took me to the hospital.’ The number 5 will be, ‘sometimes I am lucky, sometimes I am not.’ And wait a minute...there is another score, No.11, being ‘I have a better chance of being picked up by UFO.”

And on the passengers’ podium there are 3 medals, gold, silver and bronze. If the colour of the hair and skin of passenger is towards the first medal, then this passenger will score 1 on the scale.

This is the fact of life, whether it make sense or not. Most of us live on with that. No big deal.

Or perhaps it makes economic sense for the taxi drivers, as not all customers are created equal, some customers give generous tips.

Nowadays, many people have left against their will. There are less potential customers for taxis. So, regardless of podium finishes, most people happily score 1.

Recently, authorities have told taxi drivers to improve their personal hygiene. "Taxi drivers have been told to wear deodorant, not to eat with the windows closed, and to open their windows after passengers leave so that fresh air can circulate."

A passenger remarked, “...make sure the taxi drivers carry their own deodorant... once a taxi driver asked me if I have any perfume in hand...”

Usually in motorsports championship, the top 3 winners will spray Champagne from the podium, now we can all spray perfume, cologne or deodorant.

And, if you have any perfume, cologne, deodorant to spare, perhaps you can donate to the taxi drivers... sometimes, some people cannot afford to smell nice.

Thursday, 28 May 2009

We are all alike

School project – making Chinese Hat, the children (includes European, British, Iranian, South African, Indian, Algerian, Pakistani, Russian, etc) tried their hands in writing Chinese words. In the end, the characters looked more like profane / censored words.

Although we are all alike, as human living on the only planet livable now that we called Earth...there are so many languages, so many nationalities, so many beliefs, etc, it’s indeed tough to understand or tolerate each other.

One day, my 6 yr old returned home from school complaining, “Mommy, my classmates asked why are my eyes so small. I opened my eyes bigger but it’s not working, they said my eyes still look small.”

So, I told her to say this if her classmates ever ask her the same again, “I have eyes, it doesn’t matter whether they are big or small, I can see. Imagine those poor blind people, they cannot see. We are so lucky.”

If we complain about having no nice shoes to wear, think about those people without legs.

Tuesday, 26 May 2009

Tenant versus Landlord (Part 2)

Recent advertisements:

“I am looking for 1 badroom apartment to rent....” – poor fella, he must have been an abused tenant in the past, having bad quality accommodation. He should realise that it is tenant’s market now.

“I am looking for an apartment to rent, 3 bedrooms, at AED1 per year...” – this fella is not serious. he’s having fun placing dummy ads to get back at landlords who used to be unrealistic & unreasonable just last year, asking for AED220,000 per year for 3 bedrooms apartment. AED220K can buy a nice double-storey house (a.k.a villa here in Dubai) in Msia.

Another one from agent on behalf of landlord:
“The large balcony of this beautifully upgraded 3-bedroom apartment overlooks the community pool and park area! And when you move into this property, you can not only look at, but you can also use all of the community facilities, including a family BBQ area, large and small pools, gym, play area, basketball half-court and a community room. “

Goodness me...had the previous tenant been denied use of all the facilities?

Can't Wait

Children say silly but funny things, strange but nice things.

The other day my 6 yr old said:“I can’t wait to grow up!”.

Oh man... we adult are trying to slow down aging.
I said “Why do you want to grow up so fast, mommy does not want to grow old fast!”
She said: “I can’t wait to see how I will look like when I grow up.”

Well...I can wait as I certainly do not want to know how I will look like when I grow old...

It is exam time in May. School is having assessment for one week.
At home, after first day of assessment, she looked very happy before bedtime & said: “I am so excited! I can’t wait to go to school tomorrow to do assessment.”

Okay...that’s very strange, I recalled I was nowhere near that kind of feeling when I was having exam ages ago...

I asked:“Why are you so excited?” She said: “I can’t wait to see whether I will get ‘A’.”

So many more years of exam ahead, there is also B, C, D, E or even F. In order not to redefine or change her positive attitude towards exam, I say no more.

Tuesday, 5 May 2009

Is the IT guy on your buddy list?

People who still get to go to work a.k.a. employed, have no problem getting their PC up & running again sooner, all they have to do is call the IT guy when the PC is down.

Once unemployed, it will be FOY and DIY – find out yourself and do it yourself.

77 full moons ago, I quit my job. It was also the days of awakening. I learned that the hardware hardly talk to the software. And it was a disadvantage being a female as nobody would seriously have a conversation with me when I walked into a computer shop/service centre, etc. They thought only male uses computer and female uses computer as a typewriter.

One day my notebook (on the not-so-respected Vista) decided to pop me an error message that sounded like this: “I don’t like you. And you don’t have a choice. I am going to go into coma soon.” The hard disk was on the verge of failure.

Everything seemed to come to a standstill for many days which felt like years. Picking up the phone for support rarely helped, as you can’t make out what the other person was talking about, with their heavy slang as most such call centre is located somewhere else out there. It’s good to have international warranty, but the ‘special’ localised centre will only provide technical support to locally purchased notebook, you are kicked around and ended up talking to someone who is located somewhere out there.

Then, I recalled news of the infamous HK movie star who sent his pc for repair and soon found his private files being uploaded onto the net. Well, I assured myself, I am not a movie star, and I don’t have any birth suit pictures on my hard disk. Ok, but I still have to get files out & deleted from the hard disk before sending in to the centre, in case somebody decided to steal my pictures and superimpose my head onto an elephant.

So, I had to transfer everything out to a portable external hard disk of 320GB, which I reckon will not be enough in future... I wonder who on earth is still using the yesteryears of 1MB floppy disk.

The only consolation was that my notebook is still under warranty. HP replaced a new hard disk but it was empty, I had to reinstall everything myself, which reinforce the importance of making recovery disks on the very first day.

It was a new experience as an end user, standing on the outside of the building a.k.a. not employed. You are lucky if you have a ‘Buddy Circle’, a circle of either family members or relatives or friends which ideally should include a lawyer, a doctor, and an IT guy, who usually is an unappreciated-abused employee of a company, everybody call this guy when their PCs are down, but some don’t even know his/her last name or worst the first name.

Nowadays, you can’t live without a computer and the net, employed or unemployed.

You should buy your IT guy a cuppa and some nyonya kuih, while still employed.

Tuesday, 14 April 2009

Tenants versus Landlords

Many moons ago, this was common conversation when a potential tenant was viewing an apartment:
Agent (on behalf of landlord) : “If you do not take up this apartment by today, the rental will increase by 5% tomorrow.” 1 day later, when tenant called agent, apartment viewed the day before was no longer
available. You were considered lucky if you had the opportunity to even view one.

A neighbour from Hong Kong who moved into her apartment last year, had to replace the water heater (which is as big as NGV tank) when the owner refused to replace it! Too bad she didn’t think about keeping the old heater. I would be ‘wicked’ enough to reinstall the old heater when it is time to move out! A Japanese neighbour was seen rushing out from his apartment one morning, and demanded the management building to send a maintenance guy immediately, as water was leaking and pouring down from his ceiling, but the maintenance people said he must bear the initial cost of AED200 per 1 hour visit! All these are some of the ridiculous stories many of us had heard over the past many months.

The Shift of Power has already begun, perhaps since January 2009.

Todate, the rent has fallen, ranging between 20-50% or even more, depending on the area.

Today, even the birds are happier, I can actually hear the birds chirping very loudly in the morning, Happy tenants, new arrivals or those who are still able to keep their jobs are seen carrying long check lists when viewing new places to stay.

There are still some arrogant and stubborn landlords though, just ignore them. They are still in denial mode.

Tuesday, 24 March 2009

Managing the Sand

Sand storm is a norm here, so it is also a norm to see people here busy in “The Art of Nose Picking.”

Gust of wind is sudden, sandy and make you walk sideways like a crab. The fate of my fragile umbrella, 5 gone so far, broken at first use. I miss the strong ‘tongkat’ type of big umbrella given free by the insurance company, the shopping centre, the petrol station, and almost every sales promotion in Malaysia, which is believed to be non-existence here.

For people who don’t rely on wheels, sunglasses can’t provide much protection when it is dancing sand. Somebody suggested to me to wear goggle to protect the eyes during the sandstorm!

When it rains elsewhere, the car get a good free wash, but when it rains here, it rains rain mixed with sand & dust, it looks like volcano ashes landed on the car.

Monday, 23 March 2009

Zap them with laser beams

Recently there is a report of a Dr Lowell Wood who has invented a device (still a prototype) which detects the mosquito and feeds information about its trajectory to a computer. In a split second, a laser beam is focused on the mozzie, and next, it’s incinerated and falls to the ground in a puff of smoke.

This is the latest crazy idea for ridding the world of mosquitoes.

Perhaps we can zap each other too. I have plenty on my list.

Sunday, 22 March 2009

An Encounter with UFO...This is based on a true story

Slightly after midnight of 31-Aug-1991, between 00:00-0030hrs (theoretically 1-Sep-91), 4 friends were travelling in a car, just returned from a late night supper, after a whole day of a Taekwondo competition in the Johor Bahru city. They were heading back home towards Pasir Gudang.

It was a quiet, calm night, 2 male friends were fast asleep, snoring in the back seat. The air-conditioning was not on, and the car windows had been wound down slightly.

Back then Pasir Gudang was not fully developed yet, it was mainly dense forest on both sides of the highway, there're no street lights, it was pitch dark, the only light came from the car’s front lights and headlights.

Towards the middle of the journey on the highway, all of a sudden, something flew passed in front of the car at a very high speed.

It was a very bright, silvery or white colour object. It was silent; it made no sound at all, there was no lights from the object or the thing or whatever it was.

The car was driven at around 80kph. The object flew right across and in front the path of the car, passing from the right (driver side) to the left (passenger side) before it disappeared into the darkness in the forest on the left side of the highway.

It happened very fast, perhaps less than 5 seconds.

It was impossible to make out the shape of the object, but it was huge because it covered the entire car windscreen at that moment when it flew across. As the headlight of the car almost blended into the color of the object, it was impossible to make out the distance between the object and the car.

Very focus in driving, the driver just continued driving. There was no reaction during or right after that encounter as the driver thought she was dreaming, or could it have been the Taekwondo training that one should remain calm when provoked... whatever. It was fortunate in a way, if the driver had reacted at that moment when the object flew across, she could have lost control of the vehicle.

Many seconds later, the friend seated in front seat asked, “hey, what was that?!”

The driver did not answer, because she did not know. She had to continue driving, and there was no way they were going to stop to check... no way.

The friend then cried out, “Hantu!!!” (means ghost in Malay/Bahasa Malaysia). Back then, perhaps that was the only thing most of us grew up knowing, anything strange and white must be ghost. At the same time he manually wounded up his side of the car window as fast as he could. Because of that remark, the driver started to tremble with fear, goose bumps and whatnot, and wounded up her side of the window too, because she grew up listening & reading all the ghost stories.

The other 2 friends were still snoring in the back seat.

The driver was trembling & shaking, both hands holding onto the steering wheel trying to remain calm, occasionally peering into the back view mirror, in case the object was behind...the fear factor was overwhelming all the way back.... but all of them got back safely, thankfully.

Thereafter, both the witnesses did not talk or discuss about the encounter.

Many years later when both of them met, the driver asked the friend what was that object, he jokingly said it was a plastic bag... Ya right, if plastic bag can fly that way, Tony wouldn’t be laughing all the way to the bank today. And everybody can fly, without Tony and AirAsia.

Perhaps it was an encounter of the first kind, with an UFO. Perhaps the object or alien and whatnot visited and celebrated with Malaysia on National Day, back in 1991.

This was not based on hearsay, as the driver was me.

Tuesday, 10 March 2009

The Bail Out

One night, i dreamt of seeing many unidentified flying objects (UFO) visiting planet earth.
I told my best friend about it, and she asked, “Are the aliens coming to bail us out...?”
Oh dear...

I then wonder how do aliens do that?

With this?

Friday, 27 February 2009

Mozzie is here

The fly has started coming out. Fortunately there is insect screen/door net to use. Once outside, need to close the mouth, simply.

More than a year ago, nobody believed when I said there is mosquito in Dubai. I whacked many already, I meant mozzie...not the non-believers.
Lately, there is an increase of this insect.

There are reported cases of people in Dubai down with dengue fever! People travel, so do mozzies. Dengue or Chikungunya outbreak is already happening in countries that are unthinkable of having such thing, including cold countries. Like the global financial crisis, Dubai is not immune.

Dubai wants to go green. Green or not so green fingers love to decorate their tiny apartment or giant villa with plants. Though water is expensive here, the decorative indoor fountains are selling. The breeding grounds for mozzie is multiplying by the days. I dread this.

I hope I can make a difference...I am going to start talking to neighbours if I see any plants in their house...

Friday, 20 February 2009

Shine & Shame Campaign

A Letter to Cinema-goers:
Shine & Shame them
Bring along a torch light everytime you watch a movie at the cinema. When you hear a fella talking on the phone when the movie has started, shine your torch light at him/her.

(ushers in cinema usually carry torch lights...that fella would think it's from an usher...or many usherS...)

A Letter to Cinema Operator:
This will be another ideal notice on the screen before a movie start:
"The movie is about to begin, get ready your torch light"


Monday, 16 February 2009

It is Espresso, Cappuccino or Latte, No Kopi-O in Dubai

In Hong Kong, space is expensive, buy a parking lot you will get a free car!
In Dubai, it feels like "Pass your driving test, get a free car!"

A taxi driver in Dubai said, "you must try to get your local driving licence in Dubai, it is like getting a degree."

More processed & finer, espresso has more intense flavour than the regular coffee. Cappuccino and Latte are drinks made with espresso and milk, and you’ll have to dig deeper or burn a hole in the pocket if you want to drink.

Getting a local driving licence in Dubai is...err not tough, but very tough. 3 out of 4 have failed their driving test last year (2008). There is no Kopi-O, you’ll have to order the premium coffees.

Some foreigners are lucky, they can convert their licence from their home country. Malaysian will have to take the full 40 lessons for beginners & for those with less than 2 years of driving.

Recently, beaming like Cheshire Cat, a friend was overjoyed when she finally passed her driving test after the 3rd try. Prior to that, she had registered for 20 lessons after showing proof (Malaysian local driving licence card) that she had more than 2 years driving experience. She had spent more than AED5K (abt RM5K) for the lessons & tests. Some determined residents had spent more than AED15K...30K or more. Some are still trying after failing the 15th times.

After relying on own cars in Msia for so many years, I thought I could not survive without one here too... but I am still walking, to nearby amenities, school, etc... the street here is safe, and the weather is still cool in the desert winter months.