Saturday, July 17, 2010

Hatiku cair

This morning during breakfast my niece and I were both enjoying our nasi goreng and chatting together about stuff. Then I asked her something.

-Aina sayang Mak Long tak?
-Aina sayang Mak Long banyak mana?
-Tak boleh kira.
-Kenapa tak boleh kira?
-Because I love you until all the numbers run out.


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Thursday, July 15, 2010

Cafe sign

At the institute cafeteria there's a sign that says:

"Kurangkan gula dalam minuman. Lebihkan manis dalam senyuman."

But they never charge me less when I ask for teh tarik kurang manis. Walaupun jika saya memberi mereka senyuman yang begitu manis sehingga semut menghurung bibir.

Can I lodge a complaint at the CAP? Or is this beyond their bidang kuasa?

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Wednesday, July 14, 2010


-You know Tie I really like the design. It's subtle. Not too obvious.
-Wow. I'm really impressed with your word choice. No more set 5 English huh?
-Eh why do you say that?
-Well you pronounced the word "subtle" nicely, without the "b".
-Eh bukan ejaannya "s-u-t-t-l-e" ke?

Heheheh. Cute. My cute little Bobo.

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Dulu lain sekarang lain

Dulu semasa saya bersekolah di sebuah sekolah berasrama penuh di Kg Kongo ada seorang guru Sains Paduan yang sungguh garang. Badannya besar, kulitnya hitam, bermisai tebal. Kalau saya tengok dia saya rasa gerun. Kalau dia marah dia akan naik angin dan menampar budak yang dimarahinya. Itu kalau pelajar lelaki. Kalau dia marah dengan pelajar perempuan dia akan pergi ke belakang pelajar perempuan tersebut dan menarik tali bra "lastik style". Sakit oii. Tapi masa itu tiada sesiapa pun dia ntara kami yang telah didedahkan kepada isu sexual harrassment jadi kami hanya mampu tunduk ketakutan.

At that moment I said to myself if ever I became a teacher I would never punish my students that way. If we treated them with respect they would return it back to us twice-fold, hopefully.

One day during a French class with one of the groups I had, a boy put up his hand while I was explaining a grammar point and asked for permission to go to the loo. I said OK and went on with the lesson.

After 10 minutes, the boy still didn't come back to class. Takkan tersesat di tengah jalan? The toilets were only at the end of the corridor.

After 20 minutes, still no sign of him. Asap sudah mula keluar dari telinga saya.

After 30 minutes, he was still MIA. Saya mendapati apabila saya mendengus kemarahan, api keluar dari hidung.

So since he was no longer interested to join my class that day, I asked the class rep to pack the boy's things and put them outside the door. The good law-abiding class rep did as he was told sebab kalau tak dengan dia-dia sekali saya campak luar tingkap.

Finally after 40 minutes, the missing student returned to class using the back door. He sat down at his place only to find that the table was empty. His friends pointed towards the front door. When I saw that I expected him to take the cue and leave the class.

He did leave the class. But a few minutes later I heard noises outside. Then the same boy opened the front door and put a chair in front of it to stop it from closing. Then he left.

He came back a minute later dragging a table and a chair that he put just outside the front door. Then he sat down and followed my class from outside. When I looked at him, he said "Tak pe kan madame saya ikut kelas madame dari luar je lah. Buku pun dah ada kat sini."

Masa tu saya tak tahu nak teruskan dengan kemarahan saya atau gelak je.

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Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Ala sayang ucuk ucuk

A term of endearment is a word or phrase used to address and/or describe a person, animal or inanimate object for which the speaker feels love or affection. Terms of endearment are used for a variety of reasons, such as parents addressing their children and lovers addressing each other.

(definition taken from Professor Wikipedia-Serba-Tahu)

And it is very interesting to observe how these terms of endearment vary from one language to another. In English, most terms of endearment are concrete nouns that have favorable associations, either with a sweet taste or the nature of the relationship. If you notice, a lot of the words are associated with sweet sugary desserts:
2-cutie pie
4-love muffin

All this high intake of sweet words of love is supposed to elevate the nature of your relationship to another level. So if you wanted to lose weight, would you call your other meaningful half "my low-fat diet cupcake''? Tak kena pelempang ke kalau cakap macam tu?

In French terms of endearment are more likely to be associated with cute animals or rather an assortment of barnyard animals (for the most part lah) that make you want to go ''Ooohhh you cute little bobo''. Like rabbits or kittens. And associated with the notion of love, of course. Bukankah bahasa Perancis itu bahasa romantika de amora par excellence? Here are some examples:
1-mon amour (my love)
2-mon bébé (my baby)
3-mon petit bébé (my little baby)
4-mon petit bébé d'amour (my little baby of love)
5-mon ange (my angel)
6-mon petit ange (my little angel)
7-mon coeur (my heart)
8-mon petit coeur (my little heart)
9-ma belle (my beautiful)
10-ma biche (my doe)
11-ma bichette (my little doe)
12-mon canard (my duck)
13-mon chaton (my kitten)
14-mon lapin (my rabbit)
15-mon petit lapin (my little rabbit)
16-mon petit chat (my little cat)

In Bahasa Melayu (or Bahasa Malaysia? Do you want to emphasize on its source of origine or its role in national unity?) it's even more complicated. Try as I might, I can't really seem to find the common factor that binds these terms:

Jadi apakah faktor persamaan keempat-empat perkataan di atas? Nilai harga yang tiggi? Saiz? Kekerasan? You tell me.

Well at least we still have ''sayang'' or ''ayang'' (dengan sedikit nasalized intonation for the manja effect). But we also have ''bucuk'' or ''ucuk'' especially when talking to babies and toddlers. Don't ever say that to an adult. He or she might get offended or paranoid ingatkan dia ada B.O.

So that is why it is important that we know more than one language. We need variety. A whole load of it. I do not want to be called a berlian for the rest of my life. And if you call me payung I will make sure you have one sticking up your measly little kawah gunung.

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Monday, July 12, 2010

Muay Thai


We used to have a black cat who chose to live at our house for a few weeks a long time ago (ini jenis kucing tanpa visa tetap). We called him Blackie. No surprises there. Everybody in the house lacks creative juices when it comes to naming cats. Kucing hitam? Blackie. Kucing kelabu? Abu. Kucing betina? Tina. Kucing betina hitam yang banyak kerenah? Diva Letchumee.

Well anyway one of Blackie's character that I found totally annoying was that he had the skill of making himself totally limp and lifeless when we had to put him outside, ie when we wanted to go out. He would just transform into a dirty black rug and you had to pull/push/do whatever is necessary to get him out. Once I tried using just my foot to shoo him away. He just slid across the floor, down the stairs and out of the door. Just like moving a rug with your foot.

(fast forward)

A few days ago I followed a girlfriend for a free Muay Thai trial lesson in a studio in PJ. We arrived there an hour early to get some breakfast before doing the class. I was hoping the appam with brown sugar would give me all the strength and stamina that I needed to go through the session. Dah lama tak pergi gym ni lingkaran lemak yang begitu tebal semakin melilit abdomenku.

Each one of us had one instructor assigned to teach us. Mine was a young Muay Thai fitness instructor right out of UiTM (nampak gayanya la). Pleasant and polite. The first few minutes was the introduction to the different punches: jab, cross, hook, uppercut. Then you had to practise the punches with the instructor as your sparring partner. So since this was one-on-one there was absolutely no room for "mengelat". If you were in a big gym studio doing a bodycombat class with 30 other people, for example, rasa-rasa dah penat tu pergi je la ke tepi studio and relax for awhile. Minum air ke, lap peluh ke, buat-buat ikat tali kasut ke kan.

At the end of 30 minutes I started to feel faint. I felt that I had to sit. I told the instructor that I was very tired. He allowed me to rest for awhile. So I went to the corner of the ring (yes we were in a proper boxing/muay thai ring okay don't play play) and plopped myself down on the floor. Dah tak peduli dah apa orang lain nak kata.

The instructor let me sit down for a few minutes and then asked me to get up and continue doing some kicks. I said no. He said okay only learn one more kick. I said okay asalkan boleh belajar sambil duduk. He said mana boleh kalau kaki dah melunjur tu. I replied well then no more kicking. He came towards me to help me up.

I crossed my legs. And made myself limp and lifeless. Just like Blackie. And you'd have to be a freakishly strong man with superhuman power to carry 70kilos of dead weight from sitting position to standing up. The instructor gave up and helped me take off my boxing gloves.

At that moment I thought of the black cat and only had these words for him: "Thanks dude. I owe you one."

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