Saturday, November 26, 2005


The new corporate look was not well perceived

The sun was on high beam, and 90 new executives at Greener Pastures scavaged for shade catered by the restaurant at Seri Dinar Resort. Despite that our tee shirts and track bottoms were soiled by a good mixture of sweat, grass and water provided by the outdoor activities, we cared less, sat among each other, and drowned ourselves in afternoon laughter and the not-so-subtle armpit odor. So, as you can see, the orientation for new execs was actually fun.

While we all indulged in chicken rice and red jelly for lunch, one of the guys next to me asked, "Did you study overseas?"

No, I studied at a local U.

"Then how come you got a thick American accent?"

Long story, I said.


This is the sort of conversation I will have among strangers. Before, I would treat them with chapters and chapters of my childhood life, explain and justify, and reveal when I moved to this country and that country, and when to this school and that school. But now, I am growing old and tired, so like yogurt, I give the no-fat version.

"I wonder," he continued saying, "how come you don't hang out with that group?"

What group?

"That group."

In a table next to mine sat six guys, all graduates from the States. It is easy to say that I can relate alot with them: New York, Krogers and a sport call soccer. But for some reason, I simply did not click with them, and prefer to hang out with those that I do. I guess I have come to an age where I admit no shame in saying that I do select who I want to hang out with. There's no need to assimilate. It's way, way, way too much effort.

Not sure why, I finally responded. Does it matter?

He shook his head, smiled and then continued sipping dark coffee in the heat.

Saturday, November 05, 2005

Hari Raya

Bunga Api Yang Berbeza

I have been hearing alot of grumbling that as we grow older, Hari Raya loses its original meaning and excitement.

However, at this time and age, I have discovered that Hari Raya has a new meaning for me. Last Thursday, I discovered how great it actually feels to give away packets of money to the young'ens. Like bees, my younger cousins swarmed at my feet, with their eyes glowing with anticipation in adding an additional five bucks into their plastic Batman wallets and Barbie purses. "I'm rich, I'm rich," they chanted. I laughed.

This Hari Raya was also the first time my family, Johorian relatives and I congregated at my Atok Wan's new home. It's a rumah batu with a fancy electric gate which swishes open to allow three cars in. All four rooms in the house also have air-con, and the bathroom boasts hot showers. "Atok Wan also have Astro," my grandma said, as she flipped the cable channels with the remote control. I smiled.

So yeah, Hari Raya is different, but hey, it's still enjoyable by my books. Selamat Hari Raya everyone!