Tuesday, October 30, 2007

What Halloweens Mean To Me

I have never celebrated Halloweens before mainly because it doesn't really have a specific theme. For kids, it means going around houses trick and treating, for guys, it's a reason to dress up as their favourite superheroes, for girls, it's a valid reason to dress up skimpily, and for full grown adults, well, it means nothing at all.

For me, I always thought that Halloween is the one day that anyone could go around scaring the crap out of random people on the streets late at night:

Double Scared

Just make sure to do a small background check on your victims first.

Sidenote: We (housemates and I) appeared in R.AGE. Problem is, we have no way of getting a copy of it!

Sunday, October 28, 2007

My First Bon Odori

I went to my first Bon Odori held in Johor Bahru yesterday. I was actually very reluctant to go because one, I don't speak Jap and two, I am not a huge fan of the Japs. Their punctuality and constant demand for utmost respect intimidates me (shows what type of person I really am).

But since there really isn't anything for me to do during that Saturday afternoon, I thought I might as well take the time to learn a thing or two about the Japanese culture. The event started off with speeches given by a Japanese representative and a Malaysian politician. It was very clear what each of the country wanted through their scripts:

Japanese representative: Bilateral relationship. Strengthen brotherhood between Japanese and Malaysians. Work together. Foster ties.

Malaysian politician: Attract investors. Money. Invest. Money. More money.

So much for subtleness. After that, came the "Mochitsuki" Rice Cake Making demonstration where a crowd of almost 100 people gathered around to watch 5 Japanese dudes,

beat glutinous rice with wooden hammers.

The Bon Odori wasn't so much a showcase of the Japanese culture but more of a mini Japanese food bazaar. I myself bought RM15 worth of snacks that afternoon. Sigh, there goes my 'two meal a day only' rule. I am aware that I'm starting to sound like a chick now.

Speaking of chicks, the main attractions that afternoon were really the Japanese girls in Yukatas. At least they looked Japanese. Mak took pictures with some of the girls and sadly enough out of the 4 pictures he snapped with them, only one was an authentic Jap. The others were.. buatan Malaysia:

(Mak approaches a Yukata girl)

Mak: Hello. Picture? Shashin? *points to the his camera*

Yukata girl: Ah. Ok. Ok.

(Snaps a picture)

Mak: Thank you! Er.. arigato!

Yukata girl: *smile*

Mak: Hey Ben, don't you want a picture with the Japanese girl?

Ben: Where?

Mak: That one. *points to the Yukata girl*

Yukata girl (sees a friend): Wa so long never see you already la. Later after this we must go yam cha!

Mak: ...

Ben: Where?

Mak: Shut up.

Then came the main event, the Bon Odori dance where all the girls in yukatas will be vying for the title 'Miss Yukata 2007' by dancing off around the centre stage. I liked how they used the term 'dance off' like the yukata girls will be squaring off against each other to the beat of Show Me The Money by Petey Pablo. My imagination got the best of me and before I knew it, I convinced myself that I was going to see the girls popping and locking and doing handstands in their yukatas on stage.

Reality came crashing like a ton of bricks. The 'dance off' is really just 60 yukata girls dancing to some traditional Japanese folk music while slowly circling the stage.

Bon Odori, a dance to appease the souls of ancestors.

The girls were then shortlisted into 10 and they are to undergo another round of slow dance. I just thought it was a neat idea to round up all the pretty yukata girls and make them parade in circles so us guys can gawk at each one of them.

Me joining in the fun.

We never stuck around for round two because it was held late at night. All in all, it was a pretty ok event. It certainly beats rotting at home.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Musicals Are Ok With Me Now

After watching Hairspray for the 8th time on my computer, it is pretty obvious that I have developed a new-found affinity for song-oriented movies. For the record, I never did like any musicals before this. It's just that the very idea of a person breaking into song and dance at whim and expecting everyone in his/her vicinity to suddenly turn into professional dancers is rather.. absurd:

(Scene: 7AM. Ben walks out of the front gate.)

Ben: (Sings) Oh it's such a beautiful morning~

Adrian: (Sings) Unlike yesterday's mourning~

Ben: (Sings) And it's such a great chance for the neighbours to come out and daaaaaaance!~


I guess I blame Bollywood for instilling this intense hatred for musicals in me. Every weekend afternoons since I could remember, my mom would tune into some Hindi or Tamil movie which we all know, consists of a lot of singing, a lot of dancing and a lot of bad acting. The storyline is also painfully predictable:

1. Poor boy meets rich girl. Singing follows.

2. Rich girl falls in love with poor boy. Singing follows.

3. Rich girl's parents disapprove of their love. Parents lock the rich girl up. Singing follows.

4. Rich parents sends their 'henchmen' to fight off the poor boy and the girl is moved around India. Singing follows.

5. Ben marches away from the TV set in protest but comes back an hour later, curious of how the 3 hour movie ended.

6. Rich girl and poor boy reunites. Singing follows.

7. Ben should have known.

Though Hairspray was no different in terms of the repetitive singing and dancing, at least the storyline was feasible PLUS they sing and dance in the same backdrop. Unlike Bollywood films where the hero and heroine AND the entire ensemble of 100 dancers are seen teleporting from their small town in India to the Himalayas and then to the Alps and then to Hawaii. Oh and the Hairspray casts also do not switch their wardrobes 5 times in one song session.

I know it sounds cheesy but Hairspray has definitely cured me of my phobia towards musicals.

Sidenote: It's a week before the finals and I can totally relate to this post.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

Nail Biter

Nail Bitter

It's already the last class of the semester and my lecturer chooses this day and that moment to pop me the question. Perfect timing.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

I Am Wolverine

A one week break can seriously destroy however much study mood you had accumulated before the holidays. Same goes for one's attentiveness in class:

(During lecture)

Ben: *Grabs a protractor*

Mak: ...

Ben: I am Wolverine! Swish! Swish!

Mak: Well you don't have the claws. You definitely don't have the body AND you can't heal quickly.

Ben: What's your point?

Mak: You're not wolverine. You're just a fat boy with a protractor in his hands.

Ben: -GASP- ... ta-da! See I AM wolverine.

Mak: I don't get it.

Ben: I have the ability to heal emotionally really quickly.

Mak: You're stupid.

Ben: -GASP- ... ta-da again!

I hope I'll completely snap out from this phase in time for my finals (2 more weeks).

Monday, October 22, 2007

Jump Rope!

I was inspired to take up skipping when I came across this article on its cardiovascular benefits and also after watching several videos on Youtube.

But the thing about watching athletes with six pack abs and perfect physique skipping continuously for 200 counts is that, in reality:

Jump Rope

.. things aren't always as easy as they seem.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Back In UTM

I Am Back

Friday, October 19, 2007

That Conversation With CrysV

Guys, let me introduce you all to Valerie, a Malaysian student studying in Italy. All I can say is that she's a loser:

(On GMail Chat)

Valerie: I have a flight in 7 hours and i haven't started packing!

Ben: Where are you going?

Valerie: London, then Sheffield, then Dublin! Wohoo!

Ben: Show off.

Valerie: Well, you asked.

Ben: Guess what? Later, I'm going to a Lok Lok stall, then to a 99 hypermarket, then to a mamak stall.

Valerie: Woah! You are soooo rich! I am soooo jealous!

Ben: Yala. So much better than your stupid Sheffield or Manchester or Arsenal.

Valerie: I know, so loser-ish right? What to do. I'm not as great as you :(

Ben: You LOSER! I'm gonna tell everyone that you're traveling around Europe while I'm back here eating fishballs on sticks.

And I can't kill her:

Valerie: I should be packing.

Ben: Yeah, anything is better than talking to a stranger who's half way across the globe.

Valerie: I'm being nice.

Ben: What if he traces your IP address and then finds out where you live?

Valerie: Oh-I-am-so-scared.

Ben: Technology these days, you never know.

Valerie: Is that stranger gonna buy a ticket to Italy and kill me?

Ben: No need to. He has 'friends' there.

Valerie: Oh really?

Ben: I'm known worldwide ok. I am like KFC.

Valerie: Oh, then I don't have to worry.

Ben: Why not?

Valerie: Italy doesn't have KFC.

On a different note, I am going back to UTM tomorrow and as you can see:


I can't wait.

Sidenote: To the two superheroes, thanks for including me in your Break Out Blogger Award.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Gods Must Be Crazy

It's been raining for 3 straight days now and I have not been out exercising since. Worse part is, this is happening while mom is chucking me with buckets load of food everyday. Somehow, I can't help but think that someone up there wants me to stay fat:


Ok fine, I exaggerated:

1. I quit football years ago.

2. I actually live in an apartment.

3. Zeus, the lord of skies, thunder and gods probably has better things to do... and isn't as small as my house.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Holidays So Far

When I told my mom that I was trying to lose weight:

Feed Me

She thought I was challenging her.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Train Wreck

Train Wreck

That of course, is even after the station authorities gave 3 consecutive announcements telling the passengers to show courtesy when boarding the trains. Anyway, it still feels good to be back home.

On another note, I have not turned this site entirely into a comic blog. It's just that recently, most of the stories I'd like to share with you guys are better presented in illustrations (that and drawing is just SO ADDICTIVE!!). Oh and before I forget, Selamat Hari Raya!

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

If I Had Superpowers


And that would be my kryptonite. Now that my tests are over, I still have my finals to worry about.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

Filthy Pants


Saturday, October 06, 2007

Time Management

As a student for almost 14 years now, I have learned a lot regarding time management:


It is that time of the month again.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Police Station Affairs

Ever since I got the motorcycle from my uncle, I have been nothing but proud of my new toy:

(At the front gate)

Adrian: Aaah we're finally back home.

Ben: Good driver. Do you have change for a 50?

Adrian: I should've just left you back at the campus.

Ben: Come to think of it, I've never chauffeured you anywhere before. I promise after I get my motorcycle license, I'm gonna bring you around town. You'll be so impressed.

Adrian: And very suicidal.

Ben: You laugh now but when times get desperate, you'll be begging me to give you a ride on my new.. (points)

Adrian: ... clothes hanger?


Yep. My 2 week old motorcycle is missing. At first, I did what every normal college student would do when their stuff goes missing; find the pranksters and interrogate them:

(On the phone)

Ben: WOI!

CK: What?

Ben: Where did you put my motorcycle?!

CK: I didn't touch your motorcycle. Why? Is it missing?


CK: Fuck you, I didn't touch it.

Ben: Fuck you, you DID!

After calling up and losing several friends, that's when I realised that my motorcycle was really stolen. We drove around the neighbourhood hoping that the robber would conveniently leave the motorcycle somewhere out in the open with a "I'm sorry, I didn't know what I was thinking" card attached to it but our efforts were futile.

We then drove to the nearest police station to file a missing vehicle report. Now I was reluctant to go because 1. it is my first time going to a police station and 2. police stations are government offices and we all know how crappy their services can be. I was right:

1. There is no such thing a fit and buff Malaysian police officer, maybe only 1 in 10. They are either too fat or too skinny. It's sad to think that these are the people who are protecting our safety.

2. The first police station we went to wrote the report for us. It was nice of them. Problem is, the police officer operating the computer at that time was computer illiterate and he typed (I shit you not) using just one hand and one finger. It took 2 hours for him to write a 1/2 page report. I almost died. Once, he even accidentally right-clicked on the word document and the shortcut tab came up. He freaked out and started asking the entire station, "HELP! How do I get rid of this?!!".

3. The next police station was even worse. I went to the main office first and waited for 20 minutes. They then sent me to department 1, where I waited for 10 minutes for the officer to finish his call. He then told me that missing vehicles wasn't his job and sent me to department 4. The department 4 officer was pissed when I said, "My motor went missing" and told me that it wasn't his department either and sent me to the department 14. It was the right department but the officer made me run up all the way back to the main office to photostat another copy of my report.

After I was done filling my report and making my statements, I got up and quickly rushed to the exit. I just wanted to get out of that place before I blew my top. Right before I turned the knobs, the police officer looked at his other friend and then asked me, "Hey, are you a Singaporean?". Serves me right for speaking more English than Malay. I looked at them and smiled, "Nah, I'm Malaysian."

It took me a total of 4 frustrating hours to file a missing vehicle report in this country. For one very short moment, I wish I could've gave the police officer a different answer.

Tuesday, October 02, 2007

Campus Elections

The campus elections were today! Ok I was not really that excited about it. Call me ignorant but I just don't see the point in all this pro-aspirasi versus pro-mahasiswa thing. The pro-aspirasi have always been supported by the deans and the vice chancellor so their win is inevitable and even if the pro-mahasiswa wins a seat or two, they'll be given meagre positions in the management regardless of their number of votes so again, why bother? Here's a little info for those who are totally lost right now:

Pro-Aspirasi = Pro-establishment. Candidates who run for this side have a high chance of winning but they won't be able to do much in the management. They are after all, controlled by the university establishment.

Pro-Mahasiswa = Pro-students. Candidates who run for this side have a low chance of winning but if they do, they are the ones who we can count on to say NO! if ever the university decides to introduces another shitty law.
This year though, Normie is running for the general candidate position so we thought we'd try to be good friends (and university students) for once and vote. We didn't think it would be but voting was tough.

We had to vote for 10 out of 20 general candidates and after crossing off Normie, we had 9 more options left and we really didn't know anyone else from the list so most of just stared blankly at our voting sheets. It felt as if we were sitting for an exam that we didn't prepare for and it got so uneasy to the point that some of us actually freaked out. Ok fine. Only I did:

(In the voting booths)

Ben: Pssssssttt!

CK: What?

Ben: Who else did you vote for besides Normie?

CK: Whoever who looks reliable and thrustworthy AND has that confident smile that says "I will make a difference!"

Ben: ...

CK: And has boobs.

Ben: Perfect.

So in the end, most of us voted for Normie and 9 other random chicks not because the feminism era has shed a new light on us or anything but because we men, like boobies. and sometimes, long slender legs.

Malaysia's future looks really bleak right now.

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