Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Saturday, October 30, 2004

Beta-Blogger is compiling a Terengganu Dictionary and I am contributing a few words whenever I can. I am also trying to jog the memory of any of the Trengganunese reading this.

Today I thought of the word "doktong". Unfamiliar?

Whenever I am missing from the house for long hours and came home late for lunch, my Mok would ask me:

"Gi kuane sariang? Doktong?" (Where did you go the whole day? Gallivanting?)

Gallivanting is the closest I can come up with for the translation of doktong. The origin of the word is unknown. I rarely pondered origins of words when rebuked by my mother. The word is used in the negative way and not to be used for or confused with a holiday trip or a visit, say, to your grandma's.

Another word in the same vein is "derrat". To berderrat is to leave the house for some useless walkabout like window shopping in KLCC. If you window shop back and forth the length of one floor of Suria KLCC, we would say you "ndey poteng ndey poteng".

If, by any chance you get lost in Suria KLCC looking for a toilet that is not boarded up, you would complain to your saing (friend/partner/companion):

"Musing ligat kita cari jambang weh. Dok jupe setabok." (I searched high and low for the toilet. Couldn't find even one." Musing ligat is literally going around in circles, if not totally lost.

Of course, if you berdoktong or berderrat too long in KLCC or anywhere else, you will get lapor belepeng ( very hungry). Then you will ndey poteng ndey poteng around the Food Court/Restaurants before you decide what to eat. If you eat too much you will be se'eh (full until you can't breathe). On the other hand, if you don't eat, you will feel very luga. (Translation, like batteries, not included.)

Hmm, I won't blame you if think that Terengganu is a foreign country.



Friday, October 29, 2004

I am trying to cope without a maid. After living with maids all these while, it is a bit difficult doing without one.

The last maid was on a probational basis. She wasn't on probation, we were. She wanted to try us for a month and then only decide if she wanted to stay. She left after a week because she didn't want to fast. It was a good enough reason for her.

Before that, there was this very tall lanky girl from the outskirt of Semarang. She had an attitude problem and after a few sessions of "counseling" from her agent, a good friend of mine, she was tolerable. Nevertheless, we didn't renew her visa and sent her home as soon as her contract expires.

We renewed the contract of Lili the maid before her. Lili was around 19 but claimed to be 23. Her mental age was less though. Lili was enthusiastic but green. On her first day, she was briefed on how to prepare coffee for me. She was shown a teaspoon, my cup and how many teaspoons of condensed milk she should use for my coffee. She was asked if she understood. She said she did. The next time I asked for my coffee, she brought me a teaspoon on a tray. When I brought her for her medical examination, she told me the doctor wasn't as thorough as the doctor back home. I asked why and she told me the doctor didn't ask her to get naked.

Lili replaced Siti, who is from Medan (or the outskirt thereof). Siti was fast and capable but given to fainting spells every once in a while. She worked for us for 2 terms until she decided she wanted to go home and get married. She went home, didn't get married and came back to work for another family in Puchong. Some weekends she would drop in and take Mimi shopping. Mimi told me Siti didn't faint in any of the shopping malls.

Siti was a good maid and a superb karaoke singer. But the best maid we had so far was Su. We were in Taman Tun (Aminuddin Baki) then. Su was older than any of our maids and experienced enough to handle small children. Su decided to terminate her widowhood and marry an illegal immigrant who was working in a fish pond in Batang Kali. I advised the husband to get his papers and he agreed. On the way back from getting his medical examination, he was caught and sent to Semenyih Detention Camp. Su was distraught and distracted. We got them back together again after a while but Su wanted to spend more time with the husband in Batang Kali. She recommended a replacement who came for a few days, laze around in front of the TV and stole brassiers from the laundry basket and money from Mimi's piggy bank. In appreciation of Su, we didn't make a big deal out of it but sent the girl home promptly before we ran out of bras or piggy banks.

I must stop now. I must go and get my coffee.


Thursday, October 28, 2004

Yesterday I couldn't log into any of the blogs hosted by Blogger.com including my own. I could access other blogs but not those on blogspot. Strange. I was upset. Was Streamyx using tali timba as my connection yesterday?

I was more upset by the news from Takbai. I saw the news clips of the soldiers kicking and hitting the demonstrators. Is that how the soldiers treat demonstrators or is the treatment reserved for Muslims only? May Allah bless the dead.

On a lighter note, yesterday's post had a few people cracking their noggin.

Buaya69 contributed
anthrapology: the study of saying sorry without really meaning sorry.
grease-bar came up with:
induhvidual - A stupid person; a person who does or says something stupid.
Mek Yam, who was really hot and on a roll gave:
demokerasi = menae sokmo puok demo, mego demo toklih bawok bekiro pasa kerah palo.
pentagone = the Pentagon after 091101 when an AA bird or something rammed one of the sides.
keroni = kroni yang hanya layak dipeonkan
october sureprize = Florida, due to the jimmying of the ballot machine before Nov 2 [hari pilihan raya matyank].
PretentiousRot had this to offer:
REBICYCLE - recycling something twice.

Kris and Longman contributed too but were disqualified for not keeping to the rules. Try again guys.
Here are my humble offering:

Auntiques : valuable well-preserved older female relatives
Constantipation: stuck or highly irregular all the time.

Let's hear yours.


Wednesday, October 27, 2004

While looking for a file in my Disk Catalog, I found this in one of my compact discs:

The Washington Post's Style Invitational asked readers to take any word from the dictionary, alter it by adding, subtracting, or changing one letter, and supply a new definition. Here are some recent winners:

1) Intaxication: Euphoria at getting a tax refund, which lasts until you realize it was your money to start with.
2) Reintarnation: Coming back to life as a hillbilly.
3) Foreploy: Any misrepresentation about yourself for the purpose of getting laid.
4) Giraffiti: Vandalism spray-painted very, very high.
5) Sarchasm: The gulf between the author of sarcastic wit and the person who doesn't get it.
6) Inoculatte: To take coffee intravenously when you are running late.
7) Hipatitis: Terminal coolness.
8) Osteopornosis: A degenerate disease. (this one got extra credit)
9) Karmageddon: It's like, when everybody is sending off all these really bad vibes, right? And then, like, the Earth explodes and it's like, a serious bummer.
10) Glibido: All talk and no action.
11) Dopeler effect: The tendency of stupid ideas to seem smarter when they come at you rapidly.
And, the pick of the literature:
12) Ignoranus: A person who's both stupid and an asshole.

Now, here is the challenge. Come up with a new word together with your definition. It can be in English or in Malay. The rule remains: alter by adding, subtracting or changing a letter as in the examples above. Go on, try! Send your gems via the comments box or email them to me.


Tuesday, October 26, 2004

It takes a lot of money to make a TV commercial (TVC to the insider like Mdmafia). It takes time too. Mimi, my youngest daughter was one of the "talents" for Maxis (Mengapa bapa pergi jauh-jauh?), KFC (Add on size up), one Barbie doll promotion, Siemens corporate TVC, Ajinomoto's Seri Aji and a few others. While on these shoots, I had to spend long hours waiting for Mimi to finish. Anyway it was fun to see Mimi bugging other people for a change. Sometimes she thinks she is Meryl Streep although Ms Streep is not known for TVC. Mimi retired when she was 10. Now I heard that my son is in an ad agency plugging RTM.

Ads can be very educational. I used to pronounce Hyundai, BM-style (rhymes with pandai) until I heard their jingle "Sunday, Monday...........Hyundai". I learned. TV Ads also helps you be potty-regular. You go to the loo when they are on except when you are watching movies on HBO, Cinemax or Star Movies.

TVC like other ads play on your emotions. Even the bad ones. Anyone remember the Mopiko commercial? It had people jumping and scratching all over the screen. It might be an awful hard sell TVC but I can remember it, as porous as my memory is. Of course there are good soft sell TVC like the Petronas Merdeka and other festive occasions series which never failed to tug at your heart string. Other TVC that got stuck on you are the "Orkid lah", "Kenapa? Tak percaya ke?" and "Now you see it, now you don't". What else? What other commercials are memorable to you?

For a more professional point of view, read Zul's post and mdmafia's FootBall Madness if you haven't done so already


Monday, October 25, 2004

Why is that only the rich & famous have their own magazines? What about the have-nots? I am one of the have-nots. I have no money and most of my teeth most of the time and I am not very happy. Is the lack of purchasing power preventing the birth of magazines for the likes of me and Mok Long Selamoh in Merang Terengganu? The fact that she can't read shouldn't be an excuse.

So, striving for a more equitable world, a more balanced state of affairs, Ying and Yang and all that, I am proposing a new glossy maybe to be printed entirely in Jawi.

The following will be the highlights of the Inaugural issue of the magazine for the have-nots, The Malaysian Takder Ler(c):

WHEELS: The New Jeram Sensation - KeretaKuba Mark III, adding more years to your water buffalo.
FOOD: Dining at (under) the Lemon Tree - How to handle the baring (sand flies).
FASHION TIPS: Choosing the right subang boong to match your kain lepah barat.
SEX: Making love in a crowded one-room village house.
DECOR: The new rage- Linoleum on the dining table.
ETIQUETTE: How to sit properly in a kemban on the steps of your neighbour's house.
ENTERTAINMENT: Confessions of a mok inang Rodat.
HEALTH: Preventing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome when rolling keropok lekor.

Now that I have your attention, do not forget your zakat fitrah. (Buaya69 & Kervin exempted)


Saturday, October 23, 2004

Mujo or mujur in Standard Bahasa means "fortunate" or "lucky". In Terengganu it means more than that. Mujo is an attitude, a testament to the optimism of the Terengganu folks. I believe that Terengganunese are optimistic. I haven't heard of any suicides there yet. No news whatsoever of people jumping down from coconut trees or drinking expired budu (preserved anchovy thick sauce) neat in order to expire themselves. You must remember that Terengganu people lived with ferries, morning papers that came in the night and other things people in the West Coast take for granted. In spite of doing without 4D shops, discos, malls or Hot Spot-enabled coffee houses, they are surviving well without any mental hospital in sight. All because they have mujo.

Like I mentioned previously, mujo encapsulate a philosophy in itself. It means one should thank God that it is not worse. Time for an illustration.

(Cut to a scene of 3 village ladies in their kemban washing clothes by the village well)

Mok Long Selamoh: Guane doh adik mung Mek?
(How is your brother Mek?)

Mok Teh Som :Bakpe pulok adik dia?
(What happened to her brother?)

Mok Long Selamoh: Laaa! Mung dok tau ke Som?
(You don't know Som?)

Mok Teh Som : Dok tau setarang kita.
(I don't know anything)

Mok Long Selamoh: Adik Mek ni kena langgor lori kemareng.
(Mek's brother was knocked down by a lorry yesterday)

Mek Beso : Bukang lori Mok Long, beng ikang!
(It wasn't a lorry Mok Long, it was a fish van)

Mok Long Selamoh: Mujo bukang lori!
(Lucky it wasn't a lorry)

Mok Teh Som : Pah tu? Terok ke?
(Then? Was he seriously injured?)

Mek Beso :Kaki patah sebelah......
(One leg was broken)

Mok Teh Som : Mujo dok patoh dua dua
(Lucky both legs weren't broken)

Mok Long Selamoh : Tu pong mujo dreba beng dang brek.
(It was lucky that the van driver braked in time)

Mek Beso : Mujo beng tu dok laju..
(Lucky the van wasn't going fast..)

(Fade to black.)

If both legs were broken, the response would be "Mujo dok pecoh pala" (Lucky the head wasn't broken). If the head WAS broken, the response would be "Mujo dok mati" (Lucky he didn't die). If the worst happened and the brother died, the mujo would still surface.

"Mujo lah bukang adik kita" (Lucky it wasn't my brother). You get the drift.

Mujo. A nice word. Adopt it. Embrace it. It will preserve your sanity.


Friday, October 22, 2004

How much do you know about Terengganu? Let us find out. I have prepared a quiz for you just to know how much you know about Terengganu (if you are not from Terengganu) and if you are a True Blue Terengganunese (born and/or bred in Terengganu). No prizes offered though. No songket towkays were contacted for sponsorship.

All questions are about places in all the 6 districts in Terengganu.

The Quiz:

  1. This place really had plenty of road accidents living up to its name.
  2. This place was probably named after a religious dish.
  3. Once, A Bridge Under Water was in this town.
  4. This town would never be tax-free.
  5. The village where an airport grew.
  6. Both these seaside villages have the same name. One is in the north, one in the south.
  7. Another 2 places with the same name. One is in Setiu, the other in Hulu Terengganu. Each has a river nearby.
  8. This "field" houses a palace, a premier school and a golf course. All very stately.
  9. The sweetest island in Terengganu.
  10. It ain't heavy, it is an island my brother.

Please try hard before peeking at the answers below. Highlight the answers only as the last resort.

1. Tepoh (on the way to KB, non-coastal road)
2. Sura
3. Jerteh
4. Cukai, Kemamang
5. Telaga Batin
6. Penarik
7. Kampung Buloh
8. Padang
9. Pulau Manis
10.Pulau Sekati

Your Score:

10-6: You know Terengganu well. Probably born and grew up there.

5- 3: You haven't visited Terengganu for a while but your heart is in the right place. Try to get a monthly dose of nasi dagang, bronok or belebat ubi to help jog your memory.

2-0: You are either Buaya69, Hyelbaine, Daisyboo, Kervin or the other non-Terengganu regular visitor of this blog. There is hope for you yet. Hope you had fun anyway.
By the way, I could not access Petaling Street webpage these past few days. Anybody else had the same experience?


Thursday, October 21, 2004

Today (Wednesday) I broke fast at Angkasapuri, on the invitation of the Information Ministry. It was nice to see old RTM friends again and nicer to know that some of them are promoted. Congratulations!

After Terawikh & Witir at Mesjid Muhammadi, Angkasapuri, we had moreh. Small triangular temosa, KL pulut panggang and soup with buns.

When I came home, checked my mail, I got this which I will now paste in toto, warts and all:


I am MR MOHAMMED SULE the elder son of ALHAJI USMAN SULE who was recently killed in a land reformed dispute in Zimbabwe .

I got your contact as i was searching for a reliable person to handle a very confidential business which involved the claiming and transferingof fund into a foreign account for my safe keeping and investment.

My father as you can see in the history of zimbabwe was among the few Zimbabwean opposition party rich farmers who were against President Robert Mugabes land reformed policies against the white farmers in Zimbabwe .

For his alleged support and symparthy for the Zimbabwean opposition party controlled by the white minority farmers . Before the assassination and brutal murder of my father , he was a successful farmer in support of his white coleagues .

He has taken to South Africa and deposited the sum of ($45m) forty five million dollars in a security company before he was murdered for the upbring of our family and onward investments.

This money was allocated for the purchase of new machinary and chemical product for agro allied farms and for establishment of new farms in Lesotho and Swaziland before my father used his position and divert the fund to South Africa for his own personal use as he got the fore sight of the looming danger.

Problem arose when Robert Mugabe introduced a new land act which affected the rich white farmers and over three thousand people has loose their life as a result of war veterans and even political opponents to the president even heads of Governments from West, especially Britain and United States has condemned Mugabes action on land reform act which he introduced just to tarnish his oppositions mainly whites in Zimbabwe.

Ever before my Father deposited this fund in the security Finance company in South Africa, he called me as his elderly and most lovely son and gave me the CERTIFICATE OF DEPOSIT and other documents which he used to deposit the fund with the company in South Africa.

But seen the current danger as the South Africa Government was in support to Mugabe , i applied for the despatch of the fund consignment to its affliated branch in Dubai United Arab Emirate .

The good news is that there is every arrangement to dispatch this consignment to Dubai U.A.E as it is a free country and none violent for our investment and it will be through Diplomatic delivery with the help of the diplomats .

This fund was deposited as a family treasures even the diplomats did not know the contents of the consignment.

I just write to solicit for your assistance to send me your postal address and your direct telephone numbers so that it will be use for the change of ownership to your name as my fathers beneficiary.

Be assured that every mordalities to insure the perfect release of this fund to you as my fathers beneficiary has been assured, what i only want from you is your genuine cooperation as i assure you of 100% risk free in this transaction.

For your assistance i will offer you 20% of the total money, while 75% will be for me and my family for our investment, and 5% will be for any otstanding expenses which we may incure in the process of this transaction.

On the approval of your assistance, i will arrive Dubai.
I want you to get back to me with the requested datas so that we will commence immediately.

Thanks as i wait for your urgent reply .


I thought only Nigerians send out this kind of letter.


Wednesday, October 20, 2004
Yesterday's In.Tech

Posted by Hello

Yesterday, In-Tech reported that the Federal Police CID Director, Datuk Musa Hassan warned users against sending junk and hate e-mail.

I haven't received any hate mails since not many people know me well enough to hate me. Those who hate me are either illiterate or are not savvy enough to send e-mails. These are the people who stuck stamps on their pc. But I have been getting a lot of e-mails with virus lately. They seem to be coming a week after I wrote a post supporting fellow blogger Jeff Ooi. I hope it is just a coincidence.

To the lamers who tried to infect my pc, cease and desist please. You are wasting my time and you are wasting yours. I do not have much time left to waste. To make sure that I do not waste time with spam and malicious e-mails, I have, long ago, installed a mail management program and of course a good Anti-Virus software. The mail management program will blacklist all mails that are not on my Friends List. That will take care of e-mails urging me to enlarge my breasts, offer cheap Viagra and how to make me rich in 6 weeks. The Anti Virus program will automatically delete e-mails that contain virus.

I know that there is a possibility some might be retaliating for receiving e-mails purportedly from me. This could happen when a worm infected a pc that has my e-mail address in it. Rest assured that it wasn't my doing. I have better things to do than send malicious e-mails to complete strangers. If this happened to you, just scrub your pc with a good antivirus program.

To the rest of us, read what Datuk Hassan said. Take his warning seriously.


Tuesday, October 19, 2004

Somehow, I got to thinking about my ustaz (religious teacher).

In college, we had Ustaz Dahlan. Yes, he was the famous Ustaz Dahlan, Pegawai Khalwat that caught couples in dark places in the 60's.

In SIC, Kota Bharu, we had Ustaz Abdullah Mohamad (Nakula) who made agama lessons very lively and fun. I remember distinctly a lesson about wudhu and how your burung should be handled to avoid invalidating (batal) your wudhu. He grasped a chalk with the sides of two fingers and asked everyone in turn, "Now you are holding it like this and urinating, batal or not?" Many of us missed the point and said no.

I heard that our ustaz has passed away. I last met him when we had a small reunion at Kompleks Sekolah Wakaf Mek Zainab in Kota Bharu. Our ustaz was a prolific writer and published many books under the nome de plume Nakula.

In SSSS Kuala Terengganu we had Ustaz Hj. Mahmud Salim and Ustaz Hj.Manan. Allahyarham Ustaz Hj. Mahmud Salim regaled us with his experience in Mekah especially how the kibas (sheep) was cooked. We all practically salivated on hearing his stories about the food he ate in Makkah Al Mukaramah. I didn't get to taste kibas when I was there but I did taste camel meat.

When it came to Islamic History, Ustaz Mahmud Salim picked a few of us (including me) to read from a glossy book about the various Caliphates. He then closed his eyes and listened, seemingly attentive. Ustaz Mahmud was later appointed a Senator. I am sure he closed his eyes and listened attentively too.

Ustaz Hj.Manan is a shorter person and has a wry humour. We like to ask him questions which he tolerated. I think Ustaz Haji Manan gave us a lot stuff that you would now call Sex Education. We were in Form Four when Yem, in all innocence asked what ejaculation is.

Ustaz asked Yem how he felt when peeing. Yem replied, it felt good. Ustaz then said ejaculation is the same as peeing, only it felt much better. But the most memorable famous question was from another friend, MatSom. He asked ustaz:

"Apa hukum isap kopek bining kita?" ("What's the law on sucking our wife's breast?")

Ustaz's answer was short and sweet.
"Hukumnya sedap lah" ("It is nice").

May Allah bless our ustaz.


Monday, October 18, 2004

The following is a true story told to me by my Bah (father). Names have been changed to protect the guilty.

It took all sorts to make the world that was Kuala Terengganu in the 50's. There were the good, the bad, and the ugly and there was Leh Pok Teh. Swaggering Leh, short and stocky, considered himself to be a man about town. Twirling his moustache, he was vain enough to consider that the town was all the time about him. He was also devilish enough to be legally chained up during Ramadhan.

Leh loved sadistic practical jokes. He was not bothered by morals or other rules. One night he invited the village lebais to do ratib (tahlil and doa) in his house. He gave them dinner with the obligatory air sirap first. The ratib was never more vigorous and loud that night. Leh had spiked the air sirap with gin. The lebais were none the wiser.

Many many moons after that, Leh was cycling home when he spied Mek Setawa, one of the village belles walking alone. Leh has been trying to tackle Setawa (in all the senses of the word) ever since the last monsoon without much success. You can't possibly tackle anyone without any verbal contact and you can't possibly contact Setawa when his father, Deramang Mata Meroh was within hearing-distance. The exercise was made much more difficult because Pok Deramang had a quick temper and his kelewang was always within wielding-distance.

Now here she was, all alone in the night on the other side of Bukit Pak Apil and Deramang Mata Meroh was nowhere to be seen. Leh could not believe his luck. Leh shone his lapu pecet (torchlight) up and down the road many times to make sure. Leh got down from his bicycle (a Raleigh from Nottingham), muttered his mantra that he got from his island guru and started to sweet-talk Mek Setawa.

In today's parlance, he struck base (in all senses of the word). Leh struck many times after persuading Setawa to get into the bushes with him. After the 4th strike, Leh lost steam and fell asleep, cuddling Setawa in his arms.

The morning sun found Leh still in the bushes. He was cuddling a batu nesan (grave stone) and his own batu and burung were swollen beyond recognition.

The lebais must have made some supplications, without the aid of spirits this time and retribution was swift.


Saturday, October 16, 2004
An old riddle goes like this:
"What goes crick in the middle of the fashion show?"
Answer: Japanese cameras.

Japanese cameras are legendary whatever their sound. Their English translation and writing are something else. Someone has collected examples of the "Engrish" and put them together on a site.
If you do not have much time to spare, just click Recent Discoveries.


Friday, October 15, 2004
Eden Roc

Posted by Hello

A long time ago, I got to go to Cannes, in the French Riviera, twice a year to attend the MIPTV (the International TV Programs Market). One year it coincided with the fasting month.

Islam allows musafir (travelers) not to fast under certain conditions but we must replace the equivalent number of days some other time. Some of the Malaysians decided to fast anyway. Believe me; it takes a lot to puasa in Cannes that year.

First, there was the visual cubaan (trial).

Our apartment was quiet a walk from the Palais de Festival where the MIPTV was (and still is) held every year. The walk took us very near the beach where fresh sand were transported by the lorry loads, dumped on the rocky beach and smoothed over by bulldozers. The beach is not free. Those in front of the big hotels like Carlton reserved their part of the beach for their hotel guests or paying customers. Some of these guests go topless and might be hazardous to fasting Muslims striving to collect full marks. Ditto for having to watch countless uncensored TV programs over several days. I would elaborate further but is the fasting month.

On another day, we were invited to dinner at the famous Eden Roc Restaurant which I used to read about in novels. The restaurant is next to the equally famous Hotel Du Cap. This grand old hotel needs to be booked 12 months in advance. This is where the Hollywood stars stay during the famous Cannes Film Festival. Our host that night was the National Basketball Association people. The view was fantastic. We were on a cliff overlooking the sea and we could see the setting sun. Dish after dish came but still the sun didn't set. The sun finally slinked below the horizon after 9 o'clock-long after dessert was served. We gulped the Volvic mineral water and went home to Maggi mee which a friend brought from Malaysia.

What if one of these years, puasa falls in summer and you are in the Land of The Midnight Sun?


Thursday, October 14, 2004
Nekbat Posted by Hello
Puasa Ramadhan or fasting in the month of Ramadhan is one of the 5 tenets of Islam. My ustaz (religious teacher) told me once that puasa is the ibadah that you do for Allah alone. Others, like solat or going for haj might be done insincerely, not voluntarily or 'auzubillah just to show off. Fasting is between you and Allah. Nobody else knows whether you are really fasting or not.

Ramadhan is coming. Many bloggers mentioned it. RTM has already listed the places where the sighting of the moon will take place. A long time ago, it was only at Teluk Kemang that they sighted the moon. I began to think that Teluk Kemang was the place in Malaysia nearest to the moon and would make the best place to launch rockets to the moon.

In old Terengganu, we waited for the coming of the Ramadhan at Padang Malaya. The eve of Ramadhan is called petang megang. As children, we would wait for the geta (big brass bell) to be rung while sliding down the hill (Bukit Puteri) on a pelepah pinang (areca nut palm frond) on the Istana side of the massive arch where beta-blogger said the atu kekeng (astriding ghost) was.

When we heard the geta being rung and the cannon (on another hill) being fired, everyone would know "Esok pose!" (Fasting tomorrow). We would then run home and reminded our moms not to forget to wake us up for sahur (the pre-dawn meal). We wanted to pose (fast) because we looked forward to buke pose (breaking fast). We wanted to gulp down the glasses of air sirap Cak Bunga Ros ( with biji selasih in them)/air nyior/tuak and then go for the dish of the day. Some families, like mine, did not break fast with rice and lauk but went for stuff like meatballs with toasts, mee siam, bata Buruk, roti jala or other delicacies. Or else we go to Mesjid Putih for bubur lambuk. But ice is a must. Dimestikan or de rigueur if you must be uppity.

Those days, enterprising kids would make extra money for raya by selling ice blocks. They bought blocks of ice from the ice factory in Pulau Kambing and retail them by sawing them into profitable and portable smaller blocks. The ice would be sawed on demand and then smothered with sawdust to thwart thawing and tied with a kercut (a type of reed) string.

One of the desserts that my late mother served during Ramadhan was nekbat. I would eye the square glass butter dish that she used to put the nekbat in long before breaking fast time. Nekbat looks like small baulu but it is not sweet. You made it sweet by cooking it in water with sugar and throw in some cloves. Terengganu people call this part of cooking sira. The amount of water will determine whether the nekbat melts in your mouth or just be soggy. Nekbat doesn't keep well. Every year I asked my friend Pok Daud Basika to courier me dozens of nekbat. They would always arrive with fungi on them.

I used to tell my kids how this nekbat got its name. Once upon a time it was called nekmat (pleasure) for the sheer pleasure that it gave. But the boy who went around hawking it had a stuffed nose and instead of crying out "Nekmat! Nekmat!" he sounded "Nekbat! Nekbat!" and the name stuck.
Believe it, or not.

Selamat Menyambut Ramadhan!

( In case you need to brush up on Puasa and Terawikh, there are free ebooks available)


Wednesday, October 13, 2004
Yesterday Malaysia celebrated Senior Citizens Day. Senior Citizens (Warga Emas) were urged to be active and productive and among other things be a bridge between generations. Like they said, "Add life to years and not years to life". It would help if they have a life in the first place.
In 2002, it was estimated that 11.3% of the population or 3.2 million Malaysians were aged 60 or older. That is quite a market for dental adhesives, Preparation-H and other geriatric products.
Let us see how Malaysia cherish and value Senior Citizens.
Old Boat Maker

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Senior Citizens get discounts on MAS domestic flights but tickets must be bought 7 days before the flight. Do not think of bringing your classmates from Terengganu to Kuala Lumpur on the same flight or on the same day because seats for Senior Citizens are limited.
KTM also offers discount for Senior Citizens but I am not sure of the details. Someone enlighten me please.
The KLIA Express used to give Senior Citizens discount on the express trains to KLIA. Now, it seems, Senior Citizens can only get discounts on the "stop and go" trains. Beauty (of the balance sheet) before age?
Some government departments, like the Immigration Services do give preferences for Senior Citizens. I hope more establishments like banks will follow suit. We can't wait too long in our "Pampers" can we? Some banks offer various packages for Senior Citizens or, like Bank Rakyat's "Mengenang Budi" scheme for the benefit of one's parent.
Of course our LRT allocated seats for the aged, complete with signs. Pity some people can't read.
What other privileges do Senior Citizens get in Malaysia? I know government pensioners have some perks but what about the other pensioners or retirees? Ok, we have a nice song written about us by Dato' Ibrahim Bachik. What else? I know all of you readers are not Senior Citizens yet like me but I am sure you can suggest something so by the time you are 60, everything will be in place. Tell me if the objectives of the National Policy for The Elderly has been fully achieved.
I for one would like the Bomba to be around when they light up my next birthday cake. Too many candles now, too much of a fire hazard.

UPDATE: Here is the latest statistical projection about Senior Citizens in Malaysia.


Tuesday, October 12, 2004

There was much more interest generated by my bersunnat posts than usual. Several shared their experience or in case of the ladies, their sibling's experience. Thank you all. I am glad to know I have more than 6 readers even though one of my daughters is overseas and one is holidaying in Terengganu.

I have to apologize to Daisyboo for making her fiancee apprehensive and thought twice about circumcision. Trust me, it is better for a Muslim to be circumcised and it is not as bad as what I wrote. And I wrote about what happened a long time ago. Even non-Muslims got their cut. And there is this persistent rumour that if you can find the parted skin, soak it in certain oil, it will make a good minyak senyonyong (love potion). People who lost it, like me, had to make do with the usual garden-variety minyak urat.
So Tris, you lucky chap you, go to a doctor and get it done, mate. Don't be like the cheap dad in the following story:

Dad: Doc, how much to circumcise my son?

Doc: 50 ringgit.

Dad: Too much! (Left and visited another doctor)

Dad: Doc, how much to circumcise my son?

Doc2: 70 ringgit.

Dad: Too much! (Decided to do it himself)

Son: Too much dad!

Hey, stop groaning. That's the only circumcision joke I can remember. Old age has its privilege.


Monday, October 11, 2004

Rodong is Terengganuspeak for friend as in saing rodong (companions and friends). I was in KLCC last Saturday sending Mimi (my youngest daughter) and her cousin Samarra to the Dewan Philharmonik Petronas for a choir workshop. We got there by cab. Mimi grumbled that it would be faster by LRT but I didn't have enough sleep and I know I would get sick on the LRT. I had no problems with express trains like the KLIA Express but the "stop and go" LRT makes me mabok (train-sick, not drunk). Anything that makes me sit sideways instead of facing the direction of travel will make me sick.

So, there I was in KLCC with 3 hours to kill. After depositing Mimi & Samarra with Miss Saw, I did some window shopping in Suria. As usual, I forgot to bring my leaking fat pen to be repaired. That was the 3rd time. I did remember to ask the Motorola kiosk salesperson about the E380 USB data cable. The guy tried to give me a RS323 serial cable, insisting that it will work with my phone. He changed his mind and convictions quickly when I took out my phone and showed him that the size of my phone cable socket and the size of his serial cable plug. Then he rummaged in his show case and came with a USB cable that interfaced well with my phone socket. The price tag said RM190. I said no and left. I saw a cable I wanted on lelong.com for RM.20.

Then, after just a curry puff for breakfast earlier, I began to feel hungry. I also felt a bit lonely in the throngs of shoppers, tourists and schools rombongan. I phoned a friend and told him where I was. He told me that he would take his wife there later and would call me then. I decided to wait for him at Aseana. They provided ashtrays there and they have keropok lekor. The keropok is not as good as those sold by Mok Nik Awang Itang in Paya Tokber but it is a cut above those than you usually find in Kuala Lumpur. I didn't order keropok lekor though. My remaining teeth felt up to Aseana's chicken porridge or the cucur (fritters). Unfortunately, I came at the wrong time. Both were not available. Porridge is only available after 3 pm and if I heard right, the cucur is only sold on weekdays. I ordered Thai Chicken Salad, a cup of coffee and warm water (air mati in Terengganuspeak). The drinks came first and the coffee got cold by the time the salad came.

While waiting I did some people-watching. There was a steady stream of people going in and out of the Mandarin Oriental next door. I came to the conclusion that aesthetically some ladies shouldn't wear tight jeans if they don't have the right derriere to match. But that is one old man's opinion.

I soon ran out of people to watch, chicken meat to gum and cigarettes to smoke though not necessarily in that order. I paid my bill and went downstairs to get a pack of cigarettes. As I was going out, I was accosted by a survey-taker who promised me an umbrella if I answered some questions. I sat down and she asked me if any member of my family is involved in advertising, marketing or the media. I truthfully answered yes. End of questions and no umbrella.

Since I had some more time to kill, I decided to activate my GPRS at the Maxis Center. There were only 4 people ahead of me and after about 20 minutes I was attended to by a Miss Eu who was pleasant and helpful. It helps a lot when you are easy on the eye and knows your stuff. Before you call me an unconscious old man (orang tua tak sedar diri), I better stop.


Saturday, October 09, 2004
(Continued from Previous Post)
The boys will then walk gingerly to their bed, pinching their sarong at a strategic place to avoid rubbing the sarong against the wound. They will rest on the bed under a conical sarong (see picture below) for a few days with a purong (half a coconut shell) close at hand.
What is the purong for?
The Sarong Pyramid

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Bersunnat is a rite of passage. You are on the way to become a man. Man gets erections. Erection is hell on a bandaged wound. Even when you are halfway to being a man and having half an erection, it is still painful. So, the age-old method of quelling erections is to bang the tempurong (coconut shell in Standard Malay) against your kneecap. Unusual you might say. But it works. I know some of you might suggest showing a picture of the boy's headmaster or something like that to get the same effect but in Terengganu, they had the tempurong. It dampened libidos for many generations. Overworked and tired married housewives might want to keep a few tempurongs handy to buy some time.

Back to the subject, if you have the appetite to eat, do not hope for chicken curries, masak lemak or the like. Until you recover from circumcision, you are only allowed plain rice with ikang panggang garang kunyit. That's grilled fish rubbed with turmeric and salt for flavour. No eggs, chicken or beef allowed. No spices. To make it less dry, you might occasionally be allowed ikang singgang-a Terengganu clear soup made with galangal, ginger, turmeric, shallot, onion and sour-slices (asam gelugur) . Even the fish is limited to ikang kembong (temenong to non-east coast people, horse mackerel to non-Malay speakers) lest you get fish-induced itches (and more erections).

So there you are, missing your favourite dishes but never your foreskin. You are glad you have left your kuluk (kulup) days behind. You are rewarded by the look of pride in your dad's face because you didn't cry or winced too much and you took it like a man that you are going to be. You are also rewarded by enough kain lepah barat to start a whole dikir barat group. Every visitor will bring at least one together with get well wishes and prayers. The symbiosis between circumcision and kain lepah barat is not clear to me. All theories welcomed.

The next morning is another test of patience and your threshold of pain. You have to change your bandage. You do this by sitting in a large bowl of tepid water that has been mixed with senang (powdered medicine) or medicinal oil. Then you pray that your bandage will come off easily or you wince and groan while gingerly removing the bandage. You also pray that the whole process will not affect the future alignment of your burung. You repeat this every morning until the wound heals and you can put on your pants again. You are told not to be so bwah (buas) like climbing trees or betang will happen to your batang.

It is so easy now. Just go to a doctor and you can wear your pants straight away and no pantang as far as the food is concerned.
Oh yes, I heard that, due to shrinkage, older adults are encouraged to re-circumcise. I heard that there are Mudins in Pasir Mas who can do treads (like auto tyres) of your choice. Maybe readers from Kelantan can confirm and elaborate?

Have a good weekend!


Friday, October 08, 2004
Younger Cousins Menghadap Semangat (60s)

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Adam, my eldest grandson have been warned by his mom about his impending circumcision. His mom called it foreskin parting, Terengganu people call it sunnat and in some places jjawi or berkhatan. Sunnat is probably from sunat (non-obligatory) because contrary to popular belief, it is not compulsory for Muslim men. If you can keep yourself clean, you can keep your foreskin. But in order to keep yourself smegma-free, it is better to be cut, and most Muslim men do. Recent studies proved that circumcision helped prevents the spread of STD, including AIDS. I would not touch on other advantages of being circumcised. I will let you comment on that.

In Terengganu, as in other parts of the Malay archipelago, boys are circumcised as early as 8 years old and the latest by 12. Infant circumcisions (for boys) are unheard of in Malay society. Terengganu ceremonies usually start with khatam Quran - a ceremony to celebrate the end of your Quran reading lessons. Some household have the hadap semangat where the boys to be circumcised and the girls to be bertindik (ear pierced) are dressed like they are going to be married and sat on a dais like in a bersanding (wedding) ceremony. Look at the accompanying picture. Note the bunga telor and the pulut kuning on both sides of the dais.

The actual circumcision might take place the next day, next month or next year. Since Tok Mudin, the circumciser, prefers multiple cuts and loathes to waste his time on just one boy, boys are usually circumcised in a group. The boys would be bathed and somewhere in the process would have their respective smegma removed. Tok Mudins are sarcastic lot. On finding too much smegma, they would obliquely ask dads "Did you forget to brush their teeth?" Woe is to boys who are unable to leceh (withdraw) their foreskin. We call this the burung buta syndrome. Boys were told to rectify this by tying rubber-bands at strategic places before peeing. Ouch! Some boys were known to show a clean pair of heels instead and fathers or some male family members had to retrieve them from various trees, bushes, gok ayang (chicken coop) or wherever their temporary refuges were.

The boys then will be seated (willingly or held down by an adult) one by one on a banana trunk, facing the knife-wielding, sirih-chewing Tok Mudin. The Tok Mudin then will use a rattan stick, split at one end to trap the boy's burung. One end of the pulled foreskin is on the other side of the forked rattan. The Tok Mudin will recite something, probably a prayer so that he won't cut the wrong side, and the boy is distracted for a second. The next thing he knows, Tok Mudin is wrapping his burung in some kind of bandage and it is someone else's turn already. The boy would have felt just a prick, like an ant's bite. What follows will be worse.

(To Be Continued)


Thursday, October 07, 2004

As promised, I will explain the expressions: (Terengganu-speak, Standard Bahasa and the English approximation)

gelap guguk (gelap gugup) It is so dark that you are speechless.
beso jalo (besar menjalar) Big that you spread
lapo belepeng (lapar berlempeng) Hungry until your stomach is flat as a pancake.
manih letting (terlalu manis) It is so sweet that you jump.
kerah kerjong (keras kekejangan) Hard as rigor mortis
panah ketik ketik (panas seperti digigit) The heat bites like it has teeth.
leloh bedoho'r (penat sehingga berdengus dengus) Tired until you pant noisily.

Like in Kelantan, some standard words have different meanings. Do not say "Saya suka bela kambing" in Kelantanese- speaking communities. You might get dirty looks or worse hauled up to the courts for cruelty to animals and charged with bestiality. Bela here is not the standard "keep" or "rear". In the Kelantanese context, it means "rear-end" the goat. In Terengganu, there are also words that have different meanings:

Selalu does not mean "always". It means now or instantly. For "always" there is sokmo.
Mu ni tangguh sokmo. Jangan tangguh, buat selalu.
(You always like to put things off. Do not postpone, do it now.)

In the spirit of interactivity, I will now invite you to give other Terengganu words that have different meaning like the above example. In case you get stuck, I will give you 4 more words to get you going but you have to highlight them to see:

> kopek, kerabat, gertak, patat

Of course there are foreign words that became Terengganunized. Stewong for example comes from the steel wound winches on timber lorries. Now stewong is a timber lorry with a winch. Rokok sgeret is the factory produced cigarette to differentiate it from rokok daun the hand rolled leaf cigarette. Even brand names sometimes get Terengganunized. Pot Rere is actually a noisy Ford car and Jip Goba Goba is a Land Rover.

Do you know why matches are called colok in Terengganu? They are not named after the joss sticks (colok in standard Malay) but from the action of striking the match (choh) and letting (lok) it burn. Matches are mancis in standard Malay but macheh in Terengganu means lighters. Cheh is lighting up as in the story of an old Terengganu man who, for the first time in his life saw blinking lights decorating the Istana Maziah:

"Kaye nye raje kite. Ada lapu molek, nye cheh nye mbuh, nye cheh nye mbuh"
(Our king is rich. He has nice lamps. One moment lighted, the other moment blown out."


Wednesday, October 06, 2004
This post is requested by reader Karina as a response to today's earlier post. I don't know if I can do much justice at such a short notice. I checked the Internet to see if any researchers published anything on the subject. I found none. Tadok setarang mek weeeh. The closest I got was a reference to a book Place Names in Peninsular Malaysia by a certain Duraisingam. So I have to write without the benefit of research. I have to wing it.

Mostly, Terengganu place names come from nature. Bukit Beso, Bukit Kechik, Bukit Payong are descriptions of the geographical feature found in the places. Batu Rakit got its name from the raft-like rock formation in the sea off the beach. The same for Batu Buruk the popular beach where you can get fried ice cream and the venue for main pantai (a subject for an upcoming post, InsyaAllah). The rocks at Batu Buruk must have been terribly oxidized to warrant that name. Let me reassure you that it has nothing to do with rotting testicles.

Still on nature, we have Kerandang ( purportedly where the best durian and mangosteen in Besut comes from) named after a tree, just like Gong Kapas, Kampong Buloh, Kalang Berangan, Rhu Rendang, Rhu Renggeh, Alor Temesu and others that you can think of.

Places in Terengganu were also named after the ubiquitous wakaf built along roads in the state. This would be a rich subject for further studies. It would be interesting to know how Wakaf Tapai got the monicker. Were memorable tapais (fermented tapioca or glutinous rice wrapped in leaves) sold on the wakaf? And how did Wakaf Bruas got the name? What is the story behind the history?

Places with history behind them are plenty in Terengganu. Kampong Raja in Besut was named thus because viceroys of the sultans lived there. Simpang Tok Ku was named after Tok Ku Syed Saggaf, a highly respected religious scholar and teacher. Kampong Daik was probably named after the original settlers who were from Daik, Indonesia.

Recent history gave us Jambang Ija (in Tanjung). The town council of Kuala Terengganu wanted to stop some people of Tanjung from using the beach as their toilet. You don't see them now - those squatting people wrapped up to their head in their sarong pelekat (pulicat?) grunting away at the sunrise. Anyway, the town council built a public toilet with zinc walls and painted it green and the area is forever known as Jambang Ija (Hijau).

I am just scratching the surface here. I am sure if we dig deeper and wider, we can unearth some interesting stories. If you have any, beratang (share) please.


A few weeks ago, Lion3ss kindly sent me an Excel file of the Terengganu-English dictionary. Before that, I compiled a list of words myself at the request of my classmates. A power failure resulted in my pc refusing to boot and in the ensuing confusion; I lost my hard disk together with the dictionary and other files. Cest La Vie, said the French. Should have backed them up, said my hindsight or was it my behind, I am not sure.

Now, the Terengganu lingo is not just adding ng to every word. It is not just saying jalang for jalan or ikang for ikan. There is the economy (or laziness) of syllable-cuttings. Save the mouth for more important things like chewing kerepok lekor or belebat ubi. So we have words such as gi for pergi and wat for buat. Sometimes words merged into one. Consider stabuk. This word is an amalgamation of sebutir habuk (a speck of dust). Related word is starang from the words sebutir harang (haram). An example of a sentence using this word would be: (Terenganu-speak. Standard Malay)

Aku gi doh pasor takdi cari deriang. Tadok setarang. Setabuk dak napok.
Aku dah pergi ke pasar tadi cari durian. Haram sebiji pun tak ada. Sezarah habuk pun tak nampak.
(I have been to the market looking for durians. Could not find even a single one.)

The economy (or laziness) even gave birth to a whole sentence consisting of words that have one single meaning. Just like One Note Samba. Here's the example:
Acu cuba try test.
It boggles the grammarian's mind. But there it is - complete sentence by itself. Go ahead if you want to try to analyze the parts, subject and predicate etc. Just don't hold me responsible for blurry eyes and splitting headaches.

The economy (or laziness) of words are made up by the sheer descriptiveness of the Terengganu Perbilangan. What imageries do these words conjure up?

gelap guguk
beso jalo
lapo belepeng
manih letting
kerah kerjong
panah ketik ketik
leloh bedoho'r

Hopefully, the words above can be dealt with in the coming post. Right now I am stumped by the description of something smooth: licing le' er. There is a story about a jealous husband behind these words but I wouldn't dare tell you the story here. What is le'er? Anyone knows?

(As an exercise, try understanding betablogger's post written entirely in Terengganu tongue.)


Tuesday, October 05, 2004
It has been days since the hoo haa over Screenshots started and I tried my best to keep silent. But someone said that opinions are like assholes, everybody has one. So here's mine.

Many years ago while still working, I remember producing titbits on IT in Malaysia and I remember that when MSC was set up, the government promised to the world not to censor the Internet. So far, so good. Even if copies of magazines are banned or markered out at the newstands, we still can get the online edition. Is this going to change now? I think not and I hope not. I have just got the blogging bug and I don't want anyone stopping me from rambling since I make sure I do not insult or libel anyone.

Has our fellow blogger Jeff Ooi insulted or libelled anyone? As he has stated in his postings, he has warned and subsequently banned the offending 'commentator'. Nobody gave his side of the story. I guessed the news was written WITHOUT reading postings in the blog or worse, if read, without understanding fully what was written.

I might not agree with Jeff Ooi all the time. Heck, I couldn't even agree with myself all the time. Many a times I argued with myself and lost. But I wish that people go easy with this knee jerking and get the facts right before inflaming senses and sensibilities.

Worry not Jeff, you will grow as old as me in USJ ( or wherever you choose) in time to come. Maybe you will mellow and reminisce. Maybe not. Until then, keep on blogging and good luck with the new server. Probably a hefty lawsuit settlement would cover the cost of a powerful server and wider bandwidth.


Monday, October 04, 2004

1985 Amiga Posted by Hello

At about the same time Malaysia's first national car, the Proton Saga was launched; Malaysia's first users group for Commodore computer was born. I named the baby CUE for Commodore Users Exchange and published BarbeCUE, its newsletter.

Getting members was a problem since I seem to be the only Commodore owner in Kuantan then. It was solved by The Star's In-Tech. Davin Arul, the In-Tech's Editor then, reviewed BarbeCUE and plugged the club. We got our members (including the famous blogger TV Smith).

Davin (last I heard, he was VP of I.Star Sdn Bhd) continued his support for CUE in In-Tech and by wrangling a free booth for us in the first few Microfest (later incorporated into e-World). I also remember Davin being the guinea pig for one of our video grabbing projects. Davin is a big person and he has a bigger heart. I hope to run into him in one of the Japanese restaurants again. Other strong supporters were Kenny Madrigal of Syscom and Leong of Visioncom (later Vicom).

The strength of CUE was of course the members. The President Kamaruzaman, David Chan, Ronald Lim, Sinex (Ng Lid Sin), Jeffery and many others worked very hard to make CUE meaningful and fun. A few even came down to Kuantan and camped in my office to help with the newsletter. The monthly newsletter was printed on a dot-matrix printer and then pasted on masters and printed on an offset machine of a "friendly" government department. We didn't have PageMaker® or InDesign© back then but we did have a word processing program from Canada that can do decent layouts. Anyone can remember the name?

We didn't have Internet yet then but we did manage to catch TELITA (a teletext service with chunky graphics) and had fun chatting with Yasmin Yussof at one time.

CUE died a natural death when Commodore folded under the onslaught of IBM© clones. It still brings back fond memories. If you know of any CUE members, please let them contact me. We want to give CUE a proper burial.

(Brand names copyrighted by their respective owners and used without as much a by your leave)


Saturday, October 02, 2004

You (all the 6 of my readers) might have noticed that I write about mundane stuffs. Pedestrian stuffs. Sometimes I write about dead mundane stuffs and dead pedestrians. I am never deep. I am as tohor (shallow) as the Merang river mouth during months of droughts. I chose not to write about Darfur, depleting dolphins nor political peccadiloes because others already did, are doing or surely will. I rather write about less known subjects like my home state, the people in it or places that I have been to and things I saw. That's my choice.

Every day in life we make choices. Life is about choices and living with things (or people) you chose. Your choices will of course affect your life to some varying degrees. Some greatly, some not. Choosing to put on a red dress while walking in a field full of bulls will expose parts of your body to serious injuries. Choosing to wear the same dress (if it is still intact) to go visiting on Chinese New Year might increase your chances of getting fatter ang pows and extra kuachis. That's no bull.

There are of course occasions when you do not have any choice or not allowed to make one. You are not allowed to choose your parents or other relatives no matter how hard you wished. As a child, you didn't have much choices either. Your parents made choices for you. It is when you grow up that your faced with a lot of choices. But how do you make the right choices?

Think back to your UPSR or PMR exams. How did you know which holes to black in? I know you knew of some people who used the eeny meeny miny moo method. That's their choice. They had great faith in luck and coincidences. If they were lucky, their answers would coincide with the right ones. But most of you, I believe, made your choice out of the multiple choices based on knowledge and understanding. You understood the question and you know the answer. Some questions, I know, were tricky and you were faced with more than one choice. But you didn't resort to the eeny meeny miny moo method. You thought hard and brought all your experiences to bear. Then you made your choice and prayed that it was the right one. Right?

Life is very much like that. You made your choice based on knowledge and experiences. Or, you made choices based on assumptions, presumptions, compunctions and sometimes sheer gumptions. Usually, these are the wrong choices - the ones you have to live with, miserably.

That's how, ladies and gentlemen (all the 6 of you), I ended up with these terrible sushi. I should have chosen the California rolls. Like my friend Razak used to lament, "It was a regret dish!"

(If you are interested to know more about decision making, this might help.)


Friday, October 01, 2004

My computers are dying on me.

First, my less than 5 year old Toshiba laptop had intermittent power due to a recalcitrant power socket. Kenny fixed it but it died again. Now Kenny, my computer pusher for over 20 odd years have given up. I gave it to Nazri of Nazateq. He too gave up. Seems I have to replace the whole motherboard just to get the power socket. Maybe I can get a battery that can last a bit longer than Speedy Gonzales. Without the Toshiba I cannot download pictures from the old Canon Powershot dinosaur which Yem gave me in lieu of a speaker's fee. That camera only works with Window 98. Oh well, I will dream of an IBM ThinkPad then. And current model digital cameras. Until then, I have an extra door stop.

Yesterday, my Palm m100 (please don't laugh) refused to respond. It worked ok after resetting but after Hot synching data, it ignored all proddings of the stylus or even ball point pens. It just sat there collecting indentations on the screen.
I got the Palm m100 many many years ago as a birthday present from my kids. Many pda models have passed since then but I stubbornly stuck to mine. It served me well and I see no reason to replace it. It reminded me of birthdays and other momentous occasions, kept the addresses and phone numbers of my friends and associates, amused me with games (in black and white) and calculated for me how deep in debts I am at any given time of the day. I can even exchange phone numbers and email addresses with complete strangers on LRT or in shopping malls via the infra red thingy if I have the guts and the thick skin for it. Now, sadly, I can't.

Lest my kids reading this think that I am angling for another pda, let me categorically state that I am not. Absolutely not. I plan to have a secretary next year. He or she won't need resetting or repeated proddings with a stylus. I have, however, asked Elisa to book me the pda phone like what Kak Long has which she could get for RM1000 cheaper from her Co-Op store. Unfortunately, the offer has already expired and Elisa is thinking of parting ways with her employer. By the way, how come Elisa doesn't have Ir. before her name? She didn't register or what?

Back to the topic. Computers are stupid anyway. You can prove it yourself. Pull out the keyboard and power up. You will then be told:

"Keyboard Not Found. Press F1 to proceed." Heh. My mom would say "Lembu Mekoh".