Di Bawoh Rang Ikang Kering
Random Ramblings of A Retired Retainer


Monday, February 28, 2005
In the last post, Derumo, as usual, gave a long comment over and above the call of duty. He mentioned about the various generations and the perceived presence of Generation Gaps. Derumo mentioned the ubi kayu generation, the nasi lecek generation, nasi lemak/nasi bungkus generation up to the Starbuck Generation.

To the US marketers or people who deal in US markets, the generation that mattered was the Baby Boomers. Baby Boomers are people born between 1946 and 1964. This is America's largest and wealthiest market segment. Most of the ads are targeted at them.

The Baby Boomers had kids of their own and this generation of kids born between 1982 and 1995 are dubbed the Echo Boomers. The Echo Boomers make up 27.5 percent (80 million kids) of the US population. These young people are unlike their parents and they are expected to influence great changes in markets, attitude and society in this century. These young people, because of greater integration in school, take up many things from the minorities of America like choices in music, fashion and language. There seems to be a gender reversal role too. Echo Boomers males are more likely to colour their hair and wear jewellery. The females, meanwhile will try those power tools, sanders etc as they carry out their own odd job around their home or apartment. Both sexes are urged to have careers and be self-reliant. Girls will no longer have marriage as the ultimate goals.

The Echo Boomers are slaves to fashion and dress according to peer values and taste. They spend more money keeping up with fashion fads. They are not clothes-horses altogether. Most are in tune with technology.

One thing that is interesting to the marketing people is these Echo Boomers have their own money to spend. They spend USD 100 billion per year. Ads for them will be interesting to watch because they are different from their parents.

Now, since I do not go out much, I do not have the chance to watch Malaysian teenagers, you tell me this: Do we have our own Echo Boomers? If they are like the US Echo Boomers what would the implications besides changing ads to suit them?


Saturday, February 26, 2005
Dear Friend,

I know how you feel right now. You are ambivalent and confused about what you want to do and having second (or even third and fourth thoughts) about carrying on. I promised that I will blog about it. So here goes.

In the first place, you should have goals. You should be very clear as to what you want. It is like rowing a perahu jalur (dugout canoe). You should have a destination. You can't just go rowing all over the river without having the slighest clue as to where you want to go. From what I understood, you did have a goal. I also understood that you are already halfway to your goal. You need only row the last mile. It is tough I know. Nothing is easy and nothing comes easy. That is what life is all about. It is rare for something that you want to be handed to you on a platter (silver or melamine). You, like everyone else before you, have to work hard for it. I know you are prepared to work hard as you have done before. So I guess it is all about motivation. You have to think about the carrot at the end of the stick or whatever is for you at the end of the perahu jalur journey. The trick is to visualise the rewards as lucidly as possible. If it is a car that is waiting for you at the end of the journey, don't just think of a car. Be specific. Think of the model, the colour and you inside, driving it. Or it could be something for your family. A bigger house perhaps? Then visualise the new house down to the colour of the curtains in the kitchen. Of course your journey in life will not end there. A destination is never the end of your journey.

It is too easy to give up (except smoking or other ingrained bad habits) but I do not think this is your character. You learnt the Malay peribahasa "Alang alang menyelok pekasam, biar sampai ke pangkal lengan, alang alang mandi biar basah". I am sure you don't mandi P.Ramlee.

You might want to turn around and ask me how successful I am (or was) to be qualified to give you these words of advice. To that my reply is with another question. If a thief tells you that stealing is wrong, is he less right? You don't have to die to talk about dying do you?


Friday, February 25, 2005

A few people were sceptical when they read about mas cotek in the recent post. I do not blame them. Sounds too good to be true. But, it is true. Some enterprising people have bottled mas cotek essence and sell them for over RM30 per bottle. Post Malaysia even had mas cotek on one of their first day covers (see pic above).

Friends who asked for the leaves have to be a bit patient. You have to wait until I go back to Terengganu. If I happen to be taken for a tramp in the secondary jungle, I will ask Pak Ramli to get some leaves for me to take home. No promises though.

Apart from constricting orifices, the tea from mas cotek is also good to treat watery lungs (or is it water in the lung?) and piles. I have copied the links to some sites that will enlighten you further. The last link was sent by kryptos. Thanks friend!

Mas cotek does not act like Viagra or Cialis. Sorry gentlemen. But I will tell you an Asian viagra story that you might have not heard before:

One deprived wife decided to quietly spice up her love life by spiking her hubby's food with viagra. So one fine evening, she sprinkled the noodle (her husband's favorite dish) with ground blue pill. She timed her husband's arrival with perfection and when the husband came home, the noodles were steaming on the dinner table.

But the husband decided not to eat yet. He wanted a leisurely shower before dinner. He showered and answered a few phone calls before opening the tudung saji (food cover) to enjoy his noodles. He was shocked to find all his noodles standing up stiffly in the bowl.




Tuesday, February 22, 2005
(Derumo, my Guest Blogger will take over today's post)

This is my theory on why the Malays and Indians do not use chopstick when eating. In China, the weather is very cold in winter. When they cook their food, it is hot and had to be kept very hot in the cold winter air. It was not possible to use your fingers to retrieve the food- be it porridge, rice, fish or vegetables. So, the best way to get the food was to use the available sticks or bamboos. With one stick / bamboo you can poke the fish /meat /vegetables but you cannot scoop the porridge or rice. Two sticks will be required to pick the food or to shovel it to the mouth. Instead of putting your two fingers to pick up the food, two sticks were better. By the time the food travel from the pot to the mouth, the food was cooled by the air and it is just nice to chew and swallow.

The availability of lots of bamboos in Chinamade it the ideal material for the chopstick. The Europeans had no bamboos but they had other woods and they have to carve it into fork and spoon. It represented the open fingers (check your fork, they always have five fingers - at least mine is) and the closed fingers (spoon/ladle). It is difficult to cut the flesh /meat so you have to hold it. Holding with the fingers is too hot and therefore, the wood carved instruments is used. So, for different purpose, different implements were used by the European. That's why you have to have an armory of eating implements to the left and right of the plate. The Chinese were more practical where the two chop sticks have multipurpose use - they even use it to catch the flies and to pick up coins besides to poke to the enemy's eyes during the kungfu fighting.

In the tropical and desert region, the weather is relatively hot and there is no need to eat your food when it is hot unless you want to get you tongue scalded. Therefore, they waited to cool a bit and there is no need for the fork knife, chopstick since you can use the natural fingers to pick, tear, and put it in your mouth. The palm can be cupped to gather the grain /rice and push it into your mouth. So the Malays and Indians in Malaysia are heating from their hands.

However, you have to be careful to eat with which hand - left or right hand? So there is an etiquette of the use of hand - you don't shake with the left hand (except Baden Powel-Colin Powell's cousin -Baden Powell attacked the Zulus and killed thousand of them while Collin Powell attacked the Iraqi during the Desert Storm and also killed thousand), you don't hand other things to others with the left hand, However, at times you drink water with your left hand holding the glass. . If you're using fork and spoon or chopstick, then you right hand is clean- and you can hold the glass and drink. However, if you're eating in the traditional Malay style - your right hand will be dirtied with rice, gravy and to use it to hold the glass to drink will be bad. So you use your left hand to drink and your left hand to hold the spoon to cedok the lauk. So when you are attending a Malay kenduri, don't bother what your next chair guest say, the glass on you left is yours.

However, the left hand is used just for other specific purpose .i.e. at the toilet or bathroom. Sometimes, we keep wondering why left hand and water is used and not toilet paper. Perhaps, the same theory of cold weather holds where you don't use the cold water to pour over yours.


Monday, February 21, 2005
I must warn readers that today's topic is somewhat unsuitable for minors and unmarried people. It is also unsuitable for virgins of any age or prigs (regardless of pristine status). If you fall into these categories, please go somewhere else.

My friend Pok Od or Pok Daud Basikal to some, found an old kitab (religious book). The gist of the kitab is a warning to all husbands to be careful when making love to the wife. Make love when you are too full and you will end up with a benok (dense) child. There are other warnings that Pok Od loved to pass on to friends especially Pok Ramli who already has 12 kids (from one wife) and an indeterminate number of grandchildren. The kitab also espouses missionary position. I read somewhere that this is the only position available to the Orthodox Jews with one extra prerequisite: It must be done in the dark or the lady's face must be covered. If you listen to Pok Od, any acrobatic ala Kamasutra would bring forth kids with numerous afflictions.

I regret not being able to list out Pok Od's rules, the causes and effects, because I stopped paying attention to him. I remembered something in the Quran that one's wife is like one's field to be tilled as one pleases including but not limited to the missionary position. Pok Od didn't buy this argument and branded Ramli and I as kerah keng (hard jaws) and at times keng temaga (brass jaws).

In Terengganuspeak, kerah keng or keng temaga is used for argumentative people who would never concede defeat in any argument or debate. They want to have the last word or the last retort. There is no equivalent in Standard Bahasa that I can think of. Only "menegakkan benang basah" (trying to make a wet thread upright) comes to mind. You can't argue with people with keng temaga. You just leave them alone and hope that they will someday become tenacious trial lawyers.

Back to Pok Od. After being single for over 5 years, Pok recently got married to a virgin past her customary marrying age. It will be interesting to see if Pok Od still uses his kitab.


Friday, February 18, 2005
I have a friend, Ramli aka Mat Jali who is a hunter, an angler and a diver. Ramli was in the scouts with me and he has the love of the outdoors until today. I remember him trapping birds when all the rest of us were busy doing revisions because the exam was near.

Ramli knows a lot about the jungle and the herbs inside. He told me about mas cotek, the small plant that grew in Merang. The tea from boiled leaves of mas chotek can be drunk to help in many ailments like haemhorroids, hypertension and otherthings which I forgot already. But I remember Ramli telling me that the tea will also tighten some parts of married ladies especially after childbirth. I thought of sending some to friends in USA hoping that it would take off. I packed the leaves nicely in ziploc bags and labelled each one and sent out several bags to various friends in the US. One reported feeling high everyday and didnt feel tired even though she was then 70 years old. Others wanted to wait for the constricting effect to take place before telling me anything and paying for the leaves. None sent me any money.

The plants are taken out from Merang and sold for about RM10 each. The people in Merang did not bother to sell mas cotek. They used the plant to feed their goats. Hence the happiest looking billy goats in Terengganu are in Merang.


Thursday, February 17, 2005
I met Tynn, her husband Memphis Belle and their precious sweet Yaya only once. Then I chatted with Memphis Belle many times in our Yahoo chat room (Bloggers:1). We talk about food often which is natural since it is always meal time somewhere in the world. When it is supper in Malaysia, it is lunch time in UK or Saudi Arabia. Once, the subject of nasi kandar came up. A few keyboards in United Kingdom got wet with drool. I suggested a few and Memphis Belle offered to take me to a nasi kandar joint that I haven't been before. So yesterday, right after class, Memphis picked me up from Masid Jame's LRT station and we had a nice plate of nasi kandar each (ok, one and half for Memphis- he is younger and has a better appetite). Suffice to say, Memphis has good taste not mention the kind heart to feed a hungry old man. Thanks Memphis!

The class yesterday was in the morning. As usual, I was kept waiting for my students to arrive. I told them later, if they don't change their habit, once they get employed, they will soon get sacked for tardiness. While waiting, I surveyed the class and found some interesting grafitti on the furniture. One played on the name of the college ( menyeSAL) while quietly making a statement. Others are the usual "leaving my mark" thing like

Molly (with a face of a koala bear)
Hang Jebat wuz here
Nizam love Hanien
and one obviously from a person with global ambitions:
Brooklyn Rizal World Wide.

One person owns up to the graffiti with:
Ini Aku Yang Conteng. Man Toya (heart symbol) Lily (The Carat Club)

Another one must have not understood the lecturer because this was written in big handwriting:
Aku tak FaHam langsung VideograpHy nie.
(I totally do not understand this Videography)

I also found a philosophical grafitti:
"He who dies with the most toys still dies"

The one I like the most is probably from someone who is not only a Britteny Spears fan but someone with an identity crisis:
I am not a girl
Not yet a woman
but I am a boy.


Tuesday, February 15, 2005
Somehow the electric trains of the Putra LRT do not go clickety clack . They just go clack. Of course they go whoosh and creak and sometime shriek too especially on corners. There is also the sound like a reverse crescendo when the train is stopping. The sound is somewhat like a lift (or elevator , if you are American) stopping, only louder.

When train #206 stopped at Bangsar this afternoon, a German-speaking family came aboard- a couple with a girl of about 9 or 10. What struck me, as I was fighting motion-sickness was the little girl kept hugging the man whom I guessed was the father. Between Bangsar station and Dang Wangi station, she hugged her dad six times. I counted. She didnt hug the mother at all although she shoved her bottle of mineral water to the mother after sipping from it.

Somehow my kids didn't hug me much, This is probably because I hardly hugged my own dad. I kissed his hands many times, yes. But hugged, no. Is my family an exception or is not showing affection a general thing in our Malay/Asian psyche? Do you hug your dad? Things are different now. I see my grandchilcdren hugging their dad (and everyone else within hugging distance). They have no hangups whatsover.

Somehow, I made up for my non-hugging days by giving most people big virtual hugs in our chat room. I don't hug men though. I am an old-fashioned guy.


Sometimes flowers, chocolates and trinkets didn't work and we find these two couples in the kadi's (judge) chamber.

KADI: (Looking up) Yes, what can I do for you two?
LADY: Don't ask him Tuan Kadi, he is the strong silent type.
KADI: Oh? Ok, you tell me then.
LADY: I want a divorce.
KADI: MasyaAllah! Why?
LADY: We have been married for 20 years now Tuan Kadi and he hardly speaks to me.
KADI: (Looking at the quiet man) That bad eh?
LADY: Yes.
KADI: You sure he never spoke to you?
LADY: Well Tuan Kadi, the whole of the 20 years that we have been married, he spoke to me only 3 times.
KADI: Oh my! He spoke only 3 times in 20 years?
LADY: That's true.
KADI: How many children do you have?
LADY: 3 children Tuan Kadi......


Monday, February 14, 2005
If you are celebrating Valentine's Day today, do thank the wolves.
Valentine's Day started with the Romans as a pagan tradition way back in the third century. The Romans who had sheep prayed to their god Lubercus to protect their flocks from marauding wolves. There was a celebration every February called Lupercalia to honour (and if the sheep were spared, to thank) Lubercus. During this celebration, a goddes , Juno Februata was also honoured. Names of girls were put in a box and drawn. The girls were then matched to boys and the pairs were expected to be together for at least a year.

When Christianity came, the practice was "christianized" somewhat. The Feast of Lupercalias was renamed St. Valentines Day. Instead of drawing names of girls, names of saints were drawn and people who draw the name had to emulate the life of that saint for a year. This wasn't much fun so in the 14th century, they drew girls names once again.

There were seven Valentines in the Christian lore. One was beheaded on February 14th. In 496, the Pope then, declared this day a Christain holiday. St.Valentine later was declared the patron saint of lovers. He settled lovers quarrels, among other things. On the anniversary of then death of one Valentine, lovers exchanged love messages in memory of one Valentine who was jailed and fell in love with the jailor's daughter. His letters were signed "From Your Valentine".
No roses were given or expensive jewellery. None. That came later after merchants jumped on the bandwagon. If you haven't ordered roses yet today, be prepared to pay a bomb for them.

The Europeans believed that February 14 is the date for birds to mate. Read what John Donne wrote:
So, you can safely say that Valentines Day is for the birds.


Friday, February 11, 2005
Whenever I am in Singapore, I always blame my older and gone relatives for giving up/selling Singapore. The last descendant of Sultan Hussien, the sultan that sold Singapore to the British was his only grand daughter who moved to Terengganu when I was still schooling. I called her Tok Lat. Probably short for Tok Selat. I never knew why I was told to call her that. I knew her name wasn't Selat but Tengku Zainab ibni Sultan Ali.
Why do I always blame her grandfather whenever I am in Singapore? Well, it is for silly reasons really. Singapore is very Chinese to me though not as Chinese as Hong Kong or Taiwan is. It is not that I have anything against the Chinese. Please do not get me wrong. It is just that sometimes eating places in Singapore are not that Muslim-friendly as in Malaysia. I am sure that if the Sultan (or his successor and still in power) is still around, Singapore would be different. So I blame him whenever my favourite Nasi Padang shop is closed and I forget my MUIS (Majlis Ugama Islam Singapura) Halal List. I blame him whenever I look at the menu and find porcine stuff in it.

Thursday, of all days, the first day of the Hijrah year, my friends took me to Raffles Hotel for a buffet lunch. They told me they have eaten there before and they found it halal (as they understood it). My friends have taken me to eat in Singapore before and they have never ever taken me to a place where pork is served. So I assume that today would be no different. Anyway, when we got there they wanted to be doubly sure and called the chef to point out to me the ingredients of all the items on the buffet counters. So the chef took me round. First item was ham and further down was a dish using porkloin. I didn't go any further and thanked the chef. My host went white and apologised profusely. There were fresh seafood in another section. Oysters in their shell, crab claws and small lobsters cut in half. I threw caution to the wind and had those and prayed that Allah forgave me.

Now, the famous Raffles Hotel is older than all the ages of my readers added up I think. I am sure the number of its age is bigger than my IQ. The hotel was established in 1889. The buffet was in Bars & Billiards where , as the legend has it, a tiger was shot under the billiard table. There was no tiger around yesterday although there were plenty of Tiger Beer. There were full page ads in the papers proclaiming that Singapore is "Tiger Country". Raffles Hotel had many famous visitors. Among them was Somerset Maugham . Another writer who stayed there was Joseph Conrad. They enjoyed their setengah and their Singapore Slings which were said to have been first concocted there.

Despite not being Muslim-friendly, Raffles has character befitting a grand old hotel. The service was impeccable. Syikin, our waiteress, took care of our table well even though she is only employed just 3 months ago. I saw only Malay waiters and waiteresses yesterday and like an ass assumed that was the only thing they were good for. Syikin reminded me that it is still Chinese New Year and the Chinese staff were still on leave.

When you ASSume, you make an ass of you and me. I did feel like an ass. I didn't go looking for halal carrot though.


Wednesday, February 09, 2005
Wednesday will the Year of The Rooster and Pok Ku wishes all Chinese bloggers and readers Kong Xi Fatt Chai. May the year bring prosperity and happiness to all, InsyaAllah. I suppose many will be wearing red underpants, maybe for the rest of the year.

On Thursday, it will be the Muslim New Year and Maal Hijrah will be celebrated throughout the Muslim world, albeit, soberly. No yam sengs, no ang pow. Like the Gregorian New Year, there will be resolutions made. Let us all try harder to be a better person and a better servant of Allah.

Have a Happy Holiday!
Regular programming will resume Saturday, InsyaAllah.


Tuesday, February 08, 2005
My first Guest Blogger is Derumo. He sent in this funny observation:

Fresh vs. Frozen
When we go to the market to buy wet provisions especially during the weekends, we insisted that we should get all fresh food. We buy fresh fish, fresh chicken and fresh beef. fresh vegetables and even a fresh pack of belacan. We look at the frozen fish, chicken and beef as not that fit for human consumption. If we look at the price tag, the frozen things, the price is cheaper and it can be kept straight into the fridge. But our prejudice on those frozen things prevents us from buying them.
If we have our way, we would like to select the chicken from their smelly cages, feel their breast and inspect their anus and then see it being slaughtered, blood oozing and then dipped into the hot water before being turned centrifugally to remove the feathers. Its funny though that the English language use the term " dressed chicken" to refer to the chicken being fully undressed of its feathers while the " undressed" chicken are those fully clothed with feathers. On the other hand, dressed chicks are those fully clothed and undressed chicks are in their birthday suit in the center fold of playboy magazine
As for the fish, we will choose the chilled fish which still looks shiny. To check its freshness, we poke our fingers and fondle with the poor fish and if it is reasonably hard, we will take it. Those which are soft with red eyes and white gills are no good. When every customer has to check by this method, the poor fish get soft and lembek and develop the red eyes effect when shot with cameras (tahukah anda -in 1800 a law was passed that when the customer wants to buy tomatoes , she cannot pressed them faring it will damage them and those caught fondling the tomatoes will be given and mandatory jail sentence with twenty stroke of canning equivalent i.e. 20 times of pressing on whatever round soft tomato shaped organs )The frozen fish is hard with bright eyes and hard on were always put aside as unwanted frozen fish.
The frozen which is much cheaper then the fresh local beef is also avoided. It is interesting to note that the cattle is imported from India and slaughtered in the local abattoir ( the local term for the abattoir is Rumah Sembelih , All the rumah sembelih in Malaysia slaughter goats, cattle and cows and pigs except for one in Sarawak - Rumah Sembelih Kucing - The Cat's Abbatoir ) We prefer to buy fresh beef. If possible, we would like to see the butcher slicing the part from a hanging limb of the cattle. They would recommend certain parts of the hanging cattle limbs but we want to choose our own. They offer the softer fillet or silver side but we will disagree with them and choose the chuck and blade cuts which look very solid and fleshy but the toughest of them all. We pay almost twice the price as the fillet frozen beef. The pasar siang and pasar malam butchers are very clever - they buy one or two limbs of the cattle from the local abbatoir to hang and place chunks of thawed frozen beef (most of the time buffalo's meat) imported from India and tell you that it was just sliced off from the hanging limbs and we buy the frozen beef at the price of the fresh hanging cattle limb. If you are asked for the bill for the purchase, it will be RM 14.00 consisting of RM 6.00 for the frozen beef plus RM 7.00 for looking and watching the hanging limbs of the local beef. That's why among the butchers they nick named the hanging limbs as "wayang show"; you have to pay for watching it. The countable nouns for cattle is also interesting - the English language put it as three "heads" of cattle while the Malays termed it as three "tails" of cattle. My theory on such opposite countable nouns used is based on the method of catching the cattle. The cowboys of America will catch their cattle by using strings and lasso and they have to get the heads to tie the neck. On the other hand, the Malays had to chase the cattle and catch them by the tails! That's why there is a Malay proverb "lembu terlepas, tangan bau taik"- The cattle got away and you hands are left with the bull shit/ cow dung smell. Sometimes I wonder why the English termed shit for the cattle and dung for the cows? As for he Malays, it is always the same - tahi, taik, - taik lembu, taik ayam, taik hidung, taik mata and even taik judi and kuning taik.
Finally, we go back to our house we will put all the fresh fish, fresh prawns, fresh chicken, fresh beef in the deep freezer which we bought to "deep freeze" those fresh provisions so that when we want to cook we prefer to take the frozen fish, chicken and beef and thaw them and then cook them. What's the difference if we have bought the frozen ones at a cheaper price and hygenically prepared?


Monday, February 07, 2005
This post is written at the request of Ellene (or expink in the chat room) who takes Linguistic as part of her course.
Of course we are not aware of the proper terminology for words like manih leting, masang rebang etc. Ellenes said they are compound words. So be it. If you don't agree, you go quarell with her ok?

Now I really have to think of compound words. Maybe it won't take that much time until I forget
semayang bang.
Hey, thats a compound word isn't it? It comes from the words sembahyang (pray) and bang (to call to prayer or the call to prayer). Combined, it does not only mean praying but other religious obligations that you are supposed to do, like posa re-er. Posa re-er includes all puasa, wajib and sunat, in or off-Ramadhan. You all know that at the end of Ramadhan, you have hari raya. Hari Raya is when you celeberate with warih waroh (relatives) and saing rodong (friends and acquintances). It is not the time to exhaust pitih mah ( money and valuables) although some poor souls do exactly this, year after year. People who do not heed advice , like these spendthrift people are called bodo sombong. The meaning is the same as in Standard Malay.

Bodo sombong people are also people who litter rata rawa (all over the place). In spite of the government's campaign, these people are ngata cerok (all corners) Malaysia. They forgot that they are living among other people. People that they will depend on in case of sakit demam (illness and sickness) and mati relar (deaths and accidents).

Happy Ellene? Pok Ku leloh bedoho doh.

(Tomorrow's post will be dependant on me getting online. I am out of the country for a bit.)


Saturday, February 05, 2005
I was busy setting up the chat room and getting people in these few days that I sort of neglected my blog. Comments went unreplied. Sorry about that. I also didn't get to think of anything to write about today.

In the chat, Kak Teh told me the story why Terengganuspeak has "g" at the end like

while in Kedah, the "g" is missing in some words

The following story explained why:
Once upon a time, the ruler of Terengganu and the ruler of Kedah challenged each other to a game of dam aji. Best of 3 papan. Loser will surrender all the Gs in the state.

So a nice wakaf was built with a papan dam engraved by the royal engraver. They got the finest bottle caps to use as the buah dam. The Kedahan brought karaih as refreshment while Terengganu served nasi dagang.

Somehow after eating nasi dagang, the Kedah player lost concentration and lost the tournament 1-2. So Kedah has to forfeit the use of G in some words until today. The Terengganu side, not knowing what to do with all the extra Gs won, started adding them to unimaginable words.

Now you know.

DISCLAIMER: Any similarity to real persons, living, dead or yet unborn is not the problem of the writer or story teller.


Friday, February 04, 2005
Maharaja Rawana, one of the bota
One cough syrup, long popular with the Chinese had a TV commercial in Bahasa using wayang kulit puppets. I thought to myself that this brand is trying to win the Malay market. Later, I thought more about the commercial. As I told my students, a commercial may have more than one message. In this case, the obvious message is of course the cough medicine is effective in curing coughs. The other message (to me) is to remind me of the culture that we used to have.

Wayang kulit (shadow play) is basically a puppet show using puppets made of bovine hide painstakingly cut and painted to resemble characters from Ramayana and Mahabaratha epics like Seri Rama, Sita Dewi, Hanuman, Maharaja Rawana and other "actors". East Coast wayang kulit has two extra characters which might not be in the books. They are Wak Long (or Kusina Wak Long) and Pok Dogol. These two characters provided comic relief in the show. They also conveyed whatever public messages to the audience. Except for one arm which can be made to go up or down when the Tok Dalang (the puppeteer) pushes a bamboo stick attached to the arm, the puppets could not move. But, under the expert hands of the Tok Dalang, we can see the puppets fly left and right, swoop on the enemy, move briskly or languidly and die appropriately when supposed to.

When I was growing up, we have wayang kulit shows every time there is a celebration in town or in the villages. We enjoyed the show very much. We laughed at the antics of Wok Long and Pok Dogo. I even learnt some the dialogs and had my own wayang kulit show using cut out leaves. The heroes were Seri Rama and Laksamana while the pok sauk (villians) were Rawana and other bota (ogres). Once I ran out of ogres and asked an older relative, in the Kelantan dialect, to make me a bota.
The non-Kelantanese speaking relative took a fresh leaf and cut a perfect shape of a coke bottle.
"Ambik boto" he said as he handed me the leaf. I remembered not speaking Kelantanese to him again.


Thursday, February 03, 2005
Quite a number of bloggers like the idea of the virtual gathering . Amir and I invited a number of people into the chat room yesterday. We had a blast.

Kak Teh chatted immediately after subuh (the dawn prayer) although it was nearly asar for me and Amir. We also had Black Kembara, inolagay and Leen joining us. Later, just before isya, we had more bloggers who are overseas being invited into the chat room. We had iJun (London), Naj (Yorkshire), shee-ra (Soton), Sharizal (undisclosed), Sunflora ( undisclosed) and expink (also undisclosed). Did I miss anyone? Our blogger in Madrid anuarfariz had a bad connection and could not even receive the chat invite. Anak _Hashim and kootchie also had similar problems. We hope to have them amongst us in the room soon.

I had the following people added into my list:
lady azma and

If you have requested to be added and your name is not up there, please do not give up. Please add me again. Yahoo is sometimes very constipated and odd things happen.

I will look forward to communicating with you!

Good news for people on Mac OS, riza found a way to enter the room. Talk to him


Wednesday, February 02, 2005

I can safely say that everyone have heard of online chat either on IRC, Yahoo, MSN or what have you. I got hooked on IRC chat about nine years ago but gave up after Malaysian IPs were banned a few times from Webmaster and other networks. After that I went through several chat "places" like Amboi.net (as part of Radio Music's foray into the electronic interactiveness) and then Bluehyppo for a while. Now I frequent Yahoo chat mostly in an "invite only" room called FeelGood Place. Incidentally, I used "Feel Good" for my first room on IRC "The RoseGarden" long before a certain TV station came into existence.

There are a few bloggers who got invited into FeelGoodPlace just to chat about everything that comes up. Notable among them are Amir, Redzuan, jiwarasa, Hazel and earlier, Insane Ox. Redzuan operates a 24 hour "radio station" on webcast and we had whatever music we requested whenever he is around. Insane Ox slipped away quietly, although we would like to see him back.

I would like to know who else among you want to try chatting in real time. It is simple. Just get Yahoo Messenger and add any of us as your contact. My id on Yahoo is malaysiannightrider. Just tell me who you are when you ask to be added so I know that you are a blogger/blogreader. Then it will be easy to invite you to the room whenever I see you online and we can chat up a storm. MacOS users will have a problem though. Riza, who is on a Mac could not get into chat until today. I am sure there is a way. Worse come to the worse, we can set up a room on java.

I am usually online after 10 am everyday except Tuesdays and Wednesdays. I peek in again at around 10 pm when I am home.

Let me know what you think about this.


Tuesday, February 01, 2005
Red was in a hurry and forgot to caption the pics that he took, so I took the liberty of giving the captions for him. Here we go:

Farid ( all the way from USA) and Friend
Amir, Redzuan & Jordan with the lovely ladies
Pak Adib stretching a point
Pok Ku finally got hungry
The Nasi Dagang Chef is pleased as Mokciknab surveys the food while Jordan contemplates a refill
Cek Na (Pok Ku's only DIL) turned camcorder operator for the night
Yes, it is a car wash by day. That's why the floor is so clean.
Pok Ku with Najwa, the dengue survivor
Pak Adib & Pok Ku at the Smokers Corner
Mack digitalizing

There were other camerapersons that night. Let us hope they publish the pics soon.
All pictures in this post were taken and copyrighted by Red.

Happy Hari Wilayah Persekutuan to those having a holiday. If Selangor is Darul Ehsan, Negeri Sembilan is Darul Khusus and Pahang is Darul Makmur, what Darul is Wilayah Persekutuan?