Reflections on Perth – 2000

28 days left.

I just got off the phone with my mom. My father has been losing more and more weight. Last time I was back, he had already lost a lot of weight. His clothes were clearly too big for him, and his big broad shoulders that used to be round was instead caved in. It pains me to imagine what he look like now.

Well here’s another instalment of my time in Perth. I got a digital camera around that time, so do enjoy the pictures. No more irrelevant image placeholders. 🙂


George W Bush and Tony Blair

Can we go to war please? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we? Can we?

The year was 2000. At 12 midnight, the Y2K Millennium Bug struck, causing thousands of airplanes to fall of the air… wait that didn’t happen. 🙂
Something worst happened though. George W Bush won the highly controversial US Presidential Election against Al Gore, thus beginning his reign of terror. More conspiracy theories about Lady Diana’s death surfaced on Women’s Weekly magazine. And my all time favourite reality TV series – Survivor premieres.

I was 18 years old, which means I was finally legal. 🙂 It didn’t matter though because for the past 2 years, I had been successfully following my father into casinos without the bouncer checking my ID. They would always check my sister’s ID and sometimes my brother’s too, but never me. I don’t know if that’s a good thing or a bad thing.

Its my second year at University, and I was beginning to feel the pressure of keeping up my good academic grades thus far. The kiasu spirit in me was failing and I could feel it. When I was in high school it was easier to compete with other students, but its a whole new ball game at University. At Uni, the students here chose their course because they’re good at it and they like it, not because they are required to do it. They’re mostly DUXes, Best Physics and Best Maths students in their respective schools themselves. I was competing with the best of the best in Western Australia, and it was difficult.

It came to a point where I said to myself "Ahhh… screw it. I have had my peak. I was the DUX in my high school; I graduated in the top 0.6% of the state; I’ve achieved what I wanted to achieve and its time for me to enjoy life." And that was that. I began to take it easy, stop being so kiasu, get involved with the International Students Committee (ISC) more. And goddammit I need to change my nerdy image.

Thus beginning my transformation, for better and for worse.

THE BAD: As soon as I put less emphasis on my studies, my grades slipped from an 80 average to a 70 average. 🙁

THE GOOD: I finally have a life. 🙂

Instead of burying my head in the books as I did for the past 3 years in Perth, I began going to the gym, organising major social and cultural events on campus, and just meet lots and lots and lots of people. My social circle virtually exploded this year.

It was definitely a refreshing change for me. I had course mates who finished University after spending 4 years of attending lectures, go home and then study a bit more. They graduated Uni without meeting anyone other than their course mates and their lecturers, and they went through their young adult life without even having a girlfriend. Sure they get a scholarship offer and a first class honours in the end, but they’re missing out some of the best moments in life and social opportunities that they simply could not get outside of Uni.

As soon as I began to have more acquaintances, I began to go out more. And as soon as I began to go out more, I began to want to look good. The clothes that I got for free from some Coca-Cola promotion simply doesn’t cut it anymore. So I committed a sin. I began buying my own clothes. Nothing expensive though, just the average middle-priced range of clothing from Levi’s, ROMP and Just Jeans. That’s enough to put a strain in my AUD30 a week allowance from my parents. I did not have a AUD500 a week allowance or a gold Visa card that my friends had from their parents. And despite how I ask/beg/plead my parents, they simply wouldn’t budge. Money no enough. I need more money.

So what’s an 18 year old boy gonna do when he has no money? Work at McDonald’s? Wash toilets? Prostitute myself to rich housewives or *gasp* gay lords? No no no no no. I had to return to my nerdy roots. I rememberer how I tutored Wendy before and I enjoyed it. I decided to do it again, and this time round I will ask for $$$.

Kenny and Sylvia Ngooi

Kenny and Sylvia – WA Multicultural Week 2000 Opening Ceremony

I put up an ad offering tutoring services in Physics and Mathematics for high school students. It didn’t take long for a father of a Year 12 student to respond to my ad. My first client. Damn I was nervous. I was shaking when he called and spoke to me. This father was no easy person to deal with. He wanted the best tutor for his child, and he would accept no one without first asking for their resume. A resume?! I don’t even have a resume! I was 18 for God’s sakes! I hastily prepared one, listed all those big big awards I won and faxed it over to him.

Luckily he liked what he saw, and he asked me to meet him at his place so he can introduce me to his daughter, Esther Lee. Did I hear daughter? I was secretly smiling inside. The initial meeting went well. It was supposed to be a meeting to evaluate her progress in Physics so far, but to me it felt more like going for a matchmaking service. I was so nervous I trembled everytime I talked. It didn’t help the fact that Esther is Korean and looked naturally beautiful. We agreed to meet for 2 hours every week at Garden City library, and I charged her AUD20 per hour for the Physics tutoring. It was still the best job ever – I get paid to hang out with a pretty girl to talk about topics that’s second nature to me.

Then I committed another sin. I took my first pay, went to Garden City shopping center and bought a Tommy Hilfiger perfume. Then it became a terrible addiction. My next one was Burberry Weekend, then cK Eternity, then Davidoff Coolwater, then DKNY Man and next thing you know I have this huge collection of perfume in my bathroom and no money left in my wallet. I don’t even know how the heck I was going to finish using all these perfume. I think if I were to go into the coffin and it I still all these perfume left, I want to be sprayed with all of them first before they put the lid over me.

Guild Elections

Guild Elections 2000 – Team eXpect

Anyway, near the end of the 2000, two life-changing events occurred. The first was that I ran and won the Student Guild (student union) elections for the position of International Student Committee Convenor (president), thus beginning my first serious step into student politics, and also marking the first leadership role I took. Just for the record, it wasn’t as bad or as boring as it sound. 🙂 But I’ll spare you from the pain and write about it in the next instalment. Heh.

The second occurred in an mirc internet chatroom #ironic which Wendy had introduced to me a while back. (Yes, in the olden days, there were no blogs and the only way for people to socialise online was through mirc.) I had been popping into this channel sporadically back then. Most of the time I was inundated with ‘asl’ when I went online and finished with a ‘gtg’ after 3 lines of conversation.

One day, I was helping a friend of mine do a survey, so I was privately messaging each chatter and asking him/her some questions. Unfortunately for me, I was mistaken as a pervert and subsequently banned from the channel by an operator nicknamed sapphire`LiL`aNgeL. I wasn’t happy. So I asked for mercy. She unbanned me, and strangely enough we began talking. I introduced myself as Kenny…


…And she introduced herself as Nicole. 🙂

I Feel Like Swallowing Myself

Recently, I offended a blogger. Judging by the depressing mood of her entries, its obvious she’s going through a hard time after a breakup. I’ve never met this blogger. In fact, I don’t even know who she is. I was just concerned that she treated herself unhealthily to get through it. So, smart Kenny left a comment on one of entries. I wrote “Its just a break up. Its not the end of the world.”
She shut down her blog the next day.
Its not the first time I offended someone I barely even knew. I have this stupid habit of saying something too honest and too frank straight out of my mouth, most of the time without thinking. Then straight after I said it, I regreted immediately. I just wanted to curl myself up into a ball, lock myself away and throw away the key.

I’m interested to know if any of you have a similar experience. Have you or someone you know said something that you immediately regret the second after it came out of your mouth? Something that makes you want to swallow yourself up. If you have, comment, or blog an entry on it. 🙂 If not, gee… thanks for making me feel bad as I am already.

When I was 15, I used to work at a local supermarket. As it was the festive season, my working hours stretch from 8:30am to 12am. By midnight, I was exhausted. I saw a middle aged man walked into the store. He wanted to buy a bag of rice, but he couldn’t make up his mind which bag of rice to purchase. So I watched him as he picked up a bag of rice, placed it on the electric scales, check the weight, put it back, picked up another bag of rice, and repeat the process. It was interesting watching him so determined to find the bag with the highest net weight. So I said to him jokingly, “Come on… there can’t be that much difference in the weight anyway.”
He calmly put that bag of rice back. Then he came up to me and he just exploded. “SO WHAT? WHAT’S WRONG WITH WHAT I’M DOING? I’M JUST MINDING MY OWN BUSINESS!” And with that, he stormed out of the store whilst I was standing there red-faced. I felt like shit for the rest of the week.
Then there’s another incident when I was 16. I was invited by Jasmine, a friend of Wendy to attend her birthday party. I have heard a lot about Wendy’s group of friends, so I was quite eager to meet them all, especially a guy called Michael who happened to be the birthday girl’s crush at the time. So there we were, 15-20 of us sitting around in a circle introducing ourselves, and I asked which one is Michael. Apart from me, there were only two other guys at the party. One was slouching on the sofa, hands in pocket and a cap over his head. The other had a shaved head, skinny physique and squatting on the floor in a gorilla-like pose. I pointed to the latter and asked “Is he Michael?”. Michael smiled, and the birthday girl said “Not bad…. you’re correct, but how did you guess?”. Without thinking I replied jokingly, “Well that was easy. Michael sounded like ‘Monkey’, and he looked like a monkey so I guessed it must be him.”
There was silence for 5 seconds, but it felt like a week to me. I immediately knew I said something wrong and I just wanted to swallow myself up and vanish from the face of the Earth. Obviously Michael wasn’t happy, the birthday girl wasn’t happy, and I felt like an outcast for the rest of the evening. We met a week later for dimsum and Michael still wasn’t talking to me. I felt like crap.
Since then I tried to watch my speech. Sometimes I just can’t help myself. I wanted to joke around sometimes, but people take me a bit too seriously and I ended up offending people I barely knew.
So if anyone of you are reading this, especially Michelle, please accept my apologies. My brain went on vacation sometimes and my mouth started to act on its own. I am sorry.

Jenna Jameson’s “Moan Tone”


Here’s an interesting tidbit. Legend porn star Jenna Jameson recently released "moan tones" for your mobile phones – ringtones that moan sexually when someone called! For US$2.50 a pop, you can choose from a variety of moans, and sexual noises all recorded by the blond bombshell. Source: CNN

I would download one and give it a uhh… sound check if I can. 😉 Since I don’t know where I can get one, here’s one I created myself. If your phone supports MP3 ring tones, feel free to use it and spread it around. And no, that’s not my voice in it. Haha!

This moan tone seems to be incredibly popular because its the most requested file on my webserver. As a result, a lot of my allowed bandwidth is consumed and I am starting to pay the excess bandwidth cost out of my pocket. 🙁 If you feel that I shouldn’t be paying for your “moan tone” entertainment, please support me by making a small donation. Even $1 is enough. 🙂 Thank you!


This is probably the only ringtone you wouldn’t want to set its volume too high! As much as I agree that it is a fun and novel idea to have some porn star’s moaning sounds in place of your standard polyphonic ringtones, I shudder to think of a few examples where having moaning ringtones would create an awkward situation.

You are running late to work, and your boss is waiting at the door staring at you furiously.
Boss: *cough* And so… why were you late?
You: Sorry sorry! My girlfriend suddenly asked me to do something for her urgently! I promise I won’t be late again!

*Moaning sounds*
Boss: What was that?

You are at the cinema watching Finding Nemo with lots of kids around.
Girlfriend: Hey, have you set your phone to silent?
You: Oh crap! Not yet… where did I put my phone?
*Moaning sounds*
Innocent 4 year old boy: Mommy, how come Dory screaming so excitedly one?

You are in the bedroom when your mom comes in and gives you an impromptu sex education.
Mom: Ah boy ah, now that you’ve grown up. Mommy want to talk to you about girls. You see hah, bla bla bla bla bla…
You: Aiyooo… not again!
Mom: So that’s why, you must not have sex before marriage, because if the girl become pregnant then very mahuan one! You are still young, and…
You: Mom, actually…
*Moaning sounds*

Gives a whole new meaning to your phone’s vibration, doesn’t it? Heh.

If you can find a better use of a moaning mobile phone ringtone, let me know. 😉

Virgin Credit Card review

The 5 C’s – cash, car, condo, career and credit card. Those are the main concerns of Singaporean and increasingly, Malaysian people. Word is that if you are a male living in Malaysia/Singapore without any of the 5 C’s, you can more or less forget about having a girlfriend. Its true, girls these days are very demanding. Guys are not as demanding because us guys only need one C, and that’s Chee-B… sorry I forgot this is supposed to be a kiddie friendly site! 😉 Well, I have very little cash, I don’t own a car, I don’t have a condominium and I’ve only just gave up my career recently. Thank goodness I still have my credit card. That means I have a 1 in 5 chance of picking up a Singaporean girl!
The credit card in question is Virgin Credit Card. This is another one of Richard Branson’s venture in Australia after Virgin Blue Airlines, Virgin Mobile, V2 Music and Virgin Books, etc.
Virgin Credit Card Promotional material
One thing that immediately caught my eye is the image Virgin Credit Card is projecting. All of their promotional printed and electronic materials are in classic Virgin red and white, written in a tone that sounds like a friend in a pub talking to you. Forget about those professional Gold or Platinum credit cards that the major banks are trying to push – those are for your mom and dad. Virgin Credit Card’s target market is the 18-30 year olds hip and rich young people.
Virgin Credit Card Website
The big words in the front page of their website says it all. The most attractive thing about Virgin Credit Card is the fact that there are no annual fees and they give you up to 55 interest-free days to pay your debts. For those of you who does not yet have your own credit card, these are the two major things to look at when choosing a credit card. For those of you who are still using your daddy or partner’s credit cards, you only need to worry about how big the credit limit is. 🙂
Virgin Credit Card Approval letter
After I filled out their application form online, I attached certified copies of my driver’s license, phone bills, official letters, my most recent payslips and sent it to their reply-paid address. All these are returned to me 2 weeks later with a note saying that my credit card has been approved. Another week later I got my credit card along with a letter written in the same casual tone.

Thank you for choosing us.
Here’s your shiny new Virgin Credit Card. Please sign it immediately.
But wait, before you can use it you’ll need to call us to activate it on 1800 080 702. We’ll ask you a few questions to make sure you are who you say you are and then you’re ready to rock and roll.

The other side of this letter shows you your credit limit and contains all the other information that the legal guys said we have to include.

I called to activate it, and to my delight there’s no machine asking me to press ‘1’ to do this or that. It was 1am when I did this, and the operator was busy, so I was treated to some random Top 40 pop music while I wait, and wait, and… “We hope you’re still enjoying our funky music. Please hold and we will get to you shortly.” and wait, and wait… until the operator answered my call. After I answered all those confirmation questions, I’m ready to use my brand spanking new card.
Virgin Credit Card
The credit card is a Mastercard, and it comes with a unique rounded-corner shape. This is in tune with Virgin’s dare-to-be-different look. Actually, there’s five card colours I can choose from, but I decided to go black because I am very the sotis-phicated.
The credit limit I received is rather generous at AUD7,000. There’s no annual fee to pay, which makes people wonder how Virgin gets anything out of it. I guess they make up for that with a relatively high interest rate of 12.4%pa. However, there’s a 55 days interest free period. So as long as I am disciplined enough to pay my monthly bills in full on time, I don’t have to pay Virgin Credit Card a single cent extra.
The credit card comes with other nice rewards such as 20% discount at fancy restaurants, discounts for Virgin’s other services, plenty of shopping outlets like Sunglass Hut, etc. In my opinion that’s better than point-based rewards many other credit card uses, because I get my rewards instantly.
I say this is the best value credit card I have known and I doubt I can find any other deals that can beat it.

What happened when I tendered my resignation

With my heavy heart pounding, I handed in my letter of resignation today to my two bosses. I never knew it could be so difficult. Handing over a letter to resign from a job you love so much is much more difficult than handing over a love letter to your high school crush.

I can see it from their reaction. Gary’s first word out of his mouth was "What?", followed by a long "Noooooooo!". I have only worked with him for almost a year, but he has rewarded me with so much. It is clear that he has long term plans for me to stay with the company. I felt bad for leaving them just when the company is gaining momentum and rapidly expanding.

Julie’s reaction is totally unexpected. Bear in mind that Julie used to be a teacher, so even at work she would behave like one. Remember that teacher you had back at school who would throw sarcastic insults at you when you didn’t do your work well? Well, Julie is that kind of a boss. What happened today was one of the very few times I saw her softer side.

Julie lost her father to cancer some years ago. As she read my letter of resignation, she started to brush droplets of tears off her eyes. Its a difficult thing to watch, because I have absolutely no intentions of upsetting her. I apologised to her for leaving. She comforted me, saying that the door is always open if I do decide to return to Perth. After a while, she left the room. I found her in front of the tissue box heavily sobbing. My heart melted. Obviously I had unintentionally reminded her of her father. With trembling voice, Julie said to me that she totally understand why I had to leave – she’s been through the same thing. When her father was sick, she used to stay at her father’s place every single night until he passed away. She told me that everyone at Spectra will miss me and I promised that I will keep her updated after I return to Kuching.

Back on , I am simply amazed by the outpour of well wishers after I posted my previous two entries. Its nice to know that I am not out of my mind making such a major decision. I hope I don’t dampen the mood of this blog too much. If you have read my previous entries you would have realised that I am trying to keep things positive here. Staying positive might just make going through this ordeal a little bit easier for me.

Which is exactly the reason why for my next entry, I will stop writing about all these things and start writing about that one elusive thing so wonderful and so special it makes everyone, male and female, happy. Have a nice guess what it is, and stay tuned. 🙂

Letter of Resignation

Letter of Resignation to Spectra Engineering
This is it. This is the point of no return.

January 25, 2005
Dear Gary and Julie Jacobs:
Re: Resignation as Software Engineer
It is with great sorrow that I hereby tender my resignation to you. I wish to inform you that my last date of employment will be Friday, 25th February 2005.
I had hoped that this would come under more favourable circumstances. Unfortunately, my father is battling Stage IV kidney cancer. As one of his two sons, I feel that it is my obligation to be by his side. I have carefully thought this over, and decided that it is best for me to move back to my hometown in Malaysia where I can be with him.
I appreciate having the opportunity of being a member of Spectra Engineering. It is my first formal job out of University and I am proud to say that it has brought out the best in me. To say that I have learnt a lot here is an understatement. When the time comes, it will be very difficult for me to leave this big family. I thoroughly enjoyed my experience working here, and I hope that the feeling is mutual.
I should have plenty of time to complete my ongoing projects, and turn over the position to my replacement. I will also discuss with you personally to plan a smooth and seamless transition.
I look forward to being able to work with you once again.
Till then, I wish your company continued success.
Yours Sincerely,
Software Engineer

I am leaving my comfortable RM9000 a month job, my group of friends in this wonderful city called Perth, and above all else my beautiful girlfriend… to go back to Kuching. Someone please tell me I’m not insane.

The day I knew my father contracted cancer


The rest of this entry was removed due to privacy issues. If you still like to read it please send me an e-mail.


This is going to be a very difficult topic to write, if it is even possible for me to put it in words. Nonetheless, it has happened and it was the beginning of a very difficult journey for me and my family.

My father has always been a very driven man. One thing he loves as much as he loves his family is his business. When he was younger, my father was very poor. My father grew up in a time when the Japanese was occupying Borneo. In between studying and working, my father also had to take care of the rest of the family whilst his parents were at work. My grandmother used to tell me stories about how little they had to survive on, how having food on the table everyday is a difficult task. Sometimes she even had to "borrow" food from good samaritans. In his family, my father is an authorative figure that his siblings fear, yet respect.

With father at Curtin Graduation

My father is a very smart guy. My mother often told me when my father was a student, he’d always score 100 for his Maths tests whilst his classmates did poorly. His teacher would then scale up everyone’s scores by 10 points. However because my father had already hit 100 points, the teacher would ‘owe’ my father 10 points and add 10 points to his scores in later tests. Unfortunately, my father kept on getting 100 points for his Maths tests right until the end of the year. I saw his end of the year report cards which read: "Maths: 100% + 30%". Unlike the luxuries that I enjoy right now, my father did not have any tertiary education.Right after he finished his secondary studies, he worked as a teacher, a tutor (where he met my mom), an ICI Dulux salesperson, an insurance salesperson and so on, before he established his own company.

Even after his company achieved considerable success in Kuching, my father was relentless in his pursuit for excellence. That is very typical of him. He knows no limits and he would always find an opportunity to explore. He created hundreds of jobs and he shares his success with his less fortunate siblings. The wealth and luxuries that we enjoy right now would never be realised if he were to sit back and relax. I will not be here today if it were not for him. He single-handly turned the family from rags to riches, and these riches are not just one-off. For generations and generations to come, every single person in my family would enjoy the fruit of his labour. And that’s how significant his contribution is.

With father skiing in Korea

Beginning July 2004, my father began to experience some bizzare symptoms. We all noticed that he lost some weight and was easily fatigued, which we all dismissed as being work-related stress. My mother had to send his trousers to the tailor to adjust for his declining waist size. His company was rapidly expanding into North-East Malaysia, and he would work through day and night. We didn’t think much of it. After all, when he was in Perth he’d usually undergo a series of health check-ups. Usually the results turns up ok or average, but nothing life-threatening. For me back then, my life wasn’t all that interesting. I was working, I enjoyed it, everything’s ok. But its usually when you start feeling that way that life throws you a curve ball. Oh how I wish I can say that everything is ok now.

Up until 26th October 2004, my father had lost a total of 11kg. I still remembered a conversation we had on the dining table. My mother was visibly worried that my father had lost so much weight, and she was telling my father that.
Dad: "Its ok. I’ve always wanted to lose some weight because I’m fat."
Mom: "…"
Dad: "You see Kenny also lost 11kg but you didn’t say anthing."
Mom: "That’s different! He went to the gym and diet like crazy."
I advised my father to go for a thorough medical check-up, he’d already made an appointment for the next day and that was that. We watched Troy together on DVD and didn’t think much of it.

At sister's wedding

At 5:25pm on the 27th October 2004, I was at work and counting down the minutes to 5:30pm. My brother logged on to MSN Messenger and messaged me. "Can you come home right now? Its urgent." he wrote. "I’m coming home in 5 minutes time. Why? What’s so urgent?" I replied. "Papa has cancer."

My father was diagnosed with cancer. I was heartbroken.

I can’t describe how I felt. Those who have experienced the pain of being helplessness, and those who have been through the thought of losing someone close would know exactly what I was feeling. Those who haven’t, let’s just hope you never have to go through it yourself.

How? Why? How could it happen so suddenly? Million of thoughts went through my head as I rushed back home. I opened the door, and saw my mom. I hugged her and she couldn’t stop crying and I couldn’t stop crying. Everyone was feeling upset. My dad wakes up from his nap. “???, ??? (Nothing’s wrong, nothing’s wrong)” he said. Ironically he’s the only person in the family who felt positive – maybe he was just putting up a brave face to comfort us and I appreciated that. We watched The Day After Tomorrow on DVD together, but as if I had the mood to watch.

Sea World, Gold Coast, Australia

After we watched, we talked. My dad said that the results from the afternoon was very surprising. He did not have the symptoms that’s typical of a cancer, eg. traces of blood in the urine. He described that our life here is a holiday destination. My dad has made the most of it, and he is happy with what he has accomplished. He is glad that my brother has shown so much interests in the family business and that I’m starting to show interest as well. Now that his holiday is almost over, he is happy to pack his bags and leave.

A further diagnosis with CT scanning showed that a tumour the size of an orange on one of his kidney. The cancer had since spreaded to both his lungs. Many doctors have expressed negativity. However, we do not want to keep our hopes down. We’ve all been feeding him with stories of cancer survivors. Sometimes we should not underestimate the power of hope. My family was upset that at 56 years old he’s already facing this situation.

En Route to Perth

On November 2004, he returned to Kuching for the first time since he knew that he contracted kidney cancer. He essentially said to the company that he founded about his situation. It was an emotional scene, but the last thing that my father wants to see is people feeling sad and thinking that he would not be back. He kept saying that he will be back to lead the company and spend time with family and friends back home.

I felt sorry for my dad. I feel upset because my father has been supporting me all my life from the day I’m born till now. I have only just started working, just beginning to earn my own income, and just when I wanted to start repaying my debts to him, when I received news like that.

Meanwhile, I ask that you treat your parents well everyday. Life is full of surprises. We don’t want to wait till its too late to show our gratitude to our parents.

Random Amusing Little Things

I gained a lot of weight when I was in Kuching. All those deep fried lok lok and oyster omelettes didn’t do my gut any good. So, I am trying to get my weight back to what it was before.
I woke up early this morning because I wanted to go for my run in the park near my place. But as soon as I opened the door a strong smell of smoky wind swooshed to my face. I turned on the radio and heard this… Perth is hit by the worst haze ever. God does not permit me to lose weight. Fine.
Went to work today. Saw my workmates having a smoking break and having a smokers’ chat. I overheard them talking.
S: “This haze thing is horrible isn’t it? I hope it doesn’t go on for too long.”
R: “Yeah. I can imagine its going to be a serious health issue.”
Yes, smart analysis indeed.
Fitness First
I love Fitness First. Especially the Pilates instructor on Friday evening. She’d turn on some soothing new age music and ask you to breathe deeply. I never knew hearing someone breathing can be so interesting. Then she’d ask who’s new to the class so she can pay special attention to them. I don’t know why but I put up my hand everytime.
Anyway, I was in the men’s toilet. There’s a long stretch of urinal and no one was there. So I went to the corner-most urinal, unzipped my pants and started to do my business there. Then there’s this big buff muscular guy comes along, and out of soooooo many other urinals, he chose the one right next to me.
I almost cannot perform. My urinating that is.
Where’s the unspoken men’s toilet etiquette gone to? The last thing I want to happen when I’m urinating is some guy standing next to me, looking over his shoulder to my side with the wow-factor in his eyes.
I walked past a sushi shop one day. Guess what I saw on their shopfront?
Sushi pillows
Pillow cushions made to look like sushis! Leave it up to the Japanese to come up with wacky cute little novelty things.
Stupid SMS
I received another stray SMS. Someone’s seriously mistaken my phone number for someone else’s. Either that or when some guy tried to pick up a girl called Natasha, and she gave him my number instead. Regardless, its starting to get annoying though interesting.
The message reads…

Aussie day party at steve ‘frenchie’ greffe’s. Starts midday never stops! Villa boys only.. Any girls welcome:) Seeya there. Love steve and pete:)

Pete? Couldn’t be this Pete here could it? Man, these stoners…
Speaking of stoners, check out this headline in today’s TheStar online.
Muslim stoners
Very misleading. Take note journalism students.

Reflections on Perth – 1998

6 weeks left.

So here’s more of me reminiscing the good ol’ days. I know these will be very dry and uninteresting reads and I’ll probably lose whatever pitiful amount of readers I have left, but its important to me to write it down because its a memoir, things that I still remember now and I don’t want to forget when I leave Australia. I seriously don’t expect anyone to read it, much less comment on it. So please bear with me while I write my thoughts down. 🙂

Note once more that the images are mere placeholders and is not related with the text in anyway. I’ll scan appropriate pictures in once I return to Kuching.


Perth skyline shot

The year is 1998. Viagra was released on the market, giving spam e-mailers something to annoy people with. BJ Habibie became Indonesian president, which I still think is the cutest name for a president until Susilo "Bang Bang, you’re dead" Yudhoyono comes along. Gossip mags were still talking about Princess Diana. And Bill Clinton said "I did not have sexual relations with that woman, Miss Lewinsky."

Year 12 in Beaufort College were more or less the same for me. I was still a target for bullying. I was still having my silly little crush on Vicky. And the friendship I shared with my gang grew stronger by the day.

Perth skyline shot

At 16, I became more aware of the social ills around me. Sex, drugs and gang fights were still new to me and to hear about it happening to people I know at high school was a rude awakening. One of the more amazing ones I’ve heard is this. In the boarding house at school, the girls stayed on the 2nd floor while the guys stayed on the 1st floor. Girls are not allowed on the guys floor and vice versa. So in the middle of the night, the girls would go out to the balcony, climbed over the railings and dropped down to the guy’s balcony, have sex, then climbed back up onto 2nd floor again. Truth or urban myth I have no idea, but that’s what they say™ .

There’s on little incident happened that year that puzzled me. I caught a not-so-close friend of mine crying in the men’s room. When I asked him what’s wrong, he said "My stupid parents lah. They wanted to cut my allowance from AUD500 to AUD200 a week. Crazy lah! How can I survive?". Yes, it must be very difficult to survive on a AUD500 a week budget, considering you spent AUD50 from arcade games, AUD200 in the casinos and the rest of the money doing God knows what. Some people have it too easy.

Prom photo

Something amazing happened to me mid-year in 1998. For reasons I can’t explain, I suddenly lost a lot of weight. Around the same time I ditched the glasses that I wore religiously for the past 5 years and went for contact lenses. Suddenly there’s chatters about some girls liking me or something, though I did not pay much attention to them. I went to our high school prom night wearing an expensive *cough*hired*cough* suit. Next thing I know I was actually nominated as the Beau of the prom. Seriously, if you were to say to me 12 months earlier that I am Beau material, I’d laugh at you showing my crooked teeth and double chin. I didn’t win, though I did get to dance with a very pretty Year 11 girl from China. It was my first time holding a girl I don’t call ‘Mom’ so close to me, so that was interesting 🙂 – except I don’t even remember what her name is now.

Family photo

I had a major argument with my parents regarding the choice of my career. "This is my life and I can choose what I want to do. All you think is yourself and your business, what about me?" These are stinging remarks I said to my parents and the thought of it hurts me till today because my father actually still remembered what I said. I told him that I wanted to study a technology-oriented course at University. Being a entrepreneur himself, he’d rather see his son study Commerce, be his right-hand man and take on the family business. My father replied, "Doesn’t matter if you don’t want to study Commerce. Doesn’t matter if you don’t want to take on the family business. I can always sell the business off anyway. I can’t take it with me to my coffin." Considering the circumstances now, I really wished he didn’t say that.

DUX shot

Academically I didn’t do too bad, since I was one of those boring straight-A students that everyone hate but parents like to rave to their auntie-auntie friends about. I graduated from Beaufort College as the DUX of 1998 after achieving top marks in all four Maths and Science subjects, did my parents proud and secured the title as the uber-nerd of the nerds. The DUX title did do me some justice though, because the bullying stopped almost immediately. The first time I bumped into Hazis after I won the title, he actually said hi to me. Apprently you gained some sort of temporary celebrity status when you’re DUX.

Wendy shot

It didn’t seem significant when it happened, but when I returned to Kuching that year I was appointed an ambassador (fancy word for "marketing tool") for Beaufort College. The consequence of this was that I was introduced to a girl called Wendy. Wendy is my age, studied at St Theresa and was about to do Year 12 in Beaufort soon. I was asked to help polish up her Maths skills, so I started to tutor her. With her being from an all-girls school and me being freshly officially rejected by Vicky after I confessed my feelings to her, my relationship with Wendy blossomed quite rapidly. It was actually her that introduced me to mirc and the channel #ironic which we would use to keep in touch when we’re not *ahem* studying Maths. Anyway, ugly things happened between Wendy and I in the end, but the fact that I knew about #ironic actually became important later on as it was through that channel that I met someone who virtually changed my life.

RALPH Magazine February 2005 Review

I’m not sure if its just me or what, but it seems like seems to attract female readers only. Of course, that’s not necessarily a bad thing (in fact its a bloody good thing), but I’d like to know if there are male readers to this site. Well, here’s an entry to try to get things started anyway.

Ralph Magazine is a very popular lad’s mag in Australia. For those who are not familiar, lad’s magazine (or lad’s mag) like FHM, Maxim or Loaded, are founded in the UK, and they serve as men’s answer to Cleo or Cosmpolitan magazines. These magazines usually rely heavily on attractive models or celebrities dressed in skimpy clothing to sell. Supposedly, this allows them to be classified as Men’s Lifestyle Magazines, which makes them more respectable than magazines like Playboy or Penthouse which are usually classified as filth or porno mags.
Unfortunately in Malaysia, only FHM is available despite it being heavily toned down to satisfy Malaysia’s “Sex = Bad” censorship board. Personally I prefer FHM Singapore although it is still holding back on its more risque content.
Whilst magazines like FHM has gone international, Ralph is unique because it is published in Australia and features mostly Australian content. Like others of its kind, it is printed on high quality glossy paper – not bad for a AUD7.95 mag. Apart from photos of near-naked ladies its usual content includes beer, sex, sports, unusual news, more beer, more sex and a good deal of men’s humour. Articles and interviews are usually written in a very casual manner, which makes it a fun read even for men with the lowest IQ, which happens to be most men, like myself.
Anyway, let’s have a look at the current issue of RALPH in all its glory.

The current issue of Ralph features Tara Reid on its front cover, fresh from her wardrobe malfunction a while ago. She’s trying to make her boobs look bigger I might add… notice how she’s leaning forward and squeezing them with the inside of her arms. Just thought I might point that out for the benefit of boob-obsessed Kim.
Ralph photographers are famous for their taking photos of ladies placing a thumb in the undies. A flip through the current issue of Ralph magazine reveals the a large number of these types of photos. Like this picture of the “Page 29 Girl”, which honestly is the lamest title I’ve ever heard.

Another thumb-in-the-undie shoot, featuring this issue’s “Girl Next Door” whom apparently does not live next door to me.

I think having a thumb-through-the-undie makes them look like they’re gonna remove it or something. Such a tease. This issue’s “Discovery Girl” also has that thumb-through-the-undie syndrome.

Oooh, more! Such as these. No wonder feminists complain women are being increasingly treated as sex objects.

And another one of Ralph’s heavily Photoshopped models…

Seriously this is not a porno mag. Doesn’t anyone believe me?
Ralph usually has great one-liners to accompany their photos.

The current issue has a feature article that pays homage to popular sidekicks. For some reason this entry cracks me up so much.

Towards the end of the magazine, there’s an abundant of ads targeted towards men. By that I meant ads for dirty phone calls or sms. Dirty sms you say? Why would anyone actually pay to send and receive dirty smses for $4.50 a pair!? For all I know the person maybe some sweaty 60-year-old dude in his boxers watching some gay porn whilst replying my sms!

Interestingly, there’s a sealed section in this month’s mag.

Ralph kindly explains “Unfortunately, we can’t show you the raciest pictures – the ones that take a year off our lives everytime we look at them – unless we do this nify ‘sealed section’ trick to stop you opening that part of the mag in the newsagency and giving five pensioners heart attacks.” Thank you, Ralph. I flipped through the sealed section and find myself very enlightened indeed. Let’s just say that I’d like to preserve this site’s kiddie-friendly status. 😉 Anyway, I decided to pop the sealed section into the recycle bin just in case Nicole finds out and cooks me alive in my Kambrook Omelette Maker.
The rest of the magazine features news and articles on boy’s toys, entertainment reviews, best beaches and pubs in Australia, a pretty good style and fashion tips section, and finishes off with some steamy erotic story guaranteed to give an old man a hard on without the need for viagra.
All in all, makes for a fun and interesting read! Too bad they don’t carry Ralph in Malaysia. Stupid censorship board…

Those Singaporeans sure are damn serious about their health.
Osim iSqueez foot massager

Osim iSqueez – Squeeze your legs (and maybe other body parts) for better health.

Osim iSqueez is yet another item in the list of many products that popularizes the use of small letter ‘i’ in the name, after Apple’s iPod, Helwett-Packard’s iPaq and George W Bush’s iRaq. The iSqueez (yes, that’s the correct spelling – no ‘e’ at the end) is a foot massage gizmo that, according to them, is “specially created to relief the negative effects of everyday stress on your feet and restore your overall sense of well-being”.
Osim iSqueeze price tag

At RM1,388 the Osim iSqueez does not come cheap.

Someone bought one of these baby as a gift to my father, which costs RM1,388 from the Osim outlet in Tun Jugah Shopping Mall. Unfortunately my father prefers a real foot reflexologist than some thousand dollar gadget. There are other types of foot massagers available, but I reckon most of them should be marketed under “Foot Tickler” label instead.
Osim iSqueeze back of the box

Osim iSqueez’s package looks very inviting.

The back of the box brags about the foot massager even further. “The revitalizing massage relaxes and restores, giving you that extra bounce in your steps, just like walking on clouds!” Heh. Man! Walking on clouds? The last time I heard someone THAT boastful is when I told people I wear XL size condoms.
Well, I like the overall design of the packaging. Props to the designer to come up with such a nice colour scheme. Oh, did I mention that it has a similar colour scheme to Heh, it is a good colour scheme I tell you, white and light blue.
Anyway, the box itself already look pretty very inviting to the wallet. Of course, a few pictures of some nice smooth pair of legs wouldn’t hurt either. 🙂
Different ways of using the Osim iSqueeze

Different ways of using the Osim iSqueez.

There’s many different ways of using the foot massager. I would think that the most common way to use it is with you sitting down on a chair or sofa. Considering how heavy it is, I don’t think its something you would want to use lying down. After all if you happen to doze while using it, you might very well kick that lug of a thing down to the floor and break it.
Osim iSqueeze Actual photo
And here’s the actual photo of the Osim iSqueez. You are forgiven if you mistaken it for a toaster.
There are handles on two sides of the unit. Too bad there’s not much use of them considering the iSqueez is about as heavy as a PC, and you won’t be carrying it around much. Unless you wanna show it off to people, Singaporean style.
Osim iSqueeze Actual photo
The product is sturdy and well constructed. There’s two slots where you insert your feet and that’s where the action begins. These slots are covered with removable pieces of cloth, which you can (and should) wash regularly.
Osim iSqueeze Actual photo
All the buttons you need are located at the top part of the unit, one each for power, vibration and kneading (squeezing). You can set the strength of vibration to high or low (auto will alternate between the two), and the strength of kneading action (1 for strongest).
Osim iSqueeze Actual photo
So let’s see how the Osim iSqueez fare in action.
With the power off, I put my feet down into the slots (Pardon the hairy legs). The base and sides of the slots are uneven, but comfortable. The best way to describe the sensation is if you imagine yourself barefoot standing on a riverbank full of rounded rocks and pebbles.
Then, I set to vibration level to high. 🙂
Osim iSqueeze vibrating

Sorry, that was a bit of an exaggeration. How did it go? I felt like I’m wearing a vibrating condom of each of my feet. Nothing to shout about. I get exactly the same effect by rapidly shaking my legs whilst sitting down.
So I enabled the kneading action and set it to the second most powerful setting available.
Osim iSqueeze kneading in action

Excuse me while I return from heaven.
I doubted it initially, but I have to say… OH MY GOD, IT FELT SO FOOKING GOOD IT WAS ORGASMIC!!!
No, I did not wet my chair.
The first thing that happened as soon as I activated the kneading option, was the walls of the slots pressing in towards my lower legs. It felt very tight. At this point I felt as if I was wearing Nicole’s boots, comfy but darn tight.
Then the action began. Balls of silicone rolled onto my feet, my ankles and my calves. All of them focussing on the right pressure points. Within seconds, I was already lying back on the chair with my eyes closed, snoozing. Without looking, it really felt like two giant hands squeezing my feet, ankles and calves simultaneously. At this point, I started to wonder if I’m still straight, gay or machine-lover. It felt so painful, so sore, yet so pleasurable. (What the foot am I talking about here?)
There’s only one issue when something so magical works on you – you keep screaming “more! More! MORE!”. Although the iSqueez was touching me at all the right spots on my lower-legs, I was hoping it could do something about my toes and the base and roof of my feet. Those are the areas that need massages as well, and they seem left out from all the action.
After 5 minutes of massaging on the same spot, I started to feel rather sore and uncomfortable. I turned the power off, tried to get up and walk, but I floated instead because my feet felt so light. Seems like Osim wasn’t lying when they said you would feel like you’re walking on clouds.
Osim iSqueeze makes you walk in the clouds!
Stupid iSqueez. Damn you for being so fucking comfortable!
Anyway, is this thing worth RM1,388? I don’t know. I think its quite expensive for something that’s good for one thing. It feels good initially, yes, but you do get sore after a while so its not particularly relaxing or addictive.
Then again, that’s just my personal opinion. Honestly, its not something I would want to buy for myself because I know its probably just gonna sit there and gather dust after a while. I won’t be surprised if Osim follows Apple’s foodsteps and perhaps come up with Osim iSqueez photo (lets you take pictures of yourself in heaven) or Osim iSqueez mini (portable lightweight version of the iSqueeze). Then again, I wouldn’t hold my breath. 🙂
That said, I so totally love the idea of a foot massager that squeezes your legs. I’m not kidding when I said that it feels really good and it really relaxes you. Shoppers who frequent enormous shopping malls like those in KL and Perth would really appreciate this nifty gadget. If you have some spare RM1,388 lying around, then get it.
Now…. if only Osim can come up with something similar for my manhood……