Welcome To Hell

In New Zealand, if you want to eat pizzas, you can go to Hell.

No wait! Don’t shut down this window! I wasn’t scolding you!
What I mean is… there’s this very popular pizza chain store in New Zealand. And it’s called Hell.

The pizza business is very competitive in NZ. With the dominating Pizza Hut, Pizza Haven and Domino’s all vying for the slice of the pie pizza in the market, the consumers are literally spoilt for choice.
Already, pizza prices are as low as they can get due to hellacious competition. Newcomers can only dream of making ends meet. To get themselves noticed, someone gotta come up with something different.

Even Hell has opening hours. Cannot anyhow come at anytime one you know?

Along comes Hell Pizzas with a pretty interesting concept that sets itself apart from the rest.
I paid a visit to Hell when I was in New Zealand.

This is what Hell looks like.
What the hell? Looks pretty normal to me leh. A far cry from the underworld of pain and suffering Haw Par Villa wants me to believe. Cheh, bluff people one.
But then I got a chuckle out of the brochure they handed out.

Instead of “Delivery”, they have “Deliverance”.
Instead of “All Rights Reserved”, they have “All Wrongs Reserved”.
Their hotline number is 0800 666 111, and they call it Hell Emergency. (“666” is the biblical number of the Anti-Christ and “111” is the number to dial for emergency in New Zealand.)
Hell, even their pizzas are wickedly named.

You don’t get Hawaiian Supreme or stuff like that here. Instead, Hell has got a wide selection of pizzas, including a series named after the 7 deadly sins.
In Hell, you can walk in and ask for Trouble and no one’s gonna laugh at you. But if you do that in Malaysia, you’re gonna leave the shop with a set of broken teeth.

Amazingly, you can even order Holy Water in Hell.

I ordered a “Wrath” just for the hell of it, and it came in this kind of pizza box.

Hypersensitive people will look at it and go “WHOA! SUAY AH! GOT COFFIN ONE!” Actually, I find it very humourous.
Their pizza tastes pretty yummy too.

Best of all, when I finished the delicious pizza, the side of the box asked me to “dispose of the evidence”. Hehe.

Props up to the Kiwis for coming up with something so creative and funny. It makes me wonder if a similar concept can be brought over to Malaysia.

Behold, Hell Kolo Mee!

Hmmm… probably not. 😛
Happy Halloween, everybody!

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She’s Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell

Up until a few years ago I was working as a private tutor in my spare time, giving tuition lessons to high school and University kids on maths and science subjects.

Back then, I always noticed there are usually two types of students.
The first one would hire me to teach them. I had to go through every single tiny detail with them, right down to the basics that everyone should’ve known. They are the ones who hardly pay attention in class, probably skipped a few of them. But when exams come around the corner, they panicked like their arse cheeks are glued together.
Out of desperation, they reached down into their parents’ deep pockets and threw money at me, asking me to stay back till 3 in the morning so they could catch up with their studies. I wouldn’t have agreed if it weren’t for the money. Sometimes they even expected me to skip my own classes to accomodate for their gross incompetence.
And when they finally got their exam results, they happily said to me, “thank you Kenny, you made me PASS my papers.”
I do not feel any sense of accomplishment with such students. I just feel tulan.

The second type of students would hire my services to learn. I hardly see them around, but prior to their exams, they called me up for a one-hour session. Normally I’d stay longer because they’re such a joy to teach. These ones did all the hard work themselves. They only called me up when they tried everything they could in their capacity but still couldn’t solve some of the harder questions. The difference is, they attempted to stand on their own two feet before calling for help.
Guess who had better results in the end?

Yvonne Foong reminds me of the second type of students I used to teach. The 20-year-old KL girl is being diagnosed with Neurofibromatosis.
You don’t have to know how to pronounce it. You just need to know it is a rare genetic disorder which causes patient to grow tumours on nerves, on the brain and along the spinal cord. The patient will experience symptoms of nausea, balance problems, partial facial paralysis, and most importantly the loss of hearing. There is no cure for this disorder.

When I met up with Yvonne late last year, she has already lost her sense of hearing. Part of her face was obviously affected as well. We communicated writing on a piece of paper and passing to and fro, like primary school kids.
Can you imagine living a life in complete silence?
It is difficult to comprehend what Yvonne is going through. I would think that anybody undergoing such a predicament would obviously be depressed and find it difficult to go on with life.

But Yvonne is not anybody. Her disorder is rare, which means very few doctors in Malaysia specialising in this field. The cost of treatment is outside of what she could afford. But that girl is not taking this shit lying down.
Through intensive research and information gathering, Yvonne managed to track down a Dr Friedman in California, one of the few doctors in the world who could help regain her hearing without damaging her nerves causing facial disfiguration. Best of all,he agreed to perform the complicated surgery on her, free of charge.
All she needed to do is raise enough funds to cover travel and hospital expenses – a hefty RM216,000 thus far.

Instead of sitting there waiting for help to come to her, Yvonne started a series of projects to raise funds for her surgery. She designed and sold T-shirts, organised a rock concert, and even wrote a book on her experiences dealing with NF2.
If you can, pick up a copy of her book at your nearest bookstore. Otherwise, you may generously donate to Yvonne’s medical fund. Her book is titled “I’m Not Sick, Just A Bit Unwell”. For a book written by a first-timer, it was doing pretty good.
So good it was sold out and restocked in some MPH bookstores.

As of writing, Yvonne Foong is in California, having just completed the all-important surgery by Dr Friedman. There has been no updates from her since the day of the surgery. If all goes well, hopefully she could be listening to music, watching movies without subtitles and hearing people talk once again.

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Bahasa Malaysia Is A Fine Language

In a news that flew under the radar of most Malaysians, a garblement officer – the same dude who reprimanded actress Sharifah Amani for speaking English instead of her mother tongue during an award ceremony – has come out to declare that it is now illegal to use Bahasa Malaysia incorrectly, such as mixing it with English.

This is big. In case you don’t understand the gravity of the situation, words such as “MyKad” and “Cyberjaya” could now considered illegal and a finable offence, because they combine English and Bahasa Malaysia words together.
To help enforce this new ruling, the garblement will set up a special “National Language Unit” to clamp down on offenders. After the first warning, “criminals” would be slapped with a whooping RM1,000 fine if found guilty .

You must think that I’m joking, but I’m not.
With a RM1,000 fine, incorrectly using Bahasa Malaysia is now officially a more dangerous offence compared to speeding and running red lights. Although no specific mention were made about what the garblement is gonna do with the fine, I am guessing that these money will go into educating repeat offenders on the correct usage of Bahasa Malaysia and helping them settle back into real life.

The only consolation with this new ruling is that it covers signboards and displays only. But you know and I know that it is only a matter of time before the ruling includes everyday speeches as well. When that happens, imagine the tactics garblement is gonna employ to track down on offenders.

Thanks to Jojo for appearing in this sketch.

“Miss, do you want this? It’s clear, ok? I give you discount lah!”

“You want it? I have more. Lord of the Rings? Finding Nemo? Mr and Mrs Smith?”

Damn men-siasoi-kan.

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LG KG810 Chocolate Phone Review

LG makes sexy phones, and one of the latest additions to the Korean’s bevy of beauties is the LG KG810 Chocolate phone.

I was sent a review unit of the new KG810, and this one truly knocks my socks off. The KG810 retains much of its specifications from its predecessor, just that instead of sliding out, this one flips open. The change in design allows the KG810 to be slimmer and lighter compared to the original, making it no thicker than a bar of chocolate.

Presentation obviously matters a lot to LG.
Even the box packaging that the phone comes with is constructed exquisitely with a magnetic lock. It actually looks more like a gift box than the packaging of a phone. This is in stark contrast with the packaging from most other phone manufacturers, which looks like they’re made from egg carton boxes.

As mentioned earlier, the KG810 is a fashion phone. It is made to appeal to fashionistas who are style conscious and want to be seen out and about holding a luxurious phone. It is not made for geeks who want full-featured phone, camera, camcorder, laptop computer, toaster and fax machine all combined into one FAT BULKY package.

Which of these would you rather be seen in the club with?

There are phones out there made for those (they cost about RM3,000 a piece and look like a glorified bar of soap), but the KG810 is not it. You don’t wear a pair of Ferragamos to a construction site and complain when a nail pierced through your soles, because it is not made for that. Which is why I don’t understand why critics are whining about the Chocolate’s 1.3MP camera not having an expandable memory slot.
Frankly speaking 1.3MP camera and 128MB of internal memory is more than enough for a majority of people. I even took some test shots with the phone’s built-in camera.

Unedited photo taken with the LG KG810, and without the model‘s permission

And the results turn out pretty good!
The phone’s got pretty good connectivity too. If I forget to bring my camera when I’m out, I can easily Bluetooth incriminating photos taken with my phone over to my laptop, then GPRS them up the Internet.
If you have the habit of listening to MP3s on your phone, then you’ll love the KG810. The external LCD and red touch-sensitive interface, modelled after the original Chocolate, is built exactly for that purpose. Hook it up with the included earphones and you can even tune into your favourite FM radios.

What I love about the LG KG810:

  • The buttons on the keypad are smooth and velvety to touch. It gets ridiculously addictive just rolling my thumb around keypad for fun.
  • The sleek form factor and the elegant design (really, that’s the whole point of a fashion phone isn’t it?)
  • Its big big LCD screen. That makes watching famous clips like the Police Nude Squat video, Miri Schoolgirl Fight video and Tammy NYP all the more exciting.
  • The external LCD screen and touch-sensitive buttons that remain hidden unless activated.
  • Zoo Zoo Club and Sudoku. The default games comes in especially handy during my extended toilet session, now that I’m on detox.
  • It passes the kennysia.com Drop Test™. Don’t you hate the feeling when you dropped a new phone? Despite how thin it is, the KG810 is solidly built. I accidentally dropped it from a staircase once, but when I rushed to pick it up it is still working fine. There’s not even a scratch on its glossy exterior.

What the LG KG810 can improve upon:

  • The user interface can get quite a bit of getting used to.
  • The predictive text input for SMS-ing is not very good at predicting.
  • Although the built-in camera takes decent pics, its performance is a bit too sluggish for my liking. There’s a delay of about 1 second between pressing the shutter button and actually taking the photo.

If you can overlook these shortcomings like I can, then what you have is a great-looking phone to compliment your fashionable lifestyle. The LG KG810 retails for an affordable RM1,299.

I simply enjoy taking this phone for my night-outs. There’s no denying that a beauty like the KG810 looks a lot more in place in a swanky high end bar than my ugly PDA phone. I particularly love the envious look on my friends’ faces as I slip the phone out from my pocket to answer a call.
Everytime I do that, all the girls would be asking to play with my new phone afterwards.
If only I could say the same about my coconuts.

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Fortune Telling Can Sound Quite Wrong Too

Spotted at the Amarin Heavenly Thai restaurant at Midvalley Megamall, KL.

The nice restaurant has kindly provided astrological readings of one of the 12 Chinese zodiac signs, printed on their paper mats on table. This month’s sign is… The Cock.
And somehow, everything just sounded so wrong.
Possible scenario.
Girl 1: “So why did you break up with your boyfriend?”
Girl 2: “Oh. I consulted a Chinese fortune teller and he told me that we’re not really that compatible.”
Girl 1: “How come?”
Girl 2: “See, I told him my boyfriend is born in 1981. Immediately, the fortune teller said he’s a cock.”
Girl 1: “That’s not good.”
Girl 2: “Then I told him my boyfriend is born on a Tuesday. So he said he’s a fighting cock.”
Girl 1: “No wonder you two always argue.”
Girl 2: “Yalah. Finally I told him my boyfriend is born in September. And he said…”
Girl 1: “Said what?”
Girl 2: “He said my boyfriend’s a soft iron cock!” 🙁
Girl 1: !!!

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What The Fortune Teller Said

Through the guys behind the 2006 International Feng Shui Convention, I got into touch with renowned Feng Shui Master GK Ham from Penang.
Before then, the convention organisers told me that they had sent my photo to the Master, requesting him to perform facial analysis on my behalf. I am happy for them to do that, but I was curious which of my photo the organisers submitted because there were tons on my site.
To my horror, out of ALLLLL the pictures they could’ve picked, the bugger sent in this one instead.

MY GOD. Master Ham must be giggling like a schoolgirl when he saw that silly pic of me.
Regardless, he has this to say about my pretty face.

“Yin Tang (area between your eyes) area is clear, means at work you will always have noble people to help you. In problems you encounter there will always be someone around who has the will and resources to help you out. In your first part of your life 0 – 35, when you encounter problems all you need to have is patience as most of it will solve itself if you can wait.”

That is why I never tidy my messy bedroom lah. I’m hoping that it will clean up by itself if I wait what.
He went on to say.

“Prominent nose tip and nose flare, means ability to accumulate wealth before 50. Upper lips are thinner than lower lips. In career and personal life, sometimes people will find that you are too realistic in handling emotions and matters close to the heart.”

Man, he’s good. I never had anyone scrutinising my face and brought up all the details about me before.
The last time someone looked at my face this closely, I was ripped off for an overpriced facial at Bella Skin Care.
I was told to also provide Master Ham with my birthdate (they call it BaZi) so he could do something called a “Four Pillars of Destiny” analysis. I don’t even know what a “Four Pillars of Destiny” is! It sounds like some sorta bizarre Kung Fu move straight out of a WuShu comic book, together with such ancient fighting techniques as “The Hungry Hippo Eats McDonalds” or “Three Crazy Chickens Cross The Road”.

What “Four Pillars of Destiny” or BaZi actually is, is a thousand-year-old Chinese system of fortune telling based on the five elements of fire, wood, earth, metal and water. Behind it is a very technical system that only an experienced practitioner is able to decipher. To put it briefly, every person possess an element, and every period in time represents an element. If the element of person balances out the element of that period, then it is viewed as good luck.
Anyway, according to my birthdate, I am a wood.

I am wood, but doesn’t mean I’m made of wood hor.

According to the Master, wood people are like a tree – honest and straight-up, but stubborn when it comes to problems. It means I am compatible with fire and earth people, because those are the elements that balances me up.
I asked Master Ham a few questions about my long-term future. On my preference to marry late, he said “best year for you to get married is 2009, if you miss that the next possible one is 2014.”
Die. By 2014, I’ll be 32 years old liaw. What kinda girl would still want me when I’m 32! 🙁

I told him my concertn with health, and he advised, “go as easy as possible on the booze. Problems in your health is very much related to liver especially when you are 35 and onwards. If possible cut to a minimum.”
Die. How to part with my vodka! 🙁
Finally, I asked him about my career dilemma and this is what he has to say.

“Your useful element is Fire, therefore you will thrive and be happy in anything that has to do with media and technology. Blogging enables you to express yourself through technology which is a natural attraction and also a good choice. Things you should be wary of is print media. Publishing and conventional writing is not something you will like if you dive into it fully.”

“Going overseas, I would suggest Down Under as it is South (Fire). KL is also good as it is the central part of Peninsular, central is represented by the Earth element. Retail is not so suitable, as it is more of Water and Metal element. Plus you are not suitable to get into partnership if you decide to go into business. 2008 and 2009 will good year if you decide to change your environment.”

Matilah! Even the Feng Shui Master is asking me to go back to Australia!

Master GK Ham is one of the speakers at the upcoming International Feng Shui Convention, to be held in Singapore on the 4-5 November. He will be joined by 18 other well-known Feng Shui Masters from around the world in the largest English-speaking convention of its kind. This truly is set to be an enlightening experience of a lifetime.
What lies ahead in year 2007? How do you read a person’s face? How do you use BaZi to analyse your relationship between friends and family members?
As an exclusive special for kennysia.com readers, book now and receive an immediate 5% discount off the registration fees.

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LG White Chocolate Fashion Phone Giveaway

Remember that delicious LG Chocolate I reviewed a while back?
Hot off the success of the original Black Temptation series slider phone, LG has added two new flavours to their highly popular Chocolate line-up. If black is not your poison, you now have the option of showing off your LG Chocolate in a stunning iPod-esque white or the girly baby pink.

The new White and Pink Chocolate phones retain the same design and functionality as their predecessor, including its minimalistic ultra-slim design, glossy smooth finish and that signature smouldering red navigation touch pad which made the LG Chocolate so popular in the first place. Imagine how many heads you’re gonna turn with this phone in your hot little hand.
Do you want it?
Because I have one LG White Chocolate to give away.

It’s an LG Chocolate. It is white. White represents virginity.

Yes, after photobooks, concert tickets and Croc shoes, kennysia.com is giving away one brand new LG White Chocolate fashion phone, especially for you.
It doesn’t get any better than this.
Question is, how much do you want it? How far would you go to have this sleek little gadget couriered to your door steps? How desperate are you to win this prize?

The naughty side of me was thinking of making people do outrageous stunts to win this prize, like writing “I LOVE KENNYSIA.COM” with a red marker on their forehead and then storm through shopping malls naked. But let’s make it easier and less traumatic lah. To be in the running, all you need to do is post a comment below answering this question.
“Is there a desperate addict in your life?”
What I am looking for are real life stories of crazy things desperate people do to win a boy or a girl’s heart.

This contest idea is inspired by Cheesie’s marriage proposal from that weirdo John, who was so desperate for her he printed Cheesie’s photos off her blog and place it next to the Bible.
Do you know someone who did something outrageous, bizarre, stalkish or even “borderline criminal” to try to impress you? Who knows, maybe you are a desperate addict yourself? Tell us all!
Most hilarious story wins the prize.

Contest closes 11:59pm Friday 17th November and you must include your valid email address when posting your comment. Note that prizes will be mailed out to Malaysian addresses ONLY.
Careful, if you win this LG White Chocolate, everyone is gonna envy you and you’re gonna end up with MORE desperate addicts around you.

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Kuching Vs Perth Dilemma

Few weeks ago I received a short, but sweet text message from my ex-boss in Perth.

My jaw fell to the ground. I struggled to pick it up.
It is a very huge sum, something I could only dream earning of at the moment. I was offered a salary that only people who have worked their arses off for ten, fifteen years would be getting. And right now it’s sitting right in front of me within reaching distance. The figure is more than double of what I am earning in Kuching right now. That means I could buy my own house, drive my own car, fill up my savings account and reach my financial goals twice as fast.
If I wanted to.

About two years ago, I left my former job as a software engineer for a radio base station manufacturer in Australia to return home to be with my father. It was a difficult decision at the time, but one that I made without any regrets. We packed our bags, sold off 8 years worth of everything and moved back to Kuching.
A chapter was closed. A new page begun.
Fast forward 18 months later, I have more of less settled down in my new job, kickstarted a few projects and even managed to get the ball rolling. Thanks to the popularity of this blog, my social circle within Malaysia and around the region expanded considerably.

Within a few short months, I went from a nobody to a somebody. No longer do I feel lonely and without friends like I did initially. After all the drama and major changes endured last year, at least now there’s some calmness and serenity in my life.
At first, I didn’t plan to stay in Kuching for too long. I only thought of staying back temporarily just to make sure everything is alright before moving elsewhere.
It’s not that I don’t like it here. I do. But working here and living here, I just feel that there are too much restrictions in place that I had to obey, and I felt that stifle my creativity process. I love Kuching, but I feel it is not exactly the place where I could take full advantage of my youthful energy and hunger for knowledge.

Part of the reason I started kennysia.com is to have it serve as a personal creative outlet for myself. It has been extremely theurepatic for me writing here. I thought to myself “Hey, eventhough I cannot take control of my own life, at least I still have my blog which is the one thing I have 100% complete control over.”
But since I started writing here, I had been called into “the room” many times with “the powers that be” for “a discussion” because of all the “concerns” that my blog has brought about to them. Words were exchanged, tears flowed, but I was as stubborn as a brick wall. They think that I am troubled because I don’t tell them things that I do on this blog.
Well, actually I had, but no one was listening.
They asked me again what I wanted, and I told them exactly what I wanted in life. Their replies were exactly what I anticipated – that there’s nothing much I can do. They even tried to console me by explaining that “sometimes there are paths that you don’t want to walk, but because of certain events, you have to walk down that path.” After a while, I was told to stop dreaming about moving out of Kuching and just concentrate on what I have here.
Time has passed. By and large, I have mostly forgotten about Perth, although I still think about it every now and again.

The arrival of the unexpected SMS sent me into a tailspin for the rest of the day.
Suddenly, my inner desire was re-awakened. I find myself in a dilemma once again, choosing between doing the irresponsible thing of leaving home for a better life, or stay back and (try to) be happy with what I have.
Technically, I could go back to Perth if I wanted to. After all, my Australian permanent residency is still valid. I did think of giving up my PR a while back, but this conversation with Wingz made me think twice.
Wingz: “actually hor .. since u got ozzie PR better chow la. stay here play lampar only.”
Kenny: “heh. i think i have to give up my aussie pr already.”
Wingz: “WTF weiii. u sure anot? kanneh not easy to get ledi u know?”
So I sat down and wrote to myself the pros and cons of going back to work in Perth.

Pros Cons
The pay there is more than double of what I get right now. And 1 AUD = 2.77 MYR. I have to give up travelling because Perth is too isolated and airfares are too expensive.
My job will be more relevant to what I did at University. I can fully realise my potential and not be bound down by conservative rules. I have to give up the management position I have here, which I kinda enjoy.
I can do anything I want here because nobody knows me, and there’s no case of small town mentality and rumour-mongering. In Malaysia, I am a somebody. In Perth, I am a nobody.
There is zero stress, no deadlines in my work. And I don’t even have to work on Saturdays. I don’t have much friends to go out with in Perth.
I can go back to tutoring high school students and earn RM150 an hour per student. I can’t do advertorials on my blog anymore because no way would any company send their products to Australia.
I am considered "fit", not "fat", by Australian standards. This blog is not even gonna be as interesting because it will slowly lose its Malaysian flavour and popularity over time.
If I’m not happy with certain politicians or government policies, I can criticise them all I want without being abused. It’s not going to be the same anyway because I don’t feel the same connection for Australia the way I feel for Kuching.
Aussies are genuinely friendly people and they ask about your day even if you’re a total stranger. Over here, people are friendly to you only if they work in Starbucks. My surname is "Sia", which is pronounced "see-ya" but Aussies always call it "sai-ah". My Chinese name is "Tze Foo Sia" but they like to call me "Tze Sia" because they think "Foo" is my middle name and decided to drop it off.
It’s easier to stay healthy in Australia because the weather there is more conducive to exercise in and healthy food are more readily available. Kolo Mee in Perth costs RM20 a bowl and tastes like dog poo drenched in shit oil.

At the end of it all, I still don’t know what I should do. 🙁

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