I have always been fat. I never denied that.
I have been fat since I was 9. And no matter how much weight I gained or lost, I am still fat.
People used it as a weapon against me all the time. Whenever anyone wanna attack or insult me, the first thing they would do is say that I’m fat.
It didn’t do my self-esteem a lot of good, even way back when I was in high school. I was quiet. I did not have a lot of friends because I did not fit in the “popular crowd”. I was bullied because I was fat.
I was like Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer.
All of the other reindeers, used to laugh and call me names. They never let poor Kenny, play in any reindeer games.
That’s alright. I am fat. People call me fat and I deserve it.
It’s not like I have anyone to blame it on.
Who can I blame? My parents for giving me bad genes?
Some people can eat like a horse, drink like a fish, don’t exercise and still remain slim.
I have to watch what I eat strictly and workout 6 times a week like mad just to prevent myself from getting too fat. If I fail to follow that routine for even just one week, I will gain fat. That’s how sensitive my body is.
But that’s ok.
I recognise it as my disability. It is a curse I have to live with. But it doesn’t bother me.
All it means is I have to work extra hard to be on the same level with everyone else.
And so I started exercising regularly. For the past few months I have been hitting the gym almost without fail 3 times a week immediately after work. On top of that, I am alternating between jogging and swimming 45 minutes in the pool everyday.
I began eating all the healthy stuff. Friends who went out with me before would vouch for my strict draconian diet. I gave up a lot of my favourite Kuching food, like kolo mee and laksa. I took the Kenko Diet Plums I got from Cheesie. At the peak of my desperation, I was eating an apple for lunch.
It has been 12 months since I made that resolution.
I was 86kg then.
I am 78kg now.
Just 2kg shy of my target.
Of course, I am still fat lah. I know that I’ll probably never ever be considered slim. Still fat, but just less fat.
Knowing how stubborn my body is, losing the 8kg over the period of 12 months wasn’t that easy.
Without a doubt, the most significant turning point in 2006 was when I did the 42km KL International Marathon. Of all the participants present that day at the starting line, I was definitely the most out of place. I was like the Jack Black among all the Johnny Depps and Angelina Jolies.
And yet I did it, even when it meant limping and literally DRAGGING my two numb legs for the remaining 12km of the race.
I felt like a brand new person when I crossed the finishing line. It wasn’t just because I had achieved a seemingly inhumane feat. It was also the people I meet along the way, like a 73-year-old who finished the race 1.5 hour ahead of me, that inspired me and gave me unlimited confidence boost.
Completing the 42km made me truly believe that nothing is impossible.
Soon after the marathon, I noticed my body underwent serious transformation. Within a month, 4kg worth of fat melted right off my body.
A lot of people e-mailed in asking if I’m participating in future marathons.
Yes, I am.
I can’t lie. I miss the trance I went into after reaching the human threshold 30km into the race. I miss the hit of natural high when I crossed the finishing line. The fact is, I cannot wait to compete in my next marathon. I’m addicted to it.
One of my new year resolutions is take up distance running seriously next year.
I have already started training for my next marathon.
But the shoes I wore for my last one was completely obliterated. I wasn’t ready to replace them since I only had those shoes for less than 2 years.
I did helplessly try to superglue the soles of the shoes back together but the damn thing couldn’t even hold on for a few days before opening its mouth again.
I was walking around in the adidas store at 1 Utama during my last trip to KL and learnt about their ‘Test Run 28’ campaign which I thought was real interesting concept.
If you’re not satisfied for any reason at all within 28 days, the shop will exchange them for another brand new pair from the ‘Test Run 28’ range, no questions asked.
That’s real important because good running shoes always costs so bloody much. Most people don’t know if the shoes really suit them or not until they tried them out in the real world.
It’s been ages since I bought new sports shoes, so I was like a kid in a candy store going through all the choices.
I spotted the adidas Supernova Control and fell in love with it as soon as I slipped them on. It is their latest in their popular Supernova series which has been getting rave reviews from the runners community. A pair of those costs RM499 . That’s the price to pay to get their top-of-the-line technical running shoes.
RM499… that’s like, RM249.50 for each foot. :/
The difference between a RM499 technical shoe and a RM49 one you can get from Bata is that the more expensive adidas is fitted with all the high-end technology a normal person couldn’t care less.
Technology like the Ortholite for its antimicrobial moisture wicking sock lining, 3D Torsion System for mid-foot integerity, Quickstrike for light-weight flexibility, adiWEAR for durable outsoles, adiPRENE for shock absorption and adiPRENE+ for efficient forefoot propulsion.
Oh sorry, did I make you read through all those? 😉
Heh, I wouldn’t even adiBOTHER to adiSTAND all those adiTERMS, adiWISE I will get an adiHEADACHE+ and then I’ll say adiOS.
Still, can’t deny that the new shoes look cool though. 😛 I just love the silver and metallic blue colour combo. It looks darn futuristic.
Anyway, I worn the shoes for a few days now and they feel fantastic. No wonder seasoned runners love these. My ankles don’t hurt as much after running and that’s a good thing if I plan to improve my marathon time in 3 months time.
When you’re running religiously everyday, simple purchases like this can make your feet really happy.
Has anyone noticed the prepaid wars that have been going on?
Maxis Hotlink and Digi Prepaid and Celcom Xpax are having the most outrageous war I have ever witnessed. It is crazy. I can’t even go out of my house without seeing at least one Maxis or Digi or Celcom ad. At the rate their relentless ad campaigns are going, I’m probably gonna even start dreaming about them soon.
When telcos invade our dreams
Every one of the telcos is out there saying they’re the best. Everyone is saying they’re the cheapest among the rest. It’s like a noisy scene straight out from the pasar malam. “Don’t buy them lah, buy me!” they all scream, yelling one on top of the other.
The fight between our three mobile operators is becoming so intense, it made the Tyson vs Holyfield look like two playboy bunnies going at it with fluffy pink pillows.
Traditionally, Hotlink has always been the leader of the pack when it comes to prepaid.
The latest round of battles restarted when Hotlink launched their Total Plan. When it first came out, it was such an attractive package that prompted many prepaid customers to “Activate Hotlink”.
But the flaw though is that the multitude of different call rates to different operators in different states at different time of the day made it too complicated for the average consumer to comprehend.
Digi Prepaid was smart, and they capitalised on that by unveiling their One Low Flat Rate campaign – 38c/min to any network in any state. A lot of Hotlink’s customers dropped their 012 numbers and switched to 016. Needless to say, Maxis wasn’t too happy.
What a lot of customers don’t know or don’t care is that the 38c/min is only after you spent more than RM30 in a month.
Desperate to shed its stigma as the most expensive telco provider, Celcom Xpax emerged as the late entrant in this bitter war with a weapon of mass destruction of its own.
By attacking both Hotlink’s confusing call rates structure and Digi’s reluctance to announce that 38c/min is only after you have spent a certain amount, Xpax retaliated with their Guaranteed Lowest Prices For 5 Months campaign – 38c/min within the network to any state, without needing to spend a minimum amount.
Then, it gets interesting! Around this time someone came up with a supposedly “anonymous” website at TheTruthAboutPrepaid.com, claiming to want to spread the truth about prepaid.
With its yellow background and singing of praises about Digi, it doesn’t take a Malaysian-astronaut-making-teh-tarik-in-space to work out exactly which telco is behind this.
A check on the site’s domain registry confirms the identity of the devil.
For a short while, Xpax returned the blow to Digi of its own with a website at TheTruthAboutPrepaid.com.my (note the .my extension).
But the whole thing lasted for barely a month before it was shelved. I won’t be surprised if Digi tried to sue Celcom for copying their ideas. Then again, Celcom needs to copy other people’s ideas because they seems to always come up with the stupidest advertising strategy.
Like right now, they’re getting the England football players to promote their Celcom brand. But they can’t even afford to get those football players to pose with a proper phone for their ad!
Look at the phones these idiots are holding on the billboard…
Now, compare that to the phones they are holding on in the Celcom website.
What lah! Have to photoshop the phones in some more!
I think the most ridiculous thing about all these “truth” campaigns is how the telco operators so carefully avoid outright mentioning their rivals’ name, presumably due for legal reasons.
Xpax becomes “Telco X” and comes with a purple header; Hotlink becomes “Telco H” with a red header.
CAN IT BE ANYMORE OBVIOUS?!
Wanna say Xpax, say Xpax lah! Say what “Telco X” somemore? Idiot!
To Blogger J and Blogger X: Just kidding only hor!
Right now, all eyes are on Hotlink, who has to this date refused to play with Digi and Celcom in their game of underhanded advertising tactics. The red prepaid company responded by slashing their call rates down to as low as 10 cents/min for Activ5 – the lowest call rate among all telcos.
It sucks that Hotlink’s call rates structure is still as complicated as ever. The average consumer probably wouldn’t even bother making the comparison. Which is why despite Hotlink’s lower prices, they’re unable to shift people’s long-time perception that Digi is cheaper, eventhough that may not always be the case.
But no matter how you look at it, the truth about the truth about prepaid is THIS.
Not one single prepaid plan can offer the cheapest rates across all the different scenarios.
Everybody’s usage pattern is different, and depending on what type of a user you are, one operator would turn out to be cheaper than the other. What works for one person, is not always gonna work for the next.
Hmm… maybe I should do review of each of these prepaid plans. That’ll put to rest once and for all which telco is the best.
I see all those telco operators all claiming to be heroes wanting to spread the truth, but then they twist the truths to make themselves look good.
At the end of the day, Maxis Hotlink, Digi Prepaid and Celcom Xpax are all just doing the same thing.
They say “Trust me, I am telling the truth.”
But then you ALL say you are telling the truth! “Aiya! You should listen to me more, because my truth is more truthful than their truth!”
Jayden calls me “jiu jiu”. That’s “uncle” in Chinese.
At 3 years old, Jayden doesn’t have a lot of friends of his own to play with. That’s why everytime a new visitor comes around to my sister’s place, he becomes very excited. So excited until he sometimes abandon his own dad.
I am never good with kids. I don’t like them, they don’t like me. But Jayden just adores me.
He adores me so much he even drew a portrait of me.
Ok fine, he made me look like a happy version of the ghost from Ju-On.
But I’m pretty sure he still likes me.
On my last evening in New Zealand, I took Jayden out to this massive supermarket called Woolsworths. It was near closing hours so there wasn’t much customers around except for us.
I was holding Jayden’s little hand when suddenly I just felt a bit mischevious and decided to play an impromptu game of hide-and-seek with the 3-year-old.
First, it was all fun and games. I hid behind the shelves, but Jayden was smart enough to spot where I was going.
So I ran a little bit further.
And hid a little bit faster.
Until I heard somebody cry.
At least I bought him chocolates in the end lah.
When I was in KL 2 weekends ago, I made an impromptu trip down to Malacca to pay a little visit.
Malacca is one of those places that you heard about a lot, but never really bother going down there because it’s a little out of the way. The place is really worth visiting though because it is the oldest town in Malaysia, and richly filled with romantic history and cultural heritage.
Malacca came about because legend has it that hundreds of years ago, a young Hindu prince by the name Parameswara was resting under a melaka tree when he saw a brave kancil deer kicking his angry dog into the river. Instead of taking revenge by shooting the deer and cooking it for dinner, the prince took it as a sign and name the place after the tree, calling it the Sultanate of Melaka.
Why the guy name the place after the tree instead of the animal remains a mystery to me. I guess if he were to name the place after the kancil, Malaccans today would be called Kancillians .
Around that time, Islam in Malacca was propogated here courtesy of the World’s Most Famous Explorer Without A Penis.
His name is Cheng Ho, a Chinese Muslim eunuch who worked hard to foster relations between China and Malacca. When he came, he built mosques in Malacca that look like palaces of ancient China as opposed to the giant onion structure we’re more accustomed to.
In return, we built him a giant statue right here in Kuching to commemorate his selfless sacrifice.
Malacca is a quaint little town with a character quite unlike any other cities I’ve been to in Malaysia. This historial city was once conquered by the Dutch, the Portugese and the British. The influences from those cultures on the buildings here gave the city a different and unique flavour.
This is Nicole Tan. She’s my host and tour guide during my trip to Malacca. Nicole is a masters degree student doing her research on video blogs. That’s kinda how we got in touch with each other.
During my first evening there, Nicole took me to this pasar malam place called “Jonker Walk”.
Heh, I thought the name “Jonker Walk” is really cute. It’s like, I can think of a tagline for for the Malaccan Tourism Board already – “Let’s Go Bonkers At Jonker!”
Although Malacca is better known for its history than its good food, I totally enjoyed eating the food here.
We had chicken rice balls for lunch at this place called “He Ji” at Jonker Walk. I’ve had Malaccan Chicken Rice Balls in Kuching before, but I never really understood what the obsession over chicken rice shaped into balls is all about.
That is, until I ate here.
Yummy chicken rice balls
OMG. It was the best meal I’ve ever had in a long time!
The chicken rice balls are glutinious and sticky but so full of flavour. Just dip it into the sweet chilli sauce and I’m in heaven.
Chicken rice balls make me happy
Hohoho… thinking about it makes me salivate all over my keyboard.
Even the 8tv crew likes this place. There’s this lifesize cardboard in front of the place promoting 8tv’s eating show. And while we’re there, a guy looking remarkably like cardboard cutout came around and took photos with the boss.
Whoa, like he just jumped out from the picture like that.
Anyway, another Malaccan dish I really like there is their chendol.
Isn’t that the most mouthwatering thing you have ever seen?
The dessert is served with a generous slathering of gula melaka. It has a sweet caramel-like texture and comes with a taste like no other.
This is ondeh-ondeh, a classic peranakan dessert made from glutinuous rice flour and filled with gula melaka on side. One bite, and the gulamelakalicious flavour explodes inside your mouth orgasmically.
Whoa, I wanna go back there already.
Everything in Malacca is so old and antiquey. Some of the stuff there has been around for so long, only people my mom’s age would recognise what they are.
I don’t even know what to call this thing.
In Hokkien, it’s called “Kok Kok Terng”. In English, this can only be translated as “Cock Cock Candy”.
So I bought a pack of “Cock Cock Candy” for my mom to try. It brought back a flood of memories for her.
Last time a pack of these cost 10 cents. Now, they charge people RM2 per pack.
She told me when she was a little girl, an uncle would come around in a bicycle yelling “COCK COCK CANDY~! WHO WANTS MY COCK COCK CANDY~!”.
Then kids from all over would run towards him. Armed with a small hammer and a crowbar, he’d knock out little pieces of his rock hard creation, and serve them to little kids.
I mean… serve the candy lah, what are you thinking?
If both her hands are off the steering wheel, who’s driving?
I wish I could stay a little longer in Malacca, but alas I gotta rush back to KL to attend an event. Still, I managed to get a taste of what Malacca is like in half a day. I got Nicole to thank for taking time off to bring me around.
She even taught me yoga, which bar none is the gayest exercise I have ever done. I am so traumatised.
To show her my sincere gratitude and appreciation, here’s a video I secretly took of an unsuspecting Nicole while she was busy entertaining herself singing George Michael’s “Wake Me Up Before You Go”.
I thought “Wah! Very rare!” The guy never go out during lunch time one. I asked him where we’re going but he wouldn’t tell. Must be bringing me to some place nice.
Great. So he picked me up from my workplace and off we drove me to this old row of shophouses a short distance away from my office.
When we got there I saw nothing resembling a coffee shop.
All there is, is a lone table set up by the five-foot-way with a gay-looking umbrella and a few guys surrounding it.
I was like OMG. Mei Ling was laughing like mad.
We placed our order to the stall owner in Hokkien. “Hor wa nor ua, cham cham. Tehng pang zhay tham pok” (Give me two plates, mixed. Put more soup.)
I watched in disbelief as the bespectacled owner of the lonely stall casually scooped up some rice and placed them onto a turquoise plate.
“Ai ha mik bak” (What type of meat you want?), he asked.
We made our choice then he hand picked portions of chicken or pork from one of his large pots nearby and proceed to cut them up real time. He poured some chilli sauce over the meat and some savoury soup over the rice.
He handed Mei Ling a plate and he handed me a plate.
“Now what?” I asked Mei Ling. “There aren’t tables or chairs around, so where are we supposed to sit?”
“Sit here lah!” he walked into a narrow staircase and sit down on the dirty tiles, right next to a BROOM.
Damn, I was mortified.
No freaking way am I gonna sit there and eat my lunch on a dirty staircase! This is ridiculous.
If they are selling Ramly burgers by the roadside I can still understand, but never have I seen anyone selling chicken rice on the five-foot-way like that.
So there I was, miserable in my suit and tie, trying my best doing the unglam thing of eating chicken rice standing up.
Unsurpisingly, I was the only one having lunch there in my office attire.
Surprisingly, business appears to be brisk for this lonely chicken rice stall hidden away in an empty lorong. I guess to him, it’s a normal thing for people to eat their meal whilst sitting on the dirty staircase by the shophouse.
While we were there the stall has sold a few plates continuously.
At RM3.50 a plate, it’s not any cheaper compared to a normal plate of chicken rice you’d get at a coffee shop. But for this stall owner, the customers just keep coming in non-stop. Most of them foreign workers and delivery drivers who just wanna stop by and have a quick meal.
You can even order drinks here if you wanna. The wife would just walk up the dirty narrow staircase and get some from the fridge.
The unfazed customers sitting on the staircase would just siam one side when she’s walking past, like it’s a very normal thing for people to walk past you when you’re sitting on the staircase having lunch.
When you’re finished, the plates are piled up on the floor just like that.
I wonder why the uncle didn’t just rent a space at a food court to serve his meals. At least it’s more comfortable there, right?
I understand everyone wants to maximise their profit margin, but surely this is not the way to do it!
According to Mei Ling, the soft-spoken owner used to ride around Kuching in his rusty little bicycle selling chicken rice to office folks. Alas, some immoral scum burglar made away with his bicycle. With that, his only means of making a living was stolen from him.
Undetered, the old uncle set up a simple wooden table by the five foot way below his shophouse. Despite his very strange way of serving food, his business has been doing pretty ok.
When he’s not selling chicken rice, the owner dreams of becoming a flamingo
The Strangest Place To Have Chicken Rice In Kuching™ is at Lorong Ang Cheng Ho 7B, close to where the old Twenty Cent Supermarket used to be located. If you are not perturbed by the look of his simple stall, maybe you should drop by during your lunch hour and check it out.
I won’t say it is the best place for chicken rice, nor the most hygenic, but I say it certainly provides the most unique and old-school chicken rice experience in Kuching.
If you’re gonna order food from him, go ahead and ask him to keep the change. The guy is not earning as much as John Lee anyway.
Perhaps with the extra income, the aging uncle would finally be able to afford a new bike by then.
Behind every seemingly normal-looking person is an amazing story waiting to be told.
It is based on this belief that I’ve created a new section on kennysia.com called “Personalities”. I meet new people almost everyday. Many of them have stories that have taught and inspired me along the way, and I’ll put them up here.
John Lee is one of those guys I met recently who doesn’t look all that remarkable on the outside at first, but leaves your mouth wide agape once you know just how much he has accomplished.
Some people looked at him and said he bears an uncanny resemblance to Lord Victor Quartermaine from Wallace and Grommit.
But I think they are just being mean. 😛
They would probably think differently if they were to know three things about John Lee: a 5-figure monthly salary, Mercedes Benz, and 24 years old.
And he did it all by himself.
John Lee is the founder and mastermind of Epsilon Translation, a Kuching-based company specialising in providing translation services for almost every single imaginable languages throughout the whole wide world.
A few years ago, John Lee was a small fry printing flyers from his computer and placing them around University campus. What started out as a RM20 investment from spare change in his pocket, grew into an international company with offices in Malaysia, spanning as far as Japan, Europe and USA, with clients ranging from major airlines to big-chain hotels and electronic giants.
What’s truly amazing is that John Lee did it within a short span of just four years.
The Mercedes that translating bought
Who would have thought translating languages would earn you so much money?
Our parents would tell us to quit dreaming about doing something different and stick to something proven, like setting up a retail outlet or open a coffeeshop business. John Lee broke away from convention found his niche.
John Lee wasn’t born to rich parents with endless wads of cash at his disposal. He doesn’t have an overseas education or even completed his University degree for that matter. Knowing that is enough made me feel inadequate, because even with a job that my father handed down to me on a silver platter, I wasn’t doing half as good as this guy is.
John Lee is self-made, and that’s what make him so inspirational. The guy even had A BOOK published about his success story. How many people can claim the same thing?
Dang, when is it my turn to appear on my own book cover?
John’s book is now available in all major bookstores including Popular, MPH and Kinokuniya.
He passed me a copy of his book and I finished it within a day. I won’t do a book review, but suffice to say it’s short and concise but packed with chokeful of practical tips for budding entrepreneurs. Personally, I highly recommend anyone wanting to start their own business to pick up a copy of this book as motivation. You won’t regret it.
Rome wasn’t built in a day, but Epsilon was built in four years
Clearly, John Lee is enjoying his life. While his ex-classmates was busy slogging 10 hours a day for their engineering firms, John Lee was flying to faraway places like Rome and Vienna clinching his next USD$10,000 deals.
I asked him what are the most bizzare translation jobs he has come across, and he said there’s this European guy who wanted his entire volume of personal diary to be translated for his Asian wife – because he wants her to read it before he commits suicide.
Then there’s this porn video distributor from Thailand who wanted John Lee to do subtitles for their porn videos. Gee, I never knew anyone would pay attention to the dialogues in porn videos.
I mean, who cares, right?
I guess now if any male Epsilon Translation employees are caught watching porn at work with one hand below their desks, then John would have nothing to say.
John is hard at work. Literally, “hard” at work. Pun intended.
Kenny: “Does that mean you will be paid to watch porn videos?” John: “Yes.” Kenny: “Bastard…” John: “Hehehe.”
I bet all you horny guys out there are scrambling to get into the translation business now.