Twenty Five

Twenty five things I did when I was twenty five:

Bought my first Louis Vuitton and Salvatore Ferragamo. Before this, I have never even consider spending a single cent on high end luxury products because I belong to the group who thinks “why spend so much buying LV when Petaling Street sells similar stuff for RM50?”


Exercised my right as a Malaysian citizen and voted for the first time ever in the General Elections.

Got my license to practise as an insurance agent. Attempt to sell some insurance policies but realised it was harder than I thought.


Learnt to surf.
And by that I don’t mean surfing the internet.


Learnt to cook risotto, from a celebrity chef no less. But I still very badly undercooked it.


Ate fried grasshopper in Bangkok.


ICED my car!

And then crashed it. 🙁

Broke up. Patched up. Broke up. Patched up. (repeat 100 times) Patched up now, and still going strong.


Fly back-and-forth between Kuching and KL so frequently it’s as if I’m treating the airplane like a friggin’ bus!
It has come to the point where I was even turning down all-expense-paid trips to Langkawi, Krabi, Singapore and Macau. The worse thing is, this crazy lifestyle of mine shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. I just had a look at my calendar and was flabbergasted to find out that from now until the end of the year, I will be spending every single weekend of mine in either KL or Singapore.


Had a man-gasm when I met Tony Fernandes, one of the few businessmen I truly admire. He completely surprised me by calling me on my phone after I attended his event. I am still amazed at how humble and down to earth this guy is even with all his successes.


Met “fourfeetnine” Audrey, one of my favourite bloggers whose site I’ve been following for close to four years. A lot of people asked me how I got my inspiration to start blogging. Audrey is right up there.


Met the Chelsea Football Team when they came to Malaysia and even got Luis Felipe Scolari to say “assalamualaikum” and “mualaikumsalam”!


Went to Tioman. Saw some fish. Got nicknamed “Doraemon” by Joyce and Mary because I carried so many bags.


Went to Bali. Saw some dolphins.


Went to London. Saw the Big Ben.


Went to Paris. Saw the Eiffel Tower.


Went to Rome. Saw the Colloseum.


Went to New Zealand. Saw my sister’s kids.


Went to the MTV Asia Awards. Saw The Pussycat Dolls, Jared Leto, Leona Lewis, One Republic, Panic At The Disco, Stefanie Sun, Karen Mok!


Met my one and only favourite Chinese artist, Jay Chou.

Actually, there’s one story about my meeting with Jay Chou that I forgot to blog about. I didn’t wanna blog about it at the time because I reckoned it made me look kinda gay. But considering it’s been months since it happened, I think it’s safe now for me to say that…

I saw Jay Chou’s pubic hair.

It is true. I am most definitely, absolutely and completely serious.
To paint the picture for you, Jay Chou and I were at the tent backstage during his public appearance to promote his movie Kung Fu Dunk. I heard from May Zhee, aka “Malaysia’s No. 1 Jay Chou fan”, that Jay Chou doesn’t wear underpants. And it just so happened that at the time, he was wearing a pair of low-rise jeans so low it was barely hanging right above his pelvis.

So Jay Chou was just standing there looking idly around when one of his assistants approached him to tell himto get ready to go on stage.
With his back turned towards most people, and me standing in a position where I could just see what he was doing, Jay Chou unbuckled his belt momentarily to adjust its tightness.
And that’s when it happened.

As soon as Jay unbuckled his belt, all of the sudden he accidentally let his jeans slipped down by about an inch for literally a split second. But that was enough for me to spot the mound of black pubic hair peeking right on top of his jeans.
I was staring at Jay Chou’s thick, black, curly pubic hair. And my God, it was so thick and hairy, it would’ve made Gillian Hung and Cecelia Chung feel right at home.

I related the story to May Zhee and she subsequently went hysterical, bombarding me with all sorts of questions like how long it is, what texture it is, did I see his dick, etc etc like I was some sorta Jay Chou Pubic Hair Expert. I told her it was no different in apperance to any Chinese pubic hair out there, and I think she got kinda disappointed.
Anyway, continuing on with the list of 25 things I did when I was 25, I…


Acted in a TV commercial for Mister Potato.


Starred as one of the three judges for Malaysian Dreamgirl, the country’s first reality model search show broadcasted exclusively online.
Speaking of which, Season 2 of Malaysian Dreamgirl is coming soon and auditions are happening two weeks from now in Penang, Ipoh, Johor Bahru and of course KL.


Cashed out my first cheque from Nuffnang.
One of these days, I must tell the story about my involvment with Timothy Tiah in the biggest revolution of blog advertising Malaysia has ever seen. There were so many things going on behind the scenes that were too sensitive for me to talk about during that time, but I think the time is right for us to look back and reflect on that. It’s a story of hardwork and integrity, I guarantee you it’s a tale nothing short of inspiring.

Poured heaps of money into investments. Lost roughly RM10,000 when the financial crisis hit and the markets underperformed. Then poured MORE money into unit trusts because with everything so cheap right now, it is the best time to invest.


Joined a beauty contest. For men.

Obviously, I didn’t win! I was at my fattest back in April. Good thing is, I have lost 8kg thanks to my marathon training.

Those are twenty five things I did when I was twenty five.
Today, I officially turn twenty six years old. 🙂

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Last Day In Paris

At last, I’m blogging the final chapter of my travel log in Paris. Something I should’ve completed 2 months ago.

The City of Love is also the City of Museums. Paris is a city dressed with too many musées and galeries d’art (that’s museums and art galleries btw).
Most travellers who come to Paris tend to only visit the Louvre and see the Monalisa smile, which is a pity really. Because my smile is so much better.

Kidding of course. 😉
With my two travel buddies away doing their girly stuff (eg. getting French manicure, dressing up as French maids, eating French fries, French kissing French guys), I found some free time of my own on to do my nerdy stuff. And that would include visiting art galleries and museums too atas for my own good.

Palais Garnier, the opera house that inspired smash hit musical The Phantom of The Opera, which was like High School Musical to the people back in its day

I highly recommend anyone going to Paris to get the Paris Museum Pass (€30 or RM150 for 2 days). It’ll save a lot of time queueing up at each attraction to purchase tickets. Also, download Rick Steve’s Audioguides before you go. An audioguide is good thing to have, particularly if you’re as clueless and unsophisticated as I am when it comes to all these artsy-fartsy-schmartsy stuff.

The first stop I made was at Musée Rodin (€6 or RM30), the former residence of 19th century French sculptor Auguste Rodin.
I’ve never even heard of his name before this trip (see I told ya I’m a kampung boy at heart), but I definitely remember seeing some of his artwork. The most famous one being The Thinker.

The Thinker is such an iconic representation of one man’s intense intellectual activity that replicas of this sculpture can be found in museums and universities all over the world.

Sadly, we have no replica of Rodin’s famous sculpture here in Malaysia, but that’s okay because we have our very own “Thinker”.

There are of course a lot other interesting sculptures to see at the Musée Rodin.

This one is called “The Kiss”.

This one is called “The Walking Man”, although I think it should be more appropriately titled as “The Man Who Lost His Head, His Arms And Pants”.

Blow-up dolls back in those days were kinda ugly.

Travelling musicians on the train from Musée Rodin to my next destination.
I really appreciate buskers like them entertaining the everyday commuter. You can never find people like these on the trains in KL because they’ll be classified by the authorities as “nuisance” and probably be detained under ISA.

My next stop was Musée d’Orsay or The Orsay Museum (€8 or RM40).
The Orsay is the next most impressive museum in Paris, after the Louvre. There’s a mind-boggling array of original 19th century French paintings here, including many famous one’s like Stifler’s Mom Whistler’s Mom.

If you are not sure where you’ve seen this painting before, most people will probably remember it from the Mr Bean movie as this.

This museum is one of those places where an audioguide would come in really handy.
There are so many paintings, and so much going on behind each painting that it would’ve been tough to appreciate them properly without some help.

Painters in the 19th century France were a lot like bloggers in the 21st century.
Like bloggers, every piece of their artwork convey subtle messages through the paintbrush. These paintings are exhibited throughout Europe, and people leave comments that can be positive sometimes, but mostly negative.

van Gogh’s painting of his bedroom. My mom would probably say something like “your 7-year-old nephew could paint better than that!

19th century France was a cruel place for painters. The like-minded artists cliqued together, while the unconventional ones that stood out from the rest were ridiculed simply because they were different.

Like Van Gogh, who shot himself with a gun to his death 9 months after painting this self-portrait.
Poor guy had no friends, no money, and his works weren’t even appreciated until the last few years of his life when he became severely deranged.

Before Van Gogh’s time, the typical style of art was “Idealist”.
A lot of artists at the time made money painting Greek goddesses and angels to near perfection. These things sell because they are pretty, and people at the time do not want to accept anything less than pretty.

An example is this piece, titled The Birth of Venus depicting the Greek goddess sleeping on water with her flawless skin, perfect naked body and pretty angels singing in the sky.
It was hailed as one of the great masterpieces during its time, but later people grew to hate it.

In came Edouard Manet, who attracted a lot of controversy when he painted Luncheon On The Grass.
It was controversial not only because it depicted prostitution in an infamous park in Paris, but the nude girl in the picture wasn’t even painted to look pretty! She even had fats showing in her stomach.

Olympia – showing a prostitute waiting for a client

On top of that, Manet seemed to have rushed his painting so much it looked like a sketch, and didn’t even bother to correct or cover up his mistakes.
But prostitution is something that happened rampantly in Paris during that time, although no one dared to talk about it. When these pieces were exhibited, Manet was whacked left right and centre because it was too real, and too different to the near perfect gods and goddesses people were so used to during that time.

Renoir’s Dance at Le Moulin de la Galette

These are “Realist” paintings that challenged the perfectionists’ “Idealism”.
“Realists” depict everyday life as truthfully as they were, even when sometimes when they may be ugly or taboo. At first people rejected them for being anti-mainstream, but eventually as poverty grew and people became disillusioned, they accepted and even admired these artwork because they so accurately showed that the world is not perfect, that people make mistakes, and that these are the realities of life that everyone has to accept – good, bad and ugly.

Maybe that’s the same why some people prefer reading blogs to newspapers, why some people prefer Xiaxue over Dawn, why movies like Crash won an Oscar, and why Raja Petra is more believable than Najib.
Idealism is a fantasy, and when people’s lives become harder, they are finding it increasingly difficult to remain optimistic.
It doesn’t mean all those idealistic things are impossible. It just means that people nowadays are more ready to accept the reality, as ugly as it may be.

I left Paris feeling as if my IQ just increased by 10%. Up from my original 50.
Paris is an absolutely amazingly romantic city. Four days was way too short to experience all that the City of Love has to offer, but it’s time to say Au Revoir!
As short as our trip was, it was enough to make us realise how gorgeous France is. Given the chance, I’m not gonna hesitate exploring the rest of this great country yet again.
Of course, that’s not gonna happen anytime soon.

Because traveling costs money, and I’m a realist!

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Paris Expensive

For someone whose first name is “Dawn”, she certainly sees very little of it.

Throughout our trip, our travel partner was rushing for her Uni assignment deadlines half the time.
Some days I’d wake up at 6 for my morning run and that poor girl would still be awake staring at her laptop. Then when I’m ready to go out and do some sightseeing, she’d be in bed fast asleep. I told her about the irony and she joked that she’s called “dawn” because that’s time she goes to bed.

Normally I’m perfectly okay with going sightseeing alone, but I have reasons to be worried in this instance. Les Marais (the place we were staying), apart from being the Jewish enclave in Paris, is also the gay centre of France.

If Notre Dame is the heart of Paris, then Les Marais must be the penis.
Every morning as I walked out to the train station past the cafes, pairs and pairs of gay couples would be sitting together holding hands, looking at the people.
Apparently, Paris is such a romantic city that even men and men fall in love with each other.

When I do meet up with the two girls, it’d be for dinner, after I’m doing with my sightseeing and they’re done with their shopping.
Dawn and I are both big fans of chillout music label Hotel Costes.

They produced a lot of music I listen to regularly, including my favourite holiday song “Sympathique” by Pink Martini, which I’ve used in the Saddam Hussein visiting McDonald’s prank video I did earlier this year.

Hotel Costes is also the name of an actual hotel near the Champs Elysees. We thought it’d be a sin if we travelled all the way to Paris and not visit this legendary hotel.

Even if you’re not a fan of the music label, Hotel Costes is still worth a visit for its opulent French decor and awesome courtyard.
Not to mention their lovely barmaids.

We decided to stay for a drink and enjoy the DJ spinning our favourite lounge music while we’re there, feeling slightly under-dressed among the suits and gowns here.
The atmosphere is so warm and cozy and posh and opulent in here that I almost felt obligated to pay them for the air we breathed.

I knew drinks were gonna be expensive alright. Sport stars and celebrities come to this place. But I truly had no idea how expensive some of the drinks are until Dawn jokingly asked me to order a “King Louis XIII Black Pearl” cognac for fun.

The cost of it?

No shit. That’s RM70,000!
What a ridiculous price to pay, considering it still comes out as piss in the end.

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Things I Learnt In Zouk Singapore

So I was in Singapore two weekends ago for a business trip.

I must apologise to friends in Singapore for not meeting up when I was in town. I was holed up in my hotel room rushing for a deadline. By the time I finished it was already 1am.
My hotel was pretty close to Zouk, so when I was done staring at the computer screen for 6 hours straight, I thought it’s only deserving that I walk over to the club and reward myself with a glass of ice cold beer.

It’s been ages since I been to Zouk in Singapore, and I gotta say a lot has changed. Not necessarily in a good way, but definitely in an amusing way.
As soon as I stepped into Phuture, immediately I noticed something unusual – there were more batangs than lubangs.
The boys in the club heavily outnumbered the girls by some 4 to 1, so much so that I almost made a U-turn towards the exit thinking I’ve accidentally entered a gay club. I’m not homophobic, but let’s face it, watching pairs of guys dancing with each other on the floor ain’t a pretty sight.

The second thing I noticed is the dressing sense of the people in there. For better or worse, the Singaporeans are always ahead of us Malaysians when it comes to fashion.
Whatever’s popular in Singapore becomes always popular in Kuching 5 years later. And there are some good ones we picked up. Case in point, short skirts and spaghetti straps from MNG.
There are some bad ones too. Like those Chao Ah Beng hairstyles back in the 90s.

When I was in Zouk that Saturday night, I was surprised to see a lot of guys there wearing hats.
No, not baseball caps. Those are still cool.
HATS. Like the ones your grandpa wore back in the 60s.

Not only that, a lot were also wearing thick black-rimmed glasses. Again, just like the ones your grandpa wore back in the 60s.
What’s up with that?
I’m surprised they didn’t bring along a walking stick to the club. It seems as if the new fashion is old-fashion. In fact, there were so many guys in the club going for “The Vintage Look”, Phuture should be renamed Phistory.
I dunno man. I reckon in this day and age, the only time people should be allowed to wear hats and black-rimmed glasses to a club is if you have a cool name.

If not, then maybe john.a.than or lim.ah.seng will do too.
The girls in the club , for the record, are HOT.

Not the best example, but… you get the idea

These girls they dress up hot, they make up hot, they breathe hot. And when they go to the club together, they dress up in their tiniest sluttiest clothing knowing that it’ll get attention of all the guys in the clubs.

But these girls are in for a girls night out. They’re not interested in meeting any guys whatsoever. When they go out clubbing, they just wanna dance among their own girly circles while the guys, wearing their Ah Gong vintage hat and black-rimmed glasses, can only salivate.

More often than not, this creates an interesting situation where two hot girls get on the dance floor doing their sexy dance moves with each other, while some EIGHT other guys surround them in a circle watching.

The guys are thinking that those girls wanna get picked up, so they moved in for the kill.
Problem is, these guys have NO CREATIVITY whatsoever when it comes to approaching girls. A lot of the times, they just sneakily dance up from behind the girl and, without even a hello or an eye-contact, somehow just put their hands on her waist.

Then as soon as the DJ plays one of those slut songs (eg. “Buttons”, “Culo”, “Low”, anything by Britney Spears or Fergie), they HUMP AND GRIND from behind as hard as they can.

Bear in mind, these guys don’t know the girls at all. Because as soon as they finished grinding them, I saw them turn around, shake the girl’s hands and introduce themselves.
Hello?! A minute ago you were just dry-humping her ass! How can you immediately go from that to shaking hands!

It wasn’t just a particular incidence because I saw it happening multiple times throughout the night. The girls must be used to it because a lot of them don’t seem to mind, or care. Some of them did try to move away to another part of the dance floor, but all they’ll encounter is another bunch of guys doing the same thing.

As for the guys, well, they were hi-fiving to their other guy friends afterwards, so I guess there must be some kinda contest going on. The more asses you dry-humped, the more of a man you are. Or something like that.
No wonder all the Singaporean bloggers I read are not going to clubs anymore.

All of them now prefers to stay at home and play mahjong instead!

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Pinkpau was telling me about her Halloween costume and how she nearly had a “wardrobe malfunction” with it.

Pinkpau: haih stupid wan la i hate nipples
Pinkpau: why do we have to have them
Pinkpau: cos they spoil my pictures >=(
Kenny: At least you girls have a use for them! How bout us guys? We can”t even use our nipples for anything!
Kenny: Except letting our girlfriends poke them.
Pinkpau: or nipple cripple
Kenny: Or play with it like an iPod.
Seriously, why do men need nipples anyway?!

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ADV: Kenny Learns to Cook

KY, Cheesie and I attended the GUINNESS® Gastronomic Workshop hosted by celebrity chef Emmanuel Stroobant.

I must admit that I am completely hopeless when it comes to cooking.
I have been told many times that women find men who knows how to cook sexy and attractive. Case in point, during this year’s CLEO 50 Most Eligible Bachelor competition, Bachelor #3 Ebi Kornelis whooped 49 other bachelors’ collective asses to top the online polls.

All because he knows how to make ikan bakar!
It’s not that I do not know how to cook. I used to cook myself instant noodles all the time. But I dunno why people keep saying that cooking instant noodles is not considered “real” cooking.
What lah, cooking for “real” or “fake one meh?

My mom was not impressed when I told her that I don’t wanna learn how to cook.
She insisted that I was being lazy. Instead of learning how to cook, I gave her stupid excuses like how cooking is so damn difficult and how I could accidentally burn the house down if I wasn’t careful.
“COOKING IS EASY!” she said. I went on and on about how it’s even EASIER to pay someone RM10 to do the same thing, but all that resulted was her rolling her eyes and offering to show me the kitchen.
Too bad. Instead of taking up her offer, I went straight to a CELEBRITY CHEF!

This is the AFC’s Chef In Black Emmanuel Stroobant, a man blessed with a body that resembled more like a male fashion model than the master chef of an exclusive fine-dining restaurant in Singapore.
Watching Emmanuel Stroobant demonstrate his cooking skills, I began to doubt my mom’s assertion that “COOKING IS EASY!”

Watching Emmanuel did his thing, I thought he looked more like he was building IRONMAN than heating up some tuna.
There were flame throwers, test tubes, precision digital scales among other gadgets more likely to be found in James Bond’s arsenal than my mom’s kitchen.

Chef in Black making GUINNESS® flavoured sorbet

Emmanuel was very fast. His main target audience are the senior chefs from the big name restaurants in Klang Valley, who attended the workshop to learn how to creatively incorporate GUINNESS® into their cooking. As a beginner with very little experience in the kitchen, I only managed to absorb a small portion of what he had shown us.

The infusion of GUINNESS® in food isn’t exactly something new.
The bold, distinctive and signature bittersweet taste of the legendary black beer complements extremely well with either sweet or salty dishes. Although not widely explored before, using GUINNESS® in cooking is quickly gaining popularity. In fact, one of the most popular dishes in Kuching’s seafood restaurants are GUINNESS® chicken wings.

The food Emmanuel Strooband created all turned out looking very pretty.

This is the Tuna Tar-Tar Taco With GUINNESS®.
It’s a starter dish quite easily prepared with Sashimi-grade tuna, gherkin, shallot, caper, mayonnaise, tomato sauce, Worcestershire sauce, tabasco sauce and GUINNESS® all mixed together and served on a taco.

This is the main course, Kakuni Style Braised Chicken with GUINNESS®, Fresh Herb Risotto and GUINNESS® Poached Oyster.

The dessert dish Emmanuel prepared is called “The Giodness”.
It’s GUINNESS® jelly, brownies and crumble nicely layered inside a shot glass, then topped with coffee ice-cream and finished with foam. Very yummy!

After the cooking demonstration by Emmanuel, the organizers had a little something up their sleeves for those in attendance. There was a live hands-on cooking session where attendees were chosen to go on stage and duplicate those dishes that the celebrity chef had demonstrated earlier.
Having not slept well the night before, I was secretly praying that they not to pick me because, y’know, I don’t wanna be known as the guy responsible for burning Mandarin Oriental down.

Luckily, KY was picked.

Cheesie was also picked.

But in the end, I also kena picked.

My team mates were the chef from The Apartment and a journalist from The Sun, and we’re tasked to prepare the main course.

It was the most difficult dish from the demonstration earlier.
Please lah I don’t even know how to cut an onion how am I supposed to cook such a complicated main course!

This was me frantically studying my notes while the master chef from The Apartment showed me HOW TO CUT AN ONION.

Look mom, I’m cutting an onion!

And I’m stirring the pot!

While I cooked the fresh herb risotto, my two other team mates diligently prepared the braised chicken thigh.
They’ve put together a mixture of water, black pepper, sugar, soy, garlic, ginger, aniseed pod and GUINNESS®. The chicken thigh was baked in it for 20 minutes, then pan-fried and served with a little bit of the mixture as sauce. (E-mail me if anyone is interested in more detailed recipe)

Meanwhile, my risotto was cooked “al dente” (phwoar, first time I use such a canggih word here) and I scooped it onto a round shaper for presentation.
Half an hour later, we presented our masterpiece!

Not bad aye?
Obviously it was nothing compared to the one Emmanuel made earlier, but it was surprisingly very tasty and looked like something I’d pay good money for.

This is me and my team mates, and me flaring my nose as if to take all the credit.
That was my first time cooking a meal fit for fine-dining.
I was overcome with a sense of personal satisfaction as I served my creation to my friends sitting in the front row, and watched as their face changed (and not foam at the mouth or turn green).

It’s a weird but wonderful feeling. This must be why so many people enjoy cooking as a hobby. If you’re reading this mom, I hope you’re happy I took that first step towards cooking. 🙂
Of course, all credits go to the master chef at The Apartment for guiding me through, and the “Chef In Black” Emmanuel Stroobant for the easy to follow recipe.

And errr… no, I was not grabbing his butt.

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ADV: MAS 3-Day-Only Global Online Sales

Update: It is here!
Flying from KL, other sweet one-way fares are Kunming from RM399 (+RM373), Maldives from RM429 (+RM474), Dubai from RM899 (+RM575), Auckland from RM999 (+RM748), Paris from RM999 (+RM596), and Los Angeles from RM1,179 (+RM1,099).

The Star today reported that Malaysia Airlines will be holding their “Global Online Sales” tomorrow. For 3 days only, airfares to some 26 international desinations will be dramatically slashed.

Although the newspaper didn’t list out all 26 desinations and their discounted fares, through a spy I have in Malaysia Airlines (well, actually it was the Commercial Director himself hehe), I managed to discover the best deals from tomorrow’s sales – way before anyone else have found out.
Remember, you’ve heard these first from 😉

Taipei, Taiwan

RM499 one way (+ RM237 tax) from Kuala Lumpur.
RM429 one way (+ RM237 tax) from Kota Kinabalu.

Kaohsiung, Taiwan

RM499 one way (+ RM237 tax) from Kuala Lumpur.
RM429 one way (+ RM237 tax) from Kota Kinabalu.

Osaka, Japan

RM599 one way (+ 541 tax) from Kuala Lumpur.

Tokyo, Japan

RM599 one way (+ RM541 tax) from Kuala Lumpur.
RM599 one way (+ RM541 tax) from Kota Kinabalu.

I’ve already missed out on the MATTA fair so I ain’t gonna miss out on this one. Whatever happens, I’ll be on standby tonight by my laptop hunting down an airticket to Tokyo.

Why Tokyo?
No, it’s not because I want to start a career in sumo wrestling.

(Although my body fit the physical requirement perfectly.)
I wanna go to Tokyo because I worked my arse off extraordinary hard this year, so I reckon I deserve to set my sights further away from the usual South-East Asian routes. Japan would be a great place for a holiday.
I wanna take a break from getting anonymous hate comments on my blog.

Some special pampering from cutesy subservient teenage girls in Tokyo’s infamous maid cafes would be super.
I wanna see why Gwen Stefani is so crazy about those Harajuku Girls.

Scary. In Harajuku, everyday is Halloween Day.
Budget might be a concern. RM600-a-night hotel rooms is definitely out of the question.
To save money, I’d wanna experience sleeping in a “Capsule Hotel”.

You can only do this in Japan. It is the only country in the world that treat hotel guests like corpses in a morgue.
I most definitely wanna checking out those hi tech Japanese toilets too.
Those crazy Japanese have invented some of the most technoligacally-advanced toilet bowls in the world, complete with heated toilet seats and music to camouflage the splashing sounds you make when you’re doing business.

Who knows what those other buttons does?
Maybe they even have Bluetooth and stuff to analyze the contents of your crap.
But of course, what trip to Japan is gonna be complete, without at least taking part in one of those silly Japanese Game Shows?
This one is called “Hole in the wall”. Contestants have to manouvre their body so that it can pass through a human-shaped hole in a moving wall, or get knocked down into the pool. Watch it, it’s funny as hell!

Hmmm… not sure if they have holes available in XXXL.

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Look! It’s The Prime MinistZZzzz…

Yesterday, I attended the National Integrity Convention hosted by the government of Malaysia.

Since Abdullah Badawi became Prime Minister of Malaysia 5 years ago, one of his top priorities was to fight corruption and uphold the values of integrity in both the public and private sector.

The National Integrity Convention is born out of those efforts, and is the government’s way of educating people how to do business and live their life with integrity. In essence, it was like “Pendidikan Moral”, but for adults.

The night before, we were hosted a dinner talk in Hilton, where the guest speaker was Raja Nazrin, the crown prince of Perak.

As a commoner living in the small city of Kuching, I don’t get attend a lot of functions involving members of the royal family. That night was one of the rare few occassions in my life, I actually heard somebody addressing himself not as “saya”, but as “beta” (the Malay word for “me”, reserved exclusively for royalty).

The prince receives tremendous amount of respect from me and the people in attendance.

Raja Nazrin comes across as someone extremely smart and knowledgable. It’s not surprising, considering he has a degree from Oxford, as well as a Masters and PhD from Harvard University. He has a reputation of giving exceptionally inspiring speeches on patriotism and on nation-building that connects well with the people at large.

Despite his royal status, Raja Nazrin is also a humble man. I distinctively remember when he was getting married, he explicitly refused the state government to fund his wedding or for large corporates to take up ads in newspapers congratulating him. He insisted instead that the money be used for charity or be spent on projects beneficial to the community.

Raja Nazrin’s selfless character is truly the epitome of integrity.

Another speaker at the convention on integrity was Taib Mahmud, the Chief Minister of Sarawak for 27 years.

Yesterday, the Prime Minister himself also make an appearance at the convention.

Regardless of what anybody thinks of Abdullah Badawi as Prime Minister, you gotta give him at least credit for trying. Speaking my personal experience, government services have improved by leaps and bounds over the past 5 years. Since he came to power, many in the government sector has also began taking corruption very seriously.

Prime Minister himself even flew all the way to Kuching just to attend a convention to educate people on integrity. That’s dedication!

[09/11/08 – The rest of this entry has been removed out of respect, concern and consideration for the organising committee of the National Integrity Convention, who I understand has worked very hard to put together this convention, with nothing but the best of intentions.]

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Champs Élysées Is Not Pronounced “Cham Ee Leh Sai”

After spending four days in Paris, we began to get a pretty good idea how to pronounce certain words in French.

View from the top of the Arc du Triomphe

The golden rule of thumb here is that we should never pronounce French words the same way as they’re written in English.

That’s one reason why I will never be able to date a supermodel. I’m most definitely gonna EPIC FAIL when it comes to pronouncing all those difficult French designer names.

You can’t blame me really.

My English teacher never taught me that Louis Vuitton should be pronounced as “LOO WEE VOO TONG”, not “Loo Wiss Vooi Teng”.

Givenchy is pronounced “ZHEE VON SHAY”, not “Give Wen Qi.

And of course, Yves Saint Laurent is pronounced “EVE SANG LONG”.

Most definitely NOT “Yes, Santa Lao Ren”!

Anyway, we ate at a Chinese dim sum restaurant in Paris one day and to our pleasant surprise, the Chinese immigrants here actually speak very fluent French!

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If those PRCs can speak French, then it shouldn’t be too difficult that a native Chinese speaker like me to speak French too, right?

Translation: “Many commented lesbians baguettes have standards”

I did a bit of reading, and apparently A LOT of French words sound awfully similar in Chinese. Seriously!

Lemme give you a few examples.

“Bonjour” is good morning in French.
In Chinese, it’s ??.

“Bon Soiree” is good evening in French.
In Chinese, it is ??.

“Bon Apetit” is have a nice meal in French.
In Chinese, it is ????.

See? It’s not that difficult to master French after all. If the Chinese can speak it, so can we.

We just have to observe a few rules when we’re speaking the language.

Kenny: How do you pronounce that word? ‘Crime’?
Dawn: No, I think it’s pronounced ‘creamy’.

In general, “ch-“ in French is pronounced as “sh-“, “g-“ in French is pronounced “zh-“, and the “s” at the end of every word is not pronounced at all.

Kinda like French chicks, really.

Their ass at the end also not pronounced at all!

There’s a famous shopping avenue in Paris called Champs Élysées.

For the whole four days we were in Paris, I have absolutely no idea how to pronounce those words.

Among other atrocities, I have pronounced it “Champs Ee Lee See”, “Chomp Eh Lai Sees”, but the worst thing I did was calling it “Cham Ee Leh Sai”, which sounds like some disgusting toilet mixture in Hokkien.

The correct pronounciation of Champs Élysées is actually “SHAM ZAY LEE ZAY”

To give credit where credit is due, it is indeed the most beautiful shopping avenue I have seen anywhere in the world. Bar none.

Many cities around the world have attempted to duplicate the romance, beauty and liveliness of Champs Élysées on their shopping street. Many have failed.

Bukit Bintang in Kuala Lumpur, Orchard Road in Singapore, Nanjing Lu in Shanghai, Swanston Street in Melbourne are all wonderful shoping streets in equally great cities. But none of them even came close to the original and best.

The crown jewel of Champs Élysées is Napoleon’s massive and monolithic Arc du Triomphe.

Another thing equally massive and monolithic on the Champs Élysées is the flagship store of Louis Vuitton.

It is so big, it’s absolutely mind-boggling. We’re talking about a six-storey high building stocking everything LV in the largest Louis Vuitton boutique in the world.

This must be what the tai tais and Datins imagined HEAVEN to look like.

Even more mind-boggling are the prices of the goods inside.

Why the hell would anyone wanna spend 170 Euros (RM850) on a small plastic keychain just because it has the words “Louis Vuitton” on it? It baffles me.

The SAD thing is? Everyone around me were pulling out their credit cards like crazy to buy.

There’s even a freaking queue at the cashier terminal.

It was almost like a supermarket

The even SADDER thing is that I thought Louis Vuitton has some of the ugliest bags in the world.

Hasn’t anyone gotten sick of the ubiquitious brown-coloured LV monogram handbag already? Why would anyone still wanna buy something so overrated and overpriced?

The cheapest handbag I saw in there must be about 600 Euros (RM3,000) and to be honest, it didn’t look any different than a RM150 imitation you could get in Petaling Street.

If you’re a tai tai already living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, surely you can still pull off a fake handbag that costs 5% the price of the original and nobody is gonna question ya.

If you’re an auntie who is so thrifty that you steal the spoons and forks from MAS planes, then even if you’re carrying a real RM3,000 LV bag, people are still gonna think that it’s a fake.

But you wanna know what is the SADDEST thing?

Despite me thinking that LV is ridiculously overrated and overpriced.

I still ended up buying something from there in the end.

Sorry! I couldn’t help being caught up by the excitement and prestige shopping in a Louis Vuitton store in Champs Élysées. After all, it’s not everyday I get to go to Paris.

I bought an LV brown monogram belt. It costs me 250 Euros (RM1,250) but I got 30 Euros (RM150) back after tax refund.

It is the first time I have ever spent money on a Louis Vuitton product. I had bought it as an encouragement for me to complete the 42km Singapore Marathon I’ll be doing in 5 weeks time.

The belt is still in the box and I haven’t opened it yet. My bet for myself is that if I finished the 42km, only then I’ll open the box and wear the it like a champion belt. But if I didn’t finish, then I guess I’ll have to suck it up and give it away as my punishment.

Even if you have no intention of spending any money there, the Louis Vuitton flagship store is still a worthwhile place to explore. It is a tasteful and well done part shop, part exhibition space befitting of such a global luxury brand.

I spotted this photograph book by Hong Kong superstar actor Chow Yun Fatt on display.

This one is from the set of Curse of The Golden Flower.

Never knew Chow Yun Fatt could handle a camera so well. The actor apparently has a habit of taking his SLR camera around on his film sets. The photographs he took was eventually compiled into a book, then commissioned and published by Louis Vuitton.

On my way out from the LV store, I noticed a huge crowd gathering outside Le Lido across the road.

I went over to have a closer look when I realised it was a red carpet premiere of the movie Righteous Kill. Or in French, “La Loi Et L’Ordre”.

And guess who I spotted there?

The Godfather Al Pacino!

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ADV: Beer-flavoured Internet Flash Games

You know what goes well with football?

Beer, of course!
And you know what goes well with beer?

But with your beer goggles on, there is a risk that “babes” you get might turn out something like this instead.

For that reason, sometimes it is wiser to stay at home, enjoy your beer and have a safer type of fun.
Like playing some beer-flavoured internet flash games on the internet with your friends.

Heineken Beer, the sponsor of UEFA Champions League has came up with a series of internet flash games so strangely interesting, it got me thinking. What exacty were the executives at Heineken HQ drinking when they came up with these ideas?
Hmm… 😉
The series of three flash games are up at the Heineken Champions League Great Together website.

In the first game, you have to use your skillz to navigate a Heineken beer truck through a maze to reach the supermarket in the least amount of time possible.

In the second game, you must use your skillz to do a Mexican Wave inside the supermarket in order to bring the beer back home.
Dunno what kinda supermarket allows you to do that. Surely it’s not Everrise.

In the final game, you must slide and catch the beer over the bar counter without breaking any bottles. If you managed to catch it five times, then congratulations, you have teh skillz!

The only twist here is that you cannot complete the series games on your own. In following the theme of ‘Great Together’, you gotta finish playing the first game, invite another friend to complete the second game, who’ll then invite someone else to complete the last game.
It is important that you finish the games as quickly as possible, so make sure you pick someone with teh skillz.

What made these games go so over the top is that each time you completed the game, they play a funny video of a choir singing some congratulatory messages to you. As if to jokingly stroke your ego.

That itself is already worth wasting 2 minutes of your life to play these games.
But I’ll tell you what’s not a joke: The Grand Prize of this contest.
It’s tickets to the Heineken Star Final: A free trip for three person to go on an exclusive holiday in an exotic tropical island and watch the the UEFA Champions League Final in style.

The destination is a secret, so don’t ask me ‘cos I dunno!
But if this year’s Heineken Star Final is a good indication, where Edwin Law joined 150 football fans from all over the world in South Africa to watch Manchester United win the Champions League, then it’s a pretty good chance the Grand Prize next year will not disappoint.

To win the Grand Prize, first you must pull together a team of three.
Then, head over to the Heineken Great Together website and complete those three games in the fastest time possible

If you are struggling to find team mates, not to worry. There are always heaps of bored people hanging around my Chatbox 24 hours a day.

If you ask nicely, I’m sure they’ll be people there happy to join your team.
A word of warning though.
Although these Chatboxers may be able to help you get by.

But skillz, they srsly lack.

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