Malaysian Dreamgirl Final Eight

It’s that time again.

Time that I put on my judge’s cape and lay the smackdown on the contestants of Malaysian Dreamgirl.
A quick explanation for the benefit of those who don’t know what’s going on: Malaysian Dreamgirl is an online reality show broadcasting at, where we put 12 ordinary girls in a house over 3 months and mould them into professional models.

This season, I am the online judge together with JoyceTheFairy. Each week we’ll alternate between ourselves giving judgment on which contestant we think should stay and go.
We get a lot of shit for doing this. My rationale is that these girls joined a competition where we are the judges, so we should be allowed to be forthright with our opinions.
Joyce and I would like to state in real life, we are very nice people who do not pass judgment on those not contesting on Malaysian Dreamgirl.
Without further a do, here’s my judgment on this season’s final eight and their “Futuristic” themed photoshoot.


This 17-year-old is my favourite Malay contestant since the start of the show.
I think she photographs exceptionally well. Like Joyce said, Farah’s best feature is her stunningly sharp and flawless face that could melt the audience like butter on pancakes.

5 weeks into the competition, suddenly this girl gets emo and depressed and lonely and wanted to home. What lah! Don’t waste the opportunity, Farah.
The modelling industry is not all beds of roses. Toughen up or go home.

4 out of 10 for this photo.


I don’t get it. Why is Denezia still in the competition?
For a girl who’s known for starting the warfare in the house, calling people “psycho” and breaking furniture in a fight, I think Denezia should be more suited joining World Wrestling Entertainment instead.
Then she can break all the furniture she wants.

3 out of 10 this week.


Pinky is a pretty. Tall and slim too. Put her in a crowd somewhere in 1Utama, I guarantee you she’ll stand out.

Put her in a house with 7 other girls all vying for the title of Malaysian Dreamgirl? Suddenly she becomes very ordinary.
Don’t get me wrong, I still think she’s one of the better ones in the game. But there are other girls with bigger heart, stronger drive and better discipline than she is.

At this level of competition, her work this week just wouldn’t cut it. She gets 6 out of 10 from me.


Shasya who? I’m sorry but she was just way too forgettable since the beginning of the show.
Regardless, I thought her photoshoot this week is quite spectacular.

Reminds me of some superhero character from Batman or something.
7 out of 10.


Ming did not impress me initially. I thought she looks flat (her face, I mean, not her… y’know) so I had reservations about how well she’s gonna perform.
But the 21-year-old graphic designer from Malacca has made me eat my own words when THIS particular photo came out.

Don’t you this is such a kickass photo?
She was definitely the best out of all the girls in that Wacoal photoshoot. Ming has the look of a classic Oriental lady that is just so intriguing in an industry cluttered with those cookie-cutter cutesy types.

I like that she is such a dedicated student to the fashion and modelling industry as well, proving that she’s more than just a pretty face, but a determined soul too.
I guess Ming would probably look out of place in a car show or a men’s magazine. Put her in a fashion spread and I bet she’d steal lots eyeballs.
She faltered in this week’s photoshoot unfortunately.

I hate to give her a 5.5 out of 10 for this photo only.
Still, I got high hopes. This girl definitely got potential.


Hot DAMN, did you see her fight with Ming in that episode?!
My goodness, the fierceness in the tongue that girl. The way she fought is like all my ex-girlfriends rolled into one scolding me at the same time. You can’t even get a word out to defend yourself!

Joyce likes her though. (I think Joyce’s exact words to me during the auditions were “check out those boobs.”)
I beg to differ. Apart from the impressive makeover and her huge set of eyes, the 18-year-old Eurasian has yet to really blow my mind.
Drama aside, I thought Natasha was kinda bland in her latest photoshoot.

I seriously dunno what kinda pose is that. Too many similar poses. Like the same pose photocopied five times. Totally not dynamic at all.
5 out of 10 for this photo.


This ordinary-looking girl went to Shawn Cutler for a makeover and walked out looking like THIS!

Who’s that girl? RIHANNA? No, it’s JUANITA.
Out of the final eight, it is this Johor girl carries herself in front of the camera best. Watch the way she speaks. Not only is she classy and articulate, she’s capable in producing the most professional-looking photos like these.

Looks like Destiny’s Child latest album WITH TWO EXTRA MEMBERS.
8 out of 10. If there is one girl that can come up from behind to claim the first place in this competition, it’s Juanita.
Keep your eyes on her.


Clearly she’s the leading favourite at this point.
Judging by the comments on the official MDG blog and the participation of her Facebook fan club, there is no doubt this 21-year-old will be safe from elimination for a long time. Dawn has distanced herself from the drama happening inside the house, and the support from her fans has been nothing short of phenomenal.

Does Dawn deserve all the fanfare? Of course. She has a great potential.
Her photos are consistently fabulous, her body well-toned and she has dimples on her cheeks so deep you could bake muffins in it. I’d even go as far as to say her photo this week is arguably the best we’ve ever done.

I wonder though, is Dawn over-rated?
Maybe. She has to watch out though. One slip-up and either Ming or Juanita could easy usurp her as the leading girl of the pack.
But for this week, Dawn gets a 9 out of 10 from me.

That’s it from me. Now it’s your turn.
Who is your favourite Malaysian Dreamgirl?

No, Elaine Daly doesn’t count.

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Apple iPhone 3G Review

Lookie what I got!


I am a proud owner of a brand new 16GB Apple iPhone 3G.

It’s mine. ALL MINE!


It may have been eight months late, but the hype still lives.

It’s a joke how ridiculously crazy Apple fanbois are over the release of the iPhone. It beggars belief how people overseas would queue up and camp overnight outside stores, just to be among the firsts to own this phone. But there is good reason for people’s madness over this phone.

If the chaotic scene at the KL Convention Centre over the last weekend was any indication, then this must be the most desired gadget in Malaysia since like… forever. Case in point, when’s the last time you see a telco company hiring out an entire convention centre just to sell one phone?


Hype aside, this is no doubt the most revolutionary phone ever released in the past one year.

As soon as Maxis they announced the official release of the King of Phones in Malaysia, I was onto it. Picked up my phone from the Maxis outlet earlier this week, and after using it for a couple of days, all I can say is: I am not disappointed.

This is quite honestly the best phone I have ever used, bar none.


Make no mistake about it. Everything about the iPhone exudes sheer sex appeal.

The iPhone is so sexy that bringing my brand new phone home is like inviting a sexy lady into my bedroom.

And opening the box is like undressing her.


As I slowly peeled off each layer of her (plastic) cover with trembling fingers, I can’t help but to notice what a fine-looking beauty she is.

Her skin is white, smooth and glossy. Her curves are in all the right places and perky buttons all hidden away waiting to for me to push. Oh, and did I mention what a real pleasure she is to hold?

I carefully picked her up and laid her gently across on table. Then, like a sexy lady in my bedroom that she is, I proceed to insert my hard object into her hole.


In this case, it’s my USB cable.

The iPhone I got from Maxis was already up-to-date with the latest 2.2 software, so there is no need to perform any software update.


Activation was quick and painless, and iTunes was also quick to import all my Contacts and Calendar from Microsoft Outlook over to my iPhone.

Within minutes, my iPhone is ready to be used. A few more clicks and my music, podcasts and photos all loaded up steady.


I am not one easy consumer to please. On the contrary, I am one extremely demanding phone user.

Never is it enough that my phone can just call or text. I use my device to surf the internet on the go, check my emails, watch movies on the plane, organize my appointments, give directions to hopeless KL taxi drivers using GPS. On top of it all, I want my phone to sync to my PC so all my calendars and contact list stay as one, united.


For a hungry power user like me, the unfortunate fact is that there are very few phones on the market that are able to match up to my expectation and lifestyle. The Nokia N95 and HTC Touch Diamond came close, but still they left a lot of room for improvement.

And then I got the Apple iPhone, which does all of the above and then some.


Like telling me how crap the weather is gonna be over the next few days.

There’s no need to go into detail how dead simple and intuitive the software is because that is already well-documented. The basic functionalities are all there, but then you can add more features using “iPhone Apps”.

On the iTunes Store tons of Apps, both free and paid, that lets you do everything from reading blogs offline.


To chatting on MSN.


To identifying the song on the radio.


To stalking people on Facebook.


To keeping track of stocks and foreign currencies.


To picking up chicks in Japanese.


That’s something I’m gonna *ahem* find especially useful when I head to Tokyo next week. 😉

I must say I’m impressed with the touch screen interface on the iPhone. It is easily by far the best I have ever used. With Windows Mobile devices, their touch screens are crap because they’re so expensive and yet so difficult to use.

After using the iPhone for a week now, I ain’t missing not having  physical keypads at all. Most people won’t have a problem with it.

Unless of course if you’re one of those chicks with fake nails so long it’s classified as a weapon.


It’s hard not to like this gadget at all.

Every month, rival companies churn out “iPhone killers” one unit after another. But it has been two years since Apple’s first foray into the phone industry and none of its competitors has managed to come even close to what the iPhone can do.


Sure, the first generation iPhone was crap and overrated. But not the iPhone

Sure, some features like MMS and copy-and-paste should’ve been on there from the get-go. But year after year, Apple has been adding improvements and releasing new versions of its software. How many other phone manufacturers do the same?


Apple did not just create a phone. They created a revolution.

It truly lives up to it’s status as the most versatile, feature-rich and user-friendly phones ever made. With version 3.0 of the software coming out later this year (again, free for iPhone 3G users), no doubt the Apple iPhone is gonna continue cementing its position as the King of Phones.

There is absolutely no reason for me not to love this phone.


There is however, just one last thing I need to do.

I am sorry Soni, it is over.

It’s not you it’s me.

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Inside Old Trafford Stadium

What the heck.


Man United lost again over the weekend. This time by 0-2 to Fulham, an underdog they’ve beaten twice before.

I think I’ve really jinxed it. Before this, they had like a two month undefeated record.


The day after the Liverpool match, I had a chance to follow the Mister Potato team visit Old Trafford again. This time to see what goes on behind the scenes in The Theatre of Dreams.

Tickets to the stadium tour were sold out pretty fast. Many disappointed fans turned away at the counter, but we were lucky to have made an earlier booking.

I must say, the experience was nothing short of sensational.


The stadium tour itself although very short, was extremely well worth it.

We walked through the same tunnel the players went through and sat on the same bench manager Alex Ferguson sat on just a day earlier. We were literally just centimetres away from the pitch.

To our surprise, the section devoted to the players was actually quite small and basic. No plush sofas, marbled pillars or gold taps.


Can you imagine stars like Ronaldo and Rooney hanging around a place like this? It’s nothing quite like the luxurious six-star facility I had expected for those mega-rich star players who earn obscene salaries of at least RM 500,000 a week each.

There’s a bar that serves food and beer (after the match) in the player’s lounge, and even a creche for them to leave their kids for car with the nannies.

An International Honours Board lists every player that has every played for Manchester United since their inception.


David Beckham is arguably Manchester United’s most famous player on the Honours Board.


His name is listed there, right above the Butt.

Other stuff of interests around Old Trafford includes this chewing gum disposal board.


I bet something somewhere in that tray has Alex Ferguson’s spit in it.


“Respect The Game, Respect The Referee”

In football? Yeah right!


Without a doubt, the best part about visiting Old Trafford for me was the opportunity to enter the players changing rooms.


This is the exact same spot where players freshen up and get changed at half-time while listening to Alex Ferguson’s fiery lecture. The shirts on the wall show where each player normally sits.

We must have visited the stadium at the wrong time, because while we were about the enter the changing room we noticed a someone familiar inside.

Holy shit.


Ryan Giggs, is that you!?

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Sayang You Can Dance Gala Premiere

Got a phone call from movie director Bjarne Wong the other day.

Bjarne: Hey Kenny, will you be free on Friday?
Kenny: Sure Bjarne. What’s up?
Bjarne: It’s the red carpet gala premiere of my movie Sayang You Can Dance. Would you like to come?
Kenny: Of course! Count me in.
Bjarne: Lots of stars and celebs are gonna be there. Make sure you dress up nice k?
Kenny: Har! Really ar? Ok ok, I’ll wear the best suit in my closet.


I’m not a suit person. I have never really invested in good one because there hasn’t been a lot of occasion that requires me to wear a suit. At least not in Kuching.

But this was also the first time I was invited to walk the RED CARPET of a movie premiere. Would it be like in the Oscars red carpet where I would be required to wear A FREAKIN’ GOOSE around my neck?


Not knowing what to expect, I got rid of anything involving dead animals and wore something safe to the red carpet.

Upon entering the cinema in my tailored formal suit and tie, I immediately felt as out of place as a Liverpool supporter in a Man United crowd.


People pretty much just walked into the cinema after finishing their shopping at Pavilion. I was way overdressed in a suit.

As if it wasn’t bad enough that a guy who had absolutely no role in the movie entered the red carpet pretending to look cool, the ACTUAL STARS came out wearing nothing more formal than sneakers and jeans.

Needless to say, my dressing has EPIC PHAILed.

Luckily, I wasn’t the only one who miscalculated the level of formality on the event. Soon after I walked the red carpet, two equally clueless girls followed innocently from behind.

I turned around and saw the current Miss Malaysia World dressed in a striking green gown.

Followed shortly by the runner up dressed in equally striking red.

Those two were so glamourously overdressed that people in the cinema literally stopped in their tracks and turned their heads 180 degrees around to check them out.

And the best part was, they wore heels so damn high that when they stood together…


…they looked like Malaysia’s tallest set of traffic lights.

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That Manchester United Vs Liverpool Match

It was almost like a fairy tale.


On the 14th March, 35 Malaysians on the invitation of Mister Potato braved rain and high seas to travel half way across the globe to Manchester, England.

Our destination: Old Trafford Stadium – the stomping ground of the Red Devils, the mecca of Manchester United fans, The Theatre of Dreams.


It was not just any ordinary football match we were watching.

Experts say that this was the most crucial match in this season’s Barclay’s Premier League. Tickets to this match were so hard to come by that there were people hanging outside the stadium offering up to 200 pounds (RM 1,050) to buy a ticket that normally costs 40 pounds (RM 210).

After all, this match was an iconic event in the great rivalry between two of England’s biggest football clubs, Manchester United vs Liverpool.


Not everyday a football fan get to witness such a big match live at Old Trafford Stadium. For many of us, it was a dream come true. And this next chapter in Manchester United and Liverpool’s heated rivalry was by all measures a historic one.

Unfortunately for Man United fans, this match on the 14th March 2009 was historic for all the wrong reasons.


It was the first time in history Manchester United suffered a defeat this badly on their home ground to archrivals Liverpool.

But before we talked about how bad Man U got thrashed, let’s go back to before the match started.


It was an experience that just cannot be translated onto TV. The atmosphere inside the jam-packed Old Trafford Stadium was nothing short of electrifying. This was the only place in the world where you can hear 70,000 grown men singing Glory Glory Man United together in unison.

The 35 of us who travelled with Mister Potato were obviously very excited going to watch this match. So much so that for the first time in my life, I bought a Red Devil jersey.


Now I know I got a lotta flak when I suggested my intention to switch support from Chelsea to Manchester United. Well, sorry to all hardcore footballs fans, but at least lemme try to explain.

Choosing which football club to support is like sleeping with a girl. When you are physically inside (the stadium), you say you better god damn say you love them. Otherwise all hell is gonna break loose.


The Red Devils dominated early on during the match.

When Cristiano Ronaldo scored that first penalty, the whole entire stadium went absolutely nuts.

Manchester United 1 – 0 Liverpool


The excitement didn’t last long. Liverpool’s star striker Fernando Torres quickly lobbed an equalizer into the net five minutes later, prompting the home team supporters into a deafening silence.

Manchester United 1 – 1 Liverpool

That equaliser was the start of the Red Devil’s nightmare.


By the 44th minute, I was pretty certain that we were gonna go into half-time draw. But right before the referee had the chance to blow that whistle, Manchester United made another mistake.

Liverpool captain Steven Gerrard was charging full speed towards the goal, only to be tripped by defender Patrice Evra.


It’s another penalty, this time in favour of Liverpool.

Man U’s goalkeeper kept protesting against the referee by refusing to get into line.


It didn’t work. He instead got a yellow card for his theatrical efforts.

It was then all up to Steven Gerrard.


He kicked.


He scored!

Manchester United 1 – 2 Liverpool

Again, the small section of Liverpool supporters went bonkers. It’s now 1 – 2 going into half-time. The Man United fans were fuming.


You can see how heavily guarded the Liverpool fans were. Their seating section was sandwiched between yellow-coated policemen wearing full riot gear. No other section in Old Trafford stadium were as well-protected as they were. Not even Sir Alex Ferguson’s seats.

Such is the intensity of the Manchester United vs Liverpool rivalry that fights often broke up between hooligan fans of the two.


Sitting a row behind us, four Liverpool supporters were mistakenly assigned to sit in the Manchester United supporters area. Big mistake.

Their cover was blown when they accidently cheered the Liverpool goal, and this pissed of one hardcore Man U supporter sitting right beside them.

"Excuse me, are you guys Liverpool supporters? Why the f*ck are you sitting here!? You don’t belong here! Get the f*ck out before I beat the shit out of you f*cking scousers!"


The man elbowed one of the Liverpool supporters in the face. Immediately security guards rushed to our area to avert a potential full-blown hooligan war.

The aggressive Man U fan was about to be escorted out, but the security thought it would be a better idea to bring those four Liverpool fans to a safer area instead.

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By the time second-half of the game resumes, it’s pretty clear the Red Devils have lost much of their momentum.

The only persistent attacker was Ji-Sung Park.


Everyone else was just dancing.


Even Wayne Rooney went looney.


With 20 minutes left to the game, Alex Ferguson decided he must do something ast to turn around Manchester United’s fate.

In a triple substitution, the manager brought in Berbatov, Giggs and Scholes to inject more offensive edge into Manchester United.


That was not enough, it seems.

The referee saw Manchester United defender Vidic grabbing a fistful of Steven Gerrard’s shirt as he was going for goal.


And promptly flashed him the red card.

Manchester United was down to ten men. If the Red Devils wanted to overturn this game, they better hope for some miracle. And by miracle, I mean magically transform Cristiano Ronaldo into the Brazilian Ronaldo and Steven Gerrard into Posh Spice.

But even that might not have worked in their favour.


Liverpool’s Aurelio free-kicked a beautiful curved ball right into Man United’s goal, bringing the score to

Manchester United 1 – 3 Liverpool

That was pretty much the nail in the coffin for the home team.

The Red Devils must have given up on all hopes. Even the fans can no longer bear to watch the humiliating defeat and began leaving Old Trafford Stadium in droves.


I say they made a good move.

Because by the 90th minute, even a Liverpool unknown managed to score a goal to make it

Manchester United 1 – 4 Liverpool


Ming and I were not smiling.

It was such a painful game to watch, made even more painful by the fact that the 35 of us actually travelled some 16 hours from Malaysia to England to watch Manchester United lost in the most humiliating fashion ever.

Here’s a selection of videos we took during the match, including the two penalty goals.

Uploaded by kennysia

Despite the disappointing results, it was actually a nice to travel with a bunch of blokes to catch something we share a common passion in and bond over football, beer and Mister Potato chips.


I must say also that I have a new found love for Manchester United, although I do find it ironic that whichever team I support always seem to lose in the most dramatic fashion.

I dunno.

Maybe what Manchester United needs is a new player.


Or maybe not.

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ADV: The iPhone Has Landed

It is here.
The Apple iPhone has finally landed in Malaysia. None of those grey market parallel imported bullshit that comes with no warranty. This is the real deal.
In the wise words of Apple mascot CEO Steve Jobs, “It’s a phone! It’s an iPod! It’s an internet communicator device!”
All hail the king of phones.
Don’t they know how long we’ve been waiting for this in Malaysia? I must have waited for like 358 years after 900 countries have all released it. Okay, maybe not 358 years, but certainly it felt that long. It’s ridiculous.
When Steve Jobs made the announcement that the second generation iPhone will be available in 90 countries outside of the US, my friend Moorey, who runs an Apple shop in Kuching, was one of those waiting with bated breath.
Then we found out that the iPhone was gonna be released in countries like South Africa, Kenya and Nicaragua… but not in Malaysia. How freaking ridiculous is that? It’s like every other countries are in the FUTURE and we are still stuck in the past? Can you imagine like a Zulu warrior in Kenya, holding a spear, trying to hunt down an African tiger while talking on his iPhone?
So it’s a year late but Maxis just announced their partnership with Apple to launch tthe iPhone 3G in Malaysia this Friday.
Anyone who have used the iPhone will tell you it is a freaking awesome phone. They just can’t stop showing off their phone any opportunities that they got. I’ve used a borrowed first generation iPhone before and was amazed by how much Apple engineers managed to stuff into that little thing. It’s like me on the buffet table during Chinese New Year. Just stuff and stuff everything inside me until I can’t take it anymore.
With confirmed reports that Apple will release version 3.0 of their iPhone software in a few days time, who knows what other features are on the cards? But like most Malaysians, the thing that concerned me the most was the price.
Maxis offers RM2,160 upfront for the iPhone plus a 12-month RM155 contract which includes warranty, generous free talk time and data usage.
Yes I know it’s dear, but not as prohibitive as many thought it would be. My current phone bills hovers around RM200 a month, so committing to RM150 a month is still ok lah. Immediately, I plonked down my order.
20090312-10.jpg I spent almost RM 3K on my Nokia N95 2 years ago, so I’m quite happy with RM 2K for a touch screen phone from the future.
But of course, there are gonna be some people reading this who’s gonna think “Wah! Have to take off my pants around Chow Kit only then can afford!” If you are one of those people, don’t worry.
Apple have also released a brand new product for the budget-conscious ones like you.
It’s called… the Apple tPhone.
Works just as good I heard.

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ADV: Looking For Craic

While I’m in still Manchester, I couldn’t resist making plans to go to a country I always wanted to visit.

Beautiful Ireland. Ahh… seems like such a faraway place to go to last time, but long at last you are within grasp. 😉
I must admit, my love for Ireland and all things Irish began in a very peculiar way. It started with Westlife and Boyzone (don’t laugh), but they’re not the real reason why I wanted to go Ireland so much.
My interest was actually aroused when I watched the movie P.S. I Love You.

For those who watched the movie, there was this beautiful scene shot in a park somewhere in Ireland where Gerry first met Holly.
It was then and there that he fell in love with her and did all sorts of romantic stuff to make her happy, even after he died.

The end result is a movie so sappy and emo that boyfriends all around the world had to endure while their girlfriends stared and asked, “EH! YOU LOUSY! WHY YOU NEVER DO THAT FOR ME!?”
Damn you Gerald Butler!
Of course lah, there are other reasons why I wanna visit Ireland. I like Irish food, Irish countryside, Irish cream, Irish coffee, Irish pubs, Irish whiskey and Irish beer.
In particular, Irish beer.

Especially if it’s Guinness Draught on tap. 😉
Guinness is without a doubt Ireland’s most famous export. This year is coincidentally its 250th birthday, so a visit to Sir Arthur Guinness’ legendary brewery at St James Gate is definitely on my agenda.

St Patrick’s Day is not just an excuse for people all around the world to drink Guinness. It is when the world celebrates Irish culture and something the Irish people called ‘craic’.
For the real meaning of the word ‘craic’, you gotta ask a true Irish. It is an atmosphere of unpretentious feel good vibe where strangers become friends, and people put aside their differences to share jokes, laughters and mischiefs.

It’s a distinctively Irish thing. In Ireland, strangers strike up a conversation with you because they genuinely wanna be friends with you.
In Malaysia, strangers strike up a conversation with you because they wanna sell you insurance.

I had a small dose of ‘craic’ when I attended Guinness’ media preview of their St Patrick’s Day celebrations in KL recently.
The actual events are on today (13th March) at 1Utama shopping centre in PJ and tomorrow (14th March) at Juru Auto City in Penang, and everyone is welcome to join in on those days.

If you are in KL or Penang, you should go and attend their St Patrick’s Day celebrations because Guinness sure knows how to throw a good party. There’s food, there’s a good company and all around feel-good vibe.
At the media preview, they even lighted up the KL Tower in GREEN for the heck of it!

We played a goofy little game where I was partnered with Ben from indie band Ben’s Bitches (of Cha Cha Cha Amber Chia fame), and whaddya know? We took home the top prize of RM300 in prize money.
But out of nowhere I bumped into this long-time reader of mine who I know has been writing a series of negative stuff about me lately.
He said hi, and for a moment there I had no idea how to react because I felt so awkward facing someone who I know doesn’t like me. For what reason he dislikes me, I have no idea.

So there’s me, standing face to face with a hate commenter.
Should I confront him? Should I walk away? Or should I start some drama in front of everyone?
I didn’t do any of those. Instead, out of courtesy I handed him a glass of Guinness and we drank beer together.

Inside, I was feeling uncomfortable. I didn’t know what to say so I rambled on about some superficial stuff while trying hard not to show that I was upset about those things he wrote about me.
But eventually he told to me the reason why he was so against me.

And the reason is that there was no reason at all.
He said it was one of those things he saw other people writing bad stuff about me on my comment box, and he just wanted to join in the flaming mob for the heck of it. He thought that with me being in the limelight, I should be used to it by now.

Fair enough.
I wasn’t impressed by his answer, but I wasn’t too angry either. In the end, I decided to forget it and let bygones be bygones. Before the night is over, we raised our glasses, skulled down more Guinness, exchanged name cards and parted ways with no hard feelings from either side.

Gee. Amazing how bad feelings between two people can be resolved so easily over a couple of beers. 😉

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Blue To Red

Over the long weekend, I flew into…

Manchester, England,
On the invitation of our local snack food company called…

Mister Potato
To join their 30 winners who had so luckily won the grand prize in Mister Potato’s contest a few months ago called…

Mister Potato F.C.
These 30 winners from across Malaysia collected and mailed the most number of Mister Potato seals and wrappers over the promo period from May to November 2008, and was rewarded for it. We are also gonna collect 5 authentic autographed jerseys by Cristiano Ronaldo and Fernando Torres for the top 5 winners.
Then this coming Satuday, we will all be escorted to the stadium for a tour and to watch a live Barclay’s Premier League match between one of football’s legendary teams…

Manchester United
Going head to head against another one of footballing’s greats…

Liverpool F.C.
Taking place in arguably England’s most famous football stadium of all time…

The “Theatre of Dreams”, The Old Trafford.
It doesn’t get any bigger than that. This is such a rare opportunity and amazing experience of a lifetime that I dare say some men would even sell their grandmothers at the drop of a hat.
But there is only one tiny bit of problem.
I’m actually more of a fan of…

Chelsea F.C.
Not a hardcore fan, but a fan nonetheless.
But what to do ah? Chelsea was cool for a while, but then they lost almost every single match against the big teams. My friend Eric has been mocking me and urging me to turn red ever since the day Chelsea lost to Manchester United in the most dramatic fashion, 0-3.
Maybe after this Saturday I’ll switch allegiance and don the Red Devil jersey.

Chelsea has been doing so crap, their coach Scolari also lari already.

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Cultural Learnings Of Ho Chi Minh City For Make Benefit Glorious Nation Of Malaysia

I realised I haven’t yet blogged about the trip to Vietnam I had last year.

You can obviously tell that the trip was from a long time ago because that pic was from when I still had hair.
Actually I had wanted to blog about this trip earlier, but as soon as I returned from Vietnam, Israel launched an attack Gaza. A lotta people were getting emotional as a result. Considering I couldn’t blog about Ho Chi Minh City without mentioning the horrors of the Vietnam War, I decided to put the entry on hold.
Until I kinda forgot about it. Hehe.

There is a reason why people described George Bush’s war in Iraq as a repeat of the Vietnam War.
Back in the 1960s, Vietnam was split into two halves, the communist north and the democratic south.

The Americans weren’t even involved in this conflict at first. But because this was during the height of the Cold War, they were desperate to “spread democracy” and rid the world of communism in order to assume world domination.

So they sent in their troops into Saigon help the South Vietnamese fight the war, thinking that it’ll be an easy victory since they have bombs, tanks and planes. All the North Vietnamese had back then were primitive sticks and stones.

What the Americans thought was gonna be a swift one-sided war turned ugly when the they find themselves ambushed repeatedly by pro-communist soldiers and civilians alike hiding inside tunnels and Vietnam’s thick jungles. The Americans responded with more shock-and-awe, poisoning jungles with Agent Orange, wiping out villages with napalm bombs and indiscriminately killing innocent women and children.

By the end of the war, half a million 50,000 American troops perished and millions more Vietnamese from both sides suffered casualties. American troops were forced to leave Vietnam due to pressure from the hippie movement, and this immediately paved way for the North Vietnamese to capture Saigon and renamed it Ho Chi Minh city.

I gotta be honest here.
I didn’t enjoy Ho Chi Minh City. I loved Hanoi to bits when I went there two years ago, and I thought HCMC would be something similar. Instead, we were confronted by depressing sights everywhere we went.

The museum we went to that showcased photos from the war in particular brought our spirits down and made us feel so depressed. It’s almost as if we paid for this holiday just to feel depressed. 🙁
Even the sight of this grown man holding onto his massive collection of colourful balloons didn’t cheer us up.

I think part of the reason why I lacked enthusiasm had to do with the fact that we got ripped off like 3 hours after we touched down from the airport.
My travel partner Nadia and I were at a market 5 minutes away from our guesthouse, and we decided to take a cyclo (Vietnamese version of a trishaw) back.

One of the riders approached us and asked 30,000 dong (RM 6) for the trip. Seems reasonable.
After they dropped us off, suddenly they asked for 300,000 dong (RM 60)! How can a freaking 5 minute journey on a bicycle cost RM60?!
For that price, I would’ve expect the cyclo to be made from Louis Vuitton or something.

Obviously we refused to pay lah. Some more kena blamed for hearing him wrongly. In the end, I got so pissed off that I just gave them 100,000 (RM 20) and scurried away.
I wasn’t happy, but I told myself that I can’t blame them for trying to scam us.
Many of these cyclo riders were in fact educated doctors and lawyers before the Vietnam War. Because they were anti-communists, their homes and possessions were all taken away when the communist government took over. They were outcasted and not given work permit, effectively forcing them to work illegally as cyclo riders who run around overcharging tourists.

We couldn’t stand HCMC any longer, so Nadia and I booked a day trip for a visit down the Mekong River on our second day.

It was a pleasant getaway from the noise and chaos of the city, but we still couldn’t escape from the mechanical tourist traps they set up for us over there. We went to one village, they showed us how to make spring rolls.

We went to the next village, they sell us coconut candy.
We went to the next village, they tried to sell us honey tea.

Then finally they made us all sit down to listen to our waitress sing some ridiculous Vietnamese opera songs while they asked for more tips!

By the time we return to HCMC, it was 8pm and we were pretty hungry. So Nadia and I walked over to this French restaurant recommended by my Lonely Planet guidebook.
It was the most interesting French restaurant experience I’ve ever had. And I don’t mean in a good way!

The food wasn’t bad – it was okay.
The experience was interesting because while we’re at the restaurant, the ASEAN Cup grand final between Vietnam and Thailand was going on and all the waitstaff were literally glued to the TV. That’s fine. Nadia and I can entertain ourselves with miniature Vietnamese flags while we’re being ignored.

But then something unexpected happened.
During the game, Vietnam scored a late goal and became ASEAN Cup football champions for the first time in history.
Within minutes, thousands of revelers in motorbikes clad in patriotic red screamed, danced, raced through the streets to celebrate their victory.

It was all fun and games at first, but the excitement quickly degenerated into something scary. We finished our dinner and wanted to go back to our guesthouse, but then it suddenly dawned on us that there’s no chance in hell that we could get a taxi in this kinda situation.

With the crowd showing no signs of subsiding, we took refuge in a nearby rooftop bar.

You will NEVER see Malaysians celebrating on the streets so crazily like that. Not because we are disciplined people, but because our football team is totally hopeless!

Two hours had gone by and still people were clogging up the streets!
We were tired, sweaty and smelly. Eventually we decided to put our lives at risk and walk some 40 minutes back to our guesthouse, narrowly avoiding becoming motorcycle roadkills along the way.
Till today, I wondered what a miracle it was that we even made in back in one piece.

Apart from those annoyances though, I still think Ho Chi Minh City is a beautiful place. I especially enjoy admiring the architecture of their buildings.

The buildings in Ho Chi Minh City are very unique for a city in South-East Asia. Decades of French colonization resulted in many of their buildings having a chic Parisian flavour to it. In fact, it’s almost as if some of their buildings were directly imported from Europe.
They got their own Notre Dame Cathedral.

Even their own Toni&Guy hair salon.

Wait a minute, that is not Toni&Guy.

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