I got a first-hand look today at our country's young nation-building program, the National Service. And as the cadets or its scientific term which is wirawan/wirawati celebrated the end of their 3-month stint with hugs and laughter, I couldn't help but wonder how long this bond will last. Each will go back to their homes, back to their respective ethnic groups, back to the safety zone which is among their peers. And the Major says it best, "Diorang ni dalam kelas je campur. Habis kelas terus buat hal masing-masing. Yang Melayu, Melayu. Yang Cina, Cina." Why am I not surprised? In a table filled with bapak-bapak orang, he also added, "Budak-budak zaman sekarang lain. Kita yang ibu bapa ni fail. Salah kita jugak." Why do I still feel like a 'budak-budak sekarang'? I smiled. Whatever the reason is, we've got a long way to go.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 11:08 PM
I just found a new source of entertainment in the form of daily highlights from the Parliament during prime time news. Hot on the menu (in no particular order):
1. The misadventures of Rafidah and her merry band of AP holders. 2. Reality TV and the tons of SMSes that goes with it. 3. Customs D-G issue (okay laaa...this is soooo last week)
I never thought Parliament could be this interesting. Must visit it some day. But c'mon lah...I don't think the rakyat pay you guys to discuss how much we waste our money on SMSes. We're grown-ups, you know. Our parents have been yakking at us since we were kids. What next? Go clean my room?
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 11:35 PM
On the request by the Malaysian Indian-Muslim Congress (KIMMA) for the Indian Muslim community to be granted the 'Malay' status, I totally object with the proposal. I'm not racist. This is for the simple fact that if it is granted, my favourite Mamak stall will become inefficient and slow. Who's gonna remember my order?
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 9:36 PM
No, I am not that busy. There's more to life than blogging, you know. Takde idea cakap aje la... Speaking of which, since I'm in brain-drain mode, here's a picture that I really enjoyed taken by an amateur photographer/friend of mine. Since it's untitled by the owner, I shall call it 'The Best Parking Space'. I can't take good pictures, so I'll just name 'em...hehe.
OK tak, Ayu?
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 11:26 PM
How was your weekend? Mine was a mixed bunch of sorts. I'm suprised I don't blog as much as I would like to. I don't know why. One thing I'm sure of is that it can't be work-related pressure. No bloody way. Hehe. Actually I got tons of things I would like write about, but since I wanna put 'em all in one posting, I guess this jumbled up digest of Stone's weekend would have to do. Not that anyone would give a damn anyhow. Saturday was officially family day. Like literally. Spent the whole day going on a rombongan bertunang to Jerantut. If there's one thing I like about family gatherings (there aren't many I'm fond of), it's just sitting there and watching my makciks berborak. They're such gems. They could go from Mahathir to Mawi in one breath. And speaking of our 'world'ly one, I learned a whole lot of things about Mawi in 30 minutes just by observing them. Ko cakap aje la apa pun. Isu burger? Mawi dah sombong? What M. Nasir taught him? How many SMSes ASTRO received? Even the latest and hottest topic an Channel 15. You read that right. Channel 15. I rest my case. I spent the night over at my Pak Long's place in Sikamat. He was alone and asked some of us bujang senang to come over and accompany him. I thought it was gonna be like some guys night out or something. Dead wrong. Pak Long slept with us downstairs. So much for the carom plan. I even slept early. It was kinda eerie and quiet too. The house looked so hollow. I don't wanna grow old like this. Bole tak? Sunday was gearing-up-for-the-Oscars day. Even though it's still months away, I'm planning early this year :p Watched Crash (not to be mistaken for the erotic version) on DVD and what can I say? Kickass lineup of Hollywood stars past and present (watch out for glimpses of Tony 'Who's the Boss?' Danza and Daniel Day Kim of 'Lost'), this racially themed movie shows the raw and brutal reality of racist post-9/11 LA. After watching it, it gives me the impression that maybe we're not that racist. We're just people with everyday issues and problems who might happen to be in a wrong situation at a wrong time. We may seem racist at first, but underneath there might be a different story altogether. And besides, when you have Don Cheadle in your movie you can't go wrong. This black dude is so under-rated, man. Who needs Denzel? I followed that up with Cinderella Man (not to be mistaken for Mr. Cinderella). This is a great movie. Feel-good movies never felt this good. I almost wept a tear for a second here. I don't care what people say about Russel Crowe. It was a great performance from him and everyone involved including our favourite Happy Days man behind the camera, Ron Howard. Screw the Oscars, SAGs, Cannes or even the Golden Globes, Cinderella Man just triumphs in my heart. Who said boxing was for tough guys? And last night I ended the day with my favorite makcik, Oprah who had a reunion of the Seinfeld cast. I missed Seinfeld. I remembered catching it on a crude reception of the now-defunct MetroVision some time ago. I so adore Julia Louis-Dreyfus. She's so cute and funny. In all honesty, I got hooked up on Arrested Development after stopping at Channel 70 while doing some channel surfing because I caught a glimpse of her as the 'blind' lawyer. Truth be told. And there goes my weekend. Julia Loius-Dreyfus and Mawi? I got great company, don't I?
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 7:34 PM
Spotted: The sisterhood of Sharifah Amani and Aleya. Eyes more focused on the former. Result: Excessive drooling causing dinner to be spoiled and wet. Conclusion: Always eat with your mouth closed. And try not to watch Sepet religously too.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 10:27 PM
First day of work in a new office. I was really looking forward to this day. I dunno, I guess first days in a new environment are always a monumental moment. I could hardly sleep last night. I have this thing going when I'm excited. I make sure everything's done and in fine order. I ironed my shirt and trousers, Kiwied my shoes, put everything in a nice folder and even made sure I had a nice tie to go with the shirt. Okay..maybe I was a wee bit excited, so sue me will ya? I even woke up at 6 this morning with the known fact about Seremban's almost non-existent traffic jams. I took my own sweet time. Had a quick bite before going off to work, something I haven't done in a long time. There's something about home-cooked breakfast that's so motherly. Driving in Seremban during rush hour is no rush at all. I was singing along with Shazmin's morning playlist as I cruised through the traffic. Never in my life would I imagine myself working in Seremban. Ahhh...'tis is the life. Here I was with my ambition and desire all wrapped up in me. Semangat berkobar-kobar would be an understatement to describe how I feel. My passion was burning so brightly it could subsititute the morning sun. I stepped into the office feeling like Man of the Year material. I was on fire, man! Give me what you've got, rakyat. Stone is here to save the day! And then the officer told me to pergi minum dulu. And suddenly I could hear the toilet flushing in my head. So much for the fire.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 10:31 PM
Defining moments in history are like bookmarks for me. Like certain songs, they remind me of what and how my life was at that particular time. It's asking "Where were you when....Malaysia won the Thomas Cup? you first heard about the tsunami? and of course, where were you when you first heard about the planes crashing into the World Trade Centre? My answer was having a plate of maggi goreng at the Mapley in Jalan 223, a favourite hub of my student days. The messenger? None other than Cajun, who when he first said that planes had crashed into the WTC, I was honestly thinking this guy was pissing all over me. Turned out it was true and I remembered spending the night at the Gasing house getting the latest updates from Fox News which had taken over the Star World channel. It was almost unreal. To this day, I am still stunned and in awe of the scenes of September 11 that we have become all too familiar with. Little that I know then, that the world will be defined by that date. From that moment, it was the world post-Sept. 11 and the world we used to know before that day. The sheer contrast of world politics on September 10 and September 12 is so huge, it's almost unimaginable how the world was like before that day. Nothing can justify what happened on that day in New York. Nor does any other war or assasinations or killings that happens in this world. Overnight, the world became blood-thirsty. We began to suspect people who were different from us. Airplane journeys in the West will never be the same again. Suddenly, war was the answer to everything. Whether we like it or not, the world nowadays is in chaos. Judgemental is an over-used phrase, because in all honesty, we are all guilty. Even here in good 'ol Malaysia, we have our reservations on those bearded ulamas'. You are judged on what you choose: Moderate or extremist? East or West? Bush or Saddam? Black or white? UMNO or PAS? We aren't the same people we were before September 11, 2001. Four years on, we hardly have done better.
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 11:41 PM
Hello. It's been only 10 days and yet it feels like an eternity. A lot has happened in the world during my 10 day adventure in Kluang. Katrina and the waves proves to be more than a one hit wonder, Malaysia celebrated 48 candles, jetplanes are falling from the sky and Micheal Owen became a Magpie. Yet in my small world in Kluang, time seems to be standing still. Not helped by the curfew imposed on us, internet access was also limited. Which made me realise how much of a geek I was feeling very uncomfortable without the 3W's. We were in our own world there, bounded by the steel gates that marked our territory. I feel like I just came back from summer camp. We did everything short of singing 'Kumbaya' and roasting marshmallows at the campfire. But in all honesty, as the outside world closed out from me, my own world opened up. We were fed activities after activities and talk after talk. Yes. I was brainwashed. And the best part is: I enjoyed every second of it. Even though everyone had their own excuses for being there, it was a melting pot of diversity. Engineers, lawyers, economists, Masters holders, fresh grads, the young, the old, the unemployed, businessmen, even nuclear scientists. And if I first set foot there feeling like a Superman wannabe, I left feeling how small I was knowing what some of the others had achieved. It was really an eye-opener. To meet people who honestly believed that they want to contribute and to try to make a change. And even though there were not many like this, it was a privilege to know these people and their spirit. But I still have my doubts. We are young. We have the fire in us. But will that fire still be burning after 10-20 years? Or will it be doused by corruption and power? I dare not say for I wouldn't want to swallow my own words. And for the first time in a long, long time, I have a basic outline of my plans in the future. Maybe I'll serve the State for a few years, do a Masters degree and try a change in environment in another Ministry. The options are open. It's up to me now. For once, the ball is in my court. And now I have my orders. To be honest I'm quite dissapointed that I wasn't shortlisted to join the Foreign Service, but maybe there is some justification in that. And so, I will be heading for the State. Maybe Mat Hassan wants me to serve the good people of NS. I shall be looking forward to that. Mungkin ni balasan Tuhan sebab aku asyik mengata pasal pembangunan Seremban. Nah amik ubat. Ko ingat ko pandai sangat ke? So the onus is on me to help make NS a developed state before 2020. 2019 ok tak?
o this message was brought to you by The Narrator @ 10:32 PM