By James Chow

Protected: Kitty Charm

Cats: stay away from them during meals!

All of my close friends know that I simply love cats. Whenever I see a stray cat, (yes, I know it’s kinda unhygienic sometimes…) I could never resist to give it my usual gentle kitty-stoke, and see it responding gently to the comfort. After all, I have been rearing kitties for many years since I got my first pet kitten from the canteen of my primary school.

Cats are just so adorable because they are irresistably CUTE, relatively clean animals, not too big in size, do not create loud noises, do not need to be caged, and, erm, do not die that easily. =) Of course, they are also the ‘touchable’ type of animals, unlike fish or tortoise, which is only good if you want them as decorations and not pets.

Finally and most importantly, they are among those kinds of animals, that have what I call ‘senses’. What I mean is they can expressively recognise and interact with humans. For example, they can act reeeaaalllyy cute and pitiful when they are trying to get free food from you when you’re eating at your nearby mamak stall. Awww…

I came across a cat that is so professional in human seduction, that it can perform and maintain a really extraordinary 2-legged STANDING posture when it’s hungry and you most certainly CANNOT help but give up half of your meal to it.

Here’s a step-by-step photo sequence of a kitty seductress in operation:

kitty in action!

Kitty in Action!

Kitty in Action!

Kitty in Action!

So if you see it one day, look away from it and concentrate on your food, otherwise you’ll probably lose your meal to it.

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By James Chow

Protected: The Malaysian Santa Clause.

Santa Clause, probably the 2nd-top enduring figure for Christmas for many centuries (after Christ himself), is rather a downtrend in Malaysia.

Santa and Reindeer

image from kidswebindia.com

Since centuries ago, the original Santa:

  • Was an old man,
  • Had a long white beard,
  • Wore a red coat with white fur,
  • Well… was Fat,
  • Was bespectacled,
  • Wore white gloves,
  • Wore a long red fabric hat with a white fur ball at the tip,
  • Held a red sack of toys as gifts for children,
  • Slid down chimneys to put toys in socks placed beside fireplaces,
  • Had a sleigh pulled by reindeers,
  • Manufactured toys at home with his wife and a group of Elves.

Well, the last three conditions may be harder for Malaysian Santas to imitate, I understand, but the rest should be followed as strict as possible.

All was fine until last night when I encountered a Malaysian Santa Clause, let’s evaluate:

Malaysian Santa

  • Obviously not an old man, old men seldom do the ‘v’ hand sign. (FAILED)
  • Has a white beard, but personally I don’t think it’s long enough, but anyway… (PASSED)
  • Has a red coat but no white fur trimmings. (FAILED)
  • Fat… Emm… No idea… Let’s just pass this one. (PASSED)
  • Bespectacled all right. (PASSED)
  • Definitely no white gloves here, and since when does Santa wear sports watches? (FAILED)
  • I love the santa hat! (PASSED)
  • I don’t see no sack of toys.. Sobs…T_T (FAILED)
  • Chimney? Bah… (NOT EVALUATED)
  • Sleigh with reindeers? Nanti kena saman… (NOT EVALUATED)
  • No wife, no elves, no house manufacturing toys… (NOT EVALUATED)

Our Santa Failed half of the conditions!

Not only does he lack some of the santa features, the Santa Boss is obviously not paying Santa well too!

Santa's Torn Hat.

A rather obvious hole on the hat of poor ole’ Santa! I wanna lodge a complaint!

Really, it’s time we started appreciating our Santas! They are the ones that contribute a lot to the non-religious Christmas atmosphere!

So how do you appreciate a Santa when you see one? Shake his hand, smile, laugh, and shriek with joy (feign it if you have to) when he comes, and don’t ever make fun of them unless you’re a small kid.

I really love Christmas and the atmosphere of it, but sometimes it really pains me to see how the Malaysian community celebrates Christmas. I’m not talking anymore about our poor Santa, I’m talking about the decorations, attitudes, parties, and the overall atmosphere of the Malaysian Christmas celebration. It’s just my opinion, though. Sigh…

Anyway, here’s what I secretly discovered later on the streets. Finally we can evaluate:

  • Santa and his sleigh pulled by reindeers!

Santa's 'Sleigh'

FAILED.

I suppose a motorcycle is a lot cheaper and easier to maintain compared to feeding and keeping reindeers in Malaysia.

Merry Christmas everyone!

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By James Chow

Protected: Christmas Journey Home.

It’s Christmas soon! Yay!

Since there isn’t much to do here is KL, I’m going back to my hometown, Ipoh, for Christmas! Believe me when I say Christmas is definitely my favourite festival of the year!

Because I don’t own so much as a bicycle in KL, I had to board an express bus with my friend instead. Well, not bad eh, express busses nowadays are tolerably comfortable, not all, but some are! It depends on your luck to get the good ones. Yes, you’ll get some proof later on…

So I was at the LRT station making my way to Pudu Raya with my friend, when I reached the ticket counter and was about to hand the payment for my ticket to the cashier, a curious sign caught my sight:

Please Say Thank You Sign

There was a bland notice in front of me, apparently asking me to say ‘thank you’!

At that very moment, I was actually dumb enough to think that it was probably that finally RapidKL had decided that their staff had endured enough of the public’s rudeness, thus putting up the sign to remind us, the customers, to say thank you.

Bewildered, I paid for my ticket, said ‘thank you’ courteously, perhaps too softly; and as usual, was ignored by the cashier.

After I walked out of the queue, only I realized that the sign was supposed to face the cashier, but was rotated to face the public when the cashier left the counter, overlooking the funny effect it caused. A small mistake, but if there are more dumb people like me buying tickets from them and misunderstanding the purpose of the notice, there’ll be more polite people in Malaysia! That’s good! XD

*****

We reached Pudu Raya and my friend was complaining about me not getting the tickets earlier since it’s Friday and going to be a long weekend, what can I do? Forgot mah…=)

We went counter-by-counter to all the express bus companies that we used to take, and all of them were like, “Eepoh ah? Tak de lagi lah!“. Suffering under the suffocating air of Pudu Raya and the weight of my bag, my friend went on hunting for tickets while I found a spot to wait, away from the crowd of ‘salespeople’ screaming stuff like “Johor Johor Johor Johor Jooohhoooorrr sekarang sekarang sekarang! Leng Chai ah, pergi mana?….”.

Finally, my friend came back with the tickets and we hurried to get down to the platform; platform 19, if I remember correctly. 15 minutes pass the supposed ‘departure time’ of the bus, there was still no bus heading to Ipoh at the platform. Later, an old Chinese guy limped down the staircase and gathered us along with a few other people, apparently boarding the same bus as us, and signalled us to follow him up the staircase.

At that point, I knew what was coming.

The guy led us out of Pudu Raya, crossed the street, went up the road, and brought us to our long-awaited express bus:

Bas Sekolah

Great! It is happening again, I paid RM20 to ride a Bas Sekolah!

It happened to me before, during festive seasons when the express bus companies do not have enough busses, but are determined to pocket your hard-earned money, they rent, I assume, Bas Sekolahs without registering with the Pudu Raya authority but charge higher fares from their customers. Great service!

They actually code-named the extra busses “101 bus”s. What a name.

Sighing and surrendering to fate, I boarded the bus and stepped into a realm I never expected to see:

Disco_Bus1

You would think that you stepped into some old-fashioned disco or some sort…

An assortment of coloured lights were glowing on the ceiling, the place was surrounded by an indistinguishable disco music, people were sitting and talking… I readjusted my camera mode, and here you can see more clearly that it is actually the interior of the bus:

Disco_Bus02

This bus had light bulbs of a variety of colours installed. I wonder what the bus would look like, viewing from the outside? Anyway, for those who still want to see the real interior, here’s a picture taken with a flash:

Disco_Bus03

It was really worth paying RM20 just to have the chance to see the amazing surprises that the express bus industry has to offer its customers.

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