Sunday, September 28, 2008


I resent this thing, which is boldly displayed on campus:

If you're an academician and you don't, you ought to. Specifically, I object to the use of the word remedy here. My dictionary defines remedy as

1. a way of dealing with or improving an unpleasant or difficult situation
2. a treatment or medicine to cure a disease or pain ...
3. a way of dealing with a problem, using the processes of the law

So does KFC imply, with that poster, that lectures are basically unpleasant/diffcult? Like a disease/pain? A problem that needed to be dealt with?

The person who wrote this ad, and/or the person who hired the person who wrote it, and/or the person who approved the person who hired the person who wrote it must be less than a half-wit. It is quite likely he never attended any of his unpleasant, difficult, painful, problematic lectures before. Of course, if lectures made him sick, then it makes perfect sense that he'd rather sacrifice his grey matter development and live with stunted cognitive processes than to endure being ill so much. Hard to imagine that the insufferable lectures were harder to endure than a public humiliation of having written a statement which insults every lecturer in the university in which it is displayed. But then it would be too much to ask of someone who hasn't intelligence enough to know lectures are good for him to realise the gravity of his idiocy and to understand the meaning of shame, let alone to feel it or be affected by it.

Well done, KFC guy who hired the hollow-skulled fool who wrote this, and approved it. You are welcome to remedy my indignation with a big fat apology, or some big fat vouchers for fried chicken. Bee Ree would definitely love to share those with me.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Would I?

If I loved someone - truly loved someone, would I not exert more effort to know her, to understand her wants and needs, to take an interest in her complexity?

Could I notice the glow fading from her mien, her smiles and laughter becoming a memory of the distant past? Could I be sensitive to, be conscious of the pain and frustration she has kept within her stoic, silent facade? Could I sense her melancholy, loneliness, emptiness? Could I recognise the times she needed someone, and what she needed from him? Could I be able to see that while I would go on living my life, she would wallow hers to waste?

If I know that her heart would break if I couldn't do all that, I would! I would strive, I would try my very best, I would. But she must not expect that of me - I wouldn't know her heart would break, for I am a man. Still, she would, for she is a woman.

And away she would drift. When she is lost to me, would I be baffled, and wonder why? Yes, I would.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Mid-Autumn Dinner

It was Mid-Autumn Festival yesterday - a day where people "celebrate" by eating mooncakes, and inaccurately refer to as "Mooncake Festival". Some friends and I decided to gather for a homely, simple dinner.

I called my mother.

"Oh good! Get rid of the prawns. They are taking a lot of space in my freezer!"

And she gave me the prawns. I knew she had this stash of XL prawns, but I really didn't expect them to be this XL:

Conversely, you can argue that my hand is small, but it remains that the prawns were huge! And I was given a whole bunch of them:

And ta-daaaa:

Not that pretty, yea? No matter, will do all the same.

Thanks dearies for finishing every single bit, for the green tea mooncake, and for the beers and snacks! We should do this more often (but do take turns with the cooking!)
Happy Mid-Autumn!

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Where Art Thou?

I'd known her since I was 7 years old. We went to school together and for a year or two, I spent afternoons after school at her place till my mother got home from work. I moved away when I was 11 but we'd always been in touch. We'd sent Chinese New Year greeting cards to each other every single year for as long as I could remember. For some weird, unexplained reasons, we never felt the need to initiate more than the exchange of cards once a year, until a few years back, when we exchanged emails. Regretfully, after the first few e-correspondences, we were back to CNY cards buddies.

Recently, due to some very exciting happenings, I am compelled to look for her and to include her in all the excitement. Alas - her last known email was inactive, and I was unable to locate her on any of the social networking sites, despite having tried searching using various combinations of her name. I realised I do not have any other of her contacts other than that now unusable email address - I do not even have her mobile phone number! (Yes, I still have her house number, the 6-digit type from 20 years back...) Where art thou, dear friend? :(

Well, desperate times call for desperate measures. I have her house address, and...

Yup, I dug out my fancy writing paper and a sweet, coloured envelope, and proceeded to write her an old-fashioned, dino-era letter - something which is, perhaps, unthinkable in these days of Internet, 3G etc. ?

This had got to be the first letter, of this style and nature, that I wrote in like ten years perhaps! It felt strangely good - very intimate, special and old-school. It reminded me of my younger days when I lived days writing letters and waiting for Mr Postman to deliver the replies to me. Aaahhhh!

Done! And as I commissioned it to be dispatched to the nearest post-office, I realised I forgot to write the conventional "Thank you, Mr Postman!" at the lower right corner of the envelope! Gah! Next time la (there will still be a next time, I hope)

Dare I hope to get a reply within a week?

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Big Drop of Spectacles

Methought I'd never live to experience this:-

Me: It will look good on your resume.
Him: What is resume?

Dear boy, it is not that I minded defining resume for you - it would even be my pleasure to teach you how to write tolerably presentable one - but that I needed to explain what it is!

Just when I thought I'd seen everything the academic career has to show, it shows me something new! Just as I thought I'd heard all excuses, there comes a new one; just as I thought I'd seen all sorts of pleading notes on exam scripts, someone composes a revolutionary one; just as I thought I'd run out of stuff to write about this job, something happens that makes good writing topic! The more I know about teaching, the more I am aware that I know too little.

Have a nice day!

Thursday, September 4, 2008

The Expected

You asked me why I was not surprised.

No, I was not surprised at the time of your telling me that it happened, though I was a little surprised when you told me of its being talked about already, though I didn't appear to be because I was filled with excitement over the other matter which was our main point of conversation. It is not sudden, as somehow it was really already anticipated, just kinda soon! Still, I am extremely happy for you!

Congratulations!!! *hugssssssssssss* & *muaksssssssssssss*


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

The Wedding


Yes, it was our country's 51st Independence Day, and it was Mee Mee's independence (from dieting) day - it was her Wedding Day!

I was there the night before, to show my face at Mr Teofu the groom's house, which took us hours, plus countless u-turns to locate. The moment I walked in, I complained so loudly to Mee Mee the bride that friends and relatives seated at nearby tables turned their heads. Pardon me, but I was exasperated! And Mee Mee was... well, I'd expected her to be stressed out over the wedding affairs, but not that stressed! I don't think I'd ever seen her so tense, not even during the worst of final exams. As for Teofu, I'd never seen him so stressed as well (but then I'd never seen much of him anyway...)

After leaving Teofu's place, we went to a "famous" grilled crabs restaurant for dinner, and then to Polar Bear's place where the kaki botols had a few botols.

The Crabs

The Kakis

The next morning, I got up, got ready, and got myself to the hotel (from where Mee Mee will "leave the house") just before 7am. As I walked into the lobby, I saw this bunch of girls in bright Chinese New Year red dresses heading towards the elevator. They were, no mistake, part of Mee Mee's entourage. I ran after them, in heels and all, and managed to squeeze into the elevator. In her room, Mee Mee was ready. Bee Ree was there, along with a host of family members. Mee Mee looked breathtakingly gorgeous, and Bee Ree was... well, like the rest of us, verrrrry red.

As per the tradition, the girls were to guard the door(s) and set some tasks (some call it torture) for the groom and his men, when they come for the bride. We had 3 doors this time, and had a different task at each, which the men had to brave in order to get to the bride. At the first, there was a very Malaysian delicacy - durian - with wasabi and cili padi toppings. Durians, when consumed freshly opened, is delicious - for those who love it. But when the flesh was removed, possibly since the night before, and placed in cute little paper cups, and left covered in a container for goodness knows how long - let's just say you should really avoid doing that with durians. When the girls first unveiled their creation, the smell was so revolting I was momentarily worried that the hotel staff might kick us out. I think the groom and his men could had smelled it from the moment they stepped out of the elevator, but there was no way they could had escaped eating them.

Teofu hates durian, and I think it really shows...

The guys gallantly swallowed the stinking clumps and were allowed to go through the first door. At the second door, the girls had prepared a concoction of bitter gourd, celery and garlic. Garlic!!! Nasty - a very healthy combination no doubt (bitter gourd and celery can help lower cholesterol level and blood pressure or something of the sort, and garlic prevents cancer) - but nasty nevertheless! Perhaps the durians had numbed their taste buds, or dulled their nervous systems - the guys loved it. They asked for seconds and thirds, till the entire flask was gone! And there - the second task was a breeze!

Come and yum seng with healthy green juice

So, the guys can eat and drink awful stuff without regurgitating (ei, ever thought of going for Fear Factor?). Now, let's see if they are as intelligent as their academic qualifications show - all of them are engineering graduates, honours students; more than half have masters degrees and / or professional certifications; and one of them a PhD candidate! A smart lot, no joke! Here, solve a sudoku puzzle.

Yea, that's not the groom solving it...

While one of his men was sudoku-solving, Teofu, with his nose in the air, said in a super haughty tone to me - the task was so easy, it wasn't a challenge at all. Ah, he spoke too soon. The real challenge is here:

The guys' reactions were approximately:

"Oi! What is this?!!! Exam question ar?!!!!!"
"Eh, in uni, we're given 3 hours to answer this ler!!!!"
"What the ... !!! How to solve?!!!!!"
"Whose idea is this ar?!!!!!!!!!!"

Challenging enough now?

Teofu, upon beholding the "exam" questions

Well, of course they couldn't solve it. Even the Mee Mee-related questions they got 3 out of 4 wrong! Some of them insisted that the difficult questions were figments of my imaginations (ie. bullshit I put on paper, which weren't real, solvable problems), but hey, I had expected them to accuse me of that - which was why I prepared the solution as well! So there, just admit you can't solve them, and pay us off using ang pau! That, they gladly did, of course. (On a side note, Mee Mee told me, afterwards, that her cousin brother, a little boy of perhaps no more than 10 years of age, when heard that the guys had to solve a math problem, wanted to go and solve it! When his mother told him he couldn't, because he was part of the bride's entourage, not the groom's, he sulked on the couch - because he really wanted to solve the math problem! So cute, don't you agree?!)

As the troop marched towards the final door, thinking that nothing would be stopping them then, Mee Mee's sister came up. Mee Mee wanted Teofu to sing her a song! This they gladly complied, and after some singing and some swearing (ie. I will LOVE YOU forever!!! etc) Teofu reached Mee Mee (at long last!)

My dear, don't mind my durian+garlic breath, yea. Muaks!

We girls then took a step back and relaxed while the bride and groom performed the traditional tea ceremony for the bride's family, and following that, the whole company went out to the pool area for more photography sessions. Then, it was off to the Teofu's house - a symbol of the man bringing home his bride. On the way:

Mr Professional Photographer, I salute you!

At Teofu's house, the newly weds repeated the tea ceremony for the groom's family, and then they headed back to the bridal suite at the hotel. The groom's men and the bride's ladies then took off to their respective destinations to rest / lepak for the next couple of hours until lunch. Bee Ree and I, however, stayed on to take care of the floral arrangements. Yes, Mee Mee commissioned me to finish up her floral arrangement for the table, and to make 2 hand bouquets as a surprise for her mom and mom-in-law. After an hour and a half,

Bee Ree: GAH! I don't know how to do this!
Nee Lee: Tell me about it...
Bee Ree: This is the ugliest bouquet I'd ever seen. If someone gave this to me, I will kill him!
Nee Lee: Tell me about it... I hope she won't kill us.
Bee Ree: She is soooo gonna kill us!
Mee Mee (later): The bouquets are SO LOVELY!!!

Aaahhh. Beauty is in the eyes of the beholder.

Floral arrangement for the main table, complete with candles in the center

One of the hand bouquets

Lunch was extremely enjoyable - the food was abundant and the company was great. The songs selection was something I need to shout about - Sarah Brightman, Andrea Bocelli, Teresa Teng - it's really an advantage when one shares such similar taste for music as the bride!

Nine dishes and some really, really LOUD yum sengs later, the guests were ready to go. And Mee Mee came over to our table for some more photos!

Muaks! Muaks! Unlike your hubby, we don't have durian+garlic breath!

The Roomees + Teofu

This is one of the BEST weddings that I'd attended, as yet. This I'd said many times, and will say just 1 more time - Mee Mee, I love your stunningly lovely dark purple gown!

For more photos and stories, visit:

Bee Ree's post, Part 1
Bee Ree's post, Part 2
Bee Ree's post, Part 3

Monday, September 1, 2008

The Roomees

The Roomees in 2001

The Roomees in 2008

I am eagerly awaiting Bee Ree's post(s) on the happy occassion of Mee Mee and Teofu's wedding. :)