Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Happy Merdeka!

This is going to sound absolutely ignorant, but I just realized that Malaysia is turning 49 in two days! Ignorant not because I didn't know Merdeka was on August 31st, but because I was under the impression that Malaysia was turning 50 - there goes 8 years of Malaysian history down the drain. And yes, I've always had an issue with the Malaysian education system - but that's for another day.

In Penang, Merdeka usually means two things -- I'm either stuck in a traffic jam because some stupid person I happen to be stuck with (read: horrendous ex-boyfriend) has the bright idea of going to Esplanade to watch fireworks OR I'm hanging out at someone's house waiting for the stupid fireworks to avoid being stuck in traffic. Why fireworks? I know it's a cause for celebration, but it was a cause of celebration 49 years ago, isn't it time we turn that celebration into pride, respect for our past and remembrance? Malaysia's come a long way from its days of British rule (and yes, there are pros and cons to it -- the deterioration of the English language in primary & secondary schools these days are a testament to this). Hmm, maybe I should think about tutoring when I come back to Penang next year. Anyhoo...since I am stuck (interesting word of choice, since technically, I'm here voluntarily) in a different continent, where else would I go but to star.com.my -- yes, I was looking for a mainstream take on Merdeka, and lo and behold, I found something to amuse myself with -- a quiz from Star Online titled "How Malaysian Are You?" (complete with a photo of nasi lemak and a tiny image of Tunku Abdul Rahman -- sigh, I know food is important to Malaysians, but it's kinda sad seeing the father of Malaysia's independence barely the size of the yolk in the nasi lemak).
It's not so much the results of the quiz that amused me, by the way, the results don't matter much to me because I think the questions & answers are flawed and not objective enough -- which is actually the main agenda of this rant. People who know me well will understand that I usually have a lot to say when something irks me, so I'm commenting (see comments with **) on every single question from the quiz (yes, I know it's only for fun, but so is my blog!).
  1. You wake up in the morning, go through the morning ritual, and get ready to chow down your 'sarapan pagi' which consists of …

    • nasi lemak or roti (as in canai, telur, sardine etc), and Milo panas or kopi 'O'

    • scrambled/poached/coddled eggs, toast, turkey ham and coffee

    • roti bakar and half boiled eggs, and fresh orange juice.

    • char kway teow or some kind of fried noodles, and sky juice

    **What's wrong with us Malaysians who would have toast with half boiled eggs, smothered with kaya and butter and a huge cup of nonfat cappucino, preferably from Peets? Where in the world can you find fresh OJ in Malaysia anyway? Bluff. I'm certain you can't find fresh (and I mean freshly squeezed, chilled OJ, minus the sugar, minus the water, minus the ice) from Mandarin Oriental or the fruit juice store at the local kopitiam.

  2. You prepare to go to work. Your mode of transportation:

    • A Proton or Perodua

    • Public

    • A Japanese make

    • A Continental car

    **See, I'm currently forced to take public transport coz it's freakin expensive to park in downtown San Francisco, but if I had a choice, I would totally drive, simply because the public transportation takes way too long and inefficient. But I drive a VW Beetle -- so what does that make me?

  3. You get caught in a traffic jam caused by two men arguing over the seriously-dented Proton Iswara that's sitting right in the middle of the road. You…

    • zip past without even a glance

    • slow down, y'know, just to enjoy the scenery

    • slow down to take note of the car registration number

    • curse repeatedly at the line of cars slowing down to do one or all of the above

    **Horn really loudy - just because I love to horn and I do it whenever I get the chance. And then scoot right by, unless of course I see blood - then, I'll slow down. Always in the mood for a gory accident, btw, what's 911 number for Malaysia? 991?

  4. You do your best impression of Maiker Shumakker, but an annoyingly slow driver in the right lane (he's only going 65 in a 60kph zone) forces you to slow down. You…

    • cut him on the left

    • flash your lights at him until he moves to the left

    • honk at him and make splendid gestures with your free hand

    • follow patiently until either of you has to turn off

    **There are two types of drivers in Malaysia - people who drive waaay to slow, and people who should audition for Fast & Furious 3. I'm neither. And I happen to a very polite driver, albeit a little risky. And it's spelled Michael Schumacher!

  5. Getting past the slow coach, you get pulled over by a traffic policeman, who approaches your car. You wind down your windows. He says, "Lesen?". You say:

    • "Sorry bos, tak perasan. Sumpah tak buat lagi!" (Sorry sir, didn't notice the speed limit. I swear I won't do it again!)
    • "Camna? Boleh settle ah?" (Anyway we can settle this?)

    • Nothing of consequence. You quietly take the summons with every intention to pay.

    • Nothing of consequence. You quietly take the summons, keep it in your glove compartment, and leave it there. For good. Or until you're forced to dig it out again.

    **Smile. And feign ignorance. And then show my California's driver's license - coz my Malaysian driver's license is expired. Ham up my fake ass American accent and pretend that I've been away for years, and this is my first time driving in Malaysia. Hey, double standards exist, I don't condone it but why shouldn't I exploit it while it's still there?

  6. You arrive at your workplace. Before you can commence work, your superior hands you an invitation to a very important client's wedding. The dinner ceremony as stated in the card, starts at 6.20p.m. Which actually means,

    • 7.00pm

    • 6.20pm

    • 6.25pm

    • 6.10pm

    **Erm, it's a client's wedding. First off, why am I invited? Secondly, if it says 6.20pm, one should totally be there on time.

  7. You head for the special lunch function, a buffet, organised by one of your company's clients. The grill can only turn out six slices of salmon at a time. You're first in line and there are many others behind you. You...

    • grab all six. Hey, you were first in line after all

    • grab all six and stay in line for the next batch; you've got many mouths to feed

    • take one slice and share it with the others at your table

    • decide to help yourself to the piles of pickled jellyfish instead

    **Hate grilled salmon. Don't like buffets. Loath people who pile food on their plates. Show me the dessert line anytime! Mmm, cupcakes.

  8. Driving home, you decide to pay your friendly neighbourhood VCD/DVD seller a visit; it has been awhile. You're on a first-name basis with the dude manning the counter, but you, like everybody else, prefer to call him…

    • Bos

    • Macha

    • Brader

    • Sir

    **None of the above.

  9. You find nothing "new" at the VCD/DVD spot, so you decide to go to the movies. The ad playing on the big screen is reminding folks to turn off their mobile phones, which prompts an immediate response from you. The response?

    • A big, loud bwahhahhah laugh because the ad is really hilarious.

    • You switch off your mobile phone.

    • You don't do anything. You don't quite understand what the ad is trying to say.

    • You set your mobile phone on silent mode.

    **I can't stand people who don't respect the movies. If you at the cinema, you're freakin supposed to turn your phone on vibrate, shut the fuck up, sit the hell down. Don't even think about whispering, don't even think about going to the restroom in the middle of the movie and the only I'm adding this last one is because people have actually done it to me -- don't even think about bringing your 6-month old baby to watch a three-hour, action movie. Comprende? Anyone who breaks my movie rules in the cinema gets popcorn in their hair.

  10. After the show, you decide to meet up with your kaki. Arriving at the stall you spot the perfect parking space. Problem is, a lady driver on the opposite side, has signalled that that spot is hers. You…

    • let her have the parking space, but it comes with a price. On her part. (A scratch here, a deflated tyre there, etc).

    • quickly turn into the parking space before she does.

    • look for another spot because she was there first.

    • grab your baseball bat, and make sure she sees it.

    **It depends. If she looks bitchy, then I give her a stare down. If she looks friendly enough, I give her the spot. If it's an empty parallel spot - anyone else can have it. I suck at parallel parking.

  11. Your friend calls for Nescafe kau-kau. What is he asking for?

    • coffee with some cow parts

    • coffee with extra sugar

    • coffee, extra thick

    • Nescafe on a plate

    **Is it just me but how retarded is the first answer choice? Ish. If the place serves Nescafe on a plate, it deserves a mention in Klue coz that's old school, man!

  12. You start talking, and the conversation veers to that about the Dec 15 deadline set by the government for registering prepaid phones. Of course, as far as you're concerned, you will:

  13. register your prepaid phone by Dec 15?
    • wait till the deadline is extended, and then register?

    • wait till the extension to the deadline is extended, then register?

    • wait till the authorities give up and registration becomes voluntary, then go around telling everyone "I told you so?"

    **Duh, it's called a deadline for a reason. Obviously would have had it done waaay before Dec. 15.

  14. Home. You switch on the idiot box on. You see this hugely popular Malaysian pop star onscreen. After picking your brain for his name, you come upon one that sounds right. That would be…

    • Juwie

    • Mawi

    • Sawi

    • Marvin

    **Erm, Sawi is a vegetable and the only Marvin I know is a martian. Who the hell is Mawi? Process of elimination - Juwie - is he/she male/female??

  15. You decide to start surfing channels when suddenly transmission is disrupted. You immediately know that it's…

    • raining outside

    • cloudy outside

    • snowing outside

    • because of the rats

    **Ahh, good ol' Astro. Obviously rain. And it's only a drizzle coz when it pours, Astro is fine.

  16. With the TV not working, you start flipping through the newspaper. You come across an article about a worldwide survey on "rudeness". Malaysians are ranked third in the world. Your reaction?

    • Funny but we really do deserve the ranking. Perhaps, it's time to change. (Acceptance)

    • Who do I sue? (Smug)

    • We're third rudest? Really? (Denial)

    • Who do I beat up? (Angry)

    **Hey look, another stupid survey for me to rant about! Ish.



Blogger iamjoe said...

girl weep! how can u not know of independence day? i am so ashamed of you!

6:29 AM  
Blogger audreytmv said...

I knew it was independence day - I just got confused with the year!

10:40 AM  

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