Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Fake Stuff

This whole "real vs fake" thing you have going on here causes me a considerable amount of trouble. 

It's so normal to buy fake stuff that you forget…technically, it's illegal.  

So when you buy a phone from one of those places and it breaks, nobody cares. 

Nor are they surprised. 

And what can you do?

No such thing as consumer rights after you buy from an illegal business, right?*


So if you're smart (and morally upright ^.^), you spend the extra money and buy the real thing. 


I bought a genuine DVD in a proper shop. 

Support the local industry n all that. 

But when I unwrapped it and looked at the disk;





So are you real or not?

What to do when the original is as questionable as the fake one??


* turns out though, an annoying level of persistence and a pitiable face go a long way. 11 days and 3 phone handsets later, I got what I came for. Winner! Kinda… : /

Friday, 27 January 2012

The Lazy Blogger & The Weird Note

There's a lot to be said for momentum. 

Lose it…and it's gone. 

And it takes a FAT amount of effort to get it back.

I talk about myself and "the blog".

Going on holiday for almost a month and then coming back to Chinese New Year = a very, very long break from normal life and thus, blogging. 

I just stopped taking notes about the funny stuff that happened…

So lazy. 

It was gonna take a significantly entertaining event to bring me back.

Or perhaps, the discovery of a little, yellow note…

[the note. blurred so you can't see my scraaaawling handwriting]

Yes, in my state of lazy, I took a book off my shelf and started reading. 

And then I found the page marker from where I'd stopped reading it once before. 

It took a while before I noticed the yellow paper was folded in half…and contained writing! 

What a treasure!

Finding an old note is possibly better than finding money…


It said some very strange things. Which to be fair, other people said, not me. 

But still;

"oh! the merangues!"

You mean meringues. Burning?

"where's joe?"

My cousin…lost? 

"the 1960'ssssssss"

I suppose the multiple 's's are significant. Though I'm not sure why.

"a keg for a sex machine"


A what…for a what? Wha-? Ha-? Wh-?

And then my personal favourite, 

"is that the first gay we've had in the house?"

…Did someone I know actually say that? Maybe I dreamt it?


Turns out though, you can't just write notes and forget about them. 

You have to blog them. 

Or when you find them later, they're just super-weird. 


"They're alright under that though. Well…most of them are."


Monday, 16 January 2012

Ode to England

I have a great deal of puzzled affection for Malaysia. 

It's been almost three years and still there is food I haven't eaten and festivals I haven't attended. 

Uncovering this country, I happily forget my own.

But going home this year, England, you glittered for me... 

And I'm not exactly wishing to return to the grey skies and Jeremy Kyle. 

But in how many countries, when the bus stops for five whole minutes, waiting for an old lady to find her bus pass, would you find a disgruntled passenger exclaim, in the queen's best English,

"Driver, perhaps you might at least go to the next bus stop?"

Or where could you walk into an ancient but renovated stable and find a second hand book shop owned by a cockney bloke, looking like he just stepped from the pages of GQ?

"Need any help?"

"I just like the old ones…"

Because I do. Old books are beautiful, especially English ones published in the early 1900s. Wow. 
And then imagine - he disappears, only to come back with something more beautiful,

"Thomas Hardy, first edition."

A certified collectors item, so easily at hand? 
I flick through its old pages and pause,

"Is it really £150?"

It was and I didn't.
But it's the principle - I could have. And the English love principles. 

When my friends were dividing up mini-packets of breakfast cereal, some are inevitably better than others. So when one person picks two good ones before someone else has picked any,

"You can't do that."


"You've picked two before she's even picked one. Put it back."

"Yeah, I might want that one."

"Well fine, whatever, do what you want."

And she stalks off, rejecting them both. And the kitchen is quiet. And the friend who was originally left out, picks a different cereal, leaving the "good ones" for the friend who originally chose them. 

"I didn't want them anyway. It was the principle of the thing."

A fine sense of justice. 

And even the most upstanding members of the community have a rebellious streak. If the rules don't make sense - sod them!

Like the chairman of a bank I met at the airport, who doesn't like to pay for those trollies that only unlock if you put a £1 coin in (which you get back when you re-lock the trolly). He had a little metal gadget that bypassed the need for a coin at all,

"Neat little thing. I picked it up in Norway. People don't like it but what are you going to do? Arrest me? It's not illegal!"

Or the gentle old sir, volunteering at the Abbey. In all his robes, welcoming us to the Church, 

"There's no charge but you might like to make a donation for the upkeep. Unless you're Chinese. Then you probably won't. I shouldn't really say that, but I'm bitter!"

Such friendly aggression. You might even think he was joking. Unless you're English, then you would know. "Many a true word is spoken in jest". 

And England, this is why I will always love you.

Because you are so charming and ridiculous. 

And you explain me so well. 

My dear England, How do you do?


Thursday, 5 January 2012


Shoes, socks and coats. 

All items I am no longer with acquainted with, much to my joy.

But it's quite cold in these parts (England, for those of you who missed that fact).

So they are all necessary...for now.  

The fun thing about coats though, as I have noticed in the past few weeks, is their unexpected but major function:

To secretly absorb all your personal items!

Because all the extra layers of jacket and coat are simply more and more pockets for you to put things in. 

And then lose those things. 

Jeans and a t-shirt, there's only so many places your phone can be. 

Jeans, 2 jumpers and a coat…well, now you're in trouble. 


Example number 1. 

As I walked down the street, I suddenly wanted to take a photo. 

Something English happened, probably. 

I rummaged in my bag for my camera. 

Can't find. 

Stop walking and rummage. 

Find only the case. 

Well where did I put it then??

In my pocket! For quick access (too bad I forgot I did that...)

Coat pockets? 

Empty. Oh yah - too easy to steal. 

Pat down the next layer. 

Ah ha! Pocket of jumper! 


[just look at all the pockets...]

Example number 2. 

I was with my friend and her mum. 

Friends Mum: What've I done with my phone? [conducts a vague "pat down"] Where's my phone?

Friend: Did you leave it at my house?

Friends Mum: I might have. 

Friend: =.=

Me: ^.^

Friend's Mum: That's very annoying. 

We were ordering food at the time. So we got the food and went to sit down. Ate. Talked about other stuff for a while. 

Friends Mum: Where could I have left my phone? I had it at the shop…and I had it at your house…

Friend: I can try ringing it?

Me: Maybe it fell out in the car.

Friend's Mum: Oh yes, go on then. 

Me: But if it's in the car…or your house…how will that help? 

[Friend starts to ring phone]

Me: =.=

Phone rings!!

Friend's Mum: 0.o

Friend: HAH!

At this point, all the sensible options are searched - all the pockets of all the clothing layers. 

Nothing to show. 

Friend: Is there a hole in the lining?

Friend's Mum: Ooh. This is exciting now [begins to checks more thoroughly, not just pockets. But...] Why has it stopped?

Friend: I hung up

Friend's Mum: Well call again. 

Phone rings again.

Frantic whole-coat pat down.

Friend's Mum: Ah hah! Found it! It's in…ooh…it's in my sleeve? It's in my sleeve!?!

And it was. Inexplicably caught between layers in a sleeve…


You see?