Monday, 28 May 2012

The Olympics

I encountered another over-friendly uncle last weekend.

You know the type - always introducing themselves to strangers.

Joining in with the gang.

Cracking jokes. 


I wrote about this once before.

Anyway, I was sitting outside with the work gang, having a drink.

And on the table behind was an over-friendly uncle. 

He managed to throw several "witty" remarks in our direction within the first 5 minutes of arriving. 


Soon more colleagues turned up and our table was getting cramped.

And it was in the sun. 

Hot, HOt, HOT!

So we started to shuffle the table back…

…then over-friendly uncle, in grand ceremonial fashion, announced to his table;

Uncle: Come, move back, move back!

And dramatically waved his hands around, as he shuffled his own table to make space for us. 

Which was very kind of over-friendly uncle. 

Colleague: Oh, thanks a lot, thank you. 

Uncle: No problem! No problem! You have foreigner! We must make sure she's has a golden experience of Malaysia, to bring back to her country! Isn't it!
Crafty uncle has now directly picked me out and I turned to smile, appreciatively. 

And then I'm caught. 

Uncle: Which country are you from?


Me: ...England.

Uncle: Oh very nice. Olympics!

Me: Yup.

A slight pause. 

Over-friendly uncle is getting creative. 

Uncle: So, are you taking part?

Me: Yah, yup. 

The pause made me think that the topic had changed, and he was now referencing the work/holiday activity. 

Which I clearly was taking part in. 

And then I realised that this was probably not the case;

Me: Oh, you mean the Olympics? Am I taking part in the Olympics??

Uncle: Yes, yes!

Me: Ha! Oh right. No, I'm not. 

Uncle: Oh. I am surprise. You look…the right size. 


This will not be good. 

Uncle: Ya, you look like an athlete.

[nope. not what i look like]

…wait, what??


That is very much not true. 

Colleague: [under his breath] Eh, you better watch out. Soon he'll be asking for your Facebook.


*flashbacks to Alan*

jeng. jeng. jeng. 

Wednesday, 23 May 2012

Company Trip

I went on my company trip this weekend. 

Bonding exercises 'n all that.

In the kampong.

It was the kind of place where as you're walking along a pathway your colleague casually says;

Colleague: Do you think that hole is for a crab? Or just a snake?


On the second day we were taken on a sea fishing exercise. 

Which wasn't really an exercise…it was actually fishing.

In the sea. 

To reach the sea we had to hike our way through mangrove swamp. 

And then cross the vast, vast sand bank until we hit the water. 

The "sand" was actually mud-sand - some patches were normal beach, others were quicksand style mud pockets and you can't tell the difference until you step into them. 

And they're super-sticky - every step takes serious effort and balance. 

Which is funny to watch. 


The sea was chocolately.

Straits of Malacca. 

Can't see a thing. 

Just brown. 

And it was in this opaque soup that disaster struck.


Sensible mud shoes. I thought. 

Colleague 1: What?

Me: I've lost my croc!! It's not on my foot!  [waves kaki kosong in air to prove statement] It's in the mud!!

Pivoting on the one foot that is still in-shoe-in-mud, I conduct a frantic, blind search in what I hope is the right place. 

Colleague 1: Just leave it. 

Me: Leave it?! They cost 100 bucks! I'm not leaving 50 bucks in the sea?!!

Colleague 1: It will float up by itself later.

Me: No it won't?!

It's really, really stuck, wherever it is.

So stuck that it came off my foot.

Colleague 1: Yes it will. 

Me: Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!

Frantic wail. 

I only have ONE SHOE!!! 


My other colleague takes pity and helps me search. 

[the actual scene]

Colleague 2: Oh! Is this it?

Me: :D

Colleague 2: Oh…oh no, that's your foot?

Me: No it's not! You found it! Pull, pull!!

He pulled and there emerged my croc!

I sent the dear things back to the beach so I didn't lose them again. 

However, I now discover that the mud-sand is nasty mud-sand. 

Like, you step in it and want to die, it feels so disgusting. 

I can't exaggerate that enough. 

All slippery and squelching through your toes. 


Add to that many, many small pinchy crabs. 

And a huge, heavy fishing net. 

Now walk through the sea with it. 


When the time came, I was quite happy to reach the beach. 

But disaster part two: I stepped on a poison fish!!!


[probably not this guy...too small...]

I have no idea what it was cos I couldn't see it, but it was sharp and I screamed. 

Although with so much mud-related "YUK" screaming earlier, this went largely ignored. 

As everyone browsed our catch, I examined my foot. 

One of our fishing guides noticed.

Proper Fishing Guy: Cut?

Me: Ah, ya :(

Then he walked away. 

I had cut my foot. 

It was bleeding. 

But whatev's the fishing guy didn't care. 

Or so I thought...

He quickly returned with a handful of thick, dark mud, with leaves and twigs sticking out and gestured for my foot. 



I lifted it up. 

He slapped the mud on, squeezed my foot with it (as if squeezing out poison..?), then held his hand out, like, don't move, and walked away. 



He thinks I'm poisoned and is giving me traditional remedies!

I stood awkwardly with my foot in the air for quite a while. 

[you'd panic too, if this guy was concerned enough to mud pack your foot.]

Then I got a bit bored. 

Me: Eh, can I move now or am I dying? Ask him for me?

Apparently not dying, I was permitted to drop my foot & help put fish into buckets. 

I'm still alive now. 

So I guess that's a good sign.

But I'm still wondering…what did I step on..?

Wednesday, 16 May 2012

Emergency Brake

I almost crashed my car a few days ago. 

So annoying when that happens - the road was clear then out of nowhere, the traffic is backed up. 

Emergency brake. 

No injured cars or people though. 


And then…I got to work. 


Picked up my bag. 

And lying there, all casual like it belonged, was a large Spritzer bottle, full of water. 

Which is strange because it's not mine?!

I have no idea where it came from. 

Obviously it was hiding under the passenger seat and became dislodged at my frantic breaking. did it get there in the first place?


Later in the day (or rather, night) I had a rummage under my seats. 

I found a pair of shoes.

Which are not mine. 

[homeless shoes]

And a can of 80s hairspray. 

Which I admit is mine. 

But doesn't normally live in my car…so how did you get there?

[runaway hairspray]


...Is this normal?

Wednesday, 9 May 2012

Lord of the Rings

When someone walks into the room and says,

"Eh - you remind me of someone"

It can go a few different ways. 

Today, it went down a questionable route. 

Although luckily I was not the subject, merely a witness. 

Which was enjoyable.

Sitting in the office with my (female) colleague, another (male) colleague strayed in from the marketing department to make some kind of request. 

But was quickly distracted.

Friend 1: Eh - you remind me of someone! She look different today, what?

Me: :S  
Friend 2: Who?

Friend 1: Ya, you look different today. Like...Lord of the Rings.

Me: Uh-oh…

Friend 1: Ya, who's that guy from Lord of the Rings? 

Friend 2: A guy?! Who?

Friend 1: The elf.

Me: Legolas?

Friend 1: The elf. The main elf. 

Me: Ya, Legolas. 

Friend 1: With the hair, the long hair, right? No - not that one. The main elf.

Me: …Yah, the main elf is Legolas.

Friend 1: No, Liv Tyler's dad.
Funny how people do that, right? Do you mean Arwen? Yeah. I forgot her name too. 

Me: Oh, I don't know who that is...

He walks away looking puzzled but determined to figure out who it was...

[this hair is apparently elf hair.]

Later in the day, I pass through the marketing room on "other business".

Friend 1: It's the king, you know. 

Me: What?

Friend 1: The king of the elves. What's his name, ah?

Me: I have no idea. 

A quick google search…

Friend: Elron!! Yes, yes, that's it, Elron. She looks like Elron today. 


Friday, 4 May 2012


This morning I was walking to my car. 

I smiled at my condo guard as I passed. 

I'm nice like that. 

He waved. 

And do you know what he said to me, brightly and with joy?

Guard: Morning Auntie!


Are you serious.

[auntie netta. not me]

I am under 30. 

I am not married. 

I have no kids. 

In what way do I qualify as an Auntie??


Not impressed. 


I realise this would be more of a story if I had questioned him on the matter/objected loudly. 

But quite honestly I was too stunned to speak. 



Tuesday, 1 May 2012

Ghost Stalker

Sometime last week my friend was telling me about her haunted house. 

Which is an alarmingly ordinary thing in Malaysia. 

Friend 1: So he followed this hot chick around the corner but he didn't realise...that she was floating. 

Friend 2: Woah, and then?

Friend 1: Nothing. He came back. 

Friend 3: Yeah, those ones usually only attack pregnant women. 

Friend 1: Exactly. The ones with the detachable heads, right?

Friend 3: Mmm hmm. 

Me: 0.O??

Oh, yeah, so normal.

That night I got home and went swimming…then got terrified of ghosts and ran back into the house.

But then I forgot all about it. 

Until yesterday. 

When I was driving home.

Quite late. 


In the dark.

And this car pulled up alongside. 

The driver looked at me. 

Peered at me.

You know when people look for too long…and it's a bit weird?

Yeh, like that.

Whatevs, I sped up. 

But the car was doing this awkward, too fast to overtake, too slow to undertake, thing. 


Are you, like…trying to…what, what are you doing??

Why are you following me?

Stop trying to peer!!

And I suddenly had this really…creepy…feeling…like…whatifyou'reaghostpersonOMGdon'tmakeeyecontact!!!!!!!



I slammed my accelerator to overtake - I had to make a turning!

The ghost car flashed at me!!



And the ghost car followed me.


[googling for a "ghost car" was a pretty bad idea. here's a myvi instead]

By now, freaking out quite a lot. 

It's my house already. 

I have to park and walk up. 

Don wan 'dy, ghost car following!!


I did a speedy round of the parking area and lost the creepy ghost car. 


I parked in peace.


…from the corner of my eye…

…I saw the ghost car sliding alongside me, the window wound down, driver sticking their head out...


That's it. 

I'm gonna die now. 


Too late to stop it.

May as well see how I'm gonna die.

I took a deep breath and turned to face…




Floods of relief. 

She wanted to know why I was being a freak and trying to run away.

I wanted to know why she didn't just smile and wave at me?!?!

Oh well. 

I guess we both a bit keliru in the dark…