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Showing posts from August, 2012

The Open Door

WE had a strange sleeping arrangement when we were kids. My childhood bedroom was also bedroom for my brother and mom. Since dad worked night, it was just the three of us home. So we slept with mom even when there were rooms for us. Mom usually had her little son next to her in that big bed by the window, and I was put in the single bed which was across the room door. Basically, my bed was just, say, three meters away from the door, which was always kept open. 

The thing about open doors is that they are creepy. You switch off the room lights, the room goes pitch-dark at once but it eventually warms up when the street light or moonlight seeps through the window. Then you see familiar shadows on the wall. Perhaps of a gently swaying mango branch just before a midnight shower or of bats dashing across the porch like what I used to see on our wall. There's always activity and life even when you're safe and sleeping. But the open door will always be dark and mysterious. No shadows …

Portrait on the Banknote

"HE is on every one of them. I bet his grandchildren joke about how it's 'their grandfather's money' all the time," I said to Bel referring to our new banknotes with the old guy on them. 

You should check out these notes. They're like fake money, like the sort the Chinese burn at funerals. It may take some getting used-to to see the new MYR as serious money but they are rapidly rolling and replacing the previous series of banknotes. My hope is that after some months of changing hands, the seasoned notes may finally look like they actually mean business. 

"He's Tunku (Abdul Rahman), the first prime minister. Someone argued with me that the portrait is of the Agong (King), can you believe that?," replied Bel. 

"I think that someone is right. The man is the first Agong. The one on the notes is wearing a Tengkolok (a royal head dress) and Tunku was hip with that Songkok (a type of cap worn by men in this part of the world) senget ( Tunku had a…

Blame The Games

I'VE been quiet again, and this time, it's the Olympics. Thanks to the official Olympic Channel that has HD quality live streams and replays, I've been hooked the whole time. Been spending many hours, watching and following the games, and in just two more days, it'll all be over and I'll have to get back to routine and reality.

So Malaysia's won two medals :) That's a great achievement for us, let's not get into detail because that would entail a long, sensitive debate on local sports management. Datuk Lee Chong Wei brought back a silver in badminton (men's single) in a stressful match against China last week, and yesterday I woke up to an unexpected bronze from our 19-year-old diver, Pandelela Rinong Pamg in the women's 10m event. It's a great feeling to see your national flag being raised against the Olympic rings after a competition. Pandelela is Malaysia's first female to win an Olympic medal and from a sport other than bad…

Made In China

SO the first doping accusation in the London Olympics has kicked off with the sensational Chinese swimmer Ye Shiwen. It makes me wonder if a non-Chinese (or just a non-Asian for that matter) swimmer had created the same magic in the pool that Saturday evening, would she be subjected to such heavy criticism. Really. But I can't blame those who doubted/ doubt Ye if you had seen her create that record. 

Ye not only won gold in the women's 400m individual medley but she also smashed the world record by a second, her own personal best by five seconds, and swam the final 50m faster than both the American stars Michael Phelps and Ryan Lochte had managed in the men's 400m individual medley.  Now, that must be mind-boggling too - to have beaten two of world's best male swimmers in that final lap. 

No wonder World Swimming Coaches Association executive director John Leonard labelled Ye's feat as 'unbelievable', you know, as in 'impossible', quite suspiciously. …