Jun 26, 2010

My Dad, the ultra hip uber cool modern father of....the 1950's.

When my dad was a student in the 70's, he was pretty fashionable. He wore bell-bottom pants, platform shoes and leather bracelets. Not to mention his long curly hair, reminiscent of Slash, the legendary lead guitarist from Guns N Roses.

Slash remained looking like Slash but as was the case for my dear father, age caught up with him and he now looks pretty much like how a 53 year old father of 4 looks like:

How a 53 Year Old Father of 4 looks like:

1.Polo Shirts.
2.Polo Shirts tucked in khaki pants.
3.Omnipresent Mont Blanc pen in pocket.
5.Crocs (A must due to omnipresent back-ache)
6.Looks nothing like Slash.

My mother, on the other hand, is more hip and happening. She uses all sorts of modern acronyms if you will, when messaging with my dad. However, there are certain acronyms which my dad don't understand....

Modern Acronyms my dad don't understand:

1."OMG"- I messaged my dad the price of my final year textbooks which totaled to RM960. "OMG ayah, textbooks will set you back RM960". My dear father promptly replied: "Please tell me what is OMG"

2".XOXO"- My mom was bored at home so she texted my dad at work, she sent him "XOXO". My dad did not understand the meaning of" XOXO". So he sent back "YOYO" to my mom, for god knows what reason. At home, as we were explaining to him what "XOXO" was, he told us,and of course he made this up:

"I know what XOXO is..Ayah saja ja antaq YOYO..which stands for "Yang Oi, Yang Oi". 

3."LOL".- We all know that" LOL" stands for Laugh Out Loud. Unfortunately, my dad does not. My dad was chairing a meeting one day when my mom texted him. He did not reply because he was chairing a meeting so when he finally replied, my mom sent a "LOL, its okay" type of message. My dad, misconstrued LOL as being "Lembap Oi Lembap" and promptly replied to my dear mother: "Sampai hati you kata I lembap oi lembap"

So that's my dad. The ultra hip uber cool modern father of the....1950's. I love my father dearly. He's not the most modern dad out there but in my opinion, he is, by far, the best dad anyone could ever have. =). 

Jun 24, 2010

When Royalty Rents Out Their Personal Toilets For Money

So there I was in Medan, Indonesia. I was feeling sick and nauseous due to the thought of the flight back home the next day. I have a fear of flying. I wasn't feeling very good and I just wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep.

However Pak Supardji (I changed his name on purpose), our tour guide had other plans for us. He brought us to Istana Maimoon. It was a splendid palace built on a sprawling piece of land. The palace wasn't that grand. It's nothing like Istana Iskandariah in Kuala Kangsar or Istana Besar in Johor Bahru, but it had this old world charm to it.

A long story cut short, after visiting the balairong seri etc, as I was making my way down from the grand steps towards our tourist van (or van pariwisata in Indonesian), I saw my brother and father make way for the royal quarters. I wanted yelled at them:

"Ayah!! That's where the royal family live! You cannot go there!"

See, the descendants of the Malay Sultans of Deli still lived in the palace, and according to the curator, the royal quarters were off limits. But my dad and brother had other plans. They wanted to use the loo.When a man has to go, than he has to go, come rain or shine. I was waiting for a security guard to tell them off or at least stop them from going towards the royal quarters.

To my surprise, a security guard who was standing nearby just looked at them and did absolutely nothing.

I waited for them to come back. When they finally came back, my brother told me that the people who were operating the toilet were the royal family. A sharp imaginary stab of a dagger went straight through my heart.

In Indonesia, the royal family of the Malay Sultans of Deli are not given a single cent as allowance. I learned that the museum curator, the person who collected donations for the palace and the toilet operator were all part of the royal family.

The government does not give them a single cent to maintain the palace. The fund for the maintenance of the palace was solely derived from public donations, and also through the selling of various souvenirs.

What saddens me is that the Sultans of Deli were Malay Sultans. Some of them actually married Malay princesses from Perak. The museum curator was a direct descendant of one of the princesses from Perak that had married into the Deli Royal Family. His grandmother currently lives in Kuala Kangsar.

My brother and I told him about how the royal family here lived in absolute wealth. Not just the Sultans and their immediate family members, but also their extended family members. I told Pak Supardji that the Sultans here in Malaysia use Bentleys and Maybachs as modes of transportation. We explained high and low about the high status of royalty here.

Pak Supardji's melancholic reply was short but full of meaning:

"The royalty here rents out their toilets for money to eat"

Jun 22, 2010

Why I use the Malaysian flag as drapes for my bedroom window.

I saw a dude flying a German flag on his car. Great show of support for the German national team. What's wrong with this guy? He flies a German flag on Malaysian soil. This guy flies a German flag instead of a Malaysian flag on Malaysian soil. Some might say he's just being a regular guy whose into football @ The World Cup. Some might say that it's just his way of letting the world know that Bastian Schweinsteiger is his hero. But for me, flying a foreign flag on your home soil, instead of flying yours, for whatever reason, is just plain disrespectful.

Try flying a German flag in front of an army veteran who tried fighting away the Japanese during World War 2. Fly the German flag in front of a widow whose husband died in the jungles fighting off communists during the emergency.  Show them that the youths of today spat on the sacrifices of these men in arms by refusing to fly the Malaysian flag and instead, fly the flag of a country that has done nothing for us that is worth a mention.

I fly the Malaysian flag proudly in my room and on my car. Every Merdeka, my family would proudly hoist the Malaysian flag on a metal pole for a whole month. Fly the Malaysian flag and let the world know how proud you are of this country, our country. Tanah Tumpahnya darah kita.

I use the Malaysian flag as drapes for my bedroom window for one simple reason. Because I love my country. Maybe I'm overreacting but seeing a Malaysian dude, proudly flying the flag of Germany makes me want to smack him on the forehead.

Love this country. Appreciate what the freedom fighters and our men in arms had done for us. They did what they did, they sacrificed their family and even their lives so that the future generation of Malaysians would have their own national anthem, their own flag to fly and most importantly, a place to call home.

Make the sacrifices of the soldiers and policeman who died in the line of duty worthwhile. Show your respect for our heroes by flying the flag of the country they fought for.

I quote the writings found on the Tugu Negara:

"Dedicated to the heroic fighters in the cause of peace and freedom. May the blessing of Allah be upon them"