Sunday, 9 July 2017

Q

You'd think I'd be done with Quora by now. Me too!

But it's oddly refreshing to have my predispositions from a broken education system slowly distorted and soiled. Recently, that was my predisposition of the caring and merciful (no more) Mother Theresa, and how skewed Malaysian students have of her (go look it up).

I know I use the word "perhaps" too often to embrace life's uncertainty, but...

Perhaps in the current times of PC culture (which I've only recently learned stands for "politically correct") and propensity for disagreements or conflicting info being labelled as "fake", it's nice to have a platform where arguments are conducted with empirical evidence and by educated people.

Try comparing the Facebook comments section or Yahoo! Answers to Quora, on similar topics. I'll wait.

Sure, Quora does have a slowly growing community of race-baiting, intentionally-inflammatory questions (oftentimes posted by anonymous users - cowards), but these pointless people are oftentimes overwhelmed by intelligent humans with relevant experiences and not a degree from Google University.

So yeah, I suppose I am politically correct. But on the same token, I'd be happy if anyone could prove me wrong on things.

I am only but an educated idiot, with the Internet being a readily available source of information and as a result, misinformation.

posted from Bloggeroid

Thursday, 29 June 2017

Book

So... In my excitement I might have forgot to mention that I wrote a book ("finished" it last Wednesday)! It's an anthology of sorts, from my experiences in The States.

I'm really pumped, mainly because I can finally share it with others and it's currently undergoing the first round of reviews (from multiple friends).

That being said, I realised that I forgot to add in more segments so there might be a few more writeups in the first revision.

I've no plans to publish it at the moment. It'll need some visual illustrations to go with the final version of writing (whenever that may satisfy me) and I actually just thought of making a few prints to keep as a personal collection.

Who knows, things can change from now until then. I'm just glad that it is a thing now, and not just some Microsoft Word document sitting in my laptop hard drive.

posted from Bloggeroid

Sunday, 25 June 2017

Work

My performance is not remitted by the amount of fucks I give.

My performance is based off my productivity.

Having to chauffeur you around town to get some goddamn fever medication is not my duty.

You have a wide and kids. I don't. I am under no obligation to take care of your health for you.

Your hostel is just a block away from getting affordable healthcare, covered by the company! We don't work you until you've broken down to even be incapable of walking that far.

You didn't gain 2 hours of rest by us town-hopping, or enjoying the air conditioning on a hot Tuesday afternoon. No. You wasted two hours of my fucking time to drive to a more reputable clinic, because you said the clinic nearby your hostel wasn't good enough.

And then I find out that you didn't actually visit the nearby clinic at all! You lied to me, and to the entire administration department as we arranged for your hand-holding session.

Okay, then you come back two days later complaining that the fever never subsided, even if the possibility of having a fever lasting over SIX DAYS PRIOR would have reduced you to a heap drooling over the floor instead.

Whether it be naivete on your end or the inception rooted in your noggin' from what the doctor said might (huge keyword) be a viral infection, you kept insisting (almost demanding, as if you had such privilege) that you be taken to the hospital.

Fine. So I contacted the same people you had lied to a few days prior. But you couldn't even hold your pee and wait for their response. So you bypassed my authority to interrupt my boss (who, of course, gives me a proper shelling) when she's dealing with more pressing matters are at hand. Even the infrared thermometer at work AND the clinic twice disagreed with your diagnosis, you lazy fuck!

Thankfully I didn't have to go through the same ordeal as dispatch was available that day. You get your hospital visit, without having to infuriate me as your driver.

So colour me an unsurprising, pissed off figure that I get a call back from HR later that day saying that after a two-hour wait at the hospital for a blood test that the healthcare professionals didn't even bother to treat you as you needed absolutely fuck all treatment to begin with.

Fucking hell.

Sunday, 18 June 2017

Descent

Day One
My knuckles turn white as my fingers fumble to reach the two zippers to my luggage bag, as I comically sit on top of it to try and force it to close.

Packing for a trip has now seemed so odd, as my previous flight was a real mess of waterworks and jetlag.

Still, I guess this is another phase to move on from. I still find it surreal to be hiking the tallest mountain in South East Asia, and I'm not even the hiking kind!

I reckoned that perhaps forcing myself into uncomfortable positions can help me grow more. It'll probably suck, but it does provide some added perspective.

Day Two
Saline splashes over my face as I grip tightly onto the side railing of the starboard bow.

A speedboat had darted past us, in the opposite direction. Then, the boatman spun hard right, towards the wake of the earlier passer-by.

"Oh, you bastard-" SLAM! For the brief moment I was airborne along with the other passengers, I was teleported back to a recent ignominy (I'll link it later - sending this off my phone), as my backside and back crashed back to my seat, the bouy slamming onto my already-white knuckles, cutting it.

Sea travel always seem to stress me out.

Day Three
Yep. As per usual, I had underpacked for the initial hike and overpacked for the second half.

Pauline was defeated come dinner time. You could see the pain in the eyes. She must be in a lot of discomfort. Throughout our meal she kept insisting that she wanted to skip the hike on the following day.

Annoyed, I gripped her shoulder hard. "You're climbing tomorrow. I don't care what you say right now. You will do it tomorrow or you will regret it". I could feel my intense glare piercing through her.

She got me into this trip. I owed her the very least for her to see it through.

Day Four
It has been two years. You'd think I'd take it much better by now. Somehow, I'd thought so too. But whenever I'm reminded of you, the regret of a fractured friendship reminds me of personal underlying issues.

Maybe, I have issues with intimacy, that I need to break them even when things are great. Perhaps I can't settle for the now and what's going on in the moment, to just enjoy the present times.

But this slow walk away from my ending adventure allows me to relive good times. And we were great, even if it was just as friends.

Lastly, somehow I could not get "What a Wonderful World" out of my head throughout the walk down.

Day Five
"I don't think you were ready for the hike."

Thanks for that uncalled piece of criticism. It wasn't advice. I've known better, mom.

I don't get it. You knew that I was handicapped with my asthma, and that altitude sickness got the better of me. You'd think I'm already a hard judge of my own performances, but you do love to add in a comment or two, just because you can.

Maybe it's because my grandmother treats you the same, maybe you've been desensitized and normalize this practice as a result of overexposure to your mother-in-law... But that's still unfair to me.

Besides, you know I'll have to bite my tongue and not entertain my "American education" of speaking my mind freely.

posted from Bloggeroid

Wednesday, 7 June 2017

Ascent

It happened.  I somehow threw myself in the one place I rarely find pleasures at: altitude.  So here's my mid-year travel gig (illustrated through pictures!):

Pre-agony

Pauline, her colleague, Shwu Shan and I spent most of our pre-hiking days walking around the Kota Kinabalu.  Food was in abundance, so obviously I regressed to my primal Malaysian state and engorged whatever was in sight.

Jesselton Point

Island-hopping with these two ladies

Seafood Laksa (although it's more like Curry Mee) - Scrumptious!

Agony, Round One
The big event!  

In way over my head

Arguably I under-packed for the initial stages of the hike, as it was 15 C at the base of the mountain.  So I quickly doubled-up with a thermal layer and we soon began our hike.  


Some 200 meters into our hike (looking promising!)

The initial trail was great!  Hiking definitely made the slightly cold weather more bearable.

I was surprised how many people were hiking this spot

  The last picture of Pauline struggling (for that day)

I actually (wrongly) rested at Laban Rata (6 km out of 8.5 km), when I should have been at the Pendant Hut.  Nearly missed the ferrata briefing deadline.


Agony, Part Two
The lamb-and-beef fest of a buffet dinner last night definitely made my sleep more peaceful.  The 2.30 am alarm, less so.

Thankfully at that point my aching legs have recovered (thanks to said meal and some protein bars).  Pauline and I had mild headaches since the day before, around the 4, 5 km mark.  Hers had receded after some medication, but mine continued to linger.  The altitude was unsurprisingly getting the better of me.

We had to delay our ascent to Low's Peak as there was an overnight storm and winds were going at 25 km/h.  It was already -1 C at this point, and we were behind schedule to reach the peak before sunrise.

The initial trek saw me on par with Pauline, but my throbbing head started wearing heavy, and I was forced to take more and more breaks, falling behind.

At one point, I was hiking alone, with a very dodgy torchlight (should not have skimped on that).  I had reached a small hill where the trail seemed to have went cold: warning tapes of a sheer drop to my right, and an observation deck to my left.  Dread slowly settled as I found myself lost in the cold 3 am morning.  The wind picked up as I hurriedly laid flat next to a rock to shield myself from the wind.  Thankfully, moments later a few descending hikers illuminated the path forward, and I pushed on.

As I reached Sayap-Sayap Checkpoint (7.5 km out of 8.5 km and the last checkpoint before the summit), the accompanying guide broke the news: we weren't going to make it in time.  I was gutted, but with my worsening condition, I had to concede.

Camping there with another hiker (I'm sorry I forgot your name!), it was both too cold to descend in the morning and fruitless to continue the hike.  So we decided to wait it out, in hopes to still do the ferrata climb (if things get any better before 8 am, when the segment was arranged).  Perhaps unsurprisingly, I took a nap while waiting for the time to pass.

Surprisingly, that "power nap" lasted an hour and a half.  My companion had obviously left after I woke.  With her nowhere in sight, and the weather not improving, I decided to descend back to the rest house, as it was nearing 6 am and I could see the fog starting to roll in to our path back down.

Icy winds were to follow next

The only way I could ever properly descend a near-45-degree slope: butt-sliding with the rope sandwiched under my armpit

The rest of the descend was uneventful, as I took my time going down guide-less.  I did however, take many pictures of the flora around, along with my customary self-imposed psychoanalysis (more on that in the next segment!...).

As I returned to Pendant Hut, I was greeted by one of the Sabahan staff there.  I immediately gave him a hug as I slowly yanked off my shoes in relief- the remaining 6 km descent will be hell on my knees.  

The remaining staff were about to start their prayers for the victims of the 2015 earthquake.  I joined them, reciting prayers in a foreign dialect as they paid respect to the 18 people who lost their lives that day. 

There was pain and sorrow in their eyes.  And I felt it as well, as I welled up in tears shortly after.  Empathy is extremely powerful, even after all the shit I went through hiking up here to start.

After our second breakfast, the gang had covered up to prepare for the prevailing winds.  Thankfully, we all hiked down without much fuss or incidence.  

Kenny #1 and Kenny #2 before leaving the comfort of Pendant Hut

Finally reaching Timpohon Gate, after a 5-hour downward marathon

Of the six of us, Pauline and Xin made it to the summit, and those two ladies were phenomenal.  A huge thanks must go to our guides, for pushing them to completion, even if they were about to hit the runner's wall.

My admiration for Pauline never seems to run out, as she once again shows how her perseverance can outshine the toughest tasks.  Shameless plug, but I kept forcing her to do the second half of our hike up, as she was starting to show reluctance in continuing the hike over dinner in part one of the hike.  

I supposed I owed her that much to make sure we did the best we could muster.  But hey, at least I get a crummy black and white consolation certificate, revealing that I was just another 300 meters from the peak's elevation (not to be confused with trail length).

Hey, at least I got to take some pretty pictures and chat about a whole lot of things to a great friend throughout our hike.  Below are the other pictures of the hike.

Purdy flower post-rain

Purdy bell-like flowers

Widdle purdy flower

Cutie pink flower

Cutie fungi

Props to Pauline for spotting these clusters at one of the rest stops (I think it was at the 4-km-mark)

All in all, it was an amazing experience, even if I'm not a fan of hiking or altitude.  A huge amount of appreciation has to go to Pauline for inviting me along for this journey.  Maybe after a few years, I might just return to conquer that sucker one day.  

Until then, I suppose this picture of me looking cool would have to do.

Yes, I made it extra large.  Suck it.

Good Girls - LANY

Thursday, 18 May 2017

Bagels

Well I'm going through some existential problems so let's explore that for a bit.

I'm feeling lonely. Like... Really lonely. It doesn't help that I just listened to Harper Audio's "The Shadow Queen", "The Other Us" and "The Light We Lost" or that I've hosted a dating couple in recent days (who are lovely, by the way).

I think in my own reluctance, maybe I should move with the times and get a dating app. The people who I've interest in are not reciprocating so I should move on before I go down the rabbit hole of fantasizing things.

So here I am (there's loads of other content which I could have wrote but for some reason this phone app can't post through 4G, so I'm left backdating content).

Am I... Conceding defeat?

Me? The kind of bullish hard-head who stands by his own moral compass even when the world screams back?

I'm not sure. But if I'm considering it, it's as good as saying I've given up to conventional meets and greets.

Honestly. Me, using a dating app? Either my looks would detract you, or my dry quip. Seriously, me... Using a dating app?
posted from Bloggeroid

Tuesday, 16 May 2017

Couple

Elisabeth and Trevor had visited KL, so naturally I embraced my second chance to play host and brought them around town for a bit, taking an extra day off as well.

After a botched attempt for Nasi Lemak Bumbung (it closes on Fridays), we had Bak Kut Teh instead.  Naturally, I over-ordered and taught the two how mixed Malaysian language command can get (I conversed with the waitress/boss in a mixture of English, Mandarin and Cantonese).

The following day was the customary KL day trip.  So we hit Central Market (Pasar Seni), KLCC, did the Twin Towers Tour (more on that later), Masjid Jamek (which was already closed for visitation), Merdeka Square, and back home for a mamak dinner (Liverpool were playing that night).

Back to the tour, we had reached all the way up to the 86th floor, which was a first time for me (previously, tourists can only access the bridge at the 42nd floor).  Although covered in the gloomy aftermath of rain, KL does look pretty impressive from this elevation.


After the customary Batu Caves trip, we returned the following day to check out Aquaria, which I have been away from for so long that I forgot almost everything about the exhibit.  This segment of the rainforest biome was really aesthetically-pleasing.


Monday was more relaxed, with a night market foodscapade at SS2 before I headed back to work (they went to Cameron Highlands the following morning, followed by another week in Penang).  So we said our goodbyes, gave big hugs, and I returned to corporate reality.

That Friday, I came back to the sight of this in my room:


After a shitty end to the week at work, this made it slightly more bearable.

Here's to hoping that I can be the "hostee" whenever I do drop by Norway.

D.N.A. - Kendrick Lamar