Saturday, March 22, 2008


going retro

ok decompression time. time to get rid of the dirts from the political stuff. i'm trying to wean myself from the political bile and mucks accumulated in the past several weeks...i'll stay away from malaysian politics for a bit. although at this moment i'm very tempted to say a few things about that client # 9 of emperor's club , mr eliot spitzer the disgraced new york governor and also about that little snippet of the video of someone who looked like khairi jamaluddin being fellated which appeared on an anti khairi blog just on the eve of election day 8 march . i want to say a bit about this sort of things because i know quite a few things about this kind of things (THEORITICALLY only mom!) but well, that's for another time.

so i thought i'll go retro instead today. on account of listening to the song "the world is a ghetto" from youtube by an old black band WAR. but hell's bells. there's no getting away from politics after all. this song is a very old classic from 1972 when most of your mothers waren't even born yet. i remember i was very young at the time but i was very politically conscious even at that tender age. i still remember many of my exercise books have crecent and star scrawled all over the pages and if you don't know , this was the logo of PAS during those days in the seventies. and in school we used to argue that perikatan was a very evil party because they built tokong all over the place and how good PAS was because they built mosques. i like to believe that my political understanding is a little bit more sophisticated now that i've grown in maturity ( a bit).

but as i was saying, this song "the world is a ghetto" was played on the one and only malaysian english radio station at the time quite a lot. but what i really remember is this. during this time the vietnam war (or the american war as my vietnamese friends call it) was still going on. and somehow in late afternoon and evening for some reason we could receive signals from american army radio station somewhere in vietnam very clearly. we lived in kota bharu which is the nearest point to vietnam so probably that explained it. and i remember first listening to this song from this american radio. and another favorite from these days that the station played over and over again was that great classic by steely dan do it again. so every evening after school i tuned in to vietnam american army radio and listened to good songs.

and my connection with vietnam didn't end there. much much later i get to visit all over vietnam so many times now that hanoi and saigon now feel like almost local towns to me .and the guy who is my good friend , my sparring partner responsible for showing me all kind of vietnamese places and sites and making me experience all sort of vietnamese stuff had a very colorful and chequered life. his family lived somewhere around Hue in the middle of vietnam and when the vietcong was on the verge of victory they (my friend's family) being christians and south vietnamese sympatizers had to run for their lives and they walked all the way south to safety and their experience is fit for a movie.

when i first travelled to vietnam about ten years ago it surprised me to see so many christians there. you can see christian cemetaries and churches all over vietnam . but my friend is a typical vietnamese christian. not exactly practising except probably during birth (baptism) and marriage and death. and my good friend is one bloody randy goat which is not a christian model behaviour at all but that's for another time.

but since this is a retro post, i thought i'll end today's post with a bonus. a picture of a group of us in primary school. i'm in the front row far right. one of the boys in this group is now an imam. another is suffering from schizophrenia and another is a bastard (in the true biological sense of the word). in the back ground is our attap roofed school with bare earth as the floor. but happy to inform that the school these days are a complex of buildings including a three -story building . bigger and looks better than some universities in vietnam although unfortunately still producing mediocre students (though i must say i ended my school days here as the number 1 & top student of the whole school academically).

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