Wednesday, October 29, 2008


saigon plus

saigon. the city is changing by the day. i can see the physical change every time i visit the place and it is not too much to my liking. it's becoming generic. some new sectors of the city are not much different than many other modern asean cities. but some other things haven't changed much. people here are as friendly as ever. same as usual. when the sun sets, on every corner of every street, or at least around the major business hotel area around sheraton on dong khoi st and the area around it, if you are a man and looks like a foreigner, you'll be accosted by smiling men offering to take you around on motorbike (for a small fee of course) and without fail will try to hook you up with 'a lady' -as they put it.

and if you say yes, they will call the lady on the mobile and soon a motorbike rider will come along -with a girl at the back. my vietnamese goat friend referred to these ladies as 'motorbike chicken'. not sure why he doesn't call them chicks rather than chicken. i put it on account of his rather poor command of english. one time another vietnamese friend ordered buffalo juice in a restaurant when he actually meant pomelo juice. and calls vegetables 'grass'. as in i like grass. may be he meant just that i don't know.

sometimes i just wonder, some of these vietnamese professionals... their english is quite atrocious. that's the favorite term one of my indian friends back home refers to the standard of malaysian english in general these days...atrocious. but the the viet women , or more often girl shop assistants around these tourist area can speak english quite well...perhaps better than some of the vietnamese professionals in MNCs. and even those ubiqitous young boys and girls selling chewing gums can speak passable english...although one boy once asked me ,suicide sir? when he meant shoe shine.

and last night a depressing thing happened to me. this very small and young girl came up to me and offered to sell chewing gums . and as usual i said no. she kept on pestering and tagged along as i walked away. and when i came to a place where the street was quite empty she said do you want to have sex with me? and i just looked at her and asked how old are you? eighteen she said. you don't look like it. er much? one million. she meant dong. the vietnamese currency which is roughly about usd60. dong! what an apt name for a currency in a country where sex can be bought quite cheaply! oh i also have a viet friend with the unfortunate name of Dr Twat , a real randy bugger. but that's another story.

anyway, as i was saying. i wasn't tempted. and she started to give the usual sob story. the father is sick. she was cheated when she was young and so we sat down on a bench and i asked her the story of her life. and she kept on asking me if i want sex. in the end i just bought a packet of gum just to keep her from pestering me. and in the end she finally went away but when she was quite a distance away she turned back became abusive, shouted insults at me (in vietnamese) and flapped he arms and showed rude signs.

but what really depressed me was this. when she squatted in front of me there was an unmistakable odour coming from her. she pongs. to use v s naipul's expression that i read somewhere when he unkindly described one wellknown dame. i am sure she isn't healthy. some peadophile must have done that to her . a couple of years back i visited an exhibition about the life of geishas in a museum in tokyo and one thing struck me. the average life span of gieshas in the old samurai days was less than 30. not hard to understand why it was so short. and i wonder what will happen to this chewing gum girl. i hope she lives past 30.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008


the love for fired clay

i am not a polymath by a long shot...well perhaps i can imagine i'm a bit of a poly(elementary) math? but what i really like about myself is this. but first i have to admit that i don't exactly love human beings very much. what humans have done to fellow human beings and still continue to do , and human greed, and cruelty and all kind of ugliness make me feel quite hopeless and helpless. but despite all that i am very much interested in many kinds of things and arts created by men. (men here is of course referred to humans of both sexes or three).

and one of man's fascinating and great creation is the arts of pottery. ceramics. gazing at chinese celadons, old vietnamese potteries, swankhalok and sukhothai and khmer iron brown glazed wares inexplicably gives me a serene and profound feeling of calmness and even almost intellectual trance. it's almost erotic. i can not explain this but there it is. i can look at a good piece of chinese celadon vase or jar with fine crackles for minutes on end and be transported into a small ecstasy. (doesn't need much to get me into a mental orgasm eh?).

since the price of good pottery is obscenely expensive, just like paintings, it is way beyond me to have a decent collection myself. although i can claim to own a few decent vietnamese celadon bowls reputedly from the ancient lei dynasty and a couple of khmer iron glazed jars (pic on the left) among a few other reproductions of old chinese celadons the best way to admire fine specimens of these potteries are simply to visit good museums.

and one of the best museums with reputedly one of the greatest pottery collection of 'kendi' (the pouring vessels) type is actually in Musium Seni Asia, University Malaya. There is a fine publication on the collection Kendi: Pouring Vessels in the University of Malaya Collection by Khoo Joo Ee - which i bought in the university bookshop a few years back.

not exactly a very sexy interest this, i must admit. but as you grow er... older you tend to pick up some wierd interests (and i don't mean any of those sexual perversions) like collecting ceramics and taking interest in parrots ...that sort of things.

like many other things in life i become interested in ceramics purely by accident and serendipity. many years ago i joined a few fishermen friends in their small fishing boat out fishing in the south china sea. they have this small bowl which they put salt and chillies in for dipping grilled sotong and fish . it is obviously not the usual bowl that you buy in the market and it turned out the bowl was caught in their fishing net and when i asked if i can keep it they said yes. and that's it. the start of my interest in pottery.and turns out there is one bowl of exactly the same type in the university malaya museum collection .

over the years i've visited many museums all over south east asia, china, korea, japan europe and the US and one of my goals is to visit topkapi palace museum in turkey. it is reputed to have one of the best collections of ceramics in the world...

Saturday, October 18, 2008


women reading

it has been said by many including famous authors - mario vargas llosa for example- that if it is not for women the 'novel' would be dead a long time ago. not many men read for pleasure it seems and thanks to women books in the fiction genre is still alive and well. for men, reading isn't fashionable and decidedly geeky. only boys who have problem getting girls or gays or dorks read. not exactly groups most men would like to be identified with.

but women are different. for a start a great number of them are woefully indiscriminating in their taste. they will buy and happily read and enjoy silly chick lits, romance and pulp fictions book after book . i suspect that the extraordinary and ridiculously fantastical sales of the children book in the harry potter series is solely due to women readers. i've never met a man who read harry potter.

but that is not to say that men are eclectic and have good taste. on the contrary these days most men prefer to surf porn and in malaysia read half-baked poorly written local political blogs. so we are no better then silly women.and that is not to say that women don't understand 'quality', or read serious and ah that word again ...'literary' fictions. in fact i also suspect that if it's not for women all these "booker" books would sink without a trace- most of them anyway. but the thing with women is they are indiscriminating. one day they may read say mikhail bulgakov and the week after they will happily pick up sophie fucking kinsella or yet another harry potter volume

women reading has fascinated many painters since hundred of years ago. I can't recall any good paintings of men reading but there are plenty of very good paintings of women reading. recently i bought quite a delectable art book Reading Women that has a selection of color plates of paintings of women reading by well known (and some less welknown) artists through the last several hundred years.

one particular painting is my favorite. it's a theodore roussel's painting of a young nude girl reading a magazine. it is mentioned that it's in the tate but i can not recall ever seeing this when i visited both tate london and tate modern several times in the past. I'll make a point to look for this when i go to london in future.

this painting captures everything i like about women.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


two good questions

i had two very interesting and explosive questions from two persons yesterday. one came via an sms message from a lady. another from a man; face to face.
the lady's sms is this, verbatim: Do you agree polygamy halts sex work? Ths was suggested at my work. Wud ths man want to marry my chow kit sex workers?

the other came from one of my randy goat friends. he has been spending a lot of money travelling to chang ping china bonking karaoke girls there. apparently changping is THE place now for people in the know. i've been all over china (but NOT for bonking, mind you) but never heard about this place until recently from this goat friend of mine. everytime he goes for his naughty trip i always ask him to bring back a report, preferably with video clips as well. he never fail to give very amorous report with all the details but unfortunately never substantiated with video clips. (are you mad? you want me to get into trouble with my wife? he would say). but his last trip recently made him very worried. the first thing he did after coming back from this trip was to barge into my room and confessed to a disturbing cut the story short, he shot blood . we discussed this at length and concluded : too much sex probably.

and yesterday he came to see me again and told me this "issue" still persists - and it has been several weeks since he came back from the trip . and asked if i've ever had such a problem. i of course said fuck no! and i tried to calm him down as best as i can and asked him to see a urologist (and report back to me). when i came back from office yesterday i related this to a person that i call " that woman" behind her back and she immediately diagnosed it. your friend has a cancer of the dick. hmmm...i always know women can be very cruel.

my friend's er ...issue is what we can term as an acute problem but the question from the lady above is more chronic in nature ( to put it in toxicological term) and is much more complex philosophically speaking. here's the question again (ah, the magic of cut and paste!!! to think that some idiots pretentiously say they prefer writing with pen- why don't they go further back and say they prefer hacking heiroglyphics with chisels?... pretentious lot these people are...but that's for another time)... :Do you agree polygamy halts sex work? Ths was suggested at my work. Wud ths man want to marry my chow kit sex workers?

the answer to many men is very obvious. (NO to part one and may be to part two of the question. ). women are incredible. even some of the brightest ones are clueless when it comes to major things in life. like sex. little wonder that they have been exploited so by (bad) men.

but i thought i want to expand further my answer to do justice to such a seemingly simple but deeply complex question and for this i thought of looking for answers in my sex bible the kamasutra of vatsyayana. i thought i read something about how men can win over girls and even wives of your enemies there and that sort of things which can answer the question above but i just couldn't find the much thumbed book anywhere!.

the problem is, if i've absent mindedly put back into my library it would be almost as good as gone. simply because i'm very sloppy and don't stack my books in any systematic order and now that my collection has slowly come to a critical mass for a personal library ( coming to 2000 + books) it's quite difficult to find any specific one in a hurry. i actually keep the kamasutra in my what they call here "the workstation" but it's not there. this is easy to confirm because i only keep THREE "non technical" books" in my office. everyday i religiously flip through these while waiting for my lap top to boot up or when downloding some lengthy pdfs. these are the said kamasutra that i bought from a sorry looking indian book peddlar on the sidewalk in culcutta several years ago. the other is "party jokes: a collection of the wildest, most hilarious and often tasteless jokes for adults". this little treasure was left to me by one aussie expat and the third is: "The world's Religions" by Huston Smith. this book came via my other randy goat turned deeply religious friend who thought this book "too technical and dry" who in turn got it from his american gay collegue who also thought the book too dry. not true. the book is very good. one book on sex, another on religions and the next making fun of both. i think i have a nice trinity of books that unite everything there.

as to the kamasutra all is not lost. thanks to the magic of internet i just found out that they have an e-copy which may or may not be the version that i have in the hard copy but that you can read here.

Friday, October 10, 2008


what now khairy??

i am currently reading a readable and gossipy book Peggy Guggenheim: The Life of an Art Addict by Anton Gill which is quite a nice complement to my other read(as yet unfinished) The Autobiograpy of Alice B Toklas by Getrude Stein. Both books are of course about two of the very well known women (and both Jews) who loved art inordinately and lived very interesting lives in Paris in early 20th century and managed to get their lives intertwined with some of the most iconic artists the world has ever known.

but that's not what i want to talk about. except that a couple of small points i gather from this book on guggenheim gets me thinking a little bit (not much- for i hate thinking). and it's this. peggy guggenheim was the daughter of benjamin guggenheim of the famous (and obscenely rich) guggenheim name. her dad was the least successful compared to his other more famous brothers and was quite a rake living the high life in paris and leaving the wife back in the USA. but he did one heroic last act. on the last trip back to America he was one of the passengers (un)fortunate enough to get a passage on the Titanic . when it went down he had the right to get into the lifeboat as one of the first class passengers but what he did was admirable. he refused to do so but went in to his cabin , dressed up in evening suit and statred helping ladies to get into these boats instead. and he went down with the titanic among the other thousands unfortunate souls. his body was never recovered. and the second little point. peggy guggenheim did not have to work for money as her trust fund was enough to get her living comfortably and like many rich people in those days she lived her life as an 'idle rich' and did her own things.

and that brings me to khairy. now that the father in law is just about to be kicked into malaysian political history what now for the famous SIL? he is a millionaire several hundred times over. so money is not an issue. he is so obscenely handsome and if he so cares, he can have his way with half of malaysia if that's his thing. so, money and sex are not the issue. but here's the thing. this guy is absolutely power mad. not a bad thing in itself. but he has commited a cardinal error. he used his position in the eyes of many to meddle in malaysian politics in a very questionable way (and in the eyes of many obtained his riches along the way). in the eyes of many he has done the unpardonable thing. he is an opportunist that uses his position to profit for self interest. in the eyes of many he has manipulated his weak FIL to get where he is now. power hungry politicians using their positions and manipulating their ways for advancement is nothing strange but this guy has stated publicly that he wants to be the prime minister of malaysia. not a bad ambition at all but from his behavior and track record i fear for my country if this guy ever become the PM.

he may be a bright young guy but there are many bright and able young politicians around . and much more idealistic than him. but don't look in asshole parties of PKR or umno. look in PAS. when dollah badawi annouced his decision not to defend his umno president post, the best advice anybody gives him comes from mahathir. he simply advised dollah to "shut up". brief succint and spot on. kadir jasin in his blog post on thursday 6 october had a clutch of advice to najib. which basically reprise what he should not do what dollah badawi did.

but so far i've not come accross any advice for khairy. and you can't depend on umno people to advise him. umno people are despicable in my eyes. these human garbage will follow any bastards that leave a trail of money around. that's a fact as you can clearly observe when there is any political or party election going on. and that's why i fear very much that this muhammad son of muhammad bastard is now offering himself to become a deputy PM. he has been caught dragging gunny sacks of cash into australia and there is no indication that he will not do worse in the future. imagine a worse case scenario with najib as the pm , muhammad muhammad as deputy and khairy as the umno youth leader...well..malaysia my friend will be trully fucked!

so my advise to khairy is this . be heroic like benjamin guggenheim, sacrifice yourself for the good of malaysia. enjoy your money like peggy guggenmheim , build an art museum or something. in short just "fuck off".

Sunday, October 05, 2008


men and women

whooooo..just came back from the end of ramadhan muslim festival of eid ul fitri holiday in my home town kota bharu... and for the non muslims among you (and wog muslims who should know better) eid ul fitri (fitr) basically means the celebration of the" fitrah " which means we are now back to our natural state (fitrah) again (after fasting in the month of ramadhan) . and for all intents and purposes for an average person this means we can start behaving like animals again...eating and screwing (with legally wedded wife/wives) in the day time -that sort of things .

and what a long tiring drive it was. it took me about two hours to crawl from kb to ketereh a mere 15km or so away (and i had about 450 km more to go)... i mean this is really ridiculous. we're not in fucking new york. in fact kb is probably more like a small town in papua new guinea and ketereh , well ketereh is just a couple of shops selling budu and stuff . but you can't go anywhere in kelantan during eid ul fitri celebration because everyone is on the road going and visiting their friends and relatives...and these days almost everybody goes by car. you hardly see any motor bikes. it could be that most of these motorcyclists are probably dead from being hit by cars or they are all getting more affluent and everybody owns at least a kancil.

driving in malaysia is a very trying exercise even at normal times and it is especially so during festival times when everybody goes back to villages and come back to the cities at the same time. it is no fun being bottle necked at the tail end of a long string of cars on a two way trunk road and you had to negotiate your way carefully trying to overtake these cars one by one and what do you see at the end of the line? a woman driver roadhogging at 40kph oblivious to the massive traffic jam that she caused. and after you overtake her you'll find the road in front is empty and you can drive for another fifeteen minutes or so until you come up to another string of cars and this keep on repeating the whole of your 500 km trip. it wasn't fun at all.

i know and everybody agrees that the stupidest and the most retarded driver is the one just in front of you but woman drivers! taking everything into account they are the worst...i think women should be banned from driving... which reminds me about this highly enlightening youtube video about a woman driver. i think this little clip encapsulates everything about the nature of our worse half "the woman" more than any learned philosophical tracts can do.

but hey don't get me wrong. i love women (way too much i fact ) in spite of all these shall we say idiocyncracies or perhaps i love them for this very reason. i love women so much that i can't think of nothing esle but women ( and money and all other good stuff...) which brings me to another youtube clip which encapsulates everything about the nature of the better half meaning us "men" more than any learned philosophical tracts can do. so in a nut shell women are somewhat er...daft and men are bad and sex mad. there isn't any better combination for men and women to be eternal uneasy partners and one unfortunately often being exploited by the other. it is simply a biological fact of life.

but hey don't get me wrong. women can be stupid but the stupidest are often my fellow men. which reminds me, today i bought a huge coffee table book the complete cartoons of the new yorker. this book comes with two CDs with all 68,674 cartoons ever published in the magazine (up to 2004). i love the new yorker maagazine and although i do not "get" many of the cartoons because in many cases i am ignorant of the context and background of them some of these cartoons are really funny. funny not so much in the sense of jim carey slapstick kind of humor but more subtle and ironic like say coen brothers kind of funny. or at least that's how i see them. and one of the cartoons that captures the nature of "men" very well is this one that shows two wrestlers one of whom is huge in the ring with their managers and in the caption one of the managers (of the thinner man) says "my man don't wrestle till we hear it talk"

i thought that was quite funny and encapsulates something about the nature of the better half meaning us "men" more than any learned philosophical tracts can do.

and lastly i wish SELAMAT HARI RAYA AIDIL FITRI MAAF ZAHIR BATIN to muslim visitors that visit here.

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