Sunday, 29 December 2013

Cheese anyone?

You never know who's watching

Recently the Harian Metro, one of Malaysia's leading tabloid newspapers published a story about a new trend that is becoming popular amongst the patrons of massage parlours. Apparently the men (no surprise there) were being given the option of having their body smeared with cream cheese; the “masseuse” would then lick the cheese of the client's body. Don't expect this special service from every spa; it's a brothel masquerading as a massage parlour.

Call me old-fashioned but I've always had the belief that food should be served on a plate. The only time this rule doesn't apply is when you're ordering from a drive-thru or if you happen to drop some food on the floor; if that happens then the 3-second rule is in effect. Plus it's a waste of good food. Then again I'm an old-fogey, so my opinion on such matters don't really apply.

I like how the country has been described as a “predominantly Muslim Malaysia, where conservative attitudes toward sex prevail.” This is only half-true, while Muslims are a majority (I'm one myself) we definitely do not have a “conservative” attitude to sex; after all, how conservative can we be as a country if there exists places where you can pay to have a “masseuse” lick cream cheese off your body?

And Malaysians have access to the internet. I'm pretty sure if you were to look through people's browsing history you'd find some pretty disturbing material. For the record, if you look through mine you'll see searches for “animals wearing clothes” and “cats that look like Hitler” as well as “How can I be a less perfect human being because I'm so awesome and my friends are all jealous of me.” Don't judge me! At least I'm not having someone use me as a savoury snack.

It's amazing what you can find on the internet. I just browsed Craigslist Malaysia and under the “services offered” section there are plenty of ads listing massages and escort services for gentlemen who just want a night of quiet conversation and the company of a beautiful young woman. And nothing else *wink wink*.'

I even found one ad asking for a female house cleaner. Which is not really strange; after all, cleanliness is next to godliness. But he (and I assume it's a man) did have one teeny tiny request. That she did it whilst in a state of undress (not creepy at all.)

Imagine if he had been given a Roomba this Christmas? The look of disappointment on his face would have been priceless. And the “men seeking women” section is a lot more creepier. Now if you'll excuse me for a moment, I need to take a shower; for some reason I feel dirty (oh crap, maybe I'm a Muslim with a predominantly conservative attitude to sex.)

A town council official told the Harian Metro that “massage parlours would face stern action if found to be offering irresponsible activities.” Oooh...I bet the operators of such institutions are quaking in their boots. Hold on..I have just received this news flash:

BREAKING NEWSmassage parlours all over Malaysia have closed shop and moved to Singapore and Thailand , where the population is less predominantly Muslim and the prevailing attitudes towards sex are not as conservative. And of course they were afraid of the “stern actions” threatened by local council officials. Mission accomplished.

Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your viewpoint), like most countries the authorities in Malaysia tend to look the other way when it comes to prostitution. And I've seen it first hand. A few weeks ago I had to drive in the city to take my Dad to the bank. This particular bank is located adjacent to a hotel frequented by tourists. Since there was no parking available I ended up parked on a double yellow line (which is technically illegal.) But in my defence I wasn't alone, there were plenty of cars doing the same thing.

It was while waiting for my Dad that I noticed something strange about the driver of the car right in front of me. He was standing next to his car and he had a walkie-talkie attached to his belt. A few moments later I noticed a man (presumably a tourist) coming from the hotel and having a brief conversation with the driver of the car.

The tourist then opened the passenger door peered inside the car; then gestured towards someone inside the car and a young woman stepped out and they both went back towards the hotel. Turns out there were two women in the car; I think what was happening in front of me is pretty self-explanatory to everyone.

For some reason I started getting angry. I still don't know why. Maybe that night I was in a particularly bad mood. Maybe it was fact that these men were treating these women like commodities and were going to benefit from this transaction; one financially and one sexually.

Or maybe the real reason I got upset was that this man openly participating in the prostitution of women without any fear of being caught by the police. Meanwhile, the authorities are busy arresting a woman for uploading a video on Youtube; arresting a young couple for being politically incorrect (at least by Malaysian standards); or in a recent case allegedly (according to some critics) suspending a newspaper for publishing an article on the spending habits of the Prime Minister Najib Tun Razak and his wife Rosmah Mansor.

The weekly newspaper “The Heat” had recently published an article titled “All eyes on big-spending PM Najib”; the report then listed expenditures incurred on overseas trips and consultancy fees as well as Rosmah's use of a government jet to attend a conference in Doha, Qatar.

Shortly after this The Heat received a suspension order from the Home Ministry.
I also have to emphasise the word “allegedly”; according to some opposition politician's The Heat was suspended because the article had portrayed the Prime Minister in a negative way.

According to the Home Ministry the suspension had nothing to do with the article; the publishing company had violated provisions mandated under its printing permit as well as failed to inform the Home Ministry about a change in ownership. The timing is just an unfortunate coincidence.

This is starting to get a bit long. I'm sorry for the diversion; in the beginning you were reading about cheese and sex and I managed to turn it into a piece about the Malaysian Government.

I guess in the end I'm just naïve. When you spend your time in front of a computer or reading a book you have a tendency to forget about how the real world works. And it can be depressing sometimes. Why can't the world just be sugar, spice and everything nice?

Of course, the big irony was that just as my dad was getting back in the car a security guard approached us as we were parked on a double yellow line. And that was illegal. Sigh..c'est la vie.

P.S. Last week I wrote an article about lighthouses and I have to admit that it's not my best writing. But of course, that's the one people read and commented on the most to me. In my defence, there are some weeks where I have nothing to write and last week's post is evident of that. I guess all I can say is I do what I can and please bear with me. Anyways, have a great week and be awesome every day or at least try to.

Some links to check out:

Angry rant on Man of Steel

Spoiler Alert: If you have not seen Man of Steel then do not continue or don't bother since it's just okay. It's definitely not Batman

Apparently I have a lot to say this week so here is an extra bonus post; my angry rant/review of Man of Steel. I watched Man of Steel recently and while I admit that it wasn't a bad film I sort of expected more. 3 out of 5 stars; it was slightly better than the last Superman film and a lot better than Green Hornet.

Here are a few things that sort of annoyed me about the film:

  • Was it just me or were the prison capsules used to contain Zod and his minions a little..erm..phallic shaped? Maybe I'm just imagining things. I wonder what Sigmund Freud would have made of this
  • All the “subtle” product placement in the film e.g. getting thrown through a 7-11; the close up of a Nokia phone (Seriously? If it was a Samsung or iPhone I would have found it a little more believable)
  • The amount of collateral damage in the film. Metropolis was practically destroyed and thousand of its citizens killed before being “saved” (Thanks least you caught Lois Lane)
  • The fact that Lois Lane conveniently found herself on-board Zod's ship for no plausible reason except for plot development
  • The fact that Superman had to terminate Zod with extreme prejudice. Most fans weren't happy with this; Superman usually tries to avoid killing people. It makes sense I guess, it's hard to have a moral code these days. Besides, not everyone can be Batman (oooh..Superhero burn)
  • And to complete his disguise all it takes is a pair of glasses! Seriously! We still accept that part of the story?
  • How about the existence of a super strong extraterrestrial living on Earth? Actually I'm okay with that.

Later in the film Superman destroys a drone and tells a General to stop following him. Does he seriously think that he can't be tracked? Clark baby, it's 2013! The NSA is already tracking everyone!

It's not like he's a hard guy to track down in the first place; all it took was a Pulitzer prize winning journalist (Lois Lane) to follow a few leads and eventually end up on his doorstep. And let's not forget the part where a police officer dropped Lois Lane off at Clark Kent's house while he's dressed as Superman (you dummy. Super Strong but not Super Smart.) I think Edward Snowden could have found out who Superman was in a heartbeat; to be fair, Lois Lane is a lot prettier than he is.

This might be a little controversial (not really) but I think the real hero of the film was Colonel Nathan Hardy. Technically, Superman did most of the work but he's practically invincible anyway; plus he got to make out with Lois Lane which is a fair bit of compensation for his troubles.

Meanwhile, the Colonel survives a helicopter crash, empties an entire clip into a bulletproof alien (he probably should have taken the hint after the first 3 rounds bounced off her.) When that didn't work tried to get into a knife fight with an adversary that was far stronger than him (I'll admit, a bit stupid that.)

And let's not forget the part where he Kamikaze's his plane into that machine thingy. Where is his parade? Where's his comic book? At least name a holiday after the poor guy! But no..Superman gets all the glory. And the girl. Bah Humbug!

The part that got to me the most was the ending. To keep a low profile so that he can go into dangerous situations without raising any suspicions Clark Kent decided to become a journalist. Because that worked so well for Lois Lane..oh wait. She did get to meet Superman after all.

Plus talk about a poor career choice; joining a dying profession. I don't think he was thinking long-term. He probably should have gotten a degree first. Besides if you really want to become anonymous just become a blogger.. Literally no one will pay attention to you (or me)..

RIP Colonel Nathan Hardy - A real Super Hero

P.S. Apparently if you happen to be stuck in the path of a tornado the last thing you want to do is hide under an overpass. People tend to get hit with debris or sucked out because of the strong winds. Basically, just get out of the tornado's path; or seek shelter in a well-constructed building; failing that just lie flat in a ravine or ditch

Have a great week! Here are some links to check out:

Sunday, 22 December 2013

Keep On Dreaming..

One of my more recent pipedreams that I had floating about in my head is that I would make a great lighthouse keeper, least I THINK I would make a great lighthouse keeper. There is something quite appealing about living on a small outcrop of rock in the middle of the ocean + I do love spiral staircases. I think it's the isolation that appeals to me the most.

Unfortunately in the modern world lighthouse keepers are no longer necessary. Have you heard of the song with the lyrics "video killed the radio star"? Well technology killed the lighthouse keeper; it was mostly a combination of electricity & automation that did it. And the addition of heliports meant that live in keepers were no longer needed. In Britain all the lighthouses have been automated by Trinity House while in the US the last manned lighthouse was automated in 1998. Jobs as lighthouse keepers are scarce, many are part-time & seasonal.

Here is a brief overview of a position available as a "volunteer" keeper that I found on a lighthouse enthusiast website (oh yes, you can find anything on the internet, it's not all porn):

  • Volunteer keeper needed at Forty Mile Point lighthouse, Michigan
  • Tasks include greeting visitors, act as tour guide, work in gift shop & ensure cleanliness of premises
  • Bring your own RV, no TENTS allowed!!
  • Oh BTW, you ain't getting paid
I probably have a romantic/unrealistic view of being a lighthouse keeper. Apparently it wasn't all that great. First of all you had to stay with three other keepers; you'd better be nice to each other because you'll be spending a long time together at close proximity. Other drawbacks included no toilets or running water, at least back in the early days. And of course being away for so long meant that you'd miss out on certain things back home (like your wife having an affair for example).

So if I was to be a lighthouse keeper a few conditions would have to be met. The most important would be that I would be the only keeper at the lighthouse. I don't mind the isolation; if I was to be stuck on a rock with two other people I'd go for a swim & hope a shark was feeling a bit peckish.

The second condition is that I would need a LCD TV with a HD DVD player & some DVD boxsets please (Who needs friends when you can watch "Friends"?). The third condition is that there would need to be decent internet connection at the lighthouse. With Skype, Twitter & Facebook you'll never be alone really. 

After a few days at the lighthouse your tweets might get a little repetitive 'Turned on the light, turned off the light, turned on the light, turned off the light....' & so on. Of course on those cold lonely nights when I am missing a little...erm...female contact the internet would be REALLY important. If you know what I mean. And being alone would mean that there wouldn't be anyone to interrupt you or judge you. Except god....

I highly doubt that any potential lighthouse keeper employer would give me a call so the only other way to be a keeper is to buy my own lighthouse. On the same website I mentioned before I saw a beautiful lighthouse for sale called Pointe d'Aiguillon lighthouse which is in Saint-Marc-Sur Mer, about 8KM South West of Saint-Nazaire, France. It costs only 780,000 Euros and I think that's a bargain. So can anyone spare some change? Maybe look EXTRA hard around the couch?


Saturday, 14 December 2013

I know too much!

TMI a.k.a Too Much Information - Way more than you need/want to know about someone.

John: I have mad chafing on my balls.
Frank: uh, TMI

-Urban Dictionary

I have a few flaws. I'm the person that:

  • reminisces about the past too much
  • tries to turn everything into a joke
  • is way too sarcastic for his own good
  • who gives directions to people who are lost even when he doesn't know the directions himself (hint: if you ask someone for directions and their first word is “erm..” keep driving)
  • has awkward conversations involving TMI

And the last point is probably one of the worst things about me. I can't help myself, I don't know my limit. Sometimes, when someone asks me a simple question I just keep going on and on (like right now.)

It's not so bad when it's with my family and close friends, they're used to it by now. Usually after a few minutes of my rambling their eyes glaze over and they stay silent. Eventually I'll become aware of the silence and my voice will trail off. Recently, my mother was surprised that there were camels in Australia.

I then mention to her the fact that Australia has the largest population of camels outside the middle east; that they were brought in to help cross the interior of Australia; their decline and how they're seen as a pest; how they're being culled because of the impact they have on the environment. And for all this information all I got back was an “uhum.”

Sometimes it can be a little bit awkward. A few years ago, I managed to get in touch with a friend from Australia on Facebook. We went to school together and we haven't been in contact for 18 years. He made the mistake of messaging me back to ask how things were. And boy did I let him know. It probably took him 18 years to finish reading that message. I've never heard from him since.

It didn't seem like a big deal at the time. I only regretted what I had written after hitting send. So I try to be a lot careful now with people I don't know and how much I tell them.

Occasionally I'll come across people who tell me a little too much. A few years ago someone sent me an email to ask permission to use a photo I had posted. And he ended his e-mail with this “PS It's been a looong time since I've been in Malaysia. But I bet you guys still drive on the wrong side of the street :)”

I e-mailed him back to let him know that he could use the photo; I also asked him just out of curiosity and because he seemed nice when was the last time he visited Malaysia. And he replied with the following:

Hi Faiz,
Thanks for the use of the photo. I'll let you know when the video is finished.
I think it was about 1970 when I was in Malaysia, specifically Singapore. I was a merchant seaman and we were on our way to Pakistan with a load of 'fertilizer' as foreign aid. (Think Ammonium Nitrate and munitions) We had agreed not to provide weapons to Pakistan or India to assist in their 'dispute'. Anyway...
My three main memories of Singapore, remembering please that I was a young seaman.
1. A really fine little 'bordello' where, just like in the movies, the ladies line up while you pick and choose.
2. A cab driver who totally freaked out when I flipped a cigarette butt out the window. Although he should have warned us about the anti-littering laws when we got into the cab since we were a motley crew of heathen foreigners.
3. Some blond pot, illegal as hell, that was amongst the most potent, and produced the cleanest and happiest high of any that I can remember.

I never bothered to get back in touch with him. And I thought I was bad. Assuming he's telling the truth, who is this guy? Jason Bourne? Should he have even been telling me this information?

I can't help the feeling that that I've uncovered some conspiracy that was not supposed to be divulged. Does that mean I'm being watched by the NSA (no worries, the NSA is watching EVERYONE); on a side note I hear a low humming sound above me.

It's kind of nice to know that I'm not the only one out there who suffers from chronic TMI. And of course I'm exaggerating a little. It's not the “worst” part of my character. If I was so concerned about sharing too much with people this blog wouldn't exist; and I wouldn't be entertaining several people a week. There are far worse things about me like the fact that once I had to shoot this.....never mind. See you next week. Maybe.

Here are some links

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