23 February 2007

CNY & Boredom

Did you realize that CNY isn’t quite what it used to be anymore? The 15-day festive celebration has evolved into a “1-2 days of festive celebration" + "13-14 days of gambling”. Well, at least that’s what I’ve been doing in the recent years.

Unfortunately for me, ‘business’ has not been so good this year. I seem to be distributing my wealth to the MORE fortunate. I guess I’m everything Robin Hood is not. Hahaha! Well, what’s a little money in return for good moments with great friends?! Besides, I only gamble within limits. So far still ok.

I came back to work yesterday and it was totally boring with almost nothing to do. Everyone else is either still on leave, or their companies are closed till next Monday.

Today marks the 6th day of CNY. I didn’t sleep well because I kept waking up twice every hour coughing my gut out. Work usually starts at 8.30am. When mom yelled for me, it was already 8.15am. There was no way in hell I was going to make it to work on time. I wasn’t fit for work anyway. So the logical thing to do was to call in sick. But I just took MC two weeks ago when I was down with the flu, and I don’t want people to think that I’m making it a habit.

So instead, I called my boss up and explained myself, asked to take half-day emergency leave (so I could sleep some more). He says ok, and even suggests I take the whole day off since there’s not going to be much to do anyway. Alas, need to save my leave for all my planned vacations.

How true. I got to work at 1pm. 2 hours later, still no sign of any work. And I guess there’s no reason to expect any more work today either. The tough part is making ourselves look busy. Everyone is trying so hard to hide what’s written all over our faces – B-o-R-e-D-o-M!

Some try hiding it by pretending to look through documents & reports. Others pretend to be busy on the phone (personal calls mostly). There are also those who are seemingly having serious discussions amongst one another (actually talking crap only). As for me, I’m making myself look occupied by typing a really long email (drafting this post in Microsoft Outlook).

Well, that’s it for now. Back to surfing The Net.

19 February 2007

Gong Xi Gong Xi!

The year of the dog has passed, and the year of the hog is here. I've come across quite a number of fortune-telling emails about the ups & downs to expect this year, but I can't say I'm quite taken. I like to think that we're in control of our destiny, and we get to decide whether or not things are going our way.

This CNY we didn't have to balik kampung as we usually do. For those who don't know, balik kampung in my book means going back to my dad's hometown of Kota Bharu. That's in Kelantan in case you're wondering.

Spending CNY in the city and in a small town can be quite contrasting. For one thing, the usual hussle and bussle in the city is no longer apparent as with the other days of the year. Traffic, both vehicle & human, however, grows tremendously in small towns during festive seasons and long breaks.

Also, you'll hear a lot more fireworks breaking the peaceful silence of dark skies in small towns. I suppose that's because supplies are easier available there, and enforcement on bans is less.

One major aspect of celebrating CNY back in Kota Bharu which I miss this year is the whole family togetherness. Back there, as many as 5 families live under the same roof, while another family or two crash at the prestigious Hotel Perdana just across the street. So at any given time, there will be relatives around to talk to and do stuff with. There's never a lonely moment.

It may not be a big house, and many of us 'big boys' end up sleeping in the living room at night, but I really can't complain. We don't sleep that much anyway considering our late-night till morning mahjong sessions.

There's also lots of delicious food readily available any time of the day, whether home-cooked, or a 5-minute walk around the corner, or 5-minute drive into town.

The one thing I enjoy the most about the entire affair is that about 60% of conversations are in Hokkien. I grew up in a pure Hokkien family so not surprisingly, I feel a certain sense of comfort and belonging whenever I'm around people who speak Hokkien. My own Hokkien is nothing to shout about, but I'm still pleased to be in the company of people who speak Hokkien.

Back in Kota Bharu, our CNY festivities include the same visiting route year after year. I almost know my way around from house to house already. The problem is, until today I still don't know whose homes I'm entering, and who it is I'm collecting Angpaos from, how it is I'm related to them, and how to address them. That's what happens when the previous generation have really big families and extended families. And to make things worse, we've lived 6.5hrs drive away our entire lives. Correction... there was a time when it was 8hrs drive away.

Sigh... I miss Kota Bharu. Check out the name of the street I live on there - Jalan Bayam. Sounds so kampung right?! Hahaha!

Gong Hei Fatt Choi to you, and may you be blessed with health, fortune, prosperity & love all year long.

14 February 2007

Love Is In The Air

It’s 11.30am and I’m in the office but I don’t really feel like I want to be overly productive today, so I’m going to blog instead (I bet it ticks you off that I can do this).

First of all, Happy Valentine’s Day to all BeingMervs readers. That said… how’s your February 14th going?

Yeah, it’s V-day. Like it or not, it comes once a year. Valentine or no Valentine, you’ll still have to live the day. Did you ever notice how people always complain about this day?

The people who are attached will complain about:-
- how their partners aren’t romantic and don’t want to celebrate.
- can’t seem to figure out what to buy for their partners.
- the exorbitant prices for flowers & fancy dinners.
- it’s just another day, why do we have to be extra nice & do extra special things?
- why it had to fall on 14th of Feb, instead of like father & mother’s day where it falls on the a certain weekend of a certain month.

The people who aren’t attached don’t have quite as much to complain about. The only complaint I can think of is – why am I still single/partnerless/dateless?! I suppose some form of jealousy eats away at us when everyone else is out there being lovey dovey.

So, we console ourselves with the following:-
- this day is over-rated and just an excuse for entrepreneurs to slaughter sappy romantic couples. Boy am I lucky I don’t have to do anything special.
- It’s just another day in the year. There’s nothing wrong with spending it alone.

Boys being boys, they will always be at the supposedly “losing end” on Valentine’s day. They have to be extra nice, extra sweet, extra caring, extra generous, extra thoughtful, extra sensitive, extra romantic, extra everything, just to please their partners. Sometimes I wonder if what they do really pleases their partners. Or is it merely for their partners to make a comparison with their friends later on, on whose boyfriend was the nicest, sweetest, most caring, most generous, most thoughtful, most sensitive, most romantic, and most everything on this special day of the year.

Gee, if I had such potential, I wouldn’t be saving it for Valentine’s day. I’d be that kind of guy every day of the year… or maybe not! Hahaha!

In case it still isn’t obvious enough – I’m single, available & extremely date-able (so I’ve been told) at the moment. I don’t have anything dramatically romantic planned for the day or evening, but that’s not to say I won’t be having a great day like all other days.

So far, so good. I’ve got an e-date set up for 6pm, followed by 8pm dinner with the bestest buddies this world has to offer. So if you think it’s sad to not have some hottie to spend V-day with, think again!

08 February 2007

Random Update

Valentine's Day
Less than a week to go... I've found myself a date! But while all of you are spending a romantic evening together, I'll be sitting in front of the PC with someone 3,000km away, trying my best to make it as romantic as possible via webcam. Hmmm... Distance & timezone will be hard to beat, so I could use all the ideas I can get. Anybody got any bright ideas?

I'm thinking go buy two identical bottles of wine + a pair of identical wine glasses. FedEx her one bottle + one glass, while I keep the other. Then we can both drink at our own end. But what kind of idiot would buy wine in Malaysia and send to Australia?! That's just crazy. Besides, a bottle of wine each? It'll take forever to finish! LOL!

Chinese New Year
Gong Xi Fa Cai festivities are just around the corner. Where will you be this CNY? More specifically, where will you be in the afternoon of the 7th day of CNY? Lots of people will be at my place. How about you?!

I'll serve drinks + tidbits + cards + mahjong + loose change + plus stories & jokes & lots of laughs. Please don't expect lunch and dinner. Too many people to cook for! If you find yourself hungry, you can help yourself to my cabinet of instant noodles. :)

07 February 2007


Because I’ve been tagged by a certain someone, here are 5 things about me you may or may not know, but probably don’t really need to know anyway.

Fact #1: Mervs is BBC
If ABC is American-born Chinese, then I can certainly coin BBC to be British-born Chinese. Yep… I was born in the town of Redbridge, Essex… outskirts of London. I only spent about 6 months there before moving back to Malaysia, so please do not expect me to remember anything about that place. If anyone heads that direction in the near future, bring me back a pebble from Redbridge and I will be eternally grateful! I hold ONLY a Malaysian citizenship… not interested in being a Brit at the moment.

Fact #2: Mervs took piano lessons
I can’t give much more input on this. I didn’t even know until a chance meeting back in 2000. I went for someone’s party and was mistaken for the host’s son. This lady came up to me and said “Hi Calvin, how are you?”. It was strange that she could confuse Calvin and I when he’s at least 5 years younger than me, and we didn’t even look alike. She then insisted that she recognizes me from somewhere. Turns out that she was my sister’s piano teacher… and apparently she taught me for a month too. All this happened in the 80’s. How did she even recognize me after over a decade? Fuck… I played the piano? Why did I quit?! Damn!

Fact #3: Mervs was once a very sad boy
Once upon a time, I was a very depressed kid. It was a phase I went through in my teenage years. I would complain about everything under the sun. I was so negative all the time, sometimes I wonder how the people around me put up with me. It wasn’t until a very dear friend threw some heart-piercing words at me that I realized that I definitely needed to work on my personality. Seven years have since passed. I sure hope you guys like the person I’ve turned into. I think I turned out alright. Thanks Charity Lee!

Fact #4: Mervs cooks

Yes I do. I’ve been cooking since Form 1. I know my way around the kitchen as well as any non-professional chef, but I always prefer cooking with very simple everyday ingredients. These days, I only work in the kitchen on special occasions. Give me an excuse to cook and you might end up as a little white mouse for some weird experimental recipe.

Fact #5: Mervs has his shy moments too
I know most of you have a hard time believing this… so do I. But strangely enough, I can’t seem to bring myself to utter more than a “Hi”, “Hello”, “Hey” or it’s many other variations whenever I bump into the cute girl working on the 10th floor while commuting the lift. After the greeting… my eyes tend to focus on the weirdest stuff – the lift buttons, the floor patterns, the scratches on the lift doors, the fluorescent light… my heart starts to beat faster… my mind goes blank… and I don’t know what else. It’s always the same thing for those 60 seconds we’re in the lift together. Damn it! Why don’t they serve tequila shots in the lift!

Ok… that covers it. I’m supposed to tag other people at the end of this, but Robert kind of tagged everyone I can think of already. So unfair!

06 February 2007

Be Your Valentine?!

Received this in an email. It's so cute I just had to post it up! LOL!

04 February 2007

Valentine's Day 2007

Valentine's Day... romance and what not. We're only 10 days away. Have you made plans yet?

So many friends have recently gotten hitched. On one hand, I'm happy for them. On the other, it means that while everyone is out there being lovey-dovey and all, I won't have the company to do anything special.

Strange as it may seem, it's true. I'm still unattached. Far from it in fact. I haven't even met anyone who strikes my fancy. Or rather, they're always unavailable. LOL! Always a step behind; a moment too late.

Anyone want to set me up on a blind date this Valentine's? I must warn you that my standards remain as high as ever! haha!