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Malaysian Alien


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Tuesday, October 30, 2007
Tak Tau Malu

I meant to write you a letter but I never found the time. There are plenty of things I wished I shared with you but somehow the words don’t flow. I do not blame you if you think I have abandoned you. I understand why you must have felt that way. I would have felt the same way too, if I were in your shoes.

I wake up everyday and I chase after a shadow. No, people call it a dream. Yes, I wake up daily to chase a dream. Some dream that there will be a better tomorrow. Some dream of beautiful things. Some dream of the simplest, like ‘more coke that you can ever drink’ recorded in The Joy Luck Club page one.

I don’t know what it is that I am chasing. Or what it was that I was supposed to have chased after. The dream, once vivid, now feels a little blurred. I can see what it is if I shut my eyes and move myself to another space and time.

But I am stuck here.


Everything that I felt a year a go seems so far away. All the love and excitement, everything has changed. I am still excited but it is for something else. I still feel love but it isn’t anymore Alex.

No. I can’t say that. I can’t say that I am over Alex. I know that I am not. But a long time ago, life taught me that there is a distinct separation between love and life. Sometimes all that you love cannot be part of your life and other times, all that is in your life has no essence of love.

Many women are victims in the name of love. They do everything for the man they love. I used to be one of them. I believed that love could change everything and love could conquer all. I guess I still believe in the same thing with the exception that I have read the fine print, located on the last chapter of the life contract, right below. The print was so fine, I needed a jolt in the form of a very selfish man who abused me in everyway imaginable.

Since that day I walked out of his life, or rather, asked him to get the fuck out of mine, I believe that love conquers all when the man and the woman involved are willing. You know what they say about “when there is a will, there is a way.”

So what if there is no will?

Then there is no way.


‘Don’t call me at my phone number,’ the voice cracked. I could hardly recognize that it was PY. ‘I was robbed 5 minutes ago. Fucker.’

She was robbed in front of 5 men (2 of them were sat at her table) in a little coffee shop in Seremban. There was a laptop but it was not taken. The robber must have been desperate for cash. He could have taken the laptop, which was located nearer to him but he chose a lady’s bag.

Now despite me lovingly teasing PY with the tag “aunty” the truth is she is anything but an aunty. She sprung into action, ran after the guy and nearly caught him, if not for her sprained left ankle.

So she called me from Seremban, nearly in tears (brave girls don’t cry) but she managed to account minute by minute all that had happened. How she ran down the path after the guy in helmet. How other men merely shouted at the guy but no one offered to help.

How helpless and defenceless she felt since that day.


I was angry last weekend. Some random stranger ransacked through my bag while I queued up at Sepang to watch Mika Kallio on his 36. I must say that I did not pay good money to have my privacy ransacked in public. What angered me more was the fact that they threw some other dude’s bottles of water. There was a mountain of bottles at the table where they checked everyone’s bags.

I think it is a total invasion of my privacy in the name of consumerism. I have all the right to bring in whatever drinks (or chips or sandwiches) I wish to bring for the event, just as long as I do not dirty public spaces. I hate it when people force me to do something that I am not willing to do. I would buy drinks on my own accord and not because some strange man threw my bottle of mineral water at the counter.

On what grounds do you throw people’s mineral water? I hope it is for the sake of public safety. “So you have to buy your food and drink from the stalls near the grand stand” doesn’t make the cut for me. For your information, I was one of those lazy people who did not prepare a single thing for the MotoGP and willingly parted with RM15 for a lousy can of Tiger beer. But on principle, I hate having my consumer rights ripped out of my hands.

A slight breeze blew during the Sunday race as I sat in the plastic seat. I glanced to my left and saw a group of young boys sitting on the steps. What do we have here now? A bunch of Mat Rempits and Mat Motos, released from their schools?, I thought to myself. They were in their uniforms and backpacks on their backs.

“What a minute? Is that a bottle of water?!” The Bachelor asked, grabbing my elbow for some attention.

The group of them had their little water bottles intact. So the stranger dude at the gate did not take their bottles away. “Why did they keep theirs?” The Bachelor asked.

“I don’t know. Maybe because they are students and they are poor,” I replied.

There I sat, stunt by my own answer. It was my subconscious mind doing the talking and even in my subconscious level, I have been making excuses for them.

But not today. You have no right to receive special treatment just because you are poor. Being poor does not give you the excuse or reason to be treated differently. You deserve help if you are poor. But you do not escape life’s responsibilities in the name of poverty.

If you have the spine, you will find a job. You will do something with your bare hands if you must. You will move rocks and shift sand if you have to earn some money to pay for your home bills. You will never call yourself poor or give yourself an excuse to remain the way that you are.

Men who have courage will do everything in their power to change their predicament. They will not do nothing all day. They will not sit under a leaking roof and say, “It is God’s will that I am poor”. They will use brut strength if they must. True men will do something about the situation instead of sitting under the shady coconut trees.

And they won’t certainly have the cheek to ask you to pay for their state of poverty. Or brainwash young children of a certain colour that they owe another colour because that colour is poor. And subtly threaten that they will be eliminated if they do not give into their requests.

Only those without a spine will cry that they are poor because even when the poor have no money, they have a sense of dignity and self-esteem. They will refuse to be labelled as poor. They know how to spell the word "dignity".


PY’s birthday was a week ago. I drove to her office like I always do and she got into the car. She is still nervous when she sees unidentified men walking near her. She holds onto her handbag tightly when some strange man stuffed his hands in his pockets. She does not like the feeling of vulnerability.

I don’t think anyone ever enjoys feeling vulnerable. No one likes to think that their freedom and all that they love can be taken away from them. Material things can be replaced easily. Actually that is not true too. She took 3 days to re-establish her bankcards, MyKad and get herself a new phone and SIM card. But it will take a long time to make her feel safe sitting in a coffee shop again.

It rained when I saw her for tea today. I held her close to me and we walked under an umbrella towards my car. Her little new phone was in her hands. PY and I were talking about the recent MayBank employee protest. “Have they no shame?” PY asked.

“I say just sack everyone of them. They possess no other skill other protesting during lunch break on false bravado. You could see it in their eyes, how they eyed each other as the noise polluters banged on. If they are so efficient, try completing tasks on time and not let their customers wait.”

Listen up, MayBank staff. Do you not know that bonus is at the boss’ discretion. You cannot demand for increments or bonus. If you think you are better than what MayBank is paying you, then have the guts to walk out and find a new job that will pay you the salary that you deserve. No one is forcing you to slave on forever for MayBank. Go work for a company that will appreciate you for your talent and skills.

Unless of course, you have no skills other than to protest. I do not think companies ever reward you for lack of skills and poor performance.

Take it from someone who hires good staff. That will be me. Good staff are hard to come by. I will do anything to keep my efficient and skillful staff happy. I will go the extra mile for them because of their dedication to my company. I am more than happy to pay them more, give them more benefits and reward them for their fine performance at work.

And as for bad staff? They don't deserve bonus. I personally do not even want to keep them on my team.

Especially not if they picket at my company's front gate. Who will ever reward you for slapping your boss' face?

"Tak tau malu ke?" I asked one of the protestors the other day.


Wednesday, October 03, 2007

~ Simple, KD Lang

So here is the deal. I got myself a car. No shit. I did. It started last Monday when MiniBoyFriend R and I were sitting in our little breakfast corner, having the grandest breakfast for the day. I moved my seat away from the reflection of the sun on my old faithful blue Wira. He was busy composing his list of errands for the day while chain-smoking away.

‘You should get a new car,’ he said. He squinted his eyes to avoid the glare.

‘I don’t need a new car.’

‘Yes, you do. Your Wira is old and its safety belts aren’t working anymore. It’s fucking suicide.’

Ah yes. My safety belts were rendered ineffective sometime last year. Even a trip to the workshop did not manage to solve the problem. Apparently the problem can only be fixed with RM500. Brand new safety belts for the very old Wira that is valued no more than RM9000. I did not get the safety belts fixed despite being one of those people who are extremely ‘safety belts on before starting the engine’ sort of person.

Which means it would have sucked if I landed myself in an accident.


‘And you cannot get a car that is cheaper than your Wira. That means you cannot purchase a Kancil.’ It is amazing how MiniBoyFriend R seems to be able to read my mind. ‘And you can’t get my car!’

‘You can buy a Honda,’ PY said, shrugging her shoulders casually. ‘Low interest rate of approximately 2% per anum.’

‘Is it approximately 2.9% or 2.1%? There is a lot of difference between the two.’ I asked. It was Wednesday’s breakfast session with PY and R when I decided that we should all venture to the nearest Honda showroom to check out the real deal.

And so we did check the car out on Wednesday. And then I did it again on my own on Friday and on Sunday, four grown men accompanied me to the showroom to confirm the purchase. Who were they? My two brothers, MiniBoyFriend R and The Bachelor, who was happily turning the steering wheel of the Honda Civic, like a play toy.


‘Get as much love you wish from this car. I am buying the Honda,’ I said to PY when she slouched in lazily on Monday morning.

‘Wow, that was quick.’ I nodded my head. I was so deliriously happy that I was on my way to buy my very own Honda City. I am a big girl now, I thought to myself.

I can tell you now that it was the calm before the storm. You would think that buying a car is as simple as writing A-B-C. Nope. I had to choose a bloody colour and I could not decide between the bluish silver or the sparkle grey. My mind shifted between the two like a see-saw. Two seconds here and three seconds there. Could not make up my mind.

Then I found out that I do not have the bloody NBC shit. Apparently my Wira was registered under my father’s name to save insurance money. Or for loan purposes. I can’t remember and neither can my parents. So I am starting my NBC at the age of 31. Fuck.

Then I found out that I could not transfer my most favourite carplate number in the whole wide world to my new car. I have to get some random carplateshit. You can be sure that Otto no like.

Then all hell broke loose when my parents found out about the NBC and the carplate shit. They have all the creative suggestions, none of which are effective - to save money, continue to use father’s name for NBC discount. Thank you very much but no thank you. Then there was a moment where the lawyer was involved in this elaborate plan to transfer all the old junk cars at home, so I could transfer the carplate back to the original owner, ME.


Some people might call what I am doing now a distraction from what is truly bugging my real self. I mumble nonsense whenever anyone enquires about Alex. I am not ready to face yet another ‘Oh look, Otto broke up with yet another nice boy AGAIN!’ lecture from really wonderful friends and thoughtful parents.

Am I happy where I am now? Yes and no. I am happy because I feel extremely settled at the moment. My business is flourishing because I spent time nurturing it instead of running to Europe like I did in previous years. I have a place to call my own and now I can look forward to a new car. I have a small clique of good friends and then I have my beautiful cats. So yes, I am happy.

But no, I am not happy because I feel that I have paid a huge price. I do not know what the actual price is but I know that it is priceless. To gain control of my life, I had to cut Alex out. I had a life in the UK and now I have a life here.

I also know that Alex is also much happier, despite his pining emails. Or maybe I would like to think that he is. He has been to a few other countries since I left Sevenoaks in May. He has even been to Stockholm. I hope that he will grow and find a place for himself.

And I hope that one day I will come to a place in my life whereby I can say I am home. And if you know me in real life and you love me, do not ask me whether I am with him or not with him or whether I am this or that. I do not know what status I am. Or maybe I do.

All I know is that I am Otto and my real name is Love. And on some days I wished KD Lang was right - that love was truly simple.

"I am calm in oblivion
Calm, as I ever have been
Love will not elude me
Love is simple"
~ Simple, KD Lang