Thursday, November 22, 2007


it's always a serious affair reading the newspaper here in lebanon. first of all, it's bloody expensive. it costs around rm5 (it has only 10 pages). it's so different in d*bai where the newspaper costs barely rm2 and but is insanely thick (most of it is because of the adverts on property).

the newspaper in lebanon does not have a sports section. it does not have a cartoon section (except for he occasional political sketches). it does not even have an entertainment page (it does have an arts and culture page though, which contains very sophisticated (read: incomprehensible) articles discussing art in its various form) so you won't be able to know britney spears' latest misdemeanour by reading this newspaper. most of the news are rather intense. apart from the current domestic political turmoil, the crisis in israel, palestine and iraq are always covered in detail (mostly due to the fact that lebanon is geographically very close to these places).

so for the past few days, i've been starting my day with a very intense session of newspaper reading as i have my breakfast (i'm starting to get tired of the breakfast served at the hotel btw. the serve the exact same spread EVERY FREAKING DAY. suruh buat kuey teow goreng pun diorg tak reti. eheh). but since there are no sales adevertisements or light-hearted news to divert my attention to, i have been reading these news. the good thing is that i'm getting a better understanding of what's happening in these places - which made me realise that i have taken peace and political stability in my home country for granted. i guess many malaysians born after 1969 feel the same way.

anyway, apart from the unbelivably thin newspaper, i've been checking out some other reading materials available in this country. the hotel that i stay in is very near to one of the famous uni's in the city. so understandably there are quite a few bookshops around. bookshops, and cute college guys (i was walking with my manager the first time a checked out the neighbourhood. i was astounded by the beautiful creatures walking past me that i just had to say something. i wanted to say "aiyooooooo... meletopssssss" but i couldn't. she doesn't understand malay, and she thinks i'm str8. so all i could say was "wow... college chicks!". lame, i know. well, she bought it anyway. she said that she's worried about me being here for 3 weeks). the bookshops, apart from having many cute lebanese guys as customers, has a very wide selection of books on lebanon. not only the boring history stuff, but also fiction which were inspired by the country. love stories during the civil war.. diary of a young girl during the civil war (yeah this sounds like a rip off). but amidst those books, this one particular book caught me eye (naturally):

i was like "whooaaaaaaaaa! i haven't seen this in d*bai!"

needless to say, i bought it. not just because stimulating (eheh) cover, but also because it would be an interesting read. and there's a possibility that the book can tell me where are the major pick up points in the middle east (:P). so, with all my might, i picked up the book and marched to the cashier (holding the book near to my chest with the cover inwards). even with all the effort to avoid a pecah lobang situation, i just couldn't hide it from the cashier. fortunately it was a girl. or was it unfortunately? i don't know.

so now, my mornings are spent reading on the depressions faced by the people in this part of the world. and my nights are spent reading about the torture of the plu's in this part of the world. holistic view sangat kan? hehehe.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007


greetings from beirut everyone! i've wanted to write earlier (which is the case most of the time), but i just couldn't find the time too - i've been busy appreciating the view (read: men) here. i've been here for more than a week now, and i've fallen in love with like a few hundred men here (unrequited, of course). i fell in love with like 10 men before i passed the immigration area (and yes, i fell in love with the guy at the immigration counter too.. hehe). i also fell in love with the hotel pick-up driver, the bell boy, the front office guy, the housekeeping guy, the waiter at the coffee house.. you get the drift.

basically, the people here are gorgeous. the women, especially, are drop dead gorgeous (alamak str8 nya statement nih..heheh). it must be depressing being a not-so-gorgeous girl in this country (for men it's not so bad because having money can make you attractive and appealing to women).

and the place is just as gorgeous as the people. it's charming. it's funny that even when the buildings are berkulat and the paint has faded and the footpaths are covered with overgrown grass.. they still look raher perfect. and the fact that my hotel room window overlooks the mediterranean sea may have affected my opinion on the place. it's gorgeous.

despite all the gorgeousness, it's not really a pleasant place to visit at the moment. you see, i've never been interested in world history and world politics. but since i waas going to visit this place, i had to force myself to read about the political situation in the country (blearghh). anyway, right now, there is some political tension here. they are supposed to elect a new president and they need to do it before 23 nov as per their constitution (they have a president AND a prime minister). but they can't seem to agree on a candidate. once the president is chosen, then only they can have the election. the president, based on the constitution needs to be a maronite christian (someone from the church. by the way, they have power sharing thing going on - something like sarawak). but until now, they can't agree on a candidate. don't bother asking the lebanese to get a better understanding of the whole thing. they don't even care. they hate all their politicians. they just want to get on with their life. they don't want another civil war.

if you walk around the city of beirut, you'll see (gorgeous) military personnel everywhere. it does look a bit scary. but the local people look like they are used to this. they are carrying out their daily lives as normal as they can, living in their bullet-hole-visible apartments (which, by the way, are still charming). my colleague got scared of the whole scenario that he decided to just stay inside the hotel the whole of last weekend. but i'm not gonna let a few thousand men in military uniform stop me from wandering outside (eheh). so i walked around beirut last saturday with a beirut map in my hand. checked out the mall and wandered around the city. went to the national museum (which was so grandeur, except for the fact that they were like 7 visitors there including myself). but thanks to my woosy friend, i didn't have anyone to take photos of myself around the city. takleh nak letak kat facebook. hmph.

unlike dubai, they don't really have that many asians in this place. so they do make a double-take when they see you. but just like dubai, malaysians like me are always faced with an identity crisis. a few days ago, while i was walking by the roadside, a kid (he's about 12) shouted from a car "ARE YOU CHINESEEE?? I LOVE CHINESEEEEE!!!!" after that he went on to make some noise which i think was some kung fu fighting sound effects.

and that's not the only time this happened ok? last weekend, as i got out from the cab at the mall entrance, 2 teenage boys said "koniciwa" at me and smirked. malas nak explain... so i just said "koniciwa" back. heheh.

well, i'm glad that they find me amusing in this part of the world. but i'm still waiting for an older guy to mistake me for a chinese or a japanese or a korean so that i can correct him. and more. hehehehe...

ok need to stop writing now. ngantuk.., part two coming up soon...

Monday, November 05, 2007


k ok.. i'm gonna get a little bit political in this entry. but you guys have to read it anyway - i don't care. it's important. eheh..

as some of you may know, i am currently commuting to work by carpooling with a fellow colleague. we work for the same department and he's from india. i am currently spending almot 4 hours sitting next to him everyday.. bracing the horrendous d*bai traffic together. he's like my new best friend (except for the fact that he's not). so since we have a lot of idle time together in the car, we've been talking. we've been talking about a lot of things. basically about his country, about my country and about d*bai. being a fellow masyarakat msia yg majmuk, i know a considerable lot about india.. at least the pop culture. and i know a little bit of bollywood too (which has never failed to amuse him). the other day the old song from bobby was on air (oh yeah i'm also listening to almost 4 hours of hindi music on a daily basis. matila lepas ni tampal poster abishek bachan kat bilik!) so i sang a long. that got him amused.

*gasps* "you know this song?"
"'s from bobby right?"
*double gasps*

i guess i have my mom to thank for this.

anyway one of the things that we talked about during our long journey from work was of course politics (sounds so grown up kan? well i am 27 already you know). as you guys know, i have my reservations about the political situation in the country. too many unintelligent people running it. unintelligent people with the worst of hearts. apparently he feels the same way about the politicians in his country. fine. but after that he asked me about freedom of media. i told him about what i know. you know - mainstream media is usually government controlled, newspapers need to renew their license every year, ISA. he was surprised to hear this. it's not the same in india. freedom of media is highly upheld over there. and i got surprised upon hearing that.

maybe it's just me, but i always assume that media censorship is normal in third world countries. apparently i am wrong. india doesn't practice it. suddenly i feel an increased level of respect for that country (although i still think the flag is a colour combination disaster).

how can we grow to become a glamer and meletopss country with media censorship? i don't think we can. media censorship and control surpresses information. it also makes the ruling government less liable for its actions or wrongdoings. this lack of accountability has already causing so much inefficiencies at the cost of the public funds. maybe i can illustrate this better be providing you with an example:

whenever i pass by a government school back home (you know, with it's cheapo windows, basic design, pasu bunga 2 ringgit placed in front of all the tiangs) it always get me thinking - how would the school would really look like of all the budgets were properly used? if no blowing up of prices and contracts were involved in the process? if there is no need to rebuild to computer labs which roof has fell down due to sub standards quality. i can guarantee that these schools would look much better and have better facilities. mcm skolah dlm high school musical tu... barula adek2 semua boleh nak feeling2 jadik zac. skarang ni boleh feeling zed zaidy dlm sembilu 2005 je la. hahahah.

right now, i've been reading msia today (the website) frequently. i only started reading it about 2 months ago. my sister has once asked me whether i read it and i said no. she asked why. i said, "i will only be interested if i think that i can do something about the matter" (kekwat kan?) at that point, ignorance was bliss. i know that the site contains all sorts of crap but what can i do about it, right? i'm only one (fabulous) person.

but one day, i decided to check the site out. and i've been checking it out regularly now. i'm not saying that whatever being said there is correct. but it provides you with a different source of information apart from the mainstream media. the mainstream media may or may not be lying to us, but we all know there's a lot of withholding of information which currently taking place. and knowledge, is power.

so for those of you who have not checked out the site, do give it try - even if you are not a fan of politics. i'm not a fan of politics either but i don't think ignoring it is the way to go. because the reality is it's affecting us, no matter how much we would like to avoid it. and since it's affecting us, we should do something about it.

life as a plu doesn't really need to be so self-focused, you know. sure, we have problems of our own (which has already taken up so much of our thinking time). but nonetheless, we are still citizens of this country. we are as much as responsible for it as the next straight guy (with the presumably bad tie-shirt colour coordination). it's not all about looking good and buying expensive stuff to look better. we pay taxes too (although, at the moment i don't. hehehe). we deserve to ascertain that it's being spent in the most efficient manner. we need to make sure that the money is spent in the best ways for the future generation - for our kids (or at least our nephews and nieces). kan? kan? kan?

there's something going on this saturday. some perarakan thing. you can read about it on the website. if i was in kl, i'd most definitely go. i saw the clips on the bar council's peace walk in putrajaya last month and i was so touched by it. wished that i was part of it. some people said that they were all syok sendiri and the government won't listen to them. well, we need just need tp be optimistic and believe that it will work because from believe, there will be hope. for those of you who believe, do take part in the perarakan. unless if you have an open house that day. then you don't need to go. god knows picking out an outfit for the open house is already too much of a challenge as it is. mana ada time nak gi perarakan kan?

hehehe... sorry la. sarcastic tak bertempat. i'm just disgruntled because i don't get to go to the open houses back home.. uwaaa...