It Happened In The Toilet...

I went to Tesco this evening to get my regular supply of red meat and other interesting stuff I might fancy. But before I took the escelator to the market floor, I went to the washroom next to the food court to wash my face, freshen up or whatever. Who knows? I might still have the lipstick I used to accommodate the gown I wore for last night's drag party. Kidding :D

As I swung the door and entered, I saw a cleaning boy (boy, not man, as he was too young to stamp 'maturity' on) moping the washroom floor. The boy suddenly stiffened, rigid, with his mop clutched closely to his chest, his eyes nailed to the wall, looking at nothing.

Oh-kay..... I told myself. Must be the evil persona oozing from me that made innocents gripped with fear. I ignored the boy and entered a stall to continue my business. I heard the boy continuing his cleaning as I was in the toilet.

I emerged from the toilet a few minutes later, and as I wash my hands and face at the sink, I noticed the same cleaning boy hiding behind an empty stall door. He knew I saw him, but made it a point to hide his face. The washroom was still empty except the both of us.

Do I know this guy? Did I ever do anything to harm him? Killed his cat or goldfish perhaps?

As I shopped for my stuff, I kept wondering why he acted thus. And suddenly it dawned on me as I walked past the food court on my way back to the car.

He was ashamed of his job. Very much ashamed I think, that he didn't want people to look. I watched some foreigners; Bangladeshis and Vietnamese cleaning up the plates and utensils from the tables and of course, no locals doing the same job. Young local boys and girls think that such mundane jobs as 'low class' and they would die in embarrassment if caught working there by friends.

Waiters, cleaners, labourers, factory operators.... the least popular jobs among the young locals. And to fill in the jobs, foreign workers were called in and now these people are EVERYWHERE. From your local grocery stores to the frontdesks of six-stars hotels (yes, Malaysia DO have a couple of them). They are cheap and are willing to work for longer hours.

....I don't feel pity about the boy in the toilet at all. The future is not written in stone. Some wise men said that education is a way to prevent poverty and I believe in that. And if you are not that bright, be a good and willing worker, one day you will be paid in kind. Hardworking and politeness are hard currency (in my case). 

Why work in such places in the first place anyway, boy?    

How can you get ****ed THRICE in an afternoon?

The boys were very different, though both wore spectacles and of the same age, 15. The smarter dressed boy had curly short hair, thin and wore braces. His friend, with wild hair, had took off his uniform and wore t-shirts instead, a few minutes before they arrived at the city. They took a bus from a boarding school near the capital.

The capital city was big, crowded and hot. The curly haired boy asked his friend to take him to a arcade game centre.
"But I thought you don't like arcade games," his friend said as he bought a couple of comics from a newstand.
"I just wanna see the place, never been there all my life. Please?"
"Oh ok, normally I don't play around this place, but I will take you to one. The games here are lame and old."

So the boy took his friend to a 4 storeys commercial building near crowded the bus stop. He was a very brave person, known to walk almost everywhere in the city alone, sometimes late at night. His other friend felt safe around him, and they were close.

The arcade centre was at the top story of the old, yet still busy building. The place was rather dark, and the machines were indeed not very new, as the wild haired boy had said. It was rather deserted, because most youngters prefer to play the new machines at the new mall further. The boy with the braces said he wanted to try some games.
"Play on. I will stand next to you."

After a couple of unmemorable video games, both decided to leave and visit a bookstores across the building. As they walked to the elevator, side by side, two huge boys came between them from behind. It was very sudden, and of course frightening for the children.

The boy with the braces eyes widen with fear, and he bolted away like a rabbit! His friend was not that fortunate, as the bullies took hold of his arms and led him away, to a much darker part of the floor - the abandoned food court, next to the arcade.

There, he faced a group of a dozen boys, all larger and much older than him. Some seemed to have never been to a school in fact. The leader of a gang, a dark boy with pimply face, was sitting in the middle, eating a plate of noodles with a fork. He looked up as his minions pushed their victim to the front.
"We got this one Boss, the other kid escaped."

The 15 year old eyed his captors; he was not afraid, only greatly annoyed and vexed. His face reddened and his eyes became slits behind the lens. One might say he might attack the entire group, from that murderous look in his face.

But that was lost to the leader of the bullies and most of his gang, as the place was too dim to make up anything. As he forked food into his mouth, he asked;
"Do you have 20 cents?"
"Yes," the boy answered.
"Do you have 2 ringgits?"
"Yes," he answered again. 
"Do you have 20 ringgits?"
"Now give it to me," the bully smiled behind the filthy table he was sitting.


The head bully had his smile wiped from his face, his minions making unwelcomed noises and threats. Surely that was a first for them.

The boy turned and walked past the two sentries behind him. One bully tried to pull his arms, but failed and ripped the plastic bag the boy was carrying. As the boy bent down to collect his fallen comics, he hissed;
"Touch me again and I will kill you."
And then he walked to the emergency stairs... he was half expecting a chase but it never happened.

As he descended, angry at himself for being caught, he met three disheveled men sitting on the stairs on the third floor. One stood up to bar his way and put out his hand;
"Give me your money!"

The boy, who was already angry, lashed out loudly instead;
"Get the F*** out of my way!" and stormed past the surprised men.

The boy finally reached the ground floor and he way was barred ONCE again by another man, this time a creepy drug addict, who made his abode under the stairs. As he rose unsteadily to his feet before the door, asking for money....
The boy kicked his feet under him, with the expensive black leather shoes all boarding school boys should have. To add injury to more injury, the hellish boy stamped on the junkie's chest twice before screaming and leaving the scene of crime via the door.  

The afternoon was still bright, and the boy's fury was abated somewhat after his assault. He hadn't the mood to continue shopping, so decided to go back early. As he continue the short walk, he saw his cowardly friend waiting anxiously at the bus stop.

"Why YOU........."

p.s. - this happens to be a true story, about me. Rock Chef's entry reminded me of this incident, eventhough his is a happier and more delicious one :P After the three (failed) muggings, I had a boot knife and wore high cut basketball shoes during outings.... I don't carry knives anymore, but the shoes turns to boots for easy kicking :v

The building. Believe it or not, I went back to the place a few weeks after that.
I couldn't find the bullies, well good for them.

The Prophet's Cat

"Muezza (or Mu'izza) (Arabic: معزة‎) is said to have been the Islamic prophet Muhammad's favorite cat. According to legend, Muhammad one day awoke at the sound of the call to prayer. Preparing to attend, he began to clothe himself; however, he soon discovered Muezza sleeping on the sleeve of his robe. Rather than wake her, he used a pair of scissors to cut the sleeve off, leaving the cat undisturbed; when he returned from prayers, the prophet received a bow from Muezza in thanks. He then stroked his beloved cat three times. The accuracy of this story is not clear, as no references to it are made in the Quran or the hadith.

It is also believed that when Muhammad gave sermons within his household, he would often hold Muezza in his lap. Further anecdotes state that Muhammad sometimes used water that Muezza had drunk from for wudu (washing before ritual prayers). Due primarily to the love Muhammad displayed for Muezza, Muslims are traditionally encouraged to regard cats as lovable and cherished creatures. Mistreating an animal is seen as among the most severe of all crimes in Islam."

- from Wikipedia -

p.s. - I already knew about this and decided to share this piece with you. Another myth (yes, because it might be not true, but still delicious to hear) is the letter 'M' on most kittens' foreheads, the prophet's initial because of his love for his feline friends. [Which I think is not true, because they never use other letters than Arabic at that time] But check it out on the nearest kitten! You should see the 'M' pretty clear. 
Now look at that 'M'!!!

The School In The Middle of A Jungle, And Next To A River.

Thanks a lot for the very VERY heartfelt comments in the previous post.... If you guys were in front of me, it would be a very interesting discussion of good versus evil and all related subjects in the realm of different life experiences.

As for Mr Grayquill and his minions supporters.... I must agree that you guys are correct in some cases. (This is high compliment, because I rarely applaud people, so cherish while it last guys). But alas you are not here to show poor misguided me the way to proper conducts..... But I promise to be a better human in the near future!

So, I have a few pictures I've scrounged and stolen of my old school in the heart of Sarawak, Borneo - SMK Katibas.

This is a part of the fabulously long Rajang River. It snakes for thousands of kilometres. Notice the trees, they are actually GIANTS. So the river is indeed wide. My school was WAY at the bottom of the picture.
Oh lookie! Here's the boat we used to travel between the heavier populated parts of this state. It is really a bus that floats, with seats and of course, emergency floats for.... errrr emergency, such as sinking in the crocodile infested water :v

But we arrived to school with style..... on THESE. These are called 'perahu panjang' or long boats which are more suitable to travel in shallower streams. These boats are made from wooden planks, so much lighter than the metal boat above. The risk of tossed into the water, very high. (But never me though, I wonder why I have a charmed life....) 

And tada! This is the VERY jetty in front of the school! A water pump was fixed next to the jetty. You can see some students arriving, wearing safety jackets..... This is a redundancy as most students know how to swim, by living next to the river all their lives. 

Another express boat, in Sibu, a city near the coast. The mock clock tells the boat will depart at 5.30 pm. Next to the boat is a motorized junk, filled with groceries for the rural parts.

More students from my school on a trip to the long houses. 'Long houses' or rumah panjang are indeed long, and housed a lot of people. It's like connected terrace houses, with a very long covered corridor through it. Tourists love visiting them, maybe for its 'ol worlde' charms. 

So, imagine touching down at the airport.... and then spend the night in the city and hopped into the first express boat in the wee hour of the next morning for a two hours journey. Then reaching the small town of Song (yes, Song, no pun intended) and waited for the next long boat to the school. The journey from Song to SMK Katibas is about 1 hour 45 minutes long (remember the long winding river?) The further we go, the clearer the water...

But I remember; we did a lot of waiting then. For the boats, for the boat drivers who are not at their boats, for students who should be in their respective boats..... A LOT of waiting. And I am an impatient monster (so you know how often I got angry).

Ok, that's all for now folks. I will have more time to assault your blogs after this Friday, as the school holiday will start. For now, enjoy these pics and do ask if you want more. I will try to put more pics of the school soon.

I miss being at that school by the river...

True Tales; The Students And The Teacher

Once upon a time, I was first posted in the huge forest choked island of Borneo (Google it, will you?). The school I first taught in was in a very rural area, and can only be contacted by river boats and satellite phone. It was a beautiful school, (mainly because I had many modifications and beautifying projects made using the backbones of many students during my reign of terror (during my few last years there). But this post is not about that.

The teachers of the school, my colleagues were young, as only junior and capable civil servants will be sent that far into the middle of nowhere. The students were mostly of indigenous people who lives around the area, but ALL were housed in the boarding hostels provided. This is to ensure EVERYBODY attend school on time and to have control over discipline (and for the parents' peace of mind, not having to send their children to school, so far and difficult from home). 

Now, this friend of mine, a kindly man, was a sort of a welfare-organisation-on-legs. He was always giving help, mainly to the poorer students, indiscriminately. As a person who cared a lot less, I told him that his actions would be thankless, yet he only smiled and said that there were too few of people helping. I think he believes in the great rewards at the hereafter (which is a good thing, I hope many people are like this actually, believing in cause and effect).

So there were this couple of siblings; a girl and her younger brother. They came from a very poor family (same as the rest) and were average in everything; looks, academics, etc. My friend decided to have this two as his personal goodwill project. Meaning; he helped these two a lot more than the rest. Where he rained money and love to the rest, for these two, it POURED! The other colleagues only shook their heads at this aggressive act of kindness.

He's a good soul, this friend of mine.
Fast forward a couple of years later....
One afternoon, somebody told me that this particular friend of mine was seen crying as he arrived from the nearest town, by boat (an hour journey). This seemed odd, as he never cried and was always smiling to his throngs of students. I went to his quarters, and he was indeed crying, and after threatening to sever all ties of friendship, he finally told me why.

Remember the two students; the girl and her brother? The girl had finished school two years earlier, and the younger brother was still studying in his final year at the school. 

My friend met the two of them by accident at the small town, as he was buying supplies. The two young people were sitting at an eating stall, just finishing their breakfast and was enjoying the morning air.
My friend saw them and decided to join the table as he hadn't seen the girl for quite a while. But as he approached....

The girl stood up and left, his brother followed suit. They saw him coming and decided to leave.
Not only that, from the face of the girl - it showed disgust.

Now, please kindly tell me WHAT kind of people are we dealing with? (And as you at it, which special hell would you put these two in?)

My friend was heartbroken. And I was livid with anger (this is one turning point in my life; never put your full trust in a student). If I was there, I'd rip their ungrateful hearts out (one of the reasons many dare not cross me, I was a terror back then).

You might say that this only happens rarely, but in this new era, this modern world - it happened again and again. Children lie and hurt, yet when reprimanded, cried foul. Where is the respect for the elderly today?

A good and caring teacher was scarred emotionally, maybe for life. By having him faulty, a lot of students will lost the chance of having a meaningful relationship with a nice man as he.      

I am not saying I suspect EVERY child to be evil and prone to hurt feelings. It is just nowadays teachers have to be more careful to help those in need. Being a naturally bad person, I am sorry to say that I only help those who wish to better themselves. I told you people I am not nice before, right? :v

This is the entry I promised Grayquill :)

p.s. - as for those two, the girl married young and was divorced much later, with a baby. As for her ungrateful younger brother, he faced hell in school - the collective wrath of all teachers who heard and sympathized our colleague. You do not wish to be a student every teacher hates. He did badly for exams and then was never seen again.  

Sweet Dreams Are Made Of These.

Last night, at Parkson's.... I was poking on the merchandise displayed, yes literally with my forefinger...
All were soft, fluffy and generally white. Albeit few came in boxes, some in plastic bags but mostly in flimsy cloth covering. My significant other was standing on the next rack, hugging the fluffier items.
A sales girl oiled herself nearer from my right. She raised her eyebrows at the vicious poking experienced by her charge. But before she said anything;
"Don't you have anything better than these?"
"What form are you looking for, sir?" she was polite, thankfully.
"I am looking for something cool, even cold. These are not cold enough for me," as I pointed to the products of foamed rubber, cotton and even downy feather. But before she had time to answer...
"Hey, these are infused with peppermint! This one ylang ylang. And those with green tea?!! Do these stuff really work?"
"Personally, I use the green tea one. It works for me, sir."
"Oh ok, good for you then, but I will not get this," I sniffed the peppermint out of the unzipped bag. It was not strong though. The price-tag was frightful too.
"If you are looking for the cooler ones, there are some on the level below."
"But we did arrive FROM below."
"Have you seen those in grey boxes? They are synthetic, with memory contour. And I personally think they are the coolest of all."
"I have no idea what you are talking about, we just got here from there, and there is NO grey boxes."
"??? Then I will follow you downstairs. I personally put them there."
...... she followed us down the escalator and finally we were there, behind a huge pillar, where 7 boxes of fluffy yet expensive items hid, away from their brethren a few aisle away.
"Oh, ok. You shouldn't have put them so far from the rest."
"Would you like to feel them?" she opened up a box and withdrew the innards.
"Wow, this is COOL. Firm, yet so fluffy. Where does this come from?"

I bought the stuff right away. Japanese products rock!

I used the pillow last night. And it was awesome! :D   
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