I'm sending you an SMS

sms art

This is art! I realized how messy my desktop was and I
thought…some multicolored candies will add a bit of cheer to that!
Thus, I intentionally scattered a handful of sunflower kernels across
it. I flung it like Picasso (or whoever started abstract art) splashes
paint buckets across his paintings. The mess…it became…art! Thanks
to SMS!

Yes, I stayed in front of the PC the whole weekend – starting Friday
night, no sleep, no food, and just less than a liter of water consumed.
That’s why it looks like that. Yes! I like to drink Livita with two
straws (can drink faster)! And yes, I like sending SMS!!!

Actually, wait…it’s one of my least favorite things to do. But I’m
sending you an SMS anyway! I’m sending you an SMS, I’m sending you an
S-S-SMS!!

My friends asked me to go deep sea fishing on Saturday but I said I can’t. They asked, “Why not?”

I said “BECAUSE I’M SENDING YOU AN SMS!!! I’M SENDING YOU AN S-S-SMS!!!!”

send u sms

And they said, alright. Then some other friends wanted me to go
clubbing and I told them, “CAN’T IT WAIT???? I’M SENDING YOU AN
SMS!!!!” and they said “But you never even reply SMS why the sudden
urge?”

I said, I’m sending you an SMS, let’s not talk on the cell phone,
can’t get through this way. Oh, and you don’t want to see me in this
state anyway. Why? Because my friend is fried. I mean my brain
is fried, and all I want to do is send you an SMS. I am so thirsty now.
I’m going to boil some water. I’ll send more SMS after that.

What did I do sitting on my ass in front of the computer this whole
weekend? I was typing the rest of Black Kingdom, the next one will be
up tomorrow night. After I send you an SMS.

sms filth

Please send me an SMS too, and tell me to clean up all that mess before I crash tonight.

I’m sending you an SMS. I’m sending you an S-S-SMS.

I should go to sleep.

Fuck the bugs crawling all over my skin man…I feel them but
there’s nothing there when I look. I’m used to it though, I don’t mind.
Does anyone really freak out and start cutting themselves with razors
to get them out? Sounds like an urban legend to me. I mean, you know
it’s not real and this always happens so why do people freak out to
that extent? Personally, I just send the invisible insects an SMS and
tell them to stop doing that.

Black Kingdom: Chapter 4 – Veritas vos liberabit

I came to the conclusion that I would seriously need to evaluate
what I’ve been taught – it seems that most of the things that I’ve
learnt was colored by propaganda. I wanted to try everything the world
has to offer, because I seem to have missed out on all the good bits.

veritas vos liberabit

None of my Asian friends take drugs (some of them were quite against
it) so I told Sam that I’m interested in LSD. Incidentally, there was a
rave that weekend, so a bunch of us got some acid tabs from Sam’s
contact. One blotter cost NZ$ 50, which sounds like an obscene amount,
but being high school teenagers in a rather remote country results in
paying more for drugs. It was very much worth it though – my first trip
was absolutely wonderful!

I was told to take the blotter sublingually (i.e. just put it under
the tongue and let it be) and just go with the flow. I didn’t even
notice when it hit me…I suddenly felt that my thought processes were
unusual, nay, bizarre. The ravers around me started
leaving visual trails in their movement and I turned over to Sam. His
face looked rather distorted so I wasn’t completely sure it was
him…and I’ll always remember what happened when I stared blankly at
him. Sam took one look at my dilated pupils, grinned and said “Huai
Bin, you’re tripping!”

Indeed, I was…and I loved every second of it. This was the time I
fell in love with the rave scene. I just felt like everyone had this
common bond. I wouldn’t describe it as the “candy raver/PLUR”
type of bond – raves were (relatively) underground then, and not as
commercialized as it is now. Most people took LSD and it just felt like
everyone was on the same wavelength. I remember one of my
favorite things to do while tripping at raves is to be at the floor and
look at someone and imagine what they do in real life…are they
university students? Are they office workers? I could think up complex
scenarios while on acid and I didn’t even need speed to keep on moving
from 10 PM till 6 AM.

I also started smoking cannabis with Sam, Victoria, Ryan and some
other people I can’t remember. We would split the price of a “tinny”
(NZ$ 20 worth of cannabis) and share it. I still remember the first
time I got really stoned…the four of us were at Sam’s cousin’s house
and we were doing “hot knifes”. I was given the honor of getting the
first hit, since I couldn’t really get stoned the previous times. Sam
was telling me how to inhale really hard as soon as smoke starts coming
out and handed me a 2 liter Coke plastic bottle with the bottom cut off.

I waited in anticipation as Sam placed two knifes across the hot
stove top and Victoria started making little balls of weed. “You’re
going to love this”, she said. The knifes were soon deemed to be hot
enough and Sam held one of them with the blade facing sideways and told
me to get ready as Victoria dropped a ball on the hot metal surface.
The ball of marijuana started smoking almost immediately and I held
onto the bottle as Sam clamped the other knife to cover the ball and
moved the billowing apparatus under my bottle.

“Toke, toke, toke”, the others chanted. I inhaled hard…and was
filled with more smoke that I’ve ever thought my lungs would hold. “Go
as hard as you can”, Sam said as I inhaled even more of the smoke…I
was determined to get stoned this time. I nearly choked when the smoke
was all sucked up and I felt like my lungs are bleeding. “Hold it in”,
Ryan urged me. I held it…and finally coughed and chocked and gasped
for air. Everyone was eager to know…how did I feel?

I didn’t feel anything…except that my lungs hurt. “Alright, here’s
the second hit”, Sam declared and on I went again. That was the one
that pushed me into Cannabis Country. I said I’ve had enough, would
need some rest for my lungs and as I watched the others smoke, I
started to notice that sounds were getting muffled and I had this thing pressing against my cheek. I kept on wondering what it was, it took me minutes to figure out it was my tongue. Sheesh.

I looked at Ryan choking on his hit and his expression suddenly
seemed extremally hilarious, I couldn’t stop laughing, and laugh I did.
I laughed and laughed, driving everyone to uncontrolled laughter and
when I tried to stop laughing to make my stomach stop cramping up,
Victoria looked at me and said “Oh my God, you’re so stoned, look at
your eyes!” between gasps of laughter. I was still laughing when the
others confirmed that yes, I was indeed stoned. I looked at myself in
the mirror and noticed my bloodshot eyes.

We went into the bedroom to watch TV and suddenly, when some
chocolate chip cookies were produced, I felt that I could eat every
single one. “It’s the munchies”, Sam told me. It was slightly
uncomfortable, but I liked being stoned. We later all piled into the
car and Victoria drove (the concept of responsible driving wasn’t
exactly familiar then) to Big Gary’s, a local chip shop that had huge
hot dogs – foot long sausages covered in batter and deep fried and
slathered with tomato sauce. I never had anything better.

This was the beginning of the stoners club, we smoked weed almost
every night, and I stumbled into my room totally stoned after being
dropped off at my home stay. I remember many memories of the Riccarton
stoners club – the times we smoked cannabis and attended class and
tried not to laugh, the drama practices we went to while stoned, the
visits to Big Gary’s, and this particularly funny incident where we
were smoking at Sam’s house and his mother asked us what we were doing.

She shouted from her bedroom and asked what we were up to, making
such a commotion so late on a school night. I’ll never forget Sam’s
reply…we were all eating the foot long hot dogs, but he somehow
replied “Nothing, we’re just eating our hot doughnuts!”. It took a
while for the comment to register. We all started laughing
hysterically, it seemed so funny at that time, and it still sounds
funny to me. We were eating hot dogs, but Sam said doughnuts for some
reason. He was puzzled at our laughter until I managed to gasp out
“It’s…hot…hahaha…hot…hahaha…dogs.
Not…hot…doughnuts…hahaha!”.

I don’t think I’ve ever laughed so hard in my life and everyone was
in tears, and when the rest of us started to maintain some semblance of
composure, Sam suddenly got the mistake and laughed again, which of
course, fuelled another round of laughter from us. The hot doughnuts
inside joke became our slang for smoking cannabis. “Everyone up for
some hot doughnuts tonight?” was our code for the nightly weed smoking
sessions. I loved dropping acid and going to raves, I loved smoking
cannabis everyday.

The socio-dynamics of this microcosm called “high school” is
understandably different from the real world. I found out that suddenly
everyone knows my name and people started smiling and saying hello
between classes. I found myself propelled to “cool” status just because
I take drugs and I hang out with the “popular crowd”. I suddenly had
too many house parties to attend, too many raves to go to, too many
friends to hang out with and this resulted in some resentment from my
Asian friends and other Asians in the school for breaking some unspoken
rule about socializing with Caucasians instead of sticking together.

I was accused of not having time for Ah Boon and the rest anymore,
and they were increasing incidents of “Kia, wa lang kaki ki, e mai chak
wa lang liaw” (Come, let’s go, he’s not interested in hanging out with
us anymore) within my hearing range. I didn’t understand this, though I
was too busy between puking at drinking parties and getting stoned to
care. Gerald was particularly envious at the developments, and, having
the same classes as me, he had taken to walking next to me while
muttering “Look at all the Kiwis greeting you, it’s like everyone in
the school knows you!”

It was the best of times; it was the worst of times. I had lots of
friends, too many things to do, and frequent dates with Kiwi girls,
something which was previously unheard of. I lost my virginity
(according to Bill Clinton’s definition of the word) to a girl named
Natalie. I heard that she likes me, and I would not be lying when I say
she is absolutely stunning. She’s a Kiwi girl of about 165 cm, with big
eyes, long brownish blond hair, and a breathtakingly amazing smile. I
didn’t take much notice of her before as she was one year younger than
me.

We had days when we could wear anything to school, and before the
next time it happened, I asked to borrow her skirt, to wear to the
school as a stunt. I walked her home and she gave me her skirt. She
lives with her mom, who’s never at home in the afternoon and I spent
some time there, talking in her kitchen. She was obviously attracted to
me, and I suddenly realized what I could do, but I didn’t have
the self-confidence to do it right then. I just borrowed her skirt and
kissed her and went back home, telling her that I would call her.

I did call her…and asked her to be my girlfriend. She agreed. No
one had any problems with different race relationships, since I was
considered “one of them”. I was surprised though, that the ones who
were against it were the Asians in the school. I had apparently broken
some unspoken rule again, and virtually no Asian in the school talked
to me. I didn’t care though, I was on a mission – everyone I know
seemed to be sexually experienced (or claimed to be so) and I wasn’t
going to let this opportunity pass me by.

I wore Natalie’s skirt to school the next day, to the cheers of my
friends and to open insults from the Asians who liberally used the word
“sia soi” within hearing range. It means “bringing shame (to some
group)”. I didn’t care though. I had done my publicity stunt and she
was happy that I actually wore it like I said I would. I walked her
back again that day, and this time we talked in her bedroom, which I
remember is the first room from the living room.

We kissed…and started to touch each other. I was slipping my hand
up her bare thigh when suddenly, for no reason whatsoever, I felt my
raging member…fail me. My proud soldier, who was previously standing
at full attention, had fainted before action. My rod, transfigured into
a prune. A small prune. “What’s wrong?”, I remember her asking
as I suddenly stopped. I panicked and realized that I was only wearing
her skirt and I couldn’t let her know and in my adolescent clumsiness,
I made up an excuse about having to go somewhere with Sam and
practically ran out, fearing that the distinct lack of a tent in the
front of the skirt will give me away.

She called me that night and asked if I would walk her home again
the next day. I reluctantly agreed, fearing a repeat of my performance
(or the lack of it, rather). I thought about why I could not get Mr.
Happy to introduce himself and came up with several conclusions:

#1 I was worried that my size would be inadequate.
#2 I didn’t have any experience and I was worried that it would be obvious.
#3 I was afraid of contracting an STD.

I took off her skirt that night and found the sweet smelling hanky
(I don’t know what she dabbed it in, but I’ll recognize the scent right
away if I smell it again) she still had in her pocket. I tried
practicing – fantasizing about her, starting with what I would do
tomorrow when I walked her home. I found out that I could perform solo
quite adequately, and this was proved when I ejaculated into the bed
sheets after manually stimulating myself…and immediately regretted
it, coz it adds another one to the list:

#4 I was worried I won’t be able to get it up tomorrow coz I already had masturbated today.

It took a lot of stern talks to myself while facing the mirror to
prepare for tomorrow. I told myself after measuring (from the bottom)
that I wasn’t as under endowed as I think I am, and convinced myself
that I was average and even if I wasn’t, it won’t matter anyway, since
this is about the virgin, me (she told me she’s had a sexual partner
before, we did talk about sex, which was why I know tomorrow is going
to be the day). That’s #1 taken care off and I mentally struck it off
the list.

There was a problem with #2…I told her that I’ve had sexual
experience before too, when I actually hadn’t. I quickly took a crash
course in female anatomy from Ryan who was more than happy to sketch
this rough schematic of where the insertion point should be. I had read
many medical books about the female anatomy and also many non-medical
books depicting female genitalia, so I shouldn’t be worried, I told
myself. But I did double check with Ryan, just in case. I told myself
that all the porn and sex stories I’ve read would have to make up for
my lack of experience. Two down, two to go.

#3 was not really hard to get over, since hormones had more of a say
in my life then. I got some STD infection rates from a magazine and
calculated my chances (I was quite sure that the brand new calculator I
was given for school work was used for the first time then) and decided
that it was a low risk, considering the fact that she’s still 15* and
the rates of transmission were acceptable to warrant a tryst with a
girl of such aesthetic appeal.
* The legal age of consent is officially 16, but from my understanding
of the law, there is a provision which states it is NOT considered
statutory rape when consensual sexual intercourse happens between two people close
to the age of consent, even though one of the participants is
technically a minor, providing the age difference is not greater than
two years. It was only a couple of months in this case.

The bit about #4 was starting to worry me when I didn’t feel the
familiar blood rushing to the trouser snake when I forced myself to
have sexual fantasies the next morning…but resolved itself when I
jumped into the shower and my third leg stretched itself when the
shower water fell upon it. It was sorted then. I will not be nervous. I
will not chicken out. I will not let this opportunity where a beautiful
Kiwi girl is outright suggesting sexual intercourse pass me by. I shall
be a man, not a virgin, when I step back into this house, I told
myself. I can do it!

And I did. I must admit that it was a little disappointing though. I
had expected my first time having sex to be much more pleasurable than
all the climaxes of my 16 years of self-stimulation combined together
and multiplied by 10. I wanted fireworks, thunder, brimstone and
hellfire! I didn’t get that…in fact, I’ll admit that masturbating was
much more pleasurable compared to my first sexual experience. There was
nothing technically wrong with it, mind. It was just a case of rose
tinted sexual fantasies exposed to the harsh light of reality.

I walked Natalie home. We went to the bedroom and started kissing. I
started caressing her thigh. She went to her mom’s room and produced a
condom. I went down on her – I had wanted to taste her. This was a
mistake, because I had apparently broken some rule of sex which
dictates that breasts should be administered to before making a trip
down South. She later asked me if I didn’t find her breasts attractive.
I told her that she definitely has a nice pair of twins, it’s just my
habit to dine at the Y before eating melons.

But that’s digressing…anyway, after I had gotten her (shaved, but
you didn’t need to know that, I’m sure) beaver sufficiently wet, and
aroused, I took off my clothes, and thankfully, my trouser snake was
alive and well and eyeing the beaver hungrily. I applied the
prophylactic device and made penetration (it was harder than I thought)
after the second try. I didn’t realize how hard I had to push to get
in. I thought that it would be as easy as soap slipping out of clumsy
grips in the shower.

It was only after this that I began removing her sweater while we
assumed the missionary position. I had a hard time removing her bra,
damn those clasp thingies at the back. She helped me to remove the top
and I only managed to suck on her…well, nipples, I have run out of
euphemisms, before I started feeling tired. I was unprepared. I didn’t
know sex required so much energy compared to masturbation (which is
basically right arm movement). I decided to go make a trip down South
again to catch my breath.

It was during this time that I noticed that my trouser snake’s
sweater had slipped off. It was a day mired with unfortunate happenings
instead. I forced myself not to think about the ramifications and
concentrated on the figures and the low risk of transmission rate and
just put it back on. Anyway, after a little carpet munching (second
helpings never tastes right, due to the latex, if you get what I mean),
I noticed that she was about to come. I was glad that I was doing at
least something right, and I brought her to climax orally, moaning
softly. It seems that I was at least quite the cunning linguist, if not
anything else.

She pulled me up and then smiled at me and told me to lie down
before returning the favor. I have to admit, it wasn’t as pleasurable
as I thought it was. Teeth. Not nice. It was a little more painful than
pleasant so I pulled her up and got her into the woman on top position.
She did the exertions this time and before long, I reached the apogee,
pulling her down as I did and kissing her. I immediately regretted
doing this, for the change in position made my member slip out when I
was only about 3/4 into my enjoyment.

I usually manually stimulate myself until the end of the ejaculation
so feeling a climax while not having constant friction towards the end
was a little strange and slightly disappointing. I couldn’t very well
jack myself off, so I conceded with rubbing against her thigh. I guess
being used to masturbation made the less customized movement of a
female a little less intense. However, I was glad that I had actually
done the deed and it was with her. :)

It just wasn’t what I expected, though I told her that I thoroughly
enjoyed it. She confirmed my linguistic capabilities and we hugged
while making post-coital talk. I told her I liked her hanky and she
told me I can have it. I did keep it for quite a long time, though the
last I saw of it was in a luggage back in Christchuch. What happened to
Natalie? Well, that’s just the thing, nothing happened. I realized that
I don’t actually love her, nor do I want a relationship with
her. We just didn’t have much in common. She doesn’t take drugs while I
do, so the relationship kinda petered out after a while.

There wasn’t a breakup or anything like that, we just slowly started
hanging out more and more with our own circle of friends until it was a
non-verbal but understood “just friends” thing. However, word about our
bedroom adventures did get out though, it was the school culture to
publicly broadcast such things. She told her friends and I told mine.
It was the topic of discussion for a while, before the next couple’s
exploits were related. I don’t know where she is now, but I still
remember her name and I have a tendency to automatically be friendly to
people called Natalie. I think it’s a nice name. I don’t consider her
my “first” girlfriend, since it basically just teenage hormones and
attraction.

Like I said, it was the best of times; it was the worst of times.
Here’s where the latter comes in…my sister found out I was taking
drugs and told my parents and there was a lot of emotional blackmail,
downright threats, and intentions for them to come over. It’s all the
wrong things to say to a 16 year old. I told them I was legally an
adult here and didn’t need them, and didn’t want their financial
support. I drank heavily and made no effort to hide the fact that I was
pissed drunk even BEFORE going to school. People thought I was hard coz
I gulp down Bacardi straight before going to classes. I was just trying
to make a point. I told them I was going to move out of the home stay,
and I behaved in a manner that made the host extremely receptive to
this idea.

I was openly smoking cannabis in my room with my friends. I made a
dollar here and there by “passing things on” to other people in the
school. I had loud arguments filled with obscenities with my parents.
The other tenants complained about the noise and the tobacco and
cannabis smoke coming out of my room. There was more arguments with my
parents with very nasty things said, which I now regret, including the
destruction of several phones in the house. I crashed at Sam’s place
some nights. I had speed (amphetamine) for the first time and I loved
it. It makes me aggressive and confident, which further exacerbated the
problems with my family. I took more and more drugs, just out of spite
and for the sake of rebelling against my family.

Like I said, I just wanted to make a point – attempt to control me
when I’m legally an adult here and I’ll do more things that goes
against your beliefs.

Thus, my steady relationship with drugs began…the sometimes
dangerous but irresistible dance that never ends. The partners have
changed through the times, and there is one that I wish I had never
danced with. Mesmerizing and seductive, she promised me the world…and
I believed her. The longer she holds me, the more certain I am that she
would never ever let me go until I can dance no more. However, as I
look into the eyes that looks lovingly back at me, silently telling me
that I can be all that I want to be, as long as I never let go…and
with that hypnotic assurance, I know that I don’t ever want her to
release her reassuring arms from around me, to break from this warm
embrace, weary as I am. Methamphetamine, my bride. Till death do us
part…

Mais, si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre.

End of Black Kingdom: Chapter 4 – Veritas vos liberabit

[ List of Characters ]

Next: Black Kingdom: Chapter 5 – “Chink, go back home!” [sixthseal.com].

Footnote:
1. veritas vos liberabit is Latin for “The truth will set you free”.
2. Mais, si tu m’apprivoises, nous aurons besoin l’un de l’autre is a phrase from Le Petit Prince. It translates as “But, if you tame me, we shall need each other”.

The longest chicken rice in the world

fang yuen

I have just eaten at the longest chicken rice outlet in the whole
world. I was told that the chicken rice here is the best in Kuching.
It’s called Fang Yuen (opposite Hock Lee Center) and it used to be
located at the old bus stop (or something) until it moved to its new
premises. I was told to go early coz the place is likely to be full, so
we went at 6:30 PM.

It was a sight to behold…the place was indeed full, and we were
lucky to secure a seat outside. I noticed that everyone was
just…waiting.

fang yuen no chicken

Waiting for chicken rice. Except there was none, only neatly stacked plates…

fang yuen lonely broth

Broth simmering in a lonely manner….

Thus we waited…everyone had drinks ordered and were just waiting
for the chicken rice to arrive. This was starting to look rather absurd
to me…this had better be good chicken rice, I told my friend. It took
one hour (and two drinks) before the van carrying the chicken rice
arrived.

the eagle has landed

They unloaded the goods…and now we have…

fang yuen chicken

Chicken!!!

There was a flurry of activity and suddenly our chicken rice arrived.

fang yuen drumstick

The chicken

fang yuen chicken rice

The rice

fang yuen sauces

The three sauces

i pity the fools

The poor people who didn’t arrive early enough to secure a seat and had to resort to take away.

Kapak (axe) brandi (brandy)

kapak brandi

This is Kapak brandy – a locally made (Klang, Selangor) brandy that
retails for RM 16.10. That makes it a mid priced liquor, perfect for
the middle of the month. ;) The beginning of the month starts with
premium brands (JD, Absolut, Johnnie Walker etc) and the end of the
month is delegated to budget distilled spirits (Langkau, Longhouse
etc). I wouldn’t say I have a drinking problem, though that can be
attributed to denial, since I drink every day. ;)

Anyway, distilled spirits are best consumed on an empty stomach –
that’s my daily routine…get home from work, take a variety of
benzodiazepines (the usual is 20 mg nitrazepam, 4 mg clonazepam and 2
mg alprazolam) and drink before getting something to eat. No, this is
not in the interests of harm minimization but if I’m worried
about stomach ulcers (er…already have them) or brain damage (meth did
that already), I would have stopped my crystal meth consumption…and I
never did. :p I don’t expect to live a long life, carpe diem and all
that cliche shit.

I couldn’t be bothered with taking pictures since I got home from
work at 7:30 PM (there was a client) so I just made a video post:

Download:
Kapak brandi [sixthseal.com]
9.63 ZIP file, which contains a .mov file. Requires Apple Quicktime.

Transcript:

Hey, you’re watching sixthseal.com and this is Cap Kapak…a locally made whisky…er, a locally made brandy.
It says “Brandi sebatian” – a reconstituted brandy or a mixture of
brandy…its RM 16.10, pretty cheap, and it contains 37% alcohol.
Make me forget…coz I’ve had a shitty day…and…
It’s just like…it tastes pretty good actually.

I’m pretty tired from not having enough sleep (coffee, ya know ;))
and I just had an argument with my gf (so what else is new?) and I had
a pretty shitty day in general. That has all changed now though, I’m
feeling borderline normal…in fact, I’ll go so far as to say that I’m
feeling semi good. :) Yes, I can type while under the influence of
alcohol…people who act all fucked up and shit on alcohol irks me to
no end.

Alcohol and benzodiazepines…for the times when you can’t afford meth to feel like God or ketamine to escape into dreams.

Disclaimer: alcohol and benzodiapines may cause CNS depression
(leading to death) so caution is adviced for inexperienced users
attempting to leverage on the synergy from multiple CNS depressants.

Black Kingdom: Chapter 3 – Bonding

bonding

I didn’t really get to bond with them until one fateful weekend. It
was during lunch break on Friday when Aaron suggested that we go to
Palladium that night. Palladium is a club in the Christchurch city
which enforces a 21 and above only entry rule due to alcohol being
served. I was fascinated (and slightly apprehensive as well) – I’ve
never stepped foot inside a nightclub before. I’ve always been told
that these places are evil and I shouldn’t ever patronize one.

The years of parental propaganda wrestled with the strangely
attractive notion of doing something “bad”…and it was the latter that
prevailed, albeit with slight tinges of guilt. The others have all been
in there before and assured me that I won’t be asked for ID. I beg to
differ coz I have a rather innocent and young looking face. I would not
pass as a 21 year old unless the bouncers all happen to have a long due
appointment with their optician.

Thus, Aaron got me a fake ID from one of his university friends. The
photograph on the ID does not look like me at all and the name was an
Indonesian name. I had to memorize the name and the birthday. Anyway,
the others told me about the dress code and we arranged to meet in
front of the Riccarton High School gates at around 7 PM. We had planned
to crash at Tom’s house so I brought along a change of clothes in my
backpack as well.

I have never stepped foot into any entertainment venues before
this…tonight was going to change all that. I was looking forward
(with some trepidation) to what my mind’s eye imagined the club would
be like. The four of us met up at the rendezvous point and walked to
Church Corner to catch the bus to the city. We went to have dinner at
what would be our regular haunt in the days to come – the Chinese
eatery near the town square. The wonton was really good and relatively
cheap at NZ$ 6.

It was time to head into the club. I was constantly reminded to walk
in confidently and not to look guilty. There were two bouncers outside
the door of Palladium and I avoided eye contact with them and tried to
walk in nonchalantly behind Aaron…until I heard one of the bouncers
say “Hang on mate, can I see some proof of age please?” The others
stopped with me while I passed the fake ID to the bouncer. He looked at
the card and gave me the once over and asked me what year I was born in.

I faltered before remembering the birth date on the fake ID. “I’m
26, born in 1970”, I replied and tried to look insulted at this
affront. The bouncer raised his eyebrows skeptically and I silently
cursed Aaron for getting a fake ID that puts me 10 years older than I
really am. However, the bouncer just shrugged and handed the card back
to me and waved us inside. I’m in!!! We had a good laugh about how
Asians must look all the same to Caucasians because no one would
mistake an Indonesian for a Chinese.

Palladium was not what I expected…I have been fed with stories
about the sinful debauchery and violence that occurs inside clubs was
expecting it to be some dirty den filled with society rejects. I was
rather surprised to see everyday people in the club – university
students, office workers…normal people. There goes another false
depiction drilled into me since I was young. We secured a table beside
the dance floor and ordered a round of drinks.

I have never had any alcohol before so I sipped my bottle of
Heineken tentatively. We had a bit of a boogie at the dance floor and
after two hours, Ah Boon noticed that I was still holding the
very same bottle, which had barely three small sips taken out of it. He
asked me whether I had bought more drinks and I said it’s the same
bottle from when we came in. He was appalled at the speed (or rather
the lack of it) of my drinking. ;)

It was rather funny, now that I think back to it. I told him that I
was afraid of getting drunk and didn’t feel like drinking it anymore. I
handed it to him and he gamely chugged the relatively full bottle down.
I wasn’t inebriated at all…it was just all that propaganda that made
me fear being drunk that prevented me from imbibing the golden amber fluid. I later realized that I have a high alcohol tolerance…

However, that was not true for Tom. He has a very low alcohol
tolerance and was completely inebriated and flushed from just one beer
and one shot of tequila. He kept on saying he felt like throwing up and
later resorted to lying in the fetal position at the plush chairs at
our table and told us to wake him when we leave. We left soon after
that though, coz Tom was complaining that he had a pounding headache.

We went to the 24 hour KFC nearby to get some supper. Tom promptly
threw up and did so again during the taxi ride back to his house. He
immediately fell asleep when he got home and we got some rest too. It
was around 12 PM when we woke up the next day. I had expected that
we’re going to head home. I was still a newbie at that time and one
night was considered a big one then.

However, the others had plans to go play pool at this snooker and
pool outlet in the city called 9 ball. I was wondering whether I should
go or not, since I was pretty tired…I’m not used to sleeping anywhere
other than my own bed so I didn’t get much sleep the night before. I
was intrigued by pool and snooker centers though, coz the propaganda
machine told me it was full of juvenile delinquents so I decided to go
along and see if that was true. Strike two, another parent instilled
horror story disproved.

Ah Boon taught me how to play pool…the setting of the balls, the
way to properly hold the cue, the method of striking without deviating
from the aim, how to hit different spots to manipulate the ball
movement, how to follow through and stop for positioning, about solid
and stripe balls, the angles to hit the balls to pocket them –
basically, the rules of the game for someone who hasn’t played pool
before. I loved it. It helped that the heroin chic looking (in a good
way) girl who manned the counter was really friendly and hot too. ;)

It was night when we left and we grabbed some fish and chips to eat while waiting for the bus back.

End of Black Kingdom: Chapter 3 – Bonding

[ List of Characters ]

Next: Black Kingdom: Chapter 4 – Veritas vos liberabit [sixthseal.com].

Curiosity review (free book offer)

curiosity book

I will do the review of the book Curiosity before going into details
about how a free review copy was mailed to me by the author’s wife via
their publishing house. I just got the book on Friday and I have to
state that I received the book free, so if you think that’s going to
bias my review…you’re absolutely right. ;) Nah, I’m kidding, I’ll do
a proper review.

Curiosity is written by Gerald Allen Wunsch and published by
AuthorHouse and comes in a paperback format. The cover of the book is
printed on full color glossy high quality cardboard. The pages of the
books are printed on acid free “pulp-like” paper, and there seems to be
some inconsistencies in the typeface (poor printing) as shown below.
That’s the most extreme example though…the fonts are mostly printed
properly, unless you look too hard.

curiosity fonts

I finished reading the book in less than an hour. It’s not meant for
my age group – Curiosity is a children’s novel. However, I did learn
something from the book. I did not know about the Underground Railroad
(upon which this book is based) and how it ties in with the American
Civil War, the slave trade and the revolution. That makes it
interesting reading – the book is based on historical accounts, so it’s
informational as well as readable.

curiosity chapter end

The protagonists are two girls named Ginger Wanamaker and Irene
Fong. The book goes out of the way to introduce cultural diversity,
which isn’t a bad thing. The best thing about this book is the “Choose
your own adventure” type ending to certain chapters. This is
illustrated in the photo above – the reader can flip to the back of the
book to learn about real information.

curiosity wire fox terrier

This excerpt is about Wire Fox Terriers and contains interesting
information about these dogs. The dog in the book is based on the
author’s own dog. There are a few situations that are based around the
author’s life and some characters are based on the people around him.
My only gripe about the footnotes is that it only appears in the first
few chapters and tapers off towards the end of the book.

The content of the book is interesting – it slips themes of racial
tolerance and historical accounts in the fictional story. I imagine
that some parents would want a book like this for their children. It
manages to keep the reader interested in the adventures of the
protagonists while telling a historical narrative and indirectly
promotes cultural tolerance. The other good thing about it is that
there’s a list of web sites at the end of the book for people who wants
to read further into the Underground Railroad.

I would prefer to rate a book by the “Whether I’ll buy it or not”
criteria instead of giving arbitrary scores. Would I buy Curiosity? No,
but hear me out. It’s coz I’m not in the target audience and my reading
interests lie elsewhere. I just bought The Road of Excess: A History of
Writers on Drugs and The Strength of the Wolf: The Secret History of
America’s War on Drugs from Amazon, so the subject matter of books I
like is not exactly a big secret.

The better question to ask is “Would I buy Curiosity for my kids?”
I would.

I started reading at a very early age and I fully expect my children
to surpass me so I’ll recommend this for children aged 5 and below. I
hope that my progeny would understand the themes this book goes into
before that age, since children are supposed to be faster, stronger,
better than their parents and I had understood complex themes when I
was 7. I should note that the book is suggested for children aged 9 –
12 though. The Amazon list price is US$ 11.45 (RM 43.51), which is a
bit steep for Malaysians due to the currency conversion, but it’ll be
fine for countries with a more robust currency.

curiosity book back

Thanks to Martha Wunsch and AuthorHouse [authorhouse.com] for the free review copy. Cheers to The Book Review Blog
[blogspot.com] email digest for passing along the information for
getting the free review book. I don’t know if the offer is still valid,
but here’s the email in its entirety:

From: Martha Wunsch
Date: Tuesday, March 30, 2004 8:48 AM
To: thebookreviewblog@yahoogroups.com
Subject: [thebookreviewblog] Anyone want a free review book?

Here’s ordering information from my publisher. It’s at the top–
Jerry Wunsch

***For Immediate Release***
Tuesday, March 30, 2004

To request a free review copy of Curiosity:
Phone: 1-888-519-5121, Ext. 244-Leave message, or
E-mail: cmcglashan@authorhouse.com or FAX: 1-812-961-1023.
(Include your street address for UPS delivery. Charlene will inform
me of your request.)

Kids Find Underground Railroad Site-

Children’s novel offers Underground Railroad terrorism in a
gentle, modern story

Ginger Wanamaker and her best friend, Irene Fong, along with
a terrier’s help, make a great discovery. Ginger’s grandparents’
home was once a station on the Underground Railroad! In Curiosity
published by AuthorHouse in July 2003 (ISBN: 1-4107-3699-7; LCCN:
2003092263), Gerald Allen Wunsch tells this adventurous children’s
story through Ginger’s eyes.
Laird, a spirited wire fox terrier, accompanies the girls
and becomes a hero in the story through his digging and exploring.
The Wanamaker’s home is an artifact of a critical movement in
American history, and, for these knowledge-thirsty young students,
it opens a door to new learning.
Irene’s parents were born in Suriname, South America. Her
ancestors were slaves. These details convey the message that
slavery existed all over the world, not just in the United States.
This multicultural emphasis in Curiosity broadens young minds. Boys
and girls will have fun reading about Ginger and Irene’s
discoveries, while learning about the Underground Railroad from a
contemporary perspective.
The story text, sprinkled with “Whispers” interludes, also
links to a 30-page “More Information” section in the back of
Curiosity. Illustrations by Irene Joslin, award-winning cartoonist
for the Brown County Democrat in Nashville, Indiana, enliven the
story line.
Wunsch is a retired immigration attorney who also served in
the 1970’s as career diplomat with the U.S. State Department. His
foreign assignments included Hermosillo, Mexico, Paramaribo,
Suriname, and Amsterdam in The Netherlands. Curiosity is his first
children’s book. Since retirement, Wunsch has contributed four
articles to The Sacred Octagon, an MG sports car magazine. He lives
bordering the Hoosier National Forest with his wife Martha and their
terrier friend Laird, featured in Curiosity.
Curiosity may now be found in 34 public libraries and
schools. It is currently sold at Viewpoint Books and the Visitors
Center in Columbus, Cover to Cover Bookstore in Madison, the Levi
Coffin House in Fountain City, and Conner Prairie, the Indiana State
Museum, and the Indiana Historical Society in the Indianapolis area–
12 independent bookstores in all. On-line it may be purchased from
Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Borders, Walmart, and many other on-line
booksellers. You can order Curiosity at any Barnes & Noble or
Borders mall bookstore or directly from our supply at home
(mgwunsch@comuage.com).
Here is a roundup of a few Curiosity events. On September
23, Bud Shippee of Seymour’s WQKC-WZZB (93.7FM; 1390AM) interviewed
Jerry during his “Breakfast Club.” The next day Patty Spitler
interviewed Laird and Jerry on Indianapolis’s CBS affiliate, Channel
8, during the News8 at Noon show. The canine/author duo appeared
again at the Jackson County Public Library November 15 for a
children’s program on the Underground Railroad followed by Laird’s
clicker tricks and a book signing, the third such public library
program. They presented a program on the writing process at
Cortland Elementary School before 120 children November 21. Jerry
and Laird were also at the Indiana Historical Society’s Holiday
Author Fair on December 7 and are planning eight Underground
Railroad programs at public libraries and schools in February. They
recently finished a program at St. Ambrose Elementary February 2
before 4th, 5th, and 6th graders and with 500 children February 13
at East Side Elementary. Five other elementary schools have
requested their appearance before the end of the 2003-4 school
year. Also, look for them at the Conner Prairietown Market April 24.

For interview requests, contact Laird for his tricks and Gerald
Wunsch, 10019 North State Road #135, Freetown, Indiana, 47235-
8517,or call (812) 497-0067, or e-mail mgwunsch@compuage.com.

For further description and photos:

Until April 24th: http://www.connerprairie.org/Events/gaWunsch.asp

http://www.wirehairfoxterrier.com/resources/wunsch.htm

http://www.1stbooks.com/ & www.amazon.com
(type in “Gerald Allen Wunsch”-Curiosity)

Sapu days

sapudays

Those dreaded Fridays and Saturdays…also known as Sapudays. I hate them!

Sapu is the colloquial term for police drug raids at entertainment venues.

99 kuching

The night started out at 99. It was packed and pretty uneventful.

99 may 16

Some people had some pills (not me, of course *cough*).

waterworld closed

We headed down to Waterworld and found that it was closed. This is a bad omen.

earthquake may 16

We adjourned to Earthquake. This venue is usually packed during the weekends but was surprisingly empty for a Saturday night.

equake may 16

Our group sat there for a while before one of the Earthquake staff
(we know them) whispered to us that there are sapu vans outside. Time
to leave? The first photo was taken there – it’s one of the sapu vans,
there were 2 police trucks preceding that, but I didn’t get a photo and
I don’t want to get too close anyway for obvious reasons. It turns out
the police was just scoping out the area – staring at the patrons, most
of which started leaving in droves. The place was soon empty.
Earthquake didn’t get raided (coz it was empty) but since there was no
one there anyway, we left.

passion closed

We went to Passion at 4 1/2 mile. It was closed early too (it was
just 3 AM when we got there). It seems that Kuching is the target of
the inaugural drug raids at entertainment venues again. *sigh*

We tried the MJC outlets, but all of them were closed too. News of
raids spreads fast and no chemical brother would want to be in one of
them when the police barges in, except foolhardy ones. ;) We saw three
sapu trucks filled with people while on the way back…now that’s a
really bad omen, so we decided to call it a night.

Related:

Orange blanks pill review

orange blank

Pill name: Orange blanks
Contents: Tested out to be MDMA
Circa: February – May 2004
Rating: 7/10

It’s a relatively strong MDMA pill. It has no logo or imprints
whatsoever – people just ask for it by name (i.e. the orange pill).
It’s quite nice, if you like MDMA…but MDMA has lost its magic for me.
I did feel classic MDMA characteristics, but I’ll go for crystal
methamphetamine or ketamine any day. MDMA just doesn’t feel good to me
anymore. Such is the life of a tweaker…nothing beats good old crystal
meth.

Marquis:

orange blank marquis
Reagent to black indicating MDMA.

It’s MDMA, from reagent testing and personal qualitative experience.
Go for it if you still like pills, stay away if MDMA has lost its magic
for you.

Those dreaded Fridays and Saturdays…also known as SAPUDAYS. I hate them!

Lam's Place – from Menggatal, Sabah

lams place

Lam’s Place is the new eating establishment in Chong Lin Park
specializing in ngui chap (beef noodles). It just opened a couple of
days ago – it’s located right beside Waterworld. The place has a banner
that says: From Menggatal, Sabah’s “Ngui Chap” (Beef Noodles etc) & others available now!
I have a juvenile sense of humor so I didn’t really get over the
“menggatal” reference. Menggatal can mean ham sup or horny…a rather
unfortunate name for a town.

lams place interior

This is what the interior looks like. It’s pretty packed,
considering I arrived late. Their opening hours are from 8 AM – 2:30 PM
and 5:30 PM – 8:30 PM. The seating arrangements (a pretentious word for
tables and chairs ;)) consists of perfectly square wooden tables meant
for 4 people.

lams place thingies

They have a variety of condiments on the table and this place
operates by writing down your order into a bill, which is then
tabulated and placed in an ornament on your table. You take it to the
cashier and pay the bill when you’re done.

lams place beef noodles

Here’s my order – Raw beef & beef balls with noodles (RM 5.50).
The wet (soup) version is basically the same thing, but they combine
the noodles in the big bowl of soup instead of in a separate bowl.
Lam’s Place serves beef noodles as its staple (both the wet and dry
version), though you can opt to have rice to substitute the noodles if
you want. I’m not a big fan of soup dishes, so I went for Raw Beef and
Beef Balls noodles (dry).

lams place noodles

This is a closer look at the noodles. The noodles taste absolutely
great! I can’t remember having a more delicious bowl since this beef
noodle stall in Sibu shut down. It was infused with a variety of tangy
and salty flavors.

lams place beef soup

Here’s a photo of the soup, served separately. There are beef balls
floating on the top (don’t think they’re home made), with beef slices
at the bottom, flanked with veggies and bean sprouts. The soup was not
as salty as I like it to be, but the salty noodles more than makes up
for that. The main portion was very generous too, though I would have
liked a larger bowl of noodles.

lams place beef slice

This is the raw beef slice that’s put into the bowl before serving
to slowly cook. I love it – the beef doesn’t get overcooked this way.

I highly recommend this place if you have a hankering for beef
noodles. It’s their specialty and they have great service. I’m not sure
if the service is the type typical of newly opened eateries or they
really do have good service, but that hardly matters considering the
food. They apologized for my order taking so late to arrive (I didn’t
even think it was that long of a wait) and I was asked whether I
enjoyed my meal and how my food was when I paid the bill. I told them
it was good. :)

I’ll reply all the comments later, I’ve got to head out now. Cheers!

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