A stack of postcards from graceshu

grace_postcards_stack.jpg

I got a stack of postcards from Grace
[pixelphobia.net] today. :) It was all bundled up when I got home and
consisted of a total of 5 postcards rubber banded together. The first
four are McDonald’s postcards, each one having a single letter – FOR,
WHAT, ITS, WORTH. They actually double as a coupon for a free something
with a purchase. The back of the postcards actually fit side by side to
make a large banner with “i’m lovin’ it”!

grace_fwiw.jpg

Don’t worry about it if this all sounds puzzling. “McDonald’s
vouchers” and “i’m lovin’ it” is an insider thing between us. Something
like our private joke, except only the first one is funny and the
second one isn’t. :p Anyway, the 5th postcard is mailed from Cameron
Highlands during her camp:

grace_cameron_f.jpg
Front of the postcard.

It reads:

Hi,
Camerons was freaking cold
as it rained all day & night.
Had some freezing & sleepless
nights during the camp. Other
than that, all was fine. They
had pretty good strawberry farms & shortcakes
there too! As usual, ate a lot.
Will write again when am in Ipoh!
Take care!

Grace
24/10/2003

grace_cameron_b.jpg
Back of the postcard.

Thanks Grace! :) She’s the greatest, taking time out to mail postcards.

On another note, I have been notified by The People From Above
(otherwise known as TPFA) that updating my weblog during work hours is
unacceptable, even during lunch hour, and while I’m known for being
subversive, I shall accede to this. I can understand how management can
interprete this as a loss of productivity so I will not be updating the
site, replying the comments or even visiting my own blog(s) during
office hours.

However, I will update daily as usual, when I get back from work.
The first person who accuses me of giving in to The Man gets a hefty
kick to the balls (or to the general region for females). ;)

My MC

MC20Oct.jpg
MC (20th October 2003)

This is my Medical Certificate. I was not able to make it to work
today. Yeah, I’m aware that this is the not first time it happened. :p
I was not faking it, I was not feeling well. I wouldn’t spend half my
daily salary just to get an MC anyway, would rather go to work. Anyway,
I woke up feeling nauseous and throwing up (I seem to have a generosity
that compels me to make offerings to the porcelain god) and with a
migraine.

I went to see the same doctor I saw last time – Poliklinik & Surgeri Dr A. Hadi Abdullah & Rakan Rakan
[sixthseal.com] at Pusat Bandar Damansara this afternoon. I mean
yesterday afternoon, it’s past 12 am so technically this happened
yesterday. It’s the closest clinic. The doctor was not in – I was told
he went off to have a drink. I waited for a while and then got to see
the doctor and told him about my symptoms.

sakit.jpg
Ya, saya tahu saya sakit.

I also mentioned that I usually take DF118 (30 mg dihydrocodeine
only tablets) for migraines and he said that he doesn’t carry that
because it’s a restricted drug. Funny, I get it over the counter in
Sibu. ;) Anyway, the doctor said he’ll give me something stronger and
my ears perked up, hoping to hear Oxycontin or something like that.

voltaren.jpg
When you said stronger, I was expecting something else…

He said he’ll give me…..Voltaren. That’s diclofenac, a NSAID
(Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drug). I don’t know how his logic
goes…stronger than dihydrocodeine indeed. This is not “something
stronger”. NSAIDs does nothing for me, real migraine medications has to
have opiate agonists in it. ;) I’m kidding, btw, let us move on, this
was supposed to be a short post coz I’ll have to sleep early tonight.

polyvisit2.jpg
I did not take the photo through the plastic bag last time, I just
noticed that, there was a revelationary moment for a moment, but it’s
gone now, I forgot what it was.

Anyway, this time the doctor filled in the MC himself at least, gave
him my IC and he asked “Any pen kah?” to his wife cum receptionist and
out I went with an MC, a pack of diclofenac, a bill for only RM 20 as
opposed to RM 25 last time, and my IC (he took it to write the MC
remember?) inside a plastic bag.

My apologies for not being able to reply the comments today, I have
to sleep now to go to work tomorrow and I’ll reply every single one
tomorrow. Hmm…I think I’ll have a mug of milo with biscuits and then
sleep. Night people, see ya tomorrow.

I’m perfectly sober, why do you ask?

Midnight at the office

xm_midnite.jpg

XM Malaysia midnight club (bound by a common project) – Ivan, Wai
Hing, Shirley, Suzanne, Huai Bin (me). Kelvin and Ganesh were also
around but not working on the same project.

It’s past 12 am in the morning and I’m still at the
office…together with about 6 other people, working on the Sony
Malaysia’s 30th Anniversary project. I just realized that I am an utter
hack today, I took ages to finish the main page and that’s not even
going into coding for dynamic responses on certain triggers. The main
page was just HTML and tables (I fucking hate tables…) and CSS and
yet I was slaving over it for most of the day. Granted, I was having a
borderline paracetamol (APAP) poisoning (don’t ask) and was throwing
up, having abdominal cramps etc but that’s no excuse…

xm_friedrice.jpg

Dinner was provided though…

The point is…I took ages to do something simple, and that is
really depressing…the images from creative were like jigsaw puzzles,
I can’t write a good table to save my life and I even had to send
Yahoo! messages to Grace [pixelphobia.net] (who claims to eat HTML tables and CSS for breakfast) to ask her how to float text on top of static images…

I am still at the office and if there’s a single word that could sum up today it’s omgwtfbbq.

I really need to update my skill sets but that will have to wait, forgive me for not replying the comments today, work awaits…

Crazy Taxi (KL Edition)

crazytaxi.jpg

Never be late again! Pictured above is KL’s finest taxi driver, the best of the best – he’ll get you where you want, when
you want. This is the second time he’s actually saved me from being
late…I knew it was him from the way he was still accelerating while
pulling up to me and from the tyres screeching to a halt just in front
of me. You want fast? You’ve got fast.

I need to wake up at 6:30 am in order to take the LRT/bus combo
(plus a 25 minute walk), so anytime after that requires me to enlist
the services of a taxi to arrive on time. I woke up at nearly 8 am
today (curses) and the taxi arrived at 8:07 am and got to Jalan Sultan
Ismail at 8:21 am. I shit you not, it’s a time lap that’s worth of
entry into the Guinness Book of World Records. Well, maybe not that,
the Malaysian Book of Records then.

He sure needs to be commended anyway. The way he weaves through the
tightest spots and liberally applies his horn and glares at cars who
even dares to inch a little bit closer to the lane that he wants to
change into. The way he bores down on errant pedestrians who did not
know better and got into his way, even going so far as to make one girl
go “Arrggghhh” and jump out of the way. The way he ignores the traffic
police directing traffic and rushes through anyway.

I got to the office and punched in. 8:26 am. I didn’t think it was possible. Thanks, crazy taxi!

Radio silence

Sorry everyone, I’ve been really busy selling myself lately. Selling
myself to the HR people that is. ;) My quest for employment is still
ongoing and so is the search for a good post graduate Masters program.
I will update tomorrow, with a collaborative photo story – “A sliver of
liver”. :) Until then, see ya. I will reply all the comments and mails
tomorrow, my apologies, I didn’t get any sleep last night and I’m so
ready to hit the bed right now.

What did I do yesterday?

tastreet.jpg
Take Away Street

Hmm…lemme think. Just give me a minute here. :) Okay, the day started when a went for lunch with Daniel
[geocities.com]. A big thank you to him, he’s the reason why
sixthseal.com has photos again (albeit for a while, coz he’s going back
in a day). He has a digicam too (Sony DSC-F707) and I borrowed it to
take some photos, so yeah, photos are available for a short time. :)

tainside.jpg
The interior.

Anyway, he told me of this place called TakeAway Street in Wisma
Sanyan where every main meal is just RM 1.50 and every drink is just RM
1. That was last month though, the prices have been raised since then.
I had the Taiwan Noodles (which tastes suspiciously like Maggie Mee
Curry Flavor) for RM 2.50, meat stuffed kompia with gravy for RM 0.50,
egg cooked in soy sauce (lu tang in Chinese, what’s the English
equivalent?) for RM 0.50 and kopi peng for RM 1.20.

tafood.jpg

My food posts are definitely not as good as mum mum
[blogspot.com], so if you’re interested in food, head over to Wena’s
site, it’s GREAT! Always makes me hungry, photos and descriptions of
all kinds of food. She’s from Kuching (about 400+ km from Sibu) and
I’ve lived there for 8 years total (7 during childhood, 1 in college)
and I visit very often so yeah, I’m familiar with most of the places
she mentions. Great food blog, go visit! I’ll like to think of her blog
as “The Best Food Related Blog in Malaysia”. On a narcissistic note,
and borrowing from Phua Chu Kang, I’ll like to think sixthseal.com is
the best drug related blog in Malaysia, Singapore and some say
Australia. ;)

t3.jpg
Terminator 3 – I took a shot of the screen inside the cinema.

Anyway, let’s see…after that I borrowed Daniel’s digicam to do a bit
of photography, as you can see from the photos of the Knuckles Soccer
photos below. A couple of us went to watch Terminator 3 later at night,
it was the 8:45 pm one, they only charge RM 5 on Wednesday. After that,
it’s off for drinks at SRC, the people I remember there (besides me) is
Alan, Bing Jong, Johnny, Daniel, Christopher, Niny, and Ing Tai. Hey, I
think I remembered, it’s easy to visualize the table and go
counter-clockwise. Heh. Er…not much was remembered after that due to my
excessive alcohol consumption to celebrate my results. So yeah, that’s
my day yesterday.

Naval gazing

What has this picture got to do with introspection you say?!? What has this picture got to do
with introspection you say?!??!?! Erm…well, it looks introspective.

I did not sleep at all last night in an effort to finish my ITPM and IE
deliverables, which was due today. I nearly went into a coma when I had a plate of char kueh tiaw
for lunch. I was loaded with coffee and by the end of the day I was tired and edgy. I kept nodding
off in the shuttle bus and had to keep re-reading a sentence from Darwin’s Radio, the book I’m
reading on my commute now. I just could not focus and promptly forgot the sentence as soon as I
read it. Heh. Well, sleep deprivation is probably not a good time for introspection, but I’ve
learnt two things about myself today. Actually, I’ve known it ages ago, but I’m going to ADDRESS
the problem starting from today. These are two things I would like to change:

I. A variation of the God complex

I tend to feel that I can meet unrealistic deadlines. I actually believe that
I can make impossible deadlines, because I usually do. Unfortunately, that does not happen all the
time. I need to think about whether it is possible before saying I can do it.

II. Pride

I do not like asking for help. I find myself trying to find solutions to every
problem by myself, and perhaps that is not the best way to do everything. I also tend to turn down
help even when I need it, preferring to go about doing my own things myself. Another “personal risk
list” that needs to be addressed.

Small steps, but it will help me in the long run. Hmm…but then I’ll probably
forget about it the next day. Heh. Oh well, writing about it is half the battle…or something. You
learn something new everyday. =D I don’t even know what I’m talking about, I am going to sleep now.
Well, damn, I was drafting out an insightful post in my mind when I was taking a shower and now
I’ve forgotten half of it. Huh?

It’s actually a prayer mat on a mattress wrapped with construction paper.
It has rice, some twigs, some leaves and I don’t know what the third bowl holds. Saw this on the
5th floor of B block when I had my client meeting just now. One of them public art
displays.

Math is not my true calling

The Roberts Hall annual photos have finally been distributed today. It’s huge so I had to scan
it in two sessions, thus the join flaw. I had to collect mine from the College Head’s office
though, because I put A$10 short into the envelope. Heh. Apparently A$17 +A$23 equal A$30 to me.
=D

Well, this week was “Hall in the Wall” week, where Roberts Hall resident artists display their
works in the common room. I liked this one the most:

It’s an artificial pond, set right in the common room. It even has pond scum, cigarette butts,
coins and other miscellaneous rubbish in the pond for a realistic feel.

Here’s a closer look.

Anyway, I got this chain email today. I’ve gotten it twice before, but I’m in the mood to answer
it today, so here goes:

Do you think that you do not understand your friends at all? Maybe you
should do something to make them know you better. If you have the time to
spare then, reply to this.

Okay, here’s what you’re supposed to do. Please DO NOT be LAME and spoil the
fun.

Copy (not forward) this entire e-mail and paste it onto a new e-mail that
you will send.

Change all of the answers so that they apply to you and then send it to all
your friends.

The theory is that you will learn a lot of little facts about your friends.

( Caution, can be quite scary!)

**Remember to send it back to the person who sent it to you.

**READY?

>What is your name?

Poh Huai Bin

>What color pants are you wearing right now?

Light brown pajamas with a Star of David and double concentric circle pattern. It’s comfortable.
I like wearing pajama pants even when I’m not going to sleep. It’s my favorite at-home
attire.

>What are you listening to right now?

Bad
Religion’s All Ages
[badreligion.com]. The track Winamp is on now is Against the Grain. One
of my favorite Bad Religion songs. If you haven’t heard of them, they’re a punk band with oddly
intelligent and thought provoking lyrics.

>What are the last four digits of your home phone number?

I don’t have a home phone here. The last four digits of my cell phone number is 7474. It’s
Optus.

>What was the last thing you drink?

Vanilla Coke. The vending machine outside the common room has dedicated two whole slots to
Vanilla Coke. Those slots used to hold Diet Coke. Now you only have a choice of (original) Coke or
Vanilla Coke. Useless fact: A 600 ml bottle of soda costs A$2 from a vending machine. It’s
interesting to note that sodas and mineral water comes in 500 ml bottles in Malaysia while it comes
in 600 ml bottles here.

>If you were a crayon, what color would you be?

Red. Fiery, passionate and the first one to get colored down to a nub.

>Where do you plan to go on your honeymoon?

I’ll start with Venice. Then it’s off to Rome and Egypt to see the Colosseum and the
pyramids. And of course, the Bahamas [bahamas.com] to wind up the trip. Now, it’s just the
question of how I’m going to fund that. =D

>How is the weather right now?

Slightly cold. It was a scorching 30 Celsius this afternoon. Showers towards the end of the
evening and through the night brought it down to 14 Celsius.

>Last person you talked to on the phone?

My girlfriend. I talk to her every day. It’s a good thing calling cards go for 6.3 cents
per minute. That’s the GPS phone card after a 10% discount from my campus phone shop. The listed
call rate is 7 cents.

>What’s the first feature you notice from the opposite sex?

The eyes. They’re the windows to the soul and everything. =D

>Do you like the person that send you this?

He’s the one on the right.

Yeah. I’d known him since primary school. Heh. Last memorable trip we had was to Sarikei. Read
about that here [sixthseal.com].

>What’s your best birthday present ever received?

I have a real sweet tooth and there was this one time where my father bought a lot of imported
chocolates for me. I was about 10 or 11 at that time. He claimed to have bought it from Kuching (he
just came back from a trip there) but the price tag shows a KL store name. I knew it was a KL store
name because he went to KL some time ago too and came back with chocolates with the store name’s
price tags on it. Hmm…I thought. He must have hidden it somewhere in the fridge. I decided to
root through the refrigerator just in case there were more from that batch and came up with another
stash of chocolates. I’ll never forget the slightly chagrined yet amused expression of my father
then. Heh. I guess it was the memory that made it the best birthday present.

>How are you feeling today?

Pretty good actually. I didn’t get much work done though. I just came off a Simpson’s
marathon where I watched 10 episodes back to back. Downloaded them from the halls network.

>Your favourite drink?

Coffee. It’s perfect for a stimulating boost.

>Your favourite alcoholic drink?

Midori Illusions are pretty nice. Easy to down quickly because they’re not really fizzy
and I couldn’t taste the alcohol in it too. You have to love the twist off cap as well. I hate
having to search for a bottle opener. I like plain old beer tool.

>How do you eat an Oreo?

I put the whole Oreo into my month and crunch it. When I was young, I used to break open
the biscuits, eat the cream filling and discard the biscuits. Heh. Oreos are good in McFlurries as
well.

>What’s the next CD you’re going to get?

I stopped buying CDs ages ago. MP3s are more versatile and uh, it’s free. ;)

>Hair color?

Black. I usually color it light brown but I couldn’t be bothered to do that after my haircut a
couple of days ago.

>Eye Colour?

Brown.

>Do you wear contacts?

No. I actually have severe myopia in my right eye. Anything more than half an arm’s length away
is totally blur to my right eye. However my left eye has near perfect vision and compensates for
that. Thus, I don’t need any prescription glasses or contacts. My optometrist did advice me to wear
one, but I didn’t, and it didn’t get any worse. At least, I hope it didn’t. =D

>What’s your favourite month?

I don’t have a specific month but I love the end of the year period right through to Chinese New
Year. That time is usually spent with my girlfriend, friends and family. Unfortunately, I won’t be
coming home until late January/early February this year. :( I’m taking Industrial Experience, which
requires me to stay back for summer. Please shed a few tears for me.

>What’s your favorite food?

I find that I crave kampua mee the most. It’s a local dish from my hometown. Basically its
noodles flavored with soy sauce, chili, green onions, fried onions, pork oil, and lots of MSG. It’s
usually served with slices of BBQ pork but you should order another dish of pien nuk (pastry
stuffed with meat) for the best effect. Simply divine. Damn, my saliva glands are working overtime
now, just by typing this.

>Last movie you watched?

Lik Goo Lik Goo San Nin Choi (Fatt Choi Spirit). A fun movie about mahjong meant for
Chinese New Year.

>What’s your favorite date of the year?

Chinese New Year’s eve. Since it follows the lunar calendar, the date changes every year. It’s
the time where all the extended family gathers together for a reunion dinner.

>Are you shy to ask someone out?

Nope. I have a girlfriend though, so I don’t do this anymore.

>Do you like scary or romantic movies better

I like all movies. Even pretentious art house flicks. =D

>Would you prefer hugs or kisses?

I like them both, but if I had to choose, it’ll be hugs. It feels closer somehow.

>Relationship or one night stands?

Relationships. Contrary to popular belief, I don’t go for one night stands.

>You prefer chocolate or vanilla?

In ice cream? Vanilla. It seems less cloying than chocolate and more versatile.

>Do you want your friends to write back?

Sure. It will be interesting to see what everyone’s response is.

>Who is most likely to respond?

I’m posting this on my blog instead of forwarding this, so probably no one. However, feel
free to cut and paste the questionnaire and revive it as an email. Hmm…now that I think of it, I
might as well keep the chain going.

>What book are you reading now?

I just finished Robert J. Sawyer’s Calculating God [sfwriter.com].
I’m either going to start on Greg Bear’s Darwin’s Radio
[gregbear.com] or Arthur C. Clarke’s 2001: A Space Odyssey. My interests mainly lie in Science
Fiction and Horror, but I do read other genres from time to time. I tend to average about one
book in two weeks. I only read during my commute and in the toilet, unless I’m finishing the
book soon or I can’t put it down. I read ebooks via WordSmith on my Palm m505.

>What’s your favourite board game(s)?

Monopoly. I can be a bit of a bastard when playing Monopoly too. Heh. I try to snatch up
every color coded real estate and never relinquish it to avoid other people from building houses.
Railways are my favorite too, I’ll pay exorbitant amounts just to control all four.

>What’s your favourite magazine(s)?

Hmm…I don’t read much magazines here. But we have Time, Asiaweek (now defunct), National
Geographic, and Reader’s Digest back home. I like reading Time but by the time (haha) the magazine
is out, I’ve already read the news ages ago online. The only magazines I’ve bought here are
Australian travel magazines. I read those for fun.

>What’s your favourite smell(s)?

Protex soap. The smell is associated with school holidays and Friday evenings where I play
computer games all day long. I made that association back in Form 2 and it’s stuck ever
since.

>Least favourite smell(s)?

Lavender. I have associated it with depression and anxiety attacks and desperation. No
thanks. Go away lavender.

>What’s your favourite sound?

Banging gongs + drums + crashing cymbals + sounds of firecrackers. Chinese New Year ahoy!
I also like church hymns. Those make me feel peaceful and relaxed.

>What radio channel you tune in to?

I don’t listen to radio but the shuttle bus always has Fox FM [fox.com.au] on.

>Date of birth?

5th of April 1981. It’s Ching Ming aka Tomb Sweeping Day [yahoo.com]. A day where the dead is honored by having an extended family
outing to clean the tombs of the departed ancestors.

>Your zodiac sign?

Aries. I’m a classic Aries too. Represent!

>Do you eat the stems of broccoli?

Yeah. I like the texture.

>Do you have patience?

Nope. Absolutely none at all. I’m working on that though, so bear with me. =D

>What kind of people do you dislike?

Pretentious people, arrogant people and know it alls (HAMPALANG EH).

>What type of guy/girl are you interested in?

A nice, simple and trustworthy Christian. I would like my wife to be with me in life and
also in the afterlife. ;)

>What would you do to impress a guy/girl that you like?

The most outrageous things. I also tend to hang around them for extended periods of time
to make an impression.

>How would you react if the person you like rejected you?

It won’t bother me. Different strokes for different folks.

"krow is work spelled backwards" and a childhood story

Note: I haven’t fallen into “The Zone” while writing for a long time. Feels good to be back. Please read the story.

Hmm…I feel contented coz today was quite productive by my
standards, which unfortunately, is not high at all. =D I did get chewed
on a bit today by my IE supervisor though. It’s understandable coz our
group seems to be rather behind schedule. There was a semantics issue
involved as well. I had assumed that a non-reply will default to the
affirmative regarding meeting times, but apparently that was not the
case. Well, you know what they say about assuming. I can’t resist
reiterating though, assuming makes and ass out of u and me. There.
Anyway, I was grilled for a while about PHP syntax too. Felt like I was
back in graded school. Heh. Oh, which reminds me. Back in primary
school, we had this Nazi math teacher who would force us to memorize
the multiplication tables up to 13. Now, every time she comes in,
she’ll carry this big ass rattan (flexible wood-like plant) cane and
swish it around a bit. Then, she’ll start to traverse the tables and
rows, asking each one a random multiplication. She’ll give you 1
second, and 1 second the most. If you couldn’t answer correctly by
then, she’ll give you a hard lashing with the cane.

So down she’ll go, asking “What’s 3 times 12?” “What’s 7 times 13?”
“What’s 11 times 10?”. Now, each day, she’ll add one lashing to the
punishment for the wayward ones who couldn’t figure out the
multiplication tables in the head (no tables are allowed). This went on
until the punishment was 50 lashings (!) on the 50th day. She promised
that the counter will reset itself to 1 the next day. I’m not kidding,
this really is true. Note though that capital punishment was acceptable
in Malaysia when I was in primary school. Anyway, I could answer
everyday, right up until the dreaded 50th day. Many of my classmates
has conveniently brought a tube of Colgate toothpaste, which is said to
numb the hands so the lashings won’t hurt so much. Well, the guy in
front of me, an Iban, didn’t get the answer right, so the teacher
started to give him 50 lashes. Right around the 35th lash point, the
cane splintered and frayed, but the teacher kept on going. Well,
besides being not good with multiplications, the Iban guy was
unfortunately not good in acting too. He was smiling after the rattan
cane frayed, because rattan canes don’t hurt much once they’ve frayed.
This is because the kinetic force applied to the cane distributes
through each fray, which then lands on a larger surface area.

Unfortunate. The teacher started to realize this and started
slapping the guy instead, substituting each lash with a slap until the
prescribed 50 were up. The poor guy started crying (we were 12 years
old at that time) and the whole class was in a quandary regarding this
new development. The Colgate Method TM has effectively been
nulled, voided and stamped with a big red NOT APPLICABLE, sorry mate.
Anyway, once the slapping has been dealt with, the teacher moved to the
first girl in my row. We were (rather ruthlessly) hoping that the next
few people will “get it” too, since the bell was 10 minutes away from
ringing. Inferring and extrapolating shows that the teacher can produce
30 slaps per minute (SPM).

[Edit: Replaced original ASCII depiction with JPEG graphical representation.]

pristory.jpg

Thus, if 5 people in the row of 9 “gets it”, I would be spared from
any questions, since the bell would have already rung. I think we
learnt more math by trying to avoid a spanking than memorizing
multiplication tables. Unfortunately, the next girl was the smartest
girl in our class, so she instantly got the answer right. We were
momentarily elated for a couple of seconds, when the teacher fired off
3 more questions in quick succession, as if wanting to get the girl to
slip up. Unfazed, the smart girl answered all of them with impunity.
And thus it went, until it was the turn of the guy beside me. The clock
still had 7 minutes to go at the time, so I was about to resign to my
fate…until I thought of a trump card. Of course! I’ll go to the
toilet. So,

Me: Cikgu, boleh saya pergi ke tandas? Perut sakit…

[Teacher, can I go to the toilet? I have a stomachache…(which was
only half untrue – who wouldn’t get a stomachache with this kind of
pressure?)]

Teacher: Eh, tidak boleh…sudah hampir sampai giliran kamu. Mahu lari kah?

[Of course not…it’s nearly your turn to go. Are you trying to get away?]

Me: …………………………

And thus, it was my turn. “What is 7 times 9?” said the teacher.
“Er…62?” said I. 7’s were always my weakest multiplication tables.
“SALAH!!!” boomed the teacher with delight, glad for an opportunity to
flex her muscles once more. Salah means wrong in Bahasa Malaysia if you
haven’t figured it out by now. I had never gotten the multiplication
tables wrong before. I could hear a sigh of relief from the row behind
me. Infidels. The teacher made me stand up and started giving me a
slap. However, she apparently could not bring herself to do it a second
time and contented herself with giving my cheeks a hard pinch. “Huai
Bin” the teacher said. “Jangan salah lagi, ah, kamu budak pandai”.
(Don’t make any more mistakes, you’re a clever kid).

“Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee”
went the class, voicing discontent at the preferential treatment I was
getting.

Oh well.

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