Wednesday, 2 January 2008

Year-End Travails of 2007

My summary of year-end misadventures is delayed because of an after-vacation hangover, so I'm ringing in the new year with it.

Friday, 21 December 2007
Fetched FunnyBunny from the office, only to have her drag me shuffling and grumbling (as opposed to kicking and screaming, because I know I won't win) to the nearest cinema to catch Enchanted.

Kudos to Disney for this Bollywood-esque hit - and I suggest they keep their cel animation workshops for future projects. On the other hand, the saccharine sweetness made me cringe for about fifteen minutes of the flick. And who would believe in house-cleaning cockroaches?! Rendered in excruciatingly realistic detail. Eww.

There was also supper at Cineleisure's Kopi Oh! Café. Their Signature Rice, Special Sandwich and coffee are great after-movie munchies.

Monday, 24 December 2007
I hadn't planned to be at the Christmas Eve Party at the House with the Koi Pond, but a call from WildGuy changed my mind. Much hilarity ensued when I arrived in time for the Not-So-Secret Santa event. Some of the gifts included a bachelor's "survival kit", chocolates, a do-it-yourself seafood soup (complete with a real fish and a recipe) and a packet of dried meat. The non-halal gift was being passed around like a gangbang flick's leading lady; I was surprised the contents hadn't disintegrated when the fanfare ended.

The Snark Hunter was surprised to know I still remembered him from the 2005 PPS bash. "That was two-and-a-half years ago!" he marvelled. I didn't think it was that long ago.

Ever the consummate firestarter, WildGuy suggested baiting curious police officers with magic words like "Reformasi", "Hindraf" and a number of very un-PC, anti-establishment slogans (I probably should add that he has a very warped sense of humour). And the cops actually came; raucous revelries in the past had earned the Koi Pond House a certain eminence among local law enforcement. The police soon left though, thanks to KY's diplomatic skills (and probably the sheer number of camera/phones in the crowd).

I also saw my favourite Bandit Queen smoking a cigarette. They sure grow up real fast these days. Her response? "F*** you." As I was saying... .

Weekend, 29 to 30 December 2007
A Malaccan road trip! An important milestone in my life as I packed up for a two-day, one night stop at the historic state.

While the neighbourhood I stayed at had that enthralling old-world charm (with the Cheng Hoon Teng temple and Kapitan Kling mosque within walking distance), my fears of encountering a garish low-budget theme park of a tourist destination were realised when I laid eyes on the Stadhuys and Christ Church. Rickshaws posed serious traffic hazards with their supersonic horns, concealed boom-boxes and carnival-parade fixtures. Hawkers peddling souvenirs, knick-knacks, clothes and drinks were everywhere. An old cannon on the grounds was turned into a garbage can.

Jonker Walk has morphed into a less-modern Petaling Street. Virtually every stall and shoplot offered the "best" chicken rice balls, durian cendol, pineapple tarts and authentic Peranakan cuisine. Every cup of coffee I had had less kick and character than the average Malaysian soccer player. Attempts to find the best of the "best" failed - abysmally. And all I got out of it was a lousy fridge magnet.

The quaint Limau-Limau Café was a nice spot, but if they lowered their prices I could've tried at least three of their drinks. The dragonfruit lassi was flatter than Kate Moss and probably not the best item to measure the strength of their other concoctions.

A visit to the Portuguese settlement was equally disappointing, particularly the devil curry (more like devil's advocate curry). The crowds and smoke from the chilli-coated baked fish evoked memories of the recent Hindraf rally. The only memorable food I tried was a fried vege-roll from a mobile popiah seller (who also sold fresh ones) and some wantan noodles at a tiny shop.

The mediocrity! The kitsch! It burns, it burns!

The final irony of the trip: KOed by nasi lemak, my first taste of real Malaysian flavours upon my return.

Monday, 31 December 2007
New Year Eve dinner at FunnyBunny's pad, where the landlord prepared a sumptuous feast for us and his friends. Witnessed a mini-display of fireworks nearby and stayed till 5am to watch a hilariously entertaining mahjong game.

The marinated, baked chicken wings were a winner, not to mention the mashed potatoes. The landlord should set up shop - maybe at Malacca's Jonker Street. That'll add some character - and more importantly, flavour - to the place.


  1. You play mahjong !!! Hope its the 3-payer version. Can't wait to try out my skills with you when we meet up during CNY at my place.

  2. SCCS: Well, I do know how to play, but I was beaten flat. So, no thanks. Besides, I'll be at the folks' during Chinese new Year.


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