Thursday, 13 December 2007

Back in The West Country

I have just been sung at . I was preparing to eat my carrot soup when behold! tidings of great annoyance and discordance wafted through the latticed windows. A group of anorak people with flattie shoes and specs (women) prominent Adams apples and bobble hats (men) engaged upon an assault on Ding Dong Merrily On High. There is an awful bit that goes Glor aor or or or or or or or or or or ORIA!!!!! which is a real mine field. I am telling you, not one of our homely choristers crossed the sacred territory without great harm being inflicted upon some fine old English traditions My God, it is so Posy Simmonds out here. And cold to boot. Bah! Humbug!
Oh! and off they go now on Away In A Manger! No Crib for a bed? Oh please. Didn't Joseph know things were likely to be booked up at Christmas? Idiot.

Friday, 30 November 2007

Monkey business

Cracking week in Parliament out here according to the Penang Sun newspaper. The speaker refused to allow a debate on the Indian demonstration in KL last week but they debated it anyway apparently "in dribs and drabs' on Tuesday.
The most exciting battle of wits came at the end of the session when Fong Po Kuan (DAP-Ipoh) "hounded Science, Technology and Innovation Ministry parliamentary secretary Datuk Dr Mohd Ruddin Abdul Ghani for the price of the Soyuz capsule that the Malaysian government is considering buying" Crumbs. Really?
'Ruddin evaded the question about the capsule which Dr Sheikh Muszaphar Shukor, who Kit Siang referred to as space tourist, used in his travel in space and even tried to intimidate Batu Gajah MP with his knowledge of science'
Oh that is mean. Poor old Gaga Gajam. And why's everyone ganging up on parliaments favourite Time Lord, Dr "Muszaphar Ride" Shukor in Space? If he's already had a go in it? Or has he? Can't quite get to grips with this paragraph. Who went into Space? Where? When? In whose capsule? Getting used to the typo's but I think there's something adrift in the punctuation here. However not wishing to intimidate B Zainon Ahmad our political correspondent with a superior knowledge , which I patently have not got myself, I press on, as did the determined little Miss Fong apparently. Bless her
"but Fong was persistent and the duel seemingly unending until Deputy Speaker Datuk Dr Yusof Yaacob (What happened to The Speaker? Who shot the sherrif ? Gone off in a huff over the Indian 'dribs and drabs" you betcha) asked them to stop remarking that both of them no longer understood what they were saying.
Hurray! A man after my own heart!!!
Moving right along then to weightier issues than space. Vis.
The Debate on the motion by Kit Sian to deduct RM 10 from the salary of of Transport Minister Datuk Seri Chan Kong Choy .
(10 RM is One Pound and Twenty pence).
This debate was apparently 'most instructive in the use of colourful words and insults' Oh goody.
'Kit Siang called Datuk Bung Moktar Raden (BN-Kinabatangen) a monkey for interrupting him and the Sabahan retaliated by calling the opposition leader a pig.' Brilliant! Great stuff!
Dastuk Mohd Said Yusof (BN- Jansin) got into the act then and "called Kit Siang a clown for going on and on (Oh, I do sympathise)and Kit Siang riposted by calling Mohd Said a cyclop and asking him to close his three eyes"
Funny that isn't it? That a cyclop has three eyes and and a cyclops has only one? You'd think it would be the other way round.
Anyway, not wanting to intimidate The Leader of the Opposition by my superior knowledge of Greek mythology and since a large and very real monkey has now appeared in my kitchen on the fourteenth floor and is currently swigging from my carton of grapefruit juice, I shall close in order to fight my own battles.

Wednesday, 28 November 2007

Strokes Of Luck

Come on! You gotta admire the Head of the Tuition centre in Kepong, in a story in the Penang Sun today. Backed firmly up against the blackboard amidst allegations of the sexual harassment of a 13 year old boy, he has come up with a magisterial defence. Irresistible.
We live in a culture out here where people tickle the stomach of the lardy laughing Buddha on the way out to work hoping to engender wealth. They love a flutter. So how can you turn porn in to a winning streak.? Read on
'At a press conference last week, the boy, accompanied by his parents, related how the Head of the Tuition centre, while sending him home after a tuition at 11 a.m, took him to his house on the pretext of getting his wallet.' (Yeah, Right. Forgot your wallet. Right. I'm sort of OK with that.)
'While there, the boy said the man told him adult stories, asked him to pull his pants tights to show the outline of his private parts and told him to take a shower and masturbate , (more tea vicar?) Which he avoided pretending he was sick' (Smart kid, one should always have an off games note handy - preferably in your back pocket)
OK.! Here comes the defence! The jury are going to suck this up.
The Head of the Tuition centre said ' he was trying to enlighten the boy on sex as he had discovered that his charge was not paying attention in class and he believed he was bothered by questions about sex.' (Well it is bothering isn't it? Sex. Very bothering, if you can be bothered)
'He said he asked the boy to pull the pants tight like he did to show the latter the difference between a boy's private parts and those of an adult.' (Mmm... OK, pretty grisly but OK.)
'He said he did asked (sic) the boy to wash his face in the bathroom but the boy mistook him' ( case for defence gets a wee bit creaky here - no matter - press on)
'However, the man admitted he had wished the boy would take a shower in his home,' (coming clean now!) 'believing it would bring him luck as the last time someone took a both and masturbated in his bathroom, he struck first prize in 4D.'
Well thats worth a shot isn't it?
But 4D? D? Some duffer clearly needs to spend a lot more time in the bathroom

Monday, 26 November 2007

Exit pursued by Buddhists

Coming out of the Gleneagles Medical Centre today I was approached by two beaming young Buddhist monks who thrust a sort of shiny card in my hand and then started to force me to look at this horrid book of runes. I was so tired from my route march down the Burma road from the bank that I just said" no! no ! can't stop!' and returning their card , chugged off.
I have never been chased by monks before. Maybe they were just going my way but I felt I was being pursued and bolting across the road landed in a quag on the other side. Up to my ankles in filthy water. I had to slosh across to the Gurney hotel to sluice down my shoes and feet in the lavs . Bloody monks, fucking ruined my favourite shoes. I've had it up to here with Buddhism. I am well aware that I probably fell into the quag because I would not look at their rotten book, and it was my destiny and divine retribution according to the orange brigade, but in the meantime they can all take their wretched begging bowls somewhere else as far as I am concerned.
I had to buy new shoes at the Gurney!!!.
(They are lovely, backless, grey and pointy medieval , so am well on my way to forgiveness..)

Friday, 23 November 2007

On the buses

Been in bed now for two days with a frightful tropical cold. I must have caught it on the bus. I go everywhere by bus now, it is so easy and I have all the routes down and instead of costing 40 ringgits in a cab a day it costs 3 on the bus.. And I like the bus anyway, full of' local colour'. I DID get very cross last week though.
The bus approached after a rather unusually long wait, it was one of the posh new Rapid buses, not one of the filthy old buses where you throw your coins on a pile of dirty washing when you get in,. It went straight past. I yelled and it slowly came to halt and I had to run down the road to get on. WHEN I got on, puffing, I proffered my 1RM and instead of givng me a 1RM ticket from his new little bus conductors set. (JUST like one I had when I was 5!!) The Malay Indian driver,rather officiously I thought, said "Where are you going" " Batu Ferighhi" says I. "Oh" says he," that is 1.50 RM". I had already put 1RM in his little shiny bus conductors posting box and I knew it was the right fare. "No" I says " 1RM!" "NO" he says, "1.50 RM". Oh to hell with it! I forked a out another oncer and put it down the shute. Then I held out my hand for change. "NO change" he says. Grr! I started to boil, but by this time even the gentle Malays were getting a bit edgy and I was getting some beady looks from some flatty sandalled ex pats. I went grumpily to my seat.
Batu Feringghi arrives and I move to get off at the centre door. The getting OFF door does not open. The other door is by the driver and has a red sticker saying NO EXIT. He opens that door.. SO I have to go all the way down the bus to get off. As I got to his little cabin I gave him a full on blast, lapsing into terrific pidgin English, which you do when you have been here for a bit.. "YOU VERY BAD MAN!!' I cried "YOU BIG CHEAT" I glared at him and flounced off the bus. Behind me I heard shouts and general consternation.
On the way back, waiting for the bus on the other side of the road about an hour later, blow me if the very same bus didn't arrive with the very same driver with a completely empty bus.! Very embarrassing. He stops the bus and leans out to me, our altercation had CLEARLY been rankling him.
"You say Moto Ferry!" he says (or some such place I had never heard of )
" No", I says, "I said Batu Feringghii".
" No" he says.
" No" says I, and so on.
"OK" I said, "how about not stopping?"
"You must put hand up" he says (demonstrating)
OK I can do that. This is new posh Rapid bus rules, just like in England. On the old buses you simply had to be in a five mile radius of the bus for them to stop so desperate were they for passengers. Sometimes we'd wait for five minutes for someone to slouch down the road, navigate the traffic and get on. And then, no" Oh gosh THANK YOU'S or anything like pensioners do In England when the bus driver makes them run the last fifty yards out of the kindness of his heart.
" What about not givng me change then?" I says. In the old buses you just sifted through the pile of change on the laundry yourself for the requisite amount.
"No change" he says," I show!' and with that he gets off the bus to show me the sign on the side which says NO CHANGE GIVEN.
It was not there.
It had fallen off.
OK, but it should be there, right? Yup.
Now to the vexed question of the price. He prised open a little compartment and brings out the new pricing list. On the old buses it used to be painted on the front of the bus, scratched off rather badly, and was finally negotiable. On Rapid it is now 1.50 apparently, even though we don't get all the free carbon monoxide we used to get on the old buses, the great black plume of pollution that used to follow us wherever we went and fog our vision when we disembarked. You get to miss that. That and the string holding the wheels on.
OK, so we were sorted. I apologised for calling him a big cheat and he said he very sorry too and beamed at me. He was going home now which was why the bus was empty but he would give me a lift he said. I hopped on the bus and he drove me home. We big, big friends by the time I get to Miami Green.
1RM is about 14 pence.I think its time I got back to the real world.

Wednesday, 21 November 2007

The massage parlour

Have found the most wonderful masseuse!
On the way to the Gurney hotel, I got off the bus and walked a bit and passed this little beauty parlour. It looked quite spruce though in a pretty broken down row. Massage, 29 RM for an hour!!!, (That's 4 pounds, Torgo). Well! too too tempting ,don't you think!. So I nipped in and made an appointment at the Japanese restaurant for a "posey" lunch at the Gurney ,which I love. (With respect, Mr Smacks you are so so wrong about raw fish. Right about everything else darling, but seriously wrong about raw fish) Anyway, after I had legged it over there to find the restaurant was closed (closed!! Amazing !Nothing ever closes here except for religious festivals (every week) But there's nothing coming up. What is it? Is it cholera! . What? What? Ah well) made my way hungrily down the road to another of my favourite places, The Song River Cafe where I had fresh Pomfret fish, green beans in delicious sauce, rice and a large water melon juice served to me by an old Chinese friend of mine who runs the place. (Two pounds fifty, Torgo.) It was her husband who drove me last time to the Chinese Meds doctor in Georgetown out of the kindness of his heart. She was pleased to see back and made a nice fuss of me making sure I had all the right sauces and not too spicy la la la. I am just about to wend my way back to the massage parlour when the phone rings. I JUST managed to make out that I wasn't to come because all the electricity had failed. Well! I thought that was what she said anyway, so difficult sometimes on the little mobe in the street, so I made my way there anyway. BUT on the way I suddenly thought Oh good grief! Maybe it is one of those massage parlours, which is why she asked me how many people and why she is cancelling me, in case Miss Jean Brodie turns up, to be spectre at the feast of Onan. Maybe there are drugs involved and hollowed eyed ex pats gathered about singing 'When the snow lay round about on the feast of Onan" Or some such..It is Christmas after all, even though it is in the eighties. Oh dear. And they DID have to unlock the door like you do at the Ann Summers shop and the Eros Massage parlour under the bridge at Camden Town. Anyway, when I arrived it did appear that they were genuinely out of electricity and were not expecting to whack off my husband in a nearby cubicle. Oh the relief, (well you know, not
hand relief, just good old fashioned relief). One can never be too careful with massage parlours can one? In my experience. Which is limited. So I am led upstairs, (slightly anxious about that )and am shown into an OK'ish little room with two beds, and then the rather worryingly named TITI got to work on my body. SHE WAS SO GOOD!! The best massage I have ever had. A young Malay , very very strong, built like a door stop. And the most wonderful thing, when she came upon the two foot scar on my stomach, (she would insist on tugging at my drawers and doing as much of me as she could get at - though I kept my bra on and just loosened it when she did my back, (the hot cross bun not ready for public view YET!) So, she sees the scar and just coolly says , "operation?' and gets on with the job - Didn't faint, cry out or anything. Brilliant. In fact she suggested she massage oil into the .scar for me to soften it To top it all all asked me if it was a baby I just had!! Well you can imagine I left that salon with my head held high! I don't care if it's the local knocking shop , I'm going back on Saturday.

Thursday, 15 November 2007

The Rubber Solution

I had a variously hilarious and touching Deepavali encounter with a huge Indian family in their tiny apartment, (11 children and 12 grandchildren), last Thursday. The mother of all this lot, Ratha, rather took to me and dragged me off to her tiny broom cupboard, which is also her prayer room and shrine.. We knelt down in front of a large elephant with a hat on and rather too many limbs, and she prayed for me (very earnestly I thought) and anointed me with a little dot of henna between my eyes. (Well, better than a bullet any day of the week). A wonderful woman, who was was sold at 16 into an abusive marriage to a much older man who beat her.. He died last year and everyone was VERY glad. Ratha now leads a spiritual life ( well what other option to these poor women have ) and has been to India and found a guru who (has taught her meditation. She is certainly one of the most serene people I have ever met. Tiny with these long slender brown arms. . Did she work out? "Oh no' says the interpreter," that's rubber tapping". As a six year old child she worked in the rubber plantations tapping for rubber. It strengthens the arms. I do think they ought to introduce Celebrity Rubber Tapping , It'd save a fortune on those gyms and do a bit for the Fetherlite industry at the same time. The Rubber Solution to beautiful arms.
Speaking of which, I read in The Sun today that the Chinese are recycling used condoms into hairbands.
Now that's a bad hair day in my book.