Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Precious Little Boy

I was spending a little quality time with Jesse today when the boy came up to me and put his little arms around my neck. He hadn't had much sleep today and he decided that Daddy would make a good warm bed. I slowly eased my way onto the sofa so that he could fall asleep comfortably. And as I laid there on my back, Jesse nodded off.

I was about to carry him off to his cot when I realised that I didn't quite feel like letting go of him.

He's gotten so big now that as he buried his head under my chin, his feet reached up to my knees. It's only been 19 months and already he's as big as a little pig and probably weighing quite as much too. Heh.

It occurred to me that pretty soon, he won't be able to sleep on my chest anymore. And even if he could, he might very well not want to.

And so, tonight I let him take his nap on me. I laid there as still as I could, wondering if he would someday remember all of this - that he was, once upon a time, Daddy's precious little boy. And that he would always remain so, for all eternity.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Magic Carpet Ride

there go the ships: there is
that Leviathan, whom thou hast
made to play therein

Top of the range, two-litre fuel injection automatic transmission encased in a galvanised shell and riding on 7 hydropneumatic spheres. Born in 1990 and accorded European Car of the Year the same year, and going for less than a song. 330,000 units worldwide and one in my apartment parking lot.

Be afraid, be very afraid. Muahahaha... And no, I never learn.

Monday, March 20, 2006

The Forbidden Fruit Complex

It's a man thing. For some reason, we like the things we cannot have. When it's laid out there on a platter for us, we couldn't care less about it. But once it's out of bounds, that's when we want it most. And this can be just about anything:
  • That elusive fish
  • Bigfoot
  • That out-of-production car
  • A hole-in-one
  • Somebody's wife
  • Landing on the moon
The bible says Eve coerced Adam into plucking that forbidden fruit. But I suspect it was Adam's idea all along. He can't help it. He's a man. And men are hunters. We like the thrill of the chase. The adrenaline rush.

Tsk, tsk, tsk! Dangerous creatures, we men.

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Sex and the City of Bangkok

You can't go to Sin City and not check out the sex. Then again, if you went to Bangkok with the wife and kid, and decided to procure some sex services, then you must fully expect your spouse to Bang your... erm... head with a blunt object. Still, we did find our way to Patpong. Without Jesse, of course.

Patpong is a network of exciting streets. We went to this one which was a series stalls selling t-shirts and fake watches and stuff, flanked by two rows of go-go bars. Just think Petaling Street with plenty of sex around. Anyway, we ended up in a go-go bar where girls in their undies were pole-dancing on the bar. Actually it can hardly be called pole dancing since most of the girls were merely holding on to the steel poles and gyrating crudely. Still, most the guys were happy sipping down their watered-down beer.

As expected, the girls (Mae, sis and future sis-in-law) got bored quickly enough and decided to find their way to Bangkok's finest - the Tiger Shows. Meanwhile, us boys continued to enjoy... erm... our beers.

The waiter in the joint gave us the run-down of the place while our lady bartender gave us the "scissors" sign with her fingers to remind us that some of us were married. Heh. Turns out, for a mere 100 Baht (or RM 10) you can call any girl down from the bar and she'll sit at your table for a meaningful conversation. Also, there is supposedly an upstairs room should you decide you'd like to take the conversation further.

So yeah, it was pretty sleazy. No wonder Bangkok's so much fun. :)

Monday, March 13, 2006

To Market, To Market

hot & humid at chak-tu-chak

I love Bangkok! And guys, despite what you hear you can still go to Bangkok with the family and have a ball. Heh.

Bangkok is all about shopping. And here, you can buy just about anything, at any budget. First stop for us, was some bargain-hunting at the Chak-Tu-Chak Weekend Market. It's a big-ass bazaar of things ranging from seedlings to clothing, animals to jewelry and goodness knows what else. For the two days that we were there, we didn't even manage to cover half the place.

Food here is excellent. Mae and I decided that we would sample the stuff that everyday Thai folks eat - their hawker fare. The thing about the Thai food in Bangkok is, it's like a there's some kind of Pig Festival going on - so it's pork, pork, pork everywhere!

Brunch at Chak-Tu-Chak was a bahkuteh-ish Pork Rice, which is a delicious oily rice with a sumptious serving of pork basted in Chinese herbs. I wouldn't go as far as to say it's excellent, but it's pretty good eating. Another specialty here is also their Rice Noodle in Pork Balls soup. Pork balls, not pig balls! The rice noodles are not unlike our Kuey Teow noodles, except this stall serves theirs in broader sheets of the stuff. Springier too. Every eatery in Bangkok serves their food with 4 condiments. My favourite is the ground dried chilli. I forget the other three. Hehh. This stall is in Section 26, in case you're interested. :)

Bangkok is hot and humid. And Chak-Tu-Chak is practically an oven. So it's not ideal for toddlers or babies. Or adult crybabies. Jesse was great throughout the entire trip, though we spared him the agony of enduring another day of his mother's shopping frenzy at the place on Day 2. I swear the woman will buy the whole damn Bangkok if she could afford it.

Friday, March 10, 2006

Flight from Hell

The passengers of Flight 884 were unaware of the fate that awaited them in the skies that evening, early March. A father cradled his young toddler up against his chest as the Boeing 737 taxied along the runway. The boy nodded off to sleep as the aircraft went airborne. And as he did, the man turned to the mother of his child and squeezed her hand gently as they exchanged smiles. The flight was on time and their child was going to sleep right through it all. It was going to be a pleasant trip.

Thirty minutes on, the flight had progressed along quite nicely when a cackle of electrical hisses came on the intercom. "Ladies and gentlemen, we will be returning to the airport," the co-pilot explained. "It seems we have a..." the faint voice over the intercom hesitated momentarily, "... slight equipment failure." A cacophony of chitter-chatter filled the cabin as confused passengers talked amongst each other trying to make sense of the co-pilot's message.

No sooner had the co-pilot's message sunk in when the plane suddenly convulsed violently, rocking from side to side and trembling under the pressure of the atmosphere! The screams and shouts of passengers sent a chill down the man's spine as he hugged his toddler close to him. Perhaps this would be the last time he ever held his son again.

. . . . . . . .

That would have been quite a tale if it hadn't happened to us. But it did. "Now everybody can be delayed," said Bud, quite prophetically.

By the time the plane turned back to KLIA, it was already 8:00pm. The turbulent wasn't really that bad, but because it came so close after the co-pilot's announcement, people freaked out. Fortunately for Jesse, he slept right through it all.

Back at KLIA, the ground crew announced that there would be a plane arriving from Jakarta and we would be able to take that one instead, since they could not repair the "hydraulic leakage". So, our flight was reschedule to 10:30pm. Fine. Mae, Jesse, Roma and my brothers Jeff and Steve decided to just have dinner at the airport and kill time.

By 10:30pm the plane from Jakarta did indeed arrive. All the passengers lunged towards the front section of the gate hoping to get in. However, little did we know another surprise awaited on the plane. So there we were, all queued-up when suddenly a couple of ground crew pushed a stretcher through the crowd. Apparently someone on that Jakarta flight had had a heart attack. I knew then we wouldn't be leaving anytime soon. There'd be protocol to follow, and endless reports and investigations. But we weren't given any such information.

By midnight, the passengers had turned into an angry mob ready to hang somebody. No one was giving us any explainations. Ground Crew didn't know what was happening. No Senior Management came down to pacify the crowd. Instead, they left us with a tactless Ground Crew member to address this increasingly agitated crowd. "You can cancellation your flight, or wait until 1:30am!" the young fellow said in the most insolent tone he could muster, and in horrifyingly broken English. Some passengers demanded refunds. "We don't refund anything," the boy yelled in his microphone. Asshole.

So yeah, we finally flew off at 1:30am. We got there and back safely. And Jesse was a trouper through it all. Still, it was a pretty harrowing experience, made worse only by AirAsia's lack of customer service. If you're gonna delay someone's flight for 7 hours, the least you could possibly do is to send someone from management to explain the situation. And how about making sure the plane is in good order before taking off, dammit? But I suppose perhaps AirAsia is merely sending out a message that customers shouldn't expect too much when they pay so little. For an airline that is notorious for delays, they sure don't look like they're about to change anything.

In any case, I doubt if I'll ever stick around to find out. I may not be so lucky next time.

Wednesday, March 1, 2006


"C'mere, give Daddy a kiss!" I'd tell Jesse, giving him only a short moment's notice of the impending torment that would soon befall him.

Then I'd swoop down on the boy and pick him up, usually against his will, and plant a big wet kiss square on his lips. He'd thrash about like a monkey on barbecue grill. (Figuratively speaking of course, not that I've ever tried to barbecue live monkeys.) He'd squeal. He'd toss his head about. And then I'd do it some more. Heh.

Last week, however, was different.

"Daddy wants a kiss," I tell the boy. But instead of trying to run for his life, he turns to me, puckers up and kisses me on the lips gingerly. It took me by surprise. So much so, I damn near shed a tear.

Some days back as he was snuggling in Mommy's arms, the little rascal turns to Mae, unprovoked, and kisses her tenderly on the lips. She squeals in delight at his little display of affection. And the boy milks it for all its got - lapping up every bit of love Mae showers upon him in response.

Ahhh... The boy has finally learnt to kiss. More importantly, he's also begun to understand the effect that it brings.

That's my boy.

One In A Million

Technically it's more like 4 in 2 million. Yup, like the remaining 1,999,996 people out there, Mae, Jesse, Roma and I have the free tickets Air Asia was giving away during their fourth anniversary celebrations last year. Despite the "FREE" tag, we're forking out close to RM150 a pop. Except for Jesse who gets to go for only RM40.

So there it is, the whole lot of us are going away this weekend to Bangkok along with my brothers, sis and brother-in-law.

I'm all hyped up! Shopping. Sightseeing. Kickboxing. Tiger show. Thai massages. Prostitutes. Firearm testing. Topless bars... oh wait, that's somebody else's itenarary. Crap.


In other news, I have 7 months before my passport expires. Technically, we only need to have at least 6 months on the passport to travel. So, I've decided not to do anything about it. Hope they don't kick me back.