May 23, 2008

A slow talk with my Bumblebee790

Dear Bumblebee790,

I hope you did not get any trauma from your first outing with me yesterday.

Well you can actually 'consult' two of your seniors, Nick'a Devil and Blu'Elf, on how I treated them right after they joined my life -- Nick was brought up to the ever terrifying Mt. Ophir a.k.a Gunung Ledang after his 1st assignment snapping an abandoned train station; while Blu'Elf got into an intensive training and he's now looked 10 years seasoned and worn-out more that he should be looked like in less than 1 month time. -- Exactly, what I'm trying to say here, and what your seniors would probably tell you is, DO NOT expect to enjoy any privileges or luxuries by thinking that you're expensive.

Being with me, you guys just have to be tough.

Anyway, your amazing performance yesterday really impressed me.

The start of the race was nothing. I mean any running shoe definitely could do better than you, but I totally understand that as you were not chosen for running purposes, or else I would have taken the one with cushion, not you.

I expect your highlights when I was in the forest, and you actually showed me what you got! Firm grip, sharp break, heel stop, toe hold -- you performed more perfect than I expected. Plus your incredible light-weight, I went up hill like a monkey, and run down hill like, erm, Bear Grylls.

However, you did not act as cool as you were in the jungle when we reached a water fall. To be frank, I was kinda shocked as I thought this would be another spot where you would impress me. But you didn't. In fact, I fell for the very first time after I started off the race. 'Fell' here means, both my legs was in the air and I fell on my right shoulder.

The three tiles (60m) waterfall was breathtaking -- both you and me agreed I guess. But to proceed with our race, we just needed to get up there and then get down back through a thick forest. I won't comment more on the downhill part -- I think you did perfectly in forest, but not on steeping on those big granite rocks of the waterfall. Yeah, I found that I just need to put some pressure on my steps to make sure I won't fall of slippery.

I started to have doubt on you when we're in canyon. You know what, the ENTIRE canyon trail was just a fun pool for a monkey like me to enjoy, but I did not, at least for the beginning part. I was so unsure about steeping on the slippery rocks after a few times of near-fall situation.

I thought my choice of to not have cushion between you and my foot palm would have given me a direct grip of my foot arch to the rocks, but I wasn't feeling it. I still prefer walking and jumping from one rock to another, barefooted, like I always did. But to think back about it, I believe it's wise to have you protecting my foot, and when I saw my teammate Zana and Big Brother Fariz suffered from their leg cramps due to tiredness when we were in the canyon, I realized that I might get even more tired if I did not trust you.

Yeah, you're right, I'll still fall from a slippery rock too even if I'm barefooted, after all. So I just shouldn't be blaming you. I think I was plain tired.

The 2nd time we abseiled down into a 3 meters deep pool where we had to swim through, I was thankful. You did not become a burden for me while swimming, I appreciate it.

Anyway, so what do you think of the abseiling? Did you notice that there was such a great view of Abang Fariz hanging in the air with the background of the vertical white pile of water rushing down? The pile of water was like pouring right from heaven, and the view, gosh, the surrounding turned mute when I saw it, no kidding! -- well I'm not exaggerating here, I might be harsh on using my stuff like Nick'a, Blu'Elf and you, but, follow me then you'll see the great sights that you'd never get from some other masters.

I needed to take you off when we came to inline skating part. I think you'd have already felt that the condition of my legs was not anymore good. My thighs and calves were in pain. You were kept in Fariz's big bag hence you did not see me fell off road, twice, after loosing control on my wheel.

..but I think you saw me being scolded by my two teammates, for being too pushy and inconsiderate, when we left our skate behind and moved forward to the starting point of bamboo rafting.

Yeah, you might have agreed with them, that I'm the kind of person that sometimes will loose my cool when come to stretching. I thank you so much for protecting my foot when I was pushing myself too hard, like I thank them very much for protecting me and our team when I was loosing my cool.

Then we came to the final part of the race: bamboo rafting. To be very frank I had some kind of bad feeling when the station master advised us to be careful and don't get hurt in this very last challenge. However, my excitement overwhelmed my caution. Like later on my exhaustion overwhelmed my excitement.

Bamboo rafting was my childhood, I would say. But not sailing on THIS TYPE river course -- OK, let's face it, you saw it too, it was not A RIVER or STREAM, it was a 3km rocky path with minor flood of water.

I almost forgot about you when three of us were stuck for the n-th time with our bamboo raft. If you could recall, I cursed the most in this part throughout the whole race. An undeniable fact is, you showed the most royal support under my foot regardless of how many time I pressed you on the river bed rocks when I pushed the stuck raft. As I said, you always got my foot protected, and gave my zero worry along the rafting course.

By the way, you were soaked in the water and I'm not sure whether you could feel my fright when Fariz's finger was cut open. I still remember my hand was shaking when his blood dyed my fingers red, and I saw guilt on my hand.


Here you go, a master who's still an immature kiddo. Demanding, and yet needed to be reminded and protected. I think you'd have terribly hard time following me in the rest of my journey. Muahahahah!!!! (sounds scary? you bet!)

...and no, you're not the one who I wanted to kiss and hug when Wasabi Koma team finaly finished our race, with all tasks completed successfully. The ones I wanted to kiss and hug were my teammates -- Zana and my big brother, although they were as dirty and muddy as you were at the finishing line.

.... but you're already listed as my favorite gadget since then. I thank you.

Your master,
19th March 2008

Ps.. read Fariz's and CK's story bout the same race..

May 11, 2008

3 books.

There are 3 books that I really wish to share with my friends. The Kite Runner by Khaled Hosseini, Wolf Totem by Jiang-Rong, and A Thousand Splendid Suns by, again, Khaled Hosseini.

Hold on..

Disclaimer: If this post is finally published, that doesn't mean:
  1. that THESE are the ONLY BOOKS that I've read so far;
  2. that I'm going to open up a whole new genre of my blog content which will be introducing bookss.
OK now let's turn to 1st page 1st chapter...

1. How did/will I introduce these 3 books to my friends?
  • The Kite Runner: The 1st and only book so far, that almost made me cry;
  • Wolf Totem: The book that speaks out for me on how I see my backyard community. The book that explains why I'm called a maverick in my backyard. (Further reading: "Crowded, but silent..")
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns: The book that further confirmed my respect to Khaled Hosseini, and further deepened my understanding to Afghanistan, and Taliban.
2. Using not more than 5 elements, introduce the story of the books, please.
  • The Kite Runner: Racial discrimination. Friendship. Afghanistan. Islam.
  • Wolf Totem: Gengkhis Khan vs Confucious. Wolf vs Lamb. Great Chinese vs Cowardly Chinese.
  • A Thousand Splendid Suns: Afghan women. Afghan chauvinism. Despair. Hopes. Taliban.
3. How would I recommend you to read?
  • The Kite Runner and A Thousand Splendid Suns:
If you're an English reader, here you go. Khaled Hosseini is an Afghan, but he writes in English.
If you're a Chinese reader, go and get a translated version of the book. Translation from Taiwan is much better than of China Mainland in my opinion. The Chinese translator obviously showing her lack of thorough study in Islamic cultural when she translate 'fasting' as 'not eating non-vege'.
If you're a Malay reader, .. we just need to wait for our local translation industry to grow..
  • Wolf Totem:
If you're a Chinese reader, then the original version of the book is there for you, you just have to be ready to be challenged, traditionally and self-value concern. Or else, just take it as a plain novel.
If you're an English reader, GOOD NEWS! An English version of the master-piece is (surprisingly) in the market. I found it in Times KLCC, on the 'Hot Of The Month' rack.
If you're a Malay reader, BAD NEWS.. I don't think the book is commercial enough to be translated unless it created controversy.

3 books, 3 points. I think that's more than enough for me to do the publicity for the books, before I run out of point to shout.

No, I'm NOT going to say the slogan like "Jadikanlah amalan membaca budaya kita". No way. But there's a new catchy phrase which I think is cool enough to shout here:

"Lu pikiiiiiiiiiiir lah sendiri!"

Sekian terima kasih.