Friday, December 31, 2010

21 Immortals

Read a very entertaining Malaysian detective fiction by writer Rozlan Mohd Noor, an ex-mata called the '21 Immortals: Inspector Mislan and The Yee Sang Murders".

Good or not? Yes (if 'good' is by Malaysian standards) - it surpasses expectations. I liked the local setting and the characters are rather convincing. Inspector Mislan is a Malay inspector in the Malaysian Police force - a single parent, working in a corrupt force, internal power-mongering, Chinese mafia tai-kors in Petaling Street...sounds like Malaysia to me.

I'd read it for the characters though and not the plot - a little like Gerak Khas meets CSI in English. I wouldn't put it on the table alongside Agatha Christie, Arthur Conan Doyle or G.K. Chesterton just yet. Nevertheless it's a good effort and deserves a read.

Malaysia Boleh!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Balik Kampung End of the Year (again)

This Christmas, am once again back home trying to adjust to the drastic weather change (biting frost and snow of highs of -1C to humid heat of highs of 31C) - seems like I've been away forever but it's only been 4 years and a bit. I've chosen again to come back at the end of the year because its easier to take leave over Christmas/New Year's and the other reason is for the cooler weather (since it rains almost every other day mid-monsoon).

Trusty ole parents picked me up from the airport in the trusty old Perodua. Mom prepares one of her specialties - Prawn Mee aka Hokkien Mee (Last year I think it was a noodle type dish in soup I think) Everything is the same; house has a little bit more junk and dust than last year. When asked my dad says 'Don't touch, that's my treasure'. Ha...

Next - getting in touch with friends (of which the circle is growing smaller and smaller as time away grows) for the usual annual gatherings. I wonder how life for the others potters on when you're not in the country. By then you've missed so much of it that you don't wonder anymore and wish them well in whatever they do. You gather as much gossip as you can about whos-doing-what-and-where to last you for another year.

Then there's the usual checklist of things to do e.g. cut hair, go to the dentist, shop-for-groceries, deliver stuff for people etc. All this done in Malaysian time too - which means you have to stay conscious throughout the day when you're wide awake at night. Today it's 1.54am and I just woke up to poke around my stuff which has gathered a few layers of dust and write this blog since I'm in such a nostalgic mood.

So the year 2010 was quite eventful for me - new job in a new airport, another pay rise, found a special other, did a lot of running ( 2 half marathons, 3 10k's), played a lot of frisbee - all in good time. It's a blessing to be able to say 'Hey it's the end of the year - where did the time go?' Well fortunately for most of us, we have the luxury of this time to ponder on what we've done for the past 12 months and what we'd like to do for the next. (Imagine being terminally ill/or at the end of your lifetime and not being able to see through the end of the annum...never being sure if you've had achieved what you've wanted in the past 12 months let alone the rest of your short life time in this world)

What's important on these sojourns I realise is that Malaysia is still a home to come home to - with my family, friends, the food, the weather. (so I think seeing the uncles in the selipar and shorts, the makcik in the tudung, the lush green trees on the horizon, the endless tolls on the highways) And that you're still the same person that never left - just a little bit older and a little bit wiser.

So here's wishing all my friends and family a Merry Christmas everybody and a Happy New Year!

Thursday, December 02, 2010