Thursday, February 18, 2010

My Beri-beri told me that it was 10 degrees in Delhi but I was already feeling chilly when the Jet Airways' 777 was still on the sweltering Mumbai Airport tarmac.

Maybe it was because it was a Sunday morning flight, which meant getting up at 6am to pack and check out while my colleagues were still snoring their heads off in their plush beds in the Narriman Trident.

But I think it was more the fact that we were still roaming the streets of Mumbai at 3am that night.

The dinner, earlier, at the Iranian briyani place across the road from Leopold's Cafe was pretty good but the place was a bit dingy. A friend said it reminded him of Peshawar, where he flunked his medical studies.

He was relatively fluent in Hindi though, which was a great help in getting around.

Nevertheless our search for raunchy nocturnal activities turned out to be a limp sausage.

Trying his best to remember his past, the best our consultant (15 years as resident of Mumbai) was able to come out with was this dive called Zombie or something.

After a few minutes waiting for him to do his recce, he came back and reported that there was good music and quite a few hot-looking chicks hanging around the bar.

OK - it sounded promising, so all of us trooped into the club.

Music sounded good, probably Indian techno with a good bass beat but damn, the women looked really tall, don't they?

Thinking that they can't all be expat women hanging out there, we scurried to the smoking corner - and the loo area, where the lights were brighter - just to be sure.

Yup - they were shemales.

That blithering idiot couldn't tell a pondan from a pretty lady, could he?

After hanging around the place for a while, I got groped, in a somewhat polite manner, by someone ("she" was cute-looking, to be fair) and we decided to call it a night.

So anyway back to that shiny new Boeing, I was a bit groggy and the looooong queue going through airport security didn't help my mood much. And they confiscated my lighter - lucky for me it was a cheap disposable.

Anyway, the air hostess was nice and pretty but I noticed that she was spending some time being gedik with these two blokes about one seat down across the aisle from me.

They were young good-looking guys carrying out a conversation with a third guy seated in front of me. And two air hostesses were hovering around them at all times.

Well, I didn't pay too much attention to them - I took them to be some rich kids because they kept yammering about how things were in the US - and simply dozed off.

So when we landed and all of us were preparing to exit the plane, I was queued just behind these 3 gentlemen who were joined by these two ladies who were seated on the other aisle.

Then as we went down, I saw this crowd forming at the foot of the stairway. All armed with pen, paper and cameras.

The crowd, mostly ground maintenance crew working at the Delhi airport, swarmed around the two guys asking for autographs and taking pictures.

That's when it dawned on me that these guys must be movie stars.

One young skinny guy, seeing that one hunk was about to pick up his bag after signing a few autographs, just grabbed the guy's hold-all and sprinted to the tarmac bus to deposit it safely there - just so he could get the guy's autograph when he eventually boarded the bus.

Me? I just made my way to the bus, sat there quietly as it filled up and then whispered to a guy holding on to the ceiling straps.

Cipan: "Excuse me, but who are those two guys? Are they famous?"

Excited passenger: "Oh yes - they are Bollywood stars. The big one is John Abraham and the smaller one is Dino Morea. They are famous."

Cipan: "Oh. And what about the ladies? Are they stars too?"

Excited passenger: "Oh no, they are just girlfriends. Nobody famous."


So that's how I shared a flight with two Bollywood hunks and never even suspected it.

Here's some Dino Morea eye candy ...

The whole thing had me wondering in my hotel bed that night,

"Oh why God, why didn't you make it Katrina Khaif and Aishwarya Rai?"


Sunday, February 14, 2010

An Ode to a Lovely Lady

My munchkins is a lady fair,
Though she can swear like a dockside navvy,
Never a day would pass by,
But she would run through my thoughts,
Addled though my brains may be.

I wish I could treat her the way she deserves to be,
For she is ever kind and thoughtful
More than she needs to be

Whereas I
am just a fool
I am
just me

So Happy Valentine's Day, my sweet munchkins
How I wish that I could
Deliver these gifts to you

Hugs from within my arms
Kisses from within my heart
And this sweet

From the raggedy depths
of my soul.

Sunday, September 27, 2009

An Old Fogey's Raya

When I was a kid, I used to wonder what it was that grown-ups spend so much time yakking about during Raya visits.

I mean, once I've downed that F&N oren, polished off all the sweets from the festive kuih raya tray and munched through endless handfuls of peanuts, I was ready to go.

But no, the adults have loads to talk about, says my mum sweetly as she gives me a discreet but really painful pinch on my thigh whenever I forgot myself and pestered her.

Trying to follow the conversations proved futile as there were too many references to past events and people that I knew nothing about.

Thankfully, most households we visited had kids my age, so we would normally leave the adults alone and made friends.

As time goes by, I realise that mostly everyone gets nostalgic over their younger days during this time - and old fogeys are the worst - hence the interminable conversations.

Since the Minx says I'm getting close to being an old fogey now, I think it's about time I imposed some of my Raya memories on you lot.

The first inkling we would have of Hari Raya drawing close, would be the arrival of the soft drinks at our house.

Always a cheerful event -anything to break the monotony of the seemingly endless days of puasa - the deliveryman would call out in a singsong Chinese accent as soon he pulls up in the front.

"Ayer botol! Ayer botol" (old spelling, meh - in fact, this whole posting should be in sepia tones).

All of us would cluster around excitedly as he lugged the crates from his becha (rickshaw) into our store-room while my mum would supervise and keep us kids out of the way.

In those days soft drinks were only sold in glass bottles - the bottles are returned and your deposit repaid minus breakage, and they are washed and reused at the canning factory.

Historical footnote - A huge F&N factory used to stand beside the Bangsar/Brickfields traffic lights junction - the site is now part of the Sentral complex.

For the Raya celebrations, they are bought by the crate.

The crates were of seasoned wood, the yellow paint faded to a nondescript puke beige on its sides.

They are partitioned into 24 slots where the capped bottles stood soldier-like in three neat rows of eight - the one in the pic is the modern one of 15 per crate

(Pic "borrowed" from

Each crate will carry bottles of the same flavour, though the sundry shop tauke was more than happy to mix-n-match a crate or two for his regulars.

My Dad would order the same flavours every year - they were usually Fraser & Neaves (F & N).

He'd order the bright Orange Squash, dark and broody Sarsaparilla, sparkling clear Ice Cream Soda and cheery red Cherry which was a pretty new flavour those days.

In those days Coca-Cola and Pepsi were newbies and were considered too pahit (bitter) for our teensy throats.

We (the kids, that is) would actually count out the whole inventory and would always bitch about there being too many Orange Squash bottles compared to the others.

Apparently most adults of that era preferred orange drinks.

The F&N Cherry was highly prized by the girls - *snigger* but I'm not kidding, it's really true - and my eldest sister would abuse her position as an almost-adult by opening up the storeroom and hiding a whole crate of them under some rags and other stuff.

My brother Jap and I, being junior citizens and the most oft-bullied, would sneak in when no one's looking and squirrel away a few bottles of our own.

I was partial to the fresh and tarty (heh!) taste of Ice Cream Soda while Jap was a Sarsaparilla fan.

Funnily enough, we graduated to vodka and Guinness respectively during our hedonistic phase later in life.

On Raya morning, each of us will be given the chance to pick a whole bottle for ourselves and it was supposed to last for the whole day.

As a result all of us became highly proficient at uncapping a bottle with minimum damage to the metal cap - and then re-capping our partially-full "personal" bottles.

When our friends came around, we would jump at the chance of opening up a brand-new bottle of our choice.

We would then sit around munching peanuts and discuss the various merits of soft drinks with an intensity that would have put professional wine-tasters to shame.

Besides the aforementioned brands there was the dark tea-coloured Sinalco - it's actually orangeade but alas is no longer available here though they're still in business in Europe.

Then there was Green Spot which apparently only rich kids would drink because the bottles are so small compared to the others

(psst ... catch that bloke trying to feed the girl his hotdog);

... and of course RC Cola which was the forerunner of Coke and Pepsi later on.

But we were not snobs ... we'd just as intensely discuss the merits of different sirap kordial at the homes of friends who were less well-off.

Anyway that's what we thought meaningful conversations ought to be about.

It doesn't seem to change much as we grew up though - the hottest topics still remain the best places to eat and drink. Funny that.

Anyway Hari Raya would also inevitably remind me of a particular conversation some years back.

Infected by a rare burst of Raya-related nostalgia, I decided to get some fireworks for my kids to light up the night with when we get back to Terengganu.

It wasn't just any fireworks that I wanted.

It was those primitive, red Chinese stuff that look like tiny dynamite sticks all wrapped in waxed paper and a mythical Chinese lady wreathed in clouds on the cover.

Yes, it's the stuff that I used to play with in my childhood.

Somehow I managed to get my hands on some - incredibly enough at the neighbourhood surau during a terawih prayer session.

Mind you there was even a comprehensive order list - I could swear that the only thing missing from it were Stinger missiles.

Anyway in a conversation with an uncle in Ganu some days later, I was crowing somewhat about this minor feat when he leaned forward and said quietly,

Abang Din: "Do you remember a few years back, a story that came out in the papers? On Harian Metro?"

Me : "Um, what story would that be?"

AD : "This was the one about the biggest fireworks seizure in the East Coast ever. By the Ganu police here in KT."

Me : "Oh yeah, I remember now. There was a picture of a warehouse where they found the stuff. Yeah, the whole place was filled with the stuff."

AD : "That's the one. There was a couple of tonnes of the stuff."

Me : "What of it?"

AD : "Do you recall the guy's name who was arrested by the police?"

Me : "Not really, no. Why?"

AD : "Well ... *snicker ..., it was me."

I got an earful from Lady C later on for my ROTFLMAO.

Anyway, SELAMAT HARI RAYA all ... eat well, laugh loud and drive safely.

Oh, I almost forgot our traditional Raya Greeting Card ...

... it's a special one this year ...






dari Pertubuhan Seni Silap Gayung Malaysia

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

The Hanging Hungs

Just a quick update in response to Maklongnya Bedah

I've framed and put up the two Hungs on my walls last week.

As I had expected, the frames actually cost more than the paintings *hiks, but the real hassle was in putting them up.

As most people who had bought houses in the last 10 years or so would know, the walls are more sand than cement instead of the other way around.

And these frame paintings do have a considerable weight.

So just knocking in some nails in the wall* won't do - you'll have to measure carefully, drill the holes and then hit wooden wall plugs into each hole to strengthen them.

*An old riddle - what's always better than a nail in the wall?

All of which would take a considerable amount of time and energy.

And some French oaths as well.

But it's always worth the effort.

Especially when you have chosen your display spots well and thus, when you're done, able to sit back and enjoy the paintings in all their glory.

So dear all (and especially Maklongnya Bedah), I'm proud to present to you ... the Hungs at the Cipans'.

A dash of reds and blacks to warm up the dining area.

And some evocative browns to add a thoughtful tone to the living room.

Tuesday, June 02, 2009

A Man Called Hung

It was already past nine but the air was fairly sweltering at the night market around Co Ben Thanh in downtown Saigon.

Now known as Ho Chi Minh city, of course.

Ho's City, if you're a Yank ... I guess.

Under my rucksack, my shirt was getting sticky but I was enjoying myself immensely.

It has been a while since I went abroad (Shanghai was the last one, I think), or had a proper holiday actually, and the break couldn't have come at a better time for me.

After a fortnight of crisis calls plus a project that took off unexpectedly like a runaway rocket, I was stressed-out, fagged out and almost brain dead on my feet by the time I boarded the Airbus at half past seven in the morning at the LCCT.

Was that sentence too long? Deal with it - it's a fair reflection of my working life since November.

Anyway, back in Saigon (I still prefer this old name, I grew up with it being on the headlines and on TV almost every day in the late 60s) I was taking in the sights and sounds (and smells) contentedly while cowering behind two female colleagues for protection from the many pretty ladies manning the various stalls.


Yes, protection. Seriously.

You see, Vietnamese ladies are mostly pretty, have good skin, look and sound demure but are also very persistent in making their sales pitch.

Very much self-aware of their effects on men visitors, they would think nothing of grabbing you by the arm and crying out,

"A-baaaaang, come and see my things, I give you good price,"

and pretty soon a soft female hand will be stroking your manly chest to add persuasive punctuation to it all, while the sales pitch changes to,

"I like your smile, where you from."

And if you got a pot-belly, the stroking moves south and they'll cackle, "Little Buddha!" delightedly.

The outdoor night market is infinitely more preferable than the daytime version - which is more congested and, since it's indoors, definitely stuffier than muff-diving.

I mean, once I entered I had to go out again after the first five minutes cos I couldn't breathe.

Whereas I can muff-dive longer than that even with one nostril shut.

Anyways after my nipples had gotten overly sensitive with all that stroking, I spotted something on top of my shopping list.

A stall displaying original oil paintings by local artists.

For some time, I've been told that you can get art pieces at bargain prices, especially oil paintings, in Saigon.

Mostly I was told they got good fakes there but I was thinking, if they're so good technically, then the originals should be better buys.

So, having spent a good part of the evening watching over the ladies, and getting molested for my troubles, I got stimulation of the cerebral kind at last.

At first I was struck by the stall-minder's demeanour.

Unlike the typical pasar malam hustling, he had a quiet, pleasant manner.

Such a welcome contrast.

I tested him by leaving after just a minute of browsing but he remained coolly polite and even thanked me for my time.

So after a bit, I came back, sat down on a stool, rolled me a fag and struck up a conversation with the guy.

It turns out that the stall houses the paintings of Hung, my new friend, and three of his friends, and they take turns minding it.

Taking a close look at the wares on display (even an untutored eye like mine could discern the four different styles), I found that I really liked this quietly pleasant chap.

So I was pleased to find out that a series of abstracts that I really liked was Hung's handiwork.

Taking the conversation further I found out he's actually a Hanoi boy - thus the very different personality compared to his neighbours - and that four years of art college in Hanoi was followed by eight years in Saigon peddling his stuff.

The boy got grit.

And he was so humble.

I had decided to buy two of his paintings when I noticed that they didn't have any signature.

"Hey Hung, how come these paintings don't have your signatures?"

"You want me to sign them?" he asked.

"Did you paint these paintings or not? Or are they your friend's paintings?" I asked again, making sure we understood each other.

"Yes, I painted them," he replied.

"Then sign the damn things lah," I said, lapsing into Manglish momentarily.

He wasn't so sure he understood me.

"You really want me to sign them?" the fella went again.

"Of course I want you to, you're the painter, right?"

"Yes, I am,"

"Then you must sign it. Otherwise how would people know you're the painter?" I berleter again.

I swear the man looked stunned.

"Oh, okay. Can you wait for five minutes?" he asked.

"No problem, why?"

"I call my friend to bring a tube for the painting, then I have to get my brush and ink," he said.

When his friend turned out to be a pretty girl, I was kinda worried my nipples might get tweaked again. But she was a decent sort - his girlfriend actually (I asked) - and she came from the same village as Hung.

So sweet.

All in all I spent about two hours there, and they were pleasant hours, I must say.

And I ended up paying just USD90 for two oil paintings that I liked very much.

Originals by a man called Hung.

Friday, April 03, 2009





In association with

The Blogistani Anti-Hanjeng Society

A cultural tribute to Blogistan's Legendary-est Legend





"She's been cheating on him since we don't know when,

But they can't make up their minds, if they want it to end."

"Look at him now, will he ever learn?

He don't know how but now he's just a cuckold,

She's a player without a soul."

"Well, it's like his nose is pierced with her ring,

Just one bonk and he forgets everything, o-o-o-oh ..."


Mamma Piah,

There you go again,
My my, all the tales you tell us,

Mamma Piah,
Please come back again,
My my, don't you know we've missed you

Yes, we're all chatterboxes,
Posting crap to each other,
My my, do we ever let it go

Mamma Piah, now that you've let us know
My my, we could never let you go ...!!!!

SCENE 2, Act 1

Set rotates and morphs into a comment box ...
Anonymous feminats :

gigihnya kau piah hapdet pagi buta sabtu. tapi bagus, aku sukak!

apesal kau tak citer pasal boyfie dia yg pak turut tu? yg walau berapa ramai jantan dia ada scandal tapi boyfie tu tetap setia menanti.

Anonymous aBAIkan :

"seorang eksekutif syarikat minyak antarabangsa yang bawak keter BMW second-hand"??? mcm ciri2 abg ipar aku je tu.. oh tidakkk

akak tetap taste tinggi :

Choiii... tak discerning langsung la si Tattoo Kupu2 Di Tempat Empuk kalau betullah ada apa2 dengan blogger kat Timur Tengah tu.

Muka macam chief clerk JPJ pun dia sapu?

*kembang tekak*

Anonymous nenen :

Tak ada ler cun sangat pompuan ni,mata pun kero sebelah.Macam dari kampong baru cina jer.

Act 2, Scene 2

Fernando - ABBA

Do you like my bum, Fernando?

I remember long ago another starry night like this

In the firelight Fernando

You were humming to yourself and softly strumming your "guitar"

I could hear the distant drums

And sounds of bugle calls were coming from afar

Please hold me now Fernando

Every hour every minute seemed to last eternally

I was so afraid Fernando

We were young and full of life and none of us prepared to die

And I'm not ashamed to say

The roar of guns and cannons almost made me cry

There was something in the air that night
Your eyes were bright, Fernando
They were shining there from you to me
For sodomy, Fernando

Though I never thought that we'd get loose
There's no regret
If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando

Now we're old and grey Fernando

And since many years I haven't seen a hard-on in your hand

Won't you grab my bum Fernando?

Don't you still recall the fateful night we crossed the final line?

I can see it in your eyes

How proud you were to come out of the closet in the end

There was something in the air that night

Your eyes were bright, Fernando

They were shining in the dark at me

For sodomy, Fernando

Though I never thought that we'd get loose

There's no regret

If I had to do the same again
I would, my friend, Fernando



This musical will resume
as soon as members of the cast
can be persuaded
to return from their watering holes.



H A V E Y O U S E E N T H E M ?

The Missing Cast

Yunus Izam a.k.a. The Diva

The Chorus Line (L to R):

Kakikupendek, Tayar Banks, Courteney Cock, Joyah A, Joyah B, Joyah C
, Angelina Jolok, Nicole Kick-Meng, Salmah Hayek, Yves St Limah

Wednesday, April 01, 2009

Thank God I'm A Man

Click on pics to enlarge

"Let's go for a drink," said the man.

Yep, thank God I'm a man ... :D