Saturday, November 13, 2010

G.I Whisky

.....after all the small talks and gesturing one would with a welcoming guest, we got down to attending the documents.......... I sign while Whisky tumbprinted......on the text prepared by the agency.

............. then the Chaperone maitre brought out all Whisky’s luggage for inspection. The contents of the luggage was professionally scrutinize before us (Sam and Whisky) .....I watch from a distance....(all the lady thingy, you know....)
................ I insisted that all the unwashed laundries...clothes and sundries (all 2 weeks or more of it) be thrown away ....( I will buy back for her) .

The Supervisor then went through with Whisky in our PRESENCE her personal belongings - being cash and things of monetary values to be properly documented for her protection.

With all protocols satisfactorily attended to being prime and proper ...we took Whisky home (Welcome home Whisky).

On the way home I took a diversion and went straight to the Indian barber (Barber Joe)...
..... got Whisky to have her hair cut....crew cut G.I style .... Whisky was reluctant ........ it had to be done as her hair was infested with lice.

After the hair cut, Whisky looks refreshingly better than she was before with the unkempt matted hair ... went to the pharmacy to get her anti-lice shampoo before heading home.


I sensed the excitement...and spied the smile on Whisky’s face as we approached nearer to home....


...to be continued.


p/s ....
Sam......Sam had better pray that she hadn’t contracted the lice (close proximity from the hug with Whisky).......I would have her cut bald...hehehe

Sunday, October 24, 2010

Honey come back - Whisky.

After 2 weeks, we finally received a call from the agency telling us that all documentations have been attended to and approved, and we were told to collect our merchandise – yours truly, Whisky.

We went to the Agency office the next day to collect her ........

I couldn’t wait to see her again ......both Sam and I waited in bated anticipation at the office .....the door opened and there ...standing right before our eyes was Whisky!!..... Sam and I exchanged look and our hearts sank...sunk to the deepest ocean...oh dear!!!

....Whisky was a pale shadow of herself.....she looked gaunt ...her eyes gorges in its sockets......her hair messy and tangled......her skin tanned and dry as if buffalo leather laying out to dry........her sunken cheeks just skin covering the skulls....

...She is nevertheless healthy!....her face broke into a smile.......the smile that is dear and enchanting....the smile that encompasses all that is nice and good about Whisky.

We smile back.....my eyes went teary.

Whisky rushed up to Sam ....hugged Sam like a lost lamb... finally finding its’ mother.....Whisky weep....wept so gently........making me cry so softly that it is making me hurt....

...then Whisky looked up....Sam patted her on the back..........then Whisky turned to my direction.....then..

.......then she lunged towards me with opened arms......[ don’t you dare, don’t you dare ]......then I rushed behind the chair.........then I literally dived between the tables......grabbing the chair... placing it in front of me to form a barricade.......preventing her from hugging me...

......Whisky, however, got hold of my hand....placed it on her forehead and planted a kiss...[ It is customary of her culture in respect of the elders and to ask for forgiveness if any...]

I respected that and felt humbled by it.






To be continued...

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Whisky is coming home.

Sam received a call from Whisky who was at the departure lounge (25th. Oct.) She heard about our plight and wanted to speak to me. I was at the restaurant. Sam did a call-divert and I spoke to Whisky. (approx. 2.10pm). She volunteered to come back to help us until the new replacement maid arrives and she drove some hard bargains – We taught her well, lol.

Listed below are her demands.

1) Bear all travelling expenses – ok
2) Cost of cancellation – ok
3) Cost of entry documentation – ok
4) Cost of permit renewal – ok
5) Passport renewal – ok
6) All future repatriation expenses – ok
7) Airline of her choice for future departure – ok
8) Time of departure of her choice - ok
9) Destination of her choice – ok
10) Full travelling expenses to doorstep (home) – ok
11) To be send to the airport directly by-passing the agency collection center – ok
12) Go out with her friends - NO – she agrees.
13) To have her own handphone – NOPE – she agrees.
14) Be allowed to buy jewelry with her own money – ok, but with supervision.
15) Bear excess luggage weight - no problem
16) All unwanted cloths/kitchen appliances from us and the neighbors to be given to her – no problem but I am not going to bear the cost of deliveries - she agrees.
17) Buy a handphone for her as farewell gift on the date of departure - no promises but will keep in mind – she says ok.

With all the issues ironed out, Whisky began a long arduous journey back to our home with all the bureaucratic red tapes attended to in reverse order.



To be continued.

Saturday, October 2, 2010

The story continues - Whisky.

The story continues – Whisky.


When we realized that Angusinitina was not to be here, we (Sam) contacted the agency’s collection center person-in-charge (24th.) to be put in touch with Whisky. We were told by the personnel that it was impossible to contact any person in the center now as all communications were not allowed for security reasons and that even if it is allowed for a special reason it would be very hard to trace that person as most of them would be incognito, again for security purposes, as most of them would be carrying lots of money and valuables back home.

The personnel, however, agrees to passed the message via words of mouth. We gave up.

The events unfold.

On the 25th. ....I woke up feeling lost....psyching myself up for another tough day........routinely went about my business. I looked at the clock.....10am...mentally made a note......... 11am...Whisky should be at the air-port now ....12.30pm..bye! bye! Whisky.

I had to let go the false hope .....mentally visualizing Whisky’s walking away...passing the custom check point ...eagerly anticipating her journey back home ............f....................
......the plane departs at 1500hrs (3pm).......

Met up with the employment agency personnel at 1pm to discuss the replacement for Angusinitina and going through the prospective maids portfolios.....some too old...some too thin.......some too pretty.....some ugly........one or two, I don’t like the look...some too smart..... I needed more time, I told the officer to make copies of the portfolios to be taken back to go through with Sam.

1.30pm...my thoughts went back to Whisky......wishing her well and safe journey.....
....felt tears welling up.....excused myself, something went into my eyes....told the officer.

Rushed to another appointment with a friend......we are having lunch at 2pm..............bye-bye... Whisky for the last time......looking forward to a good time with my friend at the western food bar...SPAGHETTI..

.....then Sam called......my heart sank!




To be continued....

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Leaving on a jet plane.

Leaving on a jet plane.

All her bags are packed and she is ready to go,
Don’t know when she will be back again,
I don’t think we will ever see her again.

Whisky will be leaving on the 25th. September and Angusinitina is arriving tomorrow, the 20th.....a schedule timed to get the new maid orientated with the working and living condition of our household.

..........Whisky brought a new order to our family...she became the boss of her work....and we became a slave to her routines.... while I became the ‘collateral damage’ of her doings – a ‘fall guy’ torn between being her boss and being my own boss.

As the curtain is about to be drawn, I stake claim to be the deserving owner to all the ‘four letter expletives’ ever conceived starting with the.....‘F@#&’ ............and so on.

She was a minor disaster...mediocrity is her middle name..... ‘bumpkin’ her last name...She had me on edge and up against the wall too many times, .... blood pressure yo-yoed like yoyo.....gastritis soured up like cheap wine.....

....and once when she microwaved my banana .....f---......agony is rolling the molten gooey with the tongue trying too cool it ...........f--- having the tongue cooked in that process.......and F--- why didn’t I spit out the molten gooey.

After four years ....she’ll be leaving soon....F--- I’ll miss her......she had endeared herself to my family.........seriously, we will miss Whisky and her childish innocence............her impish smile..........the pig-headedness...........her horse-appetite..... the tortoise pace....
...... “the 7-eleven- sleeps- as- she- likes- vampire”.......an ex-alcoholic with a penchant for exotic meat: dogs, monitor lizard, insects.......the Houdini of works ..and so many more unprintable adjectives and adverbs.....

but everything being said, Whisky is a good daughter, wife......she is an angel of a person....she has a heart of gold...and honestly, I have never met any person so innocently good as her....... F--- (sniff)...I’m gonna miss her.

..and F--- ..I have degraded myself somewhat by using the F word in my written text but it is the only way to explain the quandary of paradoxical sentiments held hostage in search of appropriate jargon to serve the un-wordly emotional crunches.

I miss you, Whisky....take care.


F----.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Pandora - The whisky Story.

Pandora – The Whisky Story.


..The World Cup is over........I am dealing with the post-match blues......watch Avatar for the 2nd. time......I don’t know why..



Whisky is from Pandora...YES!..... Whisky is a NAVI....or something like that....idk..

I am trying to draw parallel with where Whisky comes from......Pandora – a place on earth.... a remotest outpost of human dwelling in the pristine jungle at the farthest eastern end of an island in the Pacific south.......

.....where horses are still a mode of transport........where dogs are pets...watchmen and ‘food’ cook in brine and preserved with spices hung from the ceiling (if any and it is so called )..........

.......where homes are houses built with sticks and leaves on beaten earth........where toilets are freshly dug hole between some trees ...........where cleanliness is to bath in a stream of icy cold water some kilos away ( which explained why.....) ......

WHISKY ...TAKE YOUR BATH NOW!!!!!!!!!!!


...where economy is none existent ( almost ) .....and they survived on subsistence farming ( almost ) ..the biggest monetary value they have in possession or maybe have seen is perhaps 10 rupiahs ( about .02 cents of the USD ) ...

Whisky is a millionaire now in her country’s denomination.

...where people (mostly)....have a heart pure as gold...and the minds governed by the strategies to survive in the harshness of the environment – which explained her tears and hugging for forgiveness ( forbade her to hug me ) .... the affable smile that melts hearts.........and her ..suli...suli apologies .....

........the shrewdness to escape work.......[the ‘escape artist’ of work]........the cunningness to camouflage it.......all served Whisky too well...

The pertinent question is why are we still having her as maid ...I don’t know ....idk.....we don’t know...wdk.....

Maybe we should call her Neytiri instead... ....Welcome to Pandora!

To be cont.....

Saturday, May 8, 2010

Whisky the 7-eleven







Time is non-existence in Whisky’s context ....... she is governed by some internal mechanism that existed biologically within herself that render immaterial the omnipotence of time with respect to structural conformity necessitating to comply to facilitate civil and social integration functional as in household ........

.............in simple English, it means Whisky function 24hours a day.

Here’s my story (Chapter 3).

Whisky eats.....sleeps....naps.....works...all throughout the day at the oddest hour....I do not know what’s wrong with her she just can’t follow simple instruction..... and if she is to follow what has been instructed, she needed to be supervise. Without supervision, the simplest instruction becomes a major headache.

.....maybe Whisky acted purposefully to get us off her back ...I believed so to a certain degree ......or maybe it is just the ‘child’ in Whisky that prompted her actions........
.....perhaps maybe, it was Whisky’s laidback lifestyles back home that activated her ‘inactions’.............. at times I might have to believe that Whisky is autistic but I don’t think so......

Whisky cooks at 2am (even though we have food for her) ........... Whisky vacuum the house at 10pm or when she likes ......mop the floor at 12pm or when she is free..........does the laundry anytime within the 24hours .......

....washes the breakfast plates and cutleries, utensils..........lunch pots and pans (if any) .........dinner’s cookeries pieces when she is free ....that will be between after she had mopped the floor and her dinner which can be anytime within the next 24hour.

Whatever else Whisky does when we are not in from 8am to 6pm ...and bedtime, we do not know .......what we do know is that....she is somewhere in the house doing what she deem necessary her household chores.. ....

....and the dogs’ weekly bath became a bath once every few weeks or when we are free...

Utility bills like water shot up 200% enough for a family of 20 ......electric charges rocketed like a 24hours disco ......food bills ballooned enough to feed a small farm....

......so Why are we keeping her ....initially we had no choice .....later she despite her shortcomings, we held on to the believe that 2 years contract with us are just days away if we care to believe ................................and then much later, just before the expiry of the contract, Whisky requested that we extend her contract to the 3rd.year .....We agreed.

Now...into the 4th. Calendar year ....Whisky will be with us till September 2010....
......................and the journey continues....................

Saturday, April 24, 2010

Whisky the Prequel.







It all started with “Ugly Betty” ...the maid.

Here’s my story.

After Wai- fung, a maid who had been with us for five years, left .......we got the service of the “Ugly Betty”....UB for short.

UB was loved by every member of my family(ies) ...extending to my mother ...brothers ...sisters and in-laws...................even the dogs love her...................but UB drove me up the walls.......I cannot stand her...much as I tried to be more tolerant and accommodating.

With UB...everything was slow ....breakfast extending to lunch .......it takes like ‘forever’ for anything to get done .......laundry cleaning with washing machine took hours.....ironing took a ‘life-time’..........with UB in our family........everything was “SLOW motion” ........we slowed down .....we ate outside.......we help her in her work .........we in short, do everything for her ....and “We” in short means my wife Sam and sometime.. the children.

UB had dental problem .....and It cost me a fortune to get her teeth fixed.. in the duration (4 months) she was with us and ..........I ..I.....am BOILING now!!!!!!

..then one evening when we came home after dinner.........we found the door ajar....and upon further investigation......the maid’s room was emptied ...and on the dining table was a note .........

.....and in that note......she thanks everyone for being very nice to her and asks for forgiveness to her action...

( Ugly Betty eloped with a construction labour nearby ).


As UB was still under guaranteed from the employment agency....we were entitled to a free replacement .......three months later, Whisky arrived.


With Whisky time didn’t slow down .................time stood still.

Saturday, April 17, 2010

Whisky the Un-thinkable.




Un-thinkable.



This is the 3rd. Chinese New Year....the no:3 “Ang Pow”... that Whisky (Yacob) received from me..........and in it was $20.00

.....I swore here in dA..3 years ago.......when Whisky first arrived at my home to work as maid ......I will sent her back the very minute her 2 years contract expire.......and that I would not retain her even if she works for me free.

Here’s my story. Chapter One.

I don’t know where to begin ......but for the benefit of those who had become my friends later on ....I think it is appropriate to begin with the maid’s arrival...three years ago.

After a series of mismatch and runaway maid.....the Agency went back on their words “money back guarantee”........ and replace us with another maid named Yacob ...and hence, the story began.................

I shook my head in disbelief the moment I set eyes on Yacob...she could hardly walk straight......she was scrawny ...dazed ...like an inmate from the Tuberculosis retreat of a hospital .......the Health Certificate declared her Fit though......
........the said Agent says that Yacob is stressed out from the undertakings of her duties as a maid in an environment completely foreign..... (Yacob is the 9th. Maid) ......I’ve seen enough ....I REFUSED to accept her.

In the midst of the hulala (arguing) between the Agent and I ........I threatened legal actions.......I threatened Police report ....and all the loud noises.....

...........Yacob smiles ....just smiles a childlike smile ....a ‘lollipop’ smile ....... a smile that inspired the caption of my work “Everyone smiles in the same language”.

I was smitten.

..OK!.....I take her, said Samantha
Ya! we take her, I said.

...and hence, our journey began.................................................


Statistical tales of the facts: Whisky is a sleep machine ............................to be contd.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Spaghetti Blue.

video




Bob in Wok ........not ....Wok with Bob.... .......for the time being.......



Man.......I am feeling the blues..............I stayed off Spaghetti since Wednesday....and I am not feeling quite myself .............................it is like ..............blank!.............................
........................................blur.............

I seek comfort in noodles......any cooked noodles......soup noodles.....wantan noodles......... fried Singapore noodles ............braised duck noodles........curry noodles ......prawn noodles...............
....beef stomach noodles .....pork balls noodles......fish balls noodles.....fish head noodles..
..sour Assam curry noodles .........pork belly herbal noodles ..........tom yam noodles.......
...claypot braised noodles ......soto noodles ...........fried hokkien noodles.........Cantonese noodles ......... live prawns noodles...........spaghetti fried ala Chinese style noodles!!!!!!!!
....and many more.


I had better eased off the Italiano spaghetti .......for a period or else........ the last ‘date’ with Spaghetti I had on Wednesday (24/3)........ would be the last plate ....reason being that............my blood sugar level reading is on the bother-line...........and if I don’t take heed ....I will be a diabetic................in a year time..........


I don’t know .................................what my world would be like without Spaghetti.....


...........I don’t know ..............................how on earth my world would be..... ..........IF......... I have to..........put a brake to the carefree voyeuristic pursuit of ‘chow’ to satisfy the ‘foodie’ in me.......and to satiate the gluttony in my system.....


I just don’t know.


...Time passes too fast.........tomorrow is a few hours away......

....YES!!!..YES!!!!..YES!!!!!!
...and come Monday is SPAGHETTI Day ..... a day I designated to be ....the one weekly ‘bonding session’ with good old Italiano.....


I feel good already...YES!!!!!!!!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Spaghetti.

video





Wok with Bob.



After I got over the craving for Tom Yam.........I revisited an “Old Friend”...whom I never gave a hoot for ......and strangely, the second chance meeting ....saw me falling head over heel in love with ......the Spaghetti.

I just had to have Spaghetti...where ever I went............and this “(un)-holy alliance”........... so to speak, has been tagged on me for a few months now and there is no sign of it wavering....w0w!!!!...

I travelled the length and breadth of my small world........visiting every eatery.........every nook and corner .......... “four stars restaurant” ......established brands ....in search of the “Best Spaghetti”.....

...and...

...I HAVE FOUND MINE!!!!!! .....absolute BEST ........surprisingly delicious....like straight out from Rome .........authentically Italian ...
........ I have not been there (Italy)...... but it is not hard to imagine ....and it is easy to imagine that the Romans would make a ‘bee line’ for the eatery if they had known its whereabouts......and I am NOT TELLING.

The outstanding qualities that brought me here and again to this particular eatery to have my favourite spaghetti ......is simply the fact that it is just right in everyway ..... the.... PERFECT pinch of salt ........the TELLING chunks of tomato ..... ..the CLEVER dash of herbs and spices..........the MEASURED teaspoons of vinegars and whatever....and so on.............
....and the MAMA MIA touched of spaghetti ....right down to the servings.

My journey in search of the Best Spaghetti did not end here.....I am still searching....and at the same time learning the “SECRETs” of the Master Chef .......................deciphering the recipe .......perfecting my skill to conjure up the “BETTER of the BEST” spaghetti for my family ..................friends too.

I am having “you-know-what” for lunch soon after .....bye!

Saturday, March 6, 2010

My Lunch.

video

My lunch.


I was with a friend........a gregariously jolly fella ...who when in his element...is capable of cooking up the silliest silly jokes ...and this time round.....with a small windfall at the casino and a couple of self-congratulatory boozes .....he outdid himself.

Met him and his colleagues at the designated eatery .....a joint we frequented.....to have lunch.....
...in came the Fella .......half sober from the congratulatory boozes.....and half somber from the few thousands winning at the casino.

Robert! ...on me.....on me.....on me...., he joyously said ...

Waiter...waiter.....order...ORDER..... .....the boss came............the Fella told the boss
...that he is tired of the same old dishes......and he pointed to the big water tank outside...I want that big FISH....how much!!!!!!

........the Boss quiped..... but that’s my pet......he has been with me for years.......[ We know....I have seen it when it was a baby of about a few inches long ] ......

...ONE THOUSAND DOLLAR for him....ok!....my friend said......
...and cooked it “Teo Chew Steam Style” with extra tomatoes and ginger.....ok!

....ok! said the Boss............ he disappeared into the kitchen...and from the kitchen I heard pleading voices.....squealing ..Cussing.......and the Boss came out with the net.....went back into the kitchen.....some more noises...

...some 45 minutes later........the red- faced Son of the boss...came out with the biggest serving plate .......and few other smaller plates of other dishes .....and bowls of rice.

They were having a great time ...and I had to be the spoiler...I couldn’t bring myself to eat somebody else’s pet...all I had was the “Egg FooYong” ..... they told me that it was very very sweet and the meat was delicately delicious ..... I envied them.

Many years ago...I bought 2 baby chicks as pets for my daughters......and they gave them names...one being Flowery and the other was called Roadrunner....we rare them for a period...and they grew up to be very big , strong and handsome......Cockerel and Hen...

One morning....Sam and the maid....together with my children took Flowery and Roadrunner to the market to be slaughtered.....without my knowing.......and the children were too young to know........

...that evening ...we had Friend Chicken.........on the table.....I saw the biggest drumsticks .......Sam put one each on the children’s plate ....and I had the whitest breast meat ........

........just before I bit into it........I habitually looked out of the window to look at the dogs
...and the garden ....and I saw the familiar cage ...it was emptied.......

I enquired .................................. Sam said ...Just eat!...very delicious!...free range chicken is very sweet and best!

I didn’t eat....I cried silently....and puke inside, literally.... ...but I understand.

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Is it me.

video video

Wok with Bob.


I was at the McDonald a few days ago.....I had McChicken...and I was SURPRISED!.....it didn’t taste quite the same....it wasn’t quite so delicious...
.............it tasted a far cry from my first bite of the McChicken I have had the pleasure to indulge some twenty years ago ..........and also now the chicken patty was somewhat less...somewhat smaller....somehow thinner.........and the spinach
......less crunchy....less salad....and LESS.

..or is it me..

The next time ...I have the McChicken.... will be a few months later....and if it doesn’t change for the better.....that will be the Last time. [ Hope some McDonald’s Clowns read this.....]

I remembered when I was little (4years and on)......I look forward to my mother given birth to all my younger siblings ...(and never stop giving birth).........memorably it was one of the most satisfying moment because I get to eat all the good stuffs .........that relatives and friends brought for my mother during her confinement.
........... heehee...Yum.. mummy is a very fussy eater...and I had everything else....like the chocolates......Brands.......Dom Perignon cooked with Chicken and loads of Gingers ...Ovaltines , the cocoa drink I missed so much .....and MOST of all I missed the Jacob’s cream crackers....I craved so much.

I just cannot explain the deliciousness ......it was so good then............and...
....Over the years, I bought Jacobs on and off....hoping to get that deliciousness......sadly, it never ever came near as being quite as good as.................Oh! how I miss the creamy deliciousness of the golden years.

...or is it me......

I don’t think so!

I made a yearly pilgrimage, so to speak , to the Kampar Noodle Stall about 200 km from where I stay....My father took me here when I was young...his father brought him there ....I took Sam here to savor the honest-to-goodness bowl of fish balls noodles....and I brought my children here....


It tasted just as delicious...maybe not quite so.....but it was still satisfyingly just as good.

The stall was managed by the old matriarch ...who has been operating here for the past 50 years.......those days she was helped by her late husband and during the school holidays by her children....
..............Her children are all professionals ...receiving the best education financed by the Matriarch’s Enterprise........Many of her children have their own family and staying away in the city...and some emigrated abroad.

The Matriarch stayed with one of the children once for a very brief period...she couldn’t take the inactivity.....and she returned here to do the business that had serve her and the family so well....and she DOES all the preparation by herself......she is in her mid-70s....
........That might explained the slight dip in the deliciousness of her famous “Kampar Fish Balls Noodles”....an institution in this small town...known by all in this country.


Is it me?
No ..my taste bug hadn’t change....
...........profitability replaced honest-to-goodness deliciousness.

Sunday, January 17, 2010

Wok with Bob.

video video video video


“Wok with Bob” is about my favourite past time.......EATING.



After weeks of feasting running up to the New Year 2010.........and the banquets for the pre-Chinese New Year Celebration .........and... the associate companies annual dinners
.... and the family gathering luncheons....and........and........the Sundays morning breakfast bash ......and the midnight snacks ..... suppers ...

..... I have had enough of good food and fine cuisines... ......so when an invitation to dine with friends at the fringe of the jungle on some weird wildlife... I accepted the invitation without reservation.

On that particular day I arrived at the destination 5 hours later .... getting there was half the fun as I enjoyed the country drive........I saw cows .........goats............
....chickens.......and one “ jungle crab” running across the road......and some big birds that look like Turkeys... (I don’t know)....maybe Ostriches....
....... tiger poohs on the beaten tracks (very strong smell)......and the bigger poohs must be the elephant’s .....and yes.........I saw some buffaloes.

I met my friends at another friend house which doubled up as a restaurant.........I was very happy to see them and after exchanging some pleasantries....we got down to serious business...that is to FEAST.

We had ...Curry Wild Boar ........Braised Venison........Herbal Snakes.......with lots of Beers
.........I didn’t touch the Paprika fried Squirrel...because I saw the preparation and I shot a video clip of it....It was too Cute to be eaten.....sniff!

I might want to be a vegetarian one day.....maybe...eating less meat for now.





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