Too Much of A Good Thing

I have always believed that adage that goes: You can never have too much of a good thing. Last night, my whole belief system nearly collapsed. I was at the KLIA Burger King.

Pimply BK staffer: Hi. How you do? [Comment: England very powderful (sic)]

Me: Can I have a regular Double Mushroom Swiss Meal, please.

PBKs: Er… Nombor ape? Makan sini?

Me: Er… Yang tu. Makan sini.

PBKs: Okay. Eching else?

Me: Yes. Can I have extra mushrooms too?

PBKs: ???? [Really long pause. A line of hungry and impatient people behind me starts to grow, as there is only one open counter]

Me: Faham?

PBKs: Err… Ya, ya. [Another long pause. Grumbling starts from the legion behind me]

Me: Err… Nak tambah cendawan. Mahu banyak.

PBKs: Err… Ok. Ok. [The crowd behind me has turned completely hostile, cursing and complaining]

Me: And an ice lemon tea as well.

PBKs: Itu kena tambah 80 sen. [All hell breaks loose behind me, arms and limbs flailing and flying about – kung fu style]

I hurriedly paid the fella and grabbed my food and dashed off to a booth. Safe refuge for a persecuted individual. Imagine my surprise as I unwrapped the burger. Wow! The burger is practically overflowing with mushrooms! It's as if PBKs stuffed the whole outlet's supply of mushrooms for the week into my burger… I am exaggerating, of course. But it really is a lot of mushrooms. Shed loads of 'em.

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The huge mass of mushrooms have somehow overcrowded the taste and texture of the excellent beef pattie normally associated with the burgers from this fine establishment. Suffice to say that the burger, to my discerning yet finicky taste buds, tasted rather strange. There are mushrooms everywhere! In my mouth, hands and dropping from the sides of my burger on to the table. Arggghhh!!!

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Regardless of all this, my faith in this wonderful A-me-ri-can institution has not diminished one bit. Maybe, in the future, I will ask for extra mushrooms, BUT NOT TOO MUCH! Burger King has the best burgers around. A certain red haired clown in a silly yellow outfit with red and white stripes may not agree with me, though.

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Bangsar Pasar Malam

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I am not really into night markets. I dislike the crowds and smells – however, the sights are something to behold. Flurries of activities, haggling and flagging… It's a great kaleidoscope of human activity.

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Women have this strange tendency to love night markets. I secretly suspect that ALL women on earth love ALL forms of shopping – be it clothes, shoes, foodstuff, sundries. I have yet to meet one that detests shopping. When I do, that'll be the day when I stand on my desk with a cactus on my head, singing 'Wo Then Che Ni Hui Lai'. Odds are, I won't have to do that. Deep down inside their phyches, women are pre-programmed since pre-history to 'gather things'. Men hunt and they gather. Thousands of years later, little has changed.

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I can't believe that they are selling fish here. Imagine the smell. Phwoar!

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This is an interesting sight. Sticks of meat and seafood for sale. All you need to do is stick them into the boiling pots of water or peanut sauce and wait for them to cook. Voila!

Night markets are quite fun. Just don't expect me to get really, really enthusiastic about them though.

Drinking and a Rainy KL

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Man, I really like KL after a rain. Everything looks cleaner, smells fresher – and you can actually delude and convince yourself that the environment is not as f*cked up as it actually is. I can happily go on my merry way, conveniently ignoring this fact.

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Man, even the roads are clear of traffic. Usually during a downpour, KL's fine traffic police personnel will disappear from sight (Ding! It's magic!), causing chaos on KL's congested roads. It is as if they are somehow different from normal humans, we are waterproof and they unfortunately are not – they will melt if water comes into contact with their bodies. Ha ha ha. Wierd.
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Anyway, I was at Barfly on Friday night. Skol is damn wierd – tastes like water with some fizzy god-knows-what. I miss my Guinness pint.

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I drink too much… Tch.

Ngau Kee

I had the best beef noodle in Kuala Lumpur yesterday night. I've been going here these last 9 years. Located behind KL's famed Jalan Alor, this place is open till late.

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Fantastic atmosphere, hot steaming broth cooking. Sigh. Nice.

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Looks simple and plain. But tastes really, really hearty and satisfying. I normally take it without the 'yuk sui' (minced pork).

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They even have a funny fluorescent cow these days – which attracts quite a lot of attention.

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I really do love this place. Rain or shine, I'll be there.

Bak Kut Teh

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Undisputed as the best single dish in the world. Period. Satisfying, wholesome, filling. It's a complete nutritious meal in one bowl.

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'Bak kut teh' (pork rib tea) is usually cooked in a clay pot with pork, various varieties of mushroom, lettuce and 'tau fuu pok' (dried tofu). The thick, warm broth consists of herbs and spices namely, star anise, cinnamon, garlic, cloves – boiled together with bones for many hours.

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BKT is the stuff of dreams. There is never a bad time to have BKT. You can have it in the cool early morning, under the hot sun for lunch and as a late, late supper. Ahh…

God bless the Hokkien for inventing this dish. Pity I'm not a Hokkien though.

I am going to have some tonight. Cholesterol? What's that?

Come Back Nose!

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Every morning at my office, you can hear sounds like this: Pwwoooooooot! Pwooooott! Pwwooooooottt! Sniff! Sniff!

That's me, blowing my nose. Wrapping the mucous neatly and carefully in a crumpled tissue paper. Sometimes it's yellow, sometimes it's clear. Sometimes, it has little bits in it.

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My nose is just too sensitive. Just a little bit of dust, and I will be blowing my nose the whole day – at the end of which, sometimes, I would be mistaken for Rudolph. Tch.

I think I should open a Dim Sum restaurant. Hmm. I think I will.

Same Name

I am sure that most of us, at some point in our lives, just to wile away a hot, slow-moving siesta-ish afternoon, have tried googling our own names. Hoping to find bits of our lives floating around in cyberspace.

What we yearn for is an assurance that our lives actually mean something, that we are not insignificant (think Douglas Adams’ Total Perspective Vortex). Considering the fact that there are around 6.5 billion people on Earth (see http://www.census.gov/ipc/www/popclockworld.html), and there are definitely more than seventy sextillion stars in the universe (that's seventy thousand million million million), our odds of standing out from the crowd appear quite slim.

Google listed 5,570 pages on my search query. That took me by surprise. I have always thought that my surname was quite rare, thus, making my name unique. Apologies to the Lees, Tans, Lims and Smiths. There are too many of you guys around.

Interesting people who share my name, that I have found, includes a graphics artist, bankrupt lawyer in Borneo, Tai Chi sensei, dentist, con artist, accident victim, murder witness and shoe seller.

However, after browsing all these sites, I did not even find one entry (or scrap of information) on me. I do not exist! Invisible. Almost 30 years on Earth, and almost no one has noticed that I am here.

I’d better do something about this.