Talking Cars

I tried fixing the wipers on my car right after lunch, check smack in the noon heat, hoping to renew the Tioman tan, but failed in both departments.

I popped the bonnet and peered into the engine compartment, thinking, so, this is what my car engine looks like. You could say I know nothing of cars other than how to drive them, turn up the air-con and put CDs in the stereo. It was somewhat of a consolation when my brother saw me mucking around with the bonnet open (its about the only time we interact – the other being when I open my computer cover), and came over to see how he could help, and he couldn’t.

My brother, the expert in all things technical and automotive, couldn’t fix my wipers. I have to bring it in to the mechanic’s tomorrow, if it doesn’t rain.

So in all, five minutes were spent standing shirtless, spanner in hand, looking for a nut or bolt to undo. No tan.

It is a chore talking cars to other straight men. I spent a good half hour discussing the merits of my car to Cheng last night, with him asking all intricacies of how and why my car is worth buying. You need to have the aptitude of a nuclear scientist when you own a car in Singapore, and sometimes, I feel exposed as a supremely unintelligent consumer when people tell me things like, wah, your road tax must be a killer, your fuel consumption must be quite high, your car must be very difficult to park, how many years left on the COE? What is the depreciation? What is the scrap value?

But over the past year of owning Mini (the name I gave my Merc Benz 300SEL), the stock response to these questions is, “I got it for real cheap at $28K, 5 years left on COE, fuel is not too bad, am used to the parking, just take up one and a half lots, I start the engine, it works, I step on accelerator, it moves, I step on brakes, it stops, I steer, it turns”.

Texting 1,2,3

Texting 1, for sale 2, shop 3
The number 7 button on my phone hadn’t been working properly since I returned from Tioman. I had noticed earlier that there had been fine grains of sand embedded in the crevices on the phone’s plastic shell. On Saturday night, I slid the shell off with a screwdriver and wondered how almost a thimble full of fine grain Tioman sand had gotten into the innards of the phone. (It was in the Ziploc all the time, and the only time it ever came close to peril was when our kayak upended on the beach).

I took a spare toothbrush and meticulously and gently cleaned the contact points in the phone, put it back together, and being real proud of myself, launched into a long SMS conversation with you while you ate your dinner and watched your VCD. The joy of having liberated the number 7 button made me want to make many words in the messages with the letters P, Q, R and S. I was so happy I would’ve SMSd you continuously even if you didn’t reply.

Lost Grave

My cousin called me yesterday to tell me strange news of my father’s family losing my grandmother’s grave. Yes. Lost Granny’s grave.

My father’s brother bought three plots in the cemetery in Port Dickson in 1999 when Gran (Ah Por) passed away aged 100. She was buried in one of the plots. There was supposed to be a tombstone erected a few months later, stomach but Uncle (Peh Deh) dawdled because he wanted something grand. Four years later, order and there’s no tombstone, unhealthy and my relatives have been paying respects at either plots two or three, because some think she’s in plot two and some think she’s in plot three. This April, it dawned on them that some of them have been praying at the wrong, empty, plot.

I’d say this is in keeping with family tradition now. Great grandfather’s grave in Hainan was overrun by chickens from the nearby free range chicken farm and was barely visible (Chinese graves are usually a mound marked by a tombstone), because of the accumulated wear from years of chicken feet stampede.

Transcript of an online conversation between brothers (we live in the same house)

Shut A Bug says:

them kittens are eating cat food.

Ah Lee G (me) says:

as long as they don’t eat cat.

Shut A Bug says:

they be spilling cat food coz they go inside the bowl to eat.

Ah Lee G says:

so how?

Shut A Bug says:

need heavy bowl

Dear Malaysian Friends…

Dear (Malaysian Friend),

I’ll be serving the nation from 10th to 25th January. My unit is apparently going operational instead of training. So, if your bastard country does stupid things over the Pedra Branca / Pulau Batu Puteh or water supply issues, you’ll have to deal with the might of the Singapore Armour Regiment, for at least an hour or so, hahaha. I will be going shopping for supplies, and as long as I have enough snacks, insect repellent, and batteries for my portable FM radio, I am a veritable fighting machine. Malaysia won’t know what hit them (twisties wrappers can foul up navy ship propellers big time).

Operationally Ready and Proud of It National Serviceman