Monday, August 28, 2017

Table Manners and Younger Generations

Our world is filling fast with better and smarter devices; especially smartphones. Every year, there are newer and improved versions and this include better applications too. Unfortunately, we descendants of the apes are devolving. Not evolving. Many times, I would bump into mindless kids or young teenagers doing all sorts of stunts or foolish acts. It is a wonder how some parents refuse to lecture and let their kids go wild and free. 

The other night, I was having dinner with my wife and the food court were pack because of the school holidays. We managed to get a table for four. Since there were just the two of us, my wife allow a young mother and her son to join us. 

Me : I'll go get my dinner, eat on, don't wait for me. 
She : Okay. 

After 15 minutes, I returned to the table, the kid returned with his food too. None were too annoying until he started to eat his chicken chop. It was the way he uses his fork and knife that was irritating. He could learn some table manners on how to use that tools that us, human with the almighty brain, created to cut the chicken and eat. You don't raised your elbow with that pair of tools. Elbows down, sit up straight, hold the fork and knife in the correct position, cut and eat. You don't elbow up and touch your next neighbor!

My Wife : Damn, that was disturbing!
Me : See, am I right? Always eat with elbow down and don't spread out. Tuck in. Eat politely.

My Wife : God Damn... that was so rude. You are right!

Me : The right way to eat, no matter what culinary utensils, is elbow down, don't spread out, eat slowly and politely. Don't be rude to others sitting next to you. 

My Wife : His mom didn't say a thing... I can't belive it!
Me : Well, I think his mom loves his boy too much...

Parents, you should teach your kids to have table manners when it comes to meal times. 

williamwilstroth... where are your table manners?

Twisted Thoughts - My Wife

When you had done bad before, you would always be aware of some bad karma coming back to kiss your sorry ass. That is when fear strikes hard at you in the heart, and I am always very careful of that. Yes, you can do all the charity and gave as many prayers as you can do in any temple you come across to make atonement. Does it really work? I don't think so.

Me : Will you turn your back on me?
My Wife : Yes. 

Me : Will you go somewhere and leave me alone?
My Wife : Yes. 

Me : How about another man approaches you?
My Wife : Yes. 

My Wife : Can you stop being an ass? If i wanted to do all those, it wouldn't be now. Way earlier. Go to sleep! It's already 2 in the morning... jeeze...

Damn coffee... don't drink coffee at night...

WilliamWilstroth... scary thoughts and fear of bad karma

Sunday, February 14, 2016

Twisted Thoughts : Where are you?

Gabe : Hey, I'm going to take a nap. 
Beth : Okay, Oh, I am heading out to Sam's, you need anything? 
Gabe : Get me some meatloafs? 
Beth : Okay. 

It must have been hours she had went out but never this long, and it's already too dark and past dinner time. 

Gabe : Hi John, you seen Beth? 
John : No, she didn't tell you where she'll be heading to?
Gabe : Told me she'll be at Sam's. 
John : Why don't you go over to find out?
Gabe : I'll do that... 

The drive was short and fast. He was anxious to know if she was still there. Perhaps, she met some neighbors or someone from her Yoga group; talked too long unknowingly. If it is, then it is good to know. 

Gabe : Sam! You see Beth?
Sam : She just left many hours ago. 
Gabe : You sure?
Sam : Hey, if you are heading home, take this bag with you. She missed one shopping bag.
Gabe : Thanks!

He walked fast to his truck and his mind is searching fast.

Gabe : Where are you, Beth?

He opened his phone and pressed his sister's name on the screen. It blinked a while before someone answer the call.

Gabe : Sis, is Beth there with you? 
Sister : What are you talking about?
Gabe : Beth, is Beth there with you? 
Sister : What? Beth?
Gabe : Yes, Beth. Is she with you? For god sake!
Sister : Gabe, have you been drinking too much?
Gabe : Just tell me where is Beth, will you?
Sister : Gabe, just get a hold of yourself, please...
Gabe : I am just asking you where is Beth...
Sister : Gabe, did you visit Dr. Freeman?
Gabe : Jeeze, I just want to know if Beth is there...
Sister : I give up, Gabe. Beth is not here...

His mind is wrecking now. She is not there at her sister's house. Where could she be? He had to drive home and maybe she just went to do some personal errands elsewhere. At the apartment, he ran up the stairs, and bumped into John.

John : You found her? 
Gabe : No. Please let me know if you happen to see her? 
John : Sure. 

Gabe went into his home and closed his door. 

Gabe : Beth! Are you home? 
Beth : Hey! I am here... where were you? I was looking all over the places for you!
Gabe : I went to Sam to look for you. You left your shopping bag there...
Beth : Oh dear, I know I can rely on you... Thanks.


John : He is at it again, every month.
Suzy : You mean the crazy Gabe opposite us?
John : Yes, he just can't get over her. She's been dead for years. 
Suzy : Oh poor Gabe... 
John : He is crazy enough to wear her clothes too! I wonder why the management hasn't kick him out yet. Oh god... hear now, he's talking loud to himself now...


Sister : Mom, are we going to visit Gabe?
Mom : No, the last time we were there... Oh god, I have no wish to say anymore... He is sick...
Sister : Why don't we call in the hospital? 
Mom : It's no use... He refuse to take meds and all he does is talked to the mannequin and pretend Beth is still alive. 


Peter : Aren't we being too nice? 
Sam : That's the least we can do for Beth to take care of Gabe. 
Peter : Do we get paid for all the groceries we given him?
Sam : No worries, his estate is rich enough to handle all that. 
Peter : Poor Gabe... What happen to his wife?
Sam : ... She jumped... 

williamwilstroth... Gabe, she's not here. 

Twisted Thoughts : He Came Back

"Where have you been?", asked Sharon. She gripped the door knob tightly as the person she was talking to had long been forgotten. He just came up to her door step, a knock she heard and she opened to him. "Hi", the man said minutes ago. 

"They told me," she couldn't bare to say it again. The military came with the letter. It had happened many years ago and she couldn't even manage to stand when the officer broke the news to her, right at the very same doorstep that night. "I am very sorry, ma'am", the officer apologized as according to the policy when they need to visit relatives of the deceased. 

"They had me iced...", John said. He was drenched in the heavy rain. Thunder struck behind him as he stood there lifeless. "I have no idea where was I and the first thing I remembered was you", and he moved one step closer. Sharon was alarmed and immediately closed the net door. "You are dead, John", she cried. 

John looked at her, not sure if he was really dead dead. Time had not waited for him. She was frightened not because John came back. She did want him returned many years ago after she had received the letter. She had missed him so much that every night she would cried herself to sleep. "John, you are dead", she repeated. "Don't move any closer", this is different now as she had come to accept he had passed on. Now, this stranger who resemblance John or was it really John who is standing in front of her now. "Stay there, John", she fidgeted at her phone and started looking up for Derek. Derek is in the military in-charge of John's team. He was the commanding officer now in some place. The phone dialed Derek and a beep went on before a replied came through.

"Sharon, I've been trying to get hold of you. Listen to me, whatever you do. Do not open the door. Lock it", Derek instructed Sharon. She stood frozen upon hearing those words. Her hand slowly reach to lock the net door and walked backwards. John stared at her. His eyes were glassy and void of life. John continued to stare at her. His mouth opened a bit. "Derek, come quick," and that's what all she could manage to say. 

"Sharon! Sharon! We are coming!" Derek's voice echoed through the night. It was quiet after that. The only sound that filled up the house was some hungry animals feeding; the crackling and crunching of bones. After some time, it went quiet...

williamwilstroth... hecameback whatwashe 

Sunday, February 1, 2015

The Malaysian anxiety on Vegetarian food...

I take vegetarian food during weekends and sometimes at night. Yes, I know what comes into every Malaysian thoughts. 

"Eat vegetarian food, no energy lar".
"Vegetarian food, bad lar, too much gluten".
"Too oily lar".
"Vegetarian food, huh, why lar?".

These are the five primary concerns when I tell people I am having vegetarian food for the night. Sometimes, I find it freakish that Malaysian are apprehensive against vegetarian food. I started vegetarian about a year ago during my time looking for a good source of protein and trying to get as lean as possible. So I found out vegetarian and organic source. For a start, those 5 primary scary concern is not true at all.

"Eat vegetarian food, no energy lar"
It is all in our mind and how we were all brain-wash by our parents and school that food must consist of fish, chicken, vegetables, rice and fruit. That is what we had during our growing up years. Our family had fed us these throughout our growing years and we have grown used to it. "Ah boy, eat your rice otherwise you won't grow", ever remember how your parents tells you this? Yes, we all do. These are all your mindset which have been auto feed into us by our parents when we were growing up. Then comes the commercialized food on the other hand, commercialized food like KFC, McDonald's, Nasi Kandar and others has more exposure to us than a vegetarian meal menu. It's true. Do you ever see a vegetarian advertisement on the television programs. No and none will ever go there. That's why, people who started to eat vegetarian food will suddenly find themselves not being able to adapt and digest food that is non-meat based and hence, they feel weak. However, it's all how we were brought out. You need fish, chicken, beef and other meat based product. 

"Vegetarian food too much gluten"
Almost everything we eat from a piece of white bread to that ever glorious perfectly deep fried golden brown chicken thigh has gluten. Yes, I am telling the truth. If you are chewing a cracker or enjoying a nachos, you are swallowing a bit of gluten into your body. In theory, we all have been eating or digesting gluten for a very long time. So, does that make any difference if we suddenly change our meat based diet to a vegetarian diet? No, it does not make any difference. In a vegetarian based diet, we can always opt to have organics that is gluten-free. How's about that? Good right? This one thing I am always amaze why Malaysian harps on gluten when throughout their life they are already eating gluten. 

"Vegetarian food too oily"
Isn't the oil used to deep fried your bacon, fried chicken or beef from the Steak House, KFC, McDonald's, Pizza Hut or even your usual Chinese hawker stall oily? How bad is vegetarian using vegetarian oil like canola oil? I bet you won't know that vegetarian or organics shop uses canola oil and olive oil to cook your vegetarian meals right? Okay, olive oil will be expensive but canola oil? Canola oil or sunflower oil are mainly used in cooking vegetarian meals. So, I am wondering how oily can it be comparing to a chap fan stall cooking all those dishes for a hundred mouths on a day? I bet they don't even change those oils in the wok. Moreover, you have been eat those non-vegetarian oils for a lifetime... especially your favorite dish of char-koay-teow. 

"Vegetarian food, but why?"
My introduction to vegetarian was a number of reason. One, my girlfriend challenged me into a month's of vegetarian food. Two, i saw some benefit in it when I was doing my weight training, swim training and cycling training. As a matter of fact, there are whole lot of reasons for one to avoid vegetarian but so few are encouraged to start being a vegetarian. It is all a matter of choices due to personal beliefs, personal preferences, medical conditions or even religion. So before you go asking why someone is having vegetarian meal, the same you should ask yourself, "Meat, why?". 

williamwilstroth... vegetarian diet...

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

It is an adventure to find a place to rent.

My searching for a place to rent have make some heads turning at me. "I thought your place is good, why move?", said A. "Why are you moving? Your place seems fine.", said B. "Your new place done, you are moving?", said C. For all these questions put forth at me, I replied, "Yes, my current place is fine. And no, I am not moving to my new place yet; it's not complete". So I told them my owner is raising my rental from RM950 to RM1050. That's expensive? Yes, it is expensive. 

My current place I rented has no water heater in the bathroom. There's no air conditioner in the bedrooms. And the whole place is near empty. The only request that I made to the owner was a fridge, some kitchen cabinets that I can cook and a washing machine. Otherwise it is an empty unit for RM950 per month. Is it expensive? Yes it is. If not my request, it would be horrendously money wasting rent. Anyway, I rented this place out of desperation because I want to move out as soon as possible from my previous horrifying owner. That was another story. Aside that, my partner was suffering from a horrifying house mate too. That was the reason i jump at the best opportunity to move. That was my first step. 

Now, it was time for me to move because I can't sustain the thousand ringgit per month rent anymore. Down the road I might need to start servicing my new house loan and this rental for-the-moment will become a burden. Getting a cheaper rental is good for me and my partner too. My partner can help me out paying the rent. I can focus on my new house and plan for the renovation. Getting a house is not as easy as one think. There are many other things to consider until you say, "Okay, it's done, let's move in" and stay there forever. 

So began my journey to start looking for a better and cheaper apartment to rent. Some may say, "Oh, it is a tiring process". Well, you should look at it positively. You get to see many types of apartment and look at their structural design, layout and how furniture are put in place to entice you to rent that place. Just imagine you are walking through IKEA but one difference only; you get to rent it. 

Here's what I found along the way until i found my place :

1. Some place were dinghy and dirty; it was cheap rent. If you are bending on getting cheap and you want to save a lot, this place is the best. You will have to close one eye on a lot of things like the lifts are not well maintained, the cracked pavements, the dimly lit path along the corridors, the noisy neighbors, and many other things that you will say, "Eeee, this place... oh god...". Well, it is cheap for a reason so don't sulk about it. Oh, this place is mostly low-cost flats.

2. Some places are nice but lacking a parking spot. Now, it is one thing in Penang about properties - it is never enough for a family which has more than one car. And it is never sufficient for developers to create more than one car park. All this involves money. So car park is also another well sought after perk by people who are living in Penang. The apartment you are looking at is great, it has all the basic stuffs like fan, light, curtain, kitchen, fridge and washing machine BUT there's no car park. It's kind of let off right? Well, this is the turning point you will have to debate within your heart. What if I can't find a parking spot after a hard day of work? People who are working and living in this island has gotten used to parking very far away from their apartment. If you don't mind walking far then this apartment is your choice. However, you will start to compare the rental - "What?! For this rent, I can't get a car park?" No kidding, this happens!

3. Nice place, cooling and good but it's far away. The place is nicely build near the hill, it's chilly at night and peaceful. The neighbors are quiet and the place is well maintained. Certain things, you can just ignore like there's no fridge or no washing machine. It's a one off trade that you need to include in your consideration because not all rentals are perfect. There's bound to be always one thing you need to let it go. So, you come to this unknown park or taman, and it's so far deeply located in the island but the place was nice. The rent, it's on the average that you can afford. Unfortunately, it's far away and traffic are heavy. Again, you need time to consider over these factors. One, it is far. Two, heavy traffic. In your mind, you go, "Nah, I think over it and I give you a call tomorrow" to the agent. Most likely, you will never go back to that place again. 

4. Nice place but owner is calculative; non-negotiable. Of course, if you have experience looking for a place like me, you will bump into one of these owners. Yes, they will tell you they are agent too and they know the market price. Yet, they are not willing to negotiate and any special request to put in a fridge or a washing machine will immediately add another figure to your rent. The place may be nice, lacking certain basic amenities and because the place is strategically located in the center or near a good spot; this factor alone will make certain Penang owners deeply proud to mainpulate the rental as they please upon potential tenants. "Oh, he wants a washing machine, tell him either he share the cost with me OR I add up to the rent", said one owner cum agent. This kind of owner, my advice to you is to say no and move on. You will bound to have further complication from this kind of owner. 

Sometimes, you need to be less calculative when renting a place because you are not going to live at that spot forever. So, if you are like me looking for a place to rent whether long term or until your own place is done, it is better to look for a "well maintained" place and a good affordable rent so both you or your partner can help each other out. 

Finally, here's what you should think about when finding a place to rent:
- A well maintained place doesn't need to be fully furnish. As long as it has lights, fan, curtain, clean floor, clean working bathroom/toilet, and clean kitchen will be sufficient. All other perks like air conditioners, water heaters, fridge, washing machine, TV, internet are just additional stuff that will push up your rent. (if you can get all these for a reasonable and affordable amount of rent, you are lucky!)

- A good affordable rent are rents that you yourself or partner can afford to pay in the long run even if the owner decided to hike it up after a year or two when your contract expires. 

williamwilstroth... finding a place to rent...

Properties in Penang - are bought solely for investment?

I have been living in Penang for near a decade. Another 4 months it'll be ten years or a decade for me. One thing I am going to touch is about the properties in this pearl of the orient. Properties are selling like hot cake over here. No, it is not being bought up to live by the owners. It is being bought for investment. Penang people in the island like to buy up properties and rent out to others. So, they are hoping other people will help them pay off their property loan. I thought Penang living is cheaper than Kuala Lumpur. Well, I am wrong off the mark before I even came over here. That's what I thought.

Properties in Penang for a thousand or more square feet are selling about RM 700,000.00 and above. And most of these properties are ranging from apartments to resort condominiums. Landed properties shoots above a million ringgit mark so this is not for the average middle income earners. As for me, I just bought a resort condominium unit which will cost me my arms and legs and including my saving in the future. I am beginning to fear my retirement savings. Will I be able to retired in the most comfortable means of surviving in my old age... ?

There are many realtors or property agents in Penang island. Why? This is because it is a lucrative business. Imagine all the rental fee which they help owners to find potential tenants. They probably lived it off the agent fees. So, who doesn't want to be a property agent right? It's lucrative, for each unit, there's bound to be an agent representing the owner. You need to rent a place? Sure, you need to prepare an arm of cash to pay one advance, a deposit that goes by the years of rental contract, a deposit for utility bills and finally their eagerly waiting for you to pay their agent fee. Renting a unit may not be as expensive buying a unit but the agent fee will help this property agent to make a hell good of a living. Maybe I should moonlight as a property agent. Come on, people living in the island move from one place to another place like one is changing their clothes. Again why? This is because the owner will always have a reason to increase your rent when your contract is expiring. Lately, our national Bank Negara raised up the BLR (interest rate) and this makes a very good reason for any owners who wanting to raise their tenant's rent. Well, my rent got hike up too from my current owner. Nice, isn't it?

As a matter of fact, people in the island do move around quite frequently. Just looked at the advertising for rentals in and; every month there's bound to be 5 to 10 units waiting to be rent out. Rooms to rent are even abundant! 

In summary, looking for a place to rent is not a concern but the steadily and fast rising cost of property is a main concern for our future generation. Our grandfathers and fathers bought houses which is about three times cheaper than today's cost of properties. Now at this period and moving on, will our newer generation be able to afford a modest home? I think everyone in Penang need to become a millionaire.

williamwilstroth... does it cost an arm and leg to buy a house?