Is this British enough?

So this happened:

BACK STORY: While I was abroad in Europe last year, I befriended a British who introduced me to this tea-drinking business. Ever since, I drink black tea with milk and I take it so seriously that I’d sulk a lot when tea tasted bad (normally happens at cafes).

And my tiny heart got very excited so I responded rather appropriately with:

More questions ensued:

Then an invitation, like a real Brit:

TEA TIME!!!

The Worst of Hong Kong

Hong Kong at its worst is public transports during peak hours. BE PATIENT WILL YOU????

Hong Kong at its second worst is on buses: inertia will fuck you hard.

Hong Kong at its third worst is when you are of Chinese descent and speak Mandarin (can’t you tell that we have the Malaysian accent????) so they assume that you were from mainland China and treat you with a shitty attitude.


Hmm, sorry about the negativity so here’s some positivity: I’m not in Hong Kong anymore.

Haha, jokes. Their cuisine is amazing but you have to know where to look.

It’s 2018 But In China They Still Do…

…相亲, xiàng qīn.

There is no such concept in the English language (or in any Western culture, I think) but it’s basically two persons being match-made by their families or relatives and then they get married. What the deuce???


That’s a common practice for the Chinese as recent as my grandparents’ generation but since then, come on, who would be happy to have your life partner predetermined for you???? I learnt about this from my paternal grandmother just a few months ago and was pretty surprised but also, a lot of things start to make sense. My grandfather died almost 50 years ago and my grandmother brought up six sons on her own; she’s a real heroine, isn’t she. Anyway, what made sense was how she never seemed to talk about my grandfather. Whenever such topics arise, she didn’t speak like someone who was ever truly in love. Maybe it has been too long and she is numb about it, but I never detected a hint of grief from her whenever we would visit my grandpa’s grave, which is every year cos we the bloody sentimental Chinese have a festival for that.


China has been giving me waves after waves of cultureshocks; it’s almost like a tsunami, really. First, I could not get over the lack of common courtesy here among people. Then, I became mindful that I absolutely the cuisine here because they are so oily and always too heavily-seasoned. Next, there’s this going-cashless movement (it’s really amazing). Now, this. Back to it.

So I befriended a 23 year old girl, well, 22 actually since her birthday is in November. She is engaged to a man she met just 4 months ago and scheduled to marry at the end of the year. I was dumbfounded to hear that. Naturally, I asked some questions.

How’s the process like?

Through the introduction by a relative or family friend. Marriage is then discussed and the date of marriage picked right away.

[note: yes, there are “lucky” and “unlucky” dates to marry; it depends on pairs’ birthdate and birth time; where the logic lies, baffles me too]

(after she said she’s considered late to marry) What? When do people normally get married?

19 or 20. One of my peers has even given birth.

Do people get divorced often?

Normally it only happens to people who picked their own partners. If the marriage was arranged, then not really.

[note: it took me a few moments to comprehend this]

Are there homosexuals here?

I have met a few…but isn’t it unpractical*? What would they do when they’re old (and have no kids to take care of them)?

[* I am not 100% sure if that was the phrase she used but she definitely said the following sentence]

And you’re sure you want to marry?

I wouldn’t marry if not for my mom. In my village, the folks would gossip a lot if people weren’t married by my age. It would be no problem to marry later if I went to university, but I didn’t.


Things I should have questioned but didn’t think of at that time and it would be weird to bring it up now through text messages so let me imagine myself to be in the shoes of conservative Chinese people:

Are people happy (in their marriages)? [note: this is the closest English translation out there; in Mandarin, it’s something more intricate: 会幸福吗?]

Happiness is having the stability of life; not having to worry about not having enough to survive. With a partner and a kid, I can achieve that.

What if you realised after marriage that your other half is an asshole/bitch?

I could only admit that it’s my fate. 【认命】

Is having a kid/kids that important?

Yeah, when you’re old and unable to work anymore, you need them to support you  so you are finally able to enjoy life yknow. Besides, there would be someone to spread your DNA around. It’s great.

Do you realise that you may never encounter true love?

What’s that? Does it help me have enough clothes to keep warm at night, enough to eat,  a shelter, AND all other life necessities?

What if after marriage you met someone else you’re romantically attracted to?

HAHAHAHA [with a “you serious bro” look]. I’d be married, I’d be loyal. That would never happen.

Please feel free to tell me if you have any other questions and I will try my best in pretending that I know the answer.

First Day in My Ancestors’ Land

It’s been 6-7 years since I was here.


1539hrs, Hangzhou International Airport

Just been here for less than two hours and I’m already done with this place. The WiFi at the airport barely works and only WeChat works, the VPN app doesn’t work too so yeah I’m basically isolated from the outside world.
And this will also be why China could never be at the top of the world – its citizens live in the bubble they create.
And their bloody citizens, unfriendly and super rude and just goddammit I thought the Chinese culture is one of the most polite!? What a huge disappointment.
The weather is hotter than Malaysia, it’s thirty-bloody-seven degrees Celsius, but less humid so less sweat so maybe yay. By the way, freaking China drives on the wrong side of the road and writes dates like weirdo Americans.
I am stuck in steamy bubble that looks civilised but doesn’t feel so and am also considered as an ‘alien’ here. Great.

2312hrs, hotel in Yiwu

Whatsapp doesn’t work again but I have VPN on my laptop so I’m not that cut out from the world. Might take this opportunity to be kinda antisocial.
Yeah. Feeling much better now after a walk around the city.
FOOD SEEMS TO BE GREAT HERE!

What is an Exotic Mutant?

Me.

To most of the world, Malaysia is extremely exotic (“oh I checked on the map where Malaysia is”) and I am actually pretty proud to be part of a rare species.

A mutant because my body does not behave like an average human’s, hang out with me for about 48 hours (either continuously or accumulatively) and you would find out one or some or all of the following:

  • I turn into an exploding tomato at times, normally with the aid of alcohol
  • I have a chronic skin disease where I get covered in hives for no reason at random times
  • My skin is apparently as smooth or smoother than a baby’s, touch my face and judge for yourself