Sunday, June 21, 2009

Once in a while I become a person in a place where everyone knows everyone else and I am just a complete stranger. Oh, you know you've been there too. Like when you go to a party your new friend is hosting and everyone else in the party works together or have been friends for a long time, and they talk about work that you know nothing about and have private jokes among themselves. And you'll be standing there, sipping gallons of punch because it shows that at least you're doing something while you'll be smiling around like a bloody gibbon trying to laugh at jokes you don't undestand. See? We've all been there.

I went to Kuala Lumpur to visit one of my bestest friends, and it happened to turn out that on last Saturday, 20th June 2009 (yes, that's right, a month to my birthday. Yikes!) her office mates asked her to go for a trip to the Waterfalls in Ulu Yam, which is located in the state of Selangor. Of course she insisted I joined them, and secretly I kind of dreaded this, because

a.) it'll be worse that the awkward party, because there will be no punch to drink

b.) there're only 3 girls and the rest of the 4-car trip will be boys. I mean, it's always easier to pretend to know a girl. Just find a topic to bitch about and you're all set.

But we went anyway, and Hana (that's my girlfriend's name) and I rode in a car with a pair of twins. Shirt-matching, look-alike, yelling, lovable 23-year old boy twins. I don't think I have ever seen a pair of grown-up twins before. And for the whole trip they argued about everything - the route, the food, the life. At one point they were swearing at each other so hard i thought they were going to rip each other's heads off.

After about an hour drive (or more) we were driving uphill to get to the waterfalls. On the way we passed by the Batu Water Dam, which is one of the state of Selangor's major water dams. Here's what it looks like.

And when we drove by it, the day was one of those moody. cloudy ones that just made the place look extra mystical. Heavy clouds were smoking around the green, lush hills. The water was calm with that eerie feel, like a Loch Ness monster might come out any minute. I could just picture myself doing Yoga for hours by the shore of the lake.
At the waterfalls things were not as bad as I expected it to be. I mean, this was by no means any match to the Kedah state's best waterfalls, but it was still be-a-u-tiful, like any God given's nature would look like as long as we humans don't start screwing it all up. (that being said, there were still trash everywhere in the bushes. what is up with all these assholes?) Hana's friends were also generally very nice to me, although like any male species, they get excited when there are huge colonies of them and thus begin an endless supply of swearing, middle-fingering, really bad sex-jokes and lots of roaring and jumping (imagine a gorilla thumping his chest, if you will). You just have to look past that and see the good in them. Again, sigh, what we girls have to do to except males as they are.
This was also one fo those rare moments in life when everything you read in 'Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus' are demonstrated exactly as how it was written in that damn book. A typical girls day out at the waterfalls would go like this.
"Find a nice place. Set out a matress. Wait till water is less cold. Get into water slowly and complain how it's freezing and that we hate this. Soak in the water while bitching. Then sit at the waterfalls and enjoy the running water which is very spa-like. Then find a sunny spot on the rocks and lie on the warm rocks while talking about the office bitch. Conversation carries on for hours about all the gossips in the world while paddling feet in the water. See if there are fishies in the water. Then go back on land, change clothes, fix hair, eat, relax and go back."
Meanwhile, a boys day out, as observed, went something like this.
"Find spot. Who cares about beauty. Just find a place with water. Set out matress, dump everything on it. Take off shirt, jump straight into water. Splash water on everyone else. Play some sort of sport in the water. Accomplish things, like 'how many times can we pass the ball around without dropping it in the water?' If it's twenty times, accomplish thirty on the next round, and so on. Ocassionally check swimming shorts to make sure it's not revealing too much of personal assets. Eat and pig out on food. Play land sports or games.Jump back into water. Accomplish more things with water sports. Meanwhile do not stop swearing and making lame jokes. Then go back on land, change, finish every food that was left behind and go back."
I rest my case.

Thursday, June 11, 2009

I Bare Witness to this Historical Event!

No, it's not the day when Burberry decided to use checkers for its brand trademark.

I am a girl. No, that's an understatement. I am a girl's girl. I can watch Friends repeatedly over pizza, and I like clothes, drama series and hot guys. Basically I am like you, and if you're not this girl then I'd bet you know one of these girls in your lifetime. Yes, I am that.

Now let me tell you about this HISTORICAL EVENT of mine. I live with a father and two brothers, which means that in our DVD collection at home there is a good mixture of romance comedies and kick ass action movies. One day a few years ago the men in the house watched a martial arts film. Yikes, a martial arts film. I took no notice of the movie and carried on with my life. Now I have just graduated and unimployed. I spend my days drifting around the house, looking through photo albums, sorting out the tupperware in the cabinets (yes, I was that bored people) and re-watching all those collection of my movies. At some point there was nothing left to do. Literally nothing left to do. I had washed all the bathrooms in the house. I had woken up, ate, slept, ate and slept again, but the boredom was like a huge blade poking at my pelvis. I looked around. Hmm, those action movies dusting away in the drawers don't look too bad...

I watched Ong Bak, a Thai movie by a male subject I have never heard before, Tony Jaa. And dayum! Martial arts movies have not been this good since, I daresay ever! Of course, I have yet to watch any Bruce Lee movies, but dude, who is this Tony Jaa person?? Helped by the mighty power of Google, I discovered that this guy, this Tony Jaa, this head-kicking-chest-elbowing-mind-boggling-punch-swinging man is actually the rising star of this generation's brand of martial arts actors, specialising in Muay Thai which is a form of Thaland martial arts.

I couldn't get enough, so in the same day I managed to watch all three of Tony Jaa's existing movies;
1. Ong Bak
2. Ong Bak 2
3. The Protector (aka Tom Yum Goong)
Okay, now where do I start with this guy? Oh, and he's not cute, by the way. Not to my taste I mean. But he makes it up by kicking lots of asses in style! He uses no computer or CGI tricks, and no strings. All those flying right on top of people's heads and elbowing their skulls were real! And that ripped physique as a result of practicing martial arts all his life - let's just say it makes Robert Pattinson look like a sissy and all those men buffing up in gyms look like amateurs.

All the storylines pretty much sucked. In the protector, for instance, Tony Jaa loves his elephants. Bad guys steal his elephants. Tony Jaa finds them and breaks their faces (very important lesson here, folks. Don't fuck with this guy's elephants!). Then for the fun of it Tony Jaa beats the shitload out of those bad guys. Cliche, cliche. In one of those movies there were even no subtitles, so I didn't understand a single doing of Thailand language in there. But seriously, who cares? This guy appears on screen and I can actually, yes this is true, feel the adrenaline rushing through me, just because I am excited to see him kick some ass. I watched the whole movie without subtitles, and still by the end of it I felt exhausted just by watching him show Spiderman, 'This is how we do it baby. CGI and computer tricks are only for wusses'.

And so, I have witnessed the historical event of the birth and rise of the next martial arts star who will do Asian proud. You heard it here first. And I am now fully converted from the girl who watches the Shopaholic to anxiously waiting for the next Tony Jaa film (Ong Bak 3, coming on Dec 2009. See? That's another clue. If they keep making sequel after sequel, you know what that means. It has to be good). And here's some advice. Even if you hate martial arts movies, and have no interest in some action packed films, give it a try. Come on, girls. It's not all about the shopping bags.