My Shell

I’m not sure if it’s because of past experiences, but today I reminded myself of my hatred for being in extremely crowded places.

I was walking around Chinatown today, and felt extremely uncomfortable being surrounded by so many people. There was a fear of being pick pocketed, being the victim of a random slashing incident and even being hit by a passing vehicle. It was mostly irrational, and I can’t really explain why I felt that way, but it was just what my mind was going through as I walked through the crowded streets.

If it wasn’t a fear of something bad happening, there was the annoyance of having to slow down my walk when there were too many people standing in my way. I don’t know why people aren’t more considerate in public. Please don’t hog walkways. It’s like people standing on the walking side of escalators, and acting oblivious to people who would like to get to their destinations quicker. Is it so hard to a considerate human being?

Maybe it was because of the weather. The stink of rubbish and sweaty people amplified by the scorching sun wasn’t helping alleviate my irrational thoughts.

I like cities. But I hate crowds. I enjoy KL when everyone’s gone for the holidays. I stand at the back at gigs instead of participating in the mosh pit. I love being by myself. Am I turning into a hermit or a paranoid? Hmm.

Drinking Ain’t What It Used To Be

Yesterday I was at a drinking party and I wasn’t the one making a fool of myself. It felt strange. Like I knew what it was like to be that guy and I was no longer him. Trying my best to appear sober, while downing more drinks than my body could handle. Talking out of line, loudly, and acting ridiculous.

Younger George wouldn’t say no to that drink. At least that’s what I remembered. Younger George would never say no to any drink. After all, if it had alcohol, it was delicious and bound to be fun. I wonder if there’s a way to measure how many brain cells I’ve had destroyed by drinking past my limit.

Then again, younger George has been through some shit. Fortunately for younger George, he had amazing friends who looked after his drunk ass when he went down. Honestly, those guys are all champs. Younger George didn’t deserve them, but they were there for him anyway.

I remember during my initial days of clubbing – a group of us would have trouble even finishing one bottle of whiskey. Then we got more tolerant and could even do a single bottle between two people. Now I can’t drink that much anymore, also I believe I’m much better at controlling my intake. Because even though it was fun talking about the adventures of younger George, it only seems funny because I was being an idiot – and I came out of my incidents mostly unscathed.

It took a serious car accident to make me realize how stupid I was but in reality, that didn’t need to happen.

Anyway, I still enjoy some alcohol every now and then, but I can go for weeks without a drink. It’s not a necessity in my life. I’m equally happy having conversation over sips of hot coffee or tea, and a cigarette or vape in my other hand. There’s no need for the high of alcohol when you have the company of good friends around you. Younger George would have suggested afternoon drinks instead.

“You’re a shadow of your former self! What happened to you?”

It’s alright, I’m okay with having less ‘fun’ these days – at least my friends and family won’t have to worry about me every time I go out. Also, I won’t have to spend so long shitting out the previous night’s drinks in the toilet or wasting the day nursing a hangover. It’s a win-win situation. Farewell, younger George. It was nice knowing you.

Macroblogging and Dead Links

Every now and then, I read through some old posts on my blog and go through the comments section. Commenting on blogs used to be a thing. I remember. That’s how I made some friends on the internet. These days, people just comment on the Facebook post about the link instead. If not comments, you just get likes or some reactions.

I guess it’s just how things have evolved. Back then there was no such thing as microblogging. The only way you could update people about your life was through MSN nickname statuses or blogs. I remember, almost everybody had a blog back then. It was the normal thing to do. Now I think having a blog is probably out of fashion. But that’s okay, it’s my way of practicing writing and putting out whatever is in my head.

Anyway, back then when people commented on my blog, they would leave links to their own blog so I could check them out. That was one way of meeting new people online. I could check out their writing and if I found it interesting, I’d leave a comment and link their page if I liked it enough. Friendships would live and grow in the comments sections of posts.

I guess all the long breaks I took in between blogging kinda killed off the steam and interest people had in visiting this page. Blogging is kinda like the YouTube of the past. If content creators don’t constantly churn out new content, they’d be forgotten. It was even worse for blogs because unless you had an RSS reader or subscribed to email updates, you wouldn’t have any way of telling whether the blog had new posts short of manually checking it out yourself. At least with YouTube you get emails or notifications on the site itself telling you about new videos on channels you subscribed to.

But then again, who has time to read these days? I’m blogging for an audience of less than ten people daily (haha) but that’s okay. It feels good to write anyway. And I might as well make up for all the times I didn’t blog in the past. I mean, keep throwing shit against the wall until something sticks right?

I don’t even read many blogs these days. I do read a lot of posts on Facebook though. It’s the modern version of blogging. And I don’t have to exit Facebook to read them. I guess that was the Zuck’s plan all along – keep everybody on the site so they don’t have to leave.

Anyway I was prompted to write this post when I was clicking on links left by people who used to comment on my blog and realized that they were all dead links. IMO blogging died when everybody started doing advertorials instead of content about their lives. Shout out to Albert for keeping it real!


I enjoy dreaming. It’s a hobby though it’s not something I can control. If I had my way, I’d dream every night. It’s like combining two of my favorite pastimes into one – watching movies and sleeping. The best part is, I don’t miss anything (unlike falling asleep in the cinema),

I’ve always been curious about the significance of dreams. Most of the time they don’t mean anything. But there have been times where I have acted on my dreams for no good reason. I mean, they’re just dreams right? No need to kick up a fuss about them. That’s what I did anyway. I remember I had a dream that (after looking it up online) signified I was looking for a change in my life, and I decided to take it to heart – so I quit my job. Granted, I was already thinking about it before the dream, but the dream somehow prompted me to finalize my decision.

But looking back, it was confirmation bias – I was looking out for some sort of sign to justify the idea. I mean, it wasn’t like I quit my job to start the next Facebook or go on to be a successful entrepreneur. I didn’t have to act on it immediately, but I did it anyway. I did the same thing in my first relationship too. I asked god to give me a sign, and when she asked to end the relationship, I agreed because I thought that was a sign from god. Again, I was young and dumb (now older, still dumb) and it makes no sense to me now. But that’s just how life goes.

So anyway, I’ve had some pretty vivid dreams over the past few weeks, some outrageous (like meeting a person who turned out to be a ghost), and some realistic (ever dreamed about going to work before? I have). Last night, I dreamed that someone I knew was a mechanical keyboard fan (that person probably has no idea what a mechanical keyboard even is) and showed me their collection of keyboards. It sounds stupid, I know – dreams usually do, but I find it fascinating that your brain can stitch together your thoughts into a somewhat cohesive (at the time of dreaming) story line.

Sometimes you have no idea if it’s a dream, sometimes you do. Sometimes you’re in control, sometimes you’re not. It’s like going to the movies without knowing the title or genre of the film. You’re in for a treat every time (I’ve probably had some boring dreams before, I just don’t remember them since they were unmemorable). One thing I’ve noticed from all my years dreaming – if you don’t record down what you dreamed about the moment you wake up, details become increasingly harder to recall with each passing second.

I’m still looking forward to the day where we have the tools to record our dreams. I wonder if they’ll be as interesting as we seem to think they are, or just random nonsense. Which reminds me of those apps that record your speech in your sleep. I’ve always been curious to know if I’m a sleep talker. However, I’m also afraid that I might record some shit I don’t want to hear (i.e. me saying creepy shit, or voices other than mine in the room in the middle of the night).

“Dreams should just stay fading away” – Jason Chan, 2017.

Casual Racism

I’m not sure if it was ever implemented, but I remember reading about the ridiculous ban on foreigners as cooks in hawker stores in Penang a while ago. I mean, I am all for eating tasty food but I honestly think people are being racist if they think that foreigners can’t cook food as well as the locals. I mean, come fucking on – it’s just cooking. Your race doesn’t define your cooking skills. You know what does? Your patience and determination to learn. All the practice you’ve done in the past. Your experience working in the kitchen. Where you’re from has nothing to do with your cooking skills – or any other skills in life for that matter.

Sure, there are restaurants out there that have dropped in standards but it’s not because of foreign cooks. Correlation is not causation. It’s because the cooks who were trained to cook those meals weren’t sufficiently schooled to do so. Blame the restaurant owners who let the cooks prepare unsatisfactory meals.

Maybe being from Malaysia helps. If you know how dishes ought to taste, it’ll help you when it comes to tuning the flavors. That’s the only advantage I can think of but it’s also something that can be learned over time. If all you’re doing as a cook is following an established recipe down to the T – there’s no way you can fuck it up right? If you do, you’re a person who is bad at following instructions. It doesn’t matter where you’re from. There are people all over the world like that.

Just because you’re Malaysian, it doesn’t mean you can inherently cook good Malaysian food. I’ve tasted bad local food from local cooks too. On the other hand, I’ve had local dishes prepared by foreigners that I would recommend to people. What does that mean then? Absolutely nothing. In the former, it was a case of incompetent cooks and in the latter, competent cooks. It had nothing to do with where they were from.

I honestly believe that if nobody ever saw who the cooks were (i.e. they were all behind in kitchens), nobody would complain about foreigners cooking. Just because they see a foreigner behind the stove, they’ve got a scapegoat. Because local chefs obviously can’t do wrong. It’s always the fault of the foreigners.

Foreigners are people too. And there’s a reason that restaurants hire them. They’re willing to do the same jobs for lower pay. Most of them come to Malaysia in search of a better life. What’s wrong with that? Malaysians do the same thing overseas. Would you like it if you weren’t allowed to work just because people in other countries complained about you not being a local?

Anyway, all I’m trying to say is, judge places by the food served and its service. Not where the cook is from. A shitty cook is shitty no matter where they come from.

If you don’t like the food from a certain restaurant anymore, file a complaint, if they value your input, they’ll listen to you. Or you can go elsewhere. If enough people stop going to a restaurant, they’ll make the necessary adjustments to survive. If they don’t change and they still survive, they’re obviously doing something right. In the meantime, you can go elsewhere. There’s so many places to choose from.

Getting rid of foreigners isn’t going to solve the problem. Also, if the demand for food by locals was so high, wouldn’t we see a lot more of them cooking instead? Just be glad that there are people there who would gladly cook for you in the first place.