西崎崇子 - 3650 夜

Friday, July 25, 2008

Mom to me: Your Bitch Ain’t Eatin’

Yep. That’s what mom told me. Your bitch ain’t eatin’.

It’s been a rough week. It happened about a week and a half ago, when mom expressed her concerns over Mickie’s lack of appetite. My pet mutt Mickie has always been an overweight poochie, so I reassured that she was gonna be just fine. I overlooked one vital fact though: it didn’t stop there.

A few days later mom called again. This time I was a bit worried. She practically begged me to go back on Thursday night so I could bring poochie to the clinic the next morning (state-run vet clinic, operation hrs? Weekdays from 9am to 4pm…) I told her we could only make it on Friday night and tried our luck on Saturday morning .

Much to my dismay, the clinic wasn’t open that Saturday morning. Mom almost used the 4-letter word to describe those ‘lazy government scumbags’. I didn’t dare to utter a word, she’s right when she thinks she is. No point arguing.

Mickster hadn’t had any solid food for 4 days. We couldn’t do anything to help her. Christy was whispering (out pretty loud though…), “Is it time yet?” and discussed possible feline companion ‘after’ Mickie. We joked about it. I think I even mentioned something about a pair of eagles :-) That certainly lightened up the mood a little…

But then miracle happened. Mom, as usual, prepared her food and she nibbled it. The process was painfully slow, but an improvement nevertheless. We were all overjoyed. But she didn’t eat anything at all after that. Mom was like, “At least she drank a whole lot of water…” That WAS a blessing. Sunday morning, she was eating slices of pancakes off my hand. That same afternoon, she ate some chicken shreds off my palm, and was licking my fingers. I noticed that she didn’t wanna eat off the bowl, I wonder why…

Anyhow, she started nibbling food since Saturday, bits by bits, but still, an improvement. Mom called last night, she’s eating just a tad bit every day, but drinking heck lotta water. That was quite a relief. I just hope that the chubby Mickie we have in pix won’t be a distant memory…

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

A Mother & Her ‘Very Special’ Child

This is an incident that happened about a year ago, way, way before I started this blog. It wasn’t constantly on my mind, in fact, this is the first time it pops to my head in months. Thinking back, I don’t know what sorta lesson it serves, probably nothing much.

I was in the mall waiting for my sister to pick me up. After picking up some groceries, I headed straight to the pickup/drop-off section of mall, saw a chair full of people, so I just stood still and waited.

Suddenly I felt a pinch on my butt. My heart was pumping fast and having guessed the worst, I turned around and saw a smiley-face grinning, almost nonchalantly. Immediately I snapped out loud, “Hey, what the hell did you just do?” The teenager was still smiling, but my blood pressure was already up a few thousand times. Boiling inside(coupled with the fact that he was still smiling ‘innocently’), I was ready to confront him again, this time, his mother (who was standing nearby) dashed over, apologized and explained that her child was “a special kid”. I remember I reacted by screaming at the top of my lungs, “HE GRABBED ME!!!” She kept on apologizing without making any eye contacts , which was pretty odd to me because SHE was the one apologizing, instead of the boy. Why did his mother have to come to his defense? I thought to myself. I stared back at the teenager, my heart almost sank. He didn’t have any remorse at all. He still didn’t wipe that almost-innocent smirk off his face. I could kill him now, I thought then.

Still seething but nothing much to do, I went over to sit on a vacant spot. Already 10+ people in the nearby crowd witnessed my ‘Mad Day’. If that wasn’t enough, the kid was still smiling. I wasn’t sane enough to think, so I had plenty of time to hatch imaginary murder plots to ‘take care’ of all the perverts in the world. When I was snapped out of it, I took a good look at the kid who grabbed my butt. I noticed something. He was still smiling innocently. Why oh why? I thought to myself. Is he a retard?

OMG, that’s what his mother meant by ‘special’… I didn’t notice she almost choked when she used that word, and I lost my head (& lungs…) the moment he grabbed me. The mother—obviously embarrassed—was just holding the boy’s hand and staring down the floor. I saw the sadness (and helplessness) in her eyes, she was just holding the boy’s hand, waiting for someone to pick them up, and hoping for the day to be over, fast. Meanwhile I was on the other end of the bench, having simmered down a little, but still agitated. I could be forgiving sometimes, with ample reasons provided f’ course…

The boy was with someone around his age, probably a brother. The brother looked frightened and anxious when I confronted the perpetrator. When I told my sister the whole incident, Christy quickly dismissed the fact that the boy might have done this on his own will (because, according to Smarty-pants, ‘he’s not that bright’), and someone else might have been pulling the strings. Someone with brains and someone with remorse and fear when caught. Her bet was on the brother.

Anyhow, all I could only make out of this incident was, indeed, nothing much. Maybe I shouldn’t have yelled, but even the child was ‘special’, he or she, in my opinion, should be taught what’s right and what’s wrong. The mother wasn’t all to blame, she’s probably had a million people shunning her and her son all these years. And I admit I know next-to-nothing about special education, so to give a one-sided argument is pure crap. All in all, I feel for the mother.

Sunday, July 13, 2008

The Shoplifter Who Inspired Me :-)

This morning I dragged my sister Christy out to have breakfast (by the time she was done, it was lunch time), and we had ‘lunch’ at a Chinese hawkers center. Before we’re done, one of my sisters, Polly, was already scheming what to do after we’re done. Her plan? To go ‘long kai’ (Chinese for ‘loafing around’), but, as usual, the plan was shot down by Christy almost immediately.

So instead we went to the supermarket to buy some grocery items. When we were there looking for a car park, there was this police vehicle parked right outside the entrance. Cops car? Who cares? We thought. Must be harassing some poor cashier to get his ‘rightful’ FOC cigarettes or so, I thought.

Seconds later, Polly “Oh-My-God”-ed us and we turned around, two cops were escorting a handcuffed male into the car. The shoplifter had a blank look on his face, motioned slowly into the car and they drove off. I spotted a disdained look on my sisters’ faces. But before they left, we managed to catch a glimpse what he’d almost bagged—milk powder for baby.

Poor thing, Polly said. I had this sting in my heart for a while. And then Polly murmured, “It was for his child…” Indeed it was. Then sea of thoughts started to pour in. Poverty in the country…Is it that bad? Is there no end to the regime’s corruption that poor people didn’t benefit from the affirmative action that has been implemented since decades back? Wasn’t the policy supposed to help poor people? (For more on this policy, please refer to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Malaysian_New_Economic_Policy)

Society WILL condemn someone like the chap who stole something from a store, because the society MIGHT NOT have seen what he stole. We’re taught to condemn people like these, attuned to the customs and norms of the society and yet we always forget there’re 2 sides to every story. Had we had witnessed what and why he stole, we’d be more inclined to forgive and forget. Lack of education, unemployment and the rising costs of living (and inflation that comes along with it…) have made poverty seems like something harder to eradicate now than a decade ago during Asian Economic Crisis. Lacking in democracy, fair trade, free market practices and transparency make a nation lag behind its competitors, discourage foreign investment and thus perpetuate poverty. High levels of corruption undermine efforts to make a sustainable impact on poverty (capital not evenly distributed).

I do not know how will the properly-uniformed law enforcers work this out with the shoplifting chap. I’m guessing that the outlet management wanted to press charges, I just do not know how his fate will turn out, but I hope it won’t be his worst. No matter what, I’ll keep him in my prayers tonight.

Tuesday, July 1, 2008

How Monopoly is ruining Malaysia…

Imagine having no alternatives for the bad service you receive at any state-own post office, government departments (Immigration dept., Civic Center, TNB, etc.), or even—right now, in our case—from the very government that halted the whole nation’s economy since half a century back? In our case, Barisan National, that is.

Had the police force in this country be run by 2 separate entities—or bodies—we wouldn’t have lost so much confidence in the uniformed enforcers every time we got pulled over. A mere “20 Ringgit Boleh Lah!” could easily erase an offender’s name off the list/record he was supposed to be in…

Had the Immigration Department had another aptly-named Doppelgänger ‘Department of Customs & Immigration’ (or something better…), we wouldn’t have to wait in line for another 3 hours due to ‘some technical problem’…

Had the management in the national courier be a tad more efficient, I wouldn’t have had paid the insurance for something that couldn’t be insured. 3 returned parcels a week later (because it couldn’t be covered) and a simple ‘We didn’t get the memo’ (the staff didn’t know parcels can no longer be insured, claimed that they didn’t ‘receive the memo’ from head office based in KLIA) had ruined my reputation. For RM1.50 (US$ 0.45) a parcel, I now have a tainted relationship with 3 very important customers because I didn’t meet my deadlines. For RM 4.50… WOW…

When I approached the manager for possible ‘damage recovery’ (compensation…), he shrugged off any claims that he and his branch was responsible. I further pressed for his superior’s contact details—who is based in KLIA—and he didn’t look too happy. After minutes of hesitation he finally got someone to ‘call me’… the whole fiasco had taken up a full working day of mine :-( The result, the KLIA-based guy was willing to ‘look into it’…

Imagine we have only one shampoo brand to use, or one single oil company that sells what is now the world’s most precious organic compound. A company can always jack up the price of a product when it has the only presence in a market & that people can’t live without it. Do you really think diamonds are synonymous with wealth, riches and social status? DeBeers used to controlled 90% of the world’s diamond production, and f’ course, used that to fill its own insatiable appetite—they marked up the price to a thousand times higher and made the diamonds ‘stones the riches breathe and live’.

Now imagine a world that is run by one single entity. A country, more like. After decades of economy stumble we still carry the false hope that the faces we used to know could change the world & the place we live in. Neighboring countries have already risen from the ashes, and stupid local politicians still dared to compare us to ‘Myanmar’ (“we’re much better than Myanmar…”)—an ill-fated country since decades back—and got booed on stage (“Why compare us to Myanmar? Why not Singapore?”) Ha, some poor souls might not realize it, but stupidity is—at times—inborn.

Are there no alternatives to the already-vast BN ruling? Will there be a future for our country, the ‘Fifth Dragon’ in the 60s and 70s? When have we started to slack off, trail behind Thailand and even Indonesia, only to find ourselves mirroring—and proudly yelling that we’re much better than—Myanmar. What a sad truth. This is the result of, allowing monopoly to take over humanity.