29 December 2011

I Remember Why I Do Not Go to Xmas Parties

December. As well as being the (politically correct) Holiday Season, it's also the season of endless partying.

I've got nothing against partying. In fact, I do enjoy the odd party now and again but when it comes to partying around this time of the year, I'd rather stay at home and keep as warm as I can.


Here's a couple of reasons:

1. The weather
Cold, icy, frosty and snowy weather isn't actually party-friendly weather. Whatever destination you're headed to, it's normally not worth risking life and limb to get to. The summer was made for partying, not late December.

2. The people
Nothing wrong with people in general. It's just the ones you do your utmost to avoid at work seem to be the ones that you end up being stuck with whenever the party/dinner/drinks come along.

3. The food
Being Malaysian, this particular item would naturally come way at the top of any party. Unfortunately, around these parts, it's more of an afterthought. And, if you're like me and more often than not would have to opt for the vegetarian option then, things get even worse on the food front. The vegetarian fare at Xmas parties normally consist of some spare roasted spuds, mashed carrots, boiled garlic cloves or some sloppy pasta, straight out of the can.

4. The tux
Now this might not apply to everyone particularly the girls but year on year, I cringe at reading 'Black Tie' written on the Xmas party invite. OK, I completely understand when the ladies go through all the effort of getting their hair done, their tan on and their bodily hair waxed off. In the end, they actually look better. Well, most of them. For the dudes though, the same doesn't apply. Yes, we don't fork out as much but the fact remains that guys spend a load of money just to look like they belong on the set of Happy Feet (or even worse, a horrible parody of 007 himself - yes, I'm talking to you dude in the white velvet tux).

I hope I'll remember this lengthy note-to-self to remind me whenever I feel the need to blend-in and sign-up for next year's round of parties.

- Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone

08 December 2011

A Different Kind of Journey

Normally, I'd merely go through Phoenix Park on my way to work. On the Vespa, the 5 miles or so to get to the park from home is effortless and depending on traffic, would take anything between 5 minutes and 15 minutes. Not actually a long journey by any standard but, it's a little bit different when you throw away the old 2-stroke engine and replace the pressed steel frame with what basically is two wheels stuck onto a couple of aluminium tubes welded together.

Yes, on one cloudy and mild Saturday morning, a friend of mine and I set off on a bicyle journey. At first, we weren't sure of our destination. All we had in mind was to do as many miles as we could within the hour or so that we had that morning. Fed up with going around Blanchardstown, I came up with the idea of cycling all the way to Phoenix Park.

My cycling buddy (let's call him Sam) looked at me in disbelief.

Both of us had only recently started cycling as a way of getting some exercise. Football was out of the question as we didn't have enough numbers among our circle of friends to get a decent five-a-side game going. Not on a regular basis anyway. Plus, the last time we experimented with expanding the circle, it went horribly wrong. All this of course ignores the fact I'm totally crap at football anyway. So, we turned to cycling.

Sam was still staring at me as if I had just suggested that we compete in the Giro d'Italia or something.

I know a short cut...
I tried to reassure him with my local knowledge and after a moment deliberating on the best (read shortest and least hilly) route, we were on our way.

Next objective: Dublin City Centre!

02 December 2011

Now Here's An Idea for a Paint Job: The Harimau Malaya Vespa

The Vespa LX150 was done up by Piaggio's Malaysian distributors Naza Primera with the aim of latching onto the wave of excitement around the Malaysian football team's recent achievements.

All well and good (and very bipartisan which makes good business sense) but then the distributor apparently went and ruined all the good reputation it gained from the Harimau Malaya Vespa by doing a follow-up which is not the greatest of ideas, to say the least.

I've accepted the fact that riding a Vespa leaves me open to being labeled or associated with mods, skindheads, hipsters, crazy-dude-who-thinks-he's-in-sunny-Italy and what not. All of which I'm fine with (to an extent) but now thanks to Naza Primera,  I might also run the risk of being identified as an UMNO goon and that is something I'd want to steer clear off. Maybe Naza Primera could gain from this major marketing cock-up - they could end up selling Vespa-branded hi-viz vests with Not an UMNO Member printed as big as possible on the back and front so that no one, absolutely no one can mistake a normal dude enjoying his ride on his Vespa as a member of the extremely evil Lord Vader's 501st Legion UMNO.

Pics nicked from the Star Online, Ammboi Dot Com and the Malay Mail Online
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