My beloved readers,
Saturday, December 5, 2009
My beloved readers,
Saturday, January 31, 2009
Alright, I admit. It's going to be a lazy post, but this is something I read off the net today.
The Best Complaint Letter Ever?
This is a letter recently received by the Virgin Atlantic customer complaints team and is currently being hailed on news blogs, such as this one on The Telegraph as possibly the funniest customer complaint letter ever.
We called the Virgin Atlantic press office and they confirmed they received the letter and that Richard Branson himself called the author to thank him for the feedback.
Here's the letter.
Dear Mr Branson
REF: Mumbai to Heathrow 7th December 2008
I love the Virgin brand, I really do which is why I continue to use it despite a series of unfortunate incidents over the last few years. This latest incident takes the biscuit.
Ironically, by the end of the flight I would have gladly paid over a thousand rupees for a single biscuit following the culinary journey of hell I was subjected to at the hands of your corporation.
Look at this Richard. Just look at it:
I imagine the same questions are racing through your brilliant mind as were racing through mine on that fateful day. What is this? Why have I been given it? What have I done to deserve this? And, which one is the starter, which one is the desert?
You don't get to a position like yours Richard with anything less than a generous sprinkling of observational power so I KNOW you will have spotted the tomato next to the two yellow shafts of sponge on the left. Yes, it's next to the sponge shaft without the green paste. That's got to be the clue hasn't it. No sane person would serve a desert with a tomato would they. Well answer me this Richard, what sort of animal would serve a desert with peas in:
I know it looks like a baaji but it's in custard Richard, custard. It must be the pudding. Well you'll be fascinated to hear that it wasn't custard. It was a sour gel with a clear oil on top. It's only redeeming feature was that it managed to be so alien to my palette that it took away the taste of the curry emanating from our miscellaneous central cuboid of beige matter. Perhaps the meal on the left might be the desert after all.
Anyway, this is all irrelevant at the moment. I was raised strictly but neatly by my parents and if they knew I had started desert before the main course, a sponge shaft would be the least of my worries. So lets peel back the tin-foil on the main dish and see what's on offer.
I'll try and explain how this felt. Imagine being a twelve year old boy Richard. Now imagine it's Christmas morning and you're sat their with your final present to open. It's a big one, and you know what it is. It's that Goodmans stereo you picked out the catalogue and wrote to Santa about.
Only you open the present and it's not in there. It's your hamster Richard. It's your hamster in the box and it's not breathing. That's how I felt when I peeled back the foil and saw this:
Now I know what you're thinking. You're thinking it's more of that Baaji custard. I admit I thought the same too, but no. It's mustard Richard. MUSTARD. More mustard than any man could consume in a month. On the left we have a piece of broccoli and some peppers in a brown glue-like oil and on the right the chef had prepared some mashed potato. The potato masher had obviously broken and so it was decided the next best thing would be to pass the potatoes through the digestive tract of a bird.
Once it was regurgitated it was clearly then blended and mixed with a bit of mustard. Everybody likes a bit of mustard Richard.
By now I was actually starting to feel a little hypoglycaemic. I needed a sugar hit. Luckily there was a small cookie provided. It had caught my eye earlier due to it's baffling presentation:
It appears to be in an evidence bag from the scene of a crime. A CRIME AGAINST BLOODY COOKING. Either that or some sort of back-street underground cookie, purchased off a gun-toting maniac high on his own supply of yeast. You certainly wouldn't want to be caught carrying one of these through customs. Imagine biting into a piece of brass Richard. That would be softer on the teeth than the specimen above.
I was exhausted. All I wanted to do was relax but obviously I had to sit with that mess in front of me for half an hour. I swear the sponge shafts moved at one point.
Once cleared, I decided to relax with a bit of your world-famous onboard entertainment. I switched it on:
I apologise for the quality of the photo, it's just it was incredibly hard to capture Boris Johnson's face through the flickering white lines running up and down the screen. Perhaps it would be better on another channel:
Is that Ray Liotta? A question I found myself asking over and over again throughout the gruelling half-hour I attempted to watch the film like this. After that I switched off. I'd had enough. I was the hungriest I'd been in my adult life and I had a splitting headache from squinting at a crackling screen.
My only option was to simply stare at the seat in front and wait for either food, or sleep. Neither came for an incredibly long time. But when it did it surpassed my wildest expectations:
Yes! It's another crime-scene cookie. Only this time you dunk it in the white stuff.
Richard.... What is that white stuff? It looked like it was going to be yoghurt. It finally dawned on me what it was after staring at it. It was a mixture between the Baaji custard and the Mustard sauce. It reminded me of my first week at university. I had overheard that you could make a drink by mixing vodka and refreshers. I lied to my new friends and told them I'd done it loads of times. When I attempted to make the drink in a big bowl it formed a cheese Richard, a cheese. That cheese looked a lot like your baaji-mustard.
So that was that Richard. I didn't eat a bloody thing. My only question is: How can you live like this? I can't imagine what dinner round your house is like, it must be like something out of a nature documentary.
As I said at the start I love your brand, I really do. It's just a shame such a simple thing could bring it crashing to it's knees and begging for sustenance.
I sincerely love this guy. He has brought much joy and entertainment to the complaints department of Virgin group, relief to the unsatiated passangers of Virgin airlines and of course to mua, le much amused reader.
Wednesday, January 28, 2009
Earlier, I was driving back from my aunt's place. It was dark, and suddenly I felt a distraction..
I ignored it.
*flash of movement*
Me: *stares at the road ahead*.. going at 90 km/h
I caught a mosquito today - with my bare hands, in the dark, while i was driving and staring at a road ahead. It felt pretty damned good, not in a sadistic way, but knowing that sometimes you still got it.
Back to less serious matters, my Chinese new year has been great so far, traditionally with much family fervour. I reckon my family has gotten more accustomed to city CNY celebrations instead of back in Rasa (my hometown), which still stands as a favorite choice. It's dissapointing to think that it's merely another house to rent currently, in place of what once was the breeding and living grounds of the Wong clan.
I miss that house for so many reasons. Firstly, it was a single storey bungalow with almost an acre of land all around. It was a simple layout comprising of the house, the shed where the bulk of gardening and heavy rusted equipment was stored, the mini barn (yes, an actual chicken barn) where we used to have a self-sustaining egg source, and the not-so empty land where animals usually roamed around the many fruit trees available. (which proved to be a source of much excitement when fruit seasons arrive!)
Ahh, I can't help but feel the nostalgia of myself as a Justin junior, running around with nothing but his round face, stumpy clothes and a fat smile across his face. Sheer bliss knowing that all there was to do when I was back in Rasa was to collect my MOOlah (haha, couldn't help it), eat and be merry. That was it, that was the job, and I sure did it well.
Yet, being so young, it was easy to take for granted the fact that the people around you were what made that atmosphere possible.
I think I'm in the right direction when I put my family first most of the time and I'll do my best to keep it that way. After all, when all else fails, you will always have your bloodline to depend on, trust me, I've pulled that card more than once.
GONG XI FA CAI to all my loved ones, sincerely wishing you abundance of health, wealth and happiness throughout this year! =)
Posted by justinwong at 12:11 AM
Monday, November 10, 2008
I read a recent article which quizzed me on our human ability to feel and contemplate emotions and what was my grasp on my own emotions. Upon some answering and inner meditation, it proved to be quite a revelation.
Be true to yourself and try to answer these:
1. Firstly, how many emotions have you felt in the past 24 hours?
2. Name all the emotions in your dictionary of emotions?
3. Why the (big) difference - if any?
So I answered them:
1. Happy (that I was spending time with my family), hysterical (when my crazy cousins started making below-15-yr-old jokes), lame(nothing unusual there), angry(traffic..), mundane(waiting.. on the world to change), excited(because I bought some cheap cool gadgets!), proud (because I found out my body could do some things others can't. STOP right there if your mind was going on the road less taken.)
2. (Aside from the ones I've mentioned) Ecstatic, confused, lonesome, depressed, down, overjoyed, mischevious, I need a thesaurus.
3. I dunno, you're supposed to tell me, aren't you?
I read on. Imagine this, there was a scientific theory that basically says that you are only able to experience the emotion that your mind is able to label with a word. In other words, if you have a limited vocabulary, you will have limited emotions you can feel and more importantly understand. Haven't we seen many a time in movies where the character says, "I don't know why I'm feeling this way.." or "I just can't put my finger on it..".
For the benefit of the doubt of the scriptwriters, I highly doubt their limited vocabulary is the main reason rather than for the scene itself.
What came to mind were Chinese shows and how they mostly had plots relatively shallow to their Western counterparts. Then you start to think how Chinese label their emotions. For eg, sad (EN) would be Sam Tong (Heart Pain, CN). My chinese ain't the best in the world but I know that English has almost a few thousand words expressing emotion while chinese are one third that number.
The point is, we humans brag about our "ability to feel" and all that but how many of us are making the best of it all? Maybe we all should get that shirt with those faces, eh?
Posted by justinwong at 1:35 AM
Tuesday, September 23, 2008
After 5 months in the island, I'm now back to BAT headquarters. And headquarters it is. I'm seated in between 2 bosses, with other bosses wandering just around the corner. First day and I finished work at 10pm. I do see more of the 'Freedom Through Responsibility' principle played out here but.. when many are still busy at work at 7pm, I suppose the freedom is limited only by yourself now.
Caged in your own cell, how weird is that.
And as weird as it sounds, I now have to get used to KL, especially the food part. I'm so used to travelling wherever to get whatever and it all'll be about 15 minutes away max. KL's mostly food courts and all at RM5 or more. KL, so called the state in the land of opportunity. Inflation here is quite terrible, I tell yah. And one more thing about the food. Suddenly I realize that the portions are not all that big after all compared to Penang.
So I'm still having mixed feelings about being back. And I'm not having less freedom, just a different type of 'caged freedom'. The pace here is faster and I'm guessing I'm just slightly in denial about the whole thing. I'm starting to miss Penang man! :(
In the meantime, do watch this hilarious parody of the current political scene. Subtitles and vocals are played to perfection! Kudos to kavilan for his commendable work! Can you guess who's 'Hitler' in the parody?
Friday, September 19, 2008
Today marks the end of both my business and personal attachment to Penang after a long but awfully short stay here.
And so I write this with a rather heavy heart as I leave the island that I have become so fond of. For the benefit of brevity and spontanity, I will just leave out rhetorics and focus on the anvil that just hit my head all of a sudden. And obviously I will not be touching on the local delicacies.
Freedom is something that has came on and off during my transition to adulthood beginning with me acquiring my driving license all the way to living with my mates away from "the nest" during the Nottingham days.
But living alone just brings a whole new scope to things, doesn't it? The fact that you can literally do ANYTHING you want without a whim or worry and the fact that you have to do ALL the necessary chores to keep your house in order and in living condition has made me understand the balance that comes with freedom. (as ironic as that sounds) You know you have to clean the sheets so that you don't develop sudden rashes or allergies. You know that you have to wash the car when it turns from white to off-white. You know that you can't leave your trash lying around because they aren't going to move by themselves. You know you have to empty the rubbish before.. it starts smelling like rotten durian. You know you gotta pay the bills or you'd better have your torchlight and 10 gallons of 'emergency water supply' ready. Yes, they all have happened (except for the bills part, I'm pretty tight on that).
The things you take for granted.
On the other hand, like I said, you get to choose when and how you want to do or eat what and where and with whom. Every teenager's fantasy! Think about dinner, what movie to watch, how long to surf, what to read, to work or not to work, how long you want to read, etc etc.
Every teenager's fantasy? Not when you're alone, no.
I'm pretty sure you're asking, "Any friends..at all?" I"m just getting into that.
I've met some of the quirkiest people here in Penang. Let me list it a few:
Lim: Manages to bring people to Holland and leave you laughing but in a motion blur wondering what the hell was your question again.
August: *stunned look*............................ What?? Fun guy who brings the entertainment in forms of mahjong and golfballs.
Lam: SPIM head who never fails to amaze me with his spanar throwing techniques. (that's lingo for giving objections to your proposals in the utmost politically correct manner). One of the geniuses hiding in Penang.
Patrick: Entertainment officer of Penang forever who is biased towards Hokkien Mee.
Terrance: (stolen from 'The Last Lecture') The one who made me realize sometimes the hardest brick wall is about 5 feet tall and made of flesh.
Master Loh: U know Alan Shore from Boston Legal? 'Nuff said.
Papa Lai: Someone who reminds me of that guy in 'Under one Roof'. The wise man armed with entertaining stories that leave you no choice but to willingly agree with everything and anything.
I'm also gonna dearly miss the quirkiest names that they have so fondly nicknamed people here in Penang like Pilot King, Tau ke kia, Rojak, Rambo, Super, Sweeden, Tham kuailan, JALL, M.K.T, and many many more. Yes, BAT's not all work, no play. No siree.
(Most) Penangites are also known for their kualian-ness. (I'll attempt this. *inhale* It's like when you mix stubborn, irritable, demanding, arrogant and - dare I say - bitchiness and take it down 3 - 4 notches) But when or if you get past that, it's just a lovely place where everyone's cincai (simple minded), less racist, less calculative and pretty honest to my standards.
Add all of these factors up (including the food of course), you get a place that is pretty irresistable to most, while others cannot and will not let go off. Is it a wonder why patriotism is so high towards Penang? (island only, Butterworth not so)
I can't promise that I will remember all the Hokkien that I've picked up here, but I will forever remember the lovely memories or work and play that this island and their people have brought me.
Wednesday, September 17, 2008
People say imitation is the best form of flattery and more often than not I agree too when it comes to buying up the dvd shop in batu ferringi, or when it comes to picking a RM8.50 charkuayteow versus a say, RM2.80 charkuayteow where you'd have to wait for 45 mins and 5 mins respectively. It's all the same to me.
But aside from certain college assignments as well as some classroom antics, I never expected for me to encounter someone..copying.. me. (yes, low self-esteem does come from not scoring Bs in my class)
If I may, amplify the scenario to gigantic proportions, I would see myself imagining how it'd be to be a rockstar for a day. I'd have a giant afro that defied gravity and smelt like the bush from hell. I'd mix it up like rapstars with some old school Bling™ that hung from my neck all the way to my.. u know, other bush. And when I come on stage, I see people idolizing me and echoing every word I rock from my rocking mouth.
I say: YEEEEAAAOoOooooo...
They say: YEEEEAAAOoOooooo...
I say: WooOoeeaEEEEAAAOoOooooo...
They say: WooOoeeaEEEEAAAOoOooooo...
Then again, it isn't that dramatic. A friend of mine tzeching also had her site copied big time before. It's just someone blatantly plagarized my post, and I think it's funny. It's not like I'm making tons of dough typing my ramblings everyday.
But I do want to say this, the least you could do is LINK my SITE, woman!