By the time you’ve walked through the entrance, your eyes gaze in either shock or amazement at the various outlets surrounding you. Bright LED signboards, a plethora of China-made products, and LMFAO resonating through the hallways – with its cheesy chorus almost sounding looped by the amount of stores blaring it out of their speakers.
Its culture is one that higher-middle class Indonesians cringe about, but it is very much a quintessential element in Indonesian culture. If you were to visit Jakarta , the array of nightlife is vast – The selection of nightclubs and bars span from the swanky to the downright dodgy.
So you’ve consulted your Lonely Planet guide book, and it refers you to a ‘popular’ nightspot that offers cheap drinks and popular western music. What you find when entering the club, is a room packed with hookers and seedy looking South East Asian men, rocking out to some sort of music that sounds like Euro trash techno grilled up with hardcore amphetamines.
Driving the roads of Kuala Lumpur is no easy feat. The numerous cars, trucks, buses, and motorcycles cutting in and out of lanes makes commuting a daunting task in the capital city. On the road accidents are a common sight, reckless driving and speeding are the causes of the high road death toll each year. Undoubtedly, Kuala Lumpur is not a safe place for cyclists to be pedalling around the intensity of KL traffic.
You’ve made a promise with a friend. To meet up cordially for a couple of drinks on a Friday night to wind up from a rigorous week of turmoil from work. The time and meeting place has been committed, and you’re getting ready for a good night out. When you get to the place, late. You find that the person is still not there. Continue reading
Ever sat on the toilet, and thought of devouring a delicious steak while you’re taking a shit? Well, Now you can. In Taiwan, there are a chain of restaurants called the ‘Modern Toilet’ that would like to change your imagination when someone tells you to ‘Eat shit’. Customers enjoy their food sitting on toilet seats, whilst eating their ‘diarrhoea noodles’ served in a toilet bowl, and wiping their hands with toilet paper. Continue reading
I’ve just finished most of my ‘real’ work and a much needed break is needed. Struggling through the tundra like conditions in Melbourne is almost intolerable, and all I can imagine is the grease producing humidity back in Malaysia.
The life of the beach bum is one that I find quite envious. Lazing around on the soft sand, basking in the warm allure of the seaside sunshine, and having no care of the troubles of the world. I’m especially jealous of the beach boys that hang around in Kuta beach, Bali.
Bali is an escapade for tourists in search for white sandy beaches, warm equatorial weather, and for some great scenic attractions and partying spots. For some, Bali is destination for love. At most times, unattached, forgettable, and with a taste of guilt left in the morning.
At Kuta beach you’ll find the ‘Kuta Cowboys’. Groups of tanned, sandy haired, toned bodied, local pretty boys; who are seen strumming away at their acoustic guitars and on the prowl for lonely western women who want a ‘good time’. Their cheeky allure found by their infallible pick lines such as, “Hey, hey, you. Beautiful. I Luup you,’ seems to work with these frustrated middle aged western women.
They’ve earned a reputation of being gigolos on the beach. Searching for ladies unlucky in love, and in need for some comfort and a ‘release’. Their cause may be seen in positive light, bringing excitement to the experience of Bali, however, they’ve gotten some bad rep from local authorities who want to shut this ‘prostitution’ ring down.
In an attempt to put a stop to the prostitution and gold-digging, police officials immediately launched a raid on Bali’s beaches, resulting in a net arrest of 28 suspected beach gigolos. Many people have since lashed out against the government-directed raids.
Singaporean director Amit Virmani recently released a documentary entitled ‘Kuta cowboys’ (or ‘Cowboys in Paradise’), in which he documented these relationships for the public to see. The film’s release was met with a torrent of fury from tourism and government officials alike.
Here’s a preview:
The Sin tax.
For a smoker it is seen as a harsh punishment of the reality we have put ourselves under. A punishment tormenting the time we first lit up, either from trying to look cool when we were teenager’s, or discovering the habit through a stressful situation, or even from instances of peer pressure. The rise of cigarette prices have enraged, shocked, and most probably caused more people to light up in stress with the absurdity of the prices.
The Australian government has kept smokers trapped with an ultimatum: Pay more or Quit
Quitting is hard, much too hard for many smokers. Many just can’t be bothered to rise up to the challenge. The health benefits are obviously a massive reason to quit, but to exterminate a ‘companion’ that keeps you calm and confident when trying to achieve the other challenges in your life, is too much of a sacrifice.
The strongly addicted must succumb to the punishment of being seen as a dirty, unhealthy smoker and now has to pay a hefty price tag for his forced lifestyle choice. Surely the economic burden is another strong incentive? But no, ignorance is too blissful, money can be made, and life is too hard and docile to experience it for too long.
Mind you this is not a article to suggest my fellow smokers to Quit. I would be a hypocrite to say so. You and I know it is actually within our own choice and mental strength to kick the habit.
I have been motivated to buy loose tobacco. It is the economically way of smoking these days. I trade the accessibility of packet cigarettes to rolling my own. Thinking about the situation now, I find strings of frustration. Somewhat, ironically in a positive manner.
I am frustrated that I can’t roll a proper cigarette,
I am frustrated that I have to succumb to buying loose tobacco,
I am frustrated because of the prices,
I am frustrated that I am a Smoker.
“Fuck. I need a Cigarette.”