Big Bad Wolf: Book Shopping tips.

I went to the Big Bad Wolf book sale today! You must be wondering how I bought books. The techniques, the process, the intention. Oh, you weren’t wondering about that? Well since you’re reading, I’ll tell you anyway. With the sale ending THIS SUNDAY, I hope these tips help you get the most out of your time there.

STEP #1: Focus, but not too much.

Decide if you’re a fiction/non-fiction person, and go to that section. Look out for the signs that have your preference on it, but note that some of the tables don’t have signs. Also, spend time to quickly browse through other categories too. You may unexpectedly find a book to your liking.

STEP #2: Take pictures.


HAH, I love that guy.

Put the books that you conlanfirm want to buy into a basket; but; take pictures of books that are 50/50. Beware, the number of pictures you take will skyrocket in no time! You do this to make your trolley lighter. Once you’re done exploring every nook and cranny, it’s time to settle down.

STEP #3: Filter.

Find a nice spot, settle down, and bring out your mobile device. It better be equipped with data because you’re going to do a lot of research in a short period. Not sure if WiFi is provided there though. Filter by searching for reviews of every book you’re thinking of buying. I like to use Amazon and Goodreads. Just google something like ‘How To Get What You Want book review goodreads’ and you should find a rating.

Sometimes, reading up on newspaper reviews are good too if the book’s really important to your work, studies or interest. Journalists from The Telegraph, The Guardian, Financial Times, and The Economist create reviews often, and if you’re lucky you’ll get to find an in-depth analysis.

STEP #4: Get rid of the rubbish, collect the winners.

Remember all the photos you took? Time to remove the ones you don’t need or find suitable. Narrow down your choices to the ones with the best reviews and ratings. By now, you should have a good grasp of where to find the books you took pictures of. If you’re me, you probably will find it again by luck. To stop this from happening, take a picture of the cluster where the books you’re interested in are. Now, collect the best ones.

STEP #5: Should/want.

Should and want are not the same. Take each book, look at it, and decide without overthinking whether you want to or should read this book. Want, makes it easier for you to finish a book. Should, drags it and makes you realise that you shouldn’t have bought it in the first place.

What’s the first thing that came up in your mind? I should read it? I want to read it?

The answer should always be ‘I want to read it’.

Other things to consider:

Bring recyclable bags that can withstand a lot of weight. Bring large empty backpacks too, so carrying the books becomes easier after you’ve bought them. Bring snacks to keep you going throughout the day, and water to rehydrate. It sounds like you’re gonna go for a marathon, because that’s what it is!

2-3 hours of walking, lifting books and pulling trolleys. Best be prepared!

Travelled a lot. Used the KTM from Subang, and walked to MIECC from the Serdang KTM station. It takes about 20 minutes of walking to reach the exhibition centre, so it’s definitely much more than what the BBW website says…

“Walk across to MIECC” Ok.

Finally, prepare to be asked questions regarding vouchers. Hong Leong Bank is offering them! So if you want to concentrate on only the books, act really busy. 

Happy book shopping!

The good buys:

IMG_20141218_094148 IMG_20141218_102746

When MAS announced Mueller was taking over as CEO

Why is it a bad thing for a non-Malaysian to head MAS as CEO?

Lost pride.

National identity crisis.

Unrealized local potential.

The idea that our very own people are not competent enough to run our very own companies.

Why is it not a bad thing?

Foreign or not, if it leads the company to new heights then why not. As future leaders of the country we’re constantly so disappointed in, we need to look past this foreign not foreign mindset and pick what’s best to bring ourselves out of this mess regardless of who put us in it in the first place. Much can be debated about who is to be blamed, or how much ownership should locals have in local companies, or who should pay our debts.

But how are we supposed to solve all these problems when we focus more on whether our newly-appointed national airline’s CEO is German, rather than whether he’s good enough to do his job?


The story behind Chonniu and Chuben.

The thing about Chonniu is that it’s such a cute nickname yet again created by the one and only Chuben (my girlfriend la).

It’s not the first time she’s done this.

First it was Blubber, because blubber is what keeps the seals and walruses up in the Antartica warm and cozy; and, somehow Chuben seemed to have thought that it suited me. She must have referred to my college tummy, although it was significantly smaller than what it is today. She used to think it was comfortable. It still is now. Maybe, even more comfortable now!

But, it’s nice to know that it keeps her warm like actual blubber. She keeps me even warmer too, with all her tight hugs. I have never liked it when our hugs end, but she knows that if each hug is to remain special and unique to each moment, it has to be brief. Thankfully, the feeling that lasts is the opposite.

Second nickname that she spontaneously created was Chubs… I think. It’s amazing how all these nicknames just pop out like mushrooms in a dense rainforest. What’s the origin of Chubs? I’m not sure. Shall we move on?

Third nickname that I can recall was, Shaunnie. Well, self-explanatory.

Fourth nickname was Bubs. To really understand the term ‘Bubs’, you first need to understand the complete definition of ‘Chubs’. I think I can explain what it really means now. ‘Chubs’ was derived from the word ‘chubby’, and according to the Law of Hsu-Ven’s Special List of Nicknames, you must deliberate over which letters are unnecessary. Or, to your whims and fancies, remove random letters and hope it sounds good.

However, that only applies if you have mastered and fully comprehended the Theory of Crafting Nicknames (written by Chuben Wong. View her article on Google Scholar for free). 

After substituting the letters ‘b’ and ‘y’ for the letter ‘s’, you get ‘Chubs’.

But, how about Bubs? Just apply the damn Law of Hsu-Ven’s Special List of Nicknames, damn it! Stated in Article 4, page 1103243109121308 of the Law:

One must be creative with the size of letters.

The explanation: make the letter ‘C’ smaller, rotate it 90 degrees anti-clockwise, and use it to fill in the gap in the letter ‘h’. Hence, you get a ‘b’. 

The result: Bubs. 

Last but not least, we have arrived at relatively well known ‘Chonniu’. How did the girlfriend do this? First, you have to look at ‘Chonniu’ as two separate entities: ‘Chon’ and ‘Niu’.

‘Chon’ is derived from Shaun; ‘Niu’, from Liew. TA-FREAKIN-DA! I believe the nickname ‘Chon’ was given by a friend named Lydia back in college. Lydia really liked us as a couple. “Chon and Chuan” she would say.

Now, how do you get Chuben?

Same thing! ‘Chu’ is derived from ‘Hsu'; ‘Ben’, from ‘Ven’. TA-DA!

It’s amazing how Chuben always comes up with new nicknames. I love her. A lot. 

Keep calm and dig out your friend’s embarrassing moments

Wouldn’t it be pleasant to feel so tired at the end of the day, because you laughed so much throughout it? What a happy thought.

It’s not always this easy. When you have so many things going on, all at once. That’s when it hits you hardest, and you struggle to cope with the pace of every thing that’s happening. Studies, and extra-curricular activities. Both good and bad can come out of this. Good, is when everything turns out fine at the end; bad, when you start worrying about everything before the end.

This week will be hectic, and I’ll need to pull through it eventually.


You laugh about the ridiculous photos that your friends posted back in 2008 on Facebook, you cringe at the spelling errors/MSN messenger short forms that they put up on their status updates, and you go to Andrew’s profile to find evidence of his previous experiments of using Adobe Photoshop.

His 1980s hair is hilarious. So are Zaim and Irene’s selfies, Chealsea’s undesirable return to skul, and Amir’s confusion as a result of his interest in things that contradict each other.

“WTH?” Amir expressed his frustration.

I see this thing where you dig out everyone’s embarrassing moments and publicising them emerge as a ‘thing’, a new trend, a headline whore.



Have a class in 7 hours

Went downstairs, played Cards Against Humanity with the guys, laughed our asses off, ordered Lucky’s salt & pepper chicken wings WITH chips. Salty, spicy chips stir-fried with chicken wings, onions, dried chilli and peppers. Who would have thought that this combination would actually work?! Who would have thought!

Checked my timetable. Turns out class doesn’t start at 12 p.m. but at 11 a.m. That’s a huge difference. Don’t know if I will be able to sleep soon because I’m as stuffed as a turkey during Thanksgiving. Overall, supper was good but thought I should have had 3 or 4 more chicken wings in the delivery bag.

I feel cheated.

Inspirational life quote from Shrek is love, Shrek is life. :

“I am ready. I spread my ass cheeks for Shrek.”

Don’t you feel motivated to live life now? Of course you don’t, stupid.


having a tad too much to drink

When someone has a tad too much to drink, you know how people say things like “He’s not going to remember this when he wakes up”? Well, I had a drink or two too much yesterday; but, I remember everything clearly.

I remember, when the first few drinks came along. Zhane brought some red wine to the housewarming, and Hau Wei opened the bottles for us like the seasoned partygoer he secretly it. We poured it for everyone in the house, and the party shifted its gear from dinner to drinks. Those plastic cups seemed innocent. A few minutes later, a pleasant buzz sneakily replaced my worries and concerns. It felt good. Slightly lightheaded, but good.

I remember, when 1 to 2 drinks transformed into 5 or 6. We started downing them like there was no event at 3 p.m. the next day that I had to be in charge of, because not worrying feels like the best thing someone could ever indulge in. Especially when you have a lot to carry on your shoulders, it felt good to let go of that weight even if it was just for an instance. We got Andrew to down some wine, and that whisky, and then vodka. *cue Krish’s “WOAAAAAAAAAAAH”

He got really red, and so did I (like the lobster I am). My head at this time, was really really light.

I also remember, that my cheeks hurt because I was smiling too much. Also, three people took videos of me. You… sons of bitches. Joking. Please don’t post it up on Facebook, or you’ll die. I kid you notPhotos are fine though!

I remember, everything in the living room was comfortable. Everything was like a bed to me. Not just any bed, but the softest and most cushy of all the beds ever produced in this world. First, there was the cold and soothing wall beside the television. Then, there was the couch. After that, it was Adre’s shoulders and Zhane’s. Then, back to the couch. Finally, my bed.

Most importantly, I remember how my friends helped me. They gave me water, they asked me if I was okay, they gave me more water to drink, a few plastic bags and even threw them away once I was done using them. Some even tried to clean the carpet! Once they put me into bed, they came in and checked on me several times before leaving, and even opened the window for me so that the room doesn’t become too warm and stuffy. How amazing!

I am so thankful. Thanks, everyone. It was a memorable night.


Had breakfast immediately after I woke up (took a shit before that la).

Boiled the water, put two eggs in.

Bring out my heavy ass wooden chopping board I bought from Ikea for about 13 quid (worth it), and began slicing oranges.

Zaim asked why didn’t just eat them from the skin itself, as normal people would do. Told him my teeth were sensitive, which reminded me to charge my electric toothbrush. Really love using the electric toothbrush, makes my teeth feel squeaky clean.

Back to breakfast…

Sliced the oranges into small chunks and put them into a ball. Added some good ol Dorset Muesli (the one with loads of raisins, dried apricots, and dried pears).

“NOOOOOOOOO,” the orange slices, dried fruit and oat flakes screamed for their lives as the milky mixture engulfed them.

This is more like a notebook la btw

Other than the definitions of Quell and Misgivings, I learnt two new things today:

1) Market Breadth, which determines whether a market is more bullish or not by analysing the number of companies advancing in relative to companies declining

2) Floating-Rate Notes, that is a debt instrument that protects investors against rising interest rates. How? I’m not so sure now.

UPDATE: I understand it now, thanks to this website; but not this website.

That’s What Shaun said recently hit the 200-like mark. It’s not an accurate measure of anything really, but at least I know more people are viewing the status updates created by the team.

If you’re wondering what TWSS is, it’s just another way to read the news. As I like to make things more understandable (out with the heavy jargon!), I thought that I could do the same with news stories. People often want to read and gain more knowledge of the world they’re leaving in, but it can be quite tough at times.

That’s What Shaun Said is a step towards making it easier for everyone. Check it out!

Moving in is tough la

Hello humans,

Settling into your new accommodation is difficult. You want to go to bed, but the mattress cover just does not fit the dusty mattress. You want to sleep longer, but you wake up at 6.30 a.m. after falling asleep around 2 a.m. the night before. You want to eat a solid breakfast, but all there is available at 9 a.m. is just the Curry Maggi packet you brought over from home and some hot water.

Speaking of hot water, guess what I used to boil the water? That’s right! A gas stove (while most people are stuck with that slow ass induction cooker installed in their flats or apartments).

It’s weird to have no drawers in your wardrobe. It’s also quite weird that your study desk is not equipped with any drawers. Come on la. With hope that Ikea will have what I need to make my room super need, I also hope that it won’t be full of people. 10 a.m. sounds like a healthy time to reach the place, because that’s when it opens.

You know what else happens at 10 a.m.? Rise of the drunken idiots, plodding along to class.

This is an extract of an actual conversation between said idiots:

“So what did you do last weekend?”
“I got soooo drunk at this club…(continues to speak about how (s)he would never do it again, and then does it again the next day)”


Three more days until I fly off.


In two weeks, I will be flying back to Leeds. As I am writing this, the little boy in front of me is impatiently waiting for his Styrofoam packets of Char Siew and Siu Yok rice. Swaying from side to side with a RM50 note in his hand, he continually peeks over the counter to check if the dishes he ordered to tapau is done. The intensity of his sways peaked, and then stopped as the lady handed him his plastic bag full of styrofoam packets.

He entered a car driven by his mother and they left. I did not like the way she parked, as she was slightly too close to the Alza on her right. My Alza.

It’s close to 2 p.m.

It feels so nice to have lunch alone at Uncle Yap’s Char Siew in Kota Kemuning. It’s peaceful. Customers, not many. Food, tasty and simple. Songs being played, Stay Away From Me by Secondhand Serenade.

What will one do without Char Siew and Siu Yok?

#VisitKotaKemuning2014 #TourismKemuning #KotaKemuningTrulyAsia


In three days, I will be flying back to Leeds. As I am writing this, there’s a lady writing down her orders on a piece of paper. Beside her, a family is having their late lunch. A mother, a father, and their two little girls. The parents are busy engaging with the lifeless devices in their hands, while the little girls are busy trying to get their attention. Technology, no doubt, gets us connected with millions in this globalized, heavily interconnected world; but too often it disconnects us with the ones physically closest to ourselves.

How many times have we seen a large group of friends at a restaurant, instead of engaging in face-to-face conversations, tap their fingers away on the latest Instagram photos and most viral Facebook updates?

Is the answer ‘too many’?