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Afterthoughts: The Script

Last night, I attended The Script’s concert in Leeds’ very own First Direct Arena. Here are a few things I thought about:
  1. Bands always lie about having the best crowds ever. If they perform in Leeds, that’s where the best crowd’s at. If they perform in Manchester, that’s where the best crowd’s at and so on.
  2. Watching the band perform at other places before you actually watch them live might be a good thing. For example, my expectations were lowered when the guys were watching The Script perform in Manchester. Man, did the crowd suck! Back then, I thought the atmosphere wasn’t going to be so great; but because I expected less, I managed to enjoy their performances even more.
  3. Concerts in the U.K aren’t as hyped as up as they are in Malaysia. A possible explanation is that international artists don’t visit us as much; so every time someone does, we react as though it will never happen again in the near future. Note: this usually applies to Western musicians. One can also suggest it’s because there are many more old people who attend concerts in the U.K. ‘Old’ people can be energetic too, but when compared to the girly teens who drool over Justin Bieber at his concerts do we really need to look closely at what makes a concert hyped up?
  4. The Script loves their fans so much their lead singer decided to be with the crowd during one of their songs. Literally. He popped out and started to make his way through the crowd. Imagine the shit the bodyguards have to go through if he did the same thing in Malaysia.
  5. The water dispenser is sexist. It was poorly placed outside the women’s toilet’s entrance, as though strategically out of reach from the men (unless they decide to put on a thick face to quench their thirst). I mean, how sexist is that! Men need to drink too! Thankfully, a few ladies giggled, acknowledged how awkward our situation, and brought us some water using plastic cups from the bar. First Direct Arena Leeds should really do something about their sexist water dispensers.
The gang had a chill out session at an Italian mamak (I say mamak just because they serve fresh and tasty food late at night). That’s enough from me. If you made through all 5 points, you get a bonus story for free! Scroll down to claim it.

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There was an old couple in their mid-40s who were so into each other they did not pay attention to The Script. Not only were they kissing each other passionately the whole time, they just had to let everyone around them know by bumping into them i.e Pathvinder and me the WHOLE TIME. At one point, they were so in sync with the songs I could feel their hair, body, arm, leg, butt rub against me rhythmically. EW.

Awesome times with awesome people.

It’s about time I shared my experience in Cardiff

As of now, I’m on a train back to the Manchester Piccadilly station from Cardiff. Derrick fell asleep and we have an hour left until we arrive. We talked about Cardiff, and shared our opinions on social media, friendships and relationships. This post is about Cardiff.

The people.

I can’t help but to immediately form a one-sided opinion of the Welsh: English people aren’t the nicest people the world, and although both cities are part of the U.K, they make the Welsh appear to me as though they were angels sent from the nests of holy red dragons. You will most definitely think, “That’s a bit too unfair! There ARE some nice people in England!” But whatever ‘some’ means really depends on how much you look like you’re from China, because for a Malaysian who looks like he comes from China I get a lot of shit from random strangers who love to talk shit about me behind my back. Derrick and I came across a few incidents where people actually offered to help us without us asking, from the train station to the city center. Even our AirBnB host was such a relaxed, easygoing person!

When we arrived at her place, this happened at the door:

“Should we take off our shoes?” we asked.

She paused, and then shrugged.

“Up to you!”

SAY WHAAAAAAAT.

Besides that, it was a major plus point that we had awesome friends who spent both days (and a night) with us just to give us the best of what Cardiff had.

The city.

If there was a chance to reconsider university applications, I would have included Cardiff; but for the average person who adores the city’s features such as its highly regarded prestige, congested pavements and skyrocketing prices, Cardiff would have been crossed off the list. When we arrived at our accommodation, Derrick and I thought we were in Iceland as the houses were plain white with colorful doors. Quiet and simple, a person would feel no need to worry about walking too slow. Cardiff Bay was beautiful, with the sight of the sea at one side and a little quaint town on the other; the city centre was like any other but without the congestion; the university, near to the student halls and residences with the discount supermarket Lidl just 5 minutes away from a friend’s place; Barry Island was a good place for socials… but for dogs; and, this is excluding all the other castles left to be explored.

The food.

The gastronomic experience can be summed up in three things: Mimosa, Welsh cakes, and The Plan. Located at Cardiff Bay, Mimosa serves traditional Welsh food with a modern twist: we had fish pies, Welsh rarebit, and cockles & bacon on toast. Moving on, Welsh cakes are small delightful bites of sugary scones that come in the shape of mini pancakes. Located at Cardiff Bay as well, Dawn brought us to Fabulous Welsh Cakes. “… and that kids, was how I lost my Welshcakeginity.” It comes in many flavors: raisins, chocolate chip, vanilla, you name it! Some have more floury textures like scones; and others, fluffier like buttermilk pancakes. Finally, The Plan. The LS6 Clock Café of Cardiff. Yes. Had the eggs benedict with Serrano ham, and thank god it was matched with the perfect Hollandaise sauce. Tangy, creamy, just nice la. A cool thing about this café was that the head barista once won the UK Barista Championship! Super cool!

Cardiff’s a tough city to say goodbye to, especially after it has shown us all its wonders on a rare sunny day. The Welsh are friendly people, and that is something I can never forget as a student who studies in an English university; the city has an Icelandic (or Scandinavian) feel to it, with zero rush; and, Welsh cakes are to die for.

p.s Dawn, Jessy and Terrance, it was really kind of you to accompany us during the whole weekend. All the best in your studies. Till’ we meet again!

MH CHUBS

This post was requested by the one and only, Chuben. She’s flying off to Adelaide soon using Malaysian Airlines. Hence, the creative flight code above in the title. Below is the result of what happens when your girlfriend wants you to write something about her, when you can’t think of anything. 

The post starts off like this:

Hi. I love you.

The end.

Xenophobia versus Grace: the use of words over time.

Yesterday night, I was reading an article written by the current finance minister of Greece, Yanis Varoufakis; but, this post will not be about a potential Grexit or an extended analysis of Greece’s analysis.

This post will be about words.

From that article, I stumbled into many words of which their definitions I couldn’t fully grasp (in the sense that I make sentences of my own with those words). It started off with xenophobia, which means prejudice against people from different countries. Then I scrolled down to see the Google graph of mentions of the word for the past two centuries. Screen Shot 2015-02-19 at 11.55.24 AM

The second word I googled was grace. I find that people rarely use grace as a verb, when it can bring praise and flattery to a whole new level when comparing it to the usages of ‘beautiful’, ‘did a good job’ or even ‘well done’. For example, “With her radiant smile, youthful charm and bulletproof resilience, Lina graced the political field with the help of her administration.” How classy does that sound? That doesn’t even come close to sounding like a cheap compliment! If anything, it isn’t cheap. Yet here is its mentions over time:

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Does the stark contrast between the mentions of Xenophobia and Grace tell you something?

I came up with a few ideas to explain this:

  1. Grace is ‘old English’. Fair enough.
  2. People worldwide are finding it difficult to adapt to increasing globalisation, and political parties and organisations of the like are becoming more concerned of the free movement of labour. E.g the EU, and the UK.
  3. Christians found new ways and words to express their love for the religion.
  4. (insert your own thoughts here)

It is very easy to say more people are becoming racist, and that less people are reading good books. This could OR could not be the case, but we shouldn’t fall into the trap of opting for the easiest and seemingly most sensible reasons although there’s much more to it.

Nevertheless, the two graphs show one thing: change. 

Malaysian politics: glimmer of hope

It’s disappointing see how the Anwar saga unfolded this time, but as much as we would like to shout and scream about how unfair and biased the Malaysian judiciary was against the opposition leader, we shouldn’t worry too much about the chances of Pakatan Rakyat taking control of government in the future, for humans can disappear, but an idea can never die.

People who combat the status quo such as Anwar himself can be suppressed, as evident in his 5-year jail sentence; and now the current government hardliners must be over the moon; but by the time an opposition steps up it would be too late for them to realise they have been digging their own graves, for once an idea is formed it can never be suppressed.

writing practice #1

It’s early in the morning, and it was after jotting down words I don’t know of in a notebook I thought maybe this I could give this writing practice an upgrade. I flipped to earlier pages, and selected 2-4 words. They were puff piece/puffery, and humdrum.

Then I made a short story out of it:

Once, they needed to escape the humdrum of their lives. In the city, they had though that each day would take a unique form of its own; one that would prove more exciting than the suburbs. Instead, it was like a puff piece. Lured in by its exaggerated claims, and forced to settle for its true mediocrity. Now, they had ended up with the fresh start they wanted; but, for how long until they realise it’s the same routine all over again.