Tuesday, July 31, 2007

What boys want, The Star, 23 June 2007

Original article

Laura Ingalls struck me as the quintessential good girl with very high moral standards. Guys who might be available for a relationship would be put off by the thought that they would never be able to meet her expectations. Guys who just want some fun might think it would take too much effort. It's nothing to do with her looks.

I'm no male Carrie Bradshaw, but speaking from my own experience, if you want to change perceptions :

Perhaps your high moral standards come across in your views about many social issues or situations. Suggest lowering your standards in conversations by espousing some contrarian views like it's acceptable sometimes for married men to have mistresses.

But avoid telling dirty jokes. I've never met a woman who told them well. Then she comes across as lacking class or desperate. Perhaps ok only when both of you are extremely drunk. But it's fine to laugh at his dirty jokes. Be all feminine and say things like "terrible lah you"

But what really gets men is if you touch them, especially when you're not familiar enough to justify it. Find some excuse. Eg admire his shirt and feel the material by stroking his arm. Adjust the fit. If he's lean and trim, admire his abs and feel them out. (But not his buns…could be harrassment). When standing together, hang on to his arm to adjust your heels. (Helps if you're tipsy). Of course you must do it when crossing the road. When he tells his naughty jokes slap him on his shoulder or arm, going "terrible lah you". This is not about being dumb. This is about being playful.

Cheers, Big


The article 'What boys want' explored a problem and looked at it in a woman's perspective. I think that the male Carrie Bradshaw has a point, but his advice need not neccesarily be limited to women. Mary Jane mode to a woman is the same as the 'boring but secure' guy that has become the stereotype. Both genders have people with that type of character; more cautious and less wild. For some reason, the average human does not find that trait very attractive when looking for a mate.

I think an example will best illustrate my point, and since Mary Jane was brought up, I'll go with Peter Parker. Take a hypothetical situation. Peter Parker is single and available, and all the girls around him are independent career women who are looking for a companion instead of someone who can take care of them. Assuming we keep his spider powers out of this, what are his chances of success? He is a nerdy physics student, the typical nice guy. Pitting character against character, Harry Osbourne would easily look like the more attractive option (leaving his money out of the eqation.) According to conventional wisdom, the unpredicatability of the character holds some kind of appeal.

Different people have different expectation when looking for a mate. Some are looking for a fun companion, others look for stability. The reserved introverts appeal to the stability seekers while the loud extroverts appeal to the fun lovers. Very few go to either of the extreme ends of the scale, and your article highlighted one side. The guy you interviewed is obviously one that like his girls wild and uninhibited. His character is likely to be pretty wild as well. If thats the type that is the type of guy you are looking for, then taking his advice might not be that bad an idea. I personally think that his advice is rubbish, but I acknowledge the fact that there are guys out there who think like him. The advice is situational, and I think that the best person to ask if you should follow the advice or not is yourself.

I realize that I make broad sweeping statements, and that my claims are easily contradicted by many real life examples, but I write based on what I have read, understood and observed.

Lee Siew Weng, Melaka

Interesting article today.

I didn't realized what's Mary Jane ... till you mentioned 'lay a hand on me & I'll slap you" look... :)

It's funny but I knew a guy last year & he told me that "statement". Hmm, I realized that I am protecting myself unconsciously with my independence...

Hoh Li Chong


Read your article, well why wait or why bother about Men's opinion?

You ladies need not fall into any classification, just go with the flow.......

Best way to find the RIGHT man.....

1) Go for a one week holiday with him, stay in the same room

2) Watch how he treat other people or animals, that's the way he'll treat
you one day.

3) Test him for consistency & honesty

A considerate & honest dude is worth sleeping with.........

Rgds, Jeffrey Cheah


Conforming to a stereotype that is attractive to the larger part of the
male population may increase your chances of finding Mr Right, but it
also means wading through a swamp of Mr Wrongs. If you're prepared for
that kind of pain, well... .

There's not much work involved in spotting outer beauty. A man who's
looking for Ms Right usually relies on more than just looks - or
inappropriate pick-up lines. The only trouble is that he's really hard
to pick out from the crowd.

Like Peter Parker.

Don't worry too much about the analogy. If you manage to trip
somebody's Spider-sense just by being yourself, your search may be

Alan Wong, Wilayah Persekutuan

The Road to SP, The Star, 5 May 2007

Original article

I am from SP and from my understanding the reason the town initially spelled Patani was cause it was previously under Siam before British intervention and spelled Patani same to the present southern Thai Pattani. Old malay spelling or farmer was also patani and over time, the spelling changed to the modern spelling of Petani.

Delren Douglas, Wilayah Persekutuan

Life is Simpler Now, The Star, 27 March 2007

Original article

Read ur featured article on above subject with interest. Glad u wrote abt it cos I share ur feelings on the matter re change in a slower pace less well paid lifestyle yet become the object of envy and sometimes ridicule.

However, I'm not as lucky as u cos I did try apply for a writer job with a local mag but was discouraged by the interviewer :- " we dont and cant pay much" (I stressed I was very willing to settle for little etc.!), "u wont enjoy the work", "u cant handle it" etc. etc.

Yes, I do so enjoy writing, reading, sharing and earning with others on most topics under the sun!

All the very best to you Alexandra - do keep up with ur writing!

Elly Cheong, Penang


I read your article and I think you've made the right decision. It really is nice to live the way you get to. As long as you earn enough for your needs, it's alright to be a freelancer.

I work full time and how I wish I could be my own boss and have a flexi schedule. Yes, it's nice to see the sun. I only began to appreciate simple things like that since I started working last year and had less time for these simple pleasures of life which I had taken for granted. I often read your articles. They're interesting. Actually, I like to write, but am not really good at it yet. If you don't mind, could you tell me how you get to become a freelance writer?
All the best to you, and may you one day get "fat cheques drop in your lap magically every month".

Fiona, Penang


I think you are a bit of both.

However, the bottom line is still whether you will be able to live comfortably (financially) 20 or 30 years down the road? You do have to look that far into your future because that time will come evetually whether you like it or not. So it is important to evaluate your present situation and if you think that it will still be ok 20 or 30 years down the road then why not.......continue doing what you are happy doing now. My 20 sen worth of personal opinion

LT Seet, Pahang


I am 100% with you on this. Nevertheless, we have to accept the fact that it is not a concept or rather a way of life that's readily accepted/digested by our materialistic society of today. IMHO it's the individual fulfillment that matter most. It's such a simple thing and yet not easy to obtain.

Azizan Khalili, Klang


I think we should go back to the basic. But how many of us can really do this?? I was workaholic 12 years ago, I had a full time job with a good income, yet I was not satisfied, so I did freelance job as side income. One day I was diagnosed with thyroid cancer, since then my lifestyle totally changed, I stopped using perfume, I stopped carrying branded bag, I valued the time I spend with my family... and I worked as a part timer for almost 9 years. After reading your article, I felt good. At least someone out there willing to give up a high flyer job and back to simple lifestyle.

Sandy Gan, Klang Valley

Dynamite Dough, The Star, 21 July 2007

Original article

I was practically salivating over Alexandra Wong’s ‘passionate’ account with the “culinary marvel” that we Malaysians fondly call roti canai. ( Dynamite dough Weekender July 21)

I personally think that roti canai is often under-rated; one could never find this delight anywhere else, and even roti prata (its counterpart in the UK) could match up to its hype. It isn’t just merely a breakfast dish nor a plain mixture of simply “flour, water and ghee”; it unites Malaysians of all background and a perfect ice-breaker to strike off a conversation. Heck, it even serves as a great comfort food; a remedy for a broken heart – and do take my word on this.

Putting the typical tubs of ice cream and boxes of chocolates aside, how else could a broken heart be healed if not while dunking a “crispy delicacy of perfect filo pastry” into one heck of a fiery, flaming curry to accompany it?

Alas, although roti canai is fast gaining a notorious reputation as being part of the ‘bad’ food list, a bite or two wouldn’t really do much harm now, would it?

Plus, if only my local roti canai man comes in the shape “like an unshaven Viggo Mortensen”, I for one wouldn’t mind slaving myself off at the gym everyday to burn off the roti canai calories – just for the chance to gawk at him!

All hail to the roti canai!

Nazreen, Mersing