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Friday, July 10, 2015

Ants Ants Ants

I champion black ants.

Not the thick one usually found on rambutan or mangosteen trees, but the normal domestic black ants, also known as common house ants.

I hate it when people kill those ants.

My mum is often annoyed that I wouldn't let her wash them away whenever they gathered inside a plate and steal leftovers. I'm like, "Mum, all you have to do is tap your hands on the table or the plate and they will go away in seconds!"

And why do you ask, that I like them so much?

Because they're friendlier than what comes next when they left their colony or being exterminated by pest control. You have the odorous ants, commonly known as 'semut busuk'or 'semut mayat', that don't care if you tapped the plate or the table, and will leave the terrible odour if you wipe them off the table. And they like to make nests in things that don't make any sense. Like in the cover of my favourite DVD, or my water bottle. Or God forbid, my books!

Then there's another species of ants, which is much much smaller than the odorous ants.

I hate them.

They're slow, they don't care and won't budge no matter how many times you shake the plate. And they bite. And they are so small, that sometimes you won't see them roaming around inside the carpet. Sometimes they bite you while you're asleep and all you see are red marks or bumps on your skin the next day. And they gather everywhere.

Of course, the best thing to have is no ants at all. But that is almost impossible, since we're living in a old terrace house, where there are cracks everywhere.

The existence of black ants helps minimise these other pesky ants.

A friend of mine tried exterminating all the black ants despite my telling her that she should't do so. What happens now? She has fire ants now.


Love your black ants, people!

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Workin on my night cheese.... (title unrelated to the post)

"You keep talking about work. What have you been doing exactly?"

Why, let me introduce you to the things that I have been translating for the past two months.

Disclaimer though... when a translator gets transcripts, it doesn't mean they'll get the whole thing. So, sometimes I did only five out of 35 episodes, or 20 out of 25 episodes, or sometimes even only one out of 100 episodes. The work given to me is quite random and varying. Sometimes they even get like, episodes 1-5 of drama A, then something else, then suddenly episodes 8-20 of drama A again.

I have to make that disclaimer because...... reasons....


A Japanese anime about one tennis prodigy named Maruo Eiichirou who takes notes of other player's game plan and aims to go pro.

Yes, that's the premise.

It's different from my previous work, because I have to do it not just for subtitles but also for dubbing purposes, so it's quite fun and annoying at the same time. Fun, because I have to imagine how a voice actor should sound (you don't want them to sound too formal), at the same time making sure the sentences are still up to TV standard.


Or translated to English as CHERRY SEASON, a Turkish rom-com series about an aspiring fashion designer who falls in love with her childhood friend and being romanced by her idol's hunky son, while her best friend is a backstabbing bitch who just wants the world to burn.

Okay, that was a bit over the top. But that's the whole premise. I don't really like the whole "Oh my God, I am a cutesy helpless girl who needs these two architects (and a photographer mesmerised by my inner beauty) helping me in everything" storyline, but it has quite a tongue-in-cheek dialogues that I enjoy translating in Bahasa Melayu. When a drama has a witty script, you kinda want to get creative with it.

And Istanbul looks sooo beautiful in this series, I feel like packing my bags and go there. But I'm poor. Help me, I'm poor.


I get that she has to play the shirtless mermaid,
but why are you unbuttoning your shirt, man?
Or FOOTSTEPS OF A MERMAID in English.... or loosely translated as "Mermaid Twins". This is a difficult one to explain. A woman marrying a merman (that's male version of a mermaid, for those who don't know), ended up being pregnant with twins.... one, turned out to be a mermaid, complete with scaly fish tails, and the other a normal girl, who has fins behind her ears. Then something happened, the mum thinks her mermaid girl died, so she moved away from the island with her normal daughter, the mermaid girl was adopted by her mermaid grandmother, they grew up, fell in love with the same man without knowing it, and I don't know the rest of the story because it's still on air.

It's quite difficult for me to translate, not because the language is hard, but because I am not much a fan of these fantastical series. Filipinos have quite a lot of them. They have Indio, Kambal Sirena, Dyesebel, Amaya, Adarna... some of them I translated, some not.

And I know for a fact they try to keep the women's attention by finding reasons for Aljur Abrenica to show of his six pack. I mean, why are you shirtless on the corridor of your workplace? That doesn't make any sense. And what's with this dream sequence where you're brooding in the ocean? Whose wet dream is this???? (I suspect the scriptwriter).


Another one of those Filipino fantastical series (I know, I keep getting them. I don't mind though, as long as I am getting paid for it). This one tells the story about this one girl, Adarna, who has a huge hump in her back that causes all the pain and suffering from all the lame mockery from people, that includes the corny "She's the Hunchback of Notre Dame", to the is-this-a-diss? chant of "Hump! Hump! Hump!"

She lives with a stepmother and stepsister who act like any stepmothers and stepsisters in fiction of yesteryears, and somehow caught the eye of a famous basketball player of whom she once healed when they were kids, because... she... has... healing... powers... from... her... hump...? (I don't know. I never saw the first few episodes). Oh, and she talks to birds.

I decline to make further comments.


How can someone be this flawless? I don't get it!
Yes, I have been translating a lot of Filipino series. This one stars Marian Rivera, also known as ugly women's worst nightmare (seriously, how can someone be that gorgeous AND have that sexy hoarse voice at the same time? It's almost ridiculous). She plays the titular character, a woman who was prophesied to kill the strongest king called Raja Mangubat.

For those of you who watches dramas for the eye candy rather than the actual storyline, well.... voila. Gorgeous women and men (who seemed unrealistic for an epic costume drama supposedly occurred before the Spanish invasion... seriously, if Marian Rivera lives in that period of time, she will not have milky white skin and flawless hair... and Pan-Asian look). The men all wear cawat and show off their bods, so I guess the gymnasiums all over Manila got quite rich during production.  And that includes Aljur Abrenica.

Man, that dude is shirtless in everything.


An old Filipino rom-com (not that old though, It was a hit in the Philippines in 2006) that tells a story of an FWO (Filipino Working Overseas) named Janice who works in Spain as a maid, who later works in this one Filipino guy's apartment. They kinda keep writing notes to each other without ever meeting in person, and later he fell in love with her without knowing she is his maid.

I love translating it because of its cutesy witty dialogue. Like I said, it makes a translator wants to be creative when you get creative scripts. Sadly, I was only given two of these. I would love to translate more of this show.


The story takes place after AMAYA, which means during the Spanish Invasion. It tells the story of a guy who has Herculean strength who didn't know that he has been working with the evil Spanish conquistador who killed his parents ....................................... yeah, that's it.

Weirdly enough, the people in this drama looks more like what people might look like in those days than in AMAYA. Oh and Aljur Abrenica is in it again. And get this, shirtless!

Ah, Aljur. You never fail to entertain.

Thank you. I'm glad that my shirtlessness entertains people.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Breaking a Promise

Yeah, I have broke my promise not once, but three days in a row. I will be back. I promise.

Aku berjanji dengan sapa dia tah....

Friday, July 3, 2015

Waiting game

I have skipped a day despite my promise of writing daily.

Meh, it's not like I have a lot of readers pun. Ahahahaha.

But still, yesterday my stress was at all time high. A'a has been missing for five days, and I received a lot of various information about him that it was ridiculous to put it on timeline. I mean, I thank people who gave the information, as they really tried helping (and helping is better than keeping quiet).

However, according to various sources, the timeline of A'a missing will be this way
Sunday: Was seen in Sri Mahligai Section 9
A few days later: Might be dead near the junction between section 11 and 12 (I pray to God this is not it and it's just some similar looking cat)
Tuesday: He was eating at my next-door neighbour's house

So it puts A'a in three different places in the course of five days. Knowing A'a and his lack of attention span, I don't think it would be possible at all.

I have come to the conclusion that if death is not part of it, A'a must have been:

a) kidnapped
- maybe a kid was interested in him (since he was so good at bodek orang) and decided to secretly stash him inside a bag and brought him home, only to get bored after a while.
- some people say that it's illogical that anybody would kidnap a grown cat. but a few months ago, a fellow writer revealed that her cat was stolen by a neighbour who then denied that she kidnapped the cat, saying that she bought it... when it was obvious that the cat, with all his distinctive features known by his original owner, is not hers.

b) unintentional kidnapping
- I have read several instances when a cat is accidentally taken away from its home due to its habit of getting into cars/getting into boxes/getting into bags.
- I experienced this two days ago while looking for A'a. Since my cat responses to finger snapping, I continued to do it while looking for him. Then I hear a cat meowing, so I turned back thinking it was him. Instead, there were three cats who were following me. I was like, "Dude, where did you guys come from? Your owner would panic if they realise that you are missing!" Long story short, I gave them some food at home (because they have been walking with me for a while and must have been hungry), and then put them back in the neighbourhood I found them.

c) A'a just doesn't want to come home
- Maybe he just didn't want to come home and have decided to stay outside instead (this, I assume from my neighbour's statement saying he visited them on Tuesday). I told you before that A'a isn't that loyal. He's like Spongebob's Gary. Maybe he has decided that he doesn't want to be our cat anymore.
- This is not impossible. I used to have a cat called Koyon. He stayed with us for a year, and then one day decided that he wants to be an alleycat and didn't come home anymore. We will see him passing by sometimes, and sometimes he would stand in front of the door and ask for food, but he would not come in and stay like he used to.

In any case, life continues. Mum said that I should take a breather and take care of myself instead. I have done all I could in trying to find him. I have asked for assistance from the Shah Alam Residents forum, I have asked for my post to be shared on FB, I have looked for him every day, day and night.

I guess it's now a waiting game.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

My Parents' Diplomatic Communications 101

My parents have a distinctive way of expressing themselves.

And I think it has influenced my writing a lot.

Mum, who keeps blaming her "Minangkabau blood" for her way of speaking in circles, never ask you to do anything directly.

Let's say she wants you to clean the aquarium, instead of saying, "Bersihkan akuarium!", she goes, "Kesian ikan tu berenang dalam air kotor."

No matter what my mum said or whatever reason she gave, I know for a fact that mum just doesn't want to sound like she is giving an order. She wants us to understand what she wants without needing to say it.

Which is annoying at times, to be honest. It's cute at times, but annoying the rest of it. I mean, sometimes when you want to do something quickly, you just don't have time to interpret her words. I mean, saying "Makan bihun goreng pun sedap, kan?" doesn't actually give you any information whatsoever.

What is it then? You want me to make it for you? Buy it for you? You want me to agree? You want me to buy things for bihun goreng? What is it that you want me to buy? The bihun? The shrimps? Oil? Sawi? What is it??????

My aunt Eiasah, her sister also talks the same way, and my uncle likes to make fun of it.

Last time, we were in the car returning from Sri Menanti, and she saw some stalls selling petai.
"Sedap nampak petai tu," she said.
But my uncle didn't stop.
So she asked, "Kenapa Lik tak berhenti beli petai tu?"
He replied, "Esah kata petai tu nampak sedap, tak kata nak berhenti pun."

Dad, on the other hand, never ask things in a way that shows that he wants it. He asks a question instead.

For example, "Adik nak buat air tembikai ke hari ni?"
(That's not a question. That's dad's way of saying, "Buat air tembikai".)
"Awak nak masak apa hari ni? Mee rebus?"
("Aku nak mi rebus.")
"Kaklong nak telefon Ashu ke?"
(Kaklong, telefon Ashu.")

And this stems from the fact that my dad, who has always been the go-to guy, the sole provider of the family, is not very comfortable asking anything from his children. He doesn't like being seen as the one who needed help from his kids. I mean, even when I want to give him money, he'll be like, "Adik kan tak dapat royalti lagi bulan ni. Tak payahlah."

Dad, I have at least three jobs, okay? Take the money!

And so, instead of asking for something, he rewords his requests into questions to make you believe that it's YOU who want to do all that that he asked.

And as their daughter, I find myself being influenced by them in my daily conversations, and sometimes it irks my friends.

Instead of saying, "Aku nak pergi kedai tu kejap", I say, "Kedai tu nampak macam best, kan?" (which is the mixture of my mum and my dad's way of asking for something).

**sorry, I can't continue with this for the time being. It's been four days since A'a went missing and I'm quite distraught.