Tuesday, February 24, 2009

A Scholarly Kinda Guy Buying Books.

Uploaded by Bergen.

PEOPLE ARE GONNA LAUGH so hard until their eyeballs dry up when they read this. Scholarly looking kinda guy is out to buy books for his house because he's figured now that he is a university student and all, it's about time he does something about the living room to make it look scholarly and academic because that way, he can have people say something like this; what a scholarly and academic kinda guy you are! And the scholarly and academic kinda guy would be red in the face, taking in the compliments coming from friends who drop by for a bit of dinner now that they know the scholarly and academic kinda guy is gonna pan-sear a stack of lamb cutlets later in the evening. To the scholarly and academic kinda guy, people can say all the nice things in the world the whole day long and he wouldn't mind one bit because it's nice to receive the compliments from where they came from even though he knows people who give compliments freely are usually not very honest about it.
Now that the scholarly and academic kinda guy has got the bookshelves installed, all he needs to do is to go out and buy books to fill up the shelves with but before he does that, he's gotta figure what kinda books he should buy because you know how it is, people judge you by the book you read. And the scholarly and academic kinda guy isn't the reading kind himself to know any better what kinda books he should buy because the only book he's read from page one right up to the last page is a book about how to sharpen knives. It took him two years to leaf through all the 40 pages. It is the best book he's ever read and he doesn't see any reason why he should read any other books.
But now that he's a university student and all, people around him talk about this book and that book which got him to feel left out that he's decided to do something about it to catch up. He's started to make frequent visits to bookstores and such, putting up a behavior as if he's a well-read and learned kinda guy going on a book hunt, seeking to broaden his horizon of knowledge or something like that. And so he bought two books; a manual how to repair mountain bikes, and a book about the mechanics of brush fire, which is different from petroleum fire. He's figured it'll take him at least 5 years to read these books from cover to cover since the words are printed small but that's okay because the books have nice, big and colorful pictures to look at if the reading gets a little too rough.

Note: The image is not the living room of the scholarly and academic kinda guy.

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Things I Picked Up From The Movies.

I PICKED UP A THING OR TWO ABOUT LIFE AND WOMEN, from the movies I watched at Panggung Happy. They've tore down the movie-house long time ago but they can't get it out of my life because in my mind, Panggung Happy was the best classroom there is in the whole wide world. In there I learn to say 'Let's go!' just like the hero. I learn to smoke like James Bond, drink whiskey like the cowboy in the saloon before he fights off the bad guys, on behalf of the women with flowers in their hair sauntering up the stairs to a room above. I learn about getting into a fight and forget about what's gonna happen to you after the first punch starts to fly. I learn that the hero doesn't have a family and all he does is ride into one town after another, leaving behind the woman he's slept with last night still in bed. I learn about interesting jobs reserved exclusively for men to do because he's born to take care of dangerous things like petroleum fire or horses stampeding out of a corral. I learn to love guns. I learn to love bows and arrows. I learn to love horses. I learn to love nice clothes and nice shoes. I learn how to behave when you walk into a fancy restaurant or a casino. I learn to smoke in bed. I learn to light two cigarettes with a single match and give one to the woman lying next to you. I learn to kiss. I learn to hold a woman close to my chest. I learn things that would have taken me a life time to do them right the first time. I watch the movies with eyes wide open when the hero kisses a girl for a long long time as if he doesn't care if the world comes to an end. I learn to promise myself to marry someone who looks like Elizabeth Taylor or never to marry at all.
I learn English from the movies. I memorize the phrases. I memorize the words. I use them in essays but the teacher doesn't get what I mean because the words don't spell too good. I learn that the world, just like the movies, works in Simple Present Tense. It is just sad that none of the movies has ever taught me how to take care of the woman I used to love with everything I hold sacred...

Note: The image above is an old movie ticket of King's Theatre, Singapore. The word 'Panggung Happy Dungun' was added using Photoshop CS3.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Let It All Hang Out.

Uploaded by Bergen

PEOPLE SAY I SHOULD TAKE LIFE EASY, stop and smell the flowers every now and then, enjoy the breeze and the sun and the birds and the bees and the insects and everything this green earth has got coming for me. All this, people say, can make me a happy person. Lead a happy lifestyle people say, with a bit of luck I don't have to go see a doctor to check on my blood pressure every now and then because you know what people say about blood pressure which is not good for me if you are in the same age as mine which is forty eight going on forty nine on the first day of spring and that would be 21 March.
I don't have a garden where I can I stop and smell the flowers every now and then to keep my blood pressure down. You see, I'm not much of a garden kinda guy and for that matter neither am I a floral kinda guy to be prancing about like a court jester smelling one flower after another like a bee getting itself drunk before going off to a party to meet up female bees. I don't like flowers all that much because it is not too good for the masculine side of my personality. But flowers are the least of my worry because they can't make my blood pressure to go up on any given day. But hangers, now this is something else.
I am at war with hangers. And this is permanent. Nothing can raise my blood pressure like this device that I can't live without because I keep a few dozen of them to arrange my clothes in a neat row according to the weekly-sequence that I've worked out long time ago. They are not much of a problem if I keep them on a railing, but pile them on a bed and you've got yourself a chemistry problem picking them up one by one. Somehow they'll entangle themselves to one another to make my life miserable which in turn, raises my blood pressure to a boiling point. But I'm not going to lose this war and I've got a strategy.
First: I know hangers are out to turn my life into a wreck but I'm not going to give them this pleasure. 
Two: I've learnt a thing or two about staying cool when it comes to dealing with entangled hangers. Take a deep breath, remove them one by one, all the time whistling a happy tune like 'You take the high road, I take the low road, soon we'll be back in Scotland' or how about this one: 'Brown Girl In The Ring' by Boney M, or 'Mama Mia ' by Abba or 'Rendezvous' by Tina Charles.
For weeks I've done this and the result is simply amazing. I now go to a big store like Carrefour or Giant to hunt for hangers, hoping that the store clerks pile them all up together and when they can't pull them out one by one, I'm right there to do the job. As a matter of fact, I'm thinking of starting a company, or hangers anonymous to help people who might have to face the same predicament as I used to when they've got issues with hangers.

Friday, February 13, 2009

I Got Something On My Head.

Uploaded by Bergen

UNLESS YOU ARE BORN TO BE KING you'd better think at least twenty five times before you wanna put something like that on your head and start walking around like a wise guy, feeling like a million buck, smiling like a fish about to be fried in a wok of boiling palm oil.

THERE'S NO POINT HIDING THE FACT from you but you should know by now that I was a king one time in my life. As a matter of fact my good-for-nothing subjects used to call me by my proper given name and that would be Bergen Your Highness. I was Your Highness this and Your Highness that all the time, 24 hours a day. But me being a free-spirited guy at heart didn't take that kinda treatment too good and so one night I jumped out the window of a big palace where I stayed to join a circus as a lion tamer. Oh yes, I had a colorful life from the time I was born. From king to lion tamer. Have you ever come across someone like that in your life? Probably not in your life time but here you are, reading about it right off your computer screen, probably thinking to yourself, is this guy for real?

OH YES. I am as real as the black guy who is now the president of the United States of America.

SO INSTEAD OF THAT KINDA HEADGEAR, I put on something more comfortable like a nice and fashionable (and practical) Australian bush hat. Sometimes I put on a cap to look like Magnum P.I. And when I go riding, I put on a helmet to keep my head safe in case of a fall. When it's time to go to the mosque, I put on a Tok Guru ketayap. When I 'm out on the field or a rig to install the valves or gaskets, my client would want me to put on a safety helmet. It makes me look good since the hat goes very well with the boiler suit that comes in several colors such as red and orange. I'm not sure if the headgear in the picture above is suitable anywhere outside a palace. It can only be worn inside a palace where you don't get to feel the fresh air in your face, or the misty salt water in your ears. You also don't get to smell the diesel and grime when you put on something like that on your head. As a matter of fact a headgear like that can do things to your head that make you behave funny. If you remember, Ayoh Pin used to put on something like that on his head and it got him to believe that he is god.

IT MAY BE JUST A PIECE OF CLOTH wrapped into a coil that you put on your head. It may weigh about a quarter of a pound but it does carry a heavy weight if you get to wear it in your life time because you don't get that job by answering the recruitment ad in the newspaper. You get that job because it's your birth right. You may feel lucky and privileged to have the job, here on this earth, that is. But in the hereafter, that same headgear may be a huge mountain that you may have to carry around on your head as a form of punishment if you don't do your job well.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

BERGEN P.I - We Bring 'Em Back.

Image uploaded by Bergen.

ON A GOOD DAY WHEN THE SUN IS SHINING, BLUE SKIES AND ALL I get about 2 phone calls at the office and I gotta be honest with you that the calls I get are not from my loyal clients but are from people I still owe money with and they want their money fast because the invoice is way way overdue. And so I promise them to check on me again tomorrow if I am still in this business of valves and gaskets for the oil and gas industry. I'm not sure if I can make it through this bad times now that business has slowed down to almost a halt. At the rate the whole thing is going I may have to diversify and what better business to get into other than a full-fledged private investigation agency with added service such as bounty hunter, specializing in locating and bringing back missing politicians from their hideouts.

There's a huge market for this type of business now that going missing has become such a trendy thing to do among politicians, very much like having your over-priced coffee at one of those fashionable coffee outlets where you can sit all day drinking coffee while playing with your laptop. I firmly believe that this business is recession-proof because people need politicians to keep us amused and as long as there are politicians, there's a good chance that they will play the missing game every now and then.

You don't need to cook up a working paper to start this business. Those young executives at the bank won't know how big the potential is for this business to grow, especially in Malaysia while they're still thinking and pondering about anti-hopping law. But I'm not too worried about anti-hopping law because with or without it, politicians can still go missing when they feel like taking a break from working too hard for the people who elected them in the last election.

Like every business venture, I'm gonna need high-profile equipment to get me going. I may have to start small. For a start I may not be able to afford James Bond kinda car, or his kinda suit, and shoes, and women and all. So I'm gonna have to go with a worn-out t-shirt, 501, a pair of worn out shoes, second-hand camera phone and a pen, just in case I need to pry open a door or something. And I'm gonna have to print my business card, and invoice, and quotation. I've figured this out.

Consultation - RM25.00
Field Work - RM10.00 per day
Politicians (Rate) Parliament: RM350.00 / State Executive Councillor RM200.00
Cabinet Minister: RM3,000.
Deputy Prime Ministers: RM500,000
Prime Minister: Negotiable.

I'm gonna have to hire a Girl Friday to take care of the office like answering the phone and stuff like that. The girl must be pretty and should be able to handle herself, preferably she knows martial art. Who knows people might storm our office in the middle of lunch because we are in a dangerous business.

As for now I can put on hold the order from a Norwegian oil company and concentrate on my new business venture. So I'm gonna need a new title: Bergen P.I. Kinda nice, like Magnum P.I, or Mike Hammer. I'm gonna like this job and my first assignment is to go find that Arumugam guy who is said to be missing and is believed to be in Chennai. I'll figure out later who my client is and who's gonna foot the bill, when I bring this Arumugam guy back to whoever wants him for what he is worth.

Don't call me at the office because I'm onto something big, out in the field looking and hunting for a missing politician. If you need that valves for your oilfield, just sms me and I'll get back to you as soon as I can. You may leave a message after the beeeeeep...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Sultan Of Swing

MAYBE THE GOOD SULTAN GUY DID, OR MAYBE THE GOOD SULTAN GUY DIDN'T perform Solat Istikharah when he got a decision to make. As a head of state and the chief of the Islamic affairs that he is, I trust that he did perform the Solat to ask for divine guidance before he said something like this: Yo! Go get that Zambry dude or what's-his-name-is to come see me and let's get on with this swearing in business because I gotta be some place you don't have to know by 5.00 pm.' And that's how it is that I got caught in the jam downtown Kuala Kangsar because I had made a decision to have a look-see look-see of the town and have a bit of something to eat before proceeding nice and easy to Sungai Bakap.
I'm not much of a political guy because the last time I posted a comment in one of those political blogs managed by people who seem to be angry at everything, a lot of people wrote back calling me all sorts of name that got me quite crossed. And so I figured it would be in my best interest to leave those people alone because they've got blood in their eyes that may make me want to start something with them for fun like a punch up because I would love to have a bit of a punch up with one of these vermin because hey, they started it. But you know how it is, people can be very nasty in the net but pretty nice outside, or the other way round.
A lot of guys came around to ask me questions that I didn't really wanna answer on account I was annoyed for not being able to enjoy the look-see look-see of the royal town. And it was getting pretty difficult to find a makan shop with all these people going about shouting at the top of their lungs that got them rather hoarse in the throat. I drove about in a Japanese car feeling vulnerable since I made it a point on this trip, not to carry any object that I could use as a weapon just in case a guy got too excited about seeing a guy like me who didn't seem all that excited to shout at the top of my lungs that could get me rather hoarse in the throat. And so I put up a smile here and there. I know the smile was out of place because how can you smile as if posing for a photo in a sea of people evidently angry at something that they were ready to kill. And so I put a blank face as if none of this mattered to me all that much, but that didn't help either because how can you have a blank face when everyone around you is agitated and excited with something?
I'm not much of a smart guy but I could see that all this is about PKR and BN getting caught in a game of who's in charge of Perak. I don't wanna know who jumped ship and got on board of another. I don't wanna know who has the majority, or whether state assembly or Sultan has the power to choose anyone he likes to be The Boss of Perak. He could have chosen me and I'd run the state the best I can by making sure that every man and woman jog at least 5km a day, 3 times a week and eat healthy food, swim 20 laps in a 50m pool and all that stuff. But I was at the wrong place at the wrong time. I should have taken the North South Highway, but I thought a drive along the trunk road leading to Sungai Bakap was a good thing to feel sentimental about yesterday-once-more.

Wednesday, February 04, 2009

Studying For The Test.

INSTEAD OF HITTING THE BOOKS like a good student I should be to study for the test in March, I go about the house ironing and re-ironing everything in the cupboard including the handkerchief, sweeping and re-sweeping the floor, mopping and re-mopping everything flat, dusting and re-dusting everything that the house is now clean as a nuclear plant. As a matter of fact it is so clean I got nothing left to do except to open up a chapter of a book to study but what do I do? I go start up my new iMac and fidgeting here and there to type this entry. I gotta admit that I have never liked school all that much except when I was in Remove Class D of Dungun English Secondary School. That was because Miss Low was there to teach me English and she was pretty that I thought I'd marry her and live happily ever after. There's no pretty girls at UIAM that I fancy falling in love with and this is a big problem because I kinda need a bit of romance to get me fired up to study and do well the exam.
And so for the past couple of weeks, I have been keeping myself off the books when I should be reading those pages like a student that I am but what did I do? I took a drive to a nice restaurant to treat myself to a fancy Middle Eastern food that got me quite full that I thought of calling a cab to take me home on account I was too full to drive that it could pose some kinda hazard to other drivers on the road. But that didn't stop me from treating myself to loads and loads of good olive oil, tahine, nougats and bukhor to keep the house smelling like a mosque in Morocco.
Still I gotta read those books if I want to continue my pursuit for knowledge next semester. By the look of it, I don't stand half a chance because I've been missing classes quite a bit because of my trips to Sungai Bakap but that was OK because in my book, doing something for love is always a good thing even though I might not get anything in return but still, at least I can say to myself I did what I had to do for love.
Ok, I gotta read. (Did I have a bit of baklava in the fridge? Wait, I gotta fix a bit of lemon syrup to along with it. And then I read. If it doesn't rain. Otherwise, I'm taking my bike to go ride in the rain.)