Sunday, August 30, 2009

Are you applying for PR ? Act 2

As I mentioned in my previous post, I always get asked whether or not I’m going to stay in Australia after I finish my studies, and whether or not I’m going to apply for an Australian PR… Apart from family being a factor, another factor that affects my decision on the matter is of course job prospects and wage issues. And by job I mean work, not blow jobs...

If I decide to stay in Australia and apply for a PR, my job prospects and wages might be more attractive in the long run, but I’d have to suffer a bit at the start. Most of you would be puzzled at that statement, but allow me to explain myself. You see there is a policy, to apply for work in most reputable Australian companies, you either have to be an Aussie citizen or have PR. If you have neither, the chances of them hiring you is very very slim. And this happens in all Industries except maybe retail and the F&B industry. So while waiting for their PR application to process, most people will end up working long hours in retail or F&B just to cover their living costs. But seriously, after studying 5 bloody years of university, I’m much more inclined in testing myself in the field that I studied, and not spend time in other industries.

The tricky thing is that in Australia, applying for PR is a little bit like collecting BonusLink card points (a type of rewards card in Malaysia). You accumulate points according to the Aussie immigration system, in which there is a long list you can look up. For example, if you are under 30 years old you get 10 points, and if you studied certain courses you get 10 points… stuff like that. The more points you have accumulated, the faster your application will be processed. Better still if a company agrees to sponsor your application, the process will be much faster than usual.

But you see, its really a chicken and egg situation… Which came first? The chicken or the egg? If there isn’t any chicken there won’t be any eggs… and vice versa. The same goes for the PR application, if a company sponsors you, the application would be fast; but if you don’t have PR or citizenship, companies won’t hire you in the first place. Yup, this is seriously fked up. And so far, I’ve heard stories of people without sponsors that take up to 1 ½ years for the application to be fully processed. So that means if my application takes that long, I’d be working in an industry that is not related to my course for 1 ½ years !!!! OMG, no I don’t think I can deal with that.

The thing is, even in retail and F&B, the basic wages here in Australia is much higher than in Malaysia. Of course if I worked in a corporate or company that is related to my area of studies, then my wages would be even better :) I am told that as a fresh grad in Malaysia, my pay at best would be 36,000 ringgit a year, in Australia however, a fresh grad pay would be on average 40,000 dollars a year. Of course the living standards here is very different, but the wages here is 3 times of what I can get back home… Hence that is why I say the wages here is very attractive. There is still the chicken and egg situation though, I believe I would be able to get a job related to my studies in Malaysia within a few months after I graduate, but in Australia, I have to wait for the application to go through.

So the question for me is, do I want to spend god knows how long working in retail or F&B while waiting for my PR application to go through, just for a chance of a better pay in the future when I do get my PR? Or do I want to head straight back to Malaysia and be able to get a job related to my studies much faster?

Choices choices… and decisions to make >.< I have quite a bit more to say on this topic, but thats for next time.

Signing out.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Are You Applying For PR ?

Are you applying for PR?

The most frequent question I get is are you staying back in Australia after your education? Are you gonna find a job here? Are you planning to apply PR and stay here? I don’t freaking know the answer to all those questions… My education is still a long way away, and honestly I haven’t given it much thought yet.

I mean realistically there are a lot of things to think about right? First and foremost all of my family members and a lot of my friends are back home in Malaysia, so that is surely a huge motivator to make me wanna go back home. And in terms of family, I really have to be back home to take care of my parents, since I’m the oldest son in the family. Despite my parents having enough resources to take care of themselves… as long as dad doesn’t suddenly decide he wants to drive a Ferrari, that doesn’t mean it gives me a passport to leave home entirely.

I mean sure, monetary wise my parents won’t starve if I’m not at home, but at their old age, I think what they need most is emotional support, right? They may be able to support themselves monetarily, but where are they gonna find the emotional support? They have been there for me for a huge part of my early life, and I think I should be with them too as much as I can. I am starting to fully appreciate the things that I do have in life, instead of only lamenting the lost after its too late. Liking The Things We Can't Have

But then the parents will also be another factor that will make me wanna stay here, away from home. Because my parents are sooo sooo sooo controlling and strict. Okay they aren’t overly strict, like if I wanted to stay out late, its fine… but the whole next day, I’d be listening to my mom telling me how dangerous it is to stay out late at night…
“Bangsar nowadays very dangerous you know, at Chillis also can get robbed, blah blah blah…”
“Hartamas also very dangerous, remember a few years back the guy got killed, blah blah blah…”
“Nowadays the mat rempit very rampant you know, blah blah blah…”
The whole conversation usually ends with them asking me why do I want to stay out so late?

I guess if I was given the chance to be back in Malaysia but move out from home... have my own place, then surely I would seriously consider going back. And maybe I can go back for dinner 4-5 times a night, but still have my very own place... Yea! The best of both worlds.

Yup, I’d be much more inclined to go home if that was the case :) Well, I have so much more thoughts on this topic… and I guess I’ll be posting it over a few posts.

Signing out, for now.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Inspection Of The House

Another great short film this time directed by Linus Chung, I don’t really know who he is, but apparently he is quite well known in the Malaysian film industry. This short film, also part of the 15 Malaysia short clips is about a little Indian boy and an art project. He was required to build a dream house and bring it to school for a class presentation.

The more obvious message carried by the film is the socio economic problems and the huge gap between the rich and the poor in Malaysia. I mean, why bother watching slumdog when we have our own slums here in Malaysia… This huge gap between the ‘have its’ and ‘have nots’ have huge implications for any country, because the rich will only keep getting richer and the poor will keep getting poorer.

I believe the truth in the statement when I say that. Because money makes money, if you have money, you can start a business, and if that business is successful, then you’ll have the opportunity to make more money, but if that business fails… then too bad I suppose. However if you are poor, you won’t even have the money to start a business, let alone fail in a business.

Another good example that money makes money is the bank. If you have more money, money that you don’t desperately need immediately, than you can put it in a fix deposit, often simply called FD. The thing about this fixed deposit is that there has to be a minimum sum of money you must deposit in it, usually 10,000 or more, and the interest rate is also much higher than normal deposit accounts. So, if you stop to think about it, isn’t this unfair? The rich person with more money gets to have his money kept in the bank with a higher interest, whereas the poor guy which only has a little money in the bank earns a lower interest rate… Though unfair, that’s the reality of it I suppose.

And why else do I say rich people gets richer and the poor only gets poorer? Because who makes the policy and the rules in a country… no prizes for guessing the answer to that question. Yup that’s right, the rich people. So unless the people making the policy are some benevolent bunch of people, they would surely make policies that benefit themselves, am I not right? Think of it from the rich policy makers’ point of view. If I am in control because I am rich and everyone else is poor, shouldn’t I try to maintain my rich position so that I will continue to be in power? Better yet, I might only approve policies that will make me richer, and hopefully make the poor poorer so that they would never have the chance to surpass me and I will always be in control. Sigh… talk about self destruction…

In economic studies, one of the best ways to bridge the gap between the rich and the poor is a good education system. And I think this is the more subtle message being delivered in the short clip. Notice how the teacher was so motivational to the Chinese and the Malay boy when they were presenting their Ultimate Super Rich dream house. He even encouraged the class to clap a few times when the helicopter and the Ferrari was mentioned. And when it was Rama’s turn to present his dream house, he actually helped the class jeer, laugh and boo at Rama, by saying “class this is Rama’s dream house”.

I was freaking appalled at that teacher’s actions. That teacher clearly did not fully understand what teaching is about. By helping make Rama the laughing stock of the class, it showed that the teacher was clueless in terms of child care development. How on earth can you, as a teacher, laugh at one of your students like that. I think this somewhat reflects a lot of the teachers in our current education system, they maybe experts in the subject that they are teaching, but they are certainly no experts in teaching and child development. Like that teacher in the clip may be a very good artist (since it was an art class), but when it comes to teaching, maybe some of my pets can do better.

And the way the Chinese and Malay boy bullied Rama at the end really puts the failure of the education system in focus. I suppose the two boys cannot take full responsibility for their actions of bullying Rama, because the teacher had a hand in it. The teacher helped breed hatred into the classes’ thoughts towards Rama’s supposedly dream house. And maybe in the mind of the two boys, they were thinking, even Cikgu (teacher in malay) will approve of our actions since he was also laughing at Rama. If this is what we teach our children, to laugh at their school mates, then I guess we deserve the fruits that we bear. Disgusting.

Teachers, especially primary school teachers need to not only have the urge to impart knowledge onto their students, but also to nurture the children to become a good person in society. Blindly memorising moral definitions is just literally a waste of time. If the teacher cannot lead by action, and show the students what it means to be a proper human being in life, then what can we expect from the student that are taught by these ‘Fail’ teachers.

I think there is a real irony at the very end of the movie, because what the writer is really trying to say, is that the education system is not all lost. There are still good teachers in the system, like the teacher that sat down and waited with Rama when his mother didn’t show up. The irony is that the teacher was played by Yasmin Ahmad, someone who has already left us to be in a better place. So I guess in some weird twist of fate, Yasmin’s departure could imply that even fate is saying that our education system is spiralling down the gutter. Once again this is only my personal interpretation, and my own 2 cents.

Signing out.

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

The Battery Mystery

When I was in Malaysia during my vacation break, I noticed one small fact about my handphone… and that was the fact that it was never able to be fully charged. I know, weird right? But the truth is, no matter how long I charge the phone, the VERY last bar of battery cannot be achieved. Now that I’m back in Australia, I notice that not only my phone can be fully charged, but the charging time is also much faster. What’s the deal with this huh?

The grass is always greener on the other side… blah blah blah… But seriously, you mean we cant even fully charge our batteries now? It wasn’t a voltage problem, because Malaysia and Australia have the same voltage, 240V at 50 Hz. After some Googling on the web, I found that another Singaporean girl had the same problem as me, so I guess its not an isolated Malaysia problem, phew!!! Anyway, she even went through the extra step and find that she could fully charge the battery if she swapped her Singaporean sim with her Aussie sim card. Weird right?

Unsatisfied with her little sim card experiment, I went and looked up the manual book for the nokia phone, guess what I found? The battery has to be kept at temperatures of between 15oC and 25oC, in order for it to be in ideal working conditions! But… some people can have their phones charged fully… why? Malaysia’s weather varies from 23 oC to 32 oC … so should I buy a thermometer and put it next to my phone? Then I’ll know exactly when the best time is to charge it?

I like to think of it another way though, maybe I’m just too hot, so when I’m around the handphone, it just doesn’t charge properly :) Gosh I can already hear the jeers and boos from the readers, LoL.

Anyway, so what’s the real reason behind my phone not being able to be fully charge back home… Is it a mechanics with the sim card? Or is it my phone’s problem? Or is it a temperature related problem? To all you telecommunication engineers out there… If your nice and gay and single and available, oh and know the answer to my problem… contact me :)

Signing out.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

A Foul Chat In Cyber Space

I was on an Aussie dating website chatting with someone when I encountered the most unbelievable situation... I was actually told off for being polite and honest. Here what happened...

I was chatting and saw this guy, he started chatting with me so I replied and we started the usual small talk stuff, "do you work or study?" "what do you like to do on your free time?" "where do you live?" "do you live alone?" all the standard small talk things to help start a conversation. I visited his profile page, and it showed a guy that looked quite well but with huge sunglasses on... so I couldn't really see his race. He said he was interested to be friends, and I was like, sure... You can never have too many friends I suppose.

Then he asked me if we wanted to meet up... and I was like, okay... but asked him if he had another picture of himself. This time he sent a face pic without the sunglasses, and uh-oh... I realised that although he was hot, he was just not the race that I was into. Lets not get hasty and let me explain myself before you (the readers) start calling me a racist bastard... I have many friends from many different races and nationalities, and I have absolutely no hang ups about being friends or even good friends with them. The only thing is that certain races absolutely do nothing for my sex drive. This most certainly doesn't make me a racist... I mean just because I'm not particularly sexually attracted to girls, it doesn't mean that I don't be friends with them... In fact I have many close girl friends.

Anyway, I was honest with this guy online and politely told him that I'm not sexually attracted to him, but I guess we could still be friends. Guess what I got for being honest? I got a whole barrage of insults and name calling, followed by foul languages that makes Gordan Ramsey seem nice, all rained down onto me. And after that before I could explain myself to him, he blocked and ignored me from that website. I was like WTF !

There is nothing I can do if I'm not sexually attracted to a particular race or gender, but it certainly doesn't mean I can't be friends with them... right? After all that was what he said he wanted to do in the first place, to be friends... and it was even stated in his profile that he was looking for friendship, amongst all the other stuff... I think that guy was just being mean to me...

Signing out.

A Digestion of Chocolate

A film project is currently running in Malaysia called 15Malaysia. It is a project that will release 15 short films, over a span of 1 month, that are the works of Malaysian writers and directors. The second short film released was a work done by the late Yasmin Ahmad. She is truly a great Malaysian director, at times very bold and arguably controversial, but none the less brilliant. Forgive me if I’m wrong, but if Shahrukh Khan is conferred the title of Datuk, then surely Yasmin would be a Tun. But that is another dispute for another post. Today I’d like to contribute some thoughts to the short clip by Yasmin called Chocolate.

The film maybe very short, a mere 3 minute and 15 seconds, but in it I saw many underlying themes and implications. The main message I got from the clip was the Malay and Chinese issue, an issue that is commonly touched on by Yasmin. The clip started off with the mother criticising her son’s decision not to accept a full scholarship to study overseas. She was of the opinion that Malaysia has no space for any other races (other than the race of the majority) and that he has no opportunities if he stays here. This whole situation of the Chinese mother complaining that they don’t have any opportunities in Malaysia is critically contrasted by the young Malay girl who walks in and can only afford to buy some batteries and not a chocolate that was worth a mere 20 cents.

I interpret this parallel as the writer trying to tell its audience something very important, and that is: Things just aren’t always they way they seem. Here the Chinese is portrayed as complaining of missed opportunities, but through her hard work, the mom that took care of the shop after her husband’s death, ultimately still manage to have an average lifestyle and can own a store. Contrast this to the Malay girl, that supposedly is from a more beneficial race in the country, yet she cannot even afford to buy some chocolate that she wanted.

From the Malay’s point of view, the Chinese have so much more than them but yet are so calculative. The Chinese boy, being the acting owner of the shop couldn’t even forgo 5 cents and let the Malay girl buy the chocolate for 15 cents. But what the Malay girl doesn’t see is the fact that the mother has gone through so much hard work to manage the store and still bring up her son as a single parent. So I guess sometimes its easy to look on the surface and question why the Chinese are more wealthy, but all the hard work put in to earning that money is unobserved.

The chocolate that the Malay girl wants to buy is very significant in the clip. Because chocolate is a symbolism of luxury, it’s not a basic necessity to survive. The Malay girl could only afford to buy the batteries, which is a symbol of energy, a fundamental necessity in modern-life, but can’t afford to purchase the small luxury of a chocolate. The Chinese always feel that the Malays are better off because of certain rulings or policies, but they fail to see that the majority of the Malays do not benefit from it. Only certain well connected elites are privy to the exclusive benefits of contracts, most of the others aren’t. Many of them can only afford basic necessities, and not anything of luxury.

Maybe Yasmin is trying to tell us not to be too quick to past judgement just by looking at the surface of things. We should be more understanding of each other. The rich Chinese did not get to where they are without a lot of hard work(the single mom), and the rich Malays that are in Malaysia only represent a small percentage of the population, many others are still exploited and can only afford basic necessities(the battery but not the chocolate). Hence we should all be more understanding and tolerant of each other in the process of making Malaysia a better place to live in.

Well, that is my 2 cents of the clip… Many of you will surely suggest that I think too much and that the clip doesn’t mean any of the crap I just wrote. I can already picture some of you saying, “ the girl is a student mah… maybe she just ran out of pocket money, or left her money at home… why you go and think so much?? Why you go an complicate something sooo simple?” Yes you maybe right, but this is just my interpretation and thoughts on the clip. You may disagree with my comparison of the characters and objects in the clips to resemblances of real life situations, but I guess this is just my point of view. Once again, I’d like to give credit to Yasmin for directing such a reflective short clip.

Signing out.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Movie: The Houseboy

I recently saw a gay themed movie called The Houseboy (2007). The story revolves around a boy toy and a couple, they have been together (the 3 of them) for a year. The plot takes place over the Christmas period, whereby the couple goes off to visit their families for the holiday season and Ricky, the boy toy, is left to house-sit for them. Just before leaving, Ricky overhears a conversation about the couple possibly wanting a ‘new toy’. Left alone to his thoughts and nobody to share it with over the holidays season (which should be happy, warm and fuzzy), Ricky decides he would commit suicide on Christmas eve and leave his dead body in the couple’s house. The timeline of the movie is roughly a week, the week leading up to Christmas eve. During this time, Ricky tries to connect with random hook ups in order to find a sense of belonging, so that they might help change his mind about pulling the plug.

I enjoyed the movie as a whole… the fact that Ricky was really cute also helped in my enjoyment…hehe... also I felt that it was rather thought provoking. The main character Ricky was left with nothing left in his life to live for. He came out to his mom and she abandoned him all together, his sister on the other hand still accepts him as a brother, but rejects his homosexual lifestyle. And here he is, a sorta toy boy, the third person in a relationship... In essence he really has a false sense of ‘love security’ because its really more of a 2+1 relationship, and not a 3 person relationship. Ricky feels the reality of this when the couple leave to visit their parents over Christmas and cannot bring him along because ‘it would be difficult to explain a 3 way relationship’, so here he is left to house-sit their house. He further feels that he is but a 3rd party in the relationship when he overhears a conversation that implies he will be replaced… by a new toy.

At the very beginning of the movie, the viewers already get the feeling that Ricky is only connected to one of the guy in the couple, and not really with the other. Ricky himself knows deep in his heart that the guy would choose his other half over Ricky, if and when he has to make that decision. So Ricky finds him self in this sad, dark, and lonely place with no self belonging at all… hence the mission to pull the plug.

As I said, the movie was thought provoking, especially for a gay man… a lonely gay man. I certainly don’t want to be in Ricky’s shoes over a holiday season… when everyone is together celebrating with their loved ones, he is abandoned by his supposedly ‘loved ones’ and left by himself to contemplate his loneliness. Realistically this can happen to anyone of us (* as Gareth Gates sings… It can happen to anyone of us), but hopefully we will be stronger than Ricky and not end up like him.

What did Ricky do on the lead up to Christmas eve? What happened on Christmas eve? Was it a happy or a sad ending? I guess you’ll have to watch the movie yourself and find out. A word of warning (or encouragement)… the movie contains frontal nudity and sex scenes.

Signing out.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Liking The Things We Can't Have

Maybe its just me, but I personally like to blame it on human nature, the fact that we always want the things we can’t have in life. Examples of this would be like buying a very expensive item, when we don’t have it yet… we make up all kinds of reason to buy it… all the advantages of buying it. The elusive and expensive item that we cannot afford, more often than not, seem to be very very useful and attractive. But once we’ve finally saved up enough to buy it, all of a sudden the item seems very normal and after a while the novelty of owning it is lost all together. Another example of this would be when we go out to eat at a fancy new restaurant (which doesn’t happen often enough for my liking), we often find that the dishes we order are inferior to the dishes our friends order, their choices always seem to be better both look wise and taste wise. I’m not sure if these events frequently happen in your lives, but it sure does in mine… I guess this are just all signs of me wanting the things I can’t have.

Okay, you probably can already see where all this is leading to… yes, its all about guys, as usual. A while ago I was going out with a guy that was really sweet, there was however something about him that was missing… that felt incomplete to me. It was as if he was nice, but was not the ideal candidate to be my other half, we sorta tried the whole dating thing, but maybe because of my lack of enthusiasm… which he must have sensed, the whole thing didn’t work out, but we still remained friends.

I recently caught up with him again, and he has changed quite a bit since the last time we were going out together. His views were more mature, and his outlook on life was broader and more realistic. All of a sudden, I wanted him again… I felt he has really come a long way and this positive change was good for him. This change in him gave me the feeling that I could really connect with him, and that we were closer to the same frequency now, compared to back then when we were dating.

Alas, he is attached now… So I can’t help but think to myself, am I liking him sooo much more now because I can’t have him? Or should my reignited attraction to him be attributed to the fact that he has changed to become a better guy? Regardless of the answers to those questions… in hindsight I guess there are aspects of me that have to be changed. For one, I need to stop liking the things I can’t have, and start appreciating the things that are before me. And also I need to start believing that people do posses the potential to change and become a better person. Now thinking back to when I was still dating this guy, if I had appreciated him more, or if I saw his potential to change for the better… We might still be together today… who knows? Right? But I guess that answer to this question would forever more remain unanswered.

Signing out.

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Eloe Meh Naime is Alixe

Obviously he said 'Hello my name is Alex', but it was with such a very very authentic British accent, and I totally melted on the spot... You see, Alex is a new exchange student in one of my classes, and apart from his British accent, he has a mighty cute face. I believe I do have a thing for British accents... its just so eloquent, so special, so exotic... (Haha I bet my Malaysian accent is exotic to a Brit). Before I go on, Alex is from England, cause Great Britain a.k.a. The UK, is actually composed of England, Scotland and Wales. Out of the 3... I only have the hots for the English accent. Scottish and Welsh accents does nothing for me... and if their accent is too strong, all I'll do is cock my head and kindly ask them to repeat what they just said... LoL

Anyway back to lil Alex, he ain't that tall you see... which is fine with me. He is just on exchange for this half of the year and is taking some subjects similar to me. I'm unsure which way he swings, but he does have an ear ring on his left ear, and he dresses well for a Pom (what auzzies call the Brits), so I'm hopeful... Duh, I'm just kidding, I won't fall for someone whose sexual orientation I'm unsure of. Cause that will only pave the way for suffering later on if he turns out to be straight.

We did chat a little about the subjects we're doing together, and I also found out that he lives in a student hostel just near where I live :) With that said, I'm happy just to be his friend, and listen to that gorgeous accent of his. For now.

Signing out.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Finding Relevance

So... I have finally decided to start my very own blog. Firstly I wanted to start this blog partly because of the last episode of Gossip Girl, whereby Serena (one of the characters) was accused of being irrelevant. Let me say that... no, let me shout out loudly that I refuse to be irrelevant, and therefore have started out this blog, which is a collection of my personal thoughts that would hopefully make me a little more relevant in this big big lump of dirt we call Earth.

I'm a young offsping, with jet black hair and an even darker pair of eyes to match that. Born on a mid-summer night on the chance encounter of two food enthusiasts that crossed paths... Arguably that might partially be the explaination to my uncanily my huge appetite for new tastes and flavours that have brought me so very far away from the very land I call home. Now armed with an internet connection and a pen, which hopefully doesn't run out of ink anytime soon, I am ready to storm the dark and gloomy castle of Parkville, in search of the elusive piece of paper sooo highly coveted by the dark forces known only as The Employer, by many out there.

With that said, I would like to welcome you to my blog and thankyou for reading my very first posting. If you have a good imagination, I want you to imagine me at a ribbon cutting ceremony officially opening my blog (make sure the ribbon is rainbow in colour), and if you can't picture me be because you don't know how I look like, just think of my substitute image as Josh Harnett, only much hotter :P

Signing out.