Wednesday, 29 January 2020

The SOS Rat

SOS - Shiny Object Syndrome (Defined as the attraction to objects that exhibit a glassy, polished, gleamy and shiny appearance. Once the shininess fades away or something which is more shiny comes into view, the attention to the previous shiny object fades. It is a tendency for someone to constantly chase something new, lose focus and abandon important tasks in the process, never quite achieving anything.)

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There was once a rat called Rattie. Rattie was a rat who was obsessed with shiny things. And that got him into trouble all the time.

There was the incident where he lunged across the dining table when he was just 1 year old as Uncle Remy smiled. Uncle Remy on that day had gotten himself a shiny, gold tooth and had decided to pick his teeth at the time when Rattie’s mom was laying out the dessert on the dining table.

And then there was the yearly Christmas incidents where he went into every shop that had those glittery snowballs and also the stars right on the top of Christmas trees and tried to take them all home.

Women with shiny earrings walking along the sewer were jumped on. Children with shiny toys were jumped on. Men with jewelled coats were jumped on. The police station was like Rattie’s second home.

Rattie had no self control where shiny things were involved. He would bring back whatever shiny thing he could. The compulsion was too great.

The last straw was when he jumped on woman who had shiny, green jeweled earrings. They glistened extra shiny because the sun at that precise time, shone through the holes of the sewage cover. She was bathed in sunlight. As Rattie jumped on her, they both fell into the sewer river which had little boats ferrying passengers. The boats swerved to avoid smashing into them. As a results the boats either smashed into each other or onto the banks of the sewer river throwing their passengers off the boats. Many were seriously injured that day.

His parents decided that enough was enough. They threw out every single shiny thing in the house and locked Rattie up in his room. Some of Rattie’s uncles who were doctors had advised his parents to get him some professional help since the time he started to show an obsession with shiny things. They said Rattie had Objectivius Shinium Syndromus (SOS - Shiny Object Syndrome). But they refused to do so. They believed he would ‘outgrow’ it as he grew up.

Rattie being a rat could squeeze into any tiny hole and escape. And that was what he did the moment he noticed the tiny crack in the ceiling of his room.

As he snuck away, he bumped into his little brother Roddy.

“I’ll rat you out!” Roddy exclaimed.

“If you let me go, I’ll get you HUGE bag of cheesy chips,” Rattie replied.

“DEAL!” And they sealed the deal with a shake of their tails.

Rattie crept in the dark corners of the street until he was out of sight from the peering eyes of his nosy neighbours. He jumped gleefully and headed towards his favourite hang-out place - the dumpster.

He felt at ease the moment his feet touched the familiar ground of crushed wrappers and rotting garbage. His nose couldn’t stop twitching with excitement of finding some new shiny stuff. He got to work straightaway. His rumbling stomach could wait. He had much to do since his parents threw away all things being shiny.

Rattie was so engrossed in looking for shiny things that he did not feel the evil lurking nearby. A silver coated snake had tasted Rattie in the air with its forked tongue. Slowly but surely, it slithered nearer and nearer.

Rattie was mighty pleased with himself. He had found more shiny stuff today than any other day. He thought to himself that this was his lucky day.

Suddenly, Rattie gasped. He froze. In front of him was the shiniest penny he had ever seen. He couldn’t believe his luck. This was a hundred times way better than all the shiny stuff that he had found. He lifted the penny up with both his arms above his head and jumped for joy. At the very same time, the silver snake attacked Rattie.

Perhaps it was Rattie’s lucky day indeed as the snake’s fangs pierced the penny instead of Rattie. Even though Rattie was horrified at what was happening, he did not let go of his penny. The snake and Rattie struggled. In a desperate attempt to force swallow the struggling Rattie and the penny which was still stuck to its fangs, it did the unthinkable. It banged its head on the ground several times to loosen the penny from its fangs. It was the snake’s unlucky day as a sharp nail was protruding out from the ground. The snake was dead the moment the nail entered its head.

Rattie could have gotten out of the situation safely. But no, he had to have that shiny penny. So he tugged and pulled with all his might to loosen the penny from the snake’s fangs. But it was to no avail.

Suddenly he got smacked on the head from behind. As he was about to shout in anger, he was hushed to be silent. It was his sister Rita.

“Make no sound and move quickly,” said Rita in an urgent voice. “There is another huge snake about 100 meters from here,” she continued.

“I must have this penny,” whined Rattie.

“I didn’t come here to die!” whispered Rita in an angry tone.

She pulled Rattie close to her as she prepared to jump away from the dead snake’s mouth. Rattie gave the penny one last hard yank as his sister jumped. Cracked! The fangs broke and the penny was free!

The force of the fangs breaking caused them to stumble. They almost became a meal for the huge snake. They both scampered into the sewers and ran as fast as they could. As they ran, Rattie started to feel very ill. His legs were becoming heavier. His heart felt like it was going into a cardiac arrest. He looked down on his arm and saw that he had a cut and noticed that one of the fangs stuck to the coin had some blood.

“Rit-“, he mumbled before he collapsed into darkness.

It was a month later that Rattie woke up from the coma. Everyone was happy. They thought that he would be comatose for life. When he tried to rub his eye, he found that he couldn’t do so. When he looked down at his arms, he realised that he had none anymore. His mother who was by his bedside started to weep.

“The doctors had to cut them to keep you alive Rattie,” his mother sobbed.

Rattie’s recuperation took almost a year. His parents finally accepted the fact that Rattie needed help. Rattie also did not need to go looking for shiny stuff anymore as his prosthetic arms were so shiny he could use them as mirrors. And the ‘lucky penny’ with the snake’s fangs was hung on the wall of the family hall.



Wednesday, 30 October 2019

Saffron Fried Rice


Ingredients:

1. 4 cups of overnight cooked rice
2. A few saffron strands
3. Sea-salt
4. Sunflower oil
5. Chives (only the dark green part - chopped)

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1. Heat a wok.

2. Drizzle some oil into the wok.

3. Add the saffron strands.

4. Then add the rice and stir-fry continuously for about 3 to 4 minutes.

5. Add some sea-salt and chives. Continue to stir-fry for another 2 minutes.

6. Once it is done, scoop up onto serving dish.

7. You can eat it together with chicken or fish dishes.

Bon appetit!


Sunday, 20 October 2019

Thermomix Mackerel Fish Porridge

Ingredients:

1. 1 1/2 cups of rice (soaked and washed)
2. 1000gm of boiling filtered water
3. 2 slices of grilled mackerel (remove all bones from fish)

4. Sea-salt
5. White pepper (optional)

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1. Place the rice into the Thermomix jug.

2. Pour the boiling water into the jug.

3. Set 25 minutes/90C/Speed 2. (Remove the MC)

4. Add the fish pieces through the hole in the lid after 10 minutes.

5. Add some sea-salt (and pepper) to taste.

6. Once done, pour the porridge into a big pot.

7. Serve hot.

Bon appetit!

Saturday, 5 October 2019

It's A Chemical World (Part 1 - PEG)

(This series about chemicals will consist of informative articles. I am just writing the facts about it. I am not promoting or condemning chemicals. They exist everywhere. We just have to make the best decisions and live to the best we can.)

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PEG is polyethylene glycol. It is a petroleum derivative compound. The FDA classifies it as an additive (which is generally recognised as safe). It is colourless, odourless and is almost tasteless.

Polyethylene on its own is plastic. When combined with glycol, it becomes a thick and sticky goo. PEGs are usually followed by a number (PEG 100). The number represents the molecular weight of the PEG. Cosmetic products use PEGs with lighter molecular weights as it is easier to penetrate the skin barrier.

PEG-9 stearate means polyethylene glycol is bound to acid stearate. (Acid stearate is used to protect the skin against water loss and helps boost up the skin's protective barrier.)

PEG is used in cosmetics and personal care products. It functions as thickeners (increase the thickness of the oil portion of cosmetics), solvents, softeners and moisture carriers. When it acts as a moisture carrier, this means it acts as a vehicle to help carry other ingredients deeper into the skin. It is a penetration enhancer that allows substances to be absorbed more readily through the skin.

PEG is also used in toothpastes. Its role is a dispersant. It prevents clumping.

PEG also functions to keep ingredients stable and is quite similar to the function of glycerin.

Medically, it is the basis of quite a number of laxatives. It causes water to be retained with the stool.

In food, it is a food additive. It functions as an anti-foaming agent during the processing of food products. It is labelled as E1521 in the EU or just 1521 in other countries.

According to this website, depending on how PEG is manufactured, PEG may be contaminated with ethylene oxide and 1,4-dioxane. These are long lasting and do not degrade easily. *The International Agency for Research on Cancer states that ethylene oxide is a confirmed human carcinogen. It is associated with breast cancer.

In the event of cuts, it is best to not use creams/gels with PEGs as its contaminants may be more readily absorbed into open wounds.

There was a case which was published in the New York Times in January this year, where an old man had anaphylactic episodes, which in the end was traced back to PEG. Click HERE to read more about it.

*taken from HERE

To read in detail about PEG, click Everything You Need To Know about PEG Family.


Monday, 30 September 2019

A Very Perplexing Situation

It’s been the same every year. July/August is the time I catch a flu every year. At other times of the year, I can get sneezed at, or coughed at, nothing would happen. But come July/August, no matter how I try to evade it, it will come out from an unexpected corner, shout ‘BOO’ and strike me.

This year was no different. 

The mother of all flu struck in mid-August. I did not have any sorethroat at all this time and only had a very mild fever. By one week I was well again. And it didn’t end up in a cough! No cough at all this year. I thought that my immune system must have gotten so much stronger. How wonderful I had thought.

I started to have terrible joint and muscle pains. But then again, all these viruses cause joints and muscle pain. But it got so severe that I was having trouble walking. I went to the ER and the doctor did blood tests and swabbed for influenza as it was ‘influenza season’. Everything came back normal and he said that I most probably had a post-viral myalgia. The doctor told me to get more rest and wait it out.

As time went on, I started to have more pain. My bladder hurt to the point I thought I was down with a severe bladder infection. And then my back hurt where the kidneys are. Every movement hurt so much. Once again, I went to the ER. They again did blood tests and this time for the kidneys and liver too. They also tested my urine. All results came back excellent! I was in ‘perfect health’!! The doctor said if I was worried, I could take some antibiotics for a week. I decided against it as all the results were excellent. I thought it could be my ‘voiding dysfunction’ which was acting up due to me being ill.

And then I started jumping up from my sleep in the middle of the night from pain. I felt as though fire was coursing through my veins. And then a fiery itch would start. My muscles were so weak and my joints felt as though they were ‘locked up’. My bones felt like they were corroding. I couldn’t walk down the stairs without feeling as though I could break my ankle at any point of time. Climbing up the stairs was even worse. It became so difficult to even bend my knees. 

The fatigue was terrible and I started feeling like I caught some bug.  I started feeling feverish but yet I had no fever. 

As the haze this year was so very bad and extra toxic, I thought it was the haze that was affecting me. I had gone to the hospital twice and twice the blood tests at two different times came back excellent. 

And then the intensity reduced and I thought I must have fought off whatever bug that had invaded me. I continued to move and walk as much as I could. 

It was then that I suddenly noticed some red dots at the bottom of my legs. They didn’t itch or hurt. And they were just a few little dots. So I just left it but observed them. Soon they became bigger than dots and started to spread to the back of the bottom of both legs. And they turned dark red and then became purple. 

I then went to see a doctor about it. He said I had musculum contagiusum virus which spreads by contact! Where did I get that from? Could it be from the holiday? The doctor had no idea too. He told me that I would be fine after a few weeks or a month. He also said that it is a self-contained virus. I came home and threw away my razor and bath scrub. I was worried about spreading it to both the guys that I told them not to hug me or even touch me. I thought my immune system was really screwed to have contracted such a virus. 

And then the stomach pains came. They were not gastritis or even reflux pain. The pain felt so different. Something was really not right. By now, the red spots had spread to my knees and thighs and to my arms. Funny that my body and face were spared. It was only the legs and arms. Which virus does this?!

By this time, I was in so much pain that I felt as though I had arthritis, fibromyalgia and rheumatism all at one go. The 1 to 10 pain chart that the hospital used to gauge pain could be thrown out of the window. I was on Richter scale 9 to the point tsunami had wiped out everything. My joints, nerves, bones and muscles were in chronic pain. I could barely walk by this time. I was shuffling. Every movement took great effort. 

I became delusional. I thought finally Death had caught up with me. I managed to evade Death for 10 years and now my time is up.

I thought I had lupus, or even multiple sclerosis. Maybe I even have what Stephen Hawking had! Or worse, Parkinson’s.

I thought maybe in my past life I was a murderer or rapist or even a psychopath serial killer. And karma has caught up with me. 

Or maybe I had cancer and I was in my last days. 

Maybe I was imagining all of these and that I was actually losing my mind.

It came to a point that I was ok with dying. 

I slapped myself mentally and went to see another doctor. He said I had folliculitis. I told him that I had used up every single steroidal cream in the house. Hydrocortisone, Elomet, Fucicort, Beprospan. You name it, I’ve tried it. If it was folliculitis as the had doctor said, it would have stopped it. He said sometimes oral antibiotics are needed plus a soap with sulphur to stop it.  I told him to write me a referral to see a dermatologist as I wanted everything to stop. I then asked him about this fiery pain coursing through my veins. This extreme pain that I was in. I felt like I was Elizabeth Sherman from Hellboy. I felt like I was doused with kerosene and set on fire. He gave me vitamin B12 to help the nerves.

I made an appointment to see the dermatologist that very same day. And when I saw the doctor, and after she saw my legs and heard me explain the whole history of what had happened, she smiled a very sad smile and said,

“You have vasculitis.”

What?!? 

What on earth is that?!? 

“It’s an auto-immune disease and your body decided to attack itself after an illness.”

I had disbelief on my face. 

“Did you fall sick?” 

“Did you get joints and body aches?”

“Did you get bad abdominal pain?”

“And the spots started only at the bottom of your legs!”

Everything was a yes. 

“It’s confirmed - you have vasculitis!”

Shit.

I still couldn’t accept what she had said. 

“Your immune system attacked your blood vessels and they became inflamed and burst,” she continued. 

She said my immune system had fought off the virus but was so over stimulated that they continued fighting even when the virus was already defeated. They turned and attack myself. 

The bad news was that vasculitis could attack the organs too and cause severe damage. The dermatologist sent me for blood tests and urine tests. When I went back to see her the next day, she said the blood results were fine. My kidneys and liver were still functioning well. My red blood cells were still good. That meant I wasn’t bleeding to the point of being anaemic. I was still ok. Since I was still ok, the doctor decided not to put me on steroids. But I was to return the following week to have blood and urine tests again.

The dermatologist also said that once a person has vasculitis, it is for life. It doesn’t go away. And one would never know when it would strike again. She said it’s like having asthma. No one knows when asthma could strike or when it could just lie dormant. 

I felt numb upon hearing this. I have fought so well for the past 10 years and had gotten to a place where I could actually have bites of outside food here and there. I could tolerate food with high salicylate levels so much now. My health had improved so much that I only fall sick once a year without consuming supplements where else people who eat supplements fall sick so many times a year. I was at a good place in life and this shit had to happen. And of all things, it had to be an autoimmune disease. 

I was still in so much pain. 

The pain peaked the following day to the point that I had to shut my mind off in order to survive the day. By night time, I decided that I couldn’t wait until the following week to see the doctor again. I went to the ER the next day. I was in so much pain that I begged the doctor for steroids!!!! The word ‘pain’ was an understatement. I was in the lowest level of hell where the demon called Pain had overtaken my body. I told the ER doctor that I wanted a gun to blow my brains out. ( I now think that chicken pox pain is a walk in the park!)

He again confirmed that I had vasculitis and he said it causes pain to such levels. He said it also causes abdominal pain. That was what I had been having. He referred me to a rheumatologist. And they took blood again to run more tests. 

They injected Tramadol into my veins to give me some relief. 

Since Tramadol causes nausea and vomiting, it is usually administered together with an anti-vomit medication. But I have bad side effects to anti-vomit medication. It causes a feeling of doom and a panic attack for me. Besides, I don’t get nausea or vomit with Tramadol. So I did not take the anti-vomit medication.

The rheumatologist said that it’s definitely vasculitis that I was having. She believed that it was virus induced. My blood tests came back excellent again. And I tested negative for arthritis. And based on the blood tests results, it wasn’t lupus too. She said my nerves had become so overly sensitive from the viral sickness. They had become heightened. So she put me on LYRICA to help settle the hypersensitivity of the nerves while the body slowly overcomes the vasculitis attack. Steroids is the last option if the body is unable to overcome the vasculitis attack. 

Right now LYRICA is heaven sent. The pain has reduced so much. But the side effects are drowsiness and dizziness for me. I’m currently trying to adjust the timing of the medication so that when it wears off, I’m able to at least function for that period of time. The rheumatologist said that it causes brain fog too. Brain fog is better than pain anytime. 

Looking back at my food diary where I noted down all that was happening for these 1 1/2 months, everything now makes sense. The pain, feeling ill, the fatigue and the rash. Right now I am unable to feel anything. I just feel numb. Maybe partly it’s due to the medication - brain fog. Maybe it hasn’t sunken fully yet into my brain that I have vasculitis. Maybe I’m just exhausted from fighting the pain. I’m currently still feeling terribly ill from the vasculitis. I'm just going to rest and stay numb and blah until I can find it in me to decide what's next. 

And then I’ll try to rise up again. 

P.s. I have written posts for this blog until mid-November. 


Wednesday, 25 September 2019

The Boba Mania

For the past one year, many Malaysians have fallen into some state of mania where bubble teas (boba) are concerned. If you're wondering what the craze is all about, don't ask me. I have no idea. All I know is that people have been paying a lot of money to guzzle sugar.

This drink originated from Taiwan during the 1980s. The word 'boba' in Thai means chewy little pearls which are made from tapioca. Tapioca is derived from the cassava root. It is tasteless.

This bubble tea drink has a tea-base which is combined either with milk or fruit. It is then combined with the sweetened little tapioca balls. If it is milk tea, then powdered milk is used although fresh milk is the more famous ingredient.

Since the pearls are gluten-free and tasteless, they are mixed with brown sugar to give it flavour and the distinctive black colouring. The texture of the pearls are similar to gummy bears.



*picture taken from HERE

Click on The Hidden Sugars in Bubble Tea

Click on Brown Sugar Milk Tea is the Unhealthiest Milk Tea

Click on Boba Tea Has 2x More Sugar than Coke - 20 teaspoons!

Click on What's in My Bubble Tea?

Boba Health Concerns
*Back in May 2011, DEHP (which is a chemical plasticiser and potential carcinogen which is used to make plastic) was found in drinks and juice syrups in Taiwan. It became a huge scandal where the manufacturers were fined heavily. DEHP was then found in a syrup which was used to make bubble tea in Malaysia. 
Then in August 2012, scientists from the Technical University of Aachen (RWTH) in Germany analyzed bubble tea samples in a research project to look for allergenic substances. The result of their search found that the products contain styrene, acetophenone, and brominated substances, which can negatively affect health.[***] The report was published by German newspaper Rheinische Post
In May 2013, the Taiwan Food and Drug Administration issued an alert on the detection of maleic acid, an unapproved food additive, in some food products, including tapioca pearls. The Agri-Food & Veterinary Authority of Singapore conducted its own tests and found additional brands of tapioca pearls and some other starch-based products sold in Singapore were similarly affected.
In May 2019, approximately about 100 undigested tapioca pearls were found in the abdomen of a 14-year-old girl in Zhejiang province, China after she complained of constipation.
In July 2019, Singapore's Mount Alvernia Hospital warned that the sugar content of the bubble tea was too high. The risk of diabetes and cardiovascular disease was high if one were to consume these drinks frequently. 
*taken from here


*picture taken from HERE
The boba mania at Sunway Pyramid. 

Friday, 20 September 2019

A Respite From the Haze! (Part 3)

We then moved back up to Malaysia and stayed for 3 days at Somerset at Puteri Harbour, Johor. Again, the place was scent free!







We did some shopping and rested before we came home.

Partial view of the bay from the balcony.
A live band every night. They played a wide genre of music from Malay songs to Rod Steward, to Bryan Adams, Jason Mraz and lots more. 4 hours every night of wonderful music. 
The day after we arrived home, I got the flu. Well, it's July/August every year and it has been happening for 5 years now. At least I fell ill AFTER the trip and not during the trip.



Sunday, 15 September 2019

Everybody Knows

Once upon a time, there was a little village called Veggie Land. Everything was perfect and all the vegetables thrived wonderfully in their little own vegetable world. Or so they thought.

A group of crows invaded Veggie Land and started to feast upon the vegetables. But the tomatoes sacrificed themselves. They catapulted themselves and exploded on the crows. The crows were wounded. They gave up and left. The whole of Veggie Land looked like a blood bath. Everyone then took the splattered tomato seeds and planted them. But no one noticed the big pile of crow dung under the huge bonsai tree.

One year had passed and Veggie Land had bloomed again. The tomatoes grew like weeds and had produced much bigger tomatoes. In fact, everything was growing bigger and better than ever. The vegetables felt that it was the sacrifice of the tomatoes which had paid off. 

And then it happened. A noxious smell started to permeate the air every evening. Hardly any bees came by anymore. In fact, there weren’t any insects hanging around anymore. The pests that once plagued them too had disappeared. Something wasn’t right but nobody could figure out what it was.

The vegetables sent some scouts out to investigate the source of the smell. And they came back with a few sacks full of cabbages!

“We found these growing under the huge bonsai tree,” said the four-angled beans scouts.

Brussel Sprout immediately spoke up and condemned the cabbages for causing distress to the inhabitants of Veggie Land. 

“Aren’t you both from the same family?” asked the okras.

“Who is my brother and who is my mother?” retorted Brussel Sprout . “I have been here forever. Have I caused any problems all this while? Everybody knows me."

Everyone kept quiet. 

“What shall we do with them?” asked the tomatoes. 

Suddenly the air reeked once again with the pungent smell.

“Does that not prove that we are not the cause of the problem?” asked the cabbages. 

“We will decide tomorrow,” said the sage.

That night the intensity of the smell became worse and a few of the vegetables shrivelled up and died. The whole of Veggie Land was in chaos as every vegetable panicked. 

Brussel Sprout declared that he will lead the veggies of Veggie Land to a safer place. 

“But where?” the sweet peas asked. 

“Anywhere but here,” said the corns hastily. 

As they were about to leave, an unexpected thunderstorm lashed upon Veggie Land. The rain caused a delay to their move. Brussel Sprout was upset but he had no choice. 

That night, as Cabbage tried to sleep, he was disturbed by a tiny sound. As he peeked from his cabbage leaves, he saw Brussel Sprout sneaking away in the dark. He decided to follow. But before he left, he whispered something to his fellow cabbages. 

He saw that Brussel Sprout stopped at the top of the hill. He saw another figure come out from behind the trees. Cabbage quickly hid behind a huge rock and listened. 

“Why are you still in Veggie Land?!” the figure asked.

“I’m sorry Boss. The thunderstorm caused some problems. We will move tomorrow,” Brussel Sprout replied.

“I do not want any more hiccups. This has dragged on for far too long. I want this settled by tomorrow!” the figure said harshly. “Shall I take away what I’ve been giving you and the rest?” the figure continued.

“NO! It won’t happen again,” Brussel Sprout replied.

As Cabbage moved backwards to slowly retreat back to Veggie Land, he stepped on a twig and it snapped.

The Boss disappeared into the trees. Brussel Sprout jumped and ran towards where Cabbage was and caught him. 

“Let me go!” Cabbage cried as he struggled. “I’ll tell them all what you’ve done!” 

Brussel Sprout dragged Cabbage all the way back to Veggie Land. When they arrived, he threw Cabbage on the ground with such force that it awoken many of the veggies. 

“Look who I found sneaking around! I’m sure he’s up to no good,” Brussel Sprout told the veggies in a loud voice. The rest of the veggies woke up because of the commotion and gathered around to see what was happening.

Cabbage stood up and said, “He was with someone whom he called Boss. And the Boss wants all of you to move. That’s why Brussel Sprout has been pushing all of you to move! The Boss has been giving him something in return for following him."

Brussel Sprout retorted, “And they would believe you, a stranger, over me?”

“Cabbage! Look what we found!” said the cabbages as they emerged from behind the crowd.

They threw huge bottles of herbicides, pesticides, insecticides and fertilisers in front of the crowd. Cabbage took the opportunity to attack Brussel Sprout even more.

“Look at what he’s been taking! That’s why he’s so huge. Have you ever seen a brusell sprout the size of a melon?! And that was what killed those veggies," said Cabbage while pointing to the bottles of fertiliser and herbicides. 

Everyone was silent.

Brussel Sprout snickered, "Everybody knows! Everybody knows that it's now or never. You're either an idiot or a naive little cabbage."

"Have you not seen the skies? Oh yeah, I forgot. You were hiding under the bonsai tree, being shaded from everything that's been happening. Let me fill you in. There's a fire raging on the west of Veggie Land. On the east there's this dark big cloud. Everybody knows that the Plague is coming. And everybody knows it's fast moving. So what do you propose?"

Cabbage was dumbfounded for a second. When he found his voice, it quivered. "Who is the Boss? And where is he taking everyone to? What does he want to do with all the fellow veggies? And what about all these?" asked Cabbage pointing to the bottles.

"All right. That's enough!" Turning to his fellow brussel sprouts, Brussel Sprout barked, "Round 'em up! Round Up! ROUND UP!!"

Cabbage and his fellow cabbages struggled as Brussel Sprout's fellow brussel sprouts captured them. 

"Wait!" said Junior Okra. "I would like to know where we are going." 

"Everybody knows the boat is leaking," said Brussel Sprout. "Are you gonna be the one who wants to drown? It doesn't matter where we are going. We are leaving and that is final!"

Soon there was grumblings among the vegetables. Some decided there and then that the move was uncertain and vague. 

"ROUND THEM ALL UP! ROUND UP!!!" shouted Brussel Sprout as his patience wore thin.

The veggies who opposed to the move were tied up and thrown onto a cart. Everyone took whatever they could and started the exodus. Cabbage struggled against the ropes that bound him. And then he saw the land and the skies clearly for once. The fire that was raging covered the whole west side of the forest. It went on and on and on. There was no ending to it. And on the east was the fast moving Plague, which made the skies so dark that black was an understatement. 

As they arrived at the river dock, the figure that Cabbage saw with Brussel Sprout emerged from the darkness. It was a figure in a robe and it was carrying a scythe.

"Boss, I have done what you had asked me to do. Will you keep your promise in continuing to give us what we need?" asked Brussel Sprout referring to the bottles that the cabbages had found. 

In one swift movement, the scythe sliced Brussel Sprout into half.

Cabbage closed his eyes in defeat. He heard the corns sing as the Boss went on to slice one veggie after another, "Everybody knows the deal is rotten. Everybody knows that the fight was fixed. Everybody knows the good guys lost.. That's how it goes. Everybody knows."

Then there was silence.

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Everybody Knows by Leonard Cohen

Everybody knows that the dice are loaded
Everybody rolls with their fingers crossed
Everybody knows the war is over
Everybody knows the good guys lost
Everybody knows the fight was fixed
The poor stay poor, the rich get rich
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that the boat is leaking
Everybody knows that the captain lied
Everybody got this broken feeling
Like their father or their dog just died
Everybody talking to their pockets
Everybody wants a box of chocolates
And a long-stem rose
Everybody knows

Everybody knows that you love me baby
Everybody knows that you really do
Everybody knows that you've been faithful
Ah, give or take a night or two
Everybody knows you've been discreet
But there were so many people you just had to meet
Without your clothes
And everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

Everybody knows, everybody knows
That's how it goes
Everybody knows

And everybody knows that it's now or never
Everybody knows that it's me or you
And everybody knows that you live forever
Ah, when you've done a line or two
Everybody knows the deal is rotten
Old Black Joe's still pickin' cotton
For your ribbons and bows
And everybody knows

And everybody knows that the Plague is coming
Everybody knows that it's moving fast
Everybody knows that the naked man and woman
Are just a shining artifact of the past
Everybody knows the scene is dead
But there's gonna be a meter on your bed
That will disclose
What everybody knows

And everybody knows that you're in trouble
Everybody knows what you've been through
From the bloody cross on top of Calvary
To the beach of Malibu
Everybody knows it's coming apart
Take one last look at this Sacred Heart
Before it blows
And everybody knows

Friday, 6 September 2019

Shitty Weather

Free of haze with clear view of the hill!
The hill has disappeared! 


Stay indoors Klang Valley folks!

Thursday, 5 September 2019

A Respite From the Haze! (Part 2)

Right below our apartment was a small mall which had a Japanese supermarket called Meidi-Ya.


Clean, neat and they had so much stuff! I enjoyed browsing through every aisle.


Singapore's new airport with its own indoor park.
The guys had lunch at this place.
A 1-Star Michelin!
Very allergy savvy!
A very porky noodle!
We then walked on suspended nets. Had quite a bit of exercise here!
We were 5 storeys high! Certainly not for people with fear of heights.

East Coast Park! Free from haze.
Jogging and cycling paths. And no rubbish in sight.