Tropicana – great course, horrendous caddies

Tropicana has always been a favourite haunt of ours. The advantages of the proximity to all our homes, the great fairways there, good greens and overall mixture of challenging holes and holes we can attack – and over 27 holes, it has become our preferred destination of weekday golfing.

Which brings the problem – it is also the preferred destination of a thousand other golfers. Even playing on a weekday, especially with one 9 closed, can feel like a weekend pace for some. Especially today, when we had an absolutely hopeless flight in front of us. You know those type that takes 2 minutes to putt a 3 footer, misses, kicks out a leg and screams a chinese expletive. It is very, very tiring just sitting down (yes, we finally gave up and all of us just sat on the fairway watching them do their nonsense) and seeing how frightfully inconsiderate they are.

While Tropicana is one of the best course in Malaysia (in our opinion), it is balanced out with the most crappy caddies in all of Malaysia. They are useless and the ones we experienced were idiots. I generally don’t like to comment too much on caddies, but today, there was one hopeless lady caddying for us (the other buggy, not mine). She had comments for everything. The clubs we used, the distance, what we should be doing and all that. Once in a while it’s fine but when I am at the 17th hole, and you are the caddy of the other buggy you DO NOT tell me to hit a 8 iron into a 140m stick. She just stood there and said, “For you, boss, use 8 iron”. I am like, who the hell are you? You don’t caddy for me so shut the hell up.

The final hole, where it was a 240m to the pond, while everyone was using 3 wood, I was contemplating between my 5 wood and a half controlled driver. Because I was feeling good with my driver. She immediately said, “Cannot! Tak boleh!” and I told her, the more I hear cannot, tak boleh, the more I say, BOLEH. And it was the last hole anyway and I just wanted to swing it. She kept grumbling for some reason. She is NOT my caddy. She caddies for the other buggy. My caddy was generally mute, which is the preferred condition I want my caddy to be in.

I hit a great shot, but it drew and it looked like it entered into the water near the green. The “not my caddy” laughed and said, “Padan Muka (serves you right)!” a few times.

I walked over to her and said in my broken Malay interspersed with English colourful words, “You do not comment on me. Once, twice is enough. If the golfer decides to use a club, the golfer decides. You do not make any further comment, or laugh or make fun of the golfer. You are not my friend. You are a god*amn caddy, and that’s what you do, so shut the **** up and caddy your sh*t or else I am going to leave you here or throw you into the ******* water. You are not my friend, so do not talk to me like you know me or you know sh*t about me. You don’t get any tips and I am going to put your card into the sh*tty caddy category later. Now get the **** away from me.” I said it in a very calm manner, but made sure she understood. She has no familiarity with me, and I have zero inclination to be familiar with her, so unless she wants her mouth stuffed full of golf balls, just do what your limited job scope is or get out of my sight.

I found my ball at the edge of the water, used my 60 degree and stiffed it to around 5 feet, missed the birdie and par my last hole. She avoided me after that.

This is not the first time, Tropicana caddies have given us shit. The problem with these caddies is that they think they are our friend. There was another caddy my friend scolded the other day (on the 1st tee, nonetheless), for showing up late, and not doing what she was told, and scowling and making a meal out of taking the club for my friend. He just told her to get away from our flight and basically kicked her out. The starter intervened before my friend went berserk on her.

It’s not like we want treat Caddies like crap. I get it. It’s not easy caddying for hackers like us. But when we have told you to shut the hell up once or twice, then just shut the hell up. Again, the concept here is you are NOT my friend, so don’t talk to us like how we talk to each other. They aren’t educated to caddy properly, and I fault Tropicana for that. If you give us hopeless caddies, then at least just let them carry our clubs and that’s it. Nothing else. Tropicana = great course, EXTREMELY USELESS caddies.

My game was amazingly up and down today. When the dust settled, it was 5 double bogeys, 4 triple bogeys, 1 bogey and 8 pars.

I almost went bogey free today except for the 17th hole when I hit my first bogey with a bad 4 footer miss.

And it’s not like I was driving it bad. All my triple came from great drives.I usually set up to aim right as I have my draw as my normal shot and hook as misses. For some reason, on all my triple bogeys, I hit great straight drives – either they went into the water or OB, or in one occasion, I simply could not find it. So driving wise, except for one hole where I topped it, it was a PERFECT driving game for me.

The other parts of the game was another story. My chipping was like a baboon trying to hump a kangaroo while parachuting down, with a dynamite attached to the ass. That’s how bad it was. There is something wrong mentally. I am mentally incapable to chip. I do it perfect on the practice range, but in the game, as if for some reason, I suddenly become a tapir learning how to tap dance. I don’t think it can be cured, like my color blindness, so I just have to live with this confounding handicap. This has turned many of my par or bogey opportunities to double and triple today.

But yeah – slowly, I am getting back up to speed for 2018. It’s at least a lot better than my first game for sure.

Oh by the way, at the end, we did tip the hopeless caddy and we also put her card into the ‘good’ category. For all our talk, we are actually very compassionate people and look – you are far away from your home, you probably have kids back home you are homesick for, and you probably made an honest mistake in being familiar with us when we don’t want you to – let’s move on, be careful next time. That’s why I like this group I play with, we are NATO people – No Action , Talk Only. Always threatening the caddies, but at the end we are too charitable to be angry for long!

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2018 begins…with Failure!

Like every year, 2018 starts with all the best intentions.

Lose weight.

Don’t swear.

Exercise More.

Spend more time with kids.

Sleep earlier.

Don’t overwork or overeat.

Play good golf.

And like all good intentions, everything is shot to hell within the first week. Really. I’m like, damn it! It’s like groundhog day!

Lose weight – In Malaysia, not possible. Because after english new year, is Chinese New Year. Only a stupid person will not eat anything in chinese new year. Only an EXTREMELY stupid person goes back to Penang and not have anything good to eat.

Don’t swear – This one very easy to lose. First hour of the year already gone.

Exercise more – I am currently exercising. In my mind. In my mind I am jogging and playing badminton and football.

Spend more time with kids – actually this is still going as planned. I am working a great schedule now to ensure I spend some time to take them out for food and hang out at the petrol station store more – because its cheaper than hanging out at cafes.

Sleep Earlier – No. Gone within the first day.

Don’t overwork or overeat – Overworking is subjective actually. I don’t think I am overworking at all. As in I don’t really know what the limit of my work is, so how do we know what “over”-working is?

Overeating — I apply the same theory.

Play good golf.

Ah. So we played our first game in KGNS. I started with a beautiful double bogey over the first 4 holes. Then I rattled in a triple bogey. Then at least I ran into a bogey, then I had bogey, bogey, par to end the front nine.

My drives were just horrendous, my stupid wedge was completely off and I was just playing absolutely fantastically lousy golf. It was frustrating, because there were some absolute beautiful shots in there, like my sand wedge on the 10th to 2 feet of the hole fro 110 metres. Or the booming drive on the 16th setting me only 60 meters away from the green and I stuck it to 5 feet (and missed the birdie). But 80% was CRAP. My 60 degree dug into the ground so much, that I can start a new career in landscaping. Every single shot I did was in the ground. Duff. Duff. Duff. I duffed, I think, total 6 shots. Until it dawned upon my stupid brain that the ground was very wet and soft, and I should be using something with more bounce, like my sand wedge! And voila, from there on, it worked! But I was on the 17th hole already! Stupid!

So, no, my first game, I think I didn’t even crack 100.

What a great start to the year!

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So yet another year ends – What brings 2018?

It used to be that once almost weekly I would have updated this blog, but not anymore. I would like to give the thousands of excuses like taking care of my two kids from getting killed by a thousand things in the house, like TV, fan blades and them jumping off the bed and swan diving onto my marble floor — sometimes I think I am in a real life game of lemmings. You know that game where I have to save those little buggers from committing suicide. Or I can blame my business, where I spend all the time figuring out how to get work done or get paid or how did I end up getting work done and not get paid or any of those permutation of events.

But I won’t.

Because the free time I have, yes, I am still whacking the tiny ball and trying to get it into the hole with the fewest stroke possible.

What does 2018 brings?

For one thing, I am finally playing reasonably good golf, after a LONG. Long. Time. Now, the very moment I write this I am going to jinx myself and I know for sure the next game will be a car wreck. But so far, the games I’ve been playing, I have been shooting regularly in the 80s, from the best of 84 to average of around 86 – 88 at least. I am playing probably to a reasonable 13 – 14 handicap now finally.

The best part of the game improved is my drive and irons. The driver is starting to click. I’ve developed a pre-shot routine that somehow works. It takes longer but it generally settles me down easier. It’s:

a) Select a far item in the horizon, point to it

b) Line up my driver and my stance

c) One practice stroke

d) Line up my driver and stance again

e) Do a shortened backswing to about quarter swing, to set my weight to my right

f) Waggle a bit

g) Look at something around 3 – 5 feet away in front of me (that means not in direction of the fairway, since I am already lined up perpendicular for a swing) – this usually ends up being the buggy, a stick, a tree, a bush, a monkey or a surprised caddy thinking I am pissed off at her

h) Take a deep breath

i) Take one last look down the fairway

j) Pull the trigger.

It sounds like a long pre-shot, but it’s actually quite brisk, around 15 – 20 seconds before I pull the trigger. I’ve been around guys who takes 40 + seconds to get the shot off, so I am considered ok. And it’s doing some incredible things to my game, because now, I am less rush, so I don’t swing so wildly. I still have this hook sometimes, but I am connecting it. I am much more confident that my driver is going to connect and when it does, it goes long, dropping around 240 – 250. I always think that we overestimate our distance, but I did do some measurements roughly and for some par 4s in Glenmarie valley, I was hitting my second shot into the green with a sandwedge.

The other aspect is my irons. After switching to my Mizuno, I can’t go back to anything else. I tried using my taylormade again the other day and promptly duffed or topped all my irons. The Mizuno is like a freaking samurai katana. It just feels balanced and awesome. It feels like I am having the staff of Gandalf with me. It helps that my iron distance has gone long as well – now for 100 meters, I am looking at sandwedge, for 110, a gap, and for 130, a pitching wedge and for 150 meters, a 9 iron. I hardly use my 8 or 7 anymore, because from 160 or 170 onwards I use my 6 iron and for 180 plus, 5 iron. I don’t use any utility and only occasionally I use my 5 wood to get two-on for par 5s. One of my friends calls me the Bull, for my bruteforce, not for my bullshit. At least, I think so.

And the aspects of my game that is completely stupid? Chipping, pitching, any shot that requires control. Except bunker. I love bunker shots now, and I use my 60 degree all. The. Time. No more sandwedges for me. But chipping? Nope. I have the yips. Pitching anything below 80 meters and I am likely going to duff it or skull it. I asked my friend if anyone sees a 70-degree wedge, let me know. At least I can do a full shot on it on 50 meters. For chipping, anything within sight of the green is puttable. A bad putt is a good chip, as they say.

So looking forward to more gametime in 2018 of course and guess what?

Tiger is back!!!!

Happy new year, Gilagolfers!

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Renewing Maid Permit – Part 2

For a golf blog, strangely one of the higher hits article is one I wrote in November last year for renewal of maid permit in Malaysia: http://gilagolf.net/gilalogy/renewing-maid-permit-in-malaysia/

Hence, it’s proven at the utmost ineptitude of our public services that so many people are at lost on how to renew their maid’s permit in Malaysia.

This year, we had to undergo something slightly different, namely the renewal of the maid’s passport and also the contract renewal (we didn’t even realise this), before going for the permit renewal. So you see, every year, there is a whole crap lot of renewal going on.

Firstly, the contract needs to be renewed first before the passport can be renewed. Now, I know there are manual ways to do the maid renewal, but we didn’t mind paying a little extra for our agent to help us out (plus, we think this agent is good. If anyone needs a reasonably good agent, drop me a note). Basically she took care of everything for us, and filled up all the required forms. We ended up paying around RM1,500 for the stamp and notary and insurance and agency fees, and also the embassy verification. Could we have done it ourselves? Probably, but it would have taken us some time to do it.

Once this was settled (you need to give copies of your maid’s old passport and permit, as well as your IC), we then head over to the embassy to sign off the contract and also at the same time work out the passport renewal. Once at the embassy, the agent was there and she sorted out everything for us, I just signed the contract (2 years) and then the passport was sorted out. The maid had to be there and we went for lunch and after that, the process was done. We just needed to collect it after a couple of weeks. There’s probably a whole bunch of articles on how this can be done manually without the agent to help, but since this is the lazy-man’s version, I would suggest to just use the agent to expedite the process.

Now you have the new passport, everything is settled, right?

No.

If you try to do what was in last year’s article, you will have a problem at the MyEG page (assuming you have sorted out all your Fomema stuff, which is the same as the previous article).

The MyEg site will state that there is invalid passport tied to your name. This means that if you renew the passport you need to make an extra trip to the immigration (in my case, Jalan Duta), and go to the second floor and state that you have a maid new passport, and they need to tie that passport to your name.

Honestly while this may look stupid, the whole process took around half hour only – the lady behind the counter was courteous and efficient, and the only problem was just the normal waiting period for your turn to be called up.

Once the passport is tied to your name, all you need to do then is to proceed with payment and once more head to the 21st floor of the IBM tower (it is named ‘CN’ for some reason on the lift button), and once on 21st floor, you just need to pass your maid’s passport and proof of payment. And bring your own IC.

Again, wait for another half hour or more and they will then lead you into another room where they pass you the maid’s permit card and also paste the new permit into the new passport. Bring along the old passport for verification.

Boom! Another year done. Contract renewal is every 2 years. Maid permit every year. Fomema, hopefully by next year, there is no longer a need.

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The Absence of Inspiration

Yes, I admit this blog has not been updated for the longest time. And the few readers coming back has wondered if gilagolf has indeed

a) Given up golf

b) Died

Well, neither is correct. You could say, for a), the drive of golf is still there. Still playing at least twice a month, and still finding it hard to crack 90 and still with an overswing and still suck at chipping. Golf is a game that does not commensurate and reward the time you put into it. It’s annoying that after more than 12 years of hacking this game, our scores generally remain as it is with a few improvements and many many many false dawns. I think as we grow older some aspects of your game improve. But some de-prove. For instance I am certainly driving a bit better now, but my short game has progressively become worse.

We played at Tropicana recently. And although I managed 6 pars, even with a sandy par (which is a big deal), there were tons of putts missed and chunked chips and shanked pitches. It’s like everytime I get into the 50 yards zone, I die. It comes to a point where for a par 5 if I know I have a very low percentage to hit the green, I prefer to hit it to the 100m marker as opposed to the 30 meter distance. It’s either a full 60 degree or a putt. Anything in between and I lose 2 – 3 strokes. If I have a choice between a perfect lie behind a greenside bunker I 100% wish that it was in the bunker instead.

So the journey continues. We still haven’t played any new course although we are plotting to go to Kota Seriemas in Nilai soon. The green fee is so expensive though – RM200 or more, and everytime that happens, we are reminded we can play for less than RM100 at courses like Tropicana, Kota Permai, Glenmarie etc under our RHB card. It’s just a hard sell. But yes we will be making our way soon there so stay tuned.

Speaking of RHB card, there are few things I would like to point out. They have absolutely a disgraceful credit card points redemption for the infinite. I mean, compared to the other cards I have. There’s literally dog-poop for things you can redeem for. Secondly, recently they lost Mines as one of their golf course to play on. Fair enough, it’s far away, but its still a very nice course to play on and I miss it. Thirdly they now impose this RM3,000 minimum spending on your card to use the golf benefits. Now this might not be much, but when you have 3 – 4 credit cards you are juggling and other cards give you way better points redemption options, planting 3K each month on a card that only gives golf benefit means sacrificing your other points allocation.

Also, this RM3,000 per month is stupid. They count it from a cutoff date to another cutoff date – for instance 22nd of each month to the 22nd of next month. So if you spend RM20K on 23rd of that month, then your previous month’s 3K is not hit and you can’t play golf. I have a friend who spends almost 11 – 15K on the card but because sometimes he misses the cutoff, for that month he is ineligible despite spending that much. Note to RHB – look at spend patterns instead of just a cutoff date. It’s stupid.

Lastly – if you registered your players with RHB and if someone last minute have to pull out, RHB disallows it. This means you either have to pay for a non existent golfer or you beg the course to cancel and play 3 ball. Which usually should be fine – but my question to RHB is, why won’t you allow another RHB player to replace? Oh – because its too last minute and the club disallows it.

Digging deeper, this is not true.

I found out that RHB’s procedure is that if you cancel/replace a player less than 24 hours of a tee time, RHB doesn’t even bother trying to send the update to the golf club. They just block it, so it’s not that the club disallows it, it’s because of RHB stupid internal procedure. I told them, look, just fax the damn thing to the club for a player update and I will sort it out. No, says RHB, we can’t because our manager doesn’t allow it and does not understand what is customer’s experience. So go suck it. (not their words but our interpretation).

Don’t get me wrong, RHB has been very useful for us over the years – but recently tee times are getting very crowded and tough to get, even with a RM3000 minimum spend and we are looking for other bank’s cards to maybe give us a little more benefits than just golf. If anyone has any better experience with other bank cards, drop a note.

OK – let’s try to get a tee time at Kota Seriemas then and write a review!

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Finally, A Birdie in Tropicana!

I managed to cram in a few games in KGPA, Tropicana and Palm Garden but eversince my birdie run ended, I’ve gone back to playing golf like a blind wombat high on meth. My game at KGPA was a train wreck and even the easy Palm Garden was no letoff as well. Then came Tropicana, where in one hole, I hit a perfect drive and with a sandwedge and 90 meters to pin, I proceeded to duff the ball FOUR freaking times. FOUR. And I hit the green and did a quadruple.

So, there was not much motivation to go on, really. I was thinking of actually quitting golf for a while. It got so bad that the Palm Garden game I missed I think around five two footer putts. In one hole, I wanted to fling my putter into the rough, but got snagged in my glove and it went spinning into the direction of my buddy and almost killed him. He didn’t speak to me the whole game and told me if I did that again, he is going to tomahawk me myself. I apologised. It was bad. It was not ethical and I am not like that. From then on, every bad shot was just greeted with a wry smile and a look to the heavens and a sarcastic thumbs up and clap to God. I don’t think God likes sarcasm. Because I played even worse and worse.

Things finally began to look up last game at Tropicana. I still missed sitters like two footers, but at least I got back my birdie. And it was on the index 1 hole nonetheless. Downhill perfect drive, took the left water out of equation and with the ball slightly above feet, I managed a pitching wedge to around 8 feet with a downhill winding putt. Perfect putt for me and it went in the hole.

So yeah, I’ve lost count of my triple bogeys and blown holes this year, but hey! I am now on Birdie number 4 for the year! Not bad, considering it’s like One birdie a month.

Next game!

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And the stupidest pest company goes to: RENTOKIL

Here’s a formal review I wrote to bloody Rentokil

Been a customer for more than 3 years. Every year they will miss out their scheduled visits. In 2016 they missed 2 out of 6 (generally, they will call you and say, hey can i come today, as in we assume that you are a jobless nutjob sitting around the house waiting for rentokil to call everyday) – so they agreed to move 2 extra ones this year. They did one and still need to provide one more service. Unfortunately, instead of doing that service, they gave an invoice for renewal for 2017. When called, they say, we can provide a credit note (to offset and discount due to missed service last year) – I said, no, I don’t want you guys anymore, just come and do your last service. And suddenly, the lady said, “Oh, according to our records, we don’t owe you any service anymore”.

Rentokil – i know house customers are treated by you as badly as how you treat rats and cockroaches, but remember before you guys were big and doing factories and companies, home owners were the ones you started off with. The arrogance of this company is just too extreme. Enough said, no more Rentokil for my homes. I rather deal with the cockroaches with my Ridsect than to give them anymore business.

Anyone thinking of getting these bunch of idiots better think twice. Worst pest control company by a million miles. I imagine cockroaches and rats doing hi-fives with each other when they see home owner signing up with them.

And really – it’s so sad. At this time and age, when economy is doing so poorly, you would think companies now should give a shit about customer experience. Yet, they are so batshit arrogant that they don’t give a flying fuzzball about customers. Rentokil – I hope you get killed as a company one day.

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The Birdie Run Ends. So Does the Triple!

Well I guess we can’t have our cake and eat it.

I finally played a round without the dreaded triple bogey.

I also finally played a round this year without a birdie. Final score of 48-43, at The Glenmarie Gardens, with 5 pars and a pile of missed putts and a ton of bunker shots.

For some weird reason I have never been able to get the better of the Garden course. I don’t know why. Maybe we underestimate it because from the onset it doesn’t look difficult. But by golly, I am always struggling on it! And today is the same reason, even after taking up the 5 wood tee-off to avoid trouble, I still found bunkers after bunkers. I counted. That is crap load of bunkers. The upside is that my bunker play has recently improved tremendously. I have this old Cleveland 60 degree with just the right bounce on it for Malaysian bunkers and it digs/slide perfectly through. I say Malaysian bunkers because oftentimes, we have that hard layer of wet sand just at the bottom of the top layer. So if you use your Sandwedge, it just hits that wet sand and skulls our ball whereas the 60 degree is able to dig in a little and allow that follow through. In fact it came to a point that I was looking forward to hitting to greenside bunker just so I can try to get up and down for fringes! I was 2 feet away from a Sandy par but putted like a chipmunk.

Speaking of putting – my love affair with the MYR40 Ping putter is coming to an end. I missed TONS of putts today. Either I whiffed it, or didn’t hit it firm or just couldn’t feel it. But like in everything golf, just when you have given up on something, on the last hole, a crucial game wining putt of around 5 feet – managed to sink it and the love affair with the putter begins again. Aiya. Always like that one.

I did have birdie opportunities, though not tons – I think I had 3 clear look at birdies within 10 feet putting and dreadfully squandered all of them.

However – keeping the triples off the card was key and definitely helps. I think its a combo of poor putting and bunker attraction today. In the first 9 itself, I hit bunkers in 8 holes. Reflected in a dreadful score. In second nine, limit to only 3 holes, and once more , the score was 5 strokes better.

Glenmarie is playing quite nice, if not the greens pretty slow, and it seems their caddy service has also improved. Remember the last time we had caddies who stole money from our bags? This guy was one caddy between 4 of us and he was good. Reading the green, distance, getting the right clubs, finding balls.

Best shot of the day? The bunker shot on hole 1 (our 10). It was a high lip and with the 60 degree, I put it perfectly to 2 feet away from the hole. I missed the putt, hell ok – but it is exactly that sort of bunker shot I envisioned and for once, perfectly executed.

Felt good!

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The Call of Immigration

One of my best friend decided to pack and leave Malaysia. After close to 40 years in this country, bye-bye.

It’s obviously with a mixed feeling to see him and his family leave. One – you wish him all the best of course. Two, you wonder, am I being left behind?

To put it – and this is obviously a personal opinion like everything else in this blog, which is mostly garbage, so disclaimer on ranting – sometimes, I feel we have this squatter mentality. When things don’t go right, we look to other places. We never take root on a country or a place and call it home. When I say We – I mean it in a general sense – not about my best mate. He has his reasons and those are very good ones. He loves our country..forced to leave for good reasons. But for the most part, people make a decision based on – oh, my family, oh my work, oh the government, oh the currency, oh the weather, oh the relaxation, oh the nude beaches. One side of the coin is – eh, this is your Home, Malaysia. It doesn’t matter if some shit politician calls us pendatang and tells us to go back to China – that’s politics, man! Don’t get so worked up! Our incumbent politicians will sell their own mothers to slavery to get votes, so don’t be surprise they tell Chinese to pack their shit up and then the next day, grovel to China and kiss their communists feet and ask them to come and invest in Malaysia. Most of these “politicans” are categorised in the same category of lifeform as bacteria, and even the bacteria gets insulted to be associated with them.

But some do take it very personally. They say, “Well, we are not treasured here. Bye Bye”.

The other side of the coin is: What if Malaysia is truly going down the shithole? A lot of us think it is. A lot think this is the Titanic, sinking into debts created by our beloved captain and his cronies. So abandon the country, before it becomes another Myanmar, abandon it before we have to send our sons and daughters overseas to become maids and laborers. Abandon this cursed land because a few fat cats are sucking it dry.

But if all leave, what is there?

I read a facebook post recently about a girl who decided to come back to Malaysia to work after not being able to cut it in Australia. She went on to say “I hope my thoughts would encourage those who made the trek back home that there is life after being an expat, and those who live in Malaysia that they are NOT losers for choosing not to leave!”

Now – I know she means well, but wait. Number one – you are not an expat. You are an immigrant. Even if you are there on a work visa, you are called a foreign labourer, or a maid, or a foreign worker, or some insulting and derogatory term. Oh, you don’t agree? Well, too bad, that’s what you are. Sorry, you are expat only if you go from Malaysia to lower developed places = at this moment is Sierra Leone, the Antartica and Mars. Other countries have taken over Malaysia as more developed. So even if you are paid, we have no right to call ourselves expat. Secondly, why bring up the word losers? Who is thinking of that? And herein lies the great mystery of our generation. We always think its better to go to the west (or in Australia’s case, the East). Why? Why is it better? If you run your own business here, why is it better to go to the most isolated continent in the world? If you have your family rooted here, why trek over to the place where convicts were banished to? The opportunities in Asia is endless. The great bustle of Bangkok, the great financial hubs of Singapore and Hong Kong, the growing opportunities in emerging countries like Cambodia and Vietnam. Why would I trade these adventures for one that I might want to have in a continent far, far away? Where they go to bed at 7 pm and watch a strange game called footy and basically have nothing much to do except having super good coffee. The coffee in Australia is the one thing I look forward to but nothing else. I have friends who constantly post streams of things they do in Australia on Facebook – like cutting grass, or sitting on the beach, or walking the dog, or happily playing with children etc. Eh – we also can do that here in Malaysia. I just don’t post it up so paedophiles can target my kids lah. Anything that OZ has, we have and more. OK – except for shitty currency. But otherwise, man, everything else!

Basically what I am ranting is, no – we are not losers for deciding to stay in Malaysia. If anything, we are fighters. We are survivors. We are likely 2nd or 3rd generation Malaysians – where our parents or grandparents had emigrated from China or wherever to come here to say, look, Malaysia is cool, they have durians and good weather – lets call this place home. For as long as we can, we should stay and fight for our land. Sure, we might not see fruits for this generation, but if it’s worth fighting for our sons and daughters, why not? Why do we want to become first immigrants again and start over? Why go to the other side when on this side, the grass is still green – it’s only hoarded by a bunch of fat and greedy cows. Can change happen? Maybe. I know for sure, if those who value this country remain in this country then we have a better chance. Australia doesn’t need Malaysians.

Malaysia needs Malaysians. I think the country is worth saving.

End of rant. Back to golf.

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Farewell to the Greatest of All Time (GOAT)

Tiger is the GOAT.

Just like Michael Jordan is for basketball. Just like Maradona is for football (sorry, Pele), just like Usain Bolt is for track and field, just like Federer is for tennis.

And sad as it is, the curtain drops.

I recall when Michael Jordan called it quits (the first time, let’s forget about the disastrous comeback ok) – I was really into basketball and I wasn’t bad at it. I represented my school, so can’t be that bad. I had a really good jumpshot and I played good defense, but I was horrible at decision making. So I kinda made the team but never really played because I never listened to the coach. Anyway – I HATED the Chicago Bulls. I hated them. They were too good. I mean, if you see Jordan scrambling down court, with Pippen at his side – my God, it’s like watching Leonardo Da Vinci paint the Last Supper. It wasn’t basketball. It was art. And for some weird reason, I hated the fact that they were so good that everyone was an underdog to them. Even when Utah Jazz faced them back in the 97 finals – everyone thought John Stockton and Karl Malone had a chance. None. They were like schoolboys. We pitied the Utah Jazz. They weren’t just outplayed, they were put in a Baby Bjorn by Michael Jordan and carried around with shit in their diapers.

So when Jordan said, I was done, I am playing baseball – we were like, great! Finally!

But guess what – we started to miss him horribly. Nobody came close to Jordan. And credit to Kobe and kudos to Duncan – nobody ever has come to replace Jordan. He is the GOAT of basketball.

And now Tiger.

When Tiger started, everyone thought he would open the door to more diversity in Golf. Back then, golf was played by a bunch of fat, out of shape and useless, racist white people like Fuzzy Zoeller. Tiger was the Great Black Hope. I am not racist. I am using the term from boxing “Great White Hope” – which is technically somewhat racist, as it refers to any white boxers that can beat a guy called Jack Johnson (who was African American).

But now, the end of an era is here. And we are still stuck with a bunch of white people except that they are not out of shape and probably no longer racist. Has golf progressed over the years?

Yes, I think golf has reached out to many young generation, and the only reason – I use ONLY, not ‘one of the main’ – is Tiger Woods. Like Jordan, Tiger transcended the game of golf. He became bigger than the game. Unlike Palmer, Player, Nicklaus or anyone before then, Tiger represented golf to the world, not just to the elite. And I picked up the game because of him. Because golf was cool. Now golf is no longer cool. Jogging is cool. Cycling is cool. Golf is a waste of time for many of the upcoming generation.

When Tiger opted out of the next two tournaments, we knew the end is here. Sure, he might play a few more majors here and there, but as painful as it is (and those who follow Gilagolf knows I am a rabid fan of Tiger’s) – I have to admit – enjoy this moment. We will never see another golfer like Tiger ever again, so in this twillight of an amazing career, we bid ode to the Greatest of All Time. We will miss that Sunday Red and those fist pumps. We will miss the amazing shots that seemingly are magnetised to the hole. We will miss those ridiculous chip shots that can only happen in movies. We will miss those domination of other players, that destroyed Ernie, Vijay, Retief, Phil’s legacy by them always playing second fiddle. We will miss the super-humanity of one person playing this game that we are all tragically addicted to.

Goodbye, Mr Woods.

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