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Of Ramadhan traffic and twits

August 10, 2011

The first day of Ramadhan fell on a Monday. As a direct result of that, this year’s Ramadhan month will feel shorter somewhat. Why? Because you finish one week after another. Before you know it, Aidilfitri will be around the corner. On the weekend before Ramadhan I received some good news. Apparently the first day of Ramadhan is a public holiday in Johor. So I got a day off on Monday 1st August. However, I have to make the trip back to JB on that day. The thing is, I have this strict policy of not starting my journey after iftar. I don’t know about you, but after iftar for some reason I’ll be knackered beyond belief. I’ll feel the uncontrollable urge to close my eyes and drift into deep sleep.

So, against my need to have my iftar at Mak’s, I set off for JB at 5.30 pm that day. Which I later regretted. Little did I realise that I missed a nugget of interesting information. Which was the atrocious state of traffic on the first day of Ramadhan. You see, I have experiences of really bad traffic on the first day of fasting. Back in 2006, I took 2 hours for the short journey from Jalan Raja Chulan to Wisma Central on Jalan Ampang. Unfortunately my memory failed me and I confidently started my journey. Bad move. From my house in Gombak to the Sungai Besi toll plaza took me an hour plus. So I had the feeling of being knackered even before iftar.

Seriously, people have this urge to go back home for iftar on the first day of fasting. And the mushrooming of params didn’t help either. In case you’re wondering what a param is, read all about it here. Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for people being able to earn some extra dosh during Ramadhan. But it’s all at the expense of commuters. So I ended up arriving in JB close to 11 pm. Note to self: please remember not to leave KL before iftar on the first day of Ramadhan. The tiredness which ensues is just not worth it.

Moving swiftly on, have you heard of this guy by the name of Dez Corkhill? Dez is currently the Managing Editor of Astro Arena, the Astro channel covering local sports. He commentates on local football matches and is super passionate about Malaysian football. I have nothing but admiration for this guy. I heard his commentary during the recent Malaysia v. Singapore World Cup qualifying match. I can safely say he was biased on the day. Biased towards the Malaysian team that is. He knows all the Malaysian players’ names by heart (I think). And the thing about Dez is, he puts us all as Malaysians to shame with his knowledge of Malaysian football.

Let me give you an example. Whenever I have the time, I’ll watch this football chat show called “Bola @ Mamak” on Astro Supersport. In the show, 5 guys (including my man Dez) will talk about football, local and foreign. In this particular episode two football pundit wannabees, Ross Yusof and the Orange Man (God knows what’s his real name) were on a tireless crusade against the Malaysian football team and Malaysian football generally. They were saying things about how crappy Malaysian football is. And this is after Malaysia won the AFF Suzuki Cup. To be perfectly honest (and I don’t care if they’re reading this although I doubt there are) I don’t think these two fellas have an inkling of what they’re talking about. I think their puny little minds have been thoroughly brainwashed by watching (or being obsessed) with Manchester United, Liverpool, Chelsea and what have you.

Their total ignorance of the local game was thoroughly exposed by Dez (who I could see was getting clearly upset with all the hate being displayed). Like a true blue Malaysian fan (remember, we’re talking about a Caucasian guy here) he threw a challenge to the two twits, asking them to name 5 Malaysian football players there and then. To which of course they failed miserably. And you call yourself a football fan? They tried to BS their way out of trouble, perhaps realising the losers that they are. They went on about how the local stadiums are devoid of supporters, which was met with a swift rebuke from Dez who said they should go to the stadiums in the East Coast which are filled to the rafters on game day, every single week.

There you go. You pretend like you know everything and yet pathetically emphasising the fact that you actually know next to nothing. From now on, a Caucasian guy shall be my ultimate authority on all things concerning Malaysian football. Sounds weird, doesn’t it? Sad, but that’s the absolute truth.

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