Sunday, November 25, 2012

...And Then, Flying East to the Phillippines

Many a wise traveler met on the road have remarked as such, "every adventure with an abrupt beginning must have an abrupt end."  The wisdom of the words cannot be anymore appropriate for my five-month stay in Kuala Lumpur.  The whole episode started with a directionless grad student frantically seeking any opportunity anywhere in the world as he awaited the inevitably end of his one-year tenure in London.  A couple of 30-min Skype interviews and a few disjointed email communication with a landlord...all the sudden, he found himself on a 12-hour flight across the globe.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Chicken Soup for the Lonely Foreign Soul: An Asian Guide for Non-Asian Guys to Hunt down Girls of East Asian Origin

When it comes to understanding the everyday social mentality of East Asians, your writer ashamedly bills himself as a leading grassroots expert.  After five years in China, seven years in Japan, half year each in Korea and Malaysia, one would learn to make out some trends and generalizations about people there.  And after ten years in the US, one in UK, and a few months in Australia, one begins to see how such trends and generalizations are continued or discontinued when the Asians move into a Western environment.

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Ecommerce Marketing as a Tool for Inventing Consumerism: the Case of "Single's Day" as a Lesson for Diwali

Once again, Diwali, or the Hindu Festival of Lights, is upon on us, and just as Hindu community around the world does, the Malaysian Indian community is busy reuniting with families and friends while everyone in the country is enjoying a couple days of public holidays even though they have literally nothing to do with this particular religious event.  But while the Indosphere indulge in some wholesome family gatherings, something remarkable just happened in China: on Nov. 11th, ecommerce portal Tmall set an all-time world record for one-day sale by a single site by raking in 3.1 billion USD.

Sunday, November 11, 2012

Can a Stricter Version of Islam be Used a Guarantor of Social Equality?

Looking at the published stats, the tiny Sultanate of Brunei in northern part of the island of Borneo, sandwiched between Malaysian states of Sarawak and Sabah, is definitely one of the wealthiest states in the world.  Massive income from exporting oil and liquified natural gas have created a land where every citizen enjoys automatic enrollments in hefty and regular pension payments, near universal access to modern facilities, perhaps the highest per capita consumption of cars in Asia.  Many a travel guide out there refers to the country as the "Islamic Singapore."

Sunday, November 4, 2012

When Childhood Affection Becomes an (Extended) Family Affair...

The late morning party at the poolside of the local tennis-cum-swimming-random-conference-hosting family club was reaching its climax: the little star of the party: a baby boy turning one-year-old tomorrow was about to blow the candle on his little birthday cake from the comfort of his mom's lap.  The entire attendance of the party, some two dozen family members, friends, and coworkers, gathered around the cake, the boy, and the happy parents, clapping and singing the birthday song.  They broke into spontaneous laughter every time the boy cooed or smiled, and captured all that on their cameras.