Thursday, 22 July 2010

Big Business

An unemployed man applies for the position of a toilet-cleaner at Microsoft...

which reminds me...

of my recent visit to Kuala Terengganu and Kapas Island with my children, where we encounterd the whole gamut of toileting fashions, from the luxurious at the hotel in Kuala Terengganu, to the normal sit-down at Captain's Longhouse on Pulau Kapas and the amazing hole-in-the-floorboards style at Awi's Yellowhouse on Pulau Duyong...

Honestly.... it was a perfect round-shape cut into the floorboards of an open-air bathroom.

Awi's Yellowhouse is a rustic budget-class digs built on a wooden platform structure on the banks of the Terengganu River. A number of thatch-roofed huts on the platform make up the guest-accomodation, ranging from double rooms, to single quarters and a dorm.

There is a basic kitchen where guests can fix a simple meal but what's quaint is that the bathroom is kampong-style of the sixties - with only a shower fixture and a hole in the floor for the water, etc to drain into the river below. I remember my grandfather's kampong house which had a large bathroom in almost similar design where privacy was provided by just the four walls and your batik or pelikat sarong - no roof. Almost similar because it was a little more modern, set on ground level, with cement floor and yes, decent drainage.

Anyway Awi Yellowhouse is where my third son Azeim is putting up while he undergoes his internship with a couple of boatbuilders there. When we visited, the place was clean and tidy and the evening air was breezy from the sea.

We met Azizah and her crew who were on long-term stay while supervising the construction of their vessels; last I heard Azeim is having a whale of a time in the company of these sea-farer types. I hope he remembers to learn from them as well.

Oh yes, back to the unemployed man who applies for the position of a toilet-cleaner at Microsoft...

He is interviewed by the HR Chief and subjected to a battery of employment tests.

The HR Chief tells him: Congratulations, you got the job! Just give me your e-mail address so that I can send you an employment package and let you know when to start work.

The man is distraught…

He has no choice but to tell the HR Chief that he has no computer and therefore no e-mail.

The HR Chief tells him that, if he has no e-mail address, he virtually does not exist and therefore cannot hold a job.

The man leaves in a desperate mood. He is down to his last $10 with no job in sight. He sees a supermarket and decides to buy a 10 lb box of strawberries.

He starts out making door to door calls , selling those strawberries by the pound. Within 2 hours, he manages to double his capital. He repeats the deal 3 times more and goes home with $60 in his pocket.

He comes to see that he can survive this way.

He starts every day earlier and goes home later every day, tripling or quadrupling his money every day.

Before long, he buys a wheelbarrow so he can buy and sell more strawberries. After a while, he is able to buy a truck and eventually becomes the owner of a fleet of delivery trucks with several employees working for him.

He adds other produce items to his deliveries.

5 years go by…

The man is now the owner of one of the largest food chains in the United States.

He starts thinking about the future for him and his family and decides to buy some life insurance. He calls an agent and selects a good policy. The agent asks him for his e-mail address to send him a confirmation of the policy.

The man tells him that he doesn’t have an e-mail address!

That is incredible, says the agent. You have no e-mail but you built this large empire! Can you imagine where you would be if you had an e-mail address?

The man briefly thinks and then answers:


Moral 1 of the story:
The internet does not solve all the problems in our lives!

Moral 2 of the story:
When you have no e-mail but work hard, you can become a millionaire!

Moral 3 of the story: You received this story by e-mail/internet. Therefore you are closer to cleaning toilets than to being a millionaire!

Finally, did The Beatles have e-mail?

Music Playlist at


lili said...

Wow, moral of the story 3 makes me cringe...wondering if it's true! But I get it. I've been cleaning all the toilets at home! Muahahaha!

The vc from the Beatles "I saw her standing there" makes me laughing and rolling and it is early in the morning...and I'm fasting!
Adeh, kak Zen, sakit perut ni! :-))

Pak Zawi said...

Yeah i got the message from the story.
The message that Awi's Yellowhouse is discharging its effluent directly into the Trengganu river is quite disturbing. Shouldn't the operator be advised to improve on hygiene? I don't mind digging a small hole in the sand with my bare hands on Kapas Island to deposit my night soil as it is the way with nature.

Wan Sharif said...

So you had been to my birthplace.. Did you by chance met Puan Rohani, Awi's wife.. She is French and well educated.. Can see that you have a picture of bangsal where boats are made.. This was the place I normally hang around to have a chance of child to father's talk.. back then (40+ years ago).
So your trip to Trengganu has enriched your knowledge of toileting fashions...har har.. *cheeky laugh

Cat-in-Sydney said...

Aunty Zendra,'s so much simpler as a cat. No need for all those contraption called the toilet/hole/ bowl/throne. Maybe humans should learn to use kitty litter...har har har *evil laughs*

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hello Saucy, sweet Zany Zen,

If this is your first sh*tty attempt at toilet humor, then sorry to say u fail big time. For me, it gets flushed down the loo big time. I agreed with Pak Zawi, it’s very disturbing to know that u guys r launching little yellow submarines (cannot dive floaters….yukky) into the river….kakaka.

Yellow Submarine

Zen, how come u did not include this Beatle song in your selection, I would have thought it would be more close to your heart, wink2;

Please MRS Postman


Tommy Yuk Sh*thead

P/S – How not to end this without the infamous “U go ‘Sek See’, ‘Chiak Sai’ (Eat Sh*T)”…muahahaha

Zendra-Maria said...

Lili, tell you what.. cleaning toilets in this life may make you a "millionaire" in the next hehehe... pahala beb!

Eh steady arh gelak2 tu, tak pasal2 kena berbuka nanti... rugi

Zendra-Maria said...

Pak Zawi, my son who stays at the Yellow says high tide is a good time for biological breaks LOL!!! Advising the operator? I don't know lah, maybe he's just being green/organic hehe... I think Capt Kapas knows better, both being pirates...

No you don't need to do it like Jane at the Longhouse ;)

Zendra-Maria said...

Wan, wow... you as an anak duyong jati is surely able to talk boats and boatbuilding - maybe my son should meet up with you to tap your local knowledge and the island's history :)

As for the toileting, I'm old enough to have experienced all the styles mentioned and then some... but the incredulous looks on my childrens' faces were to die for!!!

Zendra-Maria said...

HAHAHAH.... Cat, you're right - no water or paper as well!

Zendra-Maria said...

Hello Yuk, fancy you going EEEWWWWW at this entry, you are a WOG big-time already lah... sudah lupakah when you went camping in the jungle? ;) or weren't you not into macho activities like these.... eeeyer... so.. @#$%^ you deserve to live down and under lah kakaka!!!

Give me your address - I'll send you a nice yellow submarine postcard....

*oooops... forgot you're an e-mailer*

Tommy Yewfigure said...

Hey I blame all those ‘golden’ days for me taking up smoking & lighting matches to ‘kill’ the stink, especially those buckets system in grandparents’ kampong whereby the ‘collectors’ will ‘exchange’ those full buckets at the break of dawn, eweeeee just thinking of it. Don’t think I’m able to do it squatting down anymore….hahaha.

It’s My Potty


P/S – There’s this small village in todays' China, that everyone does it in the open squatting down & letting it out into the same drain. How'szat for progress….eweeeeeeeeee.

Capt's Longhouse said...

dear all,

,,,the cat fish at the terengganu river is exported to K.L. city from what heard hihihi better known as ikan pelukang, very meaty and good for curry or sweet sour or even steam or asam pedas.(locals don't eat river fish-lah)
,,,during high tide, these group of fishes will be waiting below the toilet hole, you can hear them fighting for your dropping...eerrmm am not kidding cos. my standard room there is the one at the far left corner which don't depend on the tides, its always above water.hihihi
,,,there is no need for toilet cleaners too at Awi Yellowhouse if one is good at aiming while doing his/her business. hahhhaha
...mind you, this is the best hideaway for your holidays in K.T.
Just rm40 per night for the little wooden hut and rm10/- for the dorm. Real PARADISE !! try it out.

Uncle Lee said...

Hi Zendra, love this posting, especially as I love Trengganu.
I enjoyed looking thru your pics, very nice.
I guess bilak saya balek kampong one of these years, will drop by the places you mentioned here.
Have fun, and keep well, Lee.

Zendra-Maria said...

Tommy, wonder why they called them collections "night soil"..

Zendra-Maria said...

Capt, you mean the huts have attached bathrooms - roofed? and no wonder no smell - you have bandaraya fish cleaning up the river! Amazing!

Zendra-Maria said...

Well Lee, don't leave it too late visiting your old haunts, they may get too modernised and you won't recognise them anymore :)

a.j. said...