Transformers 2 filming in South Bethlehem

I heard on the radio that Transformers 2 will be filming in my neighborhood of South Bethlehem. I quickly looked it up online and found the news on Morning Call.

The film-makers are looking for Asian extras (me! choose me!) to be in the movie!! Apparently, they are transforming the old Bethlehem Steel mill into a Chinese city…hahaha.

Hmmm, maybe I can go for the audition and become an extra in the movie! That would be so exciting. I wonder how much time it’ll take. This is so great!! 🙂

Wait a minute! I can’t be a paid extra in the movie, my student visa only allows me to work on campus. Bummer! 🙁

If the international students of Asian/Chinese descent are allowed to work as paid extras, the film-makers can just come to Duh, the little Chinatown of Bethlehem, and find all the extras that they need: grandmas, grandpas, men, women, kids and babies!

Crazy tourism idea

THE Penang Government plans to hold an annual south Korean cultural festival beginning this year in a move to attract more south Korean tourists.
The Star (May 15, 2008)

I don’t know about you but this is such a crazy idea.

It’s like getting Malaysians to fly to Australia for a Malaysian cultural festival.
It’s like getting Americans to fly to Africa for a hot dog eating festival.
It’s like getting the Japanese to fly to Malaysia for sushi.
It’s like getting the Chinese to fly to India for the Chinese new year festival.
It’s like getting the French to fly to Thailand for a French wine and cheese party.

Maybe Penangites can show the South Koreans how to make “Malaysia Boleh” kimchi 🙂

I remember my Korean friend who visited Penang and stayed with me for several days. All she wanted to do was to eat good food (a lot of varieties in very tiny portions), hit the beach, and get a massage at a great spa. Unfortunately, she went to a highly recommended spa that turned out to be a “hanky panky” massage parlor…..hahaha.

If we want to attract South Korean tourists, we really need to work on our “cleanliness”:
– Clean accessible toilets
– Clean eating places
– Clean beaches
– Clean and safe streets
– “Clean” dealings: Honest prices and good customer service
– “Clean” beauty spas

Medicating my allergies

My first three years in the U.S., when Spring came and all the trees, grass and weeds bloomed and spread pollen everywhere, I was fine. And I shook my head at people who complained about sneezing, itchy eyes, lethargy, etc., and who were taking myriads of medications for those symptoms, “What’s with the Americans and their allergies and their medications?!”

My fourth year, when Spring came, I was slightly bothered by it. But I was more bothered by the thick layer of pollen that was sticking to my car, made it looked so dirty, and forced me to take it to the car wash 🙂

I wrote this last year (May 16, 2007):

The onslaught of pollen
In my few years here, I’ve never given much thought to pollen or spring time allergy. This spring however I’m beginning to feel the onslaught of pollen. All these trees and plants pollinating at the same time, spreading pollen everywhere. My car, which I have yet to wash (I cannot believe I’m my dad’s daughter!), is now covered in a thin layer of yellowish-greenish pollen. I also wake up sneezing, my eyes feel puffy, and I just feel like there’s a lot of microscopic things bothering me.

This year, when Spring came, I noticed it immediately. The very first day that a very-high-pollen index was reported on, I felt it. I thought it would get better, but it didn’t. I continued sneezing, my eyes itched, my throat hurts, I just didn’t feel good.

Today, I finally succumbed to the pressure of living in this culture of drug-dependency, and went to the doctor and got a prescription for my allergies. The doctor prescribed Flonase.

FLONASE is an anti-inflammatory nasal spray used to treat the nasal symptoms of indoor and outdoor nasal allergies and year-round nonallergic nasal symptoms.

I went to the pharmacy and got generic Flonase (Fluticasone Propionate). It cost $70!! I didn’t expect the generic version to cost that much. Thankfully, I only have to pay $10, while the health insurance will pay the remaining.

A comparison:
In Malaysia, for pain relief, we have Panadol.
In the U.S., they have Advil, Tylenol, Aleve, Excedrin, Motrin, Bayer and some more. Most of these brands are being advertised heavily on TV. At the pharmacy, the over-the-counter painkiller section takes up a whole aisle!

My response to “Azri: The caged boy of Sanglang”

The power went out in my apartment building. When I came home after my run/walk at around 8pm, the power was still out. The utility worker said that the power will only be back at 10-11pm. No electricity, no microwave, no stove, no food, no light, no computer. So I grabbed my work stuff and laptop, went out for a quick dinner and headed to the library. I had planned to do some dissertation work but decided to spend the 2.5 hours writing my response to the news article about the caged boy of Sanglang. Go here to read it.