Sunday, July 27, 2008

Sony Ericsson 350i

What attracted me to buy this phone was the classic flip-open look and its special, out-of-the-ordinary design. It costs me RM680, came with the usual package - handsfree, USB cable, charger and a 512MB memory card. After using it for more than a week, I have to conclude that it is not worth its price.

The bad:

  • The camera is just 1.3 megapixel and it doesn't have a video recorder.
  • The keypad on the outside looks and feels rather fragile and needs to be carefully attended.
  • Although I've never let it drop on the ground before (touch wood), I think that if it did, it would be damaged beyond repair. And the 1-year warranty doesn't cover this.
  • When the lid closes, it automatically displays the walkman player. This feature could not be turned off. Very battery consuming, I would say.
  • When the lid closes, normal phone operations (e.g. answering calls, accessing the camera, texting messages, modifying settings etc.) cannot be established. I find that a little inconvenient.

The good:

  • Very good sound system.
  • Nice, slim, compact design.
  • Look cool when flipping open and close to answer calls.
  • Very nice displays. (But I guess all Sony Ericsson phones have nice displays.)

Hmm... So far I can only think of these few good things about it. I believe (without any supporting proof though), that with the same price, it's possible to get a handphone with much better specifications. Hopefully I'd be able to discover more interesting features and advantages in this new model of Sony Ericsson's.

Thursday, July 24, 2008

the world is no longer safe

At approximately 7:00 a.m. on a Tuesday morning, she was driving down to the Wangsa Maju LRT station to take the LRT to work. She parked her humble white Kancil at the side of the main road, took no notice of the dark figure lurking right in front of the stairs. She turned off the engine, the door lock clicked open. She took her time wearing her Hush Puppies working shoes, grabbing her bag, preparing to get down from the car. The next thing she saw was a dark-skinned figure, and a knife.
She screamed out of shock, only to be silenced by the threatening voice of the stranger. Holding her wrist in one hand; the knife and a still-burning-cigarette in the other, the stranger ordered her to get into the passenger seat. Frightened, she obeyed. While being forced to hand him her wallet, handphone and mp3 player, she noticed the pedestrians walking right behind her car.
The stranger was holding her wrist all the time, she couldn't escape. He was having her car key. Worst case scenario, the stranger could hijack the car, drive her to some place where no one will be able to help her nor hear her scream... She could imagine a hundred dreadful things that could happen to her. She forced herself to think of happy thoughts, unsuccessfully.
Should she call for help? No, the sight of the knife made her thought better of it.
The stranger finished ransacking her belongings. "Drive away quietly, or I'll kill you," he said to her. For some reason, she thought that threat to be funny. Dying in the hands of a robber, is a thought that had never before occur to her.
Despite that, she was so thankful that the stranger gave her back her wallet together with her identity card, driving license, ATM cards, and most importantly, her car. So with trembling hands, she obediently drove away, leaving the stranger with his pocket full of cash, a less-than-a-year-old-second-hand-handphone, and a very-much-close-to-useless-mp3 player.
She remembered the last incident when her laptop was stolen, and what the police had done to help her (after spending endless hours in the police station) - basically nothing. So this time she decided not to make a police report.
And yes, the victim in the story, that would be me.

Sunday, July 6, 2008

friendship vs direct-selling

Are friendships built upon the foundation of direct-selling? This thought had never, ever came across my mind before a friend said it to me. He and a few of my buddies from university are very much into this Amway direct-selling which, according to them, would help them develop their interpersonal skills, build up their confidence, widen their people network etc etc. And most importantly, it would, or could, be their stairway to financial freedom. Despite my bad experience with direct-selling, I do not think that it is a bad idea involving oneself in the Amway business because their main intention is to upgrade themselves, which is a good thing - not putting up so much hope in getting rich through direct-selling.

I've always believed that when they asked me out, it was because they enjoyed my company. There was a time when they asked me to a movie, I told them I was thankful they rescued me from a terrible day in the office.
Actually we asked you out for a reason, one of them said to me, which was when I found out there would be a Amway meeting on that weekend.
But then I managed to convince myself that even if they weren't going to ask me to attend that meeting, they would definitely still asked me out no matter what. In other words, the Amway thingy is not the only (or main) reason we were there. I believed it's true, I still do.

I received a call yesterday morning, which broke my heart entirely. He tried to convince me to join Amway as a member, asking me to support them, said he was asking as a friend. I would be more than happy to do so, emotionally and finanacially (as in the mere RM80 membership fees), had not he said that our friendship is build upon the foundation of direct-selling. To be fair, those are not his exact words, but that's how I interpret it.

He said that if not because they were all members of this Amway thingy, they wouldn't have met once every week on the Monday meetings, they wouldn't have something in common to talk about, and they wouldn't even meet each other. So I should join them this big family so that we can keep in touch. He said it as if it is a good thing, as if it is something to be proud of. I mean, how can you be so proud, when you need direct-selling to bring your friends and you together? How can you be happy, knowing that your friends and you would just ignore each other, get on with your lives and forget about your buddies if Amway does not exist? I was deeply hurt by the things he told me, but i hid my feelings over the phone, pretended that I was perfectly fine, and told him I was happy to help out.

Now that I think about it, I feel so stupid. I was so glad when they asked me out. I was so glad that they remembered me when they have get-togethers. I'd been looking forward to meeting them up consistently, even after graduation. I imagined going for movies or dinners on Friday nights, occasional clubbings on Saturday nights, and some mid-night mamak stall or McD. But now I fear that not being an active member of Amway, I'd eventually be forgotten. (I feel so ridiculous even as I'm writing this. It is the worst excuse anyone can think of to try to convince a person to join direct-selling.)

I worry and fear for the day that I do not have a single friend in my life. The thought of losing you, anyone of you, is unbearable.