Haggling 101

I suppose it is time to throw my shoes away when the soles start to separate from the shoe, flapping like a mouth everywhere one walks and when random street-dwellers mutter at you, “Belilah kasut baru!” (Malay for “Buy some new shoes!”)… Damn hoboes.

So, out went the old and, with a couple of friends, I went to Kota Raya Shopping Complex to shop for my new pair of shoes. Now, the thing about shopping for shoes at Kota Raya is this: you can get a pretty good pair of original “unoriginals” (bootlegs, to my American friends) at prices too good to be true. For instance, a pair of “authentic” Nike Shox shoes is listed for RM99.00 (about US$26.00), a steal compared to the normal price of RM300.00 (about US$75.00).

The only problem with these too-good-to-be-true prices is that they are for suckers.

Even at these bargain prices, you have to haggle because the shoes can be bought for far, far less. But, how do you haggle for prices? Well, follow these few principles and you should be alright:

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Can I Say Smoking Is A Disgusting Habit?

Apparently, not – if a blogger or two are to be believed.

You see, my previous statements about smoking being an utterly disgusting habit has marked me as some sort of right-wing, prejudiced, holier-than-thou, “hardcore” Christian. I am not entirely sure where these people got the idea that I was writing an anti-smoking apologetic from the Christian camp, but since I am a Christian, I suppose I will take responsibility for that, too. After all, Light and Salt remain the same wherever you might find them, no?

Anyway, in the interest of a healthy discussion, let’s address some issues.
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Mind if I…?

Can someone please explain to me the smoker’s concept of “an individual’s right to choose?” You see, smokers like to make the claim that “it is MY body and MY health, so I can do whatever I want to it. Besides, it doesn’t hurt anyone else.” Oh-kay…The smoker’s conscience has always fascinated me: because they are usually walking contradictions.

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Is that a 12-inch double-ended vibrating dildo, or are you just happy to see me?

So I was at the Adult Merchandise Mart today, a quaint little business establishment that sits unassumingly (as unassuming as it can get with great big neon lights!) on McKnight Road – the road near where I live. I travel down this road almost every day and I’ve wanted to have a look in there for a while, since I’ve never been into an “adult store” before (this is true…really). Also, there are none that I know of, back in the homeland – so I thought this would also be an interesting “educational” experience (It was purely a scholastic endeavor… really!). And besides, I got the green light from the missus (REALLY!) – so why not?!

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Daddy’s Love

Somewhere out there,
Beneath the pale moonlight,
Someone’s thinking of me,
And loving me tonight.
– “Somewhere Out There,” from An American Tail, 1987.

“Mummy,” said the little boy as he looked up into vast night sky, “Where do all the stars come from?”

His mother looked down at him and smiled, “Well, many people have said many things about that. But I can tell you for sure that God made them and put them up in the sky for you and I to enjoy. See, aren’t they beautiful?”

“Yeah. There sure are a lot of them, aren’t there? Why did God make so many stars?” the little boy enquired.

“Well, I think it’s because God is our Father and loves us very much. So, He everything He makes is good and beautiful because comes out of His love. That’s why the moon is so big and the stars are plentiful,” replied his mother.

“You mean there are so many stars because God wants to show us how much He loves us?” said the little boy.

“Yes, my darling boy,” said his mother, tenderly stroking his hair.

“And God is our Father?” asked the little boy, looking up to his mother.

“Yes,” she answered.

“Then…” His voice trailed off. His mother looked down at him, curious to see why he stopped midway through his sentence. The little boy’s countenance had changed. He tightened his quivering lips. His mother could see a torrent of emotions in his eyes, as he struggled to find words.

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