New Year Reading

It's a pretty wet beginning to 2007. Yesterday it rained practically the whole day. Luckily the only time it didn't rain was when my wife and I walked back to our car at JPMC carpark after attending a wedding ceremony for my colleague's daughter at JPPC. It's funny that I felt a bit tired yet that's exactly the same route and distance I had to walk for hole #1 and hole #2 when playing golf there - and that's dragging a golf bag full of clubs as well. I guess when you enjoyed it, you don't noticed it as much.

Anyway, I spent most of the morning, lazing around catching up with my reading. I have a stack of unread books, magazines and journals which have built up over the last few months. They keep coming and I keep buying them - psychologically feeling secure that having gotten them into my studyroom, I can attain the knowledge whenever I wanted to. Truth is - they just piled up. But I found an interesting Brunei Malay word today.

When you play traditional marbles, the Brunei version, you have a lead marble and everyone throws or aims their marbles so that you can hit the lead marble or other players' marble into a hole which you would have dug up earlier. That small hole apparently has a name - it's called a 'kasai'. I double checked the word against the Nusantara Dictionary (if you haven't got this one - get it, it's the best investment you would have ever made) and found that yes, the Brunei word Kasai does mean that hole. But in standard Malay, 'Kasai' is the name of a tree which apparently can be used for building material and whose bark can be used to cure headaches and leaves to cure fevers. 'Kasai' is also a name for fish - 'Kasai Janggut' or 'Kasai Minyak'.

I remembered another very similar word to 'Kasai' which is 'Kusoi' - this is the Brunei name for a traditional Brunei food made from flour and sugar and after being steamed will be covered with grated coconut. I thought this was a Brunei speciality until I saw the same dessert at the Megamall in KL a couple of weeks ago. But the Malaysian name is not 'Kusoi' - it is called 'Kasui'. Again according to the same dictionary, the name of this sweet can also be 'Kaswi'. If all this is driving you crazy, you can always go up to the 'Kasau' which is the frame for the roof top.

I also managed to read another book which I bought ages ago. It's one of those books with answers to the questions you have always wanted to ask. I have several versions on the same genre and I do reproduce what I read from time to time. Today I thought I will focus on one famous swear word used almost universally - sh*t. I read that in 1999, someone wrote an internet entry about the word and that has circled round the world a few times. The claim was that the word originated from the 16th century when dry manure was transported by ship and originally kept below deck because it's light.

However below deck, sometimes it got mixed with water and began to ferment thus producing a gas which when exposed to lighted flame will explode. To prevent this, these boxes are asked to be kept higher and thus would be labelled 'Ship High In Transit' hence shortened to sh*t. Pretty believable, right? Well, this turned out to be false. The word is derived from the Middle English word 'shitten' which is derived from another older word 'scitan' which meant to be covered with excrement. 'Scitan' was derived from an even earlier word 'skei' and can be traced back to the Germanic language during the Roman Empire.

The book also answered the age old question ladies always ask - why do men fall asleep soon after making l*ve? Well, apparently the answer is ......, oops. I think you better buy the book and read it for yourself. Enjoy the holidays.


Anonymous said…
Happy New Year to all. Hope 2007 brings happiness, peace, prosperity and success.

I agree with Mr BR. We always feel the urge to stock up on books and magazines in order to increase knowledge. But we can't seem to find the time to read them all. I have a backlog of few months' worth of magazines (mostly fitness mags and IT mags), on top of a few other books. The reading materials end up collecting dust in the bedroom. Some are fortunate enough to be read, but usually while sitting on the loo!! And yeah, that book of why Men fall asleep, yeah it is a good book. Many questions that you were actually afraid or too embarrased to ask are answered. Check out too the earlier book from the same authors entitled 'why do men have nipples?'. Don't get put off by the title!

And by the way, what can i do with my ever increasing collection of books and magazines? I am fast running space on my book shelf and I do not feel like keeping all the books (except for some titles that I'd like to keep) or throwing them away. Anyway to set up something like a book exchange system? Hmm... lets make that a new year resolution.

And again, happy new year to all.

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