The 2000 Estima

Someone I know recently bought a second-generation 5-year-old “recon” 2.4L Toyota Estima for RM125,000.

Try looking out for it. There are a lot of Estimas on the road! You can see the first generation here and there, and a few people are rich enough to afford the 2006 model, but it’s very easy to spot the 2000 model.

I wonder why official distributors can’t bring in reconditioned previous-generation cars. Grey importers are certainly raking it in with the 2000 Estima.

First generation, 1990-2000:

1st generation Estima

Second generation, 2000-2005:

2nd generation Estima

Third generation, 2006-present:

3rd generation Estima

Model years and images from Wikipedia.

How to become an irregular smoker

No, this is not to ask non-smokers to start puffing away; it’s for smokers who would like to cut down.

First, you must want to live. If you feel that life is pointless, and you don’t care if you die tomorrow, by all means, smoke as much as you can afford.

Second, you must have a strong desire to cut down. The reason you’re smoking in the first place is because you enjoy it – the nicotine rush; the way it goes with teh tarik; as a way to release tension and chill out. On the other hand, you know it’s stupid – it’s a waste of money; it causes cancer; your mouth stinks. But your nicotine-altered mind has counterarguments for everything: everyone has a hobby and this is mine; we’re going to die anyway; and there’s always chewing gum.

Therefore you will need a “higher-order” reason. For some people, it’s religion (a “return” to God). For a friend of mine, it was the birth of his first child. For others, it’s increased self-awareness and a desire to regain control of one’s life.

Once you have a reason, it’s just a matter of technique. Cold turkey is definitely one method: just stop. But what I’m going to describe here is something more gradual.

First, you must recognize that smoking is not just a habit, it’s a lifestyle. So you need to make some big adjustments – no more after-office lepak sessions, for example, or even a new lunch crowd. As I said, big adjustments. So set your expectations accordingly.

Second, lie to yourself. If you say, “I’m going to quit smoking”, you’ll get stressed out by this herculean task and you’ll immediately need a cigarette. Start with small lies. After lunch, instead of lighting up, say to yourself, “I’m going to skip this one, just this once.” Once you’re able to do this for a couple of days, go for a bigger lie – the first cigarette of the day. After (or before) breakfast, say to yourself, “I’m going to smoke only in the evening, just for today.” Then, after a couple of weeks of this positive self-delusion, you can go for the whopper: “I’m not going to smoke, just for today.”

Third, stop buying packets and start buying sebatang-sebatang (loose). Most kedai mamak and some kedai runcit sell these. Seek and you will find.

Fourth, avoid the triggers, such as Nescafe, teh tarik or spicy meals, and drink lots of plain water. Lots.

Finally, don’t worry too much about the lapses. Cutting down is a continuous process that can take months and even years. Remember that reducing your intake by even one a day translates to more than 300 sticks a year. So celebrate every victory with a feeling of deep satisfaction! You are in control. Woohoo!

Further reading

3 Bulan (Malay)

Infrequently Asked Questions

Why do Europeans and North Americans seem smarter than the rest of the world?

Because their education system doesn’t emphasize rote learning.

Why do people get married? And I’m not talking about religion, here, as marriage existed way before Judaism, Christianity, Islam.

Because women love weddings, and men get the housework done for free.

What about men who do housework?

These type of people are to be admired and despised at the same time.

What’s the greatest piece of technology ever invented?

The book. It can be carried anywhere, it doesn’t require a power source, it’s extremely durable, and it’s incredibly, incredibly useful.

Who’s the smartest person in the world?

Marilyn vos Savant. (And I’m not providing a link to Wikipedia, so that you have to look it up yourself. Hahaha!)

Who’s the most beautiful woman in the world?

Depends on who’s asking.

Why does evil exist?

No good without evil.

Okay, there doesn’t have to be evil. Why can’t there just be good, and gooder?

Why don’t you stop being evil by pestering me with all these questions.

Name me one Indonesian heavy metal band.


Sometimes the traffic at Lebuhraya Bukit Jalil is backed up all the way to the LDP, and sometimes it’s clear all the way. What gives?

I have completely no idea.

What’s the difference between can’t and couldn’t?

One has 7 letters, and the other one has 4.

How to be successful?

Define success to be something that you can easily achieve.

How to be happy?

Happiness is a feeling. Like all feelings, it’s an automatic response to external events. It’s something we can’t help. So to be happy we need “positive” things to happen, like doing something we enjoy, or being with people we like. But even then, after awhile, boredom sets in. So it’s something transient. A better question would be, “how to have inner peace?”

How to have inner peace?

Pay me money and I’ll tell you.

Why does the earth spin around its axis?

I bet your kid asked you this. You know what? I tried to google this one and couldn’t find a definite answer. I even tried Yahoo! Answers and Someone help me!

Given that the earth is rotating at 1100 mph, if someone jumps high up then why doesn’t he land a few miles away from the place he jumped?

Why must the “someone” be a “he”? Women jump too.

Okay, he or she.

He or she what?

Look, I’m not going to repeat the whole question! You know what I mean! You’re quibbling about insignificant matters because you don’t know the answer, don’t you?

You’re being very rude. I’m afraid I have to ask you to leave.

Why do women have higher standards of personal hygiene than men?

For millenia, men worked whilst women stayed home. Men had money to attract women; all women had were their physical appearance. But now that women are financially independent, men can no longer count on being a good breadwinner to be attractive. So that’s why deodorant and even facial foam for men are getting increasingly popular.

Why do I need to go to the office? With broadband, I can work wherever I want. Why do I need to travel back and forth and put up with all the traffic jams? What matters is that I get my work done on time. (I don’t work for a leading employment website.)

You’re right. Stay at home, then.

But I’ll get fired!

Then get to the office, already! Jeez.

This IAQ is boring.

What, the whole point of the universe is to entertain you? Go to lolcats, then.

(Whiny voice) Lolcats is even more boring!

You’re right. xkcd!