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Malaysian Tea

Hamster: *offers tea*
Hamster: White, with condensed milk.
Cabbit: *declines* Condensed milk is fer froot, not tea.
Hamster: That's evap, not condensed milk. *horrified*
Hamster: All Malaysians drink tea with condensed milk! Or evap and sugar!
Hamster: Or sometimes, evap, condensed milk and sugar!
Cabbit: *backs away flailing*
Hamster: *squints* Malaysian tea is the height of goodness! Traditional coffeeshop-style tea is strong and rich, capable of waking the dead if necessary!
Cabbit: *clams*
Hamster: It can't be as bad as Tibetan saltwater and butter tea...
Hamster: In fact, it tastes like a lovely tea custard...
Cabbit: *horrorified* *flees*

I don't think any Malaysians have perished from overdrinking since the establishment of our tea culture. I mean, where I come from, toddlers can remember drinking tea out of saucers, and they usually grow up to be good paper-chasers and university placement stealers overseas. Tea is life. Tea is healthier than soda.

...you should really see what we do to our coffee.

Just finished creating a voice sample and a sample translation for two separate translating jobs. It's pretty amazing - these two emails just dropped into my mailbox within an hour of each other. Sent out an application for a third potential job. Thus, I might soon be burrowing with the proverbial Three Grapes in Pouch (3GiP), the first sign a hamster needs to picked up and pried open, because the third grape nearly always gets stuck. Post-World Cup, I'm still trying to get some kind of equilibrium going with my sleep patterns. And here I thought chronic insomnia would gift me with divine visions. I'd say it's no fun to be up this late, but the entire reason I've slept at these hours for years was because it afforded me some peace of mind.

A long, long time ago, far, far away, I kept vampiric hours. Don't laugh. I used to be much worse. Friends would find me barely alive at about eight in the morning and find in themselves the kindness to tolerate my drunkenly drugged states. After a while, I'd start seeing browsers in 3D or something and then they'd really try to shove me back to bed. The results of this were not particularly profound. At first, insomnia allowed me to read books. When I was a kid, I wasn't really allowed to read books, simply because I read too many of them, and too quickly. Everyone thought this cut into my studying time, though the truth was probably more that I was a lazy student who always had mundane grades. My parents loved that I was able to read and my level of reading, they just thought I read a bit too much. Personally, I think I was just freaking them out when I'd try to suggest God was dead to the guests.

Over time, it became computer games. For those of you who have known me since I was littler (you know who you are) and felt the brunt of my ancient DOS game powers (which are still weaker than 95% of all the Elder Geeks I know; again, you know who you are), I used to stay up late because that was the only time I could play games in peace. I was good intentioned - my kind of games were typically pretty nutritious. I now know that if I tie the balloon string to the loaded gun, I could make the gun fire, and apparently, grungy writer types can too own big German castles and do beautiful women. The other reason I play computer games at night: I don't like people staring behind my back. Never sit with your back to a door, is what Frank Herbert said. The first and last time I ever had solidly great grades with any of the knowledge I gained between ages 3 and 24 was at age 24. Kids who play computer games grow up into writers. Or maybe they just used to.

By the time I was 16, I looked very much like I do now - like a zombie panda run over by a truck. My attention span was short, my ability to retain information increasingly lowered and I was jumpy. Always, always jumpy. I also felt tired, all the time, and I never really recovered from that. True, it wasn't all lack of sleep that made me all freakish-like, but it didn't help. I didn't get any smarter or more inspired by getting high on natural insomniac brain drugs, though I liked to think so. On the other hand, I'm not getting any more quiet by keeping daylight hours, though they can be nice. My point: I have to remember how dangerous it is for me to get into the habit of late hours only because it is super idiot hard for me to break out of it again.