Thursday, January 12, 2017

Pheng iu... Where Are They Now? (Part I)

It's been years since we last heard about Pheng iu, so long that it feels like a life time ago. Having said that, if the name somehow sounds familiar, if they ever made you laugh before, you may wonder where they are now.

They are still around, actually. Ten years older than before, with some totally lose touch with another. The gang, or what's left of them, is now known as -in Princely fashion- TGFKAPi, The Group Formerly Known As Pheng iu. More boring and less funny than they used to be, here is the story of aging people.

Alphabetically speaking, we'll have to start with Al Pone. Always smartest of the bunch, the man is now somebody important in the fastest rising online travel agency: He wears suits these days, doesn't speak much, but is surprisingly responsive whenever there's any feedback from his old buddies about the business he's managing. Oh, he still comes to town from time to time, but for rather odd reasons such as wanting to try Portuguese egg tarts. 

Next, while not much can be said about him, Bodhi is definitely a happier man, especially when he doesn't have to share his internet bandwidth with 18 other difficult users who said okay but did otherwise when they were forbidden to download. He had given up chasing Lü Hua since they all went separate ways, is happily married and lives a blissfully domesticated life. 

Only God knows where Dragon Djung is. Even his brother, Porcupine Djung, is busy convincing himself that Big Bro is residing somewhere that hasn't been mapped, therefore he simply can't be found until the day he chooses to reveal himself again to public. Until then, he's just as far as a phone call away. Whether his phone number remains the same or is saved by others, that's a separate story altogether.

Unlike the first few mysterious characters above, Enrico Pilchard still interacts quite often with many of his ex-housemates. He is now the husband of Luna Tic. A hardworking family man, he singlehandedly redefines the society's paradigm of long distance relationship and brings it to another level by becoming a weekend husband. Such a well-thought concept comes with a formula, too: one year consists of 52 weekends, which means a man can only be qualified as weekend husband if he spends only 104 days or less per year with his family. It's not bad, considering that it has benefits such as less meeting, less quarreling or; the lonelier tonight is, the more intimate tomorrow night will be; and so on.

The ever charming Jim Lee Jones is as enigmatic as ever. Regardless where he is, even when pictures of him in some other places appear on social media, he always says that he's in town. According to word of mouth, he's on a secret mission funded by government. The mission has got to be so discreet that a wide range of random gossips with questionable degrees of truth are circulating: some said he's building a web portal for garment business in a third world country while others said he's building roads into the remote areas. The more skeptical ones, however, said he's simply building a family.

Back to the Pilchards, Luna Tic is now a dedicated wife. However, since her husband is absent most of the time throughout the year, she's pretty much dedicated to Korean drama instead. It is as the modern saying goes: oppa is the wife's best friend, followed by Samsung Galaxy phone and kimchi. She must be so into the K culture that she'll even type "aigoo" in the chat group when she's pissed, confusing the ex-housemates that are rather outdated and conservative.

Talk about conservative, Lü Hua remains the same, just like how she was when they stayed together. She travels a lot for the past decade, but still dresses as polite as ever. In her holiday photos, the only thing she wears that comes close to something provocative is sunglasses, so don't bother going through her Facebook and look for bikinis with high expectation. 

Mark Punk, the hot-headed one, is a bad boy no more. He had a dodgy stint as an insurance agent where he said convincingly without blinking eyes that he'd be agent forever and remain contactable until the day the customers die, alright, but he is now a very decent man earning an honest living. He retreated to a secluded area where he builds up his business empire bit by bit. After establishing smelly business (durian farm) and saliva business (bird nest farm) and he tries his luck in a new field by opening a construction materials shop recently. A seasoned man with so much experiences in life, he understands that everything has its price, therefore every product in his shop has a price tag. Impressed? When experience meets action, such thing does happen! It can't get any better than this!

Pesugihan is one of the few that either stays the same or has a stable career, depends on which point of views one is adopting. To be fair, sometimes it's a matter of the right priority. Instead plunging himself into endless hours of work, the friendly Chinese with no Chinese name spends his energy expanding his family instead. A happy father and husband, he's now having three kids and yet  remains faithful to one wife. How's that for work-life balance?

On the other extreme end of work-life imbalance, we have Porcupine Djung. His life is a perfect study case of how living in a city looks like. Feeling stressed at work and feeling bored at home, he had been living in such vicious cycle that forms the routine of his life, 24 hours and seven days a week. It looks bleak, but his luck is about to change. Together with Enrico and Robin, he's working on SpeakApp, a mobile application where a person lacking in courage can chat anonymously to express long pending crush to somebody, scold other people or stir shit. With his brain filled up by Robin with larger-than-life promises such as having their product bought over by Facebook, he looks forward for a better tomorrow.

So there you go, the latest story about 10 out of 19 Pheng iu that once brightened up your day. I'll tell you about the other nine on the next episode. Just in case you wonder why I suddenly brought up those retired characters, that's because we're celebrating 10 years anniversary of Pheng iu on 27/01/2017! For those who were to young to remember and those who are feeling nostalgic, here's the glimpse of them during their heyday:

PS: you can still search them all on YouTube by using the following keyword: pheng iu
PPS: Watch out for imitation and watch only the real deal!

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