I've had a Dairy Queen coupon book since early this year, but I never got a chance to use it because every time I went by the local Dairy Queen, there was a long line. It's way too popular. Today, I figured I would have a chance because it was a rainy day. Nope, there was still a line, but not as long as usual. So I went and got a Caramel Moolatte. Next rainy day, I'll get a Blizzard because that's the next coupon in the book.
Called my parents because it's my Mom's birthday. It's amazing how quickly development is taking place back home. It seems that literally within the past few months, two new malls popped up! (paving over all the old plantations) Geez, they're going to have more malls than New Jersey. As they rattled off the list of stores in the malls, it sounded a lot like Palisades Center or the Garden State Plaza. They just don't have Wal-Mart or Target yet, but I figure it's only a matter of time before shopping in Malaysia will be just like shopping in an American mall. (but with better food)
I also discussed some of the recent Supreme Court decisions with my parents, and it's ironic that there may now be better private property rights there than here. There's no "eminent domain" nonsense, and the government won't seize the property as long as you pay the property assessment (i.e. property tax), which amounts to a piddly US$50 a year or so for a pretty nice house in Penang. Indeed, many foreigners (in particular, British folks) live and own property there.
Of course, civil rights are still somewhat abridged there. There's a sedition law that was formerly used to fight communists, but is now used to suppress religious extremists. Not that either of those is a bad use for the law, but you never know if they'll use it on those who speak out against the government. Drug offenses are punishable by hanging. Gay marriage? Not a chance.
Bribery and corruption is also a big problem in the government, but that's the Asian way of doing business. Grease the wheels with money.