Tuesday, November 12, 2002
Blogging will be light over the next few days.
Sunday, November 10, 2002
A Malaysian Mystery
In the unlikely event that readers have been paying close attention to my hit counter over the past two weeks they will have noticed that it has been a bit busier than usual. Whereas I typically get an average of about 37 or so hits a day, it has recently been averaging nearer 70. This was rather puzzling so I decided to do a bit of investigating.
I started by looking at the referrals page of my site meter. I noticed that most referrals were coming from Google searches and most of these included the words "unpunctual" and "train". Curious. I then called up some further details and discovered that a lot of the computers involved were based in Malaysia. Very curious. I also discovered that they were tending to link to one particular post from the past.
I couldn't work out what was going on. My initial (indeed, only) guess was that it must be some sort of jumbo school project - possibly by some teacher bent on demonstrating to his pupils that Malaysia is at least as good as countries abroad. Anyway, I decided to edit the original post to add an update making reference the frenetic state of my hit counter and inviting explanations.
Lo and behold I got a reply from one Chong Pei Pei (I guess we would say it as Pei Pei Chong). He said:
Well, the reason why there were so hits was because we have a newspaper crossword puzzle competition. There was one question which goes like this: "Commuters may describe a persistently unpunctual train service as a " _ _ r _ e" (5-letter word, 3rd letter is "r" and last letter is "e". I, like many others, have been trying to figure out what the answer is. Naturally, I have been trying to search for the answer on the Internet. Sorry to have crowded your server. But I hope that if you know the answer, then maybe you could help out.So my mystery solved. I did have a go at solving his problem and scratched my head for a while. The best I could come up with were the words "curse" and "farce" which fitted but weren't particularly satisfactory on account of not being specific railway terms. "Farce" was my preferred option - let's just hope it was right.
I then asked Mr Chong if (seeing as I had answered his question) he might tell us a little about the transport system in Malaysia. He very graciously agreed and I will be posting up the reply in the near future.