Tell Me, Is A Good Man That Hard to Find?

My question again: Is a good man/guy that hard to find?
No, I’m not going to have a mid-life crisis.
I am asking because it seems that a number of women and gals I know (and who are perfectly OK in every sense) cannot seem to find the right guys to date or settle down with!
Over apple-flavoured tea and chocolate-covered-melt-in-your-mouth fluffy donuts a few days ago, my cousin and I were talking about how her colleagues, well meaning as they were, tried to pair her off with some guys.
Of course, this cousin of mine is not old at all…she’s only 26. But she doesn’t seem to be making any leeway in terms of the dating game. She’d rather hang out with her gal pals.
She’s a girl with brains so maybe, just maybe, guys are afraid of girls who can speak their minds. So I ask her, well, what do you want in a boyfriend?
She doesn’t hesitate at all.
“He must speak English. Otherwise he won’t get the punchline!”
I know that her work as a graphic designer brings her in contact with lots of guys but they’re Chinese-educated guys. Which for her, an MGS gal, is like total opposites.
Can try but can break a vein trying!
For one, have I not told you that the English speaking among us can try to be friends with the Mandarin speaking among us but it’s like Martians and Venusians trying to get along?
It’s not very pleasant – maybe it’s the sort of thinking that English speaking Malaysians have. The Mandarin speakers think we are the actsy sort just because we speak English! Bah. They think we’re snotty.
So I tell her, go where the English speaking sorts are… how about the British Council. Try hanging about where your prospects are (that’s Marketing 101 for you). Sign up for a class at the British Council and see if you don’t meet likeminded men who speak English and can get jokes without going ‘huh’?
I told her she ought to get out of the house more. This anime-loving, Korean drama fan and PC nerd of my cousin loves nothing better than lounging about at home in front of her PC when she’s not working. She loves playing online games and getting her laughs from Korean comedies. She’s also a big fan of Terry Pratchett and would rather spend her money buying books than buying this season’s clothes.
So I start thinking, is a good guy that hard to find? She tells me that every other guy she knows is either gay or totally not her cup of Starbucks. I find that guys these days are so androgenous that gals are a lot more ‘tough’ by comparison.
Where are the guys of my time? Guys who looked like guys? Guys who didn’t swipe their girl friends’ lip balm? Guys whom you didn’t have to play the guessing game if they’re gay or straight.
It’s not my dear cousin’s dilemma either. Her sister’s friend, who was paired up with a guy, didn’t make it past 2 months of dating. They split after 60 days!
Another friend of mine who is pretty and independent cannot find a man. There’s nothing wrong with her at all. Another friend of mine who is in politics tell me that she also cannot find the right guy despite always being in touch with the local community with her work.
“How about the men in your political meetings? Don’t you all go out for drinks or makan?” I ask. You see, I’m curious.
Really, where have all the good men gone?
“Ya, when we go out for teh tarik, we still talk politics! Where got time to talk about other stuff?” Plus she says they’re all old and grumpy.
More and more, I am hearing the same stories.
Cannot meet the right men but they keep meeting the wrong ones, gays, men not interested in women, men interested in politics but not women or meeting men who just want to shag!
Yes, darlings, there are crappy men like that. They want you to get into the sack with them and then, so long ma’am. It’s just fun baby. Don’t take it too seriously ya.
So I am left wondering – are the right men all married? Are the right men in the places where women aren’t looking (under a rock perhaps)?
I also ask myself this: if I weren’t married, would I have a hard time finding the right man? In my time, it was easier to find men. They actually looked like men! These days, just because you think it walks like a man and shaped like a man may NOT be a man at all!
Like my cousin says, she doesn’t need to go hang about clubs and pubs to reel in a man. That’s not her style and she’s right.
I told her to go hang around Borders (especially the shelves with Terry Pratchett books!) and see if she can’t find a guy who loves to read like her.
Many years ago, a guy infiltrated our group of women bookworms and got himself a wife! I am not joking. He came to our book meets and fell in love with one of my friends. Everyone got invited for their wedding a few years back but we couldn’t help but think, wow, the audacity yet it worked. It was like a movie plot but it was real. They’re still happily married to each other so yes, finding a partner who loves the stuff you love can be a turn-on and attractor factor.
So tell me, I have no answers why a good man is that hard to find. I have on the other hand a few eligible men friends who seem to have it tough finding the women they want to marry! A friend of mine is wealthy and good-looking but no one wants to be his girl friend! So maybe it’s not the looks or the money then.
Another guy I know is sweet and thoughtful yet he can’t seem to find the right women to date!
Tell me, is a good man/ woman that hard to find?
How did you find your husband/boyfriend/wife/girlfriend?
Mine was easy. I found him when I was studying in USM, in my first year. He was introduced to me by a good friend and we’ve been dating since 1994 and married since 2001. I guess I got lucky!
I wonder if I would be lucky if I were single again in today’s relationship market?

33 thoughts on “Tell Me, Is A Good Man That Hard to Find?”

  1. This reminds me of a conversation we once had with Janet during one of our meet ups with other old friends. She mentioned that the ladies who have endured working with her will one day find it hard to find a man in the future as we are so independent already. And then she continued to joke (yes, joke!) about setting up a matchmaking agency for “influential and powerful women” who cannot find a suitable life partner. Haha! No doubt she’s gonna be the mother hen of the lot…. ๐Ÿ˜›

  2. Hi Vern, I happened to bump into your website and saw the breath taking photos of the paradise island that you uploaded.
    My family went snorkeling in Pulau Redang recently and the kids love it so much that we are planning for the next trip of island hoppings…………..

  3. @Vern: Ah, so you will be the founding member of Janet’s matchmaking agency? ๐Ÿ˜‰ Yes, as women get tougher and more independent, men start thinking twice about approaching them. It’s difficult to find a man who appreciates your brain as much as he appreciates the other physical aspects of you. Most men will say they want a smart woman but when they do get a smart one, they can’t handle her. And then they go marry a docile young thing! Cakap tak serupa bikin! Either that, or most women pretend to be slightly stupid so their men won’t feel so damn intimidated haha.
    @ Domino: I hope Vern will reply you coz I feel odd doing so! Vern, it’s your friend here!

  4. …and people wonder why there are more and more people getting involved in same-gender relationships nowadays… does that bring a new meaning to the saying, “Great minds think alike and fools seldom differ?” ๐Ÿ˜› Hehehe…
    Oh, hi Domino… yes it feels a bit strange to reply here too, haha! Yes, Redang Island is a definitely must go for people who love the sun and the sea. Feel free to drop by my blog anytime! ๐Ÿ™‚

  5. Ops! Sorry, Maya for writing to Vern through your blog. I was clicking and found my self in Vern’s blog and saw the beautiful photos and too eager to find out about the paradise island ………. I could have found my answer in the blog or written to Vern directly. Anyway, we use to do that (reader to reader) quite often. Sorry if you guys feel odd/strange.

  6. first of all, let’s bring ourselves back to the basics. please define (use a dictionary if you want) a good man and a good woman? can? subjective, right? it’s the very fact that subjectivity and also timing (call it fate, maybe) is fooling around with us that some of world’s most intelligent and beautiful species are frantically looking for a partner?
    My guess is just as good as yours, actually. LOL

  7. Marsha, my definition of a good person – cares for their partner, does not have a roving eye, would stay faithful, won’t lie or cheat, does not involve in stuff that’s criminal, does not over indulge, has integrity, is down-to-earth, is loving, etc. It sounds like what every religion prescribes for each human being. Sadly though, we think that we need to cheat, manipulate and be evil if we want to get ahead in life. I suggest too that people who are looking for their life partner to define the characteristics properly too so you know when you’ve found the right person. Most people assume they’d be happy if they just got a guy or gal. It’s not really that easy. Look at the personality of that person you found. Can you live with a little imperfection sometimes? When people fall in love, they see all the good, positive traits – even the awful traits are positively endearing. Get married and after 2 years, you start bitching about the same traits you found so ‘cute’. The idea is, everyone has the good and bad traits but LOVE makes one blinder than mice. It’s how we live with each other’s shortcomings and yet love the person deeply and truly that makes us find the right one. Mind you, not the perfect one but the RIGHT one. My right one may not be your right one but that’s OK. That’s why there’s bound to be someone for every person who is looking. An aunt of mine found love long after she gave up looking…and she got married in her 50s.

  8. Why is it that you women can list down your criteria for the man you want but not the other way round? To most men all you strong smart independent type is good fun. yes a roll in the hay. When we want to marry we prefer the kampong docile type. that is our criteria.
    all these thing about looking for an ideal husband. look at your own parents. do you think they had much of a choice? but they are happy now right? let me tell you if you can find someone you like even if 20% go ahead and marry. along the way you can work things out.
    oh yes you are right about hanging out at Border, you can find that kind of guy you define as good person there. …. in Mills and Boon.

  9. yes, its hard and I am particularly not in favour of ‘cinta lokasi’. the kind where you fall for people who are working in the same place. Aiyergh.. if gaduh like so susah nak kerja lah like that..
    but then, to try dating a complete stranger is equally nerve-wreckng. we dont know his friends and it’ll be hard to fish out his dirty laundry or something..
    at the moment, I find that the best qualities of a guy (id love to be with) is in one of my best male friends. but to declare my infatuation may result in me losing his friendship and a good friend like him is hrd to find. I mean, if ‘something’ were to happen between us, it could’ve happen a long time ago right? Still, some gives hope that maybe ‘back then’ was not the right time..
    nway, in conclusion, a good guy is definitely hard to find and even the married ones can still be lousy.. ha ha ha ha

  10. @ real man: You can list down what you want in a woman. Hey, it’s a free world. But you see, we women like to dissect the why’s and ponder over life’s imponderables. Men, says Nic, take things easy and don’t give a rat’s ass if they’re bachelors for life. Women get iffy at things like this. Really. Did I really list out an impossible list of criteria for a man? Come on, what I’m asking for a really just an honest man. Are you telling me an honest, down-to-earth guy is extinct? Mills and Boon…. I don’t know if you’re thinking about ‘tall, dark and handsome’. I didn’t put that down in my list. I said to my cousin, if she likes Terry Pratchett books, she may find her potential man hanging around those books in Borders. She might enjoy finding a guy who shares her same taste in books! I also mentioned compromise. We should not look at the world (and when we’re in love) with lovey-doveyness and then we get married and our partner’s traits rub us the wrong way.
    @ minci: ya, it’s susah to get into a romantic relationship at work. It does complicate lots of stuff. ๐Ÿ˜‰ haha, these days it’s easy to check that guy you’re dating. Fish around his Facebook! Check on his friends this way…. the Internet age is fun if not privacy-invading! A good man is not a fantasy…call me overly optimistic!

  11. aiseh… i find good girls hard to find too!
    i’m married but if i were single, i realized i’ll have a tough time finding decent girls too.
    wait! correction! decent girls are easy to find, but nice girls who could sustain your interest. now that’s rare!
    i think most folks are just too one-dimensional. defined by their job. take away their job and they are “lost”.
    i feel that more folks (boys n girls) should explore their interests. it’s boring to find folks who camp out every night in front of their telly, over astro. there’s more to life than that!

  12. @bleeding gums: yes, I think you hit the nail right on the head. We need interesting people to sustain our interest. Interesting means not vegetating in front of the TV watching yet another re-run of FRIENDS or 90210. It means being able to have a proper conversation with you without going “Er, that one I don’t know lah” like 200 times in 4 minutes. Or worse, they pretend they know and then the conversation goes all weird becoz we’re all talking about different things!
    One needs to be able to go beyond superficial topics (weather, what’s happening with Barack Obama, etc) and go deep into real topics and with breadth and depth too. Far too many people talk and talk and talk without substance. And they have attention spans of ants too…5 secs and that’s it. Their eyes glaze over after that. You feel you are talking to a wall.
    I believe that finding a good man/woman is an adventure but once you find him/her, you will have a lifetime of adventures too, mini ones, big ones, funny ones, crazy ones. You will always interest each other because you are interested in each other!

  13. Hmmmm.. have not been reading your blog for a while now and guessed I just have to pen down a few lines on this close-to-heart topic. Coming out from a divorce 10 years back, I thought I am done for good and will spend the next half of my life alone. However, as fate would have it, I met this fabulous man which was my boyfriend then and husband now via ICQ and a Singaporean at that. So the long distance thingy is the acid test but we survived the 8 years through. We finally got hitched in June 2008 and I have never been happier. He is the exact of what my ex-hubby used to be.. I guessed innately we will not make the same mistake twice. He’s kind, down to earth, great sense of humour (I have learned to be less uptight!), loving to a fault and cooks too. So, I have warm home-cooked food waiting for me after a long day at work.. Who would have settled for less?

  14. Hi Kate: I am so glad you are back again! I missed your insightful comments. You know, your story gives hope to many people, especially divorced women who think that it’s the end when they are divorced. I think your story is especially poignant because it shows that you can meet a good man via ICQ despite the negative press about online relationships! Sometimes we find the best things the second time around and it’s then when we realize how much we learnt from the past. Hmmm, a man who cooks. Just like BG, a man who bakes. Yeah, give me a man who cooks any day.

  15. Personally I think you just do things that you are interested in and you will meet people. At university I played football, tried the movie club, the environment club, kickboxing, a Chinese Church and met a wide variety of people who were intriguing. Or indeed a Borders book club…
    Getting into something you are interested in gives you confidence, teaches you new skills, improves your social skills and stops you thinking about work. And people like other people who are like that. If people see that you have a passion for something, it will automatically show in your personality.
    Personally I think if the extent of your social life is work, you’ll be forever stuck and only have yourself to blame. If all you do is stay at home and watch tv, do you expect a guy/girl to fall on your lap? If you don’t have enough energy to keep up to date with a hobby, I also doubt you have enough energy to keep up with a guy/girl.
    Re: British Council – you do realise that people with bad English language are the ones who attend the courses? However I’ve heard a story where a student married their teacher. There’s currently one single Welsh guy in the BC…
    Oh and if you were single, I’m sure there’d be a flurry of guys outside the door.
    Re: latest entry: I didn’t read the whole of your Ip Man review coz I want some of it to be a surprise! I was also surprised that you didn’t launch your new blog on January 1st to make the new year, new layout overlap.

  16. Hi D: Haha, we got lucky. I guess we were in the right generation at the right time. Or maybe if you stopped looking for love, love finds ya. Either way, we were really fortunate! I think people today are too complicated and need a lot more to be satisfied.
    I must tell my cousin about the Welsh guy. I always told her she might just hook up with a Mat Salleh. She’s that radical.
    Oh thanks ya for the life-affirming note of confidence. I really do hope that if I were still single, I’d have a pool of men to pick from! haha. I could tell you some horror stories of past dating experiences. Women need simple things – a man who can make them laugh, a man who can cook a decent meal, who takes care of her the right way. Or maybe I have simpler needs.
    Re: Ip Man – we are going to watch this again WITH you. We must! And share that popcorn!
    Re: blog look – this is just an interim look according to the designer-husband. He says the real thing with better colour comes soon….

  17. Maya you wouldn’t have any problem finding a man if you’re still single. You have the looks, you’re witty and I can tell from your writing you’re quite intelligent. Too bad you’re spoken for.
    By the way you are quite right, many men can be intimidated by an outspoken and/or intelligent woman. Don’t ask me why, must be the culture thing or something.

  18. I came by here by googling on how to climb a coconut tree and it brought me to your Cerating story, a place I’m familiar with, then I clicked on hard-to-find-men and so here I am. A lot of wisdom and humor flowing here. Learned a thing or two too. Ta.

  19. Hi Jan: Thank you for that lovely compliment. I hope to God that’s true….haha. Of course, being married is another ballgame all together. If dating is madness, then marrying someone (and inheriting all their relatives and neuroses) can be as crazy. If one is married, then the Mother In Law stories abound. I don’t want to be stereotypical but men would really prefer women who looked good, a bit mute, a bit ‘manja’ (that’s being a tease I think if translated). That whore/angel stereotype comes to mind.
    Hi Zaharan: Great to meet you! From climbing coconut trees to finding a post on the age old question of men and women story – the same old thing never ends. No matter which century we live in, we all have the same problems. If it isn’t LOVE, it’s MONEY. If it’s not that, it’s probably HEALTH. Thanks for leaving your comments ๐Ÿ˜‰

  20. Good men are hard to find because they no longer want to be found by the current generation of “liberated” narcissistic women who, by their actions and not their words, have made it loud and clear that real men are not wanted.
    Chivalry is dead. The evil patriarchy is crumbling. Mainstream media assaults all things masculine. Men are hated by society for simply being men, so men hide themselves from women. This is what women have wanted, and this is what women are getting.

  21. D: I beg to add one more. For men, it’s simple. If it is not women, it’s wealth. As the Chinese seem to observe, men only get into trouble if they are too rich.
    Ben: Really? That sounds a bit harsh to me. I do hope the good men want to be found because I think good women are available. At the end of it all, we all like to be loved and to love. It’s a simple premise really. We just confuse it all by covering up the real ‘us’ inside.

  22. I agree with Ben.
    The good men dont want to be found. They want to do the finding! Thats the thrill, the romance for men.
    Women nowadays ( and I speak for myself as well ) seem to confuse being assertive with being bossy and right, and independence with ‘men are useless and cant be trusted’.
    Again, there’s a difference between dating and marriage. A man knows the kind of woman he wants to marry and is drawn to her inner essence, her real self.

    • Hi Sarah: Good men. The subject can be so iffy sometimes. But believe it or not, we are what we see in the world. If we want to see good men, I guess we can see and find good men. If we believe the world is full of crappy men, we will find them too. And then again, it’s not like we women are so fantastic sometimes. Women need to let go of their beliefs about men. A friend told me that when men go to Thailand, the Thai women treat men like gold (no matter if the men are taxi drivers or CEOs). They pamper them, adore them, love them and men love that. I mean, if I were a man, I’d love the attention too. Modern women think that financial independence means they don’t have to treat men like how women used to treat men. For married people, it’s always a treat if your spouse takes you on a surprise date of dinner and movie, just to feel like a new couple all over again. For women and men who are single and looking for a life partner, perhaps it’s time to treat a man like a man and a woman like a woman. The true gentlemanly and womanly way!

  23. Sprankie English? (a question asked by a penguin in my son’s Madagascar movie).
    I agree that the prospective spouse(Mr 3/4 right, because 100% perfection males are for the movies only) should be able to speak the language that you are most comfortable with.
    There are heaps of Toastmasters’ clubs in Penang! Try them and see how it goes…Manga fans included.
    If that doesn’t work out, plan B.
    Set up your very own ” Terry Pratchett “Book Fan club. You can then identify these men straight away!
    Make friends, have fun and if you can get hitched, it’s a bonus in life.
    Otherwise, enjoy life as a single.
    A good percentage of my school friends are unmarried. Nope, it is not a lifestyle choice, it is a no-choice.
    Better educated women these days are picky, they are not willingly to “marry down”
    In about 3 years’ time, we will touch the big 40.
    So, there you go…such is life.

    • Jo,
      Hey, cool of you to drop by. Better educated women should be less picky I suppose. I don’t know. I’ve wonderful friends who are single but I always think that there’s really nothing wrong with them – just that they have higher expectations of their potential husbands. And for men, if they know women past a certain age are looking at them as husband material, most men will be a lot more frightened. That’s the difference between women dating in their 20s and women dating in their 40s. Expectations are different. Women in their 40s wanna go straight to the point. “Is this man wasting my time? Or is he the ONE?” Being the ONE scares men away.

  24. Mmh..yea..I think I miss one of the good relationship I had before … and this is unforgivable. until now I still cant forgive myself. I think due to this reason…I can accept any man anymore….thinking wanna stay single forever…

  25. Hi,
    Just came across your blog while googling for something totally unrelated.
    Great blog. Reading the penang experience written so eloquently is a breath of fresh air. I work in an environment where I’m stuck with mostly Chinese-ed students and not to be mean, but most times, the atrocious English I hear is like grating nails on a chalkboard.
    As a 29 year old, let me tell you that, on the contrary, there is a lack of strong, independent, intelligent women. To me, there’s nothing more attractive then a woman with wit and sarcastic tendencies. If there’s a more luscious turn on then verbal jousting then I don’t know what it is.
    Being a warm blooded mail, I guess there’s a certain attraction to a docile, treat-you-like-you-are-god’s-gift-to-women sweet you thing. But 5 minutes of that, and then what? Absolute and total shoot-myself-in-the-head boredom. And shouldn’t love be a two way thing? The above sounds horrendously selfish doesn’t it. Isn’t the love of your life supposed to cause you to be a better person?
    So please, please encourage your friends to hold on and hold off lowering expectations. And do let them know that there’s a difference between boys and men, though in fairness to them, it’s getting harder to tell with the increasing number of boys who don mens clothing.
    So is the book club thing still on? ๐Ÿ˜‰ With me being single and all that. Haha .

    • Dear Sadhish: Your compliments make me blush! You don’t know how lovely it sounds for a person who’s up to ears in work and suddenly someone walks by and gives a glowing compliment. Ah, people like us are old-skool. Plus I am a writer and reader, and my dad’s an ex English teacher plus English has always been my fave subject in school. I’ve had unfair advantage. LOL. I agree. I always love talking to men who are intelligent. Stupid men put me off completely. Or Ah Beng types who just love their car boom box. Love if you inspect closely is really an intellectual affair. Because when passions subside and children leave home, you will stare at your spouse and wonder if you’ve married the wrong guy. Love your joke about the boys and men – yeah, I agree. Some boys look like gorillas these days. That’s why I lament – a real man is hard to find. Haha, the book club is long gone! Maybe the infiltration of a man was the worst that could happen to us ladies. He got his prize and we ended up disbanding! I have a friend who runs a dating club with a twist. Maybe I could give you his contact?

  26. Hello Maya! How interesting…this topic and yr 3 easy bake recipes (I’m all for “as easy as it can get -yet delish” recipes, lol)
    I do so agree that its difficult to find ‘good’ compatible men…with the right chemistry. You may find a nice stable husbandly sort but when the both of you get together, its so painfully boring that you may as well be watching wet paint dry.And the passionate, exciting ones are off having pasionate exciting times with someone else behind yr back. Most people I meet expect me to be married with a nice kid or 2 and white picket fences.
    Unfortunately, I keep getting stuck in lengthy problematic relationships. And its near damn impossible to find an honourable, decent looking, interesting gentleman.
    To yr anime+Korean drama loving friend- those men in there would be right luverly but realistically speaking, its just not happening…. sigh.
    Have been told by guy friends that most men are frightened by anyone looking at them as husband material- even a gorgeous young woman in her twenties.(But it doesn’t stop them from starting a relationship with her.) Possibly with a 40 yr old, however, that’s where the ball stops.Oh, unless she is gorgeous too. But would they then propose?

    • Hi Suki – Welcome to my blog. Pleased you like it and the 3 easy recipes. Ya, I am the kind of girl who likes a fast cake, not one which takes ages to make and bake. I had a friend who did the right thing – she was courageous enough to break off a (boring) relationship when she realized the guy wanted nothing more than 3 kids and a Camry in the porch and maybe overseas holidays once a year. She is the adventurous sort so she figured she’d die of boredom if she married him. The story of men and women never end. I know for sure that I see lots of eligible men and women who are NOT meeting each other. I simply don’t know why. Maybe the art of real conversation is long gone. Or people are so pretentious and wannabe these days that they dare not show the real them to others so people really cannot get close to them at all.

  27. hi Maya,
    I just realized that your post was a year old! Seems like this is an evergreen topic that never fails to elicits comments from your first time readers.
    Sigh. I’m getting to the age where the constant number one question that I’m asked is: When are you getting married or Where’s you’re girlfriend.. And I guess it doesn’t help that my answers are “don’t know” and “don’t have one” which then opens up a whole barrage of questions.
    It definitely doesn’t help that I did not have it in me to get married by a certain age, which resulted in the lack of urgency. And I rarely get lonely, always having a multitude of things I want to learn or try or do. Having been in a relationship, I do cherish the companionship and the love and all that and yes I do sometimes miss loving and being loved, but not enough that it becomes the central focus of my life. But it does beg the question, of why I, seemingly healthy, moderately successful, fairly interesting (or so I’ve been told), am still single.
    I guess for me, the person that I take this journey with, is more important then the journey itself. Also I refuse to take the road much traveled, to be with someone for the sake of having someone. As such not any girl will do. And it’s not that I’ve extremely high standards for women in particular. But you know, I would want to be with someone I’m able to talk to and listen and be genuinely interested in.
    I’m sure there are lots of women like that around, and maybe it’s just that our paths don’t cross. Perhaps it’s the nature of my job where people are constantly striving and competing which results(pun?!) in them being single dimensional beings with absolutely no appreciation for the many other fine things in life. Like good conversation or a long dinner for example.
    So the reasons could be logistics.
    Maybe I should take you up on that dating club offer of yours.


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