Friday, December 31, 2004

Synchronized Prayer at 11 PM for the Tsunami Victims

Was forwarded an sms about a synchronized prayer at 11pm today for the Tsunami victims. So I prayed.

Dear God. Grant those survivors warmth from the cold, strength to live for one more day, hope that they will see tomorrow. For the injured, that they will gain strength to recover and face the future. For the homeless and devastated, I pray that they can receive proper funding and start rebuilding their lives and dreams. Bless those in the rescue efforts, the doctors, aid workers, volunteers, soldiers and reporters. Those with loss of families and loved ones, that they will not blame You but instead trust in You for their future. I pray for a quick relief to come to those stranded, those who cry out for help, that help will come to them quickly. For those who have no one left, that they will know there is a God who cares for them. And for miracles to happen, somehow.

Amen.

Am so freezing cold here now, heard from Mum that usually after earthquakes the winds are strong drafts. Shuddering despite a warm house and long sleeves, I fail to imagine what it is like for those in their bathing suits, clinging on to a piece of driftwood for survival. Had dinner with Andy and, like him, although we are not physically affected by the disaster, it strikes a chord in me, something like empathy, something I feel very strongly about. Which I've not felt before, not for a group of people I can't possibly identify myself with. Called the YMCA today, was told they had enough volunteers. Well I was ready to offer my services, even doing a small thing like packing relief goods or manning the phone. I guess to me, it would be very fufilling. Was reading the international news and Thailand needs forensic people to fly over to identify every single one of the dead; through DNA sampling. It is crazy, even Andy said it was nearly impossible to accomplish. But their ideal is noble, in the least. Saw NBC news photos of the dead victims' faces photographed and pasted on the hospital wall last night. One of which stayed imprinted in my mind clearly: A woman in a red bathing suit, her face was so puffed up and bruised it was hard to tell her age or her nationality. On her face and her chest, there were several welts and deep gashes, it looked as though there were many debris smashed and dragged across her, leaving harsh, wide open tears. Had she lived, she would have been severely disfigured.

I am blessed, that I have a roof over my head, I have health, I have a family and friends around. That I'll live to see 2005. This tragedy did not just happen to them. It happened to us. It happened as a painful reminder to all of us that life is fragile.

It's not how the way you died that matters, but how the way your life was lived.

Thursday, December 30, 2004

Help needed for Tsunami Disaster Relief

"Among the green tents and tarp shelters hurriedly thrown up on the outskirts of this city, the only medical attention offered Wednesday to thousands of refugees from the massive tsunami three days earlier came from a dozen student volunteers handing out painkillers and vitamin C."

Help is really needed, please visit:

http://tsunamihelpneeded.blogspot.com/ - international aid

http://www.anandshiva.com/relief/ - Singapore only

Wednesday, December 29, 2004

Fund raising for the Tsunami victims

I'm very saddened by the tremendous loss of lives in this region due to the Tsunami. At this point of time, I somehow wish that I'm a guy. To be specific, a NSF guy flying in the chinooks to Indonesia. Want so much to help, to carry the dead and clear the wreckage. To provide the homeless a shelter and blankets. To take photographs to identify the missing.

But the best help I can, now is to provide information. So here's how to make a donation in Singapore, Malaysia and Indonesia.

SINGAPORE

Singapore Red Cross Society
Source:
http://straitstimes.asia1.com.sg/sub/topstories/story/0,5562,292736,00.html?
SEND your cheques to Singapore Red Cross Society, 15 Penang Lane, Singapore 238486.
Please indicate 'Tidal Waves Asia' behind the cheque and include your name, address and telephone number too. The Singapore Red Cross Society will send you a receipt.


Donors can also go to the Singapore Red Cross Society to make a donation personally. They are at Red Cross House, 15 Penang Lane, from 9.30 am to 5.45 pm on weekdays and from 9.30 am to noon on Saturdays.

Graduate Christian Fellowship
If you are making a donation using your personal cheque, kind write a cheque to FESIM (which stands for Fellowship of Evangelical Students Indonesia Ministry - an affiliate to GCF). Please indicate your name, contact no, address (so that they can issue you an acknowledgement) and "Tsunami Donation".Mail it to FESIM, 496 Upper Bukit Timah Road #04-22 John Wesley Centre Singapore 678099 If you are making your donation via ATM or Internet-banking, kind transfer your fund to :- FESIM, 033-900597-5 DBS Autosave corporate AccountRemember to send an email to fesim@fessingapore.org and indicate your name, contact no, account, amount transferred and date of transfer (for easy fund identification), and indicate that the donation is designated as "Tsunami Donation" so that they can acknowledge your donations, otherwise the donation will go to FES-IM General Fund.This account will only be opened for 1 week and the last day for your donation will be on 4 Jan 2005.


Requested by Sri Lanka:
Tents, pre-cooked or ready-to-eat meal packs, water purification tablets, wheat flour, rice, other staples, medicine (Paracetamol, Antibiotics), wound dressings, suture material, vitamins, rehydration, salts, vaccinations for cholera, malaria tablets, saline intravenous infusions, portable generators, clothes and blankets.

Drop-off venues:
Sri Lanka: Amanda Travel's branches during office hours.Tel: 6435-8422/18.Virar's Rehab Centre at553A Balestier RoadNo 2, Changi South Avenue 2 Singapore 486354.
Small parcels can be sent toSri Lankan Airlines, 133 Cecil Street Keck Seng Tower, #13-02 Singapore 069535

Donations can be sent to the Sri Lanka High Commission, Goldhill Plaza, #13-07/1251 Newton Road Singapore 308900
For Sri Lanka and Indonesia:

Restaurant 1827, The Arts House, OldParliament Building, 1 Old Parliament Lane.

Requested by Indonesia:

Relief supplies of any sort.The Embassy of Indonesia 7 Chatsworth Road Singapore 249761 Tel: 6737-7422 Contact the Secretariat,Network Indonesia on 6433-4932.

Requested by India:

Kind donations. Only bank drafts and cheque donations.Contact Mr Avinash Singh GillFirst Secretary, High Commission of India31 Grange RoadSingapore 239702.Tel: 6238-2514/24e-mail: hcihoc@pacific.net.sgAttention bank drafts to: Prime Minister National Relief Fund. Attention cheques to: The High Commission of India, Singapore.

General collection: Singapore Polytechnic

At counters along the walkway between Dover MRT Station and the polytechnic from 6pm to 9pm.
Donation of essential food: From Jan 1 to 31 next year, the public can buy NTUC FairPrice Food Relief Packages, comprising milk, rice, tuna and cream crackers, for $10. The purchased packages will be directed to Mercy Relief for airfreight to stricken areas. Donation boxes are available in NTUC FairPrice outlets and Shell Petrol stations Island wide.



MALAYSIA

Source: http://www.nst.com.my/Current_News/NST/Events/fund
Contributions can be sent to the New Straits Times or Berita Harian at Balai Berita, 31, Jalan Riong, 59100 Kuala Lumpur and cheques should be made out to New Straits Times Press Berhad. On the reverse side of the cheque, please write "NST-BH Malaysian Tsunami Disaster Fund."

Source:
http://thestar.com.my/news/story.asp?file=/2004/12/28/nation/9756663&sec=nation
WE ARE launching The Star Earthquake/Tsunami Relief Fund in association with the Malaysian Red Crescent Society (MRCS) and Mercy Malaysia.

The public can send their cheques to our headquarters at Menara Star, 15 Jalan 16/11, Section 16, 46350 Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, or to our Penang office at The Star Northern Hub in Penang at 202 Jalan Sultan Azlan Shah, 11900 Bayan Lepas, Penang.

If you want to donate to MRCS, please write your cheque to Malaysian Red Crescent Society and mark “Tidal Waves Victims” at the back of the cheque.

If you want to donate to Mercy Malaysia, please make your cheque to Mercy Humanitarian Fund with “South-East Asia Earthquake Appeal” written on the back of the cheque.

The Star will hand over the cheques to the respective organisations at the end of the appeal campaign.



INDONESIA

Source: http://www.palangmerah.org/default.asp?stat=eng
Palang Merah (Red Cross) - Help Aceh People
a/c 450.666.0009 Bank BCA Menara Bidakara
account name Kantor Pusat Palang Merah Indonesia

Source:
http://www.kompas.com/kompas-cetak/0412/28/utama/1463375.htm
Kompas dan TV7 membuka kesempatan bagi yang ingin turut meringankan beban masyarakat yang tengah menderita di Aceh dan Sumut, dengan mengirimkan bantuannya melalui rekening atas nama PT Kompas Media Nusantara/DKK-Bencana Aceh di dua bank. Masing-masing di Bank BNI Jakarta Kota nomor rekening 001.007.55555.1001, dan Bank BCA Gajah Mada nomor rekening 012.3016600.

Jika berupa uang tunai, sumbangan dapat disampaikan langsung ke Redaksi Kompas, Gedung Kompas Unit II Lantai IV, Jalan Palmerah Selatan 26-28, Jakarta Pusat. Selain itu, dapat pula disampaikan ke Kasir Kompas-Gramedia, Gedung Perintis Lantai II, Jalan Kebahagiaan Nomor 4, Jakarta Barat. Semuanya diserahkan pada jam kerja.

Sumbangan untuk DKK-Bencana Aceh dibuka selama 14 hari, mulai 28 Desember 2004 hingga 14 Januari

2005.


The most extensive rescue and relief operations has begun. Peace.

Tuesday, December 28, 2004

Why-dis-why-dat-mode

Mr Bestfriend sms-ed me from airport just before takeoff at 6am. So touched. Prayed for a safe journey.

So.
Why is it that you can miss someone that is sitting beside you?

I somehow thought that we share this connection that I felt we used to have, the sort that only really close friends who knows everything about each other have; but now perhaps it's gone. Or maybe, it never existed; it was just a figment of my imagination, a tinge of some unsettled issues preempted and overanalysed, defining a new reality with boundaries to tread carefully on. How I wish though, that it didn't have to end so abruptly, the very nature of it being so unpredictable, yet having a strange familiar feeling of nuances of idyllic requiescence hearkening to those days.

Did you ever feel this way, at all?

Then again don't tell me 'cuz I don't really want to know.

*Sighs* Did something that I normally would not do, yeah but I think I'm having the replacement mode syndrome. Sort of surprised it sets in so early. And also, I didn't want to disturb gif, he has to work nights and go to skool during the day. I can understand his predicament, the only way I can be thoughtful to his needs is to spare him his personal time. So for now, unofficially no-meet-ups till maybe he grads or completes the fyp. So yes, did the unthinkable, called this guy, just had the insane idea that I could just chat and be happy, at least for a little while. Got his number from a friend of a friend. We share a similar bus route, and actually thought he was really antagonizing at first, made me so irritated by everything he said, and then promised he didn't mean it. Somehow underneath that facade I think I could see he was a calm, sweet person just that the defensive mode was his natural way of communicating. Perhaps he has known much sorrow or pain in his life, thus the guarded way of responding to people who actually care. I was pleasantly surprised how easily we could clique despite our initial exasperations. New possibilities forged instantly thanks to my misguided initiative.

One thing about younger guys is that they don't think too much about how they're representing themselves to the fairer sex; they just open their hearts unabashedly and share openly, sincerely. Maybe they have a certain respect for me, as an individual who tries her best to understand, and also is going through things like that. Not like those other 'matured' ones, who just want to portray themselves in a good light and never wear their hearts on their sleeves, I can never understand them. Although they do nice things for me, are friendly and are good company when they are around, somehow it gets 'lost in translation' and I'm not an avid reader of body language, it's never accurate. Why can't they take a chance on people, the only thing they would be losing is their egoistical perspective of themselves. I know I'm being harsh but some people have to grow up. And take a chance on life. Take a chance on love.


Monday, December 27, 2004

Remember me this way

Didn't say 'goodbye' to Mr Bestfriend.

Never like to say this kind of overawing sentimental nostalgic cliche statements. Although it's only one word long. But, yea. Was just thinking yesterday that 'departures' are sort of like funerals, in a sense. You no longer have that magical physical and personal connection, although of course there are wonderful webcams and emails, etc, to take away the 'I-am-missing-you' part, but I think its worse (at least for me) it's just a placebo to diminish the actual effect of 'separation anxiety'. (NB:As defined by Rachel, 'separation anxiety' happens when best friends split up or one goes away. A panicky feel of desperation and desolation.) Somehow the brain sends waves of reassurance: You can still contact by email, what... Only 7 months and anyways you have other friends... Normally you also don't see him so often... cruel cruel thoughts that dulls the active, emotional state of mind, that not until later, I will feel sudden pangs of 'separation anxiety'; sort of like a homesickness feeling that only settles in later, and it gets easier, with each departure. Silly me, I don't like to feel sad, so actually, I'd withdraw from people who are leaving me/sg soon. Initially I didn't want to make friends and share stuff and be close to Markos 'cuz I knew he'd leave, too... And after Chester I didn't know if it was worth the effort, to make a new friend just for 3 months and gone for 3 years. Boo. And I reasoned that since I knew he was going already, what's the point of being s-a-d he's leaving? I stepped into the friendship knowing this fact, so, ideally I should be 'prepared' for it. Right. (Wrong.) But congratulations to me, I really didn't cry(at the airport...altho' I told mw I felt lyk it!)

Ches said we are all human beings with complex emotions; and its amazing how we feel, at times, 'cuz that's a way of letting ourselves know our thoughts, too. Which is why, if I ever leave, I'd just slip away quietly. No messiness, no tearful sending offs, no photos at changi with people I won't see in a long time. How long a long time is is defined by how often you think of the person, I guess. All of us want to be remembered, in a way. When we die, how we are remembered is most evident by the people who come. Not by sadness, but by the way we simply are, holistically.

Just remember me, in a good way, in the distinct understanding of how friends know each other through little idiosyncracies and demeanors. It's three hours before takeoff.

And...Bon voyage!(This statement I will say.)

Wednesday, December 22, 2004

The Star on the Christmas Tree

::A Christmas Story. Copyright mine.::




He always believed in guardian angels. He stared out of the window, watching fields brushed white with snow and squat houses covered with mist; everything in the horizon covered with a startling purity that seemed to forget the harsh, blistering cold and the dearth of life outside. He wondered if she would remember him. It was only two months that he had to be outstationed, but between that two months and his longing for her, the time seemed to crawl by for an eternity. How he longed, to hear her voice again, chiding him not to forget important stuff; her laughter, like a tinkling stream, so captivating that he could not help but stifle an urge to embrace her tightly. I wonder if she’s changed, he thought to himself. He couldn’t bear to leave her again. The day he left, he buried his head in her hair and held back the urge to cry like a child. She was the reason why he held on for so long. And now it was time to come home. I’ll be back for Christmas, he promised. His love for her emerged out of the pain of a long-ago love, once lost, and never returned.

She was his first love, both young and na├»ve, in their first year of university together. He thought he had known happiness; but it was only in her presence that he felt totally at peace, and the joy of just being with her, just an innocent brush of their shoulders would send him into ecstasy. I love you forever, she always said to him. Then one day, she left. It was his fault. He did not treasure her, treasure the happy memories they shared. He was unfaithful once, with a much older woman. And when she caught him that day, she chased him away, in indignance and hurt. Out of her life, out of her heart forever. In her innocent world, there was no room for a second chance. Once she was gone, his world crashed, and for several weeks he locked himself in his room, wanting to make amends but not knowing how to. His life, became a mere shell of a haunting existence that was torn apart by his own misdeeds. Many nights he cried out, “Where are you? Please come back…I cannot live without you!” But there was no answer. Then, it was the Christmas season and he could not bear to look at the top of the Christmas tree, as it would remind him of her, and how he had tossed her aside. Angel. Where are you? Later, he heard that she had transferred to another university several miles away, and she would start the spring term there. Before the first term-papers, there was a tragic accident. “Mr Craig, we require you to come at once.” Angel was dialing his number before the car skidded on the highway. It was a head-on collision. Numbed, he rushed to the scene. It was all his fault, he knew. She could not drive well. She was not supposed to be alone. When he reached the highway, he knew she was not going to make it. The frontage of the vehicle was battered beyond recognition. And when he saw her body, he cried loud, gasping sobs. She was with child. His child.

Trudging home, he realized how blessed he was to have known love and having been given a second chance at love. She unconditionally accepted him into her life the day she knew him. And he knew that for the rest of his life, he would be there for her, no matter what. He opened the door tenderly, and a warm, vibrant burst of energy shot out from the couch and ran straight into his arms.

“Daddy!”
“Stella… Oh God, I’ve missed you so much.”


The day she was born, her mother died. It was a miracle that the rescue team could extricate her mother’s mangled body and deliver her at the scene. She was unscathed. She was his star, the shining light that made him realize that there was more to life, than just looking to satisfy momentary pleasures. The last seven years aged him much, inwardly. And every Christmas they had together, he would place a shimmering star on the Christmas fir. This star was said to represent the guiding star that led the Wise Men of the Orient to the Baby Jesus, in whom redemption was found, for all mankind. So he named her Stella. It meant ‘star’.

He always believed in guardian angels. Like a shining star in the night-sky, he believed she was up there, watching over both of them as they gave thanks and celebrated Christmas.



3 days to christmas and all I want is ...

Whee, it's 3 days to Christmas and it's quite surreal, it doesn't seem very chrismassy to me here. Perhaps I associate Christmas with a hectic rush of parties, and meet-ups and stay-overs, and getting presents done, and hanging out aimlessly in town watching the soapsuds and twinkling lights and confused tourists caught in the last-minute shopping rush.

I remember last year, I just came back from backpacking a week in Malaysia, and when I touched base, I had to immediately shower, change and take the bus to church. We were carolling at RP then, and I had already missed 2 practices. Then, the mini project of making christmas presents, which covered my porch in ashes and I almost gave up as it proved much more difficult that I thought it to be. We couldn't finish it in time and stayed up past midnight to get it done, 'cuz the next day we had a stay-over house party. It's funny how the memories come back, almost as though they were fresh in my mind. and Watchnight, I was allocated a place on the staircase to sit. I think I scared Kai n Gif, sitting next to me, 'cuz when they played the song "You have been Good"(Scott Krippayne) I burst into tears and mumbled incomprehendingly to them. They were visibly stunned without a clue how to react. It must have been rather funny then. Yea, it was a rushed time last year, and I'm almost glad this year's much more quieter. I can think of my oikos too. Hopefully, I'll have the chance to go for 'Party by the Window', every single session.

There's no better party that a party at God's house.

Monday, December 20, 2004

An initial reaction to shocking news

More and more often I realise my initial reaction to things is a mask of how I should feel and more importantly, how I'm supposed to and how I will, in the long run.

Was traisping across the Causeway this morning when thru sms realised one of my nearest and closest friends is attached. First reaction: Indignance.

"What? And you never tell me..."

He clarified that (shockingly and interestingly) he just got attached. As in this morning.

Second reaction: Incredulity.
"What were the two of you doing last night?"

Then I realised I should spare a thought for the poor guy and being probably the first to know about it, through no fault of my own, be happy for him. Knowing that first-timers and guys usually have a hard time in this state of events. He's probably still reeling from the mixed emotions resulting from it all. So my last, and probably, best reaction of all was : Joy!

"Congratulations!"

Yea, truly wish them a fufilling time together, and hope that our friendship will in fact strengthen the relationship. Its' strange, I'm so close to this guy that all my past loved ones were jealous of him. Which is strange. Some guys don't understand the concept of platonic friendship, or mebbe they are just terrritorial creatures by instinct. He has offered me his shoulder to cry on, for the failed ones, and his prayers to bless the future ones. So Mr BestFriend, I assure you that through the twists and tumbles of being in love, I'll be there. You have helped me through. Oh yes, I remember it well, although I was too caught up in it to realise how much I needed your support.

Now it's my turn.

Sunday, December 19, 2004

He calls me "miss poet"

I read somewhere that if you want to intrigue men, write poetry. The rationale behind it being that men do not understand it and therefore are curious about how to go about writing stuff that strikes chords in people. I feel as though my life experiences are an allegory to the greater things in store, I hope I don't have to be too careful about living it though. My lil wild spirit, like the personality of my tousled hair says nay to decorum and doing things step by step. I question reality, and how often we misconstrue what we actually mean. Yet I never know what I really mean, I see similar facets of myself in dear friends' blunders and erroneous ways. But when it comes to the crunch I am sure I will be in diaspora like them too. Although 'diaspora' might not be entirely the correct word to use, it sure does express how I feel about that, yea.

Endearingly Ches called me miss poet in the latest email. Got so caught up with stuff and people, coming back that I almost forgot about his existence, and shockingly berated myself on how could that be. Then again, it has been said that 'out of sight, out of mind.' I guess for some people it works, like an anthropological fetish we humans need to cling on to something material, like a cherished photograph, or a keepsake given by the missed one. The 'thing' becomes loaded with sentimental value and looking at it brings fond memories; although in reality it does seem absurd. I guess that is why talking for some people also works. For me it doesn't, I prefer to keep the view that the heart has its secrets and since it is supposed to be a secret, then telling anyone about it defeats the purpose already. So, not to sabotage reality and my beautiful life, buried deep within the recesses of my heart are many things that will remain so till its' time. I believe that as there are 4 seasons, there is a right and opportune time, how to release it then, I'm not so sure about that. Perhaps just follow your heart and the rest will just fall in place. And I just realised the fallacy of my earlier statement 'cuz I've hoarded up old love letters, even kept emails and stored sms-es in 'archive'. For years. I'm really a softie at heart after all. Give me a hug?

The Da Vinci Code, Christmas Trees

The Last Supper. The Fibonacci sequence of numbers. The pentagram. Baphomet. The city of Sheshach in Jeremiah. Mary Magdalene. Merovingians. Mona Lisa.

The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown is an excellent novel. Excellent 'cuz it got me thinking and actually researching about certain things it said about my faith. This goes to show that it is actually a good thing, in that sense. Also it was highly controversially banned in my church's youth ministry. No point, 'cuz certain people, me included, will still read it no matter what they tell us not to do...and anyways it is a really intelligent book so the youth wouldn't really be able to understand 'the code' anyway. Haha. Emailed my pastor about some questions I couldn't manage to find out online so I guess I will post if here when he replies. Interesting stuff, the person seated on Jesus' right hand(supposed to be John) DOES look feminine, even Mum said so.

Yea, and contrary to most peoples' belief that the Christmas tree is a mainstay of pagan tradition (It doesn't make sense that the trees are also found in churches then!)... Well, the fir tree, which stays evergreen all year round; when the other trees wither during Winter; is, a symbol of Christ's everlasting life. So how's that little bit of trivia for ya! But yep, I must admit that the Christmas theme is still very euro-centric with visions of stockings and chimneys, snow-capped houses blah blah.

All in all, it's the little things that contribute to my merry mood this season. Even the little things that crop up does not dilute my focus, instead it enhances the clarity of my vision and strength. I'm determined to get by with character and trust. In God we trust.


Friday, December 17, 2004


"Sometimes the heart sees what is invisible to the eye."

-H. Jackson Brown Jr.

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Equivocally unexplained

Ahhh... it feels really good to be out in town on afternoons again. Makes me reminiscence about campus life and I am glad friends my age are still studying... Mr Bestfriend's leaving on 27th to Seattle, I thought that I would cry my eyes out then but it's a dawn flight so there's no chance of me sending him off. Had the crazy idea of saving up my meagre salary and taking off to visit him; seems improbable (for me to save that much), but if there's a will... there's gotta be a way. I brighten up at the prospect of buying cartons of Old Navy, Abercrombie and Hollister Spring/Summer clothings... yea. Have not met Mr Bestfriend for months, the last I remember was sometime in his semester break last July. Some friendships grow dull with the ravages of time, ours remain pristine and untainted with the worst that can happen to best friends - secret crushes and likings that create a tingle and an unnecessary distraction to a sanguine, platonic friendship. Although we hardly meet, each time our lives are unravelled in the short span of time we have together, and I leave being comforted that no matter how huge my discrepancies, someone's there to support me. Just like Giffy, who over time has become a replacement-of-sorts for Mr Bestfriend. Attended Shannon's graduation with him yesterday, must say I am really thankful for the company. Shannon's show was great, I felt really proud of him as he received the 2nd prize of being the best student's work for the cohort. Almost as if he was my little boy. All grown up now, matured into a young man, standing onstage... 2 years have passed since I was first introduced to this quiet, tall boy with a distinct talent for art... who once shyly told me, I think you're pretty, which automatically made him my favorite cell member ever; and how he would introduce me as his cell leader, which I always cringed at. Even now, I never introduce them as 'members', 'cuz to me, they're all friends; we are all friends in the same cell.

At first felt slightly out-of-place with the family; but they were very nice, kept smiling at me and the Uncles kept cracking jokes to make everyone feel at ease. Strangely though, they never asked me who was I, or what was I doing here... I think Shannon's mum still has the misconception that me n Giffy somehow share a deeper connection; due to a faux pas that was made some time ago. It was rather embarassing, and I've come to the awkward realisation of seeing why she always always always asks me about Giffy, whenever we bump into each other. I wonder does she ask him about me, then? I wouldn't have minded much if they asked, really, I would have answered them from the sincerity of my heart, We are good friends... But then I guess everyone assumes that there is more to that, and since it isn't brought out into the open, neither of us hinges a statement on what is. For his sake, I hope he doesn't feel too offended by the subtle remarks; such as Uncle Thomas emphasizing that it is a gentlemanly duty of his to send me home; and their wanting us to take a photo together with the Christmas tree. (We disgustedly refused. Quite mortifying if it were to be developed and circulated.) Till the day either of us gets attached to someone else, the family's misconception validates me like a passport entry into their circles, unquestionably.

Tuesday, December 14, 2004

Heartbreak Hotel : The awakening of love and mistrust

Met up with two friends I haven't seen for several months yesterday, and as usual, we got to talking about the topic closest to our hearts - romance! Though I must say that the conversation was rather bittersweet with both sharing their frustrations and fears. Both have been hurt terribly. At times I feel that the option of giving up seems somehow brave, and honorable. I berate at the things that happened to them these months; and how I, caught up in my own dalliances, fail to offer them tea and sympathy. Naively, they fall at Cupid's vicious swoop, only to realise that they never really understood it at all. In part, it is not like being aware and leaving it till it is too late; it is more of not knowing what to expect till it suddenly befalls you and you fall into a abysss which you never envisioned to be there.

Being 'unlucky in love', I've sat with 'Ren many times till past midnight as he cheerfully shared his new lady loves and his strategy in wanting to know them. His only fault is that ... he is too nice. So nice that people take him for granted, and much like the phantom of his own love-opera his ego is crushed time and again as one by one, the Lady-Loves invariably get attached to someone more handsome, older, more intelligent, more charming. Thus he wears the mask of nonchalance; not by any fault of his own. But his heart yearns to love and find love, so after some time of getting over it, off his heart flies, looking for someone to bequest their affections upon. For me, at least I channel all my anger, my frustrations, my unhappiness ... through writing. I guess I'd seldom write masterpieces then, 'cuz I do wish for my life to be stable, peaceful and happy.

Lin is a lady I admire for her single-mindedness(pun intended), and all through the years I've known her, she was always the one who enquired with concern about who I'm liking now, and I know that I can always share with her, no matter how foolish it may seem, we would just laugh at it after the whole thing. She, on the other hand, was not as tempestous as me, she seldom liked anyone. But in the recent months she has had some heartbreak of her own, too. I guess this is all part and parcel of life's experiences, and in going through this we can take comfort in the fact that it makes us a little older...a little wiser, but hopefully, not more cynical. The betrayal of trust is the worst thing that can happen in any relationship, and so many times this year, through my and my friend's experiences I have learnt not to be too gullible, and to be a better judge of character. And for myself, to be a person of honor. So many people have shared with me their little secrets, I hope I can be as trustworthy to keep them safe. It is sheer stupidity to trust someone so readily, and then hurt yourself; by being innocent and doing what is good. Then again, should we forsake childlike innocence and be shrewd, like a serpent, even doubting our closest friends?

Sunday, December 12, 2004

I'm on holiday!

Sometimes things happen when it's really unexpected, but actually a secret part of you wishes that it might happen, just that it would be too incredible that you actually don't dwell on the exciitng possibilities and just commit to a mundune, insipid and practical life.

Not for me.

Yea, I'm very blessed in this sense that this year, so much 'out-of-the-box' things have happened that I cannot help but marvel at my 'good fortune' which really comes from the One above. I realised that I've made so many new friends this year, and very amazingly managed to regain contact with some of the long-lost childhood ones. Like Yong An - I still remember we acted a pseudo-version of Titanic in a church social where I was the ingenue of the red haired Rose and he was Jack. Thinking about it now gives me the chills actually, it's disgusting! But I'm glad that I'll have a chance to meet him in the following week. Over the years, like many of my male counterparts, he has blossomed from a gawky, scrawny, geeky person to the tanned, stylish, handsome hunk he is now. =) Cheers! I guess I haven't changed much then; I couldn't recognize him the way he is now. Can't say I don't like it though. And Rongren, I've known him like since forever - since we were on potties and playing supersoaker block-catching...my neighbour in Ang Mo Kio; however we both moved away from that district in the days where pagers were not yet available... this year too, by aligned opportunities of meetings with new accquaintances; I managed to regain contact with him, on friendster, and sms.

And, one of the very best things this month is that I'm on holiday! My company gave me a break this month and I come back on 3rd Jan. The rest are on their annual leave, I'm given that too. Which is more than what I can ask for, and I'm exhilarated to get afternoons to meet up with my dearest and closest. (And of course, being a poolside bum again...provided Uncle Sun shows up more often!)

My poem is going to be published in 3 books come Spring 2005; I've always liked writing and journalism, and the English language in general, but perhaps because of my other time-consuming passions, I've never really indulged myself in it. Now, the prospects of me pursuring an alternative hobby/career in writing seems like an excellent idea to me. Maybe in a few years' time, a novel? Who knows? It's like I'm going through an awakening of sorts, I'm being more attuned to life, and to my self, my senses, how I react and what I feel. And hopefully through expressing it through the written media I will gain some accolades for the phases of life being expressed as such.

And with Christmas around the corner... I only have one wish.

For world peace.

Haha!

Wednesday, December 08, 2004

Sojourn in Sarawak

Whee!

After 8 days in the beautiful capital of Sarawak, I'm back home. The city, Kuching, is a nice place... the people there are so friendly that they even stop and talk to me on the streets, and wave. I look quite local though, I am often mistaken for a Sarawakian or either from KL. =) The British influence from the White Rajahs are still a big part of the town, with various colonial elements in the architecture. Some parts of the roads are real cobblestone, which was interesting to walk on. Very few Indians around, the only Indian foodstore was a prata shop with the chef looking suspiciously like a Blangahdeshi. He could speak cantonese; and un-authentically rolled the prata dough with a rolling pin. From the window I could see the rows of shophouses, lining the Sarawak river. The river was huge, snaking its way thru the entire horizon; and across it there is a castle, Fort Magherita; and several malay kampungs. The people here are tall, the Ibans and Bidayuh make up a large part of the community. They have Malay features but are very fair, and big-boned too. The chinese here all come from 'FooChow', they speak hokkien so their mandarin accent is understandable, but most look like the typical ah bengs and lians; probably the educated ones are not found on the streets. There's an interesting type of vegetable not found here; it has curly purplish ends, and when cooked lightly with garlic tastes like a crunchier version of dou miao, its delicious but we got sick of it after eating it everyday. And I ate their freshly plucked durians almost everyday too... Woo...

The highlight of the trip for me was the various breathtaking views of the mountains in the distance, and seeing the orang utans. The Semengong Nature Rehabilitation Centre there provided a few hundred metres' walk into the rainforest, where captured/tamed orang utans are released into the wild. We were blessed to see them; the keeper said there wasn't any during the morning feed earlier, and a lady-shop owner I spoke to a few days after said that she brought her kids a couple of times but couldn't see any. Watching the rusty-brown orang utans swing gently from the trees was amazing, this experience I wouldn't trade for anything! Being in nature takes the city out of me, I guess. There was one mother with the baby clinging on tightly to her middle as she gingerly went to pick some bananas and papayas...The sight just makes my heart melt.

The place was not what I really expected it to be, it is much like Singapore, yet not at all. And not much like any other part of West Malaysia... The closest would be Malacca, but a more 'backward', spacious, untainted version of it. The expanse of sky seems so much more there, as well as the clouds that seem to touch the rooftops of houses. Yea... I think I'll be back there, someday, the way I promised myself to be back in Malacca soon. (Note to self: Prepare to leave in late January.) Somehow although I'm much used to a higher standard of living, the simple life does have its charm to me. The things are cheap, the place is lovely and the food is excellent...