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Thursday, October 26, 2006
The Two Types of People

There are only two types of people in the world and I am not talking about man and woman. I am talking about the bullies and the bullied. You see it in a relationship between a man and his wife. One is bound to be the dominant partner and will impose his/her opinions on the other. You see it frequently in friendships when one decides what to do and the other will merely follow. Or the relationship or friendship would not exist.

If you are not born heartless and if you are not the bully, you will be bullied. And that is a law of nature. You see it in documentaries when the dominant male lion would eat even its own male youngs, so he will not be challenged. And if ever a younger male is allowed to grow strong, he will kill the older lion and be the leader of the pack. That’s how life goes.

Like clockwork, my eyes sprang open at 8 a.m. this morning. Last evening was the first night in the last ten days when I slept before midnight. My throat is still sore from all the drinking and The Bang Bus talks at 5 a.m. No amount of water seems to help when I drowned myself in vodka at each nightfall. My usual concealer is no longer doing its magic tricks on my face and my pair of jeans no longer fits.

Like clockwork, I had PY on speed dial and her daughter picked up the call.

“Hello?” the small voice bleated.

“Who is this? Girl-girl, is it?” I went into an alternate universe where my friends were married people with kids and I was not the crazy chick with Lola for a second home. I spoke in all cheerfulness that I could muster. “This is Auntie Otto, please call your mummy for me.”

We were sat in an Indian shop having delicious unleavened bread for breakfast by 10 a.m. I even managed to squeeze in a slice of fried fish to help me start the day. What surprised me was a call from R this morning. He wanted to have breakfast and I wondered what was it about. Was it about Ain and her application for work in his company? Was it about Mary who has left for the UK? Was it about some business related matter that stood stagnant, waiting for its attention after Mary has gone away?

“You are not going to tell me anymore things ar?”

I was playing with my straw when he said that. In my usual “I’m happy” and “I’m busy” mode, I hardly spoke a thing. Unless I was spoken to, of course, then which I had to reply. Neither did I ask any questions. I was cautiously waiting for the motive of the meeting. I did not ask about Mary and I did not ask about Ain. I was waiting for it to come.

“I think I am hanging around too many losers and fuckers,” I said as steely as I could.

“You calling me a loser ar?”


I did not bat an eye when I said that. I was not even hesitant. The word flowed through my pink lips as easily as rainwater flowed down to a stream. In my old given self, I could never gather enough strength to tell someone off the way I did this morning. No matter how beaten I am, I could never find the heart to tell someone something so hurtful. But I am tired of making up excuses for everyone else. A circle is a circle and a square is just what it is, a square. I can no longer make excuses for everyone. It is time for me to stare at things happening around me and accept them as they were.

“But don’t you worry. You will not be lonely on that list. There are many others.” I laughed.

I usually looked at my friends as we part and they walk away from me. Today I turned around and never looked back. It was hard but I managed. I became this unresponsive and heartless person. I switched on my engine and drove away. He walked back to his office and I did not care. Or at least I pretend that I do not care.

When your love is abused so many times and you are bruised so badly, you gain back your control with hate. Your heart insulates itself against pain by marking it with hate. The new destructive mechanism stirred in your heart will be your safety net against all the tears you pour into your bed each night and soon you will be free from the threshold of emotional torment. No one can hurt you when you hate.

The person you worshipped is reduced to the status of a piece of stained cloth that you can dispose to the side of the road. When it is gone, no one would miss or want it. The only person who would cry for this piece of cockroach-infested cloth is the deranged beggar woman who lost her mind when she lost her love. Almost like a miracle, all your disappointment will vanish, replaced only by the darkening clouds of seeded anger.

I do not want to be this person but as each day passes, I see no other choice. How do I nurse my heart and heal it from its pain? How do I stop others from raping my soul each day and taking away everything I ever loved and believed in? How do I find my peace?

I am tired and beaten. I am booking a ticket back to London sometime after Nikki and BestGuyFriend's wedding on 16th December. I think this is the final goodbye.


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Tuesday, October 24, 2006
5 a.m. Conversations Forever

5 o’clock and the birds were still making happy noises, warmly tucked in their nests. There I sat, trying to help two French boys decide their supper meals while E was at the next table, chatting to some bar tenders from a place we used to frequent. Ain sat to my left, contented to allow me do the translation. Waiter spoke in Cantonese, I translated into English and the French boys translated into French (in their minds) before they understood the 5 a.m. menu.

“And who are the main stars?” I asked, pretending to be oblivious to the appareant answer.

E pointed to the two French fellows. The girls were not decided who was the more physically good looking of the two, so I shall differentiate them by height; one was taller than the other. Earlier on, the two boys told us that they were writers for the Lonely Planet Guidebook. Yeah. Right. And we were so born yesterday. The girls countered their stories with a more believable and perhaps rather frightening story. Even for boys.

We told the French boys that we (the girls) were actually a pornography production team. That is, we are producing The Bang Bus: Tourist Edition. Impromtu Ain said that she was the cameraperson. Being the rather inquisitive and vouyeristic person that I am, I said that I was the Art Director. E took on AB’s earliest job in his production team – the guy who held the bushy black mic and lightings.

“According to our latest demography, we have a demand for the man on man category and we hope that you would participate,” I tried to say it as smoothly as I could. “We will turn you into overnight superstars. Everyone will know you as you walk around China Town. In return, we will offer you an advancement of 50 DVDs, that you can sell to fellow travellers at RM8 each. Or give away as Christmas presents this year, whichever you fancied more.”

My readers, would you pay me a small sum of money to see how their blue eyes darted back and forth? Gorgeous curly brown lashes flickered every few seconds, speaking presumably in French body language as I said, "why would four girls ever ask tourists out for clubbing, if not to lure them into pornography?" E shook her head and pretended as if that was the most logic reason for inviting two strangers to join us four girls.

The conversation progressed to borderline idiocy and pornography, which was a clear indication that all of us were sleep deprived and it was time to go home. Ain was the first to be dropped off and then the two boys in their guesthouse. On the previous nights, Ain and her friend, LT were dorm mates with the two French boys until the four of them got kicked out of the first guesthouse for violating the curfew time of 2 a.m. Which traveller goes home at 2 a.m.? I know none.

The sight was precious on Sunday night. I had spotted Ain walking towards our table 100 meters away. On each of her side was a good looking man. Our table of four girls and two French boys were merrily drinking and by midnight, had decided to head to Lola, where we continued where we left off. Ten bottles of beers shared between the three girls while I gulped three Vodka Ribena-s later, we were all wriggling away smoothly. The two French dudes were standing and people watching.

E spotted another table of girls and boys and had decided that they made better conversation buddies than the two French boys. They were quite easy to spot since they were sat two tables away from us at the previous bar and by 1 a.m. were immediately next to us in Lola. Being the great PR person that she is, she was within their circle and mingling away. Soon one of their friends were slurring all over Ain and her girl friend, LT. The guy was keying into his keypad LT's Indonesian mobile number and although LT gave her correct number, he keyed them wrongly. He was too drunk to even notice.

And what was Little Miss Otto doing? E introduced me to this adorable looking boy in the group, the one who was looking at me each time I glanced to look at him. She insisted that she made a splendid wing woman and that I need not thank her for her fabulous services.

“Look at the time,” I said. The clock showed 5:30 a.m. “This time yesterday, you were thrown out of the guesthouse because some crazy chicks kidnapped you to Lola. Do you fucking regret it?”

“No man, it was the most fantastic experience,” the taller one said in English with a slight French accent.

I stopped the car in front of their guesthouse. The two sat quietly behind and the car was silent for the first time. E then proceeded to break the silence and said, “Well boys! Good night!” The boys were still sat in the car. I looked at E and smiled. I got out of the car, telling them to come for a hug. Gave them a good squeeze and sent them packing back to the 2nd guesthouse, where they had a set of keys to enter, thus avoiding what happened on the previous night.

The blue car then zoomed off at great speed. I don’t think E looked at them through the mirror. Neither did I, come to think of it. We then chatted some other stuff, which I cannot remember 4 hours later as I write this to you. What I do remember was telling E a short piece of conversation I had with the taller French guy earlier that night.

What kicked off as a bet between the taller French boy and I was this other man sitting at our table earlier. I had met him before and was adamant that he was Italian while the French boy claimed that he was Finnish. After a firm handshake to formalise our bet that had no prize, the French boy said, “Good night, my Finnish friend” and the guy nodded and returned the greeting. Not satisfied, I asked some other friends and they confirmed that the man that was about to leave us was Finnish.

“So what do I get now that I had won the bet?” the taller French boy said with a smirk.

“Supper. I would buy you supper. You can order 3 plates of noodles and 10 milk teas to last you till lunchtime.”

He laughed then brushed his fingers through his floppy mop of brown hair. For the first time, I looked intently into his eyes and saw that they were blue. Not ice blue like the Scandinavians but blue nonetheless. He still had that victorious smirk across his face.

“Oh no, I don’t want supper. I know what I want.” He then paused before continuing, “I want a massage.”

That cheeky little bastard, I though to myself. MiniBoyFriend R had told me a long time ago that when a woman offers to give him a massage, it often meant that he had to make a dash to the bathroom because it spelt an invitation for sex. Now, of course I know that is not true for all occasions but that smirk, ah I think I know that smirk.

“I’ll treat you to supper.” Best response to unwanted statements. Ignore and pretend to be stupid. After I repeated that sentence a few times, he relented and said, “And what would you like for dessert?” He still had that smirk. Swift as a bird I replied, “There aren’t desserts after supper.” Somehow I drifted into another conversation with another person and our bet conversation was over. But I had noticed that he stood next to his shorter companion for quite some time then after. Talking. Whispering. Smirk on his face for some time. The shorter guy licked and rolled a joint, his eyes intently in our direction, listening to his partner's story.

E and I sat in the car for the next half hour talking about the night after we had sent the boys and Ain back to their respective guesthouses. I related to her how this other girl at our international table of drinkers came over to tell me that her friend (whom she referred to as “a very handsome Malay friend of my boyfriend”) said that I was adorable looking and that he had sent his regards. Yes, just what I need. Another 19 year old boy sending me his regards. I had similar regards sent the previous nights and I am doubtful that I should be glimmering with happiness that some teenage punk kid found me attractive.

“How many girls do you know can string boys, GOOD LOOKING boys along with them every weekend?” I said.

E laughed, which symbolized that it would make everything feel better. But it did not feel better. I loved going out and having so much fun. Every night was addictive and empowering. Each look, each touch, each and every word was stimulating and intoxicating. Whenever someone asked with whom I was with, I would tease that it was a boy at every postcode. I no longer find the statement amusing these days. Perhaps it is time for me to move on to perhaps just one boy at one postcode.

“It was fun while it lasted but we seriously cannot do this forever," I said.

E smiled and flicked her ciggie out of the car.

"Oh yes we can."


Friday, October 20, 2006
Me No Beef

I woke up today a very much happier person. It appears to me that Moon’s famous “I will slap you” remarks jolted me out from my 6 years slumber. I am back on track, a whole lot happier today than yesterday. As a matter of fact, I am quite the chirpy (but quiet) bird that I usually am. Bailed out of work yesterday after lunchtime and spent the afternoon shopping with PY. Finally I have no excuse not to head down to the gym. I bought a pair of Nike Free 5.0 in light blue and grey and so today will be heading to the gym to burn off some fat.

“What fats?”

Well I have fats. All girls do. I am just good at concealing them. Contacted a newly acquainted girlfriend and probably I will be at the gym with her after work. Fingers crossed that my bones do not ache too much tomorrow. I have not exercised since 1995 unless you consider sex as a form of exercise. If it was so, then the last time I sexercised was yesterday. A girl has to love herself.

On a totally different note, a friend of mine is visiting and her visit should keep me occupied until the end of next week. I wanted to run off to some godforsaken island for a few days but apparently she will be around. It simply means we will get ourselves into enough activities and troubles, without having to roll out some dough.

It is time for “calling calling”. Well that’s the term that E uses for keeping in close contact as the weekend starts. Tonight should be quite fun. I will give MiniBoyFriend R a call. He is expected to crash on the 23rd when Mary flies back to London. So far I have been a meanie to him but I think I will love him soon enough again.

Alrighty then! It’s time to make a dash for it. What’s the IT? I don’t know. Maybe some bright lights and some good looking men. You guys have fun this weekend. I will see you all here bright and early on Monday! *kiss kiss*

”See? I told you I’d bounce back. I turn around and here I am smiling.”

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Circles Into Squares

~ I Bruise Easily, Natasha Bedingfield

Ten years have passed since I was in a very unhealthy relationship. In retrospect, I can see all the pit falls along the way. The problem I faced was that I refused to see all the wrongs as what they really are: pure wrongs. Instead I made up excuses for the person and even more excuses why I must be patient and accept the circumstances I found myself in as a 20 year old.

There were nights of mental torture, sleeping with a pair of scissors and praying that I will open my eyes again the next morning. There were emotional and physical abuses so violent that I had to resort to counselling. There were phone calls to the police station, begging them to come help me pacify the raging monster.

To be honest, I do not think I have quite recovered from the whole experience. It has changed my perception of men, changed my ideas of what a relationship should be and most definitely altered my opinions of God, church, life and most of all, love. I learned to toughen up and to stand on my own. I was forced to learn how to defend myself against people who were there to judge me.

“Oh if you love him, you will forgive him.”

“At least you still have your teeth. XYZ lost 2 of her teeth and she is still with him. Praise God for that!”

I am sorry but I do not see why we should celebrate a person who lost only two teeth but thank goodness, at least is still alive. What is the use of being alive if you are a walking dead? And I have lived more than 2 years of my life as one of such people. I remember days when I floated aimlessly. I avoided people and I no longer met friends. I did not know how to lie to them anymore when they ask, “How are you?” I was flesh and blood but I had no soul. The pair of eyes that stared back at you, though breathing, was in actual fact, dead.

I was naïve then. I bet that all of us have heard “love conquers all” at some point in our lives. I was a firm believer in this notion. If you love, you love the person wholly and you accept the good and the bad. But what if the bad is so bad that you cannot afford a normal lifestyle? Where you fear for your life and that of your loved ones? Where does the love start and where does it end?

And if you love, you will forgive. And I am sure many of us do forgive our partners. You forgive the person three hundred and seventy eight times every week, for the tiny things he does. Like for hogging TV control and kicking the door whenever he did not get his way. And then you forgive him for banging your parent’s door with a hockey stick, threatening to kill you, your family and the cat. Where does the forgiveness end and justice begin?

Speaking of the cat – I started to care for cats out of desperation. I was under so much relationship pressure and was totally unloved that I bought a Siamese cat and named him “Precious”. He was named “Precious” because he was the precious gift of love, attention and sanity in times when I was trapped in a dead relationship but was too afraid to admit to myself and to others that perhaps it was not the right relationship for me.

So you see, you can never fit a square into a circle. A circle is a never-ending ring that loops into itself and a square is four straight lines joined at right angles. You will get nothing other than frustration when you try to cramp a square into a circle. The harder you try to force it into the differing shape, the more pain you will experience.

And guess what? It is far easier to admit that a square is a square and therefore will never fit into a circle. You will feel exceptionally disturbed as long as you insist that the two fit together and perhaps quadruple your chances of dying young of heart attack if you persist in your futile quest.

Shapes will only fit equal or similar shaped objects. Just like relationships will only work if the partners have complimentary temperaments. I have spent too many years trying to fit my square self into someone as smooth as a circle. Obviously a circle is very attractive with it is smooth side and its unavailability. Its nature is to roll on forever. Perhaps that was the thrill and I sucked onto it for far too long.

I am a literal square. Despite what you read here in ANNN, I am actually a very quiet personality. I thrive better in comfortable and slower paced environments, despite finding myself drawn to the beautiful nightlights like a moth to its death in an electrical moth trap. I do not have the necessary skills to keep myself alive on modern hard surfaced mean streets and I am hardly streetwise. I might want to leave my world and lose myself in the vibrant convergence of perpetual streetlights and faithless love but I know I would die there. I have died many times trying to go there...

Moon said she would slap me if I ever run away with a circle. That is the best thing that I have heard in a long, long time. Thank you and good night.

“Would you come with me, if I leave my girlfriend?” he asked. I think he was testing me.

“Yes,” I said, then staring intently into his brown eyes. My eyes did not flicker for a second but I think he knew I had lied. He understood me more than I give him credit for.

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Wednesday, October 18, 2006
I Am Just a Prisoner Here, Of My Own Device

I am trying to keep myself occupied. That is the easiest way to trick your mind into not thinking. If you give yourself enough tasks to send it spinning, you will have no time for your thoughts to sink in or to think about what could have been. And once I do not think about it long enough, I will forget.

I turned around and walked away the moment I got off the bus and the destination was over. Three seconds later, I turned around and watched him walk away. I quickly reached for my mobile and so I typed, “I promise I will not cry. I feel that I had died again and again for something that I can avoid.” Hold, just hold it all in, I thought to myself.

I soon found PY and I got back into what I was doing for one whole weekend – shopping. I bought a rather pretty black dress from Salabianca, thus further bursting the already burst budget for this month. There are just some things that retail therapy can cure. And then there are things that you can never heal. Maybe you can heal if you allow yourself to forget. But if you forget, how are you going to write? Where will you draw your pain from and where will your inspiration flow?

“What do you need in your life?” he asked.

I paused to think for a second. Then I paused to think for a second longer. I could not think of anything significant. Until and unless I consider him a need, then I guess I do not really NEED anything. Because I am quite happy with all that I have. Come to think of it, I must be a rather easy person to please. But oh no, I need to torture myself a little. Pick at the emotional scab so the wound will stay fresh, so I can write another story another day. Beauty is always conceived in pain, be it emotional, mental or physical.

“See? You have everything and so you lack nothing in life.” He laughed gently, licking the small white piece of paper.

“Do you know why people laugh? Like in sms-es, why do people place ‘haha’ at the end of their sentences? The boys and I were talking about this and boy, there were a lot of theories regarding this topic.

“I wrote somewhere in ANNN that we laugh to make things feel normal again, to make things feel right again.”

“Precisely.” He smiled, then exhaling. I followed the trail of smoke as it disappeared into the ceiling again.

On the topic of growing up and growing old, we were checking each other out. I asked him to smile. He looked older, with fine lines running at the corners of his eyes. I turned to my left a little and smiled, so he could see my wrinkle lines too. He denied that I looked older and I believed him because it was more fun to do so.

I looked intently at him and saw his receeding hairline. I laughed, pointing my right index finger at him. Perhaps even gently feeling his hairline that used to be a little closer to his brows.

“Eh your hairline is receding, wei…” I said.

“Ya lah, ya lah.”

I don’t think he likes being reminded that we are getting old. That is what time and age does to you. No one can escape growing up. Not even those who hide in the shadows.

Oh god, I promised myself that I would not write anymore about him. No more, no more, no more. But what can I write if my muse is dead? If there is one thing to learn from this whole trip, what would it be? Otto, you can do this. What would be the lesson that I should take along with me once the bus ride is over and I have to return to the point where I started.

Oh yes, about being a woman, about love and being loved. This story is so common that we no longer attach any emotions to it. There is just something about being a woman and wanting to feel a sense of tragedy. Maybe womenfolk could live happier if we could learn to love ourselves a little more and take care of our own hearts first, above others. Instead we enjoy the extra drama we can squeeze out of our twenty four seven.

I stared at my mobile and I talked to myself. Why can’t you just be with someone that who is eager and excited to see you? Why should you belittle yourself by wanting something that does not want you? It sounds absolutely absurd but then it made sense. Life is only beautiful when there is a small amount of tragedy and pain. And this destination that I go to every now and then is my very weakness and my muse.

Some artists physically hurt themselves, so they can get their juices flowing. How many singers and actors do you know that do a line or two so that they can catch a bus ride to Ecstasy? Maybe for me, it shall be my muse. Look at it this way - my addiction can be either him or cocaine or a bottle of vodka a day. I think he is the healthiest option. I just want to write a book and the journey I take to a future destination will be the words.

“I am sorry for all the broken promises.”

I wanted to tell him that he did not owe me a thing. I am a prisoner here, of my device. It was I who created this dingy world I wake up to each morning and it is I who can set myself free at the end of the day. Everything around me, I have painted it in shades that I so please. I can leave if I wanted to but I chose to stay so I could feel the pain for yet another stale day. Perhaps to punish myself for all the bad things I have done in my life. Maybe this is the payback for all the men who cried at 5 a.m.

I did not tell him the other day when we were together but I am writing this now. If you are reading this, then know that you do not owe me anything and you do not need to feel bad. I do not need your pity. All I wanted was sincerity and from the very beginning, that was something that you gave me. So do not apologize and do not say you are sorry. There is nothing to be sorry for because you are my muse. I created you in my mind and I gave you life. I am fucking going to write this book and I am going to immortalise the lives of a young woman and the men surrounding her life. And when the time comes, you can’t ask for royalties.

All right everyone. Now is the moment I laugh.

Her mind is tiffany-twisted, she got the Mercedes Benz.
She got a lot of pretty, pretty boys, that she calls friends.
How they dance in the courtyard, sweet summer sweat.
Some dance to remember, some dance to forget.

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  • I wrote This Ride while sitting in PY's car on my way home. That's what the muse does best. He gets my creative juices flowin'.


Tuesday, October 17, 2006
This Ride

Hey boy, do you want a ride? I'll take you to a beautiful place where the sun sets low and the birds race high. I'll take you to a wonderland where sadness and broken promises are few. Where hopes are ever lasting and dreams ever new. We'll go to a secret place where colours are brighter. Where shapes and sounds, everything vibrates to your laughter. There's no tears, no fears, no deaths and no sadness. This ride will take you to glorious days of gladness. Only colourful dreams under the rainbows and frothy waves of bliss at every ocean's end.

I promise that this ride will be good and this ride will be fast. One soulful rapture that forever will last. Hop into my bright blue car and we'll dance in the bar. I'll banish all your nightmares and there will be no scars. No more hiding behind your Harlequin mask. We will be free like a gentle breeze at long last. I will be your sunshine and you will be mine. This ride takes us to an utopia haven on some pretty cloud nine.

Will you come with me, right here, right now? Yes, yes, I will, I'll run after you till the sun goes down. Just hold onto me and we'll soar like doves. Hop into my car to a destination called love.

What's the matter, boy? Why are you stalling? I cant stop for too long, my car's rolling. The wheels of fate are spinning and it's not on our side. Are you coming, boy? Do you want this ride?


Saturday, October 14, 2006
Destination: Unknown

Have you ever yearned for something for so badly that you feel that you are willing to sacrifice many a thing just to feel the pleasure of owning it? Have you ever spent days and days thinking and wanting something so much that you create an alternate world in your mind, fill with the very things that you wished for? Have you ever felt pain and emptiness inside, believing that you will remain so until you hold within your hands, the very thing that you fantasize for six years and two weeks?

I woke up at 4 a.m. to some text messages. Different short messages from PY, E, Alex and some guy I met in Lola the night before, nameless for the time being. That is until he starts appearing in my life so often that I will have to give him a name. He is quite successful at it with more than 30 sms-es since Friday midnight. I wonder if he would be shocked to find out that I write ANNN.

So I stared at the ceiling at 4 a.m. thinking about this thing that I want. Sometimes when you want something, you blind yourself to the obvious faults. You create this perfection in your mind and the thing is perfect, that it gives you satisfaction when you achieve it. If you spend long enough time wanting the thing, you might end up wanting the want, rather than wanting the thing. The problem is, you can no longer tell the difference between wanting the actual thing and wanting the sensation of wanting.

I caught myself feeling a little anxious. I began to question myself, what is it that I truly want. Do I really want the thing or am I just addicted to the romantic notion of pain and suffering? Do I enjoy the sensation of being lost or do I really want to find out what I truly want?

What happens if the thing does not give me the satisfaction that I thought it would? For example, I have spent months lusting after bags and shoes. I would visit each item every time I am in that shopping mall. I would do this and gain so much satisfaction seeing and stroking those items in the shop. But I lost the sparkle and the happiness the moment I bought them. This is a very common tale and I am sure that many girls can empathize with this illustration.

The satisfaction was derived from dreaming about those items and wanting them badly for months and months and months. It is as if in achieving the goal, I lost the want and the desire for the items. They were no longer special. They became just something that I had in my closet, like the other twenty pairs of shoes, no longer the thing that I lusted for.

I am going away for a day to discover just what my thoughts really are. Do I really long for the thing or am I just in love with the notion of wanting something so badly? The destination is unknown but once there, I hope to explore my mind a little more. Will I end up with the item in my hands and feeling totally satisfied that I finally have it? Or will I say, “Eh, I don’t think I was ever so into this thing.”

I have always thought that I would want to get to that special point in my life. I dream about it. I fantasize and build a world around it. It has always been this destination that I desired to go but now when it is possible to hitch a ride there, I am not too sure if I want to get there at all. I think I have reached a stage whereby I cannot differentiate whether I had wanted to go or that I wanted the feeling of wanting.

Do I want to go there because I had always wanted to go there all my life? I don't know. It has been so long that I can no longer remember why I want to go there, other than the fact that I have repeated to myself a million times that I want to head to that destination that is unknown...

What do you think, dear readers?

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Thursday, October 12, 2006
Old One Don’t Go, New One Can’t Come

Today is my lucky day. Not only did I receive photos from Paul, I also received some from Frans. Almost like striking lottery *hehehe*

Candidate One
Vanity has a new name - Paul.

Fiza requested for Paul's photo when I wrote about a beautiful stranger. Being the generous spirit that he is, Paul has emailed some photos for Fiza's viewing pleasure. I have taken the liberty to release one that is not 18-SX.

He looks quite different when he is clean shaven. He was sporting some macho facial hair when we first met. This photo is not doing him any justice. His golden tan is hardly noticable, which is a crying shame. After calling him a beautiful stranger for the longest time, it feels strange addressing him as Paul these days.

Paul and I are still debating if he resembles the "Kevin Volchok" character from The OC. Kevin Volchok was one bad dude who loved Marissa (Mischa Barton's character). Why don't you take a good look and decide for yourself if Paul and Kevin share similarities. Do email me if you are experiencing nose bleeds.

Candidate Two
Traditionally E and I would be out for New Year's Eve dinner. Each of us would bring along a partner, ushering the new year together. On the last day of the year 2005, I wanted to invite this handsome young man out for dinner. He is a friend of D's and each time when I bump into him, he calls me "exotic". I chatted with him for the longest time last Sunday when I went out for a drink and supper with the boys. I am yet to explore him well enough to write about him. So let the shallow side of me do the talking. He is tall, dark and handsome *dreamy*

Candidate Three
The lost Italian, Francesco was on line two when PY and I were discussing our latest shopping victories. It took me a few seconds to register the caller to him, mainly because I thought the call originated from Malaysia. Anyway he called while waiting for a deal he had proposed to be finalised. I mentioned that I planned to call him before he flew to Bangkok on Saturday but I totally forgot about it because I was away at a weekend party with Moon.

“Do visit me in Italy,” Francesco extended an offer.

“If I am ever in Italy, I would have to visit my ex,” I said.

“Ah the ex boyfriend in Milan,” he said, trailed by tiny peels of laughter.

I do not know how other girls do it but the first thing that attracts me to a man is conversation. Most men in my company have a “come away” experience with me. The first encounter was always unusual, like inviting Wouter to the bar with me when we were both strangers in search of a drink on a thirsty weekend or dragging a very drunk R home and hearing him pee against a wall while I pretend to be disgusted.

The saying is true – “Old one don’t go, new one can’t come”. The choices are plentiful. The only question that requires an answer is, do I choose a new MBF or should I forgive my old faithful?

I am still licking my wound and it is too early to tell if R and I would return to our old selves. I now train myself to head to the gym (or at least think of heading to the gym) whenever I catch myself thinking about what happened between R and I in recent weeks. One of the last few meals I had with MiniBoyFriend R was in a Vietnamese restaurant. I found myself driving to the restaurant last Saturday when I felt that I had missed having him around. The restaurant is shut. Is it a sign from the heavens?

~ Stick With You, Pussycat Dolls

Small Talk
Yippee! I have a new editor and I am most delighted to be working with him =)

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Wednesday, October 11, 2006
Martyr For Love

I sat in my office longer than usual today. There were some tasks that needed immediate attention, thus I spent the whole morning on the telephone with some clients. It required some negotiation skills and perhaps some respect that clients give only to the big boss upstairs. Everything was moving along fine and was reasonably pleased with my new found negotiation skill. No sooner that I start warming up my new PR skills, the very same communication and negotiation skills are tested to the max by a particular client. I think she enjoys making my work life a living hell.

I was so hot and bothered by the whole conversation. It turned out to be one of those things that time cannot help me forget. Actually it seemed to burn even more as the minutes ticked by. I was out of the office by 3:00 p.m. hoping that some retail therapy would help me ease the uneasiness and anger I felt inside. Apparently not today.

Had a super late lunch in McDonald’s and a thought struck me. I could buy a bathroom mat. It always works for me. Stress out, buy bathroom mat. Guaranteed to make anyone feel loved! But oh no, I was so frustrated by the whole incident that even the more luxurious bathroom mat feel did not catch my fancy.

What is a girl to do? What is a girl to do? In the end, I drove home after work, dropped my laptop, retouched my make-up and drove all the way to the gym. I have delayed this task for far too long (been wanting to join since September 2004!) and I cannot delay it any longer. Signed myself up on the spot and felt immediate relief soothing my suffocating soul. I figured that the only way to feel better today was to exercise and take control over my life.

“Guess where I am?” I said.

“In front of my door?” PY replied.

“No lah, your house so far! Guess again. Guess again!”

She laughed the moment I said that I was by the swimming pool, legs stretched across to another chair with a gentle breeze against my face. I felt in control of my life again. In my mind, I had cycled 20 miles on the bike and swam 50 laps. Everything from work did not matter any more. I am in control, I am in control, I repeated to myself.

I reached home at 8:00 p.m. after a short detour at Nike’s in search of a set of nice gym wear. No, I do not own a single pair of tracksuit or sportswear. No, I have not exercised since leaving high school and no, I am not lying. The photo of my stomach at the side bar (it is the best photo you can place on your blogroll!) was a freak anomaly. I nicknamed my stomach area as “Miss Pudding” for a reason. It is tubby and squishy.

MiniBoyFriend R popped online somewhere between me chatting with Mr. Cynic Ian and Mr. Kuzco (winner of Best Date in London 2006). He began with a short “hello”, to which I had loads to say. Like about my delight at the prospect of joining some classes and finding some new friends. He subtly mentioned that he read my blog, to which I remarked “Is that why you are talking to me today?” That was the beginning of a rather lengthy but honest conversation. He ended it with “and this is what I want to tell you today”.

With my retro shower cap on, I jumped under the shower and exfoliated. I played bits and pieces of our conversations in my mind. R said many things – things that I hold as private and will not mention here in ANNN. Imagine storing all your thoughts and emotions for two weeks and then releasing them. That was what it felt to have the conversation with R.

R told me many things. He asked me to use the word “make love” instead of “have sex”. I clicked on the post and found out that I had used the word “shag”. We spoke honestly, the first time since I arrived back home. And as much as I wanted to be angry with him, I held my tongue.

Girls should be forgiving. Boys come and go but MiniBoyFriends tend to stay.

I find myself yielding myself to Alex more and more each day. This is a strange feeling, one that is alien to my being. The more I chose to be with Alex, the more I start to reject everyone else. Somehow everyone else was not perfect. They are nowhere close to being perfect, when I compared them using Alex as a benchmark. Each and every day I am reminded that Alex deserves my love and devotion. I find myself letting go of a lot of drama and emotional baggage. I have released them and in the process of doing so, I have freed myself to love and be loved wholly.

The thought creeps in every so often. It is the sudden realisation that there is nothing perfect on earth. And even if there is something perfect, it will soon be taken away. Life is such. So the little demon called “doubt” slithers slowly into my mind, reminding me that all my happiness is temporary.

Happiness is like the smoke from AB’s one pack a day cigarettes. Happiness is something that gives you so much pleasure and hope. Yet it intoxicates your soul with despair. You might want to stretch out your hand to hold onto it but you will never be able to capture it, not even for a second.

These days I have decided to approach life with a little bit of E’s wisdom. I refuse to think about it. I refuse to think about the prospect of losing Alex. It is logical that the lost will be as great as the joy he is giving me. To be with Alex gives me immense joy and to lose him is to lose the meaning of living itself. Love, like all other things on earth, has no lifetime warranty and if you are like me, you will be wary.

I have never intended to write about Alex in ANNN. Writing about him adds some amount of pressure because my readers are now observing and following our domestic life together. It is difficult for a couple to love in private and even more so in public, under the scrutiny of many eyes. I am conscious of the fact that I am leaning on him for support and comfort. Much more than I am usually accustomed to and in doing so, I have gained an experience that I have never shared with any of my previous boyfriends. Greater love also means greater heartbreaks – something that I do not want to think about.

So I refuse to think! Rather than thinking or worrying, I consciously remind myself that I should enjoy my love and I should abandon all inhibitions. I should throw myself into the relationship and lose myself totally in him. Alex has been the best part of me. I cannot foresee the future but I wish he would remain the best bits of me forever. I can only live for the moment and at this moment I chose to live with Alex. And even if my love dies, my love would live on. I am, after all, a willing martyr for love.

Small Talk
Moved to Beta Blogger
ANNN has recently moved to Beta Blogger. Do email me if you experience difficulty accessing the posts or comments.

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Monday, October 09, 2006
The Only Things You Learn Are The Things You Tame

I sent a copy of “You Killed Me Today” to Alex after I had loaded it onto Blogspot. After all the tears writing that piece, I was obviously fishing for some comments that only a hairy boy could give. He said that I consisted mostly of memories and that particular entry was fuelled by childhood memories of my white and black spotted dog I named Peter.

Memories are very important to me. They form a huge part of me and I constantly play them like a long video clip in my head. Memories of good times, memories of bad, memories from my childhood and fresh memories of yesterday. I read somewhere that many writers are observers. It struck a chord in my heart for I love observing especially human interaction and words. I love observing everything that passes me by and I can play the scenes in my head a thousand times a day, then writing about the experience.

Moon remarked that I was very different from what she imagined me to be. I think she was pretty disappointed when she realised that I am a very still person in real life. I do not possess a loud personality or qualities that are larger than life. Or perhaps it was the choice of place we were at – we were sitting quietly in the corner chatting and dreaming instead of drowning ourselves with Vodka Ribena, although I remember clearly that I had two teacups of Vodka Ribena that night.

~ Come Away With Me, Norah Jones

Come away with me in the night
Come away with me
And I will write you a song

Come away with me on a bus
Come away where they can't tempt us
With their lies

Sometimes I think the strangest things happen for a reason. Often we never understand why they happened but the fact remains, they happened. Take Alex, for example. E and I were on a girls’ weekend together in Perhentian when we met three boys. Everyone were smittened by E’s confidence and charm. I walked three steps behind her, always quiet and always observing. It comes as no great surprise if I told you that all the boys paid 110% of their attention on her and surrounded her through the days we were on the island.

I remember the first time Alex came away with me. He walked ahead of the group and alongside with me. We walked barefoot from Coral Bay towards Long Island. It was total darkness and we were guided only by Alex’s torchlight. We spoke as we briskly walked on the cold muddy path towards Long Island, with E and the two boys behind us.

“So how old are you?” he asked.

“26.” We were climbing a slight slope when he asked me that question. “How old are you?”

“You guess,”

“28,” I swiftly replied. He looked a little older than I and I was 26 then.

“I am 22.”

I nearly slipped and fell when he said that. I remember laughing, thinking that he was teasing me. He was not. He was and still is 4 years younger than me. Somehow as we walked, we lost E and the two other boys. Alex and I were alone, looking at the moonlight dancing with the waves.

“Lie on me,” Alex said. “Don’t dirty your clothes.”

I hesitated for a second. I was 26, not very streetwise but I was certainly not dumb. He laid down and reached out for my hands. I took them and laid very still on top of Alex where he promised me that he will follow me wherever I go.

I want to walk with you
On a cloudy day
In fields where the yellow grass grows knee-high
So won't you try to come

“He’s looking at you,” E giggled.

One day a long time ago, E and I were on our usual Saturday breakfast when we chanced upon a very good looking traveller. He sat across us with an architecture book in his hands and he appeared to be looking in our direction each time we were looking at his.
E devised a grand plan to find out who he was looking at. She sent me to fetch us some iced water and observed who he was looking at. So off I went, walking in the best possible way I could muster.

“He’s looking at you,” she said, nudging me. I smiled at the most beautiful dark haired stranger. As a result, E and I sat there for five hours, waiting for him to come approach us, like how boys normally do. That, he did not.

Finally giving up, we left and went into my car, where E suddenly felt a rush of excitement and said, “Remember we said we’ll do whatever we fear most? Well give me your email address.” She took the small slip of receipt and walked up towards the man who sat 5 hours staring back at us earlier.

He came away with me three days later. He wrote me a short email and we scheduled a meeting in my favourite restaurant. I remember that it was raining and I was wearing a black short dress with tiny yellow flowers. I felt so tense about the meeting that I walked past him without noticing that he was standing at the bar. He caught my hands. PY joined us some time later (as a chaperon but she did not say or do much). That night Swedish Love and I sat across each other, staring into each other’s eyes. We were so excited that we hardly said a word.

Come away with me and we'll kiss
On a mountaintop
Come away with me
And I'll never stop loving you

And I want to wake up with the rain
Falling on a tin roof
While I'm safe there in your arms
So all I ask is for you
To come away with me in the night
Come away with me

E and I spent a huge portion of our mid 20s clubbing. The week began on a Friday afternoon when we would be out shopping for clothes and shoes we would wear for the weekend. We had fancy dinners and proceeded to hop from one bar to the next. Somewhere along the line, we started visiting a dance club where we met two DJs.

I remember the first time I spoke to AB. He came over to “investigate” if E would like to spend some time with his partner (the other DJ). I was so put off by AB’s remarks that I sent him away. He smiled, probably feeling tickled that I had such strong reactions towards his friend’s suggestion to E for a fuck and go session.

The following weeks he came over and we chatted a little more. One weekend I mentioned that I would not be there the following week because E would be away. AB suggested that I go nonetheless. I laughed, stating that it was absolutely stupid for me to be alone in a club. He promised to keep me company.

So the following weekend I found myself with him. True to his word, AB was with me the whole entire night. When he was not playing, he stood next to me. And when he was manning the decks, I was with him in the DJ console. We danced, we laughed and we had loads of fun. Our sweat mixed as he glided his hands along mine. Our faces touched and we whispered into each other’s ears. By the end of the night, there was a fight and the bouncers threw the boys out into the streets. I remember AB standing at the door, lighting up a cigarette. He said he would walk me to the car once those boys walked away. So we stood by the door and watched the boys wrestle and beat each other shitless.

He came away with me for many nights. The nights stretched into days and the days into months and the months into years. I drove us around the city as we searched for the brightest lights. We parked the car by the lake and watched the sun rise. Our bare feet were on the dashboard when a police on patrol knocked on his side of the window. We laughed when the police asked us to go back home. We did go back to his home, where we sat on the porch.

As months passed, we were kissing for hours in his living room. It was just a matter of time before I found myself in his bedroom, sleeping in his arms and leaving only when the sunrise. I remember us kissing as raindrops gently splashed down the roof tiles of his single storey link house. I could hear his mother wake up to take her morning walks. We lay on our backs and I saw small circles of smoke rising towards the ceiling, then disappearing. We held hands as the rain lulled us to gentle slumber.

Writing this makes me think of really sweet memories of people who came away with me and changed our lives as a result. This process of coming away creates a very strong bond between the people who partook of the process. Through my experience of coming away with different people, I know that it creates an illusion that you belong to each other. It builds an emotional union that is strong and impresses itself into your memory. Once you have come away with a person, you will look at each other different and you will develop your own private language. You will start to talk with your eyes. And out of the sea of a few hundred people, you will only see that one person because you have tamed him and he has tamed you.

I shall end this entry with a passage taken from The Little Prince by Antoine Saint De Exupery.

”What does tamed mean?”

“It’s something that’s been too often neglected. It means ‘to create ties…'”

“To create ties?”

“That’s right,” the fox said. “For me, you’re the only little boy just like a hundred thousand other little boys. And I have no need of you. And you have no need of me, either. For you I’m only a fox like a hundred thousand other foxes. But if you tame me, we’ll need each other. You’ll be the only boy in the world for me. I’ll be the only fox in the world for you… My life’s monotonous. I hunt chickens; people hunt me. All chickens are just alike, and all men are just alike. So I am bored.

But if you tame me, my life will be filled with sunshine. I’ll know the sound of footsteps that will be different from all the rest. Other footsteps send me back underground. Yours will call me out of my burrow like music.

And then, look! You see the wheat in the fields over there? I don’t eat bread. For me wheat is of no use whatsoever. Wheat fields say nothing to me. Which is sad. But you have hair the colour of gold. So it will be wonderful, once you’ve tamed me! The wheat, which is golden will remind me of you. And I’ll love the sound of the wind in the wheat…

The only things you learn are the things you tame,” said the fox.

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Friday, October 06, 2006
Everything Else Is A Mirage
I was shocked. I was so shocked that I hung up. I only redialled the number when I have composed myself.

“Were you frightened?” I asked him. I tried to sound cheerful, as if I had teased him. Certainly that would have taken some tension away from the fact that I was caught by surprise at his reply a few seconds earlier.

“No, I wasn’t.”

Did I feel a little tinge of disappointment? I sincerely do not know. I did not have time to react to the whole incident and I did not know quite how to put everything into perspective.

It has been a week exactly since I arrived home. And it was only late yesterday that I had the opportunity to speak to MiniBoyFriend R. I had expected a greater welcome from him. It simply meant that I overestimated his enthusiasm. Then again I could see it coming...

Strike One
I was avoiding him since we had the conversation one day sometime ago. Well, not avoiding him in person but rather, evading his questions. I loved talking to R simply because he was a good companion. He was sincere, honest and trustworthy. I loved his art and maybe I loved him more than he loved me. Or himself, come to think of it. I loved him so much as my MiniBoyFriend that I was willing to close my eyes to the obvious cracks. You see, I have a habit of hiding away from truths that are hurtful. In its place, I would create a world that is beautiful and peaceful. We spent many weekends together before I left for London. We could just talk and talk for hours and everything felt fine. We even joked that we saved loads of money being each other's therapist.

Till one day we were talking on Yahoo Messanger and he said the one line. That one special line shifted the dynamics within our relationship and perhaps doomed it. In one second, our relationship was demoted to a lower rank. It began with MiniBoyFriend R saying, “Why does it always have to be about you?”

I was taken aback. It was never about me. It was about “US”. We were friends and I would gladly bear his burdens as much as he has borne mine. That is my understanding of what a friendship is – a two way street. I will be there for you when you need me and you will be there for me too.

It was never about me. It could have been about him. Or anything under the stars. If he had shared more of himself, it could have been about him. Or us. Or anything. I don’t really care. I would gladly listen to his stories and be there for him, if he had shared more. And if he did not share any about himself and I did not share any of myself, then what is left in the friendship?

The answer, if you are looking for one is, NOTHING. We are left with nothing. Since the day R said, “Why does it always have to be about you?” I did not tell him anymore of my secrets. I was no longer nude. Maybe out of frustration or maybe out of anger – the motivation is unknown but what was clear was that I no longer wanted to share anything about me anymore. If he wants to salvage this friendship, then he has to be the one to share about himself.

He made the remark and now he has his request granted. This friendship is no longer about me. It can be about him or about us, but I am no longer putting any effort to talk nor communicate with him. Remember when I say that I am thinning my phonebook? Well this was one more person heading into the bin in no time.

Strike Two
Under normal circumstances, we would have gone out for tea or breakfast the very next day after arriving home. There was a time R was the first person I met when arriving in KLIA. I remember once we drove straight to Kim Gary in Sunway Pyramid for some yummy dinner. However in the past seven days, R has disappeared into nowhere, something that is rather unusual. I tried to call him once. Then I tried again. He did not pick up the phone on both occasions. Neither did he return my call..

My experience with men tells me that when a man does not pick up my phone after a few rings, he is usually engaged in an urgent matter. By and large, he would return my call when he is free. And when a man does not return my call at all, it only spelt S-E-X, especially in the case of MiniBoyFriends.

I accept this as part and parcel of having a MBF. A girl has to give up her MBF the moment he has a relationship (be it emotional or sexual) with another girl. It comes with the territory. After all, I am not having sex with him and I do not expect him to remain a celibate. I think I am considerate in this sense – I cannot and do not request/demand for any attention from MBFs because I am not giving any sex.

In the past two months since our initial “Why does it always have to be about you?” conversation, I have not told R much. I would reply my traditional “I’m busy” or “I’m happy” whenever he asked how I was. He knew there was something going on because that was not my typical answer. My old self would have told him everything that was going on in my life – what made me happy, what made me sad, what I was thinking, including all the stupid little things that I thought only to myself. These days the standard answer “I’m happy” would suffice. I brush his questions aside when he asks why I am withholding things from him.

He should have known better.

Last night I opened up a little and told him what I did on Tuesday night. I had a girls night out with PY and E. I then hopped on to Lola’s to visit D. I related to R that D and I chatted for an hour or so. I mentioned that I was glad that D and I were getting along again, after the New Year’s incident. For whatever sick reason, I actually enjoy the friendship I share with D.

“How can you trust D to fetch you home?” R asked.

R never liked D. R did not like the fact that I had been friends with D. He always questioned D's motives whenever I talked about him. According to R, D was someone who talked a lot but would not carry through with actions. All the promises D made were empty, as far as R was concerned. And if ever D did something good, R said that D was trying to show off. Or trying to get into my pants. Or both.

“How sure D would fetch you home?” R repeated.

“If D did not, then I call you lor.” I replied. "Or I'd call BestGuyFriend to fetch."

“Eh...” R began. “I cannot lar. You know why, whaaaaaaat…”

It was then that I realised that I had shared another one way street friendship with yet another friend.

“You won’t come and fetch me?” I asked. I had to reconfirm what I had heard earlier. It would be shameful to lose this friendship over a miscommunication.

“You understand my situation, right?”

Sure, I understand. You are shagging her, so you can’t come out to fetch me home, I thought to myself. What the fuck did I even think of trusting R to fetch me? At least D has proven himself and he got me home in one piece. I cannot say that much for R.

At this juncture I shall share the history of how R and I met. Our first meeting was unconventional, almost a unique as my first meeting with AB. I fetched R home the very first night I met him 3 years ago. He was too drunk to walk, what more drive. Do you have friends who would sneak out of the party and walk home? Well I have one and he happens to be R. Through the years he has always called me as he walked home and I have always got out of bed to fetch him home. Thankfully this happens only once in a blue moon.

Last night was the first time I have hung up on a friend. I was shocked beyond words and it took me some seconds before dialling again. I appeared cheerful on the phone. The last time I checked, I do not think my heart bled. It only reconfirmed my notion that it is time for me to move on with Alex.

There is no strike three
To save myself from any unwanted emotional baggage, I have decided against a strike three. Just when I thought I could trust my MiniBoyFriend R, I got a huge slap from reality. So damn typical.

When I resumed our conversation, he mentioned that he was worried about his new relationship with her. He told me that he was happy. He mentioned that he did not know how the relationship would grow when she returns to London in a month. He sounded nervous and so I tried to reassure him, "It is better to have loved and lost than not to have loved at all."

"You will be there for me, right?" R asked. I remember him asking me that a few times because I was reassuring him that he would be fine. I said that we are friends and that I will be there for him when she returns to London.

"I hate airports," he said, then he chuckled nervously. I could hear his anxiety despite him being physically far away. I was happy for him because he deserves someone to love and yet I was angry with him because he made me realise that in this world, I can count only on my hands, that of my family’s and Alex’s.

Everything else, no matter how beautiful, is a mirage.

Latest Ask Miss Love
Sorry that there hasn't been an update in Ask Miss Love. I want to be able to focus on answering questions and I can't do so at the moment due to work schedules. Hopefully everything will be in running order next week.

Thank you for your understanding. Miss Love will be back next week.

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Thursday, October 05, 2006
You Killed Me Today
Dedicated to the best dog that any little girl would ever want.

His name was Peter.




I know I am worthless. I know that there is no one on earth who cares for me. I am but a flea in your eyes and you would not look at me twice. My eyes are glazed and when you are around, I run in great haste. There is no one to love me. Nobody cares. Sometimes I wait at tables, just to be fed. But I have lived a thousand days and perhaps I will live another more.

Someone kicked me the other day. He was kindest man I have seen in days. He gave me only two kicks and I leaped with a yelp. I have had it worse. I have been beaten so badly that my head bled. My eyesight has never been the same since then. Everything seems a littler murky in my right eye but my left eye is still strong. So please do not pity me. I can still chase a cat down an alley.

I ran with my tail between my legs when children threw stones at me last Monday. And yet, they were still kind. I am still alive, aren’t I? Once three children ran after me, throwing their slippers at me. I was exhausted from having no water but I ran for my dear furry life. Alas they cornered me underneath the stairs and there was nowhere to run. It was here that they did the despicable. They twisted thick wires on my body. They hit me and then they beat me till I was bloodied. But at least I made them laugh. At least they let me go after they grew bored of hearing my whimpers.

There was this old man who caught me. I think I lived three years tied to the meter long chain underneath the mango tree. Back in the good old days of 1998, I was a proud little puppy. I was his guard. I took care of the metal junkyard when the old man went home to sleep. There I had plenty. There was a bowl of dirty water to wet my thirsty tongue. I remember wagging my tail whenever he threw me the leftovers from his lunch. I had food almost every day. Oh what joy it was then. I fast only on Sundays. That was the day he did not open the huge zinc doors to come to work.

One night some strange men sneaked into the yard. I barked with all my might. I ran towards them but the chain held me back. I barked and I barked until I barked no more. One of them took a metal bar and hit me so hard that I passed out. I remember everything fading away and when I woke up, I looked at the old man with pleading eyes.

He looked at me and then he spat. I rubbed myself against the metal collar so hard that I bled. My left hind leg was broken and I was still bleeding. He shook his head as he untied my chain. He threw me out of the junkyard and he told me to go. I sat at the door for three days. I hoped he would let me in. I know I could still guard his junkyard if he let me in. But he did not. On the third day, he took a stick and he beat me. He said, “Shoo! You are a useless dog! Your leg is broken and you cannot take care of my junkyard.”

It was there that I realised that he did not love me anymore.

I was left with nothing but one broken leg and an empty feeling in my heart. Where can I go? What can a dog do? I fed off the tables in the food court in SS2. I ate food that people threw. My leg healed but I guess nothing can heal my broken heart.

You know, you will get used to being beaten. After the fifth or the sixth hit, you will no longer feel a thing. Everything is numbed and you just go through the motions. That I can promise you. So do not fear, if you are a dog and if you are abandoned. You will survive and live to an old age, if you know how to run. And if you cannot run, you will pass out. So it is okay.

I have tried looking for a new master. Or a new mistress. I am not fussy. I am just a simple dog with very simple needs. Give me a bowl of water and some food to eat. A little shelter would be good. In return I promise I will wag my tail for you when you come home. I promise that I will love you until the day I die. You will be my whole world and I will obey everything you say. On carefree days, I would even play like a little lovable puppy.

But you think I am dirty. You think I have fleas. You think I have rabies and that I am smelly mutt. But I have a heart of gold and I would have done everything to make you smile. I would willingly die a million times to protect you.

I am an old tired dog now, so please give me a break. I have not slept well at night for the last hundred nights. My bones are beginning to ache. I am limping but at least I have all my four legs. Tricky, my roaming buddy has only three. He was knocked down by a lorry a long time ago and his left hind leg looks more like a mangled piece of metal than a mutt’s leg.

I heard a gun shot. I heard dear Tricky yelp. I have to get on all fours and make a dash for it. I am running for dear life and I hope that I will see the sunset today. I know a good place to hide from the dog shooters. It is a good spot because I have saved my skin three times hiding between the boxes and used plastic bags. But if the skies cry, then please remember me. Remember that I was a beautiful dog but when shot, I will finally find peace.

This morning I witnessed a team of Malay men chasing after two stray dogs with two guns. There were ladies crying at the breakfast place, when they fired two shots. I was chocking my tears when I saw them dragging the lifeless dogs with a rope around their necks.

No animal deserves such endings. Not even the strays. So please spare a moment for all the abandoned dogs and cats in the streets. Write to your town council and to the politicians against this barbaric act. I was so traumatised by what I saw that I was considering making a police report against the municipal. It has been more than 7 hours since but the sounds of the dying dogs are still ringing in my head.

Related Links
Find out what you can do to improve the lives of many animals around you.

Are you sickened by people who abuse and mistreat their pets? Animal lovers all over Malaysia petition for a pro-active government stance on the prevention of cruelty to animals by passing effective and deterrant legislation such as increasing the cruelty fine from RM200 (since 1953) significantly higher to around RM 10,000.00 and increase jail time. Sign the petition today.

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Monday, October 02, 2006
Are You Ready, Boots?

~ These Boots Are Made For Walking, Jessica Simpson.

I have a nice collection of shoes. These days I have a love for for the middle range, with nicer cuts and finer material that are gentle to my achy dancing feet. Aldo remains my favourite uncontested for the second year running.

I returned home with nothing more than my make up, facial products and five pairs of newly acquired shoes. Packed in a backpack and a small hand luggage, everything weighed less than 13 kilograms, which I was very pleased. I really could not be arsed to carry everything half way around the world. Not in this day and age, with all the security checks and frisking.

But back to the story of my shoes collection. You will be surprised that shoes can teach you a lesson or two about life and living. Before leaving for the UK four months ago, PY and I went for a crazy shopping trip. I ended up with two pairs of black shoes from TopShop. These shoes I blogged about. But on top of that, I bought a weird looking chunky slimy green leather mock crocodile shoes from Nine West. There were really towering high and were weird looking (but is the latest rage at the moment when matched with men trousers). There is even a photo of it in ANNN!

I bought the pair in such a great hurry that I failed to realise how painful it was to wear them. They were so painful that my feet ached 10 minutes in them. The shoes’ widest section was not wide enough. Imagine the blisters that my two feet had to endure in the name of good looks and fashion! I vacuumed the floor wearing them, despite how painful the shoes were. I even managed to walk around in London, not on one occasion but twice!

There were a few occasions that I felt like giving them up. They were beautiful but they were what Paris Hilton would be, if Paris was a pair of shoes. The shoes were beautiful but not the most functional thing on earth. The red blisters were horrid and my feet felt as if they were severed from the rest of my body. There was just no blood flowing through them.

Then there was this pair of black Jones sneakers that I bought. They were black laced with a white tongue and leather on the upper and the insides. They were the most comfortable shoes that I had worn in a long, long time! My feet embraced the cool soft leather as they slipped into them. I loved them so much that I wore them in the house for a long time, which scared Alex because he has never seen the housewife side in me. I was beginning to slack into this homebody routine because of this pair of shoes.

I decided to wear them to the Notting Hill Carnival. It was quite logical, do you not agree? Obviously I should be wearing the most comfortable pair of shoes for the anticipated long walk and standing session. So I did. I walked around the area on a Sunday afternoon with Kat and Nicholas, where whistles were blown and festivities were all around. Lots of horse poo too.

I returned home at 7 p.m. that evening with a pair of blistered feet. Somehow the walk rubbed the softest leather against my toes and two blisters the size of my pinkie fingernail developed. My Jones sneakers were never the same since the day of fun filled samba dances and steel bands. They were fine for leisurely work desk to the kitchen to the toilet to the work desk routine but never take them out for a long walk.

Let’s go back to the slimy green pair of leathers I wrote about earlier. They were so unbearable, even for a short walk about my home that I wanted to throw them out. Or give them to the Red Cross or something. Probably the Red Cross would chuck the pair out since they did nothing but constrict the flow of blood to the wearer’s feet! Now would it not be ironic if I told you that I flew back to Malaysia wearing them?

While it was true that my initial green pair of Nine West experience was terribly painful and I had nearly given up on them, they were steadfast and stood the test of time. They are now my comfort shoes! And the pair of soft leather sneakers from Jones was deceiving. They were soft at the very first touch but were terribly cruel when worn over a longer period of time. These Jones were good for the shorter sweeter times but failed when the tougher times rolled by.

These two pairs of shoes taught me a lesson in life. Not all that is hard and painful is bad and not all that is soft to touch is good. Your initial experience is not necessarily the precursor you had expected when the tides of change wash your life.

I realised there is a different point of view after my experience wearing these two pairs of shoes. I used to loathe problems and view terrible things as bad. Now I view them as a pressure cooker time, to prepare and train me to be lean and tough. I welcomed changes and “difficult times” because I realised that these are the events that will shape me to be stronger and more resilient.

Similarly I view “good things” different these days. I have an internal disdain for what many would view as “good” because like the pair of Jones, I realised that they might just be good for the short sprint. And I know that life does not consist of a sprint. It is a marathon, so I better get good shoes for it.

This lesson extends beyond material things. My tale of the two shoes can be easily applied to friendships as well. They have taught me to be discerning. Who are my good friends? Who are my bad? Is it possible that friends who are giving me a hard time are bad? Could they be just like my pair of Nine West, painful at the beginning but nurturing till the end? Are my supportive and happy friends the Jones sneakers in equivalent? Could they be deceptively smooth and soft at the beginning but poisonous at the very end?

And since I intend for my life to be like a long marathon, I am sure that I might discover at every other corner, another friend who is a Jones equivalent, happy and smooth friendship at first but bitter and tragic at the final cut. I am equally as certain that I would celebrate a bad event in near future because it turned out to be a Nine West – a tough challenge at first but the experience would have strengthened my character when it really mattered.

I shall see you at the finishing line. Till the, I will pray for you and me, that all of us will find more Nine West experiences in our lives and we will not have too many Jones for friends.

Examples of Jones and Nine Wests in my life
Or perhaps just the Jones...

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Once A Devil
So here is the summary of what I have done since arriving home at midnight on Wednesday.

Struggled to wake up at 8 a.m. to have the most delicious fishball breakfast that I have had in the past 4 months. There is nothing in Malaysia that I miss more than breakfast at my usual breakfast spot. I enjoy the fact that the place is swarming with people because it means loads of people watching session. I do not even mind going there alone.

Thankfully I arrived on the day that I did and went to work on the day that I did because Thursday happened to be the last time a long time client of mine visit me in the office. She came to say her goodbyes. She was choking on her words and tears were swelling up in her eyes. Watching her tears made me want to cry, so I rushed to her side and gave her a good hug and a pat.

“Oh don’t cry, Barbara,”

“It is just so sad. I really liked it here. I love my house. I love my life and I love working with you,” Barbara replied.

Thursday was also the first full night I had in Malaysia. Had to fight the demons, who were calling me out for a drink.. I was still struggling with my imaginary jet lag, sleeping at approximately 2 a.m.

Finally managed to catch up with PY, who had a new haircut. Oh yeah, speaking of haircuts, I had mine snipped on Thursday after meeting Barbara in the office. It looks like ten mice, three rats and a hedgehog or two gnawed at my hair. It is so repulsive that all the boys on the table had the “WTF?” look when I arrived.

So okay, I went out on Friday night. Actually I was asleep at 9 p.m. on Friday but was summoned by Nikki and BestGuyFriend at 10 p.m. Took one hour to sieve through my 13 kgs of luggage to find something decent to wear. I ran straight for Mary when I saw her. She was sat next to Nikki. Exchanged hugs and kisses and we dove straight into conversations.

“Mary told me that you were her Sunday School bus mate,” Nikki said, then laughing.

“Oh yes we were. Back then, Mary was actually innocent with two pony tails,” I said, turning my head to look at the 29 year old Mary. She was so gorgeous, with her beautiful oriental eyes and glowing skin. Sporting a green top that displayed her flow of tattoos from her back to her left arm, she did not look a day older than 22. How she does it never cease to amaze me. We were exchanging news and we talked about my rat ass hair when a pair of fingers snapped in front of me.

“Oi, you don’t know me, is it?”

It was MiniBoyFriend R. He looked absolutely adorable with his bald new look. Apparently I was not the only one with the gnawed by a rat infestation look. There was Mary with her patch of one-inch hair growing only at her crown (like a new disciple of the Hare Krishna faith) and R, with a totally shaved head. I told him that he looked good with the new haircut. I could see he was quite chuffed about it.

He came to me after some moments and we exchanged words. It felt strangely different this time around but then again, it always feels different from I return to Malaysia. Somehow being far away from everyone and everything in Malaysia puts everything into perspective.

You know, like when you are able to see the whole picture once you are 10,000 kms away. You might have seen everything in a blur when you were hurried, waking up to work and sleeping so you can wake up to work. But when you are 10, 000 kms away, you begin to realise that there is so much more to life than all the mini dramas you have in your life. I think I always return to Malaysia, changed each time. I vow to do some things and then again, I vowed to break some others.

“Why aren’t you telling me things?”

“There is nothing to tell,” I replied. “I am happy.” I pursed a smile from the corner of my lips.

My tagline from last year’s return was, “I am busy”. There were just some people that I had decided to keep a distance from and that was my standard reply to them. Going out with us, Otto? Oh no, I am a little busy. Why didn’t you reply my call? Sorry, sorry, I am busy. Come on, don’t be a spoilt sport. Perhaps another night, everyone. I need to get some sleep. Busy like a bee tomorrow.

This year it happens to be “I am happy,” which I like better. Maybe I have been mourning too long and it is time to allow myself to be happy for a change. It is not always the external factors that cause you to be sad. Sometimes, just sometimes, there are internal emotional turmoil that you are experiencing, which prohibits you from actually enjoying life and smiling.

I believe that sometimes we are the ones who are sabotaging our own lives, so we can continually live in our little emotional dramas. Sometimes our minds are so preoccupied with the smaller dramas that we do not see the larger picture. Like how an astronaut would feel when he sees the Earth from the Moon. The Earth is beautiful and calm from far away but decidedly hectic and tempest when you are near it. Sometimes we need to mend our hearts before we can begin to feel alive again.

And I am happy now. Maybe my journey to somewhere far has taught me to see things from a different angle – not to concentrate on the small issues surrounding me here but to appreciate things from a further away perspective. Which is really helpful because it is only then that you see right from wrong and to discern bad from good.

Each time I come home, my phonebook becomes decidedly slimmer and that I take as a clean step towards a happier me. Sometimes we have to clean our emotional cupboard and our phonebook. Get rid of people who poison my life and be happy with those who brought a little sunshine into it.

Sat & Sun
Spent the afternoon buying up some stuff that I needed, since I left all my toiletries in my blue bathroom in Kent. Was out with Mary, MiniBF R, Nikki, BestGuyFriend when I was introduced to this girl named Moon.

“So why is your name Moon?” I asked. I thought that made quite a clever conversation.

“Because my eyes are as large as the Moon’s,” she said, then laughing. Her eyes were as round as the Moon’s. With eyes like that, no wonder she never needed any make-up. The bunch of us chatted a while and then we went to Lola. Too bad D was not around. He was away in some wedding party.

Slept through Sunday, getting up only for an evening walk with my dad. I was telling him about London’s fashion conscious and that it was nothing like KL. It was my subtle excuse for spending RM500 in a boutique since arriving home.

”Was I ever a handsome devil?” I asked. I was speaking about the reaction I received since announcing that I am determined to cut down my nights out.

“Once a devil, always a devil,” came the reply.

Sweet. Well it's now Monday morning and I am late for my breakfast with PY. I declare the this devil is going to take the next few nights off, curling herself in bed, tricking her brain into believing it is sleepy, sleeping at a decent hour and allowing herself to be happy.