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Malaysian Alien


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Monday, April 30, 2007

A satellite is any object that orbits another object (which is known as its primary). Satellites can be spacecraft manufactured on Earth and sent into orbit on a launch vehicle. They may be naturally occurring such as moons, comets, asteroids, planets, stars, and even galaxies, or they may be space debris. (taken from wikipedia)


Where have all my friends gone? I am not sure. I woke up one morning and discovered that they have all disappeared. I am not talking about the sort of friends you meet in your coffee shop, say hello, ask for the latest news, find out what they are doing, pretend to be interested in what they actually do and then you quickly excuse yourself after you think you have done the social niceties.

The sort of friend I am talking about here is the one that you can trust your life with. You can trust your RM1000 cheque with and the one you can trust to come pick you up when you are stranded in Kulim or Jerantut, car-less and cashless. This friend is the one who would stand in your place for you in your weakest moments. The one who would take up your responsibilities (feed the cats, wash your car, accompany your parents for an errand etc) when you are not capable of managing your routine.

And for me, such friends include PY and MiniBoyFriend R. PY helps me run all my banking errands when I am away in the UK. She drops cheques into my Ezy payment account and shops for clothes that she swears I would like. She is away on a company trip this morning and while she is away, I am her daughter’s surrogate mother. I pick the girl up from kindergarden and return her to her grandparents’. I send the five year old to the kindergarden the following day, if her grandparents fail to send her.

When my mother asks me when did I buy the latest dress she sees me in (this is the most frequent question!) I will always say that PY gave it to me after she grew bored of it. And guess what? PY does the same. She tells her mother that I bought her the clothes, if her mother nags her about spending too much.

So basically PY and I cover each other’s asses. We were friends since 16, when she wore her purple pair of Reebok while I contended with my father’s form of punishment; a pair of black and white zebra print canvas shoes. The strangest thing happened one day when we decided to go for a walk in a park together and our fathers tagged along as bodyguards. Our fathers were highschool friends too. Therefore our fathers chatted while PY and I chatted. How often do you see that happening these days?

The very first night MiniBoyFriend R and I met, I heard him peeing a few metres away. I don’t know about you but I consider that a strange introduction. He painted a portrait of me with his drunk fingers the very first night and the next morning, he found himself slurring saliva on his security pillow, portrait in hand but the girl was gone. And since I am still around, I am sure MiniBoyFriend is comforted to know that the first night we met was not a product of his vivid imagination under the toxic influence of alcohol (say with me, readers: VODKA), some pills and a box of fag or two. I was real and I still am.

Together we have laughed, cried, painted, fantasized and regretted. We flew for the Rain Forest Music Festival before it became a hip festival. We sat in the bathtub drinking vodka and pouring out our emotional waste on each other. And if I am not mistaken, the last time we went to Lola together, we sweated sleaze as we drank and danced.


Where have all my friends gone? I don’t know where they’ve disappeared. One day I woke up and they were gone. Waking up to find the people you have hung out with for years have suddenly disappeared can be likened to waking up to a nightmare. It isn’t pleasant.

I wonder what I have done wrong to deserve so many public holidays. I stare at the ceiling wondering what fuck am I going to do now that it is ANOTHER PUBLIC HOLIDAY? I have watched CSI reruns so many times, I can remember the characters’ lines by heart. I have read Haruki Murakami’s books that I dream in Japanese and I cannot possibly go to the cinema again. I have been on holidays and I swore that I would save some money to make up for the RM10k overspending I did on my birthday month. Hence me mopping about on my own.

So what am I left to do? Nothing much, to be honest. MiniBoyFriend R now lives somewhere 2 hours drive from me and he sms-s me whenever he comes out of his magic dragon cloud. Ain, my Indonesian mate has gone back to work in Indonesia. PY is away in Bali with AL. E is lost somewhere with her pack of rugby boys. BestGuyFriend and Nikki are trying to make a baby, so they are in hiding.

Girlfriends are all away with their boyfriends and husbands. That leaves the boys. True boyfriends can’t shag me, so they are searching for other girls to shag. Which leaves me pretty much on my own with a bunch of every willing sleaze buckets, including an acquaintance Mat Salleh Ah Pek who offered me an all expense paid trip to Macau.

‘You are naïve to believe that it is a free trip,’ Alex wrote in his Friday email.

I would like to tell Alex that at 31 years, I can hardly pass myself off as ‘naïve’ anymore.

I am struggling to find friends to spend time with. I mean sincere friends; friends who are truly your friends and not there for the slightest possibility of a love coitus. Where are my old friends, friends from days when we were younger and happier? Where the fuck are they? They are all but gone. And I am now stuck in a world of my own, with two more damn public holidays.


When one time you were the sun and everything rotated around you, you are now faced with days where you are the satellite and everything rotates around your friends’ commitments and household chores. There comes a point in life when you feel like a satellite. You are rotating on axis and you are floating through space. Aimlessly floating through space.

Welcome to the world of a satellite.

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Wednesday, April 25, 2007
Limitations And More

In the past few weeks I have come to realise that there is such a word called ‘limitation’. Or limitations, as I have realised. It is a plural, not just a singular. Which I guess makes it all the worse. The realisation that there are limitations in my life is sitting on my back. It is like trying to push a tonne of bricks on a broken wheelbarrow. You just can’t do it.

Hence the gloom that surrounds everything in my life, including this space on the Internet. It reflects the distinct frustration and depression that I have felt in the previous weeks. All my life, I have felt that everything is possible if I only try hard enough. If I only put my heart in it, I can reap the sweet taste of success.

What is the definition of ‘success’? It can be anything. It can be material success, the ability to have anything that my heart desires. It can be financial success in the form of a trip to the bank to hear how the coins in my piggy bank clink against each other. Success can be emotional, the feeling of comfort and security one feels with a loved one. It can be found in friendships and companionship among kindred spirits.

Sometimes success can be in the simplest things, like the freedom to travel as I please and the flexibility in timetable. I have never been bound to a workstation or an office desk. I don’t think I can ever be. Perhaps because I am a business owner and always have been the boss, I do not feel like many others who work in an organisation, no matter how big or small.

‘You can come up with a billion brilliant ideas and every single one of them is rejected. Then you will know your limitations. You are not the big guy up there,’ PY said while sat on the red sofa in my office. I was sat across her, on my table, replying to emails whilst analysing our lives for the 378th time yesterday.

‘How many people do you think work in a company? Say 100. Out of the 100, how many are the top ones?’ PY asked a few minutes later into our mini discussion. ‘Let’s say the top 20,’ she said, then pausing for a little extra dramatic effect. ‘You will realise that you are just one of the 80 below the 20. And that, my dear, is your limit.’

‘But why can’t I be the top 20?’ I asked.

‘You are missing the point.’

‘I am not. My question is ‘Why can’t I be the top 20?’ If someone has to be on top, why not me?’ I asked. That’s what I mean. My whole life, I have felt that I can achieve anything and everything is within my grasp, if I want it enough. If I do not have the thing, it is because I am not bothered to work hard for it. I have always believed that I can have whatever it is my heart desires if I worked hard towards the dream.


‘You are driving me insane!’ I screamed in my car earlier yesterday morning. I had decided to give my parents a visit and we were on our way to a café for breakfast at 10 a.m. Tuesday morning. ‘You give so much pressure and you expect so much from me! I am stressed out!’

‘YOU are stressing ME out!’ my mother screamed in return. This has been our usual mode of communication, which is at 45 decibels or higher. Any lower is considered a good day for the two of us.

My mother has been the driving force behind my ‘success’. There isn’t much of a minute that she does not remind me how much my success is owed to her. I am labelled the ungrateful child if I fail to listen to her instructions. And having differing point of views and opinions in life doesn’t seem to help any of us much. She is stuck in her views and I am adamant that I am a person of my own.

‘Nothing is good enough for you!’ I glared at her. In an instant, I felt like a ten year old having a screaming match again. ‘I am never good enough for you!’ I tightened my grip on the steering wheel and pressed the accelerator on. I saw my father’s image on my mirror. He was quiet throughout the whole journey to the breakfast café. Smart man, I thought to myself. Shut up, save own skin and let the two crazy women continue screaming.

My mother used to call the office when business was at a low. A daily performance report, every single morning at 10 a.m. It drove my staff insane. It drove me insane and I was not even the person who answered the telephone call. There was a lot of pressure to perform and come up with the figure – a figure that she would approve of and agree.

Months of intense labour have past and now the business is at a more comfortable level. A level that my mother had set as a target for the business and a level that she had said so many times I could not achieve. You would figure that I would at least get a pat on my back? No, I don’t get a pat. I don’t any praises or approval. All I get is the immediate pressure for me to purchase the office building.

Not two seconds of rest for me.

‘Businesses have highs and lows.’ That is what I used to tell my mother when my business was at a low. It is a cycle. You cannot be the top dog all the time. You just have to ride out the low times and work even harder so you will emerge as the top dog again when the highs roll by. It was a concept that my mother never understood.

‘Your salary is utter rubbish! At the rate you are earning, you are better employed by a bigger profiting organization.’


‘All the pressure you experience is the pressure you have set on yourself,’ Alex wrote in an email two days ago. ‘No one set those goals. It was you who set those impossible goals.’

What is driving me to hold my head up each morning? What am I searching for? What do I want to achieve? Why do I keep raising the bar higher and higher, setting impossible goals every single time? Why I have this urgent need to do things, to achieve more and to have more? Why do I not seem to feel satisfied? Why do I want more? What am I going to do with the ‘more’? Why am I not happy with what I have in my hands?

I know the limitation that I am experiencing at the moment. My business is at its saturation point. It has reached its optimum for this period of time. There is nothing more that I can do that will make it grow more. Whether I spend 6 hours working in my office or 10 hours doesn’t influence its income anymore. I am angry that I cannot do more for it to prosper more. This is it.

Even if I piled in the hours, the income would remain largely unaffected. The payback and return are relatively unchanged, no matter how much time, energy, facilities or service I provide. Realizing this is deeply saddening and disappointing. I realised that there is no more that I can do. No matter how much I pour here, this is already it. I can double my time and energy but they would not double my income.

How sad.

‘Just take the next few months off. You have the luxury of time, so make use of it. Take time off, come and stay with me. Kick back and relax. Let your face enjoy more than 6 make-up free hours. Reflect and take a walk in the park. Write your book.’

It is strange sometimes. So strange that someone physically so far but who is able to light up my path more than 10 000kms away. Alex is telling me that it is time to let go. Do not force myself against something that I cannot change. Instead just be happy with what I have, which is time and the ability to travel and be away from my work desk.

Alex reminded me to appreciate what I have in my hands. Do not be obstinate to push myself hard against something that is beyond my control. Instead I should learn to accept what I cannot change and learn where my limits are. Be magnanimous enough to release my heart to work on things that I can.

‘Just take what you can get paid and move on to do other things in life. Let the business roll for you while you do something that your heart desires. You have a gift that not many have. You have an income even when you are away. So hide on some deserted island off Thailand and spend your days writing the book.’


Monday, April 23, 2007
Attractive 31 year old, who is able to amuse you with her pole dancing skills. Riding not included.

‘It is ok,’ BestGuyFriend said between swigs of beer on a cool Saturday night. His wife, Nikki was singing Hotel California when the conversation began. It was not your typical Saturday night party with your friends sort of conversation, if you know what I mean. ‘It’s ok if you do not know what you want. If you are unhappy that Alex is so far away, then you tell him. Or you break up.’

Life seems so simple when one is stoned. That must be the reason why many chose to drop and fly on weekends. Life seems easier and lighter when you roll a joint on late Friday evening and smoke with your love ones. Dinner conversations give way to the common sharing of a cig or two. In the UK, it would be a line or two. But since the conversation was held in Malaysia, we shall stick to the storyline that it was a cigarette or two.

It feels like it was ages ago that these two birds decided to pool in their finances, share their apartment with two strays (one is giving birth anytime soon) and purchase a car to drive their pretty asses around the city. Prior to that, BestGuyFriend loved his motorbike. In actual fact, it has only been four months since seven bride’s maids woke up, frantic that the wedding, held at a Buddhist temple was 2 hours behind schedule.

Nikki and BestGuyFriend stormed and raged in previous months, complete with screaming matches, confrontations and makeup and cuddle sessions. Often Nikki vowed to fly back to Leeds as she paced up and down the roadside. Four months on, this pair of lovebirds are stealing kisses whenever they can. They are happy and they are trying for a baby. It is about time anyway. ‘BestGuyFriend is 40 this year. We do not want an old daddy in our midst,’ Nikki teased lovingly.


‘Yo, you free now?’ the husky voice said at 2 p.m. I finished my last spoonful of chicken soup in my parents’ home when MiniBoyFriend R called. I managed to mumble that I had finished my lunch but it would be thrilling if I could see my closest MBF.

He was there at my parents’ front porch faster than I could zip up my Levis pair of trousers. His little red car was packed with discarded sandwich boxes, cartons of milk and the not so occasional boxes of Marlboro. MiniBoyFriend R looked good despite absolutely abusing his body constantly.

‘We smoked. We drank. We played games,’ he said. His cigarette pursed at the left corner of his thick lips. ‘It’s fucking amazing how he is going to be a father to a pair of twins this weekend.’ A common friend of ours, married his 25 year old college girlfriend two years ago and as of last Saturday, they are proud parents of a 2 year old son and a pair of 2 day old twins. 'How do you feel being a father to three kids at 27 years?' R snickered.

We were sat in a tiny coffee shop, lost in our private conversation. Haven’t seen him for a bit mainly because he keeps hanging out in Sunway on weekends. He looked good, clear skin and light brown eyes. MiniBoyFriend R was chatty and happy, especially since my return from London earlier this year.

‘Do you think you’ll make a good father?’ I asked him, between sips of my second milk tea that day. ‘Do you think it is ok to smoke and get high when you are a father?’

There is this trend where young couples, the semi retired ravers, who now are at a marriageable age. They marry, have kids and share chores and duties like all previous married couples. Then they decide to take weekends off parent duties and some holiday in deserted islands, so they can smoke their pot, pop their pills and snort their lines in peace.

R said that it isn’t as grim as I imagined it to be. He said he was ready to be a father. Where is he going to find the mother, I wondered. As if understanding my thoughts, R replied that he would adopt instead of marry or fuck a girl pregnant. R is unconventional in his art and he is still unconventional when it comes to the practical stuff. Skip the girl and just have the kid.

‘I still function like normal, even when doped,’ he said, his cigarette sitting on his lips like it did ten thousand times before this. Like this new generation, he is adamant that he is okay just as long as it is a habit that is under control. Just as long as he goes to work and works like normal, just as long as he has his relationships like usual and just as long as he carries on his daily routine the way he should responsibly do, MiniBoyFriend asserts that it is ok if he is riding on the sky miles on some pill or grass.

Maybe I am just old fashion. My parents did not drink nor smoke when we were young children. They still do not. They did not hang out with some cool dude they knew while travelling in Nepal. Or tried to search for themselves on some world peace religion. My parents were how parents were supposed to be. They were strict, strong and they were always right. They set the examples and we as children, followed suit. They were not there to be my friend or be the coolest parents in highschool. My mother did not borrow my dresses. She dressed like an adult woman and I dressed like a girl child.

And that’s how I think I want to bring up my kids. Conscious and considerate, not fucked up on some imaginary ride.

‘Oh come on,’ R said. ‘You should learn to chill and relax. I’ll teach you some day.’ R said, tapping his cigarette into the ashtray. Two tables away, another family with two young kids sat. The father, obese beyond redemption, was busy puffing away his lights. Maybe he pacified his thoughts by thinking that his children were lesser passive smokers because he used filters.


PY and I had breakfast this morning. She had her usual hot drink and I had my usual ice coffee. I should stop this habit I developed some months ago. Coffee stained teeth are not the least attractive. I really do not think it will ever make it into any fashion catwalk collective.

She decided to get back on the Pill. Now this is a different pill altogether. A Pill with the capital P. After five years trying for a baby secretly (after the birth of her only daughter), PY and her hubby had decided to call it quits and throw in the towel. PY’s Pill days are starting again and she is almost successful, if not for the fact that she has forgotten to take her pills two weeks ago.

I have not met E since we last two approximately two weeks ago. I found out from the Bachelor that she called him one evening last year before Nikki’s big wedding. They went for dinner and chatted for a bit. Now this is not too surprising if not for the fact that E had confided that she was not too happy with her current situation with her Muslim boyfriend. The boy's family do not know of their relationship despite it reaching its 5th year.

‘I work so hard and sometimes it is nice to be treated a little.’ I emphatize with her predicament. I am also 31 years old and I am developing wrinkles thinking how my next few years are going to be. When the hell am I going to have babies, when my biological clock is ticking faster than my maturity and bank balance?

Although not said, I think E went fishing for a new boyfriend and the little fish was the Bachelor.


The noise was getting louder. I was less than 50 meters from Lola and already the music was banging. I snaked up the glass stairs, to the floor above, with my mobile in my hands. Sexy on high heels on a curving glass stairs, sending a text message to D was quite a task. I think it should be included as a challenge in the new Amazing Race Asia.

‘Where are you guys?’

‘Near the TV’ came the reply.

I found them, the usual group of boys, clustering in front of the huge flat TV screen. Man U versus Middlesbrough. Why did I even bother sending the text, asking for their location in the huge hall. I should have known better. All boys are drawn to the live football telecast, duh! I thought to myself.

D lost his voice. That boy has been having too much fun, I am telling you. I missed his birthday treat two weeks ago and I am not sure if I really miss it or not. Being stuck on an island with some folks that you are not too familiar with can be quite a daunting task. I don’t care if the trip was free. I don’t want to be trapped with a bunch of boys and girls that I do not share any common interest with.

Imagine the trauma of explaining why I don’t think it’s cool to play some ice breaking games with them. Or why I prefer to read a book in the hammock in my latest Roxy bikini.

There were 3 new girls at the table. I always get introduced to them. It is common courtesy but it does not extend beyond the initial name introduction. The girls were dancing with each other and with the boys, while I made my social rounds.

‘You pregnant?’ ET asked.

‘Fuck you. You think I am Mother Mary? Immaculate conception? How to be pregnant when I am not having sex?!’ I smacked his arm.

‘Dunno. You have been so quiet recently, like a pregnant cat.’


I sat down on a very hot Saturday, after redeeming my RM100 member’s voucher at Roxy and before having tea with MiniBoyFriend R. I dialled the familiar number. The only phone number that I can remember and it is 14 digits long. I can’t even remember my parents’ home telephone number.

Alex adopted a fox over the week. The lonely fox sat in our garden one day and Alex fed it with cheese. It was eager and Alex even more so. So he thawed a pack of cheap sausages and fed the fox again. Needless to say, the fox was a happy chap and Alex was busy buzzing me the news in the middle of the night.

We were talking about my upcoming trip, one that I am eager and not so eager. Business needs my attention and I am getting too old to fly here and there like some jetsetting superstar. It is an expensive hobby, especially since I end up in the same airport each year. I could have been in Tahiti or Kathmandu but instead I am in Heathrow every few months.

‘I am sorry that you feel coming to the UK is such a chore,’ he mumbled.

‘It isn’t a chore,’ I mumbled back. It has nothing to do with Alex. It is about going to the UK every year, spending at least RM6000 each time. Often it is RM10000 and above. Imagine spending that amount of money each year for a couple of years. Imagine what you could do with the money instead.

‘Oh utter rubbish!’ Alex said. ‘Feeding the poor in Africa with your money.’ He dismissed that I could have vaccinated some village kids and fed perhaps another village with the money I spent.

Thankfully he did not ask me feed the poor with the money I allocated for my Aldo shoes fetish.

Anyway we are doing okay, I guess. I imagine that there is a dark cloud looming somewhere far away in my mind but I do not wish to think about the emotional clouds at the moment. I am trying hard to be where I was before I flew home past Christmas this year. I am trying hard to remember how Alex touched me with his stories and antics. Like his pet fox in the garden.

Maybe I am trying too hard. That is why it is failing. Maybe if I learn to let go and just let it be, everything will return to normal and everything will feel fine again.

We are going to Poland end of May. He signed me up for pole dancing lessons. Alex said that I could go pole dancing while he swam in the town council’s pool on Wednesdays. Hurrah, I thought to myself. Well at least if we do break up, I do possess a new skill to add to my relationship CV. I might joke about this but I really do not think that it is funny.

I imagine writing into my relationship CV. ‘Attractive 31 year old, who is able to amuse you with her pole dancing skills. Riding not included’.

Somehow I don't like to parade my new skill at all.

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Tuesday, April 17, 2007
The Year I Owe Pregnant Ladies

‘Seriously,’ I said to PY whilst I pushed the Jusco trolley filled with RM300 worth of Barbie dolls for her daughter. ‘2007 is the year I owe pregnant ladies.’

A pregnant lady, possibly in her last week of pregnancy forcefully pushed past my trolley, into the lift as the door opened and its occupants vacated. I was queuing for the lift and waited patiently like how a civilized person would. I was waiting for the lift's current occupants to walk out from the lift before entering it. So I guess I did not expect a pregnant lady to be so gungho about entering the lift - skipping queue and jumping straight into the lift, ignoring people who queued ahead of her.

'See what I mean about owing pregnant ladies?' I whispered to PY as I stood next to the pregnant bump. 'I owe pregnant ladies.' PY secretly laughed. Maybe this was Aphrodite's way of getting back at me for deciding to remain childless at 31? Is this is Freyja's punishment for my selfish and vain excuse for nothing having a child for I cannot bear the thought of pregnancy fats and droppy boobies.

Perhaps super pregnant ladies feel more agitated than usual, especially in their last few weeks. I remember PY feeling so frustrated with her bump that she opted for a C-section because she could not bear with the baby kicking her belly on the last week. Pregnant ladies are permitted to get crazy every now and then. What else can you feel when you have carried 20kg of water, fat and baby around for many months.


Anyway I am fast to realise that 2007 is the year I owe pregnant women. After years of non-maternity in my office, suddenly there is a burst of baby talk and monthly visits to the OB-GYN. Two staff members were pregnant. One, a healthy pregnancy and delivering mid May and the other, an unexpected and complicated pregnancy, with the baby lost last weekend.

I do not have problems with the healthy pregnancy because the lady turns up for work like usual. She does not shove ‘I am pregnant’ excuses down the rest of the staff members’ throat. She is diligent, happy and generally her usual self.

I admire women like her. She is strong and disciplined. This member of staff works like usual, taking leaves only for her medical check-ups. We have also agreed on her terms for maternity benefits; when she wanted to start her maternity etc. The office hired an additional staff to cover her position whilst she is away and we are excited for her and her soon to be born baby boy.


The complicated pregnancy (the 2nd in our office) is a complicated case. She declared that she was pregnant immediately after I printed out her confirmation letter. She was pregnant before she was accepted into her position and she failed to inform us, citing that she did not know that she was pregnant. Starting work in 2nd week of December, she had taken medical leaves and emergency leaves every alternate week because of her pregnancy complications.

The five month old fetus gave up and she miscarried last weekend. Neither me (the big boss) nor her immediate boss bothered her with details of her leaves initially. Now on week two, we are stuck with all the shitty workload (because of her absence from work) and are told that her doctor has given her 2 weeks of medical leaves. She is driving around the city, doing her normal activities minus working in the office. She even managed to fight with the rest of us shoppers during a sales peak hours last week (less than one week from date of miscarriage).

My questions are:

  • If she is fit to drive her kids are for school, tuitions and etc activities, doesn’t it mean that she is fit for work too?

  • If she is fit enough to rummage through a shopping mall sales during its peak hours, spending more than 3 hours there, doesn’t it mean that she is fit for work?

  • Do I have to pay her for 2 week medical leave, especially since she has shown that she was not as poorly as she was thought to be?

I plan to call the Labour Department for details. Have to sort this out soon.


If you think that was bad, wait till you hear the next pregnant lady mishap. My office has bought furniture from a woman. Our first transaction, whilst a little expensive, was well serviced. Good service is something that I appreciate a lot. I rather pay a premium for better delivery and service than to bear with the poor service offered by a cheaper competitor.

Without giving too much information, I shall offer an example of what happened on the year I owe pregnant ladies. First item was purchased at RM300 six months ago. I was very satisfied with the item purchased for the office and made no fuss after knowing that the same item cost approximately RM200 in other stores. A little extra for prompt service is fine by me. Especially since I am running a business and I do not want to waste precious time.

Therefore it comes as no surprise that I would place an order again, right? I called this lady and she turned up at my office with a full-blown 8 months pregnant belly. We chatted for a bit and then got down to business. I asked for the quotation and she said she would get back to me on it. Next thing I knew the item arrived in the office and I was billed RM500 for it.

Yup. Same item, 6 months later and suddenly the price shot up by RM200. And without an invoice or prior quotation.

Needless to say, I was not too happy about the bill. I told her that I had expected a quotation before the delivery and all she coughed up was, ‘So how then? I’ve delivered the item already?’ with her 8 month pregnant belly swinging left right. The receipt that was issued was not from her official company. Instead it was from one of those receipt books that you can freely purchased from MPH, with an unknown stamp, bearing the RM200 I had to pay extra.

I paid RM200 extra, on top of the already semi expensive item. That’s what happened! And I promised myself that I am not going to be a sucker to another pregnant lady this year.


‘Seriously,’ I said to the Bachelor as we walked down the street. We were on our way to the greatest sandwich bar on earth. At least it is the greatest sandwich bar to me. ‘2007 is the year I owe pregnant ladies.’

The Bachelor flicked his cigarette onto the pavement. He stepped on it, snubbing whatever remnants of life out of the cigarette and then he snickered.

‘You do know that Nikki plans to have a baby by the end of this year. I want to see how you run from her once she has her bump.’


‘I can’t call you Little Chicken anymore, is it? I have to call you Broody Hen since you are feeling all broody and moody inside.’ That was the message that Alex left in my mobile a few days ago.

‘You can return back to Malaysia with a bun in your oven if you want’. Another text read.


‘Seriously,’ I said to PY during breakfast. ‘2007 is the year I owe pregnant ladies. I see so many pregnant ladies everywhere!’

‘When I was pregnant, I was very sensitive towards other pregnant ladies,’ she said, offering some ounce of empathy at my woe against pregnant ladies this year.

‘But hel-lo? I am not PREG-NANT?’ I said, enlarging my eyes and tilting my head a little for greater impact to my sentence.

‘Maybe you will be this year?’ PY offered a thought.


'So when do you think you'll be pregnant with a kid?' friends asked every so often.

'Well... I'll try pregnancy when I run out of clothes to wear.
Switch to maternity for 9 months and back to catwalk fashion.'

I wonder why most friends don't find my answer humorous...


Friday, April 13, 2007

It was on Tuesday that the girls gathered. There in the usual corner, hidden from prying eyes and human traffic, we girls sat. We were friends since high school, which sometimes felt like forever. Especially now that we are getting older and everything seemed to move along faster.

E showed us some photographs taken from the Hong Kong Sevens. The whole event seemed smashing with a sea of party people out to rock the tiny island for a weekend and a little more. The south side of the stadium, where E and her friends were at, was the place to be. There you would find the strangest costumes. She swore that she saw some penguins, presumably from Happy Feet.

We exchanged stories and kept each other updated with the latest events going on in our lives. E and I met PY’s contemplation if she should purchase the imported marble for her new house with a strong ‘what the fuck for?’. The flooring, which would cost RM16k, could not be appreciated by the time she arranged her very sturdy and huge furniture pieces on it. Whilst acknowledging what we said was true, I think PY has her heart set on the Norwegian marble.

When my turn came, I spoke not of myself. There is nothing much to speak other than a story of how I am dissatisfied with my life. Still. Again. I told them a story instead. I quite fancy myself being a relationship observer and thus asked them for their opinions regarding another girlfriend of mine.


Let’s call this girl June. June has been on a stable relationship with a man. This guy loves her very much. They are nearly inseparable in the previous five years together. Each weekend night you would see this pair out and they are hardly ten metres from one another. Everything was fine and dandy when they started but now as they embark on their fifth year, she is questioning the status and future of their relationship.

June had worked very hard and in the span of their relationship, her salary has increased tremendously and is now even more than her boyfriend’s. She plays hard, so she works hard to earn her keep. She is intelligent, articulate and immensely popular among the girls and boys. The last time we spoke was last week and June was remarking how she wished her boyfriend would put in more effort to earn a little more.

‘So we can afford more things and I don’t have to feel so stressed up trying to earn the money all the time,’ June said.

The fact that she is very attractive does not help the situation either. The life of the party and the social queen, June has various men after her at any given time. If you know of anyone who is the most envied and most sought after? That girl would be like June. She is the best catch for the next 100 kms in radius.


PY felt that it was not a good enough excuse for June to break up with her boyfriend. June had not right to break up with a good man and by any account, the definition of ‘good’ meant that he was a decent bloke who was responsible, caring and hardworking.

‘She can’t break up with her boyfriend just because her boyfriend’s salary cannot support both their lifestyles at the moment,’ PY said. ‘If he isn’t providing shelter and food, by all means June can break up with the man. But if she wants to wine and dine in posh restaurants for every meal and wear only Marc Jacobs, then perhaps June should look at herself.’

PY had a point. June was not lacking in anything. She had an above average lifestyle. She travels and holidays twice a year, eats at fancy restaurants on weekends and stayed in a decent house. What June wanted was the comfort and luxury of being able to take a backseat in the financial department, when and if she and the boy started having a family.

E disagreed with PY and I agreed with E. June, being the smart girl that she is, has a right to choose who she wishes to spend her life with. And if she can get a better catch, no one should judge her for it. Why should she settle for a Nissan when she could be driving a Ferrari? Is love a sufficient reason to deny herself of the better lifestyle she could have had?

In general I think society look at these girls with great disdain. Society blames girls like June for the fall of good family and moral values. Greedy for money and better living, many might say. Sure not happy one, some might add. But seriously who are we to judge what is best for her? Who are we to tell her that she should stick to her man when she can be with someone who can help and support her better?

A question we should ask ourselves is, ‘Would I break up with my current boyfriend if there is someone out there who is better?’ Better yet. Ask ourselves honestly are we just jealous that she can be with someone better? Jealous that it wasn’t us that got the boy? Would we have done the same given the circumstances?

Do you turn down a comfortable and easier lifestyle for you and your future children just because you feel that you love your boyfriend? What makes you think that the new suitors knocking on June’s door will not be able to love and understand her as much as her current boyfriend? Maybe one or more of them is able to love and understand her more. Where do you draw the line? When is it enough?


‘Ask June to try the glass and water test,’ the Bachelor said. "A beautiful, intelligent and articulate girl like June needs to do the glass and water test. It is very humbling and reminds you that you aren't God.'

To be honest, I scratched my head. That was exactly what I did. Okay, so June was this tall chick with her blings. She bought her everything and she has a line of eligible men queueing at her front door. She does not need more money but she wanted to have someone who could care for her, for a change. If you could get a better job offer, you'd jump at it, I thought to myself. It is essentially the same. Even for relationships. If you would jump at a better job offer, why can't you jump when there is a better man?

He took a glass to the sink and filled it up with tap water. Standing next to me, he asked me to dip my index finger into the glass. I did exactly as told. The Bachelor then asked me to lift my finger. I followed his instructions, waiting for the catch. The point that the Bachelor wanted to make. But I did not catch it. All I saw was a drop of water running from my finger back into the glass.

‘What’s your point?’ I asked.

‘Is there a hole where you dipped your finger in the water?’ he asked.

I shook my head and firmly said, “nope.’ I still did not quite catch it.

The Bachelor smiled. ‘Until you are able to leave a hole in the water, you might want to consider yourself replaceable’. Look into the mirror. That was what the Bachelor said. If you think you deserve better, perhaps you do. Then again, always remember, you are replaceable. You aren't infinite and you aren't God. You might think that you are but honestly, you aren't. And you should always bear this in mind until you are able to leave a mark in the water.

It was one of the best illustrations I have experienced in a long time and I am sure that this simple glass and water test would keep me humble for a long time to come.

'Until you are able to leave a hole in the water,
you might want to consider yourself replaceable'.
~ The Bachelor on women and their vanities.


Monday, April 09, 2007
The Leap

This title, ‘The Leap’ crept into my mind somewhere between the qualifying round in Sepang on a sweltering Saturday afternoon and writing this down concretely two days later. This leap is not like any other leap. It is not even like Armstrong’s ‘one step for man and one leap for mankind’. But it has its significance.

It is a leap that I never made. Which makes it significant, almost as significant if I had made it.


On a very hot Saturday, I sat with some friends on a table next to the mobile air conditioning unit. Smart move, I thought to myself. I am full of praises when praises seemed to lack. There were of course some empty seats, which were soon taken by a couple.

The girl was blonde with pretty blue eyes. Her legs were as long as a fashion runway. It only meant that she was a Swede. Her friend was this old fashion Bond type of guy. Actually he reminded me of Kurt Russell; chiselled jaw line and eyes that were beautiful because they were aged.

It was amazing to see how people eagerly queued up for Tiger beer. Each can was selling at RM16 and lots of party makers out to celebrate their favourite racing team. I sat in my seat wishing that I was there selling those beer instead of sitting prettily in my white shirt. At least sweating had an excuse then.

Soon the couple moved on and another moved in. This pair quickly introduced themselves and beer cans were clicking a few seconds later. Barry worked for Renault and Jeremy for Mercedes. I eavesdropped their conversation while politely engaging in my group’s random conversations. Barry reminded me so much of Mumbles from Happy Feet. He was so cheerful and it was infectious.

Politely I asked what all Malaysians ask foreigners. One, ‘Where are you from?’ to which they replied that they were from Perth. Two, ‘How long have you been travelling?’ They flew into Penang with their wives two weeks ago to enjoy the sun and sea. Then the wives dutifully broke their wallets on their week long shopping adventure and flew home the day before the Malaysian GP began.

‘Yup,’ Barry said as he nodded his head, ‘Our wives shopped till they were tired and went home. Now we are free to get piss drunk at the Malaysian GP.’

I could almost hear their boyish snickers. Jeremy got up to buy another round of exorbitantly priced beer. Then they continued talking about how they travelled to quite a few countries, the wives to catch the shopping and the husbands to watch the GP. They were very engrossed in their GP talk, contemplating whether they could fly to Singapore for their night race (there is a rumor going on) and if they should then go for the Monaco GP.

We parted ways 10 minutes before the qualifying round started. They were sat near us in the K1 stand but not close enough. In front of me there sat a girl, sandwiched between two Indian guys to her left and 4 rather rude Chinese men. Now I call them rude because she had shown her disapproval of the four men drowning her with their smoke but they continued to do so, chain-smoking their way to hell.

I do not smoke but all my friends do. So technically I had no problem with smokers. Feel free to wreck your body but do not wreck others. Especially not a young girl sitting all on her own. I wondered what made her go for the race on her own and be on her own. Did she not have any friends to join her? Was she the only one who loved the sports? Was she like me, unable to make her leap?

Everyone seemed happy with the qualification round, so we sat down for beer again. It was a mighty good way to beat the traffic, which was absolutely crazy. The two Swedes joined us again. I guess it was comfortable to seat next to people you were familiar with. They were chatty and we eventually shared a cab back to the city.

Oh I loved the steaks in Maredo’s. A big group of us went this time and I found myself sitting between Toni and Mary. Having had dinner with Toni twice previously, I was quite comfortable having him for company. His wife, Mary was a chatty and bright lady. It was so refreshing to talk to her and the evening was spent trading stories of the F1 and girl’s favourite hobby, shopping.


There were some couples and there were some singles sitting together at the dark dining table that night. The fact that there were singles always made me feel better. I never had to feel like a space alien in the company of couples because there were some other aliens like me. Plus it was nauseating to watch couples smooch each other at every alternate minute.

The leap made me see that couples did couple things. That was the leap. You start out as a single and you did single things. Like bar hopping together or travelling with a bunch of friends. Then you couple up and do the leap. You leap into a different set of activities; activities which often involved both partners, in one way or another.

Like the golf and spa promotion I saw in Hilton, Phuket. It promised to be this romantic holiday package, where both partners had special activities planned for them. It was designed for two or more couples to go together The men played golf and the ladies had their spa pampering sessions. Something like group sex minus the sex. Daytime the girls hopped onto their boutique spas and the boys went to the greens. Then the group caught up with each other in the evening, for dinner and socializing. Apparently couples who could afford this lifestyle signed up for activities like these together and their single friends were not invited (much to the relief of the singles).

So all the boy buddies could burp and fart as they pleased. Perhaps it gave them a sense of manliness again after living 3 months with their wives in houses made out of fluffy white pillows and soft beige curtains. The ladies got the pedicure, manicure, spa and gossip session they so craved. It rejuvenated and reaffirmed their sexuality and soul.

Now I understand why most couples (especially the men) felt that it was not okay to stay in their ex’s apartment to save money while travelling. They have leapt where I had not leapt before. I did not do the couple leap!

Due to geographical circumstances (gee, I love to glamorize my relationship predicament) I have always gone out as a single and done single things. I have Alex but I have also spent approximately 50% of the year on my own. I do what is necessary to survive. You just have to. It is not a choice.


Perhaps it explains why I get the weird look whenever I ask my friends (who are all couples) hypothetical questions such as ‘Is it okay for me to accept an expensive gift from another man?’ and ‘Can I go travelling around Asia on my own/with SwedishLove?’.

Couples balked at my questions and now I know why. I have not taken the leap that all of them have taken. They, having their partners with them for the majority of time, do not function nor think like I do. They go for weddings with their partners whilst I battled between sitting next to a 60 year old spinster in three quarter 80s inspired tights and inviting a guy friend to be my companion. Since I do not have Alex and all.

If I had Alex, everything was resolved. Alex for lunch, tea, dinner and breakfast. Alex to keep me company all the time. Alex on week days and weekends. Alex to help me when I burst a tire. Alex to share my happy moments with. Like last week’s feature in KL Lifestyle.

And since I did not have Alex, I had to get creative and survive the social circuit. Sometimes I went out for meals on my own, sometimes with this friend and that. Sometimes I went for movies on my own and other times with some guy friend or guy friends. All the girls are hooked up and resort to abandoning me come weekends and holidays, so I had to resort to hanging out with the boys.

And I have always hung out with the boys, from childhood with my father and brothers to teenage years with a bunch of boys from a nearby school to adulthood with various groups of boys. Some of whom I go out solo with and others in big groups.

I just realised that I am a 31 year old woman who has not made the leap. I think like a single because my partner was not (and still is not) around to do the things that couples do. Not even for simple activities such as grocery shopping or dinner with couple friends. I was always with some other boy when I went out for 'couple' dinners. Alex was never around.

Plus most of his friends are single boys. (One tied the knot last weekend to a older woman with two kids. Perhaps I could do dinner with the newly weds?)

And I am bound by the rules of the single, whether I liked it or not, which currently, the answer is ‘NOT’. I have not leapt.


‘Is he flirting with you?’

‘He is not!’ I said, putting my hand down after waving goodbye.

‘Did the Italian just flirt with you?’ she asked again.

‘Oh you can’t call a wave goodbye flirting!’ I replied, ‘And I was not!’

To be honest I did not know if he was Italian. He sat at the next table, his back in my direction. Every so often this Colin Farrell lookalike (with chubbier cheeks) turned around in my direction and carved a smile on his face with his index finger. Smile, he seemed to say. I bat my eyes and looked away each time he did so. It seemed to amuse him even more. Why do boys seem to ask me to smile all the fucking time, I asked myself. He was not the first man to catch me dreaming in the middle of a conversation with friends and he was not going to be the last man to privately encourage me to smile.

Two other men caught me dreaming too. They were on the table to my right and somewhere between dreaming about what I would do during summer in the UK this year and how much I spent on my birthday month, one of them leaned his chair back. Right into the space where I was staring dreamily. I was startled. He smiled impishly.

I looked away to another space, to find my spot to dream again. He was still looking. His friend was looking at him looking at me dreaming elsewhere. I looked at them and they looked back at me. I looked away. Five seconds later, they were still looking.

The looking contest eventually fizzled out when his friends left. Only the one remained and he spent his last beer staring happily at me chatting merrily to the Swedes.

Make the leap, I thought to myself. You have to make the leap.

I have my very official stalker.
Alex has been reading this blog religiously in the last two weeks.
Or since my trip to Koh Phi Phi.

I should warn him that this blog contains materials that he might find offensive.
What do you think?

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Friday, April 06, 2007
Oh My God

I was happily bopping around with my life like usual when I was greeted by an email by a certain reader (you know who you are!). This email was a defining moment for you and me. We are featured on KL Lifestyle magazine! Yay! So congratulations, my very intelligent readers! You are on KL Lifestyle! Yay!

I would like to thank whoever that felt that ANNN deserved a mention in KL Lifestyle. I sat prettily between Fireangel and Masak-Masak while Cheesie was on top of me. I can see my face in the darn magazine. That’s it! It’s time to go back to the old Yoga photo.

Oh god. You can’t possibly mention me at the worst time, can you? I was just proclaiming that I wanted to commit blogcide last week and the 10 posts before that was 101% pure depression stuff. So I figured that I have to come up with some cheerful post.

That was wishful thinking, by the way. I write whatever that pops up in my head and write things from my heart. Often they are random thoughts, or as the magazine put it, ‘explores the nostalgia of her life as she travels down the road in her journey of life’.

I don’t know if this warrants a new write-up for the ‘author’ section. But I simply can’t. Not after facing years and years of writing on the topic “Myself” in primary school. It is punishment.

There are some things that I would like to mention here though. And perhaps even correct what was written in the feature. And if you will bear with me, I will quickly run through them and use this as my new “author” page. You think?

  • Anonymously Yours
    I am an anonymous blogger and would like to remain that way. Thus if you know who I am or have figured who I am, please please please please allow me to live in my own fantasy world that I am an anonymous blogger. The list now includes Kris and Chook. Shuddup, you two. Please?

    Actually I am not a blogger but that is still debatable if you promise to feed me some vodka.

  • Dead Since Dec 2006
    I do not write for an automobile magazine for a living. And if I did, I would be dead since December last year.

    I contemplated if I could (and indeed should) write about my very short stint at freelance writing for a car magazine. I concluded that it is not nice to write not so nice things about one’s employer. It doesn’t matter if it was for freelance. It doesn’t matter if I am right (which I am). What is the most important is integrity and I would like my future employers/editors to know that I have a good dose of it.

    So thank you very much, dear Car Magazine Editors (both old and new) for providing me with the opportunity to write for you. Money can be earned but integrity cannot be bought, so you can keep the money.

    I work in a company, which I had established some years ago. It has enabled me to do many things that might have NOT been accessible to me if I worked elsewhere. And this same work has given me the opportunity to explore my writing abilities.

  • Help Otto score more stars next time
    Yes. Please help. Blog design was awarded only two stars (which sucks almost as much as humor with one star) and IE doesn't like me. I don't know why and I don't even have the vocabulary to bore you with the details of what's sucky about my blog layout.

    ANNN readers unite! Help fix this darn layout problem whateveritscalled.

  • Humor Shumor
    I would like to thank you for awarding me one star under "HUMOR". I wouldn't even give myself one, so thanks for the encouragement.

  • Expert in relationships? Pfft!
    I suck at relationships. Which explains why everyone around me has “go forth and multiple”. The only thing that I have multiplied is my boyfriend collection...

    Oh God, that doesn't sound good...

You know what? Thank God I did not announce where I was sitting for the F1 over the weekend. I was about to launch a Nude Hunt this weekend. Just because I thought it would be fun to catch some of you.


Till then, why don't all you guys run and get yourself a copy of KL Lifestyle?
You are all in there with me, baybee.


Wednesday, April 04, 2007
And So I Found Out

I had an interesting conversation with the Bachelor over the weekend. It started quite by chance when I mentioned that I received an extended offer from HighSchoolSweetheart to stay at his place in Milan, should I want to visit Italy again. It is merely a statement, without much intent on my part to visit Milan anytime soon but that one statement presented me with a shocking ‘You stay in Milan with him and it’s officially a break-up’ from Alex.

‘Why do you want to stay at HighSchoolSweetheart’s place?’ the Bachelor asked.

‘What do you mean WHY?!’ I asked, surprised that it actually needed any explanation. It just does not.


Can you imagine how much I am able to save just by sleeping on someone’s sofa for a week in Europe? Let’s count. It will be a minimum of £50 per night times 7 nights in a week. That would make it £350 or an equivalent of RM2345 (exchange rate of RM6.7 per pound sterling). That is almost the airfare to another country.

The worst form of sarcasm is patronising ones. In this particular conversation it came in the form of ‘I don’t know about Asian men but I can say confidently on behalf of all European men that it is not okay to stay in your ex’s apartment.’ He then added that it did not matter who the man was, be it an ex or a friend or a future partner or whatever. Just as long as it is a man, you do not stay there without your partner.

And you would think that blood ties mattered but apparently it does not when it comes to bunking up in a friend’s place on a holiday destination. It does not matter if the man is his brother or father or cousin. You just do not stay there without him (that would be your partner).

You are, however, free to stay at your brother’s place or your father’s. Or any of your female friend’s. Just not another man’s.

I was tempted to ask if it made a difference if the girl was a lesbian but I thought that was pushing the Bachelor’s buttons a little too much. So much so for staying for free and saving RM2345...


Personally I do not see what a big hoohaa this is. What is important is how much you trust this friend of yours because I am not talking about staying at your newly befriended internet penpal’s apartment in Manila. I am talking about a good friend whom you trust and share a proper friendship with.

How many of you did like I did - you visit a city every now and then and stayed at your friend’s house. Of course it used to be one of those kampung houses with running chickens and ducks in the front garden. Or for example, once when I stayed in a durian estate with a friend of a friend. That was quite cool, hearing durians dropping at midnight and rushing to pick it up and share it with friends.

Everything becomes a tad more complicated when you grow up. Suddenly it is no longer proper or acceptable to stay at your friend’s place.

‘A man will never tell you that it is okay to stay over at another man’s place. There are only two reasons why a man might say it’s okay.’

I listened intently. The conversation was getting really interesting. Show me a woman who will not seize the opportunity to learn a little more about man’s logic.

‘One, he doesn’t mean what he said. In essence, he lied and he actually minds that you are staying over at another man’s place,’ he said. ‘Two, he doesn’t love or care about you.’

Sounds absolutely logical, doesn’t it? I tried to imagine what I might feel if my man said that he wanted to visit another city and would be staying over at a girl’s place. Would I feel angry or jealous? Or would I just shrug my shoulders?

I actually do not have an answer.


‘You tell the Bachelor it has nothing to do with love or care!’ said PY confidently. It was the next day when I had a conversation with PY regarding the same topic. She was pointing her fingers at me, shaking them every few seconds, like my highschool science teacher.

Is it okay to stay at the home of a friend of the opposite sex during a holiday visit?

PY thought of a reason that did not cross my mind when I spoke to the Bachelor. I was surprised that I had not thought of the reason myself and was quite pleased that PY did. According to PY, it has nothing to do with love or care at all. It is all about possession and man’s ego.

‘He might not love you or care for you anymore. But as long as he isn’t going to kick you out of his house in the next few days, he will feel very possessive,’ PY said. She rolled her chair a few inches to the front and then to the back. ‘It’s a man’s ego. He might not want you anymore but sure hell, he is not going to let you go to another man’s place.’

Things got a little more complicated after speaking to the two different sexes. Man and woman have very different perception of the whole scenario. A woman sees that treating a friend’s (opposite sex, nonetheless) place as a hotel during a holiday is acceptable but not for men. A woman might not do it because she knows that it is not acceptable to her partner but if you really asked any woman, it is likely that she sees no wrong in it. That is, if it is purely a place where you go back, wash up, keep your belongings and sleep.


‘Does it matter if the guy is gay? Or if the girl’s a lesbian?’ I asked on day three. The Bachelor was running out of patience. ‘I am merely curious and I am exploring this area,’ I added, then pouting for hopefully some positive response from him. I have a responsibility towards my readers, you know.

He presented me with a whole long list of questions. Questions that I do not have answers to and questions that I now present to you. It was his way of shutting me up, I guess.

Why can’t you bring your partner along for the holiday? Did you invite him for the holiday or are you going to stay in a foreign city in the house of another man? Why can’t you stay in a hotel? Will you be upset if your partner tells you that he/she is going to visit a friend in another city and you aren’t invited? Will you be jealous? Or do you not care at all?

‘It is just not right.’ That was his conclusion. One should not stay with a friend of the opposite sex, even if it was for a simple (and quite innocent) thing such as a holiday. ‘Why can’t you bring your partner along?’

‘That’s because it is weird for them to meet?’ I asked. That sentence was like an illuminating moment for him. ‘Well H-E-L-L-O-?!’ said the Bachelor, ‘Don’t you think it is weird if you stayed there alone with the other guy?’

I still do not think it is weird but then again, I am weird.


Is man being selfish? Has it anything to do with love or care? Or for territory and possession? Is it man’s ego talking or is there some sense to what the Bachelor said? Is it a no-no to stay over at a friend of the opposite sex’s?

Does it matter if the man is a friend or a past lover? Or if the man involved has a relationship with your current partner (think family member or best buds)?

Will you visit a city and stay over at a friend’s? Or will you find the RM2345 for the hotel bill?

I have no intention of staying at HighSchoolSweetheart’s bachelor pad in Milan. I never had and I do not think I ever will. ‘Exes are exes for a reason,’ I have said that many times. I merely shrug the idea off, like sliding a piece of steak off a Teflon coated pan.

"So much so for staying for free and saving RM2345..."
~ Otto, on the topic of staying over at the ex's


Monday, April 02, 2007
Flowerpot Year

I now realise that I failed to write about my flowerpot year. Yes, you read it right. I declared 2007 my flowerpot year on the last day of last year. ‘I am 31 years old this year and I bloody deserve a flower pot year!’

To understand what a flower pot year is, one must understand the functions of a flowerpot. So what is a flowerpot’s main function? In short, a flowerpot is pretty. It stands in a corner and makes everything around it beautiful. And that’s what a flowerpot does.

A flowerpot does not pretend to be anything other than what it is, which is being an object of beauty. And on my flowerpot year, I have decided to do nothing more than just being beautiful.

I know, I know. It sounds absolutely shallow and indeed it is. I make no pretence otherwise. I have basically had it with everything around me. I have been told as a child that I should value education and independence. I was told to study hard and work hard. Be someone useful in society and contribute my share to the world. 30 years of drilling that idea of the modern day woman into my head later, I question my own happiness.

Am I truly happy?


Like many young women around me, I wake up to a battleground. I wrestle through terrible traffic and sit on my office table for a certain number of hours. I am told that I will be happy with the money I earn. It will make me feel independent and cherished. After work, society tells me that I should go out and have fun. I should have found my soul mate by the time I am in my late 20s and settled down happily into my domestic role as a woman.

Courting days will be replaced with days of domestic bliss. Then I am told that I should have children. I will go out to work, bring home the bacon, have 2 children (preferably a boy and then a girl), sending them to tuition, enrichment classes whilst attending my very own Yoga and Pilates classes. I will co-own a house with a man I promise to share my life with and probably a decent car.

Holidays. Oh let’s not forget the holidays. Now the definition of happiness includes two holidays annually. At least to Phuket, which is by far the nearest island where I can glamorously stamp my passport.

While I struggle with so much to do and even more to achieve and live for, there is a genre of women who just spend their days shopping and flying to the next destination to shop. They might be named after the different expensive residential areas they live in (think of the ladies of Kensington) but they are all the same. They are rich beyond what this week’s It bag can possibly hold and they spend a career in being decorative pieces.

These beings are almost like furniture but mobile with two slender legs that travel to exotic locations. I have met some who were so poorly educated to the point where they required help to fill up their immigration forms. They were flying to Paris for their summer shopping.


You are laughing at this moment. I am sure you are. I know you are laughing because I have laughed too. How stupid can one be? Can’t even fill your own name and address into the correct columns? Phff! Then you, like me, sit in your office chair, surrounded by your four walls, on your high and mighty throne, thinking that you have achieved heck of a lot of things because you have an university qualification or the relevant experience in your chosen field.

You spit at these women, the flowerpots, for being stupid and uneducated. But who is the fool? These women are flying from France to Australia, in pursuit of the latest fashion trend. They drink from the best crystals man make and eat at restaurants with so many Michelin stars, it’d send you spinning. And they did it all without slogging through final papers or squeezing blood and tears at some office table.

What have you truly achieved?


I have given up saving money this year. I have given up trying to be the smartest girl in the office. Or the best conversationalist at any given party. I have given up trying to carve a name for myself in the world. I have given up wanting to be independent and strong. I have given up being a superwoman.

I just want to be a flowerpot. I just want to take it easy. This year is my flowerpot year and I am just going to celebrate being me. And what is “me”? I am a fluffy little bunny with cute bunny tail.

So why don’t you come and love me?

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