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Friday, May 04, 2007
Die Prada Die

‘Do you think girls are materialistic?’ I asked him. JF and I were sat in his black car, caught in a two hour traffic jam.

He was hesitant. ‘Woah, what a question to ask’ he said as he looked at his rear mirror. I didn’t blame him. Women are not the most rational creatures and more often than not, questions asked were traps the size of giant razor sharp claws in the middle of the desert sand pit. There was never a right answer and I don’t think there ever will be right answers when women ask women questions.

‘Do I think girls are materialistic?’ he asked, as if for assurance that I was rational despite being stuck in his car for the past hour or so, with no access to any nearby toilet facilities. ‘Do I think girls are materialistic? Yes, if the girls are under 30.’

There. JF committed his neck to the chopping board. Luckily I wasn't in the mood to make his life a misery. After all, it was not often that I see him and he had taken the trouble to share a dinner table with me (when all my friends were away for holidays!).


What do you think people do when they ride in lifts alone? I think they stare into the mirror, at themselves. They check themselves out. Maybe for a piece of pork pie stuck between their second molar and their wisdom tooth. Girls might check their hair out or take a moment to reapply their lip stain.

This morning I walked into an empty lift. I stared myself, as if searching for a lost sister in the reflection. Maybe hoping to catch a glimpse of who she is and what she is destined from birth to do. I looked at my face, checking every pimple and bump. My new hair colour made me look different. This is the deepest brown I have ever had since dying my hair eons ago.

I looked at my bag. It was a geometric Roxy canvas bag, in the brightest blue, apple green and white. In its own right, it was a beautiful and fun day bag.

I don’t have a night bag.

Anyway I stood in the lift that took a while to reach the ground floor and a thought popped into my head. Seriously just fuck everything, I thought to myself. I am tired of chasing after things and half the time, I don’t even know what is it specifically that I am chasing!

‘That’s it! I am officially never going to buy any ridiculously expensive bag!’ I said to myself. I could not even name a bag that I had wanted to buy, other than knowing that I wanted to spend thousands and thousands of Ringgit on a bag. Because every other girl had one. I mean, even the aunty with leopard print leotard and the clerk from a supplier’s office had one. So if a nurse had one, why shouldn’t I be carrying one?

I spent 2006 hassling Alex to buy me an expensive watch. How expensive? Expensive within the range of RM5k to RM10k. Which model or brand of watch do I specifically want? I don’t know. I just want an expensive watch. Why? Because all my friends had one. From Omegas to Tags to Rolexes, you name the brand, my friends had them.

Stared at the reflection of my wrist. It was an old Titus. And in case you don’t know what Titus is, it is the brand that is endorsed by Sammi Cheng. In other words, it wasn’t one of those diamond encrusted, fancy chronograph whatnots expensive watch. It was a practical, no brand name watch that was reliable. I have had this watch for more than 4 years and it has never failed to tell me the time of the day.


‘I thought you said you would leave at 11 a.m.?’ I asked as I sneaked behind E. She sent me a message earlier yesterday morning to asked for details on a boutique we both shopped in previously. I was busy chomping down breakfast on my own when that happened and I realised that I could not make it in time to see her.

‘Just can’t seem to get the errands done,’ she said as she took some cash out of her black Prada purse. Her emergency errands on Thursday happened to be buying party clothes for the weekend. I guess everything becomes more dramatic once you decide to end a 4 year relationship. Which E did last weekend and now she drowns her sorrows with the rest of the rugby boys and some bottles of vodka.

In her bag, she had two dresses that looked familiar. It was the same design I suggested E to buy a month ago. She found two more dresses in exact design but with different print and colour. It felt strange having three dresses in exact design. I took a look at them and walked towards the racks again. I picked out another dress, a white with hibiscus flowers in Hawaiian styled prints. She bought that too.

In total she had 4 exact dress design in varying colour and pattern. Looking at E pay for those dresses calmed me so much. It was so comforting watching her do so. She is as lost as I am, I thought to myself. It sounds almost evil if not for the fact that I have no ill intentions.

I have always seen E as someone stronger, smarter and emotionally more matured than I. She had this great innate sense of discernment, a skill that I wished I had possessed more. Her previous partner and the more recent ex were both wonderful men. I respected her thoughts and opinions because I knew she was able to see into people.

The pass year had been a great one for her too. E worked hard and reaped material gains for her diligence and efforts. Within one year, she was out on weekends carrying bags that I had previously only seen in fashion magazines. E seemed to spend on average twice (if not more) my shopping budget, whenever we shopped together.

Watching her take money out of her recently purchased Prada purse for 3 copies of the same dress made me realise that she was just like me. E was lost just like me. I am lost in this world carrying my Roxy bag and she is also lost, albeit more stylish in her Prada-s and Christian Dior-s.


I rushed through the glass door and sat next to my father. It was tea break, a few hours since I bumped into E at the boutique. He had breadcrumbs on his whiskers. That is what I fondly call my father’s moustache, which made him look like a police officer. I gently tapped his whiskers, so the crumbs would fall. He helped me place my order and then we started talking about different things. Father and daughter theraphy session on a Thursday afternoon.

He woke up 4 a.m. yesterday and was excited to walk. That wasn’t the point of his story obviously. He was getting to the exciting bit. The part when he said he turned around and saw my mother, soundly asleep next to him. ‘I promised that I will love her more,’ he said.

Sometimes I feel that my parents are naïve. Naïve despite their age. Or maybe naïve because of their age. In my opinion, my father spoilt my mother with excess of unconditional love, which had led to her having the temper and tantrum of a 4 year old. But that is another story all together. Their love story and marriage deserves a book written in their names.

‘Do you remember who I am?’ a smiling man asked. He and another man, friends of my father’s came over to say hello. ‘You were so small when I last saw you,’ he said. He looked like Santa Claus, if Santa ever resided in Anhui instead of Lapland.

‘You are Uncle XYZ’s brother,’ I replied.

The mid 50s man was pleased that I had recall who he was and asked what made me remember. I replied that it was his voice, which was similar to his brother’s, an even closer friend of my father’s. Uncle XYZ visited our family home frequently and his hearty laughter is infectious. It is unforgettable.

‘What’s the difference between Uncle XYZ and I?’ he asked. He was feeling rather jolly.

‘Oh you are better looking,’ I said, batting my eyes. The three old men, my father included, were laughing. I am telling you, it is much easier to please older men. Quick wit and charm, those are the things that will win men over by the dozens.

When the laughter had settled and the two men left the table, my father and I continued talking about love and life. I was basically telling him to think differently. To accept me for who and what I am, which is in essence, different from his and my mother’s expectations.

‘I realised that I am okay,’ I said to my father. I managed to crawl out of my depression and I saw the light at the end of the dark tunnel. ‘I am alright and I shouldn’t put so much pressure on myself.’

Yes, E has all the beautiful things in the form of leather bags and cutesy things, which I do not have. However I realised that I have some things that she doesn’t have too. Each of us sacrificed something for another. She did what was necessary and suitable for her and I made decisions based on what was important to me and what I was willing to give up in exchange of another.

I never really wanted them anyway and I had no clue what bag or shoes or watch I had wanted. I just knew I wanted these things because everyone had them. Consequently I declare the 4th of May 2007 as the Die Prada Die day. This is the day that I give up my materialistic wants.

This is the day that I will no longer pursue after something that I know will never be quenched. The list is forever long and each season brings a new celebrated and most sought after thing. It will never end and I will never be happy. Now I celebrate my stomping my feet on the ground. It’s Die Prada Die!


There is no formula to a happy life. Each of us take our own steps, make our individual decisions and live through the happiness and sadness of the consequences rising from our decisions.

Sometimes it is easy to look at others and see everything bright and beautiful in them. And we look at ourselves in the mirror with such disdain. We push ourselves very hard and we hardly give ourselves the credit that is due.

We failed to realise that others are just like us. Lost.



1) Handbag & watch craving: Interesting and honest. But very scary, for a guy. I think I'll consider "untainted" kampung girls instead, ahahahaha.

2) I'm always a little confused when reading your posts. Never know if it's fiction or an accurate depiction of reality.

9:43 am  

1. Marry a "untainted" kampung girl. Keep her fat and pregnant by the kitchen sink. Then go out and find your special play bunnies.

2. Everything in ABOUT NUDE NOT NAKED is the accurate depiction of MY REALITY. These are the stories from my world, as true as diamonds.

11:19 am  

1. Eh? That's your presumption? :) Heck no! This is 2007, last I checked, we have maids (which we can employ from not buying handbags & watches).

I plan to use the money to buy and do things that I can enjoy with my sweet, "uncomplicated" (but no means dumb) wife. Like travelling the world, eat healthy organic food, donate to charity. You know, those 10-year-old orphans who had never seen a Prada bag.

Yes, we will have lots of sex too, but I will endeavor to give her orgasms (since I have the time from not working my ass off to pay for city girl's handbags), and she won't withhold sex for ransom until I get her the watch!!

2. What the hell made you think "kampung" girls are stupid sex and kitchen slaves? There *are* girls out there who are not into the "entitlement" mentality that some girls have that gives them a Princess complex.

3. I suggest reading some Buddhist books.

4. I only wondered because you mentioned a while back that some parts were fiction. It's hard to perceive reality, devoid of discursive ideations, I suppose.

1:21 pm  

I think another comment is called for. The basic premise is that, yes I appreciate your honesty about your irrational materialistic desires, but I am also stating that most guys even the most well-paid do not appreciate it at all. Girls want love, time and lots of money. It is not a reasonable exchange, unless you are Cindy Crawford, Marie Curie or Condoleeza Rice.

The only rational exception I can see is that if the girl makes and uses her own money, like Beyonce says, "Buy my own diamonds, and I pay my own bills. All my independent women, throw dem hands up at me"

Why did I bring up "untainted" girls? I mean the girls who are not influenced by Cosmopolitan, Desperate Housewives, MTV and your aforementioned friends who bling their way around town to peer-pressure you into irrationality as you candidly observed. Hope that unknots your panties about keeping my intelligent, adventurous, Birkenstock-wearing, no-name handbag carrying, Titus-watch-adorned future wife from Kuala Kubu in the kitchen by her lonesome. (Although we would have wild sex there when the maid is not looking. I've been practicing with licking fuzzy peaches. 10 min each rep, 3 sets).

Die, Prada, die!

1:36 pm  

DIE PRADA DIE!!! oh and gucci and versace and LV and whatever bullshit. Long live the un-lost! :D

9:10 pm  

Oo0ooOo0 i get mentioned in ANNN....hahahahah and yes its very true, we were stuck in a 2 hour jam, and yes i had to answer some tricky questions. i'd like to think i'm very much as real a person as opposed to being someone fictional.

but hey everyone is entitled to their own opinions so maybe most (pls note that i have stated MOST and not stereotyped anyone by sayin ALL) of the girls below 30 that i HAVE come across give me the impression that they are opposed to some of the over 30 ones of course.

but then again in my line of work....i meet more of the younger generation than those from my own generation. so perhaps my comment would have to be taken as comin from an "uninformed", "unreliable" and "uneducated" source. ;)

7:47 pm  

1. Having maids from not buying handbags and watches - very good observation. I was born with a maid attached to my hip.

Men are strange creatures. They want someone uncomplicated as their spouse. Then they will go out and search for more "interesting" girls as their little play things.

But no way am I implying that you are so.

Your observation abt sex - I'm inclined to thinking that sex, like all good things in life, should come in small doses. I am not talking about withholding as a form of punishment, as you have suggested if your comment. Because ransom of any sort is wrong.

But you will not love a woman who would open her legs for you all the time 24/7 whenever you want to have it.

And if you do not believe me, you just need to trust me on this.

2. The sense of "entitlement" which you spoke of exists in this world. It exists for a reason and I will write about the dilemma facing all modern day women - the reason WHY WOMEN FEEL THAT THEY ARE ENTITLED TO EVERYTHING.

3. I plan to read some books on Buddhism. Thank you for your suggestion.

4. The parts which are fiction are listed under NUDE NOT NAKED.

Everything in ABOUT NUDE NOT NAKED are my personal experiences. And how do you between the two? Well for one, the layout for ANNN (short for About Nude Not Naked) is the current which you are seeing, red flowers and black) whilst Nude Not Naked has a plain oriental layout.

7:22 am  

You brought up a relevant issue. There are not many man who can love, appreciate, respect AND PAY FOR EVERYTHING YOU EVER DREAM OF POSSESSING AND BUYING.

Chances are you either have one who is able to love/care/respect/etc you or one who can buy you the things but not have so much time to spend with you.

Personally I prefer a man who loves/respects/appreciates me, is able to spend quality time with me and AT THE SAME TIME BE FINANCIALLY STABLE.

This is a very important point for me and I have my reasons. I do not need a man to buy me blings and lots of shiny things but I do expect a man to pay for basic things such as meals that we share and a reasonable roof over my head. I can buy my own clothes, make up, tampons, car and have my own financial plan.

What I have realized is that if a woman is too financially independent (or for that matter, independent in whatever sense you can come up with) then the woman will realise that MAN IS QUITE DISPOSABLE.

For me, that is how I feel. I have worked hard on my own to the point that I think men are quite disposable. Men are just like flowers. It is nice to have some in your living room but it won't kill me if I didn't have any.

That's what the independent spirit has done to women.

7:30 am  

Eh why you so happy cursing all the brands? LOL

7:33 am  

Aiyoh... someone putting up a clause to his statements. Maybe next time you make me sign consent waiver before going for dinner with me? Hahahaha.

7:34 am  

*notes down consent waiver*

hahahaha ....just kiddin the short time that you've known me i'm sure you would have caught on that i'm not the type that can be particularly arsed about what ppl have to say. ;)

in short i reckon everyone has their own opinions about basically EVERYTHIN seriously... so i guess to each his own.

p/s: i can't get the damn Unagi outta my thinks a jap meal is needed tomoro....heheh

8:35 pm  

hey... I am still here... still love you...


2:33 pm  

I wonder if I'll ever know what I really want in life be it material, emotional or career.

It scares me that the older I grow the more confused I am. The lines between wants and needs are becoming blurry to me.

Nice to know that I'm not the only person feeling or thinking this way because it makes me feel really lonely!

12:20 pm  

Unagi, my friend........... well we have to make a trip to the Japanese restaurant soon, I reckon. This time we get two LARGE plates of unagi. One for you and one for me... hehehe...

Me love you long time.

That's the thing about growing up that I don't get. You would figure that things will get clearer and you will find your way.... and in some ways, that is true... but then again, because you have grown up, you begin to see things differently and you begin to doubt....

And doubt is a terrible thing.

3:50 am  

Funny enough many asian countries fall prey to this everyone has it thing. Be is bimbo or not bimbo i or even the ones that cant afford. But it only affects certain bimbo groups of other western countries not the society at large. Many people fail to understand that celebs are given free bags to be pictured in hopes that silly lambs will bust their savings just to be like them.

Living abroad where I am, no one cares if you have this shoe or that top. Even the Kate moss collection didnt created big hoo haa like it did in London.
A Malaysian friend who lives in London and hangs out among the Malaysians there says that all they talk abt showing off their bags, shoes, brands, but this doesnt happen when he mixes with the locals.

An Aussie friend recently said no one gives a dam if you have chloe bag or not.

Perhaps when you have something to proof and that you feel insecure and inadequate you resort to brands as your shield.

We might be a progressing country but there is so much we need to change as a society.

I am mid 20's and I have never fallen prey to material things. If you see me with one its because of the quality or the design is 2 my liking.

Good on you Otto for realising this! Its better to have health and family then all the materials in the world.

2:25 pm  

I think when it comes to brand names, Asians tend to under appreciate their local brands. Many associate it with being "cheaper" or "lower class". Or put it this way, many feel that a European or (by large) Western bag is far more "exclusive".

The English have many local brands and many of them support their local craftsmen, from pottery to leather goods to farm produce etc.

Those of us who are just familiar with the bigger name brands aren't exposed to lesser known ones. Lesser known doesn't mean lesser beauty or lesser designer history.

For example, I came to know of the company "Marimekko" after a friend mentioned that I had some bags and dresses with the famous Marimekko flower pattern. It turns out that I have unknowingly been in love with the flower 60s patterns.... and the prints were FAMOUS!

I have also some jewellery designs that are local crafted in Scotland. Absolutely beautiful and unknown to any of my friends... but that wasn't the reason why I bought them. I bought the silver pieces for their beauty and design, so it didn't matter much if the person next to me knew what's the design or name.

To say the least, I am quite a quirky dresser. Or at least I would like to think so.... isn't that right, JF & R?

4:22 am  

Good to finally have time to sit down and read your blog again. Still enjoy every bit of it....

Love your writing.... =)

5:53 am  

Hi otto, I'm a lurker (ya know, reading but never commenting). But this post strikes a chord. I'm one of those lucky few who can afford what they want on their own, but I have a very nice other half who is happy to pay anyway (if I ask very nicely).

But I don't ask for much. He also doesn't give in blindly to me anyway. I like to think I'm pretty in control of my shopping except during the end of financial year sales (but even then I defer to you, O queen of shopping).

However ladies nowadays want it ALL; too much too young. I know of girls who badger their unfortunate boys for diamonds on their 3 month anniversary. I know girls who expect a gift on EVERY monthly anniversary. I know girls who dump their boys because the boys had the NERVE to expect the girls to pay their half of the date (and this is after SHE seriously burnt HIS wallet shopping last month).
I also know girls who get a Gucci bag, diamond jewellery and a Omega watch for their 21st birthday.

And these are all girls my age or so (I'm turning 23 this year).


If you can pay for it yourself, go get it. It's the demanding and expecting (as if it's their right) when they don't put in any effort that galls me.

5:11 am  

I was just beginning to wonder what have you been up to.... nice to hear that you are doing ok there =)

The question one must ask oneself is ---> "What is there to live for now that I have everything at 21?"

Personally I think life is a game and a chase. You must dream big and live big. Life is about wanting and chasing after dreams and life ends when you have everything you dreamt.

1:42 pm  

Being old and young is a matter of choice....

5:36 am  

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