Monday, May 01, 2006

An Evening with my favourite couple

i had dinner with one of the loveliest couples i've ever met. i nearly didn't wanna go cos i thought i wouldn't have made it through an entire evening trying to be friendly when i wasnt in the mood. but i'm glad i went.

the couple, of which the husband is my fiance's client, is Italian and elderly. but elderly may not be the accurate description for they certainly are not the hobbling kind. in fact, they look like they're in their golden years, where they are enjoying the fruit of their labour invested back when they were young and sprightly. they are such genuine, sincere and warm people, that i find it hard to resist their hospitality and kindness. at first, my enthusiasm was a facade. but as the evening progressed, from a glass of sparkling wine in their cosy living room to a satisfying dinner at PS Cafe to a shot of Amaretto back in their living room while listening to the crystal clear 'noiseless' sounds of classical jazz on the husband's hi-fidelity sound system, not to mention their beautiful dog Vera, i was falling in love with them. i'm gonna sound very much like a kid when i say this but theirs is the kind of love that i hope i can have. not that i don't have it now, but my close-to-3-years relationship is nothing compare to their decades old marriage. the way they exchange banter, the way she looks lovingly at him when he's fiddling with his sound system, the way he touches her nose playfully yet with all the love in the world, even my parents are not like that at all. and they've been married for more than 25 years. i was nearly moved to tears while listening to the music he was playing for us, that's how emotionally high-strung i am right now.

can i have that kind of marriage? i would really love to.... i can't live without romance and passion. maybe that's why i'm feeling moody these days.... cos i'm not getting enough of it. see, i'm doing it again... "maybe this, maybe that". can a loving relationship exist without romance? can romance exist without a loving relationship? perhaps the answer to both is dependant upon how does one define romance. i'm sure different people have different ideas of what romance means to them and how it's manifest. what about me then?
just before we left the my fiance's place for the couple's home, i hugged him. i wanted to release all my emotional stress with that hug, i wanted it to pour out like a cup over runneth, and i wanted to look into his eyes and see some semblance of understanding that he knows why i hugged him for that long and that he still loves me no matter what stupid things i do. well, let's just say that i did get a long hug. but i should be considerate, after all, he's not feeling too well at the moment. the last thing he needs is me complaining about how unromantic he can be.

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Marina ShangriLa

Something has been bothering me for the past couple of days, but i can't put my finger on it. i don;t know what exactly is it that has been making me moody, un-smiling, on the verge of tears sometimes..... and it's frusrating not to know what the cause is. maybe it's one thing, maybe it's a cumulation of lots of things, sometimes i think to myself "could it be because of....?" or "no no that can't be right, maybe it's because of...." this doesn't happen to me often, but when it does, it hits me bad.

Not helped by the fact that i screwed up yesterday yet again..... i did a "carolyn". my fiance and i were suppose to attend a formal dinner at a hotel ballroom. i'm not sure why i had in my mind that the venue was ShangriLa hotel, but that's what i told him when he asked me the night before. so yesterday when he came over to my place so we could get ready, i thought i saw him pick up the invitation card to check (but apparently he didnt). and we were running really late. so we rushed out, he sped all the way there, parked the car walked up 2 flights of stairs to the lobby, and when we were right outside the hotel entrance, he took out the invitation card, opened it and stopped dead in his tracks. he looked up at me and thrusted the invitation to my view. written on it was "Venue: Marina Mandarin".

Marina MAndarin!!!! and that wasn't just down the road from Shangrila... it was another 10 mins drive away, what more with the evening traffic. my heart was pounding so furiously then, my mouth went dry, there was nothing more i could say as he turned to walk back down to the carpark. i knew he was trying his very best to be patient (he took a couple of deep breaths while driving), i was kicking myself inside. and screaming "what the hell is wrong with me?????"

i just kept quiet during the whole ride to Marina Mandarin. he said after awhile that i shouldn't be so affected about it, but i was. i knew he was trying his best to be patient and he knew i was beating myself up, so of course he had to say that. he even said that on a lighter note, he's still wondering how could Marina MAndarin sound like Shangrila. i tried my best to laugh, but all i could muster was a weak half-smile. no, actually it was more like a weak quarter-smile.

when we reached the correct place, finally, and sat ourselves down, i had to put on my best cheerful face. but i desperately needed to talk to someone, someone who could really laugh over it and make me laugh too. i called one of my best friends in KL. the first thing i said was "i did it again!" and he went "aiyo what happened this time!!" and he was laughing as i told him. when i finished, he said quietly "only you lah... only you".

"what's wrong with meeee???" i asked him (i could've screeched it out but i was in a hotel lobby). "Nothing. Nothing's wrong with you. that's you! but then again, maybe YOU are what's wrong!" and he laughed again. so much for comfort and support. "don;t worry, the way i see it, 5, 6 years down the road, he'll know you so well that in similar situations, he would KNOW to double check invitation cards".

"at this rate, i don;t even know it's there's going to be 5 or 6 years!!!!" i replied.

i had to go back to the ballroom or they were gonna send a search party for me. his parting words were "just go back into the room, with a smile on your face, and be happy thinking that he's learning more about you each day". HAH! i could wring him right there if he was right in front me. my friend, i mean.

when i got in, i noticed that he had switched seats so that my friend would be next to me. hoping that she could cheer me up with some girly talk. i di feel a lil better, but mostly due to the antics of her boyfriend. so the question is "should i really just laugh it off and be proud that that's me, or try so very hard to change and feel worse everytime i lapse and screw up?"

Friday, March 31, 2006

the last day of March!

It's Friday!! the last day of the work week!!! and also the last day of the month! i gotta check if my monthly 'stipend' has been transferred into my account. am leaving tomorrow morning for Muar, Johor ( that's where you can get really yummy 'otak'). ching ming festival, though i was told it was last week. i have to go to the graves of my grandparents and ancestors to pay respects. and before that i have to endure a 3-4 hour, 40-seater bus ride with non-reclining seats.... aarrrgghhh save me!!!!

Tuesday, March 14, 2006

it has been awhile

my last blog entry was not published... rather, it was 'saved as draft' in my dear pox box, the result of my ranting about some gripe i had and recovering from it after that... actually, it was more like i gave myself time to recover so i wouldn't regret publishing it and letting my true feelings made known. in a way, that sort of meant that i wasn't as pissed off as i thought i was.... on the other hand, that also could mean that eventhough i was majorly pissed off, i was still in control of myself, enough to think that i may regret posting it later on. interesting...

i went to watch the Volume II: Bizarre performance at the Arts House lawn on saturday night. it was suppose to be a night of juxtapositions... of marrying two art forms from opposite ends of the spectrum, movement and rock music. the result was bizarre, no doubt about that. the organizers of the event did right by choosing that name for the show. the first band, Astreal, was accompanied by a solo male performer and a video on the screen behind him. i have to admit, i didn't 'get' the performance at all. the video was showing this fat lady who came across as a really sad character who was doing things by herself, like taking a cab ride, going to the carnival and sitting on rides alone, going to east coast park, watching an artist at work on a wall mural and touching a painted breast on the wall, binging on an ice cream and throwing it away on the ground halfway through... and the solo male performer sitting in front of the screen was going through the slowest ritual of eating dinner, stretching his legs and getting dressed. someone enlighten me please....

second act wasn't too bad.... it was Lunarin, accompanied by a male and female dancer interpreting the song (i'm assuming) through movement. still quite abstract but at least not as bizarre as fat lady. third, and most awaited, act was Electrico. they were accompanied by Ah Hock and Peng Yu. at first i thought that was the name of one of the bands (so i don't have my finger on the arts pulse.... sue me) but it turns out that they are one of the dance performers accompanying Electrico. i think they were the highlight of the night... coming on stage in long sleeved shirts and very very small nude-coloured dance shorts certainly helped in getting the attention of the audience who were probably tuned out somewhat by 2 very abstract performances. since Electrico's music is less angsty (some might say that it has more mass appeal), i was hoping that the dance may be more er... accessible. i'm not sure how to describe what they were doing on stage but let's just keep it at "they were the highlight of the night". think cowboy hat, shirts taken off, thrusting of hips... i'm really not joking here.

i just came back from Loof... and i just noticed that the 'L' in Loof is actually an 'r' turned upside down! wahlau.... i didn't feel like sharing the exciting discovery with anyone else earlier in case i was the last to notice.... so don;t let me know if you came to know about it before me :p. anyway, i met the marketing person for the place and on her namecard below her name is written "Primate Princess". i wish my namecard had a cool title instead of "Sales Planner". maybe something like "Presentation Guru" or "Powerpoint Extraordinaire" or "Life of the Office" :)

my housemate just saw me typing on this and she exclaimed "you're a blogger?? i didn;t know that u kept a blog"... i told her not many people know about this lil project of mine... and she said that i don't come across as a person who would blog. well i'm not a sensationalist like some of the more famous bloggers in town (which brings to mind another thought... how would you know if half the things that they write on their blogs are purely for sensationalism reasons? or if they do some things on purpose, which they would normally never do, just so they have something interesting to write on their blog?) . i would write whenever he mood strikes me.... like now. i can't write anything if i don;t feel like it, and i certainly can;t write anything too personal. i admit that half the things i feel and the random thoughts that go through my mind are not recorded here. i still treasure the privacy of my own privacy... if one can call it that. oh well, anyway, i do have a blog, unbelievable as it seems, and if only she knew how hard it is for me to upkeep it, she would think that that's totally me :)

Thursday, February 23, 2006

Back to Lion City

Came back to Singapore today and went right straight to the office. made a mental note to bring my pulley cabin bag the next time i travel unless it's really an overnight stay.... my shoulders were aching from carrying my duffel bag that had more stuff in it than when i arrived at Kuching, and my laptop, and my handbag.

Did you know how much bird's nest cost?? 24 grams of a decent grade chemically treated bird's nest will set you back about RM170 (equiv to around US$45)and that's really light. it can go up to as high as RM940 for non-chemically treated bird's nest with a heavier gramage. it's one of the specialties of Kuching (or Sarawak for that matter) and yesterday night saw all of us, except my boss, buying at least 1 box. i'm broke now.

it's time for me to split the office, getting late. will post some Kuching pics soon.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

Cat City

Miaaooo..... Greetings from Kuching, Sarawak. i'm left Singapore this afternoon on the 2:50pm flight, for the purpose of 'work'.... it really is mostly about work, since the meeting my boss is going for doesn't require my presence. Hence i would have no excuse not to be replying my emails while i'm here :p but anyway, it's also to celebrate the closing of a deal, woo hoo!

but since the pleasure part is only gonna kick in tomorrow night, i figured i wouldn't have time to do any sightseeing, shopping, etc. not that there's anything to shop for around here... during our journey from the airport to the hotel, i have yet to see a proper shopping mall. either that or the signage just ain't that effective (though i do consider myself to have a keen eye for these things). during the first minute of the drive, my boss commented that it looks just like Singapore. i think he must have been expecting some villages or longhouses and stuff, which of course you won;t get to see if you're in the town area. so i pointed out to him that it's not really like Singapore in that there is an obvious lack of high rise buildings. it's actually very old-town Malaysian, but i cant quite put my finger on what exactly makes it very Malaysian looking. maybe it's the residential houses, or the signages in Malay, or the retro names like "Snooker 2000" (the signage for that looks like it hasn't seen rain in years) and "Ling Loong Cafe" with a Fanta logo next to it. or maybe it's the dressing.... decent but not hip, utilitarian but not stylishly functional. and that's just the men. i haven't seen any women yet.. hey yeah why is it that i havent seen any women yet?? strange... anyway, this isn;t a muslim state so i think maybe i just need to get around the city a little more.

so back to our car ride to the hotel... i asked the driver how long it would take to reach the hotel and he replied "10 minits". i was like ok that's not too bad, we're really quite near the city then. so i kept looking out the window expecting to be transported to a gleamingly modern city centre with high-rise office buildings and cutting-edge modern architecture.

we passed more houses.

then more trees.

then shophouses (with those retro names).

then more houses.

more shophouses.

i started to think, obviously this driver has gotten his sense of timing all wrong. it doesn't even feel like we're anywhere close to approaching the city centre! then before we knew it, we pulled up into the hotel driveway. we have arrived.

but that's one of Kuching's unique qualities it seems.... the old and new, modern and rustic, seamlessly blending in with one another that one has to look hard to notice the subtle differences.

so anyway, we checked in, and they gave me the wrong room twice! i was starting to get really annoyed... i mean, how hard is it to give me a room with 2 single beds??

once i got settled in, i started to check out on nightspots and places to eat. there's a really famous blog by this guy Kenny Sia who's a native of Kuching, and my friend suggested to check that out to find what i need. what a useful tip that was! this Kenny fella really shares the goods.... my boss and i went to check out one of his recommended restaurants just now. a place called Magenta, which i erroneously understood as a restaurant selling delicious Nonya food. so the cab driver drops us at this restaurant and we just walked in and sat our asses down. we asked for menus and they didnt have any. "Boo-fei, boo-fei" the young waiter told us. my boss was like "hey u brought me to a buffet??" and i was all confused cos a buffet is the last thing i want! so i asked the smart question... "what restaurant is this??"

"seafood steamboat" the young bloke replied.

"wahlau no wonder laaaa... we are looking for magenta!" i exclaimed.

"oh there there" said the guy, pointing to this half hidden house in the neighbouring compound.

Feeling more amused than embarassed, we made our way to the right restaurant.... only to find out that they didn;t serve Nonya food!

Looking through the menu, my boss went "hmm... looks like there ain't no nonya food here either" and we both just laughed. i even asked the waiter if they served nonya food and he sheepishly answered no. i guess that was his first time encountering such a question.

but most importantly, the food... it was not too bad, but the servings were huge! which made it value for money, but i couldnt finish my mains. i had the baked rice with grilled chicken and mushroom ragout (i took a pic but can't upload it now). was yummy but too too much. we also ordered lychee slush and asked them to spike it with a shot of vodka or rum.... but can't realy taste the alcohol.... they must think we're alcos! it is a cosy place, very eclectic decor, and the house itself as a structure is grand.

so back in the hotel room now, and resting my poor tummy... tonight would be a good night to turn in early actually, since i don;t have to get up early tomorrow, and i can work from my room in my robe! work should be like this everyday... :)

Monday, February 20, 2006

Flea, fly, flo, fum, I smell a bargain in this...dump??

Yesterday was the Moxwell Flea Market at MOX. i had gone down to support my friend who had a stall there, and ended up contributing to her paltry earnings for the day (3 tops for 12 bucks is a helluva bargain!). it was a debut effort by MOX, and would have been a hit if more visitors/shoppers showed up. apparently the marketing for the event left lots to be desired, which resulted in a lukewarm showing at best. another thing that struck me was the lack of proper lighting. they were using the same lighting as when its a normal club/bar night, which isn't very conducive when you're trying to decide on whether that top is brown or red, blue or purple, green or turquoise. one of the blouses i bought, the print turned out to be more salmon-pink than candy floss-pink, the latter when viewed under the club lighting. Using flourescent lighting wouldn't have been appropriate either since it doesn't go with their retro interiors, but perhaps more lights in general would have been better, or maybe lift up al the blinds/shades to let in more natural light.

the music was good though, and the management felt bad at the poor turnout that they reduced the stall rent by half, and served free food to the stall owners. highly commendable of them. i would recommend others to go for the next one though, if not to buy, then just to be amused at the kind of things people wanna get rid of and to enjoy great tunes on a chill sunday afternoon.

* re the title, i don't mean that MOX is a dump, far from it in fact. its just a word that rhymes with flum :)