Runs on food and music, will sing for chips and pasta.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Letter ninety-five- Day two hundred and five of your vacation

Dearest J,

205 days.  I held your dri-fit pants to my heart last night and it was like holding you again, I felt no pain but the warmth of memories of you.

Some nights I lied in my huge bed in the Ubud hotel missing you badly.  There were lots of fear about what lies ahead for me, all alone.  I wait it out, there will be things to come along and take my worries away.

The getaway was fantastic.  I enjoy travelling alone more than I had expected, it's like, travelling without planning.  I make a turn when I want, I skip lunch when I want to, I stop and buy too much clothes if I want to, I swim in the rain when I want to.  I walked slowly, I ate in the market with the locals, I talked to the hawkers, I learned everyone's names, and they asked for mine.  I skipped most touristy outings, except one - I went out cycling in the village with 11 other tourists and one bubbly tour guide named Rinx.

Went to dinner on Jalan Raya and listened to jazz.  Attended a book talk by Tony Maniaty on a Literature Night at this place called Bar Luna.  Made friends with `expat-locals', Trevor who is English and `Cute-Ear' who is American, who reminds me a lot of Antares.  There was Ana who is French and used to design clothing, I wish I gave her my card to stay in touch.

Of course then there were the numerous Ketuts and Wayans whom I met on daily basis.  Such gentle people.  I felt very safe going around alone throughout the trip.  The street animals were lovely.  I kept going round trying to feed them because there are some very bony ones.

Show you a few shots of what I took here...

this is a fat one :) on Jalan Hanuman

a skinny one I met on Jalan Gootama.  I ordered some rice to be prepared for this fella at a newly opened cafe (My Warung) and this little fella ate up all the chicken bits in seconds...

a pretty one, on Jalan Monkey Forest, saw her on my first night there.

a special one, on Jalan Monkey Forest.  Saw him/her on my first night out too.  I bought a small tuna bun from a shop and gave it to her/him on the pavement, it ate it without getting out of this position.

Took mom to your house again today, needed to pass some zippers to Mama for her homemade bags.  My mom squatted in the living room and looked through the photo albums of you.  I showed her the photos of your bike trip to Loas because she asked to see them.  She also commented that you looked like you had heaps of fun during one of your company retreats.  "Destiny's in our own hands."  She said, not sure what prompted it.  I guess she meant we are all responsible for our own happiness...

Am 34 now.  I surrounded myself with friends on my birthday, I know they had wanted me to be reminded that I have a lot of love around me.  I cannot help still, to still feel incredibly alone without you.   When I don't think about it then it feels better.  But anyway, today, with my mom next to me in my car - I had a thought: am 34 now, soon 35 comes...I have to make this year a very good one.  I have even more to achieve without you in tow, I can only try to make up the absence of you here, with things to do.

It's just going to be a fabulous year.  Will live for the two of us.

Alison Murugesu-Ghani sent me this lovely poem...

Poem sent by Enid Martinez, read at Ghani's Memorial on 22 Apr 2011

You can shed tears that he is gone,
Or you can smile because he lived,
You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
Or you can be full of the love that you shared,
You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

You can remember him and only that he is gone
Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,
You can cry and close your mind, be empty and turn your back,
Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on.

love you lots,


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Monday, April 18, 2011

Letter ninety-four- Day one-hundred-and-ninty-seven of your vacation

Dearest J,

Louis the taxi guy is coming at 645am to get me to LCCT.  I have booked a taxi pick up at the Depansar airport to get me to Ubud Inn.  Went to bed at 430am yesterday, packing.

Spent the day with my mom.  Though without my dad and brother there, I felt what I think is family bliss.

Started the day with some `cat house-keeping'.  I cleared out Thursday's old litter and changed a new tray of fresh pine, washed the tray inside out.  Took mom out to meet Seeming and gang.  Ordered mom a vegetarian Bim Bap rice.  A leisurely lunch with mom, Sim & Seeming, with Max in tow.  I bought your mom a pair of old beaded slippers from the Amcorp market.  Brought mom over to yours say hi quickly to the ladies.  Mama was busy with MahJong but she spared us some minutes, we hovered around her home made bags and I bought a bunch for a few people, mom included.

Rushed over to sister's.  The in-laws were there for the cake thing, Joel turns 3 tomorrow.  Planted myself on her soft rug the entire afternoon, read my sister's article on her laptop, listened to mom and her talked, napped, woke up and eat some incredible egg salad.  When Julius came home from teaching, we all head out to hotel buffet dinner.  I came home after dinner to on with my own packing.

My sister's article is titled Growing Up In Malaysia.  I read with awe and took my time to read and digest the details.  It tells stories I never knew existed, I didn't know my family used to live in a home often flooded, and another where there was no built in toilet.  Life were so different before I was born.  Now I realised I hardly remember much of my family life before I was six...

My mom has spoken of the life of Dad's poorer times but I never really got to hear about the years before I came into existence in an organised fashion.  There have always been decent home food for as long as I can remember - minced pork dish with pickled vegetables, fish, eggs, chicken and vegetables (which I didn't know how to eat then).  Today I was told that dad and mom often had to complete a meal with just rice and soup from the noodles from take out - leaving my sister and brother to have the meehoon and noodles.  Mom said when I was born dad gave her a budget of RM 500 for her confinement treatment, a grand luxury for them then, also probably something my dad couldn't afford during my siblings' time.

...and what kind of food my dad afforded for his working meals in the early days, etc.  And what kind of family outings (very very rare ones) we had before I had a memory.  Mom said dad would take me and my brother on his bike to the movie, my mom would have to bring my sister on her bicycle to get there.  There was always a car in my childhood - I didn't remember anything about the pre-car I know.

Though I have vivid memories of the type of singing games I used to play with my siblings.  Brother was the `follow-spot' guy with a torch light.  The stage was a room in the rented house we lived in (it had 5 rambutan trees!!), after you shut the only wooden window the whole room was pitch dark, you barely see your own fingers.

Am glad I have some stories to take with me to Ubud.  Everything I own now seems like a big big gift from the past, from what my parents worked hard for.  Everything will sparkle like magic.  Funnily this morning I woke up, though with not enough sleep, I stared into the mirror after shower and was never more grateful for my body...I am not sure what came over me to have that feeling in that moment.  I eyed all the scars and blemishes on my body with a sense of proudness and true love.  I stared at my naked face in all its glorious dark eye rings and what not, and felt happy for myself.

This face, pretty or ugly, has survived and lived all these years.  And was loved so much by you.  You really like my face without any trace of make up.  I love this face...exactly like this, because of what happened to it.

Ok, time to try some sleep before I get to LCCT.

Thinking of you, much love,


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Saturday, April 09, 2011

Letter ninety-three- Day one-hundred-and-eighty-eight of your vacation

Dearest J,

Apparently in Switzerland the big bikes are very cheap, according to Karen.  She works there now.  She told me the Ducati there are only a few grands.  Though I wish you had the time to travel round the world on your bike, am glad you took that Thailand to Loas trip.

Bumped into Vee at the Hokkien mee downstairs two nights ago, he was there with his wife.  He said your gang have gone back to riding and they always toast to you whenever they meet.

Unifi is here now in Viva.  I remember you tried applying it for us but they told you they don't have service here yet.  Now many are on it.  The guys came yesterday morning to install it, left only at 5pm.  The internet was up and running in no time, most of the hours they spent here were the attempt to get the internet TV running, but not much help there - the channels are working sometimes and other times the connection goes.

Am working on printing more demo CDs to give out.  Waiting for Paula to get back to me with quote and her design.

Going to get ready now for a gathering of the Starmaker Bootcamp alumni.  Am getting quite excited about going away to Bali too.

Thinking of you,


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Monday, April 04, 2011

Letter ninety-two- Day one-hundred-and-eighty-three of your vacation

Dearest J,

Am looking for a word to describe this feeling but I don't have a word yet.  This commitment I have towards Thursday.  A feeling of commitment?

You know that since we moved into this new home that I have always pride myself to keep it clean and nice.  And how I always made a fuss over our hair falling all over the place, and picking up after you.  Well, with the cat around it has been impossible to have the place clean (the way I like it) for more than a day.  I have had numerous conversations with myself about I a person who is `big' enough to look past my little obsession in cleanliness, in order to accommodate to someone that I have committed to?
pic by Chelsia

I imagine if Thursday were a boyfriend, or any person - it'd be easier to rid of my property, for having intruded into my sanctuary of a clean space.  Thursday is a cat, like you used to tell people, animals can't go out and buy themselves meals or that chicken thigh - so I talk myself into this plan, and I hope this plan works out.

The plan is I shall overlook my needs for `an-always-clean-home' in order to provide a home for Thursday, until...the day comes when one of us outlive the other.

Some days I try to imagine what my last 5 moths (Thursday came on board on Nov 17th) would have been  have I not taken her in here.  Am very sure she would have been adopted from Peter's, for she is an astonishing beauty, though an eccentric one.  Her beauty have earned her a lot of attention, and many visits of guests to this home have to be credited to her...her bushy tail and that unique `Thursday-gaze'.

I haven't quite figured out how I will overlook my own needs (for a very clean house).  But I tell myself maybe it would be like a meditation.  Each time I walk into the flat that smell of her, and her `things', each time I clean up after her, etc - would be a meditation of the mind, and body.

Yea, so that's it.  Just want to share how I feel over this thing with Thursday.  What have I got towards her, am sure of what kind of love this is, I feel a sense of responsibility for her.  I reckon it has elements of love and attachment in it too, for I could have easily given Thursday up for adoption - many people would love a beauty like her, strange as she is, she is bloody cute too, with a fierce amount of character.

pic by Chelsia

Chels singing to curious cat

Many people are drawn to Thursday, Zakri

On a separate note, it's been half a year since we last saw you.  6 months, half a year.  Frighteningly fast how times leaves.  It's still difficult to go to your room and look at your things on the shelf without feeling a pinch.  I often nap on your bed there when I go over  to yours.

I taught Tristan how to high-five last night.  He seems like a pretty chirpy fella, I hope he turns out like you, always all smiles and positive.  Your mom made heavenly good dinner last night, the ABC soup was perfection, simple stir fry chow-sum was very flavourful, steamed eggs in perfect texture.

Oh ya, so I got myself tickets to Bali, 5-day 4 nights.  Booked a room in Ubud.  This a little milestone, my first conscious effort in a holiday.  Five days away just with myself.  Am going to go with my second Ayn Rand's book and knock myself out.  The sense of not knowing what am doing on the trip is bliss.

Streamyx here has been consistently down.  Signed up for Unifi and it's being installed this week.

 A video for you, from my gig last week.  Chels, Brandon helped me with cameras.  Daphne (emcee)'s manager, Joe too helped me video all my songs and dance.

Thinking of you.

Much love,


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