Wednesday, November 30, 2005

cOLLecTiVe CoNciOusnEsS

dear me,

you always believe that you should write only when you are inspired. Be it a sudden urge to say something that philosophically moves you or a stupid thought. But sometimes the inspiration stops. And you will not succumbed to that of what other writers do when they dictate their, “I was at school at 9 and had lunch at 12.” Even if my life was as boring as that, and it is, I never would do it.

Someone once told me that my letters to you were honest, how funny I found it to be. Whilst there were traces of honesty in it, it was always masked so that no one would fully understand it, or at least I would be led to think that.

Everyone thinks about death at one point or another. Their own that is. Perhaps its self pity or fear, but most likely narcissism, as our life flashes. It is isn’t it? Living, like writting, seems to make sense only if someone read it. We write with the proud security that people are interested in what we have to say. That someone actually cared that we were awake at 9 and having lunch at 12.

Maybe that’s also the same reason why we put all our energies and hope into getting hitch and married like it was the most important thing in the world.

Flashes of thought at the meeting of our maker, we think "did I get to outlive my dreams or have I done enough with my youth and most of all did I leave a mark to the world?" "Did I inspire anyone.?"

Do you want to know how to please someone? Get their ego bloated till they burst at the seams? Tell them they’ve inspired you. Heck, sometimes they even believe that without anyone acknowledging it. Oh she’s acting because of me, studying law because of me.

I think it was part of a movie. The secret to courting that girl is letting her talk about herself. It always works.

It always has and will be the big M-E. The fall of MEn, will be our very own self.

yours, of course,


Friday, November 25, 2005

a fUnNy tHinG haPpEneD oN tHe wAy tO thE moVieS

Dear jess,

My one weakness is going to the movies. I absolutely love it. My other weakness is being a person who's always rushing and therefore creating situations. After my ambitious back to back European film festival and watching turks speak german; which was a nice flashback to the days i actually took german classes, i was all set for my next movie.

One last usual stop before i go in. Get into the toilet, open door, get in cubicle, shut door, unzip pants, pee, zip pants, get out, grab drink left at the sink, notice guy on my left peeing in a urinal, which i apparently failed to notice on my way in, wash hands, leave.

You know whats worse? i didnt flinch. blink. blush. nothing! However, out of respect for a shell shocked innocent male bystander outside the toilet, i had to shake my head at myself.

Who needs entertainment when i can laugh at myself?

yours apologising to men everywhere,


Wednesday, November 23, 2005

cAkeS shoULd oNLy bE maDE oUt oF iCiNG..

Dear jess

indecisiveness prone. At the risk of sounding like a backboneless person, sometimes I wish my decisions were pre made for me. So much for the fight of freedom of speech and free will.

Most of the time, it’s the little girl within me wanting to please everyone else or wondering what everyone else thinks that makes me indecisive. And to think I was spontaneous when on the contrary I over weigh things.

The package comes with the over regretting too, and when you think about huge life changing decisions you cant help but to go what if I make the wrong choice? Everyone tells you that marriage is one of the biggest decisions in life you will make and that notion leads to a string of domino effects. The idea that we deserve the ‘perfect’ mate, the idea that we should wear make up and look good on a date, the idea that she should be pretty and smart, the idea that he should romantic.. Its almost as if the icing was set so that we would bite into the cake.

Its irony that the idea of love is suppose to be as close to ‘unconditional,’ overlooking our flaws and yet we look for what we, or even more popular what our parents, friends, church mates and all the rif raf’s in our life deem best.


Another cookie in my life I can’t swallow. What if ten years down the road I’m married and then I realized I should’ve married someone else? Its almost like a cruel joke I can play on myself.

Perhaps that’s why I should elope on a spur of the moment decision. Give me more than 5 seconds to consider anything and ill never decide.

My cousin is getting married next year, and ‘the bridesmaids’ haven’t stopped singing..

Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married..
Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married..
Going to the chapel and we’re gonna get married..
Boy I really love you and we’re gonna get married..
Going to the chapel of love!

I’m glad not everyone’s like me at least I get to wear a cute dress, eat wedding cake and dance to jingling nona’s once a year! That i have no regret's

Yours fickle as ever,

joops & jason at their wedding in Bentong last weekend, which is nearer to PD than it is to Klang. Good small town dinner made up for horrible maps..

the three of us at Camp Cam sang so loud with all the knockings on the table, we woke up some pretty angry campers..

this is what my "date" does when i say put on a tie!

we went to morib beach, uni senior, now psychologist watches the sunset..

morib's historical site of soldiers that landed here...

one of the many things we outgrow, inhibitions..

Wednesday, November 16, 2005

suNdAy sHoEs

Dear jess,

Inserted behind is a form for you to tick your religion. You may pick from these categories Buddhist, Hindu and White.

I pave my way out a church I’ve been visiting for a couple of weeks now. It’s built so amazingly that my friend says ‘the money could’ve been used to pay for 10 new churches.’ As I make my way to my friend’s car I see a few Mercedes, BM’s and an assortment of fine sweets parked near our humble car.

Its part of living a city life. Whilst some Catholic churches refuse to spend money on ceiling fans which I’m sure can cause fainting in those packed places one day, Protestants continue on the war they’ve waged against these “Christians.”

Some people come together after the young adults and head to some expensive restaurant in the city whilst some church leaders go into the project they’ve started with the family of the victims of JE, which we of course have conveniently forgotten.

Whilst we spend hundreds and thousands on singing Christmas trees so that people can come to us, others wait in the jungles and shiver with delight just because we’ve gone caroling with them.

Post Colonial Malaysia. We have inherited a white culture. Ive lived, grown, eaten, slept church. It is a place where I can sit in the aircond and laugh my heart out with people who’ve known me since I was a kid. Church is upper middle class English, with people who go there in dresses. There doesn’t seem to be a place for the poor as we walk on by with our Gucci shoes and Prada bags. Sure we don’t have anything against them, just our pretty church building might.

We battle to retain singing English hymns like it was our own culture, keep pews because we think its what should be in a church, wear a tie on a Sunday in a country that lives near the freaking Khatulistiwa and look so blankly when someone speaks in Bahasa Malaysia to the congregation.

Like I said, religion? White.


Saturday, November 12, 2005

uNvEiLinG the wReCk!

dear jess,

Its official. Im a wreck. Not only were those thoughts reconfirmed today, i had to do a "which desperate housewife are you" test that reaffirms this. I am Susan! Yeap, messy, clumsy, accident prone Susan.

Here's me. It takes me one week to convince myself to do something i hate, one week until i cant bear either the jabbing pain in my brain to go to the doctors, one week till i feel the sudden urge to pay the bills, one week till anything might remotely happen.

Procrastinating is one thing. Panicking is another. So after the one week of talking to myself that i need to do what it is i have to do, i do. Except that when i get to doing what i have to do; i have the tendency to panic, sweat, my heartbeat rate increases for the whole 2 hours, and ultimately i screw up. And what do i need? Someone to come to my rescue.

*throws hands in the air* Not only am i disappointed in the fact that today i had to do something new, scary and all by myself but failed in keeping myself calm and composed! Worse still i could think of two people i desperately wanted to be by my side and still i refused to call them because i wanted to do this by myself. Of course i failed and ultimately did make that call.

Its official. Im a wuss. I'd rather leave and run away than to face a task that is unknown and all by myself, which i almost literally did today.

Once i was late for a performance, and what do i do? Take the wrong turn a few hundred times. Then what? yes, once again, someone has to come to my rescue. It all becomes blurry when im panicking.

I dont mind sleeping in what looked like a seemingly haunted room all by myself in a foreign country but i cant drive myself to a performance without screwing up. Bravo.

Thanks to all my "knight in shining armours" im still emotionally and phsycially alive although i understand myself lesser everyday.. i think i make Susan look sane.

who are you?ps. guys find out which ones they marry!


Thursday, November 10, 2005

sPaRe cHanGe aNyBoDy?

dear jess,

My travel guru, who doesnt know ive just gave him that title has recently walked the Camino De Santiago, Spain. It is as ive mentioned in my previous letters, but for your sake, knowing you skipped or burned some of my previous letters; tell you again that the Camino is a pilgrimage journey thats about 37 days (800km) walk and ends at Santiago de Compostella where St James is laid. Legend remains that his disciples transported him to be buried here. The route since then has become a famous Christian pilgrimage, and is covered by beautiful landscapes. Okay, history lesson over. Back to my 'guru'

He left more than a year ago and recently i have found out how much it took for him to get started on this endless backpacking journey. 5000 ringgit, a relative home in London, and a month to get a job. 5000. thats probably a quarter of what some people i know make in a month. Okay so maybe a quarter is exaggeration.

So here iam. Left in my dreams and what he has made a reality. I know when he was babblin about this to me, i marked it off as a phase and almost wished he wouldnt do it. But im glad my wishes didnt come true cos his dreams have become mine! And i know soon enough there will be people, including myself who will wish this insane dreaming will stop.

You know, sometimes you sit there and tell yourself insane passions will stop, just as some have in the past. Then you imagine that you will live a good life where your highlight will be a wedding to a man you could live with, and not to the one you couldnt live without.

I mean there will always be honeymoons, holidays and retreats and with the family, normal family fights and dinners, joys and excitement when my cousins marry and i nominate myself to be the bridesmaid, tears and sadness when someone dies. Instead i want to exchange this for dirty toilets, damp beds, strange places, inedible food, possible arguments with travel partners, showers that will give me fungus, cheating cabbies or worse still those that will mug me.

What kind of insanity am i wanting here?

Spare me 5000 ringgit and ill tell you.

Yours counting every single penny,

Wednesday, November 09, 2005

mOo-iNg in Se-TYLE

dear jess,

seen any cool cows lately?. love this site. absolutely.
yours moo-ing,


Sunday, November 06, 2005

conFesSiOns oF a sEriAL boReDom-Er

“There are some people who live in a dream world, and there are some who face reality; and then there are those who turn one into the other”
Douglas Everett

dear jess,

I sit here at 12.32 am in the morning, sipping a three in one that insults hardcore coffee drinkers but meets my every desperate need to stay alive. My mind flashes back, as that’s where it seems its only capable of going and I think about the words “sliding away boring” that a friend so aptly describes his life, and he lives in a country where renaissance was born.

It goes further back again, now im convinced my mind only has a reverse gear, to the time when I met the most “colourful” people on earth. We all had one goal, more or less. To make life as abnormal as possible.

One would put up plays no matter how rotten and spend his every last penny on, and the other would throw out caution to the wind and travel the world, and work only when he had too. He, my idol for now, has recently walked the Camino de Santiago! A man who travels alone and rejects the normality of a day job, not living up his sonly duties is probably looked down on, but he has all my respect.

12.37 am.

I can hear the clock ticking in my head like a time bomb.

12.39 am.

Suddenly i discover the 1st gear, then the fourth. And so what if i do accomplish this madness? That one day i will go and never return, that one day i too will walk the Camino, see Andalucia, and maybe even the Renaissance period, the Mongolians, the groups of people no one has heard, and just about everything my mind and heart isnt even capable of containing!

12.40 am

Does the cycle of madness and continuous fix of adrenaline end? Will normality suddenly return when im done with wherever and suddenly discover that i shall settle down on a forsaken island and work, what else but a 9-5 job, maybe selling mango shakes and cappucino's?

12.44 am. future. on forsaken island. tanned beyond recognition.

Sitting down sipping cappucino, Mind goes into reverse gear thinking of the time i walked the Camino and met the Mongolians. Grow old and become one of those women who bore the grandkids with travel stories. Tell them where i grew up only to have them look back at me blank. Sit on the rocking chair and think..

My life is sliding away boring.

12.47 am
picks up cappucino. flashes back to home. Wonder what they've done with the house i use to live in.

yours in need of a fix,

Friday, November 04, 2005

Road To Taiping..

You must choose a road for yourself. –Kazoo Koike, in Road to Perdition, Max Allan Collins

Dear jess,

Collins opens his- I would call it almost inspiring- story that goes, “my memoirs like some people’s dreams, are in black and white.” It seems almost wrong to call his piece a comic. But then again im the same person who has a collection of Simpsons comic books stacked in the vault behind the secret door.

My stories will never be like his, because I almost hate to tell sometimes, or perhaps I just don’t know how to. Whilst im sure every first timer comic book writer didn’t start out writing it in letters to you, im going to attempt to anyway..

For every person who has had sudden inspirations..

Main Road, Taiping, 1960's. sometime's the only way to move forward, is to look back.

i do look back. And sometimes my past doesnt seem to inspire my future, and you wonder if you change at all. Whilst people cling on to the past, i just want me to change drastically, but maybe its everyone else around me i want to change so that they be more like me. The church reminds me of my faith, and im still challenged at what that means. An internal wager to reach 'normality' versus spirituality as i find out from the aussie guidebook tat taiping has the oldest church in malaysia! nope, its not this one though, its in my previous post..

we were excited, and i had two hours of sleep because my normal sleeping time was 6. so as i lay awake in bed my mind just kept working away. Fortunately my co-pilot, elsa drove alot for me. We missed our tim sum at ipoh, the food in penang sucked, and the sales people in keloxi just loves harassing me. However it was a crazy time of singing, making our own mtv's and meeting frens. Or rather fren.

Thursday, November 03, 2005

its always the little things in life isnt it? everyone has a sense of humour, you just have to look hard enough..

Open Most Days About 9 or 10
Occasionally as Early as 7,8 But some days as late as 12 or 1. We Close about 5.30 or 6 Occasionally about 4 or 5, but sometimes as late as 11 or 12. Some days or afternoons we arent here at all, and lately ive been here just about all the time, accept when im someplace else, but i should be here then, too.

everyone thinks theyre a comedien, aint it.

there's no guessing who the comedian in my family is Its the first time we went karaokeing as one big group. it was super fun, we sang and danced to kuch kuch.. ahem what happens in the room stays in the room, fortunately.

what does my family do when we travel? we play taboo, eat, "argue", laugh hysterically, eat, shop, more taboo, eat and of course invite ourselves over to some dude's deepavali house.. to.. eat..

As we drove to the house, i look down and notice that my shirt is worn inside out. Thanks to tinted car glass, pillows and co-ed school changing skills, the shirt was flipped in a second! Of course, nothings complete on deepavali until you lick your fingers..

There were days when pigging out could be justified easily, for example meals at 'circus grounds" cost 27ish. And there were 9 of us..

i should pause my reporting mode here and continue to attempt the storytelling. i remember in patches my childhood here, being on this huge slides.. when mum and aunty marie took us here. Today we take 5 year old ian. Life sometimes just happens before you know it.

as you drive down the roads of the lake, the trees lean over and just stops not touching the lake. Almost as if it knows when to stop, of course its just most likely a man comes and cuts it
more reflections agaisnt the water..

the setting sun against the lake reminds me of the setting sun against the sea that i love so much. Besides the many setting sun memoirs, it might be about reflections too.

a pancake a day keeps the blues away..

we packed all geared to jump into the lake, but it rained non stop, and we heard tragic previous stories of people getting washed away by the flowing stream during heavy rains. my uncle was an eyewitness to one such case as he stepped out of the water seconds before a gush to witness a woman being washed away with the fierce streams..

Look up to Maxwell Hill, when its cloudy, going streaming can be fatal.. The gush of the stream coming from the top of the mountain can't be heared until its too late! Beauty so enticing and deceiving all at the same time..

All souls day, 2005. Speaking of; it was like walking into the past. The long grass that cuts, the scorching heat, the waryness not to step on someones grave. We come face to face with where we can see eternal rest.

The sun hits me hard on my head, shocks me as its been raining the last few days. Something else hits. Its the first time in a year that we're back. I wonder how my mum does, and in silence, some things besides tears come flowing back..

We light candles for mama, aunty marie and elaine's grandparents, ex boxer kid pancho and his mrs. The wind breezes and the candles go off, almost as if it itself didnt want to hear about the past..

And so the journey ends, the memories remain. That's how my memory is i suppose. In pictures, captions and abstact colour. i scream, family photo! and a flashback in my head of our last family photo- with everyone in it, years ago, at mama's birthday. A few many people will outlive me, i wonder what abstract colour i will be then..

the rain i adore returns to accompany me. Its strength as strong as its beauty and shaded by the wonders of the hillside i lean back, step on the pedal and head home..
and as i put this letter in the envelope and send it to you i realise, as you would by now that my career in comic scriptwritting will never take off. Oh well, maybe after some violence and blood shed drawings, maybe ill make it big.

Until then, i shall resign to normal and mundane life stories. No apologies beforehand.

yours scratching off,