Sunday, July 26, 2009

taLk is CheAp

dear diary,

how do i write this letter to you? i know i've heard the saying that i shouldn't wash my dirty laundry in public. of course, perhaps this isn't my dirty laundry directly. but this really breaks my heart.

you know, when i was teaching this drama class, my kids were made to write their own story. this young girl of 12 wrote a story about an old lady that she saw begging one day for money. she asked her mum why the woman had to beg for money at such an old age, and her mum replied, its because her children wouldn't take care of her. that's such a random answer don't you think? one of those that you tell your kids so that you make sure that they take care of you when you're old?

and you would think that these things just don't happen to your family or friends, people whom you KNOW have "integrity." and then strange things happen, children who argue with their parents, stop supporting them, stop speaking to them..

i know a man. a man who has had to endure just this. he has lost weight, he looks like he wants to cry when he speaks and he is filled with grieve and sadness that you can see when you look into his eyes. i look away, because if i stare into it, i know i too will cry.

i know this man, and he is gentle, loving and forgiving.

i know this man, and he does not deserve to be treated this way.

at the end of the day, it doesn't matter who the heck is right and who the heck is wrong. and when you are a family the longer you take to forgive, the longer everyone suffers.

this is why i am sure, that the greatest weapon the devil has is pride. he lets us to believe the lies that we are good and forgiving is a privillege.

who are we? who have we become? do we give our money to people who deserve it? NGOs? do we make the effort to make sure our parents, relatives, are not in need? who have we become that we can allow our fathers and forefathers to be in a moments need of basic necessities??

it makes me so mad and so sad at the same time. with every ounce of energy in me i hope i can make this right.

The twelve year old ends hear story by saying to her mum "mummy, don't worry you will never have to beg for money because i will take care of you."


Wednesday, July 15, 2009


dear me..

I was flying back from Cambodia, when this Portuguese man behind me started to chat up a Singaporean. He was telling the lady of the Portuguese in Melaka, what they spoke etc etc. In some aspects he knew more than the Singaporean whose only claim to fame was “yeah, I have a Eurasion classmate.”

When I was growing up, people didn’t understand what I was, so they rudely called me in Cantonese “cap chong” or however one would romanize Cantonese. Today, one of my friends have said this to me before – in response to my excitement for what we Eurasions have for Christmas. “oh having your curry debel is it?” You know with sarcasm included. Then, there’s those who insist that I don’t speak “enough” kristang.

Being me can be oh so tiring (feign faint)

But seriously. I’ve had this “privilege” in the last few years of knowing more Portuguese people outside the realm of my family members. “they” have their own culture and even similar speaking intonations. Its very curios.

They on the other hand criticize other Portuguese people who have gone to the city, in a way not speaking the language or knowing their roots.

Race can be such a bore in this country. You’re too much this, you’re too little this. My dad’s forefathers came from Thailand. So apparently I might be part Thai.

Now. If you’re a mix of everything and anything and don’t look like a supermodel or a hot deejay all you’re gonna get is a bunch of idiots living in a multicultural nation who don’t understand you or even try too. They try to understand what the big deal is but they don’t care.

In fact, you don’t realise what any big deal of anything is until someone dissess you, or who you are. Chinese people go back to China, because they insist that’s what they are. If Portuguese, Dutch or British (why are there so few British mixed Malaysians? In fact I don’t know of any) that say they want to go back to their country to see their roots, or semi roots, trust me, Malaysians will just roll their eyes over.

Why is it that what I am doesn’t seem real?

I love being part Chinese and I love being part Portuguese. Even more, I love being both.

We kill our own culture. We mock others because we think that they aren’t “chinese” or “eurasion” enough because they don’t do or know some things. It’s like that myth of the snake eating its own tail.

We kill things we don’t understand. At the end of the flight, the man got to talking to me, and said I did look like his kinsmen because of my skin colour. Funny you should say, because most people think that “Portuguese” means white skin, sharp nose.

I find myself defending my one side more than the other. My friend wrote a play and we were called “lain-lain.” Remember those crap boxes with only three major races to tick? I was “lucky” cos I got to put Chinese. He felt like he had no identity, he was just “others.”

We’ve got such a horribly long way for a country with so many types of people.

That is all.

Why do most if not all Chinese girls put peace signs when they take photos? Do they seriously think that is cute? And some Chinese guys too!!!