Archive for August, 2007

I am not Milan Kundera

August 25, 2007 Leave a comment
The ‘Unbearable Lightness of Being’ was supposedly award-winning and munificent.
I have never read the story before.
Instead, I heard the story from an ex-girlfriend in English. Ironically, She was from China thus her English was not that great. For the uninitiated, Milan Kundera’s protaganist in ‘Unbearable Lightness of Being’ cannot form have a meaningful relationship with his women. Instead, he fucks them and never stays over in their bed.
I thought, for a long time, that I could be similar – absolutely loveless when it comes for a fuck.
I cannot. I truly cannot. I cannot sleep. I cannot work. It becomes hard to think.
What happened to fuck and go? What happened to living light?
Gone. La.
I need now and I cannot live light.
Categories: Observations

Lovely lovely 881

August 19, 2007 Leave a comment
881 is damn orbit* la. Tatler and Prestige subscribers will have a hard time swallowing it down. But what can you expect? The flashing lights and obiang* costumes clashes with their diamonds and refined finery.
I don’t have any fashion sense. Lucky. Otherwise, I’d be sniffing away with my nose up in the air.
My man Kaz, astutely observed, "a lot of Royston’s work revolves around kitschy dancing and musicals…". Expect the same in ‘881’; half the show has everyone singing in Hokkien and prancing in ridiculously drama* choreography. Don’t bleh. That’s best part of the movie. The dancing is a wild and extravagant celebration of heartland sensibility. The songs are a reminder of traditions which younger ones do not care for.
The movie is a quite far-removed from what you would get in a real life getai. That’s not the main point of the show. I’d advise you to focus on the actors who live for the 7th month getai. That’s where 881 shines. It’s one of those shows when I laughed with the actors, damn near cried with them, yippeed when they triumphed against the Durian Sisters and swore with them. Mindee Ong was brilliant as Little Papaya who was determined to go out in a blaze of glory. On stage, her blindly beautiful smile defied her impending doom. Off stage, she has only one wish, "我只要把经年唱完。" (I just want to finish singing for this year). That scene where she repeats those words would leave many eyes teary.

So catch Royston’s movie.
And when you can, clip-clop down to the HDB open space for a real life getai.
* Drama – To act in a melodramatic fashion. Used as an adjective, not a noun
* Obiang / Orbit – Embarrasingly out of fashion
一人一半 (881 Title Track)

Replacement (Lin Qi Yu) – 881

Categories: Uncategorized

Good weekend – starved.

August 19, 2007 2 comments
It’s a grey weekend; heavy with rain and sweeping wind. I kept thinking that the day’s stuck at 7.01pm; just after dusk. It affected me so much that I would have stayed in bed all Sunday if my dad hadn’t dragged me out of bed for lunch. Ordinarily, the lack of sunlight and bright skies would get me down.

Not this weekend. It’s good to stay in and do nothing. The last few weeks of hectic-ness was getting to me. I was out of sorts and tremendously weighed down. In fact, I ahad a goal this weekend – I wanted to clean up my chapters. To hell with them. I’ll deal with them next week. 
Today, I need good books, torpor and ironically people. 
Yesterday, I had wandered around Orchard and its surroundings with C. We spent nine hours together: walking; chatting; hanging out; photographing gargolyes, statues and birdcages; gawking at pretty faries flying around on a tow line. I enjoyed those nine hours; it’s been a long while since I’ve last ‘floated around with someone’ and C’s great company.
It also drove home that I’m starved for human contact.
Proper human contact. Not the PR kind. Not the girlfriend / boyfriend kind. Not the virtual kind ala MSN or email. Simply ‘real’, un-masked human contact. Alan Cislaghi – a friend who lives in Beijing – sums it up best, "I do things which shock people. Because I want them to reach out and touch each other. Engage with each other!" After which, he dropped his pants and danced on the bartop – proudly swinging both penis and balls infront of the bartender.
There were cries of shock, hurrahs of outrage and an incensed barman tried to knock him down. Yet his wild 老外 (foreigner) antic brought people together. Previous strangers now talked and laughed with each other. Smiles were bigger. Actions more animated. Alan fulfilled his objectives. He got everyone reaching out to each other.
So this was a grey weekend which showed me what I was missing out on.
I don’t know if I’ll seek out contact next week.
But I certainly hope so.
Categories: Observations

What to do?

August 15, 2007 Leave a comment
Been back from Had Yai for a few days. Out of sorts and rushed.  

There’s a list of things which I’ve to do:

  • Write the travel book
  • Simplify a book

Talk about having it all at once.

Categories: Observations

The Alchemist by Paul Coelho.

August 5, 2007 1 comment
A boy names Santiago makes a pilgrimage to the pyramids.
He wanted to travel. And so, he became a shepherd and saw Spain. But a recurring dream of treasure hidden under the pyramids goads him to Eygpt.
He goes through many adventures and is subsequently enlightened.
You can read the book la.
I think, the central message of the book is: if you want something bad enough, if you follow your heart, the world will work in ways to help you. It will give you opportunities that are available if you listen / see / feel.
The world will not hand everything to you on a sliver platter. There will be dangers, risk and pain. All tests to see if you have been paying attention to yourself.
Ask yourself, “What do I want? What do I want so badly that my heart knows it’s true?” 
Categories: Observations

Just after midnight.

August 4, 2007 Leave a comment
"I need to pee!!!" (translated from Cantonese)
12.07 am.
Grandmother’s yodelling and wailing for the her bedpan again. She’s a frail, fragile thing.
Yes. Thing.

A dried-up cloth doll. A weak, shivering effigy. A statue who’s animated very rarely.
Everyone else ignores her wails and pleas. I do that too.
I used to klump upstairs, pop into her room and ask, "What?" in my most matronly way.
It’ll never work. She’d want my mom or Alice, my maid, and wave me away.
When I leave for work, I wave to her from the front gate. She waves back from the 2nd floor balcony. All I see is a shrunken head, a shock of white hair and gnarled wrist moving right to left. My grandmother spends most of her morning on that balcony; peeping through the horizontal gap in the wall.
Then Alice would wheel her back to the hospital bed which we’ve rigged up in one of the back rooms. Her room stinks of old woman smell; the kind that smells of latex and sticks to the insides of your lungs.
My mom sleeps inside that room every night and spends most of the day there as well.
Occasionally, she gets a little help from relatives.
A long time ago, second aunt came. She tried to help my grandmother with her nappy. She smirked, "How do you do this? Wait for your mother la." My second aunt now comes in the evenings with her family and stays for 30 minutes. She brings food and medicine for my grandmother. I’ve seen their faces when they witness a pee session. It goes blank and hard; like a just-put-up wall. I’m pretty sure that they heave hidden sighs of relief when it’s all over.
It’s good that they turn up anyways. My grandmother grins like a loony bin when she sees all of her children and extended family. She hasn’t progressed to sentimental tears yet. I don’t know if there’s enough grey matter left in her head to know what she’s missing.
But watching her loony toon grin when they turn up is strangely heart-wrenching for me.
It’s 12.49am now.
4 hours and 11 minutes before the next tinny yodel.
Categories: Observations

Class Gathering – resolution

August 3, 2007 Leave a comment
"So what’s been happening for the last 10 years?"
"Well. We’ve been meeting since university. We met once at Compass Rose. Whoever was there would sign on the back of the recipet."
It was a boring two hours at an over-priced restaurant. So it was me. I couldn’t get into the ‘scheme of things’ – everyone was talking about past tutors and lecturers; cheating at a maths olympiad; copying tutorials from each other.

I slept through all of JC.

The best conversation which I had all night was with Jason’s girlfriend (wife?). We talked about people with money coming into Singapore (F1 and integrated resorts). We talked about the many services that rich men needed; vaults; personal concierges; fine arts galleries; fine-dining oppportunities; luxury hotels. It lasted for 20 minutes.
At least I got an angle for another book.
(Sidenote: pitched it to Kelly. Will KIV it until I’m done with this book.)
"Good bye Edwin. I know that I can expect to see you at the next class gathering…."
"Is anyone going to Bukit Timah?"
Categories: Observations
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