Wednesday, February 25, 2009

I think we're alone now.

I've been doing better lately, really. Thanks for asking. Less Eeyore-like entries. But I have my moments of lapse - where my mind wanders through the corridors of 'Messy Days, Angry Ways' and spirals into the vortex of a less-than-happy past.

But I deserve credit for trying to crawl out of that hole. It has not been easy and although I'm not quite 'there' yet, the only way is up from here. But a phrase caught my attention a couple of nights ago and it sounded like something my soul was trying to ask me: "How do you look into the future if your past is still present?"

And so, sometimes I slip. And I think of the disappointments. The fool I've been made. The heartbreak. When I slip, I talk. I need to talk. I need to verbalise whatever bullshit creeps into my head because maybe, just maybe, once I hear the words come out of my mouth, I realise that its nothing I can't handle.

Thing is, there are only a handful of people whom I entrust my verbal diaorrhea with. But talking to them recently, I realised I've run out of 'I'm here if you want to talk' coupons. One friend actually went "uh-huh ya ya ya" to speed up the 'unncessary' bits of my story and another one just laughed it off. When I brought it up to another, her response was, "STILL on this?", one hand on hip and a completely bored look on her face. I even get brushed off online by 'friends' separated by a sea.

Fine. I get it. They're all 'talked out'. I can understand that. But I did think that given I haven't been 'bugging' anyone for more than a month, it wouldn't be deathly if I boo-hoo'd for a second right? When did my friends become so fair-weathered?

It's a painful reality to face and hard lesson to learn but from now on, I guess I know which friends to turn to and which ones can only handle a drinking session with me. That said, always look out for the friends you least expect to be there for you or the ones you don't see often enough - They can be the true gems.

I heart all my friends, don't get me wrong. I just have to lower my expectations.

On another topic, Lent begins for us Catholics today. I have been thinking hard on what to give up for the next 40 days. A few years back, I went without meat and the year after, I gave up alcohol (oh the temptation...). This year, I am giving up 2 things for Lent. First, I am letting go of the urge to dwell on all that has happened in 2008 - and this means giving up certain people and habits for the next 40 days. Secondly, I am not going to indulge in idle gossip nor bitch about ANYONE, particularly in the office. No matter HOW Infuriating my bosses are or how annoying some people can be - I will not talk bad about them. I realise it has become such a habit to bitch about other people - breakfast, lunch, dinner, at home, online, in the office, in the car...Which is why I know this will be a huge test for me during Lent as I take 'bitching' for granted and see it as harmless. Hopefully, I can practice it way past 40 days, heh heh.

May the grace of the Lord be with us all!

Sunday, February 22, 2009

Mel and PGL

Yes, I was in KL over the weekend. And, for the record, I was there for ONE NIGHT only. Punya alang-alang. But I am not one to complain because it's not everyday I get a fully-paid trip to watch a musical!

My colleagues and I were in the city to watch the famed Puteri Gunung Ledang - The Musical. This is me and Hang Tuah - the male protagonist and knight in shining...songket. Okay, so he's on a banner. I take what I can.

It was on Friday night, at Istana Budaya. They have so much going on there throughout the year, as the huge banner shows. I'm such a theatre geek and if I lived in KL, you'd know where to find me on weekends...

Me and Sara - my roomie extraordinaire. She watched the movie whilst yours truly had no clue on what was about to unravel on stage. In some ways, I'm glad I didn't so it was like listening to a fairy tale for the first time.

Right outside the theatre. I love the buzz right before the show starts. And when that curtain goes up, I feel all fuzzy inside. I'll take live theatre over the cinema any day.

Istana Budaya from the outside.Yeah, the pic doesn't do it much justice. The last time I was here was to watch 'The Sound of Music', circa 2004.

With my colleagues and the main characters of the play. (Ok, it's another poster, fine). Tiara Jacqueline (who played the same role in the movie back in 2003) portrayed the princess in the musical. She's quite the singer too. I absolutely love how the cast pulled off the Javanese accent. Every detail, every movement was a beautiful reflection of the Javanese culture.

I don't want to ramble on how excellent the show was. All I can say is that I haven't been that riveted since a bunch of well-buffed and shiny men invaded the cinema screen in a little movie called '300' not too long ago. If anything, I've discovered I'm still a sucker for a darn good love story. Throw in a tragedy or two for added effect.Oh and they had screens on the side with English subtitles. Perfect for those a bit rusty with their Bahasa Malaysia - that would be me.

On another note, some people actually scoffed and smirked when I told them I was going to watch this musical. "Malaysian ah?Er, ok whatever. Have fun." Ok, so even I don't have the highest regard for all things Malaysian but let's cut the country some slack. With the awfully bad will come the amazingly great. There ARE some good Malay songs (and no, not the Indonesian ones). There ARE talented musicians out there. There ARE quality productions that we can be very proud of sometimes - and once again, no, I don't mean Cicak Man. If you watched 'Puteri Gunung Ledang - The Musical', I'm pretty sure it'll smack that smirk right off some arrogant faces.

Yes, I'm just tired and irritable. For Monday looms.

Thursday, February 05, 2009

30 seconds.

That's how long I can hold my breath underwater.
And to think I had to travel all the way to Langkawi to discover this. But that's what my little getaway was supposed to do - to learn more things about myself. To see what I'm capable of. And of course, to sort out my thoughts and see if I can get myself a glowing tan (we'll get to that later). I have been planning this holiday for what seemed like ages and when the weekend finally arrived, I was outta here faster than you can say, "So long KK, YOU SUCK."
I had in tow with me my buddy Dillon. Ok let's see if you can keep up with me: Dillon and I met in Monash Uni Malaysia, but he grew up in the States, spent most of his uni years in Melbourne, proceeded to work there for a few years and then moved to London. Kapeesh? So yes, he has the strangest accent. Something the Citizen of the World would sound like.

But Dillon, Dillon, my friend in a million - suggested long ago that he needed to get away from the dreary London air and I needed to get away from...KK and all its trappings. So, two tickets later, we were in Langkawi. And this was our transportation of choice:

THE POWER OF THE KANCIL! These babies cost RM50 a day (I later found out it should've been RM30 but ah well) and you just have to fill 'em up and you're good to go! Of course, seeing how teeny tiny it was, Dillon looked like a giant in a matchbox:
Although my sole purpose was to make like a starfish and be one with the beach, I figured might as well see what touristy things I could do in Langkawi. You don't get any more touristy than this:

Looked harmless. And Malaysians only pay RM15 if you flash your MyKad. The two girls in front of me didn't know this and when they heard I got a discount, they started grumbling, "Hah?Ada diskaun? Alaaaaa..."


It was really high up. And I hate heights. So do the math. Dillon kept going, "Oh wow, you GOTTA look at this, Mel. Look, look!" Sweaty palms and all, I managed to sneak a polite peek down below and go, "Mmm nice. So pretty." So he took a photo of me to get my mind off the thought that the cable could snap and our car would smash into a million pieces into the valley.

See how high up it goes? Told you it was high.

But the view was so worth it. And there's a nice cool breeze. The trick is to look OUT and not DOWN. And then they had this sign:

Ok, we'll just take your word for it. And they have the most enterprising people there, offering foot massages, caricatures....

So Dillon got one done. It was pretty good. The guy kept going, "Look straight, look straight...". He looks 'straight' to me.

On the way down, we kept seeing this cable car. HOLY COW. Imagine riding one of those? I think it's for the maintenance guys. Dillon actually wondered if we could pay more to ride it. You couldn't pay ME enough to ride it.

And I figured we deserved a reward for all that drama: ICE CREAM!

Dillon: You want ice cream?

Me: Yep, only the type you can suck.

Dillon: What??? (funny look on face)

Me: You know, the popsicles.

Dillon: Ohhhh...I like the other type.

Me: The ones you can lick?

Dillon: *priceless expression*

Get your minds out of the gutter, people.

On another touristy note, we visited 'Telaga Tujuh' or Seven Wells the next day. It's a bit of a hike (25 minutes of climbing steps to be exact). I remember thinking, "This better be the most glorious seven wells I've ever seen in my life or else..."

And it wasn't half bad! See that middle part? The tourists were sliding down it and into a little rock pool. Pretty cool. But I had a feeling it would hurt. We'll leave the bruises to the experts.

So cantik and clear the water. Well, not super cantik, some bits were actually grimy but the running parts were nice and cool. Apparently the water levels were a bit low but we reckon it has something to do with the dry weather. Don't quote me on that.

Tourist shot necessary. And since Dillon has a hat...

...Can't leave home without mine! Mesti glamour.

Thing is, after Day One, we got pretty burnt from the Cable Car trip. Yes, we forgot the sunblock. So we enforced the HATS ON policy on the second day. I love mine. So pink. RM20 from Labuan.

We had lots of seafood. Everyday. And while we downed the cholestrol, we chanted the mantra, "We're on holiday, we're on holiday" as if it would will the cholestrol away.

Chef's special lobster. Not too bad. We had this at a place called Little China. Now, an interesting story: We were initially at the restaurant across the street. We thought, "Wah so many people, must be good." So we sat down, waited a while for the menu to arrive. Next thing you know, we hear the owner scolding an elderly tourist couple, "I don't speak German or French! I don't understand! I don't understand!" and he snatches the menu from the shocked tourists. Okaaaaaay. He moves to our table and gruffly asks, "What you want to drink?" And we open the menu and go, "Hmm let's see..."

And he walks away. WTF.

Upon which we move to Little China. Much better. No shouting fat man. Less people. Faster service. Phew. On the second night, we tried out the Fat Mum Seafood Restaurant:

Not bad at all. Except the tom yam soup was super spicy and we couldn't finish it without choking. Oh ya, we also met Fat Mum herself. I didn't dare take a photo of her.

But my favourite bits of the holiday was just vegetating on the beach. Which is, I must say, really nice. Everyone pretty much leaves you alone. So I spent my hours on the beach with very good company - Dillon and Pink Vodka!

The sunsets aren't as brilliant as the ones in KK but I did like the fact they had daylight way into 8:00pm. I could lounge on the beach right up till dinner time!

What can I say. Langkawi was what I needed. My only regret is that we didn't stay an extra couple of days (Yes la Dillon, you were right :P). During one of our pool-dipping sessions, I also discovered the strangest thing: I cannot sink. For some weird reason, I keep floating. No matter how I will myself to sink to the bottom of the pool, my body does all it can to bob right up again.

To the point that Dillon, completely amazed at this point I would think, would have to PUSH me down so I would float up while we were doing our 'How long can you hold your breath?' contest.

Ah what can I say...I'm a floater!

So thanks, Dillon, for making me realise what we're all truly capable of, given the chance. I didn't know I could hold my breath that long (or short, haha). And as much as I hate heights, you're right: The view is beautiful from the top. The hike to the 7 Wells was torturous but again well worth the aching calves and sunburn.

And thanks for making me realise 'sinking' will never be an option for me. I'll always find a way to keep my head above the water. As will you.