29 June 2006

Delapan Kasih, Delapan Kisah, Bahagian Keempat

Eight things that give me the (good) goosebumps

Not the big ones, like Borders but little bookshops where most of the lighting comes through the windows. I once went to the University of Malaya bookshop, which was like that. Before then, all of the bookshops I had been to were full of schoolbooks and revision texts. This shop was different. So very much that was different, so very much that was new to me, sat on every shelf. This was not the regimented blandness of exam preparation, nor was it the cheap, throwaway commercialism I found elsewhere. Everywhere I looked, there were books that invited concentration and thought. Books that wanted to be, in a sense, my friends.
Whenever I go into a little bookshop, I have this little epiphany all over again.

A certain smile.
Being smiled at is nice, but once upon a time, a certain someone smiled THAT smile to me and made my whole day. And my whole week.

At the KLIA Sepang, next to the Eden Restaurant, is a McDonalds that is special. But not for the food that it serves. Travellers through the airport throng there after checking in, making dining there a very strange affair. Everyone is eating as slowly as they could wish and nobody is leaving any of the tables. Yet, there is always room for the customers who continue to arrive in droves. Most peculiar.
The goosebumps I get come from having eaten there many times before flying away to destinations near or far. Actually, they come from saying goodbye over meals there before flying. I’m awful with goodbyes, so the goosebumps could be so many unfinished farewells.

Getting comments.
I have caught myself getting a little blasé about comments on Delima Kasih, but still get a kick from reading them. I even re-read the old ones sometimes. Thank you all so much. *muaks*

Sunsets by the seaside are very nice, but I get a special feeling from watching the sun set behind tall buildings. Where I grew up in PJ, when the sun set, it would set behind blocks of high-rise flats.

SRK Sri Petaling.
I don’t study at that primary school any more, but it seems like only yesterday when I began there. Curiously, it also seems like only yesterday that I stopped. I remember the little assembly hall, barely larger than a badminton court (which was actually marked out in white mosaic tile lines). I remember the family-run bookshop and the fact that their youngest son was in the class next to ours. Curiously, I remember the fishtank next to the staff room with the words like ‘jelawat,’ and ‘puyu’ stenciled neatly in a corner. Later, I was to learn that they were types of fish.

Methodist Kindergarten.
I have not set foot at my original kindy (and may’s and ka..t’s too, I hear) since I left. Even so, every time I pass by on the Federal Highway, I get goosebumps. I was not there very long and was removed to a kindergarten very close to my house, where I spent more time. I don’t remember very much about the time I spent there but I still get goosebumps. Speaking of which, I still go past the other kindergarten every so often. It is now someone’s home and looks completely different but I DO remember some of the times there. And I get goosebumps then too….

Does anyone else get good goosebumps?

26 June 2006

Delapan Kasih, Delapan Kisah, Bahagian Ketiga

AhMay and AhWongKor have been waving some songs about, so I thought I might get in on the act while doing my Delapan Kasih, Delapan Kisah long meme....

Eight songs

From A Distance. The last line is the best: ‘God is watching us / From a distance….’

Any number of Richard Clayderman’s piano pieces. DYK (ekskius ar, angel) I used to play the piano? Clayderman’s music was astonishingly easy to play and I even managed the correct notes some of the time. One day, I’ll go back to playing the piano. I need to practice more.

Suddenly. ‘Suddenly / Life has new meaning to me / There’s beauty up above / And things we never take notice of /You wake up and suddenly / You’re in love.’ Which is exactly right.

She’s Always A Woman To Me. Doesn’t describe me, but bites very close to the bone for quite a few people I know. Shameless, aitelyu!

I’m All Out Of Love. A wait-take-me-back song, the best of its kind.


I Believe In Love. Actually two songs. One by James Ingram and Sally Yeh, the other by a Filipino artist whose name escapes me. (stage whisper) I like the Filipino one better…. I mean, just listen to the lines:
I believe in love / I believe in you / I believe in everything / The two of us can do…. O.O!!
The US/HK one is just as funny:
I can look at you / And see right through / You’re a part of me / You live inside me…. O.O!!11oneoneone

Do That To Me One More Time. Two songs again, but not exactly.
Do that to me once again / I can never get enough from a man like you….
And there’s the Lionel Ritchie one:
Do that to me one more time / I’ll give you one more chance, this heart of mine / Do it to me one more time baby / Can’t get enough of your love….

How about your eight songs?

25 June 2006

Delapan Kasih, Delapan Kisah, Bahagian Kedua

My eight stories continued, with nicknames

Eight nicknames, made up by myself or had bestowed upon me

plink. I’m a little drop in the ocean, but also the noise in an empty vessel. Pink, as well as link. Contradictions, moi? Really?

plinksan. I have no idea why SAmericanExpress thought to address me Japanese-style, but I think it is very nice.

plink-a-baby You think I’m cute, ah? *waves rattle menacingly*

plinkliuliu. This name makes no sense, so fits me exactly right.

TungKu plink. AhWongKor probably got this from the Mushroom post. I could get used to this one. Makes me sound like royalty wor….

(The) plinKu. angel gave me this one. It’s great fun. *white dress, hair forward, climbs out of TV*
Before you liu, you see the plinKu….

plinky Thanks ka…t

drplink Now, that sounds very interesting….

24 June 2006

Delapan Kasih, Delapan Kisah, Bahagian Pertama

Having watched angel do a meme of eights and being tagged for my trouble, I get to try also. Having watched AhWongKor sashay his way through the earlier meme of fours, I am going to do an LB and twist this to my liking.
Welcome to Delapan Kasih, a meme of eight loves.

Eight jobs I would love to try

Coffee taster. Already naturally anxious by nature, if I got a little extra buzz from the bean, who would notice? Who cares? Go get your own coffee! This is mine!
Proofreader. I could read and read and read and… what’s a proof?
Agony Aunt. People already come up to me and say, ‘plink, you know har….’ The difference is, an Agony Aunt gets paid.
Dance teacher. I did say ‘try’…. You see, those who can, do. I can’t, so….
Judge on X-Factor.
Dentist. ‘Tsk, tsk. Look at the state of that tooth. It’ll have to come out. You want big needle or small wan?’ See? I’m a natural!
Celebrity un-fashion guru. It’s like being a dentist, I’m a natural here too!
Magnum 4D seller. Goes with my eyes… ‘One Big One Small prease!’

More to come!

18 June 2006

I could be having the time of my life

Yes, this does look like a meme that came around some months ago, but I'm posting this because I have been daydreaming a bit. Nothing to do with memes.

Right now, I could be having the time of my life…
… picking strawberries. Translation: eating strawberries.
… learning how to rock-climb (Hi may!).
… enrolled into a ballet boot-camp.
… shopping or lepakking or both, at 1Utama/MidValley/KLCC/The Curve/ insert a name here.
… reading a good book, with a pot of tea.
… writing a good book, with a pot of coffee.
… doing origami.
… making a mess of the kitchen while pretending to bake.
… pretending to cook.
… actually cooking.
… sorting through my wardrobe… again.
… dancing in the rain.
… walking along the beach. Just as nice when the sun is out as when it's raining and windy.
… sleeping.
… driving around looking for some completely random place to hang out.
... annoying my relatives.
… in a foreign land (let’s say Japan) where I’ve only got a phrase book to get started with learning the language.
… in a foreign land (let’s say Bangsar) where I’ve only got a phrase book to get started with learning the language.
… learning to sculpt.
… watching a play.
… being in a play… oh dear….
… studying particle physics.
… teaching particle physics… o_O?!
… running experiments on mice I happen to like.
… running experiments on people I happen not to like.
… showing certain guys what the word, ‘nutcracker,’ could really mean.
… sitting in a corner and drooling vacantly.
... writing an Agony Aunt column.
… teaching children how to get into trouble at school. ‘Well, drinking and smoking might get you into trouble.’
… teaching children how to get out of trouble at school. ‘Actually, do you know how Cikgus A and B spend so much time together hor….’

16 June 2006

z is for….

Zabaglione, which makes tiramisu possible. Steady, angel, steady….

Zanzibar, both the island and the film. Once upon a time, the island voted to join Kenya, but now wants to leave. Would that have made a better film?

Zephyr. A breeze and a motorcycle (thanks, Unker FF).

Zigzag. Refer zinfandel.

Zinfandel. Grapes, for making wine and making people walk zigzag.

Zip. If I wasn’t quite so round, this is how I would move.

Zip. Causing trouble in clothes for nearly a hundred years now. They will jam, tear and attack almost anything. Even body parts, apparently.

Zing. Vhat people do after zey haf been drinking of zinfandel…

Zara. Expensive fashion or the precocious daughter of a deservedly proud mama ; you take your pick.

Zloty. The Polish currency with a nice name.

Zonk. After drinking of zinfandel, walking zigzag and zinging, this happens.

Zoltan. Possibly the best name in the world. Just imagine…‘Good h-evenink madame, mai nehm izs Zoltan….’ *pengsanpengsanPENGSAN!*

Zucchini. A cucumber; a must with satay, great in salads, makes good raita. And a slice of cucumber over each eye during a nap is very soothing.

Zucchero. Italian for sugar, the most important food group. Without it, I might as well zonk out at my desk. Zucchero makes zipping in a zigzag fashion pozzible.

Zamboni. Unker FF may know this as the machine that makes ice hockey possible. It smooths out the ice rink so that ice hockey and skating shows can take place.

Zimmer frame, which old, frail people use for help when walking.

Zits. The clearest sign that we are young enough to have hormones. Ever seen a Zimmer frame user with acne?

Zither. A Chinese zither (gujin/guzheng?) featured prominently in Stephen Chow’s Kung Fu as an assassination weapon. *sings*
Strumming my pain with his fingers….

Zebra. When rolling downhill, they go blackwhiteblackwhiteblackwhite. Or so people tell me. A quagga looks nearly as odd, more so when it does roll downhill

Zygoma. The cheekbone and usually the last word in any dictionary.

11 June 2006

The Blog(u) 23: Head-dress

‘Red, why red? It’s not as if I’m getting married, right?’
‘But today is still important. Your blog will open in a couple of hours, so you need to look good.’
‘And what’s with the head-dress anyway?’ plink peered out from under the jewelled mass of folded crimson brocade that perched precariously atop her head.
Kucing Gatal smoothed down the sleeves of plink’s dress. ‘No dress is complete without a matching hat. Now let’s have a look at you.’
Holding her arms out, plink turned slowly. The jewels in her head-dress sparkled gently as she did so, reflecting the shifting words that seemed to lie just under the fabric of her dress.
‘Why are there words on my clothes?’
The Kucing shook her head. ‘I don’t know,’ she confessed. ‘The words were never there before you wore it. This is very strange: the words are moving too.’
Even as they had in the Hall of the King , the words etched in golden fire wavered. Unlike the earlier, more desperate time before, the words now moved calmly, fading serenely in and out of view. When plink went to read one of the words, it would sink out of sight into the crimson brocade but its meaning would remain.
‘Courage,’ read plink
‘Trust,’ said the Kucing.
‘What does it all mean?’ the little one asked.
‘I think that is you.’

05 June 2006


Went shopping yesterday after coffee and sawsomething that hurt quite deeply.
A mother was out shopping with her teen-age son. He was whole, in that he had two each of hands, feet, eyes, ears, everything. Only his slightly vacant gaze and how his mother led him around by the hand hinted that anything was different. The son was a wonderfully placid soul, content to let the world swirl about him while his mother tried different shoes on his feet. And swirl about him did we all.
On the one hand, it was a scene to tug at the heartstrings. On the other, it was an awful indictment of human nature. People dodging one another, even in the confines of a crowded shop, make eye contact, if only for the briefest of moments. We ignored them both.
Nobody, not staff, not even their fellow human beings, acknowledged mother and son. The sea of humanity just parted around them like the Red Sea did for Moses, when elsewhere in the shop, people were cheerfully bouncing off one another.
I met the son’s gaze just once and was surprised by how unafraid he looked. It struck me then that he had not learned what everyone else around him knew: fear.
There is fear in every look. It influences and shapes all eye contact, from the young woman who demurely lowers her gaze at being caught peeping, to the belligerent battle cry of, ‘Kuah si mi?!’
Why can we not look this man in the eye? What is it we fear so much from a young man who isn’t whole, who isn’t like us? Are we afraid because he has no fear? Do we feel guilty for being whole and complete?

01 June 2006

p is for plink

As usual, this was angel’s fault. This is starting to become a habitlah….
Like with most good memes, I got carried away doing this one, so there are more than ten ‘p’s. Feel free to re-use the words, please.

p is for pajamas: nice and comfy, perfect for when there’s a nice warm person to curl up with.

p is for perseverance, for when things seem just a little bit much.

p is for the mysteriously-named white gold, pratinum .

p is for pride, one of my seven major failings.

p is for presumption of innocence, which we (read: I) forget all too often.

p is for perfect; if only I was too.

p is for push-button phones and the day I forgot what the word ‘dial,’ meant.

p is for pen and paper, which gave me the chance to see what I spoke. And leisure to regret it.

p is for Penang, home to a major branch of the pFamily. Penang is therefore partly to blame for what you see here.

p is for pearls, of which Penang is a very large version (Pearl of the Orient mah).

p is for pistachios. There is little to beat sitting on a sofa with a bowl of pistachio nuts and spending an hour or so cracking them out of their shells. Except eating them, of course.

p is for purring, which ka..ts and Kucings do. It’s a very relaxing sound and I am occasionally tempted to purr along. A little purr-aoke, if you like.

p is for peace, which features in two place names I can think of: Bukit Aman and Taiping.

p is for plain. This how I like my ice cream. But people say you are what you eat, which explains me, I guess.

p is for power, which corrupts, apparently. Corrupt me, please.

p is for prefect, which comes back to power. *looks over at AhWongKor*

p is for porcelain, in this case the complexion. How do they do it?

p is for pain, a fact of life that you just can’t get used to.

p is for pamper, a fact of life that you just can’t get on without.

p is for panache, something I could do with more of.

p is for pandan or pandanus. Air Bandung wouldn’t be quite the same without it. And we wouldn’t have much of Nyonya cuisine either, Pandan Chicken in particular.

p is for Pandora. When she opened the box containing all the evils and turned them loose upon the world, thank heavens hope was left in the bottom of the box.

p is for Punjabis, who throw the best parties anywhere. * b h r a n g r a b h a n g r a b h r a n g r a b h a n g r a ! !*

p is for parody and for some reason, this is very familiar….

p is for par-tay, see Punjabis above.

p is for passion, which makes the impossible possible… and me, just plain impossible. :)

p is for patience. Wait.

p is for people, who make memes and tagging possible.

p is for phenomena… (do-do, dododo), phenomena (do-do-do-do)….

p is for Pygmalion, later My Fair Lady

The ‘excuse me?’ section

p is for pen… cil.

p is for puck. I said PUCK!

p is for Pulitzer Prize. I said Pulitzer!

p is for prawn. You heard me….

p is for public. Read properly, please.