Thursday, October 4, 2012

The Dancer

Saw this a couple of days back. It's actually a blotch of paint, but I saw a dancer. Small little random things that make me smile. I was just back from Bangkok and was at a work conference the next day battling fatigue when I saw this.

What a great way to view life; To dance through life, both good and bad, with grace, a quiet confidence, and gentle strength.

Khob khun ka (Thank you) Bangkok!

What a rush! A good one at that I must say. 3 weeks in dreamy Paris, then back to reality in Singapore, and before I could get over my jet lag, I'm whisked off away again. This time to Bangkok. Not with Julien, but with my colleagues.

There was a challenge given on this trip based on how much we could do in a quarter, and I managed to hit it before I left for Paris. However, I told my colleagues I was going to give this a pass, since I will be away for three full weeks, and I know I would need time to get over the jet lag before I really started to work again. So, goodbye Bangkok for now. They were still asking me if I'd changed my mind the first Monday I came back, and I still stuck to my convictions then.

Yeah, let them go. You had your fun. I mean three whole weeks! No one's taken that long a holiday. And you do it, oh...what, once a year? Plus you really look like an overstuffed fish cake at the moment in your dresses, with all the weight you put on, you can take a rest on the food department, and that's going to be tough when you're in Bangkok. Spice! I relish at that thought, and realise this really is quite a struggle, plus this trip will be fully sponsored. Oh just give yourself a few more days to think it over, and if the flight's full then, it just isn't meant to be. I listen to my conscience, purse my lips and say no. Trying my best to look convincing as I counted the number of qualified trips I had passed up before - Korea, Bali, and now Bangkok. Wince.

Three days passed in a flash, and come Thursday, the office was buzzing with excitement. They were leaving the next day. I bury myself in sorting out the paperwork from the contracts I had closed the day before, trying my best to block out the buzz.

"So! Still wanna join us?" It's Alex, I recognise his voice. He stands over my desk, casting a huge shadow over my paper covered desk.

"Yes!" My head shoots up. No No No. Shouts my little demon on my left, looking up at me through her glasses like I did something bad. Weeee! Shouts my angel on my right as she does three backflips and lands in a perfect split. Go for it! You deserve it! You qualified for it for crying out loud! It' going to be fun! And you closed a case yesterday. Give yourself a break.
They look across my shoulders to each other and scowl. I shake my head and they both disappear in tiny cotton candied clouds. "Give me one minute. I need to make a phonecall." Hurriedly, I pick up the receiver of my phonee and dial Julien's cellphone number. I glance at my watch. it's 4.30pm. Why is this decision so hard?

There is no answer and I curse under my breath as I hang up. That shadow on my desk is still there. Alex is still there. I close my eyes, and take a deep breath. "Okay! Let's go!" As I lift my head up and force a smile through clenched teeth. My angel does a victory dance, while my demon gives her a scowl before going back to reading her magazine. Minutes later, my ticket is booked. There were still seats. It's meant to be. Coos my angel. So it is. =)


Bangkok  is busy and bustling as usual. Apart from the usual bustling shops, food, and massages, I saw a different side of Bangkok that made me smile. We were taking the tuk tuk (think mini golf cart buggy but on three wheels) back to our hotel, and halfway through the journey, the driver stopped at the side of the road by a service apartment building and asked for our hotel card again. I thought he wanted to get his bearings right, but instead he called out to the security guard at the service apartment who was busy helping to direct the cars out from the service apartment parking to the busy traffic of Bangkok. This guy stopped whatever he was doing, and they started chatting in Thai, smiling. Friends? The security guard then runs into the guardhouse and hands his glasses to the tuk tuk driver. He pulled up on the side of the road to borrow reading glasses?!! The tuk tuk driver puts in on and starts squinting at the map on the hotel card. In minutes, they were charting through the map at the back of the card like explorers. Ignoring the line of helpless drivers trying to inch out from the private service apartment to the crazy booming traffic of Bangkok night streets.Holy Cow! The driver really is lost! Red alert. Red alert. After much speculation, the security shook his head shyly. He doesn't really know exatly where our hotel is. He knows a general direction, but not exactly. Then he bolts back toward the service apartment after saying something to the tuk tuk driver, with the reading glasses. That's it I guess. We ARE lost. And no one knows how to get to our hotel. The next thing I saw really surprised me. This guard, ran up to the line of cars skooting out of the parking and started asking each driver one by one, (I'm assuming) if they knew the way to our hotel. Surely someone would know. True enough, someone did know, and fortunately we had only overshot our hotel by a few hundred metres. Phew! and WOW! He really went out of his way to help! And they're not even friends! I had asked. They were complete strangers, and he loaned him reading glasses as well. Definitely a first for me. This is really cool; what I am witnessing. My colleagues were equally impressed. We were so impressed we tipped the security guard. And happily too. Last thing he did for us, was to stop all four lanes of oncoming traffic to let the tiny tuk tuk skoot on the opposite side of the road to make a U-turn. Oh joy! I made a mental note to myself as we waved goodbye. It's truly the people that make a place.

My Imaginery Speech at Min's "Imaginery" Wedding

Dear Min,

I was starting on a post to write or rather report on the events of your wedding, but then halfway through starting  it, and I did start on quite a bit already, I really wanted to write something more personal (to you). So I deleted everything, and re started. Don't ask me why, it's just one of those emo things I am feeling at the moment, maybe more so on the realisation that you were getting married for real (Heh!), but don't know how to put in words verbally. It's always better when I write. I can take the time to think through it and delete some things I decide I don't want said. Hence this.

I'll never forget this phrase you said once, that cracked me up, yet holds so much truth. You said, "We come from the same womb, yet are so different".

We are so so different in almost every way, even the way we look. Our friends couldn't tell we are sisters. And we used to have great fun telling people we were just friends, getting a huge kick out of it when they believed us. Haha! Crazy teenage years. Having said that, I'm so glad to have spent the most part of my life with you. Sure we squabble like all other sisters do, but there are more funny times that I recall than bad growing up. (I know you're going to read this at some point so I shall not write the embarrassing stuff which are the most funny ones here). From building houses with sofa cushions, to indoor camping, to pillow sliding down the stairs, to running away from ah ma when she's after our heels with the cane, to opening a medicine shop and treating the "wounded" with johnson & johnson cream after being caned by ah ma, to cooking classes with cut bits of coloured paper, to aerobics classes with Richard Simmons on TV, to almost eating cockroach eggs thinking it was chocolate, to rehearsing a singing contest performance to Debbie Gibson or Teresa Teng for mummy and daddy when they got home, to playing hide and seek, and many many many more.We had so much fun and I didn't want it to end.

Then we grew up some more, and became teenagers or "young adults" as we so readily called ourselves. Ha! If only we knew the real responsibilities and that came with being an adult. And the fighting started. We'd fight over everything. Clothes; who wore what without asking who, Telephone; the one using the phone never wanting to hang up, and the one wanting to use the phone checking every 5 mins if the one using the phone has hung up. Actually, come to think of it, we only fought over these two things from what I remember. Nothing else! How boring (and stupid)! But I think it's also during this period of juvenile delinquence that I confided in you the most too. Truly, by far, you are the only person who knows ALL my secrets. Also because I think you were reading my diary then, but that's another story.

We started to date boys, and with some interesting characters at that. "Messiah" worshippers, Magicians whose best performance was the disappearing act, Magicians who appear when you don't want them to, Stalkers, and Dwarfs. Haha. But blame that on our inexperience and ignorance. Through that, we also learn to be wiser and read characters better. Soon after, it was time for us to graduate from college and you had to stay in the hostel at NTU as freshman. I can't remember when we started but we wrote letters to one another frequently. Maybe that's why I started to like writing. It's always easier somehow when I write to someone far away. I feel like I'm talking to you and you're not that far away. Technically, you weren't. You were kind of like a 30min drive away, but still, since you moved out for that year or two, we hardly saw each other. And to be honest, I felt pretty lonely. Given, Rachel was there and she was really helping a lot to keep me occupied and she was really good company, but I couldn't really tell her stuff as much as I wanted to because she was just too young to understand. Writing to you was nice, but by the time you read about my day and some problems I would tell you about in my letters, it would have been 3 days past.

Anyways, fast forward a little more and we're dating seriously, you with your "imaginery" boyfriend that no one saw for the first 3 years, and me with my whirlwind relationship with Julien. Then I got married and moved out. It was a little weird at first since it was truly my first time permanently staying away from you all, yet I consoled myself with the fact that I can always just pop over to mummy and daddy's house at any time and all of you would be there. You know how we used to tease Rachel about her being emo over me getting married? I think I feel a little bit of that when Andy, stopped becoming "imaginery" and finally popped the question. I was really happy for you, since it's about time (11 years!), yet now I know that since you will be staying with Andy, I will still be able to pop by the house anytime I like but not everyone's going to be there. It's going to take more effort of organising more meals together and meeting up more often.
Does this feeling say "I miss you."?

I'm glad you're married to A. You both compliment one another - you're both cheesy. Apart from the wedding itself being a huge success, I'm sure this marriage will be one too.

P.S. I can't wait to see you all this weekend!

P.P.S. Welcome to our qwerky family A. Oh, but you know that already.

He didn't know what he was getting himself into when she said "Yes".