Tuesday, February 26, 2008
I'm actually beyond exhausted. In fact I feel lightheaded. It seemed like a permanent thing now, and I credit that to the lack of sleep. I feel cold too. It seemed so constant that I go everywhere with a jumper now.
But there are thoughts that filled my mind and they make me anxious, depressed and emo. As of lately, I've reconsidered some of my thought processes and perception. It's wrong to say I'm unhappy; rather, there are causes to that unhappiness and I have no one to blame except myself, and unless I'm exposed to these causes, I'm really actually fine.
But I reiterate. I felt lost and that life is mediocre. Perhaps what someone told me is true: that I am seeking a meaning. To my own existence, to my life, to my relationship with people, a meaning to my very being. I've had the chance to think again, to dig up old Ethics note and ramble on about Rawls and his Natural State. To talk about Kant and Categorical Imperative, and I thrived. I've had that awful realisation at the beginning of this semester that I don't read enough. If I compare my knowledge to a Poli-Sci student from say UK or US, I'd crawl into a hole in shame. I crave knowledge, and the more I learn, the more I realise how much I really do not know.
I can't be intense all the time, to debate or think. It's mentally draining. (I'm vain! I like clothes! And Grey's Anatomy! And Josh Duhamel is soooo hot!) But I liked to throw thoughts back and forth. It makes me feel alive, heard. I know I lack that sort of interaction unless I'm with a certain group of friends. And with Dr Carmen's Critical Thinking Circle, I've found a new venue for that.
Lately, it struck me that perhaps I went to university too early. I was naivé and trusting, arrogant and judgmental. I had my yardstick, and I compared everything to my strict, self-perceived logic. And I was uncompromising. Betrayal upon betrayal hurt me. I feel insecure and vulnerable, and that racked me with self-doubt. I was a wreck. My daily interactions were shaped by fear and suspicion. And now after learning this much about myself, I feel that I've matured a little bit more. And I felt that I've moved just a little further. That I've outgrown the pace I'm in now. I'm ready to move onto the next level. Hopefully as a better person than I was. And I accept that I'll always be different, and I'll always be in the minority. I feel alone but not lonely. In this walk, I'm not solitary, there will be lone walkers, just like me.
Yes. I'm growing up. And out.
The first 20 times I played that, I laughed too. But it's SNARKY. And cheesy. It sticks to your brain like a parasite, replaying "just chaaaaaange...for Malaysiaaaaa" over and over.
Compare that to this:
Personally, I feel like throwing up. It's like an overdose of Petronas ad. That, with the fact that I've watched Fahmi Reza's 10 Tahun Sebelum Merdeka, and the I *heart* Pak Lah fan club photo so prominently displayed on last Sunday's Sunday Star, I've hit a breaking point. A stunned moment of clarity that perhaps I've been lied to more than I've realised. I'm not quite eloquent at 3am in the morning, but do this people really sit and think of 25 million people as their personal experiment? That everything that had happened was part of their design, and we all fall into place neatly like an intricate mosaic or a complex jigsaw puzzle?
But did some pieces go missing? Perhaps they miscalculated, misstepped. I'd like to think of Pak Lah's (un)announcement of the dissolution of the government and his changing of mind mere 24 hours a huge political mistake. It costs him, for sure. People call him a liar. Even I, a mere undiplomatic citizen, would say something along the lines of "Well, you know there are rumours of elections coming, so, anything can be expected. Let's wait and see, shall we?" Seriously, he should just invite his PR guy into Kamunting. I'd have him hanged and quartered, personally. Also, what kind of PM need to clarify that he "worked hard"?
And what kind of PM do not accept there are unhappy people under his governance?
This is a proof that alternative truths prevail:
Call me ungrateful, but I think I'm finally awakening from the 11 years of free education I've received. Time has come for me (after 21 years) to choose who I want as my government. You'll be sure I will think very hard.
POWER TO DEMOCRACY!
Monday, February 11, 2008
Before I go onto the actual intention of this entry, I have to vent:
On the first day of Chinese New Year, my mom decided not to cook, so we went over to KIP next to Kepong Carrefour for some Korean food. We were led upstairs where the entire seating was on a raised platform (sorta like a Japanese restaurant) and customers sit on the floor with a hole underneath the tables for leg space. Anyway, I guess the wooden platform was a novelty for a huge family seated behind us because this boy of 8-9 years old was running the entire length of the restaurant to and fro, to and fro. It was not only annoying the rest of the customers, it was HIGHLY hazardous because the servers were carrying pots full of lit charcoal for the Korean BBQ table to table. Said boy nearly collided with a waiter carrying a huge stone pot of boiling spicy soup. For a moment, I had a graphic picture of his face if the soup landed right on his head. Edible face meat.
As if that wasn't enough, his father was smoking in the air conditioned room to the discomfort of everyone else trying to enjoy the actual taste of their food, and then the boy led his sister of about 3 years old to the first floor window and opened it. A waiter rushed to slam the window shut before girl plunged down. The best part? No one reprimanded the boy. The family ate as if nothing happened.
If I was mommy, the boy would be walloped on the spot before being tied down and gagged. But that's why I'm not mommy.
I've had a sudden urge to express my cheesiness and my appreciation towards people who've been my friends for years. I cannot thank them enough for being there for me, for loving me unconditionally, and for every laughter and tears we shared, for the camwhoring, for the fitting room pics, for the joy, experience and life lessons. They shaped me into part of who I am, and without them, my life would be that much less meaningful. So, here's to you guys :D
Friday, February 08, 2008
A very Happy Chinese New Year.
In order to keep my resolution alive (and avoid writing my thesis for a bit), and not to renege on my word on blogging more often, I've even whipped out my dusty thesaurus and started looking for my first word: back out (renege).
It's true when you haven't been writing for a while, all that's left is a vocabulary fit for daily conversation and acceptably passable assignment write-ups. So I've been reading a little bit more (American Girls About Town with my absolute fav contemporary American female writer Jennifer Weiner) and at the process of finishing another autobiography about social work and the political atmosphere in Iran early last century. Written by Sattareh Farman Farmaian with Dona Munker, Daughter of Persia's a rather interesting read, focusing on how a woman born in the woman's quarters (or harem, as they say in the book) wanted more than a life of arranged marriage and children and became the first Iraqi female to study in UCLA, worked for the UN and returned to Iran to contribute to social work there.
That made me think of where I am today, and an immense sense of gratitude comes to me. The news that there's a huge possibility I'm leaving end of this year had spread like a wildfire and relatives I don't talk with are wishing me well and urging me to go, go, go. Just a generation or two ago, (my mom and grandma) females are limited in their choices about their education and life, but I've got all that I want and then some. I may get cold feet about picking up and starting over now and then, but I can't wait either, to be honest.
Onto happier times, here's some photos from Chinese New Year:
Grandma making magic with her wok and wand
Um..some kind of shellfish with asparagus
Piping hot and wanting to be eaten
The pre-requisite chicken with onion and soy sauce in oil dip
"Fatt choy hou see" think that's what it's called... "Fortune and Good Things"
This is my favourite thing...fried dumplings, and I can put away quite a few of those.
Captured the feast a split second before I sat down and completely forget to snap pics. It sucks to know I take such crappy photos (angles, lightings, taste and eye for it) but that's all I have.
Passionfruit from granduncle's garden..that's a fruit for thought indeed. Never knew they can grow in our climate.
The after-dinner gossip session. Grandma's telling everyone to look at my aunt's recent wedding photos (again). I think she's really, really proud.
My mom and the rest of the families have a tradition of exchanging gifts (mostly cookies, nuts, candies and dried mushrooms) and these are the lined up goodies.
Aunt Elaine, Grandpa, Aunt Joanne and Khai Syuen
Almost adorably irresistably cute. Almost.
Whadyacallthis? It's called "Fire flower" both in Chinese and Malay, but beats me what it's called in English.
And then there's (half of) me! Yeah, in QIPAO! That's a first!
Ten kinds of feelings crept over me as I consider that this may be my last Chinese New Year with the family for the next few years at least...but onwards, right? Afterall, nothing's confirmed anyway.
Much love to all of you, and have a good year.
Wednesday, February 06, 2008
It's so weird. I know it's been like that for a while now. I've been like that. I've just completely stopped talking about my life, or write much about it. I haven't written anything proper or random since forever. My last pictures were from Bangkok, and that was last May. How can this be?
I'm inclined to blame Facebook. Afterall, why bother with Photobucket when Facebook uploads much faster, and friendlier?
But I guess that's not really an excuse for not writing. My thesis is still hanging. I've slacked. Let myself fall into the gutter of complacency and mediocrity. I fear so much of stumbling and falling at the finishing line, but I've lost the will to pick things up where I drop them.
What on earth has (have?) happened to me?
I guess it's really cos I don't think there's a lot of interesting things to put here. Sure, little incidents are worth etching into my memory as being memorably memorable, but they're all regular things, you know? Things that I'm not sure people who reads my blog will be interested in. I don't remember days and dates, names, places and incidents anymore.
I realise that lately I've started to internalise my feelings, which is something new. Everyone who knows Puiyee, knows she's got a big mouth and an inability to keep things to herself. I guess this is a worthy lesson: to shut up and speak no evil. I see the horror of watching my words and intentions twisted and changed, and there's nothing I can do to rectify it. I'm not innocent; I've spoken. How they're interpreted, is beyond my control. As a writer, I should've realised that. That is my mistake, and mine alone.
Time to grow up some more.
In some ways, I feel genuinely happy about my life; afterall, there is nothing wrong in the surface. At all. My studies are going and I'm finishing soon (to my relief), I've got my best friends and comforts of home, good food, clothes and family. But I'm surprised people kept telling me, I seem to be really dissatisfied. That I want more, but more of what? Its like I haven't really lived, and I can see why: I'm still holed up in my city, inside the embrace of family and childhood friends and my routine, in short, nothing outside my comfort zone. I feel like I'm struggling to get out there, but I haven't found the key yet.
Of course, in other ways, I am dead unhappy. Downright depressed. Like sitting alone in the middle of the night talking to random strangers listening to music and thinking random thoughts kind of unhappy. I've got no direction in life whatsoever. I'm not sure I want to be a journalist, and that felt like a kind of betrayal to my convictions. I'm not sure I have what it takes to be a good journalist. Or anything else for that matter. I wish I can see a direction. I'm going to be 22 and I feel like a lost kid sometimes. I took a lot of interest in politics lately, and that is revelation in itself. Maybe I'll be writing on more of that soon.
On another matter altogether, I damn taubat already about the need for a guy. At this moment, I know I'm not really looking for anyone, or for love. Sure, I wouldn't say no to whatever comes my way, be it random dates or a flirt or chatting online or at a table wherever, but trust is an issue now. And yes, I won't settle for anything less than what felt "right", because I've had experienced that headiness, the excitement, the wonder of liking someone creep over me. That want to look into his eyes and stare at their wonderful depth forever, the desire to know his thoughts and learn about him slowly, relishing on every new fact. And if I have a certain preference for a certain kind of guys, so be it, I think. I'll find him, wherever he is.
Oh, and last night I did a thing that's a wee bit spontaneous. I spoke to an American guy who happened to be in town, invited him for coffee, took Amelia with me, and ended up taking him and his friend on a terror ride on my brother's Myvi to Ming Tien in PJ for some local food and then to a nearby mamak to impress them with some teh tarik skills. I've had an amazingly fun time, and I hope they did, too. It reminded me of why I like to meet random travelers when I backpacked, and yeah, I should do more things like that. It was also amusing to look at the rear view mirror to see two very tall guys folded into my car. And it makes me really, really happy and proud to see them enjoying my city, my food, my culture. It was great. Yeah. How do YOU pronounce Malaysia?
Malay-zhuh or Malay-sya? Personally, I use them interchangeably.
Well, til my next post at I-really-don't-know-when, Malaysia Boleh!