Friday, February 26, 2010

Ugly Chinks

Case 1:
Few weeks ago, I walked back from town and was crossing a big busy street. I saw a teenaged couple with a baby stroller. We passed by each other and he called out "Ching! Chong!" and she giggled.

Case 2:
Right round the corner from Chinese New Year, Tim and I were walking by the playground at the top of Edmund Road, when we saw two kids, a girl and boy, about 8 and 6, squatting down near where we'd walk past them. She called out "Chinkhead!" It was so unbelievable it took me and Tim literally moments to register. We turned around and they were stood there looking pleased with themselves. We walked off. They followed, yelling "Chinkhead!" over and over.

I was shaking with anger. What can you say or do to kids? Who are their parents and what have they whispered into these kids' ears? It was incredulous. I think I've witnessed a complete cycle.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010

...the dog eat dog world

Sometimes they say waiting is the most painful thing in the world.

Sometimes they say rejection is.

Or maybe forgetting the rejection.

All I know is, I think Coelho didn't know what he was talking about when he said, When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

I guess you don't deserve unearned desires.

But when I really wanted something, needed it, paid my dues to try to achieve it and felt it fell right through my fingers...

And I don't know where to go from here.

Now, that's pain.

Tuesday, February 09, 2010

Just another jot

Sometimes it feels like I have a lot to say, but don't know where to start.

Other times it's lidah my brain's filled with vapid nothingless and I struggle to form intelligible thoughts.

Opening my folder full of songs I downloaded since 1998(?) and playing them in the middle of the night have that effect on me - melancholy, loneliness and hopelessness.

But all's okay, I will not wake up tomorrow morning sad. Still...that effect...

How has January came and gone? Perhaps it rated high above as one of the most challenging months for me yet - emotionally and mentally. With the 50-60 job applications I sent and nothing positive back, I have every reason to self-doubt, self-question and let resolution and confidence slip right through the door. In short, I've never felt so, well, rejected, in my life. Still, its just another life lesson: learn to take it astride and get on with it, no?

I woke up this morning with so much doubt and worry on my mind, it took me awhile to plaster on a smile and chase them ugly thoughts away. Everything felt like it's been put on hold, that my state of happiness is fleeting and temporary and hinges on something more tangible. And that tangibility is placed on one thing: Getting a (decent) job so that I can get on with the order of earning some money. But it's also a certain motivation within me to give back what I've learnt and apply it in real-life circumstances and to have it enrich my life, and learn more somehow, this time in practice. I am ready for the next chapter but it feels like there's a stretch yet before I can turn the page.

But, what is it? The economy? The fact that I'm foreign? My lack of experience in the job market here? My (lack of) education? Something I'm not doing right with my CV or covering letters? I don't know, and I wish I do know so that I can start improving, y'know? I'm seized by so many panicky moments that one day soon I'd have to pack and leave, then I'd segue to a strong determination to stay, and then hopelessness from not being able to get a job. I think I've cornered myself and perhaps it's not the right mindframe. There's always agencies though it'll be last-ditch option. There's many options I've not even begun to explore. I just need to remind myself to keep an open mind and eye, to be careful of my spending and to keep, keep positive. I know I am good (or at least not bad) and I just need to open that door, that opportunity to prove I can. It's frustrating but I'll get my day in the sun. Somehow. By hook or by crook.

It's not like I don't have anything to do meanwhile...job applications can take hours at a time. I've just procured the entire Harry Potter book set for under £12 (had a headstart by being given 2 for free) and finishing the 2nd book now, and picked up a Marketing Communications book from Sheffield Hallam library and going through it as well. And there's the foodblog I've started but filled with nary a thing. I'm also reading foodblogs by the bowlful and picking up recipes from Appetite for China and Rasa Malaysia and a bunch of others. There's walks to Heeley City Farm and to town to pick up this and that with Tim. And when all else fail, there's iplayer and 4oD. It's just frustrating that money (or the lack of) severely limits what I can do. But bright side: I'm thoroughly enjoying my Potter books, and surprisingly enjoying the Marketing Comm book too - I didn't realise how much I learnt in my undergrad years were related to Marketing Comm as a whole (though doh, it was a Communications degree) and what we were taught in Advertising also relates to Marketing. I'm happiest when I'm mentally stimulated, the geek that I am. So I feel a lot more fulfilled that I have been for days...Tim is now actively 'correcting' my enunciation (and sometimes pronunciation!) so my English English (as opposed to Malaysian English) is improving, and oh not to mention I have some cleaning up to do before Chinese New Year and there's the pleasant thoughts of what to make for New Year's Eve (braised pork belly and turmeric stir-fried cabbage?), and the thought of hanging my face over a bowl of steaming, creamy and spicy curry laksa from a small-alley Malaysian coffeeshop couple weeks from now in London is making me feel distinctively buoyant.

Perhaps there's a thing or two I could also mention, but I'm ever so slightly superstitious and I don't wanna jinx myself. So cross fingers and wish me good luck please? And I'll tell when there's good news. Promise.

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Post on FB wall to someone in the same shoes.

I don't even use a Western type name. It's Puiyee Khong all the way. And it's probably why I have never been called for an interview.
I suspected that long ago, when I tried applying for part time bar/retail work. They never ring.

Well, its not an equal country for sure, I've had people accusing me of wanting to stay here for a myriad of reasons, as if I came from a backward, poor country and needed to claw my way here to survive somehow when in reality I could easily go home or to Singapore and get decent positions, and I would never describe my background as poor or backward. Also, had unsavoury council types accusing us of overstaying and stealing jobs, but hey, I'm not the one on dole and sat on my arse all day yelling about footie on the telly. I just happened to like it here, fell in love with a local boy and decided I could stay for a while and see how things go. Then people seemed to think I nabbed him because I wanted British residency. Can't win at all can I?

Not to say the least of the people who go "nihaooooo" or "ding dong dang" at me ....I feel that racism is so rift here, more so than I've ever encountered from individuals at home (problem in Malaysia is more structural and at political levels, which is also why I rather stay here than go home), and I'm so fed up I can retort "I'm not from China, douchebag" within a split second of someone trying to be funny to me. I feel strangely more Malaysian than ever and refuse to identify too closely to the Chinese students here, but a lonely one because I'm not in the Malaysian circles in Sheffield. It's quite a lonely existence already without battling the voice telling me that this is quite a discriminating country despite what they try to portray. So, grass is not greener on the other side, tough life eh.