Saturday, July 22, 2006

The past 36 days

I have:

  • Been in Amsterdam, albeit only at the airport.
  • Been ripped off by a French taxi driver who said he didn’t know the way to the loft I was supposed to stay in – after he proudly showed me his cab had a GPS road-finder.
  • Stayed in a rather decadent 3-level loft in Cannes. The room I stayed in had a floor that was half wood and half glass, which I covered with a blanket. The owner of the loft was quite amused, asking if I hated sunlight. I replied that "I love sunlight, but I just love my privacy a little more." He went on to make me feel all Victorian and boring by informing me my room was popular because of the glass floor – particularly with the ladies. Brilliant. I’m a prude.
  • I discovered I quite like the pink coloured wine they call Rose (roh-zay).
  • I learnt how to order water, orange juice, ask for the bill, the receipt, and say ‘one moment’ in French.
  • I had my work short-listed and I’m now an official Cannes finalist. It felt very nice.
  • I didn’t win.
  • I made acquaintances with counterparts from Singapore, Thailand, the Philippines, the UK, Russia and Kazakhstan. The Kazakhstani one was the cutest.
  • I’ve been insulted by a Nigerian guy who asked me for a donation to his charity then gave me a dirty look when I didn’t pour my life savings into his collection box. Asshole.
  • I danced in an informal street party thrown by a corner wine shop. It was a simple, pretty spontaneous affair, with barrels for tables. No stools. Just spirits on sale, a DJ and people dancing. A young French girl of 11 flirted with me – with her Mom cheering her on.
  • I saw Martin Sheen speak. If he ever ran for President, he’d be a serious contender.
  • I ran twice along the beach they call La Croisette. Running with your shoes on the sand? Tough. Like running through glue or molasses. Those stylish pictures you see of the well-toned runner tearing along the beach with their faithful Labrador? Lies.
  • French women like to sunbathe topless. The problem is, most of them are over 70 and have the youthful skin of Madeline Albright. I’m a boob man myself, but I’m quite off it for awhile. I also think it’s quite a nasty thing to inflict on visitors to your country who’ve gotten up to run. Imagine running along at a steady, adrenalised, feeling-great-about-yourself clip and then going “Oh FUCK!” and briefly losing your eyesight.
  • Been to Monaco. I saw a yacht so big, it housed another speedboat (and I don’t mean the rubber zodiacs Navy SEALS use, I mean white-coloured-ride-it-along-the-Carribean-coast-with-your-mistress-in-tow-sipping-champagne kinda speedboat) AND had a motorized crane to airlift the eight ski-jets parked on the second deck. Oh, and there’s the Helipad. Drug money. I’m sure of it.
  • Been to St Paul. Lovely little artist village.
  • Missed my flight. Did the whole Amazing Race thing from Nice to Orly to Paris.
  • Spent the night at Charles De Gaulle airport. I never dreamed an airport could close short of heavy snow or a terrorist attack. This was like sorry-come-back-tomorrow closed. I slept on two cold, hard, metal chairs (no, I’m not being dramatic) and only because that one had a broken middle arm rest. KLIA, you’re the best.
  • Accepted one of the most creative wedding invitations I’ve seen in awhile. It was in the form of a resignation letter. “We the undersigned hereby tender our resignations from single life.”
  • Met two people I’ve only spoken to via email thus far. It was great. Sometimes, you go ‘What if they’re totally boring or obnoxious? What if they think I’m totally boring or obnoxious?” It couldn’t have turned out better.
  • Watched Superman. I brought my folks. Though I don’t hold it against her, I do wish Mom had a better response than “He’s very handsome.” And that grin. Sigh.
  • Thought about taking up cooking. And salsa. What the fuck’s wrong with me?
  • Thought (again) about buying a car.
  • Made someone promise to have an operation.
  • Saw a taxi with a beautiful name on it. Almost all taxis in Malaysia have the name of the driver and/or owner on the door. This one said Khamis bin Khaled. ‘Khamis’ in Malay means ‘Thursday.’
  • Bought a book on Chicago for ten ringgit. (that’s slightly more than USD2.50). It’s in black and white and the photos look very old but it’s cute. It has a lot of schematics in it and I hope to be able to visit these places someday.
  • Got a call from my first girlfriend’s elder sister. She told me to come by one Saturday cos “We all gather for dinner and Mom would love to see you.” It was very, very sweet but I probably won’t. I miss them too but I think some more time needs to pass in her marriage. But I think it’s only a matter of time. They’re beautiful people, and I can’t think they’d only be around as memories.
  • Had dinner with a wonderful couple I just met. When I say ‘just met’, I mean ‘just got to know.’ We met more than four months ago. Sometimes people just click. They have three lovely children. We had dinner in their home after they put their kids to bed. The wife made chicken curry, rice, mixed vegetable and we had chocolate moist cake after.
  • Had a friend tell me she’s a lesbian. I found it a relief since I don’t know anyone in my gender that would be good for her.
  • Found out Nelly Furtado is openly bisexual. I found it a relief since I’ve always thought of her that way. In an age of piracy and downloaded music, I have always bought original Nelly Furtado music.
  • Missed my blog friends, but been afraid of my blog. I don’t know why. It’s a nice place, and it’s found its voice. Maybe the blog itself is a friend and I felt guilty I’ve neglected it too long and I didn't want to face it. Even as I write this, I don’t know if everyone has given up on it. Are you guys still out there?
  • Realised that in Malaysia, nobody changes their surname after marriage. I always knew that, but never thought much of it till I thought about all the hyphenated names I’ve seen in countries like the US or the UK. Smith-Ramirez. Parker-Bowles. Folke-Wittes.
  • Been told by an ex-colleague who’s returned to my office that I’d changed. “You seemed so angry when I met you. Now you’re calmer.” He doesn’t actually know me very well, and I never knew he noticed me or that I appeared that angry. I don’t even know if should be happy about what he said, but I am.
  • Met a new girl who joined that shares my family name. I told her to smile because “That is what our kind does.” She thinks I’m a fucking weirdo, but has humoured me. I said to her the other day “Let me see it” and she stopped typing, turned to face me in her chair, and smiled.

I’m back. I’m sorry I missed everyone’s comments and didn’t get round to replying them. Life just happened. But I’m back.

1 comment:

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