Sunday, August 23

Koh Rong

Flashback to the island tucked in the south west corner of the Kingdom of Cambodia: of clear waters, smooth white sand, blue skies, and white people high on pot.


The ethereality lies not in the mythic realm where water meets sky, but in the lack of mobile data and almost non-existent wireless connection. 

24 hours of sun, sand, water, terrible barbecued dinner, mosquitoes, diarrhoea, insect-induced insomnia, and mindless swinging on a hammock. Not a care in the world, except for when the ferry departs for Sihanouk. 

Time stood still for one night. 

Sunday, August 9

I've Forgottoen How To Write

Most of the impressive vocabulary that I frequently used in my earlier writings are like my old friends: lost, gone. The pieces where they are found are the only proofs I have of our acquaintance. 

I have come to enjoy Singapore tremendously. There's the company I have, of course. Then there's the terribly efficient public transports system. It looks like a contented city state, in the eyes of a financially-challenged tourist like me. Me, a tourist, going to Singapore to enjoy what it has to offer tourists, away from the infamous rat race that is the working environment of Singapore. 

Where should I travel to next? It wasn't a thorough tour of Cambodia, my previous holiday, but I covered a good few places and seen quite a number of sights. Jetting off to Yogyakarta in November to see the majestic Borobodur and its neighbouring ruins. There's something about ruins that appeal to me. One tries to reimagine the stories of those who have once dwelled in them: the owners of the feet that once walked the grounds; the voices that once resonated through the corridors; the memories of those who were once and never more. 

I've been eyeing Laos, but the airfare is a little too pricey. I'd gladly pay that price to go to Australia, really. And going to Australia is like going to Singapore, with the state of the Malaysian ringgit now. The bad news is that going to Singapore is like going to Australia. 

Bouquets of flowers are messy -- they die -- and thus I wonder what is the appeal in them that people love them so much. Someone asked me if I would be happy to receive a bouquet of flowers from someone, as a sign of the sender's affections to me. I realised then it is to appease one's vanity. So yes, I would like to receive a bouquet of flowers as a sign of someone's affections to me. 

In fact, I'd like to receive any form of pleasant gifts as a sign of someone's affections to me. I am a girl after all. 

An advice given to me was that I shouldn't go against my feminine nature. I was born and made a female, it is expected that I adhere to my biological, concurrently psychology, 'reflexes'. While I have come to terms with it -- which was a horribly difficult thing to do, what with the negative connotations associated with most feminine traits -- I think good can come from trying to shirk off some traits that are detrimental to interpersonal relationships as well as job progresses.

I still do think that these 'traits' are part of the characteristics assigned to the social construct that is a female. However, I do not see the point of fighting them so vehemently as some feminazis do. In my 0.02 Malaysian ringgit's worth of opinion, the first step to overcoming something is not to deny it, but to come to terms with the assumption or reality of possessing it, and then move on from there. 

I miss writing poetry. I used to be able to string up a 4-line rhymed stanza with ease in my high school days. Free verse came later. Now, nothing. To plagiarise that sweet-talking / -writing Pablo Neruda:

Counting the nights between our separate cities
To the night that we should chance upon each other's faces again
- in the flesh -
The nights so long,
Reunions so short,
Goodbyes so fleeting. 
The steadfastness that I hold onto every 
"I'll see you again soon",
If only that's enough to bring your warmth to me
As surely as every goodbye is imminent,
The happiness that is me,
My every night,
Mine. 

Thursday, July 23

Pray, Love, Remember.

She has a million phobias. Tarantulas, ghosts, cockroaches, rejection, lizards, darkness, etc. Then there's oblivion.

To be forgotten, to forget; to not be remembered, to not remember. 

The biggest insult, and the deepest cut, is to be forgotten by the people who were once part of your life. To wake up and not remember a thing about the ones who once touched your life, is the scariest thing in the world. 

Oblivion. 

She wants to be remembered forever, because she never forgets. It isn't so much about committing all the wrongs and scars into memory; but more about engraving the deep set eyes into a foamy sea of reveries. "Yes, I once knew you."

You were once so important to me. You are important to me, still.

Memory is like a locked room, hidden in a corner, meant to be neglected. It's a room that she loves to visit, every now and then, and they key hangs around her neck like a noose. A slave to the past, clinging to it like opium. 

Remembrance.

That's the nearest thing to immortality. That's the proof of her existence. Nothing scares her more than to cease to exist in your world.

Sunday, April 5

Schrödinger's Cat

Image from favim.com

If one has left this entire system to itself for an hour, one would say that the cat still lives if meanwhile no atom has decayed. The psi-function of the entire system would express this by having in it the living and dead cat (pardon the expression) mixed or smeared out in equal parts.

Too long a hiatus. 

It still feels like a dream: managing the social and digital platforms of the most popular English radio station in the country. Met a few Hollywood A-listers, some music legends, and called some of the most prominent radio announcers in Malaysia "buggers". 

There is no glamorous job. Only a job that satisfies. 

That aside, on Schrödinger's cat. I vaguely remember a fellow Experimental Writing classmate, Helen, basing one of her weekly submissions' on this theory. 

What does a Liberal Art student know about Quantum Physics? It depends on the student, really. I only know that it problematises the Copenhagen School's interpretation of Quantum Physics. That it is only logical to presume that the cat is either dead or alive, and not both as the Copenhagen School would theorise. 

Put simply, there is no grey area to any situation. 

Poor cat. 

So yeah, there's no grey area to this situation. But that is Science and this isn't, someone I know would argue. And then he will bite his own tongue because human relations, as he once explained to me, is, in fact, very scientific. 

The answers to that mind-boggling question of why we are attracted to whoever we're attracted to can be found in the area of evolutionary biology. Pheromones. Physique. Survival of the specie.

We are cells. Stardusts. Not ethereal and intangible fragments called 'souls'. 

Image from rebloggy.com

Since we've established the premise of this situation, which is (cynically) scientific, then perhaps it's safe to presume that the cat in the box is dead. 

Logically, should one wish for the cat to live, one would have taken the cat out of the box as soon as possible. 

One wouldn't even put the cat in the bloody box. 

Plain as day and you wonder why I didn't see it. It's a thing I'm known for, being a glutton for punishment (which applies also in other matters, but let's not go there). My hamster female brain is unable to logically process things as it comes. The best thing it does is triggering the tear glands and I've cried a few times over it, wondering if the stupid cat is even alive. 

Or was there even a cat from the start. 

Hamster ramblings. Lines of discombobulated thoughts that refused to be framed coherently and logically because of the way my sex is hardwired. 

But I don't want the cat. 

I want the man himself. 

Sunday, September 14

A Diagnosis

He must be the unhealthiest doctor I've ever visited. 

The glass of Jack Daniels just left his lips when I walked into his office. A pack of cigarettes - Pall Mall lights - rested at a convenient distance from his left hand. The crisp thud of glass meeting table surface resonated in the office as he winced. 

I waited for him to finish his last notes. He wrote in an almost languid manner: like the slow waves of an otherwise still lake, made to move only by a zephyr's urging. Seated at the edge of the patient's chair was a disinterested face masking my slightly bothered heart.


He looked at me expectantly - he knew why I visited. I had briefly explained my malady when I called to book an appointment. Eyes fixed on the fresh page of my file, we recapped my complaints. 

There was a dull, empty ache that has been bothering me for a while. 

It wasn't something that particularly affected my daily routine. I could still go about my life as usual like every other healthy person even when the symptom surfaced. Yet it was annoying, and so I made up my mind to get it checked and sorted out, the flat throbbing below my stomach. 

"Shall we do a physical examination now?"


It was very direct. I remember he once said that doctors don't like to waste time. But of course, how could you afford to when most of the time it's a matter of life and death?

The ceiling was a dazzling white that became a blinding empyrean when he probed my insides. I trembled. He noted. His hands moved knowingly, applying pressure as it traversed my horizontally laid anatomy. Paying attention to every pulse, every spasm, every change in temperature. 

"Face that way."


I never liked clinics and hospitals. They smelled of anesthetics and early goodbyes. They made me fear that which I know very well - my body. 

And fear makes one compliant. 

The obedient patient that I was followed all his instructions. Positioning my body as he asked, breathed and coughed as he ordered, revealing whatever he demanded. I asked questions. He replied some, and ignored most. But with every question asked the pressure applied increased. It sometimes hurt. I knew then to keep my questions for later. 

A blood sample had to be collected at the end of the examination. He drew blood, and it hurt. 

"Am I still passive?" he asked.


More notes were scribbled in his cursive doctor's handwriting before he finally gave a diagnosis. Yearning, he said. Yearning was it. He has stopped the ache for a while, a relapse is inevitable. There wasn't any medication but only therapy. 

"If you ever want it, you can just call me."

I exited his office, with the doctor's estimation that the symptom will resurface in a month's time. I have yet to book an appointment.