it's a wrap!

just another manic monday…

Archive for January, 2010

Out Of Shape

I reached my place happily at half past 9 yesterday morning and discovered a chirpy email from my housemate, extending an invitation to me, to jog the following day at the crack of dawn (actually 8.30am).

Don’t all of us wish for discipline and make resolutions to boot every new year, to have this kind of lifestyle? I for one have never made a resolution to wake up to jog, ha! Probably because I know that it won’t happen.

Nevertheless, having a hacking cough for 2 weeks bothered me, thought if exercise will give me a jolt of endorphins, why not try?

And so, a knock sounded somewhere after 8am on my door. Blearily dragging my eyelids opened, I debated just closing my eyes and blowing her off. Ahh, but I did not, I stumbled into the bathroom, brushed my teeth, splashed cold water on my face, dragged on a pair of socks, filled my water tumbler, left my mobile at home (nobody would actually call on 9am on a Saturday morning, and if they do, will probably think I’m sleeping if I don’t pick up, either way, safe!), put on my shoes and we went to the huge park near my house, of which I’ve never stepped foot in, for all those years I’ve stayed here.

I inhaled the fresh air, honestly, those green trees do emit air that is good for the lungs. We crossed a wooden bridge, peeked into the greenish waters of a pond (one of many in the park, as I later discovered), counted 2 tortoises lazily floating in it, and reached the walks reserved for jogging and walking, we walked, up the hill (poof!) and jogged a little (where my breathing was so ragged and the only thoughts that ran through my head was “Jeez, I AM out of shape!”)

For 20 minutes, I tried to jog, puffing like a steam engine, causing people whom I passed to look at me curiously and possibly wondering if I will faint from the exertion. I walked when I really couldn’t take it anymore, gasping for air like a goldfish out of water. But you know what? Those gasps actually did me good, they replace the air in my body.

I took in the various shades of green and brown and pebblestones and the golden sunlight that streamed overhead, turning everything irisdescent in the mid-morning glow. I saw a toddler dressed in pink tee (tiny!) and cream leggings, practising her walk, yelping and squealing every once in a while, her mother, long haired, grey tee and shorts, with her arm on the handle of the stroller a little way off. encouraging her to come to her, the dad drenched in sweat with a white tee and blue shorts, keeping an eagle eye on her.

Then there were various elderly folks, doing slow stretches on the pods, dressed in tees and long track bottoms with multi colored towels around their necks. Some sat on the benches provided, tired after a walk, a lady in a striped tee and cycling shorts talked animatedly to her companion while around her people did stretches, a man sat on the ground, doing leg jiggles (well, he was jiggling his legs!) which I found amusing, but hey it’s exercise too. And of course, how could I miss out the Mr. and Ms. ultra-used-to-exercise, they sailing past us so effortlessly, in and orange racerback and white shorts, muscles on the legs well defined. how envious I was then of them. I wondered how many hours they’ve sweated on that very same ground while I slept senselessly in my warm bed.

After all the exertion I sweated, we walked as a way to cool off, and went past a windmill courtesy of the Dutch heritage and a mini gazebo, courtesy of England, nice touch to the parks. Off to breakfast went we, we did use up some calories, you know. Ha!

Sometimes, words are not enough

What words do you use to send off a friend? Which word encompasses enough blessings, enough best wishes, enough sorrow at their leaving? What should one say amidst a group of friends, standing at 6.30am on a Monday morning at the train station, knowing that it was going to be a long, long time before you saw this friend again?

I knew it was not going to be easy, being a born cry baby to send off someone from a group of close knit friends, I knew I was going to cry. I just hoped that I kept the tears at bay, if only to ease the discomfort of all who would be there to witness this tears storm. I succeeded, partially anyway. The tears started on the journey home.

We got down the car and the heaviness and humidity settled over us like a shroud. As I stood there and bade him goodbye, words I wanted to say lodged in my throat because no words seemed enough. I felt pain for his love. If I, a mere friend could feel such sorrow, hers must be magnified a thousand fold, increasing with the miles the plane he boarded would cover.

I saw the faithful badminton partner-brother-best friend, with a gloomy expression, venting his despair, with a heave of the heavy suitcase from the car. I saw the form six-college mate-good friend, sending him off with a hug. I saw the church friend-hang out mate, joke-y and playful all this while, dawned with realization that he might not return to this soil. With heavy hearts and weary arms, we gave him an embrace, pat on the back and watched him walk into the train station.

It was still pitch dark, the street lamps still shone, lighting our way back home, as we prepare to start another week, a normal week, while a friend, boarded a plane and left, leaving cherished memories and heavy hearts. I was grateful to J for keeping up chatter and asking me questions, though tears stream silently down my face, I answered, it gave me something to think about. Otherwise I fear the tear storm might blow out of proportion, honestly, where so all these tears come from?

Thoughts flew to the shared laughter, the shared jokes, the meals shared, the “mamak” excursions, the banana leaves. What I always remembered was being surrounded by their loud and boisterous laughter that never failed to boost me up. They are like my kids, and kids would fly the coop one day, as to be expected. This is the first, possibly the most painful, being the first experience.

I wish this friend of mine nothing but the best wishes, the best joys, and the best of everything and one day when we meet again, I strangely believe that the camaraderie we shared as friends would remain. Though our shared journey on this path comes to a fork and we must now part ways, though I cannot see beyond to the point when our paths will cross again, I strangely feel a quiet peace that it will. Somehow, somewhere, some place.

So, goodbye, “Wong Sifu”, friend, rest assured that you will be missed, that we will meet again; for now we part but we will not be strangers when the time comes.

the road less travelled

Making the journey back from a long weekend, Christmas weekend to be exact, from down south to the city centre, we chose the road less travelled.

With the PLUS North South highway (jammed up like sardines), the old trunk roads are generally left to the truckers and heavier vehicles like log fellers to utilize. I have personally never taken the trunk roads (in this case, not any less jammed than the PLUS, too late!), driving or being driven. Therefore that night it was a new experience for me, a long one.

The roads were winding and dark, they seemed never ending, the lamposts seemed much dimmer, the cars moved slower (to avoid spinning and crashing into the banks opposite, I think!), one construction site (mostly of highways) by the roadsides seemed to blend into another after awhile.

I was fascinated by this garish nightmare that didn’t seemed to end. I could only see a few feet in front of me, where the headlights shone. My eyes glued to the roads with the drivers while the rest of the passengers took naps, my throat was dry and parched, having used up my creativity for stimulating conversation a few hours back.  I could only mumble nonsense once in a while to get the driver to mumble some inane response back, if only to make sure that he was still awake and not half asleep.

My eyes glued to the road, despair crept in against all logic, against all rationality. I paused for a moment, to think and to wonder of the reason for that. I know that we will reach the city eventually, because we have a trusty little GPS system to guide us. So what if the road maker seemed permanently stuck at 27kms left to go or I am able to see another 3 traffic lights in the position I am now, stuck behind a red light? I am going to reach the destination, righhhttt?

Right. So why do I feel like bawling my eyes out?

Light dawned on me, as if the dim lampost I’ve been standing under was turned on, and a flood of light washed over me, bathing me in it’s invigorating warm glow. And I realize the depressing reason was simply, I could not see the finishing line, the end throught those dark, winding roads. I know it’s there but I can’t see it!

I suddenly realize how visual a creature I really am. What I physically saw was the piece of the puzzle I was holding, what I saw in my mind, was the whole picture, the destination, and when it doesn’t seemed to look anything like the piece I was holding, I get frustrated. It’s not right, I scream! (well, in my head anyhow) And I took a step back, and I saw the Macro view, I saw the bigger picture. Standing here holding that piece of blue green puzzle in my hand, trying to comprehend how it was going to fit into the turqoise materpiece, I learnt to slowly let go, and fit it into the section and move on to the next piece. It may take 6 months, it may take 9, but I understand now, that is going to be one awesome picture! 🙂

Because I am going to come to my destination. Oh, yes.

Hail 2010

“And what have we done, Another year over, a new one just begun.”

It’s officially 2010. People thronging the streets which are specially closed for this very occasion, partying on the streets, spraying each other with those gooey white foam that sticks to your hair and clothes, won’t wash off, friends organized house parties and barbeques, sitting around now, watching fireworks lighting up the sky with patterns and swirls of blues, reds, greens, sparkly golds and silvers. Some explode and gives the illusion of falling stars. Lovely.

And I, what did I do on this memorable eve of a new decade? 3 simultaneous events happen today, one being the last day of 2009. Second, it was declared a half day for us office peeps, and thirdly, it is officially my final day working with the company I had sowed into and reaped for the past 2 1/2 years.

Time passed rather quickly today. Some last minute items that I had neglected to do (forgot entirely about!), packing up (yes, I left most of it till this morning) and farewell emails, of course, and a tour around to say goodbyes. And then it was off to lunch!

Traffic was heavy in the city but I was going out, so it was still bearable, and reached home in time for an –> afternoon nap! 😀

To the pasar malam went I, and dinner was bought, came home for a swim, (water was cold!) my muscles feel so relaxed after, and watched a couple of comedies, (Chow Yun Fatt’s released in 1988, no less!) and then, to usher in the new year, watched the fireworks popping all over the city from the best view, my house living room windows. Ha! It’s not too bad, sitting on the warm, wooden mat and sipping warm water.

I know, I’m old. I asked myself what I would like to do tonight as I sat on one of the jacuzzi slots in the pool, for a treat, after I did my designated laps. I debated with myself whether I would look up anyone to go out with, to hail the New Year, to watch the fireworks up close, or should I go out and, get stuck in the jam, get frustrated looking for a parking space and maybe not even be able to find anybody due to the crowds catch up with friends.

As I gazed up at the mildly grey (after a rain fall earlier) and mild blue skies, I thought, maybe not. I would like to welcome in the new year quietly, unassumingly, like a familiar friend. And here she is now.