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Archive for June, 2011

I was at my friend’s Mom’s beach house in Kuala Sungai Baru (near Tanjung Bidara) over the weekend. Farouk had also invited his girlfriend, Natsu who came in from Singapore one day before we did. The journey was nice as I got a glimpse of several small villages or small-town life along the way in this part of the country. I was very taken with the orderliness and neatness of these little towns and nothing to be compared to the dirtier and messier-in-town-planning towns or villages as you go further up north. We encountered herds of cows and buffalo crossings and I guess that would be the only time you find “mess” on the roads. I was impressed.

Natsu greeted us followed by Farouk’s Mom, Aishah when we arrived that evening. Aishah was also in the midst of getting the house ready as a designer guest-house that would start operation in exactly one week. Her first batch of guests would be a few top Marine officers that would be attending training at a nearby Marine Institute for a few days. The guest-house has 7 color-themed rooms to a large common hall, a game room, library, sun room and the restaurant cum dining hall for the guests. She (Aishah) was a little flustered due to some things not being ready in time and workers not turning up.

Later in the evening and after an excellent Chinese dinner consisting of steamed fish with fried shallots and ginger, egg foo-yong (fried omelet with vegetables), chicken pieces fried with spring onions and ginger, and plain stir-fried Choy-sum, we went back to the house and chill. By then, the tension had melted away from Aishah and she was able to share with us the perils of getting that place ready. I remember for as long as two years back, she had already started doing up the house. I have to give her credit for single-handedly putting up the place and making important decisions. I find in circumstances like these, dealing with her workers would be the most challenging!

We chatted way into the night when Aishah had to bid us goodnight for she had a long day ahead of her. Farouk, Natsu and I then proceeded to and sat by the tarmac passage that led to the beach at the back of the house to watch the moon and resumed our talking while sounds from the high tide lapping barely a few meters away. I love looking up at starlit or moonlit skies and told the guys that I was lying down regardless of how rough the ground was or how many mosquitoes were hovering getting ready for their potential meals.

Natsu said to me something in Japanese as she pointed up to the moon against the consistently patterned globs of cloud formations. She explained that in Japan, a scene like this would be called “a carp swimming in the sky” while she pointed at the moon, the ring around it and how the clouds resembled the scales of a fish! Incredibly, I saw what she meant! I actually saw the silhouette of the fish! It was an incredible sight as I even saw the fish done in style of Japanese block-printing!

Natsu went to the States and worked there for 12 years before heading to Singapore to set up a business on behalf of her Dad (who lives in Tokyo with her Mom). She met Farouk while attending a course in Singapore. She was a trained fashion designer and therefore thinks and sees things more from an artistic point-of-view. We clicked immediately and shared how we see things beyond the “ordinary”; how we sometimes go for aesthetics over functionality to why we like certain movies where others would cringe at the mention of. We also shared similar interests in Japanese pop culture like the works of Osamu Tezuka who created the original “Kimba the White Lion” and the iconic “Astro Boy” amongst others.

I didn’t know what time I actually slept because the last time I looked at my watch, it was, 4:19am, before reading a page or two from the book that I had brought with me. The next thing I knew was the book laid over my stomach later in the morning opened to the page that I had last read. That meant that I didn’t move at all while in slumber that morning! The only thing that was underneath me was the bookmark and I wondered how it got there!

Aishah was already in the courtyard with the jeans folded up armed with a broom on one hand, and a jet sprayer on the other with her staff. It was 9am-ish in the morning. I took some pictures before heading back to the room that I had chosen for the night (the red room) to read while waiting for Farouk or Natsu to get up. I obviously dozed off while reading until 11am-ish. By then, Aishah was carrying and trimming roots of plants in the courtyard!

By the time we left “Casa Rasa Sayang”- the name of the estate, Aishah was still running around and I wondered where she got all those energy from. She only stopped to join us for brunch otherwise she was constantly running!

It was an incredible place and I was glad that I went though I had reservations earlier. I thought that I might be intruding or get in the way but now, I wished that the weekend had another extra day. Aishah is a lovely kind-hearted lady and the discovery of a new friend in Natsu made everything just priceless!

It must be the lack of sleep but on our way out, I felt like I was going to die due to motion sickness and just as the ordeal was about to end before we hit the main highway, Aishah called and told her son that he had left his phone behind! We turned back for another 30 minutes or so of sheer inner-ear cum stomach hell, before we arrived back at Casa Rasa Sayang! After a short rest, stuffed myself with the cocktail sausages left over from brunch, we were ready to roll again. This time, I requested if I could drive Farouk’s BMW to at least the first rest-stop after we hit the highway because I know that would help with my motion –sickness problem and Farouk being Farouk, happily offered.

The drive was so pleasant despite my stomach discomfort with occasional bouts of nausea, drove all the way back to KL instead while Farouk napped at the back. Natsu and I chatted.

Below:
1) “Casa Rasa Sayang” 2) The Main hall 3) My (favorite) room for the night – “The Red Room” 4) My other favorite room – “The White Room” 5) Farouk and Natsu making brunch 6) Me trying to act “busy” 7) The backyard at low-tide!

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I was happily huffing and puffing at the gym yesterday when I realized that my locker key that I had attached to my sweat towel with a safety pin was not there? I went up to my locker to check if it was opened or tampered with already and luckily it wasn’t. I went to the counter and asked the receptionist and she said nobody brought in any lost keys (yet).

I kept on telling myself that the key would surface and being Sunday morning, the crowd would only trickle in after 12pm. So, that would give me time and the sort to scale the spots at the gym that I was at earlier. My mind was more on my phone and the dread of re-loading all the data should someone had somehow broke into my locker and took everything! Also, my camera with all the images that I haven’t backed up yet! That wasn’t looking nor feeling too good after 3 or so minutes of futile searching. If no one could find the key, the gym management would have to call in the locksmith only when the gym closes for the day to open the locker (policy) and if I am not mistaken, would charge RM200 for that!

I found myself perspiring even more with those thoughts and thankfully my towel was thick enough to soak up all my…wait a minute! The towel I was wiping my face, my scalp and my neck with was not the white one from the gym! The gym issues WHITE towels with embroideries of the gym’s logo to its members upon entry and not the BEIGE one that I had been burying my face in! Why and how the heck was I holding a beige-colored towel instead?!

Then I remembered the last machine I was using before the benches was the leg-lift machine! I went to it and there it was! My towel hanging on one of its handles with my key still attached to the corner of the gym sweat towel that was issued to me on that session! I was using somebody else’s towel!

“Eeeeeeeeuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww!!!!”

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When I was a kid, I constantly had a rubber snake, centipede, spider or a mouse. I once almost picked up a dead bloated lizard from the drain thinking that the green glob was a plastic one instead due to its size until my neighbor pricked it with a stick. The horrendous stench that came out of it finally convinced me that it wasn’t something that I could pick up and add to my small collection of rubber critters that would give me pleasurable thrills from my victims’ shrills, shrieks and screams! Yes, I am afraid I was some sort of a prankster then!

Fast forward a few decades and now I could no longer stand even the sight of any of these critters anymore may it be just rubber replicas of them! I am at karma’s pleasure when I shrill or shriek and scream whenever I encountered any of these critters at the most unsuspecting events! Okay, okay, guilty of a little exaggeration there and sounded a tad dramatic (in a campy way)! I actually don’t shriek and scream but I run! I’d run from it faster than any speeding bullets!

Last year I let my sister’s cat into the kitchen from a chilly spring evening after hearing his loud cries. When I unlatched and opened the door, I realized that in the cat’s mouth dangled a dead mouse! I tried shooing it out but the more I did that, the more the cat wanted to come near me as if saying “…but I got this for you, idiot!”

I bolted and hid in my room instead.

A few weeks ago, as I was entering my house after a long day’s work and at the gym, I heard a screech below my main door and then the door jerked and got stuck half-way (as the floor tiles were also slightly uneven). I looked down and saw a severed gecko’s tail convulsing as if it was drowning or something. A trail of smeared blood resembling a calligraphic stroke ended from underneath the door and I immediately regretted that I didn’t have anyone with me at that moment! I looked out to the guard house thinking if I could only get some help from them, I would return them with rewards. Then I also didn’t want to be a potential laughing stock or known as a “hunk of a sissy”!

After pondering on the staircase for almost forever on how to get over this, I finally found a solution to clean it without having to endure the sight of not only a dead lizard, but also a badly squashed one. I turned out the lights!

Relying from the street lights streaming in from the outside, it was a lot easier to clean. True enough, I jerked the door back to reveal the glob of what was left of the lizard in silhouette was a lot easier to work on. I didn’t feel as squeamish as I thought I would (I know. Go ahead. I AM WEIRD)!

Two evenings ago, before turning out the lights in my bedroom after a session on my iPad, an ugly long-legged at least 2-inch big spider was directly on the ceiling above me! I sprang up from my bed and headed for the can of insecticide from my toilet. I came out and Mr. Spider was making his way ONTO my bed! My sheets were light brown, my blanket checkered brown and blue, headboard wood and Mr. Spider was also brown! I could only make out something crawling on my bed but not exactly knew where it was heading! The only thing I could think of then was to spray EVERYWHERE to hopefully attain a certain degree of guarantee on Mr. Spider’s demise! Half the contents of the can went onto my bed, the headboard, behind the headboard, under the bed, my bookcase and eventually ended up spraying almost everywhere in my room. That could have killed a thousand spiders and if I didn’t get out of there in seconds, I could have become my own casualty!

I slept on my couch with the lights on that night! I normally can’t sleep with any lights on but I had no choice for just in case Mr. Spider survived the onslaught in my room and decided to take his little revenge! I would get startled and would be awoken every second I thought I felt something crawling on me!

Last night, I cleaned out my room where the residue from the insecticide was still a tad strong but what was most disturbing was not discovering a dead Mr. Spider in any form any where! I have to be constantly on “battle alert” now until I find him!

So, I don’t know why the older I get, the more squeamish I became over these creatures that are what…300 times smaller than me? But I obviously can’t help it! Maybe it could be an overloading of sci-fi monster movies with giant spiders or anacondas that has short-circuited something in my brain! Also, this was a kid who tormented snails after capturing them by carefully breaking and removing their shells before setting them free again; operated on fireflies to find out what made them light-up; slipping rubber snakes into bags and toilets, and the most enjoyable to me was my black rubber mouse! I would just place it in a white toilet basin or bath tub and I never fail to get screams 9 out of 10 attempts! My sisters would chase me and would throw the mouse back at me with all their strength after a successful scare but despite the pain from that heavy glob of rubber in the shape of the mouse, I thought that was a small price to pay for the entertainment!

I am probably getting back all the ‘pranks’ that I have played on other people but I WAS A KID!!

Someday I shall write about my experiences with itchy powder and stink-bombs on my brother but that’s another story (see, “ammo: stink bombs, itchy poeder, scissors and (other) pranks. target: big brother. this post could also be titled, ‘the vindictive baby brother from hell’)!

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