Reminiscing Red Nose Day

The French and Saunders spoof of Mamma Mia is absolutely amazing. Even more so amazing that I recognized more than half of the random TV stars doing their cameo.

Watching it got me reminiscing. I remember back when I was in the UK, during some of the weekends when my British housemates would go home or during the long breaks, I’d pop over to see some of my Malaysian friends.

Now one of my Malaysian friends, let’s call Sha, although more appropriately, we should call her the next Governor of the Central Bank of Malaysia because she is that talented and smart, would have all these magazines on celebrities. Like proper trashy magazines with the most minor soap celebrities and she knew every single one of them.

And she’d really didn’t look the type that would celeb obsess. She had this hijab on and who comes across as this very stern and unfunny Muslim woman. Which confirmed the cliche, never judge a book by its cover. If you actually got to know her, she’s incredibly well, goofy.

Sha was an odd one, within a year of being in the UK, she spoke with a passable British accent, had all the right slangs and even watched TV like a local. I used to make fun of her for knowing all the Corrie episodes and actors very well. Heck, she watched Big Brother like a cult.

But she was adamant on being a good Malaysian. She would cook all our Malaysian food from scratch and if I ever were craving for something Malaysian (I’m the sort that would eat pasta with pasta sauce and lots of grated cheddar) I’d pop over to her place.

Fast forward a few years. Sha would hold a gathering for Eid every year, which I try to make it to because aside from being an awesome friend, she’s an even better cook.  There was this one year, she did this incredible thing where she served pasta, lasagna, pesto for Eid as opposed to the usual fair of rendang and the sort. That year, she said something to me that left me with such an impression:

“I wish I cooked more Western food while I was in the UK. I feel like Imissed out on all the cheeses and stuff. Why on earth did I cook rendang when I could have it here for the rest of my life?”

Considering how she barged through her life with as much confidence as a rampaging bull, it struck me as strange that Sha would have any regrets at all.

But watching Red Nose Day made me feel the same way. Watching Philip Glenister going “Buh buh buh buh” gave me this ridiculous sense of pride. Not for the “Buh, buh, buh” bit but for actually knowing who this incredible actor was.

And it hit me that I’m no different from Sha, I’m watching British telly now because I didn’t back then. I’m reading The Guardian everyday (annoying left-wing preachy paper) because I didn’t then. Five years later and I’m still “living” in the UK. Watching Red Nose Day, Ashes to Ashes and Doctor Who all these give me a sense of comfort that nothing in Malaysia can give me.

I do feel, on occasion, the need to justify myself. Why do I prefer English literature and art more than the stuff of my own countrymen? Hell, why don’t I support our local artists? But after such a difficult week at work, I honestly don’t care. I don’t resent not loving my country as much as I could – I’m just happy that I can find comfort from some other places, even if it means from Doctor Who and Red Nose Day and not from here.

But for those of you who are in the UK – hope you guys donated! Wish I was there too.

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The Man Next to Me

The Password

Oooh, am I getting all secretive? Well, if it has to do with work, yes. So anytime you see the work category and you’d like to read about it, just type in the password:

Clue: “Is there life on Mars?”

As you can tell, it’s a little more difficult. Just FB me or drop me a note if you’d like the password. But if you’re keen to figure it out, it’s two words (remove the space) and it’s related to the phrase above. Oh and second clue. It’s an actor.

But anyway.

There is one thing I do dread about work that is not work related. And that would be the journey to work. I take the LRT to work. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not bad. On good days, it’s relatively comfortable with decent amount of space. It’s efficient and occassionally breaks down, but no more so than the Underground for instance.

The one thing I do dislike  about the journey there is how mind-numbingly boring it can be. It’s tedious and KL generally lacks the interesting people that you sometimes see (and then run and avoid) on the train in other parts of the world. Most commuters are just like me, bored and frustrated with what they do.

I started wondering what would make my morning commute more interesting, that’s when I thought wouldn’t it be lovely if…..

Scenario 1: The Man Standing Next To Me

It’s a sunny Wednesday morning. Which makes it all the more a waste. Wednesdays are meant to be dark and gloomy, a reminder that you have THREE more days to go in this long forsaken week. I’m shifting about in the queue, left foot to right, right foot to left as the long short train arrives at the station. My fellow commuters are impatient to enter, they try to stay in the queue but some of us break out of the queue and shuffle and shove our way in. Politely of course, it’s only Wednesday, there’s no need for us to be too aggressive.

I enter the cabin, I am not fast enough to shove a kindly old lady aside for a seat. First tragedy of the day have struck. I have no choice but to stand.

But wait…

Today is no ordinary day, no. Firstly, the man next to me does not seem like a drained KL worker with bleary eyes. He is tall, very thin and hair that seemed to have a life of its own. Thick and practically uncontrollable, it looked soft and for a second I lost myself, so tempted was I to run my fingers through his hair. He is dressed in a t-shirt and a pin-striped jacket, uncomfortable in Malaysia’s warm weather but he looks perfectly suited with the jacket, as though something would be missing without it.

He has lovely brown eyes, a cheeky smile and he had his hand hanging of the safety grip. He even smells good, his cologne cutting through the smell of plastic and metal of your average LRT cabin. I am staring at him , I know I shouldn’t. He winks at me and I immediately turn my head to the front.  I feel my heart pounding and I try to keep my eyes at the window, sneaking glances occasionally and paying silent attention to his reflection on the window. I feel my palms becoming sweaty, holding onto the metal pole to keep steady was becoming more difficult as my knees grew weak. It is becoming insidiously difficult to keep the giggles deep inside my chest from escaping and then me collapsing on the ground.

Because who would have thought that David Tennant would get on the same train as I would.

***

Okay, more scenarios later. It’s almost time to go home! Gyahahahah.

How I feel about work right now

“But I don’t want to go around mad people,” Alice remarked.

“Oh, you can’t help that,” said the Cat: “we’re all mad here. I’m mad. You’re mad.”

“How do you know I’m mad?” said Alice.

“You must be,” said the Cat, “or you wouldn’t have come here.”

***

Seriously replace Alice with Adlina and that’s pretty much my job right now.

What is the Password?

I don’t usually do password protected entries, it’s just that I’m not quite ready to spread the news to everyone just yet. Although it’s nothing serious, nothing like venereal disease or stuff like that.

But I don’t quite want to forget the happy stuff that goes along with it, so I want to record it down for those who know to read it. So if you must know what I’m writing about, enter in the password.

The password is….well, one word. My favourite TV show. And if you don’t know by now, gosh, I’d dare call you a simpleton.

Or just someone who doesn’t read my blog frequently 😉 Just email or FB me privately if you want the password. Or drop a comment here. Thankies.

The Grandmother’s Reaction

So all in all, the word is starting to spread of my, ahem, impending nuptials. I would have thought I’d become all strange as a result, as though the announcement would transform me into a blushing bride whereby I giggle softly and keep my glances to the floor away from the open glaring of the opposite sex.

Well, almost nothing has changed then, I’m still as violent as ever, I stomp and storm around to get what I want and surprisingly, not about the wedding either. The wedding euphoria has faded somewhat after Eizwan’s initial proposal as the daunting task of earning moolah for the event has taken over in its place. But I suppose, its just the way I like it, I’m not the sort to fuss over flowers and linen, it’s a shame that I’ll be the one to carry the bouquet when I prefer to be the one with the portable handset barking orders around and putting on the best show EVAR.

Ahem.

Over the weekend, my father thought it was best to tell my grandparents. Originally we wanted to tell them a little later, considering how excited my grandmother would get and she’d start planning for the wedding as though it was tomorrow.

Her reaction was not at all what I expected, more serene than crazily happy. In fact, it was the face of someone whose prayers have been answered by God.

I suspect it’s the latter, she had been praying for me to get married since I left university. So much so that each time she sees me, she reminds me that I ought to pray to get married as soon as possible.

Now that the wedding is definitely in the cards, the next happiest thing for my grandmother is the planning. I come from a family of planners, perhaps that’s one of the reasons why I enjoy producing works so much.

My grandmother gave me the evil eye as she asked me what I was going to ask from Eizwan. And there she was mumbling to herself that I ought to ask for a locket, since the one I’m wearing right now is awfully small. And she had a perfect diamond brooch that I could wear.

Notice how my opinion was not required in any of this? My aunt has offered to buy the cloth for my dress in Dubai whilst my cousin and my aunt have been mulling about printing the invitation cards in Indonesia. I am amused for the most part, not irritated, since that is the reason for this one year of planning ahead, anything later would only result in arguments.

Two days and no phone calls. But I do foresee that there will be plenty of excitement to continue.

Weekend

Another working Monday spent at home. I hate the thought of being the kind of person who easily falls sick from stress (which is utterly bizarre considering school days and uni was infinitely more stressful than work sometimes) but it’s starting to be the case. From my cold that I suffered from two weeks back to my on-and-off again asthma problems this weekend, I have decided to stay home and recover fully. I highly doubt getting on the public transport will help me, as many compliments I give to our LRT (and I’m not being sarcastic here), the epitome of public health is not it. Everyone on the LRT has either the sniffles or the cough, it’s a cess pool of germs just waiting to get to you.

Makes you kinda wish they’d spray those funky things  on the flights to London on the LRT. We are from the Tropics! We bring DISEASE! Spray us!!

This weekend was uneventful really, I spent most of it sleeping and then when Eizwan came over on Sunday, I spent most of that time, simpering and moaning (like anyone who is ill should ) and Eizwan gave in to a lot of my ridiculous demands, such as watching Pride and Prejudice, the 6 HOUR, Colin Firth version just because I was ill. And not moving from the sofa for a good five hours.

We only moved when my dad started watching the uber-optimistic film Paradise Now and as one of the main characters sat on the toilet seat looking forlornly at the C4 strapped around his chest,  we thought, yep, it’s time to go out and maybe get a breath of fresh air.

Going out was not a good idea. Eizwan’s been looking for the soundtrack to Slumdog Millionaire and we thought O.U might just be the place. Not a very good idea. It was super crowded and the queues to restaurants reached ridiculous distances. Who said there was any recession? The fate of the country is in your hands Malaysians, shop as much as possible!

Which they did, because even the soundtrack to Slumdog has been sold out. Surprising and yet unsurprising, if you get what I mean.

But going out proved to be too taxing on me, I started to cough badly which made my back ache. Classic asthma attack symptoms. So we headed home and now, on a Monday morning, I’m doing work from my home pc. What a shame.

Which brings to my conclusion, that when your life isn’t particularly exciting, why blog about it? But geez, I hate leaving a blog un-updated. Well, that’s not quite true, there are lots going on, just stuff that I’m not quite ready to share yet. Perhaps I ought to just write about it, and when the time is right, un-make it private. Okay, sounds like a decent idea.

Till then!