The Sordid Past

I was thinking. I could either blog about how me and my sister struggled to carry a heavy shoe cabinet flatpack from Ikea, which left me mourning the lack of upper body strength.

Or I could blog about my writing progress, which I’ve been meaning to. Funnily enough, I just never found the inspiration to write about what has been going on but there are quite a bit. I have um..*cough* a fanfic *cough* that I’ve been uploading and am currently taking a break from the novel writing since I’ve FINISHED THE SUCKER.

Or, since there were so many of you (okay, I lied, more like two of you) have been pestering me about this for about a year now, I thought what better way to start Tanjong Ole than to dedicate it to the two of you: Eizwan and YK.

Thanks for reading =) and hope the rest of you will enjoy it too.

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Title: A Sordid Past (Part 1)

Series: Life in Tanjong Ole

Author’s note: Dedicated to both Eizwan and YK for pestering me to continue this series after leaving it for almost a year.

So the last we left off, poor Dr. Chan was hauled to the police station for giving her poor landlord a fine uppercut to the chin due to her fears of her crazy ex. Now we go back to where we left off.

The Sordid Past – Part 1

There was a reason why Doctor Chan is antsy around men in general. And it was an occurrence in her life that she would prefer you to not bring up. It was one of the few incidents in her life that could make her wake up in a cold sweat, in the middle of a hot tropical night.

It began as all sordid events do, a few years ago. Doctor Chan had just returned from university, a young wide-eyed graduate with romanticism in her bones. She surrounded herself with like-minded friends who were good people not like others: Republicans, Liverpool and BN supporters. That sort of people.

At the top of her group of like-minded friends was the effervescent James Lim, or rather Doctor James Lim. Doctor Lim was Doctor Chan’s special friend, an ambiguous and chaste Malaysian term that leaves a relationship to the imagination. Chaste imagination. Doctor Chan was a good girl though, so as far as we know, it was rather… chaste.

James Lim, was a nice boy. He graduated from Johns Hopkins a year earlier than Doctor Chan. He was smart too, having presented his findings at the very prestigious Mayo Clinic. He was asked to stay but he chose to return home, to serve the country as good boys do. As the athletic sort, he had climbed Mount Kilimanjaro and Mount Kinabalu, the latter four times, once blindfolded. And he was of the charitable sort too. He tutored English to orphans in Nepal during his leave and helps old ladies cross a busy street, at least twice a week.

For reasons that may not be obvious at this point, the author regrets to inform you that it is imperative for the reader to know that Doctor Chan, after years abroad, had grown very fond of high quality and sexy women’s intimate apparel.

What she did not know was that the very nice boy, James Lim, liked it very much too.

Please Don’t Stop the Music

After dinner this evening at Eizwan’s,  his family gathered on the living room sofa with two guitars, and sat around for a good conversation and some music. The star of the evening was young Hanan, a talkative and confident eight year old who was addicted to pop music and singing. Eizwan’s dad and Eizwan had their guitars out, they accompanied the precocious child through her song catalogue, which I had to admit, was impressive for an eight year old.

When I was eight, the only music I heard was Michael Jackson and the ridiculous Now, That’s What I Call Music albums. This young girl sang Billy Joel, Beatles with a mish-mash of music from the 1950s courtesy of her ancient music teachers in school.

‘I know, ‘Oh Carol” the child announced.

‘Oh, wow!’ Eizwan replied.

‘But I only know it as Oh, Rainbow.’

‘Oh what?!’I interrupted. What are they teaching children these days? Did I hear that wrong?

Hannah proceeds to sing a child-friendly version of Oh Carol, which lyrics were about the colours of the rainbow.

‘Oh, I thought you were singing ‘Oh Rambo!’ I exclaimed with relief.

In moments like these, I think how different Eizwan and my family are. They use music to relax. Music in my family is a very formal thing, with Jazz nights and music education. We don’t come together through music, we each have our Itunes list and our preference in music is eclectic. I’m currently partial towards retro and modern electronica, Hani towards ‘sad emo music’ while my brother, well, Kenny Chesney’s ‘She thinks my tractor’s sexy’ graces his playlist.

It’s not a bad thing, but it did remind me that I am a little uptight when it comes to music. I can’t just let loose like Eizwan; pick up the guitar and then sing with a group of small friends. Music is about hours of preparation and then standing on stage, darkened room, spotlights as you’re finally ready to play. It’s the theatre person in me.

I’m uptight and serious.

‘Hanan, why don’t you sing a new song!’ her mother said. ‘What about something by Lady Gaga.’

‘Oh, I love Lady Gaga,’ I exclaimed.

Hanan beamed as she began singing ‘Just Dance’. She stops singing it halfway. ‘I can’t remember the lyrics. But I can remember Poker Face’

And as the child started to belt out Poker Face, I can’t imagine how everyone would feel or worse, how I would feel if she started to sing at her top of her lungs, ‘It’s love if it’s not rough it isn’t fun!’

‘Tell you what! It’s late, so why don’t we sing another song?’

Hanan was a little disappointed. But yes, at that moment, it crystallized for me. Yep. Definitely uptight.

Outside of Love

It is 6:36am and despite promising myself at 5am that I will sleep right after sahur, I find it impossible to do so and remain wide awake till 8am. That will be when I will collapse and sleep till 11plus am.

I have my usual routine when I get up in the morning. I wake up, go through Facebook, go through Google reader to laugh at Lolcats and then I’d be writing. I’ve been frantically writing for the past month – have finally finished my first draft of my *ahem* novel – but more on that later. So none of the routine has really changed, except I’m blogging since it’s been ages since I’ve blogged.

This morning as I was perusing through my Google reader, I came across this entry from my good friend Krista. It’s hard to describe the ache in my chest when I read that entry – and it’s even harder to explain the regret I feel every day for coming back to Malaysia.

Regret is a funny thing. To say I regret coming home would mean I begrudge some of the wonderful things that have happened to me since I came back. I have met some of the most wonderful friends in the world, had incredible and frankly, at often times, bizarre life experiences. I am going to marry one of the most wonderful men I’ve met and looking forward, it is a bit of an adventure.

And yet….the study of economics suggests that we cannot be satisfied with what we have; we are greedy creatures with insatiable desires. Despite all the good things going on in my life, I long to be out there, beyond these Malaysian borders and just to be slightly closer to the people I call friends. I want to be able to come and go, whenever I please with no concern for financial matters.

What I do know is this ache in my chest has a lot to do with feeling like an outsider in my own country and I long to quell this ache by finding a place where I could sorta fit in. To think that after turning 26, I should at least feel a little settled on this fitting in thing. Like whaddaya know, I’m 26 going on 15.

But anyway, that’s just me being emo. Could be pms and could be the melancholy that I feel towards the end of Ramadhan.

More to come later, I should get around to blogging about my birthday and of course, why I’ve been so quiet lately. There is a reason, it’s not particularly special, but it’s something special to me. For now, it’s bed time or I won’t be able to wake up to pick Eizwan up from servicing his car. That would mean the poor thing would have to take a taxi back, which would not be very nice, would it?