Friday, 31 December 2010
Thursday, 16 December 2010
Wednesday, 15 December 2010
taiwan was amazing, it made me realise how rude people in customer service are here in hong kong. (except for today at marks and spencer. they said merry christmas and smiled and i thought i had just mistakenly paid them 1000 instead of 100). unfortunately, i didn't take my camera on my trip (oh speaking of trips i slipped and fell down a flight of stairs in central today, it was pretty embarrassing so after i was helped up i went and stood facing a wall for about ten minutes until my body stopped aching), but taiwan! the fun times shall burn in my occipital lobe forever! everyone was so kind, strangers were lovely, it made me want to be a better person haha. i could feel my cheeks swell up wanting to smile at everyone i saw and everywhere i passed.
but a trip in asia isn't a trip in asia without some tiny scam! we call him 'squid guy'. he sells grilled squids and told me it was 120 each after he had made them. i laughed and asked, 'uncle, are you scamming us? everyone else sells them for a fraction of that!'
squid guy: no! my squids are better than everyone else's, they are not frozen.
me: but behind you is a huge cube of squids defrosting in that face washing pan!
squid guy: that's um... for something else. my squids are fresh.
me: i can get 6 for that price though.
squid guy: i've already made them for you, be a samaritan, 220 for the two.
he actually said be a samaritan.
he actually said be a samaritan.
see what happens when you travel in asia with someone with blonde hair and green eyes? *eyes sofia sitting next to me right now*
Tuesday, 30 November 2010
Friday, 26 November 2010
Sunday, 21 November 2010
Tuesday, 16 November 2010
Wednesday, 3 November 2010
Thursday, 28 October 2010
yesterday i saw an old lady with a back so terribly hunched her head was touching her knees. she could only follow the gravel as she walked. i wondered how long since she last gazed at the sky. maybe that would be the least of her worries, with aches like that. sadness lumped in my throat, i felt embarrassed to witness the scene without lending help. she was enfeebled yet still hauling a huge cart of cardboard, presumably to sell. i wanted to be of use, but old people with cardboard in hong kong are gravely protective of their belongings.
having spent childhood walking from home to anywhere seeing poverty. children begging, mothers with babies begging, old people with their heads kowtowed to the ground begging. i use to wonder what spot i'd pick in the city if i had to beg for survival suddenly. while normally seeing these incidents would throw me into heartache, yesterday it kind of left me with a bittersweet feel. she had been doing something i didn't expect anyone of her physic to do. which made me realise, maybe i judged too early, maybe what i saw wasn't tragic, but another paradigm for encouragement, grit, courage, life. what's that line again... (and forgive me for quoting him):
because I am bigger than my body gives me credit for.
because I am bigger than my body gives me credit for.
Monday, 25 October 2010
every morning i wake up to the sound of heat stinging the windows. people always say they can't hear it but it sounds just like honeycombs crackling in a distant fire; the annoying adherence of my skin to my bed sheets, and the air conditioner so quietly whispering ‘enough… seriously’.
summer in hong kong feels wonderful. everyday the warmth of this air would wake me up before the sun got too high. i'd eat an icy pole every morning, the sugar would trickle down my hands and i'd have to lick it before it got sticky. i don't like it when it runs down to my elbows.
i have this map i've been keeping with me, it doesn't have streets but it does show all the islands. i have folded it a few too many times so some of the names are lost in the creases, but nonetheless it is still very helpful for a traveller. i don't like the giant maps that block paths from other people. the ones you see the adults in the family hold. they always try to match the street names, but it is silly because they often miss what's just around them.
today i realised: it wasn't summer anymore.
i have been calling my time ‘summer’ for almost two months after the beginning of autumn. time is amazing don't you think? sometimes they become our enemies, like when you are young and think the rain will never pass. you listen to your teacher in class, only to wonder whether the whole world has stopped moving, or if she is just really, really boring. other times they help us grow, to become better people, bigger dreamers, accomplished believers.
maybe i have been lost in time, if not completely. my time is counted by days. i think people keep track by banding them into weeks or months, but days are the best of times — so much can happen if you let it. so little can amount if you leave it. i have been whole-heartedly embracing each new sunrise. i envelop it no matter what light is being presented. i am not waking up to dreams coming true. in fact i feel like i am handed a blank canvas. every. single. day.
i don't want to receive a blank canvas everyday for the rest of my life, but i like the fact that right now, i can still take it hold it, and make what i will. maybe one day i will have enough colours to paint a van gogh. but right now i appreciate the few paint colours i do have. if i can't fix something the day before the next day i am given a new chance, and being able to step back and realise this has been so good for me. time passes differently for everyone.
i hope to get more paints for november though. maybe i can save a few canvases and make something prettier in the days and sunrises coming.
Saturday, 31 July 2010
Sunday, 18 July 2010
when i was four my grandmother took me to the supermarket on my birthday, and let me pick a cake. i picked a small sponge cake and went home wanting candles in it like they do in the movies. unlike the movies there were no candles and my grandmother wouldn't let me light the chopsticks on fire. i remember asking them if they wanted to sit at the table with me and we could eat it together. neither of them did so i sat in an empty room, opened the flimsy box, and ate it alone. to this day i still remember when i first tasted the cake. i thought it was the best thing at the time.
Sunday, 11 July 2010
there was this mcdonald's ad on TV today that reminded me of something that happened in february this year. i had just gotten off the plane in china and it was already very late, and what do you do when it’s nearing the early morning? go to mcdonald's.
their menu isn't that particularly easy to read as they like to mix a blend of eastern and western food. but number 7 without the cheese looked acceptable.
before I go into too much detail, here is the 411. cheese in chinese is called nailao.
so i asked for the 'number 7 without nailao.' sil vous plait and all.
the girl at the counter looked up, cocked her head, and replied, 'what? without what?'
'nailao, the bright yellow square that could be mistaken for a roadwork sign.'
'you mean mustard?'
'no… i mean NAILAO.'
'we don’t have nailao,' she says all confused, then turns to another worker, 'hey jimmy! we don’t have nailao, do we?'
this jimmy person literally snaps back, 'pfffttt, nailao? what the fuck is that? no!'
by then i had realised this wasn't worth the constant talk and i could just pick the cheese off myself — my only problem with that is that sometimes the cheese melts and i can’t peel it off…
'okay don’t worry, just number 7 then, but what’s the yellow square thing?' i pointed to the triangle edge visible on the giant picture.
'that? OHHHH, that’s jisu.'
'jisu, jeeeeesu! not nailao! we don’t know what nailao is.'
by now i could see she was getting very annoyed, so i smiled and stepped aside to wait for my order, all the while trying to figure out what this jisu is. i began saying it over and over in my head. jisu jisu jisu, jeeeeesuuu, jeeeezzuuu, chiiiiizuuu, cheeeezz-ooo... i think i laughed out loud upon realising jisu is just cheese pronounced with a very heavy asian accent.
and yes the 'jisu' indeed melted onto everything else.
Wednesday, 30 June 2010
Saturday, 5 June 2010
i had the weirdest dream this morning. i dreamt that mel and kochie (these two breakfast show hosts in australia) were my parents and i had a random asian kid as my brother. we were being evicted from our house and the only person who could save us was penelope cruz. but she was in the RMIT female gym and you needed an university ID to get in. i jumped the barrier on a staircase leading up to the gym but got chased and they didn't believe me when i said i lost my ID card. i then decided to jump onto one of the letter O's in yahoo.com so I could swing over to the gym (through presumably a portal). then i woke up.
Tuesday, 1 June 2010
Friday, 16 April 2010
i was eight years old and had just moved to new plymouth. it was the beginning of the year and we were all handed these wrapping papers to sell as a fundraiser for the school. it's not compulsory to sell them but it was my first month there and i didn't want to lose face. thinking back would an eight year old even know about face? i ask my parents to buy some but they decline, and suggest i try selling it to the neighbours. thinking back what parents let their child go door knocking sans halloween? so i go out and start door knocking asking whether people wanted wrapping paper.
i walked and walked door to door, before you know it i'm down some green valley with no direction of where i am. i knock on the door of a very nice house and an old lady opens up and greets me with her wrinkly smile, she asks me what i'm doing and i tell her i'm selling wrapping paper for my school, she chuckles and asks me to come in and i do. but i regretted doing so as soon as i stepped in. she gently shuts the door, then heads down the hall way while asking me whether i'd like some tea or coffee, i have no idea what they are so i reply 'no thank you', but she says, 'surely you must sit down' or something along those lines, words that invite you to their kitchen.
i look around and the house is so very nicely decorated, so lovely was the interior my mind starts to twist. i use to read all these fables of the west when i was growing up and one of them was about two siblings who get captured and fed by this evil old lady who plans to eat them. i start panicking and i didn't move from my spot near the door, i thought about rushing out, but she might be really fast or have a broomstick. so i freeze, just standing there while creating this elaborate tale of how i might die in my mind. she comes back down the hallway with her smile and keeps trying to shuffle me in the house more, i don't move a muscle because i'm scared.
she looks a little upset and goes away and comes back with her purse. she asks me how much for the wrapping papers and i tell her. she buys the whole lot and hands me the money. i say thank you and she opens the door for me, i walk out slowly but i start running as soon as i pass the front gates. thinking back the old lady was probably lonely and i wish i had stayed for a little while. funny how when you are a child your mind can run so far off the map.
Saturday, 3 April 2010
the other day i was hanging out with my lover, we decided to get pizza for dinner, i wanted to eat it on the lawn outside the state library. but he didn't want to, because it was cold. i said i really wanted to, so he smiled his smile and agreed. we walked to lygon st and went to the first pizza place we saw, because we had walked a lot that day and didn't want to walk much further. the man at the restaurant said hi and we said hello. he asked us what we wanted and charlie chose, he then asked me if i wanted to pick another half. i picked tropical. i like my pizzas with not too many toppings and charlie likes pineapple. the man said 'you kids look like good kids, i give you special.' i laughed a little and commented he must have been having a good day. he looked at us and waved his arms into the air, 'everyday is a good day! you make it beautiful.' i smiled. i thought of charlie because he hadn't been having too many good days lately. the man continued, 'even if other people upset you, at the end of the day, it is yours and you make it beautiful. okay?'. i nodded as if knowing that was the greatest.