Latest Posts

And I’m letting you.

Cigarettes and whisky
The perfect concoction for the keeping the lonely at bay
The lady sways to the infectious melody as the jazz band plays
Savouring the make-believe world her closed eyes brings her to
With every inhale, she throws her head back

She ruffles her hair on her face and sniffs the remnants on her fingers
Scents always have a way of bringing her to places
Places she has been and never been;
like that ten seconds in the elevator, or that last time she stood to watch planes take off
With every exhale, she lets out her sigh, ever so softly

The night feels young but she feels old.

你喜歡自己嗎?

為什麼明明知道在傍晚八點睡覺會把生理時鐘擾亂還要固執地去這樣做?為什麼我有自虐傾向-偏偏愛做一些對自己無意的事情
凌晨四點二十二分,我坐在電腦前的小凳子上,整理香水瓶子,把瓶子轉來轉去讓瓶子上的標籤都面向正前方。
Spotify 一直重複地播著同一首的歌曲。
聖誕節要到了,星航最近剛剛推出最新的配套,直飛巴黎的機票不到九百元新幣。看了真的有一點心動。
不過在心動的當兒又不自禁地回想起上一會獨自由香港的經驗,我真的不懂得怎樣欣賞一個人獨處的生活,不喜歡與自己相處,不喜歡自己的陪伴。
你們也一樣嗎?

我希望我能夠變得更獨立一些。就像不久前剛去音樂節,聽說與我結伴一起去的兩個友人本來都打算獨自去音樂節,如果能在音樂節上碰到幾個朋友就和他們在一起,要不然,就獨自一個人喝啤酒,聽音樂。這我還真的做不到。我想我寫日記和經營部落格的習慣也是出自於一種需要與人分享的心態-人類不是群體動物嗎?為什麼有一些人能夠長時間獨處而仍然感到自在?

是不是因為我不喜歡我自己?

Ipoh 2016

The last time I visited Ipoh was when my grandmother passed away; that was probably more than two decades ago. My Dad was born in Ipoh and it was such a pleasure to be able to visit his hometown again, this time as an adult. What a beautiful town!

I am so happy that the trip happened. I didn’t get to travel much this year, really far cry from the 16 cities I went to last year. Sim and Michelle were such great company, really cannot ask for more. 2016 marks the first time I travelled with friends, and also the year that I experienced travelling alone. I look forward to more solo trips in time to come. But that said, can’t wait for this awful 2016 to be over.

IMG_5502
IMG_5499
IMG_5524
IMG_5531
IMG_5544
IMG_5520
IMG_5723
IMG_5655
IMG_5512
IMG_5527
IMG_5571
IMG_5582
IMG_5556
IMG_5708
IMG_5652
IMG_5638
IMG_5576
IMG_5701
IMG_5720
IMG_5725
IMG_5523
IMG_5549
IMG_5716
IMG_5610
IMG_5552
IMG_5501
IMG_5649
IMG_5669
IMG_5623
IMG_5579
IMG_5690
IMG_5529
IMG_5648
IMG_5630
IMG_5917
IMG_5737

Shaken, Not Stirred

At first, I cried my eyes out and bawled words of hatred hysterically in my head. I swore and cursed and wished for people I detest to die. When I feel like I’m going to implode, I crawl into bed, assume a fetal position, and furiously scribble in my Talk To You Later book, translating my rage into uncouth words and profanities. More often than sometimes, tears from my right eye would dribble across the bridge of my nose into my left eye before hitting my pillow. So don’t ever judge stained pillows. I made myself revisit every moment I got my heart broken, ruminated and immersed myself in those thoughts so I could recall exactly how I felt. But I get distracted oh so easily – sometimes it was when I marvel at how my incredibly smooth ink pen is all inky but still doesn’t seep through the page, or when my half-drunk Dad insists that I share the (single) packet of mixed vegetable rice he brought home, sometimes it was because the end of the page is uncomfortable to write on, and I struggle with the dilemma of dealing with the discomfort and continuing to write regardless, or leaving that disgraceful bit of white space and skipping to the next page. Then I forget what it is I was angry about, and decide to make a cup of hot tea for myself. Forgetfulness is at times, a virtue.

I listen to songs on repeat and seek refuge in morose poems and depressing lyrics. I listen to lyrics more than the melody. I feel heartened whenever I find a song with lyrics describing exactly what I am going through. “I am not alone,” I think. I love reading the words in the songs or poems so intently it reminds me of how pathetic I am that it makes me cry. I love the whole wallowing in sadness thing, I am quite a masochist in this aspect. Then I resist the perverse need to photograph myself crying because I am so fucking addicted to telling the whole world how I feel. Because there are many studies concluding that people who share photos of themselves working out or crying are psychopaths, and since I care so deeply about what others think of me, I pretended to be reticent and reclusive, and that I disregard the opinion of others. Truth is, I feel loneliness not solitude, and I fucking hate this intense feeling of forlornness. I cannot stand knowing I am all by myself.

On some good days, I wake up feeling brave. I start unpacking suitcases filled with clothes because I want to quit seeing my home as a halfway house; as if it is just going to be temporary, like after a while I’ll be whole enough to reintegrate into my old life. I bought new bedsheets and a new fluffy light pink throw. Bought flowers, carefully de-thorned them personally and put them into under-utilised vases. I repainted my room – 1 black, and kept 3 white – although I felt more like 3 black walls and 1 white. I bought new clothes because I wanted her to see a different me, or perhaps to take a second look at me, or ask me where I got those new shoes from, or give her the impression that I am getting along so well I even had the leisure to shop for new clothes, or.. I just wanted to feel good about myself. I had no idea what my true intention was, I just felt a pressing need to look and feel brand new. I asked friends out and I flirted with people. I felt like people actually still appreciated me and sought after when someone compliments my hair or how fresh I looked, or how I had lost weight and asked for my secret. “Just eat less and exercise” was my usual answer. I didn’t want to let them know it was because food does not interest me and eating was the last thing on my mind; that I just long to vegetate on my beautiful bedsheets with my eyes shut and listen to spoken poetry all day, that I wake up at 4pm so that the day would be shorter and most of my friends are only free at night to keep me company. It was my idea to leave, and I was supposed to stick to my plan even after it had backfired; when she agreed that this short separation might be a good solution.

I left my wedding band at her place. And every time I see her, I’d notice whether she still wears hers. She doesn’t. To somebody who reads too much in everything, that is a sign. I’m such a paradox. She brings me my clothes so that I can still live comfortably at home with everything I might need. That wasn’t how I read it. Perhaps it was really because I victimise myself. I allotted to myself a specific amount of time to mourn, etched the end line on the calendar inside my head. I repeated my story to anyone willing to listen. I air my dirty laundry online. It was selfish to a certain extent, because I know my voice is louder than hers, at least in the virtual arena. It was my way of gaining some meagre support. I would always end the story with, “Well, that was only my side of the story. You haven’t heard hers” to further schemingly convince my listeners that I am an impartial person who had tried umpteen times in vain to put myself in her shoes.

Then 5 months went by like that. 5 months of soul searching and pursuit of loving oneself.

They say time heals, but they forgot to include the fact that before it heals you, it numbs you. The blows weren’t fatal enough – you were not strong but you were brave enough to grasp on to life – your heart learns how to numb itself and you gradually need to fight less and less hard to stay afloat. In that numb state, you heal. The body works in miraculous ways indeed. The gaping hole fuses. The scar it leaves behind becomes a badge of honour. My friends tell me I would one day look back in time and laugh at myself. I sure as hell am gonna get there.

There is no shortcut to the end, no way of bypassing the grief death brings. I coerced myself to frolic with the pain, savour the fear, quit asking myself why, stare at the ghost of our love affair in its eyes and acknowledge its demise. I focused on working with the centrifugal force to swing myself out of this vicious cycle of denial, anger, bargaining and depression. I know full well I’m going to exit all beaten up because I have never felt more alone and my self-esteem has never been lower in my life. I feel like the once-juicy plum still left on the vine.

The next person I need to fall deeply in love with is myself. I must not stop believing in love.

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, right?

框框外的自由

決定以中文書寫是一個很有心機的舉動。因為不是每個人都會讀中文,而看得懂中文的人,不是每一個都認識繁體字。
這是我為我的隱私做的一點點地保留。

要向新的環境邁出第一步往往最艱難,因為害怕未知是人的本性。
人類是習慣性動物,喜歡生活在為自己設下的舒適的框框裡。在框框裡待久了之後,對框框外的世界的好奇心也就漸漸的被懦弱淹沒,人變得越來越膽怯。

我想我是膽怯的。
兩杯白酒,兩杯威士忌,六杯紅酒之後,我還是膽怯的。

我一直幻想著自己有一天會突然間像發了瘋似地 - 只為自己著想,不在乎別人的眼光,不顧慮別人的感受,不去仔細計算每一個決定的好與壞 -
衝動地, 不負責任地,沒有理智地… 去做一個自私的人。
可是我沒有勇氣, 沒有勇氣做一個自私的人。因為我私自 -很可笑吧?
因為我的自私,我不敢離開舒適的地帶,我拿快樂去交換安全感。
不敢衝動,不敢不負責任,不敢失去理智, 這一切的一切都是自私的舉動。
因為我在保護自己。因為我知道在這個熟悉框框裡,我是安全的。

可能不會很開心,但是很安全。

我開始慢慢地把自己的視線變得模糊。懵懵懂懂的,人會比較容易快樂吧。
我一點也不快樂,可能因為我還不夠盲目。

我站在框框的邊緣,揮著腳,想知道框框外的深淵到底有多深。
這是一張單程機票,啟程了,就不能再回頭看。
我應該單飛嗎?

我好累。

Ain’t It Funny?

And this whole thing is like those annoying websites that only allow you five tries on the password.
If you still can’t get it right after that few desperate attempts to try to get it right, they lock you out.

Or rather, you’ve locked yourself out.

Too bad.

I think I live in the past too much. I feed off memories, the good ones, to tide me through the turbulent times.
They make me happy. They make me sad.
They make me feel I should stop doing this.

Rubbish thoughts, really.

A beautiful accidental-stranger once told me – if you have only known a person for an x-period of time, you should not make future plans that will only happen after x-period of time with this person.
It was some kind of mathematical formula he goes by.
His logic being if you have only known that person for a short amount of time, you still can’t be too sure if you would still want to be around this person in the near future. And the amount of time you’ve known this person for will be a good gauge.
My explanation sucks, please see chart:

screen-shot-2016-10-27-at-6-13-25-am

That is a rubbish theory.

How can time even be a unit to measure connection and soul?
Hor?

The pursuit of happiness is hard work. What’s worse is when your happiness is pretty much dependent on the people and things around you.
We are so not in control of our own happiness, yet those quotes on Pinterest encourages us endlessly to think that we are. They forgot most of us haven’t attained nirvana yet.

I wake up everyday seeking solace and happiness – in little things like good coffee, listening to songs that I like, choosing to wear clothes that are comfortable to be in, eat things I like to eat, spend time with people I adore, do things that makes me feel good, please people whose feelings I care for.
But at some point, life always has to mess it up, and it is almost always because of people or things around you – a bloody paper cut, a rude stranger, misaligned tables, the coffee which you accidentally spilled (and has to land on your fabric shoe), the wind that messed up your documents, the heavy traffic, the recognition no one gave you, unreciprocated feelings, unfair judgements passed on you, when the things you wish didn’t change changed, when the people you love leave, when you realise that time is all you have and don’t have.
We affect one another and have such a great impact on each others’ lives, and we don’t know it.
The more you care about someone, the more the little things he/she does matter to you, the more you’ll start over-thinking and project every fault onto yourself (ok, maybe this is just me the self-pity-wallow-er). And that’s the time when you need to start to look for that brake pedal and tread carefully.

There are only three different kinds of people in our individual little worlds – people you like, people you do not like, and people whom you feel neutral towards. It’s a tragedy though, that it is often the people whom you feel positively towards who have the biggest effect on you and might possibly inflict the most pain unto you.

I care too much about how others feel and what they think. The only defiant thing I can manage is to get a new tattoo as a little “Fuck Off” to people who tell me not to get so many tattoos cos the inks are all gonna look like they need ironing once I get older.
I scour for the little joys in life to make up for the gaping void in my heart that’s screaming for attention everyday. Even when I set out wanting to be happy every morning, I cannot be too sure if I can – even when it’s my own bloody feelings, for crying out loud.

I feel irresponsible living in the moment, even when it makes me happy. This must be a heart vs head thing. Why do we always have to “think of the bigger picture” and make so much plans? My grand plans sure have a unglorified track record of failing on me.
Anything good is hardly permanent, it seems. I’m really just scared shitless to take a chance to make something is remotely good any better, you know, self-defence mechanism, just in case if it doesn’t work out, then at least it wouldn’t hurt so bad.

What is it, really?
Fuck, I lost my train of thought, and I am starting to feel a little delirious.
I think I still don’t know what I am; I don’t even know where to look for answers, and don’t really have the balls to begin looking.

Fuck it’s 6:53am. The birds are chirping and my neighbour just left for work. I’m starting to see neon bits floating around in my vision, like the kind you see in your eyes after a hard sneeze, if you know what I’m talking about.

I Do Not Love You

I do not love you as if you were salt-rose, or topaz,
or the arrow of carnations the fire shoots off.
I love you as certain dark things are to be loved,
in secret, between the shadow and the soul.

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love the tight aroma that arose from the earth,
lives dimly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way than this:
where I does not exist, nor you,
so close that your hand on my chest is my hand,
so close that your eyes close as I fall asleep.

– – –

This is so beautiful.

Mad

There are times when I feel like I want to pour my hearts out into words, but I can hardly do so. Sometimes, thoughts go by so fast, I didn’t have enough time to translate them into words. I can’t quite find the right words. I keep it all in my head. The writer’s block is so real, and just like unrequited love; the more you try to resist it, the more it happens. I try too hard to make something out of the obscure nothingness. I always do. I am afraid to speak. And there is really nothing worth saying sometimes.

I have forgotten how to feel. I made myself not feel.
What is the point of feeling so much and what does it bring me when I confront my feelings?
Again, nothing.

There is no passion and I do not long for anything. I fill the voids and pockets of time seeking excitement in life, to find meaning in nothing, to seek comfort in the unfathomable vacuum I have put myself in.
Because I have taught myself not to feel so much; be less in touch with feelings, be more in sync with reasons. Because I know I should keep things that people do not want to hear, and should not hear to myself.
And because there are so many things that you cannot tell anybody; and these are things that you sometimes have to hide from even yourself. You know they intimidate you.
How many of us are brave enough to always be wholly true to ourselves?

I miss being overwhelmed; like, in a way that I would totally forget to breathe if my body didn’t remind itself.

I want butterflies, I want somebody to drown me in a sea of passion, to hug me so tight it hurts but I’d still want more. To be pushed into a corner, to fear the uncertainties, to tremble in pleasure or terror. To have something to long for, something to look forward to, to see sparks. To be put on the edge, to talk, to have a really heated argument.

To feel. You reminded me that I need to feel something.
I want to implode, and then explode.

Really. Anything but this vast, cold, terrifying limbo.
Aren’t you afraid to lose me? Because I am afraid I’d lose myself.

6 a.m. I am in my room, in the dark, eyes closed, cigarette in my left hand, Mad About You at maximum volume. And I am swaying to the music.
It’s all good.

But I know it will only be for a while.

I Started A Joke

I started a joke which started the whole world crying
But I didn’t see that the joke was on me
I started to cry which started the whole world laughing
If I’d only seen that the joke was on me

I looked at the skies running my hands over my eyes
And I fell out of bed hurting my head from things that I said
‘Till I finally died which started the whole world living
Oh if I’d only seen that the joke was on me

The song of the moment – I Started A Joke by the Bee Gees.

– – –

I turned 31 yesterday – there were no parties, no balloons, no countdowns – it was all quiet, but lovely. The thirty-first year of my life just silently crept up on me. It was a very strange birthday I had this year.

Two weeks ago, my first thought was to sneak away to Eastern Europe to spend my birthday with complete strangers from, I don’t know, a hostel? Dubrovnik in Croatia, Budapest in Hungary, Lviv in Ukraine, Moscow in Russia – I had sussed out what are the kind of people, food and sights to expect in each of these cities, talked to friends who’ve been there. But in the end, I changed my plans because of work obligations and a lack of courage. When people asked me what I wanted to do for my birthday, I would say I don’t know and even brush it off by saying things like “It’s just a birthday; it’s like every other day”. But I’m one of those annoying girls – those who would say nothing when there’s actually something.

The best thing I learnt on my birthday is – life is really easier when you don’t ask for much, when you have no expectations. The moment you start harbouring hopes for something, from someone, there’ll be a chance you’ll be disappointed. I don’t mean for this to come across as a depressing and pessimistic statement, I meant it as it is.

I spoke to Buttons over texts a few days back because I got acquainted with one of his ex-student while he was still teaching in ACS(I). The student had already graduated from law school and I suddenly realised that Buttons has been in Beijing for more than 4 years now. We laughed about how he still has my watch, but it’s alright because, his guitar is still with me. His dog passed away a few months back. And he also realised on the same night that I now have a nephew. He was impressed when I remember one of the composers he adored – Chen Qigang – and he had actually done a recording in his studio! So proud of him!

I ran into an old friend at a bar three nights ago and spent the evening talking to her, listened to what she’s been up to and had been through in the last ten years that I haven’t seen her. Her stories gave me strength, and I could almost feel that I leveled up a little after talking to her. Haha! *Sorry too much Pokemon Go*

And then there was Sim, my ex-staff who is currently touring Western Europe all alone now who would send me pictures and videos of her travels, stories about people she met, helping me travel vicariously.

Denys who would swing by every so often to just sit around at the cafe with me for multiple back-to-back cups of caffe latte (for me) and cappuccino (for him).

Ukulele lessons and random coffee sessions with the amazing Sharon.

Rachel and Sammi who are always looking out for me; they know all the right things to say and the right time to pass me a glass of whiskey on rocks.

I made a few new friends; all of which are amazing people and they all have interesting stories to share – of the tales of Knight Gawain and Dame Ragnelle, of a possibly-grand same-gender wedding in New Zealand that never happened, of the bell of happiness, of barter markets, of nail biting habits, of dragon kilns, of chasing passion vs the reality of getting a stable job, of dog whisperers, of promiscuous ex-girlfriends, of underground casinos in UK.

All these stories fascinated me when I least expected to be intrigued.

And through Buttons, I finally found out the title of that song I used to like but can never remember the title! It’s called Je l’aime a mourir. It’s freaking French, for the longest time, I kept thinking that it was Spanish!

I spent a lot more time with my parents, brother, sister-in-law and nephew. And it was really, really nice.

And I discovered Lang Leav, who writes the most heart-rending, gut-wrenching poems and proses about love and loss. There were many times when she was the one who puts me to sleep at night as I read her poems aloud, in my best poet voice. Hahaha!

A Dangerous Recipe
To love him
is something,
I hold highly
suspicious

Like having something,
so very delicious –
then being told,
to do the dishes

Just Friends
I know that I don’t own you,
and perhaps I never will,
so my anger when you’re with her,
I have no right to feel.

I know that you don’t owe me,
and I shouldn’t ask for more;
I shouldn’t feel so let down,
all the times when you don’t call.

What I feel – I shouldn’t show you,
so when you’re around I won’t;
I know I’ve no right to feel it –
but it doesn’t mean I don’t.

Lost And Found
A sunken chest,
on the ocean ground,
to never be found
was where he found me.

There he stirred,
my every thought, my every word,
so gently, so profoundly.

Now I am kept,
from dreams I dreamt,
when once I slept,
so soundly.

All Or Nothing
If you love me
for what you see,
only your eyes would be
in love with me.

If you love me
for what you’ve heard,
then you would love me
for my words.

If you love
my heart and mind,
then you would love me,
for all that I’m.

But if you don’t love
my every flaw,
then you mustn’t love me –
not at all.

I have forgotten the last time I actually felt sad. Isn’t that swell?