Sunday, July 30, 2006

Attachment and Desire

Attachment and Desire is really my undoing. Much as i fight it and try to practice Dharma - to think of others first before my bloody self. It's often too bloody hard. Why is it so bloody hard? Isn't happiness just a state of being - a different perspective - i know all that theoretically but putting it into practice is too bloody different. I know the demons are all in my own mind, so all i have to do is tame the bloody lot of them. If i had a demon killing gun, i'd shoot the bloody lot! Why am i ranting like this, even. Just focus and transform your freaking mind!

Yesterday, i had a Boggle competition. Boggle is my most favourite game. I'd been looking forward to it for weeks. Of course that's my ego wanting to show off, i guess. Sean had wanted to have a Japanese lunch so Webby and i agreed to take him. After lunch, i suddenly felt so tired, i fell asleep in the car. When we got home at about 3, i just went upstairs and passed out on the bed, after setting my alarm. The alarm just barely woke me up and i scrambled to get ready. We were supposed to meet at Marmalade Cafe at 4.30 and it was already 4.20! Webby was very tired so i told her to just rest. Of course i would've liked her to come with me, but i thought it was better for her to rest and we also had Shirley's dinner to go to after. I guess it was also a bit selfish of me because i'd much rather her be rested for dinner than to come and support my game, but i thought it was a fair trade.

Anyway, when i got to Marmalade, i was still feeling so tired and groggy. I could barely focus on the game. We didn't do well at all, and I missed some really obvious words which i would normally have gotten. Our team came 3rd out of 4 teams, which wasn't very good. The game also took longer than expected and Shirley was supposed to fetch us at 6.45, but i was still playing at 7! I told Shirley to pick up Webby and that i'd go over to Atrium myself later.

After the game ended, i drove home. I was really feeling a bit odd, so i took my temperature and it was about 100 degrees. I popped two panadols and rushed over to Asian Heritage Row. Shirley, Kim, Shida, Pooi Lam and Webby were already there. We had a super dinner and it was lovely to see Shida again after such a long time. Faery joined us later - looking sexy and cool in her micro skirt!

I was feeling much better already, and asked if anyone wanted to go to Qba for dancing later. Shirley said there was dancing nearby so i said ok. Anyway after chatting til around 12, they decided to adjourn somewhere to go dancing.

Aside from Boggle, dancing is one of my most favorite activities.. but i knew Webby was tired so when she said she wanted to go home, i was not in the least surprised. Disappointed, yes, but surprised no.

That's when my demons all came out and started poking at me with their white hot tridents.

I honestly think i became schizophrenic for awhile.. i was having this huge inner battle.

Angel: It's just bloody dancing. Webby's not well, think of her first, you selfish little shit.
Demon: But i wanna go party! i haven't been partying for agessssss *whine whine*. She knows i like partying so much, why won't she let me gooooo.. she doesn't want me to be happy...
Angel: Ages? You only two weeks ago?
Demon: But we didn't even really dance!!!!! It's been so long since i've had a really good dance.... if only i could..
Angel: Don't even go there.. no 'if onlys..'
Demon: Is it too much to ask...
Angel: How can you even think that when someone you care about is not feeling well... you really are incredibly selfish and small minded. All that caring for others is nothing but empty words.. you don't care about anyone else but yourself..
Demon: i bet she just doesn't want me to go to test me.. to see if i sulk.. *sulks*
Angel: Don't you dare show that face to her.
Demon: Why not? I don't get to do what i wanna do and i can't even sulk? *sulks even more*

and ad nauseum...

Got home, got cranky, tried to hide it... thought i'd do some Dharma work to repair the truckloads of negativity i was carrying - worked on this script that has been taking forever to do..

i stewed all night.. trying to tell myself... i should be happy, i should be grateful for all the things i have - telling myself: THIS IS GOOD ENOUGH, you selfish shit! Thinking "THIS TOO SHALL PASS" and any other stupid euphemisms that i thought would help make me feel better. Thinking of the Eight verses.. Webby is my Guru - to teach me to cut my ridiculous attachment to effing dancing. It's ONLY dancing, for God's sake! What's WRONG with you?!

Darn, i should've just followed Faery to Migstema and maybe that would have gotten something out of my system..


Thursday, July 27, 2006

Research in Taipei

Just got back from an amazing trip from Taipei yesterday... not that i thought Taipei was amazing. As a place, i have absolutely no interest in returning there at all. Maybe that's not fair to Taipei as i didn't really get a chance to look around - no, i didn't even make it to the 101 Tower!! It was mostly a working trip, packed with interviews.

This was my first official trip to research into Tsem Tulku Rinpoche's biography, which i am currently working on. He was born in Taiwan under complicated conditions (read the book when it's published to find out!) so i went there to find out more. Prior to departure, several interviews had been arranged.

First, with Tu Mama, someone who was close to Rinpoche's family, secondly, with Shi Mama, the lady who looked after Rinpoche until he left Taiwan, thirdly, with Kuan Mama, who was Rinpoche's mother's classmate and who took him out when he was small. Finally, we also managed to secure an interview with Rinpoche's uncle - David. This last one was the interview i was most nervous about because he had agreed to the interview on the condition that we didn't talk about the family. What else could we talk about? Anyway, it promised to be an interesting trip.

I went with three others; Joe, our Director of Kechara Media and Publications who is also Taiwanese, Irene, a long time student of Rinpoche who had done some research in Taiwan on Rinpoche's behalf in the '90s, and Chia, Rinpoche's personal attendant. We arrived late on Friday evening and went to bed after a quick supper. We had a hiccup though - Shi Mama was no where to be found. She wasn't answering her phone and no one knew where she was. Since she looked after Rinpoche for the first seven years of his life, she would've been a crucial person to interview. Nevertheless, we would progress with the other interviews we had set up. Another minor hiccup was that there was apparently a typhoon heading our way. It was predicted to hit Taipei on Tuesday and go through til Wednesday - the very morning we were supposed to leave! I prayed that we would be able to leave as scheduled.

Day 1: Saturday, 22 July

Saturday morning, we went to visit Tu Mama. I was quite excited because she was the one who potentially had a lot of information to share, especially as Shi Mama was now nowhere to be found. Irene had met up with her when Tu Mama had visited Malaysia in the '90s and already collected some fascinating info, which i looked forward to confirming and hoped she could elaborate on.

When we arrived at Tu Mama's apartment, we found her lying down on her sofa. She was ill and couldn't talk to us! We were crestfallen and didn't quite know what to do. Tu Siao Chie (Miss Tu), her daughter, tried to be as helpful as possible and gave us some info - but she couldn't remember much as she was only 7 years old when Rinpoche was a baby. Tu Siao Chie said that her mother suffered from depression too. Tu Mama used to be very active but as she got older and her hip was giving trouble, she was getting depressed. She managed to get up for a photo though.

After getting as much from Tu Siao Chie as possible, we went for a lovely lunch - typically Taiwanese i was told. I liked their fried rice with jasmine tea - very unusual and fragrant. I didn't care much for the other dishes though - especially the braised beef!

Around 3pm, we went to the Mongolian Culture Centre to look around. There was a Genghis Khan exhibition on but the Centre looked closed. We peered in through the glass doors and it looked all dark inside though the sign said it was open. We pushed the door and it opened so we walked through, feeling a little like trespassers. A lady popped out of nowhere, grinned at us, said something in Mandarin and started to switch on the lights. I felt like we had booked the place just for us!

That night i took a walk to try to find Juliana's Hotel - The Sherwood. It looked near our Hotel Fortuna on the map but after twenty minutes, i gave up, had a steak dinner and walked back. I met up with Joe and went through the interview again as he had to translate the parts i couldn't understand. My extremely basic Mandarin was really put through the test and thank Buddha for Joe and video recorders!

Day 2: Sunday, 23 July

On Sunday morning we went to Kuan Mama's brother's place. Rinpoche has such fond memories of her that i really looked forward to meeting her. At first we couldn't find the place despite walking up and down the street. Finally when we called Kuan Mama, we found that she had given us the wrong house number! Drenched with sweat and ravaged by mosquitoes, we eventually appeared at the right apartment.

Kuan Mama was as lovely as i had imagined. She was very apologetic over the mix-up with the house numbers. I was hoping for more information today after the disappointment with Tu Mama yesterday. Unfortunately, sweet and kind and sincere that she was - she thought Rinpoche had left the country when he was three or four years old. It was only later that she realized that he was in Taipei until he was seven.

We didn't get much information from her but it was nice to meet her and feel how caring she was. After lunch, we went back to her brother's place and she and Irene worked together to find Shi Mama for us. A few international faxes and many phonecalls later, she finally succeeded in locating Shi Mama at 4pm. Joe and i were quite tired but were re-energised when we heard the great news. Better still, Shi Mama was coming over immediately.

She arrived - a small wizened lady - somewhat different from what i expected. Unfortunately, she seemed to be unable to give us much concrete information either. It was a great disappointment.

Day 3: Monday, 24 July

We were scheduled to meet David at 11 am at our hotel. We were all dressed in our best and there was some nervous tension in the air. We had been discussing how to best approach him all weekend. As we took the lift down to the lobby, I jokingly said, our mantra for the day is 'do not piss the uncle off'. It was about 10.50 am when Chia and i were getting our things together at a table near the lobby entrance. Joe and Irene had gone off to do something when a tallish, unassuming white haired man walked in, casually but tidily dressed in a short sleeved collared t-shirt, khaki trousers and holding an umbrella. Irene had organised with him that she would be wearing a red top. It was a bit like a blind date. Anyway, Chia and i looked at each other and thought it would be the uncle. Even though it was still early, Chia sprinted off to find our missing team mates. As Irene rushed up and started to talk to the man, she confirmed it was him.

He sat down easily and i liked him immediately. He was courteous, warm and i was greatly relieved that he spoke in impeccable English - albeit a strong American accent! Even when Joe and Chia spoke to him in Mandarin, he would reply in English. Firstly he looked at the photos of Kechara House and the various Dharma outlets. He read all the captions carefully and commented on some of them.

After he looked through everything, Chia and Joe presented him with the gifts from Rinpoche which he treated with great respect. When the gift giving session was over, David stood up and said, "Now I'm going to have to be very rude and go off and do something..."

I was aghast. We hadn't even started the interview and he was leaving already?!

He smiled at all of us, who were looking at him with jaws agape. "I need to go.. and have a cigarette," he said cheerfully, and walked outside to light his cigarette.

We were so relieved.

When he returned, we decided to adjourn upstairs for a yam cha lunch. We had intended to book a private room, but the menu for their private rooms were rather exhorbitantly priced, so we decided to stay in the main dining area and hope that not many people would be taking lunch there, being a weekday and all.

True enough, there were only a couple of other tables.

We politely asked if we could take some video and he agreed. Another silent sigh of relief! We then started to ask him about his family and he was surprisingly open and very frank. There were areas he did not want to discuss, which he was quite clear about and we respected his wishes. Overall though, our interview with him was by far the best and most informative of the entire trip.

After lunch, he left and we went to find the chinese puppets that Rinpoche wanted. We took the MRT to the end of the line, Dian Sway, to the area where Tu Siao Chie had said we might be able to find them. It was like looking for a needle in a haystack. Like saying, oh, it is in Marble Arch .. or in Puchong.. Anyway, it started to drizzle and as the typhoon was supposed to hit the next day, i decided to head back to the hotel myself as the others continued their mission.

Day 3: Tuesday, 25 July

I woke up and quickly looked outside the window. The air seemed still with no whiff of rain or wind, let alone a typhoon. I guess Setrap must have heard our prayers. When we went down for breakfast, they had even taken away the 'Typhoon status board', which showed the path of the typhoon on a daily basis. Apparently the Typhoon had gone through the central and southern part of Taiwan and was passing us by completely. I felt like it was a bit like the passover - that somehow we were looked after by a higher power.

Today had been left free and easy - no interviews were scheduled so we were planning to visit some bookshops and Dharma stores. The night before, i had also found some info on a puppet museum and a puppet theatre which we could call to ask more information on where we could buy these puppets.

Then we received some photos of Rinpoche's grandfather and mother as well as comments and corrections to Irene's mini-thesis on Rinpoche's physical lineage, which were dropped off by David. As we looked through the photos, Joe decided to call Tu Siao Chie to clarify something. She passed him to her supervisor who told us that there was an article on Rinpoche's grandfather in one of the back issues of the Mongolian and Tibetan Culture Centre Newsletters.

Excited by this, we decided to go and check it out. We split into two teams - Chia and Irene were to go puppet hunting and go complete their purchases at the Dharma store. Joe and i would go to the Culture Centre to hunt for the article.

Joe and i hopped into a cab and arrived at the Centre at 1.30pm. The Centre was closed for lunch and would re-open at 2, so we went to a quaint little coffee house nearby to wait. It was a nice opportunity for me to chat to Joe one-on-one for awhile, but time flew and soon we had to go back to the Centre.

The staff gave us a huge pile of back issues, and Joe and i started scanning the articles. As i didn't really read Chinese, i was simply scanning for the word 'Wang', which means King or Prince and the article was on Palta Wang, Rinpoche's grandfather. Apparently it was a full page article. There were also articles in English, which i tried not to get distracted by, though i wanted to read them. I also looked carefully at the photos in the chinese articles, which were captioned in English, strangely enough.

The room seemed to have no aircon and the air was stuffy and still. We finished looking through all the issues and couldn't find the article. So we went through them again. Still no luck. Then i went through them yet again - and still nothing. We found some interesting articles - on Lama Tsongkhapa and Tarr Temple.

A few hours and a massive migraine later, we left with a couple of photocopies of some articles we each wanted. At least it wasn't a complete waste of time. We trudged back to the hotel.

It was our last evening. Joe went to see his friends. I went to have dinner with Ju at some supposedly famous Taiwanese place. It was like dumplings and wantons - it looked like a cheap fast food place, but wasn't really. I didn't even take a card from the restaurant when we left. We wanted to go to a night market and asked the waitress for the name of one, so she wrote it down for us and even sent us out to a taxi and told the taxi where to take us. I was impressed with the general courtesy of the Taiwanese - not just that incident, but overall, in my general interaction with them throughout the trip. Maybe it was just my good fortune to have met only nice people so far!

Day 3: Wednesday, 26 July

Irene asked for a wake up call at 5.30am. We were at the airport by 6.30 for our 9 o'clock flight. Just as well we arrived early because our luggage was grossly overweight. Fortunately, i was traveling light and could hand carry my entire belongings. Even with my check-in weight allowance, we were overweight by 36 kilos. Irene bargained for a reduction and they eventually charged for 30 kgs, which ended up as about RM800! Chia, Irene and myself had a check-in luggage each to take care of when we disembarked. We were a little nervous about customs, in case they wanted to tax us for the buddha statues we had bought. At KLIA, Chia was suggesting we walk to the back of the hall and go out the other side of the baggage hall as on our side, it seemed like most people were getting stopped.

I told him not to point as he was gesturing the huge circle he wanted to take as his exit route! I took the first bag of ours that came out on the carousel, popped it on my trolley and said i would go out first. With a silent prayer and hoping my Gaden monk bag would make me look like an innocent non-smuggler of any kind, i strolled through the customs' green lane.

Thankfully i emerged unscathed and waited for the others. They were taking so long to come out that i had guessed one of them had gotten stopped. Sure enough, Chia got caught and had to pay some taxes! I think he is such a transparent fellow that he probably had guilt written all over his face! Poor thing.

Anyway, i passed my bag to Chia and headed off home.

For the first time, i was so glad to be back in Malaysia - i didn't have that feeling when i came back from India in April this year. But this time, i was really glad to be home. Maybe it was the three cockroaches i shared the hotel room with. Or that i didn't particularly like the food. Or that Webby didn't come with me. But i'm glad i went - it was good to meet the key people in Rinpoche's early life, especially his uncle, whom i hope to meet again.

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

No Smoking in the Attic

Last Saturday, Webby and I went to the opening party of the mini O - our mini olympics amongst a group of friends which we'd taken part in over the past few years. It was held in an art gallery called the attic, which was nearby in Jalan Bangkung. We paid RM25 to get in, which included one drink. It was a nice party - not too crowded nor too empty. But the best part was the no smoking policy. Since it was an art gallery by day, and we'd just rented it for the evening, smoking was confined to the small balcony outside. All the non-smokers were ecstatic. At last - to party without breathing in second hand smoke. Webby and i went home happily without reeking of smoke.

We all know the benefits of non-smoking. I personally don't have a big issue with it. If anyone wants to smoke, so be it, but i do think it's not fair to impose their wants on others.

While i sympathise with smokers for not being able to smoke at a certain venue, they can simply go outside for a smoke, whereas for non-smokers, we have no choice. It's either don't go clubbing or go clubbing and breathe smoke.

So, smokers - please - be kind and think about us for a change.

Friday, July 14, 2006

Take me as I am or leave me...

I was watching 'Rent' - a musical.. a couple at their engagement party sing 'Take me as i am or leave me' because one half thought the other half was flirting with a waitress at the engagement party. Basically one half is an ivy league 'control freak' and the other is a musician and a free spirit. The free spirit claimed to just be talking to the waitress and not flirting. Maybe the free spirit just wasn't really ready to settle down. And maybe the control freak was just feeling insecure. Who really knows except the free spirit what her motivation was. In the end, they went their separate ways. I know it's just a show but i thought the issue was interesting.

It brought me back to the question of asking people to take us as we are. But just what are we? Who are we? And what defines us?

Aren't we a constantly changing flux? If we are a free spirit or even it's opposite - a control freak - can we be different? Would that mean compromising our inner being? Our core personality? Is there a core that doesn't change? I used to say I'm not monogamous and i would never change. Well, i've been monogamous for almost four years now... so never say never!

I was discussing with Webby about compromise a few weeks back. She said compromise means that you are giving up something unwillingly and has a negative connotation. Instead, she said, we should think more on whether we complement each other. It was quite eye opening for me as i hadn't realised that the word compromise does have very negative implications. She said that if we think we compromise more than we complement each other in a relationship, that means there is something wrong with the relationship. Or rather, that there is something wrong with the way one views that relationship. A bit like the glass is half full or half empty thing. Everything is perspective.

Ajahn Nyana said a few weeks ago that we should just look at what we have and say - it's good enough. I just wonder though - if we accept what we have as 'it's good enough', does that mean we would simply stay with the first person we dated (arggh!) although it would also mean my husband wouldn't have left me...


Monday, July 10, 2006

Legalised gangsterism

Just as GL dropped us back from badminton, there were two motorcycles parked outside our gate. My heart sank. It was the supposed privately run security detail for our area - and this was the third day they had visited our house. Webby's car was parked on the street and on three separate occasions, had been broken into (smart tag stolen, even though it was in the glove compartment), her left wing mirror been stolen and most recently, been bashed up (see 'bad car-ma' below). We suspect that it's because we hadn't signed up with the security company, which consisted of two men supposedly patrolling the three streets in our area during the night and one man during the day.

This was basically legalised gangsterism. The jaga kereta now graduated to jaga rumah is asking for RM50 per month to make sure your property is 'safe'. Webby was hopping mad when they approached her on Friday for the first time, pointing out that if they were any good, her car wouldn't have been broken into and vandalised so many times. They ignored her complaint and were very insistent on her signing up and said they would come and pick up the form later but she said we'd be out. They came the next day, and I talked to them - telling them what use it was to pay when we didn't feel safe. They still were very aggressive about us signing up. In the end, i told her i'd have to discuss it with my housemates.

We gloomily decided that it was better that we pay the RM50 per month than have something happen to our house or worse still, any of us.

She wanted to scold them (so did i, actually!) but i told her to not aggravate them and just ask them to help look after our house.

I wish there was another way to deal with this problem. We even smsed PL to ask how much it would cost to get a guard at our house. She said depends on whether it's a Gurkha or local and different qualities and whether armed or not armed etc. I was at first quite attracted to the idea of having our own body guard but realised it would cost us a packet and a half, so that fantasy had a quick death.

So we signed up.

Some people say that we have to stand up to these people - but at the risk of my family? No thanks.

Imagine Me & You

Just had a fabulously delicious meal at Carol and Zahrul's fabulous new house last night. Carol is the most amazing cook - so far i've had the best chocolate cake and the best quiche at her house. Positively orgasmic. I would move in next door except for the almost negligible fact that the house next door costs almost three times the price of my house. Carol and Zahrul are one of the nicest couples too. Z is incredibly sweet and obviously dotes on Carol - lucky Carol!

Anyway, after that wonderful dinner, washed down with plenty of wine, we had to make a move as Sean had to go to bed since it was a school day the next day. I was thrilled when GL passed me her DVD of 'Imagine Me & You'.

I'd wanted to watch Imagine Me & You ever since i saw the trailer - being a fan of most romantic comedies. I had to wait for the DVD because i don't think it was shown in cinemas here. Piper Perabo (ex-Lost and Delirious and Coyote Ugly) had an interesting British accent. Made me a tad curious why the BBC couldn't find a British actress for this part. Maybe they wanted an American actress to appeal to the other side of the pond. Anyway.

Overall the movie was pretty predictable (i like that though..) and saccharine sweet. Made me think about the eternal question though - is there such thing as love at first sight? and what if you are married to/engaged to someone else and you see a spark across the room... what do you do, if anything, about it?

If you haven't seen the movie and want to, stop right here as i'm about to talk about the ending.............

For political correctness, Rachel should've left Luce to go back to Heck (if you don't know what the Heck i'm talking about, go watch the movie). It would be the 'proper' thing to do. After all, Rachel was committed to Heck in holy matrimony (and all that ^%#%). The lesbian theme is actually completely irrelevant except that it gives the love story a different twist. Rachel fell in love with some one else. Period. Her angst and what choices she makes is the basic storyline. The right thing to do would have been to NOTpursue it.

But are we in control of ourselves or not? Or should we be in control? Should we disregard strong feelings for someone else because we are so-called 'taken'? I personally think monogamy is overrated. But saying that, i wouldn't act on anything while i am with someone out of pure respect for my partner. It's all about self control and not giving in to our delusions and attachments and the golden rule of not hurting anyone.

There is one poignant scene where Luce is confronted by Heck's best friend, Coop. Coop throws the line back in her face - so much for not wrecking other people's lives... we all (well, most of us anyway) don't want to hurt other people. But often we do - sometimes unintentionally, which can be excusable, and sometimes intentionally - because we so-called 'cannot help it'. Is there anything we really cannot help when a decision is ours? But how far to we go to put others' happiness above ourselves? According to the Buddhist credo, or what i understand of it, we must always put others' happiness above ourselves. Do we then obey our parents blindly - because that would make them happy? E.g. marry someone because they think he is suitable for you even though you have no feelings for them whatsoever. Or not go travelling because they think that's not a good thing to do. How far do we go? Going back to the movie - i'm sure many people will be most disapproving of Rachel and Luce's relationship - more so because of infidelity rather than homosexuality. I think it's because everyone is so afraid that their partner will fall for someone else and leave them...

Saying that though, i'm glad Rach ended up with Luce! GL just pointed out to me that actually Rachel didn't leave Heck. Heck left Rachel because he didn't want her to stay with him out of obligation. And that it was nice that their friendship (Heck and Rach's) was emphasised as the cornerstone of their relationship and that staying together or letting go was decided by both. I guess that's how the writers redeemed Rachel for her infidelity - though she had only one kiss or two..

If nothing else, the movie's anti-homophobic stance deserves applause. The movie portrays a lesbian relationship as fairly normal, with Rachel's mother providing some kind of balance by being stereotypically disapproving and disbelieving for a whole 3 minutes or so. But support was at least predictably and warmly provided by Rachel's dad, played by Anthony Head (of Gold Blend nescafe ads in UK - gosh - does that tell my age.. but more famously, in the popular series 'Buffy the Vampire Slayer', which also has a lesbian sub-plot but i won't go into that here).

With movies like 'Brokeback Mountain' and the TV series like 'L Word' and 'Queer as Folk', homosexuality is definitely moving into the mainstream. Hopefully, in time, gay marriage would become as accepted as interracial marriage is today, which is a relatively recent phenomenon.

Imagine that!

Saturday, July 08, 2006

Exciting drive to Bukit Tinggi

Just had to blog this - It was a Friday evening. GL was driving her citroen, Kim was in the front passenger seat and Webby and i were in the back. We were following Carol and Zahrul's car to go to Bukit Tinggi for dinner. Friday evening traffic meant the road was quite busy. So GL then decided to make a U-turn. The opposite lane was clear and where the road divider ended, she quickly swung her car around.

Yay we thought.

For about 30 seconds.

A car came round the corner, heading straight for us! Idiot! We all unanimously pronounced. The car swerved around us and fortunately there was no mishap. Moron! We thought, looking at each other incredulously. Where do people learn to .. before we could even finish the thought - another car came hurtling round the corner and we had to we went round the corner, we saw streams of cars coming straight at us and we finally clicked that we were on a one-way street, facing the wrong way! The road divider meant we couldn't turn around so we simply threaded hair raisingly through the traffic until we emerged at the end of the road.

It was quite amazing that no cars honked at us - i think they were just too stunned. Probably thinking what are these four Kedah women doing! It's quite a miracle that we were completely unscathed.

What a classic.

Friday, July 07, 2006

A Bra Shopping Break

Pooi Lam invited me to join her at a one day Wacoal and Shiseido Sale so i thought why not. I needed to pop into KMT in Piccolo Galleria anyway so it would be great if we could have lunch in Bukit Bintang after shopping. She picked me up yesterday at 10.30 a.m. Oh such luxury to have a driver! The sale was held at American Express at UOA II in Jalan Pinang.

What bras have to do with travel i don't know.

In fact, when PL and i came out of the lift, we were wondering if it was hoax. Maybe it was a marketing gimmick. Sorry, we have no bras for sale maybe you would like to book a holiday? We walked nearer in trepidation and were relieved to see a few shiseido eye shadows on the reception desk. i wonder what Amex's business travel clients thought of that! Was that all the shiseido products, i asked... there were like four compacts and one refill sitting sadly on the desk. Oh and one eye whitening serum. Yes, the receptionist cum cosmetic saleswoman said brightly. Oh we said, wondering if we'd see the same number of bras on offer.

We went in and were led to their conference room which was their bra sales room for the day. It was crammed with women diving into brown cardboard boxes of bras. PL and i walked round the room once and then divided to conquer. The boxes were labelled with the sizes so it was quite well organised. I found my box without much difficulty but was very disappointed to see how ugly they were *sigh*. Oh well, at least they can be perhaps used as anti-rape devices. One look and any libido will droop...

At RM15 a pop, i thought i'd get a couple.

Then i thought i'd shop for Webby and friends. Yes, i know i should've thought of it earlier but.. anyway at the finishing line, i decided to sms Faery, Cookie, Kim and GL. Shirl i thought wouldn't want to hear anything about bras at that moment in time! Cookie was first to reply so i went in search of bras for her. Next came Kim, who's the same size as Webby. That size had the most choices available so i smsed Kim to ask her which color she wanted - white, black, black with embossed print, flesh color, yellowy flesh, pink with polka dots and frills, dark olive green, blue...

She wisely called me back and gave her order. In the end, i bought 13 bras of various sizes. All for RM195. Not bad for an hour's shopping. It appealed to the Penangite in me!

After shopping, we had a nice lunch at Moussandra and strolled over to see KMT's renovated premises. It looked really good but the rest of Piccolo Galleria didn't look as good. The ground floor was turning into central market and many shops had shut down in the floors above.

PL dropped me back around 2 as i had truckloads of work to do. The morning was a lovely break though. And i wish i'd bought more bras...

Saturday, July 01, 2006

good cake-ma

After the bad car-ma the night before, we had some good! A lovely surprise arrived on Saturday - an absolutely fabulous cheesecake was dropped by our house - my favourite kind - with the crunchy biscuit base and lemon topping! It was really 'Just Heavenly'! Thanks darling - you know who you are - we'll drive you anywhere anytime...

bad car-ma

Last night, or rather early this morning, when GL and Kim left our place after the Germany-Argentina match, GL called and said it looked as if someone had knocked into Webby's car. We rushed out and sure enough someone had! It had a huge dent on the bonnet and the right front headlight was gone. The street was deserted. So there was nothing we could do but go to sleep and get it fixed in the morning.

We took some photos before we took it to the workshop.

The photo below shows the position of the car on the road. How on earth could someone have hit her car i don't know.

And the fact that the bonnet was hit means it must have been a really big car - a truck or lorry. There is some sand on the floor in front of the white gate on the right of the picture. So we were wondering if some contractor had backed into Webby's car while turning out. We don't know exactly when the accident happened, which didn't help.

The workshop told us it would cost about RM1300 to fix it (including a dent on the side when some girl drove into Webby's car). More experiencing of karma. There was no note on our windscreen from the person who hit the car. Not that i'm surprised. I'm sure loads of people would simply drive off - wouldn't you?