... and oh so true

Wednesday, September 27, 2006

"I'll have whatever she ordered, please ..."

I alighted at South Kensington tube station on the Picadilly Line and mindlessly followed the shoal of drifting bodies up the stairs, towards the long escalator going up to street level. There was a pretty girl some steps in front of me. I noticed her because she was striking, glowing with a natural, un-airbrushed, un-photo shopped presence.

She turned back, fixed her gaze on something behind me, and smiled extravagantly. I looked where she looked. There was a busker on the platform, strumming wildly on his guitar. How funny that I barely even heard his gnashing chords when I strode past him. This time I listened hard ... not an earth-shaking tune, but endorsed by a Beautiful Being, so my mind was more open to it. More open to making excuses for it.

"Must be a new strain of rock that only trendy people are clued in to," I rationalised irrationally to myself.

At the top of the escalator, I craned my neck to see where she would go ... secretly wishing that she would whirl into a cafe, confirming its pedigree (I would then appear all-knowing when recommending it to friends as the 'in' place).

I'm totally unlike her, not blond, tall, nor a fan of chang-chang music. But celebrity endorsement sure as hell works and a stunning stranger has shown me what I didn't know I really wanted.

An extra order of rojak, hor

It was a commemorative dinner of sorts because we're due to leave London very soon. Clearly there was no better way to converge than over a hearty and flavourful local meal in Notting Hill. Ah, overseas Singaporeans in an overseas Singaporean restaurant - truly Singaporean indeed!

Kai Khiun and Kelly suggested Nonya, which does mouthwatering otak otak and laksa, albeit in aggravatingly meagre, un-hawker centre-like portions. The waitress (attractive in a healthy, bai bai pang pang kind of way) immediately struck me as being NON-local because of the obvious absence of essential twangs and lilts in her speech.

The topic of language and accents resurfaced a little later in the evening. According to KK, aside from the Caribbean states, Singapore is the most frequently cited case study in the Journal of Pidgin and Creole Languages. Now why he even knows that is a separate discussion altogether, but I took particular interest in the 'island' connection because I have been asked a number of times -in different places, by different people- if my ... unusual ... accent is West Indian. Mm hmm.

Most recently yesterday afternoon, by a (fellow?) West Indian ... and before that, at an interview in Singapore, by a Singaporean lecturer. She asked where I 'got' my exotic accent (realising of course that nothing else about me seemed 'exotic', least of all my D7 grade for Chinese), which sounded to her somewhat Caribbean. Which is all well and good if one relishes the novelty of speaking like you're from a beautiful place that you've never set foot in, I guess.

Sigh. So no more tooting my trumpet about how local I am ... I'm merely embarrasingly earnest, not authentic.

Monday, September 25, 2006

Commemorating utter humiliation at the hands of ... papier mache

One year ago this week, crafty fingers were up to some dodgy business. Don't think I don't know who the malevolently imaginative culprits are!!!

... and yes, That is exactly what you think it is.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

Saying thank you

Some people send flowers to show their appreciation. Others might drop an effusive Hallmark card in the mail. But not Ste. The energy I spent editing his thesis was duly rewarded with ... a hefty pat on the head. A truly loyal, literate pooch, I is.

Goddess of the Air06

It's a bird ... it's a plane ... wah lau eh ... is that who I think it is?

That's right, boys and girls, when Michelle hits town with those monster basketball shoes (customised with a provocative red 'Teo' at the heel, no less), lesser basketball beings flee for their sorry little lives.

Now don't be messing with this woman's vertical leap, she can knee you in painful places.

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

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Monday, September 11, 2006

A pleasant post-it

Two individuals remembered the first anniversary of our Bern wedding today (Sunday): my delightfully thoughtful husband Stefan Same-Name, who is currently in Zurich all bright-eyed and bushy-tailed at his new job, and dear Geraldine Ang. THANKS GERRY for the cheerful text from Aceh and your very kind thoughts (don't think I've gotten over the disdainful tone of your earlier sms re: my antiquated 'disco' vocab though ... grrr ...) and Ste, it's so good that you remembered because one of us should've!

I of course plainly forgot that today was the 10th of September. Well, why should I? Without the regular ebb and flow of work that would correspond to a 'normal week', I don't actually have to assign numbers to my days. So ... I don't. One less thing to remember, one less thing to mess up.

However, in a not-too-belated and still exceedingly elated celebration of the second of our three wedding anniversaries (the full list: 10th August, 10th September and 1st October), I would like to share some schmalzy photographs that were taken at the glorious Taj Mahal in August. We indulged in every tourist photo fancy ... and lapped up the guide's every suggestion for funky poses on the mausoleum grounds.

We're a good team.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

The Dinner, Party and Wedding

Ludhiana - Day of the Wedding

We arrived at the bride's family home around midday on the day of the wedding. Meenakshi had been up since 7am to perform a charitable act, bringing food to a community of lepers.

The priest's sombre blessings and prayers were chanted amidst merry singing and peals of laughter from the women.

I was very pleased to have come in quite useful at one point (straying from my regular ornamental persona of disoriented tourist) and participated in the blessing over the bridal bangles.

The event closed with the full set of bangles slipped onto the bride's arms ... and then, sweets!