Boxed

Locked away in my box

Rattling the walls in vain

I threw away the golden key

Love the thrill of you going insane

 

Tucked away in the dark

The shadow it whispers its name

You babble for me and I cackle in glee

There’s no one but yourself to blame

 

Your words were as sweet as knives

Struck my heart like a cupid’s arrow

I believed in you, I bought all your lies

Now you reap what you have sown

 

Brick after brick I arrange

And slowly they muffle your cries

With a child’s delight I stack them up high

Crafting your last paradise

Ayam masak merah for dinner!

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This is what I’ve just cooked. A popular Malay dish that is literally translated as ‘chicken cook red’. Basically it’s chicken cooked in sweet and spicy sauce. It’s one of the dishes I learnt after becoming a wife.

I’ve yet to perfect this dish. In fact, I’ve been having problems with it. For some reason, every time I cook it, the result is different! Even if I use the same exact recipe. It truly boggles my mind.

But today, thankfully, I think I did a good job. Now it’s up to boy to taste it and give his verdict! Wish me luck!

Ranting on writing

Okay, so, I like to write. I actually love it. It’s one of my favourite things to do next to reading fiction, watching Anime, and… wait. Those are it. Obviously I’m a very boring person with nothing other than ‘nerdy’ stuff to do to occupy my time. And considering I am currently unemployed (what is with the crazy ass tight labour market in Singapore?!), I have a lot of time to occupy.

Back to what I was saying before, yes, I love to write. The problem is half the time, I have no idea what to write. Seriously. Not a clue in hell. I used to exercise my creative writing in roleplays (the literary kind, not the kinky shit that I secretly fantasise about) and once upon a time, I had that outlet.

Unfortunately, I have this annoying tendency to get writer’s block, so much so that I stray away from those great writing collaboration I was in for a long time. I hesitate to use the word abandon because it just sounds so final when I’ve always entertained the idea of jumping back into the RP once I’ve tortured my muse some.

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There are times when I come across truly great writers and their writing is just… wow. Orgasmic. How is it that people can write so sinfully good? I can practice all I want and my writing will never be anywhere near their level. Granted, I believe I’m better than average when I write, especially when I’m not a native speaker of English, but their proficiency completely blows me away each and every time.

I can’t compete with that. And that puts pressure on me. I guess it’s that pressure that contributes, at least partially, to my writer’s block.

And then there are those whose writing are so good, I don’t quite understand what exactly they are trying to say. This is more a rant about the poetry I’ve read. I get that they use advanced vocabulary. But when they string it together until it becomes so convoluted that I don’t understand it makes me feel stupid.

I don’t like feeling stupid. But maybe I am when it comes to deconstructing poetry. There are times when I like a poem not because I understood what the poet was trying to convey but because the composition of words are just so… pretty.

Is it wrong, though? And if I offended anybody, I sincerely apologise. I didn’t mean to. I’m just being honest. The whole I-have-no-bloody-idea-what’s-going-on-but-I-like-it-anyway don’t sound right but it happens to me. But is it just me or does it happen to other people, too?

That is why, if you’ve noticed, my poems are quite easy to understand. I think. I hope! I don’t want to write something that people can’t fathom. But if you like my poems even if you don’t quite get it, that’s okay. Really. Because I have felt the same way. Besides, a ‘like’ is still a like. I don’t care why you like it, I just care that you do!

Although… if you liked it because you understood it, that would be a bonus for me. Heh.

The Mirror

Walking down the cobbled streets so late in the night was not something to be encouraged, not when miscreants in the likes of thieves and pickpockets were known to skulk in the shadows. But the bastard son of Lord Cato Argentine held no fear as he walked with languid steps, almost like he was taking a merry stroll in the garden. If his father knew just how often he visited a particular antique store by sneaking out of the house in the dead of the night without any guards, he was sure his chambers would be bolted with chains. It wouldn’t be the first time it had happened before.

 

Of course he could have done this in the daytime, when danger was less rife, but Mathias Camlo Argentine preferred to go about his business when there was little to no crowd, if only to escape their prying eyes and gossip-laced whispers. Gypsy-born child; such a terrible fate to have something so questionable diluting a noble’s blood. If he were to be an illegitimate child, better he be born of a common woman, was what they said. Even till today, when it has been years since the last gypsy tribe, his mother’s people, had been driven out, most of the villagers still held their reservations against the Roma due to their ignorance. It was only because his father had no other sons that the situation forced his hand to acknowledge Camlo as his, if only to keep the inheritance of title and estate out of reach from his greedy nephews.

 

Personally, Camlo had no care for all of these issues. Wealth and titles mean nothing to him. His desires were simple and of the highest priority thus far was to have freedom to walk beneath the stars unencumbered (hence why he would often sneak out at night). Much like tonight, when the night sky glittered as though precious diamonds were stitched right across it, it was the best time for him to be out and about.

 

With his head tilted slightly back and his bottle-green eyes hardly breaking away from the stars, Camlo maneuvered a corner in such a sure-footed manner that one had to wonder if he didn’t have an extra set of eyes somewhere. It wasn’t long before he reached his destination, pushing open the richly carved wooden door so gently that the bell overhead barely tinkled. Sticking his golden head in first, Camlo instantly met the eyes of an elderly within the shop who merely raised a bushy grey brow.

 

“Snuck out again, did you?” the man asked, a rhetorical question to be sure. With a sheepish, little smile, the blond eased his lithe body into the small yet cosy shop and gave a lazy shrug of his shoulders, and that was answer enough.

 

“How are you, Arthur?”

 

“The same as last week when you asked, and two weeks before that,” was the chuckled reply. Antique Arthur, or so they called him both on account of his antique wares and the fact that he seemed pretty ancient – no one could remember the time when he hadn’t been around – was as thin as a rail with a slightly bowed back and a twinkle in his eye. He was truly a wise man, and many of the villagers looked up to him, often seeking advice. Years ago, having observed a much younger Camlo wandering about alone at night, he invited the boy in and despite their age gap, the blond and the old man became good friends. Plus, it was a good way to keep watch over the youth who was forever with his head in the clouds. Camlo who had zero awareness for danger just worries him.

 

For the next hour, they chatted as usual until the old man thought it best to shoo Camlo home since it was getting even late. But just as he was about to take a step out, a glint in the corner of his eye caught his attention. He turned his head around in the direction of that odd gleam so quick, strands of gold whipped about his face. The sudden movement startled Arthur, who blinked at him before frowning.

 

“Whatever is the matt -”

 

“Arthur. What is that?”

 

The words were spoken so softly that the antique seller had to strain his ears to hear. Camlo had lifted a hand to point at the object he was referring to, causing Arthur to turn to look at it. A confused look came over his heavily lined face and he reached out to retrieve what looked to be a brass handle hidden behind a dusty old tome. He carefully pulled it out to reveal an ornate hand mirror. Turning it over, no one could deny the talent that went into the intricate engraving topped with a smattering of crimson-toned gems. The reflective surface itself was flawless without a single scratch or mark.

 

“Oh, Arthur…” Camlo breathed, luminous eyes widening as he took in the sight. “It’s beautiful.” While he had come across many other hand mirrors, there was just something about this one that intrigued him. Without even realising it, he was reaching for the item. Arthur relinquished it from his grip, allowing Camlo’s graceful fingers to curl about the handle.

 

“How odd. I could have sworn I never had this in my inventory…” the old man muttered to himself in a puzzled tone. But all of Camlo’s attention was on the mirror and the sound of the other’s voice became muffled. He slowly brought his other hand up to gently caress the side and back of the mirror, surprised at how warm it was to the touch. There was just something about the mirror that absolutely fascinated him. It was like it was calling out to him…

 

“…lo? Camlo?”

 

Oh, so Arthur was the one who was calling for him. The blond shook his head to clear the sudden cobwebs and turned to the elder with a chagrined smile. Arthur who was quite used to the young lad’s sudden trips into a deep reverie only shook his head before he once again shooed him out of his shop.

 

“Take it with you since you are so infatuated with it.”

 

“Oh! But Arthur! I can’t! At least, allow me to pay for it -”

 

“Shush, my dear boy. Just take it and go. I don’t even know where it came from. Let that be a gift for all those times you’ve helped me out with my shop. Now, off with you!”

 

And that was how Mathias Camlo Argentine came in possession of such a mysterious artefact. That very night as he laid in bed, he cradled the mirror close to him, curious about its history. Softly, sleepily, he murmured, “I wonder who you belonged to in the past…”

 

Till The End

If ever the moon were to fracture into a thousand pieces

I would know that your face would be reflected everywhere I turn

Just like we can feel the heat of the sun to know how brightly it shines

So, too, should you know how scorching my love is for you

My paradise lies beneath your feet and in your smiles

So long as there are stars adorning the night sky and

The waves lap tenderly at the shores

While time continues to tick and

The earth uphold its axle twirl

You will never have to mourn our love

Is GINATAY1120 a racist?

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I don’t know if she’s a racist but she’s definitely brainless for her bimbotic comment. This screenshot has been circulating about since yesterday and a lot of people, the Malays especially, are really blasting her for her moment of stupidity. Did she not learn from the whole Amy Cheong incident with her racist rants? One cannot make stupid comments on the Internet without it biting you in the ass one day. And in Singapore, people latch onto anything remotely racist because race is an extremely sensitive topic in our multi-racial melting pot.

Some of the things people have said in retaliation are pretty funny in my opinion.

  • Tell the government to skip level 2 when they make lifts la
  • Want to go to second level of shopping centre, use stairs la. Don’t use the escalator
  • Next time you wanna go toilet, don’t need because longkang outside a lot
  • Don’t take taxi la, just walk to your destination can already
  • Don’t use twitter or any other social media. Go to the Speaker’s Corner and send your messages out loud and clear!

What’s the use of convenient inventions if people don’t or can’t make use of it? People who are living on the second floor also have the right to use the lift, girl. After all, they are also paying for the lift upgrade, the same as every flat owner in the bloody building. Whether they want to make use of the elevator or not, it’s really up to them. Like that also want to complain! Omg!

And what’s with the dumb association? Is she trying to say that people living on the second floor should use the stairs or is she pinpointing the Malays to use the stairs? I’ve seen people of all races using the lift when they want to get to the second floor. Just because it’s more common among the Malays who tend to stay on the lower levels in a HDB flat doesn’t mean it’s right stereotyping Malays as lazy sods who can’t even climb up a flight of stairs. There really is no connection.

However, despite her comment, I don’t believe that she’s racist. There is a difference between racism and stereotype. A lot of people can’t seem to distinguish the two.

Definition of STEREOTYPE

1
: a plate cast from a printing surface
2
: something conforming to a fixed or general pattern; especially : a standardized mental picture that is held in common by members of a group and that represents an oversimplified opinion, prejudiced attitude, or uncritical judgment

Definition of RACISM

1
: a belief that race is the primary determinant of human traits and capacities and that racial differences produce an inherent superiority of a particular race
2
: racial prejudice or discrimination

The definitions are taken from Merriam-Webster. While the two can go hand-in-hand, they are still vastly different. The root of racism stems from hatred and superiority based on skin colour. If GINATAY1120 is indeed a racist, her comment would sound a lot more angry and condescending. Superior. She probably wouldn’t even bother to include an exposition in her comment and just jump straight to the Malays.

I don’t know. For all that we think that she’s stupid in tweeting that, she might be more clever than we thought and was camouflaging her racism as stereotyping. But she has to understand that while it is not wrong to stereotype as opposed to being a racist, both are still bad. Any words that have the power to incite anger is bad.

This girl is going to get a lot of shitty flak, especially since we all know what she looks like. Yes, she needs to learn a lesson but hopefully nothing too extreme. I’m hoping that she’s at least apologetic about it. It’ll be worse if she stands by what she said and is actually proud to have all the attention. What is most ironic is that her bio states, ‘You know my name, not my story. Don’t judge.’. And there she goes, judging others.

Moral of the story: Don’t judge others unless you want to be judged.

No, scratch that. The moral is don’t be fucking stupid and post responsibly.

Side note: What I find most funny is how people are replying to her tweet in Malay. HELLO. She’s Chinese, not Malay. Korang ingat die ade paham bahasa Melayu ke? Korang pon satu. Otak pandai la sangat.

Aidilfitri 2013

I’m a few days late but here’s wishing all Muslims around the world a blessed Eid Mubarak! I pray that all of you have managed to fulfill the Ramadhan obligations to fast as best you can.

While it is definitely one of the most festive occasions in the Islamic calendar, it can somewhat be a repetitive thing as it is a yearly occurrence. A lot of my peers claim to not be in the mood to celebrate and they go house visiting because it has become a routine or they have to follow their parents. The truth is, I’ve been feeling that way for some years now. Seriously takde mood nak raya sey! If mum asked me along, I try to give excuses to get out of it unless they are close relatives of mine. Otherwise… I get creative.

But this year is different. And I realise that Aidilfitri is not just about making it to the end of the fasting month alive, or spring cleaning your house like a neat-freak-Nazi, or making bottles and bottles of kuih (cookies and biscuits). It’s not just about visiting the homes of friends and relatives and eat them out of their house, or even that new set of clothes you got to look all nice and pretty.

Ok, I lied. That last one is one of the integral components of the whole celebration. With no new, pretty clothes, I’ll most definitely not be in the mood to raya.

But clothing aside, what I realised this year is that you need to find something of significance to you to be able to get into the right mood. To be able to appreciate Aidilfitri. You don’t go through a whole month of suffering – I may be exaggerating but hey, try to be an addict and not smoke the whole day – without a whole month of celebration.

You need to find meaning in Aidilfitri. It could be something that you believe in, something symbolic. It could be something that may even seem trivial but when you really thing about it, how many times in a year do you visit your friends and relatives, that you sincerely ask for forgiveness for any transgressions that you may have intentionally or unintentionally made?

For 2013, the most significant thing for me this Aidilfitri is the fact that it is me and boy’s first Aidilfitri as husband and wife. Now that was an experience in itself, one where we both could learn from as we hit a couple of snags. Because we had to go to his family’s house, then to his paternal grandma, and thereafter his maternal grandma, most of the guests who came to my home had left by the time we rushed back (I was quite upset about that).

It made me think that not even the most celebrated day can be as smooth as we want it to be. It also made me think that in a marriage, we not only have to work on our relationship as husband and wife, but also our relationships with our new family. We have to learn to make compromises and to be fair when dealing with two different families. In addition, we have to be able to juggle our time with our families. And this isn’t even counting the family both my husband and I will be raising in the (hopefully near) future.

Aidilfitri 2013 has kick-started us off with a crash course on management, as in, how to manage his side and how to manage my side, and how to make sure that neither clashed. It’s not as easy as it sounds. Managing in-laws has got to be one of the hardest challenges in any marriage.

As the years pass, I’m sure that me and boy will adapt to the change and to the chaos of the first day of Aidilfitri. After all, practice makes perfect. As a result, the significance of Aidilfitri for me will change in the years to come for we will no longer be newly weds anymore. For some of you, it might change, it might not. For others, there might even be more than a single point of value in the festivity. Try to discover what it is for you and you might likely shake off the apathy you have for such a blessed and beautiful month.

Once again, I’d like to wish you all a happy Eid Mubarak!

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