Travelling light

Now I have always been a firm believer in travelling light. I abhor the thought of lugging a big luggage when travelling. Given my small stature, I already know the limitations of my strength and patience. I am not an ant – I was not meant to carry weight that is half my body weight! So, I used to shake my head at the ladies who pack everything apart from the kitchen sink.
Almost every year I go to my BFF’s home during her birthday week. A decade ago, I was able to put all my stuff for 1 week in a rucksack. Pick and go; that was my style.
Fast forward 10 years and I am doing the same journey yet My bags seem to have multiplied!
I have a reasonable sized body bag that is filled with my gadgets, a heavy holdall, a bag to hold my two pair of shoes ( two pairs in addition to the pair I am currently wearing! Really?) and toiletries, and a paper bag of chocolates. The last one is not too bad as the chocolates are for my godchildren except for one bar that I claimed as my own.
When did I transform into one of those ladies who pack everything bar the kitchen sink? When did it become necessary for me to have different footwear for a different outfit? It used to be that my trainers were my go-to- shoes all the time. More importantly, when did it become necessary for me to have a battery bank?!
I guess, I must have grown up over the years. They say only change is constant in this world.
The only reason that I am complaining right now is because my shoulder is hurting from my body bag. I think my superduper battery bank is too heavy. I need to buy a smaller one!
There’s that word again. The cause of my not travelling light anymore – Need!
That chocolate brownie in the picture ?That is the one that has my name on it, It will be travelling in my tummy soon

brownie

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Star-crossed

Star crossed from the start
Confusion abound
Questions from everyone
Wrong, wrong, wrong they say
Not the one each is looking for
Yet feelings defy all the gaps
With hearts clamouring for the other
Do we dare begin?
Do we let Fate dictate?
Do we make our own destinies?
Dare we defy expectations or conventions?
Or do we remain… Star-crossed?

Of Damsels and Heroines

Growing up, I have always been fascinated by stories. I remember lying awake in the bed I share with my sisters and making up stories in my head whilst everybody else is asleep.

I read whatever book I can get my hands on. I used to read my older sisters school books. I spent a lot of time in the library. I actually made a point of reading the encyclopedia during one summer and the whole bible during another.

My sisters were into romantic novels so I naturally devoured those books like any bibliophile. Those romantic novels made me become too idealistic in my idea of what love is, I think. The leading ladies, it would seem are often damsels in distress who need rescuing or very rarely, heroines.

Soon, I was writing my own stories. My lead female characters were very different to the usual damsel in distress profiles. Before the debut of Princess Fiona and the alternate story of Maleficent, I was already writing of heroines who can take care of themselves and even rescue the heroes at some point of the story. I also explored the story of the perceived villianess and how she can be good and lovable too when viewed from another perspective. The characteristics of my heroines were an unconscious nod to how my parents raised me – independent, capable and self-reliant. I was not that enamored by the idea of the drop-dead gorgeous heroine probably because I never thought of myself as beautiful. My heroines were intelligent, self reliant and strong who exist independent of the heroes but complement them. I guess at the tender age of 10 I was already a feminist without knowing it.

This does not mean that I did not do all the girly stuff too. Growing in a household of four girls means that my childhood was also spent going gaga over Menudo, decorating our Menudo scrapbooks,watching soap operas, and watching romantic movies. I love beautiful dresses, shoes, ribbons, colouring books and doing artsy stuff. I was the girl who lives mainly in shorts but loves dressing up for Sunday mass. However, my Papa and Mama also indulged me in my comic books (DC and Marvel of course; nothing too cutesy or girly) collection. Every Sunday, Mama buys me a comic book whilst Papa brings home Comic books from USA. I was a girl who can discuss about X-men, JLA and Robotech with the boys without batting an eyelid. I guess,of all their girls, I was the one with the most contradicting personalities. I loathe to be called ‘sweet’ as I associate that description with silly girly girls yet I love puppies and kittens, draw anime, befriend right away the transferee to our class, and willingly share what I have. I write poems in the cards that I give to my parents, draw cards, write Valentines, write love stories, and try to see the goodness in everybody but I do not consider myself sweet. I prefer the adjective thoughtful and kind. However, I am also one of those who will punch a bully or flip his chair over with him still in it.

So just like me, my heroines are of contradicting nature. I wish I managed to save all my stories. I am sure that the plots and grammar will probably reflect my age at those times but it would still be nice to re-read them now. I actually wrote a whole series of storiea about 3 ninja friends- Areju (girl), Bota ( boy) and Keri ( girl). The leader of the pack? Areju, the red ninja! But even those stories that I painstakingly wrote and illustrated also got lost.

Well, I guess that the gist of this otherwise lenghty blog is that we cannot peg women down to just one category – damsel or heroine. We all have both characters in us. It just depends on the situation, I guess.

Mentos! That is what women nowadays are – hard on the outside but still softies in the inside.

Me? Oh I am still playing the role of a princess in my tower of solitude waiting for my prince to rescue me. But I will let you in on a secret-— the trail on my dress actually transforms into my cape. It could very well be that I have to don on my cape to rescue my errant prince so he can, in turn, rescue me from my tower! Come on, Prince …

The Bowl of Soup

This unimpressive bowl of Crab and Corn soup is more than just a bowl of soup. It is a challenge for me. Let me tell you why.
Years ago, ( around 8 years ago) i have almost perfected the life of a Singleton. I was able to watch movies on my own in a cinema and eat in a restaurant without being conscious of the fact that I am alone in my table. A friend commented on my eating alone in a restaurant as ‘very sad’ but I did not feel sad then. His comment was a symptom of what society thought of being alone in public is like. There is a stigma to being alone but I do not think of it that way. It was actually quite liberating. I actually was enjoying my meals in good eats. I did not hide behind a book or magazine or my phone. If anybody knows me well enough, they would know I love my food. Besides Single persons do get hungry and need to eat too – not just take away, in a canteen or in a park somewhere but seated in a good restaurant with good food and good ambiance. But my life got busier and I was no longer on my own for a while. There was no reason to eat in a restaurant on my own. A year ago, I underwent my own ‘conscious uncoupling’ but I was either too busy, too tired, too sleepy or too ill to be willing to try enjoy a good meal in a restaurant. I always have a friend to tag along with when going out. That is one advantage of having lots of friends. Often times, they tell me of the activities way ahead of time to prevent me from double or triple booking. But in the last two weeks, I actually have enough energy and time to do more than my usual shopping or marketing.
Today, after spending 7 hours in the office, I was famished and cannot concentrate on shopping. I have made a decision to go for a sit down meal somewhere. The weather and my craving demanded for hot stew or soup. I thought I will start easy on my first venture and just go for Satori’s Udon Noodles in Satori Spicy Soup base. My mouth was already watering in anticipation. I made my way to the top of Bentall’s center and waited patiently to be seated. The hostess apologetically smiled and said that they are no longer taking on new customers. Of course, today is Sunday! Places close earlier than usual. My mind and stomach was focused on an Oriental soup. The next best option for me was to go to Hamgipak in New Malden and have the spicy beef stew but I cannot face the idea of yet another bus ride. I reasoned I could go to Vanilla Omelette which is only 3 minutes walk from my flat. But at the second to the last bus stop I decided to just buy from the Chinese take away which is only 2 minutes away from my flat. However, as it was only 1630, it was still close. This is when I decided to just make my own Crab and corn soup. I am a good enough cook, albeit a lazy one as until now I have not mastered the art of cooking for one person. Anyway, my soup was delicious and satisfying. But it serves as a challenge for me to reach that stage again to be completely confident on my own. After all, singletons do get hungry and foodies like me would like to enjoy our food in a good restaurant. But until then, my Crab and Corn soup would warm my tummy.

soup

Journey’s End

Different points we started
Different paths each taken
Different corners we came
Different times we arrived
Different people we meet
Different friends we made
Different journeys we are making
One look and a smile later
I know, my journey ends with you

A Flicker

A glance,

Fleeting as it may seem

A look,

that seem to say it all

A smile,

from the heart to the eyes

A second,

Fingertips touched straight to the heart

A hello,

that says more than the word

An offering,

of actions more than words

A flicker,

then love is awakened

Afterthought

Sun up, Sun down

Time quickly passing by

Phone up, phone down

Voices echoing all day

Pen up, pen down

Demands coming all the time

Stairs up, stairs down

Places to go all the time

Head up, head down

You always in my heart,

Never an afterthought

When words fail

Heart full of emotions
Eyes speaking loudly
Smiles saying it all
Emotions running high
Naturally gravitating
Senses attuned to the other
Listen to what the mouth is not saying
With deep feelings encompass being
Words fail to say
What has long since been said
Let your heart hear the unspoken
Love’s unacknowledged

The Story

I have been meaning to ask
Are you the story
Or but a chapter
Or a line or two in this
Or a footnote
Or the addendum
Will you be a missed character
Or a fleeting relief comedy
Or one of the usual suspects
Or the hero who finally appears
I just want to know
Are you here for a scene
A heart beat
Or a second
Please do tell me so
Are you my story?