Sunday, June 19, 2011

Young Folks

It's Father's Day today.
To celebrate, our family traipsed off to Sentosa for 2 days and booked a room in Sentosa Resort. It's a quaint looking resort located opposite Siloso beach, near the Wavehouse. Perhaps the best thing about the resort is that it is built around a huge, crashing waterfall which tumbled into the swimming pool. Evidently it is man made, but it was very majestic anyway. I've never before seen a waterfall in the midst of a hotel swimming pool, and it wasnt a measly 1 meter water fall either, the lousy sort where you duck your head into a crappy little cranny and feel twitch in impatience as water flows onto your back from a little rock.

It was certainly nothing like that. It was much closer to a real waterfall, about 7 meters high, with (ostensibly) purified, organic, oxygenated water pouring down from the skies like a sheet of hail, smashing belligerently (I am having a rabid impassioned love affair with this word because I am reading about a Soviet anti-religious organisation called "The Union of The Belligerent Atheists". It is extremely strange to me that people go out of their way to proclaim themselves to be "belligerent", and I find it very perplexing. Hence I have been using the word copiously as it reminds me of a bunch of belligerent atheists railing against the heavens like little warrior ants, brandishing their little spears and knives, pumping them into the air, shouting of their belligerence and fearsome nature. Honestly guys, stick to theorizing) into the pool.

The short two day vacation was spent with the most adorable bunch of children, who completely charmed me their, well, charm. There was darling Emma and her silly older brother Evan who had turned so white and sat so stiffly on the airlift up the luge that it cracked me up. There was little 4 year old Dawn, the baby femme fatale who scared the bejesus out of my horrified younger brother with her very unsubtle attempts to hold his hand, and proclamations of his sudden new status as her "boyfriend". When she announced nonchalantly to the lady at the buffet breakfast booth that she was "going to see her boyfriend kor kor Marcus", I was terribly amused. Her mother, Aunty Sue was explained "It happens alot. Boys usually get very terrified of Dawn". My brother sat there trembling in the face of her attention, shifting uncomfortably in his seat- it was the most ridiculously funny scene I'd witnessed in a long time.

Then there was David. Perhaps one the most flattering things that could happen to you is when a 7 year old develops a crush on you. David is an awkward kid with huge, sad, beguiling eyes and surfer-boy tanned skin. I had taken care of him when he was 6, and he remembered me as Manda Jie Jie. His mom, Aunty Jen, told me surreptitiously that he had had a crush on me- but then he acquired a girlfriend called Bea on his trip to Phuket last week.

Aunty Jen: David's catechism class has the most beautiful girls. Right David?
David: No. 
Aunty Jen: Yes! There is this exotic little darling, she looks like a young version of Penelope Cruz called Maya, and these pretty pair of Chinese twins, and anther very gorgeous little dear who's half French. 
David: I don't like them. I like Bea.
Aunty Jen: Why not? They are very pretty!
David: Because they laughed at the boys when we lost to them. Bea would never laugh at me.

All this was novel to me. It was also very exciting to have a little 7 year old have a crush on you. I was intensely flattered and shone with sheepish glee all the way home in the car. But it is also very unnerving to discover that such issues plague a child as young as 4 years old. I'm convinced that relationships are starting earlier through the generations- I have no recollection of ever having feelings for a boy when I was 7. Much of my mind was occupied with remembering which was my left hand (the clenched one) and my right hand (my swimming lessons were traumatic because when my instructor said "Amanda, lift your left hand out of the water when you're doing free-style!" I wouldn't remember which hand it was because you couldn't clench your hand and swim, and I would cry), and other more pressing issues like how to steal the last kit-kat from the fridge without my anyone finding out it was me who ate it.

Come to think of it, that still happens now. But- not the point.

Point is, the only time I thought about boys was when they poured sand down my shirt at the playground, and when we played block catching together, and when they had burping contests. And all those times I only thought of them in one way: sweaty and gross. Then I would join in. 

So anyway, I had heaps of senseless fun with the motley crew of little hormone riddled children, as we had slide competitions at the brilliant swimming pool, rode on the Segway, and played on the Luge, and built sandcastles at the beach, screaming and yelling. I had so much fun I nearly forgot that I had piles of unfinished work back in the hotel room. But not really. It was rather difficult to forget.

At night, I took C, JS and Grace to church for the first time, and then had supper. I'm not sure if they enjoyed Mass itself, but I was really grateful to them for bothering to come down. It felt really nice because I wanted them to experience what I experience every week at mass. It felt like a was opening up a part of me to them. Friends are brilliant things(:

My Papa and I took a night walk around Sentosa when I got back from Mass- I love spending time with my Dad because he's such a wonderful guy. I reckon we're similar in many ways, our easygoing nature, our fascination with the Great Outdoors, our penchant for adventure, our streak of recklessness, our ability to strike up conversation with strangers, our forgetfulness, and our deep and possessive love for people we care about. In the morning, both of us leaped out of bed at 5am to catch the sunrise. Mama, Mei and Markie were groaning and griping as we dragged them from their quilts to hike across the beach in time for the sunrise.

It was sad that we didn't catch the sunrise because we were on the Southern Most point of Singapore (the wrong side). Apparently it wasn't the best place to wait for the sunrise- but we had fun anyway.

I really love my daddy, so much. He's so selfless in so many ways, and probably the nicest man I know. Thank you God, for blessing me with such a fantastic daddy. HAPPY FATHER'S DAY.

After this mini-vacation, I reckon I should really get down to work and plunge myself into a work-induced semi-comatose state.


"It doesn't matter what we do,
where we are going to,
We can stick around
And see this night through."
Young Folks. Peter Bjorn and John.

Saturday, June 11, 2011

It's close to midnight, and I'm listening to Metric on loop.


Metric is amazing. How do they do it? How do these people make such amazing music? It makes me want to cry. Such brilliance. I mean- Grow Up and Blow Away. That's wisdom right there! It's absolutely frightening, growing up, and then getting blown away by reality. Blown away by the truth, which, for all of TOK's propagation of it being the ultimate pinnacle of knowledge, is sometimes the last thing we want to hear.

I'm in the middle of my June vacation now, and I've been busy trying to finish my assortment of assignments, while struggling through a mountain of history notes. I kid you not. When I say mountain, I actually mean tremulous, foreboding piles of rainforest carnage. It's all splayed across my study room floor,  silently mocking me in its sheer volume. I can practically see Mao in my dreams, and really, he is the last person I want in my head while I'm free of his iron rule on my time. 

I know I'll get through it, though. It'll take some time, packets of yummy hazelnut coffee, inky fingers, blurry eyes, frozen grapes, and the cold blooded destruction of a small forest (I'm sorry!), but I'll make it. I will. I know I will.

Sometimes, life has a habit of flooding over me and rushing me along in it's overwhelming tide. I often forget what I'm doing here. It helps to remind myself, I reckon. In no order of importance:

1. God
Probably the only thing that keeps me going when I'm in one of those existential ruts is vaguely recalling that I have a purpose- to do my best in everything, not for myself, but so as God's little baby girl, he'll be glorified. I sometimes think of it as doing my best in everything so that people will know God is an awesome daddy.

He doesn't usually descend like a saving grace, to infuse me new found bursts of motivation. God's not a powerbar- because he's not temporary. Mostly,  he is my internal compass that keeps me in the right direction. It's all rather passive, and it often requires large amounts of discipline to not throw my notes out of the window and lose myself in one of Gerald Durrell's paradise islands.

 2. My friends
The thought of getting through all this together, all of us in IB- trudging through all of it together and emerging stronger, albeit sleep deprived and jaded, but nevertheless, armed with new ideas, dreams, and convictions- together. Battling through the IB storm is worth it because of the crew members I've found, and we are definitely sailing together in the adventure that awaits us.

(Did I say Pirates wasn't that terrific? Depp was a swashbuckling darling, and as always, he charmed with his wonderfully kooky mannerisms. But the plot felt slightly ridiculous and contrived at times.  If it had been one of Neil Gaiman's movie adaptations, I would have sat back and soaked it all in. But it wasn't. It was Pirates of the Caribbean, and I was expecting raw, gritty, and slightly gory pirate warfare. Being assaulted with a carelessly developed side-plot and a seemingly random additions made the plot seem highly disorganized and unnecessarily cluttered. Although could be that I missed Orlando and Keira and I'm being shamelessly biased, or those two retarded pirates who popped their eyeballs were not there to provide some slapstick comedy. Whatever it is, it was lucky that what the plot lacked in originality and clarity, dear Johnny redeemed with his screwball logic and wit<3 LOVE JOHNNAAYE)

But I digress.

3. My family
I want to do my parents proud because they've put in so much effort for me. Plus I want to bring them to Corfu island when I have enough money. AND MONEY MUST BE EARNED SOMEHOW. Unfortunately. If only I had my own little sailboat- I'd sail away with them. I'll be the captain, and they'll climb aboard. (I love Styx<3)

On another note, I've just watched two movies- Crash by the brilliant Paul Haggis, and Inglorious Basterds. Two words: Mind.Blown. Or is that one? Ah, whatever.

On board I'm The Captain
So climb aboard
We'll search for tomorrow
On every shore.
-Come Sail Away. Styx.