Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I'm Just A Kid 

18- that's me. Once again, it is past midnight, at 1:28am and I'm freezing in my study room with my hairs standing on end and cold seeping into my bones. I've flung my window wide open so the chilly air can come about me and keep me company.

On my birthday, I was reminded of how much I didn't deserve my friends who came down to my house to surprise me even though they had history/math/geog papers the next week, and even though I had done nothing to warrant such absolute loveliness.

In the morning at 830am my mother pounced on me like a great hunting cat and yelled at me to WAKE UP CHILD AND GET DOWNSTAIRS BECAUSE GRACE IS WAITING. I was all annoyed and rather disoriented and said "Why you getting so uptight, mom! I told her 830!"

And she said NNNNRGHHHH.

And I said NRGGHHHH back.

So I woke up and got downstairs (in my PJs) because Grace was waiting. We were supposed to have a nice breakfast together somewhere, and I was perplexed because I had told Grace to come up to my house but instead she stayed downstairs to wait for me.

SUDDENLY across my condominium's green field ran Hanjie (yes HJ you totally spoiled it XD hahaha not really) and then from the behind the bushes out popped the heads of Carissa, Je Sern, Jonnaye and Krystal shouting SURPRISE or HAPPY BIRTHDAY or something along those lines but I cannot remember because I was much too speechless and stunned. I was floored, because it never crossed my mind that they would have come down on a Saturday morning just for me. Plus, I had been practicing my shocked face for Monday when Carissa would surprise me in school. (See prev post)

They dragged me down a looneytoones themed party with hats and paperplates and table cloths and we all dined on the yummiest Macdonalds pancakes I'd ever eaten. I HAD ALWAYS WANTED A PICNIC BREAKFAST WITH LITTLE HATS AND PLATES (,: It was the most awesome birthday breakfast I had ever eaten. My heart was all bursty because I was so absolutely touched- these guys had prelims the next week, (Carissa had history and bio, and JS maths, HJ maths and history, Jonnaye history, Kryst bio and hist, and Grace maths and geog) and they bothered to drag themselves out of bed (Kryst didn't even SLEEP because she came straight from Avalon) to come down to my house at the break of dawn to make me happykids. And happykids I was.

I kept asking God what in the world I ever did to deserve such friends, and since I couldn't come up with much, I settled on telling him THANK YOU. THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU. AND THANK YOU.

While feasting on delicious Macs breakfasts and teaching JS that "no one drinks fullcream milk" and taking pictures, and pouring cereal for ourselves and apologizing to my momma ("I looked downstairs from the balcony and saw all the little heads of your friend hiding behind the bushes, all crouched and ready and then I went to check in your room and your were ASLEEP."), three familiar faces strutted down my condominium pathway to our picnic table.

I did a doubletake and didn't believe what I was seeing- Cleo Qing and Shereen had come down to surprise me in the morning! I ran towards them like a dramatic girlfriend from the movies in tears (not really) and sputtered some embarrassing incoherent stuff. They had come to surprise me at my house, and after many tried, they had located my unit, only to discover that I was having a picnic downstairs.
So we scooted over and had a mass picnic with everyone and I spent the morning laughing at the people who made me who I am today- both in secondary school and in AC.

Then we traipsed off to surprise Vanessey whose birthday was last week in this beautiful Kbox room with the most spectacular cake I'd ever seen. I met Natsey, Gloria, Dionne and it was brilliant reliving the old days bellowing APOLOGIZE and LOW at the top of our voices, remembering sec3 camp all over again.

At night, my momma decided to take us to a Peach Garden. My pops attempted to embarrass us all in the restaurant:

Pops: So, where are the peaches? Do you guys have many peaches around here?
Waitress: Ummm, ummm. Diu bu qi, wo bu zhi dao. (Sorry I don't know)
Pops: But it's called peach garden!
Waitress: *flustered* Umm!
Mom: Sorry, sorry, he thinks he's very funny.
Waitress: Deng deng, wo qu wen yi xia. (Wait a moment, I will ask someone)
Me: Hahahahahahah this place is ridiculous they should as least sell some peaches to deal with people like you.
Mom: *sigh*
Waitress Boss: Hi, sorry, we don't sell any peach items.
Pops: But wh...
Mom: (cuts him off) Yes, thank you :) (smiles)

I <3 poppa.

Before that, Bobbers, Ser, Inez, Weiting and Cra and Cryst, and Kryst crashed my house while I was showering before dinner. My mom kept hammering incessantly on the door hollering HURRY UP OUR RESERVATION IS GOING TO BECOME VOID so I sped bathed in under 5 minutes and like didn't really scrub and threw on the clothes I was wearing in the afternoon and ran into my study to grab my phone and then-


I literally screamed "Ahhhhhhhhh" for about a minute back into their faces because my heart nearly fell out of my chest in shock at the multitude of people who had sprung up into my face in my study room. Loopy was chortling and asking me why I walked around my bedroom undressed and I said NO I DONT and she said YES YOU DO I said NNGHH. She had baked me the most scrumptious lava cake with hot chocolate that oozed out of the top in a heavenly warm sweetness that melted me down to my toes. Loopy DOESN'T BAKE. And she baked for me- and I was all oozy and melty inside. Bobbers and Ser and Cra and K wrote me the most tear-jerking letters which made me miss the old times so much I wanted to sit in a time machine and go back back back back to it all.

Perhaps the most wonderful part about my birthday was when Mei stuffed a printed letter into my hand during dinner at Peach Garden- and for some reason, tears began to stream down my face like a freaking Mississippi and wouldn't stop. I was sobbing and heaving like a old hyperventilating woman and my family was staring stunned at me and the restaurant was eerily quiet as if honoring my moment of sheer emotion overload. I couldn't bear the feeling of love that spread over me- Mei who had been so caught up in her exams lately had taken time to write me a card. It was as if all the prior pain had culminated in a moment of love and I couldn't stand the relief and happiness that flooded over me like a bright light.

But I'm really 18 now- and I cannot do anything but thank god for waking me up for 6570 (18X365) days. Thank god for breath. Thank god for helping me arise from sleep to a new shining day 6570 times. Thank god for rain and shine and pain and joy. Love. Madness. Hope. Infinite Joy. Infinnate Joy. With a church sound to it.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

You Make Me 
Fall out of bed.
Sing like a bird.
Dizzy in my head.
Spin like a record.

I'm 2 hours and 46 minutes into being 18, and I am sitting in pitch dark typing this in case my grandfather stomps out and starts yelling at me to get into bed.

18 years old is a surreal, strange age to be. I'm on the cusp of womanhood- imma real woman now- watch me own this, man. Peter posted a FB picture of me years ago where I was wearing this t-shirt and completely disastrous pair of mannish looking pants that skimmed right below my knees and I was grinning like an idiot. I looked so completely blissful in my own little fashion timbuktu land.

Like Marshall, I WILL MAKE A SWEEPING DECLARATION TO BE MORE WOMANLY SO THAT I WILL NOT DIE A SAD WIDOW. And like Marshall, my friends will mock me and declare that my nature in etched in the middle syllabus of my name and all is futile.

But unlike Marshall, I will be the epitome of 18 year old womanhood. Just watch me.

I spent a first moments of my 18 year old-ness jogging my my favourite boy. My papa and I went for a brilliant midnight run and we ran till I couldn't feel my lungs and the dark night air washed away my worries. Then my sister gave me the best present of all- a hug.

And she told me: "Jie, I really really love you. And  I'm sorry if I hurt you. If you go abroad to study I'm going to miss you terribly."

And then I said: "I love you, Mei."

And then she said: "I love you more."

And hence my birthday was made. 

That's all I need, I think. My family, my friends (some who actually remember my birthday, which is honestly something that really touches me because I always try so hard to remember birthdays but fail so I understand the difficulty), and God.

My other favourite man is my Gong Gong. He is the cutest, loveliest, most belligerent man I have ever had the fortune to meet.

Carissa, the beautiful child, wanted to surprise me on Monday in school for my birthday- and she called home to ask my Aunty what type of cake I preferred.

my gongong picked up. As a third person spectator who was sitting at the dining table, I imagine the conversation went something like:

Cars: (Disguising her voice as a boy's) Hello, can I speak to Aunty Yeni please?


Cars: Um. No no, I want to speak to Aunty Yeni. I'm not Marcus.

Gong Gong: WHAT?

Cars: I'm Amanda's friend Carissa but...

Gong Gong: *Cuts her off because he cannot really hear much* AMANDA ITS YOUR FRIEND, THE CARISSA GIRL!

Cars: No, no! We want to surprise her on monday with some cake...


Cars: *Dies inside*

Gong Gong: *Perhaps he realises his folly* (Whispers very audibly) Your friend wants to surprise you on monday with some cake. 

I grabbed the phone and started to laugh and laugh and laugh till I nearly choked on my spit and fainted and Carissa was sad because "My first time planning a surprise for anyone, and what a terrible, terrible failure

But I said it was the funniest thing that ever happened to me and that she just made my day and would she please still surprise me on Monday- and I promised I would be very very surprised.

I love my GongGong and Carissa so much I could burst with Happiness. I really could.
Here's a picture of my Other Favourite Boy.

Wednesday, September 14, 2011

And We Feel Like Rain, 
When The Words All Sound The Same.

To: Wile.E and Speedy Gonzalez, the genius behind it all.

Today I am reminded of three things.

Running in the rain barefoot is not pretty. See Exhibit A

Exhibit A.

2. Running in the rain barefoot is sometimes painful. See Exhibit B.

Exhibit B.

3. Running in the rain is bloodybrilliant.

It's my virgin Solo Barefoot Rain Run and I might or might not have received Strange Looks but I couldn't see because I wasn't wearing my glasses, and also, it was raining. I was running and running and running and I couldn't feel and I the cold was stinging and the winds made my eyes hurt and my shirt stuck to my body and Motion City played like a record in my head

"And the pain reminds us that we're still alive."

So, thank you, you two.

Your Faithful Apprentice.

Thursday, September 01, 2011

So They Stuck To The Small Things

It's teacher's-day-cum-last-day-of-school-sort-of.
After my jog, I looked out from my balcony and into the black-dark sky, into the wind, the wide expanse of space, and felt like an insignificant ink dot in the passing of time. 

To survive my insignificance, I have decided to stick to the small things, the small blessings, the small gifts from my good old God. I can think of many small things, but today will begin with someone who left me with many things- memories, laughter, and joy. 

So, here goes. 


I've never had a teacher who came close to what Ms Eu was to me- she seemed like a little 5 year old child stuck in an adult's body. She yelled, she jumped, she hopped, she pranced around barefoot, she threw food at us, she brandished marker pens like a samurai sword and threatened the boys with castration. She told us the lamest jokes, drew the most immature pictures you could ever, ever imagine. 

And this crazy lady taught me how to think, she gave me confidence in my writing, she updated me about world affairs, and always, brought joy to my week. 

So, Ms Eu:
For the first lesson when you screamed strange things like YOU NEHS NEHS and jumped around like a patient from the mental asylum.
For never judging. 
For caring so much that you grabbed your Xstudent to help our class with oral.
For always being the happiest, craziest teacher to us, no matter your mood. 
For understanding us hormonal teenagers.
For stuffing us with food like we were your favorite little farm animals.
For treating us all as individuals.
For making me laugh so hard I cried every. single. lesson.
For saying Joel brought his whole family to the first SOT lesson+dog (because everytime I think about it -even now- I crack up like a loony)
For introducing me to the world with videos.
For not only teaching at, but learning with us.
For talking to me after/before lessons and asking me how I was doing.
For buying me my first piƱata .
For trying so, so, hard. 

And most of all, for loving us all. 

Thank you, Ms Eu. 
Happy Teachers Day(: