Tuesday, October 31, 2006

Hellish love

In The Four Loves, C S Lewis said that the only place where one could escape the pertubations of love was Hell. Unfortunately it's true. Streams of consciousness have been flowing rather rapidly the last week or so and the influx of words on the screen is just one way of damage control to the banks of the river running through my brain. For if the banks of my mind overflow, I might find myself having to cope with disillusionment or worse, delusion. Internal monologues are synonym to packing and repacking labelled ideas and trains of thought and have proven the most efficient programme to ensure the docking of new ideas do not interfere with expired products to be thrown away. It keeps me sane when the world refuses me access to basic rights such as spell checks, blocking pop-ups and deleting previous meticulously planned blog entries. Why do we stand by and accept these chains, indoctrinating us to believe that we do not deserve instant spell checks in whatever language we wanted, English or American.

On a cheerier note, I met up with HS today to talk about the death penalty that is still available to some legal systems in this world. I wanted to meet up with M as well to talk about euthanasia but it looks like our time tables clash and we'll have to make a date in January.

Friday, October 27, 2006

Hateful

Had a nasty nightmare about snakes last night. Woke up in the middle of the night clutching at the sheets and threw my pillow (Elsa's pillow actually) across the room, before nearly falling off the bed, shaking. At times like that, all I can do is laugh (or snicker drily) at myself because the alternative of crying for days has never and will never cut it. Been there, done that. I hate that I dislike reading certain parts of the Bible because they remind me that there are snakes in this world. I hate that I can't visit the zoo, hike, trek or camp in peace. I hate that it taints all that I enjoy, even travelling and meeting new people. Fear doesn't just paralyse limb, heart and mind, it aims to kill. It tries to rob joy and erodes at any shred of self-worth left and leaves me wondering whether I wouldn't really be better off dead. If everyone had a God-permitting thorn, my phobia of snakes would certainly be up there with the big S-I-N. One would think that if I believed God gave or allowed me to have this fear, that I would hate God too. Hate that I am sometimes questioned whether I have been left to fear without hope of my fear ever abating. However as much as I hate my fear, I despise my sin even more and if my fear causes me to remain humble and wholly dependent on God as my provider, protector, guide, saviour, redeemer and maker, then, even as I collapse in fear, even as I have begged God time and time again to take it away, I am grateful that it keeps me in check, focused on my God and in doing so, I await the New Creation with more longing, yearning for the day when I may savour it and where there will be no more tears or fear.

Wednesday, October 25, 2006

True-blue banana

How Malaysian are you? - The Challenge
Your score : 0 out of 45
Call yourself a Malaysian? Sure or not? You, you, you Mat Salleh!!! Bet you speak with an accent too.

Brain stew

Do you think cats get back ache? I have been wondering whether I need to go and see a chiropractor. Sometimes my lower back feels like it could crumble any day, leaving me about a foot shorter than I already am. At that rate, I could possibly die shorter than I was born. Hahaha. On one hand, I am slightly concerned, but on the other, having put down to experience my hyperchondria-induced, masochistic temperament, I refuse to give in to wild, self-constructed suggestions that I will die of chronic back pain. It is indeed interesting being both hypercondriac and masochistic. Being myself and continuously expanding this idea of self, provides a breeding ground in which one aspect of my nature feeds off the other and I am left stranded in a vicious circle that lives only in the crevices of jelly-like, grey cells, from which I emerge occasionally to give an impression of, at best, acceptable insanity. It is not that the fruits of Epicurus cannot live side by side with the reality of pain. In fact, where the Epicurist is the protagonist, the Masochist can only ever be the antagonist when in self doubt. For both revel in life, the flesh and self-gratification, the former in pleasures of senselessness and the latter in pleasures of pain. Pain holds fast more surely and more truly upon the human soul than self-delusions of airy-fairy notions of freedom, explaining why pain is universal and the Epicurist only runs naked behind his rosebush covered stone wall.

So yes, am viewing these matters of the troubled brain online because I doubt my Bible study group tonight will understand :p

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

London Bridge is not falling down

I know because I' m in London and if London bridge was falling down, everyone would know about it and it's not. So there. Arrived London last night and will be staying with Lauren and Gaby (for geographical purposes, they live in Westferry), which means if you live nearby, I look forward to having dinner with you at some point soon. Met a guy called Chris and the first thing I said to him was, "You're a guy." Story is Lauren had picked me up at the DLR and when we arrived home I thought I needed someone to lift my bag up the stairs. I knew that this dude called chris was there so knocked on the door to ask him to help. For those not in the know, my brain sometimes has trouble realising that sentences spoken in my head cannot be heard by other people so more often than not, people only hear half of what I'm saying and can't figure out why I'm saying the things I'm saying. I had to walk all through Bank station, up and down stairs (no lifts) with a suitcase 3 times my size so thankfully there were guys on hand 3 times to help me along. I just stood blocking half the stairs with my giant bag and waited for someone to help me. Finding guys with fists made out like ham and arms that could forklift cars is far easier here than it is in the east. Although in the ordinary circumstance I would be wary of the gruff-spoken, towering bulk of muscle that helped me and not let them near my person or stuff, me being in the situation I was, couldn't help but feel grateful that they were on hand to help me. My friend Daryl is one such guy. He's clad in leather most days, even in summer and to me, could easily fit in with the london skyline. If he weren't my friend, I would be incredibly nervous around him but it helps having a bodyguard around when I'm walking down dark alleyways on my way home. I'm still a little jet-lagged and make even less sense than I do when not tired. So do forgive my random ramblings but I have to add, you're the one looking at a site in search of a fluffy pooch.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

Working feet

I am really earning my money at Hilton; the work is not hard but constant and it's the repetition that aches but after a while I should be as sturdy as nails, only... I'll be going to London for 2 weeks so when I start again in November, I'll probably be as raw as when I first started on Monday. But the pay is good. spent almost all of it when I got my pay check on Friday; that's the good thing, money in every week instead of monthly. Went to Sungai Wang Plaza (translated as Money River Plaza) at Bukit Bintang (Star Hill) to shop. it seems so strange when tourists here ask me how to get to 'Star Hill' as I only know it as Bukit Bintang. There are some very nice things about working for Hilton and when I think about it, the pros do outweight the cons.

Pros:
1. Free breakfast and lunch
2. I've made friends with chefs in high places (literally, we're on the 33rd floor)
3. TV room with sofa beds (so you can sleep whilst on your break) with Internet connection
4. Pocket money
5. I feel kind of connected with London or at least the international scene because of the many international executives we look after
6. We get BBC News in the lounge; it's too soft to listen to, I'm not allowed to turn the volume up and I'm meant to be serving clients anyway, not standing in front of the TV


Cons:
1. Sore back
2. Sore toes
3. Sore legs
4. Sore bum
... I guess I could albeit grudgingly call it a workout

Tuesday, October 17, 2006

Chavvies

Heard Marcus had a chav night for his birthday. It's sad when I go "Am I bovvered?" to people here as a joke because it's a joke they don't get. Hehehehehe. But people here get lots of things people in London don't. Words like p'rasan, choi and manok don't have the same ring to it trnaslated into English. As I'll be getting Internet access AT HOME soon, life will be smoother, communication, though always wrought with misunderstanding will be faster (so we can miscommunicate faster and make the world a worse place than it already is) and the world will seem smaller. I have written out my gift list for people in London and my gift list for people in Malaysia for when I come back. I like giving presents. It's fun. People don't have to say thank you; I like watching people enjoy the present or hearing that they enjoyed it. That's enough for me. It means somehow, I have played a tiny part in making their day/ week/ year just a little nicer even if they might take the present for granted after a few minutes.

I spend more hours awake than I do asleep. Wow. How did that happen? I got a job. Am now a Hilton employee and have a hilton uniform and Hilton badge and eat Hilton food... I work and study in college enough hours a week (a week, not a day) for me not to have to face the blazing hot sun for more than 15 minutes a day. That is good news. But the gospel is better news. I never thought that I would have a problem proclaiming the gospel in Malaysia. Maybe because I left it when I was too young to understand politics. Maybe the problem has always been there. I don't want to be a coward. I don't want to be silenced just because I don't believe in what the majority believes in. But how far am I willing to go? If the consequences were only to me, somehow, it makes it my problem, if any do arise, in a way, my fight, my life. But it's not my life or my fight. It's not even a fight against the rulers of this world, as the Bible says, but against the principalities that govern the human heart; greed, lust, malice, self-righteousness, pride, sin, the devil. I can only be equipped to fight whatever God may ask me to do. I may not even be asked to be confrontational for my entire lifetime but that's not the point. The point is that I will be ready when I am called. That I will be prepared when I am sent. I suppose that's what being focused is partly about. Not looking to the right or the left, not looking to see how many casualties have fallen in history or how many could fall or even how many there are left. But to fight the good fight, the best fight we can fight for God and His glory that we may finish the race, that when we receive our crowns, we would not regret not having done more.

I am increasingly aware that media law is changing dramatically and media access is like no other time has ever been. I know that my words written may be viewed by anyone at anytime and might even be taken out of context. It might even be used against me and against God's people. When i talk about armies and battle, I could easily be misinterpreted. Called a fundamentalist, whatever that means. I believe the Bible is fundamental. Does that make me a fundamentalist? The Bible calls us to be innocent but shrewd. I might have to rethink how I blog and what I blog about. I might have to go back to maaass emails (oh no! think of all the thousands of kB you'll get in your files if I have your email add... hehehe). I started with chavvies but my train of thought is rather far away from whether it's a fashion faux paux to wear pink or fake burberry tracksuits from head to toe.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Another day, one day at a time

First off, a BIG sorry to all who love Malaysia and everything in it, even the weather. I will try not to grumble or moan or complain because where else can you get such lush trees (fed well by the extreme amounts of CO2 in the air which slowly kills of humans and animals but allow the plants to reign supreme) whilst travelling to and from college? There are things I like about KL; namely food and air conditioning. There are things I don't like; like obnoxious guys who ask for my mobile number. Well, that kind of happened in London as well but it remains something I don't like. Actually, the most current guy is a course mate (I use the term 'mate' lightly) and the way he phrased exchanging numbers went something like this,

Him: Take my number down.
Me : Huh?
Him: Go on, take my number down then give me a call so I'll have your number.
Me (still in a daze): Ok.

I proceed to give him my number and then kick myself for it. History repeats itself, first as tragedy and then only ever as farce. I should just tattoo 'dyke' on my forehead then I wouldn't get any sleazy guys giving me the jeepers-creepers. But it is kind of my problem too. I can generally say 'no' except when a guy asks for my number, no matter how weird, deranged or plain psycho. It's like a default programme in me that is constantly and consistently defected.

Anyway, better news to follow, I'll get internet access at home after I come back from London so I won't have to travel half and hour in the heat to an access point. I am slowly establishing a group of friends, although I call Ryl and Sarah back in Kuching often. I have a few makan moments lined up (makan means eat) cos am making almost as many makan buddies as I have Christian. I can't even do laksa without crying. I try not to open my mouth in public unless I speak Malay because I'm pretty conscious of the fact my English sounds like I probably came from Pluto (which I will forever hold to as a planet, no matter what wacky scientists who can't be bothered to travel there say). In Malaysia, you want to stay as inconspicuos as possible so you don't get mugged, cheated or hit on. I've had problems not being able to converse in Mandarin because most Chinese people in KL don't speak Hokkien. Great, in London being bilingual would have made enough of a wow factor. In Malaysia, not speaking Mandarin, is a supposed foothold for tactless people to release proverbial mental diarrohea concerning my disregard to my heritage as a Chinese person. Go and flush a toilet. It didn't help either that the person who adjusted my mobile selected Chinese as the language of choice which means I have to find a Chinese person who CAN speak Mandarin to help me untangle the mess. Grrrrr.....

As much as I am Malaysian and will carry the things I've learned in my country to my grave (is that good enough for undying patriotism??!!??), no sooner did I 'settle,' my feet were itching to move again. Not just to London. Maybe Australia, maybe America or Canada. I haven't quite 'found' myself yet and am still looking for my poodle. Maybe when I find my poodle, I'll find home. I wonder if there'll be poodles in the New Creation...

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Homesick

For the first time in my life yesterday, I was decidedly homesick... for London. Quite a few people have made settling into KL a bit more... settling, but yesterday whilst all was quiet in the apartment, I made the decision to wallow in self-pity and indulge in wanton misery. In reality, I should have been 'most amazed and delighted at my extraordinary circumstances' to Seneka-cise my words (Seneka is a friend of mine who loves mixing as many adjectives of lofty disposition as possible together in the same sentence, preferably one after the other). My room is the biggest I've ever had, I have a king-sized bed (result of the marriage of two single beds), not one but TWO wardrobes, windows so large I can fall right through them - literally (if I lived on the ground floor it would have been my escape from unwanted visitors who called unexpectedly but unfortunately I live on the fifth floor overlooking the tennis courts) - and til January, my own bathroom. Not that I dislike KL, I'm actually starting to enjoy it a bit more... I've been to the MidValley Megamall, Jaya Supermarket and college twice each, so shopping outnumbering studying at the moment 2:1. It's the little things I miss about London...

1. Being able to pop into Superdrug and know exactly where the eyecream is and how much it'll cost without having to consult my sometimes deactivated Malay dictionary in my head to ask (where the nail clippers are).

2. Yelling for Elena to see if she wants to go to Blockbusters or Tesco to get popcorn. At about 11am today, I wanted popcorn with melted butter so badly but I would have had to walk for half and hour in the blazing sun just for mediocre popcorn.

3. Having a part time job. I can hardly find any part time jobs here unless I did free lance stuff. I have a good mind to write into major newspapers begging them to let me write feature articles just so I have more than my CLP to do. Saying that, Andrew, who's the pastor at my new church, SMACC, has said he would like me to do some church work. For the time being, I have no idea what this church work is or whether it will be voluntary or paid but I'm still holding out for a part time job.

4. I miss being able to walk down the road and get whatever I needed; Chinese, videos, DVDs, popcorn, flu medicine, INTERNET ACCESS!!!!!!! I searched Megamall for an hour before I found this place secluded away behind a bookshop. One disadvantage of Megamall - it's too big... I don't have internet access at home and though initially I thought I could go into college for it, I discovered that my college is now using the so called computer lab for classes, Oi! What's the big idea??!!?? Some people actually want, no, need to surf to rid excess energy. Do you realise the amount of calories one could burn just by repetitively typing???!!??? I feel like screaming but no sound echoes forth so I shut my mouth to avoid looking like a goldfish. So, I will get a laptop at home soon. I don't know when but if not soon enough, my head might burst then you'll see all my ideas squirming around on the floor then someone might steal them and copyright them and then my parents wouldn't get the royalty and, and, and....

5. I watched Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory yesterday and seeing Johnny Depp reminded me of Phil Blue :(

However, it has to be said that my week here has not been dreadful. Besides the people, one or two other things did make me smile.

1. Cheap jewellery

2. Miles and miles of shopping - only I don't have a car so being exposed to the hot, hot sun, practical daywear would be the shorts, T-shirt and walking shoes combo which kind of limits my creativity to dress up. Also I don't want to draw attention to myself else ruthless muggers here might get to me. One of my coursemates, Cheryl asked me if I had bought my pepper spray yet on my first lesson.

3. Burger King, Nandos (reminded me of Elena and Pete), Crabtree and Evelyn (only everything there is super expensive because they've had to convert it into ringgit and then plus crazy tax on top of it), tinned pinapple.

So there, I feel so much better venting my feelings, even though possibly only 5 people will read this (I think) or maybe more (I don't know). At this point, I'm looking forward to going back to London at the end of October just to get that eyecream from Superdrug and to watch Jonathan Ross.

Regardless of everything, I just want to say - Jesus rocks and Heaven is certain! One good thing about not having internet at home and not wanting to read up on my law is that I read God's word more and am reminded constantly that even as I feel homesick for another earthly place, how much more should I feel 'homesick' for the New Creation because truly, that is our home, as Christians. So there, I am a disgruntled yet contented Christian, living in a country that should be my home but is not, making each moment count because there's nothing I can do about the moment that has passed. Jesus rules and He loves us :) Awesome God.