having my Cake, eating it – and not counting every last calorie

i happen to love bananas November 22, 2007

Filed under: life — c*devotchka @ 12:09 am
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okay, dali, seriously, what the fuck? get out of yer lame —huuummmm— limbo and write something!

to be quite honest, the reason i haven’t finished talking about our adventure in Jordan and Egypt is because … here it comes … we’ve lost one of our luggages in the move from Dubai to Singapore.

a luggage with my guidebook, my notes on the holiday, the pamphlets and ticket stubs, emails of people we met i had promised to send pictures to, a hastily packed plastic bag of mud from the Dead Sea that we stole, a book of lithographs by David Roberts of Egypt in the 1800s that i bargained so hard for at the Luxor Museum, a bunch of shawls we haggled an hour over in the market at Luxor, a book on Sufism we bought at a stylish bookstore in Zamalek, Cairo which i loved so much that i begged Ravi to find suitable employment in Egypt which would not involve bending over with one’s pants down in the alleyways of Cairo’s markets.

i’m quite heartbroken, but i am still trying to describe each photograph i will post as accurately as possible with an old guide.

it was a good day today although it started out with a cacophony of noisy heels clumsily descending on the steps next to our bedroom wall, the karang guni man’s airhorn and the stupid mats’ motorbikes.

we’ve moved into a small 4-room flat in the west of Singapore, and if not for the cheap rent, i’d have a string of complaints burned into the agent’s door. i’ve never lived in the west of Singapore (save for that 2 month stint on Holland Road till we grew brains and left), having lived in Tampines, Katong, Telok Kurau, Pasir Ris and finally River Valley. i maintain and am now absolutely convinced that the east and south of Singapore are the best places to live in.

what we had not considered when we took this flat is that our bedroom is located next to the main staircase that serves at least 3 sets of families up to the 6th floor. this means that at least 15 families use this staircase to descend into the bowels of Singapore’s heartlands to break bread with pajama-clad aunties pulling rusty market trolleys across the neighbourhood basketball court.

i cannot begin to explain how this has led to my inevitable desire to bite somebody’s nose or ankles off in the mornings. i am a light sleeper, save for the rare night i’m knocked out cold and snore and snort louder than a certain pug i am in love with. i’ve heard of how new mothers who were previously dead-dog sleepers became light sleepers after they gave birth, always paranoid that they couldn’t hear their babies breathing on the baby monitors or convinced they’d hear someone climb through their window and steal their baby to make voodoo soup.

i can’t say i’m looking forward to that because if that’s the case, i might as well sleep with my eyes wide open like a freaking goldfish.

i am not even pregnant and i hear e.v.e.r.y.t.h.i.n.g.

i can hear when the neighbour upstairs goes to the toilet, i can hear when children of imbeciles attempt to hop down a block of stairs in one jump (every violent landing knocks several points of their IQ, i am sure, hence rendering certain heartland sprouts stupider and stupider by the day), i can hear when at least 5 female neighbours are not able to walk down in heels gracefully, i can hear when the pakcik 2 doors down decides to sing karaoke after his night shift, i can hear when the ah pek 3 floors up listens to Chinese music from the 50s as loudly as a deaf, old ah pek can afford.

i can hear ALL THESE while still participating fully in my dreams.

like as though my dreams are not fucked up on their own already, i’ve to have all these distractions to add multi-dimensional distortions to my convoluted dreams.

which reminds me – i forgot to get me earplugs today. instead, i got myself japanese made cream puffs and macaroons from Carousel. i am what one can sharply describe as not focused.

which means that tomorrow morning, i’ll jolt abruptly from sleep at least 15x from 0600-0900 and wake up absolutely exhausted like as though i really did run or fly as i did in my dreams.

i’ve just finished reading Rupert Everett’s autobiography “Red Carpet and Other Banana Skins”. i must say that this is one of the most delicious books i’ve read. Rupert writes as smoothly as KY spreads over an erect penis. at times, i found it difficult to get through chapters when he threw in names of industry movers and shakers in multiples. i got confused between John and Jane and Jim. i am, after all, one of those mindless movie goers who says “i want to marry optimus prime” after watching Transformers without even knowing the voice behind the machine.

at times, i had to bite down on my tongue in the train so as not to scare fellow passengers from my yelps of hysteria because Rupert Everett really is that funny and self-deprecating. and at least once, i sobbed uncontrollably in bed.

i’d always thought Rupert Everett was straight, or at most, bisexual, and i was most disappointed to find out that he is very gay (although he did have affairs with Paula Yates and some goth looking french chick called Beatrice). this does not mean, however, that if i were to spot him in a bar, that i would not feign ignorance of his celeb status and shamelessly throw myself at him.

one must try.

as Sheela so cleverly described, Rupert Everett is dreamy.

yes, he really is. when i reached the end of the book, i found i was a little sad, as i usually am after completing a good book.

more, Rupi, i want more.

don’t stop talking to me.

(yes, one must have grandiose visions of a famous drop-dead, dreamy hunk talking to them one-on-one sometimes.)

reading the book felt like listening to Rupert Everett talking to you over a table by some poolside where dead bugs and leaves float adrift while he smokes his millionth cigarette and idly rolls his 3rd joint while you reach desperately for the Ventolin inhaler in your purse.

oh Rupert, won’t you please come to Singapore? i promise to cook you some sweet and sour fish.


we are exactly the same and vastly different January 26, 2007

Filed under: Uncategorized — c*devotchka @ 4:30 am
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9000 seconds ago (i love calculators), i was patting myself on my back because i was yawning. finally, my biological clock will be reversed! finally, i can wake up at 0700 because that bird with a sore throat is squawking happily! finally, i can revise French by the pool and watch roadrage in action from the roof!

but no. i go ahead and pick up this book that Ravi had woken up earlier one Saturday in Singapore just to get for me from Borders (i strongly believe in the conspiratorial idea that books in Dubai are a mafia-run business designed to extort exorbitant amounts of moolah from hapless and helpless poor nerds whose hands won’t stop shaking till they get their next fix).

I Feel Bad About My Neck

if you are not me, which you most probably aren’t, you’d finish this book within 2 hours or less. but because i was cared for by a maid in a dual-income household led by an domineering father (whose initials A.H. can be compared with the terror that accompanied another tyrant in history with the same initials), and was strictly forbidden to fraternize with the other kids at the playground (or even go to the playground), i tend to talk to my books.

yes, full conversations with my books.

yes, i don’t speed-read. and i still cannot believe in it even after forking out money which could have been better spent on movies and Gary Barlow posters than on Tony Buzan’s Speed Reading courses, and a jostle with other bespectacled, drooling kids desperate for an autograph that will fetch, after inflation, maybe $1.59 in 100 years. i like to read my books in an intimate manner, like the voice in my head belongs to someone sitting across me at an al fresco café in Paris who doesn’t mind spending a part of his life telling me a story.

at first, i thought the book would be about age, being old, whether it’s great or mortifying – hence alienating me like Vernon Boring Little did. but then again, this is the chick who wrote Silkwood and When Harry Met Sally. and hey, Nora Ephron’s 60+ and learning more about the next 40 years of my life in 2 hours sounded like a great deal. by the time i got to the 2nd line of the 1st page, i was sold.

this is one of those books which made me realise how fortunate i am that i am at home, reading this book in the privacy of my underwear and that persistent itch on my clavicle. if i were on a subway or up at the pool, people would think i’m a loony bin who will start waving about a prepared tampon for insertion in the air like it was a Lily of Death after i stop laughing hysterically out loud. again. and again. and again. and again.

Nora Ephron reminds me why i have not yet succumbed to occasional homicidal or suicidal thoughts. because after i’ve thrown mug after mug on the floor or buried my head with my ass in the air into the corner of the sofa like an endomorphic ostrich does, i tell myself, “you’re gonna laugh about this eventually” or “it’s gonna be alright, dali” even when i am still fuming or my cheeks are freshly glistening with tears.

she proves that yes, it is true: you will laugh about it and it will be alright.

i have not loved a book this much since reading Carlos Ruiz Zafón’s The Shadow of the Wind 18 months back. in fact, i have a good mind to give this to the girlfriends i’d donate part of my liver to, the ones i call the Spiked Paddles of My Life.

Nora Ephron writes so candidly, casually, realistically and simply that you feel she isn’t just a voice in your head at an al fresco café in Paris, she is sitting there with you in one of her 57 black turtlenecks that cover the neck she feels so bad about. it’s not an autobiography but you feel like you’re reading the first line of every page of her life diary because she wants you to. because she needs to say it, and because somehow she knows that we need to hear it.

24, 42 or 60, disgustingly rich or irrevocably stuck in middle class, fat or thin, organised or a complete sloth – we’ll probably reread this book to keep us sane, especially since it is such a quick, enjoyable read.

but like foie gras, it’s gone too soon and you are left staring at the plate. i actually caught myself staring at the back of the closed book, nodding to myself after the Little Death that is The End of The Book.

i have the urge to write to her and tell her Thank You, like she wanted to write to all the writers she loves. but i won’t, like she didn’t – like you would also think of, but won’t (or i might be severely underestimating you).

instead, i’ll go ahead living my life and buy a few more of her books to read in the privacy of my cellulite and armpit stubble.