Sunday, September 25, 2005

I have lovely friends! That's all I have to say. Seeing that I've recently been re-introduced to singlehood, my amigos are determined to see that I have a whale of a time by insisting I join them for this, that and the other... A gesture I'm truly grateful for and am accepting with great enthusiasm. (one even has someone in mind to set me up with... don't think I'm gonna take him up on his offer though). This afternoon, for example found me at the beach soaking up the rays, enjoying the cool cool water and tossing a frisbee around, instead of sitting in front of the computer. I had a blast! But old habits die hard, and I'm actually back at work, with my ill-disguised bikini still on. I do have a dinner to look forward to with 2 very good friends (one whom can actually get away with making comments about my weight without me killing him.) So I think I'm gonna have a pretty good Sunday :)

Saturday, September 24, 2005

These Are A Few of My Favourite Things...

I'm sitting here at work, listening to Aerosmith's 'Girls of Summer' and I realised that no matter how open I am to different genres of music, I find myself enjoying rock and alternative music the most... oh and punk! There are still many who raise their eyebrows in surprise when I make known my preference. Apparently I don't seem the type :p Whatever...

I was quite a tom-boy when I was growing up. I climbed trees, dug for earthworms, roughhoused with the boys and had Saber Rider and Transformers for toys. All the Barbie and Candy dolls I received for birthdays and Christmas went to my little sister. It was so much more fun to build space stations and construct headquarters for the Autobots, and after probably a month, I figured it would be even cooler to open up Optimus Prime to see what made the lights flash and his body parts move. That was of course the end of my toy's life. Never really could put the pieces back together again :p

My facination with the world of robots was apparent in the Cartoons I watched too. Ahh... those cartoons... Let's see, my all time favourite featured 5 mechanical lions, each lying 'dormant' in 5 different parts of the world until danger reared its ugly head and they were summoned to protect mankind from the evil forces that threatened to take over the world (as always). Voltron: The Defenders of the Universe! Nothing could tear me away from the TV when it was on. Coming in a close second would be Transformers. Autobots vs Decepticons. I had the videos (which I watched repeatedly) as well as the action figures, and spent many an evening orchestrating 'wars' in the garden. (Barbie inadvertently got involved somehow). And then there were the rest; Thunder Cats, Saber Rider and the Star Sheriffs, He-Man & She-Ra, M.A.S.K, Captain Power and the Soldiers of the Future, Ghostbusters, The Ninja Turtles, Spider Man, Mighty Mouse, Danger Mouse etc... Of course I made time for The Smurfs, Jem, Strawberry Shortcake, Glo-Friends... But they weren't as exciting.

But no matter how tempted I am these days to take a trip back down memorylane and revisit my childhood cartoons, I stubbornly dig my heels in and avoid it. There are lots of very fond memories but those shows are meant to be watched when you're 8 and then left when you grow up. I made the mistake of watching He-Man 3 years ago and I thought, "Oh my God, how lame and predictable!!! Did I really enjoy watching this??" So now I stick to the likes of 24, 6 feet Under and Sex and the City (Hey I'm a girl). That goes the same for TV shows like MacGyver (I was in LOVE with Richard Dean Anderson - thought he was so cool. I mean he he could make ANYTHING out of ANYTHING), Airwolf (was in love with Jan-Michael Vincent too. And that helicopter!! My favourite scene would be the opening credits when that Bell 222 would rise up from the crater where the hidden headquarters lay), V (thought it was awesome that they could take their eyeballs out whenever they wanted), Knight Rider (Michael with his super remote-controlled, talking car Kitt) and of coure The A-Team!! But I know that the magic these shows had for me wouldn't shine as brightly now as they used to.

I could probably go on and on about the stuff I used to do when I was a kid, but I'll stop here. Maybe I'll share a little more next time when the mood strikes me. Would love to hear what you guys out there in digital-land used to watch as kids! Would be nice to know if anyone else thought MacGyver was THE MAN. hahahaha...

Note: Found this fantastic site that features clips of cartoons and TV series from the 70s to the 90s. I had a blast checking out all the stuff I grew up watching. :)

Friday, September 23, 2005

C'est la Vie!

Whenever I have to make a choice, my heart and mind will be at loggerheads. I'm the sort of person who prefers the tried and tested path; it's safe, (and sometimes boring) and to me, it's logical, so my mind almost always wins... Coupled with the fact that the consequences have always been pretty good (i.e kept me out of trouble), I'm more inclined to trust my head, eventhough it would be so much more fun to do the opposite. My heart, on the otherhand, makes me take risks I wouldn't normally take, throw caution to the wind... but it's oh so much more exciting! The consequences can also hurt.

My 'safe' and 'fun' sides had a little showdown recently... twice... and both within days of each other. Decision No. One was pretty easy; an opportunity opened up for me to move to Shanghai for the next two years and it was something I simply could not say no to. I mean after all my ranting about leaving here in exchange for new cultural experiences, I'd be stupid to pass this up. (eventhough there's a possiblity that I'll be earning less.) So I obviously followed my heart, and if all goes well, I'll leave next June. (woo-hoo!)

The other however is costing me a great amount of sleep. My head won this round and my heart is paying for it dearly. It's somehow linked to Decision No. One, and because of the uncertainty of our futures, I had to, very painfully, let someone very important to me go. It was the 'logical' thing to do. The only comfort I have right now is in the fact that I strongly believe there's a reason for everything. Someone said to me yesterday, "There's a time to be together, and there's a time to be away"... it's a quote taken from the Bible, and despite my not being a practicing Catholic, I find great solace in those words.

But that's life I guess and there are always lessons to be learnt from a relationship, be it personal or professional... and whatever will not break me will only make me stronger... and hopefully wiser :) With that said, I'm looking forward to the day I step onto Chinese soil and make it my home... until Wanderlust comes a-knocking again :)

Monday, September 12, 2005

Parlez-Vous Anglais?

Landed at Doha International Airport an hour late but it wasn't really a problem. It brought my transit time down to 3 hours, which was tough enough get through as it was. (I hate transits). Stepped off the plane and was greeted by moist, heavy, stifling heat that just pressed down, like fingers wrapping themselves around your body and sucking your energy out. (OK I'm exaggerating but it was HOT and HUMID nonetheless - 37oC!!) Was glad it lasted for only the few minutes it took me to get from the plane to the feeder bus. The airport itself was a war zone... seriously! You could scarcely make out where one line ended and the other began, let alone which line you're supposed to be in! And even if you didn't WANT to be in the queue you HAD to, just so you could inch your way across to the other side. With that said, all transiting passengers were offered a meal voucher which could be redeemed by presenting your boarding pass at the cafeteria. I decided to pass, prefering instead to throw myself in a seat and wait till we were called to board. (I did redeem it on my return flight. I guess my hoping for the burgers and fries was a little too optimistic.)

I must say I enjoyed my flight aboard Qatar Airways. Wide selection of movies and entertainment, staff were very friendly and attentive (not to mention attractive! Those male stewards!... oops I mean Flight Attendants, to be politically correct. Someone enlighten me on this one please!)

Anyway, I got to talking to a very nice French bloke who was sitting next to me, in the last 2 or 3 hours of the flight. Alain is 25, lives in Toulouse and after spending 9 months in Kuala Lumpur and Manila (I think) doing volunteer work with orphans, he was on his way back to his country to start work with a bank. He didn't sound very thrilled about it. Hahahaha. I'm glad we talked. After all the warnings I got about French people being stuffy and 'cold' as Alain puts it, his easy-going way helped ease whatever apprehensions I had. We exchanged contacts and I can now officially say 'I know someone in France'... (The last I heard he'd been hospitalised with dengue, poor kid.)

Paris was bliss. Managed to spend 2 whole days with Jochen, which included a trip to the Eifel Tower (but of course!), until I had to lose him to classes and had to traipse around Paris by myself for the rest the week... guide book with map in hand, and my barely-nothing French, which included "Bonjour", "Au revoir", "Merci beaucoup", "S'il vous plaît", Excusez-moi", and my all time favourite: "Je suis désolée, je ne parle pas Français. Parlez vous Anglais?". After awhile I got straight to the point with 'Parlez vous Anglais'. Of course I picked up a few other words along the way, namely "
d'accord", "derien" and "pardon" which I'm proud to say I could use quite easily... hahaha... Oh and very importantly, SORTIE... for when I'm lost in the terribly confusing Chatlet-les-Halle Metro station.

Seeing that I had limited funds (limited is an understatement), I decided to give museums and the rest of the 'paid' sights a miss. But I still had alot of fun. (will put up a separate post with pics!) My 7.5 days in Paris were worth the money and reprimanding I'm gonna recieve for returning to work a day later than I was supposed to. Hey, everyone needs a break. I'm just sorry I have to have such expensive ones, and so often too :p

Friday, September 02, 2005

I'm writting this while waiting to board the plane to Paris, which should be in about 10 mins. Seeing that I have a week's break, I decided it would be swell to throw some money away and take a short (8-day) holiday to see Jochen, whom, incidentally, has just started his crash course in French at the Paris campus of his University. Now while I'm excited and all about the prospect of finally stepping foot in the much-talked about city, I'm wrought with worry because I just found out (well not really 'just') that I'm supposed to be back at work on Saturday, 10th of September, for orientations. I'm only flying in on Sunday! :p So I figured, it's not that big a deal, I'll just change my return date. Hah!! There aren't any flights out of Paris on the 9th, nor the 8th! So what do I do? Return on the 7th, which is a HUGE waste of time and not to mention money? Or return on the 11th and get the shelling of my life. My only consolation is that my co-teacher is also meant to be present at the orientation so I'm hoping she'd be ok with running the whole thing by herself. I've still not decided on what to do... This sucks...