I had a meeting at Wisma Genting along Jalan Sultan Ismail yesterday afternoon. It was the second time I step foot into the building, and well, it brought back memories of the first.
The first happened exactly 3 years and 7 months ago and yesterday, while standing out by the glass door at the lobby smoking a cigarette, I retraced my steps.
I was 21, and had returned from Perth a month ago, July 2002. Upon returning to Malaysia, I dived straight into the world of cover letters and curriculum vitaes. I licked plenty of stamps and sealed plenty of envelopes.
After a month of doing all that, I finally got a call from the City of Entertainment to attend an interview. I took a bus from JB to KL. I got third aunt to drive me to town since I did not own a car then.
3 years 7 months. Not very long ago, and yet, not quite yesterday. But I've changed nevertheless.
I was early for the interview, and ended up doing what I think would calm my nerves - chain smoking. I stepped out beyond the glass doors in the lobby and stood by the rubbish can and started chain smoking. It was my very first interview, and I probably was wearing something really tacky. But who remembers? I had butterflies in my stomach and I swear, they were morphing into clawing creatures and they were eating up the lining of my stomach right there and then! I was all queasy.
I eyed the "working grown-ups" suspiciously as they walked in and out of the building. I checked out what the girls were wearing, and saw how they strut so confidently in their power suits. I surveyed the men too. Oooh, how exciting it would be to date an older working man!
Soon it was time to go up to the 19th floor, the office of e-Genting, where I was to be interviewed for the position of Web Content Executive.... and I don't remember much of what happened after that. My bladder must have been full, my hands must have been icy cold with sweaty palms. In my mind I was probably rehearsing answers to, "Tell me about yourself", "Why do you think you are suited for this job?", or "Where do you see yourself in 5 years time?"
I remembered being interviewed by a woman. I remembered how exciting the job sounded; frequently traveling up Genting, checking out the events, food, hotels, etc and writing about it and updating the contents of the website. Wicked eh? Free food, free entertainment! Heh. I remembered how desperate I was to quickly start working, and I knew at that time I was ready to pretty much take any salary that was offered.
Walking in the lobby yesterday, I smiled to myself. After years of working, I now play "hard-to-get" or in other words, tarik harga. Yes, eventhough I've been with this current company since September 2002, I attended some interviews as well. That was when I was stuck under a different boss and a different department.
I guess I'm one of the few lucky ones who did not have to go for many interviews before landing myself my very first job. Genting was my first interview, the second was a publishing company (I turned them down because it required me to work in JB), and the third, the present company I'm working for.
Anyways, I smiled because I remembered my desperation. But ever since I've got the ball rolling, I've been made offers, and I've had the power to turn them down. Today, I'm so much more confident. Today, I know I am worth something.
Aaah, the power of growing up, the power of E.X.P.E.R.I.E.N.C.E.
At the office, I usually drink water from my 500ml pink Tupperware tumbler, and coffee from my yellow mug. So when I received Si Kucing from my two colleagues as a little birthday gift, I placed it on my table and for the past week, it has served as a deco piece, instead of a mug.
In the past couple of days, I've been hearing voices, well, it sounds a lot like a cat's purr or meow. I didn't think much about it at first, maybe my mind and ears were playing tricks on me, but the meowings never stopped!
As the days followed, I began to have an inkling suspicion that Si Kucing might have something to do with the meowings which I've been hearing. I surrendered.
But if I already have tumbler for water, yellow mug for coffee, what did I drink using Si Kucing?
This box of Melilea Soya Bean Powder is also rather new to me. Never a believer in such products which claim to be 100% organic, I eventually parted with RM15.90 to purchase a box from a colleague. It's just soya bean powder I assured myself. And it's not expensive. I'm definitely going to make more than 15 glasses of soy drink, so technically, it's worth it.
It boasts 100% pure soya bean, with no preservatives, stabilizer, starch, artificial flavours nor colours. And it's easy to make. I prefer using cold water, even though it takes extra stirring for the powder to completely dissolve.
Surprisingly, Melilea Soya Bean Powder tastes rather nice. It's definitely organic alright, cos it's rather bland-tasting with no sugar or artificial flavouring added. And it feels.. light. An OK drink nevertheless. Feels healthy. Feels like I'm gonna shit clean poop tomorrow. Errr.. did that make sense? You know, the clean-feeling poop after a 3-day fruit and fibre only detox diet? Anyways.
So there, Si Kucing has been deflowered. And I damn well hope that those meowings were cries of it begging to be uh, deflowered?
I left the office in the nick of time yesterday, before it started to pour. And we all know how I don't like to drive in the rain because I get distracted when my vipers go swoosh swoosh in front of me.
The rain came down in torrents moments after I reached home, and was thus greeted by this...
If you look carefully, you can see the rain lashing downwards.
How come we don't get such orange-y dusks like this everyday? It's so pretty, the orange glow everywhere!
After raining for some 15 minutes, the skies became dark, and nightfall started descending....
Directly translated from the Chinese saying which I'm not even attempting to spell out in Romanized alphabets, this old saying basically means that old things, at a point in time, will have to make way for the new.
Just like my bedroom slippers.
Wait, it actually is much worse than that.
See how abused and dilapidated Old Blue Slippers has become?
It's been with me for a good 2 years now, and I remember purchasing it from Watsons for RM4.90! It has served me well for over 700 days, and I had trouble parting with it, resulting in it serving me waaaaay past its "expiry date", as you can see from the pictures. Poor thing.
Well, I decided it was time... therefore presenting to you *cymbals clang and drum roll* - New Pink Slippers!
New Pink Slippers came from Watsons too, and they cost me RM 5.90. OK lah, considering the recent fuel hike. New Pink Slippers feels soft, comfy and warm. I had almost forgotten how bedroom slippers are supposed to feel on one's feet till Pink came along.
And just one more for the photo album....
... before Old Blue Slippers was thrown out together with the garbage last night. It was good while it lasted, old pal!
ROJAK! is an original blend of shorts and monologues, tossed with a spoonful of youth and matters close to our hearts. From happy families, sudden deaths, sinking boats to talking mannequins, ROJAK! is dark, gooey and pedas as we Malaysians like it. Every serving includes a generous portion of nuts, on the house.
Presented by The Oral Stage, a non-profit group of theatre-curious youth, who direct and star in their own written plays. Immersing themselves in the theatre experience without lifejackets, they hope to come out alive learning a thing or two. Curently in their second season, TOS strives to make theatre more accessible to the public, mainly young people, through their stage performances and community involvement.
Directed by Kelvin K. Wong and Patricia Low, produced by Reuben Kang. Cast ensemble includes Sharmini Harikrishnan, Dominic L. Luk, Rauf Fadzilla, Lam Wai Yee, Sanjiv Gnaneswaran, Krystle Wong, Priya Kulasagaran, Rachel Lai, Azfar Baharudin, Prakash Daniel, Reuben Kang, Branavan Aruljothi and Emily Yoon.
No they are not paying me to advertise in here. I wish though. Heh. Jokes aside, hats off to Kelvin for keeping The Oral Stage (TOS) well into its second season.
I managed to check out their rehearsal last week, and Season 2 has some returning cast and crew members, as well as a whole new bunch of wacky and talented people coming together.
From punctuality (or rather the lack of it) to the hunger pangs, from shrieks of laughter to Mr. Director trying to get everyone to settle down, it brought back good ol' memories of when I was involved in Season 1, when TOS presented "eight: insert witty tagline here". But they're luckier this time round! They have a proper studio with airconditioning to rehearse at! We used an empty classroom with no aircon.
Top 10 Reasons For Checking out Rojak!
10. Support your local theatre!
9. A healthy spirit of muhibbah being celebrated with cast and crew members from all walks of life.
8. I'm not a cast this time round, BUT I wrote one of the monologues (Me Speak No French, which was plugged from this very blog) for this production!
7. RM 22 (or RM 17 if you have a valid student ID) is not hard to part with in return for 2 solid hours of good entertainment.
6. One of the cast members, Emily, is afraid of heights. Watch her stand up on a chair in one of the shorts, as she gallantly comes face to face with her fear!
5. If you enjoyed "eight", you will enjoy Rojak!
4. TOS has worked hard, no wait, REALLY hard for this - they even had to organise a garage sale to raise funds to help with production costs!
3. You can bring your girl there and try to slip your arm over her shoulders. Sure you can pay only RM10 and do it at the movies, but she'll love you even more because you're a man of class who digs theatre.
2. Rojak! indulges in a bit of Singaporean bashing, and we Malaysians love that don't we?
... and the Numero Uno reason for checking out Rojak! is....
(No I didn't go to the beach, the picture represents peace and serenity OK?)
Some friends and colleagues sometimes still ask me this, "So where's the party tonight?", especially on Fridays and Saturdays. I tell them that I'll just be home catching up on some R & R. Some have yet to come to terms with the fact that I'm a retired party-goer.
Unless it's a birthday bash (birthdays aren't celebrated everyday you see), a hen's night (people don't get married everyday!), or a special occassion (and no, not everything is considered special). There's no more of those "let's go out for the sake of getting sloshed" type of nights.
Despite not having any parties lined up for Friday and Saturday, I still welcome the weekend like a child looking forward to spending Christmas morning under the tree unwrapping presents.
Friday evening, upon returning home from work, I jump out of my heels and work clothes into a pair of shorts and tee, and gather all my hair up with a headband. Then, armed with armour and artillery; a mop, broom, a piece of rag cloth, a pail and some cleaning products, I cook up a sweat in the apartment.
The best part about Friday evening is lighting up a cigarette, catching a breather after my crib has been scrubbed clean. Now that, is S-A-T-I-S-F-A-C-T-I-O-N.
Late Friday night, the boyfriend and I would sometimes drive into Chinatown for supper. Last Friday we went to Fei Kai's (literally translated as Fat Chicken) stall for some fried roast pork, double boiled pig's tail soup and a whole plate of yong tau foo in sweet sauce. We skipped fei kai lou's (fat chicken man) steamed chicken this time round.
Saturday morning I spend doing the laundry, and by noon time, my washing will already be out on the line. And when all that is done, I either retire back to bed, or go out for lunch with the boyfriend and maybe some aimless wandering at the mall for a couple of hours.
And this picturesque scene is my red bedsheet hanging out to dry, set against the lush greeneries which surrounds my apartment.
Saturday night is ALWAYS soccer night, which means we camp out at the mamak for a couple of hours since I do not have Astro. Instead of beers or bottles of liquor, we now indulge in teh tarik or milo ais with some good old roti. Our current favourite is roti kaya and roti milo. Roti kaya kicks ass!
Last Saturday I also started this.
No I didn't gamble, but I got the boyfriend to teach me how to study the odds for the matches over the weekend. Understanding the numbers, the pay-out figures and all wasn't that difficult. I think in a few more weeks I would have gotten a better hang of it. Maybe then I can roll in some income while enjoying my roti kaya? Heh.
On Sunday, we'd usually do brunch, and come back home to spend the rest of the day lazing. We'd draw the curtains, shutting out the harsh sunlight, and stay indoors watching TV, reading and drifting in and out of sleep.
As much as I love KL, I still look forward to a little getaway every now and then. I don't know if that shit about rejuvenating is true, but it's always nice to drive against traffic and look forward to heading out of town. Even if it is just for a night up in Genting.
Despite a slight limp from a sporting injury to his ankle, the boyfriend has been an absolute darling, braving the drive up in a manual car and the plenty of walking around up there.
It was raining when we left KL.
We drove up halfway, and jumped onto the Genting Skyway cable car for the rest of the journey. Very exciting! I've only been on a cable car maybe once or twice as a kid, so this was damn thrilling, especially take off!
Wheee! It was still drizzling during the 3.4km ride up hill. But the view was amazing - all the greenery!
We were in cable car no. 69, well, 96 actually.
Fellow cable car riders in another "gondola". They call it a gondola, why, I don't know.
We look awfully stoned.
Checked into Resort Hotel and well, hotels up there aren't fantastic. It gets worse every year! They really ought to do some refurbishing.
Our room actually came with two queen size beds, and I learnt that you must never hog the other bed by putting your luggage there. Must always respect the "other" person in the room.
Actually, I even did the whole "respecting the others routine". Before unlocking the room door, I did a small knock and muttered "Excuse me, we'll be staying here for one night". When I took off my shoes, I also made it a point to have one side facing up, the other face down - to tell "them" that there is someone staying here.
A view from our room.
We didn't bother with going on the rides since I was travelling with a semi-crippled boyfriend, but ended up walking around for a bit.
One of those Zoo Negara type trains which take you around on a short (and slow) tour.
One of the many watering holes. My photography skills did not do justice to this outlet. The deco is actually rather nice and sleek.
The copywriter for this piece of visual sure had it easy - Aaaaaaah, Woohoo and Woaaahhh.
More train rides - this caterpillar train goes on the tracks which goes round both the indoor and outdoor theme park.
See that long pole in the background? This is probably the most famous ride at the outdoor theme park because of an urban legend. Apparently, some girl's head got ripped off because her long hair got entangled in something, and when the ride went down, her head got pulled apart from her neck. Ouch.
I was so tempted to go on this, but saw only tots up there and then I took a step back.
I think this is supposed to be Genting's version of the Twin Towers.
What hotel is this? Highlands I think.
And everybody knows First World.
Between the clouds!
One of the many casinos... We didn't even step into any! Honest!
The deco outside Resort Cafe...
.. and upon closer inspection, they are all filled with dried goods like the above, asam slices, and popcorn thingie.
Another watering hole.
Good Friends chinese restaurant where we had our dinner. The pork ribs in coffee sauce was da bomb!
Taken at Sports Book, where we caught the first half of the Newcastle vs Liverpool match. After my camera flashed, the bartender informed me that they didn't allow cameras here.
It was a cold and foggy night.
No birthday is complete without a cake. Or a slice of cake that is.
OK, here comes the fun part - The cable car ride back downhill. Now I usually love thrilling rides, the more adrenaline pumping it is, the better it will be. Then again, I like them fast and hard.
But this cable car ride is a different story altogether!
At take off.
And we're on our way...
Barely few seconds after take off, we headed straight into the fog. Visibility was nil and I was holding my breath, and my ears were getting all blocked. I was terrified because I can't see shit!
Here's a short video during take off...
And another one when we hit the foggy area...
Halfway down, the fog eased and my breathing resumed to normal.
The pulley that operates the cable cars going up and down hill.
Going back to KL is dreaded... "I wonder what the weather is like down there now?" I asked. "Hot," said the boyfriend.