Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Life as of now

I know I owe you a real update of my life. Not just silly things like saying I want to get a boob job, or that I have been drinking excessively (I have); but true honest to goodness how has life been for you sort of update.

And why did I decide to, on a Wednesday morning at 1am to write a VERY lengthy entry (it’s drafted at home on my laptop because I am always too busy at work to write a good update)?
3 words – The Vegemite Tales

My first theatre in London. Tonight. This following abstract is from the programme of the play:

"It’s a pretty frightening thing to pack up your home, say ‘See you in two year!’ to your family, hop on a plane and find yourself at Heathrow Airport. I was lucky enough during my four and a half years in London to find the most fantastic makeshift family of friends to travel, write, put on plays, fight, love and grow with…

… The play is also a salute to London – the most magnificent, exciting, diverse and alive city I’ve ever had the luck to live in. in London, every opportunity is before you…"

It was too close to home. It’s really playing out what my life could be, would be in the next few months. Despite being such an awesome play and crackingly funny to bits, it was so intimate and emotion wrecking that I felt that sick feeling the actor felt when he took the last look at the flat he stayed for seven years before returning home for good. Friends I will meet and part, not knowing when we will ever meet again; places I will live and party; things I will do and experience – to laugh to cry to hug to kiss to fall in love to fall out of love to scream at the top of my lungs to wave my arms wildly to dance like no one is watching to sing and jump about in the rain. To wear my black boots and coat with hands in my pocket and stroll down the stone pavement, heels clicking, breeze chilling and numbing my face, with that faint smile in disbelief at what I am doing now at this moment in my life. What will happen to me when I realize – it’s time to go home.

But maybe, when that day comes, when I know I am ready, it will be different. I can’t say much. It’s only been three months.

So my life update. Yes. What have I been up to?

Things I have done:

Earned my pounds – while I am nowhere near being able to live like a queen, a princess, a duchess or any other royalty down the chain, I am able to go to the supermarket, pick up whatever I feel like eating and not have to do a double take on checking out the price of the house brands or rush for the lowest, cheapest priced ones. I also can, but have yet to do much of, go to any decent bar or pub or restaurant or cafĂ© and sit down and order what I would like to eat without feeling sick for spending the money. In general, I do not have to scrimp and save as badly as an exchange student on a tight budget would. And I am very happy about it. I work my ass off at a company that will add value to my CV, with colleagues that make my day more interesting, and a job nature that actually interest me and makes me feel important.

Worked my body – paying four teners a month is quite a big thing. After all, I wouldn’t have expected a monthly gym membership to be S$123 a month. But I still joined it, and have been going faithfully for a minimum of 3 times a week and fallen in love with yoga. I feel good. Oh and I walk to and from work almost all the time. It’s a 40 minutes walk.

Blended in well enough – by my own standard, with my colleagues and everyone else I’ve met. I’ve apparently amazed people by how well I sort of fitted in as compared to the typecasted shy Asian that backs away or just somehow don’t catch on with the banter but someone who joins in the fun and thank God not very off when it comes to cracking a joke. They, the English with their ‘humour’, think I am actually funny (at times).

Kept in touch – I actually think my relationship with my family (my dad in particular) improved tremendously because being away means you do not get on each others’ nerves and in fact appreciate the little communication you have with each other. We write each other emails everyday and I think I know more about his life and vice versa now than before. I even told him I have broken up with the boy (well I should have before I left but at least I bother to tell him now!). And everytime I call them up I get really excited and feel very happy after I hang up. Moderation is probably the key.

What I should NOT have done:

This is kinda tough to say though. While I can say yes I wish I didn’t, but my personal counter argument would be that everything happened for a reason and contribute to the whole experience and learning curve. But here are some-

Drinking excessively – while I have done that before, and as Ping says, I always get drinking jobs – it is happening too much too quickly here. When high on alcohol I get silly. Good parts are I am a good source of entertainment and I don’t mind – it is really fun. But I also get emotionally charged and start to cry over the dumbest things at times. And call people up long distance. And the time difference means I call people up at 7am expecting them to be at my beck and call. That is irritating. I’m sorry.

Get involved with work gossip – maybe it’s inevitable, but not really still. But it had happened, and I wish it hadn’t. Simply put, it complicates things.

Get emotionally involved with people far away – never a good idea when you are all alone in a big city for the first time in your life.

What I wish I did, or hope to do:

Stayed somewhere else – to be honest, my house is a dump. First of all, it’s an ex council flat which is about 50 year old (old buildings are fine but these are dump places that were build for the poor Eastenders, imagine an unupgraded unkempted 50 year old blocks of flats will be like), most likely have rats because it freaking stinks at times (LIKE NOW), and is going to be demolished in a few months time. I rather have a double bed because I am used to it at home and for more reasons than that. Then, my flatmates are nice but they are boring. The sort of people who gets mad and leave stupid notes in the toilet and kitchen to get people to clean up. I wish they were people like my colleagues or people in the play – good fun, good laugh, more tolerant to nonsense, drink more booze, bring people home, fool around. But they just live in London, hate London and just wanna do their stuff and get the hell out. They’d probably freak out (but not saying anything to your face but talk about you behind your back) if I bring boys home. Lastly, while this is a fantastic location being very much central, as I mentioned earlier, the fact that I can take a 40 minute walk to work, and it has buses and night buses that goes everywhere I want to go and tube station and rail station a stone throw away, but it’s South London (hence not exactly a great area and if I may put it bluntly, at the beginning of where the blacks stays). So I’m at the start of it and then as it goes further out it gets worse. I feel kinda frighten going home late at night although nothing bad has happened to me before except the usual cat calling. But I am paying peanuts (actually, macadamia nuts cos it’s not exactly cheap) so I can’t exactly complain. Since I plan to go away from UK for a bit, I’d probably do a house hunt again when I’m back.

Travel around UK – nearby places like Oxford, Cambridge, Bath, another trip to Stratford Upon Avon should have been done in the summer when the weather was good. Now it’s beginning to get cold and annoying. Then again, since I might be staying for the next summer, it’s not a pressing issue.

Go to Calgary for Xmas – it is quite likely to come true. I’ve got family there and I want to have a real white Xmas and not a 1cm thick layer of snow in London (if it snows at all) but real family, real turkey, (maybe) real Xmas tree and real snow.

Go back to CA – just for a trip. Say hi to Uncle Sam, do a bit of Los Angeles and maybe just work dumb dumb jobs for a bit to survive. America still has its appeal, although I really really want to go to New York as well.

To be honest I regretted buying a one year return ticket. I am not sure if I will be ready to go home. It’s silly I’m saying this now just 3 months into my 1 year. And of course, arguably I can always go home for a visit and then come back, but honestly I am so scared it might change my perspective of things again when I am home. Because for now, what is really cool about my life is that I feel like I have put everything at home on hold – my life, my mates, my family, my career – it’s great to know that as a girl (or a doll), it’s not that bad. But if I go home to ‘reality’, I may just get right back onto the rat race and go hey you have to start planning your life. And at this moment, I really don’t want to. I still think I have a few years to spare. Surely my youth will run out – but I really think 23 is a great age to be out. Because I am not a silly 20 year old who thinks I am an adult and thinks that I think like an adult. I am going 24, still silly, but quite sure I am an adult and genuinely believe that I can think like an adult when I need to. Besides, there is no guarantee that just because I am back at home, I will be able to carve out a fantastic career path and know where I will be in 5, 10 years. I am earning (but spending) much more than I can ever make for the next 3 years if I am at home, so I don’t exactly see that big a problem.
And maybe, at some point in this entry I am thinking like a silly 20 year old who thinks that the possibility of meeting a bloke that I would like to marry, have beautiful half Asian kids, a house with a lawn in the suburbs out of London is there. But I am not hanging my hopes up high, nor actively posting such a request on the internet.

Someone said to me, you know, I think you will never be ready to go home. You are not going to able to settle back into tiny Singapore anymore.

I shrugged. 3 months is a little too early to tell. But if that is going to happen, then it will. It’s just life, isn’t it.

But just like at one point in the play where one of the actress broke down in tears and cried when the going was tough,

"I just want to go home. I want my mum…"

It kinda hit me that there is no place like home where everyone is. I mean, the bed is more comfortable, the roads are more familiar, the food taste better. Everyone you know your whole entire life is a stone throw a phone call a prata shop away. That is good to know.

But in the meantime, being a call an email away have to suffice.

Missing everyone so much. Try to visit me if you can. London is fantastic, I vouch my life on it.

Monday, August 14, 2006

My Weekend

I did exactly the same thing as I did last week - go to Yoga, shopped, cooked and fell asleep watching tv on Sunday.

I fancy buying a yoga mat as I am really quite getting into it. And did I mention I can do a headstand (thanks to our breakdancing training in NTU). I am aiming to do it without the wall soon. I can feel my neck muscle growing (and i'm not trying to be funny).

Apart from that, it's the usual getting drunk and being silly on Friday.

But I actually feel quite bad though. Like there are so many things I want to do and I can list out 3 Ms - Musicals, Markets and Museums; but I always end up having a quiet weekend doing nothing.

Well, not that the weather is helping. The depressing rainy London is here. Except that it's August and shouldn't be the case.

Next week then!

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Live and let live

Drinking in abundance seems to be part of every job I take on. I just think it's kinda dumb how I work my ass off at gym then pump down all the calories 3 times a week down to kill my liver.
But I still do it.
I felt so awful on Sunday that I really had to stay home, go to gym for Yoga, cook a nice meal for myself and watch tv and fall asleep. I got home at 3am on Wednesday, 3am on Friday and 5am on Saturday.
This week - no more. Ok, only one day - Friday.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

In the world of tall blokes and dolls where image (and height) is important, I have gone ahead and bought a pair of killer heels, otherwise known as

The Stilettos

for my little broker party today. I just can't go in my almost flat pumps that looks like it is about to fall apart. In fact, it will be thrown away soon.

Now I just to stand tall but look way ahead for any potential little pot holes that I can die from if I fall. And maybe make sure I don't drink too much as a stumble will be damaging to my image and life.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006