Longing For The Familiar

I met up with an old friend, whom I don’t get to see that often just because he’s so far away. Every time I see him, I wish that he could stay a little longer. It’s not because I’m harbouring romantic feelings for him. Of course, in my teens, I used to have a big crush on him. It’s just that not many people (friends) who are currently in my circle of friends (locally) actually know me that long. I knew him when I was 16. It’s been more than two decades… “quarter of a century”, that’s what he said. Seeing him makes me long for the good old days when everyone (including my parents) were years younger and stronger. Every time we say goodbye, it’s like a part of me gets ripped out.

I can’t really remember how he and I met but it was definitely through my sister. I was usually quiet around him because he was just too good-looking, the first guy I had a crush on (who’s not a celebrity or some actor). Yes, of course he will always be a very dear friend whom I’m reminded of each time I see a plane flying.

I so hate saying ‘goodbyes’ because each time I say it, I don’t know when I’ll see him again. And will miss that feeling of familiarity,… longing for the past when life was not so complex. No bills to pay, no car instalments, no illness etc… when everything was more or less rosy. And though he doesn’t believe in God, I do. So, I still pray that God keeps him and his family safe. I just wish he’s not so far away.

Four Years Ago – Today

It has been 4 years. I’ve not forgotten although I didn’t want to post anything much on my Facebook page. Chien, you’re missed. My nights were more happening when you were still around. I knew more places to go for food back then. Every time I hear the kingfishers call, I am reminded of you. It’s just different without you.
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So Much For Planning

I am just the kind of person who likes to plan everything before doing. But it seems like I’m on a training ground of some sort to fly by the seat of my pants. So, I finally met up with my friend yesterday. While I wasn’t in a limbo on what to do or say, I must say, I felt a little panicky when I couldn’t even plan it. What was supposed to be a dinner meeting ended up re-timed and we met for tea, and dinner. I thought I was going to write a long letter to her before I meet her but that didn’t happen. I didn’t email her either but during the tea meeting, I just said something to encourage her in her current struggle. When I told her I would pray for her regarding a certain situation, she laughed and said that she “like it when you say that. Every time you say that you will pray, it always happens.” 

Talk about being caught unaware,…and unprepared. Perhaps God wanted me to hear it as well.

Memories in August

Here we are in August,… again. So, the memories come flying by,..again.

I’ve been thinking of paying him a visit. It’s been some time I visited the Western Road cemetery. It’s actually quite a beautiful and peaceful place but,..let’s be honest. Nobody likes walking to the cemetery, at least I don’t know anyone who does. I definitely don’t.

By the 24th of August this year, it would be exactly 3 years since he passed away but the memories live on. I still miss this friend of mine, who is like a brother. He has taught me so much about photography and it is because of him that I fell in love with products from Apple. I still remember the night he brought his Macbook Pro and showed me all the things it can do. By the end of our meeting, I knew I had to get myself a Macbook Pro. He was so generous in sharing his knowledge and even loaned me his telephoto lens (70-200mm), and a very humble man. If you had a chance to know him, you would’ve found him to be a very good friend too.

Rest in peace, TC.

 

It Happened At The Mall

PlayfulKissPosterSpent the past 2 days watching 장난스런 키스, otherwise known as Playful Kiss.  It’s not that I’ve not seen this Korean series before but somehow the silliness in the show never fails to make me laugh. This TV series evolves around these 2 main characters, Oh Ha Ni and Baek Song Ju. Watch how the characters develop through time, especially when Ha Ni and her father ended up living under the same roof with Song Ju and his family. You’d think that nothing interesting happens but guess what! Song Ju has been her crush for a long long time. It dragged on till they get to university. Song Ju is quite the character, so cold and mean towards Ha Ni and yet, deep down,… he was confused about his own feelings. For those of you who have experienced unrequited love, this series is definitely for you, especially if the feelings have always been one-sided. (Yeap! I know about it. Been there. Done that.)

This morning, I went out to the mall with my mom. As we were looking at the frozen food section, I thought I saw a familiar face. She was with a man, looking at the other end of the frozen food section. I wanted to say hi but as they walked closer, I saw him reaching to hold her hand and I quickly turned away just so that she doesn’t feel embarrassed when she sees me.

I’m happy that she has found someone to love, and who could return her feelings. However, I’m a little sad that she didn’t share the news with me. She and I used to share our ups and downs, and suddenly, it’s almost as if she’s in a different circle and I’m left behind. I guess I should’ve guessed it all along, she’s been more dressy, and even more fashionable lately. I should’ve suspected that she’s already seeing someone. So perhaps she really is busy at work, but then it now gets even more difficult to meet up with her on non-working days since she’d want to spend time with her boyfriend. Perhaps all this while, she’s been close to me, but I’m not close to her. Is that unrequited friendship?

Today, I feel like I need to close a chapter of my life and move on with a few new friends. I guess she has her own reasons for not wanting to share this news. Since I’m no longer that close to her, I’ll probably choose someone else to share my ups and downs with.

Here’s to friendship – especially those who remain close to us – regardless of their marital status.

 

 

Like Draws To Like

There’s an old English proverb that goes like this “Like draws to like the whole world over.”  The meaning is “people with the similar outlook in life often find themselves together.” If that’s the case, my prayer is that God would lead me to peers who have that same passion for the arts and music. People who want to leave something that will outlast them, it could be literature – a book written that is still being read long after they’re gone; a music piece that’s being played over and over again or artworks shown or collected even after they’re gone. I think I need to be around these people so we can spur each other on to achieving our dreams.

I often feel like the odd one out among people at my work place. All they can talk about is what’s on sale in the grocery store, what’s in fashion, who looks fashionable at the workplace, the latest promotion voucher for children and parents. Nothing is wrong with all that, except the fact that I’m bored.

There’s nobody around who can discuss about books, classical music, art etc… Gotta find people with similar interests….

Life’s Not Ordinary After All

I am often tempted to see my life as ordinary but when I recall some moments of my life, I realize that it has never been ordinary. In fact, I think it’s quite extraordinary after all.

Imagine being 12 years old and going on a wild goose chase to try and contact someone you admire. I guess this would be quite equivalent to one of my nieces trying to contact Justin Bieber. Then the sudden elation when the reply from Sergei comes, after close to one year. (Sergei is not his real name. Just for ease of writing, I’ll refer to him as Sergei.)

I guess only someone nutty like me would try to move heaven and earth to get to see Sergei’s performance. Bear in mind that I was still in my early teens then. Sergei was already a legend, performing in  various countries around the world back then. However, I became frustrated because as usual, we seemed to miss out on all the fine musicians. eg. I don’t think the late Arthur Rubinstein ever performed in Asia. I came close to actually seeing my dreams come true and even received a reply from the city mayor who informed me that if the concert materialized, he would invite me to the performance. (Sadly, the concert never happened.)

However, Sergei’s manager told me that my sister could attend his concert. She was studying overseas and received a complimentary ticket for his performance. What I would have done to switch places with her.

My communication with Sergei and his family continued throughout the years and finally east met west at a neighbouring island where he performed in a recital. That was 5 years after I started writing to Sergei. Imagine having so much to say and ask over the years, and yet – when I was finally at the backstage, somehow, those words failed to come out. It was a dream come true.

I kept in touch with Sergei and his family. Letters became fewer when I went abroad for my tertiary education. I remember receiving a video cassette so I could see his recorded performances. I’ve also received cassettes since I couldn’t find them in any of the local stores. (Today,.. thank God for iTunes.)

Today, after 15 years, I still keep in touch with them. I still read the latest reviews etc…

So, why am I so excited for my travel next year? Well, …east will meet west again. It’s another long wait but it will be worth it.