Thursday, January 28, 2010

Holiday Breakfast

Waking up early on my last morning on Koh Tunsai (Rabbit Island), off coast Kep in southern Cambodia, I went for a walk and a dip in the ocean, enjoying the morning serenity of this already quiet little island. When I returned, I was starving.

I sat down on the bamboo platform at one of the rustic restaurants along the beach, facing the ocean. I ordered fried rice with crab and 'cafe dakko tek kok' (coffee with condensed milk and ice).

While waiting, I had my eyes on the calm sea. Then I saw the waiter dashing into the sea and picked up 2 baskets. From the basket he fished out a couple of crabs, palm-size, and hurried back into the kitchen.

"My breakfast?" I wondered.

Fried rice with crab at 8.50 in the morning by the sea. That ain't bad at all.

The crabs were shelled, that I must add.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Fruit Sludge

When I ordered a mango shake during lunch, I was looking forward to a glass of icy cold mango juice with crushed ice, as it was hot out there. In fact it was super hot since 10 in the morning already as I was roaming around the temples in Angkor. I was desperate for something cold, pronto! I was on my second cigarette, and my motor driver already downed half of his icy coke. I was almost dying of thirst.

Truth be told, I was a little annoyed.

After waiting for like an eternity, what I got for ordering a mango shake, was a glass of thick gooey dense yellow pulpy sludge, a glass of refreshingly pure mango sweetness and flavor and goodness, no sugar, no coloring, no water, no ice even! I actually had to asked for the ice separately.
It was so thick and gooey that the straw was stuck unmoved.

It was so dense that the ice cubes I pushed down to the bottom of the glass stayed down at the bottom of the glass.

It was so sludgy that it was quite a drag sucking through the straw.

Cooling and refreshing, hosing down the fire of anger within me. I was again a happy camper!

I turn around to the shop owner and said: "Som tuh, muay tiet. Ock kun" (Please, one more. Thank you.) with a huge smile across my face.

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Deja Vu

Losing a parent after a battle with cancer, how is that like? I can't even begin imagine.

At times, God is cruel. He hit the repeat button on my friend R. And now the dad is gone too, giving in cancer as well.

It's time like this I question God. How could the ever merciful become so merciless?

R looked tired. He told us about the last few months of his dad. How the cancer had taken over about 2 month ago, his dad becoming forgetful, violent mood swings, losing his coordination, losing his bodily function, losing his memory, losing his mind, losing himself. He talked about how he fed his dad through a tube. He talked the different drugs the doctor prescribed, the treatment side effect. He talked about the decision they had to make, as to prolong his dad's life or prolong his death. He was very composed, very plainly, very in control, as the R that we know all along. But at times sadness just overwhelmed him, his voice almost cracked, his eyes welled up a little. We listened, closely and quietly.

I remember meeting his dad the last time, back in Mar last year. He was a tall old man, with a stern face and a deep voice, able and coherent. Nine months later he lied stiffly and cold in the room. Lifeless. I remember him being a lot taller. Lying there in the coffin he looked short and very thin.

Life is so unpredictable. One moment it's strong and full of energy, the next it is so fragile and vulnerable. The time with our parents and our loved ones must be cherished and celebrated fully, before it's too late. We never know how much time we have.

Thursday, January 21, 2010

Old Man Weekend

3 weeks plus away from home, my place been collecting a not-so-thin veil of dust all over. But after 2 weeks home, I finally got my act together to scrub down the place last weekend. So, I'm looking forward to this weekend, just to stay home, enjoying the spotless room, even walking on the freshly mopped floor feels wonderfully good. The tiled floor is silky smooth and baby-skin soft to the touch of my feet. After the place is thoroughly cleaned, I like just simply sitting in the living room, sipping wine and reading, letting the weekend slips by lazily.

Well maybe I'll also sort out the thousands of photographs from my recent trip and update the tunes on my IPOD and even a bit of baking.

I'm so happy to stay home this weekend.

I think I'm just getting old.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

I Need

I need new pair of glasses. My Oakley now is about 4 years old already. The coating on the frame is peeling horribly. The rubber sheaths along the temple arms were so deteriorated from sweat that I removed and binned them like a year ago.

I need a pair of sun glasses. I don’t have one. Come to think of it, I never own a pair. My recent trip on a boat from Battambang to Siem Reap confirmed the paramount importance of owning a pair on the road. Plus I think I’d look really cool with a pair of RayBan aviator.

I need a new pair of speedo. Yes, speedo. I’m an avid swimmer. Swimming is my cardio workout. Swimmers wear speedo when we swim. We do have boardies, but that are for hanging out at the beach or the pool. But when we go to the pool, we don’t hang out there, we swim, so we need speedo. My speedo is falling apart. I need speedo.

I need a new hand phone. I’m currently using a double hand-me-downer: my brother-in-law handed it down to my sister, then my sister handed it down to me. The screen no longer lit up. The screen is crack. The battery is practically dying.

I need a pair of slippers. They've been logging probably thousands of miles over the past 2 years. Furthermore, they had been taking quite a lot of beating during my recent trip to Cambodia. I think they are ready to call it a day any day now.

I need a pair of black shoes, for work. Something simple but formal. I need an alternate to my current brown Geox, which I quite like, the color and design but they are not exactly comfortable and properly made.

So, I need new pair of glasses, I need a pair of sun glasses, I need a new pair of speedo, I need a new hand phone. I need a pair of slippers, I need a pair of black shoes.

I need, I need, I need.

Actually, I need speedo. The rest, they are more like I want.

Oh I know what else I need. I need to clean my apartment!

Saturday, January 09, 2010

And So This Was Christmas

And so this was Christmas.

We had music and singing and dancing.
We had presents!

Their faces beaming with surprise and joy when getting their presents were pricelessly precious and truly magical, melting hearts and flooding the room with love. It was indeed a season to be jolly and time to celebrate love. As cliche and corny as it was, it's true you know, it is better to give.
And so that was our Christmas.

And yes, we had fun, so much fun.

May yours were just as wonderful.

Friday, January 08, 2010

I'm Back

More photos and stories on the way. Stick around.