Archive for the ‘stories’ Category


losing my balance

In stories on August 20, 2007 by carinasuyin

I think I have a crush on Mr. Son Goku.

He really reminds me of the anime character, what with his hairstyle, comic personality, youthfulness and that big bright smile! He also has the most beautiful nose and a tan that is utterly scrumptious. He almost looks like a manga persona brought to life. Sorry, I’m repeating myself. Sigh… The way he throws my focus off-kilter with his casual remarks and funny antics and yet somehow exude this aura of grounded-ness and humility that I can’t help feeling really safe and comfortable around him – that’s just unfair because he’s making me feel amazingly pathetic. Wait, no… what’s more pathetic? My heart rate on the treadmill’s monitor actually jumps by ten beats per minute when he comes and talk to me. Oh, Mr. Son Goku goes bowling with his dad too! Will somebody please slap me so that this silly grin doesn’t get permanently etched onto my face? I don’t want to turn into a muppet.

Alas, this sweet feeling will probably not last long, as with my luck (or the lack of) with men, Mr. Son Goku will soon be revealed to be happily attached with a girlfriend, happily married or happily gay. Okie, I believe there is a good chance that he is straight as he wears his earring on his left ear. Is that assumption outdated? If he turns out to be not available, I’d probably wish he was gay to begin with. What are the odds for him to be happily interested in me? Oh dear… try balancing on a rubber hemisphere and realise that it is more than your balance that you’re losing…



and the boys grew up

In love,stories on July 9, 2007 by carinasuyin

As toAdie and Rose exchanged their marriage vows, I was widening my eyes in an attempt to not shed tears. Such depth of meaning in just a string of simple words. Marriage vows never fail to get to me… Heartiest congratulations to the new couple – Mr and Mrs Ang Peng Hoe!!

The last time we emceed together was Teacher’s Day in school back in 1998. Rashid was his usual confident self while I was pretty nervous from feeling super rusty. Pohf happily reassured Mrs Yong that she had never knew a moment when I had ran out of things to say. Great. Rashid’s golden wisecracks did not fail us that night. Reunited at Rose and toAdie’s wedding with wireless microphones, lame Live Earth comments and with less than an hour to sync our emceeing mojos before the dinner begun, we apparently did a great job! Woohoo… what a relief!

I’m a twit for true love. You could see it acknowledged in the eyes of Rose and toAdie’s family and relatives, their best friends and their wedding guests. Most beautifully, you can see its radiance on the celebrated couple’s faces. You don’t always notice it so significantly at weddings but when you do, your heart cannot help but feel like it contains the warmth of a thousand rising suns. A glowing joy that remains long after the bottles are emptied, the party lights dimmed out and tired friends sent home. It is indeed a blessing to be witness to such lovely people and moments…

Photo credit: Rashid’s Flickr!


just smile and wave, boys

In stories on April 8, 2007 by carinasuyin

Imagine this:

A car cuts suddenly into your lane without signaling, causing you to hit the brakes and blast the car horn. The driver shows you his middle finger and proceeds to road hog by driving at 60 kmph when everyone on the road are going at least at 80. Instead of yelling expletives and getting all mad with him, you coolly reach for the beloved gadget on your dashboard. It looks just like any ordinary car alarm remote except that on the blue and red buttons were the gender signs for male and female. You aim the remote at the car in front and press the red Mars button, emitting two cute little beeps. You proceed to overtake the car and as you pass it, you flash its driver your sweetest smile and perhaps a little wave. A few seconds later, you glance at your rear view mirror and notice a panicked look on the idiot behind. You place the BallShrinker 24 back on your dashboard and remark aloud how lovely the skies are today!

Note: The BallShrinker 24 shrinks the testicles of male targets and only one breast of female ones. Temporary shrinkage remains in effect for only 24 hours, sizes and function return to normal thereafter. Studies have shown that testicle shrinkage in males promotes more blood flow to the brains as well as cause temporary erectile dysfunction. Besides its pyschological effect on the ego and pride, there are no reported significant side-effects on female targets. According to road transport authorities, courtesy and alertness levels among road users increased by 50% especially among those zapped more than three times in a month. Non-fatal vehicle accidents attributed to road rage and bad driving habits decreased by 20% since the introduction of the gadget. However, illegal use of the BallShrinker 24 on dumb politicians and alleged abuse of the gadget by jilted lovers are being investigated. Hailed as possibly the most useful invention of the century, the BallShrinker 24 continues to revolutionize the way we drive.


so won’t jadi

In stories on March 23, 2007 by carinasuyin

When he said he will take me camping, I burst out laughing. Oh gosh… Adrian’s prophecy at Arab Street, I thought. Sure, I said without hesitation. I was after all a Girl Guide for three years and a Ranger for two. I had attended camps where the camp commandants were retired military personnel with a delight for torture, where a toilet meant a hole somewhere behind the bushes or a mouldy broken cement slab in a shack and you had to eat the rice you cooked although it is actually half cooked (because the fire died halfway and the most luxurious thing you have to eat it with was soya sauce). A camp veteran by 15, I remember most fondly, camps where they made you sit alone for hours in the virgin jungle in pitch darkness and contemplate the meaning of life while making a circle of salt around you so those pesky bloodsuckers won’t get you, where you come home after a week, looking and feeling like a toad because they made you camp by the riverbank and became feast for the sandflies, and where you march through swamps in search of wild boars and hack through bamboo thickets in orienteering exercises. Yup, I’m definitely no stranger to camping and all that back-to-nature stuff. Yeah, that will be fun. Where are we going?

The barbeque was delicious. How sweet of him to bring marinaded chicken wings, some marshmallows and even sambal for the fish we had caught and cooked. He said he made the marinade and the sambal himself. A vision of Mama nodding her head in approval appeared before me in the fire and I waved it away frantically with my carcinogenic marshmallow on a satay stick. The stars twinkled brightly and for a moment, I swore I heard them sigh. We chatted the night away till all that was left of the fire were embers glowing softly like fireflies in the sand.

I snuggled into my sleeping bag. He asked me if I was cold. No, I’m cosy, I said. You truly are, cosy COSY, he whispered. Alamak, he is corny too… what more can I ask for? He pulled himself nearer, so close I could feel his breath upon my nose. The stars would have sighed another time while we kiss had I not…

“Nooooo… sorry, erm… we can’t do this.”
“Why, what’s wrong?”
“Nope, we can’t. It’ll be just be salah. So the salah.
“Oh OK, it’s that Catholic thing, huh?”
“No, no… no hanky-panky here. We’ll offend somebody.”
“There’s nobody else around. We’re alone here.”
“We’ll offend some datuk, semangat, or penunggu… you know?”
Datuk? Grandfather? Your grandfather’s here on Pulau Ubin?”
“No, no, not mine. Nobody’s! It’s just called a datuk lah…
“You’re real funny, in a weird way. It’s endearing. Which is why I…”
“Really one! I’m serious. Believe me, I’ve seen how angry datuks wreak havoc on campsites and campers the morning after. Trust me, we should just get some sleep. Nite!”
“Huh? Wha…? Err… O-K, nnnnite…”

Hmm… that is what will probably happen if someone asks me out on a camping date, so I don’t think a guy who takes me camping is gonna make it, Adrian!
Thanks for the suggestion though, hee…


whimsical offerings

In love,stories on January 31, 2007 by carinasuyin

It was a beautiful afternoon, one that reminded me of gorgeous summer ones in Aalen. Into the bookstore I went, leaving the warmth behind the glass doors and headed straight towards the fiction area. I stopped in front of the M row and scanned the shelves for Murakami. Aahh, here we go! I picked up the only copy of The Elephant Vanishes available and looked through the titles of the short stories inside. ‘On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morning’* was the title of the story that Kit wanted me to read.

A sad story, don’t you think?
Yes, that’s it, that is what I should have said to her.

With those last lines, I closed the book and leaned against the bookshelf. A huge grin appeared on my face, and from ear to ear it widened, threatening to transform me into one of Jim Henson’s muppets. I spilled out onto Orchard Road among a sea of pedestrians, the grin still on my face but in more normal proportions. Crossing the road as the pedestrian traffic lights blinked 18, 17, 16… I thought of why I never saw or remembered how my 100% perfect guy looked like in my dreams (and how it did not matter at all, not knowing while dreaming). Then I am reminded of the movie Turn Left, Turn Right and that Polish poem* in it. Somewhere between recalling the name of the poet and Takeshi Kaneshiro, I got lost making up a fictitious story about a boy and a girl who trade favourite passages from books as declarations of love across a distance, before finally snapping back into reality as I avoided a near collision with a guy in front of me.

Like the movie and the poem, the story aches with the possibility of a fairytale, a hope embedded in hearts wreathed with loneliness, more than they would ever care to admit. On this busy pedestrian crossing, as strangers traded glances in the briefest of moments, one can picture a bunch of stray thought bubbles born of different owners with the same longing, taking flight in the cool breeze of a sun-drenched afternoon. Like orphaned helium balloons, higher and higher they climb till appearing no more than just speckles of grey among cotton candy clouds. That possibility to some, may be a mere fantasy, yet to many, it is most certainly worthy of belief.

*On seeing the 100% perfect girl one beautiful April morningin The Elephant Vanishes, a collection of short stories by Haruki Murakami
and Love at First Sight,
a poem by Polish poet Wislawa Szymborska.


we shall not forget

In stories,wanderlust on December 29, 2006 by carinasuyin

The walking trail winds along the fringe of the Kwae Noi Valley, dipping and climbing with the topography of the terrain. Punctuated by embankments and cuttings, the gravel path is serenely surrounded by lush groves of bamboo on both sides, rustling like huge windchimes each time a gust of wind swirls across the forest. Walking along the gravel path, remnants of the railway track can still be seen- weatherworn wooden planks and rusty steel frames or tools. The air is cool and the breeze plays peek-a-boo with the graceful bamboo branches, affording breathtaking views of the valley framed by majestic trees with backlit leaves in the morning sun.

A view so calm and beautiful, it must have really hurt in the mornings.

The forest is breezy and sun-drenched but the air feels somewhat heavy. Often I couldn’t help but gaze into the bamboo forest on my right and wonder how many unmarked graves are still out there belonging to unnamed Asian labourers, Japanese soldiers and Allied POWs. Many of those who perished in the construction and maintenance of the Burma-Thailand Death Railway, built to facilitate the Japanese Imperial Army’s march towards India during World War II, died at an age younger than me.

Beyond the Konyu Cutting which is known as the Hellfire Pass, Read More »


wet cats and rusty bicycles

In kindred,recollections,stories on November 11, 2006 by carinasuyin

“It’s coming! Shhhh… OK OK… go get ready at the other door. Hurry!”
The lazy feline sauntered along the longkang, oblivious to the little feet that scurried behind the walls and drops of water haphazardly dripping across the floor with mischief.

“One… two…. SPLASHHH!!”
Caught by surprise, the drenched cat jumped and sped off along the wall with a loud wailing Meowwwwwwww and just as expected, it turned a right corner at the end of the wall just before the rubber processing shed, towards door number two.

“One… two… SPLASHHH!!”
The meowing siren veered off at another right angle, this time darting across the backyard towards the rubber trees. Startled chickens, ducks and geese burst into a cacophony of noises that was joined in chorus by hoots and shouts as the two kids fell on the kitchen floor laughing, water scoop and pot clanging in victory.

“Ah Mekkkkkkk! Mai ak niao ahh! Kam khong ohhh… Tan jit ae lok ho, waipo sa buay ta ahhh!!! (Ah Mekkkkkkk, do not wet the cat! Goodness, Grandmother’s clothes will not get dry if it rains later!!!) ”
Little feet hurriedly drag rag cloths across the floor, soaking up mini puddles of water before disappearing out of sight as a plump old lady came in through door number one with a basket of freshly plucked sweet potato leaves.

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