Thursday, August 31, 2006

James and Joakim Gomez

I was online chatting with a couple of kids when someone suddenly brought up the topic of Singapore Idol. Since the television was switched on, I flopped over to the television to catch the results.

I reached the telly just into to see a couple of snippets of clips of Joakim. My sis saw it too and commented, "So byebye James!". Who the heck is James? (I know I love the name James, but I didn't understand why my sister said James.) "Isn't he Joakim?" I asked very very surprised. I thought my sister was more into Singapore Idol than me. Well, anyone would be more into Singapore Idol than me very easily since I don't have any interest in stupid competitions on teevee that suck money out from the viewers from telephone voting.

After that, I didn't remember anything much about the incident until I started talking to my sister about Singapore Idol again. She was reading 8 Days, there was this so called "open letter" calling people not to vote for Joakim, so I mentioned to my sister that I didn't think that sort of media manipulation of the fans' votings is very ethical. After some talks with her, she brought up the name "James" once again. And once again, I gave her that quizical look.

My sis then turned the pages of the magazine to the Singapore Idol column and traced down to his name "Joakim Gomez". Mumbling "Joakim Gomez", she suddenly exclaimed, "No wonder!"

"James Gomez!"

OMG... That person who uttered those words is my sister. It's snowing~ diaoz...

More Blushes, And My Inadequacies

It wasn't too long ago that it happened that last time. It's all chronicled here, and well, sad to say, it's becoming a norm for Joan.

I'm bad at faces, names, remembering people, recognising people, all this coupled with my total lack of social skills and my brain not working, I made another boohoo last night. I really don't know why, but in drama, I can do improvisation perfectly all right, but remove me from that setting I cannot come up with any good come back lines, unless it's a pick up line before. I'm so good at retorting bad pick up lines, but if it's a normal conversation, or a "you don't remember me" line, I'm at a total lost.

Just for little fun facts, my most most favourite come back line to a damn stupid pick up line is as such:
him: 小姐,一个人吗?(Miss, are you alone?)
me: 你看不到我旁边的那个人吗?(Can't you see the person beside me?)
Do not attempt this during the seventh month though.

Okay, I've successfully went totally off course from the topic at hand today, what happened yesterday night?

I was alone after the Chinese Drama Performance, which disappointed me quite a bit. I wanted to leave early, so I left straight after and did not mingle with the rest of them. I did not want to see her. Oh well... Since I left early, I was alone. It's not anything bad being alone, nor anything different since I go to school and go home alone every single day. Anyway, the point is that I'm alone at 9.30pm in Kent Ridge Terminal. I'd like to be alone.

Usually the trick is that I'd not look into the eyes of anyone and nobody will look at me, and nobody will come and talk to me. I tried that last night when I saw a seemingly familiar face. I tried to get engrossed in my handphone although I had nothing to do with it. I don't know why, but I reactively lifted my head. Big Mistake. That face looked towards my direction. Our eyes very briefly met. I panicked and instintively looked away.

I think my body actions showed very clearly that I can't remember who that person is although I find him familiar and I think some of my body actions was telling him to go away and ignore me. But he turned and walked towards my direction. Oh my god... I almost freaked out from fright and panic. In my fright, I hastily mumbled a "hello" with almost no feelings at all. Usually at this case, a wave and a "hi" would be adequate as a reply, right? I hoped it was.

Instead, he walked towards me. I think he could tell that I can't remember him, so he asked me "You don't remember me right?" I was so damn paiseh. I was like shouting out "of course" in my mind, but that's so rude so I think I mumbled something like he was "familiar" so something like that. My mind was so totally not in use that I don't even know what I said.

Thankfully, I think he felt that I was indeed very piseh enough for him to spare me from further agony. He then launched a series of questions hoping to remind me of who he was.
him: You remember when you were in year 1?
me: Wah... That was so long ago.
him: You remember there's the Arts Camp?
me: Yea?
him: The SP thing. Your date wasn't there, then I had to blah blah blah...
Yea... I remembered la... He was my replacement SP during the Arts Camp SP Night.

Actually, I think just as he was walking over to me the very first time, I remembered but I wasn't sure, and I didn't want to paiseh myself or him if I'd guessed wrongly, or remembered wrongly or mixed people up.

But it was not that bad once I've got the hang of conversing, and we did exchange a couple of updates. Still, never was I so relieved to see my bus arriving. Not that I don't like that senior, it's just that I think once we've run out of topics after the "how've you been", "how's school now", there'd be an awkward pause. I know something like this will happen. I've been in such situations so often that I know. Oh well... But it's not too bad ba... At least if I ever met him again I think I won't panic again. erm... At least for the next couple of weeks or as long as my puny brain serves me, I hope.

Should I talk a bit about that senior? Yea... Now that I remembered, he was a senior, one year above me, Arts Fac one. Of course what, Arts Camp, so must be from Arts what. He was a senior because my SP for some reason I cannot remember was not there, and to make up numbers, some seniors were made to be replacement SPs, and I got one of those replacement ones. Not that my SP was faulty and I needed a replacement. diaoz... I'm so lame that I cannot walk now.

Let me see what can I remember of him... I can't even remember his name. omg... Think it's Gerald or Jerald, or Jer-something, I think. If he hadn't changed his major, probably political science? Or is it history? Or economics? He's a year older, so probably doing honours now... hmm... Don't think I actually remember much now to think of it.

Ah well, human-human interaction is this interesting. You meet someone new one day but never meet again. Then out of the blue you meet that person again. And so many other kinds of meeting people around. But then hor... I think I still prefer not to want to put myself in such awkward situations again. It's so scary.

Next time, if anyone sees me, and I look like I don't recognise or remember you, hmm... I don't know how to lessen the awkwardness leh... If I call you to ignore me like I damn dao like that, right? I guess, try not to ask me if I remember you or not ba... Just ask those usual "how are you", then in between conversations, I probably can remember you, I hope.

At least, for this occasion, and this other occasion, I did know who those people were just that I was't sure and I didn't want anybody to feel paiseh.

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Subway's Doubletake

I thought the first time was something I'd overlooked, maybe I'd seen wrongly. After all, nothing went wrong the second time, but sad to say, third time as with the first time, I'm sure there's something wrong. Either wrong with me, or wrong with the stupid Subway staff.

The first time, some time back, I visited Subway in NUS for the very first time. It might be because it was night, I was in some pretty clothes and carry a handbag bag. I ordered my food and went to the counter, and the person there asked for my student card. If I hadn't remembered wrongly, that cashier hadn't asked ANY one before me to show him their student card, so why me? At first I thought I remembered wrongly and he did asked everyone to show him their student card. Or maybe, it was my dressing, or my bag. I clearly did not look like a student. I treated that first experience as a fluke.

The second time at Subway, I did not carry a bag, just my wallet. Actually I was merely buying food for a friend, not even for myself. The person merely asked if I was a student and didn't ask for my card. I thought maybe it was just that first staff being more stingent, or maybe that person just didn't like the look of me. bah~

Just about half and hour ago, I went to Subway in NUS for the third time.

That stupid worker asked for my card after asking if I were a student! What crap?!! There I was, clearly in my school clothes, except that I had a shawl draped around me, carry my sturdy adidas bag with lots of stuff inside, and that crap asked for my student card.

Not just that that made me angry, what made me so darn angry was that three people I noticed before me holding my turn up were not asked for their student cards. What big crap?!! Clearly this is an act of discrimination. If not, then I've no idea what to say regarding that prick of a cashier. If she asked everyone before me and me, fine. But if she hadn't ask those people before me, then why me? Why me alone? It's not fair.

hai... Nothing is fair. darn... But it's clearly discrimination. And this is the sort of discrimination that she and other staff are able to get away with. hai...

Or maybe it's just me. Despite what some cute freshies think, I still appear to look old, more like staff or guests than student. hai... Why am I still lying to myself that I'm forever 20 years old?

If you guys are observant enough, you'd notice that I'd removed my age at the side column. I'm slowly trying to erase all signs online of my actual age and claim I'm 20 years old not matter how much time has passed. Every year I shall celebrate my 20th birthday. hai... The first sign of aging women is when they start falsifying their ages. Yes, that's me.

It's sad, but I guess it's hu(wo)man nature.

Really, I'd give anything to be able to celebrate my 20th birthday every year. Even after when I reincarnate, or the chance to live life again, I want to be 20 every year. Skip the baby ages and the children and the teen ages and head straight into the 20 year old more than a girl but not really a woman age. And stay that age forever till I pass away.

When I was 20, I was of the perfect size, living the nice and relaxing kind of life I'd always wanted. Although I had some pretty bad patches, but it was all worth it through the aging process. I was matured. I knew things. I was in between the innocent years and the seen through everything experience. Oh man...

If only, I could turn back time. If only, I can live like this forever. If only...

I can sort of foresee myself that instead of seeing myself growing old and fat and ugly, I'd do a hana-kiri, not the act but the idea. If I were a flower, I'd want myself to be plucked out and destroyed completely before I whither and wrinkle. People won't be able to remember any ugly details of me, just me at my prettiest. If it's possible, it'd be great if I were plucked from the stem and air dried, then I can remain at my glory forever.


Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Freshies Are Cute

It's a big change from just last month when I'd blog before I sleep, now I'd blog after I wake up... ah~ Anyway, I've two things to blog about today, the first being the Welcome Tea I had last night, and the second will follow in the next blog post.

Last night I went for a Welcome Tea. I don't know, but it seems that as people grow older, less would appear for such events. Maybe they are busy. But I still have so much free time on my hands that it sometimes, most of the times scare me out. With that much free time, and that much love for my club, and the chance to eat free food, and the fun to act as a freshie, I went down for the Welcome Tea. I would have wanted to help out with the preparation of food, but I had classes before and I think I'm lazy would sound appropriate here.

My lessons ended at 5pm, the Welcome Tea was at about 6pm, but I didn't want to go at 6pm on the dot, a bit paiseh... So I hanged around and met the Chinese Drama people. I helped them out for a while until the stifling environment was unbearable the I just had to leave. The Staff Club is an interesting place which I've never been in before. The receptionist was on the phone, and the place was filled with a certain nationality of people. erm... The toilets were difficult to find, so was the Aquarius Room.

I'm always amazed by the abilities of the year 2 juniors who are able to recognise me. Because I'm bad at recognition, I don't remember more than 2/3 of the year 2 batch. Even the management committee. I can even mispronounce Liang Guo's name. But the thing that never fails to amaze me is the sheer number of people whom I have no recollection of, can remember me. I thought I was a low key enough senior who don't really talk much to the juniors (yes, I have low social skills), but when I first walked into the Aquarius Room and sttod at the counter, looking at somebody whom I don't know, he looked surprised and asked why I was there. Even with my lame "I'm a freshie" he just saw though me. But it was a good thing I was there last night as I got to know the juniors, freshies and year 2s much better.

I met Timothy there. That stupid guy really thought that I joined the club only in my third year. But also damn kanasai because in him being there, I didn't dare to label myself as a freshie. Instead, I just conveniently left out introducing my year to everyone else. And I joined in with the freshies and played games~ It's been so long since I played stupid games like this. Okay, it's not stupid, it's interactive, and it makes you remember other people's names. Which would be very useful to me, I hope. lol~

Tim was mentioning to me about the great mix of nationalities of people in the club. I guess this is normal, in most clubs in NUS, there'd be lots of other people around, but I think at the end of the day, most of the committee roles will be filled up by the locals. After all, most organising and plannign of stuff are conducted during the holidays and many foreigners would put going back home a higher priority than organising stuff for club. Of course, there'd be still some plucky people who are willing to do so, and it's really commendable of them, but they are also those who would assimilate into the local culture. hmm... Interesting phenomenom, I guess...

Now on to the main point of cute freshies. After the games, there was the food and interaction part of the Welcome Tea. Seniors and juniors can mingle over food and drinks and dessert. Because I lack of social skills, I used the time to catch up with the old friends of mine. It's nice to talk to those people after being away for so long. And good luck to Stephanie for you exchange programme~ Again, back to where I was trying to head at. A cute freshie. I met this really cute freshie who, get ready for this, said she thought I was a freshie!!! wahaha~ Really nursed my ego for me~ But when the other oldies heard this, all of them game me the diaoz face. And when I told my daddie this after I got home, he made a fake vomit. bah~ I worked so hard to act like a freshie all over again and everyone else just puts me down. lol~

I guess, well, I'm reaching an age when from now on, my age will be a secret. I'll be 21 every year, wait, I think 20 every year is better, then I every year underage. Okay, next year I shall celebrate my 20th year old birthday. This settles. hai... Unlike men, women don't mature with age, women lose shelf life, women lose stock value, women wither and die. And the worse thing is that women have a higher life expectancy than men. It's just now fair that we have to be old and ugly for a longer time than the men.

Another booboo that cute freshie made than made my face drop was this. We and Stanley were talking when Stanley had nothing better to do and he started to irritate me. He brought a cup filled with dessert and pushed them near me, making me have to siam that cup if not it'd get splattered all over me. And as I was trying to ignore him as far as possible, Kelly, the cute freshie asked, "Are the two of you together?" omg... This reminds me of the old funny Tv talk show, Kids Say the Darnest Things. hehehe~

Speaking of Stanley, last night Kelly brought up the issue of where we stay. I still can't remember where Stanley stays even though we went there two years, one and half years ago for Chinese New Year. This is bad. I remember Junming stays in Hougang near IMH there, but I can't remember where everyone else stays. Okay, Yingyan stays in Eunos there... Yueling stays near Stanley, but where doesn Yueling stays? bah~ My memory's getting really bad.

Next up will be Training Camp. Training Camp's on 2 and 3 September. Wubai's concert is on 2 September. By right, I can go for the camp in the morning, excuse myself at about 3 or 4pm, go home bathe, then meet Peiyi, but but but... I need to make the placard. I need to preserve my voice. I need to be pretty pretty yet wear cooling clothes to be my best at the concert. wahahaha~ Joan the fangirl~ Joan the groupie~ Joan never so crazy for anyone else~ Joan turns her nose at disgust over the Singapore Idol fangirls, is now becoming a fangirl herself.

In the Welcome Tea there was this girl who self declared that she loves Jay Chou, immediately I wrinkled my nose. I can never fathom why people can like those immatured pop idols prancing on the stage. Then I realised that this was just simply a case of generation gap. Just as my grandmother would go for a Gao Lingfeng concert, I go to my Wubai's and people like my sister will head off to Hong Junyang's. I'll just have to accept the fact that I'm old already. hai...

erm... Back to Training Camp. I really want to go for the camp leh... All the freshies like so cute like that. bah~ I'll need to plan my time again to see how ba, I guess.

Thursday, August 24, 2006


This post is in Chinese for specific reasons. Of course, there are some other people out there who are able to read Chinese and understand me, but I assure you that this is just a random thought. 我是有马来朋友的! Rozie 就是一个大大的好例子。

前天,Audrey 刚邀请了我参加一个小小的交流会,说说关于《我们的色盲》这个主题。昨天,我也相续地接受了她的邀请。今天一大早,我也已开始准备我要谈谈的重点。可是,就在一个小小,举手投足的行动下,我发现了,其实,我并没有资格谈论这个主题,因为从一开始,我就是一个已有色之眼光看待世周的人。以我这样“色”的人,我适合当学生代表发论我对这个主题的看法吗?很明显的,在新加坡,在一个如此 politically correct 的舞台上,我必须将一些非常 politically correct 的话,不然,没有不然,我根本都不能如此。

刚刚,在IVLE 上,我选了我的 group。我是怎么选我的 group 的呢?我看了其他组员的名字,选了只有华人在一个组的那个组来报名。其实,有两三个组我是可以选的。我看到的第一个组是有马来人在里头,不知为何,可能是自然反应,我立刻跳过那个组,而选了另外一个,那个整组都是华人的组。而这些华人,从名字上来开,都是新加坡人,或有少许可能是马来西亚的华人。我觉得若要跟那些人做 project 会比较好吧。

And a short note, I also chose that group because it has people from the 06 batch (1), 05 batch (2), and the 03 batch (1), so me from the 04 batch would make the set complete. hehehe~ And I think the guy from the 06 batch is an ex-classmate of mine, unless there are two people with the exact same name. And I also chose this group because there is a guy in it. A TS project is better with a guy, at least if we need people to act as males, we can get the males to do it instead of crossdressing. Mt last TS group, although we had one male, we still needed another person to crossdress. The precious males~

Males are rare in TS because of the long heard myth that men who does theatre are either gay or homosexual, okay, there's no difference between the either or, nor is there any truth to that myth, but men knowing that myth do shy off from threatre.

其实另外一个原因我是比较喜欢跟华人同一组是因为我们不会受到语言的限制。至今我们所看到的 short films 都是话语的,虽然都有附加英文字母,但如果和有异族同胞同一组,似乎我会有压力一定要做一部英文的 short film。

Maybe it's the fault of my upbringing and the schools I've attended. With a conscious mind, I can stop myself from having those thoughts, in fact, with a conscious mind, I won't even want to entertain those thoughts. But with a subconscious mind, yea... That was how I picked my group. But I still love Rozie though~ My friends are always the exceptions. On the other hand, I've heard some bad experience from friends who had to do projects with PRCs.

hmm... I'm supposed to be have gone on SEP, did project with a German and a black (I've no idea where he's from), so I'm supposed to be more enlightened regarding these matters, but why after coming back to NUS, these 分别s still nag at me?

Okay, I think I shall keep my offending remarks until here, though I've no mean to offend anyone. Hence all the slightly, possibly might be offending words are in Chinese. For those who aren't Chinese who are able to understand those, I really don't mean any harm. The whole choosing of groups thought process happened within 3 seconds flat.

And I am ashamed of myself. Or am I? Actually, I don't know...

Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Hello, Do You Know Me?

"Hello, do you know me?"

No, that's not the latest pick up line used one me, but it's something that I always think of when someone, vaguely familiar waves at me.

I'm very bad a recognising faces, remembering people, or names, or where I've met them. In short, I've bad memory. I'm too lazy to remember things, people included. It always seems very much easier for people to remember me and pick my face out from a sea of people to say hi. But one thing bad, is that, well, it does feel very awkward some times, well, actually, most of the times.

I was at YIH the other day having dinner. Okay, I was snacking while waiting for time to pass, so I was alone and reading my manga when this person walked passed me, took a double take, turned to my direction and waved. My first thought, as always when someone waves in my direction, was that perhaps there was someone behind me. I don't know why, but this is always my first thought when someone waves in my direction. Maybe I just feel inferior, and have low regards of myself, or maybe I'm just paiseh. But that was my first thought, and I tried to smile and act as natural as possible that I can go either way, without feeling paiseh at all.

Usually, in such a circumstance, the person would either say hi, just smile and continue walking, but I guess with me being alone, it was an open invitation. He walked up to me. And I panicked, as I searched through my short memories for some recollection of that person walking to me. But my mind blanked out. I realise that despise me being so extroverted at times, I can be an introvert when I'm alone. And I totally lack adequate social skills that might save me from such an uncalled for situation.

The other times I ran into situations like this, I'd smile and probably engage in some mindless small talk like "How've you been doing?" or "Where are you heading for?". And these such small talks always allow me to get away with not needing to remember who those people are, and sometimes in those small talks, they might just as well reveal who they are without needing me to ask, or feel at all awkward. I hate feeling awkward. And worse still, I might make the other party feel awkward. Then there'd be two awkward people and I cannot imagine what I'd do or say the next time I meet that person again.

But that guy completely took me by surprised. "Eh, you remember me or not?" What the heck? As if my body language has not given me away yet. Okay, he might have noticed the body language and hence that question, but why make me feel so awkward?

By then, I did thought of where I might have seen that face before, but I wasn't too sure about it. Deciding between making myself feel and look paiseh, and making the both of us paiseh, I decided that one person's pain and agony is enough. "Eh..." I replied.

"You can't remember me?" Yes, I can't remember, so can you quit making me feel more terrible than I already am? diaoz... Please people, read body language. If someone appears visably paiseh, can you please just not make things worse? wahaha~

Granted, I did guess to myself that he might be the guy from Munchie Monkey, a cafe in YIH I frequent, but haven't seen him there the last time I was at Munchie after I came back. But I was really scared that my guess was wrong. If I guessed wrongly, it would be really so damn damn paiseh.

He finally released me from my agony and announced that he was indeed that guy from Munchie Monkey. In my distressed state, I was only able to mumble a "Oh yar hor..." Oh man... I think I really totally lack of social skills when I'm caught unprepared. Throw me in Munchie where I might meet him, I can engage in any kind of small talk, but remove that setting and put me in somewhere I'm so unfamiliar with, I'll die. In my haste of not knowing what to do in such an awkward situation, I hurriedly excused myself and left him. *shakes head at myself*

Yes, I'm a total loser.

Actually I wanted to head to Munchie Monkey that night to get the Italian Chocolate Cake which I have been craving for ever since I can remember, and I wanted to finally get it that night. In the end, thoughts of meeting him there and feeling paiseh all over again, sort of satiated my cravings for it.

How ah now? I don't dare go in Munchie Monkey again leh... But I miss the Italian Chocolate Cake there... wahaha~ Please people, especially if I frequent your eatery, please don't put me in an awkward spot. I really hate it~ Okay, not just regarding eateries, if I look like I can't remember you, please remind me (unobviously) who you are.

Thank you. *runs off and hides my face again*

Monday, August 21, 2006

What I'm Busying Myself With

I'm not a busy person, in fact, I've more time on my hands than I need. Usually, in those periods, I'd be blogging more frequently and have lengthier posts, but recently, I haven't been blogging that much. I guess it's a something to do with rough patch 2.0. I stopped blogging about intimate details of my life because of self censorship. I stopping blogging dumb food or outing posts laden with pictures because it's dumb. I stopped writing because I'm afraid of being too emotionally naked or some people stealing my ideas. As such, I'm starting to produce crap blog entries.

If friends have noticed, I'm less often online lately too. The main reason being I've been sleeping early recently. I've been sleeping at about 11-12 at night recently, no later than midnight. I've also been waking up early too. about 7-9 in the morning depending on what time is my lessons, but usually I'm wide awake naturally by 8.20am. Well then, no more nighttime onlining for me.

Also, I've been re-reading my whole collection of Detective Conan manga, all 1-54 volumes. That have been occupying all my time. After finishing Detective Conan (I'm at volume 54 now), I'll read Ouran High School Host Club (I've bought it but not opened them yet), and followed by Tsubasa: Reservior Chronicles (I've read 1-12, bought 13, and 14, but will read them all 1-14 in sequence to see what I've previously missed out and compare it with the anime which I've already watched on youtube), Full Metal Alchemist (read 1-4, bought but not read 5 and 6, will read them all again). Then I'll continue with my scanlations, with xxxholic (I've finished volume 3, will have to complete them all soon), and will start on scanlations which I haven't read yet, one of them is Gakuen Alice, and this Hockey Club manga I don't know the English title of, but I read on the forum is quite funny.

Speaking of Gakuen Alice, I watched the entire anime series of it on youtube, all 26 episodes, but 1-16 was English subbed and 17-26 was Chinese subbed. I was scrolling around Wikipedia and read the synopsis, thought it was pretty interesting despite the characters being stupid dumb 10-year-olds. The anime turned out to be funny and nice, but many questions left unanswered, so I'll be reading the scanlations once I've cleared the whole lot of manga I'm currently reading.

Some time in between I hope to write another piece of fanfiction on my current obsession Akai Shuichi whom I call fondly call Shu. It will not be about 16-page piece, but a more decent short story. I'm still deciding if I should do a Shiho (Sherry) or Akemi piece. James said his girlfriend died, so it might be Akemi, but I don't know leh... Also, it might be probably if Sherry likes Conan/Shinichi, but I don't know leh... Or maybe I'll write a ShinichiXKaito piece. bah~

All these and I still got my halfwritten Scarlet Flight somewhere. And if I want to get my book published, I'll need to compile my whole series for Prozac Nation. And, another and, I've so many ands, I recently was thinking about something else for a discussion, and remembered that I once plotted an outline of a story titled "Gina". I think Gina is a story that follows the Joan style of writing, and it'd make a great novel after I manage to complete Scarlet Flight. I must go dig out my manuscript of the outline of Gina. And if I remember correctly, I wrote a poem for Gina too, must go dig that out. I must talk more about Gina another day. And maybe if I'm happy, I should put up some excerpts of Scarlet Flight soon. bah~ I think I should get my butt cracking and actually complete Scarlet Flight. That's me the juggler again, with so many balls and just two hands.

Anyway, I just hope whatever I'm doing will help me to pull through rough patch 2.0. Rest assured, once I'm rested, I'll be back in my usual state.

b r o k e n

Turning Back 回望来时路

She turned back. What she saw was no longer that glamour that had once attracted her so deeply that she still harboured hopes of, but instead what was left was a pile of debries, nothing much left to be desired. She did not know what she was more disappointed with, herself or the other party. She turned, and left in the other direction. Somewhere inside her thought, perhaps if she had not see the leaves falling, the tree he had once knew might still be in its full glory in her memories, but now, what she can only remember is one twisted with ugliness.

It was more than two years ago since she first set her eyes upon him. Over the years, she saw him grow, and also saw him decay, but the change was gradual, and she had not noticed the change, but now, suddenly looking back at the past, the change was too shocking for her to take it. This was not what she first set her eyes upon. She recoiled in disgust. Maybe what she was in love with was not him, but her image of him her had in her mind.

She thought after a long part that their reunion would be a sweet one, one that would rekindle her love of him, but she was starkly wrong. In an age some time ago, perhaps that stark difference might disappoint her, disappoint her glorious image she had of him, but in an age of which the green monster had consumed her, this was perhaps a much better twist of fate. She was glad that he had transformed from a prince to a pauper during the missing years, and glad that the opportunity cost of her losing of him was greatly reduced. Life was not that all bad to her.

She stared hard and deep into his cold eyes yet saw no recognition. It pained her to think that those eyes once belonged to a person so close to her. It now displayed no tinge of affection that was once characteristic of him over her. If looks could kill, she would have been pierced through the heart a dozen times, blood would flow a river from those stab wounds. And it was not as if if gaze was that intense because it was not, and it was because there was no intensity in his gaze that caused that injury to her. She really wanted to see those familiar eyes again, just once more would be enough.

The Dream 梦

I had a dream last night. Very vivid, and it instilled a sense of fear and disappointment in me, but yet, it answered none of my questions.

In the dream, I had a good friend whom I liked, but in a twist of fate, he had started a relationship with another girl a la My Best Friend's Wedding. Don't ask me how I got to know the background story before the dream started proper. I just happened to know all these details in the dream.

The dream started with me having a meal with the friend, talking and chatting, but the friend seemed different from the friend I once knew. Now, he was more distanced, more subdued, more careful with him words with me. I hated it. And because of the changes in him, I hated his girlfriend. I tried to hint to him my feelings for him, but all the hints were not picked up. I even bought this pair of dolls which looked like us which I wanted to give him, but in the end I didn't. I had wanted to give him the doll which looks like me and keep the one which looks like him.

After the meal, I decided to go back to my room. Usually I'd be escorted back to my room, but this time he didn't do so. After going back to my room and threw the dolls under my bed. I left my room door open, hoping to see him pass by me once again. And he did. Only that he wasn't alone, he was with his girlfriend and they were acting intimate. I took a stab and the doll which looked like him. Another friend of mine who knew that I liked the first friend came to console me. He even wanted to go up to the first friend to tell him straight my feelings for him, but I was against it.

I don't know why, but the next scene was a close up of the girlfriend. She was sitting on a bench by the side of a wall. I was observing her. I wanted to see what kind of girl she was for the friend to like her. She was of average height, somewhere between 1.60 to 1.65 metres, average size 50 to 55 kilograms. She had a fair complexion, with several red spots on the sides of the face and a slight acne scar but she still looked good with her big eyes, sharp nose and chin. Perhaps she might be a beauty after making up since the spots can be concealed. She had long black layered hair with bangs framing the face. My first thoughts was that her features were quite similiar to mine, she looked like me.

Someone once said, in the memory I had in the dream, that people tend to like people who reminds them of other people they might have once liked. So the first thought was that, perhaps he liked her because he thought she reminded him of me, and that he might have once liked me, hence him liking her. But that was just a fleeting thought after all he was already with that girl and there was nothing I can do about it. Well, technically I can still go and confess to him, like what the other friend wanted me to do.

The dream ended with me still pondering over should I or should I not say to the friend.

The Dream Marriage 梦中婚礼

The Last Date 最后のDate

Saturday, August 19, 2006

It'd Happened Again

Remember, the last Saturday I spent in Freiburg? Well, another similar thing happened again last night. At least, I know I feel much better now, thanks to those guys who found me last night.

Yesterday, I met Cindy for tea after her lessons. It's at her ex-colleague's cafe. Maybe I'll take about that another time, or maybe I won't talk about it, since it's not the main point of focus here, and I really want to be more concise and stop digressing in my blog. I know my blog's getting too long lately. Anyway, I parted with Cindy at about 5.20pm. She wanted to go home, but I still didn't want to leave. I ended up loitering a bit.

I wandered into 7-11 at CityLink Mall to get a drink, but what caught my eye was Ouran High Host Club Volume 2. I had wanted to buy the whole set in Kinokuniya some time ago, but they didn't have volume 2, so I didn't buy it. I didn't want to have an incomplete set. I bought that volume on impulse even though I still have yet bought volume 1. Then deciding that I should immediately get volume 1, I ran off to Takashimaya's Kinokuniya. But they only had volume 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8. SO I bought those, I went to place an order for volume 1. After some negotiations and discussions, the store assistant decided to call up Bugis' Kinokuniya to ask if they had stock for volume 1. I thought calling up all branches was the first thing she should have done. baka~ Anyway, Bugis did have it, so I made the reservation and rushed down to Bugis.

After I got all my stuff, I prepared to leave Bugis. Just as I was walking out of Bugis, I heard a voice calling out "Hey Joan! You are back already!" Shawn Ho. I turned around surprised and saw not only him but also Tecko. After a bit of chatting, Shawn asked me to guess who they were waiting for. Always late one, name has three letters. Not that difficult for me to come up with T I M, isn't it? lol~ Clemence was there too, it's either I have no idea how he looked like even though I've heard him being mentioned always among the guys, or he looks different now. They were there to have dinner with Liting before she leaves for Sweden. cool~

What was good was that I joined them for dinner. It's really nice to meet those friends from way before and talk about things from way before to present. The guys are all in SMU doing Economics, Tim's in NUS. erm... That means that there's a chance of me bumping into him somewhere sometime. erm... He's doing German too, but German 1, so I guess when we have Stammtisch, he might go.

So, was it a coincidence, or an inevitable happening occuring, or just a result of my choice in following the Ouran trail? Either way, I'm glad.

Good luck, Liting~ Have fun there!

Friday, August 18, 2006

The Reply

I sent out an SMS before I slept last night. I've been starting to sleep early and waking up early lately, so actually the SMS wasn't sent out that late. Anyway, I thought maybe that would mark almost as a closure, something that I've always been against.

This morning, to my pleasant surprise, I found two replies to that message. I hadn't expected a reply. And even if I did expect a reply, I thought it would be one of trademark coldness and indifference. Well, the messages did reveal a little bit of warmth that lit up my day. Maybe... No, I can't think anymore maybe. I did that, so I'll have to stick with it.

I wondered if I should reply, and typed some words preparing to reply, but at the very last second, I pressed the red button. Oh well... It's better that way. If I can reply this once, and receive another reply, and I send out another reply, there would be no end to things. After I get out of my rough patch 2.0, I'll reply then. Meanwhile, take care.

Thursday, August 17, 2006


So much so in coming back to the once familiar land, everything has changed. After every long trip I make, I lose something, last year was so, this is no different. Why is it that it's only me who always remain static?

In feeling this loss, instead of sinking into depression like I had last year, I'm feeling this whole sense of loss and emptiness. Unlike last year, I've no pillar of support this year. To where I'm heading, I've absolutely no idea. To fill the gap of loss, I need to busy myself. Every moment I have alone with nothing to do, will only make things worse for me. I cannot let myself stop, or even slow down the pace, but there's nothing for me to make me carry on.

Calling all friends out there, if you still have a bit of sympathy for this fallen girl, just ask me out. Ask me out for food, movies, ktv, shopping, or anything with at least some entertainment value. I just need anything to force myself to move on. I need to pick up all the pieces of broken promises. Picked one up the other day already, so many more to slowly pick them all up.

Maybe it was fate who broke those promises you'd made, but I still want to blame you, or her, can I?

Wednesday, August 16, 2006

Of Good Service And Bad English

I'm a suckler for good service mainly because I once temp-ed as a retailer and was often complimented for my good service. It did not help that the retailer which I temp-ed with was renowned for its good service too. Good service makes me feel happier and I'd tend to want to part my money. Conversely, bad service makes me pissed and I'd turn into the evil alterego and just want to bite everybody in my way. The Ralph Lauren salesman can be witness to my callous remarks.

(For people who don't know the Ralph Lauren story... I once walked past the Ralph Lauren boutique in Orchard when I spotted this blue dress in the display window. Wanting to try it on, I walked in and asked the first salesman I saw about it. I'm not the kind of person who can browse for hours, I've a short attention span. The following conversation ensues...
joan: May I take a look at the blue dress on display?
salesman: Would that be in the men's department or the ladies' department?
If I was at This Fashion or something, fine. But this was Ralph Lauren, the dress cost is in the hundreds, that salesman was wearing a tie and is probably higher paid that the This Fashion salesman and he had the cheek to ask me that question. Needless to say, I was extremely appalled.
joan: (in a very very sacastic tone) Could you find me a dress from the men's department?
salesman: (noticing his mistake) Oh, I'm sorry! (proceeds to find me the dress)
Okay, he wasn't that bad after all, but he's still stupid.)

Today, I had two encounters with good service, but sadly, these two good service incidents was marred by the bad English communicated during the service. To paraphrase Dr Edna Lim, Singlish is not something we are proud of. When chatting with customers, it's okay to sink into Singlish, but during an act of service, I'd think it's still more appropriate to stick to the Queen's English.

The first good service is from Kinokuniya. This isn't the first time I've filled up the Kinokuniya's online enquiry forms. The last time, I filled them up and got a prompt reply, I commented that to my father that despite paying a lot more in school fees that for a book, I get prompter replies from Kinokuniya than from the school administration, and when I get a reply from the school administration, it's one that say "I've forwarded your email to so-and-so". Anyway, prompt replies from Kinokuniya is their feature. I filled up yet another online enquiry form enquirying two manga titles and got a prompt but far from perfect email reply. In fact, the reply was so shit that I had to email them back to further my enquiries.

This morning, I got a call from Kinokuniya. I think I filled my handphone number in the enquiry form. The girl who called me answered all my queries, and helped me to place orders for the missing volumes and ensured that Kinokuniya was pressing the publisher. She also apologised for some misinformation in the email she replied me. But there was a little flaw in her service. The way she talked and some of the words she chose to use. Phrases like "I tell you eh" (luckily it's only eh and not leh or hor), "I'm really sorry eh", "Yar, we know also". I'd really have preferred a more formal tone to have been used during this conversation, but still, kudos to Kinokuniya for their prompt reply and ensuring that I'd be spending money with them. lol~

The other one was with Jason's Marketplace. I dropped by Jason's after school this afternoon because I was particularly missing Germany, and wanted to get back to my lifestyle in Germany where I browsed the supermarket, buy some groceries, go home to cook. Because the one at Raffles City was more convenient, I went there. Jason's as it was supposed to be, is an expat's supermarket, selling mainly imported stuff for foreigners. As a stylised German, I thought that would be the appropriate place to go shopping for my groceries. But of course, I was wrong. Some stuff like my favourite Schwarzwälder Schinken and Westfalen Schinken canonly be found in Germany. I still managed to pick out a couple of items to check out. As I paid, I really felt that I missed Germany, groceries in Singapore are so much more expensive than in Germany. My four tiny pieces of pork was $5, I could have got it for about $4.50 in Germany. Cheese here is so much more expensive, my piece here was like $4.70 while in Germany it would be less than $2. Olive oil here is exorbidant, $12 for a tiny bottle? omg...

Anyway, the point of topic here is not price but white asparagus which I fondly call spargels. I asked the cashier if they had them.
joan: Do you bring in white asparagus?
cashier: White shenme (what in Chinese)?
This is supposed to be an expats' supermarket, speaking in Chinese? omg... Okay, granted, if I knew what the heck was asparagus in Chinese I might have just went on the conversation in Chinese, but heck, I've no idea what asparagus is in Chinese. For a long while, I didn't even know what asparagus was in English. To me it's always spargels.
joan: Asparagus. White ones.
cashier: (to another cashier) ni dong ta yao shen me ma? (Do you know what she wants?) (to me) ni qu wen ta. (Ask her.)
joan: Do you have white asparagus?
cashier 2: White aspagus?
joan: Asparagus.
cashier 2: (to yet another cashier, this time a younger Malay woman, by relative of age, she's still above 35 though) Can you answer her question?
cashier 3: What is it that you want?
joan: White asparagus.
cashier 3: No, we don't carry the fresh ones, only the canned ones.
She then brings me to see the canned ones which looked damn stupid. Really, nothing beats the fresh ones. Somewhere in between, the cashier 3 brought out the store manager. After some tour of the canned food section and the fresh food section, he gave me the number of the Orchard Jason's.
manager: I think Orchard would carry it. They have more expat customers.

Later I did call up Orchard Jason's, another middle aged auntie sounding person picked up my phone.
joan: Do you have white asparagus.
auntie: Yes, we have now. Today and tomorrow.
joan: So you stock them daily?
auntie: No, only today and tomorrow.
joan: Will you have them tomorrow?
auntie: We only have two left for today and tomorrow.
What the heck can I do with two sticks of asparagus???
joan: When would be the next time you'll stock them?
auntie: I'll have to check with the supplier.
joan: Where are the asparagus from?
auntie: Wait a minute, I'd need to check. (insert call waiting music) They are from Peru.
joan: Thanks.

Well, all those salespeople were indeed patient enough to listen to my whinings about wanting white asparagus although I bet none of them ever eaten it before. But the policy of having middle aged, Chinese speaking aunties working in an expat supermarket is kind of not very appropriate. What if I were a non-Chinese, little English say French customer? Well, at least I've managed to locate my white asparagus.

Speaking of middle aged aunties, I really have no idea this incident with this waitress is considered good service or bad. I was at Imperial Treasure Lamian Xiaolongbao and ordered a plate of Golden Fried Prawns (prawns fried with salted egg yoke) and one basket of xiaolongbao. First, while eating the salted prawns, this waitress came and asked me if I wanted rice. If I really wanted rice, I'd have ordered it already, right? Then while I left two of my xiaolongbao not eaten, she came and tell me that xiaolongbao doesn't taste good when left cold. This is not my first time eating xiaolongbao. I think the number of xiaolongbaos I've eaten is about the same as hers but she is like three times my age, I know when is the right time to eat my baos. I actually like to eat half of them hot, savouring the xiaolongbaos the "right" way, first biting of a part of the skin to air out the hot juice inside, then blow the juice and suck a bit of soup, after that biting off bits of bao and meat and soup in like four mouths. But the other half of my baos, I like to eat them cold, so I can stuff the whole bao into my mouth and eat the bao, meat and soup all together. Not a very demure sight, but I like it.

Still trying to decide if that was good service or plain irritatingness and looking down on me. bah~ I know I'm hard to please.

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


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The lines in Chinese was what I thought almost immediately after the fireworks show had ended. Thought it is a good analogy.

Friday, August 11, 2006

Benelux - Belgium - Brussels

The next stop of my Benelux tour was to proceed Northeast for Belgium. I guess the place to visit when visiting Belgium is to head for Brussels, the capital of the European Union.

I bought my ticket from Luxembourg the moment I reach there. I asked the ticketing salesperson for a one way ticket to Brussels, but she told me that it's cheaper to get a return ticket and bought me the return ticket instead for €16.90. I later checked from the internet that the one way ticket cost €19.90. Like amazing~ I passed my return ticket to Gabriel since I knew there's no way I'd make a trip from Brussels to Luxembourg. If any one fine day he might want to make that trip, he can use that ticket. He did used that ticket in the end, like about one month after my trip, or is it more than one month? Anyway, the ticket was not wasted~

The person informed me that the train came by the hour, and I could take any of them. But as I reached the train station earlier than the scheduled time, I found out from a platform master than there were many more trains plying other than the one that came by the hour. He told me to get on the train. And I did. At first I was a bit afraid that I might have the wrong ticket, but in the end, the ticket inspector turned out to be the platform master I met earlier, so no problems.

Reaching Brussels was a headache because I couldn't understand road signs and couldn't find my way to the hostel which I'd booked a room from. I asked about 3 people for directions, but they all gave me different directions. In the end, after walking and go staning, and walking a lot more, I reached the hostel. I thought I could finally take a good rest. BUT the receptionist told me that the hostel was fully booked. I said I made a reservation, showed her my handphone call logs and the number I'd called. And made many pitiful faces. She can't possibly asked me to sleep in the streets after all I did booked a bed.

After some negotiation, and I think she realised the mistake made on her part, she relented and gave me a room. But it was a single room. She said it was the only room available. €30. €9 more than budgeted. But the non-membership tariffs and sheets were waived, so I was offered the basic rate of €30 with the benefits of the sheets and not being a member but paying member prices. It turned out to be okay. FOr the price I paid, I made full use of the room. I bathed. In the private bathroom. I slept early, to make full use of the room and bed and sheets. I ate breakfast there too. So it can be considered quite worthwhile for the price I paid.

I checked out just about 15min the checkout time because I wanted to make full use of the money I paid for the room. I had wanted to deposit my bags there while I toured the city, but in the end decided against it because the walking trip back to the hostel was a bit of a hassle. I had not bought any public transport tickets in either Luxembourg or Brussels. I went on my two feet to everywhere. I dropped my bags at the lockers at the train station and went out exploring the city. Somewhere in between I bought tickets to Utrecht. After buying the tickets, I realised to my horror that I needed to transit and I didn't know where to transit. Had to queue all over again to get that itinery.

Going everywhere on my two legs means really exploring and finding places that normal people might not be able to find. Travelling the Joan way means not having any inkling of what the city is like before going down there. It also means having no expectations. Take Luxembourg for example, I never knew there was a fortified ancient castle there, much less it's a UNESCO world heritage site. I found it from my walking and was very pleasantly surprised. It was the same for Brussels. I walked and I discovered.

A walk around Brussels.
brussels walk

Although I numbered the pictures, I'm not talking about it. hehehe~ I think some pictures you can just look and understand. Maybe I've seen like so many of the same kind of stuff that I'm like numbed to all of them already. But anyway, a little note about the Mannequin Piss. It's probably the stupidest icon ever, only losing out the ther Merlion. It's just an ugly little boy pissing (but at least he's not vomiting water, what crap?!), but what's stupid is that he's dressed, he's dressed in a different outfit with every season. In the picture above you see him dressed in the getup of an American footballer. I bet if Belgium had made it to Germany 2006 which they didn't, that boy would have been in the football jersey.

This day in Brussels was the second day of the start of the good weather. A sign of god weather? Everyone's out in the garden. The public gardens were filled with people lying on the grass. To also reiterate the point that the weather was getting hot, I had to buy a top in Brussels because I hadn't thought that I'd sweat so much and needed this many change of clothes. I wanted to buy a skirt too, and shed my long pants but I couldn't find a nice skirt.

Somewhere in between my walking I came to an art museum. Maybe you haven't noticed, but art musuems don't attract me, maybe some history museums might, but generally, I don't really like museums. But this museum was different. It looked big, and it was cheap, and I hadn't got any better idea on what else I can do. And the museum had a cafe, I can have lunch there. For all these reasons, I went there. And as always when I head out to something I've no expectations of, I was pleasantly surprised.

Art Museum. (It's the biggest art museum in Brussels. Think you can google for the name. I didn't bother finding out what's the name of the museum, to me it's a nice museum can already.)
brussels art museum

The thing I was so pleasantly surprised with, the art piece that redeemed the money I paid for the ticket, picture number 8. Death of Marat. For all those who don't know, I'm a big big fan of David, Jacques-Louis David. It's my European history upbringing and reading too much romantic revolutionary ideals and Maximillian Robspierre and Napoleon and those dictators that made me fall in love with that painter. I'd say, he's the founder of propaganda. wahahaha~~~

My lunch is in number 12, 22 shows the special exhibition which I also went to. It's named Bing. No photography was allowed inside. It's a stupid exhibition la... Nothing much... Or maybe I just preferred the normal exhibition stuff. I thought by going to visit a museum on a weekday, I could have the whole place to myself and be in some peace and quiet. It turned out that weekdays meant that there were lots of school trips. There were like at least three big groups of students doing art appreciation there. One group even gave a presentation of Marat, making me unable to get a picture of him. I had to return an hour later to get that picture of Marat.

I think there were like 6 galleries in the museum. Some galleries were closed during certain hours, as told to be by some security officer in the museum. But it turned out to be bullshit la. I went to the gallery, it was open, and nobody chased me out.

After the museum tour, I was tired, and I didn't know where else I could go. My legs could only carry me this far. Then I noticed some brightly coloured buses that brought people sightseeing. I asked the price and decided that I can use that one and a half hour journey to occupy my time before I head down to Utrecht.

Sightseeing Bus.
brussels sightseeing tour

I think the reason why I put those numbers is to prevent people from taking my pictures unauthorised. Also, if you noticed, I stopped putting up full sized pictures, everything's either collages or animated gifs. Must prevent plagarism and priracy~

The bus driver had quoted me a standard price when I asked for pricing, but later as I noticed the ticket, there was an option of a cheaper price for students, so I managed to get my ticket at a lower price. This was to happen again at the Mercedes-Benz Museum. I had checked out that as students we're offered concessions, but in the museum, it was not stated. I just went to the counter and asked for a concession ticket and got it. The person didn't even check my identity for concession. hehehe~

Interesting things to note. 7 shows a Japanese garden. Like diaoz... 9 shows an stom thingie which apparently is as much of a Belgian icon as is Mannequin Piss, but I've never heard of it until I saw it. It looks just as dumb anyway. And it's so out of the way. Unless you drive or you take a sightseeing bus you won't be able to see it, but so many people make a trip down to see it, and it's plastered across many many postcards of Brussels. 16, 17, 18 is in Brussels economic region which I was not able to make it there on my two feet. I should have like just took a bus/train there and can spend the whole day in like shopping centres. But then again, crap la, I go all the way there just to shop meh? I want to shop can shop in Singapore. hahaha~ But it turned out that I did go to somewhere just for the purpose of shopping in one of my later travels. To Zurich. Oh man... The shopping district in Zurich is the ultimate sia... But that will be in another travel log.

Also interesting is 13. It looks like the Brandenburg Gate, but it's just a gate in Brussels. It was a gift from the monarchy, I think it was the king to the city on I think National Day or something. It's really a damn stupid gift. Of all things, a gate??? Like what would the people of Brussels need a gate for? It becomes just another stupid icon like the Mannequin Piss and that atom thingie.

After the sightseeing trip, it was also time for me to take that train down to Utrecht. In all Brussels was great. If I've the chance for me to go there again, I'd head for the economic district to tour instead.

Next up, watch out for my Holland pages~

Should I Or Shouldn't?

I always play this game when I can't decide. I call it the apple/orange game, but with variations. Usually people will ask apple or orange, but I like the two nouns to rhyme, so usually I'd pick tomato and potato. Anyway, it's late now. Don't know who should I pick to help me pick my choice. I don't know what's wrong with me.

3 engagements yesterday and 0 photos. Even though I felt good about the engagements yesterday, I don't really feel much better tomorrow, so I don't know what I'd do tomorrow. I've two other alternative plans tomorrow, but the main one is still breaking my head. But looking forward to tea tomorrow. I miss the food there.

Food can still be the same no matter what happens, as long as the whole kitchen team is not changed overnight, but people change. I once made a date with someone to go there for tea sometime. I even emailed that place and asked about prices and discounts and the menu and stuff, but well, just put it this way. The food can still be the same, the menu can still be the same, that eatery can still be the same, the price can also be the same (although i doubt it would), but I guess I won't have the chance to eat there with you. Maybe one day you'd go there with someone else, or maybe not, or maybe, what the fuck am I thinking? It was really bad having to search the emails just now to check the details for my tea tomorrow, but I guess there are somethings I need to live with.

I can say today is a day that the past came back to haunt. 3 and 5 both messaged me and remicsed about the past. I don't know if it's a good thing or bad. I don't even know if I'm happy or disappointed. I don't know how I'm feeling. And this was just after I was talking about 4 and 5 with a friend yesterday. We talked a bit about stuff. She's just broken off (okay, not so just, but just in Joan's relativity) with her (now) ex-boyfriend, somewhere along the lines, another girl did appear. My position is very different, but still all problems stemmed from the multiple boat stepping males. Really, I've been so disillusioned by males already, so why am I still not getting over the stupid problem of the one I mentioned above. Maybe I should give him a code or something if I really want to dwell deeper into that problem. hai...

I'll start outline the problem, it started from I don't know when. Maybe from two years ago, more than two years ago. But the main problem is that if I'm already disillusioned as I've always claimed, why am I still being affected? I'm screwed la. I'm so screwed that I don't know what I'm thinking.

I want to talk about my engagements yesterday even though I don't have pictures. It's really so indifferent of me not to have pictures because I'm the kind who'd snap freely when I'm in a good mood, and yesterday wasn't bad. Maybe I was too tired. I hope my engagement(s) tomorrow would be better. But then again, the plan was to meet a certain person almost immediately after I returned to Singapore, that plan is now in the dustbin. hai... I really don't know why people can be busy. Maybe this is because I'm so not a busy person that I cannot understand the lives of busy people. I should not be affected, third time I'm saying this here. damn...

Anyway yesterday I took out my make up kit once again. It's the whole atmosphere is Singapore that compelled me to once again be the groomed person that I wasn't when I was in Germany. It's nice to paint my face even though my makeup's light. It just makes me feel so much better.

The first friend I met lost weight. bah~ Think we've both grown up a lot. The last time I met her was her birthday party, of course, she was radiant. Now, guess things have changed, people have matured, and well, relationships do take a turn. We also talked about other people in our clique, and how they are. I thought about someone I once regarded as my best friend. I think she's still a very good friend of mine, but sometime somewhere we both stopped contacting. The last time we chatted she had some problems, so I don't know how's she now. hai... Maybe I should pick up the phone before I regret. Then we also talked about mahjong. I was thinking, it would be nice if we could form a mahjong support group and like meet regularly just to play mahjong. But of course, I forgot that I'm the only person with a whole lot of time on my hands, and everyone else is busy with god knows what.

Guess now, it'd only take the next person's birthday for us to be gathered together again.

The next engagement was incidentally to a birthday party. It was a surprise birthday party. In the whole party, other than the birthday girl I knew only two other people. Well, I guess it's because of the geographical difference. There was once a time when I said that Singapore is so small that you'll bound to meet the same people, especially when we are all from the same education system (meaning that we were all smart people who ended up in junior colleges and universities), but then again, Singapore is really bigger than I thought. My friend who went to the party too, knew a couple of people by face in the party. That was because she grew up in the West. The East Coast girl knows nothing about Jurong. Near the MRT station there was this place called the Jurong Entertainment Centre, all of them said they grew up there, spent their after school hours there, but I've never even heard of that place in my entire life.

It was a bit awkward in the party since me and my friend didn't interact with the birthday girl's other friends, but it was still a very cosy party and the birthday girl was so surprised, and very happy and touched. It's nice to see a smile on her face. It's nice to see smiles on people's faces.

I felt quite bad because throughout the party I was dozing off. I was so tired because of the lack of sleep and ended up dozing off on the couch every moment I stopped talking. I even slept on the train to and from the party, almost missing my stop. But despite my lack of sleep, I arranged for supper with another friend.

I had cravings for icecream, and something sweet. And I didn't feel like going home. After all, going home means going back online, and wasting time doing nothing on the world wide web. I have my mangas to read, but it's still not very productive. I arranged to meet my friend at Siglap, so I thought taking a train to Tanah Merah MRT would be more appropriate. At Tanah Merah, I could take either 12 or 14 but the buses were in different directions, and as you know because of the MRT station, it's impossible to stand on one side of the road and watch out for the other. Heck, I couldn't even see the oncoming buses from the other side. So it's either 12 or 14. In the end I picked 12 because the physical journey was shorter. But I guess I was really down in luck. After waiting 45min for the bus, it never appeared. In the end, to cut short my friend's waiting, I cabbed down. And I experienced for myself full blown the impact of the rise in cab fares. it cost me $5 to get to Siglap from Tanah Merah. Damn... If I knew I wanted to cab, I should have went to Bedok. kanasai...

At first I wanted to go Gelare for icecream and waffles, but the queue was horrendously long. My friend sitting down there and waited said the queue had been that long ever since he arrived. In the end, we went down Cartel and had milkshakes and wings. A chocolate milkshake is always a good comforting food.

Oh well... I don't know how it would be like tomorrow. Think I'll just cross my fingers and hope things will turn out okay.

One a happier note. I've got my modules I bidded for. Luckily no need for a back up plan. I hope I get my tutorials too. I hate CORS. Have I mentioned it before? It's so traumatising to see someone placing a 2053 bid on a module. You know what, I have currently 2500 points in my programme account. By next semester I'll have more than 3000 points. I will throw all 3000 points in one of my modules and scare and traumatise everyone in my module. Of course, I'll pick a popular module with high number of candidates so that I can traumatise more people. This is payback time~ (Just realised that this fits in the category of should or shouldn't. lol~)

I guess it's time to sleep. If I appear tomorrow, it means I appear. If I don't means I don't. I'll bring along my bottle of vodka. If you want to drink, drink. If you don't want, I think I'll leave.

Good night~

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Don't Bother

Let's just put things simply. Don't ask me about it, I don't feel like talking about it. I've been so miserable ever since I got back. I don't know why either.

I've two engagements tomorrow. If things go well, fine. If not, I'd go in hiding. Don't bother looking for me, I'll be totally MIA. (And I don't mean that I'm not blogging, I mean that I'll really be uncontactable in real life.)

I think I'm reaching my threshold of tolerance. And I can't blog about stuff. Self censorship. Think I must need to make an appointment with Dr Nagu at the UHWC again.

Tuesday, August 08, 2006

Screw CORS

***warning: vulgarities rampant***

Every semester, without fail, I'd curse CORS to burn in hell for eternity. But usually, I'd only curse CORS during the bidding for tutorials. I seldom had problems with my bidding for modules, simply because for the past four semesters, I've been living within the confines of the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences. Yes, I've never taken any module that requires me to go to any other faculty. But of course, due to the workings of the fucking education system in the dictatorial land of Singapore where the National University is a lackey of, I've to do stupid kanina stuff called GEMs (General Education Modules) and Breadths (otherwise known as cross faculty modules).

When I was young, in primary school, we were taught English, Chinese, Mathematics and Science. Those were the founations of everything we were forced to learn in secondary school. In seconday one and two, we were forced to do a wide range of fucking bloody modules of English, Higher Chinese, Mathematics, Science, History, Geography, Literature, Art, Home Economics, Design and Technology (and I'm not so sure if there were others). It's crap. I see no fucking use of stuff like Art and Home Economics and Design and Technology in my future life. But it was compulsory. Every kanasai week, we had to squat in that fucking studio/kitchen doing this I bloody hate. The teachers said that it was only for two years. We are allowed to choose what we want to study when we advance to secondary three.

Abso-fucking-lutely a big piece of crap lie. Fucking shit. Students are always stuffed up the ears with lies propogated by the government via the mindless mouths of the teachers. Burn in hell.

In seconday three, my compulsory subjects consisted of English, Higher Chinese, Mathematics D, Additional Mathematics, Physics, Chemistry. Biology is optional, which I obviously kill me I also won't take. And I had to take two subjects out of English Literature, Chinese Literature, History, Geography. This is something I really don't understand. Based on propaganda in Singapore, I thought that students were encouraged to be more creative, but how come schools only allow for subject combinations like triple science-double humanities, and not double science-triple humanities? In fact, it's almost near to impossible to any student to do three humanities subjects. So much for creativity. Stifled Singapore and its myopic education system only allows for mindless science-y stuff and not creative individual freedom of expression which humanities aim to promote. I ended up choosing to do History and Geography. I'd have liked to do English Literature too. Really, the teachers who said that we can do things we like to do in lower secondary as all bullshit. I was forced to undergo two years of hell with Physics which i utterly detested like how much I hate Arsenal (okay, I didn't hate Arsenal when I was 14, it's just an analogy now).

My teachers knew my utter distaste for the Mathematics and Science, and assured me that things will get better when I advance to JC, meaning I can dispose of Science totally and concentrate on the humanities. Right now, I guess JC was theoretically the best times of my academic life.

In JC, I chose to do (other than General Paper and AO Chinese) English Literature, Mathematics C, History and Economics. SO much so for my fucking illusion that I can do whatever I want in JC. History and Geography is a taboo combination according to almost (but not all) JCs. What the fuck??? And Mathematics C is compulsory unless you either take AO Mathematics or drop that subject and do only three subjects. So with this, I had to trudge on my pathetic life and a student with absolutely no freedom at all. But I guess, school life is a microcosm of real life living in Singapore, all those apparent choices offered which makes no sense at all can be translated to real life as I soon found out. As an older person now, I found out that although we so called have a freedom of speech, out freedom is limited, just like we have the freedom of choices of subjects we can do, our freedom is limited to that few subjects offered, our freedom of speech is limited to the few topics we are legally allowed, like the debate on who is a better singer and which is the better band, we can vote for them and the results is 100% based on our votes, press coverage for all candidates is equal, but it's the total opposite for other stuff like politics. We aren't given the same treatment for more serious stuff like General Elections. Downright crap!

In JC, I slowly developed the love of European History. Previously, I only wanted to focus on my drama and theatre stuff, but JC opened up my view on History. I think that's the only good that developed out of my whole educational life. The teachers once again assured me that once I graduate from JC and enter University, I can devote all my time on European History. With that, I did all I could to try to pass the subjects I've no love or interest in just so that I can make it to University. It did not take me long to realise that teachers are all liars.

Just upon graduation, the Mathematics teacher remarked to the whole class that he was very sure that at some point in our university life, we'd have to deal with Mathematics again. A stab in the chest for me. The General Paper teacher said that if we did not score above a certain grade for GP, we'd have to do English in University. And that was only the start of the disappointments that was to come.

When I first entered University, I realised that there was such things called "University requirements" and "Faculty requirements". In short, for a lowly Arts student like myself, we have to fulfill some stupid things before we can graduate, and these stupid things are not related to my major at all. As a University student, I'm required to complete 2 GEMs, 2 (4, for honours) Breadths, 1 SS (Singapore Studies) module. And as an Arts student, I need to complete 4 Exposure modules outside my major, 7 UEs (%, if you do double major). So much for the lies that I can do what I want to do in University.

General Education Modules.
They are supposed to widen one's knowledge of the world, but something in NUS CORS system make me hate them that if GEMs were alive, I'd slice them to bits, cook them, ad sell them to people and force everyone to eat them up and puke them out. In short, it's crap in the simplest form of organism, if it were alive.

They are worse than GEMs. Breaths are labelled as things outside one's faculty. Really, if I want to do anything outside my faculty, wouldn't I already have went to the other faculty instead? The people who thought up this cross faculty this is really an asshole with no brains man. The reason that I'm in Arts is because I'd die in the other faculties, and yet I'm supposed to die based on this thing called "University requirement". FUCK!!! A little bit about myself, when applying for Universities, we have this form which required us to fill in 8 choices of which University, which faculty we wanted to go. Of the 8 blanks, I only filled in one choice. Do or die, it's NUS FASS, no back up, no anything. I did that only for one reason, I cannot see myself in any other faculty. And yet "University requirements" require me to venture out. GO EAT SHIT.

Singapore Studies.
This is a requirement by our dictatorial government of Singapore, hoping that by doing forcing students to do an academic subject on Singapore we'd have more love and knowledge of our country. Crap. Skewed illusions. It only generates more despise for the country that I thought I once might have love. (Really, recent moves by out Ministry of Communications really disappointed me to the blackhole.)

We can't just do any exposures we want, we have to do one from "Humanities", one from "Social Sciences", one from "Asian Studies" and one more from anywhere. Yes, we are in Arts and Social Sciences, but really, we are there only because we want to do our major, and not participate in everything from FASS. I hate the social sciences, I abso-fucking-lutely am unable to do anything regarding social sciences, and yet, my faculty, the faculty that I trust in, is forcing me to die. Asian studies is just crap la. I'm not a European Studies major for nothing lor, and the faculty requires me to do something 6000 miles different from my choice of major.

Unrestricted Electives. Anything outside your major. If anyone wants to major in something, it means that we want to do something and forget about the other nitty gritties of education. And yet, we are forced to do something outside our major. Really, if I've an interest in something, why would I want to do something I've no interest in? This makes no sense at all.

In my past four semesters, I went about the requirements, by carefully choosing what I want to do. My UEs are filled with History modules, which I've chosen to be Farrell modules (military history modules, Farrell is now like becoming a brand of modules, hahaha~). My exposures were Political science for social science, which I think comes the closest to looking like a humanities module. My SS module was Politics of Southeast Asia, which allowed me not to do about Singapore at all. Yes, little mention of Singapore in it because the focus was on the other bigger countries, thank goodness.

In the past four semesters, I haven't done any GEMs or Breadths. I was procrastinating. Finally in my third year, and after accumulating General Account points, I went to bid for one GEM and one Breadth this semester. I chose my GEM and Breadth based on recommendations and friend introductions. And I still am not able to do the module I want to do.

Complementary Health and Medicine. Since semester 1, I've been wanting to do it, but in sem 1 I hadn't enough points, sem 3 (it's only offered in odd sems) timetable clash, sem 5 time table clash again, I think there's jus something against the Arts students. chao cheebye.

In the end, today, I placed this bidding.

Today is only the first day of bidding and crap, bidding is this high already. There's a high chance with my vast number of points that I'll not get the module sia. Next, WHO THE KANINA ACTUALLY HAVE 2053 points IN HIS GENERAL ACCOUNT???

Really, there's something very wrong with our current system of module allocation. I say this because I'm fresh back from my exchange programme with the University of Freiburg where module allocation is only for Proseminars, for other types of modules, as long as you want to do it you can do it. Even if there's no place in the lecture hall, you can sit on the floor. And even for the Proseminars, it's a choice, you choose three and you get one module, as long as you place three modules you'd want to do, you'll get one of them you like, and not end up as a broke person in terms of bid points like where i'm heading towards.

After screaming over the phone and sending half a dozen of angry messages to the poor soul I vented my anger on, I seached for a couple of alternatives which I might have to do when bidding goes crazy. Thanks to I don't know what kind of karma I have cultivated, all halfway decent modules all clash with my current three modules. What the fuck??? I only have three modules okay, and everything's clashing with what I want to do. The Complementary Medicine is but one of it, I went through five possible other modules and they all clash. KANASAI!!!

All this, and remember, I'm already a year three student. If I don't do honours, I'm supposed to be graduating next year. I think I've now to extend one semester so that I can have more bid points sia. FUCK, where did that 2053 person get his/her bid points from??? Bah~ And next semester I'll still have to do another GEM and Breadth somemore. Where can I get the bid points from???

Screw CORS.

Sunday, August 06, 2006

Chelsea Kit 2006

I bought it~

I was at Takashimaya just now when I walked by adidas and saw it and finally bought the jersey. I bought it in small since they don't manufacture it in extra small, so it's pretty big on me. The salesman recommended me to buy the ladies one, but it isn't the original jersey, it was a bastardised version of the jersey, quite crap, so I didn't buy it even though it's cheaper.

chelsea kit

I think I shall wear it into the first lecture of War and Society, and risk being thrown out of the lecture hall by a certain Professor Brian P Farrell. bah~ He should know that by now Arsenal is a has been.

I think I shall buy the cap next week. I'm so broke now. After buying the jersey I bought a whole lot of manga, last three months worth of it. My sister is goading me to buy a pair of crocs pumps. I think I shall go into hiding. I'm not so sure when school starts too. I think I'm screwed. And I've just received an email from my prof in Germany saying I have not understood my exam (and hence did badly for it) and should go down to meet him for an oral exam. Really, how am I to name 5 History Zeitschriften when I know none? kauz... More complains later, I'm going to read my backlog of manga. I shall procrastinate thinking about my problems~

I still love my Chelsea kit to bits even though it set me back by S$109~

Saturday, August 05, 2006

Detective Conan Fanfiction

Remember, you've read it here first. I'm putting this up here before I put it up on Do drop some comments, then I can revise it a bit. I think this piece is a bit too long and draggy anf out of focus, but it's because I want to fit everything inside. It's really damn damn long. 6405 words, beat that. I'm now going to re-read my whole collection of Detective Conan manga. Damn Yumito (or Yumiro, or something like that) Corporation for taking down every single Detective Conan video on youtube, not only episodes, but also the AMVs. What the fuck??? AMVs!!! Mine were gone too.

Detective Conan.
One shot, but very long. Covers the whole of the New York episode a year ago. SherryXGinXAkai Shuichi, with Kudo Shinchi, Ran, Vermouth appearing and mentions of Akemi Miyano and the Big Boss.

New York

“You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.” That explanation rang in her head as her tiny feet ran across the snow. “You will save me won’t you, Kudo Shinichi,” she asked, in response to the explanation that rang in her head. “Please save me, Kudo Shinichi. You are the only one who can save me now.” With that, her tiny body fell onto the snow, just outside Kudo Shinichi’s house, she passed out…

“You’re up, Sherry?” a cold voice pierced through the silence of the small room with a slight echo.

Sherry rubbed her eyes and stared at the face from which the voice came from. His eyes were cold and devoid of all emotions, a pale comparison to the passionate animal that had devoured her just an hour ago. He was already dressed. “Is he in a hurry again?” she thought to herself.

“Put on your clothes,” He commanded.

She sat upright on the bed as he tossed her clothes over to her. “Why can’t you be gentler to your lover, Gin?” Sherry reproached. Gin and Sherry went back a long way even though she was only 17. Gin was the one who took care of her ever since her parents died although “take care” was not a very accurate term, because he was her direct superior, sort of like her master, and she was to follow his bidding in whatever he was to say.

“You aren’t my lover. You are my slave. You are to listen to whatever I say and follow all my orders. You better watch where you stand, Sherry.”

“And remember, Sherry, you shall never ever betray me.” Gin said warningly. His voice was not loud, but his tone was strong.

Sherry shuddered. “Yes, I understand.”

As Sherry dressed, Gin turned over and looked long and hard at her. He wasn’t looking at her body, but studying his face intently. There wasn’t a trace of arousal, rather it seemed as though he was planning something, and wanted to make you of the face that he was staring at.

Sure enough, once Sherry was fully dressed, he brought up the topic, that he was thinking about as she was dressing.

“I have a mission for you,” he said as Sherry looked up at him. “It’s for the organisation.”

“But I’m into research and development. That drug that I was supposed to create is almost done. I’ll need to complete it soon before the Big Boss berates me again. It’s also for my sister, he’s threatening me with her life, I don’t think I’ll the time to do anything else.

“You sister is not as important as me. You shall do as I say. Don’t worry, I want you to complete the drug, I won’t ask you to put down the work on the drug. Besides, this mission is far more important than the drug.” Gin said, betraying no kind of emotion in his voice.

Sherry looked up at him. She tried to look into his eyes but they were blocked by his hat. Even so, those pair of eyes was just not the pair that stared into her as they made love an hour ago. She really could not understand how such a hot-blooded animal could turn into a cold-blooded one in just an hour. She sighed. There was nothing she could do now, except to listen to what her master had to say. “What would this mission be about?”

“Akai Shuichi.” Gin answered her.

She knew who he was talking about. Everyone in the organisation knew about him. He was their enemy. He was part of the FBI. He was the top marksman of the FBI. And he was hot on their heels. The organisation knew more about him that the FBI knew that they had known. And the organisation have been trying to make plans to eliminate their most dangerous enemy.

“Isn’t Vermouth on this mission?” Sherry asked. “The last I heard was that she will be disguising herself as a serial killer to lure of Akai Shuichi. What have I got to do with this mission?”

“You will destroy Akai Shuichi before her.”


“I can’t have Vermouth take the credit. She’s getting far too powerful in the organisation, and the Big Boss is giving her far too much freedom. No doubt that he likes her, but we have to do something to preventing her from being tossing her weight about in the organisation.”

“What do you want me to do?”

“Get to Akai Shuichi before her. We all know that she will be disguising as a serial killer to lure him out, but you can do something else that she can’t do to lure him out. You have something that that woman doesn’t have, Sherry.” Gin sneered. It was perhaps the only trace of emotion that he showed after their love making. “You have youth on your side.”

“What do you want me to do?” Sherry repeated, but this time her voice trembled with fear. There was something about Vermouth that instilled fear into her. She didn’t know what that something had been, it just felt like an instinctive pang of fear in her. She wasn’t to know this, but later she was to find out that Vermouth was her parents’ murderer.

“Seduce Akai Shuichi.”

“What?” Sherry asked, surprised. She had expected something more conventional, like ambushing him and shooting him dead, but seduction seemed so far fetched.

“I will plan an ambush for you, and you will follow my orders and seduce him. You don’t have to rush, just pretend to get to know him first, then you will confess to him, and soon, you will have a hold over him and that’s when you can strike. He will be defenseless against you.” Gin said. He seemed to have the whole plan ahead of him.

“You are giving your lover to your enemy?” Sherry snorted.

“First, you are not my lover, you are my slave. Second, you will not have any feelings for Akai Shuichi, you’re merely bait. Third, I will do anything to destroy Akai Shuichi. Fourth, I will do anything to triumph over Vermouth.” Gin paused, and then continued, “Is that a good enough explanation?”

Gin peer under his hat and stared steely into Sherry. She shuddered. She could not answer the negative, it was something innate inside her that she couldn’t bring herself to say “no” to her master. Instead, she turned away. One more second of looking into Gin’s pair of eyes would turn her into a block of ice.

“We have no time to lose. We’ll meet at the corner café tomorrow at one. Wear a cream coloured, one pieced, knee length dress.”

“But I only have black dresses. We aren’t allowed to wear any other coloured clothes.”

“Go buy one tomorrow morning. According to sources, Akai Shuichi likes sweet young girls, and you have youth on your side, we’ll just make full use of that. There’s no way he’ll fall for someone wearing black.”

“Okay, I understand,” Sherry finally reluctantly said.

“I give you further instructions tomorrow.” Gin said as he stood up and put on his long black coat. His long silver hair fluttered behind as he swung the coat behind him.

Sherry fell back onto her bed. “No wonder Gin brought me here to New York. There’s no way he’d bring me on a vacation,” she muttered to herself and she flipped over to her side and looked out of the big clear windows. Neon lights penetrated her windows. “But maybe it’s a good change of environment for a while. Japan’s getting too stuffy for me to bear any longer.”

The next morning, Sherry woke up early, or more precisely, Sherry had not had much sleep the night before, deciding that she really was not able to get anymore sleep, she got up.

As instructed by Gin, Sherry went shopping for a dress. She picked up a branded dress. Sherry was not a brand conscious person, but for that moment, she wanted to spend some money, perhaps it was a form of retail therapy. She bought shoes to match the dress. And a handbag too. Her wardrobe previously consisted of only black clothes. “Maybe it’s also good to add some colour in my life,” Sherry thought. She browsed the shops for another hour as she was still early for her meeting with Gin.

She was not able to recall when the last time she went shopping was. Her whole life, she was brought up within the organisation, removed from the normal growing up process, away from her family, and without any friends. She thought about her sister. Although her sister was elder, she was not as smart as Sherry, who went on an intensive education in the field of science. Her sole purpose in life was to do research and development for the organisation. Thinking about her sad past, she was suddenly overcome by anticipation in her upcoming mission.

At one, Sherry arrived at the café as stipulated. Gin was not around. Sherry picked out a window seat and sat down looking out of the window. She eyes wandered over to a figure passing the window, he was tall and enigmatic, and as he passed her, his long black hair under a knitted hat fluttered in the wind. He entered the café and sat at a seat across her table, but she took little notice of that figure and her eyes remained affixed out of the window. She wondered how Akai Shuichi looked like, she wondered how was Gin planning to set her up with Akai Shuichi.

Her thoughts were interrupted by a phone call.

“Yes?” Sherry asked. She knew who it was.

“Order something to drink,” Gin commanded.

Sherry looked up without putting down the call. She signalled for a waitress and ordered a cup of coffee.

“When the coffee arrives, knock the coffee down to let it splatter over your dress. Make it look like an accident. And you need not blame the waitress, just look as distressed as possible. You take it from there, make sure you do a good job.”

With that, Sherry hung up the phone and continued staring out of the window. It was so like Gin to arrange to meet her at some place but not arriving, instead merely calling her up to give her instructions. This was not the first time something like that had happened, and as long as she was still with Gin, this would not be the last time.

When the waitress brought the coffee over, Sherry did as instructed, and “accidentally” flung her hand across and knocked over the cup. The coffee spilt over her dress, staining it.

“I’m sorry. I’m really very sorry, Miss,” The waitress apologised.

“It’s okay,” answered Sherry, unsure of what to say. Gin did not tell her what to do, only to “take it from here”, but there was still no sight of anything unusual.

Sherry thought for a moment. She decided that she should go back to the shops and buy a change of clothes. She might not be the most fashion conscious girl, but she was after all a girl, and she would not allow herself to walk out in the streets with a stained dress. She slung her handbag over the stain patch on her dress attempting to cover it, but the stain was still visible from the side. She sighed.

Just as she stood at the exit of the café pondering over which boutique she was going to visit, she felt a wave of wind, and a long black trench coat was now rested on her shoulders. Beside her, stood the figure from before. The tall, enigmatic man with long black hair looked at her pitiful face.

“That bag won’t be able to cover the stain. Put this on,” he said.

There was something commanding in his voice that reminded her of Gin, but there was also a tone of care and concern that she so wanted to hear from Gin’s mouth but never able to.

“Thanks,” Sherry said softly. “I’ll buy another dress now. Perhaps I can meet you later in the afternoon to return the coat to you?”

“Are you in a hurry?” he asked.

“I’m supposed to meet someone, I think.” She sounded unsure of herself, miffed with Gin’s instructions.

“Was Akai Shuichi still going to show up?” She thought to herself. Either way, she decided that she was not supposed to meet Akai Shuichi looking wet and dirty, and there was no way that she was supposed to meet him with another guy beside her.

“I’ll meet you at five later at the restaurant beside the hotel,” that guy said. He did not consult Sherry if she was able to make it, and just instructed her to do it. And that wave of long hair, reminded her of someone else…

“I’ll see you later,” replied Sherry. Maybe she was used to this tone of voice, or maybe there was something so enigmatic about this guy in front of her that she was unable to resist him.

Putting on the coat, she walked out of the café and across the streets into the shopping area. She bought another cream dress, but of a different design from the stained one.

At five, she proceeded to the restaurant to meet that guy from before. She packed the coat into a paper bag and carried along with her. There was still no sign of Akai Shuichi, and Gin had not contacted her again. She wanted to call up Gin, but was afraid of his cold emotionless voice.

That guy was already in the restaurant waiting for her as she walked in. She passed the bag to him and thanked him again.

“Why don’t you buy me dinner?” he asked.

“No problem,” she replied, then paused for a moment. “How may I address you?”

“Akai Shuichi.” He looked up and stared into her eyes.

Sherry was stunned. So, right from the start Gin’s plan was that she would make use of the stained shirt to borrow Akai Shuichi’s trench coat, and for her to get to know him better. Sensing that Akai Shuichi saw her stunned look, she tried to cover up her surprise.

“It’s surprising to meet another Japanese here in New York. I mean, I’m Japanese too, or at least half Japanese.” She hoped that that feeble excuse could cover up her miscalculation. “My name’s Sherry. Nice to meet you.”

“Ah… Sherry. I was thinking what to order with the dinner.” Akai Shuichi smiled.

Sherry blushed slightly. All along, Sherry was brought up to me independent and matured, and often looked older that she actually was, but that blush brought back tinges of youth into her. She was, after all, only 17.

That marked the start in the relationship between Akai Shuichi and Sherry. To Sherry, Akai Shuichi was the enigmatic, attractive guy that captured her heart. With his care and concern and his intense gaze on her, she was bother mesmerised and flatter with his love on her. Still, deep down, there was a fear in her. She was afraid of Akai Shuichi because she was afraid that she might too fall in love with him, and the consequences of that forbidden love, forbidden by Gin and the whole organisation. Her sister, her only kin left on this earth, was still in the hands of the organisation, but now, this guy in front of her, someone she might potentially fall in love with, what if one day she had to kill him with her bare hands? Was she able to do it? She did not know. Somewhere deep inside her, she wanted Vermouth to succeed her mission, so that Sherry did not need to be torn between Gin and Akai Shuichi.

Three months later, Sherry moved in with Akai Shuichi. In between her stay in New York, she snuck in several return trips back to Japan to continue on the development of the drug, but she tried her best to avoid Gin every time she went back. News of a long silver haired serial killer in the streets of New York was now rampant. Sherry was not sure if that serial killer was Gin or a disguise of Vermouth. She knew, and everybody in the organisation knew that Vermouth was skilled in disguises.

One night, Sherry lay in the arms of Akai Shuichi and fingered his long dark hair. She always wanted to play with Gin’s hair but she was too afraid of Gin to bring herself to even touch him.

Sherry braided Akai Shuichi’s long black hair as she mused, “Why do you keep your hair this long, Shu? Will you ever cut it one day?”

Akai Shuichi turned to her and said, “The day when I cut this hair would be when you leave me.” He caressed her face as she tried to look away. There was something in his eyes that told her that he knew that she would leave him one day. “Sherry…”

Her hands ran down his naked body. “Would you be upset if I leave you one day?”

“After you leave me, please don’t let me meet you again, would you? Try your best and avoid me as much as possible. I don’t know if I can control myself from planting a bullet in your head.” He said, half jested as he ran his hands over her head, pointing on her temple.

“How far away must I stand from you?”

“I can shoot up to 700 metres accurately, that would be a good gauge, Sherry.”

“700 metres? Wow…” From what Sherry knew of the assassins in the organisation, not even the best of them was able to shoot this far this accurately. 500 metres was probably their limit, but again, Sherry had not been in close contact with the other organisation members for the past three months, not even her sister, who was herself tied up with another mission.

“Sherry, I have a ticket to the theatre showing Golden Apple tomorrow night, but I’ll be tied down with my work. Can you watch it in my place?”

“What will you be doing tomorrow night?” Sherry asked innocently as she took the ticket from her lover.

“I’ll be tracking down the serial killer. I’ve received a tip on his location. But I should be done by ten. I’ll meet you for supper after the theatre.”

Sherry thought for a while, then finally decided that it did not matter to her if that serial killer was Vermouth or Gin, just as long as it was not needed for her to kill Akai Shuichi, it was fine with her.

“What if Shu died?” A horrifying thought suddenly plagued her. “He can shoot accurately from 700 metres.” She tried to comfort herself. “What if Gin died?” She did not know how to make out this thought. She tried to shake off that thought as she buried her head into Akai Shuichi’s chest and closed her eyes. She was tired from all the thoughts.

Akai Shuichi stroked her hair. He seemed to be able to read her mind. His gaze on her softened as he saw her to sleep.

Outside the theatre of Golden Apple, a familiar figure stopped behind Sherry.

“Don’t turn over, you are being watched,” said that voice. A sudden fear rose inside Sherry.

“I had my sources confirming Gin’s plan in sending you over to New York, but let me remind you this, this is my mission, Sherry. It is my mission as instructed by the Big Boss. Don’t ruin my plans.”

“Vermouth,” Sherry finally mustered.


In a spilt of a second, that figure was gone, a bulky policeman now took the place of where Vermouth was supposed to be at a moment ago. Before she could think deeper into Vermouth’s words, a flashy car sped down the street and stopped right in front of her. Her eyes wandered over to the couple seated behind, a young couple of about her age. She felt a sense of envy. She missed her youth.

That young couple with an older woman sat in front of her during the theatre piece. She was attracted to the scene by scene commentary of the boy. It was not too loud or distracting, but there was something about his voice that comforted her, she liked that voice.

After the theatre, Sherry made her way to the café to meet Akai Shuichi as appointed. Suddenly, a flash of silver fleeted by her. Her first thought was of Gin, but after a second thought, she thought she saw a gleam of triumphant in the eyes of the silver haired man. Gin’s eyes betrayed no trace of emotion, not even triumph or satisfaction.

She rushed over into the alley where the silver haired man went through. However, she stopped short. The silver haired man was hanging from a worn balcony, the bar was just about to give way. The couple she met at the theatre before quickly grabbed his hand just before the bar gave way, preventing the silver haired man from falling to his death.

After they pulled him up, the silver haired man asked them, “Why did you save me?”

The girl gave him a blank look, as if there was no answer to the question. The boy looked up at him and answered him simply.

“You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.”

That line echoed in Sherry’s head.

After Sherry got out of her daze, she found that the young couple was gone, the silver haired man sat by the side of the wall panting. He was still in shock, or maybe he too was pondering over the boy’s comment as Sherry had done.

“Vermouth,” Sherry said as she walked up to the silver haired man who was actually Vermouth in disguise. “Why did you dress up as Gin?”

“Someone’s coming,” Vermouth said instead of answering Sherry’s question.

Without thinking, Sherry pulled a garbage bag from beside and covered it over Vermouth. “You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.” That comment rang inside her head.

“Sherry?” a voice broke the silence of the night.

“Shu, oh it’s you,” answered Sherry.

“Did you see a silver haired man around?”

“He ran by me just a while ago.”

“Did he do anything to you?”

“No, why would he?”

Akai Shuichi studied her face for a moment. “Let’s go for supper,” he said as he stretched out his hand to Sherry.

Sherry took hold of it, and asked, “Aren’t you going after the man? I think he’s the serial killers in the news.”

“I don’t think he’s the person I’m looking for. It doesn’t matter now,” Akai Shuichi replied. He had his thoughts that the silver haired serial killer was Gin, but from Sherry facial expressions, he knew that it was unlikely that the serial killer was Gin. He did not know the reason, he just knew it was so. If it was not Gin, but some petty thief after all, he saw no need for his efforts to capture that guy.

“I met a girl just now. She was crying. I thought she reminded me of you,” Akai said softly, then turned his head over to Sherry. “You know, it’s also a strength to be able to cry.” Akai Shuichi wrapped his hands around Sherry as they headed towards the café where they first met.

A year slowly passed. The drug she was supposed to develop reached the final stages, but she was still living a bi-coastal lifestyle, flying between New York and Japan. Over the past year, she thought of that boy’s words. “You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.”

“What reasons do I have to kill those hundreds and thousands of people with my drug?” Sherry thought to herself every day. Along with Akai Shuichi’s tender loving care, Sherry have grown to care more for people, and to live a life of emotional love, unlike the cold and hard life she led before. Her only worry was her sister. Her sister was taken hostage by Gin, but she did not know the full details. Gin had been threatening Sherry with her sister’s life over the past year she had been in New York. Conversations with her sister revealed that she knew that someone was keeping tabs on her, but her sister did not know what it was. Chances were that Gin was not lying to her.

Just as Sherry was stuck in limbo, one day, she received a call from a shadow of her past.

“Sherry, come down to Tokyo for an investigation,” the voice ordered.

Sherry trembled in fear. It was Gin, currently her most dreaded person on earth. “What was the investigation about?” she thought to herself. “Was it that Gin had found out that I have really fallen in love with Shuichi?”

“I’ve used your newly developed drug on a boy. Don’t you want to investigate on the reactions to your drug?” Gin sneered, as if he read her mind.

“Okay, I’ll be down.”

With that, Sherry left a note for Akai Shuichi informing that she would be out for a couple of days on a research project. She had made a couple of trips away from Akai Shuichi previously, but none of her these trips were at such a sudden notice. “Perhaps I should give him a call instead?” she thought to herself. Deliberating for a moment, she decided to do both. She left the note in their kitchen and hurried off in a cab.

On the cab, she gave Akai Shuichi a call.

“Shu, I need to go down to Tokyo for a couple of days.”


“Yea… But I’ll be back soon, you don’t have to miss me that much.”

“You know Sherry, every time you go off to Japan, I’ve this fear that you wouldn’t return. I don’t know why, but every time you leave me, I feel like you’ve left me.”

“Haha… I’ll be back, Shu. In a couple of days.”

Indeed, every time Sherry went back to Japan, she too had this fear that she might not be allowed to return to New York, she might not be allowed to return to Akai Shuichi side. She was afraid that Gin might stop her, Gin might want to do something else with her, or Gin would kill her. However, since Vermouth had failed in her mission to kill Akai Shuichi, Gin had allowed Sherry to continue to stay by his side, waiting for the best opportunity to prey on him. Ever since a year ago when she met the young couple, she wanted to get out of the organisation and not kill any more people. She wanted to save all the people who she would potentially kill.

And yet, now, Gin was to tell her that someone had died from taking her newly developed drug. Sherry looked at her hands, she saw an image of blood imposed on her hands. She felt sick.

“This is the case file of the victim, status unknown.” Gin passed a file over to Sherry when they met. Halfheartedly, Sherry flipped the file open. To her greatest shock, a picture of a very familiar face stared at her. It was the boy whose comment she had repeated over and over again every day since she met him a year ago. “You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.” It stared in front of her, the name “Kudo Shinichi”, “Status: Unknown”

“So that boy is called Kudo Shinichi,” Sherry thought to herself.

Sherry went with Gin into Kudo Shinichi’s house that night. While Gin looked for traces of his death, Sherry searched the house looking for traces of life. “Someone as nice as him cannot die,” she thought to herself. The drug although had reached it final stages of development, was not a completed successful product yet. There were traces of failure to kill in some of her experiments she had with white laboratory mice. She did not want Kudo Shinichi to die.

That mission that night ended in a somewhat failure, but somewhat success, there was not sign of life or death. It seemed like Kudo Shinichi had just disappeared from the world.

Sherry did not immediately return to the States. She stayed in Japan for a couple more days, making use of the time to visit her sister. Gin was now in charge of her sister, and he gave her a mission to complete. The original deal with her sister was that once she succeeded in her mission, Sherry would be free to leave the organisation. However, Sherry knew that was impossible. While she tried to dissuade her sister, her sister only thought of Sherry final release from the clutches of the organisation.

Deep down, Sherry knew that once in the organisation, the only was out is death. She did not want to burst her sister’s hope, but she feared for her sister’s survival. As she knew that all channels of communication between organisation members were watched by the Big Boss, Sherry gave her sister Akai Shuichi’s contact number, so that they could stay in contact with each other. Sherry knew that Akai Shuichi was careful enough not to let his means of communication to be bugged. Her sister can contact her without being traced. It was highly possible that her own contact was bugged by Gin, after all, there was nothing Gin was incapable of doing.

Before leaving Tokyo, Sherry was still worried about the Kudo Shinichi and decided to make another mission down to his out to search more carefully. This time, she noticed that a drawer was cleared out of the clothes it contained. She remembered very clearly that the last time she was there the drawer was still filled with clothes, Kudo Shinichi’s old clothes from when he was still a kid.

“Don’t tell me…” Sherry thought to herself. “That the drug failed, as with some of the mice.” In some of the experiments she had carried out with mice, instead of dying, they showed signs of prematuring. “Could it be that Kudo Shinichi had cheated death?” Sherry crossed her fingers.

That night, she went back to the department and took out the case file. In order not to let the other members realise the failure of her drug, she decided to alter the status of Kudo Shinichi. “I don’t need a reason to save someone,” Sherry thought to herself as she wrote the words “confirmed dead” under Kudo Shinichi’s name.

On the plane back to New York, Sherry felt a sense of satisfaction, the first time in her whole life she had this feeling that she did not know how to describe her happiness. She managed to save someone. Not only that, yet another time, she managed to hop onto a flight back to Akai Shuichi’s side.

Back in New York, Akai Shuichi greeted her with a warm hug. He was glad too that Sherry was able to make it back from Japan yet another time. He knew, one day Sherry would not be able to return back, but he was still glad that that day would only come later in the future. “I’ve received a call last night from an Akemi Miyano looking for a Shiho Miyano. Do you know any of them, Sherry?” Akai Shuichi asked.

“Oh, my sister called already?” Sherry asked, rather surprised. She had not expected that her sister would call that soon. “My sister’s Akemi.”

“And you are Shiho?” Akai Shuichi asked. A slight smile formed on his lips. “Miyano… I see, I see…” Akai Shuichi looked as though he really understood something. The name Miyano reminded Akai Shuichi of someone else, someone who had died quite some time ago, someone whom he was on the heels of before he died. Sherry too reminded him of that person, but it was only today that he learnt of Sherry’s real name that he was able to see all the pieces fitted together.

“Did my sister say anything to you?” Sherry asked.

“She left me a number. She said that number is safe for you to contact her.” Akai Shuichi said as he passed a scrap note to Sherry. He stared at Sherry, he seemed to want to ask her something, but was unsure if he should ask. After much contemplation, he finally decided against it. He hugged Sherry close to him, and whispered into her ear. “You better contact her now. It sounded as it was urgent.”

Leaning in Akai Shuichi’s arms, Sherry really did not want to leave that warm harbour that quickly, but thoughts of her sister, and fears of what happened to her, she finally pried herself from his arms.

“Can I borrow your cell phone to call my sister?”

Akemi Miyano had rented a room under a disguised name unknown to the people in the organisation. She applied for a telephone line in the room too. Or rather, it was the need for an untapped telephone line that she wanted to rent a room. From that day on, Sherry called up her sister every day. Her sister was her only family left in the world, and she knew that her sister was the only person she could trust. She had few friends, and she definitely could not trust anyone in the organisation, Akai Shuichi was in the FBI and might one day turn against her, maybe someone far away in Tokyo, she might be able to find trust in the person who said “You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.”

One day, as usual, Sherry called her sister to chat, and to update herself on the mission her sister was on, but she kept getting the answering machine. At that time, Sherry thought that perhaps her sister was busy, the mission was sapping her most of the time. However, day after day, Sherry repeated got the answering machine. Sensing something’s wrong, she called Gin.

“I’m not obliged to let you know anything, even if she’s your sister,” Gin replied. “Or maybe I’ll tell you something after you’ve planted a bullet in Akai Shuichi’s head. Or have you fallen in love with him?”

“Damn…” Sherry thought, she knew something was wrong. Something must have happened to her sister.

Not bother to pack her things, Sherry sped off to the airport. Before leaving on the plane, she called Akai Shuichi and left a message in his answering machine.

“Shu, something’s happened to my sister, I need to go back and make sure she’s fine. If… If… If something really happened to her, I… I… I don’t think I’ll return. I’m sorry. I’m really sorry. Take care, Shu.”

Sherry cried as she left the message. The tears seemed to forebode something bad was to happen.

The moment Sherry touched down in Japan, she went to look for Gin. She didn’t even need to look for Gin to learn of the fate of her sister. News spread quickly within the organisation. The mission failed, her sister died.

“Sherry, have you planted the bullet in Akai Shuichi’s head?” Gin sneered.

“Why did my sister die?” Sherry asked, not bothering to reply to Gin.

“You are in no position to question me,” Gin turned his head away from Sherry. Gin mixed a dosage of sleeping drug into a drink.

When he turned back to face Sherry, he passed her that doped drink. “Drink,” he ordered.

Sherry knew something was wrong with the drink, but her body was incapable to disobeying Gin. Without thinking, she picked up the drink and finished it.

“Isn’t that so easy, Sherry? Why must you always disobey me and make me angry?” Gin sneered.

Sherry brought her hand up and brought it right across Gin’s face leaving a bright red patch there. “Asshole,” she muttered before collapsing on the ground as a result of the sleeping drug.

When she awoke, she found herself in a small room, her wrist was handcuffed. There was no sign of Gin. Gin had gone off to seek medication to remove the swell on his face where Sherry had slapped. Surprisingly, Sherry felt a sense of peace in her. She had lost everything, and there was nothing left for her to lose anymore.

Surveying the room, Sherry spotted her newly developed drug lying in a small bottle. She had passed a bottle to Gin for safekeeping when her researched was successful. Apparently, Gin did not think that her drug was that successful to be important for safekeeping. With nothing more to lose, Sherry decided to commit suicide with that drug. On the best case circumstance, she might not die, and she might be able to escape, on the worst case circumstance, she would just die, and not let herself be tortured by Gin any more.

“Argh…” Sherry screamed as the drug went down her throat. She passed out.

When she came to, she found her hands had slipped off the handcuffs. The clothes she had on were too big for her. Her body had prematured.

Suddenly, she heard footsteps coming in from outside. Sherry squeezed her small body out of the small window and fled in the darkness. “Where can I go?” she asked herself. The world was so wide and big, but there was nowhere for her to hide herself from the organisation. She definitely was not able to go back to Akai Shuichi. She did not even have an identity now.

“You can have one hundred, one thousand reasons to kill someone. But you don’t need any reason to save someone.” That line popped up in her head again. “Kudo Shinichi.”

“You will save me won’t you, Kudo Shinichi,” she asked. “Please save me, Kudo Shinichi. You are the only one who can save me now.” With that, her tiny body fell onto the snow, just outside Kudo Shinichi’s house, she passed out…