hot beverages

i’ve lived here 20 years. sure, i haven’t spent all my days here. i first left in 2013 to a dark room devoid of life and sunlight, only to find that it can be pretty bright with the right company. i left again in 2015 to a small room 10,000km away, next to my housemates’ constant parties in the kitchen and endless vomitting in the bathroom right across my room only to be silently crying in loneliness as the sun sets at 2pm on cold winter days. but i found treasures beyond compare and peace in my own solitude and love and friends i’d cherish for the rest of my life. i came back in august 2018, only to leave again in september 2018 – barely a month. this place, the all-powerful constant.

somewhere within what feels like an endless sea of sorrows, lies a ball of fear. i can’t seem to be quite sure of what i’m scared of. maybe i’m afraid of a new environment, maybe i’m afraid that this constant change will not cease, maybe i’m afraid that i will always continue to lose the things i love one by one to time. maybe i’m afraid that i lose myself in the change, that the layout of these walls and all that they contain slowly fades from my memory. i’m afraid, deeply afraid, of an unknown which i cannot name.

my parents are 64 and 63 respectively. my dad’s friend died just last year from a heart attack. he was 64. my dad’s father died when i was just 2 years old. he was in his 50s. my dad’s mother died in 2017. all the mahjong friends my dad made has died. my mom just found out that her friend’s eldest brother had died. my mom’s parents both died when i was 11. and while my parents’ lives are filled with death, mine is filled with anticipation of birth. i hear murmurs of people going steady and moving across seas to be with their significant others and of weddings i have not been invited to. it is a strange situation to be in, and it adds to my fears however unnamed.

part of me fears that this is a mistake. that moving out of what i consider my childhood place will kill that part of me which i consider my younger self, unburdened with the shit that comes along with adulthood. when i look out the balcony and see the fireworks being displayed, i feel as though i can see my younger self beside me, wide-eyed and excited. i can see her running to my dad and telling him about the fireworks and him telling me we can go play some later too. i can see my mom bring a mug of hot milo to each of us and telling us we have to eat first. when i walk to the lifts and head down to the common area, i can see my younger self running ahead with glee and my parents following closely behind. sparkles and small fireworks and pop pops and smiles and laughter. sometimes when i turn my head behind, i can see red colourful cartoon character tanglungs from the autumn moon festival. i can hear my mom asking her if she’d want to play too, and her saying it’s okay i don’t want to in a guise of wanting to grow up.

this place feels like a bridge between my past and my present. a pitstop before i storm into the future. and i grieve losing its role in my life. maybe i’m afraid that my life from now on is more goodbyes, and less hellos.

i don’t know how to deal with that yet, i don’t want to deal with that.

ice kacang days

It’s all everyone is talking about – it’s been snowing in London. It’s already spring – but it’s been snowing in London. The days have been very cold, the kind of cold that seeps into your bones and turn all roads into ice – danger for the body and danger for the soul. But I have been so happy, the kind of happy that transcends words.

There is something so honest about the snow, in how you can see the movement of people in the footprints they leave behind, in the all-encompassing purity of the blanket of white that descends under the cover of the night – and how it leaves just as silently as it came, melting away in the warm glow of the after-storm and in its wake, washes away a layer of dirt on everything it touches. The immense and unrelenting cold only amplifies the warmth I find in friendship. From the endless laughter of silly jokes, to quiet nights philosophising about life – I am so lucky to be alive.

Bryan called these days as “ice kacang days”. He was probably referring to the snow, but it made me think of sweetness and contrast and simplicity. The sweetness of the company I’m blessed with, the contrast of cold and warmth, the simplicity of ABC and how simple the things which make me happy are – good company, hot food, nights in playing card games, stupid jokes. A friend once commented that he likes the transition from cold to warm the most, the converse is just less satisfying. I have been living that transition every day, and I am so grateful to be surrounded by such good people.

I came home at nearly 1am yesterday, and I started crying – I was so happy, just so, so happy. This pure, undiluted joy – as pure and honest as the snow, as simple as ice kacang.

p.1 cover pagep.2 what is ice kacang.jpgp.3 the beginning.jpgp.4 possibilities.jpgp.4b dancingp.5 song jun throwing snowball.jpgp.6 snowball fights.jpgp.7 hasan snowballp.8 chicken wings.jpgp.9 bryan snowman.jpgp.10 bryan head.jpgp.12 bob.jpgp.11 snow beaverp.13 snow bae.jpgp.x i am so happy.jpgp.xii conclusion.jpgp.xiii i can't wait for the future.jpg