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In High Spirits

I pulled my jacket around me. It was almost midnight and I was in the next town (Hatfield), standing under pelting rain, waiting for the last bus. I’m soaked through, cold, hungry,  thirsty and I need the toilet. Badly. But I was in high spirits.

It was Monday night, and I just went for some capoeira – the first time in a year. A whole year! Or more, really. I couldn’t remember. The last couple times was in Glasgow, before I left for Ghent. In Ghent, I only played once, sadly – with my Spanish classmate Andres, in a park off Ghent’s notorious student bar area, Overpoortstraat. Both of us were so rusty and unfit – we played for 25 minutes, then sat on the grass and talked for an hour.

Anyway, Monday night: I was rusty, my body was stiff and inflexible, I’ve forgotten half the sequences and half the moves, I could barely stretch, but it did not matter. The important thing was me, there, having fun.

There were moments of deja vu – I felt like a new starter again, indeed was a noob again, and since every group had their own style and eccentricities, they had to constantly drop me pointers. And I did need them. It’s just been too long…

While I would really like to go again, and again and again, that could probably not be the most practical decision to make. It’s a bitch to get there (it’s in the next town after all) and I’ve got to do this, register that, blah blah, before I can be a member of the sports centre (of the University of Hertfordshire), which was a extremely cool building by the way, lots of modern facilities and fancy stuff. We’ll see what the next few weeks brings, but right now, this moment, I’m a happy camper.

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Better times – With Adrian at Teluk Cempedak, Kuantan – 2006

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Pointless

Last saturday I went for my 1st class in 6 weeks. 30 minutes into training i started second-guessing my decision to attend that day because i couldn’t even run properly yet. Argh. Terry said i’d have to work very hard on my thighs and calves wrists and so on to protect my joints from further jointy injuries. Argh. Most of the old guard like Mo Qing and Amirah are gone, and Adrian is still in Kuantan, so i felt rather alone in a class full of younger newcomers. Also, it has been kind of assimilated into Living Arts, so it’s administrated slightly differently nowadays. I’m not sure i’m into all these changes, but..

I slept the entire weekend after that. Almost literally. I slept from saturday evening until saturday night, woke up for dinner, went back to sleep a little after midnight until sunday evening. I’m amazed at myself.

Wednesday night we went to see? hear? a piano recital somewhere near Subang. The soprano was Emi Mori and was accompanied by the pianist Prof. Yamamoto. Things went well until a particularly high series of squeaky notes that went soomething like “oooohh uaaa ah! ah! ah! ah! ah!” during a german song. Joshua almost snickered and successfully contained it. A lady sitting in front turned and frowned at him. He looked ahead with a (nearly) straight face. The soprano “ah!”ed again. Joshua almost laughed out loud. A (very) audible snicker escaped his lips and heads swiveled around to zoom in on him. The lady turned around and frowned again and put a finger to her lips. Joshua almost burst into laughter at that moment and the rest of us were trying to simultaneously listen to the recital, pretend we didn’t know him, and praying hard for Joshua to stop because if it went on the addictive giggles would get to all of us. We didn’t think it was a good idea for the entire audience to break down laughing. Joshua’s mom was pointing at him and smiling. The pianist stared at him (us) over his glasses through narrowed eyes. Joshua finally gave up and left the room. Disaster averted, but the recital didn’t seem the same after that.

P.S. Joshua later explained that each of the soprano’s squeaky notes was ticklish and felt like someone was tickling him in the ribs.

I feel kinda stupid writing all this, so this is it for now.

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Malcolm is a hyperactive nut.

More on this soon!

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Daily Life

I’m back.

Ok so i was never really gone, but at least now i at least can kick back, get a beer or three, and cool the brain a little. After the initial waves of post-break submissions ended on thursday evening (next week- start of a new wave) i spent friday, saturday, and today getting much needed soul therapy – the clack of mahjong tiles and the rustle of money bills won- even lost -are a very satisfying activity… especially as CNY 2007 draws to a close. Terry said some stuff about going to lakes and stuff, to pick up oranges and see what fun is there to be found, but i gave that up for a last chance to slam ’em mahjong tiles down and yell “sek!!!”.

After the relatively quirky and random end to 2006 and beginning to 2007 life has settled into more or less a normal, mundane routine, and i am slowly easing into the daily rituals, much like familiarizing to a certain rhythm till it infuses you slowly, bit by bit, until you are lost in it, dancing to its beat. Weekdays are drowsy and blurry, either wading through the thick trails of traffic in the morning for lectures or under the hot noon sun for afternoon studio tutorials. Projects, there are always more work to be done, and always less and less time to finish it. Again our faces are developing that perpetually frowning eyebrows, that worried cast to our faces, and the harried stressed look. (developing only, i’m not looking so sickly yet) Yet time (or the lack of it) has become second nature to me, something which i face, accept and put away without so much a n extra thought for it, for that is the way it is, and there is no other.

Breaks in these monotony are few and far apart, and eagerly waited for. They come in varied forms, sometimes hidden in guises. Capoeira classes are one such form, though more often than not i’m too tired to attend, or withstand the pace set. Last night I went for my first public roda in two months, and while i am not sure how well i am expected to perform, me still being a relative noob, i didnt live up to my own expectations, bah…………….after two weeks of no training my thighs send jolts of pain up my body whenever i move.. zzz, and my dreams of doing a Macacu (spelling??) in the very near future seems to be thwarted.. other breaks also come in badminton and futsal, screwdrivers and graveyards, movies – Protege was extremely good and Ghost Rider was extremely bad except for Nicholas Cage – etc…………

So there is mostly a sum-up of my life the past two months, as i head towards graduation. It is a funny feeling, a feeling of ending and beginning, of elation mixed with bittersweet nostalgia. University applications are causing me no end of headaches, though from preliminary observations i might be heading to Strathclyde in Glasgow, Scotland…. (no Australia! No! No! No!) As the months go by, updates’ll come fewer and further apart, due to the fact i am barely online these days – except when sending and receiving files to and from classmates, or doing the back-breaking, never-ending research, so though i do have alot to say, there might come a little later then expected (yeah, like WHAT ELSE is new). Procrastination over here is something i’ll never change kekekekeke Bye

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Monkeying Around

      “Did u train during the holidays?” Asked Adrian on a pleasantly cloudy friday afternoon as we, along with Sok Eng and her family sat in Kuantan’s raucous wet market over a hodge podge of local kuihs and stuff which he assured were “damn nice”, though he seemed to have picked them randomly.

“No, not really.. Just 2 or 3 times.” I admitted as i stuffed my mouth with some kuih batik that tasted suspiciously like brownies.

     And that was how we ended up playing a bit of capoeira at the secluded second, smaller beach of Teluk Cempedak, off the coast of South China Sea early the next morning while the sun shone brightly and toasted roasted our skins and the sand got into my ears mouth and everwhere else for all it was supposed to be the monsoon seaon.There was some surfing competition over at the bigger beach, though going by the look of the waves i don’t think there was much surfing? Well, we didn’t choose the second beach because of the fact that there was so many people around and we didn’t want to embarass ourselves. Of course not! whatever made you think of that? We just wanted some .. um.. peace. Yeah. Anyway, it wasn’t totally empty. There was a couple of middle eastern ladies, (i’m not sure, but then again there wasn’t even an inch of skin exposed to tell them by) and a malay family whose kids pointed at us and laughed stared at us interestedly. After getting tired of falling on my ass we poked around looking for crabs and other interesting stuff, which unfortunately was almost nonexistent. Alot of crabs though.

   I had followed my dad down to Kuantan on friday, and while he kept himself busy i went off to find Adrian, who as correctly predicted was slaving away in his business empire of a musty old shop and to hang around Pahang’s capital for a few days with the “budak berambut taufan durian” as my gracious host. That’s what his Indonesian workers call him. Sok Eng caught wind of the plan and joined us as well, likely to make sure i don’t corrupt (ahem) her precious darling with my ways. Um, i’m joking.

    Anyway, It’s not my first visit to Kuantan, so most of the sights are already recognizable if not familiar. So all we did was some dumb antics, mope around, eat alot and hang around at all the usual places.

    Sunday morning we took Adrian’s bro’s Storm and set off for Kuala Terengganu. At my threats insistence, we took the coastal road through Cherating- Gebeng- Kemaman- Kertih- Paka- Dungun- Kuala Berang, just so because i could then drink the fabled coffee at Kemaman that i quite enjoy, see the refineries at Paka (again) and most importantly take a trip down memory lane at Dungun and Kuala Berang, where i spent my national service days.

Next: Part II

By the way, i now have a photobucket account, and pictures in my computer, so add 2 and 2 together and what do you get? A picture post! wow. coming soon. this blog is moving towards greater heights. Now you can see ME. Part II up tomorrow or wednesday i guess. Need a dash of the polluted, noisy, dirty city air after so many days of fresh seaside air.

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Of cords

I’m damn lazy to continue the saturday post lah. Anyways, i will be away from tuesday to saturday, so (obviously) there won’t be any updates. Someone has promised to sign up for a photohosting account for me since i am too lazy to do so, so maybe, just maybe, there will finally be pictures to look at! like wow.

Many many people have asked me what a cordao is, well, i don’t like to preach about capoeira too much because i’m hardly an expert and i don’t like to make a fool of myself -hey, what is google and wikipedia for? duhh. Anyways, it’s a cord (to tie your abadas with) and it … indicates your seniority in your local capoeira community. Its very likely the higher your cordao the higher your level of proficiency in capoeira, but i’m under the impression that your level of proficiency is actually not very important as compared to your contribution to the community, and by that i don’t mean donations. I think they (my group, at least) give out/upgrade your cordaos based on how much you actually give back to the community. Energy, passion, enthusiasm, helpfulness, you get the idea lah…… For more information, go to www.bantus.com.my and ask them.

Me, Adrian, Malcolm, and others got our firsts on a pleasantly cool sunday morning in 1 Utama, of all places. The actual batizado was held at the entrance of the Old Wing; near Mcdonalds. It is actually a huge roda, and everyone who is selected to get/change their cordao that day will play one, or sometimes a few, games with the visiting Brazillians; Mestre Pintor, Professor(not that kind) Gringo of Bantus Australia, and Graduado Claudinho of Bantus Singapore, Instructor Rafael of Bantus Malaysia. In between are games between the newly-corded people and the visiting Singaporeans and Thais, or whoever who wants to play.

That’s it in a nutshell!

Me and Adrian played with Prof. Gringo, Malcolm played with Rafael. Adrian also got his apelido – Call him Piruca whenever you see him, and smirk and sneer as if you know the meaning -(it means wig, in reference to his hair). It’s my first batizado and i have nothing to compare it with; but it was a great first for me. I would talk more about it, but i’m lazy. I’ll continue it another day. (really!)

Till saturday~

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i Got my cordao!!

i got my first cordao!!

i’ll talk about it more when i figure out how to write about it. Many many things to write about, but damn lazy lah. It was really fun though, and so was the post-batizado bbq at Marissa’s um grandparents sprawling bungalow in Hulu Langat. that was really cool. yesterday’s workshops at KLPac and last night’s public roda at sungai wang was fun too.

more coming soon! hahah.

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