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Showing posts from March, 2011

Tales from Down Under: #12- The Perfect Figure

I’m afraid I have to say I have long passed the teenybopper phase of keeping idols. Someone you revere is most suggestively not to be met brusquely, it is believed. I once read how Robyn Hitchcock met Syd Barrett after the former Pink Floyd lead vocal retired from the music scene, and the encounter was apparently too disappointing that he did not even bother to prolong the description. Sometimes you have to put into account that your idol still runs to the grocery and wears shorts.

Therefore while walking to school I try not to dwell too long on one specific object lest the longer I dwell upon the oftener I will like to come across it every day, and an astonishing disillusion is prophetic and imminent. People often end up reversing to what images you inflict upon when you first meet them, and being one who affirms accurately of how one’s appearance suggests, I feel like the easiest math question which contains merely a + and =. Incredulity is often foolishly magnified when countering s…

Tales from the Down Under: #11- The Doll House

The gust exerts its full force and crackles mercilessly the frail windowpane, well-secured from the impervious inclemency, the owner of the room quibbles with a trifle cold. A dismal day reminds me of some Impressionist painting- blurry, sombre, patchy, with smudges of blue there and grey here. An indisposed state evokes the childhood memory of incessant bedridden days, in which the vapid image shows its rays of hope with the installation of the sickly heifer’s mom. Story after story the mother tried to invoke, her incantation even more alluring than the Magical Flute, and image after image those stories played up before that heifer, with snots ceaselessly dropping into her wide-opened mouth.

My mom loved to read me stories when I was young. However, while most of my childhood memories are recklessly blocked out, it is often those unfestive moments that I remember the most. The bedtime stories that still retain their vividness are those I used to digest when I was overcome with a feve…

Tales from the Down Under: #10- Rain Drops Keep Muddle with My Head

Passed the scaffolded History department while nipping to my class. A strong desire of barging into that dilapidated building welled up in me. Ever since I had the fortune of visiting that building every week for one of my class last year, I have deemed it my favorite spot in the campus. The interior of the History department is an unsolvable arithmetic question itself. Corridors coming out of nowhere, leading to nowhere, and rooms with mysterious doors that are inexplicably sealed. The building is also pungent with the smell of rotten wood, the smell that I could still catch its whiff under a drizzling day.

I went to the History department every week to attend the sexual history class, a class with which I still lament of my inadequacy of delving more into. I happened to come across a Martin Price’s literary criticism in which he tries to draw a resemblance between reading a fictitious character and staring at a nude model. His theory is thus: a fictitious character can be as tangible…

Tales from the Down Under: # 9- Running Up That Hill

On the eve before coming to Auckland last year, a question was seriously pondered about in my head. For a brand new chapter of my life, shall I be more of a submissive person or a self-assertive one? I’m never one who relents to neutrality so I must choose to be either, and while “reticence” had been tagging along like a dogged will-o’-the-wisp, a decision was made within seconds that I would stride in New Zealand burst with indestructible boldness.

And one year later I’m still thinking about the same question. Apparently the ceaseless alacrity exuded from the Kiwi’s baffles me, and has left me tongue-tied whenever I was good-humouredly confronted. Most of the posts I’ve written since studying in Auckland are more or less dealing with the record of my amateurish linguistic study of Kiwi’s accent. Those posts are no less than sheer nuisances, but what I’ve always wanted to expound on is how accents can cause a stirring among people. And even typify people. Not intending to sound scathin…

Tales from the Down Under: #8- Stepping Stone or Stumbling Block?

I’ve long held a firm belief that once you start fussing over the inadequate amount of time for finishing piles of readings you oblige yourself to do, your academic occupation has a budding potential to take flight. Whatever dazzling pictures you have of your near future when you’re certain that once the attitude is set, nothing can be in the way, something still stands in the way nonetheless, and with a wry smile it holds a scintillating knife, ready to kill your ephemeral ideal with no vestige of mercy whatsoever.

For a well-organized expert will reduce his words into extreme brevity, precise and nail-on-the-forehead. A woeful disorderly one like me will eventually extend his sentence so tediously, that a comma or a dot can hardly finds its niche to fit in. Stripping bare of the superfluous rhetoric, it is exactly organization that I should do, with which also creates a distinction between a substantial consequence and a eternal illusion.

I also learned the importance of organization …

Tales from the Down Under: #7- Life is a Slice of Lemon in a Cup of Coffee

It seems needless to elaborate our horror more when seeing the dreadful calamity on telly the past two days, and it is always at the likewise moment that we have the inclination of closing our eyes and rattling off profuse gratifications like how wonderful it is that we are here at this time/ at this moment, and how the incident gives us a lesson of seizing every moment we breathe. And how life is more worthwhile than to be frittered away in front of a computer

I’ve got a bitter lick of techno-misfortune (that is literally how I like to term it!) for days, and the situation seems hopeless to look up even for the much-exploited weekends. I reckon it a sort of backlash of what I’d been fatuously prophesying on a few past posts: of how I lamented about several mishaps in my life which truthfully after hindsight were hardly hassles; of how I thoughtlessly expressed my ideal of living as a recluse, hemmed in by trees in the middle of nowhere, living in some place with wall-to-wall books, r…

Tales from the Down Under: #6- I Walk the Line

With the herald of the sixth post of my Down Under journal, a fundamental question triggers: of all the posts am I always specifying the truths? Aren’t there some bits that I inevitably need to conceal or fib about? Exactly how much rate of credibility can be found in my journal?

Before clearing off the above suspicions, I should first refer to how I visualize my journal; how I want my journal to be. A lonesome tourist wandering on a foreign territory- passersby sense something outlandish about this person but pay no heed to suss him out; that tourist, on the other hand, detects the queer nature of his surroundings yet refuses to slow down his pace and relish upon everything. The passersby and the tourist bump into each others multiple times in various occasions, every time with complete reticence. Two curved parallel lines they are walking about.

My scrawl matches the route the tourist traces, and you passersby judge me as if I was some drunkard drinking to his fill of alienation and z…

Tales from the Down Under: #5- Wind Always Blows When the Sun Shines

Not hesitating to spare your boredom, I commence the journal by harping on weathers. Today's weather as it was: drafty; sun splashed down streams of golden rays which one can only witness under an Egyptian sky; clear-skied; winds occasionally seeped through the thin clouds and cast the spell. One's outdoor apparel inevitably came to collision with the aforesaid weather report, and a scruffy outfit was embarrasingly put upon as if providing a desultory answer to an unsolved question.

I deem it the kind of event that will most put you into jeopardy, the event in which you accept the kindness of the cordial sunshine and even bathe under it before the evil wind put its nail in your coffin. In a dog-eat-dog world I've been trained not to be fooled by anybody's deceptive smile. Everything seems to work otherwise now, for the determined side is never the side shown on the flip of a coin. So why bother flipping coins? I learned my lesson last year that the most lighthearted cou…

Tales from the Down Under: #4- Jaunt to the Library

The distant yet persistent calls of the books itched me to trod to the school library despite the forecast of an inclemency. And there were certainly some bone-nibbling chills, a fueled seeker on her solitary route, leaves swayed and eventually parted. The magnetism of books never wore out, nor is it cast away when the object of its possession is outlandishly transported. It is the ultimate mind-assuagement when out of home.

The elephantine figure of the library bears no resemblance of that fantastical one of Jorge Borge's, but it stands in a most alluringly spooky way. Not a single soul breathed through the bookcases or signaled a cough- this sombre silence set my heart to a still, dreaded a slight tremble might disturb this solemn balance. This feeling is not staggeringly different from what T.S Eliot created in The Wasteland, though in the latter the debris is all scattered around, the silence is more formidable, and the abundance is replaced by the barreness, which is being per…

Tales From the Down Under: #3 Every Breath I've Fought For May Be Fragmented At Any Moment

I've been bewildering at the idea of things going from bad to worse, or things reaching to such a pinnacle that they are destined to fail. It is not karma I'm trying to elucidate but rather some wicked old witch's clairvoyance which I can never decipher.

Studying is made overwhelming if other trivial yet muddling fuss slides across. It is almost impossible to root out all the hindrances since university life entails one's preparation to a more independent adult world. Therefore, being independent of the words I ramble about and dependent on the actions I shall take is what appears to be the most challenging. Thankfully, like every start of a new year, I scrawled all over my schedule book of how I'm going to squander my weekends. The diligence can only be paid off if every single letter is spelt out correctly and accurately in its place.

It is like staring at the sun with persistent eyes only to prove that you can never win over it. When you are bulged with inexplici…

Tales from the Down Under: #2 Distances Left to Run

Trodding your ways through multitudes crowds of people can be overwhelming, a well-anticipated feeling of detachment whenever the first day of school unfolds. My dogged faith of self-assertion prevented me from feeling belittled, though. It is the relativity between the petite me and the elephantine them that truly created the pressure. I never believe the old saying of hiding yourself in a crowd or gently and oozily blend into it. I only felt myself embarrasingly conspicuous that I eventually forgot to buy me a bottle of much-needed water.

Even more conspicuous was my apparel, which constituted 'shabbily' of a T-shirt and jeans, in comparison and in constrast with what the majority wore, tees and shorts. The room therefore smelled like a brothel on a tropical island. The hoary and tottery lecturer on the dais thankfully saved the grace by reading Peter Rabbit in a most idiosyncratic way. This Nabokov-esque old lady veritably topped off the day as she stammered till the bell ra…