Showing posts from September, 2008

What If

What would my typical weekend day be like if I had chosen to stay away from Australia?

I imagine a morning in Singapore. As I feel the rising humidity after dawn, I walk amongst shaded trees to the hawkers centre to relish my favourite breakfast of kaya toast, half boiled eggs and coffee. Then it's down to the MRT or the hardly used car to visit a particular suburb. I reach my destination in under half an hour. Most likely I cannot resist dropping by a shopping area even if I have nothing in mind to purchase. I soon get caught up with display, ambiance and salesmanship.

I imagine an afternoon in Penang. The art of the brunch, afternoon tea or gathering with mates to stay away from the midday sun has reached a happy state here. We sit beneath sight of swaying coconut trees and glaring sea views to partake in Straits Chinese delicacies and to get waited upon by Burmese or Bangladeshi staff. We immerse ourselves in musings about dear friends, past and present. More likely I would lov…

Strange Days

The heater just would not turn on. I checked all the related options, timer, temperature options and electrical charge prevention buttons. Still the gadget would not turn on. Then the house telephone stopped working. There was no live line. You may expect this in Zimbabwe, but in Australia, it would be fair to think it was unusual, or may be not. I thought the connection to my kitchen phone was just unintentionally pulled off. No, it was not.

The bathroom heater lamp had one of its outlets blown off. I noticed all the bedroom ceiling lights had dimmed. The showerhead was leaking and so were the taps at the kitchen sink. The tap covers for the shower area and vanity cabinet began to fall apart in one form or another.

Maybe an alien spacecraft had flown over my house, causing all these unexpected defects in its wave. Or more realistically it was just simple wear and tear. However I could not help noticing the uncanny timing, the sense of it all happening all at the same, perhaps coordi…

Where Does The Buck Stop?

In the news read today, it was declared that Australian airport check-in staff now face 'air passenger rage", when confronted in disagreements over things like excess luggage weight, varying ticket entitlements due to a complicated pricing structure and impatience. ON another reference, a national airline blamed maintenance staff for the increasing occurrence of problems inflight delays and technical glitches of operating aircraft.

I was initially amused that the two problems were portrayed as obviously "not my fault, but always others". Ground check-in staff pointed their fingers at paying passengers and corporate management blamed their staff. I searched hard for a mention of possibly sharing the many facets of the two problems together by shareholders, management, operational staff members and customers. There is no team spirit in commercial Australia these days, underlined by a preoccupation with perpetuating the problems instead of focusing on workable solution…

A House in Goulburn

Lucia huddled on the rocking chair, warmed up and content. Outside the window it was as grey as the foggy cloudy overlay of the sky in June. The fireplace was not working but messed up with soot. Not that she cared. She had woken up with the radio station alarm announcing a hearty welcome to a day starting at minus five degrees.
Dawn was the best time, a quiet time without care, schedules and chores wating to be paid attention to. The steam of a freshly prepared coffee or oats boiling on the stove symbolised cosiness.

The house was solid brick. There is a comfort about countryside houses, Lucia thought. One that brought back memories of simpler times. One that fitted with the harsh climes and beautiful sceneries not matched in most capital city locations. She could see the bare branches of several trees outside the window, and the trellis pattern provided a sense of stark perspective. She could smell the wood of the house and feel the roughness of the open brick. She felt the house…

Windy Cold

A throbbing pain on the left side of the forehead. Persistently.

Like moss embedded on to a branch or a wall, it seemed inextricably hopeless to get rid of it. It's like often bumping into the very individuals whom you subconsciously try to or hope to avoid. By chance or design, these very same persons have to turn up, to confuse, to destabilise and to create mischief.

The conspiracy of silence makes it inadvertently worse. Actual suffering of pain is supposed to be accompanied by perceptions of gain, but only in theory. I finally understand that silence can be deafening, when it is applied in a discriminate manner, to surprise when one least expects it.

Biting cold can be overwhelming, but when supported by the wind, the chill permeates.
When mixed with a sense of helplessness, one gulps for air, hopefully only in a figurative sense. It still feels real, like the rush for air from below a raging watery surface. There is truly a psychological and physiological urge to be freed.

I look …