RSS

Category Archives: Dating & its nitty gritty

Decisions, Decisions…


Ajahn Brahm (You can Google him up if you want, he’s a cool Theravada monk from Perth, Australia) once said in one of his teaching sessions that there’s no such things as bad decisions or wrong decisions. A Buddhist (or at least people who believe in reincarnation like yours truly) can be born again, so you can get your decision right in your next life. That is simple, why worry about making bad decisions. Later in that very session, he said something similar to this, “A decision is never wrong when it’s made out of a well mind”.

I was editing my photos on my second to last night in Bangkok in a dorm shared with 4 other females (one of them was an Australian which I had dinner with). I was somewhat frustrated to the quality of the Floating Market photos that I took earlier that day. And bang, suddenly that very Ajahn Brahm’s teaching about how to make a decision appeared in my mind, right down to his Australian/British accents

Bridge 045 editted.

The Bangkok trip was planned 35 hours before the ETD. Despite what my girlfriends and fiance told me (not to go), I walked down to the ATM to pay my plane ticket (expensive despite using the budget airline mind you), paid the daily tour packages with my paypal, and told my fiance and girlfriends to go some place else and mind anyone’s business but mine. (Oh usually as a very-well-planned-traveler-it-annoys-my-fiance-and-my-family-so-much I book ticket and hotels way ahead of the travel date and I have a not-so-firm itinerary so I can wander around the village/the city I’m in)

Was I in my well mind? No. I was not. I was mad and I was upset and I had not slept for days and all I could think of was whether or not I had a photo assignment, I had to travel. Then Bangkok came to mind. Why Bangkok, you asked? No idea. I had no idea why I decided to fly to Bangkok (but maybe the cheap living cost there was the main idea).

Before flying to Bangkok there were lots of yelling to friends and fiance (see above). I told them I wanted an adventure hence the back-packing with a very heavy Nikon camera and 2 lenses. Out of his worry, the fiance booked me a room in a 4-star hotel. That also produced another series of screaming (especially from HIS SIDE after buying the room for 3 nights for me and knowing that I stayed in Bangkok for way more than 3 nights). One of the girlfriends offered to accompany me in Bangkok several days after my arrival, but I didn’t want to have any of that.

I flew to Bangkok, alone. Traveling with little cash and a debit card (I didn’t want to shop I just wanted to take photos anyways, right?) and a pledge not to spend more than USD 12 per day for meal. I promised those 3 people that I would keep in touch, so I had no choice but spending almost 500 THB for phone and Blackberry Service.

I didn’t say it’s not fun. It’s totally the opposite of not fun. The trip had 91% fun and 9% un-coolness (and thank God, I got a photo assignment once I was there). But that very night in my hostel room when suddenly Ajahn Bhram’s voice appeared in my head, I knew the decision of traveling to Bangkok was not a good decision. It was an impulsive decision that has led me to an adventure (just like what I had expected before), but not a safe one.

Next time (at least later when I’m born again), I’ll make better adventures and better decisions.

 
 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

44 reasons why I love my fiance


I asked my fiancé what present he wanted for his 44th birthday present. He couldn’t think of any. So we kinda make a discussion if I can find the list of 44 things about him. Let’s do it now!

Below is the 44 reasons why I love him (in random order) :
1. He has the loveliest green eyes
2. He is a genius
3. He knows the history of indonesia so well
4. He sucks at lying and ends up making fake excuses and lame names such as United Clean Sand organization
5. He’s funny – 3 stooges funny
6. He has a sexy morning voice when answering my daily wake up call
7. He sings rawhide much better and funnier than one in Blues brother
8. He has a pepsodent smile
9. He sends me flowers
10. He bought me an Ipod for no reason
11. He works really hard to make me happy
12. He likes dogs
13. He likes mountain climbing and hiking
14. He doesn’t mind that I don’t dive
15. He bought me a camera for my birthday
16. He has so many shoes
17. He tells great story
18. He doesn’t mind having more than one wedding reception
19. He likes to wake up late so I can have my morning yoga session undisturbed during holiday
20. He bought me a new ipod after the first one is broken
21. He jumps off the plane – parachuting
22. He creates a rhyming nicknames for me
23. He made the first approach
24. He stands by me
25. He always calls our immigration lawyer right after his payday
26. He doesn’t realize that I snore
27. He’s a great kisser
28. He gets along well with parents
29. He thinks all my pictures are cute and my songs are pretty. I think he’s lying but I love him for trying
30. He’s a great analyst
31. He’s a great athlete
32. He bought me a nicer camera after my boss ruined the first one
33. He encourages me to try new things
34. He’s so patient
35. His idea of being pampered is me plucking out his facial hair
36. He prays every night for me
37. He always gives me clues that I should have a cooler gadget (iPad, kindle) although I’m not a gadget freak
38. He appreciates classier things in life (yes, classier means expensive)
39. He’s a generous guy
40. He says thanks to strangers
41. He’s open to new ideas
42. He likes to give me pop quiz about him
43. He trusts me blindly
44. He loves me -an uptown girl- just the way I am

Happy birthday baby bear! Mwah

 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 28, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, List of things

 

Tags: , , , , ,

They Can’t Take That Away From Me: the Fiction (part 2)


The Invitation: Timm’s story

“The way you smile just beams
the way you sing off-key
the way you haunt my dreams”

The driver politely told me that we were at terminal 3. I told him to drive around first since I had an important email to reply.
I didn’t. I was just surprised to see Jade’s name in my inbox. I hadn’t heard from her in years. Of course I blamed this whole grown-up world where I have to be either on the plane flying somewhere, in a meeting, lobbying some hard-to-meet politicians and have to be home for my girlfriend in weekends.

From: Jade
To: Timm
Subject: just open it will ya

Hallo Timm,
Wie geht’s?2
Gee, I had to open translate Google for that very simple ‘How are you’!  Can you believe it? Well, I’m sure you can believe it.
The last time I met you my German was non-exist, why should it get better now that I live in London. (Yes, I’ve been living in London for a year now, you arrogant bastard who actually live less than three-hour flight from me and never reply my email. Wow it feels so good to actually say that!)

I know that you’re still an important Sales Director for some big name company (I know that you’re still very much handsome) and hence you’re busy. I’m not asking lots of your precious time. Now, you see that little tiny attachment icon in the corner (or is it the bottom?) of this page? You gotta click it, as in now, jetzt.  It’s my wedding invitation. Enjoy reading it.  And don’t forget the RSVP. The bride to be needs to set up the seating arrangement.

Please please please come, Timmo.
Ich vermisse dich so sehr3. (I’ll make sure something Barry White will be playing in the reception)

Xoxo
Jade

I knew now how Julia Robert’s character’s felt in My Best Friend’s Wedding when she learned that the guy is marrying Cameron D. I was glad that I was not standing up when I read that email. Even so, I felt disoriented I didn’t know where I was. Only after reading it several times did I realize I was supposed to be at the airport terminal checking in to my flight back to Hamburg. Out of habit I tipped the driver generously, silently praying that he wouldn’t tell anyone in the branch office that Timm Neumann had an awkward moment with him.

My flight from Singapore to Hamburg was a little bit more than 16 hours. How much sleep did I get during this flight? Nil.  Der Flugbegleiter4 was kind enough to never let my drink get empty and let my mind do their wander.

If there was one thing I thought I can be certain of, it was that Jade remain single until she was at least 40. It is so unlike her that she is marrying some guy in her 30s. There’s no picture of him in the wedding invitation but I am sure I’m better in the looks department than him. How do I know? Because Jade wrote that I’m handsome. Oh but Jade is always good with words with the guys.

We met in a remote place in Northern Thailand in our early 20s during an international volunteer camp. Her outgoing personality and her laugh attracted me. The icing on the cake: she was easy on the eyes too. We were inseparable during the camp; it was the best time in my life. She didn’t have time to maintain a serious relationship at her age, she told me when the end of the camp was approaching. She had to be more serious in pursuing her degree in journalism. We promised that we would keep in touch, though.

We did keep that promise. We always met 2-3 times year for 4 years. She even travelled to Germany to visit me twice! Optimist (and good-looking guy if I may add) that I am, I somehow knew that she would eventually follow what her heart would tell her and be with me. For that reason, I always made sure that I was always single at least a month before and after our holiday together.

And Barry White, we love him so much. We could sing every song perfectly from any singer, but for our love to Mr. Barry White, we always sang off-key (except for the obviously sing-able part like “Let the music play”5).  We know Barry White’s lyrics by heart and we applied it in our daily lives (Example: a friend asked me if Bali was THE place to go, I’d reply by singing “satisfaction guaranteed6”. Followed rolled eyes were inevitable). When we were together it was crazier. We were stuck in 1970 disco music in the 2000s. Those were good old days, the post graduate days. I blame my grown up world for losing her.

I’ll make sure something Barry White will be playing in the reception.
Well Jade, I’ll make sure I’ll come to your wedding. I’ll come to dance to Barry White’s song and of course to really see what kind of guy is this William that you’re marrying.

Note :
2. How are you doing?
3. I miss you very much
4. The flight attendant
5. Let the music play. Album : Let the music play. 1976.
6. Come On. Album : The Icon is Love. 1995

 
1 Comment

Posted by on December 3, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, Fiction, Music

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,

They Can’t Take That Away From Me: the Fiction (part 1)


The Facebook Chat: Chris’s story

“the way you wear hat
the way you sip your tea”
“Do you remember Jade?” I asked my wife
“The one who lives overseas and always moves away? The one you often lose track of?”, she replied.
“She’s in London now. We just chatted over FB. She’s getting married in July”
“Good for her”
“She’s inviting us. She knows we’ll be in London in July for my sister’s graduation”
“How does she know?”
“Well, I told her”
“So are we going to her wedding?”
“Yes, of course. Why shouldn’t we?” I replied, “She’ll be sending the actual invitation next month”

My wife then gave me a lecture about the importance of discussing important matter with your spouse.
She’s like that, my wife. She thinks that going to London a week earlier is “something important”.  She must be thinking about the extra expense for the UK trip. I know that she’s been eyeing a new handbag from some designer whose brand is difficult to pronounce (and with a more difficult to digest price tag on it).

The lecture continued into our bedroom right up our bed time. She now thinks that “something important” is related to going all to London to attend a wedding of a woman she hardly knows, a woman who doesn’t mean anything to us.
“She’s not even your best friend right, Sayang1?” she asked me.
I turned off the night lamp above my head and closed my eyes.

The image of Jade is more vivid with my eyes closed. She’s not my best friend alright, but I always wish I were one of hers.
I have adored that gal ever since we went out hiking together my junior year (her freshman year) in university.  She was still the only gal on that 3-day trip and she really amazed me. She didn’t complain despite the trail we picked out was pretty hard for a petite girl like her. She was a great cook – she put other stuffs when cooking the instant noodle so it didn’t only taste like MSG and fake chicken flavor. And she made good tea.

Ha ha ha, the tea thing. She is a tea-lover and made a fuss in making and drinking it.
She snapped at me the first time I drank her tea, “That’s not how you drink MY tea. My tea should be sipped, not gulped down. Can’t you be a classier guy?”
She then showed me how HER tea should be drunk.

Jade had never dated anyone exclusively before that hiking trip (yes, I did some thorough research) and alas, not after the hiking trip either. We went out to movies and concerts a couple of times but nothing happened afterward. I thought she’d fall for me, but no. I was just one of her many “victims”.  She pointed out to me after one late jazz concert that I am one of her go-to guys. A guy she could really count on. Damn. And I thought she with all the charms could be my something special.

Well, after all I guess she’s right. I’m her go-to guy. She could really count on me coming to her wedding despite my wife’s complain.

Note : 1. Sayang : darling

==to be continued to THE WAY YOU WEAR YOU HEART : The fiction (part II)


 
Leave a comment

Posted by on December 3, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, Fiction, Music

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , ,

BASIA’s Go For You (& losing bet to yourself)


(Lyrics are available below. But here is my two cents about falling in and out of love.)

Relationship goes wrong. After all the madness, the fights, the dramas, the puffy eyes, we bet ourselves not to give our hearts (and mind and soul) to someone else. To fall in love is like a nostalgia. Let’s just (put our bad habit here) like crazy until we can forget his/her phone numbers.

Life is back to normal when we can pass 3 days in a row not thinking about our bad habit (FYI : I was abroad and I didn’t have a will for 3 days in a row to shop). Life’s good. We survive major heartbreak. We’re survivors!

Then a someone new comes in our way.

We can’t tell which one of these elements tell the other two (mind tells heart and soul?) that this someone is so nice that we don’t mind spending more time with this person, he/she looks so cute, etc (we all know the standard operation procedure is, right?). We’re about to lose the bet. Or are we?

It’s your call.
In my case, I lost the bet.

Now let’s sing.

(Lyrics)

I’m through with love
It’s only a madness
I’m finished with this
This moment was never my joy
Who needs a heart break?
Don’t want anybody to call my own

But when you’re near
The sweetest sensation
Takes over my heart
I feel like I’m losing control
These moments of weakness
Allow me a glimpse of heaven

But I’ve been so strong
Can it be true
It’s like a mystery too soulful
For you broke my resolve
Now I’m fighting I try
but I cannot deny
that I could really go for you
I’m looking for clues
What else to do
I take leave of my senses
Give back all defenses
I have to comply
Can no longer deny
That I could really go for you

It could be so good
I’m wishing anew
oh why should I resent
something I’ve always missed?

What’s the point in my pride
if I cannot deny that I could really
go for you
Powered by Plinky

 
Leave a comment

Posted by on April 24, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty, Music

 

Tags: , , , , , , ,

Snail Mail and us


Hm, I really can’t remember when was the last time I received a hand-written letter via snail mail and I can’t remember when the last time I sent one was.

But I remember the last postcard I received. It was just days before Christmas last year and it has a picturesque view of Volcan de Fuego of Guetamala on it. That postcard took almost 2 months to arrive. The sender – my fiancé- had been already back home when I got it.

Postcard from Guatemala

I also remember the last postcard I sent out to my fiancé. I sent it a few weeks back from a pretty busy post office in Singapore. The postcard has a picture of some Buddhist temple at the Chinatown on it. I wrote “In Singapore on this weekend” on the top of my usual “wish you were here, Baby” there. I didn’t seal that postcard with a kiss though. It would’ve looked so weird in front of those post office people if I’ve done that.

Yes, we’re one of the rare couples who still send snail mail to each other.

You see, there are thousands of miles separating us and we live by the Long Distance Relationship golden rule: Communication is the grand-daddy of any relationship. So we talk on the phone a lot when we’re at home (by ‘home’, I mean he’s there at his and I’m at mine), text a lot (thanks to the nerds who invent BlackBerry Messenger), send postcards when we’re travelling and send mushy Hallmark greeting cards celebrating our important days.

Sending postcards is not popular these days. More than once, I’ve gotten this strange look from my friends who happen to be with me in a bookstore overseas. “Postcard, really? Why don’t you just send emails from that smart phone of yours?” is a question I’ve heard too many times. And believe it or not, unlike bookstores here, not every bookstore sells postcards in most Asian countries. I have to spend some good time browsing for places that sell them. I usually have to go to those tiny book stores at the train station or at the airports.

Last October when I was in Bali, I was too busy taking pictures to send him a postcard. I sent him by email my photo of picturesque view of Balinese paddy field and wrote that I took great photos that day. He seemed to be okay with it and I thought I had found a perfect way to still send him “postcards” online.
But then came December, a postman hand-delivered my fiancé’s postcard from Guatemala to my office. Oh, to hold that piece of postcard that was once carefully picked out, carefully written, and lovingly sent by my fiancé I made a promise to myself to always send him snail mail when I was away.

Powered by Plinky

 
4 Comments

Posted by on April 12, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty

 

Tags: , , , , , , , ,

My first month anniversary


The date : March 16, 1997.

The time : 10-11 PM

Phone booths
That guy was my first boyfriend and we were supposed to celebrate our first month anniversary. For a 16 year old girl, dating a same guy for a whole month is a BIG deal.

The plan was to watch the midnight show of Baz Luhrman’s Romeo and Juliet (I didn’t have any curfew. I was a lucky 16 year old gal).

“I’ll pick you up at around 10.45 PM”, he said.

And I waited outside the gate since 10.40 PM.
I remember the mosquitoes.
I remember people walking by staring at me.
I remember he was saying that he’d pick me up at around 10.45 to watch the 11.50 PM film.

I waited outside until 11.35 PM.
I remember walking slowly from outside the gate to the phone booth.
I remember wishing if only I had a cell phone and iff only he had a cell phone.

He didn’t come that night

He came at 6 AM the following morning with a good story. Lost his car key and all.

But that night was definitely the worst date ever.

Powered by Plinky

 
5 Comments

Posted by on March 29, 2011 in Dating & its nitty gritty

 

Tags: , , , ,