“Come here, come sit down,” you took my hand and ushered me to sit on the grey sofabed in my apartment.
I, having just applied a fresh layer of red liquid lipstick on my lips, must have furrowed my brow wondering what you were up to, but followed along anyway.
You sat me down, facing me, both of your hands clasped in mine. Your right leg suddenly bended, and before I knew it, your right knee landed on the floor. And just like that, you were kneeling in front of me, my hands still in yours. Read More
The gust of wind from the opened car windows blew the last hope I had of retaining any volume in my hair. The scorching sun penetrated my skin, the leather upholstery of the car seat absorbing and distributing the heat faster than I could adjust my sitting position.
The highway was empty except for the occasional one or two other cars we passed by. I felt a strange sense of solidarity rising up with those cars, it was as if we were in the impossible race against the sun together.
I was sitting at the back seat of an older model of Mercedes-Benz taxi. Avelino, the driver, a Portuguese man in his 60s with a considerably thick mane of salt-and-pepper hair, was behind the wheels. We were heading to Monsaraz, a village I had no prior knowledge about, 2 hours away from Lisbon. Read More
You invited me over to your house for an evening cup of oolong tea. I was expecting a cup of excellent tea, prepared with meticulous precision, to accompany my last night in Taipei. I certainly wasn’t prepared for what was in store.
You see, what you might not have realized, when you explained to me so passionately how different the process of preparing oolong tea from black tea turns out to be, is that you taught me so much more than how to brew tea; you taught me about life. You taught me that passion, just like brewing tea, always has to be accompanied by patience. Like your clay teapot that gradually shines as you use it over and over, we don’t get to be brilliant without persistence and determination. We don’t master something overnight but who's to say we can’t sit back, relax and enjoy a soothing cup of tea in the process? Read More
The shower had been on for what seemed like forever. Steam had long since taken over the whole bathroom, rendering the mirrors useless. I was still standing under the shower, letting stream of water envelop me. My whole body was wet; my hair was drenched. The frothy foam had disappeared without a trace. Yet, I remained still.
My eyes felt warm. I didn’t know if it was from the shampoo or from the constant stream of water. Before I could guess, my body shook violently I was gasping for air. Read More
It might be because I decided to play La La Land soundtrack album on Spotify. I also have a growing suspicion it might have something to do with the wine I drank at lunch, most of it I drained on an empty stomach. It might also be because I kept hearing the phrase "another day of sun" from one of the La La Land songs only to be greeted by gloomy and grey sky. It almost felt as though the song was mocking me tirelessly. Hey, listen to us singing about yet another sunny day in LA and enjoy this appropriately cheerful melody. Oh, stop.. just stop.
In case you haven't read my love letter to Los Angeles in my previous posts, my love for City of Angels is strong and true. And all of those things I wrote in the paragraph above makes me miss LA, yet again. I also somehow miss my life over there, and you know what else - or rather who else - I miss, I miss my sister and my brothers. Read More
When someone asks me, "Do you like living in Paris?", this is what I usually do. Firstly, I take a deep breath to mentally prepare myself to answer the question as flashes of images of Paris fill my head.
The warm baguette tradition and its orgasmic crust. The nonchalant waiters and waitresses who never seem to look my way in restaurants. The beautiful gleam of golden light on the surface of the Seine river at night. The gloomy faces of commuters on the cramped metro.
How do I answer this question without telling my life story? Read More
For Novia, on her birthday.
"Es-tu ambitieuse?" ("Are you ambitious?") Nicolas, my French teacher asked me a few days ago when we were having the usual in-class discussions. We were talking about happiness at work and whether or not that's achievable.
"Oui... quand j'étais jeune," ("Yes... when I was younger") I answered truthfully before stopping myself from elaborating too much. Believe me, I could talk about this all day, but my French isn't adequate for me to do that. And I didn't want to bore my teacher and classmates with my personal sob story. You know, how life is so tough and how, in consequence, my younger ambitious and energetic self no longer exists.
So, I'm gonna write it here instead. Read More
At this moment, you must be sitting on the plane, the Eiffel tower and the Haussmann buildings gradually fading away as the plane soars higher and higher.
I fell asleep last night thinking how weird it must be in the morning when I wake up and life would go on as usual - the bakers would still bake their batches and batches of baguettes, the métro would still be cramped with morning commuters, the cars would still be frustrated with each other on the narrow streets of Paris, the occasional 'Merde!' or 'Putain!' would still be muttered by those annoyed and flustered drivers. And yet, something wouldn't feel right for me. How could it be when you're not here? Read More
Dear my 3-day old niece, Alexia,
I'm sorry I wasn't there when you announced your arrival on this earth, although I'm not sorry I wasn't there to witness the whole process because, well, you know... Let's just say this aunt of yours is only comfortable with special effects blood and not the real deal.
I know we haven't met in person but from the photos I've seen so far, that highly munchable cheeks of yours are more than sufficient to steal my heart. I would so love to say that I'm one of those cool aunts but I'm afraid to say that at the age of 25, I think I'm already falling behind. I mean, I don't even know how Snapchat really works and as much as people rave about it, I still don't get it. Read More