My Handphone was Stolen

So, my handphone was stolen on Friday, maybe Saturday, I’m not sure when. Did not feel much of a pinch, if at all — I’ve been longing for an excuse to get a new handphone for ages.

I guess the thing that hurt most, if at all, was the fact that my contact list, of which no backups were made, is now gone. Fortunately for me, the handphone never played a large part of my life, and the contacts on my phone were, mostly, of people who once played an important part of my life, but who, over time, slowly crept out of it.

Life has gotten very stagnant of late; routine has been slowly taking over every aspect of my life, and without my even knowing it. Perhaps this might act as a catalyst to should shock me into change? In a twisted, perverted way, I think I wanted my handphone to get stolen — I needed something rather drastic to happen.

Now, I shall start on a blank slate. This has kick-started a revolution, if you will, of my life. A new phase, with new moods perhaps. A new way of thinking, a new way of being. If not now, when?

On Being Vegetarian

I’d much rather look at a bird, and think, “Look, there goes a bird” than “Look, there goes our dinner”.

food, or animal?

I had been more or less vegetarian for the past four years or so (abstaining from meat, but not dairy). When I tell people I am vegetarian, they almost always ask if it’s due to religion (almost invariably that of Buddhism). When I tell them that I’m catholic (at least that’s what my legal documents say), and that my being vegetarian has nothing to do with my religion, their first reaction is that of surprise, followed quickly by traces of admiration.

As for people who know me long enough though — when the novelty of having a vegetarian acquaintance has worn off — that admiration turns to an indifference at best, and annoyance at worst: common foods that we all can enjoy are hard to find.

My vegetarianism however, is far from strict. I still take dishes where meat is present; for example, I take chicken soup, though not the chicken. When meat is present in a dish, I simply take it out, and eat what’s left. When I explain this to people I meet, they often remark, “oh, so you’re not a true vegetarian then”.

As a side note, the “they” I mentioned earlier refer almost entirely to peers around my age. Those older than me are more of, “ah, okay, so you can take [meat] then”.

In Taiwan, I ate Chicken

I would first like to declare that I ate chicken during my trip to Taiwan. Next, I would like to declare that I enjoyed it. My eating chicken created quite a hooha among my bunk mates — they’ve never let me off since.

But the fuss it kicked up was quite unlike what I had expected. It’s difficult for me to imagine how hard it is to accept that a “vegetarian” is suddenly eating meat. From my perspective, it seemed to natural that I couldn’t quite care less what I had eaten. To others however, it was quite a big deal.

Comments like “you sinner!” or “how could you?!” were commonplace the following days, and though mostly said in jest, they annoyed me somewhat. Just because I abstained from meat for a few years or so, does it make me any less of a person that I eat meat now? They may not have meant it like that, but it sure felt like that.

Of course, after a while, I got used to the jibing, and their remarks were starting to get on my nerves not because I felt them true, but because they were so repetitive it felt like I was watching re-runs of Sesame Street.

Who am I?

I guess I should have had seen it coming when I decided to take on the identity of “vegetarian”. I actually do not quite see myself as vegetarian, but more of “a person who strongly prefers to have a vegetarian diet”.

The thing is, the term “vegetarian” is shorter and thus easier to introduce myself by, and that the latter description is not only long, but ambiguous. Hosts and hostesses might be left pondering my diet, and having to make wild guesses on the meat-eater to vegan spectrum.

It is time, I think, that I dropped “vegetarian” when describing myself; the term “vegetable-lover” might be better suited to my cause.

An English Fetish: Jamie Teo

Project Slim

A couple of days ago I watched a show called “Project Slim” on Channel U (Singapore). I wasn’t particularly interested in watching it, just that it happened to show at that particular time, and nobody bothered quite enough to change the channel.

“Project Slim” is a variety show in Mandarin. Five minutes into the show, I figured since I was catching less than 50% of what they were saying, I had might as well look for other ways to entertain myself.

Jamie Teo

Asking myself “what is good about this show that I can understand?”, I came up with an answer: Jamie Teo. The beautiful hostess, Jamie, was crowned Miss Singapore Universe in 2001.

She has a figure I think many girls would die for, especially fitting for a host of this particular show, on which participants aim to lose weight and for a better figure.

But even her pretty face and slim frame wasn’t enough to keep me interested for long. I was distracted by the ever-increasing cold of the room, and my butt hurt from sitting too long.

Hypnosis

Then the show started getting a little more interesting. They invited this hypnotherapist onto the show, to discuss the merits and uses of hypnotherapy. I’ve always had a soft spot for hypnosis, so I started paying attention.

After a brief discussion, the hypnotherapist was asked to do a demonstration. Jamie eagerly volunteered to be hypnotised. Beautiful girl… under hypnosis… now, this was getting interesting — and the room was suddenly a lot less cold.

The show suddenly cut to a scene showing the hypnotherapist holding Jamie’s hand and making her fall asleep within seconds. Going under the spell so quick? Strange. But I recalled watching other shows on hypnosis. In them, I learnt that hypnotists often “prime” their subjects before the filming begins, so all they need to do to get their subjects into a hypnotic state are simple actions like the snapping of fingers.

A Sceptical Look

As much as I like watching hypnosis at work, I am still largely sceptical. It is similar to me bringing my atheistic beliefs to church — as much as I want to believe there is a God, a part of me says God’s nonsense, and vice versa; and the thing is, I can’t help it.

Therefore as Jamie fell under the hypnotist’s spell, I looked out for tell-tale signs of acting. I watched her eyes, her eyelids to be exact, for flickering. If you notice, when one closes one’s eyes on purpose, as if to act asleep, it is often impossible to keep them from flickering. [Try it with somebody near you. Ask him or her to close his or her eyes, and see if they flicker.]

Natural Actress

Anyway, like all good actresses, her eyes didn’t flicker. I could see a little of the whites of her eyes, and she seemed natural enough. The thing that most convinced me though, came afterward. During the hypnosis, if you notice carefully, you can see liquid flowing out from her right nostril: not what her publicist would recommend her doing.

The hypnotist asked her a series of questions, mostly about her sleep patterns, like when she slept, what she did before sleeping, and why she did what she did before sleeping. It was on the last of these questions that Jamie woke up with a start.

The Awakening

As she shook herself out of her deep sleep, the hypnotherapist asked her how she felt.

“Scary… scary,” Jamie replied, “it feels like a deadweight has been lifted off me.” The latter part of her reply was probably said in response to the effect waking up had on her.

Anyway, remember that this was a show in Mandarin, not English. Her responses in the following minutes were made in English. And she suddenly looked and sounded so sincere, so vulnerable, it made me want to hold her tight and tell her everything was going to be alright.

Beautifaul, truly beautiful

I didn’t think much of her then, but was suddenly awakened to the beauty that lay within her.

I don’t know, but I think her use of English played a big part in my sudden infatuation with her. Like in the classic TV show The Addams Family, Gomez Addams suddenly gets all turned on when his wife, Moticia Addams speaks a word of french, I got all turned on when Jamie spoke English.

Give me Jamie Teo!

It is rare to get someone so effectively billingual, and so cute too. Give me more of Jamie Teo anyday, but in English, please. Thank you.

Photographs of Jamie Teo

Went scouting for some pictures of Jamie Teo over the internet. To say they are rare is an understatement. I managed to find some of her older Miss Singaopre photos, which can be found at this Chinese website. They’re really old, and I must say she looks a little different now.

It strikes me how un-glamourous she really looks. She is not the kind of lady you would expect to win in a beauty contest — she is pretty, but in a rather ordinary way.

Death Will Come

When was the last time you seriously thought about dying? I do not mean that of suicidal tendencies. No, I talk here about death in the least romantic of terms. Death through normal means, road accident, robbery gone wrong, falling and knocking your head, killer litter.

What were the chances that you would be living today? How old are you now? 15? 25? 35? Maybe 75? The older you are, the higher the chance that you should be dead, but aren’t.

You know any one around your age who has died? I do. Road accident. Crashed his motorcycle. He was 22.

Before him, I knew this other guy who died from a heart attack. His sibling tried waking him up for school. Shook him up. Didn’t know he had a disease that caused his heart to be unstable; the resulting shock of the shake killed him. He was 12.

I hardly consider the possibility of death through such events. Suicide, yes. But then, those thoughts were highly romanticised — in a suicidal state of mind, death doesn’t feel like death.

Let’s look at the theory of parallel universes. For every event that has multiple outcomes, the universe “branches” out into different worlds.

I cross the street, and a car zooms past by me. Bam! The universe splits into different worlds.

In one world, I am here, typing this.

In the other, I am dust.

Personality Test Blues

“A consistent routine lets me enjoy life more.”

Presently taking a personality test, and I am stuck at this question; consistent routine is not something I actively look for, neither is it something I actively avoid.

I like the predictability of routine in certain situations, especially when the rest of my life is in chaos. I like the unpredictability of a lack of routine when the basics of my life are met.

So how can I say that I agree or disasgree with this statement when all I can say is, it depends? Can I not prefer one thing over the other?

And if you say “choose the answer that applies most of the time”, all I can say is “is my personality determined by the situations I am mostly in?” Am I thus defined by external circumstances?