SCENE. A man brakes somewhere in Lambak Kiri, parking his car to the side as the feel of gravel vibrates from the tyres to the soles of his feet. He is hungry, and the waft of nasi katok caused his stomach to growl. He wants food. He needs food.
He exits the old Suzuki and locks the door behind him, his vision concentrating instead on the nasi katok stand just to his right. He walks over the quaint wooden stall, ignoring the cars zooming past him on the road just to his left.
A young woman stands in front of the stall, waiting for her food. She is wearing her hijab, elaborately wrapping her head, her neck, covering the top of the summer dress she wore as the material of her head cover flows elegantly on her torso even though there was no wind. A flower decorates the side of her head, sequinned trainers on her feet, and bangles, bangles, bangles clicking together on her forearm.
She nearly bumps into him when she turned with her plastic bag of nasi katoks, and what hit him felt like a volcano eruption. Bright eyes, full lips, pink cheeks. Like a perempuan Melayu terakhir or something except it’s the modern kind of perempuan Melayu terakhir when the perempuan entered middle class and could afford buying stuff from Mango. Yuna or whatever.
“Sorry!” Her voice sings..
“It’s okay…” he breathes out.
She looks at him more carefully, smile reaching her translucent brown eyes, and what he only manages to muster is a difficulty in breathing.
“You seem like the boy who’s going to break my heart,” she teases.
He looks at her, assessing her face and her voice.
He replies: “Dude, what the fuck, perasaan jua ko!”
He walks away and took out his phone, never ordering the nasi katok. A WhatsApp group of his secondary schools friends flashes before him, and he texts, “BRO! This sial bitch said I broke her heart, and I just met her. What a bitch! Perasaan lawa!”3 days ago • 6 notes
The thing that I hate about Fridays is that I want to spend maybe six hours writing in a cafe somewhere from morning to afternoon, but at some point at 11.30am, I have to pack up because the cafe will be closed for 2 hours.
And if I start my writing in the afternoon, I can’t do that either if I want to fulfill my six hours writing quota, because I want to go for a run at 5 later. Do I write in the evening? No, every street will be too crowded to drive through. By the time I find a parking spot, it’s already 12 midnight.
So, in the end, I don’t write, and if I do, I have to do it at home where there is nowhere comfortable enough to do it and where I can’t produce anything that I’d remotely like; where every noise—from the screech of a chair against the floor to running water from the kitchen—becomes singular and not a mixed array of sound that is welcoming. Which is why I like writing in public so much because the noise helps me concentrate, the lighting in cafes are better than what I have in my room (broken light bulb that can’t be fixed for the past 10 years) and where no one is calling out my name so I can do a chore.
#bruneiproblem2 weeks ago • 2 notes
1. It is completely possible that a city that hasn’t seen any renewed structures for centuries to integrate in the rushed contemporary life while maintaining modernity.
2. Walk everywhere. Walk alone. Walk with people who have lived in Paris for a long time. The outskirts of the city can be surprising, the alleyways hold beautiful secrets, and the crowd suddenly gathering around you is… a group rioting. If that’s the case: RUN!
3. If the police sirens are non-stop, there’s probably a violent protest going on downstairs.
4. Tom and Jerry rat traps are applicable to real life.
5. Expect a conversation like this to happen at Saint Michel—
Person: Hello, look at my art.
Me: I saw something similar to this on the other side of the river.
1. Rain makes everything dreary even if the tulips are blooming like a fully erect penis.
2. Dutch guys are hot and will convince you to buy those sunglasses just by wearing them. And then they’ll have political discussions with you and pat your hand proudly for not being demure in your opinions. (Okay, just one guy.)
3. Art is better in Amsterdam.
4. You will see a lot of strange things. You will love a lot of those strange things, including this doll high on pot.
5. Bikes are great and everything but they can also hit you. They’re also a quick getaway to harass women walking alone by wolf whistling them while you cycle the other way. Bring boxing gloves and prepare to punch everyone cycling to your opposite direction.
1. Cabs are not as expensive as people say it is. Well, they’re expensive, but if you’re late for a show in East London, take a cab and never regret the experience.
2. People who have to work at stores during the night shift have the disease of ‘Prick’ compared to those in the day shift who were cured by the ‘Nice’.
3. Clap during small club shows even if no one else is clapping because the performer will say their thanks for your appreciation, and cue you putting thumbs up in the air, and cue them walking up to you and thanking you later.
4. If you see something strange that you want to own coming from a specialised exhibition: buy it, or regret it later. Like this Suffragette apron from the Propaganda and Power exhibition at The British Library. :’(2 weeks ago • 5 notes