Tuesday, September 04, 2007

That Girl from Seremban

"You’re exactly the same as I remember you."

Joo Yin, to me


Best darn thing I’ve heard in a long time.


It seems that I am suddenly prone to spontaneous fits of whimsy these days. On Thursday, I saw an old college colleague on MSN and in no more than 5 seconds, I decided to pay her a visit in her hometown of Seremban. Snap-snap. Insta-cross-state trip. I didn’t even pause to consider just how much things I’m cramming into my schedule this hols.

Unintentionally burning oneself out is the first sign of self-destructive behaviour. I’m sure it is a sign of something far more sinister slinking about my mental workings – but I don’t bloody care (which is, the second sign of self-destructive behaviour, by the way)

As if that wasn’t random enough, I decided to find my way to Seremban using some old country roads instead of the mighty North-South Highway (the one way street of Malaysia – so even retards can travel between states). At 9.00 am yesterday, I hit the road and ignored every green signboard pointing to Seremban, choosing instead to follow the blue Port Dickson signs. It’s like gambling, only without the cards and funky roulette tables.

I met her at the MPH bookstore in Jusco, where she had been waiting for the past 45 minutes (not my fault, she was there an hour early – meaning that I was actually a quarter hour early!). I was glad to find that she was precisely how I remembered her to be like; cute, naïve and stupendously blur. She was like a five-year-old back in Taylor’s College more than two years ago, the baby sister of our class – and now, she’s five-and-a-half. We thank God for life consistencies like this.

sbangirl
At the beef noodle place.

After buying a couple of movie tickets for a show at 4.30 am, we left the mall and headed to a shop that supposedly serve beef noodles like no other place does. I’d have taken a picture of the shop and the meal I had – but I was in the company of a non-blogger. She’d think I’m batty.

We had a minor arm-wrestling match disagreement when we both wanted to foot the bill. I won by sheer brute strength though. Damn, it’s good to be a man!

Afterwards, we returned to Jusco and parked ourselves at the Starbucks there – and we had the longest conversation the two of us ever shared. I learnt more about her in that two-and-a-half-hours’ talk than I did in the one-and-a-half years I spent with her in the same class of the same college. It just goes to show what sort of person I was back then; a pompous prick who considered everyone around him as part of the scenery. Somehow, it just didn’t occur to me till much later that everyone else is as much an individual as I am. That made me more than a little sad.

secretent0710
Incontrovertible proof that Jay Chou worships himself.

The flick we caught was Secret, written and directed by one Jay Chou, who also starred in it.

Quite obviously, Jay Chou thinks that pretty much every girl in the world wants to snog him (okay, maybe that’s true – but that’s not the point). Some of the dialogues are so disgustingly sweet and corny that they made me snort Coke up my nose. The main plot, however, was surprisingly engaging – up till the second half of the flick which consisted almost exclusively of exposition, exposition, and heaps upon sloppy heaps of exposition. They are all hallmarks of a poor writer; Perfect Mary Sue hero. Shameless indulgence in fulfilment of private fantasies. Overextended amounts of info-dumping.

I rate this glorified music video a 5/10 – 1 point for the awesome songs, another point for the piano performances which were delivered (as expected) with the usual Jay panache, 10 points for the girl’s incredible cuteness, and negative 7 points because I spotted shiny, pink lip gloss on Jay Chou’s smackers.

Joo Yin loved the movie though. She is a creature of simple pleasures – and is a happier person for it.

We headed to a local park next for a stroll, to work off the tub of popcorn we pigged out on in the theatre. Kite-flying seems to be all the rage now in Seremban;

sbanpark

There were people jogging, and there were kids romping about in the playground. Some teenyboppers were blowing bubbles in the evening breeze. A couple of roller bladders zipped past us three times at least. Families armed with bags of broken bread invaded the boardwalks to feed the obese carps in the lake – while lovers latched onto each other on the benches, determined to show how their love defies public approval. The place was positively ringing with weekenders' bustle.

Sbanlake
Lady by the lake.

All we did was walk and talk. There was more to talk about than I ever suspected.

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Sunset in Seremban.

We left the park after a circuit around the lake. There's a Kajang satay place (in Seremban, yes) that she wanted to take me. I haven't had satay in more than a year.

sbanballoon
En route. Snapped from my car window. I live dangerously.

And yet again, I have no pictures to show for my awesome dinner. I could almost swear my camera was burning hot in my pocket when I ate. It's definitely a blogger thing. It's like Frodo with the One Ring.

After we were fed and watered, I chauffeured her back to her house. Despite my reluctance (reluctance to take off my shoes, that is - I had it on the whole darn day!), she insisted that I must come in for a tour of the place.

These greeted me at the gates;

sbanwolf
A couple of timber wolves German shepherds which smelt my fear.

Ordinarily, I'm pretty cool with canines but these woofers are trained guard dogs taught to aim for the balls. You can't blame me for wanting to get into the house real quick before one bright bugger decided to make a leap at me from the balcony.

Then, I saw more;

sbanwolf2
If you ask me, that fence is way too low. See that one skulking on the balcony?

It's like the Nazi K9 unit all over again! And I only had a camera to shoot them if they decide to go all 'primal carnivore' on me.

"How many German shepherds do you have, really?" I asked.

"Nine," she said. "Oh, and eight more puppies. They just gave birth."

OMG, the dogs are flippin' spawning!

Before I even managed to quell my initial wave of awe, she sprung her backyard on me. And, I had a genuine religious experience;

sbanrivendell
Joo Yin's dad must be God.

According to Joo Yin, her dad was the sole architect of their little pet rainforest project behind the house. He built a series of interconnected walkways which bridged numerous decorous pavilions suspended at mid-tree level many feet above the ground.

I seriously had no idea that Lothlórien was this close to Malacca.

sbanrivendell2

On the corridors criss-crossing the ground, I spotted many German shepherds patrolling dutifully - eyes glowing and wet noses keen. You'll have to be barking insane to try to break in. The dogs would make instant Alpo out of you. Darn, was I glad that I was 20 feet in the air!

sbanrivendell3
This must be where the Fellowship of the Ring had tea and crumpets.

Aside from designing the awesome pavilions and corridors, Joo Yin's dad also built most of the woodwork furniture with his own hands. Suddenly, I got a new role model in life. If I ever become rich enough, you bet that I'd try to build a backyard at least half as incredible.

"I'm up for adoption, you know," I said to Joo Yin, my jaw still hanging open. "Just in case your dad ever wanted a son."

sbanrivendell5

sbanrivendell4
A small outdoor library.

After our short sojourn to her dad's incredible tree-house village, we lounge in her room while she showed me pictures of her time in Newcastle, where she was doing a biomedical course. Her grandmother popped in for a chat which consisted mostly of her speaking in Mandarin, Joo Yin translating, and me nodding and laughing whenever I thought she was telling a joke.

I'd like to have stayed longer and talk some more with Joo Yin, but the night was getting late. Besides, I had to drive up to KL from Malacca in the very next morning for my meeting with Jen. Time was an enemy.

Leaving was rather hard because we might never see each other again. Though, I told her that I'll try to meet up with her again the next time I come back to Malaysia, and she said she'll come look for me in Malacca when she can - one can never ever know. Life is strange that way.

Goodbye was a short hug at her doorsteps amidst the barking of a small army of angry German shepherds, and a vague promise that we'll meet again before too long.

Goodbye was that bittersweet moment one share with a friend one just rediscovered.

Goodbye, Joo Yin. Have a safe flight to Newcastle tomorrow.


That boy from Malacca,
k0k s3n w4i

8 comments:

gaL said...

wei...9dogs? abit the scary rite... haha. lucky u get to see such a fantastic looking house.

Jen said...

goes to show that you never really know a person until you take the time to sit and have a proper exchange of words with them.

hey, joo yin's dad need another daughter? or a live-in housekeeper? i'm mean with a broom.

those 9 dogs look hungry. you sure you didnt have some bbq sauce on you?

pinksterz said...

wahrao! you went to seremban?!

we could have meet up if i am not out of malaysia now T_____T

jusco is so near to my place hahaha...it's my second home practically.

bevE said...

retart. it's retart !!!

and i thought "furniture" is already plural. why add "s" ?

michellesy the food fixated said...

Joo Yin has HOW many dogs again? 0_O

And er, I'm up for adoption too you know - l'ensemble with you and Jen =D

We could offer her dad a group discount or something if he'd take all of us in one hit. Free slaves anyone? ;)

If she was fine with you taking snaps of her and her palatial-OMFG-it's-so-cool-I-can't-believe-you-get-to-live-here residence, I don't see why she'd object to you photographing food.

Fine, fine. I'm only whining cos I didn't get to see pictures of yummo-licious food. Heh - simple creature with a food fixation, that's me.

It does sound like you're having a good time. You'll try to get SOME sleep though won't you?

I'm pret-ty sure you'd be doubling your sleep cycle again.

And probably haunting the local 24-Hour McD, book in hand, most nights - if not every night.

And yeah, I do realise I sound quite like the nagging grandmother (you've got one of those too, right?).

But that's allowed - cos I AM old XD

Dr.Vishaal Bhat said...

Wow! What a palace...

Elaynne said...

Wow...what a house!! very amazing....

Ooo Kok... would U have driven 15-20 mins to meet me?? hahahahaha

k0k s3n w4i said...

@gal
she assured me the dogs were properly fenced in. I'm sure one day some visitor will get killed. mark my words.

@jen
We did that didn't we? Haha.
SOrry, jen. I think they do all their housekeeping themselves. Can't trust nobody who ain't family these days ;)
Maybe i just look like dog-food. It's my hairstyle, i'm told.

@pinksterz
Come down to Malacca la. Unless, if ur free on Tuesday morning this week. I'm sure I'll be passing by Seremban.

@beve
U IS RETART. I IS GENIUS T^T
fixed the typo, you Nazi, you... ;)

@michellesy
You haven't been in here for an awful long time! Woah... where have u been o cherished reader of mine humble journal?
Hit "food porn" on Google and I bet you'll get any amount of leap-at-you food pictures you want. I DO have some Japanese food in my next post tho ;)
My sleep cycle, fortunately, hasn't doubled yet. But it IS reversed. I sleep at daybreak and wakes up when the wolves howl. beats cissy crowing anyday.
And I don't really need the McD anymore. I got an awesome new room perfect for reading in :D ... more on that later.

@dr.vishaal bhat
indeed. can't beat some of India's more palatial ones tho :)

@elaynne
Last I checked, Singapore isn't 15-20 mins drive away, Laine. But sure, I'd like to meet up sometime before I leave. I'm starved for company here in Malacca T_T