My Thank Yous

Posted: September 3, 2006 in Musings

Before I continue to post the rest of my “Top Most Unwanted Men in KL” series, I’d like to set the record straight. The place (read: Kuala Lumpur) despite the fact that it was a series of unfortunate events this around for me, it is still a wonderful place to spend more than a week in. Wonderful may not mean “excellent” or mind-blowing but unlike all superlatives, it is a word I often associate with bittersweet nostalgia; the kind of feeling evoked by romantic comedies that make romantic comedies work as movies anyway. So “wonderful” is an important word here. (*sigh)

As a travel writer, I’ve always said that travel writing is about, following Theroux, two things: being there and getting there. Such is true with appreciating a place as you write memories about it in your mind. What for me makes a place what it is, is the people, the characters that characterize my story, my narrative of experience of that place.

Because I don’t want to talk about the training, which was the reason I went there in the first place, for reasons quite obvious such as, uhm, “an blog entry about a training will be quite boring…, ” I will just write my sincerest thank yous for the characters I met throughout my stay there. Don’t worry, this is not gonna sound like a Miss Universe speech or an Oscars thank you speech. (Although, I did practice my best actress award speech so many times in front of my mirror but guys, sorry, that speech isn’t for you. *smirk)

My favorite KL cast of characters:

1. Munshiabdullah— (should I reveal your name?) hehe. Thanks for being such a quirky lady. The short period I spent with you seemed almost a lifetime as you were one of those people I call “larger than life.” So Bette Davis in All About Eve. Not that you were that crazy. But yes, you were quite unforgettable, especially because you lent me books by Zizek (duh!). My memory of you would always be short sequence of you trying to pick out all sorts of knives from the Japanese store we went to and grinning: “Are you scare yet?” The soundtrack would definitely be Hitchcock’s Psycho and Sam would be the victim screaming like hell: “No please No please No don’t kill me.” (I wonder why I imagine it that way.)

2. Sam (the Chinese actor look alike) — See. I can’t help but objectify you! *guffaw. What can I say? Beneath that kind polite veneer, I think you’re the nastiest person I know who could come up with really sarcastic wisecracks that would make Ellen Degeneres squirm. And that’s a compliment. Thanks for bringing me to Popular Bookstore even though the visit never made me popular (duh). I could imagine living in that store all my life and reading all those books again and again! Cheers to BEERy unforgettable nights of Chinese food, subcontinental stories, and all sorts of ranting.

3. JerryWho— hmm… Need I say more? You’re FUN to be with (and that’s an understatement). Thanks for cleaning my camera’s lens, for making sure I sit on a comfortable chair, for reminding me that I have to get my hot compress treatment for my back, for reminding me that I shouldn’t smoke too much, for being concerned about me, period. I got so many things to say, but so little time. So I guess, my wish for you: I wish your site won’t get hacked again. Don’t worry. If ever those hackers will find themselves in my part of the world, I’ll make sure they’ll be sent to the Abu Sayaff’s training grounds for target practice. Better yet, frame them as drug pushers so the Davao Death Squad will have a nice little feast on their otherwise sedentary hacker bodies. Oooh.

4. SpongeBob— I call you “Bob the asides” guy. I’ve never met anyone who can come up with so many asides in a lecture as you can. *Grin. Your stories about being in the military was so interesting precisely because I can relate to them. Here’s a secret: I used to dream of becoming a soldier. But then again, not all female soldiers turn out to be as hot as Demi Moore in GI Jane. Holding a rifle is enough for me. Such a good cure for my fixations. Get it? Rifle= phallic symbol. Go figure. Bwahaha.

5. the De Sentral Hotel managerIndeed, you will not be missed. But, you will be remembered for looking worried and sad all the time and for warning us that losing a hotel key will cost us 15 ringgit. That night we left, Alecks told me you looked sad, (*sob) and at that moment, I looked back, and I sort of felt a tinge of sadness too. We called it separation anxiety. But secretly I thought it was just pure regret. Good luck in your business. I hope you won’t try waking your guests up by banging on their doors again. A bit of advice: Please set up a good intercom system so you won’t have to go up every floor just to do wake up calls.

6. the taxi driver/screamer— Salamat sa tanan. You shouting at me woke me up from a deep stupor. Now, I know that people like me can be screamed at by taxi drivers too. No class analysis needed. Just look at the color of our skin and you’d know we belong to a world we never dreamt to be. I do hope you won’t shout at other Filipinas again.

7. the Buddhist owners of Startown Inn— I apologize for putting my laptop bag on top of one of your chairs (you know, those that were placed in front of the elevator?). Despite that I could read the sign perefectly well: “Don’t seat or put any object on this chair,” my bag got really heavy and I couldn’t help but make it rest on that chair just for a teeny weeny moment. From where I came from, chairs were objects people sit on. But then again, perhaps, you had a different point of view. Thanks anyway, for making sure our rooms are clean and for reminding me that I shouldn’t bring a man up my room for a short visit. Cross my heart, hope to die. I did NOT bring anyone there. Pwamis.

8. Luz, Alecks and Gemma— I’ve never been so proud to be a Filipino ever before. You’re such a head strong bunch. I felt like a child amongst you people. But it was nice hanging out with all of you, including Alecks who doesn’t get tired of teasing me. My mother used to say, traveling aint fun if you’re with the wrong people. Well, at least this time, I had you three, with quirks to boot. By the way Luz, it was soooooo nice meeting your husband. That New York Film Academy hat says it all. Looking at both of you made me think marriage can acutally work if you’re with the right person. Wish you all the luck.

9. Prem and Calvina— For what it’s worth, Terima Kasih.

10. last but not the least, Yee Ling— You impressed me.

  1. Bob K says:

    Hehe .. it was fun having you here as well .. and yep .. I really gotta learn to stop talking to myself and thinking out loud šŸ˜‰

  2. Anonymous says:

    Larger than life? HahaHAHAHA!
    Come back soon and we’ll bbq zizek

    Here’s a parting gift I stole from an ex honey:

    Munshi (just call me Bette)

  3. reefer says:

    to bob: dun worry. i talk to myself all the time.
    to munshi: hmm.. it seems that i can’t get enough of your country. weird. i often find myself wanting to go back. if not for zizek invite, i would be hesitating. see you when i see you.

  4. Ms Lu says:

    Reefer! Miss you na. (Can’t you tell? I’m checking your blog). šŸ™‚ Also miss Alecks and Gemma, and of course KL. I got something out of that trip, despite the hassles. At least I put up my own space–haha–last updated a week ago! Wanted to post more pictures but got busy. (besides, didn’t want to rant anymore). Boyette’s fine and says hi. Keep in touch!–>

  5. JerryWho says:

    we have to do the rooftop thing again.

    we the pro party thrower will do that in Davao!

  6. yeah jerry, we have to do that rooftop party again minus the drizzle. and we can do that in davao! of course, it will stretch on and on til i’ll finally witness all of you getting piss drunk on good ole pilipino beer. come come.

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