Saturday, September 19, 2009

Escapist fantasies

I've been reviewing my current financial and academic situation, and have concluded that within the next five years, my only means of surviving would be to chain myself to both a class and office desk. I have no trust fund, no distant uncles with an obscene amount of inheritance ready to be wired to me upon their death, and no lotto ticket. I am not supremely intelligent, and my skills are limited at best. My previous conclusion of chaining myself to a desk and push pencils is sadly, my best (and only) future option.
Before I become wholly doomed to this frightfully unenviable life, I want to take a few long and indulgent paragraphs to say how utterly fascinating my life would be if my situation were otherwise.

I would know the chill of the Finnish midnight sun, and I'd know the heat of an Australian brush evening. I'd jump with the Maasai in Kenya and laugh with the Dutch in Utrecht. My skin would be freckled and calloused and my home would be packed on my back. My family can only reach me from my satellite phone, as I won't know a proper sheltered building for days on end. My lifestyle would make national geographic look as cozy as the cooking channel in comparison. I would live for every wasted hour I dazed in a class. There wouldn't be a country I haven't seen, a people I haven't met, or a language I haven't mangled. Mountain or desert, river or sea, jungle or forest, I would have climbed, trekked, swam or blazed just because I could.

And when my body begins to buckle, and those mountains are too high and the seas are too strong, I will retire somewhere with soft breezes, and under a shady tree filled with whispering branches, I will lay down and die.

This is the life I would choose, and if opportunity presents itself, it would be the life I lead.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Summer articles and blogs

Well that was quick.

I turned around one day and realized that summer is over and I'm sitting dazed and confused in my classes again. What the hell mah? Wasn't I shopping for batik bags just yesterday?

Although it was too short, (much too short!), I managed to cram in an internship, meeting up with friends and family, and plenty of food into those months. And to show for it, minoritydreams generously hosted a series of articles I co-wrote with Nour on our summer together, as well as an article I wrote about my mom. Following film-maker Yasmin Ahmad's passing, I wrote an op-ed about her for the Malaysian Insider.

So that was a lot more work than I had intended to do, and the minute I was ready to lay back with my starfruit juice and kick back with my Asians, I was packing to leave. Not to sound petulent, but it's sooo unfair. I wasn't ready to go! I was nowhere near tired enough of the food stalls, card games, road trips, mangled Malay-English conversations, family dinners, the Malaysian music scene, wreckless motorcylists, or even the heavy tropical humidity to be on a plane headed towards research papers and SAND. Sand, psh. Woe as me. At least let me take the food stalls with me, gosh.

So that's June/July/and a bit of August for you.

Here's a sexy song from Malaysia's unelected President (whut whut).