Saturday, November 21, 2009

too much "talking"

I sometimes think I have a really overactive mind, like a runaway train ...

case in point:

I was lying in bed, for some reason, drafting an angry statement in my head to the hub (which I assumed did not drink his soup, and left it cold on the table yet again), "Why? Do you want to wait till the lizards crap in your soup?"

Then immediately, my focus shifted, to some memories stored in some lost vault - long, long, long time ago, some 10 to 30 years ago, at my parents' old place, we used to sit at this big round table for meals. This table was, and still is central in our lives, so much so, it is now at the new place. My brother had it restored and now 3 generations of the family is eating at the same table, same as the few decades ago. If I am not wrong, the table is 50 years old? *brain alert - flood. OK I'll talk about this later*

*argh* my brain shifted focus again. My final project for my masters was a proposal for a online shop for this teak furniture shop. My focus shifted because I remember they did furniture restoration/ repair other than building new furniture for sale at their workshop. Ok FOCUS!!!

Incidentally, talking about focus (I might as well get it out here before I lose focus on my original point again), I had attended this course on clarity of decision making (or something) and part of the course, we had this thingy that we slip on to our finger, told to think about something, and then other people got to witness your brain amazing ability to focus on the "something" - by measuring some brainwaves, I supposed.

Back to the table. Each of us had an assigned seat, which was never mentioned, but we just took our usual seats so much, it became "MY SEAT" inscribed in our minds. Anyway, there was these 2 to 3 seats, under the light, was prone to young lizards testing their courage/ pranks. Why I say this? Well, more often than not (by the way, these 2 to 3 seats are also the seats we do our homework on, since they offer the best lighting for our poor myopic eyes), we get baby/ young lizards falling off the lights and landing on our backs/ heads. Someone had lizard crapped into their soup before, etc etc.

And now since we are talking about those lizards, I always think they are a bit suicidal. I had killed lizards unknowingly, more times than I would considered it as coincidental. See, along this path I had to get out of the kitchen to the hall, there was this spot where, here in Singapore roads, considered it as a high accident spot (they used to put some skull signage or something??). This spot, I had stepped on at least 10 lizards, squashing them flat in the middle, leaving them to flounder to death eventually. This is the spot, where lizards dare each other to dash across to the other side when I walk by. Perhaps, we should ask "Why did the lizard cross the road?" The answer would be to me "Because they had a suicidal dare - to see who would become the next roadkill."

And this kitchen, was the "heart" of the house, which was some 4 to 5m by 2m rectangular size space, where it was also a pathway from the bedrooms to the living/ dining/ TV area. Which was strange, considering the size of the house. Now, my kitchen rival that kitchen is terms of size, except my place is much smaller than our old house.

I also remembered some kitchen incidents (trying to cook apples = cooked chopsticks in the end and breaking the first thermos flask, etc) but I shall not dwell on it here. I want to write about something that happens in my old house as sure as the monsoon season in Singapore, the "flooding that happens once every 50 years". Before the widening of the canal along 6th ave, once we have heavy rain, it's likely that 1) our place would be flooded (YES THE HOUSE) and 2) the traffic function outside the old NIE, would also flood for sure (OK, A & W just popped up!). We had flood waters in our place up to knee deep MORE than once, and that poor carpet, was soaked through many times. Things got worse when our neighbour had rebuilt their place (reminds of fireworks!), the drain got blocked and even just normal thunderstorm, our place was likely to get water in too. That big round table, and the few sideboards, are still standing in the new place, in good conditions. Yes, they may have been revanished and repaired, but could you imagine your Ikea table/ sideboards, taking that kind of abuse and still remaining in 1 piece after 50 years?

And about that A & W, we loved that place. It was us kids, our very special place. It's the only A & W over a drain (well canal). It even had an attap hut look, with the dried leaves (I don't know what they are called) over the roof. I remembered we used to go for the waffles, then they had to widen the canal, and it's gone for ever.

With that widening of canal, all the fun we had at the flood waters at the traffic junction was gone too. We used to wade out, waist deep, and trying to control the toy power boat. It was quite useless since the current was too strong for the puny motor. Strange too, how "unscared" we were then, of any insects, worms, and yucky stuff that could be floating in the water. I guess those car motorists would be cursing at this memory, since it means a lot of them would have stalled and needed major repairs (the engines would had been flooded). I don't particularly recall the cleaning up of the roads after that, but like my sister used to say, my brains store practically irrelevant information that pops out once in a while. She was and still is astonished at the "funny" things I remembered, considering her memory is like an elephant.

OK, last thing I will talk about is the fireworks (I am nearing to the end of my pump session). Long time ago, before my neighbours' plot of land was developed (one had a tennis court, one had a big lovely garden, whose slope was just opposite our place), we used to climb up onto the stairs or the slope to watch fireworks on national day. It was before the high rise buildings in the area and then, the fireworks were much higher in the sky. We could lie on the grass slope and watch the fireworks. These days, I just watch them on TV, and it's really not the same anymore. It's kinda sad, but that slope and stairs have since gave way to tall towering concrete walls, which clearly show "get out of my property" stance by the new neighbours.

OOps, if you know who Tracy Huang is, she used to be my neighbour too :P

So what is the original point of my post? Given the liberty to run its thoughts wild, my brain is a train wreck, all over the place. You just can't keep your eye on any focal point since it's just as "bad" as over the entire train wreck.

Still, I smile at the little joys I had when I had a kid, even not knowing how dangerous it was then (flood waters) or how lucky we were (lying on a grass slope to watch fireworks).