It’s 2.33am on a Friday morning. I don’t have to go to work the following day because it is a Malaysia public holiday. We are celebrating a Muslim holiday called Hari Raya Haji (aka Eid el Adha. You can read about the significance of this holiday in miloflamingo’s blog). I just had a few beers and some wine and some of Starbuck’s iced latte so I am totally wide awake and in the still of the night, with the whole family asleep (boy, I love these quiet and peaceful nights, listening to my favourite songs), I thought I should put down today’s event in my blog.
My friends and I met for our yearly reunion party before Chinese New Year. We tried to arrange for one gathering each year – just to catch up with our old friends or with existing friends. Unfortunately, the ones that attended today were the friends that we meet almost every month. The others could not make it. So who attended? There’s Daniel. I have known him for 25 years. We were in the same class, Standard 1A, in Methodist Boys Primary School, all the way to Form 6. There’s Loochoomus whom I have known for 24 years – from Standard 2A till Form 6. He’s been with me the longest in the sense of spending time togerher – even during school days we would hang out at each other’s house. I was also his best man during his wedding, oh so many years ago. Then there’s Guderain whom I have know for 17 years as he joined us in Form 3 till Form 6. John Lim, 25 years, also happily married to “Mrs Cow” (ha ha) who is expecting a baby.
How many people can claimed to have such long friendship who are really close to each other? I can depend on my friends on anything and I totally TRUST them. During school, we may not be close or hang out together as we have our own circle of friends (except Loochoomus and I) but all these histories that we shared meant something.
We could still remember the names of the teachers who cried in disappointment because of our disobedience… and we were the A class students, ok? And yet, from Form 1 to Form 6, there would be one female teacher who would end up bursting in tears. We could still remember our Form 1 public caning .. ha ha.. (another story, that) or how the whole class boycotted the Form 5 Chemistry teacher’s class because she was a racist – saying how we Chinese only love Chinese teachers and not her (and how we did not give her flowers and appreciation card during Teacher’s Day. She claimed that she’s a Master grad. and we were NOTHING. Ok, we are nothing, so we boycotted her class – we refused to go to any amali (lab) and our Form Teacher had to be the intermediate counselor between the Chem teacher and us. And yeah, we all scored damn well in Form 5 Chemistry without her! But I disgressed.
Usually our Chinese New Year reunion dinner would be a buffet, or a 10 course dinner (with liquor, of course) and lots of old boys attending. And usually, after the dinner and some normal chit chats, we would say our goodbyes.
This year was different. As a lot of the friends didn’t turn up, so it was just the usual gang I see all the time, so we got to talk more crap and really had fun together. Instead of a buffet or 10-course dinner, we decided to go karaoke at this new center in Berjaya Times Square (buffet dinner included) and then adjourned to Shadows pub in Bangsar for all-out drinking and painting the town red. After all, we have known each other for 20+ years. What is there to hide? It was total freedom. We swore, we laughed, we sang, we screamed till our throat was course, we danced – basically we had lots of fun, with alcohol influence... ha ha. I have not had such a good time with my friends for as long as I could remember. Boy, it was good to hang out with the these old farts (minus the wives).
Usually, Loochomus, Guderain and I would leave around 12-ish because well, one have to go back to the wife and babies and seriously, we do not have the energy of John Lim and Daniel who were both kaki-discos/pubs/night owls.
Instead of going back, I proposed we hang out in Starbucks for a latte and just to cool down – get our hearing back and heal our throat with some iced tall latte and hot chocolates. In the relative quietness of Starbucks, the three of us started talking about the good old times and our old friends – basically your usual reminiscence and gossips about old friend.
We talked about Daniel and how he has chose his life as a gay. Guderain said it is a conscious choice and he chose to live that way. We all agreed that there was nothing wrong with it (I mean we have known and accepted his way of living for almost 10 years since he came out of the closet). He’s extremely happy with his life. Very positive, work hard to earn a honest living, good relationship with his “wife” of 10 years. Good for him. Of course, being men, we don’t understand how could one man be sexually attracted to another but hey, it’s none of our business and he’s still a friend.
We talked about another friend who has chosen to live a different life with a upper class, well to do family and even though there were many gossips directed at him about his choice, our friend was happy with it. We agreed that his ignorance and his oblivion to how other people think about the whole this is his strength because by being oblivious, he’s obviously extremely happy. Sometimes ignorance is bliss and I told the guys that I sometimes wish I am not so sensitive to my surrounding and be as blur as this sotong. Perhaps life would be much easier to live in and both of them agreed. After all, a positive person such as this friend would see life so differently from his point of view. Things are just simple, uncomplicated. Something akin to how Forrest Gump look at life but of course my friend is an engineer and very educated – not like Forrest Gump, in case I gave you that opinion. Of course, he’s still our dear friend (24 years) and we do respect his choices.
We talked about Guderain’s psychotic and revengeful ex-girlfriend (and her friend) who were our Form 6 classmate and had a good laugh. We teased Guderain why he dated her in the first place. Is he acting as our spy, trying to find out why his psychotic and revengeful girlfriend hated MBS guys? Or is he genuinely in love with her? Of course he sincerely love her but we just like to teased him about it.
The topic went to some of our failures in courting girls and the stupid things we did to win girls’ hearts. All the ridiculous flower and song dedications run by equally silly clubs at school. How we would all strategized and wrote the best poem or words to melt the girls heart. How people would start noticing those girls getting flowers and wondering who the heck sent to them and how all the speculations and gossips would run wild at school. And of course, all the heartaches and mamak sessions to console each other or to do more strategizing. That was really hilarious and thinking back, damn, we were so childish and stupid. (No wonder I did so badly in STPM – almost cost me my entire future with no University entrance). In my opinion, Form 6 was the best school time for me. The exams is tough. Life is tough at that time because there were a lot of work, but damn! Form 6 will always go down in my history book as the best times I have ever had in school.
We talked about some of our favourite Apple // games and how we had conquered all of them by wasting valuable school time… yeah we skipped classes, in the pretext of doing Computer Club work, but ended up in the air cond (it was a BIG deal last time to have a/c in school) computer room to continue hacking the orcs and ghouls.
We looked back to our favourite mamak stall (called Traffic Light Corner) beside Berjaya Singer (now shifted) and how we always ended up chatting for hours over many helpings of kopi-ais, teh-ais and our favourite puri (instead of going home to do school homework in the afternoon). Man. That mamak made the best puri in whole of KL and we can’t find any that can replace it today.
So, again with the influence of alcohol and caffeine (disclaimer.. ha ha), I told Loochomus and Guderain that I have been a jerk. I never call them to chat and they have to call me and look for me to come out to mamak. I said I am a jerk and that since I am turning a new leaf this year (to foster better relationship with people, not just friends) I will try to make some effort to er, call them. Loochomus said I had better not. Just be myself. If I started calling him and asking how is he, how his wife, son and daughter, he would get REALLY worried and will suspect I either have mid life crisis or have this incurable disease. So he said, no need to call ah. Guderain of course was laughing his ass off. He said when he called me I was like totally unresponsive, like in another world. Then I said, hey, but have you been noticing that I was really friendly for the past few months? :P and he said yeah he noticed that too, so please keep up the good work but DON’T CALL ME! Hahahaha… guess my no-call people reputation is really popular. And the best thing is, my friends still think of me and value me as their friends. In this context, I am really bless and I should not abuse it. I thank God for such friends… even people like ZipD and Dogbone who were really making a lot of effort and I am just the anti-social guy that ignore people. My friends, you are really a treasure! I’ll make an effort, I swear! Didn’t we agree to go VA cybercafé tomorrow at 8pm to play C&C? I promise I won’t ffk and come up with lame excuses.
As we were talking, Guderain’s phone rang. He picked it up and said “1.30”. We were like, oh gosh, is that YOUR MOM? Ha ha ha.. and we started ragging him about how he’s turning 32 tomorrow and yet still being a mommy’s boy! And he dared call me a mommy boy!!! Then Loochoomus and I said that if there’s something we learned today is that Guderain is a mommy’s boy and he’s dead meat because both Loochoomus and I have very good memory and we will start haunting him about this for the years to come. Hahahaha.. don’t mess with us. It is incidents like this that give life to our friendships as we have so many things to recall and rag people about.
It was a good reunion, IMO. The more important thing is to be able to reminiscence about the past and think how far back our friendship goes. We now lead different lives. All of us came a long way – from the 3 of us (and our parents) living in a really small 2 room flat a few blocks from each other, where we don’t even have a table to do homework (at least for me as I did my study and homework crouching on a floor), to where all of us are today. Yes, we do live different lives now with different priorities, some having kids and gay partner. I am still looking for mine and praying for the courage to do things that I really wanted to (in fact I am also praying for the wisdom to know what I wanted) and while I sometimes questions why some of my childhood friends fare better in terms of having a family-relationship, I know that I should also be patient.
You know, over the course of my life, I made many friends. I can tell which “era” they are from by the way they call me. It's in the intonation, the pronounciation of the name. The MBS gangs called me differently. ZipD, DogBone and DroolMan (who are one year my senior) called me differently. My friends in my company (Greedy, kimmikanuyi, anti-ringgit aka Ross and Monica) pronounced my name differently So do mystic_grey. Based on the way you guys call me, I can tell which part of my life you once are part of and have an influence on.
Since it is a New Year (for the Muslims, but what the heck), I just want to say that while I may be nasty at times, highly irritable and have zero patience, I am also a nostalgic person and will always treasure you guys. So yeah, thank you for the memories - after all, I am here to serve too.
And no, I don’t have incurable cancer. It's probably because Cairo/Egypt makes me do strange things.
I will probably turn back to my own self tomorrow, but you all still love me, don’t you? :P
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