Thursday, 11 August 2011

the b*tch is back & the joys of flying economy

Yes, people, I'm back.

Some notable things:

One search officer at Soekarno-Hatta airport in Jakarta attempted to speak English with me. I could only assume that he thought I was Singaporean or Malaysian or whatever. When I showed him my wrist weights (I had to put the bloody things in my backpack since my suitcase was overweight... AGAIN), he asked if I was a boxer.

On the airplane from Soekarno-Hatta to Changi Singapore, I found myself sitting with one father and his son. I sat next to the son (around 15 years old) who dozed off and I realized he looked like a skinnier, Chinese version of Taylor Lautner. No, I don't have pictures to prove it, so you might as well accuse me of lying.

I got wedged up in the front row seat of the economy class for the whole trip from Singapore to Hong Kong and Hong Kong to SFO. Next to me was an Indian family with a baby who cried all the way. Thank goodness for SQ's in-flight movie selections: I watched Kung Fu Panda 2, The Princess & The Frog, Battle: LA, and Rio (FINALLY! I love that movie) and also the British comedies The Vicar of Dibley and Come Fly with Me (with David Walliams & Matthew Lucas of Little Britain). The vegetarian meals were so-so but they did give Magnum Classic (not too shabby) and my favorite Haagen-Dazs Cookies & Cream.

I was reading the delightfully morbid Notes of A Native Son by James Baldwin (a book-reading assignment from SMC) when a Chinese man with garish ensemble (red jacket, yellow t-shirt, pink sweat pants, yellow shoes, topped off with colorful LeSportSac fanny pack and one pink small suitcase with Hello Kitties and another red small suitcase with My Melodies) set himself down next to me.

He said, "Indonesian?" and I replied, "How did you know?" (mind you, he was boarding the plane from Singapore to Hong Kong). He answered, "You have Garuda (a bird - the Indonesian national symbol) all over you." (This is figuratively speaking - I didn't wear anything with the Garuda emblem on it.) Then we chatted for a bit about his son who went to USF and transferred to UW. Right.

I was also being quite the eavesdropper observant and realized that unlike the characters in Amy Tan's The Joy Luck Club and my own private experience, there are children of Chinese immigrants who actually speak with utmost respect to their immigrant parents. All of the parents were mothers during my observation at Hong Kong Airport. I happened to sit next to a pair of mother and son on the flight to SFO - the mother, obviously a Hong Kong resident, spoke accented yet quite good English, while the son spoke English with American accent, but they went along well.

Finally, I managed to observe that those in First and Business Classes are pampered twats (I saw a five year old girl having her own Business Class seat and drinking Evian). If I could get straight As, I promise, I'll talk my parents into getting me a Business Class seat.

Then again, for a person who decided to take the BART from SFO to Ashby and then walk for 1 km to his apartment while carrying a backpack weighing 7 kg and dragging a suitcase weighing 24.3 kg just to save money (I managed to shell only USD 8.6 for the trip), I don't think I will fly anything other than Economy.

And it is also fortunate that tonight's weather in Berkeley is sufficiently friendly. Not too cold, not too windy. Just right. Now all I need is to eat just a little and sleep in my bed. A friend posted on her Facebook wall, asking about the details of tomorrow's BART protest and the delay that it would cause. I shall worry about that later.


  1. Hi, nice to have you back. Have been missing your posts during your holiday :-0

  2. Thank you, Hanz! I didn't know I had such a loyal reader.

  3. In fact I have been following your blog since the "little scars" time. I can't remember how I ended up with your blog then. At that time I was doing my degree in Germany and somehow found your blog through Google. It was a pure coincidence that I found your new blog and discovered that it was you :-) So you are going to do your degree at SMC? I visited SMC some years ago, a friend of mine was studying there.

  4. Wow! LittleScars was ages ago. The blog met its demise when my then director told me I couldn't put up naked images of myself on the internet, no matter how tasty and artistic those images were. Then something happened and more sadness took over and I began posting Facebook Notes instead of blogging.

    Then I realized I needed to write something about my dance life (the pinkcoinbelt chronicles - was born), and then there was the San Francisco adventure that lead me to SMC.

    I opened the Blogger dashboard and found out that some people had placed comments on the LittleScars entry, among them was a very recently diseased friend. It's amazing how time flew by.

    Are you in the Netherlands now?

  5. Yep, it was ages ago! Too bad I missed your naked shots ;-)

    I have been living in the Netherlands for the past 6 years. I work in an R&D firm here. I am originally from East Java. Have lived in Singapore for a year after my graduation, but didn't like it.

    I admire your courage to live your life to the fullest. I am still thinking too much about what other people would think. I am in the closet (at least to my family members).

    All the best!