Saturday, February 28, 2009

Homeward Bound

I'm going home. Spontaneously. On the spur of the moment. Unplanned. I'm like Clint Eastwood in the Bridges of Madison County, where the lonely Iowa housewife falls in lust with this ageing stranger with a strong sense of adventure.


Robert: Well, from Italy to Iowa - that's a story!

(Francesca smiles) Whereabouts in Italy?

Francesca: Small town on the eastern side no one's ever heard of called Bari.

Robert: Oh yeah, Bari. I've been there.

Francesca: (surprised) No, really?

Robert: Oh, yeah. Actually, I had an assignment in Greece and I had to go through Bari to get the boat at Brindisi. But it looked so pretty I got off and stayed for a few days. Breathtaking country.

Francesca is overcome by the idea of such freedom.

Francesca: You just... got off the train because it looked pretty?

[end scene]

Hahaha! As if I had the 'idea of such freedom' to overcome any women! This did require some thought processes and self deliberation, but I am going home on pretty short notice, so I am going to give myself the credit of pseudo-spontaneity!

And yes, I did discuss it with K, and she sweetly said yes - we're putting absence making the heart grow fonder to the proverbial test!

So get ready, Malaysia, because aku pulang ni!

Random Memories: Seven Years Old

I remember the white school shoes that we always had to wear to school as children. I have no idea why white was the preferred colour, given that a day's worth of walking, playing marbles, running around as pretend cops and robbers, kicking the soccer ball, kicking your friends, and walking back in the muddy rain from school were bound to stain the shoes pretty quicksmart!

I remember how we were meant to wash our shoes weekly as well - of which the instructions were:

1) Remove your shoe laces
2) Scrub your shoes with soap until all the dirt is removed
3) Wash the shoe laces
4) Leave shoes to dry
5) Apply shoe whitener (Kiwi TM shoe whiteners) to the entire shoe, avoiding the soles of the shoe. Repeat with the other shoe.
6) Leave shoes to dry again
7) Reapply clean shoe laces to shoe

Sounds tedious, right?

But considering the rewards of a clean pair of white shoes, it actually was tedious. Haha!

That's why we would often jump straight to steps 5 and 6, ignoring steps 1-4 and modifying step 7. We would apply thick layers of whitener to the shoes, hoping that it would sufficiently win over the dirt by sheer thickness of whitener layers, and freely coat our shoelaces in the process as well.

Most times this tactic worked well, except that our shoelaces would harden, making them difficult to remove. When enough remorse has built up over the years, and we make it our New Year's Resolution to follow steps 1 through 7, suddenly we realise that the shoelaces were now an integral part of the shoes.

Any extra force to try and prove otherwise would often result in your shoelaces snapping, releasing years of dirt and powdered shoe whitener into your face. The shoelace, having performed its final act of vengeance from years of abuse, lets out a sigh and dies in your hand.

Which is why the smarter ones among us chose Velcro.


This reminds me of this singsong poem we used to chant in selecting members for cops and robbers and other teambuilding exercises in primary school. Everyone would stand around in a circle with one foot into the circle, and then one boy will start counting, separating the teams:

Whose shoe is a dir-ty shoe, Please go out and wash your dir-ty shoe! You, cop!
Whose shoe is a dir-ty shoe, Please go out and wash your dir-ty shoe! You, robber!

Can anyone else remember any other chants for selecting team members? I seem to remember that there was a Cantonese one as well.

I do remember that there was one more, for the shoe-treading game of Pepsi Cola, where everyone stood in a circle, then took three large steps back, and then the nonsensical singsong chant would begin to determine who would start first:

Pepsi Cola
Ice Cream Soda
Curi bola
Coca Cola!

(or something to that effect. We were part of the 7 year old's Dead Poets' Society, as you can tell.)

The objective was to jump on your friends' white school shoes. You could jump towards someone offensively, or you could jump away from them defensively.

At the end of the day, your newly washed Pallas Jazz shoes would have changed race, making you go home to wonder which evil kid thought up this stupid game in the first place, neccesitating further cleaning with steps 5 and 6.

Sometimes the shoes were so dirty that you had actually to go through steps 1 through 7. But not before your shoelace snapped in your face.

And then, you want to find the kid who came up with this ridiculous game. So that you could hold his little wriggling body down and take turns to step on his stupid white school shoes.


Nicole Tan said...

when you going back?! wait for me going back during easter

LiveByFaith79 said...

Wah..I remember this game "Cop and Robber". I dislike it when my newly cleaned shoes was step on during the games.. The shoe mark will be printed there for the entire week... shucks...

LiveByFaith79 said...


krys said...

hahaha cop and robber.. hahaha we sang pepsi cola proton saga... something something i can't for the life of me remember.

i think we also sang, A E I O U banggali love you.

P'Heng.. WHO is K!?!? I am beginning to suspect you hung up your bachelorness without telling meee!

mellowdramatic said...

Nicole - aiyah, these things semi-spontaneous one mah... too bad lah... I eat the food first then tell you which places to avoid.

D - Yeah, I was going to say that the shoes will look like a reverse cheetah - brown with spots of white!

k - You're right! I do remember the proton saga bit, so it must have been part of the chants! And yes, the AEIOU one was a classic as well!

And yes, K is my girlfriend. I have traded the shoes of singleness to share the shoes of a relationship (I secretly like wearing heels)... will tell you more when we get a chance next time!

pk said...

in Klang we have a Hokkien chant - ki ki ki peng peng.. mm chai tiang cho peng, mm si wa.. tu si lu cho peng!!

gaspppp..P'heng!!! v.happy for you and K! do small k and I get to meet her soooooonnnnn?!!

mellowdramatic said...

pk - You're absolutely right! Hahaha!

There is a Cantonese equivalent of that version - can you actually translate this version ie. What is 'ki'?

I recognise some bits - mm si wa, tu si lu - it's not me, it is you etc. which is actually pretty similar to the Cantonese one!

And yes, we will arrange some sort of a meet up once I get back lah!

krys said...

yo yo someone capitulated. you were my last eligible bachelor friend. *observes moment of silence*

hahaha just kidding, lalala so happy for you. do you still need therapy? i can draw up a shoe shopping plan for you - how to hit the most shops in the least time. divide and conquer!

pk said...

ki ki ki peng peng.. ki = point.. peng = soldier.. (I don't know why we say ki x3.. I think it's coz it's more act cute)
mm chai tiang cho peng = don't know who becomes soldier..
mm si wa.. tu si le cho peng = not me.. 'that's mean' you become soldier..

and then there's also...
(insert name) and (insert name) sitting in a tree...
aren't you glad we're all grown up now =P

mellowdramatic said...

krys - Capitulation... Sounds like a beheading more than a surrender!

I didn't know that you were keeping a list of eligible bachelor friends - not that anything ever came out of being on that list! Hahaha! :)

Thanks for the shoe buying offers, many malls have fallen in the wake of the divide and conquer plans of the great k Low, I'm sure!

pk - Man! I burst out laughing at the deliberate (insert name here) and (insert name here) sitting in a tree... admit it, we don't really care all that much about growing up! It's more fun like this! Hahaha!

And yes, the Hokkien and Cantonese versions are pretty similar, after some scholastic comparison of the two!

small k said...

P'Heng, you do realise this single post has gotten the MOSTEST number of comments.

kikiki *act cute*

It's because you watched Changeling with her right. I give Clint Eastwood the credit, not you. Just kidding :) Alrighty, I will stop harassing you just in case K reads your blog. hahaha

LiveByFaith79 said...


mellowdramatic said...

small k - I know, right?! It's like double digit comments, which has never happened in the history of my blogging, like, ever. There was a previous entry that had 9 exclamations and would go no further!

(maybe if I added one more comment myself - how self indulgent!)

P.S. No need to act cute all lah! Don't make me return the favour to you and the scientist on your blog ah! :) (in his Incredible Hulk voice: Don't make me act cute. You won't like me when I'm acting cute.)

And no, it wasn't Changeling. It was the Wrestler, and it was Gran Torino!