Today’s little blessings

I once told a depressed man to be thankful for every little thing that came his way. He took my advice and I was glad. Then he took my heart and crushed it and I was sad. Very, very sad.

From the positive person that I was, I became bitter, hurt, angry and lost. Still am to a certain degree. At least now the physical pain is gone. I never understood what heartache really felt like till I experienced it myself. It’s like having your heart pickled, or a wrecking ball hit it and staying stubbornly lodged.

Pain and sadness are not the worst things about heartbreak. It’s the crippling fear of life and what the future holds. And the loss of desire for everything that you once loved. All that cliche about makan tak kenyang, tidur tak lena (eat not full, sleep not satisfied) is true.

For as long as I could remember, I wanted to travel. Growing up, money was very tight, so the only travelling we did was balik kampung (going back to hometown). Even taking the bus for a day about town was a big deal.

So when I started working and earning my own money, I went after that dream. Sometimes I had a travelling partner. When I couldn’t find one, I took off on my own. And that’s how most of my travels were. Solo. I didn’t want to put my dream on hold just because I couldn’t get anyone to come along.

I met M just before I set off on a month-long holiday (this time with a big group of like-minded people). I wasn’t really keen on meeting up because I had a lot of things to sort out before I left. But he was persistent and I relented. Why not give it a chance? Besides, the separation would be a good ‘trial’. If there was real chemistry, we would last the distance and time apart.

The first meeting was awkward, but then we had a second and third. And the whole time I was away, we kept in touch by chatting on Facebook and our feelings for each other grew stronger (or so I believed). When I returned, we picked up where we left off. Things were moving very fast.

We had a lot in common and one of the things we both are is well-travelled. Although his was mostly for work and mine is for leisure. Like any couple in a relationship, we talked about the future. Of sailing in the Caribbean (not Cuba where I wanted to go, because he’s not familiar with the waters), biking in Australia, driving in Myanmar, visiting his friends in Hanoi and Kerala, even a short break for a local road trip if I had gotten the job I wanted so badly.

But all that did not happen because he left. Slammed the brakes and left me by the roadside in the middle of nowhere (figuratively speaking). All the plans we talked about (the travelling and other things) was just him building castles in the air. He may have even been stringing me all along, making me think there was more to our relationship. Now I’m not even sure if he really went to all those places he mentioned as a hotshot engineer.

When he left, I lost interest in everything. Even travelling, which many friends know I really love. I would have at least one big trip a year. As long as I could pay off my home loan and bills and keep something aside for my retirement fund, everything else was saved for travelling.

For the first time in my life, I had nowhere I wanted to go. Gosh, this is how it feels like. I could not fathom those who use their precious annual leave to stay at home. Now I know. There is just no desire.

That time of the year

Yes, it’s that time of the year when we need to think about clearing our leave days or have them forfeited. As I had used my sabbatical to go on that long trip earlier this year, I still had many days left over.

Here’s another first. I had so many days left (about 12) and I didn’t know what to do with them! Even after reserving a few for balik kampung and Christmas, I still had more days than I knew what to do with. Stay home? And mope around feeling miserable? Nah.

If this was a year ago, I would’ve just picked any place and set off. But this time around I was not motivated to plan anything. So I looked up the travel company that I had been following for my last few trips. It organises backpacking trips, which takes the hassle out of planning. The only problem is most of the trips are long. The average is three weeks.

But wait. Hey! Here’s a 10-day trip and it’s not to China! (I have no interest in China – where most of the shorter trips are.)

And that’s how I found today’s little blessings.

I had to get my visa done. Wanted to do it yesterday but couldn’t find the photocopy of my passport. Searched again last night and it was there where I last looked! Strange.

Took the bus to town this morning, not sure where the last stop was or the exact location of the visa office. I got down where I guessed it was and lo and behold! It was right in front of the bus stop.

That’s not all. If I had not looked again for the copy of my passport, I would be making another copy at my work place today, and going to the visa office tomorrow, when it would be closed for the country’s national holiday! Oh, I would be mighty pissed.

I was also delighted to find out that courier service was available for only RM10. Applications are in the morning but collections in the evening. It’s easier for me to go to work late than leave early.

And since my favourite watch repair shop was nearby, I popped over to get my faulty key copy fixed (times are hard, so they need to diversify – their services include making key copies, selling mobile phone top-ups and repairing handphones).

The watch repairer is a treasure because these days, most things are made to be broken and thrown away. He managed to fix the wind-up vintage watch I bought from the Amcorp Mall flea market. The seller was hopeless. When I returned with the dead watch, he said he would fix it. But when I got it back, it only ticked for awhile before stopping again.

Mr. Brilliant Watch Repairer not only brought my watch back to life, he also threw in a 6-month guarantee. That’s longer than my relationship with M. It’s a shame he can’t mend my broken heart.

If you have any watches in need of some TLC, visit him at T Sing, No. 56, Jalan Tun Perak, Kuala Lumpur. Same row as the Masjid Jamek LRT station, two traffic lights after, heading towards Puduraya. The shop opens from 10 to 7.30, Mondays to Fridays. Half day on Saturdays. Tel: 03-2070 4058. Tell your friends about him. Repairing is a dying art and businesses like his need all the support they can get.

By the way, that key copy didn’t work. It’s a goner. This was the second fix. The other copies are fine. But it’s okay. I’ve been blessed in other ways today.


One response to this post.

  1. Two Wednesdays ago I went to the watch shop and Mr. Brilliant Watch Repairer’s sister mentioned this post. Her friend told her about it. I asked how she knew I wrote it. My name’s not on it. Come to think about it, I don’t think she knows my name either. She said she remembers the key copy. Small world.

    I’m going to muster my courage soon and ask her if I could write a feature on the shop and their lives. I think it’ll make a good story.


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