Archive for the ‘synchronicity’ Category

So you lost him. Now what?

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Something on page 156 of Elizabeth Gilbert’s Eat Pray Love jumped out at me. The book has been at my bedside for a long time, maybe a year or two. Or three. The passage below of a conversation between Elizabeth and Richard from Texas speaks to me because of the hurt I have been carrying with me for the last four years.

It was back to normal state of mind by end of year one. Still thought of him every day but stopped crying at the mere mention of him in year two. Could see him and hold myself together by year three. I thought I am in year three until a Facebook memory notification pushed a memory of him from four years ago. Has it been that long?

A few months ago, I started having that disturbing feeling again. It feels like a knot in the heart and I’ve been having it on and off. I thought I had finally gotten rid of it and now it’s back. This time was almost as intense as the first, which was akin to having your heart pickled. Sometimes it goes away for awhile, but it would be there again in the morning.

The last episode, I suspect, was triggered by a difficult situation at work. Things were sorted out in the end but the feeling remained. So I continued to feel on edge, wondering if something really bad was about to happen. A few things did happen, but nothing that caused my world to crash down… and now I’m reminded that I finally feel… nothing.

It’s time to move on.


“I can’t stop obsessing over David. I thought I was over him, but it’s all coming up again.”

He says, “Give it another six months, you’ll feel better.”

“I’ve already given it 12 months, Richard.”

“Then give it six more. Just keep throwin’ six months at it till it goes away. Stuff like this takes time.

Someday, you’re gonna look back on this moment of your life as such a sweet time of grieving. You’ll see that you were in mourning and your heart was broken, but your life was changing and you were in the best possible place in the world for it – in a beautiful place of worship, surrounded by grace. Rake this time, every minute of it. Let things work themselves out in India.”

“But I really loved him.”

“Big deal. So you fell in love with someone. Don’t you see what happened? This guy touched a place in your heart deeper than you though you were capable of reaching, I mean, you got zapped, kiddo. But the love you felt, that’s just the beginning. You just got a taste of love. That’s just limited little rinky-dink mortal love. Wait till you see how much more deeply you can love than that. Heck, Groceries – you have the capacity to someday love the whole world. It’s your destiny. Don’t laugh.”

“I’m not laughing.” I was actually crying. “And please don’t laugh at me now, but I think the reason it’s so hard for me to get over this guy is because I seriously believed David was my soulmate.”

“He probably was. Your problem is you don’t understand what that word means. People think a soulmate is your perfect fit, and that’s what everyone wants. But a true soulmate is a mirror, the person who shows you everything that’s holding you back, the person who brings you to your attention so you can change your life. A true soulmate is probably the most important person you’ll ever meet, because they tear down your walls and smack you awake. But to live with a soulmate forever? Nah. Too painful.

Soulmates, they come into your life just to reveal another layer of yourself to you, and then they leave. And thank God for it. Your problem is, you just can’t let this one go. It’s over, Groceries, David’s purpose was to shake you up, drive you you out of that marriage that you needed to leave, tear apart your ego a little bit, show you your obstacles and addictions, break your heart open so new light could get in, make you so desperate and out of control that you had to transform your life, then introduce you to your spiritual master and beat it. This was his job, and he did great, but now it’s over. Problem is, you can’t accept that this relationship had a real short shelf life. You’re like a dog at the dump, baby – you’re just lickin’ at an empty tin can, trying to get more nutrition out of it. And if you’re not careful, that can’s gonna get stuck on your snout forever and make your life miserable. So drop it.”

“But I love him.”

“So love him.”

“But I miss him.”

“So miss him. Send him some love and light every time you think about him, and then drop it. You’re just afraid to let go of the last bits of David because then you’re really alone, and Liz Gilbert is scared to death of what will happen when she’s totally alone. But here’s what you gotta understand, Groceries. If you clear out all that space in your mind that you’re using right now to obsess about this guy, you’ll have a vacuum there, an open spot – a doorway. And guess what the universe will do with ghtta be.”

“That doorway? It will rush in – God will rush in – and fill you with more love than you ever dreamed. So stop using David to block that door. Let it go.”

“But I wish me and David could – “

He cuts me off. “See, now that’s your problem. You’re wishin’ too much, baby. You gotta stop wearing your wishbone where your backbone oughta be.”

 

 

A very late surprise

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I received a very unexpected surprise in the mail a few weeks ago, the result of a kind deed two years ago.

I am an occasional shopper of Crabtree & Evelyn products, specifically when there is a good promotion. I especially look forward to the gift sets in its festive catalogues. Despite years of treating myself to Crabtree & Evelyn, I never became a member because my purchases never reached RM350 – the amount needed to be eligible for membership.

About two years back, a staff at the Crabtree & Evelyn outlet in Sogo offered to put in an application for me. She said she would use another customer’s receipt if the opportunity presented itself. So I filled out the form and after a few months passed, forgot about it.

Out of the blue, sometime in October, I received my VIP card and a voucher for a welcome gift. What a delightful surprise, when I least expected it. It was perfect timing as the VIP Preview Day for the Christmas sets was a few weeks later. For the first time, I could enjoy the 30% discount for VIPs! I wish I could remember who the staff was so I could thank her. It’s a nice feeling, to enjoy the result of something set in motion so long ago.

Remembering Sam

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There are a few things that would make one feel truly like a grown-up – paying for your own property, sex, having children and going for funerals, especially if the deceased is not a family member yet you go anyway.

I’m not sure how to behave at funerals. The few that I have been to were of grandparents and elderly relatives… do I have a heart of stone for not feeling enough grief? It was their time to go and I wasn’t very close to them. There were no tears to be shed. I did feel sad at their passing, but it was more of a sobering thought than heart-wrenching pain. My concern is more for the living. I don’t pray much but I would make it a point to offer at least a decade of the rosary for the deceased and for God to give strength to the family.

Last December, I found out from Facebook that an ex-colleague had died on Christmas eve due to heart complications. We had lost touch over the years but I still remember him from three agencies ago. We were not best buds but he was nice to me and I enjoyed his company. He was my senior, in profession and age –  a difference of 17 years. We met at Bates where he was a DM writer at Bates 141. I was with Bates Advertising but we shared the same office.

I didn’t go for the funeral but decided to attend his memorial last Saturday on 18th January when I saw a notice for it in the Sunday papers. It was held at the parish house of the St. Joseph’s Cathedral – a place easy enough for me to get to.

Sam was a friendly chap. He would keep to himself and mind his own business but he would be warm towards people around him. He had an arsenal of jokes, mostly bawdy though I don’t recall any of them. There were probably a few about me being a skinny person. Sam was a big guy, so big that he would often be out of breath after a walk or climb up the stairs.

When I was at M&C Saatchi and he was at Tequila down the road, I would sometimes go to his office building to meet him for lunch. He would be at the food court with his newspapers (probably Malay Mail or the Sun – I don’t remember for sure) and order a second teh limau ais towards the end of his meal.

The only time we met ‘outside the office’ was when he asked if I would like to go to a Mongolian restaurant he wanted to check out. It was somewhere in Pudu. We went on a weekend and he picked me up from my place. His car was small and when he sat in it, it would tilt to one side.

Making an appointment with Sam meant calling him at the office. He did not own a handphone. If someone from work needed to contact him outside office hours, they would have to call his house number. I wondered if that’s just to keep people from calling him back to work at night or on the weekends. Surely he had a handphone for family members and friends to get a hold of him. I asked his sister, Agnes if this was true. She confirmed that he did not own a handphone. His company gave him one but he didn’t use it. His family had to call him at the office too.

Knowing this, I was surprised to find out that he was on Facebook. When I first heard of his passing, I looked him up on Facebook. I learned from Agnes that he joined Facebook because he was looking for poker buddies. Checking his Facebook page shed more light on the kind of man Sam was. Those from work knew him as Sam (his surname) while family members called him by his middle name, Damien. He did not like to be called by his first name, Joseph. I don’t know why.

One of my favourite stories was shared by Joe Najib:

When I first met Joseph Damien Sam, it was it was in 2004. The company I just joined was leaving for Hawaii for a company incentive trip, and because I was new, I couldn’t go. So I jokingly told Sam to “bring back some volcanic rocks” for me. To my surprise a week later, he actually did! And I still have those rocks with me today.

Jovian Lee wrote about working with Sam:

RIP Joseph Damien Sam, fellow copywriter, ex-colleague from KHK who studied in Hyderabad and used to rhyme “equine, bovine, feline, canine and swine” and together we coined up names for F&N ice cream variants like “Sang Vanilla Utama” and “Lick Astley” – which the client never bought.  – they would come out with crazy names for ice cream flavours that never saw the light of day – Lick Astley and Sang Nila Utama. 

At the memorial, a few others shared their stories. Sham SunderBinwani, who was also the MC, reminisced about Sam being the first customer of his book business. And a tractor tyre that had to be brought in as a float for a Redang trip. A cousin shared about his first school holiday away from his parents with Sam’s family. Sam was warned not to tell the young lad any dirty jokes but he was deflowered anyway.

His brother-in-law shared a nice one about his son’s explanation for why God made Sam so big. Because his body had to fit his big heart and his brain had to have enough space for his encyclopedic knowledge.

The memorial was a nice way to honour Sam. Remember the good times, because Sam lead a full life and was a kind soul to his friends. It’s not about the time you spend with a friend, but the imprint you make as one. Live life fully, joyfully, honestly.

Reza Salleh was also invited to sing a few songs that Sam liked. I only recognised Tracy Chapman’s Fast Car and Talkin Bout A Revolution. He wrote this on his Facebook page:

I was invited to play at the remembrance day of Joseph Damien Sam, a man I’ve never met. He passed last Christmas Eve unexpectedly and I was contacted a few weeks ago by his sister Agnes who saw me perform at a corporate event organised by her company last year. I’ve never been invited to play for such an event before, let alone one dedicated to someone I didn’t know. I was unsure at first as it felt like I might be intruding on something intimate but Agnes said “He loved music and he would’ve really liked yours.” Last night I played to a small crowd at the Old Parish Hall beside St. John’s Cathedral in KL. It was a small, touching event, led and attended by family, close friends and colleagues. You could really feel the love for the man in the room. Wish I could’ve met you Sam.

Sam, it was nice meeting you. I’ll see you when I see you. Teh ais limau, dua!

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UPDATE 27 Jan

The other songs performed by Reza are:
What The Hell Just Happened I’m Not Really Sure
For Her
Half The Soul
Putera Jaya

The songs can be found on YouTube but the live recordings are unclear, hence I am including only the first song. Enjoy!

On death, and life

I have recently acquired a new habit. Reading the obituary pages in the newspapers.

I have not reached that age where my friends begin to check out one by one. Maybe not yet, but close enough. I already have a will in case I expire prematurely.

I didn’t think I would have to deal with death so soon. Yes, I’ve had elder relatives pass on, but the Grim Reaper seems to be visiting more and more of the younger ones these days.

Nine years ago, an acquaintance was killed when his car caught fire in front of his house. He left behind a wife and two kids. He was in his 40s.

Some years later I returned from a holiday to find out a business associate had collapsed and died. He was 30.

Then two or three years ago, a friend’s brother-in-law died less than a year after he was diagnosed with cancer. He was in his 40s.

A colleague shared about his former business partner who died of blood poisoning. It happened so fast that he did not even have time to say goodbye to his girlfriend in person. He was either in his late 20s or early 30s.

More recently, a friend’s cousin died from lung infection. It started out with a month of on and off fever and coughing. She just turned 40.

Death can happen at any time, when we least expect it. With the increase in crime, irresponsible driving, depression, stress, rage and lifestyle diseases, the probability of untimely death is now higher than ever.

The realisation that life could be snuffed out anytime even led me to write a 5-page ‘I forgive you’ letter to my ex. I was leaving for a holiday after half a year of depression and had to do spill my guts out once and for all just in case I didn’t make it back alive. Or just in case he could sink no lower and decided to call it quits.

Not long ago, my friend Wee wrote to me:

A friend of mine passed away. Dumbstruck.

I thought it was cancer because she had lost a few friends to the disease.

Heart failure. I didn’t even know she was in a coma for weeks. I know this is random – but if you really want to go to Cuba… and you feel like you want to explore freelancing, do it.

An opportunity to visit Cuba and Mexico had come up. I had another trip to a different continent lined up before that but could cancel it and go for Cuba instead. The problem is Cuba is a much longer trip and I would need to take unpaid leave. I’m fine with the unpaid part but we’re shorthanded in the office.

While waiting for my boss’ decision on my leave, I toyed with the idea of quitting my job if he could not release me – then I could go for BOTH trips.

Maybe the stars are aligning. Cuba is at the top of my bucket list and a chance comment on a Facebook post brought me that opportunity.

Perhaps this is the universe’s way of telling me to yank myself out of my comfort zone and pushing me into trying a new place or even freelancing.

While I mulled on that, I asked Wee if she could be a guest writer on my blog and put her positive spin on death.

Six days later, she shared some good news. Her sister had just delivered and she had an angle for her story – death and life.

Wee’s story

Here is the truth: At the age of 33, my life isn’t where I imagined it would be. Once upon a time, most twenty-somethings had a common dream. To grow older into a life filled with cocktails (Cosmopolitans, to be precise), designer shoes (Manolo Blahniks, again, to be precise) and endless nights of bed-breaking nocturnal activities.

Alas, the alcohol-drenched glamorous thirty-something life plugged by the ‘deceitful’ Sex and the City was not meant to be for some. And by some, I mean me. While I am still nursing the damages inflicted by the delusions of my younger days – I find myself thinking about death.

I was in the midst of throwing myself a pity party, when I heard the news: A friend I have not seen in ages has departed from this world. The first emotion I felt was shock. I couldn’t believe it. She can’t be gone, she’s my age!

Grief was the second. (She left too soon…) The third was guilt.

There I was, about to moan and whinge about the unfairness of life when the truth is – we are all dangling from a thread that could break anytime, on a whim.

It felt all too familiar. I had lost another friend, someone close, years ago, and I was fraught with guilt then – I was supposed to mourn her, to focus on grieving for her, not trying to find a goddamn silver lining from the void she had left behind. But the clichéd lesson – “Life is short, make the most of it” – managed to lodge itself onto my thoughts before the next bout of mid-life crises appeared to drive it away.

So here I am thinking about death – why must it take the passing of a friend to make one feel that no matter how unfulfilled one’s 33-year old life is – one must be grateful for every second, every minute she is given to live?

But I believe that the final, parting gift from our beloved departed is that clichéd lesson – the realisation that life is indeed short and we must, we need to make the most of it.

As the cycle of life goes, when there is death, there also is the birth of new life. My nephew arrived in the world, a week earlier than the expected due date. He announces his presence by giving the loudest of cries – and whenever I hear the strength of his voice box, I am filled with optimism – something that often plays peek-a-boo with me.

The cries of a newborn. The memories of the ones who have left me too soon. My clarion call. It is time for me to face this other truth: At the age of 33, it is truly time for me to try to live life the best I can.

Wee is a writer by profession and a fangirl by admission. Check out her illustrated humour book Fangirls Inc. and her insightful and funny ha-ha blog, Conan, Neil and Me.

Fangirls Inc,

Happy coincidence

You know that saying about being at the right place at the right time? I experienced it last Monday. A string of events led me to be where I needed to be at exactly when I was needed. This coincidence was delightful, as most coincidences usually are, but it benefited someone else, not me.

I had overslept, so instead of taking the 9.07 KTM train, I aimed for the next one at 9.22. However, as I had to prepare my lunch for work, I became even more late, and missed the 9.22. After that, the train ran at half hour intervals instead of 15 minutes, so I had to wait till 9.52, which meant I was almost an hour late on the first day of the work week. Not a good sign.

From the station, I still had to take a bus to the office. That meant more waiting. I joined the queue and a man behind me, a foreigner, asked if it was the right bus to the Argentinian embassy. He showed me an address with just a number and the road name – No. 3, Jalan Semantan.

The bus passes by that road, but it’s more like a highway with several high-rise buildings – not the kind of road you could walk along aimlessly looking for a number. Without the building name, I had no clue where he should stop and I doubt the bus driver would know either. Not many people get the chance to go to Argentina (a 23-hour flight away). I’ve been to the country but even I didn’t know where the embassy was because Malaysians do not need a visa to go there.

On a hunch, I texted a former boss who’s Argentinian. Did he know where exactly was the embassy? While waiting for his answer, the bus arrived and the queue moved.

I moved along too. Then just a few people before my turn, I received his reply. He said the embassy had shifted. Okay, I texted back with great difficulty because I had forgotten my reading glasses (again, not a good sign on a Monday)… Did he have the new address?

Before I could complete my sentence I got another reply with a complete address. It was at Menara Keck Seng in Bukit Bintang, a different direction. The line behind us was getting restless so I asked the passengers to go ahead first while I gave the man the address and directions to take the Monorel train.

That man must have thanked his lucky stars because he was at the right place at the right time. He could have asked anyone but I happened to be the one he queued up behind. And even though I did not have the answer at first, I knew someone who did and bothered to make the effort to contact him. I saved that man from travelling in the wrong direction and wasting at least two hours getting lost and trying to get back on the right track.

It sucks to be running late, especially on a Monday, but I had a spring in my step after that because this incident was such a delightful coincidence, even if it was so for someone else.

A lift on a rainy night

Something pleasant happened today. But the day did not start out that way.

I had an evening briefing yesterday. Was pulled into a job midway. Which resulted in working till almost 1am today. With no dinner except for cup noodles. Bleh. I thought I could leave by 10 but it just dragged on and on.

By the time I got to bed it must have been around 2.30am. By 8am, I had to haul myself out of bed. The sore throat that reared its annoying presence yesterday had made itself at home. Then I threw up liquid because of my empty stomach.

Missed the 9.07 train. Had to wait another 15 minutes. By the time I got to KL Sentral, the bus had just left. So more waiting. Made it to the office with minutes to spare for a 10.30 meeting with the big boss. But Mr. Punctual who sent out a note yesterday asking us to be on time for work (9am, or latest 9.30) was not in.

After clearing some work, I decided to visit the doctor downstairs. The sore throat felt like it could get nasty. My ears were already hurting when I swallowed.

The bald doctor was on duty. It was a slow morning and he was in a good mood. He did a more thorough check-up – temperature, nose, chest… and also my blood pressure (I have hypertension). Chit-chatted a little… I asked for Imodium for my India trip next month. The last time I was there I had bad food poisoning. It took me years to recover. I had to go to the loo every time I ate sushi.

He advised I bring along a kettle jug, which I was planning to. Even bottled water must be boiled. It’s the safest way. Take less meat. Eat more vege. Eat freshly cooked food. Buffets are the worst meals to have (that’s how I got food poisoning last time – buffet at Holiday Inn Agra). Come back in one piece.

“So, do you want the rest of the day off?”

“Err…”

“It’s really up to you.”

Yeah. Why not? What’s wrong with me?! Doctors are usually stingy with sick leave. F*** work! I can’t make it through another mind-numbing day of arguing with suits over measly website updates and rudimentary eDMs and feeling disheartened over scraps of worthless work like “we need to name the stage because the client feels ‘main stage’ is boring” and putting effort into great ideas only to find out they have been canned because of “no budget” or “global said no”. Gah!

Went back to the office. Cleared some more work. Told Traffic No. 2 I’m on MC. “Why are you on MC?” Excuse me? Don’t you dare glare at me missy. Left a note for Traffic No. 1, shut down my computer and left. I’m not a doctor saving lives. The world would survive without me.

Got out to see the bus leaving. But decided to wait for the next one instead of taking a cab. I wanted to enjoy the warm sun. With the waiting, lunch hour jam and missing the train (next one over half an hour later) and a very slow ride, I reached home close to 2 hours later. Damn, should have taken a cab. Could have reached home in 15 minutes.

Grudgingly ate risotto and roast chicken – leftovers from the weekend. Loaded the laundry into the washing machine. Called a friend who just returned from a holiday in Thailand. Read two chapters of 50 Shades Freed and tried to catch a snooze. It was raining by then, which should have been bliss under the covers… but I hardly slept a wink.

Got up, hung up the laundry, took a shower, ate half my dinner (same as lunch) and then went off to klpac for the Latin American Film Festival. It’s just a 20-minute walk away. I did feel lazy but decided to go anyway. Needed to do something enjoyable. Stop feeling sad and sorry for myself, which I have been doing for the last five and a half months.

The movie from Uruguay on Tuesday was boring. I missed the Venezuelan one yesterday. Today’s film is from Mexico. The Candidate and Her. Rather nice. Love story about a presidential candidate and his wife.

The Mexican Ambassador gave a short intro as the new President (the real one) will be taking office next month. Mexican presidents serve only one term of six years and elections are always held on the first Sunday of July, so no guessing game like ours.

Halfway through the movie I could hear the rain outside. When the movie was over, I hurried out. Yes, it was raining steadily. A couple were contemplating how to get to their parked car. Hmm… I couldn’t share my one umbrella with both. But there was a girl on her own. I offered to walk her to her car.

In between telling her it’s no biggie because the car park is on my way out and explaining that I would be walking to the train station to get across to my home, I found out that she lives in Batu Caves and would be passing by my place. So just like that, I got a ride home because I shared my umbrella with some random stranger. Thanks, Shamala. Maybe I’ll see her again if I make it for the rest of the movies this week.

Film Fest schedule here.

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.