Looking Back on 1997

Another Christmas day, alone on my own.  The background music?  Well, “Do they know it’s Christmas”.  Looking back the year of 1997.  A lot has happened.  Far too much.

But I have to write them down.  What’s life without memory?  Good or bad, they make up our past.  Hopefully, we can learn something out of it and hopefully, that will make a better me.

Two Christmas night, two lonely nights.  Overlooking the Jakarta night scene.  It kind of reminds me of Paris.  The lights are the same, the place is different.

OK, we shall start with my whereabouts this year and talk a bit about feeling later on.  Good idea?

I was in Singapore during the first half a month of January.  Then returned to Paris to continue my four and half months mission.  Went to US somewhere in April and traveled with Colin.  Places like LV and LA and so on.   By the end of May, I was back to Singapore for a few weeks.  Finally returned to HK for a 2 weeks visit and sick for a whole week.  Came to Jakarta towards the end of June.  Visited Bali and Borobudur in Indonesia.

When I look back, it is pretty impressive thinking about the number of places I have visited in this 12 months’ time.  But am I happy about it?  That is what I constantly searching for.

Oh, my WWWIS.  I sent so many emails that I have lost track of.  It is kind of funny to read what I have written.  But inspiration only seems to come when I am alone.  Hence, haven’t been doing it for quite a long while.  Or more correctly, ever since I left Paris.

Edit 2008.05.12: This entry does look truncated.  But that is all I have.  Maybe it is how it ends.  Maybe a chunk of it is lost.  Note that WWWIS stands for … doesn’t matter.  It was my old “blogging mechanism” to reach to my friends.  Also, the original date that this was written is lost.  So I place it under 1997 Christmas day.

Last Stop – Beverly Hills (Again)

Really don’t quite understand why Colin is so in love with Beverly Hills.  To be honest, today was the second time we visited Beverly Hills.  What’s in BH?  Well, a lot of expensive shops and a lot of beautifully dressed people. T his time, we wore a bit smarter than last time and we did feel a bit more comfortable.

How about the “Walk of Frame”?  I was kind of disappointed as the street looked really dirty and the stars on the floor just don’t look pleasant at all.  We had burgers at BH and I am certain Colin hated it.  What to do?  We are in America.

Throughout the whole day, Colin was very quiet.  Can’t really guess what’s go wrong.  Maybe my driving or maybe something else.  Actually, we had quite a lot of dangerous situation when we were driving.  Don’t think I am a good driver after all.

Spent quite some time to locate the Hard Rock Café and finally, we found it at the Beverly Centre.  Indeed, it is quite a big shopping centre.  Correction – it looks big but half of the building is car park.

Bought another deck of books and decided to watch the movie at the centre itself.  The movie is called “Volcano”.  What so special about this movie is that it was filmed in Los Angeles.  That is why we are.  And guess what, the eruption actually took place at the Beverly Hills.  Even more unbelievable, the ending of the film was filmed (well…) right in front of the Beverly Centre.  Isn’t that a very nice coincident?

Last day of the holiday already and the conclusion is that I have been very much enjoying myself.  And it is a very nice break for me.  I think I do learn a few lessons in terms of relating to other people.  Perhaps I am very spoilt and for that, I need to improve myself.  I do think it is kind of difficult to tolerate such a person like me.

Second thing is that I have been thinking of JP from time to time.  Thought I can forget about the whole thing during the trip but life doesn’t always turn out to be so predictable.  Guess Annie is right.  Forget about the fake Juliet and keep looking for the real one.

Oh, I just found about something quite interesting about the famous Route 66.  It started from Chicago and goes all the way across America and reaches Los Angeles on the other end.  Isn’t that amazing?  If you want to travel from the East Coast to the West Coast, all you need to do is follow the Route 66.  The whole road covers three time zones and eight states.  Which eight of them?  Well, that is IMKOTNAC.  That is how I remember.  To spell them out, we have Illinois, Missouri, Kansas, Oklahoma, Texas, New Mexico, Arizona and California.

Another interesting thing that I have discovered is that none of the American actually knows where exactly, i.e. in which beach, Bay Watch is being filmed.  Maybe as one said, they film it all over the places.

Okay, back to work.

Of Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam

Grand Canyon.  That was today’s plan. Well, I woke up half an hour later and Colin was very impatient.  Seriously, I need at least seven hours’ of sleep in order to be able to drive such a long distance.  And last night, we slept late.  As I have said before, if I have to get up early the next day, we better sleep early the night before.  Also, I do need to wash my hair and so on in the morning and as for him, just wash up, dress up and go.

That goes back to the first agreement that we have – a relaxing holiday.  I think, in the end, our definition of relax is different.  For him, it is less of travel and for me, it is more of sleep.

That also make me realised that the way I treated JP was not quite right.  Last time, I always didn’t understand why she needs to sleep for ten hours and I always waited at the door impatiently for her.  That is good that I feel that way now.  At least I can truly put myself into her shoes.  After all, people are different from each other and there is no way to change.  But to understand and accommodate.  Am I right?  Pity that it is a bit too late to realise this.

Therefore, I don’t blame Colin for feeling that way.  In fact, he was quiet the whole morning.

OK.  Back to the trip.  Took an hour drive to reach the Hoover Dam which is in Arizona.  The reason of building such a dam is because of the flooding of the Colorado River.  It is the largest dam in America and it is quite spectacular.  And after visiting the dam, we rush off to Grand Canyon which took us another four hours to reach.  As pressurised by Colin, I was driving at 90 mph.  Kind of quite exciting.

Basically, the national park has a few views for us to stop.  It is the most breathtaking scene I have ever seen.  It is somewhat like a very long stretch of “cliffs” and the formation of such a wonder is still a mystery to me.  Whether it is worth of driving ten hours today is still in doubt.

The West Rim can only reach by the shuttle bus.  And we managed to catch the last bus and managed to see the sunset.  While we were in the bus, waiting to return to the part centre, there was one very old couple and one young couple.  As the conversation exchanged, we learnt that the old man has been through the World War II while the younger one has been through the Golf War.  We joked that Colin should tell them that he is from the Singapore Army and get ready to start the World War III.

Holding Onto the Past

First day of holiday, woke up at half past eight.  Kind of a record.  Couldn’t get hot water from the hot water tap hence called the reception.  Apparently the lady didn’t understand English that well and thought I wanted breakfast instead.  What a joke!  Luckily, the “manager” (owner) was there and he asked me to try the cold water tape and it worked!

Very French breakfast and I headed for the Tourist Information.  Not much help in there and the conclusion is that you really need a car to get by.  So, with my camera, I walked towards the beach area.  The sky was still quite cloudy and therefore I couldn’t get any decent picture at all.  What a shame.  I walked along the coast watching lovers and families walking passed me.  What a shit feeling.  And I remember those good old days back in North Whales (apparently quite the same month) two years ago.  In my shabby Cherry, but it ran!  And JP. She was with me. When we were at the Caravan Site, one day we took a walk along the beach.  She was so beautiful and we picked up shells.  What a loving scene.  And it is so hard to forget!  I can’t get over this.  No, I can’t.  I keep asking myself to be strong and just have to accept that this is reality and it is over.

And we took a lot of good pictures at the beach.  She knew I love the beach.  I always do.  Watching the waving coming towards you really makes your heart flies!  At least mine does.  Always does.  Too much feeling.  Too intense.

And I climbed (back to Deauville) over some rocks, stuck my shoes into a pool of mud once.  Jumping over large big rocks.  That made me feel as though life is sometimes up and down and somehow or another, you will come across some very difficult situation.

I reached another town, feeling kind of hungry.  Therefore I walked into an Italian Restaurant.  Ordered a cheese and tomato as starter, spaghetti as main course, red wine and coffee.  The lady was very sweet so I left ten franc as tips.  The music was good and I asked them what it was.  They showed me the casing and it read, Neil Young – Harvest.  I am going to get that album.

And I walked all the way back to Deauville.  Too many flashbacks.  I kept on thinking of JP and all the “Could Have”.  All the history with no future.  She has changed so much.  Maybe I have changed as well.  What can I do?  Precisely.  Annie said time heals.  But I feel as though it hurts deeper and deeper each day.  Why?  I thought of phoning her just to ask how has she been but then I was afraid that she would not be at home.  She never does.

I planed for an afternoon nap (with Mylene Farmer’s music on) but it turned out to be a three hours long sleep.  And I swear I dreamt of JP again.  No, No, No.  Please. Somebody help me!

Worst of all, the mail server stopped responding.  It is just too sad in here.  I want to go back to Paris!  I want to watch a show instead of “enjoying” the loneliness all by myself.  Too much for me to bear and what have I done to deserve this?

I kept saying “I love you”.  But why?  So very confusing.  Part of my heart really hope that we can get back together.  After all, I still hope that she will regret and come back to me.  It is so easy to say but so hard to do.  Part of me knows that she is not the one for me.  And I am so lost, so lost and so lost.  I really have no aim no more.

I imagine that one day she will approach me with all the hi how are you.  Beautiful sweet smile in her best dress.  And she will ask me to transfer my name of the HDB application to her fiancé.  I will do it.  Anything for her but can I do it now instead of letting this haunting me all the time?

(After a diner at yet another Italian Restaurant)

Okay, I have thought about this.  At first, I was physically attracted (she was so feminine) and mentally (she seemed to understand me) attracted to her.  But as time goes by, she no longer satisfied my inner desire, the desire to be understood and to be cared for.  That, is replaced by history for I always hold on to the past.  That is it.

Looking Back on 1996

As I have promised myself on the last day of 1996, I will review what I have done in the last year. And hopefully, I live a better life in the year 1997.

As I was playing my guitar tonight, singing the song “Nobody Knows”, I remembered my days back in the US.  Indeed, that was one of the happiest moment of year 96, or perhaps my life.  Being influenced by US culture (movies, music, and jeans) for so long, it was the first time I have ever stepped into the land of liberty.  I still remember the excitement in me when I first landed at the San Francisco Airport. The limousines. Everything seemed so different – the roads, the buildings and even the air.

I drove into Chicago so many times and I could not remember how often.  I was with Collin all the time. Great friend to be with.  I still remember we got lost initially all the time and eventually, he directed and I drove.

Three weeks in St. Charles.  I hang out with Collin, Yoshito (Japanese man), Mitzi (Korean lady) and another Australian lady.  Great friends to be with. The drinking parties in my room and the lovely conversation with Collin and the beautiful Mitzi.  Life was good.

Vividly I remembered a pub with a large dance floor, country style.  Collin and I left the party without telling Mitzi, who was too busy dancing with all the guys on the dance floor.  And she was not happy when she knew that.  The next day, before she and her friend flew back to wherever they came from (Australia), we had a conversation by the fireplace.  Some random topics and Collin and I saw them into the bus.

And then, I felt a sense of emptiness.  Suddenly all the friends were gone.  And I was back in Singapore, facing the hot sun.  The whole period in US was like a fairy tale.

Yet, there was another fairy tale – my two trips to Paris.  The first one lasted for 5 days and the second one lasted for 60 days.  The BNP promotion with Francis was fun.  We had great food and since we are not the fuzzy type, we can get along very well.  I showed him Paris whenever we had time.  The other trip was for Societe Generale.  During the first 3 weeks, I had Damien with me.  I miss those days with Francis.

Life in Societe Generale was pretty peaceful.  Work started at 9 in the morning and usually ended at 6 in the evening.  The people there were very nice.  Sad to say, Sophie, Claude and Lionel left for Sydney in the middle of my stay.  But my days with Aurore, Noubi and Mohammed was great.  Especially Mohammed, we called each other brothers.

Weekdays after work, I usually went downtown to have my dinner.  As for weekends, I always started from La Defense and ended up in Paris center at night.  One movie and one meal and back home.  During nighttime, I composed electronic messages that captured my feeling and observations during the day.

The food was good.  The MTV in the morning was good.  The French music was good. By the way, I felt in love with Mylene Farmer.  Her music is just fantastic.

During those days back in Paris, someone thought that I was lonely.  But I was not, I was in another state of mind. If I had my guitar with me, I would have composed a lot of great songs.

Back in Singapore, I am glad that I know Sam as a friend.  He has introduced me into his circle of friends (which is big).  Through him, I know a lot of people.  Although they are all men, I don’t really mind.  All the Wednesday night out, cheap dinner, and Karaoke.

Enough of stating what happened in year 96, but that was not the main topic in here.  What could I have done better, hopefully in year 97 ?

The New Motto: To actively pursue what I want.  I have been too passive.  Not determined enough. Always avoid the reality.  Must face it and direct the future into whatever I dream of.

Action: To plan and stick to it.  I must treat my personal life as yet another project.  To self improve or to exercise?  It must be planned and followed.

Beware : Spend within budget.  I have been spending too much money on things that may not be necessary.  This is no good and must change.  I must keep track on how money is spent and plan for future saving.

Goal: Must list out all the goals I want to fulfill this year.  Thought goals, I will have motivation.