Thursday, April 21, 2005


There are not many things worse than feeling lazy and apathetic precisely at the moments when work seems to matter. It’s a few minutes past 12am and I realised I’ve done not much more than develop two pages of equations in the past 24 hours. Shit.

Let’s talk about something less coma inducing.

Of late (probably since the past 2 to 3 years), I’ve had a strange attachment to the island of Penang. Strange because I do not visit all that often, nor do I have relatives there. I attribute that attachment to the several pleasant holidays there, in particular in the year of 2003. That July, I went with several secondary school friends for 2 nights. Immediately a week after, I went with my cousins and ob!ique for another 2 nights. After completing my first semester in Melbourne, I returned in December with a portion of my extended family. Mad? I think so too.

One of my cousins in particular, which we will refer to as May, is rather fond of Penang too. I think we reinforce each other’s behaviour, and collectively, we sometimes exhibit symptoms of obsession. We like to think that we are reasonably (if not extremely) familiar with the layout of the capital city, Georgetown. This is attributed to hours poring over a fairly detailed map of Penang while navigating its narrow lanes and tree-lined roads. I particularly remember a Jalan Farquhar, a funny corner road (if such a thing exists) at the end of Jalan Gurney and the beginning of Jalan Pinang, if my memory does not fail me. This Farquhar is a tricky one for the map navigator. Often, I would miss the turn until the last minute, and the driver has no choice but to drive on. However, all is well as the roads magically converge and we are back on our way.

At the moment, May is having a ball of a time (presumably) in Penang with a number of her friends. Earlier in the afternoon, she sent a text message from Penang asking me if I knew where the Him Heang shop is located. I thought of replying with a simple “can’t remember” and go on to ask her about her day, but that would quite stupid.

And so, I went to my favourite search engine and banged in “him heang penang”. Did not even have to click on any links; the first result happened to have both the address and telephone number within the link description. And so I replied with a text message encoding the address and telephone number. Much better than a stupid “don’t know”, and definitely much more energy efficient.