Saturday, October 31, 2009

A try that lasted 18 years

18 years ago, a boy and I entered into a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship. We were coursemate in a local northern Uni and were in our first semester, first year. We found out that we came from two adjacent housing areas in KL and our secondary schools were located closely to each other and we have mutual friends so we often get together to talk. Soon we were spending more and more time together, studying and revising our coursework. It was purely friendship. Nearing the end of the 1st semester, during exam time, our other coursemates started teasing us about being an item.

As we were just friends, I was not comfortable about being romantically linked to a boy when there was nothing romantic going on in our friendship. I just like talking to him and as he is not talkative, he is happy to let me do all the talking. So one day before our last exam paper, I raised this issue.

I told him that we should not spend so much time together anymore in order to stop the rumours of us being a couple from spreading. That was when he suggested that we give it a try. After thinking about it for a while, I agreed as I feel comfortable being just myself with him so I thought why not.

So that was the start of our boy-girl relationship. He is my first boyfriend and he is also my last boyfriend when his status with me is converted to spouse after being together as boyfriend-girlfriend for 8 long years but I do not believe we were made for each other because I do not believe that couples are made in heaven. Relationship that works require full commitment from each party. There were ups and downs but we manage to work through our differences and stay focus on our happy times.

This year, we celebrated our 18th anniversary of being a couple by moving to our new dwelling and having a 3-dish dinner at a nearby non-airconditioned restaurant. Is this date more important than our wedding date? It is equally important to me. Can most people remember when they officially become a couple with their spouses and how it happened? I like to think so. How many more years do we have, I can only wonder.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Till death do us part?

One day, while surfing the net, I came across the following question:

"If you were given a choice, would you prefer to die

a) before your spouse,
b) after your spouse or
c) at the same time as your spouse"

At that time, my answer was a) I would prefer to die before my spouse. This is because I do not want to bear the pain of living without him. But now I've changed my mind. I've decided to choose b). I would prefer to die after my spouse because I would like to be there to see him off on his final journey.

As for c), I don't think I have what it takes to choose to die together as some couples devoted to each other had done or plan to do. The following news articles about these couples bring tears to my eyes.
Healthy Vancouver woman wants to die beside her ailing husband
Betty Coumbias, an elderly Vancouver resident, has indicated she wants to die alongside her husband, George, who suffers from severe heart disease.
Mr. Coumbias declined comment on the topic, saying by e-mail that he and his wife are refusing interviews.

But a 2007 documentary on Dignitas by John Zaritsky, an Oscar-winning Canadian filmmaker, followed the couple, both 71 at the time, in their initial attempts to arrange a joint assisted suicide.

Mrs. Coumbias explains in the documentary, The Suicide Tourist, why she would take her own life despite being generally healthy.

"From the day we got married, [my husband] was all my life," she tells Mr. Minelli. "I love my two daughters, but I love him more, and I don't think I can face life without him, and since we read about Dignitas, we felt what would be better than to die together, you know, to die in each other's arms?"
- Tom Blackwell, National Post
Monday, April 13, 2009

Conductor Sir Edward Downes and wife end lives..
The couple's family said that they decided to end their lives together after struggling with serious health problems.

Lady Downes, 74, is understood to have been suffering with cancer while Sir Edward, 85, had become virtually blind and suffered loss of hearing.
Published: 8:13AM BST 14 Jul 2009

Pair die together..
Peter and Penelope Duff, from Bath, ended their lives at the Dignitas clinic in Zurich last Friday.

Their daughter Helena Conibear said her father, who was 80, and her mother, who was 70, had "passed away peacefully together" at the centre.
- BBC News
Published: 22:31 GMT, Thursday, 5 March 2009

UK couple die ..
A British couple suffering from chronic illnesses have died at a Swiss clinic, following an apparent suicide pact.
Mr Stokes, 59, suffered from epilepsy and his 53-year-old wife from diabetes and back problems, but neither was thought to have been terminally ill.
- BBC News
Published: Tuesday, 15 April, 2003, 17:33 GMT

I would often ask myself, when the end is near, will I then change my mind again and make the same decision as they did? Again, only time will tell.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Saving by cooking

My partner and I cooked almost all of our meals when we were living in Newbury because eating out was very, very expensive. I even skinned a whole chicken once and took photos as proof :-) as that was my one and only time.

To make it interesting, I did my best to keep the whole skin and whole chicken intact. I did it by looking up instructions on how to skin a chicken from the web. I like my chicken soup to be not so oily therefore the skin and fat must go.

Now, I no longer cook as I do not like to cook. After 4 years of cooking, I have had enough. Perhaps one day, I may discover the joy of cooking. When that happens, I will of course blog about it here but I do not think that day will come.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Mooncake festival

The mooncake festival falls on today. When I was young, my family used to celebrate the mooncake festival (mid-autumn festival) at night by setting up a table with loads of food in the garden, under the gaze of the bright round moon. There would be red bean and lotus mooncakes, water caltrops (菱角, língjiǎo ), taro(芋头), pomelo, agar-agar and drinks. Back then there weren't many types of mooncakes, unlike now where vendors try to outdo one another with all sorts of fillings - green tea, dragonfruit, toffee, chocolate, coffee, yam, sesame - for the mooncakes.

We, the children would play with lanterns and candles. I would light up rows and rows of candles on our iron main gate. Whenever a candle flame has been blown out by the wind, I would quickly light up the candle again. When all the candles have burned away, I would collect the wax residue and mold them into various shapes. It was really fun playing with the candles.

When hunger struck, we would eat those delicious food under the moonlight while admiring the full moon. My mother would then tell us the various stories about the origins of this festival. Sometimes we would join other children in parading our lanterns around the village. I couldn't remember exactly the last time I celebrated the mooncake festival this way. I can safely say that I have not celebrated mooncake festival for about 20 years now.

Only children can truly savour and treasure the magical world of lanterns, candles and moonlight. So to all the children out there celebrating mooncake festival, may all of you enjoy this day to the fullest and let your imagination run wild with the stories of Houyi, Chang-er, the rabbit in the moon and many others.