Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Grey matter

A conversation in my mind took place last night as I savoured the tapau-ed soya bean and cha kuih in the hotel room alone. Munching away while watching Happy Gilmore on telly, it dawned on me that life is definately not just black or white. Take a look at Casablanca...or To Kill a Mockingbird...any classic movie...grey dominates the screen more than ebony and ivory. And life is just that too. Grey. Who and what is right & wrong? Its so subjective.

Speaking of grey, the weather has been miserable in Ningbo. Its been raining endlessly and my up and down fever is not doing any justice to my happy endeavour. Nevertheless, I prodded gaily to the many places he wanted me to see -- smiling and frowning appropriately. Ningbo is definately going to be the next biggest place in China - its already one of the fastest growing cities in this country- and if Taiwan ever goes back to China-- the potential of property going skyhigh is highly possible. So, I advised him on certain buildings -- what to sell and what to buy. Not that what I say really matters....I know its been bugging him for awhile, but getting quiet clarification from me was just the extra fluff he needed. And as I type this, I know he is making a few calls. I on the other hand, decided to stay clear from the monetary talk and crept into this cubicle to do what I enjoy most.Blog on my recent escapades.

To prevent from vomitting or hurling abusive hokkien to the driver, I cleared my head by asking myself why he drove (and man...can this 21 year old honk the sleepy town awake!) the way he does. You'd think I was ready to deliver anytime soon- I clenched my jaw and memories of the past seeped in.

I envisioned kaki riding his black bicycle. That really big, ugly tall one...I hurt my fanny riding on it once. He would ring the bell on his bike just to warn other cyclists or pedestrians that he was near. Sometimes, it would be to say hello to the kampung folks. Because the hutan roads were small -- and the babi hutan would occasionally run by with its entourage of chickens and musang, kaki would ride his bike in careful strides.

Ryan taps me on the shoulder, waking me up from the past, and points out another bridge. Looks like the one we have at Putrajaya baby, I tell him.

I stared at the driver from the rear view mirror and looked at his earnest expression. Ryan tells me that the standards of the Chinese here are still way off. I nod and realize that he probably honks his way through Ningbo's busy roads- only because of habitual aspects. I laughed at the thought of this Buick as kaki's black bicycle. Immediately, the vomiting stopped and my heart softened. My 'funny language' must of fascinated him as he kept stealing glances at me. I smiled back and mustered my courage to speak whatever Mandarin I knew. I stopped when I got scoffing smirks from yours truly. Smacked him hard on the head and looked away. Felt a rumbling in my tummy. Have been eating a lot lately. The only downside of quitting nicotine dependency. Rubbed my tum tum and suddenly needed to pee.

My mind went back to the factory where one of Ryan's office currently is. Beautiful and impressive I must say. GC. I told Norzie to check it out since she needs to do an assignment in China on factories and labour. I oohed and aahed at the interior. Pix to be posted soon. Then I went to the toilet. I was upset to see the chic toilet with unflushed loos. To make things worst, I saw a very-used sanitary pad plonked on the wall. Oh dear. I held my breath, used tissue to remove it (I'm not getting out of the toilet to allow the next person coming in thinking that was MINE can I?) and flushed the toilet. Went to the next cubicle and again it was not flushed. I almost vomited but flushed the waste away. Went back to cubicle one and pee-ed. Flushed, washed my hands and skipped to tell Ryan what I had saw. He told me the "chinese people here are still not up to quality living" story and told me to be patient. Took a wad of chewing gum and peered outside the office. Still raining. Drats. I really wanted to see the works of this kilang. Another day he says. Plus, he didn' want me walking around in my Harley Davidson bodysuit. Grumble.

Looking at some of the employees, it dawned on me that many are from the village, and modern amenities like flushable toilets are a luxury. I remember my hate to balik kampung when I just got back from London. Before the major renovation, the only place to do my number 1 & 2's was at this wooden shack . A huge hole where you can see everyone else's waste, where lalat langau's would fly freely. It was disgusting and I was always afraid of falling into the hole. I remember not drinking water after 6pm, so I didn't have to go in the dark to pee at that wooden shack toilet thingy. Thank God for daddies who love their daughters ( or he just couldn't tolerate a crying 10 year old screaming everytime we went to visit his parents). So, yes..perhaps these ladies forget to flush cause they didn't use to do that before? Although I cannot find any excuse why they cannot bungkus their pads up properly; that I still find an enigma.

So, yes, the weather is grey here in Ningbo and so is life. I'm going to add the needed colours to brighten up this grey matter -- are you going to help me?
=)

2 comments:

  1. why did u not clean up the whole washroom,u may be accused of extremely low etiquette.your description of the 'shack' has elevated this blog to 'restricted' rating.
    Right or wrong strenghten the ego tremendously.in a way it defines a person for good or for worst

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  2. shit, that's gross. I remember not flushing the toilet in my bathroom once as the phone rang and the next morning when I woke up to take the shower, I was wondering who the fuck forgot to flush the toilet and I realized after the morning daze, it was only me... so it wasn't gross after awhile as it was only my own smelly pee.

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