Lights Go Out

In Manuel’s room. Mikey’s staying here for a bit till his room stops being dank. He’s switched the lights off to inspire me he says.

Right.

Boys For Pele’s playing and I’ve Manuel to thank for that. Love the guy – he found me five Tori albums plus plus when the damned search engine turned up nothing. Those of you who know me well would know what a huge gift this is.

Now if only someone can get me a copy of Gaiman’s Neverwhere…

Back to inspiration. The lights go out. But nothing’s really in my head. Mikey, Marco and I will be heading to Oly, to the Bierstube, for dinner with the rest of the remaining people we have here. I’m losing friends like…

Well, not so much losing as in they’re all going away. The last time was me who did that. And the time before. Not really used to being the one being dumped. Makes me sentimental, but not enough to go to a karaoke, if you get my meaning.

The lights go out. Nothing’s in my head.

But my heart, my heart, it’s singing. It’s an Elvis tune, sing along if you know it.

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Copyright © 2002 Kenny Mah Ying Fye.

Graduation Day

Just thinking.

Mostly about my friends back home in Malaysia. Got plenty of emails this past week, mostly to figure out if I’m alive, and if I were, whether I would return for the convocation. Here I am, doing my freakin’ master’s degree, and I haven’t even had the graduation ceremony for my bachelor’s yet.

Graduation Day.

Seems like a nice premise. Meeting the old bunch again, dressing up (esp. the ladies, naturally, but trust me, the guys can be equally vain, if not more), taking photos, the evening party, the whole works.

But no, thanks.

And not because everyone tells me it’s gonna be lame. I get emails informing me how much better off I’ll be here in Europe instead of back home, with the umpteenth postponement, with the ridiculous “digital scrolls” instead of giving us decent forest-decimating ones, what with the water crisis, blah de blah.

But no, it’s not that.

Graduation Day.

It’s all about a sense of completion. It’s about finally finishing something, something I would hope to be proud of now and years later. It’s mostly about being satisfied.

I dunno. Getting my bachelor’s was more about fulfilling my parents’ dreams, more about going through the motions, and mostly about relief at finally getting it over with. I was immensely happy, but not proud.

And I doubt it will come in a year and a half when I finsh this master’s course either. This will be just a signpost in the timetable of my life. Something to be done and dealt with. I am incredibly grateful for it, but not moved.

Graduation Day.

It will be the day when I can look back at all my Yesterdays and see only Today.

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Copyright © 2002 Kenny Mah Ying Fye.

Time Hanging Heavily On My Hands

(This will be as wearisome to write as it was to live, but here we go anyway. Chins up.)

Here I was, sitting in a comfortable, fast and expensive ICE train (all expenses paid by my sponsors), on the way to Bamberg, where upon reaching I was to take a taxi to Pommersfelden where this Intercultural Communication Seminar was going to be held. For some strange reason, I wanted to decapitate some nice fellow passengers just for the heck of it.

Pommersfelden turned out to be a small Bavarian village of perhaps ten households, with its star attraction being a castle (and we all know how rare castles are in Germany) that just happened to be closed for renovations. Wunderbar.

The other participants seemed harmless enough, but hardly what you’d call an engaging crowd. Hardly surprising with most of them being engineers, hard-core ones at that, the types that eventually work on stuff like sub-atomic bombs.

Fortunately, I sat next this Chinese girl who was currently doing an MBA, so I needn’t have to discuss nuclear physics (which would be fine on any other day, but this was the bloody weekend). Her name was Kelly and so I learned to never underestimate the capacity of my knowledgeable peers to take feverish delight in the similarity of our names.

(Basically they were childish cunts.)

The entire seminar and consequently my weekend just went downhill from there. And from this, some fundamental truths I learned about myself:

 
1. I am nasty when I am bored.
2. I am even nastier when I do not get enough sleep.
3. I may attempt to strangle someone when the above occur simultaneously.

 
There were a few good points though, if I force myself to admit them. I did get to speak plenty Mandarin with the Chinese participants. Also, I managed to train a small group myself on the finer points of public presentation (“The first thing you might consider is actually speaking?”) and the progress they made impressed me greatly.

But the highlight was slipping away on the second day when I was supposed to be reading some case study (speed-reading classes are the best investment you’ll ever make, boys and girls!) and just spending an hour in a hot, luxurious bath, then escaping between the bedsheets and the chill of a spring day.

The dreams that don’t come don’t matter.

I cannot honestly say I wasn’t completely euphoric on Sunday afternoon when I waved Pommersfelden good riddance and came back to München. I am a city kid; creatures like me aren’t built to survive in the good, wholesome countryside.

And amen to that, fellow simians.

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Copyright © 2002 Kenny Mah Ying Fye.