what was so funny??

“I left my heart in San Diego…” we said loudly on the bus to the Strip in Vegas.

Two black guys in front of us suddenly turned around, their conversation stopped midways.

“You left your heart WHERE?????????” they asked, shocked and were on the verge of laughing.

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San Diego

Having no more priviledge of being driven around everywhere, we had to make our way to San Diego the old fashioned way. Well, by train. That is old fashioned, considering I had never even once taken public transportation in my own hometown, and trains and buses in Singapore do not count! They’re way too…um..maintained. Okay, I’m talking gibberish, not to say that the trains we took from LA were unmaintained, dammit.

So! From LA we’re supposed to take this train to Oceanside, where we would later transit to another train to San Diego. Long story short, we got there pretty early and the next train wouldn’t leave for another two and a half hours, so we parked ourselves in some chairs outside, bought burgers from Burger King (I was actually looking for the grilled mushroom burger, and Farah was initially confused to see no rendang burger in sight! We are hopeless!), and camped there, eating and talking nonsense.

Because we were talking mostly nonsense, and up to one point I even spilled my still-full Coke to the ground, and the girls made a scene by shrieking everytime some dogs passed by, even taking pictures and all while I tried to look invisible, it’s fair to say that we were pretty loud. Some guy beside us who initially had his heaphone on, ended up talking to us, apparently our voices way surpassed his ghetto, RnB music.

Anyway, we were finally inside the train and we looked pretty eye-catching because of our gigantic luggages and all, some were pink and bright red. Plus, we looked so harmless. There was one guy sitting, facing us in the far right opposite seat of us, and another guy one seat behind. I didn’t know why, but I just had a bad feeling about them; the first guy kept glancing at us. His eyes looked evil. I told this to the girls, and surprisingly they felt the same way.

“I have a feeling those two guys know each other,” I think Farah said.

“But they were sitting there separately, acting like strangers,” Bonnie added.

Damn, now I’m scared.

“Anyone has a scissors in their bags?” I blurted out, dumbly. Granted, it was our first trip unadvised, we were pretty much safe in Oklahoma and LA.

Their blank faces was all I could need to freak out. We all stared at our luggages, hopelessly.

“I don’t care if they take that suitcase, as long as it’s not the pink one. I put all my make-up in there…” Bonnie said, not comforting me at all.

“Oh, so you’re okay with being completely naked as long as you’re fully made-up?” I teased her. She looked at me as if saying, duh.

“Girls, we should bring that ghetto, RnB guy down to sit with us here,” I suggested. The suspicious guy was still staring at us, and we were like, fuck!

So Farah went up, talked to the guy and he happily agreed. I said happily because his face was beaming. Dude, don’t you see that we are scared?!! A little emphaty, please?

So that’s how we spent the rest of our trip to San Diego; having a guy there made us feel at least a bit safer. He was supposed to alight at the stop after ours, and he offered to come down and hang out with us for the night. Eeer. We declined politely, we still need his service, afterall.

As soon as we alighted, we saw the two suspicious guys talk, so they indeed they knew each other! We hurried, we couldn’t even like, stop for a second to breathe the cool San Diego air! We were too busy getting away as far as possible from the train. We only felt relieved once we got in a cab. What a ride!

But, that had to be the only slight bump on our San Diego trip; the rest was just truly amazing. We loved San Diego, and we met really great people there. There was Tim, the hotel shuttle’s driver, whom we met when we first checked-in. We asked the receptionist on how to get to Sea World, and turns out, the shuttle would take and pick us up to-and-from the hotel.

So the next morning, Tim drove us and we were the only people in the shuttle. Out of nowhere, he handed us some papers.

“Well, my friend works in Sea World, so he’s entitled to free passes; I asked him and got these last night,” he said.

“Eh? For us?”

“Yeah, yeah, so just show those tickets in the entrance..”

“Eh? So we can get in for free?”

Seriously, we asked such dumb questions!

“Yeah..” Tim-the-driver smiled, looking like an angel.

By this time, we were laughing and screaming “thank you soo muchhhhhhh, Tiiiiiiimmmmm” like a fifth-graders. Don’t you know, that otherwise, the entry ticket is like, sixty-seventy bucks?! Tim-the-driver was so nice, he completely made our day!

And of course, there’s Hiro and Dion, whom we met the night on our arrival at club Belo. Hiro, whom we would meet again later in San Fransisco, and Dion, who well, let’s just say he and I had a special connection. Of course, I’m being sarcastic. I hope I didn’t scar him too much.

Catching Shamu show at Sea World!

Partying it up in Belo, Gaslamp District.

San Diego skyline from Coronado.

Dining at Peohe’s in Coronado. Having sake!

Having drinks and playing pool at Pacific Beach.

What a trip! We would be going to Vegas after this, but none of us were even that excited anymore. Throughout our 7-hours Greyhound-journey to Vegas, we kept saying, “I miss San Diego!”

LA: On the way to Disneyland…

It was right on Christmas Day. We were excited to go to Disneyland, and we were paranoid since we’ve been hearing (although I had no idea from whom) that one wouldn’t have enough time in a day to explore the whole Disneyland, so being kanchiong like we were, we already went out at 9 from the hotel, hoping we might get there way before noon.

I had everything planned, I had maps and bus guides, I knew which stops we must alight to transfer to another bus to get there. It didn’t take long for the universe to mess it up. Soon enough, we found ourselves lost, in the middle of nowhere, right in the side of the street with no inkling clue of what to do. There was a bus stop, but what LA people called ‘bus stop’ was nothing more than a stick showing the bus number, and a rusty looking chair without shelter.

My watch said it was already 11 am, jeeze louise. Three of us were sitting in this unknown bus stop, shivering in cold, feeling completely defeated and desperate as the seconds went by.

“Let’s just hitch-hike,” someone suggested.

Well, hitch-hiking is supposed to be common in the US, right? I see that on the movie like, all the time. Yeah, there are also numbers of cases in which people were murdered because of it!

Hello? See previous paragraph, we were desperate. Our desire for Disneyland way surpassed our common sense.

Bonnie stood up, straightened up her skirt and strolled with her 5-cm heels down to the side of the street, giving the thumb.

Farah and I were laughing, half in amusement, half in disbelief. Our first attempt at hitch-hiking! It was too exciting, documentary needed! Unfortunately, we were too busy turning into ice-cubes to remember the camera.

On the corner of our eye, we saw a police car on the traffic jam on the right. We started galloping and Bonnie was provoked. At this point, she was jumping up and down, waving her hand in the air, signalling to the police that there might have been a roberry, a rape, or something extremely important.

The policeman, alerted, turned on the sirene! The car accelerated, then made a fast steer towards our direction, completely ignoring the red traffic jam! It turned so fast, the kind of action you would normally see in The Fast and The Furious! As it turned, the tire made a loud noise, and once it reached us, he pressed the brake so hard it stopped with another loud halting sound.

The officer quickly got down from the car, looked at Bonnie with a serious look on his face, ready for the worst news she might throw at him, possibly including abduction or slavery.

Still in her five-cm heels, Bonnie approached the officer, her Miu Miu bag dangling on her arm, her freshly manicured fingernails were clasped together.

“Officer….We’re lost…We wanna go to Disneyland……”

Time seemed to stop. The officer was stoned for a few seconds, unable to believe his ear. He then looked sideways as if looking for a candid crews, or probably Ashton Kutcher. He looked at Bonnie again, and then at us, and he blinked a few times.

By this point, I was laughing so hard I was close to tears.

The kind officer finally regained his composure. He stopped a shuttle bus, told the driver to take and drop us at the LAX airport, and we were to take another shuttle from there to Disneyland. In the end, the heroic policeman saved our life. Eh, at least, saved our day.

But this same heroic officer probably went back to the station and warned his fellow friends about some certain three asian girls hassling police officers on a Christmas day.

And us? Well, we finally got to Disneyland at noon. But I wouldn’t ever forget the sirene, the way the police car’s tires made that loud noise, and the officer’s priceless expression. Imagine his face if only we added, “officer, can we take picture with you?”

(More pictures are up at my multiply site!)

The New Daddy.

Dad is in town.

I haven’t seen my big man for…well, way too long, I suppose. He was here last Christmas, but at that time I was busy being selfish and wasting his money away in the Land of Freedom. Anyway, I was really excited to see him, but nothing could have prepared me for this.

He grew his hair.

No, no, I know it’s a natural process, dammit. I mean, he really grew his hair. It’s still growing now, as we speak. *trembling* Now, pardon my surprise, whereas the concept of hair growing wasn’t all that new to me, I was still shocked because in my 21-just-turned-22 years of life, this has never happened. Like, ever, ever, ever.

If there was one constant thing in my life, it would have been his hair. I’ve gained comfort in knowing his hair never changed; that he has always looked exactly the same everytime I saw him, let it be a month, three months, or even a year after. I trusted his hair to remain short more than anything.

So I was speechless when he got out of the cab and his now-long hair was blown by the wind. I was still, speechless when he laughed and hugged me, his now-long hair was covering my eyes. Eh, okay, I might have exaggerated a little bit there. But man! I was stunned. His hair resembled Paul McCartney’s and the Beatles’ kids’ back then. (Yes, take this time to imagine..)

“How? Why? When? Where? What?” I stuttered, after regaining my consciousness. I could very well have passed out there for a few seconds.

“Oh, don’t you know? It was already long last December when you weren’t here…” my sister offered a kind word of consolidation, not at all consoling nor comforting. Still, it didn’t answer my question. I looked at my big man, but he just smirked slightly and continued walking to the lift.

The discussion ended there, and it was soon forgotten for a brief moment while we were excitedly opening Indonesian snacks he brought along. Damn, I am so easily distracted. Bugger.

Glad to have you here, Daddy.

LA: Hollywood, Rodeo Drive

Pictures from LA are up! Well, partly!

http://www.xteena21.multiply.com/

I just uploaded the pictures in Hollywood! We got to LA a little after noon, and between going to the hotel, settling in, unpacking and doing all other girly stuffs you can think of, (yes, three of us are sharing a room, dammit! You can only imagine the amount of cosmetics and facial products scattered around in the sink! It’s a miracle we still had a sink at all beyond that point) it was already evening when we finally went out to explore the city!

One thing about LA is that the city itself is so big that the definition of ‘nearby’ is 15-45 minutes-drive by car. So when you, say, are injured, and informed that the nearest hospital is near, my advise is not to translate that so literally, probably best to just call 911 rather than drive there yourself, because chances are you might pass out in the middle of traffic of ‘losing too much blood’. (Okay, I’m a big dork, but you get the drift.) In Singapore, you can pretty much go from one end to the other in 45 minutes! The contrast! So yeah, that’s definitely one thing we should think of while travelling in the city! The distance, plus the traffic.

Fortunately, we have Farah’s super-nice cousin and his wife to show us around. Imagine going around by public bus! Well, we’ve experienced some of that, but that’s for later story. Oh! The expectation! (the only person expecting is myself.)

Anyway, we proceeded straight to Hollywood. First off, we had fun just walking and trying to notice familiar names in the walk of fame!

“So, who are you looking for?” Farah’s cousin asked at one point, probably curious after seeing me looking around like an idiot at no apparent object.

“Um, John Cusack?” I said, expectantly.

“Eh? Who? Never heard of it…” he replied, innocently, then proceeded walking, unaware that my heart broke with his each passing words.

Okay, fine! So maybe not many are aware of the brilliance of Mr. Cusack, but that’s their loss!

The best I could find around is Tom Cruise, and I didn’t even like him that much! Oh well, I better took picture with Mickey Mouse’s sign then!

After which, we went inside the Chinese Threatre and took a few snaps but honestly there wasn’t anything too memorable. I was too excited seeing the Kodak Threatre at the street across! And there’s this big impressive Virgin records store right by the Chinese Threatre. You can just feel the energy! The bright colourful lights, it all looked so new and lively.

We got into the Kodak Threatre and walked through the shopping malls behind it, where there were this fountain and big christmas tree right in the middle. Afterall, we got there on the 24th December, so everything was decorated in festive.

We then drove up to Rodeo Drive, the high-end shops! All branded items, you name it, they have it. Because we couldn’t afford it anyway, we got there when the shops were already closed; we only wanted some pictures! After some time ogling over Chanel, it became obvious that money wouldn’t magically appear in our pockets, so we left, wounded.

The most memorable dinner so far had to be that Thai food dinner we indulged in that very night! We have been deprived of chinese food for almost three weeks in Oklahoma so we were beyond estatic to eat horfun and fried rice like normal chinese people.

I remember falling asleep in the back of the car after dinner, and so was Bonnie. (can you say pigs?) Farah’s cousin saw this and decided to take us back to the hotel for our beauty sleep!

The next day, we would be going to Disneyland, so we needed that rest! But the glimpse of LA was awesome! We were delighted to finally get out of Oklahoma and to start on our real American adventure!

(Why do I use so many exclamation marks as if I’m yelling all the time?)

Woooo! San Fran!

I’m officially a stalker.

…………………………….of San Fran.

No, seriously. I am.

Through here you can watch live view of the city twenty four hours a day, and I’ve checked it like, for the hundreth times today just to ogle.(eventhough it’s basically night time there so you can’t see much but lights.)

Since it’s live (duh?), you can also see ships and boats passing by, oh my god, it’s just too beautiful I can’t speak!

I’m so gonna stay up late tonight just to watch the sunrise over there!

Do I sound stalkerish enough now? I love San Fran!

…saying it with the shirt! 🙂

something else

Dammit, dude, you’re the only one who speaks words like “manifest destiny” and “question authority”, and you listen to Martin Luther King’s speeches, get excited over civil rights’ day, watch series called “From the earth to the moon” about Apollo program, and found books on “Web design for ROI” and “Web Analytics” entertaining.

You constantly amuse me everyday.

New year’s resolutions…I’ll be more specific.

When I said I needed to get down to writing again, I meant it. Having been absent for a month from actually holding a pen and a piece of paper (I’m being dramatic, actually it was more like keyboard in the laptop, but pen and paper sounds more festive, don’t you think?), my charm was deteriorating pretty fast. I always thought I had a wit, but it seems like a shit nowadays instead. Wit, shit, it rhymes, got it?

Man, see what I mean? I even lost my sense of humour, that is, if I even had one in the first place. But that’s what I keep telling myself. So don’t burst my bubbles.

So looking back to the post that I wrote about the new year resolutions, I was like, “what the fuck?” Not only was it, oh, what was the word, oh, wait, SUCKS! It was too subtle and it didn’t express me at all. ‘I will not think too much?’ Who the hell said that? Go be a statue if you don’t wanna think. ‘I will find a fulfilling job?’ Yeah, doesn’t everyone want that? Are any of that junk that I wrote personal at all? ‘I will work out more’?! Okay, seriously. At this point I should just kiss-kiss-bang-bang my journalistic passion because I’m an embarrassment!

As if I didn’t realize that before, last week this happened when I was talking to my friend Lutz.
Him: “Haha..I’m just reading your new year resolutions..”
Me: “Oh yeah?”
Him: “You know those resolutions are useless if you don’t make plans on how to achieve your goals…”
Me: “……..”
Him: “Such as I will work out more…”
Me: “Shut up, dude!”
Him: “You have to change your lifestyle in order to make a change!”
Me: “…….”
Him: “Remember you are not Obama!”
Me: “…….”
Him: “It’s not easy to make a change!”
Me: “…….”
Him: “CHRISTINOBAMA!!!!!!!!!!!”
Me: “*^#!&^#!#$@#@!!?!”

Do I even know this guy, really?

No, I’m joking! Okay, okay, dude, my resolutions sucks big time, no reason to gloat! (peace out!) So figured I need to revise that, make it more Tina rather than Christinobama, or at least, explain why I need these changes. And I really need to stick to it!

New Year Resolutions…Part Deux!

I will try not to worry and think too much about everything in life. I tend to over-analyze and get paranoid over the small stuffs, so I really need to learn not to sweat over the tiny bit of details, and just enjoy the ride.

But not thinking too much doesn’t mean not thinking at all, because I’m whole-heartedly aware that I have made many mistakes in the past due to the fact that I simply did not think before I acted. People have been telling me that I possess absolutely zero sense of danger, and that’s how I lost my brain sometimes. (e.g: drink too much beyond my capability, unable to say ‘no’, receive drinks from strangers, and et-cetera et-cetera) So, I should be more careful and take these things more seriously!

I will not drunk-dial my ex-boyfriend again, well, I guess that one is pretty personal, no explanation needed. Ha! At least I got one point right! Nah, I think I’m ready to let it go.

I will not drink tequila again, simply because there has been too many drunken episodes caused by this little bugger, and it doesn’t even taste good! Unlike Jargerbomb, which I’m totally hooked these days! (Although you probably don’t need to know that!)

I will not have alcohol offered by a guy before going out, no matter how cute he is. Back in Oklahoma, I went out with this guy, and the context wasn’t even a date, because I brought along another friend. He was picking us up at our room and I thought once he arrived, we could just go out straightaway, but he told me he wanted to come in first, so he did, and he pulled out a bottle of whisky from his pocket and we ended up finishing the whole bottle before even heading out! Bad, bad, bad guy! Stupid, stupid, stupid me! Couldn’t really blame the guy entirely ‘cos I played along. (see what I mean about being stupid and not thinking before acting?)

I will find a fulfilling, permanent job! And the point here is fulfilling because I don’t want just any jobs. Granted I may not get exactly my dream job straightaway, ‘international correspondent’, just because it’s way too ambitious, (I’m a dreamer but even dreamer has to go back to reality sometimes) I shall seek and explore any other opportunities. Speaking of job, I have just finished my resume…I think! Clap!

I will be a better friend because friendship means a tad lot to me, and I’m happy I made a lot of new friends last year, but as important is to keep the old ones. And I intend to do just that.

I will spend more time with my family. During the course of the past few years, I just realized (it just hit me), that family sticks together no matter what. In fact, they probably are the only ones who won’t ever leave. Well, I hope it’s not only because of obligation. I have great family, everytime I come back home, I’m constantly reminded of that simple but most of times, taken-for-granted fact. For the resolution, though, I’m starting something simple; spending time with my sisters. Meli is coming to Singapore for her undergraduate study and I definitely want lots of bonding time…even if it’s over a game in playstation, knowing her.

I will not get too drunk and pass out. Oh my god, so many memories come flooding back. No more any of that! No more throwing up and passing out in public. No more waking up and going like ‘what the hell happened?’ No more dialling up my friends for vivid details of the events leading to my unconscious state. No more being so embarrassed of seeing people who have witnessed more things than they have bargained for in the eyes. A lot more things. Dammit.

I will maintain my weight. 48 kg, no more, no less. Well, it probably could go down a little bit seeing how chubby I am, but definitely not more. This arm, right here, has got to go, though.

I will not have anything to do with the boy from the seventh floor anymore, simply because I don’t want anything out from it, so what’s the point? Out of impulse these days I always look up and check on his window to see if his lights are on, and that freaks me out; the fact that I appear to be a little on the stalker-side. And everytime I go down on the lift, I’m anxious that I may bump into him, it’s just too weird.

I will read more books and watch more movies.

I will buy myself a new phone, and this has really got to happen. My current phone is ancient, ugly, and friends complain that they often can’t reach me, that somehow by miraculous reasons they go straight to mail box. It’s time to change this thing I call my handphone, baby.

Lastly, I will involve myself in more positive activities, meet more people and not limit my preferences.

People, it’s going to be one bumpy ride.

Resume writing

If you know how cocky I usually am [ehem?], you’d think that I would have absolutely no problem writing my resume. After all, isn’t it all about self-praising, in a way? You have to sell yourself, thus, you have to only write about the amazing things you’ve done, about how hardworking and dilligent you naturally are, although it may not be the case at all. Honesty just doesn’t apply here.

I’m not saying that I’m not hardworking or dilligent, please! That’s just a verbal of speech!

Anyway, since getting a job is slowly becoming a top priority, [of course, aside from starting my two final school assignments, almost slipped my mind there..] I eventually have to stop avoiding and postponing this resume-writing shit. Know the scary part? That eventually is here. Now. Oh shit.

I’ve got a resume, one which I used to nail some of my previous fulfilling wonderful, but low-paying jobs. Not one, not two, but three, this year alone! Aside from being paid a peanut, I’m actually really thankful for these opportunities. So yeah, resume? I’ve got one. A relatively decent one, just not good enough to be used to apply a dream permanent job. So I have to do a massive reconstruction! And by that I mean, I might as well write a new one!

Like I said, I usually have no problems worshipping myself…in conversation! When it comes down to typing it…I become numb! Nervous! Sweaty! I have a case of stage-fright…on Microsoft Word! That has to be the first!

People…wish me luck!!