*all pictures stolen
A few days ago I received a dose of happy: I was greeted by the smiles of little kids being picked up by their parents. I must not have realized on my almost daily walks to the subway that the route passed by a school. Children’s smiles are the best: they are natural and sincere. Kids! What do they do but embody the moment? Unperturbed by grown-up vices: do I look hot? why can’t I be rich? I need a job dammit. Such authenticity; such charm; such life. I would go in a heartbeat to Neverland — take me away from this calculating, dastardly adult world. Kids seem to smile whenever I see them — on the way back from the store with Daddy, kicking a football in the lobby of the Hotel Pennsylvania, at the neighbourhood basketball court. It is a nice feeling, because whenever you smile, I smile, whoa whoa whoa whoa.
(L-R) apartment, moscato d’asti, warmth provider
Smiling without kids is nice too. Carol provided love, warmth, and lodging for the gazillion visitors of 2010. Zomg. I actually made a list of Malaysians I met on this trip (almost 30). When you get these people, you get food, lame jokes (if this is an apartment, what is this?), MBTI conversations (Lim you missionary), and games — all of which make me smile too. I found out that true to her sister the Mother Pimp (INTJ), Wong “ManTao” Wen Chi (ISFP) is also very lame, and bluffs like no other at poker. (I’ll ask you this: if you’re at a party with Lady Gaga and she’s being super annoying, what do you do?) Taboo is bad for me: Putin is right for christening me Kiasu Androo. Still, the disease is not exclusively mine; et tu, Putin (ENFP) et Kafka (IN?P)! Kiasu people make me smile. Kinship relations. Incidentally, the new version of Cranium is much, much harder (and thus much more fun) than the previous pushover versions — we will kick ass next time we come across “square dancing,” “flower power,” “static cling,” and “bobsledding.” I am also constantly reminded of the fact that there needs to be more stupid Singaporean games — I’ve done most of them 😦 (Note to self: make more Singaporean friends).
KayaBao, ApekLim, DaiBao
This winter break I’ve smiled a lot — can’t do much else in the company of my favourite people in the world. I’m actually glad the Snowpocalypse happened: anything to keep Su Ann for a few more days in the city. Without the two-foot snowfall I doubt the LOL gang would’ve consummated our bromance with such delectable pictures (ones that made aunties and drivers stop, stare, and take photos), and the epic luggage-retrieval trip to the Bronx with Adrian and SinSeanne in the middle of the blizzard (mashaallah) wouldn’t have been so epic after all. I actually made my first snow angel! Now snow makes me smile. I’ve also always said that I didn’t like New York because it is crowded, ugly, and smelly, but shopping in snow reveals a whole new aesthetic. NYC in white is actually quite pretty. I’ve kinda changed my mind about NYC now that I’ve discovered Soho and the East and West Villages — pretty people in pretty places. Still, two-feet deep snow makes everything look better, people included (the snow brings out the boots). Snow also makes for free refrigeration.
Did you know that most of the porn shops in Greenwich and Chelsea are operated by Sri Lankans? Bet you didn’t. Promising sociology paper topic. Random things in life make me smile, like the Asian couple who picked up a grey blazer for themselves after watching me try one on. Or the Latinas who said very nice as I put on this sky blue H&M henley in front of a mirror. Yet the most memorable was the unexpected but enjoyable conversation with the cashier at Urban Outfitters.
O Fortuna. Sometimes I wonder if fortune cookies tell the truth. Actually that is a lie; I never once believed in them. On the second day, however, mine told me to “stop worrying and take a chance.” I smiled and put the slip into my left jeans pocket with my chapstick — fortune or no fortune, I had already decided to do the deed, balls to the wall. Anything is possible in NYC. And it worked. And I smiled all night — perhaps boldness has genius, power, and magic in it after all. On the third day, my fortune, flanked by the compulsory smiley faces, told me that “a pleasant surprise is in store for you.” I didn’t put it in my left jeans pocket. And so the genius, power, and magic dissipated. Perhaps fortunes are like multiplying negatives: they cancel each other out. For the first time during winter break I stopped smiling. Velut fucking luna.