26 January 2011

Back Home

"Welcome Back, Sir!"
The burly building security guard said as he deposited our big luggages right by the doorstep of the apartment unit. Mr. B. didn't seem to know him. Perhaps he saw him last year but maybe he hardly made an impression.
"How can you not know him?" I told Mr. B. "He greeted us every morning we go out and we woke him up to open the gate when we came home very late at night."
"Is that so?" Mr. B. replied as he placed the luggages in the bedroom we are staying in.
There seem to be subtle changes in the apartment from what Mr. B. remembered. New throw covers, new holiday decorations and also a new hangings on the wall. Familiar yet strange.
"That was from the last holidays we had with your sister's family," Mr. B.'s dad said pointing at the new collage of photos on the bedroom wall. "It was in a remote but beautiful island in the south."
Mr. B. nodded but he was very tired not having much sleep in the last 2 nights.
"Freshen up now so we can have lunch!" Mr. B.'s mom called from the living room outside.
We are home.

23 January 2011

I Don't Wanna Lose You

Mr. B. has a very strange disorder. It's called forgetfulness. No, it's not the disease as described by Alois Alzheimer in 1906. Since he was small, he has been known to misplace things and not being able to find them after he deliberately tried to remember where he kept them when he did. Everyone in the family knew about this. He does remember a lot of insignificant details from his childhood but don't ask him what he had for lunch yesterday, it will take him awhile to recall.

He couldn't pick a better time to lose his passport as we shall be traveling tomorrow. The unfunny thing is that we just came back from a trip so the passport should not be far away.

"I think it's in your backpack, Mr. B." I told him before he became hysterical. "That's where you keep all your travel documents. I bet you still haven't remove your passport from that backpack since we came back a week ago."

Eureka moment. He found his passport thanks to me, so he place it where he would not forget it tomorrow morning before we leave the house.

"Now where on Earth is my citizen ID?" he started pacing the floor again. "I forgot where I place them a year ago."

"A year ago?" I sensed something bad coming. "And you are looking for it now?"

"Well, I need it tomorrow, don't I?" he said calmly as his started digging into his closet drawers. "It must be somewhere here... I am very sure of that."

It "sure" took Mr. B. the whole afternoon to look in places he was "sure" he kept his ID in. In the process, he was able to discover bottles of cologne from Christmases ago that he never used (he never knew where they were), branded toiletries he bought from New York that never seen the light of the day since they never came out of the boxes, a copy of Le Cordon Bleu's "The Chef's Bible" ("Look, Becker, I never knew I had a copy of this! Was this a gift too?").

It was early evening by the time Mr. B. found his ID. Another Eureka moment. So Mr. B., D., and I were able to relax and finally had dinner and D. brought out a big strawberry mousse birthday cake to celebrate Mr. B.'s birthday. He blew the candle, cut the cake and we all enjoyed a big piece each before D. finally said goodbye.

Mr. B. went back to packing his luggage and place his ID in the backpack he shall be carrying tomorrow.

"Where is my passport?"


"I can't find my passport! Where did I place them this afternoon?"

"Please tell me you are kidding, Mr. B."

"No! I can't find it! I am serious!"

PS: It's past midnight. As of this writing, Mr. B. is still running around looking for his passport. Isn't fact really stranger than fiction?

14 January 2011

Two For The Road : The Finale

I feel sad today. Mr. B. and I have officially completed our European trip and going back home tonight. After two and a half months of traveling, I must say that I'm a bit exhausted but definitely very happy! Mr. B. took me to see many interesting places, meet a lot of his equally interesting friends, ate a lot of uniquely delicious food, took lots of photos and posted them for family and friends to see.

More importantly, I am happy to know that Mr. B. was able to achieve some of the things he set out to do on this trip. He was able to receive his certificates in the best culinary school in Paris. He was able to meet friends he hasn't seen for many, many years. He was able to see some of the best musicals in West End.

In this very memorable day, Mr. B. and I prepared a special video album to remember the wonderful time we spent together, as well as time with our friends.

Special thank you's go -
To W. and D. for being generous hosts during our stay in London.
To Uncle F. and Auntie M. during our stay in the far away (but really nice) place called Oudenaarde.
To the Smith family all the way from Germany, for the wonderful dinner in one of Paris posh restaurants.
To Miss A. for sharing a nice evening of dinner and show.
To Mr. A. for his beautiful dumplings for New Year's Eve and the great Vietnamese lunch.
To Miss M. for the exotic gastronomic tour of Spanish tapas, Vietnamese pho and Malaysian laksa.

To all the other friends (and fans) whose names we do not know, thank you.

We shall always remember all of you with fondness.

04 January 2011

Two For The Road : Top Of The World

"Do you think we can see the Funny Farm from up here?" I asked Mr. B.

"Don't be silly. Of course not." he replied chuckling.

Inside the observation capsule on top of London Eye, it seemed to me like I could see the whole world. Everything became so tiny - the Big Ben, Parliament, Westminster Abbey, the cars in the streets, the boats on River Thames, and the people. I felt like so far away from everything. It seemed like none of those little things really mattered at that point. I am in my own world, on top of the world. It felt great and I told Mr. B. how I felt.

"But you have to remember that the huge wheel is turning. We shall be descending real soon." he said.

True enough, our capsule started its slow descent to the ground again even before I was able to enjoy enough of the view from the top. Suddenly, we are back on Earth again. The little people and little cars and little boats became big again.

"I wish we can stay on top forever, Mr. B." I said to him after we left the capsule. "I really like it up there."

"Me too!" Mr. B. replied. "But we must all come back to reality. Like our London Eye flight, or our European tour."

I thought about that for a moment. I felt quite sad to think this all is but a temporary escape from reality. And that we all need to go back again at some point.


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