Free Advice

I’m just gonna jump straight in (and I may or may not add to this list from time to time):

  • Do NOT ask me how I am/how I’m doing/if I’m OK unless you are truly interested in my answer. If you are hoping/expecting that I will respond with the standard ‘I’m fine/OK’, you may be in for a surprise. There are days when I will just say I’m alright regardless of how I really feel, but most of the time I will tell you how things actually are, and if you don’t want to know then it’s best not to start the ball rolling.
  • If I say I’m worried or stressed or unhappy, do NOT respond by telling me to ‘Relax’.
  • ‘If I say I am struggling to pay my bills, do NOT reply, ‘Almost everyone has money problems’ and ‘There are a lot more people who are worse off than you’.
  • Do NOT call me Daph if you have only just met me.



Siaran Tergendala Sebentar


I have been distracted by various things and not been updating this blog.

It is mostly good though. I am actually writing stories and finishing them. Is it too optimistic to aim to complete my collection at the end of July? Perhaps, but that’s my goal anyway. Even if I don’t meet it, it motivates me to keep on at it.

I will try to pop back here every now and then, if only to post music I’m listening to.

In the meantime, here’s a short list of stuff that has happened:

  1. Found out about Leonora Carrington and am now reading her short stories. Weird and wonderful!
  2. Bought The Wolf at the Door by J. Damask who is my friend Joyce Chng. I am enjoying it so much.
  3. I am reviewing Lang Leav’s Sad Girls. I hope it doesn’t have the same effect on me as her poems do.
  4. Will be reviewing Felicia Yap’s book. She is that Malaysian author who was signed by Random House (I think) and paid a mind-bogglingly huge advance.
  5. I joined Tinder, specifying that I wasn’t interested in hooking up or looking for a romantic relationship. Met a couple of interesting people (of both sexes), but also two complete fuckwits. I have deleted my account.
  6. Met a farrier from Sweden whom I call the Neighsayer. He is black and has a weird accent that’s a mix of English, Australian and others that I can’t identify – from learning English while travelling. A nice, unsleazy guy whom I can hang out with and not have to beat off with my umbrella.
  7. Don and I are still together and he is still the love of my life.

That’s all I can think of. Until next time …


That skit in Little Britain, in which the Indian woman keeps getting asked to repeat a phrase that is totally intelligible? It used to happen to me when I lived in England, despite the fact that I set aside my Malaysian accent for the convenience of my British coursemates.

Once, when I was in a train from Oxford to Paddington, I chatted with a blind man all the way through and He never asked me to repeat myself. Not even once.

When it finally came up that I was Malaysian, he said he’d never have guessed from my accent. I was being considerate, as I didn’t want him to find it hard to understand me.

The difference between him and my coursemates was that my coursemates could *see* I was foreign.

With the Top Down and the Wind Blowing

Further thoughts on Crowded House’s Not the Girl You Think You Are

It’s my favourite song by the band despite having previously felt it was a rather depressing one about losing oneself and being the person you think you have to be in order to be loved and wanted.

Well, I was listening to it this morning and I had an epiphany: This song is about the false negative perceptions one has about oneself. It’s about feeling you will never be liked for who you are; it’s about the years of disappointment breaking you down so that you don’t think you deserve happiness.

That’s not who you are. That’s not who I am. I deserve to be happy and loved. I am loved; I have lots to be happy about. And I do believe that Don is one in a million.




I recently came to know of this bird, called the shoe-billed stork and I can’t get over how it looks. Can it be possible that something like this actually exists outside a fantasy novel? It looks like something created by Lewis Carroll; like it should be strolling through a verse of The Walrus and the Carpenter.

At its largest, the shoe-bill is close to five feet tall. The Wiki page says it … ‘is noted for its slow movements and tendency to remain still for long periods, resulting in repeated descriptions of the species as “statue-like”.’

However, it looks like it might enjoy a good joke.

And when feeling energetic, it might be persuaded to join me in a gentle saunter around Taman Tun park.


P.S. Also from wiki: ‘This species is considered to be one of the five most desirable birds in Africa by ornithologists.’ I have no idea what that means. Desirable as pets? Food? What?

P.P.S. I found this video of shoebill clips set to Noh music. Perfect!

P.P.S. And finally, as large as these birds are, they fly. Check out that windspan!