Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Fascinated by: Raja Syarafina

Raja and I go way back before play school. Her mom's bed was next to my mom's when they were in labour for our youngest sister. Met up again when i got in the same class as her in standard 3 (that'd be 9 years old) in Subang Jaya. Besides dancing and eating cakes, she dishes out (unwanted) sarcastic remarks, whether in print or not, fo lyfe.

1. List three things that you are currently fascinated with.
i. Relatives’, friends’ and strangers’ interest in my personal life. They only want the answers to ‘Who’ and ‘When’ but completely uninterested in the ‘Why’, ‘How’ and ‘What’; 
ii. Going out for meals and seeing that everyone is far more interested in catching up with people NOT at the table/restaurant;
iii. Prices of properties because someone said I’m gonna be a real-estate tycoon! Objectively, that person could be mad.

2. Where are you now and where were you yesterday?
I am now in office, going through documents for the upcoming Penang State Assembly session. It’s a Sunday, mind you. I was at home yesterday, fighting through household chores.
Am not a high-living jet-setting socialite. Oh well.

3. What are you doing in life right now to get by the system?
My job is a lovely rainbow of colours with sprinkles of fairy dust and unicorns. I would love to believe that but those that have crossed the wrong path may not think so. Seems that I’m paid for a few reasons. One is being born with in-built magnifying glass, spotting mistakes (especially in documents) at one glance. Second, making people toe the line when we have different views. I’m quite easygoing, it is my way or the highway. Third, finding that loophole when things don’t seem to be in our favour. Fourth, make things happen, no matter what.  

4. How many bills per month do you have to settle?Quite a few but none gives the same impact as my credit card bills. At that point, there’ll always be the familiar regret of choosing wants over needs. But that lesson will repeat itself!
I bet she was thinking about her credit card bills.

5. What was your ambition when you were 7 years old, and when you were 15?
At 7, I thought being 12 was a good thing. The ‘seniors’ seemed to know what they were doing while I was adjusting from a 2-hour a day kindergarten routine to daily half-day worth of textbooks and ringing bells.
At 15, I was hoping I could scrape through the PMR. It took me awhile to discover that I’ll be tested on 3 years’ worth of content for few miserable subjects!

6. What was the last movie you watched at the cinema and was it good?
It was ‘Brides’, a 2004 Greek movie shown during the 17th European Union Film Festival in November 2016. I thought it was a romantic comedy but it was actually a romance drama. A story about mail-brides back in the 1920’s, 700 women and girls who had to leave their families and homelands for a future with men they’ve not met before. Their journey encapsulated the many different types of women among us (the realist, the romantic, the doormat, the survivor) as well as their hopes and aspirations. To many, a marriage is their key to happily-ever-after. Few wanted the marriage as an escape from a forgettable past.  To the female protagonist, marriage was not about love but companionship and business partnership. She chose a man who is waiting at the port than the man she met on the ship.
Good movie, but may not be favoured in today’s fast-paced action/CGI/chick-lit movie age.

7. What will you be doing this coming weekend?I’ll probably drive up to Hard Rock Penang. The Jazzhats will be performing and their lead singer, Ray Rozells is just superb. His rendition of Luther Vandross’ Dance with My Father is a bit too personal for me but an evening of songs will never go wrong. Could also try to slot in a game of pool or two.

8. Do you like folding or ironing your clothes?
I prefer neither but…there is that perverse masochistic tendency of appreciating clothes that have crisp lines e.g. shirt sleeves or pants. I feel more comfortable if the clothes I wear are well-ironed, even if the material states ‘no ironing needed’! I don’t have a maid so the hardest part for me is to really lift the iron and start ironing. But once I start, I can’t seem to stop…
By the way, the question does seem like one which a prospective mother-in-law will ask!

9. What is your favourite breakfast and why do you think it’s good for you?
Toasted bread and half-boiled eggs. Am not sure if they’re good for me but the kopitiam version is a good start for any day.

10. What was the last awkward situation you were in?
Me having to listen to a guy’s problematic past romance over dinner. I actually liked that guy enough to see prospects of a relationship but when that tornado came out of nowhere, something inside of me switched off. From a close friend and relationship hopeful, I became someone who dished out advice from the sidelines. I don’t think I will have the courage or patience to experience that again so I wrote and sent him a letter the next day. It was of mixed signals, missed opportunities and me moving on from this comedy of mistakes.

I am not sure if his comprehension skills are functioning...

She managed to purr a salsa fiesta in Penang.
11.  What is your favourite print patterns? 
Does a string of ‘SALE’ stickers at shops of my favourite brands count?

12. How do you really wanna live your life?
I think I’m happy the way I am now. Used to dream of many possibilities but considering how things have worked out, God must have intended this for me. No doubt things can be a lot better but it could be a lot worse. 
I hope to have a life that provides me just enough in terms of material wealth, a little bit but manageable amount of stress and pressure to push me forward, and an abundance of love and memories with family and close friends. And as what I learnt from my Dad’s passing, a peaceful end after a life well-lived.

Read her opinions here.

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