Archive for June, 2010


Saturday, June 26th, 2010

when I first saw it, I thought it was Pink
later I called it Magenta
then I changed my mind
said it was Vermilion
for sure it was in the shades of Red, was not it?

within a simple turn
you show how to perfectly know the color

it is fuchsia, I learned
there is nothing wrong with the color, you taught

Where do you come from?

Saturday, June 19th, 2010

… is the question-101 asked at the melting pot.

Actually, I find the advanced greeting is more agreeable …

That is: when someone - on the bus/metro/train, at the kebab kiosk, bar, cafe - or where else - says something to you in the strangest language you have ever heard - and then … when you stare blankly to respond to the ice-breaker or reply innocently with, “sorry?”, s/he would amazingly say, “ah, you are not … [feel free to fill the space with any nationality or ethnicity]

In my case… the expression is one of these below:
“ah, you are not Filipino?” [certainly, not ... I'm too dark to be one]
“ah, you are not (Asiatic) Indian?” [with my flat nose?" What a compliment!]
“ah, you are not Mauritian?” [Maybe? - it's tempting too affirm this statement]
“ah, you are not Haitian?” [Wow ]

Maybe, if one day I turned green - hopefully it will be not-so-dark-yet-not-so pale green - I would have people saying:
“ah, your are not Martian?”

A friend shared his story on the alike-matter …

Over a phone call, he had to spell his surname …
The exotic sound of my friend’s name trapped the person across the wire …

She asked, “Ah, you are (American) Indian?”
“No!” He is Indonesian (he checks his family tree almost every day).
“But I think you are some-kind Indian blooded?”
“Your name explains!” The lady on the phone was really happy,
and not wanted to cut the excitement my friend continued

“Hmmm… well I have 1/3 of it!”
(1/3? Odd ratio does not correlate with genetic heredity or Mendel’s Law kind of stuff, does it?)

“Yes, I know!”
The lady became the winner…
and from that moment that friend of mine started to find the best Indian name for himself

The Last of the Mohicans?
Dances with wolves?
Snow on Sahara?
. . .


Sleepless in Milan

Sunday, June 13th, 2010

Ten out of ten friends gave the same response on my plan to go to Milan.
Add another ten, I bet the twentieth would come with the same expression, “Milan? Why Milan? There is nothing you could see in Milan!”
“The Cathedral?”
“Come on, you have seen San Pietro of Vatican!”


So, out of this pessimistic point of view, I encouraged myself to stick to the plan.
I had to see Milan before Paris.
[The actual-economic reason for this plan was ... that I got the remarkable cheap flight from Milan to Paris ... add the fee for a night-stay in Milan... it summed up a prefect figure for a low-budgeted tourist like me]

The shuttle bus from Malpensa stopped in front of the Central Station of Milan, and my cell-phone screen now embossed with MILANO … not as its usual CATANIA. Well, in the term of the GSM code, I was officially in Milan. I headed to the hostel.

The first surprise happened at the receptionist table. The receptionist checked my booking notes. “Oh, I did a mistake. I placed you in the mix-shared room!”
I almost fainted.

Nooo. . .

It was not the matter of being uncomfortable for sharing a room with different sexes.
I have learned that among most essential backpackers’ customs are that (1) we respect different sexes and (2) the shared room is used for sleeping only. The convergent interest here is totally economic reason. Reduce the accommodation cost as much as you could, that’s the golden thumb rule.

My objection was actually for another predisposition which later turned to be true.
It’s how my Milan story got its title: Sleepless in Milan.

I begged the receptionist for a private room, as I ordered through the web.
She apologized, that I had to go with her arrangement; else … I had to find another inn.
I gave up the idea finding another hostel and agreed with Angela – the receptionist.
She led me to the four-bed mixed shared room.

At first I did not any hunch, that the story will be entitled after Tom Hanks’ movie.

But you know what?

The first boy, I met in the room was totally reminded me to Tom.
Let’s call him, Tom as his real name was protected for privacy reason.
Tom is a ‘professional’ backpacker…
He planned to wander in 20 something cities for 6 weeks. Started from Auckland – Melbourne – Singapore – Dubai – Cairo – at this chain (I did not) remember where else before he arrived in Milan then to Nice, Barcelona – and I again did not remember where else before he stopped in London. At the time we became acquaintance, he was already in his third week. WoW!!! Half my age, with hundred-folded experiences.

While we were talking, a beautiful girl entered the room. She looked like Britney Spears in her earlier ages, when she was still in the Mickey Mouse Club, before she ( I mean – Miss Spears) turned to be wild. So, I named her, Britney or Brit for short.

We decided who gets which bed … the order from the door to the window was I, Brit and Tom. The bed by the window was left empty. After putting my stuffs, freshening-up a little bit, I was ready for my excursion and left the room.

It was around mid-night when the complete team got together again in the room. I was the first on the bed; of course … midnight is an upper boundary of my bed time. It seemed that we had a common agreement. Because Brit came tiptoeing knowing that I was counting my sheep, and later Tom whispered his ‘Hi!’ when entering the room.

I was in the middle of my dreamless sleep; when suddenly I was awakened by the sound, my prediction turned to be realized.

Boys (tend to) snore …

But it was not Tom, because I heard Tom whispered something.

Oh, someone came after I slept and took the bed by the window.
And he snored happily ever after …

First it sounded like a goat – slaughtering and then an elephant - one.
First it was zzzzzzzzZzzzz, then ZZZZZZZzZZZZZZ ….
First Brit cried, and then she got out the room..
In seconds, she came back with the Angela …
In her little-girl voice, she complained to the receptionist, “He is snoring! It’s annoying!”

I remember, at this moment, by heart I laughed…

Angela did not do anything.
She left the three of us with the monster.

I was fully awakened and saw Brit came close to the man’s bed.

“I have to kill him!”, Brit whispered.
“Yes, kill him!” Tom supported the idea…
“Then stop whispering!” I commented…. “He does not hear his own snoring, then he definitely could not hear our voices! Kill him, use the pillow!”
“He turns me nut!” Brit was about to burst in tears. “I have to sleep … I need to sleep … I have to leave at dawn….!”

“Kill him, kill him!” Tom yelled.

At this point, the nameless man was still snoring …

I came up with the idea… “How about taking a long-walk!”
“Yes, maybe after the walk, we can sleep despite the sound.” Tom agree.
We were about to comfort Brit, “Or you can sleep on the train!”
[This was not a god suggestion for me, I cannot sleep in/on any transportation mode]

So, the three of us got dress up and out for a walk.

The first topic of the talk while walking of course was the snoring man.

“The hostel should have a snoring and no-snoring area!”
I yawned … We were sitting in front of the central station, with our drink cans and some sweet things…

“The snoring creature is selfish. If you know you are snoring, you are not to be in the dorms. You have to have a private room!” Tom used the term of dorm for the hostel…

“Also annoying is the roommate who is smelly! Who does not take shower!” Brit seemed finally gain her tranquil state of mind.

We sniffed our armpits…


Then we laughed together …

“And who is too gassy!” Brit continued…

Ha ha ha …

And the topic were getting more ridiculous …

There ..
The three of us spent our night together in Milan…
On the concrete bench, waiting for a new day to rise …

Sleepless in Milan

It was nice to meet Brit and Tom.

Cannot create QuickStats table. Database user does not have CREATE priviledge.