Tuesday, July 31, 2007

home again??

my holiday in bario.


it has been very.. interesting.

the last time i came back was in september of 2006.

many things have changed.. but one thing has definitely not.

people STILL do not recognize me.

i'm still 'kina' (chinaman), or even - believe it or not - 'orang putih' (white man). frustrating, especially since i'm 100% pure-blooded kelabit. huh. but it is pretty funny when they start talking about me in kelabit (kononnya behind my back) and then i suddenly turn around and greet them, speaking in fluent kelabit. the looks on their faces, i'm telling you.. is simply priceless.

we have internet connection via satellite now, as you all probably already know, but we still lack electricity. therefore, the usage of the internet in the e-bario cybercafe is hugely reliant on the solar-powered batteries, as the computers run on them. the connection speed varies though, i think the speed is directly proportioned with the amount of clouds in the sky - the less clouds, the faster and more stable the connection is. but at least, AT LEAST, there is a connection so i do not go completely bonkers.

this time of the year is the planting season, so the only time i spend with my grandparents is at night, albeit with their heavily lidded eyes. it is fascinating how they carry out the work in the fields in the daytime. the amount of work they do, and the efficiency they have about them as they carry out their work is nothing short of amazing. seriously, put me in the middle of the fields and i would be thinking of hiring help! never in a million years can i see myself breaking my back in the sun doing that kind of work. so hats off to the grandparents and everyone else who work in the fields all day so spoiled ones like me get to live like i do. heh!

that said, it was great to be back in bario. i think now, i can truly appreciate the necesseties most of us take for granted - electricity, television, cars etc. every single time i return to miri from a trip to bario, i'm a very, VERY thankful person.

Tuesday, July 24, 2007


i'm in bario now.

the original plan was to come back for a week. one week. 7 days. period. meaning i would be returning to Miri (oh sweet Miri) on Friday the 27th.

then i came back to find out that the flight that i'm supposed to be on is booked full. so okay, the next day lah, kan? that was the plan, then. or so i thought.

THEN, like, just 15 mins ago my aunt who works at the Bario airport came home and told me that the flight on saturday has been taken over by the students from britain doing some sort of a world challenge. meaning that she has already removed my name from the flight. and the flights on sunday will be full too. like, wtf. right?

meaning the earliest i will be back in basic civilisation is Monday the 30th. that is only if i am very lucky - which, especially of late, i am not.

meaning, i am SO pissed.

meaning, i need something to bite.

Thursday, July 19, 2007

i guess underneath that thick veneer of perfection lies a sourpuss hypocrite, bitter at the world. for what reason, i do not care to know. i have got better things to do than to be concerned with matters regarding you.

i have had it with your ways. you claim to be a person that you are most certainly not. maybe some would be stupid enough to fall for your conniving lies. maybe some would take pity and see that you are the victim. maybe some would listen to your sob stories. i admit, i was one of them. but now i see right through you. i know your kind. in fact, i've been there, i've done that, and i've even got the t-shirt. it is about time you learnt something. karma, as i always say, is a bitch. right now my one and only hope for you is that i be present when it slaps your smug, know-it-all, holier-than-thou face really, really, REALLY hard.

friends do not do what you do. friends do not switch friends whenever is convenient for them. friends do not pick fights with friends just for the heck of it. friends do not backstab each other. friends do not ignore each other when they are in a 5-metre radius. friends appreciate each other, regardless. therefore, you are not a friend.

it amazes me how you can come to me and talk about our friend. you slam her. you say so many mean things about her and how she never asked you about the guy she was seeing. then you deserted her. the guy was a jerk. she needed you, and you left her. you went out with another friend almost every night, knocking back alcohol like nothing is happening, saying that she deserved what she got. i almost could not take the insults you were throwing at her. as far as i see it, the only mistake she made was fall in love. now i can clearly see she has made another mistake: she has you for a friend.

you start bad-mouthing another friend soon after. from going out almost every night to none at all. you say she is defensive. that she never smiles in photographs. you try to poison me.. you tell me that she said that i go out with another friend just because that other friend has a car. telling another of our friend that she was the reason you did not talk to her. that she was the one who really has a problem with her. during this period you get back close with our previous friend. what the hell?

then you can start talking about another friend who has a somewhat abusive boyfriend. behind her you diss her like nobody's business, saying that she is stupid for holding on to such a loser. a bimbo for putting up for his ways. in front of her, you are the closest of friends. you regularly gossip and attend *ahem* bible study together whilst puffing away cigarettes. apparently i am missing something.

you then turn right around and diss another girlfriend of ours, who happens to be in love with a guy who had absolutely no intention to be in a relationship with her. in front of her, you support her wholeheartedly. behind her back, a monster emerges. you have this amazing ability to make our friend sound like some random run-of-the-mill cheap slut. in those very words, perhaps. a chameleon can learn a lot from someone like you.

you seem to have a problem with everybody. when life is serene and peaceful, you create drama. there is always someone out there who annoys the bejesus out of you - most of which are normal decent human beings to the rest of us. check this out: maybe YOU are the problem. hello, wake up call.

we are all created differently.

had some chillies lately? that would explain the prickly heat you're feeling all over your back now, bitch.

rant over. i'll get back to my happy life now.

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

RWMF - Kelapang Kelabit Bamboo Band

the Kelapang Kelabit Bamboo Band will be performing on the first night of the 10th Annual Rainforest World Music Festival at the Sarawak Cultural Village. the band is made up of Kelabit men and women, a vast majority of them hailing from the Kelapang area in the Bario Highlands. the band plays their wind instruments made out of bamboo (duh.) to make harmonious, gentle sounds. they mainly play old hymns and i have to say, they are so good they give me goosebumps. i kid you not. i grew up listening to them but even today, i still get chills whenever they play.

*** Kelapang Kelabit Bamboo Band ***

one might think that though they hail from one area, they live in one area. it is not so. this particular group is scattered around miri town and some from the kampungs waaaaaayy upriver, each individual unique to the other. for example, their leader (my father :P) is in the school inspectorate, and uncle anthony works offshore on an oil rig. tepu' dora works for a travel agent while aunty tauh is a housewife. you see, though they have such different lifestyles, they can still unite as one in the bamboo band and what makes it more amazing is they all make sweet music together. to me, nothing captures the spirit of unity and integration more than this.

*** the beautiful ladies and their flutes ***

*** the men holding their 'bass'-es ***

basically there are two instruments used in the bamboo band. the ladies will play the 'suling' - a flute-like instrument, while the men will work the 'bass' - something not unlike the modern day trumpet.

*** the 'bass' ***

the 'bass' is made in various sizes to make different tones and usually the smaller the 'bass' is, the harder it is to.. erm, blow. heh!

*** the 'suling' ***

what also makes this band so special to me is that both my parents are in the band. dad's the leader (and the conductor too) and he has managed the band since.. you know, a long time ago. mum plays the 'suling' with the other ladies. not only that, pretty much everyone in the band is very closely related to me so it is a pretty tight knit group. it's like, family within a family.

*** mum & dad (the conductor) ***

here's a vid of the band during one of their practices. JUST a practice, i tell you.. listen to how they sound like.

*** in action! ***

the Kelapang Kelabit Bamboo Band - a true jewel in Sarawak's cultural heritage.

Friday, July 06, 2007


okay, first things first. there is going to be a lot of ME coming up, so be warned.

NOW.. let's get this started. this post is going to be about one of my obsessions, coloured contact lenses. i recently acquired a new pair to replace my about-to-expire grey pair. now, eventhough i have been wearing coloured lenses since i was 15.. i still have difficulty choosing a colour.

it has been said that i suit every colour. heh! *very wide grin*

so i finally decided on a colour.. after a gruelling hour in the optical store (who said shopping was easy?).

yippee! new contacts!

so i got home and instantly put them on (i can SO see nora going, "that is soooo YOU, aaron") well.. what can i say? i LIKE. they look (quite) natural and i can (almost) pass them off as my natural eye colour!! :P that is the reason why i simply adore Freshlook Colourblends contact lenses. not only are they extremely comfortable, the colours are amazing and they have this very uncanny ability to change your eye colour and be subtle at the same time. abso-fucking-lutely fabulous.

so here they are, my new amethyst contact lenses. i like LOVE!

... before i forget, one of my favourite pairs (do not ask me how many pairs i have) are expiring soon *sigh* and i do not think they still have them in stores. eventhough they are not exactly the most comfortable contacts around, they look fab - i mean, that's all that matters right? hehe.. goodbye blue eyes!!

i TOLD you there was gonna be a lot of me in this post. heh!

edit: funny thing, i drafted this post a few days ago and just a few minutes ago i stumbled upon dakota's blog where he, too blogged about getting new coloured contacts. he's now linked in the 'blogs i read' section of my blog.

Wednesday, July 04, 2007

thought-provoking humour

it is amazing what a few hours can do to alter your perceptions, your views. it's human nature to be attracted to someone blessed with good looks but it is often a humbling experience to find out (in my case, again and again) that while outer beauty is God-given, inner beauty is a personal choice. a choice i find very, very hard to make. i may not be blessed with ideal looks (but then again, the ideal is created by some size -2, power-crazed uber bitch from god-knows-where) but not a day goes by without me trying to give myself a facelift on the inside. i want to create a better me, i want to be patient, i want to accept life and it's challenges with a genuine smile on my face, i want to be content with what i have, i want to count my blessings and be thankful that i have them.

very easy to say but the hardship comes in the actual carrying-out phase. i tell myself, i can. aaronparan bah. surely can one.

it will be a long and winding (not to mention frighteningly narrow) road but it's a road i'm willing to walk down (or up?). do you think you have the guts to do the same?

besides..it's a more realistic goal than losing 35 kilos, don't you think?

Monday, July 02, 2007

sunday times

*looks in wallet*

all i saw was a fiver.

looked over at dad. winked, snapped my fingers, waved.. well pretty much everything short of hollering his name out loud but to no avail.

so my (last!) fiver went into the offering bag.


after the service we headed for breakfast. as i pulled my chair out to sit, something caught my eye. i sat down, bent over and picked it up.

it was a RM 50 note. talk about instant karma. ten-fold.

my Lord, he works in strange ways.. but hey, if it works for Him, i ain't complainin'.