Re-editted from draft.
5 hours left.
5 hours left! Surprisingly I’m relatively calm, but I suspect
not for too long. I apologise I cannot visit blogs/reply comments/take a piss
these few days without paying $4 an hour for internet access here whilst being
surrounded by dozens of pimply-faced teenagers screaming obsceneties whilst
playing Counterstrike. Dammit, 5 hours left – I should be I standing tall by
the beach watching the sun rise, one foot stepping on a rock, wind blowing
my hair, acting sad yet strong, whilst Leaving on a Jetplane plays
in the background.
Well guess what? I ain’t leaving Perth till I finish the final entry of my Reflections on Perth.
The year was 2004.
Ok let’s jump straight to the point – 2004 sucks. Big time. You may remember
that in 2004, Bennifer became
no more. J-Lo married Marc Anthony. Rebecca Loos and Malaysian-born Sarah Marbeck
all claimed to have slept with David Beckham just so that they can earn a few
extra bucks from the gossip magazines. Britney Spears married Kevin “Golddigger” Federline
who happen to have two kids. And then there was The Nipplegate Scandal when
Janet Jackson’s left tit said "Hello!" to the whole wide world.
On a more sombre note, George Bush and John Howard lied about the WMD, spent billions of dollars in iRaq and both won re-elections, confirming two things: lying gets you to places, people care only about themselves. Sad but true. The largest natural disaster of its kind – The Asian Tsunami crisis took the lives of over 200,000 people on 26th December 2004.
I had mentioned numerous times in my previous entries how much I disliked 2004. That’s no secret. For many people 2004 is the year the world went through war, famine and suffering. For me, I went through a near-crisis in my relationship, multiple burglaries and the beginning of a difficult journey when the news about my father come about.
The year started steady and strong. I was 22 years old. I was a fresh graduate who only just started my employment with Spectra, and still earning a few bucks here and there tutoring Business Statistics.
Nicole had just finished her course at Curtin University in July. With her
Student Visa finishing up, she applied for Permanent Residency in Australia.
So while we were waiting for her application to be approved, I encouraged her
to work casually as a farmhand in a place called Gingin, where a lot of backpack
travellers are also working there to earn some cash. Looking back, I regretted
letting her go.
Gingin changed Nicole almost into a totally different person. The people Nicole
stayed with in Gingin were mostly Europeans in their late-teens/early 20s on
year. The fact that they are so independant at such young age make Nicole
feel that she missed out on the best times of her life. I do not disagree with
that. In KL she lived with her parents, whereas in Perth I played the role
of the restricting boyfriend. One night in September while I was lying next
to her, she turned to me and said "I needed my own space."
I agreed, thinking that every couple need some time to be apart from each other for the relationship to grow. It was just a temporary phase that most couples need to go through. I could handle it.
But I was wrong. What I thought was 3 days become a week, then 2 weeks, then
a month, then 3 months. During this period of time I prevented myself from
trying to meet her. She was in Gingin with her German friends and I was in
Perth alone. We grew apart and many times we felt like just normal friends.
She would rather stay at her friend’s place for the weekend instead of meeting
me. The worst part was when we are supposed to go out with our group of friends,
I went there alone and when I was asked "Where’s Nicole?",
I had absolutely no idea. There was no longer ‘we’ in our relationship,
just ‘her’ and ‘I’.
I was in a relationship, but I never felt more single in my life. I gave her
the space that she need, but many times I fear that the relationship is just
not going to work out.
As if things couldn’t get worse, my car was continuously burgled. Those low-life scumbags would smash my car window ($250 repair) and took whatever was inside the car – sometimes nothing at all. I had my car broken into 3 times that year. Among the things stolen were some spare change ($10), my speed camera detector ($200), my jacket ($100), the faceplate of my CD player ($170), digital camera ($200) and my time spent to process the insurance claims (priceless). The stupidest thing was that I deliberately left my car unlocked so that they could steal anything inside if they wanted to – yet they still smashed my car window! Gerammmm….
I had tried many ways to calm myself down, entertain myself a little and take my mind off all the commotion. So I bought a Microsoft XBox gaming console one evening as a Christmas gift for myself, wanting to spend time with it because Nicole was away in Gingin and the rest of my family were away in Malaysia. I had it for one night, just a one night stand. Until someone broke into the house and ran away with not just my XBox, not just my Playstation 2, but also my pride, my dignity, my love.
Dear thief, if you are reading this, I have only this to say to you… You can take away my XBox, but you can never take away MY FREEDOM!!!
At that point in time, it seemed as if everything that could go wrong, had gone wrong. None of them seemed to prepare me for what was about to happen on the 26th October, when I learnt that my father has contracted cancer. All of the sudden, my plans changed totally, and nothing else seems to be as important anymore.
This is the last of my Reflections on Perth. If you have been following this memoir of mine, thank you. I know its such a dry read because I fell asleep several times whilst I spell-checked it.
And so, this closes one chapter of my life, and opens up a new one.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the beach watching the sun rise, one foot stepping on a rock, wind blowing my hair, acting sad yet strong, whilst Leaving on a Jetplane plays in the background.
Goodbye Perth. The past 8 years was simply bloody amazing.