i vant to be a secghet agent ven i grow up
(march 29, 2002)

listening: the hush texas, if i can descibe today's weather with an album then it's this one. so befitting the autumnly climatic condition.
reading: the art of 3d computer animation and imaging (interesting, you say?)

Quiet, rainy, supposedly-thought-provoking day.

Today is Good Friday, which is a public holiday here. Melbournians take public holidays (they don't have a lot) pretty seriously here. Most shops are closed, even our near, dependable and beloved Melbourne Central, so my housemates and I are clawing the walls out of desperation and boredom. The fact that cold rainy weather is making us hungrier by the minute isn't really helping either.

So to avoid excessive horror-style nail marks on our apartment walls I shall sit in front of my PC and try to write something worthwhile instead. (Now as we all should've known by now, worthwhile is a relative concept.)

What about what about what about.

So I was in my tute that day (boy aren't they serious about attendance when you're in final year. 80%! Mad.), and I had to share the PC (what adequate and abundant resources Monash have!) with another coursemate. Now, I am in my final year and this girl is in her final year too, so that means two years have passed and we have never spoken a word to each other. This is because other than a tree psychic I'm also a social extraordinaire.

So of course during the sharing of the PC some conversation was expected. I tried making some civilized attempt at a friendly one. I think I started the conversation by saying something really friendly, like, "Here's the mouse. I think you might need it." or something close. She probably said something like, "Oh, thanks. It's a very nice mouse."

Understand that we've never spoken to each other before this, so it was expected for both of us to be asking where each other was from. She told me she's from Japan. I can't quite remember if I said something about Ultraman, which is something I usually do when someone tells me he/she lives in Japan, as a civilized attempt to portray my deep understanding of their culture. Probably not. And then she asked where I'm from and as I've told many others before, Malaysia.

"You don't sound like a Malaysian."

This is not that strange to me. I have been mistaken as an Indonesian (although this is not quite a stretch, I am practically half-Indonesian, so to speak), a Hispanic/Mexican (I've come to this conclusion when complete strangers on the streets of Melbourne kept saying come esta *is that how you spell it?* and when I turned around to see who these people are saying come esta to, no Jennifer Lopez-lookalike was within the hearing range), a Chinese (not sure how this one came about, although I think it was when I made a convincing attempt at speaking fake Cantonese) and a mix of Chinese and Indian (I wish I'm of mixed parentage, having Chinese and Indian and French and Swiss parents, but all mix that I'm of is of a male and a female parent.) . Even one of my friends went as far as saying I look more Chinese than Malay.

And these are the people that have actually seen me in flesh (and full colour).

If I chat online with total strangers then I'm automatically, without a doubt, a Chinese.

When I speak, my friends say I have a slight, some went as brave as saying weird, American accent. Now this is a bit strange since the farthest I've been from Malaysia, excluding my stint in Melbourne, was Bangkok. And that was like, 17 years ago. For like, a week. Or maybe even less, I can't remember much of the trip except golden elephant statues. And that is because I have a photo of my little self standing next to one. If anything, a brief exposure to the Thailand culture and its manners of speech at such early, tender and impressionable age would render me as incapable of speaking in any other accent but Thai. But no, I have a slightly weird American accent.

I'm not quite sure what to make of this. It seems that I am anything but what I actually am. Malaysian. Malay.

But I'm looking at this positively. Perhaps I can be one of those secret double-agents like Jessica Alba in Dark Angel or that Sydney Bristow character in Alias, casually slipping from one nationality to another without casting the slightest hint of suspicion, just by slightly changing accents, all in the name of serving the country. But I can hardly touch my toes when doing those silly warm-up flex exercises, much less execute a perfect 360 degrees flying kick to an enemy's chin, all the while mixing martini at the same time.

Ah well, perhaps they can give me a desk job. I type very well, and people will think I'm Chinese.