Monday, 21 May 2007

If Only All Weekends Were Like This

Lately I've been lucky enough to find a few escape routes from the mundane existence that is my (lack of a) life. If only I could say the same about my (lack of a) career.

The talk about writing believable characters at MPH, 1 Utama last Saturday was brief, and poorly attended. But the panellists managed to squeeze in some infotainment into the one-and-a-half hour slot. While the Professor and Nik Azmi felt somewhat at home, Kam Raslan looked like he'd rather be somewhere else.

The question of race was inevitably brought up during the discussions. The argument was that the deeply-rooted compartmentalisation of our society has made it difficult to sell works that pitch the "harmonious multi-racial utopia" because we ourselves can't relate to such literature.

And I bought a book. Kam Raslan signed my copy of Confessions of an Old Boy, the novel he flogged during that Central Market reading session, where he teased the audience with humorous snippets from one of the chapters. The "hero" of his story reminds me of Taita, the brilliant eunuch slave from Wilbur Smith's River God. They share the same level of cowardice and snobbishness, plus the talent for words and ability to mingle with saints and scoundrels.

I checked the signed page last night. It was strange that the date was the 20th of May (Sunday), when the talk was held on Saturday.

Sharon Bakar's invitation to lunch at Ms Read's Del•icious Café derailed my plans to invade Italiannies and find out what the fuss was about; some people loved it, but my sisters didn't. That didn't stop me from joining in. The food is great, as are the desserts.

So that was my weekend done - or so I thought.

On Sunday, ten to midnight, the FunnyBunny threw me an invitation for a drink, which landed right between my eyes like a well-aimed javelin. She'd just come back from an overseas jaunt, and missed some of the local flavours. I accepted, and footed the bill - my way of thanking the higher powers for keeping her flights trouble and terrorist-free.

I had work the next day, but she is a friend.

There were photos, of course. Food, cute furry animals, impressive architecture and... works of modern art. Since she has her own blog, I won't go into detail here, lest she peels me like some edible fruit of choice.

And after that, I opened Kam Raslan's book and it swallowed me whole. Half the night was gone.

No, I wasn't terribly late for work.

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