marcel barang


In English on 25/12/2009 at 9:05 pm


Now that Mother Phloi is dead, if not buried in computer gobbledygook, I’ve taken time to relax – well, sort of.

By subbing Gavroche as I do every month, even when the over-travelled understaffed editor has the gross indecency of sending me past midnight a few thousand words to sub here and now, only to blithely take himself to sleep.

By getting myself yet a new pair of glasses for reading purposes – well, actually only the lenses: the pair I got about a month ago at some cost from a reputable outfit proved unusable: the lenses were too strong. The new contraption is waiting for me at Central Pinklao. I’ll get them as soon as I need ‘butter French’ bread fresh from the Yamasaki oven (1:30pm on Monday).

By dusting off and floor-waxing the lived-in part of my skyscraper, stopping short of the multiple bedrooms, since I don’t grind my teeth in sleep there but downstairs on a thin layer of foam. Amazing how much dust collects by the hour, by the minute: with the end of the rains, at least three neighbours in the rows of townhouses have undertaken sundry transformations to their homes, a rhapsody of percussion instruments in Scie major that results in much dust; and besides, the twits at the back insist of giving the whole neighbourhood cancer of the lungs by burning trash day in night out in the open at the mercy of the river breeze; the reek is sometimes so intense it wakes me up and makes me want to puke; on those nights when the outside temperature is mild to cool, I’ve had all too often to close windows and doors and turn on the air-con just to escape the stink. That, or the noise of the season’s jollities.

And by giving a shave to the creepers at the back for the well-meaning purpose of helping a couple of fork-tails to nest as they did last year by the kitchen ventilation slot, whose immediate creeper growth I left untouched, thus making it easy for them to spot any approaching snake. The female had begun to bring twigs in her beak, but then those chaps came over to remove piles of iron grids right from behind the outer wall, a job that took two half-days, the women set up new bamboo lines to dry their washing on, and the birds in their wisdom went elsewhere. Sigh.

Meanwhile, I have started resurrecting Mother Phloi, putting the whole sorry lot into shape, but why is it I don’t feel quite like it? Perhaps I should take more time rearranging my book shelves, go back to reading books instead of trawling the net. Or finding regular sleep: the truth is, I keep erratic hours, sometimes getting two hours’ sleep in mid-morning, the downside of having pushed myself a bit too hard translating, smoking, drinking… The amazing thing is, no migraine, no other complaint of flesh or bones. It’s only when I relax that disaster strikes.


Four days ago, when I posted Sisters of Mercy and then went to take a shower, by the time I was back there was a ‘Comment’ saying: ‘so nice dear and here is the photo blog of this legend,l.cohen’ (see for yourself). Wow! I thought, Ai Meng, damning me with faint praise. Nonetheless, I called my daughter, who said, ‘Cool!’ And mailed a friend about it as well. Two days ago, I posted So Long, Marianne, and today I get a ‘Comment’ saying: ‘so nice dear and here is the photo blog of this legend,l.cohen’ (see for yourself), which sort of puts things into perspective, does it not. It’s nice to know you are being noticed by an automaton, even a bit late: after all, I’d done three or four postings of the guy’s songs before, at the mention of YouTube, the automatic program kicked in. I still have got half a dozen more songs in the pipeline but will keep them to myself, so there.


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