Monday, 2 July 2018


On some days, we have to tell ourselves that our grades are not reflective of our vast body of knowledge. Today happens to be one of those days for me.

Lacking in so many aspects, I now stand in front of uniformed children, holding a marker. Shouldn't teachers be... Amazing? Aren't they people who have answers to the universe, and score 101% on every test? My shoes are now the shoes of a teacher, and I find myself to be an utterly ordinary, half-witted plebeian who really shouldn't be teaching.

Perhaps the fault of a crumbling civilisation lies with its ambitious yet under-qualified (and also underpaid) force of teachers. What can I give them, as a teacher? With my empty brain the size of a pea, and a mere 70% on my Japanese exam, how dare I expect much more from those developing little children? I frown when they flunk, yet I'm not doing better myself.

A 70%, can you believe it? When I said I'd kill myself if I scored below 85%, I was stuffing my face with fried chicken, exuding confidence. Now that I've found out exactly how badly I did, I'm ashamed to even face my teacher when the semester starts.

Would my students be surprised at their teacher's academic results? I hope they never develop a curiosity towards my academic abilities. As far as I am concerned, I know nothing and can do nothing. Lying in bed after coming home from school, I wish I could close my eyes and melt into a pool of unwanted oils; Wipe me, wipe me!

Auf Wiedersehen.

Just a dream, dream, dream

This morning, the violence faced by the trees outside, even though fleeting, was enough to cause a ruckus that penetrated through the dimension of my on-going dream.

Only the heavy droplets remain to slide down the roof, and the tenacious leaves the storm failed to intimidate. It is quite rare that the birds should awake at this hour, so early in the morning. But perhaps these feathered creatures also have a reason to celebrate the end of a downpour on a Monday morning.

To all of those who were spared further tribulations in the sea of their unconscious mind, aren't we glad that we don't have to confront the truth anymore? What little revelations that might have come before the storm, already resonating with the chord coated in rust, sends the soft vibrations of feelings purposely unacknowledged to disturb the peaceful present that we have forged through a dozen lies and late nights stained with tears.

It wasn't all that unpleasant, to see you in an unbuttoned shirt leaning against the rocks. With the dark clouds overhead, you were the only being who still beamed with a warmth known once only to me. I think I was touched by your kindness, and sorry for my lack of it.

All has returned to the calm before the rain. The crickets have started to sing again. Basking in the ochre glow of my fairy lights, I will pull the lid over my eyes.

Wednesday, 6 June 2018






Saturday, 5 May 2018


「 私と結婚したら、毎日私の顔が見えるよ」と言いた。そのとき、嬉しいかな。私と一緒にいたくて、ありがとうね。







Tuesday, 24 April 2018


The East Asian tradition of serving multiple dishes at once during mealtimes, makes it unclear to those of us who are seated around the table as to which is the main dish. Is there even a main, or are they all simply side-dishes, which you pick at ease with your chopsticks? The pickled cucumbers, they make you tremble in delight as your appetite is awakened by its tantalising sourness, and you can't help but reach for more.

A bowl of steaming white rice, fragrant on its own yet lacking in the many tastes that come together to satisfy the insatiable taste of the diner, is never enough. Its purity is almost unsettling to one whose habit is to mar it with sauce. Only with the addition of these side-dishes, can one begin to feast, properly.

"Not enough, and never enough!"

That's because Okazu come in tiny, refillable portions. Treat them as an all-you-can-eat miniature buffet, if you must. At least if you can't pay your way into the international buffet at a 5-star hotel, Okazu, with the warmth of home, will always be laid out; even on the most run-down table at some dingy back alley eatery you happen to set foot in on one of your desolate night walks through the slums.

On a rainy day, you sit in the kitchen making Okazu. You think, wouldn't it be better to make enough side-dishes to get me through this season of endless rainfall? After all, to walk in the torrential rain in search of cheap dens is to debase that rationality which makes you You.

Albeit you trouble yourself by preparing your spread of side-dishes, some of which you pickle with care for days, maybe even weeks, rarely do you appreciate them with the same zeal that guided your hands at the kitchen counter. Perhaps as your blend of spices seep into the cells of the freshly sliced vegetables, you start to lose whatever appetite you had for what you'd originally chosen, for now, its taste has become one that is inherently yours, retaining little of that fresh crisp which had aroused your craving.

But the rain doesn't stop, and your fridge is still stocked up with Okazu.

Its indispensable quality with which you've associated with all those you've commodified, bind their silent resentment in unison and start to creep towards the neck you non-chalantly left exposed as you passed out drunk on the couch at 6AM.

The blasé montage that is your life numbs your tongue by the day. Do you even notice it when all you do is swallow mouthful after mouthful of rice seasoned with limp side-dishes?


As the Okazu ferment past their palatable prime, you throw them out, and wash your hands afterwards, with soap.