Fragments of events from the past

Alone in Rome. Staying at Ciak Hostel on viale Manzoni. Eating dinner with a group of strangers. That quiet night walking alone to the Colosseum and back. Watching the 2,000-year-old edifice in the strange yellow light of the night. Popping in for a gelato, coffee and nut flavour. Giving my map away to random strangers. Packing my bags silently in the corner of the 6-bed room. Thinking about how quiet Benevento was in comparison to Rome. Meeting an Israeli man during breakfast in the morning and showing him my Malaysian passport. Bidding him farewell and heading to Leonardo da Vinci Airport.

Watching Amelia on Star World. Alone in the dead heat at 4pm at home in Sungai Ara. Drinking black sugar tau chui from Genting in Island Glades. Sprawled on the couch, all alone in the hot quiet afternoon, while everyone napped away upstaits.

Lying on the beach in Parkroyal. Staring at the stars in the sky. Listening to the soft lapping waves. Thinking about my future and my Dad. Wearing the dark blue denim skirt. Listening to my grandparents. Taking advice from my step-grandmother. Trying hard not to think about the mosquitoes. I was 14.

Discussing movies in the car. Never on the way out from the theatre, along the corridor to the lift nor during the journey in the lift. But always in the car, the questions would begin. Why did the bad guy kill the other guy? What did the bad guy say to the guy in blue? I didn’t like the woman at all! Dad had all the answers. He was one of those people who “got” movies, while my sister and I struggled between listening to the English dialogue and reading the Malay subtitles.

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