August 2003

Received yet another email forward from my friend (code-named BHP) at work today. It was titled “Is your mind corrupt?” and instinctively, I knew that whatever the email entailed, the answer was going to be in the affirmative for me.

As I opened the attached Word Document, a particular picture popped up along with the words “What do you see?” I glanced at the rather abstract drawing – very artistically done in grey and white – and immediately saw the outline of an intimate couple. Given the title of the email, however, there was clearly meant to be more to it than that and hence I kept staring at the picture, hoping to decipher the enigmatic piece of art.

However, no matter how hard I focused, how far I zoomed out or how much I squinted, all I could see was the stupid couple. Giving up, I scrolled further down to discover that the picture actually contained nine dolphins. In fact, the text went on to say that research found that young children actually only see the dolphins because they have no prior memory associated with the ‘intimate couple scenario’. The passage ended with the words: “If you cannot see the dolphins within three seconds, your mind is indeed very corrupt.”

Three seconds? What the…?

Scrolling back up, I expected the dolphins to jump out at me but tragically, they remained elusive. Giving up for the second time, I forwarded the email to my learned friends big Jase and lil Jase with the words “I am fully corrupt” – hoping that they might be able to shed some light. Ten minutes later, I received instructions from big Jase, telling me to focus on the grey parts of the drawing. Bearing those words of wisdom in mind, I looked again and – voila – nine dolphins miraculously appeared before my eyes. ‘FINALLY’, I thought.

Given that the entire process – from receiving the email to discerning the dolphins – took me twelve and a half minutes, I think I can safely conclude that my mind is incredibly and unequivocally corrupt…

A fitting fright

Today as I was waiting for my lunch to be made at this Japanese eatery at Macquarie Shopping Centre, I decided to take a browse through the nearest clothes store to kill time.

Now this particular clothes store was still hiring the same salesperson who gave me a very serious fright the last time I was there.

I remember that I was still in the middle of slipping on a certain dress in the fitting room when I heard this voice calling out to me “Are you okay for size?”.

This I assumed to be one of those routine things that every salesperson is trained to do. As if on reflex, I replied “Yup, I’m fine” without even so much as a thought as I continued to struggle with the dress.

The very next thing I knew, she’d whipped open the curtain and was standing there telling me how wonderful the dress looked on me as I froze in shock.

How the dress could possibly have looked good on me I could not comprehend in the least as it wasn’t even fully on yet. Even funnier was the fact that she continued to stand there despite the very horrified look that I was giving her.

Seriously, if that wasn’t an invasion of one’s privacy, I’m not sure what would be.

But at least I learnt two valuable lessons:

1) Only use fitting rooms which have a lock
2) Always reply “I’m still putting it on” no matter what the question is from the other side of the curtain or door.

Made an interesting discovery in Chinese class today.

Apparently, in traditional Chinese culture, a goose was often presented as the prelude to a proper engagement gift. In fact, this was deemed to be the first out of the Six Matrimonial Rites.

Of course, most of these would’ve been pre-arranged marriages. Which meant that if you were a young Chinese girl living in those days and upon returning home one day, you happened to find a goose waddling in the backyard (geese waddle, right? like ducks?), your first thought would most likely have been: “uh-oh” (in correct Chinese pinyin of course).

No doubt The Disappearing Goose Act was commonly performed – namely, the eating of the goose followed by the feigning of ignorance (“Goose? What goose?”).

Geese aside, the passage went on to discuss modern engagements/weddings in China and how despite ‘evolution’ of the Chinese matrimonial rites (thank goodness), a large degree of tradition still remains.

This prompted me to ponder about my own parents and what they would expect of my wedding – if I end up getting married of course.

Would they expect the traditional Chinese tea ceremony, the traditional Chinese wedding banquet or even the traditional presentation of a Chinese goose? What if I wanted to marry someone who wasn’t Chinese? Or even someone who wasn’t Asian?

Arrrgghhh…..too many questions and not enough answers!