I always feel like a ten-year-old on a sugar high whenever I receive Christmas presents from friends and family. Yes, I know it's self-centered and selfish to a certain degree to say that, but I'd like to think that I am appreciating what (at least some people) have thought for at least five seconds in their lives, that (again, some people) might have agonized over for some time, or at least had taken the time out to think, "Okay, what would she like?" Because, after all, I know that when I give gifts, at least I think about what the person would love and appreciate because I'd rather spend more money on things that they would like rather than spend a little less for something totally useless.
Yes, I know my sense of economics is skewed.
So far, some of the more memorable gifts I've received this Christmas season are: a nicely styled haircut, a lovely massage (digression: we tried out the Palm Springs spa at the penthouse of Strata 100, where the masseuse, after treating me like a piece of meat – in a good way, of course – proceeded to bodily lift me up in the air by the sheer power of her arms and twirl me around like a marionette. It was...surprisingly refreshing), the new Sugarfree album, a gorgeous handmade notebook (in the sense that it was made specifically for me by a friend), and new writing music. I love new things: I love playing with them, turning them over and over in my hands, memorizing the ins and outs, the contours of the material and the way it works, committing it all to memory. I suppose it’s a lot like making love – the tactile memory of objects, of surfaces, of skin.
I've done my rounds at the Christmas parties as well, and even attending two office parties, even though I’m not employed anymore. The first one was at the old place I worked at, Kestrel IMC, which was held at Red Box at Greenbelt 4. Yes, I know I've been quite hesitant about karaoke singing because I know I can't hit a note worth a damn, but hey, if you’re with a bunch of people who can readily sing "Total Eclipse of the Heart" and to songs by Queen, then perhaps you're with the right company. It was great to see familiar faces again, to feel like you belong. I've always believed that the best jobs are always those where you feel like you’re with family, and definitely this job will always be on the top of my list.
The other party was held by Sieg, the content development company my best friend Jilly works for. Since the employees (all four of them) were required to bring guests, I was roped along with the promise of free food. I'm a sucker for free stuff, and food is also no exception. The party was held at Playdium along Araneta Avenue, near the new Sanctuarium – yes, that huge basilica-like building where they put dead people in file cabinets – and it was the first time in my life I probably stepped inside a bowling alley. At least now I know that my bowling shoes are a size 4, the bowling ball I use is an 8, and that, for a first timer, I can hit pins pretty well, even scoring a couple of strikes. ^_^ Of course, towards the end of the fourth or fifth game, my thumb was being rubbed sore and my fingers were ready to jump off my hand and complain to management for emotional damage and physical abuse.
But still, with half my vacation over and done already, I'm raring to enjoy the last half. I have two more weeks in Manila, and I want to take advantage of the time as much as possible. It's lovely to be with friends and family, in a proper house with real food being cooked on a stove and parents to hug you at night, to be able to ring up friends and have adventures in an hour's time. And I'm realizing more and more that while Singapore is financially and economically richer, that life there is more comfortable and a whole lot safer, I am happier in the place I call home, because despite all of the shit that goes on in this country, and despite the insanity of life that constantly reminds us that there are better places to live in, this is still home, and nothing changes that.
Hobbit will be in Hong Kong from January 2-5, and will leave for Singapore January 9 at 8PM. Let me know if you want to meet up before then. :)