Monday, March 01, 2004

I woke up feeling a little moody today. Perhaps the weather is responsible for this moodiness. Yesterday, the Malaysian and Singaporean Catholics in Rome had their meeting. It was raining early in the morning. We had rather strong winds a few days ago and I had closed the external windows in the hope that the draft into the room would be weaker. The external windows are like the old wooden windows with louvres we had in Singapore in the 1950s and 1960s. I find it very stuffy when all the windows are completely shut. So, I usually open the external windows but leave a little gap open in my internal double-paned glass windows. The special way in which my window can be opened helps. (I can’t go into all the details right now on how it works. You’ve to see it to understand it). I had hoped the wind wouldn’t be too drafty with the shutters closed, considering that there are still gaps in the windows. Anyway, with the external windows closed, I didn’t notice anything throughout the night. I woke up and opened the external windows when I noticed that the wind wasn’t so strong. I saw an interesting sight. We had frozen rain — hail. It was’'t the kind of hail with large hail stones, more like tiny bits of ice coming down. It melted a few seconds after reaching the ground. The sky seemed to be clearing. By the time I got out of the house to go to the gathering, it was sunny. The sun helps a lot to raise spirits, I realise. Just before the gathering officially started, we had hail again. This time the ice was in bigger pieces but they weren’t the devastating kind that we read about in the newspapers. The day went quite well.

We had a special guest: the Malaysian Ambassador to Italy. She was a nice lady and was very gracious. We also had a good selection of local food – bakut-teh, mutton curry, stir-fried vegetables and the like. I couldn’t cook in quantities larger than for two people where I presently reside and so spared my friends from the not-so Hainanese chicken rice that I cooked for one gathering. Be prepared to see a bloated Kenson Koh when he returns to Singapore!

As I mentioned before, the weather had something to do with my moods. I had woken up to dark threatening skies this morning. At ten this morning, the sun emerged after a mixture of hail and rain. This has lightened my mood. I hope it lasts.

My room is a mess. I have yet to completely pack because I still have about six days before departure. How I miss home! I will be going to the university to see if I can get a copy of my marks. The certificate is too expensive and I don’t have enough money with me to pay for the certificate. I will just have to settle for the transcript of my results. I hope I don’t have to wait too long for this.

This week is going to be filled with lunches and dinners. Strange, even in Rome, saying good bye is by having lunch and dinners, just like in Singapore. Well, these aren’t Italians inviting me. I was hoping get a little trim before I go back. Guess I will be returning home in the same state as i left. I was hoping that I would be able to reach the 72kg state that I was when I returned for my father’s funeral … but I am now hefty at 80kg. I don’t like the way I look. :-(


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