Saturday, October 28, 2006


Crooning on my STEREO:
Sei Parte Di Me by ZERO ASSOLUTO

Surprise!! Surprise!! I aint travelling out of the sH*T hole* this week. We're doing some sort of a run-up to HALLOWEEN followed by an unknown (to me, anyway) public holiday sometime next week. So there's lots of gatecrashing and kebab-ing to do.....

Today is a good Italian friend's birthday. And because I am one of the scarce few who live in the town center, I was delegated the pleasant task of buying a birthday cake. Or torta di compleanno as they may call it.

Why buying a cake in PERUGIA is a pain-in-the-ass.

1. Cake shops do not open on weekends.
2. The really good bakeries are very well hidden in the peripheries.
3. Even if you find them, they solo parle Italiano
4. I don't have a car.
5. Buses tend to disorientate you by driving through marshes and bushes.

With my usual luck I found an obscure chocalatier 800m away from my doorstep. CHOCALATIER. Yes, you read it right. They shouldn't sell cakes. They sell, CHOCOLATE.**

No sh*t.

After a near miss from a car trying to run me down while crossing the road, I found something remniscent to a CAKE.

THANK GOD. I dont care whats inside. Be it egg, bacons or bananas. I dont even care what's written on top. Whatever.

The next mission: FINDING A CANDLE.

fuck. where the hell do they sell candles in this sh*thole?


* Perugia is a sh*thole because no amount of animal poo in the zoo can beat the amount of doggy sh*t we have on the streets here.

**Chocolates = Perugia's Pride. Probably the only thing we are famous for. The world famous choc BACI originated from a Perugian based company that is very creatively named Perugina.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Italian for Slackers

Crooning on my STEREO: Girl From Mars by ASH

I tend to forget that I am on a study scholarship. The first time I conveniently missed class was when I lost my timetable. The second time, I was too smashed. And the third.... well, I decided to board the next train to Florence with my drink bud Jen just to go on a pub crawl. The day after, I went to Roma for the third time.

It's been three weeks since I set foot onto grand ol' Italia. Despite all that skyving and napping in class, I'd like to share with you the product of my sponsored education.

Handy Italian Phrases

1. CIAO!
Means both HELLO and GOODBYE. Probably my most overused greeting to please the builders on the scaffoldings facing my window.

If this word doesn't ring a bell, then you're seriously dumb. Pronounce it as 'Gra- Zia' to show that you're in tune with the local dialect.

3. DOVE E ..... ?
Translates into 'Where is..... '. To date I've used this more than 150 times, so much that I have perfected it to sound like a local. Truth is, everyone is bound to get lost somewhere in Italy.

Foreign students in Italy ADORE asking this countless times in one day. It just means ,'How Art Thou?'. To shut them up, just reply as per below:

Means 'I am shit.' Not exactly friendly, but they should get the drift.

The best phrase to rid ugly old men picking you up in a local bar. Chances are, they will try to speak to you in basic Italian or half-boiled English. Whatever it is, just keep saying 'I don't know.' Works everytime, I tell ya.

Another failproof sentence to ward off ugly schoolboys trying to take you home from a club. Say the sentence above (means 'I have a boyfriend/girlfriend') and point to the nearest bloke or chick. Becareful that you dont point to the asker's friend.

The shopper's favourite question ,'How much is this?'. For security reasons I tend to ask this twice to make sure that the pricetag doesn't differ from what the shopkeeper charges. I can confirm that the Italians are brilliant mathematicians.

Self Explanatory. I love kebab. Have always loved them more than my handbags.

This was the first useful words Beckham learnt in Spanish: 'Hijo De Puta.'

10 useful phrases to begin with. Meanwhile, I will go back into some sort of chocolate partying which only Perugia is famous for...

Selamat Hari Raya and Happy Deepavali, my friends!!!!!

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Crooning on my STEREO:
Watch You by LEE CABRERA

Excuse my Il Divo worship in the previous post. Sometimes one gets too carried away when receiving such climactic news. I guess I just wrecked my reputation right there.

Besides the point, my second trip to Rome within the last 6 years has confirmed this:


Suddenly, Perugia seems like a shithole. It doesn't help when the first person you walk into as you arrive Umbria was YOUR STALKER. Then again, it is the job of a stalker to stage coincidences. Such a cow.

ROMA has its charm. Something tells me that this love has something to do with La Dolce Vita

Fellini. Giulietta Massina. Nino Rota. Anita Ekberg. Trevi Fountain. It all seemed so, beautiful.

And it all seemed such a long time ago.

Yes. I am getting all heavily nostalgic about lost dreams and aspirations. It's like glancing at a passing train in a subway. You kinda, just, missed it.

(thanks to my Slutirah for the pose in the Roman Metro, thankfully we missed the train crash the day after.)

Gone were the days of bald monks in the Vatican City. Nowadays you have those with semi-aviator shades and Von Dutch caps.
And lord, I look so puffed up and pale in this picture. Kindly disregard me. I hope I don't usually look this stale.

I miss the past. For those of you who have watched the Russian Ark and felt its bittersweet aftertaste, you will understand how I feel about reminiscence.

This particular staircase in St Petersburg's Hermitage was where the film's closing scene was shot. I am truly honoured to have pranced (and not trip) on it.

For the ignorant lot, the picture above was taken in RUSSIA. NOT ITALY.


Okay, I am getting all emo. I think it is due to the RM2000 (500 Euro) Il Divo tickets.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

Senza Fine

Crooning on my STEREO: Talk by COLDPLAY

At this point I am so delirious. I've just stumbled out of a wicked Roman weekend but there's a piece of news which I'd like to share with you NOW.

I don't even want to blog about ROMA, yet.

Guess what? I've nagged to God about this so many times. This poor little spinster has finally seen a ray of hope.

*drum rolls*


I love him. I've lusted over him for two years. I dream of marrying him. I come running to him when truckload of fuggers let me down. He has been my muse for all my soppy screenplays.

I've travelled the world looking high and low for him.

The Man whom I believe is the epitome of all masculine perfection.

God, I love him.

and fuck, how can any male specie look so delicious in an Armani suit?

Help me.


I am dumping my PHD for him. I am dumping PERUGIA for him.

I would even dump IKER CASILLAS for him.

This is the plan. I will buy tickets first thing it becomes available. Best seats. I will sell my handbags for it. Platinum seats, y'hear? In front of the stage. Then book myself into a Shangri-La suite from January 14th-18th on the same floor as him. Check his flight details. Camp at the airport. Get an extensive floor plan of the KL Convention Center and map the backstage/VIP routes. Memorise the most heartwrenching French poem ever written. Buy a 6ft banner. Buy a killer black dress. Killer heels. Lose 5kg by January. Handmake a giant gift as dowry.


Yup. I am a stalker too.

Wednesday, October 11, 2006

Home In The City

Crooning on my STEREO:
World, Hold On by BOB SINCLAIR

Just a thought. Apart from translating Il Divo lyrics during class, I've been dreaming about Bob Sinclair.

Oh, he is so HOT.

I've spent the whole night crooning to his stuff, and intoxicated myself to believe that he is somewhere in town. You know how alcohol makes you believe the unbelieveable.

And since everyone's been wondering what my Perugian flat looks like, the pissed picture above should give you a vague idea. I am not complaining.
Too bad you can't smell the stench from the cook-in I had with my friends last night. Imagine, one of them were even chopping vegetables on the floor.

Horror of all horrors...
At least they did the cooking!

I am pretty fortunate to have my own pad in the city center. Not that Perugia is a buzzling metropolis, you'd be pleased to know that this is the exact view from the my window.

I know what you are thinking.

It's less haunted than you think.

The advantage of living in the city is that most people knows where you live. If anyone ever pops into town you're bound to have a visitor or two. My flat is virtually a pit stop; people come in for a nap, snacks, watch MTV or to use my internet. Yes, I am proud to be running a gas station.

This is when the STALKER comes into picture. Because EVERYBODY seems to know where that Malaysian chink girl lives, a certain Russian/Italian dude (who was a friend of a friend) decided to tail me from house to school and via all means of mobile communication. I am too lazy to elaborate here... most of you (who were constantly online on msn) would have followed the 2 day drama when I had to hide in the bathroom and under the table.

Note the past tense. I told him that I was lesbian (in Italian) and he backed off. For now.

Why didn't I think about that earlier???

My first case of a short-term stalker took place this time last year in Malaga, Spain. I had gone to the campus pub and had a friendly conversation with 18 year old Spanish dude and his friend (coincidentally captured in the background of this half-drink picture we took on that night).

Heaven knows why both dudes decided to tail us back to the hostel and played guitar outside my room till 5am. Everytime I walked out to tell them to shut it, they insisted on me following them home. For fux sake they were underaged, so I left them alone.

Courtesy of their serenade everyone on my block had little sleep that night.

This time, the Russian stalker was less romantic. There were stones thrown at my window etc.

In relation to this drama my sister was telling me about a film by Tarkovsky aptly named Stalker. After that I was feeling all nostalgic and looked through some vacation photos we took in St. Petersburg, Russia.

This picture struck me.

The bar boy looked a little familliar..

Monday, October 09, 2006

Miracle At Assisi

Crooning on my STEREO:
Muneca de Trapo by LA OREJA DE VAN GOGH


Well obviously I got back safe and sound. Despite the miserable amount of Italian I speak, I managed to hop on the right busses and to pinpoint the right pilgrim route to reach the Basilica of St Francis. Even the granny pilgrims climbed the hill faster than I did...

The entrance of the basilica. It's on the slope y'see, and I tempted to perform a little dance to see if anyone would notice me.

(I can't be arsed to edit and photoshop the photographs as most arty farty travel geeks would do. Therefore so you'll have to bear with the purest form of naturalism in my photgraphy.... )

Monks leaving their classes. I was tempted to hand them some happy-hour-pub-flyers. I wonder if they will be quite fun to party with.

The great Umbrian view from the fortress. I am beginning to believe that I will be constantly climbing hills for the rest of my Italian stint.

Then I walked into a medieval knight who was more depressed than I am. Even his horse was pretty down, too. A happy-hour-pub-flyer for him!

Two miracles took place here. My good friend Francis (who later became the patron saint of Italy) was born on this very spot. Secondly, my prayer was answered almost immediately after I made a silent prayer in the chapel.

My prayer was simple: I NEEDED A TOILET.

Yes. Like a true pilgrim I had walked the the entire village of Assisi with a loaded bowel. THERE WERE NO TOILETS ALONG THE PILGRIM ROUTE
When my bowel was about to leak I desperately wailed before the altar, and someone up there had instant mercy on me. :)

A stray toilet appeared miraculously just outside the chapel.

Every good occurance had its payback. It started to rain. I found a shelter in a nativity house next to an obscure crypt. For once I felt quite tall. (I might have knocked down a few of the figurines though...)

This man felt sorry for me because I looked foreign and alone. Then again, I AM FOREIGN AND ALONE. I told him that there is nothing to feel sorry about.......

*Being alone is better than getting stalked*

Then again it is easier stalk someone who is alone, right?

To numb this fear I need marijuana. God, how I miss Amsterdam.

Explains why I have been indoors so much lately. I will tell you about the Russian stalker. Soon.

Friday, October 06, 2006

Cosi Cosi

Crooning on my STEREO:
Diras Que Estoy Loco by MIGUEL ANGEL MUNOZ

Of Course,

I wished I had maintained a journal like this during my Andalucian stint last year. Blame it on laziness. All I wanted to do was drink, sleep and lie on the beach. Well I did just that. No wonder I had nothing to write.

Back then I probably found it arduous to translate fun and all its glory into words. Then again, I was lazy. And being lazy was fun.

Fast forward to a year later, I found myself in a medieval Umbrian village. I told myself, and I keep telling myself in the likes of St. Francis; YOU NEED THESE THREE MONTHS TO DO SOME DEEP THINKING

And that means, in all that solitude, I should not be lazy. I gotta keep that fat lardy brain active.

Okay, back to the Italian adventure.

Just when I was about to hit depression due to the lack of alcohol since my arrival, a kind local friend chaperoned me to one that is deemed as the biggest danceclub in town. And it came with a strangely familliar name of VELVET.

Yes, VELVET. The name is that is so synonymous to HOME.

But nope. To my anticipated despair our Perugian Velvet pales shamefully in comparison to my beloved M'sian Velvet.

Think: topless gay men pretending to be straight. Oh, come on.

Even worse when you're groped by the un-straighter specie. Oh hold on, they don't grope you, they want you to grope them! that's fucked.

Either the crowd was bizarre or I looked like a butch. Nope. No unflattering pictures from that night.

The very next day, I pulled the tourist mission of exploring the Old Town Center. After wandering through loops and dark morbid corners, I found myself 475meters above sea level.


And to prove that I was there, I had to do the whole cam whore thing. Such is the price of travelling solo:

I could ramble on about the old town center but I have three months to do just that. As I will be catching a train to Assisi in an hours time, I think I should really make a move. Where the hell is the bus stop? Which bus to take to the station? Is it going to rain?

Again. I do not have a map with me. ...

I will leave you with a picture of Moscow for the time being. Yup, I was there last month for 3 weeks and I did not blog about it.

Tetris, anyone?

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

Italian Faerie

Crooning on my STEREO: The Only Difference Between Matyrdom and Suicide is Press Coverage by PANIC! At The Disco

Once upon a time,

A foolish girl left for the pilgrim mountains of Perugia. Why? Because she is dumb. Because a kind institution granted her a rare opportunity to re-live the impoverished life of a student. Being a true Malaysian, she devoured the F.O.C offer in guise of an attempt to escape her existing man troubles.

Thus she quitted her media job. Graduated in style. Went to the Soviet Union. Came back. And forced herself to leave her beloved 2nd home in Velvet Underground behind. How painful.

Not knowing a word of its local dialect, oblivious of its choco-culture and traffic rules; she plunged headsdown into the chilly valleys of Umbria. She reluctantly turned her back to all sentimentality, and carried nothing but an open heart to a town far from Fellini-esque Roma. (okay, with the exception of her laptop and ipod... )

She found herself a medieval residence in the obscure corner of the supposedly haunted town, which conveniently faces a scaffolded construction site. Every morning, she greets the builders as she opens her windows for breath of fresh mountain air. Builders are fascinated by her laptop that ocassionally blasts JT's 'SEXY BACK' in the afternoons. And her curtain-less bathroom.

Then she figures how to boil water from a saucepan, sleep in murky duvets and clean chimneys.... not to mention mapping her way around over 30 steep and narrow street alleys. Without a map.

And of course, nobody there speaks English. Back to the Middle Ages.


This is the beginning of a new life for the next three months.