Saturday, December 10, 2016

Letters 497: Of Love, Life & Starry Starry Night

"If you want something, go get it, period."

- Chris Gardner (The Pursuit of Happyness, 2006)

To whom I haven't met yet,

            My housing area is not a quiet place. Cars honk & bikes rev. At the same time, the aunties & uncles sometimes test their vocal chords at odd hours of the night especially when they are playing mahjongs. But thank God, my house main door is soundproof & my Beats by Dr.Dre certainly helps too.

            However, my favorite time of day was actually night. My typical routine after dinner on non-working night was to head to my balcony, lie back on the rocking chair & look at the star-encrusted inky sky while listening to nice songs in Joox. Sometimes, I even spotted super big full moon. I bet some of my friends was envious as their night view are often blocked by huge skyscrapers. 

            Dear hummingbird, as I mentioned in previous letters, hot & cold weather have been recurrent themes for me this past few weeks. Over time, my body has also somewhat get used to this weird weather pattern. I hope this good run of health will continue until next year. 

           Today letter is a short one as yours truly here is quite busy restoring the old gramophone since morning. It has been a fast moving year for me. For the past 497 letters including this one, I shared with you my ups & downs. There is part of me you will never know, I will never deny it. But we will be fine one day. In fact, we will be more than fine. 

            Until then, my heart will expands in size as time goes by.


Forever is a long time but I would not mind spending it with you.

Starry starry night is life,

The Half Moon Serenades.
10th of December 2016.

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Letters 496: Love is Patience & Kind

"Of all the gin joints, in all the towns, in all the world, she walks into mine."

- Rick Blaine (Casablanca, 1942)

To whom I haven't met yet,

           Another letter to you & another letter nearer to the end of 2016. But tomorrow is one special day. Tomorrow, I will finish off the last treatment for my neck problem, for good. Who would have thought that all this would ever finish? It is amazing knowing this painful yet colorful journey will finally come to happy ending. 

            For the past few years, I was engulfed by this mixed feelings, a mixture of different feeling at the same time. Sometimes, it makes me feel off balance but the most of the time, it was in a good way. 

            Anyway, I rarely shared my personal problem with others, not with family, not with my loved ones. It is not that I am too secretive but when I did shared stuff with them, I could see it in their eyes, the unnecessary tears. I am a positive person, in fact I will always smile even there is no hope or no more solutions. This past few years, I have been fighting with myself, trying hard not to be all tearful & emotional. Yet, I am really touch for the fact that there is still some people cared about me. Through their caring heart, I've learned what love is.

            Dear hummingbird, I am trying to be brave for tomorrow. I know few hours of pain will pass by like a gush of wind before I even realize how fast time fly. By the time November 2017 is here, I will be in airplane traveling all over the world again, just like few weeks ago. 

            I should have gone to bed now because it is going to be a long day tomorrow. But as you might know one day, I am the kind of person that like to roll here, roll there, roll everywhere on the bed before I can go close my eyes & sleep. Sometimes, I counted the blinking stars for no particular reason. 

           It is going to be a night to remember, as always. One day, we will share the same blinking stars, together. 


Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.
1 Corinthians 13:4-7

And we created you in pairs – Quranic Verse – 78:8

For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.
12th of December 2016.   

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Letters 495: Of Winter, Love & The Space Between Us

"I have to live.Because we live for more than just ourselves. Most of the time we live for others."

- Thrity Umrigar (The Space Between Us, 2006)

To whom I haven't met yet,

            Here I am again for another short letter & just to let you know, I survived winter in Paris! Few years back, I encountered my first winter (in London) & my God, it was a baptism of fire. All my life, the icy white snow dazzled me but withstanding the freezing temperature requires strong inner strength for someone like me who thrives in tropical climate. 

            Talking about my first winter, my fingers & toes freeze despite the leather gloves & three pair of socks days in days out. I even slept under a couple of thermal vests, with three pillows & thick blanket on top of me for added warmth. Perhaps this is the main reason why I installed two units of air-conditioners in my bedroom today, in Penang. Perhaps this is the main reason why I went to South Korea in late November 2013 without a single sweater or gloves. Perhaps this is the main reason why I went on board Trans Siberian without asking for any heater. One of my friends said that the only beings will enjoy in my room is the Arctic bears.

              Nevertheless my hummingbird, I am thankful to God for giving me tonnes of opportunities to travel all over the countries in the world. As for now, I am now often scolded with the words such 'fat polar bear', 'hot piggy' & many lame name-calling each time I switched all the air-conditioners units at the same time with temperature of 16 degrees Celsius. 

              Anyway, for the past few days, heavy rain lashed Penang especially during night time. Sometimes, it would stop raining long enough for the stars to come out. It was nice to stand at the balcony looking at the blinking stars. It was so beautiful. I wish you could have been here with me. 

               But as I said in my previous 494 letters, God have a much better plan for us. Maybe it is not the right time yet but it will happen. Until then, enjoy the last month of this beautiful year with happy emotions hummingbird.


It is enough for me to be sure that you & I exist at this moment. There is always something left to love at a space between us.

To where you are,

The Half Moon Serenades.
3rd of December 2016.  

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Letters 494: From Paris With Love

"In the end, we'll all become stories."

- Margaret Atwood (Moral Disorder & Other Stories, 2006)

To whom I haven't met, 

            Here I am again after four weeks of traveling across Peninsula Malaysia & France. Hopefully I manage to say a lot to you this time.Anyway, after reading all my 493 letters, I believed that you will understand I value my personal space & being touch-me-not especially when it comes to strangers in a strange places. 
            While I was at Paris in France, yours truly here encountered unpleasant moment standing in a bus packed like sardines. In the bus, I saw a lot of horny guys would try & take advantage of the tight squeeze to lean over the girls. Surprisingly, the girls seems undisturbed by this situation even though the horny guys is touching their butts & boobs. I guess this is the reason why people said Parisian are often described as an incredibly affectionate people. 

             When I reached the hotel in Paris-Vendome, I was taken aback when the bellboy hold my hand as we walking towards my room. He even got me on tour inside the hotel with both of us still holding hands. I almost felt like a child again (or boy toy to a hulking man). 

              Few hours later, I went to Arc de Triomphe at Champs Elysee. A young lady hugged & kissed me on my cheek when I picked up her gloves on the tarmac. She also gave me some appreciative pat on the back as she smiled. 

              Dear you, certain display of affection that I encountered there do raise eyebrows. For the most part though, I find it sweet when two strangers warmly hugged & grasp each other hands. The way I see it, where language become a barrier, hug can become communicate volumes. 

             One day, you will join me in traveling across the world. Live your life at the moment my hummingbird.


Perhaps, I write for no one. But it is better than none, I guess. I may not be able to alter reality but I can alter the hope & optimism. For that, I will exist in two places, here & where you are.

For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.
1st of December 2016.


Thursday, November 10, 2016

Letters 493: It's Not Goodbye

"And if time is on our side, there will be tears to cry on down the road."

- Laura Pausini (It's Not Goodbye, 2003)

To whom I haven't met yet,

            Well, here I am again for another little talk before I am going for my annual month long travel across Peninsula Malaysia & Europe. Hopefully I can manage to say a lot to you in this 493rd letter for you before I continue my daily routine of walking at Penang Botanical Gardens.

             As mentioned, starting from next Tuesday & for the next 29 days, I will be going for another epic annual driving journey, this time covering states in Peninsula Malaysia such as Perak, Selangor, Malacca (yes, the bittersweet state which I once vowed not to set my foot but I changed my mind due to tasty assam pedas & pineapple tart), Johor, the Federal Territories of Kuala Lumpur before flying over to Paris in France (if the migrant riots there cooling down). 

            Will you believe me my hummingbird if I said travel makes one modest? I believe by traveling, I can see what a tiny place we occupy in this beautiful earth. That is the glory of traveling as far as I am concerned. I don't really care what people are talking about like for example, I am wasting my money when the fact is not how much money I will spent actually in my mind. It was about spending momentous time with my mother. I hope one day, it will be with you too.

             Dear you, I can't think of anything excites a greater sense of childlike wonder in me other than to be in new places where I can be ignorant in almost everything. Out of nowhere, I can be like a ten years old boy again, wandering aimlessly tasting great food. I guess this is how my whole existence become a series of interesting guesses. 

              10 years passed by since I started to dedicate a letter a week to you. People said that my life is weird but I guess this is what life is all about, a mystery. To wake up every morning not knowing what gonna happen, whom I am gonna met, this is a beautiful life.

               But rest assured, one day, when I finally met you, you & me will live this beautiful life forever & a day. Someday, love is gonna lead you back to me.


Until we say our next hello, it is not a goodbye. :)

For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.
10th of November 2016.

Saturday, November 5, 2016

Letters 492: A Birthday for Mother

"If you can love someone with your whole heart, even one person, then there is salvation in life, even if you cannot get together with that person."

- Haruki Murakami (1Q84,2010)

Dear mother,

            You're amazing. I am writing to you with words of absolute thank you not just because tomorrow is your 57th birthday but for everything.          
             You as I know most of the time, always understand the little child inside of me. Sometimes, you treated me like an infant. I am sure if you have to choose between catching a flying ball of opportunity & saving my life, you will choose to save my life without even considering how rough the part is in front of you. 

              Sure God created man before woman, but then you always make a rough draft before the final masterpiece aren't you? Don't get me wrong, it is not about saying you, my mother, is better than me. But after all, every guy is forever in their debt to a mother.

               Nowadays, I tried my best to make you happy. We've been through all ups & downs together in our life. 

               Did you remember counting the coins with me on the floor when I was in secondary school so I can pay the Penang Yellow Bus fare to my primary school? I will never forget that. That is one of the reason why each time you asked me to bring you to anywhere with my car, I hardly say no. In fact, we went all the way to Bangkok & Singapore with my old faithful car.

                Did you remember when people insulted me with lots of bad words, you defended me valiantly like a warrior? Nowadays I don't even think twice to defend you if anyone hurts your feelings. 

                I lost the count on how many times I need to rush you to hospital because of your heart condition. As your only son, I was there as doctors tried to save you. God knows how my heart broken into pieces standing alone at the coronary unit corridor in the hospital waiting for you, few hours after I broke up with my other half. But I need to be strong because I know you need me to be strong. I am not upset about it. In fact, I am blessed because I make the right decision to stay with you through that fateful month.

                 Anyway, i just want you to know that I loved you so much & you are my everything forever & a day. i will make sure you enjoy the remaining days in your life, the best way possible. Until then, have yourself a wonderful celebration with me tomorrow.

Happy 57th birthday mom. :)


Dear hummingbird, today I dedicated this letter to my mother as tomorrow is her big day. But I just want you to know, in future, I will make sure that I will love you & your mother as much as I loved my own mother. :)

For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.
5th of November 2016.             

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Letters 491: Where Does Our Heart Beat Now

"Hearts are made to last till the end of time."
- Celine Dion (Where Does My Heart Beat Now, 1990)

To whom I haven't met yet, 

          It is somewhat ironic that a lot of belated reunion take place when people attend funeral. While coming together to pay their last respects to the deceased, some relatives or friends are pleased to run into those they have not met for quite a while. There could be laughter & tears at the recollections of a nostalgia.

           I was once asked by my good friend family to deliver a eulogy at the wake in Pulau Tikus. Before I started, I prepared her some humorous incidents that would be mentioned in my eulogy. 

           After listening to others eulogies, I realize that no family member or friend of the deceased ever really knows enough of him. He led a different life with different people he grew up with at work, play, in fact, in different places. So even the one closest to him cannot claim that they knows everything about him, for no one could ever be with anyone at every stage of his life, sharing every step & moment.

           Incidentally, I overheard some old fella mumbling about young ladies who turn up at such solemn occasions in dresses that are low-cut Kardashians style which are a bit distracting. But I suppose they are so used to dressing up for all occasions that it does not strike them as improper at all to appear the way they do. I appreciate the fact that they make up part of a caring crowd there.

            Dear you, fortunately, we are blessed by many good people in our daily lives. Those who live & work quietly with goodwill towards all their fellowmen, whatever they colors of creed. I hope my work in helping people from all sorts of ages, beyond race & religion did touched the lives of people that I had interacted,in a good or bad way.

             Until then, have a beautiful life my hummingbird. 


If you were here, you would be amazed at the way my life turned out to be. But I believe God have a grander plan for us in future. i just haven't met you yet. I am looking forward to share my beautiful life with you.

To where you are,

The Half Moon Serenades.
29th of October 2016. 

Friday, October 21, 2016

Letters 490: As Good as It Gets

"Well, maybe I overshot a little because I was aiming at just enough to keep you from walking out."

- Melvin Udall (As Good as It Gets, 1997)

To whom I haven't met yet,

         A few days ago, while eating my late breakfast at a food court in Gurney Paragon, I saw a young lady who bought a pack of fried rice & left. I didn't make much of it until after my lunch, when I walked past few parking lots & noticed that the young lady is having her meal inside it her car.

          That's weird, I thought. Why didn't she just eat at the food court? I saw plenty of seats available there. But then reality knocked my head immediately. There are many people in this world who hated the idea of eating alone & the would rather starved than to be seen dining alone. It is like if you are eating alone, you must be some sort of 'kera sumbang', loser or 'brozone' fella.

           Actually, eating alone at restaurant is not as bad for me because it is a quick affair. It is not a the ultimate test of bravery for me too. I've never had any qualms about eating alone, let it before when I was in relationship or now (single). Since I have done it during my entire working life, solo dining does not seem like a strange Ripley Believe It or Not concept for me.
            Dear hummingbird, solo dining is about treating myself to a delicious experience & savoring every bite. I love food & I like to try out new places in Penang that I read about or see in my social media feeds. Sometimes, it is just much easier to eat alone than make plans with colleagues or friends. Trust me, it can be a difficult task the size of Jupiter just to get everyone to agree on a date or a location.

              Anyway, the year 2016 is going to end soon in two months. Frankly, I don't know if we will ever met each other one day or we are just floating around like a breeze. But then, yes I was far away from you but I wasn't scared. I know that deep in my heart, I just haven't met you yet. 


Maybe I am too late to be your first, but right now, I'm preparing myself to be your last. Good things came to those who wait.

To where you are,

The Half Moon Serenades.
21st of October 2016.


Saturday, October 15, 2016

Letters 489: The Korean Rose

"I  knew it the very first time I touched her, it was like coming home, only to no home I'd ever known, it was like magic."

- Sam Baldwin (Sleepless in Seattle, 1993)

To whom I haven't met yet,

          I don't know what possessed me few years ago. One minute I was queuing up to get into the bookstore & the next I was agreeing to participate in a Korean language course located a short distance from the mall. 

           I am not a language freak. So when the girl suggested to me to join for fun, I was surprised to hear an alien voice, which sounded remarkably like my own. saying "Sure, that sounds like fun". 

           First day in the class, my heart was racing so fast I thought I would expire on the spot. People like me should not be subjecting themselves to such stuff during their free time. I should be at home making a nice dinner & taking gentle sips of Earl Grey tea from delicate bone china cups. '

           Before I had a chance to give voice to my fears, I found myself standing in the class, with my heart in my mouth. "Whatever you do, don't look at anyone", I said to myself."Just keep looking to the wall in front & I'll be fine", I told myself.  Just when I thought I was making reasonable good progress, every pore in my body decided to drench me with sweat, blinding me.

            Anyway my hummingbird, that was my first class. Sixteen weeks later, I guess my self-persuasion were beginning to kick me right at my ass. I am not one for giving up so easily especially if it means making a public spectacle of myself. I summoned every ounce of courage left in me & ordered myself to persevere. 

             It wasn't easy, but I did finished the course with flying colors. I can even conversed in basic Korean fluently. Oddly enough, now that I am good in Korean language, I am hooking myself to watch Korean drama every weekend.

              I think, I could possibly be persuaded to learn another language next year. Italian maybe?


It is in letters like these that I know my what my purpose is in life. I am here to love you one day, to hold you in my arms one day, to protect you forever. I am here to learn from you & to receive your love in return. I am here because of you. Be my mugunghwa (Korean Rose).

난 당신을 생각합니다 (I am yours),
 The Half Moon Serenades.
15th of October 2016. 

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Letters 488: Nothing is Ever Certain

"Sometimes, the dreams that come true are the dreams you never even knew you had."

- Susie Salmon (The Lovely Bones, 2009)

To whom I haven't met yet,

            It happens to you, to me & to the best of us. Leaving something behind. We get out of Uber car, taxi or bus & realize that we've left whatever in the vehicle. Sure it is not a big deal except when you're frantically calling the bank to cancel your ATM cards

             Knowing this happens to everyone was little consolation for me when I recently pulled a stupid stunt of 'leaving briefcase behind at the guard house' which was carrying fairly minor things, like my Toshiba laptop & passport, well basically my life. At first I was like 'thank you God' because luckily my laptop is backed up to the portable Samsung drive. Now unluckily, the drive was also in said misplaced briefcase. 

               I immediately sprinted back to the guard house which wasn't a good idea as it turned out, I left my security card in my bedroom. And there I was stuck between the main door & the elevator, waiting for whoever good soul to open the main door & wondering how I was going to replace my passport with the trip is one month away. Also wondering at the same time how lucky the new owner of my laptop was using my online banking personal data while scrolling through my personal pictures & laughing his/her ass out.

              Now here's where my luck took a turn. It turns out that while I was in the elevator going down frantically to the guard house, the guard use another elevator to return my briefcase at my house. It also turns out that I brought my wallet together which contained another set of spare security card. 

               Dear hummingbird, being a positive guy, I put it as a lesson of lifetime. Perhaps my panic had been misplaced. But I think leaving my briefcase at the security guard house were all lucky strokes. Now if only I can buy a lottery ticket to try my luck for the second time.

                Nothing is ever certain. :)


Each time I told you a story, I lost a bit, the smallest drop of pain. Because horror of this world is real & it is everyday. I had rescued the moment in my letters for you & in that way, no one could take that moment from us one day, someday. 

For the other half of the sky,

The Half Moon Serenades.
8th of October 2016.