America, Day 8

Woke up early again. So many things to doooooooooooooooo…ok, slow down, focus. One thing at a time. No Unicorn today, I have a long day ahead of me. Maybe like…half an episode later. Maaaaaaaaaybe.

Bid farewell to everyone and settled in for the night. Had some time for self-reflection. As one of the older gentlemen said on Monday, I seem given to introspection – and he would be right. Sometimes too much so.

So many of the people I’ve met recently are actually of my parents’ generation. They listen to the same songs, read the same books (well, not all of them) and have at least some of the same viewpoints and frames of reference. Yet they are so different in many ways.

It’s not without some chuckling at myself that I realize I am doing many of the things that my parents once exhorted me to do unsuccessfully – make the beds properly, buy nice gifts (at least I hope they are nice!) offer to help, and even go to school. Of course when people are pressuring you to do them they are the last things you want to do, at any age.
I’m actually around the same age as the children of many the people that I meet. But yet they are my friends and not parent surrogates. It’s an interesting feeling, and one that I cherish greatly.

Wrote a bunch of stuff and ate some dim sum for lunch. Once again A seemed very intrigued by my dim sum sauce, which was a simple combination of vineger, ginger and soy sauce. I don’t think they get that here in the US.

Dim sum tastes the same as back in SG, at least to my untrained tongue. I’ve had so many friends howl about “nooooooooooooooo the Americans get it wrong!” but frankly I think it’s about the same in quality…perhaps a little meatier. Could be the high Asian population of California, could be my preference for Western food over Chinese in general. Whatever.

Drove up to P and D’s house in the afternoon. It took about an hour and a half, most of which I spent asleep in the car. More nostalgia…sleeping in the car! The warm sun has a way of making you doze off despite yourself.

Spent a lot of time looking out the window. California’s physical environment doesn’t seem to have changed at al. There are still the same fields of long grass, stuccoed walls in need of repair, and of course, the long and wide grey roads that stretch out everywhere. I felt the child in me respond, and I held his hand as we entered Sacramento.





We turned a corner and there they were – IHOP! In-And-Out Burger! How I loved those places and wanted to go more, but my parents wouldn’t take me and I didn’t know how to ask. How I longed for them in the interim and denied it to myself. So many memories. But they don’t overwhelm me as they used to. It’s good to remember.

I am mindful of my promise to Mei An to eat at IHOP at least once, but there is IHOP all over the States. We’ll get there.

Took pictures. They look like pretty normal freeways, and they are, but they have different meanings to me.

Had a great talk with all my friends. There was a lot of conversation about tithes, pledge drives, congregations and other church related activities, which still surprises me sometimes. After all, when I was younger I balked at ANY mention of religion. I’m still not fully accustomed to praying…or having my prayers answered!

We shared stories from all over the world and had a very nice dinner besides, courtesy of D’s cooking. I helped out where I could.

I sense too that this trip will be very culinary, as well as spiritual. I couldn’t be happier! Finally I have a chance to cook and have people appreciate my cooking. I don’t get to do that half as much as I should in SG.

Mandatory pictures of delicious food :



After dinner activity was singing. P is quite a songwriter (as I’ve detailed before) and I got the distinct impression that he doesn’t get to play his music as much he would like to. So D and I accompanied him on a few pieces. What are friends for, anyway? In any case it’s a pleasure to sing good songs, no matter where they might come from.

Come to think of it this is the very first time in my life I have actually sung a friend’s composition. It’s a good feeling. And I should really learn to read music at some point.

I’m what you might call a music instigator. As most of my friends know, if there is the slightest inclination or aptitude of singing in anyone, I go up to them and ask “do you want to karaoke?” And then I repeat it with the next person, and point fingers at both, and after say that “I know a good place we can go karaoke!”

After some time spent in these activities I can sort of sense it, it calls to me. It’s like a smell in the air, leading me to – I’m just kidding. It’s kind of obvious when people want to sing actually. Usually what happens is that I start singing and then other musical people come out of the woodwork and join in some fashion at some point, whether it’s karaoke or otherwise.

Bid a fond farewell to P and A. It was a wonderful time that I spent with them at their place, and a great beginning to my travels here in the US. I’ll never forget it, nor all the kind folk who shared their houses and hearts with me.

Will also change the name to Ph so he doesn’t get confused with P.

Took a long walk with Ph and D after dinner. Managed to get my entire life story out in under an hour…I’ve got this down to an artform now. Talked about what seemed like everything under the sun and more.

Sacramento in the evening is truly beautiful, so beautiful I forgot to take pictures, also because I was wrapped up in my life story. Sorry guys. There’s always tomorrow though!

Continued talking until it was bedtime. It was a long day and sleep beckoned. I’ll probably abandon this idea of having to end each night with a reference. I’m not THAT much of a glutton for punishment.

Night guys. (and girls)

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