This week I did not go out much I become so bored I could not stand. So I gave Debbie a call and together with Dinda and Sari we decided to belt our pipes at the karaoke. “Sem asking us to go to the karaoke is like the supermoon: happens extremely rarely,” said Debbie, referencing last week’s rare and bright purnama.
Do you mean, the next time I will ask you guys out is 80 years from now?
Well let me tell you the moon, which is out of sight tonight, indeed represents what my heart feels: so lonely I need to go out and see people.
“We need to sing our hearts out,’ said Debbie.
She was right. The last time I hit the machine was like a year ago. I really wanted to sing some Mandarin songs. This week I been listening to some Mandopop unintentionally. It all began when I was eating at some warung. Hanging on the wall is the portrait of an obscure lady, smiling, with one hand resting on her own neck. Clearly she is selling jewelries. Curious, I stepped closer to look up for some text on the corners. Strangely, I found no names.
Back when I was still innocent, most calendars bore names of the calendar girls: Anita Mui, Gong Li, Maggie Cheung, Teresa Teng, and many more all whom I knew none of. Those girls smiled sweetly, so feminine, so youthful.
I was unaware of Mandarin entertainment back then. I din like watching Chinese movies and kungfu movies, nor I liked Mandarin songs. Most likely because I did not understand the language. My one particular classmate, Desy and her siblings, on the other hand, fully embraced them. She would glue the cutout photos of Andy Lau, Jacky Cheung, Aaron Kwok, and I-don’t-know-who’s.
It was up until 2000’s did I start to appreciate the Chinese and Hong Kong entertainment, having to write about them. By then I started to recognize those familiar names and began to appreciate newer talents. So those calendar girls were mostly singers and actors: Anita Mui singer, Gong Li actress, Karen Mok more of a singer, Andy Lau can sing, and so on. This week alone, upon stumbling on Farewell My Concubine, I watched some famous Mandarin movies to entertain myself.
In the karaoke room, the girls proved to be outstanding talents, capable of dancing, singing and acting. On my part, I was eager to sing some Chinese songs. I began to scroll endlessly for Teresa Teng’s The Moon Represents My Heart, but could not find! I decided to sing Ratih Purwasih’s Antara Rindu dan Benci.