Watch It, Gollum

After my first two weeks at university passed by uneventfully, I decided to expand my horizons and in that spirit, joined two extracurricular clubs.

 A lot of people would agree that I’m not very inclined towards sports. My only form of physical exercise consists of me running for an hour or so while listening to pop music two or three times a week. Suffice to say, yoga was going to be challenging for me. Still, I convinced my friend T, and we both went and signed up gleefully. Healthy mind and body, here I come! I was going to look like Natalie Portman after I finished all the seven sessions! Hell yes!

With much regret, I inform you, I do not look like Natalie Portman now.

The yoga teacher had the most amazingly lean figure I had ever seen on anyone. She had not an ounce of fat on her, and immediately, I felt a pang of envy. How did she do it? What did she eat? Did she eat at all? But she looked so strong! I wanted her body! But would I be willing to work hard enough for it? Did I have that much mental and physical strength to do so?

The correct answer is no. Duh.

She taught us to breathe “properly” and used a lot of Sanskrit jargon…. much of which sounded like names of Indian television soaps. I giggled quietly to myself and tried to breathe the way she had instructed. I took a deep breath in, and exhaled slowly. Then I did it five times more. And another three times. Then I looked up at the ceiling and breathed seven more times.

What I had failed to realize was; yoga was infinitely boring. We had to clear our minds and breathe and it took me a while to realize, but talking was most definitely a no-no during yoga. When this thought struck me, I turned numb. No wonder everyone was silent! It was like being in an old-fashioned silent movie. Oh no.

Nevertheless, I quelled my passionate cry of despair, and decided to give it a go until the end of class. Maybe actually doing the positions would be more worthwhile.

The actual positions were, so to speak, painful. Contorting your body into unconventional shapes while still remembering to breathe in and out and exhale every time the rainbow shines and the sun is in the sky is mentally and physically strenuous.

I’m sorry to say, after the first class, I never went again. Yoga just wasn’t for me. And being Indian didn’t make it any better. I felt like I’d failed the entire Indian race. I went home sore and angry and depressed.

Archery, on the other hand was delightful. I discovered my hidden natural talent at handling a bow and arrow, and soon I was ranked at the top of the class. The tutor was so impressed that he immediately proclaimed me to be the best archer he’d ever seen and gave me a gold medal to signify that.

I kid, I kid.

The first three sessions were horribly cramped, and only because Singapore’s weather gods decided to rain heavily every single Wednesday. Hence, we were shuffled into a little classroom because the rain made the ground too wet and we practiced on target boards that were a mere three metres away.

All of this changed, when one Wednesday, the sun shone brilliantly, and we discovered that we would finally be taken to the range. It was so much better, being able to move your arms freely without worrying about poking someone’s back with an arrow-tip, or swinging your bow around to and not accidentally striking a fellow archer right in the eye.

At the range, I discovered just how much I loved archery. This was the sport for me! Yoga was for people who could calm their minds in five seconds flat, AND THAT WAS NOT ME, DAMMIT. Over time, I loved hearing the twang of the bow as the arrow got released, and automatically straightening my posture every time I drew the arrow back. I felt like I was in a Lord Of The Rings movie, and every time my arrow left my bow, I imagined I was shooting at Gollum (because he scares the crap out of me and he deserves every single arrow that pierces his skin).

All in all, I’m quite happy that I get two hours a week, shooting arrows at a target board. It calms me down.

Yoga just makes me sad.

Posted in Tanyistid | 2 Comments

The Stare-Man

Well, the trip to India could be best described as anticlimatic. For me, anyway. While I was expecting at least one attempt at kidnapping and numerous ransom demands, none of that even happened.

What did happen was reconnecting with long lost relatives. Immediate family was a pleasure; my cousins were delightful as always, but the non-immediate family? Not so much. Every time my dad introduced me to someone, it was the same shebang, “Oh my God, you’ve grown up so much! I held you when you were THIS small, do you remember me? Wow, I just can’t believe it, time passes so quickly! You look so beautiful-” and at this point they would turn back to my dad and say, “Pity about the height though.”

Contrary to what you might think, that didn’t hurt as much as it should; it actually made me chortle. It was hard work trying to look gloomy for something for which I cared so little about, and even more hard work to stop myself from saying, “Why do they have high heels, you silly little person?”

The food was delicious, but then I wasn’t expecting it to be otherwise. The roads were as bumpy as ever, and the people were as curious as ever. It was just as I had expected.

The toilets, however, were a massive problem. It seemed as if no-one in India had heard of a relatively useful thing called “toilet paper”. There was none to be found, and if I hadn’t smuggled in a roll from home, I would have never gotten by.

Also, using those ‘squat toilets’ were a bit of an issue for me. I mean, now that I think about it, they’re definitely more hygienic, so to speak, but… you know what, I’ll just stop right there, because, well, who wants to read about toilets in such graphic detail? Not I.

The penetrating stares were a constant throughout the week. From men AND women. One time, my uncle, my dad and I were standing outside a restaurant waiting for the valet to bring around our car. We’d just finished lunch and were planning on heading home after an exhausting day.

Something made me look to my left, and I noticed a leery, bearded man looking at me. I looked away quickly, not really surprised. Obviously, curiosity got the better for me, and a few minutes later, I turned back to see if he was still looking or not.

He still was.

I frowned and turned back around. What was this, I wasn’t some type of zoo animal, and he couldn’t stare at me whenever he liked. I debated on what to do. I could alert my dad, but that would be no use at all, because my dad would just think I was overreacting. I turned to my left to see again.

He was still looking.

I grew more and more incensed. What in the world was there for him to stare at? I didn’t like it, and it made me uncomfortable, so it was obviously up to me to make that creep stop.

I turned around, and shouted at him, “What’re you looking at?”

Unfortunately, I do not know any insults in Hindi, and hence could not drop a swear word at the end of the sentence like I wanted to.

My shout alerted my dad, who replied, “I’m looking for the car, what do you think I’m looking at?”

The Stare-Man continued looking at me for a few seconds, and a small smile played upon his lips. He smirked and looked away. I couldn’t stop myself from involuntarily breaking out into little shudders; that man was the epitome of creepy.

My dad, still confused at my question (which he didn’t know wasn’t meant for him), said, “Oh look, the car!” and climbed in happily.

I climbed in too, thankful that I was finally getting away from that jerk. I put my sunglasses on, and in that disguise, turned to see if he was beating himself at the fact that he’d just gotten told off by me.

But to my intense anger, he was looking and laughing at me with his friends. Whaaaaaat.

I couldn’t stand not saying anything, and I told my dad, whose expected reply was, “Oh, you’re probably overreacting, they’re not going to do anything, and what’s the point in telling me now, while we’re in the car, you should’ve said something when we were standing there, you’re probably imagining things, oh look there’s a cow on the road.”

Sigh. My dad is so delightfully unaware of the world. XD

Posted in Familia, Tanyistid | 2 Comments

Top Ten Ways I’m A Badass

The Urban Dictionary definition of the term “badass” is as follows:

“someone who is so cool that their very presence is radiating with awesomeness”

That can be me, right? I’ve been trying to convince people that I am a total badass but unfortunately, everyone finds it hard to grasp that a straight-edge like me can be badass. Well, here are things that I believe propel me to the appropriate level of badass-ness.

  1. I have two piercings, one in each ear. Now, I know that’s nothing to gawp at, but do you know when I got them? When I was less than a month old. LESS THAN A MONTH. Beat that, bitches.
  2. On a normal weekday, I go to sleep at midnight, sometimes even later. Yep. I stay up past the witching hour, y’all. And you know what the best part of that is? I WAKE UP AT SEVEN AM. THAT’S RIGHT. I am so badass, I don’t even need to sleep.
  3. Today, I had an enormous lunch. And what was I doing, a mere hour after lunch? Snacking on pretzels. A MERE HOUR. I wasn’t even hungry, but I was snacking, yo. Respect for me.
  4. I have at least two songs from 30 Seconds To Mars in my music player. Not that I listen to any of them, because they do hurt my ears, but the fact that I had them adds to my level of awesomeness.
  5. I have an ex. That should be enough.
  6. I wear large earrings all the time, which is sometimes a painful process, and about as equivalent, pain-wise, to getting a tattoo. I think so anyway. And speaking of…
  7. I’ve gotten tattoos before. Granted, they’re temporary, and made of henna, but I HAVE gotten semi-permanent markings on my skin before, and it’s the thought that counts.
  8. My room is purple. You can’t get anymore badass than that.
  9. My parents are going to get me a Vespa. Every badass needs his/her own vehicle and although a Vespa isn’t quite a Harley, it still counts in its own cute way.
  10. Waxing no longer fazes me. I admit, in the olden days, I used to tremble at the sight of hot wax bubbling away, but now, I’m like, “Bring it on!” The hair roots in my legs have become numb.

Do you people see how badass I am? Next time anyone doubts me, I’m leading them straight to my blog-post. Everyone else is an amateur at this. I’m so awesome.

Posted in Tanyistid | 3 Comments

How To Flirt Effectively

This is for all of you that haven’t quite mastered the art of flirting. Please don’t take this to mean that I’m an expert; I simply wanted to provide an outlet for all you young ones who don’t quite to know what to do when in the company of the opposite sex.

Much like my other blog post, How To Seduce Someone, this is a highly vital skill to acquire. Firstly, let’s examine the reasons you’d want to flirt with someone:

  • To get your own way– Unfortunately, this is the tragedy of life. Many people like to take advantage of others, and suggest a hint of something, but never fall through. This may seem stereotypical, but don’t you think only those that are physically perfect do this? Hmm. Food for thought. Chicken soup for teenagers.
  • To make money– Erm. I don’t quite know why anyone would flirt to make money. I suppose if you were a con-artist, and you’d want to dupe someone, you could attempt flirting with them! That might distract them enough to part with their money and give it to you. I’m not a con-artist, so I really wouldn’t know, would I? Either way, this is a defunct point.
  • To flatter shamelessly– I read somewhere that when someone flirts with you, it gives you a natural high, and you feel amazing and on top of the world. And it also gives you a confidence boost, which I suppose is a valid theory. I think I know where this may apply though. You know how all companies have a hierarchy, yes? Well, an employee, right at the bottom of the social ladder were to flirt with their boss, then this might up their status! They could go places! But please don’t take this seriously, I’m not advocating office romance or anything of that sort.
  • To make someone their boyf– This is probably the most obvious one. I should have typed this in first. Damn, it never even occurred to me.

Okay, so now that we’ve established the key reasons for flirting, here is your very own personal guide on How To Flirt Effectively. Because I am very apprehensive of being accused of plagiarism, I will admit now that I hunted around on the Interweb and this is mostly what I came across.

  • Constant touching– Keep touching the person you’re flirting with. Apparently, this breaks any “personal space barrier”. Obviously if the flirtee* is anything like my friend A, then this constant contact will scare the other person out, and will result in the other person breaking out into involuntary shivers.
  • Give them your complete attention– Do not, and I repeat, do not be distracted if another member of the opposite sex walks past you. I tend to be very bad at this, because I cannot control my facial expressions if I see someone very good looking. For example, every time I see Ryan Reynolds in that Hugo Boss Night advertisement, I grin widely, hyperventilate a little and say, “Oh my God, Ryan, I want to marry you, I think I’m in love with you. Scarlet Johansson you lucky betch.” This is why, give them your complete attention, because if you do not, they will be offended and they will walk away from you. I can guarantee that.
  • Make eye contact– Please, PLEASE for the love of God, do NOT take that mean that it is okay to stare. Do you know the phrase, “undressing them with their eyes”? No-one likes that sort of penetrating glare. It is most disconcerting and usually results in the flirtee being extremely self-conscious and having the sudden urge to slap you. So when I say make eye contact, I say, briefly. Look at them, and then look away. Look at them, and then look away. Let that be your mantra. Try not to do it too many times because, again, this will look like you have an eye infection, and as the flirter**, you do not want this.
  • Lower your expectations– Yes, don’t forget to- wait, what? I know what you’re thinking, but hear me out! According to this website I was looking at, if you lower your expectations, you are “more likely to have fun” and “if you flirt with someone intending to marry them” then you will probably “seem a little desperate”. Um. This actually made me laugh out loud. I don’t think you should lower your expectations, because, that is just ludicrous, but they’re right about not wanting to appear too desperate! Hmm. Maybe I should do another blog post on How Not To Appear Desperate. Oooh, I think I’ve hit upon a gem of an idea for a future post!

The very last thing I can tell you is, please don’t follow this advice word-for-word. I mean, change it a little, adapt it to your tastes, but if something goes wrong, I am NOT to be blamed, please remember that.

*flirtee– The person of the opposite sex (or not, whatever floats your boat) that you intend to flirt with.

**flirter– You. The one initiating the flirt.

Posted in Tanyistid | 3 Comments

Hi, I’m Tanya, And I’m A Coulrophobic.

I have a lot of irrational fears. I’m scared of a number of things, in general, and it isn’t entirely my fault.

I think I have a mild case of coulrophobia. I say “mild” because, while I am not terrified of clowns, they do make me uncomfortable and my heart does skip a couple of beats when I see them, unexpectedly.

This probably stems from an early age, because when I was little, I remember watching this old Indian movie which was about a poor boy, whose father used to be a world-famous clown, until an unfortunate accident (involving a trampoline) ended his life. Since then, his mother, who never fully recovered from her husband’s death, disliked circuses with deadly passion and always kept her family away from them. Anyway, long story short, this boy grew up and found it impossible to stay away from circuses. Eventually he became a clown, and along the journey, he fell in and out of love numerous times, as is the norm in Bollywood movies.

What bothered me out the most was that he always had a little doll with him. It was a clown doll, with a little waistcoat and frizzy hair, but the eyes, oh sweet Lord, the EYES. They were blank and evil. I kid you not.

I’d never miss the opportunity to watch this movie, because of how morbidly curious I was about the clown doll. It fascinated me and repulsed me at the same time, so much, that it caused my parents to conclude that this movie was one of my favourites now. My dad even bought me a clown doll, similar to the one the boy owned in the movie.

I remember I had a lot of favourite toys that I played with frequently, but I never touched the clown doll. It used to sit on top of my shelf, blankly staring at me with its eyes, but I never touched it. It got to such a point, that I disliked sleeping in my room alone, with the lights off, while the clown doll had the opportunity to come to life and smother me with my pillow, while my silent screams slowly faded, as I suffocated to death.

You have to remember, I was only about four years old.

Once my mother realized that it scared me way too much for my own good, she gave it away. I could breathe easily again.

Over the years, this dislike of clowns seemingly ebbed away, until I was around twelve. Back then, I was an avid bookworm (actually I still am, bleeee) and my favourite types of books were horror stories with gore and violence. What can I say, I was a disturbed child. 😛

One day, instead of going to sleep at night, I decided to read the latest book I borrowed from the library. It had thirteen short stories in it, and consisted of a medley of authors, one of which was R.L. Stine.

One story stuck with me in particular, mainly because it was about clowns. It was about a boy who suffered from deathly fear of clowns, and that was why he never frequented places like circuses and fairs and kiddy-style birthday parties.

On his birthday, his family decides to surprise him and they get tickets for this circus that’s visiting their town. He refuses to go, but his dad drags him, and pretty soon, he finds himself sitting around a circus rink, while clowns of all sizes amble around him.

Anyway, what happens in the end is that apparently, those clowns of that particular circus could somehow sense a child’s fear towards them, and they would kidnap that child secretly, and transform him into a clown.

At first, this boy struggled like crazy, fear numbing his vocal chords, while he was bound up in a chair, backstage of the show, while his parents looked for him, wondering where their child went.

The very last sentence of the story said that this boy went on to become the most successful clown in that part of town.

How messed up is that? Just the thought of clowns kidnapping me terrifies me. I would go insane if I were left in the company of psychopathic clowns. Wouldn’t you?

I never did like Ronald McDonald either. It was his face. And his eyes.

I know it’s a silly and irrational fear. Not even a fear, more like a dislike. I don’t like them, but it’s not to say I will start hyperventilating if I’m in the same room as one.

I should get over this, especially now that I only have about four months until I turn eighteen.

Sigh.

Posted in Personal because even Tanya gets serious sometimes | Leave a comment

How To Seduce Someone

Before anyone gets the wrong impression, I’m not saying I’ve tried seducing anyone.  I was thinking recently and decided that seduction would be an important skill to acquire! I mean, can you imagine, ten years into the future, you are famous and pretty. Obviously someone is bound to get jealous of you and will hire an assassin to kill you off.

So, one night, said assassin comes creeping through an open window into your chic apartment, clutching a sharp dagger dipped in poison. You’re in your luxurious bathroom, brushing your hair, when suddenly you hear a noise. You’re immediately on your guard and that’s when you see him.

How will you protect yourself? With nothing around you that can be used as a weapon, you attempt to seduce him. After he’s been seduced, you call the police and have him arrested. Simple.

Or you could just go the old-fashioned way and seduce someone you really like. Either way, you need to learn the art of seduction, girl.

And so, I’ve compiled an idiot-proof set of instructions, which, if you follow perfectly, will allow you to seduce people (or assassins) smoothly and in a suave manner. Trust me, everyone needs a good seduction lesson.

  • Run the tip of your finger down their arm– Just be careful with this one, because I know most girls like to keep extra long nails, so make sure you don’t scratch them by accident! Drawing blood will only result in panic and tears and probably an ambulance.
  • Bat your lashes– Don’t forget the mascara! Lots and lots of it. And try not to blink too often, because then you’ll just end up looking like a horse with an eye infection, which is definitely not attractive. Not even on horses.
  • Whisper in a husky voice– I naturally have an extremely high-pitched and nasal voice, so this is quite hard for me to mimic. This requires tremendous brainpower, and so, when I want to do my “husky” voice, I just imagine I’ve got a heinous cold, with blocked noses and everything.
  • Show off some skin– Slip off your shoes! And if you want to take it a step further, you naughty minx, take your socks off too! That’s bound to work, I can guarantee it.

See how simple seduction is? If any of you try and follow this, do let me know how it went. I would so love to hear feedback on this.

I think I’m going to write a self-help book for young women. The world needs me.

Posted in Tanyistid | 2 Comments

Robots Used For Sexual Purposes

This is going to be another one of those “Tanya, speak before you think, you foolish little girl” blog entries. But you can’t blame me for that right? It just happens to be what I do best.

Although I can’t really take the credit for this one. It was my gorgeous Sri Lankan friend, V, who had baited me. She baited me, and I had taken the bait, and this had resulted in people sighing at me and saying, “Tanya, Tanya, Tanya,” for infinity and beyond.

It was a bright early morning at school and we were doing our very last and final TOK presentation. I can’t be bothered explaining this, because it will be very uninteresting for you to know all the details, so just think of it like a debate.

My group consisted of me and An, and our topic was artificial intelligence and robots in medicine and surgery. Because this was the last presentation (and practically an exam; Mrs. S was video-recording us, so the footage could be sent to the IB), my dad was here, which I was terrifically excited about. Finally, he would see what an amazing student I was, so dedicated and brilliant and amazing at public speaking.

Although he knew all this already. Right? I mean, come on, he’s my dad.

Anyway, after our debate finished, it was time for the Q&A from the floor. The audience included our classmates, some parents, and students from the year below us. One question which I remember the most with startling clarity is my friend V’s.

V was sitting on the front row, watching our presentation with a cute little furrow on her forehead, trying to decipher exactly what we were trying to say. P was sitting right next to her, and was also nodding her head in a pensive manner.

Suddenly, I see V put her hand up. I’m excited, although a little anxious, hoping I can answer the question and praying that my research can allow me to do so. What I wasn’t expecting, was this:

“Okay, this is probably going to sound a little weird, but what is your opinion on robots used for sexual reasons?”

I’m pretty sure that the entire room gasped out loud. If I had seen Mrs. S’s face (she was in the back of the room), I am certain it would have elicited an open mouth, and goldfish-like expression of horror and shock. P, in the front row, meanwhile smiled and shook her head sadly at me. I think she was expecting something like this to happen.

Now that I think about it, I think it was a good thing this question came from a star student like V, and not any of the others. Mrs. S was so surprised, that she could not say anything, and I had ample time to answer the question.

Which I wished I hadn’t.

The room was tinkering with uncomfortable laughter, and V was still waiting nonchalantly for my answer, and I said, giggling to myself, “Well, if it malfunctions in the middle then….”

Aside from the roaring in my ears that I usually get when I’m up on stage, I’m pretty sure everyone gasped again and the uncomfortable laughter turned into hysterical.

V snorted too, and then she said, “Because you know, things like this happen in Japan a lot, they have all these sex toys and such. I read about it in this article and apparently it’s all the rage!”

I nodded knowledgeably, because I knew exactly what she was talking about. Then I opened my big mouth and said, “Well, I mean, personally, I think that they’re only used by people that can’t find girlfriends and wives and such…”

Which is exactly when I was cut off by Mrs. S, who thought this could not get any more inappropriate. I was all set to have a long drawn out discussion with V about this, but Mrs. S had had enough.

I had also forgotten that my father was in the midst of the audience. Uh-oh.

Thankfully, my dad is one of those cool but awkward people. I know that is quite an oxymoron, but when faced with topics such as these he often just becomes extremely silent and tries to change the subject quickly.

An example would be that one day my brother came home from school, all excited because he had learnt about puberty in school. At dinner time, my mom, proud that my brother had learnt so much kept asking him questions, while I listened, dumbfounded that my eleven-year old brother knew more about menstrual cycles than I did.

I also happened to glance at my dad who sat at the head of the table. And I must admit, he was so flustered by this dinner-time discussion, that his attempts at changing the subject were positively feeble.

“So, we had a really detailed drawing in our Biology book, which was all labelled, and there was a picture of these two people… and they were, you know… doing it”

“Pass the potatoes,” my dad said, obviously uncomfortable, but trying to hide it.

“…and the menstrual cycle is twenty eight days and there are millions of sperm, and they need to be streamlined so they can reach the egg faster…..”

“Any more cucumber slices left?” my dad again, awkwardly.

“… and they showed us everything, the presentation was so informative…”

“Ahem. I think I need water,” my dad.

While my mom sat marvelling at the range of my brother’s knowledge, I quietly giggled to myself.

After that TOK presentation was over, and we came home, I asked my dad what he thought of it. He said it was quite good, but nothing outstanding. I smiled to myself and said, “What did you think of V’s question?”

My dad turned around, “Which one was V?”

I replied, casually, “The one who asked that question about the sex robots.”

His eyes narrowed at me, and he said, “Oh, well, yeah, that question. Um, personally, I think that question Mrs. S asked about robots used in mining was very good. I liked that question. Um. Is dinner ready yet? Ask your mom. Go help her.”

I love my dad. 🙂

Posted in Familia, I'm a fool, Tanyistid | Leave a comment