I Didn’t Forget!
Though it is up to four now… Still, I just had an idea on how I’d like to catch up on those four pesky posts I’ve been missing out so here’s what I’ll be doing: I’ll be posting twice per day for the next four days (suicidal with my habits, I know, but…) where the first post will be the more textual while the second one focuses on photography (the ‘visual’ posts); this time, zooming in on Central Java. The Photo of the Day will be featured in the second posts, but don’t worry, this doesn’t mean that the first ones would be devoid of pictures. Anyway, now that I’ve revealed my scheme of hopefully salvaging whatever’s left of my non-existential honour in posting on a daily basis, let’s move on to the not-so-Photo-of-the-Day:
This was taken at a café (or restaurant as they’ve rebranded themselves but I can’t see them as anything but a trendy coffee house) called Grafa. They were one of the pioneering “hipster cafés” that sprouted in the incredibly busy, and bursting with college students, SS15. Allow me to explain what those presumably-Orwellian-letters-and-figures symbolise to those who are unfamiliar with the suburban city, Subang Jaya. There are several enclaves within the city that are simply known by the abbreviations of “Subang Section” (if I’m not mistaken… another theory is that they follow the Malay spelling of ‘section’ which is ‘SekSyen’) followed by a number between 12 and 19. I suppose the developers of these areas couldn’t come up with more creative names and so we now have these parallel districts of Panem, without the annual death matches of course, though I’m sure many residents would argue driving around the Kewajipan roundabout would somewhat qualify…
Back to the picture. I like it because of the unicycle, and how it’s just leaning against this wall bench next to a single lamppost. Why would a café have a unicycle? See, that’s what made Grafa really unique when they first opened in 2009 because they built their business around cycling merchandises. It was one of the first, if not the first, establishments in the area to experiment and combine two seemingly unrelated concepts to create a successful brand. The irony is that there really isn’t a strong cycling culture in Malaysia. No surprise there as no Malaysian would be caught dead dripping in their own sweat as they enter the office every morning. The climate here simply isn’t suited for one to flourish, and while I do fancy the idea of men in suits cycling to work, that shall remain a fantasy I keep to myself until the day I land a job in the UK.
I decided to talk a little about cycling because it’s one of the activities I miss doing, but would feel different about it now if I did. Am I making sense? Growing up, cycling gave me intense pleasure. Having been forced to ride a two-wheeler by the time I was three, cycling was the closest thing to flying for me, especially when I’m whizzing down a slope. I felt incredibly free doing it then. It’s somehow different doing it now, I can’t explain why… maybe it’s because I’m getting on with my age, which sounds ridiculously at twenty-four, but cycling no longer gives me the same pleasure it did when I was a child, a bouncy changeling (I blame The Spiderwick Chronicles for this reference) with nothing to worry about except for the scores on my report card. My memory of it overwhelms my present reality, one that I yearn for yet can never regain.
Well, that and because I discovered too late about London’s annual Tweed Run where a motley of Edwardian dandies gather together in their best tweed three-piece suits and penny-farthings to cycle along cobblestone streets. Ahh… now that’s my kind of party. Check out their website here and don’t miss their handsome gallery here.
Apparently, we can choose to host the Tweed Run in other cities! OMG! I would totally organise this if I can!
… but with a perpetual summer and a humidity that adds an extra five pounds to everyone’s weight, I’m not sure if I can find a single soul to don a Harris Tweed jacket here without soaking it… Oh well, a retrophile can only dream.