Sunday, 18 March 2012

A Week After Morgan Left

My hammock without Morgan. Her water
bottle is still sitting on the reclining chair.
It is Sunday,today  -- exactly seven days since Morgan Reed, our documentary film-maker and editor, left Kuala Lumpur.  My house was her homestay for four months.

And it is time to jot down a list of things which I have done since she left.

1. Cleaning and tidying up the house -- Over the last six years, I have been hosting foreign interns in my house. Often I ended up cleaning dirty rooms and bed linens after they left. Morgan left her room clean and tidy, it was a gesture that indicated her appreciation of our Malaysian hospitality.

Due to the hectic schedule of the documentary-making in the last four months, I didn't finish house improvement projects that I started last October. It was only after she left for the airport that I got into the 'house' mode again!

2. The king of fruit in Malaysia -- I was at a hypermarket looking for a DIY shelf, and 'wow', I saw durian!  The scene of Morgan rushing out of the house announcing quickly that she needed fresh air when I tried to show her a packet of durian flashed through my mind. Eh........, I should have some durian now that she is not in the house any more!

When I got home, I wolved down five slots of durian in a few minutes, I wonder why.........

(Here is Andrew Zimmerman's bizare foods episode in Penang, Malaysia, about durian

3. Coconut juice and flesh -- When I passed by the fragrant pandan coconut stand at the hypermart, a thought flashed passed, "Morgan loves this! I should get some for her."  Then I remembered, she had left for Regina!  So I bought some for the house and told myself, "I am going to enjoy this beautiful delicious gift from the earth just like Morgan." 

My food habit has been changed by a young Canadian!

4. Morning routines -- The last six weeks before Morgan left, we walked to the office together every morning around 8.15 am and then had breakfast together.  She would then sit comfortably on the couch in the living room to edit the documentary and I would worked in the admin room upstairs.  At about 11 am, I would be down to the kitchen to make teas or cut some fruits. Then I would sing her name in a sing-song manner, "MOOOOOrGAAAANNNN, do you wAAAnt soooome?"  She would sing back, "Ooooooooh yeeees, danka!"

On Wednesday morning, I caught myself when I was about to sing, "Moor.." while I was pouring home-made herb tea into a cup.

5. Daily chocolate -- On Friday, I was passing by the KLCC shopping area to the Crowne Plaza Hotel for a meeting, and there was a chocolate stand. The normal me never bothered to stop by because I am not a chocolate fan. This time, I actually stoped and examined the chocolate tidbits,  and even tried a few samples. My mind kept asking, "I wonder if Morgan would like this..........."   And when I saw durian cake with chocolate frosting, I almost bought a slice, but I held back, "Who is going to eat it now that Morgan is not here?"

6. My favorite spicy noodle soups -- I made curry laksa for dinner tonight. It was spicy. Morgan would choke sampling it.  I chuckled as I sprinkled chilli powder to make the lightning strikes in the mouth.  I heard her choking on a spoon of laksa soup, her cheeks very red.......... and her voice cracked, " ......verrrrry deee (cough cough cough) liceeeee(cough) ous, (cough).

'Ha, ha', I laughed, "That Canadian!"

 7.  Chilling out at night -- I put the mohito and tequila bottles away, it is no fun without anyone to cheer to. And I have been a 'bad girl', I watched four episodes of CSI on Monday and Tuesday...... because the disciplinarian was gone!

Those six weeks while Morgan was editing was a period of calm for me. The documentary was filmed and everythig was in Morgan's hands for editing.  We worked 8-10 hours a day, and then we had dinner together, took an hour's break for shower and Morgan to skype her sweet heart, then around 10.30pm, we would have a shot of Mexican fun before we watched two episodes of CSI.  Morgan would stand up from her reclining posture on the marble floor and said, "Ok, it is time to go to bed," and she would do her 'Morgan stretch' (which you can see in a scene in the last part of the documentary  -- me stretching my side torso while my arms stretched to the right and to the left while walking in the park). And we all went to bed because CTV Canada had said so!

8. The ballerina stretching exercise -- Me doing the Morgan stretch in the office whenever I am stiff -- a legacy left by Morgan.

9. Tourist spots -- I passed by China Town on Friday night on my way home from a 
meeting, "Oophs, I didn't have time to take Morgan here....."

Morgan having BBQ lamb at a luk luk van in TTDI.
As I browsed through the various food stalls, I screamed excitedly to myself, "Wow, Morgan would try this intestine stuff.... I think she will put this in her mouth......oh, she will like this preserved octupus......." 

Since it was a night without Morgan, I decided to play tourist and boarded the U88 bus that would go through Brickfileds, the Indian area. As the bus cruised through Indian open air night stalls, temples, churches, and old buildings, I said to myself, "Morgan would love walking around this area at night! It is full of stories for a film-maker!"

10. Night food stands by the roadside -- Last night I walked passed the area where our favorite luk luk ( a mobile truck with sea foods, meats, vegetables on skewers and you dip them into boiling soup to cook the foods before you eat them with a choice of five kind of sauces) van was. Several people were standing around the van while another two were sitting on stools by the roadside. I stood there watching, frozen in a time not long ago.

"Didn't the Canadian TV anchor almost made me teary when she sat on the stool by the roadside?"  A TV anchor who humbled herself to eat street foods by a drain....ignoring passing cars and stares.........that is precious!

The list has 10 points and it isn't finished yet.

I guess I am missing MOORRGAANNNNN!


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