Today is October. And to celebrate the 10th month of the year, but also as an exercise for myself to get into a habit of blogging regularly – I’m going to be listing 10 things about 10 things over this next month before I embark on My Great Adventure. I have 31 days to write 10 posts, so that’s about one post every 3 days. Seems achievable! Here goes…
10 Basic but Interesting (maybe) Facts about me.
1. My older sister named me.
And if it wasn’t for her, my dad would have dubbed me Natasha. And not just the usual way of saying it but it would have been Natarsha (still spelt as Natasha). Thank goodness even a 5 year old had more sense than that! I’ve got nothing against anyone who does have that name – I have yet to meet a Natarsha – but can you imagine what a drainer it would be constantly correcting people. As if I don’t get enough of that (see 3).
2. My middle name is my Chinese name.
It is not a direct translation of Natalie into Cantonese but it is a substitute for when I’m being addressed by Cantonese speaking relatives/friends. It was chosen by my paternal grandfather who apparently consulted the stars and his gods above to determine the correct strokes that aligned with my birth date and zodiac year to become the name that is Yee Onn which is how my parents have decided to spell it in English but in Cantonese it is actually pronounced more phonetically as Yu Orn (in an Australian accent that is).
3. My most frequently asked question is “How do you say your last name?”
If I was given a dollar for every time I’ve been asked this, I wouldn’t be driving my mum’s old Toyota. But in all seriousness, although I often say my last name is N.G./en jee, it is properly pronounced just as it is spelt, ng. But not in a constipated way! As that would be spelt nnnnnnnngggggggg!!!
4. I lived out of home for 17 months.
I am back living at my parents’ place now but I always knew my move out of home was only temporary. The experience taught me a lot about budgeting and life skills, and generally gave me a taste of what life would be like once I get married and leave the nest for real. People have commented that moving back home with your parents will be a tough transition but in all honesty, I don’t mind living back at home. It takes the financial pressure off, plus with a semi-retired dad, and a mum who works part-time anyway, I’m very spoilt and a lot of things get done for me. Having fended for myself just means that on the occasion that my parents are away, I can cook, clean and take care of myself.
5. I can cook. But I can’t cook Chinese!
Despite being Asian, I’ve never really made an authentic Cantonese or Malaysian Chinese dish. Sure, I’ve thrown together noodles and stir fry but that really doesn’t count. I feel more confident making pasta or hipster foods like quinoa-stuffed capsicums and puff pastry calzones. My parents usually take care of the cooking when it comes to eating Chinese but I will often be asked to put together a quick Western meal at other times. I most definitely do not know how to make congee…
6. I have a recurring dream.
I haven’t dreamt it in a while now but it starts off as a dull grey space and then TV static begins to appear and eventually covers the whole space. It becomes more and more chaotic and the static becomes large scribbles and it feels like I’m being pushed into the larger-than-life scribbles that try to asphyxiate me. And then I wake up in a sweat.
7. I taught my younger brother how to ride a bike
After many (failed) attempts by Dad who would do the run-behind-the-bicycle, pushing from the seat then letting it go, I took the task of teaching my bro the tricks of the two wheeler. We are only 2 years apart so I didn’t have the height or speed like Dad to run after the bike but I remember showing my brother what to do on my own bike and when I asked him to copy me on his bike, he did just that and from then on knew how to mount, balance and ride a bicycle. My next challenge is teaching him how to drive. I realise this isn’t really in the same league as a bicycle but I get the feeling I’m better at explaining how to do things than my parents are…
8. My favourite household chore is ironing.
I don’t mind it because it doesn’t involve your hands getting wet, you can listen to music while you iron as it’s not loud, and it just feels so good to get wrinkles out of things!
9. I’ve never broken a bone.
And I thank God for His protection over me because I hate needles and the thought of breaking a bone and seeing a dislocation – let alone feeling the immense pain – is enough to make me wanna vom.
10. I had braces for 22 months.
From the end of Year 11 to mid-way through my first year at uni, my teeth were caged for some time to get them into line. My teeth weren’t horrendous and the reason I wanted braces was purely cosmetic, however, the orthodontist did find that some of my teeth were misaligned to the point where they would grind over each other over time and wear away the enamel. So having straight teeth wasn’t just for my good looks but also my dental health. Because of my experiences with braces, I used to have dreams where my teeth would all fall out into my mouth or that they would suddenly become crooked and worse than before I got braces! A lot of friends who have also had braces said that they’ve had similar dreams – Phew!