Ducks are cool.
In high school, my childhood friend and I would frequent this Asian mall situated in a suburban city that is largely inhabited by the Chinese community.
Before the popularity and ease of online shopping, it was the only place where you could buy an assortment of Japanese hair dye, cute plushies and glittery accessories.
And I was the queen of hair dye during that period of my life.
My hair colour had to change every month.
Though I’ve kept my natural shade for 10 years now, my hair is still a source of my pride and joy.
As you can probably tell. 🙂
There are these tiny little shops with glass walls cramped together in neat rows.
You could walk into any one and be bombarded with tonnes of stuff.
The shops are mostly all stuffed to the brim with lots of stuff.
I attribute this to the bang-for-buck mentality that a lot of Chinese people have.
A ball-shaped duck plushie hanging on a shop window caught my eye as we passed by.
I wanted it so badly.
But the shop was closed.
So I took a picture of it with my white LG Lollipop flip phone and carried on.
When I see something I want, I never forget it.
And thus started my lifelong love for ducks.
I remember feeling very sad one day during my time at university.
Somehow I stumbled across a video of ducks rolling around in the wind.
I laughed uncontrollably.
I don’t know why I found the video so funny.
After replaying it countless times, I still found it incredibly funny.
Maybe I’m secretly cruel and enjoy the misfortune of others.
When I find myself sad again,
I just hit the play button.
Works every time.
There is a giant yellow duck who has been floating around the world.
I had the pleasure of visiting it a couple years ago while vacationing on the other side of the globe.
I’m reminded of that particular duck right now because a replica one is coming to my corner of the Universe.
My first love had left a deep impression on me for many years.
Perhaps love is not the right word.
I wasn’t sure what it was.
He had a girlfriend.
He would walk me home every day after school.
And carry me on his back whenever we had to cross the icy sidewalk.
In the winter, he would ask me several times whether I was cold.
He worried that my jacket was too thin and would offer me the one he was wearing.
Of course I declined.
I didn’t want him to be cold too.
He would come over to my house and stay for a while.
I still remember the sheepish smile my dad gave me after the first time he bumped into him on our driveway.
I was so embarrassed.
He was the only boy my dad had ever met.
I used to bake him lemon flavoured muffins.
He would take one with him whenever it was time for him to leave.
Now that I think about it, I don’t think I’ve ever baked anyone anything since.
At the time, I was playing a motorcycle racing game on my PS2.
There was a level that I could not beat no matter how hard I tried.
He was over one day and decided to play the game for me.
I fell asleep on the sofa and woke up to a note he left behind.
He told me he’d beaten the level for me and to remember to lock my front door.
I kept that note for years.
I used to crave being in the driver’s seat.
For most of my four-wheeled journeys, I was alone and able to go wherever I wanted.
However I wanted.
It felt like the only thing I was able to truly direct and control in life.
So I was reluctant when he offered to drive me to the restaurant on his motorcycle.
There was still space in the taxi.
But I wanted a thrill and so I agreed.
He was still a stranger at the time.
We chatted about nightlife and fun times.
About our love lives.
He said he would come pick me up two days later at 4:00pm.
And he did.
It had been such a long time since a man had kept his promise to me.
I started to notice how quietly generous this man was.
Many of the locals would walk around selling lottery tickets to feed their families.
He would buy two tickets every time someone approached him.
One for himself and the other for the seller.
He was giving hope.
hope is the only thing a person has to live on.
I really admired his character.
It was dark out the last time we went out together.
We went to a body of water which held a giant yellow duck!
I’d never heard about this travelling duck before and found the notion quite amusing.
I don’t think he’ll ever understand what that duck secretly meant to me.
The way back to where I was staying felt especially long.
The howling of the wind seemed extra harsh as it whipped my hair in all sorts of directions.
I left the country shortly after.
Bringing back with me,
a renewed sense of hope.
I really enjoy being driven around.