Then we started talking about prostitution (it is always about sex because of the people that we always end up hanging out with). Rinpoche asked Ben how much he would charge people to have sex with him. Ben has VIRTUOUS PURE DARLING scrawled in big bold marker pen across his head and he is totally just Zen Ben all the time - all cool, and Dharma-devoted, unruffled and dressed in white - so of course, just because this question seems so totally inappropriate to him, he would get it.
He said he'd charge RM500.
So Rinpoche went around the room, "Well, how much would you charge JP?"
He said RM500.
"What about Joe?"
He still said RM500
"What about Susan? She's a girl! Women earn less than men, you got to give them a discount."
So he lowered his price down to RM400.
"What about Paris?"
(uh oh...)... but he said Rm200 and it was because he thought I was nice.
See, now I have a new way of gauging whether people think I'm nice; they'll charge me less than their usual rate to sleep with them. hah. (question is, why charge at all?! gee!)
At some point, JP opened his enormous mouth and said to Rinpoche, "Have you read Paris' blog?!"
I shot him my ugliest look and said, "You are GOING. TO. GET. IT." The last thing I want is for my Guru to read all the filth and rubbish that I spend my precious time pouring out to Nobody In Particular on this Tiny Web Space. I mean, I know non-attachment and all that, but in that crazy infinite quest for enlightenment and digging up the old Buddha nature and altruism and benefiting all sentient beings, I'd really rather not appear quite so vacuous to my Guru!
To his credit though, JP did say very nice things about Dolly Blog. I think he's appointed himself as my marketing manager which is nice, but err, it isn't working since there's still only about 10 people out of an entire 5billionpopulation earth reading it.
Then we started matching up characters in Lord of the Rings to people we knew. We'd already decided quite a while back that in our Asian version of LOTR, Rinpoche would be Gandalf and JP would the hobbit. To fill in the rest, we had Joe as Gollum (because he talks to himself), Ben as an orc, and this girl in the centre called Gimlee, as well, Gimli.
Then we got bored of this game and went back to pick games and making fun of the way Ben talks. Rinpoche suddenly pointed out how everything Ben says sound totally completely horny and sensual. Even things like, "No" and "Yes" and "That's all" sound pornographic when Ben says it; not in a nice turn-on kind of way but in this really strange retro kind of 80s music video way *feels disturbed now*
By about 7am, people were really starting to flag. I think the only ones with our eyes still wide as buttons (thanks to green tea) were me and JP. Joe had even untucked his shirt (positively shocking for neat, tidy, groomed Joe) and had become best friends with a cushion. He totally embodies the word "bed" (okay, let's be evil. you can read that in two ways) when he's asleep.
Finally, at about 11am, Rinpoche said, "Okay! I have to go do my sadhana now and that's going to take another two hours so I'm going to leave now."
We staggered out back home to bed. Well, some of us anyway - the rest of us like me got to go to work and get harrassed about Brylcreem advertorials again!
What's really freaky is knowing that while all of us were starting to feel like death on a stick, Rinpoche would be up quite a few hours more doing his sadhana, go to bed for about 3 hours, and then wake up bright and shiny and all ready to repeat as above.
Really, all seems possible with Rinpoche (burning up your friends, never sleeping, and selling sex). You realise very, very quickly that there's just no point in hanging on to hang-ups and expectations and warped ideas about the world because they are going to be totally destroyed when you're with Rinpoche (and if you don't realise that and learn to just relax, you're the only one who suffers!)
Zip. Before you know it, you're in some big, vast, empty, white space and although you don't know what's going to hit you next (or from where), you feel completely happy and still.
So tragic and sad and Incredibly Pissing-Offing.
But I was absolutely determined to buy chocolate-coloured shoes. And when I get determined about shopping, I usually get my way (gee, why can't I seem to get that determination for anything else)
Rachael is just so damn fabulous onthepiano, onherguitar, and singing
... and she has a great band with a totally hot drummer
She was wearing this really bizarre non descript sort of outfit though, which made her look about 50 years older than she actually is. But okay never mind, she is still sublime and fantastic and has this great big messy unbrushed hair.
Since her relationships seem to be so seriously messed up, she should SO start thinking about women instead. Miin and I would so be lesbians just for Rachael. She's just completely cute!
The set was horribly short though because Singaporeans are ANAL and only let her have an hour (Tokyo Ska Orchestra were on after her, and apparently they needed a TON of time to set it up).
AND RACHAEL DIDN'T SING I WANT YOU. I waited the whole damn night for that song. No actually, I waited for months for that song, since I bought the ticket. It is absolutely the best psycho obsessed song EVER in this really I'm-so-in-love-with-you-I-might-quietly-kill-you kind of way.
Anyway, she has this great sense of humour and was totally rude on stage in a way that would have probably got the Singaporean censorship Very Het Up Indeed.
And she sang a song from her new album that authorises Being Obsessed. See, Rachael Yamagata says it's perfectly fine to be obsessive so I'm going to take advice that to heart since I get so easily obssessed about everything and everyone and then worry about being too obsessive.
Afterwards, there was an autograph signing session so Miin and I traipsed along like Brownies to join the Most Enormous Line. It was like every single HDB flat emptied out its teenagers and they ended up at the Esplanade for Rachael's concert and autography.
We came up with the most fantastic elaborate story to try to get ourselves to the front of the line. Something about how we prostrated for days from KL to Singapore just to see Rachael Yamagata, and how we so so so want to buy her some hot chocolate. We'd saved for MONTHS for this because we work a job that only pays us RM80 a month, and we live in a shoebox and support about 15 relatives with our meagre salary. We told each other the story so many times we almost started to believe it.
Anyway, some security people eventually came up and told us that "the artist will be leaving exactly at 10pm." It was 9.45 and we had only moved about 3 feet so we decided to call it quits and go for hot chocolate instead.
Then later we found out that she stayed real late, until she had given an autograph to everyone.
We are such crap stalkers.
We were GUTTED!
Then, we went for some of the worst hawker food I have ever eaten. They charged us S$8 for a plate of broccoli which is just totally wrong, and the carrot cake in Singapore is NOT carrot cake.
After dindin, I said to Miin, "You know, when you eat in Singapore, it's like you get really full but you're totally irritated because the meal tasted like crap." No wonder Singaporeans look so damn unhappy all the time.
Anyway. Weekend well spent. And I didn't buy a single item of clothing that whole weekend! *So Very Proud* (I'm saving the money for when I go in May and have a massive splurge then instead, hah!)
But hey, two days were well enough. By Saturday night, after the concert we were pissing and moaning at each other, "I'm bored now. I want to go home."
When we finally did get home on Sunday, Miin and I were never so happy to see disorganised roads and falling-apart-buildings again.
When you're with Rinpoche, all is possible. It seems perfectly normal to be standing in the middle of the road in the middle of the night when there is nobody else around.
We discovered how Jenny knew every single backlane in KL, so Rinpoche asked her about her seedy other life...
What amazes me most is how Rinpoche looks perfectly natural, like he is exactly where he should be, whether he's standing in the middle of a city or doing prostrations in a the monastery prayer hall.
I love that this photo looks almost WongKarWai-ish! And JP looks like a button mushroom next to Rinpoche.
We'd been talking ealier about the darker side of KL and Chow Kit had come up in the conversation, and Rinpoche wanted to go see. A mystery tour around KL would be much more fun than MacDonalds so we climbed into JP's car and went rounding.
I tell you what. Jenny and JP sure know their way around the teeny, tiny, seedy lorongs. No wonder Jenny's as tough as a gangster.
The whole sex industry thing has always bothered me hugely and it makes me want to cry when I think about people sort of being forced into that kind of thing for a living. I watched a documentary about sex slaves in Romania once, and then read this awful book about slavery in Asia which really affected me and gets me totally depressed.
So it was all a bit weird going around with Rinpoche to see all these parts of KL that I didn't even know about (okay, I know I am a sheltered princess!). I've been trying to see my Dharma work as a way of connecting eventually with all these people in these industries. Or, I can't help them, then at least I might be doing something to help someone going through similar sorts of pain (Miin said to me once when I was feeling shitty about not being able to help people in sex slavery, "What makes you think their pain is any worse or different than others?" which made me realise that I guess you also shouldn't be selective about who you try to help!)
Anyway, it was pretty weird that we were going round the city looking at the thing that bothered me the most. And with Rinpoche too, who has the ability to just Live and Breathe Compassion, no matter where he is or what he's doing. Maybe it was a bit of a lesson for me that I should actually aim to help anyone, anywhere, and not to limit myself??
I tried not to think too much. It was too late to think anyway! In the meantime, it was just super precious to be hanging out with Rinpoche and running around the city on a car that was running out of petrol. I don't think there wasn't a road in KL that we didn't cover after those 2 hours of driving about. Man, I so thought I was sorted with KL roads but I went down a million of them last night that I’ve never known.
After cruising down dodgy streets, Jenny then decided to redeem us all directing us to go look at temples. We all got lost and JP kept going "Peen toh? peen toh? peen toh ah?" while Jenny sat in the back like a human map of KL and told him all the short cuts. She damn well knows the KL like it's her living room.
Susan was falling asleep in the back seat next to me, Jenny looked spaced, and JP had actually stopped talking for awhile. But Rinpoche was just all energy. You will never cease to be amazed at how little he sleeps and just How Charged he is all the time. I wonder if the Buddhas ever take naps?
Dharma discussions from the front seat of JP's car.
He talked to us about all sorts of stuff all night - Dharma, samsara, how to live the two together - and then made me and JP play the pick game (where you HAVE to pick between two really awful things. Doesn’t sound that bad, but it is when you see what kind of things you have to pick between and Rinpoche is damn good at coming up with the worst options).
The thing about the pick game is that you sort of try to be a bit intelligent with your answer, but you always end up sounding like a dork. But okay, you gotta learn to let that go cos the Gurus sure know how to make you give up that ego!
At 4am, we were back at JP’s hotel and started talking about Buddhas. So of course, the next thing we know, we’re all standing in the hotel lobby, checking Rinpoche’s email to see photos of 3feet and 5feet Vajrayoginis. (It is enlightenment all the way, all evening when you’re hanging out with a Rinpoche!)
And then it was time for bed.
At night, I dreamt about an enormous frog. It must have been about one foot wide, long and high. Just bloody horrible. And Rinpoche kept trying to make me touch the frog to get over my fear. Than god in real life, it’s just pick games, running around Bukit Bintang and Jalan Chow Kit tours.
What is it about SP that makes it so much fun to go up and harrass
the hell out of him?!
By about this time, I decided to give up on the shoes and run around barefoot which just made my feet Soot and Tar Black. They were so damn painful I was willing to put up with the blackiness. Can always wash wat.
The Bodhisattva Kennie went around offering free massages which were amaaaaaaazing. (Or maybe it was only because my legs hurt thaaaaaaaaat much). Su Ming’s blissed out orgasmic-back-massage face is evidence enough.
So… Er… He has a long tongue AND massage fingers? What did I tell you about his girlfriend being lucky.
Ooooh, extra big special kisses to Wendy who is officially the brainiest, most organised, wonderful, talented person I have ever known.
She is The real Miss Money Penny. She handled all the money thingies all night and never took a break. Everytime I looked over at poor Wendy she was clattering away on Excel and handling huge piles of cash.
I would have
And there she was sitting in this unruffled, zenness like she was having a picnic.
We of the Vajrayogini Paradise Committee (otherwise known as VPC, otherwise known as the Very Party Committee) did the nice dutiful thing of staying back til everyone left. Such congenial hosts and hostesses we are! JP’s friend who owned the restaurant probably couldn’t wait to see the back of us. He never looked so happy as when it was packing up time.
Then we stood around in the carpark and had little mini celebrations in our head over how well we’d done. We had little group hugs and kept saying thank you to each other round and round in a circle. It was so Hallmark and I think the two ham paos JP and Wendy were going to start crying again (forever crying, those two).
So we diluted the touchyfeelyness with more posey posey pics.
Kennie tried... and failed to make any sort of impression.
We decided to take a group photo by self-timing the camera by balancing it on the spare wheel of JP's car. The first shot made me look fat. JP said, "But you are fat" which SO made me want to cry and stab him in the groin with my stilettos.
We got it right, eventually, with promises from Kennie that he would make sure I look thin (he didn't, but okay, nevermind)
Oh, it's like friendly, cheesey high school photos all over again *sigh*
And then we went home very happy for the 108k we had squashed out of many bank accounts for the sake of Enlightenment, hurray!
So long and good night!!!