Wednesday, April 02, 2008

Mis Dias con Omar

It's high, high time I blogged about my four days hosting Omar Feliciano, Mexican blogger, translator of East Asian poetry, and marica extraordinaire:

That's him in Little India, the first place he wanted to go in Singapore. He's been studying in Japan for the last two years on a literary scholarship he got while living with his ex-Indian-Canadian boyfriend in Brazil (I know, after a while the nationalities stop making sense).

He loves Japanese literature but not always the boys (wasabi breath pooh-pooh, he tells me), and he's terribly, terribly missed the kind of openness and intimacy that the gayboys express on the Mexican subways. So he was terribly happy to see how the dykes hold hands here with impunity. He'd also missed spicy food, terribly. And he's pesco-vegetarian, which meant that Komala's was perfect for him.

We spent his first day walking around the city, taking in odd sights:

And me photographing him on occasion. He resisted bringing a camera himself because of something Roland Barthes once wrote. (Why yes, those are statues of Sun Yat-Sen, Churchill and Lincoln.)

It's a testament to our relative levels of cynicism that his response to everything was "impresionante!" (impressive) whereas mine was "De verdad?" (oh reeeeally?). Yup; I was talking in Spanish almost constantly; broken, belaboured Spanish which somehow felt as much of a mother tongue as Mandarin.

And then I had a party at my house:

And we were a party of sexy intellectuals, artists, activists, capoeiristas and fabulous people of all persuasions. Filmmakers, video artists, directors, poets, dentists, employees of the MDA.

Lots of food, lots of fun, lots of great conversation. I think I'm a rather good salonneuse. I must find an excuse to have another such gathering.

We also later gave a capoeira demonstration in the garden, which Omar hella appreciated. (I accidentally vengativa-ed Cegonha in the groin.)

Did I mention it was officially held to celebrate my Conception Day? That's nine months before my birthday. My parents were away, so they didn't have to get embarrassed by my advertisement of the fact that they actually had/have a sex life.

I persuaded my friend Terry to look at my closet and tell me what T-shirts I should and shouldn't wear. These are the ones he okayed. (Had to take a photo, or else how to remember?)

On the weekend we went to Memories at Bukit Chandu. Omar's very interested in this whole Occupation stuff - he wants to do a tour of the whole Greater Asia Co-Prosperity Sphere.

Leftenan Adnan is my homey.

Look, they installed a diorama on the ceiling and a mirror on the floor!

Attached was a Chinese ink painting that a guy did from memory of his whole family being bayonetted to death. I think he was 10 at the time. The receptionist told us that the Japanese schoolchildren get very freaked out when they come here on field trips.

Got treetop walk next door! WILD CINNAMON.

Then we went to Haw Par Villa, which is excellent now they've taken away the Chinese moralism. In fact, you're now free to be as disrespectful as you like towards these cultural objects.

Ah think Lady White Snake and Green Snake are a little turned awn!!!

Omar at the Gates of Hell!

Omar INSIDE Hell! (It has a surprisingly good ventilation system.)

And I think I've found twoo wuv!!! And boobies.

And for Sunday dinner, I took him to Lau Pa Sat for oat prawns and sting ray.

Even got him to eat durian ice kacang, which he liked. :)

We saw Dim Sum Dollies at the Esplanade (which he loved, especially the Kamikaze Karaoke scene, 'cos he could understand the Japanese bits) and then I showed him Merlion Park:

This Japanese couple when asked him for a photo. He surprised them by saying A-OK in Nihongo.

Then a final night of conversation with poet Alvin Pang at Holland Vee.

I'd previously secured him conversations with Yong Shu Hoong, Cyril Wong and Alfian Sa'at. This was because he'd expressed interest in translating Singapore poetry, and I wanted him to know what our scene was like.

Crazy shot:

And BFF.

He's moved back to Mexico now (was coming to the end of his scholarship days in Tokyo), and though I shouldn't confirm it yet, he might be translating last boy into espanol and publishing it in Mexico. !Que padre! if it happens. If not, siga la vida.

If you want the story of how I got to know Omar, click here. And if you read Spanish and you want his much much more poetic account of the visit, click here.

1 comment:

alvin said...

he's such a fun muchacho.

love love love that crazy shot of ours!