Archive for April, 2011

My Double Dose of Chicks On Speed

Earlier this week, which has now probably become last week because its taken me that long to finish writing this, Chicks On Speed were here in Malaysia. They did a ‘Happening Lecture’ on Tuesday night followed by a show on the Wednesday night.

I must admit, before seeing them, I hadn’t listened to much of their music or knew much about them. I think I’d only listened to one of their songs – ‘We Don’t Play Guitars’ maybe seven or eight or nine years ago when it was on one of the Big Day Out compilations. But I’d forgotten it all since then, except the name and remembering that they sang that line a few times during the song. I also got the impression that yes, they were a bit of a ‘hipster’ band (and yes, I know, as I came to find out, they’re a ‘multidisciplinary’ something something).

A week earlier, a friend told me about some fashion and art thing happening somewhere. Those words by themselves didn’t really sound too appealing to me, but I wanted to go if it meant hanging out with my friend. I decided to look into it and found that it was a lecture of sorts by Chicks On Speed. Again, that wasn’t necessarily too appealing as I’d only one heard of their songs almost half my life ago. But as I read through the event description I noticed words like ‘genderqueer’ and ‘feminist’ and ‘creative commons’ and other key words and phrases that appealed to my brain.

If Chicks On Speed are hipsters, at least they’re my kind of hipster.

So obviously, I got really excited and knew for certain that I was going to go to this lecture. I wasn’t sure if I’d actually go to their show, I had doubts over whether I’d enjoy the show, but there were no doubts that I’d enjoy the lecture about this stuff:

Topics of discussion: between the lines of fashion, music & art; the art of lived practice.

A timely discourse through the development of the CoS manifesto: naked vs. nude, misandrist vs. misogynist, fake vs. real, the act vs. the action; the genderqueer world of femanist art; the herstory of the future; DIY Don’t do it yourself but with everybody else.

Objekt Instruments: self made instruments from everyday commodities, a demo and introduction to the high tech world of open source/creative commons and why we came out of the copyleft closet.

I admit some of it sounds like a little bit of bullshit, but that’s ok.

However, at about 10:30pm on Tuesday night when the lecture ended, I realised that the lecture had nothing, nothing at all about… all that cool shit. It was interesting, but not mega ‘this is relevant to my interests’ interesting. The presentation was mostly about the home made instruments – eg. scissors with a contact mic gaffa taped to it, rocks with contacts mics and going through Ableton, playable costumes, their e-shoe – and other performances, sounds, projects, pieces they had done. There was also a section in which they were playing a video but then started making some live noise over the top. Listening to the noise, I thought, if that’s what they’re going to sound like the next night then I’d definitely go.

Baically, the lecture/presentation was about a couple of people attaching contact mics to shit, attaching pick ups to shit, making some ok noises, and doing it all with what seemed like a lot of time, money and resources. There was one sketch of a jumpsuit and scribbled underneath it was ‘political jumpsuit’. There was also a video in which a woman was saying something about ‘hipster’ being good. Something about how ‘hipster’ today is meaningless but ‘used to mean something’, something something about ‘passion’ and ‘hipster used to mean having dirty sex in dirty places’. Oh fuck, I thought if I left the punk scene I could get away from that Crimethinc-esque politics-is-free-sex bullshit.

But it was very very nice of them to let people try out their toys after the talk. Which ended up inspiring one of my friends to get into circuit bending and DIY electronics which in turn has inspired me to have a look into that stuff again and maybe just maybe by the end of next week I’ll have something to show for it.

The second night was gig night. At the ‘lecture happening’ or ‘happening lecture’ the night before we got ourselves on a guest list. We weren’t exactly sure what the guest list meant but we were on it and despite what other people were saying, I was under the impression that guest list meant free entry. If guest list meant free entry it would spare me having to make those hard decisions like: should I pay RM30 for something that I possibly won’t like – but possibly will like. I went along and sure enough we all got in for free.

It was at a fancy club called Bedroom. Bedroom is a shithole.

Reasons why Bedroom is a shithole:

They have stupid slogans such as: ‘sexy is not shy’ and ‘sexy is not leaving’ and ‘sexy is not naughty’.

They have television screens that screen footage of whiteys ‘partying’. It just looks stupid screening such stupid footage to a room of people just sitting down drinking and talking.

The waiter told me that I have to order a drink or… he didn’t actually say anything after that but it was assumed that I had to order a drink or leave the table I was sitting at because he “had paying customers waiting”. I’m there to watch some people make music. Not drink RM30 drinks.

While Chicks On Speed were playing, the seats and tables were left at the front. So people were awkwardly trying to stand/dance at the front but had to stand around awkwardly sized and shaped chairs and tables.

As for Chicks On Speed…

I hate writing about music. I feel like I have to write certain words about certain things but sometimes I just don’t have the words to write about those things [/disclaimer]. On the one hand, I guess Chicks On Speed were fun. They wear colourful costumes and jump around and have heaps of energy. But I guess all the energy got lost before it reached me standing in the middle of the audience but behind an awkward chair. Which is not Chicks On Speed’s fault, it’s Bedroom’s (or maybe mine for not taking the initiative to pick up the chairs and throwing them against the wall). I guess, since I felt a little bit let down from the night before and was still searching for just a little fragment of intellectual stimulus, I was also trying to pay attention to their lyrics and their visuals and trying to figure it all out.

In the end I didn’t quite figure it out at all. Maybe I was expecting too much. Maybe I actually have no idea who Chicks On Speed are and what they’re about. But if I’ve got no idea then maybe I’m not alone? Surely, since they were playing in a city far from their usual cities of residence there’d be many others like me in need of an introduction to Chicks On Speed?

Though, maybe this was the introduction and my brain was just expecting it all to be different.

The Guitarist Tunes Up

Hello, we’re Krisis Halusinasi and we’re really boring to watch.

I must admit, I’ve never really been into the ‘Battle of the Bands’ thing. The idea of bands ‘battling’ never made much sense. I’ve always thought of music as a way for us to express ourselves, communicate with each other and also just as a way to get together and have fun. So I hope that the bands that have been ‘battling’ have still been having fun today and making friends and supporting each other.

As I said, we’re a really boring band to watch so you might want to take the next twenty-five minutes to just close your eyes and get lost in your thoughts. If you need a point for your for your thoughts to begin their wandering, as usual, we think the continuing struggles of people for freedom as a good place to start. In the last week we’ve seen such examples all over the world, from Libya to Syria and, closer to here, in Pahang and Bukit Jalil.

Ok. That’s all.

Two Thursday afternoons ago (31/3/2011), Krisis Halusinasi played as one of the ‘special guest’ bands at a battle of the bands at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak. Although I knew we were going to be playing that show on that day a couple of weeks before I didn’t find out the specifics until after 11am the night before. At first I was reluctant and trying to find the best excuse to say no, I found out that our name was on some banner and we were getting free t-shirts. I wanted a free t-shirt.

I was reluctant to play because doing so would mean skipping my Islamic Historiography lecture again and they actually mark attendance to lectures at UM. But, I guess once you go to some of Mina Roces’s lectures nothing else compares – and I was promised a free t-shirt – so I decided to skip school to play music at someone else’s school.

The free t-shirt was really cool. I think I was just really excited by the fact that someone designed and printed a shirt with my band name on it (and a bunch of other band names too). No one (except) has ever done that before, the only shirts that have been made with my band name on it are ones I made myself back when I was fifteen and playing in my first ‘real’ band. I guess that means that I’m still just as excited about this stuff as I was when I was fifteen.

The show was held in an outdoor area of the university, kind of in the middle of a big food court – there were restaurants and tables/chairs along the borders of the square where all the stuff was happening. If you know UNSW then its kind of comparable to having a show on the library lawn, except there’s no lawn, just tiling, and instead of the area being surrounded by Morvern Brown building and that other building that you can print your academic record at, its surrounded by food.

So there we were, three ‘punks’ straight out of the warehouse, sitting drinking our teh o’ ais (or nescafe o’ ais) super nervous because we’d never played anything like this before and had absolutely no idea what we were getting ourselves into and how we even got into it in the first place. And I think that’s what I liked most about the show. The fact that I’d never ever done anything like that before. The fact we were just playing in some random outdoor area in the middle of a university at 3pm on a Thursday. Just any other normal Thursday afternoon except some people had the awesome idea of setting up some music equipment and asking some bands to play. Space + Equipment + People. Such a simple equation, it doesn’t make sense that most of the time people make it more complicated than it really is.

And playing our music to people that might not ever come to Gudang Noisy any other place where it would be usual for us to play. That was enjoyable. Even if it seemed the number of people standing in front of the stage dropped when we started playing and then increased after we played. It was also just damn cool looking up while I was playing to see a lot of workers in uniform standing up close to watch us. Post-rock for the proletariat!!

It seems that people who do these self-review type things always have to talk about the venue’s sound, so I’ll abide by the etiquette. The sound wasn’t really that good. I’m not sure why, but I was told not to turn the amp up higher than one. But I had it about three, which still probably wasn’t loud enough. Maybe it was because it was in an outdoor space. Honestly, I don’t really care that much, I’m willing to sacrifice on sound to experience playing in that place at that time. Nothing will compare to my love for the ridiculous reverb of Gudang Noisy.

I found out on the weekend that the guy who organised it received eighteen complaints about the show. I assume they’re probably noise complaints of some sort. It makes me a little bit sad to hear about that because I think its such a good idea and having shows in such spaces should take place a lot more often and all over the place. There were eighteen complaints but I assume there would be many many more compliments. Its bad that sometimes the complaints stick out more than the compliments.

I don’t think any video or photos or audio exists of us playing this show but if you want to see what it looked like there’s a video of Shh…Diam! playing. So you can watch that and just imagine it’s Krisis Halusinasi instead.

Kelate trip with Shh…Diam!

Last weekend (April 8-10), I was fortunate enough to tag along on Shh…Diam!‘s mini trip to Kelantan to play a show in Kota Bharu. I got an sms late on the Monday before inviting me to come along to which I replied: “I’ve never been to Kelantan before. But of course I’d like to. Because I’m Luka from API! It sounds scary. Will there be any problems with a kafir travelling around with some Muslim girls? Or is it all just hype?”

Maybe this needs some explanation. The state of Kelantan, up on the far north-east coast, has quite a reputation for being the most religiously conservative part of Malaysia and for most of the time since independence has been ruled by the Pan-Malaysian Islamic Party (PAS) which I guess is pretty self-explanatory. So, it fits nicely with jokes about me being a student at the Academy of Islamic Studies (API). Though at the same time, if recent events in KL are anything to go by, going somewhere with a much more conservative reputation than KL, travelling (i.e. sharing rooms, etc.) with Malay (and, by the Malaysian Constitution, therefore Muslim) girls is not without at least a little bit of worry. Anyway, all that aside, I wanted to try some of this east-coast, unfederated, PAS flavour and if it meant being an accessory to breaking some hukum syariah then it just adds to the sense of adventure.

While the other nine people in the crew had organised to take the train up to Kelantan, tickets had run out by the time it got to me so it was planned for me to take the bus up alone. Usually this wouldn’t be too bad, but it would mean getting to Kota Bharu at about 5am – five hours before everyone else. The thought of spending five hours alone in the early morning in a brand new city I’d never been to before, of people speaking a dialect of a language I barely have a grasp of in any dialect, was really scary. That’s another thing Kelantan has a reputation for – people speaking funny. When I got to KL Sentral to get my ticket from the rest of the crew, it turned out that two of us were too late for the train, so I got a train ticket and the other two had to get a bus. So in the end no one had to be alone and scared!

We got on a train. Stuff happened. We talked loud. We laughed loud. We got confused as to why the train would go all the way to Gemas on the border of Negeri Sembilan and Johor (the southernmost state of Malaysia) before going to Kelantan (the furthest north-east state of Malaysia). Other stuff happened. We slept. We woke up to a train food salesperson walking down the aisle letting everyone know he was selling ‘bayhun gohe’ (bihun goreng). And finally, after about 13 hours or so, we got off the train at Wakaf Bharu.

At Wakaf Bharu we took the obligatory tour photo in front of the train station sign and hung around long enough for a bunch of dudes to come up to one of us, with one of the dudes pulling out some offiicial looking badge for some sort of authority in the manner that meant he was we going to get us in some sort of trouble. The rest of us had no idea what was going on, as we couldn’t see the badge and couldn’t hear what he was saying. Does the Kelantan Syariah Criminal Code Enactment 1993 prescribe a special welcome to new visitors? Turns out it was just some crew from the Jabatan Kesihatan (Health Department) giving out fines for smoking in the open air of a train station. I don’t know what a dude crew from the Health Department were doing at a train station and of all places to get fined for smoking, in a country where its pretty much normal for people to smoke anywhere indoors, an outdoor train station was where it was at.

We then made our way into a town centre of sorts in Wakaf Bharu. Which included walking past a brown cow (to whom, in need of some direction, I asked: “How now?”) and crossing some train tracks, living out fantasies of photo shoots with Godspeed You! Black Emperor but without the photo shoot part nor the Godspeed part. It would have made for some nice post-rock cliché photos though. We did however get a photo of a sign outside a store that said: “Makanan bukan bagi orang Islam” (food not for Muslims), which was kind of an unexpected introduction to Kelantan.

After getting on the bus from Wakaf Bharu into Kota Bharu to meet the other two of the crew who’d apparently spent the last four or so hours at McDonalds waiting for us I got to think about some first impressions of this new place. The government propaganda was a lot more ‘Islamic’ than it is in KL. Whereas in KL it seems more nationalist, with slogans such as “Cintalah bahasa kebangsaan kita” (love our national language), Kelantan government propaganda had slogans such as “Membangun bersama Islam” (Develop with Islam – ?), “Kota Bharu bandar raya Islam” (Islamic city of Kota Bharu), and the slightly ambiguous “Hijau itu Indah” (green is beautiful). Ok, maybe the last one is not actually associated with Islam, but still, I think it is quite ambiguous. Also, the usage of Jawi (the variant of the Arabic script sometimes used to write Malay) was a lot more common than I’ve noticed in other parts of Malaysia. It was also used in writing English and Chinese names of shops. I thought this was pretty hilarious. Some examples were: جوليانا كوليكشن (Juliana Collection) and ناڃرال فاكيجيڠ عين سفليس (Natural Packaging and Supplies) as well as the local تيسكو (Tesco) where you could probably buy a كوكاكولا (Coca-Cola).

I also noticed the difference of just being in a smaller town. In a way Kota Bharu reminded me a little bit of being in some of the smaller towns I’ve visited in northern Thailand like Khon Kaen and Chiang Rai, but its been a while since I actually went to those places so maybe it reminds me what I think they are like rather than what they’re actually are. But even with that possible comparison, Kota Bharu still had an obviously Malay and Muslim feel to it because of the architecture and the masjids and all that stuff. I’ve never noticed them anywhere else, but in Kota Bharu and in other parts of Kelantan I noticed that at the top of their arches that they’ve for some reason erected in parts of their towns is a statue of an open Quran. Maybe its just a Kelantan thing. Anyway, it was a nice change being in a smaller town. It also generally felt a lot cleaner and less grimy than KL.

Some time around here we went to eat and so quickly learnt some basic Baso Kelate (Kelantanese dialect) as we were ordering. I ate a really bad nasi kerabu which was more like a flavourless nasi goreng cina. We then went to the venue – Hotel Rebana – where Shh…Diam! had a quick sound check and we got keys to some rooms in the hotel. I then ended up hiding in the room for a bit where I think I actually watched the all of Piranha 2, part of an episode of Nature, Inc. that was about organic farmers’ associations in the Congo and also had some random old guy walk in and then apologise and walk back out. After that I figured I should probably lock the door.

The venue actually wasn’t what I was expecting. When I heard the name “Hotel Rebana”, I immediately pictured something from my Australian context – alcohol, pool tables and general shitness a la the Lansdowne Hotel. I don’t know why it didn’t occur to me earlier that obviously this sort of ‘hotel’ is not going to exist in Kelantan. So Hotel Rebana turned out to be a hotel, in the sense that the word ‘hotel’ is usually used for places that aren’t Australian pubs, and this one was maybe a little bit nicer than your budget guest house. The room that the gig was in was downstairs at the front of the hotel. I’m not sure what they use this room for on other days and in general it was a bit of a weird place for a show to be held. But a room with a PA is a room with a PA and this room shouldn’t be any more or less weird than a shop lot in Ampang or a warehouse in Sydney’s Inner West.

So after hiding in the room until I was getting restless I went downstairs with the crew, mainly because they wanted to go eat somewhere and that sounded like a good idea. I think most of us were still a little bit scared of all the new faces staring at us and probably also because over ninety-five per cent of those new and staring faces were dudes’ staring faces. It was interesting though that of all the women at the show, most of them had some important part to play. Of maybe less than twenty women there, many were in bands, some were on merch tables or at the door, the ‘stage manager’ was a woman, as was the MC.

The first band I actually stepped inside to watch were Mad Monster’s Attack who are one of those metalcore bands mixing it up with dance/electronic beats and synths in that way that Attack! Attack! are famous for. It was kind of awesome standing at the back and watching so many people actually dancing to music. Of course there was still the macho level which generally comes with the whole metalcore thing, but its down with much more style and rhythm than your standard mosh. I like to think of it as some sort of mosh/krump crossover.

I also stuck around for the next band who were from Terengganu and did the whole metalcore thing and had one of those metalcore style names. I think Dead Eyes Glow was their name. Just close your eyes and imagine a metalcore band that you’ve seen before. Its probably close enough to what I saw on Saturday.

After metalcore band was… Shh…Diam! (ess-haytch-haytch-dot-dot-dot-dee-eye-ay-em-exclamation-mark) who were just really really fun. If you’ve ever seen them anywhere you probably know already how fun it can be dancing and bouncing around with a whole bunch of people while they play their songs. I actually got to experience it for the first time on my fourth or fifth day in Malaysia when they turned up to play acoustic for a hot and sweaty Pustaka Semesta. Anyway, that’s all common knowledge in the public domain. What I really want to write about it the amazingly high level a lot of the dancing during their set rates on the ‘homoerotic scale’. Now I’m not talking about dudes hugging each other in sweaty mosh bro-ship and the homoerotic undertones. No, no. I’m talking about dudes gyrating and grinding dangdut seksi style up close against each other! I even got pushed up against the wall at one point while dancing with some guy. At first I was totally surprised by it, but then… “eh, fuck yeah!”. I must admit, I was not expecting this in Kelantan. Maybe with all this action going on the Kelantan equilibrium had to be sorted out and so at one point during the set, Shh…Diam! actually stopped for a couple of minutes because of azan.

After Shh…Diam!, Subculture played. Krisis Halusinasi actually played with them a couple of weeks ago at Universiti Tun Abdul Razak. Before I knew who they were, I heard someone describe them as ‘old-man punk rock’. Well, they are ‘old men’ playing some form of ‘punk rock’ in that Green Day (old and new) kind of style and they cover Blink 182, Rancid and Green Day, so I guess its pretty ‘old man punk rock’ enough. While they were fun to dance and sing along too, it was quite disappointing, especially after Shh…Diam! had just exploded the place in dancing chaos, to hear them address the audience every time as abe-abe (brothers).

During Subculture’s set I went back outside where I somehow started talking to a few guys. Somehow I asked if my band could come and play a show here up in Kota Bharu and told them about my band, it was discovered that one of the guys I was talking to plays in a post-rock band up in Kelantan called Givenpath (and now, after looking them up on the net, I find out they actually played on Saturday as well but I missed them!). We talked about possibly doing a show together up in Kelantan later in the year some time, maybe June or July. I asked about shows in general up in Kelantan and was told that shows don’t happen very often, as its hard to do shows in Kelantan – which the person I was talking to attributed to PAS government. Maybe the sparseness of shows was a reason behind why there were so many people at the show. I was also told that your general ‘punk’ is more accepted here rather than other associated genres like post-rock.

I would have loved to have stayed longer to talk more about music and life under a PAS government up in the north-east but the crew were all going off to dinner and shisha and so I decided to follow. On the way we drove past the football stadium while a lot of people were leaving and we found out that Kelantan beat Felda United six-nil. I don’t usually go to soccer games but I’d go to a Kelantan game. I hear Kelantan fans are to soccer as Collingwood fans are to AFL – except with more riots.

At the restaurant I played invisible soccer with one of the kids of the owner and then got the usual interview from the rest of the family – Where are you from? How old are you? How long have you been in Malaysia? What do you study? What is your religion?, etc. etc. and thankfully I had a local friend of a friend there to help translate any of the Baso Kelate I couldn’t pick up on.

Sleep time!

The next morning we had to get up really early to get our bus at 9.00am or 9.30am, I can’t remember, but I do remember that the bus ended up coming at least half an hour late. We had breakfast in this dark little restaurant that kind of creeped me out when we first went in because it was quite full and everyone except maybe one customer and two workers were men. Men who stare at people like us. But that was ok because I got to eat some real nasi kerabu, none of that fake nasi kerabu that I had the day before. While waiting, Farah and I went off and explored some of the nearby bakeries. There were many kedai kek dan roti in that little area near the bus stop. Does Kelantan like cake? In one of the bakeries we somehow managed to buy a large plastic bag full of assorted cakes and buns and donuts for two ringgit (they were cooked the day before). For bus-time eating party, of course.

The bus-time back down the east coast back to KL was nice. I think everything – all the kampungs, the hills, the trees – just looks a little bit nicer when its wet and covered in grey.

And back home, while Shh…Diam! seem to have collected many more Facebook ‘friends’ I have gained one extra ‘friend’ who hasn’t said anything other than ask me if I have a Leftover Crack, Choking Victim or Star Fucking Hipsters shirt because he would like to buy it off me. Why?

(I’ll add some photos soon, maybe).

MGMT at the Horse Stadium

You know the best thing about the 60’s?
They’d never heard of “Classic Rock.”

TISM, Garbage.

A couple of Fridays ago I was sitting in the food court at KL Sentral, kind of on my way back home from visiting Batu Caves with Stono Caves (for non-Malay/Indonesian speakers, google translate “batu” to get full effect), though since the food court at KL Sentral isn’t really on my route home from there, I’m not sure if I was actually going home or not. Anyway, I got a text from my friend saying she had two free complimentary tickets to the MGMT concert that night.

I’ve never actually listened to MGMT except for that Kids song. And maybe even then it was only in the form of a few different dubstep remixes or when it was sampled in some hip hop song that I saw one morning when I was sitting in bed watching Video Hits or whatever the Channel 10 music video on a Sunday morning is called. Or maybe it was the Channel 9 one. I’m not sure, all I know, is that I don’t do that often enough – lie in bed and watch Video Hits, but I can’t do that where I am now anyway so its not worth thinking about. So anyway, even if I had heard it or not, I had a general idea of how one MGMT song sounded. I figured if that one song can be generalised to a full set of music then it shouldn’t be too bad and maybe even interesting.

That, plus the fact that many of my friends were going and apparently it was seen to be quite an important event on the KL hipster – albeit a much more tame ‘mainstream’ hipster – calendar so how could I say no to free tickets to that?

Turns out I was really wrong about the ability to generalise that one song to a whole set of music. It isn’t a representative sample at all. None of the rest of their songs sound anything like it. The rest of their songs are in this sort of ‘sixties’ style, kind of like Jet but with more synths and ‘psychadelic’ bullshit – so I guess MGMT is the Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds to Jet’s Eleanor Rigby or Let it Be or some shit. I don’t know, its been a long time since I’ve actually listened to the Beatles so i’m not really qualified to make such analogies but I think you know what I mean.

I just find it really hard to tolerate the ‘sixties’ thing in 2011. Whether it be MGMT, Jet, Wolfmother, or whoever else does that shit. Though of course this feeling isn’t only toward these bands doing ‘sixties’ stuff. Another example is punk bands doing it too. Punk bands doing the ’77 sound or the ’80s hardcore sound or the ‘Japanese d-beat’ sound or the ‘Scandinavian crust’ sound or ‘take your pick from whatever decade or wave or sub-genre that’s been done a million times before already’ sound. As one of my fellow comrades in intolerance said when I talked to him about this “I feel as if we’re regressing and that makes me little sad”.

So after a few songs, I just sat down and went back to cleaning my eyes.

New Number New Blog


New blog.

For older angsty blog that may or may not get used again:
Molotov Hearts

For new angsty blog that hopefully will get used again:
It’s this one.

I don’t have much of a purpose for this blog except for an excuse to practise translating my brain into words, to feel like I’m not missing out on adding to the accumulation of shit on the internets and so I get noticed by the editors of Shock & Awe zine and get invited to write something for them.

Luka Kita is the name of a song by the Indonesian anarcho-punk band Marjinal. In Malay/Indonesian, Luka Kita would mean something like “Our wounds” or “Our pain”. A main lyric of the song is “Tunjukkan bahwa kita semua bersaudara / luka mereka luka kita semua” which (according to Google Translate – I can’t be bothered doing my own translation) translates to something like “Show that we are all brothers (sic) / their wounds are hurt us all”. I guess you get the general idea.

But, Luka is also my name, sort of. My (Italian) name is Luca, but I don’t think my Australian friends knew that there is no ‘k’ in the Italian alphabet when they started writing my name as ‘Luka’ – which I kind of like because it gives the name this Italian/Australian/Malay hybrid kind of feel. So Luka Kita can also mean “Our Luca”. As in, a Luca that is shared by all of us, or as in the parental lament: “What are we going to do about our Luca?”

I’m twenty-one tomorrow. So, new number, new blog.