Ponyo... by the sea at Cheung Chau
It all began with a visit to the laundry... Close to two months ago, something calamitous occurred to the Ponyo plush I variously call Stress Ponyo (because I bring her to the office on days that I know will be stressful) and Brunhilde (in honor of my German friend who gave it to me) that almost caused me to burst into tears. For after deciding that she was getting on the dirty side, I took her to be washed... only to discover upon collecting my beloved plush on the stipulated day that the laundry had washed her black pupils off!
Horrified, I pointed this out to the folks at the laundry; the owner of which panicked and kept on saying "sei-lah, sei-lah, sei-lah" (die, die, die!), before agreeing to make her a new pair of eyes. Returning to the laundry a few days to collect my cleaned-up plushie, I was delighted to find that her eyes looked pretty good once again.
That same day, my mother -- who was then visiting -- and I went to Cheung Chau for the day. Having picked up Stress Ponyo before heading off to the ferry, she ended up accompanying us on our excursion. For the most part of the day, I kept her safely stored in my backpack.
But as we strolled about in the latter part of the day, I couldn't resist taking her out and taking a photo of her by the sea... only, as the camera clicked, to almost drop her into the water in shock. Because -- as I'm sure the more observant among you will have noticed -- it turns out that the laundry had also managed to wash off her little red circle of a mouth!!!!!!
Rather than return her to the offending establishment for more repair work, however, I turned to my mother to make Stress Ponyo a new mouth. Which she duly did before she returned to Penang. And yes, it is something for which I'm really grateful... although if truth be told, the red thread my mother used has started to unravel a bit already, with the result that sometimes Stress Ponyo looks like it also can these days be called Snakey Ponyo... ;(