I remember the day I drew this tree, a bunch of them were in full bloom in the park. A child stood under one, arranging a posy from fallen blooms carpeting the ground. Tree and child were outlined against the evening light. She was laughing. Adults took pictures with their smartphones.

The all-knowing Internet just told me this cherry blossom of the tropics is the Tecoma tree, tabebuia rosea. I love the Bahasa name for it: pokok kertas tisu, or tissue paper tree.

I have a perfect childhood memory of making flowers out of pink and white tissue paper, secured with wire in the middle. Not the special craft tissue paper that people do Pinterest tutorials with these days, just ordinary blow-your-nose stuff.

I never knew about this tree until a couple of years ago, but every time I see them I feel intensely happy and nostalgic. Yes, they are beautiful, but I think that memory of tissue paper craft flowers also has something to do with it.


Antid Oto – italian for antidote – was one of Leon Trotsky‘s earliest pen names. I also love the Malay word for it: penawar. A few months ago, I started taking regular walks and making drawings afterwards as a way to deal with worry, procrastination, hopelessness, writer’s block, internet rage, and digital distraction. I’ll post a series of them here, one every other day, for as long as I keep making them.