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Old 06-25-2009, 09:36 AM   #26
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oh Cors! *hug* Having never been in a situation like this, I cannot offer any advice, only support and a good ear for listening!

I hope you find some way to enjoy the visit.
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Old 06-27-2009, 01:40 AM   #27
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Hi Cors,

You've gotten lots of excellent advice from people who have experiences similar to yours. I hope that you come out of your visit home with pride in yourself for being the best person you know how to be. You've experienced enough of other cultures to know that you won't make some of the same mistakes if you decide to have a family of your own someday. You've learned that size is a matter of opinion and perspective. One person's fat is another person's perfect. You've learned that attraction isn't always physical and that sometimes we love those we wouldn't choose out of a magazine because people are 3 dimensional, not photo's in a magazine. I wish you the best in finding yourself when surrounded by people who feel justified in telling you that you don't know who you are. Our families are the best and worst of us. W/o them we wouldn't be here w/o them we wouldn't be who we are and w/o them we wouldn't have found the need to find something better.

I wish you love and happiness. Not just in your visit but in all the days to come.
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Old 06-27-2009, 02:16 AM   #28
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GD, thank you for the lovely response. Now I can see why Mer adores you so much. Thankfully my good friends are very liberal, Westernised and know how to keep their mouth shut about my weight. It bothers me when they (mostly gay gym bunnies with washboard abs or tiny 80lb girlies) start whining about being too fat, but I can usually let it slide because they don't project their standards onto me. As for family, I am used to being "disrespectful" to them so I don't have any problems telling them to get off my back. They just don't seem to get it and I suppose they never will.

Fascinita, I don't know if it is accurate to call it a child-like state since that is how even middle-aged folk are expected to behave towards an elder. If anything, I am glad that I have always been myself (rare in a culture where any sort of difference is heavily frowned upon and often punished) even though it ended up souring my family ties. I try to delay and shorten visits as much as I can, but I do have other important matters to attend to there and I look forward to meeting my friends (most of them activists and outcasts like me) again. I have always found it mildly amusing how people like my folks tend to divide values into Asian (hardworking, filial, conservative) and Western (hedonistic, liberal, irreverent). Truth be told, I don't actually remember ever identifying with my culture and the values I am supposed to hold - something my parents blame on globalisation. I guess the only reason I miss home occasionally is because of the inimitable food and my friends.

GWARrior, thanks for the well wishes and we don't plan to stay at home much if we can help it. Plenty of theatre, music, random gay events and parties (hopefully no police raids), travelling all over the little island for good food, coffee with my strange friends and oh, SHOE SHOPPING since clothes won't fit.

Qadira, thank you. Hope to see more of you here.
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Old 06-28-2009, 07:34 AM   #29
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Just a quick reply as I think all the good advice has been given, you've got my sympathy, seems a hard situation to win, might just have to survive the time there and know you'll be able to leave soon.

Something that may help is to write yourself a letter, and re-read it to remind yourself that you'll be fine and can survive this and your fine the way you are.

Best I can do, good luck with it all.
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Old 07-05-2009, 08:29 AM   #30
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Update.

One of the first things my parents said was that I have "let myself go". It didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, but it was still upsetting when they poke and pinch at my supposed flab. It annoys me that they like chastising me in Mandarin and Malay in front of my Danish partner when they are usually comfortable with English.

It also turns out that I have greatly underestimated my (almost 30lb) weight gain - I can't fit into ANY of my old clothes here. Not looking forward to shopping, eek. I put my old bought-in-Singapore size L shirt next to my current XXS top and believe it or not, the L is smaller so I am pretty sure I won't be able to shop in most stores.

Other than that, I am not having too much trouble yet. I asked them to steer clear of "fat" comments and they seem compliant if only because they think I am being proactive about "my health". I love fresh fruit and veggies but they are so expensive in London so I don't get as much as I like. They are reasonably cheap here and my mum is more than happy to supply me with as much as I can finish. It is also great that I love exercise in general and would feel lost without - the gyms here are awesome and I miss attending the classes with my gay friends. If anything, it is an excuse to get out and work off all that rage.

It sucks having to leave my partner at home though. He is extremely self-conscious about going anywhere (people here love to stare at anything different) and can't tolerate the humidity so he will probably hide in my room to play Warcraft (we play on the EU servers so the lag here is horrible). He is also shy and hates most foods so I don't want to subject him to my loud friends or drag him along on foodee trips. Oh well.
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Old 07-05-2009, 12:38 PM   #31
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Hang in there, Cors. It will only be a short time. I'm glad your parents aren't giving you too hard of a time, as long as you're eating the fruit and veggies and going to the gym, anyway. I'm sorry about your poor partner being stuck in the room; that sounds pretty miserable for him. Hope you get to enjoy some good food when you're out and about--I'd really love to hear about your Singaporean foodee adventures!
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Old 07-05-2009, 01:34 PM   #32
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Cors, I just wanted to let you know that I am wishing you best of luck with your trip. It's awful to constantly be told you are too ____ [whatever] in this life; to be told you're both too _____ AND too ______ by different cultures must really suck. Not to mention feel weird as hell. I hope you can continue to find the energy for small gestures of affirmation for yourself in the face of everything! They can add up, they really can.
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Old 07-05-2009, 04:29 PM   #33
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Cors, I wear a U.S. size "L", jeans size 10-12. I'm your height (I think -- 5'6") and I weigh at least 50 pounds more than you. I had no problem finding clothing to fit me. I had no trouble at the major department stores, none at Giordano, British India, Banana Republic, Gap... not even any difficulty at the kiosks that sell regional-type clothing. Even my mother, who is a U.S. plus-size 22-24, had no difficulty finding a few nice blouses in the department stores we visited. We loved Isetan, Marks & Spencer, and Parkson. All 3 have plus-size areas. I didn't need to shop there for anything but jeans -- seems that anything over a U.S. size 6 is a "plus size" in Malaysia (and I can understand why, with how tiny most of the population is!). Where is it that you are shopping, and having difficulty with finding clothes to fit?

Oh, and has your partner tried nasi lemak yet? I love that, can't get enough of it, actually (have even learned to make it here). I'm also partial to chicken rice, char siew rice, and satay. These things are probably bland enough for his taste (not too spicy!).

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Update.

One of the first things my parents said was that I have "let myself go". It didn't bother me as much as I thought it would, but it was still upsetting when they poke and pinch at my supposed flab. It annoys me that they like chastising me in Mandarin and Malay in front of my Danish partner when they are usually comfortable with English.

It also turns out that I have greatly underestimated my (almost 30lb) weight gain - I can't fit into ANY of my old clothes here. Not looking forward to shopping, eek. I put my old bought-in-Singapore size L shirt next to my current XXS top and believe it or not, the L is smaller so I am pretty sure I won't be able to shop in most stores.

Other than that, I am not having too much trouble yet. I asked them to steer clear of "fat" comments and they seem compliant if only because they think I am being proactive about "my health". I love fresh fruit and veggies but they are so expensive in London so I don't get as much as I like. They are reasonably cheap here and my mum is more than happy to supply me with as much as I can finish. It is also great that I love exercise in general and would feel lost without - the gyms here are awesome and I miss attending the classes with my gay friends. If anything, it is an excuse to get out and work off all that rage.

It sucks having to leave my partner at home though. He is extremely self-conscious about going anywhere (people here love to stare at anything different) and can't tolerate the humidity so he will probably hide in my room to play Warcraft (we play on the EU servers so the lag here is horrible). He is also shy and hates most foods so I don't want to subject him to my loud friends or drag him along on foodee trips. Oh well.
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Old 07-05-2009, 06:52 PM   #34
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Geektastic1, I will probably start a thread on the Foodee board soon.

Liz, thank you.

TraciJo, I can shop in the plus size sections in bigger departmental stores and at international chains like Marks and Spencer and Topshop. It is just that selection is so limited and there usually isn't much I like there (larger sizes seem to run out so quickly too). I prefer smaller boutiques (shops in Far East Plaza, Bugis, heartland malls) and unfortunately many only have "free size/one size" that fits my 80lb sister perfectly or carry an extra-shrunken version of S/M/L in which case I might squeeze into some Ls. It also has to do with how the tops are cut. I have a large chest (as you know most Asians are rather flat - bra shopping is a complete joke, anything above C is so rare and my size doesn't come close to existing even in M&S chains here) so even XLs end up looking obscene on me. This is not as much of an issue even in XS clothes bought outside of Asia. I wear a 23/00 in jeans and have the stereotypical flat bony ass so thankfully bottoms aren't a problem.

I'm surprised that your mother-in-law could shop in bigger stores. My ex at her lower weights wore a size 16 top, 24+ bottom and we had no success in departmental stores at all, even when it came to tops and she isn't particularly busty either. International chains weren't as common then and most didn't carry a large variety of sizes. She occasionally finds stuff in Mustafa but mostly stuck to menswear, batik dresses or traditional Indian outfits (she is Indian).

From my experience there are definitely more plus sizes in Malaysia (especially Kuala Lumpur - I used to plan shopping trips there) than in Singapore, even when it comes to smaller boutiques and pasar malams. It could be that Singapore is predominantly Chinese, and Chinese people are generally smaller than Malays and Indians. People mock me and openly gawk at my chest because I look all-Chinese, but they seem to be a little more accepting of my size when they find out I have Malay blood.

Oh well, the Great Singapore Sale is ending so I will see if there is anything left at the stores. Hopefully bigger sizes are a little more available now but from what my 120lb sister complains about, it seems that not much has changed.

And oh, my partner hasn't had much since we have been sleeping so much. Just roti prata (he thinks the gravy is too much so he eats it with sugar), thosai and murtabak so far and he is "okay". I have been explaining dishes to him and he is a little more receptive to trying anything with no veggies and isn't too hot so I'll find out soon.

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Old 07-06-2009, 07:10 AM   #35
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Well, that would explain it. I tend to stay out of the boutiques. I have to admit, I seldom shop in Singapore, because the prices end up being more than what I'd pay in the U.S. The currency exchange is more favorable in KL, and I can afford to shop in the more upscale department stores that I avoid like the plague, here. I love clothes shopping in KL. I have a lot of really gorgeous blouses that cost less than $10USD each. I love shoes shopping too -- man, I *really* love that (so many styles, and so, so cheap) -- but can very rarely find cute sandals to fit my honking size 9 feet.

And I know that you're complaining about not being able to find shirts to fit you but .... damn, girl. Would that I could have YOUR problem ;o)

Is your guy really jet-lagged, or is he feeling overwhelmed (or both)?

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Originally Posted by Cors View Post
Geektastic1, I will probably start a thread on the Foodee board soon.

Liz, thank you.

TraciJo, I can shop in the plus size sections in bigger departmental stores and at international chains like Marks and Spencer and Topshop. It is just that selection is so limited and there usually isn't much I like there (larger sizes seem to run out so quickly too). I prefer smaller boutiques (shops in Far East Plaza, Bugis, heartland malls) and unfortunately many only have "free size/one size" that fits my 80lb sister perfectly or carry an extra-shrunken version of S/M/L in which case I might squeeze into some Ls. It also has to do with how the tops are cut. I have a large chest (as you know most Asians are rather flat - bra shopping is a complete joke, anything above C is so rare and my size doesn't come close to existing even in M&S chains here) so even XLs end up looking obscene on me. This is not as much of an issue even in XS clothes bought outside of Asia. I wear a 23/00 in jeans and have the stereotypical flat bony ass so thankfully bottoms aren't a problem.

I'm surprised that your mother-in-law could shop in bigger stores. My ex at her lower weights wore a size 16 top, 24+ bottom and we had no success in departmental stores at all, even when it came to tops and she isn't particularly busty either. International chains weren't as common then and most didn't carry a large variety of sizes. She occasionally finds stuff in Mustafa but mostly stuck to menswear, batik dresses or traditional Indian outfits (she is Indian).

From my experience there are definitely more plus sizes in Malaysia (especially Kuala Lumpur - I used to plan shopping trips there) than in Singapore, even when it comes to smaller boutiques and pasar malams. It could be that Singapore is predominantly Chinese, and Chinese people are generally smaller than Malays and Indians. People mock me and openly gawk at my chest because I look all-Chinese, but they seem to be a little more accepting of my size when they find out I have Malay blood.

Oh well, the Great Singapore Sale is ending so I will see if there is anything left at the stores. Hopefully bigger sizes are a little more available now but from what my 120lb sister complains about, it seems that not much has changed.

And oh, my partner hasn't had much since we have been sleeping so much. Just roti prata (he thinks the gravy is too much so he eats it with sugar), thosai and murtabak so far and he is "okay". I have been explaining dishes to him and he is a little more receptive to trying anything with no veggies and isn't too hot so I'll find out soon.
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Old 07-06-2009, 02:52 PM   #36
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I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. I just wanted to add my message of support and let you know that this is very similar to being picked apart for your weight because you're heavy. So a lot of us DO know what you are going through, though it isn't exactly the same thing.

I hope you do alright with your family and that you are able to weather the storm caused by the dynamic you have with them. We all have to deal with uncomfortable situations from time to time and sometimes just knowing that some of us out there have experienced similar issues helps. I know that you and I are different but if I were in that same situation I would have a difficult time holding my tongue. If you and your partner are able to do that, I admire you. But even if either of you lose it (that's what I would do, TRUST ME), I would admire you just as much!
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Old 07-06-2009, 09:49 PM   #37
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Exclamation oh! my beautiful sweet cors!

clearly you are caught between a rock and a hard place...

where to begin? the vast differential between eastern and western cultures? the necessity for self-preservation? the quest for continuing mental and physical wellness???

to me, the quick and dirty advice is to remove yourself from mental and emotional abuse...

western culture states that the behavior of your parents is mentally and emotionally abusive, which then has the propensity to manifest itself in physical illness...

eastern culture states that ones elders are to be given the utmost respect and reverence whether or not what they profess is right or wrong. thus your parents are right. case closed.

due to the cultural differential, this is most definitely the toughest bit o advice i have ever churned out...

in this instance, i stick with my western approach... remove yourself from the abuse. if you cannot completely cut off contact with your parents, at the very least have extremely limited contact...

it is only within yourself that you can find comfort, happiness, good health and piece of mind...

the big apple has spoken...
::exeunt::

p.s. come to nyc. soon.


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Old 07-09-2009, 04:49 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TraciJo67 View Post
Well, that would explain it. I tend to stay out of the boutiques. I have to admit, I seldom shop in Singapore, because the prices end up being more than what I'd pay in the U.S. The currency exchange is more favorable in KL, and I can afford to shop in the more upscale department stores that I avoid like the plague, here. I love clothes shopping in KL. I have a lot of really gorgeous blouses that cost less than $10USD each. I love shoes shopping too -- man, I *really* love that (so many styles, and so, so cheap) -- but can very rarely find cute sandals to fit my honking size 9 feet.

And I know that you're complaining about not being able to find shirts to fit you but .... damn, girl. Would that I could have YOUR problem ;o)

Is your guy really jet-lagged, or is he feeling overwhelmed (or both)?
I remember you had a reduction and I often dream of small, perky boobs too, evil back pain be gone.

I went shopping for the last two days and found out that most local boutiques here still carry notoriously tiny sizes. I still cannot fit into stretchy "free size" or XL tops at stores like Osmose, to the amusement of my skeptical partner. One particularly tactful salesgirl even told me loudly in front of a crowd that they don't carry my size. Good times. I later found out that even my 5'4", 80lb and flat-chested sister needs a Medium. I do have many friends who wear Small and Extra-Small in those places, but they are mostly under 5 feet so that makes sense. (And oh, it feels good to be tall - 5'9" with heels and I feel like a giant. )

The international chains here carry more bigger sizes than I remember 3 years ago, but there is still a clear difference. Topshop in UK carries size 6 to 20 (US 4 to 16) while Topshop here carries size 2 to 12 (US 00 to 8) with a massive extra-Petite section (27" inseams instead of the regular 32" Petite we are used to), very limited 14s and I even saw one 16. Many of the clothes are also cut differently - far less room at bust, hips and thighs.

Isetan (Wisma Atria), Tangs and Takashimaya have small plus-size sections. Mostly imported brands, in US 6 to 18, occasional 20s and still expensive despite the sale. The salesgirl told me that there are now several low-end plus-size shops that carry much bigger clothing (one in Bedok is called something like XXXXXXXL ). Still so much easier to order from the US webstores.

It is a shame most shoe stores don't carry larger sizes. Many styles also seem to run small and narrow so I often find myself sizing up. I found 10s and 11s in chains like Aldo and Nine West though.

Going to Malaysia for the weekend. Doubt we are going up to KL since we don't have much family there anymore but we will probably get to shop in Kulai. Looking forward to the food too (much better Malay and Indian dishes IMO).

K is feeling better now and still getting used to the humidity. He finally tried chicken rice and likes it, but he can't take the chilli (which is best part for me) which is a shame. So far he is enjoying prata (we have a weird crispy "tissue" version here with condensed milk and sugar), char siew paos, chai tow kway, prawn mee, nasi lemak, mee goreng (both the Indian and Malay versions), peanut pancakes, Milo dino, teh tarik and loves the cheap and good sushi buffets. He doesn't like our hawker center version of Western food, rojak, Hokkien mee, kaya toast, oyster omelettes, chwee kueh, sup kambing, char kway teow, laksa, satay bee hoon, mee siam and absolutely hates durians. Camera is finally found - going to start taking food pics.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Celestial Ceece View Post
I don't know what to say that hasn't already been said. I just wanted to add my message of support and let you know that this is very similar to being picked apart for your weight because you're heavy. So a lot of us DO know what you are going through, though it isn't exactly the same thing.

I hope you do alright with your family and that you are able to weather the storm caused by the dynamic you have with them. We all have to deal with uncomfortable situations from time to time and sometimes just knowing that some of us out there have experienced similar issues helps. I know that you and I are different but if I were in that same situation I would have a difficult time holding my tongue. If you and your partner are able to do that, I admire you. But even if either of you lose it (that's what I would do, TRUST ME), I would admire you just as much!
Thanks Celisa. So far so good but we have been staying out all day. Kisses to you and Eric!

Quote:
Originally Posted by lipmixgirl View Post
clearly you are caught between a rock and a hard place...

where to begin? the vast differential between eastern and western cultures? the necessity for self-preservation? the quest for continuing mental and physical wellness???

to me, the quick and dirty advice is to remove yourself from mental and emotional abuse...

western culture states that the behavior of your parents is mentally and emotionally abusive, which then has the propensity to manifest itself in physical illness...

eastern culture states that ones elders are to be given the utmost respect and reverence whether or not what they profess is right or wrong. thus your parents are right. case closed.

due to the cultural differential, this is most definitely the toughest bit o advice i have ever churned out...

in this instance, i stick with my western approach... remove yourself from the abuse. if you cannot completely cut off contact with your parents, at the very least have extremely limited contact...

it is only within yourself that you can find comfort, happiness, good health and piece of mind...

the big apple has spoken...
::exeunt::

p.s. come to nyc. soon.


Thanks Aris! I would love to go to NYC (sans family of course) and properly explore the US but I don't know when I can. My US Visa is expiring soon too, grrr. Happy to meet you in London though.

Last edited by Cors; 07-09-2009 at 04:51 PM.
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Old 07-10-2009, 09:58 AM   #39
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Sounds like you two are starting to adjust

On a side note: my brother gave me a shirt from Osmose, once (SIL picked it out, clearly). The thing fit, so I'm assuming it was gorrilla-sized And I'm envious of your height advantage over there. I'm a bit over 5'9" barefoot, but hit ~6'2" in boots - it would be hilarious to walk around Singapore in Transmuters
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Old 07-10-2009, 10:37 AM   #40
Cors
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Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!Cors keeps pushing the rep limit!
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Hmm you can probably fit most clothes here then, though they tend to be really short with little room for shoulders that aren't narrow.

I wish I have your kind of height advantage! Then again maybe not since that means my boobs will be at the eye level of most Asian men - they stare enough as it is. I can only imagine the kind of looks you will get. Super tall, all punked up and tattoos showing - with some luck the irritating old folk (the type who won't hesitate to grab you on the street to tell you how tattoos are for gangsters and hookers) will die from the shock.
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Old 07-11-2009, 03:16 PM   #41
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I am sorry you feel this pressure. It is wrong to be ridiculed and insulted for being too thin or too fat. Unfortunately different cultures have different standards and it is impossible to fight narrow and strict mores. The best defense is your sense of self-worth. You allow others to affect you confidence too too much. You must decide whether you love your self and your size. When someone makes a comment, just tell them you appreciate their opinion but you are quite happy with your body. This will make you a great role model for your little sister who must feel even more of an outsider.

Parents are a touchy subject and it depends on if you rely on them for financial support. If you are independent then simply tell your parents that you refuse to discuss weight or body size. If they persist then leave and walk away. Perhaps they will learn that if they want you as an active member of the family then things must change. We can always hope. Allow your boyfriend to express his feelings to them. Since they already disapprove of him then you have nothing to lose.

It all comes down to you. You MUST love yourself and gain confidence. Tell yourself positive affermations everyday. Only then, will others lose their power over you and your self image.

I send you my love and so do many others. Please try to enjoy your visit.
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