Friday, December 09, 2011

One Day.
Just watched 'One Day'.. and I feel so sad.
I don't think it was the love story behind it.. but every scene of Edinburgh, the university, Arthur's Seat and the view from up there, Princes Street made me remember how beautiful Edinburgh is and made me realize how much I've fallen in love with the city.
I don't know what it is about the city I love. I mean.. I hate the weather. And I was glad to come back because I missed everyone so much. But I just love it. Crossing South Bridge and peering over at Cowgate and wondering about how this multi-tiered city works. Sipping that rich hot chocolate at Chocolate Soup on wintry days, wintry nights.. Those cobbled pavements. Those buildings darkened with soot from the industrial age. The gloomy sky. Jogging around Arthur's seat. The beautiful swan lake. The gorgeous view from Calton's Hill. The windy secret paths that you somehow chance upon and never find again.
I thought 4 years in one city.. and I'll have had enough of it. But.. it's only been slightly more than a year and I keep thinking about it. I think.. Edinburgh will always have a special place in my heart.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Sitting by the Singapore River, gazing at the Merlion, thinking how peaceful this scene was.
Then, decided to turn on the radio and a cheerful song came on, changing my mood completely...

Amazing what background music does to a still image.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011

Just finished up some work and feeling kinda lazy to sleep...

What's on my mind now?
1. It's nice to be up alone on a rainy night. I never get this kind of peaceful times anymore. Not since a long time ago in Edinburgh with my Sushi takeaway in my cold cold room. Just me and my duvet.

2. I want to do something. It could be an exercise thing - going for yoga classes or dance classes (I think I'd like the idea of a dance class though I can't really dance) or kickboxing or whatever. But I don't think I'll be very motivated. Or it could be a learning thing - like learning Bahasa or Italian. If it's useful enough, I might push myself to do it. Or it could be a happy music thing - I want to go get me some scores and start building my dreams of being a freelance pianist. I'm not a great pianist but maybe if I master enough cheesy music, people might pay me a little to play that odd piece. What a wonderful thing it would be. Maybe it's not the cash that entices me. Maybe it's the feeling of being able to perform again. I'm not sure. It would be lovely if I could retire and live on playing the piano. I wouldn't mind playing the same pieces over and over again. Because I know for me, everytime I play... it's a different piece. Maybe I should get a new piano...

3. Old and boring. You leave the fun school no-responsibility life. And things happen throughout your life, the experiences add up, they scare you, they make you wary, and you become a cautious boring person, so afraid of doing things wrong you don't do anything at all. I feel that I'm becoming a boring person. Feel like you're not at liberty to do embarrassing things anymore. Feel like 'youth' is no longer an excuse for doing stupid things. Feel like the whole world is judging... because you're a responsible working adult now.

Wow. So much on my mind. No wonder I'm still awake.

Friday, October 14, 2011

I've always been fascinated by India and China ever since a lecture I've had in Edinburgh.Can't remember who it was, or which module it was for. But it was an interesting paper.

Two emerging countries, huge in land mass and population. Usually conflated in discussions. Usually known for its low labour costs, and its burgeoning potential. But so different. In terms of development, of strengths. The question that the lecture inspired in me was: Why is India not as prominent in the global scene as China?

People talk of China as the next rising superpower, of its competition to US. But not India.
India has its strengths. Its people. Its English proficiency. Its amazing IT sector. Its British colonial legacy making it less hard (arguably, compared to China) to work with the West. But.. no, it's China people talk about. Why?

Saw this article on the Economist: Chasing the Dragon, which reinforced this thought. That China is advancing much more rapidly. Is it because China had a headstart? But isn't it begging the question? Why did China have a headstart? Is it the workings of one man (Deng Xiao Ping?)? Will India ever catch up?

This figure shows how far behind India is based on some criteria of development.

PS Just wondering if the title 'Chasing the Dragon' is coincidental, or if it has an intentional allusion to the practice of inhaling opium (very Chinese!). Hm.

Sunday, September 18, 2011

Mm.. I should not try to have unhappy posts.
Think about it this way...

By turning to this blog only as a way of venting my frustrations, I will end up documenting all my sad or angry moments, while the happy moments turn to dust.
I don't want to look back and see a backlog of sad posts.

Perhaps I could write down my frustrations in temporary documents, and jot down my happy moments on a more permanent platform. Then one day... when I'm old, I can read my memories.. with the sad ones faded to an illegible blur and the happy ones etched forever :)

Stay optimistic! Think happy thoughts!

Sunday, September 11, 2011

There was a period when I was obsessed with taking photos.
I wanted to capture everything in my life,  because I had a poor memory, and because there were so many beautiful memories I wanted to capture before they fade away.

And then... I'm not sure when... I stopped.
It might be when professional photography became the norm. And my silly photos - blurry, low resolution, with a hand cut off and a leg missing, with no concept of composition or colour or lighting, just a simple photo to trigger my memory - my silly photos just became quite inadequate.
It might be when things got a lot tougher... when there weren't quite so many beautiful memories I needed to capture... when in fact there are so many memories I wish I could delete.

It feels kinda sad. But I don't know why. It's just... not the same anymore.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Reading all the lovely food posts (or more like, salivating at the pictures) on Nurul's blog :)
You can read it too here:

She told me about how she was going to do a picture a day.. to mark her year. And I wanted to do it too. Sort of a visual memory to my year. Because time flies. And memories fade. But somehow I didn't get into the habit and I haven't had a single picture yet. Maybe I'm a procrastinator :) Maybe I should just collect a picture a week of something that has inspired me that week. And by the end of a year, I'll have 52 pictures of inspiring moments... Hmm... I really want something to keep track of the time.. Wouldn't want to realise 5 years down the road that I have no clue what I did in the past 5 years... That will be one scary moment o.0

Friday, June 17, 2011

On Hangover II,
Roger Ebert noted that much of the film "plays like an anti-travelogue paid for by a rival tourist destination—Singapore, maybe.
Wall Street Journal Article, James Hookway
One Night in Bangkok Can Lead to Quite a Hangover for Thailand

Libel? Lol.

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

 But it is an attribute of the Internet to activate in me, and maybe in all its users, a persistent sense of deferred expectancy, as if that thing that I might be looking for, that I couldn’t name but would know if I saw, were at every moment a finger tap away. 
Sven Birkerts

That explains the hours of staring at a digital screen, waiting for that moment of enlightenment.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

There’s so many things that pop up in my head once in a while. Things that I want to share. Or just things that I want to jot down so when I have a bit of free time I could refer back and think about them. And then... when I actually get down to a word processor, they flee. Those thoughts...

Haven’t been able to focus lately...

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Reading something on Asian-Americans on New York Magazine...
I think one line sums it up: 
It is a part of the bitter undercurrent of Asian-American life that meritocracy comes to an abrupt end after graduation.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Giving presentations...
Tell yourself you're the expert in what you're presenting
That you know your material best

*Crosses fingers*

Sunday, April 10, 2011

Thinking back...
Why is it that everyone only remembers all your bads but forget all your goods?
We live in an unforgiving world.
Wonder why I go home sometimes.

Sunday, April 03, 2011

It's so hard to live up to expectations.
Why do we all set expectations for the people around us?

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Stepped out and felt the cool breeze on my face and suddenly, everything was all right.
The breeze was only as fresh as city air could ever be, and the surroundings as tranquil as a motor road could ever be. But somehow, that made everything that went wrong go right again.

How strange.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Sometimes there are thoughts that I want to pen down...
But I'm in the midst of eating, or talking, or walking, or working, or playing, and I think: I'll just pen it down later.

Then, it's times like this that I stare at the screen and wonder: What was it?

Monday, March 21, 2011

I don't like to send emails
Cos they make you sound angsty even when you're not.
And when you're truly feeling angsty... It just makes things worse.

I wish I had never embarked on the project.

Sunday, March 20, 2011

Been feeling really fat.

At Zouk. All those scantily-clad, skinny girls. There were so many of them. Heavily made-up with heels to kill. Where did they all come from?

At the cheerleading competition today. All those girls with abs. Felt kinda surreal. Surely normal girls don't have muscles like that.

Really feel like doing something about my fats. Ugh.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

Trying to get myself away from Facebook so I won't say anything I regret. But this is a really trying time for me. I want to scream out to everyone but we live in a world where complaining isn't allowed. I just wish I could sleep. I'm so tired. I really am.

Monday, February 28, 2011

D&D was a blast!
Norman's a cool geek.
Jialin's a part-time goth make-up artist.
Lionel's a closet crazy dancer.
Shivya's an emo 'part of the Addam's family'.
And Shirley is a wacky merlion.

None of it made sense, but that's what so awesome about it. Hur hur.

Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Met a fortune-teller today.

He told me
That I was a happy person.
That I like new things.
That I have no stamina.
That I was going to get married at twenty...five
(although I have many choices)
That I have many skills and many interests so I need to focus on developing just one.
That my thoughts tend to wander...
(That I have too many thoughts)
And I just really need to focus

Focus, focus, focus.

Tuesday, February 08, 2011

"It's today!" said Piglet.
"My favorite day," said Pooh.

(Taken from here)

Sunday, January 23, 2011

I really like reading abt the latest studies...

Reading abt how since bored drivers are 1.5 times as likely to get into an accident as engaged drivers, researchers suggest making roads more challenging to 'increase driver's focus'
Reading abt how those who walk faster were 90% more likely to live at least 10 years more.

Aren't research findings pretty incredible sometimes?
89.7% of peoPle in the US describe their diet as healthy. Close to two-thirds of Americans are overweight or obese.

Taken from Time mag, 17 Jan issue, pg 9.

(I should really do something abt my referencing methods)
To quote Richard Stengal in the 24th Jan issue of Newsweek,
"Mere advocacy" of any doctrine, however violent, does not violate the First Amendment. And that makes sense. Words don't kill people; guns do. In an open and free society, we don't police speech, but we do police those who violate the law by committing violent acts.

Hm seems to make sense, but doesn't seem to be an accurate portrayal of the US.

Friday, January 21, 2011

Back to the Spain trip with the girls...
So.. Spain is populated with architectural legacies by Gaudi. I think this might be Casa Battlo but I honestly can't remember. It's been half a year ago...
But I know this is the Sagrada Familia (although a pretty ugly picture of it)
The next day, we went to Plaza Catalunya to catch the hop-on bus, which was a walking distance away from our accom! This time, we walked in the right direction (with the help of the map).
And... I thought it was interesting that people were all playing chess there. Sort of reminiscent of the Singapore Ah Peks playing Chinese Chess at random stone tables at the parks. Sort of.
Didn't manage to capture ANY nice photos of Mont Juic. Mainly cos my camera has terrible zooming function. And cos I refused to stand up on the hop-on bus being comfortably seated. Very, I might add. And cos there were a million other tourists standing up in front of me and blocking my view. I had quite a sharp photo but someone's blue-and-white striped SLEEVE was in it. But the view was gorgeous from up there, and unlike the last time I went, we didn't have to walk all the way down after taking the funicular up. I think we went to Port Olimpic after that - but I'm not about to bet on it.
It was unbelieavably gorgeous. And my camera REALLY doesn't do it credit. It does help that the rain stopped. But here goes: The unfortunate red thing at the side is the bus. Yes I took ALL my pictures from the bus. Lazy me.
We went to Barri Gotic after but I only have like one picture of it. It was like walking into the past, the narrow cobbled pavements, the archaic sculptures... and yes the rain made it rather atmospheric. Does the arch not remind you of the Bridge of Sighs at Cambridge?
I despair of ever finishing my trip in Spain, but since this day in Barcelona has ended. I will end my post.

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Haven't been sleeping well.
Waking up at weird times and just feeling really tired when I wake up.

Plus, I had this horrifying dream that
I accidentally killed my sis, and everyone was chasing me. And I had to escape via a window. Full of running and adrenaline. Hiding at the corners, trying not to be spotted, paranoid that someone's gonna suddenly pop up and catch me. And I bumped into a friend who asked me to join in a game. And I had to pretend I wasn't running away from something, while looking over my shoulders to make sure my pursuers haven't caught up.

I was glad when I woke up. It was a dream with an overwhelming sense of doom, the feeling that everything is going wrong, and is going to get worse, and the whole world.. the whole wide world is crashing down on you.. the feeling that nothing is ever going to be right again. And that maybe it's easier if you just let yourself get caught, face whatever punishment and get it over with.

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Fear no more the heat o' the sun,

 Nor the furious winter's rages;
 Thou thy worldly task hast done,
 Home art gone, and ta'en thy wages;
 Golden lads and girls all must,
 As chimney-sweepers, come to dust.

 Fear no more the frown o' the great;
 Thou art past the tyrant's stroke:
 Care no more to clothe and eat;
 To thee the reed is as the oak:
 The sceptre, learning, physic, must
 All follow this, and come to dust.

 Fear no more the lightning-flash,
 Nor the all-dreaded thunder-stone;
 Fear not slander, censure rash;
 Thou hast finished joy and moan;
 All lovers young, all lovers must
 Consign to thee, and come to dust.

         No exorciser harm thee!
         Nor no witchcraft charm thee!
         Ghost unlaid forbear thee!
         Nothing ill come near thee!
         Quiet consummation have;
         And renown├ęd be thy grave!

- William Shakespeare

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

My mood varies with the weather.
It's so much easier to feel happy when the sun is shining down on you, and everything is a bright cheerful yellow, and the water glistens, and the leaves of the tree gleams green, and everyone's not obscured by umbrellas and shadows, and you can actually look up from your feet without raindrops in your eyes to look at the world around you :)

Monday, January 17, 2011

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

It's a new year!
New year. New hopes. New resolutions. New dreams. New desires. New life. Fresh thoughts. New beginning. Clean slate. Bright ideas.

The new year came
And somehow it doesn't feel any different.

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Loves going to work at 9.15am.
Cos I get to see this troop of little kids skipping happily along the road, hand in hand, always in pairs, but seldom a congruent pair. Sometimes a bouncy little kid eager to run ahead, slowed down by his partner timid, frightened, reluctant to push on..
Truly the most adorable bunch.