Aside

I had a nightmare earlier.

It was about my family.

I’m positively scared of the day it happens.

On a side note, I’m bothered by an overly-concerned colleague.

That dude needs to chill with all the texts.

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Reflection!

I had a very interesting catch up with 2 friends from my past. They’ve made me realise how my perspective had changed over the last 10 years.

Coincidentally, both of them found me on facebook (urg social media).

Both of them reminded me of a different me from my childhood/ teenage days.

Friend A: I met her in secondary school. She was a junior that lived near me and we hung out often because of our common interest of sports. She was living with her Dad then and did not have any one take care of her daily meals. Being a senior, I felt compelled to help even though I was only 2 years older …

“I still remember that time you came to my house to cook cabbage and dried shrimp for me to eat. haha.” she texted me.

Wow. Now that she shared it, I totally remember trying to cook up a storm at her place with my horrible cooking skills. I wanted to make sure that she was able to have some home-cooked food. Friend A is doing pretty well now, studying and travelling. Something I’ll never imagine her doing and I’m really happy for her.

Friend B: I met her in primary school. She was only in my class for a year and had to transfer to another class due to her falling grades. I had fun doing athletics with her because she was a really good runner and had a very kind outlook. We went to the same secondary school but she dropped out in the third or forth year because she got pregnant. Her beautiful child is 10 years old now.

“.. I’m selling XX Canadian coffee now.. do you mind to give a little support?”

Whoa. That was the start of an awkward exchange of messages. Yes. I did give a little support in the end but I totally didn’t feel comfortable. But knowing she’s trying very hard to support her child and making a living, I just helped. It just felt different.

Both ‘reunions’ made me recall that I used to be a courageous individual that would go all out to help a friend in need. It seems like after leaving school, I haven’t exactly opened my heart to any friend fully. I question my friends’ moves most of the time. I might have portrayed myself a neutral party in most situations, choosing to sit out of conflicts.

I just realised I haven’t lived as what my teenage self would want me to. I wondered. Is that really what growing up means?

Reflect!

Reflect!

Updating…

New obsession

I’m typing this in the dark. I should be in bed but I thought I should update.

New camera.

I’ve been playing with my new toy for a few weeks.

Nikon FM10. 35-70mm lens. Black & White Fujifilm Neopan 400.

I suck at learning cameras but I think I have a pretty good grasp of capturing pretty angles and subjects’ emotions. Sent my first roll of colour film for processing. Hope it turns out decent.

I’ve been very reliant on my DSLR’s auto-focus and sharp aperture settings.

I hope I’ll do good for the manual SLR too.

Metal teething.

I’m currently deciding on getting braces (ortho) after a long struggle with my protruding upper arch. Compared to other cases of bad teeth, mine seems like a  case of vainpot wanting to fulfill a childhood dream of getting aligned teeth. That’s what I was told by friends recently. Thinking back, I didn’t really wanted braces in my teens. The teeth issues probably surfaced when I started working and having enough money for my material needs. Why should I hold back if I have the financial ability? I’m just a little jittery that the dentist wants to pull out more teeth from me. i probably have less than 30 now! Dentures might be cheaper next time!

Growing Social.

After being in isolation and pretending to be emo for a period of time, I’ve come out of my zombie mode to hang out with friends again.

Had quite a few drinking sessions and caught up with my friends’ lives.

Started being critical of other people.

And becoming really conscious of staying sober when with guys.

Whipping out my Nikon to capture cute moments.

I can safely say I’m on the safe side of drinking.

Though the last session was a little too much on my pocket and some hands were everywhere.

The past still bothers me once in a blue moon but I’m very sure I’m over those days. 2 years and counting. I’m still hiding but not afraid anymore.

Office politics.

My boss had just tendered his resignation. I’m really happy for him. He deserves that major government offer that he has just gotten.

I’m not sure when I’m getting off. Maybe soon. I’ve sort of planned my route. I do want to work overseas in the coming year. It might be a little tough when the braces are fixed.

I’m feeling rather happy these days. 🙂

Tribute to my iPod Touch

Goodbye!

 

You came to me one day when Alex decided to get an iPhone.

And we’ve not looked back.

You were there when I was all alone travelling.

You were there when I was crying myself to sleep.

You were there when I was prepping for big days.

You held my secrets and thoughts.

You held my family’s photos and memories.

Thank you for being a trusty companion in darkest and best days.

I haven’t thought of finding a replacement and having no music on the train kills me.

I hate listening to the world in the morning.

I blame my carelessness. I hope the person who finds you enjoys my music.

It isn’t easy maintaining playlists for years.

I lost my trusty iPod Touch on a recent island trip. I was listening to it on the ferry back to Mersing (Malaysia), enjoying the sea breeze. I’m bummed and I’m punishing myself by not rushing to buy a new one. Grieving, literally.

Comforted to Comfort

‘Comforted to Comfort’ was a lesson I’ve learnt from a fellow colleague in my current job. I had the chance to interview her last year on why she took on the job of a medical social worker in our hospital. She recalled having been consoled by many when she lost a love one during her teenage years and was inspired to become a person who can provide comfort for others in times of adversity.

I was really inspired by what she shared. I wondered if I would be suited to have a job like that.

I googled the phrase earlier and came across this page on yahoo. Although I am not a Christian by religion, I am touched spiritually by what was said.

When I first found out about the passing of my friend’s Dad, the phrase came to mind. I believe the best I could do in this period of grief would be a source of comfort for my friend. I believe her late Dad would want me to do that too. He was a kind and generous gentleman who helped anyone, even little animals. His heart of gold resulted in 9 cats and many other pets at home.

Uncle’s final wake was held today. I was there throughout and it hit me really hard when the coffin was pushed into the furnace for cremation. I pray that he will be happy in the next realm with all the love from everyone. Even the press featured his accomplishments back in the good old days.

It is going to be tough for the family in the days to come. I hope I’ll be able to be there for my friend. Having gotten comfort from others during my tough times, I hope to be a source of comfort for her now.

 

Goodbye Uncle Koh.

I just saw my best friend’s post on her FB:

Dad has gone to a better place today….

I teared just reading the line.

Prior to this, I was distancing myself from her because of a petty squabble. I’m regretting not being there for her during this period of distress. Being complacent because I knew her Dad was in good hands at the hospital.

Her Dad was a great man who gave his all to his family. A Dad that I wished I had too. An uncle who allowed me to play with his daughter in his office 10 years ago and entertained us given his old age.

I’m at a loss and I have no idea how to comfort my friend except to text my condolences and request that she let me help for the funeral if possible. I pray that she is holding up well with the support of her husband and family.

 

Thank you Uncle Koh. I will always remember your loving kindness. 

Dear Europe, maybe next time.

I was on NY Times browsing for editorials when I came across an old article The 46 Places to Go in 2013. There were plenty of impressive images posted in the piece and I got interested in only a handful mentioned. It is weird to read that my country is also on the list. Not sure if I should be proud because my city clearly is more concrete than jungle. I have been traveling around Asia for the last few years and I just can’t get enough of them and Europe has not been on my list of to-go even though I have many friends who have visited and marveled at the cultures.

Incredible negative responses from natives

Parisian cats. Ah.

“Job crisis, money crisis.. blah” My ideal place to get married or have my honeymoon was Paris. Even if I were to head to Europe one day, I’ll skip the city and reserve it for the day. It will be great if my guy is a Paris ‘virgin’ too. I have read up on the multiple locations for beautiful aerial views of Paris’ landmarks and I am sure it will be great. But then… the French/ European rommies that I have met on the road have discouraged me on doing that. They would share that the French can’t wait to get out of the country and loads of negative stuff that is happening around. In fact, a few of them are constantly on the road in Asia and not returning home. These are the people who had lived in France their whole lives and only made it out after college. It puzzles me. I always miss Singapore whenever I travel for more than a week. My Mum’s dishes, the hawker fare (Gordon Ramsey just had a cooking challenge with our local cooks!) and high speed broadband. I recently got to know an Italian college girl in Nepal. She was the epitome of Italian food because every meal of hers consists of pasta and olive oil. I ROFL when she used olive oil to lubricate a creaking door hinge! She’s pretty, lively and the type of executive any boss would like but she has trouble getting an office job in Italy because she only has a bachelors degree(?!). I feel so bad right now. I should just go on and take up an MBA or be really grateful to my boss for giving me the job. So… the responses from fellow travelers about their home countries were not so favourable but not big enough to turn me off. *I just googled ‘Paris suburbs’ and most of the images were of strikes and smoke bombs. WTH?

5000 years of history

Fortifications of Xi`an: Never try scaling and walking it after a big chinese breakfast

Chinese history = 5000 years ++. I visited China for a three-city backpack and fell in love with the land of dragons. To add on, I had the best guides ever in friends who grew up there. The hospitality and warmth I have experienced was indescribable. As a Chinese, I always felt out of place for my poorly spoken mandarin. But in China, I was proud to demonstrate what I had learnt in Chinese classes, amusing some of the locals with my accent and sentences which was peppered with English. I am narcissistic to a certain degree and when a group of people love me, I love them back even more. China is a place I will love to live in, if given the opportunity. They have everything! I just love how rich in history the land is. Add in the neighbours India, Nepal, Sri Lanka and nearby SEA countries, I will never have time for Europe! I totally forgot about my favourite South Korea and its hermit kingdom bro! And awesome Thai massages.. list goes on.

Innate stubbornness

Just because many of my friends have toured Europe doesn’t mean I have to do it too. I would gladly take on Africa or North and South America any day. My finances aren’t that bad. Plus my Mum’s in a spending funk right now so I think I’ve gotten a potential sponsor. (Ha!) Having stubbornly denied Europe, I would still love to visit Paris and explore the Nordic region. It seems like rumours are true, the best looking people are the Scandinavians. (Ha! x 3) I’ve only met a few of them and I think all Caucasians look the same to me. Maybe a visit will prove me wrong.

What’s next

I am in the midst of planning a coastline railway tour of Vietnam in August/September, starting my journey from Hanoi. The tour will include the coastal cities of either Hue or Danang, and end at Ho Chi Minh City. I am buying my tickets ASAP. I saw this Royal Enfield bike tour available in Hanoi and I am totally psyched!

We shall see. Dear Europe, maybe next time.

WOAH!