ponderings, weekly

May in a nutshell.

May has been rather exciting, but it has also drained me completely. Work has been just a constant stare at a computer screen for long hours and #SadDeskLunches, and I don’t think I’ve ever looked forward to weekends so religiously. So, May Day here was quite an eye-opening experience. Back home it’s just a holiday but here, it’s a… holiday, but also a party, a riot, a demonstration, a celebration. Pinch also lives in the most strategic location for sight-seeing heh! Mark also arrived in the same week and we went out to get some grub, checked out some exhibitions and went on many little movie dates and festival screenings. There were lots of cool events and exhibitions taking place lately since the weather is starting to warm up, so I guess life is so much better lately! My internet connection has also FINALLY come through, after a month of waiting. I guess it’s safe to say i’m more or less settled in, phew!

Last week I had a tiny housewarming get-together, whipped up a storm in the kitchen and then ordered some pizza. Mark has been going around making connections with people in the hood, it’s rather awkward he fist bumps random strangers lol! Also went on a double date with Weeleng & Shalen to Teufelsberg! Since i’ve moved here I’ve spent the bulk of my time in the central/east areas, it’s so rare that I check out the West side, so it was really nice. Also super refreshing to take a hike and be surrounded by nature instead of facing the grunge of the city everyday. I was slightly disappointed that despite Teufelsberg being an abandoned spy station, it has since become commercialized. While I didn’t mind paying the entry fee to contribute to the upkeep of the place, I had expectations that a trip and hike out to Teufelsberg was going to be a more authentic Urbexing experience. Either way it was still a very impressive space filled with art and cool architecture.

The gloom has also slowly started to go away and people have begun sitting around canals and out in the parks. Time is sure flying, and things are moving forward nicely, I’m just a little dreadful that time may be flying by too fast. But hey, things are good and I can’t complain. There was a special screening of 7 letters held by the Singapore Embassy just days ago, it brought back a huge sense of nostalgia even though I’ve only just relocated. I was wondering inside how the people who haven’t gone home in forever must feel. Some days I still think about it, and I don’t know if I miss home. Maybe I do, maybe I don’t. But i’ll let time tell. Till then, taking things a step at a time.

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travel, weekly

もちもち、もしもし!

Japan was swell! 14 days went by way too quickly. Great food, long train rides, bento sets, conversations about life over Moscow Mules & 巨峰酒, zazen experience, indigestions & temple stays.

What I don’t miss is the freezing temperatures and the sniffles. Missing the flight home turned out to be a good thing because I had time to chill and do nothing. Guess t’was a fun trip but now my bank account says no. Constantly.

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weekly

Idle x Ideas

This week has been filled with peaks and dips. Well, if it ain’t the yo-yo theory keeping me in a repetitive hell-hole. Today I was on the verge of having a mini heat stroke in my own home, slipped in the toilet, and splashed mango juice all over myself after a shower.

No, not my day.

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Uncategorized, weekly

Grown ups

It was Jill’s birthday on Thursday and a group of us came together after 5 years for some cake, cocktails and hurrah. It’s so nice seeing familiar faces every now and then, having conversations about how life has passed us by and how we’ve all grown. I had set work goals in the beginning of the week but somehow spent more time staring at the wonders of Mother Nature and having affairs with my creative hobbies instead. The self-help section of the book store is where I should spend more time at, maybe I’ll learn a thing or two about motivation.

Meanwhile, unemployment is no joke and it comes with a lot of discipline. This comfortable “vacation” bubble that I’m in may prove to be slightly self-damaging. Last night I returned home at 5am, took a shower and plopped into bed with half a tub of chocolate ice cream in hand. At the bottom of the tub, I was darn happy like a kid and slept like a baby. Although, moments like these make me feel glad that as an independent adult I can make my own responsible choices, such as having beer for lunch and eating ice cream before bed. If this is adulthood, keep it coming because I may be doing it right.

 

 

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weekly

Fhuat up.

Spending Lunar New Year has always been a chore, and while last year’s absence in Singapore made me feel somewhat lonely, I might just have gotten used to a non-traditional Chinese New Year after all. I can’t recall how much more alcohol I’ve been consuming lately. Need to set a reminder to myself to know when enough is enough. Nevertheless, it’s been real eventful and starting this week I’m going to be more focused. I almost forgot how empowering it is to wake up early and start my day at 7am. If it weren’t for the new trainers that I bought, nothing else would have motivated me to get up and go running.

 

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weekly

Wind down

It’s been a while since my weekend was this eventful. Mostly it consists of personal space but I may have maxed out socialising credits over the past two days. A last minute decision to Laneway was, well, bleak. After 2 years of missing Laneway, I thought perhaps going for this year’s would be interesting, especially with Beach House performing. Somehow I spent more time looking for people in the crowds than actually enjoying the music. By the time Beach House went on stage, I made a decision to just walk into the crowd alone and stand there by myself in the middle to watch them. I do not have patience for negative people and drama that doesn’t involve me anymore. Luckily I found and stuck with another group of super funny folks for the rest of the night. Wandering off to buy a cup of Sailor Jerry’s wasn’t a bad idea after all.

H also came to visit for the weekend and I had one of the nicer tour-guiding days. Usually I’m just exhausted and walking way too much, but today was chill. Exhibitions, watching the rain and picking favourite skyscrapers from Chinatown’s rooftop carpark, chakra drinks at Going Om. I even tried that weird hoverboard thing in the middle of Haji Lane with the ever-friendly fellas who work there.

There was a photography exhibition today at Gillman that showcased many photos from India, Nepal and Burma. Identifying which city each photo was taken made me realise how much I’ve missed India. I pulled out my India/Nepal notebook from my stash of travel journals. Re-reading journal entries, my little pages of Hindi/Nepali/Spanish, seeing the spread of book, movie and Bollywood movie recommendations, seeing sketches that I drew while commuting – memories flood back like I was just there. But it’s been over a year.  Those journal entries, they’ve done nothing but reveal how laid-back my mind was then. I was so chill, so nonchalant. My mind hasn’t had the luxury of freedom since I came home. Agendas, to do lists, they fill up my head like a never-ending checklist.

How I miss that feeling, the liberation of having a completely clear mind. How I miss having space in my head to remind myself to be conscious about each bite that I take from my meals. How I miss morning sun salutation sessions on the rooftop of Vinod’s guesthouse with the Catalonian boys. How I miss greeting the lady in the cake cafe in Nepalese before morning yoga class in Rishikesh. How I missed walking around barefoot, feeling the earth in between my toes and having grey all over the underside of my foot where there should be the colour of skin. How I missed the sound of anklets jingling as girls walked around. How I miss the familiarity of discomfort that became comfort in time to come, the comfort of making a grungy hole become a temporary home, watching time pass through the dripping wax of candles at the edge of my bed, weaving macrame bracelets while squashed up with local women in the front of buses. Perhaps some places are not meant to get over, and India is definitely one of those places in the world.

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Currently : ♫ Rainbow Trout – Matt Kivel ♫

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ponderings, travel, weekly

2016 in Taiwan

I’ve had one of the most unexpected New Year’s ever. This would mark the third year that I haven’t spent back home. Couldn’t fight the feeling of being jaded so I booked an impromptu flight and within 24 hours I was on my way to Taiwan.

Out of all the impulsive decisions I’ve made in 2015, this might have been the best one. My first trip to Taiwan could not have been more perfect. It all started with an unplanned journey into the unknown, crossing paths with the most amazing people yet spending sufficient alone time to get some well needed personal space. It was almost as if everything that has happened on this trip seemed to have been planned from the beginning, just that I didn’t know it yet. How everything fell into place nicely, how I was hosted by this awesome Taiwanese girl I found from Couchsurfing, how I went from no plans on New Year’s eve till one that just happened 2 hours before countdown, how I explored so much and realised that a city is actually capable of making me feel so happy.

There couldn’t have been a better way to spend new year’s. Sure, there was no crazy party, or familiar conversations with friends. In fact I was surrounded by expats and foreigners in an asian country, with nobody cheering or hugging each other as the clock strikes midnight, with more views of people’s mobile phones than seeing the actual fireworks from the Taipei 101. There were no perfect moments that were worth remembering, I took my first piss of the year hiding behind a tree by the river because the porta-loos were in high demand. But despite the lack of perfect moments, this was sufficient. It was more than anything I had ever expected to usher in the new year. I pictured myself bored, alone and in bed watching TV and eating a tub of ice cream. But no, I’m so lucky and so thankful to have been at the right place at the right time.

 

I’ve always believed that a good start to the year determines how the following 12 months would unfold.  This year in particular I have a good feeling. I’ve been more motivated to get my shit together, I’m kicking off bad habits and attempting to pick up better ones. My positive vibes are tingling and I’m just mentally lifted knowing that 2015 is finally finally over.

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