daily

Pandun-dun-dun

The other day I decided to bake a pandan cake because I had too much pandan leaves. Also I hadn’t baked in a long time and thought I would challenge myself? I followed the recipe, popped the batter into the oven and within half an hour my apartment smelt like heaven, the cake was rising nicely with imperfect cracks when I peeked through the oven door. The cake was browning nicely, it looked like what a fluffy butter cake should and it smelt like I owned a Kaya factory. The oven beeped and I was super excited to dig into it, but found the patience to let it cool for 10 minutes as instructed. Alas, my heart sunk when I cut into a nice shade of green but under-baked insides. This is exactly what it feels like when you swipe someone who looks so gorgeous on Tinder but after 1 coffee date you realise how ugly he is on the inside. I panicked, scoured the internet to find a fix for under-baked cake cores, but nothing could fix the damage.

So yeah, I had to lay in bed the rest of the night with the whole apartment smelling like Kaya, and a reminder that I now had a cake which I can’t offer to anyone no matter how good it tasted because it looks like the reproduction of a nonya kueh and an albino butter cake. Woes.

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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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daily, ponderings

One step forward

Week 4, still no internet.

It’s insane how our lives depend so much on being connected with things and information on the other side of a screen.

I’ve decided to start taking some pictures this weekend, and go around to have a waltz.

The weather has been incredibly erratic. Think sunshine one moment, and then sudden hail for the next few minutes, before snow starts falling, then sunshine again. There was only that much I could do.

I attended a yoga class which was held in Deutsch. Honestly it felt awful not knowing what was coming up next and having to peek at the instructor each time. Then I decided to go check out some stores since I was in the shopping district. Ended up being terribly let down by what seems to be the worst Muji/Uniqlo store I’ve ever visited in my life. LOL.

The flea at Boxhagener Platz was completely different this weekend, which turned out to be a nice surprise. For 2 weekends I’ve checked out the same flea market and it’s always second hand stuff and furniture etc. That Saturday happened to be fresh produce, food, flowers, coffee and pastries! I went home lugging a huge cherry crumble in hand and had a good cup of coffee.

Yes, coffee. Me, the non coffee drinker has started taking in the kind of caffeine that I rejected in the past. I don’t really know why, though tea will always be #1 in my heart. I guess, I was just tired all the time, and needed an extra punch at work, also my favourite houjicha/matcha/chai tea lattes aren’t as easy to find around here. The lack of an internet means I need to go to cafes to leech on their wifi like I am doing now, and the only thing to drink is really coffee… or sugar filled Apfelsaft and overpriced smoothies that taste inferior to the ones I make.

Sunday I headed out to Lichtenberg to find this legendary Vietnamese Warehouse place I’ve heard so much about. From what I read, it sounded like a Vietnamese equivalent of Mustafa, the type of place that you spend hours in and can find everything and anything. But alas, nothing can beat the magnificence which is Mustafa and their cable tied plastic bags. No doubt this Dong Xuan Centre place was impressive, on a large scale they had most things you can’t find in Europe easy. Cheap material Asian products and produce, wholesale nail polish and everything else made in china, really. The environment was pretty cool, it brought me back to the Ben Than Market in Saigon. The air smelt like toxic nail polish, hoi sin sauce and the smell of where Asian fashion went to die in the year of 1999.

For once I didn’t feel like i was the only short person in a sea of towering Germans, so that was kind of nice. Although, I didn’t manage to find everything on my to-buy list, just because so many things were mad overpriced. Maybe this is just the cost of rare things on the other side of the world, but 3 euros for a sift and 1.20 euros for a chinese soup spoon?! I cannot justify. I ended up purchasing the sift either way because I’ve been searching for weeks and can no longer be fucked about that no more. Things were also not as easy to find when a store sells the most random combination of things under the sun. It’s basically a clusterfuck. At least at Mustafa everything is under one roof, one store and no matter how many new wings/buildings they expand, the staff always always knows where to find what you’re looking for — even if it’s for a small strand of saffron. After 2 hours I gave up looking for things and ordered a mountain of fried noodles, chomped down half till i could eat no more, and packed the rest back. Portions are massive here, have I mentioned that? How does one eat that much in one sitting…

Anyway, it’s been a relatively nice weekend even though the sun-hail-sun-rain weather’s being a bitch. I’m already counting down till company arrives!

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daily, ponderings

Berlin

The past months have flown by almost too quickly.

The multiple visits to the embassy,
The late nights I’ve clocked sitting in front of the laptop with bloodshot eyes reading about processes and paperwork,
The tiring hours I clock on the road, driving people up and down,
The fatigue of packing things into boxes and multiple trips to the storage unit,
The countless times I had to pack and repack my luggage,
The number of times I had to say goodbye,
The pain of having to let the people I love go,
The amount of tears I had shed in the days leading up to my departure.

And i’m finally here, yet still unresolved. Still unable to settle in because months of research doesn’t help make getting paperwork processed any faster.
Knowing that the weeks to come will be just as stressful as moving my life halfway across the world. Knowing that I’m still not able to kick back and relax until everything is sorted out.

The excitement still hasn’t hit me because I was/am so busy figuring shit out. Flying 6,000 miles across the globe felt more hollow than anything. I read letters from friends and loved ones, looked at pictures; all the things that I can only stare at but can’t have.I didn’t ever imagine it to be so difficult to say goodbye. Who knew leaving the place I grew up in and grew to detest was so hard?

The journey to Germany was rough, I almost couldn’t get on the connecting flight in Doha. My luggage was misconnected. I re-wore what I could, and tried not to stay cold. The first day was even rougher. Arriving here, at my ~dream city~, yet still no sense of excitement.

I’ve had people yell at me when asking questions. I avoid eye contact with people I pass in the streets, on the train, because I’m bummed. I’ve had impatience and passive aggressive shit waved in my face. I block out everything with music blasting in my ears and tweedle my thumbs. Still having no luggage, desperately wishing there was a way to fix this shit.

Helplessness.
Helplessness is what you feel when you move somewhere new.
Not excitement, helplessness.

That evening I got my luggage back, with no thanks to any of the 10 phone calls that I had made. At this point I feel a little better, but the helplessness doesn’t go away. The only thing making my day a little better are the little visits to the supermarket; I stare at the cheese and chocolate selection and it’s enough.

The fatigue, the jetlag, the odd growling from your stomach, the lack of appetite because your brain can’t tell why you’re trying to eat dinner at midnight when it’s really 7pm on this side of the world. When you don’t know where to go and you’re too exhausted to do anything but stay in bed. When you fall into this space of pessimism and you’re not sure what your purpose is here anymore. But it’s only day 1 after all – it’s 24 hours that feel like 48. And then I get reminded that it’s only day 1. Staying eternally grateful for the people who keep me sane with words of encouragement.

It’s day 02 today and I visited a flea market. Stood in the crowd and felt overwhelmed, had some incredible tasting vegan gyros and fresh OJ, watched quirky musicians play in Mauerpark. Met a colleague for coffee and was shown around her neighbourhood. Being a little bit more warmed up, it didn’t feel so empty inside anymore. Next up’s prepping myself for first day of work upon my third day of arrival; Helplessness departs, nervousness arrives.

Things will probably slowly look up, guess I just have to be patient. Perhaps take more trips to the supermarket to gawk at the selection of fresh produce that we don’t get back in Singapore.

Whoever told you chasing your dreams was easy must have merely climbed up a flight of stairs to plant a flag with their face on it.

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Uncategorized

Another year, dusted.

It’s been a while since I wrote in this space.
Today’s the first day of 2017, I also found my resolutions for 2016.


What I want for 2016. 

I want to be someone great; great at doing something I’m passionate about. I want to climb mountains, to be driven by what makes me excited. I want to depend on myself even more to find happiness, and not rely on the existence of other beings. I do not want consistent small talks, or more temporary people in my coexisting transient life. I want to know what it means to live each day as if it were its last and not say pointless things for the sake of others thinking that I grasp the concept of something that I actually don’t. I want to eliminate all sorts of pretentious behavior done for the sake of garnering attention to feel better about myself.

Resolutions:
Wake up early, sleep early

Work out 3-5 times a week
Eat cleaner. Snack less
Drink only on the weekends
Don’t cave to peer pressure and don’t be a people pleaser


Looking back, it feels like 2016 has been a fruitful year; one that I found a balance, one where I fulfilled the most number of resolutions ever (out of all the years of making pointless lists), one where I’m actually happy and grateful for everything I have. And yet, I proceed to seek change, challenges; goals that I’ve been chasing for the past 3 years.

2017 will be a new start, a shift, a time of adjustments. It’s surreal, it really is. It feels almost a little silly dropping everything I have here in a time of content, but if we don’t take the chances that come along, then aren’t we just conforming to being comfortable in one space forever? I’m excited for what’s to come in the coming months, but I’m also terrified.

Here I sit, thinking of resolutions and it seems like there is none. I’m truly happy with where I am. And it frightens me to think that if things are going too well for too long, bad ones will turn up eventually. Truth/Paranoia?

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ponderings

Science of sleep.

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The speed that time passes baffles me. March has arrived and I’m still nowhere closer to being where I really want to be. Distractions, distractions, distractions. They say if you enjoy what you’re doing, it isn’t time wasted at all. Little do we know that “they” are always wrong. ‘They’ are the masses; the majority of human race who determines what society should be. ‘They’ are the people who never do anything out of the norm because there is apparently a “right” way to live. ‘They’ conform, ‘They’ adapt. ‘They’ mimic, ‘They’ don’t understand difference. ‘They’ shouldn’t be the basis of how life should work. ‘They’ are exactly the beings I never want to be.

I’ve had many sleepless nights of late, the dark rings under my eyes could almost be #000000. Almost very tempted to pop a tab of valium in order to fall into absolute REM and a state of linger. But I worry I may not get back up. Addictions, these toxic addictions to little boosters that help enhance our quality of life. Who knew that we would ever need to depend on life hacks that are really cheat sheets.

Tonight, my eyelids fail me. They’re heavy like wet feathers, yet my mind is actively racing with 101 thoughts. I could go on and on, on and on. Limbo within a limbo in the sea of my mind.

But I shouldn’t. Buenas noches, una vez más.

 

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Slack.

It feels like I’m off focus lately. With all this free time on my hand, I’d expect to be a little bit more productive but all that’s happened is me being stuck in a creative fix. The list making continues, and I know exactly what I need to do. Getting there just isn’t the easiest with all this mess of works that are in my hard-drive. It almost felt like I was in a labyrinth of my old works, looking at it made me feel sick and tired of how things get nowhere once I lose motivation.

I have no plan, will this whole dream of mine even work out? Because if it doesn’t, I only have myself to blame for not putting in enough effort. Everything is a stagnant piece of shit, and the continuation of this hibernating mode is driving me up the wall.Don’t tell me I’m being too hard on myself because all that’s in my head lately is visions of climbing mountains, jumping off cliffs and running freely into the wild. If I don’t control my mind, I might just throw everything away for nothing. The fact that I know how easily that can happen frightens me to no end.

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