National Service

June 12, 2013 1 comment

So many of my friends are enlisting into the compulsory national service that my country enforces when our men turn 18. I used to think about how I would take it if I were born male, and I’ve been realising that I would be madder about it for every year that I grow older.

I’m not sure if it is because I’m realising that I’m actually not going live forever, that there is limited time for me to accomplish what I want, that I always have valued my freedom above everything else and I am just discovering that it is more important to me than I thought it was.

That said I don’t know how my male friends are doing it – I mean take their enlistment in their stride while staying cheerful and open – they seem like willing lambs to the slaughter, although that’s a comparison stretched a little beyond what is reasonable.

One of my friends currently serving in the army reposted a story of a mother telling her daughter to thank a soldier for his service to the nation. When the little girl did as she was told, the soldier told her he was serving another nation’s army and was only in the states for training. In response, the little girl thanked him for serving his country. My friend’s sentiment was that would never happen in a country like Singapore, where national service is compulsory and we seem to take these men who give up two whole years of their lives for granted, for a regime that on some level keeps us safe.

To my friends going into national service: all the best, and may it turn out much better than expected. May it be a soul-expanding experience, may your bodies grow strong and your minds even more so. I could never take what you are about to do with as much grace as you are, so godspeed, and see you when you’re civillians again. (:

I’m a new person

March 10, 2013 Leave a comment

Coming back here and reading everything I’ve written after 5-6 months of inactivity, I’ve gone through so many changes as a person. I’ve realised that the one person I thought was meant for me is no longer someone I want in my life. I’ve gotten closer to choosing what is right for me instead of what I really want to do. I’m not there yet, but I’m definitely closer.

I’m discovering my identity as a Singaporean and an international citizen of this earth. What it’s like to pick up and immerse myself in new cultures, how much better a relationship can be if the person you’re dating is simply more.

I’ve discovered what complete freedom and the ability to choose to do anything in this world (well, almost) as a person, as a woman, as a 21 year old is, and learning what facing the stark consequences for my actions feels like. I am grateful to have had that. I know what it is like to be away from my family, and what it is like to be back with them after changing so much as a person. They still drive me crazy.

I don’t see a viable ending for this post made out of lists, and one thing I’ve learnt is that there’s no point wasting time on a pursuit that has lost it’s quality, even though the rest of the world says quitters are losers. When you’re smart about it, you spend time on things that make you happy instead.

Never regret. Make plans, go out as often as you can. Have fun. Dream big. Work hardest for only what you love. Make difficult decisions. Always remember that the life you have been given may not be the one that is best for you. Move. Explore. Settle somewhere else. You may be so much happier. Happier than you ever imagined your life could be, even when you’re not in a relationship with the partner of your dreams. Happy just to exist. Happy to explore the infinite, lovely possibilities of your new life. Stop simply existing. It’s not okay to exist. It’s miserable. Change up your life. Ask yourself: am I exhilaratingly happy? No? Move. Plan to move. Do it. Always remember to love.

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October 25, 2012 Leave a comment

Today I was at work when I suddenly felt a jolt of pure positive, hopeful energy. Like I was going to the college where I could do the degree of my dreams. Like it was definitely going to happen and I had absolutely no doubt and it was wonderful. I can’t help hoping it stays this way because in the past whenever I felt like this about anything it kinda did happen.

I was talking to a friend about the Ngee Ann Gold Medal…and it seemed so far away, like a distant dream. But without it I am discontent, I can’t imagine what I’m going to do. But loads of people do it. They keep walking with their crushed dreams in their hands and they make things work.

But I hold the hope in my chest, if it takes seed and blossoms in my life I will weep and weep and weep with happiness and disbelief and gratefulness and I won’t care if there will be too many people watching me.

It just takes so much faith to apply for colleges now without a scholarship. God, give me a sign that the hope I felt today wasn’t the coffee speaking.

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October 14, 2012 Leave a comment

I can’t believe this but I am living the dream

I can’t believe myself but I believe I have done the impossible against all judgement, norms and whatever scraps of self I used to think I had…

I am human, and normal, like the other girls after all. It’s fascinating seeing my preconceived self slip through the gaps between my fingers like sand but remain satisfied with what is left behind for me to clutch in the palm of my hand.

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Something between the lines of “open” and “letter”

September 12, 2012 Leave a comment

There is a simple joy (for the lack of a more elegant, accurate term, for the sense of it is so intangible and indescribable that the word “simple” simply does not communicate the sensation) in a less than stark white piece of paper filled up with marks lovingly arranged like an army of black ants in precious formation, their leader so full of intent and thought.

It probably is the mellowest slivers of joy that things like these bring: letters have always been a hassle to receive and keep when written by well meaning friends and associates who deem it compulsory, or in line with tradition to trade notes, with pre-rehearsed lines and niceties lined out for a graduation, or a birthday, and usually less than eloquently. But something so intentionally produced and thought about (and its contents so much of what has been both explicitly and less conspicuously displayed in real life so that I already know before the letter told me, other than one other delightful gold nugget of expression), together with the curious creases left behind by something so standard, borne out of a ream of printing paper elevates the joy of holding such a simple creation into heights I never thought I would know. There has not been a friend this precious in such a long time, not for a long time someone who’s gravity (stolen word there) I am honoured to roll around in as if the air was the fabric of space and she were a planet. There is a beauty in how ridiculously ridiculous our peoples are, it is not a pecularity of personality dynamics within a friendship, but it’s really more transcendent that I am unsure of how to describe it.

Every once in a lifetime I suppose there is one person who makes a difference. We all meet people like that but I mean this not in a casual way. Not in the way that people take photos and post them on their facebook walls and proclaim how much they “love my bitch” or “had the best conversation and laughs” with their friends after a night out. I truly am at a loss at the rarity of this person and how complex yet simple this dynamic we have is.

Affinity, maybe, but more than that. That was just in the meeting, but it seems that it does not matter how long we have been out of touch, but that we run in the same circles, beyond time or space, perhaps in our father’s kingdom. It’s just mindbending and immensely fortunate to have that one person who I know I’ve already met and know that’s one facet that life has to offer that I’ve already experienced. Ticked, checked off an unknown bucketlist, grown in experience with knowledge that (I assume) not everyone is blessed with in a lifetime.

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September 11, 2012 Leave a comment

how is it possible that the very person that gave me life makes me feel like I’m dying with her thick wings and cloying words and interests that are not about anything other than micro managing and needing to control everything including the way I move or what I do with my time?

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I hate you so m…

August 28, 2012 Leave a comment

I hate you so much right now, and I know I’m convinced deep down that you’re not the douchebag that you’re behaving like, but why are you being like this if it’s not who you are?

I want to tell you this but it’s just going to get me an apology from you to convince me that you really aren’t a douchebag and I’ll end up being pathetic and giving you what you want, but the thing that I’m most upset about is that I think that’s the only thing you care about.

I hate you. I hope I have to strength to never talk to you again.

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These few days …

August 26, 2012 Leave a comment

These few days there is a permanent sore spot in my chest as I try not to miss K and move on with the rest of my life- I’ve been lucky to have people come through for me, great friends and the most wonderful people whose company I enjoy. There is always someone around the corner to make me feel loved and to remind me that I’m in their thoughts.

I’m not going to say I don’t know how I’ve come to deserve this, because I find that it usually carries with it an amount of pride; someone who says that is usually boasting as well.

But what I am is immensely grateful, and slightly disappointed at how long I am taking to recover. I’ve gotten used to being on the bus on my own, even on the late evening rides home from school on the bus. Your ghost used to occupy the seats beside me until recently I’ve started to forget that you were ever there. That’s probably the most literal metaphor I’ve written about K since I started writing about him.

I don’t know if free writing is a form of therapy, but even as I write this the tears that threaten to spill have already made their way down my cheeks and I no longer recognise it as a sign of weakness, it’s a sign of how much further I have to go to recover. The saddest thing is that I still care way more than I should, and that in this case, it’s okay to cling to a sense of impossibility. It’s tiring to be an optimist and a resourceful person all the time.

On Saturday I met up with an old friend to see the light exhibitions at SAM. It turned out pretty boring, but instead we were endlessly entertained by street performers and a plethora of activities in 8Q that turned out to be the highlights of the evening.

1) Circular table tennis table

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It was crazy though, we went on for quite a bit and we didn’t know we were that good.

2) Film screening

We saw national education claymation entries from secondary schools, a local film and two foreign student films. One was about the most adorable cat you’ve ever seen dreaming of being buried by fish, then waking up to find itself in bed with one. The other one was a “heartwarming” tale of a boy and a penguin and his efforts to send the fellow back to his colony. It was brilliantly animated, but I didn’t like how it was obviously trying to tug at our heartstrings.

3) 5QU1D and glowing origami forest

Image went nuts on this giant installation that spewed crazy colours. It practically took up half the room and had its tentacles everywhere. It was so freakin awesome and we spent a really long time trash talking labout how badass it was while taking pictures of it [via Lumpy Space Princess]. Image

Right at the other end of the room was a black light lit origami forest, and we totally folded flowers to stick into the room. We laughed at men wearing white clothes who ended up glowing all over in there.

Nothing looked pretty in focus so I took this out of focus shot:

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4) Shouty moving wall mural

Well basically anyone could shout or speak into a microphone to make the images on the projection appear more quickly and larger. They were pop culture icons so they were totally cool. And we took turns to take a picture like this:
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And after that everyone started doing the same and we were like aww yeah we’re trendsetters. Astro boy is peeking up my ass lol

There were loads more but these were the main highlights and I’ve only got pictures of them too.

The rest of today I spent working on a business proposal with the greatest friends and colleagues in the world. Before that I went shopping for internship clothes, and I’m glad I got almost everything within those two hours.

I’m really drained, but I don’t know how my heart can keep on being sad like this. The human body grows weary and stops its cravings and happiness and fulfillment, but sadness is a ravaging monster that never dies.

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Reverse Bucketlist

April 15, 2012 Leave a comment

So I don’t have a written bucketlist…maybe due to my fear of committing to one incase I never complete it before I die. So here’s my reverse bucketlist!

When things happen and I think oh man that was totally on my not-bucketlist but okay.

Here there are so far:

#1 Call someone hunkcake

#2 Wear fire engine red nail polish like those women from the 60s

 

#3 Look good in really red lipstick

#4 See the aurora borealis (northern lights) in person

I guess I added two extras that I know I’ve always wanted to do, I’ll leave them there for a bit.

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3 Course Asian-Western Fusion meal for 2

March 19, 2012 Leave a comment


So I awoke this morning and felt the cooking bug bite…I was reminded of a japanese-western café I ate at during my birthday this year, and totally wanted to make a cold octopus-potato salad.

So I headed downstairs, hoping that I would have what I needed. Turns out I had frozen scallops and prawns, which weren’t too bad.  Spent a few seconds rummaging through the vegetable drawer and found two russet potatoe

s, chives, green apples, garlic and asparagus. Perfect.


I set to work first steaming the rice (which took about 15 minutes), and cut myself some potato slices that would go on top of the rice. When the rice was done, I placed it into tiny serving cups, topped it with four slices of raw potato, criss-crossed the cheese on top of it and placed it in the microwave+grill function for four minutes.

1 cup of rice cooks with 1 cup of water in a rice cooker, and makes close to 2 servings for 2 people for this serving method.

After retrieving the cups from the microwave, I sprinkled some ground black pepper on top and some Tabasco hot sauce over the cheese and rice to balance out the rich cheese and starchy rice/potatoes. Garnish with chives (spring onion).

Then, I placed the raw potato left in the microwave for 4 minutes wrapped in wet paper kitchen towels and a layer of plastic cling wrap (It’s a quick and lazy way to boil potatoes, japanese style). Meanwhile, I shelled the prawns and defrosted the scallops.

The asparagus was also sliced into 1-2 inch slivers and put aside.

The potato was beautifully cooked, and I spent some moments burning my fingers while cutting them into cubes.

After that, I cooked the asparagus by wet frying it in a saucepan (half inch of water at base of pan), and some shitake mushroom slivers as well. Combined the mushrooms, asparagus and potatoes in a bowl, boiled the scallops and poured a mixture of faux oyster sauce, vinegar and water over the mix.

For the third dish, I boiled the prawns, cut up the granny smith green apple (I skinned it first), mixed them together, garnished with black pepper and chives, and laced it with japanese mayonnaise (it’s more eggy and sourish).

That’s pretty much it, tasted delicious, refreshing and the chives+black pepper really gave the dishes an interesting dimension. N.B: I also boiled the asparagus with ginger slices just to give it a little zing, it’s optional should you want to try this recipe out.

This recipe was completely improvised and made up on the spot, so I can’t really give specific measurements, but since this isn’t baking, you can season to taste and gauge how much of each ingredient you want in there for the number of people you’re serving.

Bisous, et bon appetit!