Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Simple Joys

I think there's something so satisfying as having breakfast for dinner because it defies convention and it's so, so good I'm gonna miss cooking me some scrambled eggs and chicken sausage and chicken ham and toasted bread with maple syrup when I start mounting for another week yet again. I used to hate eggs, and when I started to tolerate them, I really hated the gooey kind of scrambled eggs I needed them to be cooked thoroughly to the point of dryness. But I suppose as I grew older, I began to enjoy different things in life and began exploring gourmet food, and although scrambled eggs are the most basic form of anything, it took me 20 years of my existence to cook the perfect plate of fluffy, light scrambled eggs.

I also realised after today's training session that I have relatively good hand-eye coordination that allows me to be a decent player of sports whenever I partake in those activities. Granted I don't do much of them, but when I try out new sports, it's quick and easy for me to grasp. When I started with badminton all those years ago, it took me a few sessions to get a hang of it. And when I switched to recreational tennis, I was horrible, but at least I could hit those balls. Then there was basketball which I recently started dabbling in and after being so scared of the hoop, I actually managed to conquer my fear. We played dodge ball today and I was always the last few remaining players in the team and I managed to oust quite a number of opponents and it's a good feeling when those people are the very same people who are into sports and health and the kind. I'm sorry I can't help it that I'm competitive.

I'm going on a short getaway trip to Bangkok next week and I don't have much expectations of it since both my parents are going to be there as well. I am, however, looking forward to the duty-free shopping at Changi Airport. All those products, and too little time, I wonder how I'm ever going to be satisfied with my haul when we have to catch our flight to Bangkok.

Tuesday, 28 August 2012

Bounce In My Step

We had a mobilisation exercise conducted today which meant that we had to report to base within a specific time period in order to stimulate an incident whereby this country is attacked by red forces. It seems unlikely that that would happen so when we got the call to report back to base, we weren't too excited about it. Moreover, the only thing we did when we got back to base was to scan our identification cards and that's that. I'm one of the few people who live furthest away from the base, so the amount of time that it takes me to reach the base itself is at least five times the amount of time I actually spent being physically present there.

So, after this whole activation scenario, Shawn and me went to Rocky Masters The Choice Cafe near Raffles Hotel to have early dinner. It was a quiet little place that I always ass by but never tried out so I suggested that place to Shawn. I had breakfast for dinner and though the food wasn't excellent, it was filling and the ambiance was nice. It was a nice place with a mixture of comfortable sofas and low tables that's just begging me to visit again to lounge and have earl grey tea and read some magazines.

So, yesterday, I and Maya visited Naeem at her hall of residence at Nanyang Technological University. Maya had a long break before her last lecture at 6pm so she decided to pop by all the way from National University of Singapore whereas I had gotten back from base after a simulation shoot. It's our first time visiting Naeem at her dorm and thank goodness she is living alone. Otherwise it'll be awkward to have her roommate around whenever we drop by. I brought along the baked goodies I did the day before and we even called McDonalds since it was raining and we were too lazy to pop by any of the cafes nearby. We talked about school and rummaged through Facebook to look up the profiles of people whom we have no recollection of. It's funny how you can go to lecture for 2 years straight with these people and not remember their names and faces and having to identify and relegate them to 'loud girl who always sleeps' or 'too thin girl with unstable walk.'

After Maya left, I stayed behind and had the longest talk of my life with Naeem. It's been a while since we've talked face to face and it's good to finally be able to do that. We talked about our deepest most feelings, how we really are scared for the future and how it's going to be like. How we don't want to be suppressed by familial expectations(her fear) and how much we yearn to break free, start afresh, and leave everything and everyone behind and never looking back(me). It's gratifying to reveal what you're thinking to another person and know that you're not getting judged for it. I eventually left for home with a lighter feeling, with a bounce in my step, and to a very good and long night's sleep.

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Sandwiched Chocolate Chips Oreo Cookies & XXL Chocolate Chips Cookies

After thinking for a few days, I decided to forgo the Accidentally Into Food blog, and instead, incorporate my baking adventures into this personal blog. Part of the reason is because I only bake sporadically so it doesn't make sense to have a dedicated blog that's only going to be updated once a while. Also, there are a lot of food blogs out there with marvellous people behind them, who put their time and effort to invent new recipes, and I'm just a college kid who's trying to have a little fun baking.  

I was browsing through the web and I came across this one recipe from Picky Palate. I've decided to rename it Sandwiched Chocolate Chips Oreo Cookies, because it's literally just that. I actually met up with Erfi yesterday, so after zipping around town eating ice-cream and driving around the city area, we made a pit stop at the supermarket to get certain items. Let me tell you, butter and chocolate chips are hella expensive. I'd probably have to set aside a portion of my allowance if I'm going to continue baking, which I probably am.

It's a relatively easy recipe to make, and ever since I got my new electric mixer, mixing all these ingredients have gotten a lot simpler. It feels old school to use a mixer, and I'm totally loving that vibe. I was quite apprehensive since the cookie dough was quite sticky when I mixed all the ingredients together, so I panicked for a moment before deciding to forgo the exact measurements, and make this cookie by "feeling", as my aunt used to do. I suppose the "feel" was right since the cookie came out looking good and tasting delicious. 

I made 27 of those Sandwiched Chocolate Chips Oreo Cookies since I only bought a box of those oreo cookies. Plus, the recipe actually made a whole lot more of those cookie dough than needed so I had a surplus of cookie dough. It didn't occur to me that I could make regular chocolate chip cookies as I headed to go to the supermarket but as I were about to leave the house, I had an epiphany. Thus, the XXL Chocolate Chip Cookies were born.

These were really good. They were crumbly and crunchy and the perfect companion for tea. They're jumbo sized since I was extremely lazy to make small bite-sized ones and because I'd wanted to spend the rest of my Sunday reading my fashion magazines. Oh, what a wonderful Sunday it has been.

Saturday, 25 August 2012

A Very Dark Place

Whenever I read the blogs of some of my friends and acquaintances, I feel like I'm stuck in a rut with nowhere to go. I had a conversation with Gary a few months back about how everyone else seems to be moving forward, and we are stuck serving the remainder of our conscription service. It just doesn't seem fair that the girls get to move on with their life, and I'm doing nothing, waiting for time to pass by. I know that it's what every single male person has to go through, but it's just not a good feeling at all. Whereas some of my friends are in England, Canada, Australia and even Norway, I'm left wondering when my time will come.

Because I went to junior college, my parents had always expected me to go to the local university. It's not that local university is bad. In fact, it's ranked quite favourably against some of the world's top universities, but I have never envisioned myself going to one. Perhaps it's because my mind has been filled with imagery of American and English universities from pop culture, or because of the fact that I've visited my sister countless of times when she was studying at the University Of Queensland, I feel like it was my destiny to go out there in a foreign country, explore every nook and cranny and discover myself. I feel like the opportunity to live in a foreign country would be fully utilised by me because I won't be calling home crying because I miss the people back home. I would have been too busy checking things out and making sure that I leave no stone unturned.

Don't get me wrong. I am grateful for the fact that I got a placement at Nanyang Technological University to study Communication Studies. But I can't help but feel shortchanged by my parents for their constant expectations of having me study in Singapore. My sister went overseas because her grades weren't good enough for local university, and my parents readily supported her. Those very things were the ones that hampered my dream to study overseas.

Next year, my sister is going back to Australia to get her Master's degree. My mother is helping her pay for her lodging and other miscellanous. I think that's completely irresponsible because I know that the money being channelled to my sister was originally meant for me, and because I'm getting subsidies for being a local student, that floating income is being funnelled to my sister. I would have liked for that money to be saved for me, when I go overseas in the future. I did not study hard in junior college just so that I could be shortchanged. Is this the reward for being a better student than my sister ever was? Is this the reward for all those late night study sessions at Starbucks, not going home until the first light breaks through the horizon?

I don't think so. Maybe that's the reason why I demand so much from my parents now. It's coming from a very dark place. A place where I'm always comparing and never feeling satisfied. It's probably the reason why I never want to have children. I don't think I have the heart to shortchange my future children of anything. What kind of a parent are you when you deny your child of opportunities that they should have grabbed? What kind of a parent are you when you know that your child yearns to break free, yet you are saddling them down to roots that they'd rather have chopped away?

I may never be truly satisfied with my life until I ultimately break away from the confines of relationships that bind me and cause me to sink to the bottom of the ocean floor. Sometimes, I wish I'd have the ability to choose my own family because it will make life so much easier. That's probably why I'm closer to friends that to people who share the same blood as me. That's also probably the reason why when I'm gone, I would truly be gone.

Friday, 24 August 2012

Accidentally Into Food

I watched Rock Of Ages with A today after giving him a call last night. Because we're the only people in our group of friends who's free on Friday, we decided to meet in the afternoon to exploit the student-priced tickets at the cinema. A and I practically have a similar schedule so it's easy to meet up with him as compared to the rest of my friends. I've not seen G for the longest time and it's so difficult to get a hold of him, since he's either busy with consription, or buffing up his arts portfolio.

Rock Of Ages is the kind of movie you watch because it's easy to digest and everything skims on the surface. It was a 'pop' movie despite being marketed as this 'rock and roll' gritty movie. Russell Brand is annoying he has a difficulty in differentiating his real-life persona and whatever character he's supposed to be portraying. The gay subplot, for once, was not needed and I think it's just the director's need to be inclusive which ended up backfiring because it seems forced, lackdaisical, and ultimately offensive because the gay couple ended up being a parody of the gay lifestyle.

In other news, in view of my moving away to university next year, I was thinking of things that would get me to stay connected to home and come back every weekend. Considering how small this country is, where you can get from one end of the city to the other in one hour, it seems like this plan might work out. I'm coming home to do something I love, and then returning back to my future dorm with goodies. So with that, presenting Accidentally Into Food, a baking and food blog I've started. There's really nothing there for now, but I'd thought I'd save the domain name first. I've got a few recipes lined up over the weekend to try out so it'll be filled up in no time.

Thursday, 23 August 2012

Scream For Ice-Cream

The food in base was horrible the moment I returned back from my sabbatical I went out and had dinner at Holland Village at Hatched. Holland Village is just this quaint neighbourhood that has a brilliant mix of high-end residential condominiums and old-school walk-up apartments it's a good place to walk around and explore, and with names like Jalan Kelabu Asap (Charcoal Grey Road) and Jalan Merah Saga (Blood Red Road) intersecting one another, it's a really cool place to hang out and chill and get on with life.

What's really cool about Holland Village is also that they have this small little independent baking goods store that's European-chic you go in wanting to buy everything, leave with nothing, but reach home pinning for something until the moment you go to bed. Considering that it's relatively easy to commute to the area because of the circle line, I'd probably be heading down to the area more often.

Coming back from dinner, an incident happened in base that was part of the whole dynamics to ensure that we stay vigilant but I saw it coming from a million miles away. How can one fool the master of deception? It's sad to see people scramble and caught off guard but I guess it's because these people are all too familiar with the powers that be that they never ever guard themselves against any surprises that could be thrown at their faces.

Despite the surprise, it was a pleasant week as we sat in bed contemplating about our future in our shared room on the bunk beds with the air-conditioning at full blast and the blankets covering our toes. I feel that when boys open up, we actually let the flood gates open so wide it'll take a garagantuan effort to stop the onslaught of emotional waves. Or at least until we're done talking. It's eye-opening to see alpha males open up about their hopes and fears and everything in between.

Monday, 20 August 2012

Shining Star

My paternal grandmother died when I was 7 years old. She was also my most favourite person in the whole world. Despite the generation gap, I can safely say that in pop culture terms, she was the Meredith to my Christina. Despite her having passed on for most of my life, I would always revert back to "What would Grandma do?" in situations that are less than desirable. I think she is the single most amazing person I've encountered in my life. She was strong when she was frail. She was stern, yet she was approachable.

Most of my childhood memories that I keep close to heart would usually involve having my Grandma in the picture. Because she died when I was in Primary 1, most of these memories occurred when I was in kindergarten. I remember her cooking black squid ink fried rice just because I don't like eating the gravy sauce for fear of turning dark. I also remember the time when I underwent the procedure every Muslim boy goes through and having her around just to take care of me. I remember the time when she would fetch me from kindergarten that one day and the lights in the lift were flickering. I remember the time when she was warded in the hospital and she would save a portion of her meal because she knew I loved hospital food. I also remember the last time I saw her alive, just as I was going to school in the afternoon session.

My grandmother was gone too soon but I think her death matured me as a 7 year old boy. At a very young age, I got to know that life isn't always fair and the people you love will die. That's a very poignant lesson to learn and I think it's shaped me to be a strong person. When my grandfather died 2 years later, I didn't cry because I knew that it was his time to go. This was a man who was married for 50 over years to the same woman, and after her death, he was never the same person. Yes, he was still a grandfather to me, but even then I knew he missed he too much. Up until now, whenever I hear about the death of a family member, I would utter a silent prayer and then remain stoic because I knew death would eventually claim its intended person.

In a way, I am grateful that both my grandparents passed on when I was still young, when I hadn't yet develop the emotional capacity that I have now. Ironically, despite maturing as a person, I don't think I could handle their death now because I think it will literally crush me emotionally to see their health deteriorate. When you are young, you are rarely kept in the loop and visits to the hospital were a treat to roam around in the car. The family had this habit of going to the beach after visiting hours were over. As a child, it was fun to build sandcastles and enjoy the cool breeze. In hindsight, the adults probably needed the reprieve from having come to the realization that their mother was slipping away from them, hence the excuse to bring us out.

As a child, I was extremely quiet. I think that's the reason why I had gotten special attention from my grandmother. I started looking through picture books even before I would speak and my uncle had initially thought that I was autistic. Every single family event, I would be reminded of how I was an obedient child whom my grandmother doted on so much and whom she would protect because I literally did not speak to anyone, not even to my parents. I did not run around like my cousins. I would just sit in the corner and read my pop-up books. I only ever owned one toy train set and the only reason I remember them was because there was a picture of it.

Because of my demeanour, I never know how to appropriately convey my condolences to friends who has had the misfortune of experiencing loss. There is no guidebook for it and it makes the whole thing too damn difficult. I don't want to run the risk of trivialising the loss yet I don't want to sound like I'm in as much pain as they are because obviously, how could an outsider even compare to that feeling of loss. Only someone who's had to experience loss at a young age could have this sense of emotional guardedness that many would label as insensitivity.

I miss my grandmother too much I don't think there's enough words in my vocabulary to express what I'm really feeling. I think because of this, I keep every relationship I have at arm's length, even with my parents, because I know everyone's going to die and there is no way I can handle the kind of loss similar to that of my granmother's. The kind of loss that's so gut-wrenching that even after 11 years, I can still remember the look on my grandmother's face the last time I saw her alive.

Sunday, 19 August 2012

Blue Moon

I wore blue for this year's Eid. It wasn't even a new set of baju kurung, just something I dug up from 2 years ago. It doesn't make sense to me to get new clothes this year since I won't be going out much anyways. In past years, during my pre-jc days, I would get at least 4 baju kurungs of different colour because I felt that Eid was a time to splurge. Of course, back then, I also had religious classes so I  could actually wear them to my Koran recitation classes. Now, even getting one baju kurung seems like a hassle for me.

I find the dynamics of Eid to be very funny. You go to people's homes and have small talk. Then you wish them a blessed Eid and then seek forgiveness from them. These are people, at least for my mom's side of the family, whom I only meet once a year, effectively only during Eid. So, is there really any point in seeking forgiveness from people whom you've already asked for forgiveness the year before? Or are you seeking forgiveness for not seeing them at any time other than during the Eid period?

My sister commented that any Malay tradition in the family would be lost after me. Well, I don't fancy children, so I think it's safe to say there won't be any generation after me. But that aside, she also commented how I don't eat the ketupat, the staple rice cake that is all the rage during Eid. In my opinion, why eat squashed rice cake, when you can eat normal rice. It's not as if my family eats rice all the time so to eat the traditional dishes with rice is truly a novelty for me.

The usual small talk involved me explaining to them what I do in the Navy and them expressing their surprise that I'm even in the Navy because of the whole dynamics of the SAF which I don't really want to talk about. Then there was also the talk about University at every single household it's getting on my nerves. I mean, going to University is no longer a novelty. Every one of my friends are going there/already there so to keep discussing about the courses I'm going to take even before I actually step foot in the University itself is kind of premature, isn't it?

Saturday, 18 August 2012

Your're A Rockstar

Duty at tower were spent listening to Ingrid Michaelson, my singer-songwriter crush whose concert I won't be able to attend because I have to shoot down some targets on September 11. How inauspicious is that? To go for my second year range on the anniversary the world changed for good. Doing duty with S also meant that we would be spending money despite being separated by a body of water to the nearest mall because we would be buying everything, from buffet vouchers to cupcake deals, online. We would also be complaining about life in general, and especially about commanders who do not have any backbone you wonder how the SAF actually runs itself.

We're able to book out today so I met up with E and A with the intention of heading to the Rockstar sale. In the end, it was too crowded, because (a) E managed to scout the location first and (b) there was that announcement over their facebook page stating that they were no longer accepting people into the building, even those queueing. So, as usual, the three of us always gets lost whenever we're in the car together which then resulted in screams, and shouts and laughter filling up the car with each of us blaming the other for missing said exit or turn.

Yes, that is a dolphin!

We ended up at Ikea where I bought a bowl and a plate for my personal use because they were just too pretty. I also got the dvd box in dark pink because HMV is having a sale and it's a good time to stock up on those good movies where you have to have a physical copy despite already owning a digital copy and also despite having seen the movie like, five times. I then came home to new bedsheets(yeay!), but they're blue(nay!). I was expecting a purple one or a red one and this just seems too different. Ikea is like filled with so much goodies like those pretty carnation flowers I swear I'm going to get them next year to put inside my dorm room and there is nothing that K, my future confirmed roommate, can ever do about it. 

Wednesday, 15 August 2012

Moonrise Kingdom

I watched Moonrise Kingdom together with A after my base run since the both of us have yet to watch the film. Wes Anderson is a genius I actually worship the ground that he steps on. The first movie of his that I watched was The Royal Tenembaums when I was in primary school after sneaking out of bed to watch the television. When you are a nine year old kid, things that appeal to you will forever be tucked away as a fragment of something perfect and pure and you carry it around for life and the same can be said about what Wes Anderson's films are to me.

I know that there are some friends that really do not like his movies, or even worse, have not even heard of him and I try my best not to judge but how can I not judge when this is about one of my favourite filmmakers, right up there with Woody Allen. I admit that his films have a very specific aesthetic to it and people may find it repetitive but that's precisely the reason I lap it up every single time. Fantastic Mr. Fox was utterly brilliant I weep for those people who've yet to watch it. But enough of my adulation for Wes Anderson.

Because the both of us were fasting, we were just wandering around the mall trying to fill the time by going to the bookstore and browsing books and then leaving before repeating the process all over again. I actually exclaimed to A that "WE ARE UTTERLY LOST AND AIMLESS WITHOUT ANY FOOD!" You see, A and I, we usually have good food and then Starbucks every time we go out, so it seems a bit weird to have to deviate from the normal routine that we were both lost for a second. And then we did what any normal person would do; sit down at a bench and talk.

What happened after the movie was that the both of us weren't planning to have dinner together but we did go to the supermarket to store up goodies and to our great surprise there was a British confection stand that was filled with all these limited edition items we just grabbed a basket and forgot about sugar levels and cavities and diabetes and paid for everything.

Tuesday, 14 August 2012

Baking Bug

I love to bake. It's been something that I've done since secondary school. My mom was surprised when I first started baking, because she doesn't bake and my sister doesn't bake. It's something that I picked up on my own, watching the television with my grandmother and looking at my aunt prepare delicious cakes and cookies. Baking is therapeutic for me, and I try to do it whenever I'm free. However, with my current schedule, baking has long taken a backseat and the last time I did some serious baking was when I was in junior college.

However, browsing through blogs dedicated to baking and cooking has somewhat fueled the fire in me to start baking again. Not right now, but within a month or two, when I can specifically bake stuff for gatherings with friends. Gatherings now have to be planned weeks in advance. Everyone is busy with commitments and no longer is it like it used to be, when you can ring up your friend and meet up for a movie or coffee. It used to be so easy back when we were all in school. Even with the heavy workload, meeting up and going out is the way in which we all de-stress from schoolwork. But alas, change is upon us and change is good.

I love Crepes Of Wrath for her recipes because she makes everything so crystal clear that you'd have to be an idiot to still abhor baking because you think that its too complicated. Her photographs are delightfully wonderful and brimming with colour and so perfect I just salivate whenever I'm on her blog.

1. Cherry Pie Crumble Bars
2. Mocha Muffin
3. Red Velvet Brownies
4. Blueberry Cobbler

Monday, 13 August 2012

Fine And Dandy And Real

The Wedding Dress: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London
I finally got down to editing the photos that I've taken at the exhibition I went to last week with J. It's wonderful and satisfying to be able to reflect upon these beautiful creations and to take a closer look at them. The craftsmanship is just ridiculously good and these timeless babies have withstood the test of time. Brides nowadays continue to look back to find inspiration from them, and some may even be wearing the real vintage, heirloom pieces as well.

Looking at these gowns, one can get lost in the grandeur and the fine and dandy aspects of life quite easily. Who wouldn't want to forget about real life for a second. Unfortunately for me, I was listening to the radio the same time as I'm editing these photos and the news segment reported the finding of the body of the lost national serviceman in Brunei. It's quite sad to think that a young man has lost his life, all alone in the jungle, not having seen his family or been home at all since the past year. I may not know him personally but a death is still a loss, and to think that he died for the military, that's just beyond belief.


I attended an event today where we celebrated the batch of military personnel who have finished their cycle of duty. It wasn't an official luncheon, but a small gathering where people just come together, have food sponsored by those on the cusp of freedom, and basically just chill. Midway through the gathering, alcohol was brought to the table and it became a sort of frat party, where people who couldn't hold their liquor got really drunk. There were stupid games played and it was a night that truly showed that no matter how mature one appears to be, boys will always be boys.

Before the gathering, S and me actually went to watch Magic Mike. It was the only movie available at that time and there was a good offer where 2 movie tickets were the price of one, so we took the plunge and watched a movie about male strippers. It wasn't an outright gratuitous parade of flesh yet it was not gritty enough to be considered an indie gem. We then met up with J and watched Brave together, which was just uplifting and wonderful and perfect that it makes you forget about the current state of the world we're living in today. I am what one might consider to be a film hoarder and I think it's absolutely reasonable to be watching two, or even three movies at the cinema on the same day.

Recently, I find it heartwarming that people view me as someone whom they could talk to and reveal their thoughts without ever feeling like they're being judged, be it if whatever they're doing is wrong or right. It's taken a little bit of effort on my part over the past year to really remind myself that I'm in no position to outrightly voice out my displeasure or judgements, so to have people confide in me about things that others are not in the loop about; it sort of serves as a validation on this little thing that I've been working to improve upon.

Sunday, 12 August 2012

Archaic Celebration

When I was younger, I used to wait in anticipation for Aidilfitri to arrive. For one whole month, Muslims fast in order to feel the plight of the less fortunate, and at the end of one month, we go all out to celebrate in style. New clothes were bought, houses were painted, and delicious traditional cookies and cakes were baked. Relatives visited one another and sparklers were lit. Now that I've grown older, I realise how archaic this whole celebration is.

Now don't get me wrong. I do enjoy the abundance of good food available. I love meeting up and going on excursions around the island to the various homes of friends. But I do wonder whether the actual symbolism of this celebration is lost today. In the midst of celebrating, have we lost the true meaning of Ramadhan and the need to reflect upon the past year, on our misgivings and on those who are still suffering?

At the same time, I find the whole need to revamp your home completely ridiculous. Just because there's a celebration, people are going all out to buy new curtains, new cushion covers, new everything. I have to admit, I was fascinated with this years ago; participated readily in it as well. People would wait until the bazaar was set up to get all these items. To me, if you want new curtains, get them whenever, whatever the time. It could be because you're bored with the color or you feel like a change. Don't change it because there's people coming over to your house. To change the settings of your home to accomodate to people so that they wouldn't judge you is such an incomprehensible concept to me. People would still judge and you're still gonna get judged, so why bother in the first place? The most important thing I think is to make things neat, as it should be all year round, so I don't exactly get this flutter of activity during this period of time.

What I do love about AIdilfitri is of course the songs blasting from the radio. It reminds me so much of when my grandparents were still around, and when all the cousins would go over to their place and make rice cakes. It's not so much the songs that I love, but the memories that comes back to mind whenever those songs wafted through the air. Those were the good memories.

Saturday, 11 August 2012


I had dinner with the bunch of kids from the College Publications team circa the '09 era and it was a wonderful session where we catched up on each others' lives. The last time all of us met was about 8 months ago so it was great seeing everyone together again. It was also a farewell dinner for N since she'll be going on her exchange trip to the University of Calgary for one full semester before having a two week holiday in London next year. The five of us went to the famous food centre at the Old Airport Road since N wanted to have her share of local delights before leaving in about a week's time. We talked about university courses and Austen novels and of white Christmases and exchange programs.

N was also telling us about her 21st birthday party which was Austen themed. No surprise there since she's a Literature Major at NUS. N is also an official member of the Jane Austen Circle of Singapore (JACS) and she's thinking of inviting us to a ball that they're having next year. The two other guys in the group were kind of apprehensive but balls and costumes and dressing up sounds just right up my alley.

After parting ways, E picked me up and we went to Gardens by the Bay together with A. Along the way, we picked up McDonalds from the drive-thru at Mountbatten which means that A and I have officially ticked off one item from our list of verbal bucket list. Despite being a Geography student, A could not for the life of him read a map from the iPad so I had to swoop in and save the day. The Garden was huge but it was not as impressive as I'd thought it could be. N had previously mentioned that the plants were a little worse for wear but I had doubted her because this nation had spent S$1 billion for the construction of the Garden and therefore, by any conceivable logic, it should be well tended to and taken care of.

Unfortunately, I think that I need to give the Garden another chance, a full year perhaps, and should reserve my judgement until then. We did walk fom the Garden to the Barrage which was filled with families and lovers and friends enjoying the night breeze amidst the whir of motorized and colorful LED-displayed kites. The car ride home was filled with an impromptu karaoke session to classic Aidilfitri songs to end the day on a perfect note.

Friday, 10 August 2012

Something Blue and Something Borrowed

So, today I met up with J. If it weren't for this conscription service, I would never have known J. So, that's one positive thing that can possibly come out from something so vile. J has become a close friend over the past year because we share similar tastes in everything. We enjoy good food. We enjoy calm, soothing music. We adore fashion. And we both know that we have so much more to offer the world. I can safely say that he's one of the most creative people I know. He's applying to CSM. That's Central Saint Martins for you. It takes guts and confidence to put yourself out there to be judged. He's also applying to Glasgow School of Art to be closer to his girlfriend. I'm going to be bummed when he leaves but at least I can look forward to vacations to either the United Kingdom or Scotland in the future!

We met up because we wanted to see an exhibition at the National Museum called "The Wedding Dress: 200 Years of Wedding Fashion from the Victoria & Albert Museum, London." For once, I was earlier than J because he had to develop photos for an art project that he is currently in the process of completing. It was a considerably small exhibition compared with the Christian Lacroix one three years back but it was just as wonderful. The pale lilac exhibition hall just emanates this inexplicable sense of romanticism throughout the entire place. No matter what your thoughts on weddings are, you cannot help but be swept away by the beauty of those gowns. There were veils that Queen Victoria wore on her wedding day to simple cotton dresses that brides wore when they got married during World War II. All too soon, we reached the end of the gallery trail since I did mention that it was a relatively small exhibition.

We had dinner at this simple casual dining restaurant called Lenas. Now this place has a few other outlets, and this visit just shows how I should never eat at places that have been franchised. The pasta was undercooked and the bruschetta were soggy instead of crunchy and fresh. It was a bad dining experience that nearly left me in a foul mood if not for the wonderful gelato at Gelateria Italia. The dark chocolate was bitter as chocolate should be and the strawberry cheesecake tasted like I was eating the real thing. Today is the perfect example of how ice-cream could actually lift one's spirits up.

Thursday, 9 August 2012

Sepia-toned Nostalgia

It's been three years since I last blogged consistently and I got the itch to finally get back to business after reading the personal blogs of some of my friends. Reading their posts made me realise that I missed writing. I miss the medium that allows me to express whatever I feel, however I want. Of course, over the past few years, I have matured quite a bit, and therefore, my writing would reflect that change. It tickles me pink to read the posts of my previous blog. I knew that I didnt want to delete the other blog when I stopped writing, because I wanted to have the opportunity to look back, and reflect upon the events that have occurred in my life.

That being said, nostalgia is kind of a double-edged sword. On one hand, it allows me to remember the good experiences that had happened. The joys, the laughter, the beginnings. At the same time, it also makes my cheeks flush with embarrassment at some of the things that had been written by my younger self. But as with life, we live, and then we learn. Mistakes of the past are what makes us who we are today. Those heartaches, the disappointments; they form the backbone of our current self. I do not know how long I will continue blogging, but I do know that I would like to document the experiences that I've been through, because when you're old and in despair, you'd want to look back and have physical memories of the years where you think that you could have it all.