Wednesday, 26 September 2012

Guy Fashionable

I met up with Benjamin today and it's so good to finally be able to meet up with him after a long period of time. We may not meet up often but our conversations always run smoothly and we never run out of things to talk about. From the general to the personal, from relationships to politics, we get each other's train of thoughts, and I think it's important that you have a friend in your life that's able to follow and not judge you and who's able to see your point of view.

Benjamin has been busy finishing up his final year project and he finally submitted it in last week, and that's how we managed to squeeze in the time to meet up today at Clarke Quay. We had lunch, walked around, ate some deserts, walked around some more, browsed through books at Kinokuniya at Liang Court and basically caught up with one another's life.

Unlike when I meet up with some old acquaintances, where talks are stalled by thoughts of whatever's appropriate, like the weather, we just got into the groove of things, the last time we left off. We talked about stuff happening to our circle of friends, how we don't see them moving forward, how certain people are better of being single than in a relationship and how the future would look like. Career, life aspirations, the special someone. Everything was laid out bare in the 6 hours we caught up with one another.

Benjamin is also 'guy-fashionable' and that's me trying out his Henry Holland for Le Specs shades. They're super cool, super fun, super suave, and of course, something that I would never ever get for myself. I'm interested in fashion as an art form, as photographic stills taken to commemorate a moment in time. Benjamin uses fashion as an inspiration for daily life. He's planning to get the Givenchy nose ring, and he's the only person I know who can pull off that look.

Aside from that, I also realised that we're both really similar in terms of how we view friendships. You don't need a lot of them to be happy. Having a small, intimate group of friends, who's also your support system, is more than enough, and probably the only thing you need against the big, bad, dark world out there, as opposed to being that centre of attention.

Monday, 24 September 2012


I couldn't sleep last night so I decided to do something random, and that's to count my piggy bank collection. I have this weirdly obsessive compulsion of saving my one dollar coins which started last year because for some reason, there was a period of time where I was inundated with with the coins and the thought of saving them just popped in my head, and that compulsion has continued to this day. I suppose it's a good compulsion to have and it benefits me in the end because suddenly, I have this lot of spare cash on me that i don't have any plans for. Hurray for me!

Anyways, we had a talk at Changi Naval Base with a certain Dr Maliki Osman. Politicians have a certain way of answering questions directed to them without really answering any of those questions with concrete evidences, and I suppose a lesser person would have taken any of the answers at face value, but that's not the case for me, and dare I say, for my group of friends, because we are smart, young people savvy enough to see through whatever they're trying to convey. At the same time, we are not renegades who would shoot off whatever we feel, whenever there is a chance to. There was a moment where I wanted to ask a question, but I decided to let it pass because some words, even if they're meant to be told, are not meant to be heard.

Saturday, 22 September 2012

Turning Twenty

I think birthdays put a lot of pressure on people and that's why I generally don't indulge in them for myself. Planning one for others is a lot of fun, but I generally don't expect much for myself. It's nice to receive gifts, I suppose, but at the same time, you're in this sort of limbo, where you're expecting something, yet don't want to be expecting anything.

I turned twenty yesterday and I feel the same as I did the day before. No magical transformation, no magic dust to suddenly make me wiser. I'm still the same cynical person and I doubt that I will ever change. Celebrations this year was low-key, as with last year. I think the last big birthday bash I had was in primary school, and to a lesser extent, in Year 2 at Meridian Junior College. That was when I received this huge birthday gift basket filled with everything from plush toys to chocolates to pretty little stationery items to a bottle of Chanel perfume which I've yet to even use. That was also right before my Geography examination so as one might expect, there was a spectrum of emotions going on back then.

This year, I celebrated my birthday with people who truly mattered and I feel contented. I received a pre-birthday celebration in base from my two good buddies in my self-made blanket-pillow fort like the ones seen in episodes of Community. Jonathan gave me a Lady Gaga coffee table book because for some reason, I'm labelled as a fanatic after attending her concert earlier this year. Shawn gave me this wall art-deco canvas print of the Big Ben which is truly wonderful because it's also filled with names of cities I hope to cancel off once I start travelling and seeing the world.

Asaad then met me on the actual day of my birthday and we watched Ruby Sparks and Hope Springs and we also went to this quaint little place at Portsdown Road called Laurent Bernard Chocolatier that had the best chocolate dishes one could ever taste. They're so exquisite they melt in your mouth I hope the area doesn't get commercialised because it was housed in this colonial army barrack and next to it was a performing arts school.

Ruby Sparks is so beautifully written Zoe Kazan is so talented there is one scene near the end where the guy made the girl do all these stuff because he can; he basically created her in his mind that as a Literature student, that scene was so poignant because it was like Taming Of The Shrew, where men literally impose their ideals on what women should be and I think that was the basis of this whole story. And I find it quite funny that we watched Hope Springs right after because it's like they're two similar movies, yet showcasing people of different age groups. And Hope Springs made Maine look like such a kooky of a town I love it.

Today, I met up with Naeem for classic manicure and pedicure and Gary joined us for tea at Max Brenner Chocolate Bar. They gave me a cheeky gift my heart was pounding so hard as I was opening the Victoria's Secret gift box. Erfi and Asaad then attempted to surprise me and we went to De La Creme and they gifted me with a boxset of Audrey Hepburn's movies. We ended the day by getting supper at Tenderbest, which is the basis of all nostalgic childhood moments whizzing by in the car at night looking for food and then chilling at my house to watch television.

Thursday, 20 September 2012

Spectrum Of Jumbled Thoughts

It was an abnormally long mounting, I feel, so it's nice to finally be at home, away from all the people, all the hassle, and all the drama. Which is also the reason why I declined Erfi's invitation from a few weeks ago to attend Jemimah's birthday party. All my life, I've been the only September baby in my family, and my group of friends. It's only later on in life; in Junior College, and in National Service, that I met people who's birthday falls on the same day as me.
An organisation where black is not always black and white is not always white. Where the grey area is muddled by people who are none the wiser, yet who somehow hold all the power. Where biasness is a deeply entrenched culture, and a place where in order to stay afloat, you'd have to bury all fragments of humanity to stay alive.
I wrote that quote at the start of the week, because that's honestly what I really felt at that point of time. And as a sane, logical person, instead of blowing my top off, I expressed my inner-most thoughts through words. I honestly feel that I'm wasting my time here, meeting people whom I would have otherwise not taken a second glance at. These people; they're so full of themselves, so out of touch with reality, that even though you're mad at them, you can't help but feel a sense of pity, because they're lagging so far behind in terms of maturity that it's sad that these are the people whom Singaporean parents entrust their kids to be taken care of. 

To be perfectly honest, I wasn't in the best of moods this past week, so I was a little extra sensitive, a little bit more prickly than usual. But as someone who's excellent at putting on a veneer, who's able to hide my exact thoughts and feelings, the week went by uneventfully. Because no, I'm not that sort of person that requires people to hold my hands, to ask if I'm okay, to smother me with questions. I'd much rather mull over it on my own, which is what I did at the Tower, with the morning chill and the sea breeze accompanying my spectrum of jumbled thoughts.

Wednesday, 12 September 2012

What It Means

Yesterday marks the 11th Anniversary of the 9/11 Attacks and although it is unlike me, it got me thinking; what is it that I am defending and fighting for? What is the one thing that drives me to push on every single day, knowing that I'm wasting two years of my life when my peers have gained invaluable knowledge in university. The answer is simply, my future life.

It seems so grand, but  it is what will keep me going. Because the future is where all my hopes and dreams are stored, and it is this vacuum of space that exists solely for me to strive forward to. Because yesterday is the past and the present is now, the only thing I can look forward is, is the future. It could be good, it could be bad, and I wouldn't know, but it is the 'not-knowing' that ensures that it is something precious worth fighting for.

I am fighting for my right to a secure future. I am fighting for my right to travel the world, experience different cultures, meet different people, get lost along the way, break down and pick myself up. I am fighting for my right to make silly mistakes, to laugh and to cry and to reflect upon my journey thus far. I am fighting for my right to live my life the way I want it to be, not under an authoritative rule, and not under the false pretence of freedom. I am fighting for my right because not fighting means that I would have given up, and then there would be nothing left to live for. Because at the end of the day, contentment is never enough, and contentment is when the weak says enough is enough.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Bangkok Reflections

I came back from Bangkok on Saturday and the trip just reiterated the fact that (a) I cannot travel with my parents and (b) I cannot follow a tour guide. My first impression of the city wasn't exactly a pleasant one as I'd hope for it to be a metropolitan city bursting with energy, but instead it was sort of a letdown. Traffic was horrible and I've come to expect that since I actually did a case study of this city for my A-Levels preparation a few years back. Apart from that, the Geography student in me kicked in and I made the point that the infrastructural development of the city is poor. You have slums besides high rise, expensive-looking apartments and you wonder how people here actually get by.

After spending a day, I've come to accept the city for who and what it represents and then I see the beauty of it. You have carefree schoolchildren not bogged down by the need to get home to prepare for tuition classes. They don't carry huge bags full of heavy schoolbooks. Instead, they're happy to skip along the pavement with what I see is a jotter book and a small pencil case. You have street vendors enlivening the streets with rowdy catcalls to attract customers, lending this unique vibe to an otherwise drab and generic street corner. In Singapore, that would be called 'illegal hawking.' You have a truly Asian country that accepts the eccentricities of its people regardless of how they define their gender. The people may not boast of high qualifications but they do seem to take pride in their jobs, be it being a street hawker, or a shop assistant.

So, no trip to Bangkok would be complete without a shopping spree. In fact, that's the whole purpose of this trip, especially for me. I got great bargains on a lot of things and it's satisfying to pay so little for so many items. I would have loved to explore the city a litle bit more, to explore the arts venue like the Bangkok Art And Culture Centre but alas, I was with people who had dragged me down so all I can do, was make do. I suppose a future trip would be coming up, but this time, I'll make sure it's the kind of holiday that I want.

Tuesday, 4 September 2012

Adult Conversations

I'll be off to Bangkok tomorrow and I'm not exactly ready for my trip. I only got back home from base in the evening since I popped by my cousin's place to collect the DSLR camera for my trip. He wasn't at home since he's also serving National Service so I ended up chatting with my uncle for a full 2 hours. I think somehow, I have crossed that threshold where adults feel like they could actually talk with me about 'worldly' issues. Being the youngest one on both sides of the family tree meant that I'm always excluded from conversations, and as my grandmother had taught me, it's not polite to interrupt when adults are having conversations. Even now, whenever they have a conversation in front of me, I try my best to excuse myself because I consistently see myself as 'the-one-who's-not-supposed-to-be-in-the-conversation.' So, when my uncle sat me down to have a chat, I was quite taken aback. But it was all good, and somehow, I find myself opening up a little bit more and managed to express my opinions succinctly.
At the same time, it baffles me whenever my nieces and nephews, and I'm using that term loosely, do not have the social decorum to behave themselves whenever there are adults having conversations. It's also partly the reason why at family gatherings, I'm always in the corner with a book, because I think I would explode and slap a child if he/she were to interrupt whatever conversation I'm having with someone else.
My aunt will be having a family gathering at her place in Compassvale during the middle of the month and I'll be mounting duty by then I'm not exactly sure if I would like to actually apply for leave because then, it would affect my pretty, little, neat schedule and I am not very fond of messing up my own plans. Decisions, decisions that have to be made rather quickly since time seems to be moving at lightning speed these days.