Sunday, 4 November 2012

Woods In The Books

On Saturday, I met up with Jun Xian and we had lunch at Parco Millenia Walk. It's been about two months since we last caught up with one another, what with his military exercise in Taiwan, and the fact that he went to Japan thereafter to cleanse his soul after being exposed to unearthly sights in Taiwan. Jun Xian was sweet enough to get me souvenirs from the land of the rising sun. There is this beautiful handkerchief with blossom motifs on it, as well as a talisman that wishes luck upon the receiver. I jokingly asked him whether the talisman has been blessed by the priest of an ancient temple, like the one I see on Channel News Asia during Japan Hour, and it turns out that he really did get the talisman from a Shinto shrine. How thoughtful!

We had lunch at this place called Octa Hotel International Market, and it's this cafe that also sells beautiful home-ware items. It felt as though I was on a cobbled street in a hamlet town in Britain because the place felt really homely. Another plus point was that the whole area was not crowded despite it being a weekend. The raindrops splattering against the window sills were a nice touch to our little booth and I like the blue velvety cushioned chairs. The food was good and it felt honest and that's more than you can ask from an establishment and the staff were mild-mannered as well.

We then found this little gem of a bookstore called Woods In The Books. It is such a calming place and the kind of wonder-world you can just get lost in with the soothing music and the children's books. I felt like I was in another place and time altogether I just stopped and admired the books. They were all so beautifully handcrafted and I just felt the labour of love seeping through the pages. There was one book in particular, called "The Black Book Of Colours" that just took my breath away. It was all black and white with braille wording to describe to the blind about colours all around us. Here is an excerpt;
"Red is sour like unripe strawberries and as sweet as watermelon. It hurts when he finds it on his scraped knee."
It just felt so raw and so honest and it got to me a little bit because it just showed me how life can be cruel and unfair and how some people are just not able to see the beauty that this world has to offer. Yes, there are horrible things happening, but there's also beauty everywhere, and it's just heart-wrenching when children suffer. Simple words, written in the most innocent of prose, can be so instrumental in affecting someones outlook on life, I think.

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