Monday, 31 December 2001

This is the final blog for year 2001!! My new year resolutions are already in place (ready for implementation) and plans already set for 1st Jan 2002! We are going to go painting and blading tomorrow!! :)

Just checking around a little bit to find out what everyone is doing (everyone is really sneaky about where they are going to be counting down and what they are going to be doing.. umm.. :p ... will be interrogating all the guilty-looking people tomorrow... hee hee :)) Hope everyone is going to be with people they like/love/do-not-hate tonight... its been a difficult year... :( another couple just broke up less than 24 hours ago... sigh.... 2002.. What will the new year bring? no one knows.... me? oh. planning to go and stuff face with yummy local fare (makansutra stuff) for dinner before the year ends and then go on "healthier" (i.e. not entirely healthy but maybe cutting out unnecessary saturated fats etc) diet plus loads of exercise only next year. :p

Bye Bye 2001!!! Hello 2002!! :O

Sunday, 30 December 2001

ARTICLE: Birth Order and Personality: 8 Facts that Might Suprise You

ARTICLE: Sex and Birth Order: How Yours Affects Your Bedroom Behavior

ARTICLE: What Your Birth Oder Means for Your Marriage
Cool, huh?? :)

My birthday is coming!! :P Don’t panic don’t panic!! Bought myself two early birthday presents yesterday – a transparent Nokia 3310 handphone cover (makes my phone look quite ‘lian’ now with really bright flourescent lights) and a pair of really smooth, ultra cool Salomon inline skates (80mm wheels/ABEC 5/Aluminium frame/Shock Absorber) in shades of blue from shop in East Coast Park! Never had so much fun blading before – whizzed along feeling the wind in my hair and past all the slow bladers on their $80 Ultrawheel blades from Carrefour.. hahahaha…. Think I will make regular inline skating my seventh New Year Resolution:

7. Regular rollerblading at East Coast – on either every Fri or Sat (depending on my off day) – if you want to join me , gimme a call or sms! :)

Attended a cosy candlelight house party yesterday (post Christmas-pre New Year – what you might describe as “New Year’s Eve Rehearsal Party”) – stuffing face with yummy home-made Shepherd’s Pie, potato salad, chicken wings, cold cuts of ham & salami, and ribs from Cold Storey – downed with copious amounts of red & white wines and sangria (yes! two days in a row!) . Slightly intoxicated, we made our way to scare ourselves silly with excellent midnite movie The Others. Really excellent.. and Nicole Kidman was really good too.. don't miss it..

What a fun day :)

Saturday, 29 December 2001


Kai & I had the yummiest Spanish tapas and sangria at Ocho Restaurant And Tapas Bar at Chjimes just now after work. The sizzling garlic beef tapa and sauteed mushroom tapas were simply heavenly!!! Plus the sangria was the best I've had so far (and I've had..*burp*.. quite a few before :p)

just met up with "long-lost" friend (haven't seen for six months) for supper over lethal combination of Tiger Beer & D24 durian (old grandma tale dictates that the beer + durian combination can kill.. i'm still here...unless.. this is my final blog... (gulp!).. WATCH THIS SPACE!! Just read online: "This combination apparently creates what the Chinese like to call "internal wind" But for the King of Fruits, it’s more like an internal typhoon"... umm...

anyhow, we encountered two really bizarre events on our way back - firstly, when we went back to his car which was parked in the open-air carpark, we found it almost totally covered with bird-poo on the front and back windscreens, bonnet and boot! It was the worst case of bird-poo attack I've ever seen in my life! And strangely enough, there was none on the roof of the car!! So eerie! Secondly, we encountered at least three separate instances of accidents involving car pile-ups in this single night! One of them was so bad that we counted at least 10 cars involved!! umm...

btw: Check out my new Buttercup wrist watch!

Friday, 28 December 2001

saw this advert in the MRT for the website for the Second Link and actually went to look at it.. do you think there is anyone else out there more "bo-liao" than me?? :p Actually, I was just really curious what I could find on the site.. I mean.. is the site also "e-commerce enabled" to allow visitors to buy "I Love The SecondLink" baseball caps and umbrellas?? maybe.... haha.. now you have to click on the above link to find out!! you can also click on this second link... err.... no pun intended... :p
brrr... the weather has turned amazingly cold and wet and rainy.. so much so that now almost everyone is saying that it is "not like Singapore" anymore... been going around with winterly jackets and may soon be putting on gloves and scarf! :p Met Service says our temperature is now between 23 to 27 degree celsius! wow! Never quite had weather like this before - as one of my depressed friend says "the sky is raining as heavily and continuously as her heart".. :( ... Number of friends and associates in "emotional turmoil" continues to balloon... wonder if there is a bizarre correlation between low temperatures and cold hearts??? aahhhh :O gave Kai this really depressing website to look at today - not sure why.. no evil intent.. I think I just wanted her to know that she was not "alone in the Universe" If you are experiencing some kind of relationship up & down at the moment, this site should mean something to you...look at the archives especially.. be forewarned.. it is pretty depressing...

had authentic Yakitori dinner at Nanbantei Restaurant in Far East Plaza just now.. yummy!! but really expensive.. every 2 sticks of beef/chicken/pork/seafood/vege lightly salted and grilled expertly over charcoal fire costs between $5 to $18!! The chef will prepare and cook the food right in front of you and serve you. Nice atmosphere but not a good place to bring friends with hearty appetites unless you want to burn a hole in your pocket or leave unsatisfied.

Wednesday, 26 December 2001

are you one of the "growing number of people (probably now in the majority)" who don't even make New Year's resolutions? Are you one of the many who say "why make them since experience has also taught us that we will break them anyway, "so what's the point?"" Besides, not making the resolutions will enable you to avoid the "negative spiral of guilt, failure and de-motivation that making resolutions and consistently breaking them creates". Ya?

Here's a little something from Tony Buzan's Head Strong:

.. (considering) how the brain builds up its thinking patterns and probabilities for repetition, thought and action, think about what the non-resolution-maker is actually thinking: "I am not going to make New Year's resolutions because, if I do, I will break them." This thought is repeated, in various ways, both consciously and subconsciously: "I am not going to make New Year's resolutions because I am the kind of person who will break them; I am not making New Year's resolutions because, when I do, I break them; there is no point in a person like me making New Year's or any other resolutions to improve myself, because I am the kind of person who, when I make good resolutions, breaks them; I don't make New Year's resolutions because when I do I break them because my will is not strong enough nor my self-control great enough to make them come true..."..

This, according to Tony Buzan, is a disastrous thing called "Meta-Negative Thinking Habit" that, the more and more it grows, actually and physically decreases the possibility that its owner will make any resolutions to improve at any time and will convince them that both their bodies and brains are out of control, and that growing weakness and overall decline are inevitable...

wah... betcha didn't know it was so serious... :P
je táime ewedeshanno aishite-imasu te amo ‘oku ou ‘ofa ‘iate koe aloha phlâwt-rák jag älskar dig ich liebe dich i raakastan sinua te quiero saghapa amo-te ti amo i love you ....

The language of love is the real language of the world. In some ways we all need to hear the words “I love you” but there are at least two schools of thoughts on this theory. One is the school which says to say it often, or as much as you can, or at least not to waste an opportunity to tell someone that you love them. The other school says to use these three words sparingly, and that it renders them without meaning if you use them all the time. The truth probably lies somewhere in between: in any case, it is all a question of degree. Telling someone you love them when you have only known them a short while may not be as intensely meaningful as telling a long-term partner or your parents. The point is that “I love you” has as many meanings as there are moments – or individuals – and understood in this way we should all be free to express our individual version a lot more. There’s no power in holding back and waiting for the other person to ‘crack first’. Not telling someone you love them could be one of the things you end up regretting all your life. Real power goes tot whoever is able to communicate love. As it is often said, ‘an ocean refuses no river’. The words ‘I love you’ are meant to be used – they’re among the best ones we have. Don’t wait too long. – from Girlosophy2 – The Love Survival Kit

Just had a wonderful 2 hour plus phone conversation with dear friend from the UK (the phone bills!! :O ) and realised how much has changed since the last time we chatted on the phone. It's funny how events in the year tend to speed up as the year comes to a close. Looking back, I can hardly remember what happened in the first half of the year! umm....

Tuesday, 25 December 2001

new year resolutions.. ahh...It’s the time of the year again when we reflect on the 12 months that have just passed. For many of us, this year has been incredibly intense, very exciting, definitely enjoyable, full of lessons learnt and emotions felt. For many of us (me included) this year can be described as having been rather unpredictable. Most of us felt the effect of the much dreaded “Quarter Life Crisis” and helped each other along even as we clung onto our own crutches or partners. The economic uncertainty made career switching less attractive so most of us hung on to what we had (except for the couple of brave souls who ventured out on their own). While some relationships were cemented with vows of marriage and some new ones were born :), there were those that faltered and fizzled out :( and also those that collapsed and now hung on uncertain. Some of us wished we had manuals to teach us how to handle the many difficult decisions we had to make.. but there were none.. we were left to our own devices and the support of Faith and friends. Many of us also put ourselves through some rigorous tests in creativity, learning random stuff from painting to dancing to languages and taking trips to odd places (e.g. me to Goa).. In short, the year has been memorable in its own way..

have decided on a couple of new year resolutions…
1. to participate in every race/charity run that comes up in the year
2. to more openly appreciate the people close to me
3. to strengthen my connection to my family
4. to be more generous
5. to write a book
6. to allow God a more constant and definite place in my life

.. more coming up soon…. share yours with me the next time I meet you, ok? :)
Two Great Quotes

"One of the key tools for a long-term relationship - a common purpose. If you both agree at a conscious level that the purpose of your relationship is to create an opportunity, not an obligation - an opportunity for growth, for full self expression, for lifting our lives to their highest potential, for healing every false thought or small idea you ever had about you, and for ultimate reunion with God through the communion of your two souls - if you take that vow instead of the vows you've been taking - the relationship has begun on a very good note. It's gotten off on the right foot. That's a very good beginning." - from Conversations with God (Vol 1)

"When I loved myself enough, I could remember during times of confusion, struggle or grief, that these too are part of me and they too deserve my love." - from When I Loved Myself Enough by Kim McMillen
Got giant-sized Buttercup, girlosophy 2 - The Love Survival Kit and a humblebox easel for Christmas!! Wow wow wow!! :) had two separate Christmas gatherings – one yesterday with best pals from Sec School clique and another one today with some people from work. Two absolutely different gatherings in terms of setting, feel and crowd but equally warm, tingly and filled with good Christmas spirit.

The Christmas gathering and gift exchange session with long-time (10 to 13 years!! Yeah!) friends from Sec school has become almost a tradition for the group. However, this year, all of us felt something was different.. for one, the crowd was smaller (with fewer other-halves) than previously. Instead of the usual feasting, we also celebrated it over only some 2-for-1 California pizzas, bbq chicken wings, instant noodles (yes, instant noodles), some red wine and a simple but yummy log cake. We still laughed and joked as much as before but now we also shared philosophical quotations on love and relationships – really feels like we have all gone through tremendous maturing over only the one year that just passed.. it’s almost unbelievable… the gift exchange was also filled with much meaning as we went around the table appreciating the thoughtful gifts we got from each other (i.e. no chocolates).. all in all, it felt a lot more solemn but really meaningful..

Gathering this evening was a more elaborate affair – with nice table settings, delectable sliced beef and turkey, and meticulously prepared salads, salmon, cheese and crackers, and quality red wine. Kinda joined a sort of family gathering but wonderful host put us all at ease to enjoy the feast fit for kings..nice… :) got to learn a lot about entertaining at home from her...

Sunday, 23 December 2001

Humour Singapore Politics - Why Did The Chicken Cross The Road?
met up with a friend and ex-colleague for coffee club coffee (and brownie with ice cream!! :)) last night and had a refreshing change of discussion topic from what I have been caught up with for the past week or so (i.e. relationships, relationships, relationships :p). By some strange chance, she has been (sort of) roped into the Young PAP (i.e. the Young People's Action Party) and is now joining them often for one of their discussion groups. I actually find this really quite exciting 'cos ironically, even though "associating yourself with PAP'" has always been taken as "conformity" (check out article)or worse still "apathy", I personally feel the exact opposite about it. To me, to dare to stand up and say that you are "aligned with policies of the ruling party" but "have views about it" is almost taboo among young people of my age group who want to look "cool" and "non-partisan" or "just want to stay out of politics" (which is even more apathetic, in my view). I know (just as well as anyone else out there - taxi drivers included) that Singapore politics isn't perfect - however, I've always believed that if change has to come, it has to come from within the ruling party and probably from the younger members - for the simple reason that the cream of the crop, the brightest of the cohort, have already been snapped up by the party anyway and for the opposition (for all their admirable efforts) to make even a bit of dent in the existing structure will still take a while (with all the "odds" stacked up against them). Since I believe that if you have the cream of the lot of the 20-somethings, there is no way they will sit there and not express their views. change (if necessary) is in fact more possible and likely to happen from being involved in the party, than if you are outside of the party and yelling and protesting (or worse stil just sitting in cafes and grumbling..)

Saturday, 22 December 2001

amazing big breakfast at tiong bahru market this morning - stuffed face with famous (and incredibly expensive and rude) chwee kueh, assorted dim sum from equally famous tiong bahru pow and snack stall, chye tow kueh, etc etc etc downed with large mugs of soya bean drink.. burp! couldn't eat till dinnertime..

spent most of today at home sorting out and mounting slides of trip to Goa - quite pleased with results :) not National Geographic standard yet (far from it!) but got a couple of good portrait shots and got the lighting right mostly (I think)..quite inspired to carry on with slides and also to try out b&w film.. maybe just try out couple of rolls on people around me.. like mum cooking and colleagues working.. umm...
gerbil stare

played with friend's pair of gerbils yesterday - they are so cute!! not very interactive but i feel they are 10 times better than mice and 5 times better than hamsters :) they are really the most adorable creatures you can find (especially if you look at them from the front - as in pic above). SA, don'tever check out this wonderful Flash site by Joe Cartoon - he does really bizarre (but outrageously funny) things to the Flash cartoon cousins of your favourite Itsy & Bitsy.. started Christmas shopping only yesterday (talk about last minute :p) - the streets are getting really crowded and people are frantically snatching things off the shelf, almost without care what they are buying..quite scary.. had dinner of Make-Your-Own Pasta at Bugis Sketchers yesterday.. found that I am not a good pasta designer.. they are really clever... you can't really complain about their cooking cos you are the one who decided what should go into it.

realised yesterday after talking to alb that I have always felt inferior in a sort of way (I know it sounds quite unbelievable - what with my big ego and all) and he told me something really wonderful and touching.. that the only way for me to love myself is to think that I am worth other people loving me... wow! thanks.. :)

Friday, 21 December 2001

This is really funny!! The Single Man's Guide to TV Dinners - see especially the box pictures... hahaha...
Something really ironical happened to me today - was late at meeting up with a friend at 6.45pm cos I had accidentally taken the MRT in the wrong direction after work (ending up at Kallang when I meant to head to Clementi). Reason was: I was absorbed and distracted by a book on Time Management I was reading.. haha.. :) anyway, found a really funny and good quote inside on how many of us habitually put off doing what we need to do by doing other trivial time-wasting tasks:

I've dusted my desk and I've wound up my watch,
I've tightened (then loosened) my belt by a notch,
I've polished my glasses, removed a small speck,
I've looked at my check stubs to check out a check,
I've searched for my tweezers and pulled out a hair,
I've opened a window to let in some air,
I've straightened a picture, I've swatted a fly,
I've looked for a book and I've straightened my tie,
I've sharpened each pencil till sharp as a dirk...
I've run out of reasons for not starting work.

- Anonymous
Came up with a couple of enlightening thoughts today - realised that many of us are constantly finding ourselves slaves to two main things - Time and Money. The idea behind learning how to manage the two is really actually about learning how to manage ourselves in order to accomplish our goals within whatever of each of the two is available. Time and human behaviour mix together in amazing ways - if we allow a lot or a little time for a job, it will probably take whatever time we're allowed anyway. If we want to be able to attain mastery over time, hence, we must learn to get more done in less time. The key to this is to carefully consider just how long it actually takes to do the job, and then not budget a single second more than that... You can then find yourself freed up to do a lot of other things. Money and human behaviour work together interestingly too - if we allow ourselves to be delighted by money (or to be consumed by material things), we find that we can never have enough of money. If however, we give it away generously and learn to manage our material expectations, we will find ourselves no longer bound by the hunger and perceived need for it. We then find ourselves masters over money.. it's a really great feeling...
missed a day of blogging..umm... was suddenly struck by the wonder if there are people in this world who actually read my blog everyday as some kind of daily vitamin - edu-tainment kind of vitamin, if you must.. and they feel the deficiency whenever i don't blog.. :p

watched Lord Of The Rings last night and hilarious stand-up comedy duo Hark The Jingle Red-Nosed Chestnuts just now.. two simply brilliant shows. Didn't finish reading the book before the LOTR show :( but that might have just been as well 'cos then I didn't have any expectations and could enjoy all that it had to offer with a certain measure of surprise. The scenary in many of the scenes were really stunning (both New Zealand real ones - I want to go!! - and computer graphics fake ones) and the show had a wholesome blend of everything from romance to adventure to friendship, loyalty, fantastic costumes, special effects and quotable quotes.. Think it is hard to find fault with the movie unless you simply hate long shows (3 hours!!) or ugly monsters (which the show is packed with - orcs and trolls)..

Hark The Jingle Red-Nosed Chestnuts was unexpectedly enjoyable - coming from two brilliantly-talented local chaps, throwing together a rojak of a show that spoofs at everything from christmas songs, popular musicals (les miz), local drama serials (the war diary) and local fads (like karaoke and para para dancing) to even the nativity scene (which was really quite impressively witty) and their "politically-correct" version of "Silent Night").. in my humble opinion, at 27, these chaps have a great future ahead of them!

Wednesday, 19 December 2001

kinda surreal day today..felt connected to many people at many levels - some for the first time, some more deeply, some in new ways... found that there are no other times we can feel more human than when we are connecting with people... pretty amazing...

gathered more insight on human relations - especially on the "connection between two people" idea - while Kai and I were chatting today. Out of the blue, I realised that the strongest way two people feel connected to each other is not when they are together all the time, living, eating, doing stuff together.. instead, we only really feel connected to another person when we know we are feeling the same way about something or about each other.. for example, think about a long distance relationship. Very often, things are made much more bearable only because you know the other person is feeling the same way as you do or doing the same thing as you are (even reading the same book or listening to the same music). A pubescent teenager having a secret crush on another person will suddenly become interested in activities or hobbies that his/her subject of desire participates in as they suddenly feel a connection through doing the same. This is why we can sometimes feel so connected to some of our close friends when we meet them even after a very long time. On a more impersonal level, we can even say that this is why even complete strangers, when caught in a similar crisis (e.g. traffic jam, lift breakdown, or sharing the sorrow of being families of air crash victims) suddenly feel a certain strong bonding.

Conclusion: It is not physical proximity but emotional and intellectual affinity that really connects people..

I used to have a comfort zone where I knew I wouldn’t fail.

The same four walls and busywork were really more like jail.
I longed so much to do the things I’d never done before,
But stayed inside my comfort zone and paced the same old floor.

I said it didn‘t matter that I wasn’t doing much.
I said I didn’t care for things like commission checks and such.
I claimed to be so busy with the things inside the zone,
But deep inside I longed for something special of my own.

I couldn’t let my life go by just watching others win.
I held my breath; I stepped outside and let the change begin.
I took a step and with new strength I’d never felt before,
I kissed my comfort zone goodbye and closed and locked the door.

If you’re in a comfort zone, afraid to venture out,
Remember that all winners were at one time filled with doubt.
A step or two and words of praise can make your dreams come true.
Reach for your future with a smile; Success is there for you!

Author: Unknown


"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequte. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small doesn't serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are born to make manifest the Glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us, it's in everyone, and as we let our light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

Nelson Mandela
President, South Africa

Tuesday, 18 December 2001

Totally agree with Jennifer about blogging.. she says:

One of the points I see in blogging is to try to reach people, and to get them thinking and talking. And debating. Or arguing. I don't feel the need to reach thousands or millions (or even tens) of people. If I know I've touched just one person by something I've said, or introduced new possibilities to another, or made a connection with a delightful, intelligent, creative, or fascinating person whom without the Web I never would have heard of...It's worth it.
Quite an overwhelming day today – woke up really late for work after two late nights in a row. Hari Raya Day – shop filled with happy papas and mamas bringing children and babies… very festive-ey warm feeling… tis the season to be jolly… :)

Very philosophical day - spent almost all of office time talking to good friend with relationship woe (consider it part-work ‘cos have to help colleague sort out personal problem which can potentially affect her work performance : p). Concluded that the most important elements affecting all human relationships are three main things – Fear, Trust & Appreciation.

The best thing we can ever do for friends or any other people we love are to help them conquer their fears. Fears are like evil demons in everyone. We all have our own unique set of fears (some of which can actually be really silly – like one of my old ones which was the fear of sitting on a merry-go-round – I’ve since gotten over it.. really..). When we help people to get over their fears, we inspire in them new possibilities and rebuild their confidence in themselves.. which can be the greatest gift we can ever give them.. more than jewellery or chocolates or even money.. Unfortunately, the inverse is true – creating fear in people (either by being nasty or inconsiderate to them (like how we are sometimes to our parents), making them feel inferior or threatening them in any way, e.g. by messing up relationships or threatening breakups at every bad juncture) divides people and are terrible for relationships. Problem is, these fears that we create are usually done unintentionally and subconsciously, so in the end, we may even deny that we are the cause and blame the other party for it… yet more divide..
Trust, too, to a certain degree is essential for any human relationship to work. While we can’t go around trusting everyone, the loss of it between two individuals who are meant to have a close relationship (either mother and daughter, husband and wife, a dating couple etc), gradually or suddenly, will make it impossible for the relationship to carry on... when we start to doubt the other person’s ability or commitment or even things they say.. .. While nothing may have tangibly changed in the other person, trust can erode subconsciously in our own minds, making us suspicious and hurtful… eventually this divide starts to grow and before you know it, you no longer feel anything for the other person except resentment, anger or some other negative feeling.

Appreciation is about accepting and loving people as they are – what they look like, what they are capable of, what they do, what they say, their values and their beliefs. Its about loving their rhythm and constantly reminding them how wonderful they are. When two people first get together, it is easy to tell the other person how wonderful they are (because you truly think so!) Your eyes sparkle at things they say and your body language shows full acceptance for what and who they are. Then along the way, we begin to stop telling them these nice things. Next thing we know it, we begin thinking of changing these people. Little things start to annoy us and we forget why we loved them in the first place. In fact, we may even feel that telling them they look nice or whatever sound a little contrived and silly and we stop ourselves (even though these words are like vitamins that they need for daily nourishment in this world filled with criticisms and harsh words)…

Conclusion: Cherish the people you are with today.. 'cos they just may not be with you again tomorrow...

Monday, 17 December 2001

feeling a little restless and perturbed now cos everyone around me seems to be having relationship problems of one kind or another all of a sudden (!) - out of the blue.... it's either about one party saying the other can't make an adequate commitment to the relationship; or about how much space to give to each other... there are also woes about new people walking into existing shaky relationships, or old ex-es suddenly turning up in the cold, stirring up old unsettled passions... a lot of these problems also started when one or the other gets shaky feet when the issue of marriage comes up.... when they suddenly are faced again with the question of "Is this The One for me?"... while others are yet about how much of the old respect and inspiration they used to have from the other are now suddenly missing. ... .a lot of the friends i know who feel themselves "stuck" in these situations find the problems worsened by poor communication and minds clouded by emotional, physical and mental exhaustion.... sigh... it is so hard to be at our age...

i call this the "Age of Emotional Turmoil"..

Sunday, 16 December 2001

the continued high from my trip is making me lose the rhythm of daily blogging...

watched Ocean's Eleven yesterday - huge cast of good-looking, high-profiled Hollywood stars (George Clooney, Andy Garcia, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Julia Roberts etc) was merely a bonus to an otherwise already well-paced, well-scripted plot. Hugely enjoyable..go see..

still feeling a little detached from everything and everyone around me and trying (yet only half-heartedly) to settle back into the rhythm of life here again..deep in my heart, I know I wish I could still be there today, swimming and boogie boarding in the crystal clear ocean and having time to enjoy a leisurely breakfast and watching the beautiful sunrise every morning. Afternoons spent taking short excursions out to neighbouring villages and national parks, taking photographs, painting, reading, writing or kayaking out to see the beautiful falcons perched in half-submerged trees in the river estuary.... it was almost effortless reconnecting with my inner creative source; and reflecting; and getting inspired by nature ... in Goa, the laid back lifestyle is reflected in the faces of the peaceful and friendly natives and the smiling, waving children... here and there, you find epitomes of timelessness: tree roots wrapped around crumbling old walls, hardened-faced cattle herders guiding huge herds of majestic white bulls with perfectly-shaped horns to watering holes, farmers tending to their rice paddies.. in fact, time often stands still here... i found a certain serenity for my usual restless self through the predictability of routines and familiar faces... if you see a guy there today, you see him again tomorrow doing pretty much the same thing... it was funny how all these actually gave me a nice meditative calm when I was there and still continue to intoxicate me now as I think about my time there....

Friday, 14 December 2001

so.. i didn't manage to blog again until I got back to Singapore.. so much for false expectations and disappointed fans..i'm sorry.. i truely am.. :( guess my timings were really bad.. when i did find time to try the internet services, they were always really either "very busy" or "down".. so i spent my time drinking strawberry lassi and writing my offline journal instead, watching the bulls go by, mildly intoxicated by thck incense smoke and the buzzing of flies...

anyhow.. i'm back!! touched down in familiar Singapore (clean, green, modern, functioning, airconditioned) at 7.40am today and got whizzed back home by mummy and daddy in double time and then showered and slept for like eternity (which was actually only 30 mins). Still in a daze and in quite a high from the trip...

Tuesday, 4 December 2001

hello from goa!!! finally managed to get internet connection! autoroaming has proven to be annoyingly unreliable and this is probably the best way to stay in touch now until i can get to sms and to send a couple of emails. Will try to do that as soon as i can.. i promise..

feeling a little overwhelmed now with the whole experience of landing in India and coupled with a bad night of sleep waiting for 7 hours at the freezing domestic airport for the connecting flight to Goa. Goa is really beautiful.. just watched a really stunning sunset at Vagator beach (this really wide sandy beach with snowy fine sand) and friend brought me kayaking to this nearby island where we watched hundreds and thousands of seagulls take off above our heads.. very National Geographic.. also saw a rare Arabian white-breasted sea eagle (which my friend says is very endangered) flying over the beautiful harbour. Everything is so photogenic and life here is so laid-back

Ended night with yummy dinner at off-the-beaten-track Xavier restaurant of goan seafood (pomfret and crab), margarita and st miguel beer - slightly knocked me out.. got to head back now. Managed to find accommodation at sea-front resort overlooking stunning beach (promising "unforgettable" sunrise) and overlooking harbour of colourful floating fishing boats and scene of fluttering seagulls...

:) nice start to the trip (Daytime temp: 25 degrees celsius)

Sunday, 2 December 2001

I am Henry Kissinger!

Which Evil Criminal are You?

Fun Net Games: Check out Orisinal: Morning Sunshine
Kiss My Freckled Ass Goodbye: A research site for a book about quitting your job (really funny!)

finally finished packing for trip tomorrow.. err... later today... still have to get toothpaste, an extra camera battery (just-in-case), AA-sized batteries, phone charger from office and to borrow an adaptor from alb... maybe I don't actually need it but not very sure even after checking handy adaptor guide from yesterday's blog.

Moster, Inc. Sully & Mike

watched Monster, Inc. just now.. so cute!! Interesting storyline and characters and the graphics (especially Sully's fur) were really realistic.. quite impressive.. :)

more updates on our shadow cabinet :)

Saturday, 1 December 2001

Latest newsletter from Lonely Planet had a bunch of useful travel-related links:

For info on embassies and visa requirements.

For up-to-date currency conversions.

Gives a comprehensive rundown of events around the world.

Has constantly-updated info on cybercafe locations.

A neat little site with first-hand accounts of travel across the globe.

Has a very handy guide to electrical adaptors.
Just watched Lonely Planet on Discovery Channel and they showed Ian Wright (who has the best job in the world) in Madagascar! Lynn, are we still going there!? :)

Totally zonked out after busy day at shop yesterday, followed by excursion to the Night Safari (free ticket!) and then late night roti prata and tehcinno at famous Thasevi prata place at Jalan Kayu. Couldn’t really see the cute tarsiers but managed to check out all three of the walking trails - the Forest Giant Walk (on the suspension bridge over the primary rainforest that hardly felt “suspension”), the Fishing Cat Trail (where the furballs were actually fishing though they didn’t seem to catch anything – typical fishermen grouch : p) and the Leopard Trail (with the walk through the quite exciting “Mangrove Walk” – where you come literally face-to-face with giant sinister-looking fruit bats – they are the size of HDB stray cats! Quite scary). Promised myself to check up on these giant rodents called Capybaras. what you get when you cross hamsters and some large animal

Dropped by at the Bidadari Christian Cemetery yesterday after visiting a nearby school – just to see it again (this must be my 3rd or 4th visit) before they raze this beautiful place to the ground and replace it with some ugly modern construction. This place is really tranquil and some of the headstones are amazingly elaborate. See some pictures that I took. Go see it before its gone.

Other stuff… one of our staff lost her new Nokia 8250 at our shop – literally lost it under her nose as she left it carelessly on the worktable outside the office and walked away from it for a while to help customers – sigh, this is the fourth case of theft in our shop to-date. Can’t emphasize enough to them about taking care of their own possessions :( Caught the act on video through our CCTV (it was this late twenty something woman – typical office worker type – definitely a case of opportunism).. I’ll see if I can upload the "Wanted Criminal" image once I get the tape back from the police.