I spent the new year in Paris. Even though it may sound romantic and awesome, Paris was actually really crowded over the new year holidays. We spent more time queuing to get into the museums than actually walking inside the museums. We spent almost 7 days in Paris, it was a long enough time to appreciate the museums (Musée du Louvre, Musée d’Orsay, Musée de l’Armée and Musée Rodin) and to take in the grandeur of this spectacular city. Yes, the people may not be the friendliest people on this planet but Paris is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. I remember my brother was really curious about the men with the strings at Sacré-Cœur Basilica, I remember the Parisians closed the gate of the metro of Musée du Louvre and it was very packed and crazy because everyone was stuck on the platform and people on the metro still insisted to get off the metro, I remember we couldn’t find a cake for my dad on his birthday because it was a Sunday. Here is a nice family photo by the Seine River. 🙂
I went to Yudi’s apartment at Limehouse and we prepared a very nice Chinese lunch together, talked about the possibility of replacing humans with computers and took a walk to Canary Wharf. I know Canary Wharf is not the most beautiful and touristy places in London but to me, Canary Wharf reminds me a lot of Singapore. Walking beside Yudi, my middle school classmate, in Canary Wharf made me feel like I went back in time – I went back to the days when we were middle school classmates and we hung out in the shopping centers after class in Singapore. How time passes us by.
I went to visit Aneke in Melle for a weekend, it was a very snowy weekend (yay!) and I had a great time. I remember how her dad took out the map of Germany and started to explain the road and rail networks of the country, I remember how we walked in the woods in the snow, I remember the beautiful old towns covered in snow. 🙂
I met up with Eiji in Cittie of Yorke for lunch. I must say Cittie of Yorke is one of my favourite pubs in London. We have a very nice story – I was in Kyoto in Jun’ 14 and we met at a Japanese party. Then we met again in Singapore in Jul’ 14 when he came over for an internship. We met again in London in Feb’ 15 when he came over to learn English. I wonder when we would meet again. 🙂
In the middle of March, I had a little gathering with the Catalan girls over the weekend. I think it’s really nice that they invited me out because they had to speak English as I was there. It’s incredible how I first met the girls in Barcelona 3 years ago and in 2015, apart from Eva, the rest of them were doing something (Masters or work) in England. Who would have guessed that? We met at Notting Hill, ate Japanese food and walked to Little Venice. It’s really interesting what the mind chooses to remember. When I think about the time with the girls, the first and most vivid thing that came to mind was the intense discussion that Adriana, Laia and I had in Adriana’s room about whether mergers are ethical. When we got a bit too depressed talking about mergers, we put on some music and started to dance. That was quite memorable. 😀
A week later, I re-visited Little Venice with my classmate, Yixin, and we went for a nice afternoon tea beside the canal. She is a really interesting friend to me because we have very different (sometimes completely opposite) personalities, viewpoints and priorities. It is through her that I learnt that people can be very different from me and it doesn’t mean that someone who does something differently from me is wrong.
I did the SG50 march for charity and made some new Singaporean friends – Jia and Rachel. Before the march, there was a memorial service for the late founding father Lee Kuan Yew at the High Commission of Singapore. The atmosphere during the memorial service was solemn, sad and respectful. It was rather meaningful to do the SG50 march after the memorial service because it was a way to signify that as a nation, we Singaporeans will remember and exemplify the LKY spirit and values and we will continue to forge forward. The SG50 march was quite fun, we sang NDP songs during the walk and we had buffet lunch (Singaporean food!!) after that at the Royal Garden Hotel. What I remember best from that day was the part when we got to one of the water points and even though we were really thirsty, we did not take any water bottles because there was not enough water bottles for everyone and we rationalized that people who were slower than us may need the water more than us. I like this spirit of “one for all, all for one” even though sometimes it may seem quite foolish. That is what the world needs and that is what the world lacks.