faces and places (Jul – Sep ’16)

These 3 months have not been easy. There were too many goodbyes and many came in ways that I did not expect. I realized that sometimes you really don’t know when is the last time you will see this person in the way you are used to. It is really important to be appreciative and show appreciation towards the people whom you love. Some losses can be irrevocable. Sometimes it is difficult and I feel that I am carrying the weight of the heavy world. But the role of the living is to keep on living even when the going is tough. I wish I have enough space and time to assimilate into this new phase of life but I guess in life, you don’t always have a choice. It is incredible to think that the people whom I am accustomed to seeing every weekday are complete strangers to me 3 months ago. I am grateful that they came into my life. 🙂 Looking back, I wish I have handled some situations better and I wish that I were more level-headed, more composed and less reactive. But life is a learning experience itself and life has many pockets of lessons. I still have a lot of things to learn and I have a lot of room to become a better person.

 “While there’s life, there’s hope” – Stephen Hawkings. 

08/07/16

One Friday night, I met Kurinchi at City Hall to collect the Shape Run goodie bag before we had dinner and drinks at CHIJMES. I love CHIJMES, it’s one of the places that I feel safe and relaxed. I am really grateful to have this girl beside me for the past 9 years. When I am with her, I feel comfortable and I can be as crazy as I want to be. Thank you for your friendship. ❤

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09/07/16

My family went for the first NE show at the new National Stadium. It was my first time watching something at the stadium and I must say the stadium is way bigger than I have imagined it to be. It was not very well-organised. I remember how the soldiers refused to let us get through even though we had the car park pass. In the end, we had to go a very long way to get into the same carpark. Furthermore, some parts had signs indicating “reserved” and the ushers kept directing us away but in the end, most of those seats were empty. My grandmother is almost 75 years old and it pained me to watch her climb the stairs laboriously because those empty seats needed to be reserved. But I heard that it was more well-organised on the day itself, at least these people did their AAR. The programme itself was okay, it was different from previous years due to the absence of some popular NDP elements, such as airshow. Yet again, the NDP committee attempts to rewrite the Singapore narrative through the NDP storyline. Who is Badang? Is his story relatable? Does his sudden appearance in Singapore’s history make me feel more connected to the land? We should celebrate the histories of people in Singapore. Don’t you feel like you will feel the urge to stay for a long time in this city if you know that you are surrounded by interesting people who are working hard in line with their own philosophies?

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17/07/16

My grandmother struck lottery (she kept striking lottery every now and then) and we went for a nice dinner at a Chinese restaurant at CHIJMES one Saturday. That was also the last time I saw her and this is the last photo that I took with her on that evening. Life is unpredictable. When someone whom you love is taken away from you so suddenly, there’s bound to be regrets. Maybe I should have looked at her and spoken to her more on that evening. I remember my aunts reminisced about their childhood and they spoke about the orang-utan with the purple buttock (!?) at the Great World (or was it New World?) amusement park. My grandmother was quite entertained by that conversation and she also remembered that monkey very well. I miss her.

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08/08/16

August was also the start of the NIE programme. We had to put up a “float” and make a poster for the National Day Celebrations and my group worked really hard on the aesthetic front and we were proud of the end product. Some of the finer details require a lot of effort and I wonder if the judges and the audience even notice those details. Guess that is another small life lesson itself. Sometimes people don’t see the effort that you put in and so it is best that you are not motivated by others’ affirmation in what you do. Live for yourself.

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09/08/16

On National Day, I met up with the other Chemistry teachers and we went to cycle at the East Coast Park and catch some Pokemons along the way. There were so many people catching Pokemons there. I was happy to catch my first Pikachu there! 🙂 In the evening, we played some drawing game in Guohui’s flat and it was really fun. It’s always nice to see how the others are doing. It’s interesting how so many things have happened to us in such vastly different ways between the time when we graduated and now. As we grow older, our lives will probably only diverge even more. I hope we will still stay in touch.

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14/08/16

My family went to the National Gallery one Sunday. Interestingly, that was the first time my father and brother visited the National Gallery. We went on a Building Tour and the curator patiently explained to us the history of the 2 colonial buildings. It’s amazing to imagine that so much history has taken place in this place. One of the facts that will stick with me for some time is this: the Japanese surrendered here in 1945 and the Japanese were escorted by the British soldiers out of the building. The Padang field was full of people who came to witness the surrender of the Japanese and when the Japanese generals and soldiers walked to the vehicles as prisoners-of-war, the people at Padang were completely silent. The silence was solemn. It must have been quite a chilling scene to witness. Overall, we had a good time exploring the National Gallery and I hope we will find time to go on the other tours.

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02/09/16

My family did a staycation at Sentosa one weekend. We visited S.E.A and I was really amazed by the vast range of marine creatures at the aquarium. Visiting the aquarium really strengthened my desire to go diving and to swim beside these sea creatures (not the jellyfish of course!). The corals and the fishes are just so beautiful. Some marine creatures, such as the starfish, also make me question what life actually is. The starfish is not mobile so it does not fit the stereotype of an animal but it is not a plant too. What actually is it? What kind of life is it experiencing? I have taken 2 baby steps towards the path of becoming a certified diver and I hope that I will earn the open water diving certificate by the end of the year. We also watched the crane dance and it was really interesting. I know it is really difficult to model a robot to move rather elegantly. On the next day, we walked around Sentosa and saw some of the tourist attractions such as the Merlion and the Siloso beaches. My brother and I also caught some Pokemons too. That was a really fun weekend. 🙂

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03/09/16

My father got a pair of Jay Chou concert tickets for us and that was the first time we watched a concert at the Sports Hub. We were lucky that we could still hear him quite well (although we could not see him clearly for the most part of the concert). It was really cool when the whole stadium was illuminated by the pink light sticks. What I love most of course was singing along to his songs. His songs, especially the older ones, brought back so much memories. I remember I learnt and revised for Chinese by listening to his songs.

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22/09/16

My brother left for London on a Thursday night and my relatives were really sweet to travel all the way to the airport to send him off. It’s crazy to imagine how many things have happened to me between the last time I sent him off at the airport and this September. I am sure I have grown a lot and I hope that I will become stronger in face of adversity. There can’t be rainbow without a little rain. I have to be stronger, I have to be more patient and I have to be calmer.

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