The organised chaos


!(imgleft) in Hong Kong)!:

There is something in champers that makes me feel all giggly and happy.
Maybe it’s the bubbles. Or the fact that I had drunk two flutes of the liquid gold on an empty stomach.

I never would have thought that I could get along with automobile geeks but I did. Amazing. I must have absorbed all jargon that the boyfriend always tries to enthusiastically engage me with. Even more surprisingly, someone recognized me from another event and asked if my favourite colour was green. I didn’t know what he was talking about until he reminded me that I was wearing my Topshop green blouse at the previous event, which happened more than a month ago.

And now, reading Haruki Murakami gives me a headache because the plot is so unlike anything I have ever read and the champers has short circuited my attention span. Ay, Kafkaesque, it is.


Two of Us, Wedding March

Hold on to patience

!(imgcenter) The Venue: The Peak)!:

After Hong Kong (and Harry Potter, one might add, with a tear or two), my life seems to changed in the smallest of ways.

I’d like to think that the boyfriend and I are not terribly rah-rah and we have, more or less, settled back into our normal lives after the whole proposal thing. But there are little differences in how we look at each other and view the world. We observe the people around us and vow not to make the same mistakes as they did in their marriages, we are more mindful of how we spend our hard-earned money and sometimes, I catch him rubbing my ring finger when we are hand in hand, as if wondering where the ring had gone.

There are so many reasons as to why I love him but I think the most beautiful reason is not for us to know but for the unseen hands that brought us together to savour and relish.

How long is the road
How long is the ride
How long is the darkness till we get to the light
Go easy on me
Cause you already know
No matter the distance I’ll stay on the road to your heart

Lately, I have been putting Corrinne May‘s debut album, “Fly Away” on repeat mode.

I love her sophomore effort, I really do, but I think “Fly Away” tugs at my heartstrings more so than “Safe in a Crazy World“. Perhaps it’s because “Fly Away” had kept me company during the darkest moments of my life, when I would lie in bed in the silence of the night while her warm and comforting voice took me back to those days, those moments, those memories.

Four years later, things have changed and I am no longer that girl with shards of glass caught in her heart. I no longer cry in my bed for what I could not prevent. But her songs remain as beautiful as they were in my memories and there are others around me who are struggling to pick up the remnants of their lives and move on again, like I did.

Walk away, I want to tell them, you’re worth more than he’ll ever realize/Baby, walk away/Spare yourself this pain/Can’t you see that he’s not worth it?

Some of us get over pain quicker than others but no matter what, we have to come to the realization that even as we mourn, the world continues revolving and life does not stop for us. Taking steps forward may mean uncertain future but it also signifies courage and strength. We may falter but with each step we take, we become stronger.

And if you should ever fall, I will be there to hold your hand and pull you up again.

Everything Else

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

There were plenty of deaths, flying spells and convoluted plots. The ending was not entirely unexpected and a little unsatisfactory. There were surprises sprung on the reader and predictable revelations on certain characters.

And I am sad that this is it – Goodbye to all these years of feverish anticipation and wondrous imaginings. Goodbye Harry Potter, the Boy Who Lived. After gripping our hearts for so many years, the book community will, perhaps, never find another series like you.

One of my favourite lines has got to be this, uttered by the most unlikely of character: “NOT MY DAUGHTER, YOU BITCH!”

Everything Else

Going potty for Potter

I’ve been re-reading “Harry Potter and the Half-blood Prince” and just as before, my eyes started welling up with tears when it came to The Death.

It’s amazing because I don’t fancy J K Rowling to write great prose. Her sentences can be long and unwieldy, her narration a wee bit too one-dimensional and plain. Perhaps the best thing about Harry Potter is the brilliant idea of a magical world that coexists with the real thing. The notion of the underdog also spurs people to continue reading: afterall, we want The Boy Who Lived to continue living and finally get the chance to have a go at happiness.

Will he live and will he find the strength to kill Voldemort? Will Snape be revealed to be a good man after what he did? Will Sirius ever reappear from the portal into which he fell? I guess we can only find out more on Saturday when “Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows” is finally on sale.

I really must thank the boyfriend for getting me started on the series. Back in 2001 or thereabouts, he saw that I was constantly bored (and bugging him) during my school holidays and surprised me with the first three books of the series. They were slender tomes and I finished them in no time. But I was hooked from the word go. I started pre-ordering the books months before they arrived and though some were less enjoyable than others, the lush imaginations of that world never fails to lift my spirits up.

Just like Sex in the City and The Lord of the Rings, I will mourn the end of Harry Potter this coming Saturday.

In other magical news, I caught the trailer of the movie adaptation of Philip Pullman’s excellent “Northern Lights”, the first from the “His Dark Materials” series. It looks really exciting! The series was one of those where you couldn’t put it down unless you had to – it was a stranger, darker tale than Harry Potter, far more mysterious and sinister. The casting of Nicole Kidman as the cruel, cold Mrs Coulter is sheer genius.

What with The Chronicles of Narnia and Neil Gaiman’s Stardust still in production, the magical world of fantasy has never looked more tempting.


Just the way you are

!(imgcenter), Popartgirl and I!)!:

Over the weekend, we sat in the pews and watched as Dorothea tied the knot.

It was rather surreal to watch her walk up the aisle on the arms of her father, as Melvyn stood at the front, serenading her. Suddenly, I had mental images of her in her VJC uniform stropping around the school grounds, of her hugging her little elephant stuffed toy, of her gurgling in delight over a joke someone made, of her letting me rest my head wearily on her shoulder whenever I felt down.

And then I saw her sitting on the train with us, as we made our long journey back from Boon Lay to the east. We sat there, flipping through magazines, listening to Billy Joel’s “Just the way you are”, sneakily munching on Old Chang Kee curry puffs, snoozing away, or just chatting. I remembered how we had gone to Mango one day after school to try on “work clothes” and her woebegone face when she pulled open the curtains to lament that nothing fitted and our hysterical laughter when we saw the thigh-high pile of clothes inside the dressing room.

And then she was telling me all about Melvyn and how wonderful he is while we were sitting in the MacDonald’s at Siglap, we started calling him Melvyn the Electrician, she was describing to me how he proposed while we chatted over MSN, she was commanding us to be in charge of her ang pow box and we were joking that we would RSVP to Melvyn.

And I couldn’t help but tear.

Dearest Dotz, I don’t know if you will see this but I am so glad to see you happily married to someone you love so truly and wholeheartedly. May your marriage be blessed with lots of joy, laughter and love and remember, always have a spare lightbulb in the house. Love, yAnn.

Two of Us, Wedding March

Yes, he finally proposed

!(imgleft) bling)!:
We got a call from the jeweller’s today who said that it is virtually impossible to resize the ring down by four sizes (I’m a 4, the smallest size they had was an 8). They are going to custom make a ring for me in my size but it’s going to take about three months.

How cool is that?

We like to do things in reverse order.

First, we date for almost seven years (okay, so this is not a reversal). And then, we decide to buy a flat. But unlike most Singaporean girls who make do with “shall we buy a flat”, I am not letting him get away with that because this is the one and only proposal in my life and damn if I should get a crappy one.

Because the flat is ready by end 2008, it means we need to be wed by then. So begins the wedding preparations, as typical kiasu Singaporeans always plan at least a year ahead. But, still no sign of the anticipated proposal.

For the next seven months after we had signed our monies away, I started my campaign. Whenever we walk past a jewellery shop, I would look at him hopefully and say “blingggg”. He would either pretend to be attracted by the Toys R Us nearby or burst out laughing to mask his speechlessness. Not good.

I got bored of that after a while and decided to try a different tack: sending him pictures of the rings that I fancied. One particular favourite of mine, available locally, was a Mauboussin vintage-esque ring.

Our anniversary, birthdays, Valentine’s Day all came and went with no proposal. Why these dates? Because this man (I know him very well) would pick significant dates for something as big as a proposal so that he won’t have problems remembering it in future!

In June, he started dropping hints about diamonds: Destinee from Lee Hwa, Celestial from Goldheart etc. But with no significant dates coming up anytime soon except for our December 31/January 1 anniversary, I wasn’t expecting much.

Last week, I popped over to Hong Kong for a business trip and he joined me for the weekend after. There we were, overlooking the bright lights of the city at The Peak after a tedious journey up and enjoying each other’s company when he suddenly started murmuring into my ear: “I have a surprise for you.”

Before I knew it, he had slipped the ring onto my finger and asked me to marry him. It was the very Mauboussin ring I had fancied, hurrah!

I shed a tear or two, we hugged and kissed happily, and then he said, “Eh, wait, you haven’t said yes. Give back.”

Give back? Not in a million years, dude. It’s mine now!

And I said maybe, we’ll see.

So here I am, looking through videos that make me tear and playing Pachelbel’s Canon on repeat mode. Very soppy, am starting to feel like Becky Bloomwood. Yay.

Two of Us

Status change

!(imgcenter) after the bling was accepted)!:

Since he blogged about it, I really have no excuse not to.

I flew to Hong Kong, leaving behind a boyfriend in Singapore, and came back with a fiance in tow. And we shall both embark on a journey to become a pair of Smug Marrieds and piss the hell out of every single friend we have.

And because I don’t think anyone would be interested in the cheesy, mushy details, I shall spare you all and hit the sack soon. Maybe in the next post, locked.


The city that never sleeps

Hello, Hong Kong!

I’m finally here and it’s amazing how at home I feel in the city. There’s so much life and activity in Central that I sometimes feel energized by the vibe.

I still haven’t gone out of Central yet, work takes up all my strength. But the good thing is, chasing after stories makes me feel alive. It can be quite a pain trying to get hold of the different parties for the information but when everything falls into place neatly, the rush of adrenalin is addictive. Maybe it’s the buzz that’s driving me on. I just feel more alive, somehow.


I was watching Alan Johnston describing his ordeal on BBC after his release and it brought tears to my eyes imagining his trauma at being held alone for almost four months. And yet he is still so calm and patient. It’s amazing. I have always imagined myself as a journalist like him, reporting from conflict zones but I doubt I will ever have the fortitude to ever make it as a war correspondent.


Thank heavens for free wireless connection and pfingo – I have been making daily calls to the boyfriend and my mum. The connection may be scrappy most of the time but at least it’s free, I can’t complain.

Sleeping in that large bed alone feels nice but somewhat empty. I can’t wait for the boyfriend to arrive on Friday so that we can both explore Hong Kong together.

And I do miss the gang quite a bit. I was walking past Lan Kwai Fong on Tuesday night (it was brimming with people, I so love Hong Kongers and their love for the night life!) and was tempted to pop into one of the pubs for a pint. But I didn’t care too much for drinking alone and suddenly thought how wonderful it would be if everyone was here as well – Jane, Wayne, GQ, Skunk et al. We would probably have a whale of time together.


Do I miss Singapore? Well, yes and no.

Travelling alone is good practice for independence. There isn’t anyone to hold your hands or read the map for you, you got to do it all by yourself. You learn to sleep in a foreign environment, which is absolutely tough for me, and enjoy the feeling of being alone in a strange city. You have to gauge if the city is safe enough for a girl to roam about at night, if talking to strangers is a useful thing. You soak in the sounds and sights on your own terms and most importantly, you learn not to let the solitude get to you and enjoy the moment.

You get used to being just yourself. Not anyone’s daughter, sister, girlfriend, best friend. Just yourself. You learn to live with yourself. And that is really the best thing about travelling alone.

The organised chaos

Overfed and happy

That’s me.
Very overfed, full to the brim and very cheesily happy.

Yesterday, the boyfriend and I went for dinner with Popartgirl and Joker at Quentin’s and we fed ourselves very well indeed with Devil’s Curry and other Eurasian fare. After that, my favourite couple and I decided to pop over to Parkway Parade for the food fair that was at the basement. We shopped and ate two sticks of delicious potong ice-cream each.

Today, the boyfriend and I drove out to JB to run some errands and we shared an Auntie’s Anne pretzel. Our next location was Queensway Shopping Centre and we had a box of muah chee. At Ngee Ann City, we chanced upon the Chili Crab festival and each bought a box of chili crab. We proceeded to tear apart the crabs in the most unglamorous fashion there and then.

I got home and there was a roasted chicken drumstick and a bowl of soup waiting for me. I ATE AT EVERY STOP OF MY WAY.

My clothes are piled out in a corner for me to fold and put into the wardrobe. The suitcase is standing by the door, empty and terribly in need of packing for the Hong Kong trip. My letters are in a mountain on my desk, waiting to be opened. The camera needs charging. The laptop needs charging.

But I am too full to do anything but sit in front of my computer and blog. Gaaaah.
And here’s a picture of an overfed me looking insane last week.
!(imgcenter) fed)!: