My faith in men has been restored. Today, not one, but two men actually stood aside in the lift and each held one door while I tried to be most demure in stepping out. What was interesting was that the lift was originally full and I was in a corner at the back and everyone else had already gotten out except for the three of us and both of them were actually in front of me. So, what this means is that they, well, did the abovementioned. I was actually rather disturbed by the other people who had filed out of the lift without even pressing the “Door Open” button. I mean, what if the doors had just shut in the face of the person behind? I say this because I have seen it happen many times. So, I was slightly anxious about how I was going to get out and then this most wonderful of miracles happened. Chivalry lives!
A Happy Ending August 9, 2007
The other night, i.e. night I received the wedding invite, after speaking to the best friend and while milling around my bedroom listening to my boyfriend’s snores, I had a moment. I wouldn’t call it an epiphany – that’s like being hit by a meteorite. This was more like a gentle breeze that disturbed a couple of furballs in my mind. I felt like I had reached the end of a book – a story which started years ago in secondary school where we all first met – and it ends with “and they all lived happily ever after.”
Fren D got married last year and Fren Y is getting married this year and I am happily attached. Yep, in a romance novel, this is the end.
What comes after this? I have a strange feeling of being in limbo.
This is my country, this is my life… August 8, 2007
It’s Singapore’s 42nd birthday tomorrow. The only way I remember this is by making the link between Singapore and my fat uncle who is a Snake like me and born in the year Singapore gained her independence, which makes them both 12 years older than I am.
Personally, the 9th of August would have no significance for me at all if not for the fact that my brother was born on this day 24 years ago. I remember it very clearly because I was a six-year-old kid for whom public holidays were the best thing ever just for the wonderful lineup of kids’ programmes on television. Unfortunately, on this particular day, my brother popped out into this world and I had to miss a TV adaption of some fairy tale because I had to go to the hospital to meet my sibling for the first time.
I am still on leave and incidentally, I was hanging around the Singapore River today. On the way to the Chinese snuff bottles exhibition at the Asian Civilisations Museum at Empress Place, I actually passed by the spot where Sir Stamford Raffles landed in 1819.
So this is what I did on my day off. I woke up late, had a nice little French lunch with the boyfriend at Le Pont de Vie, went to Funan Centre to get a Blue Tooth thingie for my iBook G4 to communicate with the latest love of my life – my Nokia N95, then went to the ACM. After that we went in search of a Parma Ham Baguette because I had a craving. We walked to Robinson Road where I gave up my search at Pret A Manger and had a Salmon & Egg Sandwich instead. We walked even more after that to the Planet Fitness at Far East Square because Sniffles (that is new name for boyfriend) had to pick up some stuff. I went to Mr Teh Tarik while waiting and got miffed as I was standing there because three different people cut in in front of me and they could because there was no queueing system. Like, am I invisible? Dinner was lousy bak kut teh along River Valley Road.
We walked quite a fair bit today and it would be pretentious to say, oh, what a beautiful country I live in, as if this is the first time I’m looking at it. I also wouldn’t go so far as “to shout it from the mountain top, I want the world to know…” that I love my country but it would be just enough to say that I appreciate it. I really do. I’ve lived overseas in some really great cities (oh… now I’m sounding like this year’s National Day song!!!) and I could have lived there forever, just like how I can live here for the rest of my life too. I guess what I’m saying is that living in Singapore isn’t so bad. We don’t have the resources or the luxury to take our chances with democracy the American way. Many decisions made by the government piss me off. It’s not so much the decisions but the fact that we play no part in making them nor can we challenge them. It’s hard for people to feel any affiliation to a country when they have no say in how it is run. At the same time, too many voices will just result in all talk and no action. Unchallenged authority gets things done because it is not afraid; it does not sway with the way the wind blows. It just bulldozes its way to results.
During my time abroad, I saw the flaws of the places I was in: gross inefficiency, the government was a lot of talk and the people just kept whining. Or they took to the streets and went on strike. Nothing got done. I saw all this as an observer and outsider looking in and I couldn’t criticise because it wasn’t my own country. But in Singapore, the invisible gag is also ever-present. Yes, I’m in my own country and yet I am still an outsider. The leaders at the top make the decisions and we just “trust and obey, for there’s no other way.” It’s as if two universes exist in this country – those in power, and the rest of us. And I’m almost afraid to say this but, I think most of us are pretty contented with that.
Yes, in case you haven’t realised, I don’t really have a stand about the sad state of democracy or the lack thereof in this country. What to do? I’m a Libran.
A wedding invite August 7, 2007
A wedding invite came in the mail today. It was, well, I wouldn’t say “a shock” because that has negative connotations, but it’s not really a surprise either given that it was all a matter of time. I guess the extraordinary thing about it is that it’s happening on Waikiki Beach. As in Honolulu, in the state of Hawaii, in the US of A.
I’m not a huge fan of flying. And I do not appreciate any of the 3 S’s that draw people to the beach – Sun, Sea and Sand. And to top it all, I’m not so keen on the US. But, my friend is getting married. And according to the only other friend from Singapore whom she has invited, well, we are the only two she invited, so. There was never any doubt, actually, once I saw the invite, that I was going to attend her wedding, even if it is, to me, taking place in one of the last places on this planet that I would choose to go to. Hell, I would have been more enthusiastic if it had been some secluded monastery in Bhutan where I would have to endure altitude sickness and risk falling off a cliff. But hey, it’s her wedding. At least it’s Hawaii and not some place with the other S that I cannot tolerate – Snow.
I’ve always been prepared to go for a friend’s wedding overseas. I mean, with the number of foreign friends I have, I just assumed that I would eventually be invited to one. I just didn’t expect to attend a wedding of two Singaporeans in Hawaii.
One thing that has struck me is that this is probably going to be the last wedding of a personal friend that I would attend. We were a group of 6 girlfriends in secondary school. To be more accurate, to me, we were a group of 5 girlfriends and a hanger-on, so let’s forget about the 6th and just focus on the 5 of us. 1 got married last year, 2 are lesbians, then there’s this friend, and me. So, yah. Not that I think the lesbians will not get married. One of them did but that’s kind of over and the future is kind of complicated there.
Now the question is… should the boyfriend come along?
Bangkok 2007 August 6, 2007
- 4D3N too short. 5D4N better.
- MBK Centre foodcourt has changed. Now lousy.
- Novotel Bangkok on Siam Square has the best location ever.
- Bring extra pair of underwear – top and bottom.
- Bring own nail colour if going for mani and pedi.
- Think twice about doing a mani and pedi at a place where the main business is massages.
- Cover Chatuchak in 2 days instead of 1. Bring water.
- On days where going to Chatuchak, buy BTS daypass for THB120 if going elsewhere also.
- Meter taxi actually affordable.
- Bring more cash if shopping in Siam Center and Siam Square as some vendors are reluctant to accept credit cards.
- Siam Paragon Food Court is wonderful.
- With the new airport, there’s no longer a need for departure tax.
- Cab fare from airport to hotel is THB450 all included, non-negotiable. Cab fare from hotel to airport, by meter, was THB250. Total toll charges: THB65.
- For baby doll dresses, size M works for me!
- Vanilla Restaurant at Playground is a great place to chill out and get away from the madness.
- Thai Traditional Massage at Heartland is over-rated. Not sure about other places.
- Street food rocks!!
- Breakfast buffets, no matter how great, are only exciting the first morning.
- Do not allow boyfriend to tip.
- Do not trust the Knopf Mapguides Bangkok for directions. It actually gave the wrong coordinates for Health Land Spa and Massage. It was given as E3 but it’s actually C3! That’s quite significant in terms of walking distance. That really exhausted me and was a complete waste of time.
On the whole, I had a really good time.