bad habit

29Nov10

grand visage of stealing away life at a slightest of wimps seems so much enticing and alluring.. it draws me into the wonderful hinterland and makes me really want to believe in living such a life. but yet a reclusive life has all but the antithesis of what is commonly agreed as the happy life…  a complete life is what one would paint a little cosy nest decorated with brilliant windows and muddy air.. silence augmented by shrieks and tantrums bellowed by uncontrollable meatloafs.. and ends with legions of followers who hardly know you and need you anymore… i know i make it sound unbearable, almost despicable but yet i sway back and forth, front and side towards the choo choo life and the trodden path.

i think deep inside, if i had pursue (or had the chance) a wondering rootless life, i would be just about as happy and contented as i am now. in fact, in all likelihood i have a small outside chance of being just a tad happier. i think i crave solitude in an extroverted fashion, maybe it is the awe and incredulity i get that drives my vain interior and, perhaps, makes it more worthwhile than chasing that well laden path of tarmac sprinkled intermittently with persistent rain.

as i see it, i think my life is good and i also see it as a comma than a dot dot dot, where a comma would seem to suggest something anew could come along and return me back to my grazing days.

this post’s original intention was to discuss about bad habits being habits of other people but yet, i guess, in this morose, sober state of mind, some decisions just keeps coming back. not just the bad ones but the wrong ones, the good ones, the happy ones, the frivolous ones, the idiotic ones and so on… things that, by now, only i would care and bother to remember, sometimes i now see it with bright clarity and almost in 3D.

where is this post going? the reader, indulge me, might ask, and i never liked to answer such questions because this is somewhat how i like it: a little blurry like the rainbow fighting the rising sun.

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change

21Oct08

From now, I shall be part time writing at another little known blog, it is a collaboration between a good friend of mine because we are both getting to lazy to write regularly. This entry in this blog shall be the last one, the past two years maintaining it has been most fun and i have enjoyed your vastly sporadic visits.

allez, au revoir et bon chance.


a new start

02Oct08

Some of my fans have complained about the dearth in writing on this obscure blog ever since.. well… erhm… some time back… and looks like things are not going to change that much…

but recently i have gotten in touch with an old friend of mine and we talked about blogging and such, as it turns out, we both would like to blog more but it is quite an effort. So after a long 5 mins we thought that we do a combined blog thing on a whole new site.

for ardent fans (yes New York has made me fairly delusional), i do urge patience as we work on a new theme and hopefully re-ignite this ‘writing-for-the-sake-of-writing’ passion of ours (admittedly, this friend of mine is a far more accomplished writer than moi; he makes far lesser grammar mistakes).

So do stay tune as i think the first entry will be coming soon.

write more, think less.


deja vu

31Aug08

many times i wonder, especially now, alone, in new york, what the hell am i doing again. i mean how many people out there can say that they have crossed 19 time zones, across 6 continents, into 3 vastly different cultures in the short space of 5 months. i mean it is bewildering in the least.

i wonder why or what is it that drives me to undertake such endeavours, why not be like majority of my friends? stay home, be cool, watch football, work, drink, steamboat, whatever for the rest of my 50 odd years. what in the hell is wrong with that? why hurl myself 108000 miles and making myself so restricted?

yes, i am in the land of the free but it also is a period which i feel at my heaviest.. the financial aspect (the burden of living like a student again), the pre-study stress (after all i am an NYU scholar (partial one though) and they do expect me to score blindingly above other students) and the void of a social life.

well, of course, in time to come, life will indeed get better ( or rather this is what i absurdly believe in) but trust me, having to eat 95% of your meals alone for the past 2 weeks is quite, erhm how you say, bloody fucking boring. had it not been the incessant calls i make back to singapore, i think i would be master hermit level 99 grand duke.

which brings me to another observation: new york, for all its glamour and pomp, is a very lonely place. I have realised that as in all big countries, that people here come from all of the nation. and many of them have no friends/families here. So people eat alone a lot here, i go into restaurants, fast food chains, what have you… the only seats that are consistently occupied are the single sitting seats (well i should know because i am part of the pathetically lonesome SDU club). Which singles out that we singaporeans are a very lucky bunch, the friends we make are, more than not, friends for life.

however, i am not regretting this move, in fact, i am not even contemplating the option of quitting. Because, truthfully, it is more like i want to leave singapore more than be in new york (you know what i mean?) and also, as proclaimed by Arsene Wenger “what doesn’t kill you will only make you stronger.” (no i am not an arsenal fan).

oh well, any adventure that i have embarked on, always, always, starts slowly but i know, eventually, i will overcome the odds and make good.

thank you.

*the writer acknowledges the weirdness of this passage, as if it is an Anthony Robbins motivational propaganda shit, and therefore, the “thank you”.



resurrection

20Aug08

Hi people who may or may not care about the existence of this blog or rather the existence of everything outside their immediate sphere,

Finally i am pretty much getting into the life at NYC. And as usual i shall not be going into what bloody nitty details of life: rather more opaque observations thru the lens of a coloured individual who has pretty much been there and not done anything.

fast observations:

contrary to what many “expert” kopitiam analysts, not every ang moh woman has breasts the size of two compressed basketball, in fact, if the rack is huge, probably it can be said for the rest of the body.

new yorkers are quite friendly. ask them one questions and they are generally helpful. though it must be said that the blacks are less friendly (usually). The striking thing is that strangers (service staff, bus dude, pizza guy) can relate in the most off-the-cuff manner. they talk a lot of things between them but if you take out the “yeah” “you bet” “absolutely” “pretty much” “you got to be kidding”: phrases of absolute worthlessness, the repartee could have been over in 3 sentences. (stop your goddamn talking!)

the birds and squirrels here seem to have assimilated perfectly into the new york psyche, they are about the most indulgently nonchantlent bunch i have seen. you can walk by the birds and they happily chirp around you about their business (bathing, chit chatting, whatever), with no fear that a mischeivious hand might be lurking around. the squirrels too, they are bold and daring, zipping around, stealing food and kinck knacks.. (in rome, do what the romans do?)

i have no idea how big (as in status) NYU is until i ventured into the NYU library today. it is absolutely tamadely magni-fucking-cent. the thought that went into the design has to be bloody forward. And you know that your school is something when her library is as big as the singapore national library.

trains here are crappy, dirty but incredibly efficient. they are on time, complete and the trains are usually not full. SMRT?

totally love skype, they have this unlimited call home plan for 6usd/mth, i can call anyone in sg (mobile or land line) for, technically, 10,000mins per month. and since NYU is completely drenched in wireless network, calling home has never been so easy. thanks cs.

will like to finally watch some american tv (damn my temporary but very nice landlord) as my place is tv-less at the moment.

soon…


halt

06Jun08

wow, i have been so bloody occupied (lazy) that i have almost forgotten that i have a neglected blog.. have to update more.. but strangely, the page hits have only declined a little.. makes me wonder does it really make any difference if i do write or not..

whatever.. in the process of getting my stupid student visa to america now.. such a bloody painful process..

later


sometimes when i feel down or depressed (which seems like happening more often the longer i am in sg), i drive around and i love to walk the deserted malls… you know the ‘heartlands’ shopping place.. i like it because it is like a dream.. in the day you find thousands of people milling around indulge in their lives.. so dense it is, you can hardly find the way through.. except for the hoarding voices, all you hear is noise…

when i walked the empty foyer, i feel the ghost of the public shuffling past and by me.. like an existence that is at once within reach and yet far away.. it is weird.. but it does give me a sense of perspective..

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as i squat beside the cck canal.. i realised belatedly that the river that seems so tranquil is actually moving at a rapid speed.. that even though i was drunk i was in awe that i didnt realise it earlier.. that in fact, life is at once moving even though it seems to have stand the turmoil of time…

dont know why i am writing such depressing stuff.. but, this i do know.. that being alone is the best thing in the world…

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am damn sian that thetalkingcock has gone offline.. i have visited their site since i was 20 and have been a regular devoted patron.. but not sure what happened sia.. hopefully they will come back soon, it is good to have a satire voice in sg


lau liao

17Apr08

one of the best thing about being all grown up now is yakult. yes, when i was young, mama always stop me from drinking the apple flavoured one, she insists that i should drink the vanilla one as it was healthier (which of course is a mamatifically proven theory). and also, i could never drink more than 1 bottle, even though, the sweet creamy tangy taste always allures me to get another after another after another…

so at the grand old age of do whatever you want, one thing i secretly enjoy now is, not only drinking that green apple infused yakult but also drinking 3 or 4 bottles at a go.. it empowers me, it makes me feel that it is quite fun to be grown up (well working 24/7 not included, which incidentally this article was to mitigate the mundanity of it) and buy whatever poison you want.

until, that is, the next day when you had to go to the toilet 4 or 5 times with particularly smooth passage, you realised that, yeah, sometimes there is a reason why they stop you from doing something.


korean rock!!

17Apr08

too bloody funny… (concentrate on the drummer)

courtesy of mrbrown


heat is on

16Apr08

after some time back here… still cannot stand the damn heat in singapore.. where ever i go, i keep complaining about the sweltering sun that beats so fucking heavily on us… and what makes me even more heated is the most common response i hear is this “wah lau, don’t act lah.. live in algeria two years only.. you were in singapore for 25 man.. sure you must be used to it.”

man.. i tell you… if so, then why do the people in the the cold wear thermal clothing?? why do they insist on wearing 3, 4, 5 layers of jackets and such.. since they have lived in such conditions for such a bloody long time then should they not just wear t shirt and jeans instead??

i mean.. if it is hot, then no matter how you might want to deny, it is still unbearable mah and coupled that i have been in a temperate country for some time, of course i will complain right..

think they should really air con singapore…

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my life now is super decadent sia.. i drink, party and do crazy (stupid) stuff every other day.. wearing me out man.. think i should try to tone down a little.. but then i am going to NY soon and being a student i would probably not have the money to be so ‘tiong’.

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recently, on BBC radio (yeah, BBC is indeed my good friend) there was a program titled “do asians/blacks need to work twice as hard to be half as good as their white counterpart?”

this really strikes a chord with me and prompted me to think about two questions:

“when i go to NY, will this happen to me? am i willing to leave the “equal” standing i have here?” and

“does this happen to the malay and indian community in singapore?”

answers to these two questions are so difficult… and i do not have the access too.. but it remains an intriguing question, especially the latter one. are we singaporeans, after years to communal assimilation, color blind enough to not notice the color of our colleagues? or indeed friends?

woman rights has always (if the word ‘always’ is not politically right, then at least in my time of existence) enjoyed certain sympathies, even in singapore, where such questions are ‘allowed’ to be fielded by the straits times in the recent cabinet reshuffle.

and in that article, the glaring miss point was about the minority representation. why was this not highlighted? nor debated? was it too contentious to do so? by evading this question, we cannot address the drift within our community.

are we truly equal?


social

10Apr08

i think i really am a social butterfly… in a previous post, i lamented that my friends have sort of forgotten about me but after 1 month in sg, it is now more like i have never been away… everyday i am like some where and i absolutely love it. however, my writing and reading has suffered a great deal because of this and it seems like i am beginning to be a ignoramus because i do not read the papers much either.

worked part time as an event dude last week… man, such a marked difference, from someone who ordered people around to a coolie whom nobody gives a bloody damn.. so lowly i am regarded, that the in charge was apprehensive when i was needed (due to someone taking sick leave) to operate a pc. all i needed to do was to click record and save as a file. i mean even a complete moron can do it lor..

but no.. he was pondering like he was cracking the kinetic theory of superfluous static, contemplating if i could handle such an intricate task. really i felt like screaming at him, i mean, my bloody company entrusted the entire finance operation to me and here he is doubting my ability to click record… wtff

anyway, in retrospect, it was a blessing in disguise that i went back to freelance because i was given a massive dose of reality, that if nobody knows you, you might as well be invisible. and always, i must remember that past ‘glories’ count for nothing, never take it for granted.

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went for this off road trail recently, big SUVs cramped into tanah merah waiting to rock and roll.. i went because i wanted to relive some of my bike trailing days…

but man, it turned out nothing like it. being in a car, you are cocooned and with all the high tech ABS, traction control.. whatever.. i wonder why do they think that they are really out in the nature? and heck, as a group they are so environmentally unfriendly.. air-con, random grass steam rolling and the likes… i seriously think that these people give a damn about where they are.

and they are such ‘action’ people, the sun was tearing into our backs, and sweat enveloped any open skin but yet this bunch keeps stopping in the middle of nowhere and chat… what the hell… when me and a friend hid inside a car with open doors and umbrella shade, they gave us a ‘such pussies’ look..

it made my blood boil, what is it about sun and being bbq alive? does it make you more of a man? one can even say ‘aiyah we are used to it’… yeah, no wonder, the sun must have baked his pea sized brain to go with his grilled arm.

havent they heard of heat stroke?

friend and i so wanted to tell them that they are the sissy ones instead, come ride with us and then you will know what true off roading is about..

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finally have started to send my name to charities in singapore.. hopefully, finally, i can make good my time here for the next 3 months or so. feels quite excited really.. well i shall see.


felicitation

06Apr08

i would like to give me hearty congratulations to a dear fellow blogger who became a father on saturday.


recently there was a newspaper report that stated that bus companies are having a lot of difficulties hiring local drivers: the prime reason is singaporeans are too choosy and dislike the long hours that might stretch to a 10 – 12 hour shift.

therefore, the report hints that that leaves the state run government linked company no alternative but to look to foreign drivers.

as i sat there and pondered the story in a cab on the way to another drinking session (seems like i am drinking quite a bit in singapore also, after i have came back from algeria), i begin to doubt the authenticity of the report. i mean, if you take a taxi often, when have you come across a non- singaporean driver?

look, cab drivers has incredibly long shifts, they are treated as “owners” but tended to as slaves. it is more like a co-op farmer who relies on the state. their income fluctuates like crazy but rarely goes above 3.5k. while, bus captains (stupid GLC-esque euphemism), in that report, are said to gross above 3k and have long but fixed hours, benefits, insurance and the likes…

now correct me if i am wrong, if that is so, shouldnt people prefer to be a bus driver instead of a cab driver? apart of the imagined “flexibility” i see little that is of great sway to driving a cab.

so, taking in all these ‘analysis’, why is the report framed in such a way? me thinks that it is a novel way of maintaining SMRT/Trans island’s profit margin. simple and masterful really. if you cannot stand the pressure of increasing the fare just to meet your (CEO) personal sales growth and why not reduce the local drivers with cheaper ones in china?

before you get me wrong, i am not anti globalisation, in fact, i think it is the only way to grow. however, to say replace the GLC’s real motive with some crap reasoning really shows that the media is being controlled and also that our GLCs have no other objective than to keep profits.

oh.. it disgusts me.

 


Sometime back, i wrote an article about how the straits times always trumpets their wins in some obscure ceremony, only for the reader to find out that the awards are ‘non-pertinent’ awards.

today, the straits times gave me the best example. out of the awards, only one was for actual writing and it was written by STOMP, not even the main publications, credible photography winners are more like freelance photographers. ok even if we not be so rigid, it only accounts for 3, what about the other 7?

ah yes, scroll down more, you will find that ST is very good at printing and design.. wow, indeed very prolific awards hor…

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April 3, 2008

ST journalists win big at Asian awards
SPH bags 10 medals, six of them gold, at the 7th Asia Media Awards
By David Boey
JOURNALISTS from The Straits Times picked up four awards at the 7th Asia Media Awards last night – two for photography and one each for writing and the Stomp interactive and social networking website.The annual awards, which fete the best in Asian journalism and attract entries from across Asia, Australia and New Zealand, were given out in Macau.Straits Times photojournalist Lim Wui Liang, 28, struck gold with his photograph of the aftermath of a traffic accident.

Fellow photojournalist Alan Lim, 34, picked up a silver in the Feature Photography category, while China Correspondent Sim Chi Yin won a bronze for a special report she wrote on Indonesian women who leave home to be maids abroad.

The newspaper’s haul made it the biggest winner in the Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) stable, which bagged 10 medals in all – six golds, two silvers and two bronzes.

Other big winners last night were from Hong Kong’s South China Morning Post Publishers, which won eight medals, including four golds.

Asked about his photograph which took honours for the Spot News category, Mr Lim Wui Liang recalled the accident scene after a group of workers had been flung out of their truck – bloodstains, packed lunches and shoes littered the asphalt.

He said: ‘The injured were already gone when I arrived, so I snapped the boots as they were telling evidence of what happened.’

Mr Alan Lim, a regular with fashion shoots, landed a winner with his picture of a jockey and horse at the Turf Club last year.

Straits Times editor Han Fook Kwang said he was proud of the paper’s winners.

‘They may be young but they’re committed and passionate about their work, and they clearly are up there with the best in the region. We’re fortunate to have many such young talents in The Straits Times newsroom.’

Other SPH papers won awards for colour quality, a key indicator of excellence in printing.

Icon Singapore, published by SPH Magazines, won gold for being the Best In Magazine Overall Design.


landmark

01Apr08

wah coa, i just realised my page passed the 10,000 view milestone (*in sly sideway look* actually who am i kidding i knew it was going to happen like some weeks back). but hey, not bad mah, at least 5 digits ley. think the next digit will take the next 10 years…


really back

01Apr08

for the past 2 years… coming back was always like a vacation.. so this time when i reached this bloody island, it wasn’t any different, i still very much feel like i was about to pack my bags soon that is until..

“huan song!! (my other dialect name)” screamed my mum at 11 in a glorious lazy sunday morning, “remember to wash the toilet!!” and dutifully, i pulled, with great reluctance, away from my bed and proceeded to do as such… although i must say i did negotiated a little throwing pathetic excuses like “aiyah, no worries one, the black wormy thing crawling on the bathroom floor is only helping to eat other germs.”

but anyway, so that is it, before i left, i always clean the toilet week in, week out, like it is what i was meant to do, that toilets will be my forte..

it was only scrubbing the irritating stubborn soap sud (how is it that after 30 years of putting a man on the moon, we still cannot have some chemical to prevent soap suds?) that it finally dawn upon me that normalcy has returned.

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another tell tale sign is my dad, no matter what, no matter how healthy i am be or how radiant my face looks, he is adamant that i am heaty (such a magical word, in fact, it seems that all cures can be traced to this aliment.) and insists that i down some of his disgusting powdered kor chao (= bitter grass, in direct cantonese translation) mixed with hot water.

you see, this elixir is also like some herbs that will make you immortal, it is THE cure and it is absolutely vile. it sort of taste like a dilapidated house with grime filled windows and muddy floor. but again, like the dutiful son, i drink this greenish putty concoction like a breathe of fresh air.

oh well, it is stuff like these that make what home is, no?


award

29Mar08

today i received an unexpected good news… NYU sent me a mail saying that they have decided to give me a scholarship… i was clearly heady and ecstatic, i mean, come on!, until i read a little further down.. the award is only worth 3500USD per semester (which coincidentally, i have no idea how it works there).

And they wrote that as a recipient, i have to score better than the average grade in the course which is above 3.6 in GPA… so the pressure of doing well is already starting… tamade… i am ah beng.. keeping myself awake in class would already be a challenge.. (i am used to self study)

but in the last line they wrote: “congratulations on your selection as Wagner Public Service Scholar!”

eh.. dun play play, scholar sia… hahaha




ranted