these are the last few minutes of being a twenty-something and my friend J just suggested i blog.
that's a wonderful idea, so here i am again, after two years.
it's been a great run, a great past decade.
i've gotten married, and my husband is the man who has pushed me to my boundaries and beyond - to experience, to just live life. and nary a day passes that forget that life is a gift bestowed by a higher being, God. there needs to be order above my chaos.
i know that my walk with God has suffered in my pursuit of living, of being. but i am always aware that He is there. is that good enough? it is for me now. maybe when it comes to my turn to be a mother, which will be in the near years to come, i will be closer to Him because i want my future children to be.
oh! it's midnight here now. time is subjective; it isn't midnight in another continent/dimension. anyway.
i know what fear is. it is swimming against a real current, and having images of plunging over a waterfall running through your mind as you gasp for air. it is dangling by your ankles and trusting a stranger to hold on. hovering over the edge of Victoria Falls is something i'd never thought i would ever do. skydiving over the Namibian desert alters your perspective, you are insignificant compared to the vast dunes, compared to the creation that is Earth. as you plunge toward the ground, completely trusting in a few lengths of cloth, you realise that there is no point in petty squabbles, or in material pursuit. now taking rollercoasters is meh. that said, i am so deeply touched by my friends who surprised me a few days ago by spending the WHOLE DAY with me at USS, by planning and participating in my surprise party, by contributing video clips of your birthday wishes. your love and your time is worth far more to me than any present (though i never say no to presents). G is right, i am well and truly loved. i am so happy and content with that. i must have done something right in this life to deserve you all. i love you all back. i hope that i can be a true and good enough friend that you will want to confide in me if you need someone to talk to.
i know what loss is. it is knowing that i will never go back to the good old years in normanton park - mom and dad in one bedroom, my brothers in another, me wandering the house at night listening to the creaks and groans. it is exchanging one life for another. of leaving friends behind, of choosing a path knowing that you cannot return to find out the answers to the what ifs. i know that the good, the great, can only exist if we have the bad, the miserable, to compare it with. and that we live with our choices and learn to make the best of them. our happiness must first be found within, we cannot find it in others. there are people around me who are bitter and full of passive aggressive statements :) i must not let them bog me down. i must not let work bog me down. in ten years i shall look back on this post and see if this has happened. i still feel that i know how to separate my work from me, and that is important. work does not define me. however, i feel (and have felt for many years) that i do not want this current work to be all that i do for the rest of my life. change needs to be coming, and i am very very sure that i can adapt and bring about that change. the two years spent under my secondment has shown me that i can.
i know what love is. it is my dad taking leave to pick my mom up from hospital, and bringing her to the cinema although that is where she takes her nap (since at home she would be too stressed with the held up housework during her time in the ward). it is collective laughter over Chinese exam foibles and fart jokes over a great dinner, and feeling satisfied and pleased because the waiter has paid so much attention to my mother's needs. it is of knowing that money is not as important as family, so we spend on one another freely and give thanks that we can.
love is agreeing to disagree, of ironing late at night while the other half sleeps, of holding hands tightly while walking home from the train station and sharing the day's woes and surprises. it is singing little made-up ditties to each other and completing the next verse on the fly. it is to be found in the way you look at me. i don't want you to look at anyone else that way. :)
i am happy to be where i am, and i am so blessed to be able to go to sleep with a full belly and with someone warm beside me. and i think, that is more than many can hope for. bye bye 29 and all the years before. i remember feeling light as a seven year old, running the hallways of my primary school, feeling so invincible and fast. i have gained so much weight in the years in between :P, yet i still feel so young, there must be many more adventures to come. :D
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 12:15 AM
when there is a big bed, the abysschasm is so much more keenly felt.
when you live together, there is nowhere to run but the next room.
when it is two months in, and you feel like you cannot breathe, something is wrong.
i don't have anyone to talk to but myself. i should keep all the words in and not let them spill out because they have so much destructive potential. and i can say them so blankly, without looking at your face and seeing the hurt there. i can say them while playing a game on the iPhone, and not touching you, because that is all we do these days. i can't stand the phone. i want to throw it away sometimes because it occupies so much of that dead space behind your eyes.
why must i be the one to go and find you and pull you back? is it because i know i have made other worse decisions in my mind, and you have only tried to do what's right?
i cannot breathe, and this is how i know why other people jump.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 5:05 PM
something has changed within me
i understand myself better now. i also see the future, and beyond it, should heaven exist. i see the sins yet to be committed, that i will pay for in tears, perhaps not even my own. perhaps that may make it more painful.
but life is a gift and things past cannot be retracted nor retraced, the steps taken and things touched cannot be moved back. i don't regret anything in this life, except maybe the wrong school choice when i was 16 and very much stupid and rebellious.
how can you hate change? it's usually for the better. this way, you step into a new life with eyes wide open.
wonderful, breathless, amazing reality and the harshness of hitting the earth once more.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 12:44 AM
jaipurian thunder and chaos
sudden booms and bangs are still going on outside my window even though it's like 10.30pm at night.
I'm not sure if they're fireworks or not, but I tried looking out for them yesterday and there was only smoke and reflected light - my room is in a cloistered courtyard with high walls. today there was an elephant ride up to the amber palace, and I also visited the palace museum and the amazing jantar mantar observatory (go google, the sheer size of the sundial is awesome even if I don't understand the physics of the thing).
so i'm in jaipur alone, surviving on milo and marie biscuits (only 10 rupees a packet) and internet access. enough indian food for me for awhile, seriously! I didn't manage to get net access the previous few days because of blasé reception staff - somehow i think the hotels here have wised up to my calling them and they put me on indefinite hold or leave the phone on the hook after i call twice for internet passwords/hot water etc. i have to go off and get the stuff on my own.
i walked out just now into the dust and smog and crazy traffic. i had about six minutes of scary navigation and 'pretend i'm so au-fait with this situation' before some indian dude tried to ask me out - well, he offered me a ride in his car to wherever i was going and said that it was the least he could do, since i had obviously travelled all the way. he wanted to pay for my marie biscuits (I have wised up, and have learnt to check price prints on commercial goods before I ask how much) but I said no. he also wanted to put his number into my phone. auuughh. all this within one minute of meeting me.
all mutton-ed, marbled and sandstoned out.
that's me after five days of indeeya. i still have plenty more to go. really rather homesick and missing homecooked food and chinese and japanese soupy stuff. :( I've also made friends with other single female travellers along the way - today I learnt how to say 'no' to someone pestering you with overpriced trinkets (there are thousands of them, I meet at least 10 a day) - you say 'ne chaai ye'.... 'ne, NE!'. haha. ne means NO in case you don't know. being alone and female really sucks here. you get tons of attention. my newly-made canadian friend told me that not making eye contact helps. also my driver, Dharmendar tried an experiment with me - we both walked into a mama shop, where I wanted to buy a nail clipper. we found one that was 145 rupees, too expensive. only after asking him did the shopkeeper grudgingly draw out a generic box of about 12, and Dharmendar picked out one and asked how much. Apparently the cost was only 30 rupees and they still charged me 10 more. -_- and I saw a Christian slogan pasted on the mirror behind the shopkeeper some more. Ah well, all's fair in business and corruption, especially to foreigners.
hopefully, there'll be internet tomorrow.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 1:51 AM
i am restarting this shit.
if only because this appears to be a space that belongs to me alone. not even my boyfriend, now fiance, reads this! i think it's funny how blogging now seems to be an old-school activity. am feeling out of touch with myself and the way i used to think before work started. i need to change things and find my way back to the person i used to be. not this washed-out character who rarely sees light of day save for when i'm trudging my way up the godforsaken hill each morning.
mood: restless and uncomfortable in a stuffy old room. the aircon has broken down and so my sleep is invaded by chaos, weird dreams and sleep-wrinkles embedded into my skin when i wake. sucks sucks sucks.
there has to be a better life out there.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 11:47 PM
days of living amongst 220 million olive trees
so for the past two days, cas and i stayed with clive and maki ridout in finca las encinas, their home in iznajar in the la subbetica. we rented a car to get there, and it was completely worth the slightly difficult navigation, the somewhat harrowing turns and unfinished roads and the manoeuvring from cordoba city where we picked the car up. we got upgraded to a citroen c4 coupe instead of the c3 we paid for, so it was good.
the first day we arrived a little late because i was trying my best to squeeze money out of my citibank card but couldn´t. we made an amused friend in cordoba who was watching my difficulty and tried to translate what the bankers were telling me - that my card pin had too many numbers (cinco) instead of the quatro that typical spanish atms accepted. so, when we arrived at finca las encinas, we were introduced to clive, his wife maki and their adorable five-year-old son Cei. we gorged ourselves silly on the sumptuous dinner clive cooked, which consisted of clam and jamon in a piquant sort of sauce for a starter, grilled fresh sea bream with turmeric and paprika amongst other spices, and dessert was chocolate, coffee and cognac flan with mascarpone cheese on top. heaven. :) we also imbibed copious quantities of fino, which is locally made and isn´t readily available outside of the la subbetica. it isn´t processed or fermented so it doesn´t keep easily, but we drank quite a bit - will probably not get to drink any more of it unless we go back. it rained throughout the first night we were there, perhaps eight solid hours of rain.
the second day we woke late but to a dazzling breakfast of andalusian toast - that´s where you rub a garlic clove into freshly toasted bread, then spread tomato paste and olive oil (only the best) and sprinkle salt on it. there was also cod roe, melon slices, pomegranates etc. after breakfast we drove to priego de cordoba first, but all we really did was walk around and get hopelessly lost trying to look for the tourist office (tip: don´t follow the signs for parking, just look for the town square which is usually adorned with a huge nativity scene for christmas). so by the time we had time to sightsee, most of the sights were closed for siesta and lunch. we took a recommendation from a local and went to bar rio, where we stood by the bar and had a cerveza each and just pointed to the tapas that the rest were eating. it was GREAT and we only spent 2,20 euro, the cheapest meal of our trip so far. we haven´t done much of the tapas thing although we should. maybe when we get to sevilla.
ok i shall write more and post more tomorrow, we have a tight morning schedule to follow. ciao!
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 7:54 AM
waiting in drizzly madrid
so right now cas and i are waiting in this dingy basement in dreary poo-ey madrid (wow this sounds exactly like paris).. reeling from hostel-shock because the previous one we stayed in, the living lounge hostel in lisbon, had single toilets as big as my room, while the one here has non-toilet paper flushable loos, which leads to residual smells and stuck bogs. bleh.
anyways. who am i to complain ya? at least i´m not at home!
so tonight we´re meeting up with sam, or samantha, my cousin! yay. i´ll be the first in the family to meet her since she left for exchange earlier this year. sigh i miss my own exchange! but it´s also great to have your own spending money la. though we´re still trying to skimp on stuff like hostels, which leads to this place. we´re staying in a 10-bedder and the beds are the same as the ones in the rome termini hostel.. they´re the metal squeaky springy kind. no dustbins in the room, only lockers. can´t put up any pics either because they´ve chain-bolted a glass box around the whole CPU. ah well.
i´ll try my best to put up pics soon, we´re likely to go to casa mingo for roasted chicken dinner tonight and perhaps scoot by j&j´s bookstore for some spanglish book conversations. ciao!
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 12:52 AM
i haven't talked in a long time. sometimes i think i've lost track of who i am.the past is so easy to forget, the present so easy to lose oneself in. like someone said to me, it doesn't feel like a new year, with new beginnings and new thoughts and new aspirations, just merely a seamless gray (i prefer the US spelling here) segueing from one day to the next. who visits here anymore? who wants to find out more about me?my mind's a bit jumbled up at the present. i don't like the direction of my life and feel i could possibly do more with it, only that i don't know what i really love or what i'm good at. even words desert me, slip out of my fingers and run away, my sentences chunky like the rest of me right now.i ran in tight jeans, 90 percent of the way home until the pathway stopped and it was all grass and wire fencemy youngest brother doesn't like reading at all. i try to push him, bought everything from possibly forbidden stuff (pullman) by nearing-puritanical parents to the thinnest books and so far maybe he's only read captain underpants from cover to cover. not even children's books by gaiman did the trick. perhaps he's just not interested in imagining unreality, unlike me who took to reading like clockwork. this could possibly tell you more about me. or maybe not.you are probably sleeping somewhere out there on the island tonight, or not, burdened by me and my stubborn needs. while i walked out there in the wilderness, hot and sweaty and full of paranoid imaginings. i am sorry i am like this.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 12:44 AM
hello sweet pies.
gosh. i haven't been here in ages. wonder who visits this site anymore.
it's like opening the door to an old house and watching the dust motes dance in the sunlight.
i miss the holiday detailed below, all the exciting places and colours i visited before starting work.
t'is true when they say life greys out when you start work because things solidify, grow roots, anchor you down into a grey cement path that forces you to grow old, become adult.
oh dear. i sound so wrinkled.
this is me now, we change so fast yet stay in place.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 10:37 PM
First off, this is not Hannah here..haha...so whatever views, improprieties expressed here are not hers but mine. mea culpa...
Okay, think it's my turn to blog as Hannah's been doing it all this while and it's only fair that I chip in de temps en temps. =)
We're in Bucharest right now. For the uninitiated/ geographically challenged, it is the capital city of Romania; think Transylvannia and Dracula country and you're just about there. We've been here for 2 nights and it's been erm..well...ok. Pardon the marginal apathy but I guess Romania has been a mixed exprience thus far, especially when cast in the light of the other places that we have traveled to and seen. But befrore talking about Bucharest, here's some really excellent pictures of the Communist Statue Park in Budapest.. =)
A bit of history and info on the Park, though I think the name sorta gives it away..The Communist Statue Park...like communist statues in a park..duh. As we all know (right right?) that this side of the world was, until the dissolution of the Soviet Union, part of the Communist bloc and with the fall of the former USSR between 1989-1991, the countries that were under the iron curtain broke free from the vestige of Soviet control and many soviet monuments have been torn down. In Budapest, they have collected these ginormous statues and made them into a park; a communist Disneyland of sorts. And these statues are muay muay huge, like 6 to 8 metres each. Take a look at the pictures...
Marx und Engels standing guard at the entrance of the Park...JWP would be so proud...
Comrade Hannah gives thanks to Comrade Stalin for the gift of finest wheat in this monument to the abundance and wealth that communism brought to the plebian.
As I said, the statues are really really huge...no wonder Napolean and Hitler lost fighting the Russians and the US with their superior arsenal could only hold them to a stalemate. If the damn soldiers were all so big...man...
Lenin contemplates das boot and saw that it was good.
It wasn't all that big a park, with just 43 statues and we managed to look at it all in about 40 minutes, but it was terribly inaccessible. From Budapest we set off for Bucharest, and in between Man Utd had the temerity to lose to Chelsea. *$&%@! Watching Mourinho jumping like a crazy horse was not the most pleasant image to leave Hungary with...come to think of it, twas rather omnious afterall, considering how Budapest is.
It's been raining intermittently all day and its rather grey and dreary. Added to that, the city itself isn't all that pretty. I mean if you have ever traveled to Europe, there is this old world charm that takes your breath away, that you can just feel. I'd call it beauty. There is no beauty, or rather it's rather hard to find it here. As I said, it's just my own opinion, but Bucharest just does not exude the same charm. That said, it's been a different kind of experience and I guess it's not completely fair to say that it's a disappointment. Romania is probably one of the poorest countries in the EU and there exist a plethora of problems, social, political and economic that have to be resolved. Anyway, here are some pictures of the city:
In front of the Plaza of the Revolution, where the first shot were fired and where the revolution commenced on the 13th of September 1989. Wet wet wet...
A fine example of communist excess. Under the dictatorship of Ceaucescu, he razed 5 kilometres squared of the city in order to build a boulevard like the Champs Elyses and that culminated in this monstrous edifice. It is really huge; a little hard to imagine it, you have to see if for yourself.
Probably the one spark in an otherwise overcast day. There was a race, the Bucharest challenge, going on and so there were pretty pretty cars. Nice.
Okies, that's all for now, will post more soon. Stay tuned for another exciting episode of Comrade Hannah visits the former Soviet homelands.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 4:22 AM
heya first this is going to be a more photo-bloggy post, there's a midnight curfew on internet here in the mandragora hostel in budapest but i don't know how strictly enforced it's gonna be. :) it's a friday night so there's not many people in right now but they did invite us out to the pubs but i was tired and so was cas.. and so we opted to stay in the kitchen and watch spirited away :P
so here's my first picture in budapest, the hungarian goulash that's super famous world-wide. it's not creamy but the beef always has to be tender! we've tried goulash in THREE different restaurants now.. at the red cafe, at fatal and at corso... and fatal is undeniably the best. go to vaci utca 67, it's wonderful but the portions are HUGE so my recommendation is that if there are two people going, take a salad (it's HUGE too) and a main course and a soup, and you'll be full to bursting and you can tapao/takeaway for dinner. haha. that's what we did... only that we got another main course instead of a salad so yeah, full to bursting again.
this is a picture taken from the side of buda... budapest is more like buda and pest (pronounced "pesht") and it's separated by the river danube. the river water's brown, don't be fooled by the photographs because it's just the reflection of the sky! that building in the distance is the parliament house... we were too tired to go across and find it and go inside because really, crossing the bridge from our hostel is really a long walk, and we had that long walk all the way BACK.
here's a photograph of us on the szechenyi bridge (i think)... or it could possibly be a photograph taken from the buda castle itself... gah. after awhile all the photographs blend into one another!
we discovered this WONDERFUL dessert place - people were just popping in for a cake or two, standing up at the bar tables (there were absolutely no chairs) and just leaving in five minutes - check out their selection of cakes at jegbufe
and drool to your heart's content.. here cas and i tried the cream cake (bled's is still better) and this confection called the mignon (haha not the filet) and it was delicious. we went back today, in fact, and brought back two other cakes for the other hostelites to try. :p
today we went to the turkish baths at szechenyi... it got really crowded in the middle of the day but anyway because of privacy purposes we couldn't really take photographs. so we spent close to three hours body-watching... haha i say that because it's true! cas and i felt really confident of ourselves after that - i mean, about only 10% were skinnier and more toned than we were. the majority of soakers were the elderly.. i think if i were to retire and had my choice of places to stay.. i'd like either dubrovnik or here, right next to the baths. it's so rejuvenating! :) oh yea, the photograph up there is of heroes' square (i DO hope i've got all these names right), which is on the way towards the turkish baths. we skipped lunch and did the museum nearby too, which had a cool inca exhibition going on. and THEN we got really tired and sleepy - how come that happens all the time these days? we're walking too much i think - and so headed back to the hostel after dinner, which is where i am. take care and i'll post again soon.. heading to bucharest tomorrow night.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 5:46 AM
sorry i haven't managed to update for awhile... the previous few places i've stayed in so far didn't have an internet connection - or in the case of couchsurfing with miha and katja in ljubljana, slovenia, it wasn't nice to hog the net for too long - which is always the case when one blogs, is it not? :) meanwhile, i have safely arrived in budapest, hungary, by the intercity train which cas and i took from ljubljana this morning, where we arrived after a half-miserable day in lake bled (why it was half-miserable, i will say later) and we caught the 5am bus this morning from bled to ljubljana.
where do i begin? so much has happened in such a short space of time, a lot of it was spent travelling and travelling across borders, it is tiring and as i told cas, no wonder backpacking is usually for the young, because all that time spent in trains and buses and planes makes one really dizzy, jetlagged, and constantly feeling as if one is floating on a small boat all the time. anyway, let's start from ljubljana, slovenia, and doing the couchsurfing thing with miha and katja and their inquisitive and friendly cat mischa or mischo, i don't know how to spell. :) they were wonderful hosts and even cooked cas and i a traditional slovenian dinner of veal roast stuffed with lots of things such as eggs and cream and other yummy stuff. there was also buckwheat soup and walnut rolls, and rhubarb compote! yums. we are two well-fed, not-going-to-lose weight people.
here's us on top of the castle in ljubljana!
in ljubljana we found lots of things to satisfy the eye, we were only a stone's throw away from the dragon bridge and the local produce open-air market, where we had fried sardines and calamari for lunch. we then proceeded to take the quaint train (students get 1 euro off! whoo!) up towards the castle or grad in slovenian. there we fell asleep during the virtual museum movie and took a few photographs at the top of the tower.. and then we walked back down and took the train back, and found h&m! here is where cas says i went nutty and shopped and shopped to my heart's content (not really, i could buy more) but i think it was a good trip. i got a few nice things :) and cas found a new bag and a new pair of berms. so far h&m is the only affordable place to buy stuff, haha! :) will try to visit them again in athens.
this is the ljubljanica river... beautiful and tranquil
okay where were we... oh yea we then went second-hand bookshop hunting and walked all the way up and down the ljubljanica river, we found a girl from oklahoma in a bookstore and we talked and talked until we missed our tour which was supposed to start at 7pm and the group had already left. no worries, we hadn't bought our ticket yet, so we just went to - yeah, eat more food. :)
the next day it was sad saying bye to mischa... we'd already said goodbye to katja and miha the night before and we toasted with this cool plum and pear brandy which cas really wants to buy but so far we haven't found it yet. we took a bus at 10am to bled (this was yesterday) and then it was an hour and a half away... miserable rain started pouring and we hiked our way up the hill in bled towards the castle, where we did REALLY touristy stuff like getting our names printed on a certificate and making and corking our own bottle of castle wine... :) then we went down the hill and sought refuge in this wonderful dessert place called smon (pronounced schmon cos' there's supposed to be an accent on the s) and had the traditional bled cream cake!
that wasn't all... the sun started appearing so we hightailed it back to the hostel (which by the way resembles a haunted house and there was absolutely no one at reception after our check-in.. scary villa victoria) and changed into berms for the kayak which we thought we could rent. we ended up renting a boat from pletna hotel and cas made such a valiant gondolier - or boat-rower... rowing me to the small island where the church was.. and THEN the clouds gathered and rumbled and the wind blew and the waves rocked us and i got really scared the boat was going to capsize into the freezing cold waters... the weather just changed LIKE THAT and cas was forced to moor it halfway back to one of the ports along the shore. i was seriously scared, and ran all the way back to pletna to apologise to the owner, who had apparently took a boat to try and rescue us but changed his mind because it was freezing and raining and his little daughter was in the boat with him! oh boy. it was such an adventure, and thank goodness we're all right and didn't catch cold because it was really, really cold. it feels like one day we're in the bahamas (dubrovnik) and the next we're cold and freezing in the alps (bled). :) i'm sure it's nicer in the summer though. ah well.
this is my valiant boat-rower :) i tried and i couldn't budge us an inch!
okay so here we are in budapest, and the hostel mandragora is quite wonderful. i'm excited about visiting the thermal baths, and the museums too. but for now i think i will just do my laundry. :) ciao and i'll post again soon! remember more photos are in the flickr site. :)
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 3:56 AM
um this will be a quick post because cas actually has fallen asleep beside me on the table in this internet cafe. just wanted to say that dubrovnik is the perfect seaside vacation town except for the fact that there are SO many stairs and my legs are crying out for mercy... other than that the breathtaking views of the adriatic are all around and everyone is so friendly, and that 70% of croatians speak english and there's about 4.5 million of them so cas is amazed how they always make it to the world cup while we don't.
spent the day lazing away at cafe buza right at the edge of the cliffs outside the fortress walls, and people were actually jumping off the cliff right into the ice cold water! there was also a tiny boat fishing right in the course of a big ship with tons of people standing on the balconies and the ship kept horning at the boat to move but it wouldn't cos' i think it was a good fishing spot, so the large cruiser actually had to move. haha.
unfortunately the bus we wanted to take has terminated its service but we have found an alternative which means we will be making our way to zagreb tomorrow night instead of making a direct beeline to ljubljana. this of course means some messing up of plans but nothing too drastic which we cannot overcome. more on this detour in later posts, i guess.
okay a quick few photos ... for some more click on the flickr screen on the right. ciao!
standing on the fortress walls, overlooking the cosy port
a couple photo as geraldine requested in the chatbox.. haha :P
we never over-order, we just eat too much because we want to try it all - seafood risotto, fried sardines and briny fresh mussels... and fish pate! yums.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 11:31 PM
this is the beginning of old town in bari...
okay i'm going to type a quick post from within an internet station in bari, which is the town that enforces a siesta period from 1pm to like 4.30pm, and absolutely everything except food places are closed, yes, even the shops and the supermarkets! it's crazy, just watching the terrible drivers go by and reverse into oncoming traffic, making u-turns in front of other cars that impatiently honk. :) it's a very relaxed town otherwise, i don't see people toting laptops, or washing their cars, even.
we had a bit of difficulty finding our hostel last night because it's a privately owned apartment and the person didn't want to put his name on the door bell list as b&b because he didn't want uninvited guests who didn't book prior to coming. :) otherwise, it was quite a clean place because the guy just moved in 6 months ago, everything was almost just ikea furniture. there was quite a good breakfast this morning too, with toasted bread, yogurt and a jam pie slice thingy. okay here are just a few photos for your perusal, you can check flickr too. happy wedding anniversary mom and dad, by the way!!
a quaint house, really pretty. imagine living here... sigh
me by the sea... :) seagulls!
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 10:38 PM
the very first thing upon stepping into rome... a queue! and not something you can cut, either. we waited 2 hours before clearing the customs, and the guy who eventually stamped my passport didn't even glance at me before stamping it.... 5 minutes after receiving my passport. sigh. and this was only the tip of the iceberg.. many many more queues to come, because on weekends everyone throngs to rome.
here's me and the queue - which we very rudely cut - in front of st. peter's basilica, where peter the apostle's relics are supposedly interred. the weather here is very very unpredictable. it can be spaghetti top-hot hot one moment and the next, when a cloud shadows the sun, it's superbly cold when the wind blows.
funny how we managed to capture the little kid's incredulous look *which says it all* and the vatican guard's super sian
in front of the pantheon. by this time i'm quite tired... we walked all the way back from vatican city to our hostel at termini. if you have a map of rome you can see it was a pretty long distance for such an out-of-shape pair as we two. in fact i saw people sitting at the fountain just falling asleep with their heads in their hands. this pantheon was converted from a sanctuary of greek god statues to being a catholic basilica for italy's royalty ... i think.
the trevi fountain, where you're supposed to throw three coins behind your left shoulder into it if you wish to return to rome. i didn't do it because i didn't have three coins and because if you're meant to return you will, just like cas didn't do it and here he is back here.
here is the view from campidoglio, which cas and i stumbled upon after emerging out of the square. this is the ruins of the roman forum and palatino or palatine hill, i think. there is the coliseum in the far distance on the upper right of the photograph. this was taken early today after our tiring trip to porta portese, which had everything from chandeliers to toilet seat covers and clothes going for one euro each. didn't buy anything yet though.. been spending on food alone.
people here are like termites! there's tons of tour groups going around the ruins.. and i fear for the groups of old people because the steps are not only steep but also full of rocks and potholes.
lunch at isidoro's. we had three kinds of pasta - gnocchi with cheese, pasta americana *i think*with bacon, and tagliatelle with artichokes, washed down with house white wine. it was fantastic, worth the 32 euros it cost. this is the end of the second day, posting from freestyle hostel, which is quite clean and provides both breakfast and dinner, but it's quite cramped is all. we'll try to hit the vatican museums tomorrow. till then, ta, and let me rest my tired legs cos' i have to stand up while posting on the laptop on the bar counter. oucch!
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 11:47 PM
bye bye mama. we will miss you.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 4:04 AM
allo. gosh. i haven't blogged for ages.still alive though not kicking as much as i'm supposed to be doing since i'm so busy i can't attend my taekwondo practices at all. it's been a long time. and so much has changed, and so much remains the same within.where do i start to update some lone reader..well for one thing i'm currently working at sph as an intern with straits times life! section. it's a hectic run all over the place kinda job but it has its perks. keeping free new books for reviewing, interviewing stars, getting invited to exclusive events, not having to pay entrance fees and getting to talk to people i'd normally not talk to. getting to go to places in singapore i'd not paid attention to before, much less heard of. singapore seems like such a big place now. like a place i've never really been to before, and now i'm travelling it like a tourist, gaping and diary open trying to capture what people are doing on this not-so-tiny island.what else? arts festival is here. just covered an outreach event called ecrans tambours starring these local national athletes as well as french performing arts group deviation, went out for drinks with them last night after the performance and their culture is so rich, they're so much fun. they say that singapore seems like such a futuristic city that they can almost see the cars zipping through the air a la back to the future style. and if i see our country through their eyes, i realise it's so. they don't stop for air, they have fun all the time, and music is in their fingers and toes. music breaks barriers man. nous aimons le jazz. :) i got to practice speaking my french and spanish, which mainly consists of a few perfect sentences such as 'my name is' and 'i'm a student studying etc' but other than that, i just know nouns and verbs. vocabulary. haha. and everything else we rely on gesticulating. fun though, all those language classes weren't for nothing! and i've found more friends to keep in touch with, hopefully for forever.next, the world cup. yes, all-pervasive soccer mania that keeps us all awake late into the wee hours of the night (save for the lucky few who are actually watching it in the same time zone) and fat on the chips and beer that we binge. it's fun though. something for everyone everywhere to talk about, something besides the weather. :) together with my bro and dad (who obviously subscribed to the world cup premium channel 27, but he says it's worth it cos there's now 3 people watching *rolls eyes*) we always try to root for the underdog. :) that's always true of people who don't bet, eh? sweden versus trinidad & tobago were funny.. the poor swedish fans were so miserable due to all the failed attempts at goal. the keeper was just too good on the reflex.hmms what else. ah yes, yeemey, i wanna meet you gals in kl the first week of august, sounds good? :) we can shop till we drop! and other things too, like check out zouk kl maybe. as for coming to visit, why not visit after my trip to kl? we'll work things out lah. as it is, my last day of work is the 28th of july and i'll only be free after that. i need a holllliiiiidaaay. and a haircut cos' of my fraying ends and tired frizzy hair, a good long and hard massage, a manicure and pedicure and some retail therapy. need so many things. *hint hint* after july comes august which means i'll be 22. nuts. feel so old yet so young. been asked if i'm 16 - 18 by various people these past few weeks. wonder why. do i really look that young? i thought i look old and tired.oh, and since the last time i blogged, results have been released. am going to take honours in english literature, and it's going to be a fun ride that'll mostly be spent in the library and in the lit honours room. can't wait to decorate the place as it'll be mine, uh, ours, for the whole year! woot.want time to move by quickly so i can hurry up and get to the point where i can sleep whenever i want to. yums. sounds like a dessert, and the main course is SUCH a drag. haha. but enjoyable at the same time. can't believe that this time last year i was busy travelling the states alone, and now i'm busy travelling singapore alone. sigh. i'd rather the latter, but i'm not complaining. want to have a great graduation trip next year, and i've just gotta save up now.ciao peeps. watch the world cup, exercise hard, sleep lots on my behalf, and attend a few arts festival events if you can. :)
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 9:37 PM
lazy is the new brilliant
i think april-may of every year is a period of great realizations, of epiphany. of changing and people having no choice but to undergo premature birth, evolve, get out there into the real world. it feels painful, to know that a large percentage of my dearest pals are leaving school to forge their paths.. to become fully independent (or so we hope, being asian children till our dying days) working adults. some of you haven't even found jobs yet. but to me you are all gorgeous (yes mil if you're reading this i'm borrowing shaocong's phrase) people, all wonderful and definitely etch-worthy in the stones of singapore's history. my history too. so for people like jiating, xiuying, karen, james, ann, lionel, normypoo, fai, weewee and ben but to name a few... byebye from NUS and the nice central library that's basically the only non-living aspect of NUS that i can call nice. we'll miss you. and the new subway outlet will miss you too.anyways. instead of studying critical theory like i should be doing. i am typing a post to goodness-knows-whom in the midst of my exams just because i don't feel like studying. and because one of my favourite online comics at present tells me that 'being lazy is the new brilliant'... and i do think so heh. can't be bothered to study now anyways. i love the catchphrases from dieselsweeties.com .... go give it a click if you have the time. which you know you have. other funny crappy online stuff that always occupies me instead of my studies - scarygoround and crosswords.. i do them on bestcrosswords.com and m-w.com :) and the other day, alex from psu sent me the site for mistersingapore.org ... oh GOSH. what a horror O_o i can only say that i think the guys took part for the prizes first and foremost... just that they don't say it - who would? :) go see the site for yourself. it's good humour... and i won't say anymore just in case you might know someone in the competition, or know previous competitors.. all i can say is, this isn't a parallel spoof of miss singapore universe :)let's see. where were we. yes, finished a weird shakespeare paper today that i fear not really answering the question to but ah well. received my last essay back .. and the last four essays have all got the SAME grade. if i get my results with the SAME grade for every single module i shall be a happy happy happy girl. add one more happy to that. :) so yes, decided to reward self with a movie with sharon wee mil and ben today... we watched take the lead and i was bouncing in my seat... love dance so much! hope the exotic dance classes will continue throughout the holidays.. mil's interested too :) and it's really a good workout. *winks* i think i might get the soundtrack.. fusion of oldstyle gershwin and hiphop. laaaa... good for funk dancing in the isolation of my room. :)oh, and i went to see meiyi's graduation exhibition at nafa with melvin and jovian on wednesday night too. it's fantastic :) i have such a talented friend. :P am tempted to ask her to do a wedding book for me IF i ever do get married that is. love her illustrations and concepts. so girly. poetry and pictures in harmony! nafa's a really nice place to study.. can't imagine doing anything so artistic for my career... shaping things out of my own imagination. one problem though.. the instructors in nafa should really correct the grammar in advertisements for graphic designers (amongst the other artists as well) i feel. because advertisements are so important ... they reach the masses and a slogan saying 'comfort for the feets' don't quite cut it, ya' know? and that's just one of a lot of mistakes i caught.
okay done enough subjective criticism for today i feel. back to preparing for sleep.. going to drug self with chinese medicine. been too heaty and i've many ulcers making it difficult to talk. sigh. this is the result of my binge on junk food. i don't know why i can't seem to help myself. i guess it's just one way of comforting my lonely self. bad bad bad. should channel those urges towards swimming or eating celery or prunes, suchlike. :) ta for now!
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 2:00 AM
and if God wills it, i shall be able to watch how your kids grow up with interest.
okay don't mind what i just said above. it's something that was inside me that suddenly flipped out. bleah. all you who lecture, who try to impose your brand of thinking. there are so many types of thinking in the world. just that - it's all man-made. what's pure? i don't know. there are so many kinds of wisdom that i think my cynicism and too much information (that is ultimately useless if you were to be transported into the stone age, so says don delillo) is making me quite impervious to anything others are trying to crack. head's about to burst open. don't mind me. that's what too much critical theory does to your already-addled brains.
anyways. life's been hectic. watched sanchia's hip hopera performance at the new drama box at the national library. nice nice place. want to go there and study on a regular basis someday. went to watch yokes perform for her band concert as well. performed last sunday for the jazzband concert and despite TONS of hiccups (and lots of other things that apparently was caught ontape by the crystal clear recording - i look forward to counting how many times hendri said f**k :) ) everyone had a great time. i hope. :) in the end i wasn't stressed at all and took mistakes as an inevitability. walk on by was real fun. the funky funk! the funky funk! wish more of my friends coulda been there. i really really appreciate all those who came that night to support me, and all those who couldn't make it but were there in spirit, each step of the way. i love the blue flowers ;) and they're going to be pressed by my mom - but you already knew that.
lucooos, jotham, daniel and i
kaiser, aunty jasmin, mom, josh and dad - concert night! (26th march 2006)
one essay's down and there's three more to go. not to mention the short notice for juniors praise next sunday, and the engineering assignment, and the baudrillard presentation i have done nuts for. sooo far behind in all my readings as well. hmmmm. i need to ketchup. ;P guess this means there'll be another hiatus before i post again. i know everyone's going through a real tough period now, it isn't just me. press on together yeah? i'll watch your word counts on msn and take them as encouragement for myself to hurry up and stop mooching and lazing before getting the first paras shat out. it's always the first paras that are soooo difficult to start. the rest is downhill from there on.
watched crash (yeah the academy award best film) at mine with normypoo and spoon on friday night. fai had work and hanwei's agonizing over his thesis (hang in there dude) and mimi's taking care of business at home. :) it was a great time chilling out with those two though. we took photos!
hmm. or rather sharon took photos. heh. baileys and chocolate milk! yums.
had a barbecue at my house last night. real fun. real good food. love the salmon, sambal stingray and chicken wings.... yumyum. catering was like 300 bucks! sHo glad it's not us paying for it. heh. elvin and david got stupid drunk - not pissed drunk cos' they didn't piss anywhere they weren't supposed to. but they sure were acting stupid. heh. joey has vids of elvin singing a mangled hotel california. it's hilarious. mmmm. oh well. guess it's back to work for me.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 3:33 PM
mmm. best barbecue ever.
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 3:22 PM
jazzband barbecue @ normanton park! 1st april 2006
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 3:12 PM
spring break, florida. march 2005
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 3:29 AM
when i was young i knew everything
feeling nostalgic for a spring break gone past
i remember the night before
the terrible napoleon the load of wet laundry
the aimless wanderers of empty corridors
knocking for brief respite in quiet chat
surprising connection, chance encounter
anticipation build up.
bikinis laid over chairs with heater on to burn dry
the lying down to rest for excited shut eye
the early morning's tinged slate grey skies
the easy bantering of the driver guys
the arrangement of seat pals and navigator whirls
the map slid off the roof onto the blacktop
we have to go back, girls.
from heavy jackets and down coats we shed
the drive highways of bleak leafless trees winding through to sunnier playas
from the north down past south of the border
multifaceted horizons of multicoloured hues
reality never told us we'd have it so good
there is nothing quite like the road trip
with its relentless, comforting music
we can't be held responsible, we were only freshmen
and i don't want to wait
even if the surf be ice-cold, the beach far from pristine
it is florida, we are so young, and all together
we will plunge into the waters
take the shock simultaneous
we will remember.
remember the night we celebrated in the pitch dark her birthday
remember the cordoned off beach film ad and jason mraz playing
remember the squeeze in days inn room
remember the rained-in gambling daytona 'chalet'
remember the go-karting and the batting cage
remember that ghiradelli chocolate sundae
remember that mafia charade
remember that volleyball game
that captain's ball game
that key largo dip
that orlando belz shopping trip.
we are different now, a little older, a lot wiser
our lives and loves changed
the ache lessened, the burdens greater
the pictures in our minds faded just a little more
but we are still together.
everytime i see your face
and yours and yours and yours and yours
i know the magic was real
and that we were there
juice.susceptible had time to talk trash at 2:58 AM
august 2014. how time flies! i still feel like i have so much more growing up to do. :)
funny how life changes forever with the most miniscule of happenings. the startled meeting of two surreptitious glances in the mirror, the sudden dangled offering of purchase of free flight. the thin results slip, the inconspicuous admissions letter. the bad phone call, a moment's folly of taking advantage of someone. the last thoughtless caustic remark that pushes a strained friendship over the edge. i love/hate life. and i know it's a loan.
newblog. created for EN 3249: The Body - Politics, Poetics and Perception
here are the results of my aimless wanderings throughout endless cyberspace. limited in scope but thoroughly interesting, i guarantee.
books this season.
Living Next Door to the God of Love by Justina Robson
A Case of Exploding Mangoes by Mohammed Hanif
The Winter Vault by Anne Michaels
The Magicians by Lev Grossman
The Little Book by Selden Edwards
Eaters of the Dead by Michael Crichton
The Books of Magic by Neil Gaiman
Moll Flanders by Daniel Defoe
Tristram Shandy by Laurence Sterne
Joseph Andrews by Henry Fielding