A Happy Day

Saturday, July 25, 2015

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Everyday should be a good day, but some days are a lot better than others. In my attempt to retain memories of these lovely days, here is one from three weeks ago - made possible only with the magical existence of cameras and photographs. Truly, A Levels is being a huge impediment to my ability to remember things, and the time I'm spending preparing for it gives me none spare to archive happenings into posts like these. Sigh, I'm still trying my best to upkeep this space, while I still can. 

So, on the last day of Common Tests for the Science people (the Arts kids finished two days before), my favourite people decided to come together to celebrate Shermaine's birthday belatedly. Bellyboings are a constant source of support for me that I'm so thankful to have, and we barely have time to meet in junior college, so this was very exciting and I was so happy even before meeting them.  

Wang You and I met earlier to prepare for the picnic at Botanics since we didn't have exams in the morning (heh heh) and awaited their arrival! 

They look like Charlie's Angels or something 


Well I attempted to make a white chocolate ombre cake but under the hot sun, everything just melted and it was really gross and I could feel it collapse in the box as I was transporting it but them being them, they ate it anyway (they have been eating all my failed - and of course also the rare successes - baked goods since secondary three #truefriends)

Oops the true reality of #jujubakes :-(

"Dynamic shot!" 

This was their immediate reaction after I commented that they looked ugly with the necklace on their heads - priceless! I'm so glad I managed to capture the shot the moment all their faces changed HAHA and well, they are actually all super pretty but will I tell them that? Heh heh maybe not. 

And Shermaine! :-) Honestly one of my biggest inspirations - I'm so confident that life has great things in store for her and that she'll continue to be a sunshine, positively affecting everyone she meets, like she has to me. 

After our picnic, we really couldn't take the heat and relocated to Island Creamery and here's Wang You's affogato that is pretty photogenic :-) 

We chilled and talked which was so comfortable - I absolutely adore their company and we talked for a couple of hours before Wang You wanted to go on a shopping spree so we headed to Somerset but then we left her in the Forever 21 changing room because she was taking too long - Priya had to head home while Shermaine and I were going for the MAAD art fair at Tanjong Pagar and the Sing:Love Concert later at night - so sorry Wang we love you! 

At Tanjong Pagar we headed to Pho Stop, my favourite Vietnamese eatery and they never fail to disappoint - it was so good and portions were generous as well.

Shermaine's Vietnamese coffee

Their Vietnamese spring rolls are truly to die for - so juicy and crispy and hot and the sauce matches perfectly - everyone seriously needs to try this. 

It was getting late so we just walked a bit at MAAD before rushing off to Habourfront to catch the monorail to Resorts World Sentosa - also one of my favourite places in Singapore. It's the closest I can get to escaping from the island itself and I always feel like a tourist whenever I am there. The Sing:Love concert at The Coliseum features five songs written to commemorate Singapore's 50th birthday and the artistes involved are a mix of up and coming as well as veteran ones so it was quite interesting. Surprisingly, the songs were all really unlike the usual NDP type songs - they were very real and pleasant. Do head to imclive-group.com/sing-love.html for a free download and listen to the songs - definitely worth a shot in my opinion. 

This was my favourite - Sezairi and Joanna Dong's Starlight was very upbeat and I was blown away when they sang Malay and Mandarin concurrently because it blended perfectly. Before they sang, Sezairi was just talking about the song-writing process and how he had to make sure both languages rhymed because the Mandarin part was composed before he worked on the Malay portions - it was no easy feat, but he achieved it with amazing, amazing results. 

I used to watch Singapore Idol when I was younger and I always rooted for the other contestants other than Sezairi and never understood why he was the eventual winner because I didn't think his voice was very strong. However, watching him live completely changed my impression of him - his voice was so soothing and smooth. Plus, he was so down-to-earth in the way he carried himself, definitely won himself a supporter :-) 

The Sam Willows - definitely the act I was most excited about! 

They are all very beautiful human beings in person as well and it was quite an experience seeing them - really happy and excited about the local music scene, truly :-) 

It was truly one of the best days of the year :-) Perfect morning all the way till the night - so, so, so happy for this short respite. 
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Kampuchea (Part II)

Saturday, July 4, 2015

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The more you see of the world, the smaller you feel. 

And when I experienced Cambodia during the June holidays, that's exactly how I felt - so incredibly small. For most of the trip, I sat next to the window on the bus and looking out, watching the Cambodians go about in their daily life, doing things that were so different than what most Singaporeans do on a daily basis and thinking about how this is merely one other country apart from my own, blew my mind. 

I mean, how incredibly vast is this world if we actually think about it? And what left me melancholy was the knowledge that I would never get to see and experience the entire world and that I would always be ignorant about something, somewhere out there. 

With that said, I shall let the photographs do most of the talking. As a continuation from my first post about the Cambodia trip, the next three days were spent touring Phnom Penh as well as a visit to a dump-site to conduct a hygiene programme for the kids there. I didn't capture any photographs of the visit there, but needless to say, it was eye-opening.  

The skulls of victims of the Khmer Rouge being displayed in the Choeung Ek Killing Fields

The stupa built in commemoration of the victims of the Khmer Rouge 

The Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which used to be a high school before it was turned into an execution center during the Khmer Rouge

Streets of Cambodia 

We had a Vietnamese buffet for lunch on our first day of R&R

More streets - the traffic in Cambodia is insane, no one really follows the traffic rules, if there are any to start with. 

With my buddies Kelvinder and Charmain after shopping at the Central Market, where we had a lot of fun bargaining with the shopkeepers - ok mainly it was Kelvinder bargaining while Charmain and I tried to keep a straight face, which of course was something I failed miserably in doing. 

"Bro Bo" on a tuk tuk transporting hygiene and food packs to the dump-site 

The J2 girls in our hotel room :-)  The place was really shady with doors that required us to jump to open them/ doors that never stopped beeping. The craziest moment was when the hotel staff passed Gloria and Meena the master key that could unlock all the doors in the entire hotel just because their door couldn't open and the staff weren't bothered enough to check up on it themselves. But of course, this was a lot better than having to bathe from wells filled with tadpoles. 

The Russian market

With my buddies again - this time we got a lot more experience bargaining and were better able to snag good deals :-) 

We headed to BBQ chicken for lunch and their olive chicken is to die for. The prices here are so much cheaper than in Singapore - this was US$3.90 if I'm not wrong. 

With my Swensens' strawberry cheesecake ice cream which was so good and it was only US$1.20 which is such a steal. 

After our shopping mall experience, we had to head to the airport and here we have Daniel and Bozhou sharing an ice cream 

My final purchase from Cambodia - four macarons that I might have just bought because #aesthetics 

The plane ride home was rather uncomfortable because I felt myself falling sick. To add to the situation, I didn't have water with me (and more importantly, did not want to buy overpriced water!) so while I didn't exactly want to leave Cambodia, coming back to Singapore was very comforting. I fell sick for around two days so I could only start properly studying in the middle of the second week of the June holidays which made me quite nervous about how prepared I would be by the time CTs came around. 

Now that CTs are over and I know I've said this before but I'll say it again - I have absolutely no regrets signing up and going for this trip with some of the best people. Somehow I felt really at peace and happy throughout the entirety of the June holidays despite spending most of it heading to school and I believe that part of the reason is because I got a lot more comfortable with myself as a person and my flaws through one week spent in an unfamiliar environment. 
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