The Singapore Night Festival 2017.

I just gave myself a new project.

Tentatively it’s being called Project I-should-stop-sulking-just-because-I’m-not-in-London. Sometimes I also refer to it as Project Self-reminder-that-Singapore-is-actually-an-awesome-place. (If anyone can come up with a better name, I welcome any suggestions).

Perhaps I also secretly/not-so-secretly want to lure some people into visiting me from the other side of the world. Hence, I have decided that I will blog more about my life in Singapore and what this tiny island has to offer.

(Also, I have a spare bedroom at my flat at the moment, and the public transportation here is a quarter of the price in Denmark, the UK and the US. AND, we have some awesome food in this side of the world. Practically a dream for travellers on a budget. Just saying.)

Ahem, but I digress.

When I returned to Singapore after my two-year stint all over the place, I was swept by a weird sensation of being back at a place that is both familiar and strange. I felt disoriented – small things that I had taken for granted would simply work did not. My transportation card that had never failed me for the past seven years didn’t work because it had expired. My mobile phone data did not work properly. I forgot that thunderstorms are permanently imminent and did not have my umbrella with me on my first night – I got caught in the rain as I was stepping out of my flat for dinner. I behaved like an awkward tourist while trying to order some food. And I got some stares when I ate by myself – I forgot how much of a taboo it is here to be seen having a meal on your own in public.

But as time goes on, I’m slowly tracing my old steps and a sense of familiarity starts to take over. After all, I still live in the same flat, and I am working in the same business district as I was before I left. It is taking a while but at least I can feel some progress in fitting back in.

The first time I felt that I found some of my footing was when I went to the Singapore Night Festival with these two friends who have not changed a single bit since I first knew them a few years ago.

nightfestival7

The Singapore Night Festival dates back a decade to the time when I was studying for my Bachelor’s in SMU. Being a student at a university with a campus smacked right at the city centre meant that we were at the heart of the festival that lit up the whole Bras Basah area. Visiting the festival also brought back memories from my Singapore university days which had ended, ahem, seven years ago.

The festival’s flagship display has always been the light show at the facade of the National Museum. This year’s performance boasted a fascinating 3D effect that certainly felt a notch above the previous editions’.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Continue reading “The Singapore Night Festival 2017.”

Advertisements

SEA Games 2015 Opening Ceremony, a consolation.

I should be in San Francisco right now, getting ready to witness one of my best friends getting married to the love of her life. I should be hanging my dress in the wardrobe of my room at an ‘Amazing Apartment by the Seaside’ (according to my Airbnb description), rehearsing what I’m going to say during the wedding dinner tomorrow as part of the bridal party, and generally looking forward to an extraordinary day in a beautiful city with my beautiful friend.

But life has to deny me all that, because I have no means to travel. I shall not go into detail because it would simply upset me even more, but let’s just say this time, I have to begrudgingly bow down to limitations of rules and not travel.

Which I have to say is very unlike me. I don’t let rules tie me down from doing what I want, especially if I have set my mind to it. I mean I wouldn’t necessarily break the rules, but I would push pretty darn near the edge of doing so to get what I want (as long as the possibility of going to jail or getting deported is nowhere in sight).

Like that one time when my family was in NYC for New Year’s Eve and we were planning to watch the ball drop at Times Square. My mom, having a true blue tropical blood, can’t stand the cold, so we were not able to simply stand at Times Square from 7pm in 0 degrees waiting for midnight. So we decided to take our chance, and rushed to Times Square from our hotel 15 minutes into midnight and understandably, all the roads to Times Square have already been closed and guarded by burly NYPD officers. We tried street after street to no avail, and I was on the verge of giving up

Until I saw a group of girls being let in because they danced to the officer.

Fuming mad, I did the only thing I could think of. I went up to the police officer and showed our hotel key and said that our hotel is located along the street and he should let us in. And he did. I got in to Times Square by LYING TO AN NYPD OFFICER. We got in just in time when the song ‘What a Wonderful World’ was playing, and the tune had never sounded more welcome.

nyc1
And here is a picture to prove our achievement!

Continue reading “SEA Games 2015 Opening Ceremony, a consolation.”

Header of the Month: The New Year and January.

Just dropping a quick line in this space before my personal new year.

I think I should totally win the award of being able to come up with legitimate excuses to be MIA from my own blog. I gave myself a three-week project at the end of December to pull something through. It has unexpectedly been extended to a fourth week now, but it is really the final stretch before I could finally announce what it was, hopefully with some good news. Anyway, this was why I have been absent from the blog because the project involved a lot of thinking and some writing, and I practically exhausted my brain cells and word count each day in the process.

As if as a reward for myself upon finishing this last stretch of the project, a friend of mine invited me to watch Michael Buble concert (OMG!!!). The same friend who posed as my ‘boy lunch date’ and presented me with this too-pretty early birthday present!

IMG_20150113_212204

Continue reading “Header of the Month: The New Year and January.”

Header of the Month: Christmas Wonderland in Singapore.

I love Christmas markets. There is something very charming and romantic about those rows of little wooden huts with slanted roofs, fairy lights tracing their edges, selling everything from warm wine to cakes and earmuffs.

Over the years, I have visited Christmas markets in Copenhagen, London and Paris and never seemed to get enough of them. They are definitely one of the things that I miss the most from being in Europe.christmasmarket1

So imagine my thrill and excitement when I found out that Christmas market has finally come to Singapore. I love it so much that I have been there not once, not twice but three times over the past week!

The Christmas market (or Christmas Wonderland as the official name goes) is located at Gardens by the Bay’s Supertree Grove. The Supertrees on normal days are already very impressive if not somewhat menacing (a lot of people have mixed feelings about the veins sprouting everywhere from the ‘trees’ and I do agree that from afar it looks kind of odd). I always compare them to scenes from the movie Avatar.

christmasmarket2
Supertrees!

Continue reading “Header of the Month: Christmas Wonderland in Singapore.”

Geylang, and its hidden charms.

It is now officially 97 days (ninety seven!) since I last travelled. I did not know how I have survived without travelling for this long, but that is not to say that I have been sitting idly doing nothing. A lot has happened in the past three months, and in fact, as I have said many times previously, I have been very busy. I was leaving my previous job, and now have somewhat settled into my new one after a period of steep learning curve. Just last week, I said bye to the only steadfast in my Singapore life for the past eight years: the flat I have been staying since I first came to Singapore. It was part emotional, part stressful trying to move and throw away some eight years’ worth of junk. I can’t believe how much of a hoarder I am, but I really am one.

ANYWAY, I’m not here to discuss my habit of keeping-things-just-in-case-I-have-a-use-for-them-in-the-future. Rather, it just feels a little weird that it is December and this time last year I was getting ready to go for an epic trip to Myanmar. But here I am, in my new flat, wifi-less (I’m attempting to publish this post using Wifi hotspot from my phone plan) and travel-plan-less, and I have to say I did feel a little miserable earlier today.

Which is a bit unfair of me to say that I feel miserable to be stuck here in Singapore. It is after all a very cool place to live, and my friend just told me of a Christmas market at Gardens By the Bay which I’m going to check out next week. And to remind myself that it is not such a bad thing to be stuck here and to appreciate things around me more, I decided to write a post about one of my favourite places in this island: Geylang.

I know that Geylang isn’t a place where most people would consider their favourite. It is after all labelled the red-light district of Singapore, and it definitely does not look glamorous nor does it sparkle with the city lights that this country is so proud of. However, it is at the same time the least pretentious part of Singapore where things happen when they happen, and clearly no one seems to think there is anything wrong with a brothel and a Buddhist temple to be situated side by side.

To be honest, the street full of brothels does not seem that interesting.
Let’s be honest here, the street of brothels doesn’t seem all that interesting.

Continue reading “Geylang, and its hidden charms.”

Thinking out loud.

I know, I know, it’s been two weeks. I know that being busy is not an excuse for not writing, but I really was very busy for the past two weeks. I was trying to finish some writing assignment for work, and by the time I finished writing pages on geeky financial topics, I sort of ran out of words. Oh, and I also had a week’s worth of badminton writing, so the word factory in my head has understandably been sufficiently exploited.

And after two weeks of absence, you would think that I would have the decency to give a proper update or some travel post of some kind, right?

Well, no. I love you, but no.

Unfortunately you will have to wait for the next post for that. All I can say is, another big change is coming to my life in the next couple of days, and with the year end, there will be lots to write about, some thoughts and a post to celebrate the one-year anniversary of this blog which less than a month from now (yay!).

Continue reading “Thinking out loud.”