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    Layout: materialisti-c

    Sunday, October 21, 2007
    Title : Droplets
    Time : 10:45 pm

    The things you hardly think about

    Today when I looked from the corner of my eye, I saw a droplet forming on my freshly washed hair. And I just thought it was amazing.
    Friday, October 19, 2007
    Title : Travel
    Time : 4:33 pm

    I was browsing thru the Singapore Sun Festival site then I saw this shortlisted entry in the Regional Travel Writing Competition : Asia Through My Eyes. Just thought of sharing since it was so beautiful to me.

    Bali- The Evolution of Love by sarongskirts

    The waft of evening breeze brought with it the salty tang of the sea and the delicate trace of
    frangipanis. I closed my eyes as the familiar cocktail of scents grazed my skin, and for a
    disconcerting moment, I felt like the sixteen-year-old who was visiting Bali for the first time.

    They say you never forget your first love. Even though it has been five years since my love
    affair with Bali began, some memories never quite fade.

    I remember the mysterious Balinese air that spoke of contentment and an underlying

    I remember the gilded sunlight that peeked through the leaves of frangipani trees to cast
    intriguing shadows on the ground.

    I remember the intense green of rice terraces set against a solemn backdrop of wise

    I remember the temples, both quaint and grand, that sat along the road, or weaved amongst
    the tropical forests.

    I remember the over-spilling sidewalks, and the hive of tourist activity all day long.

    Most of all, I remember the Balinese with their ready smiles and warm hospitality.

    I remember, vividly, a vocally impaired young souvenir peddler I met at Kuta Square. His
    toothy grin was sincere, even though I had rejected his goods, and we spent a minute miming
    a conversation amidst the jostling crowds.

    Resistless against such charm, I fell in love. Not with him, but with the invulnerable
    tranquility of an island untouched by life’s unpleasantries.

    Bali was my teenage epitome of paradise.

    My shock upon hearing about the bombings in October 2002 was indescribable. Having
    returned from Bali barely four months ago, it was inconceivable to imagine the restful
    paradise in a state of destruction. Why Bali? That was my only coherent thought as I watched
    the news. Why was the harmless island chosen as the victim of inhumanity?

    Anxiety gripped my young heart when I found out that a bomb had erupted in Kuta Square,
    and I prayed that my peddler friend made it through alive. Yet, I knew that the ache in my
    heart was inconsequential as compared to the pain of the many who had lost their loved ones
    in the tragedy.

    When a second round of blasts shook Bali three years later, I was furious and worried. I
    worried if Bali was strong enough to withstand the repeated stabs at its tourist economy, and
    if the island would be able to rise again from the aftermath of terror.

    In search of answers, I finally made a trip back in December 2006.

    Returning to Bali was like returning to the embrace of a lover who was finally home from
    war. Yet, the years apart have fostered a hardness I was unaccustomed to. The innocent face
    of the lover I thought I knew so well was now marred by the desperation to survive.

    Sidewalks, once overcrowded with boisterous holidaymakers, were now filled with local
    touters at every nook and cranny relentlessly begging for sales.

    Restaurants, once teeming with starving tourists, were now eerily empty. Waiters, once
    worked to their bones, now sat idly to watch time creep by.

    Market stalls, once brimming with activity, were now lifeless; and a layer of dust had settled
    over goods left unsold for far too long. The shopkeepers, once earnestly friendly, now wore a
    hint of desperation in their eyes as they grabbed at every passer-by to mercilessly cajole a

    A bittersweet sensation of homecoming clutched my heart as I took in the familiar warmth
    and unfamiliar cold. Seeing how the bustling tourist hub of my memories had transformed
    into a ghost town chilled me to the bone.

    How could I love a paradise I no longer recognized?

    Finally caving in to a persistent tour salesman right outside my hotel on Kuta Beach, I took a
    trip to Tanah Lot on my last day to catch the famed sunset, and chanced upon a Balinese
    temple procession.

    Chattering and laughter filled the evening with an air of festivity as the congregation snaked
    toward the cliff-top temple. Local women competently balanced overflowing baskets of fruit
    and flower offerings atop their heads, while the relatively unburdened men looked on and

    Gracefully, they paid their respects to the Gods. I watched mesmerized, as serene smiles lit
    their tired faces. For the first time on my return trip, I saw not guarded desperation, but
    instead a glimpse of the vivacious beauty I remembered so fondly. I realized then that the
    attacks have not destroyed Bali, but have instead uncovered the hidden strength of the

    In the magic hour of the fading twilight, I fell in love all over again. This time around, I lost
    my heart not to the untouched perfection whose loss I had mourned; but to the resilience of
    the island and its undying belief in faith.

    I remember the travel plans to Bali circa 2005 that was warranted only a faint glimpse of imagination before some exams or another took hold of our minds for longer. But I remember our eager chattering mouths about Surabayan Marita being our tour guide and renting a vehicle to drive from her hometown to Bali. I wonder how she is now. Last I heard, she is pursuing medicine in Indonesia. And the lack/inconvenience of getting Internet connection prevented her from contacting the ones she left behind in Singapore. Or maybe it's just another case of faded friendship despite memories tucked safely in a corner of my mind.

    But anyhow, am looking forward to the Langkawi trip in December with some friends. May there be more happy memories to come.

    Wednesday, October 10, 2007
    Title : Happy
    Time : 6:16 pm

    Yay. This is the first time ever that I ended prac on Wed at 4pm! Normally we drag past 5pm.. even to 6pm sometimes! And it's also the last lab session I would be having. More yayness. My Mon and Wed afternoons will be free now =) And I made a new discovery of a computer lab in the 6th floor of Science Library. Was only aware of the CBLC on the 5th floor. So additional source of time filler.. without having to jostle for space in the CBLC near LT 23.

    Yesterday we had our first Photocomm workshop complete with slides courtesy of CK and moi. It went quite well I thought, although the juniors might have a bit of info overload at the end. Which is why we must have an outing soon! I thought of going to ECP or some beach to take the sunset. But that'll have to wait til they have more advanced skills first. Right now should go to somewhere in the day that requires relatively simple manipulation of the camera.

    And there's gonna be ice-cream mooncake tonight. Yum!
    Saturday, October 06, 2007
    Title : Missing chester
    Time : 2:17 am

    Missing the little Poo-Tzu. I think it sounds much cuter than Shih-dle.

    Lapping up his drink before coming to lick me.

    He has such a cute bark and stands up like an ickle baby!! Look at how his little legs go and when he crawled thru the 'obstacle course' in the garden. And the RUG POSE at the end. When he just slides into a lying on stomach position. It gets everyone all the time. =D

    count the number of 'sits' I said in this video.
    My dad coined the term 'lion dance' for his playing with food antics. How his tail wagged! =))

    Chester cuddling up to mum. She's probably the one he likes most, since she spoils him the most! Check out 0.24 when he starts going in his manic mode which Im a bit scared of coz he just won't stop biting. And his eyes will bulge real big. Whites all round. Teething puppy. Mum said he shed a tooth few days ago and they're keeping the tooth for the dog tooth fairy. Funny sometimes how ppl treat dogs like kids =)

    Post bathing. the shrunken ball of fur shaking himself dry!
    Title : The hilarity of it all
    Time : 1:22 am

    I wondered what was so hilarious when the lecturer mentioned it is good practice to know whether the gelatin base for animals came from cows or pigs. And it is especially important for muslim customers that their medicine must be halal too. Then the class just burst out laughing.
    Disgusted. Narrow-minded cheenafied majority personified.