Posts tagged “holiday

Schooless and jobfree – Part 1

I have a new camera! I’ve decided to name it Hugh. I wasn’t paying tribute to Huge Jackman or something, but I tend to name my things the first name that I think of. Hugh fits! Hugh lives in a long stripey zebra sock.

View from my house in old-town Ang Mo Kio

The view from the window of my old house : Huey’s first landscape shot. Good job! This is the new view from my new window.

View from Hillbrooks

I’ve been moving house, it’s my favourite hobby. I used to be in the Bishan-Ang Mo Kio heart, and now I’m somewhere in the  Bukit Batok ear of Singapore. It’s not a half bad analogy. Orchard, as the stomach, digests all the retail and investments and tourism; Shenton Way, Clarke Quay – the digestive tract and liver. Indispensable, and collectively congested. Bukit Timah? Maybe the face of Singapore. Wealthier citizens and larger, more opulent houses, sort of like how you put make up on a face.

Travelling from the ear of Singapore is hard, and I’ve been complaining to all my tuition students about the commute from my house to theirs. Also, I’ve been insisting that my friends come up to my place, instead of me going down to the city area, for meet ups. Hugh and I have been meeting up with lots of people.

Mature folks :

Camp at SAFTI. Rabid mosquitoes.

More maturity:

Red Land!!!

No maturity: 

Kumar, Kumar, Kumar, Tong Kai, Jeevan acting cool, and Tong Kai. Ian and Gangwei were mature so they didn't make it into this photo.

The Weeny Tadpole. What do tadpoles grow into?

Littlebro, can you share your toy with bigbro? You're reading after all.


I’m learning German, so from now on I’ll randomly insert Deutsch in an effort to retain the new language. Ten days (Zehn Tag) till I leave! It’s been forever and a day since I left Malaysia for well and good and came back to Singapore, but in three years (drei Jahre), three years minus two days later, I’ll be leaving Singapore for the United States. I’m still vacillating somewhere around mid June (Juni), when I just found out that I actually would be going off. As in, off. To the land of liberty, guns, booze, bears, and everything inside and outside and in between. I’m still waiting for it to hit me that I’m going off so that I can start crying or jumping or something like that. My tear ducts have never been very cooperative… I cry when I’m not supposed to, like when I’m laughing about something retarded MJ has said.

Wilntyt : How are winters in the US going to be like?

MJ : Like, cold. The woman at the embassy said I’d be snowed in up to my chest!

Elven : But, lemme tell you, the air is damn sex!

MJ : Yeah, like you breathe in –whooo- and then you start orgasming! Like you imagine when it starts snowing and people everywhere start orgasming –

I laughed so much I that I had to use two hands (zwei Hand) to wipe my tears away. The lot of us from 3N (Shaunee, and wife 1 and 6 and Wilny) and an outsider (Au:slander) from 3O, Shu, visited my house (mein Haus), which is miles from the middle of nowhere. You see it’s at one end of the train station (der bahnoff!) and then, depending on a variety of factors, such as the stock market, the weather and my astrological signs, it’s another 20 minutes to an hour for the bus to get to my house.

This is when we had lunch at a restaurant. Hugh has a bit of an inferiority complex, you see how he focused especially on Shu’s huge ass camera? His screen displayed an erroneous message when I first switched him on : ‘memory card error. Format memory card : yes/no?’ Er… It took a few restarts before he could look at Shu’s camera in the eye without shorting out. Well Hughie, I’m afraid that size does matter where cameras are concerned, but I’m perfectly happy with you! If I had one the size of Shu’s, I’d probably leave you at home, and it’s better to be small and useful than be big and unused.

We got to my house after, and my houses all tend to be slack palaces. I have loads of innocent furniture, but that bean bag is just gobbling MJ up.

Das ist mein Raja! Ich liebe ihm.

So I checked back in a day (last photo), and yeah, Raja’s all that’s left.

The Tan family, Mom, Angel and Adora

Juxtaposition of heights. Love from the '95ers. Tomato Pokeball and Pikachu cheese.The Tan family, Mom, Angel and Adora

  This is Bio RA.


This coupon entitles the bearer too …


Hence passes the big-ol’ be-all-and-end-all school term, leaving me, finally, after having suckerpunched some academic discipline and restrain into myself, living too much in the past and too little in the present. Glorifying yourself with fragments of old wealth, faded beauty, once-youth, long-ago-vitality, recollections strong enough to leave you breathless and insane, frantic with your own delusions, like Blanche Dubois. Like Anwell, like poor, frightened, pathetic Charles Kingshaw. My beloved psychedelic protagonists – to think that after I have dissected your motives and circumstances and served it up proudly on fresh, blank paper, I would end up like you – pitiful and neurotic! How present I was then. Imagine Carol Ann Duffy’s poetry making sense only after I no longer need it to. 


“The film is on a loop.
…You remember little things. Telling stories
or pretending to be strong. Mommy’s never wrong.”

Whoever She Was, by Carol Ann Duffy

You placate a sudden, restless emptiness with flotsam and jetsam inconsequential goals. Completing the Sinnoh-dex. Achieving maximum tactician stats. Re-reading character supports. You remember (or pretend to have known) love, lovers, loving, but really, it’s mostly just the little things. I don’t even know what they are, really. Uh : you-me-I -?- sounds schizoprenic even to your-my ears.

I don’t – I wish – I want I do – I came up with a whole family I’d love to have. A cross between the Russian and Irish wolfhound, called Taichou, or Tai (Ty) for short. A Belgian shepherd (groenendel), called Inferos, or Ros for short. A Norweigian terrier I want to call Shin, short for Shinpachi. An Afghan hound, named Khal Drogo, either Khal or Drogo for short. And a labrador retriever. I really only had one but once he’s gone, now I have five! Five. There they go again, beloved, multiplying all out of proportion. Rabid as Chuck Palaniuk’s Buster Rant Casey.

Hot damn, but talk about wickedly good covers and wickedly good books. I’m game for anything brutal and visceral as long as its well written, and while (normal) kids should stay away from Rant, adults could learn a bit or two from it.  Finding the guts to love Palaniuk’s books is something like cultivating an acquired taste – it’s a little trying to read beneath the gore and the fragmented narrative style. I’m more favourably inclined to Palaniuk’s book than this book reviewer; however, it is is a good summary and the criticisms are valid.   



After our pre-Chinese New Year gathering for Assisi Hospice

Wow – stocking mandarins on trees! An angbao (with a condom and a sleazy coupon, no less!) from the illustrious WifeEe and Wife#1! Thank you for the moments I’m too lost to remember.

Cold wind and clear sky. PS Wish You Were Here.

Absolute SlackPalace – Powerpuff Girls Monopoly

Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute SlackPalace Absolute

Absolutely slacking, like those overweight human blobs utterly dependent on their soda-dispensing-greasy-fries-serving-all-entertainment-constantly-provided cushion chairs in Wall-E. Abso-feckin’-ly slackin’. Like, I got no other way to describe it.

Chia as Blossom! The Number 1 leader!

Shao as Bubbles! The Joy and the Laughter!

Jeri as Buttercup! The Toughest Fighter!

Sumo as Mojo Jojo! Aaaaaaaannddddd………..

Sra Zei as Professor Oak X Utonium!

I totally owned at Powerpuff Girls Monopoly. Luck was on my side. And I already have the skill.

Jeri (Buttercup): Flowershop! Flowershop! Flowershop! Flowershop! I need to land on Flowershop!
Sra (Professor Utonium): You need to roll a 2 to get Flowershop, which is an even number…you won’t be able to buy it anyway!
Jeri  (Buttercup) : …ARGH!!
Chia (Blossom) : 5…6…7…oh, too late guys. I got the Flowershop!

Shao (Bubbles): Oh damnmit everywhere’s so dangerous…I should just stay in jail, safest place, since I don’t have property anyway! Free food free shelter… (rolls dice three times) nope, no doubles. Guess I’m still in jail then!
Sumo (MojoJojo): (lands on Just Visiting Jail, where Bubbles is jailed) … … oh, the irony! Hello, Bubbles!

Chia (Blossom): I’ll give you Bonsai Gardens if you’ll give me the PetStore and free access to all your green-coded properties.
Sra (Professor U): Don’t be stupid!
(A while later)
Sra (Prof U): Find, I’ll do it. Free access and PetStore for Bonsai Gardens.
(Some time later)
Chia (Blossom): Hello Sra! Nice to see you’ve built a house here!
Sra (Prof U) : = fume =
Chia (Blossom) : Wow, construction coming along very well! Two houses – three houses – Just swinging by!
Sra (Prof U) : = growl =
Shao (Bubbles) : Nooooooo!!! Shit Sra’s Green properties all damn dangerous. $900 on this and $975 on that! AAHHH!!
Chia (Blossom) : Hey, Sra! Just visitin…making loads of money I see!

Egypt, ancient Misr – at its most splendid (part III)

If I had to choose what to remember, I would choose these moments.

Riding a camel in a blistering sandstorm - exhilarating and frightening! Something to repeat before I die!


Flowing with the sandstorm at the Steppe pyramids

Catching the sunset

Catching another catching the sunset over the Nile

Sunset II

Sailing along the Nile, these power stations were the only indications of civilization.

Odd, fleeting and precious moments

Odd, fleeting and precious moments

Darkness sharpens beauty. Why?


I was feverish when I snapped this

Egypt, ancient Misr – “palaios lithos” and beyond (part II)

Egyptian rule gave way first to the Persians, and then, under the conquest of Alexander the Great, to the Greeks, then the Romans, the Arabs, the Ottomans, and then the Europeans.
Temple of Philae
Temple of Philae, and the facade of egyptian gods and kings

Stones are impartial to the conquerers who shape them.

Pompey's Pillar and Granite Spinx

Greecian and Roman influences - Pink Granite Spinx and Pompey's Pillar

Roman tomb in Alexandria

Roman tomb in Alexandria - a city named after Alexander the Great

One of the many mosques. I forget the name.

Tourism has little time for the unremarkable and commonplace. We didn’t spend much time with the locals, but we did manage to ride feluccas on the Nile (slow and pleasant, but not much wind) and we also visited a bazaar.

The streets in Cairo

The streets in Cairo - bright on a sunny day with clear sky

A daily bazaar in Cairo

A daily bazaar in Cairo

Mostafa and his horse, Rambo

Mostafa and his horse, Rambo

Felucca boat

A felucca boat on the most placid portion of the Nile

An Egyptian

The Egyptian 'captain' of our felucca boat

Words fail me.  


Egypt, ancient Misr – the protected land (part I)

Photographs inadequately represent Egypt. Some are gifted with capturing the visual more stunningly than the human eye can, but in my inexperienced hands, snapshots remain merely that. Split seconds shots, which reduce an endless expanse of desert to flattened layers, and shrink massive, crumbling facades  to screens and shadows. Like so, the tombs of great kings :

The greatest pyramid of Giza, tomb of King Khufu (also Cheops)

The greatest pyramid of Giza, tomb of King Khufu (also Cheops)

Great Spinx of Giza

Even after 5000 years, the detailed stonework of the eyes of the Great Spinx of Giza remains, visible despite the relentless sandstorm.

Valley of Kings

The Valley of Kings, burial ground of Pharoahs and their queens for generations

Columns of the Karnak Temple in Luxor (Ancient Thebes)

 The temples of gods, built by the pharoahs, who were as gods themselves, stand despite the waters that used to flood Egypt seasonally – flushing anything, and everything, out of the path of the Nile – including the roofs of these temples.

The Obelisk of Hatshepsut
Hatshepsut’s Obelisk, erected by her father, Tuthmosis I
Here stand the skyscrapers of ancient egypt. They were built to honour great names and lofty titles, and they were torn down to show hostility, power and dominion. The remnants that still stand are the colour of old teeth and bleached bone, recalling everything past, dispossessed of all heritage and living memory. They continue as receptacles for the stories of thousands of nameless people and their pictures.

The oldest, most lasting way to remember - stonework

Columns of the inner courts at Karnak

Old shapes, older stones. Monuments carved singularly, from the very rock of mountains, ordered by the arrogance of Pharoahs. We know their names till today. Ramses, Rameses, Ramsis, Tutankamen, Nefertiti, Cleopatra – only their bodies and their sucesses persist, the former wrapped and dessicated husks, the latter breathtaking and towering, yet both are made immortal under the same sky.

Temple of Ramses II at Abu Simbel
Rameses II and his son (I think) Rameses II and his son (I think)
All details of the carving preserved by the layers of silt and alluvium that, ages ago, kept these places buried deep underground. Where the faces of the gods and pharoahs were not protected by sand, their very features were holed in, or knocked out, by those who sought to desecrate a foreign culture.
Old stone, hard stone, dry, relentless, sobering stone that remembers gods and kings until it is no longer stone but dust.

Hieroglyphics on the crumbling walls

Hieroglyphics on the crumbling wallsA scene between god and king

The Avenue of Sphinxes

The Avenue of Sphinxes

Where walk the gods, there also stand sentinel the sphinxes and rams.