Drunken Rambles

I want to confess that last night I had so much wine to drink, I had absolutely no idea what I was typing when I emailed the story I was working on to my editor. I also have no recollection of what I produced last night and was thoroughly afraid of opening my mailbox to review my drunken rambles this morning. 

Lucky for me, everything turned out better than expected and I have somehow or rather concluded that I am a talented drunk writer. Except I spelt Wednesday as Wedneday and missed out the e in Patek Phillipe. 

I am also still searching for my contact lenses, which I have seemed to have removed subconsciously and left somewhere. Exactly where I do not know. 

Pasar Bella

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This place needs some colour, and I need to hone my photography skills. So in a bid to achieve the perfect balance between both, I’ve decided to bring my camera out more often, and develop an added diligence towards post processing the photos I take.

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Singapore’s a small place, but for an island state that’s got nothing but an eternally shining sun and high humidity, I say we’re not doing too bad in terms of keeping our lovely selves entertained. 2013 alone has seen the opening of the SEA Aquarium (which I am DYING to visit), Adventure Cove, River Safari and Pasar Bella. It’s a good year to pretend you’re a foreigner in your home country and prance around the new tourist spots armed with a pair of shades (to mask the local face) and a camera. At least that’s what I did.

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Despite it’s obscure location, (Pasar Bella is tucked away in the depths of Turf City’s Grandstand, a place only accessible by those fortunate enough to own a car or have the means to take a cab) I dragged Daniel down with me on a punishingly sunny Saturday afternoon — in a cab of course. Holding the hopes of visiting a market like the ones in Australia, a memory I although only vaguely remember, was pleasantly sweet and was one I looked forward to reliving.

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The verdict? I love it. It’s the combination of being able to pick up bite sized food (pound cakes, macarons, sausages, waffles), admire fresh and exotic produce as well as bask in the concept of how happiness can be so simple. It’s like going to the market with your mother, only this one’s air conditioned, filled with things you’ve never seen before and so affordable. Buy a peach for a dollar and chow down on it while you walk pass little booths selling temporary tattoos and little cakes. Relish in the joy of having too many choices when picking a bottle of beer to quench your thirst. Head into the cheese shop that smells strangely like unwashed socks and share a block of cheese you can barely stand to smell.

It’s the experience that really counts here at Pasar Bella. It’s the energy, the food, the concept that appeals and makes me feel like going back there again this weekend even though it costs me $20 to get there. It’s the feeling of being away from your little cosmopolitan city, yet being in it at the same time. The crowd is genuine and polite, the food not exceedingly delicious yet satisfying because of the entire experience it provides.

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Have nothing much to do this weekend? Take a little excursion down to Turf City and discover this little gem of a place. Pretend you’re not stuck on this sunny island and pick up anything you want in the faith that it holds endless possibilities. I made a Shashuka from the peppers, rocket leaves and spices I bought the other day. Who knows what you’ll end up making too. 🙂

We Are Flawed

If I continue to write this much, one day I will be surrounded by a room that has nothing but hard disc drives and broken promises. Some people want to write and coax out every word and letter with a desperation that seeps out from every sentence. Others have it easy and have the poetry flow to their fingers when the need be, perfuming the papers like flowers to rain. The rest, like me, write when they don’t have time to do so, and don’t when they do. The cursed people. Those who only have inspiration when they are forced to put them to waste.

Writing soothes me. I’ve probably said it a million times. It makes time pass quicker, makes things become insignificant and helps qwell the bubbles of emotions I cannot control. Writing is the only thing I can do better when I am drunk, it is the only thing whose prowess is magnified when I’m sad, it is the only thing that keeps me sane when the world confounds me. Writing is like therapy. Depressed? Lonely? Feeling dizzy? Prescribe yourself a doze of writing and a lot of imagination. You’ll feel better after the first word.

People say the ability to write is a flair. No it isn’t. Writing takes practice, and practice equates reading. Writing also equates to music since you need your words to take on a certain rhythm and eventually form a melody. And writing also equates knowledge since you cannot create analogies out of thin air. It is also creativity since sometimes you have to make believe, and it’s also one part the ability to feel alot, cos writing is all about forcing your thoughts into the minds of others. In a sense, writing needs you to be okay at many things. You need to be okay at listening to music, in recognising beats and melodies. You need to be okay in seeing the world and remember things. Not necessarily perfectly, but remember the intriguing parts anyway. It requires you to be okay at crying at the littlest things and smiling at nothing, it requires you to be okay at letting your emotions go. It requires to be OK with everything, but perfect at nothing. Cos perfect people can’t be writers. Writers are flawed.

The best thing about writing? You can write and if it isn’t that good, people will ignore you. And when you’re good, people will still ignore you. That’s when you’re doing it right. That’s when you know you’re writing for things that matter not to others, but to yourself. And the feeling of being ignored after you’ve put your life story and all your thoughts into a single post? It’s incredible. It’s like liberation on a micro scale. A micro, but equally awesome scale.

Damsel in Distress

ImageIt is with all honesty that I type this, a confession of sorts. A purge maybe. But regardless of what this is or who it is for, it is a revelation so I can hold myself together. For now.

I don’t cope very well with emotional stress. Give me a hundred pages and an exam the next morning and watch as I cruise along and ace it like it didn’t even pose even the slightest of a challenge to me. But throw me in a drop of helplessness, hopelessness and loneliness? Hold a box of popcorn and watch me unravel faster than a ball of yarn left to roll.

But as it comes to all problems, there’s always a solution. A pity mine comes either with alcohol involved, or evokes a faux display of concern graced upon an onlooker’s face. My coping mechanism is to self destruct and hope that when I’m done, what’s left can somehow pick up the broken pieces and become something better – the same way nature copes with problems too big to handle.

While it may seem ridiculous and outrageous to others, destroying yourself can be therapeutic. It’s not a cry for attention (‘cos I’d relish in the fact that you’ll leave me alone), neither is it a desperate call for help. I don’t want to die, I just want to make sure all the bad things are gone so the good things can happen.

You cannot contain a fire that’s determined to burn, neither can you change the path of a storm that’s destined to happen. The same way you cannot stop this devastation. It’s fruitless, and I don’t have the heart to tell you. Take away everything I have to cope and I’ll claw through with fingers and bones.

You cannot save a damsel who loves her distress, so stop trying. Especially when this one here knows that the adequate amount of distress will end up doing her good in the end.

Back to Basics

A few months ago, my life spiralled out of control. And as quickly as I rose to what some people may consider the pinnacle of academic success, it took me just as fast to tumble back down. But I am glad to announce that I’m back in school. 🙂

These few months have really been a journey for me. Law School drop out (LSD) turned amateur writer, I had to pick myself up and brush off the dust from my mighty fall, apply for various jobs and finally walk out of the nights I would spend burning mindlessly through readings I did not understand and days in which I would end drowning in my own tears. Its not easy walking out of your comfort zone (when has it ever been?), definitely not easy having to pursue your passion when your skills don’t back you up, and worst of all (applies to me only lah), having to experience a change of environment over and over again.

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Its my second day at school, and although I’m not quite close to being happy again, I think I will be soon. I can feel opportunities bashfully hiding in corners of my lecture halls, and seedlings of comfort eagerly awaiting blossom. I cannot say I feel right here, but I think I will feel that way soon. At least I hope I will—and that’s a great start.

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P.S: I’m the new food writer for Poached Magazine, so show me some love when you spot my reviews!

Apprenticeship—A Must-Board Vessel

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I went for 5 interviews-Nylon, Cosmo, Catalog and Goodstuph (twice). And whenever the perennial question of “Why did you quit Law school?” comes along with flabbergasted tones of disbelief reeking with judgement, I answer as though I’ve been anticipating its cliched arrival: I like to create, and mould things out of thin air. I like to tell stories and make people fall in love with what I adore. I like to help you visualize, craft words and spin webs held together by both truths and lies-and writing lets me do that.

Completing my 2 very short stints at Cosmo and Catalog have been very very rewarding. Don’t trust people who tell you that apprenticeships are not worth your time or effort-they are wrong, terribly so. Granted, the renumeration constantly disappoints. Its not a very lucrative industry, so you either write for them and gain that 5 seconds of fame when your name appears in the credit roll in font size 2.5, or you don’t write for them at all. But what you get back from just sitting at a random desk with a decent machine is immensely gratifying.

Every first day I have at a new office (okay, so I’ve only had 2 first days), I spend the night tearing my hair out trying to put together an outfit that says “Hey bitches, I’m stylish but not overly so.”. Its so frustrating because its you leaving your first impression so you’re desperately trying to achieve that delicate balance between “fashion forward” and “trying too hard”. On my first day at Cosmo, I wore a navy blue peter pan collar-ed shirt and mustard jeans, and for Catalog, a leaf motif black tank with dark blue denims. I remember it so vividly because I possibly went through a hundred combinations before settling on my outfit, yet the harsh reality is that possibly no one else but yourself remembers it. For the first few days, I’d breathe really lightly, walk really softly and pretty much tried to be invisible around everyone, even preferring to email my questions to my Ed-in-chief when she was seated 3 steps away from me. Some part of me decided that no attention was better than bad attention, so I simply went incognito. You’ll be scared, and rightfully so. You’re the newbie, the temp, the intern, the lowest life form in this office. But don’t forget that while you’re meeting new people, so are those around you. Granted, they’ve been around longer and possibly know where the pantry and smoking area are, but everyone’s afraid of the unknown. And guess what’s the good news, you are the unknown. My eye-liner and colored contacts act didn’t last past 2 weeks. Props to me.

When it comes to the writing part of the job, know this: I hate writing about fashion, simply because I cannot give a hoot about it. It is not where my interests lie, nor do I have a keen eye for the season’s latest trends. Its not like I dress like a hobo, or piece my pinks with my greens, fashion just doesn’t appeal to me. And when I first started work at Catalog, it was a complete nightmare. Finding out that 80% of what they published revolved around fashion meant that I was going to spend most of my apprenticeship writing about something I simply could not tolerate-FASHION. I couldn’t find words to describe the yellows, whites and browns, neither could I illustrate the cut of a dress or the fluidity of its hems. But now, words like neutral tones, cool palette, pops of colors, vivacious splash of purples, strong silhouetting, futuristic necklines, psychedelic prints-they all come naturally to me. My ability to learn surprises me, every single day.

There’s possibly a whole bucket more of interesting stuff I’ve learnt in these short few months (like how you’ll hate having work to do, but hate not having work to do even more), but in the end, you’ll get hooked on writing. You’ll be stoked looking at black words staining the blank canvas, you’ll be exhilarated knowing that your thoughts, those words you’ve carefully chosen and pieced together is being read by hundreds, maybe thousands of people everywhere. You feel like what you’re doing has meaning, it bears fruit and its a fruit so sweet and juicy, all the days you’ve spent in labour is worth it. I love writing, and every time I write, I feel like I can spend my entire life doing this. For the first time in a long while, there is clarity when it comes to the future. There is a certain sense of comfort in knowing that I will enjoy what I am doing, and I can see myself breathing life into text for the rest of my life. I’m not good at this, heck, I sometimes forget how to spell ‘disappoint’ and ‘occasion’, but there’s a warm fuzzy feeling that bubbles deep inside me every time I write-it is a feeling so complex and beautiful, I can only foolishly term as love.

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When I do it, I open a blank document and start my usual routine. 1) Change my font to Times New Roman, 2) Adjust my font size to 10, and 3) set my zoom level to 100%. I like seeing my thoughts stain the pristine white background with its coal black words. Its like watching the nectar of an overripe beetroot bleed into the cuticles of your skin. I never saw myself doing it, but I ended up doing it all the same.

The blister on my left index finger is making this a very trying job. Its making every ‘w’, ‘e’, ‘r’ and ‘t’ key I press feel like a subtle punishment. Like when your mother cooks peas for your every meal after a failed your math test. I don’t like to think that I’ve lost touch. That after having not done this for a while, I have forgotten what its like to have the contents of your mind emptied onto the platter that is this vast social network. That after having not done this for a while, I have forgotten what its like to have veiled unfamiliarity react to the aforementioned thought vomit as if it had been written by a long lost friend, a stranger you’ve known your whole life. The other day I told you, I felt my heart breaking – as though someone I was to love so very much in the future had just disappeared. That I was mourning for someone I had yet to love, and now would never have the chance to do so.

I like seeing my words fill up blank spaces. I would scribble them on whitewashed walls, I would chalk them on concrete grey pavements. I would inscribe them with the pebbles on the road, I would mark them with the blood from my fingers. I would write even if they came out illegible, I would sing if they wouldn’t come out in words. I would cry them even if I choked.

I like them the way I fill up loose singlets, like there’ll always be space for more.