Saturday, April 30, 2005

50 days: Brushing the Cobwebs of the Sky

I'm restarting the countdown, seeing that i've a definitive date to be back in Singapore.

The storms have not been letting up, they've been a regular but welcomed visitor almost every evening. And thanks to that, I had another one of those sweet nights yesterday.. you know those few moments you'll remember out of the six months of any experience.

It was a nice coincidence that the rain had slowed to a drizzle just as i typed the final words in the report i was trying to finish. Work on an off-day. Nice. Would have probably finished it in double quick time too, if I hadn't been so stupid to watch Apocalyspe Now. Just one scene.. just one scene... Ya right. The horror!

So I headed out solo, pleased that the weather had finally turned cold enough to wear my favourite brown jacket out. Got on a rickshaw, headed to Rifle Square for a bit of grocery shopping.

I probably have said this enough before, but I really enjoy grocery shopping. Just let me loose in NTUC or Cold Storage and watch me make myself happy man.

Agora doesn't quite have the range.. I mean.. its instant noodles rack barely takes up three tiers.. and that's shameful. But I got what I needed, taking a raincheck on the bunch of thailand longans. And strawberries. And this box of cherries that looked like juice wrapped in skin. Ah well, good fruits expensive.

And I figured, why end the night so early when it was so good?

Headed to this place I'd seen perched on the fourth floor of one of those decrepit-looking malls, full length glass windows all round... the Kozmo Lounge. I think I was just drawn to any place that might serve alcohol, even though I knew there was no chance in hell I was going to get a nice margarita to end the night with.

But it was a nice, the owner couldn't quite decide between the Japanese zen look at the minimalist metal-and-faux leather look. So they had comfy sofas scattered around, plus the usual given dinner tables in dark wood and glass.

I didn't even notice the projection screen playing VH1 Divas Live till I sat down... and yeaaaaaah i still can't stand Shakira.

To make up for the lost margarita, I had the rare and elusive iced lemon tea. (Dhaka has a blanket ban on ice lemon tea in ANY FORM, canned or fresh). So fresh the lime leaves they ground to put in hasn't even sunk to the bottom yet. And treated myself to a plate of honey-glazed chicken wings, which seemed more like teriyaki, but who the hell cares.

There was a couple a few tables behind, but i didn't really care. It's nicer than Cafe Mango, because it's... more honest I suppose. I liked being the youngest there.

The sweetness of it all sank it. Me, alone on the fourth floor of a almost empty shopping mall, looking at the street lights below and the barest hint of rain drops on the glass. Chicken wings and iced tea.

And then to make the moment more complete, the Dixie Chicks came on over the excellent stereo. I never tire of "Landslide". I don't understand why people diss the group so much.. or maybe i would if I listened to more of their stuff. But yes, even the Smashing Pumpkins version couldn't top theirs.

I changed seats to get a better view of the projection screen so I could watch a bit of the mtv, and got myself another cup of latte.

Later, the owner came over to chat with me. Nice, mid-30s, interesting tattoo on wrist. He'd fit in so well with Darren and his group of friends.. cut from the same mould, they would say.

He has a day job in the American Express bank.. and the lounge was just a nighttime hobby for him.

The conversation flowed freely... after a while it wasn't the cordial kind of small talk anymore, but real, proper conversation which I hadn't realised till then - I had been sorely lacking.

"You know, I really believe that I stopped growing mentally when I was 22. Everyone stops growing at some time or other, and that's the way it should be. But some stop too soon."

"Oh yes, there hasn't been any lack of those examples."

What I really liked, was that he didn't ask all those typical questions about whether I liked Bangladesh and what my job was etc etc. Talk instead about his wife, significance of family ties, irritating old classmates who he couldn't recognise anymore and yet were insistant on reunions...

I don't know why I enjoyed it so much. Maybe he's a Gemini, one of those good ones. Or maybe I was just so relieved at the sight of a human being that seemed perfectly fine with talking to me as an equal, with respect and no prejudice because of my foreigner status and age...

Yes, it was a real good night.


50 more days to touchdown.

Thursday, April 28, 2005

I like Pengs.

At any rate guys, I don't keep track of my site's traffic, so it doesn't make a difference.

But I do agree with what he wants to do.. but maybe he oughta think a bit better about the "execution process" and how to make it available to all who want to read/listen to it.

But lately, I've been thinking a lot about home. Not missing it in the achy-breaky-heart way, but just stoning into space and imagining how it would be like. And i really do think that all this was set off by the damn Brownyagi podcasts lah. I mean.. "they don't play mother one" ok???

So i'm wondering why i had such intense feeling against singapore initially.. its not that the things that I disliked about it disappeared.. but that I had underestimated how happy the other stuff made me.

1. Hougang Avenue 10

My home of the past 18 years. Seeing the crowds of kids coming out from stadium after their Sports Day, or the kids going for swimming lessons on sundays at the public pool. The tiny coffeeshop below the block, next to Econ Minimart, with the best chicken wings and "tie ban tofu" in town. The owner of the econ minimart has seen me grow up.,. literally.. the family's been there since i moved in.

The Ah Mms downstairs.. always gossiping.. calling me "ma ta kia" or "policeman's kid"... which just goes to show how long they've been there.. it's been a LONG time since my dad wore his uniform. When i'm in the lift with one of them... they'd ask in dialect.. where i'm studying.. how long more... you're so tall now you know... (ya right)... how's my brother doing.. wah he's already 17??? so big..."

Being able to say " le ai ki mai?" (you want to go up?) to one of them at the lifts when i get back would make me smile a lot).

Walking to the busstop for 165 in the rain. I've realised in my JC days, when missing a bus meant standing with the latecomers behind everyone else, that I can run and make it to the bus if I just come out of the lift and spot it at the traffic lights. It's the 100 m dash in the morning. If the bus is at a red light, I sprint down 100 m and i'll beat the bus. if not, i'll be sprinting BY the bus.. and the driver usually stops to wait lah.

2. Newton and Kopitiams

Newton is the epitome of kopitiams for me. Sitting at the same place everytime, such that the drink stall uncle only has to look at us to confirm that it's the usual order... chatting with him about his job and his two teenage kids.. he's a funny guy who talks with a deadpan face. Serving us our beer in plastic cups when it gets too late... "ma ta lai liao lah"

And all other kopitiams as well... the 24 hr ones especially... the one outside National library which closed.. the one near my place with the big banner (3 Crabs $15 only!).. the one near NTU...

I forgot how often i'd order "kopi peng" from these places. I like the bustle of the place.. i'm sure we all do. The tiger aunties rushing around.. with their platform shoes and black pouches and mini skirts, the hawkers who'd joke with you or make a big thing out of preparing your meal...

Getting a good seat outdoors meant a lot to me.. you escape a bit of the heat and oily smell.. and get the night air. Sometimes ordering that plate of char kway teow which you KNOW you shouldn't cos you're not hungry at all. Cos I never had a taste for it.. I was never into rojak..though everyone seems to make it like a big deal. (what's so great about it... BBQ chicken wings better still)

Oh my god.. almost forgot Chomp Chomp.. when my family had a car we'd go there a lot.. visits dropped a lot since they revamped the place to look like.. well.. mini-East Coast hawker centre... lost its flavour along the way. But what to do? Give me back my lousy plastic chairs, wooden foldable tables and all that.

3. Serangoon Road

I spent a lot of time in Little India.. cos Darren's studio is there.. and initially just to let me get used to the crowds.. but then I started to really like it. What's there not to like about the place, seriously? I like that chinese kopitiam smack in its middle... sometimes got the bar girls there eating.. but i tell you.. the bak chor mee they serve there is damn bloody good. Siew mai sucks though.

And milo peng! I always order that too! I forgot.

There's apparently very good pig organ soup on the other side.. along Jalan Besar.. will try when I go back.

Wednesday, April 27, 2005

1 tequila 2 tequila 3 tequila.. more?

Ok, so I had my first drink of Tequila in like... almost four months. Jo produced a bottle out of nowhere, and although my instincts told me to FLEEEEeeee when I saw the dreaded Malu sitting down... the allure was too great.

Besides, I was there first! Already settled down into my usual seat in the kitchen, nice steaming BIG bowl of Maggi instant porridge mixed with egg (tastes better than it sounds believe me), giant mound of fried shallots which I did up.. my book..

Then Jo comes in and "Jess, would you like a shot of tequila?"

Damn surreal can? Almost 40 mother-of-three asking me at 8pm just as I'm about to tuck into chinese food whether i want a drink. And I mean, it's ONLY like my favourite drink, other than teh peng.

(I swear I'll never say teh peng again with a straight face and without thinking of Tay Ping Hui. No thanks to the Brownyagi Podcasts)

Yeah... so we drank till midnight. A bottle of tequila sure do disappear quickly with five drinkers at the table. Malu ordered from his very elusive source another bottle of whisky..but I didn't stick around long enough to enjoy that. Not that I would have anyway... hello? Why have whisky when there's tequila.

But at least I don't crave for it. I was saying no to jo already.. (porridge and tequila??) but well... she was persistant ok??

On another note, Norman bin Sawi is a cruel cruel boy.


Jess is now cheap... will work for food, really.

Monday, April 25, 2005

Omerta lah not Omelette

Dunno leh Huckerby, when you say I'm Miyagi-ed it sounded like he "did a job on me and ran off". You know.. you've been Punk'd! Same vein of thought. Plus summore I already have this image of a hamsup (but funny) Miyagi.. too many babe photos on the site man. But I'm sure the guys would disagree.

At least you see, Mr Brown more wholesome. Got pics of his kids summore.

Anyway, I finally finished reading The Godfather, speed marathon session - one book in two nights. But I think i was dreaming in Italian last night.

The people here would just LOVE the book. Typical men behaviour. Classic quote from book and movie: "Women and children can be careless, but not men." Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaa your mother should've been more careless giving birth to you.

But it's been quite a long time since I read this kind of books... and its easy to ignore fictional MCP. But at least i'm one down on the stupid stack of books (how to lug back to Singapore??? Die die die).

But yeah reading is like eating you know. If you want to enjoy your food, you gotta vary the dishes. Otherwise even if I serve you chilli crab everynight after a while you also sian.

Ok scrap that. I could live with chilli crab everynight. Maybe... fishball kwayteow.

But yup, it was a good break from Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintanence, which is driving me a little crazy. Its like Sophie's World all over again (which I did not, and did not wish to, complete). But... just like food... this kind of book must finish reading one lah. You know it's good.. I never left a piece of good crab behind no matter how full I am.

Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values- Robert M. Pirsig

Haha which reminds me of a Friends joke. Rachel making fun of Ross eating too fast.

"You practically breathe in your food through a straw!"

"I grew up with Monica! If you didn't eat fast you didn't eat!"

Trivia Bit: Wong Kar Wai's Chungking Express was my Godfather! He did that film to give himself a break over that epic he was doing.. can't remember the name of the epic, ironically.. Ashes of something... Extended DVD got its trivia perks.

Sunday, April 24, 2005

the day sucks. this sucks. you suck.

[Update at 5:33pm : The guy is still not here. And apparently, according to Malu, he's "coming". But it's a "surprise visit" so we're not supposed to know what time. Right. A surprise visit. That's why he called yesterday asking us to call back to arrange a time. Right. ]

Trying to release all the 15 year old anger hormones into the title. PMS hitting hard this year follks, and it looks like it might be awihle.

So i'm sitting here in my tiny cubicle, waiting and waiting for the meeting to start. The guy (government official, wouldn't you have guessed) is supposed to be here at 1. It's now five minutes to 4. I have officially rotted away my day sending emails, chatting, reading Savage Love and various nonsense.

I will take a slow pause after work today. At promptly five o'clock, my ass is going to kiss this place goodbye. I will climb onto a rickshaw, and take a bumpy ride to Dhanmondi Lake. I will get off, pay 10 Tk without haggling (bargaining just going to fray my nerves more), head to the lake and order myself a hot cup of lemon tea. Sit by the brick wall and just do nothing.

Then, I will get up, walk back to Pathshala. Lock myself in the room, change into something comfortable, wash my face, blast the music, turn on the aircon and read my book.

At night I will ascend the stairs to eat the chow mein I asked Peter if he could prepare for dinner. I will have my orange juice (if it's gone by then i will SCREAM) and my mandarin oranges which I bought yesterday.

I will read some more in my room, (because wow, the Godfather is a better read than movie), and I will pop two panadols and go to sleep. The local panadols are POWERFUL. it's also 500mg, but it knocks me out.

I'm just trying to psych myself to have a nicer end to the day.

Or i could go to rifle square and get myself some Seinfeld to watch.

Nah. Staring at the screen will just make me feel like puking. i'll read my book. And fall asleep listening to Mr Brown and Mr Miyagi crap about Singaporean life.

Saturday, April 23, 2005

Yeah miracles do happen.

After an immense amount of email being sent back and forth between me and Shyam and Cherian... I was getting a bit disheartened by Cherian's rather cold and quick way of replying.. I remembered him having a bit more humour than that face-to-face mah...

But the last email takes the cake, after i've been trying to negotiate my way into the Indon team and hoping to be paired up with __Friend__ (who might not share the same enthusiasm, unfortunately =( )

Dear Jessica,

Just to confirm, we're moving you the Indon team.

You'll swop with __Friend__, who will go to Sri Lanka instead.

I hope that's satisfactory.

OK, OK, just kidding.

Yeah so my heart attack set in about three lines down. YAY! Cherian is still funny... at my expense.. but still funny. In the spilt second before my eyes scanned the entire mail, I think I had a million thoughts in my head like "WHAT THE FUCK THE SCHOOL FUCKED IT UP AGAIN MY GOD THEY'RE MORONS WHAT THE HELL JUST LIKE I EXPECTED NOTHING EVER GOES RIGHT I CAN'T BELIEVE THEY SCREWED UP AGAIN"

But haha. Heh.

But won't be with Shyam (*pout*) and Kay Chin instead who uses digital so boo hoo for me.. but HIYAH not going to complain about it.

We're really very lucky, people. And i'm very sorry, but I disapprove entirely of letting Year 2s onto the list. There's such a thing as limited chances, and that's the soon-to-be-graduating students have, not them.

And yes, to prove that Darren DID visit me and I didn't miss him so much till I hallucinated him:

Darren in Mango

And a tiny few photos from Kushtia loaded. Yes I know it's bad. Photoshop killed my eyes after the scanner screwed up the scanning. (everything was tinted wrongly i don't know what i did i plead post-midnight brain failure) and I was too tired to re-do them then. I TRIED.

Dunno if anybody remember Aki the girl who i said brought me about everywhere in Kushtia, never seen someone so protective of me before... if I don't hold her hand in the crowd she gets anxious.

Kushtia - Aki

fuck. now it's too blue. HIYAH. i give up. the prints came out fine. digital stoopid.

Kushtia - Ferris

This one is my favourite shot. the rest are no good lah.


But then again I kind rushed through everything.. didn't even bother to check the negatives properly.. i may have a gem lying somewhere... it's always very satisfying to see a shot "EH!!!!! why i never see this before!!!!" with digital everything there.. no hunt, no kick haha..

Friday, April 22, 2005

The Sick Girl and the Sea

Returned from Chittagong, Cox's Bazaar on Wednesday.. have been trying desparately to catch up on all the lost internet time, what with Darren's week-long visit where i did NOT bother with the computer.. and the trip..

And yea, Darren came and left - leaving me feeling rather depressed. It's tough after awhile being almost surrounded completely by people that you wouldn't normally hang out so much with... it is getting a tad bit tiring.. especially after the trip to Chittagong with some of them.

And let me just state for the record, 11 hour bus rides are no fun. Especially when you've to take two of them with just one day in between.

But Asia's so -called longest beach is not bad.. prettier in the moonlight without the men staring.. the sea unfortunately is murky.. but hey... it's a beach.

Would type more... but not quite in the mood.

Oh. Happy Birthday Guiqing. Guess you had one heck of a present this time eh?

Saturday, April 09, 2005

A bit too much of Nostalgia

As I packed my bag, getting ready to leave for office, I dropped a couple of sachets of Nescafe 3-in-1 without even thinking. And when it occured to me as I was stepping out of the door, where the hell I was going to find hot water and a mug, i realised that I had just reflectively done it just like how I always did when I left my hall for the Chron room on wretched Thursday nights.

So tonight, I do miss Chron. Only because of Nostalgia - you know, comfort of familiarity in a otherwise foreign place - no matter how uncomforting it may be.

I miss the people most though, not so much the work. GQ slinking off sometimes because she's so damn tired, those rare occassions when someone actually brought in supper, the morning of the last issue when how's-the-curry-PH and I sat on the stairs.. I think we were having a conversation, but I wonder how good it was after a night of no sleep. And those rare days when I actually dragged myself to breakfast, and watch in astonishment as Raymond eats his breakfast.

And those feelings of panic in Lit class sometimes when I wasn't in Chron room, wondering if someone had fucked up the final copy again after the teachers had gone through. And then wondering if I had fucked anything up.

The ocassional beer, of course, which made everyone happier. Alvin, who got more business-like and efficient when he was tired. And his hammock... which I think have had its very fair share of female posteriors resting upon. Which is more than I can say for his lap, unfortunately.

It makes the whole thing more important than it really is, because seriously, anyone can tell you that it really isn't. But still, it was fun, and it makes me instinctively grab coffee-to-go when i leave at night to do work.

In office now exploiting the scanning machine in office to scan in my negatives - something long overdue. I could send it in to a lab to be scanned, but that would cost. i don't know how much - but can do myself do it lor. Besides, it's nice to have the office to myself, the Creative speakers all to myself - on which i'm listening Mr brown's podcast - nothing like a few Singaporean voices sometimes.

So yeah, I guess it's obvious i'm homesick. Well maybe not homesick.. but certainly not disapproving of a few Singaporean things. And that I won't hate singapore when I go back, unlike what I prophesied a couple of weeks ago. of course, I also predicted I may change my mind - so I'm still right.

I think in future, I'll just stick to my guts and always assume my indecisiveness will win in the end - and i'll be right in all assumptions.

Thursday, April 07, 2005

Finally! An Answer!

I feel your leg under the table
Leaning into mine
I feel renewed
I feel disabled
By these bonfires in my spine
I don't know who the arsonist was
Which incendiary soul
But all I ever wanted
Was just to come in from the cold

- joni mitchell

I have finally found an answer to the question that has no doubt been the topic of many round table discussions involving an all-female audience.

What's good about Singaporean guys?

(As I mentioned, mostly guys, few men.)

The Answer : They're not condescending.

This is a sweeping statement of course. But it feels good to finally have reached an answer to that previously rather unanswerable question.

But yes, I think the Singaporean male species have spoilt me because I expected the same kind of basic respect from men here. But NOOOOOOOOoooooooooooooooooo...

So, everytime we get together to bitch about the kind of "variety" which we get to choose from, I shall always remind you of the one good trait they possess.


Stagnating in office for a bit, instead of doing research for the projects i'm trying to handle. i'm not too sure what's the problem, because I finally feel as though I'm doing work, but it's not getting me anywhere.

I wonder if ST will pay if I hire a translator.

OCC clinic

After research, I've realised that this government funded One-Stop Crisis Centre in the local hospital has been covered intensively. Quite a bit of a let down professionally, since now I find my original angle extremely lacking. But it's good also, since I was quite apprehensive about doing a straight-piece on the place.

The place is so "obvious" that I really can't quite think of another angle. It's a ward in the hospital dedicated to abused children. They accept acid burn victims, sexually abused toddlers and physically abused domestic workers.

It's your basic nightmare, which was a reason why I did not want to work on it initially. Can you imagine me breaking down and crying in front of these children at their "plight"?

As i mentioned before, am I allowed to pity them if they don't pity themselves?

Lars told me I was being quite stupid in giving up such an excellent story idea, but right now it doesn't quite seem so excellent. It seems more exploitative than ever, especially after reading the reports that have been done on them. They just go in detail about how they've been tortured, how pitiful they are, how terrible their abusers are, how unfair the law is to them yadayadayada.

Surely something more can be said? But what?? No matter how I approach this story, it's impossible because these children are interesting to me for one reason, and that reason is what makes it cliche. And thus no matter how I go about doing this, i'm still turning them into "subjects" which is not what I want at all. I fear a dead end. Work on abused children has always been on "abused children". It's really quite tiring to keep seeing them as that.


Also. Just found out today that my king of one-liners, Mitch Hedberg, died. Ah well... Comedians also can die of drug related problems, not just rockers ah.


"Alcoholism is a disease, but it's the only one you can get yelled at for having. Goddamn it Otto, you are an alcoholic. Goddamn it Otto, you have Lupus ... one of those two doesn't sound right."

"I once saw a forklift lift a crate of forks. And it was way too literal for me."

"I wanna hang a map of the world in my house. Then I'm gonna put pins into all the locations that I've travelled to. But first, I'm gonna have to travel to the top two corners of the map so that it will not fall down."

Wednesday, April 06, 2005

Here. We. Go. Again.

Thanks to how's-the-curry-PH:

The Pope and the Hypocrisy

President Bush and other world leaders are honoring John Paul II in a way that completely misunderstands his message. We pay him no tribute if we lower our flags to half-staff and send a grand presidential delegation to his funeral, when at the same time we avert our eyes as villagers are slaughtered and mutilated in the genocide unfolding in Darfur.

The latest estimates, from the British government and others, are that 300,000 or more have perished so far in Darfur. Mr. Bush has forthrightly called this slaughter "genocide," but he has used that label not to spur action, but to substitute for it.

And a bit of trivia coming out of Bangladesh, I would like to introduce you to the


Otherwise known as the Men in Black, these sturdy looking gentlemen of the law patrol around town in their handy black pick up truck with rifles in hand, black bandannas and sunglasses to match.

Would like to introduce this concept to the Singapore government. Call me homesick, but you guys were the first I thought of when I read about this. Not quite as subtle as your usual tactics, don't involve quite as many lawyers,, but I think it's effective! The RAB has the license to kill and arrest you see, but cos these bad guys always prefer to die in glory than go in arrested, I haven't read about arrests in the news yet.. only "deaths in crossfire".

From the webpage:

The Armed Police Battalions Ordinance 1979

a. Internal Security duties;

b. Recovery of unauthorized arms, ammunitions, explosives and such other articles as the Government may, from time to time, direct;

c. Apprehension of armed gangs of criminals;

d. Assisting other law enforcing agencies including the Police for maintaining law and order; and

e. Such other duties as the Government may, from time to time, assign.

and also....

6B. Power to direct Rapid Action Battalion to investigate offences.—

(1)The Government may, at any time, direct the Rapid Action Battalion to investigate any offence.

And, this is the LAW.


Tuesday, April 05, 2005

Four Wheels better than three, than two.

[Added after lunchie]

Right now i'm just trying to think of all my friends, and whose eyes would be rolling the most at this piece of news. I can't quite reach a conclusion... tie btw GQ and Joce!

Anyhow, it's finally official - Jamelia's Superstar, that horribly catchy song we all say Idols grooving to in pseudo R&B yo-check-this-mama-out blingblings and blongs blongs watever.... yeah that song is now playing on office speakers!!

When main boss isn't around lah. And it's just me, Yixin and Atiq - the very good-natured 30 something year old publication guy with two kids who asks me "Do you know Jessica Biel? Have you watched Blade Trinity? She's really good!" and plays Bomberman during office hours.

But yes, after my incessant playing on my miserable laptop, he finally bui tahan, appleshared it over to his computer.. and BOOM here comes the bass baby....


It takes people, and me, about a week to get used to the traffic in Dhaka. It's a mess, as people probably expect, and it's hard to explain why. Let's just say that it's difficult to get any semblance of order on a road with rickshaws, pull carts, baby taxis, cars and crazy buses. So lanes just melt into each other, over taking happens everywhere and anywhere, pedestrians cross even when the road is not clear. Nike might've gotten its slogan from how pedestrians cross the road here. Just do it really, stick your hand out, and assume all cars will stop for you. They usually do, but some don't, and you get a earful of car horn.

But the heirachy on the roads is quite an uncanny microcosm of society. You've the big SUVs, the glitzy BMWs, and even the occasional red convertable. You've the big fat pseudo-harley bikes, the little Hondas. You've the battered and dented baby taxis on three wheels. Then the rickshaws, the poorest in the most plentiful numbers of course, and the push carts overloaded with anything from chickens to metal wires. And of course bicycles.

Everyone calls it orgnaised chaos, and the only reason why it could even be called organised is because the rule of the road is - the more expensive the vehicle, the more right of way he has. Even when officially, he doesn't. Like taking a turn onto the main road, rickshaws stop to let the damn car turn.

It's obnoxious behaviour really, but without it the roads wouldn't function. Someone has to give way.


The network has been extremely erratic today, under influence from the power supply, no doubt. But ever since a piece of equipment in the Internet room exploded or imploded during a thunderstorm two weeks ago, the connection has been extremely unreliable. So now network access is limited to specific times...they've disabled proxies recently, which slowed the whole damn thing down.

But Jo and I were discussing (Jo's mother-of-3 from England on exchange study in Pathshala) this during a blackout, and we agreed it was a nice albiet brief respite from everything. For once, it isn't due to our laziness or procrastination that we can't get work done.

Since I was quite miffed that I missed out on all of Singapore's blackouts (DAMNIT) I think this is my payback. But I like it. I like how I'm forced to be focused and intense whenever the network is on, because you never knoow when it'll disappear. And when it's gone, I have time to slowly read through what i've been researching.

It's more productive, actually.


Randomness at its best:


- On this date, in 1614, (that's 391 years ago!!!) -Pocahontas married John Rolfe, 1614. (fwah her name hard to spell leh)

Just found out that Apple's free encyclopedia software (incidentally, the same brand my mom was trying to sell years ago - in paper form, of course) has this "Important Dates in History option".

Nothing cool happened on my birthday.

Oh wait, got lah, the US took over the state of Lousiana. In 1803.

Sunday, April 03, 2005

Randomly Speaking

Been receiving a couple of random prank calls in the last two days. Would not really care, except that the first one knew my name, and after threatening words in Bangla from Shalini, the others started.

I still don't really quite care, because I don't pay for incoming calls. Which means lunch time we had a little amusing fiasco with my phone on loud speaker mode and no one answering and me, Jo and Yixin listening to a rather puzzled sounding would-be prank caller asking "wat your name??".

Playing a prank on a prank caller. Hm.. always a source of joy in a hot afternoon.

The power supply last night was erratic. It was then I realised how long it had been since I had to sleep in heat without a fan and airconditioning. I think that was in 2000.. during some godforsaken camp in JC.

Anyway, it couldn't quite make up its mind (the power, not the camp) whether or not it wanted to bless us with the gift of light/water/fan so the power came in huge surges which made the fan spin so fast i was sure it was going to unscrew itself off the ceiling in some way. and then it just left. And came back. and left. and came back etc etc.

I'm sure an analogy could be drawn from this.. but too hot to think.

Anyway, it was kinda nice falling asleep to candlelight. Until you had to get up fron the cosy dent you already formed in the bed to blow out the damn candle. Of all the times to find a sturdy candle.

Uploaded a few more photos on the Not so Random site. Its a bit of a bore scanning photos in. I don't know how i'll be able to resist the itch of digital for long.

Friday, April 01, 2005


Please help pass the information around alright? Looking for people interested in the idea.

I'm thinking of forming a group with others who are doing photojourn projects for their FYP (be it in pairs or solo), and as a group we'll organise Singapore's first photographic festival.

I'm also wondering if anyone knows if there are PPC FYP groups looking for a topic, because.. well here's one. Depending on the amount of help that we get, the scale of the event will increase correspondingly.

Right now, at the bare minimum, it would be a exhibition of local student photographer's works, with invitations to polytechnics and etc etc.

But that's simply not quite good enough for me (who the hell will go see other than family and friends).

Inspired by the level of initiative the local students take to organise events which they want to have, I'm aiming for something like a mini-extension of Chobi Mela here.

In other words, a photographic festival. The best Singaporean photographers, student photographers, guest photographers from around asia, Asian students' work...just brainstorming

Sponsorship will be DAMN SHIT. But i think if we keep innovative enough we might pull through.

i just don't want to graduate without having done a single damn thing.