Tuesday, November 30, 2004

Craving for a nice breakfast

I am craving for a nice breakfast.

Breakfast is my favourite meal of the day. It is lovely to eat breakfast when the day feels early. When the sun is not as scorching as that in the afternoon, and the air still has some lingering mist from the morning dew.

The last very nice breakfast that I had was at Conrad Centennial Singapore's Oscars Cafe & Terrace. The breakfast is nice, and I like the fruit juices. The cereals are nice too. What is most delightful is having the good company of one of my good friends. That was a breakfast to thank my friend who had very kindly helped to accompany me on the piano during my double bass music exams.

Of course, I had lots of breakfasts since then. These breakfasts are rather average. Mac Donalds is average, but I shall go because there is nice company. The breakfasts at Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf is only so-so, for its price. The breakfasts at the Penang's City Bayview Hotel is nice because I had a good friend as company, even though the breakfasts there were just acceptable. Even average breakfasts will keep me relatively happy. For me, breakfasts are meals to look forward to. Maybe for now, I am expecting a little more, and I am now looking forward to having a nice breakfast.

I heard from one of my friends that Father Flanagan has a nice brunch menu, and the selection appeared to be quite to my liking. Maybe I shall try having breakfast there in the near future. I still have yet to celebrate my passing of the ABRSM music exams. That could prove be one reason to give myself a nice breakfast once more.

Well, actually, nice breakfasts are extra nice with good company. I am not insistent on Father Flanagan or Oscars Cafe & Terrace. I am great with the Olio Dome at the Singapore Art Museum, it serves good breakfast with nice ambience.

For now, I shall just crave for a nice breakfast.

P.S. Maybe xxxx could take my hint. If not, I shall be patient.

Singapore Idol

Tomorrow night is the grand finals of the Singapore Idol. I had caught a few glimpses of the show, and well, it is fine. From what little I had saw of this programme, Olinda Cho has managed to leave a good impression on me. I quite like Olinda's voice and showmanship, a pity that she is not one of the grand finalists.

The orchestra that I am playing in will be playing for the grand finals of the Singapore Idol. I suppose we would have the orchestra to provide the music for our two finalists. I got to know that their names are: Taufik and Sylvester. Actually, I have no idea how well they sang, because I have not heard them before.

All I could say is that I am contemplating to catch the Singapore Idol Grand Finals tomorrow evening. Nope, not for Taufik and Sylvester, but to listen to what the orchestra would be playing for tomorrow. It will be nice to see some of my orchestra mates play on the television.

If you are wondering why I would not be playing for tomorrow's Grand Finals, it is because the music for the finals do not have double bass parts.

Monday, November 29, 2004

Thank you for bearing with me

If I had been quite like the Little Prince's rose, there must have been lots of moments when my words or apparent acts have irritated many. At the same time, if I look deeper, I have words of appreciation to offer for the many people who have been kind enough to bear with me and my many idiosyncrasies. So for this post, I shall write some words of appreciation to these people.

  • To my parents, thank you for putting up with my countless criticisms and fussiness.
  • To my dear brothers, thank you for being so kind to bear with my idiosyncrasies and for giving in to me so often the time.
  • To my colleagues, thank you for bearing with my need to have the air-con turned to low temperature because my sensitive nose seems to get me the bouts of cough when the ventilation gets poor. Thank you for bearing with me with the many times that I just insisted things done in a certain way, and for trying to muster all patience not to get mad at me.
  • To my friends, you must have seen many of the possible idiosyncrasies that I have, and I thank you for being accepting of me neverthelss.

The list can go on, but I shall stop it here. Writing too much may make me too vulnerable than I could bear. Whatever it is, if I had not said it, it is not because I was not aware of how much kindness and patience you have put in to bear with me. If there could be a phrase I could offer as a summarisation of my gratitude and appreciation, I would say "Thank you for bearing with me".

The Little Prince's Rose

A phone call rang when I was about to compose this post. A friend of mine had read my post titled: Quite a Frustration and she called me to give me some well-intentioned feedback. Of course, there were other issues to be discussed about during the phone conversation.

Before the phone rang, I had wanted to write about the Little Prince's rose. A bit of background information here: The Little Prince is a book by Antoine de Saint-Exupery. It speaks of the little Prince who left his own planet to travel the universe. This particular website has some excerpts from this book: http://www.angelfire.com/hi/littleprince/frames.html

If I had unintentionally sounded harsh in my tone of writing in the post Quite a Frustration, please forgive me, and please know that the post was not meant to be personal. I just have had a bursting need to have my voice heard because certain things are just plain unpleasant to me. This is my way of preserving my sanity when things become pretty frustrating.

I think I must have been quite like the Little Prince's rose. Yes, the rose who has thorns, who thinks that she is frightening with her thorns. The rose who has been aware since the very day that she had landed on the Little Prince's planet that she is a unique flower in that part of the universe. The rose that has a horror of draughts and insisted the Little Prince to get her a screen.

This rose must have been rather spiteful with her words, yet it was so fragile, that the best way it knew to ensure its needs are taken care of, is to verbalise them. If she did not, she would fear that the Little Prince would not know how to love and nurture her. Afterall, she is the only flower of her kind on the Little Prince's planet. The Little Prince has had no prior knowledge or experience how to care for a flower like her.

She is a flower who needed some shelter to shelter her away from the cold air on the Little Prince's planet; She needed help to have insects away from her; She needed water, and the Little Prince to water her. She needed to be appreciated for her own sake.

And perhaps if the Little Prince could have seen beyond the surface of what the rose have said, he would not have the kinds of regrets that he had. If the Little Prince could have, on his planet, looked deeper to the inherent nature of the rose, he might have seen the tender side of it. He would have appreciate the joy and fragrance that the rose had brought to his entire planet. He would have realised "the tenderness behind her poor little strategems", and would have "judged (the rose) by her deeds and not her words".

This post was meant to be abstract, and if there were difficulties in deciphering the meanings behind, perhaps it just meant that the reader has not yet entered the author's world of complexities. Perhaps, I shall quote, "What is essential is invisible to the eye". Look beyond the superficial, and then one could see the essential.

Thursday, November 25, 2004

Looking forward to my penpal's next mail

I am now waiting for my pen pal's next mail. The person who is coordinating this pen pal project has informed me early last week that she would post the mail written by my pen pal last Friday. It should take about 5 - 7 working days for it to reach Singapore from the US.

I understand from the coordinator that it took about 10 - 12 working days for my mail to reach my pen pal. So my pen pal have to learnt to appreciate how much more patience one would need to wait to receive a snail mail as compared to an email.

One of my good friends reminded me that we must be thankful that the Singapore postal system is comparatively efficient. Usually if we post any local mails by 5 p.m. (or 7 p.m. in some cases), it would reach the recipient by the next working day.

I remembered that there was once when I was on vacation and I had sent a postcard from a part of Malaysia to one of my friends, and it took about two weeks for it to reach Singapore. By the time it had reached her, I was already back in Singapore for more than a week. We suspect there was some delay of the mail on the way.

Hopefully it won't take long for my penpal's next mail to reach me. I wonder what he would write about this time. This will be his second mail to me.

Wednesday, November 24, 2004

Quite a Frustration

If you would like, you may take this post as my one form of ventilation. I think I should get it off my chest before I get too upset with how things are.

My company is going to throw a staff dinner for the staff members. This should have been very nice and thoughtful of the company's management. Yet, I wonder if it is poor wisdom or foresight, the organising committee decided to pass this decision that every department has to put up an item on the staff dinner. I said so because in my opinion, not everyone would wish to put up an item. Furthermore, if poorly managed at the departmental's level, insisting that every department to put up an item could end up giving mini-hell to people like me.

Well, that was not too bad if staff could have a choice over whether they would like to be performing the item. I won't mind playing on the double bass provided that I could get enough help with the transportation of my instrument.

In the end, my department somehow decided to put up an item that would require team effort. Well, the idea of team effort is nice. Guess what the item is? It is a dance. It must have been me, ever a critique and individualist, I think this item has no use of me except for me to make the numbers!

I would rather have put up an item of sketching, signing sign language, but not this. The music, to begin with, has no appeal to me. I would rather just attend a concert to listen to classical or romantic music, and not dance to the dance music.

I just wish that that the decision-makers in my department could have the wisdom to give everyone the option to decide whether to opt in or out of the item. Well, I feel that I am reluctantly part of the dance item because everyone else in the department is taking part, and the thing about INFJs, we feel bad for not contributing to the team, especially now that there was no choice whether to be in or not. We have no way to excuse ourselves on the grounds of lack of interest.

The frustrating bit comes when the air of the practice room is so suffocating. The air-con has indeed chosen timely times to work lesser than its usual capacity, because for the past few rehearsals, it has not been dutiful in ensuring good air circulation in the room. Please remember I have a sensitive nose!

Then gosh, I hate the idea of not wearing shoes during the dance. It can hurt the soles if I was not careful, and I am worried because I seem to be accident prone at the feet areas! I have figures to support me that this is the case. I still can't get over my injured little toe some ten months ago. Someone stepped on it with a safety boot. It was pretty painful that I had difficulties walking about with ease during that time.

I heard we are all to put on some make-up so that we won't look pale on stage. But actually, I don't mind looking pale so long as I could save my face the burden of having make-up put on. I don't wish to put on the makeup. It's staff dinner, rightly for us to have a deserving meal for the effort we have put in at work, could I please have a break and not put up make-up?

What is more, if I had a choice over how I want to spend on my time, I won't wish to spend one hour a week for the past weeks on practising the item. I would rather have spent the time reading up, preparing for sessions, seeing my clients, or working on paper work at the work place. If it helps to get me out, please just perceive me as a workaholic who do not find enjoyment and entertainment through dancing a folk dance item.

So I think it must be me: If I don't like certain things, I have difficulty forcing myself to like it. I could do something I don't like, but I often find that it does not recharge me at all. All I could do is to get done and over with it as soon as possible. Meantime, I shall try to do more of the things that interest or recharge me. Else I will get really drained by the end of the year, and the end result will be a very sullen me.

Well, I've got some of the feelings of frustrations over my chest. This kind of frustration can get me down, and I hope to shake some of it off by ventilating. Thank you for commiserating with me.

Monday, November 22, 2004

Fascinating Roof Top

The Roof Top at the Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay was opened to the public when I was there last Saturday. As best as I could remember, it has been closed for quite a while to have a landscaped garden put up there.

There is quite a nice view from the roof top. I especially like the view that faces the waters, the mouth of the Singapore River, and the Marina Bay. The views on the roof top can be quite interesting too. I will try to make an attempt to bring friends up the roof top if I were at the Esplanade - Theatres by the Bay. Good things are meant to be shared.

Actually, I won't mind if there is no landscaped garden there. The landscaped garden is nice. At the same time, I would prefer the kind of open, spacious feeling that the roof top had offered in the past, when there was no garden in sight. Anyway, I suppose the landscaped garden would be nice for many people as the plants will help to bring down the temperature of the heat circulating on the roof top.

Evening view.  Posted by Hello

I find that being up on the roof top tests one's observation skills. If one is observing hard enough, he or she can often find interesting views.

For the photo found above, I had wanted to capture how the evening sunlight falls more on certain part of the dome structure, and hence creating a contrast between the light and shadow areas of the dome. Could be improved upon.

For the photo found below, I am quite attracted by the repeating patterns on the glassy dome shape structure. The reflection on the glass panels also looked quite interesting, and the transparency of the glass offers one a peek into the world within the dome.

The beauty of glass. Posted by Hello

Garden on a roof top. Somehow this reminds me of an advertisement for some high-rise condominiums. Posted by Hello

View from Marina Food Loft

To do a little more justice to the view from Marina Food Loft, this is a photo I have taken last weekend from the Marina Food Loft. I was there for dinner before attending a concert at the Esplanade Concert Halll. There will a few more new stalls coming up soon. Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 21, 2004

Meaninglessness - Time to Recharge

I do not know why, but my life is starting to feel meaningless. It is as if life is starting to feel stagnant and dead. I quite like the way one of my friends attribute such kind of blues to: blame it on the weather.

Whatever it is, I could just describe that I felt as if there is a lost of momentum and a lost of a sense of purpose.

It is probably suggesting to me that it is time to be kinder to myself, and do some pep talk to myself.

I don't quite feel like writing any post lately, and I seek your understanding if I haven't been posting regularly recently. I think this feeling of meaninglessness could be an indication that I have to learn to recharge and rediscover a sense of momentum and purpose.

Take care meantime.

Saturday, November 20, 2004

Caught my eye

I do not usually have an interest in residential property developments. This is partly because at my age, I am not as interested to put money into a residential property when I could still legitimately stay with my parents in the flat unit that they have purchased years ago. Furthermore, there was no plan to move out of my current place of residence in the near future.

At the same time, if I were to be given a choice and the resources, I would very much want to live in a high rise condominium flat unit situated near the Esplanade-Theatres by the Bay, the Singapore River. Then every day and night, when I look out, I would be able to see some of my favourite city views and river views. Furthermore, I would like to live in a locality which would allow me to have convenient access to the Singapore Art Musuem.

Recently, this particular development has caught me eye. It is: The Sail@Marina Bay. Its location just seem so perfect, and the design of the development is rather appealing.

Now I just have to come to terms that I have yet to have the kind of money to commit to purchasing such a property. If I do, I would have seriously considered getting my hands on one of the high-rise units of The Sail @ Marina Bay. Unless luck and fortune are on my side, this is just a dream house, and a dream waiting to be fulfilled.

Meantime, it is still rather nice to live where I am. It is a high-rise flat unit with reasonably good view, and just half-an-hour ride by the Mass Rapid Transit train to the Esplanade-Theatres by the Bay and the Singapore River. Learning to be contented with what one has could be a blessing at times.

Thursday, November 18, 2004

Liuli Gongfang

Just some moments ago, the television was showing a programme on Liuli Gongfang (http://www.liuli.com/E_index01.htm). Liuli Gongfang was founded by Yang Hui-Shan (a successful film star and a consecutive Best Actress winner of the Golden Horse Award of Taiwan as well as the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award) and Chang Yi (a Best Director winner of the Golden Horse Award and the Asia Pacific Film Festival Award) along with seven other associates of the film industry. Their vision was to create artworks with a modern Chinese style using glass as the medium.

At this point of my writing, the television programme has ended, and there was not much that I saw from it. I had only caught glimpses of about less than three minutes of the programme. Yet in my mind, I recalled how amazed I was with Liuli Gongfang's process of making artworks from glass. I attended an exhibition of some of its works last year, and I was to some extent amazed by the technique and the art.

I shall save my critique. Though some of its works could be improved upon in a few areas, I quite like the artworks by Liuli Gongfang. Somehow, behind each piece of artwork, I could see patience, perseverance, and lots of hope. I have a feeling that there is so much of effort that have been put in for every single piece of work. The process of trying to find the right technique to create the artwork must have been a tediously long one.

To commend the artists for their efforts and perseverance, I thought of writing a short post about Liuli Gongfang. I shall include its URL should you wish to find out more. It is: http://www.liuli.com.cn/

Nothing to Offer

It might have been the fatigue, such that I felt I have nothing to offer lately, to this blog.

I felt I have not been as productive as I would like to at work lately. There seem to be some spells that make me feel tired and taking longer to focus.

I wonder if this could be the way things are, that I have learnt to be present to what is happening, without resistance. Maybe I have to learn that it could just have been a myth that I should be working at my optimal all the time. Good health and being energetic are privileges and not rights.

And somehow, the less that I resist this general sense of fatigue, the more at peace I felt, and I get to feel less of the fatigue. Maybe one way to fight things that is undesirable is not to fight it upfront, but to accept that these things are present, usually temporarily?

I wish I could have something to offer, but I am not sure. This must have been one of those ramblings of mine.

Tuesday, November 16, 2004

The Way Things Are

The Way Things Are is the title of one of the chapters of the following book:

Title: The Art of Possibility
Authors: Rosamund Stone Zander & Benjamin Zander
Publisher: Harvard Business School Press. Boston, Massachusetts.

I was trying to flip through this book today and I think this chapter is quite worth a read. The chapter speaks of the concept of being present to everything that is happening, without resistance, and how doing so could create possibility.

It creates possibility in the same way that, if you are far-sighted, finding your glasses revives your ability to read or remove a splinter from a child's finger. At last you can see. You can leave behind the struggle to come to terms with what is in front of you, and to move on.

According to the authors, the practice of being with the way things are calls upon us to distinguish between our assumptions, our feelings, and the facts - that is, what has happened or what is happening.

Being with the way things are could mean that one has to consider:

  • clearing the "Shoulds"
  • closing the exits of escape, denial and blame
  • clearing judgements
  • distinguishing physical from conceptual reality

This is a chapter worth some pondering upon. I think I shall reread it again.

If I were to die in a month's time

It could have been a result of the book that I was reading some time ago. It was Morrie in his own Words by Morrie Schwartz. Somehow, it got me to think a bit more about my own mortality, about issues related to death and dying, and life.

I started to ask myself this question: What would I do if I were to die in a month's time? And I don't have a clue to it. Somehow, there was no sense of urgency, nor fear which I had felt when I asked myself this question. Perhaps it could have been too premature a question to be asked?

There was some slight displeasures with how I am leading my life currently, in that there were dreams unfulfilled. If I were to die in a month's time, I wish I won't have to end up in despair, or perhaps in a hospital to waste my time away. There is still many things I wish to experience but have yet to. I think if there's only a month's left in my lifespan, I would want to travel to see the museums in Europe, and more importantly, experience the culture and lifestyle of the people of Europe. Then, I would like to share these experiences with others. I think I would wish to learn how to make sculptures, learn to compose music, create more artworks.

Seriously, I think I have yet to fully appreciate the value of asking myself this very question of What would I do if I were to die in a month's time? I have a feeling that I have yet to answer this question in depth. I think if I did, I would have learnt to better appreciate the full value of life, and tried to live life to the fullest, to the way that would best allow me to contribute to it. Perhaps such questions of such depth needed time for exploration, only then would the answers slowly unveil. Such might be a proactive search requiring patience and time.

Sunday, November 14, 2004

Snapshots taken on 14 Nov 2004

Today's weather has not been good. It was raining from time to time. I was busy trying to avoid the crowds today. When I was at the Marina South, there were many people at the second level. I observed that the park near the Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay, was quite full of people. This I had observed from the Merlion Park when I was there. The Merlion Park was also more crowded than usual today.

Anyway, here are some snapshots that I have taken today. To share them with you.

The Merlion. At the mouth of the Singapore River. Posted by Hello

Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay. Taken from Merlion Park. Posted by Hello

Esplanade Bridge and the Esplanade. Posted by Hello

Boats at Clifford Pier. Posted by Hello

Underground crossing from One Fullerton to Fullerton Hotel. Posted by Hello

The Arts House. Previously, this was the Parliament House. Posted by Hello

Today's Discovery

Today happens to be yet another holiday. It is Hari Raya Puasa, the day which signifies the end of a month-long fasting period known as Ramadan in the Islamic calendar. On this day of festivity, Muslims spend the day visiting relatives and friends in a celebration of thanksgiving, feasting and alms-giving. (Source: http://www.visitsingapore.com/hariraya/).

My parents were both at home doing some kind of spring cleaning. I have no wish to be there. The detergents and dust from the spring cleaning were irritating my nose. So I decided I should just be out of my home, even though I was actually feeling rather tired to do too much walking.

I took a bus to the area near City Hall. I walked around with no particular aim. I made a small discovery today when I was at Marina Square, Singapore. I found out that there is a new food court there that was opened recently. It is called the Marina Food Loft.

Newly Opened Marina Food Loft Posted by Hello

The views from the balconies of this food court are pretty nice. Some views face the Clifford Pier, others face the merlion. A pity that it was raining when I was at the food court, if not, the views might have been much nicer with a clearer weather.

View from Marina Food Loft, on a rainy day. Posted by Hello

Rainy day view. Posted by Hello

The food court is pretty spacious, and I quite like its simple and spacious layout. This food court will be one possible place to have dinner before I go for concerts at the nearby Esplanade, Theatres by the Bay. The prices of the food are affordable too. I was trying to browse the selection of food at the food court, and some of the selections are: Yong Tau Foo, Minced Meat Noodles, Korean cuisine, Japanese food, Western food, Malay food and more.

To check out the Marina Food Loft, it is located on the fourth level (I think) of Marina Square. Perhaps it is easier to find it if one goes to the second level, and walk towards the Star Bucks Coffee Cafe. Then one can walk up the stairs to the third level, and take the escalators up to the Marina Food Loft.

Saturday, November 13, 2004

Forces of Nature

Today, I have decided to catch an omni-theatre movie titled Forces of Nature. I wanted to learn something, but for this afternoon, I thought I would stay away from reading books. Instead, I have chosen to learn by visual means, through watching an omni-theatre movie.

Here is a write-up about the Omni-theatre in Singapore. (Sources: http://www.science.edu.sg/ssc/otmovie.jsp?type=8)

The Omni-Theatre, part of the Singapore Science Centre, is a specially designed theatre equipped with state-of-the-art IMAX dome technology. It is Singapore's only dome-shaped, 5-storey high theatre with a capacity of 276 seats.

The theatre screens large format films which provides the industry's highest standard of clarity. The 15 perforation/70mm film frame is 10 times larger than that of conventional 35mm film used in cinemas.

It also features a massive hemispheric screen, 23m in diameter and 16m in height (or 5-storey high) which stretches 180o horizontal from wall to wall and is tilted at a 30o angle to the horizon. Together with 72 amplifiers, which produce 20,000 watts of surround sound, audiences are transported right into the action.The Omni-Theatre provides audiences with an immersive, premium cinematic experience, which is both exciting and educational.

I felt humbled when I watched the movie Forces of Nature. Nature is such a marvel, so are the forces of nature. I felt that mankind is quite at a mercy of many of the forces of nature. Many of the times, we have no control over the many forces of nature. In this planet Earth that we live in, we have to learn to come to terms that we will have to live with the forces of nature (its marvellous side, and at the same time, its destructive side).

In this movie, the audience gets glimpses of volcano eruptions, earthquakes and tornadoes in their actions. Watching these have been rather spectacular to me. In this part of the world that I live in, I have yet to experience any of such natural forces, and perhaps I would not want to.

My salute to the scientists who have spent so much time and effort trying to understand these natural forces, and to find ways to help mankind better survive these forces. Some of these scientists may have, in the process of their search for understanding, sacrificed their lives.

This movie is quite insightful and educational. Yet, perhaps it was because I was not at my optimal today, I felt nauseous while I was watching the movie. It must have been the sensation of constant rocky movements. With the large film and massive screen, I felt as if I was moving together with the rocks and tornadoes in the movie, even though I knew that the theatre's seats were securely screwed onto the floor. Such a sensation resulted in a kind of nauseous feeling similar to that when one has car-sickness. So I tried the advice of the theatre's personnel, given to us before the show, that is "close (my) eyes if (I were to) feel giddy". It helped a bit, but not for too long.

This is certainly a movie to catch for people who are interested in understanding Nature, volcanoes, earthquakes and tornadoes. Certainly educational, while being entertaining. For more information about this movie, here is a link to its official website: http://www.destinationcinema.com/our_films/fon/fon.asp

Thursday, November 11, 2004

Outside Penang Airport. Posted by Hello

On the roads of Penang. Posted by Hello

A Closure

Perhaps this post shall mark a closure to my writing about my recent trip to Penang on this very blog. I figured that most of what needs to be written, and what could be shared have been put up already.

My words of appreciation to the people who have read my posts on the Penang trip. I am touched to have readers who are willing to take time and effort to read through my mumblings and writings. For your information, I have revised some of the captions of some of the photos, especially those that are found on my other blog. Hopefully, these revisions would make the photos more informative, and would allow you to better relate to the photos.

Before I bring a closure, I shall share yet a few more photos that I have taken on the Penang trip. Last but not the least, I hope you have enjoyed reading about Penang, as much as I have enjoyed my trip to Penang.

There is a spirit of Melancholy in the air

Strangely, there has been a sense of melancholy in the air for the past few days. There is no reason to justify for it, but it just happens. Maybe this could be a signal that something in my life needs to be reviewed?

Sometimes I feel that I am like a source of light that could have travelled beyond the solar system, but somehow, was constrained to the perimeters of the Earth. Such a restrain, I do not know if has been meant for a purpose and needs to be accepted, or has been unintended and is something to be overcame.

It should have been nice to have catch up with a friend of mine during her housewarming party this afternoon. Indeed it has been. I was contented with catching up with a few of my friends today and to try to connect with them at a different stage of our lives.

Yesterday, another friend whom I have treasured emailed me to send me a greeting. It has been heart-warming to hear from her.

Surely there are reasons to be happy about, and to remind me that I could look at things in a brighter perspective. And I think I did. At the same time, the spirit of melancholy could still be felt. Perhaps, feelings are feelings. There are no good or bad. Feelings just are.

There is something that is deep in me that needed a form of expression. Maybe, the melancholy that I have felt could have been a manifestation of the lack of some kind of expression. I wish I could have the powers to express those metaphoric vision in me, but I do not seem to have them yet. Perhaps it is only through search and discovery that I could piece up those phrases of expressions together. At this moment, the vision itself is unclear, waiting to be discovered.

If you should see me in a solemn mode lately, I shall let you know that I am not sad or angry. Most likely, I am directing my energies to process internally. Lend me your quiet company if you would like, but please try not to bog me down with too much questions or answers. I think I needed some space and time to review and to recharge. I will be fine.

It's Deepavali

Today happens to be a public holiday in Singapore. It is Deepavali today. A literal translation for Deepavali is Festive of Lights. It sympbolises the lifting of spiritual darkness, and is celebrated by various groups of Indians.

Since today is a public holiday, I have the pleasure to be at home at this time of the day, on a weekday. This would give me some time to recharge from my tiring day yesterday.

Yesterday had been a tiring day for me. After work, I went to consult my dentist because there was some sharp sensations that I experienced on my lower right jaw. I was worried that it might have been another infection, so I went to see him. He did a thorough examination and assured me that the sensations on the right jaw could be due to the growing of the bone of the jaw at the site of operation where I had removed the wisdom tooth about 2 months ago. There was no signs of infection that could be found, and I had no fever either. So I felt more assured.

After seeing my dentist, I took a bus to travel to the town area of Singapore. I was trying to get a gift. I was not sure of what to get. Anyway, I found something which I thought might be useful. I just hope that my simple gift could come in useful somehow to the friend whom I would be giving it to. That was yesterday.

I am feeling a bit bored today. I am not in the mood to play on my instrument this morning. My body still has this sense of general lethargy, and I figured that I needed to give it time to gradually recharge. What I needed now is some rest, and a gentle nudge from myself to remind myself not to feel too overwhelmed by a general sense of stagnation. I just felt I was not getting anyway. Hopefully, it must have been that I needed rest to recharge. The past few days have been spent trying to see clients and work on paper work at the workplace.

I think I must have worked myself quite hard for the past few days. So maybe it is time for me just to catch up on my rest. Meantime, a Happy Deepavali to you.

Tuesday, November 09, 2004

More Photos of Penang

A picture indeed speaks a thousand words, I found myself enjoying the process of looking at the photographs that I had taken in Penang. Each photograph tells an interesting tale.

Please take note that more photos of Penang can be found on my other blog. I hope to put up more photographs if time permits. I encourage you to check the photos out at my other blog.

Snapshot of Hotel Room

Snapshot of a part of our hotel room in City Bayview Hotel, Penang. Posted by Hello

Sunday, November 07, 2004

Saying Bye to Penang - 6 Nov 2004

Ring... The alarm clock was set to ring at 5.30 a.m. We had a plane to catch at 9.30 a.m., and we needed to be at the hotel's lobby to meet our chauffeur at 7.30 a.m. Our chauffeur would then drive us to the Penang Airport.

Before we had breakfast, we checked out of the room. It took faster than I had thought, it was possibly less than five minutes to check out. We left our luggage at the Concierge while we went for breakfast. We had breakfast at 6.30 a.m. There were only a few other guests in the restaurant at that hour of the day.

After breakfast we waited for our chauffeur, and when he came, we were on our way to the airport. The experience in Penang has been a generally pleasant one. The memories shall stay. I took photographs of Penang while I was on the way to the airport. That was one of my ways to capture some of the sights of Penang.

After the checking-in at the airport and clearing the immigration, my friend and I eventually boarded the plane at about 9.30 a.m. I was glad that we had decided to travel by plane. I could not imagine myself travelling between Penang and Singapore by bus or train. It would have taken too long a time to my liking.

When the plane departed, I said "bye" to Penang. Thank you for the pleasant memories.


Enjoying my bowl of Penang Laksa. Posted by Hello

Penang Laksa

On the right is the stall that I had gotten my bowl of Penang Laksa from, at Gurney Drive. Posted by Hello

With statue of Captain Francis Light Posted by Hello

Fort Cornwallis. Posted by Hello

Fourth Day in Penang - 5 Nov 2004

Time does fly fast, and soon it was 5 Nov 2004. My friend was sleeping soundly, but I had woke up before 7.30 a.m. My ears must have been sharp, I heard that the air-conditioner had stopped, and saw that many of the lights in the room went off. Upon checking with the hotel personnel, I found out that the hotel was now running on a generator, and was trying to rectify the problem of a power failure. Only certain lights could work during this power failure. It took about less than half an hour before the power went back to normal. My friend was sleeping so soundly that she had no idea that a power failure had taken place.

I had a late breakfast that day. It must have been the effects of the white wine that my friend slept so soundly and only woke up at about close to 9 a.m. So I spent my time in the room reading the newspapers and the book by Morrie Schwartz while waiting for breakfast time. Anyway, I reckon that there would have been a crowd at the restaurant if I were to have breakfast there right after the power fault was rectified. Furthermore, I had thought that it would be nice to have breakfast together with my friend.

After breakfast, my friend decided to spend time at the hotel's lounge to do some reading while I travelled out of the hotel to visit the Penang Museum. That was my plan to visit the museum, however, when I reached there by foot, I got to realise that the museum is closed every Friday. Maybe I did not have the luck to visit this museum.

Trying not to let my slight disappointments get over me, I walked towards the direction of Fort Cornwallis. This is the site of the first fort of Penang. Fort Cornwallis is the spot where Captain Francis Light first landed in 1786. It might be helpful to read one of the posts in my other blog to have a brief understanding about the history of Penang, and there you would read about Captain Francis Light (http://oceanskies79places.blogspot.com/2004/11/history-of-penang.html). When I was at the Fort, one of the staff gave me a short account of Fort Cornwallis. That gave a good start to my visit to the Fort.

Just after noon hours, I returned to the hotel. My friend decided to go to Gurney Plaza for shopping, so I obliged. We had Japanese food in one of the restaurants for lunch. It was acceptable, but could have been better.

I was happy for my friend that she had managed to find some things that she liked from this trip to Gurney Plaza. At least it would not be a fruitless trip for her. We had wanted to take pictures of the coastline along Gurney Drive in the early evening just before dinner-time but there was bad weather (rain and strong winds) so the plan had to be abandoned.

It was nice to have dinner back at Gurney Drive. This time, both myself and my friend tried the Penang laksa that my friend had on 3 Nov. The more I ate it, the more I thought it was good. The laksa was just right. The stall's hawker also gave good service. As it was drizzling slightly, he covered our bowls of laksa with plastic bowls to prevent the rain water from falling into the laksa, I thought that this was a thoughtful gesture of good service.

After dinner, my friend proceeded to one of the hair salon for a wash-and-blow. Our fourth day in Penang should have been more interesting to her than our third day.

Soon we left for the hotel. In the hotel room, we packed our luggage, preparing to set off from Penang the next day. Later, both of us went to hotel's ground floor. I surfed the internet at the hotel's internet corner, while my friend had a drink with an acquaintance whom she had made in Penang.

When we were back in the room, my friend had wanted supper, so I helped her call for the room service to bring up a plate of nasi goreng. My friend allowed me to sample it, and it tasted pretty good. It tasted better than our dinner the previous night.

I figured that I went to bed after midnight, much later than I had originally planned to. I guessed that in my dreams that night, I must have been seeing pleasant memories of my trip in Penang.

Unwinding at the Hotel's Lounge - 4 Nov 2004

After dinner on the 4 Nov 2004, we returned to the hotel. My friend wanted to listen to the hotel's resident band sing. She heard them the past few nights and she found that she quite like their singing and their songs. We found out that the band would start singing at 9.30 p.m., so we waited till then before making our way to the hotel's lounge at the ground floor.

I understand from the notice at the notice board that the band were from the Philippines. There were four of them in the band, and they starting being the hotel's lounge's resident band since August 2004. The band's name was The Emotions

The Emotions. Posted by Hello

Being not in favour of alcoholic drink, I asked for a glass of guava juice. My friend requested for a glass of white wine. In the lounge, we unwinded with music in the background. I made song-requests for the following songs: Yesterday Once More, Top of the World, I can't live a day without you, and Over the Rainbow. I suspect that the singers from the band like songs by the Carpenters. They sang all the Carpenters' songs that I had requested. My friend started expressing her disappointments that the songs were "too old" for her liking.

I think the ladies in the band sang fairly well. I quite like the way that they harmonised with each other. I shall not compare their singing against that of Karen Carpenter, I think Karen Carpenter's singing has been lengendary, beyond comparison. Nevertheless, the ladies in the band did deserve a fair amount of credits for their fairly good singing. The male lead singer has had a good rich voice, though his diction needed some work upon.

There were a couple of people who requested for birthday songs dedication. Apparently, there were two people among the guests at the lounge who were celebrating their birthday. Their friends had openly dedicated birthday songs to these two people. My friend was not one of them though, I am not sure if she would have strangled me if I did dedicated a birthday song to her. So I did not. I think she would probably not have like that kind of attention from strangers.

The music had been pretty nice at the lounge, and would have been perfect for unwinding if not for the cigarette smoke in the air. For quite a while, I was trying hard to bear with the cigarette smoke that hovered around the lounge. Maybe it was me, I got quite upset when cigarette smoke started blowing towards me. I think I must have showed my feelings of unhappiness straight on my face and my body language. I think they had finally showed through so strongly that they somehow prompted my friend to finish her drink and ask for the bill. Perhaps, now you would have a slight idea of how it was not easy to bear with a travel companion like me. My friend must have had quite an amount of patience to be able to bear with me and my idiosyncrasies.

Barrack older than me

One of the barracks found in the War Museum. Posted by Hello

Yes! War Museum

My friend and I at the entrance of the war museum. I am very thankful to have such a thoughtful and gracious travel companion who is willing to oblige to coming to a war museum with me. Posted by Hello