Browsing Tag

travel

Daily

Plant Parenthood

The not-having-kids thing. The i-want-to-move-out thing. Maybe it’s just something about the circle of life that creates a desire to be surrounded by living things. Millennial things.

I’ve always wanted to get some cacti and succulents in my visits to Bangkok but I’ve always been to afraid to even think about transporting them back to Singapore by plane. Turned out to be a lot easier than I thought, because all I needed to do was to open my mouth and ask the vendor at Chatuchak, who promptly said that he could pack it for me. Easy.

I also bought a ton of beautiful fake orchids, which are now laid out around the house. Am I becoming a plant lady? Okay then.

Daily

Tolerance

I’ll be straight with you. I’m not adventurous. It’s a romantic thought to be ‘young, wild and free’ and I am in love with the idea, but I’m far too logical and practical to have that much guts.

That said, I embrace tiny little experiences that aren’t too crazy – and these usually come in the form of learning something new or going on vacations.

So we went to Europe this year and managed to check those two boxes off. It was a good time that felt like an educational school trip about World War II. That stuff intrigues me. The fact that the Holocaust happened fascinates me to no end – that fact that we could let it happen right under our noses.

First they came for the communists and I did not speak out because I was not a communist.
Then they came for the trade unionists and I did not speak out because I was not a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Jews and I did not speak out because I was not a Jew.
Finally, they came for me and there was no one left to speak out.

We visited Dachau, and we went to Sachsenhausen. It was so peaceful and unlike how you’d imagine a death camp to be. Everything was made to help visitors understand what went on, except no one would actually be able to imagine it fully. And we learnt that this was what intolerance looked like.

Intolerance against a different race, culture, religion or sexual orientation would ultimately look like extermination camps – if you had a problem with homosexuals or muslims or anyone, your intolerance would mean horrid things for them, whether you were passive about it or not. Putting that into context blew my mind.

Amsterdam, on the other hand, was tolerant of everything, which made our trip pretty memorable (Ha ha).

All articles about being young suggest traveling as the thing to do, whether you can afford it or not. My holidays usually aren’t as immediately life-altering and dreamy as those articles make it out to be. But I can definitely see priceless value in getting out of my daily life and getting into my traveling pants.

I didn’t just visit Europe to learn history though. So if you find yourself in Berlin, you need to grab heavenly Vietnamese food at Monsieur Vuong’s because that was probably as life-changing as anything.

Writing

Barcelona

If Paris took my breath away, you were the one that took my heart. Your laughter was infectious as you pulled us along to dance. Opened your palms to the skies and so did we, entranced. Thank you for being honest, for being real and an open book. Till next time Barcelona, adios. We’ll be back for chapter dos.

 

Writing

Paris

Oh what a mystique she holds
Her features so individually perfect
Form a face you’ve not seen before
Those deep-set eyes, with all those stories, and that wrinkle beside the blue.
And oh what grace she carries. Not for you, though she knows you stare.
Don’t look at the dirt, no one’s perfect. Just smile and she’ll smile right back.
Be careful though, she has many lovers, be careful please, she doesn’t love you.

Writing

In Nice

For where else would we sit for hours? In the blazing sun. Where else would we dunk our bodies? In such salty water. In Nice, where we’re faced with beauty, the light and dark of blues. In Nice, where the pebbles meet you, (our names on one among them). In Nice, with a glass in your hand.

 

Daily

See you in a little bit, Europe

My parents used to tease me – Can’t sleep is it? Too excited ah? – Yes. Yes I am. This time especially. I don’t remember how I felt before USA, but this time, I’m really nervous. We’re going to Europe. I don’t know French, Italian or Portuguese. We’ve got about 5 flights or more, several airbnb accommodation, $5000 worth of cash, my Sony NEX and a heavy luggage. Thing is, I know I’m living my dream.

Written April 12, 2012 – Maybe one day

“You know what would be perfect? Traveling around the world, going on roadtrips and concerts and doing it all with someone lovely for the rest of my life.”

Thanks for dreaming with me.

Daily

Maybe one day

You know what would be perfect? Traveling around the world, going on roadtrips and concerts and doing it all with someone lovely for the rest of my life.

 

Daily

You don’t need a DeLorean to travel back in time

The motorcycle city, as Vietnam was aptly described by our tour guide, was how I’d imagine old Singapore to be in the 70’s. Except, whereas we are now a booming success of a certain Mister Lee, Saigon seems to be a Humpty Dumpty egg – too broken to be fixed. Ironically, the country is famous for its broken eggshell paintings and handicraft.

I was silly to think that Vietnam would have nothing to offer. Saigon city is filled with life, culture and history – Even now, generations of Vietnamese are living with the effects of the United States’ herbicidal warfare efforts aka the effects of Agent Orange. Today, there are ‘peace villages’ in Vietnam helping those living with the effects of Agent Orange, but with over 200,000 victims affected by the herbicides, Vietnam spends a total of US$40.8 million a year on small monthly stipends.

Although the city itself seems to be teeming with life, its people constantly on the move on motorcycles, cars and buses, the country seems to be stuck in time. Music from the 70’s provided the soundtrack on the bus as we journeyed to the Cu Chi Tunnels with Hung (the tour guide), who proceeded to entertain us with his ability to greet in a variety of languages.

Good morning, Vietnam.
Chao buoi sang, Saigon.

Daily

Tears and fears of a timid traveler

Fear can always be overcome. It’s just like taking a rollercoaster ride, where the beginning is always the worst. You’re standing in the line, queuing and waiting for your turn, your stomach is churning and you think you need to pee. When you’re finally getting on the coaster, you’re thinking, ‘Well, this is it then’. And off you go. You don’t get to think so much when you’re actually on the coaster. It’s just the awful thoughts that you have before you get on it that almost stops you. It’s the thinking. All the thinking. Too much thinking. Because after the ride, you come back in one piece at the platform, and you’re exhilarated. You’ve conquered your fears, you’re unstoppable. You take the ride again.