Saturday, August 13, 2005
Vancouver is the start of our cruise. My family and cousin's extended family from Hawaii are booked on the wonderful Island Princess. We arrived three days earlier before the ship set off so had some time to explore the city and Victoria Island. tbc tbc tbc tbc tbc fsdfasdfRead the entire entry. [testtest]
Posted by jeffyen at 7:16 PM
Tuesday, August 9, 2005
On this Singapore's 40th National Day, does anyone have any concerns about the crescent moon in our flag? LOL :) Logo of Tomorrow.sg, designed by Xiaxue. The geeky flag designer's worst nightmare: Scalability! Anyway, I'll be going off tomorrow on some cruise to nowhere, so there'd be probably no new entries for the rest of the month... Update (!): I was just watching the Parade after missing it for a few years, and was quite astonished by the song 家 (Home) from Dick Lee, MuZhi and Kit Chan. It's goooood! Not pretentious, not teenybopper (unlike this year's song.) The English version doesn't really work, though. This seems very comparable to I Still Call Australia Home, and is probably even better...woohooo! Update (!!): Rockson has a somber entry on the fireworks display (warning: very course language.) This guy is a gem, I tell ya...
Posted by jeffyen at 2:02 PM
Friday, August 5, 2005
It has been years since I've sat at a cafe to read a book and sip drugs. The quiet Starbucks at Far East Plaza has closed and is now replaced by a Subway. I love that place; a tiny, quiet, out-of-place that few people know existed. The walls are curved so one could just hide behind them or the strategically placed pillars, and disappear. It's an oasis in the midst of noisy and crowded Orchard Road area. So I walk around to see if I can find another similar place to have some Ice Mocha. I need a quiet place. And I think I've found it, as I'm walking around Wheelock Place tonight; the rear entrance of Borders, the CoffeeBean. I've walked there countless times but have never really noticed it. The large area at the bottom of an atrium isn't crowded tonight. I order my five dollar mocha. The vortex of energy created by the curve-moving escalators seems to swirl anti-clockwise, much like a tornado. Funny thing is, sitting there feels like being in the eye of the storm; it's absolutely calm. The coffee-sipping patrons already there are all in pairs. The chair in front of me screams its emptiness. Yes, I don't have a date. I am my own date. With the book I have with me tonight. Two fluffy seats away, a couple snuggles; the lady with a white top and short shorts is saying something to her spouse, into his ear. She's almost nibbling it. This goes on for about ten minutes, maybe more. I read my book, the chapter ends with a poem by Neruda.
Body English We speak in tongues. My mouth to your ear. Your ear to my mouth. We speak in tongues, Use body English. Mouth to mouth. Heart to heart. Parts of speech. Each. Our every slip of the tongue is graceful. Our best syllables are silent. We speak in tongues. Our skins make conversation. Talk to me.Two secondary-school kids move up the curving escalator. She lifts his chin up, touches his face with the back of her fingers. I smile at them, their young love that knows no heartache. A couple diagonally in front of me seems more stressed up; they look uncomfortable. The guy gestures with his hands, the woman sits passively, as if listening to some bad news. Is he breaking up with her? Or is he just a confidante trying to beat some sense into her? Another attractive couple gazes into each other's eyes. They aren't holding hands. Maybe they are just friends. To have friends like that is just wonderful; love, per se, for its own sake. A new pair drops by, a perky woman with a very short flowing skirt, and her bald friend. They sit right in front of me. She distracts. Nonetheless, I will finish my book today, at this oasis that costs five dollars. I should do this more often. And you may take the empty seat...
Posted by jeffyen at 11:35 PM
So here's the latest fun thing that was found in this morning's papers: spam your overseas friends with pre-paid postcards from the local tourist bureau, and you might win yourself Metro vouchers or possibly a free trip to Singapore for your friend! All the postcards will be quarantined by Singapore Post until after the draw, and following that, they will be sent to your friends. Moreover, you need to include your NRIC number on the postcard. To your uninitiated friends, they might just wonder, what's the deal with putting your Social Security number on a postcard? Can we start doing things for its own sake, and not to get the extra 'benefits'? haha I used to have this postcard exchange thingy going on in my personal homepage many years ago. If anyone wants a postcard from Singapore, just email me your snail mail address, and I'll send you one. And no, I won't be sending Uniquely Singapore Can Win Prize postcards (unless you insist in taking part in the lucky draw LOL)
Posted by jeffyen at 1:08 PM
I was looking at HuiChieh's newspaper cutout on the PM's interview about how he doesn't really mind folks engaging with the government in problem solving, but shouldn't question fundamental policies unless they are taking part in elections, and I wondered how far we've come these 40 years... The same incongruity hit me when I read a newspaper report a few years ago about how Singapore aims to become an 'international media hub' when the reality is that there isn't a single mainstream, reasonably critical and independent media here in Singapore. (Eatcake has related thoughts on the media too.) And I look at the grand new National Library and wonder about the disconnect; how come folks can come here and read all the wonderful books they want, and yet they can't speak up after they've finished reading? I think this isn't just about government policies (a convenient label), it's really about mental oppression. And it's one of the worst possible things to dish out to people. I've always have great optimism for Singapore. But this optimism is often unnecessarily dampened by remarks from the authorities! LOL I think despite the complaints about ERP, public transportation and so on, they are not indicative of the real grievances of people. I think people only want to say what they need to say, and not have their spirits crushed in the process. This isn't really hard to achieve, is it? Of course not! Which democratic country under high heaven disallows citizens to question important policies? Probably only Uniquely Incongruent Singapore. When will this trend be reversed? Your guess is as good as mine... PS. From one patriot to another... PM Lee, in case you're reading this, I hereby state that I disagree and question your policy stated in the interview! I think it's absolutely harmful to the well-being and continual progress of the country! Not everything in life needs to be tested in elections, if there's any in the first place. 大人三思啊！
Posted by jeffyen at 10:20 AM