Wednesday, December 19, 2007


I really enjoyed myself during the Japan trip! Just BEING there feels amazing. I feel like I've learnt alot by taking up a third language. It exposes you to new ways of thinking. Before that, about the only thing I knew about Japan was sushi. Now, I'm preparing my coursework for next year, the topic being the westernization of the japanese diet. Should be interesting! Along the way I've met some great teachers who really helped me fall in love with the language and the culture. Yep! The three best moments of the trip for me:

1) DISNEYLAND! The whole day was just a SCREAM! Loved the smoked turkey and different-flavoured churros. Especially enjoyed myself on the rollercoasters and screamed my head off, though my classmate kept telling me that it wasn't scary at all. The sensation of being in mid-air, of wind whipping through your hair is fantastic. The Christmas decorations are lovely too.

2) Party with Japanese high school students + yosakoi dance
I actually got up to do the dance with the performers! It was VERY fun even if I looked like a mess of flailing limbs.

3) Being greeted by the sea in Kamakura
We reached there when it was almost sunset and the beach looked beautiful. What intrigued me was that the sand actually sparkles. Nice to see the locals relaxing there too.

I loved the food too, because I love Japanese food. Luckily, I can expect more good food to come 'cos I'm making my annual trip to Penang this Saturday. Besides, roasting a turkey at Christmas is a tradition for my family. I hope I don't overeat! I threw up my Christmas dinner in Penang last year. NOT fun.

Friday, September 28, 2007

Had the listening component of my Japanese exam today. I don't know what got into all of us- maybe the stress of exams or something- but someone brought a bottle of bubblue solution and we started blowing and playing with bubbles in the language centre courtyard. The wind carried the bubbles and it was a real pretty sight. We had so much fun. It's funny 'cos we're JC students and the secondary students were being very studious while we were the ones acting childishly. The guard looked at us all weirdly when we laughed. I'm delighted 'cos all of us who signed up for the Waseda trip can go! I'd actually prefer to go with the lc than with nj but it's for everyone's sake. Hope I can have some time with my japanese class people.

It's raining now. I love it when it rains! Bishan Park feels so fresh and green. It's a great time to curl up in bed with a good book.

Tuesday, September 11, 2007

I read a very interesting article that suggests our political inclinations may be hard-wired in our brains.

Monday, September 10, 2007

Earlier this year I was taking Physics, Chem, Maths with Art as my contrasting subject. Then I realised I missed Japanese lessons and HAD to take Japanese. So I changed almost my entire subject combi. I must say, the rewards of taking Japanese have been totally worth it. I got to make friends with people from other schools, all of us united by a common interest in learning this language. And now I get to go to Tokyo at the end of the year! I can't believe how I got so lucky. I'm just so delighted right now. I think my unexpectedly good japanese oral mark helps. I know, it's weird to get so happy right before promos. I knew I was taking a huge gamble when I changed my subject combi. I'll see if that gamble pays off.

Sunday, September 9, 2007


Sumiko Tan's regular coloumn in Life! today was titled 'A woman needs a man'.

Maybe I'm traditionalist or conservative, but while I strongly believe in a woman's capability, I've always envisioned a happy marriage together with a successful career as the ultimate fulfillment in life. Granted, maybe you don't need marriage to have a soulmate, but taking a marriage vow helps build commitment to the relationship. I'm cheered by the fact that if I become a spinster, I can live with my sister in a house with cats or something. Assuming she's not married as well.

I observe that there's an obsession over youth and beauty, for women much more than men. While older men might be viewed as masculine and mature, the range of anti-aging beauty products seems to suggest that older women are less attractive, sexually as well. Young women fear growing old and ugly. But there are many women who are tremendously enjoying their later years. Some older women even say that their quality of life now is better than when they were young. I guess it all depends on your attitude towards life.

Saturday, September 8, 2007

I feel Singapore as I know it from my childhood has changed dramatically. The district I live in, Bishan, was a sleepy town when I was young. Now, Junction 8 has changed beyond recognition, we have new condos, a new library and a soon-to-be-opened MRT circle line. Our family seems to have grown more affluent too. We used to live in a rented house but we moved to a condo. Dinners at restaurants on Sunday nights, a roomy car, more frequent holidays, shopping, our lifestyle has changed in many ways. I feel like the change is coming on awfully quickly, and we've left our old selves behind.
I'm stuck in an artistic rut right now. I haven't drawn or done any creative writing in ages. Everytime I try to I just get stuck. Maybe it's the exams that are weighing constantly on my mind.
Today's Saturday Special featured the PUB's plan to incorporate more water features in urban living. I'm pleasantly surprised to learn that the Bishan Park canal which my balcony faces will be spruced up. Right now it's just a canal with concrete walls but soon it'll have green banks. I thoroughly enjoy my balcony's view of Bishan Park but I've always found the canal too concretized. Maybe this means the value of our unit will increase as well? Lol. I wholeheartedly agree with PUB's stance. It's good to live next to nature and water features lower the temperature, not to mention they are soothing. This will really help complete Singapore's image of a garden city. But I think we should go one step further and make Singapore an 'eco-city'. What I mean is that all our structures and buildings should be built with the purpose of being environmentally-friendly. This includes being fitted with electricity-saving lightbulbs, utilizing solar power etc. We should have a stream in Orchard Road like that in South Korea. I think recycling in Singapore is not nearly as popular as I would like it to be. We produce tonnes of garbage which could be put to better use. The industry is a potentially lucrative one. The options we can adopt to become eco-friendly are limitless.

Some steps me and my family take to be environmentally-friendly (you can try them!):
1) Turn off electricity when not in use.
This may seem like something very simple, but we often forget to do so. Also, turn down the fan speed or air-con temp. if it is unneccesarily high and take your bath as soon as the water is hot enough. Ensuring sufficient ventilation helps cool your house so that you don't have to turn up the air-con.
2) Separate things that can be recycled from your rubbish and place them in recycling bins. Location of recycling bins can be found here:
3) Decline plastic bags when you don't need them. Just put your buys in your bag or bring along a separate shopping/ plastic bag.
4) When buying takeaways, bring along your own reusable containers. If you can, don't take the disposable cutlery. Use your own at home. It's not too much hassle to wash cutlery.
5) Install a half-flush.
6) Shop for second-hand clothes and bags at flea markets, Salvation Army, organised swops or online. Share clothes with your mum if you can! This applies to other goods like furniture as well. It's cheap too. Refer too
7) Buy in bulk to save on packaging material. For example, instead of buying one small box of biscuits per week, buy one big box of biscuits to last a few weeks.
8) Collect some drink cans, cartons, cardboard etc. to use when doing school projects/ personal crafts. Much better than buying materials.
9) When using the photocopy machine at school, lower the ink level. Switch your printer setting to draft when printing black-and-white. Usually the words remain perfectly legible even when they're not as dark. I just found out that ink cartridges can be recycled too ! (this is a very useful website).
10) Don't do laundry in small loads. For bottoms (pants, skirts etc.) worn just once, they usually don't have to be washed. Just hang them up to sun and wear them another time before washing. Wear school t-shirts (orientation tee etc.) as home shirts.

I'm sure there are many more ways one can think of.

Friday, September 7, 2007

My brother was so nice as to bring home a box of mooncakes yesterday! Sometimes I do want him to get married because I'm tired of attending weddings and want to host one for a change. On the other hand, if he marries, I won't be the girl in his life any more. Who's going to buy us mooncakes? Who's going to take us out to restaurants to eat? Who's going to buy our electronic gadgets? Who's going to... argh! It's silly to think about such things, I know. But everyone seems to be growing up so fast.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

I know some people publicly complain about a certain person on their blog. Personally though, I wouldn't do it. Nor would I seek help from a teacher. It's just not in my nature. I do think I have a tendency to try to do too much by myself. I admit I'm quite a perfectionist when it comes to some things. Worse, I expect the same standard from others, and I get really cut up when they don't deliver. Seeking help is one thing I rarely do. I find it hard to open up to people. I suppose I'm scared of them not taking me seriously, thinking my fears are unfounded or things like that. It might be my own imagination, but I'm always bothered by this thought that people don't take me seriously.

Wednesday, September 5, 2007

I just realised how busy I'll be next year. I'll have Japanese coursework, Art coursework and KI independent study to do. I'm daunted by the task ahead but at the same time excited. Can't wait for promos to be over so I can do my own stuff!


I know many dismiss astrology as woolly stuff, but I admit I do occasionally check my horoscope forecast for the day. This description of Cancerians (my horoscope) seems rather accurate.

Deeply intuitive and sentimental, Cancerians can be one of the most challenging of the zodiac to get to know. Emotion runs strong for this sign, and when it comes to family and home, nothing is more important. Sympathetic and empathic, Cancerians are greatly attuned to those around them. Devotion is the key word for this sign, making them wonderfully warm, sensitive people to be around.

Friends and Family
Traditional and maternal, Cancerians make excellent parents. In fact, all aspects of family are number one to this sign. This can be seen in the homes they make and in the dedication to duty they display. Cancerians are often willing to overlook personality conflicts when it comes to family, simply because they are related. Whatever needs to be done, you can count on a Cancerian to go the distance for a family member. They are deeply sentimental and are diligent about keeping family albums and history intact. Passing on stories to the next generation is a favorite pastime.When it comes to friendships, the Cancerian is very helpful. They're almost always willing to lend a hand, providing it doesn't conflict with family obligations. Friends are held in high regard and are generally of like mind. Because the Cancerian generally prefers the home scene rather than going out, folks that enjoy visiting and sharing activities such as cards or at-home dining are top picks for buddies. While their deeply intuitive, heart-not-head personality makes Cancerians very sympathetic, it can also make them a little hard to understand. Time is the cure for this!

I kinda agree that I tend to follow my heart rather than my head, leading me to do things that might seem irrational to others. Plus, the photo they put in the article is that of a female artist!

Tuesday, September 4, 2007

My aunt called from Malaysia the other day. While we were chatting the topic of boyfriends came up. I told her I didn't have one. She told me my mum started dating my dad when she was 19, which got me thinking.

I really have no idea how people start dating. I mean, do you just go up to someone you like and ask them? How do you know you like someone? Argh. It's just so much easier not to get involved in the dating game. I have my reservations about this thing called love. Whenever I visit this aunt of mine, I find that I like to just quietly observe her and my uncle. They've been married for years but they still appear to be a loving couple in a subtle way and very comfortable with each other. I find myself wishing for a marriage like theirs. I see in them something I never saw in my parents relationship. My mum once said to me when people change and the romance is gone, it's hard to continue loving someone. This is coming from someone who dated her husband for 8 years before marrying him. She tells me now that the most important thing is to find someone with good qualities and love can come later.
My mum and I had this conversation yesterday:

Mum: So what are you planning to do this holidays?
Me: Erm, studying?
Mum: When are your exams?
Me: End of this month.
Mum: So can afford to relax a bit first right?
Me: That was what I thought but apparently everyone's studying.

She was all fed up about my sister having SPA exam yesterday. She's like "How come there's test during the school holidays? Can sue the school you know!" My exact sentiments, actually. I'm ok with there being extra lessons and all sorts, but a TEST? Earlier in June she couldn't understand why I was studying and why there were tests right AFTER the holidays. I suppose she's still got the primary school system stuck in her mind, where we finish our tests before the holidays and then we're off to lala-land. But it's not like I'm her oldest child or something. She's seen two sons through junior college and she's still clueless about the system. Maybe in my brothers time (5 years ago and 10 years ago) they didn't really have to study. She keeps complaining about how late we sleep and can't stop bugging me whenever I stay up late. Eventually I just give up and go to sleep because I can't stand her incessant bothering. I told her others are staying up even later than me and she said we should complain to school that our workload is too big.

Ok, rewind to an earlier conversation when I was talking something about school and my mum was giving me a blank look:

Me: You really don't know anything about the school system, do you?
Mum: No.
Me: Don't you feel you should know?
Mum: No. I don't have to bother as long as you're not failing.


Monday, September 3, 2007

Ok, I'm STILL not willing to get back to studying. I really really hope I'm in the Waseda programme! I LOVE Tokyo. The course seems really interesting too- International Liberal Studies.

I'm going to be totally random and talk about plastic surgery. It's not that random actually 'cos my brother just had surgery to correct his jaw. I know some people are very against plastic surgery, but I actually don't disapprove of it. Often, the line between corrective surgery and plastic surgery is very fine, like in my brother's case. I don't get the fuss about 'natural' beauty. I think plastic surgery's a personal choice and we shouldn't treat those who've had plastic surgery as unnatural freaks or lower-grade material, like we're better because our beauty is natural. I think that's conceit. Before we critiscise them, we should take a look at ourselves. People do things like identifying who is 'chio'. There's no denying that we care about looks. I'm not saying that we're wrong. I think we naturally gain a sense of aesthetic pleasure when we appraise something that's beautiful (erm... trying not to get too philosophical here...). When people's looks are subject to scrutiny, we can't blame those less blessed for feeling self-conscious. I do feel self-conscious about being thin sometimes. You know, like 'do i look too thin in this'? Lol. Everyone wants to be looked at and admired at least once in their lifetime. It feels good. I do think that no one should see plastic surgery as a solution to the problems in their life. We can afford to laugh when we're young. But we shouldn't be so quick to say we will never have plastic surgery.


Today I studied. Duh. I'm sure most people were doing that. Actually, I only studied a bit of Japanese. Anyway, as i was studying, it came into my mind how some of us are studying for the wrong reasons. You'd be wrong to think that grades can buy happiness. Well of course there's the sense of elation that comes with a good grade, but there's only so much they can do. I've never really had much problem getting good grades. After a while, after many pats on my shoulders, looks of admiration and so on for a high test score, I've become numbed. I admit that I didn't really care about a high physics or chem test score. I do feel ashamed because other people are upset about their grades and here I am with a good score and I don't feel anything?! I feel other people are more deserving of my grade just because they care about it. That's why I gave up science. So what if I scored high in the tests? The marks didn't mean anything to me. My motivation to study hard in the past stemmed from my desire to gain attention from working parents I hardly spent time with. And sometimes, I worked hard because I felt certain people were underestimating me. I sought to prove them wrong. But I've come to realise that the most important thing is working hard for yourself. Work hard and strive to do well for things that really matter to you. That will ultimately give you a true sense of satisfaction.

Sunday, September 2, 2007


The lovely Louvre museum plus the sleek glass pyramid (yep, you read about it in The Da Vinci Code).

On top of the world

That's the feeling you get when you're on one of the highest levels of the Eiffel Tower. Shots of Eiffel Tower at night and in the day, and a panaromic view of Paris from the Eiffel Tower.

Paris in the day

Paris- city of romance

Believe it. Paris IS terribly romantic! Fairytale castles, ancient bridges, the scenic Seine River... We took a cruise down the Seine River which provided a good introduction to the sights of Paris. Night fell halfway through our cruise, and I felt like I was sailing away into another world.

African woman

I thought her outfit was so cool! I love it! Sadly, I didn't manage to get a good shot of her as I was on a moving bus. London has all kinds of ethnicities. One of the things I love about Singapore is its diversity.

London street

Our hostel in London

Charming, isn't it?

Life- London

Fonts- London