This Blog is about

love. work. play. stress. learning. failing. succeding. laughing. crying. Basically, Life.

Thursday, May 28, 2009

Planes planes and more planes

Had the dubious joy of packing up my entire life once again into boxes. I think I actually got away quite lightly having packed only 10 various sized boxes into storage and 2 suitcases home. Ah but then see, in the past 8 years I've moved an average of once a year. That's packed up my entire life once a year. You'd think I learnt to live light by now right? Well. Yes. Lighter than most at least. And if nothing else, I've learnt how not to make things permanent, how to leave only a light footprint behind one, and how to do without. I wonder if the converse would be harder. To learn how to put down roots once again.

Currently in Kuching, having flown here approximately one day after I got off the plane from Boston. Will be in Singapore again Monday night and then leaving again Friday for Japan. After which, will be in the US, returning to Singapore and starting work June 22nd.

Southeast Asia is hot and humid and the air presses down in layers. I am not as bored in Kuching as one might think though. This place changes if ever, slowly but everytime I return, there's always enough change within me to see the old things with slightly different eyes. That makes it different enough. If nothing else, I can always write.

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Yet another transition

I'm sitting at Cosi, in one of their big red couches and for once, there is nothing urgent I need to be doing before class. I don't have a paper due in an hour. And I'm not late for some meeting or other. Sometimes, I let life get the better of me like that. Indeed, most of the time I know I do it to myself. I tend to over-commit and get over involved in everything and anything.

But for now, for this hour, I get to sit and nibble at my salad (with gorgonzola, cranberries, pears and grapes, with flatbread) and sip my coffee as the world passes me by. And I think "ah, this is everything I will miss about here." You see, I am going home. Maybe not forever, maybe not even for a long time, but for this summer I am going home.

As always you have to give something up to get something and so for this summer, I am giving up new england and for one summer, I am going to see if I can survive making Singapore my home again. Yes, survive. Home, as always, brings up a complicated mix of nostalgia and trepidation. One summer, would hopefully tell me enough about whether I can do this for good. Give up my yogurt granola parfaits, cooking experiments, long beautiful walks in return for crowds of people, an endless mile of the same shops and a faster pace of life.

8 years, willing or no, makes a place you live in home and leaves more of a mark on you than you leave on it. What has new england left on me? A love of lobster? A sense of independence? Confidence? I pray that at least some of these marks are indelible.

Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Nearly There...

Econ final and OP report today.
OP presentation Thursday.
Retail lab presentation Friday.
Accounting Final next Monday.
DMD Final next Wednesday.

And then I'll be done.

Sunday, November 30, 2008


School has taken over my life.

With the million and one things to do and keep track of I have had almost no time for reflection. Hopefully that part of the learning process will come at term end.

For now,I guess it's a quick "until later" note. School is busier than work.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Today's Dinner

A large bowl of stir fried dou miao.

Cooking for one is sometimes incredibly sad.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

The day before preterm

It is the calm before the storm.

I had a gloriously long vacation of six weeks in Singapore. I was going to use the word home but have been reminded most recently that I have for better or ill spent all of my adult life in New England. All one hundred percent of it. So how do you measure what is home?

Perhaps it is because of this that being in Singapore turns me into a child once again. The girl I am over here to all accounts is an independent, confident, capable young woman. I can earn more than enough to live the way I choose to live, keep house, do well in studies, cook and take care of chores and interact with the world. I can also say this because I am here.

The girl I am in the places I grew up though, once again is a child with all her needs being taken care of. I am cooked for, my laundry is done, and a great many things I have only to ask for. More than that though, whatever I can do here suddenly becomes unimportant and secondary. It is not important what I do, only that I am.

It's great for a vacation but now is the time to readjust to being the former girl. The girl who will order her mind and put her best foot forward, be fiercely independent and yet friendly and capable all at once. It is the start of yet another adventure and at the end of it lies a question. One which I hope the answer will become apparent during these two years.

Can my childhood home also become my adult home? If these two girls meet and join, which one will come to the fore? Can I hold on to who I have become?

I'm not sure I will ever find the answer to these questions or ever stop asking them. Growing up, I knew for sure I didn't fit in in cookie-cutter Singapore with its preset molds for people and careers. I am not done growing up but now I know for sure that I will never fit in 100% anywhere and that cookie-cutter molds or not, I don't have to or want to fit in anywhere.

Friday, June 06, 2008

Leaving Town.

I quit work in a week.

I'll be starting at business school in the fall and coming back to this same old town. A part of me is tired of Boston and my wandering feet would really like me to move somewhere different. But another smaller part of me has grown to love my quiet town masquerading as a city.

Soon, I'll be back for a month and half in a very different sort of city - the place I grew up in. A place I left seven years ago now and never really looked back on. A place that I'm not sure I'll ever fit in again. When kids move from a small town to a big city, upon coming back to the small town, there is a familarity to everything and a kinship to everyone, a web of connections that you don't have in a large city, drawing you in both supporting you and holding you down. Why is it then, that moving from Boston to Singapore feels the same way? Singapore may be the bigger city but maybe because its the town I grew up in, it's even more of a small town than Boston is in terms of mindset of the people.

I've had room to stretch these few years. Room to grow wild and unchecked for a bit. But for the next two months, I suspect I'm going to get sat on and pressed down for a bit. I wish home and being myself weren't so mutually exclusive.

I am a coward. I hide my beliefs at home because it's easier not to argue. It's easier to be something I'm not in order to avoid conflict. In the end, I'm not sure which is the right path. Should I stand up and fight my losing battles with my elders or is it enough that I know that I will not change them and they will not change me and keep the peace?

I lie with my silences. I lie without words everytime I nod and smile and just pretend I don't hear hear the insinuations on marraige, appearance and girls acheving entirely too much for their own good. Sometimes I get scared that if I stay there long enough, I'll start to believe my own quiet lies. It's so much easier to tell myself I can do things when there aren't a million other people telling me I can't.

I am a Singaporean who has abandoned her city. I have evaded any responsibility of contributing back to the land in which I grew up. But like an unwanted child, I don't think I ever fit in in her family. Long before I left her for a place halfway around the world, she had already abandoned me.

Sunday, March 23, 2008


Its the second morning in japan and already I am beginning to few the precious minutes slip quietly away. Yesterday we walked the sedate Meiji shrine and the much more crowded and energized harajuku. The press of people weighed heavily upon us.

Baseball, was something else entirely. For the record the red sox won 9~2 which was just lovely. But japanese baseball is arguably very different from Fenway. Being an away team in of itself was interesting but organized fan clubs? with set cheers for each player? Also, around ten they flashed a rule that noise makers were prohibited thereon and people actually obeyed!

I miss living here. Actually have not been very hungry at all. which is I guess kind of a waste but some of it is the tiredness perhaps. Hopefully I will regain my appetite and actually remember to start taking photos of food again. Also. less than 48 hours in, I have already consumed something like 4 ~ 5 bottles of tea. Ah japan.

Thursday, March 20, 2008


I started writing again.

I hadn't written anything for a long time with all my energies taken up by adjusting to a new job, new city, new life. Writing for me is something that needs time. Time for my mind to digest experiences and time enough for something in me to want to create. Of course, now that I'm adjusted I also feel like I want to move on thus ensuring that I'll once again be too absorbed in life to write.

I wonder if writing is something that will follow me through my entire life.

Monday, March 10, 2008

the hidden law of pc buying

so it turns out there's more wrong with my desktop than just the operating system.

The long story is that I have been having issues with my desktop ever since I started using my new pretty laptop, Tsubasa. Jealousy issues aside, it started with an operating system issue where for some reason windows would not load, claiming a system error. After much trouble shooting, I dutifully repaired windows using the install disk, only to have the system continue freezing after light use each time. This got to be so annoying and unusable that Tsubasa got even more use in the mean times.

Last weekend, I tried to side step the whole operating issue by installing linux (which by the way is very pretty) and encounted a power issue where my system would flash on and then quickly shut off. Strange. I thought. Maybe a fuse blew in the long interim I haven't been using it. So I switched it to another outlet on my surge protector and it powered up long enough for me to install linux. Of course a week later, I try to turn it on again to encounter the same issue.

Twice is more than coincidence. I suspect my desktop has power issues. Now what to do about it? buy a new power supply and take it apart and hope the power issues haven't ruined the rest of the computer?

Give it up and strip the computer down for parts? (Very possible since I'm using Tsubasa almost exclusively now and like it a lot).

In sum, I swear there's a hidden law of pc buying that goes somewhat like this. No matter how new your current computer is, and how long you planned to simultaneously run two pcs and use both concurrently, within a few months after you've bought the new computer, the first would mysteriously die.