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Ain’t I Soppy?

Oh ain’t I soppy? I was looking through my older posts on this blog and it basically just felt like an emotional rollercoaster; even when I was the person who wrote all of those posts. I think I am trying to become a different person – not exactly sure whether I will like this new person but for some reason, I this change (or rather, growth) felt somewhat necessary. Deep down somewhere, I know I am still that hopeless, dependent as fuck, soppy, jealous, overly-sensitive and emotional psycho. But yes, I am currently working on subduing those undesirable traits. I am learning to embrace the change. It almost feels like a coming-of-age story, except I’m already starting on the third decade of my life. But we never stop learning more about ourselves, do we?

I used to write shitload about how I feel, what I did, who I saw, where I went. But these days, things seems and feels the same day in day out. Not much ups and downs. A lot of things either felt like they weren’t even worth a mention, or, on the other end of the spectrum – too surreal and valuable that putting them into words would not do justice to the magnitude of the effect they had on me. I have also learnt how not to put too much or all of me out there for anybody. But that ain’t me though; I do things “out loud”. If I love someone or something, you wouldn’t even need to guess or doubt my affections, it would be hard to miss. But that is also scary, isn’t it? Especially when tables are turned one day, then it’s not going to be fun being left hanging out to dry.

See, why am I starting to be soppy again.

Travel to Taipei by Taoyuan Airport MRT

Taipei – I love that place.
Full of friendly people, divine street food everywhere, there is always something interesting to watch on TV (I’m secretly amused by how they tend to exaggerate everything; even the news is often slightly dramatised :p), and oh, the shopping!

On my recent trip, I finally had the opportunity to step out of Taipei and venture into Yilan.
The four days spent in Yilan had totally changed how I would answer the question “How is Taiwan like?” from now on. Before I even begin, I would like to specially thank my amazing tour guide Ken Wu, 工頭堅 for bringing us around Yilan and tirelessly sharing the history, his personal experiences and stories about his country and insights about life as a Taiwanese. The conversations with the locals were also always delightful!

Before the Yilan leg, I spent 3 days in Taipei with Taiwan-addict Sharon. But before I begin proper on what happened while in Taiwan, I would like to dedicate this post to the very impressive Taipei Taoyuan Airport and it’s spanking new metro system!

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The newly open Taoyuan Airport Metro (opened less than a year ago!) took me directly to the city centre, in just about 40 minutes! For those of you who haven’t been to Taipei, this is actually a really big deal because it has made the journey from airport to city SO much easier. One will no longer be at the mercy of bad traffic or fear of worrying about splitting up into groups to fit into taxis if you’re travelling with a huge bunch of friends! :p

My favourite thing about the airport express, however, was how I was able to check-in my baggages in town and make my way to the airport without lugging things around.


On my way back to the airport from the city, I learnt that there is also a bag drop service made available along with the new Taoyuan Metro service! On top of the prompt and reliable transit from city centre to the airport, you can now check-in your bulky baggages directly at the service counters in city centre and take the metro without the hassle of having to lug those big bags around.

This is how it was like at Taipei Main Station that was located in the city centre. Scan your passports, leave your bags, and then take the metro to the airport directly! It is really as easy and seamless as that!

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The express trains were clean and comfortable to be in, but what’s more important is that the travelling from Taipei city centre to Taoyuan Airport is now made so convenient, reliable and fast.

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The Taoyuan Metro service runs from 6am in the morning all the way until 11pm at night everyday. They also have two different types of trains (express and commuter) which leaves every 15 minutes. To be honest, both trains are equally fast. An express train takes 40 mins from Taipei Main Station to the airport and a regular commuter train takes about 50mins. So there is absolutely no need to worry about missing trains or long waits at the stations.

The train stops at all terminals in the airport as well:

 

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And for those of you who prefer a more pictorial overview:

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And the price for a trip from Taipei Main Station to Taoyuan International Airport? An affordable NTD 160 (which equates to about 7 SGD).
Here are also a few pointers for those of you who are looking at the In-town check-in and baggage drop-off service available in the city centre:

  1. Opening times: 06:00-21:30 (services will close three hours before flight departure)
  2. Passengers can only have in-town check-in service on the flight date and complete it no later than 3 hours before departure.
  3. Caution: In-town Check-in Services are unavailable for independent children younger than 12 years old, groups, and passengers with pets and extra-large/extra-long baggage.
  4. Airlines with In-town Check-in Services

I guess the new addition of AirAsia to the list would be a good news especially for us travelling over from Singapore since it’s quite a common airline to fly with for the locals. But seeing how new the metro system is now, I’m very certain the list of airlines the In-town Check-in service supports will be growing significantly in the near future.

And till then, safe travels!

United Nails Supply

There is something therapeutic about doing DIY manicures and pedicures. I know very well how it is always pampering to visit the nail salons to have our nails done, but to me, painting nails is almost like painting on canvas or doodling on paper – fun, helps kill time and perfect for lazy Sunday afternoons at home. Heh!

I was introduced to this new brand of nail lacquer recently and it is a brand that I’ve never used before. I hardly do such product reviews, but I’d really like to share a little more about this two new nail and heel-care products I got my hands on.

Creative Nail Design (CND) Shellac has been developed since 1979 and has a massive collection of more than 500 beautfy products that actually extends nail polish – from colour coatings, nail enhancement coatings, nail essentials to spa products.

My current obsession is this perfect hue of red called Decadence. It comes with a top coat and also a small bottle of SolarOil which does an amazing job of nourishing the cuticle and nail itself.

You might be thinking “Ok, what’s the big deal? I can find similar shade of red in other brands”
I’ve tried many different brands of nail polishes; from drugstore brands to the more luxurious ones which are only available in departmental stores, and the quality of the polish is really important. Especially reds because I can be quite lazy when it comes to base coats and low quality ones will just leave you with horribly stained nails when you remove the polish.

The CND Shellac polishes I’ve tried so far has really good oclour pigments and really easy to apply (think – no more ugly tiny bubbles after the polishes dry up!) The polishes are quick-drying, and this is really good news for me because I’m one of those nutcases who would often have the sudden idea of wanting to paint nails 30 minutes before bedtime. #truestory Removal of nail polish is really fuss-free as well, and it does not discolour my nail at all, even without base coat. Ok, I just have to emphasize how I was really blown away by how QUICKLY the polishes dry up on the nails! It’s super high-shine too, so if you’re really lazy (like me), you can even do away with the top coat and still have nice glossy nails!

(Pardon my horrible painting skills lol, need more practice!)

I play a lot of guitar at home and am totally not protective of my nails while going about my daily chores, and the polish I’ve had on lasted about 2 weeks. Pretty damn awesome for DIY manicure if you ask me! :p

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This other favourite product that I whisked away from unitedNAILS Supply is the Allpresan PRO Footcare series of products!

The best seller from this range is the foot foam creams they formulated for various concerns for the feet. From caring for dry rough skin, to cracked skin (omg hello all heels-lovers, here is your savior), foot deodorants and anti-fungal protection for those who has to be in covered shoes all day. Cracked, dry and not-so-pleasant smelling feet is just not sexy at all ok, people? Heh.

The best thing is – this product is not just one to protect you against the elements, but it also helps improve your skin texture and condition WHILE providing protection!

Application of the cream is made easy breezy with the brilliant foam applicator! Allpresan PRO Footcare has the patented, breathable BarrioExpert Technology which creates a fine, protective mesh on the skin after application which protects the skin from external factors while caring for your skin. I am quite particular about how the cream feels on the skin after application, and am proud to say that this one is not greasy, so you won’t have to sit around in your chair and wait 15 mins before being able to stand up and walk around without leaving footprints everywhere! Hahah! And because of the foam texture of the cream, you actually end up with A LOT more products (in volume) than say, cream from a tube.

United Nails Supply (UNS) is one of the leading nails and beauty distributor in Singapore, and their products can be found at these stores:

M Spa @ Tanglin Mall #03-19
Manicure Room @ Nex #01-48
Shangri-La Nail Spa @ Chua Chu Kang, Lot 1 #02-01
M Nail Bar @ Chua Chu Kang, Lot 1 #02-K9
Princess Manicure @ West Mall #05-07

So the next time if you happen to swing by these salons to get your nails done, feel free to request for United Nails Supply’s products from your friendly manicurist! 🙂

So yes, this is all you have from me today! Suddenly feeling all girly doing a review on beauty products on my blog! Hehe! ❤

D = S x T

How does connection work? How is it that two souls can feel each other without words, without touch, and even without being in each others’ presence,
and at other times, feel miles apart while having their fingers or tongues interlocked?

When it comes to decision making, my go-to method is always list-making.
Pros vs Cons.
Straightforward and effective all the time.
Well, most of the time; not really working now. But to be fair, it could be because I am subconsciously coming up with more Pros or Cons to reach the decision I know I sort of want in my head.
Decision that I lack the courage to confront, and too reluctant to leave it to logic, reasoning or rationale.
But I will never stop making lists, not until I am in the know.

Even list-making can’t save me now.

Is there some kind of formula that might be helpful for me now?
What is the formula for time and distance again? Does it apply to all kinds of distances?

And I’m letting you.

Cigarettes and whisky
The perfect concoction for the keeping the lonely at bay
The lady sways to the infectious melody as the jazz band plays
Savouring the make-believe world her closed eyes brings her to
With every inhale, she throws her head back

She ruffles her hair on her face and sniffs the remnants on her fingers
Scents always have a way of bringing her to places
Places she has been and never been;
like that ten seconds in the elevator, or that last time she stood to watch planes take off
With every exhale, she lets out her sigh, ever so softly

The night feels young but she feels old.

你喜歡自己嗎?

為什麼明明知道在傍晚八點睡覺會把生理時鐘擾亂還要固執地去這樣做?為什麼我有自虐傾向-偏偏愛做一些對自己無意的事情
凌晨四點二十二分,我坐在電腦前的小凳子上,整理香水瓶子,把瓶子轉來轉去讓瓶子上的標籤都面向正前方。
Spotify 一直重複地播著同一首的歌曲。
聖誕節要到了,星航最近剛剛推出最新的配套,直飛巴黎的機票不到九百元新幣。看了真的有一點心動。
不過在心動的當兒又不自禁地回想起上一會獨自由香港的經驗,我真的不懂得怎樣欣賞一個人獨處的生活,不喜歡與自己相處,不喜歡自己的陪伴。
你們也一樣嗎?

我希望我能夠變得更獨立一些。就像不久前剛去音樂節,聽說與我結伴一起去的兩個友人本來都打算獨自去音樂節,如果能在音樂節上碰到幾個朋友就和他們在一起,要不然,就獨自一個人喝啤酒,聽音樂。這我還真的做不到。我想我寫日記和經營部落格的習慣也是出自於一種需要與人分享的心態-人類不是群體動物嗎?為什麼有一些人能夠長時間獨處而仍然感到自在?

是不是因為我不喜歡我自己?

Ipoh 2016

The last time I visited Ipoh was when my grandmother passed away; that was probably more than two decades ago. My Dad was born in Ipoh and it was such a pleasure to be able to visit his hometown again, this time as an adult. What a beautiful town!

I am so happy that the trip happened. I didn’t get to travel much this year, really far cry from the 16 cities I went to last year. Sim and Michelle were such great company, really cannot ask for more. 2016 marks the first time I travelled with friends, and also the year that I experienced travelling alone. I look forward to more solo trips in time to come. But that said, can’t wait for this awful 2016 to be over.

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Shaken, Not Stirred

At first, I cried my eyes out and bawled words of hatred hysterically in my head. I swore and cursed and wished for people I detest to die. When I feel like I’m going to implode, I crawl into bed, assume a fetal position, and furiously scribble in my Talk To You Later book, translating my rage into uncouth words and profanities. More often than sometimes, tears from my right eye would dribble across the bridge of my nose into my left eye before hitting my pillow. So don’t ever judge stained pillows. I made myself revisit every moment I got my heart broken, ruminated and immersed myself in those thoughts so I could recall exactly how I felt. But I get distracted oh so easily – sometimes it was when I marvel at how my incredibly smooth ink pen is all inky but still doesn’t seep through the page, or when my half-drunk Dad insists that I share the (single) packet of mixed vegetable rice he brought home, sometimes it was because the end of the page is uncomfortable to write on, and I struggle with the dilemma of dealing with the discomfort and continuing to write regardless, or leaving that disgraceful bit of white space and skipping to the next page. Then I forget what it is I was angry about, and decide to make a cup of hot tea for myself. Forgetfulness is at times, a virtue.

I listen to songs on repeat and seek refuge in morose poems and depressing lyrics. I listen to lyrics more than the melody. I feel heartened whenever I find a song with lyrics describing exactly what I am going through. “I am not alone,” I think. I love reading the words in the songs or poems so intently it reminds me of how pathetic I am that it makes me cry. I love the whole wallowing in sadness thing, I am quite a masochist in this aspect. Then I resist the perverse need to photograph myself crying because I am so fucking addicted to telling the whole world how I feel. Because there are many studies concluding that people who share photos of themselves working out or crying are psychopaths, and since I care so deeply about what others think of me, I pretended to be reticent and reclusive, and that I disregard the opinion of others. Truth is, I feel loneliness not solitude, and I fucking hate this intense feeling of forlornness. I cannot stand knowing I am all by myself.

On some good days, I wake up feeling brave. I start unpacking suitcases filled with clothes because I want to quit seeing my home as a halfway house; as if it is just going to be temporary, like after a while I’ll be whole enough to reintegrate into my old life. I bought new bedsheets and a new fluffy light pink throw. Bought flowers, carefully de-thorned them personally and put them into under-utilised vases. I repainted my room – 1 black, and kept 3 white – although I felt more like 3 black walls and 1 white. I bought new clothes because I wanted her to see a different me, or perhaps to take a second look at me, or ask me where I got those new shoes from, or give her the impression that I am getting along so well I even had the leisure to shop for new clothes, or.. I just wanted to feel good about myself. I had no idea what my true intention was, I just felt a pressing need to look and feel brand new. I asked friends out and I flirted with people. I felt like people actually still appreciated me and sought after when someone compliments my hair or how fresh I looked, or how I had lost weight and asked for my secret. “Just eat less and exercise” was my usual answer. I didn’t want to let them know it was because food does not interest me and eating was the last thing on my mind; that I just long to vegetate on my beautiful bedsheets with my eyes shut and listen to spoken poetry all day, that I wake up at 4pm so that the day would be shorter and most of my friends are only free at night to keep me company. It was my idea to leave, and I was supposed to stick to my plan even after it had backfired; when she agreed that this short separation might be a good solution.

I left my wedding band at her place. And every time I see her, I’d notice whether she still wears hers. She doesn’t. To somebody who reads too much in everything, that is a sign. I’m such a paradox. She brings me my clothes so that I can still live comfortably at home with everything I might need. That wasn’t how I read it. Perhaps it was really because I victimise myself. I allotted to myself a specific amount of time to mourn, etched the end line on the calendar inside my head. I repeated my story to anyone willing to listen. I air my dirty laundry online. It was selfish to a certain extent, because I know my voice is louder than hers, at least in the virtual arena. It was my way of gaining some meagre support. I would always end the story with, “Well, that was only my side of the story. You haven’t heard hers” to further schemingly convince my listeners that I am an impartial person who had tried umpteen times in vain to put myself in her shoes.

Then 5 months went by like that. 5 months of soul searching and pursuit of loving oneself.

They say time heals, but they forgot to include the fact that before it heals you, it numbs you. The blows weren’t fatal enough – you were not strong but you were brave enough to grasp on to life – your heart learns how to numb itself and you gradually need to fight less and less hard to stay afloat. In that numb state, you heal. The body works in miraculous ways indeed. The gaping hole fuses. The scar it leaves behind becomes a badge of honour. My friends tell me I would one day look back in time and laugh at myself. I sure as hell am gonna get there.

There is no shortcut to the end, no way of bypassing the grief death brings. I coerced myself to frolic with the pain, savour the fear, quit asking myself why, stare at the ghost of our love affair in its eyes and acknowledge its demise. I focused on working with the centrifugal force to swing myself out of this vicious cycle of denial, anger, bargaining and depression. I know full well I’m going to exit all beaten up because I have never felt more alone and my self-esteem has never been lower in my life. I feel like the once-juicy plum still left on the vine.

The next person I need to fall deeply in love with is myself. I must not stop believing in love.

A smooth sea never made a skilled sailor, right?