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What the hey I have been up to these few months.
Ok. I guess the pursuing a dream thing that i wrote about in the last entry a long time ago didnt quite work out. To cut the long story short, I ended up dead broke and decided that i should just pursue architecture.
I managed to get myself into the architecture firm of my choice and have been working there for several months now. The hours are long and the learning curve is very steep, but I can't quite complain since I have been put on an international project and I am gaining a lot of valuable experience. In some ways, I am still pursuing "the dream", but it had to be redefined a little.
More importantly, this last month marked my 7th year together with the incorrigible chocoholic, so I decided to take the relationship one step further with a surprise proposal in Hong Kong.
I took her up on a hike to the highest hill on Lamma island, and got down on my knees in a pavilion overlooking the ocean. Unfortunately, the weather was not at its best behaviour, as it was pissing rain and it was also pretty cold and windy up there. I am pretty lucky she did not give up halfway or throw some kind of hissy fit for dragging her along for some army route march. Nonetheless, her willingness to follow me up that hill in spite of the dreary weather reminded me of our relationship for the past 7 years. Through all the time that we have been together, the journey has never been all sunshine and roses..weve had our difficult periods where we've fought and at times even almost broke up. Yet she's always tried her best to stick with it and carry on the journey, an admirable effort considering how architecture has taken so much of my time these years.
Even though I appreciated how she still followed me through the rain, I was still pretty upset when we got to the top and the weather still did not clear up. In my mind, i was hoping that somehow the weather would magically clear up at the proposal spot, like some sort of movie. I was hoping that our efforts climbing that hill would be rewarded with spectacular sunshine. When the weather did not clear up at the proposal spot, i started thinking that perhaps the "Gods" were not smiling at me or Sara's picky guardian angel did not approve of me. Negativity started to eat at me.
Sara was telling friends the proposal story for what must be the 20th time this afternoon, when she suddenly mentioned how she did not give a damn about how cold, wet, or windy it was at the top of the mountain as i got down on my knees to propose to her. This was when it dawned upon me that I was so busy worrying and cursing about the weather when i should have just been enjoying the moment, no matter how shit it is, as we were experiencing it together. Being commited to a relationship is not just about looking forward to "better times", but growing together through all sorts of shared experiences. When I think about how willing Sara was to follow along with me on a hike that did not have promising prospects, and not even complain about the weather, i know that she is definitely the right one for me.
Sara, I will always try my best to keep the sky blue, and bring you to the most beautiful places on earth, but I fully appreciate that you are always willing to suffer all the thorns, swamps and valleys with me along the way
(even if i might be heading the wrong way). I love you more than ever before, and I am looking forward to our on going journey of life, together.
Pursuing a Dream.
Ah. Finally I have a half decent internet connection so from now on I will be able to update my blog more often.
The last month in Singapore has been particularly challenging for me. Upon coming home to Singapore, there were many options on the table as the Architectural industry is doing pretty well over here. However, upon much consideration, I have decided to take the plunge and go into my own business with two of my closest friends, Joshua and Joppa. We are starting a Jewellery making business and architectural support + design firm here in Singapore and we are doing it from scratch. Some people might ask what the hell does Jewellery have to do with Architecture?
For starters, it has tons to do with architecture. It is about the process of casting metal, it is about the minute details. What we learn from jewellery can inform architecture, and what we learn from architecture can inform jewellery. It was a tough decision to make, as I am pushing aside the possibility of getting a stable job at a good architectural firm in order to make it on my own with my friends. Seriously, it would be fucking easy to just "eat soft rice" and get $3K a month at an archi firm, but sometimes you have to sacrifice certain things in order to pursue what you believe in.
Of course, all this is just talk at the moment as we are still in the process of pitching to potential clients and setting up the studio/workshop. Whether it will actually work out only time will tell.
I will be updating the progress of our little start up company in our company blogsite:
Meanwhile, here are some pictures from our new office/workshop in Starlight Road, Little India:
Joshua in the workshop
Happy Chinese New(ish) Year
Ok I know I haven't really being updating, but I think I have a somewhat valid excuse as I am regulated to a dial up internet connection here in Singapore. Interestingly, when I tell them that I am on dial-up internet, most of them reply to me "Huh, what's that??" Makes me feel like a Neanderthal.
Anyway, this Chinese New Year is the first I have attended in 8 years, so it was particularly interesting for me. I almost forgot many of the familiar sights and sounds that come with this occasion. In particular, I was reminded about how much I hate Chinese New Year music. Walking into shopping malls was pure torture as I was assaulted (more like raped) by the 2000th rendition of "Gong Xi Gong Xi Gong Xi Ni". I guess its not that much different in the Christmas season, but unfortunately Chinese New Year songs are one step up on the annoying scale because they are all played at an insanely fast beat, making you feel like you should start running aimlessly around the store. Of course, this is not a problem for the stores as it gets everyone to shop faster.
On the other hand, the thing I love most about Chinese NEw Year is the reunion dinner. for 8 years I have not had a chance to dunk food in my mom's steamboat, and knowing that this is the first year I was back in a long time, my mom decided to make it grand. Enjoy the pics:
Nice Fresh Greens
Table laid out for 6
Sara and my sister help to prepare the food. Well, Sara's helping, dont know bout my sis.
Sara handling a pair of balls.
Mom expertly chops up some duck.
Everyone sits down amidst symbols of bounty
My sister gets drunk after one glass of wine?
Dinner ends, and mom relaxes on my sister's new "boyfriend replacement pilow" which is shaped like a man's left torso. She deserves a good rest (and maybe a boyfriend?) after a great reunion dinner!!
|It's Good to be Back Home in Singapore.|
So finally I am back in the country I grew up in. I must say quite a few things have changed over the short period of time I was away ( i last visited in 2004), and some things were really cool while at the same time it is sad to see that some things have also disappeared. I have been doing a lot of things since coming back, seeing family and friends and of course spending time with Sara. Also, I have gotten my first cellphone in 8 years, and i must say that i feel like a caveman when using my new phone. My first few days in Singapore is not unlike my experience with my cellphone. Coming back to Singapore, I feel like a small town boy stepping into the big city, trying to get used to the immense crowds on orchard road and the impatient traffic. I know I am going to miss Vancouver, but at the moment I am caught up in the euphoria of being back in Singapore, and I am just letting go and enjoying it as much as i can
Here's some photos of what i have been doing
Peranakan Dinner in Katong
Sara decided to take me out for some Peranakan dinner as a belated birthday celebration. Unfortunately, she did not quite remember the exact address of this restaurant so we spent a good half an hour roaming the red light district of Joo Chiat, asking people where "Blue Ginger restaurant" was, only to get repeated replies "Err dunno but Blue Lagoon KTV bar across the street"...anyway, soon enough we found the restaurant, which turned out not to be blue ginger, but Kim Choo or something or another. Food was pretty good and it was the first time i had peranakan food in a damn long time.
Looking Very Happy. Check out the size of that plate!
I ordered this dish called Petai, which is a bitter bean that is somewhat of an acquired taste.
I warned Sara that she might not like the dish, but she seemed game and when she tried it,
to my surprise she really liked it. Just look at her munching away at it.
Mmmmmm...we ordered a lot.
After dinner, we decided to wash down the heavy food with some tea. Canadian friends, this is what
I have been constantly talking about when I say "I miss sitting at the coffee shop with a nice cup of tea and a cigarette"
Later in the night, we headed down to Rochester Park, a hip new drinking area with nice ambience and bloody expensive $20 Mojitos
Here we met up with Oli, Josh "the hunter", and my sister.
Chrissy and Dwayne's Engagement Party
The next day we went to Bottle Tree Park to celebrate Chrissy and Dwayne's engagement. It was really nice to see Chrissy for the first time since I know her through blogging, and it is nice seeing them getting hitched as everyone knows they have been doing the long distance thing for quite a while! So must party lah! Here's me after a couple of beers with Sara and the grago couple.
This is, I presume why Bottle Tree Park bears its name. They are actually Baobab Trees. I love them.
After the party we thought we'd go eat something to complement all the alcohol we had. But first, a fashion shoot at the bus stop...
Folks, you'll be seeing me drinking teh tarik very, very often. This is the life.