Flashback

Funny how one song, one photo, one moment can take you back to a specific moment in time in the past, right back to the spot, right back to that feeling – that memory.

some relationships aren’t meant to be but there is always a lesson to be learnt. 

i guess our problem was: you were always 10 steps ahead of me.

and what you’ve experienced before, i am just experiencing it now.

what i didn’t understand back then, i understand now.

 

i’m grateful for it because without it i wouldn’t be who i am today.

Quick Fixes

 

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People desperately want quick fixes.

A couple days ago I find myself having a spitting headache. And immediately, I reached out for a Panadol. Quick, easy, no-brainer. And it’s symptom-specific, ie it deals with what it’s says it deal with – pain.

But as I broke the foil seal, I realise it’s not the pain I should be dealing with, I should be dealing with what is causing the pain, the real reason for the pain. What I need to look for is the cause, not the result. That’s when I notice that for so many things, I’ve only been dealing with the result, not the underlying cause. And honestly, nowadays, how many of us actually fix things, instead of just deal with the consequence? We simply move on too quickly. If your iphone doesn’t work, you’ll get a new phone. If there’s a hole in your shirt, you get a new one. And if your marriage doesn’t work, who cares? You can always get a divorce.

Our generation is just so much different from what our parents’ generation used to be. I still remember the time when my dad would fix everything. He would take upon all the fixing tasks in the house, put on his serious face and get going at it. He installed our TV back then, installed our toilet, fixed numerous furniture, shouldered the responsibility of being our home-designated electrician, plumber and gardener. But that time was long gone. Now nobody I know would even want to fix things. Tailors are obsolete and honestly who cares about fixing that hemline when you can get a pair of new ones with the same amount of money you pay a tailor to do it?

Is the root of the problem about economic efficiency, rendering everything available at such a cheap price that there’s no point in putting the effort into fixing a problem, and it’s more economical just to get a brand new replacement?

I’m just praying to lord that one day I don’t feel like that about family and relationships. I hope one day I’m not the one who’s calling quits on something that doesn’t work anymore without even trying to make it work.

Kenting, Taiwan

The next day, we took a two-hour bus ride to Kenting from Kaohsiung. I don’t remember much of the bus ride as I spent the majority of it sleeping and listening to music. When I woke up, it was already quite dark and we had to quickly find our way to our hostel. Our hostel is called Spoondrift. It’s a nice little hostel with yellow and white walls on the outside that is situated right across from Nan Wan, a local beach 10 minutes away from Kenting by bus. This hostel again, was a pleasant surprise. I didn’t expect much of it as the hostels we walked passed on our way to Spoondrift were not very well-lit and was quite old-looking. And since Spoondrift was kind of hidden away from the main road between old buildings, it was easy to miss. But as soon as we found it, we knew we made the right decision. My travel-nifty friend booked the hostel for us and we couldn’t be more happy about her choice. It was modern yet simple and refreshing. The owner of the hostel was really kind and welcoming. He helped us up with our luggage and quickly introduced us to the major facilities of the hostel and nearby buildings. The most amazing thing was that they had wifi, which we didn’t expect at all!

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Spoondrift, our hostel

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breakfast place

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a simple breakfast

There wasn’t much of a view but everything was very clean and tidy. They even provided breakfasts for all of the 3 nights we stayed there. The next day we spent the majority of our day in a town called Hengcun, which is a town very close to Nan Wan, about 15 minutes drive on our scooters. Yes, we rented scooters! I highly recommend it, even if you don’t have a license! You don’t need a license to drive a scooter in Taiwan, and it’s perfectly safe. I didn’t have a license and was able to learn the hang of it in half an hour. The place we rented our scooters was called Harry Potter, and it was a little company by the side of the road on the way from Nan Wan to Kenting. The lady who ran the place was super nice and patient that she made sure we were all comfortable on the scooter before she let us rent them.

And off we went, venturing out to Hengcun. At Hengcun, we got to go to a few food places that our guidebook recommended. They were all decent and quite good in general. The streets were very old but special in its own way. Hengcun is an old town that once had a city wall all around it.

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my ride

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dessert place in Hengcun that serves green bean shaved ice. yummy yummy!

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Go Karts! Great for a bit of adrenaline rush.

On our way back to Nan Wan, we saw a Go Kart place and decided to drop by and have a spin. We didn’t go for the highest power karts but it was fun enough for us ladies. It was my first time playing go karts but I already can’t wait to go on a second time with a higher cc kart!

And then for dinner, we had our usual night market stroll and came out of it with full tummies indeed.

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It was such a fulfilling day, and had got us hyped for our tour around Kenting the next day! … to be continued …

Kaohsiung-Cijin, Taiwan

Hi guys, last weekend, my friends and I decided to get away and hop over to Taiwan for a bit of sunshine and relaxing time at the beach. So we booked tickets to a city in the southern part of Taiwan called Kaohsuing hoping to spend a day there and then go straight to a resort city called Kenting for some sun.

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Kaohsiung is acity that I’ve never been before. Since everytime I go to Taiwan, I usually just visit Taipei, the capital of Taiwan, the southern part of Taiwan is a very foreign place to me and I didn’t know what was there. 

Kaohsiung was a pleasant surprise. As soon as we arrived at the airport, we quickly took the taxi to our hotel which is located at the tallest building in Kaohsiung called The Splendor to drop off our luggage before meeting up with our friend who lives there. Because there were 4 of us (including our Taiwan friend) staying there, we booked a suite that could accomodate all 4 of us. After some recuperating, we called up our friend and asked him to take us around town. First stop, he brought us to a place called Cijin. Cijin is a popular place among tourists and locals alike. It’s close to the ocean and has a souvenir/ food street where people can buy all sorts of street food and seafood as souvenirs. There is also a beach at the end of the Cijin main street and a fountain area where kids can play with water and bubbles to their hearts content. To get to Cijin, we first took the MRT (subway) to Siziwan. And after we got off, we rented a bike each and rode to the ferry terminal. Because Cijin is off on a separate little island only accessible by ferry, we decided it’d be a fun idea to take the bike there as a means of transportation as well in case we get tired of walking.

The ferry accommodates passengers both on foot or on bikes/ motorbikes, which is pretty cool. The whole ride was very refreshing and was really nice to enjoy the breeze on a short ferry trip despite weather being super hot and humid. The trip took us around 10-15 minutes excluding waiting time. I think it’s best for you to first check out the schedule of the ferry before going there because timetable varies and you don’t want to be stranded on the island at night after the last ferry took off.

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on the ferry to Cijin

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bikes we rented

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the fountain area

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We ended up spending the whole afternoon in Cijin and headed back to Kaohsiung for dinner at the Ruifeng night market. We were so exhausted after the trip to Cijin that we felt all sore the next day! But nonetheless, we had a lot of fun on the trip and was so happy to see our friend in Taiwan.

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Little did we know, Kaohsiung was only the beginning of our trip. Kenting was even more amazing than we could have ever thought… to be continued…

Movie: The Great Gatsby

The long awaited Great Gatsby.

I’ve been waiting for this movie to come out since last year. To me, this was a book that meant a lot to me. As a teenager reading it for English class, I was taken away by F.Scott Fitzgerald’s 1920′s flapper America. He described a world that was full of hopes and dreams, but also corruption, self-absorbance and ignorance. The way the characters interacted with each other in the past and the present was like a tale that’s never too old because we’re always going to be repeating the same mistakes over and over again. Daisy and Gatsby’s relationship in the past directly influenced how they behaved in the present. Gatsby’s struggle towards achieving the American dream had won him money and status but in the end the one thing that he longed for the most was also the one thing he failed to grasp, like the green light that was waiting for him at the end of the dock but never attainable. The blinking of the light in all those endless nights still haunt him till the end of his life.

Leo as Gatsby was just perfect. I particularly loved how he acted during his first reunion with Daisy in Nick’s house. He went back to being a little kid and was so nervous that he kept fussing with his shirt trying to find the perfect way to meet Daisy again for the first time. He had all these expectations for Daisy and wanted it to be perfect but in the end, Daisy wasn’t the old Daisy anymore. After all those years, she had moved on and become someone else, just that poor Gatsby hadn’t noticed.

The movie was amazing in terms of its stage design and costumes. The roaring 20s was a decade of corruption and self-indulgence. Everyone was drinking away no matter they’re happy or sad, rich or poor. But the way Fitzgerald wrote the story, it was as if the poor Wilson was contributing his man labour just so that the Old Money Tom could enjoy his luxurious life. Wilson was constantly cheated and even though TJ Eckleberg who was implied as an overlooking power, was watching over, it seems like nothing is ever going to be fair and just in Fitzgerald’s world. Wilson’s world was dark, gloomy and full of despair. His wife was having an affair with the Old Money and the Old Money was cheating Wilson for his labour and his wife. What else is going to be fair? Wilson as a blue collar had no hopes, no money and the only thing that kept him going, his wife, was not even faithful to him. So when all else fails, his only resort became murder and suicide.

I loved how the movie portrayed the ending scene. Wilson lost his wife to death and her love to Tom, while Gatsby lost his love to the past and also to Tom when Daisy decided to leave town with Tom. Two very different people living in two different worlds are actually not that different after all. They’re so different on the outside yet so similar on the inside. On one hand we have Wilson, blue collar garage worker, the other we have Gatsby, wealthy New Money, they both are people in despair trying so hard to win back the love of their lives, but both fell hard and in the course of chasing their dreams, it cost their lives.

One of my favourite scenes was when Gatsby threw down a bunch of clothes onto Daisy from the balcony in his room. That scene was so simple yet it says so much. It showed us how much Gatsby had worked for Daisy yet Daisy was just scared to death to face her past that she was only able to say something silly.

I would say that the movie won’t be as entertaining if you’re not a fan of the book. But if you are a huge fan of Fitzgerald’s work, please go see the movie. You’ll be overcome by an overwhelming wave of depressing thoughts and how lame everything becomes when your expectations are too high.

I could go on forever about this book/ movie, but I don’t think you’d like to hear anymore. So trust me, when you go see the movie, you best read the book first. You’ll get so much more out of the experience than just walking into the theater and expect a great movie.

xx

PS. I hope Leo finally gets an Oscar. He freaking deserves one goddamnit.

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