The City's Ugly Side

It's been almost 6 months, if you can believe how time can really fly. In the span of close to half a year, I have observed, and been a part of the culture that makes up Singapore today.

The inevitable is the kiasu syndrome. I have experienced it, blended myself in it, and finally... learnt a painful lesson from it.

There's always a rush everywhere, not many are taking their time to work, to the subway.... it's always a neverending rush hour. The few handful actually taking their own sweet time to loiter, hang around are possibly tourists - or they are just done rushing to the destination, only to find themselves waiting for another person. I've actually seen people who 

Like it  or not, Singapore is a predominantly Chinese country. And possibly its strength, is the Chinese's kiasu ways of life - which can also become its biggest weakness. 

Today I was very much in a Singaporean Chinese mode. I'd just finished gym and was on my way back. There was nothing to hurry to, except that I have not had my dinner and would like to get to my rented pigeonhole early so I can properly eat something. As I descended down the escalator, I quickly noticed that the train heading towards my place was just only arriving. So on Kiasu mode gear 3 already, I hurried down and sidestepped a couple (who are obviously tourists, from the way they took their own sweet time smelling nonexistent roses in the subway).... I misplaced my footing, stepped on the guy's flip-flops only to find myself falling forwards, almost in a comical slow-motion way.

(Digressing, flip-flops are accidents waiting to happen! It sticks to the ground even when your foot is lifted and I have seen and been through many incidents when the person at the back steps onto the flip-flops.)

Anyways, back to the scene on the subway. It would have been funny.... except I was probably the only one who thought it was funny. Nobody helped me up, everyone just looked on, from the train, from the platform. It's like a scene from a sad movie where you just feel so alone. To add insult to injury, the train door closed for a while before opening again, like to give the commuters more time to flash me a sympathetic look, but nothing more than that. 

My knee was slightly bruised, with abrasions, thank goodness my phone was ok, still clutched tightly in my hand. After the fall, though minor in all essence, I was strongly reminded again to have patience. Really, now, there was absolutely no need for me to dash into the train, the next train will probably arrive in less than 5 minutes. 5 minutes is just a small fraction of time but no, we are constantly in this mad rush.

I vow not to let this absurdity overcome me... and pray that I live through it with my sanity intact.

Spicing Up Szechuan

Here to share one of my all time favourite restaurants in Singapore!! It's in Chinese, I can't remember what that place is called but I know exactly how to get there, which is all that matters! :D

Su En brought me here, she used to work in Chinatown at one point and would frequent this place. So far, I love everything we've ordered!

 One of my faves - stir fried sliced beef with cucumber. I don't know what they added with this combination (this being Singapore, I doubt the answer will ever be used oil dumped into the gutter) but it's so omfgly yummy!!

 This is so -so, but it's still good cos it'd darn cheap! Only $2 I think, onion pancake. Thin grilled, it's slightly crispy and great with rice and a host of other delicious Szechuan dishes ;)

 The cooks and waiters here have a heavy Chinese accent. It's all the real deal.... but then again memang banyak orang Cina kat sini lah..... so not that hard, really. They do get pretty busy during dinner.

 Pork and potatoes with green chillis. Sooooooo goood! I'm a huge lover of all things spicy, so this is an easy win over me.............

 These are the three items we ordered. There's more that I love... they have this really good spicy pork slices in dried chillis... omg..... but one thing, the stuff here is a tad oily. What's bad for you tastes delicious! Kekekekekke.

Usually we will order extra then tapao the rest ;) Food is served quickly ala Cina style. Prices are average, not exactly cheap, but portions are pretty large. Expect loads of spicy food, the Szechuan way!


You know, when I was a teenager I was into all that boy band crap, gyrating MTVs featuring Britney Spears, Christina Aguilera, those ya-ya teenbops .... and unrelated as it is, I always thought it was so cool getting a tattoo (yes blame it on the celebrities). BUT!! Thank goodness sanity and sensibility prevailed all this while (I am sure as hell I don't want a picture of Backstreet Boy's Nick Carter permanently inked on my skin). And I dread to think of crazy/stupid piece of art I would adopt.... 

There's usually this wave of 'hipness' in the tattoo world, I recalled there was a period where butterfly tatts were all the rage... then those curly tribal motives on the lower back.... oh and who could forget those arm band tattoos?

Well.... can't say that sanity has prevailed this time around..... anyways, my point being that, I've wanted a tattoo for as long as I can remember....

 Just that all this while, I haven't a clue what to ink... I wanted something significant, and not just anyhow settle on a pretty design, right ? Also, all this while I was in KL, without a transport of my own, and there are only that many places you can go via a public transport. 

Not to mention I didn't have much faith in Malaysian tattoo artists. I mean, I'm sure there are decent ones and some who are probably good, if not better than the Singaporean ones. But my concern is the hygiene, the possible lack of rigid rules in the industry.....

Anyhow! I finally went through a moment of so-called realization.... I wanted a Bodhi tree! I'm not sure how it hit me, but it's so fitting... and possibly all I looked for in a tattoo!

I quickly did all the necessary search, googled for every image related to Bodhi trees.... Hunted for a tattoo artist... well, it wasn't exactly a hunt, I was shopping with my sister in Far East Plaza and we just somehow walked into this parlour. The guys there seem nice too... Sha was my inker!

Spent about a week ping-pong-ing emails and ideas with Sha before finally settling on my very own version of the Bodhi tree! 

I'm not really terrified of the incoming pain..... I've sort of had a 'tattoo' experience - eyebrow embroidery, though that time I had numbing cream applied to my eyebrows before the embroidery commenced. Not sure if they are entirely different or just somehow similar, but I'm prepared to face the same sort of pain.

I asked Sha if he's going to apply any numbing cream and he said no.... (omg?) but he told me not to worry cause the pain will be bearable. And apparently, according to his experience, girls have a higher threshold for pain! How about that! It's like the Fact of the Day.

 Sha had to half-close the shop cause he was the only one manning the place... lol!

 The imposing-looking tool...... The pain is definitely bearable, but I think it depends where the needle plants in... at some points it's a breeze....  but there are moments I will be grimacing.... Took my mind off the pain by browsing and whatsapping TY... lol.

 Thirty minutes later, it's done! I was initially told it's going to take an hour and a half so I was really surprised! Sha said it's quick cos I stayed still LOL!! I mean, of course I would stay still right? Later my tree senget one side then how??

The end product! I'm really pleased with the results.... though I'm walking like an old lady after this..... didn't want my shorts to rub against the raw skin.... 

I can't wait to get more! :P Though in return I have a feeling I'm going to get an earful from my parents....

The Georgian Adventure - Hike to Chalaadi Glacier

Our third, and last hike in Svaneti. There are so many more places to hike and explore around Georgia, it was a hard decision to premature...