Archive for May 2011
Today, I am 26 years and one day old. Officially over the “quarter-life crisis”phase of my life and finally feeling more like an adult. My brother said it best when he said in his message to me: “ooh the 2nd half of the twenties, spending power and maturity of thought! the best years.” Cue the theme song from The Wonder Years.
I am off to Bali for the weekend and now face a rather trifling and yet no-less-puzzling question – what to wear? Oh life.
Sometimes I almost forget that we’ve known each other since we were eight. We were good friends in primary school and used to play together in the same group after school almost every day! I don’t even remember studying. Instead, I remember all the days of block catching, re-enacting Sweet Valley High scenes, playing our own version of Pyramid Game and even going for ECAs together (netball, malay dance, I’m sure there were many more as it was cool to be in many ECAs back then)!
Sometimes it’s funny to think how we’ve all turned out. Me and Liy lost touch after primary six, but by some funny turn of events we all started to hang out with one another when we turned 19 or so. You know you’re good friends when the friendship just continues from where it left off.
Do check out Liy’s blog for more of the shots from this shoot. I really need to work on the posing though.
Ooh happy vesak day tomorrow guys!
Observation #1: You’re not supposed to take photos near the customs area.
Observation #2: Nasi padang Indon style consists of dozens of plates of dishes served without you needing to order. Whatever you eat is chargeable, the rest are not. Very efficient but I’m not sure how hygienic it is!
Observation #3: Traveling via taxi allows you to get around in comfort but you lose out in truly experiencing the country and the people.
Observation #4: Why are the trees painted in black and white stripes? (more of a question than an observation)
Observation #5: Keropok is Asia’s answer to potato chips.
Observation #6: I still remember the Nano-Nano jingle. (“Sweet, sour and salty, Nano-Nano, nana nana, Nano-Nano!”)
Observation #7: Po finds post-Teletubbies work as an ambassador of sweet corn.
Observation #8: Hypermart is a pretty self-explanatory store name.
Observation #9: BFC does not stand for Batam Fried Chicken.
Observation #10: If only Doraemon knew that his favourite snack could be easily bought at your neighbourhood snack cart!
Observation #11: Rootbeer float does not taste the same when not served in a mug.
Observation #12: Family trips are love! 🙂
As a child I used to go to Batam very often when I was about 10 as my parents had business partners there. I had many friends my age and they’d teach me games like their own version of Zero Point, and Indonesian folk songs. I remembered teaching them the game “Er Ling Wu” (spelling?).
Batam is the reason why I know more Bahasa Indonesia words than I should, like how chewing gum is “permen karet” and not “shinggam”; towel is “anduk” not “tuala”; fridge is “kulkas” not “peti sejuk”; and underwear is “kolor” not “seluar dalam”. I also remember jokes like “Who’s the actor who cannot run and cannot drive? Dunno, who? Rano Karno!”. Nevermind that I didn’t know who Rano Karno was, it was still funny and I still laughed.
I also remember climbing the cherry trees (Asian cherries are small, not like the plump Western ones), grabbing handfuls to be shared amongst the group. Batam was where running in the rain was de rigueur and no one would chide you for getting your clothes wet. Batam was also where I almost crashed into a car while cycling down a steep hill and while trying not be knocked down I almost fell off a cliff. Batam was where you could visit your neighbour’s house not through the front door but by climbing from each other’s roofs. That I spent part of my childhood in Batam is something I tend to forget, but now that I think about it, it was quite special.
I went back to Batam two weeks ago with the family. It is interesting to return to a place where you spent your childhood, as an adult. It makes me miss being a kid. It makes me think about my childhood friends. Sadly, I do not know where they are now. I don’t even remember their names anymore. I guess life gets in the way like that.
Mr. Chiam See Tong, you are indeed the people’s hero, champion for democracy and a brave man. Thank you for fighting for the people all these years. The photo above was my one and only glimpse of the man, and the one that broke my heart 😦
Photos below were mainly taken at Block 108 in Potong Pasir, where CST holds his Meet the People’s session every Thursday. Residents and non-residents came together to sign a petition for a by-election in Potong Pasir, where his wife Lina Chiam lost to PAP’s Sitoh Yih Pin by a mere 104 votes.
Another petition station, flanked by the folded up makeshift cubicle where he held his Meet-the-People’s session for 27 years.
Bulletin board bearing letters from official authorities written to Mr Chiam regarding parking fines waived (and notices of a similar nature) for Potong Pasir residents, the result of his championing of their issues and difficulties.
Above, people are taking photos with the Welcome to Potong Pasir sign bearing Mr Chiam’s face while it is still there. I really like the slogan, “My kind of town” and Potong Pasir does seem to have that “small town” air where you feel that everyone knows each other.
Goodbye Mr Chiam, though I only knew you recently and I don’t live in PP, I have utmost respect for you and won’t ever forget you.
(Do watch this video from start to finish to see how inspirational, surprisingly funny and sharp he is, for his age of 76 and despite having suffered two strokes, and how much his people love him.)