Bangkok, Thailand. 

Darren trying to recreate his MBS pose.

Dates of travel: 13th June to 16th June. 

Accommodation: Baiyoke Sky Hotel.  

Modes of transport: Tiger Air, Taxi, Tuk Tuk, Ferry and Walking. A lot of walking. 

General mode for trip: Excitement, exploration and ease.

After all, it was my first trip travelling overseas with just friends for leisure purposes. It was kind of a big deal, because: 

  1. I have only ever been on family trips and one major UK trip with my previous school. 
  2. The last time I boarded a plane was a couple of years ago. 
  3. My parents are usually quite protective of me and are reluctant to let me break out of their grip. 
  4. I funded the entire thing out of my own pocket. 
  5. I learnt so much about myself – what I am drawn to, what I like, not like, habits, etc.
  6. I did not kill anybody on the trip. 

And now that I have done it once, I cannot wait to do it again. Really. 

It was an independent experience and I was pretty surprised how easily I found myself getting into that life. 

Being present, experiencing the various sensations, getting into the environment and really trying to play. Be in love with the moments. 

I did not miss anything back here in Singapore – my life, my home or my work. And that came as a slight shock because I am such a workaholic. Perhaps I knew this travel had an end date and I would be back on the red dot soon enough to catch up with all that I missed out on. 

 (Maybe I should just live a nomadic life.)

I am not sure how I should write this post actually. Narrative might be too personal and will get too long, because of various emotions and thoughts. 

Maybe I should just share some favourite moments I had. Neater and I am more willing to share those. 

Every corner of the city was filled with these. This was a BTS station.

Moment One: Taking the MRT and BTS. 

Seriously, it was seldom to see an entire carriage of commuters clinging onto their mobile phones and pressing buttons all the way. 

Individuals were looking out the windows, looking at one another and sometimes, they would even spare a smile to a stranger or two within view. 

And because I was in a different country, I did not listen to my iPod Touch or text too much. So I experienced this – sounds and all – and I must say it was really refreshing. 

On a side note, I also love the sound of locals speaking their language. So beautiful and poetic. 

Learning to greet with Ronald.

Moment Two: Art, art and art everywhere.

Stickers and signs on street lampposts. Street art in bright colours on dying walls, ruined buildings or just along an alley. Store fronts with grand displays. 

And lucky for me, there was a jewellery show, elephant sculpture displays as well as an architecture exhibition going on at Central World when I went down.

It was fascinating for me to look at creative and decorative things at every turn. I admire the work and effort put in to really bring out the artistic side of the city for all to envy, appreciate and feel. 

I felt super happy to have been a part of the experience. 

Store front at Central World.

Moment Three: Temple Visiting. 

Finally went across the river to explore the Temple of Dawn (Wat Arun). Yes, I am super grateful for that since it was the only temple I had yet to set foot in. 

I always have great love for the temples. Leave me in one and I can spend a whole day walking around, soaking in the calm and taking photographs just so I will have something to hold onto when I am no longer under its shelter. 

It is the serenity. It is the kneeling in front of a figure and wondering if he is looking back at you. It is the calm and the zen of the place. Temples have spirits, or that is what I choose to believe. It is the devotion and the work of constructing these beautiful places. It is the belief it will make things better. 

Always refreshing. Always learning. Always there. 

Monks at the Temple of Dawn.

Moment Four: Walking the Uncommercialised Path.

When we chose to walk along the railway tracks instead of taking the Airport Link to get back to the hotel. 

Avoiding hens and a majestic rooster. Having glimpses into the way of living for locals that live by the track. Trying to keep my feet dry and away from mud. 

It was just something I wouldn’t have been able to do in Singapore. 

But my golden moment was when a local waved at us before we made our way through the messiest and muddiest part of the route. (I did not really mind but Darren was so squirmy about it.)

The old man told us to cross the railway track to the other side. To concrete and smooth land. He guided us with his hand. 

He didn’t have to, but he did. 

The taste of kindness stays with me. 

Kitties at Wat Pho.

Moment Five: Tuk Tuk Driver to Rod Fai. 

Introducing street food to the child-like wonder of Darren to me thoroughly enjoying the Tuk Tuk rides. Walking from street market to street market to speeding on highways just to get to another street market. (Rod Fai was the one I enjoyed most.)

It was all exhilarating, but of course, there are more things to life than just temporary high. 

The Tuk Tuk driver we had to get to Rod Fai Market did not really know where he was going. 

He asked another driver where it might be before taking us onboard. It was really far out and even so, he smiled and drove on. Even stopping the vehicle to check with others to make sure we were not lost. Midway, he picked up a call from his family and we could all hear the kid calling him through the Nokia phone. He kept smiling and you could feel the happiness, the relieve and the tiredness all at once. 

I cannot really say much but that was a poignant moment for me as well.

Maybe it was the smiles. Maybe it was the feeling of family. Maybe it just reminded me of how life goes on for everyone despite the daily grind. Maybe it was just how his tough skin, his wrinkles and his earnestness shines with gratitude and how simple was enough. 

Darren devouring street food.

Okay. This post turned out pretty long anyway. Sorry for the long read. 

You can just imagine how long it would be if I poured my entire heart out on the page. Hahahaha. 

Until next time. xx 

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Broken Down to Numbers. 

(I have gained, I have lost and I have counted. I am still wrapping my head around the trip I just took and looking at my expenses, I just thought I would post it up because I was too reluctant to just delete it from my phone. Fear of forgetting it completely in a couple of months. Or maybe, I might just be using this as a way to trigger memories in the near future. Who knows? Who cares?)

Day One
– B300 (SIM card) 

– B40 (Train to hotel)

– B405 (Rabbit card – 15 trips) 

– B138 (Caturday – matcha milk tea frappe) 

– B70 (Sushi) 

– B109 (Kyo Roll En – Matcha Sumi Soft Cream) 

– B50 (Lime juice) 

– B60 (four postcards by artist) 

– B191 (Groceries for room) 

Total: B1363

Day Two 

– B17 (coca cola) 

– B60 (chopstick)

– B400 (Harlem pants)

– B200 (Bracelets)

– B225.5 (Dinner at Jeffer’s steak) 

– B600 (Tuktuk to market)

– B25 (coca cola)

– B350 (two woven tops) 

– B87.5 (Long Island jug – shared) 

– B150 (cab ride back)

– B710 (drinks) 

Total: B1710

Day Three 

– B180 (McDonald’s breakfast) 

– B150 (Cab to Temple of Dawn) 

– B22 (Donations)

– B50 (Temple entrance)

– B6 (boat across river)

– B100 (wat pho)

– B50 (tuktuk to Siam centre)

– B282 (Cabbages and Condoms)

– B145 (Matcha Cherry Frappe – Nikko Cafe) 

– B50 (Cab to hotel) 

– B480 (Harlem pants)

– B200 (macs) 

Total: B1715

Day Four 

– B75 (Cab to Siam Centre) 

– B490 (BACC – Happening.)

– B40 (chicken) 

– B40 (pomegranate juice) 

– B280 (shirt) 

– B536 (Food)

– B75 (tuktuk to hotel)

– B40 (ticket to train airport) 

– B490 (Tom yum banana chips)

Total: B2066 

– 

It is midweek. Technically a Thursday now, since it is past midnight. 

I just want a space to just let the words spill out. I need to talk. I want to try to prevent my brain from bursting. 

It is a wonder that this is how I am spending my last week of holidays. Sigh. I am just a mess sometimes. 

Yup. Tears and all. Always tears and all. 

– 

I do not have the most confidence as a person, especially in skill sets people seem to say that I have. 

Panic and hyperventilating are pretty common. Headaches. Inability to sleep. Nausea. Perpetual loss of appetite. 

I also have a tendency to worry a lot.

My health. My hormonal patterns. My decisions. My work. My school. Now, it is mostly just money and my carelessness with life. How I am doing with my relationships. 

But I try. I really try damn fucking hard. 

When people come along to tell me that I can do things, like I can sing for example, I try to take it. I try to smile and take the compliment. Say thank you and move on. I always struggled with this and decided that I should learn how to. 

Because it will make me love myself more, or so they say. It is really hard though, but some days, it gets better and I feel it. 

But when I listen to myself, watch myself or judge myself, it is never up to standard. I look at others and they always seem better. I just keep fighting to match that. Keep moving or you snooze. Or when I finally bring myself up for the challenge to face the fear, it gets pushed back and I just decide that I do not have time for it. And I am just burdening the other person with these silly “projects” of mine, though sometimes they are not my idea. 

And about money. 

I try to save everytime I can. Pinch myself a little bit and I do not shop. Transport kills me, mostly. Sometimes, I even resort to skipping meals. I would ask myself, “Do I really need that? Can I live without it?” If the answer is yes, I will just give it a miss and save up those few dollars. 

So when I get guilt-tripped about not trying to make time for recently release movies, trying out new cafes or getting the nicest shirt on the rack I really liked, I get so torn up inside. I do not really say these things because they are mine to deal with. I tend to push them aside because why make others worry? What’s the point? 

Then relationships are just not my cup of tea. I like being alone. Walls up, write independence on my forehead and parade the streets. Safe, polite and usually happy. Perhaps these are exaggerations because I miss it. Perhaps. 

A relationship is all give and take and compromise. But where do you draw the line? When is it time to step aside and decide that there is too much selfishness to keep going? Must you always try? 

Or is it true that some people just walk side by side so comfortable and everything fits? Suddenly, all the cliches come true and you are living the words you used to read in books. Does everyone deserve that? 

Do we need that to finally settle? 

Sometimes, all these little things add up and threaten to drown me. I start crying and it gets difficult to breathe and I stay hidden until the sun no longer looks at my face. I die a little bit but I always get back up. 

The body is known to be strong. The survival instincts are amazing. 

I wish my spirit was too. 

O.P.E.N. Films #1. 

  • This Is Not A Film – Jafar Panahi & Mojtaba Mirtahmasb. 

How passion for film-making, taking a stand and trying to overcome the system does not stop at a mere house arrest. 

The seemingly every day conversations reveal so much about the situation in Iran and leaves just a little bit of space to the imagination. With the space used the director’s own home, there is just a vulnerability and an openness that comes with it. 

The risks of doing this really hit me when the credits came out and no names were mentioned besides the directors themselves. 

Simple yet powerful. 

  • Horse Money – Pedro Costa.

Absurd, abstract and dark. 

Possibly some words I would associate with this piece of work. The director does not shy away from the sinister and messier parts of the human mind. It almost seemed like a horror film. 

Though I found it too heavy a watch in one-sitting and felt restless from time to time, it was so uncomfortable that it was good in a certain way. 

It challanges you, and tells you truths in a way that makes them hard to ignore. The presence of the actors, the themes and my own thoughts while watching were really strong. Breath-taking. 

– 

I don’t really have the time to do full length reviews unless they are for other websites. So I will keep things simple from now on and just type skeletal thoughts of them. 

Feel free to hit me up and we can talk about them over coffee sometime. If you are interested in nerdy stuff, like me. xx

Excess. 

There are things I do not have much of, like money, decisiveness as well as comfort. 

But in turn, I have an excess of thoughts, feelings and great amounts of rationality to the point of detachment. 

The past two days were slightly overwhelming ever since I came back from Bangkok because I experienced everything I mentioned above in a nutshell. 

Condensed, succinct and real. 

I am grateful to close friends I have that are open to conversations with no boundaries. They have big hearts and are able to stay rooted to benches/chairs for long, while words come and go. 

Like waves of thoughts – rational or irrational. 

Occasionally sipping drinks, leaning in for hugs and feeling out the quiet lingering emotions. 

Questions I have been thinking about: 

  • How much would it take to destroy me and have me surrender my soul to money earning?
  • Can I kill the system before it kills me? 
  • Would “if you can’t beat them, join them” apply in this context? 
  • Do I believe in marriage, or is it just not a possibility? 
  • What would make two people a good match? 
  • More similarities or more differences? 
  • Give in to temptation and try again? 
  • Why is it that I am so tough on romantic love but so gentle with platonic ones? 
  • What makes sex excessive in a relationship and what makes sex too little?
  • Is it a crime to want sex? 
  • As a woman? 
  • Why do people prefer female receptionists to male ones?
  • When I am so hard on others, does it truly reflect how hard I am on myself?
  • Enjoyment of being single: bane or boon?

Just a taster of what the party vibes are in this head of mine. I am always caught in this state of contemplation, brainstorming and debating that I never really find a decision to settle on. 

Let them build a nest in my mind until they are mature enough to grow wings and fly. 

Liberation. 

What a beautiful idea. 

Anyway, I should consolidate my thoughts and type a post on Bangkok. It has shared with me so much and I would not want to forget about it just like that. 

(Book) The Last Skin.

BarbaraRasCover(Barely catch movies anymore because I just don’t have the energy or the time or the company to watch them at cinemas. It is quite sad, but books serve me well too. And the best thing about poetry books is that you feel, learn and imagine so much with so little. It’s beautiful.)

Simple and beautiful, I think The Last Skin really stripped poetry down to its essence for me. Maybe it is also because of the themes she wrote about, such as love, loss and places she visited that spurred thought. Each and every poem painted an image in my mind and not only can I see it, but I can feel it on my skin as well as taste it in my mouth.

Sometimes bombastic words are not needed to evoke emotions.

Out of the entire read, I think my most loved piece of writing from Ras would be “Now All The Fears”. You can try searching for it online or borrow the book to read the entire collection. I can tell you now that this book is definitely worth your time.

My favourite takeaways:

While beside ourselves, our shadows flicker, in despair, in laughter, the same trembling.

All day the train chases understanding, all night understanding’s ghost.

Maybe we loved you, but not always. Now, please. Let us go like a meadow of balloons let loose to the sky.

Someone else said, “Words are blankets.”

The swiftest heartbeat, the sheerest bones.

Where the lingering rain imperceptibly returned to the sky.

Nights fall. Days fall harder.

While I am tossed over and over by the ocean that holds me ransom.

So when we taste, we taste bitter, forgetting the flavour of truth.

-Lake Titicaca-

Just as the lake called to draw blue out of the day’s sky and later the night’s black.

A constellation of islands.

Its edible heart.

And what could she possibly know beyond a door, a colour of a little bit of heaven with some darkness added, and the right amount of oil to make it shine.

Who fears water and talks like a river that will never be broken.

In the dimness of starlight.

The faces we have touched and lost, their eyes mute now in memory.

-Part Three-

I wanted to surrender their beauty, craving some nature beyond human.

The sun will be weightless and the rain silky.

Death is the mother of beauty.

And its emptiness exhaled the truths and lies of secrets.

Give me your whole hand so it opens the way dreams bloom at night.

Words, not for me like truth written on skin.

While we draped our weight on each other in a bond adults would call filthy, but was really only lostness clinging to lostness.

If it’s the remnant of a love letter, the rest gone, just the anonymous kiss I wish had been mine.