Sunday, July 31, 2011

One New Experience Each Week - Agriculture Farm Visit


Banana Tree Flower
(Looks like a lotus)

Banana trees were cut so that they would produce more bananas in the future.
Interesting fact that I was not aware. Good to learn something new!

Never expect to see it vertically, as I thought it would be hanging from a tree/plant.

"Gentle Woman or Gentle Man is a Genuine Person"

"Discover Basic Goodness"

Life's Good!!! =)

One New Experience Each Week - Night Safari

My first time visiting Night Safari.

"The Night Safari is the world's first nocturnal zoo and is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Singapore. Constructed at a cost of S$63 million, the Night Safari was officially opened on 26 May 1994 and occupies 40 hectares (0.4 km²) of secondary rainforest adjacent to the Singapore Zoo and Upper Seletar Reservoir.
The Night Safari currently houses a total of 1,040 animals of 120 species, of which 29% are threatened species. The zoo is managed byWildlife Reserves Singapore, and about 1.1 million visitors visit the safari per year.[2] The Night Safari received its 11 millionth visitor on 29 May 2007." 

I guess... I really take things for granted. It has opened since 1994, and I stayed really near to Night Safari. It never crossed my mind that I should visit Night Safari until recently. It was a good experience, and I felt like a real tourist in my own country. 

Fire spitting and eating performance.

The tropical rain-forest is quite pretty at night.

This is the only picture that turns out okay, as flash photography is not allowed.


At the tiger enclosure, I looked straight into the eyes of the tiger, and we were separated only by a glass. I had never been so close to a tiger. It is hard not be awed by this majestic and beautiful creature. It is really a masterpiece creation. What a wonderful experience!

This experience also reminded me of  Tigers I saw at Darjeeling Zoo (India). I remember that the roars of the tiger sent chills down my spine. I guess it is my instinctive reaction to run away. 


One thing that sadden me was the lack of energy of the captive animals.
I asked myself this question:
"Would I rather be in the wild facing daily survival issues and dangers, 
or be in a zoo with no freedom but there is food and security?"

I would definitely want to be in wild.
Even though it is tough, at least, I experience the real world.
I could roam the world freely.
I rather get hurt than to wonder/dream about the real world.

This applies to my general outlook of life as well.
I would rather have the opportunity to risk and experience life, than to live a cocoon life.
There will always be fears and insecurities... but then, those are great learning opportunities as well (on a hindsight). I guess it is about not making judgement on the experiences, but to learn as much as possible. At the end of life, it is better to tried and failed, than failed to try.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Friends - Spice Gang

Extremely adorable and lovable En-en... 
The new member of the Spice Gang.

Celebrating K's Birthday @ HF's house

We have been friends for 14 years already.
Everybody is busy with their life.
Everybody is facing different difficulties and challenges in life.
But it is always good to know that there is a safe place to share your woes and worries.

And a place where you can always be acting stupid and being child-like.
Thank you guys!


One New Experience Each Week - Hair for Hope 2011

Before & After
HF, LY & Boon

It has been a great experience participating in Hair for Hope 2011.
I am very happy to raise S$1570.00 for the Children's Cancer Foundation.

Some observations & reflections:

1. When I told my family about my participation in the Hair of Hope event, they said that I was very "Bo-Liao", which means "Nothing better to do". And interestingly, my family donated the most money to support me. That's the beauty of my family. While they may not understand or agree with me, they always support me and believe in me. For that, I am always very touched and thankful.

2. I was humbled and touched by the support and encouragement that I have received. It is always very inspiring to know that people do care about the less fortunate ones. That's compassion, which is the most beautiful thing in the world.

3. At the event, I found that everybody (both ladies and guys) looks very similar with a bald head. It reminded me that while we may look different on the appearance, we are all essentially the same deep inside.  

It was a wonderful experience!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

One New Experience Each Week - Walking on Railway Track

This will be first and last time walking on the Railway Track.
Soon, this track will be disappeared from the face of this earth.
As I always say, all things are impermanent, even a solid structure like this Railway Track.

I started walking from Commonweath at 3.30pm and ended at Yew Tee at 8pm. In between, I took a short break at Railway Mall. It was quite tiring, but definitely very enjoyable! =) 

I got a shock when a snake crossed the track in front of me.

A dilapidated house along the track.

Small, but it has a will to survive.

It is hard to see graffiti in Singapore.
It is even harder to see a nice one. 

This place is so not Singapore. 
It looks like a 3rd world country.
And I like it.

Sometimes, the journey is long and dry, but I have to go on.
Listen to some music.
And sing along to it.

Sometimes, the beauty is in small thing, 
but we always miss it when we are in a rush.
While we have a destination to reach,
we could also enjoy the journey.
we need to slow down to enjoy little things,
the destination can wait.

MGS Girls @ King Albert Park's Railway Bridge.

I never thought that I would walk on this bridge,
but at the same time, 
there are too many things in life that are beyond my ability to predict and forecast.

A couple in love. =)

I like this photo.
I walked over and suggested taking a photo for them using their camera.
They thanked me. =)
I am too nosey at times.

Lost Camera

Taken at the road leading to Bt Timah Hill

I love the Greens.

I was quite emotional to see my school (Assumption English School) and St Joseph Church from the track. I also saw the statue of Mother Mary which we escorted from the old premise back to this premise. I could still recite the "Hail Mary" prayer after leaving school for so many years, even though I am a non-believer. On reflection, it is amazing that I did not convert (even though I thought about it before), and it is scary to know that an education institution is actually a strong tool to spread religious belief - especially to the young ones who are more malleable. 

I love the feeling of being a tourist in my own country.

Sometimes, you gotta stop looking a the floor,
and look up.
The real beauty is over your head.

This chair has a lot of stories to share...

Sun had set.
Felt a bit cold.
I was alone.
But I wasn't lonely.
As I was listening to Faye Wong's "天空".

What a great way to end a day.

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Movie: The Cove

"The Cove is a 2009 documentary film that analyzes and questions Japan's dolphin hunting culture. It was awarded the (2010) Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature. The film is a call to action to halt mass dolphin kills; change Japanese fishing practices; and to inform and educate the public about the risks, and increasing hazard, of mercury poisoning from dolphin meat."

I watched this show last evening, and I shed tears a few times while watching the movie. When I saw the killings, I asked myself why people are capable of brutality and cruelty for the sake of monetary interest. I realized that everybody who patronizes Sea World, Ocean Park or any parks with captive dolphins are indirectly responsible for the cruelty. The Biggest Irony is that those people who patronized those theme parks are dolphin lovers, yet, they are indirectly killing other dolphins. That's ignorance, and I was guilty as well. 

In the documentary, the dolphins were swimming freely in the ocean, it was beautiful and that is where they belong to. I would love to swim with them in the ocean. We should not be selfish. Dolphins are not born to bring entertainment to people. They born to be free. After the movie, I know I could not ignore it anymore. I must make a stand - Boycott all the theme parks that have captive dolphins. 

For more relevant info: 

I hope you watch the movie.
I hope you join me too.

One New Experience Each Week - Mambo Jambo @ Zouk

Brought my overseas friends to savor authentic local food. Met Ati when I was backpacking in Vietnam 5 years ago, and I was quite surprised when he told me that he would be spending 21 days in Singapore! And his friend Irene flew all the way from San Francisco Bay Area to enjoy 5 days in Singapore. I was quite surprised that Singapore was their choice of travel destination. I was recommending other places in the region, but this is not their first trip to South-East Asia. Well, they are traveled to more countries than me...

Ati - German of Turkish Descent 
Irene - American of Ukrainian Descent
Boon - Singaporean of Chinese Descent
This is truly Globalization.

Brought them to something that is Uniquely Singapore - Mambo Jambo @ Zouk!

When I was walking towards Zouk, I could vividly remember the excitement of my first visit to Mambo Jambo 13 years ago. Back then, clubbing at Zouk was THE coolest thing to do. I could also remember 11 years ago, when I was on the dance floor dancing and singing to "Forever Young", and I hoped to be forever young. But, a decade just went past, and that's a scary thought. But I do take comfort that the past decade is the best decade of my life so far.   

No major regrets so far.

Saturday, July 09, 2011

There is a Time to Enjoy... There is a Time to Let Go...

(Taken at Pokhara, Nepal)

For no apparent reason, a few days ago, I recalled a conversation I had with a Tibetan guy in Pokhara, Nepal. I wanted to enrol on the meditation course at a Buddhist Meditation Center, unfortunately, the Nun (A white American) was not feeling well. I was a bit disappointed and had a conversation with the administrator at the center. He is quite young and speaks good English, and he also shared a bit of his own rebellious history with me, and why he decided to change and learn more about Buddhism.

When I bid farewell, he said to me:
"Enjoy your life while you can,
but do not be attached to it."

My reply was:
"It is easier said than done."

I smiled and left.
I was walking alone on the street and reflecting on his words.
It makes Perfect sense to me, even till today.
My unhappiness arises because of my attachment.

The Real Freedom is when I learn to let go...
I am just a passerby on this earth...
I came with nothing...
I would leave with nothing...

Monday, July 04, 2011

Cancer - the number one killer...

My participation in Hair For Hope this year has special significance.

Today, I heard that my uncle's cancer is back, but this time it is in the colon.
Last week, a client (successful entrepreneur) was diagnosed with cancer spreading to lungs.

And they have something in common - young kids.
I hope they will be strong and brave, even though the odds is against them.
May they find strength and peace at the same time.

Om Mani Padme Hum.

One New Experience Each Week - Morning Meditation at Fort Canning Park

Woke up at Sunday 5.30am for the group meditation @ Fort Canning Park
It is a nice place for meditation.

Surprisingly, there was no mosquito while I was meditating.
And the mosquitoes started attacking when I was walking around.
Against my instinct, I brushed aside a mosquito that was sucking my blood.
I spared its life - to train my compassion & tolerance.
It is tough. Not sure if I could do the same next time.