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a little less than the girl next door
today i tried bike-sharing (mobike) for the first time in my life and rediscovered the wonders of singapore's park connectors and everything was simply awesome, including the fact that the ride was totally free (for the whole month of october)! even if it weren't free, it would have been just 50 cents an hour -- such a vast difference from the price they charge at those bike rental shops at east coast park, where you pay, like, $8-$12 per hour and still have to hurriedly cycle back to return the bikes in time and still put up with the cocky attitudes of their staff.

basically plenty of things were really cool about my bike-sharing experience today, starting with the fact that we cycled from home to ecp and then back home, no need to even waste money on any other transport, so fang bian! the way there, we used the bedok park connector, and returned via the siglap pcn; cycled for about 3 hours and a distance of about 35km, according to the app. that's actually quite slow, but that's cos i was made to go slow and also get off and wheel every time we came to a traffic light or overhead bridge, kkml. and also, both park connectors had a section that was closed for construction (especially the bedok one!), so going there, we had to go through stretches and stretches of other people's houses and agar-agar anyhow cycle until we reached bedok south avenue 3 (very near church!) and then anyhow again until we started recognising some bedok army camp that eventually led to east coast park.

then we went on until we reached the lagoon hawker centre and then stuffed myself silly (thereby consuming far more calories than i had spent) before taking the siglap park connector home. the siglap pcn was a far smoother ride and we reached home in exactly half the time we took to get to ecp! but a section was also closed, so we had to do a big round around vj, where i got to take a quick peek into what the school looks like now and mused in my head about how we used to have tutorials in the "container block" and also how we would roll out of class from the back and sneak out of school through the rubbish dump. we were always terrified of getting caught by mr seet or whoever else, and came up with these really ridiculous plans like diving into the dumpsters if he appeared and then popping up holding some half-eaten chicken drumstick we found inside and claiming that we were just having lunch.

the only downside apart from the blocked-up parts of the park connectors was that we couldn't figure out how to switch on the bikes' headlamps at night. they're supposed to be solar-powered, according to the internet, but when we rode, the lamps didn't come on -- anyone know the answer, please tell me hor... i'm sure there's some really simple solution to this and i'll feel damn kkml for not having realised earlier. (just like the time when i moved house and plugged the tv in to the power socket and expected to be able to watch programmes without plugging in the cable. and also the time when i tried to make the washing machine work without switching on the water supply.)

all in all, a very enjoyable and convenient ride, and they've also addressed the anyhow-parking problem by marking out parking spots from place to place; no wonder those bike rental shops are going bust thanks to these bike-sharing businesses. coupled with our park connectors, it's little wonder so many people are using these bikes these days - for leisure as well as just to get out of their housing estates to the nearest bus stop/mrt stations etc. it's actually quite amusing to see some bikes parked outside people's houses; reminds me of colin, hehe. and now that i know the way, i intend to go farther the next time (35km is too little and i am still so fat, so sad) - either to gardens by the bay and back, or the other way to around the changi airport area. oh and by the way, the two mrt stations nearest my place opens next week and apparently it's free mrt rides on the new line next weekend. oh, air-conditioned nation, just what shall i do with you?!
a little less than the girl next door
05 September 2017 @ 04:45 am
dear dear journal, on my first official day of freedom today, i woke up feeling ... a little lost, empty and uncertain. i know it'll all come together soon enough though so i'm not worried about this strange strange feeling of ... just having nothing i'm obliged to do. Read more...Collapse ) i expect that over the course of the next few months, i shall be writing here far more often. will share the full range of my wide variety of (still half-baked) plans in time, haha. <3

有什麼 放不下
昨日如煙火 未來如流沙
誰知道 下一分 下一秒 會如何變化
有什麼 放不下
青春如曇花 歲月如流沙
天再高 地再大 也容不下寂寞啊
a little less than the girl next door
15 August 2017 @ 11:10 pm
"put all other considerations aside and do what is best for the story."
a little less than the girl next door
27 June 2017 @ 07:39 pm
lessons to learn from other people's mistakes. some things -- like credibility, and a solid reputation -- can be so fragile. one wrong move and it can undo all those long years of good work you've put in in the past.
a little less than the girl next door
13 May 2017 @ 10:20 pm
​today, i finally managed to go through a three-year-old, 97-page report ... while getting my hair trimmed. found it still quite insightful, despite having been produced so many years ago. so that i don't have to save it somewhere else, here's a par that particularly resonated with me.

When we have good ideas, we should treat them with the urgency of a news scoop. Otherwise, we risk letting our competitors get there first. A year and a half ago, Andrew Phelps presented his bosses with a tool he developed: an automated, visual homepage of the day’s report. Editors were enthusiastic, but there was no structure to support the initiative and after several months he gave up. More than a year later, an identical feature appeared on The Washington Post website. Immediately, the New York Times business side put out a request for a designer or developer interested in building a visual homepage.
a little less than the girl next door
13 February 2017 @ 10:17 pm

need a positive forward-looking song (albeit from before my time) to balance out another day that has just spelt more changes and chaos ahead.

明日變遷怎麼可知道 何事悲觀信命數
似朝陽正初升 你要自信有光明前路
將一聲聲歎息 化作生命力
懷著信心解開生死結 雲霧消失朗日吐
a little less than the girl next door
i caught up on quite a bit of my readings while i was back in sg. still wish i could have read more and wider, but there's only so much my little brain can take at a time. my reading diet also involved a little bit of self-help -- strangely i'm no longer as averse to self-help as i was as a teen, haha -- given my half-baked plans right before i left hk for the cny hols. here's an article i found quite insightful, though i really wasn't expecting much from its headline.

frankly, i'm not fond of the word "success" -- the definition of success differs from person to person and its societal definition is what has irked me from time to time and caused me a lot of cognitive dissonance over the years. but some bits of these "35 things" stood out for me. hopefully bearing in mind and applying some of these will help make me a better, calmer, more disciplined, less gripeful and generally happier being.
a little less than the girl next door
12 June 2016 @ 11:57 pm
the last time i knew excitement of such proportion was four years ago; be still, please, my heart!!!
a little less than the girl next door
11 February 2016 @ 02:26 am

(you might have read an entry here highly similar to this one a few years ago. here's my attempt at better articulating myself with new thoughts, new feelings, after our latest aru sighting.)

just minutes before i spotted him, we were still wondering where aru might be now, whether he had failed to adapt to the whole new upgraded bedok interchange, whether his family had sent him to a care home, or if he was still around at all.

our re-sighting of him again tonight, well as ever, once more brings us the renewed hope that despite our lives having changed so much that just meeting up has become so tough, aru (and therefore what we share between us) will forever remain constant -- showing up faithfully to hang around seemingly aimlessly at the interchange in the evenings -- even more than a decade after we gave him his name (short for ahsiao rabbit uncle) and made up various backstories for him.

the bus drivers speak to him; they seem familiar with him, even fond of him, which makes me feel 欣慰, thankful for their kindness towards him and a kind of muted warmth. even after we individually moved away and then moved back and then moved away and then moved back again, aru is still around and still the same -- after all these years.

aru is like the embodiment of our relationship, (almost) all our history together, sitting/standing at the interchange waiting for each other's buses while trying to fit everything into our conversations before our buses arrive, from academic concerns to our love lives to work woes to family feuds to random rubbish.

i guess that must be why we both feel a kind of ... melancholic affection for him (to the extent that i asked, "could it be true love?!") and hope that he will remain the same, keeping to his interchange routine seemingly ailment-free and worry-free forever?

其实…其实 aru 就是我们。
a little less than the girl next door
10 January 2016 @ 08:57 pm

He was bent over her bed, tending to her, when I checked into the ward. Soothing 70s songs were playing softly from a music player on a stand nearby. The tunes -- their lyrics sometimes in English, sometimes French or Italian, sometimes Chinese -- sounded straight out of a radio from a time long past.

Crooning to her, caressing her face on and off and fussing around her with a small wet towel in hand, he never took his attention from her, never spared a glance for who was checking into the ward and making all that check-in noise around them that day.

At first, I thought she had mere days, maybe hours, left. How else could one find such focus, such devotion to care so single-mindedly for a person who couldn't move, couldn't converse, couldn't interact, could only stare back seemingly emptily and make choking, gurgling, difficulty-breathing noises at you?

I was wrong.


"He had to rush home last night to prepare dinner for their son ... Already a working adult and can't even buy his own food from outside, let alone cook for himself."

"And he didn't just buy food home for their son, you know? He went and bought food home to cook for him."

"That's why I say, that's what happens when there's no woman in the family."

"It's really not easy, having to shuttle from place to place..."

"It's the school holidays in Taiwan now, this week ... He'll be flying back next month."

"He's really one of a kind."

"Yes, my boss is really...

"But I told him he can't expect to care for her 15 hours a day every day; he's not a professional ... She's stable ... Do you know he slept on this chair here the other day?"

"I've already introduced another caregiver friend to him ... Even if he pays me $2,000, I also can't do this for so long la; it's crazy."

One can really learn a lot from nurses gossiping among themselves.


I was playing around with my unappetising dinner, pushing plain mashed potato around the plate, feeling nauseated and sorry for myself, when he started sobbing -- not loudly, but audibly, and sorrowfully -- from behind the pink curtains half-drawn around her bed.

The weeping was over in seconds. He blew his nose into a hanky, cleared his throat, stood up, and went right back to tending to her, cupping her face in his hands, speaking gently close to her.

He had been here for at least six hours today. Standing over the bed, he would sing to her. He must have had some choir training, if not opera; it was a trained voice with which he sang. But he would stop at some songs.

Longer than there've been fishes in the ocean,
Higher than any bird ever flew,
Longer than there've been stars up in the heavens,
I've been in love with you...

This was one song he skipped.

Why, I wondered. Was it not true? Or was it too true? Did he find it cheesy? Or was he overcome by emotion?

But what did it matter.

He didn't have to say it, didn't need to sing it; surely this man knows love.