Saturday, 29th April '06
I'm currently mildly annoyed that I have to type this on TextEditor and save it to put on the blog later, simply because the YMCA Internet connection has gone funny on me again. Phooey.
Anyways. Saying goodbye to people is a bitch. FOUR goodbyes in two days. Which makes it a total of NINE goodbyes said and two people missed. But oh well about that. Last semester there was really only the three law Aussies to say goodbye to and one Jess, and the G-Unit generally. This semester I know too many people. Maybe it's not about missing all the specific persons, but it's the drawing to a close that's kind of disgusting. And farewell dinner after farewell lunches, it's like one is supposed to keep in a perpetual sad state, which is somewhat tiring.
The thing about it all is that in some weird enough way, you KNOW you won't be keeping in touch with everyone. Much as you promise to. Thinking about it, there are people here I'd call friends that honestly, I would never have made friends with in any ordinary circumstances. *shrug* Call it International Adaptability.
Speaking of which, that came up over dinner today with Solene (the last French and last girl left standing). I thought maybe it was just me, but she mentioned she was a bit nervous about going home. I knew I was, particularly because of the vastly different cultures. Like how last Saturday I was telling Kai some stories and she was like "OMG, Koh En Ying, you did WHAT?" and I had to say that it was really NOTHING. Yeah, back home it would have been a rather large SOMETHING, but my point is that perception is governed by the norm you judge it against. And the norms have about 2 weeks to shift back or at least re-sensitise to what they were before.
Ok, re-sensitise. I don't want them to shift back, or the whole point of exchange and the mind-opening thing would be defeated.
But back to Solene. It was comforting hearing that from her, in a way, because the French culture's being closer to Halifax's and the fact that she's been here only since January somehow "legitimized" my feelings of weirdness. It's nice to know someone else shares your worries about fitting back into the whole scheme of things back home. For one thing, I'm not sure I'm going to react too well to being in a homogenous culture again. Well, Singapore is far from homogenous, but it's more a question of a disturbing sense of comfort. I think I got so used to having my comfort zone challenged here that if it were to be too easy again back home I'd go a little crazy. Older people, federalism, drunker people, different notions of entertainment, vastly different views on subjects, being the odd one out (kena diaoed for being the only Dal, the only Asian, the only girl - and believe me the problem with the last one is not, as Michi says, the problem of being spoilt for choice. Nah, the boys are great, at the very least for widening the breadth of the aforementioned perception).
Did I also mention I'm thinking of getting a dog again? Reading the literature on the net today I got a sense of how much I do miss Rio. I haven't actually thought about it since a year ago.
Bah. That's enough thoughtfulness for the day. Should save it all up for a big spew just before I leave. Maybe on the plane, I dunno. I hear SIA flights have wireless now, woohoo.
Anyhoo. After dinner with Solene, I went to the movies to watch "Hard Candy". Ok, this was THE BEST movie I have seen all year. Maybe I'm partial to Indie flicks, and character-driven stories with static sets, but this even beat out "V for Vendetta". Great premise, awesome cinematography, and impeccable acting. I was incredibly impressed with the lead actress's performance. She's only 18, for crying out loud, but her performance showed an understanding of a 14 year old's shyness, frailty, and sincerity mixed with a hardened, twisted, even psychopathic conviction. She's Ellen Page, by the way, from Halifax and as I just found out, Debbie's former classmate. She'll be Shadowcat in the coming X3.
And how often can you hinge a two hour movie almost entirely on the interaction between two characters, in one set, with no costume changes and no soundtrack. The tension they created was so thick you could cut it with a butterknife, and then intermittently fine-tuned (but not dissipated) with real gems of lines like "shall we see how far they can bounce?" or "I guess they weren't made of brass!". I think all guys should watch this movie, just so I can watch their reactions. Ha. Even I was squirming.
So if they show it back home - and I think they would, maybe with a "Mature Audiences over 18" tag - go see! Also, note to self, the movie "Brick" also looks like it's going to be a really good one.
Right, that's it. I need my sleep.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 10:21 pm
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Thursday, 27th April '06
This is going to be a collection of completely randomised sentences.
Yawn. I'm really sleepy. All this running around Halifax is too much. In two days I have been in and out of Second Cup, Dharma Sushi, that Bishop's Landing Gelato Place, Tim Horton's, Kara's, MexicaLindo, Il Mercato, Split Crow, Perks, MEC, Loomis, Le Chateau, DioMio and the Computer Science Lab.
I'm so tired. Geez.
And my head is woozy and my stomach is a little more than vaguely unsettled. I think it was either the Katamari (funny little PlayStation game that involves rolling this sticky ball thing and picking up all kinds of crap. Ingenious idea but it creeps me out because it reminds me of the kind of nightmares I used to have when I was five) or the Calamari from the Split Crow.
Thank God my annoying neighbour isn't pissing me off tonight.
I've been so hyper-cum-mellow of late, it's a little bit confusing. I think the hair colour got to my head.
Would you believe one of Mark (Leung's) Retardism videos mad it to MTV Uber's Clip of the Week? I'm dying to watch it but they don't support Macs.
Also been cussing too much recently.
Restless, restless, restless.
It's like I want to go out and do stuff because I can't sit still for long, and I also feel like I really should hang with the folks before I never see them again. But then I'm also starved for me-time. But then I get bored of me-time.
Vic and I are also fast exhausting ideas on what to do in the daytime. Halifax is nice for the partying, but in the daytime, not so exciting.
This blog probably also needs a new layout. Might make a commemorative Halifax one, only I'm not into fuzzy pastel looking layouts.
Brio on Spring Garden sells Bloch and Capezio dance sneakers. OH MY WORD. Finally, after 3 years of waiting and using those crap-ass Sanshas, I'm going to get REAL dance sneakers. Now we wait for 80 bucks to fall from the sky.
Was also thinking how my life in Singapore and my life in Halifax don't mix. Lunch today weirded me out a little - it was like mixing things that shouldn't be mixed (like Lingwei, a reminder of home, with whom the old Singapore ettiquettes feel they must be followed, and all the other dudes with whom I interact with completely differently). It's like it's hard to strike a balance, I can't be half-Singaporean and half-En ying the exchange student at the same time.
Doesn't that also make you think of how many sides to one person there can be? Feeling schizo, in a way. I'm a different person with so many groups. It's always been my thing to be able to get along with any group of people - I can survive with the cool people, and the geeks love me. But then sometimes one gets to feeling caught in the middle. It's not bad, it's just weird.
I think Vicki's weirded out mood has totally rubbed off.
Shall go read a book and get some sleep.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 10:37 pm
[5 photographs developed.]
(Yup, Ave, you can now tell me if I spelt the title wrongly.)
Alright. It's finally official. I'm coming home. Leaving Halifax on the 15th of May and arriving at home at 6:30am on the 17th of May. I'm actually taking Singapore Airlines all the way from Newark to Changi - which looks set to be more than a 24 hour ride. I have Henghwa's assurances that I will not die or get deep vein thrombosis, but it's still going to be a mother-long trip. If the person next to me is fat, smelly or both, I think I might just kill myself.
I have to pass through the US' shitty customs again. Damn.
It also means the stopovers in London to visit all the darlings in Cam, UCL, LSE, King's etc isn't going to work out. The financials compell me to take the cheapest ride home, and really, I should spend some time with the parents. Dad's pretty estatic that Singapore's markets have hit a bull run and wants me to go home to
(a) sit in front of the TV and flip the TELETEX with him,
(b) figure out a way to hook the iPod to the new Honda Civic (but I don't think he's about to let me drive it anytime soon,
(c) pick him out a plasma screen with which to watch the World Cup (and then I told him I know people who are going to see the live games and now he's jealous. Boys never do grow up.)
So I was like: what's wrong with the old TV? Why've you got to spend money on a PLASMA SCREEN? Money grow on trees is it?
And Dad said: watch football mah. World Cup; must have big screen. Piang eh.
No one in my house watches enough TV to make this worth it. But my Daddy's damn cute lah.
In other news, it's been great having the final exams of exchange over with, and just hanging out and chilling. Had a big "Singapore Day" yesterday, and met up with Vicki, Bryan, Alvin and Lingwei. And you know what happens when you put any group of Singaporean males together, don't you? They talk ARMY. And that's ok with me, I suppose, because National Service stories are the most hilarious things to come out of Singapore. Alvin was totally the best - you should have just observed how his English degenerated in 4 hours. Alvin, by the way, is a TRUE BLUE Ah Beng. The "last-time-got-join-secret-society" type. So when we first met up in Second Cup, it was all good, he was speaking proper English, all trained up from 2 years in Canada. There was even a little North American accent. A lunch and two scoops of gelato later, he was regaling us with stories of his army life as a storeman and in particular, the woes of having a Lee Kuan Yew scholar as his understudy:"Wah liao eh, I this kind ah, get Lee Kuan Yew scholar come be my understudy. Dunno what kind of things also I teach him. Macaam I do the nation some harm like that. Kanina. We all everyday sit there play Pokimon only; then got things missing from the store right? Then we go other people side and kope. I dunno do two years dunno kope how much from who, man."
Or the things that the sneaky bastards do in the Army:"Wah, eh, you want tricks I tell you we got better one. You go find the guy, the going to ORD already one, then you ask him come sign the form. Then you tell the Sir, say: Sir, this one gone already, I cannot catch back the equipment leh, how?"
Or the bad fashion sense they exercised:"I working in store that time, I wear the Army shirt with the camo pants. And then at the bottom? Slipper. But my place there got one guy better one. He everyday wear full PT Kit. And at the bottom - wear army boot."
HOW COOL LAH. It was so strange but so refreshing to hear full blown Benglish in the middle of Halifax. Well. For me, anyway. Vicki was in shock, i think (you guys would know why). In any case we were howling with laughter all the way. At least no one used the word "Ociffer". I would have keeled over laughing and died from lack of oxygen.
The next thing I learnt is that getting one's hair coloured in Halifax is super cheap. I got a cut and colour (bleach, hot pink and blue) for CAN$64 (tax included). I was actually supposed to go a 10-foil special, but getting pally with the hairdresser always helps. I think she went a bit crazy, so I got even more than my money's worth. I love the hair people here - they actually LISTEN to me. The hairdressers in Singapore are so timid, they just keep telling me that the stuff I want to do isn't going to work. And they never dare to go mad with the layers. Maybe it's also because I can never fully express what I want in Chinese, and then they try to hoodwink me in jargon about "fruit acid" and "ozone treatments" that I really don't need.
And the last thing is that I may have to get into a full-fledged fight with my next door neighbour soon. She had about 8 drunk friends over again last night, and when I went to tell them to shut up (for the millionth time), I had a run in with one of her weasely-looking friends. The little fuckface called me a bitch when I wouldn't tell him my name and what I was doing tomorrow night. Now why the HELL would I want to do that?
I just don't UNDERSTAND these people.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:42 pm
[3 photographs developed.]
Wednesday, 26th April '06
So, Fannie sent this awesome clip from a Herbert Grönemeyer MTV to the Dance Ensemble Yahoogroups a while back. I never had time to link
it, but it's good. Tzo, this is mostly for you, I think. Go to the site and click on the 2003 music videos, and it's the third video from the top. It's Polina Seminova? I don't know who she is - maybe you do.
After that nice little clip, Juraimy sends a freakish Thai Dance video clip. I'm not going to load it, it really IS rather freaky. Nails and all. Not my kind of thing. It was pretty amazing that it was performed by a troupe of Deaf dancers, and they were all in perfect timing. I mean it wasn't my cup of tea, but nonetheless impressive.
And THEN, Julius follows it up with THIS
. Kaoz. It's DISGUSTING. I don't even know what language that's in. Taiwanese? Canto? Whatever it is, three hapless people bopping in the middle of a forest with typical classic Chinese screechy vocals, that repetitive nonsense songs that these "mountain songs" tend to have tacked on. And I can barely understand what they're saying, but the subtitles suggest to me that the fact they call each other "little brother" and "little sister" is SO WRONG. I know I know, it's the classic way people used to talk (I suppose it's the Chinese equivalent of the Spanish "Papi"). There's another even worse vid
Someone please explain to me what all those songs are going on about, because my vague notions of what they're singing is just... disturbing.
The only person who can sing mountain songs is A*mei lah.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 09:57 am
[well, the pictures aren't going to take themselves!]
Sunday, 23rd April '06
If you didn't know there was something more repulsive than Singlish written down, there's always Benglish to take it to a new low. That having been said, the KennySia Benglish Translator is deceptively good - not in its ability to take a perfectly respectible website and Bengify it, but just because it looks authentic and as if that was the way it was supposed to be.
See, for example, my "European Boys are Best Served Drunk"
entry. Beware, it REALLY is rather crude, seeing as the transalator works by turning every
"I" --> "Limpeh"
"guy" --> "pukima"
"him" --> "lan jiao face"
"he" --> "cheebye kia"
I shouldn't even be TYPING words like these. Even my Mum wouldn't approve. She being the first person I ever heard calling someone a "pukima" - I believe road rage runs in the family
. It's amazing how many Chinese swear words we have to describe genitals.
Speaking of which, I think I had a discussion with some of the guys a while back and I've decided that Hokkien is the premier language of swearing. No other language has swear words as nasty as we do.
I have a high threshold for Singlish, but even this is a bit much.
HOWEVER, the Benglish Translator does have ONE saving grace - the fact that it can translate TZO'S words into Benglish. I love the way her comment now reads:"Glad the show was damn power -- then again why wouldn't it be? Meanwhile Limpeh plod away at burning the 2am desk lamp (!!). Try not to feel too sad about peepur leaving... you can try to keep in touch (with the chao ginahs anyway ) and there are plenty of peepur back home who miss you wa si sure!"
Now the mere thought of something like that coming from Tzo sends me into convulsions.
And you'll excuse the Jefferson Starship endline, please. I'm tired from mugging.We built this city on rock and roll!
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 01:22 am
[10 photographs developed.]
Saturday, 22nd April '06
Speaking of drunken prawns - I miss live seafood so much. I'm going to hit the Pepper Crab and Drunken Prawns the moment I get home, man.
Stars on Ice was also amazing. I swear, I could literally feel the buzz of being in the presence of greatness. Let me give you a rundown of the marquee names we saw:
- Kurt Browning
(and Ryder gives himself 2 pats on the shoulder because Kurt's from Edmunton, Alberta) And I'm such a sucker I got an autographed poster. Heh.
- Elvis Stojko
(Ontario) His Fox on Ice program to "You Really Got Me" by the Kinks was the FIRST real program I ever saw. I was 10, and hooked forever. So you can imagine me squealing away when he came out.
- Todd Eldredge
(USA) Veteren, man. And I didn't even know he was performing. But when I saw the intro skate, and he did his distinctive goofy-axel (left-handed) I sat up and went "WHAT?". There's really only one elite male goofy skater.
- Jeff Buttle
(Ontario) All fresh from his Olympic Bronze medal last February. Sigh. He was rather a disappointment. As everyone knows, his expressions and lines are gorgeous (total heart melt when he did James Blunt's "High") but he was obviously stressed out. I guess you could cut some slack for that. The only Canadian skater who placed this year, and thrown in with the best of the best. But falling on double loops is a bit unforgivable, for an Olympian.
- Joannie Rochette
(Quebec) Techically pretty strong, but somehow she always seems a bit too heavy set to really go the distance. But definitely a deserving Canadian champion.
- Shen & Zhao
(China) I never realised how good these guys were. And I mean REALLY GOOD. Humongous split-twists, clean smooth lifts, and impeccable musicality.
- Salé & Pelletier
(Calgary & Quebec) Canada's golden couple, really. Olympic scandal or not, clear out Gold standard.
- Ina & Zimmerman
(USA) Another couple of veterens I've been watching forever, and so great to see live. They had the audience really gasping at some of the insane stunts they pulled to "Vertigo". Breathtaking.
- Jennifer Robinson
A Canadian too, but I didn't really care for her skating. It was a little weird that she was cast, because everyone there was a champion and she... wasn't.
Vic and I were laughing ourselves stupid - the whole production reeked (in a good way) of Scott Hamilton's goofy humour, and Kurt Browning and Elvis Stojko were such CLOWNS. I mean, they were the laujiao
around, so everyone let them do whatever they wanted. And they fooled around at the edges stealing the limelight from the people ACTUALLY skating. Clowns. But so lovable. And Kurt in LEATHER PANTS! *grins widely* Ok, Vicki says it was more like PVC.
It was techically and artistically the best show I've EVER seen. Granted, nothing real like this ever came to Singapore, and Disney on Ice counts for shit. I think what I liked the best was the VISION behind it, and the desire to break away from the bastardisation of commercial skating (read: Disney on Ice) and give the people strong technical and artistic programs focusing on the skating and spirit again, and less on storylines and plots and other gimmicks. A back to basics good time, is what I had.
In other news, the end is nigh. All SMU students have finished all their exams and spent last night getting smashed. Well, the guys anyway. Last night seemed to be a night for the girls to be rather reticent, which made it a little less fun than it could have been. But the guys - ha! That's why I say European boys are best served drunk. Freddy was so friggin' hammered I couldn't stop laughing. You'd have to know how well-mannered and nice he is when he's sober to compare the madcap thing he is when drunk. Poor Susann. I was like: "Susann! Take your Freddy in hand. NOW!" And whoo, never underestimate the drunken Italians. When you have two hot-blooded Italians to yourself, you don't complain.
*chuckle* It was pretty damn hilarious at times, though, and I'd be quite tickled to find out how much of it they remember. Apparently Michi has self-proclaimed himself my "boyfriend" and I have promised to wait for him to come and marry me in Singapore.
Um, mama mia
? Now that boy puts even Jem
to shame for being an XXXXX.
It's sad though, that it's the last time I'll see some of the folks. Susann, Clo and Andre leave on Sunday. The end has begun. Boo.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 08:06 am
[5 photographs developed.]
Thursday, 20th April '06
Argh. Family law exam was completeed about half an hour ago. I still haven't regained the feeling in my right elbow. All this touchy-feely stuff isn't for me at all. It's the first time in my life I knew better what to do for the policy-based essay then for the hypotheticals. Grrr.
PASS-FAIL, EN YING, IT'S ONLY PASS-FAIL.
Why do I have to be such an incorrigible, anal perfectionist? It's exchange. I'm SUPPOSED to make exact calculations and pass by the skin of my teeth. BLEUGH.
Anyhow. I'm refusing to do work right now and wondering if I should go play ball or watch some madcap comedy or go get my Securities Regulation text and start mugging.
Did I mention that STARS ON ICE is tonight? Qiong, I get to see Kurt Browning live. *muahaha*. It's all rather exciting, but I'm feeling a little guilty about not studying. Especially since this semester has seen me turn into a bigger bum than even my exchange philosophy can handle.
In other news, the Pandora Music Genome Project is one hell of a piece of work. It's free streamed radio, but catered to your music taste based on the qualities of an artist or a song you enter. And it's got a really good database too - obscure to famous artists. Very nice, I'm hooked.
Argh, brain ache.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 12:31 pm
[2 photographs developed.]
Monday, 17th April '06
How considerate. There's actually a soundtrack to my Family Law studying; check out these topics:MarriageAnd he knew as long as this old world kept turning
He wanted her by his side
So with a ring and a nervous smile
And some lines that he'd rehearsed
He said the sweetest words that she'd ever heard
And she said: "Yes," to his whole-hearted request.
And they'll hold on for dear life 'til the last stars fade.
No they won't let go, it's beyond their control
They lit a flame with a match God had made
When she said: "Yes."
-- Rhett Akins, "And She Said Yes"Separation and Domestic ContractsIf you ain't no punk holla "We Want Prenupt"
("WE WANT PRENUPT!")
Yeah, it's something that you need to have
'Cause when she leave yo' ass she gon' leave with half
18 years, 18 years
And on the 18th birthday he found out it weren't his!
-- Kanye West and Jamie Foxx, "Gold Digger"
I actually really like this stanza. That "on the 18th birthday he found out it weren't his" cracks me up everytime.Divorce & Property DivisionI told you why I changed my mind; I got bored by playing with time
I know you thought you had me nailed, but I've freed my head from your garden rails
Now it's a legal matter, baby
You got me on the run
It's a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on
My mind's lost in a household fog; wedding gowns and catalogs
Kitchen furnishings and houses; maternity clothes and baby's trousers
Now it's a legal matter, baby
Marrying's no fun
It's a legal matter, baby
A legal matter from now on
-- The Who, "A Legal Matter"Custody & AccessCrazy joy when I see the eyes of my baby boy
I pledge to you I will always do everything I can
Show you how to be a man
Dignity, integrity, honour and
I don’t mind if you lose long as you came with it
An you can cry - ain’t no shame in it
It didn’t work out with me and your Mom
But, yo, push come to shove
You was conceived in love
So if the world attacks and you slide off track
Remember one fact:
I got your back
-- Will Smith, "Just the Two of Us"Child & Spousal SupportI know somebody payin' child support for one of his kids
His baby momma's car and crib is bigger than his
You will see him on TV, Any Given Sunday
Win the Superbowl and drive off in a Hyundai
She was s'pose to buy ya shorty TYCO with ya money
She went to the doctor got lipo' with ya money
She walkin around lookin like Micheal with ya money
Should of got that insured, got GEICO for ya moneeey
-- Kanye West & Jamie Foxx, "Gold Digger"Domestic Violence / Child Protection我听说通常在战争后就会换来和平
从小到大只有妈妈的温暖 为什么我爸爸 那么凶
如果真的我有一双翅膀 二双翅膀 随时出发
偷偷出发 我一定带我妈走 从前的教育
-- 周杰伦, "爸我回来了"
Must. Stop. Time. Wasting.
en ying snapped a shot of life @ 04:15 pm
[3 photographs developed.]
Sunday, 16th April '06