Wednesday, July 29, 2009


I'm tired.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Bye Cape, Hello Vineyard

Loading pictures on Blogger is such a pain. At least now they don't erase entire posts when there's something wrong and the page closes by itself. If that happened at the end of this post, I think I'd feel like throwing something breakable at the wall.

Anyway, I should really stop blogging so much about my personal life and more about what I'm doing on my little "excursions" eh? Lest I say something I cannot take back...

So since last Friday, I moved from Cape Cod to a nearby island called Martha's Vineyard. If you click on the picture you'll be able to see more clearly where I was and am.

Even before leaving, I knew that the thing I'd miss the most about Cape Cod was the sunsets over Cape Cod Bay. They are amazingly breathtaking (ran out of adjectives) and they are different every minute, everyday. Just like there are no two people on earth with the same fingerprint- there are probably no two sunsets with the same colour combinations that are ever repeated.

The sad thing about sunsets is that they end so quickly. As with everything good and lovely in this world... Summer comes and goes like a whiff of roses in the flying wind. Nothing stays the same forever here, especially not the beach where the tides change the face of the beach constantly.

But on Friday it was time to go so we packed everything into the car and drove off to the port. The only ways to get onto Martha's Vineyard is by ferry or by plane and since we had to bring the car over, we drove the car right onto the ferry for a 45 minute journey over the waters.

The boat of course was packed as usual since many people live in Cape Cod but work on Martha's Vineyard. As I soon found out, Martha's Vineyard is one of the most expensive places to live. Quoting from Wiki: "A study by the Martha's Vineyard Commission found that the cost of living on the island is 60 percent higher than the national average and housing prices are 96 percent higher." No wonder people like to ferry over to Cape Cod to get groceries. A normal packet of mince beef here can cost 10USD while it would usually be 5USD.

So we get to the house and it is absolutely wonderful. The estate is filled with 5 acres (about one and two thirds of a football/soccer field) of meticulously arranged gardens lined with statues, rare trees and flowers as well as ponds and fountains. I felt as if I had returned to Singapore's Botanical Gardens for a visit. Also, these people are obsessed with Chinese art so there are old chinese vases, carvings, chairs, etc littered around the place.

The estate has a main house as well as a gigantic guest house which we are currently living in. The house below is just the guest house. All I can say is, it is ginormous and as I sit here typing in the living room, the sound of my typing is echoing off the cavernous walls of this house.
This is just one half of the living room. The other half looks the same. There are two fireplaces facing each other and to walk between the two takes about thirty steps. I like that hanging beside this fireplace is a poster that says "Singapore/Kuala Lumpur" on it. Totally a pleasant surprise! There's a tiger and the Raffles Hotel proudly drawn on it. Apparently it's a vintage poster that the owners of this house bought at an auction... blah blah blah... Another way of saying "expensive". But it looks like something you can copy off of Google images and enlarge it then print it...
Right next to the house is a barn where people keep their horses for a monthly rent. Everyday I will walk there with the baby to give the horses some carrots or just to pet them. I never imagined in my life that I'd live so close to one of my favourite animals in the world. I had always dreamed of owning a horse (who hasn't?) but by the looks of it, it might as well always just be a dream... Keeping a horse is so expensive! The barnkeeper said rent there was 160USD a month and on top of that you have to pay for food, hay, care, shots, etc... And horses themselves don't come cheap of course.

Then after working Friday and Saturday, I had Sunday off. The lady I work for brought me a map from the gas station (petrol kiosk) of the nearby towns so that was where I went.


A mere 15 minutes walk from the house, Edgartown, as every other town I've seen around Cape Cod, is very pretty. A quaint little village by the sea, Edgartown has a strong whaling and sailing tradition that I could sense even just by walking down the little streets. First of all, most of the houses there date back to the 1800s. On most of these houses, you'll see the year it was built stamped across the front of the porch. Many of these houses were also captains' houses and you'll know that because there are signs hanging out front saying "Captain so-and-so's house".

Also, if you still remember the movie "Jaws" about a great white shark that terrorizes a beach community of Amity; it was shot here in the Edgartown area. Many people regard the town of Amity to be a fictional version of Edgartown.
Everywhere I walked, I heard old people chit-chatting about sailing, fishing and other sea-related talk. There's even an old whaling church down Main Street. I truly felt the pride people had in their way of life here but also that it was a rather exclusive community that didn't look too interested in welcoming outsiders to settle down. They are fine with tourists of course, since Martha's Vineyard has long abandoned whaling as their main source of income and now relies on tourism to run the island's economy.

In fact, Martha's Vineyard is a favourite destination for many serious celebrities such as the Clintons who are known for being regular visitors to the Vineyard. The Kennedys also used to vacation here. Last year Reese Witherspoon and Jake Gyllenhaal were spotted with their kids on the beaches not far from here. Beyonce and Jay-Z came too. And most excitingly, Obama is expected to arrive with his family and entourage during the last two weeks of August to a town not far from where I am. He has not even made it here yet and people are already talking about the possible traffic jams he may cause with his presence. Apparently whenever Obama travels, he brings with him a few hundred people including secret service agents, press people, etc. The town of Oak Bluffs (about two hours walking from where I am) is in turn anticipating some sort of economic relief to come from this injection of White House money into its recession-affected tourist market.

Anyway it was a lovely morning to be strolling down 18th century-styled streets breathing in 21st century salty sea air.

I dropped in as many shops as I could but was completely turned off by the exhorbitant prices on many China-made goods. 50 dollars for a shopping bag made out of recycled vietnamese rice sacks? No thanks.

No thanks for me, but the more affluent tourists were lapping it all up in glee. The most interesting thing to do instead was really just to people-watch. It was truly eye-opening because you seldom see such people out in force. They were dressed in clean white American "Ralph Lauren" type clothes; most looked as if they just stepped out of a family clothing catalog and they all looked so gay--- as in happy. But not everybody looked happy.

It was Sunday but I felt weird entering one of those churches as the only person dressed in all black. It seems as if I was somebody who had not gotten word that the only colours that you were allowed to wear to this particular town was white, light pink, blue, light yellow, light green and khaki pants. I also felt weird since most people were already staring at me anyway. Perhaps they thought I was one of those native American Indians that used to live primarily on this island before the English came.
I had been walking around Edgartown for about four hours nonstop so I decided to walk home for a breather and a snack. But when 1400 arrived, I thought I'd try to walk to Oak Bluffs. At that time, I had no idea that it would take me anywhere between two to two and a half hours on foot to get there. So off I went, so sure of myself that I'd be able to get there and back before 1850.
Of course I didn't make it to Oak Bluffs But I made it to the jetty where I sat for about an hour eating my salted preserved fish, listening to the song that's playing on my blog right now. I found out later that this was one of the places where "Jaws" was filmed.
The water was so clean...

Looking off of the bridge where people crowd in queues waiting to jump off into the icy waters below... Are they crazy?
But as the sun sank lower, I realised that I still had a long way to walk before I reached the house. I haven't had such a long walk since last summer but I'm glad I took it. My legs felt like jelly when I got home but I gained so much more that I can't explain...
There shall be more adventures soon. I have the morning off tomorrow and I plan to use it...

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I am thinking of making this blog private, or just creating a new one.

I'm bored and I lost my phone. I already cut my hair, what else can I do?

If only bad things in life were as easy to erase as a blog. If only words that fly out can be caught again. But alas, we all know that that's impossible.

I wonder where my phone is lying right now... In a day or two, it should completely run out of battery- so no matter how many times I dial my number, the phone won't vibrate loud enough for me to hear. Not that I hear it anywhere now anyway.

It's strange being without a phone. Almost as if the last door to civillisation just closed on me. I've already been hunting around for a new phone but everything out there is so overpriced right now. And yes, I'd like to hold something that I think is cute. Too bad the pretty phones are usually the more expensive ones.

Which makes me think again--- do I really really really need a phone?

The thing is, I don't really talk to that many people on my phone and the most important times that I need to be on the phone is usually when I'm driving to keep myself awake.

I don't have a boyfriend/husband, kids, or a specific family member or friend who I can't keep in touch with over Skype anyway.

I think I may just suspend my account for a month to see what turns up.

In the meantime, I suppose I should enjoy this God-given time away from that electromagnetic wave emitting thingamajiggy.

I don't really feel like spending my hard earned money so quickly anyway.

Monday, July 13, 2009


I don't know where all my energy is coming from, but I woke up at 7 this morning, ran around after the baby all day, cleaned up around the house, did the laundry, cooked dinner for six and just finished my workout in record time.

This just goes to show that I can't go without praying in the morning...

I have to work in again in about an hour.

Au revoir!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Thinking About The Future

Like one of the many young adults nowadays, I'm completely clueless as to what to do with the rest of my life. Actually, most people would already have some sort of clue as to what they want to accomplish in the future. But I don't even have that. I can't say what I would see myself doing even the year after I graduate.

Yet even though I am plan-less, I feel ready for anything.

Although college hasn't taught me much, it's the past few summers that have imparted more important knowledge to me. I see now that Singapore is only where she is because her founders were willing to accept the unfair conditions of life in hope of a better one for their descendants. Those who rarely complained were prized employees who were eventually handed more responsibilities because of their hardworking spirit.

Times may have changed drastically but the values that create a strong and proud nation are still the same.

Being in Cape Cod, I've been exposed to a wealthy community that is also rich in Puritan history. Cape Cod may be halfway across the world from Singapore, but the same values brought the people where they are today.

The first people to arrive at this spot had to endure hardships that the average Joe today would most certainly buckle under. They were starved, tired, confused and homesick for their whole lives. But because of their great sacrifice and because some of them stuck it out and were determined to forge a life despite the circumstances, their descendants are now blessed to enjoy the fruits of generations of hard work by their forefathers.

I see now that a simple action or habit transfers not just to the next generation, but to the fourth, fifth and other generations.

So many of us now take our blessings for granted because our parents or grandparents have failed to make us understand the usefulness of hard work. And I cringe from using the word "meaning" instead of "usefulness" because at the end of the day, hard work and material wealth holds no meaning at all.

Leaving childhood to me is like waking up from a lovely dream. Not that life is a nightmare, but that the dream was so lovely that it made me not want to live in reality at all.

If I ever have a child, I don't care if the child grows up being a happy kid or not. All I care about is that the child understands that in this life, nobody will hand you anything for free, that compassion is the key; and the kid better have good manners or he/she is going to spend a lot of time in the doghouse.

Well I don't know...

I guess this is what you start thinking about when you have a day off and there is absolutely nothing to do but dread the sound of the alarm in the morning.

I told Tanya a few days ago that I feel as if I've been living in a bubble for a long time and today I felt it even more than ever before. I wonder how my grandmothers are doing. I thought about the last time that I hung out with them and it was a long time ago.

Sometimes I'm not sure if I'm becoming the person that God wants me to be, but I trust that he's already putting the tracks in place.
Life has been such a strange rollercoaster for me. Twenty years gone...

You know how as a child most of us have aspired to become something? Policeman, astronaut, teacher, doctor... I just wonder, what am I that good at that I can fall neatly into one of those molds? Can I just be a successful human being? Success...... I remember having to write an exam essay on that very topic. And until today I still stand firm in the belief that success is inside of you. But I don't feel very successful these days...

I cut my hair about four days ago. And my favourite colour is no longer red. it's blue.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

And On The Seventh Day...

So this is what it feels like to work six days a week on minimum wage for 12 hours straight everyday!

Talk about engaging in character-building activities over the summer..

After an exhausting day of forcing myself to smile at vile spoiled children, picking up after their hurricane leftover trail of toys, chasing after an 8 month old who just learnt to crawl, I realised that I enjoy my job now even more than ever.

Yes, everything about it sucks so much that I have to fight the temptation to curse in Russian (and I failed a few times). But at the end of the day, when the children fall into sweet tempers and the adults make me feel indispensible, it makes every misery seem so small and far away.

Then of course the alarm clock rings at 0645 the next morning and I have to pray fervently for His support again.

Thank God for the one precious hour I have each day to run just before the sun sets. Thank God for all the pine trees around here that smell just like Washington State. And also thank you so much, God, for the ten extra dollars that I earned this week for the extra 20 hours that I put in. It seems so little but it meant a lot. Thank God for the moon over Cape Cod Bay, for Tanya and Vitaly on the phone, for protection, love, mercy, hydrangeas (seriously, almost every house around here has at least one bush! Now I know whose soil is super alkaline and whose is acidic!), church fairs in the morning, clam chowder, colonial houses, health, wealth and peace...

I can't believe life gets better when it's harder.

It doesn't make any sense!

Thursday, July 09, 2009

Drunk On Cape Cod Air

No description, picture, song or book can ever come close to what moonlight over Cape Cod Bay feels like. So I won't even attempt to retell the flood of happiness I experienced while lying under a blanket of stars, listening to the waves sweeping and breaking on the shore.

I suppose this is what it comes down to.

Throughout the day I slave away for a pay below minimum wage, only for these few hours of heaven that I'm allowed some evenings. Soon we will have to move to another island and there will be another kind of heaven; but for now I am determined to soak up as much salty bay air and to step in as much soft Cape sand as possible.

We really only have a week or so left here so if I want to sleep at the beach, I'll have to do it really soon.

I was tempted to do it tonight, but I went to the beach unprepared. It was 12 Celsius and slightly windy and I didn't even have socks on. Tomorrow I shall go armed with a blanket and socks. I will sleep under the stars and try to block out the brilliant moonlight with my hair over my eyes. My feet will hang over the lifeguard's chair, warm and snug in their pink socks and my trusty alarm clock (handphone) shall lie next to my ear, ready to sound at 0645.

I'd better go to bed now...

Adios, amigos y amigas!

Tuesday, July 07, 2009

Do I Cop Out?

This morning, I woke up and went upstairs as usual, except that things didn't quite happen the way they usually did.

Within a few minutes of being awake, the grandmother started screaming and belabouring at me. She yells at me for not getting to work on time, for not taking care of the children the way I'm supposed to, for not doing all sorts of other little things the way they are supposed to be done.

Throughout her entire tirade, I didn't do anything besides nod and say "ok... mm hmm... I see your point".

And although most of her points were invalid, I did see her point.

Due to a misunderstanding, I was getting to work at 0845 instead of 0830 everyday for the past three weeks.

Her ranting made me feel as if I were 7 years old again and like my mother was going to discipline me. She was speaking to me as if I were a retarded dumb person who didn't seem to know anything about anything.

At the end of it all, she demanded that in her house, I had to start getting up at 7 am everyday and only get one day off per week instead of two.

Later, my boss (her daughter) got up and came downstairs only to find her mother in a foul mood and me being very shocked and muted. She yelled at her mother for trying to boss me around when it wasn't even her business and for imposing such rules on me when I wasn't even contracted for those hours in the first place.

Then while mother and daughter have a lull in their yelling match, the grandmother saunters up to me and proclaims that "it's all your fault that this is happening."

Then she asks me in a jilting voice if I was willing to work 6 days a week, 12 hours a day starting from 7am each day. She goes "this is your chance to prove that you're all that you said you were during your interview. That you were willing to do anything. Are you willing to work from 7? If not, get out of my house."

I say nothing and her daughter yells at her again to leave me alone.

What a crazy morning.

To cheer everyone up, the family takes the kids and me out for a field trip later in the afternoon and I went for the go-kart and mini-golfing. It was fun but I was mentally exhausted.

I guess, vacation time is over...

My boss was ready to leave the house this morning due to her mother's unreasonable requests but I told her I'd just wake up at 7am to start from now on.

But I won't cop out just yet.

I feel as if God is testing me... And I know that the weaker I am, the stronger He'll be. The lower I go, the more my reward at the end... I just pray that as I approach my breaking point, He's right there to catch me in his arms...


I just found something that gave me goosebumps...
A few months ago, I started being really obsessed with this song:

Today, I chanced upon the original version and finally heard the whole entire song.

It turns out that the song is called "Old Cape Cod".

Talk about creepy coincidence. Look where I am now! Living the song!

Maybe it's a sign............ Hmm!

Monday, July 06, 2009

Almost Midnight

The novelty of the beach is slowly wearing off. The excitement of my job has definitely worn off. My body is feeling slightly worn out but restless; and my mind is wandering just a little.

I wish, I want, I wonder...

Tiesto is right. You can travel the world but you can't run away from the person you are in your heart.

Am I doomed to feel restless and crazy for the rest of my life?

I feel like there are a million things I want to do right now.

Write a book, draw something, cook something, learn Russian, play basketball, go running, go swimming, whale-watching, camping, playing with fire, etc.

Maybe I should stop eating the kids' popsicles..........

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Fourth of July

Fourth of July was a beautiful day so let me just commemorate it with a blog post.

0715 I was up and ready to run. Got my cold soggy shoes on and my damp bikini strapped up.

The sky was the first blue one I'd seen since I've been here.

After my run and swim, I just sat on the rocks and caught little hermit crabs around me. I like it when the little critters crawl around on my palm. Feels so ticklish.
The view was amazing thanks to the fog that had cleared up.
This is the house that I'm currently living in. Love the hydrangeas by the entrance. Everytime I see hydrangeas, all I can think about is whether the soil is alkaline or acidic.
An hour later, it was back to the beach for work- that is, to play with the kids. I guess I love my job.
Since this was a small town, I wasn't expecting to see the airplane-flown commercials at the beach; but I guess you just can't escape ads.
The boys had lots of fun.
Then the tide went out and it was even more fun!
Fourth of July evening was spent at the local yacht club for a barbecue. The food was great, but it was the happy family atmosphere that really got to me.
Then as night fell, I strolled off to the beach with my flashlight and had the best fireworks show I ever saw in my life. The pyrotechnics were set barely 20 feet away from where I was sitting. It was AMAZING!

Though, at that time, I was wishing that I was surrounded by friends and family instead of just the ocean and the moonlight...

Ferry Corsten never sounded so good... There's something about being bundled up tight in comfortable clothes, the ocean at your feet and the wind in your face that makes trance sound extra wonderful...

Friday, July 03, 2009

Four Times At The Beach Today


This is by far the best night I've ever had since I've been here.

All I can say is that the ocean, moonlight, fog, fireworks and a handy flashlight made my night super special.

More tomorrow.

I'm exhausted!

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Day 3 And Lovin' It!

Today started out being miserable. I didn't run in the morning because I overslept and the younger boy has been being absolutely nasty to me recently. I couldn't even talk to him or ask him to do anything because he'd just run to his mother crying, saying that I was going to punish him.

Of course I was going to take his toy away if he was going to keep putting it in his brother's face! And I would most definitely tell him that he's not getting dessert if he was being extremely rude!

But anyway, being powerless, I simply prayed to God and gave the day to him.

Like I said, I started the day off on the wrong foot. When I went upstairs to join the family, I realised that everyone else had started the day on the wrong foot too. The mom was arguing with the grandparents, the children were a little sensitive, the baby wasn't sleeping and the weather seemed heavy and weird.

Anxious to have the kids out of the house before the cleaners came, the mom then dropped me and the kids off at the yacht club again.

Things went quite well there, but the whole house was upside down because of many complications that was going on with the cleaners.

Then to top it all off, an enormous thunderstorm arrived at lightning speed (pun intended) and we had to be rushed home in the torrential rain. In just a few minutes, little floods were forming on the sides of the roads but we got home safe and sound.

But once we got home, I knew that everything would be alright. I cooked pasta for dinner and the whole family had dinner together for the first time since we got here. Me included! It was very relaxing and enjoyable.

Then after dinner came my favourite part of the day.

The older son had been pestering me to take him along with me on one of my evening or morning runs, so I took him with me today. By the time we got to the beach, the sky had cleared and all the rabbits in the neighbourhood had come out to feast. We saw about five rabbits in just two minutes of walking. We ran a bit, climbed around some rocks, swam in the ocean and watched one of the most spectacular sunsets I had ever witnessed in my short life. I had never seen anything like this before--- only in old paintings or professional photographs. But in real life, the scenery was simply breathtaking. I was so angry with myself for forgetting to take my camera yet again!

So there we were, drying off on the upper level of the lifeguard's tower, watching the sun dip towards the horizon...

And tomorrow is my day off!

I met a new acquaintance at the club and she's taking me horseback riding and para-sailing tomorrow. I am SOOOO excited!

Soon, we'll go whale watching too!

Then R's going to come up to Cape Cod and we're gonna go digging for clams and whatever other things like sailing! Wheeeee!

With all its imperfections, this summer is turning out to be a gem.

And in case you were wondering, this is where I am.