Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Good Morning!

I tried to sleep; but how can I go to sleep when the rest of this world is waking up?

The birds have come awake and you can hear people walking quickly on the wet pavements on their way to work.

They say there is a time and place for everything... A time to wake and a time to sleep. But I did not make much use of the latter.

Do you know this song? It goes: "The sky is dark and grey, but I don't care what the weatherman says. It's a beautiful day!" It really is.

It's a gorgeous morning.

The breeze is fresh from the rain and somehow, there is music in the air. A slow kind of happy melody that makes one feel like drinking tea on a foggy mountain and smiling little smiles.

There are droplets falling off the outside ledge and I can pretend they're dripping off icicles.

I can pretend they're icicles and yet relish the fact that in a few hours, it will probably be hot enough to cook eggs on the sidewalk.

Oh Singapore...

Writing at Six in the Morning

It's not healthy to stay awake all through the night and morning. But somehow, today feels like it's been worth the sleep deprivation.

It is always this hour, these few precious moments when writing just seems so liquid and easy. It's like all my ideas become a clear fountain without any murkiness or garbage floating around in it, messing up the clarity of its depths.

I can just write...

There may not even be a topic at hand, but I don't want a topic to write about today. I just want to talk and talk and talk... To myself possibly.

Flipping through the archives of my blog is like going through a dark tunnel that I really don't enjoy being in. The stench is overwhelming and I get tempted to flush the caverns clean sometimes. Just erase it all with one shot.

Call it being sentimental- but I like to horde memories.

The dark tunnels I've lived in and the waste water I used to find pleasant made me who I am today. I would have never learnt to appreciate clean air if I never had to wallow in stale sewage.

I look back and am ashamed of who I was... But I am still Mindy- though I no longer steal cookies, I look forward to a future that I know nothing of, except that it has been ordained by God even before the day I was born.

I look forward and yet glance in the rearview mirrors once in a while to keep myself on course... To remind myself of a place and person that I have left behind. Sometimes the backward view seems pretty and inviting... But the truth is that, the image is distorted. I don't ever want to be a pig that returns to twisting in the mud, or a dog that swallows what it has vomitted out.

Simply speaking, I am done with the old me.

I don't let my heart be seduced so easily now because I have finally turned it in to the one true Lord that is Jesus Christ. Because He has conquered all my iniquities, I can be victorious in Him. He is my anchor in a storm and my hiding place during war.

He washed all my shame away. All my pride and hurt and feelings of failure... Washed away in His powerful Love.

That's what it is.


I have never felt so loved by anybody in my life, not even my parents. God's love compared to their love is like comparing countless oceans to a droplet of water. And that's exactly what keeps this fire going.

No clear goals, no dreams, no aspirations could push me any further along than the hope that I have in Christ.

You know where my priorities are now.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

NDP Rehearsal

It's 01:39 but I refuse to wait a day longer to blog about the NDP Rehearsal.

I took a total of 188 photos that day and not even half of them are loaded onto Photobucket yet. The connection is pretty bad... But what is one to do?

I'm really sick of uploading photos, so I just decided to blog with some that I took near the beginning of the parade. There are simply too many! And besides, we'll see the whole thing on National TV in a week or so anyway.

This Saturday, Ah Kim (Dua Gu's wife) brought me along with her to watch the NDP Rehearsal since Dua Gu (mother's elder brother) had extra tickets to share.

Super exciting!

The crew.

I tried calling Huimin several times throughout the week but that girl chose not to answer any of my calls or messages nor did she return any of those calls later. I wanted to ask her along to watch the parade since my Ah Kim suggested it, but I just got so sick of chasing her around. I mean seriously, Ah Kim and I thought she'd disappeared off the face of this earth.

Called Talia up and she decided to come even though she had a late night and was a little reluctant.

In true Singaporean kiasu fashion, we arrived there with the Padang still vastly empty.

Unfortunately, due to a ticket screw-up, Talia and I had to be separated from the rest of the group.

Didn't matter though... We were ready for the show to start!

Thanks to Dua Gu's tickets, we got VIP seats.

We then proceeded to get the "motivator" guy to give us some balloons.

Our motivator guy was supposed to be some sort of cheerleader figure- there to inspire passion and excitement in the crowd. Sadly, he himself didn't seem very "motivated" or even awake. I think Talia and I were the most "motivated" people there; busy taking pictures, laughing like maniacs, being retarded and having fun just being ourselves.

Waiting patiently for 17:30.

As we were peeling oranges to eat, it suddenly dawned upon us that we were all in red and there were ORANGES.

Chinese New Year!

Kua kua kua!

Wonder how much that screen costs.

The parachute dudes were awesome.

There must be so much mental pressure involved in trying to land safely and smoothly in front of a crowd over 20,000. Oh, and on 9th August itself, in front of the whole of Singapore...... And the expats staring out their CBD windows and Raffles Hotel.

Besides the VIP area, all the other seats at the Padang was filled with the Primary 5 crowd.

Man oh man I really wanted to be eleven again! All the "old" people that were sitting in our section were so boring and quiet. But the Primary 5's were so noisy and enthusiastic! I could literally feel the soundwaves from their bleachers fly across the Padang and hit me in the face.

Since it was only a rehearsal, they had a fake Lee Hsien Loong play the part.

But the really hilarious one was when they announced the arrival of the MM, PM and CM... Then what appeared were three men in white uniform holding up placards that said "MM", "PM" and "CM" in giant red letters.


We were laughing our butts off and I snapped some pictures of it but I'm too lazy to load it up so... there you'll just have to take my word for it that it was pretty funny.

As usual, nobody in our crowd wanted to cheer for the fake ministers.
So sad!

The rest of the parade was a blast.

My favourite part was when the fighter jets came and flew overhead. Oh yes and Talia's favourite part is probably when the soldier guys came marching by. She was eating something before and dropped it when she saw a cute guy walk past.


I see my English deterioriates with time...

More blogging next time when I'm not so spaced out.


Thursday, July 22, 2010


Alright it's been a few days, the pictures are FINALLY uploaded and I'm ready to start this post about my Penang trip!

Last Thursday, my grandma and I took a plane ride to Penang, Malaysia.
We were there for four days and three nights.

The flight on Jetstar was relatively painless. In an hour, we found ourselves in the Pearl of the Orient.

Penang is a large island off the Northwest coast of Malaysia. It has mountains, rivers and is of course surrounded by the sea. I guess people go there for its old school charm and delicious food.

All the pictures that I managed to take were little miracles in themselves. The reason being that my camera is now just a piece of junk. It keeps taking either overexposed or strange pictures with lines all over the screen. I would say that only 30% of my attempted photography ended up somewhat of normal quality.


I'm not a professional photographer but I really need a working camera!

The view from the hotel room balcony was really calming. Not to mention, it was usually sunny enough out there that we could dry our clothes after washing them.

Nanny absolutely refused to share a bed with me and opted for a double bed room instead.

We barely set our stuff down before hurrying off for dinner at Gurney Drive.

Penang is not known to be a food heaven of sorts for nothing. The following pictures are only a few examples of the amazing Malay and Chinese food that may be familiar to the Singaporean ear but extinct in the hawker centres.

Pasembur- a local Indian rojak-ish lookalike dish. I forgot what's in there but it was really nice.

Assam laksa, Penang style.

Char kway teow and chicken feet stewed in soy sauce.

Prawn mee, Char kway teow and Oyster omelette.

Tomyam soup, Mango salad and Pineapple rice. This is actually food we had at a Thai restaurant in Prangin Mall. I thought it would probably be substandard, but even critical Nanny admitted that it was comparable to the real deal in Thailand. The food was simply amazing! The restaurant is called Thai Station if I'm not wrong.

Curry mee. I suppose this is Penang's version of our local Laksa.

For tourists and locals alike, Gurney Drive is the place to go for dinner.

This is Prangin Mall, one of the only two places that we went shopping at.

The second place would be Batu Ferringhi, a gigantic night market that stretches along the coast for more than a mile. Lots of fake branded stuff for sale here.

Even though the stalls are mostly closed in the daytime, Batu Ferringhi is still a busy area.

By the way, the photos are a bit in random order and I'm just too lazy to delete them and reload them in order. It took me well over a day to get them all off my camera and onto Blogger.

This is the Town Hall of Penang. I wanted to see this building because the brochure said that this was where a scene in the movie "Anna and the King" was shot. Sadly, my camera only managed to churn out this one picture of the building. The rest of the pictures all turned out to be a big patch of white. There were also other old school stuff near the Town Hall like the City Hall and some fort/cannon looking thing but....


Another place we visited was the Clan Jetties.

Along the Northeast coast of Penang, there are jetties known to be villages organised by clan association. For example, if your surname is "Chew", you'd be living in the Chew Jetty... If your parents were in some maritime industry like fishing of course.

The Chew Jetty held special meaning for us since my grandfather was a Chew.

I was shocked that there were still people living there. But then again, life didn't look too shabby. It was midday and there were women lying by the doorways taking what looked to be very comfortable naps.

That uncle in the picture is the taxi driver we hired for 4 hours to take us to any destination we wanted.

He was quite a bad tour guide, but... oh well.

Must be interesting to live in a UNESCO World Heritage site...

After the clan jetties, the taxi driver uncle brought us to this roadside stall because Nanny said she wanted to eat some Malaysian durians.

The durians turned out to be a supreme waste of money- 20 ringgit each and none of them bitter enough to excite our tastebuds. Nanny was very much unimpressed with the taxi driver's recommendation.

A rare working moment for my camera! I finally managed to take a nice picture of the coast from the car...

Also dropped by the Penang Butterfly Farm. Like the rest of the island, the farm was filled with Arab tourists. I felt as if I was in a Star Wars movie, what with all the Arab women swishing around in their long black robes, covered up to their eyes.

A really beautiful and weird plant/flower thing.


There were hundreds of butterflies everywhere.

But actually the farm wasn't that big. It only took us about 15 minutes to peruse the entire premises.

Arabs everywhere... Nanny and I thought we could faint from the smell of men and armpits. I really don't know how they could survive in a humid and hot place like Malaysia under all those layers.

Looking for our favourite species.

Me in the outdoor garden.

We requested to go to the beach since it was beautiful and sunny out.

It looks nice right? But in reality, the water wasn't as clear as in Tioman. It was murky and smelled like the Singapore River.

She refused to go out into the sun. Stayed under the natural umbrella instead.

Of the three days spent there, the first was for shopping, the second for sightseeing and the last for just relaxing. We also did some amount of tv watching in the hotel cum roast chicken or chicken wings.

Then it was time to leave...

Fortunately, my camera decided to behave on the car ride back to the airport. I tried to snap as many pretty old buildings as I could.

Then it was goodbye to the mountains....

Watched the sunset from the plane taking off.

And the reason I was able to watch the sunset is that our flight was delayed from 1530 to 1945! We didn't find out until we got to the airport so we had to wait at that miserable little place for 6 hours (we got there early). Jetstar gave us each a food coupon that we could use at the "airport restaurant". An enquiry at the information counter revealed that the "airport restaurant" was actually McDonalds.


I was so happy when we finally got on the plane.

After being back from Penang, I've been spending some time with my dad before going to Bali next week.

Wonder what God has in store for me............?

Whatever it is, I know He's already got it handled.