Monday, May 27, 2013

28th May Two Thousand Thirteen

It's been almost five hours since I turned 24 (yes I'm counting from the very hour I was born) and this is what I have to show for it so far.

Connie gave me a pair of Rilakkumas for my birthday. Oh doesn't she know me well? 


That said, my order arrived in the mail this evening. 


Say hello to my new Razor Cult Streets, size 7! 

I bought them off and was really shocked when they took less than two weeks to ship it here from California. 

So. Impressed.

I took them out for a spin already. Now the difficult part is to decide whether to keep doing aggressive skating for a while and cut the urban, or to continue doing both simultaneously. I'm worried that one will affect the other, since both skating styles are really quite different. 

Also, having run out of Korean dramas to snack on, I've taken to my bookshelf for entertainment. Here's one I haven't touched in years. 

Goodnight and goodbye my 23 year old self. 

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Last Few Weeks Of Being 23

My birthday is coming up next week and I can't help but feel a little sad. As the years roll by and I leave my teenage years behind, I find myself wishing that time could stand still. I know youth is a gift and it doesn't last for long. Like a whisper, it comes and goes. 

I also know that someday in the future, I am going to wake up and realise that I needed to sleep at 9pm not 3am. My bones are going to feel more brittle and my muscles- less responsive. 

Almost all my hobbies involve raising my heart rate to a racing bpm, which is why I dread the day my body fails on me. 

I look at all these young kids around me doing things I wish my fifteen year old body were still around to do. 

So it is with such a mindset that I have been living life. 


No space to breathe. 

Few weeks ago Shirley, two other friends and I went skating/cycling at East Coast Park.

We made it to Bedok Jetty.

And stayed out there moon-gazing for some time.

It was so beautiful, big and bright that night.

On a different day, MingXian drove us both into Johor Bahru, Malaysia. We had lunch at a wanton mee place.

Spent almost two hours grocery shopping in KSL City Mall.

Had dinner at the Bamboo restaurant.

Hung out at Danga Bay after dinner.

Poor MingXian had no choice but to be dragged onto this ride. Even though it was small, it was really fun!

Then we just took a million photos for the rest of the night.

Had a Friday night urban skate as usual to the recently-finished Marina Bay Sands hawker centre.

Met up with the Davidians for our monthly get-togethers.

Went ice-skating with the usual Friday urban crew on a separate Friday.


Fell while telling people to "watch out for the curve in front". 


Attended Shan Shan's graduation ceremony.

I love graduation ceremonies. I love them even more when they're held in a church with a service and worship before and everything. 

Well, I guess this was my first graduation ceremony that was held in a church with a service and worship before and everything. 

I cried during worship. The songs we sang somehow made me think about how lucky we were with Eric's situation and how God's grace just saves us... weak sinners... I thought about our mission in life and whether I am living out that mission to bring people to Christ. 


(Note to self: don't wear mascara to church services, graduation or not)

Skated around MBS (yet again) with the three amigos. 

Snacked on the night view.

Finished off with a heavy supper at 126 in Geylang.

This is only one-thirds of the food that we ordered and tried desperately to finish.

On Friday, I went prawning at Farmart with Alu.

And Annie!

Annie had quite a few firsts that morning. 

First time eating MacDonald's breakfast, first time catching a prawn and first time being at Farmart!

Nothing beats eating the prawns you caught. 

Swimming one moment, dead and cooked the next. YUMZ.

So, horrors of horrors. 

I just got back from Skateline's monthly Saturday Night Skate and it was on this fateful night that I dropped my iPhone twice and cracked its screen.

My phone looks like a rat just chewed on it now. 


The first of the birthday gifts have arrived.

A special chinese recorder-like instrument from Chuan gu & Aunty Pei Leng! 

It's too late to try it now since everybody is sleeping, but I'll probably start chirping away later this morning when I wake up for church.

Gonna be playing the piano at Sunday School later...

I don't know how to explain the rush and mix of emotions that I have right now. But one thing I know: no matter what the situation, no matter how old I am getting or how young I am feeling, my purpose in life is simply to praise God, and I have very good reasons to do so.

All my life Lord, I give it to you! I give all my energy, youth, money and time to the furthering of your kingdom. In every walk of life, I ask that you use me like a vessel to pour forth your Spirit. In every action, word or thought of mine, I pray that you reach out to those who need you most. 

Friday, May 17, 2013

Grace At The Cemetery

I just came home from a really eventful night of rollerblading. 

Tonight, I led a group of ten people on an urban night skate from Bishan MRT station, through Lornie Road past MacRitchie Reservoir, Bukit Brown Cemetery, Botanic Gardens and finally, Orchard. 

I know what you're thinking. 

Bukit Brown Cemetery? 

At night?


Here's the thing. 

The shortest way from Lornie Road across PIE to Adam Road is a straight line. There is no connecting bridge and it would have been pretty dangerous for us to cross that way. The safest way to cross instead, would be through Bukit Brown Cemetery and a tunnel at Kheam Hock Road under the PIE. 

That's the real reason why I chose to go through the cemetery. 


Anyway, I was feeling rather uneasy about it during the daytime. I woke up thinking about whether it was really a good idea to take this route tonight after all. I don't like cemeteries.

I checked out the route online and the roads seemed okay- not too rough, and definitely safer than jaywalking across the PIE. 

By the time evening had swung around, my apprehension gave way to excitement and anticipation of a wonderful night skate. 

But as we set off from Bishan MRT, I found my pounding heart seeking God's help. I prayed that God would watch over every single person in our group including myself, and that He would send his angels to guard and watch over us. I asked for protection and His presence to surround us, especially in a "dirty" place like the cemetery. Then, I felt His peace rest upon me. 


The way up Lornie Road was tiring. 

E & JH, two new skaters that I'd never met until tonight, were having a hard time keeping up with us. I didn't realise that they were unseasoned skaters and that E didn't even know how to brake confidently.

Happily, I continued on my way and led them into Bukit Brown. 

As we were about to exit the cemetery through the tunnel at Kheam Hock Rd, we came to a long slope. It started out gentle, but by the time we were halfway down, we'd picked up enough speed to make any sort of small movement dangerous. Even T-braking caused instability and so it wasn't long before one of us tripped and rolled down the slope in a dramatic way. 

I was right behind WL when he fell, but I felt so calm when I saw the whole thing happen, that I didn't freak out. I simply moved aside as he was in my way and skated down without falling. 

As I braked to a stop, I turned around so that I could check up on WL who was lying on the road. I knew in my heart that he was okay. I saw the way he rolled and rolled metres from the spot where he slid. 

It was a good way to fall.


What happened next however, was something that none of us saw coming. 


I was facing the upslope, when out from nowhere, I saw E flying at top speed towards me. He was headed straight for me and he had his arms stretched out towards me. As he drew closer, I finally understood what he'd been screaming at us the whole time: "I CAN'T BRAKE! I CAN'T BRAKE!"

Casually, I simply took a small step to my left to avoid him. 

A few seconds later, there was a loud crash and a groan. 

E had hit a cement pole on the side of the road to break his fall and he lay on the grass with blood streaming down his face. 

Everybody was stunned and there was a flurry of activity as we all rushed to make sure that he was still conscious. H was E's friend and he was cradling E's head in his hands. At this point, E seemed a bit delirious and he couldn't even remember what happened to him. He kept asking us repeatedly what happened to him. We told him he hit a pole, but he would ask us the same question again a few seconds later. I sensed that E was in shock. Somebody called an ambulance and so we waited for it. 

In the meantime, E's right arm looked broken and it lay in an awkward position above his head. He said he couldn't feel it. 

I actually worried about whether E had enough insurance to cover the ambulance fees...... 

Occupational hazard. Sigh.

As we stood there watching H almost cry over his friend E, I couldn't help but ask God: "Why? Why did you let this happen? Didn't I ask you to keep us safe Lord? Was it because I didn't pray enough? Was it because I doubted?"

I just felt like this whole accident could have been avoided had I 

- not chosen to skate this route tonight
- been more conscious about E & JH's skating abilities
- not stepped aside when E was about to hit me

As all these thoughts swirled around in my head, I suddenly realised a few things. 

Firstly, I felt so calm. I can't explain it. It was as if I were watching a slow motion movie and I had enough time to react to everything that was going on. While H was freaking out over E, my head felt so clear. I was able to remember things that I read in my First Aid book whenever I was in the toilet. 

In that calm state of mind, I thought immediately to remove E's rollerblades. I told H not to move E's arms and to keep his body straight. We used wet wipes to clean his arms and legs so that the salt from his sweat would not agitate him later. H also finally calmed down enough to stop E's facial wound from bleeding further. 

As we stood around waiting for the ambulance to arrive, I realised something else. 

Had WL not fallen earlier, most of us would not have slowed down and kept to the side of the road. We would not have been facing the upslope and therefore been unable to see E coming down at top speed. We could all have gotten into a terrible scrape involving more than just three casualties (JH fell too but sustained only superficial wounds, thank God!!!). 

I felt goosebumps when I realised all these things. 

I saw how close to death I came. 

I avoided not one, but two accidents and they were barely seconds apart. 

Nobody died. 

Somebody could have. 


So did God answer my prayer or what?

I think He did. If not for His presence tonight, things could have been a lot worse. I felt, and still feel, that He's watching over me. Over us all. 

Despite my stubbornness in wanting to skate through a cemetery at night, God provided grace. Thank You Lord Jesus... Thank you...

Thursday, May 02, 2013

Lazy Saturday At Kampong Bahru & Sembawang

A few Saturdays ago, Hani and I went to check out this cafe called Stranger's Reunion along Kampong Bahru.

Yeseul told me about this cafe which she wanted to try, but can't because she's in Seoul now. 

We finally arrived along Kampong Bahru after getting lost in the maze of exits at Outram MRT.

The air was so hot, I was melting under my umbrella. 

Walked down a lovely corridor towards our destination.

And we made it!

It's too bad that I'm not a coffee drinker. Reading this sign actually kind of made me feel like I came to the wrong place.

Going to Stranger's Reunion on a Saturday afternoon was an entirely bad idea... 

The small cafe was filled to the brim and Hani and I weren't thrilled with the idea of having to share a small coffee table with two other people, especially since the table and chairs were really low, making for an uncomfortable seat.

Quietly, we escaped into the back alley. 

It was like a secret world back there. 

After some wandering around, we finally decided on the first cafe we had spotted on the way in.

It looked relatively empty, which made me suspicious. Still, the promise of air-conditioning proved more enticing than the idea of walking around for another fifteen minutes.

Yes! An empty cafe!

We found out later that the reason for OKP being so empty as compared to Stranger's Reunion, is that the place just opened for business in February.

Much of their lunch menu is already pre-made, so we weren't able to get any food "fresh" from the kitchen.

Cafe by day, bar by night.

Hani ordered a salmon omelette sandwich. She said it wasn't bad.

My interesting concoction of clam chowder, tomato and corn soup arrived in a a paper cup. 

It was actually a lot more delicious than I expected. The tomato soup goes well with clam chowder. Idea for home cooked meals!

I ordered a chorizo omelette sandwich and it was an utter letdown. I don't know how you can actually mess up an omelette, but they did. It was overcooked in the way my 7 year old brother would overcook an omelette on his second try.

From Kampong Bahru, we cabbed to one my favourite corners in Singapore.

It's my favourite because the area is very secluded and therefore accessible only on wheels or an untiring pair of legs.

Saw this interesting table inside the bar. I thought it looked really familiar. Then I realised they're the same ones we used in D&T classes!

Soooo hipster it's ridiculous.

Handlebar is called Handlebar, because it's themed as a bar for motorbike riders/lovers. It's usually frequented by foreigners who love this sort of thing.

We sat under one of the big shelters outside.

Handlebar sits right on the edge of Singapore. Sometimes my phone connection gets a bit wonky since Malaysia is right on the opposite side.

Next to Handlebar is the Sembawang PCN. 

You'll find Chinese and Thai people clamming here when the tide is low.

I can't believe Hani and I actually walked the entire PCN back to civilisation. Under normal circumstances, it would have taken me about fifteen minutes to skate out to the main road.

Thankfully, the sun was already setting as we made our way out along the canal.

I had a beautiful time. Won't mind repeating this again someday!