Wednesday, July 20, 2005

Pak-Tor-ing @ MacRitchie

Ly, who wisely decided to complete his last 3 months of National Service during this university break before going on to his fourth and final year at NIE, cleared his leave last week and we went for a nature date @ MacRitchie. Our purpose in making the journey there was to see the newly-opened and recently-hyped-about Treetop Walk -- a suspension kind of bridge in the canopy of MacRitchie.

Typical of me, I started our journey by feeding us plums.

(Yes, not the most glamourous shots of the two of us, but I guarantee you we are as sweet as the plums.)

See what I mean?

I have only been to MacRitchie briefly once in my life for a torturous "cross-country" run while in JC that left me barely conscious to take in my surroundings. So here I am, finding everything I see, brand new.
The dam!

A boat in the middle of the reservoir!

Big Terrapin!

We begin on our trail...

So Singaporean -- before you enter the sacred ground, the welcoming signboard warns the obedient people that thou shalt not commit the act of.. blah blah blah (x4)..

Walk, walk, walk.. But here are some of the highlights of the 5km walk there (don't forget that meant +5km walk back too).

Check out this plant's defence system.. I bet this is a female plant..

Fungified leaf

Funky fushroom -- It looks like fungi growing on fungi

Peculiar leaves - like paper cut-outs..

Digitally-enhanced, but this really is the work of nature. (Click for enlargement) The three twines/air roots/branches/whatever actually meet together to form a Mercedes logo!

I would not have dared to get this close to the yellow bug. My Olympus camera's zoom is deceptive.

After about 2 hours of mundane trekking, we finally arrived at what seemed like the entrance of the much-awaited and much-sweated-for Treetop Walk. As you can see, I was rather exhausted by this point. The final stretch had been an unpleasant uphill climb.

The friendly Treetop man.


I've conquered the bridge! Yey!!!

Can you see the depth? (Actually, it's not that fascinating lah, quite disappointing actually.)

Gotcha! Digitally-enhanced, or rather digitally-transformed photo of an ugly and badly-taken tree:

A PRC helped us take our one and only photo together (without the close-up-ness of self-holding the camera).

All sweaty and really gross-looking, we ended the trip (halfway at least) the same way we started it -- with another bite. Ly had lovingly prepared these egg-tomato sandwiches prior to our venture. The white squares on my face are the censored portions where I had gotten my mayonaise all over. Embarassing. Ly didn't tell me I had those tell-tale spots of my greed -- he must have been too tired to give me another romantic gaze I guess (but frankly, I'm in a mess here).

For the background details, we really were a soft and pathetic pair (or perhaps I had influenced him to pamper me). For starters, Ly had driven us to MacRitchie in cool air-con luxury. We thought we were having a good workout trekking up and panting, but two groups of retirees overtook us with ease while we advanced towards the goal. After we emerged triumphant (and beaten) from the Treetop trail, we took a degrading shortcut. Instead of returning the same way we came, we walked about half a kilometre to Singapore Something Country Club and called for a cab which took us in comfort to where Ly had parked his Mazda.

Nevertheless, this was the first time I had been on a nature trek, just with my Sweetheart. It was really quite romantic actually... I kept ranting about how happy I was through the 3 hours we were there. I had never quite been alone with him and doing something. If it was a movie, shopping, strolling, cycling, badmintoning or eating, there always were people of the public around.

Hence, the conclusion of the matter (of this long blog entry): This double date with Ly and nature was thoroughly fulfilling. :) Posted by Picasa


I am not sure if it is the landed property edge that Ly has and I do not, that has Singapore Press Holdings sending him Today along with his copy of The Straits Times while I get my Straits Times -- period.
Anyway, for those who are deprived of the tabloid paper (because you don't have Today delivered to your doorstep, or you don't join the early morning MRT rush where you can pick up your free copy in the yellow stand), you probably would have missed this NKF saga article by mr brown, a very famous non-adolescent blogger by now.
Presenting the Mr Brown Fund.
By the way, speaking of NKF & the peanuts comment, I thought Mr Goh Chok Tong was really loving (although somewhat patronising) when he defended Mrs Goh Chok Tong.
Senior Minister Goh Chok Tong said his wife, who is the former patron of NKF, regretted saying that the charity's ex-CEO Mr TT Durai's annual pay package of some S$600,000 was "peanuts".
Mr Goh spoke to the media about the issue at a school celebration on Saturday.
Mrs Goh's remark on Mr Durai's annual salary on Tuesday raised many eyebrows and upset many more.
Senior Minister Goh said his wife now regretted making that comment.
He added: "When she told me what she said at home, I told her immediately, you're in trouble. There'll be negative reaction and sure enough the next day, Singaporeans reacted generally quite critically to her remarks and it's understandable because NKF is a charity and Singaporeans contribute to the NKF and they don't earn much."
Mr Goh added that he shared the public's sentiments and showed Mrs Goh several emails and letters he had received about her remarks.
Mr Goh said: "To educate her I showed her the letters and emails and now I think she understands better what she said was not quite in order but she explains why she said it. She told me that she was thinking of the organisation, she said that if you look at the organisation, the right person must be paid the right wage, but of course she put it across that way, the rest is history."
Nevertheless, Ah Goh is still my man.

Monday, July 04, 2005

Outgoing & Sociable, But Alone

A guy from Arts Orientation Camp rang me up late one night. I enjoyed chatting with him till he found out I was attached at which point he said, "Oh my gosh, I feel so embarrassed now."

I laughed. I did not think there was anything to be embarrassed about, but apparently I could hear him turn pink over the phone. Anyway, we continued talking until I eventually succumbed to fatigue. His parting line was, "Wow, my impression of you has changed over this phone call."

Of course, taking the cue, I probed further.

" I thought you were very wild -- ok, let me rephrase that -- outgoing, but after tonight, I am wondering which convent you came from. You're quite scary actually."

Basically, I feel so different from all my peers. I have not found any one within 5 years of my age who has thought/is thinking of settling down.

I am quite sure that those of you reading this also do not share my sentiments.

Yes, I want to settle down young. I want to have 2 kids before I hit 30; the final number being three. I cannot wait to build up my nest, shop for furniture from IKEA, make sure my dear husband does not allow our home to turn into a dumping yard, laze around on Sunday afternoon after church in our air-con master room with the curtains drawn and him leaning over me as we read some lifestyle magazine together then have afternoon weekend sex before he takes us out for supermarket shopping in the evening.

I want to tender my resignation, or at least long-term no-pay-leave application when my babies arrive. I want to plan our dinner menu, try to master boiling some soup favourites, get rid of my fear of peeling prawns (their legs remind me of cockroaches -- the sea version), be rid of my strong hesitance to fry fish and dirty the kitchen, cook for my husband, sing hymns to my children..

I do not understand why I feel these urges so strongly raging within me while on the other hand, I have peers swearing that they will not get married till at least 30 so they can experience life in her full glory first. I shan't go down to being moralistic, self-righteous or the last bit trend-analysing. Whichever is the "right" feeling to feel at this age, why is it I don't conform with the mindset of the rest? Have I been a hermit, an anti-social recluse, a radical, living in my own bubble, socially insensitive all this while? Did I grow up in a different air? Or is it simply because I have found The One? The One whom I can plan and imagine living that life with?

This is what makes me feel so set apart from my peers. This issue crops up (again) because I am entering a new social phase of my life. I am possibly going to be staying in hostel, full of promiscuous young adults, wild and free, unbounded by an relationship of plans for the future. I am going to be interacting once again with people my age (a year teaching at a government school did not leave me with many friendly social engages with the like-age). I tremble with eager anticipation at returning to young life, yet a tad fearful that I won't find a group who can accept me the way I am, or a group I can accept.

Please, if there is even one person who shares my

please sound yourself out,

let me hear you and take comfort

that I am not alone.

If there aren't any, then lend me some words of consolation, assurance that I will find my place in university among real friends despite who I am.

Friday, July 01, 2005

An Assortment of Photos From Long Ago

See what I got from the Great Singapore Sale! 5 tubs of Body Butter in assorted flavours for my year's supply till the next Great Singapore Sale. I love Body Butter. I have not found anything better than it so far. Yes, it's sticky and all, but it lasts for about 2 days each time I apply it. Originally $24.90, I manage to buy each at only $10.90. On top of that, I even got a $10 Body Shop cash voucher, no strings attached. I've been really waiting for my favourite product to go on sale since last year. Hee... Now you see the shopping girl in me.

Can you remember my Bu Dao Ong clock? I smashed it to smitherins by accident one day. =( Anyway, there's something interesting in the background of this photo too -- my Old Chang Kee currypuff! I absolutely love these... When I am out at Bugis or Tampines, I'll make sure I get my dose for breakfast (microwave, then gently toasted to regain that crispy crust), but usually end up eating half of it before the next morning.

I have been intending to put this photo up for ages. This was taken somewhere during the rainy season this year. That's more than a couple of months ago. Anyway, this is the longkang view from my bedroom. The tree with bright orange leaves just stood out so beautifully. My camera could not catch the full beauty of this scene. About a week later, the leaves fell and fresh bright green leaves sprouted.. absolutely lovely. Fall and Spring in Bedok Reservoir. (=

Please click for enlargement. I wanted to put this up 6 months ago, after my Penang trip. I caught this sleazy Classifieds page off the local newspapers.