Saturday, August 31, 2013

Lana Del Rey - Ride

I've been listening to Lana Del Rey - and I just find her music utterly captivating, and sometimes almost frightening and thrilling to listen to. Like this one - you can feel that emotion - that sheer destructive impulsiveness that drive us to do insane things because we want to feel alive.

"Ride" from

[Music video spoken introduction:]
I was in the winter of my life, and the men I met along the road were my only summer.
At night I fell asleep with visions of myself, dancing and laughing and crying with them.
Three years down the line of being on an endless world tour, and my memories of them were the only things that sustained me, and my only real happy times.
I was a singer - not a very popular one,
I once had dreams of becoming a beautiful poet, but upon an unfortunate series of events saw those dreams dashed and divided like a million stars in the night sky that I wished on over and over again, sparkling and broken.
But I didn't really mind because I knew that it takes getting everything you ever wanted, and then losing it to know what true freedom is.
When the people I used to know found out what I had been doing, how I'd been living, they asked me why - but there's no use in talking to people who have home.
They have no idea what it's like to seek safety in other people - for home to be wherever you lay your head.
I was always an unusual girl.
My mother told me I had a chameleon soul, no moral compass pointing due north, no fixed personality; just an inner indecisiveness that was as wide and as wavering as the ocean...
And if I said I didn't plan for it to turn out this way I'd be lying...
Because I was born to be the other woman.
Who belonged to no one, who belonged to everyone.
Who had nothing, who wanted everything, with a fire for every experience and an obsession for freedom that terrified me to the point that I couldn't even talk about it, and pushed me to a nomadic point of madness that both dazzled and dizzied me.

I've been out on that open road
You can be my full time daddy,
White and gold
Singing blues has been getting old
You can be my full time baby,
Hot or cold

Don't break me down
I've been travelin' too long
I've been trying too hard
With one pretty song

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in the night
Been tryin' hard not to get into trouble,
but I, I've got a war in my mind
So, I just ride, just ride,
I just ride, just ride

Dying young and I'm playing hard
That's the way my father made his life an art
Drink all day and we talk 'til dark
That's the way the road dogs do it – ride 'til dark.

Don't leave me now
Don't say good bye
Don't turn around
Leave me high and dry

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in the night
Been tryin' hard not to get into trouble,
but I, I've got a war in my mind
I just ride, just ride,
I just ride, just ride

I'm tired of feeling like I'm fucking crazy
I'm tired of driving 'til I see stars in my eyes
It's all I've got to keep myself sane, baby
So I just ride, I just ride

I hear the birds on the summer breeze,
I drive fast, I am alone in the night
Been tryin' hard not to get into trouble,
but I, I've got a war in my mind
I just ride, just ride,
I just ride, I just ride

[Music video spoken ending:]

Every night I used to pray that I’d find my people, and finally I did on the open road.
We had nothing to lose, nothing to gain, nothing we desired anymore, except to make our lives into a work of art.
Live fast. Die young. Be wild. And have fun.
I believe in the country America used to be.
I believe in the person I want to become.
I believe in the freedom of the open road.
And my motto is the same as ever:
"I believe in the kindness of strangers. And when I’m at war with myself I ride, I just ride."
Who are you?
Are you in touch with all of your darkest fantasies?
Have you created a life for yourself where you can experience them?
I have. I am fucking crazy.
But I am free.

Noritake porcelain tea and coffee sets

I like beautiful things. Beautiful cars, houses, people, and porcelain.

I collect antique and vintage Noritake tea and coffee sets. I have over 10 different types - mostly incomplete. You can see them in the first photo with the scones - there are four designs featured there.

The Noritake Arlene set is my most complete collection - meaning I have tea pots, coffee pots, milk jugs, sugar bowls, bread plate, dinner plates, saucers, cups etc.. The design is white ivory background - with delicate pastel flowers in pink, yellow and grey. Very very pretty and even sensual to look at. Produced in the early 1960s when Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, and Ingrid Bergman were household names - it exudes the desire for beautiful, pretty, elegant and dainty objects.

Friday, August 30, 2013

Money not enough: some thoughts on land use and economic development in Singapore

"Jobs for foreigners, national service for Singaporeans": a Singapore Graffiti 2006.

For a long time - Singaporeans assumed that economic development and social happiness were one and the same. If the economy is doing well, the citizens will be happy.

Unfortunately this is not happening. Singapore has been recording dramatically strong rises in its economy as evidenced by its GDP and has recovered from the Great Financial Crisis of 2009. But the citizens are getting more and more miserable.

The problem with using Economic development/GDP as a benchmark of the well-being of society is that it does not take fully into account the citizen's needs: such as house ownership, natural population growth (without regard to immigration). Its also possible to artificially boost GDP growth by allowing massive influx of foreign investment into the land. Most countries in the world would welcome this - but if the foreign investment is used to corner the very small property market - that creates huge social problems.

I am very surprised that given the scarcity of land in the tiny country that Singapore possesses - we are allowing foreigners and permanent residents to purchase property and apartments. We are not like Australia, or America where they have vast amounts of land to spare. Singapore btw is only 274.1 sq miles in size.

Even in Australia, a land which dwarfs Singapore like a whale is to a guppy - the law stipulates that if foreigners purchase new property and want to sell it - they have to sell it back to Australian citizens - and also incur any capital gains tax if they made some profit. But not in Singapore. Here we allow the foreigners to park their capital... which can be a good thing if it doesn't cause massive inflation.

Its a harsh zero-sum game here in Singapore: whatever land owned by foreigners or large property companies is another precious piece of real estate that ordinary Singapore citizens cannot own - forcing them to rent or worse, migrate.

As the amount of property and free land dries up, property prices shoot upwards, a housing bubble is formed -the inevitable net effect is that the rental prices go up, and the cost of living follows suit like a carriage on a train. The majority of Singapore citizens suffer as a result as the rise in property prices has a tremendous ripple effect.

I call it the "small pond" effect. You have a small pond - its filled with your tropical fish like gold fish or guppies. Then one day the owner of the pond decides to throw in more fish - bigger fish, smarter fish, more aggressive fish. The result is inevitable. The bigger fish crowd out the ornamental fish - wiping them out.

You see the same for Singapore. The Govt lets foreigners - esp the elite rich - into Singapore. They purchase property - for the very rich, they got enough cash to buy two, three, or more. The property pool inevitably shrinks. Property prices go up. Couples postpone marriages, delay having babies. Food sellers have to decide on whether to raise prices or cut the cost or quality of food. Families suffer when not enough cash can be brought in to service the mortgage and children's education etc.. creating serious tensions.

A lot of young people are staying at home with their parents because they can't afford their own places as single adults. This really fucks up their social/ dating lives. It creates a myriad of problems for young adults.

One big player that can do something about it is the Government. They can control market forces and pass laws to combat the housing bubble; for example, restricting land ownership by foreigners or even restricting the amount of property owned by an individual or one corporation.

They could even build HDB flats that cater more for young single people. I mean whats the fucking point in doing your 2 years of national service + years of reservists - which means you can't earn enough cash to buy your own home?

If you think this is not feasible. Remember that a great deal of government owned land (HDB estates, Changi Airport, the military) were land forcibly acquired from private landowners. My grandfather owned land in Ponggol, Jubliee, etc.. and they were all forcibly acquired by the government at rock bottom prices. A family friend's father owned land in Changi, Jurong, and even Pulau Ubin - they were also acquired by the Men in White - for next to nothing. To add insult to injury, I think they were even taxed at current market prices when the properties were acquired.

Hey, it makes some moral sense if government used the land to build cheap affordable public housing that benefited the mass citizenry - socialism at work! :D

But when the Government run by overpaid pollys decide to make a fat profit out of the sale and control of public land and the properties gets owned by foreigners or very rich individuals - I think the citizens, meaning all Singaporeans, have a right not to feel happy about it.

At issue is what the Government is doing with the profit, ie. the citizens' money. If it is using the cash to build schools, fund public hospitals/ public medical insurance, build more affordable public housing, helping to retrain retrenched workers - I think that's money well worth spent.

But the problem is we don't really know. How can we tell if there is a lack of transparency and hence accountability in the government?

The problem is when we talk about the Govt's surplus or Govt reserve - I think the PAP believes that it is actually "their money", they earned "it", they made the policies which got "it".

This is evidenced by the cavalier way they treat Opposition wards - withholding public work upgrades.

They don't think it is the people's money. They think its their money. Hence, they have no problems rewarding themselves with increasingly high levels of pay - even junior MPs like an infamous 20+ year old politician gets $10k a month. Money well worth spent?

And you can see that arrogance reflected when PAP politicians say that Opposition constituencies have to repent and will not be entitled to the same "upgrading" (the building of public utilities like the train, bus services, housing development renovations) as other areas which voted in the PAP. This bald faced "Fuck You in your face" attitude may have worked back in the 1960s when most of your citizens were improvised and poor. But you can't go on treating your citizens like an old school Chinese father treats his children. This sort of overbearing paternalism doesn't work anymore. Its a global economy and a lot of Singaporeans are migrating.

The PAP government is fond of telling its citizens to work harder, adopt Spartan lifestyles, have more babies, be smarter, more innovative, talk less, work harder, etc.. but when the leaders and top civil servants are rewarding themselves with the highest salaries in their categories - worldwide - earning more cash in a month than what many ordinary Singaporeans earn in a year - you are creating a huge class divide.

A "Brahmin class" is created - people who have access to wealth, top education, health, power. They don't seem to be aware why couples are postponing marriage, babies, etc.. Sitting in their luxury cars, or landed properties they are mystified when citizens complain about the problems of public transport. They urge Singaporeans to work harder, do longer hours and accept cheaper wages while they reward themselves with massive salaries. You might as well get turtles to get advice from eagles.

Cocooned in their own little world, they are shut off from the noise of the street, from the ordinary citizens. Anyone who offers a dissenting point of view or complain about the problems are told plainly that they can "quit", leave, "get out of my uncaring elitest face (llike Wee Shun Min)", and migrate - go to Perth. One Minster is famous for saying, "Quiters go to Perth"  which is ironic considering that Western Australia is now one of the richest lands in the world where a truck driver can earn over 100k a year.

The tragedy is that a lot of Singaporeans have migrated. For a small population, every single person that leaves is a lost of part of the fabric that makes us uniquely Singapore.

A good friend of mine said, "Ten years ago, when you sat next to an Indian or Chinese at a Hawkers centre, you knew who they were, you shared common cultural grounds, you could chat with them about Singapore's chances in the Malaysian cup, the taste of the Laksa. Now you probably can't. They are quite likely from India, China. They aren't my people, and I feel like a stranger in my own land."

The Govt of Singapore is committed to ensuring the economic progress of the nation - building up that statistical number called the GDP -but it seems its forgotten how to take care of the needs of the people. So when Singapore seems to face an employment shortage - it increases the number of foreign workers allowed into the country.

The Govt leaders are so far removed from its citizens that they actually expect them to compete against workers whose families are being raised in 2nd or 3rd world countries where the cost of living is dramatically lower than Singapore.

Not only that, but they are awarding citizens and PR status to foreigners who are probably not going to stay in the country for long anyway. I've met a few newly-minted Singaporeans and they bluntly told me that the only reason why they are in Singapore is so that they can get a passport which would enable them with easier access to Australia, NZ, America, etc.. Moreover, these same people (if they are over a certain age) are under no obligation to comply with the duties of serving their National Service.

Singaporean families have to send their sons to do this 2 years of compulsory military/civil service (and later on decades of reservist training). Its not a cake walk. Not everyone can go in, train for a few years and rise to become a Brigadier General. A number of NS boys actually get killed or are badly injured during national service. During my NS stint, if a soldier got killed in accident- the Govt would award the family a small sum of a few thousand dollars as compensation. Worse, if you got badly injured, the Govt offered very little to help pay for long term medical expenses. And tragically, the boy is probably the only son/child in the family - thanks to the Govt's Two is Enough policy. Tough shit - it seems to be the govt's attitude.

And what's the point? The young Singaporean boys serve and meanwhile watch as they see increasing numbers of foreigners allowed into the country to take the jobs, not to mention the girls.

LKY is fond of saying that Singaporeans need to buck up, be more like the ancient Spartans (who also perished due to a declining birth rate and a constrictive culture), and face the "hard truths".

The hard truth is that Singapore is a tiny nation and its govt are allowing too many foreigners into the country to take up jobs, property - leaving an increasing number of Singapore citizens alienated in their own tiny country.  

Top quote from

When you love someone

When you love someone - there should be no game, no trickery of the spirit, no manipulation of the mind, there should only be love. Love as the morning sun parts the night sky. Open, uninhibited, clear, forthright.

It should always be like that. Because you want the same back.

Thursday, August 29, 2013

What do you do when someone you love turns away

I'm feeling very sad at the moment.

A girl I have affection for refuses to talk to me. She's overseas. I'm here.

I met this girl in Singapore back in June - and suddenly and surprisingly I developed strong feelings for her. The more I got to know her the more I grew to like her.

We were very alike. We liked the same things - even weird obscure things. And I became very attracted to her company. I liked the way she talked. I liked her wit, her banter, her humor.

I thought we had a connection. I felt it. She said she felt it too.

In hindsight perhaps I didn't give it the attention it deserved. I said a couple of dumb things which made her angry. I listened to an idiot friend who gave bad advice and told me she was flattering me, using me. I allowed him to influence me. Why did I do that?

Why am I listening to some idiot and not to my own heart?

I felt something strong for that girl which I've never felt in a long while. And then suddenly, violently, she's disappeared from my life. I told her I'm sorry but its useless she's not listening.

I've been trying to spend the last couple of weeks forgetting about it. But the feeling sits in my mind like an unwanted guest that does not leave.

Meanwhile I'm trapped here in Australia until I can finish off the tax work for my company. Daily I stare at it, and it stares back at me. I'm seriously not cut out for this sort of work. But I have to do it. There is no other alternative.

I just wish she would return my calls, my messages - which I've stopped sending already by the way.

Some of my friends say its stupid. I'm being needy etc.. I'm not playing the game right.

They are right. I'm not playing a game. I like this person. I thought she liked me too. What fucking game are we talking about again? Do we have to play games when we like someone? Why must human behavior be so trivial. Are we adults or children?

Why must we hide our feelings from the people that we love?

But she's gone. And there's not a damn thing I can do about it except try and forget about her.

But I wish she would call me, talk to me.

Does she think about me? Does she miss me? Does she even care? Or was I just a passing fancy to her? A momentary distraction?

I don't even know her reason for not contacting me any more.

Meanwhile I've got a fucking stupid pile of accounting paperwork sits in front of me. Fuck I gotta do it.

Let me end this sad note with an excerpt by a poem from the South American poet, Neruda

Sonnet XVII

I love you as the plant that never blooms
but carries in itself the light of hidden flowers;
thanks to your love a certain solid fragrance,
risen from the earth, lives darkly in my body.

I love you without knowing how, or when, or from where.
I love you straightforwardly, without complexities or pride;
so I love you because I know no other way


There's truth there. I know no other way than to say I have great affection for that girl even though she has left me cold. I'm not suppose to contact her, talk to her to avoid sounding needy, desperate, weak etc. But oh no, I love that little girl. I shouldn't but I do. She lit up my life like fireworks on National Day - then suddenly its all over and blackness fills the sky.

Tuesday, August 27, 2013

Check out my Poetry Blog

I write poetry from time to time. Its inspired by people I meet, things I see and sometimes as the Muse strikes me and the words come tumbling out of thin air.

There seems to be a recurring theme in my poetry - centered on love, infatuation, unreturned affection.

I hope you like reading them. The website is also on blogger.

Click here

Monday, August 26, 2013

Why we shout in Anger

I heard variations of this delightful story. If you haven't heard it before, read my version.
A Mystic was visiting a river with his followers and saw a group of family members on the other side washing their laundry and shouting angrily at each other. He turned to his followers and asked.

'Why do people in anger shout at each other?'

They thought for a while and one of them said, 'Because when we get angry, we lose our temper.'

'But why shout when the other person is just next to you? Speaking the words softly will still get the message through.' said the kindly man.

And the the Mystic explained,

'When two people are angry at each other, their hearts are distant. To cover that distance they believe that shouting makes them able to get their messages across. The angrier they are, the farther they are apart and that is why they must shout louder.

But when two people fall in love they don't shout but talk softly to each other because their hearts are very close and there is no distance between them.
The saint continued, 'When you are in total love with another and she with you, what happens? You only need to whisper. Sometimes there is not even a need to talk, you only need to look at each other and that's all. That is how close two people are when they love each other.'

He looked at his disciples and said.

'So when you argue do not let your anger overwhelm you. Do not say words that push you further apart. Because a day will come when the distance is sadly so great that you will not find the way to return.'

Sunday, August 25, 2013

Pablo Neruda-I Like For You To Be Still (Narrator/Glenn Close)

I just discovered Pablo Neruda's work - and wow, I'm impressed. His poem "I like for you to be still" is so beautiful.

Well, I admit I'm a diehard romantic. I don't watch football on TV or for that matter any other sport... except perhaps skiing and surfing.

But I do love the sound of good poetry.

Hope you enjoy listening to this. I certainly did.

I like for you to be still 
It is as though you are absent 
And you hear me from far away 
And my voice does not touch you 
It seems as though your eyes had flown away 
And it seems that a kiss had sealed your mouth 
As all things are filled with my soul 
You emerge from the things 
Filled with my soul 
You are like my soul 
A butterfly of dream
And you are like the word: Melancholy

I like for you to be still 
And you seem far away 
It sounds as though you are lamenting 
A butterfly cooing like a dove 
And you hear me from far away 
And my voice does not reach you 
Let me come to be still in your silence 
And let me talk to you with your silence 
That is bright as a lamp 
Simple, as a ring You are like the night
With its stillness and constellations
Your silence is that of a star
As remote and candid I like for you to be still
It is as though you are absent 
Distant and full of sorrow 
So you would've died 
One word then, One smile is enough 
And I'm happy; Happy that it's not true.

Gosh I can't believe this is the first time I'm reading Pablo's work!!! Its sublime.

Deep Blue Sea 2011

"Good grief. FUCK!!!"

This film is utterly brilliant yet painful to watch.

So fucking painful and yet so compelling to watch.

Its like watching a train wreck in slow motion. But the acting is so amazing. Weisz is such a brilliant actress.

In case you're wondering - a song popular during that period has the line "we're caught between perdition and the deep blue sea".

If you like British period films - End to the Affair, Gosford Park, English Patient, etc.. you'll love this as well.

There's something about them - the costume, the mannerism, the style of a beautiful by gone age - and of course the exquisite acting that makes these sorts of films so mesmerizing.

And then you wonder - why can't people be happy? Why do they let things bother them from achieving that happiness?

The only thing that bothered me was the lack of a better "explanation" of why she wanted to kill herself. It needed more depth there - more elaboration - not necessarily in words or detail.

Love your Solitude

Down with the flu. I wanted to go to the Camberwell Market to shop for some antiques, but I'm stuck at home.

I read this article and from it this quotation by Rainer M. Rilke.
“Therefore, dear Sir, love your solitude and try to sing out with the pain it causes you. For those who are near you are far away… and this shows that the space around you is beginning to grow vast.
 Be happy about your growth, in which of course you can’t take anyone with you, and be gentle with those who stay behind; be confident and calm in front of them and don’t torment them with your doubts and don’t frighten them with your faith or joy, which they wouldn’t be able to comprehend.
Seek out some simple and true feeling of what you have in common with them, which doesn’t necessarily have to alter when you yourself change again and again; when you see them, love life in a form that is not your own and be indulgent toward those who are growing old, who are afraid of the aloneness that you trust.

And don’t expect any understanding; but believe in a love that is being stored up for you like an inheritance, and have faith that in this love there is a strength and a blessing so large that you can travel as far as you wish without having to step outside it.”

I wish I could take confidence in this. But right now I'm feeling terribly alone. I'm finding that I do not connect anymore with a lot of my friends. I don't like their humor. I don't even like their company. And for the most part I see them as hypocrites.

I feel like I've wasted a good part of my life caring for a close relative who hates me and who seeks my destruction. I've sacrificed my youth and my fortune for this one person - and she treats it dismissively as if it was an expected deed. Meanwhile I'm watching her drive her car down to Peredition and taking me along for the ride. I've got to get off.

My life is being bled away on useless things - even the gardening. I feel trapped. I feel lost. I read my old blog posts and god help me but I'm still talking about the same damn things for the last 13 years.

I believe in God and believe that He has a plan for me. But I'm feeling right now a distinct sense of dread - as if something horrible is waiting for me around the corner and that He is there laughing at me or like my father expecting me to do what I cannot do.

I used to read stories about Joseph and Moses in the Old Testament and take heart from them - but lately I'm increasingly worried that its just self-delusion.

I really need to get a move on. Get out of Australia and back to Singapore. I'm being suffocated here. I must get out.

Creative Writing courses

I'm thinking of joining a Creative Writing course.

The one offered by RMIT seems comprehensive and include industry assessments. But its three years full time. And I really don't want to be hanging around Melbourne during this period.

I think I need to do something online.

But as CQ said a long time ago - "Just do something!!!! Anything!!!"

 RMIT Creative Writing Course

Old Posts from the Multiply blog

I used to do most of my blogging from a now defunct site.

I tried importing the old blogs over but the dates are messed up. So I'm getting journal entries which were written years ago being posted as this week's events.

Pardon the confusion.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Election Day

I honestly don't want to stand out but there is something in me that makes me different somehow.

I have a low tolerance for bullshit and I have serious problems going along with it willingly.

It was the first day of Secondary School (Monk's Hill Secondary)- I was about 13 years old - and everyone seemed to be in a happy mood. The teacher decided to elect class monitors, and other class gofers - and asked for nominations. I had just recently arrived in the school having been transferred because I flunked my Mandarin- most of the students in my class were also in the same basket.

It was an election. Everyone voted. Except for me.

I didn't see the point in voting for an election where I barely knew who the hell the candidates were. I was an introvert - shy - and making friends and influencing people came hard to me.

I thought it wouldn't matter- I mean - just one vote. Who cares?

Unfortunately for me. The teacher, Mr Happy, did.

Mr Happy counted the votes.  And then he realized that horrors of horrors - some one didn't participate in his social experiement. OMG oh noes the horror!!!!!

He got upset and wanted that smart alec fucker to own up. I shut up and sat tight. And then someone - probably the future Class monitor-  dobbed me in.


The teacher assumed it was an ego thing. And he interrogated me in front of the whole classroom.

If the earth had swallowed me up there and then, I'd be much happier.

Just fucking great Mr Happy. My first day in school and I'm getting fucked in front of everyone.

He assumed I was on an ego trip and placed my name on the nomination list - which of course made me look even more of a fool.

To make matters worse, I probably said a couple of stupid shit things in the awkwardness of the moment. I mean when you're deep in shit, you might as well inhale - and go for broke eh?

But I just didn't see the point in participating in a happy happy moment and voting for some person based on their looks and a couple of feel good statements for a position of responsibility and power - small as it was.

I should have just learned that is the way the world operates.

Its Winter in Melbourne

Its winter now. My bedroom is below 10C unless I have the heater on.

I've been waking up at about 5am - my body is still conditioned to Niue's time zone. Thankfully, I've learned to appreciate the sound of silence - no Roosters crowing here.

I swear the next time I go to Niue I'm going to catch some of those damn birds and make chicken curry or Hainanese Chicken Rice out of them.

Overall the trip to Niue was a bit of a let down. I had high expectations of the trip. I really was expecting to see very close encounters with the humpback whales - but the actuality was few and far between. You'd see a tail flip in the distance, a water spout - I probably saw most than the other visitors.

But I had seriously high expectations of the trip - in more ways than one.

Check out my video of the dolphin swim here:


I've been listening to Aimee Mann to death for the last 20 days. Seriously, she needs to put a health warning label on her records - DO NOT LISTEN IF YOU ARE FEELING DEPRESSED... oh what the hell. Listen to it anyway, it will make you feel "good".

Watch this:

Fuck, this is amazing music.

Found this amazing singer this week. Laura Veirs. Thanks to Spotify

Listen to her here:

She's got a folksy, ethereal, dreamy quality about her - a bit like Suzanne Vega in her first album.

On other fronts:

I've learned that my No.1 Uncle is not well. He's now in rehab. I love that old guy even though I really barely know him really.

Actually cancel that. I know him. He's my blood. We come from the same stock. We think alike. We behave alike. We share core principles - like honesty, kindness, integrity, compassion. We are family. And I love him.

He's so much like my dad that I feel very close to him. We think alike we are one and the same. I'm going to cry a river when he dies.

My mother however she claims she is a "Chiam". But despite a protestations - she is not. She is an "Ng" or "Huang". I've realized over the years that we are so far apart in personality, in manners, in the way we think. And its painful to see that. She is my mother. She gave birth to me. But we are so different. Her entire generation are mean, insensitive, spiteful, obnoxious, selfish, egoistical and simply unaware of the damage they cause to those that they claim to love.


Meanwhile, I'm still staring at a pile of fucking paperwork from the share trading that ain't going away. I am so not cut out for record keeping. The next time I do this sort of shit, I'm going to hire a book keeper. I must finish this shit if I'm going to go back to Singapore next year. I'm done with Australia. I have to get out.

Monday, August 19, 2013

The more the words the less the meaning and how does that profit anyone. Ecc 6:11

The more I say
The more she turns away
What's the use?
I feel like I'm in an Aimee Mann song.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Back from Niue

I swam with 1. whales briefly,
2. saw a whale coming towards us at ramming speed before it dived. I saw its tail flip in the air underwater.
3. spent what seemed like hours swimming with wild dolphins with a flying fish in my hand.
4. saw small schools of barrcuda, wahoo, sharks.
5. spent over an hour listening to whales singing underwater
6. and also spent hours staring at an empty sea.
7. Swam with an unknown shark with a huge tail until it disappeared and I realized what a stupid idea it was to be in the same water, lying in perfect view on top of the ocean with a big shark which you could not see.

But the shadow over the whole trip was wondering what happened to the happy girl I invited for the trip who got cold feet or something and cancelled last minute.

Pain is real. Own it. Express it in your words. Don't take it out on other people. Internalize it. Make it part of your own psyche to strength you, to teach you to help you be a better person.

Friday, August 09, 2013

Auckland to Niue

Had a row with mum before leaving. She came back late pass midnight - probably went to the casino again.

We didn't speak as usual after she comes back home gambling. And she went to bed without saying much - but her venom was palatable.

The next morning she was getting into gear - trying to find ways to fuck the day up.

Thankfully my friend Tavis showed up to give me a ride to the airport which pissed my mum even more off for whatever reason.

I only got him to drop me off at the bus station less than 5 minutes away to catch the bus to the airport. I was carrying 30kg of gear so I didn't fancy carrying it over there on my own two feet - in the wet rain.

The weather was rather wet and wild on the way to the airport. You could easily see the trees in the winds trying to do the limbo how low can you go.

Arrived in Auckland no problems. Booked myself in to the Novotel Airport just a minute's walk from the terminal. Nice hotel. Very well insulated. Can't hear the jet planes.

New Zealand is yeah beautiful - a gorgeous orange and lavender tint sunset greeted me upon arrival.

I must say that the Kiwis are very friendly and courteous compared to the Aussies who seem to regard insulting total strangers as a pleasant way to pass time.

I can't help thinking about my errant traveling companion. I hope she is well, safe and happy wherever she is. But I really wish she was here with me. And I wonder what I could have done to have assuaged her fears.

I am getting tired of traveling alone. I'd be lying if I didn't say I was absolutely overjoyed when she told me she was coming and was making plans for the trip etc.. I was crushed when she told me she decided to cancel - and in such a seemingly casual way.

But I realize that sometimes you just have to travel alone to the places you want to see. You have to go away to find yourself in the solitude of the crowd.

Maybe I should form a League of Affable People where only affable and friendly, kind, decent, warm hearted, patient and generous people can meet, make friends and find traveling buddies.

Better sleep now. Less than 8 hours now before the flight to Niue takes off.

Tuesday, August 06, 2013

I fucked up

I met this girl in Singapore back in June. It wasn't love at first sight.

Once I got to know her however - my attraction for her grew strong and stronger. We liked the same things. We shared similar thoughts. We were very alike. I really enjoyed her company, her presence just grew on me like lichen on an ancient granite wall. She liked me too it seems and I became infatuated with her. Infatuated is such a dirty word. ... exceedingly attracted to her?

We went out for lunch and dinner a few times. We kissed. And she mentioned she enjoyed traveling - so I invited her to go for this trip to the South Pacific with me and she agreed enthusiastically. I was ecstatic to say the least.

I started falling for her. And I told her things to her which I shouldn't have. I told her personal things about my life. Terrible things. Stupid things. I sent her no less than ten poems. And I said a few things which were absolutely outrageous and idiotic.

I even wrote an erotic story with the island as a background about her - good grief, what was I thinking?

Finally she had enough and she told me off. She said I was scaring her and that my feelings were just too much. She just wanted to be friends and was worried I was taking things too far. I apologized and I thought that was that.

I really should have seen that coming. I was barraging her on whatsapp with all the inconsequential details of my life. And when she didn't reply I would send more messages to her. I must have seemed to be like a 14 year old boy. What a fool I was. But I apologized and resisted from messaging her, except for the occasional stupid message sent at 6am.

That must have confirmed the worse suspicions about me.

My friends warned me that she wouldn't go. And advised me to ask her point blank whether she was OK in going or not. One of them said that she would most likely pull out at the very last minute. He was also skeptical of her - and I'm afraid I let some of his cynicism rub off me.

In hindsight, perhaps I should have asked and found out more. But I just wanted to go with the flow. So far she did not give me any indication that she was bailing on the trip.

Last week, to my delight, she still assured me she was going for this trip to Niue and preparing for it. I was delighted and reminded her to make sure her passport was up-to-date and to get travel insurance etc..

Then on Friday, I received a curt message:

"I can't make it for this trip sweetie. Sorry."

No excuse. No reason. Initially I was furious. Later however after quiet reflection, I can imagine why she did it that way.

I should have been prepared for this. But after getting the assurance last week that she was up for the trip. I was devastated.

Suddenly all my emotions spilled over. I practically begged her to come on this trip. I harangued her on that whatsapp platform. And then she blocked me.

Mind you I didn't swear or curse her. I was upset. I felt betrayed. To be honest if she had told me earlier on that she was coming I would have been prepared to accept it. But not after she had told me she was still excited about the trip just days earlier. WTF happened seriously?
I had worried that something like this would happen. I'm not a terribly cool person and when I'm nervous I said the most godawful things. I don't keep my feelings in check. If I like someone I say it. I don't hold back. Sigh. FM.

Some of my friends told me to just forget about her - some told me to send a more abusive messages to let her know how pissed off I was. One of my male friend told me that she was never coming in the first place and that she was just using me - leading me on.

I shouldn't listen to them. They were not there when I was with her nor did they talk to her.

I look back on our conversations and the small times we shared and I do believe that her affection for me was genuine.

But there lies the problem - she regards me as a friend whereas I had made it perfectly obvious I wanted more from the relationship.

I could have toned down my emotions. I should have done more to hide my feelings. I should have behaved more like an adult than a child.

But I'm upset that I upset her.

I fucked up.

Postscript 18th August

I'd be lying if I said I just want to be her friend. Obviously I like her a lot - we seem to share a lot of things in common and I do enjoy her company. You could meet a thousand people - in my case with my own peculiar interests in WW2 History, porcelain, fine art, architecture, films, etc..  - one hundred thousand and not meet a person like her. And now she's gone.

Sunday, August 04, 2013

Dear oh dear

I woke up feeling OK. Better than yesterday.

But I still feel blue. And I'm very sad that a special friend has decided not to talk to me.

She did something inexplicable and I got angry at her and said things.

But right now I couldn't care less about the offence.

I just want to talk to her and find out how she is.

Several weeks ago she told me she just wanted to be friends and was worried that I felt very different about her.

Right now I just want to be her friend. I want to hear her say she's OK. I want to tell her I don't care what she has done.

Friday, August 02, 2013

Travelling to Niue - this time tomorrow where will I be?

This time tomorrow where will I be?
On a sailship somewhere sailing across an empty sea? (The Kinks)

In 7 days time I will be at Niue. Well technically speaking 8 days.

On Friday I fly to Auckland. On Saturday I fly to Niue (from Auckland). But I arrive on Niue on Friday. The flight will take about 3 - 5 hours.

Time travel. Guess why? :) Work it out its not too hard.

I'm going there in the peak season to swim with the migrating humpback whales (and resident dolphins).

Its going to be a blast.

Then suddenly I realize. I'm going alone. And suddenly that singular truth really bit me hard for some reason - like a climber at Mt Everest who upon reaching a crucial peak sitting his hand out for his partner who is bringing the rest of the rope and grasping empty space. 

I'm traveling all the way there to a remarkable place- staying in this bungalow - alone. I'm going to experience all this amazing shit. And I'm going back and staring at a wall - most likely. I'll read my books. Watch some DVDs. Write my journals. Fucking alone. Its tearing me apart like swallowing razor blades. No. Why?

Somehow seriously WTF that upset me today. I feel like I got hit by a brick or baseball bat in the stomach.

I tend to be a bit introvert sometimes. And I often just shut up like a clam. Overwhelming shyness in the face of strangers. Sometimes I say the most stupidest things. I'm just tense.

I don't drink, smoke, take drugs, I've even cut back on junk food. Skip my breakfasts too often though. Spend too long in bed sometimes.

I go for these trips - mainly scuba diving - partly because you don't need to talk underwater. You just observe and move along.

But you still have to get back onto the boat (or go back to resort). I don't know... I just have sometimes nothing at all to add to my fellow traveler's conversations.

And it doesn't help me they were all already firm friends or part of a clique (or a Secret Society of Strangers which I didn't know about).

I've been asking friends to come along for this trip for over a year or more. No one seems to be in the least bit interested. Nada. Then I met this girl in Singapore and I liked her a lot. It wasn't a once off - it was a feeling that stayed with me and grew. I invited her on this trip. And she was extremely excited about it and we booked the tickets and everything was set!!!! Woohoo!!! Alright!!! I came back to Australia - we communicated a bit and unfortunately I said things to her which I shouldn't have.

I think I conveyed to her the sense that I was a bit of a fuckwit, an imbecile.  Gosh I can be so so stupid sometimes.

I apologized and refrained from the unspeakable dialogue.

But she didn't give me any indication she was thinking of bailing or even apprehensive about the trip. Then suddenly today, she msg me and said she's not coming. Why? Everything was ready to go. Only a day ago she was telling me she really was excited about the trip.

Then suddenly... "I can't make the trip sweetie. Sorry." End of message.

How bizarre is that?

Am I still going for the trip? Yeah of course. Am I going to be sad that she's not coming? Yes. Of course!!! But I don't understand why. When did she decide not to come? Did I say something wrong? (Of course I DID!!!)

Initially I felt I trusted her and she let me down. But later upon reflection I realized I must have conveyed a rather unpleasant view of myself when I texted her all that garbage.

But guess what? I fall down but I get up again.  I wish her all the best.

Postscript- after a couple of days. I had time to reflect on the past month. And I think I probably unnerved her and she couldn't get over it. I mean we barely know each other - and here I am telling her foolish things about myself.

I messaged her and told her I'm sad that she's not coming and I hold myself accountable for her abrupt decision. I behaved like a fool.

I'll just read this poem now by TS Eliot.

LET us go then, you and I,
When the evening is spread out against the sky
Like a patient etherized upon a table;
Let us go, through certain half-deserted streets,
The muttering retreats        5
Of restless nights in one-night cheap hotels
And sawdust restaurants with oyster-shells:
Streets that follow like a tedious argument
Of insidious intent
To lead you to an overwhelming question….        10
Oh, do not ask, “What is it?”
Let us go and make our visit.
In the room the women come and go
Talking of Michelangelo.
The yellow fog that rubs its back upon the window-panes,        15
The yellow smoke that rubs its muzzle on the window-panes
Licked its tongue into the corners of the evening,
Lingered upon the pools that stand in drains,
Let fall upon its back the soot that falls from chimneys,
Slipped by the terrace, made a sudden leap,        20
And seeing that it was a soft October night,
Curled once about the house, and fell asleep.
And indeed there will be time
For the yellow smoke that slides along the street,
Rubbing its back upon the window panes;        25
There will be time, there will be time
To prepare a face to meet the faces that you meet;
There will be time to murder and create,
And time for all the works and days of hands
That lift and drop a question on your plate;        30
Time for you and time for me,
And time yet for a hundred indecisions,
And for a hundred visions and revisions,
Before the taking of a toast and tea.
In the room the women come and go        35
Talking of Michelangelo.
And indeed there will be time
To wonder, “Do I dare?” and, “Do I dare?”
Time to turn back and descend the stair,
With a bald spot in the middle of my hair—        40
(They will say: “How his hair is growing thin!”)
My morning coat, my collar mounting firmly to the chin,
My necktie rich and modest, but asserted by a simple pin—
(They will say: “But how his arms and legs are thin!”)
Do I dare        45
Disturb the universe?
In a minute there is time
For decisions and revisions which a minute will reverse.
For I have known them all already, known them all:
Have known the evenings, mornings, afternoons,        50
I have measured out my life with coffee spoons;
I know the voices dying with a dying fall
Beneath the music from a farther room.
  So how should I presume?
And I have known the eyes already, known them all—        55
The eyes that fix you in a formulated phrase,
And when I am formulated, sprawling on a pin,
When I am pinned and wriggling on the wall,
Then how should I begin
To spit out all the butt-ends of my days and ways?        60
  And how should I presume?
And I have known the arms already, known them all—
Arms that are braceleted and white and bare
(But in the lamplight, downed with light brown hair!)
Is it perfume from a dress        65
That makes me so digress?
Arms that lie along a table, or wrap about a shawl.
  And should I then presume?
  And how should I begin?
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
Shall I say, I have gone at dusk through narrow streets        70
And watched the smoke that rises from the pipes
Of lonely men in shirt-sleeves, leaning out of windows?…
I should have been a pair of ragged claws
Scuttling across the floors of silent seas.
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
And the afternoon, the evening, sleeps so peacefully!        75
Smoothed by long fingers,
Asleep … tired … or it malingers,
Stretched on the floor, here beside you and me.
Should I, after tea and cakes and ices,
Have the strength to force the moment to its crisis?        80
But though I have wept and fasted, wept and prayed,
Though I have seen my head (grown slightly bald) brought in upon a platter,
I am no prophet—and here’s no great matter;
I have seen the moment of my greatness flicker,
And I have seen the eternal Footman hold my coat, and snicker,        85
And in short, I was afraid.
And would it have been worth it, after all,
After the cups, the marmalade, the tea,
Among the porcelain, among some talk of you and me,
Would it have been worth while,        90
To have bitten off the matter with a smile,
To have squeezed the universe into a ball
To roll it toward some overwhelming question,
To say: “I am Lazarus, come from the dead,
Come back to tell you all, I shall tell you all”—        95
If one, settling a pillow by her head,
  Should say: “That is not what I meant at all;
  That is not it, at all.”
And would it have been worth it, after all,
Would it have been worth while,        100
After the sunsets and the dooryards and the sprinkled streets,
After the novels, after the teacups, after the skirts that trail along the floor—
And this, and so much more?—
It is impossible to say just what I mean!
But as if a magic lantern threw the nerves in patterns on a screen:        105
Would it have been worth while
If one, settling a pillow or throwing off a shawl,
And turning toward the window, should say:
  “That is not it at all,
  That is not what I meant, at all.”
.      .      .      .      .      .      .      .
No! I am not Prince Hamlet, nor was meant to be;
Am an attendant lord, one that will do
To swell a progress, start a scene or two,
Advise the prince; no doubt, an easy tool,
Deferential, glad to be of use,        115
Politic, cautious, and meticulous;
Full of high sentence, but a bit obtuse;
At times, indeed, almost ridiculous—
Almost, at times, the Fool.
I grow old … I grow old …        120
I shall wear the bottoms of my trousers rolled.
Shall I part my hair behind? Do I dare to eat a peach?
I shall wear white flannel trousers, and walk upon the beach.
I have heard the mermaids singing, each to each.
I do not think that they will sing to me.        125
I have seen them riding seaward on the waves
Combing the white hair of the waves blown back
When the wind blows the water white and black.
We have lingered in the chambers of the sea
By sea-girls wreathed with seaweed red and brown        130
Till human voices wake us, and we drown.