I Feel Lucky

On Sunday morning, I was on the way to meet my boss when I got into a minor collision on the road.  It could have been worse and I don’t know why but I can’t shake off a feeling that something was meant to happen.  So when it turned out to be kinda a bender fender with someone who was stand up enough to admit it was his fault – running a give way intersection, I can’t help but feel like I’ve got someone looking out for me 🙂

If I could afford it, I’ll always buy continental cars.  He was a little beat up but other than that, he braked well, it could have been worse if he didn’t and he held up better than the other car.  He’s in the hospital now for the week when I’m away in Perth visiting my parents.  I did say someone is looking out for me.

Here’s a week filled with minor hiccups that remind us someone IS looking out for us.

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Being 30something

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Between my sister and me, I was always the more cautious one. At the playground, she’ll jump the monkey bars, do crazy stunts while I planted hands and feet steadily on the ladder before climbing up the slide for simple thrills. By the time I was 21, I thought, “Hey if it’s anytime to be less cautious it should be now!” Although I can hear my sister laughing at my version of jumping-two-feet-in, it was probably the most flying-by-the-seat-of-my-pants time.

By the time I turned 30, it turned out to be a bigger thing for me than I had realised at the time which is 2 years ago now. It was a wonderful birthday, one that family and friends help make a big deal of, enough that I’ll never forget … till I have my 40th, I reckon :)

What I didn’t realise then was that my life was literally moving into a different stage. It was no conscious move on my part but just like with everything else in my life, it kinda just happened. I left a start-up that was a major part of my being, I moved out of my parents for real (my Mum packed ALL my stuff and had them transported to my place) and found out real adult friendships will last a lifetime.

So the thing I have to say about being 30something is that I’m A LOT more comfortable in my skin now. Don’t get me wrong, I loved my 20s. It was a crazy time and I was the fortunate few whose parents didn’t mind that my first job in theatre paid me SGD1000 a month no CPF, no benefits. My Dad drove me to work and picked me up at crazy hours after rehearsals too. My Mum made sure I was fed well and enjoying myself. My sis was just sure she wasn’t going to take the path I was treading :) Partied hard with friends when I had the time, dated all the wrong people and learned enough to find the right guy to marry. Most of my 20s was spent working though, 20hour days either creating, writing, producing, directing and selling documentaries, drama, children’s TV, animation i.e. I had a ball :) There were really tough days but I’m so grateful for them because I don’t think I could have travelled as much with any other job or be given opportunities to make deals that most people only get to do in their late 30s or 40s. Granted most people thought I was kidding at the start of the meetings but we did pretty good, even if I have to say so myself ;)

So unlike my parents who married and started young, I’m only beginning to ’settle down’ in my 30s. And all I can say is that my 20s happened so that I could enjoy my 30s, I started understanding more clearly that parents do know better but we have to live our mistakes only to learn from them (it ain’t going to happen any other way and am thankful my parents gave me the safety net to make them all :P ). And I’m hoping my 30s is as enlightening as my 20s so that my 40s would get even better but in a nutshell here’s life lessons from being 20something to enjoy 30something:-

  1. Toxic friends do exist, dump them … life’s too short
  2. Balance is key … absolutes are unnecessary
  3. All relationships (with family, friends, work, play even God) take time and the other party is always giving even/especially when we don’t see it
  4. The small stuff really don’t matter, no one remembers and if they do, go back to point 1
  5. It’s all about perspective, my favourite Persian proverb (probably the only one I know) – I complained about not having new shoes until I saw a man with no feet.
  6. So be grateful, everything can always be worse.

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The Diving Bell and The Butterfly

It was 1999 when I read, The Diving Bell and The Butterfly.  It's a simple true story about a man who had everything and woke up one day with the locked-in syndrome.  That basically means he couldn't move ANY part of his body except his eyelids … yes, all he could control was his eyes blinking.  With that, between him and his communication therapist, they developed a  system which is how he wrote the book … of course, with the help of an assistant who typed it all out.  I remember his sense of humour in the book, his very positive outlook despite having everything taken away from him in one swoop, who would have thought it was possible.

Thankfully the film maintained the essence of who he was.  I was curious how they were going to visually explore the very personal way he learnt to re-communicate.  So with POV angles and VOs, the audience is led into the a world where we can only imagine the fear and frustration.  And that was where the film was a little flawed for me. 

It seemed to gloss over what could possibly be the scariest moment of anyone's life.  And when he was learning to communicate with blinks, his frustrations were very reasonable … maybe that was what really happened.  Still, it felt a little unreal.

On the whole, it was one of those films that made you think a little about life.  It's all about perspective.  My dear friend, Cherry spent the afternoon at the zoo today.  She was volunteering to bring kids with Down Syndrome around.  Yeah, she has a sweet heart :)  And after that we were talking, it's so easy to be contented once everything is put in perspective. 

Which brings me to another story, the Dalai Lama was in Perth recently and my parents went to hear him speak; and the Dalai Lama had a simple advice … just four simple words – Contentment, Compassion, Love and Forgiveness.  It's not easy but with things put in perspective, we can always try.  So I'm working on being content and today I'm feeling pretty good about it 🙂

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Third Street Promanade, Santa Monica

With the trade show out of the way, Day03 has to be my favourite :)  After the show, I headed down to Third Street Promanade aka Orchard Road of Santa Monica and boy is it crowded on a Saturday night.  You can't walk 20 steps without having some street performer to entertain you, some more interesting than others and you can barely see what's happening if you're too late.

Like these group of breakdancers (I assume from the few glimpse I managed to catch) who had the crowd cheering.  Since I was late I was left with guitar playing duo and Japanese or Korean students:-

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The Asian students were really … … for lack of a better word different … but I have to say their performance had style, they had a multi-media approach as well with a screen on the side projecting different images.

Wonder if Singapore will evolve into such an enviroment where casual performers have a place to entertain?  One can always hope … …

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2 days in Seoul

Yep, flew in Sunday evening and woke up at 4:30am Wednesday morning to catch a flight out to HK.  So it was two full days filled with meetings in Seoul.  Not bad for a work trip, if I don't say so myself :)  When we arrived, I got off the plane and walked into an airport that looked strangely familiar … even though I've never been to … so I guess the designers for Changi Airport can only do one kind of design lor :P  It is a real pretty airport though 🙂

After an hour on a mini van we reached our hotel which was a great place.  Not too expensive for a comfy bed, a small kitchenette, a washing machine (which I didn't get to use) with free broadband … what else can you ask for? 

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It had a Starbucks close by and a major subway station.  Totally would recommend it to anyone who's looking to go to Seoul but make your reservation through www.hotelwide.com … it gives a better internet rate. 

In the 2 days I was there I realise Seoul is quite the city that doesn't sleep.  With a major road running in front of the hotel, everytime I looked out of the window the traffic was heavy.

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So on the first night, Michelle, Chee Wee and I braved the cold and headed to Myeoung-Dong for dinner.  We followed Michelle as she confidently navigated us through the slightly confusing station.  She told us when to get off, which platform to change to and which train to transfer to and viola … we've crossed the Han River and arrived to a young hip part of Downtown Seoul … well, at least from what I saw it came across young and hip to me.  It even had a stage for hip hop performances … made me wonder what tourists think of Orchard Road in Singapore.

Oh well, the 3 hungry  Singaporeans found the first place that served also vegetarian  dishes and went right in.  I had a typical Korean noodle dish with a whole bunch of fresh veggies with Korean chilli sauce.  It was yummy but so very spicy … so spicy I had to 'wash' my noodles in the soup 😛 but so yummy I couldn't stop eating it.

The next two days was filled with work so most of what I saw of Seoul was through office windows or the window of our mini van … and I'm pleased to report the Koreans seem to like us enough.

And on the last night there I ventured on my own to check out a vegan bakery and a vegetarian restuarant.  I had a vegan chocolate chip cookie before dinner … it was yummy and started to wonder why they don't have a branch in Singapore.  Then I navigated the subway station on my own and found a quaint little vegetarian place which served a traditional Korean fare veggie style.  It was buffet style with all-you-can-eat kimchi, fresh veggies as well as Korean style stir fry.  I have to say I thoroughly enjoyed the meal :)  My favourite bit was the rice … sticky wtih beans for extra protein!!

After dinner I walked around a really sweet art-sy district.  It was filled with cute little local designer shops as well as fine art galleries to roam through … and then you turn the corner and there's street art too 😛

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So when we rose before dawn to catch our flight, I thought I should come back to Seoul for fun soon.  For now though, I was glad to say goodbye, the chilly spring where temperatures ranged from 2 – 10 degrees is not my style … I'm truly a tropical city girl 😛

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Vox Hunt: Deserves to be heard

From JulesAudio: Share something extremely rare that deserves to be heard.

Here's my 'rare' find … from Merril Bainbridge, Australian chick … kinda one-hit-wonder type … Being Boring is from her album, The Garden but it wasn't this track that did it for her  … on the contrary, I don't think much was thought of about this song i.e. 'rare' … but it's the one I like 🙂

I like this song mostly coz it brings me back to carefree days in Perth where the biggest stress was getting a paper in on time and having the time to read on a grassy knoll.  So for that it deserves to be heard.

Kinda like how Like A Virgin immediately makes me Primary 6 again and remember trying to figure out if I was old enough to have crushes on A-ha or was young enough to be still into Strawberry Shortcake.

Hang on a minute … I'm still into Strawberry Shortcake.

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Organic Farming

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Ever since I became vegetarian some 5 and a half years ago, I've been learning more about organic produce; its importance to the environment and health has kinda made me a strong advocate of organic farming.

So whenever I have time, I go check organic farms out … coz you know an organic label doesn't really cut it for me … yes, I have trust issues :P  Anyway, A and I have pretty much checked out all the organic farms there are in Singapore and in fact order our weekly dose of fresh veggies from Green Circle Eco-Farm, so when we heard of this really huge organic farm in Negeri Sembilan … we packed out bags for a quick weekend getaway to check it out.

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I'm happy to report we had a lovely time and the Titi Eco Farm Resort is a nice place to getaway for the weekend :)  In fact, they actually have simple cabins for people to stay over with activities to learn about organic farming as well as nutrtional vegetarian cooking.  They do have a lot of different veggies but most of them can be found in Singapore too, and they don't deliver to Singapore coz we're a little to far away for the organic veggies with no perservatives to survive.  Makes me wonder about all this organic produce from Australia and the US that I find in our supermarkets in Singapore … …

Anywho, like all good organic farms they make their own compost so nothing goes to waste :)  All organic trash goes into a bin that is sorted and later turned into yummy nutrients for the soil which is important as a lot of the factory farmed veggies are grown on weak soil and so technically don't have sufficient nutrients we need.  And man, you can tell by the taste of the fresh veggies, I had corn raw freshly plucked from the plant … and they were the sweetest thing ever … first time I've ever had raw corn … and ladysfinger, fresh from the plant, it's sweet with no slime … cool, right?  The papayas though were the best thing I've eaten.  It was really too good to be true 😛

Made me want to go out buy land and become an organic farmer … then reality sets in and I remember the time when I was in secondary school and my parents were going away for a holiday.  My Mummy had a simple task for me – water her plants.  My Mummy, for the uninitiated, was born with green thumbs, fingers and toes … and unfortunately, I didn't inherit any of those genes so even though I watered her plants, they met their untimely demise.  So I'll stick to what I do better – shopping for organic produce 🙂

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