349: the wheels fly and the colours spin

We were young, we were free, happily drunk and suited up. There’s no time to be in Holland like this time, and though the weather refused to cooperate, the joy is in gritting your teeth and continuing to be happy. Everyone was out in full force, from the babies to the grandparents — family fun. Whatever the reason to celebrate, there is always a reason to drink beer.

Cheers! ♥

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348: they come, they come, to build a wall between us

(You know that they won’t win,)

Berlin is a wonderful place. For everyone who has been there, they will know what I mean. There’s nothing quite like Berlin, which continually surprises you and makes your heart stop at every turn. Berlin is a city where contradictions fly into each other and crash spectacularly. Next to a piece of history there is the unmistakable odour of youth. The crash and bang of paint and art hurls itself against unwanted buildings, forgotten roads, new life creeping into dead parts of cities. Slowly but surely the city is being preserved, sterilised against time, for a past they refuse to forget. And yet history is made relevant in the most startling of ways, through new life, new art, new ideas. Fresh ideas that refuse to be forgotten, old ideas that refuse to be erased. We cannot forget, and so we must remember. 

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347: maybe that something’s gonna happen today

I feel like today has been a peaceful day. After the hubbub of last night, where I remember having dangerous conversations, great chili from Mitch, way too much wine and unnecessary beer, and once again, the frenzy of dancing in a crowd of bodies that have absolutely nothing to do with each other, smudged eyeliner. Strange because I didn’t recognise most people there and was too lazy to make new friends, for the most part. Increasingly I feel rather anti-social and reclusive and all I want to do is hide back in my (now) familiar, cosy room and not come out, especially since the weather this week has been completely uncooperative. Yesterday on my way to school I encountered at least four different weather phenomena in the space of twenty minutes, which sounds impressive but is terrible to get through. It is hard to explain how horrible it feels to have it rain ice when you are trying to cycle your fastest to get to school on time with the howling wind blowing ice right at your face the entire time. My cheeks are still itchy from the cuts. You never really know how much the weather affects your day, mostly because it never really changes in Singapore. In any case, everything is insulated against the weather, and nobody really cares. In view of my upcoming trip to Austria I finally downloaded The Sound of Music, which is possibly my favourite movie of all time and one that I really needed to have watched about three months ago. 

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346: hearts on fire, i reach out to you tonight

Do I want this or what. I love it so hard it is unbelievable. Am tempted to buy a random canvas tote and sew my own, because I could totally do it, and not give Marc Jacobs an extra $1395 in his pocket. QUESTIONS. DILEMMAS. EXCEPT MY SEWING KIT IS IN SWEDEN. (EXCUSES.)

I want to go out, except nothing is open, because for once I don’t feel constrained by my bicycle. Except I have a ton of readings to do, so I should probably do them. As for planning holidays, things have a way of working themselves out in the end (I believe), so I should calm the fuck down and be less annoyed with myself and the world. Meanwhile, I have been sitting at home watching shows, spamming Top Chef like there’s no tomorrow, starting on Hell’s Kitchen (and the 45546 Japanese dramas/HK movies on my hard drive). I just got back from a weekend in Luxembourg, where the five-hour train ride was one of the better journeys, despite having to wake up at 6 in the morning. 

It was not bad, not bad at all. We stumbled, head first yet again, into a random cafe which turned out to be a gem. Score! I love wandering around aimlessly and finding things I wouldn’t have known were there. Going to Berlin in a few days! Excited.

345: smiling flash, talking trash, under your breath

I am super annoyed. In fact, I am so annoyed it’s not even funny. I am trying to plan my holidays for March, but all it turns up is that everywhere I want to go, nobody is free, or they have all been there before. And when I think about the reason as to this sad and very unfortunate state of affairs, the only answer that pops up is a very obvious one. Because I keep waiting for people, who say they don’t mind — scratch that, want — to go again with me, and then shit happens, everything gets fucked up, including all my bloody plans — and my life, goddamnit — and now I am stuck in a rut. Of course I know it’s unfair to blame everything on one cause, and I was stupid enough to put all my eggs in one basket, but obviously I thought that if you can’t trust the person closest to you, you can’t bloody trust anyone. As it turns out, I am painfully right. These things have a way of proving themselves to you. Am I happy? No. Am I bitter? Fuck yes. Am I jealous? Possibly so. I am tired of pretending like all this does not matter to me, because it does, and I am not even pissed off so much as I am jealous and annoyed at myself for being an irrational jealous human being. And if someone says the four words 把握青春 to me ever again, I will fucking kill them. I hate how there are shadows still hanging over my head. Most of all I hate how people get to be happy and I don’t. I hate how I feel like I will never be happy as long as they are, because that makes me evil, and I don’t like being evil, because I know — I know — that the happiness I deserve is there, even if I don’t see it now, so I am just being a stupid angry piece of nonsense. And I hate how as much as I don’t like being evil, I can’t bring myself to be all noble about it, because that nonsense only belongs in movies, and I’ve had enough of people thinking their life belongs in a fairy tale TVB drama serial. Seriously, what the fuck man. I am an existential mess. 

(Also, X — X, of all people — is teaching me ways to get over someone. I wish I had enough energy to laugh at how ridiculous my life has become.)

344: singing my life with his words

Strange how the time flies; suddenly I’m back in school again, lessons are starting up, and as usual, I’m all happy and raring to go. It’s good to be back in Holland, which is slowly but surely beginning to feel familiar. Still, home is where the heart is, and sometimes I think that it’s not so much the country but the fact that I can come home to my own room, my own life and space, and just do my own thing. Travelling is fun, and so is meeting up with people, but sometimes all you need is time to yourself. I have always treasured having my own life, and now more than ever, I feel like I’m getting myself back again.

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343: i have fought the good fight

There are things I would like you to know, if only you have the time. After all that has been said and done, after all that has come and gone, what matters that is what is left is you and me. Maybe you and me, on two different ends of the earth, maybe you and I, who have been different from the beginning. We have travelled these roads, gone up and down these hills — as uninspiring as they might have been, our journeys are what we make of them. 

How do you feel as you travel through time and space towards a love you cannot save? The train rolls on, and the landscape never changes. Here the skies are dark and wintry, and one barely sees anything through the windows. One makes out the skeletons of trees and the falling snow, grey against the dark ground.

One may ask, 好好的一份爱,怎样会慢慢变坏, but the answer is simple. You remember the times when he said, there will be nothing left if only one side keeps paddling. One is tempted to continually attribute fault to one person, but the fact is that the oars on both sides must move in order to keep the boat moving; and then, more than anything, it must take two hands to clap.

The train is less silent than one expects. In France it was full of Japanese, polite to a fault and quiet as death, whispering around each other, afraid of stepping on someone else’s toes. Here there are murmurs of conversation, muffled laughter, and the sound of little children. Everywhere on trains people sleep and start up again, their heads nodding in time with the jerk of the trains along the rails. If I could, I would whisper my love to you across the tracks, and maybe you would wake up too.

And yet, even if everything is doomed, we take the same chances; and in a warped way, we follow the same paths. We try to not hurt other people as we strive not to hurt ourselves, rejoicing in our youth as we hurtle towards adulthood, drinking in the year as if we were starved of air. Like maniacs we shuttle from place to place, checking off boxes and ticking off sights as we go along, as if each place were so easily explainable, so easily seen. As travelers we brave only the surface of the iceberg, intrepid as we are, and yet what swarms beneath is what is important. What is essential, you remember, is invisible to the eye — it is only in your mind’s eye that you can see rightly.

And then, we paint our pictures in our memories. When we prefer not to take pictures, each detail of every city is absorbed, and we cannot get enough. We struggle to remember everything, as if each day were our last, and we could only breathe that air once. It could be that the people are unfriendly, too friendly, or unnecessarily friendly or unfriendly, but if one is objective one remembers that we do not know enough to judge. All we have are our impressions, and our thoughts, and these are all we have to go on. 

All was good and seemed normal as she walked towards the train that would bring her away, far away from these memories and the things that made her sad. For some it must have been a journey they have made before, towards a future they did not understand. She laughed and joked and smiled, just as she did all this time, brave and strong as she tried to be. As she stepped into the train she waved half-heartedly, as if she knew it might not be the last time that she saw him like this — and yet it was too late when she settled herself, and sat by the window. As she looked out she found no trace of him, and it might have been then she finally realised — neither too early nor too late, perhaps — that there might have been a time when he would wait until she left, but not anymore.

And then — across the rails. The train began to speed towards a new beginning in the middle of the night. Unclear and dark, perhaps, to a girl alone and scared as hell, but still surging forward, the only way she knew how.

 

房子建在海上,就注定一生漂泊. 但连浪子也不会吃回头草. 只要自己能抬得起头往前走,就是对的. 自己问心无愧,光明正大地活着,这才是坚强,这才是力量.