All grown up and nowhere to go

Archive for May 2008

I’m back home and feeling the emptiness. Please excuse me this one emo entry. When you’re used to hearing someone’s voice day in, day out, being an ass and a sweetheart in turns, it takes some time to adjust back to lone living.

I chop-ed an aisle seat for the flight back and had as blissful a flight experience as can be. No one took the middle seat and the late-twenties Singaporean girl at the window was nice enough. I pulled my feet up and snoozed in between meals and movies. Somehow, the plan to revise my notes for CFA went out the window.

I left the cbkia at Heathrow too. It was so sad towards the end. I couldn’t bear to leave him and kept looking back, wishing we’d had more time. We had quite a long time together as it is, yet it sped by, within the blink of an eye. How did that happen? How?

The window-seat girl was complaining about how horrid the London weather was, all rain and gloom and coldness. She couldn’t wait to get back home. But that’s because she was alone, while I had the cbkia. I was rained on too, like on my last night there (TWO NIGHTS AGO!!!) but I wasn’t at all upset. It was near 1am, I was with the cbkia, walking towards the nightbus stop from the casino. I remember we chatted about having supper (pizza delivery) (turned out to be closed after 1 am), about the kukujiaos at the blackjack tables and the crazy loose-pants Chinese guy who was truly playing loose; each roulette hand placing at least GBP300 worth of chips. I kept up a running commentary as I saw his long stack of pink chips, worth GBP100 each, dwindle to nothing.

I miss the cbkia. Miss miss miss him. I can’t believe just yesterday I was at his school (same interior as Bath, I guess uni’s in UK are all as doddery), and then eating lunch at Master Superfish.¬†I can’t believe that less than 24 hours ago I was still in his arms, hugging him goodbye.

It felt a lifetime away.

I teared a bit on the plane, and cried more freely at home.

But why so emotional? He’ll be back with me on 29 June, a mere month away. To be honest, I’m scared. I’ll start work on 1 July. I’m scared I won’t have any more time for him then. As an MA, I’ll have to do extra organizing work on top of the normal rotation. I don’t want to just see him for one day out of seven in each week. So in a way, this holiday was to be our longest time spent together, overall.

The nicest thing about the holiday, as I told the cbkia, was having someone to go home with and settle down to rest. It just doesn’t work like that in Singapore. I really loved our leisurely stroll down the road after the DLR, all swinging hands and playful skips in steps. Even when it’s freezing cold and I was trying to pretend that I was okay, when he’d rub his hands up and down my arms and scold me for being weak, it’s much more lovely than walking home in the warm Singapore weather alone.

So yes, that was what was most wonderful, that he made me look forward to the end of day.

I guess I should stop here, I’m rambling on and just making myself sadder.

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Can it be? Time flies disgustingly fast. Needless to say the past 1.5 months have been the best holiday I’ve ever had. Even with the short bursts of quarrels with the cbkia. What’s so different about London now is that it feels as if I’m home, rather than just a visiting tourist for 2-3 days at a shot.

As I’m typing this I’m letting out a long deep sigh. Finally the journey is over. Back to the ‘real world’, where my challenges lie vast, tougher than ironing shirts or planning the next day’s itinerary. The only thing keeping me going is the prospect of online shopping at kinokuniya.com! Whee! I love online shopping ūüôā

Still, I wish I could extend my stay. But time and funds are running short. I was telling cbkia earlier, if only he’d brought me to Nobu sooner, I’d discover its delicious dishes before I spent all my money on shopping. We would’ve been able to go a few more times! Alas, it was not to be. I’m determined to eat there again though. Next Easter? Let’s see.


Nobu’s #1 signature dish: black cod with miso. Amazingly tasty.


Sashimi salad with matsuhisa dressing – tangy and fresh.

nobu

Posted on: May 25, 2008

The cbkia is bringing me to Nobu at the Met tomorrow. I can’t wait to try Jap food mixed with a bit of Latin American touch! Before which it’ll be Buckingham Palace and the changing of the guards (though I now feel more excited about the lunch than seeing the guards… I expect it to be similar to the ordeal at Prague).

We’ll finally be shopping at high street together too. I’ll have to retrace my steps a bit to process my VAT claims at some shops. Hopefully they won’t mind me showing just a battered receipt. If I have to lug all my barangs back it’ll be rather cumbersome.

I’ve been fascinating myself with Diana Wynne Jones’ books. At 0.01GBP each on Amazon.co.uk, you really can’t complain much. Her storytelling is truly magical, much more captivating than smelly JK Rowling and her emo Harry. I’m all ready and excited to order her books back home through Kinokuniya!

Being in London for the second time makes me realize how exciting life is here. Not that I go to clubs and party all the time (in fact, I didn’t, at all), but there’re just so many things to do here in terms of arts and literature as opposed to Singapore. Musicals go on for years, plays and comedies abound, and the amount of books! The UK really does the arts scene way better than Singapore. I saw an advert for a ballet starting in June. Pity I won’t be here then.

Life here feels much more unrestrained too. The absence of parents clearly helps. I find myself enjoying housework (except for vacuuming, the cbkia’s vacuum emits a rather weird odor and I scurry for the door everytime he turns it on) when I’m not being scolded into doing them. I can structure my time better and I find I’m not one of those people who, without supervision, will just go on DOTA-ing all day.

I love this city and its cold, windy weather. Everything about it is great except for the anal nature of the Brits and the tube smell. I really, really want to work here. I don’t even mind doing Accounting stuff, I just want to work in London! I wonder if I’d gone on finding work, if I’d managed to secure something here… But I have a feeling that without a UK degree I will lose out. LSE postgrad in 2 -3 years, and then we’ll see.

Went to high street as planned and got this dress for Grad Night. Let’s hope it won’t be a waste! Not really looking forward to the whole prom-ish thing you see, so I needed the incentive of a pretty dress to get me through. It fits like a dream and the colour goes really well with my skin tone ūüôā

Needless to say I’d have to crunch up on my spending from now on.

The cbkia is bewildered with the amount of post I have been getting, all courtesy of Amazon.co.uk. Indeed I have been freely bequeathing upon myself such treasures as books and Birks (going for 15 GBP, which is an outright steal!) and I have found Amazon’s service much much speedier than stinky ASOS. Syd’s took up the ordering slack last week and not a peep have I heard from the anxiously-awaited for ASOS delivery, worth 100 GBP no less!

If I were to point out one of the most delicious bits of online shopping, it would be the experience of laying eyes on a bulky post item addressed to you. First, this eliminates the prospect of the morning post being yet another dreary set of junk/bills/letters of invitation from the Singapore Tourism Board to apply for a ‘much sought after’ position with them. Second, such mysteriously-shaped delivery opens your mind to wonderful imaginery as to what might be inside (the fact that you yourself ordered the item having been, for the moment,¬†conveniently forgotten).¬†

This moment of bliss over, it’s time to pick up the delivery and shake it¬†by your ear to invite further guesses from your much alive thoughts. And then, it is nothing but pure joy to pick up the kitchen scissors which your boyfriend had, on the previous night, made use of to¬†gouge coagulated blood out of the pack of ASDA chicken, and slash the package right open.

And those would be the most precious minutes of your online shopping life. So addictive¬†were they¬†that you can’t help logging on once again to Amazon.co.uk to see what other wonders lie ahead.

I was trying to adapt to the style of writing of Wilkie Collins above. Basically when I ordered my Birks, I was 3 cents short of being eligible for free delivery, so I thought purchasing a ‘Penguin Popular Classic’ would be the cheapest way out of paying delivery (and indeed the book only cost me 1.80 GBP).

The book has been captivating me ever since. It’s called The Moonstone and the story is so wonderful, the way it’s told. From my experience reading (or, more accurately, attempting to read) Wuthering Heights, the language acted like a barrier. That is an euphemism for it being boring. So I guess not all classics are shitty, and I’m glad to report that Wilkie Collins is one awesome laudanum-addicted writer.

Apart from occupying myself with online shopping, I’ve been revising for the impending doom that is the CFA exam. Honestly, I can’t imagine why they’d want to test on so many things at once, and make everything so bloody expensive. If you’re gonna make someone pay US$220 on a set of textbooks of biblical proportions, please be kind enough as to NOT HAVE ANY MISTAKES IN THEM. I got so confused and turned around when reading one of the stupid texts sometimes that I felt like tearing the thing in two. I would have, too, but it was too thick and heavy.

Oh well, complaints, complaints, complaints. I’ll refrain from whining more, I hate the sound of¬†me myself. Actually I’m just whiling the time before Geoff, the cbkia and myself are scheduled to go to ASDA, at 12.30 am. 24-hour shopping is such a marvel! I haven’t checked the temperature, but it should be a nice warm 10 degrees (sarcasm noted please), in MAY (heavier sarcasm here), so I’d better pad up.

Watching Les Miserables with Chang Qi tomorrow, and then I think I’m supposed to meet Jeremy Ho in the morning on Wednesday but for the life of me I can’t remember the exact time… better check with him soon. Except I don’t have credit in the Orange card. Oh well. I suppose it’ll sort itself out.

One week left, and still so many things to do! Greenwich, Harrods, Buckingham Palace, not to mention scouring high street some more for Syd’s boots and my own graduation dress and bits and pieces in between! Want to pop by Nando’s and Elephant Royale too if I have the chance. The cbkia is moving to Waterloo soon by the by, such a lovely location… tempting me to visit again in December!

I guess I’ll end my aimless, directionless post here. I suppose next time I should put up some pictures so that it’s not all boring words… Bleah.

While I was in Leicester Square yesterday, I wasn’t able to catch even the tiniest glimpse of SJP or Kim Catrall for the world premiere of the SATC movie ūüė¶ What a waste! The roads were blocked here and there and only the groupies who camped early could get near enough to take pictures. I could only jump up and down, craning my neck, fueled by bouts of screaming happening upfront. Oh wells. But the movie really generated a lot of attention, tourists speaking different languages are pronouncing “Sex And The City” in various accents as they, like me, attempted in vain to see the stars.

I bought birkies and some books from Amazon but now it seems like they won’t be delivered until 27 May. I bought some stuff from ASOS but now it seems like, despite paying for delivery and having legitimate identity, they are questioning the integrity of my order because the name on my card isn’t the same as the one under my ASOS account. WHAT THE FUCK??? What if I’d registered Easter Bunny as my ASOS account name? It still doesn’t make a difference so long as the billing name is my name, does it??? Besides, if I’m really using someone else’s card to buy stuff online, I think I’ll be buying something a wee bit more expensive than ASOS goods.

And that’s precisely the reason for my poopiness. The British’s propensity for being anal is driving me nuts. I’m tired of bureaucracy and red tape, tired of ‘frustrating inconveniences’, tired of being made to feel like I’d committed a crime when I haven’t. With the PMS that I’m having, I really suddenly wish that Britain will be¬†attacked just to realize their extreme paranoia. Rahhhhhh!

Two weeks ago (gosh, how time flies!) we made our way to this city of sin (and bikes). Our journey started at the Central Station… Dutch isn’t all that similar to English and reading the signs can be a little confusing at times!


From inside the train.


Which smells like pee!


We stayed at a caravan managed by Lucky Lake Hostel, but didn’t feel so lucky on the first night. Upon arrival we wanted to find a restaurant by the lake, and somehow just couldn’t find it amongst the untrodden paths. No living being in sight to ask for directions either, because it happened to be freezing. Settled for a lake picture and then a jiggly jog back for overpriced pizza at the hostel, which by the way charged for everything from shuttle transport to a bloody mini heater. I saw a coin slot in the shower and thought they’d charge for hot water too!


Us, blue from the cold and breathless from the wind!


The next day was just as chilly. We didn’t want to step out of the warm, clean tram.


Bought cups of coffee and hot chocolate just so we could hold them for warmth!


Went to Van Gogh museum and this is of course the famed sunflowers painting. Van Gogh produced a lot of versions of the sunflowers still life while he was still not so crazy. Later on in life he suffered from a form of epilepsy which caused him to have hallucinations and fits. He cut off an earlobe and finally shot himself, dying a few days later.


View from a terrace.


I Amsterdam!


We loved the warmth of buildings!


Later on it got¬†a bit sunny, perfect weather for strolling along dodgy alleys. The smaller words read ‘Jap bikes will be crushed’.


I believe it is rape!


The Dutch customary snack: croquettes with mustard and thick fries (patats) with mayo and ketchup!


We were too lazy to go inside, but the garden outside was beautiful enough to take pictures of.


More of the Rijks Museum.


Pretty right? What you can’t see is a pair of frogs at a pond nearby,¬†doing it like they do in the¬†Discovery Channel before our very eyes.


ca-si-NOOOOO. I played a live 10-men tourney and although I had a pretty good start, screwed it all by putting all my chips on a gutshot straight. The cbkia was cursing me all the way after. Better start playing more often… I’m rusty!


A street performer juggling three flaming torches while balancing a bike on his chin.


And then, he juggled a machette, an orange and a live buzzing¬†chainsaw. That thing’s blade is the same length as your lower arm! Brrrr.


Where did I park my bike?


The central station: get your trains, metros, buses, trams and horse shit right here!


Anne Frank’s house. The museum visit was like a story-telling session. Although the educational value was not lost on me, I can’t help thinking that the Frank family was quite frankly a richie that escaped much of the harm caused by the Nazis, and the children a spoiled bunch who were still smuggled movie magazines in the very well furnished hiding place while other Jews were tortured. A boy who was hiding with them still received a stock-trading boardgame on his birthday. Um, hello? And then, after they all died except for the father (Otto Frank), he found his daughter’s diary. And just like¬†the successful¬†businessman that he was, he went to publish it. Meh… I don’t buy into this whole Anne Frank thing. The persecution of the Jews is clearly a horror, so why focus on only one child?


But it was still very sad.


Next day, brighter things, Old Dutch Pancake with bananas!


On the paddleboat along the Leidseplein canal.


This is a rather tiring exercise! Especially when two Chinese kukubirds are getting themselves lost by paddling without checking the directions first!


Yeah… we were lost.


Lost, lost, lost.


Chi!


Discovered: Chinatown!


And that wonder of wonders, bubble tea.


Some nicely spaced cake?


Owner of the coffee shop was nice enough to take a picture of us sipping coffee. Um, yeah. Cough.


Cannabis seed: Legal and bred well.


What’s Amsterdam without the red light district, just a coupla blocks off Chinatown? We checked out a lot of girls, from pre-teens to questionable MILFs.


The Ajax Arena / stadium! Um, I’m still not entirely sure what it is, but the cbkia loves it.


The famous blu (golden) (they change colours everyday?) bridge at the Waterlooplein. We asked an Amsterdamie about any possible story behind it, but apparently it’s not interesting enough for him to know ūüėÄ


Bye, Amstie!