Thursday, 29 September 2022

A fall and a memory

 Can't imagine I tripped and fell... again. The last time was missing a step at an overhead bridge. This time right in front of the Sri Mariamman Temple. Was looking at its shrouded gopuram (the front tower) as well as all its sacred cows perched on its walls. Think it is undergoing a face-lift.

Each time I fell I remembered my mum telling me how she slipped and fell in Chinatown while looking for the stall that sold dried mushrooms.

I cannot wish hard enough that I had accompanied her. She is gone now but the pain and regret that I had not shown her enough care and love remain.

Monday, 26 September 2022

The parrot gang

 Whatever happened to the parrot gang at West Coast Park? They were my special attraction whenever I took a walk there. Some three or four of them would be at the park with their beautiful parrots 🦜.  

It's always such a joy to see these birds circle the sky, squawking abandonly. But at a command, they would fly back to settle on their owners' hands.

Of late however, birds and owners are no where to be seen. Hmm, hope they are gone just for a short holiday. 

Friday, 23 September 2022

Strange coincidence

 One or two bus stops after Vivo City, I saw a guy bending over the front right wheel of his car. Think he was jacking it up to change a punctured tyre. 

Another bus stop after this. I saw the same thing. Car colour the same ( looked like the previous car though I  couldn't confirm it's the same make),  punctured tyre same wheel... car parked about the same distance from the bus stop as the last troubled car. Driver bending in the same position.

Did I somehow get a glimpse of the future? Or just coincidence?

Sunday, 7 August 2022

Rock of Sisyphus

 First they tell you 10,000 steps a day is good for you. That would take you approximately about 1 hr  and 45 mins. Then they say no good if you just saunter around admiring the view and smelling the roses.  Must do brisk walking. Then they say, just brisk walking not good enough, must do some strength resistance exercises to lessen muscle loss. Still not enough, must also do exercises that increase flexibility... stretch those muscles... work towards long, lean muscles.

So for about three days, I couldn't clear my cat litter very well. Couldn't stoop because of some stretching exercises which I either did wrongly or overly. The rock has rolled back on me.

But hey today, I find I could stoop a bit more! Yay! I have pushed the rock up a little bit.

Homer got it right, the guy who supposedly wrote about the adventures of ancient Greeks and Greek gods in his poems. Sisyphus, one of the characters, a king no less, was condemned by Zeus to push a rock up the hill for eternity -- a punishment for his wicked deeds. The moment Sisyphus managed to push it up a little, it came tumbling back and he had to push it up again. 

Don't we have to keep pushing this rock -- on a personal-- and macro level.  On the macro level, just when we have made some advances in fighting the pandemic, when the economy started to show signs of picking up -- and we have the Ukraine war -- and many other political unrests. We thought technology has come to the rescue.  Hurray for cars, aircon and of course handphones! But then there's climate change. 

I guess that's the human condition. We just have to keep pushing the rock. And oh, count our blessings.

Friday, 5 August 2022

When eating an ice cream is so hard

😖You rush home with your precious tub of ice cream.  Just can't wait to dig in. But why, oh why is it so difficult to remove that stupid piece of foil on top after removing the cap? Sure, there is that little tab which supposedly allows you to lift it up with ease. But tug all you like, it wouldn't budge. A tweezer may help offer a firm grip. Where's that eyebrow tweezer when I needed it? Look, I am having a bad day. Is it so difficult to eat a tub of ice cream?

Thursday, 21 July 2022

Wind catchers

 As I passed by this sun-drenched "valley" along Commonwealth Ave, it occurred to me that this would be an ideal place to fly a kite. See, there's a clear space for one to run with the kite so that it will take off. And, there's no one else crazy enough to do the same here -- so no chances of getting one's kite entangled with another. 

I don't remember when was the last time I flew a kite. But I remember the first time I learnt to fly one was down the road outside the house we used to live. I would hold the kite chest level. My brother would hold the string some distance down the road. At the shout of 3, I was supposed to throw the kite up into the air, and my brother would run like the wind. And the kite was supposed to take off. Of course, I would like to be the one running, but usually, I was designated to hold the kite. 

These days, though it is nice to see all sorts of creatures flying in the sky at places where kite aficionados like to go, I still prefer the old rice paper ones with bamboo frames -- with a nice long tail.

Wind catcher, anyone? I don't mind holding the kite :)

Saturday, 16 July 2022

The long walk

Back in the 90s, when I first explored this stretch of the Ulu Pandan park connector (from Clementi towards Jurong), it was a narrow clayey, sandy lane with tall lallang on both sides. I remember walking endlessly in my Japanese slippers. It was afternoon and hot, hot, hot. But there was no return as I had proceeded quite far into the unknown. Must find out where it leads to. Surprise, surprise, it opened into Boon Lay Way or was it Boon Lay Road, can't really remember. So from there, I took a bus back. Luckily, I had some coins on me!

Long walks are not alien to me. I think it was primary 3? It was art and craft day and after the exhibition of our works in the morning, we had the afternoon off.  My friend suggested I should visit her home. So both holding our handicrafts (a wooden stool done by the boys with a seat cover decorated with cross stitches done by girls) we were off.

If I remember rightly, the sandy lane (Lorong something starting with G) branched off old Cheng San Road and ran parallel to Tavistock Avenue for a bit. Then it ran amok, winding through villages and wells. It took forever to reach her house somewhere in Sembawang (?). It was a wonder I could find my way home, with strength enough to carry that blessed stool.

One day, I shall go to the National Library and dig out an old street directory. I would really love to relive that walk. How did my friend walk such a distance every day to school in Serangoon Gardens? BTW, she was a skinny girl with a thick pony tail who suddenly out of the blue one day, vomited a huge round worm in class.

Hardy creatures we were.  

Wednesday, 13 July 2022

Huckleberry friend

Moon River has been my favourite song since childhood. I especially like this part: Waiting round the bend, my huckleberry friend...

It must be fantastic to have a "huckleberry" friend waiting round the bend for you. I visualise someone with a backpack waiting for you at an appointed place and time. And once you have arrived, the journey continues, with arms round each other's shoulders (silhouetted against a round, fat  moon).

I didn't manage to catch the 1961 movie "Breakfast at Tiffany's" which featured Moon River as its theme song. It is a romantic comedy and has a happy ending, so I read. But the melody and the lyrics didn't sound that upbeat. In fact it sounds a little sad, to me. Somehow, it brought to mind, the story of a loyal dog waiting at the station for his master to return day after day... The master of course, could not, having died in the war.

Poor huckleberry friend. 

Saturday, 9 July 2022

COVID-19 funnies: No. 3

 Me (masked): Shui jiao mian ta.

Hawker (masked): Ha?

Me: SHUI JIAO MIAN TA... dabao.

Hawker: Chilli?

Me: Ha?

Hawker: CHILLI?

Finally went home with my noodles. Opened packet and to my dismay, it was feng jiao mian (phoenix leg aka chicken leg noodles). Alamak.

Friday, 8 July 2022

Thursday, 7 July 2022

Covid-19 funnies: No. 1

 I guess the funniest thing that happened to me during the pandemic was in 2020 - can't exactly remember when - but I think early part of the year. A time mostly filled with anxiety. I made myself a breakfast of chicken noodles (from a chicken dish leftover from the day before). Then I settled down to watch YouTube. Then I bit on a piece of tiny bone that broke a bridge. 

A few frantic calls to my dentist and I was finally on the dentist's chair.  There was a brief conversation that went:

Me: "Must take out mask, right?" 

Dentist: "I also wish you don't have to."