Saturday, 15 March 2014

this place called home

One of the books I'm currently reading now is "What the Most Successful People Do Before Breakfast". Yeah, I'm that kind of person. I kinda have a weakness for self-help/improvement books because I do think that the mind can influence everything in life. Basically it's about how people utilise and make the most of their time. With weekends for example, while most people would want to just laze around on the couch and while away their time catching up on movies with a 10 hour marathon, there are people who make it a point to plan out their weekends so that they don't waste them away. (According to the book, because I sure don't harbour quotes like these in my mind at any one time) Anatole France once wrote, "Man is so made that he can only find relaxation from one kind of labor by taking up another". I suppose that has a ring of truth to it. But mainly if the alternate form of labour is something one is passionate and enthusiastic about. Then through indulging in it (even if it might be challenging or tough in itself), one would find a sort of pleasure from having achieved something, if not external, then internal peace of mind at being able to do something for oneself.
For me, it's a constant struggle. Work gets so tiring that most of the time all I want to do is lie in bed during my free time/sleep in on the glorious mornings when I don't have to work. Almost always, I'm still trying to figure out how to make full use of time - to cherish it, relish it and yet not get stressed out by its finiteness. It's a different form of stress, because once you have it, the thought that it could slip away adds to the burden of not wanting to while it away thoughtlessly. Ever felt that way? 

But I digress. One of the things recommended by the author was to create a list of 100 Dreams - things to work into weekends so that each one becomes meaningful and not wasted away by the time spent deciding what to do. One of the things on my list would have to be Photography + Exploration. Ok that makes two. But they would have to be hand in hand. In the past few weeks whenever I go out with Donald, we try to explore areas that we haven't been to before in SG. I tend to bring my darling Minolta along while he snaps away with his iPhone5. It's great that he's into photography a lot more now because recently he's discovered the wonders of Vscocam and has been making full use of it in Instagram. ;p (Do check out his Instagram feed and follow along because he's got some great stuff there. *coughshamelesspluggingcough*) It always feels like there are so many places to explore, so many bits of SG to (re-)discover. And even if it's walking by the usual places like Orchard, sometimes it's so dang fun to put on touristy sunglasses. New perspectives always keep things fresh. 

So here are some snapshots of my SG. :D 

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Random parrot outside a store in Jurong. This one was uncharacteristically...quiet.

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Outside Necessary Provisions, a cafe which is apparently really good but EVERYTIME Donald and I have gone there in an attempt to indulge in coffee/a good meal, we've always been thwarted by 1. overcrowded cafe (and they actually did not let us in because they said it was too crowded!) 2. random closing hours 3. trouble outside about 20m away requiring us to call the police (but that's a story for another day). The long and short of it is that we have no managed to get inside...yet.

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While walking along Tanjong Pagar after lunch one day.

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One of THE coolest, most bad-ass Uncles by far. This guy is just plain awesome. He must be 70 or 80 years of age but by gosh is he FIT. He's always outside Ngee Ann City (at least I've seen him there during the weekends), swinging those humungous hooped beads, sometimes two at a time. He's been featured in the papers a number of times for his fitness regime heh. And when he needs to take a break (probably a toilet break), he just leaves his belongings behind, bucket full of cash/donations included. That's the trusting spirit that's so hard to come by nowadays. One day, I hope to be as daring, healthy, energetic and bold as this dude. I could wax lyrical about him the entire day. X) And he always gives the best poses.

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I just adore him. And my sis actually managed to get a free lesson in bead-hooping from him the other day! Will need to find out her story soon.

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Ohhh the smell of roasted chestnuts. One of my favourites. :) Managed to catch this chestnut selling uncle outside Liat Towers one evening at Orchard.

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House of Tau Sah Piah in Balestier. Really tasty stuff! This was during the CNY period too so those snacks were perfect.

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Coffee bean wholesaler in Balestier. Another smell I adore/which excites me but I'm still a tea guzzler more than coffee.

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In the gorgeous Plain Vanilla cafe. My only qualm would be that the air-conditioning does not extend to the customer-eating space! If it did, it would be quite perfect. Because the cakes/pastries/cupcakes are DELISH.

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Along Haji Lane, there's a vintage clothing store called Dulcetfig which is probably now famous for having 3 resident cats (well at last count, there were 3) in the store. If I ever had a store, I would get my future French Bulldog, Kong, to be the mascot.

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One of the few times that cats make my heart melt. :)

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Steeples Deli! A family favorite from way back in the day. I have many fond memories of this place. My dad used to bring my sis and me for weekend breakfasts/lunches here all the time last time. And without fail, I would get a classic beef burger (well done for the beef, because well, I was a kid) and a chocolate milkshake. And each time, I would polish off the entire thing. I had a humungous appetite (and belly) at the time and for some reason I used to think showing off how much I could eat was something that would score me brownie points in my parents' eyes. ;p That place had the best smoothies ever though. Rich, creamy, thick...cold... I don't eat beef anymore so if anything I would go back for a smoothie. And they have incredible Rueben sandwiches too. SIGH. <3 (It's at Tanglin Shopping Centre)

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Mr Dapper Cat lost in his own thoughts in a store in Tiong Bahru. When I first came across it, I honestly thought it was a statue because it was so still. Until it shifted ever so slightly. Made for a good model.

Going through these photos and all those memories was actually pretty comforting. :) More next time! xoxo

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