24th May 2015Posted in: FlashFiction 0

I spent about twenty minutes walking around to find the plate of noodles that made me think of it day and night, for a few days in a row, after a local penang friend took me there.

The plate of noodles was prepared in a mobile stainless steel food truck and attached to a motorbike. Two middle aged men took turns to cook the noodles, while an old lady sat by the side, taking down orders. A younger woman, delivered the food, holding up to three plates stacked on each arm.

Upon receiving my noodles on a foldable plastic table, while I sat on a portable chair, along the roadside, I could not help but admire the dish for a few seconds for it looks like a piece of art – the green chilies are in the spoon, fried dumplings that sit on the top side of the plate – the noodles are swimming in a dark gravy and garnished with reddish slices of barbequed pork meat.

I stirred in the green chillies and they melted into the dish, the gravy blended in the meats and dumplings, before digging into the tantalising dish that – man – made me feel like YES this is the best time of my life after a long hard day of work.

The heat was unbearable, but the food was too tasty to bother. I drowned down a ice cold freshly squeezed orange juice after the meal. Life is beautiful.

I am back in the air conditioned room, back to technology, back to the inter-connectivity. But for a moment of time, I was transported into the nostalgia of the past – when my grand mother was still alive.

I miss her so much.

20th May 2015Posted in: Ugly Works 0

As much as the material world tells me otherwise… I believe I am a dancer with a poetic soul.

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18th May 2015Posted in: FlashFiction 0

Oasis Hourglass
In a vast empty desert
My bare feet dug into the coarse sand
Dust blew into my eyes
I closed my eyes and walked on

In the day time, I traced the direction of the sun
In the night time, I followed the stars

Red bloody marks left my steps, as days past
The particles of sand was suffocating my lungs
There was no reprieve, no signs
Of anyone, I was alone
in the vast desert
For so long
that I lost track of days

The hot sun bored on my head, as I became light and faint
I landed onto the hard sand on my knees and hands,
In a quiet prayer

In the distance, there was an oasis
so clear and blue
the water was shimmering like gold
in the waves of the desert heat

I crawled on my hands and knees towards the oasis
with every single ouch of strength left in my body
as sand went into every pore of my skin

With a final reach, I stretched out my hand
trying to touch the crystal clear water
Water. I need water.

I cupped a handful of water and put it onto my dry lips
only to taste grains of sand

It was just a mirage.

12th May 2015Posted in: Editorial, World 0

A social-cultural in-depth comparison of Singapore and Penang, two former British ports that were governed differently, one governed for prosperity, and the other, governed for simplicity.

In a traditional shophouse in Penang, a middle age man in a singlet is preparing food at the counter, customers walked in to inspect the hanging chickens, pointing to the parts they wanted. The middle age man’s wife recorded the orders on a flimsy paper. The customers sat down, their sons delivered the hot and piping dishes – fresh chicken, fragrant rice and boiled soup. An elderly man was seated at the corner of a shop on a small desk, fanning himself with a straw fan.

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Traditional Shop houses in Penang

This is a common sight in Penang, businesses are handed from one generation to the next within the family, a trend that has not changed despite the effects of globalisation. In Singapore, high rents and the social pressure to succeed has lead to the next generation in resenting in taking over their family’s traditional business, opting to work in an air-conditioned MNC with opportunities to advance their career in a nice white collared shirt.

Steven, a Singaporean, shared that his uncle, who operates a successful oyster omelette store, with the original recipe handed down from his grandfather, will be closing down his business this year. His uncle’s only daughter, who is afraid of cooking oil splattering onto her complexion, does not wish to continue the family business, which has been operational for over 80 years.

High cost of living had lead to lower birth rates in Singapore, with fewer people tying the knot, as women in Singapore have almost equal opportunities to men in when it comes to education, health, economic participation.

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Singapore – Marina Bay Sands Casino

 

At the expense of economic advancement in Singapore, couples are delaying marriages, having to work for a longer period of time to put down a deposit and take out a thirty year loan, and staying with their parents after marriage to save cost, and only moving to their own homes after their 30s. The average age of women in Singapore having their first child is at age 29. and, usually they only have one child, with an average fertility rate at 1.25.

 

In contrast, the lower cost of living in Penang makes it easily for someone to own their home before the age of 30. Most women have two kids (based on Malaysia fertility rate at 2.1). 93% of Malaysians own a car. The lower cost pressures had made it easier for people to live in a more relaxed pace of life – with home, car ownership before age 30, with two kids in the mix.

 

The cost of modernisation in Singapore is at the expense of livelihoods, resulting in the next generation in delaying home ownership and marriage. Singaporeans had traded their lives, for progress. But in the progress of what? What more is there to be proud of when the basics of the traditional social structures are breaking down in the name of progression?

 

Singapore can learn a lesson from Penang. To stop, sit back, prioritise, fan oneself with a straw paper fan, and continue the legacy.
6th May 2015Posted in: FlashFiction 0

Went into a truth and became a lie.
It eats me inside, growing with more pain.
My soul no longer dances or sings.
It’s just… a blank space.

A blank empty space.

4th May 2015Posted in: Random 0

The game is over
When one player refuses to play
The piano does not sound right
When one hand is not playing
You can’t clap
Without two hands

Why did you stop ?
It’s not game over.

3rd May 2015Posted in: FlashFiction 0

The sound of the camera refocusing,
“Click” it went, I was naked.
“Click” it went, I was tied.
“Click” it went again, I was blindfolded

This time I wanted to scream, but I was gagged. Moist filled the blindfold as tears seeped through the fabric. I could not move nor see. I could only hear the endless clicks going off every second as I laid there.

I opened my eyes. The view of polluted skies greeted my vision, my back ached. I sat up. The stone pavement was warm. My bag, which I was using as a pillow, was safe.

The view of Marina Bay Sands greeted me.
The waves were moving calmly on the fresh green waters. Boats are drifting in and out. A few tourists were snapping pictures of the casino. Posing and smiling.

“Click” the camera went.

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28th Apr 2015Posted in: FlashFiction, Random 0

The lights in his eyes went out after that call.
He was as good as dead.

25th Apr 2015Posted in: Random 0

are trying to drag me below the waters, I struggled to breathe. I struggled to pull myself out, but there is no island. Just a vast blue sea. Alone. It’s a battle, against those hands and my will to live. My resolve was turning weak. I had never felt at peace. It’s just a big black hole. Going inside. Going outside. Growing in mosses. Growing weeds.

I have nothing left, nothing left. There is nothing to take except my body. Those hands, grabbing my hands and legs, pulling me down. They just want everything that is left of me. But that’s not what it is, it’s not my body that they want, they want my soul.

A deafening sound shrieked through the oceans. The sound of an orca. The killer whale. The hands disappeared. I found myself on the back of the whale, as it lifted me up and away to safe land…

24th Apr 2015Posted in: Random 0

Can’t sleep. You are on my mind. Dancing in my mind. There you are, calling out to me. That soft whispers. That laugh. You are behind that camera. You snap. No, you did not snap. Click, the sound goes off. Yet another day. Another time. That I am thinking about you. We are in the neo print machine booth. Waves crashing, sun rising. We are together on the hills. I fell. Into the icy ocean depths, this time it was pitch black dark. There is no one could can see me. No one who can hear me.

I am free. Swimming beneath. Downwards. Spirals. More spirals. Deep. There is no emotions down there, just a blank state. That blank state of having nothing. There are no more whispers and no more memories.

It’s peaceful and quiet. Is this how death is like? In the limbo state where nothing moves of changes?

Let’s end it. I don’t know. But just pull that trigger. So I can be free.