Singapore / Updates

a much-needed break

I have been hit by a particularly intense bout of laziness this weekend. I was supposed to go windsurfing on Saturday but felt strangely reluctant to make my way down to East Coast, so I begged off on the premise that it was raining. Technically, it was raining, and when it stopped, it was too late for me to take a bus there. Or something.

I was punished for that today when I went only to realize that the place was closed for Hari Raya, which I had thought was tomorrow. I biked for an hour instead and composed letters I will never write, much less send, in my head while weaving through leisure weekenders and errant kids on training wheels. I found their presence almost a personal insult, to be honest; I was in quite a grumpy mood.

I don’t know if I have mentioned this before: I am always hit by a momentary flash of fear the first moments in the sea. The waves (if I can even call the gentle swells that) seem too capricious, the waters too menacingly opaque. But it always passes. I was looking at photos of beaches in Phuket, Thailand (because I am looking at taking a Open Water dive course in September there!) and I saw actual waves and I shivered. Maybe I should start swimming more often.

Today I made dinner again, to disappointingly little fanfare. I confess that the rustic charm of cooking (and food!) has very much been stripped away here. As spartan as MCL’s kitchen was, I somehow despise the one in my house more, and I am very rarely impressed by what I make in it. (Yes, a lousy worker blames her tools!) I did manage to cook a fairly competent ribeye tonight, but my roasted chicken and vegetables did not really roast per se – it was more of a feeble broiling. But my tastes are strangely Western at home, and strangely Asian at Pearson, so my family isn’t a huge fan of what I do, generally. Plus, I seem to have gone off meat into … vegetables and tofu, which is, shall we say, UNWELCOME TERRITORY for the men in my family.

Speaking of my family, my childhood TV fare comprised, embarrassingly, Disney Channel, Cartoon Network and many HK dramas (dubbed into Mandarin – it was a long while before I realized the actors actually speak Cantonese), especially those period ones, of ancient Chinese dynasties and court intrigues. My family’s living situation reminds me laughingly of the Forbidden Palace’s environment, with multiple families and generations cohabiting (albeit with frequent movements). At its worst, there are four sets of … offspring in my house: my brother and I, my mom’s older sister’s daughter, my mom’s younger sister’s daughter, and my dad’s second sister’s son. I’m the prodigal daughter, of course – I don’t even have a room in the house. My grandmother is the most consistent resident, and she’s the Empress Dowager, of course, in that everyone has to be respectful and solicitous towards her but she does not take part in the practical running of the household. Sometimes when all of us go for family dinners, I wonder how we look to outsiders. Clearly, we all look very different. (The only other situation I would imagine possessing a higher shock value is if a couple has adopted children from every single continent – or visibly distinct race! – and walks out with all of them in tow.)

But I’m glad to be leaving soon. It’s getting harder to push myself. Spent four hours online in a funk last night.

NEW FIND: This is a great language learning site. Or a site to learn just about anything, apparently, but I’m currently using it for German.

My posts are very mundane these days, though my thoughts are world-weary. I’ll try to remedy those (if not the latter, then at least the former) soon!


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