Chingay is an annual street parade that is celebrated in Singapore and Malaysia. It is in celebration of the various birthdays of the Chinese deities or the procession of the Goddess of Mercy. In recent times, the annual street parade consists of floats and processions from various communities in Singapore and abroad. This year is my first time that I actually attended the parade with a ticket. Previous years, I would usually watch the performance on TV, which is broadcast live.
The Chingay performance was a dazzle of lights, colour and music, with numerous floats representing the various Chinese deities, social groups in Singapore, associations and even foreign delegates from various countries around the world. The performance took place at the F1 pit and I was lucky to be seated relatively close to the action. I brought my camera along to capture some of the action. Despite only owning a 23mm f2.0 lens on my newly acquired Fujifilm X-Pro 3 camera, I still managed to get some great shots of the various floats and performances during the parade.
The parade was better than expected, partly due to the sound and lights that nicely complemented with the performance. Aside from that, there were the occasional fireworks, laser light shows and drone performances. Everything was tightly coordinated. The highlight of the entire parade was the 100 meter long dragon that floated and drifted along the length of the F1 pit. It was truly impressive to see it in person.
Taking advantage of the Black Friday sales and the Christmas shopping season, my family and I bought heaps of stuff as Christmas gifts. Honest, we have never bought this much for our relatives who would be coming to our house to celebrate Christmas on Christmas Day. As host to this year’s celebration, we are making it extra special, buying lots of gifts for them and their children (my nieces and nephews). Of course there will be great food and log cakes and stuff like that as part of the celebration. But the shopping was unreal. We spent the whole day shopping, going to several departmental stores, each of them holding massive Christmas and Black Friday sales. It was jam packed with shoppers doing the same thing as us, just getting good deals out of all the madness.
Now its time to wrap them up and put it under our so called Christmas tree. Technically we don’t have a Christmas tree. Just a fake plant but we put lighting and decorations all over the plant, so it looks kinda christmassy.
Today, I went to town after work to get a present for a Friend of mine. She wanted a book, by Daniel Kehneman, Thinking Fast and Slow. I bought it at Kinokuniya and had it gift wrapped. I read this book before. Or tried reading it it. I have read hundreds of books ever since I first started tracking what books I have read over the years. I started tracking all the books that I read when during my years in Polytechnic. After 10 years or so, I have collectively read close to 400 books. And these were just the ones I was able to remember and track.
Thinking Fast and Slow was one of the very few books that I selected to be in my reading list but I never gotten the chance to finish reading it when it was time to pick this book up. The book was extremely technical and academic in it’s writing that it was hard to follow. Language was not complicated, but rather, the subject matter that was discussed within those pages. As a renown psychologist who won a Nobel prize for his works in the field of the psychology of judgment, decision making and behavioural economics, this book, in order to appreciate it, requires fundamental understanding of these three topics. I clearly didn’t, or maybe not to the level that is required to fully appreciate his works and experiences as an academic who have spent his entire life researching on the topic. Now, as he wrote this book as a reflection of the fields that he has advanced throughout the years, without sufficient knowledge behind those concepts, you can easily get lost in the technical jargons founds within the pages of this book.
And so, my friend’s wish list was this book. I chose not to warn her about it, but rather just get the book as her Christmas gift. Whether or not she gets to enjoy the book is completely up to her. If she actually manages to finish reading it, then I admire her tenacity, but judging from experience, she may be able to read the passages in this book, but I highly doubt she will be able to follow the concept through at the end of each chapter. Imagine each chapter, being written and read like an academic paper. Now imagine multiple academic papers bound together to give birth to this book. The topics are complex, and the delivery, extremely dry. On a positive note, its a pretty good book to fall asleep with every night if he or she suffers from occasional insomniac episodes.
I feel bad not warning her about this book. So I decided to get her another one, based on my own personal recommendation. She won’t know that she has another gift waiting for her, until the day we exchange gifts. I hope that the second book I have chosen would serve as a counter-balance to the dense book she wished for as a Christmas gift. It calls for light reading with light-hearted humor found on almost every page. It’s none other than Trevor Noah’s Born a Crime. One of the best books I have read in recent years. It is so funny. I hope she can appreciate the humor found within the pages and serves as a great alternative to Thinking Fast and Slow, should she require some light reading material. I think Born a Crime would nicely serve that purpose.
My 26th birthday celebration was the most memorable in my entire life. I feel truly blessed. Blessed that I get to celebrate with some of my best friends. Who would have thought that coming down all the way to Palawan Beach at Sentosa to play beach games under the scorching sun, and then heading to Fish n Co restaurant, only to be ambushed into wearing a lobster costume while singing the birthday song would be so fun? And the best part of all; being given a gift that was so shockingly unexpected that I gaped my mouth open when I saw it being presented in front of me.
It was a success, even though we planned a little late and did not manage to reserve the ideal chalet, we still had a lot of fun and the turn-out was good. Slightly more than 20 people came for the chalet and it was a good turnout, since we predicted and bought food for 20 people. In the end, the amount of food ordered for everyone was just right and the crowd was perfect that everyone had a great time. We initially invited more than 40 people to the event, but it is understandable that not everyone could come down for the BBQ and Chalet stay over, since we organised and plan the event a mere 2 weeks before.
I stayed overnight for the chalet and when most of my friends have left, we were left about 11 of us staying over. It was a great and fun night. We played lots of stuff and did stupid things. Things like long exposure light art, writing the words “graduation” and “grad loh” and “SBS 2013” using the flashlight from our smartphones and sparklers that we bought and lit up. I bought a number of board games as well and we played till we were crazy. It was one of the most fun nights I ever had. And I get to enjoy it with the company of some of the great friends in NTU. I truly regard them who were there that night to be my great friends. Friends I will never forget and I hope we remain as good friends no matter what.
That night, was the night that clearly sealed the fact we felt almost inseparable and infinite. Just like the movie, “Perks of being a Wallflower”, there were moments that day where I couldn’t care less what happens next after we leave the chalet the following morning. I just feel like I want to enjoy and treasure the moment, that particular moment with them. The moment where nothing matters. Just me and them. The feeling of being infinite. That night was truly magical for me. For the first time, I get to spend it with the one I admire most…
I don’t usually do this, but today happens to mark the 11th anniversary of my blog!! Actually, that is not accurate. The entries on this blog is a culmination of all other blog websites I have accumulated over the years. It is only recently that I managed to export all my entries from the other smaller blogs, and import it to wordpress here. And it has been imported in a chronological fashion, making it look like I have been blogging from one single site address for the past 11 years.
But what is true though, is that I have been blogging for a whopping 11 years! That is almost half my lifetime! And I will continue to do so, in my own little ways, on my own terms. I will definitely continue blogging till I grow old. Who knows, 40 years down the road, I might print every single entry and make into a book. My very own biography. A chronicle of my life. It would be interesting if I were to read my life again. And maybe cringe at how bad my writing can be. Reminisce the good old times, track my progress as a person. Relive and recelebrate the good days. Cry over the bad ones. It will be interesting where my life will go and I will definitely write it down here so that I will not forget the good and bad times of my life.
31st of July was the day of my convocation. After 4 years of study in NTU, I finally get to graduate. And graduate with a second class upper division. I am truly happy right now. I not only achieved my goals I set out at the beginning of school when I first started out in NTU, but also managed to have a meaningful and fulfilling experience as well. Truly, tertiary experience is one of the most exciting and memorable life experiences I could ever have in my life. I am truly grateful for all the good things that have happened to me. I am so blessed to be given the opportunity to live out the life full of wonder, satisfaction and amazement. The friends I have made are some of the most interesting and truly inspiring groups of people I have ever met. I am truly honoured and humbled to be friends with them. I will never forget them. Ever.
I posted this on Facebook on the day of my convocation and have since gotten a resounding round of approval from my peers;
This is it. Today is the day. Today is the day I officially graduate with a degree. The closing of another chapter. Tomorrow, a new chapter begins. A blank slate. How I write this chapter is completely up to me.
It has been a long road to reach where I am right now. It began with a single step. But the journey doesn’t end here. I will have to take that first step again to reach my goals. A new road. The road to happiness and success is a long one. I will be lost. I will encounter roadblocks. I will need to make u-turns along the way. If there is one thing I have learnt about making such journeys, is that it is never a straight path. One thing is for certain; never stop walking. No matter how long I take, so long as I don’t stop, I will reach my destination, eventually.
The people that I have known, my family, my friends, and the people that I will meet in the future, they are there to show me the way. But it is I who will have to make the effort to walk the road to happiness and success. And I will never stop walking till I find my own.
As for this journey today? I have reached my destination. I have found my own happiness and success.