Hello, I’m back. Remember me? We used to see each other more often when you would read about my mundane stuff, and used it as an insomnia remedy, remember?
I didn’t AWOL for no apparent reasons. D-man and I moved into my folk’s 3 weeks ago and am a official parasite to them now. Yup, the progress we make in life is always surprising isn’t it. We then offload everything and went to Thailand for a 2 week rendezvous, where we sweated all of life’s toxins out at a Muay Thai camp and at the beach.
We went to Sinbi Muay Thai this year, and saying we loved it is quite understated. Sure, there were plenty of instructors there ready to whip our lazy arses but they were of the best breeds. There are many people who love their art, but these are the minority who live it. While it may sound very masochistic to say we looked forward to the grueling, painful and almost torturing trainings everyday, the trainers actually made it so. They were generous and patient in imparting their skills, yet able to drive us to the very extreme end of our physical and mental capabilities.
In other words we totally loved it.
Except the blue black eyes, bruised shin, broken ankles, battered thighs and intense body aches.
This is X, one of our trainers. He is hilarious.
This is D-man. He can be hilarious too.
These are the dudes from our our gym in Singapore.
They may be un-invincible or not un-invincible.
Are you confused? Good.
That’s a trademark fighter’s pose. But let me tell you a top secret of trade secrets of the toppest kind of secrets.
You can pose like that even if you’re not a fighter.
Just don’t tell others I told you so.
To be continued…
Well, well, look whose here, people! *swaggers into the room*
I am back! You must have missed me terribly, haven’t you?
Anybody out there??
Anyway, this trip to Shanghai had been quite amazing. I had the funnest time I ever had with the girls, ate the best pizza in Asia..
(the zagat rated Kitchen Salvatore Cuomo), and learnt more than I ever did in a short week. Shanghai charms like she always had, with her old..
and her new..
(a Gaudi wannabe?)
K-gal and I also found quite a few interesting indie designer shops at An Fu Road.
Among them this cute, whimsical cafe named after the owner’s daughter, Mia.
We visited the gallery when we had time..
before immersing ourselves in plotting for world domination.
Until I met him, who took my heart away…
But unfortunately, I couldn’t handle this amount of cuteness.
And so I ran back to..
where my heart really belongs.
Our pal Andy stopped over Singapore last week and we had a good time catching up. He moaned that he dreaded going back to the frigging cold in Switzerland and wished he could bring the weather here over.
Be careful what you wish for Andy, for the Ms Sunshine here has a BFF, Ms 100% Humidity, whom she brings along wherever she goes. Everything here rots and gets mouldy almost instantly. And I mean Everything! Just the other day I found a grey belt (which I thought was the strangest thing) during spring cleaning, only to find out on closer inspection it was actually a black belt covered in colonies of furry little mould monsters.
Anyway he sent some pictures soon after he went back, of the house which we stayed in for about a month during our visit 2 years ago. His place is in a nostalgic hillbilly town in Chur, parked on the eastern side of beautiful Switzerland. Almost immediately I missed that place terribly, and the super duper nice Swiss folks.
I took this photo from his window when I was there during our winter visit. It was snowing and so cold.
Andy’s recent pic of the same window before the snow. Or was it after? Or maybe in between.
Then we decided to go up the mountains. It was so cold I forgot my name.
We took an old school locomotive rail up the mountains. Andy said there is now an express train. It shortens the 1 hour journey to 58 minutes.
Swiss technology, isn’t it amazing?
I have a confession to make.
I have an uncanny love for elephants. I LOVE elephants.
There I’ve said it. I feel so relieved and released.
Every time I travel, and especially to Thailand, I must buy an elephant item. If I don’t, I wouldn’t be able to sleep and can’t board the flight until I’ve plough the streets and found a nice elephant article. That might explain why I love all things Thai so much. The Thais know their stuff.
These are a small fraction of some of the elephant memorabilias I’ve gathered over the years.
During my last trip to Bangkok last month, I tried to buy these elephants.
Unfortunately my request was firmly rejected by D-man.
I wonder why. Could be a luggage issue.
I also wonder why everyone has a special animal close to their heart, and the symbolic meaning of that animal to one. As far as remember I loved elephants (besides the 687 other animals) but can’t really put a finger to why I simply do.
I read once that human love animals for their special traits, character and strengths. For instance if you love birds, you might wish you could soar freely into the skies like birds do.
If that’s the case, it might be in my wildest dreams that I could trample freely in the wild, always move in herds, be larger than life and yet kill no animal for food.
At least in one aspect I’m very elephant-ish. I am petrified of rats.
Once upon a time there were 2 dogs. Their owners went to Thailand for a holiday during the festives, and bought the dogs new beds out of guilt. The dogs love their new beds.
Is there anything those genious Thais can’t make? I would love one for myself if it came in my size. I actually asked the shop owner. He was too polite to mention I might be a little too big.
We went back to the old hometown last weekend. Every trip back has always been an exhilarating one and this one is no different. Catching up with my folks over overflowing tables of food, I noticed that while some things are not the same anymore, there are others that have thankfully remained the same.
My favourite aunty for instance, has despite her age continued to deliver her mind blowing array of gastronomic delights. Every dish is painstakingly handmade herself, with every gram of food passing the most stringent of inspections. If there is a Malaccan version of Nigella, it has got to be her. Only better.
My run down kampong is still as run down. We ate half of our dinner in the dark and without ventilation, because the electricity had tripped. The staff in the restaurant were totally deadpan about it as well. I can only guess that we were considered lucky because at least we had lights and fans during the first half of dinner. Things like that would have put me off before but as I look back, it’s all but part of the charm of village life. It’s these uncertainties that made us thankful for the times when we had running water and food on the table.
As I watched my cousins’ kids playing with their own cousins, it dawned upon me that not so long ago (or at least it seems), that was me and my cousins. Every chance to get together was one precious opportunity for frolicking in the outdoors, with no recollection of responsibilities nor restrictions. I remember that holiday when we “harvested” vegetables, “cooked” them in a makeshift hawker cart, and forcing the rest to “buy” our culinary breakthrough. Good thing I was not evil enough then to force them to eat it as well.
I might now. :)
Thankfully I did not poison them then. How else could I witness such cute things that they fathered.
My brother loves to hold kids hostage.
Speaking of kids, they love us.
See, what did I tell you about kids loving us…
Aunty’s organic garden. Yum!
Bad Pitt and his retro but trusty C70.
Badgelina spotted in the kampong.
Am at the airport sending A-gal off to Rio, Brazil.
Yeah what’s up with that ugly carryall A?
For those of us mere mortals who possess the insufferable fate of not being able to go overseas for a proper Christmas break, here’s a few tips to keep you from sinking way deep into the hellholes of misery:
1. Start hating all your friends whom are going/have gone for their holidays. Go on, don’t hold it inside. It’s gratifying.
2. Forget point 1.