Girl in Bionic Suit
Sunday, 18 April 2010
On being "poor" in the new economy

Someone told me that the compounded inflation rate is 12% for the past three years.

At the same time I discover that the interest rate on the balances in my deposit account is now 0.1% p.a. - that's a total of $0.08/month (not even 10c!) pittance interest for every $1,000 I have with the bank.

I'm bleeding money.
posted by redshot on 18.4.10 0 comments

On being "fat"

I need to lose weight.

For a start by BMI calculations I am not overweight. But by the freak Asian standards my size is simply unacceptable. Asian women are expected to be physically petite and/or slim with fair flawless skin. Sad to say, I fail brilliantly in those stereotyped expectations.

I am not a fan of pain but I endured over 30 sessions of acupuncture for slimming. To be fair it was a little effective if and when I went for it regularly. For the small positive result I was buying confidence in large amounts of pain money and time. It took a while but my brain finally processed that it was not worth it.

So I picked sports. Bodycombat + yoga -- both of which I absolutely love. And then as I always do, I got overzealous and injured myself. Eager to restart after a short resting period, my injuries got worse and I had to abandon both activities. I was devastated.

So I run. I dislike running but it is the only sport at the moment that I can pack into an irregular working schedule without a lot of hassle. I have ran/jogged/walked three times to date - felt like fainting/vomiting/dying multiple times along the way - and survived. With no injuries. It's a good sign.
posted by redshot on 18.4.10 0 comments


I miss writing. Not for work but aimless writing; the process of pouring crowded thoughts into words. Emptying my mind, and having a sense of calm after doing so.

Yet my trains of thoughts run along too fast to capture them in coherent sentences. Cluttered mind. Like a child.

A month ago an intern joined my office; he sits right in front of me. Separated only by his computer and mine. Others find him nerdy; I think he is extremely cute. He is only 21 (even though he looks more mature than his age). Since then I feel old like an owl.

And then in a moment of impulse I cut off my bangs myself. It was a futile virgin attempt, extremely inexperienced, which explained why the end product now hangs zig-zagged just below my brows. I'm convincing myself that it will make a cool statement.
posted by redshot on 18.4.10 1 comments

Sunday, 3 May 2009
On the train from Paris to Amsterdam

I've always loved road trips. Sitting by the window plugged into my music watching the world wheeze by through the looking glass. It calms me, perhaps like what yoga or mediation does for those who practise it.

I like being alone, or with Dee and my dog. I like not having to make small talk with people. I like smart people who make me laugh without even trying.

I spend my money traveling to beautiful cities with its magnificent architecture and gorgeous skies. Then in my quietest moments the only one I remember is Tally the one place I hardly even explored during my stay. So it's true, that one can go round world but never really leave where the heart remains.

Sent from my iPhone
posted by redshot on 3.5.09 2 comments

Friday, 23 May 2008

This Mother's Day, they decided to do it differently and extended invitations to the grandkids (including me!) and great-grandkids to come along for the ride.

We were the earliest to arrive that day! It was a beautiful day, so after greeting and wishing Grandma a HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY, we raced one another to the pool. I was only too happy to break in my new michael kors swimwear which just arrived in the mail.

We splashed, played with random kids sharing the pool, and sunbathed in the shallow end of the waters while waiting for the rest of them to arrive. After 3 hours of swimming and soaking, our skin was so pruned.

Finally everyone arrived. There were almost 50 of us! and each family brought delicious homemade dishes for the celebration potluck! Grandma was really pleased and couldn't stop smiling, and scolding everyone- which I thought was probably her way to show that she loved us... typical Asian grandmas!

We had a grand time. We made merry, overate the oh-so-yummy food and took lots of photos. A young cousin who was very into photography, even brought his expensive gears and took semi-professional portraits of each family with GRANDMAMA, the main lead and celebrity of the evening.


The Sun morning 2 weeks later, I was awoken by my younger sister who was talking really loudly on the phone. What's going on, I asked.

"You better call mom now", was all that she said.

I did; she sounded panicky, "Grandma, she can't breathe.. she.. may not make it.. I am on my way to the hospital now.. "

Everything happened so quickly, we did not have time to react. Few of us made it to say our last goodbyes; Grandma passed away before the ambulance reached the final destination.


As was the custom, her 24-hour wake was held for 5 days. Most of us were there every single day.

The photo used for the wake was the one which was taken on Mother's Day, that special day when she dressed up in a beautiful maroon cheongsam top and smiled so widely, her sparkly eyes were mere lines. The one which was taken only 2 weeks earlier.

During the cremation, tears flowed till there were no more. Grandma's ashes were placed near her husband's who died 26 years ago and, as my mom often told me, loved her more than anything in the world.

R.I.P. Grandma.

The Calling - Could It Be Any Harder

You left me with goodbye and open arms
A cut so deep I don't deserve
You were always invincible in my eyes
The only thing against us now is time

Could it be any harder to say goodbye and without you,
Could it be any harder to watch you go, to face what's true
If I only had one more day

I lie down and blind myself with laughter
A quick fix of hope is what I'm needing
How I wish that I could turn back the hours
But I know I just don't have the power


I'd jump at the chance,
We'd drink and we'd dance
And I'd listen close to your every word,
As if it's your last, I know it's your last,
Cause today, oh, you're gone


Like sand on my feet,
The smell of sweet perfume
You stick to me forever
And I wish you didn't go
I wish you didn't go, I wish you didn't go away
To touch you again,
With life in your hands,
It couldn't be any harder.. harder.. harder
posted by redshot on 23.5.08 3 comments

Friday, 16 May 2008
Part 5: Discovering Ayutthaya, the Ancient Capital

Posts in this series:
  1. Part 1: Arrival in the City of Angels
  2. Part 2: Sick in Bangkok
  3. Part 3: Main Activities - Shopping & Eating
  4. Part 4: Scaling the Heights - Golden Mount & The Dome
  5. Part 5: Discovering Ayutthaya, the Ancient Capital

Day 6

The day before, we booked a guided tour to Ayutthaya, the ancient Siamese capital for over 400 years before it was conquered and destroyed by retreating Burmese forces in 1767.

Early at 6am, we waited outside our guesthouse for the prearranged transport to River City Shopping Complex where the coach bus awaited. But it did not come and we nearly had a heart attack because we were still at the same spot at the time when the coach was supposed to set off from River City (that was half an hour away).

Most fortunately we managed to arrive in time to catch it (unbelievable) with help from the kind folks of Suk 11, and a cab driver who drove us to River City in record time. He did so by zig zagging amongst vehicles at crazy speeds and driving on road shoulders at the highway. Yes I know; we are still very thankful that we are alive today.

Our 1st stop was Bangk Pa-in Summer Palace, built during the Ayutthaya era and used by royal families past and present as a summer retreat. It was supposedly "a charming collection of palaces and pavilions" but most of the architecture were really not that charming or magnificent. The waters in the lakes were a muddy, rusty brown which, according to my tour guide, was caused by the oppressing heat (?). Only the well-maintained lawns seemed fitting of a royal palace.

Aisawan Thipaya-art ("Divine Seat of Personal Freedom") sitting in the middle of the lake. It was designated as the archetype of the Thai pavilion ("sala Thai"), a national symbol of Thailand.

See the long, covered bridge behind the pavilion? Wives of the kings would peer through that louvered wall to see the outside world without being seen themselves, so said my tour guide.

"BREAD FOR FISH" for 15 baht per small loaf to feed the monstrous sized fishes and turtles in the lake.

A family of very nicely manicured elephants. Their neighbours, the rabbits, lived nearby.

Interesting: The Death of Queen Sunanda

At almost 11am, we finally reached Wat Maha That at Ayutthaya, some 89 kilometres to the north of Bangkok. Over 600 years old, Wat Maha That was the heart and soul of the Ayutthaya people. It was almost completely destroyed by the Burmese during Thai-Burmese war.

Chedis (Thai-style stupas) with the tops rebuilt. It once housed a 16-meter Buddha covered with 340 kg of gold, but the Burmese set fire to the statue to melt the gold and destroyed the temple in the process.

3 headless Buddha images and a ruined stupa

Remaining pillars of Wihan Phra Si Sanphet

Viharn Phra Mongkol Bopitah which housed a large bronze cast Buddha image.

Restored bronze cast Buddha image (painted?) in gold.

The famous sandstone Buddha head embedded in the roots of a bodhi tree. I found it eerie.

Remains of its previous splendor

A row of headless statues with only 1 of them restored.


Later, we took a luxury cruise back to Bangkok, and had a scrumptious buffet lunch onboard as we sailed down Chao Phraya River. There were so many wats (Thai temples) during the 4-hour cruise that I lost count.

Nearing Bangkok, we saw the beautiful Wat Arun (Temple of Dawn).

That night, our young host forgot our pre-ordered homemade dinner and needless to say, I was pretty bummed. Starving by then, we had the none-too-tasty Subway for our last dinner of the trip.


Day 7

We made up for our poor dinner with a hearty brunch at UCC Café. We also shopped around for the last time, before we returned to Suk 11 to bid farewell and set off for the airport. Just before boarding the plane, I had a sampling of the mango sticky rice. It was, as I thought, heavenly, and the perfect sweet ending to our week long summer trip.
posted by redshot on 16.5.08 0 comments

Thursday, 15 May 2008
Part 4: Scaling the Heights - Golden Mount & The Dome

Posts in this series:
  1. Part 1: Arrival in the City of Angels
  2. Part 2: Sick in Bangkok
  3. Part 3: Main Activities - Shopping & Eating
  4. Part 4: Scaling the Heights - Golden Mount & The Dome
  5. Part 5: Discovering Ayutthaya, the Ancient Capital

Day 5

Our cab driver dropped us near Rama III Park where we were approached (for the 2nd time this trip) by con men attempting to lure tourists into various gem, jewelry and tailor scams. We played dumb and scooted off.

Looking across Rama III Park at the Loha Prasat.

The Loha Prasat

Statue of King Rama III. Kings in Thailand are referred to as "Rama" followed by Roman ordinal in English translation. The current ruler is King Rama IX.

We walked through a street lined with carpentry and wood shops, and a fire station to reach the base of Golden Mount. Curiously, there was a myriad of graves and plaques at the base and on the slopes along the spiral stairway. The graves soon gave way to a line of tired bells which had seen better days.

We huffed and puffed, and finally made it to the top where we were treated to cool mountain breezes and a 360 degree view of Bangkok. Frankly though, the view wasn't spectacular; it was in fact, a cheerless sight of slums surrounding the temple.

One of the nicer views. See Loha Prasat in a speck on the right? That was how far we hiked, man.

The large golden chedi which was too huge to fit into the frame of a regular point and shoot camera.

Later the day, we scaled a different building, this time all 63 floors of it at The Dome at State Tower.

That evening, it didn't rain like it did for the past few nights, but it was drizzling, so we were restricted indoors to the Distil bar counter. We passed time by checking out the bartender with a hot bod, and glancing wistfully at the balcony with big comfy sofas. Then the drizzle stopped, and I literally ran out onto the balcony with my drink.

View from Distil, The Dome at State Tower

As we were leaving Distil, Monet discovered Sirocco on the other side of the same floor where apparently, a full course meal cost a couple of hundred dollars. Personally I wasn't into fine dining in semi darkness (it wasn't as bright as it seemed in the pics on the website) but I liked its colorful Sky Bar which jutted into the skyline of the city and offered one of the the best views from The Dome. There was also a live jazz band working their magic as you dine and wine.

We also checked out Breeze, the seafood restaurant on 52nd floor, where diners without reservations at Sirocco were directed (this was the case when I was there, probably not a permanent arrangement).

This latest addition to the dining scene at The Dome came with a balcony front that resembled the canopy of a Star Wars TIE Fighter! At Breeze, the skyline views were comparable to Sirocco but not the ambiance. Because, there above the outdoor diners, were the hotel rooms. How would you like to be watched by hotel guests from their room windows while you dine?

That night we had hiccups with making noodles for supper and I had to go to bed on a growling stomach. I wished I had known to dial 1711 for McDonald's delivery.
posted by redshot on 15.5.08 1 comments

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