What A Trip!

30 May 2013 – Happy Bday Hans Kristian

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Laptop in SIN time and that is 6hrs ahead of Norway. Imagine after being in SIN airport’s Butterfly Garden departing SIN Mon 27 May 1700hrs to the contras experiences as described below…

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As I was just saying to a young lady about life being a full colour spectrum, and blue is one of them, just like my jet-lagging now. Trip from SIN-JED on SaudiAir was quite an experience without realising that there was a mini hajj going on in JED. The whole plane was packed with Allah worshippers from SIN, Malaysia & Indonesia. There were 5 Caucasians and me the only Chinese!

Being the last to board, took the chance to selfishly grab the middle seat of an only row without anyone and placed my stuff on both sides, thus having some space in this alien atmosphere! SIN-JED, 9hrs and ouch, the movie channel was down!! Layover in JED 5+hrs and the airport was NOT what I saw online. Probably the domestic section is what is shown online while the international is another something else. Anyway could barely keep my eyes open…

Flight from JED-LHR 6hrs and again full plane, and again only Chinese with the same 5 Caucasians. This time was in the aisle seat with this overweight Arab who kept jabbing his elbows on me, even with a pillow placed by the arm-rest. The headphones did not work this section and there was no point watching movies with Arabic subtitles. Took a sleeping aid and dozed on and off.

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Arr LHR/London 0700hrs Tue 28 May. After immigration and baggage claimed, caught the 0845hrs National Express coach GBP30 S$57 1hr 25mins to STN/London Airport (2 pix) to connect with RyanAir to RYG, 1hr 50min in the air and 1hr on the coach from RYG to OSL, NRK170 S$37. Arrival OSL Tue 28 May 1800hrs, where it is 6hrs behind SIN. Is all this worth saving S$300-400??? Not so sure at this stage in life even with new experiences but what is worth it all is to see Olai (mini May) who a delightful and happy child understanding bit and pieces of English and Norwegian.

Subjective observations and comments on this recent journey without derogatory or racial motives or thoughts. After years of globe-trotting, must say that both the Muslims in Malaysia + Saudi Arabia and the Chinese from mainland China have some things in common. The people, public areas and restrooms can do with much improvements. Perhaps this is due to being more accustomed to the Western civilisations where social conscience and courtesy are more pronounced.

Taking me hours to do the pix and unable to get colour text. If possible will try to  edit quotes and family names in the correct colours… so unhappy with Mac 🙁

The ultimate test of man’s conscience may be his willingness to sacrifice something today for future generations whose words of thanks will not be heard – Gaylord Nelson

The Journey Continues

 27 May 2013 – Westward Bound for Norway via Saudi Arabia & UK

This post has taken forever, now out of Windows and onto MacBook Air. Having problems finding the scroll-bar, frustrated!

Please do not tell me that all these signs are anything but just coincidences…

_67793799_plane_apThe Airbus A319, with 75 passengers and five crew aboard, took off at 8.16am bound for Oslo made an emergency landing at Heathrow shortly after take-off. The northern runway remained closed for almost two hours, causing widespread delays. More than 20 incoming flights were diverted to other UK airports…

http://www.guardian.co.uk/uk/2013/may/24/heathrow-airbus-emergency-landing

_67798419_plane_67803827_london_flightpath_624Police boarded Pakistan International Airlines (PIA) flight PK709, originally en route to Manchester from Lahore, after it was diverted to Stansted and two brothers who organised a plane hijack were today jailed for five years each…

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-22658979

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Heading from SIN to Heathrow/London on SaudiAir, OW for US$332 S$420; connecting on Ryanair from Stansted/London to RYG/Norway, OW for GBP44 S$84. Even with bus and train transfers, the total should not be more than S$600 from door to door. What are the chances, Heathrow, Stansted, Oslo – oh well! ce sera sera, time will show and whatever happens will happen and happens for a reason!

Shopping, packing and closing the apartment done, bye for now SIN, hello Norway and…

the journey continues westward with uncertain plans regarding the UKc2c hike. Was told that Glenda who will be hiking with me was injured in a recent freak accident at Trail Days in Damascus/VA, USA. Still waiting to hear from her, but in the meanwhile, have mailed some of the hiking stuff ahead to UK, hoping for the best. Am really concern about her and other fellow AT Hikers involved.

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First time in Damascus/VA was 2005 hiking the AT thru-hike and again in 2008 for Trail Days.

http://amylamsg.com/2008/05/19/damascus-va/

Learn to get in touch with the silence within yourself, and know that everything in life has purpose. There are no mistakes, no coincidences. All events are blessings given to us to learn from – Elisabeth Kubler-Ross

An Early 1st Bday Celebration

25 May 2013 – For Grandniece Devon

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Fri: wonderful gathering of family & friends, an early 1st Bday celebrations for Devon before they head back to NYC and before this life’s journey continues to the west! Appreciations to Les&Ivy.

This trip in SE Asia has gone by too quickly. The family tree still needs much work and attention, but that can stay on the shelves until time permits and if not, oh well – c’est la vie. More important to be with family and friends while there is till energy and life. For the next couple of days will be the most dreaded ones, shopping, packing and closing down the apartment!!!

GatsbyThe Great Gatsby****based on novel by Fitzgerald: this movie brings us to New York City in the spring of 1922, an era of loosening morals, glittering jazz and bootleg kings. A tale of impossible love, incorruptible dreams and high-octane tragedy, all the while weaving it into what holds a mirror to our own modern times and struggles…

PopulairePopulaire***French comedy: spring 1958, Rose lives with her grouchy widower father who runs the village store. Engaged to the son of the local mechanic, she seems destined for the quiet, drudgery-filled life of a housewife. But that is not the life Rose longs for. When she travels to Lisieux in Normandy and becomes a secretary for charismatic insurance agency boss Louis who helps her to win speed typing competitions…

The love of family and the admiration of friends is much more important than wealth  and privilege – Charles  Kuralt

People and Places

23 May 2013 –  From Near & Far

Prayers and thoughts to the people in Oklahoma/USA. This week’s deadly tornado and one of the most heartbreaking scenes in Moore is a pile of wreckage where Plaza Towers Elementary School once stood. At least 24 people, including 10 children, were killed in Monday’s monster tornado. Another 324 people were injured. Linn & family lived in Oklahoma in the early 2000s where Katy was born.

Very sad to just receive news that some of my fellow AT Hikers are injured in the recent accident on Trail Days in Damascus/VA, USA. Thoughts and concerns are with them – Alleghany, HiHills, Miss Wiggy, MoFo and other hikers involved.

http://bigstory.ap.org/article/witnesses-car-strikes-crowd-va-parade

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Welcome and bye-bye to John, cousin David and his students from the HI CC/USA. Great to meet up with Kyle, her mom Nancy, baby sis Allyson and new students Jamie, Jeff, Roland & William. Safe trip to them in Thailand and Myanmar.

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To niece Kat & family from NY/USA, so nice to catch up even for a short afternoon at the Arab St area. Devon is adorable, cheerful and delightful to be with and hope that she too liked the food at Mamanda****Excellent service, great ambience, quality and quantity of the food recommended was decent. The Orchid Society had a function there when it was Restoran Tepak Sireh some years ago, May helped with a fashion show for the evening then!

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Thanks Kat&Greg for the wine at Divine Wine Bar at Parkview Square and according to Gregwhere ordering a bottle of wine is a completely different experience…

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IMG_4043North Boat Quay from South Boat Quay  general view

Took a 40mins cruise on the SIN River to capture some night lights before dinner. Amazing how the memory can go back to the 1950s when this river was filthy and an area where the workers were packed into tight spaces smoking opium; an area one would never think of venturing near. Today both Boat and Clarke Quay are popular places for the many tourists and some locals.

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First experience with MBS Light Show, FOC nightly at 2000hrs

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View of the casino at MBS, did not realise that photography was not allowed until after the pix were taken. The ceiling is eye-catching, maybe to distract the gamblers. Direct translation to gamble=to pour away money in Chinese. Since there is not enough money to pour, gambling is not in my cards!

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Thank you to dear nephew Clement for a delicious dinner at Imperial Treasure at Marina Bay Sands****and to Chesper for his good company. Nice to be able to catch up before heading on to Norway, France, UK and the US for the year.

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Good to catch up with AmyR who will be traveling to the US & Australia. Thanks for lovely gifts from India. Happy Vesak Day tomorrow to those celebrating and have a wonderful long weekend to all. Pix from 2010 Ayutthaya, Thailand’s old capital.

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Alonzo Dawe, amazing person painted the above pix, who will be celebrating his 65th Blue Sapphire Wedding Anniversary with his one & only wife Marlene tomorrow, a FB friend with most seniority age 86 and father of a good friend, Jan from FL/USA commented: ‘My dear Amy you seem to spend a whole lot time eating? I can’t blame you everything looks good to me…’ my reply, some people live to eat, those are the Chinese while others eat to live, was what my 1st husband once said 🙂

My weaknesses have always been food and men, in that order – Dolly Parton

The Island of Penang

19 May 2013 – Bus from Malacca to Penang

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Wed: 1030hrs KPA bus from Malacca bus terminal to KL stopping 45min, Ipoh 30mins, + 2 other quick rest stops to arr in Penang 1900hrs MYR45 S$19. KL bus terminal is not a favourite, thus no pix. When waiting in the bus, one could really feel the pollution, considering the numbers of buses in the dark basement! Ipoh has a new bus terminal and quite impressive for a small town. The ride was smooth and comfortable. Had our own food and water and even managed to nap.

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Filling gas at Butterworth before crossing the bridge. Quite amazed to see how much gas a bus like this takes…

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Crossing this lovely suspension bridge to Sungei Nibong interstate bus terminal on Penang Island. The public bus ride into Georgetown took app 45min MYR2 S$0.85c. Got into the heritage area in the dark. The first time here was in the 1950s with my parents, but with hardly any memory besides the Snake Temple which freaked me out. The next trip was 1996 for a wedding, so did not see any of the tourist or heritage sites.

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Little is known of this island’s early history. Chinese seafarers were aware of the island back in 1500s which they called Betelnut Island but it appears to have been uninhabited until the 1700s when colonists arrived.

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Thu: the Chulia Heritage Hotel***in the heart of the heritage district was decent, MYR260 S$108 for 2 nights. Clean room with bathroom attached. Service could be better if they were more flexible about a late check-out considering the room we had the leak in the bathroom and had to change room after 1 night.

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Hawkers food (night only) and night life just 1min walk from the hotel.

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Good noodles for brunch. There is a free bus shuttle around historic UNESCO Georgetown

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Pinang Peranakan Museum, MYR10 S$4. Once a residence of Chung KengQuee, one of the most wealthy Baba-Nonyas of that era. Now a stunning restored with intricate elaborate designed and furnished owned by Mr Soon, worth the time to see. Most who have been following the TV series The Little Nonya might recognise some of the scenes.

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The Colonial District: Fort Cornwallis.

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Clock Tower, City Hall, Town Hall.

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The Weld Quay Clan Jetties Waterfront Settlement. A long hot busy day ended with a simple noodle dinner.

http://www.penang.ws/penang-attractions/clan-jetties.htm

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Fri: National Day for Norway and no Norwegian food! DimSum at the same place yesterday. Another hot day with more exciting heritage buildings. The Penang base for Dr Sun YatSen, leader of the 1911 Chinese revolution. Cheong Fatt Tze/Blue Mansion which is a hotel and only allowed in at certain times for a guided but time was not on our side.

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Khoo Kongsi/clanhouse, MYR10 S$4. The Khoo are a successful clan and they certainly did not hide it. As impressive as all of this, the roof caught fire on the night it was completed in 1901! It was no surprise to find a pix of father’s friend Tan Sri Khoo Teck Puat who used to address father as ‘brother TinYue’.

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IMG_3986Being 17th May wanted to have some Western food. Buffet at The Eastern&Oriental Hotel, originally built in 1884, has stood as a testament to the grand elegance of the British colonial era. Declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2008 and not within my budget to stay and the buffet was so-so, MYR192 S$80 for 2pp including 1 drink. Their E&O Sling is more to my taste than the SIN Sling!

http://easternorientalhotel.com/

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Public bus to airport MYR2.70 S$1.20c 1hr+ ride. Computer system was down for TigerAir and gate agents are not used to hand-write boarding passes! In addition, there was a group of 13 students from Eton House International Primary School/SIN. 30mins delay for take-off and even with these problems, the arrival time back to SIN was just 15mins later than scheduled. PEN-SIN costing MYR120 S$50.

The total expenses with airfares, transport, hotels and everything inclusive for 5days 4nights trip is S$410.

All of us grow up in particular realities – a home, family, a clan, a small town, a neighborhood. Depending upon how we’re brought up, we are either deeply aware of the particular reading of reality into which we are born, or we are peripherally aware of it – Chaim  Potok

Greetings from Malacca

17 May 2013 – Hurra for syttende mai

http://amylamsg.com/2011/05/17/national-day-2011-in-norway/

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Malacca is one of my favourites places in Malaysia, a town with such an exciting blend of cultures. 1400s, Admiral Cheng Ho with his Chinese influence, 1500s the Portuguese, 1600s Dutch and 1800s came the Brits with their colonial ways…

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Mon: 0900hrs bus/Delima Express from City Plaza/SIN to Malacca/Malaysia, S$23. Arr Malacca 1230hrs with stops only at the immigrations on the SIN and Malaysia sides, comfortable ride. Cab from bus terminal into town MYR20 S$8.40 where Courtyard@ Heeren**** is located, MYR400 S$166 for 2nights. Nice clean boutique hotel with good service and in the heart of the heritage district.

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Disappointing lunch at Famosa Chicken Rice Ball* Managed a short walk after lunch, but not a good idea as the heat was overwhelmingly hot. Afternoon siesta was the better choice. Tea time at Case Del Rio**** by the river, one of the best pizzas and ginger fizz drink.

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Painted the town ‘red’ with some of the demonstrators against racism with the law across the road and other eyes keeping close watch over by Christ Church (1753).

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Edited 18 May: sunset at St Paul’s Church, dinner at near-by hawkers,

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Tue: early morning walk by the river, Porte de Santiago/A’Famosa,

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Jonkers Walk, breakfast at the annex of hotel on Jln Tun Tan Cheng Lock

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Nancy’s Kitchen was recommended by SIN friends, but fortunately it was closed! The locals who recommended prefer Amy Heritage Nyonya Cuisine****excellent, even when it is located away from the heritage area. No MSG in this homecooking with good fresh produce. Reservations is a must as they only cater for a certain amount of people. The chef (Amy Koh) and owners (Mr Lim) choice of dishes are tasty and the quantity and quality were perfect. And all that yummy food MYR50 S$20 for 2pp.

I  don’t like gourmet cooking or ‘this’ cooking or ‘that’ cooking. I like good cooking – James  Beard

MV5BMjIzMzAzMjQyM15BMl5BanBnXkFtZTcwNzM2NjcyOQ@@__V1_SX214_What a way to end this evening. On the way back to the hotel, walked pass by the mall and decided to watch Iron Man 3*** at a GSC Cinemas, MYR12 S$5. When Tony Stark’s world is torn apart by a formidable terrorist called the Mandarin, he starts an odyssey of rebuilding and retribution. Action flicks are not my cup of tea but did enjoy this and a was good way to pass time on this warm evening.

Singapore Memory Project

12 May 2013 – Memory=ability to hold in the mind…

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This blog has been approached by the Singapore  Memory Project /SMP and by contributing to the SMP (above badge and logo), affirms that every memory matters. So from Jul 2013 when this life’s journey is on the 300km UK coast to coast path, http://amylamsg.wordpress.com will be listed on the SMP page:

http://www.singaporememory.sg/blog_contributors

And so the journey continues with memories and acknowledgments not just to SIN but of everyone, everywhere and everything that cross this path.

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Thu: tkx to Chris TAY for demonstrating what a well-equipped and charming gentleman he is. Campers Corner was at The Fire & Disaster show at MBS (7-9May) demonstrating their gears contributing to the safety in disaster situations. Would have been fun if the convention committee would have allowed a more exciting show, ie by letting the young well-build guys swinging from the poles saving young ladies… just a thought 🙂 🙂

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At the Promenade MTR station are these glittery raindrops or teardrop art piece hanging from the ceiling. Certainly eye-catching! Now this is when I prefer travelling on the MRT, non-rush hour with no crowds, on the way to Bayfront. Later MRT to Bras Basah (station with a water feature above), met 3 girls from United World College who were doing a survey on public transport. Was more than happy to contribute to their field-trip day.

Stadium MRT station is still my favourite so far.

Tkx to Audrey and nephew Clement for their company to share a takeout meal.

IMG_3513Fri: welcome niece Patricia back from NYC and welcome JohnC visitor from HKG. The lines of cabs waiting to pick up passengers on a Fri evening at T1. And that is why they are unhappy to drive the short distances, but still no reason to be crabby! Prefer to take the bus or MRT when no check-in  luggage and glad that JohnC travels light!

Busy busy busy…

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Sat: tourist guiding around Haji Lane,

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Malaya Heritage Centre – FOC for SIN seniors, otherwise S$4 for adult. This new centre is tastefully done and worth the time to see. The house and the grounds brought back good memories of childhool of 5 Temenggong Rd…

http://www.malayheritage.org.sg/MHCPortal/

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Arab St area,

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Divine Wine Bar at Parkview Sq,

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MBS and Que Bayfront with Rodin’s The Thinker.

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Sun: Happy Mothers Day to all mothers. Family dinner at Les&Ivy. Heading by bus to Malaysia tomorrow and might not have the time or any accessibility online. Have a wonderful week.

What I like about photographs is that they capture a moment that’s gone forever, impossible to reproduce  ― Karl Lagerfeld

ANKH

10 May 2013 – ‘Sign of Life’

IMG_3264Saw the title ‘Sign of Life’ which was regarded as a powerful symbol during the Pharaoh, rulers of all Ancient Egyptian dynasty times.

Discreetly took this pix (no flash) during the visit at the Mummy Exhibition. Found it rather intriguing and ironic, considering that death is the main subject with Mummy!

Faience amulet in the shape of ankh, said to be from Gebel Barkal, Egypt 25th Dynasty to Late Period, about 700-500 BC. This amulet was acquired by Lord Kitchener in the Sudan. It probably originated in a temple, since amulets found in burials are usually smaller.

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The ankh/ hieroglyph for life and when combined with –  

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the was-sceptre for power, the djed-pillar for stability, the heh-man with upraised arms for eternity. The whole object taken together represents a wish, probably for the king then. ‘Eternal life, power and stability’

And even for today, which ruling power does not wish that 🙂

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To anyone who wear this symbol freely, wonder if they know the meaning and origins? And did this female sign evolved from ankh, for giving life??

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For the high-tech generation who just had their Star War celebrations – May the Force be with You and even a phrase like this probably come from the idea of ‘Eternal life, power and stability’

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Tkx for lunch, Rebecca. Glad to see her mother in good health at age 100 – now, this certainly is the real sign of life! and a pix from auntie Lim’s family heydays.

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From Rebecca’s place, Tao Nan School (blue roof) which will soon be under renovations and block 46 can clearly be seen. 25th floor on the elevator landing is where the sea view is. These HDB/public housing units with the seaview are able to fetch S$1mil.

A wonderful weekend to all from a tunnel vision of the East Coast area taken from a HDB lift landing. To see wider visions, plx remove judgements, prejudice, etc etc etc…

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The Big Wedding***a comedy about Don and Ellie, played by De Niro and Keaton, who are two divorced people who pretend they are still married in order to keep up family appearances for their son’s wedding. Have been waiting to see this movie. Perhaps too much expectations when there is such a group of known cast. Funny at times but crossing the line at other times to off-colour jokes.

To live is the rarest thing in the world. Most people exist, that is all – Oscar Wilde

Journey East

7 May 2013 – And Journey West…

428576_10150609890047690_1504135136_nIMG_3490Journey East was opened in 1995 at Dempsey Hill then, a furniture place which encourages environmental awareness. They specialise in a range of recycled, restored, eco-friendly furniture and home accessories. Now located on Outram Rd.

We say we love flowers, yet we pluck them. We say we love trees, yet we cut them down. And people still wonder why some are afraid when told they are loved – Author Unknown

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Being a tree person, the concept of this poster is appealing. Vertical gardens are the way to go with the limited space in SIN, also a nice effect to cover the hard and harsh concrete. Here, it is tastefully done with a combination of wood, quite inviting to curl up with a book here 🙂

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The 3D monkey are delightful and would be cute to have in the vertical garden. Lotus Leaf Vases are a decoration themselves without any flowers in them, unique and attractive.

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Anita SAM, have sent her an image of what can be done with the smaller recycle water bottles. Make a chandelier or anything of them when you have time to find a way to do it.

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Check out the fun Extra Large novelties, can imagine male friends rowing their eyes if I mention that I have now seen the largest cork-screw 🙂 🙂

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Clever idea with these unbreakable dinosaurs for the children to play with while parents shop. Grandson JohnW would have enjoyed them but Ginger, a well-behaved cat is completely indifferent to tyrannosaurus rex… 🙂 🙂 🙂

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2nd daughter May in Norway will love these retro design. Appreciations to Anita for taking time to chat and showing these fun furniture, art and deco. Thank you for allowing pix to be taken. This is only a tiny selection, highly recommended to see the full selection at Journey East. This life’s journey will soon continue to the west, but will journey east again in Oct…

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When Ginger, the shop’s pet appeared in FB, decided to check out the location. Met Anita via Brian&Helen some months back and then again in HKG. The showroom is in TBL Building, Mr Tan the owner of the building was an old family friend. Across from TBL Building used to be the school where some of my siblings attended. Now state land and a graveyard…

Also was in the area to take pix of 3 Seng Poh which was owned by grandfather in the 1940s-1960s. Another posting when time permits to research into the old pix at SIN Archives.

Oh, East is East, and West is West, and never the twain shall meet,
Till Earth and Sky stand presently at God’s great Judgment Seat;
But there is neither East nor West, Border, nor Breed, nor Birth,
When two strong men stand face to face,
tho’ they come from the ends of the earth! – R Kipling

Searching for Sugar Man

4 May 2013 – Admission and Finding Mr Right…

Tue: tried to see Admission, but was told that on the eve of public holidays, there are no senior discounts and certainly no discounts on public holidays and weekends. A full price ticket is S$11 as compared to a senior ticket, S$4.00-S$4.50 depending on which cinemas. Can wait till after May Day!

admissionAdmission***a Princeton admissions officer who is up for a major promotion takes a professional risk after she meets a college-bound alternative school kid who just might be the son she gave up years ago in a secret adoption.

MrRightFinding Mr Right***willful city girl Jia Jia travels to Seattle to give birth to the son that will help her win over her rich married boyfriend. But nothing goes as plan when she is stranded in a small house with 2 other pregnant ladies and unable to reach her boyfriend. Help came unexpectedly when driver Frank befriends her and was there through the birth of her son.

Both romantic comedies, entertaining and feel good movies. Needed that after unwrapping the Mummy and wrapping at a funeral!

sugarmanFri: Searching For Sugar Man**** is a Swedish-British documentary film, which tells the efforts of two S African fans who set out to find if the rumored death of American musician Sixto Rodriguez was true, and, if not, to discover what had become of him. Rodriguez’s music, which never took off in the US, but was wildly popular in S Africa in the 1970s.

This film recently won the BAFTA Award for Best Documentary at the 66th British Academy Film Awards in London and two weeks later it won the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature at the 85th Academy Awards in Hollywood. And well deserved.

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Have not heard of Sixto Rodriguez until this movie, admiration and respect for him now. His lyrics are befitting and profound for 1970s Apartheid S Africa which might be why he is popular there. Reading and remembering then provides some understanding about the anti-Apartheid in S Africa. Some of his songs came to serve as anti-Apartheid anthems in S Africa, where his work influenced many musicians who protested the government then.

Sugar man, won’t you hurry
‘Cos I’m tired of these scenes
For a blue coin won’t you bring back
All those colors to my dreams… – Sixto Rodriguez