Ofo Adventures

I cycled on the pedestrian pavements for the first time in my life. My mom was skeptical and warned me that riding a bicycle alongside walking humans was vastly different from biking at East Coast Park, but I figured if others could do it, why couldn’t I? Plus the route – from my home at Clementi Road to the Jurong Regional Library – was one I could recite in my sleep. So with a downloaded Ofo app and a free first ride, I was ready to go.

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This was when I had already arrived in Jurong East, so I clearly survived the journey and the next few paragraphs may sound inconsequential, but still.

My bravado did not last long. It had been almost a year since I last rode a bike, and the first thing that happened after I hopped on was that I swivelled the handle so hard I nearly crashed into the nearby bin; so much for never forgetting how to ride a bicycle. At this point of time I was manhandling this bulky yellow metal along the small side road next to my block, wondering if I should just give up. Swerving into a bin, not so bad. But potentially swerving onto a road full of oncoming traffic?

But I didn’t want to waste my first free ride on merely 3 minutes and decided to do a trial run around my block. This involved me precariously cycling up and down the same small road, praying no car knocks me down from behind. After about 8 minutes of bumpy cycling and waffling, I decided to have a bit of faith in myself to cycle down to Jurong East. My mantra was going to be “slow and steady stays alive”.

It was a not easy at first. The beginning stretch along the main Clementi Road was populated with pedestrians, and involved a whole manoeuvre of not crashing into them. But along my journey I bumped into (not literally) a few cycling uncles  who shared knowing looks with me at each traffic light.

Soon I passed the dense jungle of humans at the MRT station entrance, and this was where the fun really began. The stretch of roads leading up to Jurong East was sparse of buildings and consequently of foot traffic as well. The only terrible part of this section was having to stand under the boiling sun at every traffic junction. But I made it, about 40 minutes later, at the entrance of Jurong Library and a old security guard who stared at me accusatorially until I parked the bicycle at the designated parking area.

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In celebration of my first pedestrian cycling experience. The CBTL at JCube was really amping it up with the fake planters along their bar table.

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“It was fun before reality hit”

A bunch of good, not so good, and terrible things that happened to me in the span of the last 24 hours:

  • I met up with two friends from high school (I make myself sound like a relic, but give me this, it’s been 4 years since we graduated). It was nice as I had not seen them in a very long time because of my own self-induced social isolation, but it did lead to some aggressiveness on their part as I did not initiate the dinner. But I rarely initiate plans with people, and I had to reassure them that it was a case of “it’s not you guys, it’s me” and how I really did not want to feel like I’m burdening people if they didn’t want to meet me. (I think) they understood, and was being very sweet to me, and promised me that they’ll ask me out more.
  • It was a night of bad alcoholic decisions on my part, because we went to a Japanese place with free flow drinks for ladies if you spent at least $10 each (which was not difficult to hit AT ALL, one piece of squid tentacle sashimi there probably cost 2 bazillion dollars). We wound up spending about $30 each on really lacklustre food that was extremely misrepresented in the menu pictures, but we did get free flow drinks that made it worth. Well, maybe not so worth for me, because I had a grand total of about 5 glasses of umeshu and shochu. The umeshu was the hardest hitter; it’s easy on the throat and its sweetness masked the alcohol until it was…… too late, and I found myself puking all the udon and yakiniku and whatever nonsense I had eaten over the lawn in front of the MRT station.
  • I thought I would be okay after vomiting everything out and I could make my way home sanely. But it turns out I am the sort of person who can’t walk after 5 glasses of Japanese alcohol, so all I managed to do was to walk down to the MRT station, fumble around before forcing myself to sit down on the first solid surface I could find, hysterically trying to grab onto my friends to stay upright. Between the two of them, they somehow managed to chivvy me back up to the main road where I watched them try to get me an Uber/Grab, before I just figured to flag down the first cab that whizzed by, said vague goodbyes to them, and found myself homebound.
  • It was only on the cab that I realised they had actually called an Uber on my phone (which was arriving in 2 minutes), so that’s another cancellation I had to pay for.
  • Got home, managed to take out my contacts and tossed them onto my bedroom floor, tossed myself into bed and slept off the terrible throbbing in my head.
  • Woke up and I realised amidst my drunken mess last night, I lost my cardholder and a bunch of cards in it. I called the MRT station, lodged a lost and found with the taxi company, but frankly I don’t have much hope.

I suppose I wasn’t completely wasted because I can still remember what happened last night, but damn, I got so buzzed, it was painful. I distinctly recall one point in the night when I wondered how I was going to get myself home – but I managed.

Hold me in this wild, wild world

I have not been coping well with post concert depression after Bastille’s gig that happened 4 days ago. I thought I’d be over it by now, because I am a Mature Adult™ who can attend one concert, enjoy herself during the 90 minute set, buy some merch, then go home and move on with life. Well I didn’t buy any merch because they didn’t have the specific item I wanted, and because it was $50 for a t-shirt, $25 for a tote bag. Yeah…. no.

I also have zero ability in grasping the concept of moving on, because I keep getting drawn back into their songs, videos and other generally unproductive things (i.e. the Bastille tag on Tumblr). I have a newfound appreciation for every single track off Wild World, I find new meanings in each lyric… it’s heartwarming, but at the same time extremely unhelpful for someone starting school in 3 days.

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This was my second time hearing the lads live; 2015 seem like a distant memory, though I do remember odd specifics of their first show in Singapore. Dan wore a t-shirt I didn’t really like and his hair was a little messed up because he had been wearing a cap on and off. He introduced These Streets as his favourite song off Bad Blood; Eunice and I flailed because that was my favourite song too (childish, I know, but we were young and very much in love with their music, forgive us). We weren’t familiar with the band, and I didn’t know all the songs. But I’ve been to other shows before, and I had a sensing Dan felt awkward performing live. He didn’t keep his eye on the same spot for long, he moved around a lot, his dancing was adorably bad (and I say this as a big fan of his), and his little snippets of words between songs were just one notch above mumbling. But when he sang, it was surreal. A genuine sincerity bleeds through his sounds only matched by his vocal abilities. He howled where he had to, he went high for the extra oomph. Together with the pulsing drums and guitars and keys, it was a revelation.

We came out of the Coliseum overwhelmed, partially by the heat but more by the fact that we heard some of our absolute favourite songs, these same songs that accompanied us when we studied, when we were on the commute, being performed by our favourite band right in front of our eyes. It’s like, they sang these songs. They are real.

That was in January 2015; we were in our first year of uni. Fast forward 2 years, and I’m now in my final year; Eunice is off on exchange. When I now hear the opening lines of Pompeii, it almost feels like a passive aggressive jab at me and some of my badly made life choices. It’s trite law that things, including myself, change over time, so I found solace in some things that didn’t: Dan’s dancing (still adorably bad, but getting less bad, and actually pretty funky), my ability to remember lyrics to songs I hadn’t heard in a while, even if I can’t remember a case name I read some 20 minutes ago, and how good it feels to lose yourself to the reverie of music.

The stage seemed bigger this time around, or maybe this was because I was closer. Dan seemed steadier, more sure of himself, he even took song requests (played the wrong version though……… still waiting for WOL part 1). The people around me seemed nicer. There was this rabid girl in front of us who made signs for what seems like every single Bastille song, she was hysterical, her hair was flying everywhere. It was pretty sweet.

I still didn’t know all the songs, but the songs I knew, they were perfection. Warmth is my favourite off Wild World – the first verse is just depressing, but the chorus is redeeming. It’s as though you are being enveloped in a nice, long hug for those few lines, and you can sense the calm amongst an urgent storm.

And when I heard it live, the warmth settled in my stomach and for a second there all my problems dissipated.

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Andy Warhol drew a penis to be sent to the moon

On Tuesday, I went to the ArtScience Museum with a friend which was significant because 1. this was the third time I proper left the house since finals ended, and also because 2. I hadn’t seen her in close to 6 months.

It hasn’t been long since I last stepped into a museum but I almost forgot how much I loved these places. We went for Future World (pretty but a little too peripheral) and the current one called The Universe and Art, which I really enjoyed because I am a fan of astronomy even if I don’t know much about it.

I also recently acquired an iPhone 7 so the novelty of live photos have not yet died on me. I turned some of them into gifs and now my photos move a la those newspapers in Harry Potter!

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Ding dong merrily on high!

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Once, when I was at a similar exhibition on astronomy, I saw an armillary sphere that modelled Ptolemy’s world system. Fresh off the heels of a complete setback and longing for some signs from the universe, I came across this:

This armillary sphere is constructed according to the world system described by the ancient mathematician Ptolemy. The earth is at the centre of the universe, surrounded by the great circles of the heavens, with the sun’s path represented by the broad band covered with the signs of the zodiac. Ptolemy’s model could account for all the movements of the heavens observable with the naked eye and his description of the universe was maintained for 2,000 years.

In 1543, the Polish astronomer Nicolaus Copernicus proposed a model of the universe with the sun at the centre, challenging the Ptolemaic model’s dominance. Shakespeare’s generation came of age in a world where, if the earth could move, perhaps anything could be challenged. 

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Looking forward to our next day out which hopefully will not be in another 6 months x