Showing posts from January, 2017

a new day

Image by J J wrote this on his FB: 前几天,在家附近的巴剎吃午餐时,碰到西餐店助手。就叫 他阿明吧。反正碰见,就跟阿明拜了个早年。他若无其事地 说:「过年是容易过,才两天。过其余的每一天才难。」 -- 其实,我觉得过年过节,就是为了打断我们乏味的每一天。 如果,我们没用心地度过它们,每一年、每一天就可能会很 难过。 -- 图:老爸每年都得去找哑大叔裁两三件新裤。今年我也跟着 去。 This is a translation into English: A few days ago, while having lunch at the hawker centre where I live, I bumped into the helper who works at the Western food stall. Let's call him Meng. In any case, since he's no stranger, I wished him a happy lunar new year in advance. He shrugged and replied, "it's easy for the new year to pass, after all, it's only a couple of days.  Nothing remarkable. What's difficult is trying to get by every single day for the rest of the year." It got me thinking that whether it's the lunar new year or another festive occasion, perhaps one of its purposes is  simply to break the monotony and grind of our daily life. And if we don't even pause and make some effort to observe these occasions, perhaps

alone at Bras Basah

Bras Basah Complex is my favourite place for wandering alone. It is heaven for loners, a paean to the joys of spending time alone, a refuge for those still learning to do so, but also a reminder of how being alone is a necessary part of growing (up or old). Which is why Bras Basah Complex is - at its heart - a Complex of bookstores. The old timers bear such heroic and hopeful names: union, friendship, youth and the younger Basheer. The newcomers speak a language naturally clo ser to today's desires: popular, Socrates, or rather, cat(s). You are alone but never lonely in the worlds that books contain, and in the knowledge - of self, others, the world - that you gain. Surrounding the bookstores are other shops that promise self-improvement. Not of the financial kind, but of the spirit, mind and body. There are the old art supplies stores that smell of ink, paper and stone, hidden by the ever-expanding Art Friend. And stationary shops that supply not only the office but ret