Pushing it away

The past few weeks have been crazy – meeting deadlines, moving into my new role and travelling to Msia with my buddies. The only upside to all of these craziness is that it keeps me away from thinking about stuff. The more I idle, the crazier my thoughts. Sometimes, I am so scared of myself that I sleep it away. The greatest demon is ourselves.

For the past few weeks, I have been out of country for many days. The first trip was to Malacca with my college friends. It was a food trip where every pitstop is for eating the local delicacies. Malaysia boleh. I say it not to mock MY but more of an affection for the food in MY. Take this for irony – the bah kut teh in Malaysia is the best, considering that it is a Muslim majority/dominated country. This time round, I travelled with 2 of my SG buddies and 2 of MY buddies who drove us around. Our first dinner was….*suspense and drumroll* BAH KUT TEH!!! That nostalgic feeling came rushing back with each bite that I took. We ate at every pit stop that one of my friends fell sick from over-eating. The trip was made possible by 2 very kind individuals who took time out of their busy schedule to drive us around the weekend. Their warmth and kindness towards us is something that I will definitely return in kind when they visit SG.

My second trip was to Dubai for work. It was a last minute decision to fly me down to provide marketing coverage for the conference. The word to describe Dubai is flashy. The place just doesn’t feel right. Everything is about showing off your status and money. Many of the rich in SG that I know are humble about their wealth and don’t flaunt it on their tongue. Dubai lacks human warmth and culture. There seems to be more foreigners than locals everywhere I go. The one thing that I like about Dubai is the skyline. It is most probably every photographers dream to visit this place for cityscape photography. A tip for fella photographers – use google map to locate the vantage point then book the hotel for it. This seems to be the best formula to catching some particular famous shots of Dubai. Perhaps I’m too poor to truly enjoy Dubai and I bet there are countless who will refute the points I made above. (Good for you *thumbs up*)

My last trip was to HK to visit my friend Bo Chai (canto name) as he is affectionately known to us. Stay tune to find out more about Bo Chai.

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Hong Kong

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The land of dim sum. Alas, I visited the country for work and leisure. A lot of people have this misunderstanding of travelling for work. People usually give this comment when they hear you are travelling for work – Go and enjoy yourself. For those who have been on business trips will agree with me that it is totally not enjoyable. Business and leisure are two different matters. This time round, I decided to extend my trip by 3 days to spend some time in Hong Kong.

Summit seems to be much more manageable than last year’s. For instance, I had time to eat breakfast and had decent sleep. I guess my experience over the years is starting to pay off. I played a producer role during Summit and had to run all over the place conducting interviews. On top of that, I had to look after my new baby – insTABooth. (I am really very proud of the photo booth which I just started) It was also at this booth where I met Tempsin and Kaza.

I was so caught up with work that I didn’t plan anything for my 3 days in Hong Kong. All I knew was to “EAT”. I must count myself lucky as Tempsin offered to bring me around. Woooohooo! It is always good to be brought around by a local when you travel cause they know what’s best! Our first stop started with a Skybar at some secret-hotel-which-I-only-know-how-to-walk-there. I enjoyed this place as it was quiet, had a great view and the drinks were reasonably priced. For dinner, she brought me to this place called “Tai Bai Tong”. Once again, I got no idea how to get there. It has some really good seafood!!

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My plans for second day was the Peak and street photography. However, the weather didn’t hold up well enough. Eventually, I didn’t go up the peak and met up with Tempsin for late lunch instead. Once again, she brought me to somewhere deep in Wan Chai to eat the local delights. I never knew maggi mee was so nice till I tried the store. After knowing that I was an Apple geek, she brought me to see this mega huge apple store! Wowowow!!! Fortunately, the store was packed with numerous similar geeks like me all ogling at the latest Apple products.

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Hong Kong would never be the same without Tempsin bringing me around. She is bright and cheerful which is the opposite of me. According to her, sometimes, I get so quiet that it becomes awkward. *Point taken* Once again, thank you so so much Tempsin!!!

Shooting star

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It’s been awhile since I posted something about Japan. The unique combination of autumn colors and Kiyomizudera temple is just magnificent at night.

Recently, I guess all I am thinking about is…wedding wedding wedding. I decided to stop all work and just take a break. Browsing through the Japan did bring back the fond memories I have for the place – the weather, food and culture.

Time to rest…

Remembrance

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Poster credit: Valen Siew

I am writing this (with grief) in remembrance of our founding father – Mr Lee Kuan Yew. I barely know this man and neither have I spoken to him yet I feel a certain sadness in my heart after learning of his passing.

The one thing that his iron fist is unable to stop is the age of internet. Through the Internet, I believe many of the younger generations will read a lot articles critising his rule and strong hold over SG. The thing that I learnt from my history lessons in school is to always take whatever you read with a pinch of salt. Don’t blindly believe and just establish a one-sided view about an issue. Anyway, I am not here to debate about him so we shall end it here.

I guess the reason for this sadness is due to an appreciation for his hardwork in building Singapore. I am pretty sure that without his strong will and extraordinary vision, Singapore would not turn out as we are today.

I will not shy away when someone calls for a Singaporean. I will hold my head high with pride. I am proud to call myself a Singaporean.

Getting use to being alone

The waiter asked: “How many person?” I indicated apprehensively..one with my hands and I could feel the judgmental stares of people in the queue behind me. That’s exactly how I feel the first time I walked into a hipster cafe for brunch alone. Ever since 2013, I am slowly learning to be alone and more importantly to be happy. I am really glad that God has put many friends to support me during that dark period. I was truly depressed but I snapped out of it and decided to be happy.

Nowadays, I spend most of my weekends alone – eating my favorite brunch, shopping, visiting some hipster cafe, watching movie and list goes on and on. I am getting accustomed to the huge gap that was left behind from my breakup. Sometimes when I do these stuff, I do imagine Y next to me and giving me smart comments. Please dont call me crazy..

I have never waited long for my seats at brunch places. It is so easy to get a seat alone. I just breeze past the long queue and be pointed to a seat quickly. A few weeks back, I got this urge to watch “Taken 3” on a Saturday in the evening in town. That is the worse timing to get seats. Cutting the story short, I gotten really good tickets 15mins before the movie started. Awesome!

However, shopping alone is tough because I make stupid decisions most of the time. Just feel that my indecisiveness wastes lots of time. On top of that, seems like I am always buying back the same old stuff over and over again. My wardrobe seems to be the same…. sigh. Need some help here.

This is my theory as to why I love Japan so much. In SG, I took on a more passive role of being alone as this is my home. I just sit around and observe the crowd around me. However, in Japan, I took on a more active role of being alone as everywhere is new for me. I was constantly trying to find out more and gain more new experiences.

I didn’t write the post to gain sympathy and get my friends attention. Just wanna say that I am really fine where I am and it is really alright to be alone. It also gives me more time to spend with God. Sometimes, I just talk to Him in my thoughts when I sit quietly in a corner sipping my coffee. I am really thankful for what God has blessed me with over the past 2 years. Truly thankful.

Thanksgiving

A quick forward to how I am feeling right now…I guess everything in 2015 suddenly becomes so surreal after last Saturday’s wedding. I learnt so much in a wedding. So much that I am still in the post wedding feeling. Call me stupid and delusional…but I really think God was involved in the whole shoot last Sat. I haven’t put myself in such focus for a very long time. The period of time when I start to focus on my compositions, I start to “see” more things. The aftermath is a zombie Tia. Nonetheless, I am very satisfied with my work from last Saturday despite a bit of hiccups here and there.

One thing that’s very clear in the wedding – They love each other, more importantly both of them love God. That is the beauty of church wedding. Not surprisingly, the same message resonates from each of the church wedding I have photographed.

Truly overwhelmed.

Fella photographers

Caught this long quote while browsing the internet and it resonates with what I feel sometimes…

I may sell to clients, but I don’t sell myself out
Any success I have in photography is because I worked my ass off every day:
marketing
creating relationships
taking pictures
and selling them
Although I enjoy what I do, I’m not playing at it
It is not a hobby, it is my profession, it is my business
I push myself to be better even when I don’t feel like it
ESPECIALLY when I don’t feel like it.
I get tired but I don’t quit
I never settle for good enough
And I don’t try to be someone else.