Crossroads

I am broken.

The winds slap me while I stand at a crossroads,

My mind unraveling its inner, sinister thoughts,

Its function to tear the figure I desperately held onto but with cold, vicious spite.

 

I am alone in this weary and taxing quest.

A search to find a true individual lost at sea.

Someone who stands with faith and not worldly desires

Some who I truly call – Me.

 

Its never easy, this journey of life

For the road itself is riddled with strife

At times you pass a field of happiness

Otherwise its just a meadow of gloom and sadness.

 

Death of the heart is very much common

In emotional terms, its pretty haunting

But death of a spiritual heart is strangely uncommon

And in effect, much worse and disturbing.

 

Its not what I want that matters anymore

But more of who I need

This ailing predicament of morals and values

Seeks one with guidance for him to heed.

 

(4th August, 2014)

– Fox.

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Advice

My body is an empty carcass devoid of meaning

Its eyes betray with mirth, the smile fading

Only the heart reveals its rawness of pity and ache

Its sadness and frustration with no other mate

 

I wish however, to tell you this

That pain is temporary and love exists

Through friends and family you may find peace

But only if you surrender me this

 

Your worldly desires must remain cold

The heart must yearn for spiritual gold

May your journey be paves with roses not thorns

Should you decide not to be torn.

 

I believe it is with such haste

That I leave you with this ace

It may or otherwise help you in your quest

Lest your heart be left a mess

 

This card is such that it may help

But only its results will be felt.

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A list of things about me.

Well, here is a list of points about me. The fate of the world rests in this knowledge that I’m passing on. [Not really, unless you want an awkward moment if you were to meet me. Which I am perfectly okay with.] Anyways, here it goes!

1. I like mint. Peppermint, spearmint, you get the picture.

2. Touching stories make me cry.

3. I recently took up photography. Yes, I’m an amateur.

4. I have a off-normal fashion sense. As in, I’m backdated or look like a mother’s boy.

5. Travelling is one of my future plans. Note the keyword – future. Like when I have money.

6. Good cinematography and colour play is what will attract me to watch a video.

7. Good food and dessert is the key to my heart. I lurrrve cake.

8. I don’t do sports.

9. I have just recently discovered the pleasures of torrenting.

10. I have been confused as my mother’s husband/brother once.

11. I look too old for my age.

12. My hair is like raccoon fur.

13. I like vintage/neo-victorian stuff.

14. I am very calm. Very Very calm. Too calm to feel anything. It’s like being stoned all day.

15. Tea is my sweet escape. Probably the reason for number 14.

16. I tend to think and observe people a lot. Not creepy, just unusual.

17. I’ve eaten alone on numerous occasions. I’m proud of this accomplishment.

18. I’ve never skated before in my whole life until a few weeks ago.

19. Minimalism and simplicity coupled with style and function is what I strive for.

20. I am alone most of the time. And it’s okay. In fact, I’m beginning to enjoy it.

 

There you have it. A list of things that make me unique.

– The Fox.

 

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5 ways to stay cool when you’re out in the heat (aka Why didn’t I think about it?)

Everyone has experienced the sweaty and unbearably sunny days of the hot season. You know it, the sticky and cringeworthy feeling after a whole day of being beaten mercilessly by the unyielding perspiration which threaten to bathe you if not make you uncomfortable. You know you have to go through the pain anyway or risk wasting your holidays away stuck in the stuffy confines of home. Especially when there’s tons of great selfies/pictures waiting to captured or time to be spent with friends!

Which is why I hereby present to you the following 5 ways to stay cool. Hopefully, you’ll stand a chance against Uncle Heat and not look like a melting ice cube. Unless you have blessed skin like greek god/goddesses. Then ignore this. Go flaunt your beauty.

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“This, but with less enthuasism.”

1. Wear loose-fitting and light-colored clothing

The weather is hot and humid. It is literally an oven. But no, we shall wear dark and tight clothing that makes us look like a stuffed bear gone wrong. Tight and dark clothes trap heat. Heat = You feeling warm. So it’s best to cover yourself up with loose and light clothing which reflects heat. Besides, not everyone wants to see a family pack ab or those pit stains.

Remember. Tight & Dark = Warm. Loose & Light = Cool.

2. Get a hat

No, really. Invest in one. Its doesn’t have to be some expensive fedora or trilby by Gucci or Louis Vuitton. A normal cap would do. With all the humidity and dry heat blasting into your face, you might want to protect your hair from catching fire and boiling your brains out. In all honesty, however, it does keep your head cool (literally) even if its slight. So hats on and strut that picturesque walk down Tiong Bahru, you cafe hopping enthusiast!

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3. Sunglasses add pazzaz to your day

Even if it doesn’t, it does add a million cool points to you, along with that air of mystery. Besides, with all the glare from the sunlight, the pair of sunglasses would surely protect the nice eyes from hurting. Strained eyes = Not good day. So remember kids, glasses make you awesome.

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4. Handkerchief/Face towel

It may be passe or underrated, but really. Walking around in the streets with sweat running down ourselves like rain is definitely going to put off many people. A piece of cloth or handkerchief would totes work wonders. Just wipe the grime off and people would be none the wiser. Just remember  to not smell.

Maybe a dash of perfumery or deodorant, eh?

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5. Hydrate adequately

You’re out all day under the sun. Even if you’re just lounging at the beach cafe, its best to keep the water levels in your body on optimum level. Hydrate, hydrate, hydrate. We don’t want anyone to faint and miss out on the fun, do we? Enough water means more time to enjoy, so take care of yourself.

 

ImageBONUS:  A personal hand fan

It might be weird or mediocre, but the effect leaves much to be commented on. You’d have thought that with all these years, the ancestors would’ve done something to beat the heat. Yes, they created the personal fan. Don’t you fret on how carrying it is a major faux pas. Flip out the majestically printed personal fans and cool yourself down while you leave your haters bathing in their sweat. That’ll show them. Besides, its make you look all the more in tune with the hot season. The Hot Exotic Prince/Princess, if I may.

 

 

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The search of finer things in life.

Expediency > Quality.

In retrospect, one usually finds that many still find themselves stuck in a rigid routine of convenience over experience. The bustling metropolis of Singapore, with its rat race, constantly sees the springing up of new shopping malls and amenities which cater to a modernising population. Fast food chains and hair salons appear in abundance, coupled with the allure of matching one’s self with the trendier global stage.

Of course, separatist movements such as the minimalist and hipster subcultures tend to deviate from the norm, adding that slice of quirkiness to the place one calls home. In this context, it is comforting to see individuals who, step out of conventional methods to open up creative ventures and trail their own paths different from their predecessors.

Where do I come into this?

I am not a person who entirely believes modernisation is for the greater good nor an individual to separate totally from the norm. Instead, I am more like a person on a fence, choosing to have the best of both worlds, while sticking firmly to old roots. Yes, it is beneficial to progress and indeed being creative is important. However, the purpose is lost if we do not remember our roots. A life of convenience means nothing without experience, if you look at it generally. While I’m not a modernity freak per se, I still admire and appreciate the smaller icons which make Singapore my home. Unfortunately, these unique people will cease to exist, their trade probably erased with the threat of modernisation. Here are some of them.

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1. THE HUMBLE MAMA SHOP aka “Where I buy sweets for 10cents per piece”.

This iconic feature found in almost all, if not many, void decks serves as a sweet reminder of childhood that the Lost generation up to the Millennials once had. Memories of the jolly old indian uncle laughing as your eyes widen with excitement, your lips drooling at that action figure which was highly coveted by your peers. Meanwhile, your mother was selecting her freshest groceries to cook you that favourite chicken curry you were craving badly for last night. Oh how wonderful it was when the uncle decides to give you a free sweet before the both of you went home, surely leaving a smile on your face for the whole day and being the envy of your playground friends when you tell them your story of how the mama shop uncle gave you a complimentary mentos mint. Alas, this one stop centre for groceries and sundry needs is slowly being phased out, replaced by dank and dull supermarts and supermarkets where the cashiers’ expressions are sometimes as cold as ice itself. The ecstatic smile of the traditional shopkeeper will soon fade, gone from the minds of the children who will meet the stoic, grim faces of supermarket cashiers, imploring you to be quick with your change so that the queue can get moving.

 

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2. THE LOCAL KOPITIAM aka “Where your ah kong used to eat at”.

Ah, the smell of freshly roasted coffee beans coupled with the aroma of kaya toast. The blend of taste as you feed yourself the first morsel of scrambled eggs. Your ears pick up the familiar chirping of birds while old uncles you can consider as wizards shout out the morning’s order with a sing song voice. Yes, this true Singaporean culture of coffeeshops will soon disappear into the background of the local scene, overtaken by swankier and more stylish “Viennese” coffeehouses or hipster-ish boulangeries and cafes. The unique setting of a traditional Asian culture will wither away with a picturesque view commonly found in continental Europe. While the Egg Benedict may reign in the heart of many youths today, it still hasn’t captured my heart. Therefore, I’m still sticking myself with the scrambled eggs, kaya toast and kopi siew dai, thanks.

 

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3. THE LOCAL BARBERSHOP aka “Mummy buy you ice cream if you sit properly”.

The sound of electric razors buzzing as the fatherly uncle shaves off the massive chunk of hair which made you look like a lion. You cringe as your beautiful mane is now at one with the floor. The uncle makes small talk, trying to calm you down while your squirm in your seat, usually with the offer of an ice cream or sweet after the haircut. The droning of your mother as she dictates the style your hair must conform to – mother knows best, as they say. This iconic scene is typical of many Singaporeans of yesteryear. Try asking your dad, he must surely have gone through this. The cheerful uncle who never refuses a visit by a passing man looking for a shave, trim or haircut. The end usually resulting in the customer looking as if he was a Sean Connery from a Bond film or perhaps a G.I. Joe flick. In any case, this special landmark is gradually making way for more trendy and up-to-date hairstyling salons and specialist haberdasheries with a vengeance to make you look like something out of a fashion magazine while robbing you blind and tearing a large hole in your pocket, while calling it art. To those who prefer this, I respect your decisions. Me? I’ll side with the barbershop uncles with their trusty straight razors and their delicate fingers. At least they don’t seem to look as bloodthirsty as Sweeney Todd the hairstylist.

 

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4. THE STREETSIDE COBBLER aka “Where your dad repairs shoes without burning a hole”.

This person is instantly recognisable by his makeshift table at the side or corner of the street alongside the striking scent of glue and sound of heels being knocked into place. The roadside cobbler, an logo of a determined Singapore is very much a dying trade in today’s modern society, where disposable items reign supreme. Long gone were the times whereby sensible people bought footwear which were supposed to last a lifetime. When worn down, the humble cobbler became their ally and friend, repairing and touching up their coveted possession with a delicate and personal touch. These people could also provide a nice shoe finish, applying kiwi to it and furnishing it with a gleaming, new look sometimes even better than first bought. Although such services are now offered by certain shoe shops domestically, nothing beats the service of a street cobbler where experience, quality and affordabiltiy are rolled into one. You might be surprised to find that some cobblers actually repair branded items.

———-

I appreciate what the past has given. I also appreciate what has yet to come. However, to lose a precious gem in a city that rapidly accelerates the wheel of modernisation at the expense of its past is extremely lamentable. Indeed, land scarcity is a problem, but it doesn’t necessarily mean incorporation of values and culture into modernity cannot be done. To erode a century’s worth of culture in 3 decades is no joking matter. It is just sad that the upcoming generation of locals will grow up with less of a childhood than their predecessors. And we wonder why they are so attention seeking and socially reclusive.

Change. Appreciate. Converse & Conserve.

– The Fox.

 

Photography Credits:

http://sghardtruth.files.wordpress.com/

Edwin Koo, The New York Times

http://valerietan.com/category/art/page/2/

http://pfong.blogspot.sg/

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