Spaces

After i’ve been, i write and often so for a while after. Find all writing and photos under “|Places“.
___

singapore :: since 2007
Where I’m living.   Perhaps because I’ve been here so long, it holds the greatest concentration of the people I love, the things I know and know i still don’t quite know. As with most backyards, I’ve only belatedly begun to pay proper attention to it. For a red dot, it’s got a disproportionate number of lovers and haters. I think it is worth them all.

.

norway, oslo and norway :: oct 2014
When we arrived, it was a soft landing into Norway’s beauty, and we didn’t even get to visit the gorgeous parts. This trip remembers the cabin hearth up in Nesbyen, as we near the darkest evening of the year for those in the winter solstice.

italy, venice to rome :: feb 2014
Oh Everyone’s said so much about you. And they were right.

lausanne :: paris :: jan 2014
A week’s spot in lausanne, and then the train to the romantic-est city, by demand, in the world.

cambodia :: dec 2013
A return. This time, i suffered no food poisoning and remained strong to witness the startling shifts happening in the cities. [no posts yet]

hoi an, vietnam :: aug 2013
My friend’s first and my second. The 24/7 passes fast in this slow town and so many stories exchanging hands here. [no posts yet]

melbourne, au :: nov 2012
For a wedding and with friends. And i found plenty of love and what does make up friendships. [no posts yet]

munich, de :: apr 2012
A slow immersion that brought up different shades by the day; no matter that the skies remained grimly grey until the very end of april. There’s plenty to munich besides maximilianstraße and the marienkirche. And a calm i never thought could be found in a city.

india, a bit of north :: dec 2011
Many train rides; a continuous sensuous riot from new delhi to the taj mahal in agra, down to the varanasi where life burns, life flows. With a pretty odd pit stop in chandigarh. Everything still plays everywhere when i close my eyes.

egypt :: early nov 2011
Heady. The sights stir, and the people definitely possess a special something. Still thinking about this one, but i suppose it is appropriate for one of the oldest places on earth.

southern laos :: central vietnam :: :: end dec-jan 2011
A return to laos: i’d looked forward to the same warmth in a country that seems to just flow, a contrast to its busy neighbours. I had forgotten how unfamiliar tastes could test the buds (cow-dung chilli sauce is never labeled), and everything else surprised, gently. From the transit point of Pakse, old thoughts finally laid to rest on the quiet plateau of Paksong where we motorbiked (no choice, town is tuktuk-free) our way to the waterfalls. Down south around Si Phan Don, the only thing moving was the Mekong. Eastwards to Hue, the dust settle, buildings and bustle rise. Got caught in the timewarp of Hoi An. It came to an end in Danang, with the longest, perhaps straightest, coastline in the world.

san francisco, usa :: mid jun 2010
In 2005, it was a pit-stop on a road trip way before this blog ever began. I loved the lay of the land,  its swathe of blue, and the hippy ideal still proudly flagged. On my second trip, I hung around the neighbourhoods, and ate. A ferry to Sausalito, and a little bus to Muir Woods.
Fell back in a kind of awed, eager love.

cambodia :: oct 2009
Only ten days here, in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. History still scars the land and are a fresh memory. There seemed almost too many ready reminders. It’s still a beautiful place- you see it in the resilience of the people, their green produce, the wide landscapes. I couldn’t resist a gorgeous yellow pineapple sold by a diminutive lady by the river, and fell hopelessly ill for the second half of the trip.
The temples of Angkor was a balm after the broken-down buildings of Phnom Penh.

malaysia :: since2008
Some of my most favourite people are from Malaysia, which means I get a free insider’s view. I also get ferried to the best dim sum places in KL and Ipoh. My first trip there was actually in ’04, which is pretty late for a someone living right on its tip (albeit an island rejected in 1964). I find its interplay of religious politicking and secular progress very interesting, and amusing.
And—islanders know this—, people there really are nicer.

thailand :: jun-jul08
A hasty decision after the May 08 Yangon floods. Planned for had been an expedition from Myanmar into Thailand, cutting across Cambodia, and maybe a nudge into southern Vietnam. But bouncing south to north to east to west made me realise the diversity that can be contained within a single country. Nong Khai, Pai, and Chiang Rai still feature readily when I look back. As does my sojourn in Chiang Mai, and refuge in Ayutthaya.
Somewhere in the mountain range along Chiang Mai and Chiang Rai, i broke out in a full-body raw pink rash. It was the only time I prayed for a helicopter air-lift. Thankfully, the rash was benign (caterpillar, apparently). And the trip, pretty psychedelic. Enough for ruminations even years later.

tasek bera, malaysia :: end dec2007
The largest freshwater lake in malaysia. Instead of a lake and a forest hike, we got a flooded resort and a short stroll through a weed garden.
We were strange fish in a very unfamiliar pond. It was very peaceful, and very humbling.

laos :: may-jun2007
I came to Vientiene as part of a volunteer group to integrate students into newly installed library facilities at Nong Duang Secondary School. But the children taught me more, and i returned home different. We popped by backpacker funland, Vang Vieng. We did a mother-of-all nauseating bus ride up to Luang Prabang, a beautiful rolling green recently added to the World Heritage list.

desaru, johor, malaysia :: dec2006
All I did there was cycle, pull on poncho, cycle, gather wheezing breath, lunch along old shophouses, continue cycling, curse flat tires, cycle some more. Quiet rolling scenery of rubber plantations. East Malaysia was still feeling the earthquake from Sumatra, so instead of camping on the beach, we pitched tents on concrete under a little gondola, and watched the hurling sea churn grey and brown.

germany :: may-jun2006
I’d scraped for a ticket to this middle land. Besides getting drunk on sights, it was a beautiful journey, both without and within–as all good ones do. By chance, I got reacquainted with two old friends from ago, and despite the contrariness, grew a deep fondness for them. We lived an idyllic time in Muenster, then headed on to Cologne, Frankfurt, Freiberg, Munich, swung up into the summer heatwave in Berlin, before a final serene pit-stop in Hamburg and Luebeck. It sparked this blog.