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Bit by Bit, Putting it Together

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Showing Up

“Sometimes, you want to be that friend who knows the right things to do, the right things to say. But most of the time, I find myself at a loss for words and actions – what can I possibly do to make things better, especially when things are generally beyond our control?” You could tell that he was both helpless and frustrated at that time, his genuine concern and desire to help someone was taking...

The Halfway of Everything

The familiar sound of my alarm wakes me up, but unlike other mornings, I ignore the ‘Snooze’ button and turn it off. 7.00AM on a Saturday, and my room is halfway lit by the morning sun. It should be a warm day, I think. I drag myself to the sink, and catch sight of my bedhead in the mirror. I ruffle my own hair a little bit and chuckle because I look a little funny. Then, I realise that there is...

Detour

A friend of mine posted on social media that the notion “Things don’t always go according to plan” is one truth he finds it hard to accept.  I don’t think he’s alone in this.  As we get older, we think we should be better at planning and making things happen.  During job interviews, we are often asked where do we see ourselves in the next five to ten years.  Having a...

N is for Nourishing Your Soul

As I was leaving for London last year, I received a few heartwarming farewell gifts from loved ones. One of them was a list called “The Alphabets of Living Rights” that was brilliantly concocted by a dear friend. It’s a checklist of A-Z of the things I should accomplish during my time here. So far, I have more or less completed 70% of the list, most of which are pretty...

To Something Better

What a year it has been! This is the first time that I’m celebrating my birthday in a different timezone, without my family and without a customary bowl of ‘tang yuen’ as part of the winter solstice celebration because they both always coincide. Instead, I made my way down to Brighton with my friend Jean to join in the annual Burning of the Clocks. It is said that people do it...

“I’ll See You When I Come Home.”

That was what I said to him before I left for London. Where do I begin? How do you write about a man who has written all his life? To many, he is known as Soo Ewe Jin, editor of The Star and inspiring columnist of “Sunday Starters” who has lifted the spirits of many with his heart-warming articles (and probably the sole reason I still read the local papers). To me and my cousins, who were brought...

Scholarships and More

Hello, from sunny UK! Yes, we’re approaching autumn but it has been rather sunny and warm since I got here. I will write about my time here in the later posts, but I’ve been getting requests from friends and strangers to do a write-up about my talk on scholarship applications, which was organized by Mensa Penang in August. It is the scholarship application season now, so I hope what I’m about to...

Journey to the West: Ghent & Bruges

“Why Ghent? Actually, where’s Ghent?” Those were the common questions I would get when I share about our little holiday. I first read about Ghent when I was trying to find a common place to stay when we travel between Bruges and Brussels. I knew those two places are very touristy and my idea was to settle at a quieter area after the hustles and bustles of Paris. Some online...

Journey To The West: Paris

Nothing prepared us for Paris. Even though we had a scrumptious brunch at Le Pain Quotidien (I will later find out that this delicious chain of pastry cafes originated in Brussels, not Paris) at the St. Pancras Station before we departed for Gare du Nord, the French capital would soon present itself in a way that we will remember for life in a span of four short days. But first – all aboard...

Journey To The West: Prologue

We all have goals. Short term, or long term, they’re in the same to-do list that tells the stories of our lives. One of my short term goals was to bring mom to the UK as she had always wanted to see what life is like in that part of the world (and so did I). Another reason was more personal for me which I won’t divulge here, but let’s just say all those reasons combined with a...

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