A Mad 12 Hours

Today, I spent 12 hours with a high school friend. Of those 12 hours, 6 hours were spent on exploring Singapore, 3 hours were spent on eating, and 3 hours were spent at an Executive Coach International preview.

Honestly, I cannot remember the last time I had such a blissful, carefree, and fulfilling day. If you think back, can you tell me when was the last time you had a stress-free day, doing whatever the hell you please? When was the last time you had a whole day to be around people who accept you for who you really are? When was the last time you had a whole day to be yourself and do something that you really love or you have always wanted to do? For me, that was today.

I was living in every. Single. Moment. I only realize this now because in those moments, I was not trying. I was not thinking about the past or the future. I was in the present. I was conscious of my surroundings. I was being. How do I know this? I barely looked at my phone. I did not go on Facebook, I did not go on Whatsapp, I did not check my emails. I think nowadays, we are so consumed with technology that we forget to appreciate every moment in life. It is a pity, because once a moment passes, you can never recreate it again. That exact same moment- the heavy summer smell in the air, the sun shining on your right cheek, your sunglasses slipping down your nose, the breeze that gives you the extra lift as you walk, the radiant blue sky, the sweat trickling down your back; these moments can only be experienced once, and if you don’t pay attention, if you don’t appreciate it, you will never get that back again. Because it is these simple moments that, when you look back on them, make you realize just how full of life they made you feel. Once you are aware of these moments, you will start noticing the state of mind that you are in when they happen. And I think once you realize and capture how to get to this state of mind, you are golden. I mean, I’m not there yet, but at least I am starting to appreciate these moments.

It is so easy to say, but so hard to grasp the concept that one should never take life for granted. I used to hate the cards that I was dealt, and always wanted someone else’s. But after what I went through last weekend, I finally realized this: I finally realized that I am only given one life and that I only have one chance to fully live out my life. It is completely up to me and how I define the word “fully”; for now, it is appreciating the fact that I have the time to appreciate the little things in life (oooh, inception).

So let me ask you: What is living, if you are not able to appreciate the small things? What is living, if you are not living in the moment? What is living, if you are not living for yourself?

Anyway, I think it is time for me to share with all of you the joy I felt today exploring my hometown. I know, ironic isn’t it? I am Singaporean, but I have never lived here before. Today, I finally got to witness the little quirks and kinks of this lovely city with the awesome possum Melanie, who without, I would not have had the chance to discover Singapore.

Get ready for an abundance of pictures!

After being 2o minutes late, (11:30am) Melanie finally got to Outram Park Station, and our adventures began!

Melanie with her hip bag and sunglasses.
Melanie with her hip bag and sunglasses.

Our general direction was Chinatown, so Melanie worked her magic and brought me through a maze of colorful houses and boutique shops. First we went onto Keon Saik Road, where we saw this beautiful Indian temple.

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Then we veered onto Teck Lim Road, where we saw some very detailed window-work.

Beautiful colors
Beautiful colors

As we turned left onto Neil Road, I saw a hawker center that sold traditional bean curd! I have been looking for that since I arrived three weeks ago, as nowadays, the kids like to eat the new kind. We sat down for 15 minutes and enjoyed the yumminess. This was around 11:50am- our first snack.

They ran out of cold beancurd, but the warm one was good too!
They ran out of cold beancurd, but the warm one was good too!
This is a must-try for anybody who comes to Singapore!
This is a must-try for anybody who comes to Singapore!

We also saw an old man fall asleep.

So cute.
So cute.

We then turned left onto Neil Street, crossed the road, and continued down. We oohed and ahhed at every store we passed- it ranged from consultancy firms to Italian restaurants. We turned right onto Duxton Road and took some artsy pictures!

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Along Duxton Road, we went into an awesome cozy bookstore called Littered With Books (no pictures allowed). We walked to the end, then turned onto Craig Road.

Beautiful!
Beautiful!

We then turned left onto Tanjong Pagar road (yeah we were going in U’s) and saw some creepy masks.

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I realized that I was close to my sister’s work place, so after a little deliberation, we decided to go pay her a visit at Amoy Street! She took us to lunch at The Flying Squirrel (around 12:50pm).

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Crab and Avocado salad
TFS Chirashi
TFS Chirashi
Torched Salmon belly, Big fish eggs (can't remember the Japanese name), Mekajiki, Squid, Salmon belly.
Torched Salmon belly, Big fish eggs, Mekajiki, Squid, Salmon belly.

Then we sent my sister back to her office

<3
<3

And we went to Melanie’s favorite cake shop, Kiki, for dessert.

Raspberry chocolate mousse.
Raspberry chocolate mousse.

After that (2:45pm) we decided to go to the Tooth Relic Temple, a beautiful Buddhist temple in Chinatown.

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Buddhist temples are absolutely stunning with its fresh and bright colors.
Buddhist temples are absolutely stunning with its fresh and bright colors.
Melanie had to cover up herself because she was basically naked.
Melanie had to cover up herself because she was basically naked.

Discovering and walking around 3 floors later, we went into another Indian temple that looked similar like the first one. Then we took the MRT to Little India.

On the MRT
On the MRT

We walked through the hawker center and (surprise surprise!) Melanie suggested me to try the Indian Rojak, which is apparently nothing like the normal Singapore Rojak. Rojak is a traditional fruit and vegetable dish; it is supposed to be a super healthy dish, but Indians like to fry it and eat it with spicy sauce. I definitely prefer it the Indian way! (4pm)

You get to pick what you want!
You get to pick what you want!
This is what we got- I only know the tofu and cuttlefish- no idea what the rest is!
This is what we got- I only know the tofu and cuttlefish- no idea what the rest is!
We also got sugar cane juice!
We also got sugar cane juice!
The guy chopping up the pieces.
The guy chopping up the pieces with lightning speed!
The end result! Yum!
The end result! Yum!

We then walked around Little India and decided that we wanted a Henna. So after looking for awhile, Melanie’s good eye discovered a very nice place.

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Ours:)
Ours:)

At 6pm, we headed to RELC for a 3-hour TCC preview, from 7:30pm to 10:30pm. When Melanie and I left, we were both quite hungry. So we jumped in a cab and headed to Adam Road Hawker Center for more food!

Fried bee hoon (fried vermicelli) and Char Kway Tewo (Singapore delicacy).
Fried bee hoon (fried vermicelli) and Char Kway Tewo (Singapore delicacy).

And we also had one roti prata each (11:30pm).

We both went home with full stomachs and a lot of pictures on our camera. All in all, we went to 5 different places to eat, walked around 4 different areas and took a gazillion pictures! This initially started as a photo-taking day so that we can use our cameras, but it turned into something much bigger. Not only did I get to bond with Melanie, I finally realized how freaking important it is to really let your mind go free and live in the moment.

I would love to hear your thoughts on the first part of this post- what is living to you? Do you appreciate every moment you have?

Thanks for reading, and I am so thankful for timezones.

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9 thoughts on “A Mad 12 Hours

  1. Your photo journal was such a fun and interesting read tonight! It’s 1:04am here and I’m finally on my way to bed, but I wanted to read your post first. I am an amateur photographer, I use a camera for work sometimes, but I’m terrible at taking pictures. My goal this year is to actually understand the camera buttons and settings. I am learning but I consider it a failure that I’m not making progress as fast as I need to. I had a big revelation this week while out taking pictures of my flowers. I spend so much time trying to get the perfect flawless photo that I am not telling the story of my subject and I’m so wrapped up in the technical stuff that I’m not enjoying the scenery. It’s made me stop and use the photo to tell a story instead of just focusing on something that shouldn’t matter. It isn’t worth doing if you aren’t happy doing it. Great post tonight, I enjoyed it!

    1. Hi peacelovegreatcountrymusic! Thank you for commenting again- I really appreciate you taking your time before going to bed and reading through my post.
      Looks like we have the same goals this year! I totally know what you mean with trying to get every detail of the flower in, or try to make the food look amazing. Let’s remember that the next time we go out on photo-taking adventures and let’s conquer this goal together!

  2. This is such an awesome post. I absolutely love it. When you ask: “…What is living, if you are not able to appreciate the small things? What is living, if you are not living in the moment? What is living, if you are not living for yourself?” I was shaking my hands and saying “YES!” and “Exactly!” Such great questions. Such a great meditation on taking time out, being present, and feeling life pull through you. It’s so important and so few of us actually ever do this. I love your adventure with your friend and the photos are awesome; they so brought the experience into my psyche and body. You are gorgeous, radiant women. Thank you for this wonderful post, my new friend. -BigLizzy

    1. When I read what you wrote, I squealed with excitement. Having these encouragements and positivity come from such a successful woman just makes me feel so special and I thank you for that. I think too few people ask themselves those questions and thus, live life without appreciating the moments. I am so glad that we get to experience this and only hope that others will start to as well. You are gorgeous amazing and thank you so much for stopping by. To new friends! :)

    1. Hi onechicklette!! Glad you dropped by :) oh gosh I know right.. I haven’t looked at this post in a long time and I’m not sure if I should right now. It’s almost time for bed….

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