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!
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.
Then we veered onto Teck Lim Road, where we saw some very detailed window-work.
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.
We also saw an old man fall asleep.
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!
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.
We then turned left onto Tanjong Pagar road (yeah we were going in U’s) and saw some creepy masks.
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).
Then we sent my sister back to her office
And we went to Melanie’s favorite cake shop, Kiki, for dessert.
After that (2:45pm) we decided to go to the Tooth Relic Temple, a beautiful Buddhist temple in Chinatown.
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.
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)
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.
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!
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.