each night as soon as my head touches the pillow
i fall asleep within a minute

by 10pm i am barely thinking
zoned out, cutting and pasting for a little bit
(except for supper sessions with my roomies)

but it has been tremendously fun, and i must say that days like these i feel contentedly happy
as with baan rak thai – tiring, but happy. 🙂

we are getting increasingly acquainted with the class, but it’s also true that we are leaving soon
i love it when the girls braid my hair, though i do not show it much
i am always secretly happy when she asks me to sit down and starts braiding my hair for me
how affectionate it feels, gestures like these
when she picks up strands of my hair i feel comforted, i feel warmth

nicole mentioned – is it possible to not play favourites? this is something i considered before
like her, i once told myself i’d try my best not to, seeing how i was the quiet invisible girl in class for many years
but the fact is – as she mentioned – some people catch your attention more readily and it’s far easier to get acquainted with them
i guess it is almost inevitable but it’s a reminder to myself to try to make every child feel worthy

but when he hands me the grapes
and brings me a cup of the soft drink – specially for me!
i cant help but melt for a bit
this naughty boy has such a sincere streak
(the the chick, really?!?!)
i liked it very much

my cap

which is now gone boohoo


spent the morning learning Vietnamese alphabets
it’s really funny, because I swear they sound the same!!!! but they do not, with the different pitches etc etc but gosh, I’ve forgotten them already hahah
also, i liked that they looked mildly confused / exasperated upon repeating it for us – i feel like it empowers them in some ways, to know that we struggle with Vietnamese as they do perhaps with English
it is a reciprocal relationship, a mutual learning process, and we suck at Vietnamese 😀

my daily dose of glorious sunset – the sun, the sand, the sea, the mountains

the little stream-
When you peer closely at it it can be pretty amazing – how the gradual ebbs and flows, the constant streaming rivulets, the inward rush and outward retreat of the waves gradually, ever so gently, shape the landscape to be how it is. Tiny slopes and little patterns etched across the sandy terrain – how they leave their mark. How metaphorical. All the little waves that shape your landscape of life.

Today I did one of the hardest and most courageous things I’ve had to do – pick up a huge cockroach to place it in the bin. Yes, it was truly hard for me and I’m proud to have done it. 🙂


they gave these to us as tokens of appreciations – such talents!!

after a day of scraping the paint, the tiny flakes clouding our hair, we were done! (scraping)

my grades 6-8 teaching team 🙂 🙂

I think I really like these things.
By 10pm I can feel my head all woozy, floaty from fatigue 
We slump our bodies onto the beds 
Some snore as soon as their heads touch the pillow
These days it is physically and mentally exhausting 
But days are getting fun
Today we played the orientation games I played (TUKI TUKI TUKI!!!)
We laughed and laughed
We learned viet words 
When I see them and they look at me shyly and hold my hands and call my name
When they race to the boards to answer the questions
When they eagerly listen and repeat after our words
I feel happy
This is becoming a familiar space-to-place 

da nang

missing FS so much,
filled with bits of regret i cant replay that memory (and sydney)
almost effortlessly now 
because i did not take the time to pen everything down
so i’m learning from that, and from exchange,
and am putting in more effort right now
so my future self can r e p l a y and r e c a l l 
(albeit never 100% – memory tweaks as it wills, that I believe – but still a little something
for myself)

My impression of butchers has always been that they were males 
Here women crowded around the tables

Rhythmic slicing on the chopping board

Nimble, skillful fingers that worked in tandem with the shells 
Women sitting haggling over prices 
Rearranging the food 
What a gendered space, my mind inevitably wandered 
Smell of fish and the flesh of meat 
The crab clawed lazily into the air 
I reached for the pack of egg noodles – and was startled by something black creeping from underneath 

The way we weaved in and out of the crowd of motorcyclists 
night 3:
‘3 things / people / events that changed your life / shaped you to be who you are today’
strange isn’t it, how these things work
where we lay our bare selves in the dark of the night
split ourselves raw to people we hardly know
dark, in the dark
perhaps it’s easier that way
who are we telling? sometimes i feel like we are confessing
aloud, to ourselves
i acknowledge it
how did we build all these walls up?
each one of us hold so much stories beneath the actions we take. 
each one of us hold so much stories beneath ourselves. 

(like tiny bubbles fizzling ever so slightly at the prod of a thought
i would like to suppress it still, because i do not know yet
but i am excited indeed – at least i am walking, albeit a slow stroll)

i keep getting these flashes of memories, i really do
flashes of me on the train, watching the sky roll by
flashes of me in barcelona with my hot chocolate in that open-air cafe – it was cold, his smoke swirled and the music played
flashes of the night streets where it was dark and i was alone
i was lost, i was almost scared, and then i wasnt

when i think about these i am struck with a deep sense of longing
to take long train rides and be surrounded by things to understand

the last of my posts on exchange :'(

i remain struck with that pang of longing every now and then. will always be thankful for this one beautiful chapter in my life.

final sunset in loughborough

21 jan 2013
ILO ILO on the plane

Very laudable use of silence in the film – how poignant silence can be, how silence in itself speaks of a turmoil of emotions

I am home, and I have missed you, these thoughts unwittingly creeping up on my mind as the plane was set to land. ‘Welcome to Singapore’, an overhead voice calls out. Singaporean, I scrawled these words on the landing card, the written words holding more meaning to me than before. 

goodbye loughborough

jumping timelines
wrote these months ago, time to pin them upon this virtual tapestry
Monday, January 20, 2014 6:34 AM
My last days in Loughborough have ended this chapter of my life perfectly. I will always, always remember it. Such a bittersweet feeling, saying goodbye. 
But I laughed so, so much it’s like we were drunk people shrieking and stumbling on the streets, laughing
One of those moments where you’re laughing so hard you’re gasping for air
Drunk, high 
On the infinite light-heartedness of that moment
I was happy
I love moments like this because I think that even when I look back I’ll still laugh hard at that memory, like laughing at a memory of you laughing

When we first sat under the autumn tree
When it was time to leave

My present self misses this very much
Picnic night – it must have been one of the fun(niest) moments of my life
around the bright full moon was a circular ring of light – it was amazing and when we googled it was some sort of PHENOMENAAAAAA


such a useful duvet this has been hehehhee

ugh, the ‘pearls’ we tried to cook…… miserably failed

specially bought these MR HAPPY SOCCER BALLS YOGURT!!!!!

so there we were, lying on the duvet in the middle of the field on a winter night, under the moonlit night
we lifted the other end of the duvet to cover ourselves in the freezing night
at one point i was laughing so hard at the thought that we were, well, sleeping on a duvet and using it to cover ourselves, in the middle of the field – it was so hilarious i wonder if we’d do this in the day
knowing us we just might HAHHAHA
isn’t this incredibly romantic? i remember Helen commented. Yeah, i would love to do this with my future boyfriend *we giggled*
omg, i was so so happy :’))))
We thought back to the first night we met, spinning on that field
Star-gazing and just talking and talking and suddenly it was 1+am
Where did time go?
I wrote a cheesy post in late November about our meeting that night, which I titled ‘explosion’ (yes, cheesy):
‘if i had a word to describe tonight:
fireworks; magic
at that point, i decided to pause my Grey’s Anatomy (that I had spent the whole noon crying over), and walk down to collect my laundry
and then we met. And then the sun had set and it was midnight and we were walking in the large rugby fields, and we sat down at the slightly damp grass and looked at the orange skies in the distance, and we looked up and saw stars peeking from behind the clouds, 
and we linked arms and walked home, 
and then it was 2
How is it that sometimes a connection is so quickly formed between some people, and for others it just never happens? How does that work? The complementary vibes? They call it “clicking”, “same frequency”, “similar vibes” – how does that work, does our body release tendrils which we then seek to find a similar other? 
– In a matter of a single minute, and that to me is amazing
Happy Helen, Helen who loves the skies and vintage markets and polaroid cameras and beautiful things, Helen who goes to the library, Helen who gets lost while wandering the streets at night
Tonight we’re both happy, and we both feel lucky, because we found each other 🙂 I don’t know how things will go, but tonight was lovely, and it is a night we both will remember. ‘

Truly, truly thankful to have shared our friendship :’) Late night conversations in my room, fretting about life problems, giggling, taking pictures, talking to funny strangers, following strangers home (LOLLLL), getting drunk, splitting at the pathway between our blocks, linking arms in the cold, listening to music late at night, getting lost (me), pizzas, pumpkin carving, london trip, seriously, seriously, seriously, I’ve been so happy :’)

we’re such horrible kidssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss pls pardon our youthful ignorance
Tuesday, December 10, 2013 6:05 PM
Laura, one of my favorite people in Loughborough. Me and the Spanish kids, we are so absolutely clueless in class it’s hilarious. People move to the seats and turn on the computers and we stare at each other, with no idea what to do. And I can speak English, gosh I know for me it’s no excuse. But I actually love the times where we look at each other with a knowing glance, then burst out giggling helplessly because we have no fucking clue what Keely is going on about. LOL.
After-class coffee on Tuesdays. Talking about things, about Spain, about Singapore, about school, about family

And now when I read back I still remember that feeling I got when I stumbled home, my mind was in a half-blur because everything happened so quick, but this was the day that shaped the rest of my Loughborough ‘life’ so to speak. 
The thing about virtual connections is that… the separation never really feels eternal. A part of me (80%) is almost absolutely certain that Helen and I will see each other again, sometime in the next 10 years. And that this does not end here. 🙂
With flights and virtual connections it’s hard to feel like the ties are completely severed, communication remains instantaneous if you really want to, much unlike the past where snail-mail might take months, and a visit might take years and lots of hard work. I wonder how the people of that time felt when they were saying Goodbye and moving forth to somewhere 14 hours away? That ‘last goodbye’, last hug, ‘lasts’ of everything about a person – the possibility of receiving updates about people is so much harder, the separation hits so much closer
I’m sad that I’m leaving, but I’m so, so happy and thankful for what we shared, because what we share as students cannot be replicated in the later years, I think. Meeting someone from School holds a special significance, it feels like we met when we were in the process of growing up, and so when we meet each other again years later, we feel like we watched each other grow
Someday we’ll see each other again. 🙂

I love this so, so SO much it’s absolutely gorgeous and I’ve been eyeing Rob Ryan for so long, I was disappointed that I couldn’t get to his shop but I actually own something by him today :’) Thank you so much helen
bye telford

aprender español

I have decided to take note of my Spanish journey, just to keep track and actually be aware that I improved. Right now I’m at a truly basic level – I can’t formulate a whole sentence on my own, at best I point to things and sprout a few words – naranja? bebe agua? hasta luego! 

I had an intercambio for the first time last week, Alan has been a really encouraging partner and I actually look forward to each session! Plus, I get excited and I think it’s almost hilarious whenever he speaks in Chinese to the stall holders. Perfecto! I feel like I’m learning, really, and each time I walk back after I catch myself practising the rolling of my ‘r’s all the way home. My ‘r’s have been improving – the other day I felt my tongue quivering at the tip of my palatal area (still unsure if it’s the hard or soft palate). I listen to Ben and Marina on my train journeys and though I still don’t understand a large chunk of it, I look forward to the day I do.

Which will come, that I am sure 🙂
Keep you updated again!

Hasta luego,