a random walk

It is a long and narrow corridor.

Doors line up neatly against the sides of it and they are painted with many different colours. Noting that colours on some doors are fresher, it is easy to tell apart the doors that have just been put up and doors that have been there long enough to demand for a free upgrade from the Government if they actually belong to HDB. However, regardless of the age of the units, all of them have a wonderful wooden board at the front and those boards are tidily hung with strings and nails stuck onto the doors. Engraved in similar fashion, English letters appear on those wooden boards but they seldom make sense to readers.

Almost everyday, without fail, I will take a stroll down that walkway and inspect the units individually and thoroughly. Some have locks on them but armed with my trusty paperclip that can be cunningly transformed into a lock picking device, I am able to unlock them with ease. Every unit has its own style, as determined by the owner of each unit who takes his or her time to improve or add to it. The interiors are incredibly well thought of and they allow me to easily find a spot where I can relax and immerse myself in the given settings.

There is, however, one unit that I will conveniently skip because it is situated right at the end of the corridor and somehow, I will have headache whenever I am inside the unit. Today, I have decided to be adventurous by paying it a visit.

The door creaked as I pushed it open. The shiny metallic coating of the hinges had fallen off, revealing crude patches of rust. The living room was filled with cobwebs, especially the cupboards which held fine china. A bronze sculpture of a charging bull stood prominently at the corner of that room and it was covered with a thick layer of dust. Feeling stuffy, I turned on the ceiling fan and dust fell freely on my head.

Damn the owner!

The terrible condition of the unit forced me to make an early exit and although I was covered in dust, I am glad that I made the visit.


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“Shhhhhhhhhhhhhaaaaaaaaaaaarakkkaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaakkkkkakkkkkkk”, is the sound you hear when someone rolls up the metal shutters at the front of his shop. The shop, which was closed for more than 2 months, is now open for business.

Welcome back!

Akin to the dream of all sportsmen, which is to break their personal best, I have shamelessly realized mine, once again, with this post that is due for some time. Previous record was a timing of few weeks and I improved it immensely to a few months. I’ll probably qualify for a medal if there is such an event in the Olympics.

The status of my blog, or rather the emptiness of it, has always bother me and it bothers me more to know that I am getting too lazy to update it. Well to be exact, it is not the laziness but more of the lack of personal time to pen a post. Yunlong mentioned about taking pride in his posts some time ago and I totally agree with it. Back in Singapore, I could hide in my room and spend all the time that I need to think about what to write. However in Shanghai, there seems to be less time available for me to gather my thoughts and my inability to pen my thoughts effortlessly is certainly not helping me in making progress.

Akin to family and close friends whom I have not met for a long time, my blog has been left behind, but definitely not forgotten. To prove my point, below is what I have typed during my Lunar New Year break. I have decided to post it anyway as I believe there will be some of you out there who are interested to know what I have done (say yes, please).


Winter woes III:

Despite the blistering cold, the distance and the fact that millions would be fighting for seats like a huge musical-chair play, many Chinese moved home to be with their families to celebrate Lunar New Year.

Few days before the start of the LNY, I went to Guang Zhou with my colleague to visit a client company and I stayed there for just one night. Zero exploration was done on that night when I had the time to wander off a little as I decided to catch some random movie on HBO. Besides, the 3-to-4 star hotel was located dubiously far away from any place and I concluded that I would possibly lose my way. No shopping center, night market or even a 7-11 was in sight while en route to the hotel. Also, spending one night out in the open would be miserable, especially when there is a warm and cozy room available. I have always doubt the cleanliness of beds in hotels but it definitely beats sleeping on pavement where fresh phlegm lies every 10 meters apart.

On departure day, we left for Guang Zhou Bai Yun Ji Chang and we reached the airport early at about 10 am but it was already quite crowded. Owing to the bad weather, many flights were disrupted and airports were temporarily out of operation. We were informed that our flight would be delayed infinitely and faced with no other options, we waited with many others at the lounge. As we bought higher class tickets, we were allowed entry to an exclusive lounge where snacks and drinks were readily available. More people were seen gathering at the counters outside the lounge as the day dragged and loud commotions could be heard. At certain points, it did seem that riots would break out but the glass panels that separated us from the edgy horde appeared solid and impassable somehow.

After a rather interesting delay of 13 hours, our plane to Shanghai was finally ready for flight at about 11p.m.


That’s all for this reopening message. Take care folks!

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Originally uploaded by rifle1984

stations look like those we have in Singapore. even the advertisements are by JCDecaux

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plane to shanghai


Originally uploaded by rifle1984

snow flakes?

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winter woes II

The temperature dropped a little more and the dark pools started to solidify, forming mixtures of ice and water which were slippery to walk on.

Soon, heavy snow came and covered everything in white. It was a pretty sight but it came with a hefty price tag. Cars froze in action and drivers started to honk more excessively (drivers here have an infamous habit of honking excessively. It is as though their horns are attached to the accelerators. No-honking signs are in place to remind drivers not to wake the whole neighbourhood up but they don’t seem to give a damn, equivalent of asking school children not to play soccer at void deck with those signs featuring black-stickman, which according to yl, are only directed at dark-skin people)

Owing to the awful traffic conditions, many turned to the trains, transforming the carriages into cans of minced meat. It was rather overwhelming to see that many people waiting to get into the stations and trains and I thought of heading home to avoid being pounded. What reason should I tell my boss? Tripped on a little snowman? Anyway, the sheer number of people queuing at the stations reminded me of the time when peeps and I were trying to cross the JB customs minus the stuffiness. They should really install some fans at JB customs before someone faints/collapses – maybe that would be ah hai because he is cluster phobic.

Well after entering the stations, getting into or out of trains isn’t as frustrating anymore. All you need is a horde of commuters pushing you from the back and you’ll be in/out before you get to turn around and yell at the person behind for pushing. Where’s the card, ref? I got ‘left behind’ once and I found myself rugby-ing my way through. Luckily for winter, my opponents wore good layers of cushion and I managed to get past unscathed. It is hard to imagine when summer comes. Cover your nose.

Happy valentines and happy friendship! (whichever applicable)

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jing an ai (direct translation : silent safe temple)


Originally uploaded by rifle1984

man cycling down a stretch of old apartments

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crossing the bridge


Originally uploaded by rifle1984

bridge to cross to get to Long Zi Mong (dragon’s deam) which is the nearest shopping center from my apartment. there’s carrefour, H&M, G*star, Nike, Adidas, Fox, C&A, fast food restaurants and some others. the MRT is right below too. takes about 10-15 minutes, depending on how fast i walk and how slippery the path is)

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