weathered. [the actual word-ed post of my grampians experience]
this trip was truly one 'back to nature' experience. and by back to nature, i also mean back to basics and your un-girly unglam roughing it out.
drove all the way to the grampians after 3 sleep-deprived days of rushing an assignment, and so i made up for it in the 4 hour car journey. we took a long time to find the camp site, but when we did we realised that this was gg to be REAL camping. the site was neatly tucked away amidst vast expanses of plains, mountains, rivers and valleys. unfortunately, there also werent showers and so we had to forgo bathing. nonetheless, we pitched out tent and happily set of on a long hike, all ready to brace the elements.
the hike was pretty strenuous, which was ironic since this holiday trip was supposed to be relaxing. but the view from the top of mt zero made it all worthwhile. would have liked to stay longer and admire the breathtaking scenery, but we had to rush back down before sunset for fear of being lost and forgotten in the jungle trail especially since we realised we had no reception (yes, once again, talk about going back to basics). got back to our site just after sunset and started cooking dinner over the fire in the dark. then wanted to have a campfire but all the spots were taken up by other campers, so we played silly games in our tent instead.
that night, i was not spared. it poured, and i froze in the tent - unable to get to sleep, wondering when it'll be daybreak. it was already cold, but the rain aggrevated the condition. and being a seasoned camper, this was totally unexpected. usually it'll be the reverse - it'll be too hot and humid to sleep.
daybreak finally did arrive. it was a sunday so we had a bit of worship and sharing. we then dismantled the tent and headed off for the mckenzies fall and the balcony, which were the 2 famous scenic spots in the grampians. did more hiking as a result. we then travelled back along the great ocean road, stopping by the 12 apostles (again, for the benefit of a few others), the loch ard, the blowhole, and the thunder cave. there was alot of distance to cover, and we were thankful we had walkie talkies to play with along the way. its amazing how we managed to entertain ourselves so greatly. we were throwing pop quizes and lame jokes across the cars, and were even playing black magic (the ice-breaker one, of course). soon it was nightfall and i contributed in driving down the great ocean road in the dark (which can be quite a scary experience as one cant see beyond the headlights). finally, we arrived at nics uncles beachhouse. that was where we had a nice good long warm bath, and i fell asleep shortly on a couch by the fireplace. i like that thought, of cuddling up by the fireplace. reminiscent of storybooks, sweet old folks and bedtime tales.
woke up to the smell of bacon and toast and eggs, because apparently the cg mates i'd grown so fond of over the past 3 days were cooking up a storm in the kitchen. had breakfast, then headed out to bondi beach for some nua-ing in the sand. it was slightly chilly but after playing some games that required lots of running, we were all warmed up and, in fact, out of breath. photowhored, took some silly videos, and that marked the end of the great times out basking in the sun for this trip. we went back to the beachhouse, packed up and headed back for glen.
not without stopping at geelong for the all-famous fish and chip though. but guess what, its closed down!! not one of us could come up with a plausible reason for its closure, sad. i first came to know about it when the girls, josh and kel drove down the great ocean road. we din get to have it then too. oh wells. hmmm and talking about food, i must say that throughout this trip, mealtimes were really irregular. had entirely snacks (lemon biscuits, oreos, potato chips) for a breakfast! never felt so unhealthy in my entire life. we also skipped lunch the next day. mainly cos we were on the road and so it couldnt really be helped.
in addition, i think i've experienced more varied weathers in this trip than i have in my entire life (hence the post title). it is, after all, melbourne. the city renown for having 4 seasons in a day. it shone, hailed, rained, and blew like there was no tomorrow. and gosh, if the people who went with me to the great ocean road previously thought they'd experienced the worst of winds, this time when i was there it was comparatively 10 times windier!! i almost couldnt take a non-shaky photo, and my camera is antishake! if i were to describe the feeling, i'd call it a new kind of brainfreeze. honestly cos it felt like so!! the winds blew so strongly that my head was chillmaxed (term coined by josh, used literally here) and a few times i was almost literally 'swept off my feet', albeit not by a knight in shining armour.
but all was good. fabulous, rather. and because harsh times build strong bonds/friendships, and great times etch deep memories, i'm missing the cg already. thanks all you great people for the wonderful time! i really like how we all look out for each other and help each other along.
and i'll TAKE ONE FOR THE TEAM (a phrase spontaneously coined and used EXCESSIVELY throughout the whole trip ;p), any day.
oh yes, and just for the records, EARLY this morning (like what, 3 am?!) a smoke detector was triggered so all of the richo and roberts peeps had to evacuate the building to gather in the cold and dark outside. pity the poor fellas who were already in deep slp, for i was still up doing assignment but that was irritating enough. 2 firetrucks with all their bright red and blue sirens came screaming down the roads for us, but of course it was a false alarm as i had pretty much suspected. was even thinking twice about leaving my room. i mean, what else can you expect on a thurs night/fri morning (READ: drunkards galore). an experience, nonetheless. celebrated kerf's bdae at korean gardens today. food was splendid, a real treat to conclude the end of term and the start of the mid-sem break. kerf himself received some oversized gifts!! :) a big pink-wrapped hamper stashed with all his favourite things (or so, i think ;p), plus a big toblerone. i'd like to think that's e amt of lurve we give him too ;p
A really wonderful girl in my life told me "They're peaceful fiery creatures."
Despite the initial contradiction, after pondering on it, there's alot behind these 4 words; The fiery spirit is always there, lurking behind a socially built wall of calm and peace. Until people begin to forget that the pleasant warmth on the exterior belies a spark inside that has the potential to raze down all in their path. There's something exciting and drawing about tigresses. They can be spine chillingly fierce at one minute, defending their young against others; and so tender at another, looking after those she deems family. Her survival is important, and yet so is her loved ones. The delicate balance she manages so skillfully, simply causes others to be drawn to her, despite knowing the danger she is capable of.
The Sleeping Tigress.
zhen, i'm so honoured!! and yes, i totally agree. haha, and i think i've officially infected you with my tiger-craze :) let's continue to keep that fiery spirit burning.
i'm not easily hyper-ifed by material stuff, but THIS has really made me one very happy girl :)
the new canon ixus 65.
my parents got me a new camera for my birthday, which was a really big and pleasant surprise! i've been complaining about the old one for ages and have been meaning to get one once i get back to singapore anw. so yes, but that was not all. my choice camera was actually a canon model, and when my parents saw that the pictures of the model they chose were not all that great, they went back and got me this chio-est thing alive! :) haha, k la. canon cameras are not all as chio as those super sleek fit-in-pocket types, but for the functions and technology they pack in it, this is by far very much the epitome of outer and inner beauty combined :)
i really really heart my parents. not so much for getting me pressies and all, but for the thoughtfulness and time and effort and HEART they put into that, into me. cant say how much i appreciate it, and how little i know i can give back no matter how much i try. gets to the point where i sometimes feel unfilial just BEING overseas. heh.
hmmm, homesickness alert. but nah, there's other stuff to preoccupy and worry about. after this assignment is over, theres my outback-australia grampians camping trip during the mid-sem hols, intensive mugging, and in no time it'll be the end of sem, end of exams, end of osces, end of house-searching and partying, and its back to home sweet home.
some INTERESTING quizes i did and saved last time.
You Are a Natural Beauty!
You're the kind of beauty that every guy dreams about...One that looks good in the morning - without a stich of makeup. That's doesn't mean you're a total hippie chic though. You have style, but for you, style is effortless.
You take a while to fall in love with someone. Trust takes time. You give and take equally in relationships. You need your space and privacy. You don't like to be smothered. You love your partner unconditionally and don't try to make them change. You are fickle and tend to fall out of love easily. You bounce from romance to romance.
You *do* love to kiss, once your comfortable with it. And that means knowing the person you're kissing pretty well. You usually don't make the first move when it comes to making out. But you've got plenty of intensity in return.
disclaimer: judge reliabilty of quizes for urself. and yes, this is what you do when u're making no headway with your assignment and have exhuasted all other venues of distraction. k now, back to the necessary evil.
the convo after zhen received my surprise parcel, sent specially to put a smile to her face :) [zhenzhen] says: doesnt take much to make me happy? [zhenzhen] says: depends on the person lor [zhenzhen] says: if is some random person pls lor, sky and mountain also not enough the noisemaker. i am willing. make me, Your instrument. says: kkeee. the noisemaker. i am willing. make me, Your instrument. says: oh yes, but cos its me rite :) the noisemaker. i am willing. make me, Your instrument. says: n zhen noes i dun hav underlying motives ;p [zhenzhen] says: AWWW [zhenzhen] says: yea the noisemaker. i am willing. make me, Your instrument. says: (or maybe, i do?? haha) [zhenzhen] says: very true [zhenzhen] says: haha [zhenzhen] says: oh u do? [zhenzhen] says: then its ok cause its mutual [zhenzhen] says: -wide smile- the noisemaker. i am willing. make me, Your instrument. says: LOL!!!! the noisemaker. i am willing. make me, Your instrument. says: i almost choked. [zhenzhen] says: aawww [zhenzhen] says: you didnt know? [zhenzhen] says: -sticks tongue out-
maybe i do, maybe i do. zhen, u're still my dearest darling afterall :) and yes, we'll always 'have each other', as u've always quipped. haha. shall dig this out again when you finds a bf though :) on another note, i love doing nice stuff for absolutely no reason at all :)
... has definitely got to be that with the parents when they're in town! :)
days out basking in the sights and sounds of the melbourne city with mum;
an exuberant burst awakening my 5 senses.
having friends over was so much fun :) i kept telling them its a ploy my dad executed just to see who i'm mixing with ;p but deep down i know my parents just want them to have a good meal in this land far away from home, and i'm glad we all enjoyed it!
ps. john and jon goh fit right into the mongolian atmosphere [top left] pps. your dearest fishball-in-cheek kelvin :) [mid right] ppps. josh asked me to take this pic - he claims astroboy is 'hanky-pankying'!! [bottom right]
the parents i heart.
ahhh, times have been good. homesickness has past, and thanks peeps for the concern. now its back to studying hard and looking forward to being back in singapore!now now, 2 more months.
my mid-sems have passed. i did put in a little more effort for this paper so i hope i do continue to improve. although, i can tell i'm up against resistance. the proffs who set the exam were determined to up the standard. the time allocated to us was shorter than previously, and yet there were more questions. was kinda glad that i got all the 'intuitive' questions (the MSE questions that din need studying for) right though.
after the mid-sems i took a stint at footy (australian football) but heh i played rather demurely la. had SAM's AGM after and i din wanna get real sweaty. moreover, the guys allow us gals to throw the ball :) at the AGM, ran for exco and got the position of editorial (expectedly, granted my interest and expertise in this area). am looking forward to the new term with the team! hopefully there'd be great fun, strong bonds, and great achievements. then played badminton with trs, jas, daryl, kerf n vivek and ACTUALLY got a move labelled after me! now everyone who smashes right into the net with the shuttlecock nicely implanted into one of the holes is known to be 'doing a xin yi', affectionately coined by trs. gross, but yet extremely amusing :) jas n i rushed back for the richardson hall's dine-in. which was a free 3 course meal to the theme of 'a wedding ceremony'. quite cool cos we all had to dress up and there was a mock wedding that actually took place. the priest cracked me up with his 'improvised' vows, as did the groom with his speech!
'..you shall be happily married till death do you part (whispers) or file a divorce..'
the brothers. funky, low-budget attire :)
the guys cracking me up again.
after that really eventful day of exam and activities though, i was extremely moody on thursday. i even sat by the lake and just stared and let my thoughts wander, something i have never done before and have chided kelvin for doing so (on a side note, circumstances are different. i think he goes there at night, where its hard to look around and admire the beauty in the simplicity of nature). anyhow, i wondered if my depressed mood was because of a singular event, but i firgured that it was probably due to an accumulation of events. was probably partly due to post-exam slump too, as opposed to post-exam euphoria. but yes, i'm glad that after the moment of reflection and a heartfelt talk, i am back to being the sunshine girl that i am.
now, i think it would take a great deal to bring me down :)
except maybe. not feeling 'hot' enough.
-blushes- i mean, not feeling 'hot' enough for christ. at bible study few days ago, josh khoo pointed out several verses, of which i will expound on one which has served as a reminder from time to time. revelations 3:15-16 says God will spit out those who are lukewarm. a great analogy is that a cold drink is useful for the thirsty, a hot one for the cold. in short, the lukewarm are rejected because they are neither here nor there, and cant serve a purpose. this is the danger zone, thinking we are already 'good as christians', not striving to grow closer to God. the worst thing is having so much passion, then later lose it unknowingly because you get so caught up with routine.
guess this applies to any form of love you can give.i remember how i was once so passionate for You. i know i cant expect to be how i used to be 24/7 (it kinda felt like the honeymoon period) but i do hope that my spiritual journey is continuously sparked with those moments. just dont, dont ever, let me backslide till i dun recognise Your face anymore.
a few more self explanatory verses: ecclesiastes 10:10, isiah 30:15 to encourage us on our academic journeys. which brings me to my last point. i have decided to start working a little harder for the end of year exam. for myself, for my dad (who so affectionately told me that i do him proud over the phone, for no reason at all, and so i cannot let him down) and family, for the better-ment of mankind.
this whole post actually materialized out of nowhere (or maybe the frontal lobe) while i was in the shower. so pardon me, if i were to ramble.
some people say that water clears your mind (and they say any kind, for that matter. i say to those people that the OTHER kind only makes you inebriated and deluded). apart from the sidetrack, this might be somewhat true because i had this whole train of thoughts just flowing naturally and making alot of sense.
what is the difference between passionate love and lust? sometimes the line is so thin especially when your mind is swirling with all the excitement of possibly finding 'the one'. we see people doing sweet things for each other, couples hand in hand or in warm embrace. a long hug coupled with passionate kisses between an elderly couple at the airport during departure/arrival is sweet to the third party's eye. a long hug coupled with passionate kisses between a young couple in say, the library, is unfortunately, defined as wrong. is it just social norms? or is it because the elderly couple's love has withstood the trial of time? would the young couple's actions be deemed acceptable and sweet depending on outcome - meaning if they got married and led a beautiful life together versus facing an ugly breakup? then again, who is to quantify love? in fact, who is to judge these people, just by their outward display of affection? for all you know, the young couple might have transcended the social circle norms to be with each other whereas the elderly couple's marriage might have been a marriage of convenience.
in this era, there are even more shades of grey. even marriage is not the ultimatum. quoting some disturbing statistics, in singapore some 6000 marriages ended in divorce in yr 2004. with such uncertainty looming ahead even in such an important commitment, it is no wonder ppl have grown indifferent. why wait? why look forward to 'happily ever after', when you can live in the here and now? the one you pledge your eternal love to might just leave you, now with even more probability. why then, save anything for her/him? (and by this point you would realise that this creates a vicious cycle - the less important things are to the couple, the more likely to divorce) everybody desires instant gratification, if not for the consequence, if not for the strike on our conscience and morality.
but of course, yet and still, in the deep dark corners of our hearts, we all know that a still small voice urges us to pursue our 'happily ever after' - our sweet tale to tell the children and grandchildren. what irony, the intrinsic wiring of our body (and i speak with such cynicism, but really i am not, so read on).
at the end of it all, we should all do what is right. not only for God, but also because we know that deep down in the recesses of our hearts, we do want to. and with that, i'm led back to my point that the main distinction between passionate love and lust is not based on actions, whether appropriate or not, or circumstance, but rather, intent. lust devours and wants, love gives, regardless. passionate love gives even more, uninhibitedly. but, so as not to tred into the waters of lust, we must all make very sure the love we're giving is pure and demands nothing in return. hmmm, maybe not nothing. but yes, give more than you take. tolerate more than you normally would. easy to say, as usual, but extremely hard to carry out. someone once told me that he finds himself much more intolerant when his gf disappoints him because he has certain expectations and is more emotionally dependent on her, but i think that is only an excuse. if you love the person, do be nice. and you'd find that she'd reciprocate ten-fold (of course, that's if she also loves you).
therefore, although i sometimes doubt whether i would fall in love passionately because i think i am one who needs time for love to flourish and grow, but in the case that i do (and yes, every girl wants to somehow be swept off her feet and romanced), i hope i'd remember my cause.
this probably applies to every girl and every hormone-enraged male out there too :)
ps. i think my posts revolve too much around schoolwork, medically related stuff, how i spent my time, nuances, God and love (although there probably isnt a distinction between the latter two because God IS love). so anw, i guess i'm determined to go read up on more intellectual stuff and update myself on current issues etc. this girl is not going to be self-absorbed, oblivious to the world around, anymore. for starters, check out this newsworthy link displaying how a dad's bond with his paralyzed son changed the world's view on man's limits and how much one can achieve. i think the setting is the US. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ryCTIigaloQ do prepare to shed a few tears. this is really emo material especially for those with broken families or whose dads simply do not seem to know how to care. its really much to do about love again, isnt it? -bigbigbigwidegrin-
"Strong choreographic vocabulary... Wong infused every move with a sense of purpose." - The San Diego Tribune
A pastiche of urban life, this specially commissioned work traverses different events within one night in a city. From the seething anger that erupts as riots take over the streets, to the rowdy revelry of party goers in another part of town, and the intimacies of a couple oblivious to the world outside, dancer-choreographer Tammy L Wong delves into the energies and emotions of the city and its denizens. About Last Night recalls a distant time and place that will cast a light on the here and now. From each moment, connected yet apart, arises a city's pulse, quietly explosive in its unstoppable force.
got this in the sistic buzz mail that they send ever so often. grr. sounds like a dance worth watching. how i wish i were already in singapore!! nonetheless, i like the way the passage so aptly describes the term 'nightlife' in every sense of the word. it also sparked me to think about the bigger picture. how, as we are all engrossed in our own little world of compulsions and emotions, someone somewhere out there is experiencing something different (and probably for a bigger and better cause), and so much else is happening. it only makes one feel small, insignificant and self-blaming for self-centred tendencies, but i guess all this is healthy once in awhile. afterall, that is what plays, dances, musicals.. all the forms of art and its vibrant displays intend to evoke. a stiring of feelings, a train of thoughts, a bout of conscience. maybe that's why, although i have tended to the sciences all my life, i still very much like the arts. the arts, is at its very basic, humanity.