Thursday, 28 June 2007

The coast

The gull and Ghiradelli Square

The bike, the bridge and the boat

Crissy Fields

Crissy Fields stream and the world famous bridge

The sunny seaside town of Sausalito. Think of their view. Wow.

kiddies playing

This guy is a rock artist. He makes those hard to balance rock structures.

Sailing club at Tiburon. So many of them, was really scared that the ferry might hit one of them.

The bike parking lot on the ferry. The no. of bikes is pretty impressive.

Wednesday, 27 June 2007

We just had to try a tour, despite everyone's advice that Chinese tours suck. All they do is drive you to the place, say ok, now everyone get down take photo, then drive you off to the next place. I didn't think that was such a big deal, since I didn't need much hiking anyway. I was more afraid of them dropping us at some expensive cheaterbug souvenir shop and leave us there forever.

The reality was that we did drive a whole lot. And guess what? The driver doesn't know his directions. So we spent forever crusing around trying to find the right highway. Being stuck in a minivan with HK aunties and uncles who complain at every chance and losing your way regularly is not fun. I have absolutely forgotten how good Cantonese or Chinese people in general are at complaining. Even the way they speak normally sounds condescending. Gosh. But at least I can understand what they say..

Highlights of the trip:
1) Crater Lake. It's so blue. So serene. So beautiful. Haha, I had a fortune cookie that day that said that I didn't need to go to the mountains to be myself, that I can be productive in the noise. But the mountain was really beautiful.
2) Caves at Lava Beds. Caves created by flowing lava. Interesting cave structures. Can see how the lava used to flow and how it solidified. It's like history caught in action.
3) Catching up on sleep
4) Biking San Francisco coastline, Golden Gate Bridge and cruising down to Sausalito. That was absolutely the most amazing experience I've had in this trip. Firstly the solidarity was very enjoyable, secondly I got to so many places that I would never have gone if I didn't have a bike, like Presidio, Fort Point, Crissy Field and Sausalito. The experience on the bridge was ok, got some nice pictures. The cruise down to Sausalito was heavenly. For that moment, life is perfect. Downhill from the tall bridge all the way to sea level, between hills and flowers into a quaint little seaside town, kind of like La Jolla, filled with galleries and touristy shops.. And I met a group of NTU girls on exchange in Seattle.
5) Alcatraz. Finally got to go to the rock. This military base turned prison turned national park. The audio tour is fantastic, no wonder it's award winning. The stories are so fun. But life in that jail is really sad. A bed, a toilet bowl, a sink, that's all you get. No privacy, almost no entertainment. And oh, they play bridge when they have the priviledge to. Apparently they think that if you think of bridge all day, you won't be thinking of creating trouble. And being a prison guard must be such a boring job too. The jail is like, well, what Chicago looked like. 3 stories of cages on each side of the walkway.
6) Being alone on a trip. First time ever. Even though it's only for a day and a half. It's a good feeling. I can do all that I want, limited only by how much I want to trouble others to take picture for me and hope that they don't screw it up, limited by how much I dare to do things alone.. But overall it was fun. free. narcissistic. as.
7) Lemon tea. Cocktail bun. Eggtart.

Tuesday, 26 June 2007

Out of vacation. Back to reality.

I realised that I don't have much time left as an undergrad. I haven't changed my mind about undergrad life. I need to travel more. I can't decide if I should go somewhere that I really want to go, like Yellowstone, somewhere where I have friends right now who will not be there in 2 yrs time, like the Midwest, or do something totally different like go on a totally free and easy trip where I buy a train pass and wander around the country for a few weeks.

Thursday, 21 June 2007

My photography skills are going down the drain. Recent photos have been terrrible even though weather has been good. Let's hope I take some nicer pictures in San Francisco.

My socialising skills need terrible brushing ups. And I really really really need to find excuses to socialise with my mentor.. And find a boyfriend.

"i just have this nagging feeling tt once i get back to sg i will feel the peer pressure to conform to whatever norms there are. cf here - there's no need to conform at all because of a clear identity that is distinct from the majority (based on language, colour, culture) and i can be a totally different individual in this society if i so wish to be." ~ hk (copied w/o permission)

Why can't I stop conforming?

Someone actually said they can hear that I'm from Beijing. Wow. I'm amazed. And telling my migration history gets myself confused over my identity again.

I've never been a huge Google fan, I don't go hunting for new Google widgets or anything like that, but I was playing with Google maps today and it's really quite fun. Almost missed my bus because of that. So Singapore's on Google maps and you can go search your house and see it. And yup street view's cool, especially useful since I'm going SF tomorrow.

Saturday, 16 June 2007

Now that I've moved in, I realised how huge this place is. It's ginormous. It didn't feel so big when we saw it. I have to walk so many more steps to get from one side of the room to the other. In Canyon Park, when more than 2 people come visit me, there's hardly any space left in my room. Here, well let's just say that I can easily throw a party. The cathedral-like ceiling makes me feel small. Maybe that's how churches intimidate people.

Packing was a chore, moving a pain in every body part, and now there's unpacking and organising to do. The thing about moving to a sparkling new/ clean place is that my stuff are not that clean and new and seem a little out of place. A dusty table in a clean room. Kinda weird. And since the place is so clean, I don't feel good dropping hair all over. Haha. Tired. Sleep. Nite.

Friday, 15 June 2007

I'm running on adrenaline.. Not good. Or maybe it's cortisol, doesn't matter, just not good. Too much free sugar flowing.

Packing and moving are depressing things to do. Leaving one place of settlement for another is a major change, even if i'm using the same bed, same table, same everything.. If it wasn't because I've got tons to do and that there's some house-trashing party later, I would have sunken into depression. Especially with the recent depressing events in lab. Just wait till the adrenaline from exams fall off, when everyone leaves, when life's supposed to go back normal.. I don't know what will happen. P asked me today why I'm going for a holiday. She thinks I'm leaving to take a break from what happened in lab. I told her no. Why am I so defensive? I need to take a break, I need to find something to do, something to distract me from the end of year glooms, something else to worry about than what should I do in a boring house on a boring night. 5 days is pretty short but I hope it's enough, and I pray hard that it won't ruin the relationship btw me and my future housemate. I have a tendency to ruin relationships with roommates on trips.

Moral of story (let's hope the story has ended)
1. Check everything that I'm told, make sure I know as much as the teller knows, stop depending on faith
2. Don't do anything that looks secretive, no secrets, people are too paranoid
3. Join all the cliques, be good friends with ALL, I don't want to be dragged into politics, I'm just an undergrad who has been here for only 3 mths.
4. Learn to talk smoothly. Man I really wished I was some smooth talker yesterday, sweet talk people. I need that skill. The problem with being a good kid when I'm young is that I don't have much experience in trying to sweet talk myself out of trouble.. Never knew what to do under such situations. And people are forcing me to do something.. Aargh!
5. Talk more. If P wasn't so vocal, she would never figure out what we were doing. If I had talked more, these dumb things wouldn't have happened.
6. Grow up. I'm not a kid any more. I can't pretend to be a kid any more. People are putting me in a very difficult spot. Dragging me here and there to talk privately. I need to be an existent, take charge of my life
7. Be an existent! Be myself. Stop being so aware of myself and differences btw me and others. Stop trying so hard to blend in. I'll never blend in totally, should just be different, be individual. Mill says geniuses are the most individual people. So did Nietzsche. I should strive to be a genius, right?
8. Stick with my philosophy. Things are what they are. What's done can't be undone. No one's going to pretend it didn't happen (even though they act like that), live with it. Make the best out of it. End of story.
I'm really glad R is on holiday right now. Don't want to be dealing with another person. So jiayou jiayou, try to get clones before he comes back. =)

That's way too much typing for one post.
so apparently I can't do anything at 12am. All the servers are down, I can't book tickets at all. Sian.

End of finals. phew. Yet another quarter over. End of Hum. I am going to miss Hum, I'm going to miss reading a book a week, discussing one ideology a week, going through 1 philosopher a week. Quite an amazing experience. The essay today was a good one, I thought it was the best question that has ever came out. I'm usually disappointed with the exam essay questions cos I think there isn't much interesting to write about them but there was one question today on what is the point of Humanities. And there was this quote about how the world is a devastating place, full of troubles and loneliness, what humanities tries to do is to find some light of living, find some meaning in life and that humanities never give a complete answer. I thought that was highly appropriate, that I am trying to make sense of my existence since I knew about this thing called philosophy and that reading about all these people who have got it figured out didn't immediately help me figure out stuff, I'm still clueless but at least I know now that it's possible to find something to live for.

I am interested in doing this philosophy of the week thing. Think it'll be fun.

I'm sensing the onset of a major depression. End of school year, start of uncertainties, start of new life in new apt with new people doing relatively new things. It's not looking particularly optimistic. Or maybe it's just the past week that's been draining me mentally and emotionally.

A lot of things to blog about. I've been oppressed, suppressing/ repressing all these things that I wanted to blog but never got the chance to cos of exams. But I'm tired and all I want to do is sleep.

I guess I have to put this down before I sleep, in the other blog, way too boring to put here.

Friday, 8 June 2007

I don't know how people can concentrate with computers in front of them in class. Apparently they can stay quite focused and look at the ppt and take notes only. Anyway, today's class was on ethics and no one really care about ethics so people were surfing the net. I was happily distracted by this article on someone's screen.
OMG my mom joined facebook
Read it, you facebook users, esp you college-online-devices-savvy-um..non-college-age-users. Now that's a long word.

I've noticed that people don't tend to call their dorms or apartments 'home'. Why not? When people ask me where I'm going at the end of a day, I say 'home', and they go, what? you're going home, like home home? No I'm going back to my apartment. What's wrong with calling my apartment home? It's where I live. When my parents call, they never refer to my apartment as my home, they always say dorm or something of that sort, but they call my aunt's place her home. When friends (from sd) call and ask where I am, and I say home, they will repeat "in your 'apartment'"? Come on, this is my home. I live here for the large majority of the year. Yeah, in my life-wise, it is temporary, but so is everywhere else isn't it? A large proportion of the university staff and faculty are not SD locals, are they staying in dorms too? Settle in, settle down, live instead of stay.

Tuesday, 5 June 2007

I koped this from a forum somewhere, thought it's quite apt and funny. I don't know who the original author is, the forum guy koped this from somewhere else..