June 1, 2013
December 9, 2012
November 10, 2012
Sometimes, when we say we love certain places and want to live there forever, like Capri or Portofino or Santorini, I wonder if we still like them hors saison, when the sun no longer lights up those beautiful cliffs, when a perpetual grey gloom is cast over the villages.
October 21, 2012
May 29, 2012
At 1600hrs today... I love watching the seagulls, carefree & purposeful in creating nests for their young.
I was tired from the exams & having to constantly justify my decisions to the people around me.
Animals may lack human intelligence, but in many ways, they are superior to us.
The human mind, when greatly underutilised, is a bane to others.
February 22, 2012
(photo by the lucky files on flickr) Sitting by the window & enjoying a late afternoon coffee.
There is something about solitude which attracts me greatly, i can let my defenses down, I can put on my favorite music & tackle all the stuff I need to finish.
Perhaps it was the 5 years of having always to smile & make small talk with the people around me that makes me shun social engagements these days.
And especially lately when the blues have hit me hard... from the people around me.
There is this thing about human nature that prevents us from feeling happy for someone when we are feeling down. I suffer from that too. But when all my friends are at stages in their lives where they are not happy professionally or in love or with their families, it really brings me down & makes me feel guilty & I dont want to feel that way.
Oh but you have a perfect life, they say. I don't. I am far away from my family & my country. I deviated from what society expects of me based on education & background, & I paid the price for my decisions. But instead of focusing on the glass being half empty, be happy that at least you still have half a glass.
A phone call from home perks me up instantly, fresh flowers make me smile, sending my purses overseas fill me with happiness, discovering a new restaurant excites me, unexplored cities fuel my wanderlust... in my own ways i try very hard to find something to smile about & to be thankful for everyday.
It's not easy if you are naturally pessimistic like me.. But if you don't want to make this effort... then can you say you deserve to be happy?
February 6, 2012
In recent months, I've been advised by a number of friends & readers to blog in french since it will help to improve my language skills as well as attract french readers. However, after much consideration, I still decided against it. The reasons are very simple.
I took a quick snapshot of weekly readership, I dont have a huge number of readers but they've been around forever, since my Xanga days. As you can see, most of them come from English-speaking countries.
In addition, I actually blog very fast in english; writing in french will take alot more time, not to mention the added stress of making mistakes. My schedule gets pretty packed when I have school so this blog will exist only in english for the time being! I was often inclined to share snippets of French texts I found inspiring, perhaps soon!
In the meantime, I think Singapore airlines is recruiting again... cos I often receive many emails during this period! Really sorry but for this topic, I will reply everyone here... it's faster.. I think their recruitment procedures change all the time, the only things they constantly look for is a clear complexion, good height-to-weight ratio (BMI less than 22 if I remember correctly), ability to speak standard english & passion for service/meeting new people/travelling, etc. Good luck!
School starts again in a few days! So much to do! xx
January 5, 2012
Going back to the classroom has been challenging but rewarding. I discovered many french authors whose books intimidated me previously, but thanks to school, their masterpieces have become doors to another world.
Living in France for the past 4-5 months also opened my eyes to the issues here like immigration, the economy & quality of life. When I look at Paris with its dirt, beggars & crime, I really miss Singapore's cleanliness, low crime rate & efficiency. But the turbulent history of France & the French revolution is truly alive in this city... I've never been more interested in history than I am now & this is the best time to soak it all in.
I am also happy to share my life with a man who is so kind & patient & generous with the people around him, & who makes me a better person.
What do you want to achieve this year? Instead of making a whole list of resolutions that fly out the window by February, i will do only one this year :)
In 2012, the one thing I really want to do is to take better care of my health. The past 5 years flying around have taken a toll on my body, & moving here made me realise how important it is to be healthy. I have fallen sick so many times plus my stiff neck & shoulders still remain a problem. At one point I couldnt even look over my shoulders!
It was spending time in Aix with my amazing friend Lula that changed my perspective. She just got certified as a yoga teacher & taught me some basic yoga moves to relax my upper body, as well as some diet & posture changes. I can't wait for her to start her own business :)
So I've been getting up earlier every morning to stretch & breathe deeply. Believe it or not, deep breathing is not easy for me as my breathing has always been shallow & irregular. I never realised that until it was pointed out to me.
Plus i now eat some form of fresh fruit everyday... it might seem funny to some of you, but I used to eat very little fruit, preferring to pop vitamin pills. Ha what a mess i am right.
On the upside, my skin & hair have improved greatly once I stopped flying, & to those of you who ask about my skincare routine, I will try to post something more concrete than my emails but it will be very amateur-ish lol.
Finally, a big thank you to everyone here who sent me holiday cards or gifts or emails.. it's really nice to know that i'm thought of by friends whom i've not seen in person before. I wish for all of you a great year ahead (*•ᴗ•*)
December 6, 2011
Yesterday i had dinner with a friend & ex-colleague who came to Paris. She said since i left the airline, people were still gossiping about me.. not mean gossip, just harmless curious gossip. On hearing that, it really affected me.
In the cabin crew industry, i picked up many good habits but i was also part of this huge gossip mill that stems from being squashed in a plane for many hours & subsequently in a foreign country with a group of colleagues. There is interaction & one often develops a false sense of closeness to this group after a few days. Repeat this for most flights you do, with a different group of people on every flight.
Add to that the working environment on a full-load flight where not every stewardess does her fair share of the work, difficult characters, etc. What you get after many years, is a real-life & Facebook web of saucy personal stories & gossip about people you know only superficially. Less than a quarter of my so-called friends on Facebook have access to my facebook photos or know of this blog.
Now i share bits & pieces of my life with the few thousand or so of you who visit this blog regularly... and it feels more right to me. Why, I can't explain.... perhaps i never wanted to be known as yet another stewardess who just bought this & that, who is dating who & who.
My life nowadays is alot more simple... less gossip, just plenty of literature.
"We travel, some of us forever, to seek other states, other lives, other souls." - Anais Nin
August 7, 2011
I threw away so many things, but kept a set of our iconic uniform. Now that most of my stuff & books are finally packed & the administrative headache has just about subsided into a manageable throbbing, I'm kind of looking forward to the change... no more dealing with difficult passengers & gossip.. & too much makeup especially! My skin can finally b r e a t h e.
So... in a few days i'll say goodbye to my sunny island of skyscrapers & yummy food & efficiency, & bonjour to books, history, art, cafes, fashion, friends, love, macarons & freshly baked baguettes...
Come along for the ride will ya? xx
July 31, 2011
Many years ago, I went to France for the first time. It was for a summer intensive french course in Lyon & we stayed at a house with a delightful old french couple. They had chickens, dogs, horses & even geese. We plucked cherries & tomatoes in their garden for our dinner salads.
It was wonderful & i got to know this japanese girl Mine who lived in the same house as us. She had worked for 10 years as a stewardess in a japanese airline & then decided to drop everything, go to France for 2 years & learn french! She was worldly & introduced me to Zara (still unheard of at that time in Asia) & the perils of french cuisine (made her put on 10kg). I was so impressed by her courage; she moved not because of work/marriage but because she chose to take that leap into the unknown.
Since then, I've thought about her once or twice, but little did i realise that she'd inspired me unknowingly... Fast forward 9 years, I've also seen enough of the world & will be moving to Paris for a year... To study french at the Sorbonne.. I'm even thinking of working part-time at a cafe! Not so much for the money but the fact that i've always wanted to do that... The whole working-in-a-cafe-in-a-foreign-land thing. Well, ideally in some remote Provencal village but Paris will do for the moment. Imagine, with my track record as a cabin crew, i could roll my eyes & sigh loudly at unsuspecting tourists & still be the most polite waitress around! We're in Paris after all! Just a thought heh heh.... :)
For now though, i'll concentrate on trying to fit my clothes into my luggage. More than half of them are already in Paris (little perks of my previous life) but i underestimated the size of my wardrobe... If only i could point a wand & yell *REDUCIO!!!* at all of them!
April 17, 2011
Another day, another city.
Today I am in Brisbane. Thank god for decent cappuccinos around the world. Enjoying the sunshine in my eyes & people-watching on Queen street.
It's hard to believe that in the last 2 weeks, I have been in 4 continents. And I have been doing this for the past 5 years. Always a wee bit of confusion when I wake up... where am I today?
In spite of all the bitchiness, the difficult passengers, the fake smiles, the jetlag, I think I will be sad to leave one day. Because there was also the discovery of new cities, the genuine giggles with colleagues, some incredible teamwork, the nice hotels & shopping perks.
My best friend just quit her high-flying job to travel around the world for 1 year. I thought the bank would buy her out but she stuck to her decision.
How much are you willing to give up for something you really want? And how sure are you that you really want it?
Self-indulgence vs responsibility, you need careful calculation & a dose of reality & some daydreaming.
It took me 5 years to figure things out... I'm not entirely sure I have made the right decision... Don't think I could ever be, but in a few months' time, I will take a leap of faith.
Tonight though, I'll enjoy the view of Brisbane's City Hall from my room window... & appreciate the beauty of these fleeting moments. x
January 22, 2011
I fell in love with this gorgeous & elegant room.
When you've got creativity & style, space, or the lack of it, doesn't matter.
Similarly, you can buy or wear the same items as someone else, but personal style cannot be bought.
Lesson to self (and to all the copycats i know in my life): Work on your strengths & nourish the soul. Whatever's inside you either makes you shine from within, or dulls you immensely.
April 30, 2008
Finding your signature scent... one that will keep u company like an old friend thru the years... is like finding yrself. It's an intimate journey of self-discovery, of experimenting, of memories.
1. Clinique's Happy
The year was 2004. Had a good time in HK with J. I remember the scent swirling around me in Cheung Chau where we had the best shellfish by the sea.
Came back, started honours year and met G. Whirlwind romance which lasted nearly 3 years. I was truly happy with him but life throws u unexpected things and we didn't make it through.
This scent saw me through graduation, my first job, quitting that job and getting my current one.
It evokes images of that beautiful summer in Cannes, where we attended the film festival and talked about our dreams while visiting the Provencal markets.
2. Anna Sui's Secret Wish.
I don't use this anymore but for some reason, it is probably the one i feel closest to.
We embarked on a life-changing journey and became students once more. The laughter, the frustration, the steep learning curve, the bitchiness, the training classes, the first uniforms, my first flight to Australia... everything is in this scent. It embodies the close bond i share with my batch mates, the ones who were with me every step of the way.
3. Chanel's Coco Mademoiselle.
I searched for this after catching a whiff of it in Paris a couple years back. Somehow every Parisian woman who came along had this scent on her. It was heady and addictive.
At this time, i was slowly being moulded; by all that i saw, all that i came into contact with. Swept up into the culture of buying, of conforming to a stereotype, of an empty and materialistic lifestyle.
At that point in time, i felt lost in my relationships, my life, my career. To me, this scent would always remind me of that. Alone in the city. It started to make me nauseous.
My sister's bf got me 3 small travel-sized bottles of that... i might never finish them.
4. Chanel's Allure
I can't connect to this scent yet. Used it a few times because it was a birthday gift from W.
I hate receiving bottles of perfume for my birthday. All my close friends know that. To me, perfume is very personal and a choice i should make myself.
I find this scent elegant, overpowering and mature. Which was what W wanted me to be.
It still sits on my table.. and i'd rather go au naturel than spray it on.
5. Lanvin's Eclat d'Arpege.
Ahhh. A burst of music, of song, of sunshine.
I use this currently. It's fresh and makes me happy.
I'm so different from the girl i was 4 years ago. I know what makes me tick, what drives me.
I soak in new experiences but stay true to myself, I live for the moment but i have my mind on the future.
It's the scent of new beginnings, of hopes and dreams, of possibilities not known before.
And that's probably why I can't get enough of it.
February 17, 2008
You always werele grand chef...
Guess I don't do too badly myself... even though no cooking was needed and u can't go wrong with salmon right?
Soon to visit.. Rome, then Frankfurt & NYC, then Berlin and Paris.. within the next 2 months.
I'm excited.. Looking forward to
Sistine chapel & Trevi fountain
Repetto ballet flats at the price they should be at
Some sexy french lingerie
Goyard & Colette
cheap french paperbacks from FNAC
Empire state bldg
catching up with Eric in NYC
seeing my sis in Tubingen
coffee with Serene in Paris
pepperoni pizza from that joint near our Frankfurt hotel
and then some...
No time to think about us.. or what could have been.
We don't do our goodbyes well.
Especially not you.
So i'll say... A bientot.
Enfin la liberte. Je suis fiere de moi-meme.
February 14, 2008
Sleepless sleepless sleepless...
With bedtime reading like this... why am i surprised?
Need to keep my mind occupied... too many thoughts running running.
I feel like a great weight has been lifted off my shoulders... and then put down right beside me.
Get away from me, you.
January 14, 2008
Took some really beautiful shots... even when taken with a mobile, the pictures are stunning. This is a magical land of mountains, sea and blue skies. A land where i think God spent a little more time making. One of the most beautiful places in the world. I especially love the clouds here i dunno why.
And to stand at Cape point, the most southern end of the African continent, the meeting point of the 2 oceans, was simply divine. You could forget all your worries standing here, because you feel insignificant and surreal, the beauty of this painting literally puts you at a loss for words. You are reminded of the fact that we are simply nature's guests.. that everything has a plan of its own. I want to scream at such a magnificent sight.
Cape town is every geography student's dream come true and every traveller's must-visit destination.
Today i was reading a friend's blog... His memories of HK brought back so many of mine too. For a while last year, i felt like it was my second home. Looking at the landscape from the airport to TST, i could quite literally remember what i saw.
Now i no longer see any reason to go there again. Our story of 6 years is finally done. Am i relieved or sad or indifferent? I no longer know all these things. I just want to find my own path, with all that you have taught me. Forgive me for my reticence these days.. there comes a time when 2 friends, no matter how close, go thru a test bigger than their bond. Petit gars, I don't think we're going to pass this one.
Looking back at the last year, what a mess i was emotionally. My heart was dragged thru the mud, stomped on, lovingly cradled, lifted high up, dropped accidentally, tied up, stuck in a drawer... 2008. It's time to protect it a little more non?
January 5, 2008
Mais un jour dans l'avenir, c'est la ou on va se croiser, sans te regarder, sans te dire bonjour, je serais une inconnue.
Je ne connais pas la route.. meme si j'etais a ton cote, je me sentais seule et perdue.
Tu etais un tres bon professeur de la vie mon cheri..
Moi j'suis toujours etudiante, j'ai jamais reussi a marcher aussi vite que toi.
On a ecrit une belle histoire.. s'il te plait, laisse-moi passer, sans me regarder, sans me dire bonjour, fais comme un inconnu.
December 12, 2007
I caught the Kingdom today... like all the political thrillers i've seen recently, it affected me quite a bit. The plot was simple... a team of FBI agents go to Riyadh in the Middle east to investigate the bombing of an American facility. The acting was not even that fantastic. But the message of the film which was aptly shown in the last scene... I can still remember it so clearly. If u've seen it too, i'm sure u'll agree.
Sure the film is Hollywood, but i know it cant be that far from the reality out there. I've seen Musharraf's gun-toting soldiers in Pakistan before with my own eyes. Everyday news of bombings/kidnaps/troop movements from the papers catch our attention for maybe a few minutes, but somewhere out there, people are being killed while i go about doing my mundane tasks. I'm still coming to terms with the fact that we no longer live in a safe world. There are fellow humans like you and me who will not hesitate to blow up their own body into a thousand pieces just because someone managed to persuade them in the name of religion. Dont they have other things to live for?
Death does not differentiate between race or religion, it hurts just as much to an American soldier's mother as it does to a Saudi arabian boy who loses his father. I can only imagine how for every soldier's death that is greatly talked about on CNN, there are countless more deaths who will never make it to TV, lives unfairly ended ahead of their time, only missed by their families. People often go on at length about the sadness of losing a loved one to disease; death in war-torn or famine-stricken countries seems to have lesser impact. 3482 dead in suicide bombing? Just a number i'll forget by lunchtime.
There are indeed 2 sides to every coin, but the problem is, u can only see 1 side at a time. So what if we hate them? They hate us too. Just as how we blame them, they see the justice in what they do, which is why they will continue. Thats the scary and sad part. We can't grab their heads and knock sense into them, not unless we can be absolutely sure that we are the ones who are right and just and transparent.
Being someone who doesnt like to hear bad news or care too much about things beyond our shores, I like to believe that all problems can be solved amicably. I've always been a firm believer in the power of compromise, even more so when human lives and a nation's security are at stake. Pity the pig-headed big guys dont see it that way.
The world really has changed after 9/11.. it's getting increasingly harder to turn a blind eye and tell yrself as long as it doesnt impact yr daily life, it is of minimal importance. I dont think the office guy in the London train which exploded in the '05 bombings could have ever thought his day would end up like that. He was probably thinking about what to eat for lunch or nasty thoughts of his boss.
Ok i have to stop all this. Must be the effect of the movie and the expresso keepin me awake. Life is still good. I'm listening to sappy love songs and looking at my Hello kitty stuff/fashion magazines/purses/new heels. I literally touched them to make sure. My shallow world is still intact.
I know life goes on, and we do have plenty to live for. For every bad thing that happens, i'm 100percent positive that something good will follow. We are all fighters, keepers of some sort of faith; thats what we're here for.
November 24, 2007
I want to be this happy everyday.
Everyone around me is moving on.. fighting for their happiness. Even the familiar doesnt seem close anymore. I could be surrounded by friends and still feel like the loneliest person in the world.
Am i just playing catch up?
Its scary how people change.
I hate change.