Saturday, November 29, 2008

Reading books on Tan Kah Kee

After my visit to the exhibition "The Legacy of Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian", aside from writing two blog posts on my visit to the exhibition, I went to borrow two books on Tan Kah Kee from the library.

Here are the two books:

Ward, A.H.C., Chu, R. W. Salaff, J. (Ed.s. & translators) (1994). The Memoirs of Tan Kah Kee. Singapore: Singapore University Press.
(Call Number: RSING 338.04092 TAN dilb)

Yong, C. F. (1989). Tan Kah-Kee: The Making of an Overseas Chinese Legend. Singapore: Oxford University Press. (Call Number: 338.4092 YON)

Personally, I found the latter to be much more reader friendly. In some ways, the latter very succinctly sums up some of the key ideas that can be found in the former, i.e. The Memoirs of Tan Kah Kee. Of course, for the academics, they may prefer to read the original Nanqiao Huiyilu written by Tan Kah-Kee so as to get first-hand information about how this remarkable person views his life.

For both books, I did not read from them from cover to cover. I merely browsed through the pages, and read sections that appeared to be of interest to me. I suppose for folks who would like an easier read, in the English langyuage, to know about Tan Kah Kee, I would recommend them to read The Making of an Overseas Chinese Legend rather than The Memoirs of Tan Kah Kee.

Meantime, if you are keen to learn about Tan Kah Kee, you could check out Wikipedia too:

Thursday, November 27, 2008

One year has passed

How time flies. I was looking at my archives and realised it has been a year since my walk about the Chinatown area.

One year ago, it was a heart-warmimg day out on separate occasions with two good friends. I wonder what the same day this year would bring me?

Time flies so fast, I wish I have the good luck and wisdom to make good use of each moment of it. Wish me good luck and wisdom please.

Reflections after visiting an exhibition

My visit to the exhibition, The Legacy of Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian, with one of my good friends, Mystic, prompted me to write yet another post inspired by my visit. It is now published on

Here's the link to my second post on the exhibition: What legacy can we leave behind?

Your comments will be appreciated. Thank you in advance.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Good food and heritage at the Big Eat Out!

As pointed out by Kimberly's post titled Eat to your heart's content at Explore Singapore!, Explore Singapore! together with hosted its first charity event, Big Eat Out!, at The Peranakan Museum last Saturday, 22 November 2008. I have had quite a bit of fun sampling some good food and visiting the Peranakan Museum. Furthermore, I get to contribute a part to charity.

I dedicate this post to one of my friends, RL. May the sight of nice hawker food bring her delight and simple joy.

One particular food that I wanted badly to have at the Big Eat Out! was the Hill Street Char Kway Teow. Many years ago, when it was still operating at Hill Street, it was one of my favourite stalls to patronise whenever I happened to be nearby Hill Street. It brought me lovely sense of nostalgia when I could finally taste it at the Big Eat Out!. On a regular day, I won't make a special trip to Blk 16 Bedok South Road to eat it due to the lack of cost effectiveness. Yet, there was nothing to stop me from spending three coupons to treat myself to a nice, hot plate of Hill Street Char Kway Teow, that was fried with care and thought. Yummy! Can you smell the piping hot nice Char Kway Teow?

Hill Street Fried Kway Teow
Blk 16, Bedok South Road, #01-187
Opened for lunch till about 4pm. Then around 6pm till all he runs out of food.
Closed on Mondays

I had read about Kwong Satay but had not tried it before. So at the Big Eat Out!, I ordered a plate of Kwong Satay. Interestingly, Kwong Satay sells pork loin satay. I am biased. In general, I do not eat red meat, particularly pork, nowadays. As such, I did not enjoy the Kwong Satay as much as I had enjoyed the Hill Street Fried Kway Teow. To be fair, if I had enjoyed red meat, I would have love the satay for its tender texture.

Kwong Satay
396 East Coast Road
12pm to 9pm
Closed on Mondays

I have also heard raving reviews of the Peranakan dishes from PeraMakan. As such, I made it a point to sample its dishes. As I do not wish to eat red meat, the choice was clear for me to try its Ayam Buah Keluak. The serving that I was given had more chicken and had no Buah Keluak. While I was feeling a little disappointed not seeing any Buah Keluak, the sauce that was derived from the Buah Keluak made up for any disappointment. The sauce was great! That made the dish fabulous to the tastebuds.

Peramakan Level 3 Keppel Club
10 Bukit Chermin Road
S (109918)
Open for lunch and dinner

While enjoying my food, I walked about the fair. For every $5 spent at Explore Singapore! event, one would be given a chance to win a Subara Forester. That made me wonder why I wasn't given any lucky draw coupon when I was purchasing quite a number of coupons from the Big Eat Out! event. Anyway, the kind soul shall be blessed in other pleasant ways, I suppose?

Another must-try dish that I must have was the Kway Guan Huat Popiah. I can't figure out what makes it nice, just simply get one and try it for yourself.

Kway Guan Huat Joo Chiat
Original Poh Piah Skin & Kueh Pie Tee
95 Joo Chiat Road
Zita 96773441
Open 10am to 8pm daily
Closed on Mondays

I was quite attracted to the Old Chang Kee's van. There were also many other delicious food available. However, by that time, I was too full to eat any more food. That was the disadvantage of attending such events alone: I had no one to share the food with. Anyway, I preferred being alone that day to have some time for myself. Perhaps it would be good for future such events to offer smaller servings? Then everyone can enjoy a bit of every kind of food available while contributing to charity. I was glad that I brought along ear-plugs that had helped to protect me from the deafening noises from the speakers. My sense of hearing is precious, so is yours.

Aside from enjoying the good food, I had the pleasure to visit the Peranakan Museum. The Mark Lee's tour was so popular that all places were reserved by the late morning. As such, yours truly had no privilege to be onboard Mark Lee's tour. Anyway, that was alright with me. I went on a tour of my own and was enjoying the company of myself. For now, let the photos tell the story of my visit to the Peranakan Museum.

For more about Explore Singapore! 2008, please visit

Friday, November 21, 2008

I've won a PhoneBAK (For BlackBerry)!

Many thanks to fellow blogger, Eastcoastlife, for organising the PhoneBAK Contest and to for its generous sponsorship, I am pleased to share that I have won a PhoneBAK (For BlackBerry).

If my winning of the PhoneBAK (For BlackBerry) is due to good luck, may this good luck spread to you too. Wishing you good luck!

For your information, PhoneBAK BB (WipeOut) is the latest mobile security software from BAK2u Pte Ltd that wipes out all information and reports back the identity and location of the thief!

When I took part in the PhoneBAK Contest, I thought of a good friend of mine who uses a BlackBerry and decided that I could take part in this contest so that if I could win the contest, I could give the prize to her as a gift. So I decided to indicate that I would like a PhoneBAK (For BlackBerry) as the prize if I should be one of the winners, even though I have no BlackBerry at all.

I suppose good luck will find its way to people with good thoughts? I was chosen to be one of the winners!

Eventually it turned out that my friend's BlackBerry belongs to the company that she works with, so the offer of the gift has to be declined. I suppose it was the thoughts that count? Meantime, I am pleased to share that thanks to one of my colleagues, I have found a suitable owner for this prize finally.

Last but not the least, I hope this post sends you positive vibes to know that there are still a lot of things to be grateful of, each and every day. Wishing you good luck from within.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

People to be grateful for

I am inspired to write a series of posts of people I am grateful for in my life. I do not know how this series of posts would turn out. I do not have a concrete plan in mind who would be the people that I would write about. It will be a pleasant surprise for me to see how this series of posts would unfold by itself.

Heartfelt gratitude to my maternal grandmother:

I would like to begin this post by expressing my heartfelt gratitude to a very significant person in my life. She's my maternal grandmother. Both my parents have been working even before I was born. It was my maternal grandmother who has made sacrifices to take care of me and my siblings when we were young, when my parents were working.

I thank her for her encouragement and her belief in me. I believe it was her constant encouragement that has helped me aspire to do my best possible. I believe she deserves quite a bit of credit for my eventual completion of tertiary education for she has given me the much needed encouragement and moral support during some of the most difficult times of my life. Without her constant moral support, I might have lost sight of the bigger picture and given up on my academic pursuits prematurely.

Heartfelt thanks to my maternal grandmother for the love and care she has showered me, and all her loved ones. She has taught me some good values that I will probably find forever useful in my life. I have a lot to thank her for which I shall not attempt to list out. With deep thanks to my maternal grandmother.

Explore Singapore Today!

Experience the fun and vibrant side of the museums. From my point of view, a day spent at the museum is way more fulfilling and enriching than a day spent at the shopping malls. Alright, I am biased. I generally don't like shopping.

Anyway, one can have lots of fun at the museum. Explore the museums in Singapore in the upcoming "Explore Singapore!" event that will be held from 20 Nov - 7 Dec 2008. There's so many interesting activities to check out that I could only lament that I have limited time for everything.

Here's the website of "Explore Singapore!":

By the way, Second Shot has a pretty well-written short post that's titled Heritage with a modern twist: Explore Singapore 2008!

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

It's Alaturka again!

17 Nov 2008: I had a meal at Alaturka again. This time, I have had the pleasure to have the company of Pinkie who blogs at her private blog, Love always....

While I have been reading her blog every now and then for the past three years, we hardly have the chance to meet up to chat and get to know each other better face-to-face. I'm glad that I have the privilege to spend some time with this fellow blogger finally. It was a long overdued meet-up. In August 2008, Pinkie had requested that I 'jio' her (i.e. bring her along) when I next visit Alaturka. This visit to Alaturka with Pinkie took about three months to materialise. I suppose it was worth the wait?

Pinkie was lucky! She managed to get to drink the Iced Apple Tea. The last time that I was eating at Alaturka, with eastcoastlife, the Iced Apple Tea was not available. Personally, I prefer the hot apple tea because my throat seems to get irritated easily when I drink too much cold drinks. I find Alaturka's apple tea to have a nice fragrance and a rich taste. It's worth a try.

We decided that we must take a picture of the Iced Apple Tea to satisfy the curiosity and yearnings of eastcoastlife. That is if she still cares about drinking Iced Apple Tea from Alaturka. I don't know how it tastes like, so I shall wait for Pinkie to make comments on this. Now, let's cheers to good health and fine food!

Other than the apple tea, we ordered the Lavash, chicken musakka and the coban salata. The coban salata was a healthy choice. Pinkie's strong observation skills got her to notice that one of the guests ate an entire coban salata dish by himself! In contrast, Pinkie and I had to share the same dish so that we could finish it.

I was impressed how Pinkie's strong observation skills enabled her to notice the various ways different guests ate their lavash. It seemed that different guests ate it in different ways. it seems like I have got the wrong way of eating lavash. According to this Wikipedia site, the "soft form of the lavash tastes better and is easier to use when making wrap sandwiches". Does that mean that I should eat the lavash like wrap sandwiches? Truly, I have no idea how to eat the lavash the authentic way. Maybe Alaturka could consider giving a short "Introduction to eating Turkish food the Turkish way" briefing for any guest who is curious? This is a way to educate its guests and make the dining experience memorable.

On the side, in my attempt to learn how lavash is being made, I've managed to find a YouTube video on this subject. Be patient and enjoy this video for 12.5 minutes:


I am biased. When it comes to the musakka from Alaturka, I think the mutton version is still nicer than the chicken version. Anyway, the chicken version was acceptable though I would rave more about its mutton musakka. The presentation of the musakka is nice, and I noticed that many of the guests would order the musakka!

If you ask me if I would go back to Alaturka again. I would say that I would. The apple tea is nice. I heard from my friend, XS, that the Turkish coffee from Alaturka, is nicely rich too. Pinkie suggested Alaturka can be a nice place for tea. I shall consider going to Alaturka for tea one day. In fact, I realised that visiting Alaturka brings me fond memories such that I am likely to visit it just to trigger and to relive those fond memories of my past experiences eating there. I suppose I am quite a nostalgic being.

Here's the address of Alaturka and its contact number for those of you who would like to visit it one day:

Turkish & Mediterranean Restaurant
16 Bussorah Street Singapore 199437
Tel/Fax: 62940304

Last but not the least, wishing you delight simply by looking at nice food.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

An exhibition that I would recommend

I am pleased to share that my post on my recent visit to the exhibition, "The Legacy of Tan Kah Kee and Lee Kong Chian", has been published on

This exhibition has moved and inspired me deeply. Find out more about my visit to this exhibition here: Deeply moved by "The Legacy of Tan Kah Kee & Lee Kong Chian". If you have the time, please visit this exhibition by 31 Dec 2008.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

On Karl Blog: Wake Up to Happiness

In my efforts to consciously choose to embrace happiness every moment, I would like to point my readers to this post on Karl Blog: Wake Up to Happiness!

My words of heartfelt thanks to my dear friend, XS, for sharing similar tips on consciously choosing happiness, two months ago. I'm amazed at how consciously choosing happiness have brought me inner joy even when I was faced with feelings of fear, sadness, anger and more to resolve.

I wish that she experiences happiness at her heart's core.

Many thanks to XS for her friendship. It has enriched my life greatly.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The apple with worms

As best as my imperfect auditory memory recalls, a treasured friend of mine asked "If you have to give a friend an apple, what kind of apple would you give to your friend?"

My natural response was to give the best possible to my friend even if I were to be left with a rotten one.

My treasured friend later made a statement that left a strong impression in me, and it went, "If the person is a good friend, the good friend will be willing to share the apple that's full of worms with you and help pick out the worms from the apple with you."

The verbally-reserved yours truly did not tell this treasured friend of mine that when that statement was made, my response deep within was that "You are a friend whom I'm willing to pick out the worms from the apple with. Could I?"

I wish for the wisdom and the skills to be able to be of service to this friend whenever that is needed.

At the same time, a part of me reminded me that I need to be mindful of the way I go about doing so. I've came to realised through many painful lessons of self-awareness, that when I deeply want to do something, I can do it with such great intensity, it can get overwhelming. One example is that of practising on the double bass when I deeply want to practise. I would practise even if it is weird hours of the night, e.g. close to midnight.

...Thank you for being a treasured friend of mine and for the many positive and very precious memories that you have given me. Please let me know if there's any way I can be a good friend, of yours.

Monday, November 10, 2008

Bravo! I'm inspired

I am feeling greatly inspired by Guennadi Mouzyka's rendition of Bottesini's Gran Duo Concertante on the double bass. Read about my short account published on d'Bassists official webhome.

I wish that in the near future, there will be more public concerts featuring the double bass.

Meantime, it's practice and more good practice for me! Practising is fulfilling!

Sunday, November 09, 2008


Today is the day that one of my younger brothers gets married. The wedding day!

Here's wishing him and his bride everlasting bliss. May they find happiness and fulfilment in nurturing their marital relationship, and growing together as a couple.

My recent post on

The City Hall building. It was in this building where the Japanese surrendered to the Allies in the year 1945.

What memories do I have of the City Hall building? Find out more in my recent post on (Singapore's Heritage, Museum and Nostalgia Blog): Glimpses of City Hall building at Singapore Biennale 2008.

Do visit the City Hall building top catch the Singapore Biennale 2008 by 16 Nov 2008. Afterwhich, this building will undergo major conversion into the National Art Gallery, and it won't be opened to members of the public for quite a while.

Your feedback on the article will be most appreciated. I am hoping to gather feedback on my heritage-related posts. Thank you in advance.

Saturday, November 08, 2008

Week 45 of year 2008 on the double bass

2 Nov 2008, Sun: I practised the second movement of Dittersdorf's Second Double Bass Concerto with the metronome. Afterwhich, I practised selected passages from the first movement of Dragonetti's Concerto in A major. The practice session got me feeling a positive sense of euphoria. My face was glowing in healthy-pink colour after I decided to call it a day. I love practising on the double bass on such occasion. It gives me a lovely 'high' feeling.

3 Nov 2008, Mon: I practised Pachelbel's Canon in D arranged by David Heyes. The intonation is improving with good practice. I also tried to play the first section of Faure's Sicilienne from memory. I managed it. Future practice would require me to practise the middle section and master it.

I also practised the first movement of Autumn from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons to get the fingers to remember where they should be for this movement. I cannot explain why, my ears like the structure of this movement. It somehow worked out well. The bassline is also interesting.

Kennedy play´s Vivaldi´s Autumn, first movement. (View Source)

6 Nov 2008, Thu: It's double bass lesson day! My tutor specially got me a few scores to sight-read. Many thanks to my thoughtful tutor. He even allowed me to use his bow so that I could feel the difference in balance between a bow made by a master
and an average bow.

I sight-read Faure's Apres Un Reve (After A Dream(). My tutor was of the opinion that it would be a more secured piece to play for the exams compared to Faure's Sicilienne. First is that it's easier to achieve better intonation in Apres Un Reve. That would free me to work on expression. My tutor gave me a demonstration of his rendition of Apres Un Reve and I was moved by the deep singing voice of the double bass. He gave an expressive rendition. I hope to get to his level of playing soon.

After which, I played the first and second movement of Marcello's Sonata in G major as much from memory as I could. I was pretty impressed by my tutor's strong auditory memory. He could remember the entire work by ear, and he was able to hear that I have made a mistake without referring to the scores!

After lesson, I couldn't help but sing aloud. Music brings depth to life!

7 Nov 2008, Fri: At about 11.20 p.m., I started practising the first section of Faure's Apres Un Reve with the metronome. At that hour of the night, I decided it was necessary to put on the practising mute. The goal was to work towards securing the rhythm. Faure's Apres Un Reve sounds very lovely when played in the dark hours of the night.

8 Nov 2008, Sat: I continued my practice of Faure's Apres Un Reve with the metronome. Other than working on securing the rhythm, I strived to achieve play lyrically on the double bass. It shall sing! The vibrations from the double bass are extremely therapeutic. They allowed me to release the inner cries that I have within me.

I just reached home from a concert in which Guennadi Mouzyka performed an inspiring rendition of Bottesini's Gran Duo Concertante on the double bass! I simply love it and was all ears throughout the performance of this work!

9 Nov 2008 is the wedding day of one of my younger brothers. Our family will be hosting two of our relatives at our place for most of next week. I hope that I would still have the chance to keep up to my goal of practising at least four days per week.

Australia 2008

My recent visit to Sydney and Melbourne has been a recharging one. Aside from the time that was spent sight-seeing, the recent trip to Australia was a very meaningful one because I had the pleasure to spend some time with a few of my friends.

It is with great pleasure that I dedicate this entire series of posts of my recent visit to Australia to one of my friends, XS, whose friendship I cherish. For it was the power of her call that led me to choose to visit Sydney as the venue of my overdue overseas vacation. Many thanks too to XS for her sharing on ways to achieve happiness. I have found myself benefiting from her sharing, and am happier as a result.

Here's a chance to savour the bits and pieces of this trip to Australia by reading the related posts I have published. The links to all the related posts can be found right below.

Do let me know which post is your favourite, and which has left the deepest impression in you.

Last but not the least, I wish that XS will soon find the appropriate avenues to fulfil some of her ideals, if not all, and make this world a better place to be in.

May this world be a better place for everyone.

With Tender Loving Care

7 Nov 2008

This is the birthday of one of my friends, WL. Happy Birthday WL! I thank her for her treasured company especially during my junior college years. She has taught me how to be a good friend simply from the many kind gestures of friendship she has shown.


My mind was giving me signals that there's room for more care in this world. Inspired by these signals, I decided to make 7 Nov 2008 a day whereby I shall take small but hopefully significant steps to shower my friends with some Tender Loving Care (TLC). While I have limited resources to physically reach out to everyone of my friends, may you sense the waves of Tender Loving Care that I have attempted to send out.

If you are touched by my showering of these positive waves of TLC on you, you are cordially invited to pass it forward.

*Tender Loving Care*

Friday, November 07, 2008

Lovely gifts from Australia

Quite a few weeks ago, to my surprise, I had received items that had been sent across the miles from Australia. It is delightful to find anything (except bills) for me sent via conventional mail.

Other than a lovely necklace with a pendant with dolphin designs, there was a very thoughtful book titled "Wildlife Australia" from RL.

When I was at Taronga Zoo earlier this September
, I could hardly see an awake koala. I only caught one of the koala bears opening its eyes for less than three seconds. Then it closed its eyes. Now, with the thoughtful "Wildlife Australia" from RL , I could be treated to a number of photographs of koala at their awake moments. These marsupials sleep for much of the entire day that I suppose the photographers must have spent hours waiting just to capture those special moments when the koalas are awake. Many thanks to RL for her thoughtful gifts.

I am glad that I've got in touch again with RL through Facebook, and had the pleasure to meet up with her when I was in Sydney. I'm thankful for the privilege to get to know her better as a friend, and to tour a part of Sydney with her. Thankfully, she seemed to enjoy walking as much as I do. Otherwise, I fear I may soon become very notorious for making friends walk long distance simply because I love sightseeing on foot. Whatever it is, I realised I have more precious memories of Sydney than I had imagined because she has taken the care and effort to lend me her company while I was there.

Many thanks again to RL for her gifts and her invaluable gift of friendship. All these are unexpected gifts that have touched my heart in special ways.

20 Sep 2008: Good-bye Australia

I was lucky. I asked one of the hotel staff where I should wait for the Skybus Super Shuttle Service, and he kindly gave me very clear directions. Otherwise, like the hotel staff had said, the Skybus Super Shuttle that would take me to the Southern Cross Station, to transfer to the Skybus that would take me to the airport, would not wait for anyone if the driver did not see any passenger at the specified waiting area.

Eventually, the Skybus Super Shuttle Service bought me to the airport. I realised that I had spent a relatively short time in Melbourne. The day before, HQ took time to show me about Federation Square and various parts of the city of Melbourne. In the evening of the same day, SG accompanied to enjoy the night sceneries of the city. Then finally, on 20 Sep 2008 itself, I spent some time walking alone about the streets of the city of Melbourne. That was it. Nevertheless, I felt happy. I had met up with two of my friends in Melbourne, and had an impression of the city of Melbourne. Given that I had just slightly more than 24 hours in Melbourne, I had already met the key objectives of my visit and accomplished a great deal.

At the Melbourne Airport, I did the necessary checking-in and then took time to eat the Greek salad and Vegetarian Souvlaki that I had bought earlier the day. I was rather early for the flight. That didn't matter, perhaps I have a preference to be early than to risk missing the flight. Strangely, it was for pure pragmatic reasons that I would not risk missing the flight. I was actually hoping that my stay in Australia would not have to end so soon. Anyway, at the very least, I had a pleasant stay in Australia. It was very fulfilling to meet up with friends and to enjoy the liberating experience of having travelled a couple of places in Australia alone by myself.

I called XS on the phone before clearing the immigrations at the airport . A month later, I realised that the words of insight that she had shared with me over that phone call still stay in my mind. I am thankful to have insightful friends like her to learn from. Hopefully, with her evolving wisdom, she does realise that she has many gifts of her own, and that she has the power already in her to accomplish many great and wonderful things. Wishing her all the best.

Before I end this post, my heartfelt words of appreciation to RL, XS, HQ and SG, for making my short stay in Australia a very memorable and meaningful one. Thank you.

Good-bye Australia.

Thursday, November 06, 2008

20 Sep 2008: Breakfast and thereafter

When the task of ensuring that I had sufficient postage was accomplished, I continued the solo walk about the city of Melbourne, and headed for the State Library of Victoria, for breakfast.

SG had recommended me to try an item at Mr Tulk. Mr Tulk is located at State Library of Victoria, 328 Swanston St, Melbourne 3000. I learnt that this establishment is named after Mr Augustus Tulk, the first state librarian of the library.

This place has a lovely ambience, and is a great place to read and enjoy coffee. Alright, I don't usually drink coffee, so I settled for camomile tea. I also ordered the baked eggs with spinach and something else, but my goodness, I can't quite remember the name of the dish. Just see the photo below to find out what I had for breakfast that day, please?

The baked egg dish was novel. It was interesting to scoop and enjoy the egg yolk as it oozed out. Breakfast was lovely.

It was a rather rainy day after the breakfast. There was shower for quite a while. Anyway, I was in the mood to walk about and the weather did not bother me much. I was browsing through the photos that I had taken that day, and the photos suggest that my eyes seem to be attracted to the quiet lanes of Melbourne, the trams and the horse-carriage ride.

Before leaving the hotel, I made a trip to Lonsdale Street. There is a well-known Greek restaurant, Stalactites Restaurant that opens 24 hours along 177 - 183 Lonsdale Street. Both HQ and SG told me that it's a well-known Greek restaurant in Melbourne, so I made it a point to check it out. I settled for Greek food that was basically vegetarian because I didn't want to wait. It would take at least 15 minutes for the meat to be cooked if I had ordered anything with meat in it. I ordered Greek salad and the Vegetarian Souvlaki.

I left the hotel around 12 p.m. via the Skybus Super Shuttle Service that HQ had recommended. It was a fairly affordable and efficient way to get to the Melbourne airport.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008

20 Sep 2008: Solo walk about Melbourne

My stay in Melbourne was intended to be short. I was to leave Melbourne to return to Singapore by about 3 p.m. on 20 Sep 2008. Effectively, that means that I spent slightly more than 24 hours in Melbourne. The stay was short. Afterall, I had to be back to work by a specified date. More essentially, I prefer to spend as much time as I could in Sydney.

The night before when I met up with SG, she was very kind to offer to be my breakfast companion for 20 Sep 2008. I hope she didn't find me rude when I earnestly declined her offer in the end. While I like her company, my need for time alone by myself was too strong that day. I wonder if it was through taking solo walks about places that gave me the solitude and space that I greatly need? The paradox would be that there is an equal intensity in me to wish to connect with the people around me too.

Anyway, the choice for 20 Sep 2008 was to walk about Melbourne in the morning, on my own. I woke up early because the first thing on my mind was to make sure I get enough postage to post a couple of items. When I travel overseas, the postal services became one of my favourite services to use. It usually brings me delight to post something seemingly simple, across the miles, from a foreign place, to the people whom I treasure.

I was too early and the post ofice had yet to open for the day, so I simply walked about to enjoy the sights of the streets of Melbourne. The Saturday morning out alone was pleasant and recharging.

St Paul's Cathedral.

A tram!

Federation Square.

Flinders Street Station

A sculpture. One thing about Melbourne is that art is everywhere.

I like the composition, and the contrast between the shadows and the light areas of this photo, against the cloudy blue skies.

St Francis Church. Victoria's Oldest Catholic Church.

When it was nearing the opening hours of the post-office, I headed for the post-office. I was its first customer for the day. I made sure that the postage was correct and then headed for breakfast.