Saturday, 10 July 2021

The Gin Parlour

The Brass Lion Singapore Dry Gin. It wasn’t her number one choice. She would’ve preferred a Botanist or Four Pillars, but it wasn't too bad for a Happy Hour drink. 

She had been wanting to go to the Gin Parlour for some time now. For someone who claims to be a gin connoisseur, she thought that it was slightly strange to have only gone to the parlour a decade after its opening. It sits across the Marina Bay Sands, with an unobstructed view of the flyer, the ArtScience Museum, and arguably the greatest Feng Shui building in the world. She counted the number of windows that were lit up at the hotel, and pondered about how lovely it would be to be on a Staycation. 

But this was not too bad either, she thought. Sipping gin at one of her favourite areas in town on a Friday evening, all by herself

She usually spent Friday evenings with friends, chugging pints of beer and playing pool. It was nice, too, but wasn’t her, her. She was a gin person; she wasn’t one for small talk; and she would choose reading a book over playing pool any day. 

Today, she was unusually tired. Perhaps it was the five reports that she had churned out the past week, or the fact that her social battery was low. Either way, she said no to pool and beer; and boarded the bus to nowhere in particular. It was only fifteen minutes into the ride that the idea of visiting the Gin Parlour popped into her mind. 

She spent the entire evening there, sipping gin, reading The Queen’s Gambit, and taking in the scenery. As the hours passed, she felt more and more tranquil. She was free to be herself and enjoy the things that she loved. And she knew that she needed more of this in her life. Perhaps a Friday a month, at the Gin Parlour, by herself

But with that sense of peace came a profound sense of loneliness. And it then dawned upon her that the price to pay for freedom seems to be loneliness.

Thursday, 3 June 2021

pointing a middle finger @ anxiety

I've been thinking about the Arab-Israeli conflict lately, and the Palestinian refugees that have lost their homes since 1948. I imagine being born in an era of war, spending your entire life fighting to survive. I imagine not having a proper education, let alone a constant supply of water. I imagine violence, bloodshed, and the screams of my neighbour as a social norm.

And then I think about the problems that we deal with every day. Hating on the government for making us stay at home. Whining about the weather. Playing office politics. Feeling anxious about what other people think of us. Veganism. (jk! or not...) And how these problems are so. damn. trivial lame. I know therapists say that every problem is different and should never be trivialised but really. Our problems are lame. 

We get so hung up with that one person who always seems to be better than us in that one area that we think matters the most. We let it get to us and make us unhappy. But it has occured to me while I was doing all these thinking just how pointless it all is. Our anxiety. Our insecurity. Our inadequacy. On what grounds are we not good enough? If we were struggling to survive a series of artillery shells, it is not the person with the highest education that is going to come out alive. Neither is it the one who is most popular, most eloquent or most beautiful. It is the one with the best survival instincts, and a good dose of luck. I guess what I'm trying to say is that society has shaped us to measure our worth based on a certain set of rules; but when the rules change, our worth is going to change too. And when the rules break down (a n a r c h y), everyone will be nothing but a mere human being. 

There are certain things that trigger my anxiety. But as I ruminate about the Arab-Israeli conflict over the past few days, I think I've learned to point my middle finger at anxiety. 

i am a flower slowly fading, here today and gone tomorrow,
a wave tossed in the ocean, a vapour in the wind.

Saturday, 1 May 2021

a slow day

I like slow days. Work is as tiring and fast-paced as it gets.


Just two weeks ago, we were sailing out to Sisters’ Island on the yacht that you chartered for our first anniversary. The wind in my hair, sun rays bouncing off the surface of the water, the CBD skyline in the distance, and the thought of office workers writing papers and crunching numbers while there I was, beside you, with your hand in mine, gave me that familiar sense of liberation that I haven’t felt in a long time. I like slow days.

We had been looking forward to our staycation for a couple of months now – yes, I didn’t know I was going to end up on a yacht. The plan, in the name of gender equality, was for us to each book a night at a hotel as a surprise for each other, starting off with your surprise for me.

When I opened my eyes and found myself on the yacht, I felt loved. You always knew how to cater to my needs and preferences. You knew how much I loved the ocean. And there was no better way of making me happy than to take me out to sail. 


The past two years have been a blur of events but what I was most acquainted with was pain, guilt, feeling constantly tormented by my own infp brain, and yes, the perfect garnish to complete the dish – alcohol

You found me at my worst. When I was drinking too much that it almost cost my life. When I was prepared to live a frivolous life. When every little thing triggered my anxiety. You found me and you loved me. 

Ours wasn’t a cheesy love story that blossomed like the Dutch tulips in Spring. Some days, it felt like a bloodbath, as we dealt with past hurts and trauma. Other days, it felt like learning how to walk all over again, as we figured out how to love each other properly. But most of the time, it was you patiently walking me through my pessimism, my depression and my defensiveness; even at the expense of your own well-being. 


So when you promised that you’d always tell me that ‘we’re good’, even in the happiest of times or toughest of moments, and asked me to spend the rest of my life with you, the answer was simple.

I like slow days. But it in a society where every single day is passing by so damn quickly, I’m thankful for you. 

My sun and moon, my afterglow, my better man, my bad guy, my mi pan su su sum 

Sunday, 4 April 2021

sweet spot

silence is deafening.

i like sounds. white noise, in particular. like the rumbling of thunder, birds chirping at the break of day, cars passing by...

but loud jarring noises drive me crazy. misophonia, they say. babies crying, parents yelling at their kids, heavy traffic, sister's alarm... 


boredom is suicidal. monotony is poison. 

i like to do things. friday night drinks, a jog around the neighbourhood, a bouldering route. a good challenge.

but then i get too tired and want to do. absolutely. nothing.


people annoy me.

especially when they talk too much. i like to spend time alone. read a book, write my blog, pop a can of beer.

but then i get awfully lonely...


is there a sweet spot somewhere in this world where i can thrive with the perfect decibel of white noise, activities that require just the right amount of energy and people who are limited to three thousand spoken words a day?

Thursday, 25 March 2021

nth hurts anymore i feel kinda free

there's beauty in hitting rock bottom.

goddamn rock bottom.

where there's no distance left for you to fall.

where there's no room for anxiety because things can't get any worse.

where every tear has dried up and all that's left to do is laugh.

where fear is just a memory and lunacy turns into courage.

where nothing hurts anymore and you feel kinda free...

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