Friday, December 31, 2004
Last Entry of 2004
翻阅了一年来的 blog ，是很多事发生，不过还有很多事没写，是我选择不写，因为这些事或许不应该在这里公开，因为有些事是只有自己才会明白（或者不明白），而世界上其他的人是无法理解只有我明白（或者不明白）的事的。我知道你在读，有你关心对我来说是很窝心。但是，我不知道到底有谁在看，所以这个本来是宣泄情绪的地方已经让我写得很片面，很表面，很 superficial。很多时候，我只是形容事情的来龙去脉，我去了哪里，我做了什么，我要做什么……仅此而已。我也不知道为什么你还在看我写的垃圾，因为现在回头看，我觉得很多时候，我是在浪费我的时间写，浪费你的时间读。
把生活写出来，很多人已经渐渐远去，因为已经没有和我直接沟通的必要，只要到这里来，就能大概了解我的近况如何。当别人知道我的近况而我不知道他们过得怎样，我觉得我变得很脆弱，甚至不堪一击。When other people knows everything that’s happened to me and I don’t know how they are doing, I feel vulnerable. 我不喜欢这样的感觉，或许，这是我曾经决定不写的原因。其实，当初决定写，决定公开写的东西，就应该料到会有这么一个结果。
Sunday, December 26, 2004
I have never spent my Christmas this way before, simple but memorable. Jogging around Hampstead and the heath, last minute Christmas shopping with Alvaro in Hampstead (of course I had crepes again), midnight mass and hymns at the chapel followed by punch and snacks, formal lunch with aperitif, exchange of Christmas presents (I got a Muji 2005 diary!), films in the evening… In short, it was a very relaxed English Christmas, though it wasn’t a white one.
I enjoyed Christmas really and all of a sudden, I realise I actually love London, even the dreary weather that I love to complain about is actually nice in a way that I can’t describe it as yet this moment.
So deciding not to travel this time round does have its pros.
Friday, December 24, 2004
参观 Louvre Museum 后准备去香榭丽舍大道的途中，经过 Louvre 毗邻的公园的时候，我几乎给这公园给慑住了。我从来没有到过法国巴黎，可是公园的一草一木却让我感觉我是回到这公园，而不是第一次到这公园。
Thursday, December 23, 2004
今天在早报网看到华文报的人事调动，让我清楚知道我毕业后六年的新闻合约不可能做 stand-upper 或者做 VO 的事实已经成为无法扭转的定局了。以前实习的时候，老是跟自己说以后上电视的机会多的是，于是实习的时候总是偷懒，用 VO 带过新闻，这样就省却做 stand-upper 和 NG 的时间。传美还曾跟我说，以后有关电视新闻要学的还多着，才几个月的时间，现在想做都没有机会了，这是一种很矛盾的感受。日后的新闻工作量可能因为电视媒体的整合减少了，但却可能也变的乏味了许多。还以为日后可以很自豪地跟别地的媒体朋友说，岛国的记者是双栖的，现在“双栖”一词已经走入历史。“我们都是这场闹剧的主角”，我记得琬绯几个月前这样形容，实在贴切。
Wednesday, December 22, 2004
I understand perfectly my steadfast desires to travel and to get out of London whenever there’s a holiday or a break. That’s why when Yoichi asked me if he can borrow my Deuter backpack for his trip to Rome and Japan, I agreed without any contemplation. And then when Pearson asked me if he can borrow my suitcase as he’s going home to Zimbabwe for Christmas, I lent him my suitcase almost immediately as well.
So, I deliberately lent out all my bags and now, I have no luggage at all to travel with (many other people are going away too, so I have no people to borrow from). I clearly know that my travel desires will eventually snowball into something that I myself can’t control that I’ll most probably book a last minute flight to Madrid or Athens. So, it’s easy now. No bags, no travel. I’ll stay in dreary London for the 1st time during a break.
Anyway, the thought of spending my summer in South America is inviting enough, though I just realised that it will be winter there and then. My application for at least a 6-week stay in Peru got accepted a few weeks ago. Hopefully I’ll be able to accomplish something meaningful while in Peru, just like in Thailand. And hopefully with sufficient Spanish skills by then, I will be able to go to Brazil, Argentina et al. for another 2-3 weeks.
Facing a difficult choice between Europe and South America with limited financial resources, I will choose the latter since I’ve been to 7 European countries already and they all look the same after some time.
South America, here I come!
Monday, December 20, 2004
今天的天气很好，一朵白云也没有，可是却异常地冷。天空也异常地湛蓝，就像你现在看到这样的蓝。我不想错过这样的好天气，于是，我跑出家门在 3 度的 Hampstead 跑了 40 分钟，竟然在 3 度的空气中留了一大堆汗，很凉很爽。
"Have Yourself A Merry Little Christmas" by Garth Brooks
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Let your heart be light
From now on our troubles will be out of sight
Have yourself a merry little Christmas
Make the yuletide gay
From now on our troubles will be far away
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
Once again as in olden days
Happy golden days of yore
Faithful friends who are dear to us
Gather near to us once more
Through the years we all will be together
If the fates allow
Hang a shining star upon the highest bough
And have yourself a merry little Christmas now
It wasn’t anything fancy. Just a simple get together at 10pm in the evening, with an ordinary birthday cake as usual, with 30 over people singing the all-too-familiar birthday song, with 30 over guys of different nationalities giving their wishes and blessings deep from their heart, and also in different languages as well.
Prior to that, Neil, Ben and I had a nice evening walk around Hampstead after dinner. Neil, who knows Hampstead like the back of his hand, brought Ben and I to another part of Hampstead that we’ve never been before, even though it is really near our house. Christmas trees, lights, carols make Hampstead more appealing than ever. No wonder so many people want to live here. For instance, George Orwell worked in Hampstead and Keats stayed here before. Sigmund Freud stayed in Hampstead before as well, just opposite my house. I’ll write about Sigmund Freud House next time.
After which the three of us had 1.5 pints of Stella each at this simply gorgeous traditional English pub in Hampstead called Holly Bush. The pub is situated on a small hill, the interior of which is really cosy and lovely. This is the first time I went to this pub and I really adore it. Holly Bush has a history of more than 200 years, which reminds me of Trout Inn in Oxford (Trout Inn is 900+ years old). I really love Trout Inn as well and I hope to go back when I re-visit Oxford again. Old traditional pubs just exude an inexorable charm on me that I can’t resist.
I’m loving Hampstead more and more. Neil says Hampstead is even better than Mayfair and I absolutely have to agree. I’ll write about Hampstead crepes (I’ve tried 30 over different crepes so far, a few more to finish everything on the menu!!), Hampstead Heath and Kenwood House among many fabulous things in Hampstead in the near future.
Wednesday, December 15, 2004
Monday, December 13, 2004
Yesterday night was carols - my first in my entire life. There were more than 100 people, I think, in the lounge singing the all-too-familiar Christmas carols. I seriously don’t know where they come from. Anyway, we had a nice cosmopolitan crowd of Germans, French, Italians, Spanish, Koreans, Chinese, British etc. Wine was of course an important part of the night, along with lots of punch and juice. This is the first time that I actually feel the Christmas atmosphere - I have a Christmas tree in my lobby, I had turkey for Christmas dinner last week, and Christmas isn’t even here yet. Now Christmas presents will be perfect to bring everything to a beautiful end on December 25. :p
Saturday, December 11, 2004
这几天编辑 Hwa Chong Nite 的刊物，城的回忆自然而然地在我脑海里反复闪烁。然后听着《听城》，听着属于我们的歌曲，看着我们在城里拍的照片，然后听到《唱一首华初的歌》，又理所当然地想起梁文福几个月前写的那首同名的诗。那两年的时光虽然已经远去，但是却历历在目。那两年真的像梦一样，在城里是梦是醒我真的搞不清楚，或许部分原因是睡眠不足所以我才会觉得半梦半醒。原来，我一直活在自己的那段历史中，我一直守护这个如泡沫般脆弱的梦境。现在才发现，这一切都是多余的。城门如今永远封闭，我对城的回忆实在没有必要执拙下去。
Tuesday, December 07, 2004
（这是我为《Hwa Chong Nite 2004-05》Magazine 写的序。）
Saturday, December 04, 2004
I thought my eyes were playing tricks on me when I woke up yesterday morning seeing everything blurry in front of me. It did not take me long to realise that the infamous London fog had returned. Temperatures have wavered around freezing point last weekend and these few days. This heralded the early arrival of winter, much earlier than last year, and it’s forecasted that we might have a white Christmas in London this year, since Warwick and Nottingham have already snowed 2 weeks ago. There is seriously something very wrong with the London weather and seasons now.
The desperate need for money has prompted me to sacrifice my precious time to engage in many experiments. Yesterday’s Economics experiment was the best so far - I earned 13 pounds in a short-40-minutes-span. Somehow I always feel better when I convert back to Singapore dollars in this kind of context - that’s S$40 in 40 minutes or an earning of S$1 per minute! The past two months had seen my bank reserves increased by 104.5 pounds for taking part in 15 experiments. That’s extremely easy money and I’ve two more coming up.
But I still need more money to live comfortably (read: to be able to eat Hampstead crepes every two or three days) and to cover my Peru expenses, and so I’ve decided to scout for part-time work around Hampstead. There are lots of shops looking for temp staff due to the festive season, so it shouldn’t be a huge problem looking for work. Hopefully I’ll be able to earn a few hundred pounds over Christmas and New Year.
Yesterday night was Christmas Dinner as well. Everybody dressed up in suits and everybody thought the mandarin collar suit I was wearing was Singapore’s national dress, after which I tried to explain that Singapore actually don’t have its own national dress. All along I thought my suit was Chinese until somebody told me that my suit might be Indian instead.
Anyway, we had the aperitif as usual before the dinner, and then turkey for the actual dinner which I thought wasn’t that fantastic. Nevertheless, the red wine was very good. The dinner (and toasts) lasted almost two hours, which I thought was very long since it’s the traditional British dinner with only three courses. Then was a Christmas Show put up by some guys and in short, we enjoyed ourselves tremendously and thoroughly. I’m looking forward to Christmas in Hampstead.
Thursday, December 02, 2004
“Hey, I haven’t seen you for more than a week! How have you been?”
I got the above response from Conrad, Eugene, Neil, Henry, Antonio, Alvaro amongst many others on different occasions in my hall, after disappearing for more than 10 days, after skipping dinner for more than 10 days because of my schedule so hectic that I even had to bunk in at Justin’s place one night because we stopped working on the props at 2 am.
And I really feel good that there are actually people who are concerned about me. People who aren’t Singaporeans. People I thought who can’t be bothered with everything else except their own lives.
So, I am really glad that I’ve chosen not to share a flat with Singaporeans then. I am really glad that I’m in Netherhall instead.
Like what Eugene said very exaggeratingly, “Just having friends from Netherhall is more than sufficient. We basically won’t be lonely even without any other friends.”
Hence, I’ve decided to stay here for my third year as well, even though the rules are really strict. Simply because of the wonderful Hampstead environment, because of the ever-tempting Hampstead crepes, because of the incredible people here at Netherhall.
Anyway, that’s the sole purpose in pursuing an overseas education, ain’t it? I’m here in London not to stay in my comfort zone and I’m not here to mix with Singaporeans only.
I’m happy I’ve made the right choice.
Wednesday, December 01, 2004
(more photos will be uploaded on my gallery when I have the time)
Part of the 30-member-cast-and-crew
Justin & I did the Chinese restaurant set
Declan and I
(1) Pagoda Street
The past week has been crazy with theatre (read: drama theatre). I spent more hours in the Garage Theatre than in the lecture theatre. In the end, I did not hand in my essay which I knew I could never complete in time because I did not do my reading. I had nothing to say in my seminar class because I did not do my reading. I did not run my experimental subjects which I was supposed to, hence we had to find subjects last minute during the lab class. I slept late every night and so, overslept every morning and in the end, I had to skip the first lecture at 10 am every day (Note that 10 am is early by British standards).
Now that Pagoda Street has ended, a sense of emptiness overwhelmed, similar to the PHD (read: Post-Huang-cheng-Depression) syndrome experienced after Huang Cheng. Though the spirit in Pagoda Street is not even 10% that of Huang Cheng’s, it still felt extremely heart-warming before, during and after every performance. More friendships forged and it’s pleasant to know that my props buddy gained something extra from the musical as well. Heh… :p
(2) 2nd VS Haircut
I had my second Vidal Sassoon Haircut on Friday, not too bad an experience except for the fact that this is my most time-consuming haircut ever, even longer than the 1st VS haircut. This time round, it was a cool Greek chap from Cyprus who took 3 1/2 hours playing with my hair. Disconnecting wasn’t done; squaring was done instead. And I absolutely have to mention that his head massage was incredible. VS techniques are really good. Too bad Singapore has no VS.
(3) Other crazy stuff
With the end of Pagoda Street, it’s time to move on to accomplish some other important (and crazy) things on my agenda…
*Finally decided not to travel far at all (read: fly out of UK) this December unless some last minute plans emerged. So, I might still go to Scotland.
*I thought going to Peru is crazy enough for me, but something in my heart tells me that I should extend my Peru trip to include nearby places like Argentina, Brazil, Ecuador and some other South American countries also. (I need intensive physical training and Spanish lessons soon to cope with the altitude and the Incan trail and everything else in Peru.)
*Desperately finding some sponsors to finance my Peru trip - need to write 4 essays to apply for the ProWorld scholarship (why do US people like to include essays in application forms so much?) and 1 essay and 2 forms for the UCL travel grant.
*Looking through some post-grad courses and sadly realised that I can’t apply to some universities like Harvard because their courses are at least two years long. Looks like I’m left with Stanford and Yale and Chicago, which I doubt I’ll get in as well.
*Need to study for GRE really soon because I will not have any time in summer.
*Thinking of going on host UK as well.
*Might be flying to Scandinavia to visit some friends early next year, and hopefully catch the Northern Lights.
*Might be doing another drama production in spring next year.
*Meanwhile, busy with the editing of the magazine for Hwa Chong Nite (WW and I thought it wouldn’t take us too long but we were damn wrong; we weren’t even half way through yet).
*And Christmas dinners and gatherings and charity runs and presentations coming up blah blah blah…
The above should be sufficient to keep me occupied for the rest of my second university year, so as not to let it pass unremarkably. It then seems like studying has become my part-time work really and other things (besides studying) take up 99% of my time now. Anyway, my days in London are numbered, and every moment is important and so I can’t afford to lose any.
In short, I’m leading a crazy life now. I need more sleep and more time and some drug more potent than caffeine.
Wednesday, November 24, 2004
These few months of work have finally paid off.
Today is the day.
But this time is different.
This is my first musical overseas (2nd musical though).
在异乡搞戏剧真的不容易，尤其是搞有关新加坡文化的戏剧，而且是音乐剧。（因为在伦敦，所以钱是个很大的问题。如何吸引洋人来看，以及洋人是否明白又是很大的问题。）所以，当一切逐渐成型的时候，我们是很兴奋的。When we’ve sold out all the performances, we are really encouraged. 这是《黄城》所无法给我的满足感。
That’s why, we’ve been working hard for the past 2 months. That’s why, we’ve been skipping lectures. That’s why, we’ve been working till past midnight (even till 2 am) for the past few days.
And the results are really satisfying, in fact magically amazing.
P.S. Channel News Asia is reporting on it these few days, not sure exactly when though. The Straits Times Life has an article today.
Sunday, November 21, 2004
Wednesday, November 17, 2004
P.S. I decided to remove the one-year-old tagboard, cos it has been giving this page a lot of problems. Anything, just drop me an email or use the "comments" function at the end of each entry.
Friday, November 12, 2004
对于欧洲各国的首都，我不是很钟情，我反而喜欢其他小城市。比如我不是很喜欢 Rome、Vienna、Amsterdam 等。其他城市如 Venice、Salzburg、Kinderdijk 反而更加漂亮，更加吸引我。
但是，还没去巴黎之前，我以为我会破例喜欢上这个“浪漫”的法国首都。只因为 Eiffel Tower、Louvre、Notre Dame、Moulin Rouge、Champ-Elysees、Sacre Caeur、Versailles 等等的存在，所以我以为巴黎会有她独特的美丽和魅力。
Eiffel Tower 是很浪漫，Louvre 是很壮观，Notre Dame 是很雄伟，Moulin Rouge 是很华丽，Champ-Elysees 是很有情调……这些我并不否认。
与其说巴黎浪漫，不如说只有巴黎铁塔以及 Champ-Elysees 浪漫。仅此而已。
Saturday, November 06, 2004
Today is Guy Fawke's Night and it's supposed to be a happy day. Everything went well in the beginning. Four of us met for dinner, or rather Dim Sum, at Dong Hai in Chinatown. We haven't met one another for a long time, so it was nice chatting and stuff. Then as we settled the bill and were about to leave, the unexpected happened - WL discovered his bag, which was left on the ground and his lap top in it, was missing, or rather stolen. (My bag could have been stolen as well, mine was just next to his.) I have friends who had their bags stolen at cafes, pubs, and discos. But, a bag stolen in a reputable Chinese restaurant? A bag stolen without the four of us seeing the process? The thief must be really skillful. That's the first time we've encountered that in a Chinese restaurant. (Obviously, we hope this is the only time.)
Everybody knows that you can never recover anything that is lost/stolen in London. So we gave up after a search in the restaurant and the surrounding area. We went to the police station at Charing Cross to make a report after that.
Anyhow, no point feeling angry or disappointed with "some" Londoners. It's reading week from today, and I'm really happy that I'm leaving dreary London for Paris in 24 hours!
Then again, all the comments and stories I've heard about Paris have been negative. Unsafe. Dirty. Polluted. Shall describe more when I come back.
(By the way, G and S dropping by London next week as well. :D)
Wednesday, November 03, 2004
而且 West End 还有很多音乐剧等着我去看，
然后去 Peru 做义工；
既然知道自己对 Hampstead crepes 的诱惑无法抗拒；
既然我需要很多钱去报考 GRE 还有硕士课程；
所以只好省钱吃 Snickers bar，
然后把省下的钱去吃 Hampstead crepes （是很矛盾）；
而不是坐两小时半的 Eurostar （为的只是省二十英磅）；
比如，本来是想后天跟他们去看 Phantom of the Opera 的，
反正自己看过了（这是 Freud 所说的 rationalisation 吧），
虽然 Phantom 是百看不厌的，而我是真的很想看的。
Sunday, October 31, 2004
Ten of us had a sumptuous Korean lunch at a traditional Korean restaurant off Tottenham Court Road. The food was good, the company was good, the price was good (only 7 pounds, considering the variety we had). And it always amazes me how the ang-mohs will persistently learn how to use chopsticks correctly, whereas our generation of Chinese (or younger) doesn’t really care so much. The Caucasians are really interested in Chinese culture, or Asian culture in general. Ricaldo was desperately learning how to use the chopsticks from me, without much success obviously. But it was still heart-warming to see how our culture can evoke the interests of so many people in a country miles and miles away. And then, we had a traditional Italian dessert (more specifically, it’s dessert from Sicily), with courtesy of Ricaldo’s girlfriend who brought it all the way from Sicily. So it’s like a cultural exchange, really nice.
National Portrait Gallery
Next, three guys had to head back home to work. So, the seven of us left decided to go to the National Portrait Gallery for some culture immersion. The weather was really nice and warm; the sun was bright and sunny, atypical of autumn weather. We didn’t even need a jacket to roam around on the streets. We spent about 3 hours in the gallery, good portraits as well, which includes both classic and contemporary works which gives a good overall impression of British history. It’s surprising how David Beckham is in as well. Anyway, it’s one more museum off my must-visit-museums list now. Hopefully, I’ll have the time to go to Tate Britain and Tate Modern soon.
Then we headed back home for dinner, which was very different from the normal dinners. We had dinner in the dark, with eerie music and skeletons hanging around the dining room. And of course, we had the pumpkins as well. Yah, it’s the annual Halloween (actually it’s the eve)! We didn’t dress up in weird costumes for dinner though.
After dinner was a quartet concert, which was again really impressive. The performance was fantastic, so did the red wine at the reception. I exerted control on myself this time round, so I had only three glasses (it was two in the first place, Yoichi instigated me to have another one). :p
Hampstead Crepes (again!)
Antonio and I felt hungry after the concert and wine, so naturally we need food to satisfy our hunger, and Hampstead crepes naturally came to mind. So off we walked to the Hampstead creperie atop the little hill. And man, this was the first time I saw such a long queue, maybe it’s because it was Saturday night, so we queued for 40 minutes before it was our turn to order (at 1130 pm!!!). I had a Banana Maple Cream Dream, which was incredibly delicious. This was my fourth Hampstead crepe for the week, by the way. I had Banana Rum in Dark Belgian Chocolate, and Lemon & Sugar on Friday, and Crepe Complete on Thursday. I’m half way through to trying all the 20 odd crepes they have on the menu. Yah, I’m that crazy about Hampstead crepes now, having it once every few days. Well, before I had Hampstead crepes, I thought the crepes at Marche were good, now I think the Marche crepes are crap really. Hampstead crepes aren’t famous without reasons. And oh yah, I was told the Hampstead crepes at the South Kensington branch were crap as well, though I haven’t tried them myself. So, I guess the original is still the best.
Lastly, it is the time of the year to adjust our clocks and watches by an hour again. For the next six months or so, the time difference between London and Singapore will be eight hours, instead of seven. We’ll have shorter days and longer nights in winter soon, which I really detest. Anyway, it’s time to do some constructive work after the day off yesterday, so that I’ll be able to go to Paris next week without feeling guilty.
Thursday, October 28, 2004
It’s incredible that this time round, SPH took only one day to say yes to my Peru volunteer trip in summer 2005, whereas it took them 2 weeks to allow me to go for the YEP 2 months ago. What’s even amazing is that SPH has decided to waive my internship totally (they almost never do that!), even though I only requested for a reduction in the internship period from the initial 8 weeks to 6 weeks. But of course there are conditions attached if I decided to take up this offer - SPH will not pay for my round trip air tickets for the next academic year because “We do not fly scholars back for such a short stint. Scholars will have to purchase own round trip air ticket back.”…
So, to go or not to go is a huge question mark. If I do go, it will cost me a fortune - 1150 pounds for the Peru trip itself, at least an additional 800 pounds to fly to Peru from London, and another 2000 odd Singapore dollars to fly from Singapore to London if I do go home after Peru. So, after weighing the economical pros and cons, I might not go home next summer, since I do want to go to Peru after all. But then again, I simply can’t imagine myself not going home for two whole years. On the other hand, if I do not go to Peru, I’ll just go back to SPH and serve my normal routine internship for 8 weeks, and get paid for 50 bucks a day, and not only that, SPH will pay for my return air tickets from home to London.
Since money is the crux of the whole quandary, I relented and negotiated with Winnie that I’ll be able to squeeze out 7 weeks of internship, instead of the proposed 6 weeks. (That means starting work immediately after flying from Peru to London to home, and ending work 2 days before school starts.) And Winnie and the management relented as well, so I'm going to Peru next summer after all! What’s more, I get to earn some money while interning and I don’t have to pay for my air tickets from London to Singapore and vice versa. I guess that’s the best solution since I can’t think of anything better.
Anyhow, I still need 2000 pounds!!!
Now, I need lots of luck to do some fundraising for the Peru trip.
Monday, October 25, 2004
The price to pay for breaking my pair of spectacles in London is 255 British pounds (800 Sing dollars). That’s for a new decent pair of thin lens, though I can get a cheaper alternative for 99 pounds with the standard lens. With that amount of money, I most probably can get 8 years supply of contact lenses back home. Argh… I doubt I will make another pair of glasses in my entire life.
Saturday, October 23, 2004
The London transport system is getting on my nerves. The buses can change their final destinations anyhow while on the move, so passengers already on the bus who happily think that the bus is going to Hampstead Heath have to disembark from the bus halfway at Chalk Farm without any compensations and explanations, simply because the bus driver decides while driving halfway that the bus should only go as far as Chalk Farm. And how can I forget the bus waits as long as an hour, after which five buses of the same route arrive simultaneously? It’s ok for people like us possessing bus passes, but what about passengers who pay single fares? And single bus fares are going up to 1.20 quids with effect from next year. That’s a 20 pence (60 Singapore cents) increase, so naturally there should be a likewise improvement in bus services. But oh well, this is London, so I’m not expecting much.
Oh yah, how can I not mention the infamous London Underground, where services can terminate suddenly, where trains can reverse direction on the same track, where people can drop onto the tracks and run about and then disrupt the whole system (it just happened yesterday - a lunatic jumped down and jogged along the track at Piccadilly Circus Station, luckily we left the tube before this happened else we would have missed our movie), where the Metropolitan line can stop operating over the weekend, where the trains can derail many times last year??? And a single tube fare is an exorbitant 2 quids (6 Singapore dollars), and “as expected”, tube fares are also going to increase next year to “manage inflation rates”.
Ok, no use complaining so much. I shall tolerate this nonsense for at least 2 more years.
(On another note, “Old Boy” was an excellent movie and that sort of compensated everything described above.)
Wednesday, October 20, 2004
刚过去的星期六的饭局，是和一些 YEP 的人聚会，才赫然发现原来 YEP 已经过了两个多月了，而我们大家都已经回到英国。于是，我们又想起在泰国的时光，实在逍遥快乐。每次聚会每人都会带一样吃的，或是喝的，从泰国到新加坡，都是如此。如今回到伦敦，我们延续这样的传统。只不过，伦敦少了泰国的阳光，还有伦敦人少了泰国村民的真心诚恳。
星期天终于去了 Cambridge ，不过我还是喜欢 Oxford 多一点。 Cambridge 确实是个读书的好地方，环境很清幽，不过有点闷，没有 Oxford 那样 vibrant。或许是因为《再别康桥》，所以对剑桥的期望太高，结果风景没有想象中的绚丽，有点失望。不过，徐志摩的剑桥还是漂亮的，只因这首诗。
（我们本来是想尝试 punting 的，结果没有勇气，怕掉进康河里。）
Saturday, October 16, 2004
I guess it isn't really healthy to feel a little tipsy every few days. Downed eight (or was it ten?) glasses of red wine and a glass of white wine on Tuesday night, because the red wine is simply too good (the white one isn't fit for drinking) and I couldn't control myself. So there I was, feeling a bit tipsy again after the concert and reception. Nevertheless I still managed to help clear up the place, so I wasn't that drunk yet. Oh there's a quartet recital coming up next week, so that means there will be more wine to drink then! I'm starting to wonder if I'm attending the concerts because of the concert itself or because of the drinks served at the interval and reception. Well, I still have 2 bottles of red wine in my room, left from the reception on Tuesday. Hopefully, Neil forgets about that two bottles, and all will be mine.
Monday, October 11, 2004
Friday evening was the formal dinner to welcome all residents in the new academic year, and it was really formal. Everybody donned the smartest suits and then we had the apertif first, followed by the traditional three course English dinner. I drank a bottle of beer for the apertif, quite a bit of red and white wine during the dinner and then unexpectedly got a bit tipsy after the dinner (oops!). Some of us (mainly Asians) weren't full after the dinner, so we went around Hampstead in search of food, and haha, in the end all of us couldn't decide what to eat and bought the Hampstead crepes instead. After which, five of us went to a pub and had more drinks (I had a bit of Guinness). Overall, it was just a short and simple dinner, but really a pleasant evening with lots of interactions. It's really, really amazing how cosmopolitan this place can be and all of us can be connected together via a common language - English.
Nine of us went hiking in the Chilterns today, and amazingly all nine of us are from different countries - (1) Singapore, (2) Italy, (3) Spain, (4) Japan, (5) Trinidad, (6) England, (7) India, (8) Belgium and (9) Portugal.
Today was surprisingly sunny, the weather exceptionally good, perhaps its because we weren't in London.
The Chilterns lie only a few miles north-west of London in Buckinghamshire and yet they are an unspoilt area of rolling chalk hills, magnificent beechwoods, quiet valleys and charming brick and flint villages. A wonderful mosaic of woods, fields, hedges, sunken lanes and clear streams.
We took a train to Chalfont and Latimer, after which we walked about 10 miles in the Chilterns in 5 hours. A pretty relaxing walk with plenty of down-hills and up-slopes. The landscape was fantastic, but not the best I've seen (Peak District offers better views). Nevertheless, everybody agreed that it's a good workout on a Sunday and heh, Yoichi was almost half dead in the end.
Should be going somewhere next weekend as well. :)
Friday, October 08, 2004
School has officially started on Monday, and its been barely a week and readings have already piled up. One list of readings every lecture, and that amounts to many many lists (note: it's lists) of readings for many many lectures per week. Deadlines are already nearing as well... argh... I have one in 6 days time! But lectures have been interesting, so reading the so many readings is rather enjoyable though its still a nightmare. Doing clinical psychology, health psychology, perception, attention and action this term. So studying stress/anxiety/depression when I'm already very stressed/anxious/depressed myself is actually pretty interesting. In case I go mad, I know how to analyse and treat myself. So its not a problem whether I'm stressed or not... Ok, I dunno what I'm talking about now. :/
Will be designing our own experiments this year, and running the subjects ourselves and analysing the data using SPSS and then the finale is writing the lab reports. Will be continuing German as well.
Sounds a lot of work, but I am still going to go travel. I don't care. I need to get out of dreary London.
Sunday, October 03, 2004
I’ve been a happy man these few days because:
(1) I’ve finally started on my exercise regime. Started jogging around Hampstead. Maybe football in Primrose Hill. Will be starting to gym next week, as soon as lectures and lab classes fall into place. :)
(2) I’ve found the legendary Hampstead crepes on the hill! And I totally love it, who doesn’t? Will be frequenting La Creperie de Hampstead very, very often, I suppose. :)
(3) I finally went to the National Gallery yesterday which I’ve always wanted to go. With more than 2000 European paintings on display, National Gallery is one of the world’s largest and finest galleries, and everybody knows that. So even though I don’t really know how to appreciate the paintings (well, at least one of Van Gogh’s Sunflowers is here), National Gallery is still a place worth visiting. This is also the first time I actually saw people seriously setting up their easels and equipment in front of the various artists’ works, and enthusiastically duplicating the works. Spent a couple of hours losing myself and watching people in the arts labyrinth, absolutely cool. :)
(4) I went to Brent Cross Shopping Centre (Zone 3) for the first time today and bought a Topman jacket for autumn. And yah, North London isn’t that isolated, at least there is a huge (and I mean really huge) shopping mall. And the people in Brent Cross shopping are comparable to the crowd on Oxford Street. Cool. Maybe shall go to Croydon one day. :)
(5) There’s a fellow Singaporean here as well. Now I won’t be that lonely. :)
(6) I’ve finally started planning on my weekend and holiday trips again. Hopefully (*fingers crossed*), I’ll be able to set foot on Africa this year - go to Egypt for Christmas. :)
Friday, October 01, 2004
奇怪，回来伦敦 10 天了，竟然完全没有想到家，是现在在这里想写点什么才意识到我并没有想家，“想家”这个概念才出现在脑里。想家是个怎样的感觉，我已经不知道了。我想我已经忘记怎样想家了。以前会天天听 933；现在已经完全没有这个习惯和冲动。以前会天天上 Straits Times 和早报的网站；现在反而天天看 Financial Times, Daily Telegraph 还有 The Times。以前会很渴望可以吃到 Laksa 还有 Cha Kway Teow；现在只想吃 Four Seasons 的鸭饭还有 Hampstead crepes。以前会很希望可以和岛国的人讲 Singlish；现在听到 Singlish 反而觉得有点刺耳。以前会几乎每星期打电话回家；现在已经 10 天没有打回家也不觉得怎样。
对家的思念没有了，反而越发想念起伦敦的一些地方，比如 Camden 还有 Covent Garden。现在每天搭 168 巴士去学校都会经过 Camden，每次经过都很想下车。今天在唐人街附近，就萌起了走去 Covent Garden 的冲动，结果我真的情不自禁走去了 Covent Garden，听到熟悉的四重奏，看到熟悉的 buskers，还差点就买了熟悉的 Thornton’s icecream。即使是冬天，Covent Garden 也会很温暖，很活泼。我真的很喜欢 Covent Garden，比喜欢我在岛国最喜欢的东海岸还要喜欢。
＊每次听到现在的背景音乐，我就会想起 Covent Garden 还有它给我的感觉。
＊Yo yo yo… alas I finally found the legendary Hampstead crepes… and they are indeed heavenly! One more reason to love Hampstead. :) :) :)
Wednesday, September 29, 2004
Tuesday, September 28, 2004
I wanted to write this down since I moved into Netherhall, but I always forget. This hall is rather extraordinary in many ways. First of all, the individual bedrooms do not have keyholes and so, there are no keys (or anything else) to lock the rooms. In other words, anyone can barge into the room as and when they wish. Seems a bit hair-raising in the beginning, but as one gets used to it, this “security issue” becomes redundant. I don’t know if thefts are common in the hall or not, but so far there are no thefts at all. So a lot of security actually depends on our own vigilance, the integrity of all the other hall mates and lastly, how much trust we have in each other.
Second, there is no internet access in the bedrooms, though there are common laboratories where we can lug our lap tops from our bedrooms to, and then plug them in to get connected with the whole wide world… I need to get used to this, especially since I am so used to leaving my machine on 24 hours 7 days a week when I was in Camden. Without the internet at my fingertips, I feel disconnected with the world. Then there is this stupid and pointless firewall, which I tried very hard to bypass and alas, I found the software Hopster to bypass and tunnel it (all the rest e.g. Http-tunnel just cannot work). But download speeds are damn slow, I give up. The verdict: no more free movies from now on.
Then, this hall has got curfews. Haha, an all men’s hall and yet, there is curfew. The times are actually reasonable but I just can’t accept the existence of curfews. A bit absurd and ridiculous, just like army and NS, but I guess it just takes time to get used to it. Anyway, rules are meant to be broken. So, let’s see…
One more thing is the laundry service. The hall provides such service at an exorbitant price of 7 pounds per week. And this has to be paid termly in advance for every week in the term, even though say, you don’t want to wash clothes for a week. So, the laundry cost actually amounts to 70 odd pounds per term. This is ridiculous man. I can’t imagine myself paying S$210++ (for 10 weeks) to do my laundry. And there are no other washing machines available in the hall. The hall is like giving you no other alternative except to succumb to their over-priced laundry service. This sucks big time man. So, I am not giving in and am still scouting around Hampstead for a reasonably-priced self-service laundrette. I can’t believe I have to wash my clothes in a public place with all the other British uncles and aunties. I thought such scenarios only appear in Mr Bean and Friends and the like. Hmm… this should be a novel experience in the days to come.
Despite all the negative attributes about this hall, everything else is fabulous. The food is ok, the people are very friendly, even the Brits (I’m amazed). Actually, living in Hampstead already outweighs everything else. I think if nothing goes wrong in the days to come and if I’m able to tolerate all the above mentioned, I might possibly stay here in my third year. I thought Camden was good, but I would never expect there is another place in London better than Camden. Hampstead is simply gorgeous and awesome that no words would do it justice. I have yet to explore the little shops, restaurants and pubs though, and of course Hampstead Heath. Shall go jogging there when the opportunity arises.
Sunday, September 26, 2004
Saturday, September 25, 2004
回到伦敦已经 5 天，这 5 天，天天很伦敦式地 cloudy, dreary, 今天（其实只是早上而已），伦敦终于放晴，天空很蔚蓝，风依旧很大，气温很舒服，大概 12-13 度，而且空气不像岛国的潮湿。走在大街上，很凉，很爽。白天和黑夜还算正常，不过现在太阳每天迟两分钟升起来，早两分钟下山。换句话说，萧瑟的秋天和冬天即将来临。
现在居住的地方在 South Hampstead 一个小山脊柔和的角度之上，离大马路和 Tube Station 只需要走上 5 分钟。虽然如此，周围很恬静，根本听不到任何嘈杂的声响，只听到鸟鸣，还有孩子们欢蹦乱跳的轻快叫声（我的住处在一所 junior high school 旁边）。
来了短短的 5 天，虽然还没有真正深入 Hampstead 探个究竟，就已经爱上了 Hampstead。Hampstead 是一个能够让你马上和它陷入爱的旋涡的地方，就好像 Oxford 一样。这里设施应有尽有，还有一个超大的 Sainsbury。（我还以为 Camden 的 Sainsbury 已经很大，没想到现在这里的比 Camden 的大一倍。）基本上 Hampstead 跟 Camden 没有什么分别，只是没有Camden 来的杂，来的乱吧。或许应该说 Hampstead 比较像 Notting Hill 吧。 但是，Hampstead 又有绚丽的 Heath，这一点 Notting Hill 比不上。
也许 Hampstead 唯一的缺点就是，它距离学校实在远，而且没有 direct bus，搭 Tube 又很贵（因为 Hampstead 在 Zone 2 和 3 的边缘）。又不能像以前走路去学校，因为 Hampstead 离 Camden 有超过 3 公里的距离，而从 Camden 走路去学校，已经要花上 30-45 分钟。所以，日后怎么以最快捷，最便宜的途径去学校，日后开学了再研究吧。
是应该写点周围的人了。这里比以前的宿舍还 cosmopolitan，有波兰人、法国人、德国人、意大利人、哥伦比亚人、非洲人等等，而且亚洲人不少，有中国人、菲律宾人、泰国人、印度人、香港人、马来西亚人……当然还有表面很热情的英国人（因为要和英国人熟络起来需要很多很多很多的啤酒来 break the ice）。人太多，我们介绍完了之后，已经把对方的名字忘到一干二净。
谈话之中，竟然发现这些人对岛国并不陌生，至少他们没有问我岛国在中国的哪个部分？来自英国的 Neil 问我：“Which part of Singapore do you come from?” 的时候，我愣了一下，不知道怎么回答，然后我回答说“Have you heard of Bedok?”，Neil 接着竟然说出：“Oh, Bedok Reservoir? Near East Coast right?”然后还说了一大堆，说今年12月5日岛国有 Singapore Marathon（真的吗？这个他也懂？我是新加坡人我自己都不知道），还有很多很多，仿佛比我还认识岛国。
Father Joe 也知道岛国刚换了总理，还问我李光耀在岛国还有多少影响力，还有，Alvin 也和我谈起有关岛国的种族问题，还有新马关系。天啊，这些人太厉害了，岛国这么小，他们却懂得这么多。换成是我，要我随口谈 Tony Blair 的政治作风，还是 British Pound 会不会也换成 Euro 等政治课题，我是做不到的。
Sunday, September 19, 2004
一年的时间其实很快就过去了。多几个小时又要坐飞机。我很喜欢坐 SQ322 的班机，因为时间很容易过，晚上 11 点多的班机，尽管要飞 13 多个小时，但上了飞机就吃饱饱，看电影，睡睡觉，不一会儿就抵达伦敦了。而且，因为时差的关系，飞机抵达伦敦正好是早上 6 点，自己好像因为时差赚到 7 个小时。到伦敦后，时间也很容易过，上课，读书，背包，旅行，不知不觉，一年的时间又将在我的指缝间溜走。因为如此，今年说再见仿佛很容易，也没有什么牵挂，比如昨天错过了 MAF 也没有什么遗憾。所以，顿时间的心情好像很徐志摩似的“挥一挥衣袖，不带走一片云彩。”
Saturday, September 18, 2004
*On another note, SPH has just decided to increase my monthly maintenance allowance cos PSC has revised theirs. So, I'll be getting 880 pounds per month, instead of 800 pounds. Now I won't have to eat bread everyday... :)
Friday, September 17, 2004
Thursday, September 16, 2004
A couple of days more before I say goodbye to summery Singapore.
To sum up this summer, the first time back home has been rather fruitful and fulfilling, though the weather is still unbearable. 7 weeks of internship at wanbao was rewarding with novel unforgettable experiences and extremely friendly and humane colleagues. Immediately after which was 2 weeks of YEP in the land of a thousand smiles. Like a friend had written, “This opportunity to travel abroad to challenge ourselves, to help a less fortunate community, to do something meaningful in summer was more than just that. New names and new faces forged lasting friendships, the revitalizing knowledge of a job well done due to the enthusiasm and hard work of every vital member.”
This YEP has certainly raised the possibility of volunteering in the hearts of many of us, which we hope to realise in the near future.
No serious travelling was done this summer though. This was my only regret.
Nevertheless, summer 2004 was a great one for me, which hopefully heralds the start of a great autumn as well.
(A short holiday to Paris or Prague before term starts will be great to start off the new academic year. Still contemplating… :p)
Monday, September 13, 2004
Saturday, September 11, 2004
Oh, this is getting exciting. I've just found another opportunity to volunteer. It's at Peru!!! The descriptions and pictures of Peru look extremly appealing. I suppose the Peru expedition should be better than the Nicaragua Project. Then besides volunteering at Peru, there's visiting the Amazon Forest and the Incan ruins, hiking the Inca trail to Machu Picchu (this is gorgeous, heard so much about it!!!), horseback riding, visiting the ruins of the Sacred Valley, crafting ceramic pots with local masters, and many other unique experiences.
But the whole trip costs over US$2000, not including the air ticket from London (or Singapore) to Peru/Lima/Cusco. And whether SPH allows and whether time permits and how to arrange my summer schedule to fit in my 2-month SPH internship are three huge problems.
I think I'll commence to solve the 1st problem by starting to eat bread when I'm back in London.
Friday, September 10, 2004
今天在黄城里开会，校园很是静谧。虽然因为放假而显得冷清，但在黄城游走还是很自在、很舒服。在 Coronation Plaza 的可爱鸡吃了午餐后，在外面的巴士站等 151 号巴士的时候，清风不断吹来，在炎炎夏日，很是凉爽。
之后，到了 NUS 的校园，死气沉沉，才呆不到 5 分钟，脑里的第一个以及唯一的念头，就是想急忙离开书局，离开国大。然后，还没有找到我要买的课本，就转身跑去巴士站等巴士逃离校园。在这片令人窒息的土地上，学生好像行尸走肉，校园里一丝风都没有。要我呆上多一秒种，不如干脆把我杀了算了。还好，我不是读国大的。
Thursday, September 09, 2004
I have been leading a reasonably happy life these few days. Carefree and laidback. Plain reading, watching Hong Kong drama series, cooking and eating. Didn't do anything constructive at all, cos the next few days will be productive. Will be going to the optician, roaming around the island for textbooks and food stuff, meeting people, packing my luggage, doing things I should have done blah blah blah. (btw, I should be giving this year's MAF a miss, since it's on the day before I fly back to London.)
Life in Singapore is ending pretty soon. Didn't eat much local food. Didn't visit as many places as I wanted to. Simply because of the humidity that makes me wanna coop at home and not go anywhere else. Looking forward to a much less humid and a much more favourable temperature in London (but not the dreary sky). Looking forward to green leaves turning crimson in Autumn. Looking forward to backpacking in the UK and Europe again...
It's strange now that I realise, I like travelling but I hate the process before it - packing. Facing my messy room and empty luggage, I need to get some serious work done. Argh...
Saturday, September 04, 2004
I should be writing something, since I've been very free and unoccupied.
Haven't been doing much lately. Not that I don't have things to do. But as usual, I've been procrastinating -- things that I have to do, things that I want to do, and things that I hope to do.
As a result, life has been dull and insipid.
I am actually looking forward to leaving Singapore, and to going back to London and Europe.
Not that Singapore is no good, but perhaps having been away for a year and then back again, I yearn for the freedom and independence that overseas life (and not the life here) has been able to provide me with.
Now I'm used to (and maybe prefer) doing things alone, staying alone, cooking alone, eating alone, travelling alone, studying alone, ***ing alone (whatever *** may be) etc.
Therefore, I feel uncomfortable and weird when my parents (or family) are monitoring me when I'm doing stuff.
Guess it's just the matter of getting used to people entering and exiting my life at different junctures in my life.
September is here already. My favourite season, Autumn, is nearing. It is the season of leaving again. Many people have left, and more are going off soon, including me.
Soon, it's an all new beginning. A whole new academic year ahead. Along with familiar places and familiar people come new courses, new events, new places, and new people.
And I just realised I'm always saying "Glad to've met you" to somebody I'm not at all glad I met. If you want to stay alive, you have to say that stuff, even though I find this to be kinda sad, kinda funny.
Well, the world you and I live in is a sad and mad one. No choice.
Enjoy Mad World by Gary Jules.
The words in bold are adapted from "The Catcher in the Rye" by J. D. Salinger.
by Gary Jules
All around me are familiar faces
Worn out places, worn out faces
Bright and early for their daily races
Going nowhere, going nowhere
Their tears are filling up their glasses
No expression, no expression
Hide my head I want to drown my sorrow
No tomorrow, no tomorrow
And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world mad world
Children waiting for the day they feel good
Happy Birthday, Happy Birthday
Made to feel the way that every child should
Sit and listen, sit and listen
Went to school and I was very nervous
No one knew me, no one knew me
Hello teacher tell me what's my lesson
Look right through me, look right through me
And I find it kinda funny
I find it kinda sad
The dreams in which I'm dying
Are the best I've ever had
I find it hard to tell you
I find it hard to take
When people run in circles
It's a very, very mad world ... world
Enlarge your world
Tuesday, August 31, 2004
I was reminded of the times in Thailand by the extant scars left by mosquitoes on my legs.
Those times were happy, carefree, laidback. The Thais' youthful insouciance struck me the most. No worries at all. Nothing to think about.
Just playing with the kids. Just deciding what to cook for lunch and dinner. Just playing cards among ourselves at night. Just staring at the sapphire sky and enjoying the occasional zephyr under the blazing sun. Just sipping ice Milo in the sweltering heat. Just sitting on Tuk Tuks and Song Teows, immersing ourselves in the "electrifying" rides...
Even plain working for the villagers was enough to make us ecstatic throughout the whole stay.
This was August for me and the whole YEP team. (And of course not forgetting the months involved preparing for the expedition.)
August has come to an end. Some of us have left for UK already. Most of us are going back in September. But none of us will forget August 2004, Khon Kaen and Non Thon.
We found what we can't find in the cities (London and Singapore) in this village. This experience has motivated all of us to excel in our studies and later contribute back to society in ways we are proficient in.
Hopefully I have the chance to go to Nicaragua for a similar project next year. Or maybe another Asian country will be great as well. Now I've something to look forward to. :)
Sunday, August 29, 2004
我们这群学生义工都是伦敦大学医学院新加坡留学生会（Singapore Medical Society London）的会员。今年是学会第二次把分散在英国各地的新加坡医科学生组织起来，在8月2日到15日之间，到泰国东北部的孔敬（Khon Kaen）的Non Thon村落进行社区服务。第一次是去年8月，地点是孔敬另一处的Lao Na Dee村落。
但是，为了安全起见，我们决定禁止整团吃鸡鸭肉。此外，领队也做足了一系列紧急措施，以应付禽流感病毒在村落传播开来的可能情况。活动的赞助者新加坡国际基金会（Singapore International Foundation）也提供了保险，以策安全。
我们这团人，虽然以伦敦大学5所医学院的新加坡学生为主，却也包括来自英国其他地区的新加坡学生。我们17人当中，就有人来自剑桥大学，甚至远至位于苏格兰的格拉斯哥大学（University of Glasgow）的医学院。
Wednesday, August 25, 2004
于是，今天到了 Orchard Road 走走。回来了要三个月了，还是不大认得 Orchard Road 的风景。其中，Cineleisure 的内部以及 Wisma Atria 的外部的改变最大。Paragon 也是。岛国的风景有了些许变化，但是还是很沉闷。只是普普通通的高楼大厦，并没有什么精彩可言。岛国的建筑没有 Berlin 和 Rotterdam 的精彩，或许比较能引起一点注意的是我们的 Esplanade 以及 Robertson Quay 附近的一些建筑物吧。
不过，我倒是挺期待 Duxton 的摩天组屋。好象有点看头。 期待喔……
Tuesday, August 24, 2004
Saturday, August 21, 2004
Friday, August 20, 2004
张雪玲输了，李佳薇对王楠的那场比赛，李佳薇当然不被看好。怎料，王楠大失水准，在比赛时根本没有发挥。我们轻松地赢了，完全靠的是运气。就好象 Ronald Susilo 苦战泰国的 Boonsak Ponsana长达49分钟的球赛，欠缺的就是运气，所以我们的 Ronald Susilo 最后败下阵来。
Wednesday, August 18, 2004
Monday, August 16, 2004
Arms of an Angel
by Sarah McLachlan
Spend all your time waiting for that second chance
For the break that will make it ok
There's always some reason to feel not good enough
And it's hard at the end of the day
I need some distraction oh beautiful release
Memories seep from my veins
They may be empty and weightless and maybe
I'll find some peace tonight
In the arms of an Angel fly away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
So tired of the straight line, and everywhere you turn
There's vultures and thieves at your back
The storm keeps on twisting, you keep on building the lies
That you make up for all that you lack
It don't make no difference, escaping one last time
It's easier to believe
In this sweet madness, oh this glorious sadness
That brings me to my knees
In the arms of an Angel far away from here
From this dark, cold hotel room, and the endlessness that you fear
You are pulled from the wreckage of your silent reverie
In the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
You're in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here
Sunday, August 15, 2004
Sunday, August 01, 2004
Tomorrow is the day. Finally. YEP. I'm finally going to YEP. I can't believe it. Feeling a bit surreal now. Yep!
This space will be stagnant for the next 14 days, but I'm sure there will be lots to write about when I come back from Khon Kaen, Thailand.
Sah Wah Di Khrub!
Friday, July 30, 2004
以为今天是工作的最后一天，不会有什么稿要写，结果大错特错。早上 ８ 点多一踏进新闻室，就被崇文叫出去采访，后来这则新闻做了很大，有半版这么大。然后，下午又叫我出去采访另一则无聊新闻，还拍了电视。 既然是最后一天了，也就无所谓。后来，没有时间填写 payroll，evaluation form，transport claim form，结果得托人帮我交给 AA。
Thursday, July 29, 2004
Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Coffee has absolutely no effects on me since ages ago. So I've started to increase my coffee intake recently. A cup of mocha in the morning, and another cup of Nescafe after lunch have no effects at all. I still feel drowsy. I might resort to drinking shots of incredibly powerful espressos.
But I hope that I won't need to get caffeine tablets.
Monday, July 26, 2004
那天，投票定名后，报馆里很多校友都很激动。昨天，电视组找我访问，我马上拒绝了，结果被致颖说我一点都不爱校。情绪是复杂的，尽管只是短短两年的学习生活而已。很多人都会赞同，华初在他们的生活中占了多么重要的位置，何止三言两语能够说尽，于是拒绝访问或许是最理想的做法吧。这个星期六的校庆，同事还会追问校名的事，毕竟 270 名校友投票有多大的代表性，实在很令我们质疑。星期六，我们都会在黄城里出现。
Sunday, July 25, 2004
我和 Donald 和 Julius 到 Geylang 去吃螃蟹，吃完后我们特意经过流莺出没的地方。结果，是一连串的惊喜。流莺的数目比我们想象中的还多。什么类型都有。想起 Amsterdam 的红灯区，但是 Geylang 的情景还是有点闷，没什么精彩可言。Amsterdam 就精彩得很多，不过在岛国出现这么多流莺，我倒是有点意外。无论在哪里，这些流莺都是有组织的。要将她们赶尽杀绝恐怕是不可能的任务。人都是有需要的，这点无法否认。
Saturday, July 24, 2004
Friday, July 23, 2004
Thursday, July 22, 2004
Everybody is back home liao. Everybody is going to do masters. I feel really honoured (and pressurised) to have such friends. Ha. Really makes me wonder where I'll do mine (provided if I can make it first).
Met H.M. at office today as well. Feel really happy for her (and shocked as well) that she got a first class in Psych. *Whoa.* And she secured a PHD place (to do Psych) in Cambridge as well. *Whoa.* But obviously she can't do the PHD. Damn SPH refused to let her continue to do masters in Psych, so PHD wasn't even in the picture. So she'll be doing something that SPH approves of. This sux man. But the course is at Stanford, so its another story. *Whoa again*.
So I dun think I can continue with Masters in Psych as well. So what's the point of me doing Psych now? Maybe I should just start preparing for GRE, and writing my CV now.
Wednesday, July 21, 2004
Met Xinying and Leng Tuan for the first time back home in office today. Talked about Peking University, China and its education system. Our conversation made me rethink the possibility of me going to China, or more specifically PKU to do Masters. The Beijing they told me about doesn't seem to fit my memory of Beijing at all. All of a sudden, China doesn't seem appealing anymore. Perhaps, U.S. is a better choice. Or maybe Taiwan. Don't think I wanna continue to stay in London for Masters.
(I still can't imagine myself writing my CV in Chinese.)
Tuesday, July 20, 2004
Saturday, July 17, 2004
Friday, July 16, 2004
Thursday, July 15, 2004
We are not only learning Basic Thai, but also professional medical terms in Thai as well. Today is our 2nd lesson in Singapore, not much time left to master the language, though we are supposed to already have 3 lessons in London. And I always forget what I learnt. Don't think the Thai villagers will ever understand me. It isn't easy, but we aren't giving up. :)
Tuesday, July 13, 2004
这个《玻璃圈》系列报道引起的反响实在不小。很多读者拨打热线，也有读者电邮我们。甚至其他报纸，例如 The New Paper 也说我们很大胆（他们今天自己也写了一篇关于同志教堂的新闻）。我们始终没有公布我们记者的身份，本来是要放 by-line 的，后来想到后续结果可能会很严重，所以临时不放 by-line 了，主任也下了命令说任何人都不可以透露我们两个人的身份，公布之后我们肯定会被同志围殴。结果，后果真的比我们想象的还厉害。网上甚至出现了抵制《联合晚报》大行动，可见我国的同志社群实在不小。我也没有想到会有这么多同志会买/看华文报，甚至用华文提出反驳的言论。新闻见报以后，已经有这么大的反响，但是我想还会有更出乎意料的后续发展等着我们。
Monday, July 12, 2004
...watch "Spiderman 2" and many other movies.
...meet up with people I haven't seen for a year.
...talk to people I haven't talked to for the past year.
...visit places in my country that I haven't been for a year.
...eat local food that I haven't had the chance to eat even though I am back for 5 weeks already.
...go to Kinokuniya and sit there for one whole day.
...drink a cup of cappucino at Coffee Club in a lazy afternoon.
...go to East Coast Park and see the sunrise.
...try the reverse bungee jumping at Clarke Quay.
...go on a photography night tour again.
...go to Equinox and stare at my country's night scenery again.
...go up to Benjamin Sheares Bridge and sleep there again.
...lie on the road in front of Supreme Court again.
...go backpacking again.
BUT I have neither time nor energy. Have you?
We almost got into Equinox's New Asia Bar. It's a high class bar so no outside food is allowed. Wanted to celebrate TS's birthday there, so naturally we brought a cake with us. The waitress saw the cake and said to us, "You can't eat outside food inside the bar. You can sing the birthday song, blow the candles, cut the cake, but you cannot eat the cake." How nice...
So we moved to Esplanade's Max Brenner's Chocolote Bar. The same thing happened there, and the waitress added, "You have to pay 10 bucks to eat your cake here." Fabulous...
So this is Singapore's high-class customer service.
Sunday, July 11, 2004
以前他们在东海岸胡搞(现在好像还是)，两年前他们转到 Bugis 附近的坟场狂欢，最近又再转移阵地，到舒适豪华甚至高级的纵欲场所胡搞。
Saturday, July 10, 2004
昨天晚上和 JC 的朋友在 Far East Square 吃晚餐后，已经在回家的路途中，然后在 Bedok 巴士转换站接到 Donald 的简讯，问我要不要立刻去 Esplanade 的Harry's Bar 喝酒。他从来没有这样 last minute 约我出去的习惯，更何况当时已经是晚上11点半了。所以，我100% 肯定有不对劲的事了。
结果，我回家洗把脸后，又溜出家门，搭 taxi 到 Esplanade。最后到处都很多人，Embargo 满座，Equinox 排长龙。於是，我们决定搭 taxi 到东海岸。
已经做好这样的准备，我带了一瓶1000公升的 Absolut Mandrin，说我们两人今晚一人喝一半。结果，Vodka 里头的 40%酒精很快流入我们的血液中。在这之前，我们也在一间 pub 里各自喝了一杯鸡尾酒。
Thursday, July 08, 2004
昨天下午，去采访一则新闻，结果不但碰壁，还被骂到狗血淋头，现在想起来觉得很啼笑皆非。当事人不肯接受访问，直截了当跟我说：“I have no comments.”好的，不肯接受访问，我不能强迫她。当然，我们也不能这样回去交差，於是摄影同事就继续拍录像。女当事人就急急忙忙从房间里跑了出来，找我谈判。双方对峙，不肯让步。她骂一句，我顶回一句，摄影同事继续拍录像。她说什么：“你没有权力拍我的地方！我认识很多律师！我要告你！”我们在她的地盘外拍摄，所以我们并没有错，但是她霹雳扒拉了许久，我受不了，於是决定离开现场。之后，她对我们说：“你们三个大男人（我，摄影同事，还有司机），哪里可以欺负我一个女人！？”我心里暗骂：“臭女人，去死吧！我不稀罕你这则小新闻。”
Monday, July 05, 2004
Sunday, July 04, 2004
Saturday, July 03, 2004
Friday, July 02, 2004
Thursday, July 01, 2004
Psychologists have been studying the existence of engrams or memory traces, meaning that if they do exist, selected bits of memory can be erased. I myself do not believe in engrams, and hence I do not think that memory can be obliterated. But then again, experiments on animals and even human beings have shown that memory can be erased, which in turn suggest the existence of engrams.
On the other hand, memory can be implanted artificially through hypnosis and reconstructive or constructive memory. So, this again supports the possibility of the existence of engrams. In short, current research on engrams is still at a preliminary stage though such research has been conducted for decades.
Anyway, this is a great movie. I am glad that I didn't miss it.
Wednesday, June 30, 2004
Tuesday, June 29, 2004
大花证券 王董 四月六日”
Monday, June 28, 2004
(1) Concealed my identity and went into the den alone to satisfy my curiosity. Reports should be out on the papers soon. I'm glad nothing happened to me. I'm proud of myself. Ha.
(2) Went undercover and called a prostitue to get some data. They are really careful after the series of reports recently. Disgusted.
(3) Saw blood stains for the first time, when handling an accident in which an unknown male fell to his death from an HDB apartment.
Sunday, June 27, 2004
Saturday, June 26, 2004
我并不认识她，怎么想也想不明白为什么一个年龄还不到 30 岁的学姐（她是我的圣公会学姐，也是报馆海外奖学金得主）会选择这种方式，突然离开。8 年的 bond 都好象还没有满。
我已经不是第一次知道有报馆的人自杀了，前几年也有一个 Straits Times 的 scholar 自杀。
记者的生活是很 stressful 的，这点无可否认。昨天，又有同事跟我说，你在报馆工作一天所见的世面，等于你同辈的人做其他工作的三倍。换句话说，做记者比同辈做其他工作，会“老”、“成熟”得更快。这是好，还是坏？
Friday, June 25, 2004
Thursday, June 24, 2004
昨天早上，去了勿洛水池路的湿巴刹采访。巴刹凌晨被火神光顾，很多摊位被烧毁。对我而言，这只不过是另一次普普通通的火患罢了，又没有人命伤亡，我想我真的已经 desensitise 了。
Wednesday, June 23, 2004
Tuesday, June 22, 2004
Monday, June 21, 2004
Saturday, June 19, 2004
My job is getting more and more exciting. This is the first piece of news story that I am actually getting excited about. I will be concealing my identity as a journalist and entering the lion's den. I'm really glad that the supervisor is giving me such a great chance. Can't reveal any more details now. Shall update more when my mission is accomplished. :)
(Obviously I'm not doing this alone.)
Friday, June 18, 2004
Thursday, June 17, 2004
Wednesday, June 16, 2004
今天一天内跑了四个地方：mortuary、Sengkang、Sembawang，还有 Bishan Junction 8，全都是意外。我们第一个问的问题就是：“有没有人死掉（或者受伤）？”是冷酷，是无情，习惯就好。要问这样的问题实在不容易。
其中印象最深刻的是，采访一名 14 岁男孩去年圣诞节被一名年仅 16 岁的青年泼汽油，然后点火导致全身烧伤，看到他，满身都是伤，很是心酸，毕竟只不过是个 14 岁的年轻小伙子。
（今天有了两个第一：第一个 by-line 上电视，还有第一个 by-line 见报，虽然我得承认我的部分做的不多。 ）
Tuesday, June 15, 2004
今天下午采访了一个 74 岁患有重病，左眼瞎的老婆婆。她述说她与女儿失散，还有被女儿骗，还有离婚又与人同居的故事时，是一把鼻涕一把眼泪的。我们问着听着，她哭得越伤心，平面和电视摄影记者拍得越起劲。后来，我们发现她的故事并不很有震撼力，只能做平面报道，不能上优频道。新闻就是这样现实，这样残酷。我想我没有必要学习如何不让情绪影响工作，因为经过几次的实习，我肯定即使对方哭到有多惨，我也能在访问时，挖完所有资料也不会有丝毫的感情。当然，访问完后，那是另一回事。
（我的第一个 by-line 应该会在这几天见报。）
Monday, June 14, 2004
回报馆也是超现实的。有些人还在，有些人退休了，有些人跳到新传媒，有些是新面孔。Newsroom 则没有多大变化。今天第一天没有写到任何字，没有译到任何篇章，简单的来说，完全没有用到脑。不过，我知道这样闲空的日子只有今天而已。现在开始期待日后可能将面对的惊险和刺激，比如明天去警方记者会，还有后天去 mortuary （验尸房）。
我就知道主任会问我有没有看足球，所以为了避免招惹不必要的额外负担，我跟他说只要是 sports 我都不看。这样就轻易逃过晚上追球，隔天早上赶稿的痛苦。不过，England 对垒 France，的确有点可惜。Portugal 那场也是。
刚刚打电话回伦敦询问第一年的 provisional 考试成绩是不期望会听到什么好消息的，毕竟知道自己今年不很努力。结果，从电话的另一端却传来 "all courses average 1st class"。有点莫名其妙。或许是自己听错。一个月后等正式的 transcript 来再说吧。
Sunday, June 13, 2004
Thursday, June 10, 2004
Wednesday, June 09, 2004
回国真的有种超现实的感觉。一切很熟悉，却仿佛跟自己毫无瓜葛。有些东西没变。有些东西看起来没变，其实却在我离开的 9 个月中缓缓地在变，不很明显，但还是变了。有些东西则是全新的，从来没看过，象我家附近的几座公寓。
昨天首次出门到市区 (Bugis)，是心惊胆跳的。怕出门，因为我真的忘记怎样搭巴士和地铁，怎样用 ezlink。甚至提款时，也忘记原来这里的密码是六个号码，而不是伦敦的四个号码。但是，岛国的交通费还真的很便宜。
这个玩意儿这里叫做 handphone（在伦敦叫做 mobile），而且岛国的人还是很喜欢发 SMS（在伦敦叫做 text）。我已经有一段时间没用简讯，习惯直接打电话，比较快，且直接。实在懒得浪费时间输入简讯。
还有，或许要在自动扶梯 "Please Keep Left" 的牌子上，加上 "Offenders, Fine $1000"，岛国的人才会乖乖守秩序。国人依旧被动。
前几天，岛国的白云蓝天确实很漂亮，但空气还是很潮湿。还没适应，只能一天冲三次凉，忍受潮湿的空气。伦敦的天气则是天天 gloomy and dreary，但温度很舒服。没有一个地方是十全十美的。
很久没有看到像现在这样的大雨滂沱。很久没有听到打雷，很久没有看到闪电。伦敦是没有 thunderstorm 的，所以现在感觉很爽。
已经三天了，以为已经摆脱 jetlag 的蹂躏，却仍然和它纠缠不清。或许还需要多几天的时间。
（我现在很想坐在 Takashimaya 的 Coffee Club 一整个下午，喝杯 cappucino，看几米的书，还有看街上的岛国人。）
Tuesday, June 08, 2004
I'm slowly adapting to the temperatures now. Still suffocating though. Went out to get some stuff settled and perspired like mad. Don't think I'm stepping out of my house these few days. Rejected a primary school gathering tonight (Sorry! I'm still suffering from jetlag. Next time bah!)
(My luggage has been found after 36 hours. Finally.)
Sunday, June 06, 2004
心不在焉看了 《21 Grams》 和《魔幻厨房》，结果看到不知道戏在演些什么。或许也是因为昏昏欲睡，只睡了一个小时，然后逼自己醒来试图调整生理时钟。
昨天，到达 Heathrow 看到飞机上的那红白星月国旗，还真的兴奋了好一会儿。还有，终於在九个月后首次听到有人（当然是新加坡人）正确地念出我的 surname，暗自爽了几分钟。现在听孙燕姿的“The Moment”专辑，还有 3 小时 44 分钟，3231 公里，已经飞了大概 7600 公里。
在 Bay of Bengal 上空
飞机从 Phuket 一路颠簸到 Langkawi ，跳了好几次，跟我一样兴奋，还有一小时。
然后入境后，check-in 的行李不见了，他妈的。现在一点心情都没有，请别惹我。Jetlag 来了，我现在要睡觉。他妈的。
Saturday, June 05, 2004
其实，早在两天前就已经在互联网上 check-in。可以做的都做了。只担心行李会超过 30 公斤。
所以，这次已经决定在 SQ 319 上要看什么电影，要玩什么游戏，要喝什么饮料，要坐哪个位置，要读什么书。
（倒数 4 小时）
Out of the 5 stages, I've experienced all of the first four phases. The fifth one is definitely coming soon. (Read the article below to know more about the 5 distinct stages of culture shock.)
Here's what some other people (from US) wrote about reverse culture shock:
“Basically, this consists of feeling out of place in your own country, or experiencing a sense of disorientation. While everything is familiar, you feel different. Even walking through the airport and hearing American English spoken can be a very surreal experience.”
“My year abroad was a great adventure. It became a 24-hour-a-day obsession to take advantage of where I was, the time I had, and the people with whom I lived. I had never been so continuously stimulated intellectually and personally. It was a letdown to return home.”
“I think that some people feel intimidated because they don’t understand the experiences I’ve had. They don’t know where I’m coming from and can’t grasp how it would be to live somewhere else.”
“I was so much more critical of things that are considered normal in the US once I had adapted to another culture that did things differently. When I was overseas, I ate differently, I looked at time differently, I socialized and studied differently. Once I arrived in America, I felt as though I really didn’t have a home culture anymore.”
I'm actually looking forward to experiencing the last stage. I'm giving myself 7 days to re-adapt to the weather and to recover from my jetlag and 1 whole month to get out of reverse culture shock. Being away for 9 months isn't short.
CULTURE SHOCK: A FISH OUT OF WATER
Written by Elaine Addison
Kalvero Oberg was one of the first writers to identify five distinct stages of culture shock in 1958. He found that all human beings experience the same feelings when they travel to or live in a different country or culture. He found that culture shock is almost like a disease: it has a cause, symptoms, and a cure.
Whenever someone travels overseas they are like "a fish out of water." Like the fish, they have been swimming in their own culture all their lives. A fish doesn't think about what water it is in. Likewise, we often do not think too much about the culture we are raised in. Our culture helps to shape our identity. Many of the cues of interpersonal communication (body language, words, facial expressions, tone of voice, idioms, slang) are different in different cultures. One of the reasons that we feel like a fish out of water when we enter a new culture, is that we do not know all of the cues that are used in the new culture.
Psychologists tell us that there are five distinct phases (or stages) of culture shock. It is important to understand that culture shock happens to all people who travel abroad, but some people have much stronger reactions than others.
STAGE 1: HONEYMOON PHASE
During the first few days of a person's stay in a new country, everything usually goes fairly smoothly. The newcomer is excited about being in a new place where there are new sights and sounds, new smells and tastes. The newcomer may have some problems, but usually accepts them as just part of the newness. They may find themselves staying in hotels or with a home-stay family that is excited to meet the foreign stranger. The newcomer may find that "the red carpet" has been rolled out and they may be taken to restaurants, movies and tours of the sights. The new acquaintances may want to take the newcomer out to many places and "show them off." This first stage of culture shock is called the "honeymoon phase."
STAGE 2: REJECTION PHASE
Unfortunately, this honeymoon phase often comes to an end fairly soon. The newcomer has to deal with transportation problems (buses that don't come on time), shopping problems (can't buy their favorite foods) or communication problems (just what does "Chill out, dude." mean?). It may start to seem like people no longer care about your problems. They may help, but they don't seem to understand your concern over what they see as small problems. You might even start to think that the people in the host country don't like foreigners.
This may lead to the second stage of culture shock, known as the "rejection phase." The newcomer may begin to feel aggressive and start to complain about the host culture/country. It is important to recognize that these feelings are real and can become serious. This phase is a kind of crisis in the 'disease' of culture shock. It is called the "rejection" phase because it is at this point that the newcomer starts to reject the host country, complaining about and noticing only the bad things that bother them. At this stage the newcomer either gets stronger and stays, or gets weaker and goes home (physically, mentally or both).
STAGE 3: REGRESSION PHASE
If you don't survive stage two successfully, you may find yourself moving into stage three: the "regression phase." The word "regression" means moving backward, and in this phase of culture shock, you spend much of your time speaking your own language, watching videos from your home country, eating food from home. You may also notice that you are moving around campus or around town with a group of students who speak your own language. You may spend most of this time complaining about the host country/culture.
Also in the regression phase, you may only remember the good things about your home country. Your homeland may suddenly seem marvelously wonderful; all the difficulties that you had there are forgotten and you may find yourself wondering why you ever left (hint: You left to learn English!). You may now only remember your home country as a wonderful place in which nothing ever went wrong for you. Of course, this is not true, but an illusion created by your culture shock 'disease.'
STAGE 4: RECOVERY PHASE
If you survive the third stage successfully (or miss it completely) you will move into the fourth stage of culture shock called the "recovery phase" or the "at-ease-at-last phase." In this stage you become more comfortable with the language and you also feel more comfortable with the customs of the host country. You can now move around without a feeling of anxiety. You still have problems with some of the social cues and you may still not understand everything people say (especially idioms). However, you are now 90% adjusted to the new culture and you start to realize that no country is that much better than another - it is just different lifestyles and different ways to deal with the problems of life.
With this complete adjustment, you accept the food, drinks, habits and customs of the host country, and you may even find yourself preferring some things in the host country to things at home. You have now understood that there are different ways to live your life and that no way is really better than another, just different. Finally, you have become comfortable in the new place.
It is important to remember that not everyone experiences all the phases of culture shock. It is also important to know that you can experience all of them at different times: you might experience the regression phase before the rejection phase, etc. You might even experience the regression phase on Monday, the at ease phase on Tuesday, the honeymoon phase on Wednesday, and the rejection phase again on Thursday. What will Friday be like?
STAGE 5: REVERSE CULTURE SHOCK
Much later, you may find yourself returning to your homeland and -guess what? - you may find yourself entering the fifth phase of culture shock. This is called "reverse culture shock" or "return culture shock" and occurs when you return home. You have been away for a long time, becoming comfortable with the habits and customs of a new lifestyle and you may find that you are no longer completely comfortable in your home country. Many things may have changed while you were away and it may take a little while to become at ease with the cues and signs and symbols of your home culture.
Reverse culture shock can be very difficult. There is a risk of sickness or emotional problems in many of the phases of culture shock. Remember to be kind to yourself all the time that you are overseas, and when you get home. Give yourself time to adjust. Be your own best friend. If you do these things you will be a much stronger person. If you do these things, congratulations, you will be a citizen of the world!
（倒数 14 小时）
从一个小小小小的岛国，来到大大大大的伦敦，转变非常大，而且没有时间让你慢慢调整。好象心理学家 William James 在十七世纪时，形容婴儿出世后面对新世界所说的 "in a buzzing blooming confusion"。
我记得，我是在清晨五点半抵达伦敦，在 Heathrow 等了老半天，到了中午才等到我的 Minicab 司机。他妈的。
我记得，我的第一餐是 Tesco 的 water cress and egg sandwich，自从那次之后，就发誓再也不会吃同样的 sandwich。实在难下肚，而且价钱一磅多（新币三块多），还是我当时找到最便宜的晚餐。
我记得，我 jetlag 前前后后 lag 了整整三天。很奇怪，乘搭 SQ 322 by right 是不会 lag 的，偏偏我就 lag 了三天。或许是因为在飞机上睡得不够。
我记得，第一次踏出宿舍，自己一个人从 Camden 走路到 Tottenham Court Road 的 Tube Station 和 LT 会面，为了省钱，当时没有搭 Tube，也没有伦敦地图，就凭着知觉，在大城市中迷了路，还绕了 Regent's Park 一整圈（Regent's Park 的面积跟海德公园有的比）。原本只需四十分钟左右的路程，结果前后却花了我一个小时半。
（我还记得有一次去 LT 的家，为了省钱，我竟然从 Camden 走路到 Tower Bridge，前后花了两个小时多，现在觉得自己当时是发疯了。请注意，Camden 在伦敦西北部，Tower Bridge 在东部，乘搭 Tube 也需要至少半个钟头的车程。就好象从 Bedok 走路到 Raffles City 一样。）
我记得，抵达伦敦的首三天，没有棉被，没有 duvet，只有我从新加坡带来的枕头，LT 带我去 Tottenham Court 的 Argos 买，duvet 已经断货，晚上睡觉冷到半死，冷了三晚，结果在 Camden 的 Argos 买到了床单和 duvet，高兴地不得了。
（我实在同情岛国的大学生们，尤其是 NUS 的学生。自从施ＸＸ教授掌权之后，我就一直 condemn 他。他是怎么做校长的嘛？）
Friday, June 04, 2004
Thursday, June 03, 2004
All flights in UK (I initially thought only England was affected) were grounded today early morning due to a glitch in the computer system at a control centre near London. Flight delays, disruptions, cancellations...
Operations are resuming now though.
Hope nothing goes wrong this Saturday. I already had a very bad experience at Schizpol Airport (Amsterdam) a few months ago. Flight disruptions aren't fun at all and they disrupt every single other plan.
I don't want to get stranded at Heathrow. Please.
（倒数 2 天）
前几天，再次去了 Camden Market，还有终于去了 Notting Hill 和 Portobello Market，看到了 Hugh Grant 在戏里的世界。又去了 Four Seasons 花了 15 英磅 （45 新币）吃了全世界最好吃的鸭饭……又想起初到伦敦的震撼：以往只能在 Monopoly 游戏看到的地名，竟然全部在眼睛前跳跃，像 Trafalgar Square, Mayfair, Park Lane, Oxford Street, Bond Street 等等等。曾经的殷切向往，已经变成彩色真实，然后转换成黑白记忆。
（我还想去看一下夏天的海德公园，还有 River Thames。）