Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Musical journey (59)

I am now back in Singapore for two weeks or so and whenever I am back, I always get an initial mini culture shock and it takes a few days to get used to everything. That is of course totally understandable as I have left this tiny red dot for seven years now. Yes, this month marks my 7th anniversary of my relocation to Australia (actual anniversary date was yesterday) and you know what people always say about the 7th year right? Yes, the 7th year itch. When my current work contract ends in Papua New Guinea (most likely by the end of 2015), if there is still no work for me back at the Melbourne office, Ision and I might have to move elsewhere (London was the original plan but it seems that the low oil price also affected the amount of work available there). So there you go, the 7th year itch is happening for real... maybe.

So how does this 7th anniversary tie in to this month's musical post you might wonder. My first actual stay in Australia was back in 2001 during my six-month exchange program with the University of New South Wales in Sydney. Those six months of culture shock still resonates within me up till today. For instance, I really couldn't identify with the drinking culture and the brazen rowdiness in Australian youths as if the public around them didn't matter. I found it so hard back then to have to fake my way through social events whilst trying my utmost to immerse myself into the version of the Australian culture that was presented in front of me. I wanted the most out of the exchange program but I ended up being quite miserable. That was when I wrote the song I am sharing in this post. Read through the English translation to get a taste of what I felt back in 2001, a time when I literally still did not know what the word "bogan" meant. In case you don't know what it means too, they are fully-featured in the music clip to give you an idea how spine-tingling it will be if you are trapped in the same room as them.

Fast forward 14 years (gosh!) and I am still facing the same problem sometimes. Take my time in PNG for example when I often have to fake my friendliness so that the day can get by normally. When night time comes after dinner, that is when I truly have my space back to myself, when I can cast my mask to a corner and be who I want to be. Alas I have to pick that mask back up and wear it the next day. Also, what about the teenagers running amok on public transport showing no respect to everyone else? That version of Australian culture I saw in 2001 seems to be still alive and kicking today.

That's enough whingeing for now. Tell me what you feel about the song if you have ever felt alone and alienated in a foreign culture despite trying your best to fit in.


词 / 曲 : 锦泉





[I Can't Bear to Watch This Any Longer]

I have long grown sick of listening to words with meaning as thin as skin
When will their mouths awaken from their slumber in the junkyard?
Enjoying the peace and quiet of being alone late at night
When I can temporarily lose the mask tied to my face in my thoughts

In every warm hug and friendly greeting
Resides the sincere disdain emanating from their eyes
As I watch the show with glee
I see their silent lies fooling no one else but themselves

Why isn't everything as rosy as what I had imagined?
Why am I still here putting up with the smirk written on their faces?
I really want to wake them up and advise them not to continue torturing themselves
But I am still not tired of this one-man show playing in front of my eyes

They display their daft behaviour for me and everyone else to see
Can they not present themselves with more intellect and class?
I think they should be given more time so that they can waste another century
Too bad I have now expended all my sympathy and can't bear to watch this any longer

br />

Monday, June 15, 2015

Mummy in Melbourne again (part 2)

You might think that my love of being in front of the camera is a little extreme but I can tell you that I inherited that trait from my mum! She LOVES to take selfies and she takes it to a further extreme than me (if you have a chance to look at the pictures in her mobile you will understand). I hope she never gets her hands on a selfie-stick! That was why when we went sightseeing, I knew the best way to please her was to take a lot of pictures of her. I am glad we went to the scenic places that really managed to satisfy her camera-lust. Of course I had to be in those pictures as well—this is why I will be dedicating a separate post for the snaps she took of me at the Hot Springs. Hahaha.

Also, it looks like my mum and I will be taking more pictures of ourselves soon when I head back to Singapore in less than a week's time for her 70th birthday celebration as well as another VERY important event. For now, please enjoy the second part of my time with mummy dearest in Melbourne (first part is here).

Part one of the pictures taken during my Mum's first trip to a proper hot spring today. It's hard to find someone who loves to be in front of the camera as much as me! And this person is none other than Mummy dearest! — at Peninsula Hot Springs.

Here is the second part of the hot spring snaps. Hands up if you think we look great in them! We are both feeling so blissfully relaxed now... — at Peninsula Hot Springs.

Last stop before dinner - more picture-taking at the scenic Cape Schank. Our tummies are growling now and I think Korean might be a good idea for tonight. — at Cape Schank.

Ision doesn't think too highly of this place and he only realised this AFTER pestering me to take him here, and I did tonight, along with Mum. — with Ision Ensor at Oriental Spoon.

After a gym workout, the best thing to reward yourself is with dim sum. There are only two of us today sans Ision as he's feeling under the weather. We could have tried more items if he were here. Well at least Mum got her wish to yum cha this trip. — at Crystal Jade Restaurant.

Yet another of mum's market-exploration days, this time to one she's never been to before. Since there are more markets in Melbourne than Sydney and she loves markets, I can safely assume she prefers Melbourne to Sydney. But I'm not too sure if we take weather into consideration. — at South Melbourne Market.

Enroute to the Twelve Apostles. Lunching and soaking in the sights in the meantime. — at Apollo Bay Main Beach.

Happy snaps from our Great Ocean Road trip this afternoon. I've been here many times but I guess the important thing is Mum got to enjoy herself today. — at Great Ocean Road.

Another superb Great Ocean Road photo-taking location was what we needed and that was what we got. The tide came in to wet both our shoes but the pictures that resulted from our venture were so worth it! — at Loch Ard Gorge.

Mum finally found her favourite dish this trip - Thai glass noodle seafood salad (first dish pictured). What a satisfying meal! — at Ghin Khao.

Years of housewifery have perfected Mum's shopping and bargaining skills at the market. Looking forward to the feast tonight! By the way, shopping includes groceries AND wigs. — at Queen Victoria Markets.

One happy family. Our last meal together in a little while. As autumn grows on us, what better home-cooked meal is there other than hotpot?

10 days flew by so fast and now that she is on her way back to Singapore, I've got to prepare for my own flight back to work. I hope she has truly enjoyed her stay this time. I will see you again very soon Mummy. — at Melbourne International Airport Mel International Departures.

Monday, June 8, 2015

Mummy in Melbourne again (part 1)

On the last day of my Singapore trip over Chinese New Year, my mum and I took off together for the first time for an overseas trip. Well it was going back home to Melbourne for me but it was considered a holiday for my mum. Although this was not her first time there, the difference was I could devote all my time to her unlike the last time when I had to leave her at home while I went to work (quite a nasty thing to do actually). For those ten days, we went sightseeing and did all the touristy stuff. It was a first time for me travelling in an Australian tour group (it felt nice not having to worry about transport but it also meant very compressed schedules).
In a series of Facebook posts, I made sure all of my friends knew what I was doing with my mum. For those not in my friend's list, here is part one of what happened.

Boo's cooking is going to get a taste test by my mummy. Will he pass the test???

Walkabout in the city with Mum today. Looks like she enjoyed herself.
Another day of shopping and eating with mummy dearest... and you can't help but recommend great Vietnamese when you have guests visiting Melbourne! — at Mekong Vietnamese Pho Noodle House.
First stop - getting friendly with alpacas at a woollen mill. — at Creswick Woollen Mills.
Next stop - Ballarat Botanical Gardens. Black swans are all the hype. — at Ballarat Botanical Gardens.
Third spot of the day - chasing the golden dream at Sovereign Hill. This is truly the highlight of today's tour. Looks like whoring for the camera runs in the family! — at Sovereign Hill.
So many pictures from our short trip to Sovereign Hill today. How can there only be one post? — at Sovereign Hill.
Last stop of the day - a winery. This post features only my mum. Hope she had as much fun touring as she did having her pictures taken. — at St. Anne's Winery - Myrniong.
I am so glad Mum got to experience the bustling Melbourne night life. Boy I am so full now! — at The Night Market.
Another day of touring. First stop - Mum's photo shoot amongst the lavender bushes. — at Ashcombe Maze & Lavender Gardens.
Next stop - munching on self-picked strawberries. It's my first time picking them at a farm! — at Sunny Ridge Strawberry Farm.
Lunch and coffee stop amongst the pesky seagulls. The bay view is great though! — at Sorrento Beach On The Mornington Peninsula.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Musical journey (58)

For my May musical post (posted on the first day of June due to technical issues), I will be sharing a live clip I did on the night when I crashed my friend's gig at a pub in downtown Orchard Road (here is a picture I took that night). Gig-crashing has become a holiday-back-home tradition and I always look forward to it as it is the only chance I can truly enjoy performing in front of an audience. Of course this trip back to Singapore wouldn't be complete without it.

This video features "Yellow" by Coldplay. I know this song is quite over-sung but I don't have a wide English pop repertoire and I had to make do with it due to a lack of preparation typical of gig-crashes. I felt so high after the song and I hope you can see from the clip how much I enjoyed my short time on stage that night.

Hopefully this musical post will end the entire series on a good note (the previous four parts can be found here, here, here and here). I SO look forward to my next Singapore trip in les than 3 weeks' time!