29 October 2013


Henry Wadsworth Longfellow advises, "the best thing one can do when it's raining is to let it rain." I absolutely have no problem with that!

One childhood memory I remember to this day is that afternoon when playmates were out playing basket ball in the rain. Afraid I would get sick, my overprotective mother made me stay indoors. She allowed our dog and even the house help to play. I watched them by the window have the frolic of their lives through tears as torrential as the rain that was pouring, my heart broken.

As an adult an opportunity to stand in the rain presented itself to me in a national park. Seizing it with a vengeance, I found that rain was a natural hair conditioner. But more significantly, I didn't get sick. Did you hear that, Ma? In fact I felt the opposite.

I love chanting, "be still sad heart and cease repining, behind the clouds the sun is still shining. Thy fate is the common fate of all. Into each life some rain must fall. Some days must be dark and dreary."

Is something weird going on with me or what? Why, when the skies show signs of rain, I feel excited like a child who has just been given a dream toy. Rain switches me to a happy mood. The world is so right!

Through FB trending I learned there's a name for people like me. I am a -

"Ta-ta, it looks like rain..."

And rain it did

The neighbor's mango trees and blossoms survive a storm

One sniff of rain and I'm a chicken off to roost in her coop...err...5th floor apartment

Come on, rain. Bring it on!

This parking lot becomes a little lake when it pours non-stop for three hours. Perfect spot for floating paper boats.

Pitter-patter on and off? Ah... tea is served on the porch.

25 October 2013

October charm

It's weekend! Time to share joys and faves:

i. How I love autumn! I had so much fun putting together autumn scenes and quotes despite never actually having seen the season for real.

ii. Check out my ABC chocolate- a gift from a girl friend on my birthday. It's too pretty to eat, which is good so then I avoid too much sugar.

iii. Would you believe I got the ceramic plate for only 32 cents? I imagine it would look fab with a slice of Black Forest or Red Velvet on it.

iv. And here's Agalico - a quiet English tea room not far from where I live. It was wonderful savoring the charm while waiting for someone who joined me for tea.

v. As a fan of Japanese cuisine, I explore restaurants from time to time. It's Honmoni Sushi this week where I tried their saba in teriyake sauce. The set includes miso soup, vegetable salad, egg and tofu, and pickled zucchini. Delicious.

Linking to - Fave Five, Picture Clusters, Share the Joy

15 October 2013

Too late and too early

Red flags. It's not easy when no one at work tells you (i.e. translate) what's going on. I knew though I was walking past an activity that was almost finished.

On with the walk.  I waited a bit for this rainbow jar to gurgle. Nothing. Then I realized it wasn't evening yet. The fountain was on night duty only. At least I got a few trees and a couple buildings on her shiny wide neck.

11 October 2013

Chakri Naruebet

"What is a newlywed like you doing posing in the middle of a highway?"

"Look closely, Ma. I'm roving the ocean."

"What ocean?"

Wondering, I examined my own photo. Indeed I looked like I was standing where traffic could send my 38-kilogram frame swirling to kingdom come any minute. The sea was a blurry blue. Unrecognizable at a glance.

So I explained to my mother that I wasn't spending my honeymoon risking my life on a Thai highway. I was exploring an ocean beauty docked that time in Sattahip naval base - Chakri Naruebet, or at least a part of her where visitors were allowed -
Fast facts for HTMS Chakri Naruebet:
- It is Thailand's first and only aircraft carrier, and the only one in Southeast Asia
- it is the world's smallest aircraft carrier
- built by Bazan, in Ferrol, Spain
- ordered in 1992, launched in 1996, and commissioned into the RTN in 1997
- designed to operate an air group of V/STOL fighter aircraft and helicopters


08 October 2013

Mistaken identity

A message in my Outlook inbox on Friday directed Business Administration instructors to head over to the stadium.

I thought it was just like having to watch state-run television to record credits for members of the cheer leading squad.  We did it a couple times in the past.

But this week's activity turned out different.  At least to me.

As I walked out the faculty office door, someone hollered, "it's a three-hour pageant!"

Great. How much coursework is going to be wasted on this non-cur?

Without anything I could do I idly took a snap of Snow White --

-- admired Goldilocks' curvaceous body, half expecting Little Red Riding Hood next.

Where could my students be....  These are normal school pageant girls. We should all be worrying about swine flu.

These contestants should wear masks. After all isn't walking around Bangkok wearing a mask now considered fashion?




I vowed extra points for Rapunzel, my fave princess if she showed up.

But fairy tale aside I must be going senile if I could no longer recognize my own students.

Vanity Fair opening melody played in my mind when this one approached the makeshift stage.

She walks in beauty like the night...

I was now seriously wondering where the heck were my students particularly one that was missing.

They were nowhere in the stadium, nor were they among the staff running this cutie pie school play.

"There must be a mistake in that Outlook message.  I don't have a single student here to supervise."

Just how did I survive having to be in an activity where I had no idea what was going on?

By the time these three held each other's hands in suspense to hear the judges' decision, I was ready to go back to the office.

The next day I innocently asked, "who won yesterday?"  But more importantly, "what's the use of sticking around if my students were not among that pageant crowd?"

"I can't find student 521-0023."

"He was the one wearing white, and he was the only one you needed to look out for," came the reply.

"Well, all my boys were wearing white yesterday, weren't they?"

"No. I mean white, like white gown."

"That was 521-0023?!"

"Yes. Pretty, wasn't he?  He didn't get the crown but he was a finalist.  And by the way, neither were the rest of them what you thought them to be."

This is a repost. Edited for Sepia Saturday & ABC WEDNESDAY

04 October 2013

Birthday trip to Singapura

"I'd like to be a kid again but only because naps were insisted, twirling in circles was acceptable, and the only password I had to remember was open sesame." - Adan Burks

It was unabashed fun posing with some childhood TV idols at Universal Studios.

At first I was hesitant thinking I was too old, but reckoned what the heck.

'Today I will grin and giggle like that third grader with pigtails that I was, and be quietly thrilled as when I won that little multiplication contest in class. Period.'

Touring Lion City was also officially starting a walking regimen. That's two at a time. Or three: exercising, touring, enjoying the sights. Though highly urban, the country girl in me had no complaints at a Lamborghini whisking by as we explored Marina Bay Sands.

No deadlines, no meetings, no homework, just holiday bliss.

Doing something unplanned and then finding out it feels wonderful should make it to my faves this week -

Like walking barefoot in a part of Gardens by the Bay which they call Scented Walk. Alongside is the Dragonfly Lake which serves as a good spot to view the Supertrees.

What a relief for tired feet after wearing wedges on the plane and walking in them around Merlion Park!

While my friend and I are neither tipplers nor teetotalers, we went up Altitude for its reputation as the world's highest alfresco bar -

"... pink and orange sunsets... the day winding down over busy China town, night lights and laser beams painting shapes and figures in the sky." (CNN Travel)

People there are well-dressed and well-mannered. Altitude, at 282 meters above sea level sits atop United Overseas Bank. I remember scrambling to activate international withdrawals on my UOB account a few hours before flying in; sort of teasing myself but there's a sense of security there somehow.

Singapore looks well-organized. I never saw a beggar the whole time I was there. Taxi drivers speak English. Guards can communicate.

Then it was time to go home. But not before enjoying familiar cuisine, the grilled chicken with sauce so divine it all tasted like a home-cooked meal.

Visit:  Our World * Smiling Sally * Picture Clusters * Share the Joy
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