This is HELLO and GOODBYE

Bidding farewell to the room and bed @ BLU Home Guesthouse that has kept me warm and well-rested for the past 6 nights.
And this is me saying: HELLO JEJU ISLAND!

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Embracing the next part of my adventure with KRISPY in Jeju!! Will meet her at Gimpo airport before our flight, and since I’m checking out tomorrow morning, I’ll be depositing my luggages at Gimpo before shopping (again) at Lotte Mall (Korea’s first and largest lifestyle shopping complex at the airport), then spending the night loitering in the vicinity. Insanely excited to meet Kris!!

Here we go~

xoxo,
Viktoria Jean

P.S. Ever since I’ve stopped wearing makeup and eyeliner outside of work, I realise I’m looking more and more…like my brother. Gasp.

Travel-diary: Istanbul

Titanic Hotel, Port Bakirkoy
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Almost entered the elevator in my fluffy bathroom slippers. Thankfully my room’s close enough to run back to from the level lobby.
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Chocolates for brunch, with Krispy Kreme donuts and Coffee Frappucino at the universal symbol for coffee. Catching up on some reading while the day’s still young.
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Capacity shopping mall proved a great place to lose oneself in for the afternoon.
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Bought the family some yummy Turkish Delight!
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Mandatory stop at Krispy Kreme again for takeaways!

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Next stop: Carousel Mall, whose name is probably derived from the actual carousel in its grounds, or perhaps the latter was built to accommodate its name. Whichever. It’s a beautiful children wonderland.

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The relaxing view from my room.
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And a couple of yummy food shots

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Insanely yummy sesame/nuts bagel that costs only 1 Turkish Lira from an amiable roadside vendor.
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Tacos for tea? 🙂 and chocolate berries cheesecake. Gosh it’s food heaven everywhere.
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Cinnamon clove herbal tea that I’m officially in love with.
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and a new chapter of our lives begin

We’ve come sucha long way baby…
I’m happy for all of us

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Taller than Roomie  in my heels *evil cackle*
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With Krispy the graduated ‘senior’ teehee. Congratulations Joyce and Enqi!!! *grouphug* :”)

My throw-hat moment tomorrow &…
I don’t have the freaking guts to do anything crazy, in front of 1000 graduands,
like the guy today who flashed his Bollywood skills to the Prof hahaha.

Fresh new start?

P.S. Photos courtesy of MRSMICKY 🙂

we lived through a lifetime and the aftermath

For someone who’s a firm believer in New Year Resolutions,
I’m not entirely convinced of its life-changing capabilities.
Once in a while I look back upon my annual mandate,
written with fervent excitement over the promise of a brand new year…

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“2011….I will make more friends, smile too often, take too many bad polaroids, go selfishly individualistic and yet be open-minded and positive. I want to be able to wear ripped jeans, lace and leather, and printed leggings with calve-length boots, strutting down the streets with my fellow girlfriends, and be optimistic even when that’s not possible. Because what you think will affect who you are and the people around you.

And who cares about what insults others might throw at me. This year, I’ve had many. After the initial anger, hurt, and mulling over the words that were chanted, it doesn’t matter anymore. Who are you to make me care about your opinions? Won’t think of trading myself to avoid that split second of hurt or anger. So here goes. I DON’T CARE. If they have so much time to gossip about me, your life must suck balls. I have no time to process your silly gossips and it doesn’t interest me.

True friends will tell me when I suck, or that I have horrible hair, my shirt stinks etc, but I’ll listen and love them anyway.

Am also staying away from some people.The movie I watched today, Tron, is something about blind idealism when an isolated colony is led to think and behave in a certain, irrational way, by their leader, whether as enforced rules, simply an established social construct, or the people are slowly brainwashed to think alike. Oh well, no point. People in the Grid can’t see beyond their Grid World. Wanting to go over to earth is just a wishful thinking on their leader’s part. Quite a thought. Thus they should be left alone to manifest.

Well 2012 might spell the end (omg just saw this book in Times today about the apocalypse. very intriguing but also SCARY) of all of us. So quick do what we can! Live the moment and don’t die with regrets. We’re young and very much alive.”

xoxo
A younger version of me (2011)

Once in a while I think about the planet

The person I am in 2013 pretty much agrees with the person I was in 2011,
albeit less naive, less afraid to speak the hell up.

‘Tis been an eventful week, too much to express in a short post >< And not worth remembering. Impressions of person(s) utterly destroyed hence the reluctance to see it typed out in black and white. Writing/typing is a form of mental rehearsal in which one’s emotional memory consolidates…(Psychology PL3249 module). It’s so tiring to bear grudges. Except deep down, I’m sure things can never be the same no matter how the person tries to make up. Wonder if it’s a Scorpio thing to forgive but not forget.

Enjoying a very cathartic read of my past, which feels like a thousand centuries ago…
certain posts make my toes curl and brings back totally uncalled-for reminiscences.

This is why I love writing.
Even as you’re looking at yourself in words, you’re never the same person.

Fire it up, let’s go get this thing stuck

Dance-date with darling Krys Elisabeth!
Instagram sums up my precious one and only day back at home this week.

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I love you back, KEL to my VJL! 😉

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And this is why I have a regular spot at my favourite Starbucks cafe.

Somedays I wake up in a foreign bed in a hotel 1200 nautical miles away from home
and wonder where the hell am I.
Such an awesome feeling.
See you in a few hours, Copenhagen.

oo4 ✦ Dangerous Mind ✦

The kids today are gone away petitioning the dust
Just misfit melancholy dregs gone lost in the mall
Wanderers to nowhere at all

It was never in Max’s honest intentions to fall asleep with his head in Devynn’s lap. It was never in his expectations that she would stay to watch him fall asleep.

She knew not to probe, and merely studied the way his eyebrows knit into a frown that deepened in his troubled slumber. Her thumb traced the anxiety written all over his forehead, finally applying a little more pressure to ease the creases between frowning brows. That appeared to help, as Max was evidently falling into a more peaceful sleep, marked by a tiny snore…

Lithely, Devynn slipped out from under his weight, replacing herself with a soft pillow. When she had smoothed out Max’s dark brown hair, she pulled the duvet blankets over his sleeping frame. Quietly, she left him to his dreams.

******************************************

“Don’t leave me!”

Max awoke in distress, gripping the blankets so hard his knuckles turned white. It took a full minute for him to remember where he was. The bedroom was dark but not pitch-black, and it was Devynn and not the servant-boy who had stayed by his side.

She too was gone, and he was tucked comfortably in bed. Max ran his fingers across his shoulders, feeling a phantom warmth that still lingered from Devynn’s presence.

Suddenly, a fear struck Max. His friends always vanished or were taken away, simply because they had been in touch with Max. He was afraid this fate awaited Devynn and his new friends. That Devynn would abruptly vanish like a servant-boy whose companionship had kept him sane during those long nights. His only friend had departed one day like a burst bubble, whose disappearance he missed from blinking his eyes.

He did not wish the same fate upon Devynn, or Sora, or Thierry.

He looked around for his room-mates but they had not returned.

Something else caught his attention.

The dining table was adorned with colourful plates, all laden with a selection of Korean cuisine – rolls and rolls of fat kimbap, beef stew, cold noodles, bean paste noodles, and kimchi pancakes, inducing an audible growl from the pits of his stomach. A note to him was written in a beautiful cursive hand.

You must be hungry after your sleep. Don’t skip any meals. I am known for my excellent culinary skills, so…count yourself lucky! – Devynn

It was like he had been dead to the world when she had prepared all these food. No clanging pots and pans were heard. After all, despite a brief nightmare, he just had one of the best sleeps in a long time.

His mouth watered as he sat down to savour the sumptuous spread. He made a mental note to ask for a recipe for her salmon sushi rolls. A trace of a smile tugged at Max’s lips when an image of Devynn arranging the sushi rolls on a plate popped into his mind.

The buzzer to the apartment door sounded.

“Package for Mr Max? Please sign over here.”

The bulk was loaded into the living quarters, a red ‘FRAGILE’ label intact on the rock-hard casing. Finally! — his beloved guitar was here, shipped from Korea on request. It was not smashed, after all.

Hastily shutting the door, he threw open the casing, and ran his fingers over the familiar rosewood and strings – the familiar scent soothed his anxieties.

******************************************

 

Their den swarmed with movement, speech and activities. All of their members were in attendance. A heavy cloud of smoke hung in the air, filling every nook and cranny with the odor of filthy tobacco. Above them, busy streets of Tokyo were bustling with cars and traffic.

The clubhouse was their second home, where everyone gathered when nobody desired to go home. That happened often.

Hazily lit by a flickering lamp was a round table where they gambled. Each filled their usual spot, puffing away on weed and cheap cigarettes.

“That new guy– what’s his name again?—was such a dick. Did you see how the girls were all over him? Is that why you’ve been brooding the whole damn day?” Shiwon asked, giving Justin a light push on his shoulder.

“Shut the hell up, Shiwon.” Justin sat down on a chair and slunk further in his seat.

“Do you want us to teach him a lesson? Just say it.” Dong Hae cracked his knuckles and smirked.

“The girls were all ‘oh look at that hunk’. Bleargh. He looks a bit like Taguchi, don’t you think?” Shiwon laughed.

“Shut your mouth.” Taguchi banged a fist on the table. “Justin, just holler if you need back up.”

“Honestly, do you guys like violence that much?” Akanishi asked with a frown. He looked at Dong Hae, then at Shiwon and Taguchi.

“What’s the matter with you, Akanishi?” Shiwon challenged, his fists balled up in a combat stance.

“Enough.” Justin’s word brought silence.

Hee Chul, who had been curled up in his mid-afternoon nap, was awokened. Annoyed, he sat up and flipped his long hair. Running his tongue over his dry lips, Hee Chul said, “Simmer, Justin. You ruined my beauty sleep.” Hee Chul unfolded his legs, got up and sashayed towards Justin who was still in his seat, looking away from the group. Running his perfectly manicured fingers across Justin’s chest, Hee Chul gave a seductive moan and stared into Justin’s eyes. “Who angered my dear Justin?”

Justin pushed Hee Chul’s hands away. Hee Chul gave a seductive laugh. He cocked his head and looked at Justin. “You are one stubborn bitch, and I love you anyway.” Looking around the room, Hee Chul asked, “Since Justin won’t tell me, would any of me kindly give me an update?”

“It’s the new guy.” Dong Hae explained. “Someone’s been frowning the whole day and he won’t admit that the new douchebag is the real reason.”

“Lies. Why would a new guy get on his nerves? No one can out-fight our Justin.”

“This one can,” Justin mumbled.

“What did you say?” Akanishi leaned in to hear Justin, but caught nothing else.

Just then, Dong Hae’s cell phone rang. “Hello….speaking…….WHAT? Holy shit. Right now?” He hang up abruptly.

“Guys, it’s Daiisun. The previous dealer. Our loot was seized. The people from Che-mun Corporation is on their way.”

Everyone stood up, vulgarities flying in all directions.

“Listen up! We have to leave right now.” Justin was in control.

“Where to?”

“Get to Daiisun. We have to keep to our promise.”

And they were off.

******************************************

It was 6 months ago. The deal was made within the hour.

The 7 boys -Justin, Taguchi, Akanishi, Dong Hae, Chris, Shiwon and Hee Chul – accepted Daiisun’s offer to be runners. They would have to back Daiisun in every deal. They knew the market like the back of their hands, and Daiisun could use a whole bunch of street-smart high-school thugs.

On paper, Daiisun was an international trade union, working under pseudo licenses from the local government. In truth, they were an underground organisation amassing cash from trafficking humans and transacting drugs and all other types of illegal or fake goods. Their activities centered around South Korea and Japan as well as the rest of Asia.

The terms of the contract were listed when Daiisun bought their loyalties for 10 million dollars.

1. They were to abide by the leader and Daiisun’s words under all circumstances.
2. Betrayal would result in immediate death.

They became slaves to money in the underworld.

Daiisun’s biggest rival was Che-mun Corporation, which dealt in Korea, Japan and China, and whose leader led with an iron fist.  Often, both sides have come to blows over clashes in trade.

With the boys’ help, Daiisun had come to an agreement with Che-mun over the use of trade space in the local region. Daiisun would have clients that will not overlap with Che-mun’s clients, such that both corporations would work hand in hand in the market and no boundaries were crossed.

6 months later, all these right would come crashing down.
***

In a dark alley linking Daiisun’s warehouse to the Daiisun main building, tall men in trenchcoats and dark glasses lined the place. Tension hung in the air.

Daiisun’s head honcho stood face to face with Che-mun’s. Both were tall enough to see eye-to-eye, unwavering in their poised stance.Unspoken fury threatened to boil over.

“It seems like your men stepped out of line first, secretly made deals with our biggest client, having sold 200 pounds.” Daiisun spoke.

“My men did nothing of the sort. In fact, your men killed mine in order to get a deal that was rightfully ours. Your men are at my mercy.”

“Let them go this instant. My men would never jeopardise this agreement. You are using this excuse to break off our agreement, so you can raid our warehouse.”

Anger flashed in Che-mun’s eyes. He took a step closer to Daiisun.

Instantly, Daiisun was backed up by his members straightening up in their bearings, as if to warn Che-mun against any rash actions.

“Why don’t you get those boys who initiated this deal to get here right now?” Che-mun challenged. “Those boys presumably made a promise to safeguard this promise.”

“We did.” Justin announced as he stepped into the alley amidst the heightened tension.

Behind him, the other 6 boys assembled.

“You hired…kids? Boys, go home to your mummies. Curfew’s over,” he chuckled, looking over his shoulders at Justin.

Several men sniggered as they watched the young boys doubtfully.

“What are you laughing at?” Dong Hae grimaced and stepped forward brazenly.

Justin placed a hand on Dong Hae’s arm.

Looking straight at Daiisun, then at Che-mun, he said, “We’ve kept our promise. We hurt no men, nor did we break any agreement.”

“Then where are the goods? Did they fall into the sea? You boys were last seen trading.” Daiisun boomed.

“We did as told. Che-mun himself was present, we saw you getting into the limo outside the ferry terminal. It was a tri-party trade. The other party acknowledged the loot.” Justin rocked back on his heels in disbelief. The tension in the air was rising rapidly. He heard a few knuckles cracking. It was a multi-million dollar deal. Tempers were bound to be a lot more short-fused.

Che-mun laughed and turned to face Justin. “Is this all you can do? Daiisun was too stupid to trust you boys, but I am not. Perhaps you looted them all to make a bit more…extra cash. Who else is in this game? Who else bought you?” These further insinuations seemed to produce a veil of doubt on Daiisun’s already cynical expression.

He sniggered, turned back to look at Daiisun. “The deal…is off.”

Instantly, an uproar rose in the dark alley. It was of bodies slamming into walls, fists smashing and breaking jaws, and screams of fury and agony blended into one. Daiisun and Che-mun were each surrounded by bodyguards.

“Che-mun, I’m going to kill him!” Dong Hae exclaimed. With clenched fists, Dong Hae charged forward angrily.

“Wait no! You will be killed, Dong Hae!” Akanishi exclaimed and reached out to grab him, but only grabbed at air. Justin followed after Dong Hae who had managed to snag a knife from a dead Daiisun member.

Hee Chul was calmly tying his hair with a rubber band, while the rest of the boys, too, charged forward to help their leader.

A man in black threw a punch in Justin’s face. He dodged, grabbed the man’s arm, and swiftly threw him over his shoulders in a perfect karate move. Another attempted to stab Justin’s back, but Dong Hae saw it and crashed into the man with all his might before he could reach Justin.

Behind them, Akanishi and Taguchi were fighting off Che-mun’s men.

Justin reached the human barricade around Che-mun faster than any of his friends. With two flying kicks, he threw off 2 bodyguards in his path, but they were quickly replaced by more. There were so many, all armed, with pistols gleaming in their gloved hands. Any bullets fired from these weapons could not be traced back to any sources. Che-mun was watching all these in amusement, thinking he was safe and sound within his human barricade.

All 7 boys were now charging towards Che-mun, breaking down the barricade as swiftly as they could. Groans of agony and exertion could be heard all around.

Shiwon fell to the floor as a hard punch threw him off balance.

“You alright?” Taguchi reached for Shiwon’s arms and got him back to his feet.

“Never felt better.” A thin stream of blood was running down his chin. Shiwon swiped his bleeding lips with his bare hands.

The men in black were falling in large numbers, as some were running away from the scene, and others fell defeated. The human barricade was thinning. However, the boys were utterly drained, tired out from fighting.

Swaying, Akanishi threw a punch in a man’s direction but missed. Someone from the back kicked him and he fell to the floor, twisting his ankle. He let out a loud cry.

“Akanishi!” Chris lost focus as he saw his comrade fall. He did not notice that there was someone in black behind them. A sharp blow slammed into the base of his neck.

It was now 5 against God knows how many more.

A gleam of sharp and shiny knife flashed somewhere in the tangle of flaying arms and legs. Hee Chul saw it first. Then Shiwon noticed it too.

Hee Chul whipped out his handy hair brush from his pockets and charged for the man. Leaping into the air, Hee Chl landed on the man’s back and began to ravage the man’s face with his hairbrush.

“You wanna play with weapons, two can play the game!”

Hee Chul whipped out a hairbrush, brandishing it as his weapon. Justin had to control his laughter, when suddenly, he felt a sharp stab on his left side. Pain shot through his insides and rapidly spread to his entire body. He doubled over in pain.

“Justin!” Shiwon was being pressed down by another man, but he had seen the whole thing. The guy with the knife who was being attacked by Hee Chul had slid the knife over to another man. His movements were too quick for Shiwon to give any warnings.

With fury, Hee Chul grabbed the man’s hair and smashed his face against the concrete floor. Blood spurted from a deep gash in his forehead, and pooled around his now-limp body.

The knife protruded from Justin’s left side as he struggled to stay up. Blood was gushing from the gaping wound with every small move he made, and Justin could feel his skin go cold.

Taguchi had just flung a man against a wall and rushed over to Justin. “Let us do the job!” But Justin knew that they needed him. Waving his hands in dismissal, Justin stood up tall and bit his lips. He was strong, and stubborn, he would not back down while he was still able to fight.

Shiwon was getting on his feet. He limped towards Justin.

“We…we must not stop.” Despite his quivering thighs and greying lips, Justin gave a weak smile and encouraged his friends.

Just then, the barricade fell open with Hee Chul’s flying kick, taking down 3 men effortlessly.

Seeing that he was the nearest to Che-mun, Justin clenched his fists and charged, his knuckles connecting with the crook of the corporation leader’s nose with such blinding force.

Che-mun crashed to the floor.

And so was Justin, as he fell atop Che-mun, and rolled onto the floor, unconscious.

One by one Che-mun’s men fled, not only because their leader was down, but also they had heard the siren of police cars in the distant.

It was only when every one of the men in black was gone that the boys realised the siren came from Hee Chul’s mobile phone. But no one wasted any time complimenting his wit, as they rushed to Justin. By then, Chris was conscious again and Akanishi was hopping on one leg.

“Justin!” Loud cries rang through the dark alley. Not even Hee Chul’s slap could get their leader to open his eyes.

 

******************************************

 

That face. Justin thought in that split second when he had knocked the dark glasses off Che-mun’s face. Where have I seen him before?

It was only when Justin fell to the floor that the memories that had long pervaded him returned.

 

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Max was fidgety and uncomfortable as he fingered his red star pendant. Something in his heart told him that things were not right. Something was happening right at this moment.

As Max stood up from the table, he knocked over a glass of water. The glass cup rolled off the table and fell to the floor with a loud smashing crash.

Max stared at the fragments that now lay on the floor and thought to himself: Now they can never be patched up again. No matter what I do, these will always remain as broken pieces.

He sat back down, staring limply into blank space.

~*~*~*~

 

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✦ Dangerous Mind ✦
The blackholes in the deep recesses of your mind, secrets you never wished to hide.
The lovers you never want to remember and the history you can never leave behind.
You can’t run further if you’ve only been escaping your own mind.

New Delhi ’13

Gastroenteritis and colitis diagnosed this afternoon,
Doctor at Raffles Hospital granted me 2 days of medical leave.
Nevertheless still really loved New Delhi, especially the food
(oh the bane of my ever weakening digestive system).
To think I used to have awesome gastrointestinal power…

Anyway, here’s The Westin Gurgaon, New Delhi! 🙂

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Outdoor swimming complex! Unfortunately I did not pack my swimwear.Image and video hosting by TinyPic

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Breakfast buffet! As usual I raided the pastries and bread cellar.Image and video hosting by TinyPic

They served everything Asian, Western, Indian, Chinese, even Italian cheeses and crackers.IMG_9447

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My hearty beginnings!
Well to be honest right after the meal I went right back to sleep.IMG_9451

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Lovely lovely bed and silhouette faux chandelier.IMG_9460

After some rest I headed to the gym for some mild workout.
The gym’s a good place for people-watching.

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Lazily paddled on the StairMaster while watching Pirates of the Carribean re-runsIMG_9467

My dinner! Oreo and cereal to go along.
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Now that Beijing’s off the schedule, Brisbane’s next.
Please, stomach, stop hurting so that I can eat.

Viktoria Jean

Chopping off my waist-length hair is probably the best decision I’ve made in a while;
& with it comes an even stronger impulse for a complete overhaul.
Hello World!
(because Krispy tells me to write Viktoria with a K and it does look better)

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Did something else on impulse this morning, details of which will only be divulged to my close buddies!!
Surprisingly amassed yet 3 more namecards just by walking through the train station,
and that leaves me a little wary of strangers lurking around corners…
though tactfully I can’t help myself by feeling a little honoured.
Thank you for thinking so highly of me.

in itty-bitty pleasures we revel

Couple of days ago I revived the much-missed feel of carrying dead-weight heavy books in my arms…
by hitting the public library!
Which, sadly I have avoided since, 4 years ago, I found actual shit between pages of Nora Roberts.
By then I’ve forced myself to accept the fact that people do bring public books
into places where they do their private businesses.
So please, anyone who’s reading this, do not smear public books with your booger, poo,
pasta cream sauce, or stuff you wouldn’t want to see in close proximity while enjoying your favourite novel.
Thank you.

My take-home reads:
Hester’s Story by Adèle Geras
Citadel by Kate Mosse
The Suitors by Cécile David-Weill
Happily Ever After by Harriet Evans
Blindspot by Jane Kamensky & Jill Lepore

Reveling in the freedom to read everything I’ve ever wanted to
given the time I have between flights, in the hotel, or in cafès with my latte.
Life’s good.

boooook

this post is written by a very happy person

Exciting collaboration with onekindofkrispy my dear fellow Scorpio dancer cum partner-in-crime!!
Really happy to be dancing because while the music is playing
suddenly we’re without a care in the world.
If we manage to make you say “you girls dance like sluts”
we take it as a compliment and thank you in advance 🙂 teehee.

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I’m back from Auckland, and really glad for a longer break this time.
Exhausting this may be, I’m looking forward to June
and working hard in improving my finesse, or…just becoming more familiar with my duties.

Also, I dug up a whole pile of short stories from land-before-time aka my junior college drawer,
stories which I never managed to complete!!
I still think my mind was way more creative before I got into dancing,
because all that hair-eography and head tossing must have killed about a billion brain cells.
Nevertheless I’m sure my neurons died happy 🙂

SOOOO!!! I’m going to alter those fictional by-products of my brain
and hopefully give them their rightful conclusion.
I hope my writing skills have not rusted.
Well, perhaps the cabin pressure in the aircraft killed another army of neuron soldiers.
“HERE LIES THE CREATIVE BRAIN CELLS OF ____
THEY BRAVED MANY A TOUGH BATTLES.
Rest in peace.”

xoxo
I-need-a-new-name

never underestimate your own magic

Today I started off with a very simple goal:
to be the reason behind a stranger’s smile.
All I needed to do was simple,
but the task itself could range from easy-peasy to downright impossible.
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But you know what?
I saw a whole lot of smiles today that reflected how uncomplicated
a simple gesture of goodness could be.
It’s magical to create that ripple effect
by going out of the way for somebody else
and I thought, hey,
this satisfaction was worth every effort it took to create it.

To top it of like a Maraschino cherry on a chocolate fudge sundae,
the happiness doesn’t end when my job is done for the day.
I felt good for the rest of the journey, at the hotel,
sightseeing, and the way back.
I hope everyone else gets to feel that way too.
It’s indescribable.

the front porch

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It doesn’t interest me
what planets are squaring your moon.
I want to know if you have touched the center of your own sorrow,
if you have been opened by life’s betrayals
or have become shriveled and closed from fear of further pain.

I want to know if you can sit with pain,
mine or your own,
without moving to hide it or fade it,

or fix it.

― Oriah Mountain Dreamer