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rediscovered these images from bhaktapur which i forgot to share. thanks to liyana for the reminder!

game theory

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conversing dolls i came across on my walk home. since no one was tending to them, i think they have been disowned.

they told me that at the end, everything can be distilled down to what “she said he said”. a million and one ways to proceed, each more complicated than the one before, and more unpredictable.

all i have to say regarding this epic chess match, is that i hope i never stop seeing and feeling something new, bizarre or unexpected everyday.

because if i do i’d rather fall off the board.

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i almost forgot about him.

25 going on 90

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self-portrait in exercise ball

(before i begin and spoil the rest of this post, i’d like to thank my friends and family (and facebook reminders) for their generous outpouring of love and well-wishes on my birthday.)

and so, i was rudely transformed yesterday into a quart-centenarian, silver jubilator, 2 dozener + 1, etc. i think turning 25 is more significant than turning 21, because 21 is an arbitrary figure that begs to be shrugged off, whereas 25 is a nice, round number (alas, not a prime number!) that is more a milestone of mortality (i’d like to see this milestone at least 2 more times, if it’s ok. if not, 3 more also can).

this time last year, i was in the heights of nepal, and high in more ways than one. i remember very clearly the dutch apple pie (warm, not cold) which doubled as my birthday cake – a gift from 3 good friends and fellow travelers – and then freezing our asses off as we left the warm confines of summit hotel, heading home to our swindling landlord and also on to the rest of the mind-blasting internship experience (and the even crazier month in india).

that was the best 6 months of my life, and i have a sneaky suspicion that i might never be that happy again, though i certainly hope otherwise. if there is ever an appropriate time to bandy the tired expression “must try, no regrets!!!”, it is at this point. and though it still pains me a little to say this, i would never have traded it up for anything. no, not even love.

(i hope i don’t end up like one of those people who lives in the past, though retrospection seems to be in my nature, and almost compulsively so. i try hard not to imagine this embittered beast that has taken on a life of its own, growing ever hungrier and larger by the day, though i’m sure it is. so far, i have a handle on things, i’m still on top. who knows for how long though.)

from that back to singapore. safe, sterile singapore. a model of stability and efficiency no doubt, but still one gigantic hospital where people come to give birth and to die (i’ll have proof of that soon enough). back to my 4x4x4 room in my parents’ house, which is increasingly beginning to feel like a jail cell. why not get your own place? you may ask. well, last time i checked, all prices pertaining to property looked unpalatable. this has also, among other things, raised in me a desire for a swift exodus.

all is not bleak though, and there are things to be glad for. for one, my parents have yet to signal their intent in crowbar-ing some grandkids out of me. for that i’m grateful.

so here i am, 25 and at the edge of the chasm. so much uncertainty, too much in fact. when we were kids we used to tremble with sweet anticipation for the future. at 25 one can only quake with fear.

make some resolutions man, you say. strive for solid ground… achieve!!! i’ll tell you now that i hate resolutions. rather, i hate having to face up to the unfulfilled ones 2 times in the first month of the new year. it is the great burden and curse of being a january crybaby.

regardless, i did try for resolutions this year. the list ended at 1 – to get healthier and fitter (which actually makes the photo above a bad joke, haha).

on that note, i’d like to wrap up my yearly allowance for self-indulgent pity mongering. see you guys next year.

and life, see you when i’m 90.

hipstamatic, plastic bullets and such things

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the obligatory silhouetted self-portrait, as ET in this case

if the terms above are familiar to you, you must be an aficionado of photography with an iphone like me. i adore my 5dII and all but frankly, lugging it around all day everyday (with all the lenses and accessories) is a real pain. in fact, i find that i only shoot with the dslr when i absolutely have to (for the resolution and image quality).

sometimes, all i want is a little device for capturing whatever i fancy without drawing attention and poking a giant lens into somebody’s face. i guess that something is called a leica or a compact point-and-shoot, but what’s not to love about having your camera, phone, music player, social media center and gaming device all rolled into one? besides, where built-in cameras used to produce barely usable images, that of the iphone 4 is impressive.

there are also dozens of camera apps for the iphone to toy around with. personally, i use hipstamatic (with the john s lens and blackeys supergrain film mostly), plastic bullet (for borders and color effects, randomly generated) and camera plus pro (this one enhances the original camera app). below are some of my images shot with the iphone.

with hipstamatic –

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processed with plastic bullet –

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the next 5 were shot during a dinner at my auntie’s kampung house in malacca (with a bit of noise reduction and sharpening in adobe lightroom 2) –

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not bad considering the low-light condition, i think.

new year on the highlands

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i spent the new year on a trip to cameron highlands with avid travelers (and good buddies) yusuf and sern yong. it was a much needed (and hastily hammered together) getaway from city life, especially from the crowds and my increasing sense of claustrophobia. after the internship stint in nepal, i can scarcely push away the feelings of dissatisfaction and disillusionment with life in singapore, though that’s a blog post for another time.

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after 12 hours on the road, the only cure for weariness in the cold of the night is hot, delicious food.

counting down to 2011 was a rather subdued affair over drinks, though we were issued ravers’ finger lights, whistles and mini-poppers. the nearest party was probably miles away in kuala lumpur.

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breakfast the morning after was roti canai (malaysian version of prata), which we had a copious amount of during our stay.

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we attacked one of the jungle trails after breakfast. cameron highlands has plenty on offer for those looking to punish themselves with long walks.

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clowning around above and bokeh porn below.

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one of my favourite shots from the trip (above), which i have taken to calling “chrysalis”.

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doing the tourist thing and visiting boh tea plantation and its hyper-cool cafe. the first picture in this post was taken from the balcony of the cafe, which overlooks but a small portion of the farm.

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inside the cafe.

after cameron highlands, yusuf and myself headed to kuala lumpur for a day, during which the highlight was the insane japanese buffet at jogoya in starhill gallery.

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on the road home.

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