One week in Seoul

Seoul is a city of contractions, as they say. They’ve built a global metropolis out of these slopes and mountains and are now riding high atop this Hallyu wave… Yet 99% of the people that I’ve spoken to on the streets don’t speak even basic English. They are an incredibly polite bunch of people with much remnants of their Confucianist ethics but there’s these little things that cause friction in life – such as people…

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Memo#1 of a dad’s death

I was looking at my Google calendar to look at my agenda for the day when I received the news of my dad’s death. The semantics of the various sentences said to me over the phone-call didn’t register but the first emotion that kicked in clearly was a definite anger. Like WTF how can this happen, why is this happening, what to do now? I got in a cab that was just arriving at the bus…

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Of demonic possessions in Hall 12, NTU.

I was seized by a demon at 3+ am, January 28th 2011, in NTU Hall 12. My eyes were opened wide, and my chest felt choked with bars of lead and iron. As I squinted and furrowed my brows, the varying shades of darkness in the room revealed themselves to me. Blotches of silvery, dreary light inked themselves on the wardrobe, making their way through the narrow slits of curtains near the window. My limbs…

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Why not commit suicide? Why think for yourself?

In my work as a GP tutor all these years, I often find myself playing the role of emotional counsel as well. Nothing surprising there; every young person is in the process of figuring themselves out, and they’ve got grievances that they need to take somewhere. I’d like to think that I made for a good person to talk to because of my open-mindedness and how seriously I took their concerns. *pats my own back*…

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I just like to dance

I really like the piece of free-writing (for 10 minutes) I turned in for my Craft of Writing class about my favourite place today… So here we go: “The party don’t start till I walk in.” Hips swaying and eyelashes flashing, there’s animal spirits soaring high, a tribal oneness in the atmosphere. Façades of the day give way to the night; angels lose their disguise. Girls be wary, guys rejoice. So many sweaty bodies flaunting…

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Virgin Toastmasters speech: The most resilient parasite in the world

It so happened that I signed up promptly to deliver an ice-breaker, Project 1 speech as part of a Toastmasters education programme. Public speaking is of great interest to me personally, and a skill that I am serious about developing because I think the returns can be really useful. If I can already do this and that with such sucky public speaking skills, just imagine what more I could do right? With that in mind,…

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What do you wish you knew when you were 21 going on 22?

We’ve all been to birthday parties, especially the 21st ones. What I’ve always found striking was how there’d be this unstated routine where people would gather, eat and/or hang around while waiting for something to happen, then applause ceremoniously, sing birthday songs and take photos at cue – Usually the relative of the birthday person’s shouting. So I thought to myself if I could experiment with something different; something that I could actually present as a “gift”…

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