Jul 25, 2014


"See you," I said.

He hesitated. In that fraction of a second I knew. I used to find it funny too when someone said "see you" but you both knew it probably wasn't going to happen.



And that's how it goes. You're roaming around on your own and you cross paths with hilarious people with fascinating experiences and the craziest stories to tell, and you spend a couple of hours together braving the rain with no idea where you're going, or checking out the old men doing Polish punk rap in their striped polo tees and bermudas, or standing by the river at midnight, and you're just laughing about everything in the world. The conversations take you places - you're in a bar but you're also watching Black Swan on the Swiss Alps, getting mobbed in Vietnam. But you also know that once the night is gone, so is he. You know that if you happen to meet again it's out of the norm. And so you treat each goodbye like a last one.

And you think, man, if only he were born a couple years later, if only we were born in the same country or went to the same university or whatever, if our paths had the opportunity to cross more often, perhaps we would've made great buddies. Perhaps he'd be the one you'd go on night walks with, or the one whose room you'd crash with a tub of ice-cream. But fate doesn't work that way, and sometimes its fragile fleetingness is all the beauty it can ever offer. Maybe it will catch you even more unaware than you realise - maybe you scheduled to meet again, but he doesn't turn up, and you're wondering why but you have no way of contacting him; you realise you don't even know his name.

Jul 14, 2014


There was once a woman who really loved her son, who worked hard to make sure he could have the best of everything. She toiled day and night at the hospital to earn that semi-d, that grand piano, to earn the ability never to let money be an obstacle. He wanted that $400 Lego toy? Done. He wanted to try figure-skating? Done. Wanted to play the violin? Done. She only had the best hopes for him.

But maybe he preferred to hang out with his buddies, the ones who taught him how to shoplift and who bought him smokes. You know what it's like to be fifteen. The thrill of doing something you're not supposed to - forbidden fruit tastes sweeter. Or maybe his mum really, really wanted him to do Medicine, but he had a passion for archaeology. Or maybe when he grew older he loved to travel and rarely came home, and she missed him so dearly.

She could have locked him in the house, or tabbed his phone. She could have forced him to take the path she felt was best. She could have forbidden him to travel, taken away his passport. Out of the fiercest love, the kind that fears and fights to protect. But forcing your will upon your child isn't loving the right way. He knew what she wanted for him, but still she let him keep his options open.

She had to put herself aside and say, okay. It'll be okay. Maybe every parent had to lose their kid to the outside world. And there's no point trying to stop them, because they won't see it the way you do, and maybe we all have to learn the hard way. When a parent tries to stop a child that age they just turn their backs on you. It was okay to let him do what he wanted, perhaps to fall and learn - as long as she still had him.

There was once a God with a man He crafted with His own hands. He loved Adam so much, he made him to be like Him. He put him in a beautiful paradise and showed him His own identity - a God of overflowing abundance and creativity, a God of love, joy, peace, faithfulness and more; a God who could give him all he wanted.

There are many ways he could be like God. There was the tree of life. Adam could be immortal, and he and God could be together in communion in that beautiful garden forever. There was also the tree of knowledge. Adam could see what God knew about morality, both sides of the coin. He couldn't have both at once. If he were immortal, he wouldn't know about evil, so God could guide him in the ways of goodness and perfection forever, and while Adam wouldn't know all God knew, Adam could behave sinless like God.

But if the man knew about good and evil, he would have the option of committing evil, and turning evil; and a man with the potential to be evil cannot live forever, for harm of completely uncontrollable negative power. See, even a serial rapist will die one day - he can't terrorise eternally.

I want to keep being with you forever, said God. But I can't do that if you know that there's a flip side to goodness. So you must not choose to take it, because then I will not be able to make sure you will always be good. Let me guide you in all your ways. Choose to depend on Me, and you will have all you'll ever need. My nature is good, and also immortal, and you can only have both or none: be like Me, or not like Me.

God could have not given him the option. But maybe that's never how things work out. Like my dad refusing to let me own Britney and Avril CDs when I was 11. Like NLB removing homosexual books from a children's library in the hopes that children wouldn't be exposed to its reality yet. Maybe God even knew what would happen in the end. Maybe it pained his heart to leave that option open for him, even when he knew it wouldn't lead to good. But what would be the value of Adam's love and obedience if he really just didn't have a choice?

Jul 10, 2014

singlehood freedom

Sumay came over to my house to chill yesterday; apparently her mum said maybe she and I would grow up to be like a couple of our aunts, 50-year-old never-married singles travelling the world, all independent and free. My mum also once nervously voiced the worry that I would never get married


Anyways life is long and God's plan is the best plan, whatever that may be. See, Mr Fong, that heck of a charming well-loved man (I once told him that he'd be doing women a favour if he dated them), stayed single until he was 30, and look at what he found: a girl of the same age who had also never been attached, with such a heart for God and service; and look at how they love and serve God together. (can't wait for us to be invited to your wedding mr fong ahem ahem)

Plus once we get married we'll (hopefully) never be single or alone again. Can you imagine that?! I'll probably miss this freedom a lot, not being tied emotionally / mentally / by a covenant to any other human being. It can be so draining. Once you get attached to the person you end up marrying, you'll be with him for DECADES!!! even MORE THAN HALF A FREAKING CENTURY!!! That's scary. I like my freedom, not having to care about anyone if I don't feel like it. Travelling for months and walking around wherever because I can, and not having my heart tied back home. Ah, there's so much time. We have the rest of our lives to be shackled. This freedom is only for now.

Jul 7, 2014


I have a friend who felt like she was sinning against God, and didn't feel worthy of being in church anymore. I likened our relationship with God to my relationship with my dad. Sometimes I do things that make my parents pissed, like come home too late at night. But what's worse than making them angry is cutting off my relationship with them because of it.

Someone close to me once stopped drinking and self-harming because I told her she had to, but when she did it again from time to time, although I was hurt, I had to deal with it and help her again. It would have been worse if she stopped talking to me altogether out of guilt. That would have completely missed the point. As much as we always aim to please our parents, or significant others, or God, out of love, what's worse than disobeying them is giving up the relationship because we feel we aren't worthy.

(Gen 8:21, after Noah left the ark and built an altar: Then the Lord said in His heart...)

If God said it in His heart, how did Noah know it? That goes to show how close Noah was to God, how much he knew His heart.

Noah had God's favour in a time of corruption, but we also remember Noah's sin - how he got drunk and humiliated himself in Gen 9:21. And how about David and his lust and murder? We're all human. We all have our weaknesses, don't we? But Jesus has already died for our weaknesses so we could have a relationship with God. Don't let our weaknesses stop us from being spiritual.

(woohoo back in SOT!!!)

Jul 6, 2014

less boring ways to go home

It's been a while. Take a nice leisurely walk, instead of the bus. Take the longer route, the one you took before they built the new train station. At night, like you used to in your school uniform and scratchy socks. Put some music on. Maybe even have bubble tea in your hand. Observe how the yellow light spills into a pool on the grey sidewalk, and on the asphalt beside. Let the row of trees on your right form a mysterious umbrella over you. Listen to the cars and the sound of playing children and pattering feet and bicycles. Search for the familiar head of your apartment block, like you used to when you tried to get lost to find a different way back. Arrive at grandparents resting and grandkids playing at the exercise area, and maybe the erhu man's around if you're lucky. Listen to the sound of basketballs dribbling and teenagers shouting. Let your eyes drift to the bright white lights. Let the echo of the bouncing balls and laughter across ages carry you home.


Turn off the aircon, roll down the car windows. Let the wind howl a continuous greeting, tickle your face, tousle your hair. Turn up the radio. Gently nudge the accelerator along; let yourself play a game with the speed limit. Wait for a wild singable song - Titanium, perhaps, or Sexy Love, your favourite song when you were fifteen. Sing loudly, and let the wind shout along. Feel how fast you are going; don't confine your journey to an enclosed box. Let the wind lift away every little piece of your heart, until there is nothing left but lightness.

Jul 3, 2014



french guy takes me to coney island the night i miss my flight; carnival lights and screams amidst dark 

we walk past a burlesque advert

"burlesque is nice to watch, for girls also"


"no really, the women are not naked. and also it's not like a strip show, where the men put the money in her (undies), you pay before you go in, so none of that weird stuff."

"yeah, i always found that super degrading for the woman."

"i think it's more degrading for the men. because they fall for it. the woman understands the whole situation. she is in full control."