Airplanes

His heart is melting,
from the warmth of the engines,
that take him off into the skies,
like the flare in her eyes.

And she’s stalling,
deep inside,
And in the March monsoon that’s coming,
she’s getting out of sight.

And in the name of the crosswinds of the Straits that meet,
and the South China Sea,
up high, he’s gliding through thousands of feet,
to ground the agony she sees.

But in the cold rough clouds that are bitter,
and it hurts it’s a distance to reach her,
he looked up to the stars at Orion in vain,
“Why can’t we just love like Airplanes?”

Love like Airplanes.

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The Fall Of Societies

PREFACE

Personal Dwellings

I have to disclaim that writing about the functionalities of communities ain’t my forté, and what I’m doing here is simply publishing right out of my alley. I’m no doctor nor professional analyst, for what most would call what those people do, but I’m just one of them who had been intrigued by this topic of study for a couple of years now, and I believe I wanna write down what I had found so far. I have to admit though that my thoughts can go all over the place so, some headings seem not to kinda link to each other. My language isn’t proficient as well to express my ideas.

An Introduction to Technology

It has become increasingly obvious to anyone that with the advent of rapid advancements in technology, our human-to-human interaction started to fall apart. These advancements in technology would essentially include the usual social media platforms we use everyday, the addictive mobile games that we have on our phones, and entertainment applications such as YouTube. These mobile applications are accessible anywhere so long as you still have some of that charge on your mobile phone. It is no doubt that in the oblivion of the masses of people utilising these, not only do they play a huge part in our modern lives, they also consume the social aspects of them. Well, if you are unaware of how troubling this is, if by any chance you are at the dinner table with your friends or family whilst reading this, I bet that a majority at the table are staring at their mobile screens at the current moment.

“I fear the day technology will surpass our human interaction. The world will have a generation of idiots.” – Albert Einstein

Social Media

My Take

While I do agree that this advancement in technology brings some benefit in bringing our loved ones far away closer, at the same time, it does in a way push those close to us farther. Saying this, I still do believe that it is a double-edged sword starting to grow sharper on one side, and blunter on the other. This is something that I personally take as an extremely worrying issue because not only does it eat up our lives, it is starting to integrate into our lively routines as if it had always been. It is integrating to the point where we are dipping into an age where passion becomes only interest. Interest becomes routine. And routine becomes chore.

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Take for example the role of social media for instance. I have to admit it’s something closer to me since I am a victim myself. Social media is a place where I find most of my comfort. On Facebook especially, I can find funny videos and pictures all at one go on my news feed, and Instagram where I can go all out creative with my photos. The problem here is that initially, from platforms that help me update my friends on what I’m currently doing, they turn into popularity-greed tools. With reference to the popularity idea, over time, social media start to appeal to the narcissistic side of people which start to grow and overwhelm them. This means that users don’t go to social media for information on their close ones’ well-being, but rather go there to check on the number of likes or followers they have. Contrary to some belief, these numbers do actually result in users worrying about the syntax of how these numbers grow and fall. It’s funny because eventually the amount of concern they put into these numbers grow to become much more significant than the amount of concern they put into the issues they are facing in real-life, and this is already an example of how social media is already starting to occupy a huge part of our lives. As a consequence, these users tend to post content that would get a lot of attention to maintain their “numbers”.

On Passion and Sincerity

Nowadays, content that would get a lot of attention are those that appeal to people’s pathos, or the emotional aspect. A really good example would be volunteer work. While volunteer work is a good thing, making it a big thing over on social media can spoil it. Taking reference to the idea of popularity, obviously, the insincerity of the person doing the work can be highlighted in the over-emphasising of the “good” work he or she had done in the bid to get more attention. This is an example of how passion subsides to become a chore. A chore in trying to attend as much volunteer work and get as much media coverage as possible to share it with people online. Social media does a great job in a way in creating a barrier where people pretend to be someone they are not. How does this contribute to the fall of a society? Well, if social media already set the trend, we can only expect more “insincerities” in the next generation thereafter, and we can only watch this tradition grow. This is a bad thing especially if we want to see a harmonious community in the future connected by strong passion and belief to help one another in terms of volunteer work.

With relation to content-making, in the light of a couple of funeral events for the past few years, you can see huge numbers of people whipping out their phones to record almost every single moment of the funeral. This is starting to be sort of the trend now, and it’s sad because the tradition and the elements of sorrow and forlorn in the funeral service would just eventually disappear over time. Life will just turn into one whole concert. The problem here is that once a community abandons its traditions, you can only expect its downfall.

“Social media sites creates an illusion of connectivity .” – Malay Shah

Human Interaction

On Comparison

In the past year, my family and I went on trips to a couple of cities overseas which included Bali (well it’s technically an Island), Busan, and Seoul. For me, there was a really huge contradiction between these cities, and it came to me as a big surprise.

Bali

Bali, the most technologically underdeveloped region among the three, consists of quite a number of villages that are still trapped behind time amidst all of the development of the top-tiered cities of the country. We cycled down Mount. Kintamani and followed a tour where we passed by a couple of traditional Balinese villages and communities. It was quite a heart-warming experience. As we passed by houses, children and people would come out and flail their arms in the air and greet us, and this happened not only in a particular single community, but multiple communities as we cycled down the roads. We would also see kids running around the fields and pathways playing their own mini games as they should be, and grown ups grinning at them as they play.

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It is quite evident here that instilled in every villager here is the sense of community, working together to get through with life affairs, and at the same time, striving to become happy while doing so. It’s surprising that they don’t need the help of technology in doing so.

Busan

Moving on to Korea, we visited the cities of Busan and Seoul. Although both of the cities are situated in the same country, the two cities do differ quite significantly in a number of ways. For Busan, I noticed that there was a higher percentage of elderly people as compared to Seoul. Keeping in mind the higher proportion, usually, we would assume that the elderly are not the kind of IT savvy group of people, and so largely, Busan’s population is not really hyped with all of the technology. In the subways of Busan, I had a very unique commuting experience. Most of the commuters didn’t really have their phones with them. Instead, they would talk to the person next to them and ask about how they’re doing, how they’re coping with life, and sometimes, they would share stories of their own as well. As an added bonus, there were multiple times when the elderly would actually offer to have my youngest sister on their laps throughout the train journeys and I thought that it was something very sweet.

I remember finally getting a seat next to this elderly man after standing for a long period of time. Well, I was minding my own business staring blankly towards the floor when he started gently tugging my black glove that I was wearing on my left hand. In my head I was thinking, “What is this guy trying to do?”

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I mean it was out of nowhere and I didn’t know the man at all. So I turned my head towards him with the “confused-stare” look and he immediately asked me with a smile in a soft, frail voice, “Cold?” I replied with a simple nod of the head.

He went on to ask, “Where you are from?”

“Singapore,” I acknowledged.

With a heart-warming grin on his face, “Welcome in Busan.”

He continued by asking for my age and he started talking about the things that he did when he was my age. He also shared about his work life and stories when he was transitioning into his work life. It was evident he was not proficient in English but he did make the effort to form coherent sentences for me to understand. I went ahead to ask for his age and to my surprise, for such a fit looking person, he claimed that he was 72 years of age. For me the fact that he was 72 is surprising for me since he probably saw the war happened when he was a kid.

After a little bit of story sharing, the train finally reached his intended stop. He gave a small bow, stepped outside of the train onto the platform, and waited for the train to leave. Only when the train left, he gave a small bow and waved at me with the same heart-warming grin on his face.

I guess I can say that what really made my trip here in Busan memorable was the people. How they made me feel like I’m no stranger here, and made no one else feel like a stranger here. I really do believe that the impact the people and then culture left on me here is really something that I will not forget for a long time.

Seoul

Seoul is probably a city that I would safely compare with Singapore. A city going through rapid development, having a very tech-savvy population, and behind the concrete urban jungle, there’s all sorts of cultural elements. To my shock, when I arrived in Seoul from Busan, I notice that there was a change in culture, I would say. It had begun to remind me of Singapore. Commuters all focused on their mobile screens. I didn’t at all have the same experience and hospitality that I received in Busan (not that I expected really).

Precision

On The Smallest Of Things

Thanks to analog, we now have good degree of precision be it in calculation or checking the time. In precision, we tend to care for the smallest of digits, and the smallest of things, and in this, we make the smallest of things look big, in a way. Sadly, while precision does have its benefits, we human tend to take the psychology and thinking from this and apply it wrongly to real-life. Take the time to scroll down Facebook and read the comments sections of articles that mainly talk about “new measures” or “new initiatives”. Even if the article talks about initiatives that actually benefits the community and public, there are bound to be comments that actually find a way in complaining about the matter. This growing culture of complaining is worrying since it is drowning out the amount of appreciation that we have for the good things that we have currently, and this is just something that deviates us from the golden principles and traditions that we had.

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Fin

What This Means

I read this article on The Straits Times last week about how Singapore isn’t the same as it was back in the 1960s. It described how development destroyed the “kampung spirit” that we have in Singapore. In a way, this can be attributed to the advancements in technology that we are currently experiencing. How so? As I described, technology such as social media plays a part in drenching our minds in self-interest, and it is this self-interest that leads to the breaking up of communities. Along with this, without us knowing, it invites us to slowly walk away from our past traditions, as well as moral values.

So What

We need to pay attention and study the human-to-hardware interaction, and make ourselves understand that whatever happens in the hardware itself is something separate from how we get through with our lives. In gaming terms, it’s sorta like an extra DLC to a game. In order for our next generation to not be consumed by such a technology, we need to make them understand the ethics and morals of such technology usage in a bid to not allow them to be faced with these extra negative side-effects.

If this were to continue, in the future, we can only see ties of kinship be severed, and people will only free those whom they only know, and we will witness the fall of societies.

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Publishing Little Gray Dot

After a long school term,

I’M BACK.

Well, life at school had been quite hectic. Submitting assignment after assignment, and it seemed as if I didn’t really have time to do the other things that I loved to do, including blogging. It’s finally the summer holidays and I am looking forward to the long 2 months of relaxation ahead of me!

During one of the weeks of the school term, I suddenly had this whole crazy idea of publishing a book. Well, it’s crazy because number 1, I suck at writing. Number 2, I’m still quite too young to publish a full fledged book. However, just recently, I saw that dream came true for me, and that dream was the Little Gray Dot photo-book.

At the end of the term, I compiled all of my notes together and stitched them together to form pages of little paragraphs to accompany my photos. Afterwards, I started choosing the photos that I really liked to go into the book. To be specific, the photos were street and cityscape photography that I had taken over the past few years since I started my interest in the field of photography. I really feel that this book would work because I doubt that nobody out there have ever stitched together a nice little book comprising of photos that weren’t even captured using professional cameras. That’s another double-edged sword thing because I realised that the quality of the photos won’t look as great as well… however I just went with the risk.

Singapore Skyline

The aim of the book is to show people around the world a different perspective of Singapore. Most people think that Singapore is a very typical city, however, I believe otherwise. Under the rapid development and behind the concrete jungle, there are things in between that people tend to miss that makes Singapore, Singapore. Those little things are what I like to call things that contribute to the diversity of the society of the city that I live in.

For the cover page, I managed to choose this picture of the Singaporean skyline that I took from the rooftop of a residential block. I spent a few hours designing the cover page as well as testing out what fits. Afterwards, I went ahead to choosing how many pages I wanted and so, I stick to about 100 pages since it fitted nicely within my budget. Then comes the tricky part of how I wanted to place my photos. This took me a few days because I couldn’t perceive how large the photos would look in real life. The other part of the book I had to complete is the writing bit. Well, this didn’t take me long because again, I basically just stitched up my past writing work into paragraphs.

Cardboard collector in Telok Ayer.

After a few days of hard work, I finally did it. I published my first book ever. And I am really excited to hear responses from the public on my book! It’s exciting because I know I’m a guy who loves to hear criticism from people and through that, I can improve myself! Nevertheless, this is definitely a milestone in my life and something that I would definitely look back to in the future.

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You can find the book below!

TapakBesar

COLLEGE’S BEEN A PAIN.

…and it’s only Week 1. However, to add on to the pain, I created a new Instagram account to showcase Cityscape and Street Photography in Singapore. However, the stress comes in when there is almost close to no engagement on the account whatsoever. So, I have been pulling my hair out for the past few days trying to publicise this.

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Actually… the main reason why I created this account is because my current one is too… messy. There’s personal stuff mixed in with some of my photography work. So I thought that creating a new account with just my plain photography work can make it well… “clean”. On top of that, since most of the youth nowadays are so hooked on to Instagram, Instagram is probably a great way to inspire more youth to work on creativity because I believe that creativity can leave a huge impact on our future.

The name for the Instagram account is inspired by my physical appearance. For a long time people called me “big foot”. …and big feet produce big footprints. …and so I translated this into Malay and that’s how @tapakbesar came about. I actually had a lot of trouble with the profile picture for the account. I initially wanted to have the letters “T” and “B” in Arabic combined together in a logo but this didn’t really look attractive. In the end, I was happy with a picture I took of myself in front of a bunch of HDB blocks in Rochor Road.

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I tried to create a unique identity for the personality I have on my new Instagram account. For example, I decided to type all of my sentences without the use of capitalisation. Also, I try to cut my sentences as short as sweet as possible without losing any of the substance. As for my biography, I added in an “amen kau” next to my email which is a slightly aggressive Malay phrase which translates to “take that”. Or something along those lines.

Hopefully I can get some publicity soon with some advertisements. I guess we will see how this works in the next few weeks.

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instagram.com/tapakbesar

The Heck Am I Doing Here?

It’s been more than a year since I’ve started this whole thing. So why the heck did I start The Amygdala Of Mine in the first place?

Well.

A year ago, I started to have interest in photography. Looking back, honestly, the photos that I produced then were kinda bad looking. However, in my head during that time, I thought my photos were great. So, I thought I wanted to write stories behind the photos that I had taken through this blog. On top of that, I had a lot of free time after my major ‘O’ Levels examinations.

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The main reason why I thought my photos stood out from the rest is because I did street photography. Street photography usually involves taking photos of strangers on the streets doing their own thing so… it involves a little bit of sneakiness. For that fact, of course not that many people do street photography and as a result, turn to other forms of photography like architecture or maybe landscapes and scenery. To add on, I had (and still have) the challenge of doing all of that in a smartphone because I didn’t (and I still don’t) have the money to get a Professional Camera.

I knew I was doing something different.

…and therefore, to give more feeling to my photos, I added a little bit of story. This also gives me an opportunity to share my thoughts about things like school life and possibly social life.

Why are you blogging publicly, rather than keeping a personal journal?

I’m a person who likes to get a lot of attention. HAHA. Trust me. I know myself. If I don’t, I’ll start to get a little lonely and slowly slip into that sad state. In real life, if I wanted some attention, I do it in a form of some emotional gesture or body language. Sometimes, I share emotionally appealing stories too.

Actually, I do have a personal journal, but sometimes, it can get a little boring because you don’t have anyone “alive” in my journal to comment on the things that I had written. But you can always give your journal to your friend next to you and ask them what they think, right? No. It’s just plain weird. HAHA!

What topics do you think you’ll write about?

Like I said, most of my posts are going to be accompanied or based on my amateur photography work. For me, the reason why I do street photography is because I kinda like to explore the way different people live and you know… kinda explore their cultures a little bit. So, my posts are going to be largely be on things like Social Issues, Travel, and occasionally, Food. I’m probably going to write about my personal life once in a while if I feel like it too. I mean it’s MY BLOG right? I can do whatever I want.

Who would you love to connect with via your blog?

To be honest, I have no specific target audience, neither do I have anyone specifically I would love to connect to via my blog. I’m happy as long as there’s some readership here and people commenting their thoughts and sharing their ideas on my posts.

If you blog successfully throughout the next year, what would you hope to have accomplished?

I’m a guy with no goals. I just go with the flow. I really don’t hope to accomplish anything much… except maybe to get some recognition for my photography work and the stories behind them, and probably get other bloggers to have an exposure to the different things that I see for myself everyday or in my travels.

How… should I end this?

Hmm… well I’m just a teenager doing what most other teenagers do; sharing everything about their lives on the internet. But the reason why I chose blogging as compared to other social media sites is simply because the blogging community seems to a very vibrant community and blogging is less confined or restrictive as compared to other forms of social media. I mean… there’s a whole blank page for you to write whatever you want to write about, with endless possibilities!

Oh. and HAPPY NEW YEAR!

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The Stronghold Of Busan

HISTORY

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Busan, located at the South-Eastern tip of the Korean Peninsula, is widely known by historians as the city that bore the brunt of the Communist Invasion by North Koreans in August of 1950. While the rest of Korea was subdued under Communist control, the tide of the Korean war depended on the defence of this last remaining city. Of course, the UN was successful in pushing back North Korean forces in the September of 1950. Well, considering the fact that this only happened 65 years ago, which is relatively not too long ago, I was excited to see for myself the scars left behind by the Korean War since I’m a history junkie.

 

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

It was about a 7 hour plane ride after a few-hour transit in Kuala Lumpur. From the airport, we took the subway to our little motel in Haeundae, where we stayed for the next 3 days. For the most part of our trip in Busan, we used the subway to get to places, and this is probably a much better option than taxi or bus if you really wanna get to know more about the culture and the people here.

In this city, it seems that a high percentage of the demography go to the elderly since I pretty much see a lot of old people everywhere. Well, my first impressions of the people here are great! Especially the elderly. From what I observe, they must really love children since on almost every train ride they go, they would invite my 6 year old younger sister to sit on their laps, and they would play with her, or give her a treat or two.

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To be honest, subway rides can be a little boring and strenuous. Especially when you have to travel long distances or you have to transfer train lines a couple of times (which means that you can’t sleep for the entire duration of the journey). However, my experience in the subway here is way different than what I normally have in the MRT back in Singapore. Keep in mind that most of the people are the elderly, and of course, they are not the tech-savvy group of people who would stick their faces to their smartphones (which I highly doubt they own) playing Candy Crush or fishing likes over at Instagram. Instead, train rides are opportunities for them to socialise, get to know others, and share stories.

I remember finally getting a seat next to this elderly man after standing for a long period of time. Well, minding my own business staring blankly towards the floor when he started gently tugging my black glove that I was wearing on my left hand. In my head I was thinking, “What is this guy trying to do?”

I mean it was out of nowhere and I didn’t know the man at all. So I turned my head towards him with the “confused-stare” look and he immediately asked me with a smile in a soft, frail voice, “Cold?”

I replied with a simple nod of the head.

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He went on to ask, “Where you are from?”

“Singapore,” I acknowledged.

With a heart-warming grin on his face, “Welcome in Busan.”

He continued by asking for my age and he started talking about the things that he did when he was my age. He also shared about his work life and stories when he was transitioning into his work life. It was evident he was not proficient in English but he did make the effort to form coherent sentences for me to understand. I went ahead to ask for his age and to my surprise, for such a fit looking person, he claimed that he was 72 years of age. For me the fact that he was 72 is surprising for me since there is a high possibility that he saw the war happened when he was a kid.

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After a little bit of story sharing, the train finally reached his intended stop. He gave a small bow, stepped outside of the train onto the platform, and waited for the train to leave. Only when the train left, he gave a small bow and waved at me with the same heart-warming grin on his face.

Who knew the subway can be an interesting place!

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I notice that here, there are quite a number of Christian Missionaries too, preaching at entrances.

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MARKETS

In Busan, the best place to try seafood would be at the World-Famous Jagalchi Market at Nampo. It offers a wide variety of seafood that you can take away or that can be cooked on the spot by the stalls there. However, Winter isn’t the best time to look for seafood since most of the seafood isn’t available during the season. Due to the limited selection, I didn’t actually try the seafood since (fun fact) I don’t like to eat Crustaceans; but my other family members seemed to enjoy it.

We visited a couple of different markets selling all sorts of things from clothes, to food. I think the most interesting thing I noticed was the street food. Usually, you would buy the food at the stall, and then walk away with the food, or there are tables for you to actually enjoy the food; but here, they prepare the food for you, and then you consume the food on the same table while standing. I have no idea what I tried that day (it was good though) but it seemed to be some form of “vegetable pancake” sort of thing (I’m not a foodie so yeah). And of course who would forget the Kimchi. To be honest, I wasn’t a big fan of Kimchi before I visited Korea; this absolutely changed my perception of this dish.

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For some reason, I really do enjoy the being in the environment of a wet market. Seeing the hustle and bustle of it, people calling out to each other, neighbouring stall owners joking with one another, it feels like you’re in a vibrant and colourful place.

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As I walked down into the corridors, I noticed that majority of the stalls sold Kimchi, and there were many different ways to prepare them. This whole time I thought Kimchi was like a single dish on its own (again not a foodie). There were some mixed in with fish or even crab.

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Apparently the people here are like really hyped up about churros because you can really find them literally everywhere.

SIGHTSEEING

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On our last day here, went sightseeing around town in a tour bus, and later on, in an open-top bus. The tour bus went through a couple of hills where we got sort of like a bird’s-eye view of the shores of Busan, and also a little bit of nature.

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We unexpectedly stopped by an aquatic museum of some sort since the bus driver wanted to have his lunch. In the museum, were displays of preserved fish and live fish in little aquariums. There was also a small bay next to it where fishermen just do their thing.

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Later on, we transferred to an Open-Top bus at BEXCO to do some sightseeing. The temperatures was about 10 Degrees Celsius, and it sounded like a bad idea to sit in an open area when the bus is moving at such a high speed, but it was all worth the fun. Instead of being just a mundane bus ride, it somehow “transforms” into a roller coaster ride when cold wind gush into your face at high speeds. On top of that, there were breathtaking views too.

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STREETS

It gets dark like really early around say… 6:00pm, and so there isn’t really much to do at night except to just watch the people of Busan carry on with their normal lives. Well, I did a little bit of experiment with long exposure on my phone’s camera and it produced some spectacular results!

Anyway, the most interesting part of my stay here is watching the people of Busan carry on with their normal lives. I mean it’s something I really do appreciate; seeing people load carts off carts, children playing “catching” with one another, couples teasing each other, and you can find all of these on the streets.

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…and we have construction workers too.

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…little children going on field trips.

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Apparently, here, cardboard collectors are a common sight too.

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I guess I can say that what really made my trip here in Busan memorable was the people. Like how they made me feel like I’m no stranger here. I really do believe that the impact the people left on me here is really something that I will not forget for a long time.

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For more pictures from Busan, do head over to my VSCO Grid!

 

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Behind My First VSCO with Distinction Photo

Uncle Playing Harmonica
Uncle Playing Harmonica

Just recently, I received an email from VSCO. This is what it says:

At the top it writes, “With Distinction, VSCO.”

MUHAMMAD DANISH DANIAL BIN MOHAMED ANUAR — Thank you for sharing your image. Your work has been selected to appear in the curated search results.

Well, of course when I received it, I got really excited since I (finally) got some recognition for my work. So here’s a little story behind the photgraph.

Before school starts at 1pm on Tuesdays and Thursdays, I would usually go to work in the mornings at Roxy Square, a small centre below a hotel (Well textbooks aren’t going to pay themselves right). When I finish my work at about 11:30am, I would have my lunch at KFC, located at the shopping mall opposite my workplace’s building. There is an overhead bridge, and then a traffic light I have to cross to get over to the other side. As I make my way there, I would always see this frail elderly uncle in his electrically-operated wheelchair slowly guiding his way through the crowd to get to his usual spot, which was in front of the traffic crossing. What really caught my eyes was that he had a couple of Singapore Flags planted at every inch of his wheelchair. I was thinking maybe it was due to the Nation’s 50th Birthday season. But I kinda noticed that he still has those flags even many weeks before and days after the National Day season. I’m really kinda touched by his patriotism to his country.

In front of the traffic light, he would stop his wheelchair, sit comfortably, place a small box on his lap for passer-by’s to put their money in, and then start playing some tunes on his harmonica as he tries to entertain the public, and at the same time gain some fortune to be able to last through the day. You know, for me, some music would really ease a lot of stress especially after long hours of working. Before leaving for school at about 12 noon, I never fail to deposit some coins I have in my wallet into his money box, and he would give me that grin, and say a sincere, “Thank you”.  I really do appreciate the entertainment he is giving to the crowds under the hot scorching sun, and hopefully, currently, he is doing well.

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Things I See Around School

My school’s located around Bras Basah, right opposite the School of The Arts (SOTA). On Wednesdays, I have this 4-hour break before my Economics lesson starts. During that time usually, I’d hang out and do “work” with my buddies. This week however, I got a chance to kinda walk around my school and take a few pictures of things I see.

Bras Basah is kinda caught in between the Downtown Core and where all the shopping takes place in Singapore. Usually, there is a lot of traffic coming through this area. Here, there is also a lot of developments and construction going on so it adds on to the “busy”ness of the place.

Trolley man.
Trolley man.
Woman looking out for her bus.
Woman looking out for her bus.
Waiting for a loved one.
Waiting for a loved one.

In front of Cathay Cinema, this friendly Ice Cream Man is always there. He likes to talk to his customers and asks questions like, “How was your day?” It’s amazing how he has a really cheerful personality even though he has to stand all day under the hot sun.

Ice Cream!
Ice Cream!

I used to be from St. Joseph’s Institution (SJI), my secondary school. After secondary school, I was admitted to this school in Bras Basah, and coincidentally, old SJI is just two blocks down my current school. I like to joke that SJI is stalking me wherever I go haha. Just recently they also held a Night Festival there so there were lots of stickers pasted all over the place including electrical boxes, lamp posts, and even pillars.

Old SJI Corridor
Old SJI Corridor
These stickers everywhere...
These stickers everywhere…

It’s August so… the Monsoon season is here. Rain can come in unexpectedly. I was in at the steps of SOTA when it rained. People started rushing in all different directions looking for shelter. Those with umbrellas though kinda remained very calm haha.

When it started raining...
When it started raining…

There you go… the things I see around school in the 4-hour break.

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Celebrating Singapore’s 50th

I was fortunate to be able to watch this year’s National Day Parade thrice. It was my first time watching the National Day Parade live too. I was only given one ticket for each time I attend the rehearsals or the real thing so… I kinda went to watch the entire thing without my friends. However, I did make some new friends when we were waiting for the long queues and stuff.

Anyways, not relating to the parade itself, I kinda compiled some random pictures I took during this period, kinda related to the whole ‘SG50’ stuff. Most of them were taken around the Bugis and Little India area.

Chinese Medicine Man
Chinese Medicine Man
People Trying Make A Living Performing In Public
People Trying Make A Living Performing In Public
“Auntie Uncle” Tissue Paper
TOTO 4D Tickets
TOTO 4D Tickets
Another Fortune Teller
Another Fortune Teller
Man feeding pigeons.
Man feeding pigeons.
Rochor Hallway
Rochor Hallway
Selling fruits in the rain.
Selling fruits in the rain.
Bras Basah MRT
Bras Basah MRT
Construction worker rain.
A construction worker working in the rain.
Old Man Little India
A man walking somewhere in Little India
WOOHOO Hung The Flag Proudly On My Front Porch!
WOOHOO Hung The Flag Proudly On My Front Porch!

On the parade day itself, Team Nila volunteers (SEA Games Volunteers) meet up to collect tickets at the National Stadium first before making our way to The Float. That was where I met new people and made new friends!

This was the NDP Preview Ticket actually
This was the NDP Preview Ticket actually

Now, to the parade itself. At the Float, we were given a Fun Pack which consisted of a few nostalgic items like the “stick thing” (I had forgotten what it’s called sorry), a few country erasers that I used to like to collect when I was in Primary School, and also snacks that I loved to spend my pocket money on back in the day.

Nostalgia!!!
NDP Nostalgia

Well, the parade started with some sing-along session to some old National Day songs, and also some performances by Grassroots’ Performing Arts groups. There were also these cute Nila mascots to entertain us. At all corners of the audience, motivators were there to encourage the audience to stand up and start dancing to the music. Really appreciate their effort to get the audience on their feet under the hot sun. (:

A Motivator (:
A Motivator (:

Afterwards, the official parade starts. The parade this year is held at The Padang so we kinda have to watch the entire thing on a big screen. However the best part of the parade, the fireworks, is going to be lighted up in front of us at Marina Bay. So like every other National Day Parade, there was marching and more marching, it’s beginning to become a mundane thing you know, but I really do appreciate the people who were involved in it. Next comes the second best part after the fireworks. The airshow. This year, they made it extra special. There was an A380 with the SG50 livery fly-past, fighter pilots doing dangerous stunts around the city, and also fighter planes forming the number “50” in the sky!

Fighter Pilots engage their boosters
Fighter Pilots engage their boosters
Fighter Pilots in a
Fighter Pilots in a “50” formation
5-Star Salute
5-Star Salute

People started waving their flags in excitement when the planes came thundering in, shaking the ground beneath us. I saw some parents who covered their children’s ears too. Haha.

Wave your flags in the air!
Wave your flags in the air!

If I remembered correctly, afterwards, the President came in, and all of us had to rise to sing to the National Anthem. It was also the cue for the chopper with the Singapore Flag to come in.

The Singapore City Skyline
The Singapore City Skyline

Then there were a couple of different performances of all sorts by different schools and stuff.  …And I’ll just fast forward to the Fireworks bit. This year’s fireworks are supposed to be twice bigger than last year’s. They lighted up the fireworks at two different locations, one at the mouth of the Singapore River, and one at the Marina Bay. I must say this year’s fireworks was spectacular! It was blinding at some points but still, great.

FIREWORKS!
Fireworks!!!
Processed with VSCOcam with hb2 preset
Lights At The Bay

I took part in the One-SG Pledge Moment so all of the Team Nila participants, including me, had to go down to the float to do the pledge… and I was happy to be among the hundreds to reaffirm our loyalty to this country. (:

Supporting Contingents For The Parade
Supporting Contingents For The Parade
Doing The Pledge Together, As A Nation
Doing The Pledge Together, As A Nation

Overall it was a fun experience! Partly… because it was my first time seeing the Parade live. Anyways, Happy Belated SG50 Singapore!

MORE FIREWORKS!
MORE FIREWORKS!

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Aidilfitri 1436 A.H.

Aidilfitri! The happiest time of the year! Well my family and I did lots of stuff to prepare for this occasion. Recently, I got a job so I had some independence on the use of my money. Might as well use it to decorate my bare room. Got a bunch of wine boxes from a nearby wine store, gathered all of my souvenirs from my travels, and mounted a little display on the wall. I also had painted some black acrylic paint at the side of my workstation and did some chalk art.

Mounted some new stuffz!
Mounted some new stuffz!
My new chalk art!
My new chalk art!

Afterwards, I went to the store room to help my grandmother to sort out some stuff. I found this old keyboard that can’t be used no more so I kinda made good use of it.

Turned my room into a mini music studio haha!
Turned my room into a mini music studio haha!

On Aidilfitri, mostly, I look forward to tasting the food. On the eve of that day, my grandmother started cooking loads of dishes from Rendang to Ketupat. As for the Ketupat, before we can actually steam it, we have to weave the “shell” of it first using some sort of leaves-which-I-don’t-really-know-what-it’s-called.

A box full of weaved Ketupat
A box full of weaved Ketupat
Some vegetables for the dishes
Some vegetables for the dishes
Leaves used to weave the Ketupat
Leaves used to weave the Ketupat
Rendang!
Rendang!
Rice grains used to fill the Ketupat
Rice grains used to fill the Ketupat
More Ketupat!
More Ketupat!

It was like 11pm at night but our house wasn’t ready yet. We still had to paint the living room white and do some gardening. Traditionally, we would hang colorful lights in our backyard.

“Lampu kelap-kelip”
My younger sister painting the living room :)
My younger sister painting the living room 🙂

Haha I slept at 3am the following day. Arranging books, dusting the living room, et cetera.

At a nearby mosque, we started Aidilfitri prayers at about 8:15am. The mosque was kinda packed with people so we actually had to pray in the middle of the road.

Aildilfitri Prayers
Aildilfitri Prayers
Haha right in the middle of the road.
Haha right in the middle of the road

Actually the best part of Aidilfitri is that we get to spend time, and ask for forgiveness from other family members. Honestly, I hadn’t cried for a long time.

Eid Mubarak!

Selamat Hari Raya!
Selamat Hari Raya!

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