Archives for category: Life on the bank



Did you hear? We threw them mortar boards up in the air, and we graduated.





Snow, which as usual, London couldn’t deal with. But which my very tropical mom was very thrilled about.

Chinese New Year brought dumplings and crazy costumes to Raymont Hall. And Candice to London.

Back to St. Gallen for the first time in five years. And Zurich provided some much-needed sunny days.

Some sunny respite: The calm before the essaywriting storm.

Essays x 5, Redbull cans x 90, Readings x ∞, Life x 0

Back to sunny Singers for the World Cup (damn Paul) and Super Junior fangirling!

One more month with my nearest and dearest, with the shadow of the dissertation never far behind.

Back to London for dissertation hell. May in a repeat, with a non-existent supervisor (not my fault) and extremely last-minute cramming (entirely my fault).

Farewells, birthdays, farewells.

Goodbye London, Bonjour Montreal! This was easily the best decision I made all year.

Three weeks in Montreal became two months (the second-best decision I made all year). And we went to the concrete jungle where dreams are made of.

Christmas back in London. No crazy cooking sesh or even crazier boxing day sales this time; just good company and lots of Home Alone guffaws.


It’s been a good ride.
I’m ready for 2011.

Bonne année à toi!



(Something I wrote in August this year)

It may just be tonight.
One night where I know I cannot breathe.

The unbearable screech of silence bounding off
the walls
is what it is.

That bridge, the water, the old winding street –
I begged you to take me before it got too dark.
I had to take a picture.

We got there too late.
Nobody could tell if it was Lombard Street, or just some
straight avenue in the parade blueprint.
We got there and it was dark.

I won’t go north after Thanksgiving.
It gets too cold and then life takes over.
I have letters to write,
white envelopes to open. And seal. Open. And seal.

I hear my grandma’s sleeping on my bed now.
I can only sigh with relief.
That it’s not time yet. Because I can’t let go.

Anywhere but here.
One day geography will wash my lifeless body up the shore.

And tonight;
tonight is one of many nights where
I cannot breathe.


I guess Korean dinners and warm cups of peppermint latte make us more than a little loopy.




[via J Warren]


Two months in Montreal have pretty much dimmed the British schemas in my mind, but I knew I was in London again today when I waited thirty minutes for buses that would never come because the student demonstrations against government cuts to tertiary education were going on everywhere. Even more acute was that realization when I finally got to school in the most indirect way possible, and right in front of the very inviting entrance of Goldsmiths’ hung two long, black banners that shouted in bold: “WALK OUT“. Or the fact that the book-return cart was completely devoid of paperbacks, in place of which was a single sheet of loose-leaf paper that read quite emphatically: “Cut off Nick’s Dick”. (I’m assuming that ‘Nick’ here alludes to the Couldry variety. You know, my very esteemed Media Rituals professor?)

And then J and I walked into the main building and heard the chorale group belting out Jingle Bells in a three-part harmony, the kind that makes you want to break out the red cable-knit sweater with the giant snowflake print and sit back with a steaming mug of eggnog. It couldn’t have been more ironic in that single moment, especially when I realized that the great occupation of the Deptford Town Hall took place a mere month ago.

Only in Goldsmiths’; only in London.

On another note, I hope the safety of Nick’s vital appendage hasn’t been compromised.




Goldsmiths ’10 MA Design Degree Show

We headed down to Shoreditch Town Hall for C and M‘s design degree show, which was centred around the theme of design for living. C‘s space blanket design that basically works a lot like a hug machine for two individuals separated by distance and M‘s shifting plant wall were designs I actually could see being incorporated into daily living, as were the designs for breaking bad habits and the most intriguing exploration of intelligent light. They aren’t just audacious contemporary designs that cost an arm and a supermodel’s leg (I once saw a documentary of a British artist pricing a doorknob he had attached to a blue wall for £9,000 and calling that a real bargain), but real specimens of how the blur between art and life could actually prove to be of value.

And you know, I tried to convince M to patent her plant wall design so that when I have my own apartment in the future, I can lay claim to a Martina Wu piece of my own!

The most epic of a year together, the most epic of friends, the most epic of farewells, the most epic of pictorial chronologies in a long while, the most epic of tributes in a justifiably emotional state.
Don’t say I didn’t warn you.

[Goldsmiths Class of 2010. Asian Represent.]

To say that 2009 was the worst year of my life is an understatement. But what goes down also must really come up, so it comes as no surprise that 2010 has proven to be nothing short of amazing for me.

Read the rest of this entry »

Food is just food, no matter how you look at it. Not that that’s a bad thing; it isn’t. But a super flavorful bowl of galbi tang is just that: a super flavorful bowl of galbi tang.

Years from now, even the most mind-blowing of meals would probably trigger only a fond but extremely hazy thought; tastes and textures slip easily into vagueness. But years from now, it’s the people with whom I shared these meals who will still matter. I will remember that F‘s farewell meal was one partaken over spitfire Mandarin and plenty of belly laughs. I will remember that J had me walk 30 minutes to have the best galbi tang I’ve ever had and how I always seem to unearth one more fun fact about this guy every single time we meet.

Dinner table conversations and pillow talk. Oh, they’re one and the same.

[Tank tunic: H&M. Vest: Cotton On. Cardigan: H&M Men. Tights: Accessorise. Necklace: Topshop. Shoes: Emporio Armani. Bag: Kenneth Cole Reaction.]

While B took J and me in search of an elusive store on an elusive street somewhere in the maze that is Soho, we ended up discovering so many stunning little nooks and crannies that I never even knew existed. Vintage stores without the droves of bounty hunters synonymous with Brick Lane, kitschy prints and stencilled masterpieces hanging in shop windows, bookstores that instantly take you back 50 years, and the most quaint of watering holes I’ve seen in a long time. Have I really been in London for so long and not even once ventured past the high street? I should be so ashamed.

It’s been a long time since I had a Happy Meal (or any Maccas meal, for that matter) and even longer since I spent a Sunday at Camden Town. The crazy swirly things they hang everywhere that would suit only the most prepubescent of home decorators, the bursts of color that greet at every street corner, the living punk institutions who never fail to amaze me in the way they deftly interweave badass and girly, the bad waffles and malfunctioning chocolate fondue contraptions, the amazingly well-behaved pooches that trot alongside giant Aldo outlet paperbags and billowy harem pants, the culinary gems that pop up every five stores or, so surviving alongside busy food stalls promising every jumbled ethnic surprise imaginable (curried fried rice samosas, anyone?)…

Hello Camden. It’s been a while.