Sunday, 9 October 2016

The Weak Bitch's Handbook: Travelling the UK

I know, I know. It's been so long since I updated with a travel post despite all my promises to. My writing took a turn halfway through my exchange when I'd experienced a paradigm shift of sorts. There was just so much more to travelling than taking photos and writing travel guides and I was happily lost in all of that. The previous post I wrote upon my return was somewhat about that - the realisation that my experiences were mine and I didn't have to feel obliged to share them.

But lately I've been separated from the last batch of friends I made on exchange (the sg warwick kids have finally started term) and waves of post-exchange nostalgia have hit me hard. Looking through my albums I realised that I've still got some photos here and there that haven't seen the light of day, so why not give them airtime while reviving this space?

So here's hoping that the remaining instalments of The Weak Bitch's handbook will allow those of you who are reading this to discover their own adventure, take a 5 hour bus ride to wherever and perhaps find themselves along the way.

I'm starting with UK just because.

Tuesday, 19 July 2016

This is not a sponsored post.

This is not a sponsored post. This is not a skinny Chinese girl in tumblr-worthy visuals. This is not a how-to, it is not an itinerary. This will not teach you how to get from A to B under X dollars. This is not like, share and comment. There is no discount code at the end. This is not a complaint about thirty five degrees celcius. This is not a layman's commentary on Brexit. This will not change your life. This is not I miss you even though I do, I do.

This is a museum of hellos and a curation of goodbyes. This is an inside joke you will never understand. This is your neutral accent you put on with angmohs. This is chicken rice mix that doesn't taste quite right. This is the only snowball you will pitch in your life. This is the last cigarette in a week-old pack of Luckies. This is an apology. This is for the love you let go. This is three months' worth of left swipes on tinder. This is a Syrian girl child selling roses to tourists past midnight in Taksim. This is a cancelled flight to Barcelona. This is a metro strike in Rome. This is a tube strike in London. This is a tram strike in wherever-the-fuck else. This is subpar Asian food spelled inaccurately on the menu. This is a misplaced lah tumbling from the mouth of someone who thinks he knows Singlish. This is nihao said by a white person. This is 你好 said by a Chinese person.

This is solidarity. This is for every time somebody knows that the country you are from is not in China. This is the double take every time they realise how well you speak English. This is you giving up explaining why you're so good in the first place. This is a kitchen argument on the pronunciation of scone. This is a game of drunken twister and Joe has skipped your turn for the third time but you don't mind. This is a never ending prank war. This is a Marquez novel peeking out from under your strewn scarf. This is a Deeper Conversation. This is an impromptu night out, a neon mistake. This is a schoolgirl fantasy played out at three AM. This is the perfect omelette, pale and cheesed-stuffed. This was winter. This was spring. This is summer. It is still summer. This is the feeling you get when he calls you by the name you were born with. This is the wonder of a Moroccan pigeon pastilla. This is the bad bitch who changed her tampon in the Sahara. This is the aftermath of an Ibizan rave. This is unfinished business. This is the realisation that you are nothing, yet everything you will ever need.

This is and to all Singaporeans and residents of Singapore, a warm welcome home.

Monday, 23 May 2016

The Strong Bitch's Guide to Surviving Sexual Harassment

Feel the weight of his arm against your shoulder through an inch of down and nylon. Feel it for two days afterward.

Shake his hand when he offers it because you don't know how to say no. You never knew how to and you still don't, your mother never taught you. She taught you not to follow strangers, she didn't tell you what to do if they followed you.

Reject him politely when he asks you if you'd like to get chips.

Stand there like a fucking idiot as he tells you to turn around to show him your ass. See his hands grope you through the air.

Feel his hands on you although they were never there. Dirty, dirty, dirty.

Ask yourself if there is anything you could have done. There is always something you could have done. Something you should have worn, something you shouldn't have worn. Something you should have said, something you shouldn't have said.

Today instead of covering yourself from neck to ankle in winter clothing you should have also worn a helmet maybe.

Today instead of being an Asian female you should have been born a white male.

Today instead of waiting for the bus by the main road like a normal member of society you should have waited inside Tesco.

Today you shouldn't have cried because it is not your fault.

It is not your fault.

Go home and take the longest shower anyway.

Saturday, 23 April 2016

The Weak Bitch's Handbook: Don't Miss Your Bus in Lyme Regis

Hello, it's me, I was wondering if after all these weeks you'd still read my blog. Before I get on with the actual stuff here's a quick life update: I'm done with my sem at Warwick (drowned in essays, thus explaining the absence in March) and I'm currently on a 3 month tour around Europe.

In February I took a trip down south to Exeter to visit Olivia and we took a day trip to Lyme Regis, a coastal town known for its fossils and for being the premise of John Fowles' The French Lieutenant's Woman. I know this sounds very boring to non-lit people but I assure you Lyme was one of the quaintest little towns I'd ever been in. There were artist nooks at every corner, and every door was marked with the imprint of a fossil - utterly adorable.

Sunday Squares: Santorini

Hello from Crete, Greece! I'm currently at the airport waiting for my next flight out to Rome (I know, even I'm finding it hard to keep track nowadays). 

For a few days last week I was in Santorini, an island so beautiful it was surreal. But I'm not gonna lie, it was one of the most expensive stops I've made so far in terms of accomodation/food and living expenses.