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27 April, 2011

I'm Back

Zing. I wish I had a typewriter. You know that satisfying 'Ting' sound it makes after completing a new line? That's how I feel at the moment. Like a 'Ting'.

What the hell am I talking about? It's that project I started almost two years ago. That thing called a book that I was interested in writing. The one that I'd done a large slab of, and then had wiled away time with excuses and blocks. I was literally stuck. And now I'm unstuck.

I've studied writing literature, in fact, according to my course convenor, I should be eligible for an exemption and have my Graduate Certificate in Writing soon. They tell you that 'writer's block' is a myth. That the white page can be overcome, that it's just a case of working through it with rigour and exercise.

All of that might be true, but when you're writing about yourself and the colourful life you've lived, certain sensitivities come to fruition that impede progress. It was these sensitivities that prevented me from going any further with my tale, and it's languished as a result. Part of me knew that moving here might give the creative juices a creative kick-start, I just didn't know it would come after having a shit of a day on my least favourite day of the week.

It's not like I was struck by a lightning bolt, I have been investing a lot of thought on how to attack my life's subject matter and translate it into the rest of the book since I came here, but I think the long weekend helped significantly. Typically I'd be socialising almost exhaustively on a holiday weekend, but this weekend was filled with introspection and enjoying my own company.

Then today, a quote from a dear friend of mine popped into my head and gave me the kick in the pants I needed. It encapsulated everything I was about and gave me license to invoke the key-typing fingers of fury again.

What's the quote?

I guess you'll have to read the book to find out. But I promise it will be finished.

13 April, 2011

Initial Observations about Singapore: Part 1

I've had this germinating in my head for a while. I'm making it a Part 1 as I'm sure there'll be future occurrences that will continue to astound and confound me.
  1. It's fucking hot
    The first thing I thought before coming here was that 30-degree days everyday would be some sort of paradise, after all, some of the best days I've had in Australia have been around this temperature. But I didn't factor in the humidity. Looking at a cloudy sky and sweating your dick off is not an ideal situation. Especially when it happens every day without fail.
  2. People get bored here
    Not much of an observation, hey? People get bored everywhere. But I get asked of locals - what do you do with your spare time? With the insinuation that there is nothing to do here. I counter with something along the lines of: between travelling around, having people visit you, games of FIFA on my XBox360, playing online poker, drinking at the various bars, eating at the many food destinations, shopping for essentials, writing, and dealing with my addiction to Facebook... what spare time? I'd be doing the same thing in Sydney!
  3. Banter is non-existentWhat do I mean by banter? The usual chit-chat you'd exchange around the office or in a cab. Talking shit. I am built for this, my whole day revolves around lackadaisical observations that are perceived as cool stories and yet this doesn't really happen here. My first trip in a cab I launched into a somewhat bland note that the weather was different here to Australia. Normally that would generate all sorts of colourful expressions from a cab driver. Not here.
    "You're not from here are you?"
    Silence. The same applies in the office, but I'm threatening to circumvent that with much yelling across the room of late.
  4. They love their food
    You don't just sit down and have a drink with these people. As a matter of fact I can't remember a session I've had where this has happened. You sit down, order a drink, and all of a sudden someone remembers it's compulsory to have food with your drink. Of course, silly me. I'm not really pooh-poohing it, it's just something that's taken some adjusting to. Some of the best drinking sessions I've had have been at places like Strattons. And there you need to be very drunk to order the food.
So there you have four quasi-negative points about Singapore and where I'm living now. Am I loving it? Yes. A change is indeed a holiday and while I'm still dumbstruck by some of the concepts I'm wrapping my head around, I wouldn't have it any other way. Work's been challenging, but I have to keep reminding myself that this would be the case with any new job I was starting. Let alone in another country.

10 April, 2011

Feeling the Beat

So I'm listening to Gabriel & Dresden fresh from a Skype call with my Mum. I always wondered why travellers would tout its virtues, but I'm a fresh convert. Being able to see and hear people makes a world of difference to how you cope abroad, and my only complaint is that I can't think of everything I want to say when time aligns. I was a phone whore back in Australia, and I'm barely getting my fix here!

Last post I was acknowledging my homesickness, and it was probably an accurate reflection of one of the lows I was experiencing. While I love to post, brag, and share as much as I can while I'm here, I am guilty of putting a positive spin on things a bit much, and I think acknowledging the challenge of being far away from friends and family was cathartic in a way.

Fortunately, I've been lucky enough to get a chance to see two of my besties in Chiang Mai. At relatively short notice I jumped on a plane and visited a magical city that my friends have been raving about. The trip was short, sweet, and envy-inducing. As much as I love my job, the networking and what I do, part of me wishes I could just kick back and revel in the work-from-home lifestyle my friends enjoy. It was a pretty magical experience for me in amongst all the drinking and food, and I'll definitely return.

But I have to get some more travel out of the way first! On another whim I booked flights and accommodation to Kuala Lumpur. I have the travel bug and I have it bad. The advice I received once I arrived in Singapore was to get as much travel in as I could, and I've certainly looked to maintain that.

Another friend is in town now! Unfortunately he works seven days a week while he is here, but it's bloody good to have a dinner buddy in tow that lets you debrief. The other night we had beers, frog, dumplings and shredded pork. And he queried why I was grinning so much - pretty happy to have a visitor was my answer. It really doesn't get much better.

Now that I'm a bit more settled here, I'm looking to resume my Masters. It's been on the back-burner for a while now, and I'm keen to resume as I've got the itch. Hopefully that will result in taking the book off the shelf and finishing it off too.

I just hit a wall. It was a big, big weekend with two nights of heavy boozing, and I'll be thankful for some rest. I'll tell you the rest later ;-)