E: Just got back from HK!

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Saying the last few weeks have consisted of regular ups and downs wouldn’t quite cover it. The last few weeks have been a heavy, energy depleting and demanding test of who I think I am a person and more spiritual bullshit continued…  within this recent time period I have undergone the hardest examination weeks of my life, (thanks again to Singapore’s education system for the joy that was), witnessed some of the most beautiful landscapes I will ever have the privilege of seeing and shamelessly devoured platefuls of dirt cheap, heavenly, world class foods.

Does the stress I endured during university time equal the enjoyment from travelling afterwards? I think I can just fold that page corner and add it to my binder of all of life’s complications that I cannot, will not and will never be able to solve. Hopefully however in the near future, just like what my hopeless memory has retained of my first year of studying in York, my mind will be vacant of everything but the pictures left behind and the simply the best memories. The only problem being as time stands is, I’m doubtful as to whether I can handle another semester in this strange bubble of a campus.

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What to say now about Hong Kong? The alpha+ city which first introduced the world to the concept of east meets west? The city is a loud, vertical, Cantonese speaking mess stuck in the 80’s, that makes it a rather fun mess too. The old housing blocks have aged beautifully into these captivating towers of unevenly shaded decaying paint jobs.

The contrast between the clean business towers and the slums, homes of everyday ‘rats’ caught in this city race cannot be see in any more clarity in the places I’ve been than in Hong Kong. The bustling night markets live up to everything they appear to be in photos and videos I witnessed as a child and the skyline with its gorgeous mountainous backdrop deserves every number 1 position it continues to earn in numerous rankings within prestigious publications.

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For a Londoner who now lives in Singapore unfortunately there isn’t much new to experience as Hong Kong. To me HK feels like a mashup of  Paris, London, New York and Singapore. Every corner I turned I couldn’t escape the Chanel, Marks and Sparks, Louis Vuitton, Pret a Manger, Apple Store, McDonalds, Starbucks and I could go on. So although not an en-lighting new place for me a pleasant weekend of interesting remotely familiar sights instead. If you’ve never been to the cities listed above Hong Kong is a great place to explore, for me, for now however the weekend was enough. Met up with some friends while I was there and really enjoyed some company and good food, Hong Kong has left me with little questions about the space unfortunately. If I ever visit again I’ll try to look at the place with a fresh pair of eyes.

Keep your eyes peeled on this space, I have a ridiculous amount of posting to catch up on. I’ll schedule the posts  for the next few weeks, sorry I haven’t been posting directly which would probably have been the best thing to do but as you can probably imagine I’ve been a bit caught up in living it haha! New posts soon!
IMG_2241Towers

IMG_2438Weather was miserable the whole time I was there!
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IMG_2331Rooftops

IMG_2413The Nunnery and gardens, my favourite place in HK

IMG_2398The view from the front door of my hostel building

IMG_2443Kasper, Gustav, Sharon, Joacim and Me. I will never forget the street karaoke in the rain!

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E: Tiramisu Hero – Singapore

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Tiramisu Hero is a small place a little out of the way near the Farrer Road and Little India area. Had a good night out with friends and plenty of good food, the only thing missing was a couple of £1 Jaeger bombs here and there but I think I can tolerate that. Passers by should definitely try out the lava cake and get a photograph with the giant cat head (Just go). Walls are illustrated with quirky cats and the toilet mirror even has a moustache on it ready for whole load of instagram pictures.
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C: Day n Night

IMG_0032This space has fallen into complete misuse the last couple of weeks. I was so excited about the fact I’d have so much to write about being in another country and all yet unfortunately it seems my life is no more exciting than before, less if anything. That is of course if you think being stuck in an air-conditioned library with isolated desks is exciting. The fact is there is too much studying to be done in Singapore, everyone being ridiculously competitive doesn’t help either.

My final set of mid-terms finished on Wednesday, so I rewarded myself and headed to the beach. It was pretty sweet. Although it’s an artificial cove, you can’t say it’s a bad beach. I got to see a kingfisher grabbing his lunch and a humming bird or two. It’s so surreal that I’m here but I don’t even notice it due to the workload. Hopefully in the second semester now I know how the ball rolls I’ll be able to be more efficient with my time because there really is so much to do here. Should have a few more posts up before final exams and after will be ready to depart for some travelling. Finally!

 

E: Submerged in a View

IMG_9891Honestly it’s difficult to describe the kind of high being at the marina bay sands infinity pool gives you. The view, so condensed in detail will literally leave you questioning whether your eyes are working at some new resolution. It is a picture which is very difficult to get bored of. Swimming next to this picture adds a whole new level of awe to the experience.

There really is something different about having nothing separating you and a view compared to views witnessed behind a glass pane. It feels so close, like the whole city is exposed for your viewing.

IMG_9930Cliché’s aside being up there really made me think about the future. Is this a glance at the sort of life I’d like to have one day? Who are the guests who can afford to come here on a regular basis? Do I want to be one of them? Surprisingly I came to a conclusion rather quickly. No, not really. Don’t get me wrong, it’s great that they’ve all worked really hard to get where they are; to be able afford this life regularly, I just think to myself, isn’t this now, the excitement and rarity of the opportunity so much better?

Some people will want that constant luxury lifestyle and that’s absolutely fine and logical. It’s just simply put, it ‘ain’t my thing’. I will always feel satisfaction and pride of your work to a certain degree will always outweigh the importance of the amount of money you earn. I don’t know how the future will affect my views yet but for now at least this is how I feel.

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It’s not easy being out here but I can honestly say I appreciate every perk to the fullest when it comes. Honestly speaking if I could experience all of it, it all of the time I don’t think I would.  So I’ll have a blast while and whenever I can. I feel like I constantly prove it doesn’t have to cost anything if you get a bit of luck and help.

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Thank you so much to Alex’s parents for inviting us all up as guests for her birthday. We were spoilt rotten and treated so kindly for people they barely knew!

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L: What I’m Listening To

With a lot of work to complete, I need a lot of music to help me get through it. What I’ll try to do from now on as some writing practice is to talk to you guys about what music I happen to stumble into. Some music will be old I’ve just found and some will be new top 40 hits or tracks off new albums. Be prepared for a proper mix of everything, if you like any particular track hit the comments and let me know what you think.

First up is one of my favourite tracks from the Disclosure album ‘Settle’. The vocals provided by Hannah Reid (London Grammar) being robust whilst simultaneously being received as very mellowing. The consistent jazzy beat in the background amplifies Reid’s dreamily chanted verses. It’s just a nice song to play during your way back from school or work to help you detach from that crowded mindset. My favourite part is from 2:50 onwards where the song evolves into a brief enchantment for the soul.

The second track is an older track released in 2012. Unfortunately I’ve only recently discovered Australian musician Flume’s brilliance. ‘Holdin On’ is a wacky combination of R&B influenced vocals spliced with electric synths resulting in a pretty fresh sound. This charted pretty well in Australia and New Zealand, not sure why the single’s success wasn’t as large in my part of the globe. There’s definitely room for some Flume….. (Please ignore the last sentence if it makes you cringe)

The last song for today’s post is collaboration round 2 for British acts Naughty Boy and Emeli Sande. This one’s a real banger, especially when you’re working to meet deadline. There’s a real survival element, taking a slightly darker tone compared to the pair’s previous track ‘Wonder’. Emeli Sande euphorically  belting out chorus does not disappoint. My favourite lyric being ‘Devil can’t catch me tonight’ which every time manages to leave a smug little grin on my face.

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