In 1997, two decades after the end of the Cultural Revolution, Wang Xiaobo died prematurely of a heart attack. This was five years after his debut novella The Golden Age made him one of the most widely read and discussed authors among disillusioned youth in China. While initially met with hostility from the literary establishment, … Continue reading Book Review: The Golden Age 黄金时代 by Wang Xiaobo 王小波
"Celebrations Together": Artwork by Khong Ka Yeung, Rulang Primary School Happy 55th birthday, my dearest Singapore! 🎂☀️🇸🇬 Each year, NDP (National Day Parade) is special partly because of the songs that I grew up with. I remember singing the NDP songs in school halls, classrooms, on the bus, with friends, teachers, family, strangers—all in unison … Continue reading Happy National Day! // my cover of “Home” by Kit Chan
滚滚长江东逝水，浪花淘尽英雄。 是非成败转头空。 青山依旧在，几度夕阳红。 白发渔樵江渚上，惯看秋月春风。 一壶浊酒喜相逢。 古今多少事，都付笑谈中。 《三国演义》开篇 Roiling waves of the river flow, Rippling tides sieve out heroes, Wins and losses now hollow. The earth lies here still, Many sunsets come and go. A snowy-haired elder perches by, Seasons ebbing in his eyes. History’s many tales All washed down with wine, Drowning in laughter with … Continue reading 2019: A Tale of Many Cities
Happy happy National Day, all my Singaporean friends! 🎂🇸🇬✨ It's weird how frequently I've thought of you, Singapore, in the day-to-day of my job. Like when the White House published a memo attacking China's developing country status in the WTO and the first thing my eyes were glued onto in the text (read here) was … Continue reading Happy 54th birthday, Singapore!
On May 31, 2019, I turned 21. The big 21 is sundrenched in Californian heat, pulsing in road trip vibes, and peppered with desert sand and surrealist tree-like cacti with muscled arms (think: the Whomping Willow in Harry Potter). Outside of the window are lonely gas stations, abandoned houses, and then a humongous pink ice … Continue reading The Big 21
Author's Note: Found this buried in my drafts from 2018. Just a random little story on the impressionistic, surreal flicker of a college encounter between a girl and a boy (and dogs). She met him in the dorm room with a slanted ceiling. It was a mixer of about fifty people, with a makeshift bar … Continue reading [Story] Dog Days Are Over
Author's Note: Here's the first short story I wrote in college. It's from 2017. I workshopped it in the first creative writing workshop I took at Harvard — thank you to Claire Messud and everyone else who gave me their precious feedback. The writing might be kitschy at parts and the style is also rather … Continue reading [Valentine’s Day Short Story] April, I Arrive on The Shores of Your Love
The countdown of days to the end of the year starts with a burnt nose. As I am steaming my face, eyes closed in bliss, my head dips too far down the basin—nose first. The boiling hot water scalds the tip. When I whip my head back up, there's a pimple-shaped red blotch on my … Continue reading 2018: An Autobiography of Seasons
To the sunny island-state who fed me a diet of chicken rice, pineapple tarts, dim sum, herbal soups, bubble tea, zi char, and Pokka green tea, To the towering institutions, well-worn wooden lecterns, scribbled whiteboards, laughter-filled halls, bleary-eyed mornings before sunrise, and the strict, snarky but wise teachers who educated me, equipped my mind and … Continue reading Happy 53rd Birthday, Singapore!
When she trudges home that night, it’s forty minutes later, after two transits and twelve stations. She is about to turn left, head down the bridge, cross the crossing under a flickering street lamp and follow that path she has walked for twenty-one days when she notices the 7-Eleven store. Undimmed, the fluorescent white from … Continue reading [Story] 7-Eleven: A Summertime Romance?
Pride & Prejudice | Starring Keira Knightley & Matthew Macfadyen | 2005 This review is full of spoilers. Gloriously, hopelessly romantic. Pride and Prejudice is the English novel that cemented my love for romance. It was my initiation into romantic literature, the etchings of a lifelong silhouette of Mr. Darcy behind all contours of romantic aspirations … Continue reading Movie Review: Pride & Prejudice (2005)
Minutes before the day ends in my time zone, Merry Christmas everyone!🎄🎄🎄 1. Christmas Today, I am grateful for— Funny presents (the wrapped mango slices still win) This year, my dad told me with a straight face: "I'm no longer going to be Santa because you're nineteen." My parents pretended to be Santa for years … Continue reading As I Stand, I Feel
BLACK FRIDAY — 10:40AM, Friday She sits there, her heart a solid thudding of the metronome, an old man's pace. The café is a startling white, clean like a repurposed showroom. The rows of baked goods behind the open-air counter are a dash of brown-gold, like yolk nestled in egg-white. Patterns crawl across its interior; … Continue reading [Story] On Black Friday Morning, in a Sun-lit Café
It felt like the universe had conspired in magnanimity to lay out before me all the stars it had in its pouch. There's a boy seated next to me at the roulette. It's a round-table congregation of tense, weeping or energetic men (some slightly crazy-eyed); this boy who seems unperturbed by it all; and then there's me, … Continue reading [Story] Macau: Casino Lights Dancing