“Wow,” exclaims Shawn, “it’s like we’re walking into lemon tea.” It’s the fourth, and longest day of our expedition to summit Gunung Tahan (translated literally as Mount Endurance in Bahasa Melayu). We had already summitted the mountain on the second day of our climb – but there would be four days of walking through dense, […]Read more "Tahan V: Eight Rivers and the Mountain King"
In about five hours, I am about to graduate. The Graduate Today I become The Graduate, the third in my immediate nuclear family, after Mum and Dad. Something about today has induced a lot of stress and melancholy in me, and I have been trying to understand this feeling. I want to tell you […]Read more "USP Lives: Full Stops and Full Stories"
We tell stories for many reasons. We draw from unstable, uncertain memory to weave these narratives together. Structured by a confluence of many needs, and polished by the glow of nostalgia, we tell stories for many reasons. Stories remind us of our past selves; they tell about a brighter time, offering a circle of light […]Read more "Tahan IV: The Longest Day (Part One)"
On the morning of 7 October 1930, three Chinese women rubber tappers working on “Puloe Tekong” were badly mauled by a “wild beast”, which was either a bear, or an “unusually large” black panther. A European resident on the island later said that he had seen a panther swimming to the island from Johore several […]Read more "Animals of the Everyday: Encounters and Experiences in 1930 Singapore"
I never wanted to major in History. Preamble Sure, it was fun to read about wars and aeroplanes in books. I first learnt about the Cold War through the various cool jet fighters I was crazy about as a child. I first encountered jet fighters through the World War Two fighter planes in a comic […]Read more "How I Became a History Major"
What is love? Everyone has an answer, some less fruity than others. I have considered the cynics and the romantics. Our material culture is saturated with a desperate emptiness, singing of an answer called Love. I have heard the songs, I have watched the films, promising utopias of Happily Ever After. And then, occasionally, I […]Read more "What is Love I: Starting Again"
Perhaps we are all metaphors of ourselves. Perhaps we start life like sketches, which slowly get filled with with daubs and washes of colour – huge blobs of primary colours, two-dimensional and flat. And then as we progress life anoints us with some shadow and nuance, so we don’t rust so much as weather; we […]Read more "A Work in Progress"