Moving, moving, whoosh!
Moving can be so fun and you can spend hours on end trawling through sites looking for the best bargains to suit your budget (I have sworn I will not go mad). I think I am at least 30% better in bargain-hunting now. Apart from 50-cents clothes and books I was always so proud of in Sing, or the occasional amazing sales haul, I think I am stupendously bad in thinking what a good bargain is. I would pick out something that is 50% cheaper than I thought it would be, present it proudly to my gurlfriends, who would in turn find something even cheaper and. . well, I give up. Maybe it's a Singaporean thang--they give you the best money-saving tips ever lol. Or so I discovered when I moved here and befriended a handful of fellow locals. So I've been too excited I cannot sleep. This is bad. I look for stuff and realise, oh no, it's 4am, so I lay down. But you know how when you're awake life can be so wonderful you don't want to go to sleep (and when you're asleep you enjoy it so much you don't want to wake up!), I get up half an hour later and do more! The day has begun and it is a rare day when I see the sun rise so I dress up and go out and pick up stuff. I move on Friday so I want to set up most of the house over the weekend and therefore have gotten a complete game plan of how and where to store what, and assembled an array of things to deliver over to my current place so I can get crackin' immediately. You know, things like towels, incense, wall hangings and satin sheets. Except that posting suddenly seems slower than I remember. Which is getting me slightly worried.
The thing about women is that we invariably tend to link outfits with occasions in our memory-- e.g. "Oh! THAT event, I remember now, you were wearing (insert shoes) and (insert dress)"-- or worse still, have an extremely acute recollection of the last time we wore some item. This condition is particularly accentuated when you have enough pieces to last you at least three years if you wore a different look every day without buying anything new. I know how I tell my mother or D that I have worn something before "three times!" triumphantly, and they'd go "Oh, great achievement huh?". Well, there are people with loads of clothes sitting in their wardrobes still with the tag on from five years ago-- clothes they bought but do not dare to wear out because they have some mental lookbook in their head following the diktats of Latest Trends Everybody Wears, which really defeats the purpose of even buying anything. I maintain that my ethos is still much healthier. Hey, at least the clothes get worn! And as long as I remain the same size (fingers crossed!) it should all be alright. One danger of having too many clothes, though, is that if you suddenly pluck something out and wear it, you'd get questioned "Is that new? I have never seen it before" and a big smile lights up your face whilst you recall how happy you were to discover that piece in some boutique or jumble sale or the oohing and ahhing your best friend and you did over that, whilst doing mental sums and jumping up in semi-fright at how time has passed by.
"No! It was six years ago! I got it for Christmas during the Mango sales, and I picked it up from this branch in__ and. . ." was my latest retort. I was telling the truth. Well, I'll be honest, sometimes I still wear clothes I bought at 12 (err. . they look good still!), which was a bone-chilling twelve years ago. I figured that if Wear History all the time with vintage clothes and pieces from my grandmother and mother, why not old pieces by me. I have a confession to make. Half the time I walk around with no idea what the latest trends are (not that I really care), it is only when I see enough people in a certain Look that it starts to dawn upon me. By which I am even less bothered after being visually desensitised. After all, Latest Faux-En-Vogue (let's face it, loads of them are really ugly and a dime a dozen and often quite boring) always has prices jacked up ridiculously and everybody wears the same thing, the last time I remember wearing uniforms was when I did my ALevels in junior college. Plus I also am attracted to odd stuff-- shiny things, ostentatious decadent looks, curtain prints (yay for wearing curtains!), and humongous jewelry-- way before anyone will start telling me "How are you gonna wear that? It's too __" a.k.a. nobodywearsthem. Well sometimes I am too glad I don't have this StyleDiktatGhoul whispering into my ears as auto-reflex and thus putting the brake on me buying odd stuff. After all, another amazing thing about odd stuff is that if nobody buys them, you'll be guaranteed great bargains during the sales! Well I could write an entire treatise on that. I also have no idea what goes on during the various Fashion Weeks save for the blogs I surf around-- hail blogosphere education!-- and, well, enough confessions for now. Inspired by the lovely stylish Collette of Statements in Fashion's upcoming RE-Style section where she discusses re-wearing clothes bought eons ago and even charmingly labels their ages in a photograph, I thought, why not! I trawled up old photographs of the other times I wore certain pieces-- a way to examine how you've evolved or revisit ways of styling something. My first attempt-- a colourful printed mini I wore recently; and then back in July 2008. Well, actually the only two times I've worn it.
Today I spent some time trawling through my hard drive for photos of my cat, feeling in dire need of anything-feline. The first round of house-hunting that I did saw me more in love with the two black-and-white cats than the house, a behaviour I won't attempt to justify. Moving means that rather than have time to sort out my fall wardrobe (my second autumn ever!), I will be packing everything into boxes for Godknowshowlong. Bad idea. Whilst trying to sort out my visa and looking at a million and one interior design blogs, sketching out concepts on paper and in my head, drooling at scarlet sofas and damask chaise lounges. I'm one step closer to securing the cosy little place of my dreams, complete with an attic bedroom, even if it might be a little small. I think the housing agent was slightly amused as I was contemplating out loud where I'd keep my coats, shoes and books. "There's loads of space in the wardrobe" he said. "But you see, I have a lot of clothes", I replied. Pointing to some low-level shelving, he went, "That's ample space for shoes". "But you see, I have about 50 pairs over in England" (if you exclude the 2.5 and 3-inch boots meant for negotiating the Cambridge cobbles). And then I think he got even more amused listening to my phone conversation with D regarding head-bumping on a low ceiling and noise levels. I have to learn to stop being free entertainment to everyone. Once in a while, I envision myself as ladylike, feminine, calm and well-behaved like my cousins, and then it all comes to naught. How is it that we were all raised together and I turned out like that. Just the other day I had a huge spirited debate with D over how I am nothing demure (I hate that word-- it conjures up images of the epitome of subservient, mute and boring), although being ladylike and proper might be a different thing. Anyhows, fall. What better than animal print! I.e. my second skin. These shots of my cat sum it all up. She wriggled under my leopard-printed cape one day, and her ball was nearby. So I picked up a pair of zebra-print booties and my navy pumps, and voila. Your Feral Feline Fall Lookbook. With a little hint of pink.
Last weekend we headed off to Brighton to scout for houses. Laines, the seaside, a bustling town that's compact enough yet near London, an artsy vibe-- what more can one *really* ask for. Unfortunately, it was Bank Holiday weekend so all B&Bs were booked. And owing to some impending change in the laws, most flats are snapped up meaning. . well, I am still looking. Tragic. After two hours of sleep, the day obviously kicks off with some Photobooth-ing before leaving at 7am. . Sometimes 7am is the time when I sleep, it is quite odd going to bed at 4-ish and waking up at 630am. It was at the train station that I discovered a major glitch. I had selected 'return' tickets on the National Rail site, priced at £44.30 for us both, and when I was directed to the First Capital Connect site to pay, it became £56.30. No matter how I checked the timings, it seemed like the other fare was a hoax. Stupidly enough, I didn't double check if they were returns, single tickets came out at the station. Nevertheless it got me moody for the rest of the day, wondering if we had to pay another sixty quid to travel back-- which would be ridiculous. "You didn't click 'single' so we could somehow stay there overnight, did you?" I was asked teasingly, which I got rather upset about, because, let's face it, I can't travel anywhere without contact lens solution, skincare, etcetera. You get the picture. Plus I am not so lowdown and sneaky. Allegation completely out of the window. Dropping by the train offices in London were only greeted by "Call this number" and calling that alleged-customer support line only led to patronising "Sorry you have to buy new tickets. . tube upgrades. .disruptions. ." and all kinds of shite. Whilst I acknowledge I was stupid not to double-check (it was 3am) and I couldn't possibly call them up to enquire about fare discrepancy at that time, I would have had some faith in believing that my 'return' choice would have stayed when directed to the vendor to pay. Nevertheless, a kind ticket officer at Brighton heard our case at night-- because it was only £0.15 more for return tickets as compared to singles!-- and so we didn't need to take the 'friendly customer support' advice and paid £56.15 less. Well, in essence, I really bemoan the lack of cheap (and efficient) public transport as compared to Singers.
With every school I go to, there is always someone who makes it inevitably memorable, right from kindergarten when I knew a girl called Cindy. We were really close and being young (and naive hah), we pledged to be 'friends forever', but lost contact after a few years. The last time I saw her was during Speech Day where we both won prizes. In primary school, the person who stands out most would be Jane. Bound by a mutual love for Prince William, Backstreet Boys, blond guys and a few dreams, I remember cutting classes with her, her room full of posters and a series of photographs where we made fun of the statues at Madam Tussaud's when it came to Singapore. Shakespeare had a cellphone by his ear, and Prince Charles had his necktie in his mouth. Nuff said. Doing my O'Levels, I met Denise a.k.a. The Best Friend. We'd sketch, read magazines surreptitiously under our desks and were the only two absent from holiday physics lessons because. . we didn't even know that existed. As we grew up we became full-fledged shoe fiends, lending each other shoes as we were of the same size, and she'd help me smuggle shoes home; it'd be customary for us to hit Mango sales together and systematically trek through about seven branches, shortlisting pieces with an aching heart, before sitting down for coffee, cake and gossip in her dramatic fashion complete with insane gesticulations and wild tonalities. Vee came next, in junior college, where we'd muse about everything from the serious to the banal. We went on to different universities, but made it a point to meet and chat about everything from shoes to sociology (we both took that) over chocolate cake and Indian food. And of course, Lulu in university. Lulu noticed me early, telling her friend I was a bimbo probably because of my shoes (hah!) and then a semester later, our first interaction was over a tutorial swap. Months on, I received a strange text from a stranger (i.e. her) asking me advice on makeup brushes, which I did anyway. Classical sociological theory was instrumental in binding us as friends, from which she inducted me into the official echelons of camwhorism-- "P I have more photos of you than of anyone else"--and we'd be each other's company remotely over MSN during report season, whilst forging an alliance against Backstabbing Biatches. Somehow our friendship has gone stronger quite oddly ever since I left Singapore, where we drool at leather bags (her obsession) together over Skype and she tells me she has a newfound love for high heels (my lust), and furrow our brows over our 38-year old men that we met around the same time (is that scary or what?).
And so I packed off to Cam, wondering just who'd I meet next. First day of classes, I met June, a policewoman (!?) from South Korea. The first thing I thought was that she's really beautiful (I mean, I can't see people's personality and IQ from an initial glance, right?) and then I realised she loved shoes too ("no pain no gain!"). We'd bribe each other to wake up for classes during the cold winter by saying, "Okay we'll go for breakfast and shop after that" or text each other early in the morning for other reasons. And then I inducted her into the custom of eating cake, which she initially found 'too sweet' only to constantly tell me later on "Let's go for cake". Before long, we found ourselves in the same colour combinations unanimously and uncannily-- something that happens with close friends and myself. Whilst I continue to marvel at how on earth she stays so skinny if she drinks beer like water for hours weekly. We had no lessons for our last term, but continued to meet up regularly-- filled with insane laughter and her wry humour. What cracked me up was how we unanimously said, "This last term is a holiday! No classes! We will just have to write the thesis during the last month!" with no sense of shame. Oh well. I'm just too glad I met her.
I'd initially wanted to do a post on the weekend (or the 492042914 posts that I have yet to catch up with) but Lulu reminded me it was Teacher's Day as she left a few messages on the walls of our Sociology professors and tutors. I remember it being a little odd as we gave some of them Teacher's Day presents during our last year of undergraduate life since they were technically 'professors' rather than 'teachers' but it was a great opportunity to express gratitude all the same. Three of them, in particular, stood out. I read Sociology as my second major and it would be a blatant understatement to say it changed my life. Lulu and I were both Psychology majors who deepened our friendship during Sociology lessons. As the number of Psych|Soci double majors dwindled whilst many dropped out to pursue only one, Lulu and I ended up taking more than the prerequisite number of credits and sitting in extra classes. It wasn't just because of Lulu that made this time stand out but because of three amazing people whom we christened as Sage, JLo and Mafia.