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Day 266: Melodic awakening

My greatgrandparents used to keep some chicken and duck at the back of our house (and yes, they did eventually ended up on dinner table). Every morning, the rooster would do its best in waking the household up at sunrise and for us kids who had to be in school early – the first bell rang at 7.30am – the timing worked very well. Best natural alarm clock ever.

Staying at Marina Mandarin Hotel, we are treated to another kind of natural morning greeter – songbirds. Each day a number of them are brought to soothingly entertain the morning away. There may only be a handful few of them but their musical tunes are carried through the entire hotel. It really is very nice to lie in bed while listening to the songs and forget for a moment that I’m actually in the heart of a concrete jungle that is the commercial hub of Singapore.

Day 265: View from KU DÉ TA

I suffer from the guilt of privilege.

Let’s face it – I wine and dine (at times, high end), I shop (although not very often), I travel (and now add to the global carbon burden), I have access to modern technologies, I buy things that I don’t necessarily need. I work hard to get to where I am today and I won’t apologise for enjoying the perks, but there are times I feel a twinge of guilt from the excesses.

This evening is one of those. I am conflicted. I am being treated by Dave (thanks!) to an amazing dinner at an incredible location (look at the view!). At the same time, I am conscious that there are many around the world who are going hungry tonight. On one hand, it’s great that I get to live through such experience. On the other hand, I feel like the money we spent could have gone on to do something more meaningful.

I support a number of charities – it’s not much, but it’s a start – but truthfully, where do I draw the line to balance between giving and receiving?

Day 264: Terracota Warriors

A major difference that one notices between Europe and Asia is the limited number of museums that one can visit. For an island nation of Singapore, if I were asked what can a visitor does, I’m inclined to say “shopping at Orchard Road”, because it seems that’s what many people do. Of course, that’ll also be an unfair depiction, given there are other things that Singapore has to offer.

One of my favourite museums in Singapore is the Asian Civilisation Museum. I love all things cultural and this place has just the right collection to impress me. On top of it all, a number of terracota warriors from Xi’an is currently on exhibit here, and I’d rather not miss it. The travelling army may be small but no less impressive. Perhaps one day I will make it to the original site where the entire treasure trove was unearthed, but for now, this is sufficient :)

Day 263: Chocolate lampshade

For the love of chocolate, this is what I think is the most interesting thing that I’ve photographed today – a chocolate lampshade. La classe! This should go onto my wishlist right away. Does anyone want to buy me one for Christmas? :p

My cousin and I popped in to the Ch•c•lat Research Facility earlier today, partly to admire the collection that they’ve got – they claim to have 100 different flavours (some traditional, some unconventional) – and partly to let me do some chocolate shopping. I picked a tablette of “bubur cha-cha” to test (with a plan to return if I like it) but sadly never took to it. It just tasted like a rather greasy/creamy bar of white chocolate to me. Bummer.

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