Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Long Live Life

Viva la Vida

Viva la Vida

Known as Viva la Vida in Spanish, that’s what I felt at the end of my last paper. The song by English alternative rock band Coldplay was one of the few songs on my ‘exam playlist’ – songs that I believe will motivate myself through the grueling two weeks of hell. Last semester I remembered one of the songs was KT Tunstall’s If Only. Not to mention, one of the album art of the song uses the painting of Eugène Delacroix, titled La Liberté guidant le peuple (‘Liberty Leading the People’ in English).

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My favourite feature of this song is the repeating string section – I can feel as if I’m in a theatre watching an orchestra performing the song, with the violinists passionately playing. Their long hair weaving through the air as they press their bows against the string, back and forth. It feels like liberation – releasing your inhibitions and letting yourself go free.

Urgent: Vote for Dayna‘s design!

Amour Chaleur

Amour Chaleur

Dayna’s design was selected as one of the best ten hand-drawing WP designs, and she’s leading the competition with a very small margin. Do help her if you’re able to vote, thank you! The voting closes in a week’s time, so act fast.

This post is a little long, so the rest (and the weekly Fonty Friday feature) has been tucked under the read more tag.

It’s the last one

The final paper was on metabolism – and even to those who’re unfamiliar with the biochemistry behind all the junk, they know that the word equates to memory work, memory work and more memory work. Basically we’re required to memorize how nutrients on your body is digested and ‘metabolized’, how energy is extracted from food via step-wise reaction pathway, meaning that we have to also know each intermediates and enzymes involved in every single step. Pretty insane. Luckily we have a 6-day break between our second last paper (the one that I told you I bombed) and that gave me enough time to prepare of the last paper.

It’s one of the toughest paper I’d expect because of the amount of grey matter and brain juice required to contain all the information. Every night as I turn to sleep I can’t help but to try reciting what I’ve memorized in the day, and to my horror, realizing that I’ve forgot most of them. The night before the exam, I was so worried and troubled that I only managed to sleep for a few hours and then pull myself out of bed to wise up to the impending doom.

I remembered as I plopped myself on my seat, lecturer Gerard was walking the aisle and our eyes just met. He gave me that really evil grin. I broke out in cold sweat, goosebumps instantly consuming my body like a raging wildfire. What happened after the timer started was a blur… until it was 20 minutes before the paper ends.1 I checked through my answers, took a deep breath and left the examination hall early.

You’re now one free man

The feeling of joy and excitement preceeded immediately after the sense of relief as I grabbed my bag and left the examination hall. Nothing feels better than knowing that you’re finally done with the two-week hell hole and that you have the whole 3 months of summer ahead. Called mom to tell her that I’m done and will be packing up to leave, and then my aunt for an impromptu dinner at night. To my surprise, she’s free on that very evening so we decided to meet at Shaw House, Orchard Road for a quick dinner.

We decided to have dinner at a small nifty Japanese restaurant at basement 1. Their pepper rice meals appealed to us, and we had some green tea ice cream before starting our meal proper (that’s bad!). I settled for salmon pepper rice – their serving isn’t huge and the waiters are quite clumsy, but the food is awesome.

Salmon Pepper Rice. Nomnomnom!

Salmon Pepper Rice. Nomnomnom!

I didn’t take more food photos because I was too busy chatting with my aunt. My uncle was there too, and they’re planning to bring their year-old toddler over to Singapore in a few months time. I’m just too excited about it because I will be visiting them and their baby when they’ve settled down in Singapore, and I won’t be always stuck in my room doing nothing on boring weekends.

For this trip to town, I brought myKM f/1.7 50mm lens without my kit lenses, confident that I won’t need them. So I spent some time taking photos at Orchard Road before returning to my room. I set my eyes on the upcoming ION Orchard building across the street, and snapped away from the plaza in front of Shaw House. I used manual focus and adjusted it such that the image is off focus, to capture the bokeh-licious effects of the media facade. The media facade changes colour every second, cycling between white/pale lavender, blue, green and red.

Lights of ION Orchard

Lights of ION Orchard

Just for you to know, I’ve used four different photos to construct the collage above – it’s not using a single photo and then tweaking the hues :P

Post-exams dinner @ Rangooli

Wednesday evening, I headed out with my classmates for a dinner at a restaurant at Pasir Panjang specializing in Northern Indian Cuisine. Thanks to Marianne for reserving a table for us! Initially we booked 8 seats for the entire gang but then Jean and Michelle couldn’t make it. Jean’s absense was because of a rather dramatic incident earlier in the day when ChoYee found Jean’s parents came storming at her door. Jean was grounded, and I feel bad that she couldn’t spend the evening with us at the restaurant. Michelle couldn’t be there as well, but at least ChoYee did us a great favour for helping to get a really nice doorstopper as a birthday present.

We met at Harbour Front station before riding a bus to the restaurant – conveniently, it’s right opposite the bus stop, so we didn’t do much walking. Along the bus I passed around the toffee-flavoured candy I bought from Marks and Spencers, to the delight of Mingyun, Cheryl and Marianne, as well as to the amusement to other riders sitting around us (they were squealing over the candy haha). Marianne brought us to Rangooli, a restaurant serving North Indian food and her family had dinner over there before.

Rangooli - Northern Indian & Fusion Cuisine

Rangooli - Northern Indian & Fusion Cuisine

I have to say that it serves one of the best Indian food I’ve ever had. They used a perfect mix of spices, and more importantly, didn’t go craze over it. The fragrance from the spices are appetizing but not too overpowering, and their yogurt drink, known as ‘Lassi‘.2

Lovely atmosphere in the restaurant

Lovely atmosphere in the restaurant

The restaurant was a little dark with dimmed, warm lighting. The interior, as far as I can remember, has my favourite earthy tones, and they have lights being lit on every single table. The menu gave us an overwhelming choice of what to order, so we left the decision-making part all to Marianne who dined there before. We ordered some lassi and passed it around for others too sample, I remembered Cheryl was super high about the food. We had some crackers as appetizers, served alongside with a white starchy sauce (something like mayonnaise) and a green spicy sauce which Cheryl was totally crazy about.

Our first dish: Smoked chicken, fish, prawn and sauage, all on the same plate.

Our first dish: Smoked chicken, fish, prawn and sauage, all on the same plate.

It’s actually smoked meat – chicken, fish, prawn and sausages. It tasted really great because just like what Marianne said, the fragrance of the spices went all inside the meat. It’s not some superficial sprinkle-on stuff we’re talking about. The fish tasted really fresh and tender, well-cooked and didn’t have a single trace of weird smell that sometimes come with badly-cooked ones.

The mutton curry was divine!

The mutton curry was divine!

Then came five bowls of side-dishes – mutton curry, potato curry, spinach with cheese, rice and something else that I can’t remember. We ordered naan to go along with the side-dishes too, and it went perfectly well with the different curries served.3 My personal favourite will be the mutton curry in the photo above – too tasty and fragrant to be ignored. It’s a little spicy but not too much of it that will make me cringe – it’s the well-balanced, perfect, Goldilock’s kind of curry!

Do not ever underestimate the side dishes! We had a crowd of 6 and yet we had a hard time finishing all of the side dishes. So we spent a lot of time talking (and even dwelled into exam topics – my bad!) and chit-chatting – we even cooked up some holiday plan so that we can meet up for a movie. Sweet! Of course, we never forget to take a group photo before we left:

Group photo after the dinner

Group photo after the dinner

From left: Cheryl, Marianne, Jasyln, ChoYee and Mingyun. Okay, if you haven’t figured it out, I’m the only guy in this group but I never felt alone. Thank you guys for the wondering dinner and the first year of university! I knew Jaslyn and Mingyun first – I remembered we sat beside each other during one of the lectures and slowly, we warmed up to each other. And then we started to gobble up more people to expand our ‘ring of influence’ – a desperate attempt to take over the world :razz: I’m just joking! Then we had Marianne and Cheryl joining us, followed by Choyee, Michelle and the latest, Jean. It always makes me laugh when I receive messages from them with the words “Hey girls, and Terry…”. Hah!

Cheryl is the animated girl – wildly gesturing when she talks and gives you a wide range of emotions (she even mimicked how a tortoise eats, with the tongue sticking out and all); she’s also the baker of the group, who bakes brownies and cookies occasionally for us to sample and enjoy. Marianne is the witty girl who wouldn’t stop cracking funny and intelligent jokes. Jaslyn is the hardworking and yet constantly worried (Jaslyn, don’t think too much okay!) whose favourte phrase is “you understand or not?”. ChoYee is the girl who usually dines with me and my other friends every Tuesday (so much so that it becomes a ritual), very sweet and gave me the label ‘sugar rush boy’ (yes, I get high on sugar and I bounce off walls). Mingyun is the guardian, big sister of the group, who keeps things in check and very helpful and considerate; she’s also the one I usually confide to, and share my love for food (she and her boyfriends are awesome foodies!)

We’ve been through so much – the boring lectures of Gerard, the intense tutorials of The Boob Giggler (you wouldn’t want to know where she got the nick from), the pent up frustrations and desperations before exams, the hellish exams and all.

Finally, it’s Fonty Friday again!

Before I wrap up this week’s update, here’s the weekly Fonty Friday feature. For this week, we have the font Hand of Sean made by designer Sean Johnson (@sean23uk on Twitter). Be sure to pay his blog/portfolio a visit – lots of interesting stuff over there.

Fonty Friday - Hand of Sean

That’s all for this week! From now on, I will be updating at a greater frequency since exams are over and my summer break has just started.

  1. We are allowed to leave the examination venue early, but will be prevented to do so 15 minutes before the paper ends.
  2. Lassi is a popular and traditional South Asian drink originating from Punjab. It is made by blending yoghurt with water, salt, pepper, ice and spices until frothy.
  3. Naan is a round flatbread made of white flour. It is a staple accompaniment to hot meals in Central and South Asia, including Pakistan, Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Iran, northern India, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan and the surrounding region.
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