The Magical World of Fairy Tales & Fantasies

tinkerbell Do you believe in fairies? It’s said that a fairy is born from a baby’s first laugh, but if the child grows up to not believe in fairies, than somewhere there will be a fairy who dies. Not long after Wendy, Michael and John left the Neverland, Tinker Bell died. Probably somewhere there’s a child who denounce the existence of fairies. Could this child be the one whose first laugh gave birth to this fairy who mends pots and pans? Hmm…

Interesting tour of the magical world of tea parties, grinning cats and all sorts of weird-looking people. It must be fun to fly with Peter Pan, live in houses underground, and have all the adventures with the lost boys. But won’t they get bored after having one adventure after another in the same place and always the same size? Though they will always be the same, but will they die? One of their adventures was flying back with Wendy and her bros and grow up like normal children. Will they still have the childlike innocence in them though becoming adults? I believe writers and Illustrators of children’s books sure have the childlike and imaginative spirit in them, that’s why so many magical stories unfold.

Through my growing up years, I never read much of children’s books about the magical world, fairy tales, or fantasy. I only remember a time when I was very into reading a series of Chinese science fiction by a Hong Kong writer, Ni Kwang. The hero in the stories is a a guy named Wisely, who has many strange encounters and adventures with the unknown.

Now I’m having an escapade into the world of Narnia. I’m planning to read as many children’s and young adult’s adventures, and watch as many film adaptations if I can.

Shunji Matsuo Scalp Treatment

An interesting thought came to my mind while having a relaxing scalp treatment at Shunji Matsuo Hair Studio yesterday.  After the initial scalp balance treatment with a Shisedo product, and a tingling hair wash using Aveda that had a cooling sensation to my whole head, making my whole braincell frozen; came the steaming.  While resting my head on the basin, curls of smoke started swirling around me,  disappearing into the ceiling, like there’s fire being fanned around me.  What conjured up in my mind was opium smoking during the olden days Shanghai, where opium trade was rife during those decadent times.

I was like in the middle of my addiction, lost myself in the smoke around which was actually quite a mesmerising scene.  I inhaled, thank goodness no opium smell, haha.  All these were done in the privacy of a sectioned out wash area.  Outside you could hear loud music being played, and in the quiet of my cubicle I was lost in my tranquility.  With all the chaos and unrests on the Old Shanghai streets, inside was me laying there lost in my ‘opium’ addiction – 15 mins of the head steam and it was done.  Too bad I have forgotton to take a snapshot of the curls and smoke to share here.

It was an amusing experience, relaxing and refreshing, from Shunji Matsuo.

 

2 New Books Published

ImageThe Casual Vacancy (J K Rowling)

Have been wondering and asking everytime I’m at a bookstore when this book will be out, finally now it’s launched for pre-order in our local bookstores Popular & Prologue. But then first launch always comes in hard copy, and selling here at SGD$49.92 and with a 30% members’ special. This is the first novel by the author not about the boy wizard. Will there be paperbacks coming up?

ImageThe Time Keeper (Mitch Albom)

Another one by an author whose books I’ve always enjoyed reading, and inspired, such as Tuesdays with Morrie, For One More Day, and The Five People You Meet in Heaven. Have A Little Faith is his only book I have which is hardback. Bought it when it first came up on Borders’ shelf. I’m looking forward to reading this new fantasy on time and tide waits for no man, but will also have to wait for paperback version.

When We Were Orphans (Kazuo Ishiguro)

ImageFirst time reading this author’s book, find his writing style and narration to be quite smooth.  Though the reminiscing part about growing up in Old Shanghai is pretty long – life with his parents and a childhood friend – a Japanese boy named Akira whom he played with; Relationship between the British and Chinese on opium trading, how his parents’ involvement led up to their mysterious disappearance, followed by the protagonist being sent to study in England, became a detective and despite all the crimes he had solved, there’s one unsolved crime which has always haunted him, and led him back to the city of his childhood to find out what happened to his parents.  I find all these to be interesting read, except when comes to the war, and talks of the Chinese Communist Party and Chiang Kaishek, I skipped.

Beside the above, I’m also quite happy to read about Chapei, which was the hometown of my dad.  Had visited Shanghai 3 years ago, been to a place where my dad told me that’s where Chapei was, yet strangely it’s not anywhere near the famous bund. Probably, it’s like what the protagonist said in pg.352, “The streets, though renamed, are perfectly recognisable, and it’s said anyone familiar with the Shanghai of Old would know his way about there.”

Expresso? Nope, but Civet Coffee

This is how my Kopi Luwak looks like – the world most expensive coffee.  It looks to me like a bowl of Chinese brewed medicine.  How does it taste?  The cafe staff said it will be better to drink it original without any sugar, so that one can feel the lingering tastes in the mouth before swallowing.  Nothing special, it tastes bitter sour, a little better after adding half packet of sugar, but still bitter sour.  The coffee taste is not strong.  I still prefer those that brewed from Java beans, bitter and strong in aroma.

Will I have Kopi Luwak again?  Maybe but it’s a bit pricey @ SGD$26.90 per cup, size as shown in the image.  The porcelain cup looks expensive to me.

Try it.  It’s really not that scary, thinking the coffee berries are being eaten by civet cats and passed out through their digestive system.  Just like some who dislike the taste of durians or fermented beancured may think it’s smelly, while there are people who love the king of fruits.

Expresso Tales (Alexander McCall Smith)

Did not read 44 Scotland Street, but its Sequel, Expresso Tales was interesting, with all the different characters staying in the neighbourhood.  Pity that poor 6 year-old boy who had to go for all the never-ending yoga, saxophone and psychotherapy sessions arranged by his mother.  Sound so familiar, just like so many parents here who like signing up their kids for extra-curricular lessons and activities so as not to lose out in the educational system.  Anyway, glad Bertie’s father decided to intervene and liberate his son’s freedom.

I was happy for Bertie, and felt as thrilled and excited as him on his train ride to Glasgow with the father.  I was happy for him to be so happy in this trip, yet worried also on his encounter with that swindler Lard.  Wonder will there be another sequel to this Expresso Tales.  Will Lard turn up one day disrupting the lives of the family?  Did they find their own car – where has it gone?  While reading, my imagination led me to wonder whether there’s a phone bug hidden somewhere in that new car so as to trace their wherabout, haha.

What about Gordon and Janis – Is Janis really a gold-digger, preying on Gordon’s money like what his son said?  She seems that to me, what happened in the cafe when she sees Gordon giving the waiter that fifty-pound note, and what’s in her mind.

Then Matthew and Pat – why did the latter suddenly take a liking to Matt when he said his father had given him a huge amount of money – or did she?  Did Pat also like Matt for his money?

What about Dr Fairbairn and his patient Wee Fraser?  I would love to know more.  Or maybe I should go read 44 Scotland Street, to know why in the first place Bertie’s mom like dungarees so much.  Anyway, I find kids look cute and adorable wearing dungarees😀

Raining Big Droplets at Changi Airport T1 Departure Hall

This is the latest attraction in newly refurbished Terminal 1, with big droplets dancing up and down very slowly, suspended from the ceiling on very fine wires and computerised with music played in the background forming different shapes & patterns.  There were travellers and locals all around taking pictures and videos, but I find the whole dance is better enjoyed live than videoed.  When I sat down to watch instead of busy taking pictures, the whole show was mesmerising and enjoyable.