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.

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.

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.

Farewell, Borders

Time to say goodbye and I’m feeling so sad. Borders will be closing its remaining store here today, and the brand name will go into history. The store has been having storewide 20%, 50% & 70% discounts to clear all the stock.  Ever since the news of the closure was out, and the Judicial Manager said the fate of the store will depend on how much they can get from all the Sales they were running, I have been visiting all the sales, trying to see what I could buy to help in some small ways, hoping my fave store will stay.

So far I have acquired about 20 books, from Roald Dahl to John Grisham to Jane Austen guide and authors I never knew. And the last book I just bought yesterday was “buried in Books”, a reader’s anthology by Julie Rugg. Ever since Borders came to Singapore, I have started buying books which I had seldom done before. It had also ignited in me the interests in reading and started me in my Bookcrossing hobby. I have a lot of books on my shelf which are acquired from Borders, now the goood memory will be with me.

In fact, I was previously still hopeful that the store could be saved, but my every visit to the store seeing the shelves from having less titles, to becoming emptier, to seeing some areas being cordoned till the whole store space becoming so empty and no longer look like a bookstore makes me feel really sad.

You may be wondering it’s just a bookstore, but don’t think I will feel the same loss if it’s other bookstores closing.   Just find Borders more family oriented, and the way books are being displayed make reading much more fun.

All the Best to you, Borders.  Hope you will come back one day.

Chinese Ghost Festival 31Jul to 28-Aug 2011

It’s the Seventh Lunar Month again, the Chinese Ghost Festival, when hell’s gates are opened to let out all the ghosts to wander the earth for a period of one month, this time it’s from 31 July to 28 August.  In fact, on the 30-July, the smell of incense and burning was already in the air.  There were already people burning paper money in the bin downstairs around our neighborhood.  I was also quite surprised to see office girls wearing heels, standing near to the ION MRT Station, entrance near to Wisma Atria, shuffle-ring paper money preparing for praying.  I have only seen aunties and uncles doing all these.  The smell still lingers when you go down the escalator to the area near the Sephora store.

I asked my colleague an interesting question today – whether the gates are opened in the night or day.  Does the gate closed in the day, and letting out the hungry ghosts only during the night?  Was told it’s left opened for the whole month, never close.  I have thought ghosts come out only during the night.  How are they to survive under the sun?  The colleague said they find shelter to hide.  Immediately what came to mind was a pretty ghost walking under the shade of an umbrella up and down the street visiting the living, and hid inside only when the umbrella is closed.