Saturday, January 23, 2010

JB In State of Mourning – Shopping Centres not Opened…

People who wanted to do some Chinese New Year shopping in Johor Bahru, please do read the following.
Sultan Iskandar Ismail had passed away yesterday, thus the Johor Bahru state is in mourning. Shopping centres like City Square are all not opened for business…
If you can read Melayu, the following is the notice which I found at City Square. Can’t really translate what it meant, maybe you all can tell me.

Yes, Photosophize had wanted to do some Chinese New Year shopping today at Johor Bahru, but was faced with iron grille instead. Disappointed, but I respect local customs and the fact that they are mourning for the loss of a National Leader.

May all is well soon.

Friday, January 22, 2010

Percy came back? Not exactly ~

For a moment, I thought Percy, the Pigeon who had recovered from his wounds and decided to come back to visit me. Alas, it was not him…
It was another bird, a female one, I reckon from the size and the dark coloured feathers. Let’s name her Phoebe, shall we?

Perhaps, it got lost with its mates thus decided to seek shelter under my miniature peach blossom tree for warmth.
I hope she will make herself comfortable there, fly away at the glimpse of the first sunlight tomorrow. Most importantly, may she be like Percy, find a partner and set up a lovely family too in future…
Sidelines: Just as I was searching for some food to give to Phoebe, my brother jealously remarked that I always treated animals better than human beings. Well, I am not apologetic for that – I find animals purer, more innocent and sincere as compared than humans beings. A friendship with animal is for life. They responded to you sincerely and never expect your kindness for exchange. More importantly, they don’t judge people accordingly to some ridiculous social caste system or whatever images you project.
You are just you…

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

The Cardigans – Communication

I am on a roll. This entry I would like recommend this song by The Cardigans titled “Communication”.

For those who have no idea who is The Cardigans – they are not some outerwear garment, but the band who sang the fame candy pop rock song  “Love Fool”. The lead singer had a voice which strongly resemblance Faye Wong, maybe that is why I quite like their songs…

Anyway, I thought it is a very nice ballad with meaningful lyrics. Hope you all will enjoy it as much as I do.

Communication I think is one of the hardest skills to pick up in the world. Sometimes, people can just connect and can communicate well even when they do not have a common language. At other times, one could hardly tolerate one word coming out from another.

Then there is the cliché about this quote which I have read somewhere. The furthest distance in the world is not physical separation, but really distancing of the heart… No amount of communication can help to one draw closer to another when there is no connection in the first place.  

The Cardigans – Communication (Lyrics)

For 27 years I've been trying to believe and confide in
Different people I've found.
Some of them got closer than others
Some wouldn't even bother and then you came around

I didn't really know what to call you, you didn't know me at all
But I was happy to explain.
I never really knew how to move you
So I tried to intrude through the little holes in your veins

And I saw you
But that's not an invitation
That's all I get
If this is communication
I disconnect
I've seen you, I know you
But I don't know
How to connect, so I disconnect

You always seem to know where to find me
and I'm still here behind you
In the corner of your eye.
I'll never really learn how to love you
But I know that I love you through the hole in the sky.
Where I see you

And that's not an invitation
That's all I get
If this is communication
I disconnect
I've seen you, I know you
But I don't know
How to connect, so I disconnect

Well this is an invitation
It's not a threat
If you want communication
That's what you get
I'm talking and talking
But I don't know
How to connect
And I hold a record for being patient
With your kind of hesitation

I need you to want me
But I don’t know how to connect
So I disconnect
I disconnect…

Monday, January 18, 2010

Adele – Changing Pavements

I have been wanting to introduce this song to all of you. Please really click on it and listen. The song titled Changing Pavements is sang by this British singer – Adele. She got this very unique and soulful voice.

I first got to know her from an article. It was reported that the Fashion Grand Priestess – Anna Wintour had wanted to dress her for Grammy Award. This is a great honour and a very rare act by Wintour – I mean plus size isn’t exactly norm in the fashion industry and there are so many people in the music industry, Anna could have just chosen anyone but yet she noticed Adele and wanted to dress her!

Enough said! Listen and here is the lyrics:

"Chasing Pavements"
I've made up my mind,
Don't need to think it over
If I'm wrong, I am right
Don't need to look no further,
This ain't lust
I know this is love

But, if I tell the world
I'll never say enough
Cos it was not said to you
And that's exactly what I need to do
If I end up with you

Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements?
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there

Should I give up,
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere

I build myself up
And fly around in circles
Watin' as my heart drops
And my back begins to tingle
Finally, could this be it

Or should I give up
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere
Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place
Should I leave it there

Should I give up
Or should I just keep chasin' pavements
Even if it leads nowhere

Or would it be a waste
Even if I knew my place should I leave it there
Should I give up
Or should I just keep on chasin' pavements

Should I just keep on chasin' pavements
Ohh oh


Thursday, January 7, 2010

王菲 - 幽蘭操

Hey Fayenatics! Check out Faye’s latest soundtrack for the movie “Confucius” - 幽蘭操.

During the launch in Beijing, Faye commented through a VCR appearance that she was honoured to have taken part in the project and was motivated to sing for the movie because of Confucius theme. She opined that Confucius antics is essential in times like this because of its positive notion. She said that Confucius teachings reminded people of much needed resilience in troubled times like this. She admired the author and hope everyone would be able to benefit from the movie. 

The verse, I read, was supposedly written by the Master – Confucius- himself. Translating what I found online, they depicted of how the the Master described his own life, like a sprig of Orchid. The Master loves Orchid and named it as the King of Flowers. He noted that it had to endure harsh coldness in order to bloom, thus had perseverance.

When bloomed, the flower emitted an unique but understated fragrance. Though not the smell itself is not overpowering, but the understated flower had the abilities to waif its unique fragrances through the whole valley , in turn outshining all other flowers’ fragrances. 

The plant without its flowers looked just like another spade of grass, an unattractive ordinary plant. However, it takes a man with extraordinary foresight to see the plant for what it really is.  He thought that it does not do the flower much harm, even if one do not recognise it. However, once a man recognises flower and picks it, the flower will have no reservation to perfume the wearer with its fragrance.

A gentleman should learn from the humble Orchid – of its perseverance, to accumulate and grow during the  harsh winter. Understanding its antics, will then Man be successful in generations to come. 



蘭之猗猗 揚揚其香
衆香拱之 幽幽其芳
不采而佩 於蘭何傷
以日以年 我行四方
文王夢熊 渭水泱泱
采而佩之 奕奕清芳
雪霜茂茂 蕾蕾於冬
君子之守 子孫之昌

See explanation of the verse in Chinese here:

News of Faye's interview here:

Wednesday, January 6, 2010

麦田守望者 - 在路上

也许我要得太多 都不想你难过
也许应该简单活着 快乐痛苦不说
我们没有理想 流浪没有方向
只是梦中的麦田 守着一片金黄

想的美 美梦也无常
在路上 和我唱这一首歌

如果我有方向 那就是远方
钢铁是怎样炼成 流浪不靠坚强
如果我有枪 早就上了镗
如果能得到玫瑰 我只留下芳香

想的美 美梦也无常
在路上 和我唱这一首歌

总是梦中麦田 守着每一片金黄~
哦丧失我的理想 用生命把它埋葬

总是梦中麦田 守着每一片金黄~
丧失我的理想 用生命把它埋葬

Sunday, January 3, 2010

Singapore Traditional Bread Bakery – Ghee Leong

Wake up and smell the bread!
I have been wanting to take photographs of this bakery ever since I saw the TV programme about the shop. Then one day, I almost passed by the place without noticing it, until my mum stopped and wanted to get some bread.
I looked back and was surprised. It is the place which I wanted to take photos from – one of the few remaining bakery making traditional bread in Singapore! The place was so dimly-lit that one could hardly noticed it was opened for business.
The signboard read “Ghee Leong”, pronounced in some kind of dialect.
See, the interior of the bakery looked like time had stopped. Not an expert in interior design, but I am guessing that decor looked like 70’s. 
I was so excited about the discovery that I immediately whipped out my camera and took photos. The aunty-in-charge wasn’t too happy about it and chided me for doing so. In the end, I was scolded by my mum for being so rude – take photos without permission. To pacify my mum and the aunty-in-charge, I was forced to ask for permission again which she readily agreed.
See, I don’t think I am rude on purpose. I was just too anxious to record this historic place down and forgot about the surroundings circumstances.
People need to know about this place, I feel. This kind of places are diminishing soon in fast-developing Singapore. I am not sure whether there is anyone recording these places down before they are gone.
After I got the approval, I immediately pointed my camera at the baker. He was making some kind of bun and is applying egg wash on them. Though he worked alone, but he is working quite fast. In a few moment, all the buns glittered brightly in yellow colour egg wash.
The traditional bakery actually specialised in big loaf bread. In the photo, the blacken loaf are traditional white bread and beneath it, there are sugar buns. Don’t let the blacken bread misled you. They are the most tender bread one could ever had.
Ok, here is a bit of background information. Unlike Europeans who like their bread to have a harder crusts and denser texture i.e. baguette, ciabatta, etc, Asian generally like their bread lighter and softer.
Don’t let the black exterior misled you, the white loaf actually have a soft inside. It needed an additional process before it is transformed to the white bread that we are so familiar with.
They needed to cut the crust away before the white fluffy exterior is revealed.
The above is half-processed loaf.
I noticed the owners collected the crusts in a garbage bag and asked what will they do with it. They said someone from local fish farms will come and collect them as feeds.

People probably do not know what this machine does. It cut up bread loaf into slices. I remembered when I was young, there is a similar bakery near where I lived. I always lingered at the bakery as I loved watching the baker “skinned” the crust. After skinning, they would put it in this machine to slice them.
Occasionally, the bakers would slice the bread manually. Because they are all experienced bakers, thus can cut up the slices quite uniformly.  

Loaves of freshly-bake breads cooling on the racks. The smell alone could just make you salivate. Where are the peanut butter and Kaya Jam?

Another shot of half process breads, waiting to be sliced and packed.

Perhaps the demand for traditional white bread are not as before, thus traditional bakers also baked a variety of goods such as sugar buns, butter rolls, and sandwich breads.
For those who are interested to visit the stall, they are located at a deserted street off Whampo and Balestier Rd. Not sure if they operate in the day, but I bumped into the shop at night. The prices of the bread are also quite cheap.