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europe thus far

Wednesday, 26 December 2007 by ranon

it's been two weeks now since i left warwick for europe. the trip has definitely been an eye-opener. soaking up the different cultures and experiences that are made so unique to each country is definitely humbling.

i've seen the most breath-taking of sights that definitely shook the world i stood on. the richness in culture and the historical value of every monument and cathedral that i've stood before or stepped into just reminds me further of the greater world out there. it's a world that's slowly unravelling itself to me with every moment on this trip.

europe's history is so rich it cannot be fully comprehended in its entirety. yet, each city that i intrude upon tells a story so different yet so similar. the cities are intertwined in history no matter which way you turn. the austrian-hungarian empire, the holy roman empire left legacies still present in so many of these cities like budapest and vienna. and it's not merely the history of the ancient world that is so impressive, berlin was moving and depressing at the same time. the concentration camp and the jewish museum were severe reminders of the atrocities and monstrosties civilised mankind was, and still is capable of.

yet, there is much to rejoice. the beauty of the land that was left behind is a stark reminder of what we have to preserve. the unrivalled and unparalleled beauty of the current state of the world will serve as a portrait for every state and every individual to learn by heart and to work towards preserving.

every city that harboured me for a night or two left memories imprinted in me for life. it was a lesson well learnt these two weeks and there are more to come before i finally close this chapter and move on back to life as i knew it before, all for the sake of a better world, and to keeping these moments in the books of history. my history.

these photos were taken with my spoilt camera which meant i could not see how my shots when i took them. they were the best shots that captured the essence of these cities, keeping in mind that it was fate that guided my lenses.

sunset in amsterdam.
the brandenburg gate, berlin.
an aerial view of snow-covered budapest.
the hungarian parliament building.
the virgin mary.
the sun over the danube river that divides budapest into buda and pest.
the view of budapest from the top of a citadel.

sunset in budapest.
absolutely stunning. vienna.

absolutely stunning.

the austrian parliament building.
white marble beauty. florence.
ponte vecchio. the only bridge in florence to survive the bombings of world war two.
sunset in vienna.
venetian masks.
sunrise in venice, from my hotel room. stunner.
gondolas geared to go.
sunset in venice.

it's goodbye venice now. verona, rome and paris awaits.

europe baby

Tuesday, 11 December 2007 by ranon

ok. i'm off to see the world, or at least europe for the next month. not gonna get much internet access but will update as best as i can. heading off to london now to crash annie's place before we head to stansted at 6 tomorrow morning to catch our flight to amsterdam.

and so the adventure begins.

merry christmas people


one year on

Sunday, 9 December 2007 by ranon

just as the feeling of nostalgia slowly compounds, denzil comes along to remind me that exactly a year ago, we commissioned as officers of the singapore armed forces. one year on, so much has happened. unit life and now uni. it's a depressing day to be indoors today, blasting emo songs over and over again.

my juniors are commissioning next week. i feel their joy, and their eagerness. all the best.


by ranon

everyone's more or less home now. the last few days saw people streaming out of the accommodation blocks with throes of luggage behind them. families came down by the bulk in cars and everything that have accumulated over the term were thrown into the boot. the house is slowly emptying itself out too. there are like 5 of us left now. it was nice seeing parents come into the house and helping their kids pack up. billy's french mum was such a sweet lady. and the singaporeans are more or less home already, save for bwendy who's heading to birmingham airport now.

so a term has more or less ended and i survived it fine. workload's manageable and the friends made here were beyond reproach. it was a good first term. now that everyone's more or less gone, i'm really feeling the void that was here on the first week of international orientation. but yes. there's the europe trip to look forward to.

life's opening up itself these last few days. i'm confronting issues that make me uneasy on one end, yet on the other, really warms me up. the comforting notion of acceptance makes the issue far less complicated. but it's gonna be different back home. my head's pretty much a conflictual creature by itself, and i hate not knowing what to do, or say.

half light - athlete

The sun got stuck, as it's making it's way back down,
We find ourselves, in a familiar part of town

And all that I've seen means nothing to me without you

So when I see you next we'll make the most of it,
Tell the sun to start moving again,
The taste of your kiss I still got on my lips,
And i'll take you there with me

My head crashed down, air conditioned myself to sleep,
The great night out, that will continue to the end of the week

And all that I've seen means nothing to me without you

So when I see you next we'll make the most of it,
Tell the sun to start moving again,
The taste of your kiss I still got on my lips,
And i'll take you there with me

It's you and me connected to a satellite
It's you and me love through a machine
It's you and me connected to a satellite
It's you and me love through a machine

So when I see you next we'll make the most of it,
Tell the sun to start moving again,
The taste of your kiss I still got on my lips,
And I'll take you there with me

end of term

Wednesday, 5 December 2007 by ranon

school's out in 3 days. top b last night was smashing. got wasted and pissed and dragged myself home in one sane piece. cannot really remember much of what happened, but all that remained etched in my mind was drinking shot after shot of soco and applesours at home before heading out. and i spoilt my fucking camera. yes. the new white one i bought with chew and andre at comex not too long ago. i am fucking pissed now because firstly, i think i sat on it and it cracked the internal LCD screen, and secondly, i have no means of capturing down moments of my europe trip.

putting aside the demise of my camera, tonight was christmas dinner at home, and i successfully oven-ed 2 chickens with matt. with stuffing and all. there was mash, roasted potatoes, seasonal veg, apple crumble, wine and christmas crackers. haha. played games and did secret santa! i got a thong. a silvery flashy thong. haha. and a skinny tie. family's really growing on me and they do make you feel home, especially when home's so far away.

and europe trip plans have finally taken form. booked most of the tickets and that being done, we now have to book hostels. the plan is as follows:

10 dec : london
11-12 dec : amsterdam, netherlands
13-15 dec : berlin and bremen, germany
16-17 dec : budapest, hungary
18-19 dec : vienna, austria
20 dec : bratislava, slovakia
21 dec : milan, italy
22 dec : florence, italy
23 dec : pisa, italy
24-25 dec : venice, italy
26 dec : verona, italy
27-29 dec : rome, italy
30 dec : milan, italy
31 dec - 03 jan : paris and dijon, france
04 jan : london

i'm so excited words can barely describe how i feel. particularly looking forward to budapest, vienna and venice. it's pretty apparent italy's really the centre of focus here. missing out prague and eastern europe but i'm gonna try and cover that in easter. oh my god. eagerness knows no boundaries.

but yes. my camera. fuck.