I will always remember my first altercation with a black guy.
In the early 2000s, my best friend Sumana and I had just finished dinner in the Mission, San Francisco.
Mana was studying at UC Davis and used to visit me in Berkeley over the weekends. We would often drive to San Francisco for dinner. Just two Singaporeans out looking for some good grub.
The Mission felt a lot more raw back then, well before smartphones and social, well before Apps could save the world, well before, well, it became Zuck-town.
Continue reading “The time I got mugged”
At the top of “6 o’clock”, a main street in Black Rock City, Nevada
The folks at UC Berkeley’s library have just kindly dug out my Geography Undergraduate Honours Thesis from 2002 and scanned it. I had somehow lost every single copy, a depressing combination of hard-drive crashes and absent-minded post-graduation packing.
It was interesting for me to reread it now, both for reminiscence sake and to ponder how my writing has changed over the years.
The Burning Man is a yearly festival in the middle of Nevada’s Black Rock Dessert that I have now attended thrice: in 2002 when I was walking around with a notebook interviewing people; in 2003, sans notebook, to partake in all the art, joy and partying that I had missed the year before; and in 2009 when my sister, brother-in-law, cousins and very good friend wanted to go for the very first time.
The Burning Man is very close to my heart, partly because of the great art on offer and partly because by living for a week in “the gift economy”, where money can’t buy you anything, one learns to appreciate labour and human interaction outside the mental confines of commerce. (One also learns to appreciate just how long the human body can go without a shower.)
Continue reading “The Burning Man: A geographical analysis of a new-age pilgrimage”
Singapore’s national security policies are outdated and in dire need of revision. These policies are heavily influenced by the paranoias of the 1960s, when a vulnerability fetish gave rise to a siege mentality amongst Singaporean leaders that persists today. But Singapore’s main security threats now are not other states but non-state actors, specifically pirates and terrorists. Continue reading “Singapore’s outdated national security policies”
like most of you, i have been glued to the world cup. following it here, in the US, has been a particularly fascinating experience. Speaking to Americans and listening to American commentators has given me some insights into their thoughts on football, and maybe, life. americans have an obsessions with stats. at many inopportune moments during a game, ESPN will indulge in a computer graphic … Continue reading football in america