Tag Archives: double exposure

Someone else’s conversation

A Chinese lady in her 40s and her younger Indian companion sat at one of the cosier seats along the wall of the restaurant. They were about to finish their meal when I requested a seat change, and moved in beside them.

As I started on my sandwich and Kindle, I could hear their voices filering in and out in the background. I didn’t mean to listen in on their conversation, but her soothing and accented voice against her friend’s hard and rather bitter tone seemed to implore me to do so. It didn’t help that the first thing I heard was, so where do you want to migrate to?

I couldn’t catch her friend’s reply above the multiple conversations going on in the restaurant. But as my lunch proceeded, I could make out parts of their chat. Words like education and paper qualifications were thrown out. I learnt that Bitter friend is a foreigner, but I don’t know that about Soothing friend. Judging from these snippets and tones, I found out that Soothing friend was dishing out advice and options to a friend who seemed to be having a difficult time getting desired employment. Her voice never once hit a decibel higher even when the latter hit back with negativity and doused her in her bitterness.

I finished a chapter of my book and my ham and cheese sandwich as they went on this way while drinking up the rest of their after-lunch tea. By then the lunch crowd had dispersed and the restaurant was visibly emptier.

The space returned to its pre-lunch status but Soothing friend never managed to turn Bitter friend’s mood around. As they took their leave, Bitter friend, sounding not so much defeated as defiant, told her friend that she’s tired of this city, and there’s nothing here she wants to do, essentially wrapping up the session and possibly bringing the entire conversation back to square one.


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This late morning, I was on a comfortably-packed train, wondering if I should drop by the poke bowl shop to pick up lunch before heading for the office. I had a small craving for it, but not enough to rule out a simple sandwich, or a bowl of noodles, completely.

Lost in thought over my first-world problem, my idle fingers found the folder of film-taken pictures on my phone. I should post something on the blog, I thought above my lunch thoughts.

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I flipped through pictures of my Italy holiday, my multiple Taiwan escapades, and weekend walks, pleased to see them again. Then my finger hit a folder of experimental double-exposed (and somewhat failed) photos. I had connected with a stranger on the other side of the world for this little project, and for my part, I wandered into the streets off East Coast Road to complete it.

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But as I looked at these photos, it wasn’t the stranger I thought of. Or the streets I could no longer name. Or the reason why I couldn’t take a proper double-exposed photo. My thoughts strayed onto the companion who’s absent, yet undeniably present in all the photos.

Strange how life could change the course of a friendship, how archives and archives of fond memories were not enough to keep it together. Not nearly enough.


Then the overhead sound system announced my stop. I barely heard it, but my body has learnt the routine, and I stepped out to join the rest of the working crowd.

Have a good weekend


It’s the time of the year when it ought to be cooler, but it has been either very hot or very rainy. That’s half the reason for spending my week mostly indoors; the other half being laziness. In fact, I’ve been sleeping and waking up much later these days. I’m not a morning person, but I’ve been trying to cultivate good sleeping habits this past year and it has succeeded for the most part, until this past week.

To inject some energy into the last of the week, the approaching weekend looks like this in my plans:

  • Finish One Last Thing Before I Go by Jonathan Trooper. That guy is so funny, risking slapstick but – here’s the crucial bit – never tipping the scale by overdoing it.
  • Do some Christmas shopping.
  • Visit a Christmas flea market.
  • Picnic with friends. Pray the weather be lovely.

How’s the weekend looking for you?

Double exposure: Swappa – Part 1


Some months back, I was involved in my first double exposure project  (Swappa) when I took part in a film photo contest by Fluster Magazine in the name of fun. I was randomly assigned a Swap buddy (from Italy!) and we took pictures of our cities on the same roll. Our first roll failed terribly, and these are pictures from our second attempt. A couple more will be shared in tomorrow’s post.











The past weekend


Lately the weather has been mostly pleasant so we headed outdoors a lot more. Over the weekend, we went up Mount Faber and gladly immersed ourselves in the lush greenery; this is nothing like the hiking people do, but still my calves hurt like mad after that.We wound up at neighbourhoods with quiet, to-be-demolished compounds that have seen better days, and paused outside old houses to admire them. We celebrated over meals and drinks, and made holiday plans. I may have gotten two shades darker, but all in all, this counted as a very good weekend.