In memory of one year from the start of our first lockdown (Covidversary) here are some light pictures I took during that dark period.
It was an impromptu date in an unassuming restaurant, which I have seen plenty in Singapore but never in Melbourne.
For the lack of pretentiousness alone, I knew it would be a treat to eat at Soi 38. A place I have been wanting to go to since last year, but no-thanks to Covid and whatnot, it only happened this week.
Soi 38 is located inside a Wilson Parking carpark in Melbourne CBD area. I made a booking for 6.15 PM (booking is highly recommended) at 5.45 PM and went to The Paperback bookshop to spend time there while waiting for Fafa who had a gym class.
At 6.30 PM, we have put our order in: Thai BBQ set, Thai iced tea, coconut juice, Som Tum as the entree and my fave mango sticky rice dessert. The BBQ set came with various meat and seafood, noodles, vegetables and a single egg—all to be cooked on the tabletop bbq stove.
To say I was delighted would be an understatement.
The food, dipped in their homemade Thai sauce, was delicious. And the crowd was interesting. That evening, the place was bursting with diversity, from suit-wearing business people to pierced belly flashing student.
I will come back again, bring all my friends and recommend Soi 38 to anyone.
My morning routine stays the same ━ bed coffee, morning journal and tarot cards.
Today’s card was The Hermit. I also pulled another card to honour Valentine’s day and wrote a semi-lengthy journal about it. I continued with yoga, short exercise and a 5km run at the Albert Park, which thankfully is still within the 5km limit set by the government.
We then stopped by the South Melbourne Market where I got free-range eggs, honey-lemon potion, pumpkin-seed bread, and other things to make a typical Aussie brunch menu: chill scrambled eggs on toasts with smashed-avo on the side.
I quickly prep the food back home, declaring it as Valentine’s day meal made with lots of love when I served it to Fafa. He got me a bunch of gorgeous pink tulips and pre-ordered a tarot deck (I KNOW!) for Valentine, the least I could do was to cook the man a warm meal.
After lunch, Fafa went to study to read up on his upcoming project while I did a bit of reading. Then I started watching Contagion and dozed off half-way before waking up to Fafa sitting beside me, watching the finale of Your Honor.
There is nothing much to share about the lockdown nor my feelings about it, except maybe it looks like it’s going to last more than five days which gives me a bit of anxiety. But I have decided no point in dwelling about it today and ruin my restful Sunday.
Before I leave for the day, let me share one of my favourite poetry about love by one of my favourite poet, Bianca Sparacino:
My god, I hope you find love. And I don’t just mean that in regards to someone you wrap your tired bones around at night. I mean that I hope you find love in every aspect of your life. I hope you find it tucked into early morning sunrises, and the smell of your favourite places. I hope you find it strung between the laughter you share with your friends, I hope it bounces off of you when you hug the people you care for, I hope it swells within your ribcage whenever you hear your favourite song, or discover something that moves you. I hope you fall in love with growth, and change, and the messiness and the beauty of fucking up, and making mistakes, and becoming exactly who you want to be. I hope you find love in places that were once void of it, in places within yourself that you could have been softer to, kinder to, in the past. Because if there is one thing I have learned, it is that love is so much more than a boy, or a girl, who holds your heart. Love is everything around you. It is everything.
I truly hope you had a love filled Valentine day. Sending you virtual blessings and love 💌.
I drew the Nine of Pentacles today from the Fifth Spirit Tarot deck as a daily tarot reading. The card portrayed a banquet from the reader POV. Later, on the same day, Liz treated me the most delicious Italian dinner I have ever eaten in Melbourne at Cucinetta.
Right before we ate, I managed to snap a picture of our meals which reminded me of the image on the card. And that, my friend, was one of tarot-imitating-life moments for me.
I pulled the Eight of Wands and The Chariot (Cancer) as the cards of the day. It wasn’t a surprise. It has been a tradition of mine to travel on the 26 January; even before I moved to Australia, which has it as the first public holiday of the year.
This time though, what caught my attention was The Chariot card.
When I first started learning tarot based on the images, I associated The Chariot with travelling. Obviously, as the guy on the classic Rider Waite Smith tarot deck is riding a chariot. He is on the move or about to move. So is the witch who is riding the bike on the Everyday Witch Tarot deck.
But the Chariot on the deck I used for the reading today, the Moon Void Tarot, shows pages and pages of papers. Each one dated by month. July 2016, August 2016 and so on. There is a hand holding a pen writing on one of those pages. As if the person is scheduling and making plans. I don’t see anything that resembles travelling, which ironically fitted my situation of being unable to travel this time.
Alas, it got me curious about the artist’s interpretation of the card, and I dug through my piles of to-read books and found the guide book for the deck which I bought separately (one of the best tarot related decision I made so far: When in doubt, get the guide book). It says:
“…connect with our momentum, as we develop a clear vision, we begin to take action. …daily practice becomes the structure that takes us from one phase of life to the next. Small steps in physical reality will be met by large leaps from the Universe, but first, (you) must begin.”
I then went through The Spacious Tarot deck wondering how The Chariot is depicted there as I don’t think I have ever pulled this card from that deck. The image on the card itself reminded me of the Milford Sound in New Zealand South Island. Again travel related. But the mini-guide book offered an explanation closer to one given by the Moon Void above:
“…define exactly what is it that you want to do. What hard things do you need to do at this time? Affirm that you are capable and go do what you need to do.”
Wow. Reading it was like peeling another layer of The Chariot card.
The one that I didn’t even know existed.
The one about taking inspired actions.
I love it when that happens. That is also why I am love learning about tarot. The more I understand, the more interesting it becomes.
Happy Aquarius season ♒︎ guys!
I haven’t been writing for a week here, the longest period since I started this blog last year. I am feeling a wee bit of a writer-FOMO, so here are some random observations I noted down in the journal recently —
I use a 400-page black Moleskine to journal. It was a birthday gift from Fafa. At first, I thought it would be my annual journal. But now, only five months in and having used up 3/4 of it, I think I will be getting myself a new journal for my half-birthday in March.
One of the reasons that I haven’t been writing much on the blog is because I am hitting a tarot-reading wall. For some reason, I have been feeling a little less excited about journaling about tarot recently. Not sure whether I am even allowed to say that, but that’s the truth. I have come up with solutions, though. I have started journaling tarot with prompts given by the Moon Void Tarot‘s creator, Stefanie Caponi to honor the Aquarius season (my Moon sign).
I also bought another tarot deck—my first-quarter purchase (hey, I lasted 20 days! Now, I have to go through the next 70-something days without buying another deck). It’s the Fifth Spirit Tarot which sits on top of my 2021 tarot deck list. Yesterday, I saw that Two Sided Tarot has it listed on their website and with only AUD10 shipping, I knew I shouldn’t wait any longer.
One last thing about tarot: I am looking for a tarot deck with continuity or a similar theme throughout the deck. The Moon Void Tarot deck has been the closest I’ve got, but the non-human court-cards broke the singular theme thing that it had going for it.
Even though I haven’t been writing much here, I have been compiling random notes I wrote here and there — paper and digital — into my Day One App. Maybe I can share some of the not-super-boring ones here?
Also, even though I haven’t been writing much, I have been running. I registered for a measly 10km run in October. That gets me going. I am clocking in 3km every run, but with an embarrassing pace to be shared here.
The last best coffee I had was well, not a coffee. We went to Brunswick last weekend to feast on a crab at Miss Katie’s Crab Shack. On the way back, we stopped at one of my favourite coffee shops in Melbourne for some sit-down
This month, I dreamt of Fafa bringing and or showing me a ladybug. Twice. Google told me that it’s a symbol of good luck.
This week, I tried a new Thai dish called Hor Mok for the first time. It’s steamed fish cooked with coconut cream, curry and basil leaf served banana leaf cup. I ordered it because it reminded me of Kerala Meen Pollichathu, but it tasted closer to Cambodian Fish Amok.
Yesterday, I found out that all this while I have been cooking and eating butter that has expired in 2019.
Today, I woke up reminiscing about my Uni time. Jik and I used to sneak into each others class. Even though we majored in different subjects and went to different Universities. And hers was more fun than my boring Accounting lectures. Then, I realized that taking up CPA is like adopting the worst part of schooling-the studying and exam parts. Ugh!
I realize more and more that I am a creature of routines and rituals. So instead of ignoring it, I should use those things as a foundation of my daily life.
Half-naked yoga brings me joy.
What was the best day of your life?
The question popped out on my phone. Sent by Jik. It got me thinking. The thing is, I have many.
The days I spent with my cousins, driving around Jakarta to buy the best road-side food.
The weekend I went to Malaka with my Uni friends and made more friends by the time we went back to Singapore.
Our three weeks honeymoon in Japan.
The weekend I went to Goa to attend my cousin’s wedding.
The first time I saw the Autumn colours IRL.
The many moments I shared with Cheryl when we worked together.
The day I went to the theme park as a kid with just my parents. I was wearing a red dress, and they let me do water rafting. It was so fun. I felt so happy and excited, and a bit of a grown-up.
The day I got a salary hike.
The day I got approval to move to Australia.
The day I stood in front of the sixteen floors National Library in Singapore.
The day I noticed Vi entering the classroom wearing her purple pyjamas.
The days I spent in Phi Phi Island, wearing a bikini for the first time and learning to be confident in it.
The day I bought my first MacBook.
The hours I spent in the bookstores. And the hours I spent in Spellbox.
The night of the New Year’s Eve when I met Fafa.
The drunken night walk with my cousins in Copenhagen.
The day I ate MSG ridden fried-rice in a Chinese restaurant in Italy after not having rice for more than a week for the first time in my life.
My first snowfall day.
The days where Fafa kindness was the only support I had.
The weekend in Uluru.
The hours Jik and I spent in coffee shops in Hong Kong.
The time with LOL memories.
Quality times I spent with Amma and the moments of hugging her.
The day my Amma complimented me on my cousin’s engagement day.
Drinking Karak Chai in Dubai.
The nights I sat on the beach.
The hours I spent in the kitchen with my workmates – having lunch or just taking breaks.
The days I spent with Erwin and Vivi, rediscovering Jakarta.
The days and nights I spent with Thu just messing around while trying to figure out life.
My days in Singapore.
First dates. Second dates.
The days where I do very little but don’t feel guilty at all. The days when I do so much and feel a sense of accomplishment.
My post-grad days.
My wedding days.
The day I realised I had all the support I needed in life.
The afternoon in Brisbane when we took an hour Uber-ride to eat good Indo food.
The day I discovered Serial podcast while travelling in Europe, which led into the true-crime rabbit hole.
The day I took Shinkansen for the first time, the second time and every single time after that.
The day I set up my blogs excitedly.
My last working day in Singapore.
Those are some of my best days—the ones I would love to redo. I realised now that most of them involve being surrounded by my loved ones, travelling and discovering myself. Here is to creating space in my life for more of those kinds of days.