For a long time, I had stayed away from these. But the link was probably never broken. And perhaps I am reverting to old ways.

20140125-225605.jpgAll the sinfulness imbibed in these things.

20140125-225610.jpgThe weightiness that it bears thereafter.

20140125-225615.jpgLiving from day to day is as tiresome as trying to look beyond and ahead. Mounting feelings of wanting to just throw in the towel, surrender but to whom and what? How can yielding be possible when there is no object or subject in sight?

Bar Stories, Haji Lane Singapore

Since I was on course last Friday, which meant that the day ended earlier than usual compared to if I was in the office, I made plans to meet up with a friend who is back in town for vacation and visiting family. We decided to head to Haji Lane, even though the weather now in Singapore (that has taken a turn towards the extremely hot and humid in this week that was leading up to the F1 Night Race here) threatened to be punishing for any outdoor activity, walking included.

Nevertheless, since it has also been a while since I last went there, I thought it was good to visit again. I have probably only been to Haji Lane and its neighbouring streets a few times, mainly due to weather issues, and also because it isn’t too conveniently located. It is not too far to walk from Bugis MRT station, but these days I spend more of my time around the Orchard area, with its almost seamless connection between subway station and shopping malls, i.e. air-conditioned comfort.

There are some interesting shops in Haji Lane, selling clothes with a cool, edgy feel or those that are colourful and preppy. But I assumed a lot of these would tend to be overpriced, since I believe too that a large percentage of the threads are sourced by their owners from places like Bangkok and perhaps Seoul, and over there the prices are way more pocket-friendly. Anyhow, I have yet to do any wardrobe spring-cleaning so clothes-shopping is still being kept to a minimum.

At about 5:30pm on Friday, Haji Lane was already packing in the crowds, unsurprisingly. A lot of people perhaps tend to leave the office earlier for TGIF although not all the establishments were full yet. When we popped into Bar Stories (on level two) at about 6pm, it wasn’t crowded but they had reservations for their tables and bar and we were told we could sit till about 8pm.

I have been there once, years ago, for coffee and cake, and this time, I tried their bespoke cocktails! The concept is the same as Klee that used to be at Portsdown (maybe they are related in some ways); there is no menu for the drinks, you just tell the bartender what you feel like having and they’d mix up a concoction for you.  

My friend wanted something fresh and fruity, while I wanted something with a tinge of sourness, so this was what we got. 20130923-141242.jpg

The pot of burning grass at the side was supposed to be aromatherapy but I was kind of worried it would burn my hair or something. The cocktail mixed for me was pretty good, it wasn’t too sour and the overall taste was actually quite good. I suspect there were grapes used that explained the purplish colour, and the whole look of it appeared to be romanticised and oriental don’t you think? My friend’s drink, which I tried a small sip when it had turned warm, probably had some citrus fruit in it, but at that point when I tried it I couldn’t tell what could have gone into it. She didn’t finish it because when it wasn’t cold anymore, it somehow didn’t taste good any longer. In fact, it tasted a little weird by then.20130923-141253.jpg


The place started to fill up with customers around half past 7 and slightly past that, we also thought it was time to leave since we could only sit till about 8. Besides the two drinks, we also ordered this bar snack, fried chicken with some garlic sauce and this was quite decent. Or maybe I was still pretty peckish and hungry despite having been eating non-stop throughout the entire duration of my 2-day course. 20130923-141310.jpg

This wasn’t too oily even if it’s battered and deep-fried, and sort of brought back some nice memories of polenta chicken bits that were shared with friends over beer at Acid Bar at Peranakan Place.

Bar Stories is one awesome place for a great catch-up with friends, especially at the time when we dropped in before the crowds started streaming in. I think even by then the noise level should still be manageable but it would be nicer to be chilling over cocktails and chatting in a relaxed quiet atmosphere so if you can be early, do go early!

breaking a habit

It has been a fairly healthy start for me so far! I have successfully reduced my intake of alcohol and before the CNY period, I actually had not taken a single drink. On New Year’s eve, just before 2013 began, I had a couple of pints of beer and that was that. Even when I attended a wedding dinner in January I steered clear of any wines or spirits, and I was so impressed with myself. Not that I consider myself to be an alcoholic of any sort, though there were periods of my life where I had drank a little too excessively. I don’t think that had created any problems for me except being the huge stumbling block towards my constant plan to lose weight. Although it probably wasn’t such a great idea that these bouts of hedonism and drinking led to some partial memory loss, which is something of a concern because if I had drank till I lost some segments of my memory, is that tantamount to substance abuse? Anyway, other than the endless quest for weight loss, I also wanted to stay on the healthy track and lessen my intake of alcohol, since too much drinking works in detrimental ways to my body which negates all the other good that I am doing. Besides, there aren’t many people around to go out for social drinking with so now I spend more time on healthy jaunts like practising yoga. LOL. Drinking coffee doesn’t necessarily count as healthy but that’s something I am not yet prepared to give up for now.

And I did say before CNY, because one of my long-time pals returned for CNY and we met up for some drinks at the usual places that we hung out at before. But as compared to years past, I think I have mellowed, tremendously, though I have to work on the guilt complex a little. Drinking once in a while on a social basis is perfectly fine so I don’t have to feel bad about it, like I did after that, especially when I considered the beer with all that deep-fried food! Well, they did taste really great together when I was having them though.  20130228-112850.jpgSo… habits are hard to break, yes, but not impossible. I’m trying to change some other habits now and shall see if I am successful in that! Let’s all work towards a healthier 2013 and beyond!

not in the mood

Like my friend told me, I think I’m just not in the mood. Spent some time over the weekend trawling the shops and I bought nothing. Maybe the piece of accessory I got recently was a reason; the crowds that I am not too keen on jostling with in the shops, the heat that made me more lethargic and tired than I already am, the piles of clothing that will always be a point for my mum, and now even my brother and dad, to nag me about, and basically I think a lot of times over the weekend logic just won over everything else.

Last Wednesday on my way to the airport, the hotel staff who was sending me there told me about several traffic incidents along the usual expressway and that he would take a different route, which would take slightly longer but hadn’t any traffic situations reported. I don’t recall what was on the route that we took from airport to hotel but I don’t think it was as picturesque as what I saw this time. For a part of the drive, we were cruising along this road that had the ocean to our right so I had my nose plastered to the window most of the time staring out into the beautiful scenery enroute.   

The scenic seaview brought me back to years ago when I got lost on a train. Or rather it was a missed stop that took us on a longer-than-originally-planned ride on the train till we reached the next stop. It was kind of a blessing in disguise because what we saw along the way was just amazing.

It has been a while since I had a hangover that leaves me with a throbbing headache for the good part of the day. Besides getting enough sleep/rest, which I didn’t/couldn’t, and of course staying sufficiently hydrated, which I tried, eating savoury food, or best yet fried stuff, works great for me in quelling the queasiness of too much alcohol. Each time we suffer from a hangover of sorts, we always promise ourselves that next time we will drink less, or that we will curb our drinking but when the next time swings by, well you still drink and that promise is forgotten until the hangover occurs again. We just don’t learn do we?

Even at the end of that, I decided to go ahead with yoga class and miraculously my headache disappeared after that one hour I spent stretching my stiff and tired limbs. Food and yoga. My hangover cure.