Saturday, 7 December 2013

cloud atlas

i went to climb sunset peak yesterday.

the presence of silence as you ascend is like entering another world (without traffic, people, stock market screeners, basically what you expect when you climb a mountain). i could hear my heart beat like thunder (and they were thunder because i had just climbed half a freaking mountain without stretching). 

when i met the heavy fog half way, i thought: i could die here, and no one would ever find me.

that's when i heard voices. i turn to find them and three dudes in the distance look at me in unison. there goes my life. one of them runs up and asks if i am travelling alone. 'please don't kill me,' i plead. he laughs as though i have seen through his plan, and i make him repeat after me, 'i will not kill you.'

in the end they let me live and even gave me some water when i thought i was going to dehydrate.

Tuesday, 29 October 2013

Thursday, 26 September 2013

the girl who leapt through time

tokyo, japan

fun facts
  • camera phones all have shutter sounds, for... reasons
  • ghibli is pronounced with a ji, not ghee like i have thought all my life
  • there's an unspoken rule of not eating in public, which i broke every moment i was in public
  • no matter what time of day, you always say 'ohaiyo gozaimasu' (even though it literally means good morning) on a mountain trail, to be polite and encourage the other passerby, who do not need encouragement really because they are blazing past you
  • there are no rubbish bins (anywhere) (okay maybe think of the most inconvenient place, it might be there)
worthy words
  1. itadakimasu (say before eating)
  2. gochisosama (say after eating, add deshita if it is more formal)
  3. oishii! (yum! i got to use this a lot when a friend took me to a japanese restaurant immediately after returning from japan, the chef was probably thinking 'i get it', 'i know', and 'stfu' but because he's a polite japanese dude all he could do was incline his body gracefully and reply 'arigato-gozaimasu' every time i used the phrase)
  4. eki is station
  5. ranchi is lunch
  6. neko is cat
  7. AKB48 is an idol group from akihabara
  8. hajimemashite (say when you first meet someone)

Monday, 23 September 2013

cosmic matter


we took these photos in between lounging on the floor with endless popcorn and chocolate watching adventure time and exploring mountain terrain and tracing train tracks and making nachos and making more nachos.

Saturday, 17 August 2013

wilderness explorer

shoreham beach, mornington penisula: 
the pines on the edge of this forest (sad they could only see their view) all lunged towards the ocean (wanting to be a part of her greatness), but the earth held them back (for she saw everything).

Tuesday, 13 August 2013

the long way home

remember that time when i was inspired by chinese and bollywood films with cross-country train rides and decided to take a 22 hour seated trip from guilin to shanghai and just wanted to die after about twenty minutes?

Tuesday, 30 July 2013

border crossing

shenzhen: emma and i spent our hours eating at old street before merging into the crowd of a rock concert in shekou *cough* and by rock concert i mean an open air gig where the lead singer sang out of tune but still better than me.

Sunday, 14 July 2013

Friday, 12 July 2013

Saturday, 29 June 2013

Thursday, 20 June 2013

ghost stories

pictures i never took:

cutting through the austrian alps
on a speeding train,
we must be chasing something great.

shivering under the saharan light— 
who poured all the glitter in the world
onto this sky?

small town in italy,
sits a spring waterhole
—life starts here.

summer: we wear sun hats
and freckles
of light.

Thursday, 30 May 2013

Saturday, 25 May 2013

art of accentuation (but is it art?)

me: can i please have a plastic bag?
french-speaker: ?
me: plastic.
french-speaker: ?
me: *french accent* plastique?
french-speaker: oh! plastic!

me: you're so adorable!
french-kid: ?
me: adorable!
french-kid: ?
me: *french accent* adorable?
french-kid: oh! thank you very much.

friend: hot chocolate please.
waiter-san: ?
friend: hot chocolate.
waiter-san: ?
friend: *japanese accent* hotto-chocoreto?
waiter-san: oh! hot chocolate!

friend: something with hazelnut.
bartender-san: ?
friend: hazelnut.
bartender-san: ?
friend: how do you say hazelnut in japanese?
me: i think i got this, *japanese accent* hazeru-natsu?
bartender-san: oh! hazelnut!

and remember when the waiter told me there was no cheese but 'jisu' in my hamburger?

Friday, 17 May 2013


i figured out the other day why i'm immediately drawn to people who speak multiple languages. their world — who they can communicate with, who they can share secrets with, who they can experience life together with — is much bigger, much grander. 

imagine all the stories you can hear first hand if you spoke another language. you speak arabic? that's an extra 300 million people who can now hear you out. you speak mandarin? literally, another billion people can now understand you. (!!)

just the thought makes my heart soar.

can you please tell me what you speak?

Wednesday, 15 May 2013

neighbourhood watch

last weekend i walked past a dude walking his tortoise in sheung wan, (not shek o, not sai kung, not life aquatic)—and it reminded me of my neighbours last year:

yeah... nothing says these will be used as ingredients for guilingao like three tortoises stacked in the corner of your neighbour's rooftop (which you accidentally entered, once, to make this, and another time, to not spill taro ice cream and honey everywhere on purpose).

Tuesday, 26 March 2013

i (82% of the time) love the rain

i'm standing in the middle of central, in the pouring rain. i don't like umbrellas — i have never enjoyed carrying them, and to be honest, i (82% of the time) love the rain. there is something about hong kong though, perhaps the millions of people tightly condensed between slabs of concrete at the foot of a very polluted china — that makes the rain 18% not so loved.

this time i am drenched. my shirt is probably see through. my hair is hugging my skin like vines down my neck. i send myself into a trance as i stare past the traffic. slowly i feel the pitter-patter weight lifting off my shoulders. for the briefest moment i think: the rain has stopped. 

i turn to my right. there is a gentlemen (i'm not sure if he actually is, maybe i should just call him a man). there is a man in a navy pinstripe suit. he looks kind and is trying to appear as less creepy as possible manoeuvring his umbrella over me. i say 'thank you'. then quickly smile in case my words drowned before they reached him. he looks straight ahead (that is kind of creepy). then just as the pedestrian lights turn green he tries handing me the umbrella. 'it's okay' i reply, and resume my pace.

the pitter-patter back on my shoulders, but they feel different now.

Friday, 22 February 2013

the river, 16mm

i shot this more than a year ago.

recently it became part of the official selection at a french film festival that isn't cannes. rendering the mention of any film-festival-success irrelevant. (i won't allude to the other festival selection in amsterdam then...) and i would loved to have shown you, but enough time has passed for me to view the film objectively (rather than as a child i spent months nurturing). honestly? it's terrible.

you'd be more productive racing raindrops down your window, attempting to make creme caramel, or dancing in your underwear (wait that is always productive).

and yes, that alien is wearing a snuggie®.

edit — it just got into another two film festivals, so if you want to see it, you can here:

festival du film d'altkirch (i have no idea either) 12-14th april
international short film festival of barcelona 18-22nd april

edit — this ended up screening at over 24 film festivals, but none cannes so my life still isn't complete.

Monday, 11 February 2013

happy (lunar) new year!

work hard, (work the hardest i ever have—not in a japanese husband way, but a heroine with a destiny to fulfil way — and without sympathy because i'm a modern day protagonist who need no approval).

document/photograph life.

read often, (ten books + whatever i find while drinking tea).

watch a film a week.

learn another language to fluency; answering a little when asked 'can you speak this language?' is not fluency. let's face it, we all understand un peu le francais.


social interaction: accept it.

meaning: stop shutting people down within the first ten seconds of meeting them.


dance, (even when friends whisper 'i don't know you' as they side-step off the street).

Friday, 1 February 2013